APESHIT’s Top Metal Albums of 2011

2011 was a very productive and enjoyable year for extreme music, perhaps the best in years. Thus, it was not an easy task choosing what we enjoyed best since they were just so many. 2011 also gave us unforgettably bad albums by LOU REED and METALLICA, flops by THE HAUNTED as well as controversial ones by MORBID ANGEL.

We look forward to another strong year in 2012 in which we will celebrate our 10 years online. Cheers for all of your support in 2011! Radikult!!
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DOOMRIDERS – Darkness Come Alive

DOOMRIDERS‘ impressive debut, Black Thunder, was an exciting, gritty don’t-give-a-fuck metal record with MAIDEN dual-guitar harmonies, a sometimes-DANZIG croon, and death ‘n roll edge of late 90′s era ENTOMBED. Their anticipated follow-up, Darkness Come Alive, deliver a lot of those same influences, albeit in a more refined manner. Where Black Thunder had a fun party vibe, Darkness Come Alive is focused and captures a more serious tone.

Fronted by CONVERGE bassist, Nate Newton, on guitars and vocals, the screamer bellows with a distinct yet understandable growl that, along with their dual-guitar harmonies, really characterizes the band. The album begins with their “signature” harmonized guitars in “Heavy Lies the Crown,” a midpaced number that really sets the tone for the rest of the album. Unfortuantely, tempos never get too much faster than that, but the album is all about the guitars and song arrangements. “Knife Wound” then picks up the pace a bit. The track is full of strong breakdowns and is less reliant on the guitar harmonies. The album continues without straying far from their established bark. Some highlights include “Crooked Path,” “Lions,” “Mercy,” and closing track “Rotter.”  Though there really are no weak songs.

The rest of the band, JR Conners (CAVE IN), Jebb Riley (DISAPPEAR), and Chris Pupecki (CAST IRON HIKE) are no slouches. They’re a tight unit exhibiting no entry-level flaws. And production, by CONVERGE‘s Kurt Ballou at his Godcity Studios is praise-worthy. The mix is full and deliciously bass-heavy.

Darkness Come Alive perhaps isn’t quite the “expected” follow-up to Black Thunder, but it’s a thoroughly solid album of heavy music that isn’t to be labeled “this-core” or “that-core.” It’s just heavy fucking metal! (Deathwish Inc.)

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CONVERGE: New Album, Axe to Fall, Drops October 20th

Lambgoat has revealed that CONVERGE‘s new album will carry the title Axe to Fall, and is scheduled for release on October 20th through Epitaph Records (with vinyl to come via Deathwish Inc.).

Axe to Fall, which was recorded at guitarist Kurt Ballou’s Godcity studio in Salem, MA, features a flurry of guest contributions from Steve Brodsky (CAVE IN), Adam McGrath (CAVE IN), J.R. Connors (CAVE IN, DOOMRIDERS), Uffe Cederlund (DISFEAR, ex-ENTOMBED), John Pettibone (THE VOWS, HIMSA), Steve Von Till (NEUROSIS), and Mookie Singerman (GENGHIS TRON). Artwork was, once again, crafted by singer Jacob Bannon.

Here’s the full album track list:
01. “Dark Horse
02. “Reap What You Sow
03. “Axe To Fall
04. “Effigy
05. “Worms Will Feed
06. “Wishing Well
07. “Damages
08. “Losing Battle
09. “Dead Beat
10. “Cutter
11. “Slave Driver
12. “Cruel Bloom
13. “Wretched World

The band will be touring extensively in support of the new album with a slot on the MASTODON and DETHKLOK tour.  CONVERGE will also be playing off-tour dates and making festival appearances including this year’s F Yeah Fest and Maryland Deathfest.

Champions of Sound Tour: PELICAN, KAYO DOT, STEVE BRODSKY & ZOZOBRA

Hydra Head Records has announced their second ever Champions of Sound Tour. Originally devised in 2003 and also featuring label staples and instrumental metal masters, PELICAN, this year’s trek sees avant-metal pioneers KAYO DOT, supporting their latest Blue Lambency Downward, and CAVE-IN frontman Stephen Brodsky (aka Stove Bredsky), support his psychedelic rock outing that is the Black Ribbon Award. Joining the bill in major cities such as New York, Philadelphia, and Boston, are the almighty ZOZOBRA.

Tuesday October 28th 2008 Mt. Clemens, MI Hayloft
Wednesday October 29th 2008 Columbus, OH Ravari Room
Thursday October 30th 2008 Buffalo, NY Tralf Music Hall
Saturday November 1st 2008 Allston, MA Harper’s Ferry w/ ZOZOBRA
Sunday November 2nd 2008 New York, NY Bowery Ballroomw/ ZOZOBRA
Monday November 3rd 2008 Milford, CT Daniel Street w/ ZOZOBRA
Tuesday November 4th 2008 Philadelphia, PA North Star Bar w/ ZOZOBRA
Wednesday November 5th 2008 Washington, DC Black Cat
Friday November 7th 2008 Charlotteville, VA Outback Lodge
Saturday November 8th 2008 Raleigh, NC The Brewery
Sunday November 9th 2008 Atlanta, GA The Drunken Unicorn
Monday November 10th Jacksonville, FL Jack Rabbits
Tuesday November 11th 2008 Gainesville, FL The Common Grounds
Thursday November 13th 2008 Tampa, FL Orpheum
Friday November 14th 2008 Orlando, FL The Social
Sunday November 16th 2008 Memphis, TN Hi Tone Café
Tuesday November 18th 2008 Louisville, KY Uncle Pleasant’s
Wednesday November 19th 2008 Chicago, IL Subterranean

Visit hydrahead.com for more information.