LIK – Carnage

The glorious buzzsaw guitars that rip forth in the opening riff of album opener, “To Kill,” immediately bring to mind all of those sentimental, warm and fuzzy feelings you had jamming to DISMEMBER and ENTOMBED back in the day.  And it’s no coincidence that LIK (“corpse” in Swedish) are from Stockholm, Sweden.

On their second album, Carnage, LIK easily establish themselves as a true force to be reckoned with.  Like the instant classic that it is, the ten songs are consistently infectious and memorable.  Each successive listen will make you realize that this is one of the best death metal albums to come out in years.

The best part of Carnage is the instantaneous enjoyment that it brings.  It’s not a rehash or a ripoff of the legends but simultaneously a great homage and continuation of the Stockholm Swedish death metal legacy.

It should noted that the production, courtesy of Lawrence Mackrory (DARKANE, F.K.Ü) at Dugout Studios, is a thing of beauty.  The Boss Metal Zone guitar/bass tons are thick and ripping while the drums are natural and powerful in the mix.  Everything literally sounds loud (in a good way) without being abrasive.

While extreme metal vocalists can often blur into each other, Tomas Åkvik (vocals, guitar) has the deep roar but also the clear enunciation that David Vincent is famous for.

I know upon first listen, you may think LIK is merely a DISMEMBER-worship band but with successive listens, you’ll find that there is more that distinguishes them from their main influence.  (Metal Blade Records)



Video of the Day: DARKANE’s New One for “Mechanically Divine”

Sweden’s melodic death/thrash kings, DARKANE, recently posted their new video for “Mechanically Divine.”  It’s more or less a standard metal video filmed inside an empty, darkened warehouse but who cares.  The song is very good and there is no typical metal video cheese.

If you haven’t done so already, check out their latest release, The Sinister Supremacy.  Good shit.

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.

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DARKANE – The Sinister Supremacy

Darkane - The Sinister SupremacyBy now, it’s a safe bet that one of the best bands in metal are not going to disappoint fans.   The elite Swedish melodic death/thrash band that we’ve grown to love, DARKANE, continue to inflict massive damage with their sixth album, The Sinister Supremacy.

So the big news is vocalist Lawrence Mackrory‘s return to the band since their legendary debut, Rusted Angel.  And Lawrence makes a comeback the way a comeback should be done.  His voice is better in every respect, especially in the range and power departments.  By album’s end, you’ll conclude that he has rightfully returned as DARKANE‘s vocalist.

Simply put, The Sinister Supremacy is a near flawless album.   The balance within and among the songs is great.  You get the thrashing scorchers, mid-paced atmospheric ones, big choruses, chunky poly rhythms, etc.  Some songs prevent metal overload from occurring such as the grand movie soundtrack instrumentals, “Sounds of Pre-existence” and “Hate Repetentance State.”  DARKANE ends things on a high note with one of their best songs, “Existence is Just a State of Mind.”  From the gradual build up with a great lead guitar part to the absolutely monster chorus, it is epic.

The bottom line is that DARKANE prove once again with The Sinister Supremacy why they are among the best of the best.  They are the ideal metal band – an original style, elite musicianship, and solid, excellent songs.  Worship them.  (Prosthetic Records)

DARKANE’s Sixth Album Coming Summer 2013


Swedish death/thrash gods, DARKANE, are set to release album number six, The Sinister Supremacy, this summer.  Massacre Records will release it on June 28th in Europe with Prosthetic Records releasing it on July 2nd in North America.  The album, which marks the band’s first new music in five years, will feature the return of vocalist Lawrence Mackrory back in the DARKANE fold for the first time since the group’s 1999 masterful debut Rusted Angel.

Underground Gems: DARKANE’s Rusted Angel

With the recent great news about original vocalist Lawrence Mackrory returning to DARKANE, it instantly triggered fond memories of the band’s excellent debut album, Rusted Angel.

Originally released in 1999 by Swedish label, War Music/Wrong Again Records (now known as Regain Records), DARKANE made their debut at a time when the Swedish scene (post-Stockholm scene) was starting to make big waves in the underground.

Unlike their countrymen in Gothenburg, DARKANE‘s bread and butter wasn’t centered around melody per se. Rusted Angel was a fresh new sound combining vicious thrash (i.e. latter day TESTAMENT) and death metal with a very impressive technical flare. There was just a special energy and power to it. Songwise, Rusted Angel is a solid album. No bad eggs in the bunch.

Guitarists Christofer Malmström and Klas Ideberg riffing style was so unique for the time and still is. There were lots of riffing variations with plenty of intensity and flavor. Their guitar solos were great too. They have chops and weren’t afraid to show it.

Peter Wildoer‘s drumming is absolutely excellent. His style is so musical and dynamic. Wildoer adds endless ear candy with his tasty fills and unique style. The Amott brothers should’ve never let him leave ARCH ENEMY.

Vocalist Lawrence Mackrory was unique as well. He didn’t emulate the higher death metal vocals of his Swedish peers. Instead, his vocals were more abrasive, raw, and varied. He even had a semi-clean vocal style that he used kind of like TESTAMENT‘s Chucky Billy.

Outside of nostalgia value, Rusted Angel is an underground classic and holds up extremely well against today’s releases. Mandatory music.

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DARKANE’s Original Line Up Reunites with Return of Lawrence Mackrory

Sweden’s DARKANE have announced that vocalist Jens Broman has left the band and that original vocalist Lawrence Mackrory has rejoined the band.

Here is Jens Broman‘s statement to fans:

“I will leave DARKANE. This has to do with personal issues. At the moment my life is in a phase where I’m unable to find inspiration for new adventures with DARKANE and therefore it’s best for me to pass on the mic. I will miss you all, the tours, all you dedicated fans and most of all my band mates. But know that DARKANE have found a superb replacement in Lawrence Mackrory.

“Good luck and stay metal!”

Lawrence Mackrory had the following message:

“It is with great pleasure I can finally announce my return to DARKANE. I have been waiting for this opportunity to appear and finally the time was right for me to continue what we started 13 years ago. Both Andreas and Jens have done a tremendous job with the band, which will keep me on my toes while performing live for sure.

“The first time I met Peter, Christofer, Klas and Jörgen was when they arrived at the studio in my hometown in Uppsala to record the debut album Rusted Angel. We had only spoken on the phone before and yet there I was, ready to record an album with them. After my departure we remained good friends but didn’t really see much of each other since we lived in different parts of the country.

“Now, the chemistry between the five of us is more vibrant than ever and I can’t wait to go on tour and perform songs from all five albums. The new DARKANE album is already in the works and I can guarantee that all fans, both old and new, will enjoy this record. So far the demos sound awesome, let’s just leave it at that. I’m looking forward to finally meeting all DARKANE-fans on the road.

“See you real soon!”

Check out the first rehearsal footage of the band with Lawrence Mackrory:

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DARKANE Back from North American Tour; Begin Working on New Material

DARKANE are back in Sweden having completed their North American tour.  Guitarist Christofer Malmström offered the following update:

“We’re back in Sweden from a what we believe was a very successful tour in North America together with SOILWORK, WARBRINGER and SWALLOW THE SUN. Thanks a lot to the other bands, crew, and all the fans that showed up and made us feel welcome. Playing 50 shows in 52 days was kinda tough, but we’re very happy we managed to pull it through without any bigger issues. Now we are focusing on writing new material for the next album but before that, we played a show at The Tivoli in our home town Helsingborg on Saturday April 4th, and then we have the Roskilde and Nuclear Assault festivals booked for this summer, and hopefully more will show up. Next week, [DARKANE drummer] Peter Wildoer will head out on a European tour with PESTILENCE for three weeks.

“I am also very proud to announce that I am now officially endorsed by Steve Clayton guitar picks. I have been using Clayton pics (1.26 mm) since the middle of the nineties. Since DARKANE‘s music is based on accurate playing I need a pick that feels steady and that I can count on when I hit my strings very hard. With the Clayton picks, I get a very good and reliable grip allowing me to alter between fast and rhythmic playing without having to think about what my right hand is doing.

“See you out there!”

Read our review of their show with SOILWORK in Hollywood, CA: