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
Bathory Loudness
Sinner Slipknot
White Skull Mondo Generator
Poisonblack Anthrax
Twelfth Gate Twisted Tower Dire
Gun Barrel Seven Witches
Queensryche Firewind
God Dethroned Led Zeppelin
Shakra Saint
Chainsnap Steel Preacher
King Diamond Crystal Eyes
Sinergy Vhaldemar
Hypocrisy Doro
Dew Scented I Hate Sally
Riot Leash Law
Deep Purple Edge Of Forever
Jorn Gary Moore
Iron Angel Ministry
Zaius Fabrizio Bonanno
Devil In The Kitchen Goatsnake
Vox Tempus Unleashed
Dio Lullacry
Scavenger Z02
Conquestador The Lizards
Agnostic Front Jackyl
Twisted Sister Fifth Cross
Legion Kinetic
The New Breed Audiovision
Lost Soul Necrophagia
Labyrinth Astral Doors
Hibria Crimson Moonlight
Argument Soul Freedom Call
Derek Sherinian Bruce Dickinson
Axis Of Perdition Frantic Bleep
Soul SirkUS Thunderblast
Gizmachi Raintime
Babylon Slumber
Hatesphere Embraze
Raging Speedhorn Mirador
God Among Insects Brand New Sin
Unshine Kult ov Azazel
Monolithe Horna
Sebastian Bach Ritual Killer
Dam Devil Lee Rot
A Lower Deep Warchild
Loits Dragonia
Armored Saint Penetrator
Overloaded Twilight
Mabon Spellbound
Dreamland Gojira
Wolfmother Chain Collector
Celebratum Dragonlord
God Forbid Virgin Steele
Vader Early Man
Fallen Wisdom Totalisti
Tandjent Beyond Fear
Upwards of Endtime Wolves in the Throne Room
Firehouse Tris Katone
Cryptopsy Moonspell
Phoenix Mourning The Smackdown
Imagika Hirax
Hate Profile Abysmal Dawn
Ensoph Michael Orlando
Gorgoroth Jotunspor
Destruction Nachtmystium
Agalloch Abominant
Enochian Crescent Oblomov
Isis Rotting Christ
Eyes of Ligeia Teeth of the Hydra
Biolich Lupara
Obtest Southern Gentleman
Dream Theater In This Moment
Crescent Shield White Wizzard
Passion The Prophecy
Spit Like This Since the Day
Antigama Manes
Denial Fiend Temple Of Blood
Glenn Hughes I Shalt Become
The Obsessed Aetherius Obscuritas
Straight Line Stitch Embalming Theatre
Hacksaw Surgery Uriah Heep
Something Beautiful DC4