Fear, Emptiness, Decibel: Detest Organized Religion, Hole Up in the Dark, Worship Iron Maiden
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…
If you live in or around NYC, Philly or D.C., there’s a decent chance that your day-to-day life has been—or will be—mildly inconvenienced by the Pope this week. If you live anywhere else, well, tough shit with your droughts and graft and homophobic county clerks who refuse to slither back into obscurity—our pain is more important than yours. Although Wikipedia tells us that Pope Francis used to be a nightclub bouncer, and almost everyone else we know tells us that the dude’s pretty cool in comparison to his predecessors, with a lot of progressive things to say about industrialization and the environment, there is no such thing as a “cool” Pope. That’s that. So, let’s spend the whole weekend like we always do: detesting organized religion and holed up in the dark alone, worshipping false idols: namely Iron Maiden.
Maiden just released their 16th studio album—their first double album—The Book of Souls. That it maintains such a high level of creativity, quality and taste at this point in their career is nothing less than astonishing. Plus, consider that Bruce Dickinson came back from “Michael Douglas cancer” to belt out his usual stellar, soaring vocals. This is the sort of thing that would cement a band’s status as legendary, if they hadn’t accomplished that ages ago. It’s hard to gauge if Souls is going to be their last album, but we’ve been speculating about that for years, so maybe it’s time to just shut up and cherish whatever fruits they have left to bestow. Decibel certainly has historically, as the November issue is Maiden’s fourth cover. As you can see, we even tweaked the logo to pay homage to their iconic font. Not even Metallica got that honor in issue #50.
First paragraph notwithstanding, this is far from the most blasphemous issue we’ve ever produced. From the Hall of Fame on Napalm Death’s From Enslavement to Obliteration to features on Deafheaven, Kylesa, Autopsy and Horrendous, many of the featured bands have other concerns besides defiling the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In fact, the Men Upstairs have more allies than usual: check out the J. Bennett Q&A with born again W.A.S.P. frontman Blackie Lawless. It’s all in heavy metal’s bible, which is the only sacred text worth studying this weekend.