APESHIT’s Top Metal Albums of 2015

motorheadWhen looking back at 2015, the only thing that seems to matter is the passing of Lemmy Kilmister. Of course losing Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor in November was sad but Lemmy was on another level – one of the pillars of the entire rock ‘n roll universe. Thankfully, he left a voluminous legacy for us to enjoy for eternity, including some of music’s best interviews and quotes possible. Cheers, Lemmy.

Other than that, 2015 was a remarkably strong year for the pioneering, long-running bands in the metal scene.  Everyone from KILLING JOKE, MY DYING BRIDE, FEAR FACTORY to AMORPHIS put out fantastic records. This past year also saw some very good super groups in TAU CROSS and FIRESPAWN make their debuts.  You’ll find that many of them made it to our respective lists.

Additionally, we’ve recruited some fresh blood in Charles Elliott, Andrew Sample, and Jeff Wagner. These industry vets have been in the trenches with us for years and years, and have helped bring you many of the greatest records ever released for the past 20+ years.
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STORM CORROSION – Storm Corrosion

STORM CORROSION is the much hyped, much talked about collaboration between two of modern prog rock’s heavyweights in OPETH‘s Mikael Akerfeldt and PORCUPINE TREE‘s mainman Steven Wilson. If you were to judge an album based on its cover art, one might expect a virtual labyrinth of complex, involved music to serve as a soundtrack to acclaimed Swiss artist Hans Arnold‘s richly detailed and intricate artwork. But sadly you would be wrong.  So what exactly do the masterminds behind STORM CORROSION have to offer? Would the duo take a modern approach and craft a record along the lines of TOOL and modern day RUSH meeting up with PORCUPINE TREE? Or would they dig deep in to nostalgia and profess their love for all things CAMEL, NEKTAR and KING CRIMSON taking us all on a mindblowing prog rock odyssey? Or would the group take us on a smoke induced psychedelic journey heavy on the HAWKWIND and PINK FLOYD? Sadly all of the above scenarios are far more imaginative than what one will actually receive with STORM CORROSION.

Beginning with lead track “Drag Ropes,” our protagonists make it abundantly clear that less is more, and that they will seek to offer the listener collectively less than they ever have before. Super subtle, understated vocal lines by Mikael are backed by an assortment of gentle background ambiance that tries very hard to create a mood, but leaves the listener feeling flat. Five minutes in, the guys thrown in some off kilter vocal harmonies in attempt to mix things up, which leads in to some light guitar work which might be some of the most musical material on this album. But it unfortunately comes across as an afterthought as opposed to something substantial.

The title track follows with some dainty folk singing and strumming before arriving at a soothing yet not particularly inventive “solo.”
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ANATHEMA to Release Weather Systems April 24th, 2012

ANATHEMA will return in April with Weather Systems, their brand new studio album.

Weather Systems is the follow-up to 2010’s We’re Here Because We’re Here, which has been featured prominently in numerous end-of-year polls and the producer, Steven Wilson (PORCUPINE TREE), has described it as ”definitely among the best albums I’ve ever had the pleasure to work on.”

The bar for Weather Systems has been set pretty high, but Daniel Cavanagh from the band is certain that the album will exceed these lofty expectations, stating, “It feels like we are at a creative peak right now, and this album reflects that. Everything from the production to the writing to the performances are a step up from our last album.”

He continues, “This is not background music for parties. The music is written to deeply move the listener, to uplift or take the listener to the coldest depths of the soul.”

The album was recorded in Liverpool, North Wales and Oslo and was produced and mastered by five time Norwegian Grammy nominated Christer-André Cederberg (ANIMAL ALPHA, IN THE WOODS…, DRAWN), who Daniel has described as “a revelation. His calmness and brilliance has helped to bring about the greatest inter-band chemistry that ANATHEMA have experienced together in their career.”

Their best ever work? “Not yet” says Daniel, but he does believe that with Weather Systems they have surpassed previous glories; “we are pleased and proud of the record and we feel that, alongside the best moments of WHBWH, this record contains our very best work so far in what is becoming a long career.”

Weather Systems will be available on The End Records on April 24th 2012.