Once again it's that time where we look ahead to the best of what's coming at us in the new year. Among the many great rock discs due next year is the new album from desert rock aficionados Queens of the Stone Age.

Queens of the Stone Age have had a pretty silent couple of years as far as new music. The band did, however, embark on a brief tour early this year to support the re-release of their self-titled debut album. Anyone who was fortunate enough to see the small venue tour may have noticed the renewed vitality of the Queens' sound. This can most likely be attributed to Homme's brush with death last year -- which he has said made him re-evaluate his musical focus (see video below).

Not much is known about the current status of their first new album since 2007's 'Era Vulgaris,' but there have been a few mentions of the currently in-the-works project. While the band initially said the album would be further in the direction of 'Era Vulgaris,' Homme later told The Guardian that rehearsing the debut album had influenced the writing process:

"Doing the rehearsals for the first record is really defining the new one. It's been turning the new record into something else. What we were doing was kind of bluesy, and now it's turned into this trancey, broken thing. The robots are back!"

Outside of that there has not been much said of the album that was believed to be out by the end of 2011. According to frequent collaborator Alain Johannes, the band is keeping a pretty tight lid on the "super top secret" album -- which he is involved with in at least a production capacity. Perhaps the most exciting blurb written about the record came as an afterthought on a recent Facebook post from the band about a QOTSA merch sale, it read:

"OK ok before you all yell at me on the comments machine, Yep. the Queens are deep into makin the new album. Locked away in the desert. & s--- yeah. it. sounds. f---in. killer."

The next Queens of the Stone Age record will be their sixth full length studio album will be the first since Homme's outing with Them Crooked Vultures. You can hear a preview of their new cover of Bob Dylan's 'Outlaw Blues' here -- the track appears on the January 24th release 'Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International.’

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