If simply having Kreator, Obituary, Midnight and Horrendous all on one bill wasn’t enough to excite you so much your reproductive organs explode, this year’s Decibel Magazine Tour will, once again, have some sick regional openers on select dates as well. Here is the complete lists of first kills!
Suppressive Fire—Charlotte, NC / March 17
The blackened thrash assault that Suppressive Fire delivers is different from any band on the package, but the band says they’ve been influenced by every artist on the tour. Their new full-length, Nature of War is a galloping excursion that grooves at all the right times. Lead guitarist Joseph Valhal says Suppressive Fire is excited about each artist on the tour for different reasons. “Simply put, there is NO weak spot on this bill,” he emails. “Get there early, rock out with Suppressive Fire and prepare for the onslaught of violence that is this year’s Decibel Magazine Tour!”
Withered—Atlanta, GA / March 18
Withered have constantly challenged themselves to progress and create “new formulas” within extreme metal. “For nearly 14 years, we’ve proudly stood on the fringes of extreme metal to carve a new path by pushing our creative boundaries and discovering new formulas within our music,” guitarist/vocalist Mike Thompson says. “It speaks for itself. No trend-hopping, no posturing.” Asked who he’s most excited to see, Thompson says Obituary because they blew him away the last time he saw them perform. “That’s the kind of band Withered wants to play with. It can only force us to bring our A-game.”
Warbeast—Dallas, TX / March 22
Warbeast brings their brand of aggressive thrash to the Dallas date of the tour with a special treat for local fans: Vocalist Bruce Corbitt says Warbeast will perform all new material from their upcoming full-length, Enter the Arena, which is planned for a summer release. “It’s been four years since our last release, so we want to give our hometown fans an early chance to hear the new material live,” Corbitt says. The vocalist is eager to check out Kreator and Obituary, who have both been influences on Warbeast and Corbitt’s prior band, the Decibel Hall of Fame-inducted Rigor Mortis.
Sovereign—Mesa, AZ / March 24
“Sovereign is an act of war against Creation. Incongruous Fire and rotting earth, a shadow of Spirit tilting ever away from the tyrant Light of YHWH,” explains frontman M.S.
“The pact was first entered into in MMX. The craft has traversed miles of night since. The initiates are nameless, as the gestalt is of priority over the vanity of the self.
Sovereign attack with a calamitous brand of black metal, the Devil’s pylon in the furrows of Assiah. Terror, dejection and death are gateways to Him, and it is in these abject states Sovereign guides the observer to the Light of the Other. A vehicle of worship, a temple of trembling breath, ours is the hand which spills the Light of Death.”
The Drip—Seattle, WA / March 28
After a decade together, noisy grind purveyors the Drip released their debut album, The Haunting Fear of Inevitability, in January. Guitarist Bobby Mansfield says the band will heavily focus on material from that LP at the show. The Drip’s crust- and powerviolence-influenced grindcore is “a different flavor that’s not on the tour currently,” the guitarist explains. Of those other flavors, Mansfield is most excited to see Horrendous; he heard Anareta last year and has been a fan since: “An excellent throwback to the glory days of death metal,” he says.
Blood Incantation—Denver, CO / April 4
Much was made of Blood Incantation’s Starspawn this year, including the number three spot on Decibel’s Top 40 Albums of the Year list. Guitarist/vocalist Paul Riedl makes the decision process to see Blood Incantation simple: “Either you like totally raging, brutally atmospheric cosmic death metal from beyond the veil of these material dimensions, or you don’t,” he emails. After Blood Incantation unleashes a black hole on Summit Music Hall, Riedl says he’s most looking forward to watching Kreator’s set, the thrash legends being the only band on the package he hasn’t seen yet. “Hopefully they can live up to my At the Pulse of Kapitulation DVD,” he says.
In Defence—Minneapolis, MN / April 6
Never one to shy away from serious topics, In Defence is always asking the tough questions. Whether weighing in on proper mosh pit etiquette or corpsepaint, the Minneapolis act blends thrashy hardcore with satirical topics. That’s not to say they aren’t taking their Decibel Magazine Tour appearance very seriously. Guitarist Jimmy Claypool (also of Decibel faves False) says he saw Kreator, who have been a large influence on the band, for the first time as a teenager, so he is looking forward to sharing the stage with the German legends. “It’s like a personal dream come true,” he says.
Apostle of Solitude—Indianapolis, IN / April 8
Further diversifying the Indianapolis date of the Decibel Magazine Tour is Apostle of Solitude, who bring no-frills doom to the table. Though their music differs from the four bands they’ll be sharing the stage with, guitarist/vocalist Chuck Brown hears common ground. “Most of the people coming out to see this tour are old-school death metal fans, and I think when listening to Apostle of Solitude, although not readily apparent, you will hear the influence these bands had on us and dig what we’re doing,” he says. Though he hesitated to provide a cliché answer, Brown says Apostle of Solitude is eager to catch every band on the tour.
Shed the Skin - Cleveland, OH / April 9
Shed the Skin are still in their embryonic stage, having released their first EP in 2014 and first full-length in 2016, but their members aren’t new to playing kick-ass death metal. Members of Incantation, ex-Blood of Christ, ex-Estuary of Calamity and more have joined forces to bash out old-school sounds. “If you’re coming to see this package, then you must be into killer death metal, and Shed the Skin is a band made up of old death metal GOATs,” drummer Kyle Severn emails. “We’re kind of the CliffsNotes version of the package,” he jokes.
Blood Feast - Philadelphia, PA / April 15
The old-school death thrashers will have a new record, The Future State of Wicked, out by the time the Decibel Magazine Tour concludes in Philadelphia. Though Blood Feast’s debut album came out in 1987, guitarist CJ Scioscia says the band’s core old-school values remain intact. “Adam Tranquilli—the lone remaining original member, and the writer of most of the band's classic songs—says this is the best the band has ever been, so folks expect a ripping set of old and new,” Scioscia writes. Though he’s excited to see every band on the tour, this will be his first time seeing Philadelphia’s own Horrendous.