INTERVIEW: Author Dayal Patterson on Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult

By: jonathan.horsley Posted in: featured, interviews On: Monday, May 13th, 2013


A couple of weeks ago we told you that UK writer Dayal Patterson had finished off a 600-page history of black metal, Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult, a book that aimed to peel the corpsepaint off black metal’s sensationalist public image and look at how it started and how it got to where it is today. Evolution of the Cult is now available for pre-order here at a discounted price. Well here’s author Dayal on what it’s like trying to piece together the scene’s chaotic history without sexing up the controversy and focusing on the music.

Firstly, here’s something to set the mood . . .

STREAMING: Sight of Emptiness “Paradox”

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, interviews, listen On: Monday, May 13th, 2013


Sight of Emptiness are the first melodic death metal act from Costa Rica. The six-piece are currently shopping their recently completed album, Instincts, to interested labels. Guest appearances include Christian Älvestam (AtomaA, Miseration), Glen Drover (Megadeth), Ralph Santolla (ex-Deicide, ex-Obituary), Ole Halvard Sveen (Lengsel), Whitfield Crane (Ugly Kid Joe), and the Costa Rican Minister of Culture, Manuel Obregón.

Introduce Sight of Emptiness to the world, please.
SoE: At the very beginning (2005), there was just Eduardo on vocals and Rod on drums making plans and coming up with a suitable name for the project. It all started as the first ever melodic death metal band in our country, influenced mostly by European bands. We evolve with every following release and lineup change to a sound that we consider our own. Rafael (guitar) and Esteban (bass) entered to write and release the second record (Absolution of Humanity – 2010) and finally, Andrés (guitar) & Gabriel (electronics) are the newest addition to the band. We all gave our best to write our 3rd and soon to be release new album Instincts. So far, we have been able to play in all sorts of venues and events in our homeland, anything from bars, small clubs to big festivals, stadiums and sharing the stage with Megadeth, At The Gates, Amon Amarth, Accept, Obituary and Living Sacrifice. We also played in Europe, including Bloodstock Open Air UK in 2007 (main stage) and 2012. Other memorable dates include venues at UK, Iceland, Portugal, Spain, Honduras and Nicaragua, and we are really hungry for more.

All of your albums are self-released. Is that more necessity than label interest or is there a bit of uncertainty towards Costa Rican metal bands from metal labels?
SoE: I guess all of the above. We understand that currently there are no Costa Rican bands signed to a major international metal label, so there are no precedents whatsoever and we might be perceived as a gamble. With record sales dropping in the digital era it is understandable how labels have to be hesitant, so we´ll just keep working harder and harder, because we are aware that we still have a lot to prove. We remain very positive, believing that some of them may come to realize the true value of this band when they clear their minds of any pre conceived notions, and give a fair chance to this new album, and let their ears find out the potential that a top Swedish producer and very well-known singers and guitar players from U.S., Sweden and Norway already felt on these new songs. This album has a 100 percent professional production and it was financed with great sacrifice by us, thanks to the unexpected great sales of the previous two albums, merchandise and tickets to our shows, so we can’t help but wonder what would happen to this new album with the right label handling promotion and distribution. We are sure that even Sepultura struggled more than other bands just for being from Brazil at the beginning, but they were able to prove to right the A&R who signed them and after that their uncommon nationality for a metal band became a very positive thing.


Tell us about “Paradox.” Sounds more developed than your previous material.
SoE: The evolution of “Paradox” and the rest of the songs on our new album are the result of bringing on board an experienced Swedish producer (Thomas “Plec” Johansson) to take this to a new level. On the second album, we started to stretch our boundaries and add everyone’s influences. Now on our third album Instincts, with the current lineup, we decided not to care about genres and just focus on quality songwriting more than ever to find our musical personality. We are still a metal band and always will be, but we will leave tags and genres for music critics.

I hear the Costa Rican Minister of Culture, Manuel Obregón, plays on it. How’d you get Mr. Obregón involved?
SoE: The piano and Marimba you hear at the end was his contribution to this song. It all started at the backstage of a festival we played in early 2012 that included rock, funk, salsa, and pop bands. We were the only metal act and after our set he came to congratulate us. The best thing was that he proved to be really open-minded and admitted not knowing or understanding much about metal, but when he saw us play he perceived great musicianship and energy. We were so honored and humbled by his words that we kept in touch after that and when the invitation came, he accepted. There’s a beautiful Central American ethnic rhythm known as Tambito, and we decided to include it in “Paradox,” for it was one of the very first songs to be written for this album. It was an amazing and satisfying experience to get to play and record with him. Words can’t describe how pleased we are with the outcome.

When does the new full-length drop? How can metalheads get it?
SoE: The master of the album is ready, as well as the artwork; we are working on two new professional videos as we speak and on lots of other cool stuff to make sure we can deliver a great product to everybody interested in checking out a hard working band with a unique and solid sound, that doesn’t follow any trends or is afraid to experiment with different sounds. Get in touch with us if you are interested in releasing the album, signing the band, or booking shows. You won’t regret it. We won’t let you down. Anyways, if we don’t hear from anybody in a certain period of time, we would go ahead as usual and release it ourselves as professional as we can and make sure to cover the whole word through our official store on

** Sight of Emptiness’ new album, Instincts, is out soon via the band’s own distro channels if they don’t get a label deal. It’ll be available HERE shortly in such an event.

** Visit and LIKE Sight of Emptiness on Facebook. Click HERE.

Tales From the Metalnomicon: Marc Ciccarone of Blood Bound Books

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: featured, lists On: Friday, May 10th, 2013


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

Blood Bound Books first came to the Metalnomicon’s attention via Rock ‘N’ Roll is Dead: Dark Tales Inspired by Music — an exquisitely depraved, cleverly devised anthology which is not only dedicated to the immortal Ronnie James Dio, but also opens with a story based on one of the man’s greatest anthems, “The Last in Line” (!) Turns out the collection isn’t the only thing the gore-festooned underground publishing house has done right, either: Fans of hyper-charged, boundary-pushing extreme literature will find much to sate their fiendish appetites in releases such as American Guignol, Scarecrow, D.O.A. Extreme Horror, Blood Rites, and the Night Terrors series.

We asked Blood Bound Books owner/stalwart Metal Militiaman Marc Ciccarone to provide us a little insight into how he came to interweave his dual passions so impressively, a request he graciously obliges below alongside a list of five origin stories for chapters from Rock ‘N’ Roll is Dead. So crank some Dio and read on…

Lying, dying, screaming in pain,
Begging, pleading, bullets drop like rain.
Minds explode, pain sheers through your brain,
Radical amputation, this is insane…

Pose Not, Lest Ye Be Windmilled: The 2013 dB Magazine Tour Starts TODAY

By: andrew Posted in: featured, the decibel magazine tour On: Friday, May 10th, 2013


Houston may well be home to one of the worst teams in Major League Baseball history this year, so we threw them a bone in the form of the first gig of the 2013 Decibel Magazine Tour. You know the score: Cannibal Corpse, Napalm Death and Immolation bring the death and grind thunder, Cretin, Magrudergrind and Beyond Creation rotate in the cleanup spot, and most cities have a righteous hand-picked opener.

That said, every city will have killer limited edition hoodies and shirts (see the pic above for a taste) for you to impress your recently paroled friends with. Faces will be melted, skulls fucked, in whatever order that makes sense.

Tickets here. Don’t fuck this up, and see you in the pit.

Throw Me a Frickin’ Label Hack: Buffalo, NY’s Theatre Nocturne

By: Dan Lake Posted in: featured, free, interviews, listen On: Friday, May 10th, 2013

TheatreNoct band

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.

Theatre Noct logo

Even extreme music, while supposedly existing on the frontier edge of what can be considered listenable, contains its own midrange spectrum and fringe populations.  That muddled middle holds little interest for me.  I much prefer the border dwellers – those hangers-on to triumphal melodicism on one end, and the dense, mangled auditory catastrophes on the other end.  New York newcomers Theatre Nocturne satisfy my need for the latter.  Percussion and riff speeds pile up around my head, barely registering before another wave crashes down atop the others.  Vocals… sweet bleeding goatballs, those vocals!  Please, someone, stop torturing him that way!  Or, wait… I mean, don’t stop!  It sounds great!

The band’s first release, an EP called Anhedonia, is full of unchecked violence that makes me frightened to go outside and terrified to stay in.  Get your fill right here on the Deciblog, or head over to their online homes at Facebook, SoundCloud, or Bandcamp.  But first, read up about what feeds their inner darkness and what we can expect from the band in the future.

Who are Theatre Nocturne?  How did the project start?

Theatre Nocturne is Erik Wagonblott and Kenny Zotara on guitars, Justin “Noodle” Herzog on bass, Justin Foley on vocals and Mike Paquette on drums.

Erik had the idea to start an absurd death metal band called Fleshpipe, so he recruited Kenny, Noodle and Mike.  Erik and Mike had played together in a previous project, and Ken had worked with Justin in the past so we asked him to join on vocals. After jamming together a few times we realized we had something good, albeit very different from what we had originally intended, and we decided to continue. We have been together since September of 2011.

The music on Anhedonia is heavily chaotic in terms of both speed and density.  What drives your performances to these levels?

As fans of horror we try to convey a dark atmosphere in our music, but also a sense of aggression. We are all natives to Buffalo, [NY] – a cold, dark, miserable place to live – so we take some inspiration from that as well. Metal by nature is not a spectator sport, the fans want to be involved, so we want to play music that gets the audience moving.  Ultimately, we are just writing the music that we ourselves would want to listen to.

How did the songs on the EP come together?

Erik brought the riffs for “To Visit My Flesh” to our first jam session and we all really liked it. That was the first song we completed as a band. From there everyone began contributing their own parts and piecing songs together in the same style. We found a good chemistry and just kept going. After recording the tracks in studio we felt they tied together well both musically and lyrically so we decided it was time to release them and show the world our music. Basically, these tracks completed the story we wanted to tell.

Is there any thematic thread running through the songs?

Justin: Lyrically, yes. One theme that governs my pen would be the Libertine mindset, which has ever since I began reading works by De Sade, Wilmot, etc… The sarcastic, unrestrained way of thought has always intrigued me and played an important part in my personal life. The lyrics to the  Anhedonia EP were written during a very down trodden part of my life and each song represents a major scene during that time. And by the end of the final track, to me, everything just feels still. With influences such as perversity, listless indulgence, and a metaphorical self-destruction, the ending stillness is like Prozac. I hope others can take away something personal from Theatre Nocturne as I have. 

Justin, where do those seriously wicked vocals come from?  Can you keep that up for any lengthy duration?

Justin: Thank you for the compliment. Vocals are just something I have been doing since early high school as sort of an outlet. And yes I can keep it up for a lengthy duration. On some of the new songs we’re working on I have been experimenting with longer, drawn out vocals in some parts. Hopefully everything will turn out sounding as decadently as ever.

Do Theatre Nocturne members have any other projects going on right now?

Erik currently plays guitar in a band called Ghost Sequence, picture Depeche Mode meets metal. Justin also has a solo ambient / soundscape project called The Dark Psyche.  Noodle and Mike have both played in rock bands in the past.

Theatre Nocturne is a relatively young project.  Do you have plans for the near (or more distant) future with the band?

Right now we have 4 new tracks done and are in the process of writing a few more. We are planning for another release later this year.  Long term we would like to take the project to a professional level, experience touring as a band, and of course continue writing for as long as we see fit.

Old-School Hardcore Thursdays with AC4. This week: Guilty of Killer Riffs

By: kevin.stewart-panko Posted in: featured, listen, uncategorized On: Thursday, May 9th, 2013

deciblog - ac4

As I continue on with part two of the three-part old-school hardcore Thursday feature with the dudes from Sweden’s AC 4 (check out part one here), this week I make the not-so-daring proclamation that hardcore is synonymous with Minor Threat. That’s about all I have to say, or should have to say. With that, we asked AC 4 bassist Christoffer Jonsson to list off his five favourite Minor Threat riffs.

1) “Straight Edge”: THE riff. All things considered, pretty much the ONLY hardcorepunk riff that anyone will ever need. It captures what hardcore is and should always be in only two chords played with the exact perfect flick of the wrist. And it’s also basically the same riff used in Poison Idea ”Give it Up”, Anti Cimex ”Game of the Arseholes”, The Shit Lickers ”Spräckta Snutskallar”, Agnostic Front ”Traitor” and AC4 ”Who’s the Enemy?”. There you go: five brilliant and timeless alcoholic bands in opposition to the drug free lifestyle.

2) “Filler”: The first note… Fuck me and marry me young.

3) “Out of step”

4) “Guilty of Being White”

5) “Bottled Violence”

Runner up, ’cause I’m an anarchist: “(I’m not your) Steppin’ Stone”: Not their song, no. But the greatest punk song ever that wasn’t intended as a punk song. Funny, that.

And, so you can do a little compare and contrast:

And in case you’re wondering what AC 4 themselves are all about, check out this little introductory video:

A Few Minutes With AC4 from A FEW MINUTES WITH on Vimeo.

Decibrity Playlist: Call Of The Void

By: zach.smith Posted in: featured, interviews, listen, lists On: Thursday, May 9th, 2013


When Call of the Void is not on the road (most recently in support of recently released Dragged Down A Dead End Path), guitarist Patrick Alberts returns to work and, as he describes it, deals with PTSD (“Post Tour Super Depression”). Having never been on tour, I can’t identify other than to say that his feelings still probably encapsulate those who endure the daily grind with no tour break in sight. We’ll let Alberts take it from here: “It doesn’t help that Colorado has amazing weather during the month April and being stuck inside working is not the greatest thing on Earth. That being said, there can’t be good without evil, and working is what enables me to afford touring. Working isn’t so bad, but after three weeks of fun, work is the last place you want to be. I thought a personal twist would not be as banal as a top five, so sorry if this strays outside the format, but I was inspired by a famous Billy Madison quote: ‘I drew the duck blue because I’ve never seen a blue duck before and to be honest with ya, I wanted to see a blue duck.’”

Monday: Defeat

Buried At Sea’s “Migration (Part 1)” (from 2003′s Migration)
Besides Migration being one of the heaviest records ever made, it also happens to sound like the soundtrack to the end of the world, which is what it feels like heading to work on the first day being back from tour. From the opening strike of the Moog, the engine starts in my car and once my brain realizes I’m headed to work, all the lyrics turn into “NOOOOO, NOOOOOO, NOOOOOO”. Try screaming “NO” over the vocals, it works out nicely. Coincidentally, the track time for part one perfectly aligns with how long it takes me to get to work. I will take this moment to also tell Buried At Sea to make more records, damnit.

Tuesday: Uncertainty

NoMeansNo’s “It’s Catching Up” (from 1989′s Wrong)
I’ve been thinking about what the hell I’m going to have to deal with when I get back to work since the day we left. Currently my position at work is being terminated and I have to find a new one. Whatever decision I make, I feel I won’t be as satisfied as I am now. This is very unsettling. Time is catching up with me and it is time to make a decision and possibly take a pay cut or do something I’m uninterested in. Besides that, NoMeansNo kicks ass.


Wednesday: Acceptance/Fuck It, Good Times

Frank Zappa And The Mothers Of Invention’s “Sofa No. 1″ (from 1975′s One Size Fits All)
Humans have the great ability to adjust and cope in a very short amount of time–at this point any neurosis associated with work has subsided. Time to say fuck it and move along with the ebb and flow of the days. Cool story bro, anyways…Zappa has the ability to make some of the most enjoyable music in the world and the clarity of acceptance matches the feeling of the coolest Frank Zappa track ever recorded. We all need more Zappa in our lives.


Thursday: Is A Shitty Band

Goatsnake’s “Raw Curtains” (from 2000′s Burning Witch/Goatsnake split)
Cannibal Corpse’s “From Skin To Liquid” (from 1998′s Gallery Of Suicide)

By Thursday, everything is in check and work is now caught up. Also Thursday is the most worthless day of the week, what the fuck happens on Thursdays? Oh, you’re DJing tonight and I should come out? No. So what the fuck do you do when you have a desk job and your PR agent asks you to do a top five list? You fucking listen to every sweet song that you wish you wrote over and over again and fantasize that you are going to make the sweetest top five ever. Everything is better in twos and since each lack vocals, it only counts as one song…lay off dude.


Friday: Relief

Harvey Milk’s “I Just Want To Go Home” (from 2010′s A Small Turn Of Human Kindness)
Fuck yes, it’s Friday! The worst day, just kidding! It is only the worst day because the anticipation of the weekend makes time slow down so much that even Chris Brown would understand why you hate him for beating the shit out of Rhianna. Maybe it is just me, but the last few hours of the work shift are painfully slow and it is a struggle to stay there to get the full complete eight hours in without saying fuck it is only a few dollars. All I can think about is “I just want to go home.” Fortunately for me, Harvey Milk knew I was doing this blog post three years ago and aptly titled a song for my convenience. They couldn’t have written a song that could make me more antsy to leave work for the weekend.


*Order a copy of Dragged Down A Dead End Path here.

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

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)

On The Bus with Killing Joke’s Jaz Coleman

By: Posted in: featured, interviews, tours On: Wednesday, May 8th, 2013


Jaz Coleman is known for tackling big subjects in interviews: climate change; the degradation of the food supply; technological singularity and the Renaissance.

Spending some time with him in person — not in a Conga line of press interviews — is a much different proposition, even if he still hints at his scholarly pursuits. Decibel was lucky enough to get to spend an hour on the bus with Jaz prior to Killing Joke’s set last week in San Francisco and can confirm that he’s a gracious host.

On the menu for this coversation: friendship, food and fate. Coleman and Killing Joke later played an amazing career-spanning set featuring early songs like “Wardance” up to the recent “Corporate Elect.” Here’s portions of our conversation on the bus with a legend of alternative and extreme music.

Here you are, back in the States…

Killing Joke isn’t without its drama. My voice went completely at one point but it came back miraculously. It went when I had two shows to do in one day. I just mashed it with medication and we managed to get through it all. Which is good for me because I’ve never missed a show in 35 years. Then, we had stuff stolen from the van.

I think that was mentioned on Facebook.

It’s the first time people have stolen from us. We feel a little violated, to be honest. It’s shocking. They took Youth’s bag with everything in it – iPhone, iPad, credit cards, money. It was pretty horrible. But we march on. You need to keep looking for the good in people.

You mentioned voice problems. What have you been doing to keep your voice up?

There are no books on it. I sing every night. I don’t just do cookie monsters. Killing Joke is pitched and you need to scream in tune. One of my big secrets is to gargle with honey and cider vinegar and warm water. That’s gotten me out of all sorts of shit. Or just leave a kettle on and steam it. When we finish I’ll go to the gym and then steam it until about 10.

What’s your workout routine?

I try to do something every day. I do weights. I do 100 to 500 sit-ups and I run two miles. In 2006, I was almost twice the body weight you are looking at now. I was boozing and everything so I quit then. It’s taken time for me to get into warrior mode. I also box for a workout. The yoga thing doesn’t work for me. I need to hit something.

So, you are touring on the Singles Collection

Well, I’m always the last person to know this because I don’t use modern forms of communication unless it’s a land line. I don’t use computers as everyone knows. I knew a singles collection was coming out when I came on the tour. I wasn’t consulted. But that’s the way it goes with some things.

When you have so much to pluck from how do you pick a set?

From my perspective, Killing Joke has never been a singles band. We were forced into a singles market. They started by just taking one song off the album. But we’ve never been a radio friendly band; it was just the format we were brought up in. We love all of Killing Joke’s music but our hearts are always on the new thing. We know we can beat every album we’ve recorded on each new album.

What are your impressions of being on the road in America in 2013?

The thing that’s really different from three decades ago is that there is no rebellion left. People are just passive zombies. I’m sure the food supply has something to do with it. Thirty years ago, we played in Trafalgar Square to 200,000 people in an anti-nuclear demonstration. Now there’s eight new nuclear power stations being built in England. So many people are unemployed or heavily in debt. People seem worn down and there’s less traveling, just less money. The sad thing is there is much less of a community than when we started. And part of that might be modern forms of communication. If you walk down the street everyone is on their iPhones or in their own virtual world. It’s kind of a fragmented society.

And yet I’m actually recording this interview on my phone.

People have access now to amazing amounts of information, but their attention spans are getting shorter and their ability to focus is gone. A lot of the great thinkers couldn’t achieve what they did through a computer.

They say that most people on computers now won’t read much more than 200 words.

There’s so much going on the world, so much negativity. The most important thing is to try to see yourself as the answer. You lead the way. Don’t worry about other people. You need to be the answer. You lead and others will follow. People probably won’t wake up without a series of shocks.

I find this country has evolved into a heartless place. You wouldn’t dare say the word socialist here.

In some circles that’s probably as bad as being called a racist.

There you go. I dislike Karl Marx but I’m a collectivist. Look, this is how we keep this band together: we split everything equally. Take all the instruments away and Geordie, Big Paul and Youth are my dearest, closest brothers. They are closer to me than my own blood brother. That’s my value system. In the East, they cherish humans being more than properties or possessions.

What’s the secret to keeping your relationships going?

Just keep going and work. But work isn’t the way to describe what we do. How else would I meet my best mates if we weren’t touring or doing recordings? I feel so utterly blessed. It’s all by the grace of God, however you perceive he or she. If you would tell me in my teenage years that we’d be together in our 50s I probably would have believed you. We have interlocking interests outside of music.

There are some records here on the seat…

Youth is such a collector. During our last tour Youth bought so much stuff it looked like the room had been around 100 years. He needed crates to ship it back to the U.K. I just have three pairs of trousers including my stage clothes. So I don’t really have any possessions.

Do you pick up stuff on the road?

I tell people not to give me anything.

Are you seeing the same faces from the decades?

In Seattle, I saw some people I remember from back in 1981. We look at the passing of years together and we just laugh. The majority of the audience was born when we did the tenth album, whatever it was.

The album you did with Dave Grohl (self-titled) was ten years ago.

Well, the universe is speeding up. One of the advantages of that is that you can absorb so much more information.

Do you see yourself on the road in two decades?

(laughs) I wouldn’t take such liberties. I don’t think like that. I’m, just amazed and grateful that I’ve gotten this far. I’ve seen such incredible things and I’ve met the most incredible human beings. It’s been a real privilege and an inspiring life. But I don’t feel like I’ve done everything. There’s so much more I want to do. I don’t get my inspiration from other music. I get it from other people.

I think you are a lot less grumpy in person than after a day of phone interviews.

(laughs) When I do promotions I’m willing to do everything the album company will give me. I’ll do the smallest fanzine, for anyone who wants to interview me. It seems like it’s 600 interviews an album. Even though you get similar questions people do seem inspired to ask interesting things.

The first time I interviewed you, I definitely felt like I had to being my A game.

It’s funny how one is perceived, isn’t it? I might feel the same about you. I can see how Killing Joke has been seen as menacing in the past. But you couldn’t meet nicer, warmer, more open people. The mask is a different thing.

You’ve talked so much about healthy food but the reality is, here you are on the bus…

I try to eat salmon sashimi every day and then people tell me about the mercury I’m pumping into my body. It’s a real problem to get clean food. Processed, poison food is the only option at the moment. My biggest problem is sleeping.

Especially in a van.

I sleep great in these. The tour bus was the only home (Paul) Raven ever knew. If you asked me where the perfect place to die would be it would be one of these bunks.


Special Singles Collection bundles are still available.

Get in touch with Killing Joke

Get in touch with Jaz Coleman

EXCLUSIVE: Godflesh clip from Maryland Deathfest: The Movie III

By: jonathan.horsley Posted in: featured, videos On: Wednesday, May 8th, 2013


There’s no introductory preamble necessary for this clip from Maryland Deathfest: The Movie III. You all know that Maryland Deathfest is an obligatory pilgrimage for any self-respecting blastbeat-worshipping Decibangers. And Godflesh are, well Godflesh: The marriage of riff to machine, the sound of urban alienation, of a dead city collapsing in on itself, et cetera.

But here’s one anyway from director David Hall to set the scene:

“As the last band of MDF IX exited the stage, I started to hear the rumors. It was Sunday night at MDF IX, and Ghost (back then they didn’t carry the BC) had just finished entertaining a packed house with their first North American gig. And amidst the swishing robes of the unnamed ghouls came the whispers “Godflesh.” That’s how rabid MDF attendees are: after four days of 50 plus bands crammed up their cake holes they wanna know what’s in store for next year. You invariably hear personal wish-lists of bands to see and MDF faves, and “wouldn’t-it-be-amazing-ifs” but the name I kept hearing from reliable sources was “Godflesh.”

(I think it’s a testament to how much Ryan and Evan lock shit right the fuck down: they know who’s playing a good year in advance.)

Fast forward twelve months. MDF X. I’m standing in the Sonar again downing Maker’s Mark with Steve Austin in a hot-as-fuck Baltimore. I remember walking outside about half-an-hour before Godflesh were about to start and being shocked at how packed the crowd was. The bodies stretched from the front of the stage almost all the way back to the other stage across compound. It was a mass of sweaty, black shirted bodies. I did a quick check of the crew and then carved myself a spot to bear witness.

I don’t remember every song Godflesh played and I can’t remember how long they played for, but from the moment they started to the last squelched-out note of the set, I, and roughly 3000 other people, got lost inside the raw beauty, emotional sting and overall gravitas of Justin Broadrick’s music and words. Godflesh’s set was easily one of my favorite performances of the festival.

Huge props to the film and audio crew – I think they captured the moment perfectly.

*fun fact: if you watch closely you’ll see Steve Austin at the front of the stage losing his shit to the music accordingly.”

Godflesh “Streetcleaner” – live at MDF X, from Maryland Deathfest: The Movie III

**Maryland Deathfest: The Movie III can be ordered here for a miserly $13.00. Order before June 1st and receive a download link to the audio soundtrack and free shipping.**

Decibel’s Top 5 Doom Metal Logos

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, lists On: Wednesday, May 8th, 2013


5. Saint Vitus. Crosses galore on the second Vitus logo. Three of them. For the Trinity perhaps. The original SVS logo only had one. Three’s a crowd, we say. But this logo is boss. Looks a bit cheap and overdone at first blush, but the barbed letters? Could be heavy metal cliché. Nope. Crown of thorns symbolism. Crosses that dot the two “I” letters? Could be just crosses. Nope. Candle flames. The gigantic “V” with the cross in it? Sacred feminine cock block. We made the last bit up, but you never know. The logo’s still in use today.

4. Cathedral experimented with a few fonts before settling on this one. But it’s not the Celtic font alone that makes this one a winner. It’s the Celtic font AND mermaid crest. First on the In Memorium in 1990, the logo and crest combo reappeared on 1992’s Soul Sacrifice EP. Together, they harmonize something archaic, stately yet forlorn. Grace in decay. Cathedral continues to use this logo—though if you have the U.S. version of Supernatural Birth Machine you’ll get the band-disapproved ‘stoner rock’ logo—in various widths. They even updated it for The Last Spire album art. Not as cool as the original, but we still like the Cathedral logo because it’s simple yet it conveys so much.

3. Pentagram. Most ‘70s-era proto-dooomsters or doomsters didn’t experiment too much with logos. Black Sabbath had a different logo on every album, but they never communicated dread. Neither does DC’s Pentagram. The difference here is the Pentagram logo continuously implies angular, if ordered, aggression. From the stems of the “P” and “M” (and shorter “N” and “G”) to skewed “E”, “A” and “R”, the logo, indirectly perhaps, would inspire a legion of longhairs to pull the open and closing logo letters in the most wickedest of ways imaginable.

2. Paradise Lost. British doom/death pioneers Paradise Lost went through several logo iterations (the Paradise Lost demo logo is sweet!) before settling on this crown jewel. Appearing on two pivotal albums—the Gothic album was inducted into Decibel’s Hall of Fame for a reason—, this logo, along with My Dying Bride’s withered brand, represented fine Peaceville doom/death. The chopped up serif-ed lettering displayed unease while the connecting strands (“P” to “A” and “D”, “E” to “T”) were like the last remnants of ancient drapery. Though Paradise Lost continued to change their logo on albums after Gothic, this defines the marriage of doom and death metal.

1. Not only is My Dying Bride the perfect logo, but it’s the perfect doom metal logo. What could be sadder than a dying bride? Not much. And My Dying Wife doesn’t quite roll off the tongue as effortlessly. The logo first appeared on the God Is Alone 7” and the Symphonaire Infernus et Spera Empyrium EP. It’s earthen, easy to read, and the root-like stem extensions emote elongated pain. Similarly, there’s a death metal quality to the My Dying Bride logo most bands of woe miss. The “NG” in “Dying” and the “BR” in “Bride” are evilly misshapen. This is ace, boys! So is the new Manuscript EP, which uses a simple font instead of My Dying Bride’s signature script. Can’t win ‘em all.

** Check out our Top 5 Death Metal logos HERE.

** Check out our Top 5 Black Metal logos HERE.