The last month or so has seen some fairly high profile albums hit the stores, with Slipknot, Dragonforce, Motorhead and Metallica each bringing us something new.
Slipknot - All Hope Is Gone
One of the more controversial bands in the Metal scene, with peoples opinions being pretty polarised; very much a love them or hate them type of band. With All Hope Is Gone, they probably aren't going to change too many minds. That said, this album does seem more composed that their previous albums and at first I was pretty let down. After listening to it a few more times it's started to grow on me and I'm quite liking it but as yet only the title track has stood out for me.
Dragonforce - Ultra Beatdown
After their fantastic Inhuman Rampage album and their sudden boost in popularity from legions of Guitar Hero fans, Ultra Beatdown has been a highly anticipated album. The title 'Ultra Beatdown' is probably one of the best album titles I've come across, so that's a good start. The songs themselves are fast, heavily feature the guitar and most are pretty long, so it looks like Dragonforce aren't straying too far from their familiar territory. There is a lot of energy in the first few times through the album, however on a couple of occasions I've found myself wondering if I'd accidentally put on Inhuman Rampage by mistake as some of the songs sound very familiar. Time will tell if this was just lack of attention on my part, or if Ultra Beatdown is just more of the same (in a not so good way).
Motorhead - Motorizer
Motorhead and Lemmy return for yet another album (I've lost count of how many have come before this!). As per the usual Motorhead formula, things are fast, energetic and no nonsense (of the albums discussed here, Motorhead are the only ones without a 'Special Edition' version). This is typical Motorhead, fans of past work are probably going to enjoy this. This is more of the same (in a good way), with catchy songs and nothing taken too seriously. I've enjoyed it so far, will see how this stands in time.
Metallica - Death Magnetic
Is there an album more anticipated than this one? Very unlikely. Thanks to HMV putting the album on shelves a few days earlier than the 12th Sept release date I (and many others) have managed to see for ourselves if Metallica have brought back the magic. Based on a single listen through, I'm fairly confident that Metallica are back in a big way. The album may not reach of the 'Master of Puppets' level of acclaim, but this does have all the trademarks of their most popular albums; great riffs, epic songs (most are in the 6 or 7 minute range), strong vocals and great composition. There are a few songs that did stand out and I'm really looking forward to listening to it again (and again).
More to come
The next month or so also sees a few more high profile albums come our way:
Trivium - Shogun (29th Sept 2008)
Having seem huge success following their album The Crusade, expectations are high for the release of Shogun.
Guns 'n' Roses - Chinese Democracy (2nd Nov 2008)
Delayed for almost a decade now, Chinese Democracy could almost trump Metallica on the 'most anticipated album' front, that is if people actually expect it really come out on it's current projected release date. However, if this does it the shelves this year, it will be huge.