PROTECTED LEFT – Fossil EP

Following 2018’s ‘Posterity’s Sake’, Protected Left’s 2019 EP ‘Fossil’ combines fierce riffs with personal commentary to create a five tracker that should appeal to fans of Propagandi and of the noisiest end of Strike Anywhere catalogue. In terms of thrash oriented punk, it feels a little generic but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, especially when played as well as it is here.

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THE WORLD WITHOUT US – Incarnate

Although only together for around eighteen months at the close of 2019, Pennsylvania’s The World Without Us have gigged intensively and already shared a stage with the mighty Soulfly. It takes some bands years to gain that kind of attention, but one listen to their ‘Incarnate’ EP is pretty much all you’ll need to be convinced that these guys are one hell of a metal band.

Taking huge swathes of metalcore, a pinch of prog-metal and a couple of other influences, this EP is a giant melting pot of riffs. Riffs big enough to take on the very best; something helped no end by a heavy production style that is streets ahead of so many bands’ first DIY releases.

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NAUT – Semele EP

A five piece “dark rock” band from Bristol, Naut mix classic hard rock and gothic sounds to create music that sounds very retro, but still retains plenty of punch. Their debut EP ‘Raise The Lights’ gained positive press in 2018 and the follow up, ‘Semele’ finds the band continuing along their chosen musical path where swathes of 80s goth music collide with bits of 90s rock and a pinch of post-punk cool. It only features three songs, but each one is genuinely brilliant – and each one really builds upon the band’s love for all things moody.

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THE LAST REIGN – Prelude EP

The Last Reign’s overall style and approach to metal is unmistakably Scandinavian. Taking hefty cues from Soilwork and In Flames, their sound has a constant push and pull between the pneumatic and aggressive sounds of hardcore metal while still clinging on to various melodic approaches that flaunt a shameless love of the past. Their second release, ‘Prelude’ is a stop-gap, but its three songs go a long way to showing off a superb band – one that really should be on the radar of almost all fans of Scandinavian metal sounds.

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