The metal monthly Decibel magazine recently released its annual year-end list, "Top 40 Extreme Albums of 2012," and two local bands made the cut. Mechanical doom merchant Author & Punisher, aka Tristan Shone, got No. 30 for his album, Ursus Americanus. Death-grind kingpins Cattle Decapitation, meanwhile, hit No. 13 for their album, Monolith for Inhumanity.
Both acts have gotten buzz from Decibel before, but Shone says Decibel's honors caught him by surprise. He doesn't play metal in a traditional sense, but instead forges sounds using precision-built machines of his own invention.
"I am just happy as hell that they chose a band doing something kind of wacky, even though I think the music is far from it," he says in an email. "The last thing they needed on there were Sabbath-y doom bands. Hopefully this will trigger a trend."
Cattle Decapitation guitarist Josh Elmore is glad to see the honors in print but adds that this bit of buzz hasn't had the same impact on sales as other recent events. In October, the band released an extremely graphic video for the song "Forced Gender Reassignment." Featuring scenes of torture and dismemberment, the video was rejected by YouTube and Vimeo, but Elmore says it's gotten more than 1 million hits since being posted on bloody-disgusting.com, and has resulted in a "tremendous" boost in record sales.
Also, last month, Elmore says the band saw a nearly 35-percent sales increase after news broke that they'd dropped off a tour with the band Six Feet Under. According to news reports, Cattle Decapitation singer Travis Ryan got into a argument with Six Feet Under frontman Chris Barnes. Barnes then sucker-punched Ryan and ran off.