F E A T U R E

Eric's First Quarter Metal Review!
3/15/2013 6:37:42 PM by Eric




It is hard to believe we are almost through the first quarter of 2013. Just yesterday we were recapping the "best of" that 2012 had to offer. With so many great releases on hand at this early stage of the year, I thought it fitting to just recap the first quarter and provide my playlist and best of thus far. I will try to do this for each quarter this year as well...just remind me!

The year's best thus far is Bullet For My Valentine. Their new album, "Temper Temper" landed Valentine's Day week and provides yet another top notch performance from this Welsh outfit. I can name a handful of bands that began their career with four awesome albums and that is saying a lot. It is so rare a feat and I salute Matt Tuck and company for delivering a slightly different approach this time around but one that definitely solidifies BFMV as leaders of the metalcore circuit.

Speaking of slightly different, the second week of March gave us the new Hardcore Superstar album "C'mon Take On Me". This diverse record is to Hardcore Superstar what "Dysfunctional" was to Dokken. It will be the band's album that sits sideways in their discography. I really like it and pleasantly surprised that it differs from the "party hard Swedish glam" that the band has perfected over the years. I hear a lot of Aerosmith on this album, not necessarily a serious album lyric wise but still drifting from the street wise into more poetic realms. Definitely a strong runner up to year's best so far.

It has to be a new year because Biff and company are back at it again on new Saxon release "Sacrifice". The album hits the last week of March and is a milestone record for the NWOBHM stars. This is their twentieth album to date and finds the band better than ever, another super strong entry that continues in the same vein as "The Inner Sanctum" and "Into The Labyrinth". It's produced by Andy Sneap and given a real modern power metal treatment.

I thoroughly enjoyed the new Hypocrisy slab "End Of Disclosure". This March release shows the Swedish giants back to basics with another solid effort that shows us some of the late 90s stylings while still delivering plenty of speedy technical death feats that recall early Hypocrisy. The album was once again produced by Peter Tagtgren at Abyss Studios and sonically sound in every facet of the band's signature formula.

Another Swedish band steals the show in Soilwork's March release "The Living Infinite". Those of you clamoring for a return to form will get two for the price of one. This is a mammoth two CD album and is filled with material that is very similar to "Predator's Portrait", "Stabbing The Drama" and "Natural Born Chaos". This culmination of eras motivates the band to create an album that is their best in years. This one may hold steady in my top ten of 2013.

Other notable releases:

Attacker - Giants of Canaan -- New addition Bobby Lucas enhances this charging power metal album that is sure to please longtime fans.
Holy Grail - Ride The Void -- Solid sophomore release that harbors the blazing momentum of the group's debut full length.
Wednesday 13 - The Dixie Dead -- The defining moment for this talented frontman. This album is fast, heavy and sleazy with the signature horror overtones that make it horror punk brimming with hard rock attitude.
Enforcer - Death By Fire -- This is the Swedes third release to date and first for new label Nuclear Blast. This may be the band's best, extremely tight and proficient in NWOBHM theatrics.

The second quarter is already looking promising with new entries scheduled for Amorphis, Pretty Maids and the much anticipated comeback from Killswitch Engage!



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RANDOM ACTS OF METAL
Hate Eternal In Flames
The Great Deceiver Vehemence
Twilight Odyssey BloodDuster
Dokken Deceased
Twelfth Gate Circle II Circle
Dark Moor Pelican
Circle of Nero Exawatt
Endless Time Byfist
Chainsnap Artension
The Graveyard Boulevard Crystal Eyes
Rob Rock Slayer
Fairyland Dreamaker
Neverland Mother Misery
Soil Jaw
downBleed Freakhouse
UFO Deep Purple
W.A.S.P. Kingcrow
Skyfire Disarmonia Mundi
Gary Moore Marillion
Lonewolf Iron Angel
Zaius Dimmu Borgir
Schenker/ Pattison Summit Bonfire
Rhapsody of Fire Psychotron
Images of Eden Katagory V
Chris Caffery GWAR
Haunted By Angels The Last Act
Made of Iron Jackyl
Avenue F Betrayer
Sonata Arctica Milkweed
Entombed Crionics
Hellfueled Strikelight
Heartcry Crimson Moonlight
Argument Soul Derek Sherinian
Omegalord Meshuggah
Fire Alley Gizmachi
Grand Magus Slumber
Ivory Knight Embraze
Manntis Sothis
Darkane Testament
Sentenced Dark Funeral
Dynamic Lights Dam
Killing Spree Nightvision
Future is Tomorrow V:28
The Atomic Bitchwax Before The Dawn
Gojira Ram-Zet
Vile Infliction
Mastermind Bronx Casket Company
Detonation Machina
From This Day Fallen Wisdom
Cardinale Upwards of Endtime
Wolves in the Throne Room Nightmare
Daylight Dies Hell-Born
Tris Katone Viron
The Smackdown Cataract
Nicodemus The Sword
Black Crucifixion Upon Infliction
Fragments of Unbecoming Jotunspor
Destruction Hydrogyn
Dendura Sahg
From the Grave Mouth of the Architect
Jeff Walker und Die Fluffers Pump
Setherial Satyricon
Eyes of Ligeia Teeth of the Hydra
Biolich Obtest
Winger Cheva
Kotipelto Gaza
Blood Tsunami Fu Manchu
With Passion Terry Sullivan
Necrophobic Crescent Shield
Dezperadoz Cruachan
White Willow Passion
Transmission 0 Retrospective
The Wonderfools Nation Beyond
Fight Keep of Kalessin
Temple Of Blood Diamond Dogs
Mongrel Mass Extinction
Pathology Alkemyst
Shining Star Rosetta
Mortiis Vulture Industries
Godhead Souls Of We
End of Man Wolfgate
Winterfylleth Mustasch
Uli Jon Roth