The sound and fury of MISS MAY I is deeply embedded in the hearts and minds of a legion of fans. These are people from different backgrounds, of different ages, with diverse life experience, who all come together and connect with MISS MAY I’s combination of brutal proficiency and impassioned delivery. The five-piece powerhouse, from the fertile metalcore grounds of America’s heartland, have become an integral part ofthe worldwide heavy music community, transcending boundaries and limitations, galvanizing crowds, and energizing each person they encounter. Not only have the young Warped Tour and Rockstar Mayhem veterans proven to beone of the most exciting bands in the genre, they’ve managed the near-impossible task of maintaining their original lineup along the way. These are the same guys who formed Miss May I as teenagers in 2007 –inspired by New Wave Of American Metalcore heroes like Lamb Of God, Underoath, and Bleeding Through, as well as hard rock and metal legends like Pantera and White Zombie –now grown men. And in the eight-year span between studio albums from Metallica, Miss May I cranked out five
slabs of metal: Apologies Are for the Weak(2009), Monument (2010), At Heart(2012), Rise of the Lion(2014), and Deathless(2015). All three of their most recent albums debuted in the Top 5 on Billboard’s Hard Music chart.The band’s brand new album, Shadows Inside,doubles as monster riff-fest and forcefully vocal driven statementshaped by changes both within and without. Make no mistake this isn’t an about-face album full of contrived sentiment or glossy emptiness. It’s a record where the band challenged each other towork from outside of their comfort zone, to really hone in on what makes Miss May I vital, and deliver something fully authentic and raw. On the road with friends and peers like August Burns Red, Parkway Drive, Blessthefall, Memphis May Fire, We Came AsRomans, and Whitechapel, Miss May I bring devastating fury onstage and good natured charm offstage. They’ve held their own as support for rock radio hitmakers Five Finger Death Punch and as headliners on the Alternative Press Tour. Thisis a band with diverse appeal; they fine-tunetheir punishing metallic assault with an almost “pop” sensibility when it comes to catchy memorability. The official music videos for Miss May I singles including “Deathless,” “Echoes,” “Relentless Chaos,” “Forgive and Forget,” “Hey Mister,” “Masses of a Dying Breed,” and “Day By Day” account for roughly 50 million views on YouTube, to say nothing of the fan made videos, live clips, cover versions, and audio streams. Those same anthems have been played millions of times more across streaming services and social media, embedded in the musical DNA of a generation of contemporaries and fans. Early on, vocalist Levi Benton, bassist/vocalist Ryan Neff, guitarists BJ Stead and Justin Aufdemkampe, drummer Jerod Boyd and made twoalbums with scene kingmaker Joey Sturgis, positioning themselves among titans of the burgeoning modern metalcore genre like Of Mice & Men and their fellow Ohio natives in The Devil Wears Prada. At Heart, made with producer Machine (Lamb Of God, Eighteen Visions) was something of a graduation, demonstrated by the massive sound of immediate anthem “Hey Mister,” an AltPress cover feature,and main stage validationon the Vans Warped Tour.
The slickly savage Rise of the Lion, made with legendary producer Terry Date (Pantera, Deftones, Limp Bizkit), was ample evidence that Miss May I could hang with the big dogs. The band championed the circle pits and sleeveless denim they grew up seeing at Ozzfest, inspired by groupsthathad assembled in the DIY scene, likethem,and went on to climb the heights of the metal mountains. The defiant mission statement that was Deathlessfollowed, reuniting them with Sturgis in the throes of behind-the-scenes hardshipathat saw the band nearly dissolve, but ultimately triumph. Nick Sampson (Asking Alexandria, Born Of Osiris, In Fear and Faith), who worked alongside Sturgis on Deathless, took the reigns of the instrumental section of Miss May I’snew album with the instrumental members in the Midwest. Benton collaboratedwith producer Drew Fulk (Motionless In White, Emmure, Crown The Empire), who brought out the best vocal performances of the young singer’s career thus far. Working in California, the pair was able to communicate ideas to the band back in their Michigan studio, where they’d reshape and refine the songs,until they were perfect.This process, unlike anything Miss May I had attempted before, resulted in their most fully realized album yet. Mixed by Andrew Wade (A Day To Remember, The Word Alive, Neck Deep), the band’s first record for SharpTone is truly the best of everything before, with new ambition and confidence. Shadows Insideis a monster of an album and a longtime coming. Miss May I celebrates a decade of savage metalcore and soaring melodic refrains,newly revitalized,and poised for an insurgent career renaissance;armed with unmistakable power, road hardened experience, a steadily building catalog, and unrelenting spirit, supported by a diehard community.

The Word Alive is an American metalcore band from Phoenix, Arizona. Formed in 2008, the band is signed to Fearless Records. Their 2009 label debut, Empire reached No. 15 on the Top Heatseekers, meeting a great amount of positive acclaim upon its release in 2009. The following year, the group recorded and released their debut full-length album, Deceiver on August 31, 2010, which reached No. 97 on the Billboard 200 and 15 on Independent Albums.

Thousand Below

Thousand Below walk a fine, almost illusory line. Deftly balancing atmospheric and airy instrumentation, thoughtful emotionality, and just the right amount of hard-hitting hypnosis, the Southern California quintet—James DeBerg [vocals], Devin Chance [guitar], Josh Thomas [guitar], Josh Billimoria [bass], and Garrett Halvax [drums]—descend into the dreamy depths of loss, love, and life reflected in art on their full-length debut, The Love You Let Too Close [Rise Records].

“We aim to make songs that are heavy and fun, but you can also listen to them on a nighttime drive home through the rain when you’re thinking about life,” exclaims DeBerg. “You could call it post-hardcore rock, but it’s more than that. We just want people to feel what we’re feeling.”

They first harnessed that energy in early 2016. After amicably parting ways with Outlands, the frontman quietly kept writing music. One day, Thomas presented him some demos of “these pretty sad jams,” and they dove headfirst into a collaboration together. Blindwish guitarist Chance joined the fold next followed by Billmoria and Halvax as the boys hit a San Diego studio to record. Rise Records became entranced by the initial output as well as the cinematic, self-funded video for “Tradition” and offered the band a deal. Handpicking the collaborative team, they finished recording with producer Sebastian Rizo, enlisting the mixing talents of Andreas Magnusson [Fit For A King] and Kris Crummett [Sleeping With Sirens, Issues] for mastering.

Over this rich sonic backdrop, DeBerg openly explores the suicide of his best friend and its aftermath on The Love You Let Too Close.

“The theme of my life’s descent is central to the record,” he admits. “Losing my best friend flipped my whole world upside down and changed who I am as a person. I used to be happy-go-lucky. I smiled through everything in life. It wasn’t the same after. The songs go through my healthy and unhealthy coping mechanisms as well as the other feelings that came about during this really low and depressed period. I fell in love during a broken time, but I pushed back too. This is a chronicle of everything I noticed about myself.”

On the first single “No Place Like You,” solemn piano chords resound over a haze of feedback before guitars swell into a wave of emotion on the captivating chorus chant.

“We wanted to make that one a little bit lighter,” says DeBerg. “It’s mostly singing. Lyrically, it’s about being so depressed that it screws up a relationship with someone you care for a lot.”

Elsewhere on the record, the opener “Sinking Me” builds from a bombastic beat awash in lush guitar tones before snapping into a searing scream. Meanwhile, the title track encapsulates both extremes, shifting from delicate to deadly.

The Love You Let Too Close ignites Thousand Below’s journey. As they tour with everyone from The Devil Wears Prada to Veil Of Maya, listeners will undoubtedly fall under their spell, because each lyric and note are unequivocally real.

“I enjoy writing sad music,” DeBerg leaves off. “It’s a very therapeutic process that helps me. I want people to take a close look at the concepts, listen to them, and read the lyrics. I imagine others have been through losing loved ones to suicide. This is an admission, ‘It hurts. It feels dark. It’s a rough time, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.’ I want to remind everyone they’re not alone, and we do make it through.”

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