The big metal release this week is the new album from Bring me the Horizon. They seemingly came out of nowhere with the release of their sophomore album, Suicide Season, selling 6,600 the first week. They’ve only gotten more popular since then, and the album’s crossed the 100,000 sold mark. The band’s got an even mix of rabid fans and people that absolutely detest their brand of metalcore, but the album seems to be a stretch forward for them in terms of songwriting, and even the most rabid haters won’t stop this album for sticking around even longer than it’s title.
There isn’t much else coming out this week in terms of new material, but plenty of reissues and special editions are also hitting the charts. It seems that, as the economy continues to struggle and record sales flounder even more, a greater number of metal bands are utilizing these trends to garner more sales. It’s a technique that is both good and bad, as some metalheads will spring for both editions of an album in that format, while others will simply wait for a special edition version. No matter which category you fall into, though, there are plenty to choose from here.
Bring Me the Horizon, There is a Hell, Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There is a Heaven, Let’s Keep It a Secret (Epitaph)
The only title I’ve ever see that’s longer than this is a long, two sentence song title from the first album by The Chariot. The title and the opening track “Crucify Me” are the only parts of this record that are long, though. Everything else is your standard Bring Me the Horizon music. Fans will love it, haters will detest it, and the landscape will likely be totally unchanged. Keeping the status quo intact is probably what’s best for Bring Me the Horizon, because any other level of popularity or notoriety for them would likely equal disaster.
Chiodos, Illuminaudio (Equal Vision)
This album will be the first to feature new vocalist Brandon Bolmer (ex-Yesterday’s Rising) and new drummer Tanner Wayne (ex-Scary Kids Scaring Kids). Chiodos is currently lined up to be main support for Atreyu’s upcoming “Congregation of the Damned Tour”, which will likely be the first chance most fans will have to hear their new lineup and new material live. Needless to say, the new guys have some big shoes to fill after 2007’s Bone Palace Ballet.
Joe Satriani, Black Swans & Wormhole Wizards (Epic)
This is a good year for guitar enthusiasts that enjoy solo albums from high quality guitarists. Slash, John 5, Yngwie, and now Joe Satriani, taking a break from Chickenfoot to put out his astounding fourteenth studio album. Satriani enthusiasts should know what to expect by now, but those that don’t only need to know that Satriani is responsible for teaching Steve Vai, Kirk Hammett, Alex Skolnick, and numerous other internationally-acclaimed guitarists how to play as well as they do. Veteran drummer Jeff Campitelli returns on drums, adding a small degree of consistency to Satriani’s ever-changing backing band.
Circle II Circle, Consequence of Power (AFM)
Savatage fans know about Zachary Stevens’ period as the band’s lead singer during the ’90s. As rumors of a Savatage reunion continue to swirl and then be shot down by Jon Oliva, many are left wondering what will happen to Stevens’ current project, Circle II Circle. Well, here’s your answer – they’re alive, well, and still creating awesome music. Sadly, the band has been without a primary keyboardist since the departure of Kamelot keymaster Oliver Palotai in 2007, but that doesn’t stop the band’s four-piece lineup from shredding and shocking with their brand of melodic-progressive power metal.
At Vance, Decade (AFM)
These Germans don’t get as much coverage as their kinsmen in Rage, but they are still among the best power metal bands in the country. This two-disc greatest hits compilation covers all eight of the band’s albums to date, and also includes several rare tracks. The biggest attractions are the band’s incredible adaptations of classical pieces by Vivaldi, Beethoven, Chopin, and some others. If you’ve never heard of At Vance, they’re a band that every power metal fan should check out.
Ozzy Osbourne, Scream (Tour Edition) (Epic)
The positive reviews this album received is a good sign for Ozzy’s career right now. However, calling this version of the disc a “tour edition” seems out of place since Ozzy is between tours right now. Either way, the two-disc set features seven bonus tracks, the video for “Let Me Hear You Scream”, and other video content, all nicely wrapped in one package for everyone that didn’t already buy the album.
These reissues of Crowbar’s early material are designed to build up hype in preparation for the band’s upcoming new album, scheduled for release in early 2011. More importantly, though, these reissues are a signal that Crowbar is soldiering on and will endure as a band, no matter what struggles come their way. Specifically, this should ease any doubts fans may have had following Kirk Windstein dropping off Kingdom of Sorrow’s appearance on Ozzfest this past summer in order to enter Alcoholics Anonymous. Windstein is incredibly devoted to the fans, and this is where it shows.
Down, Diary of a Mad Band (ILG)
In related news, Windstein’s other OTHER band, Down, is releasing their new live album and DVD, filmed over four years ago and finally now ready for release following the conclusion of the band’s legal battle with Warner Bros. over rights to the music. Diary of a Mad Band has a whopping 34 tracks spread out over two performances, and when you throw in the documentary on their return to the scene, then you definitely get your money’s worth and more with this package. Well worth checking out no matter what your level of familiarity with southern metal is.
Next Week: We show just how many ways bands can express hatred for organized religion in another jam-packed release week! Enjoy the time off while you can!