BLOODBATH Announce Surprise New Vocalist

Swedish all star death metal band, BLOODBATH, have announced PARADISE LOST‘s Nick Holmes as successor for the vocalist spot left vacant by Mikael Akerfeldt and Peter Tatgren. Their fourth album, Grand Morbid Funeral, comes out on November 18 through Peaceville Records.

Blakkheim (guitar) commented, “Little did I expect to be working with the voice behind the death metal classic Lost Paradise, or the genre defining Gothic, and yet here we are decades later fulfilling another death metal dream. With his sinister and ominous vocal delivery, it’s an absolute pleasure to make Old Nick the bell-ringer in Bloodbath‘s Grand Morbid Funeral!”

Jonas Renkse (bass) commented, “Ever since I got into Lost Paradise back in ’90, Nick Holmes has been one of my favorite growling vocalists out there. He was always audible and articulate but still deep and definitely morbid. It is a great pleasure to work with him some 25 years later after I was introduced to his thunderous roar!”

Can’t wait to hear Nick Holmes do his great death vocals again.

THE HAUNTED – Eye of the Storm

thehaunted.eyeofthestormNearly three years and three band members replaced and THE HAUNTED appear ready to atone for their previously subpar releases.  If the three songs on Eye of the Storm are any indication of where the band’s head is at, then it’s time to rejoice.  On this 7″, THE HAUNTED are back to doing what they do best: thrashing better than any band on the planet.

Generally speaking, THE HAUNTED reclaim the sound and style of their first three or four albums.  Interestingly, this digital single/7″ only gets faster with each song.  “Eye of the Storm” is a muscular song which features those sweet but short dynamics and touch of  melancholy that has made the band stand out during their career.  The intro riff on “Infiltrator” is just one of the sweetest metal riffs you’ll ever hear.  So damn good.  Finally, “My Enemy,” is a scorcher complete with Kerry King-like guitar whammy bar action.

Not only is Eye of the Storm a must for fans of the band, it’s a great reason to get excited for the next full-length.  (Century Media Records)

AT THE GATES Finally Announce the Obvious: They are Officially Back

Swedish death metal legends AT THE GATES are officially back.  With a reunion tour that hasn’t ended for years, the band have announced that they are working on a comeback studio album.  It is expected to be released worldwide by the end of 2014 via their new label partner Century Media Records.

AT THE GATES checked in with the following comment statement:

“So, here we are almost 24 years since the birth of AT THE GATES, and some 18+ years since our latest album ‘Slaughter Of The Soul‘. A lot of years have passed and we have embarked on some life-changing reunion tours and shows the last couple of years. So, why make a new album you might ask, and why now? Well, what we learned from the last couple of years hanging out and playing shows together, is that we enjoy what we do to the fullest extent. We love playing music together, and we love to hang out as friends. But, as a musician, we constantly write new music. It’s a huge part of our identities.

“We are fully aware that we have made some very drastic statements in interviews as well as the closing words on the DVD about the longevity of AT THE GATES, but things change, situations change and people change. When Anders sent the first song last summer, we had zero expectations of the outcome. We only knew one thing – That it sounded amazing! At the time we weren’t even sure there would be an album, but as things progressed, more songs came into existence, and we knew we were on to something great.

“We know you are all curious about the new material, and to make a simple explanation of where we are at musically, we would describe it as a perfect mix between early AT THE GATES & ‘Slaughter of the Soul‘-era AT THE GATES, trying to maintain the legacy and the history.

“We chose Century Media as a worldwide partner for the upcoming album. We have all been friends for years with people at the label. Jonas & Anders have a history with THE HAUNTED there (as well as Adrian with PARADISE LOST).

“So, we hope to bring you updates about the progress of the new album soon. The plan is to record the album in June/July with a tentative release in October / November of 2014 on Century Media Records.”

–AT THE GATES, January 27, 2014

Check out the band’s teaser (which does not provide any new music):

Death Metal Supergroup VALLENFYRE Jumps into the Studio


VALLENFYRE has officially entered the studio to record their second full-length album and follow-up to 2011′s A Fragile King entitled Splinters.

Gregor Mackintosh (vocals and lead guitars) comments: “We have now arrived in a very cold Salem, MA and are currently holed up in Godcity Studio with producer Kurt Ballou tracking drums for our second album, ‘Splinters‘. We are really digging Kurt‘s honest, old-fashioned approach to recording. No triggers or samples. Just a good drum kit, good mics and a good drummer.”

In 2011, Gregor Mackintosh (PARADISE LOST) announced that he would go back to his death metal roots with his new band, VALLENFYRE. The level of expectation was set high with a line-up consisting of Hamish Glencross (guitar – MY DYING BRIDE), Scoot (bass – DOOM, EXTINCTION OF MANKIND), Adrian Erlandsson (drums – AT THE GATES, PARADISE LOST, THE HAUNTED) – and of course, Gregor on vocals (for the first time in his career!). Their debut, A Fragile King, was a reference to Gregor‘s father’s (lost) battle with cancer.

Check out the music video for “Cathedrals of Dread” from their debut:

DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT, KATATONIA, PARADISE LOST, STOLEN BABIES @ El Rey, Los Angeles, CA (09/08/12)

The Epic Kings and Idols Tour hit Los Angeles to a packed house.  Anticipation and enthusiasm were high. The merch booths were selling well as the crowd was littered with brand new shirts, particularly of KATATONIA and the DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT.

LA’s very own STOLEN BABIES were first up with their eccentric brand of heavy music.  Always up for a challenge in front of a straight up metal crowd, the band bashed through their set with all the charisma and energy that they show on their headlining shows.  It’s always cool to see  first time spectators have a bewildered look on their faces as they watch this crazy band that looked like they jumped out of the Beatlejuice movie.  They played a few songs off of their upcoming album, Naught, which sounded right at home with their debut, There Be Squabbles Ahead.  Vocals were a bit low in the mix but still a sweet performance.


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“Epic Kings & Idols Tour” September 2012: THE DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT, KATATONIA, PARADISE LOST, STOLEN BABIES

The “Epic Kings & Idols Tour,” set for a September 2012 North American run, will feature  co-headliners, THE DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT and KATATONIA, direct support from PARADISE LOST, and opening duties from STOLEN BABIES.  Needless to say, this line up is absolutely killer.  Don’t miss out on STOLEN BABIES.  They were rudely excluded from the official press release of the tour.

PARADISE LOST Begins Recording New Album Tragic Idol

After taking a trip back in time with the Draconian Times MMXI DVD/live album (the London legacy show of their classic album from 1995) and also guitarist Gregor Mackintosh‘s return to his doom/death metal roots with VALLENFYRE, PARADISE LOST is recording their 13th studio album.

Gregor Mackintosh (lead guitar) comments, “We are currently holed up in The Chapel studios in Lincolnshire, England recording our new album which is entitled Tragic Idol. The album will again be produced by Jens Bogren and is influenced by classic doom metal and classic metal. I would say it is more melodic than the last record whilst retaining the heaviness. There are lots of guitar solos and melodies. The album will contain such track titles as ‘Honesty in Death,’ ‘Theories from Another World,’ ‘In this We Dwell‘ and the title track ‘Tragic Idol.’”

Tragic Idol is scheduled for a worldwide release through Century Media Records on April 23rd, 2012 in Europe and April 24th, 2012 in North America.

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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PARADISE LOST – Faith Divides Us, Death Unites Us

With Faith Divides Us, Death Unites Us, it might be safe to say that PARADISE LOST are incapable of disappointing their fans. Rock solid – their new album is simply a joy to listen to. Stylistically, Faith Divides Us, Death Unites Us is noticeably heavier, more aggressive, and faster than its predecessor, In Requiem. There are some straight up death metal parts done PARADISE LOST-style. Vocalist Nick Holmes also employs a harsher vocal bite on some songs as well. One could say that the band have reached further back to the roots of the band to take on this approach. Magic moments and inspiration are all over Faith Divides Us, Death Unites Us as basically every song is catchy, vibrant, and soulful. A weak point cannot be found. This is the kind of album that gives you the immediate feeling in your gut that this is bloody great. There is really not much else to explain beyond that. Faith Divides Us, Death Unites Us is absolutely world class music that is capable of competing with any other great metal album released this year. All bow down to the masters of gothic doom metal! (Century Media Records)

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]