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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Anvil Demons and Wizards
Mudvayne Immolation
Dokken Solemnity
Regurgitate Twelfth Gate
Norma Jean Helloween
Widowmaker Late Nite Romeo
Tungsten Agony Divine
Morbid Angel Kilfast
Mourning Beloveth Malstrom
Rob Rock Sinergy
Beautiful Creatures Silent Scythe
Dreamaker Silver Mountain
Drowning Pool Jag Panzer
Messiah's Kiss Madison Paige
Bleeding Inc Skyfire
Donnerkopf Cyst
Spiral Madness House of Lords
Feinstein Acrid
Beaten Back To Pure Nashville Pussy
Katagory V Annihilator
Scavenger Chris Caffery
The Last Act Acheron
Overlorde Blind Guardian
Mercenary Motley Crue
Bloody Sign Loudblast
Seige of Hate Vicious Circle
Car Bomb Icarus Witch
Wolverine the missing:
Antares Kaamos
Boomerang Axis Of Perdition
Frantic Bleep Soul SirkUS
Raintime Grand Magus
Naglfar Amorphis
Unshine Circus Maximus
Secrets She Kept Evemaster
Horna Leaves Eyes
Cannon Havochate
Holy Blood Octavia Sperati
Lake Of Tears Monster Magnet
Blood Thirsty Demons Winterfell
Sun O))) Ignarus
1349 The Firstborn
Barcode Arthemis
The Absence Phantom X
Crystal Ball Wolfmother
Bronx Casket Company God Forbid
Absu End of Level Boss
Early Man Craft
Thryfing Witchery
Katatonia Ephel Duath
Lair Of The Minotaur Beyond Fear
Daylight Dies Steep
Tris Katone Clawfinger
Manngard Down Factor
Dream Or Nightmare 8th Sin
Before Silence Fragments of Unbecoming
Vengeance Paul Bonrud
Pretty Maids Anata
Battle Bratt Semargl
Teeth of the Hydra Venom
Lordi E-lane
The Showdown Extium
Deicide Lecherous Nocturne
Quest of Aidance Gaza
Phazm Warmachine
Madking Ludwig Merciless Death
Zyklon Nagelfar
Nominon Lipstick Magazine
Ulcerate JR Ewing
Hearse Faith And Fire
Temple Of Blood Distorted
Bilocate Ride The Sky
40 Below Summer Jesus Martyr
Trivium Vulture Industries
To-Mera Embalming Theatre
Hacksaw Surgery Godhead
Equilibrium Celestia
Uriah Heep Mar De Grises
Sin Luna Mortis
Winterfylleth Crown The Lost
Giant Squid Dark Castle