Headbangers, rejoice! Because lucky for us, 2013 is shaping up to be a great year for heavy metal releases. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you already know that the original lineup of Black Sabbath will put out their first record in nearly 35 years, 13, in June. Anthrax is working on their 11th album, as well as a cover record due out shortly; and heavy metal favorites Motörhead, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, and Slayer are all said to be working on new material this year. Although 2013 is still young, it has already unleashed a few notable, noisy records. Below, I’ve pulled out five of my favorite picks from the heavier side of metal that I think you should be on the lookout for.
Phil Anselmo and the Illegals: Family, “Friends”, and Associates.
When it comes to 2013, one of the releases I’m most looking forward to is the first solo effort from former Pantera vocalist Phil Anslemo. Earlier this month, Anselmo gave us a taste of what the record will sound like by debuting two new tracks on the four-song split with Warbeast called”War Of The Gargantuas“. Out now on Hothouse Records, both of the contributions from Anselmo, “Family, “Friends”, and Associates” (above) and “Conflict“, are brutally heavy. Anselmo even lends his unmistakable snarl to the Warbeast track, “Birth of a Psycho”. It might be hard to believe, but Phil Anselmo has been kicking the shit out of our ears for almost 30 years. And I for one am looking forward to hearing more from this heavy metal veteran.
Holy Grail, “Ride The Void”.
Pasadena band Holy Grail is metal. Prodigious riffing, screaming for vengeance, drum crushing, metal. Out on Nuclear Blast, you can stream Ride The Void in its entirety at Metal Hammer UK. now. Going strong since 2008, this is Holy Grail’s second full-length.
A Fucking Elephant, I’m Addicted to Drugs & Sex and I Want You To Choke Me.
Straight out of Pennington, NJ, trippy metal band A Fucking Elephant has just released their new EP, “Seven Inches“, on a limited press of both black and yellow vinyl. Although most are at a loss to accurately describe A Fucking Elephant’s sound, it’s safe to say it’s about 10 steps beyond any kind of progressive metal you’ve ever heard. Those who attempt to define the band use adjectives like, “chaotic”, psychoactive”, “jazzy”, and “spazmodic”. But it’s a quote from Sonic Abuse that I think completely nails the band’s groove, when they compared A Fucking Elephant’s sound to “notes falling over themselves like babies in a cement mixer”. I’m sold.
Darkthrone, Leave No Cross Unturned. From The Underground Resistance.
The 15th album from Norwegian band Darkthrone, The Underground Resistance, will be out on February 25th. But you can listen to the edit of one of the record’s six tracks, “Leave No Cross Unturned” (above), right now. However, if you’re like me and you like your metal black and epic, click here to listen to the 13+ minute album version of the song. Like our friend Phil Anselmo, Darkthrone have been perfecting their craft for nearly three decades. And it just keeps getting better.
Voivoid, Kluskap O’Kom, from Target Earth
“Target Earth” is the 13th studio record from one of Quebec’s heaviest exports, Voivod. Fans are calling Target a return to the “classic” Voivod sound, and I couldn’t agree more. Voivod will also help feed our insatiable need for vinyl by releasing Target on transparent red, blue, orange, and purple vinyl.