Thursday, 19 December 2013

Albums to look forward to in 2014

From the looks of things, there's already set to be a lot of exciting and/or interesting Metal releases coming out in the next calendar year. I just want to go through some that I'll be keeping a watch out for the most. The following list is in no particular order.

1. Iced Earth - Plagues of Babylon.
Admittedly, I'm not really an Iced Earth fan per se. But I always like to give bands their chances to turn my head, and this album is getting a lot of attention already. The band have just recently released the title track from the album and it's pretty decent, so it'll be worth a listen.

2. Grand Magus - Triumph And Power.
There's always room for some cheesy, epic metal. Grand Magus are a particularly good musical accompaniment to a bottle of Jack Daniels and a few Marlboros. Again, I'm not counting down the minutes to the album's release, but it'll be good to hear, and maybe even see 'em live again.

3. Cynic - Kindly Bent To Free Us
I happen to love Cynic. As far as I'm concerned, they have released some killer stuff in their career, particularly the album 'Focus'. They're masters of progressive, jazz-influenced Death Metal. It's the kind of music that can go from tearing you a new one to putting you into a trance in a matter of seconds. I'm hoping for a lot from this next album, especially since it's their first full-length since 2008!

4. Behemoth - The Satanist
The primary reason I want to hear this record so much is that after hearing the recently released single 'Blow Your Trumpets, Gabriel', I'm starting to think it possible for the Polish Blackened Death Metal legends to equal or maybe, just maybe exceed the majesty and power of 2009's 'Evangelion'. I really hope it happens, because if it does then Behemoth are gonna be indestructible in the Extreme Metal scene for 2014!

5. Arch Enemy - (To Be Confirmed)
I do remember it being said, before Arch Enemy vanished from view so abruptly that there would be a new album in 2014. Never a bad thing, an Arch Enemy album. Though if there is a release, I do hope they step it up from 2011's rather throwaway album 'Khaos Legions'. Sure, it had it's moments, but it was nothing compared to 'Doomsday Machine' or 'Rise Of The Tyrant'

6. Slipknot - (TBC)
With Joey Jordison's sudden and unexpected departure from the band, all eyes are on Slipknot in terms of what happens next. Will they call it a day? Will they just be a touring band? Most importantly; If they release an album, will it live up to Slipknot's now-iconic back catalogue? I await the answers to these questions with great trepidation.

7. Tool - (TBC)
Tool (but mainly Maynard Keenan) have been screwing with us monumentally for the last fuck-knows-how-long! At this point I really want them to just get their fingers out and release this album they're teasing us about. My biggest fear is that for all the hype and the wait it could end up being a 'Chinese Democracy' type deal.

8. Judas Priest - (TBC)
With the Metal Gods' days as an active band seeming to be somewhat numbered, it's a relief to know that the band intend to melt our faces with another album before there's any talk of permanent retirement. The band have also stated that the recent Epitaph World Tour will not be their last tour. Which suits me brilliantly, as I've not had the opportunity to see Judas Priest yet. Hands up if you want big Metal anthems!!

9. Metallica - (TBC)
True; we don't even know if this will be out in 2014. It's also worth mentioning that the cynical bastard in me says that I don't give a shit about Metallica's creative output anymore. Our world has gone since 1991 without a Metallica album that has truly thrown a gauntlet at every Metal band out there. Yeah, 'Death Magnetic' had it's odd moments here and there, and yeah I really liked 'St. Anger' (Problem?) but when was the last time every Metal fan agreed on the merits of a Metallica record? The hopeful person inside me still thinks that they might have enough in them for one last hurrah, and I'll live in hope until we find out.

10. Anthrax - (TBC)
Anthrax's comeback album 'Worship Music' was ace. Really ace! Like, stupidly great!! Now the band are saying they're working on the follow-up, and I'm that excited at the idea of them slaying it again that it may cause a prolapse when I listen to the finished product. Enough said?

11. Slayer - (TBC)
The death of Jeff Hanneman was a big enough blow for the band (And indeed, Heavy Metal as a whole! R.I.P. Jeff!) but to lose Dave Lombardo as well has really put Slayer's fan base on the back foot. I for one am glad to see Paul Bostaph back at the kit for Slayer, as the 2001 album 'God Hates Us All' is my favourite Slayer album ever, but without Hanneman's writing contributions, I really wonder what the next Slayer album will be like. Another one where we don't know when it's coming out, but I can hope for a 2014 release, like many people will.

12. Godsmack - (TBC)
It was announced not too long ago that Godsmack were starting work on their next album. Hoping for a mid-to-late 2014 release, I'm thoroughly looking forward to this! Alongside Motorhead, Godsmack are my favourite band of all time. I've played every record of theirs to death, know every word of every song and can play a fair few on guitar too. More Godsmack? Fucking bring it on!

13. Mechina - Xenon
After this year's 'Empyrean' blew my head up, re-assembled it and then fired it into the white-hot heart of the sun, I'm only too keen to see what they follow it up with. Best bit? This album is being released on January 1st! Roll on the New Year!!

Other bands whose albums I'm keen to hear next year include; Suicidal Angels, Hirax, Within Temptation, Alcest, Chrome Division, Legion Of The Damned, Skindred, Periphery, Mayan, Hatriot, Cancerous Womb, Wintersun, Gorgoroth, The Devin Townsend Project, Triptykon, Godflesh, Megadeth, Entombed and Vader.

Be sure to let me know what albums you're looking forward to hearing, or what bands you hope release a record in 2014 by commenting over at Stay Metal folks, soon I'll be putting up my Little List of Bad Shit (2014)

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