It's a heavy lot this week, with a bit of cow-punk and a lovely lady tossed in for good measure. That said there is both a tinge of sadness and a smattering of nostalgia contained herein. Shall I stop the blathering and get on with it?
Lacuna Coil: Karmacode
This was predicted to be LC's breakout album and what an album it is to breakout with. Now not just the secret of metallers with a tender side, they are getting loads of mainstream attention. It has to be said they deserve every moment of it. This is quite a good album with lots passion and feeling from all involved.
The edition of the CD I have comes with photos, a couple of videos, and a tour diary. Normally I am not too keen on covers but their cover of Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence" is simply a pleasure to hear. There is not a duff one in the other twelve either. Their excellent use of male and female voices means that Lacuna Coil is the band to take Evanescence fans to the next level. Just check out "Our Truth" if you don't believe me. This is a stunning album and will feature on many people's best of list at the end of the year.
Mastadon: Blood Mountain
The best purveyors of modern epic metal are back with a new album. And rather than go down the retro route chosen by Trivium, they have merely evolved themselves as they attempt to be the 00s Rush. As with Leviathan this album is not accessible enough to fully sink in on the first listen. It takes several listens to truly appreciate the quality and expanse of this piece of work. It's power-prog in extremis with vast soundscapes and epic sound.
In order to truly enjoy this work you need a good sound system. So vast is this album that I foreswore reviewing it last week so that I could give it some more time. The whole thing is a master work in its entirety but I have a soft spot for "The Wolf is Lose" naturally.
Mob Rules: Ethonolution A.D.
Despite the name this is not an aping of Dio-era Black Sabbath. Instead what you find is a nice dash of power-metal with keyboards, high vocals, and clever arrangements. And with most power-metal there is a quite an epic feeling. Violins, piano and soaring guitars abound.