Tales from the Jugular

Digital Metal Magazine Spotlight--Decibel

By: Eric Compton
Published: Thursday, June 12, 2014
I recently went into a Barnes & Noble store and shelled out $11 dollars on the newest issue of Metal Hammer. I can't believe that physical prices are so expensive now. I finally decided that it was due time for me to join the digital world when it comes to magazines. I already do digital music, comics, movies and novels so magazines were the last barrier for me and complete digital lunacy. After a couple of days of researching various zines like Metal Hammer, Decibel and Terrorizer I thought it was a good idea to start the digital purchases. I am shocked that there is almost an $8 difference in price from physical to digital on Metal Hammer. I paid $11 for the physical version and I could have sat on a toilet seat and bought it for my iPad for $2.99. That is just amazing. I wanted to share the wealth with the readers here so I am going to offer a few Tales columns spotlighting a magazine. This will be similar to what we are doing now for the producers (Tales 121, 122) but probably just once a month.

The first one on the agenda is to look at Decibel, which I now have a digital subscription for.....

This magazine has been in circulation since 2004. It is mostly geared toward the more extreme bands and genres but does a great job of covering the wide spectrum of metal. I always enjoyed Jeff Wagner's reviews in the now defunct "Metal Maniacs" zine and it is great to see him contributing for Decibel. They tend to do a lot of special editions focusing on certain bands or genres along with their normal monthly editions. They also run a Hall Of Fame and induct various extreme bands each month. For the last couple of years the magazine has also launched its own tour with a select package of bands they feel are noteworthy.

Philadelphia, PA - USA

"Reader Of The Month" - The staff picks a random reader, posts their photo, and interviews them about their favorite bands, concerts and hobbies.

"News" - They provide about five pages of news that combines articles, press tidbits and interviews.

"Live Preview" - This section is devoted to "scouting" an upcoming metal festival. These can be domestic or international.

"Ramblings" - These are just random topics handled by Brutal Truth singer Kevin Sharp among others. They post a few guest writers in this spot.

"In The Studio" - This is an editorial and interview section with a band that is currently recording.

"Profile" - This is probably the largest section of the zine. This is normally one to three pages of a profile of a current band. Normally there are ten profiles so this can lead up to thirty pages of the book. These are very informative and often done interview style.

"Call & Response" - A really interesting interview session that lets a band or artist listen to ten new songs off of ten new albums. The artist may or may not know anything about the song they are hearing. They post their thoughts on what they think of the song. Hit Parader did this sort of column as well (Celebrity Rate a Record).

"Hall Of Fame" - Various writers look at monumental extreme albums and provide proof for the Hall Of Fame induction. As of April, 2014 there are 110 albums in the hallowed halls.

"New Noise Reviews" - Ten pages or more are dedicated to reviews. There are about five to six reviews per page with an additional splash page with summary reviews of various albums. These are scored one to ten by staff writers.

"Horror" - Veteran metal drummer/Howard Stern staffer Richard Christy weighs in on a classic horror film.


$4.99     - Current/Back Issues (iPad, iPhone)
$14.99     - 6 Month Subscription
$24.00    - 24 Month Subscription
    pricing may vary on Nook, Google Store

$6.95    - Current/Back Issues
$14.95    - 6 Month Subscription
$29.95    - 12 Month Subscription
$49.95    - 24 Month Subscription

4 out of 5


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