Great Moments in T-Shirt History: When Pig Met Pug

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: featured, interviews On: Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

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A couple weeks back ANIMAL New York posted a brilliant video entitled PUG DESTROYER featuring pugs taking lead vox on a death metal track. That alone would have been awesome enough, but then along came the actual Pig Destroyer and, as is their wont, the band took things to the next level. The result? A crazy limited edition T-shirt to benefit the good people at Pug Rescue of Florida — a move that will almost certainly serve as fodder for conspiracy theorists who have long divined a pug-centric subtext to Pig Destroyer material such as, say, “Rotten Yellow” or “Starbelly.”

Whether we’ll ever see a snout-less, squish-faced upstart trotting into the sound booth at PDHQ to give Katherine Katz or Richard Johnson a run for their guest vocal money remains an open question, but in light of recent developments I reached out to Blake Harrison with a few related patience-trying, pretty much asinine queries, which he handled with typical aplomb and good humor. A condensed version of that chat follows below.

Animal New York is clearly excited that the band reached out after their Pug Destroyer video went viral. Are you guys animal lovers? (Excepting pigs, naturally.)

I am, at least. My favorite is a French Bulldog named Brutus that I dog-sit. He gets so excited he pees when he sees me.

Any actual pug owners in Pig Destroyer?

I used to own a pug named Captain Gingersnaps.

Is there any concern that by introducing what is generally agreed to be the most adorable dog breed to the Pig Destroyer merchandising universe might irreversibly soften the band’s image? If so, is there a plan in place to release something uber-extreme or exceptionally ugly to counter this design in the near future?

No, not at all. Everyone knows we’re big softies. We will however release something of a repugnant nature. Pun intended.

After the Pug Destroyer video was there any discussion in the band about bringing on a pug to occupy the role typically filled by a bassist or perhaps as an assistant for your work?

No, we have a human member of Hatebeak in the band [and] we didn’t want to insult his clearly superior intellect and level of creativity.

This T-shirt design is obviously based on the traditional purebred pug. Do you have any thoughts on the mixed breeds currently gaining popularity — e.g. puggles, chuggles, frugs, japugs, porgie-poos?

What in the hell is a porgie-poo? Mixed breeds are cool. You know, muggle dogs.

Has the transition from Pig to Pug been at all difficult? After all, these are very different adversaries, the tactics to destroy one presumably being totally different to what is necessary to destroy the other. For one, with pugs you’ve got to will yourself beyond the adorableness barrier — no small feat…

Pigs and pugs are adversaries? Who knew? We will destroy all pigs [and] pugs, too — although the cuteness of the pug is undeniable.

Which of these monikers, to your mind, best suits the pug: Terrifyer, Prowler in the Yard, or Natasha.

Prowler In The Yard. You know, like shitting and pissing the yard.

Were there any particular designer breed/punk rock collaborations that inspired you back when you were coming up?

I like Mosh Pit Bull

Finally, what message do you hope kids in the scene today take away from this shirt?

Pugz Not Drugz

Pig Destroyer plays the Decibel 100th issue celebration show in Philadelphia on January 19. The band’s latest album, Book Burner, is out now. Follow the band on Facebook and Twitter.

EXCLUSIVE ALBUM STREAM: INCANTATION “Vanquish in Vengeance”

By: jonathan.horsley Posted in: featured, listen On: Monday, November 19th, 2012

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Incantation need no introduction, surely, so let’s keep this brief and to the point. The Pennsylvanian death metal kingpins release their ninth album, Vanquish in Vengeance, on November 27th through Listenable Records. This is Incantation’s first LP since 2006′s sulfurous Primordial Domination, and considering death metal’s new wave of old-schoolers have grown evermore reliant on the Incantation canon for inspiration, it is a timely reminder from the old masters that, when it comes to articulating blasphemy and striking the appropriate mood for the End of Days, there is no one better. Vanquish… was recorded at Mars Recording Compound with Engineer Bill Korecky, and mixed/mastered by Dan Swanö at Unisound.

Listen to Vanquish in Vengeance below; pre-order it HERE.



Bassist Chuck Sherwood had this to say about the album’s themes:
“The concept of our world so enslaved by monotheistic dogma that only a rebirth, with nothing but distain for the previous, would be tolerated. The lyrical content is the vehicle of this ideology from modern to ancient history combined with the occult/pagan views and the rage we as a band hold for those religions and their followers who’d refuse to acknowledge their own failure. Let this vortex we offer permeate and enlighten or shun and obliterate.”

And guitarist Alex Bouks was good enough to email us over his track-by-track take on the album that marks his full-length debut with Incantation.

“Invoked Infinity”
For this one, I wrote most of the riffs. They were written at a state of complete anger and a hate that consumed me at the time. This song and a few other riffs on the record were written around December 2011. It was a dark time for me, and I channeled all of that energy into the music. I think it is a great opener and it hits you unexpectedly. It actually reminds me of something that could have been on the Diabolical Conquest album. Sadistic!

“Ascend into the Eternal”
I wrote all of the music and lyrics for “Ascend…”. Lyrically it deals with the journey to find the hidden truth—to achieve Godhead! Musically this has a lot of different elements. This was written in about a hour with me and John [McEntee, guitar/vocals] sitting down, putting our ideas together. It came together very easy. I really like the ending doom part. It is very uplifting and ethereal—it really complements the lyrics very well.

“Progeny of Tyranny”
One of my fave tracks, written by John. Some signature McEntee riffs all over this song. I get a very black and disturbing feeling when listening and playing this. The ending vocals John does are full of drama and absolute darkness, and have a bit of our Necrovore influence.

“Transcend into Absolute Dissolution”
This was one of the last songs written for the record, and another fave from the dark doom riffs written by John. Takes me back to the Mortal Throne… record a bit.

“Haruspex”
Mid-paced and some atmospheric parts here. Reminds me of the ever-rolling abyss. When it was time to do my solo I thought what would Gino Marino (Incubus (FL)/Nocturnus) do? Chaotic demon screaming leads indeed! And I think it came out well.

“Vanquish in Vengeance”
Chuck came up with the first riff. A very unorthodox pattern and very Incantation. Also I really like the solos me and John did on this. The first solo is done by me and the ending one by John. This was one of those songs Frankenstiened by John. Riffs all written by the three of us, and arranged by John—another sadistic, ripping track!

“Profound Loathing”
The first song written for the album; as we were ending our last rehearsal for an upcoming European Tour, John came up with some of these riffs. We just started jamming on the vibes of the riffs. It was the start of the inspiration for the record. I had to redo my guitar solos about six times for “Profound…”. Kyle [Severn, drums] kept brutally shutting me down on every solo I did. I just could not get capture the vibe. Finally, after much stress it just happened, and i thank Kyle for that; sometimes you just need to be pushed to get the best performance out of you.

“The Hellions Genesis”
Another musical collaboration between John, Chuck and myself for the riffs, the song was originally inspired by Chuck’s intro bassline. This has a lot of mid-paced black doom to sadistic speed!

“From Hollow Sands”
Another song that came together very easily and quickly. Musically, it was written by myself and Chuck—very short and to the point, pure death metal! And it has some great lyrics and vocal lines by John.

“Legion of Dis”
At the moment, this is my favorite track on the record. The music was originally written by John as a musical interlude that was about two to three minutes long. But that all changed once we got into the studio; it turned into 12 minutes. This was all recorded live and directed by Kyle. Chuck penned the words inspired by the wraith of God Dis. The song leaves you with visions of doom and darkness, no hope! A perfect ending.

STREAMING: De Magia Veterum “The Deification”

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, listen On: Monday, November 19th, 2012

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Maurice de Jong (aka ‘M’ or ‘Mories’) must’ve lived a tortured life or have continually horrific dreams, ’cause his musical output is absolutely disconcerting. I would point to his insanely prolific (and celebrated) outfit Gnaw Their Tongues (or Cloak of Altering), but this time it’s his near-decade old project De Magia Veterum, an industrial-powered, chaos-inclined black metal-ish machine. Having been birthed in 2003, De Magia Veterum is from de Jong’s other mind—he seemingly has more than one—but is nonetheless connected both in theme and approach. Whereas “bands” like Thorns or Mysticum come off as cold and calculating, de Jong’s musical output is (sort of) real and unhinged. Like a beast plugged into Hell’s outlet, pulsating, frothing and electric with malign intent.

With four full-lengths, the most recent of which is the saturnine The Deification, De Magia Veterum isn’t “music” for commuting to work or a pre-meeting hype-up. It’s intense, almost nonsensical. Entropy for losing one’s collective shit or delving deep into personal calm waters. In fact, even for the most metal (or sonically intrepid) among us, De Magia Veterum’s The Deification will get a Bolt Thrower-played-for-grandma response, for it has no true relational center.

Normally, Mondays are for soaring, inspirational sounds, but not today. No, sirs. De Magia Veterum is about to disrupt your precious little Ki. To take the comfort out of your blindingly banal routine.

** De Magia Veterum’s new album, The Deification, is out now on Transcendental Creations. It’s available HERE. Or you can try to get the In Slaughter Natives discography on eBay, which might cost you an arm, a leg, and your first born rugrat.

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

By: andrew Posted in: a fucking parrot previewing new releases, featured On: Friday, November 16th, 2012

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You know, it’s that time of year. I can’t do a Thanksgiving-themed blog because I’d get really sick of the turkey references and have to punch myself in the beak.

INCANTATION are back after six years with Vanquish in Vengeance. It’s brutal, it’s death metal, it’s heavy, there are picked riffs that go into heavier parts, the vocals are raspy and tough, and there are solos. Never one to give into trends, they have been plying their trade for 20 years now. This is pretty good; you know, nothing crazy. You’re certainly not going to be blown away, and fans of this will dig it. The production is even halfway decent, as every instrument is clear and distinct, although there’s something in the production that takes a lot of the bite out of this. This is death metal to a “tion,” that’s for sure, and this is not Onward to Golgotha, but fair. 6 FUCKING PECKS.

Another band that’s back at it, SINISTER, hailing from the Netherlands, has been around for 20 years, and like the aforementioned Incantation, their sound and vibe hasn’t changed much. There are blasts, some melodic death riffs and guttural vocals. The Carnage Ending is cool–again, not awesome. It kind of get same-y after a little, and one kind of wonders why they’re bothering at all. It’s definitely not the Sinister of old; the riffs, while good, don’t really sink in and grab you, and come across as bland after a couple of listens. Do yourself a favor and listen to Cross the Styx. This is a little more thrashy and less “brootal” than any American counterpart, but very much a death metal record. 5 FUCKING PECKS.

Let’s stay in the same vein here, SACRED REICH, the Arizona thrashers of yore, release Live at Wacken. Always coming across as a fourth-tier thrash band, this DVD/CD proves it. The riffs are staler than can be, and the energy level is almost nonexistent. I mean, who wants to sit through an entire set just to hear “Surf Nicaragua”? They never really were a terribly exciting band, and had some good songs, but really, c’mon.
Apparently original drummer Dave McClain, now of Machine Head, stated “My kids need their dad more than the fans need a new Sacred Reich record,” and he’s right. This type of thing is what bands do when they get back together, play a festival or two and want to milk the last remaining pennies out of the metal community. 3 FUCKING PECKS.

CONVERGE to Headline Decibel’s 100th Issue Celebration Show!

By: mr ed Posted in: breaking newz, featured, flexi disc On: Friday, November 16th, 2012

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After much fevered online speculation, we’re finally ready to announce the headliner of Decibel‘s highly-anticipated 100th Issue Celebration Show! Four-time cover stars, Hall of Fame inductees for 2001 classic Jane Doe and constant presence in our Top 40 Albums of the Year feature any time they release an album, the mighty Converge will join Pig Destroyer, Municipal Waste, Repulsion, Tombs and Evoken at Philadelphia’s Union Transfer for this incredible one-off show on January 19.

Tickets for the 100th Issue Celebration Show are going fast, but for now are still available here, cheap, fast and easy. Remember that every attendee will receive a free, exclusive  Pig Destroyer flexi disc, which will not appear in the magazine.

Interview: Wretched on the Road

By: Dan Lake Posted in: featured, interviews, listen, tours, videos On: Friday, November 16th, 2012

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Rabid death crew Wretched are on a rockin’ roll.  In March of this year they released their third full-length record in as many years, and they’ve been burning up the road with some seriously badass acts in the months since.  Right now they’re out with Six Feet Under, and they’ve got mucho dates scheduled for the spring with Soilwork, Jeff Loomis, Blackguard, and The Browning.  If you haven’t caught’em yet, get out there and bang yo Wretch-head.

A couple of the guys were gracious enough to stop brutalizing the masses long enough to answer some questions about the band and its trail of tours.  Here’s what they said, along with a couple killer vids to get your weekend revved up right.

How quick was the turn-around time between finishing Son of Perdition and getting out on stage to support it?

ADAM: It was all most instant.  We had the Metal Alliance tour with DevilDriver, Dying Fetus, 3 Inches of Blood, JFAC & the Faceless lined up with the release of Son of Perdition.  So after recording this record we all went back to work for about a month & then jumped on tour for the rest of the spring & summer. 

Did your live show require you to put in some intense rehearsal time, or did you already feel well prepared?

ADAM: The songs we played on Metal Alliance felt very natural & easy.  But there was some intense practicing to go along with that. We also knew those songs better than others.  Since then we’ve added more new songs to the set & these have really kicked our ass.

ANDREW:  It would be great if we could spend a few weeks preparing for a tour but we all live in different places so it’s tough for all of us to take work off a week or two early when we’re already about to leave for a month or two.  We leave it up to everyone to get their parts down solid in our own time before we meet up. 

ADAM: I think we all feel more comfortable now with the entire album now; after playing everything live.  

How has your travel experience been while touring?

ADAM: We always have a good time on tour. Granted, it can be exhausting & at times really rough; we make the best of it. Otherwise we’d all go a little crazy.  We just left a tour with Death Angel, Bonded by Blood, & Threat Signal.  It was way too short for a change.  We just got to know the other bands & it’s off to start a new one.  We’ve toured the US so much that it’s pretty much a routine thing. Going to Canada is the only time I really feel like a traveler or tourist.   We did a Canadian tour this summer with 3 Inches of Blood and it was really amazing to see the metal support from the north.

ANDREW: It’s been incredible so far.  We get to travel the world doing the thing we love.  I love waking up in a new city with a different environment.  We make new friends every day and meet some interesting people. 

What have you enjoyed most about being out with the bands you’ve shared stage with so far?  What are you anticipating for the SFU/Cattle Decap tour?

 ADAM: Death Angel really made everyone in the band reevaluate our live show.  Those guys play for over an hour and 1/2 every night.  No signs of fatigue at any point and the sound was beyond great.  Dying Fetus was just the most brutal set & all most identical every time.  The Faceless was a band I was curious to see.  They pull off every piece of their recorded sound live & there’s a lot of strange things to cover. SFU & Cattle Decapitation is going to be awesome.  It’s a bill that we fit right into.  I expect solid shows with real diehard fans & hopefully that means we can expose those people to an up & coming Death metal act.  If all else fails we’ll be able to watch an awesome show each night.  Our bass player Andrew is totally obsessed with the newest Cattle Decap album & I am pretty stoked to meet Chris Barnes.  I was heavily influenced by his vocals.

ANDREW: Just getting to meet great musicians and great people.  Everyone who grinds it out in a metal band understands how tough it can really be.  It’s great to be surrounded by people who truly do it for the passion and have success doing it.  It pushes me to be a better musician.  We’re all really looking forward to touring with SFU and Cattle Decap.  I’ve been a big fan of both bands for a long time now and both are incredible live.  It’s the perfect size tour package with three bands so it shouldn’t feel too rushed or cramped on stage or anything like that.  I’ve been listening to Cattle Decapitation’s latest album non-stop.  It’s fucking amazing.  It’s been a while since an album really grabbed me like that.

What do you feel the biggest band accomplishment has been with the new record?

ADAM: I think our biggest accomplishment was the new record.  Our timeline was really short; so I’m most surprised that the CD came out the way it did.  We had a lot of success on YouTube & Vimeo.  We had more views on our music videos than ever before.  So next to the record I think our internet reach was highly expanded. Personally, this record gave me a chance to tour with Dying Fetus.  That to me is forever going to be an honor & a privilege.  We also had about 7 months of successful touring this year; so I’m proud of this as a whole.   

What role does Wretched’s music play in your own life?  What do you hope it will mean to your audience?

ADAM: Creativity and making the most of life.  I lost a close loved one when I was 18 & I am forever in debt to live out what dreams I have.  Call it a curse or the greatest thing that ever happened to me; but I cannot give up on music.  To do this happily I had to be playing music that I enjoy; so being creative was extremely important to making this dream work.

ANDREW: It’s a great release and a great escape.  It’s therapeutic.  I hope it does the same for our audience.  When I perform it’s like nothing else matters.  The worst shit could be going on in my life but when I’m playing all of that stuff goes away.  Pain, emotion, it all goes into what we do and the crowd is right there with us releasing that energy too.  

Can you talk about some of the most difficult trials, as well as the satisfying highs, that feed into the Wretched experience and music?

ANDREW: On our last tour we were out with Death Angel and our van broke down in the desert in Texas.  We had to cancel the last two shows which we were really looking forward to.  I felt like I was going crazy because we were stranded in the middle of nowhere for two days with no Internet or even signs of life except the guy in the shop fixing our van when we should be out playing shows and making money to keep us going.  After it was fixed we had a few days to kill so we headed to Austin, Texas to crash with a friend.  We ended up playing a last minute kick ass show with Ill Nino, got to see our buddies in Havok play, tripped our balls off playing mini golf and pretty much partied the whole weekend without paying a cent, so it ended up working out great! The most difficult thing for me personally has to be my back and neck problems.  I have three compressed discs in my spine and some severely pinched nerves.  Too much head banging and lifting heavy gear, I guess.  It has gotten to the point where some tours I can’t even stand up for longer than 5 minutes.  Lately, I’ve had to change a lot of things about the way I play.  It’s tough when I’m used to going crazy and head banging all the time and now have to really tame myself.  But I’ve become much more aware of my body and staying in shape and I’ve found other ways to release that energy.  I’ve also become a hell of a lot tighter bass player.

ADAM: We’ve all lost jobs during our touring.  We all remain somewhat broke at home.  I’m in the process of losing a 7 year relationship due to touring.  We’ve all given up just about everything an adult can claim.  So our trials are constant & will never vanish; but with a new album comes new things to be excited about.  All the highs are typically in the form of tour opportunities & making new music.  Hearing the band with the current line-up & having a good reaction continues to be a high for us.   

What direction do you feel your musical path is taking, through the past few albums and into the future?

ADAM: I think we all want to do it all.  We discussed going for a more straight forward brutal death metal Album. But we also discussed doing an album of epic instrumentals with vocals scattered throughout.  I don’t see us delving into Deathcore, Djent, or any other recent fad.  The band started with most of its members in high school; so on our first album it’s pretty obvious that much of the band had just been exposed to modern thrash & scene music (or hardcore). On the second album, Beyond the Gate the mood was much more melodic.  Tons of Euro thrash & old school death metal were thrown into the mix, and on our newest album we went for it all.  There’s influence from every extreme genre or niche; hopefully they blended together to create a new sound for us.

Any thoughts on what it means to you to be Wretched?

ADAM:  To me, being in Wretched means being down for whatever.  We don’t have rules other than your obvious ones.  We don’t condone hard drugs, karma will fuck you if you let it.  But we want to enjoy our time on earth & we want to inspire the same way that all our heroes inspired us to do something.  You don’t have to sell a million records or even start a band.  But please remember your time is constantly running out; make the best of it & thank you for taking the time to talk to us!  

Stories from the road…. This is always rough because nobody wants the good stuff to come up… I will leave out the guitarist’s name to give them a fighting chance.  We played a small bar in Shreveport, Louisiana .    A very nice guy at the show offered to hook me & the guitar player up with primo Herbs.   Our guitar player was beyond drunk at this point so I had a feeling this could be a bad idea.  The fan drove us to his house;, which was a really nice place; brand new floors, furniture, & all that jazz.  He packed up a bowl and before you knew it said guitarist started spewing out a freshly eaten taco dinner unto the fans brand new couch.  Myself & the fan started scooping up this still warm vomit with our bare hands because of a lack of paper towels.  We get the guitarist out of the house and back into the fans truck.  On the way to the house, the band was crashing at more spewing occurred until we finally arrive.  The fan started to get a little mad when the guitarist refused to leave the truck; so we hoisted him up to a couch to sleep on.  The next morning we realized that the same band member had a very big brown stain on his jeans.  To top it all off, he shit himself. Moral of the story:  say yes to natural herbs & say fuck you to alcohol! I gave the fan 20 bucks to help with cleaning & all is well.

REGENTS MAY NOT BE METAL, BUT THEY LIKE METAL

By: kevin.stewart-panko Posted in: featured, listen, lists, videos On: Thursday, November 15th, 2012

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Regents features current and ex-members of Sleepytime Trio, Maximillian Colby, Frodus, the Exploder, Battery, Combatwoundedveteran, Thursday, United Nations and Decahedron playing the sort of screwy and spazzy post-punk punk rock you’d expect a band featuring current and ex-members of Sleepytime Trio, Maximillian Colby, Frodus, the Exploder, Battery, Combatwoundedveteran, Thursday, United Nations and Decahedron to be playing. As well, the legendary J. Robbins is involved on the band’s latest album, Antietam After Party, acting as both engineer and playing bass. The album’s title is in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam which cursory glances at history sources tells me was one of the turning points in the American Civil War. Take a brief listen to what the band sounds like here:

http://rgnts.com/music/

Here’s a taste of what they look like when they’re sounding like that:

Here’s what they look like when they’re standing still:

In order to up the relevance of dropping mention of Regents here, we felt we needed to up the metal content. Thus, we asked a few of the members to let us know what their favourite metal albums are. This is what they came up with:

Jason Hamacher (drums)
So, I was running through the woods when it hit me: I’m 36-year-old child-raising, home-owning, wife-having, metal-loving, harDCore-playing, stage-diving adult. The sound track to this epiphany was my Metal Mix 1 playlist. It starts with Slayer followed by Metallica, Megadeth, & Entombed. Basically, I was exercising to my 8th grade music collection and wasn’t sure how that made me feel. There is music that affects us no matter how old we are. Here are three of my favorites:

Slayer- Seasons in the Abyss. I had a seriously rough asthma attack the night MTV debuted Slayer’s “War Ensemble” on Headbanger’s Ball. I was sleeping over at my friend Brian’s house and forgot to bring my inhaler. My breathing became more difficult as we quietly thrashed to Wrathchild, Vio-lence, Megadeth, Nuclear Assult, & Metallica videos while Brian’s parents slept in the room next door. Headbanger’s Ball was literally taking my breath away. The only medicine Brian had was Alka-Seltzer. As we dropped the tablets into water as “War Ensemble” came on TV. We were amazed how fast it was was and how awesome the drum fills were. Enthralled by Slayer, I sat struggling to breath hoping Alka-Seltzer Cold and Cough would cure an asthma attack. Near the end of the song I drank the Alka-Seltzer, blacked out, and hit Brian’s kitchen floor. I was slightly hurt, still couldn’t breath, and arose a Slayer fan for life.

Metallica – Ride the Lighting. “For Whom The Bell Tolls” was the first song I played with a guitarist, the legendary Brian Biegert of Satellite Beach, Fl. We were 12 and had I convinced my 8th grade science teacher to let our band play in the school cafeteria as a science experiment. The experiment had something to do with sound waves and I couldn’t tell you what we were measuring. We brought all our gear to school and set up during class. I used my parents comforter as a (failed) drum rug, and we put the Peavy combo amps on a lunch table. We blasted our classmates in the face with our Metallica experiment and ended up getting a B.

Sepultura – Beneath The Remains. The cover of this album is a skull with flowers!!!! Beneath the Remains was one of the first metal records I heard that started with an acoustic intro and busted into a thrash attack. I thought that was the best. I used to play it in the car to scare my parents. Brian and I used to blast this and mosh in our bed room. Florida Tank-tops in the pit!!!!!

Dave NeSmith (guitar/vocals)
Quiet Riot – Metal Health. Well I know this is quite the mainstream choice having been one of the first metal albums to make it to the top of the charts. But I love this record for how rounded it made my future likes in music. My Mom took me for my first record buying outing and with my allowance I was able to get three tapes. My choices were this record, Lionel Richie’s Can’t Slow Down and Berlin Love Life. I listened and loved all of them. It makes me laugh now at how different each one was. But Metal Health was the only one that got “TURN IT DOWN!” yells from my parents. Too late. The rebellion was already started.

Sliang Laos – Never Released. To my knowledge, the Richmond, VA greats Sliang Laos never got their LP out the door. Which is SUCH a shame. At first I just had a tape of this incredible band and now I have the mp3s. Are they metal? Definitely influenced by it, considered “mathy” and dark. nd heavy… oh my dark lord they are heavy! At one show the singer banged and scraped on a huge metal pipe while the rest of the band devastated the crowd.

Lukas Previn (bass)
Sleep – Holy Mountain.
It’s like smoking with gandalf and him showing you riffs.

Entombed – Wolverine Blues
A true showing of style beating out the desire to fist a thousand notes into every bar.

Varg Vilkernes
This isnt a band, but this one dude has had more of an impact on Black metal than most bands ever could. Do a Wiki on him and hold on.

The Dillinger Escape Plan – Under the Running Board -
One time their old drummer hit me square between my eyes with a hurled drum stick at the end of their set at the Space in Worcester, Mass.

Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin 1
Hey wanna record the most influential shit in about a week then finger-fuck a girl with a fish?


Shit, even Mike from Darkest Hour digs ‘em

[photos 1 and 2: chuck powell; #3 nathaniel shannon]

Decibrity Playlist: Aaron Stainthorp​e (My Dying Bride) (Part 2)

By: zach.smith Posted in: featured, interviews, listen, lists On: Thursday, November 15th, 2012

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To celebrate the release of A Map Of All Our Failures, last week My Dying Bride vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe (that’s him in the middle) went through the first half of My Dying Bride’s discography to tell us about an album that he was listening to while writing/recording each LP. As he told us, “They have not necessarily influenced the sound of our recording, but they’ve made life in the music world very much worth living and I thank them all for that.” Now, starting with 1999′s The Light At The End Of The World, we present the second half of his picks, which you can listen along to here.

The Light At The End Of The World (1999) :: Depeche Mode’s Violator
Electro pop misery from England—what’s not to like? I was a member of their fan club once upon a time and still have a 7″ flexi disc for signing up, what a treasure!

The Dreadful Hours (2001) :: Mazzy Star’s Among My Swan
The effortless beauty and innocence in Hope Sandoval’s voice still pulls my heart strings today. What initially sounds like a summertime LP, all glowing and golden, soon turns to utter misery with a picnic of melancholy thrown in for good measure.

Songs Of Darkness, Words Of Light (2004) :: Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds’ Murder Ballads
The only LP in my entire collection where every single song on it is brilliant. A supreme wordsmith backed by a top notch band performing tunes of deviance and destruction—with Kylie! What more do you want?

A Line of Deathless Kings (2006) :: Trouble’s Run To The Light
A doom classic before they went a bit stoner. Weirdly effective vocals from Eric Wagner with crushing guitar work and pounding drums from the rest of the boys make for one seriously morbid release—from a Christian band no less.

For Lies I Sire (2009) :: Swans’ The Burning World
If the likes of Celtic Frost and Candlemass helped instigate the birth of My Dying Bride, then Swans kept the engines firing on all miserable cylinders. So good, we even covered one of their tracks. A masterpiece.

A Map Of All Our Failures (2012) :: Grinderman’s Grinderman 2
Sees Nick Cave back with Warren Ellis and the lads in much dirtier form with screeching violins, manic guitars, frenzied vocals and all manner of cacophony afoot. It’s nasty and naughty and doesn’t give a fuck—hail to that!

*Order a copy of A Map Of All Our Failures here.

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

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)

Full Album Stream: Grand Supreme Blood Court

By: justin.m.norton Posted in: featured, interviews, listen, lists On: Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

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The phrases “Van Drunen” and “side project” will cause more than a little excitement in these parts. The death metal frontman handled vocals on two prestigious entries in Decibel’s Top 100 Death Metal Albums (available here). He also toured with the mighty Bolt Thrower and fronts war-themed badasses Hail Of Bullets. The dude is like the Lebron James of death metal.

Grand Supreme Blood Court is basically a hybrid of Asphyx and Hail Of Bullets so know two things: there will be no musical surprises and it will be fucking awesome.

Decibel is happy to offer a stream of Bow Down Before The Blood Court in addition to a liner’s notes worth of material from drummer Bob Bagchus on the album. Stream the album below and get in touch with Martin, Bob and the rest of Grand Supreme Blood Court here. The album is available for preorder from Century Media.

Grand Supreme Blood Court was formed during a phone call conversation between Eric Daniels and Bob Bagchus. Eric was eager to play death metal again. Blood Court was never formed with the idea to bring something new or fresh into the scene — hell no. It was formed to play the old style death metal we all like: pure and simple. Nothing more.

Eric really wanted to play with Bob Bagchus (drums) and Martin (vocals) again in a band for old time’s sake. Martin and Bob agreed since Eric is a long time friend and Alwin Zuur was asked to handle the second guitar. Theo van Eekelen was asked to handle the bass roars. Songs were made and in a short period of time 11 tracks were ready to be recorded. GSBC signed a worldwide deal with Century Media. Influences vary from Slaughter (Canada) to Necrovore to Hellhammer.

Nobody expected something else, right?

1. All Rise: Mid-paced/doomy track which contains riffs that existed for quite awhile. Finally shaped into an extraordinarily heavy track.

2. Bow Down Before the Blood Court: Title track, a faster/mid one which existed before we entered the studio. We were still in the rehearsal place and started to jam again — this was the result. We packed our stuff, went to the studio and recorded the thing right away.

3. There Shall Be No Acquitance: Faster track with an extremely crushing, doomy head-bang part in the middle. Inspired by old Possessed. This one is relentless.

4. Veredictum Sanguis: A mid-paced track in the Hellhammer/Slaughter-style. The opening riff is a crusher. No fast parts here, the middle slow part is in the best Black Sabbath-style. A band we all love!

5. Behead the Defence: A short, fast track which existed for some years. Straighter than straight and very much in your face death metal.

6. Grand Justice, Grand Pain: An instrumental which was a soundcheck for the drums right before recording the album. I did some mid-paced double bass and suddenly Eric started to play along with it. I heard it on the headphones and told him to play that riff endlessly. So this song is actually the sound-check, but it turned out to be a heavy bomber. Theo played some bass lines as an intro for the song and there it is.

7. Fed To The Boars: Could be the most brutal track on the album, especially lyric-wise. Some people might misinterpret the lyrics, and some people even think we might get into trouble with it. It’s a total anti-religion track, and we name the beast by the name here. Century Media wasn’t sure about printing the lyrics, but luckily they hate censoring as much as we do. Martin did some really great pig squeals in the slow part of the track…Guess who will be eaten there…

8. Circus of Mass Torment: A pounding two-beat track which roars like a tank battalion. It was supposed to be a 7″ track only, but since we all thought this was too good to be only used as a 7″, we decided to put in on the record itself. Eric and I made the song, and the day before we had to record it, Alwin made some changes. I heard the changes late at night and at first thought, “What the fuck?” but wrote the changes and extensions quickly on paper, went to the studio the next day, recorded the damn thing and praised Alwin later on! The changes made the track very special and gave it the right creepy atmosphere. It stands out, as a matter of fact. Martin did a diabolical laugh which really fits the concept.

9. Public Castration: What do you do with rapists and child molesters? Torture them, carve their balls and let the public kill them. The lyrics say what every court should do in those cases: let the public/victims be judge, jury and executioner. The music is from Alwin’s old band. He took his laptop to my house once — Martin was at my place as well, we had some beers and listened to his older stuff. This track really stood out, and both Martin and I wanted to use it for Asphyx. But since Asphyx had already enough material for Deathhammer, we decided to use it for the Blood Court instead. It’s a chopping up-tempo track.

10. Piled Up for the Scavengers: One of the faster tracks on the album with a catchy middle break, which even has a bit of melody in it. The riffs are inspired by old gods Necrovore. Yet again, a brutal straight forward death metal song with the old style D beat.

11. …And Thus The Billions Shall Burn: A very epic track which is close to 10 minutes. The main riff has such a creepy atmosphere due to Alwin’s higher notes. It’s the kind of riff that makes you think your grave is already waiting for you in the cold night. Eric did a marvelous job again with his end-time solo at the end of this epic monster.

Chris Naughton (Winterfylleth) interviewed

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured, listen On: Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

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** In most cases, Decibel features “all the metal that’s fit to print”, but there are times when metal’s meta, so when letters are falling out of the margins and don’t have a home, they go to the Deciblog. The following interview is the full transcript for the Winterfylleth feature in Decibel #98 [available HERE].

The last time we spoke regarding The Mercian Sphere you had to go on record to correct controversial statements made by a former member. Have those issues been resolved?
Chris Naughton: Yeah, I think so. To be honest, it was a bit of a ‘storm in a tea cup’ issue that should have been left to the members of Winterfylleth to deal with. But people love a story, and it got blown way out of proportion. It’s funny how something from an insignificant local music forum has stood to define who we are as a band for the first few albums of our musical career. We’ve said a lot about this controversy in other interviews and been as open as possible with it, so that people ‘get’ who and what we are about. I think we’ve consciously chosen to be quite up front about it all, and not hide behind some veil of smoke and mirrors. The reason being is because mud sticks and it’s important we don’t let it. A lot of the major magazines have had in depth interviews and chats with us about it and we have the backing of all of them now. We’ve been invited to play festivals such as Wacken, which are very sensitive to these kinds of things and generally I think the mind set of people who used to think ill of the band is changing. If people still don’t get it, then I’d encourage them to come to us directly. We can be contacted easily enough through any number of social forums, or the record label.

What does it mean for the British press to embrace Winterfylleth? I saw that BBC Radio 1 had debuted “Void of Light”.
Chris Naughton: Yeah, I think it’s great. Daniel P. Carter who runs the BBC 1 rock show has been a fan of the band for many years and has played our music before. It’s reassuring to know that there are still people out there—like Daniel—who care about underground music and who actively bring your music to a wider audience through their shows. We wouldn’t be where we are without that kind of support, or the support we have from the press. So it means a lot for people to back what we do and vote with their feet in supporting our music and our shows.

Do you think the United Kingdom and Ireland black metal scenes are as exciting as they were a few years ago? I realize Primordial and several others have been around for a while, but the new generation of bands garnered a lot of attention for their music and message.
Chris Naughton: Absolutely! When we spoke a few years ago, we were talking about a scene in its relative infancy; one that was starting to bring through some great bands with strong ideas. We are now a few years down the line and we are starting to see these bands flourish even more so. Look at A Forest of Stars, for example. A great band who are finally (on their third album) starting to get the plaudits they have deserved since day one. Similarly, we have bands like Wodensthrone who have stepped up a notch by joining us on Candlelight and unleashing their incredible second album Curse onto the world. If anything I would say that it is now that all the British bands are starting to hit their stride and bring their music to the world in a way they have never been able to before. On top of that there is this great undercurrent of bands like Cnoc An Tursa, Fyrdsman and Nine Covens coming through that represent a scene that is bearing some real fruit.

I also remember you had issue with people viewing the The Saint George’s Cross flag—I believe that was the flag—with suspicion. Has that changed much at all? I realize as a pro-British band you’re entitled to fly whatever iteration of the British flag you like as it relates to Winterfylleth and its musical/lyrical disposition.
Chris Naughton: People are idiots sometimes. It’s just that mob mentality of not wanting to seem small minded or ‘in the wrong’ to your peers, and jumping on a bandwagon you know nothing about. The St. George’s Cross is the flag of England, our home country. People seem to have this impression—because of everything the read or are told in the UK media—that our nations flag is some kind of racist/fascist symbol. It’s just this idea about ruling through fear and the link between fear and power in practice. There was this Italian writer/political theorist called Antonio Gramsci who brought forward this idea about what he termed a ‘Cultural hegemony’. The idea being to perpetuate the ‘ruling-class domination’ of a culturally diverse society by one social class, who manipulate the culture of the society—the beliefs, explanations, perceptions and values—so that their ruling class view becomes the worldview that is imposed and accepted as the cultural norm. This worldview then becomes the universally valid dominant ideology that justifies the social, political, and economic status quo as natural and inevitable, perpetual and beneficial for everyone, rather than as artificial social constructs that benefit only the ruling class. Such is the state of the political and social landscape within the UK. Ultimately, I think that media does this to aim towards the centralization of our governments into the EU and to impact upon people’s ability to form identity within their own society. Eventually, this would lead to all of Europe being led and controlled by less people than ever before; impacting more and more social control over people who have taken to the idea naturally due to the impression of this cultural hegemony over them. It’s all pretty logical when you consider it; it’s just that most don’t. So when you see the flag issue as the tip of the iceberg, you can see Gramsci’s theory playing out in practice.

OK, onto music. What do you see are the major differences between The Mercian Sphere and The Threnody of Triumph?
Chris Naughton: I don’t know if there are any major differences between the two albums. The new album is still a Winterfylleth album and it still sounds like us. The differences as I see them are more in the dynamics of the album. On this one we incorporated more lead guitar work and a bit more melancholic melody within the songs. Also we’ve got a few slower numbers on the album to contrast the faster blasting songs. Production wise there are parallels, as we opted to work with Chris Fielding again at Foel Studios. I think the difference and perhaps the beauty are to be revealed the more you listen. There are layers of guitars and vocals that will unwind the more people listen.

A lot of bands suffer the sophomore slump. You know, unable to repeat the greatness of the debut. The Threnody of Triumph is your third album. What did you do on The Threnody of Triumph that you didn’t want to repeat from the first two albums?
Chris Naughton: Do you know what, loads of bands are too disparaging of their back catalog and seem to get into this cycle of saying things like “this is the best thing we’ve ever done, it totally destroys our last album”, etc. For me, I think we’ve always made consistently good albums and have applied all our current skills and knowledge into them at the time of their creation. The only things we’ve really done differently across them all is to learn and be aware of what aspects, nuances and tweaks to listen out for when we are recording and mixing the songs. Ultimately, you learn to be better at, and get more out of the process each time you do it. So, I think this one represents a process we were more informed about and in control of. In terms of approach, to be honest it was quite similar to the last, but in terms of pre- and post-production, we learned a lot of lessons that we applied this time. For example, how loud the kicks will be in the raw mix and the post master, so how to mix them properly. Just little bits like that really.

Then again, you formed only five years ago. Three albums in five years is a pretty strong start to a band. Is that part of being young and hungry or is the prolific nature of Winterfylleth more part of the overall pro-British message?
Chris Naughton: It’s been a pretty natural pace to be honest. I think an album every two years is enough to keep people interested without swamping the market with too much stuff. I’m not sure it’s geared particularly around promoting a pro-British message (as you put it). Our music is about celebrating, and bringing relevance to our countries rich history in order to re-engage people with the real world and with social discourse. We do things naturally and keep spreading the ideas with shows and touring in between times.

The songs on The Threnody of Triumph have a sense of flight. Was this an important factor in their composition? To have movement, lift, and a forward momentum.
Chris Naughton: I think the songs have a consistently fast pace on the most part, and what we wanted to do was have dynamics working in and out of that as a base this time around. I like songs to keep moving and to be interesting with peaks, troughs and accents, so as such we reflect that in the music we make. I think it makes for more listenable albums, rather than a constant wall of one tone.

I like that the album has a quick tempo. A defined direction. But just as the album starts to lose a bit of luster—perhaps due to its lack of variety—“A Soul Unbound” hits. In fact, this is the first song on The Threnody of Triumph that I connected with. Where does this song fit in the overall layout of The Threnody of Triumph?
Chris Naughton: The first five tracks before “A Soul Unbound” represent: a song based on a tempo we’ve never used before (“A Thousand Winters”), a song with breaks downs and choral sections unlike the others (“The Swart Raven”), and acoustic track with layered strings (“Æfterield-Fréon”), a faster, riff oriented song (“A Memorial”) and a song in a different tempo and key with sung choruses (“The Glorious Plain”). So, I’m not sure I understand the lack of variety bit. Perhaps a lack of familiarity is more apt. “A Soul Unbound” then acts as a transitional/bridging song between the beginning lyrical concepts and the ending ones. In that the soul is now unbound from the body and is moving onto its fate after death.

What do you think you got out of Chris Fielding as a producer? I really like the vibe. It’s warm, aggressive yet inviting. I want to come back to it, even though it’s harsh as hell at times.
Chris Naughton: Working with Chris is a genuine privilege as he is easy to work with and, as a fan of metal, ‘gets’ what you want to do with your songs while helping you to achieve it in the best way. When you are so focused on your own album it’s great to have his independent view on things, as his suggestions are based on working with new bands every few weeks and are usually a breath of fresh air in uncertain situations. You only have to look at the quality of his recorded output to see why we keep going back to work with him. Also, we aren’t from ’90s Norway, so we’ve not tried to restrict the instruments in any way. Hence the warmth and tones we have on the album. Chris is great at capturing the live sounds of the instruments and I think that really adds a feeling to the albums.

What is meant by The Threnody of Triumph? A threnody is a hymn to a dead person, but I suppose it could mourn a country, a culture, a lifestyle.
Chris Naughton: The concept is about a deathly ode—or threnody—to those ones who have died, and is about how our ancestors viewed spirituality in the sense of how the soul and the body were connected. The album also has a broader concept about celebrating the lives of those who you love that have passed away. So, as such we felt that a contrast between the darkness of loss and the epic-ness of celebration needed to come together in the songs, so that had an influence on the music writing. I hope the lyrics complement this and come across in the finished product—where we contrast darker, faster black metal with soaring leads and rich vocal harmonies. There is always an undertone of social relevance within what we do, and the aim is that people can come to understand history and its implications on humanity. The aim is then to make people more active is some of the social discourse that underlies some of the content.

I heard you recorded some English folk songs. Will those be acoustic or re-interpreted as Winterfylleth originals? That’ll be an EP, I suppose. On Candlelight or through your own label?
Chris Naughton: We did indeed. They are traditional English folk songs, as imagined by Winterfylleth. They are similar to the acoustic songs on the albums, but taken way further. There are sung vocals, layered vocals and more acoustic instrumentation used within them. It’s going to be part of a wider compilation that Roman from Drudkh is putting together. I don’t want to give too much away at this point, but its shaping up to be great.

While I missed you at Graspop, a lot of the press folk in attendance indicated you were one of the best bands of the fest. Are you aiming to get on the road a bit and do proper tours worldwide?
Chris Naughton: The band is looking to undertake some touring to support the new album in 2013, so we will be planning that quite soon. We are also playing at Damnation Festival in November and have recently booked to play Hammerfest V in March 2013, so we have a good few things on the horizon. For now we will be getting into the rehearsal room to polish up on the new album songs, so we can bring some of those out in November.

OK, final question. Man City or United?
Chris Naughton: Huddersfield Town! But if you are a Manc, then it’s the done thing to support City, as historically to support United has been seen to be a ‘glory supporter’. So City.

** Visit and Like Winterfylleth on Facebook.

** Winterfylleth’s new album, The Threnody of Triumph, is out now on Candlelight Records. It’s available HERE. Or, you can search out the various Tsatthoggua albums. If you have a weird band name fetish, of course.