Now then, on to what you all came here to read about! There are a few big releases this week that should interest plenty of you. But as we approach the summer, tour rumors are spreading like wildfire and dominating the news. Rumors of two potentially humongous tours are topping the news this week, even surpassing a confirmed tour that has the potential to rival the Mayhem Festival in its audience draw. All that and more to come, after the new albums of next week!
Next Week's New Releases
- Fever by Bullet for My Valentine – Everyone's favorite band to hate is back with their third album, and I'm not expecting much improvement from their previous album, Scream Aim Fire. It seems that Matt Tuck's ability to write excellent songs went away with his tonsils in 2007. I hope that I'll be proven wrong, but in all likelihood, this band will never be able to replicate the success of The Poison.
- Drowning Pool by Drowning Pool – After the disaster that was Full Circle, I don't think Drowning Pool can go anywhere but up on their self-titled album. I expect that reviews on this will be similar to Desensitized. Fans of Dave Williams will continue to say that the band died with him, while those who have moved on will enjoy the album. I'm withholding judgment for the time being, but I think that Dave Williams fans ought to give a Drowning Pool a second chance, and this album might be the place to start.
- Demonoir by 1349 – This is another band that can only improve from their last release. In the case of 1349, Demonoir needs to be a fast, brutally assaultive album to make fans forget the ambient atrocity that was Revelations of the Black Flame. I'm personally hoping that the new material is a return to form, if only for 1349's drummer, Frost, who is a legend in black metal, but has lost a lot of fan respect with Satyricon's movement away from black metal and the awfulness of Revelations. If Demonoir is anything but fast and brutal, then Frost will officially have lost all credibility in the black metal scene.
- The Frozen Tears of Angels by Rhapsody of Fire – Finally overcoming their legal battle with Magic Circle Music, Rhapsody of Fire is back with the third chapter of The Dark Secret Saga. Fans of the band are bound to love this album and praise guitarist Luca Turilli as a genius again. However, traditional power metal fans who gave up on the band after Symphony of Enchanted Lands II might want to give this record a spin, as it's reportedly more speed and guitar-oriented than both Symphony and Triumph or Agony.
- The Violence Beneath by Mouth of the Architect – Post-metal fans are drooling all over themselves in anticipation of this EP. The Violence Beneath will definitely fill the void for anyone who's sick of waiting for the new Neurosis album to be finished. The complex nature of Mouth of the Architect's music will likely be a turn-off for anyone who's not into atmospheric or progressive metal, but if you can enjoy that style, then this EP is worth checking out, as is another album further down the list that you may have never heard of.
- Betrayal, Justice, Revenge by Kivimetsän Druidi – The female-fronted folk metal act built a following during their run on the Heathenfest America tour last year, and the follow-up to 2008's Shadowheart should help this band to gain more notice in America. Kivimetsän Druidi has a style that combines the sounds of their countrymen Nightwish and Turisas. Their compositions are strong, but the more important facet that will determine the success of Betrayal, Justice, Revenge is whether guitarist Joni Koskinen writes interesting lyrics for himself and Leeni-Maria Hovila to sing. If the lyrics are good, then this album will definitely succeed.
- The Descent by Mantric – Who remembers the band Extol? Those who are familiar with the Norwegian band know that they were a genre-transcending band with excellent skills and a strong Christian message. Unfortunately, Extol split up in 2007, but guitarists Tor Magne Glidje and Ole Halvard Sveen and bassist John Robert Mjåland put Mantric together after the split. The clips I've heard from this album tell me that Mantric retains Extol's progressive nature, but with a new overall style that relies on a constant flow and is flawlessly executed. The Descent is an album that prog fans will want to explore.
- The ID Will Overcome by The Abominable Iron Sloth – The lineup that recorded this album is only a three-piece, as opposed to the five-piece group that recorded their self-titled debut. Additionally, only one member, drummer Mitch Wheeler, remains of the four members of hardcore group Will Haven that were in the band's old lineup. Whether this affects Justin Godfrey's songwriting at all remains to be seen, but since their old sound basically combined Will Haven and doom metal together, the lack of Will Haven members does not bode well for The Abominable Iron Sloth. The album title is engaging, though, so that's incentive enough to check it out.
- Gathas by The Destiny Program – The Destiny Program is one of the most mood-influenced bands I've ever heard, meaning that I have to be in the right mood to listen to them. Unfortunately, their debut album, Subversive Blueprint, didn't strike my fancy very often due to its inconsistent sound from one song to the next. I expect similar results from Gathas, but if the band has managed to develop some consistency, they might create a niche for themselves in an oversaturated German metal scene.
- Shifting by At the Soundawn – I've been hearing tons of news about this album but had no idea who the band was. Upon doing a little research, I've discovered that they have the same style of atmospheric sludge that Mouth of the Architect has, so if you are excited for that EP, this is a full-length album that might also be worth the investment. Maybe then their name will be more recognizable to average metal fans.
- Fart & Wiener Jokes by Brian Posehn – Normally I wouldn't include something like this, but the recording personnel for this album include Scott Ian, Jamey Jasta, Mark Morton, and John Tempesta, among others, so it gets some notice. If you've never seen the music video for "Metal by Numbers", the hit from Posehn's last album Live in: Nerd Rage, go watch it and be prepared to laugh harder than you have in a long time. I expect that this will be a fun listen for anyone who enjoys raunchy comedy or metal.
- Alice in Chains, Deftones, and Mastodon
- Uproar 2010
- Carnival of Madness Tour featuring Shinedown and more
- The Cool Tour featuring As I Lay Dying and more
- Serj Tankian
- Goatwhore and Revocation
- Otep, Iwrestledabearonce, Stray from the Path, and Bury Tomorrow
- Stick to Your Guns, The Ghost Inside, ABACABB, and Grave Maker
- God Forbid
- Knights of the Abyss, Burning the Masses, Those Who Lie Beneath, and And Hell Followed With
- Y&T and Icarus Witch
- The Abominable Iron Sloth
The rumor mill never stops, so come back to New & Noteworthy next Friday and see whether April showers can bring a metal storm instead of May flowers this year!