This week is CMJ Week, when the music world converges on New York for several days of concerts, panels, parties, and general mayhem. It’s a fun and exciting time for everyone involved, and if you’re taking part in CMJ, we hope that you enjoy all of your activities. We’ve given you the full rundown of metal events at CMJ already, and if you haven’t planned your week around these events, we strongly recommend that you reschedule yourself to make it to as many of these events as possible (especially this one). Trust us now, and thank us later.
The release calendar lightens up a bit during CMJ Week, before coming back in full force next week. That doesn’t stop it from being an important week, though, as one of the most highly-anticipated albums of 2014 makes its debut today. Check out the full list below to see what’s coming your way!
Slipknot, .5: The Gray Chapter (Roadrunner)
The fifth album from the nu-metal stars has been tumultuous, as basically everyone in the world knows. The death of Paul Gray, the dismissal of Joey Jordison, Knotfest, the identity leak of the band’s new bassist and drummer, the Corey Taylor-Jim Root drama in Stone Sour – the list of stories that created controversy and hype for this album is astronomical. Now, at long last, it’s finally here. Will The Gray Chapter live up to the buzz? Well, you can stream the entire album here and decide for yourself. We’re willing to bet that most Slipknot fans will enjoy this latest release just as much as the band’s back catalog,
Primus, Primus and the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble (ATO)
Leave it to Les Claypool to reinterpret the music from the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and create an album from what he heard. Claypool cites how much the film inspired him as a kid and his distaste for Tim Burton’s recent remake of the film as to what led to the chosen theme for this latest album. Chocolate Factory is also the first Primus album in nearly two decades to feature the lineup of Claypool, drummer Tim Alexander, and guitarist Larry LaLonde, the lineup that many consider to be the definitive cast of characters for the band’s history.
Amaranthe, Massive Addictive (Spinefarm)
If you caught Amaranthe’s opening set as part of Within Temptation’s recent US tour, then you know just how far the band has progressed in their variety of modern metal. Eschewing some of the heavier guitar parts and elaborate changes in favor of melodic, catchy verses and massive singalong choruses, Massive Addictive features much less influence from In Flames or Children of Bodom, while gravitating more towards the styles of Mnemic or Raunchy. It works really well, as the entire album is filled with memorable segments that you’ll find yourself singing out loud without even intending to.
Allen-Lande, The Great Divide (Frontiers)
This supergroup is led by two of the best voices in power and progressive metal, Russell Allen (Symphony X, Adrenaline Mob) and Jørn Lande (ex-Masterplan, Jørn). After creating a trilogy of albums with Primal Fear guitarist Magnus Karlsson, the singers recruited ex-Stratovarius mastermind Timo Tolkki to play all the instruments on The Great Divide, as well as to help compose the new music and produce the album. You can see a trailer for the album here.