With this update, I thought I’d try something a little different, by bringing you a few more bits of news, but more briefly than the 3-4 items that each previous post features.

Let me know what you think – if you want me to revert to the old style or if you want me to quit these updates altogether, please let me know.

But for now, here goes nothing:


Metal Blade Records
Date of Release: early 2019

Life can be spooky sometimes. I was thinking a couple of weeks ago about the Arch/Matheos project and their debut album, ‘Sympathetic Resonance’. Specifically, I was thinking that I’d not listened to it for a while and that I really should dig it out of my collection. I also remember thinking that it’d be a shame if ‘Sympathetic Resonance’ was the first and only album released by these two artists.

And then, out-of-the blue, I receive an email from Metal Blade confirming that not only have John Arch and Jim Matheos re-signed to Metal Blade, but that they have been working on a new album due out in early 2019. I told you, spooky!

The list of artists that are guesting on the new record is eye watering to. Amongst those confirmed to appear are: Thomas Lang, Bobby Jarzombek, Baard Kolstad, Mark Zonder, Matt Lynch, Steve Di Giorgio, Joey Vera, Sean Malone, Joe DiBiase, and Frank Aresti. And apparently, there are a few more yet to be named.

If this is anything like as good as the debut, then I will be all over this album when it comes out.

Nuclear Blast
Date of Release: Sometime in 2020

It’s a long way off, but news reached me in the last couple of days that there is going to be a new Helloween album, featuring Deris, Hansen and Kiske on vocals. It seems that the Pumpkins Reunited tour has gone so well that they are bowing to popular demand. I’ve never been the biggest Hellowen fan and yet this is exciting me quite a bit. I can only imagine the effect this news is having on the diehard fans out there – I suspect a few brains may have exploded!


Beyond Creation
Season of Mist
Date of Release: 12 October 2018

These days, I can’t seem to get enough of technical progressive death metal. It might have something to do with the fact that there seems to be a glut of fantastic bands within the genre currentlyand Beyond Creation are no different it seems. Based on the tracks they have released so far ahead of the release of album number three, ‘Algorythm’, this threatens to be another monstrous album to add to the list. This is complex and challenging music that fuses many different elements together but crucially, offers music that sounds warm, inviting and with enough melody to keep me happy. Check out the track below and tell me you’re not excited too…

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYPGbsgapiQ&w=560&h=315]


White Moth Black Butterfly
‘Rising Sun’
Date of Release: 5 October 2018

One of the biggest surprises of 2017 was the sophomore release from White Moth Black Butterfly, the side project for TesseracT’s Daniel Tompkins, used to explore his more sensitive, pop-influenced side. The music on ‘Atone’ was a revelation – so beautiful, so fragile and easily one of my favourite records of 2017, despite being a far cry from what I generally listen to. And now I find out that White Moth Black Butterfly are set to release a deluxe version of ‘Atone’ alongside a brand new EP of original material. Entitled ‘Rising Sun’, it is due to be released on 5th October 2018.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTOnK8lEaqk&w=560&h=315]


Demons & Wizards
Date of Release: early 2019

A cryptic message on Facebook over the last few days was almost missed. But then I read the caption, which said: ‘Be patient, most of your Demons & Wizards desires will come true. Many things will be announced in due course. Stay tuned.’ If I was a betting man, based on what Jon Schaffer said back in the Spring, I’m expecting something new in 2019. But after a 13 year wait already, I’m happy to wait a few more months for some new material. If the material on the new album can get somewhere close to the brilliance of the likes of ‘Fiddler On The Green’ or ‘Heaven Denies’, I will be delighted and will forgive the interminable wait. Bring it on, I’m ready.


‘Life Is Not Beautiful’
AFM Records
Date of Release: 19 October 2018

AFM have come up trumps recently with some of the releases from bands on their books. And this streak lead me to check out a Finnish band called Arion when I received an email from the label about them. I duly listened to the track that was being promoted and I have been hooked ever since. Have a listen for yourself below, but I hear a mash-up between the symphonic pomposity of Nightwish, modern melodic hard rock/metal and power metal. I didn’t really expect much on a first listen, but now I’m smitten. It is syrupy sweet and not to everyone’s taste I’m sure, but I like it and I’m looking forward to hearing the new sophomore album, ‘Life Is Not Beautiful’ in full, ahead of it’s release on 19th October 2018.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpqgjTDO1Jo&w=560&h=315]


‘Lotus Graveyard’
Date of Release: TBC

This band popped up uninvited on my social media feed. But, being the progressive metal whore that I am, I thought I’d give it a listen. And you know what? I quite like what I hear. There is enough melody to sate my needs, whilst it is also quirky enough to keep me intrigued. I’m not convinced on the production, but I thought I’d bring this Israeli prog band to your attention in case anyone else likes the sound of this as much as I do.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bm9lEiKtKo&w=560&h=315]