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23 rock and metal albums to look forward to in 2019

Friday, December 21st, 2018 10:05am

By Scott Colothan and Julian Marszalek

Biff Byford, Myles Kennedy and David Coverdale © REX/Shutterstock

Planet Rock presents 23 rock, heavy metal and blues rock albums due for release in 2019.

For all the misinformed chat and bluster about the supposed death of rock, there’s an awful lot of quality rock music emerging on a regular basis to suggest otherwise. And if 2018 proved to be a vintage year with an incredible amount of new albums coming out, then there’s every reason to believe that 2019 will continue this upward swing.

Here, then, are the confirmed (and highly tentative) new album releases for 2019 that we’re getting particularly excited about…

1. Thunder – ‘Please Remain Seated’

Two years on since the release of ‘Rip It Up’, the hard rockers are poised to return with ‘Please Remain Seated’. But let’s face it: based on Thunder’s recent form, there’s very little chance of that happening. Released on 18th January, the 12-song collection features ‘radically reworked versions’ of songs from throughout Thunder’s distinguished career. Planet Rock’s very own Danny Bowes says of the recording process: “We set ourselves three rules: work fast, don’t aim for perfection, and make it different to the original.”


2. Whitesnake – ‘Flesh & Blood’

Whitesnake have been promising to release the long-gestating ‘Flesh & Blood’ for over a year now. Whatever the reasons for its delay, work on the album is complete and it now looks as if it’ll finally be with us by May 2019. And with a massive US and European tour confirmed - including a coveted main stage slot at Download Festival - the return of David Coverdale and co. can’t come quick enough.


3. Joanne Shaw Taylor – ‘Reckless Heart’

One of the finest blues talents to have emerged from these shores for some time, Joanne Shaw Taylor is set to release ‘Reckless Heart’ – her seventh album in 10 years – in the opening overs of 2019. Released in March via her new label home of Silvertone/Sony and produced by Al Sutton (Greta Van Fleet/Kid Rock), Joanne says of the record: “I couldn’t be happier with it; we managed to incorporate my love of soul, blues and rock into the album and I think it’s probably my most honest work to date. I just hope my fans enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed making it".


4. AC/DC - TBA

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the combination Brian Johnson’s enforced lay-off, Phil Rudd’s legal woes, Cliff Williams’ retirement and the untimely passing of Malcolm Young would have led to the end of the road for this venerable rock institution. However, recent photos of Angus Young, Johnson, Rudd and Stevie Young outside a Canadian recording studio suggest otherwise. One last hurrah? Let’s hope so.


5. Pearl Jam – TBA

Their return after a five-hiatus with ‘Can’t Deny Me’ earlier this year emphatically displayed that Pearl Jam had lost none of the ire and passion that made so many fall in love with them in the first place. And given where the world is at since the release of 2013’s ‘Lightning Bolt’, we’re expecting plenty more of that. No further details have been revealed about the album apart from it’s co-produced by the band alongside long-term collaborator Brendan O’Brien.


6. Megadeth - TBA

With their upcoming inaugural Megacruise set to sail into the Pacific next October, Megadeth will reveal whether they’re thrash metal pirates or Saga louts. But before all that, there remains the not inconsiderably small matter of their as-yet-untitled sixteenth studio album. Lynchpin Dave Mustaine said they were “wrapping up” the music back in autumn and they hope to unleash it in 2019.


7. Rival Sons – ‘Feral Roots’

Displaying a work ethic that would make most modern bands blush, hard rock classicists Rival Sons are poised to return on 25th January with the appropriately entitled ‘Feral Roots’, their sixth album in 10 years. As heralded by the filthy groove of ‘Do Your Worst’, it looks as if Rival Sons will be doing the opposite of that. 


8. Volbeat – TBA

The Danish rockers have confirmed that not only are they working on their seventh studio album, they’ve also hinted that some special guest appearances are being lined-up. Though details are sketchy, the band has stated that longtime producer Jacob Hansen will be twiddling the knobs once again.


9. Rammstein - TBA

Quite simply, April can’t come soon enough for that’s when the industrial metal titans’ long awaited seventh studio album is expected to drop. It’ll be almost a decade since the release of ‘Liebe ist für alle da’ and we’re needing plenty of new sounds. Factor in Rammstein's sold-out Milton Keynes Stadium gig in July and 2019 could well be theirs for the taking.


10. Black Star Riders – TBA

Speaking to Wyatt at Planet Rockstock earlier this month, Ricky Warwick confirmed Black Star Riders have already demoed 16 songs for the follow-up to February 2017’s ‘Heavy Fire’ and they hit the studio in January with esteemed producer Jay Ruston at the helm. With Christian Martucci now within their ranks replacing the departing Damon Johnson, Ricky has promised the new material will be “a departure” from their previous long-players. Exciting.  


11. Altitudes & Attitude – ‘Get It Out’

Altitudes & Attitude, a collaboration between Anthrax’s Frank Bello and Megadeth’s David Ellefson, will unleash their debut album ‘Get It Out’ to the world on 18th January. Boasting the bruising lead single ‘Out Here’, the two thrash icons will take the album out on the road in the UK in February.


12. Guns N’ Roses – TBA

Admittedly, this is a highly tenuous one but speaking to US radio station KSHE.95 in December 2018, Guns N' Roses guitarist Richard Fortus said “we’re going to try and do another record and get it out soon. The band’s so great right now.” He later added: “I think it will happen faster than you think. I sure hope it happens faster than you think” before confirming a single “could definitely” be released in 2019. We live in hope!


13. Alter Bridge – TBA

As if Myles Kennedy and Mark Tremonti weren’t busy enough with all their other musical ventures - Tremonti, Slash ft. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators and Myles’ solo career – Myles revealed in November that work was already underway on the follow-up to 2016's 'The Last Hero’. Confirming a planned 2019 release date, Myles said: “There are a whole bunch of ideas being thrown around. It's pretty exciting stuff.”


14. Mötley Crüe – TBA

Back in September, Vince Neil dropped the bombshell that Mötley Crüe are hitting the studio to lay down four new tracks for the upcoming Netflix adaptation of their infamous biography ‘The Dirt’. It’s highly likely that these tracks will end up on a soundtrack album for ‘The Dirt’, but, who knows, with Neil clarifying that their 2015 “contract not to tour anymore” doesn’t affect studio work, maybe we could see a full-length album too?!


15. Dream Theater - ‘Distance Over Time’

The progressive metal overlords will release their 14th studio album via their new label home of InsideOutMusic / Sony Music on 22nd February 2019. Billed as being Dream Theater at their “most dynamic, direct and definitive”, the omens are looking good so far thanks to the muscular and thematically weighty lead single ‘Untethered Angel’.


16. Tony Iommi – TBA

Speaking at the Whitley Bay Film Festival in August, the heavy metal pioneer confirmed he’s started work on his first solo material since 2005’s ‘Fused’. “I’m still writing stuff,” Tony said of his current activities. “I’ve put ideas down on tapes. When all this nice, sunny weather goes and it gets grim, I shall start going in the studio and putting it down.” Confirming he’s working with Mike Exeter, who engineered Black Sabbath’s ’13, Tony added: “I don’t know what it’s gonna be yet, whether it’ll be an instrumental album. I’ve been approached by a lot of people to do something with them.”


17. Scorpions – TBA

Singer Klaus Meine confirmed back in August that the German hard rock legends are tentatively eyeing up hitting the studio next year. “I think we might be ready next year, at least to go back and come together and start songwriting, and let's see what comes out,” he told SiriusXM. He also said the record would have a “harder edge’ than their previous effort, 2015’s ‘Return To Forever’. If the record does see the light of day, it will be the first Scorpions long-player to feature Mikkey Dee.


18. Saxon – TBA

They may still be touring February 2018’s ‘Thunderbolt’ but Biff Byford has already promised that the Yorkshire metallers will record their twenty-third long-player in 2019. "We'll be recording the new album some time in 2019, definitely,” Biff says. “We don't have to have too much commitment to timings. We're an established band — we can pretty much do what we want. If we feel like writing, then we write. If we don't feel like writing, then we don't write. Simple as that."


19. Biff Byford – TBA

As if touring and recording with Saxon wasn’t enough, Biff is also primed to release his debut solo album in 2019. He revealed in September that he’d completed all the music and was currently working on the lyrics. Describing the vibe, Biff said: “It's going to be quite a diverse album, a bit like the last Saxon one, I suppose, but probably a bit more rock n' roll, a bit more mid-tempo.”


20. Mr. Big – TBA

Following the untimely death of drummer and co-founding member, Pat Torpey, at the start of the year, singer Eric Martin has vowed to record one more Mr. Big album before calling it quits. Eyeing up a gap in the band members’ schedules in June/July to lay down the album, Eric said: “I want to do a new record and I also want to have a couple of different drummers on it—ones that Pat really liked; maybe Mike Portnoy, Gregg Bissonette, Ray Luzier from Korn, I really like his playing. Just get some great drummers to do something to honour Pat Torpey.”


21. Mason Hill - TBA

The up-and-coming Glaswegian rockers returned to the fore in the autumn with their blistering new single ‘Hold On’, which swiftly became a mainstay on our airwaves. As anyone who witnessed them on Dan Reed Network’s tour or the last two Planet Rockstocks will attest, the fresh-faced quintet are a potent live force and their debut album in 2019 can’t come soon enough.


22. Fish - ‘Weltschmerz’

Ahead of his impending retirement in 2020, former Marillion frontman Fish will release his ambitious final solo album ‘Weltschmerz’. Containing his poignant anthem ‘Man With A Stick’ plus the brilliant ‘A Parley With Angels’ EP tracks ‘Little Man What Now?’ and ‘Waverley Steps’, if the rest of the record keeps up the ante then we’re in for something very special indeed.


23. Metallica - ‘Helping Hands … Live & Acoustic at the Masonic’

Recorded at their rare acoustic benefit concert in San Francisco in November to raise money for their nonprofit All Within My Hands Foundation, the heavy metal legends will release ‘Helping Hands … Live & Acoustic at the Masonic’ on Friday 1st February. As if alternate versions of Metallica classics weren’t enough to tempt you, the 12-track collection also features covers of tracks by Deep Purple, Nazareth, Bob Seger and Blue Öyster Cult. Oh, and it’s all for ‘charidee’ too!

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