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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Bathory Grave
Disturbed Neck
Twelfth Gate Stratovarius
Cradle of Filth Kataklysm
Helloween Usurper
Ring of Fire Steel Attack
Iron Maiden Legend
Crematorium Metallica
Dr. Butcher Alchemy X
Led Zeppelin October 31
Endless Time Byfist
Black Sabbath Inner Rage of Emotion
Steel Preacher King Diamond
Lanfear Nordheim
Axenstar Tad Morose
Silent Scythe Pink Cream 69
Pharaoh Lacuna Coil
Deivos Body Count
Doro Fairyland
Soil Killik
Superchrist Riot
Bang The Union UFO
Kingcrow Jorn
Iron Angel Dragonspoon
Bonfire After Forever
Dio Lullacry
Theocracy Scavenger
Slowlife Jamie. St. James
Six Feet Under The Project Hate
Rush Tristania
Entombed Corrosion Of Conformity
Crionics Requiem Aeternam
Maze Of Torment Shatterpoint
Vicious Circle Tarot
Car Bomb Carina Alfie
Argument Soul Boomerang
Meshuggah Lord Gore
Thunderblast Grand Magus
Burden Of Grief Embraze
Raging Speedhorn Astarte
Graveworm Naglfar
Amorphis Brand New Sin
Subterranean Masquerade Unshine
Kult ov Azazel Secrets She Kept
Supagroup Ritual Killer
Alice Cooper Thor
Agents Of The Sun Violent Storm
Winterfell ASG
Sun O))) Ignarus
Third Degree Even X
Gojira Urizen
Midnight Idols Sinocence
Detonation Vader
Sodom Grimfist
Nobody's Fool Fallen Wisdom
Second Shadow Naked Beggars
Katatonia Nightmare
Daylight Dies Boris
Leviathan/Sapthuran Bal-Sagoth
Cataract Sun Descends
Spawn of Possession Bloodbound
Azure Destruction
Warface Fleshgore
From the Grave The Ruins of Beverast
Setherial Rotting Christ
Teeth of the Hydra Lupara
Starkweather Lecherous Nocturne
Phazm Marc Sasso
White Willow Almah
Satariel Pantera
Divine Empire Gotthard
Hacride Rob Zombie
Aborted Hearse
Ensiferum Echoes of Eternity
Cauldron Spheric Universe Experience
Mass Extinction Pathology
I Shalt Become Ost Est Ima
Witchfinder General Blood Haven
Burzum SOS
To-Mera Embalming Theatre
Bullet For My Valentine Medieval Steel
Deadsea Cursed
Sin UFOmammut
Coffins Battleroar