Track Premiere: Labyrinth of Stars – ‘Star Pervertor’

This is one for the weirdos. Labyrinth of Stars—featuring members of Lantlôs and Valborg—is a death metal band that claims to have an otherworldly sound and delivers on it with a flurry of off-kilter extreme metal. Counting members of Lantlôs and Valborg among their ranks, Labyrinth of Stars attack in controlled bursts, setting the atmosphere with unique production and bits of dissonance rather than long interludes or slower passages, like on “Star Pervertor.”

The three-and-a-half minute song pummels the listener from the rip but the song really takes off into its own direction around the halfway point.

“The song is about an overwhelming entity that perverts entire planets only by being in its proximity,” vocalist Transcendent Architect Astralis tells Decibel. “The corrupted inhabitants of the planets worship this entity and increase in infinite greed for everything. They are consuming more and more sick shit like themselves until the only thing that still can give them a kick is the total annihilation of everything.”

Transcendent Architect Astralis and his companions AcidGhost Athereum and Invisible X-Star will release Spectrum Xenomorph on September 30 via Translation Loss (pre-order here) but you can delve into the new track below.

Spectrum Xenomorph by Labyrinth of Stars

Photo: Jan Buckard

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Full EP Stream: Pink Mass – “Nympho Commando”

Word on the street is that if you missed Pink Mass‘ set at Maryland Deathfest, you missed out on a pretty great celebration of weirdo extremity and BDSM. The New Jersey fiends are following up 2019’s The Ballad of Satan Cock (a dildo with nails in it) with a new EP: Nympho Commando.

Clad in leather and armed with riffs, Pink Mass find themselves at the intersection of grindcore, sludge, black metal and crust. Whereas The Ballad of Satan Cock featured songs centered around pleasures of the flesh, Nympho Commando deals with another gross topic: fluids.

“Greeting ghouls, fiends, perverts and voyeurs!” exclaims vocalist and ringleader Tyrant Persevor. “Welcome back to our macabre peep show of degeneracy! We, Pink Mass, return with another 4 tales of total perversion, this time pertaining to fluids. It’s time to return from which you came, between urine and feces, when you were birthed in blood and then when it’s all said and done, you’ll be blowing chunks with excitement. Bound in leather you shall submit to erotic decay and feel the wrath of the nympho commando!


“Can you handle the erotic tales of gluttony? Can you submit to sin?  Torture for some and pleasure for others… enjoy at your own risk.”

If you made it this far, indulge in the debauchery via the Bandcamp embed below.
Nympho Commando EP by Pink Mass

A physical release is coming soon via Riotous Outburst and Sonic Bath.

Tyrant Persevor at MDF

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Track Premiere: Altars – ‘Ascetic Reflection’

Australian death metal trio Altars took their sweet time making their sophomore album, Ascetic Reflection. Arriving nearly nine years after the release of first full-length, Paramnesia, the new album features songwriting and performances that show Altars have lost nothing in their time away, aided in part by the addition of new bassist/vocalist Brendan Sloan (Convulsing).

On the album’s title track, streaming below, Altars lead the listener through a labyrinthine track that takes death metal’s core fundamentals and twists them into a disharmonic, foreboding track that peaks in the song’s final seconds. The dissonant death metal tagline isn’t a new one—artists have been aping Gorguts and Ulcerate since those bands appeared—but Altars make it feel fresh and true. Paired with the band’s lyrics about the human condition and a cover painting from Adam Burke, Ascetic Reflection really is the total package.

Check out the title track below and head to Everlasting Spew for pre-orders. Ascetic Reflection is out July 8, with vinyl coming later and digital here.

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Track Premiere: Antigama – ‘Unclear Conversions’

Polish deathgrind mainstays Antigama close a seven year gap between full-lengths with the release of their eighth album, Whiteout, next month. Antigama have stayed busy in the time since 2015’s The Insolent, releasing an EP and a handful of splits, so the quartet is in top form; just listen to “Unclear Conversions,” the first single from the record, streaming below.

There’s a strong death metal influence on the new song, which comes paired with a new video created by Chariot of the Black Moth. The abstract, black-and-gray visuals complement the chaotic, bursting nature of “Unclear Conversions,” which is a near-constant two-minute burst of energy.

Whiteout is slated for release on July 15 via Selfmadegod. Pre-orders are live for the US and Europe.

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Video Premiere: Celestial Wizard Roll the Dice with “Ice Realm”

Normally, any band coming onto my radar proclaiming they are “a veritable blend of power metal and death metal..that guide the listener through a choice mix of fantasy and sci-fi themes, ranging from frosty Dungeons & Dragons excitement to space travellers and black holes” wouldn’t be racing to the top of my personal playlist. Who needs anything more when you’re like me and still regularly listen to Bal-Sagoth without irony.

All that fantasy mumbo-jumbo and D&D grandstanding important to certain metallic subgenres just isn’t my thing. However, there’s no issue in looking beyond that stuff when what’s rolling around in the sonicsphere consists of robust melodies, air-raid siren vocals, dazzling shred and a lack of furrow-browed seriousness. Here is where Denver’s Celestial Wizard comes in. Formed in 2018 at the confluence of Arch Enemy, Dark Tranquillity, Viking lore, Firewind, Unleash the Archers, Robert E. Howard novels and backroom Magic the Gathering tourneys, they’ve issued a self-released full-length in the form of A Sinister Awakening and today are on the cusp of album number two, Winds of the Cosmos, from which we present lead single and video, “Ice Realm.” Here, the band’s new school charm and ability to laugh at themselves is put on display as proudly ripping riffs share the scene with nerd pursuits of the highest order.

Says guitarist/vocalist Nick Daggers about what went into the final result:
“Making the music video was a riot. We knew that we had to bring the energy 110% for every single take. The warehouse we filmed in didn’t have great airflow, so by the end of it, we were all sweaty as hell. I remember midway through the day, we took a break and were wandering around looking for some grub. We were filming down the street from The Marquis in Denver where Aether Realm was playing. We shot a text over to Jake, their frontman, and asked him if he wanted to stop by and maybe jump in somewhere in the video. About 20 minutes later there he was in sweatpants and an unbuttoned Hawaiian shirt ready to rumble. We were all super amped that he was there. He ends up making it into a couple of sweet slo-mo shots in the video and we couldn’t be more stoked.”

For info or to stalk ’em:



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Full Album Stream: Matsunaga Was Right – “Born in Wire”

Decibel last checked in with deathmatch wrestling-obsessed grindcore trio Matsunaga Was Right in August for the release of their album Kings of the Deathmatch. The group stayed busy in the year following the album’s release and are back with a new album, titled Born in Wire, due out June 3.

Generally, Matsunaga Was Right take an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach to songwriting on Born in Wire. Song lengths tend to be on the shorter side compared to Kings of the Deathmatch, but they still feature the same insane drum machine programming and ripping guitars. Vocals range from shrieky to Spazz-esque, with plenty of space devoted to samples. In keeping with their hardcore wrestling theme, song titles on Born in Wire pay tribute to and poke fun at various wrestlers, some obscure and some more well known. The cover art features a photo of Terry Funk, godfather of modern hardcore and deathmatch wrestling, wrapped in barbed wire.

Matsunaga Was Right will release Born in Wire on June 3 via HPGD, but Decibel is streaming the album now.


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Track Premiere: Molder – ‘Decomposed Embryos’

Midwest death metal practitioners Molder are prepared to release their second full-length, Engrossed in Decay, later this summer. The album is a slab of crude, chugging death metal that’s sure to make any primitive’s heart swell with joy that should make death metal fans very happy.

There’s no need to wait until July to hear a new track from the album—we’ve got you covered with “Decaying Embryos,” the second single from Engrossed in Decay. After a sample from a news story on fetal remains, Molder launch straight into four minutes of thick, mid-paced death metal.

It turns out that the lyrics for “Decomposed Embryos” aren’t exactly based in gory fantasy either.

“‘Decomposed Embryos’ is about Dr. Ulrich Kloper, a Midwestern abortionist accused of preserving well over 2,000 fetal remains,” Molder tell Decibel. “Shortly after his death, the remains were discovered inside the garage of his rural home in Will County, Illinois. 165 additional remains were later found located in the trunk of his vehicle.

“We chose ‘Decomposed Embryos’ as a single for the simple fact that it’s straight to the point. It definitely stands out on the record as our “less is more” track. Fixating less on technical precision and overwhelming flashiness, and more on brutality, wrecking your neck and quenching your thirst for gore.”

With that imagery in mind, check out “Decomposed Embryos” below. Engrossed in Decay is out July 15 via Prosthetic.

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Video Premiere: Scarcity – ‘II’

When you gaze into the void, sometimes the void gazes back in the form of a Brooklyn experimental black metal band. Scarcity—featuring multi-instrumentalist Brendon Randall-Myers and Pyrrhon vocalist Doug Moore—finished their debut album, Aveilut, in the height of the pandemic in 2020.

Surrounded by death, the two crafted an album that reflects those feelings.

“When I was writing this music, I was experiencing a void — the absence of formerly-present human activity — at both personal and city-wide scales,” Randall-Myers says. “I tried to reflect the scope and incomprehensibility of that void by working with a tension between musical activity and stasis, between repetition and unpredictability. I wanted to push the music I was writing to a point where the materials sort of collapsed in on themselves and became something else. I wanted to find a place where harmony, melody, and rhythm dissolved into noise and drone; where exhaustion could become endurance and where rage and grief could become a meditation.”

A sample of that music can be heard on “II,” the song and video both streaming below via Decibel. The video, directed by filmmaker Derrick Belcham, adds to the feelings of grief and confusion with its barely-comprehensible imagery. Listen to the song below and pre-order via The Flenser—out July 15.

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Video Premiere: Skullshitter – ‘Morbid Tomb’

Elevator pitch: Terrorizer and Autopsy take some sketchy acid and consummate their union, conceiving a spun-out, death metal-loving spawn.

That spawn is Skullshitter, the Bay Area’s premier psychedelic death/doom-grind trio. Their new full-length, Goat Claw, is out now, expounding on the joys of Satan, hallucinogens and rock ‘n’ roll. The drug-fueled fantasy continues with the video for “Morbid Tomb,” which features a combination of live performance and stock footage, edited together in a way that feels like watching a VHS tape in a not-so-sober state of being.

The influence from Autopsy is heard loud and clear on “Morbid Tomb,” which adds an element of lurching death/doom to the otherwise crusty grindcore on display. You can watch the video below and score a copy of the album now via Nerve Altar.

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5 New Hardcore Records You Should Hear

It’s a good time to be a fan of hardcore. Not only is it possible to see countless legacy acts on tour and at festivals—the scene is ripe with new music from OGs and newcomers alike. Here are five recommended 2022 releases.

Rabbit – Demo

This group of Brooklyn metallic hardcore punks released their first demo in February of this year. With four songs, two of them under two minutes, Rabbit throw in a little something for everyone: fast powerviolence for the punks, feedback-soaked breakdowns for the moshers, Slayer-esque riffs for the metalheads. 
DEMO by Rabbit

Gospel The Loser

It’s been 17 years since cult screamo heroes Gospel released their first and only album, 2005’s The Moon is a Dead World, but the band returned on Friday to prove they’d lost nothing in the nearly two decades since. Emotional screamo is married with intricate prog in a way that allows Gospel to pick up right where they left off. 

The Loser by Gospel

Warthog – Warthog

Warthog is for the metalpunks. The easiest way to sum up the band’s sound on their third eponymous EP (don’t confuse 2022’s Warthog EP with 2016 or 2018’s Warthog EPs) is “Motörhead playing hardcore punk.” Mastered by Arthur Rizk, the EP hits with an especially-hard punch.

Warthog by Warthog
Heriot – Profound Mortality

Something of a cross between the sound of Nails and I Am King-era Code Orange, Heriot released their debut album, Profound Mortality, in April. Throughout the album, Heriot build a sense of foreboding atmosphere and then knock it down with furious HM-2-powered fast hardcore. 
Profound Morality by HERIOT
Soul Glo – Diaspora Problems

Diaspora Problems is the best and freshest hardcore record to come out in a very long time. The Philadelphia band have spent years introducing new elements into their sound—screamo, hardcore punk, rap—and on Diaspora Problems, it all comes together. Vocalist Pierce Jordan crams a staggering amount of lyrics into each song, supplemented by some of the most unique features found on a punk album. By the time album closer “Spiritual Levels of Gang Shit” is done playing, Soul Glo have left everything on the table, from brutally honest truths about living as a black man in the United States to brass sections and rap parts. 

Soul Glo performs a hometown show at Metal & Beer Fest next month, so grab tickets for that while they’re still on sale. 

Diaspora Problems by SOUL GLO

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