March 26, 2010

New & Noteworthy, March 26th - Whole Lotta Touring

Before I start this, I really need to thank my awesome girlfriend Jeanette for giving me the idea to do this bit. You rock, baby!

Anyway, welcome to New & Noteworthy, a new weekly segment here on The Metal Review! This segment will appear on Fridays, and in it, I will give my thoughts and predictions on the new releases scheduled to come out the following week. I will also discuss any new tours that have been announced in the past week.

This week, there aren't a lot of new releases coming out, as the industry pauses briefly before the big pre-summer push of new music. However, there are a plethora of new tours and events that have been announced all over the rock and metal spectrum! So read on, and learn what events you need to mark your calendars for!

Next Week's New Releases

  • XI Reasons to See by Destinity - I'm expecting good things from Destinity on this album. The band has gone through a lot of style changes during their career, starting as a black metal band before moving to a symphonic black/death sound, but they seem to have settled into a thrash/death hybrid similar to Darkane on their recent albums. I enjoyed 2008's The Inside a lot, and I'm expecting similar results on this new album.
  • Napalm by Rotten Sound - The new EP from these Finnish grind enthusiasts ought to excite the old-school grindcore fans a lot, as it contains four Napalm Death covers among its six tracks. Of course, this means listeners will be lucky to get ten minutes of music out of the entire disc, but Rotten Sound make up for that with a bonus DVD featuring the band's live performance at the Obscene Extreme Festival in 2007. It's a nice package, especially for an EP.
  • Decade of Darkness by Before the Dawn - Another EP on the release schedule, this one celebrates just what you'd expect - the ten-year anniversary of Before the Dawn's formation. In those ten years, the band has basically devolved into Tuomas Saukkonen's solo project, with the other three members essentially being session players. This EP will likely only appeal to die-hard fans of Before the Dawn, and since the melodic death/gothic metal band doesn't get much exposure outside their home in Finland, I don't anticipate this EP making waves. However, I do plan to get it if I can, since I do enjoy Before the Dawn's unique sound.
  • Lustdriven by Kiuas - Rounding out the new releases is yet another Finnish band, Kiuas. I will admit, I'm completely unfamiliar with the band, with the exception of their cover of Pantera's "This Love" that recently appeared on Kerrang! Magazine's tribute album for Dimebag Darrell. If that track is any indication of what Kiuas can do, though, I'm pretty excited to hear this album. They are described as being a mix of power, folk, and progressive metal, which is highly intriguing to me. Hopefully Lustdriven will be a good first experience of Kiuas.

This Week's New Tour Announcements

  • Dying Fetus, Arsis, Misery Index, Annotations of an Autopsy, and Conducting from the Grave
This tour is basically a death metal fan's wet dream come true. Descend Into Depravity, the latest album from Dying Fetus, is getting loads of critical acclaim, and the band is still one of the biggest in the American death metal scene. Arsis is also enjoying the success of their latest album, Starve for the Devil, and the buzz surrounding the upcoming release of Misery Index's Heirs to Theivery is humongous. I'm also really excited to see Conducting from the Grave opening this tour. They were one of my favorite new bands last year, and their debut on Sumerian, When Legends Become Dust, is still my favorite deathcore record of recent memory. Annotations of an Autopsy is the only mediocre band on this bill (I'm reserving judgment on them until I review their new album, The Reign of Darkness). As I said, this tour will make death metal fans VERY happy.

  • Hellyeah, Seether, Five Finger Death Punch, Drowning Pool, and Lacuna Coil
Talk about a stacked lineup! My girlfriend is more excited about this tour than any other this year, and I don't blame her. She'll get to see her absolute favorite live band (Seether), one of her favorite singers in all of music (Ivan Moody of Five Finger Death Punch), and one of the bands that got her into metal (Lacuna Coil) all in one night. All those bands really excite me too, but adding Hellyeah to the lineup just pushes this tour over the edge for me. I loved their self-titled debut when it came out in 2007, and I really look forward to their sophomore release later this year. This tour will be humongous, you can count on that.

  • Soilwork, Death Angel, Augury, Mutiny Within, and Swashbuckle
This will likely be my favorite tour of the year for several reasons. I've only seen Soilwork live once, and that was when they were the opening band on tour with Killswitch Engage, Lamb of God, and DevilDriver in 2007. It will be awesome to see them play a full headlining set! Death Angel remains one of my favorite bands from the Bay Area, and I can't wait for their new album. And of course, the biggest band to break out this year, Mutiny Within, will blow the crowds away once again. I'm also stoked to see Augury live, as their unique style of technical death metal will likely make up the heaviest moments of the entire tour.

  • Demon Hunter, War of Ages, The Great Commission, and others
Just announced today, this still-incomplete lineup will play three dates before and two dates after As I Lay Dying's headlining tour, in which both Demon Hunter and War of Ages are participating. Unfortunately, all five of these dates are on the west coast. I am impatiently waiting for Demon Hunter to announce the show in New York that Ryan Clark promised in this interview. I want my first Demon Hunter live experience, and I want it soon!

  • Hatebreed, Lamb of God, and 3 Inches of Blood
Another series of one-off dates, these three bands will be using their days off from the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival to hit smaller venues in cities where the festival doesn't stop. Five dates have already been announced, and there are more to come. I'm impressed with these bands, as being on the Mayhem festival is undoubtedly a tiring experience, and these off days could be used to rest. Kudos to all three bands, and I hope that they expand these one-off dates outside of the west coast and Midwest.

  • The Black N Blue Bowl, featuring Cro-Mags, Madball, H2O, Yuppicide, and others
The Superbowl of Hardcore returns to New York City after 22 years away from its birthplace. Now sporting a new name, this hardcore festival of sorts is sure to attract a huge crowd with its killer lineup. The big story is the return of Yuppicide, playing their first show since 1998. Of course, having such an impressive cast of NYHC veterans headlining the event will bring all of the New York and New Jersey hardcore fans out of the woodwork, and with a supporting cast that includes Skarhead, Trapped Under Ice, Wisdom in Chains, Incendiary, and other rising stars of hardcore, the Black N Blue Bowl will likely be the biggest event in hardcore all year.

  • Karma to Burn and Year Long Disaster
This tour is pretty short (only 14 dates announced thus far) and doesn't cover a lot of ground, but fans of stoner metal will definitely want to get out early for these shows. Most of the shows will take place in small, intimate concert halls, and with Karma to Burn's Appalachian Incantation coming out three days before the tour starts, fans can plan to hear new material from the veteran act. A great show for great value.

  • Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bret Michaels, and .38 Special
I don't have a whole lot to say about this tour, other than that .38 Special are an awesome choice to open. The movie Super Troopers got me into the band, and I think they'll be the most energetic band on stage. Oh, one question – is Bret Michaels shooting the fourth season of Rock of Love during this tour? I really hope so, because nothing would make that inevitable train wreck funnier than members of Lynyrd Skynyrd wandering onto Bret's bus in the middle of shooting scenes.

  • Insane Clown Posse, Kottonmouth Kings, Coolio, Kittie, and Necro
I don't know whether this is a brilliant strategy or career suicide for Kittie, but either way, this tour looks to be an epic disaster. Of course, pretty much anything that ICP touches turns to shit, so don't be surprised if every other act on this tour comes out of it worse than they were when it began. And seriously, where did Coolio come from to end up on this tour? This just seems ridiculous in every possible way.

Check back next week to see what the first full week of April has in store for you!

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