Fear Emptiness Decibel

Fear, Emptiness, Decibel: Decibel’s Philly Takeover Begins Friday Night



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 contributor Justin Norton…

Decibel has called Philadelphia home since we printed our first edition way back in October 2004. We gathered in Philly to celebrate our 50th issue, and took things even further with a huge Converge-headlined concert (and limited edition Pig Destroyer flexi disc) to celebrate our 100th issue more than three years ago. But neither of those events compare to the weekend we have planned beginning Friday night and stretching into the wee hours of early Sunday. I’m flying cross-country for the weekend and plenty of other people (like Canadian Decibel writer and glam metal Poison enthusiast Kevin Stewart-Panko) will be making long drives. You, dear reader, should be one of them – particularly if you are anywhere on the Eastern seaboard.

If you are wondering what’s compelling these elaborate travel plans and haven’t been on a metal site in the past six months, it’s the Choosing Death Festival. We are getting together to celebrate editor-in-chief Albert Mudrian’s revised and expanded edition of Choosing Death: The Improbable History of Death Metal and Grindcore (copies are still available but going fast ). Further, if you are wondering just why it’s worth getting on the road and getting into town on Friday to celebrate the only book Richard Christy has read since high school here’s a list of what we have in store:


Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St.

Doors 6 p.m., Show 6:45 p.m.

Haven’t had a chance yet to see the once-in-a-lifetime lineup of Abbath, High on Fire, Skeltonwitch and Tribulation? Philadelphia is the final stop for our yearly showcase of the best metal has to offer. Better yet, Crypt Sermon (who cracked our top 40 list) will open the Philadelphia show. There are still a few tickets left for the gig on Friday night, but act quick because they won’t last. Get your weekend started with choice classic Norwegian black metal, Matt Pike’s guitar heroics and Tribulation’s beautiful sadness.


Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St.

12-4 p.m.
$5 at door 
(or can be purchased here)

An entire afternoon of death metal goodness featuring:

  • A writing workshop with J.R. Hayes, vocalist and lyricist of Pig Destroyer
  • A death metal vocal workshop with Leila Abdul-Rauf of Vastum and Hammers Of Misfortune
  • A roundtable on death metal art with legendary artist Dan Seagrave, Albert Mudrian, author and publisher Ian Christe and visual artist Jaci Raia
  • An advance screening of DEATH by Metal, a film on the legendary Chuck Schuldiner, followed by a Q&A with director Felipe Belalcázar moderated by Missi Callazzo, owner of legendary label Megaforce Records
  • A roundtable on the art and economics of extreme metal festivals featuring the following panelists: Paula Hogan (owner of Manic Music & Distribution); Megan Osztrosits (composer and vocalist of Couch Slut); musicologist Méi-Ra St. Laurent; Leila Abdul-Rauf; Jason Netherton and Mark Kloeppel (Misery Index); Neill Jameson (Krieg); Evan Harting (Maryland/California/Netherlands Deathfest) and Jeffrey Podoshen (Franklin & Marshall College).

Saturday, April 16 (evening): CHOOSING DEATH FEST:

Union Transfer

Doors 5 p.m., Show 5:30 p.m.

Test your limits for audible pain with Dying Fetus, Nails, Misery Index, Deceased, Noisem, Horrendous, Derketa and Taphos Nomos. Tickets are still available.

If that’s not enough Philadelphia is packed with breweries, cool culture, excellent restaurants and the world’s best cheese steaks. See you there!

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