Tales From the Metalnomicon: Ian Christe of Bazillion Points

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: featured, interviews On: Friday, August 30th, 2013

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

Bazillion Points Books boasts such an absurdly badass catalog it is difficult at times to believe the publishing house actually exists outside the fantasies of discerning connoisseurs and devotees of underground rock and metal. But real it is, and they’ve now got five years worth of wicked literary manifestations to serve as irrefutable proof. Our comrades and partners over at Metal Sucks already marked the anniversary with an excellent and exhaustive interview of publisher Ian Christe, so the Metalnomicon chose instead to ask the author, Sirius XM radio personality, and all around heavy metal renaissance man to muster up a Bazillion Points soundtrack. As you will see below, Christe knocked it out of the park…

Hello! If after repeat listening you discover that this playlist suits you, you’ll be qualified to spend the morning heaving heavy boxes of books at the Bazillion Points HQ. We have worn ruts in a lot of records working around the clock for the last five years!

HELLHAMMER — “Messiah”

This morning, the rooster crows, the purple cloud passes, and “Messiah” rips open a new day. Tom Gabriel Fischer came to me with ONLY DEATH IS REAL: An Illustrated History of Hellhammer and Early Celtic Frost nearly one hundred percent complete. He didn’t just have an idea or a couple cool stories — he had wrung himself out for years already writing the book. Jesus, what a powerhouse that man is. He’s also prone to saying profound things. Once he told me, and I’m paraphrasing as best as I can remember: “I didn’t choose this path. I didn’t choose to be ridiculed and faced with great difficulty. It chose me. It was the only option available, it was all I had, there was no other alternative.” Must be nice to have everything you do and say mean something!

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AC/DC — “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll)”

BREWTAL TRUTH: Drink This Now!

By: adem Posted in: featured, liver failure On: Friday, August 30th, 2013

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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.

Most people associate well-hopped beers with IPAs or maybe an American pale ale (APA), but bodacious amounts of aromatic hops are being used in many different styles—from imperial stouts to hefty lagers. Typically aromatic hops are used in New World-style beers. All beers typically have some hops, but it’s those show-off aromatic hops that provide all the crazy fruity/spicy/foresty notes. Beers are brewed with them primarily to bring out these characteristics, and secondarily for their bittering ability. Thus they can add interesting characteristics to practically any style of beer, as long as whatever they have to offer enhances the beer. Brewers have been playing a bit with adding copious amounts of these aromatic hops to Belgian styles that typically have little hop presence. Some are called “Belgian IPAs” while others are called “White IPAs,” depending on what style of Belgian beer is being given the IPA treatment. Stone took a different approach with their Cali-Belgique IPA. They basically brewed their Stone IPA (which, like all Stone beers, is aggressively hopped) with a Belgian Yeast and dry-hopped it with a slightly different hop variety. Would it turn out like Belgian’s alt-metal wannabes Channel Zero, a quartet who proudly import American douche-culture to their home country? Read on.

CALI-BELGIQUE
Belgian IPA
Stone
Escondido, CA
6.9% ABV

As noted above, the thing that makes this “Belgique” (or Belgian) is the use of a Belgian yeast to brew it. There are many different kinds of Belgian yeasts but most impart some rather bold, spicy/funky notes. One sniff of this brew and you can immediately identify the telltale aromas. This doesn’t smell like a typical West Coast IPA. Hell, it doesn’t smell like any IPA, where the aromatic hops generally get center stage. Here, they share the spotlight, but are definitely present. This rich orangey-yellow brew is crystal clear and has bright citrus, mandarin and stone fruit notes mingling with the yeast aromas. It smells refreshing and exotic.

We’ve had other Belgian IPAs and frequently it has been a Belgian-styled beer (which are typically on the sweet side) mega-hopped with aromatic hops, so you get something like a hoppy version of Duvel. Which is great, but also a little on the sweet side. This, on the other hand, drinks like a true IPA, which is dry, crisp and refreshing. The Belgian yeast Stone used apparently is renown for brewing quite dry beers and it works here perfectly. You get a hint of fruity sweetness up front—with notes of pineapple and lemon—yet it finishes remarkably dry and bitter (but not too bitter). The net result is a hefty, flavorful beer that refreshes and drinks like a brew half it’s size.

The IPA is a British invention, but this brew is so far afield from the style devised in the late nineteenth century that it’s barely recognizable as a distant relative. The English brewers who hopped-up their pale ales did so to prevent spoilage on the long journeys to colonial India, but now hops are used to spice up practically every style out there. Even typically modestly hopped Belgian brews. Which makes us think of this grindcore blast from Leng Tch’e which features a guest spot from Napalm Death vocalist Barney Greenway—it’s a little Belgian, a little English. Definitely drink this now, while the last hot days of summer remain.

Subscribe to Decibel for an exclusive GODFLESH flexi disc

By: mr ed Posted in: featured, flexi disc On: Friday, August 30th, 2013

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Let’s just cut to the chase, people: Godflesh are back, and we’re bringing you their first new recording in 12 years!

Justin Broadrick’s seminal progressive industrial outfit has chosen the Decibel Flexi Series to relaunch. And they do so in a big way with a corrosive, crushing cover of Slaughter’s “F.O.D. (Fuck of Death).” Don’t worry: We’re not talking the glam metal posers, but Toronto’s proto-death metal heroes of the mid-’80s. In keeping with Godflesh’s stark and menacing aesthetic, “F.O.D.” arrives on black-on-white plastic. It will not appear on the Birmingham boys’ forthcoming new LP (!), which should arrive sometime in 2014.

Subscribe to Decibel by 9 a.m. EST on Tuesday, September 3 to ensure that you’ll receive this important new chapter in Godflesh’s vaunted history. Current subscribers will also receive this flexi disc.

German Death Dealers Abyssous – Hear Here!

By: Dan Lake Posted in: featured, interviews, listen On: Friday, August 30th, 2013

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We got an earful of Abyssous recently when we browsed through some recent promos for a bit of quick, juicy entertainment.  Admittedly, it was the band name that drew us in… but it was the gristly death metal within that kept our attention pinned.  Originally a demo from last year (in a slightly shorter form), …Smouldering sees a vinyl release from Iron Bonehead on the 1st of October.  The band keeps it crusty, black ‘n’ doomy.  They’re not changing the game, but they are making every minute of that game a whole lot of fun.  Don’t bang your head – I dare you.

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Abyssous let us in on their process a little bit, so here we pass it on to you.  Check out the song “Exanimation Rite” and find yourself enrolling in the old school yet once again!

Two of Abyssous’s members play in Heretic.  How does the approach differ between the two bands?

The workflow within Abyssous is like a classic band working together on the songs. The material for Heretic is written by Jonty Lava and then arranged by the whole band. Both ways work just fine. It’s not possible for us to give 200% to each band at the same time, so the focus alternates.

From where do you draw your infernal inspiration for riffs, lyrics, album art, etc?

The riffing and lyrics are much influenced by the different moods old death metal can create but also from ancient stories, morbid dreams, mythology and nameless horrors. The album art got a really evil lovecraftian edge and totally reflects what the new songs are about.

How do the shorter, moodier tracks like “Entering the Cave”, “Profaning Intrusion of…” and “Abscondence” come together?

Jonty writes and records these on his own and most of the sounds are actually done with guitars. These pieces emphasize and extend the whole atmosphere of the songs. They are as much essential for the whole record like the actual tracks.

How much have you played this music live?  How have those experiences been?

We had the opportunity to play great gigs along with great bands like Asphyx, Sadistic Intent, Portal and more… So until now it has been a really awesome and crushing time for us.

How would you characterize the recording process for …Smouldering?

Well, it was lot of hard work but very exciting and the result is just what we aimed for. Everything we can, we do on our own such as engineering and mixing.

Are there any of these songs you feel most proud of, or most attached to?

The new material in addition to the demo, brings it to the point what we are currently heading for with Abyssous. The new songs are always the most exciting ones.

What does Abyssous have planned for the future?

More and more gigs! At one of our next gigs we will support the great Master, this will be another lethal eve for us! We are also writing new material for a future release.

Coffinfeeder Distro. They Distro Stuff. And Release Stuff, Too.

By: kevin.stewart-panko Posted in: featured, uncategorized On: Thursday, August 29th, 2013

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I usually try to keep up with current events and what’s going on in the world, but admittedly, I have very little clue what the hell is going on in Turkey. Well, let me step back a bit; I know what’s going on in Turkey – it’s hard to ignore images of mass demonstrations, military/police heavy-handedness, blood-stained streets and tear-gas stained air – but I don’t have a real understanding as to why what’s going is going on. It would appear that the original protest/sit-in to prevent the destruction of a park in Istanbul was the straw that not only broke the camel’s back, but shattered it in a hundred pieces. What does any of this have to do with metal? Well, as Turks fight against their government against reported freedom of speech/press/etc. clampdowns, they might as well be fighting for individuals like Ozgur Altinkatnak and his Coffinfeeder Distro/Label.

Historically, any time there’s been a governmental reining in of freedom and/or a nation’s drastic shift to the right on the political spectrum, one of the first things that get singled out and clipped at the knees are the arts. Think the PMRC of the Ronnie Reagan-era if you think “democracies” are immune. Coffinfeeder is a fairly new multi-limbed beast that includes distribution of a variety of label’s music and merch throughout Turkey, a half-sized zine that has previously been featured in Decibel‘s Zine Police column and a label that releases and licenses stuff, including, according to their website, recently becoming Nuclear Blast’s Turkish distributor. With the idea of territory meaning less and less with time in the digital age, I’m not really sure what this means in the grand scheme of things and Altinkatnik’s English is about as good as my Turkish (hence, the lack of explanatory interview here), but dude sent me a few of his latest releases (and co-releases) and I figured I’d throw a mention to him and the results of his hard work.

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ANTISEPTIC/NSOA - RETROPOCALYPSE SPLIT 7″
Damn, there way too many Antiseptics in the world and by description, most of them seem to play hardcore/punk. This particular Antiseptic is super gruff and ruff around the edges; sort of like what Paint it Black might sound like if they were bipolar bikers. Pretty furious stuff. New Society of Anarchists have been around for what seems like forever and play their balls off in a style similar to all branches of classic NYHC. In fact, I thought they were Noo Yawkers, just from they way they sounded, but are actually from Milwaukee. There’s a heavy Sick of it All feel to what they do, and they do it well enough that you might even put down your SioA albums for a minute.

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HECATOMBFACE THE LIVE CHAOS DVD
This Turkish death metal outfit has been around since the late 90s and has a handful of releases to their name and credit. It’s death done the classic way, a la Morbid Angel and Cannibal Corpse and caught live and in the rotting flesh for the purposes of this DVD release. Recorded in late 2012 at a show/fest in celebration of the first birthday of what appears to be a venue in the city of Izmir, Face the Live Chaos is edited as quickly as the music and strobe lights from source material captured by three or four stationary cameras. At first, it’s a pretty entertaining look at death metal seen though a different lens, but it quickly becomes clear that Hecatomb is happy sticking to formula.

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SATANIKA/REVENGE - SADISTIC PERVERSIONS SPLIT CD
This split release sees not-the-Revenge-you’re-thinking-of joining forces with Italians, Satanika for a rollicking fun time rooted in old-school thrash metal. Just to give you an idea where these bands are coming from, Satanika’s previous releases include the Metal Possession and Re-animate the 80s EPs and have more songs about witches, metal and various forms of sodomy than anyone I can remember off the top of my head. Revenge hail from Columbia, are one of the 70,000 bands in the world named Revenge and in a decade have amassed a huge number of releases. Plus, their lead off song of this split is called “Metal Rules My Life.” You can’t bottle this sort of love and determination; neither can you listen to it very much without thinking you’ve heard it all before. Both bands have contributed to a fun CD, but for the same reason you don’t listen to the same comedy albums over and over, you probably won’t be listening to this over and over.

Coffinfeeder on the interhole: here and here

Decibrity Playlist: Exhumed

By: zach.smith Posted in: featured, interviews, listen, lists On: Thursday, August 29th, 2013

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Matt Harvey is a fan of the San Francisco Giants. He shares the name of the NL East’s pitcher of the future (for the record, I wrote this before his injury and really meant it) who happens to play for a certain NY-based franchise. He also really likes Metallica. Some of us here may hold those first two items against most people, but most people aren’t Matt Harvey, guitarist/vocalist for Exhumed. After all, not only did the group he founded nearly a quarter-century ago just put out its second post-hiatus record, Necrocracy (which Daniel Lake raved about in our latest issue), but (a) the band’s last record, All Guts, No Glory, was one of our top records of 2011 and (b) Harvey and company recently did us the kind favor of recording an exclusive track for our flexi series. You know what else we won’t hold against Harv? An unthemed playlist. Despite the varied taste and sometimes surprising picks you’ll read about below, his compilation of stuff he digs still gels together quite nicely…even if Exhumed needs to hire drivers with slightly more diverse listening habits.

Feel free to listen along here and, while you’re at it, pick up a copy of Necrocracy here.

Iron Maiden–Maiden Japan EP (1981)
Our European driver is probably the biggest Soulfly/Sepultura/Max Cavalera fan I’ve ever seen. After a few days, we realized that we were going to have to commandeer the stereo unless we wanted to hear Soulfly most of the day, every day. I loaded up a thumb drive with a bunch of stuff, but this was the album on there that got me the most pumped–vintage Maiden at its most energetic and primal.

Hammock–Departure Songs (2012)
This is what I put on my headphones when I want the world and more importantly my hangover to go away. The sweetest and gentle soundscapes out there move quietly through my brain and lull me to sleep with a peaceful smile on my ugly, unwashed face. This is probably the least metal thing you could possibly listen to, it’s music with no rough edges whatsoever.

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Teething/Ravage Ritual–Split 12″ (2013)
We did two shows in Spain with Teething and they blew me away with their powerful brand of grind/powerviolence. The b-side features Finland’s Ravage Ritual, which was a nice find–grind with a hint of thrash and heavier stuff as opposed to Teething’s unbridled, HM-2 fueled savagery.

Tokyo Blade–Midnight Rendezvous (1984)
Anyone that knows me well knows that you’re much more likely to hear Tygers of Pan Tang playing at my house than Regurgitate, and TB is one of my current faves from the much-ballyhooed NWOBHM. Great riffs, big choruses and hilarious spandex trousers equals a great fucking record that’s catchy and intense.

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Various Artists–Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965-1968
I love garage rock and psychedelic stuff, and this compilation (as well as the Buffalo Springfield Best of) was in heavy rotation for me. With so many classic tracks, from Count Five’s “Psychotic Reaction” to Love’s “7 and 7 Is”, to my personal favorite, “I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)” by The Electric Prunes, this box set is the ultimate primer to the underbelly of the ’60s. The Seeds, Max Frost and the Troopers and The Amboy Dukes are just the tip of the iceberg of what’s offered on this amazing compilation.

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The Cure–Join The Dots: B-Sides And Rarities 1978-2001 (The Fiction Years) (2004)
Bands in the ’80s put out a ton of singles, and with those singles came b-sides. The Cure’s early b-Sides were just as good as their album tracks, and Japanese Whispers is included in this awesome box set. It isn’t until the Wish era (halfway through disc three) when the b-side quality starts to get spotty. A lot of this material is surprisingly whimsical and fun, from the taut, energetic “Another Journey By Train” to the calliope-esque chords in “Sugar Girl,” but my favorite track is the chiming, lovelorn “Just One Kiss”. There’s definitely some chaff to be culled, but this is a collection of stuff from ’78-’01, so that’s pretty understandable.

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Leonard Cohen–Songs From A Room (1969)
When you’re world weary, drunk and homesick, and you’ve already played all your Neil Young and Johnny Cash records to death, you move on to Leonard Cohen. Pretty dark stuff, but not in a trite weepy way, more in a world-weary, seen-too-much, drank-too-much kind of way. These quiet songs and that baritone punctuate the futility of your wasted and meaningless existence. Good stuff.

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Chicago–Greatest Hits 1982-1989 (1989)
[Bassist] Bud [Burke] and I are suckers for a great ’80s pop song. Bud’s favorite is Hall & Oates and mine is the over-produced, super-slick ’80s hits of Chicago and Peter Cetera. When I’m extremely intoxicated, I live to blast “Hard Habit To Break” and loudly point out the intricate web of key changes, tension building chords and minor 4 chords in major progressions that make this a textbook example of excellent songcraft. I’m sure the other guys have heard this drunken rant dozens of times.

*Order a copy of Necrocracy here.

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

Past entries include:

Ulcerate
Pelican
Scale The Summit
Mikael Stanne (Dark Tranquillity) (Part 1) (Part 2)
Mouth Of The Architect
Howl
Kings Destroy
Zozobra
Call of the Void
Saint Vitus Bar
Coliseum
Woe
Anciients
Soilwork (Dirk Verbeuren) (Björn Strid)
Intronaut
BATILLUS
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
Grave
Anders Nyström (Katatonia) (Part 1) (Part 2)
“Best of” Rush (Part 1) (Part 2)
Dawnbringer
Ufomammut
Shadows Fall
Horseback
Greg Mackintosh (Paradise Lost) (Part 1) (Part 2)
Torche
“Best of” Meshuggah
Astra
Pallbearer
Barren Earth
Shane Embury (Napalm Death) (Part 1) (Part 2)

Decibel Premiere: A Pale Horse Named Death video

By: justin.m.norton Posted in: featured, videos On: Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

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Throughout the summer, we walked readers through the making of the new A Pale Horse Named Death video in the blog series “A Glimpse Behind The Horse.” Today, we’re premiering the video exclusively on the Deciblog.

Watch the video for “DMSLT” below and then let us know what you think.

On the importance of “vintage stage antics” for a thriving metal subculture by Robin Staps (The Ocean)

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, gnarly one-offs, justify your shitty scene On: Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

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As some of you may have noticed, there has recently been an explosive, blown-up debate about (the lack of) stage diving on this year’s Summer Slaughter tour between us, Summer Slaughter, and the fans. Apart from all the useless “you better book ‘baby corpse deep throat massacre’ next year, this tour is not metal anymore” rubbish, some commenters have made some very legit points, and I would like to add a few thoughts here.

Do we rely on “vintage stage antics”, as Summer Slaughter Tour Creator Ash Avildsen has called stage diving, in order to get the point in our music across? No we don’t, and despite some venues’ rigid security policies, we have been enjoying this tour a lot. However, there is more to it then leaping into the crowd to impress teenage girls. A strict code of conduct for stage behavior essentially compromises the interaction between band and crowd, and the experience for fans that pay to see a show, as well as for us as musicians. Metal or hardcore shows with a high security prison atmosphere can no longer be the intimate experience that they are meant to be. All the bands on this tour belong close to the crowd, and sometimes in the crowd. This is a gesture that builds bridges, and that’s what sets us all apart from mainstream artists on huge stages, where the distance and the height of the stage becomes symbolic for a hierarchy between artist and crowd: the artist puts himself above the crowd, away from the crowd… like an untouchable deity that is being idolized by those who look up to him, literally and figuratively. While shows of a certain size essentially come with bigger and higher stages, this idolization is what we strive to avoid, through close and intimate interaction with the fans. This is why we meet people, to trade booze and food for merch, this is why we stay with fans, and this is also why we stage dive. As one commenter has put it: “At least the ocean and bands like them lower themselves and treat their fans like friends. Rowdy dysfunctional friends. It connects a crowd more than it ever separates. Isn’t that what music is all about?”

With this whole discussion, what I find lacking most of the time is a bit of common sense. Artists obviously don’t want anyone to get hurt, but there will always be a potential risk involved when a crowd gathers to watch a band play, gets excited, and starts moving to their music—just as there is a potential risk involved with playing football, or doing any kind of sport, really. And in the end, that’s what a metal show is, both for the band as well as for the majority of the audience: a sporting event, a sweaty work out. And much like football players are aware of the potential risk of twisting their ankles or getting bruises while diving after the ball, fans in the first few rows of a metal show are aware of the fact that there may be dancing, stage diving or crowd surfing, and of the potential risk of injury involved with these activities. In the internet age everyone knows that, even people who have never been to a metal show before in their lives.

At the heart of the recent security paranoia lies the case of Randy Blythe, which has become the September 11th of the metal scene. In its wake, we are seeing a drastic tightening of security policies at shows across the globe, and especially in America. And much like the Patriot Act, a result of September 11th, with it has come a massive infringement of civil liberties that has affected our society and changed our lives in many ways, much like the way new security policies at metal shows affect the practice of our subculture, and our freedom of artistic and emotional expression.

Randy’s case has become the horror scenario of professionals in the entertainment industry, who fear that this could reoccur at any moment unless a band’s and their fans’ modes of expression are strictly regulated and controlled. Venue owners and booking agents feel that there is an immediate need for action, and I can hear hysterical calls for drastic measures everywhere. Some venues are instructing their security staff to prevent certain antics at any cost. I have seen bouncers grabbing stage divers by their ankles, violently dragging them out of the pit and over the barricade, and I have seen people face plant on the floor in the ditch between stage and barricades in the meantime, because security staff was too busy escorting crowd surfers out of the building and kicking them out of the show. On the other hand, bands are being asked to sign waivers on certain tours here that forbid them to even TALK about moshing, stage diving or circle-pits. Bands get fined if they break these rules, or even kicked off tours. Fans are immediately banned from shows if they engage in activities that have been at the heart of this subculture since its inception.

While these new rules are there for a reason, it is up to us, the bands and artists of our time, to challenge and eventually break these rules—because in the end, isn’t that what punk rock and hardcore are all about? If I had been following rules and regulations and what other people consider to be good or bad for me for my entire life, I would have never gotten involved with punk rock or metal in the first place. My mom didn’t want me to go to punk rock shows, but I did it anyway, and found it to be an incredibly rewarding experience, stage-diving included. If punk rock can be summarized in a few words, then it is first and foremost about breaking rules, about finding our own way, about trusting our own judgment and deciding for ourselves what is good and bad for us, rather than letting authorities make decisions for us.

It is a matter of becoming mature. Kant defined enlightenment as “man’s emergence from his own self-imposed immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one’s understanding without guidance from another. This immaturity is self-imposed when its cause lies not in lack of understanding, but in lack of resolve and courage to use it without guidance from another”. In that regard, punk rock and all related heavy music subcultures are a form of self-enlightenment, and its motto has always been sapere aude!—use your goddamn brains!

If I was a schoolteacher in Utah, and if it was expected from me to not teach the theory of evolution in class—would I follow this rule, just because some Mormon idiot tells me to? No, I certainly would not. I’d break the rule and teach the theory of evolution, until I was reprimanded and expelled. Then I would move to another state and do the same thing there, because my own sense of reason is stronger than irrational rules and regulations.

Unfortunately, “moving to another state” is not an option here, in the case of the subject of this article. I love metal and hardcore, and I don’t want to have to move on to techno or merengue music due to the environment for living and executing our subculture becoming too oppressive. There is a lot at stake here, and this is why we, the musicians and artists of our time, need to stand up and fight for it. We carry this responsibility, and we are in a stronger position than our average fans to do something about it, because if they ban us from getting back on stage after stage-diving (this actually happened to me on this tour), the show is usually over. And no promoter wants that.

Ben Weinman told me a story the other day, about a girl who sued them a few years back for getting her neck hurt at a Dillinger show. She argued that she had never been to a Dillinger show before and was not aware of stage diving and such. She had to withdraw the claim after the Dillinger camp presented YouTube videos of 5 of her favorite bands (according to her MySpace profile) to the court, all of which showed evidence of stage diving, even by band members. The girl had seen those videos. As Ben put it: “Our case was that moshing and crowd surfing is part of our sub culture and a band or fan conducting themselves appropriately is completely determined by the norms within that culture. The bands she had admitted being a fan of and seeing live in concert were all, at least loosely, part of that subculture and were also known for this kind of conduct. In other words, if you are going to go stand in the middle of a ritualistic tribal ceremony in which people shit on each other, don’t get mad if you get shit on you. Stay home and watch it on the history channel instead.”

When you go scuba diving, you need to get a license, you are made aware of the risks involved and sign a waiver where you indemnify the company you book your dives with against any claims related to health-issues or injuries. Maybe this is what we need for metal heads that go to live shows as well, a general license to attend, which attests that the license holder is aware of the risks involved, that he will NOT sue the venue, or the band, if he gets injured. If that gives us the freedom to behave as we like and as we always have, I would be in full favor of it. But do we really need this?

Another commenter on Facebook mentioned that these no stage diving rules were perfectly legit and understandable, because of course people would sue the venues and bands if they got hurt at a show—just like parents would sue the parents of their own kids’ best friend, if their kid got hurt at the other parents’ houswe…

This attitude makes me angry. It is the paradigm example of a skewed way of thinking: it’s the same logic that allows you to sue McDonald’s for making you fat. A logic that neglects choice, a logic that degrades and flouts human intellect and reduces us to sheep that have to be fenced in order to thrive. Do we really want to raise our children without any exposure to potential threats and dangers, in a perfectly sheltered, brave new world? Then we need to reduce their metal experience to watching videos on YouTube, because we will never be able to eliminate all potential risks at a metal show, where crowds gather to be MOVED by music. People will eventually get hurt in high-energy scenarios, whether that is a metal concert, or a sports event, and that is tragic… but the only alternative is a culture completely devoid of fun, freedom, excitement and drama. As Kurt Schwitters put it: “There is not enough tragedy in human existence“. These days, more true than ever.

Let me finish on a positive note, with a comment by an attendee of the Detroit run of Summer Slaughter: “Summer Slaughter was my 10 year olds’ first concert @ The Majestic in Detroit. The Ocean’s lead singer pulled him onstage, and he dove off. No worse for the wear… And he hasn’t stopped talking about it since.

** Visit, LIKE, and yell at The Ocean on Facebook by clicking HERE.

** The Ocean’s Pelagial is out now on Metal Blade Records. It’s available HERE. If you’re wondering what Pelagial means but don’t want to spend time looking up the definition we did that for you. Click here.

EXCLUSIVE: Archive interview with Jeff Hanneman

By: Jeff Treppel Posted in: featured, interviews, listen On: Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

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Sometimes a little cleaning can unearth big finds. During my latest attempt at restoring some order to the house of CDs I live in, I came across a stack of old CDR’s that contained the archives of my old radio show, Hellraiser’s Ball, at USC’s student run radio station, KSCR (1560 AM!). One of those discs was labeled “Jeff Hanneman interview.” I had been assigned the interview by a magazine that I wrote for at the time, Worldly Remains, which never paid me and then vanished from the face of the earth forever. This was done in summer 2003, before the release of the War at the Warfield DVD. I was the ripe old age of 20, and not super experienced with band interviews, so it’s… Rough. Not super insightful, shall we say. I like to think I’ve gotten better at interviews since then (and know a hell of a lot more about Slayer), but my editors can probably attest otherwise. At any rate, it’s worth listening to just to hear how patient he was with awkward me asking him questions he’d heard 1000 times before, and to get a sense of his legendary sense of humor. I no longer have the transcription I made at the time (and I’m sure not doing it again), but I thought I would share the audio just to make the record of the late, great Slayer guitarist’s time on this earth a little more complete.

 

Cobalt’s Phil McSorley moves on to the hateful underworld of Recluse

By: dB_admin Posted in: featured, gnarly one-offs, interviews On: Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

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by Kim Kelly

Phil McSorley has no interest in talking about Cobalt, and would appreciate it if people would stop fucking asking him about their recording plans. His frustration is understandable, given that he’s just weeks away from the release of his pet project’s first demo and he’s still being bombarded by questions about his flashier MDF-approved collaboration with Erik Wunder. The new material McSorley’s been working on has little to nothing in common with Cobalt; hell, it’s more Vlad Tepes than anything. Recluse represents the all-consuming misanthropy of black metal’s best-known drill sergeant, and, save for bass tracks recorded by Loss’s Mike Meacham (who also spearheads Graceless Recordings), it’s entirely McSorley’s doing. As he says, it’s not for wimps.

Up until this past Tuesday, only one Recluse song had surfaced. Posted to YouTube a few months back, “No Way Out” is a death march of a song, coldly melodic and lashed to a shambling, measured pace culled straight from a 1996 Belketre demo. McSorley’s vocals are an amoral groan rattling deep within his throat, choking on their own vitriol and disgust, and the raw production serves to amplify, not obscure.

Another song, “Erect Holy Strangulation,” was just posted here, and it’s a doozy. We had a nice cozy chat with McSorley about his wretched new brainchild below.

You’ve kept Recluse largely under wraps up until recently. Why take such a low-key approach?
McSorley: I am doing it this way because this is not music for the casual listener. I don’t expect many to identify with Recluse because people are inherently cowards, and their ears are accustomed to more liberal sounds. Recluse is the music of repulsive violence without compromise.

You’ve said that people who like Cobalt won’t like this.
McSorley: Cobalt has nothing to do with Recluse. Recluse is a self-aggrandizing exercise in violence towards the repulsive cowards and sheep that comprise humanity. I have always been the pointed tip of Cobalt, bringing the danger and violence to the band. Erik Wunder is very talented, and we work well together, but Cobalt will never capture the hate I feel for people musically like Recluse.

Besides the obvious LLN worship, what other sounds or subjects influenced the creation of this first demo?
McSorley: Recluse has been compared a lot to LLN bands, though this wasn’t intentional. I am fine with the comparison if it is made by people educated about their words. I’m not going to run off a list of bands that I take influence from. Those who understand the feeling of hate that I put into this music already know what my influences must be. As for subjects that create this feeling, there is only the genetically coded hate I have for nearly every person I meet.

How long has the concept for Recluse existed, and when did you first start writing material? What do you tackle in the lyrics? “No Way Out” seems like it could have a variety of meanings, given your background.
McSorley: I have been writing for this project for a few years in between other commitments. This year I decided to give this disgusting feeling a name. The lyrics are about decimation, profaning the saints of Jehovah/Muhammad, war, isolationism and hate for mankind. “No Way Out” is lyrically concerned with the frightening solitude of death, taken from the perspective of an extreme misanthrope who revels in centuries of silence.

What was the recording process like? I know that you’ve generally got fuck-all free time to start with, and now with you in Georgia and Meacham in Nashville, even the comparatively short distance must have been a pain in the ass.
McSorley: The recording process was completed by me, minus the bass. Mike Meacham recorded the bass on this demo, and will probably continue to contribute his negative energy to Recluse. The mixing was done by Zack Allen of Obsidian Eye Studios. Both are completely understanding of the true goals of Recluse: to create hateful and violent black metal.

Graceless Recordings will be releasing the demo on tape. Why go for cassette? Do you have plans to release it on any other formats?
McSorley: Recluse is not for the idling listener. I am not opposed to any other formats, but I believe that a demo should be released on cassette. It’s not my problem if people don’t have a cassette player.

What are your goals for this project? Will you continue creating music under its banner, or was this a one-off?
McSorley: Recluse will continue to record and release records on its own terms. If only 30 people in the world get a Recluse tape and understand and relate to the message, it will change nothing for me. Integrity is a relic of years gone by in metal. I want nothing to do with its money-grubbing, perfect production-humping, and contract-peddling bullshit. You are all fucking scum.

What newer bands should those who dig Recluse look out for?
McSorley: People should listen to whatever moves them and stay the fuck away from things they know nothing about. For those who feel as I feel, the amazing Canadian project Gevurah comes with the highest recommendation.