This will likely go down as one of the best release weeks all year. Nothing is held back, and the level of greatness on display will boggle the minds of those not prepared. Get ready, and don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Exodus, Blood In, Blood Out (Nuclear Blast)
A lot of people say that Exodus should be the fifth band of the Big 4, and Blood In, Blood Out will only fuel those arguments even more. For starters, it’s the first album with legendary vocalist Steve “Zetro” Souza since 2004’s Tempo of the Damned, and Zetro does not disappoint. On top of that, the album also features Kirk Hammett playing with Exodus for the first time in decades, as he contributes a guitar solo to the track “Salt the Wound”. Longtime fans of Exodus will love this record – it does not lose the heaviness that the band possessed during the Rob Dukes era, and simultaneously brings back the classic thrash feel of the band’s early career. Stream the entire album here and find out why this album is not to be missed.
Melvins, Hold It In (Ipecac)
I’m not sure if Buzz Osborne has just hit a massive creative streak or something, but for some reason, the Melvins refuse to stay out of this column for more than a few months at a time (not that I’m complaining, of course). This time, King Buzzo and Dale Crover are joined by Paul Leary and Jeff Pinkus of the Butthole Surfers. Pinkus has actually been playing bass with the band for awhile as a live fill-in for Jared Warren, so that chemistry will undoubtedly help shape this album into something that is simultaneously weird and incredible.
Ozzy Osbourne, Memoirs of a Madman DVD (Legacy)
This two-disc DVD collection recounts Ozzy’s career as it never has been before. The first disc contains the music videos for all of Ozzy’s singles, from classic gems like “Crazy Train” and “Bark at the Moon” all the way up to modern hits like “Let Me Hear You Scream.” The second disc contains a treasure trove of live performances and interviews, many of which have either never been released before or are appearing on DVD for the first time. If you’re a diehard Ozzy fan, then this DVD is perfect for you.
Lamb of God, As the Palaces Burn DVD (Epic)
If you missed As the Palaces Burn when it was in theaters around the country, now is your chance to finally see what all the hype was about. This documentary is one of the best features ever put together about a band, and if you’re a Lamb of God fan, you need to see this so that you understand just how difficult life has been for these five guys in the past few years. Recounting Randy Blythe’s trial for manslaughter in the Czech Republic and how the band held together during that time, As the Palaces Burn gives you the full story and more, with plenty of bonus features and interviews with the band, among other things.
Scar Symmetry, The Singularity (Phase I: Neohumanity) (Nuclear Blast)
This album is slated to be the first in a trilogy of albums, all based around the lyrical concept of “transhumanism”. This first entry in the trilogy centers around artificial intelligence and the societal conflict that arises from its inception. Early reviews are calling this album the best material of Scar Symmetry’s career, and after hearing the album a few times, I’m inclined to agree. With many new progressive elements incorporated into the music, this album is a gigantic leap forward for the Swedish veterans. Sample the track “Cryonic Harvest” here for a small taste of the excellence that this album features.
Sanctuary, The Year the Sun Died (Century Media)
The dissolution of Nevermore had a few inevitable outcomes, one of which was the reunion of Sanctuary. Warrel Dane’s former band came back together in 2010, just as Nevermore was beginning to come apart, and after all of the members (sans guitarist Sean Blosl) found that they wanted to get the band going again, a new album came about very organically. Replacing Blosl on guitar is former Forced Entry guitarist Brad Hull. The Year the Sun Died is the first Sanctuary album since 1989’s Into the Mirror Black.
Godflesh, A World Lit Only by Fire (Avalanche/Shellshock)
You’ve waited thirteen years for a new Godflesh full-length. Today, your wish comes true. I don’t know what I can say about the return of Godflesh that hasn’t been said already, either by me or by my comrades here on the site. Either way, this album is undoubtedly one of the most highly-anticipated releases of 2014, so much so that there were sales numbers for it before it even debuted. Some metalheads are just that dedicated to the genius of Justin K. Broadrick.
Revocation, Deathless (Metal Blade)
Since bursting onto the scene with 2009’s Existence is Futile, Revocation has become one of the fastest-growing bands in all of metal. They’re already internationally recognized as one of the best technical death metal bands currently active anywhere, and their music is spreading like wildfire. Deathless will be the band’s debut album for Metal Blade, and after the debut of last year’s self-titled album at #159 on the charts, Revocation is boldly aiming for a significantly higher debut showing with their fifth full-length record. Check out the title track here to see what all the fuss is about.
The Acacia Strain, Coma Witch (Rise)
Thirteen years into their career, The Acacia Strain has done little to deviate from their chosen metalcore style, and why would they? Releasing a devastating new album every two years like clockwork to the acclaim of thousands of screaming moshers, why would they even consider changing the game plan? Coma Witch, the band’s seventh album, is the first to feature new guitarists Devin Shidaker (ex-Oceano) and Richard Gomez (ex-Molotov Solution).
KMFDM, Our Time Will Come (Metropolis)
Thirty years and nineteen albums into their career, KMFDM is still on top of industrial music, constantly reinventing themselves and developing new sounds that the rest of the genre can only hope to emulate. Intense experimentation and nonstop touring are the band’s way of life, and that doesn’t look to change anytime soon for the German veterans. Our Time Will Come follows last year’s Kunst, which featured the most interesting and NSFW album cover of the band’s career.
Today is the Day, Animal Mother (Southern Lord)
With more than two decades of noisecore chaos under the belt of band founder Steve Austin, it’s safe to say that Today is the Day is one of the forefathers of the entire noise style that has invaded metal. Animal Mother is the tenth album from the veteran group, and it features drummer Jeffrey Lohrber (Enabler/Trap Them) and bassist Sean Conkling (Sidra) backing Austin. As with any Today is the Day album, don’t have any expectations when listening to Animal Mother, because they will just get shoved back down your throat.
Gideon, Calloused (Facedown)
Hardcore upstarts Gideon have seen a great deal of success on their first two albums. 2012’s Milestone charted fairly high on both the US Christian Performers chart and the US Heatseekers chart. With the help of their reputation for a killer live show and a tireless work ethic for touring, Gideon is surely hoping to break into the Billboard 200 with Calloused. Give this record a spin if you like Mychildren Mybride, Liferuiner, or Hundredth.
Fit for a King, Slave to Nothing (Solid State)
This Christian metal band from Texas got their start in 2007, and after a few independent releases, Solid State signed the group in 2012. Slave to Nothing is the group’s third full-length album, and follows the 2013 reissue of their album Descendants (which was previously released independently in 2011). The group’s clean metalcore style will be a big hit with fans of Buried in Verona, Feed Her to the Sharks, and Adestria.
Rings of Saturn, Lugal Ki En (Unique Leader)
This young technical death metal group refers to their style as “aliencore”, due to their affinity for writing lyrics about space and the supernatural. Lugal Ki En is a title in Sumerian cuneiform that translates to read “King of the Earthlings, Lord of the Cosmic World”. It’s an appropriate title for an album that features a lyrical concept about aliens that conquer Earth and evolve to transcend time, space, and reality, eventually entering the heavens and going to war with the gods. It’s an intense theme to match the intense music.
Starkill, Virus of the Mind (Century Media)
This Chicago-based group formed in 2008 and got signed to Century Media prior to the release of their debut album, Fires of Life. The group’s style has been labeled many things, due to the incorporation of melodic death metal, thrash, power metal, and symphonic black metal into their sound. Starkill opened for Wintersun on their US tour last year, which is an accomplishment for any band due to Wintersun’s extremely high level of play. The variety within their sound makes Starkill an appealing listen for many metal fans.
Winterfylleth, The Divination of Antiquity (Candlelight)
Any discussion about British black metal is often unjustly confined to two bands – Cradle of Filth and Hecate Enthroned. There is a lot of untapped talent in the British black metal scene, and one band that’s making its way to the forefront is Winterfylleth. Varying in mood and style from the vicious raging of Dark Funeral to the atmospheric elegance of Blut aus Nord, Winterfylleth does it all and more when it comes to their brand of black metal. This band is definitely worth your time, no matter what brand of black metal enthusiast you are.
Better Left Unsaid, The Reissues (INgrooves Music Group)
Following two successful albums that saw them sharing stages with the likes of Hatebreed, Devildriver, and Killswitch Engage, California-based metalcore group Better Left Unsaid is remastering both albums and releasing them as a single package dubbed The Reissues. This 29-track compilation will not only feature Only The Dead To Witness and Better Left Unsaid remastered in their entirety, but will also include several never-before-heard bonus tracks to help display the band’s evolution over the past decade. The Reissues will only be available on iTunes this week, but a complete digital release on all outlets will take place next week.