APESHIT’s Top Metal Albums of 2013

carcass.surgicalsteelOnce again, another fruitful year in extreme music draws to a close.  We saw some long awaited comebacks by legends, three quarters of the original SABBATH line up, VOIVOD and CARCASS.  The godfathers of U.S. death metal had a healthy year with strong releases by SUFFOCATION, DEICIDE, and IMMOLATION.  We also saw young superstars, GHOST B.C. and KVELERTAK, release good sophomore albums.  Perhaps the most polarizing and criticized album is SATYRICON‘s self-titled album, which was roasted by the majority of the media and fans.

Among the mountains of releases, there is one album that we’ll gush about again and again, and that’s CARCASS‘ comeback album, Surgical Steel.  There are always good and interesting albums coming out all the time, and then there are the untouchable albums that only the legendary bands could create.  Surgical Steel scorches everything in its path and clearly shows that in the pantheon of active bands, they are at the top.

Continue reading

CROSSFAITH – Apocalyze

Crossfaith - ApocalyzeLike a supernova in the cosmos, CROSSFAITH explode with seldomly matched energy and power with their third record, Apocalyze.  While some bands get by purely on talent alone, these beasts from Osaka prove that talent plus fervor can make a more profound impact.

CROSSFAITH merge a wide range of influences – Swedish melodic death metal, metalcore, nu metal, electronica, dub step – into a unique and cohesive whole.  Sometimes the record will sound like IN FLAMES meets KILLSWITCH ENGAGE and other times it will sound like the DEFTONES versus THE PRODIGY.  Apocalyze is well suited for a live show as there are plenty of hooks, big time breakdowns, and uptempo rhythms.  While vocalist Koie Kenta utilizes good clean vocals, his roar leads what is an aggressive record.  Female vocals are also used.

Underneath what, at times, seems like a wall of sound is good musicianship with each member of CROSSFAITH showing their chops.  Their songwriting skills should also be complimented as their fusion of different genres into a well balanced record is neither specifically one thing or another.

Thirteen tracks, including an exclusive U.S. bonus track, may seem like a lot  but the band don’t wear out their welcome.  There are enough peaks and valleys and diversity to keep you into the action until the end.

For a band just starting to break into international markets, Apocalyze is the perfect record that CROSSFAITH needs to achieve worldwide success. (The End Records)

P.S. If Devin Townsend loves them, then you know they gotta be good.