What a glorious year in metal we just experienced. After the sheer amount of quality albums that were released in 2018, there is no question that the genre is as healthy and full of life as ever. Thus, making our top albums lists harder than usual.
For the APESHIT goons, 2018 was the year where the legends all shined. JUDAS PRIEST led the charge with their best album since 1990’s Painkiller. DIMMU BORGIR finally emerged from a long slumber and did not disappoint. VOIVOD remain the gods that the mass metal media won’t acknowledge as such. We can’t really think of any letdowns. Can you?
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 CARCASS‘ Surgical Steel). But MAYHEM, BLOODBATH, GODFLESH, and TRYPTIKON were near consensus picks. Sorry, ENTOMBED A.D. didn’t make it here.
Swedish all star death metal band, BLOODBATH, have announced PARADISE LOST‘s Nick Holmes as successor for the vocalist spot left vacant by Mikael Akerfeldt and Peter Tatgren. Their fourth album, Grand Morbid Funeral, comes out on November 18 through Peaceville Records.
Blakkheim (guitar) commented, “Little did I expect to be working with the voice behind the death metal classic Lost Paradise, or the genre defining Gothic, and yet here we are decades later fulfilling another death metal dream. With his sinister and ominous vocal delivery, it’s an absolute pleasure to make Old Nick the bell-ringer in Bloodbath‘s Grand Morbid Funeral!”
Jonas Renkse (bass) commented, “Ever since I got into Lost Paradise back in ’90, Nick Holmes has been one of my favorite growling vocalists out there. He was always audible and articulate but still deep and definitely morbid. It is a great pleasure to work with him some 25 years later after I was introduced to his thunderous roar!”
Can’t wait to hear Nick Holmes do his great death vocals again.
Century Media Records has announced that they have signed Swedish metal legend, Dan Swanö (EDGE OF SANITY, INFESTDEAD, NIGHTINGALE, BLOODBATH).
Dan Swanö comments about the signing:
“It’s been 23 years since I signed my first ever record-deal, but never before have I been this excited…I have now signed with Century Media Records!
“I bought the first release from Century Media back in 1989, and it is amazing to see how much the label has grown over the years.
“After working with CM for a few compilation CDs and for two and a half albums with BLOODBATH, I knew it would be the perfect home for me whenever I felt like returning to the recording-industry as a performer again.
“And now…I am back! With a vengeance!!!”
The first release will be his newly founded metal outfit WITHERSCAPE, which sees Dan teaming with another talented multi-instrumentalist, Ragnar Widerberg.
Swanö comments about the upcoming WITHERSCAPE album:
“I have just completed the final mixes of the first album from my new project WITHERSCAPE.
Fans of my ‘Moontower‘ album and the catchier parts of EDGE OF SANITY won’t be disappointed!
I sing, both clean and growl, play drums and keyboards. Ragnar Widerberg plays all guitars & bass and has co-written almost all the tracks with me.”
Longtime guitarist Fredrik Norrman and bassist Mattias Norrman have recently announced their departure from KATATONIA. No permanent replacements have been announced. Here is word directly from the band:
“Sad but true, today’s announcement will be heavy hearted for us to bring to you. We can hereby confirm that the brothers Fredrik ‘North’ Norrman and Mattias ‘Krypt’ Norrman have decided to step off the ride and leave KATATONIA. We respect their decision and would like to take the opportunity to collectively thank them both for all the years gone by, all the up’s and down’s we shared out on the road, in the studio and basically the memories and moments we shared of our 20’s growing up together. Fredrik was with us for 15 years and Mattias for 10 years and we were lucky to have the same intact line-up going since 1999, but it’s true what they say – all good things come to an end.
“Here’s the official statements from the Norrman brothers:
“This is definitely the hardest decision I’ve ever made. It’s absolutely grievous to say the words “quit KATATONIA”, even worse to make it happen. It’s been 15 really good years and I would like to thank the guys in the band and all people that I’ve meet on the road. I’ll now watch KATATONIA from your side…..”
“- Fredrik ‘North’ Norrman
“It’s with great sadness I have decided to leave KATATONIA after 10 fantastic years. This decision was probably the toughest I have ever made. The reason for this is many small factors that makes it hard for me to be away from home this forthcoming year. It’s going to be a lot of touring in the future so the time for this desicion had to be done now. And I will point out that there is no personal argue between us in the band, just that the time for touring isn’t right for me… This is not what I wanted, but family always comes in the first place. I would like to thank Jonas, Anders, Daniel, Fred and our crew for all those years together. It has truly been the best in my life. And a big thanx to all fans and all good friends I have made out there. You are the best and you will be missed… I really hope that one day when the time is right be able to continue the journey with the band. I wish all the best to you guys!! I’m really gonna miss the life on the road with you!”
“- Mattias ‘Krypt’ Norrman”
The band also had this to say:
“We also know that out of the ashes of a setback new possibilities open up. We’ve already found temporary replacements for the upcoming tours and this will not affect any of our agenda or plans for 2010. Currently filling in for Fredrik on guitar will be long time guitar tech and also guitarist of BLOODBATH, mr. Per ‘Sodomizer’ Eriksson while we have Niklas ‘Nille’ Sandin filling Mattias shoes on bass until we decide how to move on with the replaceable positions on a permanent long term.”