Chris Barretto – Vocals
Browne – Guitars
Olly Steele – Guitars
Adam Swan – Bass
Mike Malyan – Drums
Transcontinental metallers MONUMENTS have come a long way since starting as a side project of John Browne (guitars; Fellsilent) and Josh Travis (guitars; The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza). From a surprise appearance on BBC Radio 1 to debut full-length, “Gnosis“”, the group immediately found a fanatic audience. Praised for their brainy yet song-oriented approach to heavy music, MONUMENTS bridged the progressive metal gap like few before. On one side they challenged. “Gnosis“” was full of mind-bending, betcha-can’t-play-this-type passages. On the other side, fans deeply connected to hook- laden songs like “97% Static” and “Empty Vessels”.
Fast forward two productive years later and MONUMENTS – now with Chris Barretto (ex-Periphery, Ever Forthright) on vocals – have grown tremendously. While they’re still way into instrumental gymnastics and impressing fans with their musical prowess, they’ve really honed in on writing huge, impossibly memorable songs for new album, “The Amanuensis”. Like bigger, badder, and even more epic-than- before type stuff. If “97% Static” and “Empty Vessels” stuck to the brain, new songs like “I, Creator”, “The Alchemist”, and “Origin of Escape” hit the head, body, and mind hard. “I really like the chorus of ‘The Alchemist’,” guitarist John Browne smiles. “It’s really simplistic, but I think that part will sound big and open when we play it live. I also dig the ending of ‘I, The Destroyer’. I can’t really focus on one part or song. All of the songs I’m happy with how they all turned out.”
“The Amanuensis” is a complete experience, actually. Even Browne’s mom is impressed: “I know my mum will blast this out of her car like she did with ‘Gnosis’. She loves groove.”
If one thing’s certain about MONUMENTS and Browne in 2014 they’re keen to move away from needless classification with “The Amanuensis”. They’re specifically referring to their tenuous association with the djent movement. “Music is music,” Browne says. “It has the same 12 notes as any other music. The only difference is the way it’s expressed, so we use pretty silly words to try and explain the sound. The word ‘djent’ makes no sense whatsoever to describe a genre. The tone that it references isn’t really utilized by many bands that are classed as it. I feel progressive metal is a much better reference to our music, with a huge dose of groove.”
FOR THE FALLEN DREAMS
What’s that old saying again? “The more things change, the more they stay the same”—right? When it comes to Michigan based metal outfit For the Fallen Dreams, perhaps a more fitting—but just as timeless—adage would be “change is the only constant.” With a career defined by constant progression and dedication to refining and rejuvenating their unique brand of aggressive, passionate metal, For the Fallen Dreams have consistently demonstrated an incredible ability to adapt and evolve their sound and dynamic despite overwhelming adversity—and all without sacrificing the core components of their sound. Built around explosive breakdowns, gut-wrenching grooves and lyricism that touches on everything from an introspective glimpse into the human condition to brotherhood and the cycles of life and death, these Midwestern masters of metal have made themselves a staple within the international heavy music community. Now signed to Arising Empire.
Sure, it’s easy to believe everything has been done before. VRSTY (Var-Si-Ty) prove it hasn’t. The New York City quartet—Joey Varela [vocals], Javy Dorrejo [bass], Chris Cody [drums], and Paul Gregory [guitar]—layer R&B vocal styles over heavy metallic grooves and chugging riffage. After posting up over 2 million streams and charting Billboard with their independent releases, the group crafted a unique and unexpected hybrid on their 2020 debut EP for Spinefarm Records, Cloud City.
Fueled by the success of Cloud City – which saw hit singles Massive & Shameless rack up over a million streams each in under a year – VRSTY will release their label debut full-length WELCOME HOME on January 21, 2022.
“When people ask me what we sound like, I say, ‘We’re whatever you want us to be’,” states Joey. “I can’t put a genre on us, because I’m a pop and R&B singer who loves metal. There are pop tracks, metal tracks, and R&B tracks. It’s super different heavy music with pop-inspired vocals. The genre has enough bands who sound similar. If you spend time trying to do what’s popular, you fall into a mode. That’s not something we’re interested in. The music has to be fun for us and the people listening to it.”
In the end, VRSTY break all of the rules and ultimately break ground.
Without Waves range from extreme metal to jazz fusion to atmospheric rock, showcasing blistering riffs and unorthodox time signatures paired alongside dreamy melodies and poetic chord structures.
Nu Metalcore from Chicago. FFO: Wage War, Fit for a King, Gideon, Knocked Loose, and The Ghost Inside. Follow the links to our socials and stay safe!
Debut Album “NOMOREDOUBT” OUT NOW!