J. Bennett

Mercyful Fate – “Melissa”

February 24, 2011

It would be completely accurate to say that Melissa is the greatest album ever named after an errant human skull, but it would also be a ridiculously short sell.

Justify Your Shitty Taste: Celtic Frost’s “Cold Lake”

February 16, 2011

Almost every band has that album: you know, the critically and/or commercially reviled dud in an otherwise passable-to-radical back catalog. Well, every now and then, a Decibel staffer or special guest will take to the site to bitch and moan at length as to why everybody’s full of shit and said dud is, in fact,…

Bonus Q&A with Oderus Urungus

December 8, 2010

Shortly after our trip to the Slave Pit to bring you this month’s GWAR cover story, we sent foul-mouthed front-cretin Oderus Urungus a few follow-up questions via email. Here’s what he told us between long, suffocating hits from his trusty crack pipe: GWAR has been threatening to exterminate the human race for 25 years now,…

Nuns Have No Fun

October 25, 2010

If you’ve been following us here on the Deciblog for the last few months, you know that exactly every two weeks we post a flyer for something called Heavy Tuesday. We’re still not really sure what it is, but J. Bennett keeps insisting that it’s occasionally awesome. As far as we can tell, it’s this…

Type O Negative – “Bloody Kisses”

June 14, 2010

Steele (who was still working for the NYC Parks Department), guitarist Kenny Hickey, drummer Sal Abruscato and producer/keyboardist Josh Silver descended upon Systems Two in Brooklyn to record the album that would propel them into the bright lights and big titties of international rock stardom.

Pentagram – “Relentless”

June 13, 2010

As convoluted back-stories go, it doesn’t get much more tangled than the one behind Pentagram’s Relentless.

Saint Vitus – “Born Too Late”

March 1, 2010

Saint Vitus were a living, breathing anachronism in every possible way.

Metallica – “… And Justice for All”

December 1, 2008

Many will cry sacrilege, but we’re gonna say it anyway: …And Justice for All is Metallica’s finest hour.

Kyuss -“Welcome to Sky Valley”

November 18, 2008

Rolling from Los Angeles into the parched sandbox of the Mojave, anyone familiar with Welcome to Sky Valley will see almost all the relevant landmarks along the 10 East freeway.

Down – “NOLA”

July 1, 2008

If there’s just one person in the world who’ll never forget the exact date NOLA came out, it’s Eyehategod guitarist/Down drummer Jimmy Bower.

Converge – “Jane Doe”

January 1, 2008

Call it the face that launched a thousand metalcore graphic designers (into a rat-race of feverish mimicry).

Immortal – “At the Heart of Winter”

October 1, 2007

In 1995, Norwegian corpsepaint legends Immortal were on top of the world: With Mayhem’s Hellhammer sitting in on drums, vocalist/bassist Abbath and guitarist/lyricist Demonaz were high on the icy grimness of their own Battles in the North and opening for Morbid Angel on the European leg of the Domination tour.

Cave In – “Until Your Heart Stops”

July 18, 2007

Cave In have had many musical identities since their inception in Methuen, MA, in 1995, but the one that first established them as underground heroes was the dizzying, face-ripping metal blowout now known the world over as Until Your Heart Stops.

Celtic Frost – “Morbid Tales”

February 18, 2007

Of all the classic albums thus far inducted into Decibel’s Hall of Fame, none has had a greater influence on the death metal and black metal that succeeded it than Celtic Frost’s Morbid Tales.

ONLY Living Witness – “Prone Mortal Form”

January 1, 2007

They were the best band you never heard of. Unless you lived in the greater Boston area between 1989 and 1995, worked at Century Media, or happened to catch them on your local college radio station (or on their 1993 European tour with the Cro-Mags), Only Living Witness were virtual unknowns.

Monster Magnet – Dopes to Infinity

October 18, 2006

After Nirvana’s Nevermind tore the “alternative rock market” a seven-figure asshole, every major label with easy access to a couple of guitar-wielding longhairs was vying to shove its swollen corporate phallus into the proverbial money-ring of brown fire.

Eyehategod – “Take as Needed for Pain”

June 19, 2006

Drugs, disease, crime, abuse, poverty, paranoia, drugs, alcohol, alcohol, alcohol: Such are the cornerstones of Eyehategod’s time-honored New Orleans aesthetic.

Morbid Angel – “Altars of Madness”

April 1, 2006

The sweltering heat and merciless humidity of mid- to late-‘80s Florida proved a fertile breeding ground for a burgeoning genre that would announce itself to the world as death metal.

Sleep – “Jerusalem”

March 19, 2006

The words “stoner epic” don’t even come close to describing the extreme riff-hypnosis that Jerusalem visited upon the red-eyed legions of heshers, grass pirates, and acid casualties who genuflected at the altar of the legendary San Jose power-trio known as Sleep.

Cathedral – “Forest of Equilibrium”

February 19, 2006

In 1989, while the extreme metal underground was bingeing on the high-speed savagery of death metal and grindcore, ex-Napalm Death vocalist Lee Dorrian and Carcass roadie Mark “Griff” Griffiths were getting ripped on British cider, brown weed, and the down-tuned Sabbathian histrionics of Trouble, St. Vitus, and Witchfinder General.

Emperor – “In the Nightside Eclipse”

December 19, 2005

In the Norwegian summer of 1993, the second wave of black metal was still in its ultra-violent infancy, and only a handful of bands were actively exploring the parameters of what was then an obscure and distinctly Scandinavian art form.

Botch – “We Are the Romans”

November 1, 2005

1999 was a transitional year for both underground music and America’s most iconic freestanding structures.

Carcass – “Necroticism – Descanting The Insalubrious”

September 1, 2005

Liverpudlian grind titans Carcass may not have invented grindcore with 1991’s Necroticism – Descanting the Insalubrious, but they certainly opened it up to a magnitude of previously unfathomed possibilities.

Entombed – “Left Hand Path”

August 1, 2005

Death metal was still in its infancy when Left Hand Path came roaring out of Stockholm like Satan’s official theme music—a deafening cavalcade of impossibly thick guitars, guttural vocal incantations, and gore-drenched lyrics that struck a considerable contrast—well, the guitars, anyway—to the burgeoning Floridian death-swarm (Obituary, Death, Morbid Angel) of the day.

Anthrax – “Among the Living”

July 1, 2005

1987 was a big year for coke-metal and bad hair: Def Leppard’s Hysteria, Mötley Crüe’s Girls, Girls, Girls, Whitesnake’s Whitesnake, and Guns n’ Roses’ Appetite For Destruction were all bum-rushing the charts like a pack of wild junkies tearing through Steven Tyler’s medicine cabinet at 4AM—which most of them were, anyway.

Life of Agony – “River Runs Red”

May 1, 2005

When I was sixteen years old, I listened to four records obsessively: Metallica’s …And Justice For All …, Kyuss’ Blues For the Red Sun, the first Danzig album, and Life Of Agony’s River Runs Red—the last of which I thought was my own private musical discovery (like every other jackass with cable, I saw the video for “Through And Through” on Headbanger’s Ball).

At the Gates – “Slaughter of the Soul”

March 1, 2005

In May of 1995, At the Gates entered Studio Fredman in Gothenburg, Sweden, to record what would be their fourth and final full-length, Slaughter of the Soul.

Slayer – “Reign in Blood”

November 2, 2004

Having already unleashed two merciless lo-fi shredding clinics via Show No Mercy and Hell Awaits, Slayer’s urban-Satanist lyrics and ultra-violent guitar acrobatics were far too inaccessible for West Hollywood’s coke-metal scene and way too sketchy for the Bay Area’s newly viable thrash contingency.