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2012 Preview: The Most Anticipated Albums of the Year

2012 Preview: The Most Anticipated Albums of the Year

2012 is going to be a good year. Even if it brings with it the end of the world. How can we know? Because some of the biggest, badass-est bands in hard rock and heavy metal are set to drop new bombs over the following 360 days. Read on to see just what we mean--and get fucking psyched. Let us know which album you are looking forward to the most in our poll right here.

Aerosmith
TITLE: TBA
RELEASE DATE: TBA
Between frontman Steven Tyler's day job on American Idol and his onstage shoving matches with his Toxic Twin, guitarist Joe Perry, last year, if someone had asked us whether the biggest-selling American rock band of all time was about to get back in the saddle again and record a new album, we probably would have answered, "Dream on." But by all accounts Aerosmith are going to drop their 15th studio record later this year—according to Tyler last September, maybe even as soon as "March—hopefully."

Alice in Chains
TITLE: TBA
RELEASE DATE: TBA
With 2009's Black Gives Way to Blue, Alice in Chains pretty much pulled off the impossible: Create a completely authentic new album 14 years after their previous, self-titled record and seven years after the death of iconic lead singer Layne Staley. As such, Black Gives Way to Blue was named Album of the Year by the Revolver staff and later was voted on by the fans to win the same honors at the 2010 Revolver Golden Gods. Needless to say, we're very excited to see what they do for a follow-up, which we know they're working on, and which we're hoping will be ready for release this year.

Phil Anselmo
TITLE: TBA
RELEASE DATE: TBA
As if Phil Anselmo, of Pantera, Down, Arson Anthem, Superjoint Ritual, and Christ Inversion, et al, didn't have enough projects to his name, the dude is about to drop his first-ever solo album later this year. Backing him is Houston-based guitarist Mazi Montazeri, of whom Anselmo says, "If Ozzy Osbourne had his Tony Iommi and then found his Randy Rhoads when he went to do his solo stuff, I have found my Randy Rhoads." The singer promises a "fucking very aggressive record"—and this is coming from the guy who sang "Fucking Hostile." Consider us fucking stoked.

As I Lay Dying
TITLE: TBA
RELEASE DATE: Fall
Last year these metalcore stalwarts celebrated 10 years together, releasing the anniversary EP Decas, which featured covers of Judas Priest and Slayer. If those are the influences these guys are carrying into their second decade, album No. 6 should be a doozy.

As-yet-unnamed Project Featuring Soulfly’s Max Cavalera and Dillinger Escape Plan’s Greg Puciato
TITLE: TBA
RELEASE DATE: Late 2012
Dillinger Escape Plan frontman Greg Puciato hit it off so well with former Sepultura main man Max Cavalera when his band toured with Cavalera Conspiracy—the Brazilian metal legend's current project with his brother, Iggor—that the two joined forces to record an album together. From what Puciato tells us, it follows in the vein of Cavalera's mid-'90s industrial-thrash side project, Nailbomb, with Fudge Tunnel's Alex Newport. Nailbomb ruled, so we're really hoping this lives up to the hype.

Asking Alexandria
TITLE: TBA
RELEASE DATE: September
2011 was a monster year for Asking Alexandria: The band rocked the Revolver Golden Gods, became bosom buds with one of their heroes Sebastian Bach, relocated to LA, opened for Guns N' Roses and Avenged Sevenfold, got schooled by the Ultimate Warrior, and pretty much claimed their spot as one of the top young metal outfits on the planet. According to frontman Danny Worsnop, their next album will be "a musical baby of Mötley Crüe and Slipknot."

Baroness
TITLE: TBA
RELEASE DATE: May
They released Revolver's 2007 Record of the Year, Red Album, and have since toured with Metallica and been taken on by Metallica's management, QPrime. So to say that Savannah's Baroness are groomed for something big would be an understatement. Word on the street is that "something big" is just what the band is going to deliver: a double-disc prog opus that recalls Boston as much as it suggests Mastodon.

Biohazard
TITLE: Reborn In Defiance
RELEASE DATE: January 20
Rap-metal pioneers Biohazard split with founding frontman-cum-porn star Evan Seinfeld last year, but not before recording their final record with him. We've heard it and it's just the sort of Brooklyn hardcore beatdown fans would want from the band that made '90s classics like Urban Discipline and State of the World Address. Look for the album later this month to be released stateside via unconventional channels.

Black Sabbath
TITLE: TBA
RELEASE DATE: Fall
Over three decades since they released their last album, the original lineup of Black Sabbath—vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi, bassist Geezer Butler, and drummer Bill Ward—announced late last year that they are working on an LP of new songs with producer Rick Rubin (Metallica, Slayer, Slipknot). When the news broke, a mini-riot of jubilation broke out in the Revolver office, such that we had to name this the Story of the Year. Since then, it was announced that Iommi is battling lymphoma but is forging ahead with the writing process nonetheless. Iron Man, indeed.

Cannibal Corpse
TITLE: Torture
RELEASE DATE: March 13
Grisly death-metal stalwarts Cannibal Corpse have been on an winning streak over their past few records—their last release, Evisceration Plague, even landed a spot on Revolver's Top 20 Albums of 2009—so this next disc has a lot to live up to. Thankfully, we know they've been practicing—especially guitarist Pat O'Brien who stood in for ailing Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman on a few of the thrash legends' tour dates last year.

Converge
TITLE: All We Love We Leave Behind
RELEASE DATE: Late spring/early summer
Over a decade after the eardrum-battering Massachusetts-based band turned hardcore and metal fans on their collective ears with the genre-defining metalcore classic Jane Doe, Converge hasn't let up in extremity since. Following up 2009's stellar Axe to Fall, the group is recording All We Love We Leave Behind this month.

Crosses
TITLE: EP ††
RELEASE DATE: January 24
The free digital debut EP from Crosses—A.K.A. Chino Moreno of Deftones and Shaun Lopez of Far—was one of the best musical surprises of last year. (The duo also released the stellar track "The Years" on the Batman: Arkham City soundtrack). Though not metal and barely rock, the group's lush, atmospheric dream-pop got plenty of play around Revolver HQ. EP No. 2 will likely get put on repeat play, as well, as soon as it comes out.

Dillinger Escape Plan
TITLE: TBA
RELEASE DATE: TBA
These spazz-metal maniacs' last album, 2010's Option Paralysis, was their first on their own label, Party Smasher Inc., and it earned them the Best Underground Band award at the 2010 Revolver Golden Gods. Since then, they've toured with Deftones and Mastodon and, late last year, started seriously working on studio album No. 5. As guitarist Ben Weinman commented in December: "Billy [Rymer, drums] and I have been locked up in the Dillinger compound and things are starting to boil... The neighbors are definitely getting pissed, but we couldn't be more excited." Ditto.

Down
TITLE: TBA
RELEASE DATE: Late winter
The last Down record, 2007's Over the Under, was a beast. Since then, the southern stoner-metal supergroup—featuring the aforementioned Phil Anselmo, Corrosion of Conformity's Pepper Keenan, Crowbar and Kingdom of Sorrow's Kirk Windstein, and Eyehategod's Jimmy Bower—have split amicably with bassist Rex Brown (now of his own supergroup, Kill Devil Hill, with erstwhile Black Sabbath drummer Vinny Appice), brought on Pat Bruders (Goatwhore, Crowbar, Outlaw Order), and announced plans to release a series of EPs. The first of these will be a six-song mini-album of what Anselmo describes as "pretty pure doom."

The Faceless
TITLE: TBA
RELEASE DATE: Spring
In May last year, tech-death outfit the Faceless—led by guitarist Michael Keene—posted a debut of a new song, "The Eidolon Reality," on YouTube, promising their third full-length in the fall. Autumn came and went. No album. But now, with a new lead vocalist, Geoff Ficco, and a new bassist, Evan Brewer of Animosity, the band is set to finally drop the follow-up to 2008's acclaimed Planetary Duality this spring. Watch your head.

Goatwhore
TITLE: Blood for the Master
RELEASE DATE: February 14
This NOLA gauntleted brigade—led by Soilent Green's Ben Falgoust and Acid Bath's Sammy Duet—never fails to deliver when it comes to blistering, satanic blackened thrash. Their forthcoming fifth album should be perfect music for sacrificing goats, whores, virgins, or just your own neck to a few days of aching whiplash.

Godflesh
TITLE: TBA
RELEASE DATE: TBA
When British industrial-metal groundbreakers Godflesh reunited to play shows in 2010, it was great news—more than a few extreme-music fans, including a couple editors at Revolver, were crushed when the band canceled its 2001 U.S. tour and then broke up the following year. (Godflesh play their first American gig in forever at this year's Maryland Death Fest.) But news that main man Justin Broadrick & Co. are working on a new album, 10 years after the release of their swansong, Hymns, well, that's a whole other level of mind-blowing.

Gojira
TITLE: TBA
RELEASE DATE: Spring
It's no secret that we love environmentally minded prog-death outfit Gojira over here at Revolver. We've been championing the French "green metal" crushers ever since we heard the behemoth opening track of their 2005 opus, From Mars to Sirius. Their first record on new label Roadrunner, Album No. 5 should hit like a force of nature.

Halestorm
TITLE: TBA
RELEASE DATE: TBA
Led by one of our favorite rocker babes—and advice columnists, for that matter—singer-guitarist Lzzy Hale, this Pennsylvania-bred breakout band promise a more personal album for their follow-up to their smash 2009 self-titled debut. But don't expect them to get all sappy on us. There should still be more than enough of the band's now signature raucous attitude and righteous riffs for any headbanger to get off. And if Hale ever assembles the all-girl supergroup featuring Alice Cooper guitarist Orianthi, Sick Puppies bassist Emma Anzai, and Skillet keyboardist Korey Cooper and drummer Jen Ledger that she has said could be in the works, our heads might just literally explode.

Hellyeah
TITLE: TBA
RELEASE DATE: Spring
After two albums that saw the hard-partying supergroup—featuring Pantera's Vinnie Paul, Mudvayne's Chad Gray and Greg Tribbett, and Nothingface's Tom Maxwell—dabbling in southern rock, blues, and even country music, the band is making what Paul calls "a balls-out metal record" for their third offering. "It was fun and enlightening thing to open up and cover these other styles of music," Paul says. "But when we finished this last tour, we said, 'All right, with this next record, let's just go fucking balls out and see what happens.' It’s very heavy. It's very abrasive. I think it's maybe going to be what people envisioned this band being like from the start."

High on Fire
TITLE: TBA
RELEASE DATE: Spring
Since the release of their last album, 2010's Snakes for the Divine, stoner-thrash titans High on Fire have survived not one but two earthquakes—the February 22, 2010 6.3 magnitude earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, and the quake and resulting tsunami in Japan on March 11. Whether this influenced the sure-to-be cataclysmic sound on their forthcoming record is unclear, but the band, led by Sleep guitarist Matt Pike, do promise a new album that is "direct, eye-opening, and powerfully supernatural."

Judas Priest
TITLE: TBA
RELEASE DATE: TBA
The Metal Gods may have announced their departure from the stage, which they commemorated with 2011's triumphant Epitaph Tour, but the members of Judas Priest swear we haven't heard the last of them. With the addition of new guitarist Richie Faulkner, who replaced K.K. Downing when he retired last year and made his debut with the band supporting James Durbin on American Idol, the band is currently working on a reported 12 to 14 new songs that they hope to release in 2012.

Killswitch Engage
TITLE: TBA
RELEASE DATE: TBA
In mid-December, Killswitch Engage guitarist Mike D’Antonio posted on his Facebook page that the metalcore band was convening around Christmastime to write a new record. He added, “Even Howard is coming,” referring to frontman Howard Jones, who had missed some of the group’s 2010 shows, supposedly due to back pain. Then, on January 5, the band announced Jones had left the band citing personal reasons as the cause. Their statement said, “He has left big shoes to fill, so we certainly have our work cut out for us to find the next singer of Killswitch, something we plan on making priority #1 going forward.” So we’re still holding onto our hopes that there will be a new Killswitch record in 2012.

Kiss
TITLE: Monster
RELEASE DATE: TBA
For the second release on the makeup-slathered hard-rock legends' own Kiss Records, vocalist-bassist-Demon Gene Simmons promises a "meat and potatoes" kind of record, a Kiss record you can depend on. Next year will be the group's 40th anniversary, and with Monster, they want to prove they can still rock and roll all night and party every day in style. Also, be on the lookout this year for an official book about the band that will be four feet tall!

Lacuna Coil
TITLE: Dark Adrenaline
RELEASE DATE: January 24
Frontwoman Cristina Scabbia promised a heavier new direction with the sixth album from her Italian goth-metal outfit, and judging from lead single, "Trip the Darkness," she wasn't kidding. Lacuna Coil hit the U.S. in support with this winter's Gigantour, alongside Megadeth, Motörhead, and Volbeat.

Lamb of God
TITLE: Resolution
RELEASE DATE: January 24
Every album from these Virginia leaders of the New Wave of American Metal is an event. But this latest is particularly momentous: It sees the band expanding their signature thrashy sound in surprising directions and doing it well, from the Eyehategod-ian slow-mo sludge of opener "Straight for the Sun" to the Dimmu Borgir-esque orchestral strings and operatic female backing vocals of closer "King Me." Still, Resolution never really sounds like anyone other than Lamb of God.

Marilyn Manson
TITLE: Born Villain
RELEASE DATE: TBA
Released seemingly out of nowhere last year, the disturbing music video for this album's title track (and it was disturbing not just because it was directed by Transformers star Shia LaBeouf) raised more questions than it answered. But if it proved anything, it reconfirmed that Mr. Antichrist Superstar is anything but boring, so we look forward to the answers—and the album, the first on Manson's own label—when they come.

Meshuggah
TITLE: TBA
RELEASE DATE: March 27
In 2011, a strange, barely pronounceable onomatopoeia, "djent," became the hot new buzzword in underground metal, a catch-all term to describe a breed of young bands who, essentially, share one major characteristic: They sound like Meshuggah. Having inspired a whole nerdy little subgenre, the Swedish tech-death overlords return in 2012 to show Generation Djent just how it's done, and we're guessing that they not only pick up where they left off with 2008's obZen, but that they take their existing sound and destroy, erase, and improve it.

Metallica
TITLE: TBA
RELEASE DATE: TBA
On the heels of a triumphant run headlining the Big Four festivals in 2011 as well as an experimental album with Lou Reed, the metal giants are working on the follow-up to 2008's Revolver Album of the Year, Death Magnetic. From what guitarist Kirk Hammett has said about the record, it will be like "a heavier 'Black Album.'" Read more about it in the article here.

Ministry
TITLE: Relapse
RELEASE DATE: March 30
Ministry’s breakup never seemed particularly set in stone. After all, their “final” album, 2007′s The Last Sucker, was followed by not one record of covers and remixes but two—not to mention a 2009 live album. Still, it was hard for any fan of the seminal industrial-metal band not to be excited when main man Al Jourgensen announced in August that the group would not only be touring in 2012 but releasing a new, original studio album, fittingly called Relapse. Politically charged lead single “99 Percenters,” which hit iTunes on just before Christmas, bodes nicely.

Napalm Death
TITLE: Utilitarian
RELEASE DATE: February 28
The death-metal and grindcore greats titled their last record Time Waits for No Slave, and that appears to be the motto for the band whose members have hardly rested on their laurels since the album's release in 2009. Frontman Barney Greenway has lent his powerful vocals to music by Volbeat, bassist Shane Embury re-joined the supergroup Lock Up, and the band released a new song in the memory of Extreme Noise Terror vocalist who once fronted Napalm Death. All things considered, they have a lot to work from for this new record, which will be anything but utilitarian.

Neurosis
TITLE: TBA
RELEASE DATE: TBA
The members of psych-metal firebrands Neurosis have been busy in the years since they released their last record, 2007's return-to-heavy-form, Given to the Rising, putting out solo albums and collaborations. Perhaps those tangents have bled into the main band because vocalist-guitarist Steve Von Till has been saying their forthcoming record will be unlike anything they’ve done in the past.

Periphery
TITLE: TBA
RELEASE DATE: May
While the originators of "djent," Meshuggah, will drop their new symphony of destruction in March, the band responsible for the proliferation of the term, Maryland-based prog metallers Periphery, will follow with their latest in May. According to guitarist Misha Mansoor, it will be the first of two albums the band is working on, which will have completely different sounds and approaches. Sounds nerdy—and awesome.

Pig Destroyer
TITLE: TBA
RELEASE DATE: TBA
Virginian speed demons Pig Destroyer—featuring guitarist Scott Hull, also of Agoraphobic Nosebleed, and new drummer, Misery Index's Adam Jarvis (not pictured), who joined in 2011—rarely play live and record sporadically, but when they do drop a record, it's pretty much always the grindcore album of its year. Expect sick, surreal lyrics and even sicker riffs.

Rush
TITLE: Clockwork Angels
RELEASE DATE: TBA
In the time since Canada's best progressive hard-rock power trio released their last disc, 2007's Snakes and Arrows, they've celebrated their 40th anniversary and seen their story told in the documentary Beyond the Lighted Stage. For their 19th(!) LP, they've worked with producer Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Evanescence, Alice in Chains) and written songs—two titles of which have been released, "Caravan" and "BU2B"—which guitarist Alex Lifeson describes as "very dynamic."

 

Saint Vitus
TITLE: Lillie: F-65
RELEASE DATE: March 27
In 2008, doom-metal heroes Saint Vitus re-formed three quarters of their classic ’80s lineup—vocalist Scott "Wino" Weinrich, guitarist Dave Chandler, and bassist Mark Adams, currently joined by drummer Henry Vasquez—and now they're putting out their first album of new material since 1995's Die Healing. Rumored to contain seven songs, Lillie: F-65, is named after a downer drug that was popular in the ’80s. Is this a sign of good things to come?

Shinedown
TITLE: Amaryllis
RELEASE DATE: March 27
The last album from these southern hard rockers, 2008's platinum-selling The Sounds of Madness, made history with each of its six singles hitting No. 1 in the radio airplay ratings. The lead single, "Bully," from this follow-up should keep that streak going. Of the other tracks, frontman Brent Smith promises a mix of "bone-crushing" numbers like "Adrenaline" and more contemplative ballads such as "Through the Ghost," a song about the strains of constantly being on the road and away from home.

Slash
TITLE: TBA
RELEASE DATE: TBA
Feeling reinvigorated after touring with Alter Bridge vocalist Myles Kennedy in support of his self-titled solo album—a disc that featured different singers ranging from Ozzy to Fergie singing songs—Velvet Revolver and former Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash set to work on an LP that features just Kennedy and his impressive range. Considering the guitarist was still recording the disc in December, around the time Guns N' Roses' induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was announced, we can only imagine the adrenaline that will be surging through the album.

Slayer
TITLE: TBA
RELEASE DATE: TBA
Thrash metal's Angels of Death had a triumphant 2011 in spite of a few setbacks. After guitarist Jeff Hanneman was sidelined due to contracting a flesh-eating bacteria, the group toured throughout most of the year with Exodus axman Gary Holt and Cannibal Corpse fret-burner Pat O'Brien filling in for shows with their peers in the Big Four—Metallica, Megadeth, and Anthrax. The word is that Hanneman is recovering and writing new songs for the album due out this year.

Soulfly
TITLE: Enslaved
RELEASE DATE: March 13
Between Soulfly, Cavalera Conspiracy, and his aforementioned new band with Dillinger Escape Plan's Greg Puciato, former Sepultura frontman Max Cavalera apparently does not sleep. Which is fine by us considering the consistent ferocity of his output. This eighth Soulfly album comes out as the band celebrated its 15th anniversary and features guest turns by Dez Fafara of DevilDriver/Coal Chamber and Travis Ryan of Cattle Decapitation. Sounds like it should be too much brutal goodness for us to refuse or resist.

Soundgarden
TITLE: TBA
RELEASE DATE: TBA
One of the heaviest bands to emerge from Seattle's grunge scene, Soundgarden came together again in 2010 to tour. Now, 16 years after releasing their last record, Down on the Upside, the band—whose frontman, Chris Cornell, played with Audioslave and put out solo albums, and whose drummer, Matt Cameron, joined Pearl Jam in their years away from Soundgarden—are working on an album Cornell has described as the band's next logical step, musically.

Testament
TITLE: The Dark Roots of the Earth
RELEASE DATE: TBA
Although thrash titans Testament never really broke up, their 2008 album The Formation of Damnation—their first with a mostly original lineup, including guitarist Alex Skolnick, since the early ’90s—seemed like a triumphant comeback record. In recent months, the band has been working with producer Andy Sneap on the follow-up, The Dark Roots of the Earth, which Skolnick has said will have more variety than previous albums and his fellow guitarist Eric Peterson has called darker than usual. We just hope they practice what they preach.

Tool
TITLE: TBA
RELEASE DATE: TBA
The rumor mill had Tool's fifth album coming out last year. Clearly that did not come to pass. And while frontman Maynard James Keenan has been seemingly preoccupied reuniting with A Perfect Circle, putting out Puscifer records, and squashing grapes, the prog-metal prestidigitators' U.S. tour this winter proves that there is, indeed, movement in Camp Tool. So we're holding out hope that they will finally put out a new album this year—and until they do, we're prepared to be teased, tortured, and titillated by more rumors and misinformation, much of it doubtlessly spread by Tool themselves.

Van Halen
TITLE: A Different Kind of Truth
RELEASE DATE: February 7
Realigned with their original frontman, David Lee Roth, in 2006, hard-rock gargantuans Van Halen played a number of successful reunion shows in the years since. Now the group—which also features guitarist Eddie Van Halen, his brother, Alex, on drums, and his son, Wolfgang, on bass—is putting out their first new album in 14 years and their first with Roth in almost three decades. Judging from “She’s the Woman,” a song they rejiggered from their 1977 demo sessions that they played at an intimate New York City show earlier this month (see photos from the night here), it sounds like they haven’t missed a step…or a high kick.



Metallica's Kirk Hammett: "The Next Album Will Be a Heavier 'Black Album'"