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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Anathema to Play Special “Resonance” Sets with Duncan Patterson and Darren White

UK legends ANATHEMA have announced two very special shows next April.  They will be performing songs from their entire history, as part of a Resonance set (named after compilation albums) with original bassist/songwriter Duncan Patterson and original singer Darren White.


Roadburn Festival – April 12, 2015, Tilburg, Netherlands

O2 Shepherds Bush Empire – April 16, 2015, London, England.

Roadburn festival is a hugely respected institution and has to be the most fitting launch for the ANATHEMA ‘Resonance‘ tour. It will be a celebration of the band’s entire history, and to be joined by our old friends and comrades Duncan Patterson and Darren White for these exclusive shows will be a very special, potent and positive event for all of us. We hope you can join in this once in a lifetime celebration” – Danny Cavanagh.

ANATHEMA Returning to US with HIM

Following the band’s recent appearance on the inaugural voyage of the Progressive Nation at Sea cruise, doom metal pioneers turned progsters, ANATHEMA, has announced a U.S. tour for March as special guests of Finland’s HIM. The tour marks just their second proper North American run  after a successful tour last September/October.

Commented lead guitarist/vocalist Daniel Cavanagh:

ANATHEMA is delighted to return to the United States as special guests of our personal friends Ville Valo and HIM. It’s always a great occasion playing with our Finnish mates – as we’ve known each other’s music for many years and have been sharing stages together on a number of occasions since our main support to them in the UK for ‘Dark Light‘ in 2006. To do this in the United States, the birthplace of rock and roll and one of ANATHEMA‘s true musical and spiritual homes, is just a fantastic prospect – especially so soon after our first headlining tour last autumn which was a success beyond our expectations. We hope to really provoke a strong reaction from the audience, and I’m sure we will perform a song or two from our brand new album, which is being finished as I write. HIM in the USA? Bring it on!”

ANATHEMA Announce First Ever North America Tour

Doom/progressive rock legends ANATHEMA have announced their debut North America tour with ALCEST and MAMIFFER in support of their best selling album in the U.S., Weather Systems. The tour starts runs from September 12, 2013 until October 5, 2013. Visit the band’s website for tour dates.

“I can’t wait. Such a cool line up. Three bands who move in different spheres while sharing the intent to create music that is honest, forward thinking and uninhibited. I first met Stephane from ALCEST last year, discussing 90’s shoegaze bands in a forest in Lithuania! He is someone for whom I have great respect. Their music is melodic & soulful, full of dream-like imagery. MAMIFFER are true artists. The dynamic mix of stark piano, crushing melancholic textures and choral reverie is something to behold. Exactly the kind of thing I’m into, so I’m really looking forward to it.” – Vincent Cavanagh

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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Duncan Patterson’s ALTERNATIVE 4 Signs with Prophecy Productions

Duncan Patterson‘s latest project, ALTERNATIVE 4 has announced its signing with Prophecy Productions. With the band name derived from the ANATHEMA album from 1998, the musical and atmospheric direction of this band is given: a solid rock foundation enriched with painful piano and string arrangements, sometimes on the verge of ambient music, sometimes offering the big influence of the rather dark and abysmal side of PINK FLOYD. All this can already be witnessed on last year’s debut album The Brink.

Duncan Patterson is an icon of melancholic alternative rock music. With his crucial songwriting role on ANATHEMA‘s Eternity and Alternative 4 he freed the Liverpool doomsters of their tight metal corset, he founded the likewise renowned ANTIMATTER whose first albums he shaped significantly, and he explored ethereal melancholia on two ION albums thus far.

Duncan Patterson on the new cooperation: “It’s good to be back onboard a label who have always had respect for my work, regardless of how obscure or ‘uncommercial’ it often turns out. In todays musical climate it is difficult to find a decent label who are genuinely focused more on the artistic/innovative side than anything else. For me that is essential as I’ve no plans to start playing and writing fashionable music as a career move, not unless I do it accidentally that is.”

The upcoming album will be entitled The Obscurants and will probably be recorded in late 2012.


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.

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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ANATHEMA Part Ways with Keyboardist Les Smith

Liverpool’s ANATHEMA have announced that keyboardist Les Smith (ex-CRADLE OF FILTH) has left the band. Here is their official statement:

“It is with regret and sadness that Anathema announce they have parted company with keyboardist Les Smith due to creative and musical differences.

“All of us including Les tried our best to make the partnership work for many years through hard work together, but it was felt there was always a difficulty and the creative process was just not working. Sadly the split was inevitable.

“Great respect and thanks is due to Les for all his tireless work behind the scenes for the band. It has been a very difficult few months for everyone concerned as Les is a unique character and is still much loved by all in the band. You will have noticed that Daniel Cardoso has been performing in concerts over the festival season as a live player, but the writing and recording line up will remain the nucleus of the band as it always was.

“We all wish Les the very, very best for the future.”

ANATHEMA Post Preview of New Orchestral Album, Falling Deeper

Liverpool, England’s ANATHEMA have posted a preview of their upcoming orchestral album, Falling Deeper, online. The release will be available September 5th in Europe. No North American release date has been announced yet.

According to ANATHEMA’s website:

Falling Deeper continues where Hindsight left off. The album features brand new arrangements of songs and haunting melodies from our earliest days. It’s a mesmerising blend of the orchestral – majestic and at times ethereal – with beautiful vocal arrangements and our unique ‘feedback’ lead guitars, all centred around a grand piano and a huge rhythm section. All the layers work together to convey the haunting internal landscapes ANATHEMA have become renowned for.

“This is an album which we hope will excite old and new ANATHEMA fans equally. A fresh musical and lyrical approach has transformed songs such as ‘Crestfallen,’ ‘Kingdom‘ and ‘Sunset Of Age.’ This record reveals how, even from the very start, the band wrote melodies which would always have a universal magic and emotional impact.

“Another highlight of the album, ‘Everwake,’ features the incredible voice of Anneke van Giersbergen and has brought a higher dimension to one of the band’s earliest and simplest acoustic pieces.

“The record has been produced by Daniel Cavanagh and was recorded and mixed by Andrea Wright at the legendary Parr St Studios, Liverpool. The orchestral arrangements are from Dave Stewart who worked so successfully with ANATHEMA on We’re Here Because We’re Here.

Anathema – Falling Deeper (Album Montage) by Kscope