2016 was an absolutely amazing year for rock and metal. Metallica (my favorite band) came back after nine years and released the best album of 2016 (you can read my review here). Gojira’s “Magma” was the breakout hit of 2016 and has finally given the band some of the recognition they deserve. Alter Bridge’s “The Last Hero” showed the band reaching the apex of their song writing skills (both musically and lyrically) and shows how talented they actually are. In fact, the album that flat-out disappointed me was Rob Zombie’s new solo album, which, politely put, was an interesting experiment. Realistically speaking, 2017 will probably not be as awesome as 2016, but has plenty of potential, and these are the 15 albums that I am looking forward to. Disclaimer: they are not in any particular order.
1) Marilyn Manson “Say10.” The Pale Emperor was a great addition to Manson’s catalog. With early reports saying that this new album reminds them of their favorite parts of Antichrist Superstar and Mechanical Animals, that bodes very well for this album. Say the title out loud and you have a very controversial pun. Also considering this is supposed to be released on Valentines Day, with Manson that has to be more than a coincidence. It looks like Manson is up to his usual antics and I’m very excited.
2) Steel Panther “Lower the Bar.” Is there a funnier metal band than Steel Panther? It’s hard to make such an argument. Their first three albums are absolutely hysterical and if they keep pace, then their fourth should fall right in line. However, it is only because their first three albums were so funny that they earned a spot on this list. The two songs they have released thus far did not meet the standard their first three albums set. I have found my favorite songs by them are not their most popular ones, so I still have hope. Here’s to hoping this isn’t the new Zombie album of 2017.
3) Demon Hunter “Outlive.” There are no more than 10 Christian bands on the planet that are worth listening too. Demon Hunter happens to be one of them, and has managed to do what many other bands fail at: never making the same album twice while still staying true to their sound and still experimenting to make sure they don’t sound stale. They have been a model of consistency so many other bands dream about, and their first single is an indicator they will not disappoint.
4) Exodus Title TBA. Bringing back Steve Souza for “Blood In, Blood Out” was one of the smartest decisions the band has made, as his vocals brought life to a stagnant band. “Blood In, Blood Out” is arguably the best metal record released in 2014, and with Souza returning for the next record, they should not disappoint.
5) System of a Down Title TBA. Arguably the most politically charged band on the planet, they combine their governmental anger with Serj Tankian’s vocals to create one of the most unique sounds in all of metal. Considering that their last release was in 2005, a new SoaD album is huge news, considering they were one of the biggest bands on the planet before they went on haitus. I am preording this album the second I have the availability too.
6) Iced Earth “The Judas Goat.” They will have a new lead singer for their new album, but that has not stopped them from making quality music before. So long as Jon Schaffer is in the band, Iced Earth will continue to be one of the most influential bands in metal.
7) Slipknot title TBA. “.5 The Grey Chaper” was Slipknot’s strongest effort in a long time, and an excellent comeback after 6 years without a new album and technically breaking up as a band. If .5 is any indicator of things to come, then they will be releasing something special for their next album.
8) Thirty Seconds to Mars Title TBA. The Thirty Seconds to Mars trend seems to be release a subpar album (Self-titled, This Is War), release an amazing album (A Beautiful Lie, Love Lust Faith + Dreams). If this trend continues, their next album will be subpar. However, I have hope that it will be a solid effort. Jared Leto is a ludicrously talented artist with a unique creative vision, so even if the album misses its mark, it will still be an interesting piece of art.
9) Linkin Park title TBA. After released three of the best rock albums of the decade, Linkin Park decided to get in touch with their creative side and experiment, departing from their rock sound. Many fans hated this controversial decision, releasing two albums that sounded nothing like the rock music they had come to know and love. With 2014’s “The Hunting Party” Linkin Park decided to get back in touch with their roots and make another rock album, which did not disappoint. The new album is going to be another rock album, so it should be a solid listen.
10) Tool title TBA. Tool is releasing a new album. Everyone reading this knows I don’t need to say more than that. Tool’s 10,000 Days was released in 2006, meaning that it will be over 10 years when the new album is released. With a band as influential as Tool, a new album is going to be a big ordeal no matter what. However considering the band’s hiatus, that makes it an even bigger deal. One can only wonder how much more progressive Tool be considering they missed ten years of music. However, if the trend of the albums continue, they will find a way to outdo themselves. Now can they just be done with their fucking legal battles over the new album? This is easily my most anticipated release of 2017 and I want it out as soon as possible.
11) Rammstein title TBA. Rammstein is one of the few bands I know where the majority of their fanbase does not understand more than 20% of their lyrics, as the majority of their lyrics are in German. Also because of this, Rammstein is known more for their pyrotechnics at live shows than their actual albums. However, I still enjoy listening to their albums regardless, so I’m excited to hear new material from them. Also, a new album should equal a new tour, right?
12) Red title TBA. It was not even a month ago Red said that they would be writing new material, so I’m skeptical as to whether or not the album will be released in 2017. However in a recent interview, Anthony Armstrong said they will be releasing a new album. Red is easily the best Christian band to ever grace this planet, so a new album from them will be very welcome. Considering that “Of Beauty and Rage” was their best album to date, I am ludicrously excited to see a band I grew up with release new material.
13) Nitro title TBA. Chris Adler is drumming for the band on their upcoming album new album after not releasing a new studio album since 1991. Chris Adler is a ludicrously talented drummer, and he will do nothing short of amazing work wherever he drums. I think this will make the new Nitro album an overlooked gem for next year.
14) Alice in Chains title TBA. This is hardly official, but there is heavy speculation from everyone that there is new Alice in Chains in the works. Considering that “Black Gives Way to Blue” and “The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here” were rock solid, a new album from them should not disappoint.
15) Judas Priest is arguably the most influential metal band of all time behind Black Sabbath. They have said that they have gone back to the studio to write new material, and they have also said that the material will not be toured upon until 2018. Speculatively, they release an album a solid 6-7 months before they tour, right? It’s what Iron Maiden and Metallica did with their respective albums the previous two years. So 2017 is not an unrealistic expectation for a new album from these metal legends.