2016 has already offered up some fantastic metal releases, but the year’s not over yet, and there’s plenty of metal goodness yet to come…
Sabaton, The Last Stand
Sabaton have quickly come to dominate the European power metal scene over the past few years, and for good reason. The Swedes already have an outstanding back catalogue under their belt, and their last record, 2014’s Heroes, was one of their best. The two songs we’ve already heard from The Last Stand might not sound quite as promising, but the prospect of a new Sabaton album in the world is never a bad thing. Either way, a new release means a new tour, and that too is never a bad thing.
The Last Stand is expected to be out August 19.
A Day To Remember, Bad Vibrations
To refer to A Day To Remember as being a “metal” band might be a bit of a stretch, especially seeing as 2013’s Common Courtesy offered up an altogether lighter outing from the group, who once billed themselves as the “heaviest pop-punk band in the world”. However, Bad Vibrations appears to have the five-piece back in top form, delivering some of their heaviest material yet in the form of, hardcore thrasher, ‘Paranoia’ and the crushing title track. Chalk it up to the involvement of producers Bill Stevenson and Jason Livermore—known for their work with Descendents and Rise Against—if you like, but Bad Vibrations looks like it might just be ADTR’s best to date.
Bad Vibrations comes out August 19, on the band’s own ADTR Records.
Of Mice And Men, Cold World
Much like A Day To Remember before them, Orange County metalcore crew Of Mice And Men last left us with a softer offering in 2014’s Restoring Force. Given the aggressive tone of new single ‘Pain’, it looks like they’re also heading back in a heavier direction, which may have something to do with all the turmoils frontman Austin Carlile has been through recently. Of Mice And Men’s previous records have all been impressive efforts that perfectly straddle the line between heavier and more accessible material, and hopefully Cold World continues that streak.
Cold World is out September 9, through Rise Records.
Every Time I Die, Low Teens
Shifting gears now into realms undeniably heavy and more extreme; Every Time I Die are one of those rare band’s who have never put out a bad album. Having said that, their last two efforts, Ex Lives (2012) and From Parts Unknown (2014), saw somewhat of a drop in quality compared with what came before them. However, if savage lead single ‘The Coin Has A Say’ is anything to go by, Low Teens looks like it’s set to be the band’s best work in nearly a decade.
Low Teens comes out September 23, via Epitaph.
Neurosis, Fires Within Fires
Neurosis’ last album, Honor Found In Decay (2012), was one of the best records in an already faultless catalogue. Little is known about Fires Within Fires, other than it is sure to continue these post-metal godfathers’ slow, brooding assault on the senses. Whatever form it ends up taking, it’s sure to be one of the most intriguing releases of 2016.
Fires Within Fires is scheduled for a September 23 release, through Neurosis’s own Neurot Recordings.
Giraffe Tongue Orchestra, Broken Lines
For the uninitiated, Giraffe Tongue Orchestra is a collaboration between guitarists Brent Hinds of Mastodon and The Dillinger Escape Plan’s Ben Weinman; The Mars Volta drummer Thomas Pridgen; one-time Dethklok bassist Pete Griffin; all topped off by Alice In Chains singer/guitarist William DuVall. First single “Crucifixion” seems to be less than the sum of its parts, but with a line-up like that Broken Lines is an album not to be ignored.
Broken Lines also comes out September 23, through Weinman’s Party Smasher Inc.
There’s no more information available about Meshuggah’s upcoming eighth album than what’s offered by the vague trailer below, but the promise of new music should really be all you need. Whatever this record ends up being it’s sure to be mind-bendingly technical and bestowed with a heaviness that’s utterly ungodly. These Sweedish tech-metal gods have a strong claim to being the most influential band within the modern metal scene, and if 2012’s Koloss proved anything it was that they still have the entirety of the scene firmly outgunned.
Whatever monstrosity is “coming” appears to be set for a “Fall” release (that’s Spring, for us Southern Hemispherers), presumably through Nuclear Blast.
Testament, Brotherhood Of The Snake
Testament may have slowed down their output significantly since the Bay Area heydays of yore, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been putting out some of the best thrash metal of this, or any, era. Testament have emerged as the dominant band among older thrash acts, who largely continue to slow down and temper their output, while Testament only get stronger and heavier with each release.
Brotherhood Of The Snake is coming for you October 28, via Nuclear Blast.
Vader, The Empire
Vader have been putting out some of death metal’s most consistent and undeniably evil-sounding records for the better part of 25 years at this point. Even within a discography as impressive as theirs, their last album, Tibi Et Igni, stood out as an absolute masterclass in everything the genre can be at it’s forceful, undiluted best. The Empire’s release date keeps getting pushed back—perhaps in order to coincide with the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and the (hopefully) triumphant return of their namesake—but you’ll also have the Iron Times EP (released August 12) to tide you over until then.
The Empire will be released November 4, through Nuclear Blast.
It looks like Metallica’s long-awaited tenth album is set for an October release. It’s been eight years since Death Magnetic (2008) dropped and—while at the time it felt like a refreshing step back in the direction of the band’s earlier material—it’s safe to say the album hasn’t aged all that well. Metallica certainly aren’t the band they used to be and they’re getting on in their years. However, it would be great if they had (at least) one more decent album in them to cap off a legacy that’s become, if not soiled, then certainly blemished.
These are, of course, only some of the fantastic metal albums 2016 has still to offer, and have been picked from only those that have already been announced, so there’s sure to be some welcome surprises throughout the rest of the year. Either way, 2016 is shaping up to be one hell of a year for heavy music.