How is it going in your world of musical productivity?
It’s going very well! I’m on tour right now with Twitching Tongues. We’re out on a pretty odd tour for us right now with Veil of Maya, Volumes and Upon a Burning Body. Tonight is a headlining show in Ann Arbor so it’ll be a little better for us. As soon as I get home, NAILS begins recording our second LP.
The fact that you are so prolific, I must ask this question: did you grow up in a musical household?
Yes. My father is a drummer/engineer and my mother plays piano. I grew up with all instruments laying around so I just picked them all up a little bit.
At what age did you realize that heavy music was what you wanted to create? Can you let the CVLT Nation readers know what bands you are a part of right now?
At a very young age. I liked Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath before I could read. I remember going to a record store with my dad in maybe 3rd or 4th grade. I told him I wanted something that went “jun jun jun”. I picked up Metallica – Ride the Lightning but he said no and bought me Soundgarden – Down on the Upside instead. Not a terrible substitute, but not what I was looking for. I soon found Pantera and Sepultura. Those were the gateway bands for me and they led to me finding other things. After that I came upon Hatebreed, Grimlock and Sick of it All. Those bands opened the door to hardcore for me. I started my first band with friends in 5th grade. I played drums and we were called The Sk8ters but we never finished writing one song.
Currently I play in Twitching Tongues, NAILS and Disgrace. I also play in Ruckus, who is fairly inactive.
Last week, CVLT Nation Television was there to capture the epic performances from Full of Hell and Code Orange Kids at Aladdin Jr. 2 in Pomona, CA. Tim Hix was behind the lens and has put together some stellar visuals for you to witness, putting you right in the front row of this brutal show! Check out the videos after the jump!
Photo: Matthew Grant Anson
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.
One of Portugal’s best kept secret is Revengeance, a five piece power-violence locomotive formed by rrriot grrrrl Inês (Vocals), Fat Bastard (Vocals), Deris (Guitar), Pedro (Bass) and Jimmy (Drums).
Taking its first steps in 2011, and already with three releases under their belts, Revengeance took the punk scene by storm with its unique blend of 80´s hardcore, proto-grindcore and all the cult 90´s power-violence bands, and adding a sprinkle of “fuck off” attitude. In just one year they managed to play all the key Portuguese festival and support slots for some overseas acts.
It’s true that in Portugal there’s no background when it comes to this type of registration but with “Complacency Complacent” it shows us that Revengeance have studied their lesson very well. Having among its ranks, some members with a solid music background in heavy music, but this time they have gathered strengths and created a very sharpened sound capable of creating bruises along its way.
“Complacency Complacent”, their second full-length, unleashes in just 10 minutes, 12 tracks of the most poisonous power-violenced punk/hardcore. Opening hostilities with the track “The Model Citizen” in which the band uses a sample taken from the movie “Taxi Driver.” The use of these short excerpts taken from cult movies or series are used and abused on this genre, so it’s no surprise that you will hear some of those on “Complacency Complacent” leaving that “dejá-heard” on your head for hours or even days. But let’s focus on Revengeance music, the band accomplishes in just over 1 minute (the “longest” track is about 1:23) to cause as most damage as possible. Songs like “Drunken Dialects”, “(R) helix”, “Lex Talionis” or “Jockcore Mentality” are like these small bombs that burst one after the other and whose splinters fly off in all directions while the sonic attack is controlled on the background by the voices of Inês and Fat Bastard.
One of the highlights in this record is the fact that, in the midst of this organized chaos, there’s still space for a great cover of Void’s “Controller”. Revegeance’s music holds no secrets, no tricks. Just simple, straight-forward, in-you-face, mean-as-fuck punk/hardcore.
Meanwhile check out Revengeance’s Bandcamp in order to hear more from them. Listen to this or die!!
Creatures – Vesuvius
This Southern Californian outfit’s live ferocity is made by their crushing riffs, many of which were lifted from their newly released second LP, Vesuvius. Like its namesake, “Vesuvius” lays waste to all who behold it. With interest in Creatures reunited I went home and played their previous LP, “I, Lucifer” over once or twice and then promptly downloaded its successor.
A successor is indeed what “Vesuvius” is. Not to knock its predecessor, but to these ears “Vesuvius” is by the far the band’s best. The opening track “Broken Throne” sets the record’s thrashy hardcore meatiness almost immediately. It begins with your traditional mosh friendly chugathon, albeit a damn good one, and once you think this will be a mediocre offering :52 bares the record’s big pearly whites. At this point the record takes a violent, epic dump on the listener, at the same obliterating any notion of possible mediocrity.
The band’s hardcore side is blended perfectly with the crushing riffs. As much as “Vesuvius” is a record to which to raise the horns it is also one to mosh yourself silly too. At times while blaring it on my iPod I caught myself arranging my features into some faux tough guy scrunch or just your general mean mug, even casting a glancing punch at a passing wall, unnerving passerby. “Vesuvius” is first and foremost a very well crafted hardcore record that utilizes well executed metallic elements.
The record is quite impressive as the band steps even heavier on the metal pedal. The sharp hooks of its sweeping riffs carries the record and its listener swiftly on its brief but blistering journey. ”Soulless Possessor” has the record’s most astoundingly aggressive riff amid a swelling breakdown towards its beginning, inciting nothing less than at least a few scrunchy faces.
The drumming on “Vesuvius” provides a blistering, shuddering compliment to the steady barrage of riffs. Never overtly technical or boring, the percussion is a simple but welcome continuous bombardment.
“Vesuvius” has well polished production that brings the instruments to the forefront while the vocals take somewhat of a backseat. Do not take “backseat” as a fault though. On the contrary as they range from a ghostly haunt in the background to gruff whispers beneath the music.
As stated before, Creatures has presented us with a ferocious second full-length. ”Vesuvius” represents the band operating at peak condition, demonstrating concise but splendidly grungy musicianship that rivals if not succeeds the majority of their metallic hardcore peers. If Creatures didn’t make heads bang before, they most certainly will be now.
Recording, mixing and releasing an album online within a couple of days is one very impressive feat and one accomplished by Momentum with apparent ease, and managed a guest appearance from Protestant’s Cory von Bohlen to boot. The London hardcore band, who feature four members of Light Bearer and ex-members of Fall of Efrafa, recorded this new effort Herbivore one weekend recently and by mid-week was unleashed upon the world via free download with a vinyl and tape release to follow in the new year.
Another year’s nearly gone by, and I have the honour of compiling CVLT Nation’s top 6 of German releases. I’ve tried to include releases from at least somewhat differing genres, as well as different formats (not just full length records) and also from new, exciting bands as well as established acts. Of course, a top six can never be complete, considering the huge amount of records released in one year, and naturally these choices are completely and utterly subjective. There are a bunch of other records I could have put easily on this list as well: O, Red Apollo or White Fields for example all released amazing records this year, but somehow I had to make decisions. Let us know in the comments section which records would have been on your top 6 German releases list and if we might agree on one or another! Oh and I cheated here and there a tiny bit, but I guess it should be fine with the golden rules of best-of-listing. Let’s go:
Number One ETERNAL HELCARAXE
Eternal Helcaraxe’s first full-length is deservedly one of the best records to come out of this island this year. Released by Abyss Records, Against All Odds is the Cavan black metallers’ best work to date after the To Whatever End EP and a demo in 2008. The band’s tales of ravaged battlefields and honourable warriors truly comes alive in each of these pummelling, but still melodic slabs, of black metal. Ireland’s bloody and violent history books are consulted for a rather complementary theme to the band’s rigorous and oft unrelenting barrages.
Some notable influences rear their heads too. Fellow countrymen Primordial’s trademark riffing and Nemtheanga’s historically tinged lyrics appear to have had a hefty effect on Eternal Helcaraxe’s overall aesthetic. The flourishes of Scandinavia are easy to pick up on as well, with Enslaved and early Moonsorrow clearly inspiring the band, particularly with the latter’s pagan themes. Influences aside, Eternal Helcaraxe’s devastating and ambitious air is one still somewhat unique to themselves. The trio of vocals are dynamic as they sway between orthodox black metal shrieks to a more guttural, sometimes death metal-like bark or the imposing and grandiose clean vocals dotted sporadically throughout, truly alighting on Invictus, one of the album’s undeniable highlights or As The Snow Gathers, complemented perfectly by imposing string arrangements.
And while Eternal Helcaraxe explores themes morose and blood soaked in their nature, they are still a band that sound totally invigorated and animated; take the almost ebullient close to One Still Stands Here as proof. Healthy levels of melody pinched from genres further afield maintain this album’s dynamism and always keep things interesting like the eerie opening riffs of We Assist Death, but at their heart Eternal Helcaraxe are a black metal band… scratch that, black metal warriors and this is their impassioned victory cry.
Over the weekend of December 7th/8th/9th of 2012 a Radical Punk festival was taking place called Subversion in Oakland, California. A bunch of killer bands from all over the country came out and played. Nearly 500 people attended each day, when there’s that kind of energy in an already charged up crowd – it’s gonna lead for an awesome experience for everyone involved.
Hoax headlined the final day of the festival and I finished what I was doing early enough to catch their performance. They are part of the new wave of bands playing more pissed off and aggressive hardcore. From what i’ve gathered people are pretty into them, here you go people. Merry XmasX – there will be blood in this video.
Of all people who know SHAI HULUD since their days on Crisis/Revelation Records: Who would have expected them to release another full-length that could contest the groundbreaking efforts they made until their record That Within Blood Ill-Tempered? Well, I certainly wouldn’t. On the opposite, I totally ignored them for the last few years, since the tracks I’ve heard from their previous record, Misanthropy Pure, really didn’t do it for me. To much generic, slick Metalcore and dull riffage going on, I was actually wondering what had happened to them (and found my constrained, childish explanation in the sheer fact that they had signed to Metal Blade Records). And a lot of the people around me felt kinda the same, and so it happened SHAI HULUD vanished off my radar.
Anyway, just a few days ago SHAI HULUD released a new song which is going to appear on their new album Reach Beyond The Sun and while randomly browsing the interwebs I stumbled upon it and checked it out – firstly just to be able to bitch around about it, because like I said: My expectations were very low. But what can I say – this song (the title track of the album) is really, really awesome. It has all the trademark elements that made SHAI HULUD once the greatest Metalcore band ever (please note that I’m totally aware that most people have a justified disgust towards that term, but it fits so well): the desperate, intense vocals, the misanthropy pouring out of every single note, the back and forth, raging song-writing and first and foremost the unbelievable guitar work that merges an unmatched sense for melodies and forceful chord progressions.
I mean it might be a bit to early to praise the upcoming full-length (which will be out in February 2013), but if the other songs on the album are as good as this one, SHAI HULUD will have won me back. And now please check out Reach Beyond The Sun: