Happy New Year to you all! It’s been a crazy couple of weeks since we parted company. The loss of an icon, Lemmy, still hurts my soul, but I know he would want the music to go on, first and foremost, in the same manner that he lived his life. Lemmy would certainly be proud of this release week, as what is normally the slowest week of the year comes in with a bang. A bunch of new albums greet us on this first release week of 2016, signaling the initiation of an exciting and energizing year for metal. Let the music commence!
Ignite, A War Against You (Century Media)
The seminal hardcore group has not released a new album in ten years. Part of the reason for that is because frontman Zoli Téglás spent two years as the singer for Pennywise, and then required additional time off to recover from a back injury that kept him off the road entirely. Now that Téglás is healed and back in the saddle, Ignite is hitting harder than ever.
Exmortus, Ride Forth (Prosthetic)
Exmortus rides into battle once more on their fourth full-length album. The technical death/thrash group received positive critical reception for 2014’s Slave to the Sword, and they spent much of the past two years touring nonstop to promote the album. Now that Ride Forth has been unleashed, Exmortus has already hit the road once again. Hopefully they’ll continue the best stage trick in the known world during this tour.
Cauldron, In Ruin (The End)
In the ten years since Cauldron formed, the Toronto-based band has secured a position as one of the best young bands playing traditional heavy metal in North America. Their three full-lengths have all received overwhelmingly positive reviews, and their live show is something to behold. In Ruin is the band’s first release on The End Records, and in a fun twist, Cauldron is touring alongside Exmortus right now, with both bands supporting Enforcer and Warbringer. Dates for the trek can be found here.
Venomous Concept, Kick Me Silly – VC III (Season of Mist)
If you’ve never heard of Venomous Concept, you’ve missed out. The combination of members from Brutal Truth and Napalm Death, all playing a mix of grindcore and ’80s hardcore punk, is simply too amazing to miss. Venomous Concept has not released new material since 2008’s Poisoned Apple, thanks to Brutal Truth’s recently-ended reunion and Napalm Death’s constant state of business. The third album from this supergroup is sure to please.
Cloudscape, Voice of Reason (Dead End Exit)
Cloudscape has been part of the Swedish underground for over two decades, starting life as Doctor Weird in 1992 and eventually changing their name to Cloudscape in 2001. The band helped initiate the development of the power-prog scene in Europe not long after their name change, and they’ve stayed the course in that style to great success. Hopefully Voice of Reason will be the key to Cloudscape breaking through in North America.
The Lion’s Daughter, Existence is Horror (Season of Mist)
Blackened sludge is not a genre title that we hear frequently, but that’s exactly what The Lion’s Daughter brings to the table. This three-piece group from St. Louis crawled into existence in 2007, independently releasing some EP’s and a full length during their first five years. However, it was their 2013 collaboration album with Indian Blanket, titled A Black Sea, that really put The Lion’s Daughter on the map. Now signed to Season of Mist, these guys are ready to slither their way into your headphones and never leave.