June 18, 2010

New & Noteworthy, June 18th - The Rush Begins

I apologize for my absence last week with New & Noteworthy. Hopefully you managed to catch New & Noteworthy on Metal Insider, in its second week as a regular column. If not, go read up on last week's new releases, which were few in number but great in significance!

This week begins what will likely be twelve weeks of being broke for music enthusiasts such as me. There are big-name albums coming out almost every week this summer. Here's just a few of the big names with new releases on the horizon: Candlemass, Parkway Drive, How to Destroy Angels, Hellyeah, Korn, Soilwork, The Acacia Strain, Chimaira, Ill NiƱo, Avenged Sevenfold, Comeback Kid, Black Label Society, Iron Maiden, Helmet, Kataklysm, Stone Sour, Accept, and Death Angel. If this isn't a huge summer for metal, I don't know what is!

This week features the long-anticipated return of everyone's favorite ex-Misfit, the hotly-debated new album from the Prince of Darkness, and plenty of other great new music, along with some serious summer tour announcements. Read on to see what's on the calendar!

Next Week's New Releases

  • Deth Red Sabaoth by Danzig - Six years after Circle of Snakes, Danzig's solo project has essentially turned into a supergroup, featuring guitarist Tommy Victor (Prong), drummer Johnny Kelly (Type O Negative, Seventh Void), and bassist Steve Zing (Samhain). Danzig reportedly went for a more "old-school" approach with the recordings, and it seems to have paid off, with the high scores he's received thus far. This is an album that definitely merits a look from everyone.
  • Scream by Ozzy Osbourne - Is this the end for Ozzy? No one is really sure, not even Ozzy, because let's face it, that man probably isn't sure of very much these days. But we can all be sure of this - the biggest reason to check out this album is not the 61-year-old singer, but rather Gus G., the 29-year-old guitarist taking the place of Zakk Wylde. Anyone familiar with his main band, Firewind, should know that he is easily one of the best guitarists in the world right now, and anyone not familiar with Firewind should acquaint themselves to see what this young Greek prodigy can do. While his skills are probably reigned in slightly on Scream, Gus G. will likely be the best thing about this album, and his incredible play will raise the overall quality of the rest of the album.
  • Live in the USA/16.6 - Live Around the World by Primal Fear - This live album is the eleventh album of recorded material in Primal Fear's thirteen-year career, which in itself is quite impressive. If you missed the band's last album, 2009's 16.6 (Before the Devil Knows You're Dead), it's a great starting point if you're looking to get into a new power metal band. The two releases coming out this week are a live CD from the band's 2009 tour to support the new album and a DVD with plenty of video from the band's live excursions during all of last year. Best of all, the two releases can be purchased together as a special edition! Good value for a highly underrated band!
  • House With a Curse by Coliseum - Coliseum is a hardcore band that almost has too much cross-genre appeal. Any hardcore band that can do splits with Baroness, High on Fire, and Doomriders is either expanding their sound very well or playing hardcore very incorrectly. Either way, though, the band has gained a rabid following that have been clamoring to get this album for almost three years. Count on House With a Curse to be unpredictable, diverse, and brutal.
  • True Sound of the Underground by Sister Sin - I mistakenly included this album in New & Noteworthy two weeks ago, so my apologies for the mistake. Hopefully all of you knew I had the wrong release date before going to the stores searching for this album. In any case, I stand by what I said two weeks ago. Sister Sin is probably the only new band with a female singer among the revival of traditional heavy metal. Fans of Doro Pesch (or her old band Warlock) will love Sister Sin, and anyone else looking for a good dose of the glory days should check out this album.
  • Haunt What's Left by This or the Apocalypse - Haunt What's Left was co-produced by Lamb of God drummer Chris Adler, so you can bet that the drumming on this album will be impeccable. The band's debut, Monuments, was fairly impressive, although it had its moments of chaos and confusion. With the production talents of Adler and Josh Wilbur, it's a fair bet that This or the Apocalypse have tightened up on this new album and will have more consistency.
  • Uroboros - With the Proof in the Name of Living... - At Nippon Budokan by Dir En Grey - The new live CD from the Japanese group hit digital retailers back on May 25th, but those looking for a physical copy can get it this week for the first time. It contains the full live performance of the band's most recent album at the famous Nippon Budokan arena in Tokyo. It's more of a collector's item than anything else, but fans of the band might still want to give it a listen.
  • Caedium by Enemy of the Sun - If you've never heard of Enemy of the Sun, they're definitely an interesting band to listen to. Their progressive thrash style with other elements blended into the sound is unquestionably an acquired taste, but if you can get into it, you'll love them because there are very few bands that sound even remotely similar. Their debut album Shadows showed a lot of potential when it came out in 2007, and Caedium looks to pick up right where it left off.
  • Ghosts Among Men by Grave Maker - The Vancouver-based hardcore outfit is one of Victory's newest signings, and they're looking to start strong by releasing a new album immediately, along with their upcoming tour with Terror that was announced three weeks ago. I have to say, though, that the artwork for Ghosts Among Men is pretty amusing, and those unfamiliar with the band might mistake them for some sort of viking metal parody group. Have a look here if you don't believe me, but as the old saying goes, don't judge an album by its artwork. This is pure, unadulterated tough-guy hardcore at its finest. Get ready to mosh with Ghosts Among Men in your stereo.
  • Goner by Early Graves - The group's debut We: The Guillotine shed all aspects of Apiary, the band that preceded Early Graves. Transitioning from technical metal to a thrash-hardcore fusion is not an easy thing, but Early Graves did it perfectly. Check out Goner if you're looking for something to mix up your thrash or hardcore tastes. This is a band with lots of great ideas for their music, and it shows.
  • This Comp Kills Fascists Vol. 2 by Relapse Records - Arranged by grindcore master Scott Hull, the second installment of the series will bring us even more underground grind, hardcore, crust punk, and other extreme music sub-genres designed to make eardrums bleed among the uninitiated. While this edition isn't as overtly political as the first volume, with its "bushy" cover, there definitely will be plenty of straight-laced social and political commentary delivered amidst the cacophony of the music. Underground extreme music enthusiasts should be all over this compilation, if for no other reason than the fact that Relapse is known for unleashing some of the best extreme bands in the world.
This Week's Tour Announcements

  • Tool and Wovenhand
Tool has an opening band for their tour now! Never mind the fact that almost nobody has a clue who they are, since that seems to be the standard for Tool tours. (Can I get a sound off for Fantomas and Tomahawk? Anyone?) If you're heading to one of these shows, you're in for a rare treat. But East Coasters, do not fear! Tool has to tour on our side of the country soon, right? …Right?
ThePRP announcement

  • Black Label Berzerkus Tour - Black Label Society, Clutch, Children of Bodom, and 2Cents
Wow. Um, okay! I really don't even know what to say about this lineup, except for the fact that guitar aficionados from every corner of the continent will be coming out in force to this tour, just to see Zakk Wylde and Alexi Laiho on the same stage. Beyond that, though, this lineup seems like a train wreck waiting to happen. The undeniable style differences among the four bands are just too big to overcome. Hopefully, though, my fears will be proven meaningless in time.
ThePRP announcement

  • Over the Limit Tour - Oceano, As Blood Runs Black, and more
This tour is essentially a poor man's Summer Slaughter, with a few good bands amidst a horde of indistinguishable ones. However, the two bands below the headliners - Arsonists Get All the Girls and The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza - get credit for having extremely strange, and thus, instantly recognizable names. If you're a fan of these specific bands, the tour is worth checking out, but you're better off with other tours for higher quality aggressive music.
ThePRP announcement - part 1
ThePRP announcement - part 2

  • Agnostic Front, Mother of Mercy, and New Lows
Leave it to Agnostic Front to book a tour at a bunch of small clubs and bars, despite the fact that they're one of the most well-renowned hardcore bands in the world. If you want to see one of these shows, get tickets early, especially for the New York dates. You'll miss out if you don't.
ThePRP announcement

  • Bane, Trapped Under Ice, Cruel Hand, and Alpha & Omega
Bane is also hitting small clubs and bars on their tour, although they're bringing a bigger and better-recognized supporting cast with them. Their tour also runs for a lot longer than Agnostic Front's does, hitting almost the entire country in the course of a month. Between these two tours, you should all get a good dose of hardcore this summer.
ThePRP announcement

  • Primus
This fall run is dubbed "The Oddity Faire Tour", and with Primus headlining, the name couldn't be more appropriate. Other bands are still being booked, and support is rumored to change from one region of the country to another. Still, this will be a nice follow-up to the band's August tour with Gogol Bordello. And new music might also be played at these shows!
ThePRP announcement

  • After the Burial
The deathcore outfit is using their leisure time wisely, booking a number of shows on off-dates from their upcoming tour with Fear Factory. A few high-profile supports acts will play at some of these shows, with more potentially still to come. Keep an eye on these dates, since After the Burial is a quickly-rising band with lots of potential that promoters might pull in a big name for.
ThePRP announcement

  • BlackDiamondSkye Tour - Alice in Chains, Deftones, and Mastodon
Think back to almost six weeks ago when this tour was first announced. Has it really been that long? It seems crazy, but it has. Now more dates are being added to what will likely be the biggest tour of the fall. This is a tour full of quality music that you do not want to miss under any circumstances!
ThePRP announcement

  • Summer Slaughter Tour
Continuing the theme of added dates, two more shows have been added to the Summer Slaughter Tour. Apparently, promoters realized just how big of a crowd Decapitated could draw. This is huge for the cities that get these stops. Go get your tickets ASAP!
ThePRP announcement

  • Thrash and Burn Tour
Finally, in the theme of adjusted dates, a few changes have been made to the itinerary for Thrash and Burn, cutting a Canadian date and shuffling the shows in the New York City area. I'm perplexed with the venue choice for this tour, since most of the shows will be played at small clubs. An eleven-band lineup practically requires a larger venue, if for no other reason than to make loading and unloading manageable.
ThePRP announcement

  • Unsane, Today is the Day, and Keelhaul
The veteran noisecore group is following the "full album live performance" trend of this year, and will be playing their 1995 release Scattered, Smothered & Covered in its entirety at the announced shows. These August dates don't cover a lot of ground, but Unsane is one of the founding bands in the noisecore subgenre, and thus deserve a bit more effort and attention. Check out one of these shows if you can make it.
ThePRP announcement

  • Advent
The Christian hardcore group has some scattered shows lined up for the summer, mostly located in the Southeast. This band has a lot of untapped potential, and both of their records thus far are monstrous. If you've never heard of Advent, now would be a great time to check them out, while they're still playing small venues.
ThePRP announcement

  • Orbs and Junius
Orbs is an experimental rock group in the same vein as Mr. Bungle, which is definitely not what you'd expect from a lineup featuring members of Fear Before, Between the Buried and Me, and Cradle of Filth. This tour announcement comes at the same time as news that they've signed with Equal Vision Records, which will be releasing their debut Asleep Next to Science on August 17th. The group has potential, but they're tough to get into. Give them a listen if you're up for some very odd-sounding music.
ThePRP announcment

And there you have it folks! Another edition of New & Noteworthy in the bag! Be sure to check out MetalInsider for New & Noteworthy on Tuesdays, and help support one of the best metal sites on the Internet!

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