New & Noteworthy, August 9th – Ember to Inferno

Posted by on August 9, 2011

Time has proven that young metal bands that hit their stride in the early to mid-2000s have had the most success since bands reaching similar levels in the early ’80s. More household metal names emerged between 2002 and 2006 than at any other time in the past two decades. The eruption of talent from those years can be attributed to many factors, but the most important point to note is that most of the bands from that period have shown that they have staying power, a characteristic that metal bands from years before and years after have lacked. It is the bands from those years that have led the revival of metal in the public perception and made the genre competitive with more mainstream styles, and no matter how much hate is lobbed at the popular metal bands from underground purists, we all owe the successful bands some measure of thanks for what they’ve done for our beloved genre.

Today’s list is headlined by one such band that has received both mass adulation and mass criticism. From their breakout days as an innovative thrash-metalcore hybrid, to their current status as hardened veterans, the boys in Trivium have known great success, while also receiving their fair share of negativity from those that dislike the band’s crossover style and accessibility. I give plenty of credit to Matt Heafy, who is only months older than me, for having survived in the cutthroat metal industry from such a young age to where he is now. It takes a very special musician to achieve success and not get lost in it while growing up on the road. Heafy’s resilience is one of the biggest reasons why Trivium is as big as they are today.

Trivium, In Waves (Roadrunner)

Most critics are calling this album a return to the sound of the band’s critically-acclaimed Roadrunner debut Ascendancy, which will be greatly appreciated by the band’s longtime fans. The band has debuted several songs from the new album alongside classics from Ascendancy on their current run on the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, and the new songs have received good responses. Positive radio debuts have also generated a lot of buzz about In Waves, and while there will be some that criticize the seeming backwards movement of their sound, this new album is sure to receive many more accolades from those who have waited longingly for an album bearing the roots of Ascendancy.

Fleshgod Apocalypse, Agony (Nuclear Blast)

This Italian death metal group has been on a meteoric rise to fame since their founding in 2007. European tours with some of the biggest names in metal, including Behemoth, Dying Fetus, Suffocation, and Napalm Death, created plenty of exposure for the talented young group. Signing with Willowtip Records for their debut full-length, Oracles, Fleshgod Apocalypse was already a force to be reckoned with very early on. Their signing with Nuclear Blast this past May ensured long-term success, given the label’s history of loyalty to its younger bands. To top it all off, the band has the perfect launching platform for Agony, with their spot on the Summer Slaughter Tour supporting groups like Whitechapel and The Black Dahlia Murder.

Eyes Set to Kill, White Lotus (Forsee/Maphia)

The metalcore/post-hardcore group from Tempe, AZ has dealt with tumultuous times since the release of their breakthrough debut album Reach in 2008. They’ve attracted a great amount of fans across multiple genres and scenes, but they’ve also been plagued by personal, internal, and industry-related struggles in that time. The band’s lineup has lacked consistency in the past four years (although admittedly not as bad as in the band’s formative years), and label politics led Eyes Set to Kill to part company with BreakSilence Records earlier this summer. White Lotus is their first effort on Forsee Records, a new imprint created and owned by the group, in conjunction with Maphia Entertainment. This will also be the first recorded material to feature lead vocalist Cisko Miranda, who has earned nearly unanimous approval from the band’s fans since joining last year.

Black Sabbath 180-gram Vinyl Editions (Rhino)

Last year, we got high-quality vinyl re-issues of the first three Black Sabbath albums. Keeping up the pattern, today we get Volume 4 and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath re-released with the same treatment. Both records are must-have items for vinyl collectors and veteran Sabbath fans that regularly listen on vinyl. And don’t worry, because the pattern of three will remain intact. The vinyl edition of Sabotage is scheduled for release on the first week of September, and with any luck, next year we’ll see 180-gram pressings of Technical Ecstasy, Never Say Die!, and Heaven and Hell.

Also being released this week:

Arsis, A Celebration of Guilt [Reissue] (Willowtip)

Diamond Plate, Generation Why? (Earache)

Michael Schenker Group, By Invitation Only (Store for Music)

Karmakanic, In a Perfect World (Inside Out)

Vale of Pnath, The Prodigal Empire (Willowtip)

Counterpunch, Dying to Exonerate the World (Go Kart)

Distorted Memory, Swallowing the Sun (Cop International)

Newbreed, Newbreed (Metal Mind)


Next Week: A slew of high-profile new releases give us plenty to be excited about! We’re entering into the heart of August, and there’s even more greatness to come after that!

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