This week will be tough for most of us, as the sudden passing of Dave Brockie weighs heavily on the metal community. However, the music must continue, and I can think of no better way to celebrate Brockie’s life than by doing these two things – supporting one of the most promising young acts to appear in recent years, and paying tribute to one of the bands that will always be identified as essential to heavy metal. With that, here are your new releases for this week.
Animals as Leaders, The Joy of Motion (Sumerian)
Every generation of rock and metal music has had a guitarist that has been the face of that generation, whether it be names like Jimi Hendrix, Randy Rhoads, or Darrell Lance Abbott. It may not be long before Tosin Abasi is added to that list of names, because no one that is currently active in metal can match what Abasi does with his eight strings of wizardry. Animals as Leaders has already garnered mainstream attention through their diverse touring habits, and the #92 debut of 2011’s Weightless should be a sign that the band has a lot of fans outside of just the prog community. The Joy of Motion is likely to show that that fanbase has expanded even more over the past three years.
Pantera, Far Beyond Driven 20th Anniversary Edition (Rhino)
Speaking of Dimebag Darrell, this week we celebrate two decades of Pantera’s seventh album. Far Beyond Driven was the first Pantera album to debut at #1 on the Billboard 200, and is said by some to be the most extreme metal album ever to accomplish that feat. This two-disc edition of the album features the original album remastered, along with the live recording of Pantera’s performance at the 1994 Monsters of Rock Festival in Donington, England.
Memphis May Fire, Unconditional (Rise)
Dallas-based metalcore heroes Memphis May Fire have slowly pushed their way to the forefront and never relinquished that territory to anymore. Not only did 2012’s Challenger debut at #16 on the Billboard charts, but the band was also called on the play the main stage on the entirety of last year’s Vans Warped Tour. Unconditional is the band’s fourth album, and the band is headed to the UK in April to support this new release with a string of tour dates.
Next Week: A bevy of new releases appear, including a Dio tribute album unlike anything ever seen, a new album from one of the biggest gothic bands in the world, a new opus from some power metal mainstays, and lots more. Don’t miss out!