Comeback albums are always difficult to write, no matter what situation a band is coming back from. But when that situation is the death of a band member, it is almost impossible. Metallica and Avenged Sevenfold have done it, Slipknot is attempting to do it (maybe), and countless other bands have never made it that far. When it does happen, though, the entire metal community rejoices, both at a band surviving such a tragedy and the ability to pay tribute to a fallen friend.
For a long time, it seemed that Decapitated would not return to music. The 2007 car accident that killed drummer Witold “Vitek” Kieltyka and left vocalist Adrian “Coven” Kowanek in a coma left the band in a state of disbandment. Vitek’s brother Waclaw “Vogg” Kieltyka, who is the lead guitarist and principle songwriter for Decapitated, took two years to revive the band, with an all-new lineup and a desire to pay tribute to Vitek’s memory. Now, the day has finally come that new Decapitated is upon us. We celebrate the Polish death metal crew, both for their triumphant return and for the incredible music we were fortunate to receive from Vitek, as their new album leads today’s column.
Decapitated, Carnival is Forever (Nuclear Blast)
There are so many things to like about this album. Enjoying the music is obvious – I’m in pretty solid agreement with the views of our Metal Sucks brethren. There is also the intriguing message within the album title and the unsettling album art. The interesting production techniques that went into the album add a lot of new dimensions to the sound. But the thing I like most about Carnival is Forever is the fact that Vitek’s music lives on in this album, literally. Of the eight songs on the album, Vitek is in the writing credits for five of them. The fact that Vogg put Vitek’s music into this album acts as a subtle reminder of just how immensely talented the drummer was.
Sepultura, Kairos (Nuclear Blast)
Sepultura have essentially become the Symphony X of thrash metal in recent years. Their last three albums have been concept albums, two of which covered great literary works. 2006’s Dante XXI was based on Dante’s The Divine Comedy, while 2009’s A-Lex centered on the 1962 book A Clockwork Orange. According to guitarist Andreas Kisser, Kairos is a conceptual piece about time and the affect of different choices on the course of time. There is also a special focus on the band’s 26-year history and various events that affected the band’s course. One has to wonder if references to certain lineup changes will be included within the album, though.
Suicide Silence, The Black Crown (Century Media)
For a long time, it seemed like 2009’s No Time to Bleed would never go away. When all was said and done, the album was released in six different editions, and given how rabid many of Suicide Silence’s fans are, somewhere there were people that bought all of them. How would the band top such a massive release? The Black Crown promises to top its predecessors for three reasons. One, the band has an excellent launching point for the album via their second appearance on the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. Two, a pair of high-powered guest vocalists, in the form of Korn’s Jonathan Davis and Suffocation’s Frank Mullen, lend their talents to a pair of tracks. Three, the spectacle of where the band will land after this album is sure to attract attention, as vocalist Mitch Lucker has already confirmed that the band will be departing Century Media after The Black Crown.
Iced Earth, Festivals of the Wicked (Century Media)
This is a special DVD release for Iced Earth because it is the first release to feature live footage of the band from after 2000. It is also a special release because of the performances it contains. First is Iced Earth’s showing at the 2007 Wacken Open Air Festival, with Tim “Ripper” Owens on lead vocals. Second is their show at 2008’s Rock Hard Festival in Germany, where vocalist Matt Barlow made his long-awaited return to the band. Finally, there is the band’s performance at Slovenia’s Metalcamp in 2008, also with Barlow singing. It’s an examination of different periods in Iced Earth’s history and a celebration of their long history as stalwarts in the metal world.
Megadeth, Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying? 25th Anniversary Edition (Capitol)
1986 was one of the greatest years in metal history. In one year, we got Master of Puppets, Reign in Blood, Somewhere in Time, Orgasmatron, Pleasure to Kill, Obsessed by Cruelty, Darkness Descends, and of course, the mighty Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying? by Megadeth. 2011 marks the 25th anniversary of these amazing albums, and Megadeth is the first to capitalize with an anniversary release. The first disc of the standard anniversary edition contains remastered audio of the original album, while the second disc has previously unreleased live audio from a 1987 concert. For the die-hard Megadeth fan, there is the gargantuan 5CD+3LP version, adding the original album mixes, the 2004 remixed and remastered version of the album, and the ultra-rare Randy Burns mixes of the album. This is an incredibly special release celebrating one of the best thrash albums in history. Oh and by the way, we at Metal Insider are giving you the chance to win a copy of the deluxe 5CD+3LP version! How kind of us.
Also being released this week:
Tesla, Twisted Wires (Tesla Electric/Ryko)
Fair to Midland, Arrows & Anchors (eOne)
Rhapsody of Fire, From Chaos to Eternity (Nuclear Blast)
Earth Crisis, Neutralize the Threat (Century Media)
Lock Up, Necropolis Transplant (Nuclear Blast)
SSS, Problems to the Answer (Earache)
Cannabis Corpse, Beneath Grow Lights Thou Shalt Rise (Tank Crimes)
Sleeping Giant, Kingdom Days in an Evil Age (Ain’t No Grave)
MaYan, Quarterpast (Nuclear Blast)
The Great Commission, Heavy Worship (Ain’t No Grave)
Disarmonia Mundi, Mind Tricks [Extended Edition] (Scarlet)
Atrophy, Baring Teeth (Willowtip)
Coliseum/Burning Love, Live at the Atlantic (Tee Pee)
Icon in Me, Head Break Solution (Goomba)
Deceased, Surreal Overdose (Patac)
Blood Stain Child, Epsilon (Scarlet)
Sol Invictus, The Cruellest Month (Prophecy)
Next Week: After this week’s big name list, next week takes us back to the land of the up-and-coming. Plenty of new and aspiring young bands can be found in our next edition, so get ready for the next big names in metal!