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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GIANT SQUID Issues Update; Cover Syd Barrett for Tribute

San Francisco’s progressive/doom/stoner rock band GIANT SQUID have completed a week of studio work on their upcoming, self-released album The Ichthyologist with Matt Bayles (MASTODON, ISIS, PEARL JAM).

In an update posted online, singer/guitarist Aaron Gregory posts: “GIANT SQUID just finished a grueling seven days of recording in Seattle’s Litho Room studio with highly regarded producer, Matt Bayles, and will return in September for another six days to finish tracking and mixing at Bayles‘ personal studio, The Red Room. The results so far have been incredible. Our new album, The Ichthyologist, is just over an hours worth of music, ten full songs ranging from immensely heavy riffs to other worldly melodies that GIANT SQUID is known for. Bayles is a true master of his trade, and the rough mixes already sound beautiful. We can’t wait to hear how our music will come across after he’s finished having his way with it.

GIANT SQUID will be self releasing only a thousand physical copies of The Ichthyologist, available only through the bands website, giantsquidlives.com and our MySpace page, myspace.com/giantsquid, along with digital versions of the record available for purchase as a download as well. Hopefully, we can find a solid label to release a full vinyl version simultaneously. We’re shooting for a January 2009 release, so wish us luck and keep checking in to see how it’s coming along!”

GIANT SQUID‘s debut album, Metridium Fields, was released on August 22, 2006 on The End Records.

In other GIANT SQUID news, the band has also recorded a cover song for the upcoming Syd Barrett tribute album. The guitarist comments, “We’re also excited to finally announce the release of Like Black Holes in the Sky: The Tribute to Syd Barrett on Los Angeles based label, Dwell Records, upon which we cover Syd‘s, ‘Octopus‘. Dwell approached us a while back to take part in this amazing compilation of artists to pay homage to one of the founding members of PINK FLOYD, and unarguably one of the most influential artists in psychedelic and experimental rock music. Upon hearing the roster of bands taking part in the album, it was a no brainer for us, and a real honor to have GIANT SQUID considered to be amongst them as well as the chance to try our hand at interpreting one of Syd‘s bizarre yet equally brilliant songs.

“Not only is ‘Octopus‘ the first song GIANT SQUID has ever covered, it is also the first song we’ve recorded with cellist/vocalist, Jackie Perez Gratz (GRAYCEON, ASUNDER), and so will be an interesting glimpse into future material to come from us. Since this recording took place before Chris Lyman, GIANT SQUID‘s latest drummer, joined the band, we kidnapped GRAYCEON‘s bombastic drummer, Zack Farwell and convinced legendary heavy music producer, Billy Anderson (CATTLE DECAPITATION, HIGH ON FIRE, NEUROSIS) that this ‘madcap’ idea would sound like something musical at the end of the day if he was willing to twist some knobs for us. We feel the end result came out far better than we could have expected.”

Like Black Holes in the Sky: The Tribute to Syd Barrett track listing is as follows:

KOSMOS – “Vegetable Man
KYLESA – “Interstellar Overdrive
INTRONAUT – “Arnold Layne
JARBOE – “Late Night
PENTAGRAM – “Flaming
GIANT SQUID – “Octopus
JESU – “Chapter 24
DREDG – “Astronomy Domine
CIRCLE – “Rats
ZODIAK – “See Emily Play

Translation Loss Records to Release New INTRONAUT EP; West Coast Tour Announced

Translation Loss is proud to announce the release of INTRONAUT’s new EP, The Challenger. The Challenger will see a late 2007 release and consist of three new tracks, a handful of live tracks and an outstanding remix totaling over 40 minutes. It was recorded at Shiva Studios with John Haddad, who manned the helm for their previous efforts Void and Null. INTRONAUT has posted studio session pictures for The Challenger on their Myspace profile here.

The Challenger EP tracklisting:
”The Challenger”
”Whittler Of Fortune”
”Deep Architecture”
”Gleamer” (live)
”Fault Lines” (live)
”Rise To The Midden” (live)
”Sores Will Weep” (live)
They (As In Them)” (live)
Burning These Days” (remix)

INTRONAUT will also doing a west coast tour starting July 19th:

7/19 Los Angeles, CA @ Tunnel w/ GIANT, BRUCE LAMONT (of YAKUZA)
7/20 Berkeley, CA @ Gilman St. w/ PHOBIA, BOOK OF BLACK EARTH
7/21 San Francisco, CA @ Hemlock Tavern w/ BOOK OF BLACK EARTH, 100 SUNS
7/22 Sacramento, CA @ The Speakeasy w/ GIANT SQUID, BOOK OF BLACK EARTH
7/23 Chico, CA @ 1078 Gallery w/ BOOK OF BLACK EARTH, THE MAKAI
7/24 Medford, OR @ Musichead w/ BOOK OF BLACK EARTH
7/25 Eugene, OR @ Samurai Duck w/ BOOK OF BLACK EARTH
7/26 Seattle, WA @ Comet Tavern w/ BOOK OF BLACK EARTH, IAMTHETHORN
7/27 Seattle, WA @ Fried Chicken Barge w/ BOOK OF BLACK EARTH, IAMTHETHORN
7/28 Portland, OR @ Satyricon w/ BOOK OF BLACK EARTH, IAMTHETHORN

SIGH’s Hangman’s Hymn Cover Art Revealed; New Song Available

Groundbreaking Japanese act SIGH have revealed the artwork for their 7th studio album,
entitled Hangman’s Hymn, due out later this year on The End Records. You can to view it here.

“This is by far the best SIGH album we have done – from the production to the songwriting. We’re proud of the results,” states frontman Mirai Kawashima. “We hope our fans embrace what we have done with our music this time around as their support has always been great for SIGH.”

The album was recorded at Studio Moopies with engineer Takamichi Osada and the band handling production duties. The album features guest appearances from:

Rob Urbinati (SACRIFICE) – Guitar solo on the track, “The Master Malice”
Aurielle Gregory (ex-GIANT SQUID) – Female vocals on the track, “The Master Malice”
Tim Conroy (ex-GIANT SQUID) – Trumpet used/manipulated on various tracks
Steven Sagala (ENFORSAKEN) – Vocals used/manipulated on various tracks

An mp3 for the song, “Death with Dishonour,” has been made available for dowload here.

In other SIGH news, the band has been invited to play this year’s Inferno Festival, which is scheduled to take place April 5-7 at the Rockefeller Music Hall in Oslo, Norway.

SIGH Complete Recording of Seventh Studio Album, Hangman’s Hymn

Japan’s SIGH have completed recording their seventh studio album titled Hangman’s Hymn – Musikalische Exequien at Studio Moopies with engineer Takamichi Osada.  The album is currently in the mixing stages, and is set for a 2007 release through The End Records.

Frontman Mirai Kawashima comments on the album:

SIGH have finished recording the new album Hangman’s Hymn and have started the mixing process. Hopefully it will be done in a month or so. The album has 10 tracks, but all the songs are connected to each other so closely that this can be taken as one track that lasts for 45 minutes.

“It is turning out to be a very heavy, fast and symphonic album. It is a fusion of sophisticated theories of classical music and the primitive power of heavy metal rhythms!”

The album also features some guest appearances by Aurielle Gregory (GIANT SQUID), Tim Conroy (ex-GIANT SQUID), Steven Sagala (ENFORSAKEN), and others.

The final tracklisting for the album is:

1. “Introitus/Kyrie
2. “Inked in Blood
3. “Me-Devil

4. “Dies Irae/The Master Malice
5. “The Memories as a Sinner
6. “Death with Dishonor
7. “In Devil’s Arms

8. “Overture/Rex Tremendae/I saw the World’s End
9. “Salvation in Flame/Confutatis
10. “Finale: Hangman’s Hymn/In Paradisum/Das Ende

Check out a pre-production quality medley of material from the forthcoming album here: http://media.theendrecords.com/Sigh7Preview.mp3

GIANT SQUID Preparing For South Park Music Festival, ISIS Show

Austin, Texas-based eclectic doom rock band, GIANT SQUID, will be making the long haul to South Park, Colorado this weekend to play the PureVolume.com showcase at this year’s South Park Music Festival. More than 120 bands from all over the world are converging on the tiny town of South Park, which sits at 10,000 feet elevation, and is the real life city that inspired the infamous cartoon of the same name. About the upcoming showcase, GIANT SQUID singer/guitarist Aaron Gregory comments, “GIANT SQUID will be revealing their new band members, Kimberly Freeman (keyboards) and Scott Sutton (drums), who have been working diligently to prepare for this event, as well as the band’s opening slot with one of their all-time favorite bands, ISIS, at Emo’s in Austin, Texas on September 13th, 2006.”

“I think we will all really enjoy seeing some mountains again, almost all of us being native Californians who are still adjusting to Texas’ flatness. South Park will be like a mini-vacation for all of us, as long as we don’t pass out trying to rock too hard at that elevation. It couldn’t be a better way though to prepare our new guy and gal before the ISIS gig we have as soon as we get home. I just hope people will be there to watch us at South Park since we will be driving 32 hours to play four songs!”

He adds, “The first waves of reviews on Metridium Fields, GIANT SQUID‘s debut release on The End Records have rolled in, and it’s pretty overwhelming the amount of praise they’ve washed up.”