The last couple years have seen a lot of change for Las Vegas’ sonically eclectic Amarionette. After undergoing a significant sound change, parting ways with their original vocalist, and recently seeing the departure of their longtime drummer, the band has continued to persevere with the release of their new “Evolution” EP, out on Friday, August 23. I spoke in-depth with guitarist Nick Raya about the band’s creative process, some of the new songs, and where they hope to go next.
It’s been nearly a decade since Canadian post-hardcore icons Alexisonfire last released new music. In that time, the band has broken up in 2011, played a farewell tour the following year, and then reunited in 2015, continuing to play festival dates while repeatedly emphasizing that they were taking things slowly, with no immediate plans for new music. And with Dallas Green’s City and Colour project finding more success than ever, many fans have had little hope that new music would ever arrive.
When Hands Like Houses made their debut in 2012 with Ground Dweller on Rise Records, they immediately stood out. At the time, Rise’s roster of new signings was filled to the brim with dime-a-dozen metalcore bands that did little to distinguish their stereotypically angsty and melodramatic music from the then-dominant groups of the Warped Tour scene… or from each other. With their label dominated by so much sonic homogeny, it was downright refreshing to see Rise take a chance on an Australian sextet who flipped the script, crafting a progressive sound where sonic intricacy meshed with nuanced lyrical storytelling, a combination that could reach genuinely riveting heights.
When a band breaks up after a long and hugely successful career, a certain cluster of emotions usually comes to mind among fans: nostalgia for the years spent with their music; pride in their incredible accomplishments; and ultimately, acceptance that it is that band’s time to go. Yet a decidedly different feeling accompanies yesterday’s news that British progressive rock band Arcane Roots will be calling it quits. That’s not to say that the band’s music didn’t leave an incredible impact… to the contrary, they were one of the most breathtakingly original and captivating bands to grace progressive music in years. Yet the tragedy of their breakup at this particular moment is that this felt like a band which, for all their successes thus far, was just getting started.