Full Album Premiere: Starlight Ritual “Sealed in Starlight”

Starlight Ritual are heavy metal’s newest champions. Based in Montréal, Quebec, the starlighting five-piece formed in 2014 and have advanced in triumph with two EPs — Starlight Ritual (2015) and Age of the Universe (2016) — before setting their sights on debut full-length, Sealed in Starlight, via Canada-based indie Temple of Mystery Records. Starlight Ritual’s late-’70s inspired metal recalls the grit of Motörhead, the attack of Accept, the musicianship of Rainbow, and the overall artistry of Judas Priest. Vocally, fans of icons Ronnie James (RIP) and Ian Gillan are going to find solace and familiarity in newcomer Damian Ritual. Indeed, across Sealed in Starlight — from “Marauders” and “Burning Desire” to “The Riddle of Steel” and the title track — the Canadians are smashing spiritless heavy metal drivel in the best ways possible.

So, bring on your warriors of old! Hold your swords and shields aloft! Time for Sealed in Starlight to lead the way!

Sealed in Starlight by Starlight Ritual

** Starlight Ritual’s new album, Sealed in Starlight, is out June 2nd on Temple of Mystery Records. Pre-orders for LP and CD can be found at Bandcamp (HERE) or at the label’s website (HERE). Hail the metal of heavy from the Great White North!

The post Full Album Premiere: Starlight Ritual “Sealed in Starlight” appeared first on Decibel Magazine.


Full Album Stream: Boss Keloid – “Family the Smiling Thrush”

Boss Keloid emerged from the English underground a decade ago with their debut, Angular Beef Lesson. 11 years and four more albums brings us to Family the Smiling Thrush, the band’s fifth album, streaming exclusively via Decibel. The album is the most fully-realized of the band’s career; Boss Keloid fully embrace their prog leanings on Family the Smiling Thrush while retaining the sludge of their early work.

On Family, “progressive” doesn’t mean “overly technical.” Boss Keloid keep things focused on riffs and grooves, indulging in psychedelia, booming vocals, welcoming melodies and tasteful guitar solos. Throughout the album, Boss Keloid maintain an atmosphere of grandiosity without becoming pretentious, aided by the heaviest songs like “Grendle.”

Decibel caught up with drummer Ste Arands to discuss Boss Keloid’s musical growth, their future and the pandemic. Family the Smiling Thrush is out June 4 on Ripple Music.

Family the Smiling Thrush by Boss Keloid

It’s been three years since your last album, Melted on the Inch. What’s new in your lives or in the band since that album was released?
Since Melted, we’ve been pretty much consistently working on this new album. We had a change of bass player, with our original bassist Liam (Pendlebury-Green) re-joining us for this one. Matt (Milne, keyboards) decided to part ways with the band a few months back too for personal reasons, which we all completely understood, but which meant we had some re-arranging and re-writing to do before recording. That was a bit of added pressure, but we all love a challenge [laughs].

Other than that, the only other change has been our signing to Ripple Music this year. After our relationship with Holy Roar ended, Todd [Severin] reached out to us as he’d been following us for a while. He’s been very accommodating with everything, and we’re extremely grateful and happy to be working with Todd and Ripple on this new album.

The band seems to be leaning more into larger-than-life prog rock than other releases. Are you actively trying to push your sound in a more progressive direction or is this just the result of playing together for more than a decade?
I can honestly say that whatever direction any of our albums sound like they’re going in, it’s never been a conscious effort on our part ahead of writing anything. I think it just comes from the mix of influences we have as a band. I personally believe this current line-up is our strongest. We’re more comfortable with each other as players than ever before, and each of us are more comfortable than ever bringing our own ideas to the group and influencing the songs in our own way as a result. All four of us have quite different tastes from one another, so I imagine those differences create a lot of the oddness in our sound.

The lyrics for Family the Smiling Thrush seem both serious and personal. Can you explain what you were writing about and what you wanted to say? Is it a concept album?
Although most of the songs are written about a personal experiences, they’re hopefully written in a way which anyone can relate to their own lives. That’s one reason why the specific story behind a song is rarely revealed—to help people relate it to whatever they want to without a pre-existing idea of what’s being spoken about. Some of the songs on the album came from positive experiences, but some of them are written about quite negative, traumatic events too. The overall aim with the album concept though, was to speak through each of the songs about the lesson learned, or the more positive point of view to be taken from each of the events the songs relate to. Trying to be an optimist and see what can be gained from a situation rather than how it’s negatively affecting us is helpful I think.

Boss Keloid has much sludgier roots as a band. As your sound becomes more prog rock-oriented, is keeping an element of heaviness important or is that a sound of the past?
I don’t think the heaviness in our music is necessarily important to our sound, or us. We all enjoy that side of it, but I don’t think any one of us would complain if an album started to sound a lot more mellow. I think we’d roll with it and see what happened to be honest, and we’ve often talked about doing that in the past. Ideas are generally kept and worked on, or forgotten about and binned based on whether we all like the sound of it. If even one person can’t get along with it, it goes straight in the bin. The heavy sound is so common I suppose as it’s one of the few areas where we overlap with our individual tastes.

What was the writing and recording process for Family the Smiling Thrush like? Does one person write most of the music or is it pretty collaborative?
The writing process this time was the most collaborative it’s ever been. When we wrote The Calming Influence Of Teeth, most of the music would be arranged by Ste (drums) and Paul (guitar) before being handed to the others to come up with their parts. These days, everything is much more organic, and most of the ideas come from us all just jamming in a room together and seeing what happens. The writing becoming more of a group effort in that way has definitely impacted the sound for the better in my opinion.

We recorded in Wales at the legendary Foel Studios with Chris Fielding who worked with us on our last two albums. Chris is great to work with, and knows how to push us all to try to get the best out of us on the day. After our previous experience with him, it also felt very comfortable, so it was a no brainer for us to work with him again. With a lot more physical space this time around to record in, and a lot of lessons learned from our previous two recordings, we focused on getting a bigger, more natural sound with this album—especially with the drums. It was important to us that the drum sound be as clear and “live” sounding as possible, and I think Chris has managed to capture that perfectly.

Obviously the Covid-19 pandemic slowed or affected everyone involved in music to some degree. How much did that affect Boss Keloid and the release of this album?
Everything was put on hold overnight when the first lockdown hit, and like most people, we were completely unprepared for it. We’d been meeting up weekly for the last decade to play together, so when everything was stopped, it was hard to get used to not having that regular outlet. It had been easy to take that for granted beforehand, and it’s definitely something we won’t take for granted in future! Once it was safe enough, and we could take enough precautions, we got straight back to writing and managed to get everything finished off in time to record in December 2020. Other than a couple of dates being pushed back, and gigs being rescheduled, we’ve had quite a stress free pandemic to be honest. A lot of people are a lot worse off than us, so we really can’t complain!

The post Full Album Stream: Boss Keloid – “Family the Smiling Thrush” appeared first on Decibel Magazine.


Enforced’s Top 5 East Coast Music Venues

By Enforced (link)

As the world opens up and the gears of the music industry — particularly the live segment — start to churn once more, it’s important to look back on the Year of Devastation to remember how we were all impacted. Bands, music venues, promoters, crew, labels, etc. experienced the worst case scenario. As a way to cope with the catastrophic events of last year, we’re relying on memory of what once was in order to move forward on what will be — back to normal live shows! To that end, we asked Richmond, Virginia-based crossover thrashers Enforced to give us their Top 5 list of music venues up and down the East Coast, since that is the rampaging outfit’s primary stomping ground.

Herewith, Enforced have tapped their favorite music venues from Washington, D.C. and Worcester to Pittsburgh to Richmond. While most of the picks were based of positive live experiences, it’s very clear that these selections are homes away from home, where friends, colleagues, and fellow industry folk work and play. Decibel understands that these aren’t the only music venues out there, but that these are the places near and dear to Enforced’s riff-based hearts. So, call out if you’ve been to these venues… Or, let us know which venues you’d like to spotlight in the comments section. We’re all in this together. Let’s thrash!

5. Songbyrd Basement
This venue is in downtown Washington, D.C., and has been doing more punk and hardcore shows since the beloved Pinch closed. There is a restaurant/bar upstairs and an intimate venue with a decent stage and sound system downstairs. Highly recommended. They also give you free food and booze. That always helps.

4. The Rock Room
Pittsburgh, PA has a few venues that are similar to the next three mentioned. Our favorite to play is the Rock Room in Polish Hill. It feels like a basement but it really is a bar. It helps that Gooskis is right down the hill and you can always get food prior to the gig.

3. Ralph’s Rock Diner
Ridiculous metal and punk venue in Worcester, MA. You can only get hot dogs and chips for food and cheap, cold domestic beer from the bar. The upstairs is where the venue is at, and we’ve played a few packed gigs with our brothers in High Command here. Some of High Command also works at this bar, so it’s always nice to feel welcomed by your friends at a bar they have a hand in running. Big stage, good capacity, and all around a grimey, sweaty, raw venue. Oh, and they’ve wallpapered old hustlers and playboys all over the bathroom.

2. St. Vitus
In many ways, St. Vitus resembles Strange Matter, except it’s in Brooklyn. This is why it feels like such a home-y place for us. I have also been to many legendary shows here, and played with a lot of different bands in that venue. I think last year — or between 2019 and 2020 — we played Vitus like 5 times. Every time it feels just like home.

1. Strange Matter
For many many years 929 W Grace St. has been a palace of metal, hardcore, punk, and all things alternative culture in Richmond. This property provided us with many of our band’s “first shows” and we’ve all seen legendary acts absolutely demolish the stage. Sadly, in 2019 the venue closed its doors and right now sits vacant on W Grace St, which is becoming increasingly taken over by the sprawling campus of VCU. Alternative music venue? How about another student housing complex, fucking assholes.

** Enforced’s new album, Kill Grid, is out now on Century Media Records. The hard-hitting, skull-splitting cross-over thrash attack is available (HERE) on LP, CD, and t-shirt. Take Enforced’s riffs to the head or go home dead!

The post Enforced’s Top 5 East Coast Music Venues appeared first on Decibel Magazine.


CRACK THE KEGS Expands Lineup


Making this Kegstand Productions largest event so far in 2021, Lagerstein‘s Crack the Kegs Brisbane has become a two-stage mini-fest thanks to our friends at The Brightside. This means more bands, more partying and more space for all of your friends.


Now, with the addition of killer bands like Seraphic, Virtues, F.U.C. and Peruvian Flashback to the already massive lineup – Lagerstein, Witchgrinder (VIC), Hammers, Triple Kill (VIC) and Snake Bite Whisky, the line up is taking shape.

Continue reading CRACK THE KEGS Expands Lineup at HEAVY Magazine – Rock, Punk, Metal Music & Beyond.


EYES WIDE OPEN With New Single


Freshly signed modern metal four-piece Eyes Wide Open from Sweden have released their brand new single “Devastation”.


“Devastation” carries the torch from the Swedish melodic death metal scene, mixing it with modern sounds and new influences inspired from metalcore. Catchy melodies, heavy drumming, pumping rhythms and versatile vocals are merging into an own style of metal.


Watch “Devastation” below:




Continue reading EYES WIDE OPEN With New Single at HEAVY Magazine – Rock, Punk, Metal Music & Beyond.


Premiere: BEAST MACHINE “Better”


Northern NSW heavy outfit Beast Machine have dropped their latest single “Better”.


“Better” is the first single from Beast Machine’s upcoming LP and is a neatly packaged three-minute rocking number guaranteed to get your head banging and your heart pumping.


“The song is about not giving a fuck when someone is trying to get at you; you can do your best but we know who you are and what you are.

Continue reading Premiere: BEAST MACHINE “Better” at HEAVY Magazine – Rock, Punk, Metal Music & Beyond.


No Corporate Beer Reviews: Puff Puff Fish (Venom Series)

Beer: Puff Puff Fish (Venom Series)
Brewery: Tripping Animals Brewing Co, (Doral, FL)
Style: Sour – Fruited
6% ABV / N/A IBU

Puff Puff Fish is light, airy and refreshing—a mid-range ABV sour that drinks like a session beer. Daredevil thrill-seekers questing for an epic mouth-puckering experience may be a little put off by the final installment of this upstart brewery’s “Venom Series.” But Puff Puff Fish knows which way the wind is blowing with fruited sours: the sour base provides the framework for experiencing the fruit, and the more radical the combination of fruit, the better.

With sour styles (slowly) on the rise in popularity, Puff Puff Fish embodies a general micro-trend towards tropical sours. Having experienced coconut and pink guava in other sours, the combination of the two is pleasurable, but I really like the addition of lychee, a small Chinese stone fruit with not-overly-sweet white pulp. It’s something that tastes great in a martini, and that is kind of the effect with Puff Puff Fish.

For a series of beers named after nature’s predators, Puff Puff Fish and its predecessors emphasize drinkability. Tripping Animals is a small operation that is only a couple of years old, but the brewery is already making a name for itself with its creative fruited sour and fruity berliner weisse combos. The Miami area brewery seems to have cracked the riddle of how to make accessible styles of beer that are otherwise not universally adored. And if Tripping Animals only did sours, they’d have an impressive line-up, but of course they can brew higher gravity beers and make that look effortless, too.

For more info, check out Tripping Animals Brewing Company here.

The post No Corporate Beer Reviews: Puff Puff Fish (Venom Series) appeared first on Decibel Magazine.


For Those About Squawk: Waldo Pecks on Go Ahead and Die, Red Fang and Septus

What’s up, guys? It’s your old boy Waldo here to spout off about some upcoming releases here.

Go Ahead and Die are releasing their titular full length on Nuclear Blast. I guess this has been brewing quietly, but this is basically Sepultura  v 4.0. Featuring Max Cavalera, and his son Igor not to mention Khemmis’ Zach Coleman.  This really feels like it picks up where Sepultura left off 30 some years ago.  Gone are the flutes and tribal drums, (hence any nod to nu metal), and replaced with solid as peck thrash riffs. This is the thrash record from Max that fans have been waiting for. So, anymore about this?  This is for old school fans, more akin to Celtic Frost or early Sodom (albeit without the vibe that it was recorded in a tunnel.) The tempos change and shift and this never really gets boring at all, and there’s even some “blast beats” thrown in here. Max sounds killer here, and this really harkens back to the glory days of anyone with the last name Cavalera.  This has a “looser feel” here and the performances (according to the band anyway) are not perfect, but in this birdbrains opinion, all is good here. A press release from Max sums this up nicely: “one-of-a-kind father/son collaboration bringing the old school with a new attitude! Sick riffs and abrasive lyrics from Igor and brutal drumming from Coleman (also of Black Curse) inspired me,” he says. “Extreme times call for extreme music!” Very cool. 8 Fucking Pecks.

Red Fang are back with their highly anticipated new release Arrows on Relapse. Hard rockin’ and heavy hitting, this is step up from the last two releases with a feeling more similar to Murder the Mountains. Not that it sounds like that at all, it’s just has a tell that Red Fang will do/write whatever they want, and they do that here. There definitely is some stuff that sticks out here, some weirder ambient stuff and even a string section in one song, but this all blends seamlessly and doesn’t detract from the vibe of the record. Producer Chris Funk does an excellent job, making this feel heavy and thick, with a clarity to the instruments. I’m pecking digging it. 7 Fucking Pecks.

I typically give everything Willowtip does a fair shake, and I have to say am pleasantly surprised with the release of Septus’ Phantom Indigo. This is labeled as “black/death metal” and I guess it is. What it REALLY is, is an exercise in meanness. I certainly wasn’t expecting this. This is mind-bending, thick, dense and pummeling all at the same time. Of course, it has members of the beaked up Phyrron, because they never do anything “normal” either.  I like this a lot, I can’t say that this is black metal or death metal, at least in the traditional sense. What this is, is fucked up. The production here is KILLER for this, super layer laden and really contributes to the overall ear fuckery that this conveys. Wow. 8 Fucking Pecks.

Until next time… Waldo out!

The post For Those About Squawk: Waldo Pecks on Go Ahead and Die, Red Fang and Septus appeared first on Decibel Magazine.


Important Metal & Beer Fest News: Updated Brewery Lineup, ‘Metal & Beer’ Ticket Option Sells Out For Both Days, More Releasing Soon!

Decibel is proud to announce the addition of Philly-based Love City Brewing to the brewery lineup of this year’s Decibel Magazine Metal & Beer Philly at the Fillmore Philly on September 25-26, 2021. Tired Hands Brewing has been removed from the event.

Additionally, our “Metal & Beer” ticket options for both dates of the fest are officially sold out! But if you blew it, don’t fret, we plan to release another 50 “Metal & Beer” tickets, which give attendees access to special pours from all participating breweries, in addition to admittance to the day’s show, ASAP. Keep an eye for more announcements soon!

Ticket links and daily lineups are below.

Purchase Decibel Magazine Metal & Beer Fest: Philly Two-Day tickets
Purchase Decibel Magazine Metal & Beer Fest: Philly September 25 tickets
Purchase Decibel Magazine Metal & Beer Fest: Philly September 26 tickets

Napalm Death (performing a special Harmony Corruption and Utopia Banished set)
Municipal Waste
(reunion set)
Blood Incantation
Eternal Champion
Die Choking

Converge (performing Jane Doe in its entirety)
Pig Destroyer (performing Prowler in the Yard in its entirety)
Imperial Triumphant
Crypt Sermon

Hails and ales to our partners!
Relapse Records
Broken Goblet Brewing
Metal Blade Records
Brimming Horn Meadery
Translation Loss
Wake Brewing
Nefarious Industries
Liquid Death


The post Important Metal & Beer Fest News: Updated Brewery Lineup, ‘Metal & Beer’ Ticket Option Sells Out For Both Days, More Releasing Soon! appeared first on Decibel Magazine.


Track Premiere: Drawn and Quartered – “Carnage Atrocity”

Drawn and Quartered are a band you can always count on, especially if you really love darkness, brutality and evil.

The band has a new album coming out on July 2 called Congregation Pestilence, and Decibel is proud to bring you a new song from that record today called “Carnage Atrocity.” What does it sound like? Heavy ominous riffs, a side of blazing blast beats, and a healthy serving of deep growling vocals. It’s the death metal dish the band has spent the last three decades perfecting, and it always hits the spot.

According to Herb Burke, the band’s vocalist and bassist: “With jagged slashing and frenzied disembowelment, “Carnage Atrocity,” is a neck-snapping orgy of violence that will sear itself upon the mind; a traditional tale of graphic gore from the birth of serial killing, its end vanishing into the mists of the unknown.”

Enjoy the song below, and may the horned shadows rise eternally!

The post Track Premiere: Drawn and Quartered – “Carnage Atrocity” appeared first on Decibel Magazine.