Tales From the Metalnomicon: Lewis Dimmick

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: featured On: Friday, September 13th, 2013


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

Man, Lewis Dimmick truly delivers something special with This Music, an exquisite collection of lyrical, poignant, often very funny vignettes detailing his coming of age in the 80s New York City hardcore scene. Naturally, there are pitstops in punk and metal along the way — see, for example, “Slave to the Power,” which hilariously details fourteen year-old Dimmick attending a Iron Maiden show at Radio City Music Hall (!) with his mom (!!) in 1985 — and the pieces in the book delving into the hope, elation, and struggle of going from observer to participant via his band Our Gang will no doubt touch hearts and raise spirits, but perhaps nothing gets to the sense of otherness more fully than this exchange:

I explained to my Uncle Bob, when he asked how many records we had sold, that only five hundred were pressed, that this music was meant for a select audience.

He asked if by select I meant the deaf.

What Decibel reader can’t relate to that?

Check out a couple excerpts from This Music below then pick your copy here.

dazed and confused

we sold our souls

BREWTAL TRUTH: Drink This Now!

By: adem Posted in: featured, liver failure On: Friday, September 13th, 2013


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, since the focus is still on hops, we’re back in the Pacific Northwest. Don’t worry, this’ll be the last one on the subject for a while. We couldn’t help but buy C-Note from Portland’s Lompoc Brewing when we saw it on the shelves at the Beer Junction recently. It was the name, the label art and the concept behind the beer that totally grabbed us. And it provided the perfect opportunity to talk about mega-hopped beers like this. The name is actually both a play on the fact that this has 100 IBUs (International Bittering Units, a way of measuring the bitterness in the beer) and all the hops in it are “C” hops: Crystal, Cluster, Cascade, Chinook, Centennial, Columbus, Challenger. Now that is a brilliant concept for a beer.

Imperial Pale Ale
Portland, OR
6.9% ABV

There are three “C” hops (let’s call them the Big Three) that are largely responsible for the classic piney/citrusy West Coast Pale Ale/IPA smell and flavor: Cascade, Centennial and Columbus. This trio was basically the taste of the hop-forward craft beer revolution in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Dozens of new hop varieties have been created since then, but those three have been and continue to be mainstays. The rest of the “C’s” in this lineup aren’t necessarily as notable, but they have their own unique characteristics and, accordingly, their uses. Columbus and Chinook provide, for example, lots of bittering power, but less on the fragrant, aromatic side. And this beer, with its 100 IBUs has a heapin’ helpin’ of bitterness (a typical American style IPA will be 40-70 IBUs). Surprisingly, though, bitterness is well integrated and balanced to such a degree that, you really wouldn’t notice it as long as you’re a fan of big, hoppy IPAs. It does tend to linger on the back of the palate for quite a while.

As noted in the beer’s specs above, this is not actually an IPA, but an Imperial Pale Ale. And, ironically, it’s actually not very pale. It’s more of a deep copper/amber/reddish hue. You can readily smell the up-front Big Three when you first open it. They are unmistakable: pine needles, grapefruit and floral spices. It smells like an IPA for all intents and purposes. Where it differs stylistically, it’s hard to pin down. Perhaps it lies in the malts used to brew it, because the hop content screams IPA. It also doesn’t fully taste like an IPA—the malt notes are more caramely and round, rather than crisp—but in a blind tasting, I could be convinced this was an IPA.

So, what do seven varieties of “C” hops have to offer this beer? A lot. First, a really nice fresh aroma filled with notes of fruit and forest. Second, a complex melange (there, I said it) of fruit flavors—from berries to melons to marmalade. Lastly, a punch of bitterness on the finish that cuts through the ample malt backbone. We can’t pick out the characteristics of each one specifically, but together they’re a symphony of hop goodness. In C, of course.

Throw Me a Frickin’ Label Hack: Ohio’s Foul Spirits

By: Dan Lake Posted in: featured, free, interviews, listen On: Friday, September 13th, 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.

fspirits art

Feeling fat, lethargic and a little fuzzy this Friday?  Let Foul Spirits slim you down with all the subtlety of a meat cleaver and get you moving with all the gentleness of a ruddy-hot iron poker up your ass.  The Kent, Ohio crusthustlers ram a ton of dirty-massive riffs through your face on their debut EP, Live In Fear.  Currently free at Bandcamp, these six nasty nuggets prove how potent small doses of disaster can be.  There’s not a dull moment here.  We at Decibel, always here to serv(ic)e your need for horrifying harshitude, have brought the whole streaming slab to your fingertips.

While you listen, check out the band’s collective responses to our getting-to-know-you questions.  Then just keep listening…

What’s Kent, Ohio like these days?  How’s the music scene in your area?

Kent as a college town has always had a thriving music scene.  It is a small town of about 20,000, but we have a lot of amazing local clubs like The Stone Tavern, The Europe Gyro, and the Outpost that are very supportive of the heavy music scene.  Kent is most famous for its Blues and Folk festivals, but even those three-day events have metal and hip-hop bands scheduled, so it is very simply a music town.  Jeff and Wally have played in some pretty well known regional bands (NDE, Hate Theory) based out of Kent as well, so those two guys have helped create the varied and close-knit scene we have today.

How did the members of Foul Spirits hook up and start playing together? 

We all knew each other at first from playing in different bands on the scene. Chris and Gabe were in Skies Bleed Black (later Dog Days) for years and Wally and Jeff were involved in several projects throughout that same timeframe (NDE, Hate Theory, Rue). We had spent about a year working together on a pure grindcore project but that kind of dissipated and Jeff and Chris were still looking to do something together. Foul Spirits was already a band before Jeff and Wally joined. Chris and Gabe had started the band and it had been going on for a few years at that point.  [We’re all] smart guys, smart asses. We try not to take ourselves too seriously a lot of the time.

This band started from a heavy metal punk rock foundation. That was pretty much the sound established before Wally and Jeff got involved. And it still is very much that but it’s just progressed a bit further musically. We’re a crossover band.

How long have you played together before recording these songs?

We have played on and off together since 2007.  We had a one-off grind project, Tex Avery, in the first few years but started jamming again as Foul Spirits about two years ago.  We did some out of town shows and a lot of local stuff, then started laying tracks down on the new EP last August.

Was the recording process just what you expected, or was it easier/harder/stranger…?

I (Gabe) do the recording.  I have had a full service recording studio, Engine Room Recording, in Kent since 2007.  We recorded these songs early on in the process of starting up Foul Spirits, and it was definitely a challenge for all of us to get the sound and style we wanted.  These songs are varied in styles, and to get the precision, heaviness, and grimy dirt we all love, was tough.  I definitely feel we succeeded, and I am very happy with the way things came out. With all that being said, we have been playing in bands, recording and touring for a long time, so recording is a normal step in the process. Wally, Chris, and Jeff killed it in the sessions… the only hard part was getting away from our jobs and finding time to shred.

What are your favorite parts of the music you’ve recorded?

Our favorite parts are the finished piece. The whole thing is far greater than the sum of its parts. We have a lot of fun writing and recording and it truly is a democratic process.  Chris and Wally do a bulk of the writing, Jeff does a lot of the arrangements and obviously the lyrics.

Where did that very cool artwork come from?

Our great friend David Wilson is the principal creative director at Downpour Creative graphic design in Kent.  He does a lot of sick work for local bands, but also has a lot of national clients in the “real world.”  He does an outstanding job with all things visual and video.

What kind of inspirations fed into Live In Fear?

Musically speaking, our influences cover a very broad range of styles. Most obvious though, would be the hundreds of extreme metal and metallic hardcore, punk and grind bands that all of us enjoy listening to. Lyrically it’s all about violence at this point. Both mental and physical. From the most ill of egocentric will to actually lashing out, whether it be for personal gain, self-preservation or what have you. It’s, for all intents and purposes, nothing nice. And Satan.

What other music is getting you excited right now?

Gabe:  The new Nine Inch Nails, All Pigs Must Die, Palms, Pig Destroyer, The Ravenna Arsenal (local bros)

Jeff:  The new Phillip H. Anselmo

Wally:  All things grind

Chris:  Ghost, Graveyard, Elder, Cold Cave, Graf Orlock, Black Breath

What is the band’s next step regarding live shows, more recording, etc?

We have our annual Halloween weekend coming up, which we do every year.  Kent Halloween is off the charts, a giant 30-40,000 person drunken outdoor party.  They shut the entire city down and people are running amok.  Local venues have music and people meander around drinking and checking out the costumes and entertainment.  We are doing a show that Friday at the Outpost with our dudes in Forever in Terror and then Saturday in the middle of the chaos in downtown Kent at the Stone Tavern.  We already have our next full length written and rehearsed, we will probably lay drums down in December and look for a Spring release… hopefully with some label support.



Decibel’s 100th Issue Show: The Movie Trailer

By: mr ed Posted in: featured, videos On: Thursday, September 12th, 2013


January 19: a momentous day for America. In 1982, it gave its citizenry Jodie Sweetin, Full House’s preeminent meth fiend. In 2013, a slight upgrade: Decibel Magazine’s 100th Issue Show at Philadelphia’s Union Transfer, starring Converge, Pig Destroyer, Repulsion, Municipal Waste, Tombs, Evoken and a who’s-who of extreme music luminaries. We teamed up with director David Hall (the man behind multiple Maryland Deathfest films) to commemorate this once-in-a-lifetime event, and are just about ready to unveil it in the form of our first-ever concert DVD. Getcha popcorn ready. (And meth.)

Decibel’s 100th Issue Show: The Movie will be available exclusively at store.decibelmagazine.com on November 1. It will be a highly limited affair: just 1,000 copies. If you’re currently keeping it weird in or around Austin, TX, you’ll get a chance to preview the film in its entirety, as it’s making its world premiere at Phil Anselmo’s Housecore Horror Film Festival, running October 24 – 27. Otherwise, be sure to snap up the hard copy after Halloween—the DVD will include hours of ridiculously awesome bonus footage—perhaps most entertainingly, a ribald commentary track from Tony Foresta of Municipal Waste and Scott Hull, Blake Harrison and J.R. Hayes of Pig Destroyer.

So, without further ado, it gives us great pleasure to bring you the initial teaser trailer, with plenty of ripping grindcore, doom, thrash and, yes, Kevin Stewart-Panko ’tude.

Gabbing with Matt Harvey, the one from Exhumed

By: kevin.stewart-panko Posted in: featured, interviews, uncategorized On: Thursday, September 12th, 2013

deciblog - exhumed_logo

Tell your average schmoe on the street that you’re doing an interview with Matt Harvey and they’ll probably think the topics of conversation are set to include pitch selection, what it’s like having Andrew Bonazelli as a stalker and season ending surgery. What automatically comes to mind when you mention the name Matt Harvey to the denizens of Decibel are getting wasted and being hungover because you got too wasted. Or not hungover enough because you didn’t get wasted enough. Oh yeah, there might be something about Harv’s long time pet project, Exhumed and a little about the new album they released recently entitled Necrocracy, but mostly your first thoughts would turn to getting shit-faced and nerding out about death metal and grindcore into the early hours. We caught up with Harv via email and keystroked him mostly about stuff he probably he didn’t want to talk about.

How does a band that spent the majority of two years on the road, that went through a significant membership change at about the halfway point of all that and have members living in different towns across the country manage to write and record a new album amongst all the chaos?
Well, the record was written in fits and starts, between tours and whatnot. I had a bit of a leg up though, as songs like “The Shape Of Deaths To Come” and “Ravening” I had already started working on during the All Guts… sessions, so that helped. Also, having played “As Hammer to Anvil” a couple hundred times by the time we started writing in earnest, it was a good incentive to write some new shit and break up the monotony. All the live shows really convinced me that what the last album really lacked was any kind of slower, heavier groove stuff, so I knew early on that I wanted to incorporate more of that kind of shit into Necrocracy. I mostly put together skeletons of songs myself, and then showed the guys really rough demos, some of them were just MIDI demos because my little pod that I use for home recording broke at the beginning of the writing process. And as far as Bud coming back into the fold, if anything it made it smoother, just because he and I are really on the same page, having known each other for years, and played guitar together in Scarecrow as well. I’m always writing, and once the first couple of songs, in this case the title track and “Shape…”, were hammered out, the momentum gathered pretty quickly. Having to write around our tour schedule is something that I think helps the songs really stand out from one another this time around – since they weren’t all written in one continuous go like on the last one. The core of the band has always been rhythm guitar and drums, and Mike [Hamilton, drums] and I live really close by, so could rehearse and bounce ideas off of each other. Regardless of the line-up, we’ve always kind of used the “Metallica” process, rhythm guitar and drums first and then bring in the other guys and build around that. AGNG was kind of the exception in the catalog. The process worked well for that record, but the dynamic is different this time around, and it worked also, in fact I think it worked better. Rob [Babcock, bass/vocals] came up right before the recording started and we had a cram session going for 10 days or so, hammering shit out and adding all the little clever bits and such. We ended up writing “The Rotting” during that time, as well as the bonus track “Chewed Up, Spit Out.”

What was the writing process like this time around? Was it anything like you’ve experienced or embarked upon in the past? Is doing things differently something you try to do in order to keep things fresh or are you simply playing with the hand you’ve been dealt?
It’s more just playing the hand we’ve been dealt. Things tend to come together pretty organically at this point. Mike and Rob did almost the entire All Guts… tour cycle with the band, so we have a really good chemistry, personally and musically, and that helped the rhythm section come out quite a bit more on this one, which I thought was important. The bass on most of our albums has ended up being more of an afterthought, which I really wanted to remedy. [Guitar/vocals] Bud [Burke] ended up coming into the studio and hearing some of the material for the first time, and we worked out a lot of stuff on the fly, which was cool. Because we were so under-rehearsed – even for us – a lot of the ideas on the record, fills, transitions, that kind of stuff, were really spontaneous and fresh. It was a cool contrast to so much death metal that you hear that sounds so calculated and contrived. The songs being a little slower also allowed a little more breathing room for stuff to happen. We also worked out a lot of harmonies and stuff in the recording studio, simply because we hadn’t played the songs with two guitars yet in the rehearsal room, so that was fun and ended up bringing some unexpected challenges and pleasant surprises. The best thing was that we had a bit more studio time, which allowed us to try more ideas, be a little more thorough with the vocals, and even put together the outro bonus track “E Pluribus Mortem” and the bonus track “Go For The Throat” while we were recording. That was new, we’ve never written a song in the recording studio before – we’ve never had time!

What did the new members bring to the recording process that you expected of them? Did they surprise you by bringing anything you didn’t expect them to?
I think the main thing was just having more of a proper “band” dynamic. Having spent a lot of time on the road together and playing tons of shows, even though we didn’t spend months in the jam room working on the material, we’re all so used to playing with each other and working together on the fly that things were able to move really fast once we finally started working on the material. Mike is more of a “feet” drummer than [ex-drummer] Danny [Walker], who’s more of a “hand” guy, so we worked in a few more double kick sections where the kick drums get to helicopter speed, and just having a dedicated bass player made me really want to hear the fucking bass for once on one of our records. One thing that was unexpected was getting to hear the rhythm section lock in a bit on some of the slower bits, the bass guitar matching the bass drum, standard rock band stuff, but unusual for us, which was nice. Bud ended up stepping in and doing some vocal sections on the fly which was a definite serendipity and added a nice layer or gurgle to a bunch of stuff.

deciblog - exhumed

How would you say Necrocracy differs from the rest of the Exhumed discography? More specifically, All Guts, No Glory seeing as these are the two records to come out after you got the band back together?
I think it’s kind of the South of Heaven to AGNG’s Reign In Blood - it’s definitely our slowest overall record so far, with a bit more melody than some of our stuff, but there’s still plenty of aggression and blasting as well. I think the songs stick out from one another more than ever, which was really important to us. I think it’s kind of a reaction to the last album, which was all about being unrelenting and just being a total “fuck you” kind of record – this one is a bit more churning and heavier, also a little darker and rawer. The last one was kind of a wall of sound, like Fleming Rasmussen mix, and this one is more of a Rick Rubin-type mix with a bit more separation between the instruments and stuff. I’m really happy with both of them and I think they’re both distinctly different from each other.

Over the last couple albums, you’ve started to implement deeper meanings to your lyrics while still having them appear to be gore-based on the surface. Necrocracy seems to take that a step further. Is there a broader theme to the album? What’s the meaning/significance of the album’s title and how is the artwork related to the entire she-bang?
Yeah, this one definitely has a lot of political underpinnings. The Presidential election was in full swing the whole time I was writing, and that really kind of inspired the whole direction of the lyrics. Everything is still filtered through the gore metaphor and stuff, so it’s not like a Dropdead album or anything, but there is a political theme running through most of the songs. It’s very anti-corporate, anti-consumerism, that kind of stuff. The system in America is just entering a very corrupt phase, a lot like the robber baron-era in the late 1800s and early 1900s – it’s freedom for the strong to extort the weak, and the weak are bought off incredibly cheaply, happy to dig their own graves on a steady diet of infotainment, fast food and reality TV. Hopefully we’ll have a reawakening like the early 20th century labor movement again and restore some kind of balance between the ultra-rich and the ultra-poor. So basically I touch on a lot of that kind of stuff, but by singing about blood and guts, haha!

Musically, there seems to be a greater incorporation of traditional metal and thrashier themes. Yes? No? Maybe so? I also quite enjoyed the rampant use of dissonant fourth or fifth or whatever-the-fuck-they-are chords in some of the choruses – it’s like Megadeth meeting something that doesn’t suck. Was there anything that you went into this album deliberately wanting to do, do differently or experiment? Any mistakes you wanted to avoid?
I just wanted to incorporate more groove. Usually the better our production, or the slower our songs, the more people recognize the trad-metal influences, simply because they’re not blowing by at a million miles an hour under a heaving layer of grime. When it comes to metal, I’m much more likely to be listening to Armored Saint or Tank than Regurgitate or Pungent Stench, although I love all those bands. Especially constantly touring with death metal and grind bands, it’s hard to really want to hear too much of that. I personally love songs with good melodies, catchy choruses and good arrangements, whether they’re by Metallica or Magrudergrind or Chicago. I listen to all sorts of stuff, so even when we’re being as “brutal” as possible, there’s still a sense of song in there – hopefully. I just wanted to avoid repeating the last album, avoid playing it too safe and just blasting our way through stuff – having some trust and belief in the material to let things repeat and stretch out arrangement wise and just trust in the riff.

deciblog - exhumed-e1375131442434

How quickly/smoothly did the recording process go? Or was it a protracted mess filled with computer crashes and triple-digit takes? What happened to the short grind songs you mentioned you wrote on the spot? Are they being saved for future EPs or whatever?
The process was pretty smooth – we used the same studios that we recorded All Guts at, so it was very familiar. We did the drums in four days, which allowed us to work out an outro that is on the vinyl version, as well as a short grinder called “Go For The Throat” and an intro that we ended up scrapping. But just having the time to do that is a huge change in the right direction for us. John at Trench and Ryan at Arcane are friends of ours, and they know what we want. About 2/3 of the way through the work in Arizona (where we tracked guitars, bass, and vocals) we took off to Japan for three shows with Cannibal Corpse which was amazing. Totally worth going to rehearse for two hours after tracking for nine during the day. We just stayed in an extended-stay America hotel for the time in Arizona, bought groceries and cooked at the studio. Again, I got to watch Giants post-season baseball, we were on the road with Municipal Waste and Napalm Death in Connecticut when they won the world series (yes!!!) and read tons of Ryan’s comics, so that always makes any down time enjoyable. The two short grind tracks, “Go For The Throat” and “Chewed Up, Spit Out” will be bonus tracks, along with “Not Yet Dead Enough” which just didn’t fit on the album time-wise and the aforementioned outro. So the die-hard necromaniacs will have some cool extra goodies if they want to go for the fancy schmancy versions of the record.

Given that Exhumed has gone through many years and many incarnations, how would you characterise present-day Exhumed versus the various versions of the band in the past?
This is definitely the best line-up we’ve ever had, not just in terms of playing but in terms of work ethic, attitude, and just being on the same page. I can’t imagine any other line-up going out and playing 200 shows a year the way we do at this stage in the game. There would have been a lot of punch-ups and weird shit going on- but now, the worst thing that happens on tour are the hangovers!

Stay abreast with all of Exhumed’s road dogging lunacy and urethra-loosening drunkenness at: www.facebook.com/ExhumedOfficial

VIDEO: Carvin’s Shreds of Insanity

By: Jeff Treppel Posted in: featured, videos On: Thursday, September 12th, 2013

shreds of insanity

I assume there are some fans of guitar shred reading this, because this is a metal website on the Internet. Well, today’s your lucky day! Century Media gathered four pretty killer shredders with long, flowing locks at the Carvin store in Hollywood on August 26 to allow them to show off their skills, jam together, and answer questions from their fans. It was originally supposed to be a competition, but let’s be honest – shredding is its own reward. Jake Dreyer of WHITE WIZZARD, Parker Jameson of STARKILL, Dave Silver of SAVAGE MESSIAH, and Rick Di Marco of DEATH DIVISION all prove that they know their way around a fretboard and that they’ve all watched G3 concert videos way more than any human being probably should. Check out the 40 minute video below to see the entire event; for punk rock fans, it’s basically a vision of hell, but if you’re into Yngwie, Satriani, or Petrucci, this is six string Valhalla. It also provides definitive proof that guitar heroes should probably rely on other people for their vocals.

DEATH DIVISION: https://www.facebook.com/DeathDivision

SAVAGE MESSIAH: http://www.facebook.com/SavageMessiahMetal

STARKILL: http://www.facebook.com/StarkillOfficial

WHITE WIZZARD: http://www.facebook.com/WhiteWizzard

STREAMING: The Ruins of Beverast “Blood Vaults”

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, listen On: Wednesday, September 11th, 2013


The last time we spoke to black metal pontificator Alexander von Meilenwald he had the following to say about The Ruins of Beverast’s origins: “I didn’t define any concrete goals in the beginning, to be honest. The Ruins Of Beverast were established rather spontaneously when I felt the need to express new musical urges that haunted me for some time in the early years of the new millennium. That was not preceded by any conceptual thoughts or ideas. Yet, when making music it has always been my goal to draw a musical picture and evolve eerie and surreal atmospheres more than to create a sequence of guitar riffs or follow a certain style. The concentration on ghastly sceneries is made easier for me now when working alone, because the atmosphere of the songs is way more homogeneous than it was in my previous band, where we always had to compromise.”

Well, as it was with previous albums—specifically 2009′s blindingly good Foulest Semen of a Sheltered Elite full-length—The Ruins of Beverast’s new album, Blood Vaults – The Blazing Gospel Of Heinrich Kramer (Cryptae Sanguinum – Evangelium Flagrans Henrici Institoris), is one of haunting images, surreal atmospheres, and eerie themes fit for a Lovecraft novel or a real-life movie about the horrors and atrocities of the Church. Von Meilenwald’s creativity knows no bounds on Blood Vaults. From “Daemon” to “Spires, the Wailing City” and “Trial” to “Monument,” Blood Vaults is an effort of stupendous conviction and vision. The icing on the cake is the Church-choir degeneration treatment in “Malefica.” It’s clear The Ruins of Beverast lead-priest has no affinity for the Church or its teachings.

It’s an absolute honor to be able to stream the entire Blood Vaults. Bow down! It’s time to worship not on Sunday but on Humpday.

** The Ruins of Beverast’s new album, Blood Vaults – The Blazing Gospel Of Heinrich Kramer (Cryptae Sanguinum – Evangelium Flagrans Henrici Institoris), is out NOW on Ván Records. It’s available HERE in a few kick-ass configurations on vinyl and CD. Like double blue vinyl with bronze hot-foil embossing or a CD with bronze hot-foil embossing with a hardcover. Yeah, we want them all!

Decibrity Playlist: Primitive Man

By: zach.smith Posted in: featured, interviews, listen, lists On: Tuesday, September 10th, 2013


The dudes in Primitive Man spent much of the summer on the road in support of their debut, Scorn. Like any other touring band, the Denver trio–which features drummer Isidro “Spy” Soto, vocalist/guitarist Ethan Lee McCarthy and bassist Jonathan Campos–has a batch of go-to tunes when it comes time to traverse the good ol’ U.S. of A that they were kind enough to share with us (even broken out by band member). As McCarthy tells us, “This is a list of songs that we jammed on our previous tour. It is full of ups and downs, similar to being out on the road. But when things are bad, it helps to light the weed, hit the music and remember how much you love doing this shit.” As we’ve come to see from the likes of Anciients, Intronaut, BATILLUS and, one of my personal favorites in this series, Kowloon Walled City, the soundtrack to touring is usually a pretty diverse one–Primitive Man’s is no exception. They even listen to audiobooks for crissakes.

Feel free to listen along here and pick up a copy of Scorn here.

Ethan’s picks:

Corrupted–El Mundo Frio (2005)
The only time I ever have an entire hour to devote to listening to this song is when I’m on tour. So it’s kind of a ritual for me. It’s good for drives when everyone else is asleep. Corrupted might be the heaviest band in the universe in my opinion.

Anything by Curren$y
This is a good way to start an early morning drive. Wake up, smoke up, gas up, ride out to the next city.


Slowdive–Souvlaki (1993)
I really like the atmosphere of this record. Super depressed and spaced out.


Anything by Crowbar 2005 and earlier
No one knows pain like Kirk.


Mournful Congregation–The Book Of Kings (2011)
So crushing and sad sounding. The songs are extremely well written and I haven’t put it down since they toured the U.S. in 2012.


Anything by the band In Disgust
The songs on their split with P.L.F. are devastating.

Spy’s picks:

Christopher Hitchens–God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything (2007)
Late at night after shows I don’t want to hear anything super loud and crazy. I’d rather listen to something informative that shares my beliefs and views on religion and politics.

George Carlin–You Are All Diseased (1999)
George Carlin is the motherfucking truth.

Jon’s picks:

True Widow–True Widow (2008)
I like this record because it’s really sad and really happy at the same time. Like touring.


Young Roddy–Good Sense 2 (2013)
This record is about the come up. And we’re on the come up.

Knelt Rote–Trespass (2012)
Because it is super fucking evil and super fucking amazing.

*Order a copy of Scorn here.

**Catch Primitive Man on tour on the following October dates:

13th – Kansas City, MO @ The Sandbox
14th – Madison, WI @ The Vault
15th – Pittsburgh, PA @ Gooski’s
16th – Philadelphia, PA @ The Millcreek Tavern
17th – NYC, NY @ TBA
18th – York, PA @ The Depot
19th – Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter
20th – Louisville, KY @ Haymarket Whiskey Bar
21st – St. Louis, MO @ TBA

***We update one Spotify playlist for each new Decibrity entry, so feel free to subscribe to that here.

Past entries include:

Scale The Summit
Mikael Stanne (Dark Tranquillity) (Part 1) (Part 2)
Mouth Of The Architect
Kings Destroy
Call of the Void
Saint Vitus Bar
Soilwork (Dirk Verbeuren) (Björn Strid)
Inter Arma
Helen Money
Misery Index
Ancient VVisdom
Holy Grail
Rotten Sound
Ancestors (Part 1) (Part 2)
Kowloon Walled City (Part 1) (Part 2)
Aaron Stainthorpe (My Dying Bride) (Part 1) (Part 2)
Early Graves
All That Remains
Bison B.C.
A Life Once Lost
Fight Amp
Witchcraft (Ola Henriksson) (Magnus Pelander)
Vision of Disorder
Anders Nyström (Katatonia) (Part 1) (Part 2)
“Best of” Rush (Part 1) (Part 2)
Shadows Fall
Greg Mackintosh (Paradise Lost) (Part 1) (Part 2)
“Best of” Meshuggah
Barren Earth
Shane Embury (Napalm Death) (Part 1) (Part 2)

STREAMING: Vulture Industries “Lost Among Liars”

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, listen, videos On: Tuesday, September 10th, 2013


If you were to ask Vulture Industries’ main-brain Bjørnar Nilsen where inspiration comes from, he’d probably say this: “We draw inspiration from all over but tend to give each part a good kick in the side to bend it a bit out of shape. If you draw a hexagon and put Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Devil Doll, ‘70s Alice Cooper, Mastodon and Screaming Jay Hawkins in each corner, you’d find us in the middle. (thanks Lords of Metal)”

Nick Cave and Mastodon in the same sentence? Screaming Jay Hawkins and ‘70s Alice Cooper also in the same sentence? Well, yes. Vulture Industries are Norwegian after all. And Norwegian “metal” acts have had a long history of doing things, well, the Norwegian way. They’re either strange as the night is long on the Winter Solstice or remarkably difficult to follow from a modern song construct perspective. That is to say, if you liked Arcturus, Solefald, Ved Buens Ende, Frantic Bleep, Madder Mortem, and a host of oddities calling Fjordland home, well, Vulture Industries should probably be on your target list.

After two full-lengths on label Dark Essence, the Vulture-dudes have jumped ship over to Season of Mist. A fitting home, really. Arcturus, Carnival in Coal, and host of oddbirds frantically pulling from genres disparate are now labelmates to Norway’s latest screwballs. Still onboard? Good. Check out this lyric video courtesy of Vulture Industries.

** Vulture Industries’ new album, The Tower, is out soon on Season of Mist. It’s available HERE for pre-order in lots of pretty colored—money green, white and black—vinyl, as a CD, and as a t-shirt. No combos though. Yet. You’ll have to play Killer Instinct to get the ultra-combos. Wait, where’d that come from? Let’s blame Nilsen for that non sequitur.

Empty Flowers Song Premiere/Track By Track

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: featured, listen, lists On: Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

empty flowers_band_2013

So Randy Larsen and Bernie Romanowski from long-running noisecore antiheroes Cable launched a new project a little while back called Empty Flowers to explore 90s-style smart, seething gut-punch post-hardcore. And the mix actually works! Really fucking well! The band’s debut, Six, created some impressive atmospheres and undercurrents, but the sophomore release Five sees Empty Flowers truly hitting its stride, finding the sweet spot between angular, dynamic riffs and rhythms — think Unwound, Slint, Hoover, etc — and a kind of old school Superchunk clanging pop sensibility. Add to this solid, diverse vocals that range from punk rock shouts to Guy Picciotto-esque abandon to — especially on the track “Car Fires” — a Geoff-Farina-not-Ralph-Macchio Karate-like brooding croon, and you’ve got a pretty damn compelling aural journey on your hands.

Check out our exclusive premiere of the song “The Water” along with a full album track-by-track elucidation below. Other samples are available at the Empty Flowers Bandcamp.


Christian McKenna/vocals: One of the last tunes written for the record. I like how the first part is pushed to its limit. We do not get together or practice very often. When we ran through some tunes in Randy’s basement before our first gig to open for the mighty Red Hare this past May everything sounded like dog crap. I just remember thinking, “So this is how it’s going to go down?” We opened the show with “Five” and when we hit that first transition I knew we were going to be okay. We ended up having a great time and Red Hare blew our minds.

“I Get to Know Its Name”