Chosen by DJ Monk

In another week which saw us receiving almost 100 submissions for our ‘Video Of The Week’ award, it was going to take something a bit special to stand out from the shouting crowd, but one band bullied their way to the top of the list with no small degree of attitude… and that band was Trivium.

Now, in my humble opinion (and no doubt I’ll get tonnes of hatemail for this) the Florida quartet had somewhat lost their way in the last few years, with their last few albums, and especially 2017’s hugely mundane ‘The Sin And The Sentence’, proving to be limp and lifeless in comparison to classics such as ‘The Crusade’ and ‘In Waves’. However, if new single ‘Catastrophist’ is anything to go by, Matt Heafy in particular has rediscovered his inner anger and has channelled it into a bold statement of intent, especially given the fact that, for a single, it clocks in at more than seven minutes. If this is a marker for new album, ‘What The Dead Men Say’, which is due via Roadrunner Records on 24 April, then 2020 is going to be the year that Trivium prove that they still have the balls to stand up and be counted and take on any heavy metal band on the planet…

Our first honorary mention goes to a bunch of newcomers – well, that’s what we’re all about here at ÜR – in the form of Leicester-based Smack Jack, who describe their sound as “psychedelic wall of noise grunge”. They released their hard-hitting debut single, ‘Totalitarian Vegetarian’ just this past Friday. Personally, I’m not sure about the “psychedelic” and “grunge” parts of their description, as this is more of an RATM-style combination of crunching guitar riffs and acidic, politically-charged rapped lyrics, accompanied by a Straight Outta Compton-style video which combines both performance and street-shot footage. A very impressive debut from a young band on whom we at ÜRHQ will definitely be maintaining a watching brief:

A total change in tone and sound for our third and, for this week, final contribution, which comes from Irish folk meets post-punk/indie/alt-pop combo New Pagans, who have entranced us and proven that they have much to ‘Admire’ with the third in a series of short films which accompany their forthcoming EP ‘Glacial Erratic’, released this coming Friday (6 March). The accompanying video is a beautiful and suitably reflective piece, and is a collaboration between band bassist Claire Miskimmin, who filmed it using only her ‘phone, and singer Lynsey McDougall, both of whom are respected visual artists in their own right.

“The video was inspired by folk horror, the Irish countryside and all things ritualistic,” Claire explained. “‘Admire’ is a peculiar love song about sticking around for someone, after the spark of newness has gone and the video depicts an offering to an imagined deity, a pact entered into, an altar where a sacrifice is made.” 

  • New Pagans kick off a short tour in Nottingham tomorrow (Monday 2 March), with dates in Glasgow, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Manchester, London and Bristol.