In this age of musical uncertainty, artists need to branch out to succeed. Expansion needs to occur in as many ways as an artist is capable of doing – sometimes not just in styles, but even in diversity of projects, working on multiple endeavors at once if necessary. It’s a time of constant change, and the artists that are surviving are the ones adapting to the changes. This is true in all genres, not just metal. That’s why we’re seeing lots of names on New & Noteworthy that might be surprising to some, because their past output doesn’t fit the metal genre. Make way for change, though, because it’s going to keep occurring as time goes on. If and until the music industry settles itself, the definition of a metal artist will never be set in stone.
Today is a perfect example of how metal artists are defined differently. The artist leading the list is a household name in punk rock, and has been since their beginning over thirty years ago. Also appearing today, we have the solo project of a major industrial rock frontman and a post-hardcore group continuing their rising career. It’s a short week between two massive release weeks, but we’re making the most of it.
Misfits, The Devil’s Rain (Misfits)
The eight years between Project 1950 and The Devil’s Rain marks the second longest break between albums that the famed horror punk group has had. The only longer gap between full-lengths was during the band’s period of inactivity in the ’80s and ’90s. More significantly, though, it has been twelve years since the last album of new material from Misfits. 1999’s Famous Monsters was one of only two albums to feature Michale Graves as the group’s singer, with his departure coming soon afterward in 2000. The Devil’s Rain marks a new age for Misfits, as a three-piece group with Jerry Only leading the group as vocalist and the last founding member left in the band.
Wayne Static, Pighammer (Dirthouse)
With Static-X on what appears to be an unofficial hiatus, Wayne Static has taken his energies as the “sole creative force” in Static-X and devoted them towards making Pighammer. The solo project sounds markedly similar to the standard fare from Static-X. It’s basically proof that Static is sticking to what he knows, as pretty much everyone anticipated. Some of the material is heavier than expected, and some gets repetitive at times. But overall, if you like Static-X, then you’ll like what Wayne Static does on his own, since it’s essentially the same thing.
Blessthefall, Awakening (Fearless)
The Phoenix-based post-hardcore group is now on their third overall album, and second following their signing with Fearless Records and the departure of former vocalist Craig Mabbitt, who is now part of the massively successful Escape the Fate. The band went through another lineup change earlier this year, as founding guitarist Mike Frisby left the group and was replaced by newcomer Elliott Gruenberg. Awakening got some early promotion via the group’s appearance on The All-Stars Tour this summer with Emmure, iwrestledabearonce, and many others. Undoubtedly, the group hopes that they will be able to match the success of Mabbitt’s current group with time.
Also being released this week:
The Browning, Burn This World (Earache)
La Dispute, Wildlife (No Sleep)
Juicehead, How to Sail a Sinking Ship (Misfits)
Gunslinger, Unlawful Odds (Plastic Head)
Next week: A group of the best up-and-coming artists in a plethora of genres give us a taste of the bright future of metal. And they’re led by the most powerful force for metal in the realm of mainstream music. Read up next week and find out just how much we have to look forward to!