Video Premiere: Union Black – “Walking In My Shoes”

Earlier this week, Gruesome drummer Gus Rios drummer opened up on this very site about his battles with depression, nearly ending his own life and the difficult decision to accept help. He’s also been making himself vulnerable by stepping out from behind the kit and fronting a tribute/covers band called Union Black. Today Decibel is happy premiere their video for a cover of Depeche Mode classic “Walking in My Shoes,” which considering the context of his Rios’s recent editorial, adds some additional weight.

“This song speaks volumes to me,” Rios tells Decibel. “It shows humility and vulnerability but also displays courage, conviction and pride. I’m finally at a point where my trauma and subsequent issues, while a source of my struggles, they also made who I became and I am stronger for having endured. It took everything I had to let the world know what’s inside of me, with all of my imperfections, but at the same I would kindly ask those who don’t understand to refrain from judgement. You don’t know what someone is going through or where they’ve been… try walking in their shoes.

“While I’m very happy with how the ‘metal’ version of this song came out, it’s the words and message that I wanted to stand out. So I came up with this twisted idea for a lyric video. In my mind I am both the antagonist and protagonist in this story. I want to thank director Ileana Frey for beautifully capturing my ideas and bringing the video to life. I’m not sure why I did this…probably a mix of forced catharsis and my wanting to reach a certain place for effect… spoiler alert, I am NOT an actor… I decided to use the gun in the video. It definitely brought about both desired outcomes. Please enjoy and be kind to others.”

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Shane Embury’s Dark Sky Burial Announces Live Debut in London

Shane Embury’s Dark Sky Burial ambient/instrumental project arrived in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the pandemic has mostly abated—for the vaccinated anyway—Embury has announced the debut live performance of Dark Sky Burial on September 12 at The Underworld in London’s Camden area. The show will be both an in-person live and streaming event (ticket info below).

Obviously, Decibel readers are intimately familiar with our man’s bass and guitar work in Napalm Death, Lock Up, Venomous Concept and a billion other bands, but his first DSB show promises to be a much different affair, complete with visual projections from previously released DSB videos as well as notable guest musicians who will contribute to the performance.

“Carl Stokes—drummer with Cancer but also one-time member of Current 93—will be playing out rhythms and warping some sounds in addition to the epic reworked versions of tracks from the De Omnibus Dubitandum Est debut,” Embury tells Decibel. “John Cooke of Corrupt Moral Altar and live guitarist with Napalm will be providing sone sonic guitar ambience alongside—I say this, but we still have to iron out some ideas.”

Embury has played thousands of shows at this point in his storied career, but never one without the considerable shield of a bass or guitar. That’s not to say he isn’t already mentally preparing himself for a more vulnerable experience.

“I have reworked and added lots of different moods to the tracks from the first album and already they sound quite different,” the multi-instrumentalist says. “I believe I will add some familiar bass tones to a couple tracks, but I am still getting my head around it! A little nervous but this is very exciting—we are hoping to make it visually interesting.”

Interesting for collector nerds as well, as Embury will have a limited edition 50 copies of DSB’s De Omnibus Dubitandum Est debut in lathe cut pressing on180-gm black, which comes with a personalized numbered certificate.

Get tickets to Dark Sky Burial’s live debut on September 12 at The Underworld in London’s Camden area. And if you can’t make it in person, you can order streaming tickets here.

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Track Premiere: Pray U Prey – “Living Library”

Let get this out of the way: Prophecy of Doom fucking ruled. If you’re not hip to the Gloucestershire grinders who released a pair of largely unsung classics — Acknowledge the Confusion Master and Matrix — in early ’90s, please familiarize yourself via this performance/interview segment from the legendary Hard ‘N’ Heavy Grindcore Special immediately. OK, get it now? Good, because the core duo of vocalist Shrew and bassist Shrub are back at it with the crust punk/death metal awesomeness of Pray U Prey.

The follow up to the band’s 2017 debut, Figure the 8, is set for release via the ever-reliable Selfmadegod label on August 6. But you don’t have to wait that long to hear a brand new brain-basher from sophomore slugger The Omega Kill, because Decibel has the premiere of the visualizer for “Living Library,” along with some insightful context about the track from the legendary Shrew.

“As adults, most suffer from deep unconscious/unacknowledged trauma that first takes root in childhood,” he says. “Via education/societal tradition/ignorance, this forced unwanted conditioning and unbalanced development in regards to our thoughts and feelings continues as we get older, and is manipulated by others in power for political/legal ends, by definition we are slaves asleep, negating our own potential creative expression, thus further perpetuating and expanding the gap between inner suffering (life entrapment) and the potential true life freedom of thought/feeling/action in a conscious way that actually create the change we seek externally by integration within ourselves. This gap can and does close when we acknowledge the confusion master within us all, our own original ‘heart mind’ and finally end this total mind war not of our making…”

Selfmadegod releases on The Omega Kill on August 6.

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For Those About Squawk: Waldo Pecks on Mordred, Powerwolf and Craven Idol

What’s up, guys? It’s your old boy Waldo here to peck in with you guys about some new releases. You know, in case you were interested, and BOY HOWDY ARE YOU! I’ll bet you read my column all of the time.

Wow, I really don’t know what to say, the “old band getting back together” revival has gone too far… finally. Funk/thrash outfit Mordred has come back after 25 years with The Dark Parade, and it is, uh not to my liking. Mordred released one decent record, Fool’s Game, forever ago, but the follow ups were pretty poor and this is no exception. Although this is “creative.” I can’t really get behind it. The vocals are pretty goofy at times, harkening to a carnival barker type vibe, and although there are some killer riffs in here, they get buried by the DJ scratching and the “funk” aspect thrown into this. Keep in mind, this is no “nu metal” sort of funk, this is basically thrash mixed with hip hop, and it doesn’t work. I’m really trying to find a part of this I can sink my beak into, but this whole thing just comes across as silly. Again, for the sake of positivity, there ARE some ripping-ass thrash riffs here. Maybe they’re just having fun, and that’s cool, but it just doesn’t seem to translate. I’m sure there’s an audience for this, but this parrot is not one of them. 2 Fucking Pecks.

I really like to think that I give Napalm Records releases a shot now, but… my god, Call of the Wild by Powerwolf is just not good at all. This isn’t really even fit to make fun of.  Operatic. Symphonic “metal” that has ZERO teeth and is Christian? Or the songs are based off of Christian tales? Why the black metal makeup if you are going to sound weaker than Evanescence? I don’t get this at all, but I don’t have to get it to review it. This stinks—I mean, bad. The production is great, but the synths overpower the guitars, and the operatic vocals just come across as sill and not “evil” or tough at all. Imagine Sabaton, but like WAY, WAY lighter… I dunno, not for me. 1 Fucking Peck.

Trve black metal outfit Craven Idol are coming out with Forked Tongues on Dark Descent. This is something I can get behind a little more. More black ‘n’ roll than straight “trad” black metal, Craven Idol rock, but also are dark and evil. The production here is cavernous, and although seems a little repetitive at times, I’m sure that’s the point and adds to the overall feel and sound to this record. Although there’s nothing new here, it’s kind of fun and seems like a good time to grab a PBR and thrash out. I’m digging this. 7 Fucking Pecks.

Until next time… Waldo out!

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Hear a Lost Nachtmystium Song from the ‘Instinct: Decay’ Sessions via the Decibel Flexi Series

Nachtmystium is dead, and it ain’t coming back. That you know. Nachtmystium creative force Blake Judd’s heroin addiction in the early ’10s led to some seriously shady business practices and prolific scamming, resulting in Judd being blacklisted from many corners of the underground metal scene. You know that, too.

What you might not know—or perhaps conveniently forgotten—was that there were a several other talented musicians who contributed to Nachtmystium over the years, propelling the band to forefront of the USBM movement in the mid-2000s. Which is partially why 2006’s psych black metal game-changer Instinct: Decay is the latest Decibel Hall of Fame inductee. Just look at all the fun stuff you’re learning today!

But what you also might not know is that there was one track recorded during the Instinct: Decay sessions that was shelved and never released… until now. Some 15 years after the track’s recording, the Decibel Flexi Series has unearthed “Chemical Catharsis.” You can hear this lost piece of USBM below history and then grab a copy of our August 2021 issue, which features the aforementioned flexi and Hall of Fame story as well as a cover story on current USBM leading lights Wolves in the Throne Room.

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Track Premiere: Inhuman Condition – “Euphoriphobia”

Kam Lee might have won the battle for the Massacre name, but Terry Butler is likely to win the war of band quality with Inhuman Condition, the new old-school new death/thrash act very much in the vein of classic (i.e. pre-Promise era) Massacre. Consisting of Butler on bass, Jeramie Kling (Venom Inc., the Absence, Goregäng ex-Massacre) on vocals and drums and Taylor Nordberg (the Absence, ex-Massacre) on guitar, the trio is nearly ready to release their mid-paced battering, whammy-bar flailing debut album Rat°God on June 4 via Kling/Nordberg’s own Listenable Insanity Records.

But before that, Decibel is honored to premiere the video for Rat°God’s opening track “Euphoriphobia” for which Kling provides some ominous context.

“‘Euphoriphobia’ is a collection of thoughts that are channeled into one bullet,” says vocalist Jeramie Kling. “This bullet is then loaded into a chamber of a large weapon. That large weapon is then aimed and ready. What comes next is up to you.”

Check out the video for “Euphoriphobia,” featuring footage from Inhuman Condition’s April 17 performance in New Port Richey, FL with Deicide, below.

Pre-orders for vinyl, CDs, cassettes, and merch bundles of Rat°God are available now here.

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LOW STOCK ALERT: Limited Edition Decibel Vinyl Nearly Sold Out!

The Decibel Web Store currently has a few exclusive vinyl offers that we think you, fellow wax enthusiasts, should know about before it’s too late. Right now, we are taking pre-orders for new albums from Swedish melodeath progenitors At the Gates (limited to 300 copies) and Belgian post-doom collective Amenra (limited to 200 copies, the most exclusive pressing of this new album), both of which are selling out fast. Not to be forgotten, Metal Blade’s trailblazing comp series Metal Massacre is back with its fifteenth entry into the series, curated by Decibel editor in chief Albert Mudrian and featuring tracks from the likes of Midnight, Ripped to Shreds, Fuming Mouth, Temple of Void and many, many more.

All of these LP editions are a once-in-a-lifetime offer as they will no longer be available once they sell out. Don’t leave your collections incomplete, pick up your copies today!

At the Gates – The Nightmare of Being Vinyl DECIBEL EXCLUSIVE TAN COLOR PRE-ORDER


Metal Massacre XV Compilation Vinyl PRE-ORDER

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“200,” The Official Beer of Decibel’s 200th Issue Show Extremely Ex-Stream, Available for Pre-Order From Adroit Theory!

Decibel is honored to announce 200, the official beer of our 200th Issue Show Extremely Ex-Stream event! Brewed in collaboration with Virginia craft brewing heavyweights Adroit Theory, this Extremely Extreme Russian Imperial Stout is conditioned on toasted coconut, cacao nibs, peanut butter, pretzels and maple syrup, and clocks in at a mind-altering 14% ABV!

Lucky for you, you wouldn’t need a ride home from your couch, as you can pre-order 200 (ships April 21) and get your limited four-pack in time to raise a glass during Decibel’s 200th Issue Show Extremely Ex-Stream event, airing free on YouTube on April 30 at 8pm ET and featuring exclusive new performances from Midnight, Khemmis, Full of Hell, Horrendous, Wake and dozens of special guest appearances!

So, check your state’s shipping availability and then pre-order 200 (and pretty music anything else from Adroit Theory) NOW, because this extremely limited run won’t last as long as weekend hangover!

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Full Album Stream: Bushido Code – “The Ronin”

Sometimes you just have to take it back to the roots. The members of Pennsylvania crossover outfit Bushido Code have spent their lives playing in hardcore bands—Choose Your Weapon, Fury of V, xRepentx, among countless others—and they wanted to keep it simple, making an album that both hardcore fans and metalheads could get down to. The result is The Ronin, a blazing crossover record that finds its balance between Obituary, Metallica and Suicidal Tendencies.

Telling the story of Da Shi, a fictional rōnin samurai who travels through time in search of a warrior skilled enough to achieve death, Bushido code riff, shred and mosh their way through eight songs. The obstacles and internal battles that Da Shi faces along the way are reflective of common lyrical themes in hardcore, like honor, loyalty and respect, but re-envisioned in a new concept.

“We couldn’t be more excited for this release,” Ledet tells Decibel. “Through my years of playing music, this is probably the most excited I’ve been about a record that I’ve done. The Ronin is a brutal thrash experience.It should leave you dizzy from headbanging. Pick it up this Friday. Don’t be scared!”

The Ronin is streaming below and out April 16 via Upstate Records.
Bushido Code – “The Ronin” by UPSTATE RECORDS

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Napalm Death’s Shane Embury Launches Online Merch Store

Napalm Death, Brujeria, Lock Up, Venomous Concept, Tronos, Blood from the Soul. It can be difficult to keep track of the all the musical projects from legendary underground musician Shane Embury. See, I forgot to include Dark Sky Burial, Born to Murder the World and Absolute Power after I typed that first sentence!

In an effort to make things a bit easier on the rest of us, our man has a launched his own official webstore, Shane’s World, which will house merch from the majority of his essential projects all in one convenient place.

“Shane’s World might sound a tad cheesy but I like cheese, so bollocks, ” Embury tells Decibel. “Besides setting up my Extrinsic Recordings digital label to release my other projects this past year — physical product coming soon — I am happy to announce that with the help of the Omerch company, based near Bradford, U.K., we have created an online webstore where fans of my other bands can grab some merchandise: shirts, hoodies, ect!”

As the site develops over the coming months, Embury plans to add vinyl LPs ,CDs, posters and the occasional collectible box set, so check out Shane’s World regularly!

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