This week, prog music takes the forefront with a few big name releases, the most significant of which is a new EP from the young leaders of the djent craze. Check out the new stuff as January draws to a close, and prepare for the release calendar to start fattening itself up very quickly!
Periphery, Clear EP (Sumerian)
Expectations are high for Periphery’s upcoming third album, Juggernaut, which is slated for a release later this year. However, to tide fans over until that album is done, the band is releasing this new EP. The model for this EP is quite unique – the opening track “Overture” serves as a main theme, with each of the subsequent tracks being written entirely by a different member of the band and drawing off that theme. In addition to providing us with new Periphery for the time being, this EP should also serve as an intriguing look into the different writing styles of each band member.
Metallica Through the Never DVD/Blu Ray (Blackened)
While it might not have made a killing at the box office, this film is a must-see for all in the Metallica family. Aside from the “roadie roaming around post-apocalyptic Canada” scenes, this is first and foremost a Metallica show, with plenty of bells, whistles, lasers and burning roadies. It’s definitely one of the best-shot concert films in a while, even if you’re not watching it in 3D. Think of it as a visual “Metallica’s Greatest Hits” album, and you’re on the right track.
Red Dragon Cartel, Red Dragon Cartel (Frontiers)
Red Dragon Cartel is the new band of former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Jake E. Lee, who succeeded Randy Rhoads and played on both Bark at the Moon and The Ultimate Sin. Lee, who had been in seclusion for well over a decade, formed a new band with former members of Warmachine, Beggars & Thieves, and Black Betty. If you’re a fan of Lee personally or just enjoy some good hard rock with an old-school edge to it, this is worth your consideration. The lead single “Deceived” is already making waves.
Of Mice & Men, Restoring Force (Rise)
The band that Austin Carlile started after leaving Attack Attack! made a big impression in their early stages. 2011’s The Flood peaked at #28 on the Billboard 200, leaving big shoes to fill for the young group. Of Mice & Men will also be breaking in a new lineup with this release, with bassist/vocalist Shayley Bourget having been replaced by Aaron Pauley in 2012.
Primal Fear, Delivering the Black (Frontiers)
German power metal group Primal Fear finally began seeing mainstream success with 2012’s Unbreakable, an album that charted well in seven different countries, and even managed to show up on the Billboard Heatseekers chart at #44. Delivering the Black is the group’s tenth studio album, and the band hopes that it will also be the album that helps Primal Fear reach the same heights as their countrymen in Blind Guardian. An ambitious album on all fronts, any power metal or power-prog fan ought to give this one a shot.
Transatlantic, Kaleidoscope (Metal Blade)
The prog rock supergroup – featuring Mike Portnoy, Roine Stolt, Pete Trewavas, and Neal Morse – is releasing their fourth album less than a year after most of the band was on a European tour together as part of their various main projects. It’s fair to guess that a lot of the material on this new album came about during that touring period. The album features two “epics” and three songs of more standard length, which is par for the course with Transatlantic. Fans wanting the bonus edition will get a second disc featuring eight covers, as well as a DVD documentary.
Next Week: A pair of new releases from Europe dominate the list, along with some other big names from the US. Prepare for a big week coming up!