New & Noteworthy is a weekly column in which we highlight some of the newest rock and metal releases coming out each week. This week feels like the first real big week of the year, we’re getting new albums from Phil Anselmo & The Illegals, Machine Head, and Orphaned Land. If you would like to check out the last New & Noteworthy, you can do so here, if you want to see last week’s sales numbers, check those out in Metal by Numbers. Black Veil Brides had the biggest debut of the week with Vale. Also be sure to follow us on Spotify for weekly new music playlists!
Orphaned Land, Unsung Prophets And Dead Messiahs (Century Media)
Now almost five years since the release of their last album, All is One, Israel’s Orphaned Land return with Unsung Prophets and Dead Messiahs. They have released a music video for the track “Like Orpheus,” which also features a guest appearance from Blind Guardian vocalist Hansi Kürsch. In one of those cool record store videos vocalist Kobi Farhi breaks down six of his favorite albums, including bands like Iron Maiden, Metallica, and Genesis. Since the group just toured North America last year alongside PAIN, following their show at ProgPower USA, it’s probably unlikely that they will be back too soon. This will also be the first album to feature guitarist Idan Amsalem, who replaced founding member Yossi Sassi back in 2014. They will be touring Europe later this year. Unsung Prophets and Dead Messiahs is also available on vinyl.
Machine Head, Catharsis (Nuclear Blast)
Catharsis is the ninth studio album from American metal band Machine Head. They recorded the album Sharkbite Studios in Oakland, California and produced by Robb Flynn and Zack Ohren (Fallujah, All Shall Perish, Nekrogoblikon). They have released music videos for “Kaleidoscope” and the title track, as well as a lyric video for “Volatile.” General reception to the album seems mixed, and while I personally wasn’t thrilled by what I’ve heard, I’ve never been more than a casual fan anyway. Machine Head is currently touring North America, giving another Evening with Machine Head solo tours, and will be continuing around the world as they support the album. Catharsis is also available on vinyl and cassette.
Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals, Choosing Mental Illness As A Virtue (Housecore)
Phil Anselmo & The Illegals are back with the follow-up to their 2013 debut album, Walk Through Exits Only. Choosing Mental Illness As a Virtue differs itself firstly by being a collaborate between Phil and The Illegal rather than him being in complete control of the project, Anselmo even saying how the collaboration really “made the spirit of this thing come alive.” There was only one lineup change between the releases, with Marzi Montazeri having left the band in 2015 on good terms, he was replaced him with Mike DeLeon. Choosing Mental Illness as a Virtue is also available on vinyl.
Tribulation, Down Below (Century Media)
Is this the first masterpiece album of 2018? Building off 2015’s Children of the Night, the Swedish band’s fourth album takes what everyone liked about that last album and build on it. While their image and vocals still have trappings of the genre, this is a rock and roll album, with more instrumentation, adventurous song structure and the swagger of a mid’80s Sunset Strip band.
Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons, The Age Of Absurdity (Nuclear Blast)
The Age of Absurdity is the debut album from Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons. After the unfortunate passing of Lemmy Kismister, their guitarist Phil Campbell got together with The Bastard Songs and continued to rock. Leading up to the release the band has released a music video for “Welcome to Hell,” and and a lyric video for the album opener “Ringleader.” They’re going to be playing throughout Europe in February and March, but no word on any North American shows yet.
Various Artists, American Satan Soundtrack (Sumerian Records)
The soundtrack to the 2017 movie starring Andy Biersack of Black Veil Brides is finally getting a release. Written and Directed by Sumerian Record founder Ash Avildsen, and the soundtrack contains tracks from Jonathan Davis (Korn), Parkway Drive, Asking Alexandria, Nightwish, and more. The album surprisingly does not contain any music from the fictional band in the movie, The Relentless. They released an album under the name back in October.
Into the Great Divide, Into the Great Divide (self)
Do you like progressive instrumental music? Of course you do. And while the debut release from Into the Great Divide doesn’t have vocals, it’s still a concept album, or as band mastermind Zack Zalon calls it, a “rock novel.” Divided into chapters, it also features drums from Dream Theater’s Mike Mangini. Intrigued yet? You should be.
Accu§er, The Mastery (Metal Blade)
Agrimonia, Awaken (Southern Lord)
Alestorm, Captain Morgan’s Revenge (10th Anniversary Edition) (Napalm)
Dommengang, Love Jail (Thrill Jockey)
Hooded Menace, Ossuarium Silhouettes Unhallowed (Season Of Mist)
Howling Sycamore, Howling Sycamore (Prosthetic Records)
In Vain, Currents (N/A)
John 5 And The Creatures, It’s Alive! (N/A)
Labyrinth, Return to Live (Frontiers)
Loudness, Rise To Glory (earMUSIC)
Mammoth Grinder, Cosmic Crypt (Relapse)
Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins, Pawn And Prophecy (Frontiers)
Portal, Ion (Profound Lore)
Primal Rite, Demon (Revelation)
Sleeping Giant, I Am (Facedown)
Steve Hackett, Wuthering Nights: Live in Birmingham (InsideOut)
As I Lay Dying, Frail Words Collapse (Metal Blade)
As I Lay Dying, Shadows Are Security (Metal Blade)
Centuries, The Lights Of This Earth Are Blinding (Southern Lord)
Fates Warning, Parallels (Metal Blade)
Unearth, The Oncoming Storm (Metal Blade)