APESHIT’s Top Metal Albums of 2016

VirusAnother strong year is in the books for heavy music, so strong that making a year end list seemed unfair to every release that we did not include in our lists.  The underground continues to thrive with releases from legendary bands such as DARK FUNERAL, VADER, and NEUROSIS that will stand the test of time. Actually, most of the long running bands did not fail to meet or exceed expectations.  Thrash metal pioneers, MEGADETH, VOIVOD, and TESTAMENT, certainly released excellent records.  What is more important is that 2016 saw a lot of great releases from less trendy, more obscure bands.

Trees of EternityThis past year is personally notable as lost a dear friend and contributor, Brandon Stratton AKA rocknro11chef13.  As a small tribute, we’ve included albums that he would’ve likely picked for his year end list.  Life is short, my friends.  Embrace it.

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Song of the Day: VADER’s Iron Times EP is Excellent as All VADER EPs Are

This month saw the release of VADER‘s latest EP, Iron Times, via Nuclear Blast. In keeping with their tradition, Iron Times is another excellent release that is meant to tide us over till their next full length entitled The Empire.  Let’s check out Track 2, “Prayer to the God of War.”  If only VADER could ghostwrite for SLAYER

APESHIT’s Top Metal Albums of 2014

Unlike everyone else, we waited until 2014 was actually over to recount our favorite albums. It’s been a great year for extreme music with a healthy amount of excellent releases.  We saw the return of legends in GODFLESH and AT THE GATES as well as welcome returns from long recording breaks in BEHEMOTH and MAYHEM.  And who can deny the GHOST B.C.-like popularity explosion of Japan’s BABYMETAL?  Crazy shit.  Metal is certainly a diverse genre.

For 2014, the APESHIT goons did not have any unanimous or semi-unanimous album of the year (i.e. 2013’s CARCASSSurgical Steel).  But MAYHEM, BLOODBATH, GODFLESH, and TRYPTIKON were near consensus picks.  Sorry, ENTOMBED A.D. didn’t make it here.

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Poland’s VESANIA Returns with New Music After Seven Years

VESANIA, the Polish symphonic black metal act that features current and former members of BEHEMOTH, DIMMU BORGIR, VADER, and DECAPITATED, have been toiling for over a decade. The band’s fourth full-length album, and first since 2007, Deus Ex Machina, is finally scheduled for release on October 28, 2014 via Metal Blade Records. The brand new track, “Innocence,” can be heard below.

VESANIA is:
Orion – guitars and voices
Daray – drums
Siegmar – synths and samples
Heinrich – bass
Valeo – guitars

There’s no singular unifying lyrical concept on Deus Ex Machina, but there’s a main theme, a coherent and deliberate thread running from the title through the music. The title of the album is a term from ancient Greek tragedy and translates to “god from the machine”. The idea for the concept was that a machine, typically a rudimentary crane, would lower a thespian playing god onto the stage to solve the seemingly unsolvable conflict in the plot. In modern entertainment, the term has evolved to primarily refer to a cheap solution in a poorly written script or novel. Alternatively, VESANIA‘s Deus Ex Machina is a call for any kind of help or intervention because all of the lyrics on the album are hopeless and show characters in situations that leaves them powerless.

VADER – Tibi Et Igni

Vader - Tibi Et IgniTo understand VADER‘s Tibi Et Igni is to know a few key facts. First, this is their best album since 2002’s Revelations.   Second, Tibi Et Igni features the best collection of guitar solos in the band’s history.  It’s a complimentary mix of intense, fast solos with whammy bar action (Peter), and PRIEST-style classic heavy metal soloing (Spider). New comer James Stewart is unquestionably the VADER‘s best drummer since the legendary Doc (R.I.P.).  And most importantly, the album rules.

You get the famous VADER-style combined with songwriting magic that takes it to that special place.  There’s a good balance of the blasting, ripping tracks, intensely catchy fast-mid tempo ones, and epic ones.  Throughout the band’s history, they have released so many killer songs and many of the ones here rank among their best.  This speaks to just how good Tibi Et Igni is.

Hexenkessel” features some new dynamics for the band as the song has a great sense of tension that is built and released throughout.  The guitar solo that comes in later really takes it to that next level.  The album goes to another level with the eighth track, “The Eye of the Abyss.”  The serene orchestrated intro and the undeniable sense of urgency and doom are excellent.  The following track, “Light Reaper,” races to the finish like a one-way trip to hell.  Closer, “The End,” may be the crown jewel of the VADER catalogue.  Emotionally powerful and full of a sense of hope against a backdrop of finality , the song absolutely shines.  It’s definitely the band’s JUDAS PRIEST-moment.

The bottom line: Buy it.  (Nuclear Blast Records)

NADER SADEK: “Re: Mechanic” Video Released

Three years subsequent to the formation of elite metal project, NADER SADEK, and the release of the collective’s debut album, In The Flesh, the final video from the album has been released.

Re:Mechanic” was re-recorded with vocals by Travis Ryan (CATTLE DECAPITATION), backing vocals by Mike Hrubovac (MONSTROSITY, VILE) and Tim Rocheny (MAUSOLEUM), drums by Flo Mounier (CRYPTOPSY), main guitars from Rune Eriksen (AVA INFERI, ex-MAYHEM), leads from Orestis Nalmpantis, and bass by Kelly Conlon (PESSIMIST, ex-DEATH, MONSTROSITY). Yet in the ever-morphing fashion of the NADER SADEK entity, the video hosts an altered cast. While Eriksen and Mounier are featured, the rest of the filmed lineup is rounded out with bassist and vocalist Novy Nowak (CONDEMNATION, ex-VADER), as well as SADEK himself not only directing the video but also appearing as the Desert Druid.

The video was filmed on multiple continents, in both underground NYC locations as well as at the ancient Crystal Altar in Egypt.

VADER Cooking Up Album Number Twelve

VaderPolish legends VADER have entered Hertz Studio in Bialystok, Poland to record their twelfth studio album, TIBI ET IGNI.  The Wies?awski Brothers, Wojtek and Slawek, will share duties at the production helm.

“VADERMANIAX!!!! The next chapter, a new bible for all those hungry for extreme massacre and dark challenges is called: TIBI ET IGNI,” states VADER mainman Peter W.  “Translated from Latin, this pretty symbolic title is For You (and only You) and Fire.’  Ten songs + bonuses are in the plans to be created.  We’ll record all of these bloody tracks of new incarnations.  Today we’re calibrating the heavy weapon for James [Stewart, drummer], so his drumming can your blow heads off your necks.  More details soon.  Will we set anxiety in your minds?  We’ll film the recording process to show the whole thing in a while.  Of course, we’ll keep you informed about each next step in recordings regularly. STAY ALERTED!!!!”

NADER SADEK – Living Flesh

Nader Sadek - Living FleshOne of the coolest death metal debut albums in recent years, gets the live treatment with Living Flesh.  Band mastermind Nader Sadek gathered together his core recording line up of Steve Tucker (ex-MORBID ANGEL), Rune Eriksen (AVA INFERI, ex-MAYHEM), and Flo Mounier (CRYPTOPSY) along with Novy (ex-VADER, BEHEMOTH, DIES IRAE), Sean Frey, and Carmen Simoes.   Do not mistake this for being just another live recording.  Living Flesh is a special CD & DVD/Blu-ray live recording with a presentation and execution unlike any other live metal album.

Visually, Nader Sadek did a great job in creating a unique, artistic stage set up, complete with a throne, emaciated branches over the monitors, and Flo Mounier‘s drumkit in the audience facing the stage.

Soundwise, the production is immaculate.  Warm tones, crystal clear drums, and great balance bring the performance to life.  The whole band is on top of the game and one just help but wonder what this line-up could do on another NADER SADEK studio album.  Lead guitarist Sean Frey does a great job in shredding every which way throughout the set.

Taken all the together, the eerie, melancholic, and slithering death metal of NADER SADEK comes to life and sounds infinitely better than In the Flesh.  In many ways, Living Flesh demonstrates that NADER SADEK embodies what makes death metal so unique and special.  Don’t miss out on one of the best new bands to emerge in years.  Highly recommended. (self-released)

APESHIT’s Top Metal Albums of 2011

2011 was a very productive and enjoyable year for extreme music, perhaps the best in years. Thus, it was not an easy task choosing what we enjoyed best since they were just so many. 2011 also gave us unforgettably bad albums by LOU REED and METALLICA, flops by THE HAUNTED as well as controversial ones by MORBID ANGEL.

We look forward to another strong year in 2012 in which we will celebrate our 10 years online. Cheers for all of your support in 2011! Radikult!!
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