The beginning of summer 2010 is also the beginning of what will likely be twelve weeks of being broke for metal enthusiasts. There are big-name albums coming out almost every week this summer. Here’s just a few of the prominent artists with new releases on the horizon: Candlemass, Parkway Drive, How to Destroy Angels, Hellyeah, Korn, Soilwork, The Acacia Strain, Chimaira, Ill Niño, Avenged Sevenfold, Comeback Kid, Black Label Society, Iron Maiden, Helmet, Kataklysm, Stone Sour, Accept, and Death Angel. If this isn’t a huge summer for metal, I don’t know what is!
This week features the long-anticipated return of everyone’s favorite ex-Misfit, the hotly-debated new album from the Prince of Darkness, and plenty of other great new music. Read on to see what’s on the calendar!
Danzig, Deth Red Sabaoth (Evilive/The End)
Six years after Circle of Snakes, Danzig’s solo project has essentially turned into a supergroup, featuring guitarist Tommy Victor (Prong), drummer Johnny Kelly (Type O Negative, Seventh Void), and bassist Steve Zing (Samhain). Danzig reportedly went for a more “old-school” approach with the recordings, and it seems to have paid off, with the high scores he’s received thus far. This is an album that definitely merits a look from everyone.
Ozzy Osbourne, Scream (Epic)
Is this the end for Ozzy? No one is really sure, not even Ozzy, because let’s face it, that man probably isn’t sure of very much these days. But we can all be sure of this – the biggest reason to check out this album is not the 61-year-old singer, but rather Gus G., the 29-year-old guitarist taking the place of Zakk Wylde. Anyone familiar with his main band, Firewind, should know that he is easily one of the best guitarists in the world right now, and anyone not familiar with Firewind should acquaint themselves to see what this young Greek prodigy can do. While his skills are probably reigned in slightly on Scream, Gus G. will likely be the best thing about this album, and his incredible playing will raise the overall quality of the rest of the album.
Vince Neil, Tattoos & Tequila (Eleven Seven)
The Mötley Crüe frontman’s new solo album only contains two original new songs. The rest are covers of ’70s rock songs as performed by Neil and his backing musicians. The backing band is all new names this time, featuring Jeff “Blando” Bland and Dana Strum of Slaughter in the ranks. The song selection from this album isn’t anything to write home about, but if you’re a fan of Neil or the Crüe, this album should interest you somewhat.
Primal Fear, Live in the USA (Frontiers)
This live album is from the band’s 2009 tour to support their 2009 release, 16.6 (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead). It’s the eleventh album of recorded material in Primal Fear’s thirteen-year career, which in itself is quite impressive. Additionally, it can be purchased as a special edition with the band’s new DVD, 16.6 – Live Around the World. The DVD has plenty of video from the band’s live excursions during all of last year. Good value for a highly underrated power metal band.
Coliseum, House With a Curse (Temporary Residence)
Coliseum is a hardcore band that almost has too much cross-genre appeal. Any hardcore band that can do splits with Baroness, High on Fire, and Doomriders is either expanding their sound very well or playing hardcore very incorrectly. Either way, though, the band has gained a rabid following that have been clamoring to get this album for almost three years. Count on House With a Curse to be unpredictable, diverse, and brutal.
Sister Sin, True Sound of the Underground (Victory)
I mistakenly included this album in New & Noteworthy two weeks ago, so my apologies for the mistake. Hopefully all of you knew I had the wrong release date before going to the stores searching for this album. In any case, I stand by what I said two weeks ago. Sister Sin is probably the only new band with a female singer among the revival of traditional heavy metal. Fans of Doro Pesch (or her old band Warlock) will love Sister Sin, and anyone else looking for a good dose of the glory days should check out this album.
This or the Apocalypse, Haunt What’s Left (Good Fight)
Haunt What’s Left was co-produced by Lamb of God drummer Chris Adler, so you can bet that the drumming on this album will be impeccable. The band’s debut, Monuments, was fairly impressive, although it had its moments of chaos and confusion. With the production talents of Adler and Josh Wilbur, it’s a fair bet that This or the Apocalypse have tightened up on this new album and will have more consistency.
Dir En Grey, Uroboros – With the Proof in the Name of Living… – At Nippon Budokan (The End)
The new live CD from the Japanese group hit digital retailers back on May 25th, but those looking for a physical copy can get it this week for the first time. It contains the full live performance of the band’s most recent album at the famous Nippon Budokan arena in Tokyo. It’s more of a collector’s item than anything else, but fans of the band might still want to give it a listen.
Enemy of the Sun, Caedium (The End)
If you’ve never heard of Enemy of the Sun, they’re definitely an interesting band to listen to. Their progressive thrash style with other elements blended into the sound is unquestionably an acquired taste, but if you can get into it, you’ll love them because there are very few bands that sound even remotely similar. Their debut album Shadows showed a lot of potential when it came out in 2007, and Caedium looks to pick up right where it left off.
Grave Maker, Ghosts Among Men (Victory)
The Vancouver-based hardcore outfit is one of Victory’s newest signings, and they’re looking to start strong by releasing a new album immediately, along with their upcoming tour with Terror. I have to say, though, that the artwork for Ghosts Among Men is pretty amusing, and those unfamiliar with the band might mistake them for some sort of viking metal parody group. Have a look here if you don’t believe me, but as the old saying goes, don’t judge an album by its artwork. This is pure, unadulterated tough-guy hardcore at its finest. Get ready to mosh with Ghosts Among Men in your stereo.
Early Graves, Goner (Ironclad/Metal Blade)
The group’s debut We: The Guillotine shed all aspects of Apiary, the band that preceded Early Graves. Transitioning from technical metal to a thrash-hardcore fusion is not an easy thing, but Early Graves did it perfectly. Check out Goner if you’re looking for something to mix up your thrash or hardcore tastes. This is a band with lots of great ideas for their music, and it shows.
Various Artists, This Comp Kills Fascists Vol. 2 (Relapse)
Arranged by grindcore master Scott Hull (Pig Destroyer/Agoraphobic Nosebleed), the second installment of the series will bring us even more underground grind, hardcore, crust punk, and other extreme music sub-genres designed to make eardrums bleed among the uninitiated. While this edition isn’t as overtly political as the first volume, with its “bushy” cover, there definitely will be plenty of straight-laced social and political commentary delivered amidst the cacophony of the music. Underground extreme music enthusiasts should be all over this compilation, if for no other reason than the fact that Relapse is known for unleashing some of the best extreme bands in the world.
Next Week: A few DVD’s, a lot of ‘core, and the return of the biggest young Aussies on the modern scene! See you then!