If I learned anything from my 2017 forecast of anticipated records, it was not to look too forward to anything. Spend too much time anticipated something and it either doesn’t materialize or doesn’t live up to the expectations you placed on it. The onus of which sits purely on my shoulders. There’s so much to discover out there, why spend/waste all this energy sweating over the next record, the book (George R.R. Martin “fans” are as batshit insane as any metal fan I’ve encountered) when you can dip your toe into literally thousands upon thousands of other things readily available and only waiting for an opportunity to unveil their secrets?
Nurturing this sense of discovery is something I plan to focus on in 2018, but that doesn’t mean I’m impervious to the draw of new music from the bands I love. So wipe away the detritus of the last year, grab yourself a large mug of your preferred morning beverage – no matter what time of the day it is – and let’s talk about what’s beyond that monolith…
…besides a giant Space Baby, of course.
Evoken – TBD 2018: In November the dark lords of funeral doom awakened from their leviathan slumber to announce the process for recording the followup to the massive Atra Mors in 2012 was commencing. Set for release in 2018 via Profound Lore, things are looking good this will happen – back in December they premiered a new song, “Valorous Consternation” at a live show in Spain. Few bands can get their doom as thick and lush without sacrificing the aggression like Evoken can, and I eagerly await the inevitable smothering the new album brings.
Judas Priest – Firepower (March): As great as the recent surge of traditional metal has been (and I’m sure will continue to be) they all pale and wither with the first shriek from the throat of Rob Halford. So much of my youth is tied into listening to Screaming for Vengeance and Defenders of the Faith on cassette I’ll never not be excited to hear new music from the Metal Gods. Throw in the added bonus that 2014’s Redeemer of Souls was a great return to form after the bloated Nostradamus with a reinvigorated sound thanks to new addition Richie Faulkner and you have all the ingredients I need to be excited for Firepower.
Napalm Death – TBD 2018: The Code is Red…Long Live the Code was not only my introduction to Napalm Death, but to grind in general. I fell into the band’s history hard, finding music that was inventive and challenging at every step of their evolution over 30 years while also being introduced to bands like Nasum, Discordance Axis, Terrorizer, and the myriad of projects associated with Shane Embury. The news that the band is once again ready to unleash another assault on out senses is welcoming – I need something to match the rage and frustration with the world, and this should do nicely.
The Ocean – TBD 2018: It’s been five years since Pelagial. The state of post-metal is in need of a shot in the arm. The Ocean will (hopefully) bring that shot. Our own Corey lamented that we didn’t get a new album in 2017, but news for the future is bright: we should be getting two new albums in the next two years from the German collective. If it’s been a while since you’ve dived into The Ocean (*rimshot* remember to tip your waitress on the way out, folks), remedy that with any one of the excellent releases and prepare for some killer music in the new year.
Voivod – TBD Spring 2018: I’m sure there are folks out there who were sure Voivod post-Piggy would be amazing, but I certainly wasn’t one of them. Then Target Earth came out. The the “We Are Connected” single. Then the Post Society EP. Not only were Voivod still amazing, but Daniel Mongrain (aka “Chewy”) perfectly embodies the spirit of Piggy while carving a unique path forward in the type of angular progressive thrash attack Voiced excel at. I sent a good portion of 2017 buried in the deluxe remasters of RRRÖÖÖAARRR, Killing Technology and Dimension Hatröss, so hopefully my molecules are ready to get connected to whatever new music the quartet unleash this spring.
Couple the above bands with last year’s MIA members Panopticon and Judicator, as well as hopeful releases from Clouds Collide, YOB, Ihsahn, and The Atlas Moth (I’ve been spinning The Old Believer as I wrote this post, and now am STOKED for Coma Noir) and there’s a ridiculous amount of great music to look forward to. But if I’m being honest, the album I’m looking forward to the most is the one I haven’t discovered yet. And when that comes I’m looking forward to sharing it with you guys.
Happy New Year.