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UPCOMING BULLSH*T: LOTS OF GREAT METAL COMING OUR WAY IN SPRING 2012

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In the absence of actual new music or substantial information of some kind, I find it kinda hard to get psyched up about the announcement of an album release date in all but a few special cases. But there have been a number of big release date announcements and rumors in the past few days, so I figured I’d lump ’em all together and, as if you expected anything else, share my thoughts, hopes and dreams for each. Here we go:

Artist: 3 Inches of Blood
Album: Long Live Heavy Metal
Release Date: March 27th
Last Album: Here Waits Thy Doom (2009)
What to expect: More fist-pumping, self-referential, fast-paced heavy fucking metal anthems! This will be the band’s second album with Cam Pipes — the best vocalist name in all of metal — as the band’s sole singer, so expect this album to be more or less similar to the last.

Artist: Alice in Chains
Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
Last Album: Black Gives Way to Blue (2009)
What to expect: I share Axl’s sentiments that it’s going to be incredibly hard to top Black Gives Way to Blue, great album as that was. I’d like to add that I’m not sure it’s possible: Jerry Cantrell had 13 years to write BGWTB, while he’ll have only had 3 years to write this one. I’m sure the album won’t suck, but it’s hard to imagine it’ll top BGWTB.

Artist: Barren Earth
AlbumThe Devil’s Resolve
Release Date: March 13th
Last Album: Curse of the Red River (2010)
What to expect: An album that sounds like it was written by members of Swallow the Sun, Moonsorrow, Amorphis and Kreator. And that’s a good thing.Curse of the Red River was deliciously doomy and melo-gloomy, and I expect the new album to be even better now that the members have had more time to work together.

Artist: Cannibal Corpse
Album: Torture
Release Date: March 13th
Last Album: Evisceration Plague (2009)
What to expect: Ripping, groove-laden, ball-busting death metal. Cannibal Corpse are one of the rare bands that just get heavier and better with each successive album, and this release should be no different.

Artist: Cynic
Album: The Portal Tapes
Release Date: March 27th
Last Album: Carbon-Based Anatomy (EP) (2011)
What to expect: The songs on this album will be demos that were recorded by Paul Masvidal and Sean Reinert after Focus. Take a listen to one of the songs here — sounds pretty Cynic-y, so I’m sure this album will be great.

Artist: God Forbid
Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
Last Album: Earthsblood (2008)
What to expect: It seems like Dallas Coyle left the band forever ago, but this will actually be GF’s first album without him. I expect that this will manifest in tighter, more concise songs instead of the more experimental, progressive songscapes Earthsblood offered. Not that this will make the album any better or worse… just different, and I’m sure it’ll sound like God Forbid either way.

Artist: Graf Orlock
Album: Los Angeles
Release Date: March 27th
Last Album: Doombox (2010)
What to expect:  Another dose of nasty, scathing, punishing grind. And possibly a super-sweet album package that rivals the ridiculously cool one they put together for Doombox?

Artist: Pelican
Album: Atraxia/Taraxis (EP)
Release Date: April 10th
Last Album: What We All Come to Need (2009)
What to expect: There’s a contingent of Pelican fans who greatly prefer the band’s rawer, earlier material to the more polished compositions on their past couple of albums. I am not one of those fans. 2009’s What We All Come to Need and the Ephemeral EP released the same year displayed a refined version of Pelican’s talents sounding their absolute best, and I fully expect that Atraxis/Taraxis will top even those.

Artist: T.R.A.M.
Album: Lingua Franca
Release Date: February 28th
Last Album: none
What to expect: Though the band features two members of Animals as Leaders, don’t expect much in the way of djentiness or, really, anything all that heavy. DO expect a challenging album that, while it might not appeal to much of AAL’s fanbase, will surely delight music nerds and those with the attention span required to digest music so far left-of-center. This band is essentially a jazz fusion side-project, with most of the songs composed from improvisational jams. Suicidal Tendencies drummer Eric Moore and saxophone, flute and bass clarinet player Adrian Terrazas (The Mars Volta) round out this supergroup.

Artist: Veil of Maya
Album: Eclipse
Release Date: February 28th
Last Album: [id] (2010)
What to expect: Check the write-up I posted here earlier this week.

-VN

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