This is a challenging week for rock and metal fans, as there is an album coming out today with the potential to grab the #1 spot on the charts. But will this album have enough support to prevent the evil queen of nausea-inspiring stage performances (a.k.a. Miley Cyrus) from claiming the top ranking? Only you have the power to decide that. Let’s take a look at the list and see what’s in store for us!
Korn, The Paradigm Shift (Caroline/Prospect Park)
After an eight-year absence from the band, original guitarist Brian “Head” Welch returned to Korn and helped to create this album. Reviews are already calling it the best Korn album since 1998’s Follow the Leader, but will it live up to the nigh-untouchable reputation that the older album has earned? Only the fans can decide. Speaking of the fans, the die-harders of Korn’s fanbase can pick up the deluxe edition for bonus tracks and a DVD feature. You’ll have to wait six weeks if you want the super deluxe edition and all of its extras, though.
Alter Bridge, Fortress (Alter Bridge/EMI)
If the response to lead single “Addicted to Pain” is any indication of how Fortress will be received by fans, then Alter Bridge could be in for the biggest album of their career so far. This album has a rare treat in the form of the song “Waters Rising”, with Mark Tremonti providing lead vocals and Myles Kennedy backing him up in a piece of role reversal.
Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington, High Rise EP (Play Pen)
If you have been unable to experience STP’s live show with Bennington singing up until now, then this is your perfect opportunity to find out how the Linkin Park frontman sounds filling Scott Weiland’s shoes. The EP features their hit single “Out of Time”, the recently-released “Black Heart”, and three other new tracks.
Running Wild, Resilient (SPV/Steamhammer)
Back for more on their 15th full-length album, German pirates Running Wild are still pushing it to the limit, even with 37 years of metal under their belts. Resilient is their second album to follow their two-year hiatus, and it’s being compared in many ways to the 1992 fan favorite Pile of Skulls. No matter what era of the band you know and love, Resilient is worth your attention.
Earthless, From the Ages (Tee Pee)
Earthless is a stoner/psychedelic rock act from San Diego. Taking a trick out of the YOB playbook, Earthless manages to fit over an hour’s worth of music into just four tracks on this, their third album. Fans of the aforementioned YOB will find a lot to like here, as will listeners of Dead Meadow, Om, and other bands that love to stretch out their crushing riffs for as long as possible.
Arven, Black is the Colour (Massacre)
The brainchild of guitarist and songwriter Anastasia Schmidt, Arven is a symphonic power metal sextet from Germany that mixes folk elements and classical melodies to create a unique showcase of genre blending. Blending the best parts of Blind Guardian, Eluveitie, and Epica into one style, Arven has more maturity and innovation in their sound than most bands with twice as much experience.
The Answer, New Horizon (Napalm)
If you caught AC/DC’s Black Ice tour in 2008 or 2009, then you probably experienced these guys, as they were among the opening acts for the entirety of the world tour. Unsurprisingly, their music bears a lot of similarities to AC/DC, along with other classic rock-inspired groups like Airbourne.
Degradead, The Monster Within (Metalville)
Since their inception in 2008, Degradead has been remarkably consistent in putting out new material within two years of their previous release. The Monster Within, the group’s fourth album, was recorded at The Panic Room Studios with Thomas ‘Plec’ Johansson, known for his work with bands like Scar Symmetry and Tiamat.
Next Week: Two bands with sterling reputations for great thrash, one old and one not so old, present us with new material. Come back and find out what’s on tap next week!