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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SUFFOCATION to Support DEVILDRIVER on 2010 North American Tour

SUFFOCATION have announced they will be direct support to DEVILDRIVER on an upcoming five-week North American tour kicking off January 2010.

The first ten shows are as follows; more support acts and dates to be announced soon.

1/07 Pomona, CA @ Glasshouse
1/08 San Francisco, CA @ Slims
1/09 Ventura, CA @ Majestic Ventura Theater
1/11 Portland, OR @ Peter’s Room at Roseland Theater
1/12 Seattle, WA @ Studio Seven
1/13 Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theatre
1/15 Grand Junction, CO @ Mesa Theater
1/16 Englewood, CO @ Gothic Theatre
1/18 Maplewood, MN @ The Rock
1/19 Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave

SUFFOCATION – Blood Oath

Maturity. Not exactly a word one associates with blasting death metal. But twenty years into their career, SUFFOCATION have once again taken their bludgeoning sonic force and compressed it into a 41-minute eardrum assault in Blood Oath.

From the get-go, the band displays a much more methodical approach. The opening track, “Blood Oath,” gradually building layers of thick, bottom-heavy riffage, as oppossed to hammering the listener head-on. Instead creating an atmosphere of dread before the eventual pummeling. “Dismal Dream,” on the other hand, commences with the aural beatdown, almost immediately delivering a torrent of blasting speed. This is offset by the anchor-heavy “Cataclysmic Purification,” which features some absurdly crushing riffs during the song’s mid-section as well as it’s ending. “Mental Hemorrhage” meanwhile executes a complex maze of riffing that shifts from blinding speed to dense layers of powerful, epic peaks with a series of tempo and dynamic changes.

Lyrically the band covers a variety of upbeat material such as gang violence, religious corruption, and apocalyptic showdowns, etc. But perhaps the most revealing, heart-felt lyrics come from divorcee Frank Mullen, whose graphic description of disemboweling his ex-wife in “Marital Decimation,” is sure to become a classic for all those who may have had a bad break up, SUFFO-style.

All in all, Blood Oath is the SUFFOCATION their fans know and love, yet delivering a much more mature piece that may require repeat listenings to pick up all the details. A bit of a challenge for those unable to tolerate the hammering on top of the subtleties, but ultimately resulting in a longevity that most of this generations “metal by MySpace” bands will fail to attain. (Nuclear Blast)

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SUFFOCATION: Blood Oath‘s Final Release Details

Final details for SUFFOCATION‘s forthcoming new album, Blood Oath, have been revealed. The album, which drops July 14th in North America through Nuclear Blast Records, will be available in three formats. In addition to the standard retail versions, there will be a mail-order edition exclusive to the Nuclear Blast U.S. webstore, and a digital version through iTunes. The mail-order edition comes in a red jewel case, includes a limited edition shirt, trading cards featuring all five members, a poster autographed by the band, and comes in an exclusive red SUFFOCATION bag. Here’s the track list breakdown:

Regular North American Version:
01. “Blood Oath
02. “Dismal Dream
03. “Pray For Forgiveness
04. “Images Of Purgatory
05. “Cataclysmic Purification
06. “Mental Hemorrhage
07. “Come Hell Or High Priest
08. “Undeserving
09. “Provoking The Disturbed
10. “Marital Decimation
11. “Pray For Forgiveness” (Instrumental version)
12. “Dismal Dream” (Rough mix un-mastered)

Limited Edition Blood Red Mail-Order Version:
01. “Blood Oath
02. “Dismal Dream
03. “Pray For Forgiveness
04. “Images Of Purgatory
05. “Cataclysmic Purification
06. “Mental Hemorrhage
07. “Come Hell Or High Priest
08. “Undeserving
09. “Provoking The Disturbed
10. “Marital Decimation
11. “Blood Oath” (Instrumental version)
12. “Cataclysmic Purification” (Rough mix un-mastered)

iTunes Version:
01. “Blood Oath
02. “Dismal Dream
03. “Pray For Forgiveness
04. “Images Of Purgatory
05. “Cataclysmic Purification
06. “Mental Hemorrhage
07. “Come Hell Or High Priest
08. “Undeserving
09. “Provoking The Disturbed
10. “Marital Decimation
11. “Undeserving” (Rough mix un-mastered)
12. “Marital Decimation” (Instrumental version)

Blood Oath comes out July 3rd in Europe. The above versions may not reflect the European release.

SUFFOCATION: Report from the Studio; Headlining Tour Dates

New York’s SUFFOCATION are currently in the studio working on their new album, Blood Oath. The band provided a brief update on their progress:

“We’ve just completed another shift at Full Force Studios (6pm – 2am, typical shift). As for a progress report – we’ve completed all the drum tracking and rhythm and bass guitars as of this past Sunday. What we’ll have left to do starting today is record guitar solos and getting Frank (Mullen) in there to lay down the vocals. We’re looking to wrap it up next week and start rehearsing a set for the up coming ‘Blood Apocalypse Tour‘ soon after that. All in all, we can honestly say this record is SLAMMIN’ HEAVY and we got some nice little twists for ya’ too. We look forward to crushing some stages for you all real fucking soon!

“Also, videographer Jon Bickford has been in the studio with us shooting the final segments (Blood Oath studio sessions and interviews) to be included in the forth coming SUFFOCATION DVD!”

The aforementioned Blood Apocalypse Tour is their upcoming headlining tour featuring support from WHITECHAPEL, BENEATH THE MASSACRE, DECREPIT BIRTH, VEIL OF MAYA, and PSYCROPTIC.  The tour kicks off on March 14th in Springfield, Virginia.  Confirmed dates are as follows:

SUFFOCATION, WHITECHAPEL, BENEATH THE MASSACRE, DECREPIT BIRTH, VEIL OF MAYA
03/14/09 Jaxx – Springfield, VA
03/15/09 The Norva – Norfolk, VA
03/16/09 The Soapbox – Wilmington, NC
03/17/09 Volume 11 – Raleigh, NC
03/18/09 Matthew’s Bar & Grill – Birmingham, AL
03/20/09 Grant Street Hall – Lafayette, LA
03/21/09 Ridglea Theatre – Ft. Worth, TX (w/ CARCASS, SUICIDE SILENCE)
03/22/09 House of Rock – Corpus Christi, TX
03/23/09 The Zoo – Amarillo, TX
03/24/09 Chic’s Bar and Billiards – El Paso, TX
03/26/09 The Crossing – Palmdale, CA
03/27/09 The Marquee Theater – Phoenix, AZ (Arizona Metal Fest)

SUFFOCATION, WHITECHAPEL, DECREPIT BIRTH, VEIL OF MAYA, PSYCROPTIC
03/28/09 The Grove – Anaheim, CA (California Metal Fest)
03/29/09 The Boardwalk – Sacramento, CA
03/30/09 Modesto Virtual – Modesto, CA
03/31/09 House of Blues – Las Vegas, NV
04/01/09 Club Sound – Salt Lake City, UT
04/02/09 The Black Sheep – Colorado Springs, CO
04/03/09 Tequila Jungle – Lubbock, TX
04/04/09 Red Seven – Austin, TX
04/05/09 El Cine Rey Theatre – McAllen, TX
04/06/09 Java Jazz – Houston, TX
04/07/09 The Village – Little Rock, AR
04/08/09 The Muse – Nashville, TN
04/09/09 The Valarium – Knoxville, TN (w/ CHIMAIRA)
04/10/09 Emerson Theatre – Indianapolis, IN
04/11/09 The Loft – Madison, WI
04/12/09 The Pearl Room – Mokena, IL
04/14/09 Crazy Donkey – Long Island, NY
04/15/09 Maverick’s – Ottawa, ON – CANADA
04/16/09 Le Medley – Montreal, QC – CANADA (w/ THE HAUNTED, NACHTMYSTIUM, INTRONAUT)
04/17/09 The Palladium – Worcester, MA (New England Metal Fest)
04/18/09 Crocodile Rock Café – Allentown, PA

CARCASS to Tour U.S. Again in March

CARCASS have announced that they will be returning to the United States this March for the Exhumed to Consume II tour. The follow up to last year’s highly successful reunion tour, Exhume to Consume, will feature SUICIDE SILENCE, SAMAEL, ARSIS and PSYCROPTIC plus a few special guests on select dates. Vocalist/bassist and all around optimistic person Jeff Walker commented:

“Well, I’m pleased to announce that CARCASS is gonna settle it’s unresolved scores in the U.S.! There was some slight whimpers of discontent that we didn’t hit some cities such as Chicago and Denver last time round – places that were always hot spots of enthusiasm for us. So we’re coming back in March to finish off our unsettled business! We seemed to have had a profound influence on your economy and gas prices have gotten cheaper haha! That’s doesn’t mean we’re not gonna come through and provide some value for your buck with some old (and new) school friends and comrades such as SUFFOCATION, SAMAEL, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, EXODUS, SUICIDE SILENCE, etc. – check out locally as for who is on the bill where! And hey, I couldn’t think of anywhere better to be on my 40th birthday than the Sunshine Theatre in Albuquerque, New Mexico! We promise this will be the last time we darken your shores (I said that with my fingers crossed behind my back)!”

03/13/09 The Trocadero – Philadelphia, PA
03/14/09 Peabody’s – Cleveland, OH (w/ ABIGAIL WILLIAMS)
03/15/09 The Pearl Room – Mokena, IL (w/ THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER)
03/16/09 Majestic Theater – Detroit, MI (w/ THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER)
03/17/09 Headliner’s – Louisville, KY
03/21/09 Ridglea Theater – Ft. Worth, TX (w/ SUFFOCATION)
03/22/09 Meridian – Houston, TX
03/24/09 Gothic Theatre – Denver, CO
03/25/09 Sunshine Theatre – Albuquerque, NM
03/26/09 The Grand Ballroom – San Francisco, CA (THE FACELESS, TOXIC HOLOCAUST)
03/27/09 The Marquee Theatre – Phoenix, AZ (w/ SUFFOCATION)
03/28/09 The Grove – Anaheim, CA (California Metal Fest w/ SUFFOCATION, EXODUS etc.)

CARCASS, EXODUS, SAMAEL, More to Play 3rd Annual California Metalfest

The third annual California Metalfest, presented by Nederlander Concerts and Headbang For The Highway, is confirmed for March 28th at The Grove of Anaheim.  Confirmed talent thus far includes CARCASS, EXODUS, SUFFOCATION, THE FACELESS, WHITECHAPEL, SAMAEL, ARSIS, DECREPIT BIRTH, VEIL OF MAYA, PSYCROPTIC, and others to be announced in the coming weeks.

The first California Metalfest in 2006 featured headliner NECROPHAGIST in their first Southern California appearance. 2007’s edition was headlined by TESTAMENT.

Visit the official MySpace page for all the latest show info: http://www.myspace.com/californiametalfest

SUFFOCATION Begin Recording New Album

New York’s death metal legends, SUFFOCATION, will enter the studio to begin recording their Nuclear Blast debut Blood Oath starting January 31st. The follow up to their 2006 self-titled record will once again be recorded with Joe Cincotta, whom they worked with on their previous two releases. Mixing duties will be handled this time around by Zack Ohren (ALL SHALL PERISH, DECREPIT BIRTH) and cover artwork will once again be brought to life by Jon Zig (DEEDS OF FLESH, DISGORGE, GORGASM). Some tentative song titles so far are “Dismal Dream“, “Undeserving“, “Confines of Disillusion“, “Blood Oath“, “Come Hell Or High Priest“, “Provoking the Disturbed“.

SUFFOCATION recently completed a North American tour as direct support to reactivated UK melodo-death/gore/grind legends CARCASS. The package also included 1349, ABORTED and ROTTEN SOUND.

SUFFOCATION Announce Signing to Nuclear Blast Records

SUFFOCATION have announced their signing to Nuclear Blast Records to a worldwide record deal.

SUFFOCATION has released the following collective statement:

“After 20 years of discovering the right and wrong relationships in our career, we are proud to announce that Nuclear Blast will be our new record label for 2009 and home to SUFFOCATION. Joining the Nuclear Blast family is an honor and it’s wonderful having so many great label mates. After all these years of playing in the death metal world, Nuclear Blast has remained at the top of the metal food chain bringing great and powerful bands to all who love the hard and heavy.

“We’ve had great success with the relationships acquired since our return and we feel Nuclear Blast will only add to that success. We as a band are looking forward to being offered bigger and better opportunities, while helping the extreme metal scene grow and gain the recognition it deserves. Look for our Nuclear Blast debut, ‘Blood Oath’, in early 2009!”

SUFFOCATION recently completed a North American tour as direct support to reactivated UK melodo-death/gore/grind legends CARCASS. The package also included appearances by 1349, ABORTED and ROTTEN SOUND.