Music is as much about looking to the future and finding new talent, as it is about remembering the past and the classic albums it gave us. So with my last two posts featuring my top ten albums of the calendar year just gone, this first blog of 2015 will, rather symmetrically, look towards the year ahead of us and what music we can expect it to produce.
I begin with the optimistic, near hopeful, predictions for 2015. These generally happen to be the same as 2014 and 2013 and 2012 and so on, but with every year we wait, surely its more likely that the procrastinating bands will produce. I’m talking, of course, about the likes of Tool, Metallica and System of a Down. I’ve never been a huge fan of System, except for the odd few songs like Aerials and B.Y.O.B, so I can’t say I’m personally excited for it, but I am still curious if a) they will release a new album and b) what direction they take now that 2005 (the release year of their last album, Hypnotize) was ten years ago!
However, I am excited about the prospect of Metallica and Tool. Surprisingly, Tool look like the more realistic option out of the two, with various sources suggesting that the music to their fifth studio album is more-or-less complete and that they are just waiting for vocalist Maynard James Keenan to write the lyrics. However, that could all be a complete lie; I think most Tool fans won’t get excited until they can physically feel the new album’s cellophane wrapping peeling away from the case and even then there will still be some trepidation as the case swings open. Metallica, however, don’t seem to have much progress, despite numerous articles claiming that they have filled enough sheds with new material to open a garden centre. They once again seem to be set for another summer of touring, leaving the earliest studio date as winter 2015, so here’s hoping for 2016…
But what about albums that are confirmed?
Well let’s start with rock. Smashing Pumpkins are set to release Day for Night sometime this year, which is the companion disc to 2014’s streamlined pop-rock album Monuments to an Elegy. Billy Corgan has admitted that if these two albums fail to make an impact he will most likely retire the Pumpkins brand and after a very quiet first release, things aren’t looking positive for the once world-beating frontman. Muse also have a point to prove, as their last release, The 2nd Law, was an unfocussed, confused record that felt like the band were being stretched across too many ideas. Their upcoming 2015 album needs to redefine what the band stand for, or they risk being sucked into the popular rock blackhole, whose most recent victim was Foo Fighters.
Perhaps the most eagerly anticipated rock record of 2015 is the as-yet-untitled Faith No More effort, with two traditionally left-field tracks already released and an April due date tentatively announced. There is also great anticipation for a new Red Hot Chili Peppers album, who last month entered the studio promising a greater input from ‘new’ guitarist Josh Klinghoffer. We can also expect (some with more certainty than others) new material from a lot of rock and metal’s old guard, such as Def Leppard, UFO, Scorpions, Fleetwood Mac, David Gilmour, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Motorhead.
The world of prog looks set for a great 2015 too. The modern day Goliath of progressive music, Steven Wilson, is all set to release Hand. Cannot. Erase in February, which once again features the exquisite talents of Marco Minnemann, Adam Holzman, Nick Beggs, Theo Travis and Guthrie Govan, as well as the new addition of vocalist Ninet Tayeb, whose inclusion allows for Wilson’s new concept to take shape. On top of this, progressive metallers Periphery will release their double album Juggernaut this month and Between the Buried and Me have just announced their follow up to 2012’s The Parallax II due later in the year.
There are also several big names in metal expected to make a reappearance this year. Lamb of God’s last album was released in January 2012, which although seems like not long ago, Randy Blythe’s imprisonment and legal proceedings, make their expected 2015 album feel more like a comeback from a decade-long hiatus. However, a band that is actually returning from a hiatus is Atreyu, who will be eager to carry on from 2009’s brilliant genre-hoping Congregation of the Damned. However, the metalcore scene has changed a lot since their departure, so should we be expecting a musical shift akin to 2007’s Lead Sails Paper Anchor? The list of metal bands expected to release this year is endless, but other noteworthy releases include a new Deftones album, the return of Marilyn Manson, a recently completed Tremonti record and an influx of thrash from Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, Kreator, D.R.I. and Testament.
2015 is looking to be a great year indeed for music.
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