This week is when things get serious. Now is the time when the summer schedule really starts to grow towards its peak. Prepare yourselves for the rush that is coming, because it will be here sooner than you think.
High on Fire, Luminiferous (eOne)
High on Fire is a phenomenon unlike any other. This band only knows how to make good albums, and now that Matt Pike is back in good health, they’re sure to sound better than ever. The follow-up to De Vermis Mysteriis promises to have all the things you’ve come to expect from High on Fire, and will still have enough surprises to wrap you up in its sludge-ridden perfection.
Babymetal, Babymetal (RAL)
Speaking of phenomenons, the physical version of Babymetal’s self-titled debut album is finally being unleashed in the States. The Japanese outfit has gone from relative obscurity to being a worldwide culture shock in a matter of months, and their gig opening for Lady Gaga on a US tour was one of the most written-about live show experiences of the decade. Love them or hate them, Babymetal has certainly made their mark, and this album will only solidify it.
Iwrestledabearonce, Hail Mary (Artery)
The experimental metal group is back with the follow-up to 2013’s Late for Nothing. Having now spent some time with singer Courtney LaPlante as a lineup fixture rather than just a fill-in, this album should sound even better than its predecessor, which was LaPlante’s recording debut with the band.
Gorgoroth, Instinctus Bestialis (Soulseller)
This is Gorgoroth’s first album in six years, and also the first to be released since the conclusion of the Gorgoroth name dispute. Although the band still sounds as evil as ever, the general feeling is that they sound reinvigorated and fresh, now that the legal dispute has been fully resolved.
Lucifer, Lucifer I (Rise Above)
Johanna Sadonis had a good thing going in The Oath, but when the band disbanded in April 2014, Sadonis wasted little time in starting a new project to whet her creative appetite. Lucifer builds upon the doom metal roots of The Oath by adding a stoner metal vibe, resulting in a sound that carries a strong Black Sabbath influence and an appeal to those that enjoyed the heavy music of the ’70s.
Wrvth, Wrvth (Unique Leader)
Wrvth (initially known as Wrath of Vesuvius) has been in a state of constant change. Their initial material was all self-released, before a contract from Mediaskare Records was given to them. Fast-forward through lineup changes, an insane touring schedule, and a reinvention of their sound, and we get to the release of their self-titled third album. The growth from deathcore to technical death metal has been painful for Wrvth, but they’ve completed the journey and are ready for new opportunities.
Hundredth, Free (Hopeless)
After two albums and two EP’s with Mediaskare, Hundredth signed a new deal with Hopeless Records for the release of their third album. The melodic hardcore band has never strayed off the touring path, maintaining a busy live schedule and recording in between. That trend continues in 2015, as Hundredth is about to hit the road as part of this year’s Warped Tour lineup.
Vattnet Viskar, Settler (Century Media)
New Hampshire’s Vattnet Viskar is back with their second album as part of the Century Media family. The sound that this group creates is best described as atmospheric black metal, but Settler makes plain their love for Isis-style post metal, as it is incorporated throughout the album. Such an intriguing genre meld should attract the attention of new and inquisitive listeners.
KEN Mode, Success (Season of Mist)
It’s not really that drastic of a change for KEN Mode to switch from a heavy hardcore band to an AmRep-inspired noise rock band. Working with Steve Albini definitely helped, and it was always an element of the band’s sound. It sounds like something they’ve been working towards for a while, and with it, they may alienate some of the more metal fans, but should pick up plenty more.