Some artists require no introduction. Their music is just good enough on its own to explain itself. With three such artists at the top of today’s list, I see no need to bore you with incessant diatribes about their unique brands of excellence. Just read the list, and then go straight to the links for those albums and buy them. I recommend that for all albums on the list, but these three in particular deserve such action.
Between the Buried and Me, The Parallax II: Future Sequence (Metal Blade)
It’s been a year and a half since The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues came out. Yes, you read that right. Not half a year, but a year and a half. If it seems like it’s been far less time to you, don’t worry – you’re not the only one that feels this way, I guarantee it. The initial EP was released as a way to keep the band’s name active in the public mind, following their signing with Metal Blade Records. This follow-up is a full-length album that completes the concept that the EP began. Given the overwhelmingly positive response that the group received on this year’s Summer Slaughter tour, which they co-headlined with Cannibal Corpse, it seems obvious that Future Sequence will see incredible sales numbers in the US. The group is taking their work to Japan and Australia next month, so international sales should also be impressive.
Converge, All We Love We Leave Behind (Epitaph)
Converge is a band that is tends to be either captivating or intolerable for listeners, and that judgment often occurs at one of two points. Those that are entranced come to that point upon hearing Kurt Ballou’s ingenious compositions, which remain among the best in all of American metal over two decades after the band’s formation. Meanwhile, those that are turned off often reach that conclusion due to Jacob Bannon’s vocals, which are even more distorted, visceral, and skull-rending than most other singers in technical metal these days. However, since 2009’s Axe to Fall, I’ve observed more people showing approval for Converge than not. Popular belief is that All We Love We Leave Behind will hold true to that pattern, and for the sake of the band’s continued rise in popularity, I hope that it does become reality.
Enslaved, Riitiir (Nuclear Blast)
Since their 2008 release Vertebrae, Enslaved has experienced a meteoric rise in popularity. Despite the fact that the band has shown progressive tendencies since 1997’s Eld, it only was noticed fully eleven years later. That was when they were fully appreciated as a progressive black metal band that didn’t rely on flashy, polished production to get attention, preferring to instead just compose fantastic music. Vertebrae is now a milestone album in Enslaved’s career, cementing the band’s status as the definitive progressive black metal, while also giving them near-permanent recognition with US metal fans. Riitiir already has these fans ecstatic, both for the new material and the prospect of a new tour. With high enough sales numbers, such a tour could become a headlining slot, which would be a fantastic boon for the band in terms of spreading their popularity and becoming bigger worldwide.
Nonpoint, Nonpoint (Razor & Tie)
Experiencing another lineup shift late last year, Nonpoint lost guitarist Zack Broadrick and founding bassist Ken “KB” MacMillan, marking only the second time in their 15-year career that a member change has occurred. Undeterred, the band continued on, expanding to a five-piece lineup for their seventh studio album. This self-titled release was produced by Johnny K, who also produced the most recent releases from contemporaries Sevendust and Staind. Already known as one of the best live acts in the hard rock and metal scene, Nonpoint will surely engage in plenty of touring to support this album, so expect a major tour announcement to come soon from the Florida veterans.
Sylosis, Monolith (Nuclear Blast)
I’m not sure what it is exactly that has caused such a whirlwind of popularity to rise around Sylosis, although many have stated that the band’s incredible guitar work is the primary impetus. Regardless, though, I give major credit to the young group of Brits for their mature acceptance of the fan’s accolades, and I hope they continue to rise in fame over time. Their third album Monolith is sure to give thrash fans plenty to gush about, and if you want to join on the gushing, head over to MetalSucks because our buddies have been streaming the entire album since last week. What’s even better, though, is that Sylosis will be opening up for Lamb of God’s fall headlining tour, meaning that you have plenty of reason to show up early to the show! How awesome is that?
Also being released this week:
The Birthday Massacre, Hide and Seek (Metropolis)
The Acacia Strain, Death is the Only Mortal (Rise)
The 69 Eyes, X (Nuclear Blast)
Blut Aus Nord, 777- Cosmosophy (Season of Mist)
Malignancy, Eugenics (Willowtip)
Daylight Dies, A Frail Becoming (Candlelight)
Inhale Exhale, Movement (Red Cord)
Texas in July, Texas in July (Equal Vision)
Weapon, Embers & Revelations (Relapse)
Behexen, Nightside Emanations (Season of Mist)
Onward to Olympas, Indicator (Facedown)
Downfall of Gaia, Suffocating in the Swarm of Cranes (Metal Blade)
Seven Kingdoms, The Fire is Mine (Nightmare)
Defiler, Nematocera (Razor & Tie)
Undercroft, Ruins of Gomorrah (Season of Mist)
Arkaik, Metamorphignition (Unique Leader)
Eryn Non Dae, Meliora (M&O)
Obsession, Order of Chaos (Inner Wound)
Motörhead, The Wörld is Ours – Vol. 2: Anyplace Crazy as Anywhere Else (Motörhead Music)
Next Week: The best cartoon in history strikes again with their third release of crazy metal! And that’s just the tip of the new release iceberg! Come back to see what else is in store!