Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Win a copy of Decibel's Precious Metal book

What is your favorite item in the Edit menu? You could ask a million people this question and get a million answers. You'd hear everything from Find to Redo to my personal favorite, Select All. But I know if you asked Decibel Magazine's Editor-In-Chief, Albert Mudrian, his answer would be a combo: Copy and Paste. He likes it so much that he made a whole book by compiling 25 of Decibel's finest Hall of Fame stories by copying and pasting them into one file, then printing it all on the cheapest brownish-grey newsprint that money can buy!

If you're too cheap to click here and purchase a copy from Amazon, continue reading for details on how to win a free copy- and this could be your last chance, since it's burning up the charts at #18,047 on Amazon!

You can also read our 2008 interview with Albert here.

Albert hard at work "writing" Precious Metal

The Press Release
Here is the ham-fisted copy from the back cover that goes into more detail about this 250-page tribute to repurposed content. As you can see, beardos, hipsters, and dinosaur rockers alike will all be delighted- I know I have been waiting with baited breath to hear the real story behind the fucking Diamond Head LP!!
Precious Metal gathers pieces from Decibel's most popular feature, the monthly “Hall of Fame” which documents the making of landmark metal albums via candid, hilarious, and fascinating interviews with every participating band member.

Decibel's editor-in-chief, Albert Mudrian, has selected and expanded the best of these features, creating a definitive collection of stories behind the greatest extreme metal albums of all time.

Black Sabbath’s Heaven and Hell * Diamond Head's Lightning to the Nations * Slayer's Reign in Blood * Napalm Death's Scum * Repulsion's Horrified * Morbid Angel's Altars of Madness * Obituary's Cause of Death * Entombed's Left Hand Path * Paradise Lost's Gothic * Carcass' Necroticism- Descanting the Insalubrious * Cannibal Corpse's Tomb of the Mutilated * Eyehategod's Take as Needed for Pain * Darkthrone's Transylvanian Hunger * Kyuss's Welcome to Sky Valley * Meshuggah's Destroy Erase Improve * Monster Magnet's Dopes to Infinity * At the Gates' Slaughter of the Soul * Opeth's Orchid * Down's NOLA * Emperor's In the Nightside Eclipse * Sleep's Jerusalem * The Dillinger Escape Plan's Calculating Infinity * Botch's We Are the Romans * Converge's Jane Doe * Nitro's OFR * Meat Shits' Ecstacy of Death

The contest
As you know, Metal Inquisition is first and foremost the viral marketing division of Red Flag Media, the company who publishes Decibel and acquired this blog via hostile takeover earlier in 2009. Therefore, it was only natural that we would promote Precious Metal with the following gimmicky contest:

Da Capo Press and Decibel will give away one or more copies of book to the best review(s) posted in the comments of this post.

Of course, you will be writing a review of a book you haven't read, just like when I used to write reviews of records I hadn't listened to for the magazine I used to work for (I will let you guess which one that might be; unfortunately it was not Decibel). Since it can't be accurate, it should at least be entertaining. We will select the winner next Wednesday: we'll post the winning entry/entries and you can email us your address if it's yours.



  1. In honor of the hard work from the lads at Decibel (because everyone knows girls don't like metal), I went to metal-archives.com and copied a review for Mortuary Drape's 2000 "masterpiece" Tolling 13 Knell. It was a "perfect" review, awarding the album a score of 100%. Then i pasted it below, and changed some nouns and verbs where applicable. Instant review with the same amount of effort! (Maybe slightly more).

    Since I first read them, Decibel have been one of my favorite magazines. Their unique style of occult black writing continually sets them apart from their contemporaries and ensures that they will never be assimilated into the vast throngs of assembly-line periodicals. "Precious Metal", their latest release, only cements my regard for them.

    The writing style used on this book is similar to the style found on their earlier articles, and it is this style which mainly sets Decibel apart from the rest of the scene. Speed is very, very tastefully sacrificed at certain parts for slow, classically written sequences. Atmosphere is always an extremely important element of Decibel's writing, and there is no shortness of it here.

    The narrative voice alternates between a sickly wheeze, a devastating guttural growl, and horrid shrieks. The writings fit the extreme occult leanings of the magazine perfectly, and create a sense of participation in a ritual of the blackest nature.

    The grammar and punctuation in this book, as on other Decibel articles, are excellent. Much variation is to be found here, no mindless bass/hi-hat to snare beats, and no triggers. (I didn't know how to change this part, so, you know, just pretend this is about writing and not drumming) Very few sentence sequences are repeated, and all of them are far more complex than those of most other black metal books.

    The prepositional phrases are sometimes barely audible, except for during the classically influenced interview parts, in which it complements the old dudes talking about shit like NOLA by Down perfectly. Overall, the words serve to fill out the pages of the book, simply providing a secure foundation for the rest of the book to rest upon.

    This is another excellent book from these masters of occult black metal writing, and should not be missed. It’s a pity that we don’t see more books like this, but then again, it’s futile to compete with Decibel Magazine.

  2. This is one of those rare books that demands to be read. This book sheds light on a lot of albums that all of us metalheads have worshiped and adored at some point in our lives.
    It's cool to read about the mindset of the bands when they recorded their masterpieces, the stuff that ha laid the groundwork for the wide range of extreme music that's available these days.
    Hails to Decibel for putting out a book that all MUSIC fans can appreciate.

  3. "The narrative voice alternates between a sickly wheeze, a devastating guttural growl and horrid shrieks."

    Robert, that book is soooo yours!

    I was glad to see that Nitro and Meat Shits made the cut but it's a sad, sad day for this washed up beardo when both Johnny Winter's "Saints & Sinners" and Humble Pie's "Performance: Rockin' The Fillmore" get shafted.

  4. Many historical documents exist chronicling the history of popular music, but until now, not one was brave enough to expose the artistic vision behind such universally loved artists as The Meat Shits, and Waking the Cadaver.

    Decibel has graced us with the ultimate compendium of stories, anecdotes, and behind the scenes chaos that went into such musical triumphs as Anal Cunts seminal "Picnic of Love" e.p.

    Feel like your in the very same room with AC mastermind Seth Putnam, while he recounts how massive drug use, homophobia, racism, and a complete lack of talent were put on the back burner for an ENTIRE afternoon as he wrote and recorded his magnum opus.

    Ever wondered where the Meat Shits MC Cuntkiller found inspiration for the critically and commercially lauded "Violence Against Feminist Cunt" CD? The answer is here.. (Psst: If you said: "Women find him repellent, and his forced celibacy makes him lash out", you'd be right!)

    But that's only the tip of the metal iceburg.

    Other synopses include the story behind such classics as..

    Slayer - Reign in Blood (Catholicism hiding behind a mask od Nazi Sympathy)

    The Dillinger Escape Plan - Calculating Infinity
    (We couldn't write songs, so we played as many notes as possible, and we're too Jewish to pull off fake Satanism)

    Kyuss's Welcome to Sky Valley

    Sleep's Jerusalem

    Carcass' Necroticism- Descanting the Insalubrious
    (We threw darts at a medical journal, and get so freaked out, that we're now scared of hamburgers)

    Obituary's Cause of Death
    (Everyone else played fast, so we played slow.. Pretty fuckin' sweet huh?)

    This book is so awesome that when I lined my death metal loving parakeets cage with it, he refused to soil it, instead sacrificing himself to the Metal God's by holding his stool until he literally exploded in a hailstorm of feathers, guts, poop, and blood curdling guttural tweeting.

    I'll miss you Cattle Decapitation, you were a good bird, and a true metal warrior.

    And all you metal warrior out there owe it to yourselves to buy as many copies as you can and distribute them like Chick tracts to unsuspecting passers by. It's that good.

  5. I bet it sucks. I'd rather be reading The New Yorker.

  6. Back in 1987, I, a young hardcore punk who loooooooved the speedy stuff, purchased a mind bending, ear shredding, skin peeling, super sonic speed album. Naturally I refer to Napalm Death's debut, Scum. And thus a key component in the emerging new style called Death Metal had its champion: the blast beat. Extreme metal would never be the same.

    I played the crap out of that record. I peeled off the cover sticker so that I could have a Napalm Death sticker on my trashcan (yes, that was where my band stickers went since my skateboard was already covered and since I neither played an instrument nor owned a car). I mortified my punk/metal friends who thought that DRI's "Crossover" was pointing the way to the future. And I ensured that I would remain a virgin for at least another year. But it was all worth it.

    But, despite the joy, the pleasure, the near-maturbatory level of endorphin rush Scum gave me, I've always felt something was missing. Something to explain why one of the greatest albums ever was actually cobbled from two demos recorded by a band that had undergone a 75% turnover in membership in the meantime. That's where, 20-some years later, Decibel's Precious Metal comes in.

    Decibel, a metal rag I've never read and am only barely aware exists, has the scoop. About how a longhair hardcore band pioneered the death growl, black screech, and aforementioned blast beat as a way to cover up the fact that their lyrics were all ripped off from Crass and the Subhumans. About how Bill Steer wanted to title the album "Cadaverous Corporate Annihilation" but had to settle for brevity instead. About the seeds of discontent that were sewn in the young guitarist's mind, and how he swore that he would eventually gain the artistic freedom to be as loquacious with album titles as he could be. And more. Oh so much more.

    There are some other records they talk about, but who cares. This is the real deal on the album that let all the kids know that music need not have a recognizable rhythm, structure, or vocals in order to be sweet. This is the only story that matters, and the only book you can find it in. Dig it.

  7. BTW, who considers Heaven and Hell to be extreme metal?

  8. Let's be blunt--sometimes I really hate metal. Almost as much as I hate the metal 'cognescenti' whose slobbering drivel makes me want to jab a coke spoon into their eyes. But alas, for every shitty album and every shitty band that comes down the bullet belted highway there are the albums that defiled me in a way I'll never recover from. They were the reason I have no hair on the insides of my legs, scars, questionable ethics/job histories, tinnitus, and too many black fuckin t-shirts.
    Quite simply, I wouldn't be who I am. To what ends I used this music (pissing off parents, elders, teachers, pastors, neighbors, citizens) doesn't fucking matter. It's a history. My history. This is why Decibel's HOF counts. I don't need or particularly care to know what kind of substances fuel a band's specific brand of maladjustments, I just wanna know how they brought the fucking rock, and how an album I'm emotionally invested in was produced. It's a history, a timeline, a snapshot--their history. And, thankfully, Decibel has compiled these into one tasty fuckin book.
    Yes, there are bands you or I don't care for or may quibble with for being included. Well, to that I say go read your Lamentations of the Flame princess shit. I can't hear you, anyway.

  9. Mediocre book, and mediocre magazine. Nothing written today is worth 1/100 of fanzines from the 1990 like Hammer of Damnation, Decomposed or Nuclear Gore.
    Uh well Ok, maybe Voices from the Darknside or Snakepit. But surely NOT this shit!

  10. someone link me to a scan of the HOF article for "OFR". i'm sure that's fucking gold.

  11. Wow, I'm still winning! This contest is in the bag...

  12. The American heavy metal "scene" is at a crossroads. Consistently stuck somewhere between hotbed for innovation and a haven for sluggish late-adopters, the metal scene is hugely responsible for the latest trends (screamo-crunk, stupid scene hair). At the same time, however, it has taken almost ten years for perhaps the most pervasive fad in modern times to take root in the grimy hovel that we call american heavy metal. That fad: irony.

    Many theories have been posed for this schizophrenic state of affairs. Some say that it is a result of Dave Mustaine's banshee screech ripping through the fabric of normalcy and common sense that hold our world together. Some claim that when Pete Steele posed in Playgirl, his engorged Anal Plunger sent out signals that interfered with our traditional brain wave patterns, changing the world forever.

    The purpose of this piece, however, is not to discuss the validity of these issues. They are irrelevant; that is, of no relevance. Instead, I will discuss the first publication to bring this delayed sense of irony to the attention of long-hairs, and the delayed coverage of metal to long-facial-hairs across the country.

    In Decibel's book, Precious Metal, they dissect 25 supposedly classic metal albums. Each of the glorified blurb contained therein is concurrently a lesson in metal history—one learns the average length of Dave Wyndorg's pubic hairs—and hipsterisms—the little remarks that caused the authors to titter violently into their Swedish coffees, leaving stains on their monitors and thick-framed glasses and odorous droplets in their beards.

    For heavy metal fans, there will be no new information. Paradise Lost's being a morose group of pale-skinned tea drinkers is a piece of knowledge almost unprecedented in its commonality. Nu-metalheads (not to be confused with nu-metal-heads) will slap their cute little toothpick thighs and laugh til they cough up all their rolling tobacco at the snide swipes at a culture they hope to both emulate and abhor all at once with what they hope is a not obviously feigned attempt at authenticity.

    Conclusion: This book gets 3 stars, two testicles, and a heaping portion of steamed tempeh and quinoa.

  13. Ok just read this Precious Metal Book by some geek working for the underground zine called Decibel.

    Theres so much useless info on retarded metalheads in this book that I cannot choose where to begin!
    This guy knows everything about real true metal.
    Everything he copied from wikipedia about those bands!
    I mean what the fuck?I could write this book!
    By just copying and pasting in articles I read on the web!
    FUCK who needs a non updating web made of paper!
    I guess there are enough metaltards on the globe(3rd world countries,france etc.)who simply dont have the internet or cannot afford it, who will buy this waste of trees and money.Just to realize that Possessed released an album after Seven Churches and Billy Milano is an racist turd waiting to die because of his overweight.

    So to sum it all up:
    -everyone collecting bandnames on paper
    -every geek who wants to be cool and know all these band names
    -everyone who has enough money to spend on bullshit
    -everyone who uses his toilet one to three hours a day (and who stopped reading the ingredients of the toilet cleaner)
    -all the dumbfucks who are too retarded to use the "web"(everyone over 25,women,french people)

    should get this book!
    Everyone else google this books content for free!

    -and of course

  14. You used to write for Italy's Metal Shock, or Nuovo Metal Hammer, I guess...

  15. Give it up guys, John Omenhiser WINS!

    Not only was that hilarious, he referenced Chick Tracts.

    i might add, Chick Tracts are more metal than Decibel magazine.

  16. My favorite Chick tract is the one about D&D... I forget the name (Dark Dungeons maybe?) but I love the part that's like "I cast a mind meld spell on my mom to get her to buy me more manuals and figurines!!"

  17. all the dumbfucks who are too retarded to use the "web"(everyone over 25,women,french people)


  18. My favorite chick tract was "Bad Bob," about a biker who finds Jesus after surviving a jail fire in which he watches his unsaved buddies burn to death.

    Dan Clowes of Eightball fame did a great parody of them once, in which a girl discovers metal, goes all evil with a pentagram tattoo on her forehead, then somehow finds Jesus, after which she has bangs hiding the tattoo.

  19. "Some claim that when Pete Steele posed in Playgirl, his engorged Anal Plunger sent out signals that interfered with our traditional brain wave patterns, changing the world forever."


  20. great work, but keep 'em coming! we have not one, but TWO copies of this amazing book to give away!

  21. I need something new to read whilst I'm on the shitter.

  22. Sarge, YES!! "dark dungeons" is by far THE best Chick Tract. "Bad Bob" is good, but let us not forget "sombody goofed"

    dark fucking dungeons is no longer available!!

  23. "the death cookie" is good too, that's the anti-catholic one ("death cookie" = communion wafter). when i was a kid my friend and i made our own chick-style tracts, but we cut to the chase and simply called them, "Bad Mormon," "Bad Muslim," "Bad Poverty," etc. wish i had scans, they were amazingly good for us being 13 or 14.

  24. I have read this book, as Decibel "Hall of Fame" entries. I'm not digging through the moldy magazines in my bathroom just to win new copies of the same articles. But I wouldn't mind robbing the prize from someone who wants it, so here's a review off the top of my head:

    Is it too late to change the title? "Precious Metal"???

    Picking "Heaven and Hell" as the first Black Sabbath album enshrined was the smart move, like siding with Barzini was the smart move for Tessio. We all know how well that worked out.

    "Lightning to the Nations" crushed me the first time I heard it. Crushed me with disapointment, that is. However, as I get closer to 40, I find myself enjoying Diamond Head more than Metallica.

    "Reign in Blood" gets a pass for the pointing goat guy on the cover, although it's not as good as "Show No Mercy" or "Haunting the Chapel". One of many album covers that benefited from being shrunk down to cassette size.

    "Scum". Is it possible to put only one side of an album in the Hall of Fame?

    Repulsion, Morbid Angel, Obituary, and Entombed could have been combined into one "history of Death Metal" article, making room for Carnivore's "Retaliation", Sodom's "Persecution Mania", Holy Terror's "Mind Wars" and C.O.C's "Animosity". Now it's too late, Chris Witchhunter is dead.

    If I was going to honor Carcass, "Necroticism" would the last place pick- their "Dimension Hatross"; a middle of the road record that doesn't have the balls to be gay.

    A friend made me a copy of that Paradise Lost album years ago. I still haven't listened to it.

    Cannibal Corpse? I know it's an extreme metal magazine, but I think the guys at Decibel listen to too much death metal. What's next- an Incantation Hall of Fame?

    "Take as Needed for Pain"- I'm 100% behind this. Some guy screaming about kill your mother while the band bangs on their instruments. This is what my middle school classmates thought I listened to when I wore an Iron Maiden shirt.

  25. Part 2

    I assume Darkthrone made the cut because it was easy to get the interviews. Even so, "A Blaze in the Northern Sky" was the proper choice.

    I saw Kyuss accidentally in the early 1990s. Now I use that information on record store clerks.

    Speaking of record store clerks, one of them tried to play me Meshuggah once. I got out of there fast.

    I read a good Monster Magnet interview about banging groupies. I'm not sure it was in Decibel, though. It reminds me of Kurt Brecht's "Whore Stories" book at the D.R.I. merch table. If only that book had served as the template for D.R.I.'s post-hardcore lyrical direction. Instead we got "Gun Control".

    The singer for At The Gates gave the "metalhead nod" once. I like him. He seems like the kind of harmless 90s dude who would play bass for Snapcase or something.

    A friend once planned on driving two hours by himself to see Opeth. Fearing for his mental health, I accompanied him to make sure nothing happened.

    "NOLA" On paper it sounds great. A grunge band with the singer for Pantera and the guy who ruined C.O.C.

    OK- I can't lie- I like this record.

    "Nightside Eclipse"- once again, Decibel picks the catalog entry that I would have chosen last. Maybe it's me.

    I've never listened to Dillinger Escape Plan or Botch. I know DEP is a real band, but "Botch" seems like a name you would make up if you were making fun of 90s hardcore.

    A coworker played me "Jane Doe" and it wasn't as bad as expected. When I saw them, however, they succumbed to the failings common to artists of their generation.

    Nitro's Hall of Fame status is undisputed, but I wonder what the guy who wrote the "100 Greatest Metal Guitarists" book thinks of them. I'm not going to read his book until he accepts that Yngwie Malmsteen's music is heavy metal. Questions about quality aside, if "I am a Viking" isn't metal, then what is?

    Meat Shits- I'm pretty sure this is a mistake. Chad Smith's band is called the Meat Bats.


    Notes: The "Reign in Blood" goat guy is not pointing on the cover artwork, but he is pointing in my memories of the artwork. Even staring at the album right now can't change that. A powerful demonstration that all memory is constructed.

  26. no man im sure it was me!It has to be me otherwise I will have nothing to read while taking a shit!

  27. You're not even 31 yet? You're still a baby!

  28. It's Transilvanian Hunger, not Transylvanian, Decibel, you useless load of arseholes.

    Appropriately, the "captcha" I need to enter in order to publish this worthless comment is "asinessi", which sounds like an Italian person describing the motivation behind my writing of said worthless post.

  29. A lot of thanks guy for your posting here .