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
Into Eternity Scanner
Sinner The Great Deceiver
White Skull Twilight Odyssey
Karaboudjan Mondo Generator
Deceased Kataklysm
Skullview Kalibas
Dirty Power Solace
Seether Mark Boals
Advent Metallica
Dr. Butcher Black Label Society
Vyndykator Black Sabbath
Bloodbath Sevendust
Thunderbolt Chainsnap
Evanesce Sludge!
Drillpoint Pharaoh
Primal Fear Defiled
Doro Hard Echo
F5 Volbeat
TNA Node
Killik Devil To Pay
Cans Outworld
Epica Edge Of Forever
House of Lords Feinstein
Fireaxe Unleashed
After Forever Metal Church
Saxon Images of Eden
Age Of Silence Necrodemon
Slowlife Jamie. St. James
GWAR Six Feet Under
The Project Hate Arch Enemy
Agnostic Front Seventh One
Hanzel Und Gretyl Rush
Sonata Arctica Cradle To Grave
The New Breed Rottweiller
Belef Loudblast
Strikelight Hellfire
Nevermore Stormwarrior
Derek Sherinian Holy Moses
Neil Turbin Ramesses
Callenish Circle Raintime
Fastkill Astarte
Maximum Overdrive Ektomorf
Dynamic Lights Slik Helvetika
Horna Frameless Scar
Devil Lee Rot Agents Of The Sun
Flotsam & Jetsam Mercyful Fate
Blood Thirsty Demons Overloaded
The Firstborn Shattersphere
Arthemis The Absence
Dechrist Crystal Ball
Overmars Nocturnal Rites
Insense Craft
Pile of Heads Thryfing
Cannibal Corpse Thyrane
Nightmare Hell-Born
Clawfinger Event Horizon
Silver Dirt Warrant (Amer)
Pyramaze Elvenking
Cavalar Hirax
Speed/Kill/Hate Dreams of Damnation
Spawn of Possession Before Silence
Gorgoroth Swashbuckle
Paul Bonrud Scary Manilow
Wednesday 13 Zero Hour
Death Breath Belphegor
Wastefall Eyes of Ligeia
Obtest Lordi
Panzerchrist With Passion
Onslaught Terry Sullivan
Warbringer Static-X
The Chronicles of Israfel Cruachan
Passion Five Finger Death Punch
Since the Day Antigama
Throneum Randy Ellefson
Pathology Ost Est Ima
Demonic Symphony Trivium
Witchfinder General Vulture Industries
Embalming Theatre Equilibrium
End of Man Faded Hope
Battleroar My Dying Bride
Raven