Live Review

Live Review: Maserati/Beware of Safety

March 12, 2013

My first exposure to Maserati came when they opened for Mono a few years back. I had no idea who they were or what their deal was, but as soon as they kicked into their post-rock-meets-80s-motorik groove, I was sold. In fact, compared to them, Mono were positively soporific. I’ve made a point to try…

Live Review: Graveyard/The Shrine

January 31, 2013

It’s only been a year since Graveyard last came to New York City, and coupled with last week’s sub-freezing temperatures and a second show in Brooklyn two nights later, I was curious to see just how many people would show up to Friday night’s performance. By the time I arrived at the Bowery Ballroom a…

Happy Birthday To Us: Photos From An Epic Evening of Metal

January 23, 2013

In case you have been on a spiritual pilgrimage or without an Internet connection in recent months a quick reminder that we had a big party last weekend to celebrate our 100th issue. A bunch of bands that have graced the cover, best of lists or Hall Of Fame (some of them multiple honorees) played….

Mill Town Metal Memoir

December 4, 2012

Toronto rock journalist Brent Jensen’s No Sleep ‘Til Sudbury is a smart, sweet memoir of the joys and travails of growing up metal in tiny Espanola, Ontario — …A Fine Paper Town, as the welcome sign notes — weaving a portrait of youthful discovery/rebellion into a larger macro story of metal’s mid-eighties coming-of-age moment. It’s…

LIVE REVIEW: Neurosis + Godflesh, HMV Forum, London

December 4, 2012

There really is no good reason for anyone to be bummed out about missing out on an ATP weekender when the days following the main event habitually throw up bills as awesome as this. A weekend spent emptying your bank account, taking drugs unknown to the over-30s and known only by weird acronyms, enjoying the…

Autumn Screams Doom Recap – Sidebar Tavern, Baltimore – October 26 +27

November 2, 2012

This year’s pre-Halloween weekend marked the beginning of (hopefully) a new Baltimore tradition: the Autumn Screams Doom two-day festival. As coordinator/originator Dan Petruccelli tells it, he hopes ASD will “bring old school doom and new school doom together. There’s so much each one brings.” He noted the periodic fluctuation of the audience’s mean age as…

dB Live Report: Converge in San Francisco

October 31, 2012

“How’s the iPhone pit over there,” Converge vocalist Jacob Bannon says at one point midway through the band’s headlining show last week at Slim’s in San Francisco. Good question. It’s hard to figure out who would want to mind meld with their personal device when a trashcan was lobbed into the pit midway through “Trespasses.”…

LIVE REVIEW: Down and Orange Goblin @ Roundhouse, London

October 22, 2012

Bands always make such a big deal about playing the Roundhouse because of who played here in the past. It’s a former railway engine room, with a lot of rock ‘n’ roll history. But any similarities between the 1960s Roundhouse and today’s venue begin and end with the building’s foundations and unalterable architecture. It’s hard…


October 11, 2012

Having shows in one’s place of residence seems like such a big deal to most people. To an old fart like myself, going to see a band play in a basement or living room is as natural as going to see a band play at some place where overzealous security goons get way too familiar…

LIVE REVIEW: Marduk and Immolation – Underworld, London

October 1, 2012

The concept of faith might be diametrically opposed to Marduk’s pitch-black worldview but the Swedish fundamentalists are worthy of yours. Of all the Second Wave black metal bands who still consider their iconoclastic craft a full-time concern, Marduk are the ones who always deliver. They could be accused of lacking a sense of adventure when…

LIVE REVIEW: Fucked Up Deliver Sweaty Man Hugs For All

September 18, 2012

Fucked Up, Rifflandia Festival, September 14, Victoria, BCRifflandia has one of the coolest names for a music festival. It seemed in past years when it was smaller that it was more about the “riff” than it is in its current iteration, where hip-hop, Americana, indie rock and, well, Fucked Up intermingle. For instance, we preceded…

LIVE REVIEW: Melvins Lite Freak Puke All Over Victoria

July 17, 2012

Melvins Lite w/Retox, Club 9One9, Victoria, BC, July 16Who can really keep up with just exactly what the Melvins are up to at any given moment? There are new releases like clockwork. They have always been a prolific band and we suspect they always will be. If nothing else, they’ll have a discography that stretches…

Dive Bombs and Dive Bars #4 – Ramming Speed’s Guide to America’s Rock n’ Roll Venues

July 13, 2012

For the love of speed trials: another dose of Dive Bombs and Dive Bars – heavy metal venue reviews from everywhere across this blasted country. In this installment, Jonah Livingston, Ramming Speed’s blastbeat stopwatch, takes us to Boston, for a review of a venue in his home town. Great Scott Venue Allston, MA I must…

Live Review || Decapitated: Covan Wake The Fuck Up benefit show, June 29th, London Underworld.

July 2, 2012

Benefit shows always have a weird vibe but death metal benefit shows are especially weird. Maybe it’s because the genre is ordinarily used as our portal to antisocial emotional territories, and when there is the attendant poignancy of a good cause it makes everyone feel as if they’ve been given a different script for the…

LIVE REVIEW: Municipal Waste Fucked Seattle Up

June 26, 2012

June 15, Neumos, Seattle, WA. We received the message through the usual channels, but this time the priority was urgent. “We’re coming to Seattle,” said Witte, “and I need to go to Brouwer’s.” As the local beer ambassador to the extremely extreme set, we felt compelled to honor this request, so upon Municipal Waste’s arrival…

Beyond the Veil: Decibel Tour ’12

June 5, 2012

Backstage at the Philadelphia stop of the inaugural Decibel Magazine Tour with Nergal from Behemoth. Plus Watain, The Devil’s Blood, In Solitude, some guy in the pit wearing a sombrero, etcetera… If you enjoy this, please check out previous Decibel video segments with Morbid Angel and Bonded by Blood.

Alligators and the Giant Maggot: Kylesa’s life on the road with GWAR

May 16, 2012

Last month, Savannah psychedelic metal crew Kylesa put in some serious road miles in support of GWAR. Prosthetics, artificial blood and semen are not everyday items on the underground metal touring circuit, so we got Kylesa guitarist/vocalist Laura Pleasants to take some pics and notes. This is what went down. 04-13 San Antonio, TX |…

Live review || Cancer Bats Pentagram tour, London

April 23, 2012

Even if you’re not a red-hot Cancer Bats fan you’ve got to admire a spectacular set-piece like this. In part to launch new album Dead Set on Living but totally to rise to a challenge from their booking agent, the Toronto punk-metal road hounds scheduled a one-day tour of London, with six shows routed in…

Dive Bombs and Dive Bars #3 – Ramming Speed’s Guide to America’s Rock n’ Roll Venues

April 20, 2012

Beelzebub’s Cave Miami, FL DIY Space (all ages) Having just wrapped up recording for our new record and with less then two weeks before the start of our run opening for Revocation and Cannabis Corpse (Dates here: I figured it was as good a time as any to haul out another DIVE BARS AND…

Live Review || Electric Wizard — London Forum

April 2, 2012

Sure, doom is a solitary magpie affair that doesn’t ordinarily deal in good news stories. But c’mon, even the joyless industry beancounters will be left catatonic with optimism after Electric Wizard‘s first magic trick of the night: filling a theatre. It’s the measure of doom metal’s stock that it can pack the heathens cheek by…

LIVE REVIEW | Kylesa w/Circle Takes The Square & Ken Mode – 23rd Feb 2012

February 24, 2012

Tearing half-empty venues apart with earnest vigor is all just part of the job when you’re KEN mode and opening a three-band bill on schoolnight. But y’know there are worse ways to working your ticket across Europe, spreading at-once fierce and reflective metal/hardcore/noise jams to crowds that might lack the numbers but not the appreciation….

LIVE REVIEW: Krisiun, Malevolent Creation, Vital Remains | London Underworld, Feb 15th 2012

February 17, 2012

Promoters worldwide would be doing us all a favor if they were to roll out five-band death metal mini-fests every Wednesday. Given that the middle of the working week is the calendar equivalent of dead air, a tour toploaded with a bill that has Krisiun, Malevolent Creation and Vital Remains as a headlining trifecta is…

15 Strings Attached

February 16, 2012

Decibel‘s NYC bureau had a tough decision to make last Thursday. Should we head on up to the west side for a classy evening amongst Lincoln Center elite to catch a special performance by This Will Destroy You? Or leave Manhattan (perish the thought!) for a night of PBRs amongst our metal brethren to get…

Decibel’s “Braintrust” Sees the Darkness in Philly

February 8, 2012

I didn’t watch the Super Bowl. I’ve died many small deaths with the loser-ass Jets for 26 years and really wasn’t in the mood for one more dick in the ear. Instead, I Netflix Instant-ed this… … which had its moments, but wasn’t long enough to sufficiently ignore the entire game. And so just as…

Javelina & Whores – Brooklyn, NY, 01/04

January 12, 2012

Another awesome show at Saint Vitus. This was a Brooklyn Vegan / Brutal Panda event, and you got to love them BP boys. Philly’s heavy rockers Javelina headlined, plus Atlanta’s latest excellent development, Whores, plus some openers. For eight bucks: not bad. Factor in a pint of Fleischmann’s whiskey and some pounders of Bud, and…

Dive Bombs and Dive Bars – Ramming Speed’s Guide to America’s Rock n’ Roll Venues

December 29, 2011

Reviewing music is good, but really, everything needs to be reviewed. Bands, albums, riffs, chicks, scenes, zines: all of it. And venues especially. In order to help us review anything that could ever possibly be construed as “heavy metal,” the dudes from Ramming Speed will be offering their critiques of bars, clubs and basements across…

Live Review: Napalm Death, London Underworld, 16th December

December 19, 2011

Just around the corner from the Camden Underworld, the BrewDog bar is exhibiting all the signs that tonight’s show is going to be over-subscribed despite Napalm Death’s much-anticipated and completed new album, Utilitarian, in cold storage until the New Year. The Scottish independent brewery’s own titular tribute to the Dead Kennedys’ anti-fascist anthem, the 7.8%…

Saviours & Ramming Speed – 11/30 – Brooklyn

December 15, 2011

This show was at Saint Vitus, a heavy metal bar in Brooklyn. The place has a separate room for the stage, which is nice, or rather, brutal. I’d like to go there when there’s no show, because it was packed. I was there to rock, not to brush my cock against a bunch of bearded…

MORBID ANGEL: Live in London, November 22nd

November 28, 2011

Morbid Angel are playing a shopping mall tonight. It’s OK, though, ‘cos it’s not like they are opening it, or performing exclusively for the switching on of the festive lights. That sorta shit’s demeaning and they’ve already had a tough year of it. There weren’t too many organs of record with their ass in the…


November 7, 2011

Welcome to University of Leeds. This is Damnation Festival’s seventh year, the fourth since moving to the three-stage venue. It’s no minor triumph to last seven years as an underground metal-fest, packing the punters in when having to compete with larger festivals with their larger budgets, surviving all that industry bullshit at a time when…