Ultima Grace is a new metal project formed by Japanese keyboard player Yuhki (Galneryus, Alhambra) that features lead vocals by Anette Olzon (The Dark Element, ex-Nightwish). A self-titled debut album was released in March 2022 in Japan, but Frontiers Music Srl are making it available elsewhere on September 9. A single from the record entitled ‘Getting On With Life’ is available now.
Blacklab are back. The self-proclaimed ‘Doom witch, duo from Osaka’ are set to drop their third album In A Bizarre Dream this summer (August 19). Yuko has said before that the band’s name is a combination of her two favourite bands, Black Sabbath and Stereolab. Odd bedfellows to be sure, but if you want to know what that combination might sound like … here it is. ‘Crows, Sparrows and Cats’ actually features Laetitia Sadier of Stereolab, no less, providing the lead vocal, adding a layer of cool over Blacklab’s Hawkwind meets krautrock sludge. It’s a stoner groove with pop at its heart …Sludge Pop even, a surprising gem amongst the maelstrom of sound around it.
Japanese critically acclaimed Symphonic Metal sensation HETEROGENEOUS ANDEAD are proud to release their official video for ‘Fission’, a track taken from the band’s newly released album CHAOTIC FRAGMENTS.
US rock giants Icon For Hire share heaviest single to date, ‘Breakdown’, taken from their upcoming album The Reckoning due for release on September 9 via Kartel Music Group. The writing process for ‘Breakdown’ has been a more collaborative effort, explains lead singer and songwriter Ariel Bloomer ; “I had the hook line “I’m always up for a breakdown” in my notebook for years and wanted to do something with it. Vocally I go harder here than usual. Shawn and I collaborated on a lot of the lyrical themes on this song, which we’ve been doing more of lately. It’s usually a painful process for my control freak self but Shawn led the construction of this song. He asked what lyrical concepts I had, and then laid out the bones of the song and helped me write around his structure”.
StormbounD, symphonic metal from Israel, have been hard at work to deliver their debut album December and now with the release of their fourth single, it is almost time for the album’s long-awaited release. The single ‘Child’s Play’ is one of nine precisely woven stories that reflect on real-world experiences set to fantastical music. The band explains in their own words: “The lyrics on the album tell some interesting stories, some more personal and some global, convey some harsh messages and themes, and deliver a wide array of emotions. We did our best to bring all of that into a cohesive musical environment within the realm of metal. ‘Child’s Play’ is about the victory of creation, the libidinal energy and one’s motivation over negativity and scorn.”
Within Temptation has released the official Jeb Hardwick-directed music video for the band’s new single, ‘Don’t Pray For Me’. It is the fourth single of the band’s independent releases and will lead up to Within Temptation’s next studio album. Vocalist Sharon Den Adel comments: “‘Don’t Pray For Me’ strives against forcing beliefs and fears on to others and bears witness to being acceptive of everyone’s own journey. It is an anthem about coming to terms with the fact that beliefs can be fluid, multiple or, frankly, different. The song is about allowing people to pursue their own destiny.” [via Blabbermouth]
Next month, Arch Enemy will at long last release their highly anticipated new album, Deceivers, which they’ve been teasing with a series of impressive singles since last fall. Across the smattering of previews, we’ve heard the Swedish melodeath progenitors channel the NWOBHM sound of Judas Priest, lean into their thrashy side and embrace their heavy death-metal roots, and new single, ‘In the Eye of the Storm,’ is a little bit of everything. It’s got a big-ass lead riff, a stompy mid-tempo rhythm, and a chorus that’s catchy and excoriating thanks to Alissa White-Gluz’s viciously snarling vocal delivery. [via Revolver]
Nu-metal upstart Cinnamon Babe, the solo project from Stormi Maya, has set TikTok ablaze with a clip from the music video for her new single, ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Is Black,’ where she declares, “I’m taking my culture back” and points to rock’s origins in Black culture. In a press release, the Cinnamon Babe leader explains, “I made the song ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Is Black’ in response to all the people who seem to have forgotten the founders of this genre of music — African Americans such as Ike Turner, Bo Diddley, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Little Richard and Chuck Berry. And before you say, ‘Okay, Black people may have made rock ‘n’ roll, but metal is white blah blah… I credit the invention of metal to Jimi Hendrix and blues.” [via Metal Injection]
The Mendenhall Experiment is now streaming their new single ‘Pulse Of The Lost.’ The single features Suicide Silence guitarist Chris Garza and serves as the introduction of the project’s new vocalist Alyce Hayes. “‘Pulse Of The Lost’ to me is a musical representation of how society can repress into a state of darkness, and your personal choice to either live and die there or band together with those around you and rise out of it with a positive mindset,” said project mastermind Brandon Mendenhall. “”The lyrics in ‘Pulse of the Lost’ are a rally cry for individuality,” added Hayes. “We don’t need to fit into some special ‘box’ of identity, and this song is a big middle finger to the people who try to do this to us. The addition of Chris Garza on guitar added a beautiful, disturbing presence that I didn’t even know the song needed. It really took the music to another level.” [via Metal Injection]
Escuela Grind will release their brand new LP Memory Theater September 30 via the MNRK Heavy label, also the home of united spirits such as High on Fire and Crowbar. An official video for the first single, ‘Cliffhanger,’ is also now streaming. Escuela Grind has got moxie one would die slow and painfully for, and truly is the stuff of envy. They’re young, and unquestionably hungry on ‘Cliffhanger,’ as the grind is hot as steel, and that ain’t just some clever pun. These upstarts bring it raw and ragged, Massachusetts basement show-style. One listen and you’re going to be tempted break something valuable in a stranger’s home, I promise you. About the track, vocalist Katerina Economou has said “‘Cliffhanger’ is us branching out and including all of our influences into a heavy, danceable song. It’s a perfect representation of all the new things to expect from Escuela Grind. The lyrics are about the people that try to play both sides of the fence… and drag you down with them. It’s about fighting crab mentality.” [via Metal Injection]