Hey Everyone, Gather ‘Round for KSP’s Over-Intellectualisation of Impaled Nazarene

By: kevin.stewart-panko Posted in: featured, interviews, listen, stupid crap On: Thursday, April 24th, 2014

deciblog - impnaz fire

Admittedly, I haven’t been an obsessive listener of Impaled Nazarene since their formation back in 1990 in the shadowy flanks of Finland’s goat brothels. However, the 2000s have had me come around to the realms of fan-dom and once they started making regular rotation at the ol’ homestead, I noticed something on each of their last few albums. Now, before I ramble on, please remember that whole business about music being open to subjective interpretation and your personal experience with any one song/album/band is bound to differ from mine and yadda-yadda-yadda. Anyhoo, the last few ImpNaz albums appear to have a single song on each that differs wildly from the others, making said track a very obvious stand-out, to these ears at the very least.

2007’s Manifest has “You Don’t Rock Hard” which contrasts the searing black metal of the main program with its approximation of cock rock being played a hundred miles an hour.

Previous album, 2010’s Road to the Octagon has “Gag Reflex” which features the head-on collision of Italian hardcore, vocals right off Destruction’s Infernal Overkill and an awesomely spindly and shredding lead harmony.

Their latest full-length, Vigorous and Liberating Death showcases “Martial Law,” a track with a drastically different tone from the rest of the record with full-on bass domination, a more obviously punkier feel paving the way for a ripping bass solo to boot. So, when I had the chance to chat with founding member, frontman and all around inadvertently hilarious goat fucker, Mika “Sluti666” Luttinen, I decided it was time to spill my observations out on to the table for insider analysis and (hopefully not too much) mocking and ridicule.

deciblog - impnaz

“[Laughs] I think you’re listening too hard, man! I think the whole thing is that all of us write songs, so you actually have four song writers in the band. I do all the lyrics, but I also write music and we all have very different backgrounds and like different things. Most of my songs are very punk and easy; you can tell which songs are written by me. It’s funny because all of the songs you mentioned, all of them were written by different band members, so I guess it’s never that one person is writing one type of thing. After Manifest it became very critical; what we were going to put on the record itself. I think the problem with that album was that it was a mish-mash of really different kinds of things and some of them didn’t really fit our style. So after Manifest, the four of us agreed we were going to keep it very fast, heavy and brutal, cut out all the bullshit parts of the songs and make the songs shorter because I think the short, fast songs fit Impaled Nazarene the best. With “Martial Law,” that was a song done by our bass player [Mika "Arc v 666" Arnkil] and he knows that I love bass solos. I fucking love them and I think it’s fucking great to have bass solos on the albums. He wrote the song and was like, “Either we can put lyrics on this ‘C’ part or I’ll do a solo.” It was pretty clear that he needed to do a solo and I think it’s fucking great! That started back with the Latex Cult album because “Motorpenis” had a bass solo on it instead of a guitar solo. We don’t have bass solos on every album, but lots of our albums have tracks with bass solos.”

Vigorous and Liberating Death is available now courtesy of Osmose Productions.

*’fire and ice’ photo by Jarkko Viitasaari*

Decibrity Playlist: Floor

By: zach.smith Posted in: featured, interviews, listen, lists On: Thursday, April 24th, 2014


Florida may not always have the most sterling reputation, but it’s produced a slew of the bands that we cover and love. For starters, consider Atheist, Hate Eternal and many Morrisound alumni. As Jason Heller detailed in our latest issue, Floor–another Sunshine State spawn–returns next week with its first new record since 2004′s Dove (which was really recorded in 1994, so let’s go with 2002′s eponymous full-length debut) after reforming in 2010. We could go on and on about the trio, but instead we asked Floor drummer Henry Wilson (that’s him in the middle) to tell us about some of his Florida legends. In case you were wondering, they’re in no particular order. You can pick up a copy of his band’s new record, Oblation, here.

Assück–Live (Bremen 1998)
Rob and Steve–if you’re listening, do this: Assück reunion 2015. The kids want it. I bet an Assück tour for charity would be massive. Bosses for life. Hope you both are well.

Morbid Angel’s “Chambers Of Dis” (from 1998′s Formulas Fatal To The Flesh)
I cannot talk highly enough of Formulas Fatal to the the Flesh. It is my favorite metal album.

2 Live Crew’s “Ghetto Bass II” (from 1987′s Move Somethin’
Huge influence on Floor. At least my appreciation for half-time. This record swept up my middle school.

Bee Gees’s “Nights On Broadway” (from 1975′s Main Course)
Miami dudes. You might of heard of them. Diamond Status. I like this performance a lot.

Floor–Oblation (2014)
My dudes. I’m a be that guy and name drop our new record Oblation. This is us living very much in the now.

*Pick up a copy of Oblation here and be sure to catch Wilson and company on the following dates:

Wed, Apr 30 2014 US Miami, FL Churchills
Fri, May 02 2014 US Gainesville, FL The Wooley
Sat, May 03 2014 US Charlotte, NC The Casbah @ The Tremont
Sun, May 04 2014 US Washington, DC Rock
Mon, May 05 2014 US Brooklyn, NY Saint Vitus Bar
Tue, May 06 2014 US Philadelphia, PA The Barbary
Wed, May 07 2014 US Alston, MA Great Scott
Thu, May 08 2014 US Buffalo, NY The Tralf
Fri, May 09 2014 US Pittsburgh/ PA Smiling Moose
Sat, May 10 2014 US Grand Rapids/ MI The Pyramid Scheme
Sun, May 11 2014 US Chicago, IL Double Door
Tue, May 13 2014 US Denver, CO Moon Room
Wed, May 14 2014 US Salt Lake City, UT Bar Deluxe
Fri, May 16 2014 US Portland, OR Branx
Sat, May 17 2014 US Seattle, WA Chop Suey
Mon, May 19 2014 US San Francisco, CA Elbo Room
Sat, May 24 2014 US Los Angeles, CA The Satellite
Sun, May 25 2014 US Fullerton, CA Slide Bar
Mon, May 26 2014 US Tempe, AZ Yucca Tap Room Free show
Tue, May 27 2014 US Albuquerque, NM Launchpad
Thu, May 29 2014 US Austin, TX Red 7
Fri, May 30 2014 US Dallas, TX Club Dada
Sat, May 31 2014 US Birmingham, AL Bottletree
Sun, Jun 01 2014 US Atlanta, GA The Earl
Mon, Jun 02 2014 US Orlando, FL Backbooth
Tue, Jun 03 2014 US Tampa, FL The Orpheum

**Past Decibrity entries include:

Iron Reagan
Fight Amp
Junius (Part 1) (Part 2)
East Of The Wall
Drugs Of Faith
SubRosa (Part 1) (Part 2)
Vattnet Viskar
Orange Goblin
God Is An Astronaut
Primitive Man
Scale The Summit
Mikael Stanne (Dark Tranquillity) (Part 1) (Part 2)
Mouth Of The Architect
Kings Destroy
Call of the Void
Saint Vitus Bar
Soilwork (Dirk Verbeuren) (Björn Strid)
Inter Arma
Helen Money
Misery Index
Ancient VVisdom
Holy Grail
Rotten Sound
Ancestors (Part 1) (Part 2)
Kowloon Walled City (Part 1) (Part 2)
Aaron Stainthorpe (My Dying Bride) (Part 1) (Part 2)
Early Graves
All That Remains
Bison B.C.
A Life Once Lost
Fight Amp
Witchcraft (Ola Henriksson) (Magnus Pelander)
Vision of Disorder
Anders Nyström (Katatonia) (Part 1) (Part 2)
“Best of” Rush (Part 1) (Part 2)
Shadows Fall
Greg Mackintosh (Paradise Lost) (Part 1) (Part 2)
“Best of” Meshuggah
Barren Earth
Shane Embury (Napalm Death) (Part 1) (Part 2)

Slayer Release New Song, Sign With Nuclear Blast

By: andrew Posted in: breaking newz, featured On: Thursday, April 24th, 2014


Almost exactly a year after founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman’s untimely passing at age 49, Slayer have reemerged with not only their first new studio recording in five years, but a surprising departure from their longtime label. The Big Four’s most consistent horseman — already recognized twice in the Decibel Hall of Fame – had been a mainstay on American Recordings for 28 long and fruitful years, but after completing their 12th album later this fall (tentatively scheduled for early 2015), Slayer will be releasing new music on their own as-yet-unnamed imprint on Nuclear Blast.

For a sample of what Kerry, Tom and now Paul Bostaph have in store, you can head to www.slayer.net to download new single “Implode” for free. If it sounds a bit different, it’s because the band is also parting ways with longtime producer Rick Rubin; “Implode” is produced by Terry Date and co-produced by Greg Fidelman.

“Rick has played a huge role in our career — we’ve made some great albums with him,” frontman Tom Araya said in a press release earlier today. “But today is a new day, record companies don’t play the kind of role they once did, and we really like the idea of going out on our own, connecting directly with our fans, and Nuclear Blast is fired up about taking on that challenge with us.”

“The prospect of helping Slayer take a leading role in the creative process surrounding their releases, projects and other cross-promotional opportunities is the ultimate honor for me, a metalhead who grew up in Los Angeles listening to Slayer,” added Nuclear Blast label manager Gerardo Martinez. “Nowhere in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that Nuclear Blast would be making history alongside one of the best bands in metal.”

Brainsqueeze II Photo Gallery

By: justin.m.norton Posted in: featured, gnarly one-offs On: Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Brainsqueeze Day 2 / 2014

The second Brainsqueeze Fest put on by our friends at Tankcrimes was held last weekend in lovely Oakland. Our friend and frequent Decibel contributor Raymond Ahner was onhand for the second day to capture the festivities and document them. Check out our exclusive photo gallery below courtesy of Ray.

Sucker For Punishment: Dying, Screaming

By: Adrien Begrand Posted in: featured On: Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014


Ever since I saw them play twice at Roadburn 2013, I’ve been spouting a lot of praise about power trio Satan’s Satyrs, whose idiosyncratic blend of proto-metal and Nuggets-era garage rock scratches an indescribable itch for yours truly. Equal parts boogie, psychedelia, and cheeseball horror, it’s ferocious, catchy, and enormously fun. Sure, it’s all reminiscent of when The Mooney Suzuki and The Warlocks were attracting a lot of press more than a dozen years ago for their own garage rock revival shtick, but Satan’s Satyrs bring swagger, darkness, and heaviness, and combined with Clayton Burgess’s affected whiny vocals, it gives the music a little more depth, not to mention mystery.

The Virginia band’s second full-length comes out this week, and while it can easily be said it’s More Of The Same of what folks heard on Wild Beyond Belief!, Die Screaming (Trash King) feels a lot more confident and refined, benefiting greatly by some significantly improved production. Songs veer from straightforward rock ‘n’ roll that lean heavily on Farfisa organ and wah-wah pedals to more robust sounds, but it’s the latter style that starts to dominate late in the record, as riffs reminiscent of Motörhead, Tank, and Jaguar propel “Lucifer Lives” into a decidedly more British heavy metal direction, while the sprawling title track explores doom in such a haunting and vivid way it’s easy to see why Burgess has been recruited as Electric Wizard’s new bass player. It’s here, during this concluding 20-minute section that you start to sense this band’s potential starting to turn into something concrete, where the word “gimmick” starts to fade from view.

Purchase Die Screaming here.

It’s an extraordinarily light crop of new releases this week, but here’s what else is out:

Andromeda, Shock (Southern Brigade): Mid-‘90s alternative metal with a progressive slant that sometimes dabbles in trance music, sung obnoxiously in Italian. If that’s your sort of thing, go nuts. Personally, I’m just going to slowly back away from this, and turn tail and run in the opposite direction.

Black Tar Prophet, Deafen (Domestic Genocide): This is exactly how you’d expect an instrumental industrial bass-and-drums duo to sound. Massively heavy, fuzzed-out basslines emitting thick, vibrating tones atop martial beats. Frankly, this album gets better when more of a classic doom swing is utilized, as on the groovy “Ring of Buzzards” and “Hypomania”, but that just doesn’t happen often enough.

Creinium, Project Utopia (Inverse): Pure kitchen sink metal, an ungodly mess of subgenres that is so bent on dipping its brush in every style as possible it loses focus mere minutes in. Adding to it all is that typical brickwalled sound that plagues mainstream metal, rendering it grating and unlistenable.

Ghoul, Hang 10 (Tankcrimes): A Record Store Day release, this is a fun little excursion by the Oakland joke thrashers into surf music that pulls it off well enough to make people take this band seriously instead of see it as a novelty.

Gunpowder Gray, Gunpowder Gray (Boris): This side project featuring a pair of members of Atlanta death band Disfigurement heads in a totally different direction, coming across as a mix of The Four Horsemen and Circus of Power. Which, personally, I am all for. There’s a total 1990 sleaze thing going on here.

Harakiri For The Sky, Aokigahara (Art of Propaganda): One of those situations where the music effectively mimics the melancholy melodies of Katatonia, Agalloch, and Woods of Ypres, but then the comical screaming kicks in, and there’s no way you can take this seriously anymore.

Skelethal, Deathmanicvs Revelation (Iron Bonehead): I wish I liked this latest Iron Bonehead release more, but sadly the French duo does little to distinguish itself from every other death metal band out there. If your music doesn’t leave a permanent impression on the listener, you’ve failed. It’s as simple as that.

Skinfather, None Will Mourn (Streetcleaner): This is a band that’s bound to click with Decibel readers. After all, they play a very distinct blend of robust Swedish death metal and Trap Them style crust, plus they’re protégés of perennial favorites Nails. What these kids lack in charismatic vocals is more than made up by the sheer ferocity of the music. It’s a good start.

Wrong, Pessimistic Outcomes (Xtreem): Slick black metal that thinks it can call itself “avant-garde” and get away with directionless songwriting.

Follow me on Twitter at @basementgalaxy

STREAMING: Aurvandil’s “Thrones”

By: Jeff Treppel Posted in: exclusive, featured, listen On: Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014


Aurvandil play sick folk-influenced black metal. You can listen to our debut of their second screed to the darkness below, and in the meantime, here’s the man himself to explain what’s going on.

What’s your writing process like? There are a lot of intricate layers going on in the music and that must be complicated to compose.

AURVANDIL is rather simple, 4/4 riff-based music with more or less subtle developments and the occasional leads. The intricacy is the alchemical reaction of all melodies and emotions falling in place, rather than the result of obscure and complex writing or technicality.

Are there any specific lyrical themes running through Thrones?

Hatred, isolation, bitterness, glory, purity, and the morbid yet peaceful contemplation of the End.

Why do you feel that black metal is the ideal form of artistic expression for you?

Black Metal is Catharsis, the unhindered reaction to modern deliquescence, covering a wide range of emotions and ideas/ideals. From misanthropic solitude to martial glory, through melancholic meditation to blasphemy, from total destruction to positive creation. From infancy to adulthood.

Do you feel that Thrones is the culmination of what you’ve done to this point or merely a stepping stone towards future achievements?

It is verily both. The end of a inward oneiric northbound journey, and the first stone indeed in building a definite sanctuary, a last stronghold.

 ***Get it from Eisenton records here.

Survival Knife’s Metal Edge

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: featured, lists On: Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014


After an extended layoff Justin Trosper of the late, much-mourned noisy post-hardcore heroes Unwound has returned with an excellent infectious-if-still-decidedly-off-kilter outfit of musical subversion, Survival Knife. Our Deci-antennae really started vibrating, however, when Trosper cited Enslaved and Opeth, among other extreme metallers, as influences for his new venture in a great interview over at Stereo Subversion, and, thus, the decision was made to hit the man up for a Top Five list.

He sent along instead was eight selections — a one-through-five plus three sixth place finishers.

Touché, kvlt friend.Touché.

Survival Knife’s Loose Power is out next week. Get into it.

1. Metallica — Master of Puppets

Bragging rights: I still have the cassette tape I got when this came out. I have had to argue against this record versus Ride many times over and it usually comes to a heated standstill. That being said, the two records together have deeply informed my own songwriting and guitar playing. To me, it is punk rock classical music but only “sounds” metal.

My metal tastes tend toward seventy percent melodic and thirty percent more abrasive with a Venn diagram overlap of about fifty percent Scandinavian heritage. Master of Puppets sort of fits that bill perfectly except that Metallica are only twenty-five percent Scandi.

2. Slayer — Reign in Blood

Like Metallica, I have a hard time picking a favorite with this band. It starts out so strong, the transitions between songs are perfect and it’s the perfect length. It still give me chills…the production is just really well executed. Classic albums are like this and not just a collection of songs. Metallers seems to understand this well, for better and worse.

3. Sleep — Dopesmoker

S. A. Destroyer (Nocturnal Breed) interviewed

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, interviews On: Monday, April 21st, 2014


** Norwegian thrashers Nocturnal Breed have been kicking it old-school for the better part of the last 15 years. Formed by guys originally associated with the black metal scene, but are now fully entrenched in the rigors of thrash, Nocturnal Breed know exactly what they’re doing on new album, Napalm Nights, the group’s first in almost a decade. Horns up and high tops on to S. A. Destroyer (aka Kenneth Svartalv Skibrek Halvorsen) and his band of ‘Breeders!

It’s been seven years since Fields of Rot. What prompted you to get Nocturnal Breed together again?
S. A. Destroyer: It has kinda been a long slow buildup to the point we’re at now. The band never broke up or anything like that. But we needed to get that good old feeling back in the band. Too many years had gone burrowing down into personal shit and since the start of the band 18 years ago, and we needed to find back to that original path we were on. We actually spent years talking about how we should do things in the future and to re-kindle that feeling that really inspire us to do what we do. And when we lost our two former guitarists Ben Hellion and A.E Rattlehead back in the end of 2010 and the start of 2011, we understood that it was about time to get the wheels rolling again, but in a more concentrated version. So, we just started talking more and more about doing a new Nocturnal Breed album. And when V.Fineideath joined the band, the spark really lit up like a new flame. He had been a friend of the band since the early beginning, and he’s been sharing bands with T.Terror in a bunch of different death and thrash metal bands in the hillbilly area of ‘Fetsund’ since the early ’90s. So he was a natural pick for us. Also, it must be honored that he more or less carried the band on his shoulders to make this whole thing work again, and we are eternally grateful for him being this dedicated to the band. Then I.Maztor decided to join the band early in 2011, and it felt like someone just flicked on a switch, and the old feelings came creeping up the spine again. Another big driving point to keep the band going and to record a new album has been the way the whole metal scene has evolved into the toilet through the last 20 years. Facebook and its like has also contributed to a shitty vibe, I think. It’s just not hard enough to break through as a band anymore! And it is at times too easy for the old long-distance runners, in all genres, to surf the waves of past glories, without being put to question for the quality of their music, like all upcoming bands have to answer for endlessly, like being trapped under ice, before getting the approval stamp and the keys to the realm. But all in all, shielding the eyes from some ugly ‘bumps in the road’, I’m very glad the whole metal scene, as a unison, is rising out of the muck again. This decade bears much more promise than the last two did I think. And this is really inspiring us to give it a go again.

What were the members of Nocturnal Breed doing in the years between records? I’m sure you guys have day jobs.
S. A. Destroyer: Well, the other guys in the band have got day jobs; T.Terror owns a car-saloon shop, where you can get your vehicle shined and pimped and blinged up. I.Maztor is a chef and makes some killer food. And V.Fineideath is the computer tech in the band and works at a big export company. Personally, I refuse to be driven through the grinder like that. I spend my days writing and recording music as well as writing books and scripts for movies and TV series. I live in the middle of the woods, with no Internet and humans around, and I’ve got my studio and production office based here as well, in a 300 year old cabin next to my house. So, I guess I’m taking this creative shit as far as I can run with it. [Laughs] During these last seven years, all of us has spent time doing all kinds of different other music projects and bands. I spent several years finishing a bunch of albums and projects I had been keeping in the drawer for way too long. Such as Aiwass, Antikrist, Combath, Svartalv, Nåe and Cold Orbit. I also do a lot of the lyrics for the 1349 albums, and I guess I’ve been with them as a ‘shadow’ member since they got started way back then. It has been through these projects I think we in a way built up the urge to give it a go with the new album. Especially [the Conjuration [EP] has been an inspiration to do. Exploring a much more wicked music style, both lyric-wise and musically. It is a death metal project that included, apart from myself, my right-hand Breedsters T.Terror and V.Fineideath. In fact they almost had to kick my ass to get me into doing this project. I was kinda drifting into too much personal shit. T.Terrors’ consistent nagging for me to get up off my ass and to do this project helped me get my head out of my ass. And this again made me think more about getting Breed moving again. So, after recording Conjuration, The House on Nuclear Hill, and doing some gigs related to that, we really got down to renovating the Breed. In a way, The band has been cursed with bad luck ever since the very get-go of its creation, and these last years has been no exception to the rule. There has been a lot of shitty obstacles and hurdles to get through, from personal shit to more band-related stuff. So, I’m glad we came out ‘head first’ and ended up in a place feeling much more comfortable than we’ve ever felt before.

The lineup’s slightly revamped. Sounds like you’re “in for the kill” with the current members.
S. A. Destroyer: Most definitely, man! The atmosphere in the band nowadays really flipped on the ‘kill-switch’ for us. And I guess the last seven years building up for this really has made the blood-lust in us grow to the point that we’re pretty damn hungry for some new meat and to kick some ass again. As I talked about earlier, that good ol’ feeling is back, and that just takes the band to new levels, man! The fact that we got V.Fineideath on guitars really lifted the band to a new stage of aggression and ‘steadiness.’ He riffs like no one I’ve ever played with before. He’s steady in that Exodus, Slayer kinda way, you know. And this lays down a very tight and machine gun-like mortar to the new songs, that makes it so much more pleasurable laying down the rest of the music. As well as Live, he’s like a wall off tightness and precision, taking the live act to a more aggressive layer than before. Then there is Mr. I.Maztor, who was a big part of the early days of the band, and forging it into what it is today. He was our first permanent lead guitarist, and he did some wicked work on the albums No retreat… No Surrender and The Tools of The Trade, as well as a bunch of EPs, 7″‘s and all the tours and gigs in the ’90s. He took a 10-year retreat back to Alta, at the very top of Norway, in 2001 to take care of his family and re-group his forces. But still playing in bands like Slogstorm and other projects. He came in and added that very rare extra touch to the band. And we almost immediately started working on a new album when he joined us again. kinda like having our personal Randy Rhoads back from the grave. His style, that is very inspired by Adrian Smith and Andy La’Roque, amongst many others, makes up quite an impressive array of feelings and techniques that suits our sound very well, I think. And it makes it feeling like we’re back in the starting pit again, in a positive way of course. This and the fact that T.Terror and I really have found the sound and feeling we’ve been after for so many years, makes the band kick and scream like a mother fucker again.

Looking back on Fields of Rot, what did you do differently on Napalm Nights?
S. A. Destroyer: I guess a whole bunch of things, really. The months leading up to the recording was a bit chaotic in terms of how, when and where to do the actual recording and mixing. At the start of the album process we intended to record the album more or less live, and planned to build a studio in our rehearsal place, having Ravn from 1349 doing the engineering. But we never really got down to doing this because the songs weren’t finished yet and we still worked on how we wanted the sound to be and details like that. We were very sure that this time we wanted the album to be darker and more ‘cruel’ sounding than the previous ones. This is probably just a result of the before mentioned irritation over the weakling sound that overtook the last decades. We simply wanted this album to be raw like a fresh wound and heavy with the influences that made metal into metal in the heydays of the ’70s and ’80s without turning it into a cliché act. Monkey see monkey do, you know. And you add your own twist on it. On the Fields of Rot album we also had most of the songs pre-written and planned out, but the studio was very inexperienced and was only built shortly before the recording. Thus making the album recording a very prolonged adventure both for us and the engineers. It resulted in a very good album and some awesome tracks, but there was a little here and there that should’ve been dealt with. Like the drum sound, for example. It’s a bit too cardboardish’, I think. And my throat was very fucked up around the time I did the vocals, making a lot of [the songs] sounding far from what I had in mind. This time around every key really fitted the lock, so to say. Opposite of the last album and more in thread with what we used to do on the first albums, al ot of the music and sound, and the actual outcome of the tracks, was made and created while in the studio. Killer studio and our co-producer Nicolai Ryen Christiansen is very much to thank for the final outcome of this album. ‘Nico’ really got the clue and essence of what we do and what we where after. And he had tremendous patience, time and effort to put into this album, and I think it really shows in the individual songs and the totality of the final product. He really let us experiment more with sounds and recording settings than we’ve had on previous albums. As well as taking the time to let us write the music in the studio, something I’m sure all engineers find pretty damn boring at times. [Laughs] Compared to former albums, this time it just felt 100 percent right, and the lineup we have now just gave the band back that rotten ol’ feeling we shared in the vile infant days together. I guess this really shines through in the aggressiveness and intensity we ended up with on Napalm Nights. But the most important factor and difference I think, is that we really let all four individuals in the band have time to explore and record their parts to their own fashion and liking. The drums T.Terror put down on the album has a lot of the intensity similar to that of a drummer like Mickey Dee or Lombardo, and that drive was just crucial to getting the songs to plow on like they do. And this comes very much from having the time and right feeling without time pressure and shit like that. When we record we really don’t give a damn what other bands play or how we should try to fit into this whole mishmash of genres and terminologies of it all. We just do our shit as our souls spew it out. And what comes, comes. And like the way I live, out here in the boonies, I have almost no influence or clue of what is really going on out there in the metal landscape. In my mind, it’s still mid-’86, man. And the killer music is chain bombing our ears just outside the door, and the room smells fresh off patches, denim and bullet-belts. So, I guess this makes it easier to create stuff straight from one’s own core of the bone. And that was important during the recording process, to just listen to one’s self without putting down too many boundaries. Playing the songs as they, in a way, asked to be played.


BREWTAL TRUTH: Drink This Now!

By: adem Posted in: featured, liver failure On: Friday, April 18th, 2014


One of the least brewtal beers we included in our Brewtal Truth Guide to Extreme Beers had to have been Shmaltz’s He’Brew Jewbelation Sweet 16. Well, the beer itself was pretty insane—16 hop varieties, 16 types of malt and brewed to 16% ABV—but the pastel-colored label, complete with little dancing unicorns, didn’t accurately represent the beer inside. Jewbelation is the brewery’s anniversary beer, so every year, they go one notch bigger with the hops/malt/ABV. And since 2012 was their “Sweet 16,” they packaged it accordingly. Their most recent anniversary brew (actually released in 2013, but still in tip-top shape) is, of course, all about 17, and it’s that much bigger and gnarlier. The “reborn” part of the name refers to the fact that Shmaltz now has its own brewery. For its first 16 years it contracted another brewery to make its beer. This is called being a “phantom” or “gypsy” brewer now, but back in the day, being a contract craft brewer that relied on others to make your product was looked down on by some. Oh how times have changed.

He’Brew Jewbelation Reborn 17
Strong Ale
Clifton Park, NY
17% ABV

Just so you can see exactly what 17 different kinds of hops and 17 different kinds of malts look like, here’s the complete list of both. HOPS: Warrior, Columbus, Apollo, Palisade, Golding, Tettnang, Ahtanum, Cascade, Czech Saaz, Centennial, Chinook, Santiam, Simcoe, Summit, Amarillo, Citra and Crystal. Typically a combination of a few hop varieties are used in most beers, some for bittering, some for aroma. Recently single-variety brews have become popular. This is kind of the opposite of both. It’s basically a dogs breakfast of hops, and we can assure you that none particularly stand out.

On the MALTS side we have: 2-Row, Vienna, Munich, Spelt, Rye, Wheat, Einkorn, Emmer, Chocolate, Crystal Rye, Dark Crystal, Roasted Barley, Roasted Wheat, Flaked Oats, Caramunich 40, Carapilsner and Kiln Amber. Malt can add both flavor and color and because this brew is basically black there seems to be plenty of dark malts in it. We’re guessing that this combination of malts was less about flavor-building and more about just being able to claim that there are 17 different kinds in there.

Now, as much as we may chide the (probably) unnecessarily long ingredient list, the beer itself, as it turn out, is quite something. Like the anniversary it’s celebrating, however, you’ll only want this about once a year. And why not now during the Jewish Passover? It is kosher, after all. But at 17% ABV it’s also way stronger than wine.

Beers this big, in fact, are different beasts altogether. We can assure you, you won’t want more than about a 10- to 12-ounce pour of this, so plan on sharing a bottle with someone. It’s not because the beer is bad, it’s just incredibly intense. The closest thing to compare Jewbelation to would be a Russian Imperial Stout. Visually it looks like one and it has a lot of the same aromatic characteristics: dark chocolate, cherry, booze, coconut, vanilla. Based on that, you can see where this might be heading taste-wise.

This is a mouthful all right. There aren’t too many beers out there that have an alcohol sting to them, but this one certainly does in the long, lingering bitter finish. Not surprisingly, there is a hell of a lot of sweetness here. A mountain of malt must have gone into it. There are notes of chocolate, coffee, cherry, smoke, macerated raisins and burnt marshmallows (right at the finish). And, oh yeah, booze. Did we mention the booze? Yikes. It’s like someone dropped a shot of Canadian whisky in our imperial stout.

Every craft beer drinker should know what a 16% or 17% ABV brew tastes like. These aren’t easy to make well and they require a lot of effort and a shit-ton of ingredients. The results may not be to your taste, but they are something to behold. And keep this in mind if you do try one: drinking half of this 22 oz. bottle is the approximate equivalent to drinking three 5% ABV beers. Seriously, sip it slowly, enjoy its complexities, admire its strength and then wait another year for Jewbelation 18 to arrive so you can repeat the experience.

Adem Tepedelen’s new craft beer book, Decibel Presents the Brewtal Truth Guide to Extreme Beers: An All-Excess Pass to Brewing’s Outer Limits, is now available in the Decibel online store.

There’s nothin’ creepier than 50-year-old men singing about lovin’ up a 17 year old girl. Enjoy.

Noisem and Occultist release split covers 7″ on A389 Recordings

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, listen On: Friday, April 18th, 2014


Record Store Day (RSD) is tomorrow, April 19th. Record Store Day was created to celebrate and extract cash from habitual brick and mortar record store junkies (hey, Decibel are record store junkies). But the best thing about RSD is that labels, large and small, produce cool one-offs for collectors (nay, junkies) to stash, drool on, or, let’s be honest, eBay.

One such label is Baltimore-based A389 Recordings. They’ve corralled Noisem and Occultist, where they cover Repulsion’s “Slaughter Of The Innocent” and The Plasmastics’ “The Damned”, respectively. Check them out below!

Everyone understands that some punters can’t make it out to RSD, so A389 will have a limited amount of 7″s available — strictly 100 — via the label’s webstore. The 7″ features a kick-ass cover by Szymon Siech and said 7″ comes with “a huge 24×36 movie poster”, which is rad for rehearsal rooms and lonely bedrooms.

The Noisem/Occultist is available HERE at midnight on 4/19.


The Noisem/Occultist split is part of A389′s split series. So far A389 has nailed down a split with Integrity/Vegas and Ilsa/Seven Sisters of Sleep, which featured cover songs from the movie, Bedazzled. Weird, yes. Awesome, yes.