INTERVIEW: Mike Abominator from Gravehill is going to crawl out the speaker and choke you to death

By: jonathan.horsley Posted in: featured, interviews On: Monday, March 31st, 2014

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Gravehill rule for a whole bunch of reasons. The Californian alpha-headbangers just have this anything goes attitude to playing gory ol’ school death metal and would just as soon mix in a little hardcore punk and crust feel as they are to bring it down slow and low and meditate upon a doom riff for a little minute before getting back to the blast and pummel. And they play songs, actual songs. But maybe the most persuasive aspect of their whole approach is their frontman, the incomparable Mr Mike Abominator.

Some vocalists just pass you buy, their performances sinking into the mix, lurking around with the percussion. Mike Abominator is front and center. He is the ice titan on Gravehill’s unholy cake. Sure, maybe live you could say he is in your face; YouTube footage would suggest that is the case. But when you experience him through headphones on the morning commute, he’s in your head, and that’s probably more disquieting, more intimidating. Intimidating is just a part of it, though, Abominator is more of a rabble-rouser, a fallen evangelist for extreme metal. If underground metal required a recruiting sergeant it could do worse than him.

A couple of weeks ago we premiered this awesome track from Death Curse. You can order that nasty piece o’ work here

It’s time you got to know Mike Abominator a little better, but be warned; this is the man who considers performance to be a form of intimidation . . .

Let’s go back, way back: what was your first musical memory?
“My family was always really into rock ’n’ roll music so there were always records playing, constantly, at the house. I distinctly remember the song “Black Sabbath” by Black Sabbath, playing it over and over again, and that album being played all the time. And, of course, Paranoid. Sabbath was always playing, and I was always really intrigued by it. My brother told me that I gravitated towards the heavy metal records, some of the heavier stuff. My dad used to laugh; he tried to put on Deep Purple and stuff, and that was cool, but I always seemed to calm down when Black Sabbath or Judas Priest, or KISS were playing. Those were my first three loves, I guess. KISS Destroyer, I was just intrigued by the makeup and the whole thing with them. Then Judas Priest, when “The Ripper” would come on it was like I’d stop being a pain in the ass and start behaving myself a little bit better and calming down. I guess that was my early memories; to get me back in line, they just put on one of those records and I would calm down.”

It’s MLB Opening Day and Your Team Doesn’t Suck (Yet)!

By: adem Posted in: baseball rules fuck soccer, featured, interviews, videos On: Monday, March 31st, 2014

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Why does every baseball fan everywhere look forward to opening day of Major League Baseball more than any other day of the season? For some it’s the only day their team isn’t in the cellar (Houston) or languishing in mediocrity (Chicago Cubs) or headed toward another 100-loss season (Seattle). For others it’s the possibility of a championship at the end of the six-month odyssey that is the MLB season or, hell, just a shot at an improbable playoff run. This is the day when things are possible. Tomorrow may look a little different, but today the glass is still half full.

So, with all the optimism we can muster (as a Mariners fan), we’re celebrating MLB Opening Day with a video of Bruce Lamont of Yakuza fame interviewing Chicago White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko about— what else—the metal he likes to listen to while preparing for a game. And for more quality metal and MLB, Decibel‘s annual MLB Preview is in the new issue (with Triptykon’s Tom G. Warrior on the over) which is now available for ordering here and on your tablet/smart phone.

B+K FINAL INTERVIEW from Justin Baron on Vimeo.

STREAMING: Monolord “Empress Rising”

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, listen On: Monday, March 31st, 2014

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“…that fuzzed out soundscape was exactly what we were looking to achieve. We actually didn’t have any specific genre in mind starting this band, we just wanted to make music as heavy and gritty as possible. If anyone wants to label it doom, stoner or sludge is entirely up to them. But we’re totally fine with that; as long as people like what we do we take any labelling as a compliment.” So says Monolord guitarist Esben Willems in a recent interview on Slugelord (HERE)

We’re actually on the same page as Willems. Empress Rising is doom, stoner, and sludge, all mixed up but not entirely devoted to any genre or subgenre. It has its heavy-as-mountain moments, its ‘dude, that riff vibrated my bong!’ moments, and its despondent ‘wish I lived in a cemetery’ moments. But the cool thing about Empress Rising is that it never feels caged. Much of that probably has to do with Monolord’s predecessor outfit, Marulk, which put the ‘b’ in boogie.

OK, we’re not going to hold back from you discovering your new favorite band. Behold! Monolord’s Empress Rising.

** Monolord’s Empress Rising is out in two different formats–CD and LP–on Easyrider Records. CD is available HERE. Vinyl in many colors HERE. Do it for the doom!

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

By: andrew Posted in: a fucking parrot previewing new releases, featured On: Friday, March 28th, 2014

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OK, I know, its GOT to get better. There’s not too much I found this week, so I guess I’ll get into it.

Nux Vomica releases the oh-so-crusty Nux Vomica (self-titled, for those of you that aren’t that quick on the uptake) on Relapse.  Calling this just crust would be a little unfair, sure there are elements of Dystopia and His Hero Is gone, but there’s also elements of melodic death, doom and punk. Throw in a dose of middle-era Neurosis and you’ve got Nux Vomica. The production here really lends to the overall sound; it’s not muddy, and it’s got some sack to it. This whole presentation comes across well, and doesn’t ever feel like a band that’s just mixing in genres to keep it interesting or prove that they can play. Even though they are firmly rooted in the metal and punk veins, check out the melodic passages in “Reeling.” Even things like this don’t detract from the overall feeling of the album, and it never loses cohesiveness. I’m preening digging it. 7 Fucking Pecks.

Wow, I’d never heard Mass Infection before, and I’m glad it did. For I Am Genocide is an undiscovered death metal gem. Maybe I wasn’t expecting much, being previously unaware, but this brutal slab of death is perching cool. There’s brutality here for sure, but also technical parts that don’t seem wonky or masturbatory. Think Grecian (is that a genre?) death metal with a little Hate Eternal thrown in. The riff, my beak… the riffs, they move, they shift, never digging in too hard where it becomes repetitive. This seems to be a concept record of sorts, or maybe there’s some underlying theme, but to me that theme is brutality, violence and nihilism. Cool. 6 Fucking Pecks.

Well, I need more words, so…  Various Artists, Ronnie James Dio: This Is Your Life . I really don’t tend to like this sort of thing here, and this isn’t the exception. I was wondering when something like this would come out and, well, it has. Aside from the ridiculous cover, there are different artists covering RJD songs, closed out at the end with RJD himself. How do I even get into this?  The Metallica track is pretty lame; the Tenacious D track is executed better than you think it would be, but is only worth a listen or two. The Killswitch cover of “Holy Diver” probably has RJD spinning in his grave more times than that meatspin site. That’s not to say this is utterly worthless, although I wouldn’t spend my hard-earned seeds on this. Motorhead’s version of “Starstruck” is cool, Doro doing “Egypt (The Chains Are On)” is pretty cool, and the Halford and band version of “Man on the Silver Mountain” is great. So, uh, yeah, not my perching spot at all. If you want lame versions of great songs, by all means, by my guest.  The bonus here is that it was assembled by Wendy Dio and the proceeds do go to Dio’s cancer charity. 3 Fucking Pecks.

BREWTAL TRUTH: The Next Generation

By: adem Posted in: featured, gnarly one-offs, liver failure, stupid crap On: Friday, March 28th, 2014

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We’ll get the self-congratulatory crap out of the way right up front. We’ve been writing about craft beer in America’s only monthly extreme music magazine since 2009. No one else was writing about beer and metal at the time. So, we’ll go ahead and plant the we-were-there-first flag in that one. But, if you’ve been following along, you’ve probably noticed that we are no longer the ONLY media covering this growing movement (or whatever you want to call it). There are now numerous blogs and websites, as well as a regular beer-and-metal column on a Chicago alternative weekly’s website.

So, we figured we’d provide you an overview of some of the various different approaches to the subject that are out there, as well as give a little exposure to the people who are doing their part to promote two things close to our heart (and drinkhole). There’s no doubt more out there than what we’re showing you here. If you know of others writing about and promoting beer and metal, feel free to clue us in in the comment section below.

Chicago Reader
Philip Montoro’s “Beer and Metal” column appears in the Chicago Reader every Monday.

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Black Metal and Brews
This blog features more black metal than brews, but we love the tagline of “Dark Beers and Darker Music,” and the passion for both is evident in the writing.

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Kevy Metal’s Cassette Tapes and Craft Beer Blog
Not a ton of text here, but some great pictures of Kevy Metal’s cassette acquisitions and the beers he’s drinking. Cool concept.

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Manifest Fermentation
Awesome name for this newer blog. It came to our attention with a piece about pairing Soilent Green’s “Lord of the Southern Priest” with Anchor Steam Beer.

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Beer Metal Dude
Uh, this one’s pretty self-explanatory. It’s written by a Texas metalhead who loves craft beer and loves writing about it. Another great blog tagline: “You just drank with the wrong Mexican.”

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One Million Beers For Metal
This blog seems to have stalled a bit (no new posts since November), but we included it just because what content is on there is worth checking out. Here’s hoping it gets restarted.

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Adem Tepedelen’s craft beer book, Decibel Presents the Brewtal Truth Guide to Extreme Beers: An All-Excess Pass to Brewing’s Outer Limits, is now available in the Decibel online store.

Album Stream: I Döden by Swedish Atmospheric Black Metallers Skogen

By: Dan Lake Posted in: featured, interviews, listen On: Friday, March 28th, 2014

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A little over a week from now, Skogen will release their fourth album in five years, called I Döden, meaning In Death.  The three Swedes have compiled an hour of farsighted, contemplative black metal – not quite folk, even though quiet acoustic passages exist; often raucous but with the sharpest edges all filed away by performance and productions choices, all to enhance the mood.  Due to hit shelves both actual and virtual on April 7th via Nordvis ProduktionI Döden can be heard in full right now at the Deciblog.  Start your zoned-out Friday with a first listen (or two, or twelve) of Skogen’s new album and read multi-instrumentalist Joakim Svensson’s thoughts on the band’s most recent work.

How and when did Skogen form?  How did the band’s sound come together?

Me and Mathias had a discussion and realized we had the same musical vision, so we joined forces in 2009, and immediately started making songs that eventuelly ended up on our first album “Vittra”. Linus joined as a permanent drummer in 2010. We have slightly different approaches in song writing, but complement each other to a perfect balance. Our goal was, and still is, to make atmospheric music, and we always write from the heart.

In Skogen’s five years, you have released four albums.  Most bands take much longer between releases.  Do you feel like you write Skogen music continuously, or have you taken breaks between albums?

We write continuously, and always have new ideas. Mathias writes lots of music all the time, a bit more than the rest of the band, and we already have tons of material for a new album. It’s not finished, but lots of ideas and songs are made.  We have taken a small break from rehearsals right now, due to newly born babies and moving to new cities. We’ll start writing new stuff pretty soon though.

Did you work with any new musical or lyrical ideas when writing I Döden?

Musically, we write what feels right. What comes from the heart. We never sit down and try to sound like different bands. But if I look at it from an outside perspective, I Döden sounds a bit more like our first two albums, than [2012’s] Eld. Less aggressive and more atmospheric. Lyrically it’s similar to where we left off at Eld. Exploring the entity and essence of death, in different shapes.

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What was the recording process like for I Döden?  Different from or similar to your other experiences?

It was quite similar to the other albums. We recorded the drums at a studio, a new one for each album so far, and then we recorded bass, guitars and vocals at Mathias’ studio.  It has everything we need, and time is not an issue. And of course the expense is at a minimum. When we record, we are quite fast, but we spend a lot of time finding a suitable and good guitar sound, drum sound and so on. No plugs, triggers, pods, pads, and what not. Real amps and heads. That is very important to our sound. It has to sound natural.

The cover art for the new album is pretty incredible.  Where did it come from?

Samos from Folkingrimm Arts did it. He also drew all the artwork for Eld. We chose him because of his tremendous skills and understanding of what we’re aiming for. We gave him the title and some ideas and inspirations we had, and he drew an amazing piece of art, that fits perfectly with the music.

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

I can only speak for me now, I’m proud of the album as a whole. But if I have to choose a few favourite passages, I’d say the Burzum-sounding passage in “Svartskogen”, the vocals in “Sleep”, which were kind of a gamble, but turned out good with gloom and doom, and the ’70′s Genesis-inspired harmony in “Solarvore”. But as I mentioned, I like the album as a whole. We always release albums that are supposed to be played as a whole, without interruptions. The track order is carefully chosen.

Members of Skogen have worked together in other bands as well.  How does working in Skogen differ from those other musical entities? 

We have more of the same vision in Skogen. We share the same musical goal. That might be the difference. In past bands we never really started together with the same idea, we more of bumped into each other at the pub and asked each other to join as a guitarist, drummer or such. Skogen have had the same vision from the beginning, without any line-up changes. And that is our strength. It wouldn’t work with replacements.

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For more Skogen and other Nordvis releases, check out this Facebook page and the online store where you can snatch up I Döden.

Into Mosh Pit: Nervosa Interviewed

By: kevin.stewart-panko Posted in: featured, interviews, videos On: Thursday, March 27th, 2014

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Sao Paulo, Brazil thrash brigade, Nervosa had their debut album, Victim of Yourself hit the streets very recently, although the buzz in the patch-jacketed ‘n’ bullet-belted underground has been swirling around this trio for a couple years. Being a trio of staunch and avowed all-tits-no-dicks thrash heads hailing from a faraway, sun-kissed land will always be a selling point to people who spend most of their time debating who sold out when and consider Austin, TX a mysterious and exotic locale. But when that trio can blast out with traditionally spiced, raw thrash inspired by the hallowed Teutonic “Big Three” and mid-80s Huntington Beach, well, that should turn more than a few heads as well. With the help of the internet and some form of translation program, we caught up with bassist/vocalist, Fernanda Lira and guitarist Prika Amaral via email for an all-things-Nervosa primer.

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Could you give us a bit of personal history about how you came to be thrash/metal fans and some band history explaining how Nervosa came to be?
Fernanda: Well, I’ve always been into metal, since I was a kid, but I started with the ‘lighter’ stuff like Iron Maiden, Kiss, Black Sabbath. My first memory on loving thrash metal was when I started listening to early Metallica and Megadeth! It was completely different from all I had listened to before, and the first thing that drew my attention to thrash metal, was the energy the genre carries. Still nowadays I can’t describe what I feel when I listen to the traditional thrash metal beat; it’s something that really touches me inside, it’s a mix of aggressiveness with energy, it makes you feel alive inside. Right after I got into these bands, I moved on to Slayer and got crazy with old school American and German thrash! Actually Prika started the band; I came a little later! I had been just kicked out of my previous band because they said I was ‘too thrash’ for them [laughs]! Then, after some time being away from playing metal, I decided to get back to pursuing my dream of having a band. I started looking for girls to gather up in an all-female thrash metal band. It was really, really hard to find available and committed girls, especially [who wanted] to play extreme metal. Nowadays, there are plenty of girls playing metal around, but three years ago, it was a little bit different. So when I was just about to quit my quest, Prika got in touch with me saying she had a thrash metal project and it perfectly fit with what I wanted to do! After some chats, we saw we had the same ideals and goals and also we got along really well – which is pretty important. We decided to start making Nervosa an active band, so we did!
Prika: I was born listening to rock. My mother listened to bands like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Yes, etc. So, to listen to rock always was natural. I don’t remember the first metal band I heard; I think it was either Slayer, Sepultura or Metallica. I played in a death metal band in 2010 and we needed a drummer. A friend showed me a female drummer and we began the idea for an all-female band. I searched for one year for female bassists and vocalists. [There were] many girls, but nobody was ideal. In July of 2011, I found Fernanda as a bassist. She is perfect for us because she had the same ideas. She suggested [trying out on] vocals, and when I listened I liked very much! The band had four songs before Fernanda. After she joined the band, the first show happened, we recorded our first demo, and the band began to [move].

When you were faced with having to replace members over the years, how determined were you to keeping Nervosa an all-female line-up? Did you ever entertain the idea of having a dude play with you? How difficult is it to find female thrash musicians in your part of Brazil?
Fernanda: I have always been determined to only play with girls! And when we had to face line-up changes, even with all difficulties, I never gave up on finding girls to play with us and the result is this all female line-up we have nowadays. After our first drummer left the band, I felt bad for a while, but then I started looking for other ones right away. We found many, but not all of them played extreme metal, and some of them couldn’t compromise with a band professionally the way we needed. So, the quest was REALLY hard! But I was always looking for girls; contacting them, talking to them, some even from other countries. I have no idea how we would handle a girl from abroad in the band, but I contacted them anyway. You can see my determination [laughs]! Before I remembered about and contacted Pitchu Ferraz, who’s with us nowadays, Prika suggested having a man behind the drums, but I told her I would only accept that if ALL the options were REALLY discarded. Fortunately, they were not. We knew Pitchu, but she was never in a thrash metal band before, so we didn’t know if she would fit in. But I told Prika that she had the guts and energy to play thrash and also she seemed to be a very [hard-working] person. Even if she didn’t know how to play it, she would learn how. To our surprise, when she started playing our songs, she did it perfectly, exactly the way we wanted and a lot better than we were expecting! She’s the one who kept us moving ahead as an all-female thrash metal band and she’s my precious. She’s a very hard-working girl and deserves everything that comes our way. That would be a gift from the universe for the awesome soul and professional musician she is!
Prika: I’ve always played with men and when I began Nervosa it was very difficult to meet professional girls. It is easy meet girls that play well, but it is very hard to meet girls that would abandon all to be on the road. Here in Brazil. I think that it is easy to meet a female musician because here there are female bands and in the Brazilian scene. Women are very present, [but finding] girls as engaged as men are is very, very hard and meeting girls that are easy to hang out with is even harder. Nervosa was my project, so I didn’t [feel I had to rush] and I never gave up.

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What were you looking to achieve with your first full-length? In what ways was the recording of the album different than your previous EP?
Fernanda: This time we knew the album would be much more mature because we have naturally evolved as musicians and as people. Besides that, we knew it would be a lot more [about] what Nervosa represents today and will represent from now on. When I joined the band, some songs were already written and I just gave some adjustments to them and worked on lyrics and vocal melodies. This time, all the songs have ideas from both me and Prika and the albums lyrics’ are perfectly shared by me and her. So this album is the perfect mix of mine and Prika’s ideas, who are the main composers in the band.
Prika: It was natural. The demo/EP was composed in majority by me because Fernanda joined the band after those four songs were already done. Therefore, this album is different because there’s more of everyone’s opinion and this makes the music grow. Each opinion adds to it for the better. Recording the album was special because this is Nervosa’s first full album; we were very careful with each detail and it was very special for me because I recorded the whole album [while suffering] with tendinitis and my arm in a plaster cast. I was in a lot of pain, but the final result was worth it.

How do you feel the songs and sound of Victim of Yourself turned out compared to what you envisioned in your mind going into the recording?
Fernanda: When we headed into the recording sessions, we knew exactly what we wanted to do, so everything came out pretty similar to what we had in mind. The only things that were my responsibility and that came out better than I thought, were the vocals and the bass tone. I was really well rehearsed when we recorded the vocals, so I could explore my voice in many ways I hadn’t imagined and in the end I thought they were REALLY cool and added a whole different aspect to the songs. As for the bass, I took a long time looking for inspirations to help me find the perfect timbre for my bass on the final mix. Alex Webster from Cannibal corpse was VERY influential to me. In the end, I simply LOVED my bass timbre. It was a lot better than I expected and much closer to what I wished to!!
Prika: As a whole, I really think it’s very good. But for the next album, I am sure that it will be better for me, because I won’t be [dealing] with tendinitis and now I have a custom guitar and custom pedal [made] for me by Ed’s Mod Shop. Now, I have a perfect sound!

What does the title of the album refer to? Is there a specific story or significance about why you called the album Victim of Yourself?
Fernanda: Prika came up with the initial idea for the cover which can be real related to the album’s theme. When I was writing the song “Victim of Yourself,” I was inspired by something that happened to us that made me reach the conclusion that everything you do will have a consequence. If you do bad things, bad things will come your way and if you can’t take responsibility for your own decisions, you become a victim of yourself. When I told Prika that I had a song in mind with this title and the meaning behind that, we agreed that it had to do with everything she had in mind for the cover and that this would be the name of the album.
Prika: Some people tried to harm us because of pure envy and they were burned by their own attitudes. The idea is that you are responsible for your attitudes and that all you do will come [back] to [haunt] you. My idea for the art cover is a skull killing another skull, but both are the same person.

How did you come to the attention of Napalm Records? Are you hoping that the label can do the work for you in Europe and America that you can’t? And just how popular are you in Brazil, anyway?
Fernanda: Right after we released our video clip, people shared it and it ended up being watched by many people overseas, but when Napalm got in touch with us, it was really a surprise. We know we’re a very hardworking band and everything that comes our way is a result of all the effort we make to keep the band going on, but I was shocked because we didn’t even have an album released. What I liked about them is that, since the beginning, they seemed to believe in us and our music as much as we do and this is the best thing you can expect from a label. They’re already doing many things we’d never be able to do. Without them we would [have taken] a lot longer to record our debut and be acknowledged outside of Brazil. A label can be very helpful to a band if both sides are looking the same way and fortunately that happens with Napalm! I am sure they will do many, many more things for us and we hope we can ‘repay’ them for what they do for us. In Brazil, many head bangers know us; we’re very popular and many of our Brazilian idols [know] our material and most of them support us, which makes me really, really happy!
Prika: Our video clip, “Masked Betrayer” had 16,000 views in 24 hours. This was a great surprise for us because this number is very large for a band that wasn’t known. Schmier from Destruction shared our clip on Facebook and Napalm viewed it and sent us an email. We are very happy with Napalm; they are great partners and we have [the freedom] to be what we are. We are popular in Brazil. We have already played with Exodus, Destruction, Raven, Kreator, Artillery, Exumer, Exciter, Legion of the Damned, etc. The distribution of our album around the world will be very important and Napalm has the structure for this.

What’s the plan now that you have a growing profile, an international label, a manager and album with an Andrei Bouzikov-painted cover?
Fernanda: We have many plans in mind and we’ll work really hard to make them come true. After releasing the new video and album, we plan to play a lot, wherever we can. We’re a band that loves being on the road, so we plan to discover many new places in and outside Brazil and play as much as we can.
Prika: The plan is to play around the world, [as many] places [as] possible. We want to continue working and displaying our work. We want to record many albums and to play much!

Here’s the old video, “Masked Betrayer”

And the new one, “Death”

Nervosa’s website
Nervosa on Facebook
Nervosa on YouTube

Jets Fan Tommy Victor of Prong Rights the Ship

By: andrew Posted in: featured, nfl 2014 On: Thursday, March 27th, 2014

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NFL free agency has been in full swing for a couple weeks now. Prong’s Ruining Lives drops courtesy of Steamhammer/SPV on April 28; we asked longtime mainman Tommy Victor what he would do if he were in charge of his favorite team, the New York Jets. Snap your fingers, snap the ball, do not buttfumble.

Well this is an interesting day to write a report on the J-E-T-S, JETS! JETS! JETS!

With all the needs to be addressed, the Jets front office still focuses on the big headline acquisitions. Today, just hours ago [actually Friday, March 21 - ed], they signed veteran Mike Vick as a possible tutor/competitor to quarterback Geno Smith. Mark Sanchez is finally history, something that definitely needed to be done. I must admit, I like this deal. I, too, would have signed Vick to maybe straighten Smith out and be a potential starter at our  tumultuous position.

But there’s so many other issues that haven’t been addressed, that need to be.

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The sentiment around Jet Nation  is that the  GM, John Idzik, missed out on free-agent targets, misreading the market and miscalculating the huge salary cap changes in the NFL this year, where the cap is now up to $133 million. I tend to agree. I think he overanalyzed free agency.

He’s left a hole at the defensive position of cornerback,  and head coach Rex Ryan has expressed displeasure at that.  I would have never released Antonio Cromartie, with the thought of maybe resigning him at lower pay. Arizona grabbed him, and now he’s gone. Yes, I would have tried to get Darrelle Revis back.  We are way under the salary cap, so although he was pricey, we had the money. Now our nemesis New England has him. We needed a veteran CB.  Now we are stuck with  second-year player Dee Milliner and the underproductive Kyle Wilson, whom I’ve never been happy with. His answer has been to resign Lankster, Walls and Johnny Patrick, cut by the Chargers, all just not good enough.

boss hogg says, "have faith, tommy."

boss hogg says, “have faith, tommy.”

The safety position is also in need.  Antonio Allen performed fairly well in the strong safety role, especially against the run. Dawan Landry and the aging Ed Reed provided some experience to the secondary, but they never made a difference from against the pass. That’s what we should be looking for, as none of their safeties graded positive in pass coverage last season. Chris Clemons is a good pass coverage safety and is still available in free agency. I’d sign him.

If there is a position group in the league that needed to be vastly improved, that’s the Jets’ wide receivers.  Santonio Holmes has been let go, something I don’t believe any Jet fan would have disagreed with. Owner Woody Johnson and Idzik again went with the sexy free agent signing of Eric Decker, which I don’t believe will come close to solving the problem. Look who he was surrounded with at Denver! The two Thomases and Wes Welker! Look who was passing to him! That leaves us with only Jeremy Kerley and David Nelson as options for Geno or Vick. Stephen Hill isn’t anywhere close to the player they expected he would be, and could be on the way out if he doesn’t get better this offseason. We need to trade for DeSean Jackson. With Vick knowing offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg ‘s offense, and his past relationship with Jackson, it just makes sense.

The tight end position should  be a priority in the 2014 draft. Although I like Jeff Cumberland, who was resigned, he’s not the answer. We need a weapon and a blocking TE.

Now on to the offensive line, another shortcoming. The Jets offensive line ranked 25th in 2013, down from third in 2012. The problem’s at left guard: first with Vlad Ducasse, then with the rookie Brian Winters. That hurt the whole unit, especially the star players, Nick Mangold and  D’Brickashaw Ferguson. The new contract for Willie Colon was a good move for the right side. The bad news for the right side being the departure of the impressive Austin Howard, who just got nabbed by the Raiders. Another miscalculation by Idzik, unable to get a grip on the budget and the ramifications of letting proven Jets move on.

Thank goodness we didn’t let Nick Folk go. The kicker was our biggest playmaker last year! That was a no-brainier. But a lot of this offseason’s decisions should  have been obvious. In reality, at 8-8, we didn’t do too bad last year. Keeping that nucleus while making solid improvements where necessary is — or was — the way the way to get us in the playoffs. Keeping  key guys should have been a priority.  Letting them go to sign elsewhere and leaving mysterious holes in their positions makes no sense. Having great opportunities on the free agent market and an ocean of salary cap, our needs could have painlessly been met before the speculations of the draft. And based upon what we’ve seen from Rex and Woody calling the shots in the draft, we can’t be too confident. If I was was GM, I would reel Rex in, like the big-mouthed tuna he is, and maybe have Marty in the draft room, too. There, maybe we can get a cross perspective on playmakers rather than just guys that are thought to be “cool ” or headline-makers. We should focus on talent rather than NY Post popularity.

Decibrity Playlist: Iron Reagan

By: zach.smith Posted in: featured, interviews, listen, lists On: Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Reagan1c

Sure, it’s been a year since Iron Reagan dropped its debut full-length. Despite the various other commitments of its members, the band recently began a run of tour dates that will take them through April, all while wrapping up work on their sophomore LP (which, by the way, will be for Relapse). Given how much we liked Worse Than Dead (it made our top 40 of 2013) and how stoked we are about that last sentence, we asked frontman Tony Foresta about some records he digs. His picks are as eclectic as they are entertaining.

Pick up a copy of Worse Than Dead here and check out IR’s tour dates below.

Quicksand–Slip (1993)
One of my top five favorite albums. Whenever I have to do a long shift and don’t want to fuck with my iPod, I just let this one roll. It’s funny, I used to do the same thing with this record mowing my parents lawn in high school. Only instead of an iPod, I had a Walkman cassette player and my Slip cassette. I remember having to stop the lawnmower to flip my tape mid-mow (laughs)!

Pusrad–31 Premature Ejaculations Tape December 2012 (2012)
Kevin Sharp got me into these guys. Super fast blasts of short and fun hardcore. I mean really, really fast. Not something you want to listen to while in a stressful situation like driving in New Jersey or something, it might just make your brain explode. Regardless, this always puts me in a good mood when I listen to it.

Black Flag–Who’s Got The 10½? (1986)
This is in a three-way tie with Decendents’ Hallraker and Iron Maiden’s Live After Death as my all-time favorite live record. This one goes on the list because it was cranked in the van a shitload during the recent Iron Reagan/Power Trip/Mammoth Grinder tour and on this album they play a ton of stuff off Loose Nut, which is my top Flag record at the moment. My fav Flag records change from time to time.

Longmont Potion Castle–Best of Longmont Potion Castle: Volume 1 (1996)
I’ve established so many long term relationships with people just by one of us muttering one of the million hilarious quotes from these prank calls. Just one weird comment usually follows with “Wait, you listen to Longmont?!?” and then we are friends forever. It’s really happened. You are either the type of person that really loves this stuff or you hate it. If you hate it then I probably don’t want to hang out with you.

Tegan and Sara’s “Closer” (from 2013′s Heartthrob)
Everybody was jocking that Robin Thicke “Blurred Lines” shit as the dance jam of the summer last year–although that’s a hell of a catchy song, the lyrics are a little to “date rapey” for my tastes–all the while this Tegan and Sara song was killing it then and is still chugging away at parties now while theres a foot of snow outside.

Sockeye–Barf On A Globe (1999)
The best/worst band on the planet. I go through phases where I wont listen to them for a couple years and then “Buttfuck Your Own Face” will pop in my head and then I’m screwed for at least three months.

Mercyful Fate–Melissa (1983)
Album rules. But you dummies already know this.

Spazz/Romantic Gorrilla–Split 12″ (1996)
This record was my first introduction to power violence back in the day. Spazz from then on have been one of my favorite bands of all time. But unfortunately for them the standout track on this release would have to be on Japan’s Romantic Gorilla’s side. The song “I’m On Diet” has just as much anger and angst as any Youth of Today track out there, and who can blame these ladies really? Diets fucking suck.

Out Cold–Two Broken Hearts Are Better Than One (2000)
Out Cold is one of the most underrated hardcore bands of all time in my opinion. They were cranking out killer release after release for what seemed like forever on a yearly basis before the singer/guitar player’s untimely demise. My favorite track on this record is “Skinned Alive”, not because it’s the best song they wrote, but because it’s the slowest jam on the record and sticks out as a heavy track in some weird way.

Dystopia–Human = Garbage (1994)
This record changed my life and really gave me a different view of the world both socially and musically. I’ve been going back to this one a lot lately and it still has parts on it that give me chills.

Asylum–Demo (2013)
Awesome new d-beat band from Richmond. They’re great live too. It’s still mind blowing how much killer music comes out of this town on a yearly basis. Looking forward to more stuff to come out from them soon.

*Pick up a copy of Worse Than Dead here.

**Iron Reagan tour dates:

3/29/2014 Philadelphia PA @The Underground Arts

Iron Reagan and Occultist
4/2/2014 Richmond VA @Strange Matter
4/4/2014 Harrisonburg, VA @ MACROCK
4/5/2014 Nashville, TN @ TBA
4/6/2014 Little Rock, AK @ Vino’s

Weapons of Thrash Destruction Tour
Ghoul, Iron Reagan, Occultist
4/9/2014 Tempe, AZ @ Club Red
4/10/2014 San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
4/11/2014 Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room
4/12/2014 Camarillo, CA @ Rock City Studios
4/13/2014 Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy
4/14/2014 Sacramento, CA @ Midtown Barfly
4/15/2014 Portland, OR @ Branx
4/18/2014 Oakland, CA @ BRAINSQUEEZE

Iron Reagan and Occultist
4/22/2014 Salt Lake City TBA
4/23/2014 Denver CO @ Moe’s
4/24/2014 Lawrence KS @ TBA
4/25/2014 St. Louis MO @ Fubar
4/26/2014 Munster In @Three Floyd’s Brewery
4/27/2014 Chicago IL @ Cobra Lounge
4/28/2014 Toledo @ Frankie’s
4/29/2014 Columbus @ Ace Of Cups
4/30/2014 Pittsburgh @ Smiling Moose

***Past Decibrity entries include:

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)

Repulsion: Live Tonight!

By: justin.m.norton Posted in: featured, repulsion, the decibel magazine tour On: Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Repulsion_MaclynBean

In case the lineup of Carcass, The Black Dahlia Murder and Gorguts isn’t enough to convince you to attend the San Francisco stop of the Decibel Tour tonight (in which case you’re crazy) there’s another treat on hand: an exclusive appearance by Hall Of Fame verified legends Repulsion.

Repulsion is near and dear to both our magazine and readership and have ripped at previous Decibel events like our 100th anniversary show in Philadelphia last year and a Decibel grindcore showcase with Pig Destroyer and Brutal Truth in New York City in 2009. I attended both and can assure you that you’re in for a treat.

Check out some recent Repulsion footage below and get yourself to the Regency Ballroom tonight — a few tickets should still be available. Doors open at 6 p.m.