Track Premiere: Aglo – “Shame as a Weapon”

Aglo is a (mostly) one-man Australian doom project launched in 2022 by Aaron Osborne (I Exist, Mental Cavity). Previous releases include a couple of EPs—Collector (2022) and Into the Maze (2023)—offered up to introduce the world to Aglo’s death-burnished doom sludge. The track we’re premiering today, “Shame as a Weapon,” sounds like Wolverine Blues-era Entombed played through a codeine-haze. It lurches, it plods, it growls and lumbers menacingly.

Osborne is aided on the track by American drummer Colin Young (Twitching Tongues, Deadbody). “Shame as a Weapon” is taken from Aglo’s upcoming full-length, debut Build Fear, which was produced by Osborne and Taylor Young, and recorded and mixed by Young at the Pit Recording Studios. It was mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege and is set for release on vinyl and digitally on November 17 via Brilliant Emperor Records. Place your preorder here.

Here’s what Osborne had to say about the new track:

“‘Shame as a Weapon’ was one of the later things I wrote for the record, but I had the lyrics for a while so kinda tried to find a song to fit, and I thought this one did the trick with the big pit part at the end. This song is essentially about an alien species who overcome years of persecution and harness their shame into a means to overthrow their oppressors, a brutal theme across many science fiction stories, but neatly at home in Star Trek. I’d say this is probably the most hardcore-leaning song on the record, it’s a ripper.”

Build Fear by Aglo

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Blast Worship: Arrogante

Where they from?
Their Bandcamp says Stockholm, Sweden but all their song titles are in Spanish, so I’m not sure what’s going on there exactly. Did I mention that I had to watch my NFL team lose to Taylor Swift’s boyfriend last night? Because I did, and it was as horrible as you can imagine.

Why the hype?
Man, it’s been a while since we covered some real crusty-ass Oakland style stench core around these parts. Arrogante bring that real early 2010s HEAT that remind of the glory days of bands like Fiend, xHostagex and Recalcitrant. Just slimy, nasty, downtuned viciousness with barbaric vocals and drums that sound like they were recorded in a microwave. I can smell the B.O. from here.

Latest release?
Demo 2023, self-released. It took all of one month for me to remember how depressing football is. Seeing Taylor at the game with her red solo cup was just the last blemish that really put the nail in the coffin for me. It was like middle school all over again: the popular girl fawning over the dude with the mustache while I sit alone in my room in perilous anxiety and frustration. You know things are bed when you’re counting down the days for hockey to start, and it is only October. 

Demo 2023 by Arrogante

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Full Album Stream: Putrascension – “Forever Below”

Forever Below, the first long player from New Jersey-based blackened death dealers Putrascension, is the way that the genre should be played. Sharing members with Tombs, Replicant, Windfaerer, Hammer Fight and more than another dozen regional acts, Putrascension execute the songs on Forever Below with an equal combination of aggression and style.

The songwriting on Forever Below doesn’t go super far beyond its collective influences, which tend to be melodic black metal and death metal with occasional flashes of metallic hardcore and black ‘n’ roll, but it nails those influences. Vocalist Michael Gonçalves shrieks and moans ghoulishly, while guitarists Dan Higgins and Joe Fonseca go to work. Putrascension are at their best when calling upon their Dissection, Uada and Dawn influences, though their discordant death metal leanings hit the spot too.

Things on Forever Below peak with the excellent fourth track “Stillness,” which utilizes atmosphere and melody to pull the listener in. “Efface” displays the band’s death metal side and features some of Gonçalves’ best wails. Putrascension put their most-ambitious foot forward on album closer “Meslamtaea,” named after the Mesopotamian god. Starting with acoustic strumming, the song holds the listener for its seven-minute runtime.

Horror Pain Gore Death will release Forever Below on Friday, but Decibel partnered with the label to stream it early. Listen below.

Forever Below by PUTRASCENSION

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Tommy Victor Breaks Down Prong’s ‘State of Emergency’ and the Stress of Performing Danzig Classics

Tommy Victor has earned his status as one of metal’s most tireless ironmen.

Founder, vocalist, and guitarist for groove metal luminaries Prong and guitarist for the legendary Danzig, Victor has the battle scars from decades of pounding the pavement and navigating trip-wires of the ever-turbulent music landscape.

He returns with Prong’s thirteenth studio effort, and first in six years, the aptly titled State of Emergency, one which he shares was inspired by his return to his native east coast.

“Everything was written in New York, all the lyrics, all the riffs, all the songs, and then recorded locally. That was part of the whole plan of it,” he shared during a sitdown with Decibel.

“I was trying to investigate the differences between the coasts. And the fact that when you’re back home where you’re born. I started feeling the same feelings because where I live now isn’t that far from where I grew up.”

Juggling the rigors of the pandemic with the birth of his children and moving across the country, State of Emergency is classic Prong. No frills, no filler, all gutt-busting ruffs and thick, chugging groove.

“I tried doing that (reinventing the band) in 1995. That was the last time I really tried to do that. And that didn’t seem to go too well,” he shares with a laugh. “I’m enjoying being a legacy band because of that, where I could say I don’t have to worry about how djent-y I am right now.

“Guitar players today are under a lot of pressure to do as much as they can in order to impress people. And I’m not bagging or anything, but they wind up impressing nobody because it becomes this barrage of technicalities that are like, does anybody really care anymore? I guess some people do. I know there’s a whole underground of crazy guitar players who are just trying to outsweep themselves. I don’t have to compete with that.”

The album is capped off with a rousing cover of Rush classic “Working Man”, a band that served as a massive inspiration for Victor in his formative years.

“The thing is, when I was a kid, I didn’t play guitar, so I was a bass player in bands when I was in high school and shit. So of course, Geddy Lee was the guy. He was one of the top dudes, right? I saw Rush so many times.”

“There was no way of not having them influence you. It was impossible because they were so popular. They weren’t on the big scale, but like guys that are playing in garage bands, it’s like we were doing Zeppelin covers and Bad Company and then Rush songs and that’s the way it was back in the day. And “Working Man” was like the standard one. I know it’s not with Neil, but the riff is so easy and it’s so basic that it’s a killer track. I mean, I love the lyric and everything. So that’s one of the reasons why that one stood out to me. The lyrics fit into the whole State of Emergency too. It fit in for some reason, so I really wanted to do it.”

Reflecting on his time as a guitarist in Danzig, Victor admits that the gig comes with its share of pressure.

Danzig marks the 35th anniversary of their seminal self-titled album this year, with the band toasting the album on tour. Stepping into the shoes of the shredders who came before him, particularly original guitarist John Christ, is an unenviable position, he shares.

“Glenn, he trusts me in a lot of ways,” he explains. “It was hard for me because there’s a lot of solos on that record (Danzig I). There’s a lot of John Christ solos on that record and he’s impossible to emulate. I still am scared. The Danzig fans are very harsh on me anyhow, but it was scary going out and playing these,” he admits candidly. “It’s always a high-pressure gig for me because I’m playing other guy’s parts. I’m on the later records, but those aren’t the significant as the early ones, so it’s a tough gig.”

Prong’s State of Emergency is available worldwide on October 6th. Pre-order the album here. 

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