Withering Horrors: Exclusive FOSCOR stream!

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: exclusive, featured On: Monday, November 24th, 2014

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Barcelona soundscape masters FOSCOR return with a brand new full-length tomorrow, but we’ve got the stream of this roiling, multidimensional, ethereal slab of majestic dark metal today.

Check out Those Horrors Wither below then click here to pre-order.

American Heritage: Album Stream and Song-By-Song Self-Deconstruction

By: kevin.stewart-panko Posted in: exclusive, featured, gnarly one-offs, listen On: Monday, November 24th, 2014

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I didn’t realise it, but I’ve been a fan of American Heritage for a long time. When I say I didn’t realise it, it’s because the band which is split between Chicago and Atlanta haven’t exactly been the most prolific of outfits since forming in 1997, have probably played fewer shows than they have releases available (11) and they themselves say, “…we’re not really around anymore.” That doesn’t lessen the quality of any of their works, but admittedly, it’s easy to forget about bands when they’re not always in your face as bands are these days. I do, however, remember when American Heritage was an instrumental outfit and writing songs with goofy titles like “The Psychoreactive Flow in Cavernous Passages Under the Villas, Manors, Castles, Haciendas and Mansions of the Superpredator Class Has Poisoned the Potato Crops and Caused Eyes to Blaze with Blind Tub” back in the day. Today, the band’s sixth full-length, Prolapse is officially out and available via Solar Flare Records and the Deciblog is providing you with both a chance to give it a preview spin and read a little about it via a track-by-track “analysis” by guitarist Scott Shellhamer. Ordering and contact info below.

By Scott Shellhamer
“Eastward Cast the Entrails”
This song was the biggest pain in the ass to write. We kept unfinishing it. Well, to be fair to the other guys, I kept unfinishing it. We’d have a practice and have it pretty much done, then six months later we’d have another practice and I’d want to completely rearrange it and add different parts or take stuff out. I was clearly a pain in the ass with this one. This song made our bassist Erik [Bocek] cry in the practice space hallway once.

“Anxious Bedwetter”
[Bassist/vocalist/guitarist] Adamn [Norden] and [drummer] Mike [Duffy] had a writing session on their own down in Georgia. This came out of that. When we write it usually works that one person brings a bunch of related parts and then we all shove them together and add more riffs to that as a group. They already had half of this one in the bag, then I shoved a bunch of stuff in and Mike did his arrangement tweaking. Writing on this one went really smoothly [which is] a rare treat for us.

“Obliviocrity”
When we were writing our last record Sedentary we decided to stop over-thinking things as much. This was pretty liberating for us. We got into the habit of writing what we called “burners” when we would be struggling with another more involved song. These were songs that we would write very quickly and then not be able to change later. This is one of those “burners”. Mike wanted to give vocals a rip so he did the yelling on this one.

“Constant and Consuming Fear of Death and Dying”
This is another song that came out of the Adamn and Mike’s Georgia writing session. This is one of the few times where someone came to the table with a song pretty much complete.

“Mask of Lies”
I dig having guest vocals. In the period between Sedentary and Prolapse I did a tour filling in on guitar for Enabler. Jeff Lohrber seemed like an obvious choice for this song. I think he knocked them out in one take.

“Blackbird”
Right about the time Sedentary came out, we all went down to Mike’s place in Georgia to drink all of the beer, hang out on a boat, and blast fireworks off at his neighbours. Most of this song was written down there on that trip. Erik drank all of Mike’s whiskey (which was a lot) in one night. Here’s evidence:

“Hürtin’ Crüe” [Descendents Cover]
I’ve always loved the Descendents. Enjoy! was my first cassette by them and I listened to it endlessly. This song always struck me as uncharacteristically aggressive for them.

“Thirsty and Miserable” [Black Flag Cover]
This was a no-brainer. Mike did the vocals on this one as well. [Producer] Sanford [Parker] made us do it all in one take. No do-overs.

“Bulletproof Cupid” [Girls Against Boys Cover]
This one may seem like an odd choice to some. We all loved Soul Side. We all really dug GvsB. This song has always haunted me. I first heard it in Erik’s basement back when we were still in high school. It is the first riff I ever learned how to play on guitar. I’ve been friends with Mike Lust (Tight Phantomz, Football) for close to 20 years. His voice suited itself perfectly to the smokey-sex-slime feel.

Order the record from Solar Flare here.
American Heritage on Facebook

STREAMING: Dysangelium “Ave Obscuritas Incarna”

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, listen On: Monday, November 24th, 2014

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“You can expect it to sound like us,” said the Dysangelium brotherhood to Imperiumi recently. “We do not follow any specific path in terms of music and we have never been any need to try to sound like, for example, Swedish, Finnish or German. We improvise and experiment with a variety of things designed to find and implement the central idea of the song and the sound.”

That sums up what the German black metal brethren have to say, musically and otherwise, on the streaming premiere of “Ave Obscuritas Incarna”, a wicked and twisted attack on the senses. Spiritually close to Ascension and Chaos Invocation but sonically different, Dysangelium are the vanguard of Europe’s new black metal sound. There are no compromises, no keyboard disco tracks, or guys wearing top hats. This is straight-up, throat-slitting black metal of the highest and most sophisticated quality.

Mondays are always terrible. Well, they are now officially worse that Dysangelium are unleashed upon an unsuspecting populace. Don’t enjoy “Ave Obscuritas Incarna” and have a terrible day. No fun. No light. No laughter. No sun.

** Dysangelium’s new fiery album, Thánatos Áskēsis, is out Christmas fucking Eve on WTC Productions. Pre-orders are up HERE if ruining Christmas is job Number One.

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

By: admin Posted in: a fucking parrot previewing new releases, featured On: Friday, November 21st, 2014

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Well, the end of the year doldrums have started upon us. There are some re-releases (HIM, Voivod, Sinister, Samael), but for the most part, the releases are going to slow down quite a bit. SOOO, I’m just going to like pick some stuff at random, and you know, because I’m feeling punchy, I MAY OR MAY NOT listen to these things, so like, if you feel like commenting, PLEASE do; your old boy Waldo doesn’t know EVERYTHING about metal, you know.

BUFFALO KILLERS release Fireball of Sulk, and although I thought I WOULDN’T listen to it, I heard a couple of tracks, just so I can wedge these images in.  This makes me think of Buffalo Soldier by Bob Marley, and of course the title makes me reference THIS fireball.

fireball

Anyway, onto the sound: this is grungy sorta heavy rock, a la Kyuss and Monster Magnet, without sounding like either, really. There’s a psych influence and a definite hippie kinda “shoeless in the mountains” type of vibe. I dunno, not my thing. 2 Fucking Pecks.

Do you worship the one who hungers? Uh, FAMISHGOD release Devourers of Light. No WONDER the god is hungry; he’s eating light. Do you worship old-school death metal? Then this is for you. My one complaint is that the kick drum sounds like they are completely loose, not like floopy, but barely on. This is heavy heavy heavy, no doubt. No artistry here, really, just old-school death metal that sounds rough.  The vocals are as low as they can be, and the guitars plod along with sauropodian lumberance (TAKE THAT, EDITOR!) Could do without the extended piano intro, though. Cool, but not amazing. Would be willing to hear more, though. 4 Fucking Pecks.

ICE DRAGON release Dream Dragon. I’m really not sure what to make of this. This has that Led Zeppelin “Battle of Nevermore” vibe, where it’s like folky, trippy, and a little hard-rockin’. That’s Ice Dragon.  I really don’t like this; it’s not bad if this is your thing, but it’s definitely not mine. The vocals are a little reminiscent of Acid King, and they definitely have a song called “Dream Dragon,” which isn’t as cool as it sounds.  I mean, I just reviewed it because it’s called Ice Dragon, and the cover kinda looks like the “luck dragon” from The Neverending Story. There are definitely flutes in this, so like I dunno, 2 Fucking Pecks.

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Duck and cover, Mother Peckers, there’s an AIR RAID going on, and they are releasing Point of Impact. This has that “wave of heavy metal sound,” and is FIRMLY in the heavy metal category.  This is retro as can be, and I’m not sure there’s really a reason for something like this to exist in 2014. Not too bad, though.  3 Fucking Pecks.

I just reviewed this stuff because it seemed fun, so like go ahead and hate.  <3 Waldo.

 

Stream Barrowlands Album: Thane

By: Dan Lake Posted in: featured, listen On: Friday, November 21st, 2014

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Metal lover, you’ve been damn lucky this year.  Your listening habits have been well served by the aural atrocities perpetrated globally throughout 2014.  And it all just got sicker.

Portland, OR metal collective Barrowlands is a harrowing hybrid of black metal terror, progressive twists and turns, and doomy contemplation with bold, emotive cello.  Their first full-length, Thane, is alternately a weapon and a consoling shoulder.  Need an earful?  We’re here to serve you a bit of Thane, just to give you an idea of what this band is capable of.

Guitarist/vocalist Dave Hollingsworth hit us up with his thoughts on the way Thane came together (just after the stream), and newest member Amanda Machina (also of AVRAM, the band that created Metal Noam last year) chimed in with how she got involved as well.

How did the sound on Thane come together?  The members’ varied backgrounds seem to collide into something that works extremely well.

Thane is a refinement of the original demo that we released a couple years ago. That demo was a refinement of a previous band that three members were members of. When two members left Mary Shelley, we decided to take the sound and try to move in a more majestic and atmospheric direction.  Joe, Ray, and I all love black metal and doom that evokes a huge sound, with melodic elements layered on top. Martti brought his dynamic drum style to the mix, which really contributes to the music being more than a typical straight ahead black metal sound. We later added Jake, on lead guitar, who contributed a lot of the melodic hooks on the album. Once the line-up was assembled, we discussed things really in depth. We wanted to make sure that the music was something that we would enjoy listening to ourselves. We honed in on the things that we really liked about old material, and focused on those things. We talked about what parts we didn’t like, and intentionally avoided those types of riffs. When we were done with the songs for the album, we tested them live, and made changes as we went. Everyone’s input was taken into account, and that really helped strengthen the album.

Amanda, how did you, in particular, get involved with the band?  How does it feel different than other music you’ve worked on?

(Amanda) I got involved with Barrowlands because I heard they needed a new lead guitarist, and my friend Nate Carson had written about them before. I found the music to be elegant and still aggressive. I love it! It’s different than other music I have played because of the textures and layering. I have never played with a cellist before. It requires me to keep my playing minimal and concise to fulfill the role of making melodic statements on top of this beautiful, sonic, layered texture of Barrowlands.

Is Barrowlands part of a community of Portland bands (gigging, supporting each other) or does it operate separate from that?

We are friends with a lot of the bands in the Portland metal scene, and we definitely support their efforts. The other bands in the area have been really supportive of us as well. There is a spirit of camaraderie among the metal bands, because we are all doing something we enjoy.

barrowlands

Does the band write songs together, or are they mostly written by individuals?

Songs generally originate as a collection of riffs that I (David) bring to the studio. I write on my acoustic guitar, at home. My goal is to hear the melody cleanly first, then try them with distortion and tremolo picking. Often times, I bring in simple structures, and jam on them with Martti, until we feel like we have something strong. While the genesis is my original idea, we do a lot of co-writing as we construct the arrangements. Often times a part will start as one thing, and slowly morph into something else as everyone layers their parts onto the original piece. As the songs evolve, it becomes impossible to distinguish what the original riff-seed was. The drums, bass, lead, and cello parts take the original idea to new heights.

How well does the outcome of Thane match the original intent/vision for the music?  Did the music change during the recording process?

It came out extremely close to how we intended. There were a few parts that got embellished during the recording process. We added more acoustic into the mix that we had originally planned, but it seemed right for those parts. The vocals also had some small tweaks done. I changed some of the lines, added some parts, and deleted some others. I wanted to make sure that things had the correct impact. Jason Walton did an excellent job mixing and mastering it, always taking our input into account. He made our playing sound great. We couldn’t ask for more.

Any thoughts about what’s next for Barrowlands?  What do the next few weeks/months bring?

We are hard at work on new material. First up is a 7” split with Nefas Terra, from Russia, on 9th Meridian Records.  The song is mostly done, and ready to be recorded next month, with an expected release early in 2015. After that, we will continue writing the follow up to Thane. We hope to release it last in 2015. Most of the songs have been had the core structure written already. They only need finishing. In addition to the new material, we will be playing live throughout the year.

For more Barrowlands info, get over to their Facebook or Bandcamp sites.  Now, dammit!

Much Better Than a Polar Vortex. Piss Vortex Interviewed

By: kevin.stewart-panko Posted in: featured, interviews, stupid crap, videos On: Thursday, November 20th, 2014

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The band is called Piss Vortex. They hail from Copenhagen. And if I didn’t feel the responsibility to inform you that they play some ferociously angry and chaotically bent grind, as you might imagine a band named Piss Vortex would, I might’ve just left things to those first two sentences and let you discover the caustic majesty of their colossal noise yourselves. Their self-titled, debut album (with 150 of the records pressed on limited edition, piss yellow vinyl, of course) was released earlier this month, so we sent a bunch of questions to the band, watched a video of their biggest fan* extolling their virtues and attempted to rinse the filth off.

*Ok, maybe not

First of and most obvious, that name! Who came up with it and what have the reactions to it been like?
Christian Bonnesen [guitar]: Well, as you might know, 95% of being a metal musician is about conjuring up crazy band names for projects that never materialize. Sometimes you come up with a band name so stupid/good, that you have to form a band just to use the name. I was at a party some years ago and when you get something to drink you naturally have to take a piss at some point. After the deed was done, I flushed, looked at the pee whirl around in a vortex and just sort of thought to myself, ”Piss Vortex! That’s a great fucking band name!” It stuck with me throughout the years. When we were discussing what to call the band, I casually mentioned it and we all agreed on it pretty fast. People really seem to like the name. Here in Denmark the name baffles people, but Americans usually think it’s hilarious. We recently got a review, where the name is described as immature though, haha – Can’t win them all.

How did Piss Vortex form and come to be in its present state?
Rasmus Moesby [bass]: I met Niclas [Sauffaus, drums] through a mutual friend one night; he complimented me on my Arson Project t-shirt, I complimented him on his Cap’n Jazz t-shirt, he mentioned he was a drummer, and that was pretty much it. I had briefly played in a band with Christian some years before, and his discordant sludgy guitar antics seemed a good fit for Niclas’ strange approach to drumming. To this day, I’m still on the fence about whether or not it was good idea to pair the two together. We needed a vocalist that understood the type of music we were playing and even though I only knew Simon [Stenbaek] peripherally, I was fairly certain that he would make a fine George Harrison to our little troupe. Also, in that analogy, Christian and Niclas are both Lennon and McCartney simultaneously and I’m Ringo Starr or maybe Yoko Ono, either way the one who mostly just does pointless stuff no one gives a shit about. Anyway, Christian knew Simon a bit better from back in the day, and asked him to come along for practice one night and Piss Vortex manifested itself onto conscious reality.

Was there a particular intention/direction you had in mind for this band when compared to what you’ve done with past bands or even bands that you’re in concurrently?
Simon: I didn’t really know what I was getting in to, so I can’t say I had any intentions at first. I just re-started my power rock band, Redwolves, half a year before I joined, so Piss Vortex was extremely weird compared to that. It was like that dog that smells like shit and only has three legs that you can’t help but love. Compared to my other musical endeavors, Piss Vortex is one of the more extreme projects I’ve been in, and I want it to be even more extreme in the future. “Try everything” is kind of my mindset with this band!
Christian: To me, as the guitarist in the band, my intention was and still is to play more extreme music than I’ve ever played before. Another is to evoke the spirit of late 90’s/early 00’s chaotic hardcore, but kind of update it and put our own spin on it. Rasmus also contributes with riffs to the band and shares an affinity for that kind of style, but is more rooted in grind and death. That’s usually the inspirational base for what I try to contribute to the band. In a time where people seem so enamored by D-beat bands with black metal imaging and progressive bands playing polyrhythms for the sake of playing polyrhythms – granted all things I enjoy – I’ve been missing that kind of style something fierce. As a young shithead, I grew up wanting to do crazy shit like tuning down the guitar by ear in the middle of a song (a la Botch, “Hutton’s Great Engine”) and that’s a big inspiration as well. A thing we do that’s different compared to the other bands I’ve been involved with is that we always try out an idea, even if it sounds completely stupid/silly, because it usually evolves into something fucked up and great. A lot of our songs have materialized by doing just that. Our song “Devouring Intent” from the album was born from Niclas idea of doing a waltz grind song in 3/4, which on paper is completely ridiculous, but it turned out crazy and fun.

Three years in the making? 14 songs? 23 minutes? At what point did you stumble upon a definite sound/style that you wanted to keep going along? When you found your particular (left hand) path, how quickly did the material come into being?
Rasmus: It was a long process, to be sure. The album can almost be said to be something of a compilation of nearly all the material we had written up until the time of the recording; some less-than-exciting songs were discarded or simply slipped into the oblivion of long-term memory. We’re all busy people, so we’ve occasionally had long gaps between practices, which sort of stunted creativity for a while, but even after we eventually got our act together, writing this type of music still presented a challenge. Even if there are certain traits that all the songs share, the concrete, ”Piss Vortex sound” is still a somewhat elusive and ever-expanding concept. ”Beaten Womb” took over a month to finish while a song like ”Altered State” was over and done with more or less on the spot. So how long does it take to write a Piss Vortex song? It all depends on the song itself and what we’re trying to do with it. It’s easy to lose focus sometimes, but overall, as the studio deadline crept closer, I think we really dedicated ourselves to the process and the material came out a bit easier than it otherwise might have. Or maybe we just chose the right time to substitute beers for energy drinks. It’s anyone’s guess, really.

What exactly is going on on the cover of the record?

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Simon: Our good friend, Jesper Christoffersen, made the cover and it looks fucking amazing! I don’t really know what the deal is with it, but I sort of imagine a path going into a forest – a forest covered in shit. As far as I know, it’s a pile of dirt and paint in a corner, and he really made something so fucking simple into something that you can interpret in so many different ways. Jesper is such a talented artist, and hopefully we will be working with him again in the future! Just answering this question I looked a lot at it again, and now I also sort of see an abstract pile of dead rats lying covered in dirt – what’s that called again, a rat king or something like that? Google it.

Who is this Tyrone fellow, how did you get him on board to do that video and what is that sound he makes towards the end of the clip…?

Rasmus: Tyrone might or might not be the secret fifth member of the band. I’m sorry, but that’s all I can tell you at the moment. The sound you hear at the end is, ”yahtzee”. ”Yahtzee” has become known as Christian’s personal outburst of ultimate success and victory over the challenges of life; Tyrone simply appropriates it to express how the release of our record is both a symbolic and very physical triumph for us as a band, and for Christian as an individual. Good job, Christian! Yahtzee, indeed.

I’m guessing there’s a plan for the band once the album is out and about…Care to fill us in…
Rasmus: Playing a ton of shows, writing a ton of new material, hopefully faster than last time. Getting rich. Getting fat. Slowly losing our collective grip on sanity. Die a miserable peasant’s death in a Copenhagen gutter, un-mourned and unloved. Eventually, I mean. For now, just more shows and more records would be nice.

Stream the album here
Buy the record here
Contact the band here (or email them at: pissvortex@gmail.com)
Watch more Tyrone videos here
Photo by: Kasper Rebien

Encrotchment With Eddie Gobbo From Jar’d Loose: Week 11

By: Eddie Gobbo Posted in: encrotchment, featured, nfl 2014 On: Thursday, November 20th, 2014

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Feeling for Minnesota

This week, it was confirmed that Adrian Peterson will indeed by suspended for at least the rest of the season without pay, and will not be eligible for reinstatement until training camp in April.

Adrian Peterson is the Tom Brady of the NFC: a Hall of Fame-bound veteran who is synonymous with his team. I can not properly express the respect I have for AP not throwing his weight around and demanding a trade in any of the several abysmal seasons the Vikes have had during his tenure. This is why, and rightfully so, AP had such a rapport with the fans of Minnesota. He was their guy.

I knew Peterson’s forced benching would horribly affect the Vikings’ fans this year. This past Sunday, in their loss to the Bears, I saw what I perceived as a record low in Vikes fans repping at Soldier Field. Again drawing a Brady comparison, I pictured the 2014 Vikings fans acting like the 2008 New England Patriots fans, who were forced to root for Matt Cassel every week while their hero was out for the season with a torn ACL and MCL. The fans had a hint of lethargy the entire season. The difference: Pats fans saw a light at the end of the tunnel. At this point, I’m not sure if Vikings fans do.

Now, Peterson will probably be back next season. But how easily will this incident be forgiven and forgotten? Personally, I’d be pretty creeped out seeing someone wear an Adrian Peterson jersey, kind of like when I see someone wearing a Rush shirt. I’m sure I’m not alone, and this saddens me. A great legacy, arguably rightfully so, has been tarnished for him and his unbelievably supportive fans.

Ten weeks into the season, I reached out to my friend, Minnesota Vikings fan and Grind King Luke Olson (Ambassador Gun), to ask him about how the vibe in Minni has changed since this disaster:

“When the story broke, Minnesota sports fans were up in arms, freakin’ out that the season was shot. [Not only that], but it was the headline, not only in Minnesota, but all media, for a while, mainly because he was one of the greatest players out there.”

Two things are certain about this story: 1) no one would give a damn if it wasn’t the illustrious Adrian Peterson and just a run-of- the-mill player, and 2) probably another obvious observation, this story would be nowhere near the firestorm it turned out to be had the Ray Rice incident not preceded it.

Time heals wounds, yes. But it’s also important to remember that people forgive, but rarely forget. This stigma will follow Peterson for the rest of his career.

“His legacy is absolutely tarnished in Minnesota. I’ve never seen a Target store or grocery store strip all AP merch that fast. I think a lot of Vikings fans assumed he was nothing but a humble and amazing player, and were let down. I [for one] was quite surprised when all this surfaced. A lot of people will get over it, a lot wont. Some may boo him when he walks on the field.”

Don’t put it past Peterson to end his career early, or maybe even never play again, if this spirals further out of control. There’s no guarantee he will be allowed to play next year . Personally, I feel that this might be a good thing for the Vikings. It might be time to move on from AP being your franchise, as sad as it may be.

I feel for you, Minnesota fans. Y’all annoy us Bear fans, and we all hate the color purple because of you (and Oprah), but we like you. Until this works out, hang your hat on Prince and the rest of the kick-ass music scene you got going on up there.

Check out Ambassador Gun’s latest record, Golden Eagle, out now on Prosthetic.

Luck Laster

Is it too early to talk about playoff scenarios? I usually wait ’til after Thanksgiving, but I’m starting a little early this year.

We all know that the Indianapolis Colts, even with various pivotal losses, are going to win the AFC South and get a home game in the wild card round.

Given the 42-20 loss to the Patriots this past Sunday, Andrew Luck’s team more than likely will not get a first-round bye, likely occupied by the Pats and Broncos, both teams that the Colts have lost to significantly in prime time games this year. Based on this, the odds of Luck clashing with Brady and/or Manning this postseason is obviously very high.

Everyone knows that the AFC’s is Luck’s throne to inherent, including Luck himself. Once Brady and Manning retire, somewhere in the next three seasons, Luck is going to have a field day. The Colts are without a doubt the Super Bowl dynasty of the future. They will bolster their defense through the draft, pick up smart free agent vets, and will have a great army for Chuck Pagano, a future Hall of Fame coach, to lead.

But — and this is an Iggy Azalea size “But” — Andrew Luck doesn’t like waiting. This is dangerous for the Broncos and Pats this postseason.

Luck reminds me of a Velociraptor: When he watches you, you can see he’s working things out. He metaphorically tests fences for weaknesses systematically. He remembers.

(By the way, a little birdie told me the trailer for Jurassic World premiers December 17 with all showings of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. You’re welcome.)

I’m fairly certain that in a head-to-head match in Denver, Luck’s Colts would lose. Denver has an opportunistic defense that has actually heavily underachieved this year. They, in theory, should be a top-five NFL defense. Instead, they’ve flirted around the bottom half of the league this season. New England’s D is ranked around there as well. However, their D has overachieved this year. Plus, they’ve played teams led by way worse QBs than the Broncos have.

Based on this, I am extremely confident in saying that New England has a significantly worse defense then they would appear to have. Also, I would argue that the Colts have a better, yet obviously greener, offense than the Pats. Lastly, keep in mind that Luck lost to Brady’s Pats last year in the playoffs, as well as this season. Will Luck lose three matches in a row to the Pats? If Luck goes to New England after the wild card round, New England will get blindsided. I am stoked to see what I anticipate as a playoff coming-out party for Luck, Pagano and the Colts this year. If Denver gets upset somewhere down the line, I am even confident enough to say they will rep the AFC in the Super Bowl this year.

Are You There, LeGarrette? It’s Me, God.

Is it too late for you to go to law school?

Sluts for Slumps

Last week, I didn’t have a Pick of the Week at the end of my column. I actually received several emails and text messages asking why I “forgot” to put one in. I didn’t answer any of them because I’m a delicate genius who can’t be disturbed.

I actually didn’t forget to put one in. There was a reason I didn’t. After a seven-week run of winners, I had two losers in a row. In the gambling world, that’s called “slumping.”

When I was 18 years old, my college roommate, standup comic Dan Bush, told me a story about legendary Chicago Cubs first baseman Mark Grace. He said when he was slumping, he would go “hogging.” He’d go to a bar, pick up an overweight chick, and have sex with her. Then suddenly he would get out of the slump. This would explain Grace’s borderline Hall of Fame career. Probably the most important story I was ever told in my life.

Now, I did go to a bar this past week, but it was with my dad, who obviously is a C-Block. However, we did our own version of slump-busting (he, too, was slumping after betting against the Packers two weeks in a row). To slump-bust this week, I booked a very dumb bet: under 31 points  in the Colts/Pats game. With Andrew Luck and Tom Brady set to sling it, it was a dumb bet that only a desperate man would roll the dice on.

I barely won with the 24 combined points they put up at the half. It was very stressful, but worth my dad going completely apecrap in a bar the whole time. “I feel like throwing this fucking glass right now,” he said after Tom Brady threw a weak interception, leading to an Indy score in the second quarter. Total confusion was exhibited by the stranger next to us wearing a Patriots hoodie, who saw my dad clap when the Pats forced a three-and-out in the first quarter, followed by more clapping when the Colts forced a three-and-out in the following possession. The Patriots fan had a look on his face like, “Does this guy know how football works?”

After Brady kneeled down to end the first half and lead his team into the locker room, my dad slammed down his crumpled napkin in joy, stormed out of the bar rejoicing and swearing (shoulder-blocking a bus boy on the way out), and stuck me with the check. Gambling and slumps suck.

Doing a Drug Named After a Part of Your Own Ass

And finally this week, cornerback Patrick Peterson said on the Dan Patrick Show yesterday that wideouts DeSean Jackson and Mike Wallace have “crackhead speed.” 

Never heard of it, but I’d be down to try some. Keep in touch. See ya at Ozzfest, DeSean.

Pick of the Week

Seattle -6 over ‘Zona

Enter the Iron Age: Exclusive Wayfarer Stream!

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: exclusive, featured On: Thursday, November 20th, 2014

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Wayfarer’s gorgeous, lush eight track ode to epic heaviness Children of the Iron Age isn’t out until next week, but Decibel readers can check out the whole damn thing right now via the full album stream below.

Pre-order the CD or Gatefold 2XLP here or hit up iTunes, Amazon, or Bandcamp. Keep up with the band over at Facebook.

Doom With Friends: SubRosa Edition

By: nick.green Posted in: featured, gnarly one-offs On: Thursday, November 20th, 2014

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Salt Lake City doom-sludge band SubRosa is a favorite at Decibel HQ, and endeared themselves to us even further when they eschewed predictable “aggro” shots for their back-cover spread in the May 2014 issue in favor of an “action” shot…  in front of a Scrabble board. That was apparently all guitarist/vocalist Rebecca Vernon’s doing, so naturally, we had to challenge her to a friendly game of Words With Friends. So, in honor of SubRosa’s placement in the Decibel Top 100 Doom Metal Albums special issue (#88 for More Constant Than the Gods), here’s the inveterate word freak on proper Scrabble etiquette and a quick run-down and recap of the game. Spoiler alert: We got our asses handed to us.

You got involved in playing Scrabble at a young age. Weren’t the rest of your friends like, “Screw this, let’s play Mouse Trap instead?”

I never played Scrabble with my friends, only my mom’s mom, nicknamed Grandma “Fluffy” because of her fluffy white hair. I played dozens and dozens of games, maybe a few hundred, with her. Most of the games would consist of her pretending to try to beat me, then losing on purpose, and occasionally nodding off to Oprah or The Price Is Right playing at crushing volumes on the TV six feet in front of us. She would pay me $10 for each game I lost and $20 for each game I won, so either way, I “scored.”

Back in May 2014, SubRosa appeared in a Converse x Decibel ad, surrounding a Scrabble board. The accompanying video revealed that it was actually the first time the band had played Scrabble together. Have you had a rematch?

No, although I used to be in a band that played 10 games a month to earn our practice rent from my grandma ($160), like I said in the video. That’s probably why the band broke up.

Is it ever OK to consult a dictionary before placing your tiles in Scrabble?

Yes, in fact, it’s preferable! The way my grandma and I played was to consult dictionaries before a move: three or four different ones. My grandma saw the game as a way to build your vocabulary. We also didn’t have a time limit. The average turn would be 30 minutes. Sometimes our games lasted two days.

Is it more respectable to try to get the highest score possible, or to play the best words possible?

It’s much more respectable to get the highest score possible. My grandma used to warn against playing fancy words in lieu of strategy – a word has no value in Scrabble if it’s not worth points. In other words, showing off won’t help you win.

Are there any words not officially recognized by Merriam-Webster that you INSIST on playing anyway?

No. If it’s not in a dictionary – one of three or four – I won’t play it. And no proper nouns.

What role does trash-talking have in an otherwise civil game like Scrabble?

I think you could use it to psychologically disarm your opponent. With my grandma, though, the commentary was always reserved. Once, in a game, my grandma was pretty far ahead of me, but I played a strong move that put me ahead of her. She looked down at the board and said, “Ahhh, sooo, the worm has turned.” That was the first time I had heard that expression, and I told her I was going to use that for the title of an album, and I did.

THE GAME

Round One

Rebecca: STOOGE (14 points)

Decibel: GAB (20 points)

Decent opening play by Rebecca on a Double-Word score, but Decibel pulls ahead at the start.

Round Five

Rebecca: ZEDS (48)

Decibel: JUT (38)

Both players rack up some points by placing 10-point tiles,and Decibel attempts a dangerous gambit by exposing the Triple Word Score, which leads to…

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Round Six

Rebecca: DINER/ROLL (17)

Decibel: JIVE (51)

LOL, the worm has turned! If you’re going the talk trash, you should try to make it relevant to your opponent, especially if you can reference their own artistic works. But sometimes it’s better not to talk trash, because…

Round Seven

Rebecca: SHOVERS (82)

Decibel: PLANE (30)

Rebecca pulls ahead again by emptying her rack with a convincing bingo. Decibel is on borrowed time with borrowed eyes.

Round Ten

Rebecca: CREATION (53)

Decibel: RIB (19)

Bingo #2 for Rebecca. Generally speaking, it’s possible to counteract one bingo, but the odds are seriously against you with two or more. Decibel senses the Grim Reaper is coming.

Round Twelve

Rebecca: PYA (21)

Decibel: TOON (10)

“Pya”? C’mon, Rebecca, you totally made that shit up. No, wait, you didn’t.

This would have been beautiful if it actually happened.

This would have been beautiful if it actually happened.

 

Round Fifteen

Rebecca: BET/TI (7)

Decibel: [Forfeits -2 points for “L” remaining in rack at end of the game]

To be fair, Decibel ended up with two “w”s and a “g” in the last couple of rounds and scrambled to burn off all of the higher point tiles. This part of the game always sucks.

********Final Score: Rebecca wins, 425-370!************

Parting Thoughts from Rebecca: “You gave me a run for my money, for sure. I definitely got lucky by getting three of the big-point letters – ‘x,’ ‘z’ and ‘q.’ A strong game definitely depends on the letters you get… and there’s just not a lot you can do about it if you don’t get good letters. I’ll be keeping an eye out for my trophy! Just kidding. Sort of.”

VIDEO: The Flight of Sleipnir’s “Beacon in Black Horizon”

By: zach.smith Posted in: featured, videos On: Thursday, November 20th, 2014

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Back in October–on Halloween in fact–we streamed “The Casting” from V, the latest (and appropriately titled) effort from The Flight of Sleipnir. Even though the record isn’t out until the end of the month, we’re pleased to premiere the Colorado duo’s video for “Beacon in Black Horizon”, the eight minute-plus opus that closes out the record. Clayton Cushman and David Csicsely also dropped a little knowledge about what you’ll be seeing:

“Beacon in Black Horizon” is the story of a chieftain dying and passing into the next realm. Working with the production company, we came up with the idea to abstractly convey the concept of his death and subsequent journey. The shoot was done mostly in front of green screens with local talent and help from some of our friends, including Kelly Schilling who plays flute on another track of the album.

You can pre-order a copy of V from Napalm Records here.