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It’s Good to Have Goals and Dreams Can Come True – An Interview with David Rodgers of Southwest Terrorfest

By: kevin.stewart-panko Posted in: exclusive, featured, interviews On: Thursday, October 9th, 2014

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Around this time last year, we spoke to Godhunter guitarist/vocalist David Rodgers as he was in the process of putting together the second edition of Tucson, AZ’s Southwest Terrorfest (go here to read all about it). At the time, under the Deciblog’s interrogation hot lamps, Rodgers mentioned that one of the bands on his “booking bucket list” was Neurosis. Well, guess what he went and did? Rodgers managed to score the Bay Area legends at this year’s version of the fest alongside the likes of -(16)-, Pelican, Goatsnake, the Body, the Atlas Moth, Author & Punisher amongst many more all set to slowly drop the citizens of Tucson (and beyond) into a cauldron of bubbling hot tar come October 16, 17, 18 and 19. We got in touch with Rodgers as he balanced busyness and elation to talk about the bigger and better version of this year’s fest.

Tell us about how last year went. Was it a success in your eyes?
I think we did 75-80% [of our goal]. Thursday was really good, Saturday was awesome, Friday was OK, Sunday was not good. Not a lot of people showed up on Sunday and it led us to refining a few things like having fewer bands and making for a little less time for people to actually be there.

Would you say those were two of the bigger lessons you learned? How were they applied to this year?
Those were definitely the two most important items. I think we had too many bands last year and some of them just got lost in the shuffle. Some bands played too early in the day when people were still hungover when people don’t necessarily want to see a band play at 2:30 in the afternoon. I know some places like at MDF, people are out at like 11am or noon all bright-eyed and ready to go, but we’re not there. So, we trimmed that back a little and looked at what did work. It worked really well to bring in bands that don’t regularly come through town. Like Kylesa had never been to Tucson before, so a ton of people came out to see them. With Red Fang, [guitarist] Bryan [Giles] is from here, so they’ve played here a lot, but they’ve never played at a big place like The Rock before and it was the most people I’ve ever seen out for them. So, we figured we’d get really good bands that don’t come through Tucson a lot and narrowed it down to no music before 6:30pm. We’ll let people get through their day, get some dinner or whatever, then start up.

At what point did you start working on this year’s version and in light of what happened on Sunday, was there ever a point you were feeling discouraged about the whole thing?
That would have been all day Sunday and probably for a couple weeks afterwards I didn’t know if I wanted to have anything to do with it again. I’m pretty tough on myself; I’m one of those people where even if I win a race, it’ll be like “I didn’t win the race fast enough.” So, it was hard in the moment to see the successes we had because I was concentrated way too much on Sunday not turning out the way I wanted it to. There were bands that had really good crowds on Sunday, but the crowd kind of ebbed and flowed and nobody really stuck around through the whole day. It was like a bunch of kids showed up to see ACxDC and then half of them left and didn’t come back. Or people were there to see Theories, but it was only death-grind kids and that was the only band they wanted to see that day. I’d say by December, we started talking about it. I had come off of a boil a little bit and the other guys were like, “we did really well for most of it, we just kind of blew it here. So, let’s just fix that and do it again, but better.” So, by January and February we were right back into the thick of it and booking again.

Last year you told me that one of the bands on your “booking bucket list” was Neurosis and you got them for this year? What were the circumstances behind that? Was it a matter of you hammering away at them until they said yes?
No, but here’s kind of how the process went. We moved venues this year; we’re not at The Rock any more. We didn’t have a problem with them; they’re great people, it’s just that we knew that if we wanted to step up the headlining bands a little bigger we couldn’t do it there because it’s a limited venue and there’s no backstage area at all. One of the good things that happened last year was that the people who run The Rialto, which is sort of the main theater downtown where everyone loves to play, got really interested in the fest and I think they were at the Kylesa and Red Fang shows. They approached us and asked us what we thought about bringing the fest downtown. That had always been our intention from the start; to get it to where it was big enough to have it downtown so everyone could walk between venues, hotels, restaurants and bars and it doesn’t become a thing where people have to drive to and park their cars. So, once they got on board, we sat down with them and literally just made up a wish list. They had a couple bands they threw on to the list.  They also wanted to get Sleep, so we pursued Sleep and High on Fire, but I think High on Fire is recording an album this month and couldn’t do it, so we kind of have them on the shelf for next year, hopefully. And then I threw out a couple names for the list, which were Goatsnake, which I thought was a more realistic chance, and Neurosis, which was our number one choice. So, as it is, I know Ron Martinez who runs Crawlspace Booking and books for Neurosis now. I’ve done shows for his bands in the past and he knows I’ve been doing this stuff for years. I talked to him and asked him to talk to the guys and see if it was something they would be interested in if the money was right. With Neurosis, it has to be something they’re interested in. You could throw a boatload of money at them, but if they’re opening for Papa Roach or some shit, they’re going to say no. They want it to be something that’s unique and something that’s sort based around them because they’ve reached that status now. So, we talked money, it went really smoothly and quickly and Neurosis was actually the very first band confirmed this year. The good part about that is that once you reach out to the rest of the bands and you say, “by the way, Neurosis is the Saturday headliner” everything really falls into place after that.

With that in mind, and I don’t know if you’ve even thought this far ahead, but does this make it that much more of a challenge for you next year?
It will be a challenge, but we’re not going to try and one-up ourselves every year though. One thing we refined was the mix that we had last year. The Sacred Reich day was all fast, thrash and death metal bands and Sunday was a lot of punk, hardcore and crust stuff. We kind of did away with doing different days and said, “let’s just have a theme and once we get a couple of headliners, we’ll see where that theme is going.” Once we got Neurosis and Goatsnake on board it was looking like it was going to be a ‘slow’ year in that none of the bands playing are blazingly fast. Next year, we’re going to do a fast year. So we already have bands lined up and I’ve talked to a couple people who are interested in it. Neurosis is definitely a legendary band, but luckily there are a lot of bands out there who have that same gravitas as Neurosis and for what it looks like we’ll be doing next year, I think people will be just as into it.

Last year you also talked about possibly and eventually working with the city, like shutting down streets and outdoor stages and stuff. Obviously that’s not happening, but I did notice the Tucscon Weekly did a big profile on you and the fest recently. Are you finding “non-metal” parts of the city getting friendlier with you?
Absolutely. That was how we got in with The Rialto and once we were in with them, the folks at Hotel Congress, which is literally across the street and has been around for hundreds of years – it’s where John Dillinger got caught and it’s always written up as one of America’s best bars and venues – once they saw we were at The Rialto and doing the after shows at The District, they came over to me and said that The District won’t be open next year and that they wanted the after shows. It’s really cool that the downtown set that doesn’t normally pay attention to underground metal have looked at it and see exactly what’s going on. We have an awesome music scene in Tucscon, tons of really good bands and what’s crazy is the way they cross-pollinate. You may have heard of a band called Sex Prisoner that’s on a389; their drummer Gilbert is the guitarist in this completely different super-indie garage band band called Prom Body which have been in Pitchfork and the New York Times. The folks downtown are starting to realise that these guys that play in bands that regularly play there have these other bands that are just as popular, but are from this other heavier genre that they ignored before. For the folks at Club Congress who generally don’t get behind metal shows – I think Red Fang, the Sword and maybe Helmet is the heaviest it’s ever gotten there – to get behind this is a huge step forward. And this year we have people who are flying in from Australia, Germany and South America and making reservations at Hotel Congress and other hotels downtown.

With time are you finding the process of booking and doing this getting smoother and easier as you go along?
It’s definitely gotten easier. You make a few new contacts, talk to this booking agent, meet new people and start putting puzzle pieces together. Some of the things do get a little ridiculous at times. The SWTF email inbox at this point is probably 96% bands that want to play that aren’t from this genre at all. Like we got Neurosis, so I don’t mind if a sludge band or whatever writes asking if there are any spaces left. I get it. But there’s a real funny one right now where I’ve had a 40-50 email exchange with a Russian folk band that, in the beginning, I said “thank you, but no” to. I think they took the ‘thank you’ as a ‘yes, I want to book you.’ They then started writing me about when they should expect their plane tickets and hotel reservations and all that and the whole time I’m writing them back, “Guys, I’m not bringing you to America.” I know there’s a way to do it with visas and whatnot, but I’m not there yet. So, even if they were in the genre that I wanted, I couldn’t do it. It got to the point where they started getting really snippy with me, as if I was backing out on a deal with them. So, it was kind of mean of me, I know, but at that point I introduced them to this Nigerian prince I know that had $40 million that he needed to clear and told them if you send this guy your info, he’ll put money in your account, use that money to buy your plane tickets and we’ll be waiting for you [laughs].

Having said that, in the future are you looking at bringing bands from overseas that you’ll eventually have to do paperwork and visa applications for or don’t you want to deal with the hassle?
Yes. I’d love to book Bolt Thrower and Electric Wizard and if I ever do that, I know I’ll have to figure it out. I don’t know if we’re quite there yet, those are obviously super-expensive bands as well and I have to know I can consistently sell enough to provide for bringing those bands over as well. But we have talked about the future and about how at some point one of us is going to have to learn to do work visas and whatnot. It’s just more paperwork; I’ll work it out.

October 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th
Rialto Theatre | The District Tavern
Tucson, Arizona

Thursday night: Kickoff show at The District:
10:00 – 10:30 Conqueror Worm (Tucson)
10:45 – 11:15 Twingiant (Phoenix)
11:30 – 12:15 Oryx (NM)
12:30 – 1:30 -(16)- (CA)

Friday night: Main show at Rialto:
6:30 – 7:00 Godhunter (Tucson)
7:15 – 7:55 Eagle Twin (UT)
8:10 – 9:00 Pelican (IL)
9:15 – 10:15 Goatsnake (CA)

Friday night: After show at The District:
10:30 – 11:00 Spiritual Shepherd (NV)
11:15 – 11:45 TOAD (Phoenix)
12:00 – 12:30 BlackQueen (WA)
12:45 – 1:45 The Atlas Moth (IL)

Saturday night: Main show at Rialto:
6:30 – 7:00 Sorxe (Phoenix)
7:15 – 7:45 Author & Punisher (CA)
8:00 – 8:40 The Body (OR)
8:55 – 10:45 Neurosis (CA)

Saturday night: After show at The District:
10:30 – 11:00 Windmill Of Corpses (Prescott)
11:15 – 11:45 Secrets Of The Sky (CA)
12:00 – 12:30 North (Tucson)
12:45 – 1:45 Primitive Man (CO)

Sunday night: Main show at Rialto:
6:00 – 6:30 Sex Prisoner (Tucson)
6:45 – 7:15 Obliterations (CA)
7:30 – 8:00 Baptists (Canada)

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Sucker For Punishment: Our Cup Runneth Over

By: Adrien Begrand Posted in: featured On: Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

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Review enough metal albums, and the process can be pretty simple, especially when it comes to those bands that stick to the specific characteristics of one particular subgenre. Each style has its own specific requirements and criteria, and as a critic, you’re basically asking yourself a) if it captures the essence of what this subgenre is all about, b) how it stacks up against the subgenre’s most important work, and c) whether or not the songs are any good. Traditional death, thrash, black, power, retro, what have you, you can nail a generic album in one listen.

Generic metal will always be a great thing, it’s important for bands to uphold certain traditions, to keep heavy metal grounded, but not only is it just as exciting to hear bands that defy categorization, but it makes you work a hell of a lot harder as a music critic. Some bands’ sounds are so amorphous that it can be positively murder to try to put into words. The Atlas Moth is one such band, one I’ve admired a great deal over the years, but which I can never get quite right when critiquing. As I wrote elsewhere, writing about The Atlas Moth is like nailing Jell-O to a wall.

No matter how you want to describe the Chicago band in metalspeak (progressive blackened psychedelic sludge doom?), The Atlas Moth has shown tremendous growth over the course of three albums, and The Old Believer (Profound Lore) is their best work to date. It’s a sneaky record, mind you, as it took a good two months for the thing to wriggle into my head, but once it does, that little earworm stays there like a Ceti eel. Only a much more pleasant Ceti eel than Khan’s nasty buggers, one you’re more than happy to submit yourself to. The more The Old Believer goes on, the more the heaviness and extremity gives way to dreamy grooves and melodies reminiscent of the Deftones’ best work, singing continuing to dominate, with black metal screams adding some unique texture in the background. “Sacred Vine”, “Collider”, “Halcyon Blvd”, and “Blood Will Tell” are splendid examples of the band’s greatly increasing mastery of dynamics, with a level of tension underscoring the otherwise pensive-sounding arrangements. It requires a little more patience from the listener, but this is an album that gets more rewarding with each spin. It’s good timing, too, because by fall we writers should be even more smitten with it come year-end list time.

Listen to and purchase The Atlas Moth’s The Old Believer via Bandcamp. Then when you have the CD, head for the nearest faucet.

What a crazy, crazy week for new releases. I went with as many as I possibly could, and as you’ll see, the quality is exceptionally high. Along with The Atlas Moth, which you must own, you’ll find another one or two here that’ll cater to your interests, for sure. Except for Varg. Varg is hilarious.

Anathema, Distant Satellites (Kscope): The best thing Anathema ever did was get the hell out of the metal racket. It’s been an endlessly fascinating trajectory for the brothers Cavanagh, as they embraced their progressive rock proclivities and took their music into increasingly sumptuous directions. Especially impressive has been Anathema’s post-2010 incarnation. While not particularly original, and kind of dated in an Elbow-circa-Asleep in the Back sort of way, 2010’s We’re Here Because We’re Here and 2012’s astounding Weather Systems were sublime marriages of mainstream rock and progressive rock, the kind of music just begging for a large chunk of the Muse audience, but sadly relegated to cult status time and again. Still, the band remains on that creative upswing with Distant Satellites. Sure, following up the classic “Untouchable” suite with the similar two-parter “The Lost Song” is not only inferior, but painfully, painfully obvious, but like Weather Systems, it’s all about tender grandiosity, and the chemistry between singers Vince Cavanagh and Lee Douglas, as well as the richness of the arrangements, makes for yet another spellbinding achievement.

Arch Enemy, War Eternal (Century Media): Michael Amott wins the award for 2014 Poker Face of the Year, hands down. I interviewed him early this year for a Decibel studio report, and all he said was, “This album is actually very different from Khaos Legions.” Considering the band had quietly replaced one of the most charismatic lead vocalists in metal, he sure was mum about what became one of the year’s biggest stories in the genre. But to be honest, is it that big an adjustment for fans? Not really. Angela Gossow projected power on record and onstage as well as anyone, but let’s face it, metal growlers are a dime a dozen, and Alissa White-Gluz steps in on War Eternal without missing a beat, providing that crucial contrast with Amott’s melodic guitar work that Arch Enemy has built a long career of. Stylistically, not a thing has changed in the band’s approach, and it’s a little disappointing that White-Gluz doesn’t show her own formidable vocal range more than the requisite monotone snarl, but this album overall feels much stronger than 2011’s Khaos Leions. The charismatic Gossow will be missed as she steps into her role as the band’s full-time manager, but with White-Gluz as the new face/voice and Amott as the songwriter, it’s steady as she goes for one of the more consistent bands in mainstream metal.

Body Count, Manslaughter (Sumerian): I couldn’t be sicker of hardcore. The posturing, the boring songs, the lame self-help lyrics, all the attitude but little palpable passion. But at a time when Hatebreed, Terror, and all the sound-alikes continue to coast, plagiarizing themselves time and again, Ice-T and Body Count have come through with an absolutely brilliant comeback that brings eloquence, humour, rage, and genuine songwriting skill back to straightforward hardcore that we haven’t heard in ages. Before settling into a good career as an actor, Ice-T was a masterful lyricist, and he proves it here, his songs edgy, provocative, and laced with wickedly dark wit. Backing it all up is the band, who matches Ice’s charisma with music that’s suitably intense and surprisingly vibrant. From the inspired covers of “Institutionalized” and “99 Problems’ to the storytelling skill of “I Will Always Love You”, this is not only the best Body Count album since the notorious 1992 album, but Ice-T’s best album since O.G. Original Gangster, and the best hardcore album in years. Not even a Jamey Jasta cameo can ruin this sucker.

Burzum, The Ways of Yore (who cares what label it’s on): Yeah.

Equilibrium, Erdentempel (Nuclear Blast): One of the loopiest bands in pagan/folk metal, the German band is back with another busy blast of jaunty melodies, polka tempos, and silly black metal vocal gurgling. Say what you will of this style of metal music, but Equilibrium has a real knack for lively hooks, and this album is a goofy blast. You can’t listen to “Uns’rer Flöten Klang” and not have a big stupid grin on your face.

Godflesh, Decline & Fall (Avalanche): Upon learning that Godflesh was back together making new music, many metal fans rejoiced because they’d missed Justin Broadrick’s colossal industrial metal riffs during his time with the more sedate Jesu. And while there’s plenty of crunch to be heard on this new four-song EP, the main draw for me is what’s between and underneath those massive guitars and merciless martial beats. The spirit of Killing Joke continues to permeate Broadrick’s work with Godflesh, and the atonal accents on “Dogbite” and “Playing With Fire” add richness to the otherwise blunt compositions. The title track might reek of been-there-done-that, but it’s still absolutely worth a listen on Bandcamp.

Hellyeah, Blood For Blood (Eleven Seven): Yeah, Vinnie Paul’s band continues to churn out the same old lazily-paced redneck metal, but much to my surprise this is not the full-fledged Southern metal suckfest you’d expect. “Sangre Por Sangre” is the catchiest song the band has ever written, “Demons in the Dirt” has a wicked little groove, the ferocious “Say When” sees Vinnie offering a glimpse of the Vinnie Paul of 1992, while “Black December” tackles a subject near and dear to every Pantera fan. For the first time the band has made music you can remember after hearing, and for Hellyeah, that’s a quantum leap.

Mars Red Sky, Stranded In Arcadia (Listenable): I want to say the Bordeaux band’s brand of psychedelic metal is infused with a strong doom influence, but that would imply the music is gloomy. Though it’s plenty heavy, the melodies feel oddly positive, from the guitars to the lilting singing. The chugging “Holy Mondays” and the hazy “Join the Race” are both a blast, reminiscent of the old-timey charm of Bigelf and Danava, a good indication of how likeable this album is. One for the Roadburn crowd.

Mayhem, Esoteric Warfare (Season Of Mist): Mayhem is so overshadowed by its early legacy and notoriety that any attempt at making new music will forever be placed alongside the towering De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, or in some deluded cases, Deathcrush. But while the Norwegian band’s music will never reach that level of adoration again, you have to give it credit for soldiering on with its gaze cast forward. 2007’s Ordo ad Chao was a daring, polarizing statement, and the long-awaited follow-up is even better, thanks primarily to the addition of guitarist Teloch, whose clever, atonal riffing on The Konsortium’s excellent 2011 debut is reflected in even more primal fashion on Esoteric Warfare. In a way he’s the perfect foil for the inimitable Attila Csihar, his nonlinear, lurching yet oddly catchy guitar sounds matching Csihar’s persona step for step, punctuating, accentuating. As for Csihar, he’s in typical flamboyant form, growling, gurgling, and gnashing all over the record, spewing lyrics about manimals and frankenfood, he and the band proving to one and all that while the fans still cling to the early recordings like baby blankets, they’re willing to show a continuing passion for experimentation and growth. Personally, that’s far more interesting than dead singer album covers and murdering sociopath bassists.

Night Ranger, High Road (Frontiers): No, Night Ranger wasn’t even metal in 1984. Appearances in Circus magazine aside. Still, I like these guys without shame. Their ‘80s singles were brilliant, exuberant hard rock, and their last album was shockingly enjoyable. And I’ll be damned if new tunes “High Road” and “I’m Coming Home” make me smile. Either Night Ranger is on a nice little creative upswing, or like my friend Jen insists, I’ve suffered a stroke. It’s probably the latter – Jen’s always right – but I’m not complaining.

Spiders, Mad Dog (Reaktor): It might be only a single, but the latest song by the Swedish hard rockers is a scorcher. Led by former Witchcraft guitarist John Hoyles and the fiery Ann-Sofie Hoyles on vocals, “Mad Dog” the MC5, Stooges, and Alice Cooper, with Ann-Sofie providing some welcome Suzi Quatro sass. The band always keeps things straightforward and direct, never wasting time with jamming. They cut right to the chase, and as a result their music has a bite that few Swedish retro rockers can match. 2012’s album Flash Point was outstanding, and this track is a good indication that the band is still as fiery as ever.

Tombs, Savage Gold (Relapse): Tombs might be a longtime Decibel favorite, but as strong as the Brooklyn band’s work has been – especially on 2011 Decibel album of the year Path of Totality – the music, rich and intense as it is, has always been in need of a little more color than was already there. Surprisingly, it’s with death metal producer Erik Rutan where Mike Hill has found that middle ground between extremity and texture. Amidst typically throttling songs, “Echoes”, “Deathtripper”, and “Severed Lives” offer welcome, moody respites, working so well that you can’t help but wish Hill would explore this more gothic side of his music even more. Then again, people want extremity from Tombs, and they get it in a huge way on this album, hitting an early high with “Edge of Darkness” and reaching a crazed climax on the closing “Spiral”, one of the best tracks Hill and the band has ever recorded.

Trap Them, Blissfucker (Prosthetic): Crust riffs, d-beats, psychotic vocals, Kurt Ballou production, and best of all, songs played with passion. It’s exactly what you’d expect from Trap Them, and all you’d ever want.

Not metal, but worth hearing:

Wife, What’s Between (Tri Angle): In the wake of the abrupt end to the wonderfully mercurial and innovative Altar of Plagues, James Kelly has quickly returned with an album that is even more surprising than last year’s outstanding Teethed Glory & Injury. Created in collaboration with The Haxan Cloak, one of the most exciting figures in electronic music, and ambient producer Roly Porter, Wife at times echoes the martial, industrial quality of Author and Punisher, but instead opens the music enough to let in more subtle, haunting melodies, which at times are reminiscent of James Blake. Minimal and beautiful, it ranges from the ethereal (“Heart is a Far Light”), to the jarring (“Salvage”), to moments like “Dans Ce” where you get the sense that he’s on the verge of something special, desolation and warmth incongruously intertwining.

Follow me on Twitter at @basementgalaxy

Celebrate 10 years of Seventh Rule by winning all their records

By: jonathan.horsley Posted in: contest, featured On: Monday, December 23rd, 2013

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What with a holiday season to service and a ten-year anniversary to celebrate, the good people of Seventh Rule Recordings have doubled down on the good cheer and offered you the chance to win their entire vinyl discography in their 10 Year Glitch Prize Package

Says a dispatch from Seventh Rule’s Portland HQ: “Seventh Rule has been around for 10 Years now, and its been a beautiful blur. We’ve seen highs and lows, but are happy and thankful to all the people who continue to support us through the years. Such a milestone deserves a contest of epic proportions…”

Now, they didn’t have to do this to make us love them. Over the last ten years Seventh Rule have built such a reputation for putting out antisocial, disquieting and unique records from the likes of Indian, Batillus, Author & Punisher and Atriarch, that their name is a guarantee of quality.

More than half these records are now out-of-print, all of them are pretty awesome; some are already classics in the extreme metal pantheon . . . Or certainly neo-classics; The Unquiet Sky, for sure, Furnace and Forever the End to name just three.

**To win, email your name and address to tenyearglitch@seventhrule.com before midnight PST, Dec 31st. If your name comes out the hat, you get one each of these:

Sweet Cobra – Praise LP (Red Vinyl)
Akimbo – Elephantine LP (180G Vinyl)
Buried At Sea – She Lived For Others But Died For Us | Single Sided / Etched LP (Swirl Grey Vinyl)
INDIAN – The Unquiet Sky 2xLP (BLOOD RED#11 and EASTER YELLOW#2 AsideBside Vinyl)
The Makai – The End Of All You Know LP (Grey Marble Vinyl)
INDIAN – Slights and Abuse LP (Coke Bottle Clear Vinyl)
INDIAN – The Sycophant LP (Bloody Sun Vinyl)
Sweet Cobra – Bottom Feeder | Single Sided / Etched LP (Black Vinyl)
Wetnurse – Invisible City 2xLP (#7 Green / Black Splatter Vinyl)
Light Yourself On Fire – Intimacy LP (Yellow / Black Nuclear Style Vinyl)
Millions – Gather Scatter LP (Crystal Clear Vinyl)
Coffinworm – When All Became None LP (Bong Load Green Vinyl)
The Swan King – Eyes Like Knives LP (180G Vinyl)
BATILLUS – Furnace LP (180G Vinyl)
Atriarch – Forever The End LP ( Crypt White Marbled Vinyl)
Thergothon – Stream From The Heavens (Reissue) LP (180G Orange Vinyl)
Wizard Rifle – Speak Loud Say Nothing LP (Vinyl Bong Random Colored Vinyl)
Author & Punisher – Ursus Americanus LP (Grey And White Marbled Vinyl)
Stoneburner – Sickness Will Pass LP (Blood Marbled Vinyl)
Atriarch – Ritual Of Passing LP (Rozz Williams Red Vinyl)
Author & Punisher – Women & Children LP (White #1 with Black Splatter Vinyl)
Gnaw – Horrible Chamber LP (SILVER P19 with RED#3 Haze Vinyl)

Ts and Cs as follows: Only one entry per person and use a valid email address so they can actually send you the records, oh, and Seventh Rule will cover shipping charges.

In the meantime, you might want to get a little present to yourself and visit the Seventh Rule webstore; it is running a 33 per cent off offer. Just use coupon code “10YRFTW” at the checkout.

May the odds be forever in your favour.

Seventh Rule on Facebook
Seventh Rule Recordings on BandCamp

In Person Aural Devastation: Author & Punisher Live

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: featured, videos On: Monday, September 16th, 2013

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Decibel has made no secret of our love for the idiosyncratic have-to-see-it-to-believe-it one-man doom behemoth Author & Punisher. And these insane videos from the band’s recent performance at the Fillmore basically speak for themselves. So…further comment is probably unnecessary. The new record, Women & Children, is available here. Bonus: The Lynch-ian video for “Terrorbird” after the jump.

For Those About to Squawk: Waldo’s Pecks of the Week

By: andrew Posted in: a fucking parrot previewing new releases, featured On: Friday, May 31st, 2013

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Holy hell! I’m FIRED the peck up about this band from Baltimore. NOISEM release Agony Defined on A389, and man, is this a ripper! Part old-school Kreator, part old Pestilence at times, these kids — and I do mean kids — get this deathy thrash thing down pat. This thing moves and breathes, and has a stellar production from Kevin Bernsten of Triac fame. Recently opening the Maryland Death Fest, and soon one of the Scion Fests, one should be on the lookout for this monster of a CD/12-inch. There’s enough variance here to not make it samey and boring like a lot of the newer thrash bands. This has one foot FIRMLY in the death vein, and the other in amped-up thrash. Do yourself a favor and check this out. My favorite release of the year so far. 9 Fucking Pecks

Well, I’m on a tear with things I like this time. Seventh Rule release the industrial sludge of AUTHOR & PUNISHER’s Women and Children, and your fine feathered friend has been looking forward to this since the latest release of Ursus Americanus. This is hard to peck down, really, at times sounding like Godflesh or Swans, at times kinda veering off into uncharted sludge territory. This thing is pecking PUMMELING. A one-man band from California who performs with servos and moving machinery that he engineered, the live show is nothing to squawk at either. Industrial, sludge, doom, noise terror. 8 Fucking Pecks.

BLACK DAHLIA MURDER‘s Everblack. Well, one should know what to expect from this melodeath band, this being their sixth release and all. And, well, there’s not much to say about it except that it’s a BDM record. That being said, it’s not derivative or boring. This thing is pretty mean, and melodic at times. The production here is a little dry, but not too dry; everything can be heard clearly and it does have feeling. There’s something in the production I don’t really like that I can’t really put my beak on; maybe it’s a little midrange? It’s hard to really peg down, but it could be my avian ears are a little blown out. This is a fine release, and one the band should be proud of. How many death metal bands can say that their sixth record is great, or even good? Not many, but BDM can certainly fly that flag. Go on with your bad self. 7 Fucking pecks.

Man, I feel almost too positive here. Until we meet again. Waldo out!

STREAMING: Ides of Gemini’s Hexagram 7″

By: Jeff Treppel Posted in: featured, listen On: Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

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As you can tell from the giant picture there, our very own J Bennett has a band (he’s the one that isn’t wearing a dress)– along with drummer Kelly Johnston and Black Math Horseman’s Sera Timms – and they’re pretty awesome. Hell, Ghost picked them to be their sole opener on their current North American trek. Just imagine if Siouxsie Sioux had been signed to 4AD and listened to lots of Isis. They put out their full-length debut, Constantinople (not Istanbul), last year. Now they’ve followed that up with the Hexagram 7″. Two very different songs represent the breadth of their style. On the “A” side, you have “Spectral Queen,” a dark, heavy slice of postpunk hypnosis. Flip it over, and you’ve got”Darkness at Noon,” a creepy, ethereal piano piece. Obviously, the ideal way to hear these is on vinyl, but if you want a sneak preview, we have both tracks streaming exclusively below. Turn off the lights and enjoy!

See them on tour with Ghost this spring.

4/16/2013 — Las Vegas, NV – The Bunkhouse +
4/18/2013 — Denver, CO – Ogden Theater
4/19/2013 — Albuquerque, NM - Sunshine Theater
4/20/2013 — Phoenix, AZ – Lost Leaf *
4/22/2013 — Tempe, AZ – Rocky Point Cantina *
4/23/2013 — Tucson, AZ – Rialto Theater
4/25/2013 — San Francisco, CA – The Regency
4/26/2013 — Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
4/27/2013 — Seattle, WA – Showbox Market
4/28/2013 — Bellingham, WA – Shakedown *
4/29/2013 — Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom
4/30/2013 — Calgary, AB – Republik
5/01/2013 — Edmonton, AB – Starlite Room
5/03/2013 — Winnipeg, MB - Garrick Center
5/04/2013 — Minneapolis, MN – Mill City Nights
5/06/2013 — Toronto, ON – Opera House
5/07/2013 — Montreal, QC – Corona Theater
5/08/2013 — Quebec City, QC - Theatre Petit Champlain
5/10/2013 — Boston, MA – Royale
5/11/2013 — New York, NY – Webster Hall
5/12/2013 — Philadelphia, PA – Trocadero
5/13/2013 — Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
5/15/2013 — Milwaukee, WI – Turner Hall
5/16/2013 — Bloomington, IN – The Bishop *
5/17/2013 — Detroit, MI – St. Andrews Hall
5/18/2013 — Pittsburgh, PA – Mr. Smalls
5/19/2013 — Cleveland, OH – Now That’s Class *
5/20/2013 — Chicago, IL – Cobra Lounge *
5/21/2013 — Lincoln, NB – Zoo Bar *
5/22/2013 — TBD *
5/24/2013 — Los Angeles, CA – The Echoplex #

* IDES OF GEMINI only
” IDES OF GEMINI w/ Author & Punisher
+ IDES OF GEMINI w/ Demon Lung
# IDES OF GEMINI w/ Boris, Deafheaven

***Pick up Hexagram on Saturday, April 20 at your local Record Store Day event, courtesy of Magic Bullet records. You can get Constantinople here.

For Those About to Squawk: Waldo’s Pecks of the Year

By: andrew Posted in: a fucking parrot previewing new releases, featured On: Friday, December 28th, 2012

waldo NYE

Well boys and girls, we’ve survived the apocalypse, and there’s not much coming out soon, so I’ll review my best of this year. In case you missed my expertly honed reviews, you should check these out. I will put a caveat that these are in no particular order.

Napalm Death, Utilitarian
Grind, grind and more grind. This is their strongest outing in some time. Fast and concise.

Goatwhore, Blood for the Master
This is a fine slab of blackened thrash. And, oh yeah, they hate God.

Evoken, Atra Mors
Transcendental doom. Not unlike dISEMBOWLEMENT, this slab of meanness moves, and breathes life into a sometimes stagnant genre.

Pig Destroyer, Book Burner
This is the best record ever, of all time, period. (You think I’m biased?)

Zombiefication, Reaper’s Consecration
Like some old school in your death metal? These brown metal dealers bang your brain with retro vengeance.

Phobia, Remnants of Filth
This slab of grind starts up like a pit bull, never lets go. Blasts, sore throat vocals and general filth–this does not disappoint.

Locrian, The Clearing/The Final Epoch
This is called “ambient black metal,” and it very well may be: moody and dark, bordering on evil.

Deathspell Omega, Drought
Oft discussed and never seen, this EP of brutal black metal smacks you in the face, repeatedly, like a whole bunch.

Municipal Waste, The Fatal Feast
Thrash anthems to beer, the man, and mutant space people that exist on human flesh. What could be better?

Mares of Thrace, The Pilgrimage
A sludge-doom amalgam that both rocks and slays at the same time

HAARP, Husks
Sludgy swamp-influenced doom, There is no easing into this record. Put it in and turn it up to the maximum volume.

Dying Fetus, Reign Supreme
Slams. This is death metal, pure and to the point. This is nasty, vile, troo death metal made to kick you in the dick.

Neurosis, Honor Found in Decay
Epic. It’s Neurosis, goddammit. There’s not much here that will shock anyone, but prepare to take a fucked-up journey with Neurosis as your tour guide.

Afgrund, The Age of Dumb
Although the record cover is dumb, the music is short, blistering and to the point.

Gaza, No Absolutes In Human Suffering
Nihilism, short and to the point. These guys hate Jesus, life and you, and go a long way to prove it sonically.

Black Sheep Wall, No Matter Where It Ends
Dark and twisted, BSW are the definition of doom, and this release will flatten you like a monstrous steamroller.

Dragged Into Sunlight, Widowmaker
This is just fucked-up, swirling eddies of black, disgusting hate.

Author & Punisher, Ursus Americanus
One foot in industrial, and most definitely heavy, this one-man machine blurs the edges of traditional music to bring you one spiteful package.

That’s it for now, I’m SURE there’s a ton I’m forgetting, but hey, I smoke seeds.–Waldo

STREAMING: Author & Punisher “Terrorbird”

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, videos On: Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

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Not sure if you’ve missed out on “industrial doom metal” one-man outfit Author & Punisher, but if you own a Godflesh record, maybe a pre-suck Pitch Shifter 12″, or think Scorn’s Vae Solis is the only Scorn LP worth playing in the solitary confines of your treasured abode, then we think you need to stand up, wipe off the “I’m jaded” dandruff, and check out Tristan Shone’s music to end all music project.

While Author & Punisher could’ve been an Earache band when the label mattered, the super-sweet aspect of Shone’s DIY robo-pocalypse sound is that everything’s generated from hand-made “instruments”. No, he’s not gluing a computer circuit board to a guitar, but actually crafting—no, engineering—his own sonic methods to destroy earholes. So much so he’s caught the hawkeyes of Yahoo and Wired, the latter a geek institution of the highest order.

Check out the superbly lensed video for “Terrorbird”. Directed by Augustine Arredondo and starring Rob Crow (Pinback, Goblin Cock). And lots of spewing human fluids from parts and sources unknown.

** Author & Punisher’s Ursus Americanus is out now on Seventh Rule Recordings. It’s available HERE to appease the ear systems of cyborgs, audio algorithms of robots, and humans who think they’re mechanical, which includes several of Decibel’s Decibel-award winning staff.

STREAMING: Agalloch’s “Faustian Echoes”

By: zach.smith Posted in: featured, listen, tours On: Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Untitled

At the end of March, Agalloch announced that it had completed work on new EP Faustian Echoes. The band had originally planned to release the effort—one 20+ minute song (the longest of its career) recorded live onto two-inch tape—on its upcoming US tour, but on Sunday, roughly a week before its first show, made it available for digital release on its bandcamp page (though for the time being the LP and CD versions will only be sold at shows). While the track spans the wide breadth of the band’s musical endeavors, the gorgeous guitar interplay with, and soloing over top of, the riff that comes in at 6:14 is an early highlight, as is Billy Anderson’s production, which captures the track’s live feel.

We’re beyond stoked that the band behind our favorite album of 2010 has put out a new track, but it was just as interesting (at least to us) to see the other material the band has made digitally available. Since Agalloch is well-known for having a treasure trove of sought after über-rare releases—check out this or this for starters—it’s nice to see Jon Haughm and company willing to make some of that material available to a wider audience at comparatively rock bottom prices. For example, you could either download both tracks from 2003′s Tomorrow Will Never Come EP for $2 or try your luck on eBay and find yourself paying over $200 for one of 500 copies of the 7″. It certainly seems like a win-win for the band, particularly given that it has never seemed interested in profiting on the insanely high prices people seem willing to pony up for their releases, instead letting secondary markets generate, and profit from, the markups.

As for its upcoming “Faustian Spirits” tour, the quartet has promised that it will be playing a rotating setlist of both new (presumably including its namesake) and old material. All dates below with Taurus:

7/11 in Portland, OR at Branx w/Eight Bells
7/12 in Seattle, WA at the Crocodile w/Eight Bells
7/13 in Vancouver BC at the Rickshaw w/Eight Bells
7/14 in Spokane, WA at The A Club w/Eight Bells
7/16 in Bozeman, MT at Zebra
7/17 in Denver, CO at Bluebird Theater w/Velnias
7/18 in Omaha, NE at Waiting Room w/Velnias
7/19 in Milwaukee, WI at Miramar Theater
7/20 in Chicago, IL at Reggie’s
7/21 in Ann Arbor, MI at Blind Pig w/Musk Ox
7/22 in Cleveland, OH at Beachland Ballroom
7/23 in Toronto, ON at Opera House w/Musk Ox
7/24 in Montreal, QC at Petit Campus w/Musk Ox
7/25 in Boston, MA at Middle East
7/26 in Brooklyn, NY at Williamsburg Music Hall w/Musk Ox
7/27 in Philadelphia, PA at Underground Arts
7/28 in Springfield, VA at Empire
7/29 in Raleigh, NC at King’s Barcade
7/31 in Tampa, FL at Orpheum
8/01 in Atlanta, GA at The Earl
8/02 in Birmingham, AL at Bottletree w/Pallbearer
8/03 in New Orleans at One Eyed Jack’s w/Pallbearer
8/04 in Dallas, TX at La Grange w/Maleveller
8/05 in Austin, TX at Red 7
8/08 in Phoenix, AZ at Rhythm Room
8/09 in San Diego, CA at The Casbah w/Author & Punisher
8/10 in Los Angeles, CA at Echoplex w/Oskoreien
8/11 in San Francisco, CA at Great American Music Hall

*Photo by Veleda Thorsson

Paradise Lost [#92] – June 2012

By: lucas Posted in: On: Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

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Metal’s Most Underrated Band

FEATURING
Call & Response with Prong, Torche, Q&A with Matt Pike, Special: the making of Pantera’s Vulgar Display of Power, Decibel Hall of Fame: the making of Unsane’s Scattered, Smothered & Covered
ALSO
Nachtmystium, Royal Thunder, Kill Devil Hill, Enthroned, Author & Punisher, Nocturnal Torment, Occultation, Barren Earth, Ufomammut