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France’s Manigance will be releasing an English version of their latest album The Shadows Ball (Les Bal Des Ombres) on February 24 via Rockshots Records. The original francophone version was released on March 18, 2022. Now, the band presents their next single ‘All Your Excesses’, a song that denounces the behaviours and human activities that lead to the progressive and rapid destruction of our environment, our planet. “All our excesses have serious consequences. It’s our responsibility to change,” says Carine Pinto (vocals/lyrics). François Merle (guitar) adds: “This is the most complicated piece in terms of rhythm. The bass/drums part is very precise and an acoustic guitar solo brings a Hispanic touch. The vocals on the chorus are particularly high and very metal.”

NJ hardcore band Gel formed in 2018, picked up a lot of steam post-lockdown with their 2021 EP Violent Closure, and kept that momentum going with their 2022 split with Cold Brats. Now they’ve finally announced their debut album, Only Constant, due March 31 via Convulse Records. The album was recorded by drummer Zach Miller along with Trish Quigley, and it offers up 10 songs in 16 minutes. Vocalist Sami Kaiser says, “A lot of this record is about trying to live more of a happy and healthy life. I’ve been in recovery for alcoholism for the past couple years and really taking it seriously. I’ve learned a lot about myself and how to address negative feelings, and the album is about trying to let go of those self-destructive tendencies and embrace change.” The first single is ‘Attainable,’ which clocks in at under two minutes and interjects the band’s fast-paced hardcore punk with a danceable post-punk beat and some psychedelic-leaning guitar work. It challenges the boundaries and traditions of hardcore without toning down the band’s attack, and it comes with a cool black-and-white performance video directed and edited by Ian Shelton and Will Acuna. [via Brooklyn Vegan]

Germany’s symphonic metal icons XANDRIA are back with their eagerly-awaited album, The Wonders Still Awaiting out now via Napalm Records. Right from the start, album opener ‘Two Worlds’ takes you on a journey through epic, fantastical soundscapes, as well as imposing arrangements. Lyrically, the band expresses their personal feelings towards the future of humanity, wondering if humanity is on its way towards a dystopian world (especially with the constant environmental destruction) or if it is moving towards a fantastical utopian world? Ambre Vourvahis embraces her magnificent vocal diversity and uses its power to merge the contrasting worlds together in the new breathtaking music video. XANDRIA about the new single ‘Two Worlds’: “We have – perhaps still – the choice between two worlds. A dystopian one if we continue on this way into reversing the progress of civilization and destroying the environment which we are living in. Or a utopian one where we can see the wonders that might be awaiting for mankind’s future. But the bridge between those worlds gets frailer with every second. Musically, this epic and bombastic 7 minute song takes you on a journey through the polarity of the two worlds, showing you the surprises, treasures, and diversity the new album The Wonders Still Awaiting will have in store. This song is almost a little movie on its own with the combination of metal mixed with huge film score orchestration, a 40-piece choir of the Bulgarian National Radio Children´s Choir.” [via Outburn]

Frozen Crown has released the third single taken from the new album Call Of The North, set to be released on March 10 through Scarlet Records. Check out ‘Black Heart’ below.

D.C.-area group VOSH are fronted by former Blacksage singer Josephine Olivia, and their lineup is rounded out by current/former members of Coke Bust, Repulsion and more. This isn’t the members’ first rodeo, and you can hear their experience on the pulsating, steamy, insanely catchy ‘Pray,’ the lead single from their upcoming debut LP, Vessel (out March 3 via Trash Casual), alongside its captivating music video. Musically, ‘Pray’ recalls the classic post-punk sound of bands like Sisters of Mercy and Bauhaus, but with an extra kick in the driving guitars and thumping drums that brings to mind bands like Ministry and Nine Inch Nails. Common reference points, but VOSH know exactly how to make these sonic combinations sound fresh again. “‘Pray’ is a song about undying devotion to a lover,” the band tells. “We wanted to write something heavy, catchy, and driving. Something to dance or fuck to. This was one of the first songs we wrote together and it encapsulates the heart of VOSH: distorted guitars, a cool mix of electronic and live drums, heavy synths, and vocals that are equally commanding and haunting. This is for the warehouse, the club, the stadium.” [via Revolver]

UK Pagan Metal outfit Forlorn have today shared their brand-new single ‘The Weight Of It All’ which is out now via Silent Cult. Forlorn blend folk horror and paganism to carve out their own brand of ‘Midsommar Metal’. The juxtaposition of ethereal vocals and haunting soundscapes with chaotic drums and crushing low-level guitars, paired with Megan’s brutal screams, bring together Forlorn’s unique sound and visual identity. Produced by George Lever (Loathe, Sleep Token, Monuments) ‘The Weight Of It All’ ebbs and flows between sweeping cinematic passages and unrelentingly heavy moments of chaos. Accompanying the new single is a stunning Winter Solstice-inspired music video that shows the conflict between two characters within the same human-vessel; the fragile, ageing Maiden in the white dress and the old, wise and fearsome Crone, in the black crown with her wild eyes. We see the season demonstrated in frozen landscapes, sacred smoke, the wearing of ritual masks and the pounding of the bodhrán. “’The Weight Of It All’ is lyrically centred upon the notion of living a double life; switching between two paradoxical personas that coexist within one fragile lifeform. Instrumentally this song immediately reminded me of a score from a Christopher Nolan film. I felt a strong connection to the iconic vigilante and their opposing personalities. The double-life concept resonates strongly for me, where my day-to-day life is so far removed from who I really am. On a daily basis I wear a metaphorical (and physical) mask, never really allowing anyone to get beneath the surface, until I’m back within the realms of comfort,” says Megan Elliott, vocalist.

Check out our playlist featuring more women in heavy music below!

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