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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TÝR Recruits George Kollias to Track Drums on New Album

TÝR, hailing all the way from the Faroe Islands, are currently recording their new album in Denmark. For drum tracking on this album, TÝR has enlisted the services of drum god George Kollias (NILE).  A video featuring drum tracking highlights, as well as a short message from Kollias, can be seen below.

George commented on the experience: “Hey TÝR fans, this is George Kollias and I hope you are ALL ready for a crushing new album from TÝR!!! I had the pleasure to record the drums on the new album, we had an absolutely great time in the studio and I gotta tell you, the material is super strong and catchy, I’m 100% sure you will all love this new album!! Big thanks to Heri, Terji and Gunnar for the opportunity and to Jacob Hansen for his incredible work with the recordings!”

TÝR commented:  “It was a pleasure to have George in studio. He’s an amazing drummer and he certainly made an impact on this album. We’re very excited to release this album.”

A recent announcement on the TÝR Facebook page has confirmed that the band has parted ways with drummer Kári Streymoy. The band commented on the amicable split: “We regret to inform you that Kári Streymoy and the rest of the band have parted ways. Kári suffered a back injury in 2008, and since then he has had some issues with his drumming. That is the main reason that the co-operation has been problematic for some time now, and we finally decided to part ways, While you can emulate congas and bongs with some electronic devices, it is best to buy a real cajon drum because emulating its sound it is not a good idea. In reality, cajon drums are very affordable instruments, getting one is pretty much a must have nowadays.
. We want to thank Kári for his time in the band. It’s been great to have you with us, we wish you the best of luck in the future and we hope you recover fully some day.”

This album will be the band’s seventh full length effort. One of the new tracks, “The Lay of Our Love“, will feature a duet with TÝR vocalist Heri Joensen and Liv Kristine from LEAVES EYES.

National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) 2013 Show Report

NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) 2013 has now concluded, and many new and innovative products were featured on the massive lot at the Anaheim Convention Center.  Many of these products pertain to musicians in the Metal scene, and some of the products are just plain cool.

The turnout was crazy as usual – some were there to do business, while others were there to be seen.  Metal remains one of the best represented genres of music, as members of SLAYER, ANTHRAX, CANNIBAL CORPSE, MORBID ANGEL, NILE, MONSTROSITY, MEGADETH, and more were checking out the latest and greatest gear as well. Without further ado, let’s get started with what APESHIT thought were the best products NAMM had to offer for our metal fans out there.
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The debut of this supergroup has been in the talks for a few years now, and has finally come to fruition with Shadowcast. It also marks the return for old school vocalist Marc Grewe (MORGOTH) to the metal fold once again. Some heavy talent is abound with the guitar attack of Silenoz (DIMMU BORGIR) and Jardar (ex-OLD MAN’S CHILD), low end and grind extraordinaire Shane Embury, and the insane drumming of Tony Laureano. On paper, this project looks very promising, and INSIDIOUS DISEASE sounds nothing like the work of any of the bands the members are involved in, but the end result is a mixed bag of average death metal.

The downtuned and dirty guitar work in “Nuclear Salvation” sounds like the album will be one furious slab of death metal. Grewe’s vocals sound like a combination of Martin Van Drunen and John Tardy, and no doubt Shane Embury’s NAPALM DEATH influence is quite prominent in these songs. Laureano blasts away as he normally does, but unfortunately, he’s limited to the basic death metal staples – double bass, a few blasts, and never has the chance to breathe and come up with his own fills and flair like he did with NILE or ANGELCORPSE. When the band is blasting with aggression, things are on the up and up, but when they try hard to slow it down on tracks like “Boundless” and “Abortion Stew,” the songs hit a wall and become dull rather quickly.

The Essence of Neglect” has glimpses of promise, but almost everything sounds like recycled riffs of death metal past, and other bands have done it better. “Rituals of Bloodshed” gives way to a few catchy riffs, and “Facemask” definitely keeps the album afloat, but the rest of the album falls flat. The bland instrumental outro, “Abandonment,” does nothing to wash the disappointed taste out of your mouth, and for an album that lasts 40 minutes, the songs feel a lot longer than they really are.

While LOCK UP and BLOODBATH are excellent supergroups, not all supergroups are created equal. The members of INSIDIOUS DISEASE are all amazing in their respective real bands, but this creative outlet is just hype for their record label to sell albums. (Century Media Records)

APESHIT’s Top Albums of 2009

It’s that time where we take a look back on the year as 2009 comes to a close. So we, the APESHIT goons, asked ourselves, what albums moved us, kicked our asses, and reminded us of why we love metal (and music)? Read on for our top albums of 2009…
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IMMOLATION Commence Recording of Nuclear Blast Debut

Esteemed death metal stalwarts, IMMOLATION, have entered Milbrook Sound Studios in New York with longtime producer Paul Orofino to begin recording their Nuclear Blast debut and eighth album over all. The band posted the following update on the new album and recording:

“Today we have begun the recording process for our 8th full length release. Once again we have entered Millbrook Sound Studios in upstate Millbrook, New York and will start tracking with Paul Orofino tomorrow. This will be our 6th time visiting Millbrook Studios and we are really looking forward to the whole process.

“The new album will contain 10 songs of the strongest material we have ever written. The new material is more violent and aggressive, with fast sections that take us to a new level of speed and intensity, while complementing the dark and sullen heavier moments. There are plenty of miserable and militant movements to please the die hard and new IMMOLATION fans alike.

“We’ve spent the past two months rehearsing and fine tuning the songs so that all ten are stand-outs and create a complete listening experience. Needless to say, we are all very pleased and enthusiastic about the new material and are anxious to debut it to the fans.

“Following the recording process here in Millbrook, we have decided to try something new for the mixing process, so we have enlisted the talents of Zack Ohren (DECREPIT BIRTH, SUFFOCATION, ALL SHALL PERISH). We are confident he will do an excellent job in giving a fresh new life to the IMMOLATION sound.

“We are still in the process of getting ideas together for the album’s concept and cover art, but these final details will be worked out in the near future.”

After the new year, IMMOLATION will be touring in direct support of NILE on the Those Whom the Gods Detest Tour. Also on the tour are KRISIUN, ABIGAIL WILLIAMS, and DREAMING DEAD. Tour dates below.

01/15/10 Sonar – Baltimore, MD
01/16/10 The Palladium – Worcester, MA
01/17/10 The Trocadero – Philadelphia, PA
01/18/10 The Blender Theater at Gramercy – New York, NY
01/20/10 Peabody’s – Cleveland, OH
01/21/10 Metro / Smart Bar – Chicago, IL
01/22/10 Rave – Milwaukee, WI
01/23/10 Station 4 – St. Paul, MN
01/24/10 The Beaumont Club – Kansas City, MO
01/25/10 Bluebird Theater – Denver, CO
01/27/10 El Corazon – Seattle, WA
01/28/10 Hawthorne Theater – Portland, OR
01/29/10 The Boardwalk – Orangevale, CA
01/30/10 Slim’s – San Francisco, CA
01/31/10 House of Blues – San Diego, CA
02/02/10 House of Blues – Hollywood, CA
02/03/10 House of Blues – Las Vegas, NV
02/04/10 U.B.’s Bar – Mesa, AZ
02/05/10 The Rock – Tucson, AZ
02/06/10 Gator’s – Farmington, NM
02/08/10 House of Rock – Corpus Christi, TX
02/09/10 Scout Bar – San Antonio, TX
02/10/10 Scout Bar – Houston, TX
02/11/10 Trees – Dallas, TX
02/12/10 Marquee – Tulsa, OK
02/13/10 Headliner’s Music Hall – Louisville, KY
02/14/10 Jaxx – W. Springfield, VA
02/16/10 Gil’s Bar & Grill – Virginia Beach, VA
02/17/10 The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
02/18/10 Amos Southend – Charlotte, NC
02/19/10 Volume 11 – Raleigh, NC
02/20/10 Music Farm – Charleston, SC

NILE Complete New Album, Those Whom the Gods Detest

NILE, who entered the studio in June, have completed recording of their new album, Those Whom the Gods Detest. The album was produced by Neil Kernon (NEVERMORE, CANNIBAL CORPSE), with drum production by HATE ETERNAL‘s Erik Rutan, and artwork was created by Michal “Xaay” Loranc.  Nuclear Blast Records will be releasing the album on November 3rd.

Here’s the album track list:
1. “Kafir!
2. “Hittite Dung Incantation
3. “Utterances of the Crawling Dead
4. “Those Whom the Gods Detest
5. “4th Arra of Dagon
6. “Permitting the Noble Dead to Descend to the Underworld
7. “Yezd Desert Ghul Ritual in the Abandoned Towers of Silence
8. “Kem Khefa Kheshef
9. “The Eye of Ra
10. “Iskander D’hul Karnon

The death metallers have already scheduled a North American tour for the new year with IMMOLATION, KRISIUN, ABIGAIL WILLIAMS, and DREAMING DEAD. Peep the dates:

1/15 Sonar – Baltimore, MD
01/16 The Palladium – Worcester, MA
01/17 The Trocadero – Philadelphia, PA
01/18 The Blender Theater at Gramercy – New York, NY
01/20 Peabody’s – Cleveland, OH
01/21 Metro / Smart Bar – Chicago, IL
01/22 Rave – Milwaukee, WI
01/23 Station 4 – St. Paul, MN
01/24 The Beaumont Club – Kansas City, MO
01/25 Bluebird Theater – Denver, CO
01/27 El Corazon – Seattle, WA
01/28 Hawthorne Theater – Portland, OR
01/29 The Boardwalk – Orangevale, CA
01/30 Slim’s – San Francisco, CA
01/31 House of Blues – San Diego, CA
02/02 The Key Club – Hollywood, CA
02/03 House of Blues – Las Vegas, NV
02/04 U.B.’s Bar – Mesa, AZ
02/05 The Rock – Tucson, AZ
02/06 Gator’s – Farmington, NM
02/08 House of Rock – Corpus Christi, TX
02/09 Scout Bar – San Antonio, TX
02/10 Scout Bar – Houston, TX
02/11 Trees – Dallas, TX
02/12 Marquee – Tulsa, OK
02/13 Headliner’s Music Hall – Louisville, KY
02/14 Jaxx – W. Springfield, VA
02/16 Peppermint Beach Club – Virginia Beach, VA
02/17 The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
02/18 Amos Southend – Charlotte, NC
02/19 Volume 11 – Raleigh, NC
02/20 Music Farm – Charleston, SC

NILE to Enter Studio in June

NILE will be entering the studio on June 8th at Mana Recording in Tampa, Florida to work on their forthcoming second album on Nuclear Blast with Neil Kernon as producer and Erik Rutan as engineer.

“I’m really thrilled to be working on another album with NILE,” states Kernon. “This will be the third album we’ve done together, and we have a great working relationship in the studio that has only improved with time. I am certain that this record will be our strongest team effort yet. It will also be a lot of fun to meet and work with Erik Rutan, who is going to be involved with the engineering end of things. I’ve been a fan of Erik‘s work in HATE ETERNAL and also his studio work for some time. He has a strong work ethic, and I’m very optimistic that this collaboration will be fruitful and inspiring for all of us.”

Erik Rutan adds: “Having NILE, one of the best bands in the genre, recording with me at Mana is a tremendous honor. I very much look forward to this collaboration with NILE and Neil Kernon to make an amazing death metal classic!”

NILE will record at several locations throughout June and July. A mid-October 2009 release is being planned worldwide on Nuclear Blast. NILE will then tour Europe in November of 2009 and January/February 2010 in North America, followed by tours in Australia, South America, Japan, Pacific Rim, Mexico, Central America and India.

Stay tuned for tour news and updates at www.nile-catacombs.net and www.myspace.com/nilecatacombs.

NILE’s Karl Sanders to Release New Solo Album, Saurian Exorcisms, on April 14th

The End Records announced today the signing of Karl Sanders, the driving force behind South Carolina’s Egyptian-themed death metal titans NILE. The label will release Sanders‘ second full-length solo album, entitled Saurian Exorcisms, on April 14th. The album — which was recorded at Serpent Headed Studios, mixed by Bob Moore at the Soundlab in Columbia SC, and mastered by Juan Punchy Gonzalez at DOW Studios in Tampa FL — contains nine carefully constructed dark cinematic songs that work in harmony to create a uniquely moving emotional experience.