Back in December, deep in a turkey-coma and full of hope for what the New Year might bring, MonkHammer took it upon himself to boldly predict which of our favourite acts might release new music in 2018 (here, here and here). As we barge unceremoniously into month six of 2018, it’s time to check back in and see how Nostradumbass, the world’s worst soothsayer got on. Strap in, it’s gonna be a rough ride:
The teen tearaways teased a major announcement for 1 April, aka Fox Day, but to be honest, even after a couple of press releases, the launch of Babymetal Records and a surprise single, we’re still none the wiser. Everything seems to indicate that the band is expanding from three to seven, which is a little disconcerting, while the epic video for Distortion and the announcement of a graphic novel in October suggests things are about to get very franchisey. Babymetal: The Movie anyone? Don’t bet against it.
Guitarist Taylor Lumley called an amicable end to his time with the band in April, but it takes more than that to keep Caleb Shomo and co down, with the band using the very same announcement to promise new tunes for 2018, later posting a number of updates from the studio. Time to dust off those sleeveless vests and practice your boldest bro-down moves.
The boys from Brighton released the epic Can’t Sleep back in March, filling our ears with more of their sugar-sweet-salt-on-a-wound prog pomp, but we’re still eagerly waiting that all-important album announcement. Judging by their social media at the time of press, it’s due to LITERALLY ANY SECOND NOW!
New album TCBT will be released 17 August on Seasons of Mist, and judging by the Kveler-Cancer Bats fury of lead single Agali, it’ll be less Bachman Turner Overdrive, more Barking Thrasher, errrr, Overdrive. [I’ll get my coat]
Bullet For My Valentine
Gravity, will be released 29 June via Spinefarm. Mid-paced lead single Over It was solid but fairly unremarkable, while follow-up Letting You Go added a little nu-metal to the mix, making for an interesting, if not totally convincing listen. Here’s hoping the arena-bothering Welsh whippets still have some bullets left in their belts to give to their valentine.
The punk party-starters surprise-released album of the year-contender The Spark That Moves in April with less warning than a nuclear attack and twice as much fire-power. Check out our review here.
Book of Bad Decisions is due to be released 7 September via the band’s own Weathermaker label. Lead single Gimme The Keys may carry all the hallmarks of classic Clutch, but is also one of the least immediate songs they’ve released, so fingers crossed for the rest of the album. One thing’s certain though, it’ll still be better than most the year’s releases.
Unbeknownst to MonkHammer, just as we were writing about what a great time it would be for the Kiwi retro rockers to make a comeback … they did! A tour of the band’s native New Zealand wrapped in March with the cryptic message “who knows what the future holds?”
Devin Townsend Band
Since writing our initial preview, Hevy Devy has confirmed that DTP is currently on hiatus, however, true to our speculation “with Devin the question is normally what rather than when”, he has also confirmed that he has four different projects on the go at the moment. FOUR! The man is a human Hadron Collider.
The Fever 333
Jason Aalon Butler’s funk-punk-hip-hop revolutionaries released the fire-starting RATM-inspired Made An America EP back in March to largely positive reviews, and have been forcibly thrusting it in people’s faces ever since. Welcome back, sir.
Five Finger Death Punch
Album number seven, And Justice For None, was unleashed at the end of May with all the subtlety of an elephant cartwheeling down a ski-jump. Check out our review here.
The Canadian hardcore vets released another of their experimental Zodiac singles in March, the droning, ambient 24-minute Year of the Snake, and will release the limited edition High Rise on Tank Crimes Records 15 June, but no word yet on their next full-length.
Prequelle is out tomorrow (1 June), and we’ve not heard it yet, but you can expect a review soon. For now though, just look at that epic artwork. Satanism has never been so pretty.
Guns ‘n Roses
Rumours of Axl recording with AC/DC continue to irritate the internet like a sandy condom, while Slash has confirmed his next solo album is due in the Autumn, so new material seems ever more unlikely, but a remastered super spanky dollar-licious Appetite For Destruction box-set is out at the end of the month … which is nice.
Loved is signed, sealed and has been delivered to the label, and is currently awaiting release, with the experimentalists promising more news on Sunday. Reports are that it’s their heaviest offering yet, which is really saying something.
Following a hugely successful reunion tour, a brilliantly poignant documentary (Pretend We’re Dead) and two epic stand-alone singles (Dispatch from Mar-a-Lago / I Came Back to Bitch), the much-loved grunge icons have confirmed they will record a new crowd-funded album later this year. Not to boast, but the words “called it” spring to mind.
Lamb of God
No new album yet, but in one of the year’s more left-field moves, the band returned to their punk roots and Burn the Priest moniker in May for Legion XX, a suitably fired-up collection of hardcore covers featuring the likes of The Accused, S.O.D, Cro-Mags and Bad Brains, plus a truly barking rendition of Ministry’s Jesus Built My Hotrod. Ding-a-ding-dang my dang-a-long-ling-long indeed, Randy.
A less welcome surprise was the news that Milk Teeth singer Becky Blomfield has temporarily stepped away from the band to work on her mental health. It goes without saying that MonkHammer wishes her all the time and space she needs to come back stronger than ever.
Recording of the follow-up to Chromaparagon is ongoing, and it looks like we’re in the final stretch, but this is prog-metal we’re talking about here, so that could mean months or even years yet!
The prodigal son returns! In a twist no one saw coming, the erstwhile Evile guitarist is no longer erstwhile, rejoining his former bandmates for a second swing of the axe. The thrash masters will release album number five in 2019, while Ol has confirmed he is still working on his second solo album. All hail the thrash!
London doom legends Orange Goblin will release their ninth studio album, The Wolf Bites Back, via Candlelight/Spinefarm on 29 June. Expect bowel-emptying levels of brown-sound bass and riffs that could split continents.
Reverence came out in May to a somewhat divided reception. Either it is Parkway’s best and bravest album yet, or a total metal sell-out. See which side of the fence we fell on here.
The Pearl Harts
Glitter and Spit came flying out of the traps in February, and has been picking up speed and radio-play ever since. Check out our review of the bluesome twosome’s debut here.
No new music to speak of yet, but remix album The Reworks is out 29 June along with a complete remastered discography box-set for all your punk dnb needs. Is it metal? No. Does it hit harder than a truck to the face? You betcha.
Speaking of electronic-punks, Liam Howlett returned to the studio in March, but so far no word on when we’ll be getting some more of those twisted fire-starting beats. With a packed summer festival season ahead of them, 2019 seems more likely now, with maybe a single or two before then.
Anticipation for the band’s first album since 2009 is stronger than ever after it emerged that the German heavyweights are FINALLY recording again. Fingers crossed Till exorcised all his ladyboy / golden shower fantasies with his 2015 Lindemann project!
Ol’ Bobby Z recently confirmed that the new album is “more or less finished”, with mixing due to start (and hopefully end) before his co-headline tour with Marilyn Manson starts later this month. The album is expected to arrive early 2019, around the same time we get House of 1,000 Corpses / The Devil’s Rejects sequel 3 From Hell. Busy Bobby Z.
Recording of the blackjazz metal oddballs’ latest is complete, with frontman Jørgen Munkeby promising yet another new direction, so expect something (emphasis on the thing) soon.
Big Tings came out in April. You can read our review here, but if you’re short on time, allow us to sum it up for you:
Artwork > Album
Stone Temple Pilots
The resurrected grungers released their first album with new singer Jeff Gutt back in March. Despite some somewhat lukewarm reviews, if you can see past Gutt’s eerily spot-on Stars In Their Eyes Scott Weiland impression, there are some definite diamonds to be found within.
Used Future was released in March, with the album’s slower pace and return to more classic/stoner rock territory upsetting some but delighting others. We’ll let MonkHammer’s lack of a review tell you where we fell on that one…
The saga continues… The struggle is real… The album is still not here.
And finally, file under “no change there then”:
Axewound; Blackhole; Bring Me The Horizon; Burning Love; Crossfaith; Dance Laury Dance; The Donnas; Faith No More; Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes; The Hell; Lafaro; Less Than Jake; Limp Bizkit; Mongol Horde; Refused; Rocket From the Crypt; She Wants Revenge; System of a Down; The Wildhearts; Wilson