This release week will be somewhat atypical for me, both because the list is coming out on a Wednesday and because I will NOT be giving mandatory imperatives of getting out to the store to buy albums. Why are things this way, you ask? It is because of this: yesterday, while most of you were finalizing your Halloween preparations and fretting over how to properly celebrate this holiday on a Wednesday, we at Metal Insider HQ and all of our Northeast readers were recovering from Hurricane Sandy and the beating that she inflicted on most of us. To those of you that have been here with me for this event, I ask that you please stay safe, and encourage you to, instead of buying new music, devote your resources to keeping yourselves and your loved ones safe. And if you are reading this, that means you have electrical power of some sort (or a smart phone), so please feel free to purchase an album online if you are able. At least then you’ll have something new to enjoy while the flood waters recede and the downed trees are cleaned up.
As far as the actual release calendar goes, I have to recognize and approve our lead group’s decision to release their new album today, as they had planned to do when they first started writing it. Given the band’s history of devotion to the macabre and the exotic, Halloween is the perfect time for them to release a new album. So, those of you that aren’t in the midst of a natural disaster, get out to the store and pick up this album today! It will be the perfect thing to play when you want to terrify trick-or-treaters coming to your door! (Just kidding…maybe…)
Cradle of Filth, The Manticore and Other Horrors (Nuclear Blast)
Is there any other group or arist (apart from the Misfits or Rob Zombie) for which a Halloween release would make more sense? And before you all say it, bands that wear masks don’t count in this equation! (Sorry Slipknot.) In all seriousness, though, Cradle of Filth has never hidden from their focus on the darker sides of life and humanity, while also delving into the supernatural and other-worldly with regularity. Just looking at the concepts of their previous two albums is all the evidence you need of that. Guitarist Paul Allender has made it clear, though, that this will be a different kind of album that its predecessors. Manticore purportedly contains more female vocals in the stronger melodies and harmonies, similar to Cradle’s older material, while also incorporating punk-style riffs that give all of the music a less polished sound. This is an album that will surely appeal to fans of older Cradle, possibly even allowing older and newer fans to bridge the divide that exists between them.
Kamelot, Silverthorn (SPV/Steamhammer)
When Roy Khan left Kamelot in April 2011, popular speculation said that the band was dead and any future releases would be subpar at best. I was unsure of the band’s situation, to be sure, but I did not rest on such judgments, only because I remembered that the band had another vocalist before Khan, and that they could find someone of his caliber if they searched long enough. As it turned out, though, the replacement they chose was already a familiar face. Tommy Karevik of Seventh Wonder had filled in for Khan previously on the 2011 Pandemonium World Tour, so his transition into being a full-time member of the band was rather seamless. And if anyone doubted that Karevik could fill Khan’s shoes, just give Silverthorn one listen and you’ll be satisfied with the job he’s doing. The album also features impressive guest vocal performances from Alissa White-Gluz of The Agonist and Elize Ryd of Amaranthe, both of whom are first-time collaborators with the band. This will help Silverthorn distinguish itself very nicely from its three immediate predecessors in Kamelot’s discography, all of which had repeat guests.
Parkway Drive, Atlas (Epitaph)
After the overwhelmingly positive responses that Parkway Drive received for Deep Blue, topped off by a debut at #39 on the Billboard 200, it’s perfectly clear that this band can do almost anything with their sound and make it work well. Despite the surface-level similarities in both sound and appearance to most deathcore bands, Parkway Drive has proven over time that they are so much more than that. I still maintain that they have nigh-unlimited potential here in the States, and I’m hoping that eventually they are as well-received here as they are in their native Australia. Atlas is already receiving overwhelmingly positive reviews, and if that momentum is sustained throughout this week, then we could see Parkway Drive debuting in Billboard’s top 20 next week.
Thrice, Anthology (Workhorse)
The breakup of Thrice was disappointing to many, mostly because they always seemed to be a band that rose above the drama and hardship of life on the road to create a positive outcome. In a rock and metal scene when too few bands are able to have that kind of attitude, and fewer still are able to sustain it over the course of a long-term career, Thrice was a beacon of accomplishment for all to see. Their farewell tour that took place recently was the last chance anyone had to see them live, but if you missed out, you can still vicariously live out that last show that you wanted through this release. Containing a full live set recorded during various stops of the farewell tour, many of the band’s seminal classics, as well as some forgotten gems, are included in this collection.
Also being released this week:
Flyleaf, New Horizons (Octone)
Neurosis, Honor Found in Decay (Neurot)
Early Graves, Red Horse (No Sleep)
Angra, Best Reached Horizons (Steamhammer)
Whyzdom, Blind (Scarlet)
Atriarch, Ritual of Passing (Profound Lore)
Kill Ritual, The Serpentine Ritual (Scarlet)
Beyond Threshold, Who We Are (Goomba)
Wildestarr, A Tell Tale Heart (Scarlet)
I Am Heresy, I Am Heresy (Magic Bullet)
Next Week: A new album from one of the big names in Massachusetts metalcore leads off the list, along with a couple of greatest hits collections that should attract lots of fan attention. Hope you’re all back to normal and ready to rock next week!