2013 Crystal Ball

Did you have a good Christmas? Yes/No? Sick of your extended family yet? Drink too much yet? Never mind, you’ve still got the fun and frolics of New Years to look forward to. For today, I’m continuing another tradition on this blog. It’s been two weeks or so since those lovely year end lists, which means that it’s time for the Crystal Ball. Yeah, I’m still calling it that. In case it wasn’t obvious, it’s a preview of some of the (potentially) great records coming out in the new year ahead.

One of the first releases of 2013 that’s garnering attention is the long awaited return of Cult of Luna, who will release their new record Vertikal in January and it’s already received some promising reviews. The first two months of 2013 will be jammed with some quality bands releasing records and the list is impressive, with Iron Lung releasing a new LP and a potentially impressive debut from Secrets of the Sky around the corner. Death metal horror will come in the shape of Portal’s Vexovoid in February along with a new EP from Finnish grinders Rotten Sound that same month.

Light Bearer
There will be a slew of records in those two months that I’m personally quite excited about like Cloud Rat’s Moksha, Fen’s Dustwalker and Skagos’s Anarchic. The latter released two lengthy new tracks recently and looks set to be the Cascadian black metallers’ finest, most enthralling moment yet. One of the most promising things will be Light Bearer’s new album Silver Tongue. As you may know, I adore the last album Lapsus and the band will begin recording in early January, with an online release possible later that month and the physicals coming later in the year.

2012 was a pretty good year again for Irish releases like Eternal Helcaraxe, Sodb, Fern Floor and Drainland to mention a few. But 2013 is already looking pretty enticing with Altar of Plagues (more on them in a paragraph or two) but also, black metal project Slidhr who released two new tracks earlier this year and will finally unleash Deluge through Debemur Morti and then there’s Refraction. If you remember correctly they released my favourite Irish album in 2011 and a new EP is on the cards. Add to that, one of the country’s finest doom offerings Mourning Beloveth will unveil Formless in February, which has promised to be a departure of sorts but still quintessentially Mourning Beloveth. Meanwhile, Cork’s Rest will release I Hold The Wolf. There are plenty more to mention but with possible new releases from Zhora, Coalinga, Twisted Mass, and who knows who else at the moment, around the corner, it should be a decent year on this island.


Altar of Plagues
2013 is slated for a number of other records big and small that still have no official release dates just yet like Carcass returning with a new album after 18 years, which is causing equal levels of anticipation and anxiety as to whether the death metal legends have a great album left in them. Meanwhile, Altar of Plagues are nearing completion on a new album that’s been promised to be something of a step into new territory, featuring supposedly ten tracks opposed to the usual four on the previous albums. The only update offered by the band so far was: “We are nearing the completion of our third album. If you expect us to repeat ourselves you will be disappointed.”

As for labels, it looks like Southern Lord will be continuing their trek into crusty lands, having signed Agrimonia for the release of their next LP in 2013 and what other signings and new records from recent signings they have up their sleeves is anyone’s guess.

The Flenser were a label that truly impressed me throughout 2012 with the new album from Wreck and Reference, the Kólga demo and the split cassette between Merkaba and Wheels Within Wheels. Already slated for new albums from Botanist and Aussie BM outfit Loss of Self as well as Kólga hopefully releasing a full-length, it’s full steam ahead for the label.

The inhumanly prolific, and one of the very best sludge bands of recent years, Thou will inevitably release a record or a few in 2013, with luck it may be a new full-length. Speaking of prolificacy, Fuck the Facts are also working on a new full-length offering to follow-up 2011’s absolutely storming record Die Miserable. Then on the more mainstream metal end of the spectrum, Killswitch Engage will be releasing a new album with Jesse Leach back on vocals. 15 year old me is stoked beyond belief.

Some of the death metal albums I’m eagerly anticipating is the new LP from Baring Teeth, new song HERE, as well as Ulcerate who are now with Relapse Records and last record The Destroyers of All was just stunning. Ok, time to stop. The word count of this post will just keep pushing and pushing if I don’t cap this off now. The moral of the story – there is a lot coming. Keep your ears peeled. Happy New Year!

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