STAROFASH – Ghouleh

Twelve years after STAROFASH‘s excellent debut, Iter.Viator, the brainchild of Heidi S. Tveitan proves to only reach new heights over the course of time.  Ghouleh, featuring a song for every month of the year plus one bonus track, is an imaginative, ethereal album.

Unlike Lakhesis, Ghouleh‘s foundation is not entirely dependent on a traditional band configuration (drums, guitar, bass).  Instead, a portion is based on electronic/programming in addition to the trademark STAROFASH classical instruments of pianos and synth.  New dimensions of the band’s sound are sometimes obvious yet often subtle.

The variety of the material is wide yet cohesive.  A song like “Shimmer” is on the grandiose side of things compared to the minimalist electronics of “Draum.”  The results are always beautiful, delicate, organic soundscapes.

What really matters most with Ghouleh is that the music is compelling and straight from the heart.  STAROFASH directly communicates with the listener on a deep level.  With music this good, it’s so easy to just drift off to another place.  One of the best albums of the year.  (Mnemosyne Productions)

Video of the Day: TRIPTYKON Bring the Darkness in “Aurorae” Video

The new TRIPTYKON video for “Aurorae” just came out and it’s a fine video.  Every video that Tom G. Warrior has been apart of, whether it’s CELTIC FROST‘s return or TRIPTYKON, has done a great job in perfectly capturing the feel and meaning of the respective songs.  The video for “Aurorae” is no different as it conveys the darkness and desolation of not only the song but of the entire album, Melana Chasmata.

ABYSMAL DAWN’s Obsolescence Strikes October 2014

Los Angeles death metallers, ABYSMAL DAWN, return with full force on their fourth full-length, Obsolescence. Obsolescence will be released October 28th in North America (UK/World October 27th and Germany/Benelux/Finland on October 24th) via Relapse Records. Pre-orders will be available shortly.

Mainman Charles Elliott provided the details:

“Three years have passed since the release of ‘Leveling the Plane of Existence‘, and it’s high-time we released another slab of epic, bludgeoning death metal. This album took over a year and a half to come to fruition between writing and recording, and I think the blood sweat and tears definitely show in the final work of art.

“The title of the record is inspired by the term ‘planned obsolescence’, and is applied to all of mankind. In business terms, it means to manufacture a product that’s made to breakdown after a certain amount of time, so that it can be replaced. People. Societies, governments and religions all have an expiration date for their usefulness in this world; they break down and are replaced just like any other commodity. If you follow the band, you know that dehumanization is a running theme with us, and you’ll be relieved to know we aren’t singing about rainbows, puppies and the girl next-door on this one.

“I also have to say, it was a great pleasure of mine to have our friend and amazing guitarist, Christian Muenzer, lay down a guest solo on a track. My teenage guitar hero Bobby Koelble shreds on a song as well, making it the only metal album I can think of that he played on since ‘Symbolic‘! That in itself is a huge honor for me.

“We even did a cover song of DISSECTIONNight’s Blood‘ that I think everyone will enjoy. We tried hard to obtain the integrity and vibe of the original and I think we achieved that. It’s the first cover we ever recorded. So we made sure we did it right!

“When all is said and done, I believe this is to be our crowning achievement so far, and I’m sure the fans will agree once they hear it. Thank you for all your support over the years. See you all on tour this Fall!”

DIR EN GREY’s New Album Arche Details Announced

Tokyo, Japan’s DIR EN GREY have announced that the follow up to Dum Spiro Spero, entitled Arche, will be released in late 2014.  The band breaks down the details:

“This album has been named ‘ARCHE‘ which stands for “the origin” in Greek. From the point where ‘the album has finally taken form’(Shinya) the band embarked on their nationwide tour as they continue work on the album.

“This album is being worked on with me thinking about the past and future of myself as a vocalist, more than I have had ever before. That place where the old me and the new me crosses is what is being put into the 9th album ‘ARCHE’ (Kyo). Showing their inclination in regards to the new album from the musical point of view they commented with the following, ‘We will end up with an absolutely new and different sound from DIR EN GREY as compared to the previous album’ (Die), ‘No matter how I try to explain this ‘sound’ with words I will never be able to do it” (Toshiya).
“We received the following words of assurance, ‘I can’t really be overstating the album, which is yet incomplete, but please wait for that first blow of the force that will be’ARCHE‘. (Kaoru)”

The Legendary IN THE WOODS… Announces Return

It’s been 14 long years but Norwegian legends, IN THE WOODS…, have announced their return.  The line-up includes the Botteri brothers and Anders Kobro along with some as yet unannounced members.  Truly a beautiful announcement for a band that didn’t get the amount of respect they were owed.

Here’s the band’s official announcement:

“Back into the woods The woods are full of trees, some old, some not. Some have been cut down, some recycled, and some are still standing, defying the harshness of the nature. This goes for the Kristiansand-based band as well. Some of the trees have decided to rear their ugly heads once again, with a battle plan including the recording of two albums, two albums which were planned released back in the year 2000. Later this month the members will get together, rehearsing and polishing the songs. During the period prior to the farewell gig in Kristiansand 14 years ago, on the 29th of December at Caledonien Hall, the lineup changed several times. But a core, consisting of original drummer Kobro and the Botteri twins Chris and Christopher, has always been present. The lineup today consists of these three aforementioned gentlemen, as well as several other musicans will be announced soon, also a very good replacement that will fill the shoes for Oddvar who tragically left us last year. The band will not rush the production of the material, but state they will take their time to ensure a high quality process resulting in music which will stand the test of time.”

Video Highlights from Wacken Open Air 2014

This past weekend, the biggest metal fest in the world, Wacken Open Air, went down with another amazing line up of bands.  None of us, APESHIT goons, were able to make the trip over to Germany but let’s check out some great footage.

MOTORHEAD played a short but sweet set.  Make sure to check them out before the opportunity ends, you know?

KREATOR always put on a good show and their performance was top notch as usual.

EMPEROR played their second to last show in honor of the 20th anniversary of the mandatory, In the Nightside Eclipse.  Ihsahn makes playing with eyeglasses cool.

The interest level in CARCASS is seemingly at all time high so let’s enjoy the band’s well deserved success.

You may not know this but AVANTASIA are huge in the metal world (outside the US).  They sell tons of records.  Check this out to see what the hype is all about.

I remember when APOCALYPTICA was just a novel band that covered METALLICA songs in a novel way.  Look at them now.  Amazing.

Bazillion Points to Publish Massive NYHC: New York Hardcore 1980–1990

Bazillion Points Books is proud to announce the November 2014 release of NYHC: New York Hardcore 1980–1990,  by hardcore punk historian and author Tony Rettman. This dense 450pp volume will include over fifty chapters covering the bands, venues, labels, hangouts, and larger-than-life characters that built New York hardcore, based on new interviews with over 100 key historical figures.

“New York City has an energy that you’re not going to find anywhere else. People who have that passionate, driven mindset; they gravitate to New York City. Being in that intense environment—you had to come into your own to survive that area.”—John PorcellyYOUTH OF TODAY/SHELTER

Known for its glamorous 1970′s punk rock scene, New York City matched the grim urban reality of the 1980′s with a rawer musical uprising: New York hardcore. As bands of misfits from across the region gravitated to the forgotten frontier of Manhattan’s Lower East Side. With a a backdrop of despair, bands like AGNOSTIC FRONT, CRO-MAGS, MURPHY’S LAW, and YOUTH OF TODAY confronted their reality with relentlessly energetic gigs at CBGB, A7, and the numerous squats in the area.

Tony Rettman‘s ambitious oral history captures ten years of struggle, including the scene’s regional rivalries with D.C. and Boston, the birth of moshing, the clash and coming to terms of hardcore and heavy metal, the straightedge movement, and the unlikely influence of Krishna consciousness.

The gripping and sometimes hilarious narrative is woven together like the fabric of New York itself from over 100 original interviews with members of the bands that were there.

Tony Rettman is a freelance music journalist whose work has appeared in the Village Voice, Vice, The Wire, Philadelphia Weekly, Cleveland Scene, Arthur, Swindle, Signal to Noise, Mean, and Thrasher. At age 14 in the 1980′s, he was the coeditor of Common Sense zine. He has provided liner notes for such artists as Hackamore Brick, Bored Youth, Beyond and many more. He is a contributing editor to DoubleCrossXX.com. In 2010, Revelation Records released his acclaimed first book, Why Be Something That You’re Not: Detroit Hardcore 1979-1985.

“In other parts of our neighborhood, guys were breakdancing against each other; we were moshing against each other. It was all about who had the most style, as opposed to today where it’s just picking up change and karate kicking. It was all about trying to keep dancing, while still blasting into someone from D.C. or Boston, and all about who had the hardest pit for their town’s band. It was like supporting your city’s hockey team or something.”- Jimmy GMURPHY’S LAW

“At that time, the Lower East Side was a warzone. It wasn’t the gentrified neighborhood that it’s been for the last twenty years. It was a fucking warzone, without question. It was worse than the worse neighborhoods you know in New York City today. It was a trip to be down there and go to those bars and A7 and shit like that. I wasn’t even eighteen yet, and I was getting a peek into a world that most people will never see.”- Eddie SuttonLEEWAY

“I had my personal experiences from life; being on the streets, being locked up, and being in abusive foster homes. I was fighting. I was shot and stabbed, and that’s what came out. We sang about street justice and survival on the streets because that shit was for real. That shit was a way to express ourselves and get out that angst. It was real. It wasn’t some hypothetical bullshit.”- John JosephCRO-MAGS

 

Tankcrimes to Re-release BRAINOIL’s Debut Album

On September 14, 2014, Tankcrimes will reissue the debut full-length from Oakland-born punishing sludge power trio, BRAINOIL.

BRAINOIL‘s sludge style is chock full of up-tempo crust-inspired breaks and monstrously baked breakdowns undoubtedly suited for diehards of IRON MONKEY, DYSTOPIA, BUZZOV*EN and EL DOPA. Originally released on Life Is Abuse Records in 2003 but sold out for over five years, the monolithic Brainoil was recorded by Dan Rathburn at Polymorph Studios.

Brainoil will be released on CD and vinyl limited to500 copies in two color variants: 150 – gold, bone, brown mashed vinyl and 350 – bone vinyl. All vinyl orders come with a download card to satiate your digital listening pleasures.

CANNABIS CORPSE – From Wisdom to Baked

Cannabis Corpse - From Wisdom to BakedIf you’re unfamiliar with the band, the most fatal mistake you could make is to not take them seriously.  Of course, the band embrace humor and parody but CANNABIS CORPSE are focused on making killer music.  With From Wisdom to Baked, the band have jumped to elite status.  Prime classic US death metal.

CANNABIS expand their sound from being a predominantly Chris Barnes-era CANNIBAL CORPSE clone to one that incorporates more influences from all the classic US death metal bands, such as DEATH and MORBID ANGEL.  Not only that but they explore the spaces for nuances within these established styles of death metal.  Thus, avoiding sounding like a compilation CD mash up.  CANNABIS CORPSE answer questions like, “How would CANNIBAL sound with good drumming?,” and “How would DEATH sound with gutteral vocals and more mosh-friendly parts?”

As with every CANNABIS release, fans can quiz themselves to figure out which album and song titles each song is derived from.   What other band provides the additional value of metal trivia with every album?

With endless hooks, killer playing, and no discernible weak points, From Wisdom to Baked ranks as a pure gem in an oversaturated market filled with mostly irrelevant metal.  Buy or die.  (Season of Mist)