Shawn Macomber

TRACK PREMIERE: INDIA’s HEATHEN BEAST DELIVER BLACKENED GRINDCORE SUBVERSION ON “IT’S ONLY A MINOR INCONVENIENCE”

March 22, 2017

Sometimes there are things in life which you cannot just let pass. Sometimes you have to speak up and not be a silent spectator.

So wrote undercover provocateurs Heathen Beast in announcing its new full-length ambush $cam, inspired and enraged by the Indian government’s November, 2016 demonetization decree 

FULL ALBUM STREAM: MOUNT VESUVIUS EXTREME METALLERS NAGA ERUPT ON “INANIMATE”

March 15, 2017

Italian blackened doom merchants Naga formed in the shadows of Mount Vesuvius — the volcano which infamously laid waste to Pompeii — and the influence of that environment are all over the band’s magisterial new full-length Inanimate, a brilliant eruption of oppressive, brutal, dark, unrelenting, implacable sounds and atmospherics.

“GET THE KID WITH THE SIDEBURNS”: 90’S METALLIC HARDCORE GREATS REVERSAL OF MAN TALK 5 CLASSIC TRACKS

March 8, 2017

Even judged alongside its contemporaries from those fertile, boundary-obliterating metallic hardcore glory days of the late 90s, the discography of Tampa, Florida’s Reversal of Man — a singularly potent amalgamation of powerviolence, post-hardcore, grind, indie, and impossibly abrasive hardcore — stands out and, in many ways, remains ahead of its time nearly two decades after disbanding.  

TRACK PREMIERE: JOIN KENOMA ON A TRIPPED OUT VOYAGE ACROSS THE “33RD PARALLEL”

March 1, 2017

Lord! It may have taken long-rising future progressive doom kings Kenoma eleven years to follow up that leveling 2006 split alongside Mouth of the Architect, but with Tides Will Prevail the Dayton, Ohio quintet delivers an empyreal debut full-length intricate, beguiling, and memorable enough to justify the gestation.

TRAUMA, ASSAULT, & SONIC “MACHINATIONS”: HARK INTERVIEW AND FULL ALBUM STREAM

February 22, 2017

The sludge-heavy stoner rock of Hark takes on myriad new dimensions throughout the Welsh quartet’s exapansive, high-octane sophomore full-length Machinations, out later this week via Season of MistDecibel recently interrogated guitarist/vocalist Jimbob Issac about the brutal and harrowing personal roots of the album’s thematic content, finding the unlikely inspirational sweet spot between Azeaila Banks, S.O.D., Unsane and Stevie Ray Vaughan, and the way playing large, prestigious festivals can expand a band’s sense of what is possible.

MAGIC BULLET RECORDS DELIVERS A SONIC BEATDOWN ON NINETIES STRETCH OF MEMORY LANE

February 15, 2017

Remarkable things are afoot over at the YouTube page of Magic Bullet Records — one of the best, most adventurous independent labels currently in existence, led by the incomparable artist/musician/leader Brent Eyestone whose efforts we’ve previously covered here, here, here, and here — where a series of amazing live performances captured on videotape during various revolutionary heavy music moments of the nineties are now being digitized and posted for posterity.

NEMESIS RECORDS MEMORIALIZED IN ESSENTIAL NEW BOOK; PIT-WORTHY PLAYLIST BREAKS OUT

February 8, 2017

The paradigm-smashing creative churn in hardcore as the eighties gave way to the nineties was an amazing thing to behold. And few label rosters represented that wondrous, multidimensional, beauty and the beast evolution-through-revolution moment than Nemesis Records — a legendary 1988-1993 run which, along with Nemesis founder Big Frank Harrison, at long last receives a fitting tribute via Reaper Records founder Patrick Kitzel’s scrappy, enlightening, no-holds-barred, lovingly assembled The History of Nemesis Records, featuring release-by-release commentary from Harrison as well as reminiscences courtesy such scene luminaries as Mike Hartsfield (Outspoken), Issac Golub (A Chorus Of Disapproval), Andrew Kline (Strife), Ron Martinez (Final Conflict), Jon Bunch (Sense Field), Dave Franklin (Vision), and others.

TRACK PREMIERE: MOROS “CORROSIVE EXISTENCE”

February 1, 2017

“We’re making sludge through a death metal lens,” Moros drummer Jason Dost tells Decibel. “I can’t say we are a death metal band but the horror and savageness of that early death metal sound influences what we do for sure.” 

Happily, that proves to be a pretty goddamn spot-on self-assessment as one jams this seriously intense, head-turning Moros split with Black Urn  — a straight-up enigmatic-yet-primal nightmare translated into assaultive sound waves.

Overkill

January 30, 2017

The Grinding Wheel
The Blitz Abides
dB rating: 8/10

EXCLUSIVE BOOK EXCERPT: “SLICE-AND-GRAB” FROM LITERARY TRIBUTE TO THE MISFITS, “HYBRID MOMENTS.”

January 25, 2017

So. If you didn’t know you were hungry for full-bodied alternate dimension dark fiction reinterpretations of Danzig-era Misfits, Weirdpunk Books is here to correct that failure of imagination with the  straight-up surrealist mindfuck of Hybrid Moments: A Literary Tribute to The Misfits, featuring fifteen fun, disquieting, extremely extreme stories that raise the “horror” element of “horror punk” to a completely new (and brutal) level

FULL ALBUM STREAM: REENTER…THE CYCLONE TEMPLE!

January 18, 2017

For a brief time in the early 90’s Cyclone Temple was one of the best heavy metal bands on the planet…

So argues No Echo proprietor/Deny the Cross vocalist Carlos Ramirez in the liner notes to the reverential, enlivening reissue of 1991’s I Hate Therefore I Am — available as an import courtesy Divebomb Records International alongside a fascinating collections of demos, early and live tracks, and of the Greed, Home of the Depraved — and we’re streaming the Chicago thrashers’ seriously underrated, boundary-defying full-length debut below as evidence that our man is not engaged in any sort of idle smoke blowing: This superior sonic marriage of Spreading the Disease-era Anthrax and circa-Age of Quarrel Cro-Mags, further empowered and set apart by Brian Troch’s ferocious Dio-meets-street vocals, remains far ahead of its time in many, many ways. Indeed, I Hate Therefore I Am, in this humble scribe’s opinion, is the real, vulnerable, defiant shit the retro kids actually should be jamming into the metal-future.

GUEST EDITORIAL: METALLIC HARDCORE TRAILBLAZER MATT FOX SETS ASIDE PRE-TEEN WAR ON WHAM! TO EULOGIZE GEORGE MICHAEL (AND OTHERS)

January 11, 2017

Considering the inventive, meditative, cagey nature of the top-shelf metallic hardcore he’s long delivered as guitarist of Shai Hulud, it perhaps will not come as too much of a surprise for readers to learn Matthew Fox is also one of the more introspective, thoughtful, intelligent interviews in the kingdom of heaviness. So when Fox said written a long piece on wrestling with how to commemorate the end of 2016 deaths of major figures from his childhood who took a backseat — then and now — to his heavy metal and hardcore heroes…well, we jumped at the opportunity to publish it as a guest column. Read on, friends…

DECIBEL SCRIBE SERIOUSLY INJURED IN CAR ACCIDENT — FUND ESTABLISHED TO AID RECOVERY

January 4, 2017

Respected metal culture chronicler, incisive critic, longtime Decibel contributor, and all-around exemplary human being D. Shawn Bosler was involved in a horrific car accident just outside San Diego over the holidays, suffering “numerous and serious injuries, requiring several complicated surgeries.”

GET YOUR LEASH ON AND HEAD FOR THE NEW YEAR’S SIEGE

December 28, 2016

Legendary Boston extreme music pioneers/provocateurs SIEGE are in the middle of a string of reunion dates — see our recent interview with drummer Robert Williams for the deets here — which arrives at the Red Alert Skateboard Shop for a New Year’s Eve pummeling alongside SadistInfernal DiatribeCrystal MethodistGuiltRejiem, and Nycterent, as well as fast-rising crust-grinders LEASH, a band recently joined by Backstabbers Inc/Northern Curse vocalist/guitarist Matt Serven ahead of the straight-up nasty leveller of an E.P. entitled Dead End Breeders, which Decibel is pleased to exclusively stream in its entirety below. 

TRACK PREMIERE: ENTER THE…MAZE OF SOTHOTH

December 21, 2016

You want the truth about “Lies,” the track we’re exclusively premiering this morning from upcoming extreme metal opus Soul Demise courtesy  Italian quartet Maze of Sothoth? It’s dark, nasty, gloriously old school death metal that will gutpunch fans of early Morbid Angel, Vader, and Nile right in their deviant feels. 

Zao

December 19, 2016

The Well-Intentioned Virus
Shaking off the slumber
dB rating: 8/10

EXTREME CONDITIONS DEMAND EXTREME INSTRUMENTS: OWN DANNY LILKER’S BRUTAL TRUTH BASS

December 14, 2016

“Works fine, but looks a little beat up due to being my main bass during Brutal Truth’s career in the early 90s.”

So reads the no doubt understated Ebay listing for the US-made B.C. Rich 4-string bass extreme music trailblazer and living heavy metal legend Danny Lilker — revisit our “Better Living the Danny Lilker Way” for a reminder of the man’s unquestionable supremacy — deployed on such landmark Brutal Truth grinders as Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses and Need To Control as well as S.O.D.’s 1992 Live at Budokan.

TRACK PREMIERE: MUSTER UP THE COURAGE TO CHECK OUT COWARDICE’S “ERODING ETHOS”

December 7, 2016

Prefer your doom nasty and crusty as fuck? Well, you’re gonna absolutely love capital-“C” Cowardice then. (Your level of adoration for lowercase-“c” cowardice, on the other hand, is a personal matter, but do feel free to confide what you feel you must in the comments section below…) The New Jersey quintet’s admirably expansive and unpredictable debut full-length Without Condolence strives, roughly speaking, to bridge the gap between early Paradise Lost, Black Sabbath circa Vol. 4, and latter day Gorguts — a perfect backdrop for vocalist John Jones’ feral blackened death shriek-growl-shriek. 

TRACK PREMIERE: VAULTWRAITH’S “RAVAGED IN THE CRIMSON MIST”

November 30, 2016

Over the last three years Razorback Records co-owner/death-doom shredder extraordinaire Vanessa Nocera has unleashed an almost unfathomably insane amount of gore-festooned top-shelf extreme music via Surgikill, Wooden Stake, Cauldron Burial, and Howling — all while editing the underground horror culture mag Evilspeak.    

And, yet, as difficult as it may be to believe, there’s more enlivening, superior blood n’ bile in that well draw from: We’ve got an exclusive premiere of the rerecorded version of the riff-heavy Vaultwraith jam “Ravaged in the Crimson Mist” from the forthcoming 2017 full-length.

EORÐESLAJYR LET LOOSE THE WITCHES ON HOMAGE TO 1922 SILENT FILM “HÄXAN”

November 23, 2016

Good goddamn is HÄXAN some dark, disquieting, creepy, heavy, seriously avant garde, Hellraiser-esque torment-is-delight nastiness! Composed to serve as a soundtrack for Benjamin Christensen’s 1922 witchcraft n’ Satan heavy silent film of the same title, the latest from EORÐESLAJYR — that’s “earth slayer,” if you dare call their name — has got a Scorn by way of Swans by way of circa Too Dark Park Skinny Puppy vibe and its textures and left turns will fuck with your head.

To celebrate the album’s release — pick up your copy here — we asked the to delve into a few specific moments of inspiration drawn from the film that went on to possess the music…

VIDEO PREMIERE: ZEUS! DELIVERS EPIC, KING OF THE GODS WORTHY INSANITY ON “ENEMY E CORE”

November 16, 2016

Lord, Bologna duo Zeus! sure isn’t looking to make it easy for the File Under peeps to do their job with “Enemy E Core,” a proggy, fuzzed out noise punk take on math rock off the band’s Three One G release MOTOMONOTONO that sort of gives off a Rorschach-wandering-into-a-Pelican-practice-a-decade-ago vibe.

If that sounds like something you’d like to jam while watching various animal species throw down, Decibel totally has your hump day back.

THE DARK ARTS MEETS BLACK METAL THIS WEEKEND IN PHILLY

November 9, 2016

This Saturday (11/12) at the Dark Arts — a Philly-based “collaborative organization made up of like-minded individuals who live and breath all things dark and heavy” — brings a multimedia smorgasbord of malevolence to the City of Brotherly Love with “Black Metal”: In addition to performances by five crazy sick bands — Anicon, Wayfarer, Surgeon, Necroscythe, and Dreadlords — the event will also feature renegade art and readings by dark authors, including current and past Decibel contributors Sean Frasier, Dutch Pearce, and Andrew Bonazelli.

SCREAM & SCREAM AGAIN: EXCLUSIVE DOWAGER TRACK PREMIERE

November 2, 2016

On its sometimes utterly unhinged, sometimes heartrendingly beautiful E.P. Title Track, Portland quartet Dowager crams a lot of divergent influences, elements, and combustible sonic materials into its atomic artcore reactor with improbable cleverness and success. The subsequent explosion can be mesmerizing, calling to mind American Football and Mineral as much as Orchid and early Converge.

EXHUMED/GRUESOME AXEMAN MATT HARVEY CHOPS HIS WAY INTO HORROR COMICS VIA “HOWL”

October 26, 2016

Matt Harvey joins forces with acclaimed artist Kelly Williams (The CabinetEerie) for the deliciously demented banshee-centered graphic novel romp, Howl — and the velocity and transgressive brutality the Exhumed/Gruesome vocalist/guitarist delivers in this new realm is totally what horror-obsessed metalheads would hope for from the guy behind Gore MetalSlaughtercult, and Necrocracy

Harvey was kind enough to give Decibel the inside scoop on the comic — the second volume in Williams’ multi-author series The Dark — out on Halloween via Alterna Comics.  

LIFE OF AGONY’S ALAN ROBERT TALKS “THE BEAUTY OF HORROR” & HIS TOP FIVE HORROR GRAPHIC NOVELS FOR METALHEADS

October 19, 2016

Over the last several years Life of Agony bassist/songwriter Alan Robert has built a fascinating second career as a author/illustrator in the world of dark, cutting-edge graphic novels such as Wire Hangers (2010), Crawl to Me (2011), and Killogy (2012). This month the multitalented provocateur turns his attention to subverting and desecrating the adult coloring book craze with the delectably demented The Beauty of Horror: A GOREgeous Coloring Book — a “blood-soaked alternative,” in the words of its accompanying press release, that will take unsuspecting colored-pencil wielders “on a twisted journey through bizarre carnivals, the zombie apocalypse, serial killer lairs, and haunted burial grounds.”

Freya

October 17, 2016

Grim
Goddess of fertility and riffs
dB rating: 8/10

THE DEATH METAL THAT INSPIRED DEATH METAL (THE MOVIE)

October 12, 2016

Chris McInroy brought a little shred, gurgle, n’ grind to this year’s Fantastic Fest with his relentlessly awesome, gore-drenched love letter to the decimating power of riffage, Death Metal. The short film is now tearing its way through a huge number of subsequent festivals and considering both its Deci-worthy subject matter overlap and the season, we thought we’d reach out to the director to see if he’d be down to summon up a Death Metal playlist.

The Top 10 Integrity Songs Picked by New Guitarist Dom Romeo

October 5, 2016

The legendary Integrity is currently recording a full-length for Relapse — news that would be cause for celebration/preparation under any circumstances, but with word coming down that ex-Pulling Teeth guitarist/A389 Recordings founder/superior nasty riff generator Domenic Romeo is leading the six-string slaughter this time out feels more like some straight up Book of Revelation seal-breaking shit.

Oathbreaker

October 3, 2016

Rheia
Dawn of a different apocalypse
dB rating: 8/10

TRACK PREMIERE: LOUISVILLE BLACK METAL EXPANSIONISTS ANAGNORISIS ROOT AMONGST ASHES OF THE PAST ON “5306 MORNINGSIDE”

September 28, 2016

Lord! Anagnorisis certainly doesn’t pull any sonic or emotional punches on its majestic, seriously affecting gut-punch sophomore full-length Peripeteia — a powerful blend of forward-thinking, nuanced black metal and excerpts from circa ’82-87 family recordings he found on two cassette tapes after his father’s death.