VIDEO PREMIERE: King of Asgard “The Runes Of Hel”

By: justin.m.norton Posted in: exclusive, featured, videos On: Thursday, July 17th, 2014

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Happy Thursday. For your viewing pleasure at the Deciblog today we have an exlusive premiere of the video of King of Asgard’s “The Runes of Hel.”

The track is from their forthcoming album Karg, due from Metal Blade on July 22. Watch the video below and then learn more and preorder the album here.

Decibrity Playlist: Goatwhore

By: zach.smith Posted in: featured, interviews, listen, lists On: Thursday, July 17th, 2014

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For the past decade or so, Goatwhore has been one band that you can count on to put out quality release after quality release. The quartet’s latest LP is yet another um, merciless, entry in its oeuvre. So to celebrate both the recent release of Constricting Rage of the Merciless and the start of the NOLA natives’ run alongside Morbid Angel, Dying Fetus and others on this year’s Summer Slaughter tour, drummer Zack Simmons passed along five tracks that everyone should spin. Given his first name, it’s not surprising he has pretty good taste.

Pick up a copy of Goatwhore’s new record here and catch them on tour on the dates below.

Carnivore’s “Angry Neurotic Catholics” (from 1987′s Retaliation)
It’s hard to pick just one song off this record, but this track fucking destroys. It’s got it all: breakneck riffs, genius lyrics and excellent production. Straight and to the point. No fuckery.

Mercyful Fate’s “The Oath” (from 1984′s Don’t Break The Oath)
I remember the first time I heard this song. I was probably about 12 years old and it scared the living shit out of me. I still get goosebumps and that exact feeling to this day. If you want to spook your parents or girlfriend, give this a spin!

Basil Poledouris’s “Anvil Of Crom” (from 1982′s Conan The Barbarian OST)
People use the word “epic” a lot to describe music these days. This song would be my definition of the term. Perfect soundtrack to a perfect film. The ties between this and metal music are undeniable.

Scorpions’ “We’ll Burn The Sky” (from 1977′s Taken By Force)
One of my favorite Scorps songs. The lyrics are actually a poem Jimi Hendrix’s girlfriend wrote for him after he died. This was the last record Uli Jon Roth played on. I saw him live about a year ago and it was the loudest show I’ve ever attended! Painfully awesome!

Def Leppard’s “Let It Go” (from 1981′s High ‘n’ Dry)
Say what you will. This is pure rock and roll! If this doesn’t make you bang your head and crack a beer, then I feel sorry for you! Listen to those damn riffs!

*Photo by Peter Beste

**Pick up a copy of Constricting Rage of the Merciless here

***Goatwhore US tour dates (all dates are Summer Slaughter gigs with the exception of Richmond):

7/17/2014 The Regency Ballroom – San Francisco, CA
7/18/2014 The Observatory – Santa Ana, CA
7/19/2014 House of Blues – West Hollywood, CA
7/20/2014 Nile Theater – Phoenix, AZ
7/21/2014 Tricky Falls – El Paso, TX
7/22/2014 Sunshine Theater – Albuquerque, NM
7/23/2014 Summit – Denver, CO
7/25/2014 House Of Blues – Houston, TX
7/26/2014 Scoot Inn – Austin, TX
7/27/2014 Gas Monkey – Dallas, TX
7/29/2014 State Theater St. – Petersburg, FL
7/30/2014 The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
7/31/2014 The International – Knoxville, TN
8/01/2014 Agora Theatre – Cleveland, OH
8/02/2014 Mojoes – Chicago, IL
8/03/2014 Skyway Theatre – Minneapolis, MN
8/05/2014 The Rave – Milwaukee, WI
8/06/2014 Crofoot Ballroom – Detroit, MI
8/07/2014 Rapids Theatre – Niagara Falls, NY
8/08/2014 Irving Plaza – New York, NY
8/09/2014 The Palladium – Worcester, MA
8/10/2014 The Trocadero – Philadelphia, PA
8/16/2014 Gwar B-Q @ Hadad’s Lake – Richmond, VA

****For past Decibrity entries, click here

Past Decibrity Playlists

By: zach.smith Posted in: uncategorized On: Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

***Past Decibrity entries include:

Goatwhore
North
Tombs
Sadgiqacea
The Atlas Moth
Arch Enemy
Archspire
Cormorant
Eyehategod (Part 1) (Part 2)
Floor
Iron Reagan
Fight Amp
Cynic
Melt-Banana
Junius (Part 1) (Part 2)
Alcest
East Of The Wall
Enabler
Wolvserpent
Drugs Of Faith
SubRosa (Part 1) (Part 2)
Vattnet Viskar
Skeletonwitch
Ihsahn
Earthless
Watain
Orange Goblin
God Is An Astronaut
Primitive Man
Gorguts
Exhumed
Ulcerate
Pelican
Scale The Summit
Mikael Stanne (Dark Tranquillity) (Part 1) (Part 2)
Mouth Of The Architect
Howl
Kings Destroy
Zozobra
Call of the Void
Saint Vitus Bar
Coliseum
Woe
Anciients
Soilwork (Dirk Verbeuren) (Björn Strid)
Intronaut
BATILLUS
Inter Arma
Helen Money
Misery Index
Ancient VVisdom
Holy Grail
Rotten Sound
Ancestors (Part 1) (Part 2)
Kowloon Walled City (Part 1) (Part 2)
Aaron Stainthorpe (My Dying Bride) (Part 1) (Part 2)
Early Graves
All That Remains
Bison B.C.
A Life Once Lost
Fight Amp
Witchcraft (Ola Henriksson) (Magnus Pelander)
Vision of Disorder
Grave
Anders Nyström (Katatonia) (Part 1) (Part 2)
“Best of” Rush (Part 1) (Part 2)
Dawnbringer
Ufomammut
Shadows Fall
Horseback
Greg Mackintosh (Paradise Lost) (Part 1) (Part 2)
Torche
“Best of” Meshuggah
Astra
Pallbearer
Barren Earth
Shane Embury (Napalm Death) (Part 1) (Part 2)

STREAMING: Hod’s “Through The Gates”

By: justin.m.norton Posted in: featured, listen On: Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

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Hod wants to make sure you get their name right: “Hod is not an acronym. It is not H.O.D. It is Hod. Can we all get it straight now?”

Yes, we can. We can also stream a new track from their forthcoming album Book Of The Worm. Give it a listen below and then find out more about the band and upcoming record here.

VIDEO PREMIERE: Miasmal “Excelsior”

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, listen, videos On: Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

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Cursed Redeemer is in my opinion a bit rawer and more live-oriented than our previous stuff,” pontificates Miasmal stringbanger Pontus to Metalship, “with a tad more rock ‘n’ roll thrown into the mix. I think you can hear that we’ve been playing a lot live since the first album, we have grown together a bit more musically as well. When we recorded the first album we had just played two live shows.”

Older and wiser, Miasmal crafted a death metal album for the ages. Whereas the group’s 2011 self-titled effort felt like it was taken from an early ’90s grave, new album Cursed Redeemer has that back-to-life quality to it. Miasmal are still zombified and ugly as grandma’s saggy nipples, but they have a bit more edge now, a bit more focus in their raw death salute. In fact, the first song, “Until The Last”, to premiere from Cursed Redeemer felt a lot like a Dis-core song written expressly for the HM-2 and fans who remember mail-ordering import death metal for cool hard Jackson.

So, make your middle of the road day better by streaming Miasmal’s ultra-good, mega-brutal G’burg death.

** Miasmal’s new album, Cursed Redeemer, is out now on Century Media Records. It’s available HERE in a few hundred packages. One even includes a Miasmal patch so you don’t have to buy one from those bootleg patch booths at MDF. Now, that’s true death metal!

Sucker For Punishment: Heavy Metal Breakdow-ow-own

By: Adrien Begrand Posted in: featured On: Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

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This was a week where the heavily hyped albums and hive mind faves were few and far between, forcing a metal critic to – gasp – do some actual digging. And there is indeed some interesting stuff out there, including work by some old German veterans I’d counted out long ago, a children’s deathcore band that just might be growing up, and a really cool black metal nugget from Greece.

Betraying The Martyrs, Phantom (Sumerian): There are flashes of inspiration on this latest album by the French kiddiecore band, moments that cleverly combine deathcore and the symphonic death metal of Fleshgod Apocalypse, but there’s always so much going on that it winds up feeling far too busy for its own good. And the less said about the obnoxious, overly loud sound of this record, the better.

Demonic Resurrection, The Demon King (Candlelight): The Mumbai band is back with another helping of blackened death metal, and this record shows some decent growth, its melodic passages starting to sound more confident. The singing lacks the kind of strength needed to effectively serve as a counter to the harsher, more extreme parts, but a track like “Facing the Faceless” shows that these guys are on the right track.

Grave Digger, Return Of The Reaper (Napalm): A week after Judas priest’s 17th album came out, Germany’s grave Digger is releasing its own 17th album, yet on this continent you won’t see anywhere near the same excitement. Strictly a European phenomenon with only a small cult following over here, gravel-gargling singer Chris Boltendahl and his bandmates have been churning out albums with regularity, so much so that it’s been easy to take it all for granted. Of course, it didn’t help that the band’s last few albums have motored along complacently, but it’s a very pleasant surprise to find Return of the Reaper so energetic, impassioned, and catchy, stacked with fist-pumping metal anthems from start to finish. There’s no reason anyone who enjoys Priest’s Redeemer of Souls shouldn’t feel the same about this record. To ignore it would be foolish.

Illuminate Me, I Have Become A Corpse (Tragic Hero): If you play this sort of Converge-derived hardcore and can’t even come close to competing with the real thing, what’s the bloody point?

Kult of Taurus/Erevos Aenaon, Born of Fire, Forged By Death (Forever Plagued): This split release is one that’ll interest fans of underground black metal, as the two Greek bands have joined forces. Kult of Taurus come through with four raw, savage, fleeting takes on their black metal sound, while Erevos Aenaon is a revelation, these four tracks evoking the primitive fury of early black metal, executed with awe-inspiring power.

Lazer/Wulf, The Beast of Left and Right (Retro Futurist): It’s awfully lazy to quote a band’s press release, but the Athens, GA band’s explanation for this album is so convoluted that it’s best to quote directly: “We wrote the album to be a palindrome – that is, it’s the same backwards and forwards. The album is in two distinct halves, Left and Right, and we wrote them to be the “opposite” of each other. On the full 9-track version that’s on CD, track 1 uses the exact same chords, riffs and drum tracks as track 9 but one is major and the other is minor; track 2 lyrically opposes track 8; track 3 uses the rhythm of track 7 backwards (we even recorded the guitars for track 3 backwards and reversed them to the version that’s on the album); track 4 uses all the same drum parts and melodies as track 6 but the song structure is backwards, and 5 is the center track – no song opposes it, but it incorporates parts of the songs on either side of it.”

Good lord. But does it work? I suppose if you’re an obsessive student of music theory you’ll get a huge nerdy kick out of the whole structure of the thing, but what’s far, far more important is one’s instinctual reaction to the music. Personally, I find it at times jaw-dropping in its dexterity, coming across as more playful than arch, but still at times these compositions leave me grasping for any hook to latch on to, only to have that happen intermittently. The musical chops on display are undeniable, but epic tracks like the “Choose Again” pieces are in sore need of hooks.

Novembers Doom, Bled White (The End): The ninth album by the Chicago death/doom mainstays often treads very familiar territory, but it’s when the music strays from the usual well-worn path that the album gets truly interesting. Three great examples are “Just Breathe”, “Clear”, and “The Memory Room”, which step away from the harsher elements to make room for more sumptuous melodies, and the end result approaches the melancholy majesty of vintage Katatonia. I always wish Novembers Doom would explore this side of their music more fully instead of merely dabbling, but as it stands this is another reliable, enjoyable effort by a consistently good band.

Pelican, Arktika (self-released): The Chicago instrumental post-metalers have always been a very strong live act, and that’s been proven on this recording of a show they did in St. Petersburg, Russia last year. The energy is palpable on these tracks, which, typical of Pelican, ebb and flow with a level of confidence that seems to benefit immensely from the spontaneity that live performances bring. Zach Smith premiered the album last week, and I highly suggest you give it a listen.

Suicide Silence, You Can’t Stop Me (Nuclear Blast): The death of Suicide Silence vocalist Mitch Lucker was horribly sad – as reprehensible as driving while drunk is, nobody deserves to die at such a young age – so a few more eyes than usual are on the popular Los Angeles deathcore band as they try to rebound. As I always say, extreme metal screamers are a dime a dozen and easy to replace, but Suicide Silence did something brilliant, taking on Eddie Hermida from longtime deathcore stalwarts All Shall Perish, and on this fourth album you cannot deny his charismatic presence is a massive, massive improvement. Coupled with songwriting that, for the first time ever from this band, shows genuine growth and competence, this is one of the more pleasant surprises of the summer. Considering that I absolutely loathed this band’s previous work, this is very high praise.

Unaussprechlichen Kulten, Baphomet Pan Shub-Niggurath (Iron Bonehead): Although it’s not exactly the most exciting death metal album of the year, these Chileans at least deserve credit for creating a sound that dips into vintage thrash as well as doom, which gives the music some welcome contrast and respite from all the blistering extremity, which at times can be as impenetrable as the band’s ridiculous name.

Volumes, No Sleep (Mediaskare): If you play this sort of Meshuggah-derived “djent” music and can’t even come close to competing with the real thing, what’s the bloody point?

Not metal, but worth hearing:

Weird Al Yankovic, Mandatory Fun (RCA): It’s a testament to the demented talent of the man that Weird Al has been able to make his parody gimmick last this long. It’s not exactly easy to keep up, with pop music being so ephemeral in this day and age, but the man comes through with renditions of recent hits that range from all-out groaners (Lorde’s “Royals” turned into an ode to tinfoil) to instances where the parodies turn out better than the originals (the hilarious “Tacky”, the witty “Word Crimes”). Of course, there’s the usual polka medley that’s always a blast, but the real fun is had on his original compositions, whether mimicking Crosby, Stills & Nash (“Mission Statement”) or coming through with an absolutely inspired Pixies imitation (“First World Problems”), all pulled off with incredible versatility by Yankovic’s crack band of 30-odd years. It’s all so very stupid, but joyously so, and further proof that nobody skewers – and sometimes improves – pop music like Weird Al.

Follow me on Twitter at @basementgalaxy

TRACK PREMIERE: Cardinal Wyrm’s “Dreams of Teeth”

By: Jeff Treppel Posted in: exclusive, featured, listen On: Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

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One look at the chipper trio above should clue in any somewhat knowledgeable reader that Cardinal Wyrm play doom metal.  The Bay Area group definitely has the look of people that have seen some shit. This is the fun kind of doom, though! Theatrical and grandiose, closer to Rev. Bizarre, Violet Theatre, or even Bauhaus than Skepticism or Thou, Black Hole Gods draws the listener  in through its Gothic constructs (flying buttresses and such). “Dreams of Teeth” demonstrates this for 10 minutes of cemetery opera. Check it out below, and let its miasma blot out the summer sun.

***Black Hole Gods Comes out August 5. Check out their Bandcamp page here.

Sounds of the Damned: Chris Alexander Talks Fangoria Musick

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: featured, gnarly one-offs, interviews On: Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

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To paraphrase the demon that once mauled Albert Brooks in his own car on the side of a darkened road back in ’83: Hey, d’ya you want to hear something really scary?

Yeah? You sure?

Alright, then, Fangoria Musick — the exquisitely eclectic, ceaselessly unsettling new digital download music label from the legendary flagship magazine of dark cinema and culture — is here to whisper (and sometimes scream!) not-so-sweet spine-chilling somethings to you through those innocent looking earbuds of yours.

“A lot of bands out there that are good at math — they’re like the telepods in The Fly,” Fangoria Editor-in-Chief Chris Alexander tells Decibel when we inquire just how in the hell he managed to summon one of the best labels in sinister cinematic music seeming out of the ether in less than two months time. “They go in one side and come out the other exactly the same — information regurgitated exactly as inputted. You can reproduce anything, but if there’s no stamp of originality…what’s the point? We’re looking for those bands that get the fly — whatever that may represent, musically — mixed up on the journey and create a completely new beast.”

Alexander knows more than a bit of which he speaks: Aside from his kinetic, distinct writerly salvos, the modern day Renaissance man creates both music — the glorious, kaleidoscopic 2012 mindfuck Music for Murder and its worthy, 100 percent free Fangoria Musick successor Beyond the Darkness: An Audio Nightmare — and ethereal, otherworldly films — Blood for Irina; the upcoming Queen of Blood — that truly earn the typically too-freely given accolade “boundary-pushing.”

Oh, yeah, and dude also once boxed House of the Dead director Uwe Boll

Alexander was recently kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to chat with Decibel about the launch of Fangoria Musick, his own work as a composer and filmmaker, and the joys of getting Ogre from Skinny Puppy to vomit blood in the woods on command…

You only put up the call for submissions a few weeks ago — are you surprised at all by how quickly you were able to put together such a high quality stable of artists?

I suppose I was taken a little off guard by how much cool, weird stuff came in. I presumed I’d be getting a lot of third-rate rock n’ roll bands with a bunch of skulls painted on their guitars singing psychobilly songs about Dracula rocking out in a tomb or something. That’s not scary; that’s not horror. So for someone whose personal tastes lean more toward the abstract and atmospheric — in both music and cinema — to have people sending me all this really interesting avant garde stuff has been just great.

That last statement is only a tiny bit ironic coming from a guy harboring such an outspoken love for Kiss!

Our GWAR bobblehead contest winner!

By: justin.m.norton Posted in: contest, featured, RIP On: Monday, July 14th, 2014

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We’d like to say that we were overwhelmed with video responses paying tribute to Oderus. Actually, it’s probably appropriate that too many people were busy partying this summer to record an ode. But one proud blog reader stands out: Mr. Kyle Messick.

True to our word we are sharing his video entry with the world and getting our friends at Aggronautix to send these killer bobbleheads. Order now before they are gone forever and check out Kyle’s well done tribute. Congrats Kyle!

Mutilation Rites Full Album Stream: Harbinger

By: Dan Lake Posted in: featured, interviews, listen On: Monday, July 14th, 2014

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My ears are ringing like mad.

Last night at the Metro Gallery in Baltimore, I caught Mutilation Rites play a ripping set that could be called loud in the same understated way that a Boeing 747 landing on your face could be called loud.  Fuck.  Ing.  Loud.  The performance was enveloping, engulfing, overwhelming, and it was played in front of a red-lit curtain that gave the whole stage a strong Black Lodge vibe.

After forming in 2009, NYC’s Mutilation Rites wasted no time drenching the listening public in their terrific brew of blackened destruction.  When Prosthetic Records dropped the band’s album Empyrean in 2012, many journalistic panties were wettened, many heads banged.

Now, Mutilation Rites exhales Harbinger, a decimating follow-up that writes a new chapter for the Rites and gives those heads something else to bang to.  It’s their second for Prosthetic, and its terse, spiteful tones were mastered by the fingers-in-all-pies James Plotkin.  We here at Decibel are certainly grateful, and you should be, too.

The album won’t be available for another week (unless you were at last night’s show), but you can get it all here today on the Deciblog.  Don’t say we never did anything for you (unless you were at last night’s show).  Also, you can read guitarist/vocalist George Paul’s succinct thoughts on the time between these two monster records.  Breathe in the wretched fumes of callous city living, then please… go forth, and “Contaminate.”

When we interviewed you at the time Empyrean was released, you suggested that your location (Brooklyn) and a lot of personal negative feelings had an impact on the way the music turned out.  Is this any more (or less) acutely the case on Harbinger?

I think that will always be the case as long as we stay in New York.  It can be a mean city if you let it bog you down.  It’s not as dramatic as people would like to imagine it.  I love this city, but it can be cold, indifferent and unforgiving.

What would you say drove the creative process, both musically and lyrically, on the new record?

The album is about warning signs.  Red flags of emotionally abusive relationships, substance and alcohol abuse, suicidal thoughts, etc.  It’s not that different from what Empyrean is about, but I just don’t use Dante as a metaphor for my lyrics on this album.

What has been the impact of touring in support of Empyrean?  Any other bands you really enjoyed sharing the stage with?  Do you think your playing style or focus has shifted at all?

We’ve been able to some amazing things since releasing Empyrean.  I’ve played some shows I never thought I would be able to do, including Maryland Deathfest.  Touring with Skeletonwitch was awesome for us – those guys are the best.  I don’t really think playing out has changed our style at all, I think maybe we just think a lot more about what our live set list of songs should be, keep energy up, etc.

Is there anything you’re really enjoying listening to right now?

I’ve been listening to the newest Teitanblood album, Death, a lot.  Also the last Pseudogod and Dioclecian albums are pretty ripping.  The last Clandestine Blaze album was pretty great as well.

Do you have any favorite moments or songs on the new album?

The last song “Conspiracy of Silence” is my personal favorite I think.  We kind of scrambled to put that one together right before going into the studio and I really like how it came out.  Besides that, I think “Contaminate” is my other favorite song.

CD, cassette, and vinyl preorders of Harbinger are available through Prosthetic Records here.