Sunday, 27 January 2013

Ten Highly Anticipated Albums for 2013

The Mayan calendar may have run out but the Gregorian calendar, along with civilization, continues. This can only mean one thing: new music! While there are sure to be plenty of overly hyped new bands releasing material in 2013 you can head over NME to check them out. This is a list of 10 albums set for release in 2013 that should not disappoint. But if they do expect to find me kicking a ballboy in fury.

10. Mastodon- TBA
Blood Mountain showed the world that Mastodon were not only big in name but big in nature. Crack The Skye showed it was not a one-off. The Hunter made people question if Mastodon could ever create music that wasn't astounding. The only reason they're not number one on this list is, much like why Metallica, Machine Head and others fail to make an appearance too, is that it hasn't been confirmed that a new album will be released in 2013. If it is then prepare to have your minds blown.

9. Dr. Dre- Detox
Before selling overpriced headphones Dr. Dre was a record producer. Before that he was a well renowned rapper (and before that he was actually wearing make-up on an album cover). Much like Axl Rose and friends with Chinese Democracy, Detox has been in production for years and 2012 was set to be the year of its unveiling. That didn't happen. But hopefully in 2013, 21 years after The Chronic, one of the greatest rap records ever created was released, we'll be able to find out what's more relevant; his music or his headphones. And if Dr. Dre has grown up and dropped the homophobic and misogynistic themes that plagued that record.

8. Ghost- Infestissumam
Opus Eponymous was an album very few expected. Upon first sight of the hooded and masked figures of Ghost, along with discovering they were Swedish 'black metal', you could be forgiving for expecting piercing shrieks, searing guitars and the whole debacle a mere gimmick to overshadow their mediocre music. Never judge a book by its cover however, as Opus Eponymous was one of the albums of 2010, harking back to the melodic, cultish rock from the 70s with not a scream or grunt in sight. After the batshit crazy unveiling of a new(?) frontman (or woman, no-one knows who they are) their second album will hopefully be as magnificent as it is intriguing.

7. The Black Dahlia Murder- Everblack
2011's Ritual was a record full of brain smashing brutality and Everblack looks set continue the trend when it's unleashed on the world in 2013. It's got the double black factor, 'black' in the band and album title, for goodness sake, meaning it's definitely going to be doubly as metal than all those other bands with 'black' such as Black Breath, Black Sabbath and, erm, Rebecca Black. With The Black Dahlia Murder being one of the most consistent modern day death metal/deathcore bands around expect to find plenty of blast beats, Trevor Strnad's trademark growl to squeal and some of the catchiest guitar lines in extreme music.

6. Darkthrone- The Underground Resistance
One of the most infamous and influential black metal bands of all time, this will be their 15th full length release. After a bit of a shift in sound over the past few years it will be interesting to see what's in store with The Underground Resistance. Presumably they will continue to branch out into a more speed metal with punk overtones direction, but who knows? One thing that is for sure is the final track, a 14 minute long epic entitled 'Leave No Cross Unturned' will prove interesting at least. Other song titles such as 'Valkyrie' and 'Come Warfare, The Entire Doom' suggest they haven't opted for a smooth jazz direction change.

5. Kvelertak- Meir
Purveyors of Norwegian Punk 'n' Roll, as it's best described, Kvelertak burst onto the scene back in 2010 with their self-titled debut album. Translating as 'stranglehold' or 'chokehold' it gives a clear indication of the bruising punk meets metal they produce. For a band that has all their lyrics in Norwegian they proved surprisingly popular all over the UK, showing metal is a universal language (and to be honest, there are plenty of metal bands with indecipherable vocals still oved by millions. Napalm Death anyone?). Hopefully Meir can follow up Kvelertak ensuring they're not just one hit wonders.

4. Killswitch Engage- Disarm The Descent
After Howard Jones left the band last year and Jesse Leach rejoined on vocal duties it wasn't going to be long until a new album was announced. Having worked with Adam Dutkiewicz in the rather impressive metalcore duo Times Of Grace it was clear Jesse still had the voice and the passion. A blistering performance at Download in 2012 also showed Killswitch were as strong as ever and Jesse not only remembered all the word to the songs he helped write nearly a decade ago but could do just a good a job as Howard on the others. Let's just hope Disarm The Descent is superior to the rather limp Killswitch Engage, Howard's last album with the band from 2009. 

3. Alice In Chains- TBA
It may not officially be their second album, so the 'difficult sophomore album problem' shouldn't apply, but it is their second release since reforming with new singer William DuVall. On Black Gives Way To Blue he proved to have a scarily similar voice to the late Layne Staley as well as Jerry Cantrell showing he can still bust out those Southern rock inspired grungey licks. The first single 'Hollow' is a good sign of them staying true to Alice In Chains but can anything ever rival Dirt?

2. Queens of the Stone Age- TBA
Six years. It's been six years since Era Vulgaris was released. While QOTSA have done plenty of festival performances, and presumably a few tours (though few in the UK), that's a long time between albums. Josh Homme has been busy in side project Eagle Of Death Metal and Them Crooked Vultures, but it was back in 2009 he last released any material. Absence makes the heart grow fonder however, so the new QOTSA album will be worth the wait. There was the added bonus of Dave Grohl being confirmed on drums too.

1. Black Sabbath- 13
The title has been announced, 13, presumably due to its year of release as officially it's Black Sabbath's 19th studio album. It's also 18 years since 'Black Sabbath's' last studio release, Forbidden, which only featured Tony Iommi from the original line-up and is unfortunately memorable for featuring Ice-T on one track, and being critically panned. Their successful slot headlining Download demonstrated they're still the same old Sabbath with the same passion and desires. Despite the whole Bill Ward debacle and Tony Iommi's battle with cancer, 13 is set to be released in mid-2013, when we'll find out if the inventors of heavy metal have still got what it takes on record.

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