My most anticipated releases of 2017 – Part 5

Persefone – Aathma
Release date: 24 February 2017

15822914_10154850738374328_8733489291274272477_nFor anyone looking for a quality dose of progressive death metal, then look no further than Persefone. Hailing from the absolute hotbed of metal that is Andorra, Persefone have made more than a few waves in what is an ever more competitive and crowded genre of metal over the past 15 or so years since their creation in 2001.

‘Aathma’ will be the talented sextet’s fifth release and, from the teaser trailer that I have heard (below), I have no doubt that this record will be another positive stepping stone in the Persefone career, one that I hope will make them much more of a household name in metal circles. With a release date of 24th February 2017 on Vicisolum Records, we won’t have to wait too much longer to find out.

Iced Earth – The Judas Goat
Release date: TBC

A genuine favourite of mine, Iced Earth are surely due another album in 2017, seeing as though the band have had the working title for their new album for around a year already. Nothing official has yet been confirmed beyond the usual rumours that are circulating, although there are photos around that confirm that some recordings have begun to a greater or lesser extent.

It was a shame that vocalist Matt Barlow has left the fold but in Stu Block (ex-Into Eternity), Iced Earth have found the perfect replacement. His range and natural ability behind the mic is the idea accompaniment to the classic/thrash/power metal for which guitarist and founder Jon Schaffer is famous. After a couple of hit and miss albums in recent times, Iced Earth returned to form in blistering style with 2014’s ‘Plagues Of Babylon’, meaning that the excitement for its follow-up, tentatively titled ‘The Judas Goat’ is even more feverish than before amongst the legions of loyal Iced Earth fans, myself included.

Lonely Robot – TBC
Release date: TBC

From the creative mind of John Mitchell, he of Frost*, It Bites, Arena fame, plus several others, comes Lonely Robot. The debut album released in 2015 easily made it into my top 30 albums of that year because it was so damn excellent. Progressive rock with a hugely cinematic feel was the order of the day and boy did it work. At times it was dark, at others almost sci-fi in tone and on occasion quite moving. However, it was lush, grandiose and bold throughout, creating a memorable and compelling listen.

It was only by chance that I picked up on the fact that Lonely Robot was not going to be a one-off and that writing was underway for a follow-up. This news was like nectar to my ears. And, whilst a 2017 release hasn’t been confirmed as yet, it’s entirely possible.

Lost In Thought – TBC
Release date: TBC

I have been a fan of Lost In Thought since before they released their debut album ‘Opus Arise’ back in 2011. I heard snippets of this young Welsh prog metal band on social media and elsewhere and I quickly got the bug. Theirs is a more classic style of progressive metal, from which I pick out hints of Dream Theater and Threshold, whilst at the same time, they do have elements that are unique to them.

After a long hiatus during which time the band actually folded, they have joyously returned and are in the midst of recording their sophomore album. In recent months, vocalist Nate Loosemore has parted ways with the band and it remains to be seen how the new material will sound. However, I’m open minded and still very keen to hear what this talent from the UK will produce.

Subsignal – TBC
Release date: TBC

There will definitely be a new album from Subsignal in 2017. So says their official Facebook page. In fact, they have also revealed that the lyrics are being written as I type this. They have revealed a few lines but no music as yet. But hey, let’s not be greedy eh?

Those unfamiliar may not know that Subsignal are the band that rose from the ashes of prog metal band Sieges Even. Subsignal’s output is less overtly progressive than their former incarnation but the similarities are unmistakeable. Beautiful melodies, deep, thoughtful lyrics and rich, deep, powerful and technically adept compositions are the order of the day as Subsignal straddle the rock and metal worlds with confidence and style. A new Subsignal album is something to be very excited about, so I am duly very excited.

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