There are many bands that don’t let anything hold them back from producing new music. Fan disinterest, label drops, and low album sales are not deterrents, but rather just reasons to keep trying for these bands. A lot of the late ’90s and early 2000s nu metal bands fit this description, and we have one such group on today’s list. Read on and see if anything from this short list grabs your attention!
Serj Tankian, Harakiri (Serjical Strike/Reprise)
2010’s Imperfect Harmonies can be described in one word as, well, imperfect. The album received widely mixed reviews, and a number of critics wondered just what was causing such a change in Serj Tankian from how he’d sounded on his solo debut, Elect the Dead. I maintain that he was trying to distance his solo project from the sound of System of a Down, and if that was his goal, then he succeeded just in time, since Imperfect Harmonies debuted just a few short weeks before the official announcement of System of a Down’s reunion was made. Now that Serj is free to take his side project wherever he wants without repercussions from angry System of a Down fans, he’s gone all-out to make this project his own private outlet of free expression. To that end, Harakiri is reportedly the first of four new solo albums from Serj in the coming months. There will also be a jazz album called Jazz-Iz-Christ, an orchestral album entitled Orca, and an electronic album dubbed Fuktronic, which is billed as a collaboration with Jimmy Urine of Mindless Self Indulgence. To put it mildly, Serj has taken his project off the deep end, and what he comes up with next, nobody can possibly predict.
P.O.D., Murdered Love (Razor & Tie)
The eighth full-length studio album for the nu metal squad is described by members as a “back to roots album”, mixing rap, rock, and reggae in differing parts. Ironically, though, P.O.D. has included an increasing number of metal influences and guest personnel over their last few albums. 2007’s When Angels & Serpents Dance featured both Mike Muir (Suicidal Tendencies) and Page Hamilton (Helmet) as guest performers, and this time around on Murdered Love, Jamey Jasta from Hatebreed shows up for a guest performance. Granted, the album also features Sen Dog of Cypress Hill on a different track, so the influences balance out overall. Still, though, it’s good to see the group leaning towards heavier styles as time progresses. This is the first album of a multi-album deal with Razor & Tie for P.O.D., so it will be interesting to see if those heavier styles persist into future material as well.
Vintersorg, Orkan (Napalm)
The one and only Andreas Hedlund, also known as Vintersorg, has to be one of the busiest people in all of metal. Having been the frontman for four different bands and his own solo project earlier this decade, the man certainly deserves much respect for his hard work and dedication to his music. While his workload may have decreased over time, his dedication remains the same, as evidenced by the release of Orkan, just a few short months after Borknagar (which is Vintersorg’s main project these days) released their newest album Urd. Orkan continues where last year’s Jordpuls left off, with a mixture of folk and prog metal, lyrics performed entirely in Swedish, and nature themes permeating the album. Vintersorg’s solo work has always been underappreciated in the prog scene, at least here in the US, and now is the time for that to change.
Also being released this week:
Thick as Blood, Living Proof (Rise)
Kadavar, Kadavar (Tee Pee)
Mortillery, Murder Death Kill (Napalm)
Saint Diablo, Saint Diablo (Eclipse)
The Shrine, Primitive Blast (Tee Pee)
Chaosweaver, Enter the Realm of the Doppelgänger (Napalm)
Next Week: A southern rock supergroup, a prog rock double album, and plenty more lead off a good list of new music! Come check it out!