Official BEHEMOTH Biography Coming February 2015

The 490-page hardcover bookBehemoth: Devil’s Conquistadors, by Lukasz Dunaj is the definitive and official BEHEMOTH biography. It includes quotes and anecdotes from current and former members that provide context and details in addition to the author’s narrative, plus interviews with Tomas Krajewski, Rob Darken, Graal, Havok, and more. The artistically presented pages are filled with old photos of the band, flyers, lyric sheets etc.

Preorders are available now at metalblade.com/behemoth, and include a bundle with an exclusive shirt available ONLY with this preorder.  Behemoth: Devil’s Conquistadors is available February 24, 2015.

In the book, Nergal discusses the acquisition of his first electric guitar: “The first communion was a very important moment for me. I know this sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. Of course, not as a religion experience – I didn’t understand anything and couldn’t care less. Same as all the other kids. We all stood there with our votive candles and waited for one thing. Cash. The first communion must be one moment when you get the most money you’re ever going to get as a child. And for this money, I bought myself my first electric guitar. Not a bike, no Legos – a guitar.”

Video of the Day: NAPALM DEATH’s Barney Greenway Gets Animated

The first music video from NAPALM DEATH‘s new album, Apex Predator – Easy Meat, is now up. Check out “Smash a Single Digit” below:

The video is made up of 1093 unique drawings, each one hand-drawn in ink on paper by artist Lisbet Fredslund (www.facebook.com/ElfShotLameWitch) and actually 225 of the drawings are of the face of NAPALM DEATH vocalist Mark “Barney” Greenway, who provided his comments:

“Couldn’t be happier with the ‘Smash A Single Digit‘ video clip. It shows nothing of dignity or life’s fundamental pleasures – only a snapshot of those unfortunate enough to only be deemed as numbers for production quotas in this world. When a ‘digit’ has therefore been expended, it is rubbed out (or consumed leaving no trace, as in the case of this video). In my opinion, Michael Panduro and the team produced a real work of art and I think the general style holds some really nice future artistic possibilities for NAPALM DEATH.”

Apex Predator – Easy Meat is out now.

DØDHEIMSGARD Set to Return with A Umbra Omega this March

Norwegian black metal pioneers, DØDHEIMSGARD, has completed work on its fifth album, titled A Umbra Omega, which is set for release on March 17 via Peaceville Records.

The most exciting news surrounding the album is that original co-founding member, Aldrahn (THORNSTHE DEATHTRIP) has returned to the band.

A Umbra Omega is DHG‘s first album since 2007′s Supervillain Outcast, and undoubtedly marks the band’s most challenging work to date; twisted, technical, sprawling epics and an inverted outlook on existence from the depths of band mastermind/writer/producer, Vicotnik, with similarities drawn to previous classic DHG works such as 666 International and Satanic Art. A raw and organic production permeates the album courtesy of Vicotnik himself, with the album mastered at Strype Audio in Oslo by Tom Kvålsvoll.

APESHIT’s Top Metal Albums of 2014

Unlike everyone else, we waited until 2014 was actually over to recount our favorite albums. It’s been a great year for extreme music with a healthy amount of excellent releases.  We saw the return of legends in GODFLESH and AT THE GATES as well as welcome returns from long recording breaks in BEHEMOTH and MAYHEM.  And who can deny the GHOST B.C.-like popularity explosion of Japan’s BABYMETAL?  Crazy shit.  Metal is certainly a diverse genre.

For 2014, the APESHIT goons did not have any unanimous or semi-unanimous album of the year (i.e. 2013′s CARCASSSurgical Steel).  But MAYHEM, BLOODBATH, GODFLESH, and TRYPTIKON were near consensus picks.  Sorry, ENTOMBED A.D. didn’t make it here.

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Remembering NASUM Vocalist/Guitarist Mieszko Talarczyk

It was 10 years ago that the music world lost a great talent in NASUM vocalist/guitarist Mieszko Talarczyk. He, like many others, died tragically during the great tsunami that hit South Asia. His final act was protecting his girlfriend when the tsunami first hit.

I had a chance to see NASUM once during their appearance at Milwaukee Metalfest 2001. They were awesome and I never forgot the stage presence and power that Mieszko played with.  Let’s revisit those awesome grind albums today.

Check out the memorial page that the band set up in his honor.

TRIPTYKON – Melana Chasmata

The great TRIPTYKON redefine darkness once again with their second full-length album.  Melana Chasmata is a multi-dimensional exploration of darkness colored in different atmospheres.

TRIPTYKON masterfully utilize a full repertoire – three different vocalists, a wide range of riffing styles, violent and solemn atmospheres, and more.  It’s a great lesson in musicality and serves as a foil to simple, formulaic songwriting.

Each song on Melana Chasmata is its own unique journey. Some are desolate, ominous, and naked like “Boleskine House” and “Aurorae.” Others have an unnerving feeling of instability and doom like “Altar of Deceit.” “Breathing” is just devastating in its heaviness when it picks up the speed. Starting from the sixth track, “Demon Pact,” Melana Chasmata enters a lucid nightmare, which is as vivid as any conscious experience.

Few bands create such powerful and compelling atmospheres, and no band does it like them. TRIPTYKON triumphantly prove why they are pioneers. Mandatory. (Century Media Records)

TODAY IS THE DAY Involved in Serious Traffic Accident, Tour Cancelled

Two days ago, TODAY IS THE DAY were involved in a major accident where the band’s tour van was struck by a vehicle in Massachusetts.  Band leader Steve Austin and band merch man Trevor sustained major but non-life threatening injuries and were the only passengers in the van.  The vehicle, band gear, and merch were a complete loss.  The rest of the dates on the current US tour are cancelled.

Here is what Steve Austin had to say:

“At 9:30 PM last night while driving to New York to meet up with our Drummer, our van was struck by an out of control car that had collided with another car. My dear friend and TITD merch man Trevor and I had just left my home in Orland, Maine after a 4 day Thanksgiving break in between tours. We had just completed 50 + Shows since October 7th, both Headlining and Main Support for EYEHATEGOD. Our b We had been driving for 4 hours and had just crossed into Massachusetts.
Suddenly, Trevor said Look Out! I looked towards the passenger window and saw a car heading in a straight line for the side of our 15 Passenger Van. The car was within 3 feet when he saw it and it nailed us perfectly in the side spinning us around 180 Degrees, followed by flipping the Van UPSIDE DOWN. Trevor and I were thrown super hard inside the Van with Glass bursting all around us, hot transmission fluid pouring down and sparks flying everywhere as the Van was sliding backwards and upside down the Middle of I-495 interstate. I truly felt at that moment that I was going to die…[read more]”

SÓLSTAFIR – Ótta

solstafir.ottaLeave it to the Icelandic post-apocalyptic cowboys, SÓLSTAFIR, to reward their fans with a godly follow up to their godly album, Svartir Sandir.  This time around, the band only release a single disc’s worth of music but it’s more than adequate.  Their unique style of dark/atmospheric metal rises to new levels here.

The one characteristic that stands out the most on Ótta is how powerfully the band utilizes quiet and gentle atmospheres.  Additionally, there are song sections where they could easily crash in with a wall of heaviness but the band choose to pull back.  This actually results in keeping the tension and mood while also keeping listeners on their toes.  Most importantly, SÓLSTAFIR‘s soulfulness and honesty is right up there with ANATHEMA, IN THE WOODS…, and PRIMORDIAL.

The journey that is Ótta can best be summarized by how it begins and ends.  “Lágnætti” starts things off with quiet pianos, Aðalbjörn “Addi” Tryggvason‘s heartfelt vocals, and the beautiful string orchestra.  Once the post-punk basslines and pounding drum beat comes in with the massive whale siren calls of the guitars, the intensity truly gets epic.  Closer “Náttmál” is equally soulful and beautiful.  The push and pull of the song is extremely compelling and it builds up to an epic descrescendo.  It is the crashing of glacier-sized emotions.  Awesome.

In a genre where being soulless and forgettable is the norm, SÓLSTAFIR are truly saviors.  There’s a reason why there are one of the best bands on the planet.  (Season of Mist)

SOLEFALD Returns with Latest Masterpiece, Norrønasongen. Kosmopolis Nord

After four years of silence, avant norse folk metal duo, SOLEFALD, return with Norrønasongen. Kosmopolis Nord, an experimental soundtrack to the fjords and mountains of Norway, and a hymn to the nature of the North. A prequel to the eclectic duo’s forthcoming Kosmopolis Sud full-length set for release next year, Norrønasongen. Kosmopolis Nord was created for release on vinyl, boasts a crew totaling ten musicians and finds SOLEFALD venturing into new and unfamiliar soundscapes.

Norrønasongen picks up the torch from 2010′s Norrøn Livskunst illuminating the same barrenness through the prism of prog rock, electro, folk and noise,” elaborates vocalist/guitarist/programmer Cornelius Von Jackhelln. “Norrønasongen is our first release with all the lyrics written and sung in our mother tongue. Norse Jugendstil for eyes, minds and ears: SOLEFALD are delighted to be back with their boots on!”

Adds vocalist/synthesizer/programmer, Lars Are Nedland, “As long-time fans of the progressive movement of the late ’60s/early ’70s, it was in the cards that SOLEFALD would dive into the world of melotrons at some point. Norrønasongen is a progressive folk-pop-noise release, and sets the scene for the forthcoming album Kosmopolis Sud by being nothing like it. We’re SOLEFALD after all!”

STURMGEIST & THE FALL OF ROME, a noise outfit from Oslo’s underground resistance, have remixed Norrønaprogen and delivered a B side of epic noise -”Norrøna: Ljodet som ljoma” and “Songen: Vargen.” Einar Kvitrafn Selvik of WARDRUNA contributes with skaldic vocals while Mari Skeie Ljones plays the Hardanger fiddle, traditionally held as the Devil’s instrument in Norwegian folklore.

SOLEFALD have outsourced the rhythm section to the young talents of Baard Kolstad (GOD SEED, BORKNAGAR) on drums, Alexander Bøe (IN VAIN) on bass and Petter Hallaråker (ICS VORTEX, RENDEZVOUS POINT) on guitar. All three performed with the band during the 2013 European tour.

Norrønasongen takes its name from Olav Aukrust‘s (1883-1929) poem of the same name. Written in 1915, the poem describes the horrors of World War I as seen from the Norwegian mountains, with metaphors from Norse mythology. With the timing of its release, Norrønasongen marks both the century passed since the first World War, and the 200th anniversary of the Norwegian Constitution. As storms sweep the globe yet again, the poet’s apocalyptic words can be read as a sorrowful warning.