Mandatory Jams - Memorial Day Weekend edition

Mandatory Jams - Memorial Day Weekend edition

- By Ramon Gonzales

Stream the latest and greatest from legends like Dee Snider to rising stars like Hyro The Hero and AJ Channer of Fire From the Gods

The latest collection of mandatory jams runs the gamut in terms of sub-categories and niche styles that make heavy music so different, dynamic, and always evolving. From the leather and hellfire of traditional heavy metal to the down-tuned crunch of modern-era metalcore, the following ten tracks are a robust example of just how versatile heavy music is.

Crank the following as loud as humanly possible.

Mimi Barks - “Grind” (Century Media Records)

Coining the term “Doom Trap” Mimi Barks is delivering bass heavy distortion and lyrical volatility in a way that is turning heads. Her latest “Grind” is a hostile showcase of ground rumbling low end combined with the vocalist’s penchant for translating as especially pissed off on the track.

Alluvial - "The Putrid Sunrise" (Nuclear Blast Records)

What started as a. brutal instrumental death metal collective featuring former members of Suffocation, The Faceless, and Black Crown Initiate has developed into a powerful unit of technically sound brutality in Alluvial. The band debuted their sophomore record in 'Sarcoma' with their latest single from the album in "The Putrid Sunrise" and the cadence of the track is absolutely crippling.

Silver Talon - "Divine Fury" (M-Theory)

Arising from embers of former Portland prospects Spellcaster, the triple guitar attack of Silver Talon is proper throwback to golden era power metal complete with skilled riffage and soaring vocals. Even the band's esthetic indulges in heavy leather, studded-belts, and the requisite hair whip - yet make no mistake about it, Silver Talon isn't a gimmick. They are the real deal. Rippers like "Divine Fury" plainly prove that.

Of Mice & Men - "Pulling Teeth" (Sharptone Records)

Following the success of their Timeless EP earlier this year, Metalcore vets Of Mice & Men have returned with the second installment in the series with Bloom. The self-produced effort presents a well-oiled unit that is firing on all cylinders - combining huge percussion with the metallic-heft of guitarists Alan Ashby and Phil Manansala. The latest offering from the EP in "Pulling Teeth" is massive track that underscores just how the band's refocus is paying off in spades.

Burning Witches - "Thrall" (Nuclear Blast Records)

Working with Swiss metal legend V.O. Pulver and their producer in thrash titan Schmier of Destruction, The arrival of The Witch of The North asserts the quartet of Burning Witches are among a growing contingent of bands that proudly wear their traditional navy metal influence on their sleeve. Channeling the spirit of bands like Judas Priest in a reverend and modern homage, cuts like "Thrall" from the album offer a classic sound with contemporary flair.

Hyro The Hero Featuring AJ Channer of Fire From The Gods - "FU2" (Better Noise Music)

Adding to the buzz surrounding the Houston-native's Kids Against The Monsters mixtape, Hyro has revealed yet another banger, this time enlisting fellow Texan AJ Channer of Fire From the Gods. The aggressive audio assault combined with the timely, relevant lyrica; content make for a potent mesh of wordplay, dynamic delivery and stylized heavy rock. It's difficult to capture energy on a track the way Hyro does and this latest offering is no different.

Dee Snider - "I Gotta Rock (Again)" (Napalm Records)

Attempting to capture the same lightning in a bottle achieved with the release of their 2018 collaboration with For The Love Of Metal, the legendary Dee Snider has again enlisted the production talent of Hatebreed's Jamey Jasta for his next full length, Leave A Scar. The introductory single in "I Gotta Rock (Again)" asserts Snider's continued prowess as a frontman, in tandem with Jasta's vision. Going for the jugular, Snider proves that while he is a legend, his value is far from just nostalgia.

Spiritbox - "Secret Garden" (Rise Records)

Arguably one of the biggest headlines in heavy culture this week was the announcement of the September release of the long-awaited debut from Spiritbox in Eternal Blue. Coupled with the news was the unveiling of the single "Secret Garden" which instantly reaffirmed that the Canadian outfit really is destined for big things. Following a breakout 2020, the band's hype rolling into 2021 was augmented by the release of the incendiary "Circle With Me" only to be followed by what is already being billed as one of the standout singles of the year thus far with "Secret Garden".

Stormuler - "At The Cliffs Of Azure City" (Napalm Records)

The deft duo of guitarist/vocalist Jason Asberry and drummer Jesse Schobel are out to prove that while Missouri may not be regarded as a pillar of Black Metal culture, there is something in the water in St. Louis. Spanning from the ethereal to all out abrasive, the band's output carries the kind of horsepower that doesn't seem possible with just two players. Modern black metal volatility with a firm grasp of the origins of the sound, Stormruler are set to kick a hole in the scene with tracks like this.

Sleep Walker - "Distance" (UNFD)

Recently signing with UNFD and announcing the arrival of their sophomore album Alias later this summer, the Michigan-based collective of Sleeper Walker flex competent songwriting and articulate aggression with the introductory offering, "Distance". The song's steady, assertive pace combined with dynamic vocals and instrumentation that builds in intensity make for a great song that serves well as an example of modern metallic heft.

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