2018: Conclusion and Portents
2018 dawned with AK firmly entrenched in the depths of Very Metal Sound, rehearsing material for the next album,
By the Light of Their Destruction.
By the end of January, however, the band had suspended album rehearsals to begin preparations for the Pandemoniac Wolf March Tour
across the USA as special guests of two of the underground's most important bands, Watain and Destroyer 666.
The pack of three bands slashed and burned their way across the northern tier of the USA, ravaging every city they entered
with relentless ferocity. AK's leg began in Pittsburg on February 26th and ended in Salt Lake City on March 6th.
While in Pittsburg, the band was able to reunite with their old friend and confidant, Eternal Darkness Creations manager, Keith Dempe.
Following the tour, the band went straight back into rehearsing new album material, suspending again in late May to begin rehearsals
for the final leg of The Unburiable Dead's tour cycle. These final dates in mid-June laid waste to eastern Canada,
in conspiracy with Pathetic and Riotor, leveling Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City.
With the conclusion of the tour, AK returned to Very Metal Sound and began the process of transforming the space for recording.
Drum tracks were recorded from late July to late August, rhythm guitars throughout September and October, and lead guitars
in November and December. Bass and vocals were ready to go by the end of the year.
AK raises a glass to everyone who contributed to one of the most memorable years in the bands' history – Erik and Watain, KK and D6,
AJ and Pathetic, and many more – you know who you are. We'll see you on the road again starting in 2019!
After returning from Europe in November 2016, the band largely dedicated 2017 to rehearsing the material Chuck had written
for the next album. But the live assaults Ares Kingdom is legendary for were not neglected!
The band returned to western Canada in early June for a five date assault on Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver,
and then back to the US to level Seattle and Portland. The three Canadian dates saw AK team up with old friends
and fellow thrashers Begrime Exemious, all organized by A.J. Kovar of Alberta"s crushing death metal monsters Pathetic.
Pathetic continued on to play with AK at the two US dates, which included a memorable appearance in Seattle with
Angelcorpse, Petrification and Drawn and Quartered. After leveling Portland with Petrification the next day,
AK returned to Very Metal Sound and spent the summer rehearsing new material.
The band"s final live appearance was in Chicago on October 21st alongside Merciless and Aura Noir.
By the end of the year, the band had rehearsed all but one for the new record, which has taken a decidedly darker
and more vicious turn. Recording is expected to commence in July 2018, after two new tours in the late winter and spring.
But all that in good time...
2016: Of Wolf's Blood, Wolf Packs, and Firestorms Over Europe
The year dawned with the band ensconced in their rehearsal room at Very Metal Sound, working on
new material, and preparing for 2016's busy live schedule.
Things kicked off in March when the band headed east for a show in St. Louis, followed by headlining
the final night of Blood of the Wolf Fest II in Lexington, KY on March 27th.
Following this, the band returned to the rehearsal studio, and prepared for three shows in direct
support for the mighty Destroyer 666 on their US Wildfire tour in July. New York City was leveled first on
the 12th , Pittsburgh the following night - with additional support coming from Derketa, and a special
reunion with Keith Dempe, legendary editor of Eternal Darkness Magazine.
The final night was the Metal Threat Fest Warm-Up show in Chicago where AK again played in direct
support for Destroyer 666, along with death metal luminaries Angelcorpse, Barbatos and others.
Topping off the year was the band's first headlining European tour, dubbed "Firestorms Over Europe"
alongside our old friends Pentacle. Fifteen dates in seventeen days across ten countries, beginning at the NWN! Fest V in
Berlin on November 4th, and ending two and a half weeks later in Copenhagen. It was a resounding
success that will be remembered fondly by both AK and Pentacle, and more importantly, the fans that came and raged!
2015: Advent of "The Unburiable Dead"
The year began with Chuck finishing his guitar recordings for "The Unburiable Dead," as well as Alex
finishing his vocals, plus final production, mixing and mastering.
March saw the band invade New York City for a couple of weekend shows, including the Defenders of
the Old Sunday show at St. Vitus where AK was direct support for Swedish legends Nifelheim. The rest of
the fest included a remarkable assembly of true old school bands like Destructor, Exciter, Riot, Brocas
Helm, Liege Lord, and Machine of War, featuring original NME vocalist Brian Llapitan performing a stunning all-NME set.
July saw Ares Kingdom headline the Eastern Nebraska Deathfest, which included old friends Diabolic
Possession, and Kansas/Nebraska killers Dark Apostle.
In August, AK headed up to Chicago for a killer show with support from House of Atreus and Fin.
By September, "The Unburiable Dead" was ready to be unleashed on this weary world, and Ares
Kingdom flew out to Oakland, California, home of NWN! Productions, to play alongside Japanese
legends Abigail at the Oakland Metro Opera House as part of a benefit show for the label's new warehouse.
The band returned home and immediately started rehearsing new songs Chuck had ready, while lining up a banner year for 2016...
2014 - Toward the Unburiable Dead
The year began with the band finishing up rehearsing new material for the upcoming album, 'The Unburiable Dead.'
Rehearsals ran through March when the band switched gears and began rehearsing a set for the NYDM Spring Bash in Milwaukee (well, Cudahy), on April 26th.
Recordings for 'The Unburiable Dead' began in June. Extra time was taken in exhaustive experimentation with microphone placement before recording Mike's drums,
but he was finished by mid-July. The band switched back into rehearsal mode to prepare for three shows across the US in August, including two with old Dutch pals Pentacle.
First up was St. Louis, Missouri with the German war machine Ketzer, and regional friends Terra Caput Mundi and Oblong Box.
Two weeks later AK flew out to Los Angeles for a devastating show with Pentacle, Morgengrau, Raped God, Unholy Lust, and Old Coven.
A week later AK leveled Chicago with Pentacle, Sons of Famine and Scythe.
Back on home ground, Chuck began recording rhythm guitars in September, finishing up in October.
Leads began shortly afterwards and ran through the end of the year as Alex geared up for bass and vocals.
The band projects finishing by February and turning all elements over to NWN for a release in spring or early summer.
'The Unburiable Dead' will of course receive the LP/Die Hard/CD/Picture Disc treatment.
December also brought the announcement that Ares Kingdom and Nifelheim would be destroying New York City together in conjunction with the venerable
Defenders of the Old Festival on March 15th...
2013 - 'Veneration' of the Gods and New Album Rehearsals
The band spent the majority of 2013 in the depths of Very Metal Sound, rehearsing ten new songs for their upcoming third LP.
Half the album was rehearsed by the time the band changed gears to rehearse older material for a gig in Chicago on June 22nd with Sathanas and Malas.
The second - and final - show of 2013 was headlining Houston's Destroying Texas Festival 7 on November 16th, appearing along side Imprecation, Obeisance, HOD, Sacrocurse, Perversion, and others.
The band's covers album, Veneration, was released in June 2013 by NWN! Productions on LP and CD. The band funded a limited edition run of picture dics, which are only available from the band at shows or through the AK website.
It was originally conceived as an EP that would allow the band to experiment with different studio techniques that were not used during the recordings of 'Return to Dust' and 'Incendiary.'
However the project grew to album length after they decided to include tracks by their former bands, Vulpecula and Nepenthe - songs which had only been played live and in rehearsal.
The experiments were a success, and gave Veneration a thicker and heavier - yet equally chaotic - sound compared to 'Return to Dust' and 'Incendiary.'
By the end of the year the band was rehearsing the final song of the new album. Additional time will be spent in early 2014 tightening the new material, and recordings will commence soon thereafter -
fitted around an appearance at the NYDM Spring Bash (in Milwaukee) on April 25/26, with Possessed, Morbid Saint, Internal Bleeding, Dr Shrinker, Masoleum, Prime Evil, and many more.
2012 - Veneration Recording Session, Central States and European Assaults
The year began with the band continuing work on Veneration at Very Metal Sound. Final artwork was being prepared at the end of December, and the release on LP and CD by NWN Productions is slated for early 2013.
2012 was truly a great year for live shows and saw Ares Kingdom reunited with comrades in Adorior, Cianide, Midnight, Gates of Slumber, Superchrist, Black Witchery, Terra Caput Mundi, and many more.
After wintering in the depths of Very Metal Sound, the band emerged for shows in Cudahy/Milwaukee on April 21st, St. Louis on April 28th, Austin's supreme 'Chaos in Tejas' fest June 2nd, and again on August 10th for the NYDM annual in Minneapolis.
AK then returned to Very Metal Sound and finished production work on Veneration. Suffice to say this is the band's most crushing sound yet. Almost immediately thereafter the band began rehearsing special sets for the NWN Fest III in Berlin on November 10th, and the final show of the year in Chicago on November 24.
And at great long last, in December the band began rehearsing material for the third Ares Kingdom album. Yes, indeed.
See you in 2013.
Following an appearance at NWN Fest. II in Berlin during November 2010,
Ares Kingdom regrouped at Very Metal Sound and spent the first half of 2011
selecting and rehearsing cover tracks for the upcoming 'Veneration' CD/LP
release for NWN Prod. The band ventured out to Omaha for the first annual
Eastern Nebraska Death Fest on July 23rd, plus a local show on September 4th.
Late summer and early fall was spent preparing and recording drum tracks
Yet as 2011 seemed to be ambling quietly into the sunset, armageddon came
in early December when AK flew to San Antonio to play the Rites of Darkness III
pre-fest show on Thursday, December 8th.
Not long after arriving AK were asked to play the main fest
as well. The band accepted and reworked a set for the final night.
While the pre-fest gig was plagued by technical problems, the main fest went
very well - all things considered. Backline shortages were rife, yet the bands
pulled together and made the best of things. Fortunately Phil Kusabs
(Vassafor/Diocletian/Blasphemy) was in command of the mixing desk during AK's
set and things went off perfectly. Vorfeed was instrumental in AK's merch
booth that night as well. For something that began so tentatively,
it ended up being a massive success and was yet another opportunity to
spread terror alongside allies in Adorior, Cianide, Ignivomous,
Mournful Congregation, Midnight, Demigod, Blaspherian, Black Witchery,
Weapon, Inquisition, Antaeus, and Zemial.
2012 began with the rest of the winter being spent finishing off recordings
2010 was Ares Kingdom's busiest year yet. It started with two shows opening for the reunited Order From Chaos on January 2nd in Kansas City, and January 16th in Los Angeles.
January 16th also marked the release of the band's second full-length album, 'Incendiary' through NWN! Productions. The album has entered its second pressing and is available on LP, CD and 'die hard' picture disc.
These early-year shows were followed by an appearance in St. Louis with Zuul and Terra Caput Mundi on March 26th, and then Chicago on March 27th with Order From Chaos. The following weekend Ares Kingdom appeared with Order From Chaos at the Destroying Texas Fest in Houston.
The band played Minneapolis in June, and Baltimore's Defenders of the Old Fest on October 16th with Bloodfeast, Tyrant, October 31st, Extermination Angel and Sentinel Beast.
The year's live appearances culminated on November 20th when Ares Kingdom subdued Berlin alongside NWN Fest allies Order From Chaos, Blasphemy, Mystifier, Xibalba, Black Witchery, Proclamation, Blasphemophager, Bone Awl, and Faustcoven - among others.
AK returned to Very Metal Sound in February 2009 to begin recording
a relentless nine-track assault that picks up recisely where Return to Dust left off.
Musically, the album ranges in mood from classic thrash anthems
to ultra-heavy overtures to calm and lyrical passages steeped in Metal's greatest traditions.
Lyrical themes on Incendiary explore significant historical and contemporary ideas and events through
subjects as varied as religious extremism (Incendiary), the Creation vs. Evolution debate (Descent of Man),
elitism and nihilism (Beasts that Perish), anti-complacency and the dangers of appeasement (Gathering the Eagles),
and the Chernobyl disaster of 1986 (Abandon in Place).
The cover art is by Joseph Pennell (1857-1926), and is titled 'That Liberty Shall Not Perish From the Earth.'
It was a poster for the USA's Fourth Liberty War Loan in 1918.
Our fifth release on NWN! Productions and our second full length album, Incendiary
was released in January 2010 on CD, LP, and picture disc.
In October 2009 AK invaded Canada to leave a mark on Calgary at the Noctis III Fest,
and Germany a month later at the NWN! Festival in Berlin.
Both appearances were unqualified successes. The rest of the year was spent recording Incendiary.
In June 2008 we embarked on a three date field campaign in California with Angelcorpse, Gospel of the Horns, Cemetery Urn and Sanguis Imperum.
The shows were a resounding success as all bands were focused on the same goal: Slash and burn the West Coast.
May 2008 saw the release of Firestorms and Chaos, our fourth release through NWN! Productions.
A CD compilation of B-sides and previously vinyl-only material, this release includes both the "Firestorm Redemption" and "Failsafe" singles,
as well as the rare "Chaosmongers Alive" Live EP, and our 1997 Demo.
The booklet featured each release's original cover art, as well as other elements from each release.
Our third release on NWN! Productions and the last of our first album
recording session material, the Failsafe 12" EP
was released in September 2007.
It featured Failsafe with a Nuclear intro, plus three non-LP bonus tracks.
Die hard versions feature a special AK cypher patch and sticker.
Salvation now lies within reach...
Our second release on NWN! Productions and our first full length album, the eight track, 42 minute slab of Infernal Thrashing Death Metal
known as Return to Dust was released in May 2006 on CD, LP, and picture disc, and
we're now in our third CD pressing.
The LP comes with a gatefold jacket, inner photo collage sleeve
and poster. Die Hard picture disc versions feature all of the previously mentioned,
plus a limited edition 7" EP of our 1997 Demo and special patch & sticker.
Our first release on NWN! Productions, the Firestorm Redemption 12" EP
included its title track, plus two non-LP bonus tracks and was released in January 2006
as a teaser for Return to Dust.
Regular versions come with a lyric poster, and the limited edition Die Hard version is pressed on gold vinyl and features an embroidered yellow on black shaped logo patch and black and white logo sticker.