Here we go again…

It’s the beginning to 2014.  A new year and some good stuff coming in Metal.

It’s got off to a pretty good start already with Iced Earth‘s new album, Plagues Of Babylon, being and excellent way to start the year.  Coming up over the next month or so, there’s new ones from Behemoth, Legion Of The Damned, Grand Magus, Slough Feg, Shrapnel and Savage Messiah.  Jake E Lee (who used to axe-sling for Ozzy) has got his Red Dragon Cartel… though according to reports, the singer’s not much cop in a live situation.  There should also be the announcement of who is stepping into the vacant lead guitar slot in Evile as well as the first release from Ol Drake‘s new project, Old Rake.

If Lemmy‘s health holds out, there’s the rescheduled Motörhead tour, with the prospect of the traditional November tour being in the schedule, too.  Absolva are releasing a new one, and we can probably expect releases from Korpiklaani, Nightwish (with new singer, Floor Jansen), Iron Maiden

Sonisphere is back with a pretty decent line-up, to be fair.  Maiden on Saturday, Metallica “by request” on Sunday.  OK, The Prodigy are headlining Friday, but I’m told they put on a damned good show, so that might not be the trainwreck it could be.  There’s also Alice In Chains, Slayer, Mastodon, Airbourne, Ghost, Gojira and Karnivool.  Just announced today were Anthrax, Devin Townsend, Sisters Of Mercy and Voodoo Six on the “I’ll have to check them out” list, Dropkick Murphys, Silverstein and The Virginmarys on the “Won’t bother unless it’s raining” list, Chas & Dave on the “yes, you did read that right!” list and Limp Bizkit on the “fuck off!!” pile.

Hopefully we’ll be able to get Elfie, possibly even joined by the other half of The Terror Twins, Cat, in on that one.

Talking of festivals, Megadeth are headlining Bloodstock.  Not sure whether or not I’m going to stick around for that one if I get media passes.  Although I’m something of a fan of Megadeth, Dave Mustaine has turned out to be some kind of fundamentalist, right-wing fuckwit.  Not sure I want to be seen condoning that by being there when he comes on stage.  I certainly won’t be requesting an interview with him.  With Down headlining the Friday and the reformed Emperor headlining Friday and Saturday respectively, as well as the likes of Children Of Bodom (who aren’t even Special Guests on the Saturday – shows how much Bloodstock have moved up), Lacuna Coil, Orphaned Land, Saxon, Amon Amarth, ReVamp and the mighty Evil Scarecrow on the RJD Stage line-up, it’s already looking like the pick of the festivals for me.

There’s also the smaller festivals to look at.  SOS Festival is on again in Radcliffe, North Manchester.  The Valkyrian Festival will be on in Bridlington as well as Full Moon Dog in Leeds and the season closer, Hard Rock Hell.

So… quite a bit to look forward to.

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