As 2013 drew to a close, we highlighted several of our favorite albums of 2013 while doing something a bit unusual: we included metal radio’s favorite albums of the year, both in an official most-played capacity and in the form of consensus favorites. That naturally made us start wondering…what are metal radio’s most anticipated releases of 2014? So as 2014 starts off, we caught up with a few good radio hosts to find out the answer. Their responses showcase the dynamic range of metal radio programmers throughout North America, as even this small sample runs from huge names in hard rock and more mainstream metal to sheer black and death obscurity.
Last year will be a difficult year for metal to live up to; with so many releases that could have been a ‘best of,’ 2013 will go down as one of the mightiest years for our genre. Looking ahead to this year, so many things are in the works, it might live up to expectations: releases from Mastodon, Agalloch, Darkest Hour, Job for a Cowboy and possibly Slayer just to name a few, but on the top of my anticipated list would be the new Behemoth and Godflesh records. Having heard the single from Behemoth, I am left thinking that the album will be better than “Blow Your Trumpet Gabriel,” but it is not a bad start for January. The Satanist will mark the tenth studio album from the band and first after the entire Bible-tearing controversy has been settled, and with Nergal’s battle with leukemia behind him. Godflesh, on the other hand, will be releasing their first record in thirteen years since their dissolution in 2002. A World Lit Only By Fire could be their return to the top of the industrial metal heap, or at least that’s what I am anticipating. As with last year, none of us saw just how many great albums were to be released until we weighed it all at the end, so 2014 may just turn out to be even better; time will tell.
I haven’t had the chance to see the compete new release schedulee for 2014, but from what I did see, I can say that 2014 will start out how 2013 ended for me: with new releases from bands that I’ve come of age with. Towards the tail end of 2013 we had new records from Evergreen Terrace, Remembering Never, The Melvins, Carcass and Korn. Eclectic, heavy and all great. A lot of what we do in radio/TV/print is to try and find “the next big thing,” but for me, in 2014 I can’t wait to see what some of these bands that have been around the block are going to release.
Earth Crisis – Salvation of Innocents (March 4th)
Maybe Karl and the gang could bring Remembering Never out on the road for a VeganxStraightxEdge takeover. I love meat and leather products but I also love passionate hardcore with a message, even if I don’t agree with some/all of it. A lot of bands I listen to are Christian or straight-edge, two ideologies I don’t necessarily follow but can look past to respect the music as art. Can’t wait to hear what Karl is yelling about this time around. This band embodies all that is hardcore.
Candiria – Untitled EP in the works
I love music of all styles/genres with rock, metal, hardcore and hip hop being the staples. I’m not very seasoned in the jazz game, but thanks to this band from Brooklyn, I am a bit now. These guys were one of the first bands I discovered on my own at my college radio station (WGCC-FM, Batavia, NY what up)! It was challenging to listen to, super-groovy once you found it, and it just stood on its own from anything else I had ever put my ears to. So, for me, it came as a ray of sunshine and a puff of smoke when I heard that they were recording some new music.
Earth Crisis and Candiria, two bands that have been doing it and continue to do it. That’s what I’m lookng forward to so far in 2014.
Nikita “Chert” Khrenov, WFCS/New Britain CT [college radio]
Host, The Atomic Abyss – Fridays 10pm-12am
2014 is a strange year, in the sense that I don’t really remember a lot of the records that are supposed to be coming out so I don’t exactly know what to expect, but surprise isn’t always a bad thing. Let’s get this out of the way; I’ve given up hope on Necrophagist so that’s out, and as much as I would love to see a new Tool, I’m not going to hold my breath.
Now then, let’s get the main ones out there, Behemoth and Cannibal Corpse. Neither of them have made a single bad record in my opinion, and if “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel” is just a taste of what’s in store from Behemoth on The Satanist, then I’m definitely excited. Recent rumours of a new Pig Destroyer also excite me, especially after their previous record Book Burner just absolutely destroyed and earned a spot on my Top 25 of 2012, and it’d be interesting to see how they sound now that they have a bass player.
Opeth also has a new record hopefully coming out this year, and it’ll be interesting to see where they go after Heritage’s softer sound. A new Overkill album is also in the works for this year and that’s going to be something to keep an eye on, since it seems like those guys never run out of steam. Anaal Nathrakh is working on a new album, and that is probably going to be my most anticipated album of the year; those guys meld black metal and grindcore so well that it’s almost scary, and I absolutely LOVE IT. Septicflesh has a new album planned, and I can say without a doubt that I’m looking forward to hearing more of their brand of sickeningly heavy and dark orchestral death metal. Hard-hitting crust/grindcore/hardcore band Trap Them is also going to be releasing a new one this year, and I cannot wait. Those guys really know how to take pure, raw aggression and deliver it in a musical form. And here’s a fun one – Immortal. It has been rumored that they will hopefully be releasing another album full, and after All Shall Fall, you can bet your grim and frostbitten boots that I am stoked to hear more.
Last but most certainly not least, how can we have this list without our dear Uncle Devy? Yes, Devin Townsend is releasing Casualties of Cool, and that is gonna be awesome, but I’m more excited for the grandaddy of ‘em all, Ziltoid 2. Yes, the highly anticipated second Ziltoid record is in the works and will hopefully be released this year for our listening pleasure and deliver us into a new state of mind, for better or worse.
Tool: Whether these guys can actually get it all together and record and release a new album or not, it feels like it’s closer to happening this year than in the past. This band, no matter what, always takes us on a journey. Listening to a Tool album, just like going to a Tool concert, is an experience. It’s not something you can just pop on and listen to a couple of songs, it’s something you have to dedicate yourself to, and very few bands can pull that off the way Tool does. At this point they may be more progressive rock than metal, but I’ve been in love with this band since the Opiate EP and always enjoy pulling out any of their albums.
Slipknot: Only because I’ve been a fan of this band, and everyone I’ve met from Slipknot has been among of the nicest and down to earth people I’ve ever met in the metal world. Not having Joey Jordison is a blow to the gut though, so I’m now a little skeptical.
Anthrax: Worship Music was incredibly underrated, and now that this lineup has been going for a few years and especially with Joey leading the vocal way, I can’t wait to see what that continuity helps this band create.
Some others: Slayer (not having Jeff scares me a bit but it’s Slayer!), Judas Priest and Black Label Society.
Metal Insider, you’re lucky. Very lucky. I hate writing and I rarely do it. Despise. Detest. Loathe. Abhor. It. I am very out of practice with it as well. But however, I feel differently today. I have been summoned out of my hermitage to tell you about a few records that I am excited about for the upcoming year. I hate going into whys about things as I am a woman with few words, so I’m just going to name off things that I am looking forward to this year in no particular order off the top of my head.
Lvcifyre – Svn Eater
Kampfar – Djevelmakt
Alcest – Shelter
Behemoth – The Satanist
Skull Fist – Chasing the Dream
Iced Earth – Plagues of Babylon
Wintersun – TIME II
Savage Messiah – The Fateful Dark
Grand Magus –Triumph and Power
Wolves in the Throne Room (TBA)
Abyssal – Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius
Graveborne – Through the Window of the Night
Engulfed in Blackness –Ceremonial Equinox
Jamie Theberge, WUML/Lowell MA [college radio]
Host, The Verge – Tuesdays 4-6pm EST
The new Intervals record is definitely one of them. I’ve been listening to them for YEARS; I think I found out about them right after The Space Between came out. Every release after has been insanely better and I am beyond excited for their new stuff, and their new vocalist is sure to please, since I was such a HUGE fan of The HAARP Machine.
And besides Behemoth and Animals As Leaders, I am probably most excited for Abiotic’s new album. There haven’t been many details from the band or in general, but I know they are stepping up their game after 2012’s awesome Symbiosis. I know that for a lot of people tech-death is an acquired taste, but for myself, I eat it up whenever I can get it. Hell, even if they didn’t change anything in terms of writing and musicianship, their newest release is going to DOMINATE. And it will be even better live, since they are super-tight and just all around awesome dudes.
Culted - Oblique to All Paths (Jan. 21st) – Claiming to never have been in the same room together and hailing from two different countries, this band clearly shows what the Age of the Internet is capable of. Their particular brand of blackened death metal was superb on the last release, and I’m hoping they mirror it with this.
Caliban - Ghost Empire (Jan. 24th) – What can I say, I have a soft spot for Caliban even though their records are largely hit or miss. Hopefully this will be the hit I’m looking for.
Periphery - Clear (Jan. 27th) – Periphery has yet to do me wrong, so I’m hoping this “not an EP but not a full length” will shoot some life into metal with some fresh experimentation.
Behemoth - The Satanist (Feb. 4th) – The long-awaited album from these guys is ready to be released barring some kind of new postponement, and I for one couldn’t be more excited to see the fresh view on “Christians bad” that they take.
Entombed - Back to the Front (early 2014) – The first album in 7 years from these guys was also delayed, but I’m still excited that it could be awesome.
Now here’s some bands that are promising records that have no definitive release date but are rumored to be coming out within the confines of the year:
If none of those are good, I can still hope for the always promised, never delivered new Tool album, and of course if the new gets really bad, I can contemplate suicide while listening to the new Limp Bizkit. So many choices…