STREAMING: I Declare War “Noose”

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, listen On: Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

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Formed in 2007. As of 2014 no original members are left standing in I Declare War. How does that lineup dynamic fit into I Declare War’s new album, We Are Violent People By Nature? It doesn’t. Not one iota. And why should it with a band with huge t-shirt slogans like, “Fuck your tits! Show me your cunt!” and “Who fucking cares”, which is, to some degree, a take off of Pungent Stench’s Been Caught Buttering album art theme. I Declare War are brutal musically and aesthetically.

Now, for those keeping tabs on what’s cool and what’s not, I Declare War are labeled “deathcore”. That comes with certain stigma, but really look at the tenets of deathcore and, say, what happened in the early ’90s in the New York scene. They’re not totally different. Maybe deathcore kids these days have (stupid) neck tattoos and earlobes that drag on the ground, but that’s perhaps more a sign of the times than anything else. Their heart and fingers are in the right places.

OK, enough D-Fence subtext. It’s time to hang your ears on I Declare War’s new song, “Noose”.

** I Declare War’s new album, We Are Violent People By Nature, is out April 15th on Artery Recordings/Razor & Tie. It’s available HERE digitally and HERE in better formats.

The Decibel Magazine Tour Starts TONIGHT!

By: mr ed Posted in: featured, the decibel magazine tour, tours On: Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

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You’ve patiently waited out one of the grimmest winters in recent memory. Now it’s time to collect your reward: The third annual Decibel Magazine Tour is finally upon us, as Carcass, the Black Dahlia Murder, Gorguts and Noisem descend upon Orlando’s Beachum Theater tonight before traversing North America for 21 dates of vintage and modern death metal devastation. If you’ve been putting this off, your last chance to dance is now, as tickets are going blast-beat-fast.

Once you get that out of the way, what’ll you find inside? In addition to a gamut of brutal up-and-coming regional openers, we’ll have exclusive Decibel Tour shirt and hoodie designs, available exclusively at the gigs. And of course, you’ll want to read all about every participating band in the April issue, available in the webstore now.

Get sorted and get chuffed. We’ll see you on the road!

DATES:

Tues, March 18 / Orlando, FL / The Beachum Theater

Wed, March 19 / Atlanta, GA / Masquerade

Fri, March 21 / Dallas, TX / Trees

Sat, March 22 / Austin, TX / Mohawk

Mon, March 24 / Phoenix, AZ / The Press Room

Tue, March 25 / Santa Ana, CA / The Observatory

Wed, March 26 / San Francisco, CA / The Regency Ballroom (w/ Repulsion)

Fri, March 28 / Vancouver, BC / Commodore Ballroom

Sat, March 29 / Seattle, WA / Showbox Market

Sun, March 30 / Portland, OR / Roseland Theater

Wed, April 02 / Denver, CO / Summit Music Hall

Fri, April 04 / Minneapolis, MN / Mill City Nights

Sat, April 05 / Chicago, IL / House Of Blues

Sun, April 06 / Columbus, OH / Newport Music Hall

Mon, April 07 / Pittsburgh, PA / Stage AE

Tue, April 08 / Toronto, ON / Sound Academy

Wed, April 09 / Montreal, QC / Metropolis

Thu, April 10 / Boston, MA / Paradise Rock Club

Fri, April 11 / New York, NY / Best Buy Theater

Sat, April 12 / Philadelphia, PA / Trocadero Theatre

Sun, April 13 / Silver Spring, MD / The Fillmore

Demon Hunter Goes Extreme, Track By Track

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: featured, lists On: Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

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Looks like it’s time to storm the gates of Hell again, kids.

That’s right. Demon Hunter returns today with Extremist, an aptly-titled album that raises all of the various and sundry elements of the band’s burly signature sound to new maximal intensities before melding the whole shebang into a more cohesive, focused whole than ever before.

Or, as the Demon Hunter Facebook profile prefers it:

Whether the battlefield is as weighty as spiritual warfare, as fundamental as the struggles of daily life or as important as the fight against mediocrity in popular culture, Demon Hunter will stand in proud defiance. If that’s labeled as EXTREMIST, so be it.

This morning DH vocalist Ryan Clark breaks down his latest rebellion for Decibel

01. Death

We knew “Death” would make a great opening track before we started recording the record, so with that in mind, we did our best to make it the perfect introduction. Although the structure of the song is simpler than anything else on the record, there are more layers and details in this song than in any other. It would be a good one to listen to with headphones.

The more likely name for the song would be, “I Am Death,” but with pre-existing songs like “I Am You,” and “I Am A Stone,” just “Death” seemed like a better solution.

The chant during the intro is “mors, obitus, decessus,” which are three varying synonyms for “death” in Latin. There are many words for “death” in Latin, however these not only fit the necessary syllable structure — matching that of the main guitar riff — they were also the best suited by definition.

I describe the bones of this song as something of an extremely simplified Meshuggah song, without the complex time signatures. The lyric structure is definitely along the lines of “LifeWar,” in that they follow more of a simple pattern, repeating certain elements more often.

02. Artificial Light

The structure of this song is a bit more complex that most of the others on the record. There are a couple points in the song that stray from what’s most typical for us. The verse segment plays with an interesting time signature, which is a little different for us. And the title of the song is actually heard in the pre-chorus, as opposed to the chorus, which is the only example of this on the record.

The vocal melodies in this song are definitely some of my personal favorites on the album. I was able to play with a variation in range that I don’t usually have the opportunity to do.

Our Swedish influences are definitely worn on the sleeve here, as is the case with a lot of our material. There’s something about this style that has stuck with me over the years — from At The Gates to In Flames and Soilwork, there’s a delicate balance of ferocity and melody in these bands, whether it’s in the music or the vocal — or both — that to me, is unrivaled in most other sub-genres.

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03. What I’m Not

TRACK PREMIERE: GRAVEHILL “The Ascending Fire”, ft. Eric Cutler and Chris Reifert of Autopsy

By: jonathan.horsley Posted in: featured, interviews, listen On: Monday, March 17th, 2014

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We could introduce “The Ascending Fire” but telling you how it is the closing track on Gravehill’s third full-length, Death Curse. We could chime in and offer our ten cents’ on how the track will give you a real taste for a vulgar doozy of an old-school death metal record that’s unafraid to augment its necro riff vocabulary with the esprit de corps traditional fist-in-the-air rock/metal a la Twisted Sister, KISS and Judas Priest. Not that “The Ascending Fire” sounds like anything off Destroyer or Stay Hungry because nothing on Death Curse does; but when you play all these records back to back there is a strange phenomenon where none sound totally out of whack with each other. We could even say that Gravehill approach old-school death metal via Venom and old Slayer instead of retro-appropriating existing DM archetypes from Sweden, Florida or Finland. The Deciblog could even go on record—and so help us should this corner of the internet ever become the forum for legally binding declarations concerning the merits of matters artistic—to say that, should metal ever become a grass roots political movement, Gravehill vocalist Mike Abominator would get our vote to lead it by dint of his performance on Death Curse and the evangelical zeal he talks about metal.

But why go to all that bother making introductions when we’ve got the main main, Mike Abominator himself, on hand with a few words on the track?
“I wanna say that was the third song we wrote with CC DeKill and Hell Messiah . . . Back in 2012 when they joined the band, they started immediately writing songs because they were so chockfull of ideas and we were hungry to get back on the horse. That was one of the early songs that we wrote, and it just kinda came together; we wanted to get a haunting Autopsy-ish vibe, kind of more of the Mental Funeral stuff. We hadn’t done that in a while.

“We have a lot of influences like that going on in the Metal of Death and the Rites of the Pentagram period, back in 2008/2009, and we wanted to have something that kinda went back to that because we love it so much. We’re not afraid to say that Autopsy is one of our biggest influences. Once we got that song going it was apparent that—we are friends with the guys in Autopsy—we should get them in the song. Not only were we able to get Eric Cutler to do a crazy guitar solo on it but we were able to get Chris Reifert to do the outro vocal patterns to it, too. It was pretty insane how it all came together. I mean, it’s still surreal that we’re hanging out with guys like that, because all of this years we’ve been looking up to them. I have been writing to Chris for years. He was one of my oldest penpals back the demo days, back in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, back when during the old tape-trading days, so being able to finally get him on board was just insane.

“As far as that sample goes in the song, that’s from The Planet of the Apes. That’s the poem that is read on the beach, ‘Beware the beast man . . .’ Basically it’s just saying how humanity is fucked. Be afraid of man—man is the worst beast. He is going to kill everything that lives, and that’s the whole concept of that poem so we thought it was fitting for the Death Curse album concept. Throwing it on “The Ascending Fire” was perfect. It’s the last song, and the way it all came together was perfect placement. We were originally going to use that sample at the very beginning of the album as the intro, then once we had a friend, a former bandmate of mine create the intro music on his own, we just felt that it fitted better later on “The Ascending Fire”. And the guys through that into the studio mix late on. They just threw it on and it fitted perfectly. Everything came out great as far as that goes, and having Chris and Eric on board.”

And there you have it, folks. Here is Gravehill “The Ascending Fire”, taken from Death Curse, out on Apr 1st on Dark Descent records. Pre-order it here. Now don’t go disappointing Mr. Abominator; jack that volume up as far as it goes . . .

**Gravehill on Facebook

New Song Stream by Barren Harvest

By: Dan Lake Posted in: featured, interviews, listen On: Monday, March 17th, 2014

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Sometimes the ravenous darkness crashes down to feast on your soul, and sometimes it flinches timidly away from all of your grasping. Last Friday, Aborted callously mounted the Deciblog to bring you a terrifying few minutes of violent death metal; today, we showcase the more ethereal side of shadows with new music from Barren Harvest. This fragile acoustic project matches the talents of Atriarch’s Lenny Smith (also of Trees) and Worm Ouroboros’ Jessica Way. Anyone familiar with the pair’s separate projects should immediately recognize the slow, determined downward vortex created in this music. Without exaggeration, without overstatement, the near-fifty-minute debut album wraps insistent fingers around listeners’ brains and somehow drags them beneath, not above, corporeality.

The duo told Decibel a bit about the project’s origins and execution, which you can read while listening to “Coil Uncoil,” the album’s seventh track. The excellent Handmade Birds will release Subtle Cruelties on March 25.

Do you feel that Barren Harvest has allowed you to explore ideas (musically, conceptually) that are different from your work with other bands?

Way: Barren Harvest is a more vulnerable and delicate project, the arrangements are pared down, it allows me to play acoustically. WO focuses on light and dark, heavy and subdued, where as Barren Harvest is an interplay between male and female energies, but it hovers in the subdued dream space, without crescendoing into doom as our other bands do. Lyrically there are some similar themes between Atriarch, Worm Ouroboros, and Barren Harvest, but I think there is oddly a sense of hope in our heavier bands that is not present here.

Smith: Singing only clean has been really different for me, although it has allowed me to grow as an artist. Only being able to work with [Jessica] when we are able to travel instead of having a set rehearsal schedule has challenged us in a new yet positive way as well.

Can you break down the writing process for us? How much of the process was collaborative (working simultaneously) and how much was fully formed ideas brought to the table by one of you?

Way: The process is collaborative and in person. I go up to Oregon to work with Lenny or he comes here. We spend whatever time we have just writing and recording. Most of what is on this record was written and recorded the same day. Sometimes one of us will write part of a song, lyrics, or a musical part ahead of time, but we rarely finish something without each other. Because we only work when we are together over a limited amount of days the process is very intense and immersive.

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Can you give our readers (admittedly mostly interested in loud extreme music) some insight into other artists that have informed your interest in making this kind of music?

Way: I’ve always had an interest in dark folk music. One of the first artists I was obsessed with as a child was Martin Carthy, he was a part if the British traditional music/folk revival of the 60s. Many of the songs he plays are tragic and murderous. Aside from that, these artists had a huge influence on our aesthetic: Dead Can Dance, Swans, This Mortal Coil, Angelo Badalamenti, Current 93, Death in June, Sol Invictus.

Have you played this music live for an audience?

Not yet but we are plotting.

Do you feel this is a beginning for Barren Harvest, with more places you’d like to go with the project? Or does this album fulfill your goals for now?

Black Horizons is releasing some of our older recordings that we had previously released online in a triple 7″ set. We started writing/recording for a new record in December. Some of that will be released digitally later this year. We are working on our live set. This is an ongoing project, and we plan to keep writing together for the foreseeable future.

STREAMING: The Socks “The Socks”

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, listen On: Monday, March 17th, 2014

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Miss those summer road trip days? Of course you do. It’s March. Weather’s an unpredictable bitch and the likelihood of something cool happening is pretty much nil. Well, France-based The Socks are an unlikely candidate to warm up your otherwise shitty spring. Now, you’re probably thinking: France + good ‘ol hard rock = yeah right. Turns out the Lyonnaise toe-tappers aren’t weirdos or bent on throwing “haute rocke” down their noses to the vox populi. Nope. They’re just straight-up, no-frills, jean-jacketed, rubber-burning’ rockers.

Says the band: “The sound and identity of the band have been shaped through the years to become this psychedelic hard rock, meant to be played live. We’ve recorded all together in a room with analog tapes to focus on the energy and to make it sound real and raw. Now it’s time to take it with us on the road and share it with everyone!”

Recorded and mixed by Raphaël Cartellier and mastered by Christopher Goosman (Early Man, Southern Gentlemen, Sasquatch, Dixie Witch, et al.) at Baseline Studio in Ann Arbor, fucking Michigan, The Socks don’t take this hard rock thing lightly. How do we know so much? We have The Socks’ debut album ready via the digital wonderland of Soundcloud. Windows down, volume up, and cares be not had by anyone.

** The Sock’s self-titled debut album is out now via Small Stone Records. It’s available HERE if you’re into cool fuzzed out hard rock influenced by the great of greats. Like Deep Purple.

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 14th, 2014

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Well, I’ve been reading some of my past reviews, and it seems that some of you want me to review some particular releases. I’m open to this idea; just leave your ideas in the comments. Obviously, I can’t review everything — Decibel pays me by the word, and the budget for this column is $4.35 biweekly.  I just peck most of these things at random. Well… maybe.

Let’s start out with hardcore stalwarts RINGWORM, who are releasing Hammer of the Witch on Relapse. First of all, I had to admit, I like Ringworm, and got exposed to them through Integrity, but they’ve never struck a real chord with me. This thing ripped my feathers out. It’s nasty Victory-style metallic hardcore. It goes for the throat, and gets there. This is hardcore music, no doubt, but never really digs into the clichés of the genre like one would expect. Heavy-assed groove riffs, uptime D-beat parts and the vocals. I mean, what can one say about a vocalist named “The Human Furnace”? His throat-wrenching vox really make this thing for me. It really sounds like he gargles with glass, nails, sandpaper or whatever. Last years Bleed EP was pretty cool, but this is way meaner.  He howls and screams over upbeat riffs that then dig into something that make you want to punch whoever is nearest to you. Peck yes! 8 Fucking Pecks.

THOU is releasing the epic, menacing Heathen on Gilead. This is doom, no doubt (as a side note, can we stop saying “doomsters”?), but it’s a little more than doom. Each of these tracks on this 75-minute opus can stand on its own, but listening to this as a whole is a completely different experience.  This is fuzzed-out, thick and dissonant at times, and rarely throws the listener any sort of respite. There are “breaks” in the music, an acoustic passage, some more shimmery ambient type of interludes, but even these never relent, never give up on the overall pummeling that Thou deliver here.  This is exactly what doom should be: something that creates the idea of isolation, depression and an overall sense of awe. 7 Fucking Pecks.

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Florida old-school death heads MASSACRE are releasing Back From Beyond, and I’ve got to say that this tickled my feathers. I typically expect some “reunion”-style band to be kind of washed out and boring, but I really pecking dig this. There’s not much to discuss here that any old fan of the band doesn’t know, and this release certainly is breaking no new ground. It’s dark, it’s heavy, it’s death metal, and really that’s all one could ask for out of a new Massacre release. There’s heavy riffing, growled vocals, and there’s time changes. I’ve got to say that the solos really stick out to me as being exceptional.  All the ingredients are here: grit, vitriol and drive. All good things for a band that’s born again. 7 Fucking Pecks.

BREWTAL TRUTH: DC Brau and Stillwater Bring Back NATAS

By: adem Posted in: featured, liver failure On: Friday, March 14th, 2014

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Back in the mid ’80s, long before every outdoor structure was skateboard-proofed, a bunch of California skate punks turned the urban landscape into their own skate park. This was the birth of street skating, where everything from concrete walls to empty pools to parking medians were fair game for pulling off some sick move. This wasn’t about extreme air or McTwists, it was about total creativity. You saw a staircase railing or concrete bench or whatever and you figured out a way to pull a trick off it.

What does this have to with craft beer or extreme music? Well, it goes a little something like this: Back in the day, one of the street skating masters went by the very metal name of Natas Kaupas. Dude didn’t look like a metalhead, but that name was killer. And it was his given name. Even though he grew up in Santa Monica, CA (aka Dogtown), he was of Lithuanian descent, and apparently naming your child “Natas” is a-OK in that culture.

And the craft beer connection is this: Three years ago, DC Brau and Stillwater Artisanal Ales collaborated on a brew called NATAS, which was a tribute to one of the skate heroes of their youth. This was a “Belgian-style Imperial Porter” (whatever the hell that is) and they have decided to bring it back. It’s currently available for growler fills at DC Brau and should be available in cans in the DC area as you read this.

Here’s a sample of Natas’ incredible skills. The soundtrack isn’t exactly extreme, but the skateboarding is.

Aborted Premiere New Album Track, “Necrotic Manifesto”

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

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Belgian brutal deathsters Aborted expect to lay waste to bodies and spirits next month when they drop their 8th studio album in 15 years.  Necrotic Manifesto, due out April 29th on Century Media, tears through more than 40 minutes of churning, brain-berating death metal that alternates between harrowing chaos and deeply bangable grooves.  You can probably catch some of the new music early, though, if you live near one of the venues they’re hitting on their tour of North America that begins in about two weeks.  They’ll be sonically firebombing select venues throughout the U.S. and Canada before the end of April alongside fellow scene stalwarts Pyrexia and Kataklysm.

For now, though, check out the title track of the new record and start your weekend blastastically.

 

For more info on Aborted and the tour dates, click on over to their Century Media home here.

 

Taping ‘Dat Ass: Interview with (Mostly) Cassette Label, Tridroid Records

By: kevin.stewart-panko Posted in: featured, interviews On: Thursday, March 13th, 2014

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I recently caught wind of the folks at Tridroid Records when they contacted Commander Mudrian looking for a promotional nod somewhere in the labyrinth of the Decibel empire. Thinking they were Canadian, he passed them my way, figuring we’d get along because, as everyone around the world assumes, everyone in Canada knows everyone else. Turns out, Tridroid is based in Minnesota and, for the most part, specialises in limited-run cassette releases. When we contacted label partner Jason Oberuc, he informed us that he also plays drums in a band named in homage to the almighty Anacrusis! Even if he wasn’t Canadian, based on these tidbits of information, we felt the pull to pick his brain.

All right, tell us a little about Tridroid: is it a label? A distro? Both? How and why did you decide to get into this game when everyone and their sister has been going on about the death of the music industry for a decade?
It’s a little bit of both. There’s bands we sign on to the label as official bands of the label and then there’s bands we do distribution deals with. And yeah, I know, but I was actually really interested in doing something like this so I could see how it works behind the scenes, what goes on with pressing albums, contacting bands and even being able to see who exactly buys music and where they’re from. So far from what I’ve learned since I joined the Tridroid team is that the “music industry” is still there. It’s definitely coming back. I mean, with all the bands out there, they’re the ones making it possible to bring back the music industry.

What are the origins of the label’s name?
In the words of Andrew Rehberger (CEO of Tridroid): “It sounded cool.”

When you started the label, was the intention to do cassette-only releases from the start? Why? Do you have some sort of romantic attachment or notion of the tapes’ place in the world of music?
I’m actually not the one who started the label, but one of the main reasons I was happy to join was because of the cassette releases. For whatever reason cassettes have always been a part of music I’ve gravitated to. Even when I was little, I had my Kool-Aid cassette player and my Queen Greatest Hits tape and I would listen to that shit every single day! But I think the main reason Andrew has done mostly cassette releases is the same shared love for them. Tapes, believe it or not, are coming back. Since working there I’ve gotten to see what other labels have to offer and there are so much cassette releases coming out recently. I think that, just like vinyl making a comeback, cassettes are another physical copy people want to be able to hold in their hands when they put on their favorite band.

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How has Tridroid grown over time? How many releases do you have under your belt and at what point did you find yourself tempted to move beyond strictly doing cassettes and the 100 copy release count?
Believe it or not we’ve done 56 releases! And all of that is just out of one basement. We don’t strictly just do cassettes, though. We released Tyrants Blood’s Into The Kingdom of Graves on vinyl and we’ve done quite a few CD releases, too. Some contracts call for 500 pressings of an album, too. It’s more recent, though. So we’re going forward with the amount of physical copies we’re pressing. It amazes me when bands tell me they want like 40 or 50 copies pressed instead of 100… It’s completely up to the band. They don’t pay a cent. Why the hell would you want less?

What’s the process in organizing a Tridroid release like? Do the bands come to you? Do labels come to you looking to license a cassette release of an already existing album? Where and how do you get the tapes manufactured?
Well, what happens is we go on an online scavenger hunt for independent bands. I only choose bands I like. I’m not going to sit there and bullshit some shitty band just because maybe they could make some sales. If I like the band, then I send them an email about signing with us and doing some kind of release. The type of release we offer bands all depends on what we already have lined up and what the schedule for that month and months ahead is. And I haven’t had other labels looking to license a release yet, but I’m sure it could happen sometime soon. We get the tapes completely blank from different companies selling virgin tapes. You can find really good deals with virgin tapes, especially recently. We have an unlimited supply of master tapes, which is the tape that copies the music onto the other cassettes. We don’t go through another company to press cassettes, yet. Right now we have a duplicator which can press three cassettes at a time, which works faster than you might imagine. But we are soon going to switch to a manufacturer, since we’ve been having less and less time to press it ourselves. There are a lot of bands on this label. It’s great, but now we just need to move forward with having someone else do it, and hopefully they’ll come out even better than before!

In the last couple of years, it appears that cassettes are something people are still clamouring for. Explain this craziness? Who do you find are you core audience as far as purchasers of your releases go? Older dudes? Young kids steeped in the irony of a cassette release? Completist collectors?
I think it’s seriously every group of people you just mentioned. Our customer base isn’t just one type of person! That’s what I love. We get all kinds of people, from different countries, different races, that have been buying our releases. My theory is it’s been the deprivation of the physical copy of music. I think with all the downloading that’s been going on, people have realized that there’s something missing from their listening experience and they’ve finally figured out what it is. So along with vinyl, cassettes are another way people can hold music in their hands, instead of just seeing it on a screen.

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What has been your biggest seller? I know it’s like picking your favorite child, but what are some of the highlights of Tridroid’s roster?
Oh man. Well I know that Tyrant’s Blood did REALLY well, and is still continuing to sell. The band themselves have sold a lot of copies as well. But if I had to list a few it would be the Amiensus and Oak Pantheon split. Amiensus features bassist Todd Farnham from Invidiosus, another band from Minnesota who recently signed to the label. I also really loved Ringbearer’s The Way Is Shut. That one continues to sell and get good reviews. One band that needs more publicity is Eschatos. They released an EP with us, but they’re from Latvia so they don’t get much attention. Amazing proggy black/death metal. I really hope more people start checking them out. A band we just signed called Wicked Inquisition are amazing, too. They haven’t released anything yet, but they need more publicity. If you like really really old-school doom, then you’ll enjoy this. They’re one of my all-time favorite bands!

What was the biggest surprise you learned about running Tridroid once you got deeper into this? What are you finding to be the biggest daily challenges for you?
The biggest surprise I’ve found is that there are still bands out there that are amazing and get no recognition and a lot of them don’t want any recognition for the things they’ve done for music. It makes me sad when an amazing band I find doesn’t get back to me because I so badly want to help them get their name out into the music world, but they just simply don’t want to. But that also means they’re truly only writing the music for themselves, which is something I look for when searching for bands. I respect that a lot.

What’s your policy on working with or distributing a band? Is there anything in particular you look for when you want to work with a band?
There is no policy, other than what the contracts state (which aren’t even a full page). We give the artists full artistic freedom to do what they want with their music because it’s simply their music. Why change the way a band sounds? I’ve actually gotten some questions about what we want them to change in their style. It always blows me away when those bands are expecting that. We want to give bands the chance to shine while still doing what they originally set out to do with their music. I think the intention of this label is the reason we’re becoming more successful. They intention the whole time was to actually help bands… not rip them off.

Rumour has it you’re also in a band called Suffering Hour. Tell us about it and give a little band history? Did you choose your name based on the awesome debut album by Anacrusis?
That is correct! I am the drummer for Suffering Hour. We were called Compassion Dies which is an Anacrusis lyric from the song “Wrong.” But that name wasn’t ours (one of the original members who came up with the idea to call the band that left very early on), so we thought with the new music we release, we should change it something new. The band early on started only as a project. It was mainly just an outlet for Josh Raiken [guitarist] and his friend to write music, but shortly after they started that, I joined, then his friend left. Maybe I’m too much of a dick or something? After searching for a bassist for a while, we found Dylan Haseltine. This is now the current line-up of the band. Obviously, as you can tell, Anacrusis was and still is a huge influence on us since we named ourselves Suffering Hour.

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You’ve recently released an EP. What can you tell us about it as far as writing and recording it?
Yep. The title is Foreseeing Exemptions to a Dismal Beyond. I didn’t really do a lot of the writing besides the acoustic song that closes the EP. I did however record drums and some vocals on a couple of the tracks. Let’s just say, I fucking hate recording! When I went to record the EP, it’s like I forgot how to play our songs, Josh forgot how to play guitar and Dylan’s input on how to go about doing the next take was always taken as an insult. Just thinking about those days pisses me off! The second-to-last song, which is also the longest song on the EP, took hours to finish. It was almost 1:00 am and I finally was crashing. So I said, “Fuck it,” went up stairs and had an amazing roast beef sandwich, a glass of water and an energy drink. That formula of food and drink worked like a charm. That song may have been the hardest to do, but it turned out really well, and it’s all thanks to a roast beef sandwich.

I’m guessing by the title there’s some sort of theme to it. What might that be and how does the rather colourful cover relate to the title and lyrical content?
There actually isn’t really a theme. I guess if there was a theme it would have to be depressing bullshit. The wonder of what it’s like to die and what it might be like after you die. It’s all about curiosity of a subject that a lot of people find dark. The cover art is very colorful. When I look at it, I think that maybe that’s what death could look like to someone. The art is all in how you interpret it.

What sort of plan, if any, do you have for Suffering Hour as time trundles along?
Well, for me anyway, it’s wanting to tour at some point. Money is a big issue there, but we’d really like to release another EP or maybe even another album. One of the main issues with that right now is that Josh moved to Colorado. So, getting together as a band has been tough. He flew in for four shows last month and one of them was our very first headline show for our CD and cassette release, which was also released by Tridroid. One of my personal goals with the band is to eventually be able to travel around the world. I know that seems kind of crazy for how small we are, but I seriously think if we could get a bigger fanbase, then it might be possible sometime in the future. That’s my dream anyway.

Anything else that you think I’ve missed that needs addressing?
Nope, I think that’s it. But if anyone is interested in buying our EP, they can go to the Tridroid Records bandcamp page and order the cassette, CD or digital download. Thank you all!

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