Full Album Stream: Terror – “Trapped in a World”

Long-running hardcore legends Terror have done quite a bit since their 2002 inception, releasing seven albums, touring the world many times over and dragging countless teenagers into the hardcore lifestyles with frontman Scott Vogel’s impassioned stage banter. For their eighth album, Trapped in a World, it’s back to the start: Terror linked up with original guitarist and current Nails frontman Todd Jones to re-record a selection of songs from their first two albums, giving them the modern, live-in-studio treatment.

A precursor to Terror’s next album, which will feature Jones at the production desk, Trapped in a World recaptures the spirit of One With the Underdogs and Always the Hard Way but gives the songs a more punk feel. It’s invigorating to hear classics like “One with the Underdogs” in a new light, more than 15 years after their original release.

Trapped in a World captures Terror’s live energy, minus the crowd surfers and Vogel’s frequent calls for stage divers. If this is the band’s excitement for older songs after reconnecting with Jones, then there’s plenty of reasons to be excited for their upcoming, still-untitled album written by Vogel, Jones and guitarist Nick Jett.

“Got together with the Terror crew (in a creative sense), for the first time since recording One With The Underdogs,” Jones says. “The ideas, guitars, lyrics/vocals, songs came pouring out. Locked in with Nick and Scott as if it hasn’t been sixteen years since we played together. There’s no shortage of songwriters in Terror and the stuff we’ve collectively come up with so far… I can’t stop listening to these tracks. Magic via musical chemistry. It’s our aim to deliver to you a visceral and explosive hardcore record and I really hope you enjoy it.”

Until then, Trapped in a World is streaming now via Decibel. Crank it loud, prepare for bedroom/office/living room mosh action and grab a copy via Bandcamp.

Trapped In A World by Terror

Photo: Gabe Becerra

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Listen: Body Void – ‘Wound’

San Francisco duo Body Void are masters of harsh, depressing doom, a fact confirmed on their third album, Bury Me Beneath This Rotting Earth. With the announcement of their new album, Body Void also confirmed their signing with Prosthetic Records and shared the album’s first single, “Wound.”

“Wound” occupies the same space as bands like Primitive Man, Khanate, Hell and Fister—long and agonizingly slow, dragging each note through the listener’s head. Guitarist Willow Ryan’s shrieked vocals could peel paint off of the wall (or the listener’s soul) as she communicates her disgust with the state of decay on the earth via climate destruction (“Capital’s worship of idols with no past / Consume the world with force / The cannibal flays the skin of family / Sells it back for more”).

At nearly 13 minutes, “Wound” is one of the shorter tracks on Bury Me Beneath This Rotting Earth. Body Void embrace the discomfort of playing such harsh music over a long period of time, creating an atmosphere of anxiety and hopelessness.

Mark your calendars: Bury Me Beneath This Rotting Earth is out on April 23 via Prosthetic, but “Wound” is streaming now.
Bury Me Beneath This Rotting Earth by Body Void

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Video Premiere: EYES – Live at the Royal Danish Academy of Music

Hardcore is meant to be experienced in a live setting. It doesn’t matter how catchy or heavy a song is on the seven inch if it doesn’t connect with listeners in a live setting. The halt on live shows has made this sort of connection harder to achieve, but Danish hardcore crew EYES give it a shot with the release of their live session from the Royal Danish Academy of Music.

As frontman Victor Kaas explains, EYES were invited to perform at the former radio station—which has hosted the likes of Miles Davis—and decided to approach the performance from a less-typical angle than they normally would.

“We decided on a more subdued form of performance, as you’d see on a radio show or an Audiotree session,” Kaas says. “Vincent, who’d handled the camera on our last session, did this one as well and he knocked it out of the park.  We’re stoked on how it turned out, and it’s really a different perspective of us as a live band—one you’d rarely get to see, unless you snuck in and hid in our practice space!”

That subdued form of performance is juxtaposed with the stompy, jangly form of metallic hardcore that the quartet play. With a setlist comprised of tracks from their last full-length, Underperformer, EYES blow off some of their quarantine-related frustrations and give one of the first performances since the album’s release.

Watch the full performance below and grab a copy of Underperformer via the band here.

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Track Premiere: Necropanther – ‘Benthic Storms’

Colorado’s Necropanther might have the most deceiving name in all of extreme metal. Despite their silly name, the group specialize in a potent mixture of melodic death, thrash and black metal, executing the fusion with grace and precision. On their new song, “Benthic Storms,” Necropanther charge forward with melodic leads, blast beats and icy vocals, setting the tone for their forthcoming In Depths We Sleep EP.

In Depths We Sleep is the third entry in Necropanther’s EP series, in which a single member writes the entire EP, unlike the band’s three full-length records. For this release, guitarist and vocalist Paul Anop took on the writing.

“The ocean is where I feel at home, and I’ve missed that because of the pandemic,” Anop explains. “This EP represents my memory of time spent in the water and my hope to return there.”

Whether In Depths We Sleep conjures visions of ocean water or snow-covered mountaintops, Necropanther will release the EP on March 12 via Bandcamp. Listen to “Benthic Storms” below.

In Depths We Sleep by Necropanther

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Track Premiere: Les Chants du Hasard – ‘Chant III: Le Reflet’

Black metal and opera isn’t the most-typical concept for a genre fusion, but recent acts like Folterkammer showed that the style can be done gracefully and without compromising either influence’s core traits. In a similar, but stylistically different, vein is Livre Troisième, the new album from French solo act Les Chants du Hasard.

Combining neoclassical instrumentation and operatic vocal performances with blackened screams, songs like “Chant III: Le Reflet”—which premieres today via Decibel—channel a mood that feels simultaneously elegant, epic and evil. There is a cinematic quality to the instrumentation, lending the song a grandiose feeling.

“Despite its simple structure, this song is the one I spent the most time working on,” explains project creator and lone member Hazard. “The goal was to have a contrast as big as possible between the parts with metal voices and those with the soprano and choirs, resulting in maybe the most intense song of this album.”

Listen to “Chant III: Le Reflet” below. Livre Troisième is due out April 9 as an independent release.

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Track Premiere: Kill Division – ‘Cultists’

Introducing Kill Division. The grindcore unit features Gruesome drummer Gus Rios on guitar, Venom Inc. drummer Jeramie Kling on bass, current Megadeth and ex-Soilwork drummer Dirk Verbueren on drums and ex-Malevolent Creation vocalist Kyle Symons for the first time in over a decade. Despite half of the band taking on a less-typical role, Kill Division come out of the gate energized with their first song, “Cultists.”

Kill Division save the listener any fanciness or progressive tendencies, instead jumping into 90 seconds of blast beats, tremolo picking and brutally-honest lyrics. Rios explains the band’s origin to Decibel.

“I would say that Kill Division sounds like what if [late Terrorizer and Napalm Death guitarist] Jesse Pintado was from Florida!” he says. “This is most aggressive and extreme stuff I’ve ever written, and having two massive grindcore dudes like Dirk and Kyle as quality controllers was key to the songs coming alive! I’ve never written ‘grindcore’  per say, but after what we have all been going through, I had quite a bit of rage inside of me and grindcore was the perfect vessel for that release!

“I had been doing an online show on the Sick Drummer Magazine Facebook page last summer called the Gus and Seth Metal Show. Every week we would choose a band to talk about, then play some of their songs live. It was a lot of fun and Kyle had watched a few episodes. He eventually contacted me to do an episode, which I was super stoked about! Kyle and I were in our first band together back in the early ’90s called Sickness, so we go back to the beginning together! We also did our first tour together with Malevolent Creation back in 2002. So Kyle does the Massacre episode with Jeramie Kling on drums and we had a blast! Fast forward, Kyle’s down for another album and I wanted to write an assault of grind, punk and death metal. I knew my brother Dirk would be down too and when I told Jeramie about it, he goes ‘I’m on bass, yo!’

“Cultists is good indicator of what Kill Division is about: speed and aggression! The lyrics are my views on current and not so current mindlessness. If people were empowered to think for themselves, they would then soon realize that we’re much more alike then they want us to believe.”

Listen to “Cultists” below and purchase the single via Bandcamp here. Follow Kill Division on Facebook for further updates and more music.

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Track Premiere: Firstborne – ‘Mourning Star’

Following a quarter-century stint as the drummer for American metal kings Lamb of God, Chris Adler is taking things in a new direction with his new band, Firstborne. Playing alongside bassist James LoMenzo—whose credits include time spent with Megadeth, Ozzy, Black Label Society and more—”soft shred” guitarist Myrone and singer Girish Pradhan, Firstborne play a fun and rocking style that may surprise fans of Adler’s previous work.

All stylistic differences aside, Adler’s trademark drum sound is heard loud and clear on “Mourning Star,” the band’s latest single following their self-titled EP release last year. Pradhan takes the track and runs with it, putting on a powerhouse vocal performance that wouldn’t be out of place on a NWOBHM record as Myrone riffs and shreds around his bandmates.

“How do you rephrase the standard press response of ‘here’s our new song and it’s the best,’” Adler asks. “Been there, done that—as have you. I’ll say this, I’m very proud to be in a band with these guys and ‘Mourning Star’ is a great example of why I feel that way. Working with the guys and [producer] Machine on this has been a blast and we are all excited to share it with you today.”

Check out “Mourning Star” at the link below and hear the band’s self-titled EP and previous singles on Bandcamp.

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EP Premiere: Vøidwomb – Altars of Cosmic Devotion

Altars of Cosmic Devotion

Vøidwomb – Altars of Cosmic Devotion by Iron Bonehead Productions

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Video Premiere: Machinist! – ‘Bask in the White Light’

The time has come to “Bask in the White Light” with metalcore bruisers Machinist!, who are debuting the first single from their forthcoming split with Georgia’s Dead Hand. On the first single, Machinist! deliver a straightforward wave of anger and angst in musical form; every instrument sounds like it was produced for maximum heaviness and vocalist Jeff Hill amplifies that with an emotive performance.

Bassist Matt Zagorski directed the accompanying music video, which, alongside the lyrics, tackles one of art’s evergreen topics: censorship and what responsibility, if any, that an artist has to its listeners.

“I wrote this song after someone complain about a music video we released where a guy stabs himself in the stomach and spits up blood,” Hill tells Decibel. “It’s not overtly gory, but someone online was upset by it. It really messed me up because it never crossed my mind that anything in this spooky voodoo magic storyline would evoke that response. So, I thought a lot about art and censorship and what an artist owes the world and how outside pressure can affect art. I wrote ‘Bask in the White Light’ about not wanting to live in a cookie cutter world with cookie cutter art. I think it’s one of the strongest things we’ve ever created.”

Machinist! will release their split with Dead Hand on March 17 via Nefarious Industries.

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Interview: Gaerea Discuss Gimme Radio Livestream, Anonymity and Authenticity

Portuguese black metal outfit Gaerea pushed through 2020’s seemingly-endless blockade of challenges to release their second album, Limbo, in the summer. Building from 2018’s Unsettling Whispers, the anonymous sect continued their upward climb through the underground. Ahead of their February 13 livestream performance with Gimme Radio, the band’s anonymous founder spoke to Decibel about the livestream, promoting a record during the pandemic, why the band members wear hoods and how authenticity matters in Gaerea.

Read the interview below, edited for length and clarity, and then grab tickets for the February 13 livestream via the Gimme Radio app. Limbo is out now via Season of Mist.

Gaerea put out Limbo last year [via Season of Mist] and that came two years after Unsettling Whispers, which was on Transcending Obscurity and received a lot of attention. Did you feel any pressure to perform to a higher standard, being on a larger label and having more attention on the band?
I don’t think it worked that way because we wrote Limbo as we were on the road with Unsettling Whispers. I remember we got to the studio one or two weeks after our tour in China, so we toured a bit more around that album while we were recording and waiting for the masters. We already knew that we had to step up from Transcending Obscurity because we were becoming a more-needing, touring band.

We already knew that we had to step up the game. I didn’t know that we were going to Season of Mist before having the album ready, so we started the real scouting after having the master files with us. Of course, Season of Mist was one of the first names that popped out and we were already touring with Numenorean, another band from the label, in December so I guess all pieces of the puzzle glued together in a good way.

We didn’t feel that pressure because we didn’t have it but we of course knew we had to step up the game a bit more in terms of video, production and seriousness of the whole thing.

You released Limbo at a time when the whole world is stuck in its own state of limbo with COVID-19. Did that affect the way you released the album or chose to promote it?
Of course we can’t tour with this album and honestly I’m not positive if we ever will, because time is running out on the promotion of this record. We have a couple of good cards to play and if everything is getting canceled again this year, I don’t know how the touring schedule will be with this album. We’ll probably just move on to the next record. It’s still a bit early to figure out.

I still think we released Limbo at the best time possible to release albums. A lot of people were home, a lot of people bought records in 2020. I don’t think the economic crisis in the music industry is at least happening yet. I think it will happen once everything is getting a bit back to normal with closed venues and all of those financial risks.

We had a lot of time to rethink the promotion of this record, so we decided to do more videos, more promotional material. When we saw that the first vinyl pressing was selling out in less than a week, we just kept pushing. It would have been very different if we were in 2019. Maybe we wouldn’t do that many things, but since we have the time and we were feeling quite positive about timing of releasing albums in a bleak year, so we pushed a bit different than we did with Unsettling Whispers. I still think it was the right move to just release it last year and not postpone it.

You’re doing a livestream with Gimme Radio on February 13th and a DJ set. How did that come about?
We never did such a thing like [a DJ set] and it’s probably one of the very rare times where people could see a little bit behind the hoods and have a more open view of our band.

The biggest thing here is the livestream. It built itself because we entered the big recording studio we went to do this. I don’t think metal bands record there anyway because it’s one of those very boutique studios and we recorded the whole thing in their live room. The main idea here was to produce some sort of content that could be for a DVD or a paid stream, but in the end what we wanted is to have this raw feeling and portray what we’re actually missing, which is a show where we present the whole album from start to finish with no cuts, no bullshit or tricks in the production. Just our raw energy and one camera with us inside that studio. That’s what people will see on this livestream.

Did you find it hard to get into the mindset of a live show?
It’s never the same thing. I can’t lie. We felt like being in the studio performing these tracks, trying to be the most flawless we could, because of course we were recording, but I can’t lie: 90% of the whole thing is missing. Being in a dark room with beer all over the floor and people having fun all around us. It’s never the same thing, but we did the best we could with that situation and I still think it’s solid performance.

It’s like a different look into a band sometimes.
I’m a music video director on a daily basis, so I have a whole different perspective on videos with bands. When you’re recording a band with your camera, you’re getting exclusive views that the audience doesn’t get when they’re standing at the venue. You’re getting details that people miss, if it’s the pedalboards, if it’s how that guitar player moves his fingers or different drum perspectives. That’s the whole thing that we try to do—this thing where we play against each other and the camera is going all around us, so you still get pretty exclusive views on how the band works live and how the band performs these songs.

It’s another perspective of what’s happening when the band performs and that’s what we had in mind for this stream.

Would you say then that authenticity is extremely important to the band when you’re making your decisions?
Yes. It’s important. Of course we like to twist stuff; when we started, it was a very different band than the one that we have today but I’m still very positive we hold firm to the same integrity as we did in the beginning. We have our own concepts that we like to keep that way. We’re not doing stuff just for selling but we sell stuff because we’re doing stuff.

We want to do something that people who like us for other things, like the record or the music videos or having seen us in a live venue. I want them to feel the same vibe on this stream. The same band, not full of gimmicks they’ve never seen.

Do you choose to be anonymous and wear hoods because it draws attention to the music, or is it simply an aesthetic you enjoy pairing with the music?
We live in a world where this makes total sense. People don’t care who’s behind the masks. We’re not celebrities. We’re not Johnny Depp or David Beckham with a black metal band. No one cares in the end. I always thought, “Why have our full expression of our faces shown if that’s not the whole idea here?”

We want people to focus on the music, to close their eyes and enjoy our stuff. I don’t want them to be dealing with our hairs on stage or our facial expressions. Let’s do the whole thing totally covered and have the music speak for itself. In the end and even on a conceptual level that we always write about, we live in a society where nobody really cares who’s behind these awful masks we have to wear every day now.

All the time I pass through people and they tell me, “Well I saw you the other day” and we have this awful say that everybody looks the same with the masks on. It’s the same thing. It’s the same deal. We’re mostly nobody here. Nobody’s really interesting at the point where I would care that much to have this specific musician in that band.

In the end, I just care about music and how the band portrays itself live, how the band visually portrays itself through videos. I stand to the same thing I stood when I created Gaerea in 2016. It’s not important and I don’t see the big deal, at least in Gaerea, of having our faces shown. It’s just obsolete for the music that we play.

You do the visual side of the band. In our last interview, you said that a lot of your inspiration musically comes from things like film and art. Would you say that is also true of your visuals? Do you find more inspiration outside of music than inside of it?
It depends on the video. Every video on this album had a certain purpose and idea behind it, with very different approaches. We risked people not liking a bunch of our videos and I just loved that.

With the “To Ain” video where we have one of our own, our singer, performing the track, with no cuts, no bullshit. Just first take and whatever happens, it’s on camera, it’s on the record and this will be released as the music video. This is how performs these songs. This is how he works live. It’s how he rehearses, his natural movements and the way he feels.

We don’t really know what the future holds with COVID, obviously, in regards to touring and shows again. How do you plan your next move from here?
We have a lot of stuff happening. Today we got the rights back for one previous record of ours, so we’re holding good stuff for the future. We will probably re-release some stuff; I can’t say what or in which format because this is news for me also.

We are building our virtual presence by getting out of Bandcamp and building our own website so we are more independent and do things a lot more professionally in a lot of ways. That’s one of the things we thought to do when the pandemic hit us because there were a lot of things, just small flaws, that we always had as an amateur band and I took the proper time to rebuild all of those things and improve quality on merchandise, our presence on the web.

All those details that people really don’t care about, but it makes a big difference to our income, presence on social media, how people see this band, how pro the band can look because it’s doing things the way it should and not the do-it-yourself amateur way.

2020 was a learning curve for us and we’ll continue that way, at least until shows are allowed. We have good agents working with us; we have probably the biggest European festivals booked. We’re doing Wacken, we’re doing Resurrection, a couple more that are not yet out, and we have someone interested in booking us in the United States once everything is allowed.

I see a very frantic and busy future for us. If not this year, it will be very soon and we’ve got to be prepared. That’s why we spend all free time from work and not working on other stuff to just learning how this thing can grow on every level.

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