April 2, 2010

New & Noteworthy, April 2nd – Tours and Rumors of Tours

Welcome to another week of New & Noteworthy! Yes, I did blatantly steal the subtitle of this week's post from the title of The Chariot's latest album (and also apparently their recent tour), but it's a pun that works, so I'm running with it. Besides, it's a very fitting title, considering that this is another week that's heavy on newly announced tours, and the top story isn't even confirmed yet! That's all coming after the new music, though, so read on to see what will be freshening up your speakers and headphones next week!

Next Week's New Releases

  • 12 Gauge by Kalmah – Anyone who's looked back on my older entries knows that I've already reviewed this album, and I absolutely loved it. The album is finally being released in the US, though, so it shows up here. If you don't know about Kalmah, go read my review and get to know them a little better. Also, be aware that Kalmah's previous album, For the Revolution, scored the #2 spot on my list of top albums for 2008. Kalmah are, by far, the best band in the Finnish death metal scene. This album is worth the pickup.
  • As Yggdrasil Trembles by Unleashed – Unleashed signed a deal with Nuclear Blast back in July 2009, and the first album to come from that contract is As Yggdrasil Trembles. I really liked the last two albums that Unleashed released, and I'm expecting to like this one too. After two decades of producing fast, crushing death metal, Unleashed is one of the best in the world at their craft. These Swedes are on a roll now.
  • Circle the Wagons by Darkthrone – I'm going to come right out and say it: I don't really care for Darkthrone. Now, for the three of you still reading this, let me explain why. I don't deny that Darkthrone is an incredibly talented band, and they definitely belong among the innovators in metal history. However, I'm just not capable of enjoying music that has the terrible production quality that Darkthrone is famous for. I can't explain why, it's just something I can never get used to or appreciate. However, for those of you who don't have this issue, I'm sure that Circle the Wagons will be a very enjoyable album.
  • [id] by Veil of Maya – The first of two releases from Sumerian Records this week, Veil of Maya's third album (second on Sumerian) is likely to make plenty of waves in the deathcore scene. The band received lots of attention in 2008 and 2009 due to nonstop touring with some of the biggest names in metal. Veil of Maya is one of the few deathcore bands on Sumerian's roster that have any potential for success outside of the scene.
  • Throned in Blood by Jucifer – The sludge metal duo's fifth album has already earned rave reviews from numerous outlets, and fans of the band's previous work will definitely be blasting this album for quite awhile. If you're into bands like Crowbar, High on Fire, and Kylesa, then Throned in Blood will definitely be worth checking out.
  • The World is Ours by Upon a Burning Body – The second Sumerian release this week is the debut album from Upon a Burning Body, yet another young deathcore band. The band has a huge following in their native Texas, and their lead singer has a very distinctive voice, which is helpful to have among the hordes of deathcore bands with generic, bland vocalists. These guys have the potential to be huge, but their fame will depend entirely on their ability to tour continuously this year and get noticed by large audiences.
  • Mulmets Viser by Svartsot – With a name like Svartsot, the average metal fan will expect either black metal or folk metal from this band. What they'll get on the band's second album is a mixture of both, much in the same vein as Finntroll and Thyrfing. It's more aggressive than your usual folk metal and more diverse than your usual black metal, but if you're a fan of either genre, you'll likely find something to like about Mulmets Viser.
  • Videodrom by Callejón – The German post-hardcore group is back with their second album on Nuclear Blast. To me, Callejón has always been the black sheep among the younger German metal bands. Instead of being more aggressive in their music, this band relies much more on melody and balance. The only German bands that are even slightly comparable are Caliban and Narziss. They also differ from their contemporaries in that most of their songs are sung in German. I don't anticipate Videodrom changing much for Callejón. They fill a niche in the German scene, and if you're not a fan of melodic metalcore or post-hardcore, then you probably won't appreciate Callejón.
  • Slash by Slash – I would be remiss if I didn't say something about this album. To be honest, though, I'm a little dubious about it. The list of guest musicians reads like the guest list for the MTV Music Awards, ranging from Ozzy, Lemmy, and Flea to Kid Rock, Cypress Hill, and Fergie. This album has the potential to be either a spectacular hit or a colossal failure, depending on how the guest musicians are utilized. However, I'm leaning more towards the prediction of failure. At least we can be sure that the percussion will be good, as the primary drummer on this album is A Perfect Circle skinsman Josh Freese. Let's hope Freese can save this album from being a complete mess.

This Week's New Tour Announcements

  • RUMOR - The Summer Slaughter Tour featuring DECAPITATED and more
HOLY CRAP! Decapitated is BACK! When Vogg announced that the band was going to continue last year, that was huge. The return of Decapitated, even without Vitek, would be a monumental event for the worldwide extreme metal scene. But if Decapitated headlines the Summer Slaughter Tour, that tour will become the biggest tour of the summer. Mayhem, Ozzfest, and every other major summer tour will become second interest to extreme metal fans wanting to see the return of one of the best death metal bands the world has ever seen. Oh yeah, and other bands rumored to have signed on for the tour include The Faceless, Cattle Decapitation, Cephalic Carnage, All Shall Perish, and Veil of Maya. But none of those will attract as many fans as Decapitated. Why? BECAUSE IT'S FUCKING DECAPITATED! The band that came back from the death of their drummer and the near-death of their vocalist to push on and continue delivering some of the best music that the metal community will ever hear. Reportedly, an official announcement will be given soon, so stay tuned for that!

  • Gwar and Dirge Within
Every time Gwar tours, it's a huge event. This will be no different. The stage show for Lust in Space will be the biggest, most outlandish event Gwar has ever orchestrated. But equally important here is the supporting band, Dirge Within. These guys seem to be getting slots on some of the best tours without even trying. On the strength of one album, they've already gotten to tour with Trivium, Chimaira, Fear Factory, Winds of Plague, and now Gwar. Thank vocalist Jerms Genske and drummer Jimmy Knight for that success, as their performances of the band's debut album, Force Fed Lies, take that record over the top. If the band can just get rid of SOiL washout Shaun Glass and find a competent guitarist to replace him, count on Dirge Within to become one of the best young success stories in metal.

  • Dark Tranquillity
This tour is still being fleshed out, with only three dates announced so far and no support acts confirmed yet. But a Dark Tranquillity headlining tour of the US is sure to attract droves of fans. This is a smart move for the band to properly push their new album, We Are the Void, an album that I enjoyed a lot. According to the touring record on the band's official website, the band has never done a proper US headlining tour, so that will make this tour even bigger. The turnout will also be guaranteed for fans that skipped out on the band's recent tour with Killswitch Engage and The Devil Wears Prada, not wanting to pay money to see a seven-song set. If the band gets good support acts for the tour, this may turn out to be one of the biggest tours of Dark Tranquillity's entire career so far.

  • East Coast Tsunami Fest, featuring Sick of it All, H2O, Earth Crisis, and others
Last week on New & Noteworthy, I discussed the Black N Blue Bowl (the new name for the Superbowl of Hardcore) and said it would likely be the biggest event of the year for hardcore. Well, now there's some competition, as the East Coast Tsunami Fest steamrolls into Phoenixville/Mont Clare, PA (northwest of Philadelphia). The two-day event already has a humongous second day lineup, headlined by Sick of it All and also featuring H2O, Earth Crisis, All Out War, Strength for a Reason, Cruel Hand, and plenty of other high-quality hardcore bands. The first day's lineup is still incomplete, but already includes impressive names like Death Threat, CDC, Lifeless, and more. This festival will surely be just as destructive as its namesake.

  • Earth Crisis, First Blood, and Thick as Blood
In further Earth Crisis news, the band recently added six more stops to the band's upcoming Wrath of Sanity Tour with First Blood and Thick as Blood. The added dates are all on the West Coast, including a stop in Vancouver. Hardcore fans should make the effort to see this tour, if for no other reason than to see the band perform with Andy Hurley of Fall Out Boy on some dates. The sheer novelty factor of that lineup adjustment should be enough to attract tons of people to the tour.

  • Eyehategod
The sludge/stoner veterans have booked four shows in the US following their return from Europe. It's unknown right now whether these dates will be part of a larger US tour, but any further announcements will appear on New & Noteworthy. The most interesting part of this announcement revolves around the band's performance on May 7th in Austin, TX. At this show, Eyehategod will be performing their albums In the Name of Suffering and Take as Needed for Pain in their entirety. Seeing both of these albums played live from start to finish will bring out fans from all over the world. Expect Austin to be crawling with metalheads on and around May 7th.

  • The Bled
As if a Canadian tour with Dead and Divine and a co-headlining run with In Fear and Faith weren't enough, The Bled now also will be playing six headlining shows, four in April and two in May, to bookend their tour with Dead and Divine. Say what you will about the music that the Tucson-based band produces, but don't ever call them lazy, because their commitment to touring is huge. Don't expect them to stop anytime soon either, as they'll be supporting their new album Heat Fetish (which recently showed up on The Metal Review) for quite some time.

  • Premonitions of War
The grindcore act will be returning from their hiatus to play a series of eight shows in April, spread throughout Ohio, Indiana, and New York. All of the shows except for two have support acts booked, and while very few are big names, the April 17th show in Toledo has a stacked lineup that includes The Devil Wears Prada, Whitechapel, American Me, For the Fallen Dreams, and several others. Maybe now Premonitions of War will earn some more recognition beyond the small (but still quite rabid) fan base they have now.

  • Toxic Holocaust
The Portland, Oregon thrashers have booked a series of West Coast headlining dates to their current tour schedule, which also includes four East Coast dates with Municipal Waste. Toxic Holocaust likely won't be touring very much in the coming months as they write new material for their next album, so if you can make it out to one of these upcoming shows, do it because it might be a long time before they come around again.

  • Flyleaf, Fair to Midland, and 10 Years
Sure to attract radio rock fans in huge numbers, this tour will start in early May and will last at least a month. Flyleaf is one of the best live bands out right now, with frontwoman Lacey Mosley commanding the crowd like a military general. The band will also be offering VIP tour packages with perks for the most devoted fans, with funds from the sale of those packages going to the band's charitable organization, the Flyleaf Foundation, which promotes children's literacy. You literally can't go wrong with this tour, because not only will you get to see an amazing tour, but you can also help teach kids to read! This will count as your good deed for the day.

  • Disappearer, The Austerity Program, and Phantom Glue
This lineup of experimental metal aficionados will play three dates in the Northeast in late April/early May. Disappearer is a veteran act that never fails to impress. Meanwhile, The Austerity Program continues to be one of the most popular names in metal news that almost no one is familiar with. The two-piece punk act from Brooklyn is making waves, though, via a very public clash with their label, Hydra Head Records. Regardless of feuds, though, the band is gearing up for their upcoming new release, Backsliders and Apostates Will Burn. Hopefully the new music will be just as memorable as the title.

  • Anew Revolution and Sugar Red Drive
You might as well refer to Anew Revolution as a nu-metal supergroup, since its lineup contains former members of Ünloco and Slaves on Dope. However, this band doesn't play nu-metal, instead performing aggressive hard rock with a twinge of core thrown in. Their new album, iMerica, debuts on E1 Music on May 18th, and the band will be touring all the way up to its release date. Any further dates for the so-called "Economic Stimulus Tour" will appear here once they're announced.

  • Queensrÿche Cabaret
Yes, you did read that correctly. Taking cues from Cirque du Soleil and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Queensrÿche will be playing five dates this spring where their stage show will be supplemented by go-go dancers, burlesque dancers, a juggler, a ballerina, a contortionist, and many other sideshow acts. Additionally, fans have the option of taking part in the show if they choose! There is the stipulation of signing a consent form if you choose to be among the participant fans, and the shows are only for people 21 and older. However, this concept is incredibly unique and could prove to be a hit idea that other metal bands adopt in the future.

Whether you're mulling over attending the Queensrÿche Cabaret, furiously insulting me for not liking Darkthrone, or drooling over possibly seeing Decapitated live this summer, no one can deny that things are picking in the world of heavy music as we get closer to summer. Check back next week for previews on some huge upcoming albums!

No comments: