Black Crown Initiate took a lot of people by surprise when they released their Song of the Crippled Bull EP last year. Even more surprising was that the progressive technical death metal band hadn’t even played any live shows when it came out. In the year since it was released, they’ve gotten a live show together, toured on the Metal Alliance tour, and pretty much have remained on the road since then (including at our Metal Insider CMJ party). They also found time to release their proper debut album, The Wreckage of Stars, which delivered on the promise of the EP.
Key Track: “A Great Mistake”
There must have been something other than money to make so many heavy bands decide to reunite and put out albums after long hiatuses. Thankfully, the music being made by many of them is vital, fitting in alongside their work as opposed to being an pathetic attempts at recapturing their past. That certainly describes A World Lit Only by Fire. When we spoke to Justin Broadrick earlier this year he sounded about as excited as most of the Godflesh fans that waited patiently for him to decide to make more music after more than a decade of other projects.
Key Track: “Imperator”
It’s amazing how effortless Devin Townsend makes music. Not only does he seem to put out an album a year at least, he technically put out four (!) this year. And Z2 is two distinctly different albums. Sky Blue is the easier to listen to, as the Ziltoid album is a little too Ziltoidy for my taste, but there are probably plenty more that probably love it for that. The thing I like most about him is that he’s able to flawlessly craft pop songs encased in a proggy, metally shell.
Key Track: “Fallout”