Kevin Stewart-Panko

Exploring the Color Spectrum with White Orange. And Red Asses

August 18, 2011

The psychedelic slew-foot of Portland’s White Orange first came to my attention because of the intricate design of their …And This is Why I Speak to You in Parables picture disc EP. My copy of …Parables sat at the front of my ‘to listen to’ pile for a long while. I would love staring at…

Disposable Heroes: Electric Wizard’s “Dopethrone”

August 17, 2011

There’s little more annoying on this planet than the immoral majority telling you how essential, transcendent and (huh-huh) seminal a particular extreme album is, when you know that it’s overrated as fuck. Hence, our new Wednesday morning column, “Disposable Heroes,” in which one brave soul sails against the current to inform all you clones why…

The Southern Ontario Metalfest: European Flavor in the Heart of Buttfuck, Ontario

August 11, 2011

If you happen to be in the neighbourhood of Port Burwell, Ontario a couple weeks from now, want to get away from it all but don’t want to get away from the metal, why not consider attending the inaugural Southern Ontario Metalfest? Modeled after the grand tradition of European open air festivals, the SOMF is planning…

Rorschach – “Protestant”

August 4, 2011

It was only 18 years ago when Rorschach’s second album, Protestant, was released, but man, things were so very different. There was no Internet to help with communication or songwriting; if you wanted to write tunes, a bunch of people had to get face-to-face in a room.

Exclusive Stream: Atriarch “Forever the End”

August 4, 2011

I described them as a band that based their sound on the free-form noise and satanic soliloquy between the backend of “Don’t Burn the Witch” and the “At War With Satan” preview on Venom’s Black Metal.

Interview: Ides of Gemini

July 28, 2011

For years and years, we’ve heard bands and musicians who’ve had their work slighted and slammed by the press defensively proclaim that so-and-so journalist should have his/her opinion taken with a grain of salt, or discounted entirely, because they’re not musicians themselves. That metal’s press corps should actually shut their pie-holes because they’re able to…

The World’s Northernmost Southern Rock Band

July 21, 2011

Back in the early 2000’s, my old band (who had a song called “Twitter” almost a decade before, well… you know) was signed to a Swedish label called Lunasound Recordings. The label was run by a gentleman with obviously impeccable tastes named Stuart Ness and his wife Chelsea Krook (an ex-member of the “apocalyptic folk”…

“FINELY AGED DISHRAGS”

July 14, 2011

Odds are if I were to corner Missy Elliott and ask her how old the Motorhead shirt she’s sporting in the photo above, the answer would include variations on the phrases “My stylist picked it out for me,” “I don’t know” and “Motor-whatnow?” before her security detail – inevitably led by a 6’8” 475-lb black…

WORLD UNDER BLOOD: STREAM EXCLUSIVE TRACK

July 7, 2011

Until very recently – we’re talking a few minutes ago – I wasn’t even sure if I had previously heard of World Under Blood. Heavy metal and all its many subgenres and permutations has existed for 40 some-odd years now and the use of the words “world” and “blood” in band names, song titles, lyrics and…

AND THE HEADLINES SCREAM…

June 30, 2011

Admittedly, I’ve never been big on checking out heavy metal’s nerve center for news, Blabbermouth. Once in a while, I’ll take a peek at the site and see what’s going on, who’s in the studio, who’s on tour and even indulge in a little bit of gossip, but I personally don’t have the time or feel…

Disposable Heroes: At the Gates’ “Slaughter of the Soul”

June 29, 2011

There’s little more annoying on this planet than the immoral majority telling you how essential, transcendent and (huh-huh) seminal a particular extreme album is, when you know that it’s overrated as fuck. Hence, our new Wednesday morning column, “Disposable Heroes,” in which one brave soul sails against the current to inform all you clones why…

Would If I Could

June 27, 2011

If you’re in Los Angeles this coming Friday and Saturday, make your way down to the Nomad Gallery for the two days of the second New Weird America Festival. If on Friday you’re choosing to not embark upon a sympathetic celebration of the socialist welfare state to the north known as Canada (July 1st is Canada Day,…

Coroner – “No More Color”

May 25, 2011

The story of the creation of Coroner’s No More Color is one absent of any of the hardship, debauchery and/or numerous lineup changes that have plagued many of the albums previously anointed official badass status in our esteemed Hall.

The Decibel Study Hall of Fame III: Left Hand Path

March 31, 2011

Labias and genitals, welcome back to the Deciblog’s Study Hall of Fame wherein albums from our hallowed hall are viewed through the eyes and ears of my eight-year-old son. It’s been a long time since young Sam opined the belief that Sepultura were singing in a made-up language called ‘fuckowackopeas’ and here he offers his…

Justify Your Shitty Taste: Cryptopsy’s “The Unspoken King”

January 5, 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 Wednesday morning, a Decibel staffer or special guest will take to the Deciblog to bitch and moan at length as to why everybody’s full of shit and said dud is, in fact, The…

Justify Your Shitty Taste I: Metallica’s “St. Anger”

December 15, 2010

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 Wednesday morning, a Decibel staffer or special guest will take to the Deciblog to bitch and moan at length as to why everybody’s full of shit and said dud is, in fact, The…

The Decibel Study Hall of Fame, Pt.II

November 29, 2010

Welcome to the second instalment of Decibel’s Study Hall of Fame. Here, my eight-year-old son, Sam cherry picks albums from our illustrious Hall and delivers opinion untainted by the sort of prejudicial bullshit that forces the majority of us to employ phrases like “guilty pleasure” to justify our enjoyment of stuff that supposedly flies in…

The Decibel Study Hall of Fame: Reign in Blood

October 28, 2010

Those of you who dragged your asses to the previously formatted Deciblog on a regular basis might be familiar with my 8-year-old son, Sam. At the time, he won a trio of bad-ass Immortal skatedecks, courtesy of Vans and Nuclear Blast, for dropping 75 words about how bad-ass he thought Immortal is. Truth is, he…

Watchtower – “Control and Resistance”

January 1, 2010

As the popularity of our Hall of Fame feature grows, so do the chances of us throwing a wild card at you folks.

Judge – “Bringin’ It Down”

August 1, 2009

Upon finding out the next album our vaunted Hall of Fame was going to open its pearly gates to was slated to be Judge’s Bringin’ It Down, an anticipatory buzz broke out amongst the extreme music luminaries hanging around the Decibel table at the most recent Maryland Deathfest.

Suffocation – “Effigy of the Forgotten”

May 1, 2009

When five unassuming, working-class dudes from Nassau County (Long Island, NY) released their debut full-length in 1991, it initially didn’t seem destined to have the atomic bomb of impact that it would eventually ascertain with the passage of time.

Discordance Axis – “The Inalienable Dreamless”

March 17, 2009

Dateline: Summer 2000. My former band has just finished our 30-minute spot on the rickety stage at New York City’s CBGB as one of eight opening acts for what is supposed to be grindcore experimentalists Discordance Axis’ last show.

Testament – “The Legacy”

October 1, 2008

News flash: Thrash metal didn’t begin or end with the release of Testament’s The Legacy, but just because the band’s 1987 debut didn’t defiantly construct genre bookends, it is still very much worthy of entry into Decibel’s hallowed hall.

Bad Brains – “Bad Brains”

August 1, 2007

While a pretty good case could be made for inducting either Rock for Light or I Against I into our esteemed Hall, the debut full-length by DC-cum-New York’s Bad Brains deserves the coveted nod; not just for its blazing punk/hardcore, but the circumstances surrounding its creation.

The Dillinger Escape Plan – “Calculating Infinity”

December 18, 2006

This one’s a no-brainer. Regardless of what you think about Calculating Infinity, you can’t deny that the 11 tracks on this album revolutionized extreme music and raised the bar in terms of technicality, musicianship, speed, dynamics–even visual presentation, album photography, and design.

Meshuggah – “Destroy Erase Improve”

November 18, 2006

Everyone remembers that one episode of The Osbournes some five years back where Ozzy’s ungrateful male sprog took it upon himself to use Meshuggah’s Destroy Erase Improve as a thrust and parry in the suburban war against his Beverly Hills neighbors.

Deadguy – “Fixation on a Coworker”

July 1, 2006

“Hi Kevin, I’m coming down to your office now. Um… could you please make sure that noise you’re always blasting is off by the time I get there? Thanks!”

Atheist – “Unquestionable Presence”

October 1, 2005

Hearken back to when you first slapped on Calculating Infinity. Recall how completely overwhelmed you were by the Dillinger Escape Plan’s virtuosity, originality, technicality and songs seemingly designed to induce vertigo.