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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APESHIT’s Top Metal Albums of 2012

As another great year for heavy music comes to a close, APESHIT takes a look back at our favorite pieces of music of 2012. This year had some great comebacks in CRYPTOPSY and STRIFE. There were also some nice surprises in the new sheer quality of the new SIX FEET UNDER and brutality of the new SOULFLY.

We want to thank all our readers, friends in the industry, and all the amazing artists, big and small, that we get a chance to work with for a great 10th year of existence. As the music industry as a whole continues to take an economic hit, let us all remember: If you like a band or one of their releases, support it!

Here’s hoping for a great 2013!

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WITCHCRAFT – Legend

One of the best records of the year is refreshingly not the flashiest.  Yeah, WITCHCRAFT‘s Legend sounds good upon first listen.  But unbeknownst to you, it will pull you in progressively deeper with each listen.  The excellent songwriting, Magnus Pelander‘s soulful vocals, beautiful vintage instrument tones, perfect guitar solos, and quality riffs are just a few reasons why Legend is such an enjoyable experience.

Deconstruction” opens Legend with style as it shifts between tempos but sets the tone with its strong sense of musical feel.  From there the momentum doesn’t stop as the hits just keep pouring through.  WITCHCRAFT whip up an array of catchy vocal lines and dynamic song structures, including killer instrumental sections where the band just does their thing.

The guitar tandem of Simon Solomon and Tom Jondelius is as good as it gets.  The bigger you open your ears, the more you’ll hear the distinct guitar parts that they’re playing.  Their guitar parts weave in and out of each other and converge when it’s time to bring down the heavy doom riffs.

Another strong dimension of the record is the exquisite production.  Vintage instruments, analogue recording equipment, and modern recording experience all come together to produce such a well-balanced, crystal clear, and natural sound.

Just do yourself a favor and come to the rich doomy, psychedelic sounds of WITCHCRAFT‘s Legend. (Nuclear Blast Records)

Sweden’s WITCHCRAFT US Tour Kicks Off this Month

Sweden’s WITCHCRAFT will finally tour the US in support of their current album, Firewood, along with the US re-release of their self-titled debut album this fall. Beginning October 23 the band will bring their highly acclaimed, groove-laden proto-doom rock to venues across the US.

Joining WITCHCRAFT for the dates is Portland, Oregon-based DANAVA. Several venues are still being confirmed but the routing is as follows:

Tour dates:
10/23 Seattle, WA – Sunset Tavern
10/24 Portland, OR – Doug Fir
10/26 San Francisco, CA РCaf̩ Du Nord
10/27 San Diego, CA – *venue TBA
10/28 Los Angeles, CA – Pedros Cantina
10/29 Tucson AZ – Vaudeville
10/31 Austin, TX – The Parish
11/01 Houston, TX – The Proletariat
11/02 New Orleans, LA – One Eyed Jack’s
11/03 Birmingham, AL – Bottletree
11/04 Atlanta, GA – Drunken Unicorn
11/05 Chapel Hill, NC – Local 506
11/06 Baltimore, MD – Talking Head
11/08 New York, NY – Mercury Lounge
11/09 Boston, MA – Middle East
11/10 Brooklyn, NY – North Six
11/11 Philadelphia, PA – *venue TBA
11/12 Pittsburgh, PA – Lawrenceville Moose Lodge
11/13 Columbus, OH – Little Brothers
11/14 Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle
11/15 Milwaukee, WI – Cactus Club
11/16 Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock