Up-and-coming Hardcore Band: Sylar

Ever wonder what would happen if you combined Emmure and Beartooth? Chances are you’d get Sylar (no, I’m talking about the villain from the cancelled TV series Heroes), a metalcore band from Queens, N.Y.

They’ve released one full length album, To Whom It May Concern, but I’ve known them for about a year when Last.fm (it’s the Myspace of Internet radio) introduced Deadbeat to me. They’re incredibly underrated and have the potential to become a huge name amongst fans.

Sylar does enough to stand out in the genre, but still sound familiar. Their music is heavy and aggressive with a hint of hip hop. Perhaps Golden Retreat is the best song to demonstrate this. They coordinate the styles enough to be noticeable, but not too overbearing. And, of course, there are those high-pitched squeaks to which is reminiscent of Emmure. The only difference is they’re electronic. The electronic parts aren’t as prominent as a band like I See Stars, but it’s definitely present.

Another draw to Sylar is Jayden Panesso, their vocalist. His mids are well-done. They convey emotion and almost sound pained, which is fitting for their subject material (Warning: there’s a lot of profanity). But it’s also hard to ignore the cleans, which really shines in Never Let It Go. They never sounds unnaturally high or overproduced and complement the screams.

Sylar will be playing at Soma on Dec. 6 with Emmure, The Acacia Strain and Fit For A King. And with a lineup like that, many more people will know their name soon. I’m sure they’ll pass that 100,000 likes on Facebook benchmark shortly.

Up-and-Coming Hardcore Band: Dangerkids

Last week, I profiled a band that sounded like Iron Maiden, so continuing with the trend of bands resembling older metal bands, these guys sound undeniably like a post-hardcore version of Linkin Park.

Dangerkids hails from Dayton, Ohio and is currently signed to Rise Records (sorry if that scares you away). I’m 100 percent serious that the only way people can’t draw similarities between them and Linkin Park is if they’ve never heard of them before. However, Dangerkids goes above and beyond by fusing the post-hardcore genre with it’s screaming, clean vocals and breakdowns with Linkin Park’s rapping and electronic style of their older songs.

In case you’re wondering, Dangerkids is copying bands, but rather paying homage to the bands that influence their style. In Light Escapes Dangerkids even mentions them by name and references Innerpartysystem (an awesome electronic rock group you should also check out). But like I already said, it’s almost impossible to draw similarities. Listen to Paper Thin to hear what I mean.

Variety is the name of the game for Dangerkids. The combination and constant transitioning between singing, rapping and screaming keeps their songs from getting stale. The same could be said about the fusion of electronic music with the usual guitar, bass and drums (with occasional instances of piano). This makes Dangerkids a perfect balance of nostalgia and modern post-hardcore.

As of now Dangerkids only has one album out, Collapse, but I was honestly surprised when I found out their Facebook page only has a little more than 50,000 likes. Debut albums don’t necessarily establish a sound, so it’ll be interesting to see how they grow. Hopefully, they differ from Linkin Park, in that they make more than a few good albums before going downhill.

Up-and-Coming Hardcore Band: Affiance


Every once in a while, there’s a band that sounds like a modern version of a classic. In this case, Cleveland metalcore band Affiance reminds me of Iron Maiden. I say this in the most respectful way possible. They’re not copying Iron Maiden, but sound like what they would have if they started their band 30 years in the future.

This allows Affiance to stands out in the overcrowded homogeneous metalcore genre. Instead of working with the tried and true switching of screaming and singing, Dennis Tvrdik sings in most songs. There are a few background screams, but for the most part, singing is predominate. And Tvrdik has some incredible range. Fire! is a perfect example. Tvrdik can hit high notes in way that doesn’t sound whiny  and has a powerful voice all the way through.

Of course, Tvrdik isn’t the only one who makes Affiance grand. The rest of the band has a strong presence in every song too. There are still breakdowns, which is why I’m defining them as metalcore, but Affiance isn’t afraid to bust out a guitar solo. Their riffs never get boring either. Drums tend also impress in songs like Monuments Fail.

To top off impressive instruments and vocals are Affiance’s lyrics. They’re well-written and political (which is always a plus for a political science minor like myself). Every song never ceases to motivate me in a genre full of complaining and sub-par lyrics. Their second album is even called The Campaign of all things.

I found out about Affiance when I heard Call To The Warrior and The Hive on No Secrets Revealed. They’re an awesome band who’s proven to have a consistently great track record since 2010. Most fans of metal music as a whole will be able to enjoy them. It’s only a matter of time before we start hearing them on the radio.

The Ghost Inside and Every Time I Die concert review

Jonathan Vigil

I’m very picky when it comes to seeing concerts. It usually takes more than two bands I want to see for me to crawl out of my house, but I’m glad I made an exception. I hadn’t seen The Ghost Inside or Every Time I Die before their show at Soma on Nov. 13. Now, I can die happier knowing I’ve finally crossed them off my list.

I missed half of Backtrack‘s setlist from what can only be described as spontaneous traffic in the San Diego area, but from what I heard, they did solid job at opening. The New York hardcore band brought their A game, with all the high pitched screams and breakdowns you associate with the genre. Although, they may have been too trusting with the crowd taking the mic every other minute.

  Hundredth went up next. They sounded like a more composed version of Backtrack, in a good way. Slowing down and changing pace makes the heavy parts seem that much heavier. They had clean vocals, but those were drowned out by the rest of the band. However, Hundredth had a very short setlist because of their lead vocalist’s migraine.

Architects brought the life out of Soma once they took the stage. If bass is your thing, then Architects would’ve made you happy. Bass and drums were the dominant instruments. You could still hear the vocals, but the guitars were barely audible. It was a little disappointing because there were some interesting guitar riffs. Other than that, they played a pretty good show with amazing breakdowns and vocals.

Every Time I Die drum sound check

Apologies for the bad quality. You’d think since we can put a man on the moon, we’d be able to make a camera that takes good pictures indoors.

As you can probably guess, Every Time I Die came up next and stole the show. Listening to them live is like riding on a train without brakes being conducted by a clown. From start to finish, they had a sense of humor and never slowed down (until the encore). I absolutely lost my mind when they played The New Black, We’rewolf and Underwater Bimbos From Outer Space. Having so many good songs released made for a setlist that wasn’t boring in the slightest. Everything sounded tight and no instrument was quiet. All-in-all It was chaotic and a blast.

Finally, The Ghost Inside took the stage and also did a great job. The started off with Avalanche which sounds infinitely better live than recorded. Instruments and screams were heavy and made for some brutal breakdowns. However, the singing was a little off pitch and quiet. It didn’t make too much of a difference considering how the entire crowd was singing along. Most of their setlist came from Get What You Give with a few from their now released Dear Youth and older work. It was a great balance considering so many songs, such as Engine 45, Dark Horse and White Light, are on one album.

The headliners are what made this concert. Their two performances back-to-back made for an concert that still has my body aching and ears ringing in the best way possible.