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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In Flames Into Eternity
Racer X Mudvayne
Scanner Steel Prophet
The Great Deceiver Exmortem
Neck Machine Head
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Godsmack Usurper
Steel Attack Advent
Liege Lord Ravage
Sickspeed Crematorium
God Dethroned Valley's Eve
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Evolution Black Sabbath
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Biomechanical Wycked Synn
Victory Stryper
Guardians Of Time Axenstar
Savatage Thunderstone
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Fraise Probot
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Division Jamie. St. James
House of Shakira Negative Creeps
Agnostic Front Blind Guardian
Mirror of Deception Cryme
John Oliva's Pain Code Black
Image Ligeia
Lost Soul Crionics
Impaled Veni Domine
Maze Of Torment Soilwork
Sabaton Soulscar
Suidakra Carina Alfie
Chaoswave Bruce Dickinson
Ignitor Ramesses
Slumber Green Carnation
Hatesphere Python
Amorphis Goddess Of Desire
Dynamic Lights Love Forsaken
Impaled Nazarene Holy Blood
Edenbridge A Lower Deep
Pagan's Mind Russell Allen
Penetrator 1349
Wolfmother Urizen
Chain Collector Zero Down
Motorhead Decapitated
Taunusheim Pile of Heads
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Cannibal Corpse The Ocean
Valhalla Phoenix Mourning
The Smackdown The Smashup
Dream Or Nightmare Stormcrow
The Strongest Proof Ensoph
Azure She Said Destroy
Hydrogyn Amon Amarth
Fleshgore Woodtemple
Zero Hour Anata
Enochian Crescent Myon
Isis Twinball
Lupara Sathanas
Audrey Horne Demise
Quest of Aidance Warmachine
Blood Tsunami With Passion
Threat Signal Onslaught
Dezperadoz Nominon
Aborted Retrospective
Ulcerate JR Ewing
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Mass Extinction Ride The Sky
Straight Line Stitch Armory
Bullet For My Valentine DC4
Sister Sin