16 metal albums we’re anticipating for spring 2019
Back in January, we ran down a list of metal albums we were anticipating in 2019. Some of those have since come out (or get released this week), some have since been officially announced with titles, release dates, and lead singles, and some are still just as tentative as they were four months ago. Now that spring is here and we’ve got plenty of concrete upcoming album release dates, we put together a new list of 16 metal albums we’re anticipating for spring 2019.
Like with the January list, we left off totally up-in-the-air stuff like System Of A Down and Tool (though Tool apparently finished the album… but we’ll see), and we left off the stuff that still isn’t concrete like Carcass, Cave In, Monolord, My Dying Bride, Tomb Mold, Torche, Triptykon, Deftones, and others.
Read on for our list of 16 metal albums that we’re anticipating for spring 2019 (in chronological order)…
Vancouver trio Wormwitch’s 2017 debut album Strike Mortal Soil was a whiplash-inducing mix of black metal and punk that I once wrote sounds like a blackened Disfear or Black Breath. Going by recent single “Disciple of the Serpent Star,” Wormwitch are blending those two genres even more seamlessly on their new album, upping the intensity, and continuing to come into their own.
I mentioned in the intro that there’s still no concrete word on when that new Torche album is coming out, but if you can’t wait much longer for their mix of earworm melodies and sludgy riffs, this new Big Business album will more than quench your thirst. Big Business have been a monstrous band since forming 15 years ago, but I don’t think they’ve ever written songs as downright catchy as the singles released from The Beast You Are. Something must have just really clicked during the making of this album, ’cause these songs see Big Business firing on all cylinders. They’ve got that trademark Big Business sound, but they also sound like a brand new band.
Inter Arma have already released three of the nine songs on their upcoming album Sulphur English, and each one has been so different and so great that it already seems clear that Inter Arma have another winner on their hands. Lead single “Citadel” sees Inter Arma at their sludgiest, “Stillness” sees them successfully diving into acoustic guitars and clean vocals, and “The Atavist’s Meridian” finds them at their most psychedelic. Each one is so massive on its own, that we’re already sure this album as a whole will be gargantuan.
Chokehold were one of the key vegan straightedge bands of the ’90s, but they called it quits back in ’96 and the world of heavy music changed drastically since they last released an album. Now, nearly 25 years later, they’re back with a new LP, and lead single “2.0” has them sounding as relevant today as they did in the ’90s. Lyrically too. “‘2.0′ is a song about the hardcore community and the use of social media to tear down like-minded individuals within it,” vocalist Chris Logan says, and of course that wasn’t a concern the last time Chokehold released an album. It’s a great time for a confrontational, strong-minded band like this to make a comeback, and it’s a blessing that the new music sounds as good as it does.
Dead To A Dying World’s last proper full-length was 2015’s great Litany, and since then they’ve signed to the great Profound Lore Records and are now gearing up to release the anticipated Elegy. The 11-minute lead single “Empty Hands, Hollow Hymns” sees them experimenting with folk music, strings, blasty black metal, slower post-metal, sludge riffage, a dual vocal attack of black metal shrieks and more melodic hardcore shouts, and more. The new album was produced by the famed Billy Anderson and it features contributions from Jarboe, Thor Harris, Dylan Desmond (Bell Witch), Emil Rapstine (The Angelus), Pablo C. Urusson (Sangre de Muerdago), and Tim Duffield (ex-Sans Soleil). This one’s gonna be colossal.
Helms Alee were already a metal band who could pass more as “heavy rock” on previous albums like 2016’s great, genre-defying Stillicide, but it looks like Noctiluca is headed more in that direction than Helms Alee ever were before. They made it with producer Sam Bell (who’s worked with Bloc Party, R.E.M., Minus the Bear, and others), who helped them get a cleaner sound than usual, and lead single “Interachnid” shows off Dana James’ increasingly impressive clean vocals and a strong psychedelic atmosphere. If you miss stuff like Spiral Shadow-era Kylesa or Yellow & Green-era Baroness, this one should be up your alley.
Long-running drone metal greats Sunn O))) teamed with the legendary Steve Albini for two new albums, Life Metal which will be out in April and the “more meditative” Pyroclasts which is expected in fall 2019. Life Metal features vocals and cello by sometimes-live-Sunn O)))-collaborator and former Múm member Hildur Guðnadóttir, aluminium neck bass and baritone guitars by Tim Midyett (ex-Silkworm), and pipe organ by new music composer Anthony Pateras. Sunn O))) albums are best heard as one piece start to finish, but the five-minute preview released so far — Bathory horses at 3:36 included — has increased suspense and anticipation.
Ringworm helped shape metallic hardcore as we know it back in the ’90s, and — like the similarly-minded Integrity — they’ve turned into a long-running band who now make a mix of metal and punk that remains as stunning as their classic material. Their last album, 2016’s Snake Church, was truly great, and the lead single/title track off the upcoming Death Becomes My Voice is at least as good.
Dreadnought had one of the best metal albums of 2017 with A Wake In Sacred Waves, and its success helped ink them a deal with Profound Lore for its followup, Emergence. The previous album saw Dreadnought blending folk music, black metal, and doom in a way that would appeal to Jethro Tull fans as much as to Deafheaven fans, but new single “Besieged” is a little more chaotic than most of the A Wake In Sacred Waves songs. It’s a thrilling step forward, and it’s got us excited to hear what else Emergence has in store.
Martyrdod’s last three albums saw them blending black/death metal screams with punk rhythms and ridiculously catchy classic rock leads, but new single “Cashless Society” sees them taking a much heavier approach. “This track came about from riffs that spoke ‘käng.’ The result is way more metal than expected,” the band says. It is indeed very fucking metal, and it’s a welcome curveball from this band who never seem to stop pushing forward.
Possessed basically invented death metal as we know it on 1985’s Seven Churches, and though its 1986 followup Beyond the Gates wasn’t received as well at the time, it’s held up well and undergone some reappraisal over time. Unfortunately, Beyond the Gates would be the band’s final album. They put out the EP The Eyes of Horror the following year, and then disbanded. Two years later, bassist/vocalist Jeff Becerra was shot during a robbery and paralyzed from the chest down. Despite the long-lasting effects of the injury, the band briefly reformed in the early ’90s and then Becerra re-activated Possessed with new members in 2007. Now they’re finally set to release their first album in 33 years. The first single is “No More Room In Hell,” and if you like the kind of death metal that Possessed helped pioneer, you’ll be excited to learn that “No More Room In Hell” is cut from that same cloth. It’s got just a little more modern polish than Seven Churches had, but it mostly sounds transported into 2019 straight out of late ’80s death metal, and it’s got some truly badass riffs. Becerra’s voice is a little more grizzled these days, but we’re just glad to finally be getting a new Possessed record and “No More Room In Hell” is enough to keep our anticipation high.
As the album description on Bandcamp for Spirit Adrift’s upcoming album points out, they’re tired of being “lazily labelled doom.” And new single “Hear Her” earns them the right to be tired of it; it’s more Metallica than Black Sabbath, and it’s pretty exciting to hear a new band channelling James Hetfield without sounding too corny or too unoriginal in the process.
Aseethe are getting ready to follow 2017’s very good Hopes of Failure with their third proper album, Throes, and lead single “No Realm” was one of those songs that stopped me in my tracks the first time I heard it and instantly got me excited for this LP. It’s sludge with an experimental twist, relentlessly crushing with just the right amount of accessibility.
Since forming a decade ago, Full of Hell made a name for themselves as one of the most promising new death/grind/powerviolence bands around, they collaborated on albums with Merzbow and The Body (the latter twice), and in 2017 they signed to Relapse for what would eventually become this year’s Weeping Choir. They made the album with the great Kurt Ballou, and the first single is “Burning Myrrh,” which sees Full of Hell sounding like pure evil. The band also offered up a “remix by Godflesh’s Justin Broadrick of another track on the album, and though the album version probably sounds much different, that remix and “Burning Myrrh” are already enough reason to assume Weeping Choir is gonna rip.
Mike Browning (who also spent time in Morbid Angel) fronted veteran death metal band Nocturnus from 1987 to 1992, during which time they released their classic 1990 album The Key. In 1999, he revived his own version of the band under the name Nocturnus AD, but eventually went through lineup changes and then changed the name of that band to After Death. In 2013, he switched the name back to Nocturnus AD for live shows and now he’s releasing the first-ever Nocturnus AD album, Paradox. Lead single “Precession of the Equinoxes” sounds a lot more inspired than the recent After Death material; it’s a trip back to the kind of frantic, proggy OG-style death metal of The Key but with crisp modern production that helps it sound fresh today. It’s not a drastic reinvention or anything, but Paradox seems poised to be Browning’s most major comeback in a while.
John Baizley is promising that Gold & Grey “includes quite a few ‘firsts’ for the band” and that it’s their “most adventurous album to date.” So far we’ve only heard one of its 17 songs, but Borderlines” already seems to make good on that promise. It starts off in fairly familiar territory for Baroness, but the six-minute song takes a handful of unexpected turns and ends up in very psychedelic territory. Like 2015’s Purple, they made Gold & Grey with Flaming Lips collaborator Dave Fridmann producing, and he knows a thing or two about helping bands sound massive and psychedelic at the same time. With Fridmann on board, the band’s new limitless mindset, and a great lead single, Gold & Grey has us on the edge of our seats, eagerly anticipating the other 16 songs.