This past week has been rough for the classic metal bands. Between final tour announcements and scary health conditions, the first generation of metal is not in the greatest shape. However, we can take heart in the fact that one of those first-generation bands still appears to be operating well and showing forward progress on all fronts. Hell, we might even get our second consecutive week with a metal album debuting at #1 on the charts, thanks to this band! Read on to see who’s in position to take the top spot, along with all the other new releases arriving today!
Iron Maiden, The Book of Souls (BMG)
Here are some numbers for you: 2000’s Brave New World debuted at #39, 2003’s Dance of Death at #18, 2006’s A Matter of Life and Death at #9, and 2010’s The Final Frontier at #4. Given the fact that each Maiden album in the last 15 years has eclipsed its predecessor in both chart position and sales figures, it’s not a big stretch to think that The Book of Souls will top the charts in its first week of release. This album is Iron Maiden’s longest to date, as well as the first double album of their career. It’s only fitting that the metal community adds another superlative to this album and makes it Maiden’s first #1 debut in the US.
Five Finger Death Punch, Got Your Six (Prospect Park)
Anyone that has ever said it’s not possible for metal to claim the top two spots on the charts in a single week obviously never saw this release week coming. Five Finger Death Punch are well-acquainted with single-digit chart positions – all of their releases except their debut album have debuted in the top 10, and both volumes of The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell claimed the #2 spot in their respective debut weeks. Here’s to hoping that, between Maiden and Death Punch, metal grabs those top two spots and shows the world just how powerful we are.
Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats, The Night Creeper (Rise Above)
Uncle Acid broke through nicely in the US with their third album Mind Control. Now they’re hoping to expand on their success with a concept album that starts off with their usual psychedelic fare and gradually morphs into something far more sinister. You’ll get to experience The Night Creeper live starting next week, as Uncle Acid heads out on tour with support from two Philadelphia-based groups, Ruby the Hatchet and Ecstatic Vision.
Amorphis, Under the Red Cloud (Nuclear Blast)
Amorphis was once an underground force only, big in Europe but lacking a serious following in the US. No longer is that the case, as they have toured relentlessly in North America in recent years and gathered an enormous following. Their unique style lends itself to an extremely varied audience, and it has allowed them to garner fans from all across the metal spectrum. Under the Red Cloud will serve to further their reach among fans of death, doom, progressive, and gothic metal.
Burn Halo, Wolves of War (eOne)
Burn Halo came out of the gate strong with 2009’s self-titled debut, but after the 2011 follow-up Up from the Ashes, the band encountered a lot of internal turmoil that kept them sidelined for the better part of two years. Wolves of War was further delayed when their old record label folded in 2014 and they had to find a new label to release the album. eOne answered the call, and now Burn Halo is looking to get their momentum back.
Ramming Speed, No Epitaphs (Prosthetic)
Crossover thrash group Ramming Speed has taken a somewhat circuitous route from the underground to a wider audience. After debuting in 2005 as Despotic Robot, the band spend almost eight years touring nonstop, releasing a variety of independent material along the way. It wasn’t until 2013 that they found a home on Prosthetic and started to really find their niche audience. No Epitaphs is their second release on Prosthetic and third full-length overall.
Black Tongue, The Unconquerable Dark (Century Media)
Black Tongue is probably best known for the incident of their inebriated singer walking out of their moving tour bus, but the UK-based group is looking to have a more positive image attached to them with the release of The Unconquerable Dark. Black Tongue combines deathcore, sludge, and doom into an eardrum-shattering cacophony that will floor unsuspecting listeners with its heaviness.
Once Human, The Life I Remember (earMusic)
Logan Mader’s days as a performer were long behind him, and his career as a producer was completely set. At least, that’s what everyone thought, until Monte Connor sent young prodigy Lauren Hart to Mader for a production contract. Mader apparently was hooked by Hart’s insane skills as a singer and a guitarist, and after finding young talents Damian Rainauld (bass) and Ralph Alexander (drums), Once Human was born. You can witness Mader’s return to the stage right now during their stint supporting Fear Factory’s headline tour.
Hammercult, Built for War (SPV/Steamhammer)
Hammercult first got noticed when they won the Metal Battle at Wacken Open Air in 2011. Two crushing neo-thrash albums later, the Israeli group earned themselves a deal with SPV and a chance to reach a much larger international audience. Charismatic frontman Yakir Shochat has stated in interviews that October marks five years since the band stepped into the rehearsal room for the first time. Getting as far as they have in just five years is merely a taste of what’s to come for this talented group.
Broken Flesh, Broken Flesh (Luxor)
Broken Flesh is a four-piece group from Oklahoma City that formed in 2004. The group plays extreme death metal, combined with Christian lyrics that are still incredibly fitting for death metal. Broken Flesh looks to fill the void left by the notable absence of bands like Impending Doom and Becoming the Archetype, for which new albums are pending but not expected soon.
Cruciamentum, Charnel Passages (Profound Lore)
Cruciamentum got started in the London underground in 2007, toiling for years to get their break through playing shows and releasing demos. Their big break came when they took part in Maryland Deathfest in 2013. Their old school death metal style attracted the attention of Profound Lore, and two years later, Cruciamentum are being introduced to the world through their debut full-length.