SOILWORK Post Video for “20 More Miles”; Kick Off Tour on Friday

SOILWORK, who are set to kick off their North American tour with DARKANE this Friday, have posted their new music video for the track, “20 More Miles.” Watch it now:

The clip contains footage from the band’s recent European and World Tour with footage from Australia, Japan, Russia, and Malaysia (including the Electric Weekend Festival with METALLICA), and was edited by Olle Carlsson. The song “20 More Miles” is off the band’s latest album, Sworn to a Great Divide.

Visit the band’s MySpace page for tour info and tickets: http://www.myspace.com/soilwork

DAYLIGHT DIES Added to SOILWORK, DARKANE North American Tour

DAYLIGHT DIES will join SOILWORK and DARKANE for the start of their upcoming US tour beginning January 30 in Rochester, New York. Continuing to support their latest record, Lost to the Living, DAYLIGHT DIES were selected to replace WARBRINGER who are unable to start the tour due to extended recording obligations. “We are all ecstatic about the opportunity to tour with three bands we are huge fans of,” says bassist Egan O’Rourke. “We have been cranking SOILWORK in the van since our first tour so it will be a true honor to get to share stages with them.”

Released June 24, Lost to the Living is the North Carolina-based band’s second album for Candlelight Records. Mixed by Jens Bogren (OPETH, KATATONIA) and featuring artwork from Travis Smith (AMON AMARTH, PARADISE LOST), the album features nine new songs. “We were extremely pleased to see the glowing response to Lost to the Living from the media,” notes drummer Jesse Haff. “It’s especially rewarding to see the continued love from fans towards this album.”

Confirmed dates are noted below. Tickets are available now via www.enterthevault.com.

1/30/2009 Penny Arcade – Rochester, NY
1/31/2009 Harpo’s – Detroit, MI
2/02/2009 The Muse – Nashville, TN
2/03/2009 Jack Rabbits – Jacksonville, FL
2/04/2009 The Garage – St. Petersburg, FL
2/05/2009 Culture Room – Ft. Lauderdale, FL
2/06/2009 Backbooth – Orlando, FL
2/07/2009 The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
2/08/2009 Music Farm – Charleston, SC
2/09/2009 Amos Southend – Charlotte, NC

Vote for SOILWORK’s North American Tour Setlist

SOILWORK have invited fans to vote for their setlist on their upcoming North American tour with DARKANE, WARBRINGER, and SWALLOW THE SUN.  The tour which will kick of at the end of January will be the first North American tour featuring rejoined guitarist Peter Wichers and new guitarist Sylvian Coudret.

The ten songs that receive the highest votes, make the cut and final setlist will be revealed on their website prior to the tour.  Voting will close December 12, 2008.

Go here to vote: http://www.soilwork.org/votehere.php

Peter Wichers Rejoins SOILWORK

Original SOILWORK guitarist Peter Wichers, who split from the band in December of 2005, has announced he’s rejoining the band.  An official statement from the band reads:

“The past two years have been great although sometimes a bit turbulent. We made another killer album and did several amazing tours around the world; and today it is with sheer joy and excitement that we announce the return of Peter Wichers as a guitarist in SOILWORK. He’s been missed both as a bandmate and as a songwriter.

“We know that we can come back even stronger, and it definitely gives us a feeling of inspiration and completion to have Peter, one of the founders of SOILWORK, come back to the fold. We feel that we can look into the future with greater confidence and musical creativity. Having Peter back will complete the circle and the final line up of the band.

“This also marks Daniel Antonsson‘s departure from SOILWORK as Peter‘s replacement since 2006. We are really grateful for Daniel‘s excellent work and he will be missed. However, to us it’s ideal for Peter to fulfill his former duties as a songwriter and guitarist. Going separate ways with Daniel is not an easy decision for us to make, but it’s the right one. We wish Daniel the best of luck in the future and many great things with his other band DIMENSION ZERO! Rock on Daniel!!!

“As we previously announced, Dirk‘s bandmate in SCARVE, Sylvain Coudret, has been doing session work for us throughout the Summer festivals and shredding on second guitar. Therefore we’re taking this opportunity to confirm Sylvain as a permanent guitar player for SOILWORK. Since we’re big fans of SCARVE, we know Sylvain will make a great addition to the songwriting process for the next SOILWORK album.

“We’re looking forward to rocking out with all of you this Fall and Winter… See you on the road for a unique Swedish metal feast that may very well include some blasts from the past!”

Wicher‘s return will commence with the upcoming European tour. He also offered an official statement:

“Let me first of all say that I’m incredibly grateful for all the amazing feedback and support that I’ve received since my departure from SOILWORK almost three years ago.

“When I left SOILWORK, I was at a place in my life where I felt burnt out on touring and I needed to get my life into a more stable situation. I needed to do something other than SOILWORK, perhaps explore more diverse styles of songwriting and musical journeys. Therefore, over the past few years, I’ve been very focused on production, songwriting and family, and have had the privilege to work with some amazing artists on some really cool and rewarding projects.

“During my time away from the band, my good friend Bjorn ‘Speed’ [Strid] and I had always kept in touch and maintained a great friendship. We recently spoke about working on a possible musical collaboration, and that’s when we started toying with the idea of me perhaps returning to SOILWORK.

“I needed some time to think about it, but after careful consideration, I’ve decided that I still have tons of enthusiasm and creativity to contribute to SOILWORK. I have a lot of love for my brothers in the band, and I would of course be honored to once again share the stage with the greatest metal band in the world!

“So it is with great honor that I now announce my return and 110% commitment to SOILWORK. I guarantee that we’ll bring forth one hell of a show and write the best album in the history of SOILWORK‘s career.”

SOILWORK will be on tour with ZIMMERS HOLE and ONE-WAY MIRROR in Europe this November and December. Shortly after, the band will headline a massive North American tour to begin in late January 2009 with DARKANE, WARBRINGER, and SWALLOW THE SUN.

Visit the band’s official website for all the latest news and tour dates: http://www.soilwork.org/

NEVERMORE Vocalist Announces Solo Album Details

After much anticipation, the stunning, inaugural solo effort from NEVERMORE vocalist Warrel Dane will finally see a North American release on May 13th. With this effort one of metal’s most defining and revolutionary vocalists further hones his craft to perfection.

Dane, who first shattered the boundaries of conventionality with the legendary SANCTUARY and NEVERMORE, proves that he is one of metal’s most diverse frontmen with this solo effort as he unleashes a barrage of introspective and personal lyrics that are heartfelt and extremely powerful. All of this emotion backed with his soaring angelic and dynamic vocals provides all of the necessary elements for a savagely captivating, melodic assault that quickly hooks you in. This exhilarating new offering begins a new chapter for Dane and will soon further solidify his spot as one of the genre’s most influential artists.

Before beginning this new venture Dane went out and surrounded himself with some of the best musicians that he could find. This search ultimately resulted in landing the renowned Peter Wichers (ex-SOILWORK) on guitars and bass, Dirk Verbeuren (SOILWORK) on drums and Matt Wicklund (ex-HIMSA) on guitars. The effort was also recorded and mixed by Wichers (co-producer SOILWORK).

Dane further comments as to how this solo effort came about: “Right around the time NEVERMORE was recording This Godless Endeavour I started talking to Peter Wichers about maybe doing something together. I think we both wanted to do something different and that’s ultimately what got the ball rolling. I had always wanted to work with a songwriter that had a more song based approach rather than focusing on technical skills and Peter was exactly that. We collaborated on almost everything and I wrote all the lyrics and melodies. Peter had great ideas at times for harmonies, that’s what a good producer does, and I think he’s really come into his own as a producer with this record.

“The purpose of doing this project was to step out of the confines of NEVERMORE and focus on coming up with memorable songs instead of constructing songs that showcased everyone’s skills. The material is more straightforward than NEVERMORE, but I don’t know what to call it. I think my influences have really played a part of the sound. I love old school goth and I love thrash metal, and every other kind of metal, there’s a little bit of all of that in the record.”

SOILWORK Part Ways With Guitarist Ola Frenning

Swedish metallers SOILWORK, who recently completed a U.S. tour with LAMB OF GOD, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE in support of their new album Sworn To A Great Divide, have decided to part ways with guitarist Ola Frenning.

It was felt that Ola resisted the demands of the road and found it difficult to come to terms with the amount of touring scheduled.

Sworn To A Great Divide is SOILWORK‘s fastest seller and the live demand for the band is growing. They intend to play everywhere and fulfill the album’s potential.

Vocalist Björn “Speed” Strid says: “It was a very difficult decision to make because Ola has been our friend and bandmate for a very long time.”

The decision will not affect any of SOILWORK‘s plans. Guitarist David Andersson will fill in on their upcoming Finnish/Baltic tour as well as the “Scum Of The Earth” U.S. tour with THROWDOWN. The band will then tour Australia, Japan and Southeast Asia before returning to Europe for festivals and a headlining U.S. tour in the fall.

Ola Frenning comments: “After 10 years, seven albums and several world wide tours, we’ve realized that we have developed in different directions and have a different set of values, profession wise. The disagreements have reached their peak and it has become an untenable situation. The band’s solution is that I part ways with them so that I won’t be in the way for the future plans of SOILWORK. However, since I’m not gonna be on the road (at least for a while), I will now be able to continue with my songwriting and producing at another level. For further information, visit www.myspace.com/olafrenning. The page will be updated in the near future. Cheers to ya all… And thanks for making these 10 years with the band memorable.”

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]

SOILWORK – Sworn to a Great Divide

Sweden’s SOILWORK return with more bite and aggression than their last two albums. The band inject more aggression in their riffing and delivery than in recent years. There is also a stronger emphasis on guitarwork this time around. However, there is just as much, if not a little more, focus on and refinement of melodies, particularly in the vocal department. It would be an over statement to say that the band have made a return their heavier, thrashier beginnings even though songs like “The Pittsburgh Syndrome,” “I Vermin,” and “As the Sleeper Awakes” would make you think otherwise. At the end of the day, SOILWORK make their bread and butter on melodies and vocalist Bjorn “Speed” Strid is the man that holds it all together. There are times when his melodic clean vocals are so catchy and smooth that they inadvertently subtract from the overall aggression and heaviness of the band. But don’t judge this to mean that Speed is necessarily softening the band. Newest member Daniel Antonsson (guitars) from DIMENSION ZERO/PATHOS fame fits in perfectly and heartily contributes to four songs. SOILWORK do break new ground on “Sick Heart River” and “20 More Miles.” The songs has more of a grander and more emotional feel than the standard SOILWORK song. Speed really delivers on the passionate choruses that would certainly make vocal producer Devin Townsend smile. The album also comes with a bonus DVD, which includes footage of the band in the studio and playing a live show in Switzerland. The best part is the footage of Speed recording the album’s vocals in Devin Townsend’s home studio. As you can expect, Devin is his hilarious, eccentric self. In the end, Sworn to a Great Divide is a solid, catchy album that follows the style that the band have become known for. (Nuclear Blast Records)

DARKANE Announce New Singer

Sweden’s DARKANE have announced a new vocalist following the resignation of former singer Andreas Sidow.  Guitarist Christopher Malmström made the following annoucement:

DARKANE would like to welcome Jens Broman as our new vocalist! He’s recently been seen in the vocal spot in CONSTRUCDEAD and THE DEFACED (and will continue to sing in both bands). Jens grew up in Glumslöv, south of Helsingborg (a good friend of Björn Strid from SOILWORK), but now lives in Stockholm. His live debut with us will take place in three weeks at the ProgPower Scandinavia festival in Copenhagen, Denmark on November 10th. We’ve been rehearsing hard lately and are very excited to work together with Jens. He has a huge vocal diversity and we are pretty sure that DARKANE fans won’t be disappointed. We had our interests set on Jens at a very early stage and would like to thank all the people who showed their interest in joining DARKANE as our vocalist. We wish you all the success in the future, and we’d also like to congratulate Peter [Wildoer, drummer] and [his longtime girlfriend] Erika for getting engaged a few weeks back.”

Last month, Peter Wildoer revealed that DARKANE has “about nine songs ready to record” for their upcoming fifth studio album, despite the fact that the band’s Not Quite Studio suffered an extensive amount of damage due to flooding two months ago.

SCARVE: Thrashing Young Lads

France generally isn’t the first, second, third, or fourth European country you think of when you think of “metal,” but France’s SCARVE is putting their stamp on the metal world one album at a time. 2004’s impressive Irradiant piqued ears and garnered comparisons to MESHUGGAH and STRAPPING YOUNG LAD. That year also saw drummer, Dirk Verbeuren, join Sweden’s SOILWORK. Despite seemingly unending singer woes, SCARVE dropped their latest, The Undercurrent, to an unsuspecting public. The Undercurrent is a dynamic album of gobsmacking technical metallic goodness. APESHIT pinned down the ever-busy Dirk to tell us more about France’s latest stars on the up and up.

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