It’s always an exciting time when a band releases an album with a new instrumentalist. Fans are wondering what the new player will bring to the table and see just how they will impact the band’s sound. It can be more nerve-wracking with a new singer, though, because singers are usually under much greater scrutiny than anyone else in the band, particularly a brand-new singer with the potential to change the face of the band entirely. So we find one of the biggest power metal groups in the world today, releasing a new album with a new singer, and making themselves ready for either accolades or criticisms of this new singer. It is an anxious period, and only time will reveal if success or failure will be the legacy of their new lineup.
Putting aside the tension of that for a moment, though, we have some other new albums coming out today, and most of them are from young groups deserving your attention. So after you get past the first album on the list, remember to check out the rest too!
Dragonforce, The Power Within (Roadrunner)
When it was announced that Dragonforce had parted ways with longtime vocalist ZP Theart, I immediately figured that the band was done. While it is true that the guitar work of Sam Totman and Herman Li are the defining characteristic of Dragonforce, it was Theart’s vocals that truly held each song together. New singer Mark Hudson has some big shoes to fill, to be sure. Early reviews of the album suggest, though, that the addition of Hudson has brought changes to the band’s sound outside of the vocal arena, too. Many reviewers have expressed pleasant surprise at hearing Dragonforce play slower songs with more traditional power metal structures, rather than just ripping through guitar solos with the highest possible BPM number. The only conclusion to draw here is that we’re about to witness the birth of a brand new Dragonforce. While some may scoff at that very notion, it may prove to be one of the most welcome shocks that the metal world receives this year.
Primal Rock Rebellion, Awoken Broken (Spinefarm)
Supergroups usually tend to comprise musicians that are from the same era of music, and if not the same era, then the same genre at the very least. It’s rare to find musicians from different scenes with a very wide difference in age and experience coming together to make music. That’s one of the things that makes Primal Rock Rebellion so special. This unlikely collaboration brings together Mikee Goodman, co-vocalist of the now-defunct SikTh, and the legendary Iron Maiden guitarist Adrian Smith, blending the styles of their two bands to create something entirely new and different. Goodman performs lead vocals on Awoken Broken, while Smith handles backing vocals, guitar, and bass handily. Session drums were done by SikTh/Haarp drummer Dan Foord. On Awoken Broken, listeners will hear a very unique mix of classic heavy metal with modern progressive and alternative metal. It truly has to be heard to be believed. If you are a fan of either Iron Maiden or SikTh, or if you have an appreciation for genre-blending pairings, then this album is definitely meant for you!
Also being released this week:
ÆGES, The Bridge (The Mylene Sheath)
Hydrogyn, Private Sessions (Rapid Fire)
Code Orange Kids / Full of Hell, Split (Topshelf)
In for the Kill, This is the Sweetest Kind of Lie…You Are the Deadliest Surprise (S6)
Next Week: It is a week filled with crossover genres, as doom metal, hardcore, and prog all make great showings on a list packed with talent. Come on back in a week and see what’s in store!