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
Cave In HammerFall
White Skull Vicious Mary
Big Dumb Face Immolation
Disturbed Deranged
Twisted Tower Dire Symphorce
Usurper Steel Attack
Lamb of God Abigor
Johnny Lokke Nicta
Saint SelfInflicted
Biomechanical Bloodbath
The Graveyard Boulevard Morbid Angel
Lanfear Crystal Eyes
Sinergy Duke
Mnemic Vhaldemar
Silent Scythe Halloween
Attacker Slayer
Probot Brides of Destruction
Iron Savior Force Of Evil
I Hate Sally Killik
Gothic Knights Babylon Mystery Orchestra
Messiah's Kiss Epica
Graveland Icon And The Black Roses
Disarmonia Mundi U.D.O.
Dimmu Borgir Schenker/ Pattison Summit
Insomnium Bonfire
Unleashed Meliah Rage
Imp Psychotron
Theocracy Chris Caffery
House of Shakira GWAR
Mine Made of Iron
Anger Hanzel Und Gretyl
Karmakanic Rush
Fifth Cross Of Infinity
Milkweed Kinetic
Kings X Corrosion Of Conformity
Loudblast Strikelight
Desire Black Cemetary
Antares Alex Skolnick Trio
Bleed The Sky Frantic Bleep
Lord Gore Soul SirkUS
Strapping Young Lad Neil Turbin
Callenish Circle Burden Of Grief
Shade Empire Green Carnation
Ivory Knight Taake
Monolithe Gaia
Alice Cooper Thor
Holy Blood Painmuseum
V:28 Monster Magnet
Armored Saint Blood Thirsty Demons
Penetrator Forever Slave
Ewigkeit Ghost Machinery
Cryogen Gojira
Overmars Machina
Vader Early Man
Insense Pile of Heads
Cardinale Cannibal Corpse
Beyond Fear Hell-Born
Boris Phoenix Mourning
Candlemass Bludgeon
Apiary Upon Infliction
Jotunspor Bloodbound
Space Odyssey Dendura
Paul Bonrud Sahg
Skid Row Woodtemple
Skyforger Belphegor
Oblomov Starkweather
Lecherous Nocturne Handful of Hate
Threat Signal Onslaught
Terry Sullivan The Chronicles of Israfel
Crescent Shield Old Man's Child
Merciless Death Nagelfar
Incrave Mithras
The Prophecy Rob Zombie
Lipstick Magazine Kruger
The Wonderfools Himsa
Keep of Kalessin Ride The Sky
Straight Line Stitch SOS
Kreator Trinacria
Bible Of The Devil Cursed
Eighteen Wheels Burning Sotajumala