12 Stones’ album Beneath the Scars has some scars of its own, having been delayed about a year and changing its name from Only Human to its current title. It’s also been completely remixed. There’s the athletic cliché, ‘no pain, no gain,’ however, and this patience-testing release appears to be well worth the wait. Producer Skidd Mills, who has worked with the band in the past, brings out the best in this veteran group. Perhaps Mills’ best work is displayed in the way he’s tempered Paul McCoy’s gravelly vocals. On past efforts, McCoy’s voice could be harsh to the point of distraction. And yet, on “That Changes Everything,” McCoy’s voice actually sounds pretty. With that said, however, ‘pretty’ is likely not what any self-respecting rock band ultimately attains to and Beneath the Scars includes plenty of hearty hard rock. From the grunge-inspired “Infected,” to the bass-driven, propulsive “Bulletproof,” 12 Stones shows no difficulty in cranking it up. Lyrically, the group behaves like the voice of reason in a crazy world. Songs such as “Psycho” and “Pretty Poison” highlight the world’s darkness, while “Infected” is a reminder of just how hard it is to be in the world, but not of it. Indeed, 12 Stones rises above it all with Beneath the Scars.
When rock emerged from blues and 'heavy metal' began to surface, faith-based metal acts also rose to start their own journeys. Initially shunned by both believers and non-believers, they were fighting for their spot at the table, ultimately building a legacy that would go on to change the genre forever. HM presents an oral history of the beginning of Christian metal music, featuring Guardian, Tourniquet, Holy Soldier, Whitecross, and, of course, Stryper.Full Feature More from Guardian
At their core, Atreyu is a hard rock band with metal riffs and pop choruses. Now, after more than 20 years, the band has stepped boldly into their next chapter with a change in lineup and an album that proves the lifeblood of Atreyu is stronger than ever.Full Feature More from Atreyu
With influences that span Miles Davis and Stravinsky to Geddy Lee and Les Claypool, jazz metal force Imperial Triumphant is the epitome of genre-bending. HM contributing writer Andrew Voigt spoke with the band about their unique style, the massive bass presence in their music, and the rise and fall of civilization.Full Feature More from Imperial Triumphant
Death metal is no longer strictly a one-kind-of-sound genre but a cloud under which many elements have formed. We have assembled five must-hear death metal acts you should be listening to now, each distinctly set apart from another in form, yet still brethren in the death metal community.Full Feature More from In-Conquered