Kowloon Walled City Studio Report, Part I

By: Chris D. Posted in: diary, featured On: Monday, October 1st, 2012


by Ian Miller

There’s nothing like hearing a good drummer play a good drum kit in a room designed expressly for the purpose. In this case, the drummer is recovering from a head injury, but who can tell?

I’m Ian Miller. I play bass in Kowloon Walled City. We’re about to record our third record, and the road here has been interesting, to say the least. Since our split with Fight Amp and Ladder Devils came out two years ago, we’ve replaced a guitar player (Jon “Lovey” Howell joined on, after Jason “I used to like playing in bands” Pace moved to Seattle); our singer’s been sidelined for months with a painful throat injury (warning, pictures are not for the squeamish); and last month, our drummer got jumped on the way home from work.

Jeff was walking home through the Tenderloin when a group of people attacked him. He was knocked unconscious with a blunt object and robbed of… his fucking keys. The pictures he sent us the next day were bad — his right eye was bathed in blood and his face was swollen and purple. We didn’t know if there were skull fractures, hematomas, or worse. That was five weeks ago. Fortunately, a CT scan showed no broken bones or permanent damage, and more importantly, Jeff still remembered our new songs. Even though we lost a few important weeks of practice time, we decided to stick to our planned recording date. That brings us to today.

We’re at Sharkbite Studios in Oakland for four days of tracking. Four luxurious days! In an actual studio! That’s a major departure from our previous records, each of which were done over a weekend in our ghetto-ass practice space. Recording in a practice space has its charms, but we sold out in the name of a good drum room and a clean place to put the hummus and trail mix.

Our producer is guitarist/vocalist Scott Evans. Scott’s a talented recordist, and in our five years as a band, he’s recorded everything we’ve done. Having the recording guy in the band is a huge plus: any “pre-production” happens (and happens, and happens) during the writing process. And in the studio, there’s no interpersonal weirdness with some stranger. We trust Scott, and in turn he brings a clear sonic vision for us to work toward.

Sharkbite is an awesome studio, owned by Ryan Massey of American Steel. It has a nice old Trident console, a big drum room, and actual iso booths (luxury!). Scott works here fairly often, so load-in and setup were smooth, and getting drum and guitar sounds was fast and easy. Really, we came in knowing what we want to do and our sounds are all fairly dialed. But Jon and Scott did spend a little time digging into Jon’s guitar tone. Jon is a great guitarist, and nothing about his playing is conventional, including his tone. His typical sound is kind of obnoxious — shrill and honky, which works well as a counterpart to Scott’s straightforward, burly Les Paul tone. But capturing that kind of thing can be tricky, so Jon and Scott experimented with a couple of amp and pedal combinations. They settled on Scott’s Peavey VTM60, paired with Jon’s vintage Marshall cab. That VTM has paid for itself many times over — best $75 amp ever.

My bass rig is about as basic as it gets: Fender P-bass > distortion pedal > Ampeg SVT II Pro tube head > Ampeg SVT 8×10 cabinet. I’ve never had trouble with this setup, but of course tonight there was a nasty crackling sound coming out of the speakers, and at some point my amp shut down. We set about trying to diagnose the problem. It wasn’t the bass, and oddly, it didn’t seem to be the amp, so that left the cabinet. I have a backup bass and amp here, but who the hell brings a backup cab? Not me. I hopped in my car and drove home to grab my backup.

I got back 45 minutes later and hooked up the backup cab. It worked! That is, two of the six speakers worked. What in the fucking fuck. We took apart the cab and started dicking around — each speaker is wired in series, pairs are in parallel, I think? Maybe we can… uh… ah, fuck, I’m an idiot when it comes to this stuff. We succeeded in making the cab work less, then cut our losses in the interest of time. I took another trip home, collected my third-string bass cab (which I’ve been trying to sell for years, unsuccessfully, thank god), and another 45 minutes later we were in business. Apparently the third time really is the charm.

By then I was pretty tense and it was late, but we all wanted to play. After hours of setting up, getting sounds, and fighting with gear, tracking one song would feel good and leave us ready to tear shit up tomorrow. We picked a short song (working title: “Chunk,” which somehow morphed from “Chuck Billy.” For a while all our working titles were ’80s thrash references. “Diabetic Feet” was “Billy Milano” for its first year.), tuned up, and pressed record.

Real studio or shithole rehearsal space, we always record the same way: four dudes playing in a room. No click, no scratch tracks. This isn’t because we think it’s more “authentic” or anything — it’s just how we make music. It also means that basics don’t take forever. We play the song a few times, then we’re done.

After a few runthroughs, we collectively warmed up and got a solid take. By then it was midnight and everyone was fried — Jeff and I worked full days today before showing up at the studio, and Scott had been here since 11 am. So after a few listens, we called it a night. Once fatigue sets in, you spend more time, accomplish less, and everyone gets bummed out. Sleep it off and come back strong the next day: that’s some old-man recording advice you can take to the bank, whippersnappers.

** Kowloon Walled City’s new as-yet-untitled full-length is out soon on Brutal Panda Records. They don’t have a pre-order up yet, but you can shop and get other rad noise on wax for reasonable prices. Click HERE. Or go spend your $5 on some nasty Kombucha Wonder Drink.

The Lazarus Pit Acrimony’s Tumuli Shroomaroom

By: Jeff Treppel Posted in: featured, lazarus pit, listen On: Friday, September 28th, 2012

Bearding the alien

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, we’re going on a 50 million year trip over the course of (what feels like) a million-year summer with Acrimony and their Tumuli Shroomaroom (Peaceville).

Even though Wales’ contribution to extreme music in the 21st century consists of Bullet for My Valentine, Funeral for a Friend, and Lostprophets, it spawned a much more notable (if significantly less successful) act in the closing decade of the 20th: Acrimony.  As far as I know, they don’t have any deserts in Wales, just space-time rifts and really strange names, but Acrimony make it seem like that rainy, oft-forgotten part of the United Kingdom is sunbaked and full of cactuses and ugly lizards.

Influenced by the usual colorful suspects (Blue Cheer, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd), Acrimony were one of the first stoner-style bands to come out of the UK.  While they weren’t all that different than their peers in Sky Valley or New Jersey, we don’t listen to stoner rock for its innovation – we listen to it for the thundering bottom end and awesome jams.   Their debut, Hymns to the Stone, came out at around the same time as Paradise Lost’s Icon and My Dying Bride’s Turn Loose the Swans, but these guys were obviously way less depressed than the guys making waves in England proper.  The songs weren’t quite there at that point, either, and by 1996, when their sophomore record, Tumuli Shroomaroom, came out, people were already very familiar with the sound they were offering.  Still, it’s a pretty rad concoction.

At 65 minutes, this thing is certainly expansive, but never boring.  You have scrawling, sprawling scribbles of guitar solos on “Vy,” holidays on the beach in Andromeda with “Million Year Summer,” a pastoral Led Zeppelin-style acoustic instrumental called “Turn the Page,” bubbling bong water on “The Bud Song,” and a song called “Motherslug (The Mother of All Slugs),” which pretty much describes itself.  They hit all the buttons you want them to hit, effortlessly providing the soundtrack for you to nod your head to for an hour.  Again, if you’ve heard Monster Magnet or Kyuss, you’ll be familiar with what’s on display here – but it is really easy for this stuff to sound lazy, and it never does here.

Tumuli Shroomaroom was pretty well-received when it came out (even earning a perfect score from noted humor magazine Kerrang!), but if Kyuss couldn’t sell records, these guys weren’t going to, and they broke up soon after.  Some of the members have reformed as the excellent Sigiriya, who are definitely worth checking out if you’re into heavy excellence.  Unfortunately, Tumuli is way out of print and goes for ridiculous prices on eBay, so if you see it for cheap, grab it.  Just don’t, you know, lick this particular psychedelic shroom.

Official site (vintage 1998!)

Buy it here!

Throw Me A Frickin’ Label Hack: Germany’s Oliver Kaah

By: Dan Lake Posted in: featured, interviews, listen On: Friday, September 28th, 2012


Decibel knows you’ve got a metal wishlist 23 albums long and five gigabytes of Profound Lore records you still haven’t heard all the way through, but each week we like to give you the opportunity to tune in to a project that isn’t backed by anybody’s hype machine.  Because music is universal, expression is boundless, and even indie labels (whatever that means these days) don’t know everything, Decibel brings you Throw Me a Frickin’ Label Hack, formerly Bonin’ the Interhole, formerly Why Is This Guy We Don’t Care About Posting About This Band We Don’t Care About? (Fair warning: that last title hasn’t been abandoned as a very real future possibility.)  Fuck the system.  Record deals are for pussies and people with self respect.  Here’s Throw Me a Frickin’ Label Hack.

We live in an age when just about anybody can make a music recording sound good.  We also live in an age of blogs when just about anybody can publicly make dumbass remarks about what kind of age we live in.  But let’s focus our attention on the first thing.  Some elitist oldsters will argue this populist movement has stolen something special from the streamlined pathway that connects talent to actual product and publicity (and weeding out the wackos along the way).  The more egalitarian among us choose to interpret the shift as a way to eliminate chance positive encounters with label A&R, getting interesting music out to the people without any of the political haggling and budgetary constraints that have plagued the process in the past.

Antigravity by Munich resident Oliver Kaah exemplifies the outcome as well as any record of the past few years (value judgment withheld).  Dude wrote the album while still in high school, and according to his Bandcamp site (where you can hear Antigravity in its entirety), “all instruments [were] performed and recorded in Oliver Kaah’s bedroom recording studio.”  It’s a spirited electro-romp through one young German’s brain, one that has been wired to process confusion and agitation through a defiantly positive attitude.  Veer wide of this if you have music prejudices that must be observed or if you dislike Devin Townsend.  If you’re still reading then push up your glasses, take a break from optimizing your Linux machine, and listen to “Filter,” the Deciblog’s featured cut from Antigravity.  For a verbal foray into the mind of the music’s creator, read the interview below.

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How did you start playing music?

I basically started hitting things and singing while listening to old cassettes until my parents got me my first real drum kit when I was 8. From there on I just started learning other instruments as well without any plan. I started playing keyboard and writing songs (because I was too lazy to learn existing songs) when I was 12. I never stopped writing music since then. But when I was about 15 I went to a music school to improve my keyboard skills, so I got harpsichord lessons (because piano is too mainstream :p) and theory as well. A few years later I really got into recording music and tried to get gear together, also because of my band at the time, Synesthesie. And I recorded an album with them as a producer or something. And during that recording session I also recorded some of my own stuff and borrowed for that matter, a guitar and a bass somewhere and just started playing something. And that’s how I started to play guitar and bass. I figured if Burzum can do it, I can do it too! I really like learning new instruments and improving my skills. And there is so much to be learned. I could do that all my life!

What styles of music or artists really excited you and influenced you to create Antigravity?

I am always discovering new music, and new styles. And I think at the time I was just getting into electronic music, especially trance and such. There was one band from Sweden called Antiloop. They made an album called LP, which my brother had when I was a kid. And I think this got me into electronic music. And probably influenced me for the sound of Antigravity. But when it comes to actual influence, I don’t really know because I wrote the whole album in about a week as a “creative purging process“ to sort of let everything out regardless of what it is. But now in retrospect few names which might have influenced me come to mind: I think the biggest influence is Arcade Fire. Their album Funeral basically changed my life. I really love that stuff. I have such a weird emotional connection to this album. The songs just speak to me. I think I really got inspired by the vibe of that album. Boston also, and other 70s stuff as always (like Blue Oyster Cult and so on). Sigur Ros is a band that influenced me a lot also, in their approach and the simple beauty of their music. You don’t need to be complicated to get your point across and convey feelings. Neil Young is a good example of that too. I of course also have to mention Devin Townsend. Probably one of the most impactful music I have ever heard. And Devin really influenced me more in my personal life than musically: making me feel more positive, his music helped me go through some tough moments in my life. But ultimately through this influence on my personal life, my music has been affected too. In the end, most of the bands that might have influenced me for the album don’t sound anything like what I ended up recording. That being said, I think that when I write, and this is probably true for any songwriter, things which happen in my life have a much more dramatic impact on the stuff I’m writing than the music I listen to. And you know, I wrote the album a few months before graduating from high school, and it was the first time in my life I could possibly leave my father’s house, which is something I wanted to do for a long time. And it was the first time I had to make decisions for myself. So I had some hopes of improving my life in general. It was generally a very indecisive period in my life, and I think it shows in some of the songs.

What were your goals through Antigravity’s music?  Does the finished result match your vision for the music as closely as you’d like?

I didn’t have any goal for Antigravity. I wrote the album as a reaction to what [and how] I was writing before: I used to write with a very specific idea and concept and then filter a ton of creative content. At some point I couldn’t handle it. I was throwing too much stuff away and making stuff too complicated and the process was very exhausting. So I decided to just let everything out for a moment. I just wrote 14 songs in a couple of weeks. The ideas were just flowing and I was just trying to catch as many as possible. I used to spend years writing single songs, so this was very different for me, and I didn’t even have the intention of releasing it ever. And at some point, I realized the songs were easy enough for me to play every instrument, so I tried to get more gear and started recording. From then the idea was to get the best possible sound with the cheap gear I had. Even now I don’t think it could have been much better. I put a lot of effort in this project. It was very time consuming and not always compatible with my studies which I just started, but I tried to make the best of it. Actually even a few weeks before it was done there was no plan of releasing the material. I used to be very secret and private about my music and never show it to anyone. But I decided to release it at last, when I realized it was good enough to be heard, and when I realized that sharing music, and more generally opening yourself is really an awesome and positive thing. I realized I could actually learn from possible feedback and get better. Also I have connected with like-minded people.

What are your feelings about the blend of aggressive music with more relaxed or melodic elements?

For me music is indivisible. There are no different genres and styles in my perspective of music. It’s all just part of one big thing. So the heavy and the light aspects of music come from the same energy and same global sentiment in my eyes. And for Antigravity it’s just something that happened. I mean I really love heavy and extreme music; I really love uncompromised musical statements. For me it’s just about freedom and creativity: in the end it all comes down to representing what you are feeling in the most accurate way, and for that, all means are allowed, there is no cheating in music. Music is not an Olympic sport. If you are feeling heavy, allow yourself to be heavy, if you are feeling mellow, allow yourself to be mellow, but try to create music that resonates with you. I understand the usefulness and necessity for genres and classification, but that’s not how my brain works.

What composition process did you go through for these songs?

The process for Antigravity was something new for me at the time. Like I said, since I started writing music until this album, I used to have an idea first in my mind and then spend a huge amount of time filtering musical ideas to get something really specific that would fit with what I wanted to create. In fact I wrote a few albums like that, which I would like to record at some point. But it’s too technical for now. The problem with this process is that you are filtering a lot of ideas away, and that can be frustrating. With Antigravity I just forgot about plans and such, and I just let my creativity be free and see what happens. Somehow I felt like writing really simple songs, and Antigravity is what came out of it. I didn’t really expected myself to write happy and positive songs at all, since I wasn’t really happy at the time. I guess it came from some sort of desperate optimism. I remember I was reading a lot of Greek philosophy, and there was this one guy, Epictetus, and he was basically saying that happiness can only be found inside yourself, and that therefore nothing happening outside your own mind should affect your happiness. And I remember thinking that even though I wasn’t in a good place in my life, there was no excuse not to be happy. So I guess I tried this philosophy and ignored the shit going on around me. It was a bit weird, like forcing yourself to be more positive when you are not feeling like it.

What comes next for Oliver Kaah?

A ton of things. Seriously I don’t know how I am going to manage all these projects and continue with my studies. In parallel to the recording of Antigravity I wrote and recorded a second album, which is basically the second half of it. The style is very different though. I would say it’s a mix of post-rock doom and atmospheric metal. Very long songs. Lyrics in three different languages. The whole album is pretty much the opposite of Antigravity, and in a lot of ways it’s a reaction to Antigravity. I don’t have a name yet, but the album is almost ready and I hope to release it this year. Maybe in the winter. Aside from that I’ve been involved in a technical death metal project for a couple of years now [with] a friend of mine in which I play drums,. The project has [had] a few setbacks because of me going to another country and him being quite busy, but almost two albums were written by him, and we recorded a few songs. I hope to release an EP in a few months or so, so we can wait until we are ready for the actual recording. And here in Munich I have another project with a good friend, in which I play drums, guitars and bass. The music is melodic doom and my friend writes all the songs. We recorded one album, which is almost ready. We also shot a music video with his roommate as director. It was really great and the final result should be kickass. I’m also in the process of writing jingles for a metal show on the internet, but it’s still a bit secret. Apart from that I would really like to find musicians and go on stage  [to] bring the album(s) to life and share it with people. I have just so many things going on. Maybe I’ll have more time when I’m done studying.

The Great Sabatini on Tour

By: kevin.stewart-panko Posted in: featured, free, tours, uncategorized On: Thursday, September 27th, 2012

deciblog - sabatini tour

Eagle-eye devourerers of Decibel will likely recall my review of Montreal’s The Great Sabatini’s latest album, Matterhorn in a recent issue. In reviewing their new record, I made reference to Pig Destroyer, Kyuss, Blind and Deliverance-era Corrosion of Conformity and described the proceedings thusly: “…hails from further out in left-field with more peaks and valleys than the heads-down-tits-up sludgy rock they fire at you from the stage…these dudes have a 90s alt-rock edge grinding against their love affair with riffs that crash bolts of lightning into stacks of Orange amps in delivering a rumbling calling card of hellacious noise.” Let me know if that makes sense to anyone other than the gremlins living in my head.

Well, not only are the lads going on tour as of tomorrow, but they asked me to ask you if you’re interested in downloading Matterhorn‘s free “third side,” entitled The Royal We? If so, go to their bandcamp page and get click happy. If not, at least go check ‘em out live, because that’s where they rule hardest. Tour dates below.

Friday September 28th – Oshawa, ON @ The Atria
Saturday September 29th –Lansing, MI @ The Tree Fort
Monday October 1st – Omaha, NE @ The West Wing
Tuesday October 2nd –Lincoln NE @ Zoo Bar
Wednesday October 3rd– Denver, CO @ Aqualung
Friday October 5th- Boise, ID @ The Shredder
Saturday October 6th –Portland @ Backspace
Sunday October 7th-Richland, WA @ M Hotel
Monday October 8th– Seattle, WA @ Kraken
Tuesday October 9th – Vancouver, BC @ Astoria Pub
Wednesday October 10h – Kamloops, BC @ LBH
Friday October 12th – Edmonton, AB @ Avenue Theatre
Saturday October 13th – Calgary, AB @ Dicken’s Pub
Sunday October 14th – Saskatoon, SK @ Amigo’s
Monday October 15th – Regina, SK @ Gaslight Saloon
Tuesday October16th – Winnipeg. MB @ Negative Space
Wednesday October 17th – Thunder Bay, ON @ tba
Friday October 19th – Ottawa, ON @ Cafe Dekuf


Decibrity Playlist: Witchcraft (Magnus Pelander)

By: zach.smith Posted in: featured, interviews, listen, lists On: Thursday, September 27th, 2012


To celebrate the release of Legend, last week we brought you Witchcraft bassist Ola Henriksson’s playlist of weightlifting songs. We’d wager that this week’s entry, however, marks the first time any of the artists below have been, and likely will be, mentioned around these parts (other than this apparently). Not only did frontman and founder Magnus Pelander pitch us a much welcomed curveball when he sent over his top five pop songs, but the man clearly knows and enjoys this stuff. Feel free to listen along here as you read about his picks.

Rockwell—”Somebody’s Watching Me” (from 1984′s Somebody’s Watching Me)
I really don’t know anything about this guy, but I am pretty sure he didn’t write the song [note: he did]. This is actually one of my all-time favourite songs in any category. The contrast from the really bad verse into the chorus is just absolutely mindblowing to me. And isn’t it the almighty Michael Jackson who sings the chorus? Pure love.

Kylie Minogue—”Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” (from 2002′s Fever)
I remeber hearing this a couple of times on the radio and one day it just clicked heavily for me. This is pure sex. Sexenergy. “Sexenergy” is my favourite word. I had to listen to this again since it had been a while and it didn’t do as much for me now as it did back then. Still a great track and I like most of Kylie Minogues’ singles. The Godess herself—Tori Amos—does a great cover of this song.

Eiffel 65—”Blue (Da Ba Dee)” (from 1999′s Europop)
Hahahahahaha. This is too good to be true. I remember when this song was played on the telly and I was like 20 years old. I couldn’t admit that I loved it. Then one day I was out having some beers with the legendary rock and roll star Mathias Lilja from the “Ultra-Mega-Ok-60s-Garage-Psych-Stoner-Psycho-Psych-Band” The Strollers. Somehow this song came into the conversation and we both kind of simultaneously confessed our love for it. Euphoria broke out and later Mathias actually went and bought the whole album. I didn’t go that far.

Laleh—”Vårens första dag” (from 2012′s Sjung)
Euphoria. This is pure euphoria. Laleh is a Swedish female singer who is quite popular over here [in Sweden]. The title describes “The First Day Of Spring”. Oh my god…Euphoria!

Veronica Maggio—”Stopp” (from 2008′s Och vinnaren är…)
Also a radio memory. I remember hearing another song by her and going, “What the fuck!? Who is this!?” Her voice is just so…well…I don’t know. She rules big time and the only big concert I have been to in the last few years was by her. I think her last two albums are the best and are essential for fans of feel-good pop.

*Pick up a copy of Legend here!

**We update one Spotify playlist for each new Decibrity entry, so feel free to subscribe to that here. Past entries include:

Witchcraft (Ola Henriksson)
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)

STREAMING: Bedemon’s “Lord Of Desolation”

By: justin.m.norton Posted in: featured, listen On: Wednesday, September 26th, 2012


Pentagram frontman Bobby Liebling has received much deserved attention for his comeback from a harrowing addiction and the revival of his musical career, not to mention late in life fatherhood. A few of his former bandmates might not have dealt with the same demons but they’ve had their share of tough times seeing their musical vision realized.

Bedemon, featuring former Pentagram members co-founder Geof O’Keefe (drums) and Randy Palmer (guitar) along with original Bedemon bassist Mike Matthews and new vocalist Craig Junghandel, will finally release their second album Symphony Of Shadows via Svart Records on October 23. The album dates to 2002, when Palmer recorded rhythm tracks before a car accident ended his life.

The band says: “The songs are mostly Randy’s compositions, with Geof contributing two songs, Mike contributing one and another track, ‘Son of Darkness,’ loosely based on the classic ‘Child of Darkness’ was equally co-written by Randy, Geof and Mike during the recording sessions back in April of 2002.”

Symphony of Shadows will be released as a CD and deluxe 2-LP vinyl set. Stream the track “Lord Of Desolation” below and get in touch with the band here.

STREAMING: Stinking Lizaveta “View from the Moon”

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, listen On: Wednesday, September 26th, 2012


“I think ‘Doom-Jazz’ means playing heavy music, but not robotically,” said bassist Alexi Papadopoulos to Decibel when we were all much younger. “We like to give ourselves the elbow room for self expression. We are very scientific about our modes and time signatures and cues, but that’s what makes it fun.”

That’s exactly the type of thinking that has landed the Philly-based trio into heaps of accolades and whatnot since forming in the mid-’90s. Always different, never boring and perpetually challenging, Stinking Lizaveta’s seventh run—hence the title 7th Direction to the group’s new full-length—sees the Papadopoulos brothers and hard-hitting drummer Cheshire Agusta taking their labor of art and love to new heights. Produced by Sanford Parker, 7th Direction features 13 tracks of uncompromisingly killer material that should find them headlining next year’s Nearfest, but probably won’t because some old reformed band with a famous keytar/boat propeller player needs to make a mortgage payment. Ah, just as well.

We’re not entirely sure what Stinking Lizaveta view from the moon is like, but we have an idea. Enjoy “View from the Moon” from the best band you’ve never heard of.

** Stinking Lizaveta’s new album, 7th Direction, is out in stores and online on October 22nd. You can pre-order it directly from the label HERE or jettison into space, set up some kind of telepathic connection to Stinking Lizaveta’s rehearsal space and get the Philly trio’s music that way. The former is preferred over the latter, but the latter would be cool as hell.

STREAMING: Snakedriver’s “Incessant Madness”

By: adem Posted in: featured, heavy tuesdays, listen On: Tuesday, September 25th, 2012


We’re of the opinion that there can never be too much metal in the world. Thus, we greet the news of a new label, Mutants of the Monster—started by C.T. from Rwake and David Hall from Handshake, Inc.—with great expectations. And the best way we here at Decibel can to celebrate the debut of this new union is to stream a song from its first release—a split from Snakedriver and Laser Flames on the Great Big News—and talk up the band’s release party.

Snakedriver will be playing in front of its hometown crowd in Little Rock, Arkansas, tomorrow—Wednesday, September 26—at The White Water Tavern (2500 West 7th Street) with Dakhma and God City Destroyers. The show starts at 9:30 and the cover is a mere $5. And we’re pretty sure you’ll be able to buy copies of the split at the show.

So, to get you primed for that, here’s a taste of what’s in store.

For more info on how to purchase this killer split (the download is ony $2!), head over here.

Benign Is Overrated

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: featured, listen On: Tuesday, September 25th, 2012


We’re just about two weeks out from a new Malignancy record (!), and the Yonkers, New York tech-death grinders have graciously provided Decibel with an uber-sick opening salvo entitled, “Global Systemic Collapse” — which actually might be one of the more cheerily optimistic tracks off Eugenics.

Here’s what the band has to say about the album in the Romero-esque accompanying press materials:

In the near future humans will face the very real threat of extinction. Either natural or man-made, it will come to pass. Eugenics is an account of what may happen. Forced to dwell hundreds of miles underground, in an abandoned U.S. archive, they fight to live. This installation still contains all the necessary previsions needed for survival. A self sufficient complex, far removed from the vigor of life topside. It is equipped with generators, a constant replenishing air supply, even waste management. A perfect habitat for the evolution of the last species on Earth, Man.

Want to get down with that sickness? Pre-order Eugenics here, friend the band on Facebook, and follow the appropriately named Twitter handle @StayMalignant.

Banger Films needs you! Help fund Metal Evolution’s “lost” extreme metal episode

By: jonathan.horsley Posted in: featured, gnarly one-offs, videos On: Monday, September 24th, 2012


Decibel usually maintains a safe distance from the film and TV business because, well, it looks totally fucked up and confusing and the printed word is a tough enough mistress to keep. But when anthropologist, award-winning film-maker and metal fan Sam Dunn came calling looking for funding and support for an extreme metal episode of his Metal Evolution documentary series, it seemed liked the sort of cause we could get behind.

You should all be familiar with Sam Dunn’s work by now. He was the face and brains behind such features as Iron Maiden: Flight 666, Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey and Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage. Not to mention Maiden’s superlative En Vivo! concert video/live album, too. Co-founder/owner of Banger Films, Inc. with buddy and co-director Scot McFadyen, Dunn’s some best moments on his showreel include his gracious acceptance of Necrobutcher’s drunken ire during an interview segment for … A Headbanger’s Journey, and eliciting that fantastic pause then “Satan” response from former Gorgoroth vocalist now fashion designer Gaahl when discussing the finer points of black metal’s theological backbone.

Sam Dunn Vs. Necrobutcher

Sam Dunn meets Gaahl

But Dunn and Banger Films need our help. Actually, no, they need your help. After successfully putting together 11 episodes of TV documentary Metal Evolution for Canada’s MuchMore TV network, and broadcasting the show worldwide, Banger Films have come unstuck on trying to find the funding and network support to broadcast Metal Evolution’s 12th episode, the so-called “lost episode” that was earmarked to tell extreme metal’s story, the genesis of death, grind and black metal to what it is today. Despite Metal Evolution’s international success, hitting No.1 on VH1 Classic and MuchMore, the networks have taken a pass on extreme metal’s story because it’s too quote/unquote extreme. Pussies!

Now, we fully appreciated that Deciblog visitors are not all going to be able to turn media exec/TV impresario on a whim, but Dunn and friends have a listed a whole number of ways you can get involved and some of them are free.

Aforementioned impresarios can send their dollars and cents to Banger Films’ campaign page on IndieGoGo here. They need $175,000 to cover production costs and any donations entitle to you all sorts of benefits: Five bucks pre-orders you digital copy of The Lost Episode and you can officially put Neophyte Ov Verin on your resumé; $666, the Beast’s “Blasphemous Enabler” package gets you Banger Films’ entire DVD catalogue including Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey, Global Metal, Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage and Metal Evolution, plus a personalized postcard from Sam and Scot, and digital download link. Oh, and you will be credited as “Blasphemous Enabler” in the end credits … And there’s a whole load more, hey: you can be an Executive Producer for 50 grand. Check out the campaign page for more info.

Aside from fiscal assistance, Banger Films has suggested that you simply just spread the word via social networks, and homebrew filmmakers are encouraged to dig out camera and film their own campaign video. Just send your submissions to Dunn at samdunn@bangerfilms.com

And hey, who knows, TV starlets, this could be your way in to the industry without having to work on commercials for dog food or Pop Starts.

Anyways, best of luck to Sam and co. All you couch potatoes out there can watch Metal Evolution online here if you live in the States; and here if you live in Canada.