Shred Like A Werewolf: Sadgiqacea/Hivelords Tour Diary 3

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: diary, featured On: Tuesday, August 27th, 2013


We’ll make this intro concise as possible, so as to allow readers to break on through to the other side that much quicker: A) False Prism and Cavern Apothecary — presented by Sadgiqacea and Hivelords, respectively — are two of the best, most intriguing mindfuck metal releases of the year thus far. B) The bands just wrapped a lengthy tour together. C) After two tour diaries penned by a mysterious scribe amongst them known as “The Portalist” (Part 1, Part 2) Fred Sadgiqacea walks us through the endgame…

July 30th: Dear Frisco, Yer next, and shit are you cold! Folivore brought an onslaught of smoke and riffs that seemed to rise from the cracks in the streets and pierce our empty vessels. 24 oz PBRs were something to cool us off from the hellish heat Hivelords had left behind. Smoldering crags shot up from the floor and straight into a black hole as a transition from them to Sadgiqacea, and then the night grew $3.00 colder…

July 31st: Que Sera, Sera, in Long Beach, brought forth a warm welcome from our Pigeon Winged friend Ryan, Earsplit and CVLT Nation. The night was full of good vibes from all. Doctorshopper performed open heart surgery on us with a black metal induced sphere of energy, the crowd was livid for us all, and we had the pleasure of seeing a familiar face to catch it all on camera. Killer posters were printed with art by none other but Tom Denney. The night ended at our gracious hostess’s with Sausage and meatball sandies, a giant bag of Tortilla chips n salsa for the boys, and the classic Stephen King horror flick, The Mist. Fuck Yes.

August 1st: Off to Vegas in the hot sun and the strip is not our objective. We arrive at James’s KVLT HOVSE of blood magic and sorcery around 10, and the night is as young as the innocent faust. Hivelords and Sadgiqacea strip the audience of their vocal chords and charge their eardrums with chaos. We leave off with a Transylvanian Hunger to linger in the desert night air…After a lengthy farewell to the Walmart thirty pack thieves and a most enthusiastic group of new fans, we hightail it to Tuscon before the sun make us it’s bitch.

August 2nd: Too late!


By: jonathan.horsley Posted in: featured, listen On: Monday, August 26th, 2013


Courtesy of the good guys and ghouls from Horror Pain Gore Death Records, we’ve got a particularly fetid and rotten Monday afternoon treat for all you gore-obsessed Decibangers out there in the shape of Coffins Colossal Hole EP.

Anyone with a penchant for sloppy-joe, old-school death metal will already be on first-name terms with the Japanese quartet’s sound. And of course, you’ve all heard “Reborn”, right? The track they cut exclusively for Decibel’s flexi-disc series? Well, you can check that slice of punk-cum-death metal out here while we’ve got your attention.

Anyway, to the matter in hand. Colossal Hole is a three-track EP strictly limited to 500 copies and comes on 10″ deluxe vinyl (45RPM Black Night vinyl, if you’re curious to know about such things). The tracks are rough, pre-production demo tracks the band cut when working towards Relapse debut, The Fleshland. The artwork comes from the fair hand of guitarist/vocalist Uchino, and feel free to make full use of the complimentary sick bags included with the release. There is also a pair of numbered tickets with each release. They won’t get you in anywhere but, y’know, it’s nice to have something to underline the exclusivity of the whole thing. Neat, huh?

**Buy it now from here
**Coffins on Facebook

Malfeitor Fabban (Aborym) interviewed

By: Chris D. Posted in: featured On: Monday, August 26th, 2013


** If you’ve ever visited a large city, it’s readily apparent between trash-strewn alleys, huge skyscrapers, and rush hour hustle ‘n’ bustle, decay is happening. Cities—from Aborym’s home in Rome, Italy and New York City to Oslo and Miami—are slowly rusting and dying from the inside out. Add humans to the equation and cities turn into cesspools of oxidation and dead dreams. This is what Aborym are trying to paint on new album, Dirty. We corner Malfeitor Fabban as he sifts through spent drug needles and rescued MIDI controllers.

Where do you think Aborym fits in the overall schema of metal?
Malfeitor Fabban: In the fucked up area man! (kidding…) Well, I’ve no idea. Is it necessary to be included in a musical context? I mean, I believe it could be difficult for a band like Aborym.We did not choose to play this or to play that. We simply play. Got it? We had the need of something really shocking and eye-poppin’, like to wake up in a hospital after speedballing, something really dangerous like heroin and cocaine mixed together and injected together in a single fuckin’ shot.

Is black metal still recognizable in Aborym at this stage?
Malfeitor Fabban: Black metal belongs to the past, to our roots maybe. Now we are very far from black metal. We’re an active part of a very private and exclusive club made for very few bands that actually can and want to make music without limits, rules and music business dictates.

Are you following in the footsteps of others—like Thorns for example—or venturing out into uncharted territory? Just curious how you view Aborym’s trajectory.
Malfeitor Fabban: Thorns is a cool band, but it’s not an influence for Aborym. To me the real matrix, the true and fundamental mix in between metal, industrial music and electronic has been created by Trent Reznor and his Nine Inch Nails even if we try to not be influenced by any other bands. We want to sound like Aborym. Aborym is a band that changes its skin year after year, disc after disc. The changing, metamorphosis, experimentation, are elements of our musical DNA. We’re not able to realize an album with 8-10 tracks all similar to each other, so not even albums. The many people who follow us since the ‘90s are used to our continuous changing and mood swings, and this is one of the peculiarities of this band. The metamorphosis of Aborym have always been oriented to achieve something that is not conceivable or imaginable: we like to catch our listeners unprepared, we love destabilizing them, and give them new emotions and feelings that they never had until that moment. This metamorphosis, in my opinion, has traveled in parallel with an evident musical, technical and attitudinal growth.

What kind of advancements—whether technological or compositional or both—have you made to Aborym since Psychogrotesque?
Malfeitor Fabban: Dirty has been written starting from synths and hard disc recording, MIDI stuff and so on. And we decided to work like this in order to get the weirdest, coolest, powerfulest Aborym album ever, something really heavy, psycho and innovative. A real eye-poppin’ unexpected piece of art. We strongly wanted our sound to be more cold and modern and at the same time full of weird melodies, arrangements, new ideas and new way to combine different styles and music. The work and the details of the electronic and industrial structures of Dirty were treated to an almost fanatical level and the result is very, very high. We use synths a lot, keyboards, we work a lot on hard disk, we write MIDI and abuse of samplers and VST. We have thousands and thousands of sounds and through software we manage to modify them and made them sound like we want. All of this is like a real trip,my friend! We decided to give to Aborym a strong industrial brand, plagiarizing even more the most damn fierce metal with electronics, using the power of synths, machines, software, of sound cleanliness and as well the power of a total absence of any rules that are not ours.

Describe the contribution of the other members to the music making process for Dirty. Is it collaborative, confrontational, expansive or all of the above?
Malfeitor Fabban: I deal with the songwriting with Paolo. Bard takes action when all the tracks have been set and when we defined the structures of drums and time. It’s great teamwork. Paolo is a professional and talented musician, a person with whom it’s just a pleasure to make music with. He’s also vocalist and guitarist in Hour of Penance, a death metal band.

Over time, what have you learned to not include in Aborym’s soundscape? It’s pretty dense.
Malfeitor Fabban: We went beyond every conceivable scenario and we created new fuckin’ music for a new fucked up generation. This album is another demonstration of how music can be universal. Just keeping up, keeping up with the times and staying on top of things helps to keep us going.

Aborym started off as a covers band. Does Dirty II bring everything full circle?
Malfeitor Fabban: I don’t want to say I get giddy like a little girl, but it was exciting for me to record songs like “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails”, Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb”. These two versions represent for us a real tribute to Pink Floyd and Nine Inch Nails, and I have tried hard to try to sing these two songs in such a way as similar as possible to the original. It has been a fantastic experience for me, to able to sing these two songs, believe me. As far regard the Maiden’s “Hallowed…”, we wanted to propose a classic of heavy metal music played in Aborym-style without fucking compromises. We played three or four times faster, sung in streaming, we used synth, electro patterns, keyboards and all that could do absolutely sound disturbing and crazy. Our version of “Hallowed Be Thy Name” should have sounded exactly like that.

You’ve also included fan recorded material as well as your own as part of the splice-in compositonal process. What was working with all those sources like?
Malfeitor Fabban: “Need for Limited Loss.” It’s a song written by Alberto Penzin (CO2, former Schizo) on which we have mounted a series of riffs, samples, scores, screaming and lyrics that some fans have sent us. The idea was to create a song with them and it was a great experience! The entire second disc of Dirty is our way of thanking our fan-base, a second CD dedicated to them and partly achieved with them, all to celebrate even if with some delay, 20-years of Aborym.

What do you want to communicate on Dirty?
Malfeitor Fabban: Crisis (economical, social, spiritual), social seclusion and isolation… That’s why I love the “city” concept: you can feel alone even if you are surrounded by millions of people, millions of lights, clubs, streets, technology, attractions and so on… Sexual repression, urban violence, diseases, complex-unstable, often violent kind of relationship. I just wrote about something I can see everyday in my city. My only great inspiration, what actually pushed me to write lyrics like that, is the everyday life, my daily careful study on the people I meet everyday. It’s exactly a cross-section of the modern society, lyrics that talk to things visible to everyone. Everything that surrounds us is a huge container of shit and piss and this fucking planet is falling apart. I see it this way, Dirty is completely based on that and it is also loosely based on what we did starting in 1992, getting in fights, waking up messed up and drunk in strange dirty beds, drug addiction, alcoholism.

Dirty is a challenging listen. What do you think the listener walks away with after experiencing Dirty?
Malfeitor Fabban: I don’t care. Becoming more mature with the music and growing as our audience grows, we just don’t limit ourselves by staying at the same level. It’s hard for me sometimes to explain what I mean. If you are a non-open-minded boring braindead, well, better to stay away from Dirty. This album is for gourmets.

** Aborym’s Dirty is out now on Agonia Records. It’s available HERE for order. Unless you’d rather go here and buy a Skrew record, of which none have aged gracefully.

STREAMING: Scythe’s “Leather Aggressor”

By: Posted in: featured, interviews, listen On: Friday, August 23rd, 2013

scythe - band 3

In recent years, Chicago has been home to all sorts of experimental and off-the-path metal. Lest you forget it’s also the hometown of Paul Speckmann of Master, scads of restaurants that serve large racks of meat and tons of old-school goodness.

On that note, Decibel is happy to provide an exclusive stream of Scythe’s “Leather Aggressor,” from their upcoming album Subterranean Steel. R.I.P. Records will release the record on September 11 — learn more on the band’s Facebook page.

Check out the song below. A quick interview with guitarist and vocalist Rick Scythe follows. Happy Friday!

Can you give us a history of the band?

I was the founder and primary songwriter for the band Usurper from 1992-2007. Usurper broke up in 2007 and it seemed like the band was buried and forgotten. In 2009, Usurper was getting a lot of good offers to get back together. We got offers to play fests and to some live shows. I wanted to do this. It felt like enough time had passed. There was a new breed of metal fans discovering Usurper. I thought this was a good time for a Usurper reunion but a few of the other past members did not want to do it. So it never happened.

So instead of re-forming a new version of Usurper, I decided to form my own band where I could carry on the traditions of Usurper, but also explore new territories. I didn’t want to do what most old bands do when they reform — have one original guy and then the rest new members. I figured I would form a new band and start from the ground up. It wasn’t the easy way, but it felt like the right way.

Since Scythe formed we released our debut album Beware the Scythe in 2012 and now we are ready to release our new album Subterranean Steel.

How did you come up with the name Scythe?

I’ve used the name Scythe in songwriting credits for Usurper since 1993. Scythe was going to be my solo band after Usurper, but once I got the lineup situated, Scythe simply became the name of the band. Scythe is a power trio and (also features) Dan Geist on bass/vocals and Joey Contreras on drums.

How did the new album come together?

After our first album, I kept writing songs. I reworked some old songs that I never recorded over the years, wrote some new music and collaborated with Dan on some new songs. The result is nine-song homage to all underground metal warriors. The only criteria when writing this album was that all songs must be 100 percent headbangable and fistbangable.

What can you tell us about the track we’re premiering today?

The song is called “Leather Aggressor.” It’s a metal anthem about the age-old struggle between barbarians and tyrants. Inspired by the sack of Rome, but also about rising up, banding together and taking a stand against the corrupt powers that be.

What’s your favorite part of the Chicago metal scene?

Playing in front of some of the most die-hard fans in the country.

BREWTAL TRUTH: Drink This Now!

By: adem Posted in: featured, liver failure On: Friday, August 23rd, 2013


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

Since my upcoming Brewtal Truth column in Decibel deals with well-hopped beers and why you should drink them as soon as possible (and not try to age them), I figured I’d dedicate my next few blog posts to the topic of hops. Brooklyn’s Sorachi Ace is actually named after the hop variety used in the brewing process. Sorachi Ace was developed in Japan in the late ’80s (along with some really bad hair metal, see below). It’s a cross between English Brewer’s Gold and Czech Saaz hops and it produces curiously piquant lemon flavor and aromas in beer. Since craft beer hadn’t quite taken off yet, there was no market for this unique variety when it was first developed. Fast forward 25 years and brewers are scrambling to get their hands on new and interesting varieties to satisfy hopheads. Sorachi Ace (the hop) still isn’t grown in large quantities, but this beer is a perfect way to experience its unique characteristics.

Brooklyn, NY
7.6% ABV

This is our second Deciblog post about a beer from Brooklyn (see the first here), but we swear, we’re not just sucking up to the biggest metropolis in the U.S., or trying to get in good with the dudes in Tombs. But everything we wrote about the borough of Brooklyn and its brewing history and excellent water apply to Brooklyn Brewery. Not everything the brewery makes is brewed in Brooklyn, but their specialty releases like Sorachi Ace are. They are probably the highest profile craft brewery in NYC and their brewmaster, Garrett Oliver (editor of the excellent Oxford Companion to Beer), is a rock star in the craft beer world.

Onto the beer, starting with a word of warning. This is packaged in a Champagne bottle with a cork and cage. With some beers this is for show, but not with Sorachi Ace. Be careful when uncaging and dislodging the cork, because it will fire off like a bullet. I nearly put a serious divot in my ceiling when carelessly opening my bottle; it has put-out-an-eye kind of power. This brew was bottle conditioned with a Champagne yeast, which basically means that the yeast and a little bit of sugar were added when it was bottled to kick start a secondary fermentation to give it excellent carbonation. Mission accomplished. It pours into the glass with a massive foamy white head. And the smell is amazingly exotic. I get citronella, grass, gooseberries, pineapple, vanilla, a bit of funk and that somewhat indefinable Belgian yeast spice. It’s crazy. All the notes are super bright and crisp. The beer equivalent to trebly. And most of it is thanks to the Sorachi Ace hops.

The lemon notes of the hops really show up when you taste it. The carbonation is big and creamy and washes layers of bitter lemon across your palate. You get a little bit of tropical fruit in there as well, but it’s hard to get a lot beyond the lemon. It’s not sour at all, it just has a lemon flavor. For the most part it’s also quite dry which keeps it from tasting like lemon candy. The finish is pleasantly bitter, but not much bitter is needed for such a dry beer. The remarkable thing about Sorachi Ace is how quaffable it is for a 7.6% beer. It’s light bodied and refreshing, just like a saison should be. Saisons were traditionally given to farmhands to quench their thirst in the summer months, but it’s doubtful they would have drunk something this strong, and definitely not with Sorachi Ace hops in it.

More and more beers are brewed using a single variety of hops, so you can really get a sense of the characteristics they bring to them. This achieves that goal perfectly. No other hop tastes like Sorachi Ace, and this is a showcase for everything it has to offer. We usually like to end things with something musical and the obvious move would be to put something contemporary and extreme from Brooklyn, since it seems to have no shortage of impressive bands. But there was a band that arrived on the scene about the same time Sorachi Ace was developed that referenced Motörhead, rhymed “false metal” with “boiling kettle” and had Kerry King in its video long before there was an extreme music scene in Brooklyn. So, we’re going with that.

Let Orbweaver Fuck Up Your Friday!

By: Dan Lake Posted in: featured, interviews, listen On: Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Orbweaver featured

Florida’s Orbweaver just released one of those records that sounds just like its cover art.  Like, if Mastodon’s latest actually sounded like the roar of a multi-jawed bull with scales, or if mid-period Novembers Doom actually sounded good.  Copiously limbed, eye- and mouth-dominated monstrosities from space are climbing through razored tears in space-time to devour your body and eternal energetic self before you can say “Holyshitthismusicisawesome!”

Which you will try to say, because it is.  Discordant, dirty, twisted, demonic, but spacious and intricate – their latest material on Strange Transmissions from the Neuralnomicon will kick your 26-dimensional ass all up and down the omniverse.  Luckily, these songs have projected themselves temporarily into our reality (at Bandcamp), so you can experience it all for yourself.  Also, check them out at their official website.

We asked songwriter/guitarist Randy Piro about his vision for the music so that you could connect to a human behind the chaos.  Take a listen to the album while you read his thoughts.  Holyshitthismusici… AAAAAHHH!

Can you talk a little about how the members got to know each other and how the band formed and defined its sound?

Right from the start I had the concept of mixing harsh noise and metal; psychedelic to a degree, but more just pure chaos and noise mixed with abstract, off kilter, aggressive music.  I met our original drummer Mike shortly after I started writing the first few songs. He came from a pretty straight forward death metal background, so it mixed well with the more abstract and chaotic elements. From there we enlisted Sally. She and I had previously played together for several years so we already had a good musical rapport. We found Jason who embodies exactly what I always wanted in a bass player; Geezer and Getty.  Once the full lineup was established, the previous songs evolved through the trial and error of live performances, and our different musical backgrounds. We then wrote the remainder of the songs together as a band.

What specifically is exciting to you as a player when you perform this music?  What do you enjoy most about these new songs?

As cheesy as it sounds, live performances are somewhat of a transcendence ritual for me. While I am setting up my gear I’m a total mess… stressed, freaking out because some pedal is not working, geeked out on adrenaline, just totally awkward and mortal. But once I hit the standby switch and let the first wail of feedback come forth…the world goes black around me and I am simply wrapped in the sound… that’s my favorite part.  As far as the songs themselves, each are enjoyable and extremely personal to me, so just the simple act of playing them is beyond rewarding.


How do Orbweaver songs get worked out?

Most of the songs were written by me before the lineup was completed, the only reason for this was simply to get the band going. Everyone was very involved in the arrangements, and integral to crafting the overall sound.  We recently welcomed our new drummer Scott into the band, and have begun writing for the next LP. These songs are written democratically… everybody contributes. That said it all starts with someone’s original idea, and from there we just lock ourselves in our lair and hash it out.

What musical or thematic goals drove the creation of this new material?

The goal was to create an experience that takes one from the comfortable environment they reside in and throws them on a journey far outside the zone of familiarity.

As far as lyrical concepts, I am writing a continuing story that unfolds kind of like a comic book would.The lyrics were omitted on purpose; and this is where the visual art comes into the picture. I worked with Jean Saiz (Shroud Eater) to create 5 comic style trading cards which depict elements from the story. These are revealed in the limited edition cassette packs released by Primitive Violence Records.

These cards are the only defined glimpse the listeners will have… for now. The albums artwork ties in directly to the story, but I wanted to be a little more abstract about it. My intent is that the listener would just zone out on the art while absorbed in the music, and draw their own conclusion. This will continue for the next few releases, and cummulate with the entire storyline being made available in one grand, mind twisting form.


How does the song development process differ in Orbweaver from the way Gigan works?

When I started Orbweaver I had every intention of finding local musicians who had the ability, drive, and creative fortitude to do what we do. The end result was exactly what I was looking for; a band that gets together several times a week to rehearse and write. Because of this a lot of our newer material comes just from jamming together, and we have the luxury to bounce ideas around for days on end if need be.

We all lived far apart in Gigan, so songs were generally written before hand and then shown to the band. But that’s the way we had to work. We had limited time with each other, and we made the best out of it.

What non-metal musical backgrounds do Orbweaver members bring to the material?

A lot actually. Every member of the band has different, sometimes polar opposite musical tastes and background; but we all have common ground. I myself listen to a lot of older prog and electronic music. Jason is the total stoner rock guy, Sally digs out on funkier, weirdo stuff. It’s funny, historically our drummers listen to the most metal…and Scott is no exception. He’s the young guy of the group, so he likes a lot of the more modern bands.

Now that you’ve got a couple shorter recordings, do you have any lengthier ambitions on the horizon?  What, generally, do you see coming next for Orbweaver?

We are currently writing the material that will become our next LP, and will begin the recording process sometime next year. Until then Orbweaver will continue to tour and play as many shows as possible.

The Southern Ontario Metal Fest and the Shit Promoters Have to Deal With

By: kevin.stewart-panko Posted in: featured, gnarly one-offs, interviews, listen, uncategorized, videos On: Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

deciblog - hugofest

Before you jump all down my throat and get up in my grill, understand that not all metal festivals are on the same level as Wacken, MDF, Roadburn, Chaos in Tejas, Bloodstock, one of the annual Scion-sponsored shin-digs or even Hopscotch or FunFunFunFest. Not every fest has the ability to draw thousands or can be held in a major market or central location. Not every fest has the pull or financial backing to draw bands out of retirement or attract exclusive one-offs. While I’m sure most promoters would like to get to that point of professional operation, notoriety and opportunity, the truth is, shit can’t be big and exclusive all the time. That’s where fest like the Southern Ontario Metal fest come in.

Kicking off at Club Absinthe (with a second, outdoor stage to be set up in the adjacent parking lot) in downtown Hamilton tomorrow, the SOMF is in its third year and is what you’d consider a smaller regional fest that brings together a few internationally recognised acts with a good number of popular Canadian acts and younger bands local to the region for a weekend of fun and frolic in the mid-sized city yours truly has called home for the past decade. Yes, a coup of sorts is happening as tech-metal wizards Psyopus are getting back together to play SOMF, and one of the jerks who wrote this will be doing an exclusive spoken word/reading thing at the Friday show, but for the most part, this is the equivalent of your younger brother scampering after you, yelling “Wait up! Wait up! Let me hang out with you!” as you and your dumb friends take off to smoke weed and fail miserably at picking up chicks down at the A&W. So there.

SOMF promoter, Matt “Hugo” Lewis is a long-time friend of mine and has been peppering me with regular phone calls over the past few months, regaling me with tales of frustration, triumph and hilarity. He’s even foolishly asked me for advice a couple times. I know, what a crazy fucker!! The latest obstacle has been the local city government giving our man hard time after hassle as the sands trickle through the hourglass and the fest’s start date ambles over the horizon. So, just to give you a small sampling of the shit promoters have to put up with, I got Matt to jot down a bit of his recent experience.

You used to hold the fest at some campground in the middle of fucking nowhere, southwestern Ontario. I’m pretty sure Middle of Fucking Nowhere actually was the name of the town. Why did you decide to move it to downtown Hamilton? Were there any other locations/cities you considered?
As we started to plan the third year of the fest, we were advised that the campground we had been using was no longer going to be open. So, for a couple weeks in October I called around and tried to find an alternative site that we could still include camping. No other campground wanted metal heads moshing and drinking all weekend on their grounds. We decided that if we couldn’t keep the camping, we might as well move it to a more centralized location. I had been putting on shows in Hamilton for years and had a good relationship with the club. They had moved to a new location which fit the possibility of still having two stages. We also needed to keep in it Southern Ontario because of the name. We didn’t really seriously consider any other city until seven months into this when I got frustrated with the process. If we do put on this festival next year, it may be in a different city.

deciblog - hugofest1

Tell us, in as much detail as you’re willing to spare, about all the shit you’ve had to deal with, with the City of Hamilton in having this show in the city?
The start of the process to get a festival approved in the City of Hamilton looked fairly straight forward. There is an application you fill out with all the details including why this event would be good for the city. The CoH sets up a meeting to go over the application with you, ask questions that any experienced promoter should know and they talk to you about security and policing, noise, road closures, if there will be any alcohol, etc. That process happened in February and two weeks after the meeting, the event was approved. I went about my business planning, getting a production team in place, fencing, staging, security and bands.
One day I got an email from the CoH saying the city councilor for the district had some concerns about the bands playing. Fuck The Facts was his main concern at this point and wanted to know how they were going to be announced. I let the CoH know we dont have announcers, this isn’t Rock on the Range or some redneck fest. I was polite and professional and advised the city we don’t have announcers and that I could talk to the band and ask them not to say their name. [Guitarist] Topon [Das] from FtF thought this was hilarious and insane, but agreed cause he’s an awesome guy. As ridiculous and morally objectionable as it was to me, I was happy to work with them because they could put any number of obstacles in front of me to prevent the outdoor stage from happening. About a month later, I was in the city of Burlington [the city "next door" to Hamilton] locking down some production stuff when a City of Burlington employee told me that he’s hearing all this controversy about our festival and didnt think it was happening anymore. Uh, news to me.
After hearing this I got a hold of some people and found out what the issue was. The city councilor had looked up some of Dying Fetus’ lyrics…. Well, this was a whole other thing now. It took some time after I reached out a couple times to go over his concerns. When we did speak, he had the usual questions about metal that most other people outside of this community would have. I understood his concerns about an outdoor stage and that people walking by could potentially hear offensive language. Something not offensive to me is I am sure really offensive to someone else, but this country has freedom of speech, doesn’t it? I understand that when someone stands on a street and preaches the love of God, which offends me to no end, I respect his right to say what he wants and I expect the same from him. Now back to the topic at hand. Said councilor wanted a list of talking points so he could defend the festival to his constituents. No problem, I sent that off which included some consequences I would be willing to enforce if bands expressed their opinion in an offensive way. That seemed to do the trick.
Now, as far as the noise by-law is concerned… Since the parking lot is considered semi-private, I had to file for a noise exemption from the city. I filed that in the beginning of June. After multiple follow ups, I heard nothing about it until the third week of July. They wanted to meet. I obliged, brought a gear list and site map. The meeting went well; I signed for the exemption and they said they would send it to me by email. A week later I got an email asking me to do a test run in the parking lot with my equipment. I said, “Well, that’s not possible. I am not going to spend extra money on a generator and the gear were using for 20 minutes.” They said it didn’t have to be the same gear, they just want a reading of the decibels. I politely said that’s not something I am willing to do as no other festival [in the city] ever has been asked to do a test run before, plus it’s three weeks before the festival. If this was the second or third week of June, I would have ample time to make changes, if needed, to meet their requirements. They came back and said we won’t issue the permit if you dont do the test run. Well, now my back is against the the wall. If i dont do the test run, I have to drop the outdoor stage and then this fest isn’t what was advertised and through no fault of my own. I put together the “test run” goes pretty well and now I am currently waiting to hear back if we get the permit.

The good news is that the test run happened a few days ago and went well. The SOMF will go on and Fuck the Facts, Dying Fetus and the rest will be able to offend not only the local councillor, but the multitude of crack dealers, alley-dwelling drunks, pregnant pack-a-day huffing welfare moms and screaming homeless schizophrenics that are usually found wandering this particular part of his ward and downtown Hamilton. And no, I’m not kidding, embellishing or being dramatic.

Decibrity Playlist: Ulcerate

By: zach.smith Posted in: featured, interviews, listen, lists On: Thursday, August 22nd, 2013


Given that Ulcerate is one of the more forward-thinking death metal bands around (as will again be evidenced on the trio’s upcoming album Vermis), it’s only fitting that drummer Jamie Saint Merat’s playlist fits his group’s modus operandi. As he explains, “Being a drummer, I figured it might be an idea to pick something that sits outside of the usual or obvious choice. Drums being a mostly non-melodic instrument, most drummers I know end up listening to a wide variety of music that they’re not necessarily into stylistically–just that the rhythmic ideas presented are so good it’s criminal not to take an interest. So rather than pick classic tracks, I figured I’d choose some modern tracks that I get a kick out of and that display phenomenal drumming from drummers that really transcend all musical boundaries, regardless of whether or not you like the style or genre.”

Feel free to air drum along here and pre-order a copy of the New Zealanders’ new record here.

Christian Scott’s “K.K.P.D.” (from 2010′s Yesterday You Said Tomorrow)
Drummer: Jamire Williams
This stuff is really cool, particularly for someone who doesn’t particularly enjoy listening to 90% of jazz–there’s a really chill vibe to this stuff, as well as a total free-jam approach that shows off Jamire’s command of the kit. Also, in the sea of over-produced/quantized and fake drum production that we’re all being subjected to these days, this is like a breath of fresh air, 100% organic “drummer in a room” sound. Love it.

christian scott

Nerve’s “Ulaan Bataar” (from 2009′s Prohibited Beats)
Drummer: Jojo Mayer
I’ll be the first to admit I know fuck-all about drum ‘n’ bass. I’ve heard bits and pieces here and there that interest me, mostly the super chopped-up, dark aggressive stuff. But the beats that the genre has spawned are insanely fascinating, and Jojo Mayer, along with one or two other names I recognize (KJ Sawka, etc.), pull off the machine-like syncopations with a human touch that’s just killer. Possibly also more accessible for those of us who aren’t listeners of electronic music typically. Jojo’s widely considered to be a total authority when it comes to mastery of this instrument–his DVD Secret Weapons for the Modern Drummer as far as I’m concerned is the be-all and end-all of hand technique. He also has arguably the best right foot in all of drumming, particularly in his mirroring of a lot of stick control techniques.


Dave Weckl Band’s “Double Up” (from 2002′s Perpetual Motion)
Drummer: Dave Weckl
Unless you actually dig fusion jazz, I think that this track is definitely a drummers-only tune, as the cheese factor is pretty high. But in terms of just complete command of an instrument, Dave Weckl ranks pretty highly. I first heard this in high school and I remember thinking, “why am I even playing drums,” haha. Saw Dave in clinic a few years later and had the exact same response once again! There’s just a level of finesse and fluidity here that not many reach, and it serves as endless inspiration. Unfortunately, this takes a certain mindset to withstand the staccato horn section and ’80s keyboards!

dave weckl

Benny Greb Brass Band’s “Good Question” (from 2009′s Brass Band)
Drummer: Benny Greb
Benny has some of the most unique feel of any drummer on the planet. You can spot his playing from a mile away. He has a vocabulary that is crazy and has a holistic and musical approach to the kit that not too many drummers attain. Even in his solo work, he rarely let’s completely loose in terms of speed or aggression, it’s mostly just intelligent ideas flowing one after the other. Also of note is his cymbal work, which has definitely seeped into my own playing, lots of really subtle hi hat and ride interplay, and just a very melodic approach in general. This track again is possibly one for the drummers, as the horns are an acquired taste!

benny greb

Chris Dave’s “Medley (Pt. 1)”
Drummer: Chris “Daddy” Dave
Chris Dave is fucking nuts, not too much more to be said here. Here he’s playing along to Portishead’s “Dummy” and Bob James’ “Nautilus”. I honestly just don’t know where he gets his sense of feel from, and you’re shit out of luck when trying to emulate it, haha. Also of note–he’s been quoted saying he goes through periods of hating toms and often plays with cracked cymbals. In this particular video he’s using five (!) snares, sounds great.

Bohren & der Club of Gore’s “Maximum Black” (from 2002′s Black Earth)
Drummer: Thorsten Benning
The only track on this list that I actually really feel from a holistic point of view (i.e., I’m a fan of the band), these guys have been a huge influence on us. I remember the first time hearing this album and just thinking it’s the most desolate, haunting music, frightening in its ability to just take its time and crawl along. The drumming is understated and tasteful, not to mention extremely down-tempo. The whole album is played with brushes and riveted cymbals but just slowly grinds away at you. Excellent stuff.


*Order a copy of Vermis here.

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

Past entries include:

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

Let’s help Joe Wickstrom

By: Posted in: breaking newz, featured On: Wednesday, August 21st, 2013


A member of our extended family needs your help.

Joe Wickstrom is the bassist of Atriarch and has played with numerous Portland bands. He was diagnosed with peripheral arterial disease in 2011 and has had a tough go. The disease narrows the arteries and makes it tough for blood to reach the limbs and extermities. Wickstrom has medical insurance but it’s not nearly enough to cover expensive medications, daily blood draws and additional surgeries and hospitalizations.

So, it’s time for Decibel readers and friends to pitch in and help one of our own.

Nathan Carson has organized a YouCaring campaign to help pay for Wickstrom’s massive medical expenses. Please go here and donate and then share this and tell your friends on Twitter and Facebook. There’s more from Carson below on Wickstrom’s situation.

Even with health insurance, the daily deductible for hospitalization is $250 and Joe spent 10 days in the past 2 months there. That $2500 on top of the $800 in payments he still had to make from 2011 adds up. Each medication is a $25 dollar copay and he has 8 which is $200 a month which he needs to pay BEFORE they give him the meds. And this is the killer……. he now has daily blood draws which are $20 a day payable at the time of service which is $600 a month. He has to make 5 doctor visits a month at this time which are $20 each.Beyond all the medical expenses, Joe can barely afford to live and eat now. He’s slipping behind financially, on a ton of medication, and sometimes having to choose between buying meds or food. We as a community cannot let this go on.

STREAMING: Mark Deutrom’s “Sky Full of Witches”

By: Shawn Macomber Posted in: featured, listen On: Wednesday, August 21st, 2013


Today it is Decibel‘s pleasure to host this exclusive stream of “Sky Full of Witches,” a sublime slab of smoldering, cinematic fuzz-groove off ex-Melvins/Clown Alley guitarist Mark Deutrom’s upcoming third solo record Brief Sensuality and Western Violence. Here’s what Deutrom told us about the track:

In 2012 the so called FAA Modernization and Reform act included a provision for fully integrating unmanned aircraft into the US National Airspace by 2015. The FAA expects that by 2020 there will be 30,000 licensed drones in the air. This brought to my mind images of all the medieval engravings of witches flying through the sky, and their total command of the space. Nothing else is ever in the sky with them, except for other witches.

The medieval context is not lost on me, with some of the other values of that time being enthusiastically embraced at the present. “Sky Full of Witches” is about being conscious of the encroaching all seeing eye, and perhaps a a fleeting nostalgia for the absence of a genuine superstition that only appears in the darkest of times.

“Sky Full of Witches” is available for purchase over at iTunes. Album trailer below.