Now that we're done reporting on that inhuman and horrific excuse for a musician, let's get to more pleasant stories. There are a bunch of great new albums debuting this week, including a highly anticipated DVD and an exciting solo album. The summer touring circuit is filling out quickly as well, with two enormous festivals topping the announcements. Read on for all the latest updates!
Next Week's New Releases
- Live at the 9:30 by Clutch - The Maryland stoner rock band is back with their second DVD release, and this one is a must-have compendium of live material and back story. The first of the two discs contains the band's December 28, 2009 performance at the 9:30 club in Washington, D.C. (hence the name of the DVD), where the band performed their 1995 self-titled album in its entirety, along with other fan favorites. The second disc has the documentary feature "Fortune Tellers Making a Killing Nowadays", telling the story of Clutch's full career with guest appearances from members of System of a Down, CKY, and other big-name bands. As DVD's get bigger and more grandiose, this release sets a benchmark for historic concerts being filmed and sold.
- The Art of Malice by John 5 - 2010 is proving to be a good year for John 5. The Rob Zombie guitarist is releasing his fifth solo album, just two months after the new Zombie album Hellbilly Deluxe 2 was put out by Roadrunner. If you enjoy the solo work of guitarists like Marty Friedman, Steve Vai, or Joe Satriani, then John 5 will definitely satisfy your urge for intricate instrumental guitar tunes. There's even an Ace Frehley cover on the album, which will probably draw in a few Kiss fans.
- The Powerless Rise by As I Lay Dying - The San Diego metalcore quintet's fifth album is produced by mega-producer and Killswitch Engage guitarist/comedian Adam Dutkiewicz, just like 2007's An Ocean Between Us. Adam D. has a proven track record of taking previously mediocre bands and making them sound incredible. Caliban, Underoath, and A Day to Remember are just a few of the bands that have improved with his production, and As I Lay Dying appears to be headed for a spot on that list as well. If The Powerless Rise continues the improvement seen on An Ocean Between Us, then As I Lay Dying will have finally earned their place among the best bands in the metalcore scene.
- Heirs to Thievery by Misery Index - The high ratings earned by 2008's Traitors will be hard to duplicate, but Misery Index is nothing if not consistent. Heirs to Thievery will deliver plenty of chaotic, anarchist deathgrind that is the band's signature sound and the usual high-quality output of Relapse Records. If you somehow have never heard Misery Index before, then this album will be a perfect place to start.
- For Aeons Past by Solution .45 - Regular readers might recognize this album, since I discussed it almost a month ago on New & Noteworthy. The regulars might also remember that I lamented the album's lack of a North American release. Well, my wishes have been granted, because For Aeons Past is getting released in North America! If you still haven't read my review of the album, take a look at all the positive things I have to say about it. This album is amazing and will definitely be one of my favorites for the year.
- Plead the Fifth by Taproot - This is the beginning of a new chapter for Taproot, who signed with Victory Records last year. Neither of Taproot's previous two albums measured up to 2002's Welcome and the phenomenal single "Poem". Signing with Victory might provide the shake-up needed to get Taproot back into top form, but it's a calculated risk. For every band with a success story on Victory, there's another band with a massive collapse. Hopefully Taproot will be in the former category and not the latter.
- Tear the World Down by We Are the Fallen - The buzz surrounding We Are the Fallen has been high ever since the band officially formed last year, although praise and criticism have come in equal measure. The most praise is earned through the obvious talent in the band's lineup, which includes three former members of Evanescence and standout American Idol contestant Carly Smithson. The most criticism comes from the band's incredible similarity to Evanescence in genre and composition. However, it should noted that none of Evanescence's material after 2003's Fallen has been as well received as that album, so fans of early Evanescence will likely flock to this record, hoping for the magic to be recreated. I'm reserving judgment until I've heard the album for myself.
- Kurbads by Skyforger - In the seven years since the releases of Pērkonkalve (Thunderforge) and Zobena Dziesma (Sword Song), Latvia's primary metal export signed a deal with Metal Blade Records and battled false accusations of Neo-Nazism. Now that the scandal is mostly behind them, Skyforger can focus on Kurbads. Previous statements from the band have stated that this album will experiment with thrash, which will be interesting to see mixed with their folk metal roots. The lyrics will likely retain the folk style of their older work, which will make this album even more unique. With the way folk metal has exploded in recent years, Skyforger could break out in a huge way with Kurbads.
- Quantum Catastrophe by Brain Drill - The band's Metal Blade debut, Apocalyptic Feasting, earned mixed reviews from fans and critics. Some praised its high degree of technicality and unprecedented speed, but others criticized the album for being excessive and pretentious. Half of the band's lineup has changed since Apocalyptic Feasting, but guitarist Dylan Ruskin is still present, which means that similarly high-speed technical death metal can be expected on Quantum Catastrophe. If you liked their debut, you'll like this.
- Full of Hell by Howl - Showing a little hometown love for this Rhode Island-based doom metal quartet. Full of Hell has already earned positive reviews from Decibel and Brooklyn Vegan, with both magazines comparing Howl to early Mastodon. This is extremely high praise for such a young band, and if they can prove that the comparisons are well-founded, then Howl could break out very early. Check out their Relapse debut if heavy stoner doom is your flavor.
- In Loving Memory by Beneath the Sky - The Cincinnati group has returned from yet another breakup, this time lasting from August 2008 to March 2009, and also continued their long-standing relationship with Victory Records. In Loving Memory will likely continue the trend of 2008's The Day the Music Died, which saw the band getting heavier and including more breakdowns. Deathcore fans will like this record, and if Beneath the Sky remains on this path, they will be fully immersed in the deathcore scene by their next album.
- Medium Rarities by Cattle Decapitation - Fans of the vegan grindcore band will definitely want to get this collection quickly. The band describes it as "never before heard songs, hard to find/out of print tracks, live material, cover tunes and ultra rare pre-Human Jerky tracks never before heard by fans of the band." Redundancy aside, that's a pretty awesome description, and as a fan of cover songs, I'm interested to see what classic songs Cattle Decapitation put their spin on.
- Disgorge Mexico: The DVD by Fuck the Facts - As experimental grindcore goes, only Iwrestledabearonce surpasses Fuck the Facts in terms of being weird and unusual. This DVD will only reinforce that characteristic of the band's persona. The live concert portion is normal enough, showing the 2008 CD release show for Disgorge Mexico where the band performed the album in its entirety. The film "Disgorge Mexico: The Movie" is where things get weird. The creation of Canadian filmmaker David Hall, the film is set to the music of the studio album, and is described by Hall as "a substance abuse art house riff on the destructive and volatile nature of love". I have no idea what that means, but if you want to experience a trippy film set to assaultive grindcore, then you'll likely find it here.
- Ozzfest 2010
Ozzfest - Tour website
- Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival
Rockstar Uproar - Tour website
- Killfest 2010 featuring Overkill, Forbidden, and others
- The Damned Things
- Awesome Fest 2010 featuring Remembering Never and others
Awesome Fest MySpace - Festival website
- Rock N' Rev Festival featuring Stone Temple Pilots, Creed, and others
Rock N' Rev - Festival website
- L.A. Guns, Faster Pussycat, and John Corabi
- Zoroaster, Black Tusk, and Dark Castle
- Michael Schenker Group
- Coliseum and Burning Love
- Molotov Solution, Dr. Acula, I Declare War, and Monsters
- Limp Bizkit and Snoop Dogg
And that does it for New & Noteworthy this week! Before I go, though, I need to correct an earlier report I made. On April 16th, I reported that The Absence was going to be part of Dark Tranquillity's upcoming tour with Threat Signal and Mutiny Within, which starts next week. However, that is not the case. Apparently the story I read on ThePRP is incorrect, since The Absence have no tour dates listed on their MySpace and Metal Blade Records does not show them playing any concerts soon, since they are still recording their third album, Enemy Unbound. I apologize for the error. Hopefully I will not receive faulty information in the future and then mistakenly pass it on to you. See you next week!