My most anticipated releases of 2018 – Part 5

My most anticipated releases of 2018 – Part 5

I hadn’t anticipated a ‘part 4’, let alone a ‘part 5’, but hey, when I get on a roll, there’s no stopping me. That said, I aim to make this the last instalment of the ‘most anticipated of 2018’ series, as I am now knee deep in reviews and other projects. But never say never…

If only 50% of the albums I have mentioned in this series come to fruition, it’ll be another great year for heavy music. I say that because there will also be many other curveballs, unexpected releases and massive surprises on top of all of the discs that I have foreseen. The case in point is that the two best releases so far in 2018 are by bands that I knew nothing about before the start of the year.

Personally, I love it when that happens, as it keeps things fresh and exciting. But, in any case, let’s bring you the last few choice picks for the year ahead…

Cynic – TBC
Release date: TBC

Out of nowhere, American progressive powerhouse Cynic have just dropped a new single, entitled ‘Humanoid’. The accompanying press release mentions that this is the first new material since the release of the album ‘Kindly Bent To Free Us’ back in 2014. It also refers to this being the first recording to feature new drummer, Matt Lynch. What it doesn’t make mention of is whether or not this track is a pre-curser to a brand new full-length record. So I’m going to just hope that this is exactly the case.

Can you blame me? Cynic are one of those very rare bands that is truly unique. From the instantly recognisable vocals of Paul Masvidal, to the complex, dextrous progressive compositions that blend rock and metal with jazz and pop to create music that’s both challenging and thoroughly engaging, not to mention fun and quirky. And ‘Humanoid’ has reminded me just how much I’m looking forward to a new Cynic record.

Rendezvous Point – TBC
Release date: TBC

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“new album new album new album…”

News of a new Rendezvous Point album is very welcome indeed. When I reviewed their debut, ‘Solar Storm’, I remarked that their brand of prog metal was all about riffs, rhythms and textures, concluding by saying:

“Rendezvous Point have created a real grower of an album in ‘Solar Storm’ that should, without doubt, find favour amongst fans of progressive music. If you love powerful riffs, off-kilter rhythms and dense atmospheres, allow Norway’s latest impressive export to into your life; you’ll not be disappointed.”

Mind you, when you have a beast of a drummer like Baard Kolstad (Leprous, Borknagar), it’s impossible not to be great. But to focus on one person does the rest of the band a grave injustice because they are all very talented in their own right and have proved with their debut how adept they are. There is no release date set for their next album, but as the photo suggests, their sophomore record is definitely on the way.

A.C.T – TBC
Release date: TBC

Within my review of A.C.T’s previous album, ‘Circus Pandemonium’, I described the music of the Swedes as “difficult to put into words, although the adjective ‘quirky’ is one of the most apt that I can muster. At its core though, and regardless of any genre labels one might wish to apportion, this is progressive rock of the highest order that blends many different styles into an homogenous and cohesive end product that will no doubt confound and delight in equal measure.”

Like with Cynic above, A.C.T are truly original, but they are also a band that took a long time to click with me. ‘Circus Pandemonium’ however was love at first listen, full of exceptional ideas, expertly executed, and delivered alongside some truly memorable melodies, all of which helped to bring the dark concept to life.

On 12 December, the band released the following video to confirm that the latest album is being worked on. If it is half as food as the last one, I’ll be as happy as a pig in muck.

Kamelot -TBC
Release date: TBC

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The first time that I heard Kamelot, I was standing in my favourite independent record store, flicking through the shelves, looking for the next discovery. As it turns out, the biggest discovery that day was infiltrating my subconscious over the speaker system. Huge melodies and giant hooks, bit drama and theatrics, topped off by soaring vocals; these were the elements that combined to force me to suddenly take note and turn to the shop owner, wide-eyed, to investigate further.

I was hooked. The album? ‘Karma’ from 2001. On further, more detailed listening, the subtle progressive overtones and atmospherics came to the fore, becoming addictive, as did the up-tempo driving rhythms.

In recent years, my enjoyment of the US metal band has dwindled, partially through a slight deterioration in quality in my opinion, a feeling to me of a band comfortable with an approach and going through the motions. To date, this remains the case, even though the band is now fronted by Tommy Karevik, one of the best vocalists in metal. Mind you, he replaced Roy Khan, another amazing singer who dramatically departed out of nowhere.

News of a new Kamelot album doesn’t currently excite me as much as it used to therefore. However, I’m still interested to hear what the band does next, in the hope that it forces me to return to the fold unconditionally.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fkamelotofficial%2Fvideos%2F10155445435208003%2F&show_text=0&width=476

Darkane – TBC
Release date: TBC

I have no idea if we are likely to see a new Darkane record during 2018, because no official announcement has been made yet that I can find. However, I live in eternal hope. To demonstrate just how long and eagerly I have waited for new material from Darkane, here’s what I wrote back in 2016:

“I keep mentioning Darkane in these posts, but the reasoning is simple: my admiration and love for this band never diminishes. If you’re after a band that can combine melodic death metal, thrash and a healthy dose of prog-laced technicality, then Darkane are the no-brainer choice. Savage, brutal, majestic and subtly melodic, the Swedish extreme metallers have delivered quality music time and time again over their six album career. ‘Expanding Senses’ released in 2002 remains my favourite but only by a gnats whisker. And it’s entirely possible that the new album hopefully out in the next six months or so will push it closer than ever, delighting us all once again.”

The same sentiment holds true right now – please let 2018 be the year I get to hear more Darkane…

My most anticipated releases of 2018 – Part 4
My most anticipated releases of 2018 – Part 3
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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