We’re on the way to some highly anticipated releases, and it starts today with some big names. The anticipation is building towards a busy summer release calendar. Dive right in, because it’s only going to get busier and more enthralling as the weeks continue.
The 69 Eyes, Universal Monsters (Nuclear Blast)
The Finnish rockers released X in 2012 to generally positive reviews. The album featured a shift in styles to more diverse compositions, with an emphasized return to melodic ballads akin to the group’s early material. There’s no word yet if Universal Monsters will continue in that form, but given the singles “Jet Fighter Plane” and “Dolce Vita” that have already been released, it stands to reason that this album will be similar to X in many ways.
Aborted, Retrogore (Century Media)
Despite the title, there’s nothing retro about this album. Aborted has always been leading the way in changes and growth in the death metal sphere, and Retrogore is no different. The guest performers list on this album is especially impressive, with vocal cameos provided by Travis Ryan of Cattle Decapitation, David Davidson of Revocation, Jason Keyser of Origin, and Julien Truchan of Benighted.
Incite, Oppression (Minus Head)
Incite is known for their high energy live performances and their uncompromising intensity. Oppression is the embodiment of both of those things channeled into a record. With the help of producer Steve Evetts, Incite refined all of the fire and rage that they have absorbed from their live shows, and unleashed it in a decisive and destructive musical force. The group’s fourth full-length album is, without a doubt, the strongest representation to date of what they have to offer.
Darkness Divided, Darkness Divided (Victory)
San Antonio’s Darkness Divided started out as a Christian worship band, but evolved quickly into a metal band after being influenced by bands like The Devil Wears Prada and As I Lay Dying. The group recorded and self-released the EP Chronicles in 2012, which was enough to earn them a deal with Victory for their full-length debut Written in Blood. This self-titled effort is their sophomore release.
Ragnarok, Psychopathology (Agonia)
Consistently rated as one of the most underrated black metal groups on the planet, Ragnarok has stayed true to their classic black metal ethos for 22 years while most of the rest of the scene has adopted other styles and created more mainstream appeal. Psychopathology represents an interesting shift for the band, as drummer Jontho leaves the kit and takes up the vocal position. Replacing Jontho on drums is Malignant, known best for his one-man outfit Dauden.