MARDUK: Updated Itinerary for Upcoming North American Tour

Following three very special U.S. appearances this summer in Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York (effectively breaking their streak of visa issues), Swedish black metal monsters MARDUK will return for a full headlining North American tour this November. The band will be joined by NACHTMYSTIUM, MANTIC RITUAL, MERRIMACK and BLACK ANVIL (on select dates). Here is an updated list of tour dates:

11/19/2009 The Sterling Hotel w/ BLACK ANVIL
11/20/2009 The Palladium – Worcester, MA w/ BLACK ANVIL
11/21/2009 Les Foufounes Electriques – Montreal, QC w/ BLACK ANVIL
11/22/2009 Wreck Room – Toronto, ON w/ BLACK ANVIL
11/23/2009 Sonar – Baltimore, MD
11/24/2009 The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
11/25/2009 Brass Mug – Tampa, FL
11/27/2009 The Bar – New Orleans, LA
11/28/2009 Red 7 – Austin, TX
11/29/2009 Ridglea Theater – Ft Worth, TX
11/30/2009 The Marquee – Tulsa, OK
12/02/2009 Launchpad – Albuquerque, NM
12/03/2009 The Clubhouse – Tempe, AZ
12/04/2009 The Key Club – Hollywood, CA w/ BLACK ANVIL
12/05/2009 Ramona Mainstage – Ramona, CA w/ BLACK ANVIL
12/06/2009 DNA Lounge – San Francisco, CA w/ BLACK ANVIL
12/07/2009 Satyricon – Portland, OR
12/08/2009 Studio Seven – Seattle, WA
12/09/2009 Clug Vegas – Salt Lake City, UT
12/10/2009 Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom – Denver, CO
12/11/2009 Riot Room – Kansas City, MO
12/12/2009 Reggie’s Rock Club – Chicago, IL
12/13/2009 Station 4 – St Paul, MN
12/14/2009 Blondie’s – Detroit, MI
12/15/2009 Peabody’s – Cleveland, OH
12/16/2009 Gramercy Theater – New York, NY w/ BLACK ANVIL

MARDUK‘s eleventh studio album, Wormwood, was released on October 13th.  Visit MARDUK on the web for more info: www.marduk.nu

MARDUK Reveal Cover Art for Wormwood

MARDUK‘s forthcoming new album, entitled Wormwood, is being finalized, and while a release date is not yet set, the band have revealed the album cover (to the right). Wormwood is the band’s eleventh studio album. Photos from the album’s recording at Endarker Studios have been posted on the band’s official website. Check out the pictures here: http://www.marduk.nu/gallery.html

As previously mentioned, MARDUK have scheduled a small handful of U.S. shows to make up for their unplanned withdrawal from this summers’ Blackenedfest. Go here for the dates.

MARDUK Announce U.S. Tour Dates; Full Makeup Tour to Follow

Sweden’s MARDUK have announced a few U.S. shows following their last minute withdrawal from the Blackenedfest with MAYHEM due to visa issues.  These makeup dates will feature support from WITHERED and BLACK ANVIL.

MARDUK guitarist Morgan Håkansson commented: “We are excited to finally be over in the states and do these shows after all the problems with the visas. The three shows in August are just the start. We are preparing for a full tour in the winter that will cover all the areas we missed on Blackenedfest. Please join us as we raise the Banner Of The Wolf!”

Confirmed dates thus far are below.  Expect more dates to be announced soon.
8/12/2009 Sonar – Baltimore, MD
8/13/2009 Johnny Brenda’s – Philadelphia, PA
8/15/2009 Gramercy Threatre – New York, NY also w/ TOMBS

Visit the band’s official website for all the latest tour info and where to buy tickets: http://www.marduk.nu

Last month, MARDUK began recording their eleventh album. The album is expected to be released by years’ end via Regain Records.

MARDUK Issue Statement Regarding Absence from Blackenedfest

Blackenedfest, a North American tour featuring MAYHEM, MARDUK, CEPHALIC CARNAGE, CATTLE DECAPITATION, and WITHERED has been partially marred by MARDUK‘s unexplained absence from the tour.  The tour, which kicked off on May 21st, has carried on without MARDUK‘s participation.  The Swedish black metal band finally issued a statement regarding their situation:

“The situation with MARDUK not having performed during the first week of Blackenedfest is due to Mortuus, the vocalist, not having received his visa yet.

“It is not a ‘denied’ visa.  The band filed for a P-1 non-immigrant work visa, which is required for a band to play in the states.  The visa was APPROVED by the United States Government’s Homeland Security Office.

“Furthermore, as required, the band members each individually went to their Visa appointments at the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm for the standard interview, at which point the persons handling the band’s applications informed the band that there was no further action needed and that they should expect their passports in the mail with the P-1 visa attached.

“Everyone in the band received theirs except Mortuus.

“The day before tour, while the rest of the band were at the airport awaiting to board their flights to the US,  Mortuus returned to the embassy to inquire as to the location of his passport.  At this point he was informed that he was missing one document in order to finalize the visa.

“No one in the band, nor the label, was made aware of this missing form.  After we were made aware of this missing document, we provided the document to the Embassy in Stockholm and we are currently awaiting each day for the Passport to be returned to Mortuus with the visa stamp.  The Embassy is aware of the urgency of this matter and we expect the band to join the tour in progress any day now.  MARDUK are prepared to make up the shows they missed immediately after Blackenedfest ends. These dates will be announced upon the band’s arrival in the US.

“We are staying on top of the situation each day and hope to announce the arrival of the band soon.”

Remaining Blackenedfest dates are as follows:

May 29 – Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theater
May 30 – Tempe, AZ – Clubhouse
May 31 – San Diego, CA – House Of Blues
Jun. 02 – Hollywood, CA – House Of Blues
Jun. 03 – San Francisco, CA – DNA
Jun. 04 – Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theatre
Jun. 05 – Seattle, WA – Studio Seven
Jun. 06 – Boise, ID – Knitting Factory Concert House
Jun. 07 – Denver, CO – Gothic Theater
Jun. 09 – St Paul, MN – Station 4
Jun. 11 – Chicago, IL – House Of Blues
Jun. 12 – Cleveland, OH – Peabody’s
Jun. 13 – Detroit, MI – The Majestic Theater
Jun. 14 – Toronto, ON – The Opera House
Jun. 15 – Montreal, QC – Les Foufounes Electriques

VADER Sign to Nuclear Blast; Working on New Album

Poland’s VADER have inked a deal with Nuclear Blast Records. The band issued the following statement on the signing:

“We are very glad that after so many years VADER finally joined one of the biggest metal labels in the world. We really believe in their potential, experience and famous German reliability. We are pretty confident that the cooperation will be successful both for the band and the record label. Now VADER is ready to explode! We have been waiting for such a solid record deal for sooo long so it’s safe to say that the new era in VADER‘s career has just begun!”

Guitarist/vocalist Piotr “Peter” Wiwczarek added: “This is absolutely amazing, that VADER is now a part of Nuclear Blast family!!! Can’t find words how proud we are!!! Only great things may happen when traditions meet together… I so much believe, that VADER will give one more Blast to this Nuclear history of metal!!! Let start the fire — TOGETHER!!!”

Jaap Wagemaker, Nuclear Blast A&R, stated: “VADER have a history of almost 25 years of releasing death metal highlights and have built up a reputation of being one of the hardest touring bands in the scene! After many attempts both parties have finally come together and VADER have found a new home at Nuclear Blast! This summer VADER will release their new album Necropolis, which will not only be their debut for Nuclear Blast, but also another chapter in the history of the band with a totally renewed line up! Watch out for the new VADER as they will only return stronger than ever! VADER is still improving after all these years, so it is safe to say that the best of these death metal kings is still to come, so we, at Nuclear Blast are looking forward to start the propaganda machine!”

VADER recently entered Hertz studios in Bialystok, Poland with the Wieslawski Bros. to begin recording their next studio album, Necropolis, tentatively due in late August. Necropolis will mark the recording debut of VADER‘s new line up: Piotr “Peter” Wiwczarek (guitar, vocals), Reyash (bass), Waclaw “Vogg” Kieltyka (DECAPITATED) (guitar), and Pawel Jaroszewicz (SOUL SNATCHER) (drums). Tue Madsen (MOONSPELL, THE HAUNTED) will mix the album at his Antfarm Studios in Denmark.

Some songs set to appear on Necropolis include:
Anger
Dark Heart
When We Arrive
Devilized
We Are Horde
Rise Of The Undead
Impure

Peter comments on the new album: “The title of the album — which is the very first VADER song ever — is chosen not by chance. It will be connected with recordings like De Profundis or Litany with themes of forgotten worlds, mythos or ancient powers still living in humans subconsciousness.”

Check out the following links for photos and videos of VADER in the studio:
http://www.youtube.com/user/panzervader

http://www.vader.pl/foto-e.html

In early September, VADER will kick off a tour of their home country in support of Necropolis. The Polish leg of the tour will consist of approximately 12-13 shows in some of the country’s biggest cities. Every concert will be preceded by a fan meet-and-greet at the EMPik chain of stores. The trek will be a continuation of VADER‘s Blitzkrieg tour formula from the previous years. At the end of September, VADER will invade the rest of the European continent as part of a two-month tour with Swedish black metallers MARDUK.

Blackenedfest: MAYHEM, MARDUK, CEPHALIC CARNAGE, CATTLE DECAPITATION, WITHERED

Blackenedfest has been announced for North America and will feature MAYHEM, MARDUK, CEPHALIC CARNAGE, CATTLE DECAPITATION, and WITHERED. The tour kicks off May 21st in New York.

Tour dates as follows:
May 21 – New York, NY – The Fillmore at Irving Plaza
May 22 – Baltimore, MD – Sonar (Maryland Deathfest)
May 23 – Atlanta, GA – Masquerade
May 24 – Orlando, FL – Club Firestone
May 26 – Houston, TX – Numbers
May 27 – San Antonio, TX – White Rabbit
May 29 – Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theater
May 30 – Tempe, AZ – Clubhouse
May 31 – San Diego, CA – House Of Blues
Jun. 02 – Hollywood, CA – House Of Blues
Jun. 03 – San Francisco, CA – DNA
Jun. 04 – Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theatre
Jun. 05 – Seattle, WA – Studio Seven
Jun. 06 – Boise, ID – Knitting Factory Concert House
Jun. 07 – Denver, CO – Gothic Theater
Jun. 09 – St Paul, MN – Station 4
Jun. 11 – Chicago, IL – House Of Blues
Jun. 12 – Cleveland, OH – Peabody’s
Jun. 13 – Detroit, MI – The Majestic Theater
Jun. 14 – Toronto, ON – The Opera House
Jun. 15 – Montreal, QC – Les Foufounes Electriques

Visit the Blackenedfest MySpace page for updated info: http://www.myspace.com/blackenedfest

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]

MARDUK – Rom 5:12

Coming off one of their best albums in Plague Angel, MARDUK’s Rom 5:12 takes the listener on a more diverse and atmospheric album. While Plague Angel could be generally characterized as one of the band’s fastest and most scorching releases, Rom(ans) 5:12 contains a more prominent blend of slower, mid-tempo songs mixed in with the blasting ones. Third track, “Imago Mortis,” sees MARDUK exploring sublime, dark atmospheres at a mid-tempo pace. It’s definitely a song that has to grow on you as its 8:36 length may be too much for some. In the end, it proves its worth as one of the better songs on the album. Fifth song, “Damnation 1651,” contains distant battle drums and quiet, ominous horns along with Mortuus’ bloodcurdling vocals. It seems more like a segue track than an actual song and will probably have listeners pushing the fast forward button due to its length. The 8:44 “Accuser/Opposer” sees PRIMORDIAL frontman Nemtheanga contributing his Quorthon-like shouts and cries and has a main riff inadvertently similar to the verse riff of METALLICA’s “The God That Failed.” The song purposely drags along before ending with an old xian hymn. “Womb of Perishableness” follows a similar course by attempting to drag the listener down into a cold and dark oblivion. The final track just fizzles out before it gets anything going. Rom 5:12 follows a general pattern of fast and long, slow songs alternating between each other. This might actually compel some listeners to skip through to only the fast songs as the fast songs turn out to be the best songs on the album. Overall, the long, slow songs just don’t match up in quality and just don’t have the same impact. Rom 5:12 is by no means a bad album. However, this is MARKDUK and they should be held to the high standards that they’ve set for themselves with past albums. Thus, Rom 5:12 ultimately fails to immobilize the panzer division to bring about the soundtrack to xian annihilation. (Regain Records)