Having metal closer to the forefront of musical attention is never a bad thing. That’s why we should all be happy for weeks like this, when a solid release list is led off by a band that will assuredly be a radio hit. Check it all out here!
All That Remains, The Order of Things (Razor & Tie)
ATR vocalist Phil Labonte is well-known for speaking his mind, so it should come as no surprise that he was quite candid regarding his opinion of the band’s last album, 2012’s A War You Cannot Win. Phil is also the one that said he was glad that he and his band had “transcended metal”, so expect more of the same mixture of metalcore styles and hard rock earworms that the band’s last few albums have had. The Order of Things will be at least a top 20 record, if not top 10, regardless of Labonte’s latest social gaffe.
Red, Of Beauty and Rage (Essential)
The Christian hard rockers are back with album number five, which was funded entirely through a PledgeMusic campaign. The album will feature a multitude of string arrangements and other symphonic elements, adding to the band’s well-established sound. The album is being accompanied by a full-length graphic novel inspired by the band’s music.
Ensiferum, One Man Army (Metal Blade)
Last year, Ensiferum shocked everyone by announcing that they were leaving Spinefarm Records, their home for over a decade, to sign with Metal Blade. One Man Army will be the band’s first release on their new label. The Finnish folk metal group may be looking to expand their international reach even further with this new signing, so expect to hear ambitious touring plans for Petri Lindroos and Co. in the near future.
The Agonist, Eye of Providence (Century Media)
When Alissa White-Gluz left The Agonist last year to join Arch Enemy, many speculated that the Canadian group was done for. Enter Vicky Psarakis, and suddenly The Agonist was back in business. Early reviews of Eye of Providence have featured one declaration that is nearly universal – Psarakis is either as good as or better than White-Gluz, and the band will continue to thrive with their new singer.
Keep of Kalessin, Epistemology (Indie)
Keep of Kalessin was riding high on the release of 2010’s Reptilian, and the Norwegian group appeared to be set for a breakout. However, vocalist Thebon parted ways with the band under questionable circumstances after touring was done, and the group fell off the radar while they recovered. They’ve since returned as a three-piece group, with guitarist Obsidian C. taking over the vocal duties. Epistemology is the band’s first full-length as a three-piece lineup, and it will be an interesting test to see if they can maintain their epic sound with one fewer member.
Torche, Restarter (Relapse)
Torche has displayed an affinity for psyching out their listeners throughout their careers. Fans are never sure whether to expect a riff-centric rock album or a pummeling, belching, sludge monstrosity with each new release. Restarter is the perfect mix of the two, an album that will satisfy both ends of the spectrum and also throw it into upheaval. After all, if there’s one thing we know about Torche, it’s that we can always expect the unexpected.
Like a Storm, Awaken the Fire (Another Century)
I had never seen a didgeridoo played on a live stage until I saw New Zealand rockers Like a Storm for the first time. Once I saw that, I was immediately hooked, because it takes a special kind of crazy to bring a didgeridoo onstage at a loud, wild rock show. Brothers Chris, Matt, and Kent Brooks (yes, you can call them the Brooks Brothers), along with touring drummer Zach Wood, have an incredible formula that has already enthralled their home country. Now they’re looking to do the same Stateside.