Photo credit: Travis Shinn

Have you been wondering what Roadrunner Records will look like in the post-Monte Conner / post-Mike Gitter era? Today we’ve got an answer, and while it’s not as ugly as a post-apocalyptic landscape littered with Nickelsuck and Theory of a Deadsuck clones might’ve been, it ain’t pretty in a whole different way: Roadrunner has jumped on the djent bandwagon.

You’d think Roadrunner would’ve learned their lesson from Mutiny Within, a good band they signed four or five years after their genre peaked. But nope, Roadrunner wants to party like it’s 2010 all over again with Heartist, their new signee du jour.

Heartist don’t sound exactly like Periphery, but it’s hard not to draw a parallel when your singer — whose ultra-high croon is a deadringer for Spencer Sotelo — is wailing over some Meshuggahriffic drop-tuned chugs. I guess these guys have some dubstep-y keyboard sounds too, but yeah, that doesn’t really help their cause either. Heartist certainly aren’t the worst thing out there right now — they’d be OK in a vacuum, I guess — but their unoriginality and association with one of metal’s grandest labels is depressing.

On the other hand, Rise Records and Artery Recordings have repeatedly proved that critical cred means nothing and metal sub-genres can be regurgitated with massive commercial success well after their generally agreed upon expiration dates, so maybe Roadrunner’s onto something here. In either case, I think I can safely assume we — as in, the metal community at large who grew up on Roadrunner — will be staying away.


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