The resurgence of one of the top nu-metal acts of the '90s tops the release chart this week, with a huge list of awesome albums following behind. The touring schedule continues to fill the winter months, and a certain one-shot event gets some big heavyweights (both literally and metaphorically) added to its lineup. All the fresh goodies you could ever want await you if you keep reading!
Next Week's New Releases
- Korn III: Remember Who You Are by Korn - I'm not sure if there's supposed to be some hidden meaning in this album title, but Korn needs to remember who they are if this album is to be a success. Their untitled 2007 album is best forgotten or avoided, but if Korn wants to prove they can last without David Silveria on drums, then Korn III needs to be a success. Hopefully the band's recent crop circle
gimmickperformance and upcoming headlining slot of the Mayhem Festival will be an accurate predictor of the album's worth.
- Stampede by Hellyeah - Chad Gray and Greg Tribbett were busy for quite awhile on some no-name project, but now that they're back, Hellyeah is ready to cause a ruckus once again. The lead single off Stampede is entitled "Cowboy Way", and it showcases an increased Southern rock and country influence in the supergroup (only amplified by the overabundance of cowboy hats in the music video). If this album is as infectious as their self-titled debut, then the band's members should probably consider making Hellyeah their primary focus.
- The Panic Broadcast by Soilwork - After leaving the band in 2005, Peter Wichers came back to Soilwork in 2009, resuming his lead guitar position and also bringing his new skills as a producer to the table. It will be interesting to see how he and Sylvain Coudret fill the shoes of Ola Frenning and Daniel Antonsson, both of whom left the band after 2007's Sworn to a Great Divide. The Panic Broadcast is billed as being more technical than its predecessor, and if it lives up to that reputation, then longtime fans might finally have the follow-up to Natural Born Chaos that they've waited seven years for.
- A Star-Crossed Wasteland by In This Moment - This album will be a landmark in the band's career because it will accurately show which side of their sound fans want to hear more. If reviews are positive, then In This Moment can safely stay to the heavier edge of their sound showcased on Beautiful Tragedy. If not, then Maria Brink and Co. can return to the more melodic sound of The Dream. The band's performance on the Mayhem Festival will also determine if Brink can stick with wearing ball gowns onstage. If the new blue dress survives this tour, then she can keep it up for another year.
- Crucible - Remixed & Remastered by Halford - The original release of Crucible in 2002 seemed to cement the reality into people's heads that Rob Halford was not going back to Judas Priest. His decision to shatter that reality a year later was a massive mindfuck for every Halford fan in the world, because this album is a masterpiece of The Metal God's prolific career. This new version of the classic album features four bonus tracks, including two never before released in the States, as well as new artwork and plenty of other extras.
- Meridional by Norma Jean - It's ironic that ex-Norma Jean drummer Daniel Davison is now playing in Underoath, especially when you examine the two bands' careers side by side. In the same time period that Underoath has gotten heavier and more technical, Norma Jean has dropped much of their technicality and increased their melody. It will be interesting to see if that trend continues on Meridional, Norma Jean's first album without Davison, and also their first album not released by Solid State Records.
- Matador by Zoroaster - The Atlanta-based sludge trio has been making waves for three years, even getting Mastodon's Brent Hinds to perform guest vocals on their last full-length. Armed with a new deal from E1, they will attempt to spread their influence even further with Matador. If you go to see them live, though, bring some earplugs or else stand in the back.
- Solitaire by Edenbridge - Symphonic metal with a female singer? I think we've seen this formula before. However, Edenbridge at least goes the extra mile with the symphonic tag, as Solitaire is their second album recorded with the Czech Film Orchestra. This Austrian group also has a more progressive edge than most similar-sounding bands, so this album is worth a try if you find other symphonic metal releases to be formulaic.
- The Pulse of Awakening by Sybreed - Two weeks ago on New & Noteworthy, I mentioned two albums being released that had already been out for several weeks in Europe. Sybreed is taking that one step further - as of this week, The Pulse of Awakening has been out in Europe for eight months. Musically, Sybreed treads the middle ground of industrial metal - not as heavy and blastbeat-intensive as Fear Factory, but not as melodic and catchy as Mnemic either. They have a good balance to their sound that most industrial metal fans will find refreshing and enjoyable.
- God Grant Me Vengeance by Hell Within - This Boston hardcore group has been around for eight years, but God Grant Me Vengeance is just their third full-length release. Talk about a model of perseverance. After two releases on Lifeforce, Hell Within signed with tiny indie label Thorp Records for this album. They'll need to continue their lifelong model of nonstop touring for this album to advance their career at all.
- Bleeding Through, After the Burial, For Today, and The Word Alive
- 70,000 Tons of Metal Cruise
- Tool and Jello Biafra
- Living Sacrifice
- The World We Knew
- Tombs and Planks
- Nickelback, Buckcherry, and Three Days Grace
Close the chapter on this week's New & Noteworthy, folks! Next week, the heaviest of the heavy come roaring out of the gates with new albums, so practice your moshpit techniques and get ready to throw down!