APESHIT’s Top Metal Albums of 2016

VirusAnother strong year is in the books for heavy music, so strong that making a year end list seemed unfair to every release that we did not include in our lists.  The underground continues to thrive with releases from legendary bands such as DARK FUNERAL, VADER, and NEUROSIS that will stand the test of time. Actually, most of the long running bands did not fail to meet or exceed expectations.  Thrash metal pioneers, MEGADETH, VOIVOD, and TESTAMENT, certainly released excellent records.  What is more important is that 2016 saw a lot of great releases from less trendy, more obscure bands.

Trees of EternityThis past year is personally notable as lost a dear friend and contributor, Brandon Stratton AKA rocknro11chef13.  As a small tribute, we’ve included albums that he would’ve likely picked for his year end list.  Life is short, my friends.  Embrace it.

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MINISTRY – Relapse

The legendary MINISTRY may have come out of a relatively short retirement but Relapse clearly shows that they haven’t lost a step. All the qualities that makes the band larger than life are all present such as Al Jourgensen‘s charisma and sense of satire, super catchy songs, sound samples, and massive guitar riffs.

Uncle Al covers a wide range of topics such as the financial exploitation of dead rock stars, the ethos and political climate that spawned the Occupy Movement, and the corrupt nature of politics.

Relapse starts with all out fury as the record’s first three songs are as brutal as most extreme metal can get. The wall of heaviness and intensity are just awesome. S.O.D.‘s “United Forces” gets the MINISTRY treatment in fine fashion. “99 Percenters” and “Get Up and Get Out ‘N Vote” are catchy anthems that are sure to stir the emotions of those in the “99 percent” and seeking change. The record’s title track has a great sense of urgency and the chorus is undeniable. “Bloodlust” marks the end of the ultra heaviness and slows things down to a bouncy tempo with a classic SABBATH vibe. “Relapse Defibrillator Mix” brings it all home with a pure industrial/electronic remix of the title track.

Regardless of the passage of any time, MINISTRY prove their relevance once again. Relapse is a solid, straight up album. While it’s undeniable that MINISTRY‘s influence on heavy music cannot be overstated, it can also be said that the pupils have not dethroned the master. (AFM/13th Planet Records)

The End Records Sign DANZIG; New Album Due in June 2010

The charismatic and complex singer/songwriter Glenn Danzig is set to unleash his first new DANZIG studio album in six years. Deth Red Sabaoth, produced by Glenn and recorded in Los Angeles over the course of 2009, will be released on June 22, 2010 (Evilive/The End Records).

The 11-track collection, penned by Danzig, is laced with Glenn’s lycanthropic growls and blues-infected wailing. Tracks including “Black Candy,” “The Revengeful,” and the first single, “On A Wicked Night,” emit a spectral glow to rival the highest points in Danzig‘s colossal discography. Part 1 of the exquisite two-part “Pyre of Souls” opens with acoustic guitar, haunting piano, Glenn‘s plainsong vocal, and an almost dirge-like feel; Part II explodes with electric guitars and a driving, mesmerizing cadence.

“I think that fans will really dig this new album,” said Glenn. “I’ve been told several times that the album has a cool vitality to it, it sounds energized, and I got that feeling when I was recording it. I wanted it to have an organic sound, bigger and thicker, so I went out and bought some 1970’s Kustom tuck ‘n roll bass amps to play some of the guitar parts through. You’ll hear real reverb, real tremolo on this album, which sounds completely different than the stuff that’s done with computer chips.”

Joining Glenn in the studio for the recording of Deth Red Sabaoth were guitarist Tommy Victor (PRONG, MINISTRY), and drummer Johnny Kelly (TYPE O NEGATIVE, SEVENTH VOID). While Kelly has toured with Glenn intermittently since 2002, this is the first time he has recorded with the band. Glenn handled the bass chores for most of the album, and played drums on “Black Candy.”

As is with all of DANZIG‘s releases, the CD cover artwork for Deth Red Sabaoth is provocative and ominous. The cover is an original piece created specifically for the CD by the award-winning artist Joe Chiodo whose work has graced not only Danzig‘s Verotik publishing line, but the covers of numerous graphic novels and comic books, including “X-Men Unlimited.”

DANZIG plan to tour extensively to support Deth Red Sabaoth; dates will be announced shortly.

MESHUGGAH to Hit the Road with MINISTRY

MESHUGGAH will be direct support to MINISTRY on MINISTRY‘s farewell tour. MESHUGGAH will be touring in support of their new album, obZen, which will be released in stores today.

Tour dates:
03/25/08 Big Easy Concert Hall – Spokane, WA
03/26/08 Whiskey Nightclub – Calgary, AB – CANADA
03/27/08 Croatian Cultural Center – Vancouver, BC – CANADA
03/28/08 Commodore Ballroom – Vancouver, BC – CANADA
03/29/08 Showbox SoDo – Seattle, WA
03/30/08 Roseland Theatre – Portland, OR
04/01/08 The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA
04/02/08 The Fillmore – San Francisco, CA
04/04/08 House of Blues – Hollywood, CA
04/05/08 House of Blues – Hollywood, CA
04/06/08 House of Blues – Hollywood, CA
04/07/08 House of Blues – San Diego, CA
04/08/08 Marquee Theatre – Tempe, AZ
04/09/08 House of Blues – Las Vegas, NV
04/11/08 In The Venue – Salt Lake City, UT
04/12/08 Ogden Theatre – Denver, CO
04/14/08 Sunshine Theater – Albuquerque, NM
04/15/08 La Zona Rosa – Austin, TX
04/16/08 Cain’s Ballroom – Tulsa, OK
04/17/08 The Palladium – Dallas, TX
04/18/08 Verizon Wireless Theatre – Houston, TX
04/19/08 House of Blues – New Orleans, LA
04/21/08 Revolution – Ft. Lauderdale, FL
04/22/08 House of Blues – Lake Buena Vista (Orlando), FL
04/23/08 Jannus Landing – St. Petersburg, FL
04/24/08 Tremont Music Hall – Charlotte, NC
04/25/08 The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
04/26/08 Rams Head Live – Baltimore, MD
04/27/08 The Palladium – Worcester, MA
04/29/08 The Fillmore (at Theatre of Living Arts) – Philadelphia, PA
05/01/08 The Fillmore (at Irving Plaza) – New York, NY
05/02/08 The Fillmore (at Irving Plaza) – New York, NY
05/03/08 Metropolis – Montreal, QC – CANADA
05/04/08 Koolhaus – Toronto, ON – CANADA
05/06/08 The Agora Theatre – Cleveland, OH
05/07/08 Emerald Theatre – Detroit, MI
05/08/08 House of Blues – Chicago, IL
05/09/08 House of Blues – Chicago, IL