Mammal’s most recommended new albums: Core

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Two-thirds of the way through the year, I find that the four unreviewed ’core releases I’ve enjoyed the most were all issued in the opening months of 2015. There have been many other good ’core albums in our Inbox, but these are the ones that call to me most sweetly. Two of the four are EPs, not full albums, which goes to show yet again that quality matters much more than quantity in music.

As always, my picks are sub-genres of the melodious and experimental ilk. That doesn’t mean I’m soppy, it reveals that I’m half hippie.

The albums and EPs are listed alphabetically by name of the artist. Any rating of 4 or more on Metal State equates to “Geez, gotta have this!”


Choking on IllusionsChoking on Illusions – Rest/Less

Genre: Melodic hardcore
Release date: 27 March 2015
Label: Bastardized Recordings
Tracks: 11
Length: 30 minutes
Location: Saarbrücken / Kaiserslautern, Germany
Personnel: Mario Strasser (vocals), Jannik Aulenbacher (guitar), Maciej Spiczak (guitar), Christian Pontes (bass), Dustin Euckert (drums)
Previous studio albums: Guide Me Home (2012)

“Rest/Less” pays honest tribute to the punk rock roots of hardcore and expands to become so much more. The band delivers the straight hardcore sections of each song with high energy and perfectly suited vocal style. When the music extends into the melodic elements it becomes sublime, as much like post hardcore and emotional prog metal as it is melodic hardcore. The result is a very satisfying combination of in-your-face attitude and lyrical charm.

Mammal’s rating: 4 out of 5

Visit Choking on Illusions on Facebook.


MurdockMurdoch – Dead Lung

Genre: Mathcore
Release date: 13 April 2015
Label: Basick Records
Tracks: 13
Length: 50 minutes
Location: Ireland
Personnel: Aidan Cunningham (guitar , vocals, recording, mixing, production), Ronan Nolan (drums), Rob Powderly (bass, vocals)
Previous studio albums: Vol II: Strangers on the Shore (2010)

Murdock describe their music as technical hardcore with elements of jazz, rock, punk and noise. To me it’s brilliant mathcore and that’s what I’m calling it. Every song on the album is brimming with unusual time signatures, changes of melody and tempo, and the occasional intended discord. I’m not a musician but it’s obvious to anyone’s ears that mathcore is extremely intricate. From what I’ve read about modern music theory, it’s also one of the most difficult forms to compose and perform. Murdock have not merely mastered this hugely challenging style of core, they totally excel at it. The album is a pleasure from the first to the last note.

Mammal’s rating: 5 out of 5

Visit Murdock on Facebook.


NiburtaNiburta – Reset (EP)

Genre: Folk metalcore
Release date: 10 January 2015
Label: Self-released
Tracks: 3
Length: 14 minutes
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Personnel: Balázs Hormai (main/harsh vocals), Laura Rózsa (clean vocals), János Krieser (guitar), Zoltán Galacsik (guitar), Milán Leindler (drums, percussion), Attila Rab (bass) plus guest musicians on kobza, acoustic guitar, hurdy gurdy, kaval, flutes, pipes, gadulka, oud and bouzuki
Previous studio albums: Screams from the East (2012)

I wouldn’t have thought folk metal and metalcore (plus some melodic death) would have fitted together. Then along came this small but precious jewel of an EP, one of the most irresistible releases I’ve heard all year. The variety of sounds and styles on “Reset” is astounding. It has the forcefulness of metalcore and the fantasy magic of pagan folk. The band makes highly effective use of the male-female vocal combination. I need their first album!

Mammal’s rating: 5 out of 5

Visit Niburta on Facebook.


Plugs of ApocalypsePlugs of Apocalypse – EAS (EP)

Genre: Symphonic deathcore
Release date: 9 March 2015
Label: Self-released
Tracks: 4
Length: 21 minutes
Location: Rome, Italy
Personnel: Giorgio Della Posta (lead vocals, synth), Alessandro Sajeva (guitar), Alberto Musso (guitar), Iacopo Fichera (bass), Simone Tracanelli (vocals, drums)
Previous studio albums: Necropolis (2011), Ashes (2012)

Off the wall, over the top, wildly uninhibited, outlandish, so theatrical that it’s almost operatic… all of those qualities make for a feast of melodious deathcore with a 360-degree circumnavigation of good sounds and very clever compositions. At its most brutal, the EP is as harsh and chuggy as any deathcore needs to be. With the added symphonic metal ingredients, including a soprano with a soaring range, this release is as much fun as Cattle Decapitation meets Epica, if you can imagine that. No, rather listen to it. This EP is a trillion times better than the band’s strange name.

Mammal’s rating: 4.5 out of 5

Visit Plugs of Apocalypse on Facebook.

Mammal’s most recommended: Assorted genres
Mammal’s most recommended: Art rock, post rock & math rock
Mammal’s most recommended: Black metal


Posted on August 28, 2015, in Album Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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