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Metal: new albums from Judas Priest, Drudkh, and Vessl

Ne Obliviscaris and Circles have announced The Omnific as support for their Melbourne show on Saturday February 10 at Max Watt’s.

Judas Priest have just announced the release of Firepower, the follow-up to 2014’s brilliant Redeemer of Souls. While Souls pointed to the future with the addition of guitarist Richie Faulkner (and if you’ve seen them live with Richie you’d know he contributes great energy and stage presence to the band), Firepower includes a little nod to the past in that it reunites them with producer Tom Allom, who worked on all the band’s releases from 1979 to 1988, while pairing him with modern metal uber-producer Andy Sneap. The single ‘Lightning Strike’ is out now, and the album is released on Friday March 9.

Mysterious black metal legends Drudkh are releasing a new album called They Often See Dreams About the Spring on Friday March 9. This album sees them step further away from the lighter, more progressive tone that has been a part of their sound since 2010’s Handful of Stars; instead, it represents a more cinematic soundscape in the spirit of 2004’s Autumn Aurora. Drudkh is a studio-only project: no photos, no interviews, no shows. Their albums are their art.

I can’t wait for the debut album by Vexes. Featuring former members of A Life Once Lost, Fury of Five, Vessl and more, Vexes is a groove-influenced, experimental post-rock/metal act, and they release Ancient Geometry on Friday February 23. A few tracks have been released already: ‘Lift,’ ‘Plasticine’ and now ‘Helion.’ Guitarist John Klagholz says, “‘Helion’ was the first song we wrote together as a band, and basically encompasses everything that we want to hear in our music, both rhythmically and dynamically.”

The legendary GWAR return to conquer and destroy Australia in April with their The Blood of Gods tour. The last time GWAR visited Australia in 2014, they upset the Australian public with the controversial and media-hyped beheading of an effigy of then-Prime Minister Tony Abbott (and I’ll never forget the image of some poor bastard running out of the Soundwave crowd in tears with a mouth full of fake blood). The body count will be even higher when GWAR returns to Australia in April for more heavy metal carnage. They’ll be at 170 Russell on Friday April 27. Tickets are on sale now.