At the Gates – Terminal Spirit Disease

Die to Be Set Free
The Making of At the Gates’ Terminal Spirit Disease

We’ve talked about the New Wave of Swedish Death Metal ad nauseam for the better part of our 19-year history. Admittedly, part of that’s my fault, but denying the impact the city of Gothenburg (and its attendant suburbs) has had on the vulgar island we call home is folly. The truculent triad of In Flames, Dark Tranquillity and gold medallers At the Gates substantiates the claim that Stockholm wasn’t the only epicenter of death metal. That all three have gone on to wider audiences and deeper meaning isn’t surprising. They had the talent, drive and work ethic to make where they are today. In fact, all three have won Swedish Grammys. All three have toured the globe multiple times. But only one, At the Gates, has three fucking Hall of Fames to their credit, with 1994’s controversial Terminal Spirit Disease roaring in 29 years after its inauspicious release on Peaceville Records.

To understand Terminal Spirit Disease is to go back in time. Between 1992 and 1993, At the Gates were in a transitional phase. The 20-year-olds had released two full-lengths The Red in the Sky Is Ours and With Fear I Kiss the Burning Darkness. The eldest (by five years) and most off-center contributor of the group, Alf Svensson, was on his way out. The innovative guitarist/songwriter had enough of pretty much everything. Sensing the need to pivot, the remaining members of At the Gates—vocalist Tomas Lindberg, bassist Jonas Björler, guitarist Anders Björler and drummer Adrian Erlandsson—simply followed their guts. Less Watchtower, more Slayer. Actually, more thrash, doom and hard rock. The Björler brothers were now the songwriting primaries, and they were eager to dust off old-school passions in search of a new sound. They hired House of Usher guitarist Martin Larsson to fill Svensson’s void while they honed in on what would become the machinery that eventually constructed their genre-defining, genre-creating hallmark full-length Slaughter of the Soul.

Terminal Spirit Disease is that enginery. Concise, ridiculously air guitar-worthy, yet rife with red-hot aggression, At the Gates were able to harness and distill their most cherished twentysomething ideals into “The Swarm,” “Forever Blind,” “The Fevered Circle,” “The Beautiful Wound” and the title track. Back then, the world wasn’t quite ready for At the Gates Mark II. It shared little with its predecessors, apart from Lindberg’s exasperated howl. In many ways, Terminal Spirit Disease conflicted with the peers of its time. Not only because it featured a bewilderingly modern cover piece, but because it went straight for the throat, and did so with all of the heft and brevity of Reign in Blood.

Almost a decade has passed since we bestowed The Red in the Sky Is Ours with Hall of Fame honors and another 18 unbelievable years have (kingdom fucking) gone since we locked evergreen slaymaster Slaughter of the Soul behind our Hall’s gnarly gates. Not to be outdone by youthful vigor or overshadowed by a late-life triumph, At the Gates’ unsung third album, Terminal Spirit Disease, hereby storms into Decibel’s house despondent, teeth bared and violently incandescent.

Need more classic At the Gates? To read the entire seven-page story, featuring interviews with the members who performed on Terminal Spirit Disease, purchase the print issue from our store, or digitally via our app for iPhone/iPad or Android.

The post At the Gates – Terminal Spirit Disease appeared first on Decibel Magazine.


Undeath, Sanguisugabogg, Mortuous, Phobophilic Members Reflect On Death Metal In 2022

Decibel interviewed an amazing array of bands for our January 2023 [#219] (Undeath cover) issue. We could’ve written a treatise on the current crop of death metal crushers, the labels that have supported them, and the underlying vectors behind the genre’s post-pandemic rise… from the grave. Alas, print has its limitations, and we, as conscientious supporters of not goring our dear readers eyes out with a 14-page spread, had to chop (in half–Obituary reference, natch) our Undeath plus others story. Here’s some of the cool quotes that hit the cutting room floor or got COVID and succumbed in the liquified aftermath:

Andrew Lee (Ripped to Shreds)
“I don’t think there’s a single impetus here. It’s coincidence. Everyone has been thinking of death metal, attempting bands, trying to rise up. All this didn’t just happen. It’s been bubbling under (and now over) for a while now. Suddenly, we see the bands getting bigger and blowing up, but it’s been a bit of a long road to get there.”

Chad Gailey (Mortuous)
“I think things started to pop a bit before [this current wave], actually. I know there’s a lot of crazy stuff happening in every part of the country, but I’d say David Mikkelsen and Undergang kind of got whatever wave we want to call this going. Denmark has a crazy scene, and I think it’s all because of David, who’s also in Phrenelith. He put Denmark on the map. We’re pretty close to David, which is why I wanted his label, Extremely Rotten [Productions], to be a part of Upon Desolation. We’ve known him for over 10 years, and we completely trust him. There’s a lot of mutual respect. I think it’s great that there’s bands from all over the country–and around the world–that are doing different things but with the same spirit.”

Kyle Beam (Undeath)
“We definitely do see parallels because they’re our peers, even though we’re all trying to do slightly different things. People are into all these bands right now because they all fill a different specific niche.”

Steve Buhl (200 Stab Wounds)
“The thing I love about what’s going on with our peers right now is that none of our bands sound the same. It’s great because that inspires a whole new generation or scene or whatever to get out there start a band and be creative and not just rip off whatever band is the talk of the town at that point. Like a great example is 200 Stab Wounds, Sanguisugabogg, Undeath and Frozen Soul. We’re all very new, popular bands but none of us sound the same in any way shape or form. But the way we all came up and got our recognition and earned our stripes, we all kind of have similar stories and I draw parallels that way.”

Michael Munday (Frozen Soul)
“Death metal would not exist if it wasn’t fun. Even the bands that are super serious and have a certain vibe are still playing the music because they enjoy it. Nobody would be making music in general if it wasn’t fun to play. I do think that any artist or non-artist should interpret art the way they want to, but to have a ‘serious business only’ mentality and project that outward towards artists that aren’t like that is very narrow-minded to me.”

Devin Swank (Sanguisugabogg)
“The scene in Ohio just keeps getting bigger and bigger and there’s definitely a huge community and always a local show going on which is great. A lot of bands from the area inspire us greatly too and something about Ohio extreme music… brutal and moving is our territory–it’s what we’re about. Bands we like are Embalmer, Heinous Killings, Hemdale, Regurgitation, TON, Decrepit, Premonitions of War as well as a ton of the current wave as well.”

Scott Magrath (Maggot Stomp)
“Ohio, I don’t know what’s going on in that state [with regards to death metal]. Texas is another state that has a great scene. Texas bands have a sound. A Pantera-like groove. I can almost immediately tell when a band is from Texas. Frozen Soul, for example, grew up listening to bands like Iron Age and Power Trip. Cleveland has a lot of venues that support new bands. Venues like No Class. Cleveland is also close to the East Coast.”

Josh Poer (Phobophilic)
“Some songwriters and bands I really admire are Chuck Schuldiner, Bill Steer, Matt Uelmen, Fabio Frizzi, Phil Tougas, Benjamin Reichwald, Blood Incantation, Worm, Steely Dan and Goblin. That’s who’s coming to mind right away, anyway. I think the common thread between all these artists, though they make quite different music, is that it’s all very emotive and even cinematic in a way. That’s the kind of music I aspire to make. I look at music like storytelling and I think all the mentioned artists are great storytellers.”

Kyle Beam (Undeath)
“Dude, we’re just fans of metal music and I just like to riff and hang out with my boys. That’s what it’s all about to me. I just want people to know that we’re normal dudes.”

Steve Buhl (200 Stab Wounds)
“People try to label us all the time, old-school this, new-school that, they sound like this band mixed with that band, oh they sound like a deathcore band. To me, we’re just a metal band that makes music we enjoy. I don’t really care too much or get too deep into whatever label or sub-genre you put to it. If we enjoy the tunes then that’s all we care about. But yeah old-school death metal, to me, is the first wave of death metal bands coming out in the late ’80s and early ’90s. More recent bands to me are just bands. I don’t put a label on shit. If I like, it I like it.”

Andrew Lee (Ripped to Shreds)
“The Chinese or Asian aspects of the band aren’t about convincing anyone or trying to show Western audiences about the validity of having Asian-Americans in death metal. Maybe it’s more about showing Asian-Americans, who aren’t into death metal, that this music exists. The Bay Area is 30-40 percent Asian, depending on the neighborhood you’re in, of course. Go to a show–we’re just not there. Sure, we have Death Angel from 1980-whatever. We have Cartilage, too. But where’s the rest of us, I wonder? We have hella Asian people in the Bay Area. In a way, Ripped to Shreds expresses “Asian-ness” in a very direct way. Like, ‘Hey, we’re here, too. It’s safe.’”

Devin Swank (Sanguisugabogg)
“Your best promotion is you getting your shit out yourselves. We let our personalities kinda shine online because that’s something we had to rely during lockdowns to talk to our fans and I don’t know it hasn’t been bad for us… bands can do what they want. I rock a ton of bands who can care less what their socials are like and I like a ton of bands who live on the Internet too.”

David Mikkelsen (Extremely Rotten Productions/Phrenelith/Undergang)
“A new generation [is] interested in death metal, in the shape of playing in bands, started up labels, putting on shows and even “just” as fans, have made a change to the genre these years, which is great. You see a lot of people coming from various backgrounds again and having interest in death metal, which makes the genre blossom a bit, which is great. Thankfully we see that in Denmark growingly too these years, where I’m also excited of being a part of the semi-local scene of great death metal bands with international appreciation, with bands such as Ascendency, Chaotion, Dead Void, Deiquisitor, Septage, Strychnos, and several more at the moment helping solidifying Denmark on the international death metal map.”

Chad Gailey (Carbonized Records)
“I honestly don’t know why kids are gravitating to death metal. I guess it’s like anything. Nobody can predict what’s going to be popular. I think it came out of nowhere five years ago. When Mortuous formed in 2009, it was Colin’s side project. He linked up Cole, Matt Harvey, Mike Beams, and that’s how the full band of Mortuous even formed. That was 2010. When Mortuous started there weren’t too many bands playing death metal like this. Anhedonist, Dead Congregation, Vastum, Ilsa, Acephalix… they were mostly punks playing death metal. It was kind of wild. There were veterans involved, too. In the end, I don’t know why death metal has taken off. These things happen. Remember, there was a thrash revival. Black metal got fucking super-popular and it’s stayed at the top. Death metal feels like something new to discover now. When you hear it for the first time, you want to consume all of it. There’s excitement. There’s people who are new to death metal. They’re taking it as far as they can.”

Alexander Jones (Undeath)
“I can’t tell you how many shows in the pre-Undeath days that I played to three or less people. Dozens. And I kept doing it because even when it completely fucking sucks and saps you of all financial stability, this is what I love doing. It’s basically what I’ve building to structure my entire life around since I was 13 years old. I truly remember the faces of just about every solitary person who came to see my old bands in empty venues. Getting paid to do this is something I will never take lightly, because I could go back to that cat-piss basement or that coked-out art space anytime. I’m ready for it. I don’t believe anything great is ever achieved unless you’re living with your back perpetually against the wall, regardless of whether things are good or bad. You must be willing. My ambition is to keep going.”

Hails, horns, and CROCS to the killers involved in our January 2023 [#219] issue. Click on the links. Go to shows. Buy some merch. Support death metal!

200 Stab Wounds
Frozen Soul
Ripped to Shreds
Maggot Stomp Records
Carbonized Records
Extremely Rotten Productions

The post Undeath, Sanguisugabogg, Mortuous, Phobophilic Members Reflect On Death Metal In 2022 appeared first on Decibel Magazine.


The Top 5 Bands That Influenced The Abbey

By Jesse Heikkinen (The Abbey)

It was the year of lockdown in 2021. I was laying on the floor in my messy apartment, hungover and depressed, trying to figure out what to do with my rotten life. Everything felt pointless and bland when suddenly a friend texted me and asked if I wanted to do guest vocals for their upcoming doom metal-ish album. My eyes brightened up and I said yes without any hesitation! That started a series of events that led me to form a new band called The Abbey.

Now, one and a half years later, the world has opened up and my rotten life seems a bit clearer. The Abbey is just about to release its first album, Word of Sin, and I’m writing this article for Decibel about five records that inspired our debut. So, without further ado, let’s get into it!

5. Dead Can Dance – Anastasis

I was in a hypnagogic state in a tour bus about 10 years ago and hadn’t had a single moment of sleep the previous night. All of a sudden “Children of the Sun” started to play and I sank deeper into this weird liminal state between wakefulness and sleep. The music felt almost too good to be true — it was love at first note! I listened to Dead Can Dance a lot when Word of Sin was in the making. Their chord progressions and harmonies have had a huge influence on my songwriting ever since I heard them the first time. I even wrote a Dead Can Dance tribute song, which eventually ended up on Word of Sin!

4. King Crimson – Red
I love every incarnation of King Crimson, but this album was rotating on my plate the most when I recorded Word of Sin. I can imagine that in ’74 this had to be one of the heaviest records ever released! John Wetton’s bass sound is something out of this world and the fact that it was done as a trio just blows my mind. The production is airy and raw but it still feels full and complete. One of my greatest FOMOs is that I will never see King Crimson live!

3. Opeth – Ghost Reveries
The single most influential band for me is Opeth — no question! In my opinion, Ghost Reveries is one of their strongest records and my songwriting or guitar playing wouldn’t be what it is without this album. Ghost Reveries also has some of the best keyboard tracks in the history of metal music, so you can only imagine how stoked I was when we got Per Wiberg (Spiritual Beggars) to do the graphic layouts for Word of Sin!

2. Spiritus Mortis – The Year is One
Claimed to be the first Finnish doom metal band, Spiritus Mortis has surely aged well! Since their beginning in 1987 they have published five full-length albums with the latest released only a few months ago. The Year is One is a diverse and ageless record which I’ve been listening to a lot during the last few years. Also, Sami Hynninen’s lyrics on the album are top-notch. I recommend listening to their latest work as well!

1. Fuzzifer – Nidali
Still remember that album my friend asked me to do guest vocals for? Well, here it is! Fuzzifer may not be the most known band on this list, but it definitely is the most important; without this record The Abbey wouldn’t exist! With three bass guitars, synths and drums, all driven through the most obscure and noisiest fuzz pedals, Fuzzifer is a truly unique blend of esoteric noise and sludgy doom metal. If you are looking for a sonic trepanation, look no further!

** The Abbey’s new album, Word of Sin, is out now on Season of Mist. Order LP, CD, t-shirts (HERE).

The post The Top 5 Bands That Influenced The Abbey appeared first on Decibel Magazine.


Full Album Premiere: Hellish ‘The Dance of the Four Elemental Serpents’

Chilean blackened thrashers Hellish find their invincible force on new album, The Dance of the Four Elemental Serpents. After two neck-breaking full-lengths — Grimoire (2016) and The Spectre of Lonely Souls (2018) — the Santiago-based quartet of Cristian León (drums), Francisco Sanhueza (guitars), Javier Salgado (guitars), Cristopher Aravena (vocals/bass) have re-centered their attack. From the vio-aggression trem barrage of “The Ancient Entity of the Darkest Light” and the introspective head-smash of “Violent, Bloody & Cold” to the bullet spray of “Goddess Death” and pit-friendly “Dreamlike Fears,” Hellish throw swords from the first Teutonic invasion (Sodom, Kreator, and Destruction). Yet, there’s a bit more nuance to Hellish. They’re skilled musicians, metallic thought leaders in a space that doesn’t allow much re-invention.

Hellish were formed in 2010. They join a growing cauldron of quality (blackened) thrash acts like Behead, Mental Devastation, Mayhemic, and Demoniac, all of whom have made their respective international marks recently. Unlike their peers, the warriors in Hellish take on a mysterious occult stance. Housed in a nation of Catholic Church attendees (at 42% give or take), the quartet’s dark viewpoint is probably not going to win them mainstream accolades, but that isn’t the point of Hellish. They live and breath metal, as it was in the ’80s so it is now. Not that couldn’t record in Chile, but The Dance of the Four Elemental Serpents was captured between candlelight and cemetery worship at Estudios Romaphonic (nee Circo Beat) where the likes of Rata Blanca and fucking Carlos Santana laid down their fiery tracks. That is to say, The Dance of the Four Elemental Serpents roars out of the speakers, angry, sharp, and battle ready.

Rage with terrible certainty on Hellish’s The Dance of the Four Elemental Serpents now! Or, bit the bullet (belt).

Hellish – The Dance of the Four Elemental Serpents by Dying Victims Productions

** Hellish’s new album, The Dance of the Four Elemental Serpents, is out December 16th on Dying Victims Productions and Unspeakable Axe. Dying Victims will release the LP edition, while Unspeakable Axe will release the CD edition. Order the LP (HERE) from Bandcamp.

The post Full Album Premiere: Hellish ‘The Dance of the Four Elemental Serpents’ appeared first on Decibel Magazine.


Full Album Premiere: Wolok ‘The Bilious Hues Of Gloom’

France-based blackened doom industrialists Wolok have transformed into its most potent form on new album, The Bilious Hues Of Gloom. Whereas previous albums–Fading Mirth & Dry Heaves and Caput Mortuum–touched on the oddities of black metal’s outer rim, the group’s latest pulls in from space and posits its victims dead center of post-apocalyptic inner cities. There’s no light, no hope, all corroding, corrupting, and decaying in real time.

Much of The Bilious Hues Of Gloom is built upon the foundations of avant-garde, predominantly French black metal. The wisps of Deathspell Omega, Blut Aus Nord, and Blacklodge are found coursing through Wolok’s veins, but the main tendrils of desolation are harder to pin down. Less of a sound, tracks like “The Slough Of Despond,” “Yellow Bile,” and “Downfallen” are more of a vibe, baleful, cold, stark, and violent. To wit, the terrible trio responsible for such metallic entropy are simply called L. (nausea, heaves, vomit), C. (maestro, emetic tempo), and E. (conception, strings, cacophony).

“After two years of chaotic gestation, we are proud to unveil the full stream of our new album, The Bilious Hues Of Gloom. It was recorded in weird conditions and spirituous solitude during those sick lockdown periods… hence the fucked-up tunes. Once again, we may catch our fans off guard as this record is quite different from what we used to offer in the past. We tried to explore various facets of black/doom/punk extemporizations, resulting in manic sounds, dissonance and bilious thematics. We are aware that our music does not appeal to untrained brains and we wish to sincerely pay tribute to Brucia Records, who dared to release that tormenting oddity.”

Wallow in Wolok’s crushing scorn… There is no escape.

The Bilious Hues of Gloom by Wolok

** Wolok’s new album, The Bilious Hues Of Gloom, is out December 8th on Brucia Records. Orders can be placed via Brucia’s Bandcamp site (HERE). Suffer the children of the apocalypse…

The post Full Album Premiere: Wolok ‘The Bilious Hues Of Gloom’ appeared first on Decibel Magazine.


Full Album Premiere: Appalling ‘Sacrilege’

The ultimate incantation of Appalling‘s new album, Sacrilege (via Redefining Darkness), lies in its savagery. From “Life In Prism” to “These People Need to Die,” the Virginians blast blackened death metal from Hell’s most hardened pits. There’s no remorse. No recourse. And certainly no restraint, as Appalling jackhammer angels of light with their insidious outlay.

Formed in Richmond in 2015, Appalling–featuring members of rock ‘n’ roll mavens US Bastards and groove lords Fire Faithful–have forged out of fire and brimstone three full-lengths, the latest of which is the inimitable Sacrilege. Certainly, netizens unfamiliar with the quartet’s infernal fusillade, this is the type of death metal blackened over by years of soot and hordes of sin. Somewhere at the vio-aggro crossroads of 1349, Angelcorpse, Vader, and Satyricon, Appalling have done God’s work. Full-lengths Secrets of the Adept (2017), Inverted Realm (2019), and now Sacrilege feel like they’ve been crafted out of the bone of Archangel Michael himself and imbued with the evilest blood. Exaggeration… perhaps, but spin through Sacrilege and imagine otherwise.

Say Appalling from the Fifth Circle: “The goal with this album was to up the ante… Christ. We wanted to produce a more brutal, complex album than the last. We believe that we have accomplished that. However, if Jesus is just alright with you, this album probably won’t be.”

Stomp on the corpses of angels. Instill chaos from order. Defoul the most vital of remains. Appalling’s Sacrilege has arrived as the fifth horseman.

Sacrilege by APPALLING

** Appalling’s new album, Sacrilege, is out December 2nd, 2022 on Personal Records. Pre-orders for CDs are HERE via Bandcamp.

The post Full Album Premiere: Appalling ‘Sacrilege’ appeared first on Decibel Magazine.


Q&A: Matt Pattison Of Glorious Times Productions Remembers His Brother And Legend Brian Pattison

Glorious Times is a book that celebrates death metal. Officially sub-titled, A Pictorial Of The Death Metal Scene 1984-1991, the book features killer excerpts and hard-to-find photographs from our beloved genre’s earliest, most gnarliest stages. Co-authored by Alan Moses (once in the Morbid Angel orbit) and Brian Pattison (editor of Chainsaw Abortions ‘zine; guitarist in Anthropic), Glorious Times is now in its third edition published by Greece-based Fryktos Books. Pattison, however, sadly passed just before getting to see his labor of love in its third pressing in November 2020. Now, his younger brother Matt has taken the reins as Glorious Times Productions, and is organizing a plethora of activities on behalf of Brian.

First and foremost, Matt is taking Glorious Times to the physical music world. Working with Canada’s CDN Records, the Glorious Times CD features some of Brian’s closest friends from the death metal scene. They include: Cannibal Corpse, Master, Revenant, Massacre, Derketa, Acheron, Slaughter, Broken Hope, Deceased, Nunslaughter, Lethal Aggression, Wehrmacht, and Anthropic, featuring Kam Lee. As part of Matt’s pledge to honor his brother, who also organized the infamous (and pivotal) A Day of Death in 1990, he’s going to be putting on several death metal festivals in Buffalo, firstly the Death in December festival (with Ringworm headlining) on December 17th and the A Day of Death IV in July 2023. Proceeds from Matt’s endeavors will go to the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo.

Decibel sat down with Matt to honor Brian’s legacy.

What prompted you to issue Glorious Times as a CD?
Matt Pattison: My brother had always told me how he always wanted to put together a Glorious Times CD. Doing the book when he did he said it would be impossible to get most of the bands to contribute, whether it was they had gotten too big or were just too busy with their own thing. When my brother passed it hit me hard, but all the outpouring of condolences from people all over the world was amazing. It inspired me to not want to let my brother’s passing be the end of his legacy. 

My brother would always say he was lucky enough to be a part of and witness the birth of a genre of death metal. I then began to think of what I could do to continue to keep his legacy alive. In talking with Kam Lee about the Glorious Times 4th Edition tribute to Brian I was putting together, he asked me if I thought about doing a Glorious Times album. That was all I needed. I began to look into a label that would be willing to do it, and what I wanted the album to look like. Then began contacting bands to see if any would be interested.

Glorious Times (CDN Records)

The Glorious Times CD is the successor (or soundtrack) to the Glorious Times book by Alan Moses and your brother Brian Pattison. Tell me about how the book and the CD complement one another.
Matt Pattison: That’s a great question, as my friend Cam Alfred Schwartz said, “For the younger generation and us older to know where we came from.” I think it was great to have an amazing group of bands from the book to put a comp CD together in honor of Brian. Anyone that is a metal fan the book and CD are a must to own. CDN records is releasing the album. I would like to thank CDN and Cam Alfred Schwarz and Craig Newman for taking this journey with me. They are amazing, and I can’t thank them enough. 

How did the band selection come together? You have a lot of heavy hitters like Cannibal Corpse, Broken Hope, Massacre, and Deceased on there, plus a lot of great underground favorites like Lethal Aggression, Derketa, and Master.
Matt Pattison: The selection of the bands was an easy one. After my brother had passed many people from the scene to band members of many bands contacted me with condolences and stories. So, I just contacted all these bands. Once I contacted them they were all so eager to contribute a track. My brother would always say how the metal underground was a close family. This project proved it. Alex Webster of Cannibal Corpse was a good friend of my brother (and has become a brother to me) was helpful right away, and quickly the whole band and Metal Blade agreed. King from Deceased did the same thing and as well as Paul Speckmann from Master. All the bands have been amazing and I truly love them all. They are forever my family. The bands on this album are Cannibal Corpse, Master, Massacre, Acheron, the Vincent Crowley Band, Anthropic (feat. Kam Lee), Hideous Mangleous, Broken Hope, Deceased, Derketa, Revenant, Lethal Aggression, Insanity, Wehrmacht, Nunslaughter, and Slaughter.

Brian Pattison (Anthropic)

Your brother, Brian, passed in November 2020. Do you consider both the book and CD as testaments to his legacy?
Matt Pattison: I do. But I believe his legacy is much more. The book brought new life to the metal underground. But he spent his whole life helping the underground scene. From the start of Death, to the day of A Day of Death. He would put on shows and bring bands to Buffalo like he would tell me he would have amazing bands play in the early days that would later become huge to where he could not afford them. Bands like Deceased he would always promote and have shows with them all the way to the end of his life. King, he looked up to. He was a legend in Brian’s eyes. Brian would also do a show called Death in December, which I have partnered with Jeff Standish and Coming of Rage Productions to bring back on December 17, 2022 with Ringworm as the headliner. The band Brian founded Anthropic, also Centenary, Gutted Alive, and Juggernaut. Amazing bands like Cannibal Corpse, Autopsy, Prime Evil, Immolation, Insanity, Metal Blade Records, and Jeremy Wagner have donated merch to raffle at the shows. The show is also a Glorious Times album release party. It’s Brian’s dedication and love for the music, the metal underground, and his generosity and care to help anyone in need. My brother put on benefit shows to help a lot of people and bands in the scene that needed some help. That is why everything I do in my brother’s name I do not make any profit. That is what my brother would want. 

Is the Glorious Times book still available? And where can U.S. readers get a copy?
Matt Pattison: Yes, but sadly not in the U.S. Before Brian passed away he made a deal with Fryktos Books in Greece to publish a third edition of the book with a new cover. The shipment of the new edition arrived at my house two days before he passed. I called him at the hospital the day it came in, and, as he was a man of many words when I told him, he said, “Cool.” He passed away before he was able to open the package. I opened it shortly after he passed to see the books. Luckily, I found the list he made of the people who prepaid for books and I was able to ship them out. I put together a tribute Glorious Times edition with memorial pages added. Published by Fryktos Books as well. They are only available in Europe through them.

A Day of Death festival, 1990

For those that remember, Brian also organized the A Day of Death festival in 1990. What are your memories of Brian’s (and yours) involvement in that legendary festival?
Matt Pattison: I was very young. I remember my brother had the fanzine Chainsaw Abortions. He was always doing interviews with bands and promoting their CDs or shows. Then, Joe Pristach decided to put on the A Day of Death since Brian and Joe knew everybody in the scene they just contacted them and put the show on. A Day of Death put a spotlight on the death metal scene; at the time Buffalo was the epicenter of the metal underground. Unfortunately my parents would not allow me to go. Fucking parents in the ’80s and ’90s. I partnered with Ed Farshtey of Armageddon Production and put on the Day of Death III on April 23, 2022 in Brooklyn with Massacre, Incantation, Anthropic, Malignancy, Nunslaughter, Deceased, Embalmer, and Sewage Grinder. 

You’re going to hold Day of Death IV in July 2023 in honor of your brother. Tell me about who’s involved, bands that are playing, and what you’re aiming for.
Matt Pattison: On July 15, 2023, which is Brian’s birthday, I will be putting on Day of Death IV in Buffalo. It will be me, Glorious Times Productions. I have partnered with Jeff Standish and Coming of Rage Productions. The show is in the early stages, but what I can say is the lineup is epic. Everyone from across the country should save the date and make plans to come to Buffalo on July 15th. Come and pay homage and your respects to the metal underground pioneer Brian Pattison and see an amazing show with some legendary bands. I will be announcing the lineup soon. I have bands that are already committed, but they want to wait until everything is set. Of course, Brian’s band Anthropic will be performing. Anyone that is in the metal underground scene will want to be a part of this. You can check my Facebook at MattandDanielle Pattison and also Coming of Rage Productions for announcements. All I can say right now is… “Wow!” You won’t want to miss this. 

The CD and festival proceeds will go to the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo. Tell us why Roswell Park is special to you.
Matt Pattison: My brother lost over 26 people to cancer in the last few years of his life. He put together hundreds of benefit shows, including one for Bret Hoffmann of Malevolent Creation before Bret passed. Also a benefit for his good friend Jen Rinaldo, which turned into a yearly event after she passed. Brian had shirts made that said, “Fuck cancer.” He was known as the, “Fuck cancer,” guy. I felt I needed to continue that by donating all profits to Roswell. I feel I can not make money off of my brother’s legacy. I have taken over Glorious Times Productions. I want people to understand that every time they see Glorious Times is involved that whatever it is, it is to raise money to help others. If someone in the scene needs help, they should feel free to contact me and maybe Glorious Times can put something together to help.

Brian Pattison (Anthropic)

How do you want Brian remembered?
Matt Pattison: I want Brian to be remembered as a kind person. I want him to be remembered as one of the people that helped build the metal underground and death metal scene. I want all his selfless work and all the benefits he did to help others. For his A Day of Death fest, his Glorious Times book and, of course, his band Anthropic. He gave everything to the scene and never asked for anything in return. I want him to be remembered as the metal pioneer and legend that he is. I miss my big brother and I know the world misses him also. Pattison Eternal. I hope this inspires some new blood to the scene. Thank you Decibel for your support.

1. Glorious Times CD (CDN Records): CDN Records
2. Death in December festival: Facebook
3. Glorious Times Book: Fryktos Books
4: Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center (donations): Roswell Park

The post Q&A: Matt Pattison Of Glorious Times Productions Remembers His Brother And Legend Brian Pattison appeared first on Decibel Magazine.


Full Album Premiere: Witchunter ‘Metal Dream’

The New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal (NWOTHM) has its newest star in Italy’s Witchunter. Since forming in 2007 in the Abruzzo region, Witchunter have parlayed the denim ‘n’ leather mantra across three full-lengths, with Metal Dream serving up the band’s latest. Now signed to Germany’s burgeoning indie Dying Victims Productions, the quintet–featuring Steve Di Leo (vocals), Federico “Ace” Iustini (lead guitars, vocals), Silvio “Chuck” Verdecchia (guitars, keyboards), Fabrizio “Thunder” Rosati (bass), and Luca “The Filter” Cetroni (drums)–are readying their world assault of twin guitars, galloping rhythms, and soaring vocals for the hungriest of masses.

Indeed, fans of NWOBHM legends Angel Witch, Jaguar, Tygers of Pan Tang, and Saxon will find solace Metal Dream‘s crossroads. But that’s not everything in Witchunter’s throwback playbook. They bring in Mercyful Fate and Black Sabbath, with a little Thin Lizzy to boot, as well. Featuring tracks like “Legion,” “Restless,” and the title track, Metal Dream posits the Italians at the top of the NWOTHM heap. Impassioned and skilled, this is the heavy metal we’ve all been waiting for.

Say Witchunter: “Metal Dream was born from our continuous desire to play together with the right anger, from our deep friendship and from the infinite passion we have towards heavy metal. We have always lived the band in a natural and spontaneous way; we play what we like most and we live metal as a continuous dream that helps us to exorcise problems and some of the boring aspects of life. This album represents who we are today. Although deeply linked with ’80s Metal, here we continued to try to express our personality with a sound and a personal approach, even if in a derivative context. Heavy Metal. Heavy Metal. Heavy Metal. We are metalheads who play for metalheads. The albums that accompany our everyday life, the underground scene… high volume, spikes, leather, blood and getting out of control is how we live music and how we want to continue living it. Until the end.”

A metal heart is hard to tear apart in Witchunter’s world. Stream Metal Dream in full now!

Witchunter – Metal Dream by Dying Victims Productions

** Witchunter’s new album, Metal Dream, is out November 18th, 2022 on Dying Victims Productions. Pre-order Metal Dream on LP and CD via this Bandcamp link (HERE).

The post Full Album Premiere: Witchunter ‘Metal Dream’ appeared first on Decibel Magazine.


Track Premiere: Sacrilegion ‘Transfixed in Spiral Ambiguity’

Sacrilegion are America’s latest death metal hopeful. Formed by Connor Carlson 2018 as a one-man entity, Sacrilegion blended the unorthodox nature of Edge of Sanity with the brutality of Intestine Baalism on demo The Pest Dialect (2018). Now a fully-fledged band with Carlson (vocals), Geronimo Santa Cruz (guitars), Ashton J. Childs (drums), and Alex Seolas (bass) making up the quartet, the Beehive Staters are readying to unfurl debut album, From Which Nightmares Crawl, via Mexico-based indie Chaos Records. Carlson nabbed a host of named names to assist in the sonic projection of Sacrilegion. He pulled in Horrendous’ Damian Herring (Ripped To Shreds, Suffering Hour) to mix and master, while Mike Jenks (Blood Purge) and Andy Patterson (Insect Ark, The Otolith, ex-SubRosa) were onboarded to record vocals and drums, respectively.

“Transfixed in Spiral Ambiguity” shows Sacrilegion’s quicksilver ascent. A blend of Carlson’s faves, the track slithers, strikes, and bites with American authority. But ‘neath the serpentine savagery lay clever melodic handling. This is present throughout “Transfixed in Spiral Ambiguity.” From the opening salvo to the ending crush, fans of Edge of Sanity and The Chasm will find nameless horrors and cerulean wonders at Sacrilegion’s sleight of hand. Of course, the killer aspect is the addition of Kenji Nonaka (Intestine Baalism, Another Dimension) in the solo, but don’t let that detract from the otherwise significant heft on display.

Say Sacrilegion: “‘Transfixed in Spiral Ambiguity’ showcases our more eclectic side. It is about Junji Ito’s horror masterpiece Uzumaki, and we tried to convey the feeling of his work not only in the lyrics, but in the music itself. From the dizzying tapping and strange rhythms, to the anguished and ever-changing melodies, and a guitar solo from Kenji Nonaka (Intestine Baalism, Another Dimension), ‘Transfixed In Spiral Ambiguity’ is a sonic labyrinth of bitter brutality and frantic melodicism; heralding the hopelessness and horror of the infinite spiral’s curse.”

From Which Nightmares Crawl by SACRILEGION

** Sacrilegion’s new album, From Which Nightmares Crawl, is out December 9th on Chaos Records. Pre-orders for CD and cassette are available HERE. For death metal glory!

The post Track Premiere: Sacrilegion ‘Transfixed in Spiral Ambiguity’ appeared first on Decibel Magazine.


Track Premiere: Mayan Bull (ft. members of Trappist & Despise You) “Kid Cleveland”

It’s not often that a band forms after being offered an opportunity to write music for a film, but that’s exactly what happened with L.A.’s Mayan Bull. Back in 2011, drummer/keyboardist Phil Vera (Trappist, Despise You), guitarist Kurk Stevens and bassist Chris Walters were approached by director Todd Hickey to write a song for the soundtrack of Takedowns and Falls, his documentary about high-school wrestling in Pennsylvania. The trio recorded 10-minute instrumental “A Dangerous Gun” in Vera’s living room with producer Paul Fig (Alice In Chains, Deftones), and Mayan Bull was born. “We had so much fun recording the song that we kept practicing and came up with new songs,” Vera says.

One of those songs is “Kid Cleveland,” which we’re premiering here today. The propulsive track is all the more impressive given that instrumental music is a distinct departure for the members of Mayan Bull. Stevens plays in the noise rock band Kevarra, Walters plays shoegaze in The Slow Signal Fades and Vera plays an entirely different instrument—guitar—in L.A. powerviolence kings Despise You and Crom. “We discussed Mayan Bull as being a project that we could do for decades to come, something that isn’t pinned down to any particular genre of music but will grow over time,” Stevens says. “We want people to hear us and watch this project evolve.”

Mayan Bull by Mayan Bull

The post Track Premiere: Mayan Bull (ft. members of Trappist & Despise You) “Kid Cleveland” appeared first on Decibel Magazine.