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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CARCASS Heading Back to North America September 2013

Carcass tourBritish extreme metal legends, CARCASS, will embark on a select amount of intimate headlining North American shows this September in support of their upcoming sixth full-length release, Surgical Steel. “Well we thought we’d play a few small key shows, kinda like the vibe we had in London earlier this year,” commented bassist/vocalist Jeff Walker. “Maybe we’re being a bit optimistic thinking we can fill these venues? Well to make sure we do we’re bringing along some old friends & bands who will probably blow us away. We’re too much of a bunch of tight wads to throw a record release party so this is the closest you’ll get – come on down, and bring your receipt with the new album purchase and demand a refund!”

Confirmed dates are as follows:

9/21/13 Mac Hall Ballroom – Calgary, AB
9/23/13 Reggie’s – Chicago, IL (w/ MACABRE)
9/25/13 Saint Vitus – Brooklyn, NY (w/ IMMOLATION)
9/26/13 Gramercy Theatre – New York, NY (w/ IMMOLATION)
9/28/13 The Troubadour – Los Angeles, CA (w/ EXHUMED)

New IMMOLATION Album Heading Your Way May 2013

New York death metal legends, IMMOLATION, have announced Kingdom of Conspiracy as the title of their upcoming ninth full-length album. The follow up to their 2010 release, Majesty and Decay, will be released on May 14th in North America via Nuclear Blast Records.

“We are really looking forward to getting the new CD out there to the fans,” commented guitarist Robert Vigna. “ I don’t think they are going to know what hit them after they hear this one! Kingdom of Conspiracy is one intense and miserably dark record!”

Catch the band on the Decibel Magazine Tour this Spring with CANNIBAL CORPSE and NAPALM DEATH. More details, including ticket info can be found at www.decibelmagazinetour.com.

New IMMOLATION Album in the Works

New York death metal legends, IMMOLATION, recently entered Sound Studios in Millbrook, NY with longtime producer Paul Orofino to record their ninth full-length album. The follow up to their 2010 release Majesty and Decay, will once again be mixed and mastered by Zack Ohren (DECREPIT BIRTH, SUFFOCATION).

“Just got out of the studio a couple of days ago, here in Europe now getting ready to do some open air festivals,” commented guitarist Robert Vigna. “The new album will have 10 tracks of some of the most intensely dark material we have ever written! Very powerful and very heavy. Steve (Shalaty – drums) really pushed it all to the limits on this one too.

“Once again we went up to Millbrook, NY to do the main tracking. Paul Orofino got us some of the best sounds we’ve had yet! We were there for two weeks laying down tracks, having amazing Belgian beers at Paul’s in house bar ‘BarFunGul’, as well as plenty of BBQing! Throughout the time we were there we got through one blackout and dodged a very intense storm system that had the potential to cut our recording session real short. Luckily everything worked out. We still have to add some last touches on to the songs etc., as well as have Zack Ohren mix and master it all but so far everything is off to a great start.

“Be certain that this new album will surely be one of our strongest yet. We look forward to getting it all finished up soon and getting it out there as soon as possible for the fans!”

For photos of the band in the studio, check out the IMMOLATION Facebook page.

For a free download of their recent Providence EP visit http://www.scionav.com/collection/808

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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IMMOLATION – Providence

Fresh off the release of last year’s Majesty and Decay album, IMMOLATION has once again conquered and solidified their part as being one of the most consistent and prolific death metal bands ever with Providence.

IMMOLATION wastes no time with any intros, and within seconds of “What They Bring,” you already sense that the EP will be brutal, blasphemous, and destructive to the ears. Ross Dolan’s vocals are still deep and brutal, but over the years, his enunciation style has become clearer without sacrificing brutality. Drummer Steve Shalaty has definitely topped IMMOLATION’s previous drummers with his technique and intricacy. And who can forget Robert Vigna’s twisted songwriting with his demonic riffs, perfectly placed pinch harmonics, and strange song structures? “Illumination” starts off with violas in the background, only to be unleashed with a fury of blasts and harmonics that make Christians cower in fear.

The title track slows the pace, but the brutality never diminishes.  Something that haunted IMMOLATION in the past was poor production like on the Failures For Gods album, but much like Majesty’s production, Providence sounds clear, flawless, with plenty of low end. “Swallow the Fear” is one of the best songs IMMOLATION has written in the last few years, encasing their entire repertoire of killer riffs, drumming, and catchy vocal lines.

IMMOLATION is a band that is still going strong with fresh ideas and high quality songs, which is very promising, especially for a band that has been around for over two decades. This EP was released as a free download, so be sure to check them out live at a city near you and buy their merchandise so they can survive and keep writing excellent music, while putting these trendy “flavor of the month” bands to shame! (Scion A/V)

Straight Shooting: Extreme Metal Artists are Good People

Throughout my years of going to shows and meeting extreme metal bands to just say “hello” and “thanks” or to conduct an interview or hang out as colleagues, I have always found these artists to be very humble, down to earth, and hardworking people. Playing extreme metal is often a thankless and perilous endeavor that regularly tests just how much these artist are dedicated to their art.

Specifically, the legendary bands tend to be the most approachable and appreciative. They are more than happy to shake your hand, pose for photos, autograph all your merchandise, thank you for your support, and speak with you for a little bit. They may not have the most time in the world or be in the mood to do so, but they often try their best. Even strong and intimidating personalities such as David Vincent, Trey Azagthoth, Glen Benton, and Chris Barnes are all nice dudes. On the other hand, there are also exceptions to this but they shall remain nameless.

The brothers in KRISIUN are some of the coolest guys you can meet. They are so grateful when you compliment them on their performance or music. And if you’ve been a diehard for a long time, that makes their day. They never brag about their musicianship even though it’s totally insane, especially given the fact that they perform flawlessly every night. Whole notes don’t really exist in their songs. Hell, if you have the opportunity to party with them, they’ll share their whiskey or herb with you without hesitation.

Ross Dolan and Bob Vigna from IMMOLATION are awesome guys. I’ve seen them in various cities across the U.S. and they are always the same. Zero egos. Zero gimmicks. They’ve always been underdogs in terms of popularity despite the fact that they are legends but they never complain about anything ever. They just work hard and try their best.

I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Andreas Kisser twice throughout the years and he is just as, if not cooler, than what you see in SEPULTURA home videos or elsewhere. He’s just a really cool and friendly person ready to laugh and is always positive. No shit talking from him. Andreas is probably one of the most open-minded people you can meet as well.

If you’ve ever seen SUFFOCATION live, then you’ve seen just how down to earth Frank Mullen is with the crowd. He never tries to act like the toughest guy on earth. He just speaks to the crowd like he would with people that he knows in his personal life. Offstage, the man is the same. Just a cool, honest, and passionate person. Frank appreciates any fans whether they be long time or brand new ones.

At the end of the day, the overwhelming majority of extreme metal bands that tour all over the world don’t really make much money. And yes, many of them have families and day jobs to take care of back home. It can be a meager existence. Thus, you can’t blame them for having tours with VIP packages.

Without their dedication and immense talents, there wouldn’t be much of a scene. So next time you’re at a show and you see a band member walking around or just hanging out, it will never hurt to just say “hello” and show appreciation for their hard work. Trust me, they will appreciate it.

IMMOLATION Headlining Tour Coming October 2011

New York death metal legends, IMMOLATION, are proud to announce their second headlining run in support of their critically acclaimed release Majesty and Decay. Support will come from long running Wisconsin based death metallers JUNGLE ROT and experimental death grinders GIGAN.

“We are once again hitting the road here in the US in October and are really excited to have both JUNGLE ROT and GIGAN join us for this tour,” commented bassist/vocalist Ross Dolan. “We have some new material in the works and will be making a more formal announcement about this in the next few weeks. We look forward to seeing everyone again and hope to see some new faces as well as old at these shows.”

IMMOLATION, JUNGLE ROT,GIGAN U.S. Tour 2011:
10/05/11- Wreck Room, Toronto, Ontario
10/07/11- The Basement, Kingston, NY
10/08/11- Montage Music Hall, Rochester ,NY
10/09/11- Broadway Joe’s, Buffalo, NY
10/10/11- The Gramercy Theatre, New York, NY
10/11/11- Bogie’s, Albany, NY
10/12/11- Championship Bar and Grill, Trenton, NJ
10/13/11- Peabody’s, Cleveland, OH
10/14/11- Al Rosa Villa, Columbus, OH
10/15/11- Blondie’s, Detroit, MI
10/16/11- Reggie Rock Club, Chicago, ILL
10/17/11- Vaudeville Mews, Des Moines, IA
10/19/11- Larimer Lounge, Denver, CO
10/20/11- The Complex, Salt Lake City, UT
10/21/11- Cheyenne Saloon, Las Vegas, NV
10/22/11- Chain Reaction, Anaheim, CA
10/23/11- Clubhouse, Tempe, AZ
10/25/11- Backstage Live, San Antonio, TX
10/26/11- Scout Bar, Houston, TX