This is a very special tribute album with a very special purpose, as proceeds from the album’s sales will go to the Ronnie James Dio “Stand Up and Shout” Cancer Fund. The album features covers by groups such as Metallica, Tenacious D, Anthrax, Halestorm, Motörhead, and many others. There are also collaboration songs that are done by groups of artists coming together to perform, where some of the biggest names in metal like Corey Taylor, Biff Byford, Doro Pesch, Rob Halford, and many others come together on unique group efforts.
Lacuna Coil, Broken Crown Halo (Century Media)
Although Lacuna Coil recently went through some personnel changes, the Italian gothic metal band is soldiering on with no signs of slowing down. Broken Crown Halo, the band’s seventh album, is already receiving positive reviews, and the band utilized ex-The Agony Scene drummer Ryan Folden during their recent stint on Revolver’s Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock tour. Also, there are rumors circulating about the next person to potentially fill Lacuna Coil’s second guitar position. We don’t want to announce anything, for fear of the rumors being false, but his credentials seem promising.
Chevelle, La Gárgola (Epic)
For those unaware, “la gárgola” is Spanish for “the gargoyle”. However, there is nothing stony about this album – lead single “Take Out the Gunman” hits hard, and the rest of the album is just as relentless. Early reviews have been critically positive, so if you’re a fan of Chevelle’s brand of alternative metal, this album is a must-listen for you.
Steel Panther, All You Can Eat (Open E/Kobalt)
There are few bands that can get away with having a blatantly over-the-top image while still maintaining their playing credibility, but Steel Panther is one of those bands. Although they are as irreverent as possible in their image and take debauchery to a new level in their live shows, no one will ever claim that Steel Panther cannot play their instruments. All You Can Eat is Steel Panther’s third full-length, and is yet another testimony to their pure skill that this band wields.
Chiodos, Devil (Razor & Tie)
After the mixed reception that 2010’s Illuminaudio received, Chiodos is back with (most of) the lineup that helped them break into the scene in the 2000s. Vocalist Craig Owens and drummer Derrick Frost are back in the band, after spending time on other projects from 2009 to 2012. Also, guitarist Jason Hale left the band in 2012, and has since been replaced by Thomas Erak (The Fall of Troy). This lineup recorded Devil, which is the band’s most in-depth album to date.
The Used, Imaginary Enemy (Hopeless)
Given that The Used’s last album Vulnerable debuted at #8 on the Billboard 200, it seems to be a given that the band will do well with this, their sixth album. Early reviews have been positive, with some reports saying that the album has a political lean to it, which will be different than anything fans have heard before.
Austrian Death Machine, Triple Brutal (Artery)
So it seems that this crowd-funded album did manage to get released, despite Tim Lambesis’ other obligations at this time. Much like its predecessors, Triple Brutal was written mostly by Lambesis and features a bevy of guest musicians (mostly guitarists) lending their talents to different tracks. Other writers that assisted Lambesis include John Boecklin (Devildriver), Dave Nassie (ex-Bleeding Through), and Alexander Dietz (Heaven Shall Burn), among others.
The Intersphere, Relations in the Unseen (Long Branch/SPV)
This German rock group appeared two years ago with their surprisingly popular debut, Hold On, Liberty! Charting well in their native country and across Europe, The Intersphere has made a name for themselves as one of the most exciting young progressive rock groups to appear in recent years. Relations in the Unseen continues that pattern, channeling groups from Karnivool to Cynic and everything in between.
Hatriot, Dawn of the New Centurian (Massacre)
Hatriot first showed up on our radar last year, with their
debut Heroes of Origin and tour spots with thrash greats like Testament and Forbidden. The new group of veteran Steve “Zetro” Souza, Hatriot is an exciting project that all thrash fans should enjoy. At the very least, you should check out this album for the song entitled “Superkillafragsadisticactsaresoatrocious”, because I’ve never seen a group attempt a song title like that before.
Pilgrim, II: Void Worship (Metal Blade)
Our own Chip McCabe had the chance to sample this album two weeks ago. Needless to say, he was impressed. This Rhode Island-based doom metal group has found the balance between drone-doom and traditional doom, and crafted it perfectly into their second album. If you were impressed by 2012’s Misery Wizard, then Void Worship certainly will not let you down.
Magnum, Escape from the Shadow Garden (SPV/Steamhammer)
Venerable rockers Magnum have been around for over four decades now, and they still have the creative spark to craft a great album. If you’re a fan of British prog-rock and somehow don’t know about Magnum, you need to check this out. Escape from the Shadow Garden is an album you’ll have no desire to escape from.
Next Week: It’s a mixed bag of the old and the new. Come prepared to experience something you’ve never heard before!