Hardcore

Album Review: Seizures- Reverie of the Revolving Diamond

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There are bands that come around every so often that are truly inspiring and remarkable. More often than not, these bands never get the due they deserve because of the genre they are a part of as well as not playing by the generic norm of the industry. And that’s what makes heavy music truly great. There are no rules to abide by and there are no compromises when it comes to making the type of music and albums these bands want to make. There’s a band from Orange County, CA, that have been carving their own path for some time and with the release of their new album, they have cemented themselves as torchbearers for a genre and have set a standard for what’s to come from this style of music.

Reverie of the Revolving Diamond by Seizures, is an album that is truly outstanding and genre defining. The ability this band has to mix metal, jazz, punk, atmospheric sounds as well as deep and poetic lyrics is something that should not be overlooked by anyone. The instant that the first song “Mazarine” begins, you are immediately drawn into the soundscapes and almost psychedelic undertones. “The Cycles Unnumbered” unleashes a fury of off time playful chaos and delicate jazz scales directly into the rush of blood to your head of “In A Valley Of Twilit Meres.” “Toxophola” is one of the more experimental songs on the album but still maintains the ferociousness that resonates through the entire album. This song also features Keith Barney (of Eighteen Visions/ex Throwdown). “The Ponds You Dried Yet Still You Stare” is one of my favorite songs on the album. It has everything I love about this band all wrapped in one song. Listen and you’ll hear why. “Atollian” continues to expand upon the atmospheric undertones of the album and keeps it tasty as a sweet transition right into the decimating “Of Indigo and Seven Crows.” “Severnaya” provides a really cool interesting vibe as it serves as an entry into “Bedlam Blues” which is the most straight forward song on the album but not in the way that defers from the spastic nature of the album. “On Saturine Shores” is another moving interlude of sorts. These little atmospheric jazz breaks in between songs give the album and listener a breath in between sonic assaults. Closing out the album is “Eru” and this song is epic and like “The Ponds…” this too has a bit of everything that Seizures has to offer and then some.

Seizures have released an album that stands up with the best albums as their contemporaries and the ones that inspired and influenced them.  They have a sound and style that is ferocious and brutal yet delicate and oddly soothing. Reverie of the Revolving Diamond is an album for today as much as Calculating Infinity by The Dillinger Escape Plan was 20 years ago. The band live is a whole other beast as well. I’ve only had the pleasure of seeing them once but, they truly left a mark on me and I’ve been anticipating this album since I saw Seizures. Do yourself a favor and take a chance on something that might (well it probably is) out of your comfort zone and discover what this band has to offer. This album is definitely in my top ten of the year as well.

Seizures- Reverie of the Revolving Diamond:

 

By: Brian Lacy

On The Rise: Vein

 

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There is a band that is out and about right now that is decimating audiences where ever they play. Their debut full length is leaving a lasting mark in the heavy music circles. And the best part is they are still so young. I’m talking about the band Vein. This is one hell of a band and they deserve your attention.

Vein formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 2013. Their music takes bits and pieces from metalcore, hardcore, punk, and a hint of early nu-metal. Their debut album Errorzone, is one of 2018’s most acclaimed albums. The album in no way sounds forced or out of place. You can tell that each member of the band has studied their influences and without trying to duplicate what they’ve heard, Vein has managed to make something that sounds inspired. There is a real sense of urgency to these songs and album. It’s almost like a call to arms of the entire scene. The length of Errorzone is barely 30 minutes. That tells you that there is no letting up. The eleven songs on the album pummel from the instant the album starts to the end.

Errorzone is just the beginning for Vein. They are on to something that reaches beyond just the hardcore genre. The way they experiment shows that they have so much more to offer. It’s going to be really fun to watch this band progress over the years. Vein is here to inject their style into you and let it take over.

 

Vein- Errorzone:

 

Vein- Virus://Vibrance:

 

Band Of The Week: Entry

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Punk and hardcore have been a favorite of mine for pretty much my entire life. There is something so beautiful in the volatile and extreme nature of the music that resonates so well. There is a band in Los Angeles that is disrupting the scene and leaving one hell of a mark. The band I’m talking about is called Entry and they are fanfuckintastic. Originally formed as just a duo with screamer Sara Gregory and her partner Clayton Stevens (who plays guitar in the underrated Touche Amore), the band has now grown to a four piece that also features Christopher Dwyer of Ghost Idols on drums and Sean S on bass.  Since Their inception, Entry has fast become one of the bests underground bands in LA. Their music and live shows are full of piss and vinegar that harks back to the days that Black Flag was hitting their stride. Entry is the type of band in the punk/hardcore scene that is a real force to be reckoned with and I’d dare anyone to try and take them on!

 

Entry:

Band Of The Week: Knaaves

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One of my favorite things about writing and running Audioeclectica is when I get an email from a band that is personalized and asking me to check out their band. Recently I got a message from a band called Knaaves. I was immediately impressed with the message that was sent that I stopped what I was doing to check them out. What I heard was a blistering heavy band that was full of dark riffs and an attitude that compliments the music superbly. Knaaves, based out of Milwauke, is a four piece band featuring Andy Parmann (Vocals), Amanda Daniels (Bass), Jamie Kerwin (Guitar), and Antonio Ninham (Drums) that mixes metal, hardcore, and bits of melody to create a hard charging, groove filled sound. Knaaves isn’t a “metal-core” band, instead they take bits of post hardcore and add it to their already heavy groove. Their 2 song EP JANUARY, featuring the songs “January” and “Nine Lives Lost” will have you banging your head and possibly erupting into a one person mosh pit (which is totally possible). Do yourself a favor and check out Knaaves and let the power of heaviness guide you on your way to where you are headed.

Knaaves- January EP:

Band Of The Week: Fucked and Bound

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When I first heard that members of He Whose Ox Is Gored were involved in a side project my curiosity was perked. Then when I heard that it was going to be a hardcore/punk band, I was ecstatic. Fucked and Bound is the name of the band and it delivers a righteous slab of unrelenting and ferocious hardcore. Their debut album Suffrage (released by Atomic Action Records) is 13 songs of pure heaviness, attitude, and anger. Fronted by Lisa Mungo, she screams her heart out and it’s furious and in your face. Her conviction of the lyrics as she spits them out in the mic are some of the most honest I’ve heard in a long time. The band themselves comprised of Brian McClelland (Guitar), Curtis Parker (Bass) and Matt Chandler (Drums) blast through riffs and beats that pummel and run you over with the right amount of brutality. Fucked and Bound is just what is needed in today’s political and social climate. Do yourselves a favor and throw this album on and unleash the inner beast inside you.

 

Fucked and Bound- Suffrage:

 

Fucked and Bound Tour Dates:

3/17 Seattle, WA @ Black Lodge
3/20 Portland, OR @ Fixin’ To Bar
3/21  Chico, CA @ Naked Lounge
3/22 Sacramento, CA @ Blue Lamp
3/23 Oakland, CA @ Golden Bull
3/24 Los Angeles, CA @ 3PM MATINEE at Redwood Bar
3/25 San Diego, CA @ Space Bar
3/27 Mesa, Az @ Nile Underground
3/28 Tuscon, AZ @ Flycatcher
3/29 Las Vegas, NV @ The Garth
3/30 Reno, NV @ Jub Jub’s Days of the Loud Fest
By: Brian Lacy

 

Band Of The Week: Matriarchs

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The hardcore genre has undergone a few changes since its inception, but the true spirit of what the genre started as lives on in a few bands still. Last weekend while I was at the Whisky to see Vision Of Disorder, the first band I saw that night left me really excited. Matriarchs delivered the goods and represented hardcore music to the fullest. Their sound incorporates a tinge of metal, yet still rings true to the roots. Their EP Scandalous Jointz, reminds me of old school Hatebreed and Agnostic Front with a little bit of old Throwdown in there. Live, these guys are intense and command the stage. Vocalist Richard Barthel is quite a force. His gutteral vocals and true to life lyrics get the point across clearly. The band also features ex-members of well-known bands like Hoods, Ruckus, and The Faceless, making Matriarchs a band with countless influences to expand upon as time goes on. Check them out if you need to get your fix of well done hardcore.

Deadman:


Judas:

 

Better Off Dead:

 

Slave City:

 

 

 

Live Review: Vision Of Disorder at The Whisky

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One of my favorite things about going to see bands that I’ve loved for years and years, is looking around at the crowd and seeing fans from the beginning till now reveling in the music. Vision Of Disorder has that effect on people. The legends that they are still pack one hell of a punch live and deliver with all their might. More on them in a bit.

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The night began for my friend and I with the band Matriarchs. This 5 piece hardcore band from Los Angeles was the surprise of the night. Not only did they pummel the crowd with their brutal intense brand of hardcore, they managed to get a Los Angeles crowd on a Sunday night into quite a frenzy. It’s been a while since I listened to this type of hardcore. They reminded me of old school Hatebreed and Terror. Matriarchs are legit and deliver the goods as each song goes into the next. This band is on my radar for sure.

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Next up was a band called Critic. These guys had something really cool going on. Musically they had elements of prog, industrial and hardcore, making for quite an intriguing set. Just as Matriarchs did, the crowd got into a bit of a frenzy during their set. Even the security guards at the venue were into them and Matriarchs. This band as well will see some more attention as time goes on.

After Critic, the reformed Pissing Razors took the stage. I have to say that while enjoyable, I couldn’t help but think they were taking their groove metal love of Pantera a bit too far. While watching them, I could see and hear the distinct similarities of Pantera in their music and stage personas. Not to take anything away from them, but when you start singing Pantera songs over their songs, you might want to revisit your own songs.

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The highlight of the night was of course the legendary Vision Of Disorder. Their unrelenting set consisted of songs from their beginning to their latest release Razed To The Ground (which by the way is a great album). The sheer magnitude of intensity that lives within each member of the band was left on stage last night. Songs like “DTO,” “Suffer,” “What You Are,” “Set To Fail,” and “Loveless,” killed. One of the coolest things during their set was watching a swarm of fans push forward to the front of the stage to sing along with Tim Williams. Amongst the crowd and singing along was Dave Peters of Throwdown. Seeing him in the crowd pushing to sing along instead of jumping on stage was quite an awesome move on his part. Very punk rock Dave!!!

The entire night was outstanding. Vision Of Disorder are still the real deal and continue to put out great new music. Matriarchs and Critic are two bands I will be following and writing about soon. It’s shows like this that make it fun for me still. As I get older I’ve noticed I’ve become more selective in the shows I go to, but as long as my favorite bands keep playing in Los Angeles, like VOD, I will be there.

 

 

By: Brian Lacy

Underrated and Influential Part 3: Only Living Witness

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There are certain areas in America that have spawned new sounds of music. Seattle had grunge, the San Francisco had thrash metal, New York had a punk revolution, and Boston, Massachusetts had hardcore. One of the most underrated bands yet very influential bands that came from the area was Only Living Witness. The band was formed in 1989 by Jonah Jenkins (vocals) Eric Stevenson (drums), Kevin Stevenson (guitar) and Kevin Costa (bass). In 1991, Kevin Stevenson and Costa were replaced by Craig Silverman and Chris Crowley. Only Living Witness was signed to Century Media Records. Their debut  Prone Mortal Form was released in 1993. The songs VTA and December are classic standouts. They embraced the hardcore roots with a melodic edge to them In 1996 their follow-up CD Innocents was released, but the band had already split up. Songs like Strata, Knew Her Gone, Total Particle Reversal and Downpour continue the melodic hardcore vibe but goes beyond with an added presence of more melody. Only Living Witness briefly reformed in 2008 for four reunion shows: 3 in Massachusetts and 1 in the Netherlands. After being in Only Living Witness Jonah Jenkins went on to perform the vocal duties in Miltown, Milligram and Raw Radar War. Craig Silverman now plays in Slapshot and is the touring guitarist in Blood For Blood. Eric Stevenson, main composer and drummer, died on August 9, 2011, at the age of 43.

Only Living Witness has left a mark on modern hardcore. Their influence of their vocal styles, riffs and drum patterns is very noticeable in many bands. Bands like Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall, Every Time I Die, and others all have a lot to owe to the guys in Only Living Witness. One of the best things that have come from this band was their injection of a sense of melody into such heavy music.

December:

Strata:

https://www.facebook.com/onlylivingwitness

By: Brian Lacy