My Hopes Instilled are an up and coming alt rock band, and they released their debut EP Dancing In The Crisis earlier this month. They are planning their first UK tour for February 2018.
Dancing In The Crisis opens with instrumental Through Emptiness, which flows effortlessly into the title track. The Italian group incorporate orchestral themes, heavy guitars and drums, gentle vocals and modern effects to make up their sound. The listener expects a female vocalist, but the lead singer is actually male. Although they have a huge sound, each individual instrument is quite stripped back, but put together they create something epic.
Riff based Sitting On The Roof features a prominent bass that carries the tune in the verse, where the vocals are incredibly soft and the lyrics are indiscernible. It contains influences from Within Temptation, Linkin Park, and Evanescence. There isn’t much difference between this track and the following track, Lies And Prayers.
The most unique track on Dancing In The Crisis is the penultimate track, Wiser, which contains some very hidden elements of A Day To Remember in the verses, but it’s masked by the guitar’s effects and the chorus. Finally, in the bridge the listener hears some chugging and blast beats on the drums that make the song heavy. However back into the third verse is that hidden ADTR influence. The influences in Wiser jar together and shouldn’t work, but somehow they do.
Green Leaves finally has some piano and the haunting orchestral sound returns. This more metal themed sound seems to be My Hopes Instilled‘s preferred sound; the tracks sound more comfortable and are written and performed better than the others.
Each song on the EP starts with a long introduction before launching into a riff, and then the standard verse/chorus structure. However most of the tracks sound too similar to each other. If My Hopes Instilled were writing an album they would need to include much more variety between songs, and write songs of similar genres, not metal on one track and pop punk/metalcore on the next. However they are different to other metal bands in that the male vocalist doesn’t scream or use heated vocals, he just sings. Musically My Hopes Instilled are talented, but they need to refine themselves a little more before committing to a full album.
After a tiresome yet utterly awesome first day at Download, it’s time to kick into the second day’s affairs, and to the naked eye this appears to be the weaker of the three days, but there are in fact some deep and very interesting offerings.
Download has come back round once again. It is indeed that time of year again, when the people begin to pray for sunshine and salivate over the once again stacked line up for the Donnington weekend. If you are struggling to find all the bands you should be seeing, that’s understandable, the line up has something for everyone and even some hidden gems as well, that’s why we’re here to help! We’ve got a list of all the bands we are gonna be seeing over the weekend with a few words to help sway your decision. These are in no particular order cause there are quite a lot of bands we wanna go see…
A Day To Remember
In the middle of a world tour it’s surprising that A Day To Remember have found time to perform at Download this year. The festival regulars should find a great crowd responding to their strong setlist, if the rest of their tour is anything to go by. A Day To Remember represent the heavier side of pop-punk in a very mixed line up for 2017, and performing on the headline stage should be fantastic exposure for their latest album, which peaked at no.6 in the UK album charts back in September. Supporting them on tour were Moose Blood, who are also performing on Sunday on the Avalanche Stage.
The Swedish power metallers are making a pit stop in the UK for Download, before continuing on to France for Hellfest. Also performing on the headline stage on Friday alongside the likes of Mastodon and System of a Down, it’s great to see such an underrated band do so well in the UK. The group are currently coming off their USA/Canada leg of their world tour, which will end in August with the Sabaton Open Air festival.
Having silently dropped an absolute belter of an album in Mesmer, Northlane swiftly reminded everyone why they are such an exciting band. Bringing their sound to the main stage this year, it’ll be the perfect litmus test to find out just how capable they are to take that next step towards the bigger stages. Expect huge choruses, oddly timed riffs and a lot of energy.
Riffs, beers and a lot of smoke is just a few of the key ingredients that make Orange Goblin such a formidable yet hugely enjoyable band. Their stoner metal roots mean that there is always a strong groove present but the pace that Goblin put into their music means its just a cut above the rest. If you like having fun and headbanging till your can’t look up any more then be sure to see Orange Goblin.
Mastodon are a tricky band to pin down. Across their lengthy career the group have been many things; heavy, progressive, intricate, and always impassioned. From the cryptic notes of Crack The Skye through the rock-driven power of Once More Around The Sun to the impressive new album Emperor of Sand, they have more than enough material to drive a whirlwind set. The band are no strangers to Donington Park, and they will be returning to the main stage to deliver their craft to the masses. Those who have seen the band play live before will know there is something for everyone in their performances, from the most dedicated fan to newcomers who will revel in the power of these experienced musicians. Don’t skip on Mastodon.
The last year or so has seen Creeper move from shock-rock wannabe’s to a sensational crowning jewel of British alternative music. With their self-identified cult following, the band have developed a spellbinding, ephemeral live performance which cannot fail to draw in the listener. Their recent debut album Eternity, In Your Arms saw the Creeper play their largest shows to date and make each stage their home, and Download’s Main Stage promises to be no different. With a powerful concept weaving through their discography, catch Creeper on Saturday to watch a story come to life in an awe-inspiringly powerful way.
Zippo Encore Stage
Being one of the most consistent brilliant bands on the circuit today, Baroness bring a beauty to their often monolithically heavy sound, and with their most recent album Purple they were able to prove once again why they’re just utterly fantastic. Expect their set to be deafeningly loud but still not to be missed as the band display their incredible tightness as a band and also their stellar back catalogue.
The hardcore punk rock legends released their 13th album World Gone Mad last year and are still very much in the swing of touring it. With their trademark energy and attitude coupled with classic tracks like Institutionalized and War Inside My Head it’s likely to go off like stale milk, so don’t miss out.
Hailing from Norway, Kvelertak fuse together the party attitude of old school rock and roll and fuse with the seething anger and intensity of black metal for a frighteningly potent mixture. Sure to be bringing all the riffs they can muster along with a few owls for good measure, check them out for something a little bit different in your weekend.
Maybe a controversial one, but despite their huge flop of an album that resulted in massive backlash back in February but you cannot forget that this band is still a ironclad behemoth of the metal world. With a back catalogue as fierce as any of their stable mates, their added fuel from the controversy seen earlier this year could result in an incendiary performance.
Now it is fair to suggest that ‘bad song’ or ‘poor performance’ are phrases that Clutch are completely unfamiliar with. With their infectious bluesy groove and bloody marvellous song writing, Clutch will inevitably tear the house down and deliver a set of the weekend.
Having a history of writing flawlessly brilliant death metal before open their wings and proving to be brimming with melody and intelligent proggy goodness, Opeth are a band that will always be counted on to deliver stunning music. If you are unfamiliar with the Swedish legends, find yourself a copy of Blackwater Park and listen to the perfect marriage of brutality and gentle calm.
Almost Britain’s answer to Opeth, Anathema went from being a punishingly heavy doom band to opening up to more gorgeous soundscapes that have resulted in a varied and epic back catalogue. If, by the Sunday of the weekend, you are tired and require something soothing, beautiful and played with surgical precision, go listen to anathema and rest your weary eyes.
Four Year Strong
Four Year Strong have been touting their easycore style for years now, which means they’ve become damn good at it. The band recently embarked on an extensive tour to celebrate the tenth anniversary of their timeless record Rise or Die Trying. It is quite possibly impossible to avoid having fun with Four Year Strong on the stage. They’re buoyant, energetic and entertaining with some crushing breakdowns. The band’s most recently self-titled album dropped in 2015 boasting huge songs like We All Float Down Here and Go Down In History and the band are just as comfortable with them as they are with the tracks they’ve been playing since they started. Whether you’re familiar or not, rock up to see Four Year Strong blow the crowd away.
Every Time I Die
There isn’t an argument that exists as to why you shouldn’t go watch one of the best hardcore bands on the planet tear the stage a new asshole. Seriously, the moment the Buffalo boys walk on stage that whole tent is erupt into glorious, glorious chaos.
Dinosaur Pile-Up a band that created from the ashes of frontman Matthew Bigland’s former band Mother Vulpine, their named taken from a scene in the 2005 adaptation of King Kong. They have an incredible post-grunge sound with influences such as Smashing Pumpkins, Slayer and The Beach Boys which makes their sound one of a kind. Their third album Eleven Eleven was released in 2015, the title track is filled with heavy riffs and heart felt lyrics. The band are currently on tour in the US supporting on the first half of their tour before heading back to finish it off in July.
Grove Street Families
The Grand Theft Auto-based hardcore act are looking to bring the streets to the big stage! With their main discography being based around strong EP presence, the band have built a strong UK following through the hardcore scene with their boisterous live crowds and with them able to switch up their structure of flows in between songs, whether it be the heavier beatdown style section of Street By Street or the anthemic choruses in Big Smoke And Mirrors, it will showcase something fun and, most importantly, enjoyable about your last day at Download.
Releasing a brutal yet strangely easy to get into album with Forever, the Code Orange kids will be bringing their branded of anxiety inducing hardcore to download. Code Orange are a dominating outfit and their live shows are pretty counter intuitive to dental welfare so watch yourself in the pit.
Not three months on from supporting Yellowcard on their Final Tour, Normandie are currently still touring through Europe. Dropping in on Download before heading back to the Netherlands, Normandie deserve their slot on the Avalanche Stage on Saturday. The heavy alternative group are hugely talented and hopefully performing at Download will give them the exposure they deserve.
The King Blues
The King Blues are an interesting group, a true punk vibe mixed in with the political hatred makes them a popular choice for shows and festivals. With their latest album The Gospel Truth covering subjects like mental health, Brexit and politics – it’s easy to see why they’re doing so well for themselves and why their shows always sell out so quickly. If you fancy getting out some anger or having a sing-a-long then go and check them.
Astroid Boys bring nothing but a giant party. The Cardiff based grime/hardcore collective mix dirty beats and heavy instrumentals layered with a duo of vocalists. With just finishing a headline tour and heading back out again in the autumn with Enter Shikari, it shows that they bring something for everyone. With a new album bound to be announced soon, you’ll most likely get the chance to see a couple of new songs played!
Arguably the best pop-punk band on the planet at the moment, Knuckle Puck write impassioned and clever music for a genre that has been stagnating in creativity for the past few years. Their Copacetic record represented a band that possessed the talent to take the genre to the next level it has been looking for, so be sure to check out the very possible future leaders of an entire genre.
The Dogtooth Stage
If you fancy some death metal fronted by a female, you have to check out Venom Prison. Moving on from the hardcore Wolf Down, Larissa brings her absolute best brutality with Venom Prison and her vocals are second to none. Having just supported Suicide Silence and Deez Nuts on their UK tour, they’ve gained fans all around the country and it’s not hard to see why when you see the energy and passion put into their live shows.
Punk quintet IDLES will be showing their one of the best punk acts around at Download festival. With their passionately angry lyrics and ferocious guitar riffs these guys are bringing punk back. You thought these guys were angry already, depending on the election results on 8th June these guys may be 1000 times angrier. Their most popular track Well Done encapsulates the distain at the apparent class divide in England at the moment. The video for Well Done seems plain but captures the simplicity of the lyrics perfectly.
On the back of a sold out tour with While She Sleeps, Fizzy Blood will be bringing their Punk Rock ‘n’ Roll to Donnington Park. Fizzy Blood aren’t strangers to festival appearances after performing at an array of England based festivals such as Sound City, Live At Leeds and Tramlines, as well as international renowned festivals such as SXSW and Korea’s Zandari Festa. Fizzy Blood’s latest single Pawn is jam packed full of everything great about this band, catchy lyrics along with head banging guitar riffs. With an incredible 80’s style music video filmed entirely on VHS this is a perfect contrast to this track. Be sure to catch Fizzy Blood at a number of festival’s this summer, including Camden Rocks, 2000 Trees and Tramlines.
One of the fastest rising post hardcore acts of the last decade are starting to make waves in the festival circuit and with the hype already being around two songs released, the Welsh contingent are definitely turning some heads early before the release of any more material. Permanent and Dream Of Me showcases so far everything you need to know about the band and when you finally see them, you will want to know so much more about this five piece.
I The Mighty
Giving you some more post hardcore for your second day at the festival, this californian quartet are looking to make more of a presence with a new album on the way as well. Their latest album Connector shows off their musical prowess and technical capabilities with their older material as well emphasising what they’re about. The band are able to change from their elegant melodies within tracks such as The Lying Eyes Of Miss Erray that only helps elevate their songs that give more of a punch with aggression. If you have no other band on your schedule, this is a group that deserve your undivided attention.
Opening up the night some three hours ahead of the headliners A Day To Remember‘s stage entrance, Canterbury’s finest Moose Blood took to performing for the Wembley Arena crowd. They are a band that have a talent for looking nervous in even the smallest shows, yet have the same reaction when faced with around six thousand in one of the UK’s largest venues. Playing through a short setlist featuring material from both albums, a large portion of the crowd were singing along, and even those that weren’t were moving to the incredibly catchy tracks they played out. After finishing up with Knuckles, frontman Eddy Brewerton thanked the crowd for what must have been the twentieth time and they left the stage to a satisfied and readied crowd. [8/10]
Next up came returning band Neck Deep, who played the North London arena back in March 2015 in support of All Time Low. The contrast from their set back then to now is dramatic: in 2015 they played a setlist that was a mixture of EP material and new songs from debut album Wishful Thinking with more energy than musical ability on display. With A Day To Remember however, it was a different story. They played through a setlist dominated by second album Life’s Not Out To Get You with great ease with spinning, kicking and jumping coming as freebie extras as always. The highlight had to be the closing track Can’t Kick Up The Roots that brought the crowd into the most action up to that point of the night. [8/10]
New Found Glory are well-known for being the forefathers of pop punk, and their stage-filling banner helped establish that as it read “20 YEARS OF POP PUNK 1997-2017”. They came out and burst straight into All Downhill From Here which proved ironically correct as their tired-seeming antics broke free. The crowd were fairly static and despite a few singalongs it was apparent very few people actually knew the songs; the hybrid of teens and parents that filled a lot of the room did not lend itself to the early 2000s tunes of the band. Nonetheless, they ploughed on and even debuted a new track titled Happy Being Miserable which will be released 17th February. This track saw the most energy of the set from both band and fans, which is a surprise considering My Friends Over You closed the show.
The whole set was clearly an emotional rollercoaster for the veteran band as they entered their twentieth year on this side of the pond, yet they seem to be waning in their power. The real test for them will be their tour at the back end of 2017 as they play two albums in full every night as they drive round the UK, hopefully with a more dedicated audience. [6/10]
After mass singalongs to some of the biggest rock tracks of the last 20 years (Limp Bizkit‘s Break Stuff and Slipknot‘s Duality to name just two), headliners A Day To Remember came out on the giant stage as they burst straight into Mr Highway’s Thinking About The End which holds the infamous “disrespect your surroundings” breakdown. Needless to say, this jump-started the set in a way it meant to continue. Hitting Paranoia and 2nd Sucks in quick succession carried on the pure power that have made this band what they are for so long. It was obvious Jeremy was on form, and that A Day To Remember are happier than ever playing their songs to thousands of people. The life in them looked renewed from the last time they were in the UK, and they didn’t do anything but exploit that fact.
“Crowdsurfer surfing” competition and t-shirt canon caused even more raucus fun to play out in the tail end of the set, and the main body of the set came to an explosive close with All I Want and the gritty favourite Plot To Bomb The Panhandle. The sheer volume of the crowd interaction caused an electric atmosphere, and the chants for them to come back on the stage were non-existent but instead replaced by applause for just how good A Day To Remember are.
At the return, guitarist Kevin Skaff and frontman Jeremy McKinnon came back out onstage for If It Means A Lot To You which had a number of people in tears which were quickly cleared up when All Signs Point To Lauderdale started ringing out. Finishing up with Downfall of Us All, there was just a sense of belonging. Whoever you are, whatever you’re going through outside – an A Day To Remember show is for you. They make this perfectly clear, and it is an experience that nobody could forget.
Photos by Lauren Stead in First Direct Arena, Leeds (28/1/17)
We all have that one album that defined us; the one that shaped our tastes in music, our perspectives or that we simply have just really liked for a long time. Here is the list of albums chosen by Musicology staff; some of us had loads to say about these albums and some only a few words, but there is a huge variety in genres at play here that makes up the Musicology staff.
American Idiot – Green Day
Chosen by Fiona
Fiona says: American Idiot was the first rock album I ever bought, listened to and actually really liked. After I became a fan of Green Day it was my dream to see them play live, and finally, in 2013, I did. Before I saw Green Day live my favourite band were Muse, but Green Day put on a much better show, interact with their audience and generally just look like they’re having a great time. I saw the American Idiot Musical in late 2012 too and it was fantastic to hear some of my favourite songs in a real, gritty, story setting.
The Young & The Hopeless – Good Charlotte
Chosen by James M
James says: The Young & The Hopeless taught me that music can be rough and unpolished as well as brutally honest.
Dookie – Green Day
Suburbia I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing – The Wonder Years
Chosen by Tom
Tom says: Dookie influenced me on a musical level, but Suburbia influenced me on a more personal level.
All Hope Is Gone – Slipknot
Chosen by Bradley
Bradley says: All Hope Is Gone was the first metal album I ever listened to. I heard Snuff and thought “what’s this?” and then got into heavier music from there on.
The Hope Division – Stick To Your Guns
Chosen by Josh
Josh says: The Hope Division is the first album that got me into the hardcore genre and helped me expand on those horizons.
The ’59 Sound – Gaslight Anthem
Chosen by Coops
Coops says: This record opened some many doors for me musically and turned me on to so many killer bands. They tell stories, write catchy tunes and they are such mellow dudes…
Riot! – Paramore
Chosen by Victoria and Jade
Victoria says: Paramore are my favourite band of all time, and Riot shaped me. It’s easily a staple in alternative music.
Jade says: Riot was the first rock album I ever listened to.
Common Courtesy – A Day To Remember
Chosen by Sam
Sam says: This album was my first encounter with A Day To Remember, and they are such a groundbreaking band with so much musical talent. This album helped me through my first major break up and introduced me to heavier music, teaching me how well emotion can be used in songs. Although I feel that Homesick is the best A Day To Remember album, it did not shape my musical influence like Common Courtesy did.
Sports – Modern Baseball
Chosen by James L
James says: The main reason for this choice is that Sports inspired me to listen to more of what I listen to now, and it also it is a massive reason I play my music the way I do. From the soft strumming and plucked patterns or the sometimes more aggressive style, but also from a lyrical sense and the way in which vocal patterns can affect a songs feel and emotional power.
The Poison – Bullet For My Valentine
Chosen by Lauren
Lauren says: The Poison came out while i was in my first year at college and really shaped my taste in music, and myself. My best friend bought tickets to the tour which also happened to be my first gig without my parents and in this genre, seeing the album played live made me fall deeper in love with it. Everything about it pretty much summed up being a teenager at the time. It’s still an album I can happily go to and listen to.
Lauren also recently took photos of Bullet For My Valentine in Manchester on their 10 year Poison tour!
Oxford based pop punk group Better Than Never release their second EP, Head Under Water on 2nd December via Fox Records.
“Head Under Water covers the idea of how dealing with depression and anxiety can sometimes just feel like you are drowning in a sea of hopelessness, the ball and chain in the imagery showing how you can feel chained down by those struggles and anchored at rock bottom.” – James Harris, vox
At first listen, Better Than Never sound like a less heavy A Day To Remember and a much less emo Mayday Parade. They could one day be in the same league as Neck Deep.
Each track on the EP has several layers for the ears to unpick. With two vocalists that have clearly rehearsed their harmonies to perfection, and three guitars that somehow don’t sound too heavy when combined, Better Than Never will keep listeners returning to their music just to wrap their heads around these sounds.
Learning To Swim is the lead single from Head Under Water and is the most cheerful song on the EP, which is surprising considering the lyrical content. The opening line is “she keeps my head under water”, so the listener would expect the song to be less cheerful and more emo, however this is not the case, and is a pleasant surprise.
Forty Eight is the heaviest track on the EP, and is also the most comparable to A Day To Remember. The vocals are combined singing and screaming, and there is a recurring guitar riff that sits above everything else and takes the edge off the heavy vocals. Later in the song a bass riff is prominently heard under all the guitars, and it’s truly a great song for each individual musician to really show off their abilities.
If you love your boisterous pop punk, then you will definitely enjoy the newest Better Than Never music video/track. Featuring a bicycle being ridden into a swimming pool as well as destruction of a MacBook, their latest video is very enjoyable to watch and the song placed with it helps that note. Check out ‘Learning To Swim‘ below!
Their new EP ‘Head Under Water‘ will be released on December 2nd via Fox Records. They will also be going on a tour in January to which you can see the dates below!
The A Day To Remember UK arena tour that was announced earlier this year as somehow gotten even better with the addition of one final support.
The tour that announced Neck Deep and Moose Blood in the early parts of last month, has now announced that Pop-Punk giants New Found Glory will also be joining them on what is set to be an amazing way to kick off 2017.
A Day To Remember recently announced a huge UK arena tour, and now they’ve revealed some more of the bill. Already looking to be huge, these shows are now set to be legendary.
Lead support on the tour will be Neck Deep, the UK’s biggest pop punk offering in recent years. They will also be preceded by Moose Blood, the emo heart-throbs that are on track to massive things themselves.