So, in response to my conclusion from last week, I never did figure out why this week’s releases came out on Monday. I can only imagine that it has something to do with the Thanksgiving holiday and Black Friday. The strange thing is, some retailers are listing album release dates for both Monday and Tuesday of this week. So I don’t know what to make of it. We’ll just have to take it in stride for this week’s new music.
Speaking of new music, in an ironic twist, the biggest releases today are live albums or greatest hits collections, containing very little music that is actually brand new. Nonetheless, these releases are still extremely important, highlighting the need to acknowledge the history of rock and metal in equal measure to how we look to the future of the genre. One release in particular takes us all the way to what some consider to be the beginning of metal as we know it today. So sit back and take a look at what history you can learn.
Led Zeppelin, Celebration Day (Atlantic)
Although some solitary figures in rock and metal have more name recognition than the members of Led Zeppelin, there is no band that, as an entire group, can match the fame and celebrity of the iconic rock quartet. After the unexpected death of John Bonham in 1980, the remaining members went their separate ways, even as their music continued to sell like mad, cementing their status as one of the best-selling bands in all of music history. Inner strife among the surviving three became more apparent over the next decade and a half, and reunions (usually featuring John Bonham’s son Jason on drums) became more infrequent over time. However, in December of 2007, the group came together again for the Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert at London’s O2 Arena, performing a 17-song set that lasted over two hours and earned unanimous praise from critics worldwide. The performance even led to rumors of a possible long-term reunion, with additional touring and even new material, but those rumors were put to rest completely by January of 2009. However, this new release commemorates that concert and the inimitable experience that took place on that fateful day. Now, finally, fans will get to see the show that set the record for “Highest Demand for Tickets for One Music Concert” (according to the Guinness Book of Records 2009, anyway). And of course, in the best acknowledgment of the fans that could be made, there are multiple ways for you to experience this release. To be honest, I don’t know why you’re still reading this – you should be finding some way to purchase this release right now!
AC/DC, Live at River Plate (Columbia)
Another live concert from years past, AC/DC took the stage in Buenos Aires in December 2009, 13 years after they had last performed in Argentina. Amazingly, many rock and metal bands have stated that South American fans are the best in the world, and Live at River Plate provides further proof that this is true. This live set from the Black Ice World Tour spans the entirety of AC/DC’s career, including many of their biggest classics, and summarizes the three nights of performances that they had in Buenos Aires. If you’ve never experienced AC/DC live, this is the best way to do so in an after-the-fact fashion. Unfortunately, there is not a DVD release of this concert yet, but considering the grandiosity of this concert event, I would not be surprised to see one in the near future.
Cryptopsy, Cryptopsy (Candlelight/Lumberjack)
After the debacle that was 2008’s The Unspoken King, Cryptopsy has re-structured their lineup once again and is ready for a return to form. Reuniting with former lead guitarist Jon Levasseur, who had previously been with the band from 1993 to 2005, the Canadian tech-death squad is calling this album “their most brutal, technical, and dynamic release to date.” Gone are the metalcore styles and clean singing that appeared on The Unspoken King – this album is straightforward and punishing in its execution of the band’s signature sound. However, if they want to avoid having fans continue to reminisce about the past, then they’re going to need this album to do well, because also coming out today is this…
Cryptopsy, The Best of Us Bleed (Century Media)
This best-of compilation covers the band’s biggest songs from Blasphemy Made Flesh all the way through The Unspoken King. The second disc is where all the extras are held – of primary interest are the many live tracks, simply because it is not clear where these live songs were recorded. There are also four “rehearsal versions” of songs, which I can only assume means they are demo tracks. Putting aside Century Media’s intent with this release (specifically the date), people looking to get into Cryptopsy should check this collection out, as well as the new album. Both together will give you the best impression of Cryptopsy and will allow you to decide your thoughts on them most equally.
Also being released this week:
Porcupine Tree, Octane Twisted (Kscope)
Bad Brains, Into the Future (Megaforce)
Woe, Is Me, Genesi[s] (Rise)
Incite, All Out War (Minus Head)
Kylesa, From the Vaults, Vol. 1 (Season of Mist)
Marty Friedman, Tokyo Jukebox 1 & 2 (Prosthetic)
Aeon, Aeons Black (Metal Blade)
Crown the Empire, The Fallout (Rise)
Devolved, Reprisal (Unique Leader)
Hell Militia, Jacob’s Ladder (Season of Mist)
Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, Blood Lust (Metal Blade)
Grand Supreme Blood Court, Bow Down Before the Blood Court (Century Media)
Aluk Todolo, Occult Rock (12th Street)
Diagonal, The Second Mechanism (Metal Blade)
Code Orange Kids, Love is Love / Return to Dust (Deathwish)
Dissipate, Tectonics (Prosthetic)
Troubled Horse, Step Inside (Metal Blade)
Destinity, Resolve in Crimson (Lifeforce)
Beheaded, Never to Dawn (Unique Leader)
Decline of the I, Inhibition (Agonia)
Regents, Antietam After Party (Lovitt)
Death, Spiritual Healing Re-Issue (Relapse)
Poison the Well, The Opposite of December/Tear from the Red Re-Issue (Rise)
Killwhitneydead, Greatest Bloody Hits: A Decade of Debauchery (Tribunal)
Next Week: I won’t say what is coming up. I will just say that you should tune in next time for some truly ground-breaking excellence. Be ready!