May 14, 2010

New & Noteworthy, May 14th - Old Chapters Revisited

Welcome to New & Noteworthy, and what a week it was! The '80s reared their beautiful, glorious head in force this week, as two classic bands made headlines with huge news. The first story is confirmation that Anthrax has reunited with original singer Joey Belladonna, with plans for extensive summer touring and recording a new album. This reunion allows the much-rumored "Big Four tour" to occur in Europe, and if the tour goes well there, then US fans can start to get excited for it to occur Stateside. The second story covers a partnership among Relapse Records, Perseverance Holdings Ltd., and Chuck Schuldiner's family to reissue his legendary work. The reissues of Death's back catalog (with the exception of 1995's Symbolic) were released this past Tuesday, but of greater significance is the expanded reissue of The Fragile Art of Existence, the sole release of Schuldiner's progressive side project Control Denied. There are also future plans to finish and release Control Denied's unfinished sophomore album, When Man and Machine Collide. Fans of Chuck Schuldiner (translate that as "every death metal fan in the world") will be dying to get their hands on that album, and with good reason. Control Denied was a phenomenal musical endeavor that ended long before it should have, and the release of their final album will hopefully expose this amazing band to a wider audience.

Moving on, we have the first of three fairly uneventful weeks of new releases this week. What a nice birthday present, music industry. Thanks. Oh yeah, by the way, my birthday is this coming Tuesday, May 18th. And I will say that I got an excellent early birthday present that appears in the tour announcements. Read on to find out what it is!

Next Week's New Releases

  • Exhibit B: The Human Condition by Exodus - The long-awaited follow-up to The Atrocity Exhibition…Exhibit A is finally here. Exodus has been remarkable during their comeback years, and Rob Dukes has filled the vocalist position admirably, following in the great traditions set by Paul Baloff and Steve Souza. I expect this album to be just as good. Thrash has been having an amazing run in recent years, and this year looks to be similarly great.
  • Re-Traced by Cynic - You know it's a slow week when a five-song EP with only one completely original new track is second on the list of new releases. However, this is Cynic we're talking about, and anything involving Paul Masvidal deserves high praise in my book. This EP will feature four "reinterpretations" of songs from 2008's Traced in Air, as well as one new track never heard before. Considering how excellent Traced in Air was, Re-Traced should be just as enjoyable. And we don't even have to wait fifteen years for it! Sorry, but that joke had to be made.
  • Annihilator by Annihilator - Technically, this album is only being released in Europe as of right now. However, this page on Annihilator's website states that American and Canadian fans can visit the site on May 15th for a link to buy/download the CD. Other details on the album have been very hard to come by, but the tracks streaming on the website display all the same excellence and technicality we can expect from an Annihilator record.
  • Ghost Stories by Silent Civilian - Early reactions to this album have been tepid, and I feel similarly in this case, although I don't know why. There are several potential reasons why I'm not enthusiastic about Ghost Stories. Maybe it's the fact that I wasn't very impressed by their debut, Rebirth of the Temple. Maybe it's my greater level of anticipation about Spineshank's comeback album, which will hopefully come out later this year. Maybe it's the boring, formulaic nature of the preview songs on their MySpace. No matter what, though, this album already isn't doing anything for me. That took effort. Good job, Silent Civilian.
  • iMerica by Anew Revolution - The pun in this album's title makes me want to vomit. Seriously, that's beyond cliché. Bad title notwithstanding, though, this album might turn out to be pretty good. I remember that the title track from Anew Revolution's debut album Rise was catchy as hell, and this album will likely be similar. Only for alt metal fans - everyone else will probably call it boring, sellout music.
  • Myself > Letting Go by To Speak of Wolves - Another young signing on Solid State Records, this band is good for metalcore fans who like a heavy dose of hardcore every so often. The music is simplistic, but it's still good, and you will definitely bang your head to it. Give the record a spin the next time you're in a music store. You might just find your new favorite band.
This Week's Tour Announcements

  • Epica, Scar Symmetry, Mutiny Within, and Blackguard
HOLY CRAP! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! Granted, this tour may not be until November, but still, that is one awesome lineup! All the buildup of the slow Epica tour announcements led to this blowout story, and I have to say, this tour is going to be the very definition of badass. Blackguard is a good opening band, even though I'm not entirely enthusiastic about them. The rest of the lineup after them is solid gold. Regular readers already know about my obsession with Mutiny Within. Scar Symmetry is one of my favorite bands of all time, regardless of who is singing for them. Epica is the best female-fronted symphonic metal band out today, hands down. You can't get much better than this. See this tour. See it as many times as you can.
ThePRP announcement

  • Danzig, Gorgeous Frankenstein, and Seventh Void
Well, it's not The Blackest of the Black Tour Part 2, but Danzig on tour is still significant, especially when the opening band is the side project of Type O Negative members Johnny Kelly and Kenny Hickey. The dates of the tour sandwich the release date for Deth Red Sabaoth, Danzig's ninth album. Ironically, the tour is also nine days long, which was most likely planned as such. The Ticketmaster pre-sale is over now, but if there are tickets still available to a show near you, get them now.
ThePRP announcement

  • Ratt
The rejuvenated hair metal squad has added several US dates in July and August to their touring itinerary. Ratt is keeping the touring schedule of a band half their age, which is impressive. One must hope that it doesn't backfire, though, because the band needs to be out there supporting their excellent comeback album, Infestation. The tour dates as they stand right now are mostly in the South, so keep an eye out for more dates to potentially surface in the near future.
Blabbermouth announcement

  • Chimaira
After announcing a one-off home show in Cleveland two weeks ago, the band has thrown four more shows into their pre-Mayhem touring itinerary. All four dates take place in the West and lead straight into the opening date of Mayhem. Adding to the excitement is that the final three shows will also feature Shadows Fall. These shows will be great, and if you can make it out to see them, I highly recommend you do so.
ThePRP announcement

  • Sick of it All, Alpha and Omega, 50 Lions, and Trash Talk
This is just a mini tour as of now, which is surprising. After all, Sick of it All just released a new album about a month ago, and logically, they should be out there supporting it. Maybe this tour is just a precursor to a bigger announcement, but I'm honestly not sure. Either way, all five of these late July dates are on the West Coast, so hometown fans of the NYHC band will have to wait to hear new material from Based on a True Story. Unless, of course, they decide to make the trip to Pennsylvania for the East Coast Tsunami Fest…
ThePRP announcement

  • Deftones
As if the Black Diamond Skye tour wasn't enough, Deftones is adding more dates to their touring itinerary. Southwest dates in Arizona, New Mexico, and the surrounding area have been announced, and they will take the band straight into their European tour dates. West Coast fans should take advantage of this Deftones solo show, judging by how expensive Black Diamond Skye will probably end up being.ThePRP announcement

  • God Forbid
In addition to their previously announced Long Island show, the band will also be playing two Illinois dates in June. These shows are all designed to give the band short breaks as they write and record their new album. One must wonder how many breaks they need, but either way, it's good to see God Forbid back on the road, even though it's only for a few shows. Hopefully they will finish the album quickly and get back to touring before the end of the year.
ThePRP annoucement

  • 70,000 Tons of Metal Cruise
The billing for the coolest cruise ever continues to fill out slowly. This week, newly reunited thrashers Forbidden were added to the lineup. This cruise is turning into an '80s metal enthusiast's dream, with Forbidden, Testament, Saxon, Death Angel, Sodom, and Raven occupying a large chunk of the current billing. If you can afford this cruise, get into it now while the getting is good!
Blabbermouth announcement

  • Within the Ruins, The World We Knew, Woe of Tyrants, and Structures
The booking on this tour seems to be a bit screwy, at least in my opinion. It makes more sense to me for Woe of Tyrants to headline this show, since not only are they a band with more name recognition, but they also have a new album out that absolutely slays. But regardless of the order, this show features some excellent young bands with plenty of talent. If you want to see some great bands in close quarters for cheap prices, this tour is your ticket.
ThePRP announcement

  • Thrice, Kevin Devine, Bad Veins, and The Dig
This tour, along with its highly confusing lineup, was first announced about a month ago. Now the tour will run well into July and the support bands will actually show up on all or most of the dates. The tour also will now be a full US tour. What I originally said about the tour stands, though - be very careful buying tickets if you're a fan of old Thrice, because this tour will likely feature mostly newer songs from them.
ThePRP announcement

  • The Strange Noize Tour featuring (hed)P.E. and others
I didn't even know (hed)P.E. was still around, so that's saying something for their resilience. I also have no clue who any of the support bands are. The list includes Kutt Calhoun, Richter, and Big B, but for the life of me, I've never heard of any of them before. If you're waxing nostalgic for nu metal's glory days, though, this is the tour for you.
ThePRP announcement

  • Otep, The Birthday Massacre, Beneath the Sky, and The Agonist
OH GOOD LORD! Why, in the name of all that is good, is The Agonist on this tour? They're an amazing band, and they should NOT be opening for the abomination that is Otep, or the celebration of mediocrity that is The Birthday Massacre. Putting aside the fact that Alissa White-Gluz of The Agonist shares many of the same viewpoints on social justice with Otep, nothing about The Agonist meshes at all with Otep. For that matter, the same could be said for Beneath the Sky. Both bands should get off this tour if possible.
ThePRP announcement

  • Limp Bizkit, Ice Cube, Method Man, and Redman
I am getting so sick of writing about Limp Bizkit, so I'm making this one short. Basically, Snoop Dogg dropped off this tour. As such, Link Bizkit asked some of his rap buddies to fill the void he left in the lineup. So Method Man and Redman will start off the tour with Limp Bizkit for four dates, and then after one solo date, Ice Cube will take over as main support for the rest of the tour. I really don't care, and neither should you.
ThePRP announcement

That does it for New & Noteworthy for another week. Next time you hear from me, I'll be the ripe old age of 24. Goody. If you're looking for ways to celebrate, eating heartily is my best suggestion. For food ideas, this cookbook is always a good option. Have a lovely week everybody!

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