2021 has delivered more than its fair share of better and better releases! Excellent albums, EPs and songs from the more well-known bands as well as from the underground scene. In this article, we’ve collected 10 EPs from last year (5-5 EPs each) that we feel you shouldn’t miss! Here are the EPs!
V. DEXCORE – 18 & Like Moths to Flames – Pure Like Porcelain
DEXCORE – 18 (T.)
BAND: DEXCORE (JPN)
Length: 44:02 (10 tracks)
Label: Jelly Records
The Japanese band DEXCORE has also treated the audience with a couple of singles last year, following their 2020 album. However, at the end of the year, they released “-18-“, which functions as a mini album. Those who know the band will know that they usually prefer a darker, heavy sound. These influences are also present on this EP, but in this case the more melodic, slower tracks are the main focus! Bittersweet tracks like “The feels are real” dominate the album. Their Japanese roots cannot be denied, as the sound and vocal style of the choruses is reminiscent of the world of anime openers. They are catchy, melodic and extremely energetic. The guys from DEXCORE have taken it back a bit, tweaked the formula and it didn’t go bad at all!
Like Moths to Flames – Pure Like Porcelain (W.)
Band: Like Moths to Flames (US)
EP: Pure Like Porcelain
Length: 17:26 (5 tracks)
Like Moths to Flames have put together one hell of an EP when making Pure Like Porcelain! This 17-minute EP is sometimes soft, soul-soothing and radio-friendly, while at other times it’s the exact opposite: a cavalcade of heavenly grinds and screams, or a disgustingly beautiful, almost deathcore-like experience. If you don’t want to miss out on this five-number wonder, Ameliorate is the perfect springboard to jump into the deep end!
IV. Knocked Loose – A Tear In The Fabric Of Life & Memorist – ONI//KIJO
Knocked Loose – A Tear In The Fabric Of Life
Band: Knocked Loose (US)
EP: A Tear In The Fabric Of Life
Length: 20:59 (6 tracks)
Genre: Metalcore/ Hardcore Punk
Label: Pure Noise Records
Knocked Loose’s surprise EP, A Tear In The Fabric Of Life, has come out of nowhere like a thunder bolt. An incredibly powerful concept album that takes us through a story track by track. The record is unabashedly raw and full of mindless good breakdowns! A real adrenaline bomb, ready to destroy your room at any time. Full of flowers and rainbows! I can only recommend it!
Memorist – ONI//KIJO
Band: Memorist (UK)
Length: 18:54 (5 tracks)
Genre: Alternative Metal
The British alternative metal band’s debut EP is primarily based on metalcore, nu-metal and electronic music, but other inspirations can also be found. For example, the mood-setting of the film scores! ONI//KIJO is largely made up of clean vocal parts and the electronic, atmospheric components already foreshadowed, complemented by dramatic drumming and idyllic guitar playing. In places, screams also play a more prominent role, as we can see in the case of Oni. ONI//KIJO could be the ideal EP for those who like the above mentioned genres, i.e. metalcore, nu-metal and electronic music. Whether you want to enjoy this musical triumvirate mixed together or just experience the atmosphere of the movie soundtracks with an extra twist, ONI//KIJO could definitely be your EP!
III. Convictions – I Wont Survive & Invent Animate – The Sun Sleeps, As If It Never Was
Convictions – I Wont Survive
Band: Convictions (US)
EP: I Wont Survive
Length: 25:35 (7 tracks)
The EP “I Wont Survive” tells real “survival” stories in its songs. In the spiritual, mental sense of the word. Topics such as post traumatic stress syndrome, grief, suicide, addictions or even the fight against cancer! To this heavy subject matter, the guys have added a sufficiently heavy sound. Extremely biting and scratchy where necessary, heartbreakingly emotional where necessary. Moreover, they also tried to create songs that are hit-compatible at the same time. A superbly put together EP, from which they have spared no soul!
Invent Animate – The Sun Sleeps, As If It Never Was
Band: Invent Animate (US)
EP: The Sun Sleeps, As If It Never Was
Length: 10:32 (3 tracks)
Genre: Progressive Metalcore
2021 was an exciting year for Invent Animate fans, as the band announced in September that they would be leaving Tragic Hero Records and joining UNFD. At the same time, it was revealed that the stylistic announcement of the switch would not be far behind, with the 3-track EP, The Sun Sleeps, As If It Never Was, arriving shortly. The EP essentially contains 2 songs (The Sun Sleeps and As If It Never Was) and a small interlude, which is not yet named, just marked with a comma. The EP is packed with better and better, heavier riffs. In particular, it’s the riff on the chorus of The Sun Sleeps that has the simple but catchy execution to hook anyone! The EP is completed with atmospheric segments and soul-stirring screams. The riffs, the vocals, the atmosphere or the two-part music video accompanying The Sun Sleeps, As If It Never Was could be a reason to pick up the EP from time to time and enjoy it again!
II. Onslow – Self Titled & The Devil Wears Prada – ZII
Onslow – Self Titled
Band: Onslow (AUS)
Length: 20:22 (5 tracks)
Genre: Alternative Rock
Label: Greyscale Records
One of the most pleasant surprises of the year for me was the debut of Onslow. During the quarantine period, Make Them Suffer’s singer Sean Harmanis, along with his good friend Scott Kayy (Voyager), launched this side project. The sound is neither death nor metalcore, which is something we are used to from Sean. The album has a very unique style, mixing punk with alternative rock, with lots of atmospheric elements and predominantly clean vocals. It has a refreshingly fresh sound, and the closing track is a truly soul-crushing experience!
The Devil Wears Prada – ZII
Band: The Devil Wears Prada (US)
EP: ZII (Zombie II)
Length: 20:38 (5 tracks)
Label: Solid State Records
ZII is definitely an EP not to be missed from last year’s releases. Considered by many to be the frontrunner, ZII has become one of 2021’s big hits, with top-notch dirty vocals, peculiarly pleasant singing and punchy instrumentals. Plus, thanks to Contagion, piano is also part of the line-up! The songs speak for themselves, one by one they bring everything that makes The Devil Wears Prada easily everyone’s favourite. For metalcore lovers, I think ZII is definitely an EP that will keep its magic for years to come!
I. Lorna Shore – …And I Return To Nothingness & Everyone Dies In Utah – Infra
Lorna Shore – …And I Return To Nothingness
Genre: Lorna Shore (US)
EP: …And I Return To Nothingness
Length: 18:02 (3 tracks)
Genre: Blackened Deathcore
Label: Century Media Records
That we did not see coming! It’s been a turbulent time for Lorna Shore after they were forced to change members following a scandal involving their former frontman. Their new vocalist is Will Ramos, who debuted on this EP and I can say with certainty that he has exceeded all expectations! The EP also serves as a taster for their new album, which will probably be released this year, and which will, as they say, be much more melodic and symphonic than before, but with the crushing still being a central element. If the album turns out like “…And I Return To Nothingness” did, the release would be too late today!
Everyone Dies In Utah – Infra
Band: Everyone Dies In Utah (US)
Length: 20:14 (6 tracks)
In 2021, Everyone Dies In Utah released two EPs! The first was Supra, followed by Infra. The EPs are closely related, but it’s quite obvious: Supra and Infra have the same cover artwork. Reading one way you can recognise the word Supra, the other way the word Infra. But let’s get to the latter! The biggest strength of Infra is that it is an absolutely consistent EP, none of the songs feel superfluous. You can also listen to more powerful, more upbeat tracks and more relaxed, slower ones, whichever you prefer. I would recommend Lane of Memory from the EP to start with, but even the title track Infra is a great choice!
In two weeks we’ll have another article with 30 songs from last year’s line-up that you don’t want to miss! Stay tuned!
by: Traidusk & Wolfy