Dennis Rondum’s (Spawn of Possession) Top 5 Tech-Death Songs

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, lists On: Monday, June 4th, 2012


5. Death – “Overactive Imagination”
The cool thing about Individual Thought Patterns in my opinion is that it was such a big leap from the previous Death albums and you totally heard that when you pressed play and “Overactive Imagination” kicked in. That song has so much drive and cool patterns and let’s not forget, Andy LaRocque’s amazing solo contribution.

4. Cynic – “How Could I”
Back in the early nineties when we got into all these bands I think Cynic was one of the last to come to us. I remember Focus being one of those talked about albums that I just needed to get and when I finally got it, it was like bliss. “How Could I” is just one of those songs one can’t deny because it’s just so colorful and rich in texture. It really made an impression on us.

3. Gorguts – “Orphans of Sickness”
I brought The Erosion of Sickness to Jonas attention after it got released and it was just such a weird tech album. Sort of ahead of it’s time and I think “Orphans of Sickness” is one of the best songs from the album due to the off-the-wall riffing and the killer chorus that just sticks after one listening.

2. Monstrosity – “Manipulation Strain”
I went over to Jonas’s house one night to drink beer and he put on Millennium. This album was like shot out of a canon with its incredibly tight guitar playing. “Manipulating Strain” just stuck with me because of the intense drumming and Corpsegrinder’s sick vocal patterns.

1. Suffocation – “Brood of Hatred”
I remember Jonas played me Pierced From Within at a party right after it came out and just like him I was immediately hooked. One of the first songs that really hit us was “Brood of Hatred” because it was so brutal and inventive but at the same time not very fast. A killer track from a killer band.

** Visit Spawn of Possession on Bandcamp to stream new album Incurso in its entirety. Click HERE. We just did and we have the digital download and physical CD.

** Visit and LIKE Spawn of Possession on Facebook.

** Spawn of Possession’s new album, Incurso, is out now on Relapse Records. Arpeggio your fingers to keyboard and click HERE. We’d rather you do that than be the salty snack for the interstellar serpentine beast on Incurso’s album COVER. Imagine what that thing’s toothpick looks like.

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

By: andrew Posted in: a fucking parrot previewing new releases, featured On: Friday, June 1st, 2012

wal doh

The most important thrash band to ever come out of Germany, KREATOR release Phantom Antichrist on Nuclear Blast. WHOA, this thing rips; seems like the old thrash stalwarts are hungry as peck again. This record is blistering; they bite down hard and don’t let go. They’re on their 13th release and, trust me, my friends, it’s like they never stopped. Remember the dark days of Kreator? Like the bird poop-y NIN days? Well, those are gone. Petrozza’s trademark bark and angular-style riffing are here, and the drumming is fast and furious. The production really picks up on the raspy vocals and the razor-sharp guitar tone, and is a HUGE complement to the overall sound. Easily the best thrash record of the year, and maybe in recent years as well. Endless Beaking Pain indeed. Younger bands take note. 7 FUCKING PECKS


Speaking of old, PHOBIA dust off the crust on Remnants of Filth. Here’s a direct quote from the press release: “[Remnants] offers up 18 pile-driving, socio-political grind hymns in 19 minutes.” Boy howdy are they right. There are no pretentious moments of awkwardly trying to introduce other elements of varying genres here, just fast and furious grindcore, which is good because it’s what Phobia excel at. This isn’t a total barrage of blast beats, though; mixed in are some sludgier, slower-paced breakdowns that Phobia are known for. I read an interview with singer Shane “The Pain” McLachlan, where he states that this is the first Phobia record he doesn’t play an instrument on, and you know what? it preening works. CHECK THIS OUT. The filth remains. 8 FUCKING PECKS

What is a BLACK SHEEP WALL? A wall of black sheep? A wall FOR black sheep so they cannot commit the above atrocities? Well, Black Sheep Wall is a three-to-five (?) piece doom/sludge band from California, and they are releasing a record entitled No Matter Where It Ends on Season of Mist. Is your old boy REALLY that out of the loop? How did these guys escape my attention? I wanted to hate this on name alone, but it’s pretty pecking punishing. Slow doom/sludge riffs that really go for the gut. Definitely a more minimalist approach to the genre, but extremely effective. Apparently, they have a couple of other releases out. This is standard fare for this type of music: down-tuned riffs, growling vocals, but the drums and cymbals sound really weird here, almost like a drum machine. This is awesome, though. BSW, get in touch. I’d like to know more about you so I can bang my beak to this. 8 FUCKING PECKS.

INTERVIEW – Aenygmist

By: Dan Lake Posted in: featured, interviews, listen On: Friday, June 1st, 2012


If you listen to Aenygmist, then you’re probably either living in or around southern Quebec, a black/death completist with internet access and no career prospects, or me.

If you haven’t heard this female five-piece’s gut-ripping 2010 record Creation Born of Trauma, you can hardly be blamed.  Creation is the band’s self-released 2010 full-length, their first and only entry (so far) in the blackly blossoming annals of extreme music.  The album packages 45 minutes of baroque brutality into a crate of sweating dynamite and ties it off with a razor wire bow.  It’s un-fucking-lovely and in-fucking-credible.  I’ve tried to talk about Creation without resorting to emphatic profanity, and I fucking can’t.

I hit up the band for some background on their experience and their harrowing Creation, so you can read their responses while digging on the pair of album tracks below.

How and when did the band come together?

It all started in 2005 when Joannie and Roxane met. We started to play some covers and eventually started to write our own songs. Then in 2007, Joannie met Marie at music school (they were paired up together to play a few songs in a concert). The band got more serious and wrote some of the songs that are on Creation Born Of Trauma. Then in 2009, [we] met Vanessa and Jessica. We started to play gigs (actually, we sucked LOL) that year. We kept on writing songs and eventually got enough material to record an album.

What were the band’s first few years like before Creation Born of Trauma started happening.

We played a lot of shows at the begining, and that taught us important stuff. As an exemple, a lot of those shows were filmed and, by watching ourselves, we learned how to move on stage and how to connect with the crowd. Of course, we are still improving with every show we play. We rehearsed every week in Marie’s parents’ basement, that made us closer and allowed us to get more comfortable playing the songs.

What music or other art or aspects of your life inspired Creation?

Maaaaaaaany bands! There are too many to list, but the most notable are Cradle Of Filth, Dimmu Borgir, Arch Enemy, Children Of Bodom, Kittie, Astarte, Immortal and Behemoth. Other aspects would be life and what we felt inspired us to create. Usually it was pretty dark stuff that we were going through. We were also watching the Teletubbies a lot. Haha.

How and when was Creation written?  How did you determine which elements you wanted to include (almost exclusively extreme vocals, piano accompaniment, etc.)?

We didn’t really write Creation Born Of Trauma as an album, we just decided to record the songs we had written so far and see what we’d get out of them. It turned out so well that we decided to make it an album, but it could have been a demo. And as for the elements, everything came naturally.

How long did it take to record the album?

It took about two months to finish, because everyone, including our engineer, had school or a job besides recording the album. It wasn’t intensive, it was more like ”Hey, I’ve got three hours free tonight, I could record some stuff!” We recorded all the drum tracks in one day though, because we had to rent gear and we didn’t have a huge budget. Mixing and mastering probably took longer than the actual recordings because since the recording engineer [Maxime Côté of Hands of Despair and Catuvolcus] was a student, we were his training.

How often do you play live shows?

We play as often as we can. Sometimes there is more time between the shows and some other times we play a few shows in one month. It really depends on the people who schedule shows. Every show is different, and we get something interesting out of every event.

Any new recordings in the works?

We are currently writing new songs, we hope to hit the studio as soon as they are done. Currently, we have 2 new songs done and we are working on a third one, so hopefully all the songs are going to be ready by the end of the year.

What other interesting things are Aenygmist members doing these days?

We love to bake children, we also enjoy kidnapping men and force them to wear pink. We make our own lipbalm with virgin’s blood and we adopt goats. Also, our favorite TV show is Sex In The City. We make our popcorn on burning churches. Actually, Joannie works in restauration, Roxane is a graphic designer, Marie is a computer technician, Jessica has a lot of bands but she also works part time at a video club and Vanessa drives trucks for a huge percussion school. She also has other bands.

**Check out the band at their Facebook page for more info and updates.**

Got Time To Kill? Like Being a Fly on the Wall?

By: kevin.stewart-panko Posted in: featured, free, listen, uncategorized On: Thursday, May 31st, 2012


Let me make one thing perfectly clear: I don’t “do” podcasts. The reasons are many, but chiefly it’s because if I wanted to listen to the directionless ramblings of stoners talking about popular culture, I would hide out in the basement when my wife and her pot smoking pals get together. If I wanted to listen to the self-important ramblings of some self-appointed expert, I’d read his or her book at my own leisure and pace. Plus, most podcasts are way too lengthy. I’d rather put on one of the few thousand albums I haven’t spun in a coon’s age than listen to someone talk at me through the interhole. Maybe that’s just me being a miserable old fart, but to each his own.

One podcast I can and will recommend, however, is Ray Harkins’ 100 Words or Less. Ray is an old friend who used to be the vocalist in Taken and Mikoto, he used to do A&R at Century Media and Abacus Records. He presently books California’s Sound and Fury Fest and does liason work of some description between bands and PETA2 and despite his podcasts regularly and consistently using waaaaay more than 100 words on any topic, listening to him, his co-hosts and guests talk about topics on and off the beaten path is a good way to burn away an afternoon. Most recently and applicable, Ray has had Justin from Graf Orlock and Gared from Planes Mistaken For Stars in for lengthy chats. Older episode have included gab-fests with Scott from Earth Crisis and the guy who runs this magazine.

Check out 100 Words or Less for free here.

Decibrity Playlist: Dawnbringer

By: zach.smith Posted in: featured, interviews, listen, lists On: Thursday, May 31st, 2012


Given that Dawnbringer’s Nucleus landed high up on our Top 40 list of 2010, we’ve been stoked ever since we heard that the band would be releasing its fifth full-length this year. We were even more pumped when we found out that it would be a concept album, one that “follows the story of a naïve assassin and his bizarre journey that inevitably leads to its tragic end.” And as Adrien Begrand pointed out in his review in our July issue, we’re psyched to tell you that Into The Lair Of The Sun God—released Tuesday on the inimitable Profound Lore—only improves upon its predecessor.

Since you’ve already heard that the album was “founded in the key of H (Headless Cross, Heaven Forbid, Hammerheart, Hail To England, and Holy Diver),” we asked mainman Chris Black to tell us about five concept albums that he digs instead. As usual, we’ve compiled Chris’s picks, to the extent available, into a Spotify playlist for your listening enjoyment.

Devil Doll—Dies Irae (1996)
It’s hard to put into words what this album sounds like, and even harder to express the nature of its influence on me, so I won’t bother trying. I think I’ve only made one specific reference to it in my songwriting, but Devil Doll’s influence has been broad, especially when it comes to Dawnbringer. Good luck finding this one, and if you tend to use the word “sick” to describe someone’s guitar tone, it’s probably not what you’re looking for anyway.

King Diamond—Conspiracy (1989)
This has always been my favorite of the Mikkey Dee/Roberto Falcao era. Huge dynamic range and of course immaculate musicianship back up what I think are King’s catchiest batch of songs. Andy LaRocque did a lot of the songwriting on this one, and I’m sure the results are no coincidence.

Atheist—Elements (1993)
There are a few awkward moments, but overall, this was even at the time of its release a surprisingly appealing album. I would maybe group it with the later Coroner albums. The concept itself isn’t particularly elaborate or important, I guess, but it makes the album worth mentioning here. I was glad they didn’t neglect it live, and the artwork is great too.

Ulver—Nattens Madrigal (1997)
What is there left to say about this one, or about Ulver, when it comes to concept albums? I’m not so into their last few albums, but they are still driven by creative concepts above all else, and that I admire. This album was certainly no exception and is my third-favorite Norwegian album after In the Nightside Eclipse and Apocalypse Dudes.

Quicksand Dream—Aelin (2010)
This is a bit of a recent cult favorite, completed in 1999 and released (in part by me) in 2010. It’s a heavy metal epic essentially homemade by two Swedish guys with good imaginations and great melodic riffs. It has a uniquely spirited atmosphere that really draws you in.

*Pick up a copy of Into The Lair Of The Sun God here

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

Shadows Fall
Greg Mackintosh (Paradise Lost) (Part 1) (Part 2)
“Best of” Meshuggah
Barren Earth
Shane Embury (Napalm Death) (Part 1) (Part 2)

STREAMING: Strong Intention’s “3rd Space Guerrilla Generator” with Mike IX

By: Posted in: featured, listen On: Wednesday, May 30th, 2012


Mike IX Williams, Eyehategod’s multitalented vocalist, is no stranger to extracurricular activities (and we’re talking the purely legal ones here, folks). He’s a published author and poet (check out his book Cancer As A Social Activity if you get a chance); sings with a side outfit Arson Anthem and also released a spoken word seven-inch titled “That’s What The Obituary Said.” Clearly, he’s making good use of the time we’ve been waiting for a new EHG album.

Williams is now lending his talents to grinders Strong Intention. He’s featured on two of the six tracks on the EP “Razorblade Express.” Williams sings on the title track, parts of which remind us a bit of “Memories Of Tomorrow” on the first and best Suicidal Tendencies album, and “3rd Space Guerrilla Generator,” streaming below.

Razorblade Express will be released via PATAC Records on June 1, 2012 in a limited vinyl run of 500 copies. If you live on the East Coast, make sure to see the band when they tour next month. You can order the album here.

6/02/2012 Sonar – Baltimore, MD w/ Marduk, 1349

6/03/2012 Halfway House – Detroit, MI

6/04/2012 Now That’s Class – Cleveland, OH

6/05/2012 Strange Matter – Richmond, VA

6/06/2012 Millcreek – Philadelphia, PA

6/07/2012 El N Gee – New London, CT

6/08/2012 Sonar – Baltimore, MD

6/09/2012 Saint Vitus – Brooklyn, NY

6/10/2012 Radio – Somerville, MA

6/11/2012 Boagie’s – Albany, NY

6/23/2012 Café 611 – Frederick, MD w/ Agnostic Front, Sheer Terror

STREAMING: Conan “Battle in the Swamp”

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, listen On: Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Conan Promo Photographs 2011

Not much is known about Liverpool’s Conan. No, this isn’t the same Conan you see on late night TV or the same fictional king(s) Conan/Kalidor who bedded Sandahl Bergman and Brigitte Nielsen in the early ’80s, but rather this Conan is a UK-based doom metal trio who’ve kept their mouths shut by employing Internet stealth mode—the difficulty level for this is unreal—for the past six years. That is until now. Sure, Conan’s had press here and there—most recently for the full-length on which “Battle in the Swamp” appears—but not the full-benchpress usually associated with bands of Conan’s ilk. Now, if they were on Rise Above or Southern Lord, well, they’d be darlings to the greater back-patched doomer set, but they’re not. For now.

That’s not to say Conan haven’t done cool things. They’ve supported heroes Sleep. Played with A Storm of Light. And hit up mega-toker fest Roadburn in 2012. These are all primers for big time accolades. Writings on the wall, so to speak. But reading about Conan isn’t better than hearing Conan, right? They have a website for reading. So, we’ve teamed up with Conan to bring you a killer track from full-length Monnos. Click the orange dot with white right-facing arrow to be blown back in time when bipedal creatures in hoodies meant death.

** Conan’s new long-player Monnos is out now on Burning World Records. It’s available HERE directly from the band. Or, if you prefer Amazon, it’s like $50, which is far too much for a CD in this day and age, but we realize habits are hard to break (in deference to the hit tune by Chicago).

Extreme Drinking and Driving: Home Edition

By: adem Posted in: featured, gnarly one-offs, heavy tuesdays, liver failure On: Tuesday, May 29th, 2012


So, for the record we don’t in any way endorse actual drinking and driving. That’s just stupid. However, the geniuses at Dream Arcades have invented a machine that we heartily endorse getting wrecked while using.

It has been our experience that the addition of beer to most things makes them better. Except driving. Did we mention that? Drinking beer does not make driving or operating heavy machinery better. But pretty much everything else, if a cold one is at the ready, it is that much better. Now maybe that’s just the beer talking, but if you can think of one thing that isn’t improved by the addition of beer, we’d like to hear it.

Let’s say you’re relaxing at home playing your favorite video game and, poof, there’s a tap of your favorite brew right next to your, uh, joystick. That’d be OK, right? Well, get ready to spend the best $6k you’ll ever fork over in your life. The Dream Arcades Octane 120 is, according to the press release, “a high-end gaming PC, full driving controls and a beer tap in one unit! [It] comes loaded with a dozen driving sims, an HD projector for wall display, a fully adjustable steering wheel and seat, dual motor force feedback and variable resistance on the pedals.” In addition to the driving sims, it comes loaded with more than a hundred classic video games.

You can load this two-tap bad boy up with either two five-gallon kegs or one half-barrel keg. (We recommend Bear Republic Racer X, or Alesmith Speedway Stout). There’s a tap in the back and an “in-dash” one right by your stick shift, so you don’t even have to move your lazy ass when you want more beer. And we can assure you, based on our own highly scientific research, that you will become more proficient at all the included games, better looking and generally more suave and attractive to the opposite sex the more you drink while playing these games.

So, that’s it then, right? Own one of these and you really won’t have to worry about drinking and driving ever again, because you’ll pretty much stop leaving your house anyway. Just get your local beer distributor to add you to his/her route and get all your food delivered. Dude, you’re set. Just don’t forget to renew your subscription to Decibel (we recommend the two-year option).

Accept the Resurrection

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: featured, interviews On: Tuesday, May 29th, 2012


After a fourteen year hiatus from writing and recording new music — not to mention the permanent break with longtime vocalist Udo Dirkschneider — fans had some cause to be skeptical of Accept‘s 2010 return. Blood of the Nations, however, proved to be a shockingly impressive comeback record — not just a resurrection but a true return to fighting fit form. And the follow-up, Stalingrad — an epic collection of monster anthems and gut-check riffs — feels even tighter, even more fully realized. As the band prepares for a summer of European shows ahead of a triumphant co-headlining North American run with Kreator this fall, guitarist Wolf Hoffmann gave Decibel the low-down on the new record, the evolving new-ish line-up, martial “arts,” and what he would tell the 1979 version of himself if he coud turn back time.

Before we get to the excellent new record, I’m curious if you feel a certain German pride regarding this upcoming Teutonic Terror Attack tour?

Well, the idea has been to highlight German heavy metal. After working around the world and following the different styles in different countries — all under the umbrella heavy metal and then all the other branches coming out of that, we noticed that German-born metal has a distinguished flair and as we learned over the decades, Accept is labeled the first one who made German metal internationally accepted! So we believe that Kreator took the torch and opened the door for another branch of German metal. Both bands are ambassadors, both are from the Industrial Steel area called Ruhrgebiet, which is interesting as shortly before Accept, British bands evolved out of the same environment — the Steel Industry in Great Britain. The spotlight should be on not only on Accept, but also on Kreator representing what Germany has to offer — successfully for many decades.

Martial source material seems to be a good fit for Accept. Why do you think that is?

It always gives us the chance to build that bridge from there to here and now. Power is fascinating and can change the world; unfortunately, power used for your own agenda and to your own selfish advantage is…dangerous.

Is there something about the battle of Stalingrad as a historical event that lent itself particularly well to being explored via an Accept song?

Inspirations came from various corners — documentaries, etcetera. Wars will always be portrayed in history as the result of heroic sacrifices, meaning the soldier wants to kill his enemy no matter what before he takes his last breath. Stalingrad is about dying, but if you follow Accept you will figure, that we — before any other “metal bands” — put a spotlight on very controversial themes but always through a critical lens. Yes, Stalingrad is about one of the most disastrous battles in modern history, but we questioned the presumption that if you take your last breath, you have only one thing in mind: killing your enemy. This might have happened as well, but we saw that differently: Two people are dying and as death is a lonely business. They are seeking help, warmth, and love at that moment — no matter who is lending their hearts and arms… Brothers in death. We all come and go the same way. Brothers? Yes… we are, and it’s got to be thought through: You are killing your brother, your sister if you kill!

As a band with deep European roots, is there more at stake when you delve into this sort of history?

Could have been, but we trusted our long history as songwriters. We do not shed a light on one side without shedding light on the other….

The Lazarus Pit: Fear of God’s Within the Veil

By: Jeff Treppel Posted in: featured, lazarus pit, listen On: Friday, May 25th, 2012

A scarecrow, maybe?

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 contract a severe case of deiphobia with Fear of God and their classic Within the Veil (Warner Bros.).

Dawn Crosby was one of those damaged souls, an artist who was always going to burn out, not fade away.  She sang like a woman possessed – and in a way she was.  She grew up a victim of emotional and sexual abuse, had a drinking problem (that would ultimately be her undoing), and could not keep a band lineup together (partly due to personality clashes, partly due to a mercurial temperament, and partly due to a habit of starting relationships with her bandmates while already in relationships with another bandmate).  Still, for all her faults, she was one hell of a frontwoman, pouring all those roiling emotions into her performances.  Crosby had a chameleon’s grasp of persona, able to slip effortlessly from a childlike whisper to a snarl to Tom G Warrior breathy moans.  It was the force of her personality that pulled Fear of God out of the underground, and that same personality that destroyed it.

Fear of God started as a thrash-era outfit known as Détente, featuring future Fear Factory/Slipknot/KoRn producer Ross Robinson.  They put out one LP, Recognize No Authority, before that lineup imploded and, after some shuffling that included Raven drummer Rob “Wacko” Hunter (you know, the one with the football helmet and shoulder pads), the band coalesced around Crosby and guitarist Mike Carlino, who would become the main songwriter.  Picked up by a Warners A&R person who was impressed with some of the demos they had been cutting, they went into the studio, changed their name due to a conflict with another group, and emerged with Within the Veil.

Featuring songs written over the course of three years, Within the Veil picked up on the zeitgeist of heavy music at the time, covering everything from thrash to the burgeoning alternative scene.  Sometimes Fear of God sounded like Concrete Blonde, like with “Betrayed”‘s Southern Gothic.  Sometimes they sounded like Testament, like on “All That Remains.”  “Emily” thuds like a distaff Celtic Frost.  “Wasted Life” would qualify as a ballad, but there’s nothing particularly ballad-like about the subject matter.  It successfully bridges the gap between the headbangers and the artsy set, with Andy Wallace mixing it expertly to bring out the darkness within.

Within the Veil wasn’t a big success, but Warners wasn’t ready to give up on the band.  Unfortunately, Crosby was, and after the backing musicians recorded a follow-up, she dissolved the lineup without laying down her vocals.  After a few years and a lot more member turnover (including a European tour backed by the members of Wrathchild America), Fear of God resurfaced in 1994, on Pavement, with the disappointing Toxic Voodoo.  Two years later, Crosby was dead of liver failure.  She left behind one truly great album, and a legacy that would lay the track for fatal femme bands like My Ruin and Kittie.  A tragic end for one of the great frontwomen of metal.

Official site

Buy it here!