Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Month, New Music! Metal Releases for February 2015

BLIND GUARDIAN - Beyond the Red Mirror (photo: Facebook)We all know that the first month of the year tends to pass in a bit of a hazy blur, either due to the come-down of so much celebration or the fact that it's f$%king freezing and we just want winter to be over, goddamnit! Ahem... anyway. Before we know it, January will be coming to a close, and February will be waiting just around the corner. You know what that means - and no, I'm not talking heart-shaped boxes of chocolate or pudgy cherubs with ranged weapons.

I'm talking more new metal releases than you'd even know what to do with! This 2015, February is jam-packed with fistfuls of new metal albums about to be unleashed upon an unsuspecting public (or in this case, a suspecting and f$#king stoked public)! Therefore, we shall waste no time in bringing you this complete guide to what new music awaits us for the second month of the new year. After all, you've gotta be prepared for all of this!

Let me tell you, this month is a doozy. We have a pretty worthy crop of new releases on the horizon, most notably from The Agonist (featuring new vocalist Vicky Parasakis, replacing former frontwoman Alissa White-Gluz following her decision to sign on with Arch Enemy), the potent power metallers of Blind Guardian, All That Remains, Benighted, Ensiferum for fellow folk-metal fans, the beautiful black metallers of Carach Angren, Marduk and instrumentalists Pelican.

Go ahead and scan the complete list below, broken down by date:

February 3:

Atomicide, ‘Chaos Abomination’ (Iron Bonehead)
Blind Guardian, ‘Beyond the Red Mirror’ (Nuclear Blast)
ALL THAT REMAINSCallisto, ‘Secret Youth’ (Svart)
Deathbreed, ‘New World Order’ (Rogue)
Devilish Impressions, ‘Adventvs’ (Hammerheart)
Fulgora, ‘Stratagem’ (Housecore)
Game Over, ‘For Humanity’ Reissue (Scarlet)
Gnaw Their Tongues, ‘Collected Atrocities 2005-2008′ (Crucial Blast)
Orden Ogan, ‘Ravenhead’ (AFM)
Saor, ‘Roots’ (Northern Silence)
Sumac, ‘The Deal’ (Profound Lore)
U.D.O., ‘Decadent’ (AFM)
Wolfheart, ‘Winterborn’ Reissue (Spinefarm)

February 10:

Ahamkara, ‘The Embers of the Stars’ (Bindrune / Nordvis)
Call Of The Void, ‘Ageless’ (Relapse)
Cowards, ‘Rise To Infamy’ (Deadlight)
Demoncy, ‘Joined in Darkness’ Reissue (Forever Plagued)
Dwell, ‘Vermin and Ashes’ (Hells Headbangers)
Exhumed, ‘Gore Metal Redux: A Necrospective’ (Relapse)
Finsterforst, ‘Mach Dich Frei’ (Napalm)
MARDUKGorelust, ‘We Are The Undead’ (PRC)
Hate, ‘Crusade Zero’ (Napalm)
Marduk, ‘Frontschwein’ (Century Media)
Mourning Mist, ‘Mourning Mist’ (Forever Plagued)
Outer Heaven, ‘Diabolus Vobiscum’ EP (Melotov)
Rwake, ‘Xenoglossalgia: The Last Stage of Awareness’ (Relapse)
Taake, ‘Stridens Hus’ (Candlelight)
Thulcandra, ‘Ascension Lost’ (Napalm)
Zoax, ‘Is Everybody Listening?’ EP (Century Media)

February 17:

36 Crazyfists, ‘Time & Trauma’ (Spinefarm)
At The Hollow, ‘What I Hold Most Dear’ (Spinefarm)
THE AGONISTBlood Tribe, ‘Infernal Acts Of Man’ (Dark Harvest)
Death Karma, ‘The History of Death & Burial Rituals Part I’ (Iron Bonehead)
Leviathan, ‘Scar Sighted’ (Profound Lore)
Publicist UK, ‘Original Demo Recordings’ (Static Tension)
Sarpantium, ‘Blessed Be My Brothers’ (Willowtip)
Wind Rose, ‘Wardens of the West Wind’ (Scarlet)

February 24:

The Agonist, ‘Eye of Providence’ (Century Media)
Aktor, ‘Paranoia’ (High Roller)
All That Remains, ‘The Order of Things’ (Razor & Tie)
Atomic Aggressor, ‘Sights of Suffering’ (Hells Headbangers)
Bedemon, ‘Child of Darkness’ (Relapse)
Benighted, ‘Brutalive the Sick’ DVD (Season of Mist)
Carach Angren, ‘This Is No Fairy Tale’ (Season Of Mist)
Dr. Living Dead, ’Crush The Sublime Gods’ (Century Media)
CARACH ANGRENEnsiferum, ‘One Man Army’ (Metal Blade)
Griever, ‘Our Love Is Different’ (Vitriol)
Izah, ‘Sistere’ (Nordvis)
Kid Rock, ‘First Kiss’ (Warner Brothers)
Legion of Andromeda, ‘Iron Scorn’ (At War With False Noise / Unholy Anarchy)
Nasty, ‘Shokka’ (Good Fight)
Pelican, ‘The Cliff’ EP (Southern Lord)
Revolution Saints, ‘Revolution Saints’ (Frontiers)
Torche, ‘Restarter’ (Relapse)

As you can probably guess, the album I want to cover first is, of course, Blind Guardian's Beyond the Red Mirror. Here's the details as only they can tell them:

Four-and-a-half years in the making, the follow-up to 2010’s At the Edge of Time (which debuted at #2 on the German album charts and at #1 on the American Billboard Heatseekers chart & #108 on the American Billboard Top 200 Albums chart) is scheduled for release in Europe on January 30, 2015 and February 3, 2015 in North America. Four-and-a-half years in the making, the follow-up to 2010’s At the Edge of Time (which debuted at #2 on the German album charts and at #1 on the American Billboard Heatseekers chart & #108 on the American Billboard Top 200 Albums chart) is scheduled for release in Europe on January 30, 2015 and February 3, 2015 in North America.

Recorded at Twilight Hall Studio in Grefrath, Germany and produced by Charlie Bauerfeind (Saxon, Hammerfall, Helloween), Beyond the Red Mirror showcases Blind Guardian’s long-awaited collaborative work with three different classical choirs: one from the Czech Republic (Prague), one from Hungary (Budapest), and one from the United States (Boston). Two grand orchestras – each featuring 90 musicians – also lend their brilliant talents to the new recordings with absolutely spellbinding results.

Transporting listeners via a mysteriously powerful red mirror into an otherworldly dimension that includes tyrants, gods, and the Holy Grail, the ten songs comprising Beyond the Red Mirror’s story lines revolve around the young protagonist we first met twenty years ago in the 1995 tracks “Bright Eyes” and “And the Story Ends”.

“A story between science fiction and fantasy,” explains Blind Guardian vocalist & lyricist Hansi Kürsch. “The story begins with our 1995 album, Imaginations from the Other Side. The two worlds described therein have changed dramatically for the worse since then. While there used to be several passages between the worlds, there is only one gate left now: The Red Mirror. It has to be found at any cost.”

Asked to describe the band’s guiding principles for the creation of this new release, Blind Guardian guitarist André Olbrich shares: “We want to surprise and impress with our music. Nowadays, music tends to be arbitrary and predictable. But we want to keep developing our music.”

Opening with a tidal wave of surging emotion courtesy of a spine-tingling choir Beyond the Red Mirror unleashes its first gem, “The Ninth Wave”, a consciousness-expanding palette of landscapes and moods bearing the message of an urgent mission still seeking resolution. Closing with an explosion of heroic harmonies & choral glories with a nine-and-a-half minute, self-contained saga “Grand Parade” (called “the best song we have ever written” by Olbrich), the grandiose, uplifting, and ingenious storytelling in Beyond the Red Mirror is guaranteed to leave you breathless.

Ooh, my power metal fangirl senses are tingling!

Blind Guardian has never been a band to disappoint when you're in the mood for incredible metal with unlimited depth and fantastical vibes, so this one should be an extra-special treat.

Another exciting release on schedule for February (and for those of us who dig the folksier side of metal) is Ensiferum's One Man Army, due out on the later end of the month and sharing the same release date as some other huge debuts; The Agonist's new piece Eye of Providence featuring their brand new vocalist after a not-so-amicable split with Alissa White-Gluz, All That Remains will aim to show us how much farther away from metal they are straying as a band with their forthcoming album The Order of Things, Carach Angren is set to bring us some fresh, brooding black metal just in time for 'vinter', and Benighted returns with their devilishly brutal sound.

Hell, even Kid Rock is coming out with an album that day. You know, if trailer park rockabilly is one of your guilty pleasures. (You know you still jam to White Zombie.)

February is indeed going to be a big month for metal, and there really is something for everyone on this list.

Enjoy it while it lasts, however. Aside from a new album from Enslaved, there aren't a whole lot of bands on the roster for March yet - at least as of this writing. Fret not, my dears... for as we know, nothing is constant except for change, and kickass new masterpieces of metal are sure to repopulate future lists in the coming months of 2015. As always, you'll want to keep it here to stay on top of the latest developments when those album release and tour announcements are coming in.

All of these and pretty much every other metal album you can think of will be for sale at our web shop, powered by Amazon. You can purchase albums from bigger-name bands and still ensure that a portion of the proceeds goes towards helping your local metal community by buying your CDs and digi-downloads through us, and it's a guaranteed safe and reliable transaction. We have an enormous selection so don't worry about not finding what you're looking for... if it's out, we have it!

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