This week is jam packed with lots of new releases, including two juggernauts of gothic doom metal, seasoned veterans and fiery upstarts in hardcore, intense Viking death metal, and much more. So let’s not waste any more time and just get right to it!
Prong, Carved Into Stone (Long Branch)
It’s been five years since Prong’s reformation and the release of Power of the Damager. And in that time, Tommy Victor has changed the lineup of the band yet again. The newest recruits are big names, though, with more clout than anyone in the past lineups of Prong. Drummer Alexei Rodriguez, formerly of Walls of Jericho and 3 Inches of Blood, and bassist Tony Campos of Static-X joined Prong three years ago and have stuck it out with the band ever since, playing on several tours and contributing to Carved Into Stone. The band just finished up a short tour with Crowbar and Witchburn, and presumably more touring will follow to support this record. So you can be assured that you’ll hear more from Prong as we continue through 2012.
Anathema, Weather Systems (The End)
After a seven-year wait between 2003’s A Natural Disaster and 2010’s We’re Here Because We’re Here, it’s nice to see that Anathema hasn’t kept their fans waiting for overly long for a new release this time. Of course, now that the group has fully transitioned from a doom metal band to an atmospheric post-rock group, it’s a different process to put an album’s worth of music together, which may contribute to the time difference. Regardless, Weather Systems is likely to be a powerful album that will generate a lot of fan attention, simply based on the band’s description of it. According to the band, “the music is written to deeply move the listener”. Considering some of the subject matter that Anathema has covered in the past, that is a powerful statement, and it will be interesting to see how it will be received.
Paradise Lost, Tragic Idol (Century Media)
2009’s Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us was recorded with session drummer Peter Damin, but after the album was released, the band got a big boost to their lineup in the form of Adrian Erlandsson (At the Gates, The Haunted, Cradle of Filth, etc.). Erlandsson has played well with the band since joining, and he lent his unique style to Tragic Idol. Guitarist Gregor Mackintosh calls the album “more melodic” than its predecessor, while “retaining its heaviness”, also stating that there were lots of guitar solos and melodies. Once again produced by Jens Bogren, Tragic Idol is another milestone achievement in the nearly quarter-century career of Paradise Lost.
War Of Ages, Return to Life (Facedown)
In less than a decade, War of Ages has become one of the most impressive young hardcore/metalcore groups in the country. Touring with bands such as Demon Hunter, Becoming the Archetype, Underoath, Living Sacrifice, The Acacia Strain, Throwdown, Soilwork, Times of Grace, and many others, the Pennsylvania-based group has worked long and hard to get to where they are now. Singer Leroy Hamp has gained particular notice for his intense, uncompromising, and true-to-life lyrics from a Christian perspective. Return to Life will be no exception to that, with brutally honest lyrical messages backed by powerful, heavy music.
Also being released this week:
Unleashed, Odalheim (Nuclear Blast)
Running Wild, Shadowmaker (SPV/Steamhammer)
Cancer Bats, Dead Set on Living (Metal Blade)
Torche, Harmonicraft (Volcom)
7 Horns 7 Eyes, Throes of Absolution (Century Media)
Deep Purple, Total Abandon (Eagle)
Woods of Ypres, Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light (Earache)
Fleshrot, Traumatic Reconfiguration (Deepsend)
16, Deep Cuts from Dark Clouds (Relapse)
Horisont, Second Coming (Metal Blade)
Loyal to the Grave, Against the Odds (Eulogy)
Death by Stereo, Black Sheep of the American Dream (Viking Funeral)
Mares of Thrace, The Pilgrimage (Sonic Unyon)
Vesperian Sorrow, Stormwinds of Ages (12th Street)
Pigeon Toe, First Perception (Lifeforce)
Bereft, Leichenhaus (The End)
Skyharbor, Blinding White Noise: Illusion & Chaos (Prosthetic)
Hideous Divinity, Obeisance Rising (Unique Leader)
Teramaze, Anhedonia (Nightmare)
Necronomicon, Invictus (AFM)
Atriarch, Forever the End (Seventh Rule)
Struck by Lightning, True Predation (Translation Loss)
Crazy Lixx, Riot Avenue (Frontier)
Kissin’ Dynamite, Money, Sex & Power (AFM)
Terror, No Regrets No Shame: The Bridge Nine Days (Bridge Nine)
Haste The Day, Best of the Best (Solid State)
Next Week: One of music’s most controversial figures from the ’90s and 2000s comes back with yet another new album, leading a short list of good albums. Come back and check it out!