Having bled 2013 dry, with an ‘Album of the Year’ top 20 countdown, a round-up of some of the ‘best of the rest’ and a separate list highlighting my top 3 live releases of 2013, I though it was about time to turn my attention to the future a delve into what 2014 has to offer.
I’m already very excited about some of the expected releases and, if they all come to fruition, 2014 could well be a stronger year than 2013. Even now, we’ve already had excellent releases from the likes of Transatlantic, Iced Earth and Alcest. Plus, we all know about the rumours surrounding the ‘big hitters’. It’s rumoured that Metallica will release a new album in 2014, as will Anthrax, Machine Head, Slayer, Slipknot and a host of others. Will 2014 be the year that I finally and properly ‘get’ Tool thanks to their mooted new album?
But these bands already get a lot of coverage, so I want to bring you a few of those albums that I, personally, am looking forward to most of all. So, what else can we expect from 2014?
Naturally, I had to start with my favourite band of all time. If you need more detail about Evergrey, head to my blog post entitled ‘For The Love Of Evergrey’. Here, I’ll leave you with an official quote from the band themselves:
“I am sitting here in what feels like the black heart of distorted guitars and heavy drums trying to sort what material to be chosen for the new Evergrey album that will be brought to you by our new record label AFM!
While the music might be the most contemplated and dark pieces we have written -and while the sheer amount of music we have the pleasure to choose from is more than ever, we are super psyched and pleased to have chosen a label that believes in Evergrey!”
Sound good? Of course it does! And, with two new members to be announced soon, plus a mix to be completed by Jacob Hansen, this threatens to put Evergrey right where they should be; at the forefront of heavy metal.
It has been mooted for a long time and rumours about it’s completion have been circulating for what feels like years. I’m going to stick my neck out hugely and say that 2014 is definitely the year when fans get their wish and finally delve back into the omniscient world of Ziltoid. And, if it does get released this year, you know that the results will be amazing. When Devin is involved, they always are!”
One of my favourite bands, the USA’s Agalloch manage to delight and challenge listeners with their brand of extreme metal. Some call it ‘black’, others prefer ‘pagan’ but personally I don’t think it matters. Very few bands manage to sound so heavy and fragile but at the same time manage to paint such epic vistas in the mind of the wilderness of nature. Plus, given their diversity, you never quite know what you’ll get – will it be an extreme metal assault, or a foray into more relaxed, acoustic-led compositions? Watch this space.
The title may be a bit of a mouthful but I’m betting that it will be nothing compared to the overblown nature of the music. Prog metallers Vanden Plas have always had a theatrical bent, bringing their music to life via stage shows over the past few years. As a result, their music has become more and more grandiose, culminating thus far in the brilliantly epic ‘The Seraphic Clockwork’. However, I expect ‘Chronicles Of The Immortals: Netherworld (Part 1)’ to go beyond this and deliver something very special indeed.
I always look forward to a new release from Italy’s Lacuna Coil. Their brand of Gothic rock and metal that seeks to blend dark themes with strong melodies makes for very gratifying listening. The sextet which includes dual male and female lead vocals may have started flirting with more modern trends but the end results are always albums full of anthemic music.
This was a surprise for me as I was not expecting something new from the UK prog metallers quite so soon. However, it is never a bad thing to have more music from Threshold, a band that have delivered quality and consistency from day one. That said, with a slew of new English prog bands making names for themselves of late, Threshold will need to deliver the goods once again to remain at the top of the pile. And I’m sure they will.