The Decibel Tour: Live At Royale, Boston MA

decibel-dB_tour2016_admat_NOdates-localized-259x400 ghostcultmag

Every year there are highly-anticipated annual tours and every year many of them put together not so great lineups. When it comes to The Decibel Magazine Tour, I am happy to say that each year is a killer lineup and this year was no different. On April 14th, 2016, the Boston, MA crowd at Royale in the theatre district received quite a treat via artists: Tribulation, Skeletonwitch, High on Fire, and the legendary Abbath. From start to finish, this show is setting the bar high for the rest of the annual tour circuits.

Tribulation, by Hillarie Jason

Tribulation, by Hillarie Jason

Tribulation kicked off the night to quite an ovation for even an opening band. Fortunately, these guys have been around quite a bit supporting bands of all sorts and have constructed quite a second home in the Boston area. Although it was a short set, a majority was tracks from their latest, and arguably best album, The Children of the Night (Century Media Records). Opener ‘Strange Gateways Beckon’ starts off the set with a bang and then comes full circle a short while later with ‘Holy Libations’. Although only five songs in the set, it seemed just right to get warmed up for the rest of the night.

 

Skeletonwitch, by Hillarie Jason

Skeletonwitch, by Hillarie Jason

After a quick set up, Skeletonwitch was on the stage destroying the crowds with riff after riff. The biggest part of the set was to see how new vocalist, Adam Clemans, did replacing former vocalist, Chance Garnette. I was very pleased with what Adam brings for the table and I look forward to what comes next for the group. As for the set, the Boston crowd received mostly tracks from the latest full-length, Serpents Unleashed (Prosthetic Records), such as ‘From a Cloudless Sky’ , ‘Beneath Dead Leaves’ , and one of my favorites, ‘Burned From Bone’. The other half of the set was a mixed bag between a couple of albums including tracks like ‘Chock Upon Betrayal’ and ‘Beyond the Permafrost’.

High on Fire, by Hillarie Jason

High on Fire, by Hillarie Jason

Due up next was the return of Matt Pike and High on Fire. Regardless of what band he is touring with, it is always a privilege to watch Matt lay down some serious riffs. With a new album dropping less than a year ago, Luminiferous (Entertainment One), it wasn’t a surprise to catch mostly new tracks like ‘The Black Plot’ and ‘The Falconist’. However, the group did touch upon every other album in their discography once to provide a full cornucopia of their sound. Some of my favorites of the night were classics such as ‘Fertile Green’ , ‘Rumors of War’, ‘Blood From Zion’, and the closer (and usually fan favorite), ‘Snakes for the Divine’.

 

Abbath, by Hillarie Jason

Abbath, by Hillarie Jason

 

Abbath, by Hillarie Jason

Abbath, by Hillarie Jason

Finally, it was time for the almighty Abbath to grave the stage with his iconic corpse paint and silly faces. For years I wanted to see Abbath up on stage with his former group, Immortal, and play some classic black metal tracks. Fortunately, Abbath was the true force behind Immortal anyways, and his set was equally Immortal tracks as there were Abbath solo tracks. Not to discredit the solo material, Abbath (Season of Mist), was one of the earlier albums to come out this year, yet still finds its way into my playlists. From this record, we got to see songs including ‘To War!’ , ‘Winter Bane’ , ‘Fenrir Hunts’ , and ‘Root of the Mountain’. From the Immortal side of the set list, ‘One by One’, ‘Solarfall’, ‘All Shall Fall’, and closer ‘In My Kingdom Cold’. There was not a dull moment in the entire set and it was everything I had hoped for, including Abbath on stage. In fact, this entire tour package did not have a weak point at all outside of the short delays in between sets. Decibel, once again, has cemented themselves as one of the leading annual tours once again.

Abbath, by Hillarie Jason

Abbath, by Hillarie Jason

 

Abbath, by Hillarie Jason

Abbath, by Hillarie Jason

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WORDS BY TIM LEDIN

PHOTO BY HILLARIE JASON

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Guest Post- Bidi Van Drongelen Top 20 Heavy Albums of 2015

bidi bookings

As we dash towards the holidays and the end of the year Ghost Cult is feeling good about this season of giving. So we are giving our fans a chance to get to know our partners, peers, and friends  from bands in the world of music. They will chime in with some guest blogs, end of year lists, and whatever else is on their minds as we pull the plug on 2015. Today we have Bidi van Drongelen, Dutch booker and manager who has worked with the likes of The Devil’s Blood, Saint Vitus, Ghost, In Solitude and many more. Every year a multitude of his bands get booked at the excellent Roadburn festival, and we have asked him what he feels were the best releases of 2015.

 

1. KloneHere Comes The Sun

klone album cover

Great songwriting, amazing vocals, and a crystal clear though heavy production blending prog and post metal.

 

2. Ghost – Meliora

Ghost has it all to become one of the leading melodic heavy rock bands in the world

 

3. BliksemGruesome Masterpiece

Bliksem-Gruesome-Masterpiece

If you like Metallica’s Master of Puppets of Death Angel’s ACT III….with the a raw female voice like Doro.

 

4. Royal ThunderCrooked Doors

royalthunder

Great atmospheric rock album with the amazing voice of Mlny Parsonsz

 

5. TribulationChildren of the Night

tribulation

Melodies of occult rock like The Devil’s Blood drenched with a satanic black voice which reminds of Satyricon.

 

6. Chelsea WolfeAbyss

Chelsea wolfe abyss album cover

Refreshing approach of doom & drone. ART with capital A!

7. Paradise LostThe Plague Within

8. Steak Number EightKosmokoma

9. MelecheshEnki

10. EnslavedIn Times

11. ClutchPsychic Warfare

12. Thy CatafalqueSgurr

13. AmorphisUnder The Red Cloud

14. RAMSvbversvm

15. BRING ME THE HORIZONThat’s The Spirit

16. MgłaExcercises In Futility

17. BaronessPurple

18. LeprousThe Congregation

19. Graveyard Innocence & Decadence

20. Hangman’s ChairThis Is Not Supposed To Be Positive

 

Bidi Bookings online

 

Guest Post: Becky Laverty of Pioneer Press- End Of Year List

Pioneer-logo

As we dash towards the holidays and the end of the year Ghost Cult is feeling good about this season of giving. So we are giving our fans a chance to get to know our partners, peers, and friends from bands in the world of music. They will chime in with some guest blogs, end of year lists, and whatever else is on their minds as we pull the plug on 2015. Becky Laverty, publicist of Pioneer Press, who takes care of many of our favorite bands in the UK and europe, and handles all things press for Roadburn Festival, Damnation Festival and many others. This lovely lady has agreed to write us a list of her favorite releases of 2015, “in no particular order”.

 

ChvrchesEvery Open Eye

I listen to this to the point that my boyfriend hates it. ‘Empty Threat’ in particular is a banger

36804-every-open-eye

 

MarriagesSalome

I missed seeing them live twice in April, but finally saw them on tour with Deafheaven.’Love, Texas’ is a favourite.

marriages-608x608

 

Chelsea WolfAbyss

Listening to this feels like drowning, but in a good way.

Chelsea wolfe abyss album cover

 

 

The BridesmaidGrayson

A short release, and one I worked on, but it’s a fantastic first release and I can’t wait to hear what they produce next.

Grayson The Bridesmaid album cover

 

With The DeadWith The Dead

Another I worked on – which was an honour (featuring Lee Dorian of Cathedral) and a lot of fun. The album just crushes, pure and simple.

With The Dead, photo credit Ester Segarra

with The Dead, photo credit Ester Segarra

 

Insect ArkPortal/ Well

insect Ark

These are mesmerising live and beautiful to listen to on record. Highly recommended.

 

Carly Rae JepsonEmotion

Carly Rae Jepsen

I had to swap this in at the last minute… it’s full of pure pop hits, which in my opinion, is hard to beat.

 

Beach HouseThank Your Lucky Stars

beach_house_1

 

I listen to this when I’m alone and working quite a lot.

 

Royal ThunderCrooked Doors

royalthunder

I have a lot of love for Royal Thunder and want desperately for them to play over here again. ‘Time Machine’ is such a strong opener. Pow!

 

TribulationChildren of the Night

tribulation

Another band that nails it live – 100%, and they’re big fans of a lemon cheesecake martini, I hear.

 

Follow Becky Laverty and Pioneer Press

Pioneer Press online 

Pioneer Press on Facebook

Pioneer Press on Twitter

 

 

Swedish Intuition – Adam Zaars of Tribulation

tribulation children of night

Sweden – one of the strongholds of metal music. Year after year bands from that part of Europe storm the scene, breaking through to the top of the heavy metal charts worldwide. One of the most recent examples is Tribulation. Ten years after their inception, the band takes the global stage with signing a recording deal with Century Media, and the upcoming release of their eagerly anticipated third LP, The Children of the Night. Tribulation have confirmed their aspirations by going on American tour with two of the biggest extreme bands to roam the stages around the world today – Cannibal Corpse and Behemoth in February and March.

It was fantastic tour to be on.” says Adam Zaars, part of the guitar force of Tribulation. “Touring with two of the biggest bands in extreme metal nowadays was a pleasure, and the people showed up early for our performances, which was amazing.”

And there is nothing surprising about fans’ reaction. Tribulation’s reputation as excellent performers is growing.

We started 5.30PM in some days, and they were there to watch our shows! That was also probably the easiest tour we have been on so far. Both headlining bands are huge and extremely professional. But they are also great people, and they took good care of us (laughs). We shared our bus with other Swedish band, Aeon, so we had a really good time.” adds Adam.

The new record of the Swedish quartet is a massive statement and a demonstration of musical and technical abilities. It is also a perfect example how right influences can make your music unique.

So who are “The Children of the Night”?

It describes the band but also everybody who listens to the album. But most of it it’s a description of our personalities that make Tribulation.”

tribulation

The new music is even more melodic and atmospheric than The Formulas of Death. And there is something that bonds Tribulation with other Swedish bands like Dissection, Tiamat, Opeth, Morbus Chron, or Ghost B.C.

I guess what links our music to Dissection and all those bands you’ve mentioned is Swedish folk music. It’s played a big role in our lives. It’s something we grew up with. It’s in our blood.”

One of the highlights of the new album is epic ‘Winds’ – its construction, melodies, Gothic theatrical atmosphere resembles of that of Cradle of Filth from late ’90’s. Are Tribulation secret worshippers of the controversial Suffolk band?

No, you’re not correct (laughs). Actually we’ve never listened to them… But maybe you are right, I don’t really know as I never listened to their music, but this is the first time someone has found this similarity (laughs).”

Cannibal-Behemoth US Tour

The Children of the Night is a logical consequence of Tribulation’s musical development through the years. Some bands want to remain in certain formula, the other want completely new approach every time they enter the studio. Adam is clear on this matter.

We didn’t really sit down and plan anything. I actually thought the album will turn out quite differently – I thought it was going to be a lot longer, more spacey and ambient (laughs) but it turned out to be something else. We try to never think about the end product. We try to rely on our intuition. And this is what we’ve always done, I guess.”

The new album is very well produced, and an ear will catch that a lot more time was given for putting everything the right place. Adam voiced his disappointment with studio time in the past, but this time he is happier about the comfort of putting everything together in the studio.

We spent 4 weeks recording it. We have wanted four more weeks to be honest. But sometimes you can only get limited time. But we feel we managed to do it well anyway. I mean, sometimes you work better when you’re under pressure. But time spent in studio was for us really inspiring. In fact, we moved around. We had three main studios: first one for the drums, second one for guitars, bass and vocals, and the third one for all the other additional instruments. It was very satisfying, actually.”

That may sound like a lot of hassle, and be potentially distracting. But having been on a budget, that was the most optimal decision the band had to make to achieve the best possible sound quality. Mr. Zaars goes into more detail.

It was all pulled together by Ola Ersfjord, our producer. It was purely economic solution. We wanted to record the drums in a proper room, but it turned out our budget was too tight to do the whole work there! So we moved to Nicke Andersson’s new studio, located in his basement. It was like a playground almost for us (laughs). Overall it was a great experience, because every studio was different, and we’re always looking forward to something new”.

ARMEN HACZMERIAN