shawn macomber

Tales from the Metalnomicon: Children of the Grave

December 7, 2012

Welcome to Tales From the Metalnomicon, a new twice-monthly column delving into the surprisingly vast world of heavy metal-tinged/inspired literature and metalhead authors. Enjoy! And if you have suggestions for future Metalnomicon columns, feel free to make them known in the comment section… Despite the prophecy issued more than forty years ago by Black Sabbath,…

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…

Dave Grohl Loves Hearing About Heavy Metallers’ First Time

November 27, 2012

The Foo Fighters may be on a hiatus important enough to be noted by the nation’s newspaper of record, but Dave Grohl remains busy, putting the finishing touches on his debut directorial effort Sound City, a documentary about “the truth, the craft and the integrity of Rock and Roll.” And as part of the buzz-building…

Great Moments in T-Shirt History: When Pig Met Pug

November 20, 2012

A couple weeks back ANIMAL New York posted a brilliant video entitled PUG DESTROYER featuring pugs taking lead vox on a death metal track. That alone would have been awesome enough, but then along came the actual Pig Destroyer and, as is their wont, the band took things to the next level. The result? A…

Laina Dawes’ Soundtrack to Your Cultural Emanicipation

November 13, 2012

The forthcoming What Are You Doing Here: A Black Woman’s Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal is such an exquisitely rendered, inspiring melange of memoir, cultural criticism, extreme music history, and fiery, righteous polemic it only seemed natural to offer up some Deci-space to author Laina Dawes for a list of five albums the spurred…

A Very Heavy Halloween II: Into the Darkness, Into the Grave

October 9, 2012

Today on a very special Halloween edition of Into the Depths we’ll be speaking with Ola Lindgren about the humble Baltic Sea origins of his death thrash powerhouse Grave, its various and sundry triumphs, trials, and tribulations, what it was like to watch the nascent Swedish death metal scene rise in real-time, and the band’s…

Into the Depths: John Tardy of Obituary

August 14, 2012

On the upcoming Carnival of Death tour Florida death metal legends Obituary will shred a “fan-generated” set drawn primarily from the vile trinity of Slowly We Rot, Cause Of Death and The End Complete — including some tracks that have never before been performed live. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to get Obituary vocalist…

Deci-Mation Theater: Santa Claus Investigates the Webster Hall Stabbings

July 17, 2012

To say the stories coming out in the aftermath of the recent CBGB Festival stabbings have not exactly jibed would be an understatement, but, then, Cro-Mags have always been a band that encapsulated a certain degree of volatility and cognitive dissonance. “Show You No Mercy” follows “World Peace” on the landmark Age of Quarrel. It’s…

Into the Depths: Karl Sanders of Nile

July 3, 2012

On today’s edition of Into the Depths we invite Karl Sanders out of the catacombs for a conversation on how a hippie-admiring kid from San Francisco became a visionary force of nature in extreme music destined to single-handedly summon the improbable subgenre of ithyphallic death metal into being. From having to pawn their guitars on…

Into the Depths: Marduk’s Morgan Håkansson

June 12, 2012

Today, in honor of the recent release of the sublimely malevolent Serpent Sermon, Decibel presents an in depth interview with Marduk founding guitarist Morgan Håkansson delving into his roots as a musician as well as the past, present, and future of his much-revered black metal war machine. Last month Christ Dick streamed “Souls for Belial.”…

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.

Accept the Resurrection

May 29, 2012

After a fourteen year hiatus from writing and recording new music — not to mention the permanent break with longtime vocalist Udo Dirkschneider — fans had some cause to be skeptical of Accept‘s 2010 return. Blood of the Nations, however, proved to be a shockingly impressive comeback record — not just a resurrection but a…

Homecoming’s March: RIP Averse Sefira!

May 8, 2012

Calling the split “amicable but lamentable to say the least,” Averse Sefira have sadly called it a day. The long-running Austin black metallers are survived by a stellar discography — see Advent Parallax or Tetragrammatical Astygmata for the incontrovertible evidence — as well as a very entertaining, sporadically updated blog that explored the band’s occult…

The Varg Vikernes Spring Collection is Here!

April 16, 2012

Look, as regular viewers of Project Runway and The Rachel Zoe Project already well and truly understand, there is a fine line between embodying haute couture and becoming, in the immortal words of Tim Gunn, “a pterodactyl out of a gay Jurassic Park.” In Varg Vikernes’ promo shoot for the upcoming (actually quite excellent!) third…

Brick By Brick: Travis Campbell Commits Heavy Metal Musical Murder

April 5, 2012

The eponymous antihero of the Troma Entertainment joint Mr. Bricks: A Heavy Metal Murder Musical awakens from a night of hot carnal action to find his comely young sweetheart missing and a bullet lodged in his forehead. His reaction is a bit unorthodox: He breaks into song…and then starts cracking skulls with his kiln-fired namesake,…

Mike IX Williams — Live from the Corner of Devastation Street!

March 27, 2012

As above, so below. Through his work with EyeHateGod, Outlaw Order, Arson Anthem, and The Guilt of… Decibel readers have long known Mike IX Williams as one of extreme music’s most distinctive, subversive and iconoclastic voices. Less attention has been paid, however, to Williams’ similarly idiosyncratic and visionary literary output, including his excellent collection of…

All Hail Professor Death Metal

March 13, 2012

Dr. Vivek Venkatesh’s office at Concordia University in Montreal is almost certainly unique in the world of academia. There probably aren’t many professors out there, for instance, who mix and match All Pigs Must Die prints and Latin salsa posters or keep vinyl collections as close at hand as research materials. And if any Decibel…

Re-enter the Anthrosphere!

February 29, 2012

Recently Anthropic Records — purveyors of excellence and, in their own apt formulation, “heart-breaking, chest-crushing noise and doomed psychic soundscapes” — unleashed Anthrosphere III, yet another fantastic (and free!) compilation of the latest gnashing and wailing coming out of the Philadelphia metal underground. To mark the occasion we invited Anthropic proprietress Shannon Marie to share…

Top Five Tru Metal Moments in the Metal Screamer Episode of Made

February 7, 2012

So Alissa White-Gluz of The Agonist recently appeared on MTV’s Made to wear odd tiny hats and dispense life advice as a quote-unquote “Queen of Scream.” Her disciple is a lil pious church mouse named Julia, a sixteen year-old so terribly cyberbullied that by her own admission the only places she feels safe are “church,…

Morbid Angel “Existo Vulgore” Set Visit

December 6, 2011

Morbid Angel recently invited Decibel to the set of the band’s upcoming video for “Existo Vulgore.” We didn’t spot any strange winged demonic creatures skulking about, alas, but it was a good time nonetheless and during the drive from Morbid HQ in Tampa to Seminole’s Studio 75 David Vincent graciously answered our questions, riffing on…

Woe Redux: Less Quiet, More Drama

October 18, 2011

As an unabashed booster of the original version of Quietly, Undramatically, I have to admit I was a bit skeptical when I heard Woe mastermind Chris Grigg was embarking upon a full remix of the record. The end result, however, definitely won me over, bringing a new level of epic-ness and clarity out of the…

Mad Mad Muir Speaks

October 11, 2011

Mike Muir releases the damn near schizophrenic funk-folk-metal-punk hodgepodge The Mad Mad Muir Musical Tour under the Cyco Miko moniker today, and to mark the occasion Decibel conducted a wide-ranging interview with the iconic Suicidal Tendencies/Infectious Grooves frontman. Topics include the recent “Big 4” shows, his longtime bandmate Robert Trujillo’s insane success as an extra…

River Runs (Lipstick) Red: Marissa Martinez on the Path Keith-Mina Caputo Need Not Walk Alone

July 26, 2011

So after managing to squeeze out only one record since reuniting nine years ago — the massively underrated Broken Valley — Life of Agony is apparently disbanding, sadly, and Keith Caputo has seized upon the opportunity of the band’s farewell tour to brashly announce her most controversial transition since briefly morphing into Whitfield Crane during…

Seth Putnam Remembered

June 28, 2011

Were he somehow able to observe the aftermath of his own recent passing from on high amidst the ether, it is easy to imagine Seth Putnam’s glee at the kids clambering atop digital platforms to ostentatiously proclaim righteous ambivalence over his death or the Village Voice’s lengthy tut-tutting. You do not do or say the…

Exhume to Commune

June 21, 2011

Following hot on the heels of the induction of No More Color into the hallowed Hall of Fame, Decibel contributor Etan Rosenbloom probes deeper into the (surprisingly supple) risen corpse of Coroner in this interview with Ron Royce and Marky Edelmann for the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers. I could try to find…