As many of you know, the whole country was rocked this week by Mother Nature. Earthquakes in Colorado and Virginia, as well as the devastation of Hurricane Irene along the East Coast, have left many metalheads in dire circumstances. Here at Metal Insider headquarters, we were shaken by the VA earthquake and rocked by Irene. We send out our best thoughts and wishes to all of our readers working through these disasters, and hope that you and your loved ones are safe in these troubling times.

Metal bands around the country have been doing their best to keep the metal community safe and unified in these crises (best example: read Lamb of God singer D. Randall Blythe’s Twitter feed from the weekend). Such actions have shown the best of our favorite performers, and we owe it to them to show them our best in return. Whether it’s reaching out in your community to help those in need, or donating to a charity like the Red Cross, we urge you to give of yourself this week and assist those affected by natural disasters. We are all capable of helping others, and in this case, it’s just the right thing to do.

Now then, on to the reason we’re all here – this week’s new releases! Here is the list for your perusal:

Kittie, I’ve Failed You (eOne)

Kittie has always straddled the line between nu metal and metalcore, and nothing has evidenced that more than their touring schedule for the past two years. Very few bands can go from playing the Happy Daze Tour with ICP and Kottonmouth Kings to playing the Thrash and Burn Tour with Born of Osiris, Impending Doom, Evergreen Terrace, and more. The fact that Kittie pulled that off last year still baffles me, but I’m glad that they were able to do it. The all-female group has struggled on the second tier of metal bands for fifteen years, trying to reach a larger portion of the mainstream metal audience. I’d like to see them achieve a big breakout, and I’ve Failed You seems like the best chance for that to happen. The band’s lineup has stabilized and they’ve stuck with their contract at eOne Music, both of which should have sisters Morgan and Mercedes Lander feeling good about the future for the band they created in 1996.

Stray from the Path, Rising Sun (Sumerian)

This is a big week for young bands from Long Island, with a good number of groups debuting new albums today. Stray from the Path has made the most progress in terms of pre-release promotion, via their recent tour with Underoath and Times of Grace. Rising Sun is the group’s third album for Sumerian Records, and they are quickly becoming one of the label’s most prominent acts. The group certainly started out their career strong, with their 2003 album Audio Prozac being recorded by Suffocation guitarist Terrance Hobbs and renowned engineer Joe Cincotta. And although they’ve come a long way from those days, Stray from the Path is still holding to a DIY ethic and moving ahead on their own terms.

Hackneyed, Carnival Cadavre (Lifeforce)

Speaking of young bands, Hackneyed is well on their way to becoming the newest young sensation from Germany. Having signed with Nuclear Blast when the average age of the band’s members was just sixteen, the group has played a number of high profile festivals such as Wacken, Metal Camp, and Summer Breeze since their signing. After two albums with the label, the young group has moved over to Lifeforce Records, just in time for their most ambitious album yet. Carnival Cadavre is just as vicious and macabre as its gruesome cover artwork suggests, and the semi-humorous song titles belie the intensity of the music within. Hackneyed is a band worth watching, as they may become the new big thing in metal in just a few years’ time.


Pentagram, When the Screams Come (Metal Blade)

We got to celebrate the return of Pentagram to active status back in April, with the release of the band’s seventh album, Last Rites. As I said then, it’s better for doom metal to have Pentagram active at all times. Now, newer fans will get to see why I make that statement, with the release of this new DVD from the veteran squad. When the Screams Come, named for a song from the group’s second album Day of Reckoning, is actually the first official DVD release for the group. It was well worth the wait, though, as the DVD track listing features twelve choice slabs of Pentagram’s crushingly heavy doom metal, all performed live at the 2010 edition of Maryland Deathfest. This date was during the first series of shows to feature the reunion of vocalist Bobby Liebling and guitarist Victor Griffin, and it is certainly a welcome sight to see those two sharing a stage once again.


Also being released this week:

Century, Red Giant (Prosthetic)

BulletBoys, Rocked & Ripped (Cleopatra)

The World We Knew, Death Dealer (Blkheart Group)

Eat the Gun, Runner (Metalville)

Stand Your Ground, Despondanseas (Mediaskare)

Sarah Jezebel Deva, The Corruption of Mercy (Listenable)

Nocturnal Fear, Excessive Cruelty (Moribund)

Pro-Pain, 20 Years of Hardcore (AFM)

xTyrantx, Extinction (Eulogy)


Next Week: We take a moment to pause and reflect, in preparation for an absolutely monstrous fall release season. One might say it’s “the deep breath before the plunge”. Get ready, everyone!