I picked up the most recent issue of Decibel this last week. I have been considering subscribing to Decibel for a little while now. I used to have a subscription to Metal Maniacs awhile back, but they folded last year. I did a post looking at the relative "metal-ness" of several magazines. Decibel and Terrorizer were the best. The problems with each magazine are clear though and lead to the conclusion that I should subscribe to Decibel. Decibel is occasionally focused on groups like Isis, Mastodon, Converge, and other bands that are a little on the scene/hipster end of things. However, they tend to cover a little bit of everything. Terrorizer doesn't have those problems, but it is extremely expensive. I could get two years of Decibel for slightly more than half of what it would cost to get a year of Terrorizer. It's because Terrorizer is in England.
All that is terribly interesting and I know all of my readers are on the edge of their seats wondering just what in the hell I am leading up to. Well, here it is, a look at the most recent issue of Decibel to decide whether or not to definitively decide.
-The cover features Dave Mustaine (Megadeth), Tom Araya (Slayer), and Chuck Billy (Testament) in regard to the joint concert. This is definitely a plus as I love all three bands. There's an article about the tour.
-They expanded their letters section. I always enjoy reading letters from fans to find out what kind of opinions are out there. Here, we have fans blasting the Best of 2009 issue, in particular the spots for Baroness and Converge. I have nothing against Baroness, but I don't care for Converge. At all. No problems here.
-There's a pretty big article about Them Crooked Vultures, a band featuring Dave Grohl, John Paul Jones, and Josh Homme. I don't care about this band at all.
-Another long article about Between the Buried and Me, another band I don't care for.
-This month's Call and Response: Mudvayne. They don't seem too in tune with current metal artists. The picture of the band is awful.
-Q&A with Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed. I don't like Hatebreed either. Seeing a pattern? He does seem to really like some big time metal bands though, which is pretty cool.
-The Top 25 Anticipated Albums list is why I picked this up. I wanted to see what was coming out this year. New albums I was unaware of that I am now looking forward to: Atheist, Electric Wizard, Darkthrone, Down, Hate Eternal, Nachtmystium, Origin, Holy Grail, and Watain. Decibel is looking forward to The Dillinger Escape Plan and Genghis Tron, two more bands I don't care about.
-I am disturbed by the comments under Cretin, attributed to singer Marissa Martinez. She is referred to as an ecstatic latex slave and said finishing recording the album "comes down to finding someone who can keep me locked up inside my apartment and resist tempting [her] with sex." Why is that disturbing? Marissa Martinez used to be named Dan. She just finished sexual reassignment surgery. That, to me, is not attractive. More power to her for finding herself, I just would prefer to be uninformed of issues like that.
-Enslaved's Frost was added to the Decibel Hall of Fame. Great band.
-The reviews section featured good reviews of Arsis, Abscess, Arckanum, Arkona, Hypocrisy, Mr. Death, Nocturnal Fear, Satan's Host, Swallow the Sun, and Witchmaster. All bands I enjoy. They didn't like Sigh, which surprised me. Also, some stupid band names: Before there was Rosalyn, Melt-Banana, Squash Bowels, and Until Death Overtakes Me.
So the question is whether I can tolerate the cons of Decibel. I think I can. I guess we'll see.