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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CAVALERA CONSPIRACY Signs with Napalm Records

Cavalera ConspiracyNapalm Records is honored to announce the signing of CAVALERA CONSPIRACY.  The band, who released albums Inflikted and Blunt Force Trauma, have signed a worldwide record deal with the Austrian based label.  The band revolving around the legendary brothers Max and Igor Cavalera is currently working on their still untitled third studio effort.

“I am so excited that CAVALERA CONSPIRACY has signed with Napalm Records.  This is gonna be our third album and it’s going to be a brutal grind-core style.  I am already working on the riffs, and it is going to come out next year.  Get ready to be brutalized by CAVALERA CONSPIRACYand Napalm Records!” - Max

“I am very excited to record the new CC record…Me and Max have been planning this for a while, and all I can say is that it will be a ‘Brutal’ record.  Also I’m super proud to join Napalm Records, home of lots of amazing artists.” - Igor

MIXHELL – Spaces

Mixhell - SpacesTurns out that CAVALERA CONSPIRACY  and SEPULTURA co-founder Iggor Cavalera is also great at making music in a totally different universe.  The Brazilian crew known as MIXHELL, also composed of Laima Leyton and Max Blum, finally make their smashing studio album debut with Spaces.

Generally speaking, one could describe Spaces as “dance music” but pigeonholing as merely that would be doing yourself a disservice.  This album is about depth, diversity, and musicality.  The band incorporate different vibes and genres (i.e. rock, alternative, electronica, Afro-Brazilian) and instrumentation.  Speaking of instrumentation, it sounds damn good to hear the (live) drumming brilliance of Iggor and bass playing of Max throughout most, if not all, of Spaces as they prove that sometimes humans can still beat out computers.

As a note to heavy music fans, THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN‘s Greg Puciato‘s laid down the vocals on “Exit Wound.”

While most of the tracks have vocals, MIXHELL finish out the last three tracks with three killer instrumentals.  The drum beats of “White Ropes” are monstrous.    “Daria” has sweet layers of bass, guitar, and synthesizers behind a steady beat.  “Come with Me” may be the best song here with its deep emotion and understated momentum.

After spending time with MIXHELL’s debut, you will find that it only gets better.  Spaces can only further solidify the band’s place as one of the best in the business.  (Last Gang Records)