Throughout the last 15 years, there have been enough one-hit wonder metal bands to fill several weekend festival lineups to capacity. The bands appear, gain a huge following almost overnight, and then fade into obscurity just as quickly. These bands are not hard to find, even today, and are often not missed when they are gone. It’s the bands that last, the ones several albums deep into their careers and still going strong, that really make a difference when the day is done. I say this not to belittle the young bands that are just starting out, because those bands are vital to the long-term survival of our scene. But the bands that have outlasted the fickle nature of music fans and been embraced as the best in their craft are the ones that give metal the credibility and stability to survive among an ever-changing world of more mainstream music. One such band leads today’s list, while carrying the crown of hardcore with them to the top. Let’s get right into the list, right now!
Hatebreed, The Divinity of Purpose (Razor & Tie)
Back for their sixth full-length album, Hatebreed is just one year shy of the two-decade milestone. This is likely difficult for some to believe, especially since the band’s first full-length Satisfaction is the Death of Desire was released in 1997. But Hatebreed was around before Satisfaction came around – in fact, their first two demos and the EP Under the Knife all came out before 1997. Regardless, though, Hatebreed has outlasted countless imitators, copiers, and contemporaries in their pursuit of hardcore perfection, and their dedication to their craft makes them worthy of great recognition. Add to that Jamey Jasta’s unofficial role as hardcore ambassador to the world, and you have a band that has done more to advance their genre than almost any other. The Divinity of Purpose is the band’s first release with Razor & Tie, and if you’ve been paying attention, you’ve probably heard either “Put It to the Torch” or “Honor Never Dies” somewhere along the way during the past few weeks. This is exactly the way that hardcore needed to start off the new year – with a big release that will bring attention to the scene for weeks and months to come.
Cult of Luna, Vertikal (Density)
The Swedish post-metal band hasn’t released a studio album since 2008’s Eternal Kingdom, but they certainly weren’t idle during that time. 2009 saw the release of the DVD Fire Was Born, and in 2010, the audio book Eviga Riket was published. Now, though, the band’s presence with new music is welcomed with open arms, since it is heavily needed at this time. With the break-up of Isis, a new band is needed to fill the void that they left behind, since Neurosis is putting out material less frequently than they did in their early career. Cult of Luna may be exactly the band to take Isis’ spot, given that they have received more comparisons to Isis than almost any other post-metal band that is currently active. The performance of Vertikal will likely determine if that comparison becomes reality.
Also being released this week:
Capture the Crown, Til Death (Sumerian)
Tomahawk, Oddfellows (Ipecac)
Shakra, Powerplay (AFM)
Giant X, I (SPV)
The Black Explosion, Servitors of the Outer Gods (Metalville)
My Soliloquy, The Interpreter (Sensory)
Next Week: A well-rounded list with many genres represented makes the beginning of February a good sign of things to come! Be back here to check it out in seven days!