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 Nightwish
Twilight Odyssey Solemnity
Twelfth Gate Kataklysm
Skullview Celestial Ode
Seether Ring of Fire
Mortician Widowmaker
Dark Moor Wizard
Angel Dust God Dethroned
Conquest Pyn Siren
Evolution Black Sabbath
Shakra Godiva
Runemagick Rage
Lanfear Crystal Eyes
Beautiful Creatures Tad Morose
Silent Scythe Thunderstone
Drillpoint Hypocrisy
DevilDriver Slayer
Fairyland Dreamaker
Death Angel Black Stone Cherry
Scala Mercalli Messiah's Kiss
Wolf Epica
Gamma Ray Highlord
Dragonspoon Cyst
Brutal Mastication House of Lords
Juggernott Destructor
Fireaxe Bonfire
Meliah Rage After Forever
Psychotron Shadows Fall
Wintersun Lullacry
Age Of Silence Polterchrist
Marshall Law Jamie. St. James
House of Shakira Conquestador
Six Feet Under Arch Enemy
Within Temptation Negative Creeps
Trans-Siberian Orchestra Mirror of Deception
Tsjuder Cryme
Creed Betrayer
Legion Scenteria
Image The New Breed
Lost Soul Corrosion Of Conformity
Loudblast Labyrinth
Astral Doors Sabaton
Samael Argument Soul
Derek Sherinian Omegalord
Axis Of Perdition Magica
Axel Rudi Pell Fire Alley
Operatika Grand Magus
Slumber Sothis
Naglfar Darkane
Dark Funeral Secrets She Kept
Devil Lee Rot Scar Symmetry
Before The Dawn Violent Storm
Blood Thirsty Demons Casus Belli
Running Wild Avenged Sevenfold
Akercocke Bronx Casket Company
Absu Taunusheim
Powerglove Katatonia
Cannibal Corpse Lair Of The Minotaur
Nightmare Event Horizon
Leviathan/Sapthuran Viron
Cavalar Abysmal Dawn
Bloodbound Nachtmystium
Warface Jeff Walker und Die Fluffers
Zoroaster Satyricon
Eighteen Visions Obtest
Cheva Better Left Unsaid
Twisted Into Form The Gathering
Southern Gentleman Manticore
Merciless Death Marc Sasso
Almah Mendeed
White Wizzard Pantera
Mithras Spit Like This
Katrina Johansson Manes
Trenchfoot Glorior Belli
Kruger Temple Of Blood
Keldian Spheric Universe Experience
Heresi Night Ranger
Rosetta Deceiver
Jesus Martyr Pop Evil
Embalming Theatre Virgin Black
Alestorm Place Of Skulls
Papa Roach Faded Hope
Battleroar Suffocation