STREAMING: Gorguts “Colored Sands”

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, listen On: Monday, July 29th, 2013

gorguts_deathmetal_decibel_2013

Spoiler alert! The new Gorguts album, Colored Sands, rules. But you knew that already. The band that put Canadian death metal on the map—with Considered Dead and Erosion of Sanity—and then sent death metal into fits of spiral rage on 1998′s Obscura and 2001′s From Wisdom to Hate have returned, with class, chops, and curveballs intact. What’s funny is that few liked the “new” Gorguts in the late ’90s. Few understood leader Luc Lemay’s atonal song structures. Few reacted violently to what they didn’t understand. Almost Schönberg-like, if you will. Then again, several acknowledged the music behind the math and the meditative qualities of chaos, praising it, hailing it as an advancement, a quantum leap.

In 2013, Gorguts returns! With an all-star American lineup oddly enough. Enlisting drummer John Longstreth (Origin), Kevin Hufnagel (Dysrhythmia), and Colin Marston bassist (Behold the Arctopus, Krallice), Lemay solidified Gorguts as next-level next level death. “The collaboration with John, Colin and Kevin was awesome! They made this project very stimulating for me. They’re very creative, intelligent people, amazing Artists, great individuals, and great instrumentalists,” said Lemay in a recent Invisible Oranges interview. A clap of hands to that!

Even in times when complicated, busy death metal is accepted (more now than ever before), Gorguts floors everything on Colored Sands. They just think differently than most, refusing to ape their peers (and themselves) when ideas run dry. Take, for example, the title track, “Colored Sands.” There’s space, a sense of economy, of unbridled chaos opening up for brief moments to allow for introspection. And then it comes. The quirky, skronky movements. The chug of chugs behind serpentine riffs. In short, it’s challenging—mentally and instrumentally—but superb example of death metal living and breathing, thinking.

“The song “Colored Sands” tells the story about the intricate, poetic, mystic ritual of drawing sand mandalas,” says Lemay. “Tibetan pilgrims can walk for months, sometime a whole year, prostrating face to the ground every tree footsteps until they reach the place where the mandala will be executed. Once the mandala completed, the monks will dismantle the mandala, and take the sands to the closest stream of water. This stream will bring the sands to the river, the river to the immensity of the ocean to spread the mandala’s peace and beauty to the planet. The single harmonic, in the beginning of the song, pictures a single grain of sand hitting the ground…then with the pattern in 5 slowly appearing, illustrates the five elements in the Tibetan philosophy such as: air, water, fire, earth and space which are embodied in the mandala through their specific colors. From there the mandala slowly takes form in the music.”

** Gorguts new album, Colored Sands, is out August 30th on Season of Mist Records. It’s available HERE for pre-order on CD, LP (various colors), and as a t-shirt pack. Limitless options for eggheads and physicists alike!

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

By: andrew Posted in: a fucking parrot previewing new releases, featured On: Monday, July 29th, 2013

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The dog days of August are certainly here, and boy howdy, there’s at least ONE release that I’m super-stoked on. Let’s get into it, shall we?

The masters of Gore Metal are back at it. EXHUMED release Necrocracy, and this thing rips. This gore-soaked platter has grooves, blasts, hooks and, well, plenty of gore. At times, this record is downright catchy and doesn’t suffer from any loss of extremity. See “Coins Upon the Eyes” or “The Carrion Call” for examples. The riffs stick to your ribs like a good VERY RARE steak. This is an amazing follow-up to last year’s barn-burner All Guts, No Glory, and just as good in a different way. The production is a little warm and could use a little more beak for my taste, but you know what? The songwriting is stellar, so pick this up. 8 Fucking Pecks.

Whatever happened to NORMA JEAN? I’m not too sure; maybe they were hanging out with Norma Stitz. Anyway, Wrongdoers is coming out, and golly are these boys pissed. You know how some bands tend to lose the anger and vitriol of their earlier recordings? Well, not Norma Jean. Often lumped in with metalcore, this is definitely a hardcore band with metallic leanings, so you know there are chugs and breakdowns and a little of that “wheedly-wheedly” stuff, so if that’s not your thing, you won’t dig this. But it’s pretty good; it’s mean, and doesn’t sound dated like that late ’90s/early ’00s hardcore that was huge back in the day. This sort of stuff isn’t really my cup of seeds, but a good solid record is a good solid record, and this is one. 7 Fucking Pecks.

WHOA, did it just get stale as peck up in here? Did someone open a bag of week old bagels? NEWSTED releases Heavy Metal Music, and it SUCKS. Not that anyone expected much, but really. It’s heavy metal all right, at times the riffs sounding like a watered down Motorhead, and Newsted’s vocals sound like a cross between Chuck Billy and Hetfield. Hopefully he has fun with this, because he doesn’t need the money. And don’t get me wrong: This is nowhere NEAR as bad as any Metallica albums post-Justice, but one wonders what’s the point? The riffs themselves are pedantic and go absolutely nowhere, and it seems that Newsted is forcing his ideas and trying to write “metal” topics. This is bland, boring and completely unnecessary. Not even good enough to be a joke. How about writing a good record INSTEAD, Mr. Newsted? 1 Fucking Peck.

STREAMING: Fyrnask “Vigil”

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, listen On: Monday, July 29th, 2013

fyrnask_blackmetal_decibel_2013

As summer reaches her cruel arms into August (at least in the Northern Hemisphere), the days elongate (not scientifically), the sun burns hotter, and time stands still. The Dog Star blazes the night sky. These are, my friends, Canicular Days. But what if long-dead winter—his biting cold and piercing winds—suddenly came into view. A brief respite from dogs going mad and seas boiling over. Would you welcome his Majesty? Let’s find out.

For Germany’s Fyrnask, it’s always winter. Not superficially. Whether it’s the plains of northern Germany or the great Black Forest of the south, it’s perpetually cold in Fyrnask’s world. Formed by a single multi-instrumentalist Fyrnd (don’t Google Translate the name, please) a mere five years ago, Fyrnask has already issued one album, 2011′s Bluostar—new full-length Eldir Nótt arrives this September—to a blizzard of rave reviews.

Decibel was lucky to get an early glimpse of the eerie cold by premiering new Fyrnask track, “Vigil,” in all its 9-minute snow-draped glory. Welcome his Majesty. It’s OK, he (frost) bites.

** Fyrnask’s new album, Eldir Nótt, is out September 23rd, 2013 on Temple of Torturous. It’s not available for pre-order yet, but you can LIKE Temple of Torturous’ Facebook page for updates. Click HERE to Like.

BREWTAL TRUTH: Drink This Now!

By: adem Posted in: featured, liver failure On: Friday, July 26th, 2013

LoserLabel

Given the opportunity to write about craft beer every month in Decibel has been eye-opening. The idea that our “Brewtal Truth” column would have lasted more than four years (and counting) and even spawn a book—The Brewtal Truth Guide to Extreme Beers, out in November—is pretty amazing. Now it’s time to bring a little “Brewtal Truth” to the Deciblog. Each week we’re featuring a different craft beer that you should drink now. These aren’t so much reviews as recommendations. We won’t post anything here that we haven’t happily poured down our own gullet. There’ll be a new one every week at noon Eastern time, a little something to get you thinking about your imbibing options for the weekend.

This week’s selections may well rub a lot of readers the wrong way as it seems that there are still metal fans who hold the city of Seattle and its late-’80/early-’90s grunge bands responsible for “killing metal” or some such nonsense. Our take on the subject is that that “death” was more or less self-inflicted. Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains et al. just kind of kicked the corpse aside and did their thing. But this is about beer. And in this same era, Seattle was also one of the key cities for the growth of craft beer. Elysian started as a brewpub in the Capitol Hill neighborhood in 1996 and has grown into one of the city’s best purveyors of interesting, tasty, creative brews. (Plus their Elysian Fields bar by Safeco Field and Centurylink Field is thee place to drink before Mariners and Seahawks games.)

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LOSER
Pale Ale 7% ABV

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SUPERFUZZ
Blood Orange Pale Ale 5.4% ABV
Elysian

Seattle, WA

Loser was originally brewed five years ago to celebrate Sub Pop’s 20th anniversary, but it’s stuck around as a year-round offering. The original label had a live picture of Mudhoney on it, but the non-anniversary edition boasts the “Corporate Beer Still Sucks” tagline (a riff on SST Records’ “Corporate Rock Still Sucks” stickers and t-shirts from the late ’80s), a sentiment just as relevant today as it was a couple decades ago. Despite your feelings about grunge and the loser culture, this beer does not suck. At 7% ABV, it’s a robust version of an American pale ale (APA). Hell, this could pass for an IPA—sort of an English/American hybrid of the style. It has all the classic foresty/citrusy hop notes of a West Coast PA/IPA, but there’s a definite richness and roundness to the malt character and a certain lack of IPA crispness. It’s a big beer for summer sipping, but, man, is it well balanced and easy to drink.

The label of Superfuzz looks like something out of the psychedelic ’60s, but our own personal association is with Mudhoney’s seminal EP, Superfuzz Bigmuff, thus the pairing with Loser in this column. This is a warm-weather seasonal for Elysian and, unlike Loser, this is definitely more of drink-more-than-one thirst quencher. It’s not exactly a session beer, but it’s much lighter bodied and refreshing. Take a sniff and it’s pretty much like any other well-brewed West Coast APA. You can’t really detect much blood orange, or any orange. (Honestly, does anyone know what blood orange actually tastes like? Is it any different from an orange orange? Really?) But take a swig and the orange is there nicely complementing the hoppy citrus notes. It’s not “loud in the mix,” so to speak, but it adds a nice tart fruitiness. There’s just a hint of sweetness here, making the finish crisp and dry.

If you can find it in your heart to forgive Seattle for putting Ratt, Bang Tango, Cinderella, Warrant and about a hundred other useless hairfarms out business, then we suggest you try these beers.

Throw Me a Frickin’ Label Hack: Montreal’s The Unconscious Mind

By: Dan Lake Posted in: featured, interviews, listen On: Friday, July 26th, 2013

The Unconsious Mind Band Photo 2013

 Because every day another band records another song. Because 83% of those songs are unlistenable and you can’t be bothered to sift through the dreck. Because metal is about not giving a shit and waking your own personal storm. Because music is universal, expression is boundless, and even indie labels (whatever that means these days) don’t know everything, Decibel brings you Throw Me a Frickin’ Label Hack.

UCMind live pic

The Unconscious Mind play that multidimensional, take-no-prisoners kind of pissed prog annihilation with periodic melodic tendencies. Their debut recording, Where Philosophers Fall, clamps over your windpipe like a velvet tongue over a jawful of snarly, razor teeth. Albums like this shouldn’t come out of bands with less than two starter records (that nobody really takes seriously, even the diehards who say their really the best records) and a transitional record or three. Phenomenal piano and bass lines trade off snaking underneath all the deafening per-crush-ion and the sheer riffing tonnage. The Unconscious Mind target the gut and the intellect simultaneously, and they hit more often than they miss. There’s a lot to unpack here; it’s possible to complain about a lack of diversity between songs, we suppose, but that would miss the wealth of ideas processed within each piece.

Decibel dropped a line to guitarist, backing vocalist, and primary composer Simon Cléroux to find out more about the inner workings of yet another strikingly killer band hailing from that island of Frenchiness (Montréal, Quebec) in that sea of Americans-who-need-passports (Canada). Get a listen to the album (streaming at Bandcamp) while you read what he had to say about band collaboration, performing live, and living with the album’s technical guru.


 

There seems to be a lot of heavy music coming out of Montréal. Is everyone doing their own thing, or is it more of a close-knit group of musicians supporting each other?

The Montréal scene is incredible; it must have something in the water cause every band is doing their thing, but supporting is important in the scene and people of the Montréal metal scene must be more collaborative ‘cause it’s underground and it’s fragile.

How did the members of The Unconscious Mind first get to know each other and start playing together?

We are a bunch of friends for a very long time and started to play some music. I was the most metal guy in the [group] and I have converted Simon Gauvreau and Louis Paul Gauvreau ([they are] brothers) to come to the dark side of metal. And I met our ex-drummeur and our present keyboardist Michael Racine in a total nowhere situation. We just began to jam with each other some Immortal and Dimmu Borgir covers and began to start some real and original compositions with our own style. We got a new drummer who is not on the record but, wow, I can’t wait to begin our next album with this guy (Charles-André Brodeur); such a beast at the drum. [I met him] at college.

What experiences/emotions/goals drive the music you make?

For my part, it’s that I really enjoy making that kind of music, and I have to. I have to express my negative energy and give it away with a crowd of people who enjoy it and drill their head off with some headbanging and a circle pit. I do it for myself and for [other] people. It’s oil that [keeps] my engine running.

Are the songs on Where Philosophers Fall the product of mainly one songwriter, or does the band work collectively on song content?

I will say mainly me and my keyboardist Michael Racine. I will compose a whole song and show it to the other guys and we just begin to play it, same for Michael’s compositions and same for the lyrics. But our next album we will completely change our way of composition ‘cause we want something more collaborative with each other, make some band songs and not just a song of one person. “My Deadly Sin”, “The Mirror Of My Punishment”, “Tale of Creation”, “Beyond the Black Star”, “Dream Jailed”, “All End”, “Where Philosophers Fall” are all my compositions and “After Illusion”, “The Demon Inside Me”, “Another Dying World” are Michael’s compositions.

How did you first get in contact with Max Côté and start working with him? What role did he play in the formation of the album?

I just contacted him by email cause I really like the sound of the production of his project, Hand of Despair. He was super [psyched] about our project and it was a full pleasure to work with this guy. He one of my close friends right now and we are roommates now, by the way. He [had] creative ideas for the album and he finds exactly what I have in mind for the sound of that album.

Has The Unconscious Mind been primarily a live act, or primarily a recording project so far?

I will say live cause we just release our first album and we have done lots of shows in Montréal in the past. It takes like 5 years to release a real record. But now its very [close to a 50/50 split between live act and recording project] ‘cause we can’t wait to work on new stuff for our next album and we are very excited about it.

It seems like playing a show full of your music would be exhausting! How long are your live sets? Does it take a lot of stamina?

We did our official album launch in Montréal at ”Les Foufounes Électriques” and we played our full set at this show. Its was the first time we played this set and, yeah, it was really hard at the end ‘cause the final [song] is the more technical song, ”Where Philosophers Fall”, but we really enjoyed that show and we planned to do more long shows like this one if we have the chance.

Are members of The Unconscious Mind working on other types of music as well?

I have another band named Derelict (technical death metal) and I have my solo project, more progressive like Devin Townsend stuff. Michael Racine has a very classical inspiration and has a solo project too, and Charles-André Brodeur, our new drummer has a power metal band named Kemilon.

[The writer of this article wishes to state plainly that, while he doesn’t necessarily regret taking a copious shit upon Mr. Brodeur’s other project in an earlier issue of Decibel, he apologizes somewhat for his harshness and hopes that his recognition of Unconscious Mind’s kickassedness assuages the situation at least a little bit.]

Spirits of the Dead: The Deadly Spiritual Interview

By: kevin.stewart-panko Posted in: featured, interviews, listen, uncategorized On: Thursday, July 25th, 2013

deciblof - spirits of the dead

Hailing from Oslo, Spirits of the Dead ignited an incense-scented dookie stick firestorm of praise and wonder with their 2011 second album, The Great God Pan (their debut was self-titled and from two years earlier). Best pegged as a effusive mixture of psychedelic, folk and stoner rock, said album had critics and fans from the world of the “enhanced listening experience” spilling bong water all over their bell bottoms and Nehru jackets in jittery excitement. If positive, glowing reviews were bags of weed, Spirits of the Dead would be high for the rest of their lives. After securing a US deal with The End, they’ve recently released album number three, Rumours of a Presence, a continuation of their stylised combination of hazy 60s and blitzed out 70s as filtered through modern eyes. Below, an interview with vocalist Ragnar Vikse.

deciblog - spirits of the dead album

Your bio is quoted as saying “Spirits of the Dead – a psychedelic-stoner-folk-rock with one foot in the electric magic of the seventies and the other in the modern electric rock sound of 2012.” When you were writing your first initial batch of songs, how difficult did you find it to find and maintain that balance of 70s and modernity? Is it easier to pull it off now?
When we wrote that back in 2008, 2013 seemed so far away. We did not want to be in the retro bag and whether it’s 2012 or 2034 I hope we are able to stand the test of time both sound-wise and musically. A part of Spirits of the Dead, as the name indicates, is that we honor our influences but try to give it our own twist, signature or what you will call it. I hope we can push the modern sound together with the vintage in front of us from release to release so that we are sounding as fresh as the fruit can be. It seems to get easier as we go.

Is there a healthy history of psychedelic music in Norway?
No, not much. At least not that I’m aware of. We don’t have many influences coming from Norway other then our native heritage, harsh and grandiose nature and the ever changing seasons. Motorpsycho might be an inspiration, but maybe more in the way they’ve grown up strictly in their own terms which I find very respectable in this business. We nod to the British music scene from the 60s and early 70s a lot I presume, although we never ever set out to sound like anything. What ever happens just happens. I think there are many good bands from Norway these days, although not many psychedelic ones.

Does your band name hold any specific meaning or significance?
Yes, it has a deeper personal meaning which I won’t dig in to here. But it is also inspired by the Edgar Allan Poe’s poem of the same name. Poe is a big inspiration for us. Several of the songs on all albums find inspiration in his work.

How would you say the new album differs from The Great God Pan? What were you trying to accomplish or do differently on Rumours of a Presence?
We do not to try to accomplish anything other than writing good songs. But TGGP turned out to be a trip deep into the forest and had more of a pagan-freak-folk-ish vibe around it. There is a song here and there that gets excluded in the sense of not overdoing a concept that arrives or maybe to make it clearer. We like short albums. I believe we wanted to get back on track where we ended the first album, I think that was our only plan.

How did the positive response to The Great God Pan impact how you approached the new one? Or did it?
We are overwhelmed by the great response on both our albums. And we are very grateful for that. At the same time, we try not to be affected by it any more than to take it as a sign that we are on the right path. But we are explorers and we need to continue to widen our horizons. We told early on that by our tenth album people would finally get the picture of what kinda band we are. I really hope to be able to follow up on that [laughs]. We also have a tendency to make the songs for the next album before the last one is released. It’s like that now too. The songs for the fourth album are almost finished.

What does the album’s title refer to?
It just popped up while reading a book in Lamu, on the coast of Kenya, actually. Then, we had a song “Rumours of New Presence” and we changed the album title to ‘A Presence.’ I think it is a fitting title for the album. Gets your attention and leaves you wondering. I like that. You might find a link or two more if you dig!

I understand you shuttled off to a remote part of Norway to record the album. Why? What was the setting like and how do you feel it helped the recording?
We loved to get out of our day-to-day settings and fully focus on the music and recording and at the same time swallow in the salty taste of the ocean, sounds of the waves, the wind and the seabirds. The studio is placed at the very utter peak of the northwest coast by the ocean; amazing surroundings. It had a major impact on the overall feeling on the album.

deciblog - spirits of the dead live

How much touring did you do off the last album? Did playing live have you seeing those songs in a new light at any point?
We did not do too much touring on TGGP as we did not feel it was an album that would be a part of our live set up, us being four people in the band with a three piece instrumentation and all. But we did a tour of Europe and Norway and played our first US shows in NY and SXSW. But we added new songs from this album and only played “Pure As The Lotus” from TGGP. We need at least two more musicians to perform the rest of the songs. We have done “Leaves of Last Year’s Fall” and “The Great God Pan!” with guest musicians a few times. I love those songs.

How did you come to the attention of The End? Was any other label interested in signing you?
They approached us actually, so we worked out a marriage. So far, it’s been a happy one – knock on wood.

What plans do you have once the album starts getting out there and making the rounds?
We are continuing making new music. Our relationship in the band is as much us being friends as we are band mates, so we try to make the most out of our rehearsals to enjoy ourselves doing what we love, but at the same time not play the same old song over and over again and loose the passion for it. We need to keep it rolling. And rocking. We’ve already done a tour with Kadavar in Europe. We will do some more with them we hope. We have a tour with Graveyard coming up this fall and maybe a US tour soon we hope.

Check ‘em out: www.thespiritsofthedead.com

VIDEO PREMIERE: Beneath Oblivion “The Atomic Mother”

By: zach.smith Posted in: featured, videos On: Thursday, July 25th, 2013

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Beneath Oblivion put out a monster of a record back in 2011 in the form of From Man To Dust. As our own Shane Mehling–never one to sugar coat things–once explained on this very site, “[r]arely do you hear a doom band so good at integrating other influences, from folk to death metal to experimental samples, while being so fucking good at also playing doom.”

A testament to the album’s staying power, we’re proud to premiere the video for “The Atomic Mother”, the record’s second track and a nine-and-a-half minute exercise in devastation.

If you haven’t already, be sure to pick up a copy of the album from our pals at The Mylene Sheath. You can also catch the Ohioans up close and personal most of next month on the following dates:

Aug 8 – Indianapolis, IN @ Melody Inn w/ Apostle of Solitude & Stonecutters
Aug 9 – St. Louis, MO @ the Firebird w/ Grand Inquisitor, & Heavy Horse
Aug 10 – Lawrence, KS @ Replay Lounge w/ Wrath & Ruin
Aug 11 – Denver, CO @ the 7th Circle
Aug 12 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Bar Deluxe w/ Yaotl Mictlan
Aug 13 – Boise, ID @ the Shredder w/ Elitist & Mariana
Aug 14 – Portland, OR @ Rotture w/ Usnea, Bastard Feast, & Stoneburner
Aug 15 – Seattle, WA @ the Comet w/ Crawlin’ & Witchripper
Aug 16 – Portland, OR @ the Know w/ Spectral Tombs
Aug 17 – TBA, CA
Aug 18 – San Luis Obispo, CA @ SOL DIY Warehouse w/ Bloodmoon
Aug 19 – Fullerton, CA @ Slidebar w/ Ancestors, Destroy Judas, and Pendulous
Aug 20 – San Diego, CA @ Shakedown Bar w/ Mortar & Lazy Cobra
Aug 21 – Tempe, AZ @ Palo Verde w/ Twin Giant & Cave Dweller
Aug 22 – El Paso, TX @ Cafe Calavera w/ Communion of Theives & Atlantis
Aug 23 – Austin, TX @ Headhunters w/ Bearded Ox & Mala Suerte
Aug 24 – Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live w/ Bowel, Oceans of Slumber, Ten Ton Hammer, Sift Through Ashes
Aug 25 – Lafayette, LA @ the Feed & Seed w/ Red Sheild
Aug 26 – New Orleans, LA @ Big Top w/ Logarda & Manda
Aug 27 – Atlanta, GA @ the Earl w/ Sons of Tonatiuh, Cheap Art, and Kings Destroy
Aug 28 – Nashville, TN @ Owl Farm w/ Black Tar Prophet, Really High, Act of Impalement & Brother Ares
Aug 29 – Lexington, KY @ Al’s Sidecar

*Photo: Rebecca Florez Hoffman

Inside The Shredder’s Studio #7: André Foisy Of Locrian

By: justin.m.norton Posted in: featured, interviews, listen, lists On: Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

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Locrian’s new album Return To Annihilation is one of the better records I’ve heard this year, and the praise keeps rolling in. We decided that it was a perfect time to invite frontman André Foisy to the shredder’s studio. He shared a list of eclectic infuences and might be the first shredder featured ever that didn’t include at least one Sabbath or Maiden riff.

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Foisy will now walk us through his formative riffs. Sit up and pay attention. Get in touch with Locrian here.

***

King Crimson: Frame By Frame

When I was about 12, my older brother sent me a tape of KC’s Discipline and Three Of A Perfect Pair and on it he wrote “no keyboards.” I really didn’t like these albums at first, but I kept listening to them and they are my favorite Crimson albums to this day. This track really demonstrates the precision of the Adrian Below and Robert Fripp’s playing. I figured out the guitar parts when I was in high school and jammed to the tape.

Genesis: Return of the Giant Hogweed

Steve Hackett is probably my favorite prog rock guitar player since he was so good (at least his stuff in Genesis) at knowing when to play, when not to play, and how to add texture to a song. This song has some great two-hand tapping. Most people who like to two-hand tap don’t know when to shut up and back off. Steve Hackett does. This is another band that I started listening to because of my brother (Thanks again Joel).

Led Zeppelin – Achilles Last Stand

This is my favorite Led Zeppelin song. It’s amazing that they pulled off playing this song live so enjoy the live version. I don’t trust anyone who my dog doesn’t like and anyone who doesn’t admit to liking Zeppelin.

The studio recording has tons of layers of guitars. This was an indirect inspiration for me to put down a bunch of different guitar parts at the end of “Obsolete Elegies.”

Bert Jansch – Black Waterside

I got to see Bert play a couple times before he died. Once in a tiny club, and once opening up for Neil Young. He was a great guitar player and my playing on “Two Moons” was influenced by his finger style playing.

One Eyed God Prophecy – Toddler

These guys were one of my other favorite bands growing up and this LP still holds up for me. They only did one LP and then broke up. It sounds a lot like Uranus, but there’s something that I like more about OEGP.

When Terence and I started playing together, we bonded since we grew up around similar hardcore/punk scenes and we both loved this band. It’s funny that this sort of has a black metal feeling to it, although I don’t think that the guys in this band were influenced by that stuff at the time.

OEGP influenced a lot of Locrian stuff, but specifically “Panorama of Mirrors” on our new album.

Brian Eno – Here Come The Warm Jets

Terence introduced me to this album and pointed out this amazing guitar solo to me, which is Robert Fripp. It’s just so weird, fuzzed out and interesting. I was trying to get this guitar sound for my (first) solo in “Obsolete Elegies” off our new album.

Iggy and the Stooges – Louie Louie from Metallic Ko

“Louie Louie” was the first song that I learned to play on guitar, and I love the version on the Metallic KO album since it’s so raw and nasty. James Williamson is an amazing guitar player and I was always inspired how the Stooges would play shows and play what they wanted, and not the songs on their most recent album, or the songs that their fans probably wanted to hear. You hear the band getting pelted with bottles during this show.

Fred McDowell – When I Lay My Burden Down

I picked up a Fred McDowell LP recently that Alan Lomax recorded. This is great country blues. This is the only live video that I know of this guy.

I was influenced by Fred McDowell for our track “Exiting The Halls Of Vapor And Light.”

Yes – Heart of the Sunrise

These dudes kill it on this one. I figured out how to play all of the early Yes songs and I still jam this intro part sometimes. One of my favorite guitar riffs ever.

Voivod – The Unknown Knows

Piggy was one of my favorite guitar players. I read about Voivod in an issue of Guitar World when I was 12 and I thought that it was cool that this band was from so close to where I lived. I was also really drawn to the fact that Piggy would get some of his riffs by figuring out Yes songs backwards.

Robert Fripp – “Frippertronics Demonstration ‘79”

I’m posting this “Frippertronics” demonstration since I can’t find a live video of Fripp & Eno. Obviously, Locrian is really influenced by those records. Terence often makes loops on his reel-to-reel players and we’ll build off of those loops and that’s because of the Fripp & Eno stuff.

***

Read previous installments of Inside The Shredder’s Studio:

#1: Elizabeth Schall of Dreaming Dead
#2: Mike Hill of Tombs
#3: Jon Levasseur of Cryptopsy
#4: Alex Bouks of Incantation

#5 Kurt Ballou of Converge
#6:
Mark Thomas Baker of Orchid

STREAMING: Mercenary “Through Our Darkest Days”

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, listen On: Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

mercenary_melodicdeathmetal_decibel_2013

The last time we spent time with melodic death metallers Mercenary was on 2011′s Metamorphosis effort. With a revamped lineup, the Danes managed to change their sound—much to the dismay of long-time fans—but the change opened up a whole new world of potential. They’re no longer stuck to the melodic death construct that made them up-’n'-comers in Denmark and beyond with 2002′s Everblack and 2008′s Architect of Lies. Which is good for new album, Through Our Darkest Days. With a few years worth of development, Mercenary has returned stronger than ever(black) and with a more vital outlook since the great lineup shift.

“‘Through Our Darkest Days’ portrays life as we know it,” says Mercenary’s René Pedersen. “An album that takes you on an emotional journey through all aspects of human emotion! We wanted to combine the huge sound of the older Mercenary, and the more modern direct approach from “Metamorphosis”, and make the ultimate Mercenary album. Did we succeed? You decide!”

Indeed, you decide. You can decide right now thanks to a digital partnership with Mercenary and Prosthetic Records. How so? Simply click on the “play arrow” on the Soundcloud link player.

** Mercenary’s new album, Through Our Darkest Days, is out July 30th on Prosthetic Records. It’s available HERE. They’ll like you for grabbing a copy and maybe help you learn Danish. Actually, they’ll probably recommend picking up Rosetta Stone.

STREAMING: Infanticide’s “Misconception of Hope”

By: Jeff Treppel Posted in: featured, listen On: Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

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Very rarely do I get to make dead baby jokes and have them be actually relevant to the subject at hand, so there’s no way I’m going to pass up the opportunity. Prepare to be offended!

How do you know when a baby is a dead baby?
The dog plays with it more.

What do you call a dead baby with no arms and no legs in a swimming pool?
Bob.

What’s the difference between a dead baby and a trampoline?
When you jump on a trampoline, you take your boots off.

How are babies and the elderly alike?
Both are fun to throw out of moving cars.

What is the difference between a pile of dead babies and a pile of sand?
You can’t move sand with a pitchfork.

Anyway. You get the idea. I don’t think Infanticide actually sing about dead babies, but it IS grind, so hell if I know what the dude is shrieking about. A quick scan of the song titles indicate a predilection for violent subject matter, so good enough for me! These guys don’t bother trying to do anything fancy or conceptual; they plow through these 19 tracks like a bulldozer through a parking lot covered in dead babies. The band is Swedish, so there’s some death metal influence in the guitar, but otherwise it’s d-beats and face punches. You have 18 minutes to listen to some quality grind; just enough time to mulch some dead babies.

***Misconception of Hope comes out August 27 on Willowtip. Follow the band on Facebook here. Buy the album here.