APESHIT’s Top Metal Albums of 2010

December is here, so it is time for us, the APESHIT goons, to share with you our list of metal albums that made an impression on us in 2010. Meaningful and meaningless, but sharing is caring. Bang your head and enjoy!
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WATAIN – Lawless Darkness

While the hardcore black metal elitists call WATAIN sellouts, the rest of the world has anticipated the new opus for quite sometime, and Lawless Darkness delivers some ugly and beautiful black metal all at once.

Death’s Cold Dark” continues the formula that made Sworn to the Dark so successful with the blasts, double bass, and dirty raspy vocals inspired by bands such as DISSECTION and NIFELHEIM. An obvious nod to DISSECTION‘s “The Somberlain,” the dual guitars in “Malfeitor” begins eerily similar, and of course the production is top notch with the Swedish death/thrash distortion well in tact. The long-awaited single, “Reaping Death,” includes a catchy hook, but the end of the album is where the real magic is located. Just as HYPOCRISY has their love for aliens, WATAIN continues their infatuation with wolves on “Wolves Curse,” and the band dedicates the song to the legions of WATAIN fans around the world.

Unlike most bands, the title track of the album is an instrumental, which feels more of a jam session with some nice lead guitar work. Songs such as “Hymn To Qayin” and “Kiss Of Death” unleash the entire Swedish repertoire, and are heavily influenced by the first two DISSECTON masterpieces. However, WATAIN set themselves apart with “Waters Of Ain,” one of the most epic tracks any band has written in recent history. This final track starts off with a beautiful acoustic beginning – the music paints a picture of a watery grave to the other side, and the song serves as a deathly tribute to fallen comrades. The band’s amazing songwriting is in full effect and captures a powerful and memorable ending with a perfect riff and heavy metal solo to conclude the new album.

The album clocks in at well over an hour, so there is plenty of music to appreciate and digest. While Lawless Darkness is nowhere near the brilliance of Casus Luciferi, the hype and praise that WATAIN is receiving is justified. WATAIN can be seen as the path in which DISSECTION should have continued in, instead of going in the direction of the controversial Reinkaos album. Along with NECROPHOBIC, WATAIN leads the pack in the blackened death metal genre. (Season of Mist)

[blipfm 49868113]

WATAIN’s Lawless Darkness to be Released on June 7th; Maryland Deathfest Appearance Announced

Lawless Darkness has been announced as the title of the fourth WATAIN album to be released on June 7th.

“The title symbolizes the unbound chaotic potential of that which is void of light,” frontman E. comments. “The light that defines, the light that shapes and restricts. The light by which the forces of law and order uphold their reign. In the absence of that light lies the wellspring of WATAIN: in Lawless Darkness.

“With this album and in all of our efforts with WATAIN we aim to capture the hungry madness and glimmering purity of darkness beyond illusion, the void that holds all yet where naught is manifest, the primordial tomb into which all the vanity of man and his creation shall collapse: indeed, The Lawless Darkness!

Lawless Darkness shall be seen as a monument erected in honour of that collapse and a dedication to all those brave souls, who have willingly dared to venture the winding paths towards it.”

“Shed not thy light on me
Get thee hence, thoughts defined
Blind me not with your bright structures
For I am of the night

“Let not thy rays caress me
Judged by them I will not be
For they are the light that governs man
And I am the enemy”

In other news, WATAIN will return to the United States once again in late May as part of the annual aural offensive known as the Maryland Deathfest, appearing with SODOM, OBITUARY, ENTOMBED, POSSESSED, NECROPHOBIC and countless more. See the complete fest lineup at: http://www.marylanddeathfest.com.

And, after completing the regular portion of their set at this year’s Sweden Rock Festival in on June 12th, WATAIN will return to the stage for a unique 45-minute tribute concert featuring classic BATHORY songs. The event promises to be even more special as the BATHORY part of WATAIN‘s performance will be introduced by none other than late BATHORY mainman Quorthon‘s father and producer, Börje “Boss” Forsberg. “It feels great to have Boss participating in a part of the show, since he, in a way, is the only living link to the BATHORY myth,” says E. “It will still be a tribute show and nothing else, but we are, of course, honored to be able to do it with his blessing!”

http://www.templeofwatain.com
http://www.myspace.com/watainofficial

WATAIN Ready to Unveil New Album this June

The fourth album from Swedish black metal titans WATAIN is now recorded. Says vocalist E in an official missive: “I am now holding in my hand the final mastertape of what might be the most dynamic and charged WATAIN release ever recorded. May the gods unto which it is written be pleased! We very much look forward to share this rich feast with our followers, whom we know have been hungering for a very long time. All I can say is that it will be worth the wait. We raise our cups unto all of you whose patience and support have been constant during the four fiery years since the release of Sworn To The Dark, and look forward to set the night aflame with you again soon!”

The unveiling of WATAIN’s fourth album will take place on June 7th, under ceremonial circumstances yet to be revealed. To tide followers over in the meantime, WATAIN will release a single entitled Reaping Death. It will be released as a 7″ picture EP on Walpurgisnacht. This single will feature the track “Reaping Death” from the album, along with a B Side exclusive for the EP.

The next issue of Sweden Rock magazine will feature a WATAIN single with “Reaping Death” and a cover of “The Return Of Darkness And Evil” by the mighty BATHORY. Details about how to purchase both singles will follow shortly.

More news will follow in the days, weeks and months to come.

WATAIN Confirmed for Maryland Deathfest 2010

Sweden’s WATAIN, who have been working on their fourth full-length album, have confirmed their return to North America with an appearance at next year’s Maryland Deathfest.

The band states: “We can now reveal the long awaited first live performance to break the silence. WATAIN will return to the stage at the Maryland Deathfest in Baltimore, Maryland on the 28th of May 2010, alongside legends such as AUTOPSY, PENTAGRAM and POSSESSED. This will be the first performance done in relation to the new WATAIN album, to be released worldwide only weeks after the show through Season of Mist.”

Visit WATAIN online:
http://www.templeofwatain.com
http://www.myspace.com/watainofficial

WATAIN 10-Year Anniversary Reissues on the Way

To celebrate the ten cursed years of madness and magic that have passed since Swedish black metal tyrants WATAIN crawled out of their molten caskets, Season of Mist is now releasing their first two full length albums, Casus Luciferi and Rabid Death’s Curse on digipack CD’s, respectively on next October 13th and 27th.

Both albums have been remastered in Necromorbus Studio were they were originally recorded, and will also feature two rare bonus-tracks, one being the title-track from the bands debut 7″ EP The Essence of Black Purity and the other an unreleased live-version of the VON anthem, “Watain.” Both releases will also include extensive liner notes from the band along with additional photos and illustrations.

WATAIN‘s first two albums have both been hailed as monumental and groundbreaking within the underground for their undeniably magical content and fanatic intensity, yet they are also considered collectors items which to this day are still hard to come by”, leader Erik states. “As WATAIN never wanted their divine art to be something restricted for collectors and rich eBay kids only, we have now chosen to reveal to all of the world our dark and fiery past. A past that came to shape one of the most terrible abominations ever to stalk the Metal scene!”

WATAIN to Return to U.S. with WITHERED, BOOK OF BLACK EARTH

Sweden’s WATAIN will headline the Black Metal Magic Tour 2008 this October with support from WITHERED and BOOK OF BLACK EARTH.

Tour dates:
10/03/2008 The Opera House – Toronto, ON
10/04/2008 Katacombes – Montreal, QC
10/07/2008 The Middle East – Boston, MA
10/08/2008 Knitting Factory – New York, NY
10/09/2008 31st St Pub – Pittsburgh, PA
10/10/2008 Peabody’s – Cleveland, OH
10/11/2008 Reggie’s Rock Club – Chicago, IL
10/12/2008 Vaudeville Mews – Des Moines, IA
10/13/2008 Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom – Denver, CO
10/14/2008 Urban Lounge – Salt Lake City, UT
10/15/2008 Studio Seven – Seattle, WA
10/16/2008 Rotture – Portland, OR
10/17/2008 The Metro – Oakland, CA
10/18/2008 Knitting Factory – Hollywood, CA
10/19/2008 Jumping Turtle – San Marcos, CA
10/20/2008 The Sets – Tempe, AZ
10/21/2008 Gator’s – Farmington, NM
10/23/2008 Reno’s Chop Shop – Dallas, TX
10/24/2008 Mario’s Ballroom – Victoria, TX w/Ritual Killer
10/25/2008 Red 7 – Austin, TX w/Ritual Killer
10/26/2008 Red Dragon – New Orleans, LA w/Ritual Killer
10/28/2008 Brass Mug – Tampa, FL
10/29/2008 Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
10/31/2008 Jaxx – Springfield, VA
11/01/2008 Sterling Hotel – Allentown, PA

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]

WATAIN – Sworn to the Dark

WATAIN have been lurking beneath the shadows of the underground for nearly a decade now, and while many overlooked the band’s impressive Casus Luciferi album about four years ago, WATAIN‘s latest, Sworn to the Dark is poised to take them to the top of the Swedish black metal pack. Adamant practitioners of the black metal cult, WATAIN still manages to balance out the darkness by riding a fine line between black and death with large doses of German-influenced thrash serving as the link in the chain of aggression. At just under an hour in length, Sworn to the Dark takes the listener on a twisted, intricate musical journey that combines tense atmosphere, complex arrangements and strong dynamics, which are all held together by a sinister aura of underlying evil. The vocals are harsh and unforgiving; the drumming is punishing and pounding; the riffing taut and malevolent. Yet in spite of this, an emphasis on memorable songwriting is maintained throughout the album’s entirety. “Legions of the Dark Light,” “Storm of the Anti-Christ,” “The Serpent’s Chalice” and closer “Stellarvore” all exhibit these qualities with strong hooks and powerful choruses, creating instant black metal classics. Combining strong production, top-notch musicianship and powerful songwriting, Sworn to the Dark is a trident in to the heart of Christianity that also serves as the album that made black metal dangerous again. (Norma Evangelium Diaboli Records)

ANGEL CORPSE, WATAIN, NACHTMYSTIUM Announce Spring Tour

ANGEL CORPSE, WATAIN, and NACHTMYSTIUM will head out for this May for the Antichrist Vanguards East Coast Tour 2007. The tour kicks off on May 9th in Minneapolis, MN.

Tour dates:
5/9 – Minneapolis, MN – Station 4 (*no ANGEL CORPSE)
5/10 – Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle
5/11 – Cleveland, OH – Peabody’s
5/12 – Philadelphia, PA – The Northstar
5/13 – Cambridge, MA – Middle East
5/14 – New York, NY – BB King’s
5/16 – Springfield, VA – Jaxx
5/17 – Winston-Salem, NC – Ziggy’s
5/18 – Atlanta, GA – Drunken Unicorn
5/19 – Tampa, FL – Brass Mug (*no NACHTMYSTIUM)
5/20 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Culture Room (*no NACHTMYSTIUM)