Visual Violence: Ramon Martos Reveals the History Behind Some of Extreme Music’s Most Iconic Album Covers

June 5, 2015

Decibel recently had the pleasure of chatting with Ramon Martos about his lush, edifying, fascinating, surprising tour de force history of extreme metal album covers, …And Justice For Art. Check it out below:

Enter the “Boundless”: Philly Artist Extraordinaire Paul Romano’s Epic Exhibit Coming to a Close

June 4, 2015

If you are anywhere in the vicinity of Philadelphia and possess an affinity for plunging into surreal, beguiling, lush alternate universes, do yourself a solid and head over to Arch Enemy Arts for the epic, wondrous exhibit of hometown fine artist and designer Paul Romano — probably best known to extreme music fans for his work with Mastodon, The Red Chord, Hate Eternal, and a raft of others.

Video Premiere: Abnormal Thought Patterns/Tommy Rogers Like the Nightlife

June 3, 2015

Abnormal Thought Patterns premiere a djent-y epic from aptly titled forthcoming third album Altered States of Consciousness

STREAMING: Hate Eternal “Pathogenic Apathy”

June 3, 2015

Untouchable. That’s Hate Eternal since 1999’s Conquering the Throne effort. It’s now 2015 and the Erik Rutan-led death metal powerhouse show zero signs that time is our most maligned enemy. In fact, Hate Eternal are more blistering now than they were when George W. Bush was leading the charge of a large-scale (and largely unjust) war in the Iraq. OK, so times don’t change too much, regardless of who is in charge. But Hate Eternal, regardless of release or year of release, continue to be relevant, vital, and crucial to all things extreme.

80s Reimagined As Metal Retake: Robert Hazard, Covered

June 2, 2015

The late Robert Hazard had a stellar pop music career, even if he never became a household name. Perhaps his best known accomplishment was writing  Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”  But Hazard had a melancholy side, best evidenced by his 1982 song “Escalator Of Life.” The song — for all intents a dark wave tune despite modest chart success — was a critique of 80s consumerism. The New Jersey metal duo Stygian Depths recently reimagined the song.

STREAMING: Fin’amor “Memories of Flesh”

May 29, 2015

Brooklyn-based doomsters Fin’Amor, which translated to ‘courtly love’, were formed in 2008 to bring down the world and make its citizens perpetually glum. That is to say: No Fun. No Smiles. No Happy. No Sunrises. Along with Fin’Amor’s doom bringing they’re also taking in goth, progressive music, and death metal. Essentially, fans of My Dying Bride, Draconian, and Swallow the Sun are in for a true (and rare) American treat.

Seek and Ye Shall Find: Italian Death Squad Screaming Banshee

May 29, 2015

Screaming Banshee hail from Rome, home of Fleshgod Apocalypse and Hour of Penance, and they ply an admirable racket that draws from all kinds of deathly styles from melodic and technical to old-school and raw.

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.

Punk Sumo: Ex-Corn On Macabre Frontman Billups Allen Inducts Us Into “The League”

May 26, 2015

Ex-Corn On Macabre frontman Billups Allen has expanded his wry, off-kilter take on our collective existence from lyrical couplets into a wonderful new novel entitled The League — almost certainly the only tale to combine a deep dive into the amateur sumo wrestling underground and a Hawaii Five-0-esque murder mystery with a bookworm romance and a Black Sabbath motif. 

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:

Let’s Go Fishing! Pete Adams of Valkyrie Gets Reel

May 21, 2015

It’s springtime, and this means the fish are biting! If you’re an avid fisherman or fly fisher, you’re already out and have been catching fish. If you’ve never been, it’s never too late to start.

HALL OF FAME COUNTDOWN: LIFE OF agony's river runs red

May 21, 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; albums previously inducted into our untouchable Hall of Fame. Today we explore Life of Agony’s classic debut River Runs Red (originally inducted way back in issue #7, which you can buy here).

Decibrity Playlist: Monolord

May 21, 2015

Doom may not be “stimulating” in the same ways as say grindcore, but that doesn’t mean the former is any less adept at meeting the definition than the latter–they just succeed in different ways.  Take Monolord.  The trio’s tunes may not never be classified as anything close to pharmaceutical grade amphetamines, but they’re nevertheless replete with riffs that rouse and get the blood pumping.  On the topic of stimulants, the Swedes decided to base their playlist around one of the more mild–and most popular–ones:  coffee.

Noteworthy Cause Alert: Campaign To Reissue Early Craw Catalog

May 20, 2015

One of the most intriguing post-hardcore bands to emerge in the 90s was Craw. However, their first three records — considered by many to be American underground classics — have been out of print for more than a decade.

Our Confidence in Maruta Will Not “Erode”

May 20, 2015

Miami four-piece Maruta are back together after a (thankfully) brief two-year time-out. They clearly did not come back to start sucking.

Dark Day for Dark Metal: Bethlehem Falls

May 19, 2015

Bummer break-up news: German black metal institution Bethlehem are calling it quits… kind of. 

Feeling Queasy? Rock This Dysentery “Paranoid Division” Premiere

May 19, 2015

It only makes sense that a brutal death metal outfit called Dysentery would have an album called Internal Devastation. But that was four years ago. 

Take a Dive Into…The Ditch and the Delta

May 19, 2015

Hey, you got your Sabbath-y math rock in my Neurosis-esque epic doom-sludge!

Well, you got your Neurosis-esque epic doom-sludge in my Sabbath-y math rock!

Shades of the infamous walkman crash Reeses Peanut Butter Cups commercial of the 1980s, this is how I imagine the first encounter between members of The Ditch and the Delta must have gone down. 

Remembering Drew Cook with Wild Hunt’s “Scroll and Urn”

May 18, 2015

On April 21, 2015, the Bay Area metal scene—and the underground metal scene as a whole—lost a prolific and talented artist named Drew Cook, guitarist for Oakland-based bands Dimesland and Wild Hunt.

Matthew Young (King Parrot) interviewed

May 15, 2015

King Parrot don’t care that you’re snappy dresser, or smart as a whip, or have enough money to buy pussy for an eternity. They’re a grindcore band—actually more than that—with an all-fun, no bullshit disposition.

Doom Metal’s Next Big Thing?

May 15, 2015

Lucifer‘s debut album Lucifer I is a must-hear, and you’ll be the first to find out why.

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 

Choosing Death: The Almost Seven-Minute Documentary!

May 14, 2015

The metal fiends at independent film production company FreqsTV were cool enough to ask our editor-in-chief, Albert Mudrian, to participate in a pretty damn wide-reaching documentary short (for just a seven-minute run-time)!

Track Premiere: Clouds Collide, “Perihelion”

May 13, 2015

Clouds Collide is the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Chris Pandolfo of Allentown Pennsylvania, and has been steadily showing tremendous promise when it comes to the soaring, epic “metalgaze” pioneered by Alcest and made popular by Deafheaven. The great thing about Clouds Collide is that Pandolfo has used those influences in a constructive way rather then simply imitate, a great example being the 2013 debut full-length Until the Wind Stops Blowing…, a heartfelt tribute to his late mother that was equal parts agony, reflected in the searing black metal passages, and wistfulness, heard in moments that dared to approach the majesty of Ride.

Tales From the Metalnomicon: Punk Elegies Playlist

May 12, 2015

In his equal parts bewitching and harrowing memoir Punk Elegies: True Tales of Death Trip Kids, Wrongful Sex, and Trial by Angel Dust former Slash Magazine mainstay Allan MacDonell delivers a gorgeous, iconoclastic, wonderfully actualized, deliciously literary encapsulation of the 1970s Hollywood punk scene. 

To celebrate the book’s release MacDonell was kind enough to send this exclusive playlist along to Decibel…

Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck… of the Woods

May 11, 2015

No, this doesn’t sound like Prong. Sometimes the (labored) headlines just write themselves around here. Vancouver progressive quartet Neck of the Woods mean business. Operative word: mean.

STREAMING: Vattnet Viskar “Yearn”

May 11, 2015

“Once this song was written, we had a much more clear idea of where the album was headed.  A more grimy, riffy direction,” says Vattnet Viskar’s Nick Thornbury to Decibel.

For Those About to Squawk: Waldo’s Pecks of the Week

May 8, 2015

So, like, yeah, I missed some stuff, but release dates shift around and stuff.  The new Noisem, Blossoming Decayis really good. I didn’t get a shot to tear apart the new Six Feet Under.

New Agoraphobic Nosebleed Video from dB Flexi: “Withering of Skin”

May 8, 2015

June’s Decibel features our third Agoraphobic Nosebleed flexi, “The Honkey Reduction EP, ” a ripping re-recording of four tracks from their first two full-lengths.

Demon Eye’s ABCs of Throwback Doom: Always Be Creepin’

May 8, 2015

Need a fix of heavy/proto metal before our Pentagram rehearsal flexi drops in the July issue?