So, apparently last week, when I mentioned reaching the first big list of the year, I didn’t realize that was going to happen so soon thereafter. Thus, here we are today. This is not necessarily a list that isle overloaded with big-name releases, but it is still a huge list in terms of quantity. I have no problem with this, because I’m fully in favor of metal releases dominating the new releases each week. So let’s just get right into it! Week 2, go!
Voivod, Target Earth (Century Media)
Voivod’s 2009 album Infini was a turning point of sorts for the Canadian band, and as a result, Target Earth is now the completion of that turn. This is the first album to feature recorded work by guitarist Daniel Mongrain, who officially replaced late guitarist Denis D’Amour. Mongrain actually appeared with the group as early as 2008, but the recorded guitar tracks that D’Amour had created prior to his passing were used for Infini, which is why Mongrain was not credited on the album. Also, founding bassist Jean-Yves Thériault reunited with the band in 2008, and Target Earth is his first album with the band since 1991’s Angel Rat. It’s unclear what the circumstances of the band’s parting with Jason Newsted were – in fact, it only causes further confusion about his role in the band, since Newsted did all the bass tracking on Infini. Regardless, though, Target Earth is most significant because it means that Voivod is going to continue on. Interviews with band members as early as 2007 contained statements that referred to Infini as the band’s final album, but this has obviously changed. Let Canadian progressive thrash continue in all its glory!
Holy Grail, Ride the Void (Prosthetic)
Holy Grail is one of those bands that can legitimately tour with almost anyone and manage to fit onto the bill in some way. Their touring résumé from 2009 to 2012 includes shows with Amon Amarth, 3 Inches of Blood, Exodus, Blind Guardian, Eluveitie, Dragonforce, Toxic Holocaust, and Hellyeah, among many others. I was lucky enough to see Holy Grail perform in 2011, and they are one of the best live bands that I’ve ever gotten to watch. One of the only comparable bands that you’ll find is White Wizzard, but that should not be a surprise to anyone, since three of the five founding members of Holy Grail all left White Wizzard in the same short span of time. If you’re a fan of the mixed traditional metal and power metal style that bands like Charred Walls of the Damned offer, then Holy Grail is perfect for you.
Tellus Requiem, Invictus (The 11th Hour) (Nightmare)
In case you missed it, we gave you the first look at this album last Monday via the exclusive debut of the song “Red Horizon”. As was said there, it’s a great introduction to the band, letting you know basically everything that you need to regarding the origins of their style. This is Tellus Requiem’s second album, and they have come a long way since self-releasing their debut in 2010. Norwegian progressive metal is not unheard of, although it is somewhat less common than the more extreme genres such as black metal. Still, Tellus Requiem has plenty of good things to offer. Hopefully, Invictus will give them the exposure needed to start playing shows internationally and expand their following.
Also being released this week:
Helloween, Straight Out of Hell (The End)
Otep, Hydra (Victory)
Lightning Swords of Death, Baphometic Chaosium (Metal Blade)
Jorn, Symphonic (Frontiers)
For All I Am, Skinwalker (Equal Vision)
Koldbrann, Vertigo (Season of Mist)
Nightfall, Cassiopeia (Metal Blade)
Continents, Idle Hands (Victory)
Sons of Aeon, Sons of Aeon (Lifeforce)
Black Light Burns, Lotus Island (Membran)
The Last Stand, The Time is Now (Eulogy)
Aeon Zen, Enigma (Nightmare)
Blockheads, This World is Dead (Relapse)
Love and Death, Between Here & Lost (Tooth & Nail)
Dynasty, Beyond Measure (Facedown)
Fall City Fall, Victus (Victory)
Revenge, Hymns of Annihilation (Eulogy)
Septicflesh, Mystic Places of Dawn [Reissue] (Season of Mist)
In Solitude, In Solitude [Reissue] (Season of Mist)
Next Week: The king of hardcore in the United States is back once again, with yet another album designed to smash faces and break standards. Come back next week for the return of the Breed!