As promised, today we have a battle for supremacy between some mainstream rock acts trying to maintain their fame, and a few extremely heavy metal groups with established followings that could force the public to recognize them with a good sales showing. Let’s not even bother discussing it, because we have a lot to cover. Here’s the list!


Suffocation, Pinnacle of Bedlam (Nuclear Blast)


We are now in the second era of Suffocation without Mike Smith on drums (although he does play drums on the closing track of this album). The band wound up disbanding a few years after Smith’s departure from their ranks in 1994, but that doesn’t look to be the case here. This time around, Smith has been replaced by another death metal veteran, Dave Culross of Malevolent Creation fame. Incidentally, Culross was also a member of Suffocation for a few years after Smith’s first departure, playing drums on the Despise the Sun EP. Pinnacle of Bedlam is only the band’s seventh album, which is hard to believe since the band came together for the first time in 1988. But if Frank Mullen’s words are to be believed, this is the most vicious and destructive Suffocation record to date. So death metal fans will need to pay attention here!


Buckcherry, Confessions (Century Media)


Buckcherry has been working hard at returning to their former level of popularity. Ever since reforming in 2005 and releasing the smash hit 15, the band has continuously attempted to match that album’s success. However, although both Black Butterfly and All Night Long debuted in the top 10 of the Billboard 200, neither has been certified as Gold yet, while 15 remains as the band’s only Platinum album. They hope to change that with Confessions, a concept album that is loosely based on the seven deadly sins, with inspiration from singer Josh Todd’s own life. This promises to be a heavier album than anything else in Buckcherry’s library, both musically and lyrically, so give Confessions a shot if you want to try some new and intense hard rock.


Dark New Day, Hail Mary (Pavement)


This is the “lost album” from the project that brought together the Lowery bothers – guitarist Clint from Sevendust and Call Me No One, and bassist Corey from Stereomud and Stuck Mojo. Those that are familiar with Dark New Day known that they released the album Twelve Year Silence in 2005, and that they planned to release a second album sometime in 2007 or 2008. It was announced that the album was essentially cancelled during 2009, although it somehow appeared as a digital release in 2011, along with a B-sides album, both of which were removed shortly thereafter. Now, after the release of New Tradition last year and the belief that this album was gone forever, here it is, being released in all its glory. If you were a fan of Dark New Day when they first appeared, or if you’re a fan of the current projects featuring the Lowery brothers (Sevendust, Call Me No One, Eye Empire, etc.), then this release will definitely appeal to you.


The Acacia Strain, Money for Nothing (Prosthetic)


This is likely the last thing you will ever see that involves both The Acacia Strain and Prosthetic Records. About a year ago, the group signed a deal with Rise Records, on which they released Death is the Only Mortal. However, Prosthetic has decided to open the archives and put together this final collection of rare tracks, B-sides, and remixes of older songs. Everything from this EP carries the “older” Acacia Strain sound, so if you fall on that side of the debate over their style, then you’ll want to pick this up. Having said that, though, it’s worth noting that both guitarist Daniel “DL” Laskiewicz and singer Vincent Bennett have publicly denounced the EP, as they likely view it as an ironically-titled cash grab by their former label.


Also being released this week:


Shai Hulud, Reach Beyond the Sun (Metal Blade)


Devourment, Conceived in Sewage (Relapse)


Jungle Rot, Skin the Living (Victory)


Disperse, Living Mirrors (Season of Mist)


Kongh, Sole Creation (Agonia)


Complete Failure, The Art Gospel of Aggravated Assault (Season of Mist)


Skineater, Dermal Harvest (Pulverised)


Eight Bells, The Captain’s Daughter (Seventh Rule) 


As They Burn, Will, Love, Life (Victory)


Ulcer, Grant Us Death (Pulverised)



Next Week: It’s a short list, but there are some great semi-popular bands with new albums coming out that you won’t want to miss! Come on back for more New & Noteworthy!