Video Highlights from Wacken Open Air 2014

This past weekend, the biggest metal fest in the world, Wacken Open Air, went down with another amazing line up of bands.  None of us, APESHIT goons, were able to make the trip over to Germany but let’s check out some great footage.

MOTORHEAD played a short but sweet set.  Make sure to check them out before the opportunity ends, you know?

KREATOR always put on a good show and their performance was top notch as usual.

EMPEROR played their second to last show in honor of the 20th anniversary of the mandatory, In the Nightside Eclipse.  Ihsahn makes playing with eyeglasses cool.

The interest level in CARCASS is seemingly at all time high so let’s enjoy the band’s well deserved success.

You may not know this but AVANTASIA are huge in the metal world (outside the US).  They sell tons of records.  Check this out to see what the hype is all about.

I remember when APOCALYPTICA was just a novel band that covered METALLICA songs in a novel way.  Look at them now.  Amazing.

VOLBEAT – Beyond Hell/Above Heaven

Four albums into their career and I can happily report that VOLBEAT are still going strong. Beyond Hell/Above Heaven is more or less “a VOLBEAT record” with it’s distinct blend and balance of thrash, punk, rockabilly, country, and 50/60’s rock n’ roll. There are some subtle nuances here and there but nothing that significantly changes what fans have come to expect from the band.

This time the band don’t start out with an obligatory “intro” of country guitars but instead breaks out of the gates with the heavy “The Mirror and the Ripper.” “Who They Are” is one of the band’s heaviest songs with an intro that sounds like 80’s METALLICA trying to sound like 80’s SLAYER with perhaps a dash of CANNIBAL CORPSE. Lead single, “Fallen,” is a memorable song with a big chorus, showing the pop-ier side to the band. “7 Shots” features the legendary Michael Denner and Mille Petrozza and is the song is 100% metal in spirit as a result. Denner’s guitar solos are absolutely exquisite and add the kind of flavor not found on VOLBEAT’s other songs. Mille’s distinct vocal bite on the song’s chorus sound great.

Like any VOLBEAT album, there are some definite monster songs that stand out from the rest. This time around “A New Day” plays that role to perfection. The song has plenty of soul and hooks. “16 Dollars” gets right down to it with its rockabilly/50’s rock n’ roll stylings complete with upright bass. “Evelyn” may be VOLBEAT’s heaviest song as the majority of the song is grindcore madness featuring NAPALM DEATH’s Barney Greenway. When you compare and contrast vocalist/guitarist Michael Poulsen and Barney’s vocals, Barney completely overpowers Michael’s vocals with his ferocity. Given the band’s commercial success thus far, VOLBEAT take time out to thank their fans via album closer, “Thanks.”

At the end of the day, Beyond Hell/Above Heaven is another high quality, solid offering of fine songs from these Danish gods. (Mascot Records)

VOLBEAT: One Continent at a Time

Nothing beats good, memorable songs and Copenhagen, Denmark’s VOLBEAT specialize in them. Their rise to fame in Europe is quite impressive as the band have earned multiple platinum and gold records, and several hit songs. In contrast, the band have only recently begun making their presence known in U.S. beginning with their tour earlier this year with fans, METALLICA. But make no mistake, the band have a very loyal underground following in the States that is only growing larger. APESHIT met up with guitarist Thomas Bredahl and drummer Jon Larsen before their sold out show in Anaheim, CA to speak with the new Danish gods about the secrets to their success.
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Peaceville Records Signs Finnish All-Star Band BARREN EARTH

Peaceville Records is proud to announce the signing of Finnish prog death metallers, BARREN EARTH. With a line-up consisting of former members of prog/folk metal legends AMORPHIS, as well as current members of SWALLOW THE SUN, MOONSORROW and KREATOR, the band has been busy recording their debut album at the renowned Seawolf Studios in Helsinki, with the tracks currently being mixed by Dan Swanö (EDGE OF SANITY) who has described it as, “One of the best albums I have ever had the privilege to mix. The perfect blend of light and darkness. A new level of amazing has been reached!!”

An EP is due November 2009, with the album currently scheduled for an early 2010 release.

The music of BARREN EARTH combines elements of modern and traditional death metal, with 70’s prog rock and folk. Among the band’s influences are artists such as PARADISE LOST, OPETH, PINK FLOYD, JETHRO TULL and also some pioneers of Finnish prog.

Mikko Kotamäki – Vocals (SWALLOW THE SUN)
Olli-Pekka Laine – Bass (Ex-AMORPHIS, MANNHAI)
Kasper Mårtenson –Keyboards (Ex-AMORPHIS, BEN GRANFELT BAND)
Janne Perttilä – Guitar (RYTMIHÄIRIÖ)
Marko Tarvonen – Drums (MOONSORROW)
Sami Ylisirniö – Guitar (KREATOR, WALTARI)

On signing to Peaceville:

“Getting signed by Peaceville Records is a great honour, as they are one of the very few metal labels left who have a passion and feeling for the music they release. To us, it also feels like coming home, because in a way they carry a big responsibility for BARREN EARTH‘s existence by having released the most important albums from pioneers such as AUTOPSY and PARADISE LOST. Those albums played a huge role, when we sucked our musical mother’s milk in the late 80’s and early 90’s. This is a fact that should be noticeably evident in BARREN EARTH‘s sound and music. Hopefully BARREN EARTH will also be able to add a fresh spin to Peaceville‘s already impressive roster.” – Olli-Pekka Laine

For more details on BARREN EARTH go to:

KREATOR – Hordes of Chaos

Aside from prominent fellow European thrash legends such as DESTRUCTION and SODOM, KREATOR has been dishing out thrash anthems since the 80’s. After releasing a few disappointing albums in the 90’s, KREATOR rejuvenated their career with the 2005 classic – Enemy of God. The new disc, Hordes of Chaos continues the style of old school thrash with a lot of melody thrown in.

A riff reminiscent of METALLICA‘s “Blackened” kicks off Hordes of Chaos, and the listener can already tell that it’s going to be a thrash-filled headbanging album. “Warcurse” continues the high energy, and you can feel Mille‘s ferocious power as he belts out the chorus at the top of his lungs. While his vocals can get somewhat monotonous at times, he does vary his style in “Amok Run” as he shows a softer and cleaner side; but everything falls into place as the heaviness kicks in soon thereafter and all is well. There is a slight drop off towards the middle of the album, but “To the Afterborn” features a shredding solo and an intense climax towards the end of the track. While “Corpses of Liberty” is a nice acoustic interlude, it probably would have fit better as the opening riffs to the closing track “Demon Prince” instead.

There are tons of memorable riffs throughout Hordes of Chaos and fans of all realms of metal should enjoy this release. Crunchy guitar tone, pummeling drums and Mille‘s trademark vocals…what more can you ask for? The performance of the band and production of the album is near perfection and KREATOR show the new breed of thrash bands like WARBRINGER how classic thrash metal is done! Prepare for this thrash assault on your ears and appreciate these legends once more. (SPV Records)

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KREATOR Announce Spring 2009 in Support of Hordes of Chaos

With Hordes of Chaos (the follow-up to 2003’s ultra-successful Enemy of God), KREATOR delivers ten tracks of pure unadulterated thrash metal like only the true masters can. Long known for often incorporating lyrics that confront political hypocrisy and inhumanity, our current world climate provides a natural well of inspiration for guitarist, vocalist and bandleader Mille Petrozza. “The global political situation has come apart at the seams. The Eastern and Western Blocs no longer exists, today it’s a case of dog eat dog.” Petrozza considers the album’s furious finale (featuring the songs “To The Afterborn,” “Corpses Of Liberty,” and “Demon Prince“) “a warning to the coming generation. Everybody has to go their own path in life and should try not to buy into the propaganda lies that governments feed us.”

Hordes of Chaos was recorded at Berlin’s Tritonus Studios under the direction of producer Moses Schneider. Schneider is renowned for his fresh and exceptionally dynamic working methods with a variety of cutting-edge, successful artists across Europe. “We consciously decided on Moses as our producer for the live recording of the basic tracks at the studio,” Petrozza explains. “This was the first time since Pleasure to Kill that we worked in this way. The new album is a 100% realistic reflection of KREATOR‘s live qualities. Instead of exploring every little detail to sterile perfection with the help of computer technology, this time around we wanted to deliver as dynamic a production as possible. There can be no doubt that we’ve achieved our target in Hordes of Chaos. The album was mixed in London by Colin Richardson.

The Hordes of Chaos world tour kicks off in early 2009, with a six-week trek across North America in place for April. KREATOR will be joined by fellow thrash metal pioneers EXODUS in what will undoubtedly be one of the premier metal events of 2009!

KREATOR Hordes of Chaos North American Tour 2009

4/07/2009 Sonar – Baltimore, MD
4/08/2009 Nokia Theatre – New York, NY
4/09/2009 Trocadero – Philadelphia, PA
4/10/2009 Palladium – Worcester MA
4/11/2009 Medley – Montreal, QC
4/13/2009 Imperial de Quebec – Quebec City, QC
4/14/2009 Opera House – Toronto, ON
4/15/2009 Peabody’s – Cleveland, OH
4/16/2009 Rave – Milwaukee, WI
4/17/2009 House of Blues – Chicago, IL
4/18/2009 The Rock – Maplewood, MN
4/19/2009 Garrick Centre – Winnipeg, MB
4/20/2009 The Distrikt – Regina, SK
4/21/2009 Warehouse – Calgary, AB
4/22/2009 Starlite Room – Edmonton, AB
4/24/2009 Plaza Club – Vancouver, BC
4/25/2009 Sugar – Victoria, BC
4/26/2009 El Corazon – Seattle, WA
4/27/2009 Hawthorne Theatre – Portland, OR
4/28/2009 Slims – San Francisco, CA
4/30/2009 House Of Blues – Las Vegas, NV
5/01/2009 House of Blues – San Diego, CA
5/02/2009 House of Blues – West Hollywood, CA
5/04/2009 Gator’s, Farmington – NM
5/05/2009 Bluebird Theater – Denver, CO
5/06/2009 Diamond Ballroom – Oklahoma City, OK
5/07/2009 Ridglea Theate – Ft Worth, TX
5/08/2009 Scout Bar – San Antonio, TX
5/09/2009 Scout Bar – Houston, TX
5/11/2009 The Garage – St. Petersburg, FL
5/12/2009 Culture Room – Ft Lauderdale, FL
5/13/2009 Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
5/14/2009 Headliner – Louisville, KY
5/15/2009 Orange Peel – Ashville, NC
5/16/2009 Volume 11 – Raleigh, NC
5/17/2009 Jaxx – West Springfield, VA

Injury Forces KING DIAMOND to Cancel March 2008 Tour

KING DIAMOND have announced that they have been forced to cancel their anticipated March 2008 tour with KREATOR, LEAVES EYES, and CELLADOR due to a serious herniated disc injury to King Diamond.

Here is official word from the band’s manager, Ole Bang:

“Most regretfully we have to announce that King will not be able to tour North America as planned.

King has over the past 6 month been suffering from a herniated disc in the spine, and has still not recovered to a satisfactory level.

“He was prescribed absolute rest for several months, and this appear to be more than half a year.

“Following several visits to specialists and most recent MRI-scan; we have to realize that his condition need far more rest than expected in the first place. At the moment he can neither walk for more than an hour at a time, nor can he sit like you would do in a normal daily life; ie. there is no chance that he will fully recover in time for the tour start in March.

“We deeply regret the inconvenience caused for everyone involved, for promoters, bands and fans; and most of all we’re very very sorry that we can not go out and perform for the fans; who have been waiting for the tour to kick off.

“Unfortunately life is unpredictable, and it’s completely out of our hands when illness kick in, and no medicine, how harsh it might have been, can cure the situation. If anything could remedy the situation it would have been done, but for now we simply just have to wait, and let King get the much needed rest.

“I will post news about any developments as soon as it’s available.

“At this time we will also like to say Thanks, for all the kind words of a speedy recovery we have received.”