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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Demons and Wizards Leng Tch'e
Loudness Slipknot
Steel Prophet Poisonblack
Tiamat Dokken
Rebellion Grave Digger
Regurgitate Skullview
Majesty Mark Boals
Vaginal Carnage Fozzy
Masterplan Valley's Eve
Cage Led Zeppelin
Agony Divine The Graveyard Boulevard
Wycked Synn Nordheim
Stalker Whitesnake
Asperity F5
Black Stone Cherry Silver Mountain
Superchrist Jag Panzer
Ebony Ark Evanescence
Cans Edge Of Forever
Velvet Revolver Lonewolf
Therion Insomnium
Killswitch Engage Unearth
Age Of Silence Jungle Rot
Within Temptation Silent Force
Acheron Seventh One
Triumph Feared Creation
Scenteria The Apocalyptic Riders
Veni Domine Yyrkoon
Strikelight Hellfire
John Sykes Drunkard
Operatika Raintime
Burden Of Grief Sothis
Subterranean Masquerade Sentenced
Secrets She Kept Nuse
Supagroup Gemini 5
Leaves Eyes Killing Spree
Power Quest Thor
Nuclear Assault Future is Tomorrow
Loits Pagan's Mind
Monster Magnet Russell Allen
Winterfell Paths Of Possession
Akercocke Midnight Idols
Absolution Wolves in the Throne Room
Nightmare Tris Katone
Cryptopsy Event Horizon
The Furor Spawn of Possession
Cult of Luna Fragments of Unbecoming
Space Odyssey She Said Destroy
Hydrogyn Warface
Pretty Maids The Abominable Iron Sloth
Teeth of the Hydra Eighteen Visions
Lupara Lecherous Nocturne
Quest of Aidance Threat Signal
Throne of Katarsis Lord Belial
Madking Ludwig Incrave
Divine Empire Katrina Johansson
Since the Day Temple Of Blood
Hell N' Diesel Keldian
The Obsessed Burzum
Godhead Medieval Steel
Bible Of The Devil Place Of Skulls
Cursed Sin
Battleroar Raven