More to come
A decent start to the musical year overall but it’s set to get a whole lot better. In fact the more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that 2012 is going to be one of best years for music in a long time.
Iron Maiden – En Vivo!
Ok, this is a bit of a stretch but I’d only be betraying myself by not giving it a mention. Their first live CD/DVD since the extraordinary 15th studio album The Final Frontier, meaning the first opportunity we’ll have to hear new material live on record. They decided to go with footage and audio from the Chile gig which is unsurprising considering how incredibly energetic the South American crowds have always been (just look at 2001’s Rock in Rio for further proof). Above all else, this release will showcase how Maiden are (against all aging odd) still at their utter pinnacle. I wish the same could be said for other metal giants, Halford for example sounds terrible these days.
Wolfmother – TBC
Arguably one of the most consistent hard rock acts of the 00s, Wolfmother return with their currently unnamed 3rd studio release. Cosmic Egg was somehow a step up from the eponymous debut, made all the more remarkable considering how nearly the entire band left, bar singer Andrew Stockdale. There’s been yet more changeups but perhaps that’s what ultimately helped make Cosmic Egg such a fresh sounding record?
Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators – Apocalyptic Love
Slash’s first solo effort was mostly great, featuring a strong lineup of various rock icons. Myles Kennedy was definitely a highlight so it’s good to see the two pairing up again. As enjoyable as Slash was I’m glad to see some stability and hopefully with this smaller crew working on it, the result will be a more focused and cohesive album.
Alice in Chains – TBC
I was as skeptical as everyone else when AiC announced Black Gives Way to Blue but I gladly ate my words; it truly is an excellent album. The mixture of classic Chains with a slightly more modern twist worked perfectly. William DuVall had big shoes to fill following the death of Layne Staley but he filled them admirably. Of all the bands I would have thought could get a new lease of life, Alice in Chains would certainly have not been one. How happy I was to be proved wrong.
Black Sabbath – TBC
It is with some degree of shame I admit to not having listened to as much Black Sabbath as I should but I am familiar enough with the individual pedigree to be excited at the prospect. I sincerely hope Tony Iommi is able to overcome his lymphoma because as old as these guys may be getting, they still have great music in them to contribute to the world.
Blaze Bayley – King of Metal
Blaze Bayley’s name is unfairly tainted after his stint with Maiden. Sure, those two albums were unquestionably the band’s low point but that’s not necessarily Blaze’s fault. Blaze is a great vocalist; just not for Iron Maiden. His solo albums are absolutely stellar as I found out last year, so I’ve no reason to doubt that the upcoming King of Metal won’t be too.
The Killers – TBC
Well it’s about damn time. Four years after Day and Age, The Killers are finally back together. And that likely means a new tour, an opportunity I surely won’t squander seeing as the last time they visited Ireland (early 2009) I missed them due that awesome ski trip. I’ll be there for sure this time round.
Kiss – Monster
Sonic Boom was surprisingly good. And they’ve still got a knack for a putting on fantastic live shows, their gig The 02 in 2010 was a great experience. Monster is supposedly quite heavy, an apparent throwback to the Destroyer. The heavier the better.
Muse – TBC
Seriously can’t for this one. In retrospect,The Resistance is Muse’s worst album (not to say it’s bad, just by their standards it definitely doesn’t stack up to past classics) and so I’m extremely intrigued as to what direction they decide to take here. Recent tweets from Matt seems to indicate that the orchestral element is back, which I welcome with open arms, seeing as Exogenesis was easily the highlight of The Resistance. At the same time though, I had hoped they’d go back to basics, something along the lines of the Absolution/OOS era. I have faith though that whatever it turns out to be, it’ll rock.
Bloc Party – TBC
After much speculation and uncertainty regarding the band’s future, Bloc Party are thankfully still a thing and are in the studio right now. Kele’s recent solo ventures have varied, the first was mildly enjoyable while the second made it seem like he’d lost his mind. Hopefully the album we get is pure Bloc Party with minimal electro influence and absolutely zero dubstep influence. All fans have wanted every since Silent Alarm was another Silent Alarm, no pissing about with electronic shite (although I must admit, I do like Intimacy more than most). If they can deliver that, they’ll be back with a bang.
There are several other releases this year already on my radar, stuff from Rush and Queens of the Stone Age for example that I’ll also be giving a look in and no doubt many I’ve forgotten about. And of course there’s the new, unknown artists which are always a pleasant surprise.
All in all, 2012 is gonna fucking rock.