With our month by month 2013 year in review in the rearview mirror, it's time to start looking ahead from the year that was to the year that will be. There are a number of great bands with projects looming on the horizon, so many in fact that this Most Anticipated list will be broken down into three parts, here's a first look (in alphabetical order) at what has me starry eyed and titilated with excitement ...
|Incredible cover artwork by Vance Kelly.|
|Cover artwork by Dan Bell (not final artwork).|
BLOOD FARMERS - This long dormant band's one and only (so far) self-titled 1995 album is my white whale. I can't find it anywhere. I need to hear this thing so if you would like to or are able to sell me a copy, please get in touch with me. Anyway, Blood Farmers were one of the first doom bands I discovered (via youtube) when I was new to the genre and I wrote the name down in my little notebook of bands to check out, it remains one of the few that don't have a check mark beside it. Then, in June of this year, the band premiered a brand new video on The Obelisk website. It was the title track off a forthcoming album called 'Headless Eyes'. The album has yet to be released and with no official facebook page or anything like that it's hard to get info or updates on the album. So no release date at this point, but let's just draw a red circle around the year 2014 on our calendars as a target date.
CARDINALS FOLLY - Much like Blizaro, this Finnish traditional doom trio released a demos / rarities compilation in preparation for their next album called 'Our Cult Continues'. It's a technique that seems to work. I hadn't got around to hearing Cardinals Folly for myself until I was given a review copy of the demos comp. 'Strange Conflicts of the Past' for The Sludgelord website. It got me hooked. The title track of the forthcoming disc was released on the band's bandcamp page in late October and as part of the latest Doommantia compilation (download it here). Album artwork and release dates have not been confirmed at this point but what is confirmed by the title song is that the band continues to power walk through a doomed wasteland. There is enough power and energy behind the band to stay warm in the frozen wastes of their own doomed compositions.
|Excellent Conan band artwork done (as always) by Tony Roberts.|
|Photo by Randy Ada.|
CROWBAR - "This music is slow and fat." "This is the kind of music you have on a workout tape if you're skinny, and you want to get fat." No dates or titles confirmed here or anything but sludge metal innovators Crowbar entered the studio just two weeks ago to begin recording their tenth studio album to commemorate the band's 25th year of existence (/ punishment). Just to emphasize how serious band leader Kirk Windstein is about the project, he recently left Down to devote 100 per cent focus on it. If and when the album is released this year, it will be their first since 2011's 'Sever the Wicked Hand'.
DOCTOR SMOKE - Doctor Smoke have got to be one of the top two or three acts from the rock n roll mecca of Mingo Junction, Ohio. From the looks and sounds of it Doctor Smoke is an ambitious band and I mean that in the best possible way. By the time I'd caught wind of their free bandcamp demo, their crowdfunding campaign was already underway. Based on the strength of the four songs from the demo the band more than met their target campaign goal and didn't stop to count the money, they went right into the studio and recorded their upcoming album which was finished tracking after three or four days and is now being mixed. This quartet wastes no time, they are fast workers and smooth operators. I recently described the band's sound as "compar[ing] favorably to Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats but substitutes the latter's Beatles influence for that of Pentagram". I was fairly proud of that description because it felt like all net from three point range to me. I also posted the Doctor Smoke live set from Stoner Hands of Doom XIII recently and you can watch the 30 minute video for a preview of what to expect from the album (hint: it's good).
HONORABLE MENTIONS: Maidstone, UK prog/doom duo Crowned In Earth have entered the studio but nothing is confirmed, if and when new recordings materialize there will be rejoicing in the Paranoid Compound. Demon Eye's debut full-length 'Leave the Light' comes out January 24 on Souseller Records. This one would be on my most anticipated list but I've already heard it and can confirm the anticipation is certainly warranted!