STREAMING: Godhunter’s “Brushfires”

By: justin.m.norton Posted in: featured, listen On: Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

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For your streaming pleasure today we are premiering the track “Brushfires” from Arizona’s Godhunter, a nasty hybrid of thrash and sludge. Preorder the album City Of Dust here from The Compound. Some details on the track follow the stream.

Brushfires is an analogy for the divisiveness that embroils the political nature of mankind. In that political realm, when governments or corporations cause irreparable harm to the environment or to others, they fundamentally deny that anything is ultimately wrong. They will deny science, they will deny logic, in order to pursuit an agenda of profit and gain, regardless of cost.

In a land plagued with overpopulation and drought comes the ever-increasing threat of a devastating wildfire. The chances of these brushfires erupting increases annually as the effects of climate change, invasive species, and growing swaths of urban sprawl permanently alter our fragile ecosystem. These types of fires can erupt anytime, anywhere. They are a by-product of our excess. These fires purge that excess, whether we want them too or not.

This song is about the Yarnell Hill Fire that took the lives of 19 firefighters in Arizona in 2013, but it is also about the well being of our state. In recent years Arizona has been embroiled in divisive politics that have exposed not only exposed a deep seeded unrest, but also a denial of climate science, logic, and common decency. It is our hope that something positive will emerge from this and other related tragedies.

EXCLUSIVE: Danny Lilker Elaborates on Departure from Brutal Truth

By: admin Posted in: exclusive, featured, interviews On: Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

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On Friday, January 10, Brutal Truth bassist Danny Lilker announced via Facebook that he “will be retiring from being a full time recording and touring musician” on his forthcoming 50th birthday, October 18, 2014. The news flash resonated throughout the entire online extreme community, who, in the process, appears to have disregarded Lilker’s commitment to forge ahead in a variety of other bands. This morning, Lilker called our editor-in-chief Albert Mudrian to set the record straight.

The announcement went up early last week that you were retiring. Why don’t you let us know what brought this on and what exactly is going to happen?

DL: Well, what brought it on is I’ve been doing this for a very long time, the whole thing where you’re in a full-time band, the recording, the touring cycle and everything like that. And I’m just getting weary of what it takes to go travel and go play a whole bunch of places. Now, I mean, I have to phrase this very carefully because… people will be like, “Oh, boo-hoo, I have to have my regular job. You get paid to go play other places and now you don’t feel like doing it anymore. Oh, that must really suck, you know? It sucks to be you.”

But, you know, it is rigorous. And your body ages whether you like it or not. And I’ve found on tours recently, I’m just not getting enough sleep, I’m not eating right. Now, of course, it may be my fault since I decide to smoke a joint with the other guys at one in the morning, blah blah blah blah. But, you know, I’m not gonna not have fun either.

I just wanna ratchet things down a little bit, and that’s what it really is. So, that’s on to some of the misconceptions that have kind of floated around a little bit. I’m quite aware how the Internet works. You put one thing on one site that’s directed directly — if that doesn’t sound redundant — at people that you know will care, and then it gets copied and pasted all over the place, and then it’s like the old Telephone Game: it gets away from the source.

So, two things specifically I wanted to address was 1) I am not stopping playing music. I am merely stopping being — as I phrased it — a full-time recording and touring musician, which means Brutal Truth. I still play in two bands here in Rochester that you’re probably aware of anyway: Nokturnal Hellstorm and Blurring. I’m still in Venomous Concept. I’m still in NunFuckRitual. If I am asked to fill in on a Lock Up tour when Shane [Embury] can’t do it, like I’ve done before, I will still do that. What I’m doing is just ratcheting things down so it’s just more occasional, as far as traveling. You know, I had Blurring practice last night. I have Nokturnal Hellstorm practice tonight. We’re both working on new tunes. And we’ll both be thinking about recording soon, and both bands play out here in Rochester, so I realize that people in Chile for example won’t get to see my band play here in Rochester or something, but that’s one thing.

I think people don’t necessarily realize how many offers a band like Brutal Truth gets to play shows. And you guys take a lot of them. You do a lot of European tours where you’re gone for two weeks at a time, and it can really wear anybody down, traveling in that manner. This isn’t just like, “Hey, we’re gonna go do a few weekend dates.” And I know Brutal Truth doesn’t necessarily do the 30-date U.S. tour anymore, but that touring that you do is real and it’s a strain. So, I think it’s probably worth getting that point across: that even though Brutal Truth isn’t the band that’s out there touring six months out of the year, it’s still an excursion when you go out on tour.

DL: Well, yes. And, I mean, to put it in some perspective, I started out playing thrash. The first Anthrax album, back then I was like a peer with Metallica. You know? And I have chosen — I can’t even say “chosen” — I have followed my heart playing music, doing exactly what the fuck I want to, whether it’s lucrative or not. And, you know, hey, if I played fucking hard rock or whatever and went off in a big tour bus all the time, you know, maybe that would be easier, but that’s not realistic with the music that I play, so… whatever, tough shit on me.

Yeah, I don’t think it sounds like you’re feeling sorry for yourself or anything like that. And I know, like you said, you put something out on the Internet and people want to immediately interpret it in whatever they think it means to them. But I think it’s clear that basically what you’re saying is: This is pretty much the end of Brutal Truth.

DL: Right. The only other misconception, which is more minor, is that some people are going, “Oh, why does he feel the need to release a press statement about that?” Like I’m some egomaniac and the whole metal world must know that I’m stopping Brutal Truth. Once again, the statement was directed to people who I knew would care, and sure enough, by the end of that day there was like 500 well-wishers on the BT Facebook page. So, you know, it’s not like I put out some official press release that every metal site should pick up and the world has to know what I’m doing. I don’t think the whole metal world cares whether Brutal Truth continues or not. And it wasn’t my intention to release something to every blogosphere in the metal community. I don’t think I’m that important.

Does Brutal Truth have any dates scheduled yet? Are you guys lining up some shows right now before you close the bass case for good?

DL: Yeah, we are indeed doing that. But I don’t wanna say anything until stuff’s confirmed. And that should be real soon.

 

Sucker For Punishment: The New Wave of Moose Molten Metal

By: Adrien Begrand Posted in: featured On: Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

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I had an interesting conversation with a metal peer over coffee yesterday, and was asked what makes a “traditional” heavy metal album made in 2014 worth spending money on when all I have to do is listen to a Judas Priest album. I had to pause and consider that for a minute. For a writer like me, the appeal of old-school heavy metal revivalist bands boils down to three factors. First is nostalgia. I won’t lie about that one bit. Because my teen years were from 1983 to 1989, and because I followed metal with great meticulousness back then, there’s no question I romanticize that era, and prefer it greatly to any other in metal history from 1970 to the present.

But it’s not all about simply mimicking a certain style when it comes to traditional heavy metal, and that’s where the second factor comes in. A band doesn’t just have to have the moves down, it has to get it, to understand the aesthetic inside-out. It has to embrace the ludicrousness of heavy metal – because every single facet of heavy metal is inherently silly – but not act self-aware about it, and the ability to walk that tightrope between silliness and sincerity is what separates the good retro-minded bands from the pretenders. And of course, these bands have to know how to write good charismatic songs, ones that offer an even balance of fist-bangin’ riffs, shredding solos, and searing, arena-level vocal hooks. Cauldron gets it, as does Wolf. 3 Inches of Blood do. White Wizzard did, before they blew imploded. Holy Grail is a great hook or two away from nailing it. And Toronto band Skull Fist, after coming across as a joke on their previous album, can now be included.

I won’t deny it, the nostalgia factor is massive on Chasing the Dream, at least for yours truly. Back in the mid-‘80s there was a quirky trend among several Toronto area bands, where rampaging, speed-riddled, NWOBHM-derived heavy metal would be combined with the kind of upper-register singing that many would otherwise associate with glam metal. And with Toronto being the center (sorry, centre) of the Canadian media universe, an inordinate amount of attention was paid to these bands on TV, in print magazines like the revered Metallion, and on such major label-distributed demo compilations as Maple Metal and the two-volume Moose Molten Metal. Killer Dwarfs, Kid Wikkid (featuring a skinny kid named Sebastian Bach), Vigilants, Hateful Snake, Sye, Reckless, Warriors, Tzar…it wasn’t exactly groundbreaking but it was unique, comically oblivious to the bolder sounds emanating from the local underground scene like Slaughter, Razor, and Sacrifice, but as a 15 year-old I dug it.

Like Cauldron, who cite Reckless as a major influence, Skull Fist understands that melodic mid-‘80s Canadian sound, and Chasing the Dream is absolutely spot on. The songs are simple, devoutly formulaic and conventional, but loaded with biting, contagious riffs atop swaggering, swift tempos. The ace card, though, and the one thing that will either make or break this band for new listeners, is singer Jackie Slaughter, who comes through with an outlandish vocal performance, capturing that androgynous head voice perfectly on song after song. He’s one or two high-pitched screams away for hitting Nitro levels of ridiculousness, but holds back just enough to keep the songs from becoming too impenetrable. Still, this is one deliriously over the top record that captures a long-forgotten era with a sense of verve and joy, but skillfully avoids the “look at me” gimmickry of Steel Panther. It might have some who are used to the more extreme sounds of today wondering just what in the hell they’re listening to, but it makes this old headbanger smile. Sometimes a critic has to go with the heart instead of the head.

Chasing the Dream, which is out now on NoiseArt, is the easy choice for my album of the week, but if you have more of a hankering for the harder stuff, look no further than the terrific new Waldgeflüster album below.

Also out this week:

AC Angry, Newsletter (Dust On The Tracks): These Germans claim to be the next Turbonegro and Zodiac Mindwarp, but for all the references to booze, blow, and sex, the necessary obnoxiousness is nonexistent and the sleaze factor is nil. Hard rock isn’t supposed to sound this tepid.

Alkerdeel & Gnaw Their Tongues, Dyodyo Asema (Consouling Sounds): These two were made for each other. Belgian raw black metalers Alkerdeel and the prolific Dutch musician Mories – the mastermind behind the brilliant and twisted Gnaw Their Tongues – have joined forces for a phenomenal little collaborative effort. Simply a single 19-minute track, it’s a seamless blend of everything both sides do best, Alkerdeel with their primal take on black metal, Mories providing ambient touches that makes the music even more harrowing. With Alkerdeel benefiting from the added atmosphere and Gnaw Their Tongues benefiting from the structure of black metal, this is a partnership far too promising to limit itself to one small release.

Hexis, Abalam (Halo of Flies): As far as intensity goes, it’s easy to compare this Danish band to the likes of Celeste and Dragged Into Sunlight, but this album is a lot blunter, a continual barrage of harsh, mostly two-minute tracks that have no room for subtlety. It’s in and out in 26 minutes, leaving listeners wondering what the hell hit them. Stream and download (name your price) via Bandcamp.

The Isolation Process, The Isolation Process (Version Studio): The shadows of Tool, Paradise Lost, and Dredg loom large over this debut album by the Swedish band, who might have made a big impression on audiences had it come out 15 years ago. Now, though, it’s a pleasantly melodic yet ultimately dated-sounding effort masquerading as “prog”.

Magenta Harvest, Volatile Waters (Inverse): Mathias Lillmåns has taken a little break from playing forgettable folk metal with Finntroll to playing marginally better death metal. There’s actually some catchy stuff here (“Apparition of Ending”, “Limbo in Rime” in particular) but there’s hardly enough here to warrant purchasing the full album.

Serpent, Possessed By Night (High Roller): If you’re looking for primitively recorded NWOBHM revivalism, then this will scratch that itch nicely. The German duo’s 2012 demo has been re-released with a few new recordings tacked on, including a spirited cover of Picture’s “Heavy Metal Ears”, and although the singing needs some work, the songwriting is there and the energy is palpable. It’s a promising start.

Suicidal Angels, Divide and Conquer (NoiseArt): The Greek thrashers are back with two new members and a fifth album on which not a lick has changed in their approach. Rather than trying to be the next Kreator or Destruction, they take a decidedly American approach, faithfully mining the percussive sounds of Exodus, which has always worked very well in their favor in the past, and which does the same here. To their credit the band does mix it up a little, as on “Control the Twisted Mind”, a surprisingly ambitious seven-minute track that showcases some good progressive metal dexterity.

Waldgeflüster, Meine Fesseln (Bindrune): There’s such a strong Woods of Ypres vibe to this third album by the German project, it’s eerie. From the pagan-tinged black metal, to the heavy use of melancholy and melodrama, to the sly incorporation of doom and gothic elements, to the lower-register singing, you’d swear the late David Gold is behind this. But give singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Winterherz credit, he’s come through with a stirring, soulful, and atmospheric collection of black metal epics that easily transcend any language barrier. Arriving at a time when the new release landscape couldn’t seem bleaker, this is a welcome, rejuvenating discovery. Be careful, though, your corpsepaint will run like crazy once the tears flow during “Mit Welchen Fesseln”, which we premiered last week.

We All Die (Laughing), Thoughtscanning (Kaotoxin): This 33-minute track meanders the way you think an extended prog metal opus would, and then a clarinet solo pops in from out of nowhere. It’s pretty much the high point of the record.

Follow me on Twitter at @basementgalaxy

TRACK PREMIERE: Soreption’s “Engineering the Void”

By: Jeff Treppel Posted in: featured, listen On: Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

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I’m pretty sure “Soreption” is a made up word. I think maybe it’s a phonetic transcription of vocalist Fredrik Söderberg’s shrieks. These dudes play seriously gnarly technical death metal to the level where you might need a physics degree just to headbang to it. You can hear them constructing the framework of the abyss as Engineering the Void runs its course, culminating in the title track – at which point they push the button and the whole thing implodes. For a band on their second full-length, they’ve figured this sound out pretty well. The album comes out in a little less than a month. Until then, here’s the title track for you to decipher. I’m pretty sure there are messages from aliens in there.

***Engineering the Void will be unleashed on February 18 courtesy of Unique Leader. Preorder it here.

Systems Re-Overloaded: Exclusive Integrity Premiere!

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: featured, listen On: Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

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A couple months back I was honored to usher the legendary 1995 Integrity album Systems Overload into the Decibel Hall of Fame and now, on the eve of a hell-freezes-over reunion at the A389 Recordings ten-year anniversary Bash in Baltimore, comes a new track from the Systems era line-up. Enjoy an exclusive stream of “7th Revelation: Beyond The Realm Of The VVitch” below then get ready to fight over the special 7-inch release it is a part of at the A389 show…

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Metal Noam: Heavy Music + Heavy Politics = Killer EP

By: Dan Lake Posted in: featured, interviews, listen On: Monday, January 13th, 2014

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Just as there are many roads that lead to metal (adolescent anger, an ear for complex music, etc.), there are multiple avenues by which a curious mind might encounter Noam Chomsky, one of our era’s great-thinking heavy hitters.  Students of linguistic theory will certainly encounter his work, which in the middle of the last century incited something of a revolution in our understanding of the human ability to generate and utilize language.  Anyone delving into American political thought will sift through Chomsky’s writings and lectures in which he expounds upon ideas he calls “libertarian” and “fairly traditional anarchist.”

In the spirit of Chomsky’s ideologies and with his blessing, Witch Mountain drummer Nate Carson has participated in the creation of AVRAM, a Chomsky-themed metal project that wraps various heavy approaches (black/thrash aggression, trad/hair balladry, and doomy trudging) around audio clips of the controversial linguist making poignant, striking comments about American society and its expectations.  At just over 13 minutes long, the EP is cutting and thought-provoking and, above all, fun as shit.  Songwriting, performances, recording…  All of it rounds out a perfect, succinct statement.

Decibel asked Carson a few questions about the project, so you can peruse his responses while getting a first listen here.  And make sure to catch more AVRAM updates at http://www.facebook.com/metalnoam.  Fists up!

How did the original idea pop up?  What’s your connection to Chomsky’s philosophies and these clips in particular?

Our guitarist Amanda Machina has had this idea for years. She went so far as to contact Noam and his publicist and got their blessing. Then she slowly started looking for musical nerds that would help fulfill her diabolical scheme.  I had studied Linguistics in college, so I knew about Chomsky’s heritage in that field. And I had the split 7″ he did with Bad Religion which covered his strong political views. Amanda, bassist Darryl Moton, and myself have all been fans of his work for a long time.

Who helped develop the idea and the recording?

It was Amanda on all guitars, Darryl on swinging bass, and myself on the drums. We kept it just the three of us until it was time to get some help with the recording.

Where/how/when were the songs recorded?  Were they ideas written specifically for the spoken clips, or did they already exist?

We had been compiling our favorite speeches for a while, but the music itself was written separately. Then the clips were adjusted to fit the music. We made sure that none of our edits ever changed the context of his message. He’s always saying these really dire, apocalyptic things and that really suits heavy metal themes well.

My brother Merlin Carson came over to help us track in Amanda’s studio. The remarkable thing is that we were basically still composing the songs as we recorded them. Merlin literally set up some mikes and we started recording. No muss or fuss. It’s crazy this stuff sounds so good–though we all have pro gear, Merlin brought a great selection of microphones, and of course Billy Anderson did the mix. That was the real coup de grace for this project. Justin Weis mastered, so the back end has a really nice polish.

Whose cover art is that?

Our good friend Sam Ford drew the cover. He’s in the band Wizard Rifle, and is well known for his album covers for Black Cobra, Witch Mountain, Monarch, and others. Really brilliant artist.

Was this a one-time kind of thing, or do you feel like there’s something to follow up?

This is meant to be a one-time project, however I think Amanda and Darryl and I would love to collaborate again on something else. We have a great chemistry.

Anything else I should be asking?

I guess the only other thing that’s key is that this is a non-profit project, in keeping with the spirit of Noam. Once we cover the basic expenses of producing this, the net proceeds will go to a cause of Noam’s choice, or as we affectionately refer to it, “The Noam Chomsky retirement fund.” Dude is old!

DECIBREW on Tap at TRVE Brewing Co. This Friday!

By: adem Posted in: breaking newz, featured, liver failure On: Monday, January 13th, 2014

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Since our Brewtal Truth column first appeared in Decibel nearly five years ago, it was inevitable that this day would one day come. All we needed was to find the perfect partner, and when we learned about Denver’s TRVE Brewing Co. in 2012, we knew that they were it. So, after many bestial sacrifices, summonings, invocations and, uh, some really intense fermentation, we present the Decibrew, the Official Brew of Decibel Magazine, a burly German weizenbock brewed under the sign of evil by owner Nick Nunns and the crew at TRVE.

For those unfamiliar with the style, the name loosely translates as “wheat goat.” The “bock” style originated as a strong lager, but this is actually a strong wheat ale and the special Bavarian yeast used to brew it produces some interesting flavors. It is a hefty, malty 7% ABV beast of a beer that’s perfect for the dark, cold months of winter. Nunns described the Decibrew, his TRVE take on the style, this way: “It’s dark amber color with a really nice round body. There are dominant malt and clove aromas, but if you look hard you can pull out the banana aromas too.”

Now, before you go clamoring to your local bottle shop or liquor store for this, keep reading.
In the spirit of limited-run, kvlt releases, this will only be available on draught in the Denver area, and the first tapping of it will be at the TRVE brewery this Friday, January 17 at precisely 7:06 pm. So, if you want to be the first nerd to check-in this special brew on Untappd or submit your tasting notes to BeerAdvocate or RateBeer, we suggest you get down there early.

To reiterate, THIS BEER IS NOT BEING BOTTLED AT THIS TIME. If you want to try it, you can only do so at TRVE (though it will eventually be available on tap at other brutal drinking establishments in the Denver area in the future).

DETAILS
What: First tapping of Decibrew, the Official Brew of Decibel Magazine
When: January 17, 7:06 pm
Where: TRVE Brewing, 227 Broadway, Denver, CO; 303-351-1021

At War With Sooners: Behind the Okie Baphomet Lawsuit

By: justin.m.norton Posted in: breaking newz, featured, interviews On: Monday, January 13th, 2014

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We weren’t surprised to find out that one of the people involved with efforts to place a gigantic Baphomet statue on the Oklahoma Capitol grounds is connected with extreme metal. I guess we’re just happy that they are pursuing their goals through civil discourse rather than pulling a Burzum.

Brian Werner is a High Priest in the Satanic Temple, based in New York. He’s also the vocalist of Vital Remains, a death metal band that once featured known religious provocateur Glen Benton.

Werner — who has jumped from balconies at Vital Remains shows — says the temple was compelled to act when a Ten Commandments statue was placed on on the Capitol grounds. The Deciblog talked to Werner from his home in Milwaukee to get a better idea of what’s driving a few blasphemers to get an ominous obelisk placed in the middle of the Bible Belt.

How did you get involved in the Satanic Temple?

I was raised Catholic and went to a Catholic kindergarten and second grade. As soon as I found out Santa wasn’t real, things went downhill. My mother is now an evangelical. Because of this, she won’t even talk to me and blocked me from calling the house. My family reads from the same book and worships the same God, and then goes after each other for miniscule differences.

[I got involved] after I saw the temple do the Rick Scott protest in Florida, which I thought was genius. [Governor] Scott passed a law allowing open prayer in the classroom. And the temple came out in a protest and supported it. It was sort of like: “Thank you, Rick Scott. Our children can now pray to Abaddon in the classroom. You are the champion of diversity.” He said prayer but didn’t say what kind of prayer. Lucien [Greaves, temple leader] later offered me High Priest status because my knowledge of the left hand path is adept. I’m sure some people saw what we did with the Westboro Baptist Church last summer. It was a joke… we had a same-sex ritual over the grave of [church head Fred Phelps’] mother to turn her gay.

It’s interesting you bring that up. I think Westboro is noxious, but I thought that doing something around someone’s gravesite was going too far.

I respect that. The problem is they don’t respect it. They show up at soldiers’ funerals. It takes a certain kind of scumbag to protest when a mother’s dead child is coming home from war. They are holding signs in front of grieving mothers and spewing their bullshit. I agree: death and cemeteries should be sacred. But this was an eye-for-an-eye situation. They disrespected and disgraced people who had given their lives. So, it was the only option. Anything else would have blown off quickly. We needed to make a statement.

I’m thinking this is the only interview you’ve done with someone who has seen or heard your band. How have you been treated?

[Laughs] Really well. Lucien was on Laura Ingraham this morning. People are having us do a lot of pre-interviews. If you field the questions properly, then you won’t make it to the show. But when we do them and have stupid replies like “I piss on all that is holy!” they call back and want to interview you. When we have the real interview, we have intelligent answers and responses, which they aren’t expecting, and it pisses them off. But for the most part, I’ve been treated exceptionally well, and I’ll be on the Mancow show this week.

They probably wouldn’t be happy unless they got someone like Dead from Mayhem sniffing a dead bird in a jar.

Yeah, or the little emo goth kid. But for the most part I’ve been treated well, and the interviews I’ve done haven’t been too cut or edited. They’ve all been pretty straightforward and unbiased.

When was the decision made to try and get this statue on the state Capitol?

We’re not trying to preach at all or force our beliefs on anyone. We’re not trying to put up a statue where it isn’t wanted. No, they opened the door first. We actually had a lot of local support, and more than 100 people locally signed an affidavit supporting us. We are never just going to go into someone’s state and say, “Deal with us.”

The illustration of the statue has been seen all over the world. How did you decide on a design?

We wanted something that wasn’t blatantly offensive, something that was family-friendly, something inviting. We also wanted something interactive. It had to have historical significance. There are two snakes where the back meets the seat of the chair; you can see that symbol at any hospital in the world. This statue speaks to plurality, to freedom of speech, to multiculturalism. These are the core fundamentals of our belief system.

We didn’t want to just put up a massive upside-down cross with a middle finger. We were trying to come up with something more cohesive. We get comments all the time that “I don’t believe what you believe.” And that’s the exact point. A lot of people don’t believe what we believe. We want to put it up to show the duality of our nation. Not everyone in this country is a Christian. There are Buddhists, Muslims, atheists…

What are your chances of success?

Well, I agree with your suggestion that we don’t hold a concert. [Laughs]

If you end up just trolling the whole country, isn’t that success already?

I always hope for the best and plan for the worst. I like to set myself up for win-win situations. If this goes up, we win. If it doesn’t, those Ten Commandments are coming down and we win. We are setting a precedent, and everyone is applying for monuments now. Even if they ignore us, the Hindu monument or the Islam monument are coming right behind us. It’s like kindergarten; the whole class gets a cookie or no one gets a cookie.

Top 5 Worst Motörhead Albums

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, lists On: Monday, January 13th, 2014

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Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister is a living legend. An untouchable icon. But Lemmy and his Motörheads didn’t always have ace albums. In fact, across Motörhead’s storied–we’re talking almost four decades–career, the monoliths of metal have had some real stinkers. While we implore you to check out Lemmy in our February 2014 issue (click HERE) we’re also calling out Motörhead at the bottom of their respective game. Think we’re right? Think we’re wrong? Hammer out your opinion in the comments section below.


5. Motörhead — Rock ‘n’ Roll
“Eat the Rich” was a MTV staple if memory serves correct. Not a bad tune at all. Same with the title track. But the rest of album is flat, uninspired by the excesses of the late ’80s. It’s Motörhead alright, but with tracks like “All for You” and “Stone Deaf in the USA” it’s hard to believe. Maybe the only redeeming value, apart from “Eat the Rich”, is the Petagno cover art.


4. Motörhead — Snake Bite Love
Just as We Are Motörhead felt rehashed, Snake Bite Love is all-too formulaic. The ’90s and the early aughts weren’t too kind to Lemmy, really. He was treading water, pedaling the Motörhead bike. Snake Bite Love, with its terrible name in tow, felt like a dive bar album, a place deemed both cool and trite by the “edgy” cock rockers like Sea Hags, Davy Vain, and Sleeze Beez.


3. Motörhead — We Are Motörhead
Although We Are Motörhead is largely Lemmy returned, it’s album that feels rehashed. It’s as if Lemmy needed to write another Motörhead album and did so right quick using previous successes as a blueprint. It’s marginally worse than Snake Bite Love. That isn’t saying much, however. True, Phil Campbell’s growling licks feel genuine, but they’re merely facsimiles of previous greatness.


2. Motörhead — March ör Die
1992 was a weird year for the ‘Head. The fact that they chose to cover Nugent’s “Cat Scratch Fever” was one thing, but the “I Ain’t No Nice Guy” tune with Slash and Ozzy is borderline cock rock balladry. Lemmy and crew put a lot of faith into that track, too. March ör Die looks to have teeth, but ultimately is Lemmy’s attempt to hit the radio waves, his croak surprisingly tamed and neutered.


1. Motörhead — On Parole
A lost album. A record label unsure of its commercial viability. On Parole is an odd album, even for the day. Recorded across 1975 and 1976, Motörhead hidden debut sat shelved for three years. But that’s neither here nor there. Lemmy’s famous bawl is in its infancy here, but musically On Parole is uneven, its blues/punk/rock construct flailing pretty much at every turn. Hey, maybe United Artists were right.

STREAMING: The Unguided “Carnal Genesis”

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, listen On: Friday, January 10th, 2014

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The Unguided’s previous album, Hell Frost, was the product of ex-Sonic Syndicate members Richard and Roger Sjunnesson venturing away from the sway of record companies and their malignant henchmen. Meeting favorable reviews–largely in Europe–The Unguided took off, pulling the sounds of Soilwork, Killswitch Engage, and Scar Symmetry and making them distinct and memorable.

Some three years later, the Sjunnesson brothers return with ex-Sonic Syndicate guitarist Roland Johansson, Cipher System bassist Henric Carlsson, and Spawn of Possession/Shining drummer Richard Schill in tow. Together, they’ve made the logical follow-up to Hell Frost in the form of Fragile Immortality, and haircuts and ultra-graphic t-shirts aside it hits at the heart of melodic semi-death metal. Now, guys into mega-brutal shit are going to be allergic to The Unguided, but fans of chorus-driven, well-produced song craft will find The Unguided to fill the void left vacant by the “Americanization” of melodic death metal.

“‘Carnal Genesis’ is a ferocious onslaught of attitude and melody that would bend the knee of any metal devotee, no matter how kvlt you are!” Richard Sjunnesson exclaims. “Lyrically crafted around the final resistance of mankind, and her last vigorous battle of the right to exist. Certainly an anthem of hope, [with a] chorus you’ll be humming in the months to come.”

What are you waiting for? Let The Unguided, well, guide you. Don’t be afraid of singing along or doing George Lynch-like air guitar antics either. They’re perfectly acceptable among the metallerati and death metallers that don’t smell like mold and their mother’s leftover cooking.

** The Unguided’s Fragile Immortality is out February 11 on Napalm Records. It’s available HERE as a pre-order. Or you can wait for the final Necros Christos album. Your choice.