In this day and age, when a band takes more than a year to write and record a new album, one of three things is occurring. Either the band is too devoted to touring and playing shows to properly take the time to write an album, the band is dealing with outside circumstances that prevent the investment of time and focus required to make new music, or the band is slowly and steadily crafting an album that will blow away its predecessors and be declared a masterpiece by fans. It’s a pretty safe bet that The Faceless fall into that third category.
Check out all of the new music that we have this week, led off by the new album from the California tech-death upstarts, in the usual list down below! Trust me, this is a week that’s worth spending your money on!
The Faceless, Autotheism (Sumerian)
To say that The Faceless is one of the fastest-rising success stories of American metal in the past decade is entirely accurate. In fact, one could even say that their success led to the success of so many others. The very first album in the Sumerian Records catalog, numbered SUM-001, is none other than the debut album from The Faceless, 2006’s Akeldama. And with the massive success of 2008’s Planetary Duality, one could say that The Faceless is responsible for putting Sumerian on the map and turning them into the powerhouse label that they are today. Beyond that, the revolutionary style displayed on Planetary Duality is credited by many as what gave rise to the djent scene, meaning that bands like Periphery, Veil of Maya, and many others owe their successes to The Faceless as well. So how does the Encino, California-based group plan to repay the masses for the wonders of their second album? By delivering a third album that, after a four-year wait, will leave listeners floored in sheer amazement. Already receiving mass adulation from critics and journalists throughout the worldwide metal scene, Autotheism is a titanic album that is in immediate contention for Album of the Year status. After the excellence we got in the early months of the year with Meshuggah’s Koloss, it only seems fitting that the heir apparent for the title of Best Technical Death Metal group also releases a new album in the same year. This is a great time to be a fan of progressive, technical metal in its most aggressive form.
In This Moment, Blood (Century Media)
On the group’s fourth album, In This Moment has been stripped bare and rebuilt from the ground up. The replacement of bassist Kyle Konkiel with Travis Johnson in 2010 was nothing new, as the group has had five different bassists in just a seven-year career. However, the loss of founding drummer Jeff Fabb and rhythm guitarist Blake Bunzel in 2011 (both of whom left to play in James Durbin’s band) was entirely unexpected, leaving some questioning if the band would survive. However, Maria Brink and Chris Howorth have proven resilient, finding new members and persevering to the completion of their fourth full-length album. Blood has some initial style tweaks that may leave some fans confused, but overall, this album has just about everything that veteran listeners will be wanting to hear. Behind their commercial success and the seemingly image-centered focus that appears in their videos and live show, In This Moment remains one of the most honest and true-to-life bands in modern American metal.
Fozzy, Sin and Bones (Century Media)
After making his return to music with 2010’s Chasing the Grail, Chris Jericho kept Fozzy active and progressing, even through his return to the WWE in January of this year. Fozzy was able to play the Download Festival this year, appearing on Saturday, June 9th on the Zippo Encore Stage. Playing on the second-largest stage at Download can be seen as a sign that Fozzy will remain active and known for some time to come. A similar sign of this is the guest appearance by Avenged Sevenfold vocalist M. Shadows on “Sandpaper”, the lead single from Sin and Bones. Fozzy doesn’t look to be going anywhere anytime soon, no matter what Chris Jericho does in the ring or on primetime TV.
Dublin Death Patrol, Death Sentence (Mascot)
Dublin Death Patrol could be considered a supergroup, but I hesitate to use that term to describe them. I think it’s more accurate to refer to them as a “Bay Area thrash family affair”, because in many ways, this band is the result of a familial bond among members of the Bay Area thrash scene. Led by Testament singer Chuck Billy and former Exodus/Legacy singer Steve “Zetro” Souza, Dublin Death Patrol has eleven official members and usually performs with a standard lineup of seven, depending on who is available. The only other name in the lineup that will be immediately recognizable to most metal fans is Machine Head guitarist Phil Demmel, who appeared on the 2007 debut album DDP 4 Life for a guest performance on one song. However, for Chuck Billy and Steve Souza, Dublin Death Patrol truly is family – Chuck’s brothers Andy and Eddie Billy play guitar and bass, respectively, while Steve’s brother John is also a bassist for DDP. Death Sentence presents thrash tunes spanning every style that the Bay Area scene has exhibited over the past three decades, and is well worth a listen if you like thrash in any form. As an added bonus, today is also your best chance to get DDP 4 Life – the debut album’s reissue package also comes out today.
Zonaria, Arrival of the Red Sun (Listenable)
I was first introduced to Zonaria in 2008, right after their debut full-length Infamy and the Breed came out. I was immediately blown away by this young, talented band that possessed both the songwriting chops of Scar Symmetry and the technical skill of Children of Bodom. Led by vocalist Simon Berglund, Zonaria plays a powerful form of technical melodic death metal, with black metal and symphonic metal influences mixed in. 2008’s The Cancer Empire was one of my favorite albums released that year, and showed that the group had enough originality to write a detailed concept album based on real-life events and inspiration. Arrival of the Red Sun isn’t a concept album, but in some ways, that is a good thing, because the band is able to move more freely in their compositional styles. It may not bring anything new to the table, but if you’re a fan of more aggressive styles of melodic death metal, then Zonaria is a band well worth your attention.
Also being released this week:
Loudness, Eve to Dawn (eOne)
Korpiklaani, Manala (Nuclear Blast)
The Forsaken, Beyond Redemption (Massacre)
Mondo Generator, Hell Comes to Your Heart (Mondo Media)
Ephel Duath, On Death and Cosmos (Agonia)
Master, The New Elite (Pulverised)
Black Light Burns, The Moment You Realize You’re Going to Fall (Rocket Science)
Sophicide, Perdition of the Sublime (Willowtip)
Waylander, Kindred Spirits (Listenable)
Letter to the Exiles, Make Amends (12th Street)
The Chant, A Healing Place (Lifeforce)
Downspirit, Bulletproof (Metalville)
Solace, Call &Response (Self-Released)
Lynch Mob, REvolution Deluxe Collection (Cleopatra)
Incubus, HQ Live (Sony Legacy)
Staind, Live from Mohegan Sun (Eagle Rock)
Next Week: Another week light on releases is upon us, but you know what that means – all the more chances to find an unknown or underground gem waiting for your ears! See you next time!