July 2, 2010

New & Noteworthy, July 2nd - True Heroes

The saga of Matthew Leone has left an incredible impression on me this week. I don't know of any other people that would try to break up a domestic abuse at great personal risk to self. The fact that the Madina Lake bassist wound up in a coma only makes his story more shocking and personal. Thankfully, though, Leone is conscious and aware now. I am in awe of the example he has set for people around the world and for musicians in the scene. Everyone should strive to be like Matthew Leone: selfless, caring, and just - in other words, a true hero.

We celebrate Leone and his actions this week, but we will take our standard look at the new releases and tours as well. There are quite a few Christian metal albums and another batch of reissues hitting the stores this week, but the biggest focus is on Trent Reznor's triumphant return to music. Meanwhile, bands are booking tours for the end of summer like it's going out of style. Keep reading and get ready for the heat!

Next Week's New Releases

  • How to Destroy Angels by How to Destroy Angels - Trent Reznor has always been about doing things on his own terms. Now he gets to do that. How to Destroy Angels is Reznor, his wife Mariqueen Maandig, and Nine Inch Nails collaborator Atticus Ross. The music is on par with the brilliance of Nine Inch Nails, if not more so because Reznor is going even further outside the box this time around. Hi-def enthusiasts can get the upgrade package for better audio and a music video thrown in.
  • Danza III: The Series of Unfortunate Events by The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza - The grindcore comedians are up to their usual brand of insanity on their third release. The album features easily one of the band's most humorous song titles to date, a small homage to the Die Hard series. The album closer also references the questionable apocalypse theory of 2012, leading to speculation of whether the band believes that the world (or maybe their career) is coming to end. Fans of the band, myself included, hope that neither of those is the case.
  • New EP by The Devil Wears Prada - The details of this EP have been a complete mystery for weeks, and it appears that the band wants to keep it that way for as long as possible. The only clue is this website, which features a countdown clock and a repeating audio loop. Maybe on Monday, when the countdown ends, we'll finally know what the band has in store.
  • The Inevitable Relapse by Filter - This limited edition 7-inch single is the precursor to the planned August release of The Trouble With Angels, Filter's second album following their return from hiatus in late 2007. While fans will be enthusiastic for this album, it likely won't repeat the immediate success of 2008's Anthems for the Damned, which debuted at #60 on the Billboard 200. But miracles have been known to happen where Filter is concerned. Watch this album closely.
  • The Marriage of Heaven and Hell by A Plea for Purging - Look up the word "tireless" in the dictionary and you'll find a picture of A Plea for Purging. The band tours relentlessly, even while writing and recording their music. And they certainly do record a lot - The Marriage of Heaven and Hell is their third album in four years. These Christian metalcore kids showed a surprising love for technical metal in the vein of Meshuggah on their last album, Depravity. I wouldn't be surprised if that pattern repeats itself here.
  • Legacy of the Ancients by Pathology - After three releases on three independent labels, the gore-obsessed death metal trio finally got themselves a deal with Victory to get bigger exposure. It's odd that it took so long for a larger label to pick them up, considering that the members' credits include stints in Disgorge, The Locust, and Cattle Decapitation. Nonetheless, though, Legacy of the Ancients will attract fans of Disgorge and other similar goregrind/brutal death metal bands like Devourment, Lividity, and Katalepsy.
  • A Feast for Crows by Corpus Christi - The Cincinnati-based group debuted on Victory last year with The Darker Shades of White, earning great reviews for such a young band. Their new album should show some marked improvement, although sadly, it is completely unrelated to the excellent novel by George R.R. Martin. Literary comparisons aside, though, Corpus Christi has lots of potential to leapfrog ahead in the Christian metal scene.
  • Yet by My Epic - These guys aren't particularly metal in most respects. In fact, the best comparison I can make for them is that they embody the experimental post-hardcore sound of mewithoutYou. Definitely not a heavy band, but there is plenty of odd intricacy in their music that will appeal to fans of softer prog rock and less whiny forms of post-hardcore.
  • Man of Two Visions by Valkyrie - Fans of Baroness might not know that singer and guitarist Pete Adams has a side project called Valkyrie, co-founded by his brother Jake. Much like Baroness, Valkyrie draws the core of their sound from traditional stoner-doom metal. However, unlike Baroness, Valkyrie stays true to the classic genre without any of the crazy prog influences. It would be easy to call Valkyrie "the poor man's Baroness", but in reality, it's more accurate to think of Valkyrie as a younger version of Saint Vitus or Witchfinder General.
  • Rising from the Grave by Helstar - Houston's Helstar has been delivering thrash since the mid-'80s, and their career has been consistent despite a lack of exposure. This box set will feature remastered versions of the band's two Metal Blade albums, A Distant Thunder and Nosferatu. It will also feature the band's first video-recorded live performance, filmed on Christmas night at the Backstage Club in Houston in 1989, and appropriately dubbed "Twas the Night of a Hellish Xmas".
  • Spirit the Earth Aflame by Primordial - The Irish black/folk metal squad is has been re-releasing their albums with bonus material for awhile now. 2000's Spirit the Earth Aflame is the third in the reissue cycle, and the second disc of this edition will feature five live tracks, including live covers of Bathory and Rotting Christ, as well as one bonus studio track and re-recordings of three other songs. This is a great collector's item with plenty of extras to satiate fans.
  • The Farthest Reaches by Son of Aurelius - If you've never heard of this group, think of The Faceless, Obscura, and other technical brutal death metal groups in a similar vein. Their debut appeared in April, and they've earned a spot on the Over the Limit tour, which might have the most appropriate name of this summer's endless options for live concerts. This special edition will only be available digitally and will include five bonus tracks for the extreme technical death metal fans.
This Week's Tour Announcements

  • Deftones, Baroness, and Circa Survive
Last week, America's alt-metal sweethearts added yet another tour to their already packed touring schedule. Five more dates have been to this tour in various locations. How Chino Moreno and Co. plan to survive the last five months of the year is anyone's guess, since they won't get a break anywhere in their run of shows. But everyone knows that these guys are veterans, and they will manage themselves as best they can.
ThePRP announcement

  • Bad Company
The classic lineup of the band is reuniting for a series of shows that will apparently run from mid-July until mid-October. The dates announced so far have huge gaps in that time period, but more dates are due to be announced soon, so expect for those gaps to fill during the next few weeks. Apparently live concert CD's will be sold on-site at each show as well, giving fans something to remember the show by, if it goes as well as the band's UK tour did.
Blabbermouth announcement

  • "Bring Your Own Bowl Cut" Tour - Becoming the Archetype, Onward to Olympas, and To Speak of Wolves
The last we've heard from Becoming the Archetype was the digital release of their song "Necrotizing Fasciitis" last October. This humorously-named tour will hopefully lead to news about the band's fourth album, but the name is also not unprecedented. In 2008, the band had both the "Bring Your Own Beard" and "Born With a Moustache" tours. Clearly this is a band that appreciates the "jungle warrior" look. To Speak of Wolves will only be playing on select dates, but if they're playing one of your shows, get out to the show early, as this band shows a lot of promise at their young age.
ThePRP announcement

  • Enthroned, Deströyer 666, Pathology, and Estuary
It was over two months ago that Enthroned announced their plans to return to the US. Now the Belgian group has made their return official, and there's a hefty support package in tow. The tour will run throughout August and will hit most major cities. Now fans just have to hope that it's not another nine years before the band returns to America again.
ThePRP announcement

  • Volbeat and Anew Revolution
This tour may be only five dates, but even one chance to see Volbeat must be capitalized on. The Danish rockers are the new hot band in the world right now, touring with the likes of Metallica, AC/DC, Machine Head, Fear Factory, and many more. They have a fourth album coming out soon overseas, although there's no word yet on an American release date. Still, though, here's a chance to see new materials from that album and find out (if you haven't already, for some poor excuse of a reason) why Volbeat is six different kinds of awesome.
ThePRP announcement

  • Suffokate, The Red Shore, And Hell Followed With, Murder Death Kill, and King Conquer
This tour is chock-full of brutal death metal and deathcore, so come prepared to mosh. The shows will take place at small clubs and bars, increasing the chances for possible stage diving as well. The lineup is mostly young bands, which also promises lots of energy and craziness onstage. If you like any one of the bands in the lineup, this tour is worth it.
ThePRP announcement

That's all for this week. Enjoy the long holiday weekend, and prepare for next week, with the promise of many huge new releases just over the hoizon. And if you are able, please donate to the Leones to assist with Matthew's medical bills. A true hero deserves as much support as we can give him!

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