It looks to me like May is a bit light on the new release front so I’ll keep this month’s selection of new releases relatively brief. All release dates are for the UK.
Vallenfyre – Splinters (out 12th May)
This is the priority purchase of the month. Vallenfyre is a dirty Death Metal side-project involving members of Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride. Their debut album A Fragile King was fantastic so I’m glad to see they’re keeping this band going. I’m excited to hear where they go with this style.
Dio – Live in London Hammersmith Apollo 1993 (12th May)
This live recording is taken from the tour that accompanied Ronnie’s Strange Highways album. I’ll pass on this myself but I thought I’d include it here as it looks like interesting stuff for any Dio diehards out there… Diohards? No, that doesn’t sound quite right does it?
Dread Sovereign – All Hell’s Martyrs (12th May)
Primordial/Twilight of the Gods main-man Alan “Nemtheanga” Averill returns with this exciting Doom Metal project. Expect plenty of historical detail and no irony whatsoever. As a scuzzy genre celebration this looks likely to be a good companion purchase alongside the Vallenfyre album.
California Breed – California Breed (19th May)
I had hoped that after the Black Country Communion albums, Glenn might return to a funkier, soulful style but from what I’ve heard so far, California Breed seems more in the straight-up Classic Rock vein which isn’t really working for me. I just can’t escape the feeling that Glenn is just trying a bit too hard these days. Think I might have to pass on this one.
Deep Purple – Made in Japan (19th May)
Stupor-deluxe box set edition of the Purps’ classic live album. I’m pretty happy with my current Made in Japan remaster and the excellent Live in Japan set so I think I’ll just make do with those.
Agalloch – Serpent and Sphere (19th May)
I don’t know anything about these guys but the recent rave-review in ZT Mag makes me want to own this (giving it a bizarre 5.999 out of 6 rating no less!) Atmospheric, folky… sounds like my kind of thing.
Cradle of Filth – Total Fucking Darkness (19th May)
The UK’s most well-known Black Metal export reissue their early demo recordings. I’m not a huge fan of this band but I like their early stuff and I always love hearing old Extreme Metal demos. A definite purchase, if not this month then soon.
KISS – KISS 40 (26th May)
The HMO-favourites mark their 40th anniversary with yet another compilation. Because there just aren’t enough KISS compilations out there already! Part of me wants to not encourage this but a bigger and stupider part of me wants to hear the unreleased tracks… Cue epic struggle of wills.
Emperor – In the Nightside Eclipse 20th Anniversary (26th May)
Another anniversary celebrated as the reunited Emperor reissue their classic album. The bonus disc of an alternate album mix is a pretty tempting bonus and there is also some rehearsal recordings and an EP thrown in too. There’s certainly enough extra here for me to consider buying it again.
And that’s about the lot for me. Please let me know if there’s anything cool you’ve got your eye on or if there’s anything here that gets your goat. There’s some good stuff out this month but not much that demands first-day buying so there could be all sorts of random stuff bought instead. One the eve of June’s new Mayhem album I have a notion to catch up with some of their back catalogue and there are still strong titles from previous months that are contenders. Or, even better, I could just make this month a quiet one and explore the HMO Vault for some neglected past purchases. I’m sure there are plenty of those in there! Happy hunting everyone and I’ll be back soon with April’s haul.