Justin Norton

Vocation of Unhappiness: The Deciblog Interview with Mark SaFranko

January 14, 2015

Let’s clear away any confusion at the outset: Mark SaFranko is not someone’s father who has decided to moonlight in a metal band or one of the few remaining music talent scouts. SaFranko is an American author based in New Jersey who, for more than three decades, has lived a writer’s life and all it…

Season Of The Witch: The Ideas Behind Metal’s Occult Revival

January 12, 2015

Any astute follower of metal in the past five years has likely noticed a huge uptick in the number of bands with a proto-70s sound and occult themes: The Devil’s Blood, Sabbath Assembly, Blood Ceremony and The Oath. A few of these bands have been on Decibel’s cover: In Solitude and Ghost B.C. (twice). While…

Video Premiere: Karma To Burn’s “57”

January 7, 2015

Post-holiday doldrums. The coldest time of the year, especially with climate change. It’s time for your favorite band to get the 30-year-old van out of the garage and challenge ice storms and snowpiles to play for your benefit. West Virginia’s favorite sons Karma To Burn will be one of the brave soliders taking to the…

Metal Yoga With André Foisy #6: Start A Yoga Practice in 2015

January 5, 2015

People have been writing to ask about starting a yoga practice. Some common themes, or excuses, come up in these messages. The end of the messages usually end like this: “I’d do yoga, but…” • I’m not flexible; • I need to get into shape before I go to a class; • I need to…

2014: The Year In Guest Posts

December 31, 2014

There are 52 weeks in a year. Give or take a few holidays and medical procedures that equals more than 100 blog posts annually when you have slots on Monday and Wednesday. There’s literally no way anyone trying to make a living could create that much original content (although Decibel alumni and Invisible Oranges founder…

2014: The Year In Deciblog Interviews

December 29, 2014

It’s instructive to look back at a collection of work over the course of a year. During 2014 we’ve endeavored to get you as many interviews we could on Mondays and Wednesdays in addition to streaming tracks, which are sort of a default necessity in music writing these days. If you take a look you’ll…

Inside The Shredder’s Studio #15: Jeremy Wagner (Take 2)

December 23, 2014

Broken Hope’s Jeremy Wagner sat down with us beginning last week for his four-part shredder’s studio. Here is the second installment from the death metal veteran turned author. We’ll be running the final two takes at a time to be revealed in 2015. — Savatage: Sirens (title track) (1983) The guitar work of Criss Oliva…

Inside The Shredder’s Studio #15: Jeremy Wagner (Take 1)

December 17, 2014

When you invite a a published novelist to the shredder’s studio expect a narrative. Such was the case with death metal veteran and Broken Hope founder Jeremy Wagner. Not only did Mr. Wagner visit the shredder’s studio — he provided your host with a near novella on the riffs that shaped him in chronological order….

STREAMING: Outer Heaven’s “Vile Rebirth”

December 15, 2014

Publicist guy says: “We think you’ll like this — it sounds like Coffins.” So, we decide to check it out because we love Coffins. And yes, we can hear that a bit but we hear even more similarities to Mitochondrian and Decibel favorites Incantation. These are promising comparisons for extreme metal. Despite throwing out a…

Full Album Stream: NervoChaos

December 10, 2014

Ah, December — the time of the year when everyone puts out their “best of” lists and thinks about albums that will come out in summer 2015. We’re just as guilty at Decibel; our annual top 40 extravaganza is probably on your nightstand. This would lead you to think that no new music comes out…

NSFW: Couch Slut’s Cover Conundrum

December 8, 2014

We’re not at all shocked that a band called Couch Slut had trouble printing the artwork to their new album My Life As A Woman. And that’s before we even saw the image — a nothing-is-hidden illustration of felicitous fellatio too racy for ribald 70s tome The Joy Of Sex (check it out on their…

Album Stream and Giveaway: Murder Junkies

December 3, 2014

Old outlaw scumfucs never die. Actually, the virtuous go first and the bad people continue along in almost cockroach fashion. They’re unkillable. Case in point: Merle Allin, brother of the legendary musical outlaw GG. You might hate GG but you certainly know about him. Not only did Merle survive life with one of the craziest…

Musk Ox: Video Premiere Part 2

December 1, 2014

Right before people started pulling up their carts to head home for Thanksgiving we premiered the first making of video from the Canadian neofolk project Musk Ox, the perfect accompaniment to the time of the year when the days get shorter and much colder. In case you missed it you can check it out here….

Musk Ox: Video Premiere Part 1

November 26, 2014

What’s a Musk Ox? Is it some sort of rare delicacy that your backwoods family member serves up at Thanksgiving Dinner? According to the sages at Wikipedia a musk ox is: an Arctic mammal of the family Bovidae, noted for its thick coat and for the strong odor emitted during the seasonal rut by males,…

Clobberin’ Time: Sick Of It All On The Evolution Of Mosh

November 24, 2014

This is the time of the year to acknowledge the things you’re thankful for. One of the things we’re very thankful for is that we’ve been alive to experience multiple Sick Of It All shows. SOIA has long exported their brands of New York City hardcore to the world – as well as their intensely…

Q&A and Album Stream: Boddicker

November 19, 2014

If you don’t dig deep into the demos reviewed in our print edition you will miss many gems. Case in point: Boddicker‘s nasty little album Crime Upheaval, which reminded us of classics like World Downfall and Misery Index with Brujeria theatrics. Boddicker is actually the name of the villian in the original Robocop so there’s…

Internal Bleeding: Carnival Of Death Recap

November 17, 2014

Internal Bleeding recently finished a 30-date North American tour. Guitarist Chris Pervelis shared this funny roundup from his time on the road. You can connect with the band on Facebook and get their new album Imperium from Unique Leader. — Thirty shows — across both America and Canada. That’s quite a test of human endurance…

Video Premiere: Mysticum Track-By-Track

November 12, 2014

Ah, Mysticum, how you’ve been missed. There was so much talk for so long about the comeback album Planet Satan that we were convinced the record was either a myth or an elaborate troll. But no: Planet Satan was released this fall after decades of speculation, marking the return of a band audacious enough in…

STREAMING: ZOM’s “Conquest”

November 11, 2014

No, this is not that dude who was in Marilyn Manson for about the length of a football season (that’s Zim Zum). This is ZOM and they come from Ireland bearing blackened death metal. Actually, they list their hometown as ANTI MATTER UNIVERSE on Facebook which sort of has the same ring as “From Parts…

Video Premiere: Drawers — “Shadow Dancers”

November 10, 2014

Early in 2014, your friends at the Deciblog premiered the self-titled full length from the French sludge metal band Drawers (yes, this is a real thing). My cohort Jonathan Horsley described it as “a heavy album, weighty enough to compromise the lumbar but not quite enough to crush the spirit; shit, it’s heavy and gentle,…

Video Premiere: Deadkill’s “Shakes”

November 5, 2014

Massive hangovers! Camel breath! Riffs! Hair of the dog shots! Barfing on video! Fortunately, these guys decided to walk to the bar for another day of partying. The aforementioned bad behaviors are in full effect in the low production cost but high comedic value video debut of Deadkill’s “Shakes.” Decibel premiered the No, Never! album…

Low Fidelity: Last Shift At The Shore

November 4, 2014

For more than a year, Neill Jameson has posted periodic columns about his life in a New Jersey record store at the Deciblog. They’ve been among the most popular features we’ve run in recent years. Neill recently clocked out for the last time and agreed to give us his thoughts after last shift. Fear not:…

Thou’s Heathen: Studio Report Outtakes

October 29, 2014

In early 2013, Thou vocalist Bryan Funck sent us wonderful responses on the writing and recording of Thou’s 2014 album Heathen. The issue: we only had enough space for our customary studio report and had to cherry pick details. As people begin to consider their best-of lists Heathen will doubtless be one of the albums…

The Deciblog Interview: Midnight

October 27, 2014

Midnight is actually one man. Jamie Walters — a.k.a. Athenar — handles all instruments and vocals. Although the band has been around for more than a decade their profile has risen exponentially since the release of Satanic Royalty. Midnight will likely be lurking around some best of lists for the 2014 follow-up No Mercy For…

Streaming: New Decimation track

October 22, 2014

If you are a regular Deciblog reader you’re probably wondering why we didn’t call out the new Decimation track name in the headline. Well, let’s just say it’s a bit of a tongue twister: “Devilish Domain Vortex in the Gloom of Wicked Ziggura.” Wait, what? That’s a verbal flourish that would make Willy Wonka proud….

The Deciblog Interview: Paul Di’Anno

October 20, 2014

“A lot has been written and said about me through the years — most of it bad, some of it untrue.” That’s the opening of the 2010 Paul Di’Anno biography The Beast, which reads more like a gritty LA noir novel than a musical memoir. If you were to read the book — a combination…

Inside The Shredder’s Studio # 14: Skeletonwitch

October 15, 2014

Here at the shredder’s studio we usually have one chair in the virtual office. Today, we need to pull up two. Nate Garnette and Scott Hedrick agreed to spend some time with us and walk us through their many influences. Please welcome the dual shredders of Skeletonwitch to the shredder’s studio, our 14th episode! Even…

Full Album Stream: Inferion’s This Will Decay

October 13, 2014

Florida and death metal are practically synonymous. Most of that has to do with the legendary albums cranked out of Morrisound in the 90s by Obituary, Death, Cannibal Corpse and other luminaries. But don’t forget Miami, which is the home of Decibel favorite grinders Maruta and birthed Hall Of Fame inductees Cynic. Let’s showcase a…

Interview and Exclusive Book Excerpt: Mark Rudolph

October 8, 2014

For more than half of Decibel’s decade-long history Mark Rudolph has been a key component of what makes the magazine special. He illustrates the lead review in each issue and has designed covers for all of Decibel’s annual specials dating back to our 100 best death metal albums special. When he isn’t busy with the…

Metal Yoga With André Foisy #5

October 6, 2014

André Foisy plays guitar in Locrian and is a certified yoga instructor who teaches in Chicago, including a monthly candlelit yoga event set to dark ambient metal. You can find his yoga teaching schedule and more information about him on his website, Facebook page, and you can find past instructional videos on his YouTube channel….