Headbangers’ Brawl 1/7: Metal Anticipations For The Year 2011

Posted by on January 7, 2011

Headbangers’ Brawl is a weekly column whereMetal Insider’s Bram and Zach take a moment to debate and analyze two opposing sides of a topical issue occurring in the world of metal and/or the music industry.

During the last Headbangers’ Brawl of 2010, Bram and Zach discussed their favorite albums of the past year, Now with the first week of the new year coming to a close, the two look forward. In this edition of Headbangers’ Brawl, Bram and Zach discuss what they’re looking forward to happening in 2011.
Zach: Personally, I’m excited to find out who officially will be on this year’s Mayhem Fest, and whether System Of A Down’s return will make its way to the U.S. However, the one event and happening that every metal fan is undoubtedly anticipating for in the year 2011 is The Big Four performing in the U.S. Let’s face it, it’s a sure thing. Fans have been withholding jealousy this entire year towards the other countries Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax performed in last Summer. And Dave Mustaine’s tweets pretty much confirmed that the four will perform together in the States in addition to the U.K. and France dates. The only question now is where the shows will take place and whether there will be more than one show.

Bram: With no offense at all to Mayhem, I’m just not as excited with it as I was initially. The first year was awesome, and so was the second, but it’s definitely, in my opinion, gotten a little too mainstream over the years. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, per se, but it’s a little lost on me. System will go where the money is. Remember, Faith No More didn’t announce U.S. shows at first. The Big Four tour will be huge if (when) it happens. I’d imagine it happening like the Iron Maiden tour did last year – not a huge, full itinerary, but covering the major markets, and absolutely an arena tour.

What am I looking forward to most? If the past is any indication, a new Tool album. Their last album came out in 2006, and the ones before in 2001 and 1996. Every one of their albums has been nothing less than an experience, and by not flooding the market or rushing any of their music, they still have integrity. New music from Clutch and (hopefully) Mastodon also give me something to look forward to. What about music that you’re looking forward to?

Z: See I’ve always been a fan of the Mayhem Fest’s, even as they’ve gotten “more mainstream.” I’ve always been pleased with the lineup’s mix of bands that they’ve had. And even though last year’s lineup had a few bands on it that I had seen countless times before, it was still cool to see all of those bands within the same show. However, I am a bit bummed about the bands rumored for this year’s Mayhem Fest so far. I love all the bands that have been mentioned, but it just isn’t that special of a lineup, or even that realistic. As I’ve mentioned before, there are numerous reasons why I think at least some of the bands rumored (especially Megadeth and Disturbed, and more recently Machine Head) won’t end up on this year’s bill. So maybe my disappointment is not so much about the bands, but more so that it’s unlikely to happen.

I’m surprised to hear that you think that the Big Four will perform more than just one show in the States, Bram. Granted, there are more markets to cover in the U.S. (where as in most countries in Europe, one big festival appearance will likely do). However, I have a hard time seeing the Big Four doing more than 3 or 4 shows together in the States. Am I wrong for thinking so?

New music from Tool is always welcomed. I’m also really looking forward to new releases from Devildriver and Children Of Bodom. Though there’s no confirmation that it’ll happen, I also would like to see Judas Priest record one more album before they retire for good. They’ll have enough time to do one since their farewell tour will most likely last until 2012, and it would be nice to see the Metal Gods release one more kick ass record while still on top. However, I’d say that the new album I’m looking forward to hearing the most in 2011 is Anthrax’s Worship Music (if that’s what they’re still planning to call it, and if it’ll even be ready before the end of the year). This record has been in the works for ever, and was even finished and ready to be released with a new singer…until the whole Dan Nelson soap opera went down. Anthrax has been drama filled for the past two years now. Part of me is rooting for them to make a big comeback, while the other part is simply waiting to finally hear it.

B: Worship Music is like Chinese Democracy. I’m sure it’ll be a decent record, but it’s been in the works for so long that it could be amazing and it’ll still be somewhat of a letdown because of all the anticipation for it. I mean, I love Anthrax, but it’s been eight years since they’ve put out an album and 18 since their last real memorable one. I’m really looking forward to hearing it, but they’ve got a lot of expectations to live up to.

Z: At the same time, though, there’s a whole different type of expectation behind each album. I love Anthrax too, but is there really as much excitement for a new Anthrax album as there was for new music from GN’R? I agree that there is still a lot riding on the album, but not as much as there was on Axl Rose to deliver. I think it also helps that Belladonna is back singing on the record (and this is coming from a John Bush fan). I think it has more potential to please fans than it does to disappoint, or at least more so than if Dan Nelson was still singing in the band.

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