EXHUMED: Frontman Matt Harvey Added to Death to All Tour

EXHUMED frontman Matt Harvey has been added as a special guest lead vocalist to the all-star studded Death to All Tour 2012. Matt Harvey will be joining drummers Gene Hoglan (Individual Thought Patterns/Symbolic) and Sean Reinert (Human), bassists Steve DiGiorgio (Human/Individual Thought Patterns) and Scott Clendenin (The Sound of Perseverance), guitarists Paul Masvidal (Human), Shannon Hamm (The Sound of Perseverance) and Bobby Koelble (Symbolic), and vocalist/label-mate Charles Elliott of ABYSMAL DAWN/BEREFT.

Harvey replaced OBSCURA vocalist Steffen Kummerer due to visa issues and had only 9 days to learn his entire set. Matt Harvey elaborates on the opportunity: “To say that I’m excited about hitting the stage with such amazing musicians would be a massive understatement. To say that I’m overwhelmed standing in Chuck‘s spot singing his songs would be the understatement of the century. Phrases like ‘it’s an honor’ get tossed around pretty casually, but taking part in this unique celebration is truly exhilarating, humbling and magical for me. Even though the name of the band is DEATH, this event is a celebration of Chuck‘s life and the vitality and staying power of his work. To be able to share what DEATH‘s music has meant to me this way is a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity I am incredibly grateful to have.”

Death to All Tour Tribute 2012 [remaining dates]
6/26/2012 House of Blue – Chicago, IL [TICKETS]
6/28/2012 Irving Plaza – New York, NY [TICKETS]
6/30/2012 The Beacham – Orlando, FL [TICKETS]

ABYSMAL DAWN/BEREFT’s Charles Elliott and OBSCURA’s Steffen Kummerer Announced as Vocalists on Death to All Tour

ABYSMAL DAWN/BEREFT‘s Charles Elliott and OBSCURA‘s Steffen Kummerer have been announced as vocalists of DEATH tribute, Death to All Tour. The tour’s band will consist of ex-DEATH members including Gene Hoglan, Steve DiGiorgio, Bobby Koelble, Sean Reinert and Paul Masvidal.

Tour dates:
6/22/2012 – The Regency Ballroom – San Francisco, CA
6/23/2012 – House of Blues – Los Angeles, CA
6/26/2012 – House of Blues – Chicago, IL
6/28/2012 – Irving Plaza – NYC, NY
6/30/2012 – The Beacham – Orlando, FL

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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OBSCURA Returning to U.S. November 2011 with ABYSMAL DAWN,

OBSCURA has announced their first ever North American headline tour in support of their latest album Omnivium. The tour will start Nov. 4 in Wilmington, Delaware and run through Dec. 7 with support from label-mates ABYSMAL DAWN, LAST CHANCE TO REASON (select dates) and ENFOLD DARKNESS (select dates).

Tour dates:
Nov. 4 Wilmington, DE Mojo 13
Nov. 5 New York, NY Gramercy Theater (as part of MetalsucksFest)
Nov. 6 Montreal, QC Petit Campus
Nov. 7 Toronto, ON Hard Luck
Nov. 8 Cleveland, OH Peabody’s
Nov. 9 Joliet, IL Mojoe’s
Nov. 10 St Paul, MN Station 4
Nov. 11 Winnipeg, MB The Zoo
Nov. 13 Saskatoon, SK Louis’ Pub
Nov. 14 Edmonton, AB Pawn Shop
Nov. 15 Calgary, AB The Distillery
Nov. 16 Vancouver, BC Rickshaw Theater
Nov. 17 Portland, OR Branx
Nov. 18 Seattle, WA Studio Seven
Nov. 20 San Francisco, CA DNA Lounge
Nov. 21 Hollywood, CA Key Club
Nov. 23 Tempe, AZ The Clubhouse
Nov. 25 Denver, CO The Marquis Theater
Nov. 27 Tulsa, OK The Marquee Theater
Nov. 28 Dallas, TX The Rail Club
Nov. 29 San Antonio, TX White Rabbit
Nov. 30 Houston, TX Warehouse Live
Dec. 2 Tampa, FL Brass Mug
Dec. 4 Orlando, FL Firestone Live
Dec. 5 Atlanta, GA Masquerade
Dec. 6 Richmond, VA Kingdom
Dec. 7 Baltimore, MD Sonar

OSCURA Announce New Bassist

OBSCURA have officially announced their new bass player, Linus Klausenitzer. Linus has played with OBSCURA on their European tour with HATE ETERNAL as well as their recent North American tour alongside CHILDREN OF BODOM and THE DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT. Linus is also part of the progressive metal outfit NONEUCLID. A video statement from the band can be viewed below:

OBSCURA will head to South East Asia and Dubai for the first time-ever this September. This run of dates kicks-off on September 23rd and is in support of the band’s latest album Omnivium.

The band are also confirmed to perform at the German metal festivals, Summer Breeze and Way of Darkness.

PESTILENCE- Doctrine

When PESTILENCE announced their reformation, hopes were high for Resurrection Macabre, especially after the band drifted into obscurity with the strange, jazz fusion influenced album, Spheres. Resurrection was a decent album with a few high points, but like most bands that take an extended break, that offering was only a mere shell of the greatness in which PESTILENCE once was. While nobody expects Doctrine to be compared to such classics like Consuming Impulse and Testimony of the Ancients, Doctrine is a complete flop and makes Resurrection Macabre look like a masterpiece.

After the mandatory intro, “Amgod” starts off promising with a catchy riff and blast beat only to slow down into a weak mid paced riff, which unfortunately is the theme of the entire album. When vocalist Patrick Mameli comes in with his first scream, it’s so heinous and atrocious that one can wonder how vocals of this caliber can be considered as professional, even within the underground death metal scene. Mameli has lost any growl or power he once had, and instead resorts to a hoarse and throaty scream. The album is a haphazard grab bag with “Doctrine” and “Salvation,” which contain slow, drawn out riffs, while other songs like “Malignant” or “Absolution” try to sound groovy and ultra heavy. Doctrine is uninspired, completely flat, and unworthy of the PESTILENCE moniker. New drummer, Yuma Van Eekelen is fantastic live, and does his best to spice up the songs, but the riffs are so bland that there’s not much that he, or fretless bass wizard, Jeroen Paul Thesseling, can do to improve the music.

Doctrine is disappointing in all aspects, as the album is a poor slab of half written riffs and hooks thrown together. Mameli should end PESTILENCE quietly at this time, so he doesn’t tarnish the history of the band further. Fans who are disappointed with this release should check out the latest HAIL OF BULLETS with ex-PESTILENCE vocalist Martin Van Drunen, or Thesseling’s other band, OBSCURA instead, because Doctrine leaves an unpleasant taste in your mouth. (Mascot Records)

OBSCURA Post CACOPHONY Cover of “Concerto” Online

OBSCURA has posted “Concerto,” which was included as the Japanese bonus track and on the iTunes digital deluxe album of their brand new album Omnivium, online now via the band’s Facebook page. “Concerto” is a cover track from Marty Friedman and Jason Becker’s CACOPHONY Speed Metal Symphony album.

The band are set to head out on tour with the DEVIN TOWNSEND BAND, CHILDREN OF BODOM, and SEPTIC FLESH next week. A full list of tour dates can be found on the band’s Facebook page.

OBSCURA has also announced a signing session at the new ENGL Amps showroom in Los Angeles, CA on Thursday June 23rd from 6:00 to 7:00PM PST. The ENGL Showroom is located at 10911 B Vanowen Street, next to ESP Guitars, in North Hollywood, California.

OBSCURA – Omnivium

OBSCURA appeals to fans of “math metal,” or bands that have thousands of riffs per song who try and be as technical as possible. Obviously with ex-members of NECROPHAGIST, OBSCURA attracts fans of the progressive/technical metal subgenre, such as THE FACELESS, CYNIC, ATHEIST, and MESHUGGAH just to name a few. However, they may provide more depth and personality than the bands mentioned. The previous album, Cosmogenesis, produced some mind boggling riffs with amazing and unique bass lines delivered by Jeroen Paul Thesseling, but Omnivium goes into throwback mode, as the music is generally in the vein of the debut album, Retribution. Like Retribution, Omnivium is a little more brutal and spiced up than their last effort, but still technical enough so that guitar and drum nerds will still be amazed with the musicianship.

Septuagint” starts the album innocently enough, with lush acoustic guitars, followed by a safe melodic riff, until the brutality of the blast beats and frantic guitar work kick in. As “Vortex Omnivium” begins with a brutal section, towards the end of the track, Thesseling’s influences are brought to center stage with a funky bass line that works well, and a lot more pronounced than the bass lines he played on the much maligned Spheres album by PESTILENCE.

There are some weak spots in the album, as “Ocean Gateways” is on the doomy side, and tries to sound a tad like MORBID ANGEL’s “God of Emptiness,” which does not mesh well in between the fast tracks. Showing off too much can be overkill and bring the album down, like when “Prismal Dawn” has too many scales played at 10x speed, and makes it sound more like a practice/jam session structured within a song.

The lengthy album starts to drag a bit during the middle tracks such as with “Celestial Spheres,” because too many notes are all over the place without giving the music a chance to breathe – the experience can be quite overwhelming at times. Fortunately, “Velocity” picks the brutality back up and awakens the senses with a fine balance of jazz interludes and grinding blasts. OBSCURA throws in their proggy elements for good measure in the beautiful “A Transcendental Serenade,” with some lovely bass parts, jazzy drum patterns, and overall godly guitar sweeps and solos. Finishing off the auditory blitz comes “Aevum,” with catchy hooks and crushing blast beats from hell; thus completing the heavy dose of guitar and drum wizardry.

Omnivium deserves many repeated listens, not only because the album clocks in at just under an hour, but because of the many layers involved. The amazing bass work, guitar picking, arpeggios, and drum techniques will all satisfy the thirst of the ultimate music nerd within us. OBSCURA fits the Relapse roster perfectly (i.e. ORIGIN, ABYSMAL DAWN) with their brutal and technical style, but they definitely lead the pack in terms of songwriting, jaw dropping musicianship and proficiency. (Relapse Records)

PESTILENCE Announce First U.S. Tour in 16 Years

Technical death metal legends PESTILENCE are pleased to announce their first US tour in over 16 years! The 17-date journey will kick off in Baltimore as part of the Maryland Deathfest at Sonar on May 30th and close at the Gramercy Theater in New York City on June 17. Support will be provided by WARBRINGER, VITAL REMAINS, ENFOLD DARKNESS and SACRIFICIAL SLAUGHTER. Advance tickets are on sale via enterthevault.com.

PESTILENCE released their first studio record since the critically acclaimed Spheres full-length(1994) with 2009′s Resurrection Macabre (Mascot Records). The band currently features vocalist/guitarist Patrick Mameli (C-187), returning bassist Jeroen Paul Thesseling (OBSCURA), new drummer Yuma Van Eekelen (THE NEW DOMINION, BRUTUS) and guitarist Patrick Uterwijk.

PESTILENCE w/ WARBRINGER, VITAL REMAINS, ENFOLD DARKNESS, SACRIFICIAL SLAUGHTER:

5/30/2010 Sonar – Baltimore, MD (as part of Maryland Deathfest)*
5/31/2010 Club Mosaic – Chattanooga, TN **
6/01/2010 The Bar – New Orleans, LA **
6/02/2010 Emo’s – Austin, TX
6/03/2010 Ridglea Theater – Ft. Worth, TX
6/04/2010 Launchpad – Albuquerque, NM
6/05/2010 Club Red – Tempe, AZ
6/06/2010 Ramona Mainstage – Ramona, CA
6/07/2010 Ultra Violet – Los Angeles, CA
6/08/2010 DNA Lounge – San Francisco, CA
6/09/2010 Satyricon – Portland, OR
6/10/2010 Studio Seven – Seattle, WA
6/13/2010 Station 4 – St Paul, MN
6/14/2010 Reggie’s – Chicago, IL
6/15/2010 Mod Club Theater – Toronto, ON **
6/16/2010 Les Foufounes Electriques – Montreal, QC **
6/17/2010 Gramercy Theater – New York, NY

* PESTILENCE only
** No WARBRINGER

APESHIT’s Top Albums of 2009

It’s that time where we take a look back on the year as 2009 comes to a close. So we, the APESHIT goons, asked ourselves, what albums moved us, kicked our asses, and reminded us of why we love metal (and music)? Read on for our top albums of 2009…
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