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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Allstar Project NADER SADEK Announced First Live Show

NADER SADEK, the supergroup featuring Steve Tucker (ex-MORBID ANGEL), Rune Eriksen (AVA INFERI, AURA NOIR, ex-MAYHEM), and Flo Mounier (CRYPTOPSY) have announced their first live appearance. The band will be performing their debut, In the Living Flesh, on November 20th, 2011 (8:30pm – 10:00pm) at Santos Party House (96 Lafayette St. New York, NY). Admission is free.

Novy (ex-VADER/ex-BEHEMOTH) will be playing bass as well as newcomer Sean Frey on lead guitar and a surprise female vocalist.

With stage design that resembles a Wagnerian Opera, band mastermind Nader Sadek seeks to take the death metal experience to new heights, as he is set to perform the new album In the Living Flesh live in its entirety alongside the production team behind the album. Upon entering the space, the audience is invited to view all of Sadek’s works on and off the stage, each attendee will be given “pamphlet” describing the evenings 3 acts. People can expect more than several props which are recognizable from Sadek‘s recent videos, such as glowing sulfuric crystals, caves, thrones, and a “elaborate setup for the drums.” The show will feature a lengthy overture by a masked surprise female vocalist performing inside a mirrored cube, guitarists enveloped by a web of vines and more. Conceptually, the theme behind the album, will manifest itself in the live setting, petroleum, man’s greatest discovery and tragedy will embrace the composition of the visual and aural assault. The performance will also be filmed live.

On Novy‘s involvement, Sadek says:

“What can i say? Of all the bands Novy has played in, the albums he is on are undisputedly my favorite. Coincidence? I think not. Bass is a very underrated, yet very important instrument, it can change the feel of a song entirely. It is definitely an important factor that Novy is also a songwriter, and understand the importance of composition within the structure of a song. His compositions within DIES IRAE are very impressive. I’m excitedly to welcome Novy to the flesh!”

Says Novy:

“Ladies And Gentleman.
“My name is Novy ,and I’m proud announce for you – I play with Nader Sadek. It’s a pleasure to play with great musicians in an amazing project like ‘In the Living Flesh.’ Listen to the new album and this project , feel this energy and emotion and…Move your black hearts to Nader Sadek‘s show on the 20th of November at Santo’s in New York City

“Stay brutal and see you on the show!!!

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VADER – Welcome to the Morbid Reich

Usually by the ninth album, a band is woefully in decline with no signs of regaining past glories. Thankfully, that is not the case with VADER. First things first, Welcome to the Morbid Reich is the best VADER album since 2002’s Revelations. When I say “best,” I mean that in every way possible.

Let’s discuss some of the highlights.

The album is solid from top to bottom. Gone are the less strong songs that have hindered the last few VADER albums.

Now departed drummer Pawe “Paul” Jaroszewicz‘s drum performance is absolutely excellent. So clean, so fast, and the barrage of fills perfectly compliments the guitars/bass.

Welcome to the Morbid Reich has the fastest blast beats in VADER history. It may be hard to believe but it’s true given the fact that VADER is one of the fastest bands out there. See “Come and See My Sacrifice.”

Perhaps for the first time in the band’s history, there is melody. While these melodic parts do not last long, they poignantly add color and an extra dimension to Welcome to the Morbid Reich.

Off the rails, SLAYER-style guitar solos have always been a mainstay in VADER‘s repertoire but this album has many of the tastiest and best written solos in their catalogue.

There is double tracking of vocals on certain song parts with mainman Piotr singing with his usual vocals along with his higher vocals (i.e. DEICIDE) that adds a nice touch. Fans will be wondering why in the world he didn’t chose to include his higher vocals much earlier in the band’s history.

Welcome to the Morbid Reich has got the songs, the new dimensions in sound, and just that ripping and blasting style that only VADER can play. Hail the godfathers of Polish death metal! (Nuclear Blast Records)

VADER – Come And See My Sacrifice by NuclearBlastRecords

Vader – Welcome To The Morbid Reich – Black Velvet And Skulls Of Steel by jose-quintero

IMMOLATION with ARSIS and DISMA @ The Studio at Webster Hall, New York City (07/28/10)

Webster Hall has long been known for bringing in mainstream acts and hosting lavish dance parties, but fortunately for the metal faithful, who crammed in to the small darkened recesses of the joint (The Studio) there would be none of that as one of New York’s longest standing underground legends IMMOLATION played a rare NYC club date as the band prepares for their tour with VADER.

Upon arriving in the dark basement of Webster Hall, I witnessed openers DISMA, a last second addition to the show. Featuring ex-members of INCANTATION, and members from a slew of veteran underground bands, I had high expectations for the band, but sadly the performance and overall delivery was a bit bland. The sound didn’t help matters as it was pretty blurry and wasn’t particularly powerful. The band offered slow, plodding material much in the vein of INCANTATION and our evening’s headliners, but the songs weren’t especially memorable, and the heat of the venue only made the performance that much more sluggish.

Following up after DISMA came the sleek, polished sounds of ARSIS. Upon graduating from delivering DEATH-inspired material, Jim Malone and company have since opted to lift the shredding skills of CHILDREN OF BODOM, (as heard on their new album Starve for the Devil) making them an oddball choice for this show. After nearly dozing off several times during the previous set, the band’s hyper active noodling and busy fret work actually lifted the energy mode a bit. They had several of their fans out there pumping their fists with great enthusiasm as the band delivered several of their numerous crowd motivating anthems. IMMOLATION fans weren’t as easily sold, but begrudgingly declined to taunt the band of fret burners. The sound was also bad for them making it difficult for their songs to really cut through, but the band soldiered on well enough.

Finally the hometown (by way of Yonkers) heroes arrived unleashing “The Purge” from their latest effort, Majesty and Decay, before releasing spot on renditions of Unholy Cult and World Agony. Fortunately, the sound was finally crystal clear and cut through with great clarity as Bob Vigna‘s guitar acrobatics, disjointed, dissonant riffs and leads squeezed the life of any Christian foolish enough to venture in the vicinity. Bill Taylor‘s riffage perfectly complemented Vigna‘s organized chaos with an underlying crunching drive, and octopus-like drummer Steve Shalaty‘s intricate complex drum patterns kept the rhythm alive and pounding. Let’s not forget Ross Dolan‘s bludgeoning bass lines and throat scraping growls eithe, as the frontman was menacing throughout the set, but equally humble when expressing gratitude towards the fans for their 25 years of support. IMMOLATION focused a decent amount of time on tracks from their killer new Majesty and Decay album, delivering the title track as well as “A Glorious Epoch.” Classics from the band’s substantial catalog were brought out for the occasion as well, including “Burial Ground” from their debut, and “Father You’re Not a Father” from Close to a World Below. The band mixed and matched various tracks from their extensive discography before closing it out with a blistering version of “Passion Kill.” Another convincing performance from these death metal greats, easily wiping away much of the shred-first songs later mentality of most of the new death metal acts out these days in one quick and deadly blow. If you couldn’t make it out for this one, make sure to catch them on their tour with label mates VADER later on in the Fall for a textbook performance in death metal ass-kicking.

IMMOLATION Announce Headline Tour with VADER

IMMOLATION will be heading out on a headlining tour with support from VADER, ABIGAIL WILLIAMS, LECHEROUS NOCTURNE, and PATHOLOGY.

Tour dates:

9/29 Baltimore, MD – Sonar
9/30 Farmingdale , NY – Crazy Donkey
10/1 Providence, RI – Club Hell
10/2 Manchester , NH – Rocko’s
10/3 Montreal, ON – Foufounes Electriques
10/4 Toronto, ON – MOD Club
10/5 Cleveland, OH – Peabody’s
10/6 Detroit, MI – Blondie’s
10/7 Milwaukee, WI – The Rave
10/8 St Paul , MN – Station4
10/10 Seattle, WA – El Corazon
10/11 Vancouver, BC – Rickshaw Theater
10/12 Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theater
10/13 San Francisco, CA – DNA Lounge
10/14 West Hollywood, CA – The Whiskey
10/15 Santa Ana ,CA – The Galaxy
10/16 Ramona , CA – Ramona Mainstage
10/17 Mesa, AZ – U.B.’s
10/18 Tucson, AZ – The Rock
10/20 Austin, TX – Emo’s
10/21 Houston, TX – The Warsaw
10/22 Tulsa, OK – Marquee
10/23 Louisville, KY – Uncle Pleasants
10/24 Raleigh, NC – Volume 11
10/25 Springfield, VA – Jaxx
10/26 Rochester, NY – Montage Music Hall
10/27 Indianapolis, IN – Emerson Theatre
10/28 Chicago, IL – Reggie’s Rock Club

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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VADER, WARBRINGER, THE AMENTA @ Chain Reaction, Anaheim, CA (11/28/09)

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Anticipation for an extreme metal show was high in the mostly conservative area known as Orange County, CA. Immediately after walking inside the venue, I noticed a strangely high proportion amount of teens and young metalheads in the crowd, with a majority of them wearing either WARBRINGER or MUNICIPAL WASTE shirts. LAZARUS A.D., who had recently stepped in for this tour, since the drummer of DECREPIT BIRTH had quit just a night before, had just ended their set.

Australia’s THE AMENTA got on stage and caught some interest to inquisitive minds with their industrial fused death/grind, which was certainly an interesting mix. Frontman Cain Cressal intrigued the crowd with his energy and stage diving. Ripping through a few of their more well known tracks, THE AMENTA impressed the crowd, but these fresh faces were eager for their neo-thrash heroes to come on.

As soon as WARBRINGER hit the stage, a flurry of hair, arms, and legs appeared in the pit, with the majority of the crowd enjoying the breakdowns and thrash riffings of the new-school thrash group. Unfortunately, this young crowd gives more praise to a band like WARBRINGER rather than the original legends, such as KREATOR, SODOM, and EXODUS, but nevertheless these thrashers got the high-top wearing crowd going with “Pray for Death.” Frontman John Kevill seemed real appreciative of the enthusiasm demonstrated by the kids.

Some of the crowd dispersed as the Polish war machine was ready to hit the stage, but many stayed, as this was probably their first time seeing a true underground metal band from outside the states. VADER opened with “Devilizer”, and the energy from this well-oiled machine was intense. Vogg’s precision playing and headbanging provided an excellent balance to Peter’s gruff vocals and shrieking solos. The songs were played about one-and-a-half to twice as fast, so all negative thoughts about “the new drummer of VADER” was put to rest. The band plowed through the set with fury, unleashing hell with “Sothis”, “Rise of the Undead”, and mandatory crowd favorites “Wings” and “Carnal”. The young crowd looked lost during the older tracks, such as “The Wrath”, and “Dark Age”, as the kids probably weren’t born yet when these songs were released. The band blasted through a few songs off Necropolis, to promote the new album, and after only about 35 minutes, VADER had to end their set short, due to the strict all ages venue guidelines. However, Peter announced that the band will be back in April with OVERKILL and destroyed the crowd by finishing them off with “This is the War” and “Lead Us!

It’s a shame that this is Vogg’s last tour with VADER, but he will be where his heart is with DECAPITATED. VADER is and always will be pure 100% death metal, and this is why VADER is still one of the underrated, but top bands in the underground metal scene.

VADER, DECREPIT BIRTH, WARBRINGER, THE AMENTA @ Blender Theater, New York, New York (11/06/09)

I arrived at the Blender Theater shortly as Canada’s AUGURY hit the stage (I’m not sure how ROSE FUNERAL sounded or fared in front of the packed Blender crowd, they could have been atrociously bad or phenomenal, but I’m sure they have a myspace for you to check out).
AUGURY specializes in sweeping guitar runs, overly technical passages, and competent albeit somewhat bland song structures that neither offend or impress. A tour with THE FACELESS would be ideal, as both bands keep their performances extremely stiff, yet tight, setting up an evening of music appreciation as opposed to rocking out in any way. Drummer Robin Stone of THE AMENTA filled in admirably on the kit filling in for the recently departed Antoine Baril for AUGURY and the band managed to be unimpressive yet solid at the same time.

Up next was THE AMENTA from Down Under making their U.S. tour debut. Offering up industrial-tinged blackened death, the Aussies blasted their way through material from their excellent Occasus debut as well as offering up some tracks from follow up, n0n. Vocalist Cain Cressal does the psycho singer thing well, contorting his face in any number of weirdo positions as the band plowed away through their set.

WARBRINGER arrived next much to the delight of numerous pre-pubescent attendees who have no interest in “the old man thrash” sounds of classic bands such as DARK ANGEL, SLAYER, or EXODUS, and have instead opted to be wowed by a band stealing riffs from the aforementioned. Nevertheless, WARBRINGER received strong support as the kids chanted the band’s name with great enthusiasm. While I’m still not 100% sold on their “Johnny-come-lately new thrash on the block” sound, the band has improved significantly since their early tour with NILE, and kept the crowd rocking throughout their short set.

Santa Cruz, California isn’t known for being a hotbed of death metal talent, but ambassadors DECREPIT BIRTH made a strong case for the SC scene as they unleashed a strong set of punishing tracks that flip flopped between material from As Time Begins and Diminishing Between Worlds. Unlike some tech-shred bands that focus entirely on out-teching one another (and in the process lose some grit), DECREPIT BIRTH keeps the fury intact, balancing intensity with technical skill. Charismatic frontman Bill Robinson (who looks more like a member of BUZZOVEN than a death metal singer) kept the audience engaged as the band continued their onslaught. They even previewed a track that they will be on their next album, but unfortunately the title escapes me as it was mumbled by Robinson. Nonetheless it offered up a nice preview of what’s in store from this promising band next year.

Poland’s VADER finally arrived on the scene, and despite the seemingly endless amounts of line-up changes throughout the band’s career, frontman/guitarist/mainman Peter has soldiered on. And for this tour at least, he brought along the very capable Vogg from DECAPITATED.

Despite some shaky sound issues with the venue, the band worked through the classic “Sothis,” with Vogg being able to adjust and nail a lead shortly after a frantic roadie handed him his replacement guitar in mid-song. “Rise of the Undead” from their new Necropolis album kept the proceedings moving along nicely. The band unleashed a plethora of classics from the deep VADER catalog. “Wings,” “Carnal,” “Silent Empire,” “Black to the Blind,” all turned Manhattan into a pit as the band methodically and surgically drove the point home. Apparently Peter had been battling sickness, but based on his fluid solos, crunching rhythms, and throat-scraping vocals, you’d never know the difference as he and band delivered the metal goods with nary a misstep. But Vogg was the highlight of the show as he ripped through the leads like a man possessed , boding well for the future of DECAPITATED. VADER closed out the set with “Dark Age” before heading in to a mini-encore with tracks from The Art of War EP .

Once again, Vader displayed why almost 30 years later, they still deliver the pinnacle of Polish death metal and still possess enough firepower for many more killer tours down the road.