SINGLE DERBY: The Agonist, The Color Morale, Currents, Decapitated

1. THE AGONIST - Disconnect Me
  Genre: Melodic Death Metal
  Label: Century Media

A while back, frontwoman Alissa White-Gluz left melodic metal outfit The Agonist to join Arch Enemy. This could have been a serious blow to the band's sound now that her compelling vocals will no longer take the microphone. Now, however, the band has recruited a new vocalist named Vicky Psarakis, allowing for the creation of a new single entitled "Disconnect Me." At least judging from this track, Vicky has proven to be a very fitting replacement; while she doesn't quite meet the power and resonance of both Alissa's shrieking and singing, she comes very close, and there's a lot of energy put behind her vocals. Meanwhile, the instruments are still as abrasive as ever, what with the blistering guitar play and rapid-fire drumming. The music has the theatrical edge it's always had as well, which adds a lot more atmosphere and potency to the mix. Things may be different now that Alissa is gone, but listening to this single convinces me that this band seems to still be going very strong.  [8]

2. THE COLOR MORALE - Outer Demons
  Genre: Metalcore/Post-Hardcore
  Label: Fearless

Post-hardcore group The Color Morale's previous full-length "Know Hope" was quite the record, with lots of heart and power put in every chord it dished out. As such, that's placing some pressure on the band's upcoming release of their fourth full-length "Hold On Pain Ends," featuring its first single called "Outer Demons." Unlike before, it does appear that the act is now leaning more towards the traditional melodic hardcore type of sound in the vein of other groups such as The Ghost Inside and Altars. This is by no means a bad change; In fact, the energy and passion is still as present as ever, with lots of punchy melodies delivered by both the vocals and guitars, and the drums still have their nicely aggressive flare. The song still has the addictive quality to it, with its chorus sticking to the listener like glue upon listen. It doesn't hit the same repeat value as other songs such as "Learned Behavior" and "Strange Comfort," but it comes to a close second, and I'm personally looking forward to more.  [8.5]

3. CURRENTS - Sleep Paralysis
  Genre: Progressive Metal/Deathcore
  Label: Unsigned

With progressive deathcore band Currents's debut EP "Victimized" showing quite a lot of potential with chunky riffs and grooves, a new full-length "Life//Lost" is in the works. Until then, we have their most recent single "Sleep Paralysis" to chew on, and it's definitely a good one. On top of already surpassing most of the previous EP (Except for "Hanging by a Thread," which I tend to listen to on repeat for it's infectious grooves. It comes close nonetheless.), it demonstrates quite a lot for newcomers to enjoy. Well-ranged deathcore growls and high-pitch screams, guitars demonstrating potent melodies and riffs, and drums packing a lot of punch. At times it gets a bit repetitive with its breakdowns, but the one at the end closes the song in an absolutely crushing finale. All in all, it's a rather energizing song, so it's safe to say that we can expect something huge with the band's upcoming release. [7.5]

4. DECAPITATED - The Blasphemous Psalm to the Dummy God Creation
  Genre: Technical Death Metal
  Label: Nuclear Blast

Polish death metal legends Decapitated is coming out with a new full-length entitled "Blood Mantra" in just a few months, but for now, their first single "The Blasphemous Psalm to the Dummy God Creation" has already hit the air. Just like before, this album showcases a machine-gun barrage of blast-beats and destructive guitar riffs with lots of ferocity and very little relenting. The vocalist roars with just as much vigor and power, and it all adds up to a song set out to mar everything in its path. Even though it's not entirely memorable, it does a very good job of reaching that goal, letting speed and rage take the wheel and creating a rather exhilarating track. Fans of brutal and very fast-paced death metal will likely enjoy this single, and if that's the case, then they can expect a lot more with the band's upcoming release. [8]