APESHIT’s Top Metal Albums of 2015

motorheadWhen looking back at 2015, the only thing that seems to matter is the passing of Lemmy Kilmister. Of course losing Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor in November was sad but Lemmy was on another level – one of the pillars of the entire rock ‘n roll universe. Thankfully, he left a voluminous legacy for us to enjoy for eternity, including some of music’s best interviews and quotes possible. Cheers, Lemmy.

Other than that, 2015 was a remarkably strong year for the pioneering, long-running bands in the metal scene.  Everyone from KILLING JOKE, MY DYING BRIDE, FEAR FACTORY to AMORPHIS put out fantastic records. This past year also saw some very good super groups in TAU CROSS and FIRESPAWN make their debuts.  You’ll find that many of them made it to our respective lists.

Additionally, we’ve recruited some fresh blood in Charles Elliott, Andrew Sample, and Jeff Wagner. These industry vets have been in the trenches with us for years and years, and have helped bring you many of the greatest records ever released for the past 20+ years.
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CANNIBAL CORPSE Promise Return to Roots with Torture

CANNIBAL CORPSE will unleash their twelfth studio offering March 12, 2012 via Metal Blade Records. Aptly titled Torture, the follow-up to 2009’s Evisceration Plague offers up 12 tracks.

While Torture marks the latest progression in the band’s sound, it also witnesses a return to what drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz accurately terms “the frenzied attack of Butchered At Birth (1991) or Tomb Of The Mutilated (1992).” Adds bassist Alex Webster on the outcome of the record: “We’re extremely happy with how Torture turned out. Erik Rutan did an amazing job with the production, and the songwriting and performances may be our strongest yet. We can’t wait until our fans get to hear the whole thing!”

Check out studio footage:

ABYSMAL DAWN: Climbing the Mountain

ABYSMAL DAWN have emerged from the Los Angeles underground in a relatively short amount of time. But like any young band, they’ve faced their share of adversity. Through tough times, the band pioneered by mainman Charles Elliot, have channeled those opposing energies through a creative and inspirational outlet resulting in the best album of the band’s career. Album number three, Leveling the Plane of Existence, has taken the band to the next level in every facet, songwriting, technicality, lyrically, and production-wise. APESHIT chatted with Charles regarding the album, his guitar playing, his new doom band, BEREFT, and more.
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HATE ETERNAL Begin Recording Fifth Album

HATE ETERNAL is working on their fifth studio album (second for Metal Blade Records) and follow up to Fury & Flames once again at Erik Rutan‘s own Mana Recording Studios.

Frontman Erik Rutan offers the following update: “The band has been locked up in Mana Recording Studios doing pre-production for the past 2 months, finishing up songs that we have been writing over the last year in between tours and albums that I’ve produced, and we feel we have come up with one of HATE ETERNAL‘s heaviest, most twisted, evil, melodic, and insane albums yet.

“It was my goal to expand upon what the band has done in the past, and add new dynamics and twists to the traditional, dissonant HATE ETERNAL style, yet keep it in the same vein. It took the three of us really pushing ourselves, and digging deep into the essence of who we are as musicians and writers and players to create something very unique and special. We cannot wait for everyone to hear what we have in store. Look out for updates from the studio over the next few months.”

MISERY INDEX – Heirs to Thievery

As one of the hardest working bands in the metal scene, Maryland’s MISERY INDEX grind out a new album with Heirs to Thievery. Vocalist Jason Netherton’s lyrics have stayed true with his political views and makes the listener actually expand their mind by using their brain to think.

Musically, the band expands on their last output, Traitors, and most of the songs on Heirs to Thievery stay short and sweet, mostly within the 2-3 minute range. This is 35 minutes of in your face, loud, brutal attack on your auditory senses. Tracks like “Embracing Extinction” and the title track tease you with a melodic lick, catchy riff, then the drums and vocals pummel the listener like a ton of bricks. “The Carrion Call” and “Plague of Objects” include some great riffs, double bass, and breaks, but the true highlights are the tracks with some very special guests.

HATE ETERNAL mastermind Erik Rutan lends some backup vocals on “The Illuminaught,” and MISERY INDEX continues their incestuous relationship with DYING FETUS by having current FETUS guitarist/growler John Gallagher do backups on “Sleeping Giants,” and ex-DYING FETUS vocalist Vince Matthews on “You Lose.” The album ends quickly and powerfully with “Day of the Dead,” which is a satisfying end and should prompt the listener to hit play again.

Netherton was always the backbone of the political stance in DYING FETUS, and he continues to write actual lyrics that aren’t just filler. While DYING FETUS continues the one dimensional SUFFOCATION inspired slam riff style, MISERY INDEX have evolved past that with a sound of their own. The chemistry of guitarist Sparky Voyles and drummer Adam Jarvis mesh well, and once again MISERY INDEX deliver a punishing and memorable album. (Relapse Records)


hate eternal tourTampa, FL death metallers HATE ETERNAL are teaming up with CANNABIS CORPSE and ORDER OF ENNEAD for a quick string of dates on the east coast before the band heads back home to begin writing the follow up to 2008’s Fury and Flames.

Tour dates:
8/24 Atlanta, GA The Masquerade
8/25 Spartanburg, SC Ground Zero
8/26 Raleigh, NC Volume 11 Tavern
8/27 W. Springfield, VA Jaxx
8/28 Philadelphia, PA Polaris – Hostile City Death Fest**

HATE ETERNAL – Fury & Flames

Fury & Flames, HATE ETERNAL‘s latest onslaught, is easily the band’s most aggressive and complex to date. From the scorching opener “Hell Envenom” to the somber, haunting passages on album closer “Coronach,” Fury & Flames is a challenging, albeit at times, overwhelming listening experience. Aiding mainman Erik Rutan in his mission is a virtual supergroup of underground metal’s finest: Shaune Kelley (RIPPING CORPSE, DIM MAK) on second guitars, Alex Webster (CANNIBAL CORPSE) on bass, along with newcomer Jade Simonetto (CAMILLA RHODES) on drums. Despite such a strong pool of talent, not one member seems to outshine the other on the album, but it isn’t for lack of trying, as the four shredders attack their instruments like madmen. They play as if their lives depended on it, creating highlights for both themselves and the album at hand. Webster’s intricate, almost classically-inspired bass playing creates an almost orchestral feel to the album. Rutan and Kelley trade off twisted, dissonant chords and melodic passages with ease, complemented nicely by some incendiary solos that burn up the fretboards. Meanwhile, newcomer Jade Simonetto is a monster, playing with what seems to be octuple limbs. The man unleashes flurries of blast beats, fills and double-bass throughout the album with virtually no respite. As the speeds on the album reach ridiculous tempos at times, the listener might miss some of the album’s more clever surprises. But therein lies the greatness of Fury & Flames in that it offers frequent repeat listening to catch some of the subtleties that the listener may have missed during the initial barrage. At times, Fury & Flames is so over the top in its intention and delivery but it’s a credit to Rutan‘s ability as a producer to rein in each member’s performance for maximum efficiency. All in all, the album is a violent, emotional release with strong attention to detail and execution. HATE ETERNAL has set a benchmark for the world of extreme music, that the competition will spend the rest of the year trying to match. (Metal Blade Records)

Metal Blade Records Announce Signing of HATE ETERNAL

Metal Blade Records is pleased to announce that they have signed a worldwide deal with HATE ETERNAL.

Metal Blade Records owner/CEO, Brian Slagel, had this comment:
“I am truly honored to be working with HATE ETERNAL. They are a legendary band and I am so happy to welcome them to the Metal Blade Family.”

HATE ETERNAL guitarist, Erik Rutan, had this to say regarding their signing:
“Signing to Metal Blade for us reconfirms that all the hard work, blood, sweat and tears we have put into the band has been worth every single moment. This is completely amazing. We know we will forge on with all the support and confidence a band can ask for from their record label. We are proud to be a part of the hugely successful Metal Blade Family and look forward to bringing our music to the next level.”

HATE ETERNAL is currently in the writing process for the follow-up to their 2005 release, I, Monarch, that shall be recorded at Rutan‘s own Mana Recording Studios in June/July 2007.

Former MORBID ANGEL/HATE ETERNAL Bassist Dead at 30

According to Cincinnati.com, former MORBID ANGEL/HATE ETERNAL bassist/vocalist Jared Anderson passed away on Saturday, October 14.  The cause of death has not yet been released.

Anderson recently revealed through his MySpace page that he was working on a project known as AS ONE…:  “AS ONE… is a revision of my INTERNECINE writings, or shall I say ‘written in the vein of.’ The INTERNECINE record itself was all ‘old’ material from the early to mid 90’s that I was given the offer to record, so obviously I opted to do so. Highly technical, obscure death metal was purely the intent of INTERNECINE. Although most of the material was written many years prior to recording it, there were a couple of songs that were more recent. The 2 songs were ‘The Elder Gods‘ and ‘The Calling Of The Hordes‘. This is where AS ONE… comes in, kind of continuing where I left off so to speak, with a much more matured sound.”