My oh my does this year keep paying dividends. It seems we can't go more than a few weeks without a new album or tour being announced. I'm sure as hell not complaining. In fact, I'm pretty darn excited about some of these upcoming albums (for the tours, see my previous post). In no particular order here are the ones I'm very much looking forward to:
Alestorm - Sunset on the Golden Age
Release: August 1st
Alestorm is back and still playing their blend of pirates and metal. It doesn't look like they're mixing too much up and the album preview was laughable at best. But that's what we all love about Alestorm, they just don't care. The first single released, Drink, is a dumb song with an extremely catchy chorus and a comedic music video. I expect nothing less from the rest of the album, even if the short previews of each song were nothing special. Alestorm songs are meant to be taken as a whole package, while drunk, not in tiny pieces. And to top it off, the band has been busy announcing European tours to get the part started as early as possible. I'm sure they'll be back in North America shortly after.
Dragonforce - Maximum Overload
Release: August 18th
Dragonforce is another band to avoid taking too seriously. The UK-based band (only 2 members are actually from the UK) have been making headlines since Through the Fire and Flames became an international phenomenon. The odd thing is, they decided to replace their singer after ZP Theart ruined his voice or something and started actually making quality power metal with the addition of Marc Hudson. It's like something just clicked with the band collectively when they decided to make songs that actually sound different and have something of a melody. Often copied but always retaining a unique sound, Dragonforce is getting ready to melt your face off once again. They also replaced their drummer! Thank the metal gods, he was probably the least-improved member.
Krimh - Album 2 (Krimhera)
Austrian multi instrumentalist and solo artist Krimh is working on his second- Ok enough with the marketing speak. Krimh is an awesome drummer (who sometimes plays guitar and bass) who I found through the magic of Youtube. He did the drums on the previous album of Decapitated (who are also releasing new material soon) and toured with Behemoth. If you haven't heard his solo stuff, I definitely recommend at least checking out his Youtube channel. I'm not usually a fan of instrumental stuff so the fact that this makes this list should say something.
Crimson Shadows - Kings Among Men
Release: September 1st
I'm really excited this band is starting to make it big because hey, they're from Toronto, Canada! They were recently signed to Napalm Records, are getting ready to go on a European tour with Alestorm and announced their new album, all within the span of about a month. They haven't said too much about the new album besides release the artwork, but a few songs were released on an EP last year that are going to be included. I guess I should check out that EP that I just found out about (and included above). Anyway, the band plays a great mix of melodeath and power metal with an exceptionally powerful vocalist. They're not too shabby live either, so if you live in Europe I definitely recommend catching them on their tour.
Starkill has been working on the follow-up to Fires of Life for a bit now. That album was excellent and I have high hopes for the next. Nightwish is preparing to release their first album with new vocalist Floor Jansen. Wolfchant will be releasing another brutal pagan metal album sometime soon. Xanthochroid is also working on the follow-up to their first album, titled Of Eathe and Axen. And finally, that Wintersun album has to be released eventually... right?