Jan 062015


(We’re not quite finished with our 2014 LISTMANIA series, but NCS contributor Grand Skelton is looking ahead to what the new year will bring, and writes about some releases he’s particularly eager to hear. In the comments, let us know what you’re anticipating.)

Some of the biggest names in metal have albums in production for next year. Black Sabbath are reportedly recording their final album and then disbanding. Faith No More recently released the first single from their upcoming album. Slayer will be releasing their first album following the passing of Jeff Hanneman and the resignation of Dave Lombardo. Since the Prague incident, Lamb of God have been laying low, but it seems they are finally working on new material. Megadeth look to be entering the studio at the beginning of the year, despite being down to only 2 members. Rumors of Pepper Keenan returning to Corrosion of Conformity for a new album have begun to circulate.

Perhaps Metallica will get around to finally releasing their follow up to Death Magnetic as well. I may be in the minority on this site, but I’m a fan of “Lords Of Summer,” the new song they debuted this year. Even though not one album has gone platinum in 2014, a new Metallica album would no doubt sell very well… unless of course they do something asinine… like Lulu 2. As much as I love Metallica, I would rather listen to tone-deaf American Idol rejects than that revolting heap of musical excrement.

Thrash metal fans should feel very good about next year. I mentioned Slayer above, but Testament, Exciter, Kreator, Armored Saint, Anthrax, Sodom, Nuclear Assault, Xentrix, and Flotsam and Jetsam reportedly have new albums in the works. I for one am interested in hearing some new output from Dark Angel, who are also hard at work on a new full length. Gene Hoglan is one of my favorite drummers; anything he touches is gold as far as I’m concerned. It would be nice if Evile put out something new.

Death metal fans should be pleased to expect new stuff from Napalm Death, Brutality, Cattle Decapitation, Hate Eternal, Skinless, Malevolent Creation, and The Crown. High-profile black metal acts like Marduk, Cradle of Filth, and Dimmu Borgir also have something in the pipeline, as do Venom (if you want to refer to them as “black metal”). Power metallers have new Blind Guardian, Helloween, KamelotRhapsody of Fire, and Orden Ogan on the horizon.

In previous articles, I mentioned Broken Flesh and Crimson Moonlight. I am eagerly expecting both of those LPs. Notwithstanding, I thought I would feed the hype machine on a few other albums I’m looking forward to in the coming year. Some of these are not confirmed and may not come out next year at all. So here’s to wishful thinking on my part. When they are released, they’ll get my money because they deliver quality each time they record.



Slechtvalk – TBA (Release date Q4 2015)

Slechtvalk are a melodic black/viking metal band from The Netherlands. They recently launched an Indiegogo campaign for their untitled 5th studio album, complete with some very interesting perks (i.e., plated armor worn during stage performances). There is a blackened melancholic gloom over this band’s material. Their older albums feature quite a bit of folky medieval experimentation, but their recent output is a bit more straightforward. While they aren’t afraid to employ clean vocals, for the most part expect raucous throat-scorching shrieks throughout. You can listen to a VERY rough demo of a new song (tentatively titled “Homebound”) here:


However, for something complete and polished, here’s the song “Divided By Malice” from their last full-length, A Forlorn Throne. The song encapsulates the full spectrum of their sound. Part mournful Viking funeral dirge, part relentless bludgeoning battle hymn.


Visit the new album’s Indiegogo campaign here:




Thy Will Be Done – TBA (Release date TBA 2015)

This band have been an underground sensation for nearly a decade. They have two full-length albums to their credit (2007’s Was And Is To Come and 2009’s In Ancient Of Days). Probably because they emerged on the downward slope of the the mid ’00s metalcore boom, they went unnoticed by most. But metalcore they most definitely are not. Metallica picked them to play the Orion Music + More festival in 2012. That same year, they released the Temple EP, which saw quite a bit of airplay on Sirius XM’s Liquid Metal station. At the time of this writing, that release remains their only output available in any digital store. Their two albums are nearly impossible to find.

They just wrapped up a tour with Goatwhore and with Byzantine. Evidently they have debuted a new song called “Breath Of Light” on Sirius XM’s Liquid Metal. When I reached out to the band, they told me to expect an official announcement about this new tune very shortly. However, thanks to modern technology, I did find a live video of the band performing “Breath of Light” back in 2012.


If cell phone videos of new songs don’t really do it for you, check out “The Great Rebuilding” from the Temple EP:







Vials Of Wrath – Days Without Names (Release date early – mid 2015)

I’m not as up to speed on atmospheric/ambient black metal as I am other genres. Like doom, it is a genre that has to be experienced more than simply listened to. When I dabble, I do so with a band like Vials of Wrath.

One-person black metal projects seem to be all the rage these days. This particular one-man band (consisting of Dempsey “DC” Mills) is currently based in woodsy Maryville, Tennessee. That part of the state is very close to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This type of setting finds its way into the band’s nature-inspired music. Had Henry David Thoreau written Walden as a one-man black metal project, it would have sounded like this. This work is a solitary excursion into ephemeral but natural beauty.

With that being said, the band have only teased 51 seconds of new material. It’s an excerpt of a song called “Burning Autumn Leaves (Under A Harvest Moon):”


Sample the band’s most recent LP Seeking Refuge here:







Monotheist – Scourge (Release date TBA 2015)

Those of you who have heard 7 Horns 7 Eyes or Ovid’s Withering are familiar with this band’s vocalist. This is a death metal band that has a little something for everyone. It’s progressive without being derivative. Those who begrudge Opeth for not reverting to their Blackwater Park/Deliverance sound on more recent material would really enjoy this band. It’s technical, but still has hooks. There is melody in the form of acoustic guitars, harmonic leads, and clean vocals here and there. The band even employ pig squeals when it suits them. Listen to a pre-production demo of a new song called “Scion of Darkness” here:


What albums are you expecting next year? Why?




  1. Metallica’s, because i enjoyed DM & BM for ages, and it looks like that one coming is going to be pretty much in the same vein, only more mature by 7 years..
    i had no complaints about the production, loudness, clipping and all that boring drama.
    they can not go wrong on this one as it is most likely going to be the closing chapter to the greatest and most glorious metal band.

  2. Great thoughts. I agree completely. Since about 2012, they have sounded better live than they have in years. I read a recent interview with Bob Rock in which he said that Metallica had a “landmark” record still in them. It wouldn’t surprise me if it turns out to be their last.

  3. Yes Armored Saint. And hey Toxik is releasing stuff.

  4. Cattle Decapitation, but I’m a bit conflicted. On one hand, they’re awesome and I’m sure the new album will be great. On the other hand, I love Monolith so much that I can’t see how they’ll match it.

    Also Darkwater, a most excellent power/prog band. There are others but I can’t remember what they are.

    • i know what you mean. You like an album so much that it makes you wonder how a band can match (let alone top) their previous output. Also, I think I’ve heard a bit of Darkwater before…I’ll have to check back into that. It’s been some time since I’ve heard new power/prog.

  5. Unfortunately I hold out very little hope for Sabbath, Metallica, Megadeth, or Slayer… as they all seem to be in “contractual obligations” mode, and have been for a long time… each album is just a requirement of them to be able to tour, and doesn’t really seem like much of an end-goal in and of itself.

    That said, there’s still some fantastic albums looming on the horizon, from across the spectrum. And, more than anything, I’m looking forward to whatever new and surprising discoveries come my way this year.

    • Point taken. Sometimes the big names seem like they stop trying…they’re the big names, after all. They don’t HAVE to do this anymore. They’ve added an “r” to “band” and made it a “brand.” Slayer have cooking aprons, underwear and children’s clothing. Granted they’ve not gone to the Kiss extreme with the merchandise, but they certainly have more than new bands. Some bands don’t even have an opportunity to make T-shirts.

      Bands like these I listed here are still hungry. They have impressed me with each new release because they’ve sustained that hunger well over each release. I think it will be a solid year for some new blood.

  6. I’m really looking forward to the new Ouroboros, Defeated Sanity, and Hate.

    • Ouroboros and Hate I’m not familiar with, so I’ll have to look them up. But Defeated Sanity’s “Naraka” was definitely an infectious song in 2013. Love that jazzy bass.

  7. That Vials of Wrath is interesting. It’s a bit weird to hear someone do black metal screeching about God cleansing his sins. (It’s a Christian BM band.)

    • Glad you liked it! The “Seeking Refuge” album really caught me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting to like it because atmospheric black isn’t normally my cup of tea. But the more I listened to it, the more it grew on me. The band’s lyrical themes were also something I hadn’t heard within that particular genre.

      I’m a writer, so lyrics are important to me. Since you noticed them, I guess I’m not a minority on this one! Thanks for commenting.

      • Something interesting: you might not have intended this, but all of the bands whose songs you featured are Christian. Slechtvalk, Thy Will Be Done, Vials of Wrath, and Monotheist.

        • One of the reasons I love metal is that it makes room for diverse theological perspectives. If metal can be home for bands that promote Satanism, atheism, and agnosticism, then it can also be home to bands with Christian points of view. This website also seems to be a lot more appreciative of different worldviews than other sites (not naming any 🙂 ).

  8. Ahab. Leviathan.

    • I’ve been on a doom kick, so Ahab fit with exactly what I’ve been craving lately. Listening to “Deliverance” as we speak. Great stuff! I’ll definitely want to hear a new album.

  9. After watching a new trailer for it, I’m excited for the debut album of Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, featuring FUCKING TAD.

  10. One word: ENSLAVED.

    I have a feeling 2015 will be a bit of a slow year, musically speaking, for me. Almost all of my favorite bands released albums in 2014: Opeth, Agalloch, Alcest, Judas Priest, Musk Ox, Primordial, Ne Obliviscaris, Solstafir, Panopticon, Falls of Rauros, Cynic… And 2013 was a pretty big year too with Orphaned Land, Dream Theater, Kauan, Amon Amarth, and Kalmah. I’m sure there will be lots of great music, but I’m not actively anticipating much yet.

    • 2014 was a great year. I’m new to Agalloch, and Ne Obliviscaris. For a while there it seemed like every other NCS post mentioned one of those two bands. Their records were definitely favorites for many.

      Perhaps it’s early yet to tell what 2015 will bring. It’s still the first week of the year. But we’ll be back at Listmania before we know it. By then, you’ll probably be surrounded by so much great music that you’ll have trouble picking favorites.

      • True dat. I feel like I only get a chance to listen to like 10% of what I’d like to, and then when you consider all the older classics that I maybe haven’t gotten around to listening to yet… …and that’s just metal! There’s so much classical, jazz, folk, and older prog and blues rock that I need to check out…ah, so goes it.

  11. Some of these are just rumored right now, but…

    Archgoat (black/death)
    Witchrist (black/death)
    Irkallian Oracle? (black/death)
    Venenum? (death) (been waiting forever)
    Desolate Shrine (death/doom)
    Destroyer 666? (black/thrash) (long overdue)
    Ares Kingdom (death/thrash)
    Cultes Des Ghoules (black)
    Bolzer? (black/death)
    Ranger? (heavy)
    Dwell (death)
    Chapel of Disease (death)

    • Dwell have an EP out but I’d wish Cerekloth put an other album out.

      • Yeah.the EP was what I was talking about, Ive actually got a copy already, but I thought it was solid enough to mention

    • Just checked out Chapel of Disease’s “The Dreaming of the Flame.” I’m into it. The vocals and bass tone remind me a little of Obliteration’s Black Death Horizon from ’13. The solo rules. The blast beats are definitely there, but that’s not all they can do. I like the shifts in the tempo. Good tune. Look forward to hearing the rest of the album.

      • Archgoat and Cultes!! (And hopefully… Bolzer!)

      • Havent heard anything off of “The Mysterious Ways of Repetitive Art” yet, but their first album channeled a lot of early (per-mediocre) Pestilence and early Asphyx

        Surprised you didnt jump all over that Desolate Shrine album

  12. 2015 is all about the new Slayer album for me, everything else is just a bonus : )

    • For me, “Implode” left something to be desired. But that doesn’t mean I’ve written off the entire album prior to hearing it. Maybe the new blood will push creative boundaries.

  13. Personally I’m with Andy – the big bands have just left me dry for some time now. I grew up with Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, etc. and wouldn’t say a bad word about people who have inspired me so much. But I find there’s so much more around now that tickles my aural holes the right way. And every year it seems my list of favourite albums contains more and more releases from bands I’d never heard of at the start of the year, so I’m looking forward to surprises too.

    That said, I’m still a Fear Factory fanboy from way back. They’ve burnt a lot of bridges with former band members it seems, but I’m keen to hear what they’ve got on offer this time – and glad they’re going for a real life drummer again.

    .. and speaking of Ff – Project Rogue, like Roadrunner United but for Rogue Records, was in my sights as something to look out for (Raymond Herrera is the key organiser, in case you’re wondering about my random thought patterns). But I can’t believe their crowdsourcing campaign has received so little support.. maybe it’s not gonna be finished.

    Finsterforst – their previous album Rastlos was one of those aforementioned favourite year-end albums from a band I’d never heard of previously, and I thrashed that hard.

    Sylosis – Edge Of The Earth was jaw-droppingly good. I felt Monolith wasn’t quite on the same wavelength, so I’m hoping Dormant Heart smashes me with some more infectious grooves.

    Synthetic Breed – just release the album already!!!

    Nociceptor – I loved their Among Insects EP and they keep promising more… especially if it’s more like Angus McGillicuddy, which I understand was the most recently written song from that EP.

    In Dread Response – after a few lineup changes they should finally have an album out soon.

    Anika Nilles – not metal, but more quintuplet drum grooves would be well received.

    Others high on my list:
    Hanging Garden

    And I don’t know if there’s anything definite from these groups, but it feels like about time and I would cream like a little fangirl at a One Direction concert if they drop anything: Aegaeon, Minushuman, RXYZXR, The Devil, Uneven Structure, Acyl, Mencea, Munruthel

    • Oh shoot, I forgot about that Byzantine album that’s supposed to be coming out. I even helped crowdfund it. Silly me.

  14. God of Atheists, Arcturus, In Mourning, and Thrawsunblat should be releasing something this year. Know all of theme have been recording for some time, but have not heard any release dates yet.

    Also the new Skaur full length is out pretty soon. February i think

    • I would be very happy to hear some new Thrawsunblat. Actually, new Arcturus and In Mourning would be very welcome too.

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