With anticipation comes expectation and as the same with every other year, once the Album of the Year list is done and I begin to regret what I missed out, I make a list of everything I expect to come out this year. Here is a selection of some albums I am greatly anticipating. Not all have confirmed release dates or even a titles but on the balance of probabilities, we should see most of them this year.
I’d say honourable mentions to Pijn, whos Floodlit EP was a stellar release in early 2017, Good Tiger, Marmozets, Watain, and Tesseract among many others. These five are other albums I am looking out for and hopeful for. Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy this list and feel free to discuss what you are looking out for. I expect a majority of the five above and ten following to be in and near my Album of the Year list for 2018.
Karnivool – TBA
One of Australia’s great talents. One of the greatest progressive rock bands of the modern era. Karnivool has released three phenomenal albums thus far, each embracing its own unique sound. They have been quiet, which is not out of the norm for them. However, they have confirmed via sporadic tweeting that a new album will very likely come in 2018.
Perhaps they have been taking lessons out of the Tool book of marketing strategy, yet I would say an album by these guys is incredibly likely. Their creations certainly require great attention to detail; saying they are multi-layered is a radical understatement. Themata came out in 2005 and it was another five years until the critically acclaimed follow-up, Sound Awake. That said, the three years it took to subsequently release Asymmetry seems lightning quick in comparison. It has now been four, approaching five, years since they have released an album.
Karnivool are progressive, and they are a rock band but their music has so much more dynamism that any term can describe. Whilst it is not erratic, the influences that go into these albums are widespread. Passages of music can be heavy, and there are some great guitar riffs on these albums. The music can also be fragile and delicate when it needs to be. With a band of Karnivool‘s ilk, fans will be happy for them to take their time. When the album does drop, however, you can thank me for suggesting the idea:
Conjurer – Mire
After releasing the fantastic EP I back in July 2016, Conjurer have toured a lot in 2017, normally as part of Holy Roar Records heavy troupe. They are known for their crushing guitar riffs and eviscerating vocals. The two guitarists contribute vocals, which whilst are in contrast, compliment each other wonderfully. I anticipate that Mire will be one of the strongest releases of 2018 and one that will propel their label even further, whilst exposing heavier music to an even wider selection of people.
If the single, ‘The Mire’, is anything to go by, it will be chilling and crushing in equal measure. The song explores several themes that epitomise Conjurer and sets a good example as to how well constructed the album will be.
Mire will hopefully set the precedent for heavy music in 2018. The band are well deserving of the inevitable praise this album will reap, and I look forward to the continued success. Ruining and perfect.
Behemoth – TBA
After the release of the critically acclaimed The Satanist in 2014, and Nergal’s project with John Porter Me and That Man, a new Behemoth album is certainly hotly anticipated. Known for a passionate intensity and ferocity, it is easy to see a new record being an immediate purchase for heavy metal fans.
The album, so far, has no title, nor a definitive release date. Nergal has, however, been posting snippets of the recording process to his Instagram feed, as well as Behemoth‘s. It will be heavy, but very likely expansive. Despite its brutality, it will likely offer some poignancy as well.
Palm Reader – TBA
Few bands are as angry on stage as this band. Josh McKeown has an ability to harness that energy and project it into his performance. Despite their Twitter handle stating ‘not a hardcore’ band, they certainly fit the bill. Blinding pace, attacking riffs, stunning rhythms and furious rage on the vocals, Palm Reader are a force to be reckoned with.
They are a band with undeniable talent in both playing and writing. I hope this album projects them to that next level because they truly deserve it. Their last two albums were nothing shy of brilliant, and without serious support, they could be another waste of potential lost by the wayside. I’ll be chucking my money at these boys, and so should you!
Toska – TBA
Arguably, Toska is famous for their affiliation with YouTube sensation Rob ‘Chappers’ Champan, with whom they are also in a band with, Dorje. Their talents are far greater than mere association, and Toska‘s EP Ode to the Author demonstrated that they are arguably the driving force behind the music. The rhythm section in Ben Minal, drums, and Dave Hollingworth, bass, are one of the best pairings in the music scene to date.
Guitarist Rabea Massad is very open about his fanaticism with bands like Karnivool and Black Peaks and it’s easy to see their influence form part of his guitar playing, especially the former. Toska adopts a style that, as well as being progressive metal, dabbles in djent. However, the music itself is far more expansive and encompassing.
The EP was favourable but the challenge will be doubling the length and still keep it interesting. I am expecting there to be a couple of great songs on here, and an array of incredible guitar riffs. I’ll be happy with even more. Massad has an incredible artistry when creating his guitar riffs. If anyone disbelieves me, take a look at his riff wars video, the progression in the third riff I think is extraordinary:
A Perfect Circle – TBA
It is incredible to think that there has been a longer wait for a new A Perfect Circle album than there has for a new Tool album. However, that wait is soon to end with their third studio album, set for release in 2018. Whilst people disagree about whether both APC albums are great, or just one, it is no doubt that this band holds serious talent, and the every mystifying Maynard James Keenan fronting the band only adds to the theatricality.
In October they released a new song called ‘The Doomed’, and soon after a music video. It isn’t anything to froth at the mouth for, but I think that people should appreciate what we get, to an extent. APC is a rare breed, and a new album will likely be a fresh piece of music.
Whilst I am excited about this release, I don’t have otherworldly expectations like I do for other bands associated. That said, it will still likely make waves, and the accompanying tour will be a true sight to behold.
Rolo Tomassi – Time Will Die and Love Will Bury It
If you hadn’t spotted already, Holy Roar Records have a talent for signing fantastic artists. Rolo Tomassi is another unique outfit that predominantly music based in hardcore, but they incorporate jazz and electronica elements. This is not unheard of, but RT pushes these additions further forward in the mix, to the point where some songs feature the hardcore elements as a secondary part of the song.
They are quite experimental in nature, but their erraticism is not a detriment to their work. The genre displacement is done in a good fashion and no song feels too disjointed or indecisive. They have released two singles thus far, and both bode well for the future of the album.
Myles Kennedy – Year of the Tiger
It seems way overdue but Myles Kennedy has announced his first solo album. Year of the Tiger has been anticipated for years by Alter Bridge fans. Even prior to Kennedy’s involvement with Slash, the idea was touted but now it seems he has finally found the time to complete it.
There is no doubted he is a talented songwriter. Pay attention to Alter Bridge‘s lyrics and the music, and you’ll see they are so much more than just an arena-ready rock band. Their third album, in fact, is an insight into Kennedy’s darker side and his sombre poetic grandeur.
I hope he has been untethered in this release, and ideally, I’d like it to be more than just him and an acoustic guitar. That said, one of Kennedy’s biggest inspirations, Chris Whitley, released a beautiful album called Dirt Floor and that featured Whitley and a single accompanying instrument. I trust Kennedy, and hopefully, the delay in release has only added to the complexity of the album.
Kennedy has cited the album is conceptual in nature, relating to the death of his father when he was a child. If Kennedy can successful translate those emotions onto a record, then he will have a proud piece of music to look back on; evidence suggests he will take it with aplomb. The first single, the title track, offers some promise, and hopefully, this sits in amongst a record that we can all be proud of.
Miracle – The Strife of Love in a Dream
If you liked the way Ulver reinvented their sound then there is a strong chance you will like Miracle. The group includes multi-instrumentalist Daniel O’Sullivan who worked with the aforementioned Norwegian outfit. Horror film music composer Steve Moore forms the other half.
This group are synthpop in nature, and it is an incredible nostalgic sound. However, it is accessible for those who aren’t well versed in the realm of sunglasses and synthesisers. The opening track, and first single, ‘The Parsifal Gate‘, shows the dramatic nature of the music that doesn’t just utilise the melody of the song, but also other sounds that add to the construction.
Calling it a prospective throwback may be a bit insulting, but it is easy to see where that mentality stems from. What this should be instead is a glorious synth-pop release. I myself am not all knowing when it comes to this genre of music, however, I have certainly liked what I have heard so far, and am always open to something changing my outlook.
I originally put this in as a joke, but then Danny Carey came out with this. Take it how you will…