APESHIT’s Top Metal Albums of 2015

motorheadWhen looking back at 2015, the only thing that seems to matter is the passing of Lemmy Kilmister. Of course losing Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor in November was sad but Lemmy was on another level – one of the pillars of the entire rock ‘n roll universe. Thankfully, he left a voluminous legacy for us to enjoy for eternity, including some of music’s best interviews and quotes possible. Cheers, Lemmy.

Other than that, 2015 was a remarkably strong year for the pioneering, long-running bands in the metal scene.  Everyone from KILLING JOKE, MY DYING BRIDE, FEAR FACTORY to AMORPHIS put out fantastic records. This past year also saw some very good super groups in TAU CROSS and FIRESPAWN make their debuts.  You’ll find that many of them made it to our respective lists.

Additionally, we’ve recruited some fresh blood in Charles Elliott, Andrew Sample, and Jeff Wagner. These industry vets have been in the trenches with us for years and years, and have helped bring you many of the greatest records ever released for the past 20+ years.
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RIP Lemmy Kilmister

Earlier today, it was announced that the beyond legendary Lemmy Kilmister had passed away from cancer. Five days after celebrating his 70th birthday, Lemmy left us as soon as we were celebrating a milestone in his life. Here is the official message from the MOTORHEAD Facebook page:

“There is no easy way to say this…our mighty, noble friend Lemmy passed away today after a short battle with an extremely aggressive cancer. He had learnt of the disease on December 26th, and was at home, sitting in front of his favorite video game from The Rainbow which had recently made it’s way down the street, with his family.

“We cannot begin to express our shock and sadness, there aren’t words.

“We will say more in the coming days, but for now, please…play Motörhead loud, play Hawkwind loud, play Lemmy’s music LOUD.

“Have a drink or few.

“Share stories.

“Celebrate the LIFE this lovely, wonderful man celebrated so vibrantly himself.

“HE WOULD WANT EXACTLY THAT.
“Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister
“1945 -2015
“Born to lose, lived to win.

“Please feel free to post your condolences, well wishes and memories on our official tribute page:
https://www.facebook.com/lemmykilmisterforlife

Lemmy, you lived a thousand lifetimes and inspired us all. Thank you.

Straight Shooting: Go See the Legends Before They’re Gone Forever

We are all guilty of taking metal legends for granted by thinking they’ll always be around.  So what happens?  We skip out on seeing them when they come through town for what sometimes turns out to be years.

Next thing you know, someone like Ronnie James Dio suddenly passes away and you’re just left regretting not seeing him every chance you had.  I had the chance to see DAMAGEPLAN on what turned out to be their final tour and stand in the photo pit in front of one of my teenage heroes, Dimebag Darrell.  Well, when news hit about his murder, part of me was deeply regretting leaving that show early and missing their whole set.

Now, with SABBATH‘s recent announcement that they will embark on a final tour early next year, it really clicked for me that time is precious.  I’m sure it’ll be virtually the same safe set that they’ve always played since reuniting with Ozzy but that’s not the point now.  Tony Iommi wants to focus on his health and that’s all that matters.  Let’s hope Bill Ward can be apart of this as well.

Lemmy‘s ailing health has caused cancelled or curtailed shows, which indicate the need to go see MOTORHEAD before it all possibly ends in the near future.  Check out this footage from the band’s show in Austin, Texas last week:

Hard to watch, right?

Let’s seize the opportunities that we have and pay homage to the legends while we still can.

 

Video of the Day: The Godliness of Lemmy at Wacken 2013

Despite battling health issues, MOTORHEAD frontman Lemmy decided to go forward with the band’s performance at Wacken Open Air festival in Germany this past Sunday, August 4, 2013.

Here is the band’s official statement:

“The show had to go on because that’s how Lemmy rolls. Even though he was not 100% fit, he refused to feel he was letting the 85,000 Wacken fans down. They kicked ass in the 100+degree heat for a shortened, but powerful, set before, Lemmy finally realized he might have bitten off a little more than he could chew. Thus he will embark upon the recuperation recommended. We know that rumors are flying around, but once he fully recharges, MOTORHEAD will be back, don’t you worry!”

Concert Memories: METALLICA, MOTORHEAD @ The Whisky (12/14/95)

lemmysBack in 1995, I had heard on the radio of an upcoming MOTORHEAD show to celebrate 25 years of MOTORHEAD and Lemmy‘s 50th birthday. But the thing that made me really want to go to the show was the fact that there were other famous rock stars expected to make an experience. My initial guess was that someone like Slash would show up since he’s always been into live guest appearances in LA, and hey, that was good enough for me.

So back then I was a senior in high school and by then, hardly anyone was into metal and if they used to be, they had moved onto punk (i.e. PENNYWISE) or something else. The prospect of going to a show alone wasn’t as bad as it could seem to appear simply because my absolute love for heavy music more than compensated. So with a recently purchased MOTORHEAD No Remorse compilation in my cassette tape deck and a Thomas Guide map to guide me, I set off for my first trip to The Whisky.

I guess word had spread about the possibility of famous guests at the show as there was a line formed outside the venue when I arrived early. So as we were all standing in line along the wall of The Whisky, you could hear a band doing sound check. Out of nowhere you hear James Hetfield‘s unmistakable voice roaring over the music. Holy fuck! I wanted to scream out in excitement. My favorite band in the world was going to appear at the tiny little Whisky! I heard some other people in line wondering out loud whether that was James Hetfield or not but it didn’t seem to stir up any outward excitement.

Once we were all let in, the first band to go on was LA’s own DEMOLITION PIT. The band had made some headway in the local LA scene, especially with their appearances on 105.5 FM KNAC (the world’s first all hard rock/heavy metal radio station). The band’s PANTERA-influenced style went over well with the packed house.

The Whisky had TV screens around the club that would announce the next band to take the stage. As the crowd waited around for the next band, the words “METALLICA” came up on the TV screens. People went apeshit! Everyone had to pinch themselves. This was a dream come true. So I did what any metal maniac would do, I fought my way to the front of the stage to get the best view possible.
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