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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Bathory Racer X
White Skull Twilight Odyssey
BloodDuster Misery Index
Mondo Generator Solemnity
Impellitteri Dirty Power
Gun Barrel Seven Witches
Circle II Circle Usurper
Ring of Fire Fozzy
Liege Lord Legend
Firewind Manowar
Powergod Alchemy X
Brainstorm The Chainsaw
Nicta Biomechanical
Mourning Beloveth Victory
Stryper Guardians Of Time
Murdercycle Lacuna Coil
Royal Anguish Hard Echo
Neverland Tesla
Gothic Knights Ebony Ark
Evanescence Kingcrow
Skyfire Disarmonia Mundi
Gamma Ray Metalium
Nova Lex Iron Angel
Brutal Mastication Hatework
Spiral Madness Destructor
Joe Lynn Turner Meliah Rage
Lilitu Killswitch Engage
Dio Dark Age
Aina Megadeth
Scavenger Neurosis
Acheron Dark Tranquillity
Fifth Cross Bloody Sign
Emerald Sun Blood Red Throne
Kings X Lost Soul
Seige of Hate Astral Doors
John Sykes Darkthrone
Crimson Moonlight Antares
Kaamos Frantic Bleep
Debris Inc. Raintime
Grand Magus Def Leppard
Blind Stare Astarte
Manntis Agents Of Man
Mirador Communic
Unchained Taake
Evemaster Sebastian Bach
Cannon Iron Maidens
Scar Symmetry A Lower Deep
Flotsam & Jetsam The Scourger
Lake Of Tears V:28
Armored Saint Overloaded
Sun O))) Forever Slave
Arthemis Overmars
Ram-Zet Dragonlord
Zero Down Nocturnal Rites
Poison Beyond Fear
Upwards of Endtime Fields Of The Nephilim
Daylight Dies Dissection
Boris The Smackdown
Warrant (Amer) Hate Profile
Before Silence Azure
Psycroptic Scary Manilow
Ynis Vitrin Agalloch
Fleshgore I
Setherial Belphegor
Satyricon Cult of Daath
Venom Lesbian Bed Death
E-lane The Showdown
Urkraft Blood Tsunami
Onslaught Omnium Gatherum
Mindgrinder Old Man's Child
Satariel Divine Empire
Katrina Johansson Glorior Belli
Malevolent Creation Nation Beyond
Faith And Fire Keep of Kalessin
Echoes of Eternity Averse Sefira
Orthodox I Shalt Become
Last Stone Cast Equilibrium
Bullet For My Valentine Medieval Steel
Uriah Heep Deadsea
Mustasch Suspyre