Fear, Emptiness, Decibel: Ten Years of the Loudest Magazine Covers on Earth
Before there were blogs there were these things called magazines, and the only metal magazine we still get excited about reading every month is Decibel. Here’s managing editor Andrew Bonazelli…
As you know, it’s Decibel’s 10th anniversary and your favorite Philly fanatics are encroaching on MetalSucks’ turf with Big Apple blowouts here, then here on Saturday, October 18. But all that insanity’s over a month away, so we thought we’d take today’s space to reminisce on days of dB yore, bringing you our favorite covers, one for every year of our decade of degeneracy.
There’s only three to choose from, but #002 not only gives you a hilarious—if way too long—Haunted pull quote, but our first of four (trillion) Converge covers and our first Hall of Fame (Slayer, Reign in Blood, duh). I wonder who won dinner with Cradle of Filth.
One of our early schizophrenic covers. BREAKING NEWS ON THE OZZFEST EGGERS, YOU GUYS. Botch Hall of Fame: fuck yes. Early Man profile: fuck whoa. God Forbid look pretty tough, though. No, I’m not making fun of them.
Not the best year in Decibel covers. I just picked this one for the tag: “Mastodon delivers a Mast-O-Piece.” I’m positive that was Albert’s. I hope the band appreciated that.
I know this one kind of blows, but this was an era where I was actually consulted by Albert and our art director Jamie on cover concepts, came up with really elaborate high-concept ideas, and none ever got approved. This one—durr, Usual Suspects homage—actually took. I didn’t think it’d just be the band dicking around in their everyday apparel. Whatever—this is what happens when I get “creative control.”
This is the only cover we’ve ever had that looked like an issue of GQ.
This is the only cover we’ve ever had that looked like an issue of Kerrang!
I think this may be the lone example of the Hall of Fame doubling as the cover story, hence some pretty sharp design. And now, Mike Hill of Tombs, from our oral history in the October issue: “One of the criticisms that I have is giving Refused a spot in the Hall of Fame. I’ve always felt that band was extremely overrated. Maybe if Decibel had a Coolest Hair Hall of Fame, you could have included them.”
In 2005, all of Opeth got on the cover. In 2011, here’s Mikael’s huge fucking face. It’s evolution, baby!
Well, I wrote the cover story. Unfortunately, there’s a huge “sold out” banner over Laura’s belt buckle, which really tied the room together.
Jamie doesn’t work for us anymore, and there’s no way he’s gonna read this column, but he’d kill me if I didn’t pick this. It’s his favorite, and I agree. Couldn’t be more tastefully rendered, yet totally haunting.
Pallbearer dressed up for this, which I thought was actually really classy. I wonder how funny the trend piece is going to be in five years… uh, minutes.