BLOODBATH Announce Surprise New Vocalist

Swedish all star death metal band, BLOODBATH, have announced PARADISE LOST‘s Nick Holmes as successor for the vocalist spot left vacant by Mikael Akerfeldt and Peter Tatgren. Their fourth album, Grand Morbid Funeral, comes out on November 18 through Peaceville Records.

Blakkheim (guitar) commented, “Little did I expect to be working with the voice behind the death metal classic Lost Paradise, or the genre defining Gothic, and yet here we are decades later fulfilling another death metal dream. With his sinister and ominous vocal delivery, it’s an absolute pleasure to make Old Nick the bell-ringer in Bloodbath‘s Grand Morbid Funeral!”

Jonas Renkse (bass) commented, “Ever since I got into Lost Paradise back in ’90, Nick Holmes has been one of my favorite growling vocalists out there. He was always audible and articulate but still deep and definitely morbid. It is a great pleasure to work with him some 25 years later after I was introduced to his thunderous roar!”

Can’t wait to hear Nick Holmes do his great death vocals again.

Underground Gems: SHINING’s Lots of Girls Gonna Get Hurt EP

Shining - Lots of Girls Gonna Get HurtIn the deluge of metal that come out each month, it’s easy to overlook or just miss good releases.  One band that should always be on your radar is Sweden’s SHINING.  Aside from mainman Niklas Kvarforth‘s extreme on stage performances, the band’s unique style of suicidal black metal is damn good.  In many ways, they are like a dark version of OPETH.

So last year they released an EP entitled, Lots of Girls Gonna Get Hurt, via Spinefarm Records.  This all covers releases showed a different side to the band, one that embraces sad, melancholic music that wasn’t in the “extreme metal” category.  With this release, Niklas Kvarforth shows the world his talent with clean vocals.

The band opens with a cover of KATATONIA‘s “For My Demons” from the classic, Tonight’s Decision.  It’s not that much from the original but sounds damn good.

Then the band go into more dark rock territory starting with “Utan dina andetag” by Sweden’s KENT.  You don’t have to know Swedish to feel the power and soul of this one.  Next up is a cover of another Swedish language song, “Kung av jidder,” by IMPERIET.  SHINING add some extra meatiness to this great new wave song.  Lots of Girls Gonna Get Hurt ends on a high note with “Carnival of Rust” by POETS OF THE FALL.  The original is great but SHINING slow it down just a hair to add more power, and give it a more desperate, darker feel.

In conclusion, there are two things you must do: 1) appreciate the fact that SHINING is one of the best metal bands on earth; 2) purchase this EP.

New OCTOBER TIDE Album Announced

October Tide - Tunnel of No LightSwedish melodic doom band OCTOBER TIDE have announced their upcoming full-length effort entitled Tunnel of No Light.  Comprising of eight sorrowful, doom-laden tracks, Tunnel of No Light sees the band going towards a somewhat more straightforward yet heavier direction but still very much keeping the traditional OCTOBER TIDE sound.

Tunnel of No Light is the band’s fourth full-length album and first for Pulverised Records, who the band recently signed with. An early 2013 release date is expected.

OCTOBER TIDE has announced appearances at this year’s Depressive Fest in Moscow and Germany’s Protzen Open Air.

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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DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT, KATATONIA, PARADISE LOST, STOLEN BABIES @ El Rey, Los Angeles, CA (09/08/12)

The Epic Kings and Idols Tour hit Los Angeles to a packed house.  Anticipation and enthusiasm were high. The merch booths were selling well as the crowd was littered with brand new shirts, particularly of KATATONIA and the DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT.

LA’s very own STOLEN BABIES were first up with their eccentric brand of heavy music.  Always up for a challenge in front of a straight up metal crowd, the band bashed through their set with all the charisma and energy that they show on their headlining shows.  It’s always cool to see  first time spectators have a bewildered look on their faces as they watch this crazy band that looked like they jumped out of the Beatlejuice movie.  They played a few songs off of their upcoming album, Naught, which sounded right at home with their debut, There Be Squabbles Ahead.  Vocals were a bit low in the mix but still a sweet performance.


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“Epic Kings & Idols Tour” September 2012: THE DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT, KATATONIA, PARADISE LOST, STOLEN BABIES

The “Epic Kings & Idols Tour,” set for a September 2012 North American run, will feature  co-headliners, THE DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT and KATATONIA, direct support from PARADISE LOST, and opening duties from STOLEN BABIES.  Needless to say, this line up is absolutely killer.  Don’t miss out on STOLEN BABIES.  They were rudely excluded from the official press release of the tour.

OPETH & KATATONIA to Tour U.S. Fall 2011

Good friends, OPETH and KATATONIA, will team up for the U.S. Heritage Tour starting this September. Guitarist Anders Nyström issued the following statement in anticipation of the tour:

“Both you and we know that North America damn well deserves to see more of KATATONIA, right? So how could we possibly resist heading back to the states this fall when OPETH are giving us the opportunity to be their special guests? It was just a matter of time before it had to happen again. Yes we toured together in the same formation ten years ago in Europ,e and not only was that tour very well received by both bands’ fans, but we also shared a great ride together as long time friends. Some people have even been calling this bill their ‘dream line-up’, so it’s only fair that the loyal fans in North America now get their piece of the cake too! So come out and see us on this great tour and remember we’re playing headlining sideshows as well! Looking forward! Cheers!”

Tour dates:
Sept. 19 – Worcester, MA – The Palladium
Sept. 20 – Hartford, CT – Webster Theater
Sept. 21 – New York, NY – Webster Hall
Sept. 22 – New York, NY – Webster Hall
Sept. 23 – Philadelphia, PA – Trocadero
Sept. 26 – Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall
Sept. 27 – Louisville, KY – Expo Five
Sept. 28 – Nashville, TN – Cannery Ballroom
Sept. 29 – Charlotte, NC – Amos’ Southend
Sept. 30 – Atlanta, GA – Center Stage
Oct. 01 – Lake Buena Vista, FL – House of Blues
Oct. 03 – Houston, TX – Warehouse Live
Oct. 04 – Austin, TX – Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater
Oct. 05 – Dallas, TX – Granada Theater
Oct. 06 – Kansas City, MO – The Beaumont Club
Oct. 07 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
Oct. 08 – Winnipeg, MB – Burton Cummings
Oct. 10 – Edmonton, AB – Edmonton Events Centre
Oct. 11 – Calgary, AB – MacEwan Hall Ballroom
Oct. 13 – Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom
Oct. 14 – Spokane, WA – Knitting Factory Concert House
Oct. 15 – Seattle, WA – Showbox SoDo
Oct. 16 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theatre
Oct. 18 – San Francisco, CA – The Warfield
Oct. 19 – Los Angeles, CA – Mayan Theatre
Oct. 20 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues
Oct. 21 – Pomona, CA – The Fox Theater
Oct. 22 – Tempe, AZ – Marquee Theatre
Oct. 24 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex
Oct. 25 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre
Oct. 27 – Milwaukee, WI – The Rave
Oct. 28 – Chicago, IL – Vic Theatre
Oct. 29 – Detroit, MI – St. Andrews Hall
Oct. 30 – Guelph, ON – Guelph Concert Theatre
Oct. 31 – Millvale, PA – Mr Smalls Theatre
Nov. 01 – Baltimore, MD – Rams Head Live!

KATATONIA Announces Special 20th Anniversary European Shows

KATATONIA have announced a string of special 20th anniversary shows in Europe. Performances are scheduled for Luxembourg, Germany, Holland, France and England, and the band will perform two sets at each show. The first set will see the band play Last Fair Deal Gone Down front to back. The second set will consist of a mixed set of carefully picked songs from the band’s extensive catalogue. The full performance will be well over two hours of live music.

Lead guitarist Anders Nyström had the following to say:

“Who could believe that KATATONIA would make it all this way, 20 years down the road… It’s quite amazing that 2011 will give us the chance to celebrate an anniversary most marriages don’t reach! Another pleasant coincidence is that our classic album ‘Last Fair Deal Gone Down’ has just grown a decade old itself, so what do we do, you ask? Well, THAT! We have decided to re-visit ‘Last Fair Deal Gone Down’ for the first time ever in its entirety and also to take the chance of digging up some of the more obscure songs that we’ve never or rarely played live while blinding in some well known classics from the rest of our catalogue. We hope you’ll come and join us in this special celebration as this shall be a one-time opportunity to witness the Last Fair Day Gone Night!”

The band will offer exclusive VIP ticket packages. More info can be found here.

Dates and venues are as follows:

May 4th – Kulturfabrik – Luxembourg
May 5th – Stollwerck – Cologne, Germany
May 6th – Koko – London, UK (Live DVD recording)
May 7th – De Kade – Zaandam, Holland
May 8th – Alhambra – Paris, France

New OCTOBER TIDE Album Coming this September 28th

Candlelight Records today confirms September 28 as the North American release date for A Thin Shell, the new album from Sweden’s OCTOBER TIDE. Currently featuring guitarist/founder Fredrik Norrman (KATATONIA), vocalist Tobias Netzell, drummer Robin Bergh, and session bassist Jonas Kjellgren (SCAR SYMMETRY, CARNAL FORGE, CENTINEX), the album is the band’s first in ten years and follows the 2009 reissue of their debut, Rain Without End (Candlelight).

Mixed/mastered at Black Lounge Studios in Sweden, A Thin Shell delivers what fans have anxiously awaited from this treasured band. Seven doom-laden and emotive songs that are every bit as heavy as they are catchy fill the impressive recording that officially closes the band’s self-imposed, decade-long hiatus.

“I have wanted to get OCTOBER TIDE back together for some time,” reveals Norrman. “When we decided the time was right, ideas for new songs surprisingly came together nicely. Many sleepless nights were involved, with lots of coffee of course, but the songs were written in flow one after another.”

Discussing the recording process Norrman notes, “we started recording in March of last year. Jonas (Kjellgren) liked what he heard and offered to get it into the (Black Lounge) studio’s schedule even though we didn’t have a label yet. What was meant as a side project so long ago is now my main project and I am very proud of it. We only hope people enjoy it as much as we do.”

Candlelight Records Signs Sweden’s OCTOBER TIDE

Candlelight Records today confirms the worldwide signing of OCTOBER TIDE. The band featuring guitarist Fredrik Norrman (ex-KATATONIA), vocalist Tobias Netzell, drummer Robin Bergh, and session bassist Jonas Kjellgren (SCAR SYMMETRY, CARNAL FORGE, CENTINEX) is currently finishing work on their still untitled new album. Expected for release early fall, it will be the first new recording from the band in over ten years. It follows recent reissue of the band’s acclaimed debut Rain Without End.

Formed in 1995 by then KATATONIA guitarist Norrman and KATATONIA vocalist Jonas Renkse, OCTOBER TIDE quickly made a mark with two albums recorded and released during the years 1997 and 1999. Much of the band’s music was written during a short break up of KATATONIA which later proved only temporary as the band would reform and continues today; their latest album Night Of The New Day features work by Norrman.