Getcho’ Nerd On: Deconstructing Sequence

By: Dan Lake Posted in: featured, interviews, listen, lists, videos On: Friday, September 5th, 2014

DecSeqBand

UK time travelers Deconstructing Sequence have recorded a new 2-song EP called Access Code, amounting to more than 16 minutes of new music.  Yeah, that doesn’t really sound like a lot, but the futuristic mech-out violence metes out a very high quality to make up for the relatively low quantity.  They pack as much music into these tunes as a doom band can fit into eight hours, so we’re not complaining.

To celebrate the release of Access Code, we asked DS to tell us about their ten favorite sci-fi movies so we could all get in the mood before diving headfirst into their space-age explosion.  Here’s what they said:

Fahrenheit 451 by François Truffaut

A dystopian future where firefighters have only one mission: find your beloved books and burn them. Did they ever deal with extinguishing fire? Nonsense… everything is built fireproof. The only threat to your well-being are books, which spawn emotions – the greatest plague of modern humanity. Although very old this movie is still enjoyable to watch, despite some funny special FX.

Mad Max by George Miller

A very delightful vision of postapocalyptic and anarchistic future! Mel Gibson, before he decided to torment Christ on screen, managed to create very interesting character that has little to say during the movie, which is overall scarce in dialogue. But thanks to that the weight of building the atmosphere is shifted towards visual side which works very well.

They Live by  John Carpenter

Obey, marry and reproduce, no independent thought, consume, watch TV, money is your god… I think the brainwashing procedures that aliens imposed on the society in this 80’s classic are pretty well executed by great portion of our modern counterparts. This movie is a great allegory of consumerism that is still very up to date. Governments control us to make us dumb? I think we are doing the job very well ourselves. And of course one of the most badass movie quotes that was borrowed later by creators of Duke Nukem was uttered here: “I have come here to chew bubblegum an kick some ass… and I’m all out of bubblegum…”

Blade Runner by Ridley Scott

A very interesting adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s novel, that has little in common with the book. Ridley Scott basically just borrowed the concept and created it’s own dark, futuristic setting with killer machines on the run, that is graphically very impressive even now and in some ways is even better than animated worlds offered by today’s cinema. And if you’ve watched the movie, grab the book. You’ll plunge deeper into this world, and have a chance to grasp very interesting religious and emotional aspects of it.

Dune by David Lynch

Another very interesting adaptation. I remember watching it for the first time as a teenager and afterwards being mesmerized and confused at the same time. I had to watch it several times to get all the pieces together, spot every minor detail and build the big picture. I enjoy very much that kind of movies, music and art in general and this is the approach we take on our music. We tend to make it a bit complicated, so you’ll need some spins to hear all the details. This kind of art is a bit difficult to digest, but that makes it more rewarding and interesting. The movie itself was criticized by Herbert’s fans for not being true to the book, but seriously, you just can’t recreate the written word on the screen, you can only play with it for better or worse. And I think that Lynch did a great job on this one.

1984 by Michael Radford

Approach on Orwell’s book that came out very well. This one covers most of the major elements of the original story and adds additional depth in terms of vision and sound. This film depicts grayness of futuristic, dystopian United Kingdom perfectly with rich details, or rather lack of them. Scenery of ruined, dull and empty city, colors used, the uniforms characters wear… all of it forms a very compelling picture. Similar to “They Live” Orwell did an interesting job on predicting the future, maybe it didn’t turned out to be so hopeless, but still with all the invigilation… the Big Brother is watching!

12 Monkeys by Terry Gilliam

One of the authors of Monty Python proved himself to be a formidable director in other genres than comedy. 12 Monkeys is another futuristic setting, where mankind goes to hell… love it! Movie with great atmosphere achieved by well created scenography and camera work. An I even like Brad Pitt in here…

Aliens by James Cameron

Now a proper sci-fi movie! Space marines blasting big bugs with acid instead of blood! I don’t think anyone needs an introduction to this one, a classic that spawned entire lines of comics and video games. Cameron did a great movie, but let be honest, this franchise wouldn’t be half as popular if not for the presence of the most iconic alien creature spawned in the demented mind of H.R. Giger – the Xenomorph.

ALIENS

A Clockwork Orange by Stanley Kubrick

Not that much of sci-fi cinema, but since imdb.com categorizes it this way I decided to put it here, because this one is so damn good. The violence, classical music and a murder with a giant penis… Both novel and the movie spawned a lot of controversy, but that’s not the main reason to watch it. Deconstruction of main characters’ violent mind that goes through “innovative” resocialization program is what makes it memorable.

2001: A Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick

A haunting and mesmerizing classic of the sci-fi genre that changed my perception of movies forever! I remember watching it for the first time as a kid. It was my first encounter with this kind of avant-garde approach, not your regular lasers, robots ’n’ explosions kind of sci-fi experience. Everything about this movie was so cold, sterile and static it made me feel anxious, I remained tense through entire piece. And after the final, ten minute long scene of Bowman exploring the Monolith in a series of surreal and hypnotic images  I realized that lasers and robots suck and this is my kind of cinema! I had Bowman’s quote “my God, it’s full of stars” saved on my hard drive for years and finally had a chance to utilize it as an intro in our upcoming production.

Duo Me All Night Long: An Interview with Fossils

By: kevin.stewart-panko Posted in: featured, interviews, tours, videos On: Thursday, September 4th, 2014

deciblog - fossils duo

Denmark’s Fossils are another impressive addition to the growing collection of killer two-man bands currently forming in the shadow of the continued absence of Lightning Bolt and the acceptance of the reality that the price of gas is never going to drop below $3 per gallon anywhere other than Indian reservations and south Texas. The duo of Tornby (bass) and Silkjaer (drums) has a new album called Flesh Hammer (the follow up to Meat Rush and the live EP The Veal Thing) out and available, plus a new video for “Carnivore Arrest” online for your viewing pleasure. They recently took some time out to introduce themselves to the Deciblog.

Tell us a bit about the history of Fossils. What are your musical backgrounds and how did you come to join forces now?
We come from the same city, Aalborg in Denmark, and back in the day we were both playing in different groups, mostly based around a local punk club called 1000FRYD. We met again by chance in ‘99, and started a rock & roll/Hardcore/Noiserock trio called Studson. In 2006, we called it quits and formed FOSSILS shortly after.

When and why did you decide to do the band a duo and keep things instrumental? Was there ever the idea to expand to a full band or find a singer?
We didn’t have any masterplan, but we just wanted to try something different and we needed a new musical direction. We had both been talking about instrumental music for a while and we thought it would be interesting to explore the possibilities of a minimal setup. Technically speaking, we also wanted to play on a more technical and condensed level. We quickly found out that it was fun to push ourselves further into stuff we found difficult to play. It was kind of like starting from scratch. For us, the main challenge was to sound like more than two people without using any other instruments than drums, cymbals, a bass and a distortion pedal.

Do you have previous experience with this sort of line-up configuration? What have some of the challenges been with Fossils?
We both played in a couple of different duos, but none of these have had considerably long life spans. The main challenge for us is trying to reinvent the way we are making music. We generally think that instrumental music, with a limited instrumentation has to be condensed and packed with a lot of variation and ideas to be interesting. That poses a challenge in itself. Also, we generally see the process of playing in a band as a way of creating a universe, or a framework with its own set of rules. As an example, our songs rarely exceed the two minute mark. This is not something that we plan, but it is more like a law of nature in our universe.

What can you tell us about the new album? What were you trying to do accomplish or differently than Meat Rush?
We were looking for a sound that was simple but still big and heavy. We wanted to capture the live energy of our songs, so we recorded the album live without any overdubs. We recorded with our regular producer Klaus Q Hedegaard Nielsen. The crisp production of this record is his achievement. He also recorded our first album Meat Rush as well as the EP The Veal Thing, and this time he once again managed to capture what we wanted. He is basically the third member of the band. The finishing touch, the mastering, was made by Emil at E.T. Mastering, who did an awesome job lifting the sound to another level. We recorded Flesh Hammer after having just returned from a US tour with our friends Cola Freaks. After playing more than 15 shows in ten states during 20 days, we went directly into recording mode. We recorded in our old rehearsal space in an old school. We spent five days recording ten songs, of which two were written during the session. We recorded during a summer heat wave and our rehearsal room must have been about 90F degrees during the whole session. The result is a much faster record than the previous. We weren’t really going for a “different” album, the songs are just documenting a natural progression for us, both technically and in terms of song writing, if you can call it that.

deciblog - fossils cover

What does the title Flesh Hammer refer to? What does The Veal Thing and Meat Rush refer to, in that case? Does being an instrumental band mean that your titles aren’t given much thought and consideration or do your songs/titles have some sort of personal significance?
We always found that meat was an inexhaustible source of ideas for titles to our songs, and we like hammerhead sharks. Hammerhead sharks are in many ways living fossils and science knows very little about them. They haven’t changed for millions of years. It’s a primitive life form, but it brings home the bacon, so to speak. The title Flesh Hammer refers our idea of the album being a hammer that pounds your flesh. But for us it also just a word that creates some images. It could mean other things too, but it’s up to the listener. The Veal Thing is a live EP, and the title refers to the Faith No More live album (The Real Thing), but it is also meant to create a mental image of some sort of a two-headed meat-monster chasing you down a dead-end street. Anyway, that is what we see.

What is recording usually like for Fossils? How much is live off the floor and how much overdubbing do you do?
We have four basic rules about recording:
• We always record live in the studio!
• We record whole takes without editing!
• We record without any use of overdubbing! What you hear is what you get!
• We always record with Klaus Q Hedegaard Nielsen
On our YouTube channel we have posted videos from the recording of Flesh Hammer, where you can see the actual takes from the album being recorded. All songs are there, with the exception of “Lard Obstacle,” which we made into a video consisting of live footage from the last five years.

www.youtube.com/user/xXFossilsXx

How does Fossils in the studio compare to Fossils’ live show/sound?
The latest record is very close to what we sound like live. In a live situation we have a third member as well. Our regular sound engineer Neil R. Young understands how to deliver an awesome sound at our gigs. Besides that, it’s difficult to compare a live situation with a studio situation. We are much more concentrated and introverted in the studio and much more loose and relaxed live. In both situations we tap into some sort of mother lode of aggression though.

There seems to be a growing movement of two-man bands in a lot of places, especially throughout Europe. Why do you think this is and who are some of your favourite bands of this ilk?
Maybe people are starting to discover that ‘two is a crowd’. Meaning, you don’t need the basic line up to bring the noise. Maybe it’s easier to make musical decisions and create songs when you are only two people in the band. We have had the pleasure of playing with other duos such as Danish group Drön, Beehover from Germany and the amazing Italians ZEUS!, just to mention a few. We have never seen a duo that sucked yet, but we have seen a lot of traditional line ups that did. It’s different with duos when they play. There’s something at stake. Maybe that’s the appeal of it all, just being a duo. You put yourself on the line in another way. Maybe that’s appealing to an audience too.

What are the immediate and future plans for Fossils?
We have a bunch of shows in September and October in Denmark and a European Tour is in the works. We are also planning a secret project with our record label Indisciplinarian and finally, we are writing songs for a new record.

Here are a few more specific details about those immediate plans:
Tour Dates
September 6th – Tobakken, Esbjerg (DK)
September 12th-13th – Postfest 2014, Aarhus (DK) w/ The Ocean, This Will Destroy You a.o.
September 18th – Ideal Bar, København ((DK) w/ The Malpractice
September 19th – Atlas, Aarhus (DK) w/ The Malpractice
September 20th – Posten, Odense (DK) w/ The Malpractice
October 18th – Kansas City, Odense (DK) w. Plök

And here’s the “Carnivore Arrest” video:

deciblog - fossils dates

Fossils website
Facebook
Photo: Peter Svendsen

Rosetta: An Update

By: zach.smith Posted in: featured On: Thursday, September 4th, 2014

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You may have heard that there’s a new Rosetta EP on the way (that’s the cover up there), but the band also just announced that it will be playing two special record release shows for Flies to Flame. While our hometown favorites are always worth seeing, these gigs have something extra to offer. Not only will they be your last opportunity to see Rosetta live this year, but you can expect to hear new material that the quartet has previously said wasn’t “intended to be played live” as it “functions as a kind of process document, from an important and transitional year in our life as a band.” But the most interesting part about these performances is that the ensemble will expand to a quintet with guitarist Eric Jernigan (from City of Ships, who you might remember from our 2009 top 40) in tow. Dates are below.

If you can’t make it to Brooklyn or Philly next month, however, a new EP is not the only thing on the horizon. More immediately, War Crime Recordings will release last year’s The Anaesthete on vinyl at the end of the month. Longer term, a feature-length documentary film about the group is in the works. While not a “Rosetta project”, the outfit will be scoring the film with “totally new experimental compositions not available on any other release.”

Rosetta tour dates:

Friday, October 17th – Brooklyn NY – Saint Vitus
w/ Tiger Flowers and So Hideous
Get tickets here.

Saturday, October 18th – Philadelphia, PA – Boot & Saddle
w/ Tiger Flowers and Ladder Devils
Get tickets here.

STREAMING: Overcharge’s “As If There Were No Tomorrow”

By: justin.m.norton Posted in: featured, listen On: Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

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Globalization really has changed everything, not just for business and our sex lives but for music. How else could you explain the fact that dudes in Mumbai are playing expert technical death metal and the crop of black metal bands in Australia?

Case in point: the new album from Overcharge. Now, if you listen to these guys you might assume that they grew up in part of the Midwest where jobs are scarce but booze is plentiful. Nope; they grew up in Italy, where Americans like to go for romantic getaways. But for some reason they decided to play a hybrid of punk and speed metal like the track we’re streaming today: “As If There Were No Tomorrow.”

Overcharge’s new album Accelerate will be released on September 30 via Unspeakable Axe Records. Stream the track below and get in touch with the band here. A full track listing follows the stream.

1. Accelerate
2. As If There Were No Tomorrow
3. Dirt
4. Drown In Your Own
5. Nothing On The Way
6. Leave Behind
7. Nowhere To Go
8. Water Of Fire
9. No Law
10. Don’t Waste A Breath

Sucker For Punishment: Full Ascent

By: Adrien Begrand Posted in: featured On: Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

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There are certain bands I’ve only seen in specific settings, and in some cases it’s something where I’d like it to stay that way. I’m sure some readers might relate. For instance, I’ve seen Sodom four times, all on a cruise ship, and it’s gotten to the point now where the notion of seeing the almighty Sodom somewhere other than such a surreal setting on the Caribbean just doesn’t seem right. YOB is another. I live in a city where an underground doom band like YOB can’t afford to tour through, so the only times I’ve seen the Oregon trio play is at the Roadburn Festival in the Netherlands, which is as perfect a setting as you can get. It’d be admittedly awesome to see the band play in a small room in North America, but Roadburn is the one place where Mike Scheidt and YOB are superstars, and the four times I’ve seen them perform have been in front of 2,000 people. And I always experience YOB from the same spot, on stage left, right underneath the gigantic tower of PA stacked beside the stage. The sound there is so immense it becomes tactile, like you can reach out and grab those colossal sound waves. It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced, and likely ever will.

Just how YOB can create such a massive sound from just the barest minimum of equipment has long fascinated me, and I posed the question to Scheidt a few weeks ago for a feature that will appear in the next issue of Decibel. His response was a fascinating one, one which you’ll have to wait a bit for to see, but that reputation of being one of the most gloriously heavy bands in the world right now is on full display on the band’s brilliant seventh album, the aptly titled Clearing the Path to Ascend (Neurot).

Arriving on the heels of 2011’s Atma, a record intentionally given a much grittier sound than usual, which divided a few opinions, Clearing the Path to Ascend takes a much more straightforward approach, focusing more on that classic doom sound, bringing out as much of that live force as possible. As usual, the tracks are long and very drawn out, requiring patience from those not used to sitting through doom tracks that plod along for more than 15 minutes. However, true to this band’s form, these four tracks, ranging from 11 minutes to nearly 19, are as riveting as you could ever hope for them to be. They might take their time, but they always reach a spellbinding resolution. Better yet, though, the album follows a distinct arc, making for YOB’s most dynamic album in a long time.

“In Our Blood” kicks things off in classic YOB fashion, an exercise in the mighty, towering doom that audiences expect from Scheidt. “Nothing to Win” follows immediately with a throttling arrangement led by drummer Travis Foster, whose thundering beats will remind many of the primal intensity of Neurosis at its best. “Unmask the Spectre” kicks off an enthralling second half, taking the listener deep into some of the darkest themes and tones the band has created to date, and that is countered immediately by the gorgeous closing track “Marrow”, whose melody and use of layered vocals is unlike anything YOB has done, reaching a level of unabashed beauty they’ve never quite pulled off before.

YOB has never put out a bad record, but this new one is a marked step up from Atma, and very much on par with 2009’s triumphant The Great Cessation. Scheidt and YOB are masters of the form, and they’re sounding particularly inspired here. I hope I get to see this album performed live at Roadburn someday, but whatever the venue, you know these tunes would be glorious in a live setting.

There’s no shortage of other good new music to investigate this week, which is nice to see:

Blood Of Kingu, Dark Star On The Right Horn of the Crescent Moon (Season Of Mist): In direct contrast to Krieg’s new album, which is reviewed below and which you should totally get, this latest by the Drudkh side project is one-dimensional to the point of boring. Unrelenting speed but little to no dynamics, clanging sound effects to try to create atmosphere (been there, done that), and absolutely no trace of character to be found. Cosidering this band’s pedigree, such laziness is inexcusable. I’m not buying this, and neither should you.

Code Orange, I Am King (Deathwish): Kids no longer, I take it? Indeed, the new album by the young Pittsburgh band shows so much growth that it’s easy to see why they dropped the word “Kids” from their name. Anything to get folks to take them more seriously. Already ferocious performers who captured that energy in brilliant fashion on 2012’s Kurt Ballou-produced Love is Love/Return to Dust, Code Orange raises the bar on this follow-up, bringing more of a metal sound into their music, the arrangements darker, moodier, and best of all, bigger. And typically, these tracks veer all over the place yet never lose focus, rampaging along for 32 exhilarating minutes, leaving you wondering what the hell just happened when the last track ends.

Dark Fortress, Venereal Dawn (Century Media): Guitarist V. Santura is a busy fella. He features prominently on Triptykon’s Melana Chasmata and Noneuclid’s Metatheosis, two of 2014’s better metal albums, and now his talents are featured on another Dark Fortress album. The German band has never set the metal landscape ablaze, but the music is always a good, workmanlike example of no-frills melodic black metal, and this album is no different. Huge, sometimes towering, not above a little progressive detour, and blasphemously silly, it’s also sneakily catchy, and the guitar melodies by Santura and Asvargr waste no time roping listeners in. The 11-minute title track, which audaciously kicks off the album, is an immediate standout.

Hammerfall, (r)Evolution (Nuclear Blast): Likeable as they are, the guys in HammerFall have been coasting along complacently for nearly a decade now, so it was very hard to get excited about the prospect of another new album. Instead of carrying along sounding anything but inspired, this ninth album is a spirited affair that fans will thoroughly enjoy. Nothing new is offered, it’s more of the simple, rousing power metal they helped perfect, and most importantly, loaded with anthemic hooks. A power metal album is a waste of time without glorious, bombastic hooks, and thankfully this record is overflowing in catchy sing-along melodies. From “Hector’s Hymn” to “Origins”, this is good fun that fits nicely alongside past albums like Crimson Thunder and Renegade.

The Haunted, Exit Wounds (Century Media): Considering how awful the 2011 album Unseen was, I didn’t just have low expectations for the new Haunted album, I simply didn’t care. Yet Decibel’s benevolent reviews overlord Andrew Bonazelli insisted I give this thing a shot, and whaddya know, this album by the revamped band is a good return to form. With Marco Aro back in the fold as vocalist after a decade away, the band has simplified its approach, reverting to the thrashy melodic death metal they excelled at early in their career. That’s all The Haunted ever needed to do, and with this record, their best since Revolver in 2004, they sound reborn. Good for them.

Krieg, Transient (Candlelight): The best black metal not only delivers savage, primal music rife in gloom and malevolence, but matches the music with atmosphere that equally captures that bleak feeling. Of course it’s no surprise that the latest from Neill Jameson’s long-running project captures that very idea. This seventh Krieg album is wonderfully eclectic, smartly spacing the faster tracks across the record, with slower, groovier, crust-ridden compositions, giving it a little time to breathe. Backed by Philly black metalers Esoterica, Jameson creates a palpable sense of anxiety and urban decay, ranging from the menacing grooves of “Order of the Solitary Road” and “To Speak With Ghosts”, to the experimental spoken word track “Home”, to the inspired cover of Amebix’s “Winter”. Stream and purchase the album via Bandcamp.

Pig Heart Transplant, For Mass Consumption (20 Buck Spin): I love you, 20 Buck Spin, but this unbelievably pretentious combination of atmospheric noise wank and powerviolence vocals is completely off-putting. Interested parties can try it out via Bandcamp. Be warned.

Set and Setting, A Vivid Memory (Prosthetic): This instrumental band from Florida sounds like something The Mylene Sheath would have put out five years ago, adventurous post-hardcore/post-metal/post-rock/etc. with no regard for genre restriction and plenty of sumptuous melodies. It might carry on a little longer than it has to, but this is a promising blend of Pelican-derived dynamics and the odd touch of black metal for a little variety. The arrangements show excellent discipline, the songs show some genuine soul, and what should usually be an album that bores me to tears gradually turns into something I’m transfixed by.

Sólstafir, Ótta (Season of Mist): Three years after the revelatory Svartir Sandar, the Icelandic band returns with a follow-up that a lot more people are anticipating this time around, and true to form it continues their sublime fusion of metal, post-rock, shoegaze, and space rock. They’ve always had a real knack for melodies that envelop and entrance, and every track on this hour-long effort does just that. Musically, though, the influences are much broader than ever before, as touches of rustic folk and hard-driving rock ‘n’ roll creep into the songwriting. Practically every track is an epic in itself, but listeners’ patience is always rewarded, multifaceted tracks like “Lágnætti”, “Ótta”, “Nón” possessing the confident grace you’d expect of a genre’s masters. For those who don’t understand Icelandic, which of course makes up the vast majority of Sólstafir’s audience, the lyrics, sung achingly by Aðalbjörn Tryggvason, only makes this already magnificent music all the more alien and enigmatic, adding mystery, coaxing you to try to decode through emotion rather than language.

Wolf, Devil Seed (Century Media): I don’t know why Swedish band Wolf continues to put up with such apathetic treatment from Century Media. All they’ve been doing for the past 15 years is put out some of the most consistently good NWOBHM revivalist metal we’ve seen, so the least a label can do is throw the guys a bone and give them some CDs and vinyl to sell for gas money. But nope, this is an “iTunes only” release (and don’t bother trying to find it on Spotify, it’s been “withheld”), which is a real shame, because it’s one of the better albums Wolf has put out in recent years. “Shark Attack” is uproarious fun (preceded by the brilliantly titled intro “Overture in C Shark”), as is “Skeleton Woman”, while “Dark Passenger” and “My Demon” add some welcome gravitas. This is a great band that deserves more support than their label is giving them, so be sure to download Devil Seed via iTunes.

Not metal, but worth hearing:

Can, Out of Reach (Mute): Recorded during a time when the krautrock innovators were in a serious state of flux – it’s the only album not to feature founding bassist Holger Czukay – Out of Reach was subsequently disowned by the band, buried and ignored for decades. That long lost tenth studio album was finally properly remastered reissued on vinyl for last year’s massive career-spanning box set, but now Out of Reach is at long last available on its own on vinyl, CD, and MP3. Although it severely lacks focus and is in no way in the same league as classics like Tago Mago and Ege Bamyasi, it’s not without its interesting moments. Former Traffic members, bassist Rosko Gee and percussionist Rebop Kwaku Baah, shoulder the bulk of the load, and add vivid helpings of funk and African rhythms to such tracks as “Serpentine” and “Seven Days Awake”, which benefit from the greatly improved remaster. Even at its absolute nadir Can remains one of the most crazily original and restless experimental bands in rock ‘n’ roll history, and at the very least it’s great to finally be able to properly complete the remastered studio discography. Order it here.

Follow me on Twitter at @basementgalaxy

TRACK PREMIERE: Divider’s “Crow Eater”

By: Jeff Treppel Posted in: exclusive, featured, listen On: Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

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Labor Day’s over. No more wearing white. Black, however, is always in season. Check out that fashionable album cover below for Divider’s All Barren. Their music also pulls together different shades of darkness, its menacing slow burn drawing from bands like Neurosis and Tombs. We are pleased to offer the opening track from the album for you to shove into your skull.

***All Barren comes out September 23 on Glory Kid records. If you want to preorder it, click here.

Tales From the Metalnomicon: The Return of Dustin LaValley

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: exclusive, featured On: Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

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Welcome to Tales From the Metalnomicon, a column delving into the vast world of heavy metal-tinged/inspired literature and metalhead authors…

Some readers may recall Dustin LaValley’s memorable Metalnomicon bow a little over a year ago. We’ve invited the literary extremist back today to give us the lowdown on Swallowed: A Hypersexual Romance, his new novel of down n’ dirty heavy metal erotica, along with an exclusive soundtrack to crank while you’re you know, reading…

I have always let the story take me to where it wanted to be, never let genre(s) stand in the way. Whenever an idea comes along, I let it come naturally and wherever it falls when it’s finished being written is where I aim to have it published. In the past that’s been action, thriller, horror, comedy, drama… There has always been an aggressive stance at sexuality in my fiction. As a reader I noticed a lot of authors danced around it, like some taboo that is only to be thought, perhaps maybe muttered during sex, but never fully brought to light. Either these authors have incredibly boring sex lives or they are censoring themselves, keeping things nice and safe and plain, Puritan-like.

I had an idea to do a memoir, to keep nothing hidden and after some thought, decided that sex, illness and hardcore shows wasn’t much of a book, so I added in some fiction. Most of this book is true, I’ve taken certain liberties with it, but for the most part I’d say seventy-five percent is true to life. (I’ve never killed a man, but I’ve been on my deathbed.)

Wanting Swallowed to be as LaValley as LaValley could be, I stuck with the formula that I’ve been using for my more literary work, and that is: fuck with everything…

Mastodon, “Blood and Thunder” and “I Am Ahab”

This one was chosen due to the fact that the woman in chapter it’s listened to, was brought up in discussion when we met as she was wearing their t-shirt. From there we hit the jukebox and played some tracks from Leviathan.

Metallica, “Dyers Eve,” “One” and most of …And Justice For All

These tracks were usual go-tos for any bar I hit up with Ant, real name Tim. Mostly due to the fact that the album is on most jukeboxes and that “Dyers Eve” and “One” are fucking badass.

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Suicidal Tendencies, “Go Skate!” and “Institutionalized”

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

By: admin Posted in: a fucking parrot previewing new releases, featured On: Friday, August 29th, 2014

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BURZUM has been described as “music to make mortals dream,” and  The Ways of Yore (Candlelight) will do just that, because it’ll put you to sleep. I guess living in France can’t be that cheap; it seems like Varg cranks records out once a year or so. I’m not going to delve into his politics, the fact that he’s a murderer or anything like that. This release is not black metal at all — not that anyone really expected that.  Clocking in at a little over an hour, this is a fully realized dark ambient piece. It may seem like I like this; I don’t.  This comes across like that part in Zeppelin’s “No Quarter,” you know, before it kicks into the jam.  Certainly, this is no Filosofem. The synths here sound dated, a little like old Pink Floyd, and the whole album seems to drag a little too much for my pecking taste. There are parts here and there that don’t completely sound like overindulgent Rick Wakeman worship, but there’s no overall feeling of despair or dread.  You certainly won’t be jamming this one on a road trip. So, like, get your pink underwear on and, I dunno, go get Filosofem if you want something like this.  ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz. 3 Fucking Pecks.

I can’t say I’m too sure what to make of BLOODSOAKED‘s  new one, Religious Apocalypse.  It’s not really a record, because it’s like three new songs, some covers and some live stuff. The new songs are cool, guttural death metal that don’t just rely on pig grunts and blast beats.  The material is strong and goes for the jugular. Old-school death metal that’s pretty mean, with a little groove. As far as the covers go, I don’t think you’ve lived until you’ve heard death metal versions of Cinderella and Ratt. The live songs here lend to the vibe of the record and let you know how good the “band” can be. Overall, this is a pretty fun release, and I’ve gotta say I’m glad I heard it, but I’m not sure I’d buy it. 6 Fucking Pecks.

So, I haven’t heard the new PHOBIA EP, Grindcore, on Deep Six, but I’m willing to bet that it rules. Phobia rules, and if you didn’t know, now you do.

Waldo out.

Exclusive: Stream The New Noisem

By: justin.m.norton Posted in: exclusive, featured, listen, the decibel magazine tour On: Friday, August 29th, 2014

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By now Decibel readers have come to know and love the young upstarts in Noisem. They turned heads during the last Decibel tour (and almost got Jeff Walker of Carcass in a lot of trouble — check out the details in the instant oral history). So Decibel and our friends at A389 Recordings are excited to premiere the main track off the new Noisem seven-inch.

Here’s what’s cool about this: RSR Records (Europe) and Amputated Vein Records (Japan) are part of this release. There are three versions of the 7″ — all limited to 500 copies.

Side A features the new song “Consuming,” Noisem’s opener for many recent sets. The band then recorded three classic cover songs by Terrorizer, Slayer and Cannibal Corpse to use as three b-sides. The songs have been dispersed randomly among the versions.

Check out the new tune below and then follow the links to get a pressing of your choice.

Red Version – A389 Recordings

European Gold version – RSR Records

The Japanese Blue version w/Obi Strip — Amputated Vein Records

Throw Me a Frickin’ Label Hack: Dawn of a Dark Age

By: Dan Lake Posted in: featured, interviews, listen On: Friday, August 29th, 2014

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Because every day another band records another song.  Because 83% of those songs are unlistenable and you can’t be bothered to sift through the dreck.  Because metal is about not giving a shit and waking your own personal storm.  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.

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As both a loyal proponent of atavistic black metal and a man with familial roots in southern Italy, I have searched for years for great Italian extreme music.  It has often seemed like a fool’s errand.  In recent years, right on the heels of the surge of varied French extremity, lots of metal has erupted from the land of Romulus and Mussolini, but often there was nothing recognizably Italian in it.  Lyrics spat in English, chords shredded out in styles Scandinavian, British and American.  Not that it was bad, but I could derive as much (or more) pleasure from those bands’ influences, and it all seemed a bit superfluous.

All of which makes the sharp individuality expressed by Dawn of a Dark Age so much more satisfying.  The Agnone duo, comprised of songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Eurynomos and vocalist Buran, promise and achieve raw black metal, but that description only serves as a sonic foundation for the agitated and melodic events contained within the songs.  Eurynomos’s musical training allows him to inject the savage swirl with piano, alto and baritone saxophone, and clarinet.

Wait!  Don’t go yet!  Just try it.  The heart and bones and crispy viscera of Dawn’s music are undeniably black.  The other instruments add color in interesting places and twist things just enough to make the view more intriguing.

To add to the allure, Dawn of a Dark Age have promised that this debut recording, The Six Elements, Vol. 1: Earth, will be followed every six months by another six-song recording through 2017, each one thematically exploring humanity’s experience with an elemental force.  The ambition is astounding.  We hope all goes well, and we look forward to the next installment.

For now, here’s a stream of Earth and a look into the mind of the man behind all this vision.

Dawn of a Dark Age just started a few months ago and you already have a complete recording to release. Were you writing music before the band’s official beginning, or did the songs really come out that fast?

Working in solitude makes everything easy and streamlined. I can create, compose and record music for 10 – 12 hours in a day, and then to add the voice of Buran is just the finishing touch. About the music, some songs required long time working, but others just came out easily. “Eurynomos Army” was created in four days but “Dawn Of A Dark Age” took several months of work. Anyway all the songs were written and recorded starting from the last February, when we [were] born as Dawn Of A Dark Age.

How did the musical ideas come together?

When I start to compose a new song I don’t follow a standard schedule. Sometimes I create a melody with my woodwinds, many others a guitar riff or a sequence of chords on the piano can start off the song. Then it is important to have clear in mind the right drumming. So I add the drums and gradually the song comes to life and I start thinking about the arrangement, which has an important role in our sound, especially for the integration of wind instruments. They allow me to experiment [with] different colors and nuances that I want to give to the song.

What part of Italy are you from? Are there other metal musicians in your area who you have worked or corresponded with?

I live in Abruzzo, a region in central Italy full of mountains, sea, hills and streams and with a long history. And this colorful land makes me feel music closer to the natural elements. In the winter you can spend hours in the woods and in twenty minutes you can reach the seaside, and this changing landscape is reflected in our music. But on the other hand there aren’t many musicians in this area to relate with and to share a long term project like this.

What got you interested in writing music for the ancient concept of elements?

As said before, the place where I was born is essential for this project. Being able to play different instruments allows me to relate to each element with a particular nuance of sound. The nature tells us stories only if we are able to hear her! This may sound [like] a project focused on the melody and on the sweetness, but it’s just an illusion. Our music is sometimes melodic, but in a matrix [that] is violent and aggressive, because the nature is threatened day after day by the cruelty of the men that try to take possession of its elements to destroy. His ego, his thirst for power will lead to the inevitable clash between nature and the human race, and that will be the day of Dawn Of A Dark Age.

Which came first, the musical style or the elemental concept?

When I compose a new song I always try to find the right balance between both of them to let them grow together. You can’t think the two things separately; they are tied together and need to be in symbiosis in this long and exciting project.

What music/artists first sparked your interest in black metal? What inspired your inclusion of woodwind and piano instruments into such a violent form of music?

When black metal began to have followed in the early 90s I was studying clarinet at the Conservatory and use to play Mozart, Beethoven and Stravinsky. One day a friend of mine came with a tape recording of Mayhem. Until that time the most extreme things that I had heard were Venom, Slayer, Bathory and Carcass. But that sound was new, dirty, raw and at the same time  charming and above all cold and very aggressive. Since that time I discovered the Scandinavian scene and bands like Emperor, Darkthrone, Immortal, Marduk. I decided to put the ‘classic’ instruments like clarinet, saxophone and piano, which are part of my personal training, just searching for the right colors during the arrangement of the songs, trying to give each one its own footprint that is as similar as possible to the sound I have in mind. If there’s a song that can give you an idea probably this is Stravinsky’s “The Rite Of Spring,” which could be understood as a mother (Earth) sweet and dear who suddenly becomes violent and out of control. This is the meaning I would give to “The Six Elements”, where the peaceful nature can suddenly unleash a fucking hell with an earthquake, a tsunami, or a snowfall in summer.

Do you have a favorite piece of music on this first volume, Earth?

It’s hard to pick up one song, just because, as I said before, I tried to give each one its own particular character and its own particular sound. And also their placement in the setlist is made so that they can follow a path that begins a cycle, grows, reproduces and closes the circle. It is not a coincidence that the tribal bongos open and close this first element (Earth) projecting toward the second one.

Is it a challenge to write the lyrics you want in English, or are you pretty comfortable with the language?

Even for the lyrics I am always searching for the best metric and rhythmic solution that blends with the music and with the idea that I have in my mind. In the next albums I could use the language of my country or a dialect, following the ancient black metal tradition.

You’ve promised five more related recordings over the next 3 years. Are you overwhelmed by that ambition, or is this just the way that the musical ideas are coming out of you?

It might seem like a race against time, but it’s not. Simply everything in the project is related to the number 6 and so I decided to publish them after six months of each other. I’m not worried about the time schedule, I have the full path already clear in my mind, and, as I said, working in solitude allows me to be prolific and to focus all my energies in this project.

Catch up with all things DDA at their Facebook page.