STREAMING: Mark Deutrom’s “Sky Full of Witches”

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: featured, listen On: Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

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Today it is Decibel‘s pleasure to host this exclusive stream of “Sky Full of Witches,” a sublime slab of smoldering, cinematic fuzz-groove off ex-Melvins/Clown Alley guitarist Mark Deutrom’s upcoming third solo record Brief Sensuality and Western Violence. Here’s what Deutrom told us about the track:

In 2012 the so called FAA Modernization and Reform act included a provision for fully integrating unmanned aircraft into the US National Airspace by 2015. The FAA expects that by 2020 there will be 30,000 licensed drones in the air. This brought to my mind images of all the medieval engravings of witches flying through the sky, and their total command of the space. Nothing else is ever in the sky with them, except for other witches.

The medieval context is not lost on me, with some of the other values of that time being enthusiastically embraced at the present. “Sky Full of Witches” is about being conscious of the encroaching all seeing eye, and perhaps a a fleeting nostalgia for the absence of a genuine superstition that only appears in the darkest of times.

“Sky Full of Witches” is available for purchase over at iTunes. Album trailer below.

STREAMING: Mephistopheles “Silver Doors”

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, listen On: Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

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Formed by members of Spawn of Possession, Psycroptic and Space Raven, Mephistopheles comes out of the gate complicated. Actually, not that complicated, but perhaps different. The riffing of Ben Lawless squeaks, skronks, and pulls strange chords from the Netherverse. When he, drummer James “Blower” Excell, and bassist Sam Dowson lock, it’s like Dysrhythmia with a death-thrash disposition. And a vocalist. Frontman Matthew “Chalky” Chalk has one of the more vicious voices in death metal, really. Together, Mephistopheles is one of the more unique strains of sub-sub-sub-genres.

Matthew “Chalky” Chalk can barely contain himself, saying: “I’ve never been happier in any of my bands over the years than I have been in Mephistopheles. What we’ve put together is the freshest, most alive, most invigorating music I’ve ever been a part of and I cannot wait to show the world that Mephistopheles are here, we’ve got something new to say and we mean business!”

While Tasmania is known for scary shit like poisonous snakes, Tasmanian cave spiders, and Jack Jumper ants, it’s time they put their best foot forward with Mephistopheles. At the very least, Mephistopheles can make you deaf. Like this track, “Silver Doors,” off of sophomore album Sounds Of The End. It’s vicious, artful, and sonically different.

** Mephistopheles’ new album, Sounds Of The End, is out October 1 on Willowtip Records. It’s available HERE for pre-order direct from Willowtip. Buy or die! Or live and enjoy the fine death metal from down unda.

Wake up and Smell the Falseness: An Interview with Wake

By: Jeff Treppel Posted in: featured, interviews, videos On: Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

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Wake are from Canada. They play grindcore. They seem generally unhappy about things. Here’s a description of the film that Handshake Inc. owner David Hall is making based on the album that sums up the general vibe better than I ever could (a NSFW segment of which can be found below).

“False” is a film based on the album of the same name by Calgary’s WAKE.

Like the album, the film is dirty, gross, filthy, noisy, grimy, and features blast upon blast of emotional feels that will hopefully take the viewer/listener into a deep, dark hole of regret, unease, trash and waste.  

“False” the film takes place over 24 hours in the life of a misanthropic voyeur named Dave Hall who films the tragically boring and ugly minutia that make up his day.  Fueled by 4loko and high-grade, pot, Hall’s life-through-the-camera is incredibly uncomfortable, reprehensible, honest, worthless and full of nothing anyone might ever want to watch.  Fist-fights, pissing contests, twerking of all that ass, exploding diarrhea and sunsets.  Every second contains the truth.  False. 

“Rotten” taken from the film, is the sixth track on the record, and the sixth chapter of the film.  Dave Hall is sexually frustrated like a fucking dog and films his neighbourhood at night while dreams of debauched bitches slap a hot longing to his face/brain piece.  You are old, you are dying and nobody wants to fuck you anymore.

If that isn’t enough, here’s an interview with the band as a collective entity to clue you in on some of the personalities behind the music.

What drew you to grind?

Growing up on punk, hardcore and metal, grindcore was a logical progression for all of us in an endless pursuit of speed and volume, a natural way to express dissatisfaction.

What do the band members do outside of the band? Do they bring their outside interests to the music?

We all have other musical and artistic endeavors that aren’t necesserarily related to grind as a musical form but still within the DIY underground.

What do each of the members bring to the table?

Snoring, Substance abuse problems, Cats, Etc..

What were some of your inspirations coming into False?

It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly inspires us for any record, everything is influence… Kyle always having a platform to scream about things he/we find important and having people care enough to listen is inspiration enough.

Did you want to accomplish anything coming into your second album?

To create a diverse grind record that’s raw and interesting, straddling a fine line between cohesion and chaos; something that’s superior to all of our previous endeavours and to further develop our sound, which we think we’ve done with FALSE.

The word “false” is a pretty blunt one. Why go with that for the album title? Is there a particular meaning for you?

The name is obviously open to interpretation to anyone but some of the things we talked about while making this record is that there is so much elistism within the underground that it often becomes a parody of itself. Fuck being kvlt and true, it’s shitty and boring, get over yourself. We as humans need to realize that our hypocrisies are some of our own biggest enemies, facing such attitude has proven to be a challenging task for many.

What are some of the subjects you explore on the album?

The subjects are pretty negative, there’s not much optimism on this record. The lyrics focus mostly on humanity’s direct apathy of issues surrounding our social construct to our destructive self riotousness, consuming everything in our path for narcissistic progression. We don’t have much hope for people and we think this is a pretty obvious reflection of that.

How do you go about making Wake unique in the world of grind?

Whatever sound we may have is because of a completely natural writing process, everyone gets a voice to show their influences and nothing is overthought to the point of sounding contrived. While we don’t think FALSE is a ground breaking achievement it certainly is a personal one for all of us because of said creative freedom.

***False is available on vinyl via Handshake Inc. at this location. You can download the album here or visit their Facebook page here.

The Corn Is Back On the Macabre

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: featured, interviews, listen On: Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

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There has never been a shortage of bands in extreme music eager to wed horror cinema imagery to brutal riffage, but few have ever managed to do so with as much skill, class, or cleverness as avant grinders Corn on Macabre.

A few months back the defunct band unleashed the towering, essential Discographic Violence retrospective LP, so it seemed as appropriate a time as any to ask bassist Brent Eyestone and vocalist Billups Allen if they had any particularly fond/oddball memories of performing under this unique moniker? And, as a corollary, how did the band go over at the Toxic Avenger 4 premiere party? The pair graciously agreed and sent along the following…

Brent Eyestone: Cherry Hill, NJ. We agreed to a show that was booked by a person that didn’t normally listen to punk or metal, but liked our band and heard we’d play at people’s houses. We roll up and the show is to be in a garage. With no P.A. No problem: Billups asks the kid if he has a VHS copy of Friday the 13th and performs the entire set singing into said VHS copy of Friday the 13th.

Lousiville, KY. It’s something like eleven in the morning. We’re about to play Krazy Fest V. Having been invited to play months in advance, you’d assume that it would be no problem for all band members to be present for load-in and perhaps even travel together to the gig. Nope. Cory decides to leave a day after us, drive by himself, and sleep at a rest stop. He arrives minutes before the set is supposed to start, pale as a ghost and muttering disparate, disjointed thoughts — the rest stop didn’t go too well. We perform in broad daylight while people jet ski behind us. Upon completion of the set, Cory finds an empty picnic table in the merch area under an overpass and falls asleep on it for hours. He wakes up covered in a half inch of dust from all the foot traffic. Meanwhile the singer from Drowningman is having a panic attack at noon because he spilled his whiskey on the stage. He stops singing and starts licking the stage, hoping to recover the whiskey he’d lost. I instantly became sixty-seven percent more misanthropic.

Fairfax, VA. During the last practice before Krazy Fest, Andy just starts stripping off all his clothes while playing drums. Eventually he gets down to nothing but briefs, starts yelling, and then runs outside. I follow immediately because I want to see where this is going. I get into the yard and see Andy with the briefs pulled down, rubbing his anus as hard as possible into the grass of the lawn. This was never explained by him to anyone.

In terms of the Toxic Avenger premiere, I actually don’t remember too much about the performance. That whole experience felt a lot like internet dating… Catfish, specifically.

Billups Allen: Both of my best memories involve Andy with his shirt off. One was when he was bonding with this really drunk older man at a Florida show. I sort of thought the guy was trouble, but Andy either saw something in him I didn’t or felt like keeping him occupied. Someone told me the man was being belligerent at some point in the evening and then gave me a vinyl copy of Nazareth’s Hair of the Dog. I should invent a better timeline that makes that story make more sense, but that’s how I remember it. Anyone reading should fill in the blanks; it’s better that way. The other was Andy diving into a crowd in South Carolina and for some reason you could hear him yelling, “South Carolina loves heavy music.” I remember thinking it was particularly strange as we were playing a song at the time. I don’t know what it sounded like without the drums. Whenever I think of South Carolina, I recall that they like heavy music. That bit of information comes directly from Andy Gale: a reliable source.

The Toxic Avenger thing was sort of a non-event if I remember correctly. The guy we dealt directly with was nice, but the general Troma vibe was disappointing. To be fair, maybe I imagined it was gonna be awesome. I don’t think the musical performances in general went over that night.

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INTERVIEW: Tommy Mezmercardo on being The Mezmerist

By: jonathan.horsley Posted in: featured, interviews, listen On: Monday, August 19th, 2013

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In 1985, a kid by the name of Tommy Memzercardo released “The Innocent, The Forsaken, The Guilty”, an off-kilter fantasy/epic metal EP featuring Bill Ward on drums. Back then, the former Black Sabbath drummer couldn’t be credited for legal reasons, while Memzercardo was a mystery all of his own, calling himself The Mezmerist and playing psychedelic, abstract NWOBHM with mystical lyrics rendered in falsetto. The Mezmerist’s sound in itself was weird enough to have ring-fenced it in the underground, but a pressing of 500 copies, many of which were kept by the band, only helped cement it in obscurity.

With “The Innocent, The Forsaken, The Guilty” getting reissued via Shadow Kingdom, we called Memzercardo, aka The Mezmerist, and found out how he convinced one of metal’s most-famous drummers to play on his record.

How did The Mezmerist project come about?
First of all, the reason why we couldn’t do anything bigger was because Bill Ward was still under contract with Black Sabbath and with their label, so we had to do this as a secret. When I first put out the record it doesn’t show any credits, but you can see right where the special thanks is, Bill Ward is right there. Bill said he that would get sued. But now he is not under those constraints, legally, and that’s why he is able to sign on now and take credit for the drums. That was actually the only project he has ever done outside of Sabbath, and I wrote all the music.

How did you meet Bill Ward?
This is interesting, a man who has done photography for me came up to me when I was at the beach and he goes, “Do you know that Bill Ward is playing across the street?” And he was playing across the street at a private party, right across the street from the beach, and he was playing with a cover surf band—they were playing surf music and Bill Ward was there playing drums. Everyone was afraid to talk to him, and a lot of people didn’t even believe that it was him, and after they took a break I approached him and asked him if he was available for any studio time. At that point I had only been playing the guitar for a couple of years. He had a personal assistant who got back to me about a month later, and he came over to my house, and he listened to my demos on the four-track—back in those days a four-track was a really big deal to have. He liked it and said he’d be more than happy to do it.

Had you thought about who was going to play on the record before Bill? Did you change the music after he signed on?
I had written stuff and was waiting to see exactly where I was gonna go with it. I actually had to scramble for the bass player, and the bass player was actually another guitar player who was a fantastic musician, Roger Abercrombie. The bottom line was Bill Ward listened to the music that I was doing, and I kind of switched it on him because I was writing music in different genres and whatnot, but as soon as I knew I had Bill as the drummer I tailored the songs more in the direction of what the album came across as. That’s why it has a slower vibe. The Arabian influences and all that, I had already done all that stuff. I only had a demo of one song, and that was the second song on the album, a song called “Dead Ones Cry No More”, which I did all the instruments on, and that was the only song that was completed; all the rest of them I had to scramble together. After we did the basic tracks, after we did the rehearsals, I had to go home, stay up all night and write the lyrics. Then back in the studio we went the next morning. We knocked the whole thing out in three days.

After getting Bill on board, did you feel under any more pressure having such a high-profile drummer?
Not at all. I was so young. I was just totally like, “Just another drummer . . .” Except for the fact that I, of course, looked up to Black Sabbath. I wasn’t even a big Ozzy fan. I just liked Black Sabbath. I liked early Black Sabbath, like Master of Reality and Sabotage, stuff like that. I wasn’t gunning to have him as a performance artist it just kinda fell into my lap. I just decided to be cocky and asked him something that most people would have been really afraid to ask him. I wasn’t afraid to ask him. When I signed my record deal, no one—including the record company—knew that Bill Ward was on that record. I got that record deal under my own merit. Bill Ward was not a selling point. The record company initially didn’t know that Bill Ward was on that record, they just wanted that music. As soon as they found that out, the lawyers got involved from my record company and Bill’s lawyers and they hammered something out.

Who was influencing you back then?
Believe it or not, bands like Van Halen, and bands like Black Sabbath, and just to be honest a lot of different fusion music. I don’t know if you have ever heard of Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush, but Frank Marino was a very, very big influence on my writing. I had never ever, ever, ever heard of King Diamond. I had never heard Mercyful Fate, didn’t know anything about them, didn’t know anything about King Diamond’s singing, never heard anything like it. Believe it or not, when I was singing those vocals I was actually thinking—believe it or not—of David Lee Roth and the very first Van Halen album, y’know, just the high screams.

Did you have any projects before The Mezmerist?
I was very supressed as a child. My father would not let me play music. This is something I have not been able to share before and is something that no one else has ever heard. When I was young my parents used to force me to go to bible meetings. We used to go to bible meetings in people’s houses but the one house we went to, the son was playing in bands, and he was a Black Sabbath fan, and he showed me “Into the Void” and I said, “Isn’t that kinda Satanic? Y’know, Black Sabbath and all that?” And he said, “Look, as far as the bible is concerned, if you are a liar, if you are an adulterer, if you are a Satanist in God’s eyes, it’s all the same, so name your poison.” My father would never even let me play guitar. I didn’t even pick up the guitar until I had moved out of the house and was on my own. I picked up the guitar when I was 18, 19 years old. I had been playing the guitar for about two and a half years when I did the thing with Bill. The thing was, my father wouldn’t let me do anything. When I had listened to that young man tell me that Black Sabbath was just Black Sabbath, it was the strangest thing in the world. My father told me that I would never be anything, I would never do anything, and two and a half years later I am in a recording studio with Bill Ward from Black Sabbath, fulfilling my dream. Out of the blue, as fate would have it.

Do you believe in fate?
To be quite frank, I am a Celt, I am Scottish, and I am a Druid; and I totally believe that it was a blessing that came to me.

How did this reissue come about?
This 17-year-old kid who lived in New York contacted me when MySpace was really popular. I looked differently because I had a bald head and anyways… The kid’s name was Kenny, a 17-year-old aspiring drummer and he sent me a private message and said, “You are The Mezmerist!” And I was totally taken aback. I said, “What makes you think that I am The Mezmerist?” And he qualified it; we were switching phone numbers and talking about it and he said, “Don’t you know people are looking for you?” I said, “No.” I had no idea, and he told me that there was several record companies who had been looking for me for years. I had no idea. There was one guy in Athens, Greece, who tried to rip the music off of me about 10 or 15 years ago. He was trying to get me to sign a bogus record deal and I decided not to go through with it because I knew for a fact that I had no legal representation. The reason why I picked Shadow Kingdom Records is because the president of Shadow Kingdom Records answers his phone, and with all the other people I’ve had to go through channels and this way and that way; Tim at Shadow Kingdom was so professional and so attentive, and I was so busy with my other band, my other projects, and he was patient enough to wait five years for me to pull all of this stuff together, all the artwork and all that stuff. I mean, stuff had been put in storage. Stuff was here. Stuff was there. I had moved across the United States; it took me five years just to get this all together and to get it going. That’s why I chose Shadow Kingdom, because I knew they were a smaller label but they treated me like I should be treated, and they continue to do so.

Do you have any other projects on the go at the moment, and is there any appetite to do more as The Mezmerist?
The band I perform under now is called Melodic Abrasion. With The Mezmerist, I really want to continue to play. Everyone’s alive. I want to do it. I’ve yet to ask Bill Ward about performing; so far everything has gone through lawyers. I would be more than happy to do a reunion, a one-off show or a small tour, do the whole catalogue, some new music, and do a gigantic set of all originals. I would love to do that. But Bill has got a lot of personal problems, and that is one of the reasons why he is not playing with Black Sabbath right now, and I have got this other band that I just decided to wipe the slate clean [with] but we still do about half The Mezmerist catalogue. We play live every couple of months. But I haven’t spoke to Bill since I gave Alex Van Halen Bill Ward’s phone number—because they used to be friends—and that’s the last time I spoke to Bill. But I don’t see why we can’t play. I am still in good shape. I still have the original guitar from the recording, that I’ve put away and it’s still in perfect condition.

If you were going to do a new record, how do you think the sound would have developed?
More aggressive. More aggressive, much more aggressive.

**Order The Mezmerist The Innocent, The Forsaken, The Guilty here

Andrew Markuszewski (Avichi) interviewed

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, interviews On: Monday, August 19th, 2013

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** Originally slated for an early July release, Avichi’s new album, Catharsis Absolute, is now coming this October. If the stars align. Below is a conversation with Avichi mastermind Andrew ‘Aamonael’ Markuszewski about what separates Catharsis Absolute from its predecessor The Devil’s Fractal. We also explore the spiritual and personal concepts behind it.

What is black metal to you?
Andrew ‘Aamonael’ Markuszewski: Black metal is chaos evolving.

Do you view Avichi as parallel to what’s happening in black metal or independent of it?
Andrew ‘Aamonael’ Markuszewski: My view of Avichi is now completely transparent to whatever is currently happening in regards to black metal. I admire black metal and such metal bands for their ferocity and passions, but the basic imagery and re-imaginations of it have obviously run their course nowadays. What I’m trying to do now with Avichi is something perpendicular to everything I know. Really, I’m striving to do as such with everything I do.

What do you think separates solo work from band or collaborative work?
Andrew ‘Aamonael’ Markuszewski: Solo work is the epitome of the individual.

Is it more about freedom of control or is there something less tangible?
Andrew ‘Aamonael’ Markuszewski: There’s the freedom of control of course, but that is only a part of it. It can also be an intense experience of self-discovery.

Fundamentally, what separates The Devil’s Fractal from Catharsis Absolute?
Andrew ‘Aamonael’ Markuszewski: The whole energy of Catharsis Absolute is completely different. The songs are more repetitive and hypnotic. The lyrics are more thought provoking and meditative. Also, Catharsis Absolute is the first real solo record I’ve done. I spent a year teaching myself to read drum notation and play drums through various training videos and books, and it’s the first record where I actually played everything. I basically put myself through a Spartan workout of drumming. The first two Avichi records each had a different drummer.

Do you view Catharsis Absolute as a separate entity from its forebears or part of Avichi’s lineage?
Andrew ‘Aamonael’ Markuszewski: No matter what, Catharsis Absolute is a part of Avichi’s lineage, and although it’s content has jumped across some great chasm so to speak, its evolution feels very natural to me.

Catharsis Absolute has an intro and an outro. How do these bookends relate to the music between them?
Andrew ‘Aamonael’ Markuszewski: They’re just some piano pieces I quickly put together in the studio on this ancient Steinway. A more gentle way of starting and finishing the record. I ended up using some piano on every song, so it all ends up feeling tied together.

Is there a song you feel connected to for one reason or another?
Andrew ‘Aamonael’ Markuszewski: “Voice of Intuition.” I really like the way this song came out. I wrote most of the lyrics for the record while in the studio, and I intentionally came in unprepared in many areas. “Voice of Intuition” really showcases some of the best I know ‘in me’.

What kind of topics are you marrying to the music?
Andrew ‘Aamonael’ Markuszewski: Transcendence, ego-dissipation, ego-reacknowledgement—the self unsheathed. Every record always has something to do with the name Avichi itself. The first two records were more focused upon the selfish and brutal aspects of the human condition reflected by traditional satanic and dark imagery. This one is more about the inevitable catharsis of such conditions. I’m interpreting some of my own perceptions of the wheel of life. In a way, all the records have a bit of catharsis to them, but that’s part of who I am. I am dark. I am light. I am both unsparing and merciful. My spirituality is feral. Catharsis is just a part of the relative universe.

Is Avichi your main outlet or do you feel creatively split between Avichi and Lord Mantis?
Andrew ‘Aamonael’ Markuszewski: Creatively, I can enter a studio at any point of time and apply myself to the job at hand whether it’s for Avichi, Lord Mantis, or something else I’m doing. I have no problem maintaining an outlet for both. It does take a good amount of patience from others whom I work with, but I’m also patient with them in return. When I work on Avichi, everything else sort of recedes into the background.

What’s your next move?
Andrew ‘Aamonael’ Markuszewski: Lord Mantis is going to get some recording dates booked soon for the next record. Meanwhile, I’m going to continue drumming when I return from Poland where I’ve enjoyed being with my kin for the last month. I’m not too excited about leaving. Here is where my heart is. Cheers!

** Avichi’s new album, Catharsis Absolute, is out October 1st on Profound Lore Records. It’s not available for pre-order yet, but check Profound Lore’s Facebook for updates.

Tales From the Metalnomicon: 90s Island

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: featured, gnarly one-offs On: Friday, August 16th, 2013

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

In his latest antagonism 90s Island, reliably hilarious literary raconteur and self-described “luscious beacon of truth” Marty Beckerman (The Heming Way, Generation S.L.U.T.) spins a satirical yarn of two brothers fed up with a present day world of “identity theft, antibiotic resistance, suicide bombers, crazed gunman, cellphone brain tumors, ruining your reputation with one impulsive tweet” — not to mention economic woe — and dreaming of a simpler time when “our biggest national crisis was an overabundance of boy bands and poseurs.”

So the brothers do what any other red-blooded circa-2013 American male would do when seeking to effect change. They get wasted and launch a Kickstarter campaign.

Hell of it is, this drunken bid to create “the first mass retro society” raises far more money than anticipated, and when a South American dictator offers up the southern coast of his nation in exchange for a cut of the proceeds, 90s Island becomes a beautiful reality. And then a nightmare. Kinda/sorta like Lord of the Flies with frosted tips.

It is tempting to cut and paste huge blockquotes of Beckerman brilliantly skewering/paying tribute to the various fashions and manias of that era, but the choosing would be too difficult. Suffice it to say, the novel throws a net wide enough to encompass Hostess Ninja Turtle pies (“FILLED WITH VANILLA PUDDIN’ POWER”), Hi-C Ecto-Cooler, slap bracelets, and a short aside on the all-too-real allure of the 16-bit panties Chun-Li wore in Street Fighter II. We’re talking about a resort wherein the sports arena “contains replicas of the American Gladiators set and the booby-trapped Aggro Crag mountain from Nickelodeon Guts,” a giant marble statue of Kurt Cobain is erected, and Tower Records, Borders Books & Music, Circuit City and Sam Goody are summoned back into existence.

The penalty for reading a post-90s Harry Potter volume on Kindle? Death!

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Now, when it comes to music 90s Island does not celebrate — or even mention, actually — what your average Decibel reader would likely consider the extremely extreme bright spots of that decade. It is heavy on the alt-rock/grunge. To his credit the narrator does acknowledge enjoying third-wave ska is “like fetishizing circus music.” Alas, he also muses, “[I]f i could travel to any era in history, I wouldn’t meet Jesus or Shakespeare or Ben Franklin. I’d just go back and catch a Sublime concert before Brad Nowell overdosed” — no doubt the personal hell awaiting many metalheads in the hands of an angry god.

So, yeah, it would have been nice to see 90s Island host a stop on Morbid Angel’s Covenant 20th anniversary tour — perhaps with regulars Hanson and Ace of Bass opening — but there are nevertheless at least two reasons for the Metalnomicon hyping the book:

1. “Fred Durst is the only person banned from 90s Island; some historical artifacts are better left forgotten.”

2. A death metal cover worthy slaughter of aforementioned “poseurs.”

Also, for the record, here is this column’s preferred vision of what a return to the 90s would look like:

STREAMING: Scion A/V interviews Municipal Waste

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, listen, videos On: Friday, August 16th, 2013

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Municipal Waste are no strangers to Decibel-land. Having performed admirably at our 100th Issue show, appeared as chefs on the cover of issue #89 [available HERE] and earned an honorable place on Albert’s mancave mantle, the Virginia-based thrashers are, well, like family.

When Scion A/V approached us to air an exclusive interview with the Wastoids—in celebration for their second appearance at the lauded Scion Rock Fest—we had no other choice. Air it or answer yet another series of inquisitive inquests by drummer/beer nerd Dave Witte on the eve of a print deadline. We’re still not sure how Witte knows our production schedule better than we do, but that’s for another day.

Rage the stream! No time for order!

** For more information on Scion, Scion A/V, and Scion Rock Fest, click the links. It’s OK, you can handle it.

Quebec’s Catuvolcus Premiere New Track!

By: Dan Lake Posted in: featured, interviews, listen On: Friday, August 16th, 2013

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Catuvolcus, those purveyors of anthemic historical metal, have been waking ancient Gallic spirit from their home in Warwick for the past six years.  In that time, they’ve dropped an EP and two full-length records.  Decibel‘s only exposure to their sound has been through Gergovia, the band’s second album, and it’s a heavy-as-hell burner of a record.  The music bristles with Franco-Scandinavianisms, a love for black metal drama and death metal aggression filtered through the some very competent composers and musicians.

This October, guitarist/vocalist Pierre-Aleksandr Plessix, guitarist/Deciblog-darling Maxime Côté, drummer Étienne Gallo and bassist Dominic “Forest” Lapointe (both of Augury) stir the gauntleted past again with their new album, Voyageurs de l’Aube.  Mr. Plessix gave us a preview of what we should expect from the album, as well as a full 13-minute track to give us a real taste of the sound.

Listen to “Voyageurs des Brumes (Wanderers of the Mists)” and read below to find out how this song came together and why the band is so excited about the album.  Then check them out at their Facebook page.  Enjoy!

What drove the musical and conceptual processes for this new recording, and how was that different from previous albums?

On the new album I (P-A Plessix) wrote both the music and lyrics as well as the concept, which is a bit different from what we did on the previous albums. It’s still rooted in black metal with progressive touches, but this one has another feel to it, really nostalgic. We also decided to record in a more organic way, so no trigger or drum samples as we did previously.  We wanted something more raw with an old school vibe. Also the concept differs from what I wrote previously.  It’s not about war or battles against the Roman legions, it has a philosophical approach, something I never touched upon in the past.

The album is dedicated to David Gold and Woods of Ypres.  I wanted to pay tribute to this amazing artist from our country… We also recorded a Woods on Ypres cover which will be included on the album. This new song, “Voyageurs des Brumes (Wanderers of the Mists) ” is taken from our new album Voyageurs de l’Aube. Historically, we are in 56 BCE:  the battle of Morbihan has just been lost, so the Veneti (Gaul tribe) warrior has only [one] goal – he wants to leave his homeland for a better one. So it’s a retrospection for the two first songs, and a reflection and action on the third one. He finally leaves Gaul for Albion. As all our lyrics are in French I decided to offer a translation which will be included in the digipack version of the album.

What are you excited about with this song?

Everything! It’s our first release with the new line-up featuring Etienne Gallo (Augury, Talamyus) on drums and Dominic “Forest” Lapointe (Augury, Beyond Creation) on bass. They brought so much to the songs, their experience had a huge impact. There is also an incredible guest performance and might I add a premiere for Catuvolcus: violin on metal parts. This song is the perfect example of what we deliver!

Any surprises during the writing/recording process this time around?

I got a lot of police tickets! We drank a lot of beers! Quebec’s microbreweries are among the best in North America. The best surprise was the joining of Etienne Gallo and Dominic Lapointe to the line-up…these lads are veterans of the Quebec extreme metal scene, so it was such an honor to see them join my ranks. Everything was nice though, we had the opportunity to enter an awesome studio in Montreal, the experience will never be forgotten.  We’ve shared great moments there, great ideas with great people. You were asking for surprises?  I got one this week.  Maxime sent me a final mix of the song with cat sounds mixed into the song…I was like WTF!? I laughed so much!

Grandfather Has a New Album. Get Off Your Lawn and Listen.

By: kevin.stewart-panko Posted in: featured, free, gnarly one-offs, listen, uncategorized On: Thursday, August 15th, 2013

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Featuring ex-members of Family and probably some other bands, Brooklyn’s Grandfather is currently riding a wave churned by positive recommendations from the likes of Steve Albini (who engineered the band’s Why I’d Try debut), Spin Magazine, Brooklyn Vegan and a bunch of other press outlets that people apparently pay rapt attention to. Album number two, titled In Human Form, just dropped a couple days ago and here’s your chance to check the band out. Alex Newport produce this latest record and they’ve been called “the visceral art-crunch of Shellac mixed with the flighty and fever-dreamy melodies of Shudder To Think” by the Village Voice, “orchestral brilliance, gritty post-punk, and cerebral assaults of noise” by someone else and we think they sound like a cross between Tool and post-Until Your Heart Stops Cave In. Why don’t you decide for yourselves? Here’s a stream of the full album and it sounds like this:

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To download In Human Form for free and to check out their little corner of the interhole here.