STREAMING: Dragony “Burning Skies”

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, listen On: Monday, August 6th, 2012

dragony_powermetal_decibel_2012

If lazy journalism persists in music, it’d be easy to say Austrians Dragony are like the umpteenth band to use the word “dragon” as part of their moniker. Well, that’s just not true. Umpteenth implies like 1 in 5 bands use “dragon”. Like System of a Dragon, Dragon Corpse, Dragon of God, Dragonatonia, or My Dying Dragon, or DragonForce. Those are all fake names, of course. And lazy journalism persists only on the Interhole. So, using the Metal Journalists Friend (aka Metal Archives), there are approximately 36 (maybe 37) “dragon” bands to found using their shoddy search algorithm. Pretty impressive, but once you realize Dragony doesn’t come up in a “dragon” search, it’s curtains for whatever search-based analysis metal scribes like yours truly want to perform for the public.

What we’re going to do is let Dragony do the power metal talking today, which is rare for the Deciblog. There have been 2.345 power metal posts during the lifespan of Deciblog 4.0. Although, we don’t really know what Dragony actually means. Like, “Hey, I’m feeling a bit dragony today.” Or, “Wow, the weather looks dragony outside.” Or, “That’s some wicked dragony breath you got there.” Fun aside, the Medieval garb wearing Dragony have chops, the kind of chops that gets them noticed by Limb Music, the very same label responsible for Rhapsody’s ultimate dragony metal album, Legendary Tales. Hey, Dragony’s new album is called, Legends. Wait a minute…

PS. That’s not James Van Der Beek in the photo. Or is it?

** Dragony’s new album, Legends, is out August 14th on Limb Music. The link to order Legends is HERE, along with other commercial items with “Dragony” as part of their product name. Who knew “Dragony” was even a word? Guess non-English speaking folk often put a “y” at the end of a word. Like Sarcófago. Anyone remember the hot number, “Ready to Fucky”, off I.N.R.I.? We do.

Blut Aus Nord’s Cosmosophy Teaser

By: Dan Lake Posted in: breaking newz, featured, listen, videos On: Friday, August 3rd, 2012

BAN

Harrowing, multi-dimensional enlightenment is a fickle beast.  You expect it in extreme locales under strikingly improbable circumstances, perhaps while ingesting mind-altering substances… not so much in a well-lit library crowded with suits, police officers, and raggedy internet-moochers.  Yet here I am getting a hit of pure dark French terror-bliss, and my mind can’t manage to stay on this plane of existence.  You can try it yourself right here (just don’t say I didn’t warn you):

The Lazarus Pit: Rock Goddess’s Rock Goddess

By: Jeff Treppel Posted in: featured, lazarus pit, listen On: Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Three tough broads

Welcome to The Lazarus Pit, a biweekly look at should-be classic metal records that don’t get nearly enough love; stuff that’s essential listening that you’ve probably never heard of; stuff that we’re too lazy to track down the band members to do a Hall Of Fame for.  This week, Girlschool gets sent to the principal’s office by a few actual schoolgirls, courtesy of Rock Goddess and their eponymous debut (A&M).

People give Death Angel a lot of credit for being teenagers when they recorded their seminal debut, The Ultraviolence. Jody and Julie Turner were all of 13 and nine years old, respectively, when they formed Rock Goddess in 1977 – in fact, even by the time their debut came out six years later, they ran into troubles touring because Julie was still a minor.  They latched onto the nascent New Wave of British Heavy Metal, but presumably it took them a little while to hone their chops (and hit adolescence).  By the time they did, Girlschool had already hit the scene with a similar sound (despite actually forming a year later), leaving Rock Goddess as that OTHER all-female power trio.

That doesn’t mean that these gals didn’t kick some serious ass.  They certainly absorbed influences from all the same punk acts and nascent metal bands as their competition, but they had a cleaner sound, more rooted in metal and 70s rock than the overdriven Motorhead worship of Girlschool.  Jody Turner’s guitar sound was much closer to Judas Priest, and that chick could scream – you’re much more likely to mistake her for Wendy O Williams than Joan Jett.  Tracey Lamb, who would later go on to join Girlschool, wielded her bass with a surprising amount of funk, and the younger Turner sister hit the skins pretty damn hard for a 14-year-old (and had a kit that was way bigger than she was).

Their first record, Rock Goddess, came at the tail end of the New Wave, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t one of the scene’s peaks.  The album comes in at a taut 35 minutes, and they take advantage of every minute of it, packing each tune with hooks and fire from the snarling darkness of opener “Heartache” to the handclaps and gang shouts of closer “Heavy Metal Rock ‘n Roll.”  In between, there’s the punky burst of “Back to You,” the rage-filled “The Love Lingers Still,” the demonic “My Angel,” and the snarky double entendre of “Satisfied Then Crucified” (these girls sure had a lot of bitterness regarding love, considering they hadn’t even seen two decades yet at that point).

After this, they hooked up with Priest producer Chris Tsangrides for the underwhelming Hell Hath No Fury, followed by a third album that they couldn’t even find a label for.  It’s a shame, too; they had every bit as much talent and passion as Girlschool, but they’ve never achieved even the cult fame of that other act.  Still, at a time when the metal scene was overwhelmingly dominated by testosterone, they proved that little girls could rock just as hard as the big boys.

Buy it here!

Interview – Night Terrain

By: Dan Lake Posted in: featured, interviews, listen On: Friday, August 3rd, 2012

night terrain

Out of New Mexico’s oft-speculated desert sky flies the darkly evocative Night Terrain. The band members describe their particular style of racket as “equal parts space rock, doom metal, and stoner rock… riffs go from slow, sludgy and droning to uplifting, manic…” On July 24th, Night Terrain self-released their debut album, American Dream, which manages to paint twilit frontier landscapes with its precise balance of cosmic post-metal half-melodies, driven tempos, and poignant cultural samples. Rarely do project names nail a record’s vibe without resorting to distorted generalities. American Dream is one of those comfortable surprises, delivering on every external promise with a strong sense of personality and soulful connection. I know, this all starts to sound like a shameless press release, but check out the title track’s guitar solos and closer “Distant Echoes” acoustic introduction. These guys feed vivid dreams through their instruments and out your speakers. And incidentally, their taste in literature is impeccable (anyone referencing Murakami’s bibliography of surreal thrillers gets a free Captain Awesome cape and matching tights).

 Joe, Dave, and James were kind enough to answer some probing questions about their musical interests and habits, which you can find below the sample track “Dusk”. Try it on and see what you think.

How did you decide on the band name?  And when in the process did the album title come about?  I ask because the combination of band name and album title epitomizes the music.

Josef: Dave and I had been playing for some time and had some songs laid out but still hadn’t come up with a name. We booked our first show and still didn’t have a name picked out. I remember it being a Saturday morning when we stumbled upon it. I remember thinking “this music reminds me of landscapes.” I’ve always been a “horizon gazer”. Landscape was too much to say so I just started throwing out synonyms. For some reason I threw “night” in there too. Every suggestion we’d presented up until that point was categorically shot down by the other person. This was the first one where we both went “wait….yeah, I like that!” It’s auditory similarity to Nigh Train is constant source of humor for us as a band.

Dave, your bio says you moved from Rhode Island.  What music were you working on then, and what precipitated the move?

Dave: I had been playing music since I was a kid, basically, in a lot of bands that didn’t really go anywhere. Luckily in RI and MA there was a really strong music scene at the time, so even so I got to play in front of good crowds and open for some really interesting bands. I started off playing grindcore and black metal until I moved on to more melodic stuff, and at the time Maudlin of the Well/Kayo Dot became a big influence and I got to meet Toby Driver a bunch of times, which pushed me towards more post-rock kind of stuff. As for the move, we all do silly things for a girlfriend once in a while, and that was mine in 2006.

How does Night Terrain differ from other music projects you have worked on?

Dave: We’ve all done some really different stuff in the past, that is for sure. I had a bunch of bands before settling on a post-rock/hard rock band, then took a massive five year break from music. Joe was in a band with his friends called Separatist Faction for a good deal of years, which was more of a southern-feel death metal band and James has done everything from bluegrass to experimental noise projects and some straightforward metal bands. I think for all of us it is an interesting departure and we try to work in as much as we can from our influences and past experiences.

Do you feel that playing instrumental music puts extra pressure on you in terms of songwriting?

Josef: None of us have been in instrumental bands before and, generally, we don’t listen to a whole lot of instrumental music. There are times when I think we’ve all had inclinations to want or expect vocals. Part of that is due to default (everyone wants/expects vocals) and part of it is due to a potential need in terms of songwriting. That being said, the music stands on it’s own as a conversation between the three instruments. There’s definitely room for vocals, but to your point, we’ll definitely need to have vocals in mind during the song writing process. We’re also very aware of the listener’s expectation for vocals, That’s probably the most consistent feedback we get.

How particular are you about finding a specific sound for your instruments?

James: Tone-scapes are part of our overall musical mission. We’ll do these practices occasionally where we will experiment with tones by playing a rowdy progression through looper pedals on each guitar, looping in synch. The only way to get anything out of this is developing a killer sense of timing both with the looper pedal and your fellow musicians, and couple that with consistently logging amp and pedal settings on note cards, envelopes, receipts, flesh, what have you and linking them to recorded rehearsals. Regarding drums, Josef likes the snare to crack, not ping; toms should have a medium attack yet resonate deep and long. I built myself a ‘large beaver’ distortion pedal from some parts and a pdf, and Dave has been known to say guitar tone comes mostly from the fret hand!

Did the sampled material fit into existing music, or did you write music after having chosen the samples?

James: The samples started with American Dream, a song where the music was written first and it invoked in us this impending reflection on the countless iterations of the every day man’s life in our country’s quarter of a millennium history. The Carlin samples came from a late night perusal on YouTube precipitated by Dave.  That got us contemplating samples in a more general sense. There’s so much to choose from in today’s digital age, that what we select has to be really, fecundly important for the song. Then again, “Wild Again”’s mid-song bass progression was written [by] myself after I listened to a Joseph Campbell lecture given to me by a friend, so in that case the sample begat the song. To avoid copyright issues, some of our future selections may come from more obscure selections from the modern age of recorded speech, dialog, and lecture. Check out the Everything’s Terrible (I & II) DVDs if you want a glimpse into the 80′ and 90′s as we saw them – it was a strange time for Americans and their cable TV. No freaking internet or cell phones for most of us!

Are any members of the band listening to some oddball music that other members aren’t into?

Dave: Yes, lots of it. We all have some intersections with the basics, but then we all go all over the map. I think that Josef has a lot of the “metal base” for music with lots of Opeth, Mastodon, Arch Enemy and that kind of stuff, but he’s also an electronic music fiend and has been to a ton of shows and even has his own noise project, Sonicaust. James probably has more of the old school metal burned into him, like Metallica and stuff like that, but loves listening to stuff like Bob Marley, Beefhart and John Cage. My leanings are towards stuff like Prince, Bowie and Roger Waters while still being fascinated by straight forward guitar rock.

I’m always interested in the non-musical art or literature that worms its influence into music.  Anything you’re particularly into that served as inspiration?

James: We first rehearsed in an old warehouse downtown that served as a collective for artists of all sorts: potters, painters, sculptures, welders, mechanics, etc.  And so all this rusted, welded, glued and time worn stuff of man began to collect in and around the space. Somehow it must have made it into the music. Other sources, specifically from the written word, which struck our lives during writing and recording were Loren Eisely’s “The Night Country”, Guy Murchie’s “Seven Mysteries Life”, Animal Farm, Catcher in the Rye, 1984, Carl Jung’s “Psychology of Religion”, Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America”, Haruki Murakami’s “Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World”, Kurt Vonnegut, Malcom Gladwell’s books, etc.

Any other fun NT thoughts or trivia for our readers?

Josef: A running joke during the recording of American Dream was a phony vocal chorus during the fast part of the of the title track that went “everybody’s livin’ for the Taco Supreme!”

Tales From Hardside’s Hardside

By: kevin.stewart-panko Posted in: featured, gnarly one-offs, listen, uncategorized On: Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Hardside_Photo

Alright, doodz…get your flat-brimmed ball caps out and your buttoned-down plaid shirts to the ready; prime your spraypaint cans and paint markers in case there’s an unadorned wall you wanna tag up; don’t forget the little things, like a paper bag to hide your 40 ouncer when you amble on down to talk shit and hang out in front of the local tattoo shop; AND make triple sure, that if you’ve ever been in a band with Harley Flanagan, or are in a band he used to be in, you’re wearing something puncture-proof…. Sorry, am I being too stereotypical? Possibly. Maybe. But I figure we spend enough time picking on and pointing fingers at headbangers, why not another group of folks?

Check it out, I’m gonna make it up to all y’all. Here, I present to you, an exclusive advance stream of a track from the upcoming album by San Antonio’s Hardtime. Hailing from somewhere amidst the murky of Integrity’s desolation, Madball’s groove and Terror’s terror, the song (called “Hardside”) is taken from their upcoming album Time is Punishment which is set for release in a couple of weeks from now. Read all about it below, courtesty 6131′s clunky press release. Then, just take the time to revel in that motherfucking awesome cover art!

PRESS RELEASE:
HARDSIDE “TIME IS PUNISHMENT” CD / LP / Digital
OUT AUGUST 14th via 6131 Records

BIOGRAPHY:
Originally formed as a side project of another notable San Antonio, Texas act, Bitter End (Deathwish Inc.), and still sharing members with that band today, HARDSIDE have grown to be more than just another outlet for their members’ music. Instead, the band is poised to be one of the most active and well-known from their area. They have already made countless tours across North America, recently toured throughout Europe in Spring 2012, and regularly appear at festivals (including Sound & Fury Festival 2011 and 2012)… 2012 looks to be HARDSIDE’s most tour-intensive year to date.

To introduce the world to their recorded output, HARDSIDE offered up an EP, “Crucified,” in 2011 via 6131 Records. While serving as a great early taste of their potential, it’s not until their forthcoming full length, “Time Is Punishment,” that the band fully realize their music prowess. Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Paul Miner (Terror, Trapped Under Ice, H2O) and featuring artwork by Linas Garsys (American Nightmare, AFI, Ceremony), “Time Is Punishment” exhibits a masterful blending of their hardcore roots with more metallic influences. In fact, HARDSIDE may just be bending the rules nearly to the point of breaking, although with phenomenal results.

POINTS OF INTEREST:
* Hardside’s line-up includes members of Bitter End (Deathwish Inc.).

* “Time Is Punishment” was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Paul Miner (Terror, Trapped Under Ice, H2O).

* Album cover art created by famed illustrator Linas Garsys (American Nightmare, AFI, Ceremony).

* Recently completed a tour of Europe (Spring 2012) and will be touring throughout North America in 2012, all in support of “Time Is Punishment.”

www.6131records.com

Decibel Magazine Presents: The Biggest Pussies in Metal

By: shane.mehling Posted in: featured, stupid crap, things andrew hates, uncategorized On: Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

caroline

We’re all getting old. The bands we grew up idolizing are slowing down, retired or making geriatric mockeries of themselves. And sometimes we unfairly and harshly lash out at the newest crop of musicians for not being as heavy or “tough” as we were. I was one of those young, doe-eyed metal kids once, who feared a hulking longhair would take me down in the pit with his tattooed elbow. But I was accepted and never openly judged, and many times I’ve tried to offer the same tolerance to the younger generation.

This is not one of those times.

I guess you could consider me a “hater,” because that word is used (still) to describe whomever thinks this current gaggle of tear-stained metalcore phonies need to crawl back up the dainty, opportunistic asshole they slamdanced out of.

Now this is far from a comprehensive expose because YouTube is fucking filled with this shit. Head down the rabbit hole and you’ll barely escape alive without blond highlights. But I tried to be slightly discerning. Many of these bands are simply new Ratts or Poisons (or more like Faster Pussycats), dumbfucks who realized this kind of music was the easiest way to a music video and 19 different shirt designs.

For example, a band like Oceans Ate Alaska are some real whiny turds, but they’re just your normal dress-wearing boy band screamo. They are essentially our control — any band listed below, you can guarantee are really pushing the pansy factor to degrees you may have to see and hear to believe. So, here they are in no particular order:

CLAPS FOR CAROLINE

Two things have never been metal: Limos and retirement homes. These guys disagree. They scream and Auto-Tune themselves next to a pool while a glistening sparkle, almost like Tinkerbell, floats around them, blessing the band with pixie dust that, when the dance beats kick in, we realize is just blow. Listen, I’m glad you got a bunch of slutty chicks to swig marshmallow vodka with you, but here’s the problem: Jocks can sniff that shit out, you still weigh 60 pounds, and when they show up, those Tigerbeat vokills aren’t gonna save that pretty face of yours.

FEAR FROM THE HATE

“Party” screamo kids are worse than the fully sensitive ones because they combine everything you hate about sissies with everything you hate about spring break. These guys go completely bananas with it by renting out a dance hall filled with fancy shots, balloons, glowsticks, streamers… this is a metal video we’re talking about, remember. I mean, as much as these bedazzled, vest-wearing nancies might like to dance under the disco ball of life, they still make sure there are plenty of breakdowns to express aggression over their cellphone having shitty service. (Note: These guys are Japanese and so much stuff over there is weird and uncomfortable, but this is clearly a reflection of America’s shameful taste for garbage.)

NEVER MEANS MAYBE

My favorite thing is how these songs have evolved into their inverse. While before it would be a full-on metal song until the tear-soaked bridge, now bands just gush and wallow about their heartbreak until a quarter of the way through, when their Metal Zone pedals get some time on the field. Seriously, this band starts full-on Hoobastank, but if you stick with it long enough, they finally do the absolute minimum that’s required to still somehow wedge themselves into this sham scene before it’s straight back to the Massengill commercial.

CAPTURE THE CROWN

These crabcore dummies get a mention because they refer to an ex-girlfriend as a “bitch,” “slut” and a “filthy fucking cunt” along with some other demeaning shit while they get water poured all over them and run in place to house music. These chumps wouldn’t bust a grape in a fruit fight.

(Also, I’ve touched on this before, but every person from YouTube or any commenting section: When you start defending this tripe because “people like all kinds of things and it’s just music,” the music doesn’t actually get better– you just come off as a little kid with pitiful insecurities about your own judgment.)

EYES SET TO KILL

This is the band that actually inspired my editors to suggest writing this article. This is the only entry with female members (two, in fact), but the singer… Okay, It’s one thing to croon like a beautiful flower on a summer’s day with a shallow popcore band, but this guy just does occasional screams and is such a lightweight he can’t even play an instrument. That means that while the ladies are faux-shredding or taking center stage to sing, he just has to stand there with his youth medium skull shirt and hope no one notices that he’s essentially just cute boy eye candy. I would almost feel bad for him if he clearly wasn’t willing to sell his cock and balls to the devil for a couple years of hollow fame.

I’m not actually trying to indict the entire genre or this generation. In fact, I’m asking for solidarity — can’t all of us come together and hate these preening, talent-bereft attention whores? Can’t we push for some sense of credibility and true aggression from music if it chooses to drape itself in this banner? Because no matter how progressive, book-learning or indie-rock-dressing some of us may be, we’re polishing our elbows in case any of these pussies happen to waltz by the pit.

RIP Dogbane’s David Ellenburg

By: Adrien Begrand Posted in: featured, RIP On: Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

dogbane

Of all the “traditional metal” albums that have come out in the past year, one that’s snuck up on a lot of us here at Decibel is Residual Alcatraz, the debut by Greensboro, North Carolina’s Dogbane. Not only did the album get a positive review recently, but also we were honored to profile the band in this month’s issue. They’re a good bunch of guys who have a deep appreciation for the kind of classic metal a lot of us grew up with in the early 1980s.

Yesterday the metal world received the devastatingly sad news that guitarist David Ellenburg had died of complications from a stroke at the age of 47. No one should go before his or her time, but to do so at such a young age seems especially cruel. Here’s the official statement from the band:

It is with deep regret and heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Dogbane guitarist David Ellenburg. David peacefully passed away, surrounded by family and close friends, on Monday July 30th, due to complications of a severe stroke he had suffered the previous week. Dave was a great many things to a lot of people, a husband, a father, and a creative force behind Dogbane. Most importantly, he was our friend. Never the less, Dogbane will eventually continue to forge ahead in his honor, as we feel this is what he would have wanted. We ask everyone to please respect the privacy of his family and the band, as we try to cope during this very difficult time.

We’d like to offer our deepest condolences to David’s family, friends, and his brothers in Dogbane.

In the meantime, if you haven’t heard Dogbane yet, crank “Ride the Serpent” below (it’s one of yours truly’s most-played songs of 2012) and purchase Residual Alcatraz from Heaven & Hell Records.

Richard Cabeza (Unanimated) interviewed

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, interviews On: Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

unanimated_deathmetal_decibel_2012

** The original Decibel interview appeared in issue #58 (HERE), but since the Swedes are slower than Candlemass when issuing albums, we felt it was kinda cool to necro-post the full Unanimated interview. Also, Unanimated claims to be working on a new album without drummer Peter Stjärnvind, who left his stool post in February 2012, allowing for Unleashed drummer Anders Schultz to step in.

What’s different now compared to 1995-1996? Besides being older and, um, wiser.
Richard Cabeza: Wiser sure. Smarter? [Laughs] The scene is totally different today and everything about it. The spirit and purpose are gone.

Your bio mentions prison sentences. What’s that about?
Richard Cabeza: Well, we all have gone through a lot of different problems during the time period we were not active and Mike did time, I think. He was locked up for 1 or 1/2-2 years and it was a big problem for us to start playing obviously. We had to wait for him to be released and then get going. We all did crazy shit and you have to take the consequences of your actions. No big deal.

You reformed Unanimated. Seems like a lot of bands that dissolved in the mid-‘90s are reforming and rediscovering death metal again. Like Evocation. What were the primary motivators in Unanimated reforming?
Richard Cabeza: We never considered Unanimated to be dissolved. We put the band on hold due to the differences with in the band that lead to Jonas’ departure and the four of us needed a little break from the band. We never thought it be for 13 years though! We have wanted to do this album for many years but the time was never right. I was very busy with Dismember and Peter with Entombed, so it was hard. In 1997, when I came back from Norway playing with Satyricon, me and Jojje started to write again. But the heavy use of drugs and alcohol made it impossible for us to get anywhere. We were too busy getting fucked up. We wrote “Enemy of the Sun” and then put it on hold again until 2007 when me and Jojje started to talk about it again and this time Mike and Pete were available and both very eager to do it. We were burning and so focused on this. It was a great to experience this strong bound we share and play again.

What happened with Jonas? Why didn’t he rejoin?
Richard Cabeza: He was never asked. He was never in the picture to join the band again after his departure. We knew it was only gonna be the four of us…We are Unanimated! And always will [be]!

Did you guys set musical goals? Like, “The new reformed Unanimated must retain the old sound.”
Richard Cabeza: No, not at all. It all was very natural for us. We never had to talk about how or what we were going to do. We wanted to do an honest Unanimated album and the music and lyrics all came from the heart. This is how it sounds when the four of us work together. We wanted to do this album to satisfy our own need to do a third Unanimated album. [It’s] something we had in mind for a long time. Were you a bit rusty when pulling things together?

Just wondering what the first jam sessions were like. Did you pull out the old songs first? Cover songs? Just to get the blood flowing?
Richard Cabeza: The first sessions went over expectations. All of us were very dedicated to this and got the rust off before all of us got together. Truthfully, it sounded like we jammed the week before and not 14 years ago. Fucking freaky, man! We started to jam songs from the two first albums. We had the show at Party.San Festival last year booked, so we went from there. Jojje and Peter got together first and started to jam new material and putting the songs together. Then all of us start rehearsing the live setlist and after that we focused all [our] energy on the new material.

Was there a “Holy fuck! I’m feeling this!”-type moment?
Richard Cabeza: Yes, Many times! There were so many emotions involved when we started to play again and many times we went, “Holy motherfucking shit!” There were so many different feelings that got released when it all started again.

Was there an older Unanimated song that inspired you guys when writing In the Light of Darkness? I hear all kinds of things you were doing on the first two full-lengths. They’re more developed.
Richard Cabeza: Correct, they are more developed. Can’t say that there was any old songs that inspired us in the writing process. The development of the band has always been natural, we know what we like and what we want to do. I would say that Unanimated as a band inspired us when writing the album. What Unanimated means to us shows very well on this album and I thing it’s a natural step from Ancient God of Evil to this new album. 14 years has passed since Ancient, but it does not sound like it and that’s in a good way. It’s still fresh and the essence of the band is really captured. It’s timeless.

Any babies or virgins get sacrificed during the writing or recording sessions? Wondering if Tore Stjerna influenced you guys to get necro while invoking the old gods. Just kidding. Maybe.
Richard Cabeza: Of course, there were many virgins that got in harm’s way! Tore was a great help in the studio and stepped in with advice when needed. He really made sure we stayed focused and brought the spirit of Unanimated out. Awesome guy to work with and great support. We wanted to be rawer this timem, but still sound Unanimated. He did an awesome job with helping us get there.

How did the songwriting work for In the Light of Darkness? You’re in Texas while the rest of the guys are in Sweden.
Richard Cabeza: Before we even talked about writing new songs, we talked this through well and figured out what we had to do to make this work. We knew things were going to be hard and different than before. It worked out great in the end. We sent each other material and me and Jojje even jammed over the phone! We put it on speaker and were writing, arranging and rehearsing songs. [Laughs] That’s old school!

So, tell me a little bit about the new album conceptually. What is it about? You’re still talking about darkness, satan and all that jazz.
Richard Cabeza: In the Light of Darkness (The Covenant of Death) summon up what, who we are, stand and believe in. I’m not trying to preach or have any specific messages to shove into people. It’s my world! It’s our views and thoughts. If the lyrics have a meaning to you as a listener that’s great, it might not be what it means to us. But it’s for us we do this and to bring satisfaction to ourselves. Our views and feelings on the enlightning darkness and wealth that Lucifer holds for us. The lyrics are what makes the band what it is. The music is a great tool for us to express our views.

What’s different about darkness, satan and all that jazz now compared to the early to mid-‘90s?
Richard Cabeza: For me and the band nothing has changed in our views and how we see things. We see more clearer and are more convinced in our views.

Got a favorite song you feel transcends things? Hard to pick a song for me, but “The Endless Beyond” and “Serpent’s Curse” blow my mind.
Richard Cabeza: “Serpent’s Curse” was the first song we wrote after getting back together, so it’s has a special place for sure, but also the song grew and turned out much better than we expected. Well, “The Unconquered One” was the first one. We wrote that one back in 1995 right after Ancient God of Evil. The title track is one of my favorite ones. It’s different than anything we [have] done before. So heavy! Fucking great song! “Endless Beyond” is a very strong song too. It has such a strong and almost mesmerizing feeling to it.

Sounds like you planned to re-released the first two albums around the same time as In the Light of Darkness. Was that to say, “Hey, we’ve been around the block. Bow down!”?
Richard Cabeza: Well, we have been around, so fucking bow down!!! They were supposed to come out June ‘07! At the same time, we did our show at Party.San and officially [released] statements of us being back as a band again. But due to legal differences it got put on hold till now. We wanted to release them again since they are out of print since many years and really hard to find now days. We wanted give people a chance to get them again. They are two classic albums and deserves to be explored again! We decided to get them out at the time of the new release… Bow down!

In the Forest of the Dreaming Dead has like three different covers now. Is there a story there?
Richard Cabeza: [Laughs] Well, The original cover is on the European version. The cover on the U.S. version was fucked up by the retards releasing it here! Must be in Top 5 of ugliest covers ever! When we re-released it now we wanted to change it obviously, we wanted it to fit the album more than then the original cover. Erik Danielsson did the cover and had more or less free hand to do it, so we ended up using the original back cover on the front now. I think it looks much better and belongs to the music much better. Erik also did the new booklet for Ancient God of Evil and In the Light of Darkness. He has been a huge help for us since day one of us getting back. He’s been helping us out with a lot of things.

Where’d the bonus tracks from Ancient God of Evil come from?
Richard Cabeza: What are the bonus tracks again?

Unrelated question: What do you make of the suicide/passing of Jon Nodveidt? From an outsiders point of view, it always seemed like there was a brotherhood between bands in the early to mid-‘90s.
Richard Cabeza: Yeah, there was and still is a very strong bond and brotherhood between the bands. I knew Jon since before Dissection, a good friend and brother! I think it’s irrelevant to analyze or discuss that. He is missed and never forgotten.

So, 2009 is like Unanimated’s year in the sun. Three records out, a live performance or two. What are you guys going to do in 2009? Freak out? Kidding. Kinda.
Richard Cabeza: The response on the new album has been great, way over our expectations. We are planning to do shows wherever we can. Set the world ablaze!

Justify Your Shitty Taste: Faith No More’s “Introduce Yourself”

By: adem Posted in: featured, heavy tuesdays, justify your shitty taste On: Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

faith-no-more-annes-song-remix-london

If Faith No More were to have an album inducted into the Decibel Hall of Fame, the prevailing thought is that it would be Angel Dust. Unfortunately, from what we understand, guitarist Jim Martin is spending these days in his pumpkin patch waiting for the Great Pumpkin to arrive (seriously), and has no interest in taking part in such an endeavor.

Our own pick for Faith No More’s best album, though hardly a contender for the Hall of Fame, is the band’s second album (and first for a major label), Introduce Yourself. We are one of the minority of Faith No More Fans who first encountered the band in the late ’80s with this release. We’d heard their debut for punk label Mordam, We Care A Lot, but to be frank, we didn’t care very much at all. The whole FNM shtick wasn’t fully formed at that point.

But it all came together on Introduce Yourself. The tribal beats, the crunching metal guitar and the half rap/half sung vocals of Chuck Mosley coalesced into something altogether original. You can unfortunately perhaps heap some blame for nu metal on these dudes, but what they created at the time was in fact revolutionary. It was like Killing Joke, Metallica and the Red Hot Chili Peppers swapped members for a jam session and came up with a new genre.

It was the riffs primarily that got us. Amidst floating keyboards, funky bass and rock-solid drumming there are some grinding riffs that just kill. Regardless of the other influences at play here, you can tell that Martin had metal in his blood. His guitar work was never anything other than heavy and dark. Whether it’s twisty, snaky licks or full-on thrash-like chug-a-rama, he brought the heavy to Faith No More. Witness “The Crab Song” crusher that kicks in around 2:45.

We’re no doubt being real obvious when we say that Mosley was no Mike Patton. In fact, had Mosley not been booted when he was, it’s pretty safe to say that we wouldn’t be talking about this album. Because, of course, Mike Patton wouldn’t have been plucked from obscurity and handed a microphone. We’re still left to debate if that was a good thing. Discuss amongst yourselves. But, yeah, the next Patton-led album, The Real Thing, full-on unleashed the ridiculousness.

We recognize the fact that Introduce Yourself is a “difficult” album for those accustomed to Patton’s on-key crooning. Mosley, however, had a sort of street cool and obtuseness that the cartoonish Patton could never match. We’ll take “Anne’s Song” over most anything on The Real Thing.

Introduce Yourself definitely garnered a lot of attention at the time in the college rock realm, but it really wasn’t on the radar for most metal fans. Oddly enough, FNM’s origins were playing shoulder to shoulder with some of the Bay Area thrash progenitors. They knew the dudes in Metallica and Primus (whose origins, of course, were in Possessed and Blind Illusion). They didn’t however get marketed toward that crowd as metal on the major label level was getting a bit ridiculous in 1987. FNM were given that unfortunate “alternative” tag and peddled elsewhere.

We’re here to tell you, however, that this is the real thing and that Introduce Yourself is well worth seeking out for its total originality.

Tracklist
1. “Faster Disco”
2. “Anne’s Song”
3. “Introduce Yourself”
4. “Chinese Arithmetic”
5. “Death March”
6. “We Care a Lot”
7. “Rn’R”
8. “The Crab Song”
9. “Blood”
10. “Spirit”

Metalus Non Grata

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: featured, stupid crap On: Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

154123_469856789140_2815536_n

These should be top-of-the-world days for Vilipend bassist Mike Crossley. The two early streams off the Toronto band’s upcoming Inamorata 12-inch — “Last Stand of the Hopeless Romantic” and “Great White Nothing” — have earned an enthusiastic from fans of chaotic noisecore aggression and a sure-to-be-killer tour with Meek is Murder is imminent.

Alas, some asshole landlord had to come along and piss on the parade by refusing to grant Crossley quarter after a bit of Googling revealed Crossely’s allegiance to the Metal Militia.

Here’s the email Crossley and his wife Lara received after submitting to a lengthy approval process:

Hello Mike & Lara,

Sorry for the delay.

I will be straight up with you both. We were quite ready to make a decision in your favour the other night.

However, upon investigation of the band Vilipend, it has brought forward some concerns for us. We are uncomfortable with the energy that this music manifests.

We really enjoyed meeting with you both and you have shown both professionalism and patience in this process. We thank you for that. However, we feel it is not the best fit for our house and our other tenants.

We wish you both the best of luck in your pursuits.

Sincerely…

Yes, yes. We really enjoyed meeting you both. Now fuck off already. And take that bad metal juju with you.

Lara’s context and response, found here, are worth a read, but Mike really breaks it down in a note to supporters on the Vilipend Facebook page:

If we’re being discriminated against as a dual full-time income, white, middle-class, heterosexual couple with good references just because I play in Vilipend, imagine the difficulty somebody who doesn’t have those advantages must experience.