Text and photos by Matthew Grant Anson
The trouble with Gaza is they don’t really sound like anyone. This is apparent by the types of bands they end up supporting and linked up with on tour. Torche, Black Cobra, Corrosion of Conformity…all solid acts, but none of them come close to embodying the grinding mathcore that Gaza distributes with punishing results. So what’s the solution when you’re a Salt Lake City band without bands similar in genre to support on tour? You stop supporting, and you start headlining.
Such is the case for Gaza’s stop at Aladdin Jr 2 in Pomona, California. With Full Of Hell’s abrasive and sludgy hardcore as well as Code Orange Kids’ fresh, three-vocal punk in tow, descending on Aladdin were three bands whose ascent to nationwide (and beyond) touring was built on grit and tenacity that reverberated through their live performances.
Following three local openers, Full Of Hell took the stage – and their vocalist the floor – embraced by a crowd that erupted once screeching feedback finally gave way to FOH’s churning riffs and blast beats. Their vocalist spent about 70 percent of his time dodging flailing bodies on the floor, alternating between throat-gutting screams and swaying, eyes closed to the feedback behind him. Full Of Hell’s sound is one that basically takes every extreme genre and tosses it into a blender, then spreads the result on hardcore punk. That means that out of nowhere come black metal riffs and dramatic tempo shifts more characteristic of powerviolence than hardcore. It’s a combination that sounds like it’d be too muddled to work, but not only does it stand up on FOH’s recorded work, it’s even better live. People squint and stare at the floor during angsty, doomy moments, and they stage dive and punish each other during the rest of the time. The Code Orange Kids drummer counted himself among the people to launch themselves from the stage to the cushioning of human heads.
Number Six:False Light
False Light – “S/T”: Can’t say enough good things about this EP. I’ve talked about it several times throughout the year, on various blogs, and I hope most of you have paid attention. Even when they just had 3 of the 6 songs on their bandcamp, it already blew almost every bit of grindcore I had heard this year out of the water. Dirty, sludgy, disgusting, filth grind is the only acceptable description for noise False Light blast out. Held together by some fantastic song craft and a great vocal delivery. This EP is getting re-pressed on a 7″ soon by Headfirst? Records and Dead Chemist Records real soon. Get with the program and listen to this awesome band already!!
It really thrills me how many enthusiastic, super devoted people are active in the worldwide heavy music community. As if it wouldn’t be enough to play in rad bands, a lot of dudes and dudettes also release records on their own labels, being totally independent of the music industry and its shitty rules. Rick from CVLT Nations’s favourite Liverpudlian Sludge monsters IRON WITCH has recently started a label as well, titled BAITIN THE TRAP RECORDS. With a pretty wide focus BTTR is going to unleash heavy bands from all sub-genres onto the masses: Sludge, Grind, Metal, Hardcore, Punk – it’s all going to be in the mix. So better keep your eyes peeled for this and let yourself be introduced to the first two releases further down!
Here’s what Rick himself has to say about BAITIN THE TRAP RECORDS:
The reason behind starting the label was simply the thought of not being involved with music in some way or another, is depressing as fuck. Coming home from the 9-5 and having nothing to do other than wait to go back in the next day. I love hearing new bands and new records so it made sense to do it. It’s been on my mind for a few years but until now I haven’t really had the time.
Chris Noir: Book Burner hit the streets a few weeks ago and as far as I can see the perception is really really good. Are you still 100% satisfied with the record? Or are there already things about it you’d change if you could?
JR: I’m a nit picker by nature, so of course there are things I would like to fuck with, but once the record’s released I think you have to let it go and try to get focused on the next project. I think as a band, we’re extremely happy with how it turned out.
Where do you see Book Burner relating to your previous albums? Is it a step forward from Phantom Limb or more like a step back to Terrifyer? Where would you locate the album’s strengths?
I think there’s a bit of both of those albums, maybe even a hint of Prowler too, but it’s also different in a number of ways. For one, our new drummer Adam, who’s fucking amazing and really lays down some intense blasts. Also, we went for a very natural sounding production, especially with the vocals, which is a lot different from past albums where we would layer a lot of stuff and run it through distortion, etc. We sacrificed a little chaos to try to make it feel more real and raw. Some people seem to dig it, some people not so much.
After the first look at the cover art for the self-titled EP from Black Goat of the Woods, you would be forgiven for expecting some old school trash with its heart firmly in the 80s, with a love of Sodom first coming to mind. Of course, there’s that old saying about judging books and what not and their covers. However it goes. Anyway, the point is that when approaching this EP you’re not quite prepared for the sound and atmosphere held within its nine tracks, edging much more towards grindcore.
After 30 years in the game, NAPALM DEATH still can’t be fucked with, and they are as brutal as ever. This fact can be seen in their new video “Everyday Pox,” a song that was featured on their most recent album Utilitarian. NAPALM DEATH are on a full US tour right now – peep the dates and the “Everyday Pox” visual after the jump!
Now signed with Nuclear War Now, Oregon underground enigma Knelt Rote has all but moved away from their grindcore origins and into pastures more akin to the death metal and black metal that is often associated with the label. Last album Insignificance went a long in bridging the gap to where Knelt Rote are now. The band’s third LP Trespass espouses all the hallmarks of the underground’s brutal heart as this is one of the year’s most devastating and unrelenting metal records.
CVLT Nation is streaming Pig Destroyer’s new album Book Burner in full below…
You really have to live under a whole truckload of rocks if you haven’t noticed that Richmond’s PIG DESTROYER have unleashed a new full-length record. Book Burner was without a doubt one of the most anticipated extreme metal records this year – and the four years prior to that, because it was as far back as 2007 when the contentious Phantom Limb saw the light of day. It seems to be really astonishing that a band that tours only very rarely (if at all), releases records totally outside of any fancy business-plans and plays music the biggest parts of humanity would describe as noise can be as successful as PIG DESTROYER is. But considering the staggering technical quality of the music and the most interesting lyrical content, it’s not that surprising anymore – quality prevails, also in the uncomfortable depths of metal.
Full Review after the jump!
Norway’s BEATEN TO DEATH are a Grindcore band that refuses to meet everybody’s expectations about Grindcore – musically and aesthetically. Their amazing debut record Xes and Strokes, also covered here on Cvlt Nation, hasn’t left my iPod since I got it and when I was asked if I’d be into reviewing a live DVD of BTD, I really couldn’t say no. Bringing new ideas and sounds to a genre whose boundaries seemed to be set into stone over 20 years ago, BTD are a more than outstanding act. One could argue if a live DVD is something necessary, especially for a quite new band, but on the other hand BTD don’t seem to give too much of a fuck about other opinions and expectations anyway, so why the hell not?!
The set was filmed in Oslo, June 17th, when BTD supported Killswitch Engage – funny to see the basically non-existent crowd reaction of the KSE-worshipping whimps when confronted with the relentless grind-fury of BTD. Although the live-sound is just roughly mixed and not edited, mastered, triggered or otherwise polished for the DVD-release, it really ripps your head open. Be sure – these guys definitely know how to play their instruments. Speaking of which, of course their choice of guitars plays a huge part in the specific sound of BTD: Thanks to the Fenders (or something similar) the sound has very rich mids, and for that isn’t wading through indefinable low ends. Just like on the record, this works astonishingly good live. The drum sound is pure aggression and makes you table-blast-beating instantly. After 25 minutes of headbangin’, blast-beatin’, tremolo-pickin’, moshin’ “Melodic Grind” (I read that somewhere, what a stupid word haha), the show’s over as suddenly as it began, leaving a mostly distraught crowd – well done!