20 March 2023
2023 is the Chinese year of the Rabbit
Image by pixelhao
2023 is the Chinese year of the Rabbit. The sign of Rabbit is a symbol of longevity, peace, prosperity and hope.
What we at Road Hounds are hoping for is a year of killer music! And, so far, the omens are good! Some of these albums are out already, but we haven’t had the chance to shout about ’em – until now!
Ville Valo – Neon Noir
The debut album by former HIM frontman Ville Valo, released on 13 January 2023. Unsurprisingly the album debuted at number one in his homeland of Finland album charts and but more remarkably landed in the top five of the German albums chart. It’s a swooning, darkly romantic straight-to-the-heart(agram) return to form. Is it up there with Love Metal? It ain’t far off, y’know.
Those Damn Crows – ‘Inhale/Exhale’
Britrock’s unstoppable force Those Damn Crows have released their new album Inhale/Exhale on Earache Records. It is an album that elevates their signature hard-hitting tunes with some anthemic choruses. Will it break em through to the next level? Well, if there was a Bon Jovi tour knocking around its odds on that they’d get the call. And to think that during the pandemic they thought it was all over…it ain’t now.
Something dark has stirred again in northern waters. Unpredictable Norwegian black metal geniuses Enslaved continue to walk with the gods on this stunning 16th album. Unafraid to mix genres and styles with abandon, they refuse to be tied to one scene. Leaders, not followers. Released on 3 March 2023 by Nuclear Blast.
Babymetal – The Other One
Their fourth studio album, released on March 24 and, unexpectedly perhaps, is a concept album which reveals the other side of the Babymetal ‘story’. Babymetal’s insane hyper sounds may work best in small doses, but taken individually, any of the songs on The Other One is a confirmed banger.
August Burns Red – Death Below
Tenth (!) studio album by US the celebrated metalcore band, released on March 24, through SharpTone Records. Offering both brawn and brains, the band maintain their status as scene behemoths. Leaning more towards straightforward aggression, this record is a little darker in tone than previous outings and sounds all the more dangerous for it. The soundtrack to a prison riot.
Skindred – Smile
Due in August Skindred’s new album Smile is the “ultimate ragga-rocking, dancehall-shaking, dutty-winding, head-banging, horn-waving creation,” promises singer Benji. WTF? New single Gimme That Boom is certainly explosive. We love it! Now imagine a room full of fans in the metaverse firing cannon every time the singer says “Boom”. Yup.
Rival Sons – Darkfighter
Scheduled for June 2 and produced by longtime collaborator and multi Grammy Award-winner Dave Cobb, Darkfighter is led by the explosive single “Nobody Wants to Die”. The track notably marks the first new music from Rival Sons since the release of 2019’s Feral Roots, which earned the band two Grammy Award nominations. Can’t wait.
The Bites – Squeeze
Titled Squeeze, the upcoming album from the Los Angeles-based hard rock band is their debut full-length album and is scheduled to be released in July this year, again via Earache Records who are once again turning into the go-to label for upcoming album. The title track is already out – all arrogantly shaken hips and snarling lips as it struts down the runway. It bodes well for the rest of the album. Yeah, yeah!
Metallica – 72 seasons
Eleventh studio album by Thrash legends Metallica and expectation is at its peak. Set for release on April 14, 2023 and produced by Greg Fidelman alongside frontman Papa Het and the drummer fella. Classic Rock Magazine reckons it’s “an intense album” that “goes hard,” but also added that it “isn’t an easy listen.” Well, the three tracks already out have a good swagger about them. Known by the codename Everest it doesn’t get bigger than this.
Powerwolf – Interludium
“When the power chords come crashing down…” sang Rob Halford on one of the more middling Priest records of the late 80s. You want power chords? Check out the ‘Wolf, bro. Powerwolf release their new album, Interludium, on April 7, 2023. The LP will feature six new studio songs, including the single Sainted By The Storm, which in classic Powerwolf fashion is a festival-ready power metal song about supernatural adventure on the high seas! “Aha me laddies!”
DevilDriver – Dealing with Demons Vol 2
Following 2020’s Dealing With Demons I, Vol.2 will continue its duet with the dark on May 12 via Napalm. It is, according to vocalist Dez Fafara, “a conversation in it’s entirety about dealing with ‘inner’ demons. Let’s hope he exorcised them on this one.
Overkill – Scorched
Scorched is scheduled to be released on April 14. It will be the band’s first studio album since the impressive Wings of War four years earlier – the longest gap between studio albums for the band. We like our metal here at Road Hounds HQ, we like our Overkill too so WE WANT IT NOW!
So the omens appear to be good for 2023. here’s hopin’…………