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.

Upcoming Releases, Further Into 2022

The month of March is winding down and music acts are offering up new albums left and right. It’s a mixed bag this time around with no central focus on any one sound. Some big boys are coming out to play in the later stages of the pandemic and it looks like tours might fire off for real this year so out comes a whole trove of new music.

Def Leppard – Kick

The legendary British rockers are back with a new album Diamond Star Halos, due May 27 and marking their first release in seven years, which seems to be the new norm for the group. The album also hits just before the band head out on the much-hyped and delayed stadium tour with Motley Crue across the US this summer.

The new song Kick is a simple rocker that throws back to eras in rock even before Def Leppard first hit the scene. It is very hard telling what we will get with a new Def Leppard album in 2022 but the lead single is a nice, simple number to kick off the proceedings. It doesn’t entirely excite me but I am curious about what they’re gonna get up to.

Muse – Compliance

I covered a new Muse track a few months back but now we have a second single as well as full album information. Compliance is the second single from The Will Of The People which will see release on August 26.

The song is an electric-pop number that indicates Muse is going to offer a mixed bag of sounds on the new album. They have done work across several styles over the years so it might be a good approach and offer a bit of something for everyone. The song and the theme of the album as a whole have a danger of being interpreted in strange ways in today’s nasty political climate, but it wouldn’t be the first time Muse tunes have been co-opted for shitty political movements.

Blut Aus Nord – That Cannot Be Dreamed

The French avant-garde black metal unit are back with a new album Disharmonium – Undreamable Abysses, which will see release on May 20. This song is much in line with their prior work, which is nasty, atmospheric and mostly inaccessible. It’s the soundscape of nightmares and horrors, meaning the group have done their job well yet again.

Talas – Inner Mounting Flame

A bit of a surprise entry here from a band that has been inactive longer than many people have been alive. Talas were a 70’s and 80’s rock outfit featuring the talents of renowned bassist Billy Sheehan, who just celebrated his 69th birthday last Saturday.

Inner Mounting Flame is not a new song, Talas apparently played the track at live gigs just before Sheehan left the band to join with David Lee Roth. This song might be a recording from a planned yet unreleased album from that time period. It is nice to hear something from yesteryear and also from a bit of a hidden gem band like Talas. The outfit and their record label Metal Blade promise more news soon, perhaps that unreleased album will finally see the light of day.

Weezer – A Little Bit Of Love

Apparently Weezer are still an active recording group.

Joe Satriani – Pumpin’

One of the guitar’s most brilliant masters, Joe Satriani is preparing the release of his 18th solo album The Elephants Of Mars. It is a quick turnaround for the record which hits on April 8.

It has been more than a minute since I last checked in on Satriani. There isn’t a lot to say – he is one of the best axe wielders out there. Pumpin’ is a nice little jam that keeps it short and seems to be having fun.

EMF – Sister Sandinista

A big time throwback is coming seemingly out of nowhere to release a new album. EMF released 3 albums in the early 90’s and had a massive hit with the single Unbelievable. The group has toured off and on in the time since but Go Go Sapiens will mark their first new material since 1995. The album releases on April 1.

Some fans in the YouTube comments on this video are disputing how much of EMF really did the new album but I’m not up on their lineup history so it’s not a huge concern for me. It is pretty cool to hear something from a group who hit a long time ago and I figured were long gone. We’ll see how their electro-alt rock plays in 2022 but the single sounds nice.

Cave In – New Reality

A welcome surprise came last week when legendary post-rock outfit Cave In announced their reformation and new music. Heavy Pendulum will arrive on May 20. The band had been active in the past few years in order to pay tribute to fallen bandmate Caleb Scofield but were largely dormant in most of the 2010’s.

New Reality is an apt title for our present state. Cave In are joining the pandemic era with their heavy blend of post-rock and post-well, everything. It is a stellar tune that predicts good things for the upcoming new record. And in the video they get to have some fun turning Kurt Ballou’s studio into a playland.

Upcoming Releases Spring/Summer 22

The year is winding on and we’re about out of winter in this part of the globe. Music is still coming out hot and heavy as artists pent up from pandemic tour disruptions have turned to recording to get their fix. I’ve got a bit from several walks of the sonic aisle to cover this time around so let’s have at it.

Kreator – Hate Uber Alles

The German thrash legends are set to release their 15th studio album bearing the same name as this lead single on June 3rd. There is one change in the band, as former DragonForce bassist Frederic Leclercq makes his studio debut with the group.

The bassist may have changed but all else seems to be the same with camp Kreator. This song offers the same thrash with Gothenburg-accented metal the band reinvigorated themselves with over 20 years ago. This song fits in well alongside past title tracks like Enemy Of God and Hordes Of Chaos, joining the tradition of strong title songs and singles from Kreator. It’s hard to imagine that the upcoming album will be anything but the same style on offer here – thrash with topical themes dealing in the dark side of life and society.

As a note since I’m talking about them anyway – the band’s 2001 opus that reignited their career and perhaps the thrash scene as a whole, Violent Revolution, will be the album of the week this coming Monday.

Amon Amarth – Put Your Back Into The Oar

The Swedish Vikings are back again with a new single. This is apparently a standalone single and does not indicate a new album on the horizon.

In the past several years there has been a bit of a “hipster Viking” fad, fueled in no small part by Amon Amarth as well as hit TV shows like Vikings. Just as the trend came about it found many detractors and today it’s easy to find people bemoaning the presence of Viking cosplayers.

Rather than slide away from the now frowned upon trend, Amon Amarth have leaned 1000% into it. Put Your Back Into The Oar is a full-on Viking row song. It sits in fine with the group’s legacy that has seen them become one of the most visible extreme metal bands in existence. It will also no doubt stoke more flames among the detractors who have grown weary of the band’s Viking image, but that’s always part of the fun.

Brennen Leigh – If Tommy Duncan’s Voice Was Booze

It’s time to go country for a bit. I first encountered Brennen last year when she opened for Charley Crockett on tour. She put on a great set and I began exploring her catalog of absolutely old-school country.

Brennen is preparing to release a new album on May 6 titled Obsessed With The West. The album will explore Western swing and features swing legends Asleep At The Wheel backing Brennen. This is the lead single from that effort and it beckons another excellent set from Leigh. I haven’t been keeping up with country near as much as I used to but it’s nice to be reminded of the finer points of the genre now and again.

Destruction – Diabolical

We didn’t get enough German thrash yet, so long time act Destruction have been kind enough to present their new effort. This song is taken from the album of the same name and is due April 8.

The song is signature Destruction and indicates that we are in for yet another thrash gem. The video gives screen time to the band’s Mad Butcher mascot as he, uh, enjoys a snack. It seems as though Germany might make a huge impact on metal this year, what with Destruction, Kreator and Blind Guardian all with albums in queue.

Dream Widow – March Of The Insane

This new thrash act came out of nowhere with a blistering track that recalls Midnight and Toxic Holocaust, very dirty and gritty thrash which is a sound right up my alley. This band should rocket straight to the top of the metal scene ….

… except that they’re already very popular. Dream Widow is actually the Foo Fighters. Dave Grohl and company recorded this and an entire album’s worth of thrash for their upcoming horror-comedy film Studio 666. This album is getting a release “any day now” according to Grohl and may see the light of day by the time this post goes live on Wednesday, February 23rd. However exactly it goes down I’m quite impressed by this and will look forward to hearing what they got up to in terms of a full album.

Robin Trower – No More Worlds To Conquer

The legendary British guitarist is back with a new single sharing the name of a new album releasing April 29. Trower has release over 20 solo albums and that count doesn’t include his time with Procol Harum or his collaborations with Jack Bruce and others. This song offer a mellow groove and sings of someone who had it all but what he really wanted. For Trower it’s another gem in his extensive collection and it’s nice to see him still going, he’ll be 77 when the album releases.

Dorothy – Rest In Peace

This a new song from one of the 2010’s more interesting new rock prospects. Though she has yet to formally announce a new album she has released a few singles from what are presumed to be included on Gifts From The Holy Ghost, a previously announced title. The single is released just ahead of a major nationwide tour.

The song is a pretty epic and powerful tune that sees Dorothy again having at somebody, a theme she’s used to a fair bit of success on past albums. She is really, really not into whoever she is laying to rest in this song, the lyrical fare is pretty brutal towards her target. The song is well done and bodes well for the album we’ll hopefully get more news about in the near future.

Kurt Vile – Like Exploding Stones

This preview song is ahead of Kurt’s new album (watch my moves) which is due April 15. This is totally new territory for me as I haven’t heard a note of his before playing this song, I haven’t heard his stuff or his prior work with War On Drugs.

This is a very interesting track, I dig the chilled out vibe of it. It’s not something I always seek out but in the right mood I can appreciate something like this. It’s a bit hard to keep up with the enormous indie scene some times. I’ll keep an ear out for the full album when it’s out.

Halestorm – The Steeple

Halestorm are back with a new album Back From The Dead due May 6. This is the album’s second single released as the title track saw play last summer.

I have not previously been into Halestorm that much. I’ve heard great things about them from a lot of different circles but for whatever reason their music hasn’t taken with me. This song might be the one that gets it done – I’m absolutely enjoying this track. I don’t know if they’re doing something different or if I’m just in a more open place mentally or what, but I’ll be on the lookout for when this album hits.

Liam Gallagher – Everything’s Electric

On offer is the lead single from Liam’s long-announced third solo album C’Mon, You Know, out May 27 and destined to be Liam’s most-used Twitter hashtag for the next year.

The song marks Dave Grohl’s second appearance in this post. Liam had his album pretty well finished when Grohl rang with this song on offer. Liam went back to the studio and cut the track and it’s now the album’s lead single.

The song is well done and a pretty chill and “vibe-y” track. It’s not quite the all-out banger Liam was discussing months ago, so perhaps he had a different song in mind for the lead single before Dave got a hold of him. At first the tune doesn’t stand out as much as the singles from his prior release Why Me? Why Not but the song is growing on me with multiple listens. Liam will certainly want to go into the summer well-armed with songs as he is preparing a headlining set at Knebworth, the site of Oasis’ historic triumph 26 years ago. While plenty of Oasis standards will certainly get time I’m sure Liam also wants to have his solo songs stand on their own as well, if for no other reason than to keep up the perpetual sneering contest between he and his brother.

That’s a wrap on this huge edition of upcoming music. As the temperature warms up it seems like a massive amount of new music will be heading our way. Hopefully these and other acts will get to air their songs out on stage out of the shadow of the pandemic and the industry can start making up for lost time and money.

Upcoming Releases Spring 2022

2022 is in full swing now and there are a pile of new releases on the horizon. It’s a ton of metal and a bit of old school rock this time. I’ve got a ton of preview singles to get through so I’m gonna jump right into it.

Matt Pike Versus The Automaton – Alien Slut Mum

Our lead offering here is from longtime High On Fire/Sleep wizard Matt Pike. He’s entering the solo album market and this is the debut cut from the self-titled effort out on February 18. The song as a whole doesn’t wildly depart the High On Fire wheelhouse but does go off in a few more tame directions not suited for the noisy outfit. The video is an absolute trip too. This is good stuff from one of the more prolific musicians of the 2000’s and I’m looking forward to the album’s release.

Muse – Won’t Stand Down

The British stadium rockers put out this new song earlier in the month ahead of a yet-to-be announced album. It seems as if Matt Bellamy is still on his shit as the video goes into some puppeteer symbolism in keeping with his conspiracy-laden world viewpoint.

The song is interesting, both at times in line with the band’s electronic side and at other times very heavy, perhaps a nod to their earlier signature works. It certainly gained my attention enough to be on the lookout for their still unrevealed new record.

Corpsegrinder – Acid Vat

It’s back to “solo albums no one was really expecting territory” as Cannibal Corspe vocalist and the most recognizable death metal vocalist around, George “Corpsegrinder” Fischer, is offering up his debut solo album on February 25. It’s unclear who else plays on the album but Cannibal Corpse bandmate Erik Rutan is featured on this song. Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed was behind the effort production and organization-wise.

It appears Corpsegrinder decided against exploring other musical territory like country or smooth jazz for this effort and remains solidly in the death metal camp. The song is pure death metal without sounding too close to Cannibal Corpse, something that would’ve rendered the project unnecessary. Corpsegrinder has been manning the CC helm for over 25 years now so a solo effort seems fitting.

Abbath – Dream Cull

After a bit of time off for personal reasons, the former face of Immortal is back with his third solo outing. Dread Reaver will see the light of darkness on March 25.

Abbath is up to his usual tricks, those being riffs and growling. The song hit me as a bit odd at first but I’ve settled into it a bit more after repeated listens. It’s not out of Abbath’s wheelhouse but I did find some of the riff choices a bit odd here and there. Overall though I’m fine with it and I look forward to seeing what else he has up his sleeve coming in March.

Slash ft. Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators – Call Off The Dogs

This is apparently the second single from the upcoming album from Slash and friends. The album is simply titled 4, in stark contrast to the band name. The album is right around the corner and will see release on February 11.

I missed the first song so I’ll have to backtrack and hunt it down. This song is a very nice rocker and hints at good things to come from the album. Quality rock is sometimes hard to track down these days but old reliables like Slash don’t often fail to deliver.

Ghost – Call Me Little Sunshine

I wrote a bit about a new Ghost song awhile back but wasn’t sure if it was a lead for a new album or a one-off. As it turns out, that song and this one are part of a new album Impera entering the world March 11. I wasn’t too moved by the prior song.

This one does a bit more for me. It’s slow and kind of plodding but it suits the mood well enough. This song just, I don’t know, feels better than the other one. I haven’t been the band’s biggest fan but I have enjoyed some of their stuff in the past so I’ll lend an ear to the new album when it hits and see what they’re up to these days. The video is quite nice, they are a band often owing to a good visual presentation.

Caliban – Ascent Of The Blessed

I’m in somewhat unfamiliar territory here talking about metalcore veterans Caliban. I have seen the name around a lot over the years but I haven’t heard much of their music at all. I have spun this new song, a lead single from a new album called Dystopia that as yet has no release date.

I can’t say a whole lot but I do enjoy what I’m hearing. I’ll certainly be exploring their extensive catalog between now and the new album, which is their 13th full-length. Seems like I have quite a bit of catching up to do.

Dark Funeral – Let The Devil In

The veteran Swedish black metal outfit has seen their profile rise considerably in the past several years and is releasing a new album We Are The Apocalypse on March 18. This is the lead single, replete with somewhat gory video.

The song stands out in a way for being a slower pace than much of Dark Funeral’s catalog. The band have historically been known to bash the everliving shit out of any instrument around but they seem to have found some nuance over the past decade. The song sounds promising and it seems like we’re in for another treat in March.

Undeath – Rise From The Grave

Here is the not age-restricted Spotify link for audio

This New York-based death metal outfit have been making waves across the Internet for the past few years. This song is the quasi title track from their upcoming album It’s Time … To Rise From The Grave, out April 15. This gives us Americans time to get the record just before Tax Day.

This song has been catching buzz all over social media since it hit last week and all of the accolades are deserved. Just as it seems there is no ground left to cover in death metal, a new group of bands come along and make it all fresh and vital again. Undeath are one of many bands hitting the scene hard as this screwed up decade of the 2020’s gets rolling, and this year the band might shoot ahead of the pack. Undeath are a name that is going to be said a lot between now and the end of the year (and beyond).

That’s all for this month. The new releases keep stacking up so next month looks to be much of the same, a whole pile of new offerings to headbang to.

Upcoming Releases – New Year Edition

I wasn’t going to run one of these this month, but as it turns out everyone and their mother have released new songs from upcoming albums. Might as well roll with it.

Blind Guardian – Deliver Us From Evil

The German metal masters offer up an early serving from a new album slated for September 2022. This song will make up part of a preview EP coming soon. It is unmistakably Blind Guardian, yet another great track in their impressive catalog. While the whole band is obviously great, it’s just stunning to hear Hansi Kursh sing like this after all these decades in the business. The new record’s early outlook is extremely bright.

Crowbar – Chemical Godz

The Louisiana sludge merchants are back for another round. This song heralds a new album in March called Zero And Below, marking the group’s 12th studio album in 31 years. It is also their first release in nearly 6 years.

The band is sounding great on this track, a brutal romp through the dangers of drug use. The video is better anti-drug propaganda than anything world governments cranked out in the 1980’s. In fact it’s not really propaganda, it’s pretty much just the ills of drug use. The song sounds pretty fresh and it seems Crowbar is ready to kick ass again in the new year.

Immolation – Apostle

New York’s death metal veterans return with their new effort Acts Of God in February. Immolation have been unparalleled masters of death metal over the years and it sounds like nothing will change with the new record.

Apostle is signature Immolation. No reason to fix what isn’t broken, and nothing is broken besides necks in this case. It’s another bastardized, dissonant riff parade from the band, and lyrics that I’m sure have something to do with Sunday church service. Looks like we won’t get too far into the new year without at least one essential listen.

Spite – Made To Please

This is totally new to me, something I’ve run across now that I’m following more deathcore-oriented media. There is no information about a new album at this time, only this single drop.

Unsurprisingly, this is very violent and very brutal, both musically and visually. It does, to me anyway, help illustrate that the line between death metal and deathcore is almost non-existent. But this is one I’ll keep an ear out for, presuming the band intends to record a full-length in the near future.

Arch Enemy – House Of Mirrors

This is the second new Arch Enemy single to be released in a few months, though as yet no new album information has been forthcoming. The song is quite serviceable and does sound like one would expect Arch Enemy to sound. The band continues to provide the highlight of having Michael Amott and Jeff Loomis on guitar, something of a metal guitarist’s wet dream. I think it would’ve been cool if the video would have shown some real broken mirrors but I guess safety is a big feature of modern-day metal video shoots.

Saxon – Carpe Diem (Seize The Day)

Venerable English metal institution Saxon return with the title track and lead single for their upcoming and (if I’m counting right) 23rd studio album coming in February. It’s been a pretty good run of late for the group, their last several albums have held serve among metal’s best.

This song is straightforward, up-tempo and gets right to the point. And honestly, the band looks older than dirt in this video but is still totally bringing it. It’s kind of shitty to think about how many more new albums are going to come from some of these metal legends, but Saxon act like they’re good for another 10 or so.

That’s about all for this month. I got enough that I didn’t have to waste time talking about the new Kid Rock song, which really sucks. We’ll see who brings what in the first month of the new year.

Upcoming Releases – Turkey Day and Beyond

It’s time to look at a new batch of preview singles. Most of this stuff is releasing next year but a few are still going to hit in 2021. A few will land in a few days and one is already out. It goes to show how much attention I pay to things.

Scorpions – Peacemaker

The Scorpions are almost eternal at this point – these guys refuse to quit. Not only are they still at it but they’ve offered up a very nice lead track from a new album called Rock Believer due early next year. I’m very impressed with how great this song sounds and I’m very happy to have yet more new music from a band I got into before I could reach the kitchen counter.

Exodus – The Beatings Will Continue (Until Morale Improves)

This is one I overlooked awhile back as the song has been around a few months now. This comes from the band’s newest record Persona Non Grata which hits this Friday. The song is a nice, short thrasher that fits right in with Exodus’ now extensive catalog. The video is really damn violent, like I’m kinda surprised it’s being shown on YouTube. It plays like a CIA field guide in how to, uh, get information. (it is age restricted, apparently)

Jack White – Taking Me Back

This song hit a few weeks ago as part of the campaign to launch whatever the hell the new Call Of Duty game is this time. Now Jack has filmed an official video for the song and it is part of two new albums from him due next spring.

I didn’t get all that into the song when I saw the COD preview but now I’m liking it more. I think maybe this one is a different version, I’m not entirely sure about that. It’ll be interesting to hear what Jack has on offer with two new albums coming out. I haven’t followed his post-White Stripes career too closely but he’s one of the more interesting musicians around today.

Slipknot – The Chapeltown Rag

This song is Slipknot’s first preview of new music from an as-yet unannounced album that will presumably see the light of day in 2022. The song was premiered live at the band’s own Knotfest concert a bit over a week ago.

I am not the biggest Slipknot fan in the world. I never was moved to like their stuff that much, though they’ve had songs I liked over the years. This song is fine but it doesn’t compel me to explore them further or anticipate the new album. They have their place and plenty of people are into them, and all that is fine, but it’s not really my cup of tea. It is frenetic and heavy, not something I’d frown upon. But honestly not my cup of tea.

Oasis – Wonderwall Live At Knebworth

Ok so I’m totally cheating here. Obviously Wonderwall isn’t new and Oasis sure as hell isn’t recording new music. This is from the official live release of the historic Knebworth concerts from 1996, which hits record store shelves and streaming platforms this Friday. I like Oasis, in case you haven’t noticed. Here’s just one example from the other day.

As for the Knebworth performances – absolutely the height of their fame, historically important, but also not their best. All of their tracks are on coke here, probably just like the band. Everything from these shows was done at a frentic pace, which I think belies the importance of their more significant work. I do hope they go back and catch Earl’s Court and Maine Road as future official live releases, as those better capture the band when they were firing on all cylinders. But hey, nothing to bitch about with the historic Knebworth gigs being available.

Brand Of Sacrifice – Lifeblood

I’ll be upfront – I know nothing about Brand Of Sacrifice. They are a newer band in the deathcore realm, that is totally all I know.

But if you notice from the video title, this has a bit something different about it – much like Carlos Santana featured the talents of one Rob Thomas in 1999 for the hit smash “Smooth,” Brand Of Sacrifice also brings a guest vocalist in for a turn on their song. Instead of Rob Thomas, BoS thought to ask someone else to guest on their reworked track – new Lorna Shore vocalist Will Ramos, who has made waves this year as the dying Dark Souls boss in To The Hellfire.

Here is the original version of the song, released at the beginning of this fun year. It is a wonderfully serviceable deathcore song, but there is no denying the extra atmosphere added by having Will Ramos drop vocals on your shit.

I have already stated how I feel about Will Ramos and Lorna Shore. I’ll certainly be paying attention to Brand Of Sacrifice going forward – this “symphonic blackened deathcore” movement is gaining steam fast.

Korn – Start The Healing

Here’s one from a band with a long lineage that I’m not particularly into. I went over them a bit when I started this blog, here’s that info drop.

But, I’m not totally against Korn. I might have gotten into their little brother/bastard cousin a bit more, but I can respect what Korn brought to the mid-90’s scene. I don’t keep up with them though so there’s a lot of lost time and music between then and now. This song is from a new album Requiem, which hits early February 2022.

This song is fine. It doesn’t move me to pre-order the album but I’m not mad that I listened to it. At this point in my life, where I’m fighting being middle-aged, I can appreciate that Korn is still going.

Emma Ruth Rundle – The Company

I am totally cheating here because this isn’t an upcoming album. Emma released her new album Engine Of Hell last week on the 5th. I’m kind of not cheating though, because she just released this self-directed video the other day, so it’s like a new release of a new release. It’s also worth note that I might be a bit into her past work…

Not to give away what’s going to be my pick for an album of the week in the extremely near future or anything, but this is in the early running for my favorite song off the stunning new album.

I’ll save the very specific talk about this song and the rest of the album for later, because I’m going to bring it up twice in the next month.

But this song hits home like few others. I’ll never claim to know what she’s talking about, but I know how and where exactly this hits me. And I’ll say this – it isn’t some foregone memory. This song hits right here and now. I don’t really know what else to say, other than all hail the new queen, king and god of music.

That’s all I have for this installment. I’m going to forego this feature next month because acts don’t usually announce shit in the holiday month. If they do I’ll catch up to it next month. Let me know anything I might have missed in the comments below.

Upcoming New Releases – November and Beyond

It’s time to preview some promo singles from albums coming out in the near future. I’m still trying to get the timing right on these and December is generally a dead month for album releases so I’m still feeling this thing out.

Also, I will feature a few second singles from upcoming albums I talked about in the last (and first) version of this. I won’t normally do that because I’d like to cover more ground but it helps in the early going to again highlight a few releases I’m really looking forward to.

One more note – this one is almost exclusively metal, with one (two, if you’re elitist) exception. I haven’t run across a lot more from other scenes that’s releasing soon. I’ll try to do more to mix things up in the future, it will help when we get into next year.

Cradle Of Filth – Crawling King Chaos

I’m leading off with one I meant to have on the first round of previews. The main issue is that CoF’s new album Existence Is Futile comes out this Friday. I though it wasn’t until November, silly me.

I mean, it’s Cradle Of Filth. I am a fan, have been since the later ’90’s. I haven’t really been disappointed with anything I’ve heard from them and while this has a slightly different sound probably due to new band members and the passage of time, it’s still signature Cradle. I doubt I’ll have any issue with this new album.

Shadow Of Intent – From Ruin … We Rise

This cut is from the upcoming album Elegy, which hits early next year. Shadow Of Intent are one of deathcore’s more interesting prospects, fully embracing symphonic and prog-like elements instead of the often-sterile technical showcase many of the -core bands get into.

From Ruin… We Rise offers a new showcase of this use of melody and symphony to create a heavy yet smooth listening experience. This isn’t about wowing with crazy vocal ranges or BPM (not that I mind that…) but using the medium to present a well-arranged and executed song. It makes for a nice preview for the upcoming album.

Ghost – Hunter’s Moon

This one is a little different – it’s not a preview for an upcoming album. Rather it’s a soundtrack release for the now-in-theaters Halloween Kills. I personally haven’t seen the film and probably won’t anytime soon, I’m not a huge movie buff.

I’ll admit this too – I’m not a huge Ghost buff either. I think they have some decent stuff, I do like their song Year Zero quite a bit. I did also see them open for Iron Maiden in 2017 and I thought they put on a really good show.

But I don’t own their albums or seek them out much at all. And this song doesn’t really hold my attention much. I don’t know if this is the territory they’ve moved into after their more mellow and slower stuff from their early days but I can’t really hang with this. I don’t think it’s badly executed, I just can’t get into it.

Hypocrisy – Dead World

This is one that I’m “cheating” on. I covered Worship’s lead single Chemical Whore in my last romp through preview tracks, yet right then Hypocrisy offered this second song. The song gets into how screwed up the world is. I agree. The song is another sign that the new album is going to be a great release after a long period of inactivity.

The real highlight here is the video – it’s a woman fighting her way through a zombie apocalypse. It is pretty brutal and honestly would lead me to ask questions about who is allowed to post what on YouTube, but I won’t do that because I don’t want Hypocrisy getting their video yanked. (Not that I have that kind of stroke, but there’s a conversation to be had about YouTube content). Anyway, it’s a stunning video and I’m looking forward to the new album dropping next month.

Mastodon – Teardrinker

Here with another band I don’t really keep up with – I liked their first few albums but I drifted off after that. This song is just ahead of a new album, Hushed And Grim, which releases the Friday before Halloween on October 29.

This song is pretty cool. It’s not what I think of when I think Mastodon but like I said, I haven’t been in touch with them in a long time. I won’t be in line to buy this on release day but it’s an album I’ll give a spin to and see if there’s more there I can get into. I like the more melodic approach but it takes some getting used to when I haven’t heard them since their heavy early days.

Be’lakor – Foothold

This is melodic death metal from Australia (not Sweden! Shocking, I know) that comes from the album Coherence that releases Halloween weekend, or October 29 for those that don’t know when Halloween is. It has been a five-year gap between releases for the band.

This is some really good stuff, with arrangement and movements that sets it apart from the more savage extreme metal out. Of course there is more like this these days but this group does it quite a bit better than the “look we can put every kind of metal subgenre into one song” thing that kind of permeates metal in our current climate. It’s well-structured and offers some hooks that hold attention. I’ll definitely be keeping an ear out for this on its release.

Emma Ruth Rundle – Blooms Of Oblivion

I’ll close the same way I did the first time around – with a new single from Emma’s upcoming album Engines Of Hell. This is one of my most anticipated releases of the year and it will finally see the light of day on November 5.

While lead single Return felt very deliberate and orchestrated, this song flows more with a gentle acoustic guitar and piano accompaniment. Both the lyrics and video are sparse yet, I don’t know, kind of spooky, as if Emma got David Lynch involved. It’s a very simple video and has a almost ingenious yet profound ending.

Emma has stated that this album is sparse, fragile and a departure from the more noisy effort On Dark Horses that captured a lot of attention in 2018. And she wasn’t kidding – both songs so far are even more stripped down than her 2016 effort Marked For Death. That album’s closing track Real Big Sky was a quiet yet soul-eviscerating affair and so far it sounds like Engines Of Hell is operating in similar, yet not exact circles. I am absolutely looking forward to it, but I’m honestly also kind of scared. This level of raw emotion might be kind of fucked up to listen to for an entire album.

That covers it for this round of previews. We’ll see if we get much to go with as far as stuff coming out in December, since most acts like to get their stuff released in time for album of the year considerations. Perhaps some more bands will preview material that’s going to hit next year as early Christmas gifts, we will see.

Looking At New Music – October/November

I want to shift gears a bit on the blog and go through a handful of preview songs for upcoming albums. Some of these works have set release dates and a few others aren’t even named yet, but the acts have released singles to build hype for their new efforts. I’ll start doing this on a semi-regular basis, as I find myself with more songs than time or space presently allows. These will genre-hop through just whatever is on my radar at any given time.

Guns N Roses – Hard Skool

This is the second track from an apparent upcoming EP and the first new GnR music to feature Slash and Duff since the early 1990’s. I wasn’t in love with Absurd, the first song we got and probably a leftover from the maligned Chinese Democracy era. This song is a lot better though I won’t fall all over myself for it either. The verses drag a bit but it gets to some classic GnR in the chorus. I don’t know if this song was also one of many Axl has laying around from his protracted recording sessions or if there was more collaboration between the reunited band members.

This new EP will be more of a curiosity for me than anything but it’ll be interesting to hear what Guns N Roses has to offer the world decades after their prime.

Limp Bizkit – Dad Vibes

I wrote earlier this year about Limp Bizkit and some shifting attitudes toward them, perhaps a retro appreciation for their era and at least some calming of the hatred they’ve endured over the years. Now they’re bringing new music for the first time in a decade, perhaps the truest test of how long their 2021 renaissance will last.

I never was a real fan of the band and even if I can look back on my past hatred for them as a bit blind, I probably won’t be beating down the door of my local record store to pick this up on release day. But this song is pretty cool. It’s short, chill and still Limp Bizkit. I can appreciate it. If nothing else, it reminds me that Fred Durst and I are both getting older, and that’s ok.

Swallow The Sun – Woven Into Sorrow

I ran across this on social media last week when the song was released. Woven Into Sorrow is the lead single from the band’s new effort Moonflowers, which comes out November 19 on Century Media Records.

I’ll be honest – Swallow The Sun is one of the many bands I have heard of, but not heard. I just haven’t got to them in all my years of metalheading. Well, I’m happy to say that I’m on board now.

Woven Into Sorrow is some excellent gothic doom, or symphonic doom or whatever subset of doom a person might call this. This song is about as sad as it gets and moves into a harsh vocal passage toward the end that blends well with the song’s tone. I will absolutely be checking out the new album when it hits.

Marissa Nadler – If I Could Breath Underwater

Marissa is not an artist I’d even heard of until last month when she announced her new album The Path Of The Clouds. As it turns out she has been around a long time and has a back catalog absolutely worth checking out, a very dreamy pop-folk style, if that’s a real thing.

This song, the album’s second single, is an absolute dreamscape, gently floating into itself or perhaps everything. I’d say that this isn’t a style of music I’d normally gravitate toward, but perhaps it’s more fair to say it’s a style that I’ve just now found space to appreciate. This is another release I’ll be checking out when it hits, which in this case is October 29th.

Converge – Blood Moon

Huh, it’s new Converge. I haven’t listened to them a lot over the years but I’ll give them another spin, they’re historically very noisy and I like noise and …

… oh, hello Chelsea Wolfe, wasn’t expecting to see you here.

So this new Converge album Bloodmoon I is a collaborative effort between the band and indie queen Chelsea Wolfe. Various configurations of this lineup has performed as Blood Moon in the past and now a full album of work under the Converge banner will be realized November 19th.

I’ve only had one listen to the song so far and I’ll be playing it again, that’s for sure. This is creepy, haunting and fantastic. I guess this collaboration isn’t as unlikely as it seems, given their past live performances. But it wasn’t something I was really aware of and this song came totally out of nowhere for me. I guess that’s why we do this.

Slow Crush – Hush

2021 will go down as the year I got into shoegaze. It wasn’t a sound I’d ever really messed with besides the stuff Alcest or Deafheaven have been doing over the years. But I went full in this year after the right circumstances came together to allow me to enjoy this kind of stuff.

Slow Crush are newer to the scene, having come on in 2018 with the excellent Aurora. This song is the first single from the album Hush, out October 22nd.

This track has been out for a few months now and I’ve been jamming to it pretty regularly. It’s a beautifully done atmospheric song that absolutely nails the shoegaze pattern of leaving the music, including vocals, together to be found in layers or enjoyed as its whole. I won’t be missing this release later in October.

Hypocrisy – Chemical Whore

This is the lead single from the death metal veterans’ new album Worship, available on November 26th, appropriately Black Friday in the United States. This marks their first release in nearly 9 years as leadman Peter Tagtgren has been exploring other creative avenues through the past decade.

This excellent mid-tempo monster highlights the horrors of drug overuse, more the pharmaceutical kind than the street kind. It comes with a great video and the album should be another win for a band that have been racking up great albums since 2004. Hypocrisy is always an auto-buy for me.

Emma Ruth Rundle – Return

It’s time for the main event as far as I’m concerned. The artist I just talked about earlier this week is releasing her much-anticipated new album Engines Of Hell on November 5th. Emma has stated that this record is a sparse affair, informed by major transformations in her personal life over the past few years.

Return absolutely fits the description and is a movement away from contrast in noise and melody that marked ERR’s prior effort. This song is haunting, minimal and seems very deliberate in its delivery. It’s almost scary what the rest of the album might be like – without the use of her extensive collection of effects pedals to mask the more harrowing moments, Engines Of Hell might rip the listener’s soul right out. I’d say I’m ready but I might very well not be.

That’ll do it for this first round of upcoming releases. I’m sure I’ve forgotten more than one thing, and in the future I’ll try to tidy these up a bit and focus on the next month’s upcoming records. I left a few out that I’ll have time to get into a bit down the line. While many fans turn their attention to considering the ever-important question “What is the album of the year?” it’s worth remembering that there are other contenders to come.