FEATURE: Most anticipated albums of 2014 – Metal

2013 is now a matter of retrospect as listeners turn their gaze to 2014.

This year promises to deliver another solid 12 months of releases, with many key bands preparing to unveil new music.

This week, Killyourstereo.com breaks down the anticipated releases that make up the various genres, which comprise “heavy” music.

Today, we take a closer look at the year ahead for heavy metal.

Let us know what metal albums you are looking forward to in 2014 in the comments below.

Behemoth – The Satanist

God (contradictory term, right?!), you’ve got to love Behemoth – specifically their main man Nergal. Saved from a near death illness, you could’ve forgiven the musician for embracing a newly discovered religious belief. However, it’s still a stoic and malevolent approach for the Polish black metallers. This is definitely an anticipated album in 2014. Expect ‘The Satanist’ to be heavier than a pregnant elephant.

I Killed the Prom Queen – Beloved

Arguably the most anticipated local album of 2014. This is the quintessential make or break album for the boys in Prom Queen. Eight years between releases may as well be 80 years in todays fast moving musical landscape. While, ‘Music For the Recently Deceased’ was impressive, can the band offer a further improvement? Expect this one to be dissected accordingly. A healthy fan base and a move to Epitaph is a good platform, we’ll wait and see what dividends ‘Beloved’ delivers.

Suicide Silence – TBA

A bittersweet album in many respects, the new Suicide Silence full-length will be received in contrasting ways. The loss of Mitch Lucker is still raw and ex-All Shall Perish vocalist Hernan ‘Eddie’ Hermida subsequently has big (and sentimental) shoes to fill. Excusing the tragic sub-plot though, Suicide Silence, despite a vast popularity, have gone close to sticking to a narrow, breakdown-laden approach in the past. Can the band deliver innovative music that re-shapes deathcore in 2014?

Mastodon – TBA

They don’t care about scenes and trends. They don’t care about flashy haircuts or clothes. They just care about music and for that reason we love Mastodon. Mastodon have cleared every hurdle throughout their career so far delivering innovative, creative and forward thinking music. Always mixing things up, it will be interesting to see whether the band channels the heavier sounds found on ‘Remission’ and ‘Leviathan’ or continue to evolve. Nothing is a sure thing, but a safe bet-type of thinking suggests this album will excel whatever the group comes up with. Either way, the listener should be the beneficiary.

Animals As Leaders – TBA

Music for musicians. It’s not necessarily intended as an elitist comment, but Animals As Leaders seemingly have all bases covered. They have their fans, they have gear nerds worshipping them and they have long-time musicians marvelling at the technique and proficiency of the band as individuals and more importantly as a collective. Their first trip to Australia (supporting Between the Buried and Me in 2012) proved the following this trio carries. ‘Weightless’ was a solid offering (although most fans would still have ‘Cafo’ [from 2009’s S/T] and the like ahead in the pecking order). Instrumental music asks a little more of the listener. It’s not always the easiest to commit to from start to finish. Either way, this album is going to have people scratching their heads as to how the band can piece together various musical puzzle pieces into a coherent and enjoyable structure.

In Flames – TBA

Truly one of the modern day pioneers of the melodic death metal sound. However, in many ways, it is In Flames’ reputation that has seen the band remain relevant more recently as opposed to it being supported solely by strong releases. Sure, no one likes incessant complaining and appeals from fans to return to a classic sound, but considering the forgettable nature of ‘Sounds of A Playground Fading’, a new album that channels ‘The Jester Race’ and ‘Whoracle’ era would be a welcome treat.

Ne Obliviscaris – TBA

‘Portal of I’ was ground breaking. Yes, it’s a bold statement, but the album really deserved all critical praise it received. It proved Australian metal is on par (if not slightly ahead in this case) with its international peers. This isn’t your best-kept secret anymore. Ne Obliviscaris are well known and thus there is expectation and interest going into studio album number two. The band had many years to carefully craft their debut. Can this one reach the same heights in a shorter timeframe?

Dimmu Borgir – TBA

Australian fans have certainly been patient with the Norwegian black metal crew. Granted we’ve been rewarded with some solid and menacing orchestral and brutal music in the past. However, only one visit to our shores (let’s not talk about the Melbourne Soundwave calamity) means our interest is solely targeted at what the band presents on record. ‘Abrahadabra’ received indifferent reviews (although there were a few diamonds in the rough). It’s interesting if nothing else when it comes to Dimmu Borgir.

Unearth – TBA

The Massachusetts crew were once the posters boys for US metalcore – this is meant in the most complimentary of senses. Back when every band borrowed European melodic death metal riffs, mixed it with a bit of Bay Area thrash and littered each available opportunity with breakdowns, Unearth were the innovators. They were a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stale market. The band has always delivered favourable music, but predecessor ‘Darkness In the Light’ seemed to just quietly excel instead of soar to any new heights. Unearth seem to be characterised as unassuming and consistent nowadays. While this is certainly respectable, is it good enough for a band that was once considered the leaders in their field?

Necrophagist – TBA

Who the hell knows whether we’ll actually hear any new material from Necrophagist in 2014? It is now a decade since ‘Epitaph’ dropped. There have been murmurings – most notably drummer Romain Goulon saying the band was attempting to record a new album recently. Like Tool, Necrophagist go at their own pace. The longer the delay, the more expectation grows. Whatever the Germans come up with it will certainly be received strongly. It’s not a matter of “if” but simply “when”? C’mon guys, we can only jam to ‘Extreme Unction’ and ‘Stabwound’ for so long.

Other notable mentions: He Is Legend, Cattle Decapitation, and Anthrax.

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