My most anticipated releases of 2018 – Part 3

Welcome to Part 3 of my annual mini-series where I try to round-up all of the albums that I either know are being released in 2018 or I sincerely hope will be released this year.

By now, you know the drill – the previous posts in this series can be accessed by links below – so let’s get on with Part 3, starting with easily my most highly anticipated release of 2018

So here we go:

Evergrey – TBC
Release date: TBC

There are three very good reasons why I have chosen to wait until Part 3 to mention Evergrey: I wanted to give other bands a chance, I also wanted to avoid shouts of ‘bias’ or ‘predictable’ coming my way and finally, aside from a few hints, no-one has come out and confirmed a 2018 release yet…but I have a very good, strong feeling! I have made no secret on my website that Evergrey are my favourite band of all time. And, given the incredible quality of the last two albums in particular, my love for the Swedish dark melodic prog metal band has only strengthened.

Enjoying a rich vein of form of late, both ‘Hymns For The Broken’ and ‘The Storm Within’ have come close to derailing my favourite Evergrey record, ‘In Search of Truth’. Bearing in mind that this also happens to be my all-time favourite album by any artist, to push it so close twice on the bounce is no mean feat to say the least.

If you’ve read previous posts on this site, you’re almost certain to have checked out Evergrey by now. I bang on about them enough that I’m likely to wear down even the hardiest of souls. However, if you are still inexcusably unfamiliar with the Gothenburg quintet, theirs is a dark and moody brand of melodic metal with progressive intent. Expect huge riffs, even bigger choruses, a powerhouse rhythm section, blazing solos and lashings of atmospheric keys all topped off by my favourite vocalist bar none, Tom England.

Everything just comes together in a heady whirlwind of perfection. These guys play the music that I want to hear, and they play it so well. If they do release new material this year, then you can be certain that I’ll be all over it like a rash. Bring it on.

Myrath – TBC
Release date: TBC

As early as October 2017, we were given the news that a new Myrath album was in the process of being recorded. At that point, the guitars were already done and since this announcement, the band has confirmed that the drums and vocals are also complete. By now, even the orchestration will probably be complete, so we’re in a strong position for a 2018 release date. Every band says it these days, but Myrath seem genuinely pleased with the material, suggesting it’ll ‘blow your minds’.

I must admit that it took me a very long time to warm to the Tunisian five-piece. The self-titled ‘oriental metal’ was essentially a blend of melodic metal and progressive metal with authentic ethnic instrumentation. Eventually, after many spins of ‘Tales of the Sand’, I saw the light and Myrath have grown into a rather important band for me. I’m not the only one, as they have gathered together an impressive cult following and no doubt amassed a few new fans during their recent European tour with Epica and Vuur.

I’m really looking forward to what Myrath have to offer with their new album. Hopefully it’ll further cement my relationship with them.

Teramaze – TBC
Release date: TBC

I was completely unaware of Teramaze until a promo of their last album, ‘Her Halo’ crossed my desk. And you know what? I really liked the album, meaning that yet another Australian-based band had managed to tur my head. The melodic progressive metal that Teramaze delivered on ‘Her Halo’ was out of the top drawer; properly crunchy and heavy, with plenty of memorable melodies and bombastic symphonics. I liked the album so much that it made its way into my top 30 for 2015 and, if truth be told, I think it probably should have been placed higher. With hindsight, it remains one of the most-played records released that year.

Complete with a new line-up, it appears that the recording process is going well, despite recent health problems with guitarist Dean Wells. Being one of the most active bands on social media, they have confirmed an ‘early 2018’ release, something I’m really looking forward to. Will the new record top ‘Her Halo’? Hopefully we won’t have too long to wait to find out.

Dimmu Borgir – TBC
Release date: TBC

I mean, c’mon Dimmu, it has been eight years since ‘Abrahadabra’ was released – surely it’s time for a new album? I make no secret of my admiration for the Norwegian extreme metal band, having been a fan since ‘Enthrone, Darkness, Triumphant’, one of my all-time favourite albums. Over the years, Dimmu have been plagued with line-up changes and musically, have moved more and more into over-the-top bombastic orchestral and cinematic realm. However, I can’t help but love the output because it is just so damn powerful. In full flow, Shagrath and Co. are irresistible.

But eight years? Since their last album, I’ve had two children and they are both at school. I’m sure there are good reasons for the delay but we’re getting impatient. Just last month, Nuclear Blast announced a new EP featuring one brand new track, ‘Interdimensional Summit’ on 23rd February. We can also expect re-releases of their early classics on vinyl. But still there’s no firm news on a new record. I remain ever hopeful though, especially with the release of a new song finally.

District 97 – TBC
Release date: TBC

District 97 are not an easy band to listen to. The music that they deliver is complex, multi-layered and dense, with a myriad of different influences thrown into a melting pot. It demands your attention but with patience, it all comes together and makes sense. So much so that I ended up awarding 2015’s ‘In Vaults’ a spot in my top 30 list at the end of the year having disliked the record after a couple of spins. The other rewarding thing about District 97 is that they don’t sound like anyone else, having worked hard to cultivate their own sound.

I wasn’t thinking about a new District 97 album just yet but during a trawl through social media just after new year, I came across an announcement from the band, stating that they “will move full steam ahead to release a NEW ALBUM!” This is great news as I’m ready and willing for a new musical challenge. I’m really looking forward to hearing what these talented and original Americans have in store for us. Watch this space…

My most anticipated releases of 2018 – Part 2
My most anticipated releases of 2018 – Part 1
An early sneak peek at what’s coming in 2018

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