The Most Anticipated Heavy Metal Releases of the Fall

Frank Maddocks

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Long running alt-metal combo The Deftones have announced that Tuesday, November 12, will be the release date for Koi No Yokan, their first collection of new material since 2010's Diamond Eyes.

The record is one of the many highly anticipated albums hitting stores, prompting me to take a look at more must-hear heavy records slated for release this fall, including a crunchy new disc from ZZ Top, new sounds from Down, and much more.

September, 2012:

ZZ Top, LA Futura

ZZ Top hasn't had a new album since 2003's Mescalero, but their quality assurance standards and legendary Billy Gibbon's guitar prowess will no doubt be evident on LA Futura, the band's 15th studio album since their inception in 1969. Some of the songs are built up from old ideas, such as the bluesy, hip-hop-inspired "I Gotsta Get Paid," which is based on the 1999 track "25 Lighters" by Fat Pack and Lil' Keke. The album as a whole though reportedly explores their usual loud, artsy representation of sticky Texas culture.

Down's Down, IV Part I: The Purple EP

The band's first batch of new tunes in five years since Down III: Over the Under is projected to be pretty intense, and the album artwork chosen is a testament to that. Literally. The disk will be the first EP in a four disc series, and if this supergroup is your style, you won't be disappointed. Think Anselmo's usual aggressive vocals against staggering riffs and a melodic grinding backdrop, exploring such themes as the faith of mankind, its imperfections, and cultural belief systems.

As I Lay Dying, Awakened

This Grammy-nominated blue-collar thrash-metal group's sixth album was crafted while the band was running as a main stage act on the Rockstar Mayhem Festival, alongside heavy-hitters like Slipknot and Slayer, and was produced by one of the most popular rock producers in the game, Bill Stevenson, who's worked with NOFX and Anti-Flag.

Listen to the album single, "Cauterize:"

Dokken, Broken Bones

These American melodic hard rockers are releasing their 11th studio album with a bonus DVD, which features a making-of-the-album documentary. Expect Dokken's usual catchy hooks, soaring riffs and intense production. It's also the first album with their new bassist, Sean Mcnabb. Check out tracks "Empire" and "Waterfall" -- they'll blow your mind.   October, 2012:

HIM, XX - Two Decades of Love Metal

Beloved "love metal" band HIM --which started out as His Infernal Majesty before more widely adopting the acronym -- is the only Finnish metal band to earn a gold record in the USA. They are celebrating their 20-year career by releasing this compilation album, which will also include a new cover version of the song "Strange World," originally recorded in the '90s by Kevin Grivois (aka Ké).

Wednesday 13, Spook & Destroy

Wednesday 13 is one of my favorite rockers, for many reasons: He's such an enthusiast about old-school horror movies, characters, and culture, you can't help but to get excited right alongside with him. His side project with Joey Jordison, Murderdolls, is badass, and, when I last interviewed him two years ago, he was pure out of alcohol but offered me fresh-squeezed orange juice instead. Now, he's ready to raise hell again with an eight-track release featuring two new songs, an acoustic track and three live favorites that were re-recorded. He's even looking to release a brand new album in spring of 2013, so be prepared.

August Burns Red, August Burns Red Presents: Sleddin' Hill, A Holiday Album

I love holiday heavy metal jams, and August Burns Red has the right idea. The band has released a holiday cover song annually for the past four years, all included on this collection, which features new original songs as well. While they used some unexpected elements like banjo, violin, piano, and horns on the album, it still rocks with heavy metal intensity and some awesome shredding guitars. Listen to "Flurries" for a taste.

Stone Sour, House of Gold And Bones, Part 1

I've never been the biggest fan of Stone Sour, the mellower side project from Slipknot's Corey Taylor, but after talking with Taylor about the making of the new album I'm not only intrigued, but excited. According to him the riffs, lyrics, and the grooves are all amplified. (The cover looks pretty creepy and badass, too.) The album, one of two, is a linear story and according to Taylor it will take all 24 tracks to understand.

Cradle of Filth, The Manticore And Other Horrors

Lead singer Dani Filth says that the band's tenth album isn't fitting into the cliché of "our darkest, best or most hardest." He says the concept is more about a bunch of mini-satellites circling a much larger theme, one that focuses on the how monsters and demons enslave society.

Kiss, Monster

Kiss states that fans will get a different feel from the band with their new album, Monster, which will show "more feeling and less cocksmanship." We'll see about that. It took them several decades to realize that they can sing about feelings. Maybe they stopped getting laid?

Dethklok, Dethalabum III

Metalocalypse creator Brendan Small knows what the hell those fans love. Those cartoon metal gods, who believe "fishes don't gots no good metal to listen to," are awesome to listen to.   November, 2012

Deftones Koi No Yokan

The Deftones seventh studio album focuses not so much on hard, get-to-the-point heavy beats, but more on soundscapes and lot of dynamic tracks. I'm banking on their usual blend of aggression and methodically soothing soundtracks.

Incantation, Vanquish in Vengeance

This death metal band is known for mixing a ton of slow, airy passages into their songs. This particular album was created as a concept album, and the title track is about the massacre of Saxons in the town of Verdun in 782, called on by order of King Charlemagne. They may have gone through dozens of members, but they still stay consistent in providing what their listeners love.

Did I forget a must-hear metal disc due this fall? Let me know in the comments.

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