The volume of new releases coming out this week defies all logic and reason. If I don’t see at least eight of these new albums on next week’s Billboard 200 list, there is a serious problem! There is no reason for anyone not to buy AT LEAST one of these albums, if not more. So quickly read through the list, and then head to the store, because you’ve got some spending to do!
Arch Enemy, War Eternal (Century Media)
In case you’ve missed it in recent months, one of the biggest stories in the metal world in 2014 is the departure of Arch Enemy singer Angela Gossow, with Alissa White-Gluz of The Agonist taking her place. It was a surprise to nearly everyone when the news broke, but as new material from War Eternal was slowly released, it became clear that White-Gluz will be a more than capable replacement for Gossow. This will also be the first album to feature guitarist Nick Cordle of Arsis, who took Christopher Amott’s place after he left the band in 2012.
Hellyeah, Blood for Blood (Eleven Seven)
The fourth album from the heavy metal supergroup finds them with a changed lineup and a reduction in size – although bassist Bob Zilla has been replaced by Bloodsimple’s Kyle Sanders, a permanent replacement for second guitarist Greg Tribbett has not yet been announced. The entire album appeared on YouTube for streaming last week, so you can check out the whole thing before you pick it up. Hellyeah will also be on tour with Five Finger Death Punch and Volbeat later this year.
Body Count, Manslaughter (Sumerian)
Five albums into their career, Ice-T and Ernie C. are still the masters of rap-metal fusion, and their reputation is second to none. On Manslaughter, a reinvigorated Body Count addresses a slew of new issues, including female moshers and the treatment they receive. Body Count has also given us one of the greatest videos ever in the form of “Talk Shit, Get Shot”. We were fortunate enough to get an interview with Ice-T and discuss the album with him recently – you can find the full contents of that interview here.
Mayhem, Esoteric Warfare (Season of Mist)
The release of a new Mayhem album is usually cause for celebration in the black metal community. Esoteric Warfare is the group’s first new album in seven years, and it will be the first to feature new guitarist Teloch. Four new songs from Esoteric Warfare have already been released ahead of the new album, so check those out for a taste of the evil that is in store on this record.
Anathema, Distant Satellites (Kscope)
News about Anathema’s tenth studio album has flown relatively under the radar leading up to its release. This is surprising to me, considering the strong reception that its predecessor Weather Systems received in 2012. Nonetheless, we welcome a new Anathema record gladly! Distant Satellites is the first album to feature Daniel Cardoso, who started with the band at keyboards, but then switched positions with drummer John Douglas in 2012.
Vader, Tibi Et Igni (Nuclear Blast)
Polish death metal giants Vader have been around for over three decades, and they’re showing no signs of slowing down. The band’s tenth album finds them sounding just as evil and macabre as they always have, which is appropriate for an album with a title that translates to mean “For You and Fire” in Latin. The entire album is now available to stream thanks to Terrorizer, so go check it out and let the death metal infect you.
Uriah Heep, Outsider (Frontiers)
The release of Outsider is amazing, in that it is the 24th album for the hard rock veterans in their 45th year of existence. However, there is a bittersweet note to the album, as longtime bassist Trevor Bolder died from pancreatic cancer in May of 2013. His replacement, Davey Rimmer, makes his recording debut with the band on Outsider after spending more than a year with them on the road.
The Word Alive, Real (Fearless)
The Word Alive has done well for such a young band. Their debut full-length album Deceiver reached #97 on the Billboard charts, and the follow-up Life Cycles peaked at #50. Real is expected to surpass its predecessor, based on the reactions that the band got during their recent tour supporting Memphis May Fire. This will be the first album to feature new drummer Luke Holland, who joined the band in 2012.
Wretched, Cannibal (Victory)
Charlotte-based five-piece Wretched have been tirelessly hitting the road and making themselves heard. Both 2010’s Beyond the Gate and 2012’s Son of Perdition garnered positive reviews, and Cannibal looks to expand on the band’s mix of melodic and technical death metal. The sole lineup change for Cannibal is actually a return to the band’s past, as guitarist John Vail was replaced last year by his immediate predecessor, Joel Moore.
The Amity Affliction, Let the Ocean Take Me (Roadrunner)
Although Let the Ocean Take Me is the only second album that The Amity Affliction has released in the US, the Australian group has already made plenty of waves (pardon the pun) Stateside, and they fully intend to make more. Let the Ocean Take Me was recorded at Evergreen Studios in Brisbane, near the band’s hometown, with producer Will Putney once again handling the production duties on the album. The first two singles from the album, “Pittsburgh” and “Don’t Lean on Me”, are already making their impact on local radio stations, and further singles will likely push the band even closer to their big break here in the US.
Beartooth, Disgusting (Red Bull)
Long removed from his roots in Attack Attack!, Caleb Shomo has taken on a whole new side with Beartooth. The visceral screams that Shomo lets loose on this album are very different from what anyone might expect, and most will probably find that it exceeds their expectations. Give the band a preview courtesy of two new music videos, and see for yourself just what Beartooth has to offer.
Falconer, Black Moon Rising (Metal Blade)
Falconer did some experimentation on 2011’s Armod, including more folk metal influences and singing all of the lyrics in Swedish. Fans of the group’s traditional sound will be happy to hear that Black Moon Rising is a return to the band’s usual mixture of power and folk metal, while also reverting back to English lyrics. The entire album is streaming right here for your listening pleasure.
Equilibrium, Erdentempel (Nuclear Blast)
Erdentempel is a transitional album for Equilibrium in many ways. Most significantly, founding members and siblings Andreas Völkl (guitar) and Sandra Van Eldik (bass) declared their departure from the band, just two days after the album’s completion was announced. The reason for their departure is still unknown, although replacements have already been found in the form of Dom R. Crey and Jen Majura. Additionally, Erdentempel contains the first Equilibrium to have a song sung in English. “The Unknown Episode” is, thus far, the only song in the band’s catalogue not sung in German.
Trap Them, Blissfucker (Prosthetic)
Trap Them has worked tirelessly to reach the upper echelons of the grindcore genre ever since they started to be noticed in the metal underground. Since 2008, the band has either toured or released a split EP with the likes of Rotten Sound, Napalm Death, Extreme Noise Terror, The Ocean, and Black Breath. Blissfucker is the group’s second album for Prosthetic and fourth full-length release overall.
Wolves at the Gate, VxV (Solid State)
Christian post-hardcore outfit Wolves at the Gate are back with their second album, the follow-up to 2012’s Captors. The title VxV is meant to be said as “Five by Five”, according to the band’s statements about the album. The entire album is available to stream on Solid State’s YouTube channel, so go there to check out what these kids from Ohio have to offer.
Tombs, Savage Gold (Relapse)
Brooklyn-based experimental group Tombs will fill the void in your life that would only expect Neurosis or Isis to fill. Savage Gold is a monstrous record with enough post-metal to drive anyone to madness. Check out the track “Edge of Darkness” here for a glimpse into what awaits you. We also got to ask frontman Mike Hill about his Top 5 Conspiracy Theories yesterday.
The Atlas Moth, The Old Believer (Profound Lore)
As if you didn’t have enough post-metal already, The Atlas Moth is also releasing their third full-length album today. An Ache for the Distance showed up on more Top 10 lists in 2011 than I care to remember, so I’m expecting a repeat performance from The Old Believer in terms of quality. Check out the track “Collider” over here, courtesy of our friends at Pitchfork.
God Macabre, The Winterlong (Relapse)
God Macabre’s only full-length release is The Winterlong, and when it first appeared in 1993, it was after the band had already broken up. Renewed interest led to an eventual reunion, which was recently highlighted by a performance at Maryland Deathfest 2014. This latest reissue of The Winterlong features two extras – the Consumed by Darkness EP, and the track “Life’s Verge”, which is the first new material that the band has released in two decades. Listen to “Life’s Verge” right here, and get excited for one of the original Swedish death metal bands possibly making a comeback!
Nightmare, The Aftermath (AFM)
French power metal group Nightmare began their career playing traditional heavy metal, and got their big break when they opened for Def Leppard in 1983. The group disbanded in 1987 over differences in musical direction, but they reformed in 1999 with a renewed focus on power metal. If you’re a Dio fan, then vocalist Jo Amore will give you chills.
Bloody Hammers, Under Satan’s Sun (Napalm)
Bloody Hammers first got on the radar when they appeared at last year’s Housecore Horror Film Fest, as part of a lineup that included Down, Gwar, Eyehategod, Crowbar, Goatwhore, and countless other bands. The group is actually a project of darkwave artist Anders Manga and his wife Devallia. Under Satan’s Sun is the third album for the gothic-inspired doom metal group.
Mars Red Sky, Stranded in Arcadia (Listenable)
Mars Red Sky is a French psychedelic-experimental rock group that has gained notice through constant touring. The band has opened for the likes of Kyuss Lives!, Dinosaur Jr., and Sleep in recent years. Stranded in Arcadia is the group’s second album, and it’s recommended for fans of Voivod, Wovenhand, and other progressive and experimental artists.
Valley of the Sun, Electric Talons of the Thunderhawk (Fuzzorama)
Valley of the Sun is a power trio hailing from Cincinnati. The group plays heavy Southern rock with a touch of progressive style, which is probably what grabbed the attention of Swedish band Truckfighters and convinced them to sign Valley of the Sun to their own label. Valley of the Sun is recommended for fans of Kyuss, Red Fang, Clutch, and other Southern rock groups that like to cross genres in their sound.
Next Week: After this week, we get a welcome relief in the form of a short release schedule next week. You’ll have plenty of time to recover from the overload you just experienced. Come on back to see what we have to offer next time!