...And So Our Troubles Began
posted on 5/2011 By:
Metallic (metalized?) hardcore has been a staple within the metal community for quite some time now. Just as well, too, since it has produced some memorable music. Of course time has passed and things have changed considerably, since hardcore punk bands like Suicidal Tendencies or D.R.I. thought that it would be rad if they added to their hyper-fast, no-compromise-no-prisoners sound elements of the then-nascent thrash metal, thus creating the infamous “crossover” movement.
Since then, hardcore has been mixed – to wildly differing results -- with classic metal, death metal, grindcore (which, by the way, is basically hardcore played at a gazillion mph) and other metal subgenres and trends. At its best moments, as with bands like Nails, it creates a vortex of intensity and hatred, unparalleled within the realm of metal. At its worst, what we get is metalcore? emocore? some shit like that. Well, now it’s time for hardcore to cluster-fuck with sludge and see what happens.
Well, what happens is Drainland, a band from Ireland (which, as of late, has started producing some very interesting and creative extreme bands, like black metal elitists Altar Of Plagues). With …And So Our Troubles Began, a Southern Lord re-release of two 2010 indie vinyl releases, the listener is treated to some of the most intense and desperate music this side of, say, early Today Is The Day or Eyehategod or Damaged-era Black Flag. By the way, these three bands seem, at least to these ears, to be huge influences for Drainland, with nods towards bands like Buzzov*en, and less to, say, Hatebreed or late-era Agnostic Front.
This all means that the songs contained here have no groove whatsoever; instead, the foine young lads of Drainland aim to create a suffocating, barely-held-together sense of desperation, blind rage and emotional collapse. The sound of the band is dissonant to the point of atonality. The riffs take their cues from slow-as-tar sludge, to completely un-groovy breakdowns, to sudden explosions of hardcore speed, before returning to sludge. The vocalist has enough venom in his screams/howls to be pretty convincing as a really upset young man.
But, what really makes this thing work is the total darkness that encompasses the music: here one won’t find even a quantum of poppiness or approachability. Drainland creates an impenetrable monolith of noise and angularity, of terror and despair. The levels of intensity are so high that, even though …And So… is a pretty short record, it ends up leaving the listener, ehm, emotionally drained. The bottom line here is that this is one hell of a good record: brutal, scary, intense, ugly and darker than it has any right to be. For fans of uncompromising extremity, …And So Our Troubles Began might be a real ear-candy.
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