Metallica – 72 Seasons single

A super quick post today, just gonna cover the new song Metallica posted yesterday. It is the title track from their upcoming album 72 Seasons, which is about to hit its due date of April 14th. This the the fourth song they’ve posted from the album, at least I think.

This is the album’s opening track and is also a bit of a longer one – the video here runs for 8:38 but the actual song lists for 7:39. It is a pretty good song, very firmly in the latter-day Metallica vibe. I wonder if it really justifies its length, though I’m not usually one to complain about long songs. Length isn’t new territory for Metallica at all, they’ve had plenty of longer cuts over the years.

The album is near and I’m pretty stoked for it. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve heard so far, a few songs do get me going a bit and the others don’t put me off or anything. I don’t know where this album will rate at the end of it all but there’s certainly something to look forward to here. I’m also guessing that there will be a video for every song like there was for the last album so there will be more entertainment to dig into.

That is about all for this one, happy weekend.

Metallica – Screaming Suicide

I was just about ready to copy and paste today’s post from my typin’ program over to WordPress when I was alerted to the presence of a new Metallica song. I called an audible and decided to make today’s offering about the new song.

The song is called Screaming Suicide and is the second single from Metallica’s upcoming album 72 Seasons, out April 14th. The album kicks off a new tour cycle where Metallica will play two nights in each town with no-repeat setlists across the two nights. (Also, be aware that the two nights are not in a row – there is a day off inbetween)

Screaming Suicide has a pretty upbeat musical side but the lyrics delve into a pretty dark place, along the lines that the title would suggest. I’m totally confident in assuming that this is a bit of a point-of-view or character piece and Metallica isn’t literally suggesting suicide, I’d be certain that their intent behind it is the exact opposite.

But it is a bit funny to think of this song in 2023, when back 40 years ago a lot of songs that had no mention of suicide at all were blasted in the media and courtrooms for causing troubled people to take their lives. It’s highly unlikely anything of the sort would befall Metallica today. Even if people get mad over things for no reason, the days of high-profile lawsuits over lyrics seem to be over.

We’re two songs in now and so far I’m digging the new Metallica. This song doesn’t quite pack the same punch the first single did, but this is still a good track and I like the groove of it in contrast with the heavy tone of the lyrics. If the rest of the album holds up to what we’ve heard so far I will be a fan.

That about does it for this hot off the press post that fell in my lap last evening. Enjoy the weekend, I’ll be back tomorrow with another run through my Album A Day series.

Metallica announce new album 72 Seasons and Lux Æterna single

A quick post today to discuss the news of a new Metallica album as well as the newly released single.

On Monday, Metallica announced their 12th studio album would be called 72 Seasons and will release on April 14, 2023. In addition to the album, Metallica are planning a huge tour that involves playing two nights in each stop and a “no-repeat” set for each city. More details can be found in the post on the band’s official website.

Also on offer is the first single from 72 Seasons. Lux Æterna comes on offer with sound and video (the band did record a video for every song from their prior album Hardwired…To Self Destruct, curious if they’ll do the same here).

Lux Æterna is a good offering, I’ve enjoyed it so far. It’s brief and to the point and it “feels” like a 2022 Metallica song. It seems like maybe the band “found their pocket” with Hardwired… and are going to stay in that territory. For my money, it’s a wise decision. There is plenty of disagreement over the new track, but I’ve noted a fair share of positive reception for the new song as well.

Of course my main concern is with how the album as a whole plays. It’s 12 songs at 77 minutes long, not as long as Hardwired… but still a plenty long enough album. Seems to be the trend for a lot of “boomer rock” these days, including many of my favorite acts. We’ll see how the full-length pans out, especially with the hefty amount of songs.

I’m personally pretty stoked for this, the new song sounds good and Metallica seem to have a good sense of direction in the latter portion of their career. It’s still over four months until album release, so there’s plenty of time to speculate on exactly what we’re getting with 72 Seasons.

Upcoming Releases – Labor Daze

I’ve been up against it on posts lately, but the old reliable upcoming releases rises again. We are about to enter a holiday in the US, which I actually don’t have off. I’ll get paid handsomely for my time so it’s all good. I might even buy records with my excess money. Or, with the price of vinyl these days, I might buy record. We’ll see.

Anyway, there is some cool stuff lined up and some of it is straight out of a shotgun and coming out very soon, so let’s get into it.

Clutch – Slaughter Beach

I remember being “in” on Clutch in the beginning, which I guess was around 1993 and their full length debut Transnational Speedway League. They have always been a different and interesting proposition, and now here we all all these years later with the quasi-title track to their 13th studio album Sunrise On Slaughter Beach, due just around the corner on September 16.

This is a very accessible version of Clutch, who I think are one of time’s less heralded and, dare I say, underrated bands. I very much like what I’m hearing here and will be on the lookout for the new album just a stone’s throw away. The second half of the year is picking up steam in a big way.

Nita Strauss – Summer Storm

The badass shredder, apparently having stepped away (but now down) from Alice Cooper and linking up with Demi Lovato, has released a new instrumental song. Nita has a 2018 solo album but this new single does not offer any new album info, at least at this time.

This song is straight fire, it’s a monster guitar track and a showcase of someone who knows how to fly on the frets but also compose a listenable song. Whatever is going on, I’ll assume a full solo album would be a 2023 release, Nita nails everything here. A fantastic tune.

Autopsy – Skin By Skin

In 2022, many of the masters of death metal have departed or gone on to other things. Autopsy, who gave up in the mid 90’s when shit got bad then came back to us in the 2010’s, are back in the new decade. Also I just talked about them a bit yesterday.

This is a lead single from their upcoming album Morbidity Triumphant, due on the 30th of this month. This is a total banger band for me and I’ll be totally at attention when this hits.

Ellefson/Soto – Vacation In The Underworld

Here is the title track from the long-awaited collaboration between Jeff Scott Soto and Dave Ellefson. The project was in the works for a long time but got delayed in the wake of Ellefson’s scandal and dismissal from Megadeth last year. The album sees the light of day on October 7.

The song is suitably heavy, this project seemed destined to shade that direction. I’m curious to see if we get more of a “grab bag” of songs and styles or if the album has a more unified focus, press material leads me to think it’ll be the first one. Not long before we find out.

Witch Fever – I Saw You Dancing

This band is totally new to me, I found them a bit ago when this song and video released and came across my radar. The group have been working out of England for roughly five years now and are about to release their full-length debut Congregation, out October 21.

The band have been described as coming from the punk scene, but this song is total doom/noise and also totally amazing. Their earlier singles do seem more punk in nature but still backed with a massive fuzz in the riffs. At any rate, this awesome song and very well done video accompany the new album that is now very much on my want list.

That does it for this shorter but still impactful list. I feel like I forgot something but quick scans of music sites don’t seem to offer anything. Still no word on Kerry King’s post-Slayer project yet, I expect something in the near future with the information that’s been trickling out the past few months. Maybe next time.

Upcoming Releases – The Next Few Months

I set this aside for a moment as the new stuff wasn’t coming out with as great a frequency, but of course I wait a little more than a week and it all hits at once. Plenty from across the spectrum to talk about this time around.

Dieth – In The Hall Of The Hanging Serpents

An interesting and unexpected opening salvo here. Two-thirds of the lineup makes sense – Gullherme Miranda, formerly of Entombed AD and Michal Lysejko, late of Decapitated, have formed a band. One would expect death metal, of course, and one would get just that. What one probably wouldn’t expect is for Dave Ellefson to be throwing down on bass for this. I know Dave has been involved in a wide variety of projects over the years, but to take up death metal after his dismissal from Megadeth? That’s pretty big.

There is no album information yet but it appears they’ve already been in the studio. They sound like they know what they’re doing, it’ll be interesting to hear what a full project sounds like. Dave Ellefson has several other projects coming up, including an album with Jeff Scott Soto, but I’ll wait until new music from that comes out before getting into it.

Sammy Hagar And The Circle – Crazy Times

This fresh new song is the title track of a new Circle album due September 30 (later on vinyl). Sammy and this outfit of Michael Anthony, Vic Johnson and Jason Bonham had a pretty big hit album in 2019 and are now back after pandemic-related shutdowns. This incarnation of Sammy sees him get back to rocking out and leaving behind his Jimmy Buffet-like persona of earlier years. Not that there was anything wrong with that, Sammy can do whatever the hell he wants, but it’s nice to hear the Red Rocker back at it.

Taipei Houston – As The Sun Sets

This new indie-ish rock offering is a standalone single for now. The new band is a two piece of brothers Layne and Myles Ulrich, who do also happen to be the kids of Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich. It’s a curious call to go in as a two-piece but hey, I’m not here to tell people how to run their bands. The song is pretty good and does leave me interested in hearing more. It’s certainly its own entity and now owing to Lars’ gig in any way.

David Lee Roth – Nothing Could Have Stopped Us Back Then Anyway

Another standalone single, this is a track John 5 recently put out as a tribute to Van Halen. It’s a sappy, sentimental song with a video showing photo highlights of Van Halen’s career. It’s not a song that will feature on DLR best of list but it also works well for its intended purpose. There were some recording sessions that were supposed to be a new DLR album, no telling if the complete sessions will ever see the light of day.

House Of Lords – House Of The Lord

A name I know but couldn’t tell you a lot about, the melodic hard rock outfit is back with their eleventh studio album. The record is called Saints And Sinners and will be out September 16. These guys have stuck true to a sound that became dated just a few years after the band started out in 1988. It’s not the sort of thing I would fall all over myself to get but it’s also pretty good execution and I know these guys have had a fair share of buzzworthy albums over the years.

Goatwhore – Born Of Satan’s Flesh

The New Orleans extreme metallers are prepping to release their eighth studio album, Angles Hung From The Arches Of Heaven, on October 7. Goatwhore have made quite the name for themselves in recent years and it sounds as though they are ready to get back on the attack after a five-year recording absence. They are firing on all cylinders here.

Charley Crockett – I’m Just A Clown

The hardest working man in country music is inevitably releasing his second album this year (and fourth in two years) with The Man From Waco, due September 9. This single from the new album dispenses with pure country and offers some boogie, swing, soul, I don’t really know. It’s a pretty cool track and we’ll see what the full album has in store in a few weeks.

The Cult – Give Me Mercy

Ending today’s list with a new track from one of rock’s most enigmatic bands. The Cult will be back with their first album in six years – Under The Midnight Sun hits on October 7. Give Me Mercy offers some of the same atmospheric alt-rock the group have been employing in the second half of their career. I’ve enjoyed the past several Cult releases so I don’t expect this to go down any differently.

That’s all for this month. We’ll see what’s up in the next installment of upcoming releases – quite possible that Kerry King’s post-Slayer band will be among them.

Chat Pile – God’s Country

I don’t have a “real” post today, I’m gearing up for next week. It’s a big one as next Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of this blog. It’ll be a post every day next week and work/time constraints along with the insane baseball trade deadline have my attention pulled in a million different directions.

But I have a bit of time to discuss my anticipated new release for today. Chat Pile are a very recent outfit from Oklahoma who have generated quite the buzz through a few EP’s. The group just dropped their debut full-length God’s Country today.

I was eagerly awaiting this album as I’d picked up their EP’s last year. I clearly wasn’t the only one – the album has a pretty insane amount of buzz and people are going about it left and right on social media. They also got a rave review from Pitchfork, a monumental feat in and of itself.

I’m not going to attempt a review of any kind, I’ve played the album twice now and I don’t have those kind of skills. I’ll say that I’m really impressed with the album – the music is a contrast between some honestly pretty smooth though noisy riffing and very, very caustic vocals and lyrical themes. This isn’t full on “metal” as much as a communication of society’s ills with a noisy backdrop.

This album isn’t a celebration of the ills of culture, instead it’s a document of them. Chat Pile are located just a few hours from me and I’ve seen the piles of the toxic lead mining remnants that the group are named after. There are a lot of messed up, suffering people in our region and a very twisted, dystopian government that does nothing to improve conditions. God’s Country spells out what this area looks like and sounds as fucked up as things around here are.

So far I’m very much enjoying this very harrowing album. I’m sure it will be in play toward the end of the year when I get to the work of considering my favorites of 2022. I’m off to enjoy my weekend in this dystopian shithole, have a good one and I’ll see everyone next week as I hit my one year mark.

Megadeth – Night Stalkers

I had to switch post order up a bit, the reason why will be clear in a few weeks. This was originally supposed to be about Woodstock ’99, but with a new additional documentary about to hit streaming, I decided to put off my post about the existing one. Instead I’ll talk some about a new song from one of the bands that closed down the ill-fated festival.

Today I want to go over the new Megadeth song a little bit. Night Stalkers is the second single released from the upcoming album The Sick, The Dying And The Dead!, out September 2nd. The song is really good, Megadeth have established that they are going to be heavy as hell on this record. Both singles shape up for a nice album coming in just over a month.

There are a few odd and/or funny talking points going around about the song. I thought I’d dive into a few of them.

Dave Mustaine’s voice – shot?

The biggest topic of discussion has been Dave Mustaine’s voice. This isn’t new – the conversation came up during the Dystopia album release and tour cycle. Dave is now 60 years old and, well, I guess the pipes just aren’t what they used to be?

Honestly, I’m not hearing any huge impact here. Yeah, dude is old and also battled throat cancer in the late 2010’s, but nothing I’ve heard on either new song gives me any pause. He still carries a tune and also, it’s not like anyone was listening to Megadeth for Dave’s vocal prowess anyway. He’s always taken shit over his voice and while his snarl is unmistakable, it never was Megadeth’s calling card. But even with this new stuff I’m not having an issue with it. I don’t know. We all hear things differently, sure, but I do think sometimes people just like to find things to bitch about.

And even if Dave can’t carry a tune like he used to, the band is playing in such fine form that it doesn’t deter me much at all. Let the old man warble a bit over some of the hardest-hitting metal he’s recorded in ages.

Ice T is on this?

Yes – Ice T makes a guest appearance on the song. He does a brief spoken-word part that fits the song’s narrative and isn’t some weird bit that detracts from the track at all.

It’s almost like Ice T knows his way around a metal song, which of course he does. He has fronted Body Count for decades now, and in fact BC and Megadeth toured together in the early ’90’s. This was around the same time Mustaine heaped praise upon Ice T as a great artist.

And that relationship didn’t stop back then, either – in 2017, Mustaine provided both a spoken word intro and a guitar solo to the opening track from Body Count’s 2017 album Bloodlust. Civil War is an awesome song and here’s my very high opinion of the album overall from when it was Album of the Week awhile back.

The point is this – there is nothing strange about Ice T being on a Megadeth song, it might be called long overdue if anything. And there certainly is nothing wrong with it, even if some amount of keyboard warriors seem to think so.

The origin of Vic Rattlehead

The most exciting part about the new Megadeth video was something I’d heard about when the first song was released but nothing was really confirmed. This video arc, clearly meant by Mustaine to tell a story, is giving us the origin of Megadeth’s long-beloved mascot Vic Rattlehead. At the end of the first single We’ll Be Back, a soldier carries an atomic bomb into the sea in an apparent attempt to save people from certain destruction.

In Night Stalkers, this soldier is in some form of afterlife that resembles the river Styx and the ferryman Charon, though is also termed Hell in official preview clips. The shrouded figure transforms the soldier into the well-known mascot, then Vic returns to the mortal realm to unleash some hell on shadow agents hunting his family (or something, I’m not entirely sure).

It is really cool to see a Vic origin story after decades of his existence. I’d wager Vic is the second most famous heavy metal mascot, behind only the ubiquitous Eddie from Iron Maiden. And with this video arc we get far more of a story for Vic than we’ve ever gotten for Eddie.

I’m really looking forward to see where this story goes. Vic often appears as a tyrant or arms dealer type of baddie on old Megadeth album covers, and his story is clearly linked to some very dark military shadow operations, so we’re bound to get some really intriguing stuff in the upcoming arc. I love stuff like this that gives albums a bit more meaning and lore behind them, and it’s especially great to have this with one of heavy metal’s most recognized (drawn) figures.

That’s where we are with the preview songs for the new Megadeth album. We get some wondering about Dave’s vocal state (fine by me), some clowns questioning why Ice T is on the album, and some cool lore behind the long time mascot of the band. All that’s really left to do is see where the story goes and to get ahold of the new album here in several weeks.

A quick refresher on We’ll Be Back and the origin of Vic Rattlehead

Upcoming Releases – Dog Days Of Summer

The upcoming music section had been a bit bare for awhile, not much was trickling my way. That is until last week, when the floodgates opened and everyone and their mother put out new tracks. It’s a full docket now with some expected stuff and a few surprises. And also the one I’ve been going on about for months now.

Lamb Of God – Nevermore

Nevermore is the lead single from Lamb Of God’s upcoming album Omens, due October 7. It’s a fairly quick turnaround for the groove metal purveyors, as they are only two years removed from a self-titled release.

The song is pretty good, has a bit more of the classic LoG feel that I thought was a bit lacking on the last record. I do admittedly need to give that album another spin and chance. But I like what I hear with Nevermore and am looking forward to what the new album will bring.

Bulletboys – Holy Fuck

A real blast from the past here, the Bulletboys were some great sleaze rock back in the day. I haven’t kept up with them and I gather that they haven’t been active the entire time but they have regathered and have this new song on offer. No news on an album as yet. The song is pretty good and I’m digging what they’re up to, hopefully this is the start of more to come.

Ozzy Osbourne – Patient Number 9

The Prince of Darkness is back with the lead single from his new album of the same name, which releases September 9. It will be a fairly quick release after 2020’s Ordinary Man and follow the same format – produced by Andrew Watt and featuring several guest appearances. This track features Jeff Beck providing a guitar solo.

I think this approach is good for Ozzy at this point in his life – these grab-bag collaboration albums are far better than what he was doing through most of the 2000’s. Sure, it’s all a far cry from his otherworldly solo prime, but that was eons ago and no one’s going to ever recreate that.

This song is pretty good. I do think the production has the song buried a bit and the song also kind of meanders off in the end, but it’s still a pretty good listen. With all Ozzy has dealt with recently health-wise, just being able to do albums is an achievement in and of itself.

Queensryche – In Extremis

The new effort from Queensryche, titled Digital Noise Alliance, is set for an October 7 release. It will be the fourth album to feature singer Todd La Torre, who replaced Geoff Tate in the 2010’s after a very messy split.

I’ll be upfront – this song doesn’t move me much. I do think La Torre is a brilliant singer and that the material Queensryche have done since the split is leagues better than what they were churning out with Tate in the 2000’s, but the stuff just doesn’t grab me. It is competently executed music but it, well, doesn’t feel like Queensryche. I know there is no going back to the glory days, but I have a hard time getting behind the modern incarnation of the band. Maybe something else from the new album will be more compelling.

Amon Amarth – Get In The Ring

The Swedish Viking troupe had a single earlier in the year but a bit ago they released another new song as well as details for their new album. The Great Heathen Army is just around the corner on August 5.

The song is an original composition, not a cover of the Guns N’ Roses tune. It is pretty standard Amon Amarth fare. No, the band aren’t taking creative chances but their formula has made them one of the most successful metal bands of the 2000s so why would they mess with it? I’m fine with it and will be waiting for the new disc to drop here in a month or so.

Spirit Adrift – Mass Formation Psychosis

One of the 2010’s most interesting doom prospects return with a new record. 20 Centuries Gone will hit August 19. I’ll also be checking out these guys live next month as they open for Crowbar. The new stuff sounds great, this project hasn’t missed a beat since its inception.

Megadeth – We’ll Be Back

Well, well, well – what do we have here? After months of all talk and no song, here finally is the lead single from the new Megadeth album. The record, The Sick, The Dying … And The Dead! Will see release on September 2, a slight delay from a planned July release. It’s a highly anticipated release after several years and a lot of drama.

And wow, did they spit out a banger to open things up. We’ll Be Back is top notch thrash and a relentless track from start to finish. Dave Mustaine’s vocal delivery on the verses recalls the 1986 classic Black Friday, something I presume was intentional given the small nod to it also in the lyrics. And the riffs on this song are just all over and in your face. It is quite a statement from a band that has proven to be unpredictable over the years.

The video also serves as part one of a story arc, and there were rumors swirling around that this story is the origin of Megadeth’s long-running mascot Vic Rattlehead. I can’t find any information to truly confirm that, however. Either way, we’re getting some sort of hard-boiled war story told across the songs of the new album.

That wraps up the present edition of stuff to look forward to. Now with Megadeth finally offering something I don’t really have a long-anticipated thing to pine for next. Just gonna have to see what comes down the pipe next.

Upcoming New Releases – The Heat Is On

We’re getting to the end of the school year and into summer around here. In terms of new music it seems like acts are hitting the road in droves and the interesting upcoming albums list is maybe dwindling a bit. But there are still some new albums queued up for release so I’ll have a look at some lead singles from upcoming albums. Not a ton this time but some compelling stuff.

Behemoth – Ov My Herculean Exile

Leading off with the Polish extreme metal stalwarts Behemoth, whose new album Opvs Contra Natvram arrives September 16. The provided video is pretty intense fare, though nothing unusual for Behemoth. It’s a bit of a mini horror movie.

The song is interesting but not particularly dynamic in terms of Behemoth. The group have been one of extreme metal’s bigger draws for several years now. In that time band leader Nergal has dealt with various controversies, including being charged with blasphemy by the Polish government multiple times. He has also muddied his own puddle a time or two, like when he invented a story about being thrown out of a gym for wearing a Darkthrone shirt for reasons unclear to anyone beyond him.

The new album is inspired by Nergal’s hatred of social media and “cancel culture,” a statement that hasn’t been playing well on social media. Will a pointed outlook and a less-than-stellar album see Behemoth’s time at top come to an end, or will the album proper offer up enough to keep the group afloat? Guess we’ll see this fall.

The Chats – 6L GTR

Australia’s punk sensations are back with a new album, Get Fucked, out August 19. The band has just wrapped up a US tour, getting out post-pandemic a few years after their 2017 viral smash hit Smoko took over the Internet.

The new song is really good and pretty much just what you’d expect from The Chats. I will certainly line up to get fucked this coming August.

Grave Digger – Hell Is My Purgatory

The venerable German institution is back with their 21st (!) studio album Symbol Of Eternity, out August 26. The band sound in fine form here after all these years, not that anything has been stopping them anyway. Grave Digger often do theme-based albums and appear to be on a Knights Templar kick here. I’m sure the new record will be a fine addition to their stupidly huge discography.

Iconic – Fast As You Can

Hey everyone, it’s another Frontiers Records throw-together group. Michael Sweet is in this one, along with Tommy Aldridge and some other folks from around the rock universe. The music is fine but of course there is a fair bit of Frontiers fatigue these days. Will this project stand out from the mountain of others? Second Skin is out just around the corner on June 17.

Municipal Waste – High Speed Steel

It’s been quite some time now since Municipal Waste helped put thrash metal back on the map and they have returned for another round with Electrified Brain out on July 1. It’s business as usual for the group and sounds like another must-have record on release. Usually these retro metal waves come and go, but this thrash one has been around for eons now and shows no signs of going away.

Chat Pile – Slaughterhouse

No you’re not seeing double – Chat Pile is distinct from The Chats. This group is an Oklahoma-based noise rock outfit that put out a few EP’s and are now prepping their full-length debut album for release. God’s Country will be released July 29. It is dark, noisy and fucked up, which is often just how I like it. It sounds like the world looks right now, which isn’t good for the world but is great for Chat Pile.

Lorna Shore – Sun//Eater

The main event is here and is the first track from the most hotly-anticipated extreme metal release of 2022. Last year Lorna Shore took over the internet with their three-song EP And I Return To Nothingness on the strength of To The Hellfire, which wound up with my 2021 Song Of The Year Award. Now the deathcore collective has the unenviable task of following that up with a full-length. That comes in the form of Pain Remains, which will see release this October.

While To The Hellfire generated unseen amounts of hype, it also set a bar very, very high for whatever comes next. Sun//Eater delivers the symphonic, “blackened” deathcore that Lorna Shore showcased on last year’s EP. It’s a fine addition that showcases vocalist Will Ramos and the band’s dynamics without resting on the laurels of …Hellfire. Time will render verdict on the new record but the hype train for Lorna Shore is chugging along now with the full-length on the horizon.

That does it for this month’s edition of upcoming releases. Conspicuous by its absence is any new Megadeth material even though the new album has been ready “any day now” for like three years and is supposed to be out in July. It feels like Ben Stein’s iconic scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off where I’m standing in the front of class calling out “Mustaine? Mustaine?” over and over again when I type these. Maybe next month…

Upcoming Music – May the Fourth be with you

The title has absolutely nothing to do with the post, but it’s time to look at another pile of lead singles for upcoming releases. There is more music coming out than I can keep up with but that’s a good problem to have.

Skid Row – The Gang’s All Here

Skid Row were promising new music last month and have delivered. This is the title track to the new album due out on October 14. It marks the band’s first full-length album in 16 years.

It was pretty anticipated to see how Skid Row would sound on record with former DragonForce singer ZP Theart on vocals – and well, that anticipation will continue because the band have jettisoned Theart and replaced him with Erik Gronwall. Apparently Gronwall made waves awhile back with a cover of the Skids classic 18 And Life and now all of a sudden he’s fronting the band.

The song is a nice tune, it’s a cut from the cloth hard rocker that does recall the band’s glory days. Gronwall is the fourth singer for the group since the departure of classic-era singer Sebastian Bach in the 90s. I’m as curious as anyone why the band decided to switch singers yet again but it might be a while before anyone gives detailed accounts to the music rags about whatever went down.

Without detailed information, the singer switch feels like an attempt to capitalize on the buzz generated by Gronwall’s cover song performance. Maybe the band heard him and thought he’d be a better fit, I don’t know. If only there were a suitable singer around who could live up to the past performances of Sebastian Bach…

But anyway, the coming fall promises a new full-length and we’ll see what the band can get up to with another entry in their revolving door of singers.

Hank Williams Jr. – .44 Special Blues

The venerable Hank Jr. is releasing a new album of blues cuts. Produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, Rich White Honky Blues is due for release on June 17.

Taking on blues standards is an interesting choice for Bocephus, but it’s not at all far removed from his own roots. The blues were a big influence on country and Jr. has been vocal about his appreciation for the blues in the past. Now he is offering up a full album of the blues and he certainly sounds like he knows his way around the genre.

IV and the Strange Band – Inbred

If Hank Jr. wasn’t enough, June 17 will see the debut release of his grandson Coleman’s band. Southern Circus is the first album from the next in line of the Williams family legacy. The son of renegade outlaw Hank III was preparing a fully self-released effort last year before reconsidering in the wake of the considerable buzz he generated. This new, fully produced effort represents a more polished first step forward.

Inbred is a song about the Fugate family of Kentucky. I’ll link the Wikipedia for anyone curious, though the title should give you a clue. The song is fine, it won’t set the world on fire or anything but I like the direction this seems to be going. It’s imperative for a Williams to go their own way and it sounds like Coleman and company will be doing their own thing. It has a polished southern rock/maybe “hipster” country feel to it and that’s fine by me. It’ll be very interesting to see how the musical path of IV unfolds. Even with going his own way, it is most likely to be his father’s fanbase that will line up early to see what Coleman has to offer.

Note – the group have released a newer single since I began this post, I decided to retain my original text.

Emma Ruth Rundle – Imbolc Dawn Atop Yns Wydrn. Ice Melts As The First Resplendent Rays Of Spring Pour Over The Horizon

Ok, that was a mouthful. This is a new track from my favorite artist in recent memory and is in advance of her new instrumental album EG2 – Dowsing Voice, releasing soon on Friday the 13th. The album is being released in physical form but its digital presence will be kept exclusively on Bandcamp, hence the unusual preview format.

This song, as with surely everything else on this instrumental (though with voice being used as an instrument) work, features the use of atmosphere and texture to create soundscapes. It is a different listening experience from the standard verse-chorus structure of standard songs but it’s musical direction I’ve been leaning more into in the past few years, probably with Emma being my shepherd to that. Emma conceived the album while in Wales in early 2020, just before the world broke apart. It’s also great timing for a release, even an unusual one, as Emma just performed at the Roadburn festival a few weeks prior and her performance was a hot topic of conversation from the fest.

Billy Howerdel – Poison Flowers

The A Perfect Circle guitarist will be releasing a solo album titled What Normal Was on June 10. The song is a nice example of gothic alt-rock or whatever it is, I’m not entirely sure. But it’s a pretty cool song and will command attention as Billy launches a solo tour through the same month as his album’s release.

Oni – Secrets

Newer metalcore brood Oni are preparing to release a new album Loathing Light on June 17. “Brood” may be a deceptive term as the band proper is comprised by a sole member, vocalist Jake Oni. Oni receives help in recording with longtime friend Mark Morton, guitarist of Lamb Of God. Morton’s bandmate Randy Blythe supplies guest vocals to Secrets, as does another unexpected guest, punk legend Iggy Pop. The track is a star-studded romp, we’ll see what the full album holds next month.

Septicflesh – Hierophant

The long-running Greek symphonic death metal outfit have prepared their eleventh album Modern Primitive for release on May 20. Septicflesh have become leaders of the symphonic element in death metal and from the sounds of Hierophant they will likely keep their momentum going with their new release.

Lamb Of God – Wake Up Dead

This new track from LoG is not a precursor to a new album or anything – it is a standalone release and a cover of Megadeth’s iconic song from 1986. Lamb Of God have been touring with Megadeth on the “Heavy Metal Tour of the Year” for a few years now (COVID-delayed, of course).

The band handles the song in true-to-the-original fashion, executing it with thrash precision rather than translating it into LoG’s groove-oriented approach. The band had a helping hand in the effort – Dave Mustaine joins in on vocals and guitar. It is a nice effort and also a placeholder for that new Megadeth album that Dave says is supposed to be out in July yet we haven’t heard anything new about in awhile, much less a teaser track.

Dylan Gers – Moon Rise

This single marks the debut from Dylan Gers, who is the son of Iron Maiden guitarist Janick Gers. The song is a minimalist piece that is not at all related to his father’s work. It’s a different sort of listen but something I can stand to hear more of, it’s not out of place with other things I’ve been getting into as I get on in years. There is no word about an album or anything else yet from the younger Gers.

Liam Gallagher – Better Days

I’ve already previewed one song from Liam’s upcoming May 27 album C’Mon You Know, but I figured I’d drop this third single from the record considering that we’re getting a double-dose of Liam on the 27th. Not only does the new studio album drop but also seeing release is a live 2020 set Down By The River Thames, which Liam and company recorded on a barge floating the river as a means of holding a concert during the COVID lockdown era. The event was filmed then released as a limited streaming event and will now be available on wax and digital.

That live set will feature Liam solo as well as Oasis tracks, though the bulk of the focus will be on Liam’s new studio effort. Better Days is an interesting tune that, to me, stands out more than the other preview tracks from the new record. The video is extremely well-done and so far this song appears to be a highlight from the new album. Liam is gearing up for a headlining set at the upcoming Knebworth festival, the site of Oasis’ great triumph almost 26 years prior (my thoughts on that set’s official release here). While he will revel in the glory days of Oasis, he now will also have plenty of his own songs to insert in the set as well.

That does it for this month’s edition of upcoming releases. Time keeps flying and so do the new songs and albums. Perhaps the next edition will finally feature a new Megadeth song, we will see.