2016's most anticipated metal albums
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2015 was a great year for heavy metal. 2016 threatens to be even better. Already the world of rock has promised a wide array of excitement for fans of every sub-genre, from thrash to progressive and everything in between. These are the most anticipated metal albums for the next 12 months.... Dream Theater – The Astonishing (29th January) Three years after the release of their self-titled studio album, progressive metal band Dream Theater will return at the end of the first month of 2016 in a big way. Not only is the band’s upcoming thirteenth LP a concept album, but also a double album, set to feature two CD’s of lengthy instrumental suites, iconic, melodic vocals from James LaBrie and – of course – solo after solo after solo. As of yet, only one of the album’s 34 tracks has been released, that being “The Gift of Music”: an uplifting progressive rock piece that celebrates the spirit of music in a manner reminiscent of Rush’s immaculate “2112”. As the track goes, it only gets heavier and heavier, and more and more encapsulating. Dream Theater will truly be a force to be reckoned with in 2016. Megadeth – Dystopia (22nd January) The recent history of Megadeth has been mixed at best. To call their last album – 2013’s Super Collider – lacklustre is probably a massive understatement. Furthermore, the band’s guitarist and drummer – Chris Broderick and Shawn Drover – both left in 2014 to form the thrash supergroup Act of Defiance (to whom I strongly apologise for not giving Birth and the Burial a slot on my “Best metal albums of 2015” list. Consider it an honorary runner-up). But once we heard that they were to be replaced by Angra’s Kiko Loureiro and Lamb of God’s Chris Adler, things began to look up again. And they only got better with the release of the band’s first new material in three years, “Fatal Illusion”. Finally, we received the fast, heavy, merciless Megadeth of old: a heaviness fans greatly missed after Super Collider’s attempt at radio rock. Dave Mustaine and co. waste no time in showing off the band’s new blood, as Kiko blasts out ear-splitting solos and Adler does nothing short of pummelling his kit. 2016 could be the year of redemption for Megadeth, who seem to be going back to what they do best: being heavy as hell. Holy Grail – Times of Pride and Peril (12th February) The third album by Los Angeles power/thrash metal five-piece Holy Grail has a lot to live up to. Its predecessors – 2010’s Crisis in Utopia and 2013’s Ride the Void – are both stellar releases that prove that the band deserves to share its name with the most sacred item in the Christian religion.
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