Anticipation: WITTR, Leviathan, Blut Aus Nord, FTF

We’re just about halfway through 2011, which is hard to believe, and it’s been a pretty strong year for metal so far.

Next week, we’ll put up our favorite albums of the second quarter of 2011, and in case you missed our favorite records of the first quarter, you can find that here: https://meatmeadmetal.wordpress.com/2011/03/16/best-so-far-of-2011/

Looking ahead to the second half of the year, it seems like a good time to talk about some of the albums we are most anticipating. There’s a nice handful of things coming up that already is generating a nice bit of excitement here at MMM, and we haven’t heard any of these recordings yet (in some cases, they’re not even complete yet). I’ll be clear about that, actually. I have a lot of promo stuff for July and August already, so I won’t include those because you can’t anticipate something you already have. Make sense? Let’s get into it, and if there’s something you are particularly excited to hear, let us know either via e-mail or in the comments section.

Perhaps my most anticipated record is the new Wolves in the Throne Room, coming up soon from Southern Lord records. In fact, last night, the label mentioned on Twitter that they think this new not-yet-titled opus is the band’s finest output yet. I know. What do you expect a label to say? But the SL folks seem like honest people, and really, if they didn’t feel that way, they didn’t need to say anything at all on the quality of the album and could have just said it was on its way. The band – only full-time members and brothers Aaron and Nathan Weaver — is working with producer Randall Dunn, who was behind the boards on their last two efforts “Two Hunters” (my favorite metal record of 2007) and Black Cascade,” and surely the guys are tapping into their Pacific Northwest surroundings to create more epic, atmospheric black metal. In addition, Jessika Kenney, who worked with the band in the past, will contribute her vocals to this album. Really excited to hear this one. Look for it this fall, which could not be a more perfect time for this record to unleash itself.

For more on the band, go here: http://www.wittr.com/

For more on the label, go here: http://www.southernlord.com/

The new one from Leviathan is taking shape, and it is very tentatively scheduled for a late fall release from Profound Lore. Wrest is recording the new disc in Chicago with Sanford Parker, the go-to producer for all quality metal bands, and considering the tumultuous year the creator of Leviathan has had, I’d expect nothing but carnage, self-loathing, anger, despair and violence. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, um, here:  http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/01/09/cops-tattoo-artist-charged-with-sex-assault/ I’m not sure if the case has been resolved, and if these actions are true, they’re reprehensible. But I’ll separate the man and his art (much like I do with Burzum). Wrest’s last full-length was 2008’s incredible “Massive Conspiracy Against All Life,” my favorite metal album of 2008. Funny story, but I went out to buy a physical copy of that record on New Year’s Eve that year, and my wife and I ended up driving home in an ice storm while album was playing in the car. At one point, I slid completely off a major roadway. It was a weird moment. Then we went home and watched Pitt lose a bowl game in humiliating fashion. Leviathan got me through.

For more on the band, go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leviathan_(band)

For more on the label, go here: http://www.profoundlorerecords.com/

French transcendental black metal band Blut Aus Nord already have given us one new album this year, “777-Sects” in April, and they have the second portion of their trilogy scheduled for release in September, called “777-The Desanctification.” The band has been recording the album recently, and it’ll be interesting to hear how the music differs, if at all, from the first part of this triptych. It’s kind of a daring project, to be honest, and one I’m curious to hear how they make work. One would think the second part, and the third that’s to follow in November, would have to be different in ways from “Sects,” because otherwise, what’s the point? But this band always comes up with something interesting and otherworldly, so I have faith that “Desanctification” will be another mind warp of an album that’ll probably be one of the most interesting efforts of the third quarter of the year. Oh, the band also released a reissue of 2001’s “The Mystical Beast of Rebellion” earlier this year, with a fresh second disc of new, complementary material, so it’s a heck of a year for Blut Aus Nord fans and their credit cards.

For more on the band, go here: http://blutausnord.com/

For more on the label, go here: http://www.debemur-morti.com/

Canadian grindcore band Fuck the Facts haven’t exactly been taking it easy since their last full-length “Disgorge Mexico” dropped in 2008. They’ve put out a “Disgorge” DVD, splits and a bunch of EPs since that time, and they even have toured all over the freaking place, recently celebrating their 10-year anniversary as a band. Their new full-length “Die Miserable” has been in the works for some time, and it’ll finally be in your hands this fall by way of Relapse. I’ve always really liked this band not only because their music is heavy as hell and always top notch, but because they don’t just do the typical two-minute grind song and onto the next thing. I mean, they have songs like that, but it isn’t all they do. Their records are challenging, experimental, thought-provoking and intelligent, and while there’s nothing wrong with the normal grind style, I enjoy FTF’s approach so much more. Really excited to hear this one.

For more on the band, go here: http://www.myspace.com/fuckthefacts

For more on the label, go here: http://www.relapse.com/

These aren’t the only albums for which I’m stocking away some cash. Also looking forward to the new albums from Opeth (ah, that cover), Mastodon (with more bizarre song titles), Fleshgod Apocalypse (the symphonic death metal band’s debut on Nuclear Blast), Amebix (finally!), and YOB (the clips that have been released of the new material sounds absolutely massive).  Time to start storing away some cash.