Happy weekend! For this weekend, I’ve got a very special edition of WEEKEND REVIEW! We’re on an American road trip, as it were, checking out all up and coming bands from the USA. It’s either that, or I accidentally pulled three American bands from the pile and am rolling with that as the theme. Either way, let’s get started!

Goalkeeper – ‘Bad Times Don’t Last’

We’re kicking off the weekend with American pop-punk band Goalkeeper. The Philly (Philadelphia, for those unfamiliar with our nicknames) four-piece, formed out the ashes of the members’ original bands, presents a short set of lighthearted songs on their debut EP ‘Bad Times Don’t Last.’ ‘Bad Times’ steers clear of the gym class and school cliches, fortunately. It’s still loaded with songs about girls, relationships, and life mistakes, but the reflective, optimistic tunes are a nice shake-up. I particularly enjoy Left Lane and Lately, both of which lean into an alternative-rock vibe that works really well with frontman Ryan Beebe’s more mature, gravelly voice. Overall, it’s a strong debut, one that pop-punk and rock fans will want to take notice of.

Bad Times Don’t Last dropped on November 16. You can stream it here!

 

Eye of Nix – ‘Black Somnia’

Next we’re off to Seattle, where avant-garde black Metallers Eye of Nix hail from. Their newest release, ‘Black Somnia’ is loaded with musical darkness, courtesy of both their Black Metal roots and a hefty dose of atonal elements (unsurprisingly, founder and keyboard player Maasaki Masao is a Noise artist). The band changes on a dime from sludgy riffs and growls on album opener Wound and Scar, to ethereal and epic on Fear’s Ascent, and back to almost a traditional Doom sound for the opening of Lull, driven by vocalist Joy Von Spain’s impressive vocal range and diversity. Sometimes stately and elegant, sometimes primal and harsh, and always challenging and interesting, this is a debut you owe it to yourself to check out if you’re a Black Metal or Noise fan.

Black Somnia was released Oct 26. You can check it out here!

 

Dire Peril – ‘The Extraterrestrial Compendium’

We’re wrapping up our musical road trip in Sacramento, California, home of Power Metallers Dire Peril. Their first album, ‘The Extraterrestrial Compendium,’ is 12 songs based on classic sci-fi movies, which is already a fantastic Power Metal premise to start with. On top of that, ‘The Extraterrestrial Compendium’ is loaded with awesome galloping guitar riffs and majestic vocals, kind of like if Demons & Wizards woke up one day and decided to make a sci-fi themed album. Guitarist Jason Ashcraft seamlessly blends classic Power Metal guitars with Thrash, classic Metal, and Prog influences to create a incredibly catchy sound, and all of the vocals are amazing. Add guest appearances by Brittany Slayes (Unleash the Archers) and none other than Arjen Anthony Lucassen, and you pretty much have a Power Metal must-have on your hands. Seriously. Go listen to this.

The Extraterrestrial Compendium was released November 9 on Divebomb Records. You can check it out here!

That’s all she wrote this week, folks. See you next week… somewhere in the world!