The insane year of music that is 2016 is drawing to a close, but we still have a fully-loaded autumn giving us wonderful albums. In fact, today yields the album that is essentially guaranteed to sell the most copies of any metal album released over the past two months, and possibly over the entire year. There is plenty more coming out today in addition to that, so read up and see for yourself!
Metallica, Hardwired… to Self-Destruct (Blackened)
In a forward-thinking move that pleased Metallica fans worldwide, Hardwired… to Self-Destruct was released in its entirety in YouTube video form during the course of Wednesday and Thursday. The album is already getting a ton of praise from the metal community at large, and since it’s a Metallica album, it’s reasonable to assume that this will top the charts. 2016 has been a pretty good year for the Big 4, all things considered, and Metallica have added the exclamation point with their first new album in eight years.
Disturbed, Live at Red Rocks (Reprise)
Disturbed took over Colorado’s famous Red Rocks amphitheater on August 15th, during the course of their tour to support Immortalized. The set that they played that night spanned the entirety of their 20-year career, and it was captured on live audio for this release. This is the first full live album that Disturbed has released in their career, and only the second live release ever from the band, the first being 2008’s Live & Indestructible EP.
Lamb of God, The Duke EP (Epic)
We’ve known about the existence of The Duke for a little over a month now, but the story behind this EP is still incredible in its own right. The friendship that was kindled between singer Randy Blythe and LOG fan Wayne Ford in the face of Ford’s terminal diagnosis with leukemia is a rare occurrence, and the song that came about as a result is a unique piece of Lamb of God’s catalog. The other new track on the EP, “The Culling”, is a thrashy barnburner that’s equally worthy of attention.
Protest the Hero, Pacific Myth (Razor & Tie)
Pacific Myth was originally released on a track-by-track basis through a Bandcamp subscription, between October 2015 and March 2016. These six individual releases included the respective track, an instrumental version of that track, and high-quality artwork. Now, over a year after the first track was released, the six complete tracks are being released on a full album for those that did not sign up for the Bandcamp subscription. If you want the instrumentals as well, the digital special edition will give you those as well.
Devilment, II – The Mephisto Waltzes (Nuclear Blast)
Devilment didn’t start out as a Cradle of Filth side project, but with Daniel Finch’s departure from the group in 2014 and Dani Filth now being the longest-tenured member of the band, it has unintentionally become a Cradle of Filth side project. The group’s sound uses a gothic metal core and adds traditional heavy metal styles and a hint of Cradle’s extreme metal to create a wholly unique style. The group’s sophomore album presents a darker, more mature sound grown from the roots of their 2014 debut, The Great and Secret Show.
Ion Dissonance, Cast the First Stone (Good Fight)
Canadian mathcore purveyors Ion Dissonance have been off the radar for quite awhile, with their last release being 2010’s Cursed. The reason for that was revealed in late 2014, as bassist Yannick Desgroseillers was apparently suffering some health issues and had to step down from his position. However, Desgroseillers was still contributing to the band’s writing and recording process, while Dominic Grimard of The Last Felony would take over bass guitar duties. Cast the First Stone is the fifth album for the group and their first as part of Good Fight.
Diabulus in Musica, Dirge for the Archons (Napalm)
When three-fifths of their lineup changed in 2013, there was a lot of uncertainly about the future for Diabulus in Musica. However, 2014’s Argia was met with overwhelmingly positive reviews, proving that the Spanish symphonic metal group still had a bright future ahead of them. Dirge for the Archons takes listeners on a journey to Atlantis and other realms of fantasy, with a special focus given to Archon, one of the legendary creators of Atlantis.
Soulburn, Earthless Pagan Spirit (Century Media)
Soulburn first came to be in 1996, after the first demise of Asphyx. They released one album in 1998, and then put the project to rest in 2000 when Asphyx reformed. The members of Soulburn brought the project back to life in 2013 under the name To the Gallows, but changed back to Soulburn a year later. Earthless Pagan Spirit is the band’s latest offering of their hybrid death/black/doom sound, with a renewed lyrical focus on the glory of death and evil.