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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