We’re about halfway through the year and there have been a good amount of good albums that have been unleashed upon the “metal world”.  Here are five albums released this year that I have enjoyed immensely and I honestly feel that you should give them a listen to…..


Soilwork-Live In The Heart of Helsinki

Yep, starting off with a live one.  If you are familiar with Soilwork, you should already be well aware of this monster.  If you are not, this is a perfect starting point.  A heart racing, 23-track tour de force spanning the Swedish metal outfit’s entire body of work, Live In The Heart of Helsinki is a perfect display of the raw, adrenaline induced energy the band gives off in their studio recordings.  Guest appearances from Floor Jansen of Nightwish and Nathan J. Biggs of Sonic Syndicate further compliment this amazing set. .  I can give you guys a whole lesson on the Swedish metal scene but I’ll save that for another time.   Don’t just get the album, grab the blu ray as well. Fulfill the experience.



Haven is the Florida-based power metal band’s eleventh album and the second to feature vocalist Tommy Karevik, who replaced the very popular longtime vocalist Roy Khan in 2012.  Their previous effort, Silverthorn, was an enjoyable record but seemed to lack a sense of solidarity, perhaps due to Karevik’s abrupt arrival.  However, “Fallen Star”, the powerful and majestic opening track of Haven, is an indication that Karevik has found his niche and comfort zone within the band.  This, along with a handful of wonderful, memorable moments, makes this Kamelot’s best work since 2005’s The Black Halo.  Notable tracks include “Insomnia’ ‘Veil of Elysium” “Under Grey Skies” (a medieval-tinged ballad featuring Charlotte Wessels of Delain) “Liar Liar” (featuring Alissa White-Gluz of Arch Enemy) and “Revolution”.


Night Demon- Curse of The Damned

This album is going to be very much discussed on next week’s Necrocasticon podcast and its also going to include an interview with Bassist/Vocalist Jarvis Leatherby, so I’m going to keep this brief.  Night Demon’s Curse of the Damned pays true homage to the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and the early days of the 80s thrash movement.  Neck snapping guitar riffs, tight production and great vocals.  If you love classic metal pick this up.  And tune in next week for more on this!  Metal!!!!!!

The next two albums I’m going to present are not released yet.  However, once they are, I DEMAND you get your hands on them.  Trust me…..


High on Fire-Luminiferous

On June 16th (my wedding anniversary), Matt Pike and company are going to once again unleash their hellacious, skin-scorching brand of doom upon the world!  If you have never experienced the brutal awesomeness that is High on Fire, START NOW!!!  The best way I can describe them is to imagine a giant running full speed across a valley laden with skulls.  Take the doomy elements of bands like Trouble, Sleep (Pike’s former band) and Saint Vitus, the sludge of Mastodon, Clutch and the Melvins and the kick your ass rock and roll aggression of Motorhead and this is what you get.  Be ready…..

And now ladies and gentlemen….


Paradise Lost- The Plague Within

On June 2nd, witness the return of the kings.  I have witnessed very few bands go through so many transitions and come full circle.  When Paradise Lost arrived on the scene in 1990, they were one of the founding fathers of the dark, slow, doom-laden style of death metal.  By the mid 90s, they evolved, moving to clean vocals, cleaner production and a more gothic metal based sound reminiscent of The Sisters of Mercy. At the turn of the new millenium, their sound became that of a melancholy synthpop, heavily influenced by such acts as New Order and Depeche Mode.  With each passing album, they slowly inched towards their roots, blending elements of each era with another.  Enter The Plague Within, the return to the sound that grabbed the metal world by its throat and demanded its attention.  I, amongst other fans of this band, can barely wait!   June 2nd……

This is not the be all end all of great new stuff released (or soon to be released this) year.  If there is anything that you guys have been listening to, share it with us.  Like you, we are fans and we are open to new stuff.  Until next time……METAL!!!!!