Otherwise – Sleeping Lions

If there’s one album that could launch a band into the stratosphere this year, it’s Sleeping Lions, the third outing from Las Vegas mob Otherwise. Mark my words: this album is prepped and packaged for the radio airwaves, plus almost every track sounds capable of inciting an arena-sized singalong, but that’s not always a bad thing. Their previous album cracked the Billboard 200 at number 50. This could surpass that. If they catch their big break with this record, the general population of rock enthusiasts will find something to appreciate about Otherwise. Generic? Absolutely. But it knows what it is.

Stone Sour – Hydrograd

In China, there is a myth that carp swimming upstream try valiantly to swim up a waterfall, a clearly impossible task. Yet, they persist and persevere, straining every muscle as they strive to reach the top, and sure enough, a rare few are able to get there. It is said that any carp which successfully makes the climb is then rewarded for their determination with transformation into a mighty dragon. After swimming upstream for a decade, Stone Sour announced themselves a dragon of rock with their last two LPs, House of Gold and Bones (HoGaB) Parts 1 & 2 respectively. The masterful double album was the epitome of progressive hard rock in the modern era, infused with a thrilling concept, reoccurring musical and lyrical motifs, seamless transitions and excellent riffs. Taylor’s vocals moved effortlessly between unbridled aggression and morose beauty. The songwriting was inspired, each song standing proudly on its own two feet, yet even better when placed alongside its brethren. It was a rare release to draw inspiration from the giants of the 70’s and, when all was said and done, comfortably stand shoulder-to-shoulder beside them. Thus one could be forgiven for feeling optimistic about where Stone Sour went next. Unfortunately, Jim Root’s acrimonious departure in mid-2014 led to doubts over their future sound and direction, doubts which a pair of cover EPs did little to dispel. And so here we are in 2017, four years on from the magic that was HoGaB. Stone Sour is back, with Christian Martucci (Black President, ex-Chelsea Smiles) having replaced Root on guitar. The question though, is can they live up to the hype?

Issues – Issues

There’s nothing inherently wrong with using downtuned guitars to write catchy and heartfelt music with soaring vocal hooks, so long as you do it with some intelligence and creativity. Issues is one such band that openly embraces the pop metal tag, but ultimately fails at creating a fun or interesting listening experience on their self-titled debut.

Did Roadrunner Sign That “Shitty Local Band” King, Who Derailed A Show During Last Year’s The Contortionist Headlining Tour?

As many of you may remember, one of last year’s biggest headlines on Heavy Blog was the story of King, a Michigan tough-guy hardcore/nu-metal sort of group who caused the cancellation of the Lansing, Michigan stop of The Contortionist’s headlining tour with Jeff Loomis, Chimp Spanner, and 7 Horns 7…

Korn sign to Roadrunner Records

Whoever told Munky to put on face paint should be punched in the dick. In a move that makes the most sense out of any of the news I’ve read today, Blabbermouth reported that Jonathan Davis confirmed rumors that Korn have signed to Roadrunner Records, home to big name metal…

Devin Townsend's "Addicted": A Pop Rock Record?!

I shit you not. The next album to be released under The Devin Townsend Project, “Addicted”, is going to be akin to Nickelback, only “not about the penis.” “Sex sells and I understand that but I started getting a real dark energy off of the record. It’s like “we’re making…