I'm almost a little bummed that the world didn't end on December 21. No War of the Worlds or 2012 scenes became a reality, although I was so sure that the only reason gas prices were down was because all the rich people were holed up in their submarines, burrowed into the Alps like a goddamn modern-day Noah's Ark, forgoing their gas profits for the sole sake of pitying the rest of us miscreants for not knowing about our demise. There was no rioting, no apocalypse, no alien takeover.
But then the New Year came around, and I made some major life decisions for 2013. Highlights? I decided to leave my stable job as an editor at a travel magazine and start Metal Mistressing full-time. I vowed to improve at snowboarding to make it all the way down a mountain while blasting Slayer's Reign in Blood. I decided to upgrade from Jameson to Glenfiddich (although the only place I'll be able to afford it is Coach House, since we seem to be on some sort of shots-of-whiskey-for-baked-goods barter system).
In light of keeping with New Years resolutions, something else to look forward to in 2013 (and hold the bands accountable for) are the array of kickass records scheduled to be released by so many legendary bands. I'm talking Rob Zombie, Dream Theatre, Tool, Korn, Avenged Sevenfold, Rigor Mortis, and so, so many more that already have me headbanging in excitement.
So toast to the New Year, and get ready to fucking rock in 2013 with my list of most anticipated metal albums, ranging from mainstream metal to death metal to British metal -- the latter of which I'm convinced is making a huge resurgence, and you're about to read why.
There are some famously heavy acts in the spotlight today releasing 2013 albums, beloved by a wide demographic range.
Rob Zombie Title: TBA (Although in an interview we had in fall 2012 he suggested he could be named something like The Final Act) Release Date: Spring Rob Zombie is the man this year; he's not only releasing his much-anticipated film Lords of Salem in April, he's also projecting his fifth solo album for release sometime in June, describing it as weird, dark, and heavy.Rob Zombie's last release, Mondo Sex Head
And in our interview, he said: "There's something cool about creatively trying to push yourself harder, rather than just throw in the towel. And that's hard to do. And I think this record has done that, which is why I'm so excited."
Korn Title: TBA Release Date: TBA The members of Korn always seem to have a hundred side projects at once, but this only fuels the fire under Korn as an entity. But when New Times spoke with Munky last year, he assured us that Korn already has a whole arsenal of material for their 11th studio album that shys away from dubstep and touches back on old-school Korn heaviness.Korn performing at Veteran's Memorial Coliseum on October 27, 2012 (See our slideshow from the concert.)
Avenged Sevenfold Title: TBA Release Date: Spring/summer You may not have known it, but Avenged Sevenfold was actually pretty busy in 2012, even though they weren't exactly in the spotlight, on tour, and didn't release a new album. But they won the "Best Live Band" and "Most Dedicated Fans" awards at the Revolver Golden Gods, they played at Metallica's Orion Music + More festival, and also released the track "Carry On" on Call of Duty: Black Ops II."Carry On" on Call of Duty: Black Ops II
But word on the street is that they have quite a few new songs written for a new album that is old-school metal, Black Sabbath-y and bluesy; some of the heaviest shit they've ever released.
Stone Sour Title: House of Gold & Bones Part 2 Release Date: April Corey Taylor was adamant about setting the bar high with House of Gold & Bones, devising it as a double concept album about the journey of life and the choices you make as you grow older. Part 1 was released last year to great reviews, which put the pressure on even more so for Part 2.From House of Gold & Bones Part I, Stone Sour's "Gone Sovereign"
When New Times talked to Taylor last year, this is what he had to say about the album: "It's really a morality play. It's about a person trying to find himself, or herself. You know, everyone in their lives finds themselves inevitably at a crossroads when it comes to personal evolution and what not."
Some of my favorite black/death metal bands are releasing new material this year -- actually, there are hundreds of extreme metal releases this year from incredible bands. 13 must be the genre's lucky number.
Behemoth Title: TBA Release Date: Fall Polish extreme metallers Behemoth are always hard at work establishing the Polish death metal underground, but currently they're crafting their 10th full-length album. This is the band's first album in almost four years and the first since vocalist Nergal beat leukemia (maybe those occult/Satanic witch doctors do have a trick or two up their sleeves).Behemoth's "Lucifer"
Toward the end of 2012, the band was demoing material in a studio, claiming that an artistic release will take place sometime in late 2013.
Rigor Mortis Title: Slaves to the Grave Release Date: December Rigor Mortis has been an important part of metal, even though this will be the band's first album with the original lineup in 25 years. Back in the '80s and '90s, Rigor Mortis was a huge influenced to the underground scene, even influencing such singers as Phil Anselmo.Rigor Mortis and Phil Anselmo performing "Demons" in 2007
Slaves to the Grave is even more important now that guitarist Mike Scaccia passed away on stage from a heart attack while performing at Warbeast/Rigor Mortis singer Bruce Corbitt's 50th birthday bash on December 23.
Watain Title: TBA Release Date: TBA Swedish black metal extremists Watain are known for some insane live shows, which are frequented by flaming tridents and dead animal parts.Waitain's "Stellarvore"
But the band just signed a deal with Century Media Records and is ready to take it to the next level. Its 2013 release and fifth album is expected to live up to the phrase "go extreme or go home." Well, if that isn't a phrase, it is now.
Soilwork Title: The Living Infinite Release Date: March 5 I've loved Soilwork for years since discovering A Predator's Portrait. Hell, I even painted the album cover after I became so emotionally attached to the record. The Swedish melodic death metal gurus are putting out not one, but two, new records in 2013. The band has said that the new music takes its style and influence up a notch, following the band's normal intensity. But is "working from the ground up" (as its name suggests) when it comes to layered instruments and poignant vocals.Soilwork's "A Predator's Portrait"
These heavy legends truly have me stoked in 2013. To quote Wayne and Garth from Wayne's World, "We're not worthy! We're not worthy!"
Alice in Chains Title: TBA Release Date: Spring Hell, yes. Fourteen years after Alice in Chains' last release, and seven years after the death of singer Layne Staley, this iconic rock band finally appeased its fans with 2009's Black Gives Way to Blue. Now, singer-guitarist Jerry Cantrell has claimed that the upcoming album is unlike anything they've ever put out, but it's still in Alice in Chains' true fashion. Wanna get a taste? Listen to "Hollow," released late last year, below.
Tool Title: TBA Release Date: TBA The word on the street is that a new Tool record is in the works (or is, in fact, finished). Actually, that same word was on the street last year, and clearly the band's fifth record did not make an appearance. Yes, frontman Maynard James Keenan has been busy, between putting out Puscifer records, touring with A Perfect Circle, grape-stomping at his vineyard, and churning out a column for the Phoenix New Times. But I also don't believe that there's no chance he wasn't writing profusely for a new Tool album, as well.
"Schism," a favorite Tool jam
And even if the band members are the ones spreading the rumors of a new Tool album, we can always keep dreaming. But Maynard should know that means expectations will be super-high . . .
See also: Maynard James Keenan's New Times archive
Slayer Title: TBA Release Date: TBA Ah, my favorite thrash angels of death. Even with guitarist Jeff Hanneman out for quite some time due to a flesh-eating bacterial disease, Slayer remained grounded, utilizing Exodus guitarist Gay Holt and Cannibal Corpses' Pat O'Brien to fill in for Hanneman. Slayer, to me, is one of those metal bands that literally can't put out a shitty album. But maybe that's because when I saw them at the Big 4 in Indio, they blew me away.Slayer's "Raining Blood"
Maybe it's because vocalist Tom Araya was so sweet during an interview, or maybe it's because Reign in Blood is my foundation of death metal, averaging a speed of 220 beats per minute. Whatever it is, expect great things from Slayer this year.
Nine Inch Nails Title: TBA Release Date: TBA Don't you just hate when bands do "farewell" tours that turn out to be a total fakeout? Well, while Nine Inch Nails may have pulled that crap in 2009, the industrial band seems to have popped up again in 2013. When Rolling Stone asked frontman Trent Reznor if new Nine Inch Nails music was a possibility, he said, "All signs point to yes. There are some things in the works.""Closer," a song that's gotten way more people laid than can ever be counted.
On top of that, Reznor has not lost his touch, only progressing in his career -- in the past year, he's scoring movies (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Social Network) and video games, and recorded with How to Destroy Angels.
Mastodon Title: TBA Release Date: TBA The band's 2011 release, The Hunter, played on my iPod for months. I loved the direction of bluesy and eerie, slight licks of a cross between Jimmy Page and Radiohead. The band says it is hoping to record its sixth full-length album early in 2013."The Sparrow," my favorite song off The Hunter
Dream Theater Title: TBA Release Date: TBA Prog-metallers Dream Theater is looking to put out its 12th album this year, and it began to write following the end of A Dramatic Turn of Events tour. As a matter of fact, while on that tour, the members toyed around with writing during sound checks. A Dramatic Turn of Events was the first album made with new drummer Mike Mangini, and the album took a less angry turn to more melodic. When we asked keyboardist Jordan Rudess whether he thought their sound would change from this album to the next, he replied: "We experiment backstage with a lot of rhythms, and who knows how that will translate to future writing? All I know is the energy between us all is so wonderful that I look forward to bringing this new level of Dream Theater out to the world. I think we're probably in the most powerful place musically -- at least in my time with the band -- that we've ever been."Dream Theater's "On The Backs of Angels"
This British Invasion of albums this year (and an array of newer bands, which I will address in a future Metal Mondays), has me convinced that the style of distorted guitars and hoarse vocals will be the soundtrack for 2013. Even the editor of Kerrang magazine, James McMahon, claims "British rock is about to roar again."
Judas Priest Title: TBA Release Date: TBA In early 2012, metal god/Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford stated that the band was going into a full writing and recording mode, and that they were taking their time to put in full dedication to really rock it out.
You gotta have respect for the guy, if not just for being one of the first openly gay heavy metal stars, and donning badass spikes, studs and leather without fear of looking like an extra at Kink.com.
Black Sabbath Title: TBA Release Date: Spring The original lineup of Black Sabbath -- vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler, and drummer Bill Ward (since split from the band) -- announced in 2011 that it was working on a new record. This will be the band's first album in more than three decades, and for some reason, I have complete faith that it will be just as good as their early music.
After all, all that they've gathered is years of perspective, experience and making music. After all the egos, fights and forgiveness, it seems that Black Sabbath is just ready to focus on the music, and only the music.
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Motörhead Title: TBA Release Date: TBA Vocalist/bassist Lemmy Kilmister is testament to how whiskey won't kill you, which I must say gives me a bit of relief. Alas, I guess there should be consideration into how many brain cells the guy still has left. Regardless of his lifestyle, he and Motorhead have a ton of talent as the loudest band in the world.
They have also been full force for years. In 2012, the band toured all over the place -- including on the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival -- and released two volumes of The Wörld Is Ours -- Everywhere Further Than Everyplace Else that included live tracks and live footage.