Musk Ox: Video Premiere Part 1

By: Posted in: featured, tv, videos On: Wednesday, November 26th, 2014


What’s a Musk Ox? Is it some sort of rare delicacy that your backwoods family member serves up at Thanksgiving Dinner? According to the sages at Wikipedia a musk ox is: an Arctic mammal of the family Bovidae, noted for its thick coat and for the strong odor emitted during the seasonal rut by males, from which its name derives.

Alright then; it’s a big creature that smells when it gets horny. Perfect name for a band. Will it fight a Mastodon?

But Musk Ox actually isn’t crust or sludge or doom as the name implies. It’s a neofolk project formed by Nathanaël Larochette. The band says the project “blends Neofolk’s lush acoustic textures with the expansiveness of post rock, the intricacy of progressive rock, and the emotional weight of metal.” You should put aside our juvenile puns and check out the music because it’s beautiful and perfect for the season.

We’re hosting two videos on the making of the band’s new album Woodfall below. The second video will follow on December 1. Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving.

The Decibel Black Friday Book Buying Guide

By: adem Posted in: featured, stupid crap On: Wednesday, November 26th, 2014


For the next few weeks, the Western world will devote much of its time, energy and money to buying stuff. Mostly for other people. And all in the name of a Christian holiday. Or maybe a Jewish one. I don’t think there are any Satanic holidays this time of year and if there are, I’m not totally clear on the whole gift-giving protocol. Maybe a pigs head or goat gall bladder? Regardless, if you’re reading this, chances are you will be participating in this massive exchange of commerce.

We’d like to make an appeal to you before this season starts. Give your money (in a manner of speaking) to us. Decibel, believe it or not, has a lot of talented writers in its employ. Some are so talented that they have even seen their names listed on the New York Times Bestsellers List—cough, cough, John Darnielle—but it’s not like we’re keeping score as to who’s better or best or who was long listed for prestigious literary awards (again, Darnielle). Anyway, to help you with your seasonal gift buying, we’ve assembled a list of the many tomes our staff and contributors have written in hopes you’ll consider purchasing one of these and further showing your support for Team Decibel.

Many of these can be found at independent book stores, which are like the vinyl-carrying indie record stores of the book world—a dying breed. So, if you’re going to be out there spending your money on Black Friday or, better yet, Small Business Saturday, look for some of these titles. We’ve included links to titles that you can purchase online through Decibel (a small business) or other indie endeavors.

disposed of

Andrew Bonazelli
A Regular (available through Vitriol)
The Dreamt and Deathless Obscene (available through Vitriol)
Disposed Of (available through Towering Achievements)

wolf white van

John Darnielle
Wolf in White Van: A Novel
33 1/3 Black Sabbath: Master of Reality

choosing death

Albert Mudrian
Choosing Death: The Improbable History of Death Metal and Grindcore (available through Decibel)
Precious Metal: Decibel Presents the Stories Behind 25 Extreme Metal Masterpieces (available through Decibel)


Kevin Stewart-Panko (with Justin Smith)
Do You Have Anything to Declare (available through Vitriol)

morbid tales

Mark Rudolph (edited by Rudolph and also featuring the illustrations of Bruno Guerreiro)
Satan Is Alive: A Tribute to Mercyful Fate (available, along with several other of Rudolph’s comic books and illustration collections here)
Morbid Tales: a Tribute to Celtic Frost (available from Corpse Flower)


Adem Tepedelen
Decibel Presents the Brewtal Truth Guide to Extreme Beers: An All-Excess Pass to Brewing’s Outer Limits (available from Decibel)

soul on fire

Jeff Wagner
Mean Deviation: Four Decades of Progressive Metal (available from Bazillion Points)
Soul on Fire: The Life and Music of Peter Steele (available for pre-order here)

Sucker For Punishment: Housecleaning – I Mean, Gift Guide!

By: Adrien Begrand Posted in: featured On: Wednesday, November 26th, 2014


As a Canadian I can’t help but marvel at American Thanksgiving. The sheer brilliance of it: make it a Thursday holiday, which’ll in turn compel people to take Friday off, and just like that you’ve got a four-day weekend. Unless Remembrance Day or the February statutory holiday falls on a Thursday, we don’t exactly have that experience here up north. So to my American buds, I salute your country and its knack for fun little loopholes like that.

Anyway, Thanksgiving is always the official start of the holiday spending season, and because we are now in that deadsville new release period of the year, for a little fun I’ve slapped together a little gift guide for Decibel readers, featuring plenty of stuff that’s either appeared in my mailbox over the year, my email inbox, via social media, or which I’ve simply gone out and bought as a fan. Either way, there should be something you like here. So enjoy, and have a fabulous Thanksgiving while the rest of the world wonders why Twitter is so dead on a Thursday.

New Music:

The new release schedule might be entering its December dormancy, but good music is still trickling in. Primordial’s Where Greater Men Have Fallen (Metal Blade) is a very welcome return by the Irish pagan metalers, featuring some of their strongest material to date, not to mention the best production on any Primordial record to date. Powerviolence band Full of Hell have teamed up with noise maestro Merzbow, and the resulting album, fittingly titled Full of Hell/Merzbow (Profound Lore) is a wickedly intense, sneakily catchy 24-minute piece of work that meshes some rather ambitious grindcore and abstract ambient work with great creativity. Listen and purchase it via Bandcamp. And then there’s the mighty AC/DC, who after an eventful year for all the wrong reasons, cap it all off with Rock or Bust, their best new album since Fly on the Wall 30 years ago. I’ll review it in full next week when it comes out, but in the meantime go stream it at iTunes and think about whom you want to buy it for.

Music BluRay, DVD, etc.:

It’s been a fairly slow year for metal video releases, but a handful have stuck out for yours truly. Gojira’s Les Enfants Sauvages (Roadrunner) is as good a live album/concert film as I’ve seen in recent years, a near-perfect snapshot of one of the best live bands in the world in action. Meshuggah’s The Ophidian Trek (Nuclear Blast) works better as a live album than as a concert film, but is still an essential purchase for fans of the band. Meanwhile Rush’s gigantic R40 box set compiles the band’s last five BluRay releases, and as a tantalizing bonus, tosses in two hours of bonus material, including video footage of a complete performance of “2112”.

Wait, cassettes are still a thing?

I refuse to buy into the idea that cassettes are a viable option as a music medium in 2014, but once or twice a year I will make a rare exception, and the one cassette I didn’t hesitate to buy is Gatekrashör’s self-titled debut album. Not only is it a ferocious, riotous dose of filthy speed metal in the tradition of Exciter and Nasty Savage, but the Calgary band have taken upon themselves to faithfully recreate the cassette design of the highly influential Canadian underground label Banzai Records, whose old tapes have become collector’s items, and for many of us old-timers and old-at-hearts, fetish objects. You see this tape, and you go, I must own that. And you definitely should. Purchase Gatekrashör on cassette here.

Yes, metalheads do read books:

2014’s been fairly lively when it comes to metal-themed reading material. Mike “McBeardo” McPadden’s Heavy Metal Movies is yet another hugely enjoyable release by Bazillion Points, whimsically delving into the connections between metal and cinema. For those looking for more serious subject matter, Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult, by Dayal Patterson (Feral House) is a well-researched, exhaustive history of black metal that, despite its curious (condescending?) ignorance of USBM, nevertheless is a worthy inclusion to any kvltist’s bookshelf. Handshake, Inc. has come through with a pair of essential books too: Extremity Retained: Notes From the Death Metal Underground, by Jason Netherton of Misery Index, is a massive, 480-page history of death metal that fully deserves to stand alongside Daniel Ekeroth’s Swedish Death Metal and our own Albert Mudrian’s Choosing Death. Then there’s Dan Lilker’s Perpetual Conversion, which chronicles the life and career of arguably the coolest guy in all of metal, with all the charm and likeability of the man himself.

The great, prolific Martin Popoff continues to churn out the books, but none in 2014 was better than The Big Book of Hair Metal: The Illustrated Oral History of Heavy Metal’s Debauched Decade (Voyageur Press), a coffee table-sized volume that chronicles the rise and fall of glam/pop/hair metal with studious attention to detail, featuring loads and loads of insightful quotes from many artists. I can’t recommend this one highly enough, it’s a total pleasure.

The notion that metalheads are gentle souls just like anyone else is hardly news to those of us in this scene, but that doesn’t make photographer Alexandra Crockett’s Metal Cats (powerHouse) any less adorable, as musicians pose with their favorite felines. Plus the proceeds go towards helping save cats, so why not?

Two years ago Decibel illustrator Mark Rudolph released Satan is Alive, a wonderful comic book tribute to Mercyful Fate, and this fall he’s followed that up with Morbid Tales! A Tribute to Celtic Frost. Featuring illustrations and commentary by far too many artists and metal writers to mention, this is a no-brainer, a must-own. I pre-ordered a copy, and you should too. Get it here.

Lastly, if you read Decibel, you know who John Darnielle is from his monthly South Pole Dispatch at the end of every issue. Not only is he an incredibly talented Decibel writer, a wickedly sharp metal fan in his own right, and a rather famous indie musician, but he’s also a best-selling author now. His novel Wolf in White Van (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) has met with universal acclaim, and was nominated for the National Book Award, and although I haven’t read it yet (it’s in my possession as of today!) I’m very optimistic. His book about Black Sabbath’s Master of Reality contains probably the best writing about teen alienation I have ever read, and I expect Wolf in White Van to be as enjoyable a book, if not more.


Metal fans love horror movies, and I saw my share in 2014, and I haven’t enjoyed a horror film in 2014 as much as Dead Snow 2: Red Vs. Dead. It expands on the original Dead Snow to a loopy, gory, hilarious degree: not only are there Nazi zombies, but Soviet communist zombies as well, plus a group of geeks led by Martin Starr (?!) who help do battle. And then there’s the horror movie love scene to end all horror movie love scenes. It’s a total blast, and comes out on DVD and BluRay on December 9.

When it comes to more serious fare, no flick in 2014 comes close to the ambition and vision of Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin. Starring Scarlett Johansson and featuring a mesmerizing soundtrack by Mica Levi, it’s not the usual effects-ltden sci-fi movie mainstream audiences expect, but takes its cue from Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris, going for something a lot more vague, more meditative, and quieter. It requires you to think, to absorb, to lose yourself in its mind-blowing beauty. This is one you have to see on BluRay.

As for re-releases, the Criterion edition of David Lynch’s 1977 masterpiece Eraserhead is, hands down, the finest BluRay movie release of the year. The restored visuals are stunning, the supplements are thorough and highly entertaining, and best of all, that weird, weird story about Henry Spencer, his deformed baby, and that Lady in the Radiator is as thought-provoking and disturbing as ever.

What about gear?

If you write on a personal blog well enough and long enough, promotional items practically fall into your lap. One day I was asked if I wanted to review a new pair of headphones, and seeing that freelancers can never say no to free stuff, I said yes. Well, it turns out that my pair of LSTN Troubadours is easily one of my favorite things of 2014, giving me exactly what I want out of a headphone, and what I was in need of, quite frankly. I don’t want that battery-boosted sound that the more popular modern headphones provide, I’m always interested in something more understated. LSTN is totally old school and organic, in both its aviator-style design and its sound. Featuring wood, housed speakers that fit comfortably over the ears, it’s all about warmth, and whether on the iPhone or listening to the turntable, my ebony Troubadours feel great and sound even better. It lacks that bass boost that other headphones give, so if you listen to more rock/folk/classical than electronic and hip hop, these are an excellent fit. I can’t recommend these highly enough. Check them out here.

The ultimate 2014 album guide!

I can’t write a gift guide and not include the current issue of Decibel now, can I? Metal fans wait all year to check out and argue over Decibel’s annual 40 extreme albums list, and more than a few use it as a guide to figure out what albums they’re going to purchase for themselves over the holidays that they might’ve missed. So if you haven’t seen it yet, buy the new issue here.

Reality check:

On a more humanitarian note, the folks in Ferguson, Missouri are having the worst year ever. Amidst the murder of an innocent youth by police, the prosecutor’s shoddy parody of justice, the tear gassing of peaceful protesters, the violence and looting, the Ferguson Public Library remains open for the youth of the community, and is always accepting donations. Go help them out.

Follow me on Twitter at @basementgalaxy

From Internment to Obliteration: Jucifer’s “It Can’t Be Helped”

By: Jeff Treppel Posted in: exclusive, featured, listen On: Tuesday, November 25th, 2014


Those who follow Jucifer’s twitter feed will know that they harbor some pretty strong political beliefs, but it’s taken them until now to launch a full-scale assault on the very institution of democracy. District of Dystopia contains their shortest screeds to date, the duo’s wall of amplifiers redirected towards grindcore instead of their usual filthy doom. Considering how grind started as a political statement, it makes sense. Of course, just because the songs may be shorter, it doesn’t mean that they don’t still have the careful, intelligent research the band is known for. “It Can’t Be Helped,” the second song off the record, tells the story of our nation’s shameful internment of  Japanese Americans during World War II. You can hear it for yourself below with our exclusive premiere.

***Pre-sale bundles for District of Dystopia cds are now open at (order button is just below donation button on the homepage) and the gatefold digipaks will also be available at shows beginning December 6th in Little Rock.  Look out for both a cassette version via Handshake Inc and an LP courtesy of Alternative Tentacles in early 2015.

Here are the tour dates coming next in Jucifer’s never-ending road war – shows get added often, so keep an eye on the website:



STREAMING: Dellacoma “My Kinda Woman”

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, listen On: Tuesday, November 25th, 2014


There are plenty of times when the Decibel staff will put down our Bolt Thrower, Watain, Paradise Lost, and Napalm Death LPs in favor of something more, well, rocking. If our EIC had his druthers—and he does—The Darkness might edge its way into the Hall of Fame one day. So, it stands to reason, Aussie-’Merican rockers Dellacoma have kangaroo-kicked their way onto the Deciblog with new track, “My Kinda Woman”.

Dellacoma features in their ranks Rick Reynolds on bass, Art Struck on guitar, Matt Cook on drums, Dellacoma Rio on vocals. The group recently trekked through the US on their debut tour, which saw the quartet hit 80 venues in just about as many days. While itinerant and woman-buckling, Dellacoma also managed to record their self-titled debut. Produced by Chris “Frenchie” Smith (Jet, The Darkness, Scorpion Child), the band’s first full-length is a rock dream, recorded as analog as humanly possible to get that ’70s feel without being subservient the big-time productions of the era.

It’s time to open the closet, take out those skeletons, and shake a few legs to Dellacoma’s “My Kinda Woman”.

** Dellacoma’s debut album is available for pre-order now (HERE). It’s self-released, too. If that matters, knowing where your green goes directly to Dellacoma.

Fister Video Premiere: Not What You’re Probably Thinking…

By: kevin.stewart-panko Posted in: exclusive, featured, gnarly one-offs, videos On: Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

deciblog - fister

Lemme tell you a little story about how I offended a good number of folks in a room full of people I had just met or hardly knew. I know what you’re thinking: “You’re only going to tell us one story?” I know, right? Anyway, I was working. Seriously, a real job and everything. What I was doing is inconsequential, but suffice to say at the time of this incident, I was in a waiting/herding area surrounding by many of my colleagues who happened to be from all corners of Canada and the world. We all had two things in common: the work we were there for and that we all had time to kill. Some people whipped out phones to sate their Angry Birds addiction, some people shot the shit, some people read, I donned the ol’ headphones and sank into a couch with some tunes. As time ticked along and the wait became longer, a couple of people ended up engaging me in small talk by introducing themselves before asking what I was listening to. Without thinking (as is usually the case on the best of days), I blurted out “Fister. Their (then) new split with The Lion’s Daughter called And Their Master’s Bled For Days. Awesome dirty doom metal, dude!” Cue looks of nervousness, unbelieving, surprise, horror and/or shock.

We extreme music folk sometimes forget we live in our own bubble where band names like Carcass, Death and Cannibal Corpse are the equivalent of a florist rhyming off, “daisies, roses and tulips.” Needless to say, after the inevitable double-take and come-again questioning, I was greeted with a variety of nervous tittering, various “Omigod”s, “How could you”s and probably forever branded as a potentially violent serial killer/sex offender because of my open admiration of that “kill you dog, rape you mother” noise. Hilarity all around. Makes you wonder what this St. Louis-based trio, those who would sport their merch and Washington Nationals pitcher, Doug Fister have to put up with on a regular basis.

The band aren’t going to be making their relationship with the mainstream any easier with the release of a provocative, self-shot and edited video for “Life is Short, Life is Shit and Soon it Will Be Over” off of their forthcoming split with Primitive Man to be released on Black Friday via A389 Records (which we will be streaming next week). We asked vocalist/bassist, Kenny Snarzyk to let us know about the video, give us some insight into its making of or about the process of writing the song. He was brief and terse in his response, to say the least:

“I like to think it kind of speaks for itself. I honestly don’t have anything too interesting to add. The title is a Kids In The Hall reference and there are a lot cops getting set on fire in the video. There’s a short sample of our other song at the end. Also, Primitive Man’s side fucking crushes. Sorry it’s brief. I really don’t know what to say about it. I’m glad it’s coming out.”

Here it is. Look for a stream of the split sometime next week:

UPDATE: In a just-before-going-live response to what’s happening in Ferguson, MO at the moment, Snarzyk wanted to add the following post-script, expanding upon his original response above.

“Kevin originally asked me if I had anything to say about the video and I didn’t have much to say aside from my regular ‘fuck cops.’ In light of what’s happening in my city right now I should mention a few things.

1. The footage I used (aside from us performing) was compiled back in March during the heat of the Crimean Crisis in the Ukraine. It made me feel like people can still fight against the corrupt powers that try to oppress common civilians and it inspired me deeply. It had nothing to do with the murder of Michael Brown. In fact, Michael Brown’s murder was months after I edited this footage with our track.

2. The rioting in St. Louis right now is being orchestrated by two horrible groups of people. Opportunists and cops. Opportunists are looting stores and attacking people. Cops are gassing peaceful protesters. They are waging war on people that are sick of having their civil rights stripped away to nothing. I myself, have never been to a single protest in my life. I’m not going to act like I’m on the front line of any protests peaceful or otherwise. Right now I’m sitting on my couch listening to the sirens wail down the highway I live next to. What’s happening in St. Louis right now is horrible, but people are hurting here. They feel they can’t trust the very government that is supposed to protect them. There’s a strong us-vs.-them mentality between the lower class and the police right now and there is no one to blame but the police.

3. I hope that Darren Wilson goes blind and deaf and lives a long painful life in constant fear for his safety. He hurt our great city deeply and I will never forgive him for what he’s done. ACAB

Photo by: Corey Woodruff
A389 Records
Fister Facebook

The Curious Case of Quiet v. Loud: Exclusive CityCop Stream

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: exclusive, featured On: Tuesday, November 25th, 2014


Ever wonder what it would sound like if a screamer from one of those early nineties post-post-hardcore bands got together for a jam session with a group of flamenco musicians?

Well, wonder no more. We’ve got Loner, the latest offering from “acoustic-core” outfit CityCop streaming below, and, love it or hate it — yeah, we got a comments section — the album has a pretty singular feel to it.

Tour dates after the jump…

Clobberin’ Time: Sick Of It All On The Evolution Of Mosh

By: Posted in: featured, gnarly one-offs, interviews On: Monday, November 24th, 2014


This is the time of the year to acknowledge the things you’re thankful for. One of the things we’re very thankful for is that we’ve been alive to experience multiple Sick Of It All shows. SOIA has long exported their brands of New York City hardcore to the world – as well as their intensely physical and unpredictable shows.

A Sick Of It all show has always been an event, a place where you didn’t know quite what would happen but that you’d probably leave drenched in sweat and exhausted. SOIA bassist Craig Setari, a former competitive boxer, has been around for many of those shows. He’s also seen additional nuttiness during his time with Cro-Mags and Youth Of Today. He shared his memories of some of the wildest things he remembers – and his thoughts on what’s changed in the mosh pit during the years. Remember to check out Sick Of It All’s new album Last Act Of Defiance.

Were Sick Of It all shows always a place where people cut loose?

I booked Sick Of It all shows before I was even in the band – I was in my old band Straight Ahead. They (SOIA) were just starting out but they knew everybody and quickly became popular. They became one of the major bands in New York pretty fast. The first handful of shows were just a group of friends — 10 or 15 people singing along and piling up.

When did you start developing a reputation for physical and unpredictable shows?

That happened around 1988 or so. The crowds starting growing when the first wave of New York hardcore bands weren’t playing as frequently. A new generation like Sick Of It All was coming up – a newer breed. And there was a new, and more vicious, kind of crowd showing up that would go ballistic.

There weren’t a lot of the crazy restrictions and overzealous bouncers people need to deal with these days

Well, there were these situations where bouncers would go nuts and then someone would hurt the bouncers. There were a lot of misunderstandings in the 80s and 90s. But nowadays what we do is meet with them beforehand and tell them it’s going to be a wild show. A lot of times we don’t need to do that anymore but there was a period where we’d need to talk to a club and make sire everything was cool. Over time, I think this music has been going on long enough that people expect things to be a little crazy.

What are some of the nuttiest things you’ve seen at your shows over the years? I remember one of your shows in a small club — seeing people doing back flips in a place with really low ceilings.

There were so many wild shows back in the 80s. When I played in Youth Of Today the shows were crazy. It’s hard for me to talk about specific things but I’ve seen lights getting ripped out of ceilings, ceilings caving in and collapsing, PAs getting knocked over. That sort of stuff used to happen all the time. Of course, sometimes people get hurt. There was a show in Savannah in the late 80s where a guy was shooting off a shotgun … shooting trees, shooting out car windows. At the bar, people were playing Russian Roulette! And then when the cops came, they knew the guy with the shotgun so they went and had a couple of shots of whiskey with them! All this shit went on over the years. I’ve also seen the horrible side of it – people breaking their necks or getting stabbed. I never want to see people get hurt at a show.

At the same time, there are a lot of people who remember just exhilaration from seeing one of your shows.

It’s a great feeling when you’re playing a show and everyone is singing. You get chills up your spine. It’s a blessing, I mean, thank God. It’s such a nice way to celebrate life. It’s such a release and a good positive thing. There’s a lot of tension in the world and to let it all out is a great release. I’ve spent my life on this music and feel like I’ve had really good fortune.

Sick Of It All, Suicidal Tendencies, Slayer, DRI … these are the bands that after you’ve seen them you feel like you’ve been in the ring for three rounds.

Boxing is similar to playing hardcore. Put everything you have out there for someone to see. You’re basically naked for everyone to see and need to deal with it. Let it all hang out and see what happens.

Our society has become so litigious. When you think about that or a story like what happened with Randy Blythe overseas? Do you reconsider how you play?

Well, there are barricades a lot of shows. I understand that and understand there is liability. Kids can get hurt if they aren’t watching out. I wish stuff like that didn’t exist and we could let it all hang out. But it’s just one of those things. You can never say ‘don’t have a barricade.’ There’s so much suing and there is always a danger that something could stop you from playing.

Even with barricades, people will just try to dive over them. I’ve also seen them collapse on people.

They can make it worse. It’s a matter of people in the crowd being mindful. The difference from a while ago to today is that everyone was in the know then. Now, you have general audiences coming to the show. There’s nothing wrong when some kid who likes Metallica comes to a punk show. Everyone is welcome. But they might not understand the dancing style at a hardcore show — and someone not looking the right way might get hit in the head.

The Last Act Of Defiance isn’t your last act, is it?

I’m so bad at playing the role of “it might be our last record.” It’s just the name of the record. We knew some people would think that and decided to keep quiet about it.

The album title Built To Last does seem strangely applicable.

I’m glad to hear you say that. I never had that as a plan it just sort of happened. I wake up and I get to be a hardcore guy and play bass. The four of us – this is what we are and we love doing it. There’s no reason to stop. We’re so wrapped up in it that there’s no reason to quit.

Withering Horrors: Exclusive FOSCOR stream!

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: exclusive, featured On: Monday, November 24th, 2014


Barcelona soundscape masters FOSCOR return with a brand new full-length tomorrow, but we’ve got the stream of this roiling, multidimensional, ethereal slab of majestic dark metal today.

Check out Those Horrors Wither below then click here to pre-order.

American Heritage: Album Stream and Song-By-Song Self-Deconstruction

By: kevin.stewart-panko Posted in: exclusive, featured, gnarly one-offs, listen On: Monday, November 24th, 2014

deciblog - am heritage

I didn’t realise it, but I’ve been a fan of American Heritage for a long time. When I say I didn’t realise it, it’s because the band which is split between Chicago and Atlanta haven’t exactly been the most prolific of outfits since forming in 1997, have probably played fewer shows than they have releases available (11) and they themselves say, “…we’re not really around anymore.” That doesn’t lessen the quality of any of their works, but admittedly, it’s easy to forget about bands when they’re not always in your face as bands are these days. I do, however, remember when American Heritage was an instrumental outfit and writing songs with goofy titles like “The Psychoreactive Flow in Cavernous Passages Under the Villas, Manors, Castles, Haciendas and Mansions of the Superpredator Class Has Poisoned the Potato Crops and Caused Eyes to Blaze with Blind Tub” back in the day. Today, the band’s sixth full-length, Prolapse is officially out and available via Solar Flare Records and the Deciblog is providing you with both a chance to give it a preview spin and read a little about it via a track-by-track “analysis” by guitarist Scott Shellhamer. Ordering and contact info below.

By Scott Shellhamer
“Eastward Cast the Entrails”
This song was the biggest pain in the ass to write. We kept unfinishing it. Well, to be fair to the other guys, I kept unfinishing it. We’d have a practice and have it pretty much done, then six months later we’d have another practice and I’d want to completely rearrange it and add different parts or take stuff out. I was clearly a pain in the ass with this one. This song made our bassist Erik [Bocek] cry in the practice space hallway once.

“Anxious Bedwetter”
[Bassist/vocalist/guitarist] Adamn [Norden] and [drummer] Mike [Duffy] had a writing session on their own down in Georgia. This came out of that. When we write it usually works that one person brings a bunch of related parts and then we all shove them together and add more riffs to that as a group. They already had half of this one in the bag, then I shoved a bunch of stuff in and Mike did his arrangement tweaking. Writing on this one went really smoothly [which is] a rare treat for us.

When we were writing our last record Sedentary we decided to stop over-thinking things as much. This was pretty liberating for us. We got into the habit of writing what we called “burners” when we would be struggling with another more involved song. These were songs that we would write very quickly and then not be able to change later. This is one of those “burners”. Mike wanted to give vocals a rip so he did the yelling on this one.

“Constant and Consuming Fear of Death and Dying”
This is another song that came out of the Adamn and Mike’s Georgia writing session. This is one of the few times where someone came to the table with a song pretty much complete.

“Mask of Lies”
I dig having guest vocals. In the period between Sedentary and Prolapse I did a tour filling in on guitar for Enabler. Jeff Lohrber seemed like an obvious choice for this song. I think he knocked them out in one take.

Right about the time Sedentary came out, we all went down to Mike’s place in Georgia to drink all of the beer, hang out on a boat, and blast fireworks off at his neighbours. Most of this song was written down there on that trip. Erik drank all of Mike’s whiskey (which was a lot) in one night. Here’s evidence:

“Hürtin’ Crüe” [Descendents Cover]
I’ve always loved the Descendents. Enjoy! was my first cassette by them and I listened to it endlessly. This song always struck me as uncharacteristically aggressive for them.

“Thirsty and Miserable” [Black Flag Cover]
This was a no-brainer. Mike did the vocals on this one as well. [Producer] Sanford [Parker] made us do it all in one take. No do-overs.

“Bulletproof Cupid” [Girls Against Boys Cover]
This one may seem like an odd choice to some. We all loved Soul Side. We all really dug GvsB. This song has always haunted me. I first heard it in Erik’s basement back when we were still in high school. It is the first riff I ever learned how to play on guitar. I’ve been friends with Mike Lust (Tight Phantomz, Football) for close to 20 years. His voice suited itself perfectly to the smokey-sex-slime feel.

Order the record from Solar Flare here.
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