FESTIVAL REVIEW: Decibel’s Metal & Beer Fest 2019

Decibel Magazine’s Decibel Metal & Beer Fest was, to put it simply, stacked. Fourteen bands across all variants of Death, Grindcore, Prog, and Doom, descended onto Orange County for a weekend of heart-pounding jubilation. The two-day event was held this year at The Observatory, a large yet paradoxically intimate standing-room-only venue, intelligently designed to put the audience at three different heights across the entire space, offering uninhibited views of the stage beyond the perils of the pit. Continue reading

ALBUM OF THE YEAR STAFF POST: Weslie Negron Top 20 Albums of 2019

2019, the year that closes the decade and with it a lot of interesting releases in the Heavy Metal world. In this article, you’ll get to see my top 20 favorite albums of the year. It was no easy task to choose just 20, a lot of talented bands released quality stuff this year, but I believe these are the ones that close the decade on a high note and gives us hope for more in the future.

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CONCERT REVIEW: Municipal Waste – Toxic Holocaust – Enforcer – Skeletal Remains: Live at Club Academy

I think it’s fair to say that there is nothing unexciting about the prospect of seeing Municipal Waste and Toxic Holocaust perform under the roof of a sweaty club on a Friday night. Through their consistently solid releases and even better live reputation, these highly regarded acts in equal parts reignited interest in the possibilities of what modern thrash metal could truly offer. With Municipal Waste’s image and sound playing heavily into nostalgia for 80’s crossover acts such as D.R.I. and Suicidal Tendencies, Ryan Waste and the boys reminded us, for better or for worse, just how blistering the genre could be during an era where metalcore dominated the loud rock mainstream when they dropped The Art of Partying back in 2007. Continue reading

Overkill Books 2020 Tour Dates with Exhorder and Hydroform

Thrash Metal legends Overkill have booked The Wings Over USA 2020 tour. The tour features labelmates Exhorder and also Hydroform. The 17-date tour will make stops in Anaheim, Las Vegas, New Orleans and Atlanta before concluding in New Jersey. The final date will welcome M.O.D. featuring Billy Milano and Demolition Hammer. Tickets for the tour are available for purchase this Friday, December 20 at 10AM local time. Overkill will be touring in support of The Wings Of War which was recorded at Gear Recording Studio in New Jersey, SKH Studio in Florida, Shorefire Studio and Jrod Productions with engineering handled by DD Verni and Dave Linsk. The album was produced by the band while Chris “Zeuss” Harris handled the mixing and mastering. Travis Smith (Nevermore, Opeth, Soilwork, Death) created the artwork. Continue reading

FESTIVAL REVIEW: Adult Swim Festival

For just one weekend the Banc of California Stadium was transformed into a carnivalesque outdoor funhouse for the Adult Swim Festival. The stadium was alive with colorful distorted animations reminiscent of children’s cartoons and claymation scenes warped and hyperbolized beyond the mind’s comprehension, while a giant Meatwad dome sat across an even larger inflatable slide shaped like Morty’s head vomiting a rainbow.

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FEATURE: Facing Life Without Slayer

Slayer, photo credit Gary Alcock

From the first day of December 2019, we enter a dark, horrifying new era. Life without Slayer.

Sorry. Life without SLAAAAAYYYERRR!!!

There, that’s better.

From the moment I discovered Slayer on a compilation album called Speed Kills back in 1985, my life was changed forever. Just the sound of their name was enough. Everything you needed to know about the band encapsulated in two perfect syllables, especially when screamed at an ear-splitting volume or when chanted with thousands of other like-minded blood-hungry psychopaths. Continue reading

BACON BLOODY BACON: Matt Bacon on Why Cover Songs Matter

I’ve written about this before, but given the huge response of a recent Bacon’s Bit on the topic, I wanted to re-address it. Your band should have a cover song or two in your back pocket. If you are able to do this then you are going to be able to differentiate yourself and more importantly have your band be remembered. When it comes down to it, as an unsigned band trying to break it in the underground having your band be remembered is the most important thing. If people can’t recall who you are you are fucked. But if you can give them a reason to recall you – you’re in the clear. So I wanted to address all this and get into why covers aren’t corny, how they help to cement you in the fans’ mind, how to choose a good song to cover and of course some of the additional benefits that covers bring to the table. Continue reading