State Of The Art: Fargo’s SWING LOW [Album Streams]

Swing Low are a 4 piece Hardcore band from Fargo, North Dakota. These guys would make any old school hardcore fan proud with the music they have created. They include the basic elements of hardcore, but they also include their own spin and a modern take as well making them more unique than your average hardcore band. Fargo is one lucky city to have these guys playing shows around that area. Swing Low released their debut EP ‘MMXIV’ on September 21, 2014. The album was recorded at Howl Street Recordings by Shane Hochstetler (Satan’s Dealer, Corpse Donor, Speed Freaks). They followed that up with another EP titled ‘Learned Ignorace’ which released January 25, 2016. This time the band recorded with Aric Ficek at Winterland Studios. The next release by the band came on July 10, 2017 in the form of a split with the band War Prayer. Swing Low contributed two songs to the split including “Malice” and “Regression.” When the band was in the studio recording for the split they also recorded an additional track which they held onto for 6 months and released on January 6, 2018. The single was a cover of Disembodied’s “Gone.” Disembodied is a hardcore punk band that formed in 1995 in Minnesota. They reunited in 2008 and 2 of the founding members also formed Martyr A.D. when the band originally broke up. Last May Swing Low released 2 tracks on what they called the ‘Summer Promo.’ The two tracks include “Death Tax” and “Built From Shame” and is the most recent release from the band. One thing to note is that the band has recorded every release in a different studio and producer/mixer. I believe this has aided in keeping their music fresh and allows them to let their music progress. Continue reading

State Of The Art: Delaware’s BASTION’S WAKE [Album Stream]

*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state. This month’s state is Delaware.*

This is a change of pace from my usual metal fare, but Delaware’s Bastion’s Wake are an enigmatic power/symphonic band that piqued my interest with the fantasy artwork of their first album, ‘Sea Creatures and Sky Pirates’. Continue reading

State Of The Art: ATOMSHIP!

Atomship is one of those bands you will instantly love when trying out, even if you don’t like the genre you will most likely still appreciate the pure skill this band has. The drumming is fantastic and I am blown away by the riff work and soul touching vocals, all in all Atomship really deserves their own spot in this month’s State Of The Art!

Continue reading

State of the Art: Mississippi’s PARTHURNAX

*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state. This month’s state is Mississippi.*

Parthurnax is born out of Hattiesburg, Mississippi although it might as well be out of the snow covered forests of Finland. Much like the origin, Parthurnax is a bit of a mystery. It is unclear who is behind the project. A bit of snooping gives credence to the fact is a solo project as Facebook posts use “I” in the available few. One thing that is certain however, is the fantastic instrumental music. Classic heavy metal riffs with hints of Scandinavian prog. Fans of Dragonforce, Wintersun, Eluveitie, etc. That very Eurocentric sound that goes over so well at Wacken. Continue reading

State Of The Art: Mississippi’s CLAWHAMMER [Album Stream]

*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state. This month’s state is Mississippi.*

Clawhammer is a hard rock/heavy metal band from Mississippi formed by Paul Hill and Paul Craig.  The outfit is rounded out by Stephen McNeer on rhythm guitar, Pete Lindsey on drums and Brad Litton on bass.  Normally, there would be more detail about the group, but I can’t find any!  However, I can speak to the music and it really is classic metal, forged from the steel of the South and the artistic ethic of the doom/goth scene. Continue reading

State of the Art: Oklahoma’s LOST EMPIRES [Tracks Streaming]

Since 2011, Lost Empires have been fusing together a new breed of metalcore straight out of Oklahoma City, OK. One could say, fantasy metalcore? A healthy blend of sharp and tight traditional riffs with a power metal element, the melody along with the synthesizers. This is really something cool.

The five piece consists of Kilby and Brad on guitars, drummer Jeremy, Luke on bass and Lawrence on vocals. “Death, the Unveiling of Eternity” EP was released in 2016. It’s like God Forbid and Blind Guardian are dating. It’s a fabulously unique metalcore EP. The standout track is undoubtedly “Standing at Death’s Door.” Song structure is interesting, catchy and elaborate. The power metal elements really stand out on this particular track. Some cleans throw in the background really compliment the growls. Another favorite, “Hameln” has the eerie synth magic happening with a really evil and driving riff over top. It’s just a solid track. Fans of mid-2000’s metalcore will certainly be interested in Lost Empires, and power metal fans that don’t mind more aggressive vocals.

The band is pretty quiet on their socials, but after a bit of poking around it seems as they are taking a break at the moment but have future plans to write new material. Their 2016 EP is available for streaming on Spotify. 

State Of The Art: Oklahoma’s OUTSIDE THE SHADOWS [Album Stream]

*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state. This month’s state is Oklahoma.*

Outside the Shadows was formed originally as a Praise and Worship band, but that band split up and in 2013.

They sweated blood and released the first album ‘Forgiveness’ in October of 2013. They then released their second album ‘Ignite’ in October 2015. They have played with some amazing bands such as Screaming for Silence, Sons of Texas, Sleep Signals, and so many more!

The band name means to shine a light from the outside into the darkness and share Jesus with every individual possible. Outside The Shadows is made up of Preston Bell (vocals/guitar), Randy Stroud(drums)and Sam Krempl (bass/vocals).

Continue reading

State of the Art: North Carolina’s AMERICAN EMPIRE [EP Stream]

 

Fans of old-school Epica and Within Temptation are going to lose their minds over North Carolina’s best kept secret; American Empire. North Carolina has bred some top notch metal over the years but nothing that sounds quite like this. With the exception of Kamelot, most North American symphonic metal bands just seem to be missing something. But think again, American Empire is packing some seriously fantastic Euro-sounding metal down in Durham.  Continue reading

State Of The Art: AGONAL BREATHING!

Agonal Breathing either is or will soon be one of your favorite slam bands, with their album ‘Bloodthirsty Mutilation’ announced and read to spawn somewhere this year and the nasty ‘Pure Agony’ already being part of my daily routine they really are the State Of The Art of the state Kansas!

Continue reading

State of the Art: MARSH OF SWANS [EP Stream]

*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state. This month’s state is Kansas.*

Black metal and a history lesson? Get your pencil and paper out, Marsh of Swans are about to school you in downtrodden riffage and local history. The black metal duo call Lawrence, Kansas home. They go by CJ and BC, sharing the writing and production duties. BC is the voice that is heard on the tracks and CJ does the drum work, however. Continue reading