Cryptopsy live 01The Mayan Theater in Los Angeles certainly looks like the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland, but on this night, pure death metal was held at this venue.

ABYSMAL DAWN returned home to butter up the crowd with their technical brand of death metal.  Emphasizing a few tracks off their latest album, Obsolescence, Charles Elliott and company delivered an enthusiastic set that kicked off this wonderful show.

Cryptopsy live 02A buzz was in the air as fans were awaiting CRYPTOPSY’s return to Los Angeles, and the Canadian death metal quartet did not disappoint.  Despite their short set, the band blasted  through some brutal classics, notably fan favorites such as “Slit Your Guts” and “Phobophile.”  Vocalist Matt McGachy pleased old Lord Worm-era fans with his guttural delivery, and bassist Olivier Pinard showcased his fantastic skill on bass.  Of course, the highlight of the band is to watch Flo Mounier’s precise delivery on destroying the drum kit with his intricate fills and sheer bad ass mastery of the kit.  Wish they played longer – maybe next time.

Obituary liveThose who are familiar with the swamp groove masters, OBITUARY, know that the band always delivers live.  They punished the crowd with old classics, which only sound heavier in the live setting.  Guitarist Trevor Peres’ one-of-a-kind distortion is always great to hear, and the band was firing on all cylinders.  Glad to see these classic bands are still on top of their game.  “Chopped in Half/Dying” and “Slowly We Rot” brought the crowd into a frenzied, bloodied mess…leading the way to the headliners…

Cannibal Corpse liveThe crowd was getting anxious for CANNIBAL CORPSE, and while some songs sounded a bit slower than normal, they ripped through their gems from all eras of the band, from “Born in a Casket,” “Covered With Sores,” the love ballad “I Cum Blood,” to “Unleashing the Bloodthirsty,” and tracks like “Kill or Become” from the latest album, A Skeletal Domain.

CANNIBAL, while a bit older and slower, still deliver the goods, and the boys are still going strong.  Kudos to Rob Barrett for wearing MONSTROSITY’s Imperial Doom shirt, which was Corpsegrinder’s first band (for the uninitiated).

This was definitely one of the more killer packages with four great bands, so be sure to check this tour out if you haven’t already!

APESHIT’s Top Metal Albums of 2015

motorheadWhen looking back at 2015, the only thing that seems to matter is the passing of Lemmy Kilmister. Of course losing Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor in November was sad but Lemmy was on another level – one of the pillars of the entire rock ‘n roll universe. Thankfully, he left a voluminous legacy for us to enjoy for eternity, including some of music’s best interviews and quotes possible. Cheers, Lemmy.

Other than that, 2015 was a remarkably strong year for the pioneering, long-running bands in the metal scene.  Everyone from KILLING JOKE, MY DYING BRIDE, FEAR FACTORY to AMORPHIS put out fantastic records. This past year also saw some very good super groups in TAU CROSS and FIRESPAWN make their debuts.  You’ll find that many of them made it to our respective lists.

Additionally, we’ve recruited some fresh blood in Charles Elliott, Andrew Sample, and Jeff Wagner. These industry vets have been in the trenches with us for years and years, and have helped bring you many of the greatest records ever released for the past 20+ years.
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CRYPTOPSY – The Book of Suffering Tome 1

Cryptopsy - The Book of Suffering Tome 1Three years ago, CRYPTOPSY retook their rightful place atop the extreme metal pantheon with Cryptopsy. The band have since become a four-piece after the latest departure of founding guitarist Jon Levasseur. Despite that, it only takes a few seconds into The Book of Suffering Tome 1 to know that CRYPTOPSY are still reigning.

As the first in a series of crowdfunded EPs, the The Book of Suffering Tome 1 does exactly what it’s supposed to do: brutalize you in the most succinct manner possible and leave you wanting more. The Book of Suffering Tome 1 is essentially flawless with CRYPTOPSY at the top of their game. Their trademark sound is there (manic blasts, off the wall time changes, breakdowns, etc.) but also with shades of darkness and violence.

In keeping with the band’s pledge for quality over quantity with these releases, the production is absolutely flawless, which is perfect given the top-notch performances of each member. Big ups to guitarist Chris Donaldson, Jason Suecoff, and Alan Douches for their work.

The bottom line is that The Book of Suffering Tome 1 is a mandatory release for all extreme metal fans. Flawless victory. (self-released)

CRYPTOPSY Launch Video for “Detritus (The One They Kept)”

Montreal’s CRYPTOPSY have posted their official video for the song, “Detritus (the one they kept)“:

While diehard fans may have been justifiably concerned that new CRYPTOPSY music would suffer without guitarist/songwriter Jon Levasseur, this song is killer.    “Detritus (the one they kept)” is the first song released from the band’s upcoming EP, The Book of Suffering Tome 1.

Pre-orders are available here: The Book of Suffering Tome 1 will be officially released on October 30, 2015.

The EP is a first in a series of EP that the band will crowdfund on

CRYPTOPSY Launches Crowdfunding Campaign For New EP

Three years after their self-titled album, CRYPTOPSY will release a series of EPs entitled The Book of Suffering. This approach will allow the band to put out new music more often while remaining true to their standards of quality.

After being on a record label for their entire career, CRYPTOPSY decided to go independent in 2012. Supported by their fans, they distributed and sold thousands of albums across the globe and had the opportunity to tour Japan, Western and Eastern Europe, the UK, South America, Scandinavia and Canada. They are now embarking on a crowd funding campaign that will allow them to give their fans more in terms of videos and enhanced live show production.

As of May 8, 2015, CRYPTOPSY‘s crowdfunding campaign is open with exclusive t-shirts, girly tank tops, hoodies, CDs and vinyls. In addition to the more traditional merchandise, they are offering signed Flo Mounier cymbals, online lessons with each band member, guest performances and a song mix by their guitarist and sound engineer Chris Donaldson. For those who are interested in memorabilia, they are offering stage banners that have been used since 2012. CRYPTOPSY‘s $20,000 goal will fund the recording, mixing and mastering of The Book of Suffering Tome 1, as well as produce artwork, a music video and stage banners. Additional rewards such as a play-through video, a tour documentary and more music will be unlocked for all backers if they surpass their goal.

The band have stated: “We hope that every extreme metal fan will be exposed to The Book of Suffering Tome 1. We are extremely proud of the material; it is some of the most brutal, technical and fresh music we have ever created.”

NADER SADEK: “Re: Mechanic” Video Released

Three years subsequent to the formation of elite metal project, NADER SADEK, and the release of the collective’s debut album, In The Flesh, the final video from the album has been released.

Re:Mechanic” was re-recorded with vocals by Travis Ryan (CATTLE DECAPITATION), backing vocals by Mike Hrubovac (MONSTROSITY, VILE) and Tim Rocheny (MAUSOLEUM), drums by Flo Mounier (CRYPTOPSY), main guitars from Rune Eriksen (AVA INFERI, ex-MAYHEM), leads from Orestis Nalmpantis, and bass by Kelly Conlon (PESSIMIST, ex-DEATH, MONSTROSITY). Yet in the ever-morphing fashion of the NADER SADEK entity, the video hosts an altered cast. While Eriksen and Mounier are featured, the rest of the filmed lineup is rounded out with bassist and vocalist Novy Nowak (CONDEMNATION, ex-VADER), as well as SADEK himself not only directing the video but also appearing as the Desert Druid.

The video was filmed on multiple continents, in both underground NYC locations as well as at the ancient Crystal Altar in Egypt.

NADER SADEK – Living Flesh

Nader Sadek - Living FleshOne of the coolest death metal debut albums in recent years, gets the live treatment with Living Flesh.  Band mastermind Nader Sadek gathered together his core recording line up of Steve Tucker (ex-MORBID ANGEL), Rune Eriksen (AVA INFERI, ex-MAYHEM), and Flo Mounier (CRYPTOPSY) along with Novy (ex-VADER, BEHEMOTH, DIES IRAE), Sean Frey, and Carmen Simoes.   Do not mistake this for being just another live recording.  Living Flesh is a special CD & DVD/Blu-ray live recording with a presentation and execution unlike any other live metal album.

Visually, Nader Sadek did a great job in creating a unique, artistic stage set up, complete with a throne, emaciated branches over the monitors, and Flo Mounier‘s drumkit in the audience facing the stage.

Soundwise, the production is immaculate.  Warm tones, crystal clear drums, and great balance bring the performance to life.  The whole band is on top of the game and one just help but wonder what this line-up could do on another NADER SADEK studio album.  Lead guitarist Sean Frey does a great job in shredding every which way throughout the set.

Taken all the together, the eerie, melancholic, and slithering death metal of NADER SADEK comes to life and sounds infinitely better than In the Flesh.  In many ways, Living Flesh demonstrates that NADER SADEK embodies what makes death metal so unique and special.  Don’t miss out on one of the best new bands to emerge in years.  Highly recommended. (self-released)

NADER SADEK’s Debut Live Performance, Living Flesh, Hits February 2013

Nader Sadek - Living FleshLiving Flesh, the first ever live performance from NADER SADEK‘s critically acclaimed In the Flesh project will be self-released on February 27th.  The November 20, 2011 show featured the original line-up of musicians from the In the Flesh record, as well as two new performers. The original line-up consisted of Flo Mounier (CRYPTOPSY); Rune Eriksen (AURA NOIR, AVA INFERI, ex-MAYHEM); Novy (ex-BEHEMOTH and ex-VADER); and Steve Tucker (ex-MORBID ANGEL in his first and last live appearance for this project. Those greats are joined by Sean Frey as guest live guitarist and Carmen Simoes on backing vocals.

Living Flesh also brings you photos of that evening, demonstrating why NADER SADEK has been a favorite set-designer for the likes of SUNN O))) and MAYHEM.

The songs themselves differ from the original studio album arrangements. Not only are they played at a much higher speed, but have been extended to allow the audience to sink into and absorb the relentless riffs. The live show also features one track that does not appear on the studio album: Flo Mounier‘s extraordinary drum solo that shifts from brutal mechanical noise to rhythmic musical patterns, paralleling the overlap of man and machine charted by Sadek‘s petroleum-based project. Living Flesh will also be released in a single, unique vinyl edition. Consisting of a very special packaging and extra content, this piece is limited to one exclusive copy worldwide. Details to be announced.

APESHIT’s Top Metal Albums of 2012

As another great year for heavy music comes to a close, APESHIT takes a look back at our favorite pieces of music of 2012. This year had some great comebacks in CRYPTOPSY and STRIFE. There were also some nice surprises in the new sheer quality of the new SIX FEET UNDER and brutality of the new SOULFLY.

We want to thank all our readers, friends in the industry, and all the amazing artists, big and small, that we get a chance to work with for a great 10th year of existence. As the music industry as a whole continues to take an economic hit, let us all remember: If you like a band or one of their releases, support it!

Here’s hoping for a great 2013!

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