By Justin Smulison
A Happy New Year from all of us at musicinterviewmagazine.com.
With so much great music slated for release this year, here is a spotlight on the bands and albums, locally, domestically and internationally, expected to set horns up and even have some booties shaking during the next twelve months.
Long Island/New York Metro
Lubricoma frontman Charlie Parks said a follow-up to the hard-rocking Holy Ghosts EP may see the light of day in 2020. Read our 2018 interview with Parks. Another local band with serious heat is Adam and the Metal Hawks, which has been independently creating a brand of classic rock-inspired songs since “American Idol” semi-finalist Adam Ezegelian joined the band as lead vocalist. The group’s website indicates an album is currently in the works by year’s end.
Long Island-based Rock Island Management has several bands with albums and EPs on the way. Rock Island Founder Todd Smith provided a brief glimpse of things to come:
The Knottie Boys are a punk band with an album in production tentatively titled Don’t Tell Your Parents. Alt-metal band Colormask has two releases in the works with Into The Nest slated for February and Vacation House Hunter this July. Catch both groups providing support for 96 Bitter Beings on Jan. 26, 2020 at Elmhurst, New York’s Blackthorn 51. In March, Huntington natives and noise rockers Stugots will release the band’s sophomore EP, Soupy Sales. Meanwhile, Sludge-punk band Pig Farm plans to release Pigment.
Fans can expect perhaps the loudest and angriest side of Living Colour’s Corey Glover – a singer with seemingly boundless versatility – when Pragmatic Sanction, the debut from Disciples of Verity, drops during 2020 via The Label Group/Ingrooves. Several other metal veterans comprise the band, including God Forbid drummer Corey Pierce. Special guests include ex-Machine Head band member Phil Demmel and Jeff Loomis from Arch Enemy.
Last year musicinterviewmagazine spoke with Adon Fanion, the singer and guitarist of Ghost Ship Octavius following the band’s outstanding prog-metal album Delirium. Before GSO gets back to the studio for a third outing, Fanion will independently release a solo effort one single at a time via the musician’s web site. Check out the hypnotic and darkly romantic “Love You To Death” which can be viewed and downloaded for free.
Greg Dulli, best known for fronting the Afghan Whigs, will release the artist’s first true solo record, Random Desire, on Feb. 21 via Royal Cream/BMG. Dulli is a master at creating a dark blend of rock, soul, electronica and R&B, while the album opener, “Pantomima,” sets the tone, right from the sardonic taunts during the first bars; desolation, come and get it.
One of the most enduring American metal bands, Armored Saint, has entered the studio to record the follow-up to the stellar 2015 album, Win Hands Down. Classic metal fans who enjoy doses of prog, thrash and hard rock will be hard-pressed to find another Metal Blade release, presumably this year, which checks off so many subgenre boxes. Check out musicinterviewmagazine’s 2018 interview with guitarist Jeff Duncan.
Massacre Records always delivers the goods when it comes to true power metal. One of the standouts is the fifth album from Wolfpakk, Nature Strikes Back, scheduled for release on Jan. 24. Led by ex-Casanova singer Michael Voss and former Crystal Ball singer and guitarist Mark Sweeney, 32 guest appearances contribute to this melodic metal masterwork about survival and conflict, including Bruce Kulick, from Kiss; Motorhead and The Scorpions’ Mickey Dee; and Stryper’s Michael Sweet. View the lyric video for the title track here.
Bonded is a new thrash metal band featuring two former members of Sodom. The group’s debut album Rest in Violence arrives Jan. 17 via Century Media, featuring a guest appearance by Overkill’s Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth. Prepare to be blown away by the raw heaviness of these Germans’ new track, “Je Suis Charlie.”
Also from Century Media and Germany, Heaven Shall Burn has a double-album scheduled for a March release. Of Truth and Sacrifice will feature 100 minutes of new music from the extreme metal quintet. Conceptually, the album is split into two halves: “of truth” and “of sacrifice.” Guitarist Maik Weichert stated it will “leave a lot of room for surprises and experiments.”
Denmark’s Mighty Music label has a heavy metal champion with Justify Rebellion’s sophomore effort, The Ends Justify The Means. Available Mar. 27, Ends contains nine tracks comprised of pummeling riffs and wailing which match the lyrical themes, from greed, war, lust and drugs to vulnerability and self-realization.
Cormac Neeson is best known as the singer of The Answer, an Irish hard rock band seemingly on the cusp of international stardom. Neeson’s solo work, White Feather, reached number four on the UK national Country Rock albums chart upon initial release. Social Family Records will re-release White Feather in the first half of 2020, reaching more listeners through the singer’s soul, Americana and blues music blend.
ROAR! Rock of Angels Records has a full-court press going during the new Mystic Prophecy album and for good reason. Metal Division, the German band’s 11th album, features relentless classic power metal riffs and double-bass drumming behind the soaring vocals of R.D. Liapakis, from Steel Prophet. Look for the collection Jan. 10.
Longtime metal wailer David Reece re-signed to El Puerto Records, which will release his next album, Cacophony of Souls, in March. Reece recently teased bits on social media and claims Cacophony will be even better “and heavier” than the 2018 stunner, Resilient Heart. That will be a tall order. Read the 2018 interview with Reece.
One of the best bands on Nuclear Blast Records is the danceable prog-rock troupe The Night Flight Orchestra, which is readying the group’s fifth album this year. The Swedish Grammy Award nominees are recording with instruments Abba used for the 1980 album Super Trouper. Check out the first irresistible single, “Satellite,” right here. Try to stay seated.
Justin Smulison is a professional content writer and producer whose first love is music. Smulison’s digital and print copywriting experience spans music, law, true crime, advertising and real estate, among other subjects. You can often find JS in Long Beach, New York, either running on the boardwalk or in the sand with his family.