Live albums can be a strange beast for bands. They can be integral pieces of their discography, or they can be quickly-forgotten show pieces. That’s why it’s rare to find live albums that are larger in scale or containing multiple parts. Iron Maiden is one of the only high-profile bands to do such a thing with their live pieces, but today another big name group stages an effort to make a multi-part live album succeed. Read on for more!
In December of 2012, High on Fire played two shows in New York and Brooklyn. We at Metal Insider caught the show in Brooklyn, and as we said then, it was an excellent show. Now fans can experience both of these shows on live audio. These two shows span the entire discography of the seminal stoner metal band, including classics like “Devilution” and “Hung Drawn and Quartered”, as well as newer songs like “Madness of an Architect” and “Fertile Green” from last year’s De Vermis Mysteriis. You can pick up each volume separately, but hearing them together conveys the truly awesome experience of High of Fire live in concert.
Kalmah, Seventh Swamphony (Spinefarm)
The Finnish melodic death metal group is on album number seven, and it’s their second album in a row producing on their own in Finland’s most famous recording location, Tico-Tico Studios. This time, the group recruited famed production wizard Jens Bogren to handle mixing and mastering, giving Seventh Swamphony even more punch on the sound design end of things. Unfortunately, the group is also dealing with their first line-up change in almost a decade. Keyboardist Marco Sneck left the band in 2011, after a seven-year run that included three of the group’s most seminal releases. Taking his place is Veli-Matti Kananen, a relative newcomer who has played with a few lesser-known Finnish bands in the past. Given the integral part that keyboards play in Kalmah’s sound, Kananen’s performance on this album will be crucial to its success. Those looking for the physical album will have to wait to pick it up until next week, as today’s release only covers the digital format.
Masterplan, Novum Initium (AFM)
Masterplan went through a major shake-up last year. The band lost vocalist Jørn Lande, bassist Jan S. Eckert, and drummer Mike Terrana in a very short span of time. The loss of Lande is likely the most significant, as Lande’s vocals were an integral part of the band for three of their four beginning albums. As with all lineup changes, though, the new members bring exciting ideas and a fresh perspective to the band, which leads to many new possibilities for future music. Replacing Lande on vocals is Rick Altzi, best known as the current singer in German power metal group At Vance. Jari Kainulainen replaces Eckert on bass, and brings with him experience from time with Stratovarius, Evergrey, and a number of other bands. Perhaps the most surprising new face, though, is Terrana’s replacement on drums – none other than Martin “Marthus” Škaroupka, better known as the drummer for Cradle of Filth. How his extreme metal drumming technique fits into a power metal band’s more traditional style is one of the key points of interest for this new album.
Also being released this week:
Chthonic, Bù-Tik (Spinefarm)
Valient Thorr, Our Own Masters (Volcom)
Powerworld, Cybersteria (SPV)
I is Another, I is Another (Siren)
Svart Crown, Profane (Listenable)
Arcanium, Ontogenesis (Rocket Science)
The Quill, Tiger Blood (Metalville)
Crown, Psychurgy (Candlelight)
Stick to Your Guns / The Story So Far, Split 7″ (Pure Noise)
Next Week: The Vikings sail again as one of the world’s biggest bands of the Norse persuasion comes riding out full force with a new album! Come back next week to find out who it is!