Slipknot, Slayer, Metallica: The Most Anticipated Metal Albums of 2014

Last year was surprisingly good for metal. Not only did we have some mosh pit-worthy tours and festivals -- those only seem to increase every year -- but there were a ton of kick-ass album releases, as well. Amon Amarth's Deceiver of the Gods, Ghost B.C.'s Infestissuman, Phil Anselmo's Walk Through Exits Only, Ministry's From Beer to Eternity -- just take a look at our list of the 21 best heavy metal albums of 2013.

And this year, the metal gods are on our side yet again -- 2014 will be a really good one for heavy metal. Some of the biggest bands in the genre are set to drop some new albums in the upcoming months. Here's why it's time to get fucking pumped.

Anthrax TITLE: TBA RELEASE DATE: TBA Anthrax has been working on an album that's described by guitarist Scott Ian as "harder, faster and more brutal." He also said the band decided not to take a break because they are feeling at the peak of their powers. In 2013, though, lead guitarist Rob Caggiano exited the band for full-time duties in Volbeat; he was replaced by Jon Donais.

Behemoth TITLE: The Satanist RELEASE DATE: February Behemoth's 10th album will be its first since 2009's Evangelion, as well as the first since frontman Nergal conquered leukemia. The Polish death-metal extremists have released a single, "Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel," and a video to preview the new album. According to Nergal, it took them more than two decades to come up with a title that truly says it all, and the songs take some surprising directions. The album also will be followed by a headlining tour.

Black Label Society TITLE: Catacombs of the Black Vatican RELEASE DATE: April 8 Black Label Society has been in the news recently for non-music reasons -- the band recently parted ways with longtime guitarist Nick Catanese, replacing him with Lizzy Borden shredder Dario Lorina. According to guitar icon Zakk Wylde, the band's ninth album is going to be brutal.

In fact, Black Label Society revealed a video teaser for the upcoming record, featuring haunting scenes and a monologue from Wylde: "Face your fear. Accept your war. Destroy and conquer. Within the catacombs of the black vatican." The short clip also displays the words "Strength,' "Determination," "Merciless," and "Forever."

Chelsea Grin TITLE: Ashes to Ashes RELEASE DATE: May/June This Salt Lake City deathcore act has released an EP and a couple of singles since 2011′s My Damnation. According to frontman Alex Koehler, the lyrical content of their third album will be more positive than the band's other records. It's focused on issues such as alcoholism, drug abuse, violence, and standing up for yourself -- and not giving a fuck about anyone else's opinions.

Crosses TITLE: ††† RELEASE DATE: February 11 If you haven't heard of Crosses and you're a heavy metal fan, I can't blame you. It's Deftones frontman Chino Moreno's side project, and it isn't as heavy as you would probably think. The heavy part of this music comes from the sensual aspect of it; I swear, it'll get any chick whose into heavy metal in the mood.

Also, this is my column, so fuck you. I can include them if I want. On that note, the electronic metal group has already released two singles, "Bi†ches Brew" and "†he Epilogue," in anticipation.

Down TITLE: TBA RELEASE DATE: TBA Down released the first part of their EP series in 2012 with Down IV Part 1: The Purple EP, and the band has finished the next installment. In a recent interview with Anselmo, he said that they already have about 12 tracks that kick ass, and they are in the process of finishing the album. This will be Down's first release to feature Honky guitarist Bobby Landgraf, who replaced Kirk Windstein late last year after he left to focus on his main project Crowbar.

Emmure TITLE: TBA RELEASE DATE: March/April Controversial deathcore band Emmure spent last year touring the hell out of the world, and any down time was dedicated to working on new material. What gets me excited is that they are planning this new album to be even more brutal than 2012's Slave to the Game.

EyeHateGod TITLE: TBA RELEASE DATE: TBA After drummer Joey LaCaze died unexpectedly last August (one of the biggest tragedies in heavy metal last year), fans weren't sure what was going to become of EyeHateGod for the first time in 13 years. Then EyeHateGod revealed that Missing Mountains / Mountain of Wizard drummer Aaron Hill was the sludge act's new man behind the kit.

Guitarist Jimmy Bower has affirmed that Joey would have never wanted the band to quit playing. So instead of sitting around bummed out, they decided to get into a room and learn as much as they could. They've got 22 songs, and they are stoked.

Gojira TITLE: TBA RELEASE DATE: TBA Gojira's 2012 album L'Enfant Sauvage had such dramatic intensity that it was somehow poetic in the world of metal. The French technical thrash metal act has stated that they are definitely putting out a new album this year. There's been talk that it is something they are going to release to help the anti-whaling ship Sea Shepherd raise money.

Gorgoroth TITLE: Instinctus Bestalis RELEASE DATE: April 2014 Norwegian death metal pioneers Gorgoroth finished recording their newest album in December 2012. The eight tracks were done by lineup Atterigner (vocals), Infernus (guitars), Bøddel (bass) and Asklund (drums.) Judas Priest TITLE: TBA RELEASE DATE: TBA British metal legends Judas Priest gave their fans a very good holiday gift: They announced on the band's website that a new album can be expected in 2014. With new guitarist Richie Faulkner (who replaced K.K. Downing when he retired), the new album is going to be heavy as hell.

According to frontman Rob Halford: "We know we have a reputation to maintain, and we know we have to deliver something really strong and solid. The album is going to be full of all the great things you love about Judas Priest -- I don't think I can say anything more than that without being hung, drawn, and quartered."

Killer Be Killed TITLE: Killer Be Killed RELEASE DATE: Spring As much as I detest the term "supergroup," this band is intriguing. It features The Dillinger Escape Plan vocalist Greg Puciato, Mastodon singer-bassist Troy Sanders, Sepultura and Soulfly founder Max Cavalera, and former Mars Volta drummer Dave Elitch. Puciato, Sanders, and Cavalera all contribute vocals, and Puciato says that the music is "a bit of Sabbath-y doom, a bit of thrash, and a bit of hardcore and punk."

Machine Head TITLE: TBA RELEASE DATE: Late summer Last year, the departure of vocalist Adam Duce made Robb Flynn the only remaining original member of the Machine Head. Fans are anticipating the follow-up release to 2011's Unto the Locust -- which was a hell of a record -- to be everything they love about the tumultuous act.

Mastodon TITLE: TBA RELEASE DATE: TBA Atlanta sludge/space metal legends Mastodon have been writing music to follow up 2011′s The Hunter for more than a year. Vocalist Brann Dailor has said that it's too early to tell what the album will actually sound like, and that there may -- or may not be -- a concept involved. But the word on the street is that there's some sound reminiscent of 2002's Remission, along with some Pink Floyd-y passages with psychedelic funk beats.

Metallica TITLE: TBA RELEASE DATE: TBA Though it's been six years since Metallica released Death Magnetic, the band has constantly been delivering project after project. From its 3D concert movie, Metallica: Through the Never, to countless amazing live performances to the Lulu collaboration with Lou Reed, Metallica's never been known to rest on its laurels. I'm sure that this new album will be the focus of much controversy and opinions. Periphery TITLE: Clear EP, new full-length title TK RELEASE DATE: Clear EP, January 28; full-length, summer Maryland metal pioneers Periphery have always been known for their progressive writing style and sound. The band is aiming to release an experimental EP, Clear, in late January, as well as a new full-length in the summer.

Pig Destroyer TITLE: TBA RELEASE DATE: Fall In 2012, speed metal demons Pig Destroyer dropped Book Burner, and it was seen by many fans and critics as one of the best grindcore album of the year. For me, it was love at first sight of the name -- think "pig" as in "police."

Slayer TITLE: TBA RELEASE DATE: TBA For this infamous Big 4 player, 2012 wasn't the best year. Drummer Dave Lombardo was out for the third time, and then guitarist Jeff Hanneman passed away. Slayer will continue on, of course, with Exodus' Gary Holt handling second guitar, and guitarist Kerry King has said that they're aiming to write music during January to have a new record out in May.

Slipknot TITLE: TBA RELEASE DATE: TBA Slipknot is another metal act that's been in the news lately, ever since the departure of beloved drummer Joey Jordison. On top of that, the band has been writing and recording a new record without bassist and major songwriter Paul Gray (who passed away in 2010) -- it's all presented quite the challenge.

Corey Taylor is constantly busy with his other band Stone Sour, but he has always been adamant about the fact that Slipknot is still in solid standing. Taylor describes the new Slipknot music as "very dark," and it will be the band's first full-length since 2008's All Hope Is Gone.

Suicide Silence TITLE: TBA RELEASE DATE: Spring When vocalist Mitch Lucker died in 2012, it took quite the toll on Suicide Silence -- as well as the music industry. Guitarist Mark Heylmun even said that it took a good four or five months for the band to decide whether it was even going to continue to make music.

But as soon as it decided to move forward, the band demoed 14 songs with former All Shall Perish vocalist and new Suicide Silence frontman Hernan "Eddie" Hermida.

Tool TITLE: TBA RELEASE DATE: TBA Maynard James Keenan always seems to be working on Tool or a side project, squashing grapes at his vineyard, or putting together some movie score. This is also a band whose fans are notorious for putting out misinformation -- even though I'm pretty sure it's mostly put out by Tool members themselves.

We can't be sure whether there actually will be a 2014 Tool album, but if there is, I bet it's going to be kickass -- and I'm partial to Tool.

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Lauren Wise has worked as a rock/heavy metal journalist for 15 years. She contributes to Noisey and LA Weekly, edits books, and drinks whiskey.
Contact: Lauren Wise