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.

Industry Profile: Ula Gehret

While the artists are the centerpieces of the music industry, the people behind the scenes are often just as important. It takes as much blood, sweat, and sacrifice to create and maintain success for those who work off-stage. We are taking an opportunity to spotlight one of these unsung heroes, metal industry veteran, Ula Gehret. He was a pivotal figure in Century Media‘s rise in the late 90’s/early 2000’s. He now runs his own consulting firm with fellow industry vet, Leif Jensen (vocalist for DEW-SCENTED). We reached out to Ula in his homebase of the Netherlands, who was happy to share his journey through the metal scene.
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KRISIUN’s Trademark Song: “Conquerors of Armageddon”

While there’s no doubting that Brazil’s KRISIUN have many catchy songs, diehard fans know that there is only one trademark KRISIUN song and that’s “Conquerors of Armageddon,” the title track to their third album. The album itself was the band’s most successful album up to that point in their career and marked a new and successful chapter as they had signed a worldwide deal with Century Media Records.

The band make their feelings known about Christianity on “Conquerors of Armageddon” via one of the catchiest lyrics/song sections in extreme metal history: “Kill, kill, the lord Jesus Christ!”

Check out this live version from Sao Paolo, Brazil. The mix is crystal clear with the bass nice and loud. These guys are the real deal. No studio cheating or magic!

IMMOLATION Commence Recording of Nuclear Blast Debut

Esteemed death metal stalwarts, IMMOLATION, have entered Milbrook Sound Studios in New York with longtime producer Paul Orofino to begin recording their Nuclear Blast debut and eighth album over all. The band posted the following update on the new album and recording:

“Today we have begun the recording process for our 8th full length release. Once again we have entered Millbrook Sound Studios in upstate Millbrook, New York and will start tracking with Paul Orofino tomorrow. This will be our 6th time visiting Millbrook Studios and we are really looking forward to the whole process.

“The new album will contain 10 songs of the strongest material we have ever written. The new material is more violent and aggressive, with fast sections that take us to a new level of speed and intensity, while complementing the dark and sullen heavier moments. There are plenty of miserable and militant movements to please the die hard and new IMMOLATION fans alike.

“We’ve spent the past two months rehearsing and fine tuning the songs so that all ten are stand-outs and create a complete listening experience. Needless to say, we are all very pleased and enthusiastic about the new material and are anxious to debut it to the fans.

“Following the recording process here in Millbrook, we have decided to try something new for the mixing process, so we have enlisted the talents of Zack Ohren (DECREPIT BIRTH, SUFFOCATION, ALL SHALL PERISH). We are confident he will do an excellent job in giving a fresh new life to the IMMOLATION sound.

“We are still in the process of getting ideas together for the album’s concept and cover art, but these final details will be worked out in the near future.”

After the new year, IMMOLATION will be touring in direct support of NILE on the Those Whom the Gods Detest Tour. Also on the tour are KRISIUN, ABIGAIL WILLIAMS, and DREAMING DEAD. Tour dates below.

01/15/10 Sonar – Baltimore, MD
01/16/10 The Palladium – Worcester, MA
01/17/10 The Trocadero – Philadelphia, PA
01/18/10 The Blender Theater at Gramercy – New York, NY
01/20/10 Peabody’s – Cleveland, OH
01/21/10 Metro / Smart Bar – Chicago, IL
01/22/10 Rave – Milwaukee, WI
01/23/10 Station 4 – St. Paul, MN
01/24/10 The Beaumont Club – Kansas City, MO
01/25/10 Bluebird Theater – Denver, CO
01/27/10 El Corazon – Seattle, WA
01/28/10 Hawthorne Theater – Portland, OR
01/29/10 The Boardwalk – Orangevale, CA
01/30/10 Slim’s – San Francisco, CA
01/31/10 House of Blues – San Diego, CA
02/02/10 House of Blues – Hollywood, CA
02/03/10 House of Blues – Las Vegas, NV
02/04/10 U.B.’s Bar – Mesa, AZ
02/05/10 The Rock – Tucson, AZ
02/06/10 Gator’s – Farmington, NM
02/08/10 House of Rock – Corpus Christi, TX
02/09/10 Scout Bar – San Antonio, TX
02/10/10 Scout Bar – Houston, TX
02/11/10 Trees – Dallas, TX
02/12/10 Marquee – Tulsa, OK
02/13/10 Headliner’s Music Hall – Louisville, KY
02/14/10 Jaxx – W. Springfield, VA
02/16/10 Gil’s Bar & Grill – Virginia Beach, VA
02/17/10 The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
02/18/10 Amos Southend – Charlotte, NC
02/19/10 Volume 11 – Raleigh, NC
02/20/10 Music Farm – Charleston, SC

NILE Complete New Album, Those Whom the Gods Detest

NILE, who entered the studio in June, have completed recording of their new album, Those Whom the Gods Detest. The album was produced by Neil Kernon (NEVERMORE, CANNIBAL CORPSE), with drum production by HATE ETERNAL‘s Erik Rutan, and artwork was created by Michal “Xaay” Loranc.  Nuclear Blast Records will be releasing the album on November 3rd.

Here’s the album track list:
1. “Kafir!
2. “Hittite Dung Incantation
3. “Utterances of the Crawling Dead
4. “Those Whom the Gods Detest
5. “4th Arra of Dagon
6. “Permitting the Noble Dead to Descend to the Underworld
7. “Yezd Desert Ghul Ritual in the Abandoned Towers of Silence
8. “Kem Khefa Kheshef
9. “The Eye of Ra
10. “Iskander D’hul Karnon

The death metallers have already scheduled a North American tour for the new year with IMMOLATION, KRISIUN, ABIGAIL WILLIAMS, and DREAMING DEAD. Peep the dates:

1/15 Sonar – Baltimore, MD
01/16 The Palladium – Worcester, MA
01/17 The Trocadero – Philadelphia, PA
01/18 The Blender Theater at Gramercy – New York, NY
01/20 Peabody’s – Cleveland, OH
01/21 Metro / Smart Bar – Chicago, IL
01/22 Rave – Milwaukee, WI
01/23 Station 4 – St. Paul, MN
01/24 The Beaumont Club – Kansas City, MO
01/25 Bluebird Theater – Denver, CO
01/27 El Corazon – Seattle, WA
01/28 Hawthorne Theater – Portland, OR
01/29 The Boardwalk – Orangevale, CA
01/30 Slim’s – San Francisco, CA
01/31 House of Blues – San Diego, CA
02/02 The Key Club – Hollywood, CA
02/03 House of Blues – Las Vegas, NV
02/04 U.B.’s Bar – Mesa, AZ
02/05 The Rock – Tucson, AZ
02/06 Gator’s – Farmington, NM
02/08 House of Rock – Corpus Christi, TX
02/09 Scout Bar – San Antonio, TX
02/10 Scout Bar – Houston, TX
02/11 Trees – Dallas, TX
02/12 Marquee – Tulsa, OK
02/13 Headliner’s Music Hall – Louisville, KY
02/14 Jaxx – W. Springfield, VA
02/16 Peppermint Beach Club – Virginia Beach, VA
02/17 The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
02/18 Amos Southend – Charlotte, NC
02/19 Volume 11 – Raleigh, NC
02/20 Music Farm – Charleston, SC

OBITUARY to Head Out on Tour with KRISIUN, GOATWHORE, THE BERZERKER, WARBRINGER

Death metal vets OBITUARY are readying to embark on a North American headlining tour in support of latest long player Darkest Day, released via Candlelight Records this past June. The tour will kick off on September 3rd at The Rock in Tucson, AZ and pillage its way through a month’s worth of shows before coming to a close on October 4th at Headliner’s Music Hall in Louisville, KY. The band will be joined by KRISIUN, GOATWHORE, THE BERZERKER, and WARBRINGER.

Tour dates:
9/3/2009 The Rock – Tucson, AZ
9/4/2009 U.B.’s Bar – Mesa, AZ
9/5/2009 Gator’s – Farmington, NM
9/6/2009 Bluebird Theater – Denver, CO
9/8/2009 Galaxy Theatre – Santa Ana, CA
9/9/2009 Key Club – Los Angeles, CA
9/10/2009 Slim’s – San Francisco, CA
9/11/2009 Hawthorne Theatre – Portland, OR
9/12/2009 El Corazon – Seattle, WA
9/14/2009 Sugar – Victoria, BC
9/15/2009 Plazza Club – Vancover, BC
9/17/2009 Warehouse – Calgary, AB
9/18/2009 Starlite Room – Edmonton, AB
9/19/2009 The Riddell at University of Regina – Regina, SK
9/20/2009 Royal Albert Arms – Winnipeg, MB
9/22/2009 Rave – Milwaukee, WI
9/23/2009 The Pearl Room – Mokena, IL
9/25/2009 Opera House – Toronto, ON
9/26/2009 Imperial de Quebec – Quebec City, QC
9/27/2009 FouFounes – Montreal, QC
9/28/2009 The Trocadero – Philadelphia, PA
9/29/2009 The Blender Theatre at Gramercy – New York, NY
9/30/2009 The Palladium – Worcester, MA
10/2/2009 Volume 11 – Raleigh, NC
10/3/2009 Orange Peel – Asheville, NC
10/4/2009 Headliner’s Music Hall – Louisville, KY

KRISIUN: South American Storm

Brazil’s “other” metal band, KRISIUN, has been consistently slaying metalheads since the mid-90s. It’s clear that their focus, dedication, and nary a lineup change has helped the band elevate their dominance beyond South America. Their latest album, Southern Storm, is added proof that these boys know and have what it takes to make noise in a noisy genre. APESHIT spoke to vocalist and bassist Alex Carmago about the new album and the KRISIUN metal machine. Continue reading

APESHIT’s Top Metal Albums of 2008

We finally got off our asses and did it.  It’s already the year 2009, but we’ve complied a list of our top albums of 2008.  Compiling such a list is never easy, and 2008 was no exception.  Maybe it was a lack of albums that really stood out, or maybe we just weren’t paying enough attention.  Regardless, we took a quick look back on the metal albums we felt were notable in 2008.
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KRISIUN – Southern Storm

Unlike the vast majority of their peers who like to proclaim their “brutality” and promises of heaviness, few actually deliver the goods with the power and conviction of KRISIUN. KRISIUN doesn’t fuck around, mince words, or waste time. Their sole mission is to unleash track after violent track, and on their seventh album Southern Storm the band keeps the barrage coming and the ferocity level high. Ably following up the album’s effective predecessor Assassination, Southern Storm offers up heapings of blasting speed, all the while tempering the over-the top insanity with strong memorable grooves. These grooves help create powerful hooks that serve as an effective counter balance to the, at times, relentless speed. Opening the gates of hell with “Slaying Steel,” the beatings just keep coming hard and fast with almost no respite in sight (save for the haunting elegant acoustic interlude “Black Wind“) towards the end. An album in the truest sense, it’s difficult to pick out any highlights as the album flows extremely well from song to song, peaking and descending at will. As more and more death metal bands seem to be on the decline, the KRISIUN legion only seems to be getting stronger with each new album. Hands down the most punishing release of the year. (Century Media Records)