Overtime – SMALL MUSIC SCENE

SOPHIELOUOvertime

The Wolverhampton artist delivers a pleasing blend of RnB and hip hop with an undeniable soul influence squeezed in, and in terms of all musical areas, I can’t recall a record as of late as good as this in those genres.

The EP is warm, heartfelt and honest, and the emotions are as legit as they come, plus on a technical level, Sophie’s voice is insanely smooth and serene; there’s nothing forced or phony about it, her vocals have a flawless flow to it. She’s a pure natural, plain and simple.

The lyrics are so powerfully gripping, and in some cases relatable, with topics including the struggles with self-consciousness, the push to serve those you love, and learning to be proud of your identity.

Sophie is one of the most fiercely underrated musicians across England at the moment, and is deserving of far more attention.

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FROM SORROW TO SERENITYTrifecta

The long-running Glasgow metal outfit deliver so much in such little time: brutal vocals, supreme guitars, palpable diverging rhythms, engaging lyrics, belting choruses, a non-stop wild energetic force, and a pure massive scope.

A stripped sampler compared to their albums obviously, but it nevertheless brings the goods in a tidy fashion, and it makes for an ideal introduction for any newbies out there.

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OLA ENGLUNDStarzinger

The second solo effort from the prolific Swedish musician and YouTube sweetheart sweeps with superb, efficient guitar displays as you’d come to expect, with great riff sequences and memorable solos aplenty.

The synths are damn sweet too, adding a melodic pulse to the already extravagant rhythms and further elevating the infectious sense of energy that gets you in a roaring buzz when it hits full blitzing power. There’s also a handful of moments with smooth strings, light bell sounds and scintillating saxophones intermixed.

Topped off by a clean and crisp production standard, the album is a mighty metal marvel.

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MONASTERIESSilence

Everything about this is hefty. The Manchester group just smack you in the face with an unbridled force and relentless intensity regularly switching between brooding and just flat out mental.

The vocal work is among the most scarily formidable I’ve encountered in a long time, and I can’t get enough of the colossal breakdowns, which they are kind enough to milk the hell out of.

One of the most unbelievable and monstrous metal records you will hear out of England this year, guaranteed. It’s bloody brilliant, and honestly, words cannot do it justice, it simply needs to be experienced.

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THIS FAMILIAR SMILELate Night Conversations With God

It’s been an insanely long time since This Familiar Smile last released an album, but the years haven’t had any negative effects on the Ayrshire outfit, so it seems, because Late Night Conversations With God is an enthralling rock record with superb writing radiating heartfelt integrity, transmitted through immersive, soulful performances that are fully dedicated and not held back in the slightest.

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THE GRACIOUS LOSERSSix Road Ends

The Gracious Losers have released some quality music during their run which have established them as one of Scotland’s premier acts in the Americana field, but this record may have cemented them as the cream of the crop.

Six Road Ends is a masterful work featuring stellar harmony ensembles, fantastic instrumental offerings, investing lyrics and a variety of grand, intoxicating moods that has elevated this band to an even higher level than ever before.

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PULSEOurpulseisyours

PULSE went and killed it with this EP, undisputedly one of the heaviest and most jaw-dropping metal records in recent memory, venting out into berserk hysteria time across the substantial bangers while dishing out upfront writing.

They are damn sure a force to be reckoned with, and I highly recommend you all watch this space, because they’re going to grow into something mighty big and special very soon.

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JEN ATHANI Love Me, I Love Me Not

I had stumbled upon Jen quite recently through a mutual acquaintance, and I’m sure glad I did because she is clearly a talented artist, and this EP, as short as it is, makes a solid impression courtesy of some compelling tracks surrounded in a lucid vibe, led on by convincing vocals and showcasing emotionally-resonant writing.

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DESOLATE REALMDesolate Realm

Both members of the Finnish duo have taken their past individual musical experiences and channelled it into a staggering, epic doom album setting a gritty, hellish scene via stout vocals, tremoring riffs, slamming drums, gloriously spirited high-pitch howls and an intoxicating rage.

God damn, this is something else. In equal measure, this cements Desolate Realm as a key component of the Finnish scene and simply ranks as one of the year’s most badass metal releases overall.

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AD MELIORAThe Void, The Time, The Path

The Swedish band’s new EP is defined by a cool, grooving rock sound with quite a buzzing pulse to it, especially considering the exciting rhythms worth headbanging to.

Granted, it’s simple and there’s nothing particularly complex, but still the tunes are undoubtedly catchy and entertaining with a selection of damn fine choruses to boot.

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