APESHIT’s Top Metal Albums of 2018

What a glorious year in metal we just experienced.  After the sheer amount of quality albums that were released in 2018, there is no question that the genre is as healthy and full of life as ever.  Thus, making our top albums lists harder than usual.

For the APESHIT goons, 2018 was the year where the legends all shined.  JUDAS PRIEST led the charge with their best album since 1990’s Painkiller.  DIMMU BORGIR finally emerged from a long slumber and did not disappoint. VOIVOD remain the gods that the mass metal media won’t acknowledge as such.  We can’t really think of any letdowns.  Can you?

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MANES – Teeth, Toes, and Other Trinkets

Manes - Teeth, Toes, and Other TrinketsAh yes, it’s been a long wait for anything new from Trondheim, Norway’s MANES.  As a nice stop gap measure before they release their upcoming work, Be All End All, the band have released a compilation entitled Teeth, Toes, and Other Trinkets.  The comp is a mixed of alternative versions, unreleased, studio recordings, live recordings, and other nuggets in the MANES collection.  You’ll get a unique and wide spectrum of sounds within and overlapping rock, electronica, and metal.

So does it stand on its own as a worthy release?  Absolutely.  Teeth, Toes, and Other Trinkets is wonderfully morose and soulful in that way.  It starts more uptempo but eventually falls deeper into despair towards the conclusion.

Most tracks have vocals with a few scattered instrumental ones.  The biggest standout is the live version of “Ende” which is just so passionate.  “One More Room” and “Nobody Wants the Truth” are the kinds of great songs that prime RADIOHEAD used to dish out.  The way second to last track, “Diving With Your Hands Bound [Nearly Flying],” pulls the listener down into the depths is profound to say the least.  Final track, “Deeprooted [8-bit],” is given the classic video game-style treatment and more or less diffuses the atmosphere that the previous songs created.

To say that Teeth, Toes, and Other Trinkets is “mood music” is an understatement.  If you’re not in the mood for this, then it’s best to save it when the mood strikes you.  The best aspect is the fact that the material here is good enough for you to be chomping at the bit for their forthcoming record. (Debemur Morti Productions)

Song of the Day: MANES’ “Solve Et Coagula” Featuring SHINING’s Niklas Kvarforth

In 2009, Norway’s MANES put out a six-song compilation called Solve Et Coagula, which featured a new song plus old demo material from the band’s black metal days.  MANES got none other than the uber talented Niklas Kvaroforth from SHINING (SWE) to sing guest vocals for the title track.  [Update: The song also features XASTHUR‘s Malefic.  Thanks to MANES for the correction.  Proof that websites don’t have all the answers.] Listen to this masterpiece of doom laden darkness:

Norway’s MANES Releases New Compilation

Trondheim, Norway’s MANES just released a compilation (digital, CD, LP) entitled Teeth, Toes and Other Trinkets.  In true metal fashion, it is available for 6.66 Euros here.

Teeth, Toes and Other Trinkets is an anthology of eleven unreleased, obscure and hard-to-find tracks / alternate versions culled from the verdant MANES archives. Dating back to the periods of their stellar Vilosophe and How The World Came To An End full-lengths from 2003 and 2007 respectively, these previous-buried jewels have been exhumed and presented anew for fresh consumption.

Much more than mere curios, each of the statements hereon represents a magical moment in its own right … some art is simply too precious to languish on the cutting-room floor! The once-lost songs flow seamlessly into one another to conjure an album proper that those who appreciate MANES’s unique, oblique charms can (re)discover together.

The band comments: “Before we truly come back to life with MANES, we figured we’d dig up some dead stuff for everyone to enjoy. This is a collection of odds and ends that on the surface might seem to appeal mostly to the most die-hard completist, but listening to it ourselves we find it works surprisingly well on its own. It is at times very lo-fi and not at all polished, but swamped in atmosphere and nostalgia, at least for us.”

APESHIT’s Top Metal Albums of 2007

It’s been a grossly successful 2007 for APESHIT, and though we find it hard pressed to make that same general claim for metal in 2007, a handful of albums did manage to leave a strong impression on us. We here at APESHIT individually compiled our own top 10 metal albums of 2007 lists for a new “blog” category that we look forward to experimenting with in 2008. Let us know what you think and post your own top 10 metal albums of 2007 in the comments section below. Cheers!

dr.park’s top 10

1. MANES How the World Came to an End

This album really just came out of nowhere and turned out to be one of the best albums in recent years. The album is so deep in its scope, ambition, and execution and is a winner in every facet. Ideally, this should be an underground/indie hit. [Read our full review]

2. ULVER Shadows of the Sun

It’s sounds tired to say but ULVER have done it yet again. Shadows of the Sun is another creative gem. The strong melancholic, subdued atmospheres make for some of the best mood music you can find. [Read our full review]

3. TURBONEGRO Retox

Retox is far better and more solid than their recent efforts. Finally, fans have been given an album that comes as close to their zenith, Apocalypse Dudes, as the band can get. Retox is also prime party music. [Read our full review]

4. MAYHEM Ordo Ad Chao

Just when you thought Norwegian black metal had grown too safe, accessible, and popular, MAYHEM makes an essential album that crushes all. Ordo Ad Chao is a powerful statement of true Norwegian black metal the way it used to be: pure, dark, raw, and evil. [Read our full review]

5. SHINING V: Halmstad

SHINING are one of the best underground Swedish death/black bands that many underground fans have yet to hear. Great riffs, flow, balance and strong vocal presence from band leader and raging maniac, Niclas Kvarforth. V: Halmstad is some of the best (Swedish) metal not coming from Gothenburg. [Read our full review]

6. DIR EN GREYThe Marrow of a Bone

Though most of their U.S. fans are teenage girls with Japanese pop culture fever, don’t let that subtract and detract from this quality album. The Marrow of a Bone is ugly, dark, and has the right balance of hooks and brutality that has allowed it to be another worldwide hit for the band. [Read our full review]

7. WATAIN Sworn to the Dark

To steal a thought from shady rajah: This is the album that DISSECTION should’ve written as their final album. WATAIN keep the flame of classic Swedish black/death metal burning with no peers in sight. [Read our full review]

8. PRIMORDIAL To the Nameless Dead

Ireland’s premier metal band, PRIMORDIAL, have written yet another excellent album of folk/black metal that is so much grander, powerful, and spirited than so much else out there. [Read our full review]

9. MELECHESH Emissaries

If you haven’t heard this band or this album, you are missing out on a lot. There’s nothing like MELECHESH‘s Mesopotamian metal and Emissaries is easily their best album. NILE is good and all but MELECHESH are better at conjuring the ancient rhythms, spirits, and mythology of the gods. [Read our full review]

10. PARADISE LOSTIn Requiem

It’s always a great thing when underground legends can continue to make high quality music so deep into their careers. In Requiem is not your flavor of the month underground metal but who cares…it’s timeless stuff. [Read our full review]

shady rajah’s top 10

1. WATAIN Sworn to the Dark

As the only worthy successor to the departed DISSECTION, WATAIN has carved their own bloody path to black metal glory. Sworn to the Dark is an album filled seething aggression and evil atmosphere that is complex in details, but undeniable in song craft. WAITAIN are a band that’s made black metal dangerous again. [Read our full review]

2. DOWNIII: Over the Under

DOWN‘s third album couldn’t have had a more fitting title, as the band overcame a mountain of adversity. Over the Under successfully captures all the pain, sweat and struggle with all the heat and density of an Louisiana swamp, resulting in 2007’s most heartfelt, honest and real album. [Read our full review]

3. EXODUSThe Atrocity Exhibition Exhibit A

A recent thrash metal trend has surfaced ushering hordes imitators still trying capture that classic 80’s sound. EXODUS isn’t it making it any easier for these wannabes as The Atrocity Exhibition drove shards of razor sharp thrash in to the jugular of pretenders everywhere. Nearly thirty years later, these Bay-area bruisers just seem to keep getting heavier, and are keeping true thrash alive and killing. [Read our full review]

4. SHININGV: Halmstad

Niklas Kvarforth has kept the flame of darkness and hatred burning for a decade now, with each album becoming increasingly more complex and intricate while retaining the feeling dread and despair that has existed since the band’s beginning. V: Halmstad is the band’s masterwork, engulfing the listener in darkness. Suicide has never sounded better. [Read our full review]

5. MIDDIANAge Eternal

Formed from the ashes of YOB, MIDDIAN was the vision that continued Mike Scheidt‘s path of doom metal mastery, laying the foundation for the future of sludge. Age Eternal brought the power of slow and the strength of the riff. Unfortunately the band was dropped and forced to change their name, but in their brief moment time, MIDDIAN created a small piece of doom metal history. [Read our full review]

6. DIMMU BORGIRIn Sorte Diaboli

Norway’s premier black metal(ish) super group, DIMMU BORGIR delivered yet another powerful entry in their already considerable catalog, with a driving guitar heavy album that was catchy as it was complex. Having Hellhammer on board didn’t hurt either, as Jan Axel carved layer of intricate drum patterns to enhance the band’s already ambitious anti-Christian concept album. A successful anti-Christian concept album…how awesome is that? [Read our full review]

7. ABORTEDSlaughter and Apparatus: A Methodical Overture

Sven De Caluwe may have lost all his original members, but nothing detered the growling machine. He simply assembled a new death squad and delivered another precise, surgical slaughter of bludgeoning death metal. Relentless and furious yet containing some of the catchiest songs about mutilation written in recent memory, Slaughter and Apparatus continues the band’s excellent carnage. [Read our full review]

8. MACHINE HEADThe Blackening

After dabbling in bland nu-metal for a spell, MACHINE HEAD came roaring back with their return to form, Through Ashes of Empires. But that was just the warm up. The Blackening is the main course, with the band firing on all levels, encompassing MACHINE HEAD‘s most challenging work to date. The Blackening serves as both a defining moment in the band’s history as well as one of 2007’s finest albums. [Read our full review]

9. IMMOLATIONShadows in the Light

These death metal veterans helped shape and form death metal in it’s earliest stages, but the Yonker’s natives still show they have plenty of tricks up their sleeve. IMMOLATION deliver an intricate maze of riffs, complex drum patterns, and heapings of sinister atmosphere…not to mention an ample amount of guitar shredding. Their legacy of death continues to grow. [Read our full review]

10. SOILWORKSworn to a Great Divide

Despite losing a pivotal member with the departure of Peter Wichers, the band nonetheless stepped up to the plate, dove in to their considerable arsenal of hooks, and soldiered on with one of the year’s catchiest records. Balancing song craft and drummer Dirk Verbeuren‘s well thought out drum patterns, Sworn to a Great Divide is full of hooks that stick in your head. [Read our full review]

roycifer’s top 10

1. HIM Venus Doom

These Finns have always been top-notch songwriters, and they succeed again while under the delicious influence of doom. Ville Valo‘s singing and songwriting don’t miss a step, and the band sound at home with the heavier vibe. “Sleepwalking Past Hope” is a magnificent epic of “November Rain” proportions.

2. MAYHEM Ordo Ad Chao

With Ordo Ad Chao, MAYHEM made black metal sound exciting and totally fucking evil again! The album trembles with such unnerving, nihilistic ferocity not heard since the inception of black metal. Hellhammer‘s best performance. [Read our full review]

3. QUEENS OF THE STONE AGEEra Vulgaris

Josh Homme is a music making beast with such a distinct style and vision. Everything he touches, turns into gold. Their best album since Rated R. [Read our full review]

4. SCARVE The Undercurrent

Guitar music hasn’t been this exciting since SOILWORK emerged onto the scene. But SCARVE are not merely a guitar band. Drummer Dirk Verburen really helps shapes the band’s sound and provides a necessary dynamic with his drumming. [Read our full review]

5. CHIMAIRA Resurrection

This was the album that should have followed The Impossibility of Reason. CHIMAIRA have always had a lot of potential and are continuing to show their steady growth as musicians and songwriters. Move over LAMB OF GOD, CHIMAIRA are the true heir to PANTERA‘s throne. [Read our full review]

6. SHINING V: Halmstad

V: Halmstad is uniquely black metal in that it draws a lot of influence from rock and classical music but is pieced together in a very progressive manner. The excellent songwriting is topped by the tortured vocals of Niclas Kvarforth. Suicide never sounded so damn inviting. [Read our full review]

7. MANES How the World Came to an End

How the World Came to an End is an eclectic album for the ages that spans rock, electronic, and hip-hop while still feeling every bit metal. ULVER, eat your heart out. [Read our full review]

8. AMORPHIS Silent Waters

Silent waters was where the band was treading about for a few releases. But their latest album is solid collection of timeless listening. Singer Tomi Joutsen has breathed new life into a group of vets making waves once again. [Read our full review]

9. MARDUK Rom 5:12

Black metal’s ever-black sons of Swedish blackness keep getting better (and blacker) with age. New singer Mortuus‘ is ferocious and has a voice all his own. To quote dr.park, “it sounds like he’s gurgling blood.” Rom 5:12 also marks a newfound reach to diversify and expand their style…and those risks certainly pay off. [Read our full review]

10. ION DISSONANCEMinus the Herd

While the bees were busy buzzing about JOB FOR A COWBOY, ION DISSONANCE were having a ho down of their own. Minus the Herd tops JOB FOR A COWBOY‘s Genesis on technicality, dynamics, and lasting interestingness. [Read our full review]

MANES – How the World Came to an End

Candlelight Records is one of the last places you’d look for a non-metal album so MANES‘ new album came as quite a shock. Norway’s MANES have created an instant underground post-metal classic. This unique band can loosely be described as an electronic-based post-metal/rock band with live instruments, various vocal styles, and trip-hop, hip hop, and indie/alternative rock influences. Some points of musical reference could include ULVER, RADIOHEAD, PORTISHEAD, and that trademark Norwegian sense of creating strong atmospheres. There’s an underlying melancholic, dark, and sometimes maddening feel that is really powerful and pervasive throughout How the World Came to an End. The album is the sum work of 16 people and it definitely shows. There are plenty of layers and diversity within, not only each song but, the album as a whole, which provide plenty of ear candy and sensory stimulation. The tone perfectly shifts from the bombastic (i.e. “Deeprooted” and “Come to Pass“) to the quiet and somber (i.e. “Watch You Fall” and “Last Lights“) to somewhere in between (i.e “The Cure-All“). Other tracks such as “Nobody Wants the Truth” are guitar-based and have less of an electronic sound. The emotional “Son of the Brother of Sleep” concludes the whole affair with spoken words of suicidal thoughts. Emphasis on the song’s tone is amplified with its intentionally quiet fade out. How the World Came to an End is the type of album that can transcend and translate to a wide range of music fans while still retaining its intended meaning. MANES have easily put themselves up there with the highly acclaimed and revered, ULVER. The flawless execution, diversity, and compelling atmospheres of How the World Came to an End make this one of the best albums of 2007. (Candlelight Records)