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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Preview a Second Track from DJEVEL’s Besatt av Maane og Natt

The good folks at Aftermath Music have posted another track from DJEVEL‘s upcoming album, Besatt av Maane og Natt.   The band featuring vocalist Erlend Hjelvik (KVELERTAK) and drummer Dirge Rep (NETTLECARRIER, ex-ENSLAVED).  By the sounds of it, Besatt av Maane og Natt seems like it’ll have that great classic mid to late 90′s Norwegian black metal feel.

KVELERTAK – Meir

Kvelertak - MeirAfter being totally immersed in music for a decade or two (or three), it’s easy to grow desensitized to the untainted joy and fresh excitement that music can bring. Thankfully, there is Norway’s KVELERTAK that easily remind us all why we became music freaks in the first place.  With their second album, Meir, the band easily meet the lofty expectations set by their explosive debut.

KVELERTAK have matured as songwriters and have taken their fun and exciting hybrid of Norwegian black metal, rock ‘n roll, and punk to fresh places.  The trademarks of the 8th note downstroked riffing, blast beats, bluesy solos, and gang vocals are still intact.  The band effectively use melodic guitar leads, acoustic guitars, and soulful rock ‘n roll riffing with their black metal dimension.  Meir can sound equally happy and fun as well as ugly, mean, and black.  Arguably, the highlight of the album is the blazing “Nekrokosmos.”  The song starts off in a fairly standard way before it ends with a long instrumental bridge that is beautifully reminiscent of EMPEROR‘s “With Strength I Burn” and “The Wanderer.”

CONVERGE guitarist Kurt Ballou has done a perfect job with the production side of the album.  Meir is perfectly balanced, warm, and has natural tones.

Meir generates the kind of emotions that excite a person to (re)dedicate their lives to music.  Fresh, fun, exciting, and just so fucking good.  Buy or die. (Roadrunner Records)

KVELERTAK Release First Studio Video Update

Acclaimed Norwegian black/death punkers KVELERTAK have released the first video from their recording session at Godcity Studios in Salem, Massachusetts with CONVERGE‘s Kurt Ballou. The band recently commented on what’s in store for the next album with the following: “All I can say is, this album is going to fuck the first album in the ass. Hard.”

The band will be headed on their first extensive U.S. tour this October alongside CONVERGE and TORCHE.

CONVERGE “All We Love We Leave Behind” U.S. Tour Announced

Hardcore heroes CONVERGE will be going out on tour this Fall in support of their upcoming album, All We Love We Leave Behind.  Coming along for the ride are TORCHE, KVELERTAK, and NAILS and WHIPS/CHAINS for select dates.   Check out the tour dates.  How can you not come out and see this tour?

All We Love We Leave Behind will be released on October 9th, 2012 on Epitaph Records/Deathwish Inc.  Check out a track from CONVERGE‘s recent split release with NAPALM DEATH below.

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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KVELERTAK – Kvelertak

Norway does it again with their latest musical export, KVELERTAK. Taking the baton from dearly departed legends, TURBONEGRO, KVELERTAK‘s self titled debut is exactly what the doctor ordered. This six man gang’s unique style of rock ‘n roll, black metal, and punk is exciting, lively, and most importantly, fun. How many bands actually sound fun without being cheesy? Not many.

Throughout Kvelertak, some songs emphasize more of one subgenre that composes their style than others, while others have an equal balance. Sometimes they’ll blast with aggression. Sometimes they’ll rock with bluesy riffs. Sometimes they’ll rain down with eighth note power chords. But that’s not a negative issue at all. It just gives the record flavor. In the vocal department, Erlend Hjelvik is on the extreme end of things with his throat shredding punk/black metal stylings. There are also some clean vocals used in choruses or backing vocal lines.

Simply put, Kvelertak is a very good, solid record. And as if the record’s 11 tracks aren’t enough, the U.S. version contains their BBC Sessions as well as two demo tracks. This is no time to be a dumbass…pick up this record. (Indie Recordings)