The 'Releases Of The Year' series are albums chosen by myself as the best release from each country / dependency known to have an official release in the year 2017. These are alphabetized in country order so are easy to navigate. Each award has national flag featured alongside the band name, 'Release Of The Year' and Facebook link (where provided).
Oh wow! Back in 2008, Alestorm were mere newcomers and beginners - and yet they created a modern metal classic and a completely new subgenre. Captain Morgan`s Revenge marks the birth of Pirate Metal as we know it today and turned a couple of young Scotsmen into the hottest band the modern metal scene has to offer! Ten years later and sold-out shows all over the world, their boozy debut gets its well-deserved anniversary treatment and will be re-released on January 26th 2018 with Napalm Records!
Captain Morgan`s Revenge – 10th Anniversary Edition has received a fresh remix and remastering by original producer Lasse Lammert at his LSD studios and will be coming with a rejuvenated artwork. Alongside the 'Live At Summer Breeze' bonus disc, this re-release will be a true gem for all collectors, new fans and nostalgics alike!
The pirates about their upcoming Anniversary Edition:
"Oh wow! Can't believe it's been 10 years already since we made this record. We were all terrible musicians back then, and it was only thanks to the immense skill of our producer Lasse Lammert that we managed to salvage a passable bunch of songs. But anyway, it seems a bunch of you people seemed to like this album, so we decided to give it a bit of spit and polish for the 10th anniversary. NO, this is not one of those shitty 'brickwall' remasters that some bands do, and NO, this is not a re-recording by a bunch of disinterested and jaded old musicians. We've taken the original multitrack source material from 10 years ago (bad playing, cheap keyboards, awful vocals and everything), and just re-mixed the whole album to be punchier, tighter, more dynamic, and more sonically delightful than before. You probably won't even notice the difference! But it's there. And it'll sound awesome on vinyl, for the first time ever!"
Captain Morgan`s Revenge – 10th Anniversary Edition, coming as CD digi pack, LP gatefold and digital download, is now available for pre-order HERE!
After the band just returned from the US Vans Warped Tour as well as an extensive European run this year, Alestorm will continue to drop their anchor live on the following dates. Turn on your eyepatch and let the rum flow freely here:
25.11.17 MX – Mexico City / Cosa Nostra
26.11.17 CO – Bogota / Auditorio Lumiere
28.11.17 PE – Lima / Mangos
01.12.17 BR – Curitiba / John Bull
02.12.17 BR – Sao Paulo / Tropical Butanta
03.12.17 BR – Porto Alegre / El Toro Pub
04.12.17 UY – Montevideo / Montevideo Music Box
06.12.17 AR – Rosario / Animal
07.12.17 AR – Buenos Aires / Uniclub
08.12.17 AR – Cordoba / Casa Babylon
09.12.17 CL – Santiago / Nuevo Club Rock & Guitarras
Piratefest UK Tour 2018:
with support from Rumahoy and The Dread Crew Of Oddwood
09.02.18 UK – Liverpool / O2 Academy
10.02.18 UK – Sheffield / Corporation
11.02.18 UK – Newcastle / Northumbria Uni
13.02.18 UK – Aberdeen / Garage
14.02.18 UK – Glasgow / O2 ABC
15.02.18 IRE – Belfast / Mandela Hall
16.02.18 IRE – Dublin / Tivoli
17.02.18 UK – Birmingham / HRH Metal
18.02.18 UK – Manchester / O2 Ritz
20.02.18 UK – Leeds / Stylus
21.02.18 UK – Norwich / Waterfront
22.02.18 UK – London / O2 Forum
23.02.18 UK – Brighton / Concorde 2
24.02.18 UK – Bristol / Motion
25.02.18 UK – Southampton / Engine Rooms
Bloodstock’s annual, hugely popular ‘Metal 2 The Masses’ initiative offers unsigned and DIY bands the chance of being part of the Bloodstock festival experience! For 2018, your band could be playing on the bill alongside the likes of Judas Priest, Gojira, Nightwish and many more amazing bands.
Plans for 2018 are under way and Bloodstock along with their favourite ale, Hobgoblin Beer, are aiming once again to track down the best breaking metal bands across the UK and give them a platform to show what they can do.
Detailed below are the participating UK regions (there’s more to come in Europe) – so if you’re in a self-signed or unsigned band and want to try out for a slot on the Bloodstock bill, get in touch with the promoter nearest you for details on how to enter and get yourselves involved!!
One winner from each event will win a slot on Bloodstock's ‘New Blood’ stage, with many more additional prizes to be announced. In August 2018, your band or your favourite local act could be one of the lucky bands stepping on stage at Bloodstock!
BELFAST - firstname.lastname@example.org
BIRMINGHAM - email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
BRISTOL – email@example.com
BURNLEY - firstname.lastname@example.org
CARDIFF - email@example.com
CARLISLE - firstname.lastname@example.org
COVENTRY - email@example.com
DUBLIN - firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
GLASGOW - firstname.lastname@example.org
HITCHIN - email@example.com
HULL - firstname.lastname@example.org
LEICESTER - email@example.com
LONDON - firstname.lastname@example.org
MANCHESTER – email@example.com
MERSEYSIDE - Andy@Deathwave.co.uk
MILTON KEYNES - Skye@HOPpromotions.com
NEWCASTLE - firstname.lastname@example.org
NORTHAMPTON - Skye@HOPpromotions.com
NORWICH - Info@plugstudios.co.uk
NOTTINGHAM - email@example.com
OXFORD - firstname.lastname@example.org
READING - email@example.com
SALTASH - firstname.lastname@example.org
SELBY – email@example.com
SHEFFIELD - firstname.lastname@example.org
SOMERSET - email@example.com
STOKE - firstname.lastname@example.org
WREXHAM - email@example.com
For further details on M2TM, check out https://www.facebook.com/groups/m2tmofficial or for bands wishing to submit applications outside the initiative, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Standard weekend tickets for Bloodstock are currently available at ‘early bird’ prices (just £125 for four days of metal fun) so grab yours now at the ticket store if you want to save £20! In order to keep up with inflation and extra costs in 2018, standard weekend tickets with camping will increase from last year's £139 to £145 once the ‘early bird’ allocation is gone.
Bloodstock will take place at Catton Park, Derbyshire on 9th-12th August 2018.
Get additional information over at www.bloodstock.uk.com.
Northern Irish extreme metal quintet have signed a deal in blood with Hostile Media which will see the extreme metallers release a new record entitled The Great Miasma. Guitarist Saul McMichael (also of Irish pagan metal outfit Waylander) comments, “Signing to Hostile Media for this release is a significant mile stone in the bands career. We’ve always believed in what we do, and to have a label share that belief is more validating than words can describe. We knew we had a good chance at getting picked up by a label when it came time to release our first album, but to be picked up for an EP was something we never expected. So here marks the start of our journey down a hopefully successful, yet bloody path for both band and label.”
The Great Miasma is set for release 1st December 2017 and is a story driven concept EP spanning three songs. Each song takes the listener through a different chapter, following the ritualistic sacrifice, possession and wrath of a young girl to appease an ancient god. Each song will also be accompanied by a music video, released out of sequence. Only when all three videos have been released and played in order, will the story become clear.
Drakonis focus heavily on the ‘live spectacle’, blending a mixture of contemporary black and death metal, to create something without the limitations of one genre. Not wanting to work to a strict template, the band dips in and out of many styles to create music which is both atmospherically uplifting, yet devastatingly brutal.
Initially formed under the working title, Order of Shadow (at the time including Gareth Murdock of Alestorm), Drakonis has been an ongoing project for many years, featuring Saul McMichael and Lee McCartney of pagan metal veterans, Waylander. The band remained a studio project until 2015, when a line up was assembled to take things to the live arena. Over the past 2 years the band has brought not just extreme metal to the live circuit, but a highly visual experience. Armed with corpse paint, blood, skulls, spikes, chain-mail and live samples, the band’s entire energy revolves around the live stage show, and will only grow in scale as the band evolves. The band quickly caught the attention of the local scene, with their Ravens Fuel The Sky EP, which they used as a platform to release their follow up, As They Rot. This release was extremely well received by both fans and critics alike, placing it in several best of 2016 lists, including winning Uber Rocks’ ‘International EP of the year 2016″, tying with Voivod.
The Great Miasma is available to pre-order here: www.hostilemedia.net/drakonis-the-great-miasma
True avant-garde Norwegians Enslaved have announced the release of their epic new studio album for October 13th 2017. This 14th full-length masterpiece sets the musical mind-twisters free from genre boundaries and offers an unprecedented mix of prog, extreme metal and shoegaze on 8 tracks with a playing time of more than an hour. Elegantly titled ‘E’, the album was once again written by the unholy alliance of guitarist Ivar Bjørnson (music, lyrics) and singer/bassist Grutle Kjellson (lyrics) and marks the introduction of their new keyboard master and clean vocalist Håkon Vinje. Mixed and mastered at the Fascination Street Studios by the renowned Jens Bogren, ‘E’ heralds a new era for Enslaved. Its cover artwork was once again hand-painted by the Norwegian artist Truls Espedal. As support for their brave sound journey, the quintet brought several guest musicians on board for the songs 'Hiindsiight' and 'Feathers Of Eolh', including Warduna's Einar Kvitrafn Selvik, flutist Daniel Mage and jazz saxophonist Kjetil Møster.
You can now pre-order physical editions of the album here:
Limited Edition Brown or NB Anniversary Green Vinyl, Limited Edition Digipack CD + Tote bag (all inc signed insert)
Limited Edition Digipack CD (inc signed insert)
Limited Edition Double Gatefold Etched Vinyl (inc signed insert)
Or the digital version here:
Digital Album via iTunes
Enslaved recently announced that they will supporting label mates Opeth on their autumn UK and Ireland tour dates, as well as playing a headline show at London’s Islington Assembly Hall plus a string of headline European tour dates. Their upcoming UK and EU tour dates read as follows:
10th Nov – (DE) Hamburg - Logo
11th Nov – (DE) Berlin - Nuke
12th Nov – (DE) Cologne - Underground
13th Nov – (NL) Utrecht - Tivoli de Helling
15th Nov – Manchester - O2 Ritz *Nov 16th – Glasgow - Barrowlands *
17th Nov – Belfast - Limelight *
18th Nov – Dublin - Academy *
19th Nov – Nottingham - Rock City *
21st Nov – Bristol - O2 Academy *
22nd Nov – Birmingham - O2 Institute *
24th Nov – London - Islington Assembly Hall
25th Nov – (FR) Paris - Trabendo
26th Nov – (BE) Vosselaar - Biebob
28th Nov – (FR) Rezé - Barakason
29th Nov – (FR) Lyon - CCO Villeurbanne
30th Nov – (FR) Brescia - Circolo Colony
1st Dec – (CH) Pratteln - Z7
2nd Dec – (DE) Frankfurt - Das Bett
3rd Dec – (CZ) Prague - Chelmnice
16th Dec – (RU) Moscow - Volta
17th Dec – (RU) St. Petersburg - Club Val
Enslaved will also be playing some exclusive release shows in Norway, where you can meet the band at the merch stand and receive two unique gig posters for free:
12th Oct (Norway) Oslo - Blå
13th Oct (Norway) Bergen – Garage
You can also see Enslaved at the following festival shows:
13th Aug (BE) Kortrijk - Alcatraz Festival
24th Aug (NO) Bergen - Beyond the Gates
25th Aug (NO) Moss - Festivalen Sin
16th Sept (BR) Sao Paulo - Overload Music Fest
28th Sept (CAN) Quebec – Nordicq Festival
26TH Oct (SWE) Stockholm - Close-Up Baten 21
1st-5th Feb 2018 (US) Miami – 70,000 Tons Of Metal
www.enslaved.no | www.facebook.com/enslaved
Northern Irish extreme metal horde Overoth today reveal long awaited details for the follow up to their debut, Kingdom Of Shadows. With no less than ten tracks and over 40 minutes of extreme metal laden with orchestration, and artwork from none other than Will Simpson (Game Of Thrones, DC Comics), the quartet's forthcoming grand opus entitled The Forgotten Tome is set for release 22nd September 2017 via Hostile Media.
The band comments,
"We've been working on this album for what seems like an aeon, but finally we're pleased to announce that our hard work and determination for perfection has come to a close. We actually tracked the drums, guitars and vocals for this album around two years ago, and we had planned to add some subtle orchestration as we had done in our debut Kingdom Of Shadows... however... when Dan (guitars) got started, the songs yearned for much more than we had anticipated. It would be further months of writing, from violins to piano, to the use of ancient instruments like the duduk and ney flute and then back and forwards with mixing... it would appear mixing twenty instruments isn't all that easy!
We also had a grand vision for the artwork and working with a talent such as Will Simpson was a great experience, he really did bring our vision to life. The artwork is a story in itself, with multiple pieces all intertwined. There is more than what the cover art depicts, but we'll reveal all that at some point in the very near future. Finally, The Forgotten Tome is complete and we are set to unleash the beast into the world this September."
"Lyrically, for the most part this collection of tales at a first glance would appear fantasy based, with fables of war and magic, good and evil, but actually there is a more human narrative underlying each song. We have our own interpretation of these stories, and we hope that people can find it or come up with some other moral of their own."
The band recorded The Forgotten Tome at Sonic Forge in Wales with producers Joe Thompson and Mike Hourihan at the helm.
The Forgotten Tome is set for release 22nd September via Hostile Media on CD, limited edition heavyweight vinyl as well as digitally. Album pre-orders and bundle deals available HERE.
Austria's Belphegor reveal album artwork and announce first dates for the 'Totenritual Crusade 2017'
On September 15th, European diabolical death/black metal kings Belphegor will unleash their new full-length inferno ‘Totenritual’, releasing their diabolical death/black sounds onto the world once again.
Today, the band have revealed the cover design of the upcoming album. The artwork was created by Greek artist Seth Siro Anton, who also painted the cover artwork for ‘Pestokalypse VI’ in 2006 and ‘Conjuring The Dead’ in 2014.
Belphegor are also pleased to announce that they will be heading to our UK and Ireland shores again. Support bands on this run will include Deströyer 666, Enthroned, Nervochaos and Nordjevel. The dates are a part of a wider European hell ride which will kick off September 28th in Copenhagen, Denmark.
28.09.2017 - DEN - Copenhagen, Pumpuheset
04.10.2017 - GER - Weinheim, Café Central
05.10.2017 - GER - Oberhausen, Helvete
06.10.2017 - BEL - Bruges, Het Entrepot
07.10.2017 - BEL - Marbehan, Salle du Bois Isles
08.10.2017 - London, The Dome
10.10.2017 - Glasgow, Audio
12.10.2017 - Belfast, Limelight 2
13.10.2017 - Dublin, Voodoo Lounge
17.10.2017 - FR - Marseille, Jas' Rod
18.10.2017 - CH - Lucurne, Schuur
20.10.2017 - AUT - Graz, Xplosiv
Belphegor will soon reveal the remaining Rituals and cities for this tour of brutal Death/Black Metal cremations!!
‘Totenritual’ was recorded at Stage One Studios, Germany and Studio Mischmaschine, Austria. Over three years have passed since the ‘Conjuring The Dead’ album was released. The new album was mixed by Jason Suecof and mastering handled by Mark Lewis at Audiohammer Studios, Florida.
Wearing their influences on their sleeves, quite literally, patched denim and all things NWOBHM is their art, they are the purveyors of traditional heavy metal. Belfast heavy metal trio Rabid Bitch Of The North have announced they will release their debut full length album, Nothing But a Bitter Taste, this August via Hostile Media. "Nothing But a Bitter Taste has essentially been several years in the making. For the first time in over 10 years of performing live we had to find time to take off, go to our studio, and do this album justice," comments band frontman Joe McDonnell. "Nothing But A Bitter Taste, is a concrete slab of that classic British sounding metal. It's something straight off a NWOBHM compilation cassette. A varied spectrum of styles and tempos, and each track has its own story. It is heavy metal with rock n roll, but it is definitely progressive sounding from the previous EP and singles we've released."
The album was recorded by guitarist Gerard Mulholland, as with all their previous releases. "Gerrys production has been a learn as you work approach. Using his skills built up from years of making our demos and singles," Joe adds regarding the recording process. "What we wanted to achieve was a record that captured our unique character, as well sounding like a record that we would listen to. We wanted it to sound like the metal we like, which is anything from the golden era of heavy metal. Maybe a few Judas Priest records were points of reference at times, but the album was never based on one particular sound."
As well as announcing details of the album the band have also released the first single, a track entitled 'The Missionary', and a song which purpose was to try and harness the bizarre excitement and feeling heavy metal fans first experience on finding the genre, seeing the first album covers of Maiden's Eddie or the devilish artwork depicted on Ozzy and Dio records. "It's a song about the journey of discovering metal, searching out new bands and sounds, and then becoming part of the scene creating your own songs."
Listen To 'The Missionary' On Spotify Now
Nothing But A Bitter Taste will be released on a limited edition gatefold 3 panel digipack via Hostile Media on 18th August 2017 as well as digital via iTunes, Spotify, etc. Pre-order HERE!
The UK's legendary extreme metal icons Cradle Of Filth have announced the details for the band's upcoming 12th full-length album.
‘Cryptoriana - The Seductiveness Of Decay’ will be released on September 22nd via Nuclear Blast. You can view the stunning cover artwork by Artūrs Bērziņš below. Bērziņš is the mastermind behind the new record’s artwork, photography and videography – best known for his defiant neo-symbolism raster graphics and oil paintings; postmodern interpretations of classic myths. He has been proclaimed as a “sacred monster of Latvian postmodernism”.
Commented the infamous Dani Filth:
"The album is deeply infused with Victorian gothic horror and thus the title is a reflection of that. 'Cryptoriana' implies the Victorian's infatuation with the supernatural, the grave and the ghoulish. And the subtitle 'The Seductiveness Of Decay' further cements this attraction to death and the glittering lengthy process of self-annihilation."
The first single off ‘Cryptoriana - The Seductiveness Of Decay’ will be released on July 5th, the same day that the album pre-order will become available.
‘Cryptoriana - The Seductiveness Of Decay’ was recorded at Grindstone Studios, Suffolk, UK by the very honourable Scott Atkins, esq. who has been the resident go-to producer for Cradle Of Filth for several albums. Dani sat in during the mix, serving up flaming mugs of teas, making the studio couch his own and lending his ears when necessary.
The band have also announced their first full scale UK and Ireland tour in years, starting in Belfast, Northern Ireland on 30th October.
Added Dani Filth:
"We, as a band, are incredibly excited about hitting the UK and Ireland for a full run of dates around All Hallows Eve, as playing the band's home country is always great fun and the audiences here are very receptive. And nuts. The dates will be the first in a long line of shows that will extend throughout the rest of the World throughout 2018. We aim to be very prolific on the live front, delivering a show worthy of our fan’s exalted expectations and more"
CRADLE OF FILTH UK & IRELAND TOUR:
30.10. Belfast - Limelight
31.10. Dublin - Academy (Halloween Show)
02.11. Manchester - Academy 2
03.11. Glasgow - Garage
04.11. Birmingham - O2 Institute 2
05.11. Leeds – Church
07.11. Oxford - O2 Academy
08.11. Southampton - Engine Rooms
09.11. Norwich - Waterfront
10.11. London - Electric Ballroom
11.11. Bristol – Bierkeller
Tickets will go on sale on Monday, June 19th here: www.ticketmaster.co.uk
www.cradleoffilth.com | www.facebook.com/cradleoffilth | www.nuclearblast.de/cradleoffilth
"I think many of us have struggled with certain situations at some point in our lives, and subsequently developed a coping mechanism that was more destructive than healing." Comments The Crawling's frontman Andy Clarke on the band's new single 'An Immaculate Deception'. Today the death doom trio released a music video for said single, which is taken from the bands forthcoming album Anatomy Of Loss scheduled for release 7th April via Grindscene Records. Andy adds, "This song is centred on how, despite best efforts, people can become incapable of processing emotions; and end up in even darker places."
Watch 'An Immaculate Deception' Here!
Formed in the winter of 2014 against the bleak concrete backdrop of Lisburn city, Northern Ireland, The Crawling have came a long way since their humble beginnings. Influenced by Paradise Lost, Katatonia and Bolt Thrower, The Crawling use a guttural vocal to combine melancholy with weight, churning out a heavy, doom/death ensemble. January 2015 saw the debut single 'Choking On Concrete,' which put the band on the scene, followed in October 2015 by the critically acclaimed In Light of Dark Days 3 track EP. 2016 was a massive year for the band; most notably performing at Inferno Metal Festival in Norway, and Bloodstock Open Air in England. The festival appearances have been reinforced by successful headline shows at home, which culminated in a main stage slot at the highly respected Siege of Limerick festival in Southern Ireland.
With the announcement of the bands debut album Anatomy Of Loss now brought to the fore, an album featuring no less than seven tracks expressing desperation and defeat and artwork from Travis Smith (Anathema, Bloodbath, Death...) The Crawling strive to spread their brand of misery ever further.
Andy Clarke comments, "Anatomy of Loss is an album inspired by true events. It examines experiences of the band first hand, and what we see in our everyday lives. In short, it is a collection of stories about loss, regret and despondency. It looks at how people develop mechanisms to cope with grief, failure and heartbreak; and more often than not - the inability to do so. The recording process consisted of fun, despair, rage and subsequently immense satisfaction. Translating a song from the rehearsal studio to record is a daunting task, but this album was particularly challenging."
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