The Year Ahead 2015: Will The Legends Return?

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What’s next?’ It’s the ever-looming question that hangs over our world, forebodingly looking to a future barren of arena-ready metal bands and chart-invading names. With some of metal’s legends seemingly facing retirement sooner rather than later, the 12 months ahead could have huge implications for metal’s broader future.

What does seem likely is that 2015 will be the year that the 10th Metallica studio album finally appears (no, really!). That said, with this album having already taken the best part of seven years to arrive, and with the band seeming to spend every year on tour rather than in the studio, could this end up being Metallica’s last opus?

We feel that Metal’s Biggest Band won’t believe they’re spent quite yet, but on their timeframes, you just never know (and you can see how Rob Trujillo sees their year shaping up over on page 52 – helpful Ed). Of course, they are playing summer European dates including Reading and Leeds in August, so don’t be too surprised if they decide to procrastinate on that record just a little while longer…

/o:p

Similarly, Iron Maiden’s increasingly slow album rate suggests that this year’s anticipated studio effort could be their real Final Frontier. We have some ideas on what we’d like to see over on page 61.

One band who have seemingly left their retirement well behind them, however, is Judas Priest. The Metal Gods are set to tour half the globe in 2015, including a return to their spiritual home of Donington for Download festival in June./o:p

“What are you going to do otherwise, gardening for the next 20 years or so?” guitarist Ian Hill tells Hammer. “It’s something that we’re terrified of not being able to do – of having to give it up because of some reason or another. It makes you think, ‘Let’s do this while we can. We’re enjoying it, let’s get on with it!’ There’s no reason to stop, so we’re going to carry on! It might well be a golden year – a golden decade, if we keep going long enough!” /o:p

While Priest look set to go on for some time yet, we’re reliably informed that metal’s founding fathers, Black Sabbath, think they have at least one more tour left in the tank, and we think we may see that final run announced sooner rather than later. Watch this space… Additionally, that first Slayer record since the tragic death of Jeff Hanneman is due early in the year, but nearly six years on from World Painted Blood, and with one of the core members of the band sadly departed, this could be the last opportunity to debate a new Slayer album. Will they go out with a bang if so?

“This year is all about getting back out there and playing the new songs to the fans,” insists Corey Taylor. “The shows are going to be insane. Every show with the new guys, we’ve been getting tighter and better. It’s really strange, but it helps to balance that sadness from losing Paul. Credit where it’s due: Clown has a killer vision for our staging and what we want to incorporate into what we’ve already done.

“We didn’t want to just repeat the same show, so we’ve gone for a lot of different visuals, different moving parts. Four hydraulics, a giant goat head, an Infinity Portal… it’s a blend of a very professional stage show and also us going completely mental. We’ve married those two worlds. We’re a spectacle!”

As for the ’Knot’s touring buddies, Korn are rumoured to also be looking for a UK date to play their iconic debut album in full. With suitable Download slots booked up, their options seem to be fairly straightforward at this point, so we anticipate an announcement to come some time soon after their dates with the Iowans come to a close.

We guess we’ll just have to wait and see where it all takes place, though…/o:p

ONES TO WATCH

Faith No More

Finally, after a spate of reunion shows that are set to continue with their Saturday night hoedown at Download this summer, we are finally getting a new Faith No More album! How the world will react to the first entirely new FNM opus since 1997’s Album Of The Year remains to be seen, but the cautiously optimistic response to first track Motherfucker (which seems more like an intro than a fully fledged song, in fairness) means we’re backing this to be something very special indeed. We called it!/o:p

WE ARE LEGEND

It’s set to be a busy year for rock’s heavyweights across the board…

If those big stories aren’t enough to whet your appetite for what 2015 holds, we have the prospect of an AC/DC tour to rock you to delirium. As horrific as it is to consider, this could well be the Aussie giants’ last outing, with Malcolm Young sadly already no longer involved. Best make sure you don’t miss it.

We’re confident of seeing a new DEFTONES album some time in 2015 and anticipate something ace from the Sacramento icons, while the larger-than-life KING DIAMOND should also have new music for us in 2015. Expect that to be suitably evil.

Another band whose new album has been very long in arriving (and then some), TOOL should – with a bit of luck and goodwill – finally release some new material this year. We’re never going to throw our lot in when it comes to Maynard et al, but we do at least believe that something is in the works, so we reckon it could finally happen. Maybe.

At least ANTHRAX appear to be well in gear, looking set to follow up the excellent Worship Music and keep up their habit of being one of the best bands in metal.

Meanwhile, SLASH looks set to continue rocking across the free world with European dates this summer, while symphonic Finns NIGHTWISH are poised to unleash their first album to feature newest recruit, Floor Jansen. Our prediction? Bombastic.

While MACHINE HEAD and MASTODON have no new material planned, we’ll be surprised if we don’t see them back on our shores in one form or another, while in heavier territories, we’ve heard the NAPALM DEATH album, and it’s fucking spectacular, and VENOM’s new opus also suggests there’s plenty left in that particular tank. Praise Satan!/o:p