It’s been a week full of excitement here at Metal Insider. We’ve gotten to hear a new song from Mastodon and a new song from Opeth on the same day, and we managed to fit in a rousing debate on the two as well. On top of that, we also got the cover art and track listing for Machine Head’s new album. With such excitement for these upcoming September releases, it’s easy to forget that August has a plethora of exciting new music in store for us. As one of four months this year with five Tuesdays on the calendar, August gives us more new releases than nearly every other month in 2011.
This first week of the month is a quiet beginning, but it sets the standard for the weeks to come. With a few big name artists topping the list, and a lot of newer or less well-known groups following them, this new release week has something for every metal fan to be excited about, even if they don’t know it. Explore this list and get ready for a month of headbanging goodness!
Bury Your Dead, Mosh ‘N’ Roll (Mediaskare)
After two fairly polarizing albums with vocalist Myke Terry, who left the band in January to pursue a solo career, Bury Your Dead’s original vocalist Mat Bruso has returned to the fold for Mosh ‘N’ Roll. Returning with Bruso is the band’s use of themed titles for all the songs on an album. For this album, the unifying theme for the tracks (except the title track) is the work of Kurt Vonnegut. I’m not sure if the title track is a re-recorded version of a track by the same name from the group’s debut You Had Me at Hello, but regardless of that, the reunification of Bury Your Dead with Bruso should bring many fans back to the group.
Dir En Grey, Dum Spiro Spero (The End)
Dir En Grey’s last album, Uroboros, was their biggest commercial success in the US thus far, giving the Japanese group their first appearance on the Billboard 200 chart and peaking at #114. Their sound has a wide range of appeal, and they’ve benefited a great deal from positive reviews in many noted publications. And even though the group is not as popular here as they are in their native Japan, Dum Spiro Spero has a good chance of exceeding the success of its predecessor, thanks to a recent co-headlining tour with Apocalyptica and an upcoming tour with The Birthday Massacre in December. It would be great to see a group from Japan do well with new music, after the vicious earthquake that shook the country in March (the subject of a recent open letter from the band).
Pestilence, Doctrine (Mascot)
The veteran Dutch death metal squad reformed in 2008 after 14 years apart, with vocalist/guitarist Patrick Mameli bringing back fellow axeman Patrick Uterwijk and legendary bassist Tony Choy from past lineups, while also adding drum wizard Peter Wildoer of Darkane to the fold. The result was 2009’s Resurrection Macabre, a critical success that was widely praised by both fans and reviewers alike. Since then, Choy has been replaced by ex-Obscura bassist Jeroen Paul Thesseling, while Wildoer’s spot has been filled by relatively unknown drummer Yuma Van Eekelen. That does indicate that one thing hasn’t changed about Pestilence – their lineup can sometimes be a revolving door. Still, it’s nice to know that the group is staying active for more than just one post-reunion album.
Nekromantix, What Happens in Hell, Stays in Hell (Hellcat)
Horror-influenced bands were once a specialized sect of rock and metal, but those days are long over. Now, horror punk, horror pop, psychobilly, and other horror-focused genres are a mainstay of heavy music. The Danish psychobilly group Nekromantix have endured through all of this, having existed for over two decades. What Happens in Hell, Stays in Hell is the group’s eighth album and their fourth for Hellcat Records. This is also a recovery album for the band, after the death of drummer Andy DeMize in a car accident in 2009. This album, combined with their current North American tour, should keep the band on their successful path.
Also being released this week:
Malefice, Awaken the Tides (Metal Blade)
Unkind, Harhakuvat (Relapse)
Battlecross, Pursuit of Honor (Metal Blade)
Sovereign Strength, Prophecy (Mediaskare)
Powerwolf, Blood of the Saints (Metal Blade)
Harvest, Years of Defiance. Years of Disgust. (Good Fight)
Bitch, Be My Slave (Metal Blade)
Immersed, In the Ire of Creation (Unique Leader)
Flourishing, The Sum of All Fossils (Megaforce)
Last Winter, The Heart & the Broken Compass (Lifeforce)
Excruciator, Devouring (Heavy Artillery)
Aurvandil, Yearning (Eisenton)
Next Week: We’re short on albums, but long on talent, with one of the biggest names in metalcore, the next big thing in death metal, and stalwart veterans of post-hardcore leading our next list! August is just heating up!