Stone Sour, House of Gold and Bones – Part 2 (Roadrunner)
When a side project takes on a life of its own to the degree that Stone Sour has, it’s a sign that true greatness inspires the music that is being made. The band got a lot of attention because of “Bother”, way back when the song first appeared on the Spider-Man soundtrack over a decade ago, but since then, they’ve grown into a full-on major act in the hard rock scene worldwide. Escaping the shadow of Slipknot and gaining their own identity was the best thing they did for themselves, because so few side projects can ever get away from being constantly associated with the “main band”. Today, we see the latest fruits of their labor in the continuation of this concept cycle, which began with last year’s House of Gold and Bones – Part 1. Corey Taylor has said that the second part of the concept is much darker than the first, which could garner even more praise and positive reception from fans. Given the fact that Part 1 stayed on the Billboard 200 until a few weeks ago, there is a strong likelihood that we’ll be seeing Stone Sour’s name pop up a lot more during 2013.
Volbeat, Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies (Universal)
Does anyone remember when Volbeat was still a relatively obscure band, still fighting to escape the Danish underground and gain a larger following? I certainly have to think very hard to remember when Rock the Rebel/Metal the Devil was just coming out and receiving a little bit of notice on the college radio scene. Now, Volbeat is probably the biggest band to come out of Denmark in the past ten years. All it took was the endorsement of Metallica as an opening act for some festivals and tours, and before anyone knew it, suddenly Volbeat was a household name with a huge following all over the world. Matt pointed it out in the best possible way last week on Metal by Numbers – Beyond Hell/Above Heaven, which was released in 2010, has held firm on the charts almost every week since its release, and it has sold nearly 220,000 copies in that time. There is not much else that needs to be said about Volbeat and their staying power. They’ve become a mainstay in rock music around the world, and that doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon.
Device, Device (Warner)
David Draiman has kept himself quite occupied since Disturbed went on hiatus. In addition to producing Trivium’s new album and working on the new Megadeth album, Draiman collaborated with ex-Filter guitarist Geno Lenardo to create the new project Device. Draiman has classified this band as an industrial project, in the vein of Ministry and Nine Inch Nails. It will be very interesting to hear how Draiman sounds when singing over music that is not the straightforward, hard-hitting rock that made Disturbed into the powerhouse that they were. Also, this debut album has a lot of guest performers. No, really, a LOT of guest performers – Geezer Butler, M. Shadows, Tom Morello, Lzzy Hale, and Serj Tankian are just SOME of the names that you’ll see on the credits for this album. There aren’t too many albums in recent memory to have this many top-tier guests, so that alone makes Device worth the listen.
Eternal Tears of Sorrow, Saivon Lapsi (Massacre)
If you’ve never heard of this Finnish group, then you’ve been missing out. These guys have been favorites of mine since I was introduced to their music back in 2006, with their fifth album Before the Bleeding Sun. The follow-up, 2009’s Children of the Dark Waters, was my favorite melodic death metal album to be released that year and one of my top ten albums of the year. These guys have a similar style to Insomnium, in that they mix melodic death metal with subtle doom and prog elements, but they also have a major symphonic influence that will raise their appeal with fans of Children of Bodom, Kalmah, Norther, and Mors Principium Est. The clean vocal parts, which have become an integral part of their style on the last two albums, also will attract fans of Nightwish, Sonata Arctica, and Within Temptation. Saivon Lapsi is an excellent addition to their discography, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a new melodic death metal band to sample.
Also being released this week:
Drowning Pool, Resilience (Eleven Seven)
Terror, Live by the Code (Victory)
Gloryhammer, Tales from the Kingdom of Fife (Napalm)
Serenity, War of Ages (Napalm)
Visions of Atlantis, Ethera (Napalm)
The Omega Experiment, The Omega Experiment (Listenable)
Deadlands, Evilution (Massacre)
Pendragon, Out of Order Comes Chaos (Metal Mind)
Next Week: It’s a mixed bag of new music spanning the gamut of subgenres, with a little something for just about everyone. It helps that about 75% of the subgenres possible are represented by a single band, of course. Come on back for the full scoop in seven days!
Also, this week, I want to close the column with a special congratulations to my alma mater, 89.5 WSOU-FM, Seton Hall University’s hard rock and metal radio station. This week marks the 65th anniversary of WSOU being on the air, a mighty achievement for any college radio station! I am proud to be part of that legacy, and to all current and past staffers, I extend my sincerest congratulations for all the hard work that has gone into keeping WSOU on the air for so long!