2013: Most Anticipated Metal Albums
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Expect a great 12 months a' coming: from metal's hiperati to its most mainstream. The only doom and gloom on the current forecast will most likely be taking place between your headphones.
Amon Amarth (June on Metal Blade Records)
The Asgard-praisin' Swedish death metal brigade have encamped in the U.K. with uber producer Andy Sneap (Testament, Nevermore) for their ninth studio album to date. Expect frontman Johann Hegg & Co. to bring the Gotterdammerung Now!
Animals As Leaders (Spring on Sumerian Records)
Tosin Abasi continues his quest to single handedly re-write instrumental guitarspeak for the post-Meshuggah generation. Not only has the band teamed with powerhouse Sumerian Records, but Periphery guitarist Misha Mansoor, who produced AAL's debut, is back to aid with the sonic mind fuckery.
Asking Alexandria (Late Spring on Sumerian Records)
"The Hardest Partying Band On The Planet" is poised to explode with their latest, Joey Sturgis-produced platter. Led by the irrepressible Danny Worsnop, this crew of U.K. expats (now livin' the high life in Hollywood) are out to prove that rock ain't dead as they shed their strict metalcore workout regiment for something slightly more gloriously (gulp!) mainstream and in-your-face.
Behemoth (Summer on Metal Blade)
Since having conquered leukemia and then going onto play some of the biggest and most electrifying shows in his career, the stage is set for Behemoth's Adam "Nergal" Darski to dominate the extreme metal throne. While studio extremist Ross Robinson looked like a favorite to produce the pulverizing Polish hate crew, word is that the band will be handling the follow-up to 2009's blackened masterpiece, Evangelion, on their own uncompromising terms.
Black Sabbath (June on Vertigo/Republic)
The Sabs will finally be finishing their all-too-long-in-the-works reunion album entitled 13 at the start of 2013. With Rage Against The Machine's Brad Wilk taking on skin duties from Bill Ward (who left during a very public contractual battle with his bandmates) and the Hand of Doom himself, Tony Iommi, recovering from his battle with cancer, Black Sabbath has at long last recorded 15 tracks with uber producer Rick Rubin. According to Tony Iommi himself: the metal icons will be touring "as much as possible this year".
Bring Me the Horizon (April 30 on Epitaph Records)
BMTH mainman Oli Sykes & Co. are name-checking "post-rock" influences like Explosions in the Sky and This Will Destroy You for their upcoming Terry Date (Deftones, Pantera)-produced album, Sempiternal. They'll be sharing plenty of epic vibes with U.S. audiences all summer long on the Vans Warped tour.
Carcass (TBA on Label TBA)
The lycergic Liverpudians resurface after a 17 year recorded absence since the release of their somewhat disappointing death-and-roll opus, Swansong. While Arch Enemy's Michael Amott will be sitting the reunion out, (he wasn't an original Carcan to begin with) bassist/vocalist Jeff Walker and guitarist Bill Steer have reunited in the studio with veteran producer Colin Richardson (Bullet for My Valentine, Fear Factory) with grind on their minds and a yen for the melodious death-rattle that made the likes of 1991's Necroticism- Descanting the Insalubrious and 1993's Heartwork so humungously influential.
Children of Bodom (Summer on Nuclear Blast Records)
After renewing vows with old label home, Nuclear Blast, Finnish metal superstars, Children of Bodom, are already back to the grind with a new album and non-stop touring planned for 2013. According to drummer Jaska Raatikainen: "I am convinced that the new songs are great – a little black metal, heavy metal, old-school death metal, melodies, solos, and anything you want to make a nice album. And the most important, new ideas ala Children of Bodom!" Would we expect any less?
Chimaira (TBA on eOne)
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The Cleveland metallers are already in the studio working on what will be their seventh studio album. With Mark Hunter on vocals, and a revitalized lineup that features musicians who have done time in groups like Daath, Bleed the Sky, and Dirge Within, Noisecreep has no doubt Chimaira will unleash another beast this time out. Check out a video teaser the group posted a few weeks back.
Clutch (March 19 on Weathermaker Music)
Says Clutch frontman Neil Fallon, Earth Rocker, the Maryland groove institution's latest and tenth overall platter o' power is "probably faster than most of our recent albums." A quick listen to the Machine (Lamb of God, Every Time I Die)-produced title track that's been making the rounds sounds like the true sounds of America's greatest jam band, period end.
Dillinger Escape Plan (Spring on Sumerian Records)
It only makes sense. New Jersey mathcore titans, Dillinger Escape Plan sign up with Sumerian, label leaders of Djent's new school, and get back to basics with a set of mind-benders mainman Ben Weinman swears are "very punk, very hardcore influenced." At press time, the band is finishing up now with long-time producer Steve Evetts (Sepultura, American Angel).
Deafheaven (Spring on Deathwish Records)
The San Franciscan post-black metal crew is finalizing songs for the follow-up to 2011's groundbreaking Roads to Juddah, provisionally titled Sunbather. Wanna really get your mind melted? Frontman George Clarke has described the vibe of the new songs as "lush", "rock-driven" and even "pop-driven". The mind boggles – bends and breaks.
Ghost (Spring on Loma Vista Recordings)
Will Papa Emeritus (the skully-faced Pope dude) and the Nameless Ghouls (the hooded horde) be 2012's hype or metal's saviors in 2013? Loma Vista Recordings, the new label formed by ex-Warner Bros. head Tom Whalley, is willing to bet $750,000 on the widespread appeal of Ghost's occult rock stylings. It is kinda ironic that the shadowy Swedes recorded their second album Infestissumam in Nashville, Tenn. with producer Nick Raskulinecz (Death Angel, Foo Fighters), right? Wonder how those late-night dinner break visits to Waffle House went over with the locals?
HIM (Spring on label TBA)
Entitled Tears on Tape, HIM's latest is easily mainman Ville Valo's finest and rawest offering since 2003's Love Metal. Described by Valo as "Roy Orbison meeting Metallica" as well as a blend of "melancholy" and "Motorhead", it's the album the Heartagram-tattooed faithful have long been fiending for.
Killswitch Engage (April 2 on Roadrunner Records)
The Mass Metal Titans re-invent their steel for album number six: Disarm the Descent. With original throat Jesse Leach back in place, expect something leaner, meaner and faster than KsE's 2009 self-titled offering.
Obama, Chemtrails, Men's Warehouse beware! General Dave Mustaine is back to the killin' business (when does he ever really let up?) and promising that the follow-up to last years Th1rte3n is "a little darker, a littler faster" than what fans might expect. Always a good sign.
Phillip H. Anselmo (Summer on Housecore Records)
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The two tracks Uncle Phil, AKA, the Hardest Working Man In Metal, teased us with on the War of the Gargantuas split with Warbeast were just the beginning. In fact, they might even be a bit tame compared to the bulk of Walk Through Exits Only, Phillip's first full-on "solo" effort (recorded under the banner of Phillip H. Anselmo & The Illegals). Think of the album as a culmination of everything the man has done so far – and then toss that all away. From what we've heard so far, it's a fuck-load scarier than all of that.
Satyricon (Label and Release date TBA)
Satyricon mainman Sigurd "Satyr" Wongraven and drummer Frost have resurfaced after a four-year break to begin work on the follow-up to 2008's The Age of Nero. The icy hibernation will officially end when the band headlines Norway's Inferno Festival the weekend of March 27-30.
Slayer (TBA on American Recordings)
It's fucking Slayer, dude. Expect it sometime in the next 12 months. Talk to you when it's time.
Twilight (TBA on Century Media Records)
An American black metal supergroup, to put it mildly. Blake Judd (Nachtmystium), Wrest (Leviathan), Imperial (Krieg), Sanford Parker and Stavros Giannopolous (The Atlas Moth) find a new partner in grimness in Sonic Youth's arbiter-of-cool: Thurston Moore. Says Thurston: "We're not coming together to make music, we're joining forces to destroy all rational thought." Sounds like an admirable goal.
Watain (August on Century Media)
God (or Lucifer) knows what they signed their deal with new label, Century Media in. Blood? Offal? These Swedes are about to batter down mainstream metal's doors with a full-scale attack on the senses. Expect not only the stench of rotting animal cadavers and the lick of flame but also get ready for an album sure to stretch Watain's unholy noise beyond any expected black boundaries.
And...Entombed are putting the finishing touches on the long-awaited follow-up to 2007's Serpent Saints – The Ten Amendments...Satanic Hispanics Asesino will be entering the studio sometime in the coming months to begin work on the long-awaited La Segunda Venida...Cleveland's apocalyptic high priests Integrity have inked with Norway's Indie Recordings for the release of Detonate Worlds Plague this coming Spring...Biohazard are presently demoing their latest collection of urban screeds with new frontman Scott Roberts (ex-Spudmonsters, Cro-Mags)...former Killswitch Engage/Blood Has Been Shed throatsman Howard Jones is beginning to write and record music with a few name players in an upcoming, as-of-yet-unnamed new band...Norwegian bruisers Kvelertak have finished up their second full length with Converge's Kurt Ballou with a release planned before Summer...Danzig will finally be releasing his long awaited covers LP in 2013....and with guitarist Rob Caggiano out of Anthrax, does this mean we'll finally get to hear Temple of the Black Moon, his extreme metal supergroup featuring Cradle of Filth's Dani Filth, The Cult's Johnny Tempesta and God Seed's King Ov Hell?...and of course there is talk of a Tool record, but then again, the year is young....