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Full Album Stream: Iron Curtain – ‘Savage Dawn’

We don’t realistically know if the “Savage Dawn” referenced here by Spanish speed metal outfit, Iron Curtain, is a really aggressive ex-girlfriend or, like, an especially unpleasant morning with a bad hangover. Could be both. Boy, that would suck. But, look, what we do know is that these Spanish thrashers—Mike Leprosy (vocals/guitars), Joserra (bass), Moroco (drums), Juanma Fernández (guitars)—love fast-n-loose heavy metal just as much as (we presume) you do. I mean, if the dirtiest parts of the NWOBHM were distilled down to a handful of killer riffs, a kick-ass drummer and a vocalist with a limited vocal range, it’d sound just like this.

Savage Dawn was mixed by Javi Félez (Teitanblood, Graveyard) and mastered by Jaime Gómez Arellano (Ghost, Satan, Mayhem) and is set for release on vinyl, CD and digitally on February 23 via Dying Victims Productions. You can place you preorder here or here.

Here’s what the band had to say about it all:

“We are Iron Curtain, heavy/speed metal bandoleros from Spain, and this is our best record to date! It is a deadly combination of fast and heavy songs, nailed with a powerful and organic production by Javi Felez. True and diehard metal maniacs, this is for you! All killer, no filler!”

Savage Dawn by Iron Curtain

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Full Album Stream: Guiltless – “Thorns”

Though they’re a new band, Guiltless are no strangers to the worlds of post metal and artsy rock. A collaboration between A Storm of Light members Billy Graves, Dan Hawkins and Josh Graham plus Intronaut’s Sacha Dunable, the band members draw upon their shared love for noise rock, sludge and heavy experimental music on their debut EP, Thorns.

Releasing on February 23 via Neurot Recordings, Thorns fits snugly into the post-metal category. Thunderous low-end, deep, roaring vocals and rhythmic, almost tribal at times, drumming are on display here, along with dark, crushing guitar leads. Graham, who handles guitar, vocals and noise, puts down a mighty performance as frontman; on third song “Dead Eye,” he sounds menacing.

Dunable plays bass in Guiltless, a fresh change from his 20-year tenure as the guitarist and vocalist of Intronaut. It’s interesting to hear his performance take the supporting role this time, especially among band members who have worked together before.

Thorns is our first collective journey as Guiltless,” says Graham, “And we’re all happy to finally have these songs out in the world. We are hard at work on our first full-length now and looking forward to playing live. Big thanks to Neurot Recordings, Earsplit, Rarely Unable, and Brad Boatright at Audiosiege.”

If you’re familiar with Neurot Recordings or their parent band Neurosis, you probably have an idea of what to expect on the EP. In addition to a full stream of the album (listen below), Graham gave Decibel a track-by-track breakdown of the EP.

Thorns by Guiltless

Guiltless – Thorns Track-by-Track Breakdown by Josh Graham (guitar, vocals, noise)

“Devour Collide” was the first and last song in the writing process. The first half was among the first explorations for the sound of the band, and the end took three weeks of battling to make it work – stripped down evolving collision.

“All We Destroy” is the song that set the tone of the band overall and defines a large portion of this first release. It’s a stripped-down arrangement compared to the other tracks but has a clarified pummeling energy/driving force. Lyrically bleak, it feels like the current state and trajectory of our planet, and is influenced by the short story by Margaret Atwood, Time Capsule Found On The Dead Planet.

Sacha calls “Dead-Eye” our ballad, which the rest of us thought was pretty funny. This is one of my favorites – there’s a lot of open space and some Sabbathy moments before the end picks up. The title refers to Dead-Eye in the sense of memory – as in the ability to hold in the mind.

“In Radiant Glow” was the last song to fully come together on the EP. It has some more variation and complexity in the arrangement than “All We Destroy,” but still carries that same kind of heft – for me – there are some Godflesh moments, some Jesus Lizard, and even a brief Slayer breakdown. Lyrically, it’s a sarcastic, surreal, post-WWIII worst-case-scenario story, and now that I think of it, subliminally influenced by both Kira Jane Buxton’s Hollow Kingdom and Jeff Vandermeer’s Borne.

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Blast Worship: Weapon World

Where they from?
Bend, OR. I joined a bowling league recently and that shit is way harder than I remember. We bowled three games yesterday and my top score was 58. That’s not just pathetic, that’s pants-shittingly, lose-your-girlfriend pathetic. I got five gutter balls in a row; it was a disgrace.

Why the hype?
It’s been a while since I’ve heard a powerviolence band go this fucking hard. This shit is on the same stratosphere as the almighty Mellow Harsher an the equally legendary  — though obscure — Tumor Feast. Just absolutely jarring, arhythmic blasts that attack you only from the most skewed and disjointed angles all inter-spliced with bizarre hip hop and movie samples.

Latest Release?
Weapon World EP, self-released. I really like this ban’s name because it remind me of the ol’ X-Men villain Arcade and his “Murder World,” which was basically an amusement park he set up for the X-Men except all the rides were DEADLY! It was kind of like Action Park in New Jersey but ON PURPOSE!

Weapon World EP by Weapon World

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Video Premiere: Castle Rat – “Cry For Me”

New York City is definitely known for being overrun by rats, and you can add Brooklyn psych doom cult Castle Rat to the infestation. This retro-sounding quartet—Riley Pinkerton (vocals/guitar/”Rat Queen”), Franco Vittore (lead guitar/”Count”), Ronnie Lanzilotta III (bass/”Plague Doctor”), Josh Strmic (drums/”The All-Seeing Druid”)—have conjured a brand new video for the slow-building, doomy track, “Cry For Me,” in anticipation of the release of their debut full-length, Into the Realm. The video, shot and directed (on VHS, no less) by Kathryn Barnish, offers a surreal, Medieval battle between the Rat Queen (Pinkerton) and the Rat Reaperess (Maddy Wright) in a snowy landscape. Though large swords and scythes are brandished, the video is surprisingly (mostly) blood and gore free.

Into the Realm was recorded, engineered and mixed by Davis M. Shubs and Thomas Johnsen, and is set for release April 12 on vinyl, CD, cassette and digitally via King Volume and Wise Blood Records. Preorder from King Volume here and from Wise Blood here.

Here’s what Riley had to say about the video:

“Via the power of The Realm, I was fortunate enough to successfully manifest New York’s first (and perhaps only) heavy snowstorm of the winter, in alignment with our video shoot. However, the journey to the location was harrowing—watching cars slip and slide off the highway kept tensions high on the two-plus-hour drive from NYC—but miraculously, the band made it safely upstate. We arrived shaken, but in one piece, and we managed to pull off the entire music video shoot in a matter of hours.

The video was shot on VHS by our friend and longtime visual collaborator Kathryn Barnish, who directed and edited the video as well. I also collaborated with Dillan Archer on creating the classically campy castle archway for the video set, which was hosted in his backyard. I am very proud of how this DIY-style production turned out. My aim was for this video to feel like looking through a portal to another time, and the whole team nailed it start to finish.”

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Track Premiere: Hypoxia – “Pathway To Charon”

It’s always exciting for Decibel to get to premiere a new track from a band that’s been away for a bit, or at least hasn’t released anything new in a while. Queens, New York death meal horde Hypoxia return to the fray with a brand new cut, “Pathway to Charon,” from their upcoming third full-length, Defiance. And after a five-year gap between albums, this is a powerful statement to return with. The newly fortified quintet—Carlos “Dirty” Arboleda (guitars), Carolina Perez (drums), Mike Hrubovcak (vocals), Ryan Moll (guitars), Mike Poggione (bass)—deliver a seething, dark, dissonant crusher with grotesque vocals and a battery of vicious guitar damage.

“Pathway to Charon” is one of 11 new tunes on Hypoxia’s latest opus, the follow-up to 2019’s Abhorrent DiseaseDefiance was recorded by the band and was mixed and mastered by Noah Buchanan at Mercinary Studios (Midnight, Embalmer, Nunslaughter) in Ohio. It’s set for release through Selfmadegod Records on CD, limited edition vinyl and digitally on February 23. You can place preorders at the label webshop here or Bandcamp here.

Vocalist Mike Hrubovcak had this to say about the new track:

“We’re all on the pathway towards death, the pathway to Charon! Strap in and hold on; shit’s about to get dark. This is probably one of the darkest sounding songs on the album and I’m happy with the vibe it puts out. Lyrically, Charon carries the dead to the underworld, but the true price to cross into the abyss is not paid with gold or coins, the journey is paid with the personal sins or deeds of the individual. Musically, it’s one of the more memorable standout tracks in my opinion.”

Drummer Carolina Perez offered this:

“‘Pathway To Charon’ was the first song we started working on for Defiance, it was an organic process and it happened while Carlos and I were still living in the same city and practiced on a regular basis. It is personally my favorite song off the album, since it starts slow and gets pretty heavy and brutal and it’s also a great showcase of what our overall sound is as a band.”

Defiance by HYPOXIA

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Track Premiere: Hands of Goro – “Uncanny”

With a pedigree that includes members of Spirit Adrift, Slough Feg and Nite, it should come as no surprise that Bay Area-based trio Hands of Goro are spinning powerful trad metal a little on the quirky side on their new single “Uncanny.” The frisky, NWOBHM-inspired track finds the outfit—Tom Draper (guitars/backing vocals/synths), Avinash Mittur (drums/backing vocals), Adrian Maestas (bass/lead vocals/synths)—going all-in on a guitar-harmony onslaught pretty much from the opening licks. In fact, though this isn’t an instrumental, Draper lets fly with the pyrotechnics throughout, as he’s given extended opportunities to show his chops.

“Uncanny” is one of eight tracks on the outfit’s upcoming self-titled debut, Hands Of Goro, which was recorded and produced by the band at the Boatyard and Francisco Studios. Drums and guitars were recorded in two secret rooms located on a dilapidated former naval base, and the vocals, bass and synthesizers were tracked in an underground space in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district. Mixing and engineering was handled by drummer Mittur. It was mastered by Justin Weis at Trakworx Studio. The album is set for release March 1 on vinyl and digitally via the band’s own BSP Records. Find preorders here.

This is what Draper had to say about the new single:

“This was the first song Adrian showed me when we started jamming. I love how many different parts the song has, especially on the studio version where there’s a veritable orchestra of guitar harmonies throughout.”

Hands of Goro by Hands of Goro

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Full EP Stream: Wizard Death – ‘I Am the Night’

Indiana trad metal outfit Wizard Death may have one of the more unique origin stories in the metal realm. They are a father son duo of guitarist Tim Kenefic (who shreds in Assimilator and Throne) and his young son, Alex. Alex provides the fantasy-inspired lyrics and song concepts and dad brings them to life with an arsenal of meaty riffs. For their debut EP, I Am the Night, the pair were aided by a couple of Witch Mountain members: vocalist Kayla Dixon belts out Alex’s lyrics and guitarist Rob Wrong mixed the three songs and added some guitars on the doomy closer,  “Slay the Serpent.”

The blistering three-tracker is set for release on 12” vinyl, CD and digitally via Wise Blood Records on January 26. The original demo tracks featuring young Alex on vocals will be on both formats. The CD will also have an exclusive interlude from cult synth composer Mortlach. You can place your preorder here.

Additionally, Wizard Death will make their live debut on March 1 at Black Circle in Indianapolis, w/Throne of Iron, Cursed Blade, and Ice Howl.

This is what Tim Kenefic had to say about the closing track on the new EP:

“‘Slay the Serpent’ was the last song we wrote. It has a very Black Sabbathy vibe to it, and has a fun feel compared to the rest of the EP. This song is about the Chamber of Secrets [Harry Potter] book. Alex was watching the movie and had just finished the book so we wrote a song about it. I told him it was a super metal sounding idea and he agreed so we let it rip. I had Rob Wrong record a lead for us since it needed something extra. He nailed it. This is also my favorite song because Alex is featured on the intro.”

I Am the Night by Wizard Death

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Track Premiere: Hands of Goro – “Uncanny”

With a pedigree that includes members of Spirit Adrift, Slough Feg and Nite, it should come as no surprise that Bay Area-based trio Hands of Goro are spinning powerful trad metal a little on the quirky side on their new single “Uncanny.” The frisky, NWOBHM-inspired track finds the outfit—Tom Draper (guitars/backing vocals/synths), Avinash Mittur (drums/backing vocals), Adrian Maestas (bass/lead vocals/synths)—going all-in on a guitar-harmony onslaught pretty much from the opening licks. In fact, though this isn’t an instrumental, Draper lets fly with the pyrotechnics throughout, as he’s given extended opportunities to show his chops.

“Uncanny” is one of eight tracks on the outfit’s upcoming self-titled debut, Hands Of Goro, which was recorded and produced by the band at the Boatyard and Francisco Studios. Drums and guitars were recorded in two secret rooms located on a dilapidated former naval base, and the vocals, bass and synthesizers were tracked in an underground space in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district. Mixing and engineering was handled by drummer Mittur. It was mastered by Justin Weis at Trakworx Studio. The album is set for release March 1 on vinyl and digitally via the band’s own BSP Records. Find preorders here.

This is what Draper had to say about the new single:

“This was the first song Adrian showed me when we started jamming. I love how many different parts the song has, especially on the studio version where there’s a veritable orchestra of guitar harmonies throughout.”

Hands of Goro by Hands of Goro

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Full Album Stream: Kontact – ‘Full Contact’

Upon our first listen to Metal Blade’s Metal Massacre IV compilation in 1983, we were immediately entranced by an intense young quartet from British Columbia, Canada called Sacred Blade and their insanely wordy and speedy track, “The Alien.” And so, it seems, Sacred Blade’s fellow Canucks in Kontact felt the same many years later. Formed in Calgary, Alberta in 2021, these dudes are fronted by a bassist/vocalist who goes by the moniker of, you guessed it, The Alien.  And, yes, there’s a definite Sacred Blade influence in Kontact’s weird sci-fi influenced trad metal. Not a rip-off or anything, more like a light-hearted homage, though the quartet—The Alien (bass/vocals), Matt B1257+12Z (guitar), Morh Morf Xela (guitar)—ain’t exactly fooling around musically. Full Contact is serious enough in that regard, even if the lyrics and such on the band’s debut full-length may be a little over the top. 

Full Contact is set for release on vinyl, CD and digitally on January 19 via Dying Victims Productions. Place your preorder here or here.

Quote from the band:

Full Contact is a digital obituary for humanity. Delusions of grandeur dissolve into cosmic suffering, as reality and experience collapse into singularity. Just kidding, it’s a metal album. We hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed making it. Come in peace.”

Full Contact by Dying Victims Productions

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Full Album Stream: Resin Tomb – ‘Cerebral Purgatory’

On their debut album, Cerebral Purgatory, we can assure you that Brisbane, Australia sludge/death/grind quintet Resin Tomb aren’t fooling around. This is a 29-minute ear-battering of truly atonal and dissonant proportions. Relentless? Yep! Savage? Uh-huh. Unkind and spiteful? That too. The band—Matt Budge (vocals), Perry Vedelago (drums), Brendan Auld (guitar), Matt Gordon (guitar), Mitch Long (bass)—basically unleash a firestorm of ugliness with few opportunities for listeners to gasp for air. It’s viscerally nasty.

Cerebral Purgatory was recorded mixed by guitarist Auld at Black Blood Audio, Brisbane, Australia. The drums were engineered at Qsound, Studio A. The expert mastering was handled half a world away by Arthur Rizk, who is certainly responsible for the sonic sharp edges. The album is set for release January 19 on cassette, CD and digitally via Transcending Obscurity. Place your preorder from Bandcamp here, from their U.S. store here and from their EU store here.

This is what the band had to say about its debut full-length:

“We aimed to create an album that brings about a sense of intense intrigue drowned in dissonance. Merging black metal, death metal and Scandinavian hardcore, we have crafted a sound and feeling that is unique to Resin Tomb. Focused on a balance of tension and release, the sonic journey avoids exhaustion yet lingers long enough to immerse the listener in the genuine dread it demands.

Lyrically, we draw inspiration from raw, real-life horror-stories of lives abruptly extinguished in unforgiving ways. Avoiding fiction, and mirroring the harsh realities of the world we all live in, this album is a stark reflection, capturing the raw and unfiltered aspects of existence.”

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