CANNIBAL CORPSE – Evisceration Plague

After releasing a slew of mediocre and bland albums in the last decade, the most popular death metal band in the world returns with Evisceration Plague. On the surface, one may find that this is the same redundant formula CANNIBAL CORPSE has been using since the early 90’s – but this latest slab has finally matched the musicianship and songwriting that hasn’t been seen since their 1998 classic, Gallery Of Suicide.

From the opening seconds of “Priests of Sodom“, Corpsegrinder‘s scream shows that he certainly means business. Alex Webster is one of the few talented bass players around that doesn’t just double whatever the guitar players play, and it’s fortunate that the bass is very audible in the mix. While Paul Mazurkiewicz‘s drumming is (and always has been) the weakest link of the band, he does pull off more double bass and mixes a variety of beats this time, rather than the usual mid-paced “Cannibal blast beat” throughout the entire album. “Scalding Hail” kicks in with some tasty chops reminiscent of Gallery of Suicide and the arrangements on this album seem to flow a lot smoother than previous efforts. “To Decompose” features the classic CANNIBAL feel, as well as a nice mosh pit inducing break down towards the middle of the track. Pat O’Brien‘s shredding skill is showcased throughout the album, especially on “Carnivorous Swarm” – which leads to the fact that the guitar duo of Pat O’Brien and Rob Barrett is nicely meshed on Evisceration Plague, as opposed to on the lackluster Kill album. The title track includes the catchy “Plague leads to death…Plague leads to death…” chant that the live crowds will eat up while Corpsegrinder pounds his fists in the air and goes into his trademark windmill headbang.

Although new and fresh ideas from CANNIBAL CORPSE are long gone, Evisceration Plague dishes out a surprisingly solid album by these veterans. CANNIBAL fans, new and old alike, should be happy with this offering. If the albums Vile and Gallery of Suicide had a baby, Evisceration Plague would be the end result. (Metal Blade Records)

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SUFFOCATION Begin Recording New Album

New York’s death metal legends, SUFFOCATION, will enter the studio to begin recording their Nuclear Blast debut Blood Oath starting January 31st. The follow up to their 2006 self-titled record will once again be recorded with Joe Cincotta, whom they worked with on their previous two releases. Mixing duties will be handled this time around by Zack Ohren (ALL SHALL PERISH, DECREPIT BIRTH) and cover artwork will once again be brought to life by Jon Zig (DEEDS OF FLESH, DISGORGE, GORGASM). Some tentative song titles so far are “Dismal Dream“, “Undeserving“, “Confines of Disillusion“, “Blood Oath“, “Come Hell Or High Priest“, “Provoking the Disturbed“.

SUFFOCATION recently completed a North American tour as direct support to reactivated UK melodo-death/gore/grind legends CARCASS. The package also included 1349, ABORTED and ROTTEN SOUND.

ABORTED: New Album Posted for Streaming; Prep for U.S. Tour

Belgian death metal band, ABORTED, have posted their forthcoming, sixth new album up for streaming.  The album, Strychnine:213, is set for a June 24th release through Century Media.  Listen here: http://www.myspace.com/abortedmetal

The band are also set to embark on the Summer Slaughter tour through the U.S., alongside THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, KATAKLYSM, VADER, CRYPTOPSY, and more.  Vocalist, Sven De Caluwe, comments on the tour:

“The last paperwork and arrangements are being made here for our departure to the U.S. in a few days, all I can say is that the band is extremely excited to get out there and crush everything together with all these killer bands on this year’s Summer Slaughter tour. This is not only one of the coolest tours with very diverse bands, it’s also a great opportunity for us to party with our good friends for over a month. To all the fans out there: bring your helmets because it’s fuckin’ hammer time! See you all soon.”

Check the official Summer Slaughter tour site for the tour dates and info: http://www.myspace.com/summerslaughtertour

ABYSMAL DAWN: Blackening the Sky

In the mid 90’s, seminal acts such as DEATH, DISINCARNATE, and CYNIC all made their mark by delivering crushing, technical, guitar-based extreme metal–all while retaining the key element of writing catchy, memorable songs. L.A.’s own ABYSMAL DAWN have taken those lessons and combined them with elements of technical thrash and Scandinavian black metal to give the band’s debut album, From Ashes its own unique flavor. APESHIT spoke with frontman/lead shredder, Charles Elliot, following the band’s first tour with SIX FEET UNDER, KRISIUN, and DECAPITATED last year.

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CANNIBAL CORPSE: Killing for a Living

Killing sprees, severed limbs, maggots, and zombies aren’t what eighteen year careers are typically made of. But death metal’s biggest and bloodiest band, CANNIBAL CORPSE, has done just that. They’ve stabbed, hacked, slashed, and killed their way to the brutal tune of hundreds of thousands of albums sold, while winning over legions of fans and upsetting a few parents and politicians along the way. The band’s latest album, Kill, ranks as arguably their best albums in years and sees them at the top of their game. APESHIT met up with talkative frontman, George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher, during the last date of the Sounds of the Underground Tour in Los Angeles this past summer. Holding nothing back, he revealed his thoughts on the current state of the CANNIBAL CORPSE camp, censorship, and the driving force behind the band.

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DEICIDE – The Stench of Redemption

Everyone knows that Glen Benton and his merry band of hell raising mischief-makers have been writing songs about hating Jesus and killing Christians for a long time, but after a series of mediocre and otherwise seemingly forgettable releases on Roadrunner Records there is one question that seemed to haunt this band – does anyone care? With the reinvigorated songwriting and supercharged rhythms on The Stench of Redemption, DEICIDE is going to make you care.

Although their 2004 release Scars of the Crucifix marked a return to form of sorts on Earache Records, it took a line up change and rebuilding of this band’s sound from the ground up to create the aural assault in The Stench of Redemption. Gone are the production hiccups that appeared on Scars…, and Brothers Brian and Eric Hoffman bowed out to be replaced by ex-CANNIBAL CORPSE guitarist Jack Owen and guitarist Ralph Santolla of ICED EARTH. The result is excellent production with a plethora of roars, riffs and blasts that explode with thrash-infused death metal goodness. The band freely admits that this is the fastest material they have written, and their determination to write what is potentially the best DEICIDE release to date shines through. Tracks such as “The Lord’s Sedition” demonstrate that Glen picked up a few pointers on atmosphere and mood during his time working with VITAL REMAINS, though nothing on this album is as pretentious as the songwriting that appeared in Dechristianize.” Ralph and Jack most notably showcase their talents with solos on “Desecration,” “Crucified for the Innocence,” and “Death to Jesus.” Select versions of the album also include an interesting cover of DEEP PURPLE‘s “Black Night,” which has more blasting drums than Deep Purple could ever have imagined.

Some may say this album only serves up the best parts of those songs in DEICIDE‘s early career, but anyone with an ear for reinvention will recognize this release as representing the expression only hinted at in 1992. Let the earth quake, skies fall, and gods tremble with The Stench of Redemption. (Earache Records)

VADER – Impressions in Blood

First things first…if you love death metal, then you love VADER. It’s a simple correlation. So with the release of every VADER release comes the interest and curiosity of every death head out there. To the relief and happiness of many fans, Impressions in Blood is better than its predecessor, The Beast. After a symphonic keyboard intro, that familiar blasting, grinding fury of VADER comes out immediately. However, it’s not until the third track, “As Heavens Collide,” that the band really get things going. The track has a great slamming riff that comes in the middle section. The following track is undoubtedly VADER at their catchiest as they proclaim that “God is Dead/Dead/Helleluyah!!!” There is an absolutely devastating riff that also kicks in the mid section of the song. “Field of Deads” has a cool drum outro that segues into the mid-tempo, plodding “Predator.” These veterans pull everything off with total ease and mastery. The fury, blasting speed, wailing guitar solos, and abundance of killer VADER riffs continue for the rest of Impressions in Blood. The handful of symphonic intros add some spice to the tried and true VADER mix. However, there’s just seems to be something missing overall. The material, as a whole, doesn’t quite match up pound for pound with their best work such as Litany. Fear not though for Impressions in Blood is still a good album with plenty of fire to offer. (Candlelight USA/Regain Records)

Cavalera Brothers Reunite at SOULFLY Gig

Former SEPULTURA drummer, Igor Cavalera, reunited with his brother and former bandmate, Max Cavalera, at a recent gig of Max‘s SOULFLY band. The show, which took place on August 17th in Tempe, Arizona, was a memorial show for Dana Wells (D-Low), the step son of Max and son of Gloria Cavalera. Igor joined the band for a drum jam which segued into the SEPULTURA track “Attitude.”

Having returned from a European tour, SOULFLY is set to embark on a US tour with WICKED WISDOM, FULL BLOW CHAOS, SCARS OF TOMORROW, and IGNITE (Gloria and Max‘s son’s band).

Currently scheduled dates are as follows:

9/18 San Diego, CA – The House of Blues
9/19 Anaheim, CA – The House of Blues
9/20 Las Vegas, NV – The House of Blues
9/21 Salt Lake City, UT – Club Vegas
9/22 Colorado Springs, CO – The Black Sheep
9/23 Topeka, KS – The Static Bar
9/24 St. Paul, MN – Station 4
9/25 Mokena, IL – The Pearl Room
9/26 Flint, MI – The Machine Shop
10/1 Winston-Salem, NC – Ziggy’s
10/2 Charlotte, NC – Amos’ South End
10/3 Tallahassee, FL – The Beta Bar
10/4 St. Petersburg, FL – State Theatre
10/5 Ft. Lauderdale, FL – The Culture Room

SPV Sign UNLEASHED to Worldwide Record Deal

SPV Records has announced the signing of Swedish death metal masters, UNLEASHED, to a worldwide deal.

Known for their skillfully penned, Viking-themed songs and explosive live performances, UNLEASHED are poised to make a major impact this fall with the release of their eighth full-length album, titled Midvinterblot.

“We have more qualified songs to choose from than ever before, and I am very confident that this will be the best UNLEASHED album ever,” frontman Johnny Hedlund had previously stated about the CD. “Our mission is to create one of the most memorable records in the history of death metal!!! This one will be slightly faster than Sworn Allegiance. The songs will be anthems in the true traditional UNLEASHED way and will have you screaming along with the choruses. The guitar sound will be taking a step towards brutality and grind. The drums are the closest we have ever come to recording a ‘live’ kind of intensity. The vocals? Well, not far away from Sworn Allegiance… just add a little harshness and a slightly deep aggression to that sound and you’ll get the picture right there. Expect nothing but one of the most memorable records in the history of death metal.”

UNLEASHED utilized the services of stand-in drummer Jonas Tyskhagen (INCARDINE, PELLE & THE POORBOYS) for their appearance at the Metalmania Festival in Katowice, Poland in early March after the group’s regular skinsman, Anders Schultz, was hospitalized following a lung-collapse.