Kevin Stewart-Panko

Streaming the Sonic Poison of Sonic Poison

June 18, 2015

While metal may be Decibel’s bread ‘n’ butter ‘n’ focus, there’s no doubt we love ourselves some hardcore punk. Especially when it’s super-pissed off and sounds like a pack of rabid wolves developed opposable thumbs, invented a time machine and set the coordinates for somewhere smack dab in the middle of the mid-80s NYC, D.C. and Boston scenes.


June 4, 2015

A few months ago, French grinders Nolentia and stoner doomers, Drawers were invited to participate in 2015’s edition of the long-running Brutal Fest, an annual tour that brings European bands to Cuba. We got in touch with Nolentia guitarist/vocalist, Ghis and Drawers drummer Olivier Lolmede to get an account of the experience.

Tracking Down Metal from Not-So Metal Places: Anuryzm Interviewed

May 28, 2015

Hailing from Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, progressive power thrashers Anuryzm are set to release their second full-length on June 15th, All is Not For All. I got in touch with guitarist John Bakhos and vocalist Nadeem Michel Bibby in order to explore my on-going curiosity about metal from places not normally associated with metal and to discuss the band’s forthcoming album.

ØLTEN: Weird/Entertaining Band. Weird/Entertaining Dudes. Weird/Entertaining Video

May 21, 2015

Switzerland’s Ølten has one of the most entertaining bios I’ve come across in a long time. They obviously don’t need a hack like me to help, so let’s nab a couple of zingers from their various profiles on various online portals:

The Top 5 Riffs That Have Caused Me Almost More Trouble Than They’re Worth

May 20, 2015

Ever since 2006, each year end issue has included, alongside the customary list of the year’s best albums for you to argue about and call us out on, a collection of Top 5’s ranging from the silly to the (somewhat) serious to the even more silly. 

Farmageddon Open Air: Even if You Bring Metal to the Middle of Nowhere, They Will Come.

May 14, 2015

Looking to combine his love of distortion and bug bites (and paintball!), is Alberta-based promoter Tyson Travnik, the mastermind behind Farmageddon Open Air, an annual gathering 45 miles outside of Edmonton, near Riley, Alberta. Two-thousand-fifteen will be the third year of his fest and it promises to be the biggest yet 


May 14, 2015

This afternoon, we continue making our own lives that much more difficult with the ongoing practice of ranking the songs that comprise some of the greatest albums of all time

Not Jumping to Conclusions and Streaming William English’s “Grandpa Sorrow Part 1”

May 7, 2015

When the promo for UK band William English’s debut full-length, Basic Human Error showed up in my inbox, I made a basic human error and judged a book by its cover. 

Video Premiere: Witch of the Waste’s “It Was Always 3:00 AM”

April 30, 2015

I knew from the off that Vancouver’s Witch of the Waste was going to be a band that hung out in extreme music’s left/left-centre field. How? T-shirts, brah!

Gas Mask Fever – Streaming New Kommandant

April 23, 2015

When the idea of running an advance stream of a track from The Architects of Extermination, the forthcoming third album by Chicago’s Kommandant was proposed to me, I was all naively like, “Well, shucks and swell! Sure! Why not?!” Good call, dummy.


April 16, 2015

Metal is falling deeper and deeper into a retro-obsessed morass. As such, folks will forever debate both sides of the ‘should they or shouldn’t they be digging out old treasures/does the old school crowd care about the new school stuff/does the new school crowd care about the old school stuff/should the band in question have broken up years ago’ arguments. Tonight, and this tour as a whole, is a solid indication that everyone on all sides of all arguments is both right and wrong. The Dark Roots of Thrash tour demonstrates that the entire span of a given band’s career means different things to different groups of people and everyone is valid in expressing their love of whatever era of a band they happen to love.

Read the rest of the review (and retro commentary) after the jump.

Gettin’ Mathy with Kehlvin and Fleshworld

April 9, 2015

  We’re all familiar with math rock and math metal, but how much rock and metal has actually been written about math? For all your number crunching fun, we’d like to turn your direction towards To Deny Everything That’s Mundane, a split release set to be imminently dropped like a weighty textbook of epic proportions…

No Room Left at the Psych Ward: Meek is Murder Premiere “Upward”

April 2, 2015

Meek is Murder formed after ex-Red Chord axe slinger, Mike Keller, probably having had it with  trying to figure when, if ever, bassist and band mate Greg Weeks was ever being serious about anything, departed from the Boston bruisers to nurse his internal head wounds in peace. While none of this can be confirmed, what ended up coming…

This Will Keep Your Brain Busy For a While: Upsilon Acrux Track Premiere

March 27, 2015

Admittedly, before a couple weeks ago, I didn’t know much about California’s Upsilon Acrux. I had no idea the band had been around for almost twenty years, is set to release album number seven and have toured and shared the stage with the Locust, the Fucking Champs, the Dillinger Escape Plan, the Boredoms and a…


March 20, 2015

dB Rating: 9/10

Holy Shit, We’re All Fucking Old!: The Final Bit of Celebratory Relapse Shop Talk.

March 19, 2015

And so it ends. My personal weeks-long salute to Relapse’s 25th anniversary in interview form, that is. The real celebratin’ hasn’t even yet begun – what with the upcoming fests, tours, beer collaborations, reissues and the loose promise of more Devourment thongs and booty shorts, it promises to be a crazy year steeped in warm…

Holy Shit, We’re All Fucking Old!: More Celebratory Relapse Shop Talk.

March 12, 2015

Here, we continue with the third of four weeks dedicated to Relapse-related interviews in celebration of the label’s 25th anniversary. Go check out the interview I did with founder and president, Matt Jacobson here and here. Beyond interviewing Matt himself, the next most obvious thing would have been to track down bands past and present…

Mutoid Man: Short Album Preview. Shorter Interview. Lots of Photos.

March 9, 2015

Last year, Mutoid Man slammed our faces into various solid objects by blasting on to the scene with their Helium Head EP. The quality of high-octane punky, rocking prog metal quickly saw them outgrowing their selling point as a simple side project of Stephen [Cave In] Brodsky and Ben [Converge] Koller to become a propulsive…

Holy Shit, We’re All Fucking Old!: Matt Jacobson Talks About 25 Years of Relapse (Part II)

March 5, 2015

Ok, this is the second part of our interview with Relapse’s El Presidente, Matt Jacobson. Go here for part one from last week and a bit more of a thorough explanation about this being done in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the label, even if the last part of this half of the interview…

Holy Shit, We’re All Fucking Old!: Matt Jacobson Talks About 25 Years of Relapse (Part I)

February 26, 2015

This year, Relapse Records turns 25 years old. Jesus frickin’ fuck, where has the time gone?! It just seems like yesterday we were combing blurry ads and squinting our way through mail order reprints in fanzines for Suffocation and General Surgery EPs and Amorphis and Deceased full-lengths and here we are in 2015 with the…

Streaming: Abyss’ “The Atonement” Maybe You’ve Read About ‘Em…

February 19, 2015

As some of you may know, I’ve been sailing on the good ship Decibel since it was christened. I’ve seen (and heard!) a lot of shit and even remember some of it! And yes, I’m the head knucklehead who wrote the oft-referenced-and-made-fun-of Dragonforce cover story. So, you’d think that having bounced 10+ years of deadlines…

Interview with Barishi

February 12, 2015

I originally got my hands on Barishi’s self-titled, self-released, full-length album via guitarist Graham Brooks who was filling in for fellow Vermonters, Vaporizer during a tour with Vattnet Viskar. After figuring out who the hell I was, he passed along a copy of the record and Bob’s yer fucking uncle. That was about a year…

Expain Does Guitar Playthrough. Old Coot Stewart-Panko Whines and Complains.

February 5, 2015

Most of the promotional methodologies of the digital age are platforms I don’t quite get and don’t think I’ll ever be able to hang with. In addition to the constant fishing for complements that are disguised as update/progress reports (“We’ve got two-and-a-half new songs written and we can’t wait for you guys to hear them!”…

Lo! (and Behold) It’s an Interview and Video Premiere!

January 29, 2015

Australian sludge metal miscreants, Lo! have decided to celebrate the arrival of new vocalist, Sam Dillon by dunking him repeatedly into a vat of what looks like congealed Pepto Bismol in their brand new video, “Orca.” While some may see the video below as evidence of some cruel hazing ritual (whatever happened to the good…

Griever’s Love is on the Rocks

January 22, 2015

Next month sees the release of Griever’s debut full-length, Our Love is Different. Set to be issued by the awesome folk(s) at Vitriol (in addition to that awesomeness, let’s not forget about the label’s sympathetic side as it deigned to release this bit of un-spellchecked wisdom), Our Love is Different follows on the heels of…

Calgary’s Arbitrator, Featuring Drummer Dirk Verbeuren, T(he)y Would Like You to Know

January 15, 2015

I don’t know much about Calgary’s Arbitrator outside of the fact that they refer to themselves (or at least have been referred to) as “industrial death metal” and have existed in various line-up permutations over the course of four years of existence. They’ve existed as everything from full-on quartet to duo status to one-man on…

Playing Catch Up (Again) with Rottenness

January 8, 2015

“Mexican-American death/grind bands, like to answer telephones and say hello to Decibel hacks on the other end…” It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Mexico’s Rottenness. Breaking up for a short spell during 2012 didn’t help their cause, but the band is back with a new line-up and album in the wings. Gone are…

Spazz – “La Revancha”

December 22, 2014

The setting: the San Francisco Bay Area. The era: the mid-’90s. The sound: the violent and harried subgenre of powerviolence, going over with the natives like a wet fart in a dry church.

Happy Fucking Easter from the Wise-asses in Old Man Gloom

December 18, 2014

So, I’m assuming you’ve all heard about the so-called prank wherein Old Man Gloom and Profound Lord sent out promos of their The Ape of God double album. Included within was new music that wasn’t actually new music as it appeared on the official release of the album(s). if you want to read a more…

Greber: Not Named After a Goalie

December 11, 2014

I’d like to take this opportunity to nip something in the bud: Cambridge, Ontario’s Greber is in no way associated with, saluting, paying homage to, or actually even really aware of, former NHL goaltender Martin Gerber. The first indication should have been that the moniker as selected by the two-man sludge/doom monolith is spelt completely…