2020 was a busy year for progressive/melodic death metal act Ewigkeit. Their critically acclaimed 2019 album ‘Disclose’ basically set multi-instrumentalist James Fogarty on a roll of creativity and he filled the following year with a wide array of works. The follow up album ‘Scarscape 2.019’ fused Ewigkeit’s distinctive progressive death traits with a science fiction concept that was far less uptight than Arjen Lucassen’s works, before a follow up EP (‘XXIII’) flipped all expectations by dumping the aggression and indulging more of Fogerty’s classic metal influences on a far more melodic disc. He then closed the year by recording some of his angriest sounds to date – material scheduled for release in January ’21 as the ‘Depopulate’ EP.
Back in the early 90s, Mordred attracted a loyal following with their crossover brand of thrash metal. Their second full length album, 1991’s ‘In This Life’ gained very positive reviews and the single ‘Falling Away’ is still guaranteed to awaken some very nostalgic feelings for anyone who happened to be in their late teens or early twenties at the time of its original release. For reasons that still don’t make entire sense, Mordred never became genuinely massive. Sure, they got all the press and worked hard on a string of support slots on great metal bills, but they never became truly major players. Perhaps their prominent use of scratching and DJ turntables was something that didn’t sit well with the metal purists, or perhaps it was their injection of funk, but that kind of mixing things up didn’t upset thrash fans when Anthrax dabbled with rap – sometimes very badly. Mordred deserved to at least be as big as Anthrax, but it wasn’t to be, and after the release of a third album in 1994, they split.
An unexpected reunion in 2013 gave the world a couple of successful tours and a digital single, ‘The Baroness’, but it didn’t seem like quite enough and as the years passed, any hopes of more new material felt as if they were fading.
In terms of extreme metal, Dystopia A.D. are a little more interesting than most. The riff-heavy, New Jersey duo are keen to take death and thrash metal sounds into new territory on their current single ‘Plaguebringers’.
Next month, thrash metal titans Kreator will release a new live album celebrating their October 2018 headline show at London’s Roundhouse.
The appropriately titled ‘London Apocalypticon – Live At The Roundhouse’ will be released on a variety of formats. The standard retail edition includes a blu ray and CD soundtrack of the full show and promises to be as good as Nuclear Blast’s similar Overkill live set from 2018.
It has been confirmed that Systemhouse33 will be special guests on the February/March leg of Soulfly’s US 2020 tour. Joining Max Cavalera and company at all shows between February 27th and March 12th 2020, the upcoming US visit will be the band’s most high profile to date.