Synthtracks: Contact Playlist, Part 2: AE Paterra/Majeure

By: Jeff Treppel Posted in: exclusive, featured, listen, lists On: Tuesday, November 18th, 2014


Because synthesizers are awesome, and movie soundtracks are awesome, we asked the duo of British film composer Paul Lawler and American drummer AE Paterra (Zombi/Majeure), collectively known as Contact, to put together a playlist for us with their favorite soundtrack tunes and some words on each. This week, we have Paterra’s picks; click here to check out Lawler’s. Not exactly metal, sure, but it’s not like metal folks don’t love this stuff. Check out the song “Distant Voices” off of their debut LP, First Contact, below, and then brace yourself for some 80s awesomeness.

Rise to Superstardom – unknown/ library 

I fell in love with hockey in my early teens, all credit due to Mario Lemieux. The guy was unbelievable. This is one of my favorite features on his career. The 2 minute opening sequence always stuck with me: really beautiful voice pads – a pretty atypical sports video soundtrack. The whole thing has some real gems – fast forward to 10:53 for some sweet Hornsby rip-off action. Great flyover shots of my hometown, Pittsburgh.


Blade Runner by Vangelis 

This is no surprise. Again, I first saw Blade Runner in my early teens, and to this day I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more perfect marriage of sound and film. Vangelis is always an inspiration. Anything I could say about this has already been said.


Thief by Tangerine Dream 

Another great film opening, this time by Tangerine Dream for the film Thief. Masterfully intensifies an already tense scene.


No Way Out by Maurice Jarre 

Maurice Jarre’s score to the 1989 film No Way Out isn’t totally outstanding, but I was always more excited for the first few minutes of this one over the last 2 hours of it.  Except when Sean Young was on screen.


Stalker by Adward Artemiev

Edward Artemiev’s score to Tarkovsky’s 1979 film Stalker is wonderfully haunting – the overall sound of the entire film is mesmerizing and superbly executed.

***First Contact is out now courtesy of Temporary Residence Limited. You can order it here. Follow the band on Facebook here, and keep track of what Paterra is up to here.

Wino Issues Official Statement, Re: Norway Deporatation

By: andrew Posted in: breaking newz, featured On: Tuesday, November 18th, 2014


At this time, I feel it is necessary to release an official statement of the facts in regard to my recent deportation from the country of Norway. First, I want to apologize to all Saint Vitus fans, and to my band members and crew for my lapse in judgment that ultimately resulted in me missing the last six shows on our Born Too Late 35th anniversary European tour. On November 9th before noon just over the Norwegian border, I was arrested for possession of an illegal substance.  I take full responsibility for the consequences of my actions. The other members and crew were unaware of my substance use. I was truthful with the authorities, and initially sentenced to 16 days in jail, minus the three initial days immediately following my arrest. On those days, I was in solitary confinement, with no reading or writing material and fed solely bread water. Despite these conditions, I was treated respectfully and cordially by all Norwegian authorities. Initially, I believed I would be fined, allowed to continue the tour, and upon its end, I agreed to return to Norway to finish my sentence. I was disheartened to realize that I was to be deported straightaway back to the U.S., and not allowed to finish the tour. I sincerely regret the inconvenience and loss incurred by everyone involved with these gigs, the inspiring co-headlining Orange Goblin, our booking agent, promo folks and the venues, and of course, fans and ticketholders. I want to salute the members of Saint Vitus for carrying on with these shows without me, and proving admirably the class of true road warriors they are. Again, my deepest apologies to all. After several productive years of sobriety, the rigors of almost nonstop touring and life’s circumstances led me to develop a dependency that has become detrimental to my health, and now, my freedom. As of now, I am currently off the road, and actively engaged in treatment.


I will continue my course of creating music and art. Early next year you will see the release of WINO AND CONNY OCHS’ new full-length recording, “FREEDOM CONSPIRACY” on Exile on Mainstream Records. Also on the near horizon: A  full-length Wino solo acoustic recording, the launch of my art and music web store, and my no-holds-barred biography.

Thanks to all who Believe!

Wino, November 18th,2014


(h/t J. Bennett)

(photo: Jose Carlos Santos)

ROAD REPORT: Kings Destroy Ride the Pentagram Express

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: diary, featured On: Tuesday, November 18th, 2014


Brooklyn doom metallers Kings Destroy recently hit the road with Pentagram. Here, in their own words, is what transpired…

Chicago, IL (Stephen Murphy, vocals)

Well goddamn, it was great to head to Chicago for the first show of the tour with Pentagram, Radio Moscow and Bang, plus Iron Reagan taking the stage before us. We loaded our gear into the van in Brooklyn and miraculously drove through NYC and over the George Washington Bridge with no traffic. That never happens. Drove for eleven hours then crashed in Clyde, Ohio. Middle of nowhere. Next day was four more hours to Chicago. Didn’t even bother going to the club — first stop was Kuma’s Corner for a metal burger and some beers. So good. Loaded in and reunited with the Pentagram and Radio Moscow boys with whom we did the Western US this past February. Touring with bands you know and get along with just makes everything a little easier. Loaded in, no soundcheck, hit the stage at 8:20 and ripped off as many songs as we could in our allotted thirty minutes. Reggies was already crowded when we played. By the time Bang, Radio Moscow and Pentagram played, the crowd was boozy and righteous. Great first night of tour.

Minneapolis, MN (Stephen Murphy)

When you tour the US you gain a real appreciation for the vastness of the country. The drive from Chicago to Minneapolis clocks in around eight hours. We woke up early, threw the football around in the fresh air and got our move on… destination Hammerheart Brewery, about 20 miles north of the city. Master brewer Austin Lunn is a great host. He’s also a talented one-man band who records under the name Panopticon. We tasted his beer and he gave us three growlers for the road. Nice! Mill City Nights is a large venue that’s run with great professionalism. We loaded in, got a soundcheck and hit the stage at 8:15. Six songs and an appreciative audience later we loaded out and tucked into watching Bang! These guys were playing in the early ’70s and they are great mellow dudes. A welcome addition to the tour. The first two days have involved about twenty hours of van time. The next few days will be a lot easier.


Grand Rapids, MI (Christopher Skowronski, guitar)

Internal Bleeding: Carnival Of Death Recap

By: Posted in: diary, featured, tours On: Monday, November 17th, 2014


Internal Bleeding recently finished a 30-date North American tour. Guitarist Chris Pervelis shared this funny roundup from his time on the road. You can connect with the band on Facebook and get their new album Imperium from Unique Leader.

Thirty shows — across both America and Canada. That’s quite a test of human endurance — especially when you do it in a van and you’re almost fifty years old.

Our recent tour with Suffocation, Kataklysm, Jungle Rot and Pyrexia was a non-stop merry-go-round of driving, shows, lack of sleep and constant pressure to kill it every night. In short, this tour amounted to long hours of boredom punctuated by a half-hour of playing our brains out.

Instead of writing a long-winded missive on the tour, I’ve made a few top-three lists that will give you a little overview.

Three Best Shows:

• Montreal, Canada: The last show of the tour turned out to be one of the best. The sound was massive, the place was packed and everyone had a great time — plus that Canadian beer made it quite difficult to drive back home.
• Portland, Oregon: A packed house, a broken nose in the pit and plenty of miserable weather made this stop one for the ages. Everything about this show was killer — even the food.
• Rouyn, Canada: Who thought such a small town in the middle of nowhere could bring such an incredible crowd. The stage was an inch of the floor and the crowd was constantly in your face during the whole set. Brilliant!

Three Funny Moments:

• Our bass player trying to educate Tim Hortons employees: Poor Blue (our bass player) — all he wanted was iced coffee and what he’d get was milk with a drop of coffee in it. He spent countless hours trying to explain to the well-meaning employees that iced coffee has to contain actual coffee in order for it to be called that. He’d always come back to the van shaking his head, cursing and shouting out “for the love of God, what’s so fucking difficult about making iced coffee!” He repeated this at every Tim Hortons.
• Watching Oscar throw people off the stage: Oscar Cabrerra is the stage manager for Suffocation and is, hands-down, one of the greatest people you’ll meet in the music industry. He’ll take time to give you tips and advice; he’ll go out of his way for you and he’ll always great you with a smile. But when a fan lingers on the stage for too long, he explodes like a demon and from out of nowhere comes this wiry Mexican dude with an attitude hell-bent on throwing you off the stage in a most unfriendly manner. This happened quite a few times during the tour and it was always hilarious to see him literally throw people three times his size into the air and off the side of the stage.
• Letting Keith drive: Anytime he gets behind the wheel, you can be sure that you are going to receive four to five hours of pure entertainment. He is, bar none, the angriest driver on the planet I have ever seen. The string of expletives that come flying out of his mouth if you’re in his way would make even the most grizzled sailor blush. I’ve never seen so many derogatory words strung together in such an interesting manner — no wonder he is so good at writing lyrics.

Three Lessons Learned:

• Showering in a sink: Probably the most important lesson from the whole tour. When showers are few and far between, all you need is a washcloth, some soap and a sink to be clean, fresh and ready to rock and roll.
• Air bomb targeting: Club toilets are notoriously nasty. Learning how to take a dump without ever having to touch the toilet seat is a skill that comes in very, very handy.
• Bring noise-canceling headphones: Because there’s always that one person in your band who snoring sounds like a million woodpeckers attacking a forest of redwood trees!

Finally, all the bands we played with were just dynamite human beings. That made life on the road a lot easier for everyone. Special thanks must go out to Derek Boyer and Terrance Hobbs for making sure that we always had some beer and booze. Because when you are on the bottom of the list during a tour, your catering budget only has enough room for some food. Terrance and Derek went above and beyond to keep us fortified with alcohol. If you ask me, that’s a true sign of friendship and camaraderie.

Here’s Something From…Nothing

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: exclusive, featured On: Monday, November 17th, 2014


Today Philadelphia altered reality merchants Nothing follow up the excellent Relapse debut Guilty of Everything — pick up the scarf/beanie bundle! — with a split 12-inch on Run For Cover Records alongside Whirr. (The release also features etched b-side/full-length studio doc DVD…) We’ve got the exclusive premiere of the video for one of those tracks, “Chloroform,” below. Enjoy!

European tour dates after the jump.

Top 5 Unlikely Anathema (Doom Metal Phase) Songs

By: Chris D. Posted in: gnarly one-offs, listen, lists On: Monday, November 17th, 2014


** Decibel’s Top 100 Doom Metal Album of All Time issue is available now (HERE). So inspired by England’s place on the map (OK, list) and equally inspired by Anathema’s early catalog inclusion, I wanted to Top 5 songs that aren’t on lists, have been spurned by Anathema (no remake of “Suicide Veil”?), or have been ignored by doom metallers old and young for whatever reason. Enjoy the sorrow. And don’t forget to tell us which Anathema songs are your favorites. Anathema were, as you know, the bible…

5. “Suicide Veil”
“Suicide Veil” doesn’t really start until 2:30 mark. While the synths could’ve been lifted off of Ian Haugland, the rest of the song is as miserable as a rainy Monday in deep autumn. Vincent’s vocals border on rage and despair and the final minutes of the song are classic Anathema. They group loved to draw out songs—some may argue in unnecessarily—using repetition to drive home simple yet emotionally complex themes. “Suicide Veil” is no exception, except the songwriters use the prolog and epilog to communicate Anathema’s minimalisms. Eternity is a rare gem in doom metal’s slow motion landscape.

4. “Sunset of Age”
This is a classic early ‘90s era Anathema track. The drawn out main riff pairs rhythmically with drummer John Douglas and Duncan Patterson, tumultuous and undulating, while the keyboard swells (in parts) almost unheard in the background. The song is largely different from other Anathema tracks. The beginning and end action sections, while the middle fans out in pure ambience. What really sets “Sunset of Age” apart from other Anathema tracks is its very Anathema like complementary guitar line to the main riff. Listen and be amazed.

3. “Eternal Rise of the Sun”
Recorded during the Pentecost III sessions, “Eternal Rise of the Sun” is proof positive the path Anathema were heading down in ’94 wasn’t getting any happier. More hopeful, yes. “Eternal Rise of the Sun” is secured in awesome by its Near Eastern rhythm and jam-like coda. Darren White’s lyrics are different from his other vociferation of loss and despair. When he opines “Believe in angels, they believe in you / Oh, spread your wings, there is more than this darkness”, it’s clear his influences were starting to come from different places (possibly India). For years, the only place to find this song (pre-YouTube) was on the We Are the Bible 7”, but resurfaced in 2002 on the Resonance 2 compilation.

2. “Mine is Yours to Drown in (Ours is the New Tribe)”
Doom metal has always been about big, monolithic riffs and imposing song structures. OK, not always, but sometimes. “Mine is Yours to Drown in (Ours is the New Tribe)” was the second track on the Pentecost III EP and it doesn’t really feel like Anathema. Sound like, yes. Feel like, the rhythmic plod is more rooted in Godflesh. Throw in a rougher production, a more clinical drum production and “Mine is Yours to Drown in (Ours is the New Tribe)” could’ve been a Godflesh song (circa Pure). The middle of the song is different, however. And this changes everything. When White goes into his unpublished lyrics about Atlantean and druid stuff, the musical movement is right out of Serenades. The heaviness of the Cavanagh riffs can never be understated. They crush. But they also have a delicate side in Danny’s sustain and note choices. The song’s end is bliss.

1. “Cerulean Twilight”
On The Silent Enigma, Anathema axed singer Darren White. Guitarist Vincent Cavanagh took over for White last minute and, to be fair, killed it. There isn’t a single piece of Anathema music before and after The Silent Enigma that’s as pissed, tension-filled, and emotionally crushing as the album’s mid-point trio of “Nocturnal Emission”, “Cerulean Twilight”, and “The Silent Enigma”. “Cerulean Twilight”, in particular, is the most harrowing of the terrible troika. True, the chick scream, Cavanagh’s scathing lyrics, and the brilliant end motif to “Nocturnal Emission” rules dark corners, but “Cerulean Twilight” is a perpetual wave of sorrow, hate, and desolation. Danny Cavanagh’s nightmare strums and note torture is off-the-charts incredible and the 30 seconds of screams under Vincent’s agony vocals level most black metal vocals in the last decade. Hyperbole? Listen to real close to Vincent. There’s no light or hope in his voice. The emotion behind it is so raw and unhinged, it’s a wonder he wasn’t asked to enlist in short-lived UK black metal wonder Megiddo.

Decibrity Playlist: Broughton’s Rules

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, gnarly one-offs, listen, lists On: Friday, November 14th, 2014


** Broughton’s Rules are from Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It’s a former rustbelt city that’s experienced a rennaisance in recent memory. Its citizens are no-bullshit and its music, espeically Broughton’s Rules, follow a similar mindset. Well, Broughton’s Rules (formed out of the ashes of instrumental wonderkids Don Caballero) aren’t terribly bad-ass, though their name is taken from John “Jack” Broughton, an English boxer known for fighting gloveless and codifying boxing’s first set of “official” rules. Before we meander too much down six lanes of consciousness (i.e., bullshittery), the members of Broughton’s Rules thought it would be cool to present nine (9) bands from Pittsburgh that need some listening attention. Why 9? Because 10 is so 2013. Enjoy the noise! Oh, and they have a new album out called, Anechoic Horizon. Don’t even ask us what “anechoic” means.

1) The Gotobeds “Wasted On Youth” (Poor People Are Revolting 2014)
Here’s The Gotobeds running around Pittsburgh. The last time I saw them it was on a boat.

2) Night Vapor “Diamond Ring” (Mind Cure 7″ A-side 2014)
2) Night Vapor “Diamond Ring” (Mind Cure 7″ A-side 2014)

3) Killer of Sheep “Clouds” (Out Of Time 2012)
This band will knock you into next week.

4) Damon Che “Oh, Suzanna” (Membraphonics compilation 2001)
Damon on all duties.

5) Grand Buffet “Cool as Hell” (Pittsburgh Hearts 2003)
Dynamic Duo

6) Carousel “On My Way” (Jewelers Daughter 2013)
Hard hitting paulfistinyourface song. Also saw them play on a boat.

7) T-Tops “Wipe Down” (2014)
Noisy heaviness. Our rehearsal space roommates.

8) Barons “Wartime” (7″ 2014)
Debut 7″ A-side.

9) Mike Tamburo Crown of Eternity “Sound Creation Earth Gongs 32″ and 26″ (2013)
Mike making amazing sounds with his gongs.

** Broughton’s Rules new album, Anechoic Horizon, is out now on Relapse Records. The fine folk at Relapse Records made it available on retro-cool CD (HERE) and ultra-modern vinyl (HERE). Just for you, oh residents of the wonder that is the Primanti’s Sandwich shop and lover of all that’s loud from a city that formerly made its way with steel. Heavy…

Get Your Trance On: Exclusive LAE Premiere!

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: exclusive, featured On: Friday, November 14th, 2014


Sit back, y’all. Steve Austin-affiliated psychedelic post-rockers LAE are about to take you to another plane of existence via the title track of the album Break the Clasp out next week. (Physical pre-order here; digital here.)

Here’s what the band has to say about the track…

In the last months of our previous band, Lae-Tseu, we had a riff that never made it to a real song. When we formed our next project ‘Désirs Démodés’, we developed that same idea but as a three-piece band (bass, guitar and drums). It was a good song but still sounded a little empty. It was called “The Mermaid Will Drown All Your Tears” back then. We still call it “Mermaid” from time to time. With Lae, we took it to another level. It started in the studio. While we were recording Marc was super into it and kept on playing his guitar at the end of the song. The song was supposed to be over but he was making signs for us to keep playing along with him. So we did and the end of the song is totally improvised. It might not be an easy listening track with its complex structure but we feel that it is the song from the album that represents us the best with its different parts and moods. The textures with the electronics, with Steve’s guitar and vocals and above all, our friend Chrissy’s back-up vocals that really sound like a mermaid singing, makes it one of our favorite songs of the album…especially the end!


By: andrew Posted in: featured, flexi disc On: Friday, November 14th, 2014


Holiday shopping is the worst. If you’re buying for a non-metalhead, that is. Luckily, we don’t associate with those kinds of jerks! So, if you or a loved one are an avid collector of our rare, exclusive and esteemed Flexi Series, we’ve got just the thing to put the grin in your Grinch: the brand new Deluxe Edition Flexi Collector’s Box!

Our original (now sold out) box fit a mere eight sleeves/flexis, but this updated version fits 24. Now you can store/protect two year’s worth of discs. The series just keeps expanding — we’ll be delivering our 50th flexi in the February issue — and 2015 boasts a murderer’s row of extreme music talent: We’re already confirmed to bring you new flexis from the likes of Nails,Orange Goblin and My Dying Bride! You couldn’t stop us from bringing flexis back; now you can only hope to contain them.

Pick up the Deluxe Edition Flexi Collector’s Box right here. Note: this item will ship on December 11, which means customers will have them before Xmas.

Stream New 25-Minute OWL Song: “The Last Walk”

By: Dan Lake Posted in: featured, interviews, listen On: Friday, November 14th, 2014


With all the music that comes across the Decibel desk in a month (hell, in a single week), I find it can help to stick labels on music that I want to be sure to spend time with.  Earlier this year, when Owl’s Into the Absolute EP came down, I tagged it with the descriptor “weird death metal” to remind my future self why it would be worth my attention.  While that choice of description is overly simplistic and only partially apt, it’s good enough to get me to come back to it when I’m sifting through the newish albums I want to hear.

When the new song/album, The Last Walk, appeared in my inbox, I knew it was time to revisit Owl.  Glad I did.  Valborg member Christian Kolf finds ways to re-sculpt trance-inducing heaviness and crawling violence into some stimulating idiosyncratic material.

Check out the full song here, and read Kolf’s discussion of the project and how it all comes together.

You have had a lot of other musical experience – can you talk about how the other bands you’ve worked with have felt different than the way Owl works?

OWL is actually a solo project and that’s the main difference. In my other band VALBORG we jam and write songs together in our rehearsal room. It always depends on the people you work with and the creative room or history you created. Every band has its own world. I don’t like to squeeze every style into one band. It’s more about creating a picture, to make a statement, keeping your mind free to stay in flow.

How did the Owl project come together?  What were your initial goals when you started Owl?

It all started with the first OWL album. It’s based upon a dream I had 10 years ago. I always wanted to make an album like this, to provoke the feelings I had back in the 90s when I was listening to old British doom gothic death metal records.

You have been recording a lot since Owl started, especially recently.  Do you spend a lot of your time on Owl, or is the time you spend just really productive?

When I enter a writing mood it all happens really fast. I don’t work too long on songs. When I start, I finish it and that’s it. I don’t want to be too perfectionist and kill the feeling by hearing it too often.

When I heard that The Last Walk would be one 25-minute song, I was amazed, but then I realized that you’ve recorded long pieces before… in fact, Into the Absolute was full of pretty short songs, based on your other work.  When you work on songs, do you piece different ideas together, or do you write them from beginning to end?

It differs. With longer songs I have a rough framework which I extend. Shorter songs I write from beginning to end.

What are you enjoying most about your writing/recording as Owl?

Absolute freedom. With this kind of music you reach out to people who are simply cool, who appreciate strange stuff and true emotions. There are not many in this world and that makes it very special.

Is your label Zeitgeister working the way you hoped it would when you started out?

Definitively. I’m very happy that we have created something unique. We are a bunch of friends who do this, who make music and release it. We are independent and we don’t have to play a silly game about chumming up and success. We want to be found and if we will be forgotten, we don’t care. What matters is the attitude towards life. Most people want something and that’s the killer of all fun. I see many people who quit music, because the circumstances are so bad. I think they just don’t love music enough. Maybe they loved the dream about making a living from it or become famous. But this is more basics stuff and not what music is about. Music is not about the journey outwards, it’s about the journey inwards.

Would you like to take Owl’s music to the stage in the near future?

Maybe. Not yet. I want to keep the dream alive and take it easy. First I want to release some more music. The next album has already been written. I just have to find the right time to record it.

For more of Kolf’s work with Owl, Gruenewald and Valborg, check out the Zeitgeister Bandcamp site.