APESHIT’s Top Metal Albums of 2013

carcass.surgicalsteelOnce again, another fruitful year in extreme music draws to a close.  We saw some long awaited comebacks by legends, three quarters of the original SABBATH line up, VOIVOD and CARCASS.  The godfathers of U.S. death metal had a healthy year with strong releases by SUFFOCATION, DEICIDE, and IMMOLATION.  We also saw young superstars, GHOST B.C. and KVELERTAK, release good sophomore albums.  Perhaps the most polarizing and criticized album is SATYRICON‘s self-titled album, which was roasted by the majority of the media and fans.

Among the mountains of releases, there is one album that we’ll gush about again and again, and that’s CARCASS‘ comeback album, Surgical Steel.  There are always good and interesting albums coming out all the time, and then there are the untouchable albums that only the legendary bands could create.  Surgical Steel scorches everything in its path and clearly shows that in the pantheon of active bands, they are at the top.

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COFFINS – The Fleshland

Coffins  - T he FleshlandThere’s no ignoring the fact that clean, polished technical-based death metal bands have gained prominence in the metal media in recent years.  However, Tokyo’s COFFINS proudly reminds us of death metal’s dark and brutal origins.

The best way to describe their sound is downtuned, sludgy, dirty, and ugly as shit.   COFFINS does not go any faster than a mid-paced stomping tempo on average, which helps power the sludge/doom element of their sound.  Some songs are definitely faster than others though.  The nine tracks on The Fleshland are pretty even in terms of quality – not high or low but somewhere in the middle.

Kudos to the band for an excellent, crystal clear production.  It’s great to hear this style of death metal be given the sound it deserves.  Big money budgets be damned.

It should also be noted that the album artwork by Chris Moyen perfectly fits the music.

COFFINS will likely not change your life but they fit a niche in death metal and are tops in style points. (Relapse Records)

Japan’s COFFINS Schedule West Coast U.S. Tour

After last year’s successful East Coast U.S. tour, Japan’s COFFINS are set to bring their heavy music to the West Coast, which includes a stop at Murderfest 5.0 in Los Angeles. The band will be touring with Oakland’s STORMCROW, whom they will be releasing a split with later this year.

Here are the tour dates:
4/30/2009 El Chorazon – Seattle, WA w/SKARP, GREY
5/01/2009 Northern – Olympia, WA w/THRONES, SIXES
5/02/2009 Satyricon – Portland, OR w/THRONES, ALDEBARAN
5/03/2009 Oak St Speakeasy – Eugene, OR w/HC MINDS
5/04/2009 Auntie Moe’s – Eureka, CA
5/06/2009 KFJC radio live recording – San Jose, CA
5/07/2009 Annie’s – San Francisco, CA w/LAUDANUM, SAMOTHRACE
5/08/2009 Gilman St. – Berkeley, CA w/ALDEBARAN
5/09/2009 The Knitting Factory (part of LA Murderfest) – Los Angeles, CA

COFFINS: Two New Tracks; Northeast Tour Dates

Tokyo’s COFFINS has released two tracks from their upcoming album Buried Death on their MySpace page. The album, to be released on 20 Buck Spin Records with distribution through Southern Lord, will hit the streets on June 20th.

The band will be attacking the Northeast US with a splattering of live dates with labelmates THE ENDLESS BLOCKADE, as well as COFFINS‘ appearance at the Maryland Deathfest. Here are their tour dates:
05/16/2008 Elks Lodge – Cambridge, MA w/RAW RADAR WAR, NOOSEBOMB, SCAPEGOAT
05/17/2008 Matinee show: ABC No Rio – New York, NY w/ASRA, THE COMMUNION
05/17/2008 Evening show: Rockstar Bar – Brooklyn, NY w/UNEARTHLY TRANCE, THE COMMUNION
05/18/2008 Khyber – Philadelphia, PA w/ OTESANEK (reunion)
05/19/2008 Talking Head – Baltimore, MD w/ TRIAC, DRUGS OF FAITH, FIGHT AMP [no COFFINS]
05/20/2008 Nara Sushi – Richmond, VA w/ JUICE TYME
05/21/2008 Jan’s Room – Allentown, PA w/ FISTULA, BIRTH CONTROL
05/22/2008 Roboto – Pittsburgh, PA w/ HELLNATION, ABYSME, SLICES
05/23-25/2008 Maryland Deathfest 2008COFFINS play Saturday night