Hello, everyone! Welcome back! We left you last month with a week-long retrospective of the year in the way of our own personal best-of lists. With 2012 a thing of the past and a new year of promising releases coming up ahead, we felt it appropriate to open our posting cycle in 2013 with a look forward. Throughout the week, several writers will be giving you breakdowns on what records you can look forward to in the coming year. To get you started in planning the year ahead, here are five albums that you need to keep an eye out for:
Cynic – TBA Third Album (Season of Mist)
The progressive metal legends will see a return in 2013 with the follow-up to 2008’s Traced In Air. It doesn’t really feel like it’s been nearly five years since their critically acclaimed comeback, as the band have tied us over with several tours and EPs. Granted, the extreme metal roots that the band started with (the core being members of Death for crying out loud!) have nearly vanished, but Cynic have been leaning much more into a new-age psychedelic jazz fusion sort of sound that is both thrilling and thought-provoking.
Having returned to the studio in December, drummer Sean Reinert promises, “a bold new sound for CYNIC and marks a gigantic leap in the band’s progression. We’ve had a lot of time to let this material develop and gestate, and it finally feels ready to be unleashed on the world. I’ve been in trio mode with Malone and Masvidal flushing out a zillion and one details, and couldn’t be happier about what’s happening with these songs. They are truly alive!”
And with song titles like ‘Endlessly Bountiful’, ‘Moon Heart Sun Head’, and ‘True Hallucination Speak,’ you can guarantee that the band will be back in full force with their shamanistic aesthetic.
Last Chance To Reason – Level 3 (Prosthetic Records)
Last Chance To Reason’s debut album Level 2 floored many of us back in 2011, and they’re sure to do it again with Level 3. The Maine-based group made their way to Florida late last year and shacked up with Eyal Levi at Audiohammer Studios to track this forthcoming concept record. Via Prosthetic Records:
Drummer Evan Sammons says, “We’ve been working on the new album diligently and now we’re headed to Audiohammer to begin tracking with Eyal. We’ve been sending material to Eyal and talking about production techniques and ideas for the album’s tone and things are really clicking. Touring with great bands over the past couple years has really inspired us to up the ante for this release. We’ve grown as songwriters and are embracing our strengths as musicians. We’re doing a concept piece again and we’ll be making sure the music and production suits the story.”Vocalist Michael Lessard added, “Having Eyal involved has been nothing short of excellent. He understands where we are going with the concept of this album and has only helped strengthen that vision.”
The album has since been completed (mixing wrapped up the first week of January) and is currently pending an early 2013 release. It remains to be seen if the band is able to retain their same videogame-esque prog sound without a major synth role or if they will change direction accordingly, but what is for certain is that Level 3 will not disappoint.
The Mire – Glass Cathedrals (Self-Release)
The Mire are a band some of you may not be too familiar with, so allow me to clue you in. They’re a progressive/post-metal band from Brighton, UK that packs a powerful emotive punch. The Mire pair up massive atmosphere and huge Neur-Isis sludge riffs, but fronts the monolithic sounds with beautifully haunting singing, something which isn’t seen all that much in post-metal, where gravely roars reign supreme. You’d be hard pressed to find a sludge band as heartfelt as The Mire, and their debut album Glass Cathedrals shows unimaginable promise. The band will record the record later this month, but in the mean time, pick up their entire body of work so far for free on Bandcamp.
Uneven Structure – TBA (Basick Records)
Uneven Structure‘s debut album Februus made it among the top three of my favorite records released in 2011. The group’s intelligent Meshuggah-meets-Pink Floyd sound on Februus was a brilliant flourish that still sets itself apart as one of the best “djent” record so far. The band are at work writing more music that will see the light of day in 2013, and it will be in the form of “an EP, one or more one-off songs and maybe (maybe!) hints towards a new album.” Whatever it may be, the prospect of new Uneven Structure is exciting.
Vildhjarta – Thousands of Evils EP (Century Media)
There isn’t all that much to tell in regards to the new Vildhjarta material. The eerie deathcore/djent band have an unparalleled clash of odd rhythms and melodies that makes for a mindbending listen for the uninitiated. Måsstaden got high marks back in 2011 and now the band are hard at work on a new EP apparently titled Thousands of Evils. A teaser has been posted by the band (below) featuring instrumental demos from the writing process, with an ominous quote by Edgar Allan Poe. Once again featuring the brilliant artwork by Rickard Westman, Thousands of Evils will be available early 2013 through Century Media, with details coming soon.
Stick around all week as we highlight our most highly anticipated records for 2013!