It's been five years since the release of AC/DC's fourteenth studio album, Black Ice. A long gap that somehow seemed even more bleak after the April 2014 announcement that guitarist and founding member, Malcolm Young, would be taking a break from the band due to health issues. Rumors frantically flew throughout the metal music world that this was the end of AC/DC, despite the fact that in addition to the sad news about Young's health, the final line in the statement was: "The band will continue to make music."
After a whopping four decades in existence, AC/DC has endured devastating losses and an ever changing musical climate, but prevailed. No band is as instantly recognizable, both in sound and sight, as the ironical AC/DC. Each of their hits, from day one into the current time and age, aren't just well-loved, chart-toppers - they're each heavy metal anthems. One does not put on AC/DC to relax - one puts on AC/DC to feel alive, to pump their fists, to drive fast - and simply, to rock. "Highway To Hell," "You Shook Me All Night Long," "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap," "For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)," "Thunderstruck" - the list of monumentally important, signature-sounding, AC/DC classics goes on and on. It should surprise no one that the band has sold more than 200 million records worldwide making them one of the world's best-selling bands of all time, and it's only natural that fans would be concerned that with Malcolm Young's questionable future with the band, that this was the end of AC/DC.
But the wailing guitars and the pounding drums of AC/DC will indeed live on. In June of this year, vocalist Brian Johnson announced that AC/DC are very likely to be rocking that Highway To Hell again, touring by the end of 2014. And now, Johnson has reported that the next AC/DC album has been completed. Though he expressed that the band missed having Malcolm Young with them in the studio, they are pulling for improved heath of their brother, friend, and guitarist.
The forthcoming album, whose name has yet to be announced (and possibly even decided), is expected out by either the end of 2014 or early in 2015. Johnson expressed that his choice in album titles was "Man Down" but felt it was possibly too negative. Surely, fans might object to this name, taking into consideration the sensitivity of Malcolm Young's situation.
For the length of Young's absence from this prodigious band, fans all over the world will miss him as well, but can't help but look forward to a fifteenth studio album bursting with new AC/DC music, and the possibility to see them live in concert once again. As magical and mysterious as the music world can be, it is not immune from life's unfortunate and disruptive twists and turns, but brand new AC/DC material and a new tour can make up for some of it.