The band Forbes declared is “inching towards a tipping point of becoming the latest arena headliner” takes a step closer with “Riptide.” BEARTOOTH’s 2022 anthem sees Caleb Shomo put the pain of the past in the rearview mirror as he takes the steering wheel from fate to command his own destiny.
The furiously courageous (almost unnervingly optimistic) song of self-empowerment is a victory lap. “Riptide” memorializes the struggle with mental health and self- acceptance, which has defined so much of BEARTOOTH since its inception. Shomo started this band in his basement, playing all the instruments to challenge and purge inner darkness, purely for himself at first. As the band he assembled to play the songs traveled, they discovered how many people recognized the same demons.
As Kerrang! observed, “Caleb Shomo is one of his generation’s most remarkable songwriters.” It’s a testament to the purity of intention manifested by the multi- instrumentalist from the start.
Songs like “The Past is Dead,” “Fed Up,” and “In Between” have pushed BEARTOOTH past 850 million streams. The band’s fourth album, Below, topped the Rock, Hard Music, and Alternative charts in 2021 and found its way into Best Rock/Metal Albums of the Year lists assembled by the likes of Revolver, Rock Sound, Kerrang!, Loudwire, Knotfest, and a slew of like-minded media outlets.
Rolling Stone introduced BEARTOOTH as one of 10 New Artists You Need To Know, and they rightly described the sound as “like a nervous breakdown, usually with enough optimism to push through.” As the band grew (grabbing trophies at genre events like the Golden Gods and Loudwire Awards), the raw nerve simply became more exposed, sounding wilder yet accessible all at once.
Steadily, without pretension, the fearlessly determined and boundlessly creative Ohio-based powerhouse perfected a sound sought by a generation of bands, equal parts solitary musical confession and celebratory exorcism. Their marriage of colossally catchy choruses and post-hardcore-soaked-in-sweaty-metal is without rival. Its effect is evident by their deeply engaged audience; tours with Slipknot, Bring Me The Horizon, and A Day To Remember; and an RIAA-certified gold plaque.
BEARTOOTH is both bomb and balm. An outright refusal to suffer in silence, BEARTOOTH weaponizes radio-ready bombast to deliver raw emotion mixed with noise-rock chaos. Other bands play the “devastating riffs and catchy hooks” game, but for BEARTOOTH, this music is the difference between life and death. As easygoing, charming, and outgoing as these young men may appear, there’s an inner turmoil churning away, only satiated by the savage music they perform onstage.
Hard rock and hardcore combine in a way that’s smart, lean, melodic, and irresistible, without apology. The stadium-sized type of riffs found in Metallica and the explosive passion of The Used are equally at home. Back in Black was the first album Shomo ever bought with his own money, and the straight-to-the-point stomp of AC/DC’s masterpiece remains entrenched in the BEARTOOTH backbone. Motörhead’s fast-paced groove and “let it rip” attitude is another part of the anatomy.
Like Nine Inch Nails and early Foo Fighters, BEARTOOTH is a one-person band in the studio, written, arranged, engineered, produced, mixed, and mastered by Shomo. The 2013 Sick EP was an emotionally stranded Shomo’s “message in a bottle,” tossed into a figurative ocean. The message was received, and the throngs of like-minded people who responded became his lifeboat.
Disgusting (2014), Aggressive (2016), Disease (2018), and Below (2021) expanded those themes of desperation, each sonically getting a step closer to the magical balance between the blood, sweat, and tears of classic recordings and the smooth gloss of modern production. “Riptide” is a challenge to shake loose the confines of past trauma and self-loathing and blaze a trail toward better days ahead.
In 2022, Shomo speaks openly about his mental, physical, and emotional repair, after a lifetime of fighting depression, anxiety, and doubt. “Riptide” celebrates newfound clarity, with stark honesty. It’s a torch lighting the way for the next era of BEARTOOTH, and a promise of bigger things to come.
BEARTOOTH offers no cure. But the recovery comes in the process; the journey is the destination. As long as the dueling dichotomy of mental health anguish and cathartic creative expression remain bound together, Shomo and his mates will continue to white-knuckle the wheel. So, enjoy the ride.
Various belief systems throughout history exalt the number 10 as divine. 10 years comprise a decade, we traditionally possess 10 fingers and 10 toes, our very decimal system remains based on 10, and so on and so forth. Trivium grasp for collective perfection on their 10th full-length offering, In The Court of the Dragon [Roadrunner Records]. Following 22 years, over 1 million units moved, hundreds of sold-out shows, and half-a-billion streams, the GRAMMY® Award-nominated Florida quartet—Matt Heavy [vocals, guitar], Corey Beaulieu [guitar], Paolo Gregoletto [bass], and Alex Bent [drums]—deliver a definitive statement cast in ironclad guitar fireworks, pummeling rhythms, lyrical provocations, and stadium-shaking choruses. It springs from the past, seizes the present, and hints at the future of Trivium—and metal—all at once.
“Getting to album 10 felt momentous,” says Paolo. “Not many bands get this far, so it had to live up to being the 10th record. We didn’t know if we were going to be able to tour, so it had to still be impressive enough to keep everyone’s attention. It was the sole focus for the last ten months. We had to make sure we met the bar we’ve set for our fans and ourselves.”
“To be 10 records in is an accomplishment in and of itself,” agrees Corey. “To us, this music felt special. We’re the strongest we’ve ever been as friends and as a band. I hope it shows in the songs.”
“I feel like we’re four people who just started a new band with all of the aspirations and dreams in the world,” exclaims Matt. “I’m excited to go to practice. I’m excited to play our music. I’m very happy to be in the band with these three guys. 22 years into this thing, that’s incredible.”
Those 22 years have set the stage for this era. Trivium crafted a classic in the form of Ascendancy. It concluded 2005 as KERRANG!’s “Album of the Year,” went gold in the UK, and has since surpassed global sales of 500,000 copies. Retrospectively, Metal Hammer cited it in the Top 15 of the “The Greatest Metal Albums of the Century.” They’ve earned six straight Top 25 debuts on the Billboard Top 200 and six Top 3 debuts on the Top Rock Albums Chart. One of many standouts from 2017’s The Sin and The Sentence, the single “Betrayer” garnered a GRAMMY® Award nod in the category of “Best Metal Performance.” The quartet reached new heights on 2020’s What The Dead Men Say, appearing everywhere from The New York Times, NPR, Forbes, Billboard, Tech Crunch, and Kotaku to Revolver and Alternative Press. They are the rare band who can incinerate a stage alongside Metallica and Iron Maiden and hold a captive audience of tens of thousands on a Twitch stream.
In the midst of the Global Pandemic, the members safely congregated in order to practice and volley ideas back and forth. During the summer, Alex and his wife moved across the country from California to Florida as Paolo also relocated back home. Once conditions permitted, they returned to the studio in Full Sail University with producer Josh Wilbur [Lamb of God, A Day To Remember] in 2021.
“When I moved, everything changed,” says Alex. “We could easily get on a group text to practice or write virtually anytime. It isn’t like I had to hop on a plane anymore. Everything was so much simpler and smoother. We weren’t working with any time limitations, and everything paid off.”
It most certainly did…Trivium sent shockwaves through heavy metal with the surprise release of the first single and title track “In The Court of The Dragon.” Within a month, the song piled up millions of streams as Guitar World hailed it as “one of the standout metal tracks of the year.” With its striking renaissance-inspired artwork, enigmatically unnerving fantasy visual, and conflagration of guttural screams, hammering percussion, orchestral intro courtesy of Ihsahn [Emperor], and sweeping hooks, it unlocked a gateway into another realm.
“As far as the meaning goes, there is no right or wrong answer,” grins Matt. “I want people to come up with their own interpretations of everything they hear, see, and experience on In The Court of the Dragon. Of course, I’m obsessed with Scandinavian stories, Vikings, Japanese history, and the tales of Odin, Thor, Ragnarok, and the end of the world, Paolo was like, ‘Why don’t we create our own mythology?’ We’ve definitely used pre-existing myths for inspiration in the past. We created our own myth now.”
Meanwhile, “Feast Of Fire” burns bright with a massive chant hyper-charged by nimble melodic thrash and a smart-bomb precise solo. “To us, ‘Feast Of Fire’ is in the direct lineage of ‘Dying In Your Arms’, ‘Unti The World Goes Cold’, and ‘Black’,” Matt observes. “We really fleshed it out perfectly with the chorus, and it was meant to feel big.”
Then, there’s “Like A Sword Over Damocles.” A hulking groove gives way to a skyscraping refrain uplifted by thick distortion.
“I had the initial backbone of the song, and I really wanted to do a barnburner,” Corey reveals. “I had researched the concept. It was a cool story about the struggles of being someone in power and always having people question you. What happens when the person who’s questioning you has your job and responsibility? They don’t want it. Paolo built on that idea, and we made our own story. I’m really stoked for everyone to hear it.”
The near eight-minute “Fall Into Your Hands” originated on Matt’s uber popular daily Twitch stream and organically progressed into one of the most epic compositions in the band’s catalog. However, everything culminates on “The Phalanx.” It twists and turns through incendiary leads, heart-wrenching screams, an entrancing melody, and final symphonic comedown.
“Thematically and musically, the song has three acts,” Matt states. “For as conceptual as it is, it also reflects our chemistry in the room. Since we’re so technically proficient at our instruments and I spend hours singing every day on stream, we’re over prepared. For In The Court of the Dragon and What the Dead Men Say, we went in and played without thinking. We default to technical, elaborate, and long ideas, because that’s what we grew up on. It all felt natural.”
In the end, Trivium have inched towards this moment for ten albums and finally arrived like never before as they triumphantly rise In The Court of the Dragon.
“This album has everything,” Matt leaves off. “It has the singing, the screaming, the death metal, the black metal, and the catchy metal. When we have all of those elements together, we’re the happiest. It’s the key to Trivium.”
“This is a new chapter,” Paolo concludes. “We’re crossing into something else. I don’t know what it is, but I’m excited for it. We have a lot left in us, and I want to prove that.”
“We wanted to write an album that encompasses our sound – but we wanted to push It further and go deeper,” says Malevolence frontman Alex Taylor. Indeed, with their third album, Malicious Intent, the Sheffield-born Malevolence has done just that. Ask anyone who has seen ‘em setting fire to tiny pressure-cooker hardcore gigs to igniting massive pits at big-stage metal festivals. Anyone who witnessed their set at Bloodstock 2021, knows that this is their reckoning hour. Malevolence has truly arrived. Formed in the north of England, Malevolence has perfected a sound of their own that swaggers like a band born in New-Fucking-Orleans while embracing the power of the riff and the brutality of the breakdown. “We made it a point to step outside our comfort zone,” says Taylor, “but also do what we started this band to do in the first place – play the metal that we want to hear.”
It’s clear – Malevolence is set to explode in 2022. Already distinguishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with in an exploding UK metal scene, they’ve stepped to the front of the class with force and finesse. Their intent has never been so completely realized.
Arriving in recent years with powerful anthems driven by heartfelt emotion, ARCHETYPES COLLIDE quickly established itself as a band unafraid to blur the lines between safety and innovation in heavy music. Soaring vocals, melodies, and heavy grooves swirl with passion and precision. The Arizona upstarts deliver massive hooks, soaked in atmosphere, with creative energy and catchiness.
Kyle Pastor (vocals), Brandon Baker and Jared Knister (guitars), Ky Sanders (bass), and Tyler Flamm (drums) put the same work ethic and focus into songwriting as they spent building the band from their local scene to the international stage. Unapologetic choruses and bang-your-head riffs collide. Striving for a deep connection with listeners first and foremost, songs like “My Own Device,” “What If I Fall,” “Parasite,” and “Fade Away” combine loud bombast with intimate pop. ARCHETYPES COLLIDE demands repeated listening, mixing everything from Linkin Park and Bring Me The Horizon to The Chainsmokers, and Stranger Things-style retro synths, into a unique musical identity.
A collection of singles and EPs drew a devoted fanbase and the attention of Oshie Bichar, bassist for Beartooth. Bichar enlisted his management, and the pair took Archetypes Collide under their wing. Soon after, SiriusXM’s Octane got behind songs like “Your Misery,” “Becoming What I Hate,” and “Above It All.” The band appeared on major festivals like Aftershock, Louder Than Life, and Welcome To Rockville, toured with genre giants The Amity Affliction, and crafted an ambitious self-titled debut album for Fearless Records.
Archetypes Collide spent several weeks in the first part of 2022 making their inaugural full-length, with a super team surrounding them to execute their vision. Bichar produced alongside Nick Ingram (Dayseeker, Convictions, Hawthorne Heights) at Capital House Studio in Ohio. Additional production came from Jon Eberhard (Skillet, I Prevail, Until I Wake); The Plot In You frontman Landon Tewers lent a creative hand as well. The resulting album, mixed by Jeff Dunne (Ice Nine Kills, Wage War, Make Them Suffer), captures the vibrant spirit of the 2010s-era Warped Tour with a postmodern edge. It’s a diverse but singular mission statement, brimming with authenticity and hope.
ARCHETYPES COLLIDE isn’t bound by preconceived notions or limitations. As Pastor explains simply: “Why not take every shot, in every direction, under the umbrella of hard rock and metal?”