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Ladies and gentlemen, time to start taking bets and making projections for this year’s Summer Slaughter Tour. Last year, we made a few educated guesses based off rumor and likelihood and more or less nailed a majority of the lineup long before it the best iteration of Summer Slaughter to date was even fully announced. This year, we’ve got a few names being thrown around thanks to the official Summer Slaughter Tour Facebook, and one possible lineup may include Children of Bodom, All Shall Perish, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Gojira, and The Ocean.

We didn’t just pull these names out of thin air, either. Summer Slaughter often throws out possible names to gauge reaction, and more often than not, those bands make it to the final lineup. One such band that could be seen with top billing in this year’s Summer Slaughter is The Dillinger Escape Plan, who were recently signed to Sumerian Records, a label that has a major stake in the tour. This yearly tour is starting to branch out to wider variety lineups — last year’s had something for everyone, having Periphery and Cannibal Corpse on the same bill which would have previously been unheard of in a non-festival —  so having a band rooted more in the realm of hardcore than death metal like previous top-billing bands would still make sense depending on how the rest of the show looks. They have a new album coming out this year as well, and will be in the market for a tour such as this that would put them in front of a large number of fresh faces. It’s perfect for everyone involved.

Despite Dillinger’s legendary status though, they’ll likely not be headlining the show. Children of Bodom were also thrown around at the same time, and they would without a doubt take headlining status. Summer Slaughter alumni All Shall Perish are much more popular as well and will be looking at a higher billing. My interest in ASP band has waned following their opus Awaken The Dreamers, and it isn’t looking any better after losing founding guitarist Ben Orum. Regardless, ASP never fails to command a crowd and put on a good show and would without a doubt be an excellent choice.

The increasingly popular Gojira were also a name thrown around for consideration, and would definitely fit a bill filled with death metal and prog alike. The most interesting and promising band that we would like to see get on the ticket is progressive metal band The Ocean. Despite being a very cerebral band — which doesn’t even matter anymore after Summer Slaughter proved itself to be a vital avenue for progressive bands — The Ocean have hardcore leanings and an intense stage presence that can at times be comparable to The Dillinger Escape Plan. With that in mind, Dillinger and The Ocean on the same bill will be complementary on many fronts and would make for a much sought-after gig. If these two share the stage, it could make for an even greater Summer Slaughter than last year. They’ll also be releasing a new album in March on Metal Blade, another label that has had their hands heavily involved in the tour.

Of course, these bands aren’t guaranteed to be on the bill by any means. The Black Dahlia Murder were also mentioned, but they’ve since been confirmed to be busy with Warped Tour this summer, an opportunity too good to pass up when the alternative is preaching to the choir. Wherever else the lineup goes is up in the air. Other veteran SS bands like Animals as Leaders, The Faceless, and Born of Osiris (who have an album coming out this year and could very well be starting a new touring cycle come summer time) could very well see a fitting return in 2013’s lineup. Smaller bands like Fallujah or Vildhjarta (who were on last year’s fan voting contest) could land a well deserved spot. And you can likely count on another fan vote on who opens the tour, as it builds great interest and personal investment in the tour from fans.

Who would you like to see on this year’s Summer Slaughter Tour? Give us your own personal wish list in the comments section below!

– JR

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