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]

PITCH SHIFTER Classic Infotainment? to Be Reissued Sept. 24th

The long out-of-print 1996 breakthrough album from UK deviants PITCH SHIFTER, Infotainment?, is to be made available again on September 24 via Earache Records.

Marking the band’s evolution from underground notables to mainstream success, Infotainment? perfected the PITCH SHIFTER sound, merging a caustic industrial backbone with a growing interest with drum ‘n bass and techno influences. Tracks like “Underachiever” and “Virus” connected with rock fans of all persuasions and paved the way for even greater success, as the band went on to record major label records for both Geffen and MCA, with much commercial and critical acclaim.

Infotainment? was produced by Simon Efemey who also worked with UK rock giants PARADISE LOST, THE WILDHEARTS and NAPALM DEATH. Members of the band recently resurfaced with the THIS IS MENACE project featuring a variety of guests including Matt Davies from FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND, Jeff Walker of CARCASS and Casey Chaos of AMEN and SCUM.

PITCH SHIFTER, since known as PITCHSHIFTER (one word), have recently announced some UK headline shows as follows:

October 12 – London Astoria
October 13 – Nottingham Rock City

PARADISE LOST – In Requiem

You would think that after 10 studio albums, a band would be running low on quality. However, the lifeforce of gothic doom pioneers, PARADISE LOST, is as vital and strong as ever. Their 11th album, In Requiem, is truly a stellar album that sees the band returning to a Draconian Times-era sound coupled with aspects of their more contemporary sound. It’s readily apparent upon the first few listens that In Requiem is a winner as the songs and execution are flawless and flow so easily. There is no extra effort needed on the part of the listener to appreciate the album. Opener, “Never for the Damned,” sets the tone with its SABBATH-sized heavy riffs and vocalist Nick Holmes‘ powerful vocals. During the course of the songs on In Requiem, there is always a catchy guitar riff and vocal line that comes in and makes it memorable and enjoyable. There’s a good balance of dynamics in the form of different vocal stylings in the PARADISE LOST vein, heavy/mellow sections, melodic parts, and various tempos. The band also do a nice job of adding in secondary parts such as keyboard parts and backing male/female vocals to compliment things. That famous PARADISE LOST emotional and soulful quality shines through on songs such as “Praise Lamented Shade” and “Your Own Reality.” In Requiem is the complete package. When the masters set out to make a great album, the results are undeniable. (Century Media Records)

PARADISE LOST Stream Entire New Album On MySpace

PARADISE LOST, the godfathers of gothic metal, have returned with a stunning new offering, In Requiem, which marks a return to the band’s trademark heavy sound. To get a full impression of this brilliant dark opus, fans can now stream the entire album on the band’s official MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/paradiselostuk. Note that the album can be streamed only for one week, so check it out now!

The album, produced by Rhys Fulber and mixed by Mike Fraser, is set for a June 5th U.S. release.

Few bands can match PARADISE LOST‘s storied career album for stellar album. Even fewer bands can say they helped found an entirely new genre of music, something these Brits achieved in 1991 with the release of Gothic. As wildly influential as the band has been to acts like HIM and THE RASMUS, they remain as relevant as their modern followers through subtle reinvention and a continued dedication to quality songcraft.

PARADISE LOST will make their triumphant return to the U.S. with NIGHTWISH in October. See below for their complete itinerary.

PARADISE LOST w/NIGHTWISH:

10/15 Jaxx – Springfield, VA
10/16 The Trocadero – Philadelphia, PA
10/18 Nokia Theatre – New York, NY
10/20 The Palladium – Worcester, MA
10/21 Le Medley – Montreal, QC
10/23 The Docks – Toronto, ON
10/24 Peabody’s Down Under – Cleveland, OH
10/26 Harpo’s – Detroit, MI
10/27 House of Blues – Chicago, IL
10/28 First Avenue – Minneapolis, MN
10/31 Showbox Theatre – Seattle, WA
11/01 Roseland Theater – Portland, OR
11/02 Slim’s – San Francisco, CA
11/04 House of Blues – Hollywood, CA
11/06 House of Blues – Anaheim, CA
11/07 Marquee Theater – Tempe, AZ
11/08 Sunshine Theatre – Albuquerque, NM
11/10 White Rabbit – San Antonio, TX
11/11 Palladium Ballroom – Dallas, TX
11/12 Meridian – Houston, TX
11/14 Culture Room – Ft. Lauderdale, FL
11/15 House of Blues – Lake Buena Vista, FL
11/17 The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA