The Monolith’s big preview of metal in 2014
Well, that was 2013 then. No more to be had. Nada.
That’s right; rest on your laurels at your own peril, because there’s at least two metric fucktons of stuff already slated for release in 2014. Whilst Simon and I will be going in-depth on some perhaps lesser-anticipated gems soon, here are some of the bigger and better known artists, and what/when they will/might be releasing new material over the course of the next twelve months. Enjoy, and don’t forget to bring up any we might have missed in the comments!
Agalloch – TBA
There’s not much on this one as yet, but a Facebook update in October after playing Fall Into Darkness festival in their hometown of Portland, Oregon indicated 2014 would hold a new album for fans of the quartet.
Alaya – Thrones
After signing for Basick Records in December 2012, it was assumed the Chicagoan trio would be releasing their debut album Thrones sometime last year, but something clearly happened there. We’re not sure what, but with rumblings coming from various label-affiliated types, it’s probably safe to assume that we’ll see it this year – most likely in Q2.
Alcest – Shelter
Due: January 21st
A nice early New Year present will come in the form of Shelter, the hotly-anticipated fourth full-length from French blackened shoegaze duo Alcest.
The title is said to be indicative of the intent from multi-instrumentalist Niege and drummer Winterhalter – a musical safe haven, inspired by the former’s own shelter: the sea. If the last two albums are anything to go by – as well as the track “Délivrance,” which was released at the time of writing this piece, Shelter should be a treat.
In October, AN’s official Facebook page confirmed that multi-instrumentalist Mick “Irrumator” Kenney was in the process of recording the band’s eighth studio album. They’ve been laying low since coming off tour in August, so that sounds like plenty of time to get a new album off the ground.
How far into that process he’s gotten is unclear, but we’re hoping to start hearing rumbles within six months, for a late summer/fall release.
Anathema – TBA
2012′s Weather Systems was an absolute triumph of emotional progressive rock, and so we’re on the edge of our seats for the follow-up, which will be the British group’s tenth album overall.
A Facebook update from just before Christmas confirmed that the first recording sessions for a new album had been completed in snowy Norway, and that there will be “9 or 10 songs on the record.” They’ll be reconvening soon to complete recording, and then we can start rubbing our hands with glee.
Behemoth – The Satanist
Due February 3rd
Three and a half years since Nergal was rushed to hospital and diagnosed with leukemia, one of the Polish metal greats are due to release their tenth album The Satanist. Some wondered if this day would ever come, but here it is on the horizon, despite illness, legal issues and anything and everything else that could have got in the way.
The album’s opening track “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel“ was teased fairly recently, and if it’s anything to go by, The Satanist will be fantastic.
Blind Guardian – TBA
Soon after Blind Guardian were announced to play Out & Loud Festival in Germany this May, vocalist Hansi Kürsch announced through the band’s official website that they fully expect their new record – again, their tenth (there’s a theme this year) – to be finished and produced by the time they play.
There’s not much else on it, other than the fact there there are due to be eleven tracks, but we’ll no doubt have more in the next couple of months when the press machine lumbers into operation – probably late February.
Blut Aus Nord – Memoria Vetusta III – Saturnian Poetry
This hasn’t been anything even remotely official on this for a while, so regard this as complete conjecture, BUT: label Debemur Morti mentioned last year that Blut Aus Nord had named the third chapter of their Memoria Vetusta series as ‘Saturnian Poetry’. Naming an album is always a good indication of progress, and considering it didn’t come out last year after all, 2014 could be the year. It’s been five years since part II, but only just over a year since 777 – Cosmosophy, and the band are fairly prolific anyway, so good signs?
What’s more, Debemur Morti started plugging new BAN merch only days ago in December, so we could be hearing about this again sooner than we think…
Cattle Decapitation – TBA
An e-mail from Metal Blade made the rounds just before Christmas, proclaiming that Cattle Decap have begun writing the follow-up to 2012′s Monolith Of Inhumanity. Whilst writing and recording are two very different things in terms of timescale, it seems that they actually began writing when they got back from Summer Slaughter in August, so it’s most likely going to be out tis year.
Vocalist Travis Ryan said there is a finished song, to which he is writing vocals, and whilst there’ll be a break in January whilst they tour, they’ll be right back on it when they return.
Chimp Spanner – TBA
A merry New Yearmas post from Chimpy’s label Basick Records confirmed that, amongst others, our favourite simian-based instrumental prog metal project would be releasing new material in 2014.
When we caught up with main man Paul Ortiz at UK Tech Metal Fest, he was concerned with getting back to writing music for music’s sake, rather than to fit a live setting, but in terms of style he said “If I said Blood Dragon, some people might know what that means.” Sounds intriguing.
We know he’s handed in a demo or two over the past couple of months, so work is definitely coming along. When? No idea. It’s be done when it’s done, but we’re going out on a limb to say Q3 at least.
Corrosion Of Conformity – TBA
CoC posted a 40-second studio clip back in July, so we know new material is coming, but when is anyone’s guess.
Late December saw a Facebook update confirming they were still plugging away, but with European dates pending in March, it’s more likely to be summer for this one.
Cynic - Kindly Bent To Free Us
Due: February 14th
New Cynic material was published not too long ago, which meant that the PR machine was gearing up to promote the new album Kindly Bent To Free Us.
“The Lion’s Roar” is Cynic, but it’s different to before, and you can perhaps hear shift in musical direction that prompted Tymon Kruidenier and Robin Zielhorst to leave the band in 2010.
It will be interesting to hear a whole album’s worth, and whether Cynic are moving away from metal entirely.
Decapitated – TBA
A very simple “Happy New Year! New Album 2014″ post graced Decapitated’s Facebook page on New Year’s Eve, so we’ll take it that we’ll be getting a new album in 2014, okay?
What, when, or anything else is not known, but you can catch them somewhere in Europe in January as they are touring with Lamb Of God and Huntress until the 21st.
Devil Sold His Soul – TBA
Members changes can often be a catalyst for renewed fervour in terms of writing, and we have a feeling that picking up The Arusha Accord‘s Paul Green to front the band will have just this effect on Devil Sold His Soul.
Three months ago we got some new material in the form of “Time,” – as well as some gorgeous art to accompany the track – and things are sounding pretty good. Former vocalist Ed Gibbs was a turn-off for some people, but we reckon Green will be slightly more accessible.
The newer, more triumphant tone of more recent records is still in place, so expect more Empire Of Light than A Fragile Hope.
Devin Townsend Project - Casualties Of Cool
As reported on New Year’s Eve, Devin Townsend has been hard at work, and has at least one release scheduled for release this year. A series of tweets confirmed Casualties Of Cool, the sixth and final record in the Devin Townsend Project cycle, will be out in May.
Word is it will sound “like haunted Johnny Cash songs. Late night music, completely isolated sounding and different than anything I’ve done. Ché [Aimee Dorval (from Ki)] sings most of the leads, and it’s probably the truest reflection of who I am in life at this point”
It sounds like it will be pretty special, and a good way to round off the DTP run.
Devin Townsend - Z2
This is speculative, but the main news on the final day of 2013 was that in May, along with the release of Casualties Of Cool, Devin will be heading in to the studio to begin recording Z2, the follow-up to his 2007 space comedy opera Ziltoid The Omniscient. This being released in 2014 is a slightly tall order, but it could in theory be done by Christmas. We’d very much like him to consider the crowdfunding option he was tossing around last year so that fans can help him cover the costs, but if it doesn’t arrive until 2015 it’s no big deal; we’re just being greedy.
Direwolves – TBA
Whilst they’re starting the year off on tour with Brutality Will Prevail, French hardcore band Direwolves spent the end of 2013 tracking vocals to a brand new LP – the follow-up to 2012′s Me From Myself, To Banish - which they started recording in November.
At twelves songs in total, it doubles its bittersweetly short predecessor. Other than that, not much else to go on, but on the hardcore radar, this should be one of the highlights.
Dying Fetus – TBA
There will be a few of these – that is, releases confirmed by a Relapse Records promotional flyer, with not a lot else to go on.
It will be a good chance to build on last year’s hilarious #WhyNotDyingFetus Twitter campaign that got the band added to Download 2014. Dying Fetus are well known, but they’re a little obscure for Download, so good on whoever got that going.
More details to come we suppose!
Fear Factory – TBA
During an interview with Metal Rules in January last year, vocalist Burton C. Bell said that the band was planning to spend some time writing on and in between the year’s touring (which they did quite a lot of), with a view to releasing a new album in the spring.
Is this still on the cards? Have they got anything? Have they started recording? Producing? Who knows! We haven’t heard anything, so it might be later in the year.
Godflesh – A World Lit Only By Fire
The first new recording from Brummy legends Godflesh, called A World Lit Only By Fire, is due to be released in “early 2014.” A cover of the Slaughter track from the band was released through Decibel magazine’s Flexi Series in October, in anticipation of the album.
The word is that it will sort of sound like the first couple of albums (including the seminal Streetcleaner), but more in spirit than actual sound. Whatever it ends up coming out like, the band seem energised and really into this new stuff, like the break did them good.
In any case, most of what Justin K. Broadrick touches is gold; his experience is vast, and with not only Godflesh, but work as Final, with Napalm Death on Scum, Jesu, and a swath of other production and performance credits, mark this one down as VERY interesting.
Iced Earth – Plagues Of Babylon
Due: January 6th
Technically this isn’t a preview, as this came out yesterday, so we’ll leave most of the talking for when we publish Liam’s review.
Beating out a lot of entries on this list by one, Plagues Of Babylon is Iced Earth’s eleventh full-length. It’s been finished since July last year, and was meant to be out in October, but touring plans pushed back the release until this week.
At over an hour long, it’s a bit of a monster, but really you should know by now what you’re getting into with Iced Earth.
In Flames – TBA
Due: Q2 at the latest
Apparently In Flames began work on the follow-up to 2011′s Sounds Of A Playground Fading in August. Another eleventh album – although, as none of the original members are in the band any more, whether that’s strictly speaking true is in debate.
Either way, the band put up a Facebook cover photo just yesterday, saying “new album coming soon,” so this could be out by March or April even.
Inter Arma – TBA
A recent promotional flyer from label Relapse indicated that Inter Arma will be following up last year’s well regarded album Sky Burial with a new record in 2014.
The Virginian quintet have been coy with details, but with the last album being so recent, we’d say maybe Q4 for release.
Intervals – A Voice Within
Formerly an instrumental band with two well-regarded EPs under their belt, Toronto-based band Intervals added a vocalist to their roster last week, in the form of Raunchy/ex-The HAARP Machine/ex-Vestascension singer Mike Semesky. Semesky was playing bass for the band on tour, but that seemed to be something of an audition for the frontman spot.
He’s very talented, and will add something special to the mix, just in time for the band’s debut album A Voice Within. We’re told it’s not all like the released song “Ephemeral,” with plenty of variation – “we really stretched out on this one” – to come.
Irepress – TBA
Irepress are DEFINITELY releasing new music this year – in fact, this time they absolutely promise!
Okay, so they’ve been promising for a while, but 2014 is a long old year, so this could come true. The instrumental five-piece – which includes among its number drummer Sheel Davé, also of Bad Rabbits fame – seem like a thoroughly honest bunch of guys, so hope for maybe summer? We want our follow-up to Sol Eye Sea, damnit!
Iron Maiden – TBA
This is mostly speculation, based on something Bruce Dickinson said to Swedish site Talarforum in April last year, with a view to a tentative release in 2014. With the year being tentative, it’s more likely to be the end of the year really, and very likely based on touring plans, amongst a variety of other factors. A new Maiden album would be dead cool though; one of the greats still producing serviceable music!
More if, when, why and however we hear about it.
Job For A Cowboy – TBA
Job For A Cowboy spent much of the summer on the Rockstar/Mayhem tour, but on returning announced that they were working on new material.
Oft-derided in the past, the band made huge strides with 2012′s Demonocracy, and as such the new record should be better anticipated than its predecessors. It’s going to be a concept album, according to bassist Nick Schendzielos, but other than the unspecific ’2014′, we’re not sure when we’ll get it. Q3 seems reasonable.
Judas Priest – TBA
Aside from appearing on The Simpsons in their spare time, the legendary Judas Priest posted a Christmas message to their official website saying that they will be releasing a new album “sometime in 2014″. Fucking yay?
Literally nothing else, but who cares for now. Their last was in 2008, which is almost as long ago as Tool (whoever remembers them).
King Crimson – TBA
This is a MASSIVE “maybe”.
According to Wikipedia, King Crimson are on line-up #8. They were even broken up for about a year when Robert Fripp retired from the music industry, but obviously he now has other ideas.
Word is that, in terms of live performance, King Crimson won’t be playing until late 2014 due to various personal commitments of the various members – some old, some new – but whether or not that’s because they want to tour something new is up in the air. Could be? Dunno. Don’t quote us on this (unless we’re bang on).
Mastodon – TBA
Mastodon have just been announced to play Sonisphere festival in July, touting the set as “the first chance to hear tracks from their forthcoming new album.” Whether or not this is just to try and sell tickets we’re not sure, but if it’s true, the new Mastodon album we’ve been hearing about for a while won’t be out until late summer at least. Take that with a pinch of salt.
The band posted a picture from the studio just before Christmas, so they’re definitely recording, but how far through is anyone’s guess, so we suppose that wait time could be correct.
The Mire - Glass Cathedrals
As detailed in a Facebook post in November, The Mire’s debut full-length Glass Cathedrals has been finished since August. Apparently a number of release plans have fallen through, and so the band are currently without a label.
We’re really really excited about this one – the band’s II EP (which included both tracks from the I demo) was phenomenal – the kind of record to really make you sit up – and so Glass Cathedrals really can’t come soon enough. Massive fucking riffs and the biggest vocals from the frankly, quite small frontman Robin Urbino.
We’re predicting an optimistic Q2 release, as fans have been calling for them to take to Bandcamp/crowdfunding should a label not raise their hand.
Mogwai – Rave Tapes
Due January 21st
The release date for Rave Tapes was officially announced in October, but has been teased since Mogwai confirmed they were recording in July of last year.
Mogwai are quite different from the rest of the fare on this list, sure, but Rave Tapes is still an album you should keep your eye on. The teased track, “Remurdered,” sounds quite a lot like the Only God Forgives soundtrack our new guy Anthony rated very highly in his 2013 year-end list – fuzzy bass and electronics across the board – and it’s been very difficult to pick a bad Mogwai release since…well, ever, with 2006′ Mr. Beast and 2008′s The Hawk Is Howling being particular favourites.
Monuments – TBA
Monuments have begun recording their new album – the follow up to Gnosis – we know that much. They’ve been teasing as much lately, with drums being finished at Monnow Valley Studio as of December 20th.
Plans for the rest of the process will likely become clear, but they did reiterate that 2014 would see the release of the record too, so not too long. Hoping for Q3?
The Ocean – Pelagial leftovers EP
After completing their stint on Summer Slaughter in August, a few members of The Ocean retreated to the Mexican coast to have some downtime. From there, the group’s composer Robin Staps checked in to announce that a couple of unreleased tracks from the Pelagial writing sessions were being worked on further, and are to be released in an EP in early 2014.
Despite losing a couple of members, The Ocean are already gearing up for a busy beginning to the year with a German tour in February, so I wouldn’t expect this right away, but we should see this before the summer.
Old Man Gloom – TBA
Another recent development, supergroup Old Man Gloom announced around Christmas that they have started recording a new album, with phase one completed in December, and with the second due to commence in June. With multitude of work the various members are involved in – Aaron Turner, Nate Newton, Caleb Schofield and Santos Montano – this is hardly surprising, but it does mean that, post-production, we’re unlikely to see this until the end of the year.
Kurt Ballou will be handling said production (yay), and it’ll be out via Profound Lore and SIGE Records.
Opeth – TBA
Frontman Mikael Åkerfeldt has been writing the follow-up to 2011′s divisive Heritage since the middle of 2012, but an in and interview a year later he said he had three songs. Now, people write at different paces (*cough*George R.R. Martin*cough*), but that doesn’t sound like a huge amount to us. Then again, that’s probably three complete songs, with however many others at various stages, so really it’s all conjecture as to how far away album eleven is.
That being said, three years seems about right, doesn’t it?
Word is that this will be an “expensive” album to make, thanks to the string arrangement. It’s also slated to be a bit heavier than the last album, which will hopefully appease those unhappy with the more prog-rock direction of Heritage – with “sinister-sounding riffs.” Perhaps not a return to death metal, but whatever it is, it’ll be exactly how Åkerfeldt wants it.
ORBS - Past Life Regression
There have been spots of information from the ORBS camp for months now – here and there – with photos of various writing and recording sessions popping up on their Facebook page, but the clearest indication of progress actually came on Sunday 5th January with the attached photo, captioned “Hang tight – Past Life Regression is coming soon.” This is most likely the new LP’s title, and as we said with Blut Aus Nord, naming something is always a good sign.
It’s just shy of three and a half years since 2010′s awesome Asleep Next To Science, which is about right considering ORBS are a side-project for Dan Briggs of Between The Buried And Me, Ashley Ellyllon (ex-Abigail Williams/Cradle Of Filth, and a couple of guys from Fear Before The March Of Flames. It was a record which surprised many, and is certainly an original entry into the experimental rock genre.
Periphery – Clear
Due January 28th
This one has come out of nowhere a little bit. I’m sure everyone was casually expecting work to have been continuing on Juggernaut, the long-announced follow-up album to Periphery II: This Time It’s Personal, but apparently not (at least, not entirely).
We only learned about it about a month ago, and already it’s nearly upon us. Interestingly, it’s more than a release to fulfil the void; it’s “an experiment to explore all of the different writing styles in the band,” and as such will include a song by each of the six members.
Quality-wise we suppose it could go either way, but it will be interesting nonetheless.
Pig Destroyer – TBA
Pig Destroyer released the Mass & Volume EP in April 2013 to benefit the family of then recently deceased Relapse Records DoS Pat Egan – which consisted of extra material from the Phantom Limb sessions - and before that in 2012 there was Bookburner, but apparently the band will be making it three in three years, as a promotional flyer from their label Relapse has indicated that there will indeed be a new PD record in 2014.
Word on the street is that it’s already recorded as well, so this could be out before summer. Veeeeery interesting.
Thomas Giles – TBA
A new one on the radar, Between The Buried And Me frontman Tommy Rogers posted a quick update to his solo project page, Thomas Giles Music, on January 1st to say “Lots of exciting news for 2014. Updates very soon! Be well…”
With ORBS cranking up to release something, it seems like at least the first six months of 2014 could be off-season for BTBAM.
*shels – TBA
An end-of-year round-up from label shelsmusic – helmed by *shels frontman Mehdi Safa – has indicated that the internationally-spanning group have been working on recordings, and will be putting out the follow-up to 2011′s Plains Of The Purple Buffalo in 2014.
The gap between that album and debut Sea Of The Dying Dhow was pretty large, but that was due in part to massive data loss, and having to rebuild the entire process. Mehdi & co. will have learned from this experience and have about 50,000 backups, so we don’t expect this to be a problem this time around.
Sleep – TBA
Sleep were gone for a looooooong time. Eleven years in fact. Originally reformed to play an All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in England, they played a few more shows, and have been sporadically doing so since then.
An interview with bassist/vocalist Al Cisneros recently has sprung the news that the seminal stoner band are also working on a new album. What, when or how we don’t know, but it’s early 2014, so maybe it’s not too much to ask for in the next twelve months?
Slipknot – TBA
It’s been a tough few years for Slipknot. Everyone’s favourite masked, boiler-suited band obviously lost bassist Paul Grey in 2010 to an overdose, and that basically put a kibosh on writing for a few years. Then, not a month ago, drummer Joey Jordison departed the group after 18 years (personal reasons? Fired? Unclear) – but fear not for new material, as vocalist Corey Taylor took to Twitter just after Christmas to squash any rumours of dischord within the Slipknot camp to confirm “great things are coming.”
It’s now approaching six years since the last ‘knot album, and so I’m sure fans are eagerly anticipating this. When exactly, no-one knows, but we sure we’ll find out soon enough.
SunnO)))/Ulver – Terrestrials
Due: February 4th
SunnO))) and Ulver are two of the foremost names in avante-garde music. The former are a highly-regarded name in drone circles, whilst the latter have made the transition from black metal to more experimental fare in recent years, so to have the two release a collaborative
The two are no strangers to each other, having worked on the track “CUT WOODeD,” a bonus track from SunnO)))’s White 1/White 2 boxset WHITEbox.
Here’s that track, which might give you an idea what this album could sound like. It won’t be for most, but it’ll be something, that’s for sure.
Trap Them – TBA
Trap Them finished recording for an LP at Kurt Ballou’s Godcity studio back in November, which means that production will be well under way, which means
Tool – TBA
Who really knows if this will finally be the year that Tool release something new. We’re coming on for almost seven years now, and whilst we’re not approaching 10,000 days just yet (we passed 2800 just after Christmas), it sure would be nice, wouldn’t it?
They were supposedly “over half done” in January last year, and Maynard had begun composing his parts in May, which suggests good progress. The last update came from the toolband.com webmaster, who had been to see the band and heard some material, including some kind of grand epic piece. More than that, they apparently seemed to be very happy with what they have.
Uneven Structure – TBA
Since playing Euroblast, French progressive metal collective Uneven Structure have been quiet, but they say that’s because they’ve been busy. Busy with what? One can only assume writing and/or recording new material!
It was 2011 that they put out Februus, and despite
Vader - Tibi Et Igni
Seems like things are moving pretty quickly for Polish death metal veterans Vader. They only announced their new album Tibi Et Igni in early December, but in the post-Christmas haze they confirmed via Facebook that they are aiming for an April/May release.
TIE (TIE Fighter…Vader…geddit?) will be the group’s tenth album, which is quite an achievement, and what better way to celebrate just over three decades in the business?
Vision Of Disorder – TBA
Word on the street is that there will in fact be TWO new Vision Of Disorder releases in 2014. What exactly this means is open to interpretation: it could mean two EPs, or perhaps a studio album and a live album, but in order to space them properly, we’d imagine one will be out before too long.
Wintersun – Time II
Due: early 2014?
We reported last February that the second part of Wintersun’s Time two-parter had slipped from a slated 2013 release date into “early 2014.” Quite what that means to Jari Mäenpää & co. we’re not sure, given their penchant to take their sweet time over things (there were eigh long years between Wintersun and Time I, remember…), but it was being mixed when the announcement was made, and so you’d hope that things won’t have been held up any more. A Facebook update on New Year’s Day didn’t indicate anything untoward, but didn’t specify either, so we’re as clued up as you really.
We’re hoping sometime between March and May, but will of course keep you updated.
Many thanks to Alkahest of Heavy Blog Is Heavy for the Relapse flyer image