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Video Premiere: Luna’s Call “Merced’s Footsteps”

British progressive death metal outfit Luna’s Call prepare for their ascent out of obscurity with new lyric video, “Merced’s Footsteps.” The East Midland’s based outfit formed out of members of black metallers Baalberith, goth-industrial unit FearOfHatred, and thrash metal bangers Chemical Storm in 2012. Since then, Luna’s Call have self-released two albums — 2016’s Divinity and 2020’s Void — to the shock and awe of progressive-minded metal fans the world over. While Divinity enjoyed rave reviews, it’s Void where the quartet are in phoenix mode. To wit, not only is the eight-song stunner being picked up and re-issued via legendary French indie Listenable Records, Void will now provide a recognizable platform for which Luna’s Call can reach out — through masterfully played and constructed progressive death metal — wider and further.

Indeed, “Merced’s Footsteps” — a two-minute dream runner — and the rest of Void are tailored for fans of Devin Townsend, Cynic, Opeth, Dream Theater, Voyager, Exivious, et al. The group’s bridging of death metal and progressive rock is a masterstroke. Produced by endlessly-celebrated knob twiddler Russ Russell (Napalm Death, At The Gates, Amorphis), Void is both heavy and atmospheric. The clear picture of Luna’s Call’s multi-layered journey is on display throughout. From tracks like “Merced’s Footsteps” and the impressive “Solar Immolation” to “Signs” and closing epic “Fly Further Cosmonaut,” this is one of Russell’s defining moments.

Say Luna’s Call: “‘Merced’s Footsteps’ is the opening track to our new album Void. Heavily inspired by the incredible Wanda Díaz-Merced, a blind astronomer who turned data received from the radiation of stars and space into audible sound. ‘Merced’s Footsteps’ involves and follows the concept of receiving messages and songs from the stars, and even includes hidden messages within the song itself.”

** Luna’s Call’s new album, Void, is out now in Europe and has a U.S. street date of May 14th via French indie Listenable Records. The vinyl and CD versions are available for order now HERE.

The post Video Premiere: Luna’s Call “Merced’s Footsteps” appeared first on Decibel Magazine.

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James Kent’s (Perturbator) Top 5 Most Memorable U.S. Venue Experiences

Preeminent synthwave icon Perturbator — cardinaled by musician James Kent — have returned from the uncanny valley to pontificate that all denominational positions on vice are now permitted under new edict called the Lustful Sacraments. To put it simply: What happens on planet Earth, stays on planet Earth. Imbibe in the multi-fountain of manifold desires faithful flock. Between the alluring lights of the Red Light District, the harmonious clang of slot machines, all-you-can-eat buffets, televised fight clubs, and crumbling steeples, Perturbator have rewound to 1984 as a fast-forward to mid-2045, where the iniquities of one generation passing to another isn’t punished by a higher authority but rather celebrated as treasures of the self.

Before Decibel gets too far down a pre-sci-fi/post-modern world — with Kent as the Minister-mega of Musical Propaganda — rabbit hole with Denis Villeneuve as the auteur du jour, we posited the question of memorable live shows, venues, and experiences to the Perturbator mastermind. Since much of last year and this year have been a veritable abyss of on-stage nothingness, living vicariously through our own memories and that of others — like Kent — is filling the ever-widening hole. To hoist the live event aloft and bless it with the ritual of remembrance, Kent has provided his Top 5 U.S. venue experiences since his first show (we presume) on holy ground in 2017.

Live on, take from (responsibly), and carouse passionately to the beats of flesh and spirit. The Lustful Sacraments are officially official.

5) Tampa, The Orpheum, May 19th 2019
I’m putting this one on the list mostly because I really enjoyed the place and meeting people while hanging out in the aftershow around The Orpheum. The two times I played there, the venue and its surrounding area were very fun and chill. There’s a really cool bar around the corner called The Boneyard which I absolutely love. The whole city has this warm and nice vibe. Sometimes strange in a “Florida” sort of way, like with massive screaming roosters just hanging outside the venue in the streets and also that comically creepy-looking Church of Scientology nearby. But it all adds to the charm of Tampa and, most importantly, the people there are just really nice.

4) Los Angeles, Regent Theater, April 29th 2019
Another place where I played more than once. The Regent is really gorgeous and I absolutely love Los Angeles and its West Coast charms. Especially after seeing it so many times in movies, photos and video games throughout my entire childhood. But there are two things that made this area fascinating for me. First one is the movie prop store located right next to the green room. I had the chance to check it out in 2017 and it’s just a really fun place to visit. The second thing is the fact that the Regent is located in Skid Row — literally a couple of blocks away from the now famous Cecil Hotel (now called the Stay On Main, I believe). I was always a big fan of true crime stories and strange cases from around the world and was very much aware of the history surrounding the hotel and the case of Elisa Lam back in 2019. So, after having watched so many documentaries about it, it really felt surreal to be right next to the real thing.

3) Chicago, Reggies Rock Club, Oct 6th 2017
I believe Reggie’s is the place where I have performed the most shows overseas. I even played there twice in a row once which was kinda weird to be honest. Now, Reggie’s is kind of different from my Top 1 and 2 picks because in this case, it’s the actual venue that I really love. In Europe, most of the time venues and bars are two very separate things and when I saw this kind of place for the first time where they serve food, drinks, have karaoke nights and sports playing on screens all while a full-blown concert plays out downstairs; I know it’s something most U.S. citizens are very used to, but to me it just felt really new and cool. Made me want to hang around and never leave this hot spot of music lovers.

2) Dallas, Trees, Sep 19th 2017
I actually played there two times, but it’s the first one that really stood out for me. The people in Texas are so nice and welcoming and this venue has a sort of legendary status attached to it (which probably stems from that very famous Nirvana show in 1991, I presume). Weirdly enough, it’s actually not so much the venue itself, even though I absolutely love it, that makes it memorable for me, but more of the nightlife surrounding it. This area is full of bars and clubs that are stupidly fun to check out and has so many colorful people and stuff to see. Especially during the aftershows once everything is packed. I really enjoyed that place.

1) Las Vegas, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Opening for John Carpenter, Oct 29th 2017
Hands down my favorite experience. There’s something about Las Vegas that puts such an ecstatic smile on my face. Maybe it’s the chaotic mix of architectures; from its Googie and Populuxe roots all the way up to the current Modernism and Post-Modernism looks (and even shades of Neoclassicism, with “Caesar’s Palace,” for example), all backed up by insane lights that literally pierce the skies at nights. Maybe it’s the fact that the entire city is a sort of “Disneyland” for adults, where no one really sleeps because nothing is ever closed and where over-indulgence in all sorts of delights seem encouraged rather than punished. Or maybe it’s the fact that this famous corner of the world is absolutely surrounded in isolating sand like a literal jewel in the desert. Either way, Las Vegas (and the state of Nevada, in general) is my favorite place to be, and adding to that the fact that I got the chance to play a show with the master of horror himself, John Carpenter, during Halloween in the beautiful Hard Rock hotel… Yeah, this was pretty much both the best live and travel experience I’ve ever had.

** Perturbator’s new album, Lustful Sacraments, is out May 28, 2021 on Blood Music. U.S.-based pre-orders can be found HERE. Vinyl, CDs, and t-shirts abound! Even presses of his pre-Lustful Sacraments catalog! Rest of the world, follow HERE for the same.

** For more on synthwave, dark ambient, dungeon synth, check out Decibel contributor’s Neill Jameson Exploring Synths column HERE.

The post James Kent’s (Perturbator) Top 5 Most Memorable U.S. Venue Experiences appeared first on Decibel Magazine.

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Q&A: John Petrucci Talks Two Decades Between Liquid Tension Experiment Albums

Liquid Tension Experiment are back. Twenty-two years after Liquid Tension Experiment 2 shocked, impressed, and paved the way for what would be future super-groups. The vision of drummer Mike Portnoy, eventually became Liquid Tension Experiment with guitarist John Petrucci, keyboard player Jordan Rudess, and bassist/Chapman Stick player Tony Levin coming along for roller-coaster ride of their professional and musical lives. Together, they crafted instrumental (and improvised) progressive rock pieces that were as wide and weird as they were deep and explosive. To wit, the song “Paradigm Shift”–off the first Liquid Tension Experiment album–quickly set the Americans apart from their respective bands at the time but also elongated the now-famous tail (of progressive rock) upon which the quartet were riding.

Liquid Tension Experiment 3 follows its predecessors with class, aplomb, and plenty of insane musicianship. Recorded at Dream Theater Studios while the global pandemic had everything and everyone on lockdown, the third Liquid Tension Experiment offers everything (and then some) to the ardent fanbase that’s stuck by the musicians for over two decades. They pull out an insane intro–“Hypersonic”. It’s been a long while since we’ve heard this level of musicianship unbridled by outside influence. Similarly, Liquid Tension Experiment break out George Gershwin piece, “Rhapsody in Blue,” respect it professionally but spin it like only Portnoy, Rudess, Petrucci, and Levin know how. All the familiar Gershwin themes are there, in vibrant technicolor, but they’ve been translated for today’s can’t-play-that hoi polloi. But the album’s stunning moment is its closing track, “Key to the Imagination.” For 13 minutes, Liquid Tension Experiment prove out why they’re one of the few to be able play, perform, and improvise at this level outside of, say, Free Jazz.

Decibel had the rare opportunity to talk to guitarist John Petrucci. We talked about his new solo album, Terminal Velocity, how the Gershwin piece evolved into the centerpiece of Liquid Tension Experiment 3, and how the pandemic made it all possible. Sometimes it’s the journey that matters, but this time it definitely was the destination.

With Liquid Tension Experiment 2 so far in the past—about 22 years—why did it make sense now to have Liquid Tension Experiment 3 come out of the darkness?
John Petrucci: We’ve been asked about LTE3 for such a long time now. It’s been 22 years since LTE2. But the main two questions I’ve gotten over the years are: when are you going to release your solo album and when is LTE going to follow-up LTE2? Well, I’ve done the solo album, Terminal Velocity. And now I can say I’ve done LTE3. I would say Liquid Tension Experiment has always been on our minds. The difficult thing with projects like LTE is that schedules are hard to link up. Everybody is usually on tour at different times. If we’re not on tour we’re at home, carving out however many weeks we need to write for our main bands. With the pandemic, everything was shut down. Everybody was home–there were no touring conflicts. Mike [Portnoy] had already played on my solo album here at Dream Theater Studios. We had the drum kit already set up and mic-ed up. We knew it would work. Mike and Jordan [Rudess] had been texting back and forth, like “Hey, let’s do this!” I was totally down, but wanted to finish my solo album first. Doing LTE3 at Dream Theater Studios made it really easy. All the factors gave us no excuse not to do it. So, we made it happen.

What was it like writing the songs together after all these years?
John Petrucci: It’s a very easy-going writing environment. Everyone is super-creative. We all love each other’s company. It’s a fun time, which is really important for something like this. I’ll bring in ideas–different riffs–and we’ll end up using some of it. Jordan did the same. Basically, the ideas we brought in were more like seeds to start a musical conversation. A lot of what we do stems out of improvisation. Actually, we did four big improvs when we first got together. Each one was a half-hour or longer. So, we pulled ideas from those pieces. The other part is being in a room together and bouncing ideas off one another, constructing the songs. We have a great chemistry. It all happens very fast. We have a lot of fun writing together.

When you’re improvising how do you prepare your mind for it?
John Petrucci: You have to open your mind. The biggest ingredient is listening. You’re making music together and ideas are coming off-the-fly. Some ideas are initiated by what you’re playing, while others are initiated off what someone else is playing or has just played. We’re reacting to what other people are playing, notes, chords, and progressions. You have to really listen. You have to be in the moment. You have to part of the musical conversation. It’s a lot of fun and it’s really interesting. I pull from my years as a musician–things I come up with on the spot and how the other guys are going to react to what I’m playing. There’s a lot of ear training in improvisation. There’s nothing inherently difficult about improvising, but if you don’t open your mind, listen closely, and then let it all go, it’s probably not going to be very rewarding.

Was the intent to open Liquid Tension Experiment 3 with a storm of energy? “Hypersonic” is positively manic!
John Petrucci: Yeah! We did that accidentally on the first album with “Paradigm Shift.” It’s the first thing you hear. It’s your first impression. We wanted to follow in that tradition on LTE3. “Hypersonic” is the starting gun to get the horses out of the gate. It sets the mood for the album. It starts the party. So, that was totally done on purpose.

You also continue the Chris & Kevin tradition. That is obviously still a fun inside joke.
John Petrucci: It is! Mike wanted to do it. “Chris & Kevin’s Amazing Odyssey” is all Mike. He and Tony [Levin] had some jams–just like on the first record with “Chris and Kevin’s Excellent Adventure”–that they wanted to use. Well, one of the jams–or an excerpt of it–was christened, “Chris & Kevin’s Amazing Odyssey.” I totally forgot why it was named “Chris & Kevin” until Mike reminded me recently. We had a photo shoot once and the photographer couldn’t get our names right. So, the joke continues to this day.

There’s also a playful side to Liquid Tension Experiment. “Rhapsody in Blue” comes out as fun and bright but still musically intelligent. The record has a wider color palette as a result.
John Petrucci: The opportunity to do a classic Gershwin piece for a live tour–Mike had suggested it, actually–eventually made its way a recording. When we played the song live, it made sense to extend it further in the prog-rock format. When we were talking LTE3, we thought, “Hey, not everybody heard that live version. What if we record it?” The arrangement is really cool. It’s such a recognizable piece by Gershwin that when you hear the arrangement in context of LTE’s own music—compositions, jams, and interludes–it all fits together. Stylistically, it’s right there with us. It’s one of my favorite moments on LTE3.

I do like that you’re bringing Classical music into the contemporary prog world. That’s obviously been done before, but these days Classical music needs a modern translation.
John Petrucci: The cool thing about doing that piece is that it’s so recognizable. Play any one of the melodies and people are going to know what that is. Everybody knows that piece. It’s been in TV, film, etc. That were able to take such a recognizable piece and bring forward with our context is a lot of fun. I know I keep using the word “fun,” but that’s the nature of the project. There would be no LTE albums if it wasn’t fun for us.

Well, this isn’t heavy metal or progressive metal. To lean on the darker, denser tenets of those genres probably wouldn’t make much sense. This goes back to the first LTE. The ability to smile is important.
John Petrucci: Well, we still smile a lot when we play in Dream Theater. [Laughs] LTE is all instrumental. Each instrumentalist can take the baton at any given moment. This is only our third record. We can take this anywhere we want. With Dream Theater, there’s a history, a catalog, a sound, a certain musical landscape to consider. When you break out of that, people tend to hear and feel it. They know. Not that there are rules to Dream Theater or LTE, but we kind of know what needs to be done or what will work. It’s not consciously motivated either. Rather, it’s sub-conscious. For example, I’ve been doing press for my solo album, now LTE, and we’re working on a new Dream Theater album. They all sound different. They all have their own musical identity. It’s crazy how that happens.

When you were recording Liquid Tension Experiment 3 did you have to get special permission to meet up? This was during the heaviest and most intensely visible (and devastating) COVID-19 times in New York City. The quarantine was quite strict.
John Petrucci: Everybody got tested. We don’t live far from one another. So, it’s more about taking a drive. There were no flights involved. At the time, everyone was doing the same thing. We were all on lockdown. We weren’t taking risks. So, after we got tested, we got into the studio–which is a tiny bubble of just us–and banged it out. Dream Theater Studios isn’t a public studio. There’s no in/out traffic of what I’d call a traditional recording studio.

Did the pandemic influence the new songs in any way?
John Petrucci: No. We were in a different space. I did my solo album between March-May of last year. It wasn’t reflective of what was going on outside. There’s no despair or darkness in it. My solo album is just my personality on guitar. With LTE, it’s all of our personalities on our respective instruments. Both projects are instrumental. There are no lyrical topics to ponder or communicate. The new Dream Theater will also not be exploring themes of the pandemic. We want to escape all the social, political, and medical things associated with the pandemic. It’s music–let’s get away from all that!

Was there any inclination to add vocals–even a non-traditional approach–to Liquid Tension Experiment 3?
John Petrucci: No, not at all. The topic has never been brought up. We’re an experimental instrumental band. That’s what we are.

How did the editing process work? I guess there’s a point where the improvisation has to end logically (or illogically).
John Petrucci: There’s no self-editing. For what we do, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. The songs simply flow out of us the way they’re intended to be. Instrumental. Anything goes. We’re not trying to fit parameters–like having a single, for example. Some of the songs will feel more epic, thematic things that make different appearances or take time to develop. Sometimes it feels right to extend the music. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to extend our music. The duet between Jordan and me on “Shades of Hope” wouldn’t feel right if it was 10 minutes long. The style of the song doesn’t call for that. The song tells us what it wants to do. We’re all in the same headspace, so we let the song carry us, if that makes sense.

I’ve always thought it interesting when bands talk through non-traditional song structures.
John Petrucci: The sections just develop. It’s not being afraid to let, say, the intro take its time to develop. Or, if the song gets moody and sometime later, the mood comes back in. We don’t want to restrict ourselves, really. If it’s a dramatic landscape, it’s the song telling us how it should develop and continue. The whole thing with stuff like that is you have to keep it interesting. The Gershwin piece is an epic from a time-stamp standpoint. There are so many themes, sections, and movements, but it’s never boring. With instrumental music, it’s always important to be conscious of that. Long periods of boring, meandering music is something nobody wants to listen to.

Similar question but when it comes to instruments are the members of Liquid Tension Experiment thinking of other instruments/sounds? There’s a universe of instruments out there.
John Petrucci: No. If anything, that will come from the keyboard department. Jordan can do everything from traditional key-based instruments to all of the above—you name it! That’s in his department. The basic–the core–is our instruments and how we play them. There’s no need to bring any outside instruments into LTE.

Tell me about the bonus disc, A Night at the Improv?
John Petrucci: The bonus disc is the jams I talked about earlier. Each jam session was like 30-40 minutes. Had we included them in full it would’ve been another two-and-a-half hours of music. So, we did excerpts of the jams. We pulled five different excerpts. That’s the fly-on-the-wall of what it sounds like when we get together and jam.

** Liquid Tension Experiment’s new album, “Liquid Tension Experiment 3,” is out now on Inside Out Music. 2xLP and 2xCD are available from Century Media HERE. Chris & Kevin’s Outstanding Adventure has begun. Join them!

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Full Album Premiere: The Plague ‘Within Death’

Deep, in the bowels of Sydney slum Darling Point, emerges via Nordic winds, cross-Equatorial maggots, and sea-faring vermin death metal outfit The Plague. The group, featuring members of Charting the Depths of Despair and Roadside Burial, got its auspicious, Stockholm-inspired start in 2016. The Plague issued their debut EP, Mass Genocide, on the She’ll Be Right label in 2017 before a years-long dead silent slumber. Behind the scenes, The Plague were killing it, writing the crushing material that would end up as Within Death. Promising as a building collapsing on a cemetery, The Plague parlayed their penchant for nasty ‘n’ brutal old-school Swedish death metal into a deal with Aussie upstart label Bitter Loss (Rotten Coffin). Together, they plotted the demise of posers and wannabes from New South Wales to the European mainland.

The Plague burps: “We strive to stay true to our influences of vintage ’90s death metal and pay homage to bands such as Dismember, Pestilence and Carcass, and this is evident within our sound and songwriting. Within Death is an accumulation of our history as a band and as fans of the genre, and we hope we can drag a few punters along for the ride…”

Indeed, The Plague have Decibel riding shotgun in their proverbial hearse. Together, our evil-eyed strategy is to bring more rotten-to-the-core members of the New Wave of Swedish Not-Swedish Death Metal (NWOSNSDM) along for a ride. Through the midnight hour and into the slaughterhouse, Decibel and The Plague are screaming in horror to fans of Fatalist, Revel in Flesh, Dawn of Disease, and the mighty Gatecreeper. One jam through Within Death — check out “Mind Eraser,” “Spawn of Monstrosity,” and “Drones” — is enough to make believers out of veteran and neophyte alike. Decay with The Plague today!

Within Death by The Plague

** The Plague’s new album, Within Death, is out April 30th on Australia-based indie Bitter Loss. Pre-orders for this sick slab of insanity are HERE. CD and LP t-shirt bundles are available… before you cross the everflowing stream.

The post Full Album Premiere: The Plague ‘Within Death’ appeared first on Decibel Magazine.

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Track Premiere: Phantom Fire – “Return of the Goat”

Norway’s Phantom Fire are primed to crash the insipid (blackened) thrash party on new EP, Return of the Goat. Featuring Eld (aka Frode Kilvik) and K_G (aka Kjartan Grønhaug) of such luminaries as Gaahls Wyrd, Aeternus, and Kraków, the Bergen-based duo crank out diesel-powered metal infused with bone-oil drippings of black, heavy, and thrash metals. Indeed, while most bands go straight to 1983 in their pursuit of nostalgia, Phantom Fire hold their genuflection with contemporary restraint. To wit, the two songs on Return of the Goat–“Return to the Goat” and “Mara”–fight rough-n-ready (as well as hail Satan!) but don’t vibe like they’re trying to capture a sound that was never theirs to begin with. They hit the center of Venom, Bathory, and early Metallica just right.

Return to the Goat is, however, just a preview of the rockin’ riffs, soot-coated vocals, and high-throttle grooves that Phantom Fire have in store for metaldom. The two songs telescope into what the Norwegians have in store later this year on their debut full-length, The Bust of Beelzebub. “Return of the Goat” itself pivots on a simple but memorable theme–think Satyricon’s “Black Crow on a Tombstone” or Khold’s “Skjebnevette” in a full-on dive bar fight — whereas “Mara” is more vitriolic (and slyly introspective) in its attack. These two tracks signal what could be a modern-day Norwegian metal classic, the kind that has the attitude, the vibe, the guts to stand out, and the right set of low-hanging balls to ride proud into the black of night.

Say Eld and K_G to Decibel: “Phantom Fire is the result of the music we grew up with. Our passion for heavy metal and thrash. Return of the Goat is our first creation and a salute to the dark Lord! Feel our Fire, grab a beer and turn it up to 11!”

Are you ready for the return of the goat? We thought so.

Return of the Goat by Phantom Fire

** Phantom Fire’s new EP, Return of the Goat, is out April 23rd on Edged Circle Productions. Order the 7″ or limited edition cassette HERE. Or, die trying…

The post Track Premiere: Phantom Fire – “Return of the Goat” appeared first on Decibel Magazine.

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Track Premiere: Solstice “Ignite”

The last time we heard Florida death/thrash outfit Solstice they were supporting their To Dust album back in 2009. A year and a day since, the outfit — helmed by founding members guitarist Dennis Muñoz and drummer Alex Marquez — have lined up new album, Casting the Die, with new label Emanzipation Productions, a Denmark-based indie with a storied back catalog.

Before pushing Casting the Die into reality, Solstice re-configured its lineup in 2013 and 2017, respectively. Musical wizards Ryan Taylor (guitar) and Marcel Salas (bass) were added to the lineup as Dennis and Alex reassessed the band and its modus operandi. Musically, Casting the Die is cut more from the cloth of Solstice (1992) and Pray (1995), but boosted with the musicianship of today. While it’s taken several years for Casting the Die to find the right outlet — the album was recorded in 2017, the wait has been worth it, especially considering this is brand-new Solstice death-thrash produced (by Dennis) in the classic vein of Scott Burns. So, not only are Solstice jamming some of the best material of their career, it’s sounding exactly like we remember them from the Florida scene heyday.

Says Dennis: “Casting the Die is definitely more akin to the first two album’s sound and style as opposed to To Dust, but there are some fresh elements on this new one that weren’t overly prevalent in the past, such as Marcel’s bass playiny — you’ll actually find some nice slap parts on here, and something else that wasn’t done too much before that you’ll find on the new one is the trade off solos, a lot of Muñoz/Taylor action going on. [Lyrically], we usually like to leave the meaning of things up to the listener to get their own subjective perspective. Let’s just say this one is about prevailing through life’s obstacles — not second guessing when opportunity presents itself — and leaving behind a legacy you can look back on and be proud of. Success is when preparation meets opportunity.”

Let’s all prepare for Solstice to ignite 2021!


** Solstice’s new album, Casting The Die, is out April 23rd on Emanzipation Productions. Pre-orders of LP (four colors) and CD (HERE).

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Track Premiere: Lucifuge – “Black Light of the Evening Star”

Germany’s Lucifuge have re-sparked the blackened thrash flame on new album, Infernal Power (Dying Victims). What started in the ’80s, had a vibrant resurgence in the mid-’90s, and is now manifesting yet again today. Of course, as fans of thrash with a bit of piss, vinegar, and devil worship, this resurgence of fast tempi, hissing vocals, and catchy bar-fight riffs is OK by us–even as we age into our golden years.

Lucifuge–either inspired by Danzig’s second opus or Lucifuge Rofocale (the regional governor of Hell)– were formed in the industrial town of Bremen in 2016. Helmed by multi-instrumentalist and owner of many Venom t-shirts Equinox, Lucifuge quickly set fire to black metal before transitioning gracefully (like a nail through a coffin lid) into blackened thrash. After setting out, Equinox harnessed Hell’s bells, creating three independently-released full-lengths, each nastier, naughtier, and eviler. After years fighting the forces of the Light alone, Lucifuge has found refuge in and support from Germany-based indie Dying Victims Productions, also home to Iron Kobra, Significant Point, and Witchseeker. Together, the dastardly duo have teamed up to release Lucifuge’s fourth studio album, Infernal Power.

Says Equinox from the bottom of Satan’s stein: “When writing this song, I wanted to do something very straight forward, simple Motörhead/Venom kind of riffing with very tight palm muting, to balance the beginning of the record — which has faster thrash songs and blastbeats — with a “slower” song that was just catchy as fuck speed metal. The end has this little build up with a guitar harmony that reminded me of the more rhythmic Randy Rhoads riffs, and it was something that just occurred when I was recording the song and felt it needed a cool heavy metal ending.”

Time for Lucifuge to smash their hard as steel/hot as hell track “Black Light of the Evening Star” on Monday’s ugly face!

** Lucifuge’s new album, Infernal Power, is out April 30th on Germany-based indie Dying Victims Productions. Pre-orders for black and colored vinyl (HERE) and for CD with sticker (HERE). Get diabolically desecrated to Lucifuge now!

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Five Essential Women In The Greek Metal Scene By Efthimis Karadimas (Nightfall)

By Efthimis Karadimas (Nightfall)

I decided to come up with five female personas currently active in the Greek metal scene. Five women we share the same passion for music with and who, I think, play important roles in promoting it. They are also really cool individuals — the ones I am proud of sharing the same territory sort of thing. Through this text I wanna pay a tribute to each woman out there, as a small contribution to the Women’s History Month 2021. Note: this isn’t a ranked order per se. They all play important roles in the Greek metal scene.

Number 5: Xrysa Oikonomopoulou
She is the infernal priestess of live events and one of the two curators in Gagarin 205 live music space in Athens. Any metal band from the states that’s had the chance to play in Athens most probably have met her and thanked her for the fabulous hosting and great promotion. She is behind one of the coolest places to have your aftershow drinks too, Barrett Bar. Next time you drop in there, say hello to the coolest girl at the bar. Yes, Xrysa’s the one.

Number 4: Hel Pyre
Our favorite TV hostess here. She is the female face of the infamous TV War weekly broadcast, and brings the best metal to our screens. She plays the bass, and she’s into many interesting projects in the local metal scene. Oh, and she is a close friend to the almighty King Diamond and Livia. How cool is that?

Number 3: Vasiliki Biza
The punk girl of our hearts. Very talented bass player, with a great tone and mesmerizing attitude. We’ve been lucky she found us and became the new member of the band. We can’t wait to hit the road. She was born in New York City, and divides her time between Athens and the island of Paros. Yes, the famous Greek island people from all over the world visit each year.

Number 2: Irena Chelidonaki
Irena is a great photographer and an iconic figure. She is also a bartender in a very famous venue downtown Athens called An Club. This place is like the crèche (aka crib); the manger of the metal scene here, where new stars are born. Irena is the cool lady behind the bar that serves you beer and makes you feel like you are in the coolest place on earth. Which you probably are at that very moment. Next time you visit An, say hello to Irena.

Number 1: Demetra Madzouka
If the Greek scene was a Native American tribe, Demetra would be its totem. She’s been active for decades, mainly in promoting artists and arranging big shows and festivals. Stuff that have reared two generations of metalheads. Many great stories involve her magic, and we all have been receivers of her wrath from time to time. Her devilish picture decorates the cover to our Lyssa – Rural Gods and Astonishing Punishments (2004) release.

** Nightfall’s new album, At Night We Prey, is out now on Season Of Mist in various configurations/formats. Click HERE to find CDs, LPs, t-shirts, and bundles.

The post Five Essential Women In The Greek Metal Scene By Efthimis Karadimas (Nightfall) appeared first on Decibel Magazine.

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Track Premiere: Ifrinn – “Caledonian Black Magick”

Scottish black metallers Ifrinn (Scottish Gaelic for ‘hell’) made noticeable waves on their 2106 self-titled demo, Ifrinn. Now signed to Finnish indie The Sinister Flame, the mysterious outfit returns with Caledonian Black Magick, an EP fraught with ancient dangers that hadn’t–until now–descended below the Vallum Antonini. Not much is known about Ifrinn. Their brand of black metal is both chaotic and introspective. At no time on Caledonian Black Magick do the group pander the genre’s most salacious tenents, but rather focus inward on crafting vision and sound that is hypnotic yet destructive. To wit, the presence of Scottish traditional music in all its gregarious forms is faint if not at all observable in parts. This grants Ifrinn the ability to transcend its geography and the cultural tie-downs that go with it. Ifrinn are, indeed, not of Scotland. They exist omnipresent and stateless.

“Written and completed immediately after the first release, Caledonian Black Magick has been an EP mired with lengthy setbacks culminating with the pandemic no less. However, it is a testament to the indomitable will of the nightside, that it cannot be hindered, ignored or contained. Caledonian Black Magick was committed to record finally in the Scottish Highlands under the eerie gaze of an October full moon in 2019, whilst mastered by the World Tree Forge (Mongrel’s Cross/Fate’s Hand) in Oceania the following year of plague. The instrumentation has shown a significant increase in hostility and aggression, highlighting a deeper path Ifrinn mean to traverse sonically and spiritually. There will be a lesser wait betwixt future compositions. It’s merely a glimpse into the maw of darkness possessed by this esoteric constellation. Regarding the title piece, “Caledonian Black Magick” serves as an ode to those who dance at the witches sabbath and toil with devilry upon this ancient land.”

Part the seas of normality. Swim in the blood of another bygone age. Feel the flesh of dead gods and goddesses.

Caledonian Black Magick by IFRINN

** Ifrinn’s Caledonian Black Magick EP is out April 30th on Finnish indie The Sinister Flame. Pre-orders for CD and LP are available (HERE) for the stout-hearted and black-minded.

The post Track Premiere: Ifrinn – “Caledonian Black Magick” appeared first on Decibel Magazine.

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Full Album Premiere: Witchseeker ‘Scene of the Wild’

Witchseeker. Southeast Asian heavy metal. Born in sin, leather pants, and cold gin in the city-state of Singapore in 2012, Witchseeker ply the high-intensity, truest-of-true waters between heavy metal, speed metal, and hard rock. The group’s debut, When the Clock Strikes (2017) caught the rapt attention of bangers into Cauldron, Enforcer, Pounder, and White Wizzard, and it’s been a steady rise to the top — of their white Reebok high tops — ever since. Well, the Lion City quartet are back! New album, Scene of the Wild, featuring Sheikh Spitfire (vocals), Brandon Speedranger (guitars), Aip Sinner (drums) and Nick Stormbringer (guitars), grits and slicks its way through the well-deflowered halls of heavy metal. But rather than hit the nail on the head like so many other, Witchseeker take their inspo to inspired levels, writing songs that are tighter than Tipper Gore’s teenage mini skirts.

Decibel and Germany-based indie Dying Victims Productions teamed up in an alley off Sunset Boulevard to plot Witchseeker’s NWOAHM attack. That’s right. Move over Action!, Tang Dynasty, and Saber Tiger. Witchseeker have arrived to build — straight from the Strait of Malacca — upon your legacy while also establishing Singapore with all its skyscrapers, banks, and quality of life as the next bastion of heavy fucking metal. Indeed, Witchseeker say: “We hail from Singapore, playing heavy metal as you know it, loud, timeless, and true. Scene of the Wild is a reflection of the lifestyle and debauchery of all the sinners living in a city of sin. We urge you to play it loud — keep it true!”

Raise a pint and sport an old-school Saxon shirt to Witchseeker’s Scene of the Wild! Time to turn Garden City into Riff City!

Witchseeker – Scene of the Wild by Dying Victims Productions

** Witchseeker’s new album, Scene of the Wild, is out March 26th on Germany-based indie Dying Victims Productions. Pre-orders are live now! Get CD (HERE), LP (HERE), and special edition LP (HERE). Rock out with your flock out!

The post Full Album Premiere: Witchseeker ‘Scene of the Wild’ appeared first on Decibel Magazine.