Words by Nathan Morris
Feeling bored during isolation? Looking for new music to listen to?
Here are five rock and metal albums that you should listen to whilst in your Covid-induced quarantine.
5. Code Orange – Underneath
Yes, we know this was only released last week, but Code Orange’s 4th studio release is their best yet. The band’s last studio release Forever was a shotgun blast to the metal community and who’d have thought they could top it? Well, Code Orange apparently, because that’s exactly what they have done. Underneath is a crushing dystopian look at our relationship with technology, in particular social media, combining the intensity of Forever with a peek into the future decade. Code Orange are just as intense as ever, yet this album pushes the boundaries of what heavy music can and will be.
Code Orange have set the bar for the decade, and are miles ahead of any competition for album of the year.
If you choose one track: Back Inside the Glass.
For fans of: Knocked Loose, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Nine Inch Nails.
4. Dinosaur Pile – Up – Celebrity Mansions
Hailing from Leeds, Dinosaur Pile-Up were always a band that seemingly had no intentions of provoking any major interest from their local music scene, however with their 4th record they have proven everybody wrong with one of the best albums of last year. Released in 2019, the band’s latest effort is a blast from start to finish with an opening that I dare anyone not to love (seriously, is there a better opening two songs on any other record?). Igniting the release with the frantic Thrash Metal Cassette and leading into the song of year Back Foot, the album never stops pleasing the listener. With lyrical content that is hilarious yet so relatable, the album can be enjoyed anywhere and will always put you in a good mood.
If you need cheering up during these dull times, this is the one for you.
If you choose one track: Back Foot.
For fans of: Weezer, Foo Fighters, Don Broco.
3. Arcane Roots – Blood & Chemistry
Before the masterpiece that was Melancholia Hymns, Arcane Roots sprung onto the alt-rock scene in a delightful way with their debut effort Blood & Chemistry. An album that (to our shock) was never really paid much attention to due to … whatever reason. Maybe because at the time the general rock music listener wanted huge, grandiose, with simpler tracks (*cough* Sempiternal *cough*), however the beauty of this album is that it has all of those things and yet so much more depth. With tracks such as Sacred Shapes and Second Breath, the record supplies huge moments whilst simultaneously being intricate and thought-provoking.
This is an album that deserved your attention back then, and we urge you sit down and take in all that Blood & Chemistry has to offer.
If you choose one track: Triptych.
For fans of: Reuben, Marmozets, Muse.
2. Black Peaks – All That Divides
Black Peaks’ last album Statues had already cemented the band as an exciting new venture into the world of metal, however All That Divides is a pure statement that the band are here to stay and they’re only going to go from strength to strength. Let’s get this out of the way, Will Gardner has one of the most unique voices in the industry. His command of melody and guttural screams are enough to hang a whole band on (I’m looking at you, Fever 333), yet Black Peaks are not interested in remaining stagnant, with the musicians giving everything they have to every note and beat heard. It is the combination of interesting musicianship and a truly confident vocal performance that keeps Black Peaks special even eight years on from their inception, and we cannot wait to hear what they have to offer next.
If you choose one track: Slow Seas.
For Fans of – Haggard Cat, Tool, Rolo Tomassi.
1. Gallows – Grey Britain
The thought that eleven years later Gallows’ brutal statement on modern England would be just as relevant today as it was then is an incredible feat, and shows just how masterful Frank Carter is at crafting a world with his music. In this time of Covid19, Trump and Boris, Grey Britain shines a light on just how cruel our society can be, and that finding hope in these times is as tricky as it is soul-destroying. Yet even with songs like London is The Reason and Black Eyes delivering a truly hateful message towards society, there are glimmers of hope in every song, making Grey Britain our number one pick. It’s not because it is the best album ever made, but because its lyrical themes and musicianship are still poignant today.
If you are in isolation, missing loved ones, friends, or just feel like you need someone, this album reflects all our insecurities about love, loss and society, even eleven years on.
If you choose one track: Black Eyes.
For fans of – Every Time I Die, Cancer Bats, Refused.