Tag Archives: Stenchcore

“Playing Stenchcore Means Resistance” – Interview with Corrupted Human Behavior

I’ll never get tired of repeating how much I’m obsessed with all those sounds and bands that for one reason or another can be traced back to that primordial soup that emerged in the British underground of the 80s and known as “stenchcore”. Fortunately, I can share my love for certain sounds with bands like the Portuguese Corrupted Human Behavior, authors of a splendid debut last year of epic, apocalyptic and bellicose crust punk. Luckily with Kizas, Crostas and Tiago I share not only a musical passion but also the same vision of what punk music has been and must continue to be: a “symbol of resistance” and a threat. In the days when I was writing these questions Corrupted Human Behavior and mainly Crostas were hit by state repression for resisting the eviction of a squat in Lisbon. Complete solidarity and complicity with Crostas, with the 13 comrades arrested for defending Ladra Squat and with everyone who fight against State and Capital and suffer police repression! Let’s not stop making punk a threat to this existing of exploitation, oppression and misery!

Hello dear Corrupted Human Behavior! Let’s start the interview with some obvious biographical notes, would you like to tell us your story? But above all, what is hidden behind your fascinating name and what do you want to convey with it?

Hello dear Disastro Sonoro and dedicated readers, we started this band in mid 2019 when the political situation in our home city of Porto started to tremble and we took the initiative to create a band that would help spread our ideals. As a group of politically revolted friends we started to play together and define our sound both aesthetically and ideologically.

Corrupted Human Behavior is the way we found to indicate the greediness and selfishness that lives inside every capitalist pig that rules our world and way of life because cops, fascists and capitalists are corrupted in a way their humanity is long gone, stiped away by the corruption of money and doing nothing more than terrorism. Its a critique to the Fascist leaders of our modern world but also taking steps back in time to understand that this corruption has been wandering around our minds and cuminities for centuries.

As soon as one comes across your first work and looks at the cover artwork, an acrid stench-crust smell is immediately in the air. What is your relationship with certain sounds? Which are your main influences? But above all, what exactly does it mean for you to play this “sub-genre” of punk?

Me (Kizas) and Crostas started this project when we were underage, and dream that we wanted to accomplish for a long time and for that we listened to lot crust, our main influences since the beginning were always Sacrilege, Bolt Thrower, Amebix as well as Instinct of Survival and Swordwielder and of course Carnage and Misantropia, both bands from Portugal.

For us stenchore is a way to not only write powerful lyrics with meaning along with jawbreaking riffs but not being rebels without a cause. This metallic crust gives us and idea of what the horrors our people and our martyrs have suffered struggling to survive this chaotic social structures that is capitalism and imperialism. The king skull killed in the cover artwork is a direct comparisson to Imperialist leaders that taint our world and that seek to destroy the working class in order to fullfill their foul ideologies. For us, playing stenchcore means resistance, means not giving up the fight and obviously a way for us to sing about all the martyrs that have died in the fight for revolution all aorund the world.

Reqviem for a Broken Blade, the instrumental intro that opens your album, perfectly succeeds in calling to mind landscapes and atmospheres that recall battlefields (among jingling swords, horses neighing and war screams), apocalyptic scenarios and feelings of desolation, destruction and death. What fascinates you about this apocalyptic and warlike imagery typical of certain stenchcore? What do you want to convey by using these images and atmospheres?

The shadows of our kings still perpetuate today. The hordes of orcs come to reality when we take a look at our everyday lives and see the efforts made by the greedy in order to destroy what we fought to create. We try to capture this exact feeling in our sound and imagery not to escape reality but to give us hope and strength to fight on with our ideals, as what we scream about is real and affects us all directly. All escapists seem to want to flee from our daily reality, but we do not, we seek to make people understand that this horrors that can only be described in fantasy are real, affects real people and are real stories. In the afftermath of all the battles fought in this world, all the mothers kept screaming in wrath, and we can ear this screaming in the winds everyday of our lives, and for that we must do whatever we can to fight back the imperialist notion that their war is bringing peace.

In your lyrics you deal with topical issues such as the oppression and control of the state in our lives or the destruction of the ecosystem in the name of profit, showing how punk in all its forms is not only a musical genre but a means to take clear political positions. So what does playing punk mean to you? Do you still see in punk a possibility of attack and threat to this system of exploitation, devastation and oppression?

Punk was, is and always will be a threat to every greedy organisation set to exploit and dominate us. It is a symbol of resistance be it in gigs, squats or the streets and that is why we put all our efforts in this cause, not only musically but also politically. Punk is more than grabbing a guitar and screaming to a microphone, it’s mutual aid and fighting back that gives it meaning and that’s why it will always be a threat.

We try to help as much as we can everyone around us and to be present in the street and in the squats, we try to learn with everyone we meet along the way and everywere we play, for us punk started with simple symbology and ended up in a life long fight against the un-human system.

In this period I managed to interview two more interesting Portuguese bands, Nagasaki Sunrise and Carnage, bands that showed me that there is a quite fertile and active hardcore punk scene in Portugal. What can you tell us about the scene in your country? Are there collectives and squats resisting repression, organizing concerts and benefits and working to keep the scene alive?

Besides the bands that already exist there are new bands being formed such as , Dishuman, Diskrasüki, Päria and Nukke. There are a lot of squats and organizations in Lisbon such as A-da-Machada where we played a gig last month and Disgraça. Recently our bassist Crostas was arrested with another 13 people during an eviction of Ladra squat in the center of Lisbon where they fought the police and after that he and some of them created a band called Polluted Existence.

What is the political situation in Portugal? As bands and individuals are you active in particular paths of struggle, from anti-fascism to solidarity with comrades affected by state repression?

We are all part of any struggle that helps anyone fight against capitalist exploitation and fascism. With the rise of far right parties in Portugal in recent years we feel the need to clean our streets in any way we can and will continue to do so as long as it’s necessary. In our gigs we always incite people to do what they can to stop this from happening, we try to create a safe enviroment for us all. And everytime we see a nazi we punch him.

Are you already working on a new record? Do you have plans for concerts and tours in the near future or is the pandemic situation still preventing you from thinking about all this?

We’ve been working on a new record during this summer with a dear friend of ours and we hope to release it sometime in the next few months. We’ve also been playing some gigs and with the lockdown situation becoming more light here we have much more to come hopefully enough to make a tour, who knows.

We have unfortunately come to the conclusion of this interview, so all that’s left is for me to leave this space for you to say whatever you want or think might be important to those who will read! I send you a big hug my dear friends!

We ask everyone to take a stand and to directly help in what we can, we sugest Kopi and squats around the world, or the current situation in northern syria were kurds are being directly affected by turskish fascism. We encourage all to take a stand against fascism, racism , imperialism and any other kind of right wing power seekers. Also to spray the notion that everyone is capable of doing something against this sytematic horror, that we should not be afraid to fight, be it with a pen, a guitar or a sword, tho sing is to fight if the accuracy is enough, of course!

Also we want to thank you a lot, personally and in the name of our band!

“Too Punk for Metal, Too Metal for Punk” – Interview with Collapsed

Over the decades the Canadian hardcore/crust punk scene has given us great bands like Iskra, Storm of Sedition, Massgrave and many others, proving to be an extremely fertile ground for certain sounds and a certain approach to punk. Quite recently from the desolate and cold lands of Quebec have emerged Collapsed, authors of a destructive mix of crust punk and death metal as we have not heard in a long time. Since finally a real DIY conspiracy (including Phobia Records and other labels) has released the self titled debut album of the Canadians on vinyl, I thought it would be a good idea to do an interview with Collapsed in which we talk not only about music, but also about the punk scene as “support not competition”, solidarity and complicity with the decolonial struggles of the Canadian First Nations and the importance of taking a clear position against the fascist scum present within the extreme metal scene (mainly in black metal) in Quebec as elsewhere. All this and much more in the words of Santiago, Michel, Kev, Paskk and Yan. TOO PUNK FOR METAL, TOO METAL FOR PUNK. SLAVES TO NO ONE!

Hi Collapsed! First of all, thank you for agreeing to answer these questions! You are a fairly recent band, so for those who don’t know you yet, it’s time to ask you some banal biographical questions: when, how and why were Collapsed born? Where did you get your name from?

Hey hi! Well, everything started in 2018 when I (Yan) got flooded and had to move back to Montreal. We (Santiago and Yan) were already talking about reforming a band, our other project Hang them All broke up around 2013. We did a jam session at my place to build some songs and Santiago mentioned some guy (Paskk), from Belgium who used to play in Segregated back in Liege, was looking for a band in Montreal. He can play guitar and do backing vocals, he also has a roommate (JP) who plays bass. So, we met and rehearsed the song “Man/wars” and it sounded good. Then, we kept rehearsing on a regular basis. We needed a singer… tried a couple people while doing a cover of Anti-Cimex; but it wasn’t it. We asked Konfront singer (Mike), but unfortunately, he didn’t have the time. Luckily, we kept asking more and more (we knew Michel was the right guy for the job) and he finally accepted. The lineup was now completed…for a while. We managed to write a couple songs and played a few good shows (scene is pretty cool in Montreal). Meanwhile, we totally self recorded, mixed and mastered our first album during winter 2019-2020 and released the LP on Phobia records (Czech Republic) in partnership with Up the punx (Poland), Deviance (France) and Hecatombe (Spain). Bullwhip Records (Malaysia) also did a tape release! Stiv from Vision of War did the artwork for that album. Later that year, JP had to leave the band going back full time at school. Matt tcheval Deadly Pale filled in for a couple of shows to help us while we were looking for a new permanent bassist. We then asked Kev, also from Konfront to play bass and he learned the songs and joined the band quite rapidly. We got on a couple compilations, played a bunch of shows and recorded at Nomansland studio (Thanks Chany Inepsy & Dizz) an EP in two days for the Pils session in June 2021. It’s getting released on tapes right now. We are almost ready to record our next album! Ho yeah and we sucked so bad finding a name…. Nenuphar and other crappy ideas like that made us reach for help… My (Yan) girlfriend found the name.

Reading on your facebook page and bandcamp, you define yourselves as a band that plays crust metal influenced as much by 90’s crust punk as by swedish death metal. How did you come up with the idea of combining these two souls in your sound? What do you think are the links that have always united the crust punk scene with the extreme metal scene?

We didn’t really think about it… Paskk and Yan usually write all the music and our sound came out like that. We knew we all liked loud angry crust punk in the vein of Skitsystem’s Stigmata (we are all fans of Swedish crust).

Paskk brought the old school death metal influences. We forged out our sound around what we like to hear! Pretty simple no? We’ve all been in the scene since the end of the 90’(Paskk is younger though) and we’ve all been in different bands in the same scene since then.

What were your first approaches to music and the hardcore/crust scene in your life? And what are the bands primarily that have influenced your music and approach?

Santiago: As for a good majority of non-conformist teenagers, the punk rock scene was not satisfying enough at the level of hate and aggressivity. The grind crust universe was more suited to me (late 90’) when I first entered the music scene. My biggest musical influences were at the time Extreme Noise Terror, Human Greed and Driller Killer.

Michel: My first approach to the punk/hardcore scene started listening to bands like Conflict, Crass, DK, Flux of pink Indians, ENT, Disorder, Subhumans and Chaos UK. Those bands really got me as a teenager and brought me to love music, and especially to this way of life. Around the age of 15 I began to play music with friends, we were in the early 90’ in Montreal, Canada, The best time for the Punk hardcore crust scene here in my opinion. Maybe I’m just nostalgic hahaha. So many good bands and crazy shows. Civil disobedience, State of fear, His hero his gone, Global holocaust, Dropdead, Human greed and so many more. All those good bands threw me further in the crust sound like Disrupt, Wolfbrigade, Tragedy, Fall of Efrafa, Consume, Disaffect, to name a few. I’m still enjoying and discovering so many good bands and I still need to sing and scream to empty the rage of all injustices.

Kev: When I was 10 years old, I’ve started listening to Swedish death metal bands like Dismember, Entombed, Grave, etc… my first tape was Entombed Clandestine. Around 16, I’ve started to listen to punk bands and I’ve fallen in love with all this way of life. Around 20, I’ve discovered bands like Wolfpack, Skitsystem, Aus rotten, etc… And boom!!! The mix of the two styles made my head burst!!!!! Now at 40, I play death crust in my best band project in my all life!!!

Paskk: I’ve been a punk rock fan at first glance, when I was about 13 years old. When I was 17 years old, I started to discover more underground punk bands; mainly uk82, anarcho punk and street punk stuffs. When I was 19 years old, I saw a Born/Dead show and not long after, a Sangre show and it was a revelation to me. The energy that crust punk music was unleashing made me enlightened. When I was 20 years old, I pursued my discovering of the genre and started to listen to bands as Wolfbrigade, Skitsystem and Tragedy, to name a few. It wasn’t long for me to focus mainly on crust music (the Swedish style always has been my favorite) and let the street punk genre and look back behind. I started playing in a crust band around the same time back in Belgium. Before moving to Canada, I experienced playing in bands in that music style with 3 bands. Two as a guitarist singer, and one as a singer. Around 23-24 years old, I started to appreciate metal music again, because in my streetpunk phase, I kind of let it denied for a while. I was loving metal again and more especially old school Swedish death metal. Bands like Entombed, Interment, Demonical Unleashed, Bloodbath, Entrails, Asphyx or the later LIK rapidly became an inspiration and a passion to me. I started looking for bands that were merging the kind of death metal I love and the kind of crust punk I love. I already knew the mighty album “Stigmata” of Skitsystem which was a perfect example of how Swedish crust and old school Swedish death metal could become the perfect cocktail. This album is still in my top 3. I discovered bands such as Totält Jävla Mörker, Guided Cradle, Misantropic or Fredag den 13 e, again to name a few. When I arrived in Canada, I was willing to make a new band of that style of music, which I call either crust metal, or death crust. And it’s what we did. I incorporated elements of death metal in my crust riffs, Yan did too, and Collapsed was born. Get ready for next album!

Yan: My approach to music might be different than my band mates. I don’t like to consider genre, I listen to pretty much all kind of music. I’ve been introduced very young to 60’-70’ music, learned guitar pretty young in the early 90’and never stopped. I’ve been in some school band and liked the feeling of being on a stage. Some friends played in a Ska-punk band Downshift in Case in the late 90’ and I joined them for a good while, we played shows all around Quebec. We were underage playing in bars but it was fun! That band went on hiatus after a few albums and several years. Through common friends, I replaced the guitarist in a local legendary crust band Global Holocaust in early 2000 and got introduced to crust punk. I already liked extreme metal and grindcore complexity and speed but that mix of punk rock and metal sounded right in my ears! Played with them for some time then started various bands projects. I’m still very into experimental music of any genre. I’m all about Emerson Lake & Palmer, Dillinger Escape Plan, Bad Brains ,Assuck, Django Reinhardt, Dystopia, Spazz, Wolfpack, Elvis, Flat & Scruggs, Deicide, Choking Victims, State of Fear, Ravi Shankar, The Beatles, Louis Armstrong, Monster X ,Hendrix, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Fuck the facts… the list goes on and gets more and more on the weird side, I got to be careful when I write music for Collapsed not put too much weird things but the guys are watching me.

Canada has been famous for years for giving birth to many interesting and valid bands in combining crust punk and extreme metal, from the seminal Iskra (fundamental for the development of RABM) to Ahna, from Napalm Raid to Massgrave. How do you explain this extreme fertility of certain sounds in your country? What are your relationships with the punk-hardcore scene in Quebec and Canada in general?

Well, there’s a bunch of extremely talented bands coming out of the north, let’s say it’s so cold you can freeze to death ½ – 1/3 of the year…people are stuck inside and music is an excellent way to get together and do something artistic and fun! The country here is really really wide so there’s a scene but it’s spread. Let’s say from Montreal to the next big city is 300+ km and it’s like that (or worse) all across the country. However, There’s a really nice scene in Montreal. Usually shows of all kinds pretty much everyday, lots of festivals… Underground music scene is active all across Canada but mainly gathered in every big town. I think we have good relationships with other bands and venues but we’re pretty much a bastard kind of weirdos cousins… Too metal for punk rock shows and too punk for metal shows… but it works out! We’re not too much politicized, but more about raising awareness… Not here to preach, we don’t have to justify our ideologies, we say what we think, like it or not.

Quebec is unfortunately famous for having an important Black metal scene whose protagonists are often linked to environments of extreme right or with strong nationalistic-racist feelings. What are your positions about this scene and bands that use extreme metal to convey messages and positions openly fascist, reactionary, racist and oppressive towards minorities?

FASCISTS ARE NOT WELCOME!!!

We’re greatly against all kinds of discriminations. The Antifa movement is really strong here in Montreal and Fascist acts in the punk/metal scene are really watched. Some bands try to book right wing shows from time to time I’ve heard, but most get cancelled or stopped. They are now a minority. Going out in more rural regions people can be more redneck… Our position towards bands openly fascist, racist, homophobic, sexist, transphobic or oppressive toward minorities ? FUCK those persons, they don’t want to meet us in person.

With your music do you also want to convey your political ideas or do you focus on other themes and topics?

Collapsed isn’t much about politics, more about critical consciousness. We talk about premature death of ecosystems due to overconsumption, war, pain, mankind stupidity, relation interactions. Ideologies will bring conflict and there’s enough of those, we are more about exposing problems that are bringing us all down the drain. Not to be pessimist, but the future does not augur well for planet earth if we keep running that kind of system…

Recently, in the last few months, horrifying news arrived from Canada about the discovery of mass graves of First Nations children. A news that certainly does not surprise in a continent born from colonial oppression and genocide of native peoples, but that returns to emphasize the importance of the struggle and the movement of decolonization. The reaction of the First Nations was in some cases violent with the destruction of churches and other symbols of European colonialism on Canadian soil. What are your positions on these anti-colonial protests and revolts as a response to the horrors of yesterday and today of (neo)colonialism and oppression suffered by First Nations? Do you also deal with certain issues in a track like “Lost Tribes?

One of the biggest Holocaust that ever happened in America. In 1924, Paul Rivet estimated that between 40 to 50 million of people lived in the hemisphere before the Indigenous Holocaust began. With some historians arguing for an estimated 100 million, or more. That population got eradicated, their lands got stolen, children killed, women raped…first nations have the right to be angry and we support them. We’re opposed to repression against the first nations and Inuit people. Who doesn’t like a nice church fire? We’re against religion anyway, people can think what they want but not impose their ways of thinking to others.

What does being part of the DIY hardcore scene and playing crust punk mean to you? What do you think about a quite famous slogan within the hardcore scene that says “make hardcore a threat again”?

Slaves to no one.

Isn’t it making punk a threat again? Bunch of good bands on Profane existence! We did our first show with Appalachian Terror Unit!

The Goal of punks was, at the beginning, to shock and provoke, and we are part of that generation of punks. -HATE US.

Unfortunately, there’s division in the scene, people get sometimes offended for nothing and stuff. We like it wild, like back in the days.

Punk is support not competition.

Your first album was recently pressed by Phobia Records and others labels. What is your relationship with this important labels? How did the decision to release your first s/t album come about through a true DIY conspiracy between multiple labels?

We started and will always stay fully DIY, it’s a way of life, we don’t want to depend on anybody. We’re able to record and produce our music ourselves and all our merch is made locally by punks. We had the help from Stiv of Visions of War for the artwork and meanwhile Paskk talked to Mirek from Phobia record to release and distribute our first Lp. We did it in partnership with other labels, it surely does help for a larger distribution! Phobia is planning another pressing of the s/t, since the first one sold out pretty fast. We’re about to go recording a new full-length album in a few months and we plan to release it on Phobia too. So you might get new Collapsed material during winter 2022! (Hint Hint we’re starting preprod really soon!) We would really like to tour Europe and meet everybody from those awesome labels in person during summer 2023, we already had plans for last summer but Covid fucked that up solid… We still managed to do a couple shows around our home town. And it seems like everything is going better now! We just recorded the first of a long list of Pils sessions at NoMansLand studio, an initiative of Chany<Inepsy> and Dizz. They have started those sessions to help to promote the DIY underground bands. They’re releasing some small batches of tapes for every band and eventually gonna release a compilation. Ours got mastered at Enormous Door Mastering (Huge thanks to Jack Control<Severed Head of State, World Burns to Death>). Also, we recently covered the song Godforsaken for a cool State of Fear tribute album with a bunch of nice crust bands from all around the globe. It’s getting released by D.I.Y. Koło Records in Poland. The S/t album also got released on tape by a local label called <Still not fast enough>. Our friend Arnaud did some limited edition tapes and patches. Bullwhip Records in Malaysia also released some tapes of the s/t to have some distribution in south east Asia.

Are you already working on the new record? If yes, do you already have in mind when you will release it and through which label you want to press it on vinyl?

Well, we have answered that in the previous question. When our rehearsal space was closed during the early pandemic, we managed to rent a secret warehouse bunker to continue rehearsing during the lockdown (avoiding the spread of the virus by safety measures though), we kept composing more and more, and now pretty much everything is ready for our second album. We might have a split coming too…

You recently participated in a tribute to the immortal State of Fear along with other great bands, from the Swedes Misantropic to the Italians Cancer of Spreading. How did the idea of participating and collaborating in this compilation come about?

Yeah!!! State of fear is a major influence for us! It’s an honor to be part of the tribute compilation and the line up is insane. Paskk saw that tribute and contacted the label to bring us in. We had to choose, learn and record the song in the same week to send it to the label which needed it very fast to send it to the pressing plant! There’s some delays with the pressing plant but I heard it’s on the way. We’ll get it in a couple months. You can already listen to our cover on our bandcamp. (Collapsed – Pils Session)

We have come to the end of the interview, I leave this space for you to write anything you want and that you consider interesting for those who will read! Thank you again and I send you a big hug Collapsed friends!

TOO PUNK FOR METAL

TOO METAL FOR PUNK

SLAVES TO NO ONE

FUCK YOU ALL

CHEERS

“A Sign of Times to Come” – Interview with Civicide

Any self-respecting good punk has surely had some kind of infatuation with the Finnish hardcore punk scene of the 80’s and historic bands like Kaaos, Riistetyt and Terveet Kädet throughout his life. That seminal hardcore scene today is also kept alive by bands like Civicide, the protagonists of this interview. A band that manages to revitalize that primordial soup typical of the British scene of the 80s in which echoes of thrash metal and anarcho-hardcore punk coexisted and mixed, giving rise to crust punk. Keeping faith with an apocalyptic imagery, perhaps a bit abused in the crust punk scene but perfectly in line with the dark times we are living because of the hunger for profit of capitalism that is destroying the ecosystem and condemning our lives to extinction, Simon, Stefan and Kakekaaos reaffirm that punk can and must still be a means to take a clear position and attack all this. Because using Kakekaaos’ own words: “punk and politics are one thing, one cannot exist without the other”. I leave you with the words and answers of Civicide in an interview full of reflections on punk, on the current political situation (both in Finland and in the rest of the world) and on the apocalyptic visions caused by the environmental devastation and plundering produced by capitalism. A sign of times to come…

Hi guys! Let’s start the interview right away with some biographical notes about you guys. When did you decide to form Civicide and what was the idea with which you decided to start the band? Where did you get your name from?

Simon: Hi! The idea to form Civicide was in my mind for many years. Maybe since the beginning of 2010th I wanted to play some stenchcore metal punk etc. Mostly it was only drunk discussions with everyone and there were never enough actions by me. In 2016 I started to look for people and try to play something. All this confusing situation was until the moment when I heard how Kake plays a guitar and it was obvious for me that I found a second guitar and my goal was close. Soon we were drinking together and found a bass guitar and in the beginning of 2017 after finding a drummer we started. After some time we were playing our first show in August with Fatum, Tanator and Hergian. Idea of the name belongs to Stefan.

Stefan: Yeah what Simon said. A very stereotypical origin story. I can’t remember exactly how I came across the name, but it was something that I thought fit the kind of music that we wanted to make and it sounds cool. Pretty easy to remember too.

Kakekaaos: It went somehow that way, details are fuzzy, I trust Simon’s memory better with this one.

On your facebook page you define yourselves as “multinational heavy crust chaos”. What does this “label” mean?

Stefan: It was jokingly put there when we didn’t really know how to describe ourselves yet. It’s a reference to our different ethnic backgrounds (i.e Russian, Mexican, Finnish-swedish and Finnish). I suppose it also works as an ironic reference to multinational corporations and global capitalism. Never bothered to change it.

Kakekaaos: The multinational part comes from our ethnic backgrounds yeah, the rest is probably the first thing someone typed in a hurry.

When I first listened to “A Sign of Times to Come” I was immediately fascinated and enraptured by your sound which reminded me of that primordial soup known as stenchcore, in which thrash metal echoes and hardcore punk impulses are mixed to perfection in the style of the primordial British scene of the 80’s. How do you define your music? Which are the bands that influence your sound?

Simon: As a Moscovite I have grown in our quite dark and heavy sounds as most of this kinda music from Russia. It pretty much affected my influence on our riffs. I was always inspired by the British scene of the 80’s as you guess and I’m a huge fan of Japanese crust. All this multiplied with other guys’ style and a bit of finnish harcore. As a result we have a cocktail of pain, speed and mayhem you call Civicide.

Stefan: I don’t think we had that much of an idea of how we’d define ourselves and just did things we like to make this primordial soup. I think there was a vague idea of “something like Sacrilege” at the beginning. I’d say punk is the main influence, but then there’s a bit of thrash and a bit of black metal and stuff.

Kakekaaos: Influences come from a lot of shit but the main ones are definitely for me ; Finnish 80’s hardcore, metal and rock n roll like Motörhead, Deep Purple and Venom, 80’s trash like Sepultura and Kreator and of course Crass and Amebix.

You’re from Helsinki, Finland, and any self-respecting punx knows that the Finnish lands have been fertile territory for a long line of great bands, from Kaaos to Riistetyt. Do you think there is a link between you and the long hardcore tradition of your country? What influenced you about the historical Finnish hardcore scene?

Stefan: Of course we’ve been influenced by older generations of Finnish punk bands. You could say that the scene we’ve grown from is a continuation of the same scene from which bands like Kaaos and Riistetyt came from. The D.I.Y. ethos, anger and drinking is all there! Personally I like the very straight forward attitude of Finnish punk.

Kakekaaos: Like Stefu said, the scene is kind of a continuation and as a result, the music and attitude influence us. What I love most about Finnish punk is the combination of how angry and raw it is (specially 80’s hardcore. )and the D.I.Y attitude it has. Wanna play hardcore but don’t how to? who cares let’s just get drunk and try it out, that kind of attitude is probably why there were so many good bands with new ones arriving all the time.

What does it mean to you to play this genre? Is it just music or do you see punk (and all its nuances) only as a way to express your political ideas with which to denounce or attack what you don’t like about this world and system?

Stefan: It’s kind of a difficult thing to say what playing this specific genre means to me. I think it’s a very good way to express the kind of anger and existential dread one feels when looking at the world and a humanity that is racing toward ecological disaster. So in a way it’s not just music. It’s a reflection on the world around us.

Simon: I just play music I like and it means for me to take a guitar and get all the shit I can get out of it

Kakekaaos: Yeah sometimes its a reflection about our failed civilisation,the world and its inevitable and untimely fate and sometimes you just want some fast noise with good lyrics to play to. To me when it comes to punk and politics, you can’t have one without the other, even the basic idea of do it yourself is anti-capitalist at its core..

The atmospheres of your music, perfectly evoked also by a cover artwork very fascinating in its old school style, are very apocalyptic, desolate and dark, building landscapes that seem to want to tell us about a humanity condemned to self-extinction and a future that seems less and less remote because of the capitalist economic system in which we live that destroys, plunders and devastates in the name of profit and unlimited production. Do you want to talk about this too and denounce this ravenous race to self-extinction because of profit in your lyrics? Intimately related to the previous question, what do you deal with in the lyrics of your latest album?

Stefan: I think you captured the idea pretty well there already. In a way it’s very cliché, but on the other hand, it’s a reality we live in. We’re witnessing so much shit that we know is destructive for life on our planet, yet we seem to be powerless to stop it. It’s good to have an outlet for the anger and anxiety and hopelessness that it causes. Then maybe we can focus on working for meaningful change and building something positive in this sea of shit. I don’t think there’s much hope and positivity in our songs for that reason too. A lot of the stuff we deal with in the lyrics is related to this; over-exploitation of natural resources, environmental destruction, power, conflict, despair, anger. I once figured it could be defined as “millenarian visions of ecological destruction and despair”.

Kakekaaos: Stefu covered it pretty well. The ultimate failure of mankind to try to live in a peaceful relationship with nature and the absurd idea that infinite economic growth – even if it is what they love to call sustainable development – and vertically built power structures somehow are the main foundations that dictate how we measure life’s value and its importance.

What do you draw inspiration from on the purely graphic and imagery side? Who is the author of the beautiful cover artwork?

Simon: All artworks in the band done by me. You already described the visual part of it well enough in a previous question and how it belongs to music. But it’s also a parody of the classic and famous painting ‘Hyökkäys’ by Edvard Isto. Instead of a Russian double-headed eagle we have the skeleton of a three-headed dragon ‘Zmei Gorynich’ which symbolizes an old world order and dead empire which still has the sharp claws and fangs. It lives in its own ruins and protects all the conservative distractions builded by the old generation and wants to keep it and doesn’t want to change. And woman by fetters and chains fights against all these shit foundations and tries to do something new and better. Yes, there are pretty much political and social points in the drawing and everybody can interpret it as they wish. That’s the point of all of us, we see everything with our own eyes. Anyways we’re building a new world between old ruins and this process has never been different and never will.

Getting back to talking about the Finnish hardcore and punk scene, what can you tell us about it? Are there any collectives, squats (for example Kumma), bands active in the scene and keeping it alive? Which are the bands and the realities with which you have more and better relationships in Helsinki?

Stefan: Lots of active bands in Helsinki, although the pandemic has put a stop on shows for a long time now. It’s getting better now again though with restrictions being lifted, but we’re living in a precarious situation. I can’t really name any specific bands keeping the scene alive. Everyone’s doing their part. There hasn’t been any active punk squats in Helsinki since Squat Kumma was shut down, to my knowledge at least. But again, the pandemic has put everything on hold so who knows what happens in the future.

Kakekaaos: There’s a lot of active bands yeah, and like aforementioned everyone does what they can. There’s a couple of new squats but who knows for how long, the city usually shuts them down quite fast ( 15 minutes being the record!.) We’ll see in the future after this situation gets unfucked.

What is the political situation in Finland currently like? What are the biggest difficulties that politically active punx and collectives in the hardcore scene may face?

Stefan: I don’t know if there are any difficulties that punks specifically would face. Maybe the lack of autonomous spaces that punks can organize themselves, whether it’s for political action or gigs. Squatting is difficult in Finland and there aren’t that many spaces that work as squats available either, although I’m no expert on this. The rise of far-right authoritarians is a problem in Finland in general, as it has been elsewhere. It could pose a threat to politically active punks and radical leftist politics in general.

Kakekaaos: One of the main difficulties ,for anyone not just us, is the rise of the new, polished and presentable far-right, here and all around Europe. Normalizing xenophobia and racist behaviour ,and claiming its about freedom speech or that everything its a conspiracy to eliminate the ¨white man¨ its the same agenda fascist have always had, the amount of disinformation and straight out lies that can now be spread around via social medias, I think ,makes it easier for these fuckers to gain popularity among the common citizen and organise better.

In 2019 you toured Russia and Estonia, also playing with a band of dear friends like the Italians Overcharge. What are your memories of those dates? What can you tell us about the reception of Estonian and Russian punks? Which were the bands you played with that impressed you the most?

Stefan: Well the first gig was in Novgorod and it got shut down by cops right as we were supposed to play, so that was a great start haha! Then on our way from St. Petersburg to Moscow our van broke down. Luckily we had an amazing friend with us from St. Petersburg who managed to get our van to a mechanic and got us train tickets to Moscow since we were supposed to play that night. Our driver stayed behind with our friend and he drove the van to Moscow the next day when it was fixed. Luckily it was an all-night show because our playtime had to be moved from 2 am to 4 am since the train ride took so long. It was one of the best gigs we’ve ever played at. The places we played everywhere on the tour were great and the people were super nice! The traffic is an absolute terrifying nightmare in Russia though.

Simon: Yeah, traffic is a bit annoying, but basic shit for the megapolices. Maybe the biggest mistake in Novgorod was to organize a gig in the house which belongs to the Ministry of Sport. They didn’t like a bunch of wasted punks in their yard and house and called the Director of house. I hope one day we come to Novgorod again and get revenge!

Kakekaaos: yeah that tour was a nightmare I love to remember. Would do it again anytime.

Plans for the future of Civicide? Are you already planning a new tour? Are you already working on a new album?

Stefan: We’ve had to find a new drummer since Niko, our original drummer, couldn’t continue. He’s still a very dear friend to us and we’ll be seeing him around! Anyway, we’re concentrating on practicing a set with our new drummer so we can play shows again. Then we’ll continue making new songs and make a new record again some time. We’ll see if we could do a tour next year at some point too, but it’s a bit too early to say anything about that at the moment.

Kakekaaos: Practicing a set to start playing gigs soon again is the priority, a new album at some point too. Would love to tour Europe at some point also!

As we come to the conclusion of the interview, I leave this space completely up to you. You can write anything that comes to mind, tell anecdotes or even answer questions that no one has ever asked you!

Kakekaaos: I hope we can play in Italy some day! Thanks and Cheers!

Rigorous Institution – Survival/Despotism (2020)

I Rigorous Institution sembrano provenire direttamente da qualche umido squat di Bristol o di Norwich della prima metà degli anni 80, quando il crust come lo conosciamo oggi non esisteva ancora ma si respiravano solamente i fumi nauseabondi del suo antenato, quel marciulento brodo primordiale conosciuto come stenchcore. Si ma sia chiaro a tuttx, il sound dei Rigorous Institution non ha niente a che vedere con quel metallic-crust che andava tanto di moda nell’underground nella prima metà degli anni duemila e nei primi anni ’10, bensì riesce a rievocare perfettamente quel calderone di influenze che sembra provenire da un’epoca in cui Discharge e Hellhammer, Amebix e Celtic Frost, avevano molte più cose in comune di quanto oggi si potrebbe pensare. A differenza dei precedenti Ep “The Coming of the Terror” o “Penitent“, con questo Survival/Despotism, i nostri punx di Portland si spostano in maniera ancora più netta verso territori e sonorità di amebixiana memoria, in cui atmosfere post-punk enfatizzate dall’utilizzo del synth e ritmi tribali che chiamano in causa la sezione ritmica dei Killing Joke, rivestono un ruolo centrale e riescono a dipingere paesaggi dai toni post-apocalittici, dominati dallo sconforto e dall’impotenza. Stando a quanto scrivono sulla loro pagina bandcamp, i Rigorous Institution definiscono il loro sound con termini come “synth crust” o con la ben più fantasiosa etichetta di “descendant angel-crust“, ma in fin dei conti poco importa come lo si voglia chiamare, perché quello in cui ci imbatteremo durante l’ascolto di questo ep non è altro che la versione più embrionale e primordiale del crust punk da cui tutto ha preso poi la forma che consociamo noi oggi. Musicalmente le due tracce che compongono questo Survival/Despotism riescono dunque a sintetizzare in maniera estremamente convincente e ispirata sonorità che spaziano dagli Amebix di Winter/Beginning of the End agli Hellhammer di Apocalyptic Raids, accompagnando questa primitiva versione del crust punk di scuola britannica con un’atmosfera fortemente oscura che ha il compito di evocare nelle nostre menti scenari apocalittici e desolati, da cui veniamo sopraffatti in preda allo smarrimento e alla disillusione. Se vi mancano quelle sonorità e quelle atmosfere che solamente i primordiali gruppi stench-crust britannici sapevano creare e trasmettere, questo Survival/Despotism è un lavoro che non dovete assolutamente farvi scappare!

 

“Stench of the Past”// Guided Cradle – You Will Not Survive (2008)

La guerra tra gli invasori umani e gli orchi nelle lande abbandonate in cui regnano solamente morte e distruzione sembra non conoscere alcuna tegua. “Gli umani sono crudeli, senza alcuna pietà e noi dobbiamo imparare a difenderci da loro, a tutti i costi e con ogni mezzo necessario”, dicono gli orchi. I Guided Cradle, un manipolo di guerrieri orchi rinnegati senza più patria a cui far ritorno e senza più niente da perdere, devono fronteggiare la crudeltà degli uomini, mai così feroce, pronti a spazzar via anche le macerie delle loro terre e a cancellarne per sempre il ricordo secolare. Guidati e animati dalla speranza di un mondo in cui ogni creatura possa vivere in pace e libera dalla pestilenziale minaccia dell’uomo, ma allo stesso tempo assetati del sangue degli oppressori umani, i Guided Cradle intonano i loro canti di guerra in estasi sotto ad una tempesta di tuoni e fulmini, consapevoli che in questo scontro barbarico e brutale qualcuno non sopravviverà perché in guerra non c’è nessuna legge. Il cuore degli orchi è pieno di rabbia, la loro vendetta verso gli esseri umani è pronta. I guerrieri orchi appaiono all’improvviso dalla tempesta,  pronti ad assaltare i vostri villaggi e darli alle fiamme senza alcuna pietà. Canteranno, ruggiranno, saccheggeranno ogni cosa al loro passaggio, bruceranno i simboli del nostro dominio e dopo, finita la battaglia, festeggeranno con birra a sazietà, verso i giorni senza fine!

Prima puntata di Stench of the Past, rubrica nata da una costola di Shadows of the Past ma esclusivamente dedicata a vecchie uscite accomunabili sotto l’estremamente eterogenea e controversa etichetta di “stenchcore”, ovvero quel brodo primordiale di proto-metal estremo e hardcore punk emerso nell’underground britannico degli anni ’80. Una rubrica volta alla riscoperta di dischi usciti in un passato più o meno recente e che hanno occupato e continuano ad occupare i miei ascolti, dischi e band spesso o sottovalutati o riposti oggigiorno nei meandri della memoria. I protagonisti di questo primo appuntamento sono i cechi Guided Cradle e il loro ultimo lavoro intitolato You Will Not Survive, pubblicato ormai dodici anni fa.

Bastano pochissimi secondi di Violence is Calling, traccia con cui veniamo immediatamente inghiottiti senza pietà da questo You Will Not Survive, per realizzare di essere finiti nel bel mezzo di un campo di battaglia in cui a farla da padrone assoluto è uno stench-crust-core barbarico e selvaggio, pronto a ridurre in macerie qualsiasi cosa si trovi dinanzi e perfetta colonna sonora per accompagnare la totale distruzione della civiltà. Nel sound dei Guided Cradle convivono e trovano una sintesi coerente e godibile, per quanto tutt’altro che inedita, influenze differenti che sono radicate in profondità tanto nei territori del metal più estremo dei Bolt Thrower di In Battle There’s No Law, quanto nel classico crust punk di gentaglia brutta, sporca e cattiva come Doom o Extreme Noise Terror, con sonorità dal sapore d-beat crust di scuola Anti-Cimex che emergono qua e la durante l’ascolto. Inoltre all’interno di questo mix di influenze si fa strada, in maniera costante, un’atmosfera generale, data non solo dall’immaginario apocalittico, guerresco e barbaro che i Guided Cradle portano con sè, che segna in maniera assolutamente marcata il legame del gruppo ceco con la scena estrema britannica degli anni ’80 e con quelle sonorità primitive che imbastardivano metal e anarcho/hardcore punk tanto care a Hellbastard, Sacrilege e Deviated Instinct. E’ proprio da queste band che i Guided Cradle prendendo in prestito una certa propensione per il riffing di natura thrash metal, cosi come un’irruenza e un marciume di chiara matrice crust/hardcore britannica. Non a caso durante tutto l’ascolto di You Will Not Survive l’odore putrescente e marciulento di quel brodo primordiale che noi tutti conosciamo come stenchcore, non smetterà un secondo di invadervi le narici per trasportarvi direttamente in paesaggi oscuri, su campi di battaglia disseminati di corpi morti in decomposizione e tra brutali urla di guerra e dolore, mentre orde di orchi danno il definitivo assalto a questo mondo.

Il legame tra lo stench-crust suonato dai Guided Cradle e l’immaginario/tematiche che accompagnano il disco, enfatizzato anche dallo splendido artwork di copertina, riesce perfettamente a dipingere e fissare nelle nostre menti un paesaggio dalle tinte apocalittiche dominato da morte, distruzione e desolazione, attraversato da istinti primitivi e da scontri barbarici fino all’ultimo sangue, con un’atmosfera tetra e opprimente a farla da padrona assoluta. Inoltre a livello prettamente lirico e di immaginario una traccia come Revenge of the Orcs (a mani basse uno dei momenti migliori dell’intero disco insieme alla precedente Forced Opinions e Hold the Line), abbinata all’artwork di copertina, mi ha riportato alla mente l’interessante trilogia fantasy intitolata per l’appunto “Orchi scritta da Stan Nicholls. Con l’ottimo You Will not Survive i Guided Cradle ci danno dunque l’ultimo devastante assaggio del loro stench-crust punk apocalittico e barbarico!

La violenza chiama, i venti del caos soffiano sulle rovine delle città degli esser umani; gli orchi ruggiscono intonando urla di guerra primitive e i Guided Cradle si preparano dunque a sferrare il loro ultimo assalto mortale contro l’umanità, condannandola all’estinzione. Nessuno si salverà quando la tempesta di barbarico e selvaggio stench-crust inghiottirà tutto quanto senza lasciare scampo, completamente sordo alle urla di disperazione e terrore. 

“Stench of the Past”// Repression Attack – Altar of Destruction (2013)

Nella Russia occidentale, dove l’autorità dello Stato era completamente disgregata, la violenza anarchica trovò il più fertile terreno. Bande di predoni armati, che operavano con nomi quali “Uragano”, “Tormenta” e “Morte”, sorsero ovunque, pronte a gettarsi su città e villaggi ogni qualvolta se ne presentasse l’occasione. Questi barbari selvaggi senza dio ne padroni cantavano di una nuova “età della dinamite” che avrebbe accolto gli oppressori d’ogni tendenza. E a Ryazan un gruppo di stench-crusters furiosi e assetati del sangue dei padroni proclamò “morte alla civiltà mondiale!” e incitò le masse di metalpunx ad impugnare le scuri e a distruggere ogni cosa intorno a loro. All’orizzonte appaiono così i Repression Attack pronti ad innalzare le nere bandiere tra il sibilare dei venti, pronti a spazzar via anche le macerie del mondo di ieri, pronti a morire per la libertà sull’altare della distruzione!

“Ombre del passato”. Non esiste definizione migliore per descrivere Altar of Destruction, primo album dei russi Repression Attack pubblicato dal gruppo nel lontano 2013, un disco che, a parer mio, è stato parecchio sottovalutato anche in un periodo caratterizzato da un forte revival di certe sonorità crust punk imbastardite con influenze metalliche. Come i loro conterranei Fatum, ben più noti a tutti gli amanti del crust punk, anche il sound dei Repression Attack infatti affonda le sue putrescenti radici nella scena anarcho-crust/metal underground britannica degli anni ’80 e precisamente in quel brodo primordiale estremamente polimorfo conosciuto all’epoca semplicemente come stenchcore. Le influenze principali che emergono durante l’ascolto di questo Altar of Destruction rispondono chiaramente al nome di Sacrilege, Amebix, Hellbastard e Deviated Instinct, tanto sul lato strettamente musicale quanto dal punto di vista delle atmosfere che avvolgono l’intero lavoro e accompagnano la nostra discesa negli abissi nauseabondi del crust punk suonato dai Repression Attack. Siamo al cospetto di un ottimo esempio di stench-crust nella sua forma più tradizionale, sporca e metallica quindi, caratterizzato da un marcato riffing thrash e da una profonda attitudine anarcho punk, con le atmosfere che oscillano costantemente tra la creazione di un’immaginario apocalittico e toni caratterizzati da una sorta di epicità oscura capace di creare la giusta tensione. La profonda influenza dei Sacrilege e degli Hellbastard irrompe in maniera furiosa nel riffing di chiara scuola thrash metal e negli assoli (come nella titletrack posta in apertura del disco), così come la pesantezza metallica, la sporcizia del sound e una certa attitudine barbara e selvaggia, che appare implacabile e spietata, ricorda a più riprese i padri fondatori dello stenchcore Deviated Instinct. In alcuni passaggi in cui i Repression Attack decidono di rallentare il tiro concedendoci di riprendere fiato, come in tracce quali Cold Death o Dead Silence, dominano invece  incontrastate le atmosfere apocalittiche, epiche ed oscure che riportano alla mente quanto fatto dagli Amebix e dagli Axegrinder.

In fin dei conti, tirando le somme, Altar of Destruction è un ottimo lavoro di stench-crust apocalittico, oscuro e barbaro che sa bilanciare in maniera estremamente valida i momenti in cui andare all’assalto all’arma bianca e altri in cui rallentare per lasciare emergere i momenti più atmosferici. Un disco sottovalutato e passato abbastanza sotto traccia, ma che ritengo valga assolutamente la pena rispolverare e riscoprire se, come me, siete dei fottuti inguaribili amanti di certe sonorità e delle loro incarnazioni più metalliche e marce! Shadows of the past, shadows of Russisch Totalitaren Stenchcore!

Echoes of Crust: un’Antologia del Crust Britannico 1985-1995 (da Terminal Sound Nuisance)

Terminal Sound Nuisance. Forse così a primo impatto queste tre parole possono non volere dire nulla per la maggior parte di voi, o forse no. Chi alimenta le proprie giornate con dosi ingenti di crust punk invece si sarà sicuramente almeno una volta imbattuto in questa creatura che porta il nome di Terminal Sound Nuisance, ovvero uno dei progetti punk (in senso più lato possibile) più interessanti che si possono incontrare nel magico mondo dell’internet; un progetto polimorfo che si divide tra un blog super interessante e ricco di articoli scritti con estrema e sincera passione, conoscenza e qualità, e un canale youtube impegnato a caricare playlist inedite riguardanti tante incarnazioni differenti del punk e dell’hardcore. E’ proprio grazie all’ascolto di una delle tante playlist (precisamente si tratta di A Crustmas Carol: a Retrospective Look at 90’s Cavecrust Fury) sul crust punk caricata sul canale youtube di Terminal Sound Nuisance che ho scoperto a sua volta il blog, rimanendo immediatamente catturato e facendo estrema fatica a smettere di leggere la mole di articoli che presenta, scritti sempre con estrema qualità.

Negli scorsi giorni è apparso un nuovo articolo accompagnato da una nuova compilation su Terminal Sound Nuisance e, manco a farlo apposta, il tema è probabilmente quello che sta maggiormente a cuore alla mente dietro al blog, ovvero il crust punk in tutte le sue divagazioni, da quelle più legate al d-beat fino a giungere alle sue forme più metalliche, da quel brodo primordiale conosciuto come stenchcore fino ad arrivare alle incarnazioni più vicine alle pulsioni di certo primitivo anarcho punk. Chi segue Disastro Sonoro sa perfettamente che spesso mi trovo a parlare di crust punk perchè è il sottogenere del punk che sento più mio e che mi ha da sempre catturato per sonorità, estetica, immaginario e tematiche, ma credo non ci sia nessuno migliore di Terminal Sound Nuisance per trattare tale argomento in modo estremamente approfondito e con una profonda conoscenza della materia. Per questo quello che andrete a leggere di seguito non è altro che la traduzione del suo ultimo articolo intitolato “Echoes of Crust: an Anthology of UK Crust 1985-1995, una vera e propria antologia sulla primordiale scena crust punk britannica, un viaggio nei suoi primi dieci anni di esistenza. Buona lettura!

Se proprio volete sapere la verità, ho trascorso l’ultimo mese in un “crust”- monastero segreto che spiega la mia temporanea assenza da questo rispettabile – senza sostenere sia influente – blog. In modo  non differente da Karate Kid, ma con magliette punk di alto livello e una stempiatura tragicamente molto pronunciata , avevo bisogno di una guida sul passo successivo che avrei dovuto compiere nella mia peronale ricerca sul significato della vita, e con “vita” intendo “crust”, ancora una volta. Nel tempio del crust la disciplina è severa. L’acqua potabile è vietata ed è stata sostituita con il sidro e chiunque venga sorpreso a fare la doccia viene severamente punito, mentre il l’orribile peccato di ascoltare il neocrust si traduce sistematicamente in fustigazioni pubbliche e scomunica per tutta la vita dalla Crust Society (credetemi, non volete sapere cosa succede se siete sorpresi a godervi lo shoegaze). Durante il ritiro, ci si aspetta che si ascolti esclusivamente la musica crust della vecchia scuola – sia di tipo stenchcore o caveman – ed è necessario pregare per lunghe ore ogni giorno nella tradizionale posizione di meditazione del crust: a malapena seduto su un pavimento sporco con la schiena contro un muro mentre si tiene in mano una bottiglia mezza vuota di birra speciale e si borbotta il testo di “Relief” o “Drink and be merry” (“Stormcrow” o “Grind the Enemy” sono alternative perfettamente accettabili ). Solo allora può avvenire la Rivelazione e solo pochi eletti sono in grado di ottenere la vera illuminazione prima di morire prematuramente di cirrosi. Sono tornato a casa esausto ma illuminato, con un alone di mosche intorno alla testa ma determinato a diffondere con zelo la Parola del Crust e a convertire quanti più dubbiosi possibile attraverso compilation di crust punk britannico curate in maniera impeccabile.

L’elaborazione di queste compilation di crust punk britannico è stata la conseguenza logica dopo la nostra intensa sessione di allenamento per padroneggiare il corretto stile di vita del crust. Ten Steps to Make your Life CRUSTIER Starting Today (a proposito, spero che siate diventati tutti fanatici del rumore e della sporcizia) . L’idea alla base della loro creazione è quella di offrire una visione abbastanza completa di un preciso tempo storico e di un luogo specifico al fine di stabilire e definire alcuni criteri descrittivi e avvicinarsi a questo sottogenere punk che è diventato noto come “crust”, partendo da una prospettiva contestualizzata e diacronica che sottolinei significative somiglianze stilistiche e rifletti un’atmosfera e una tensione comuni, illustrando anche una diversità di ritmi, trame e intenti che, tu lettore, non mancherai di notare. Il processo di selezione non è stato facile. In realtà, l’ultima versione delle compilation (oi son stati diversi tentativi falliti, mi dispiace dirlo) è pronta da due settimane ma volevo assicurarmi che, non solo suonassero potenti ed equilibrate, ma anche che raccontassero la storia giusta, e che, attraverso le mie scelte narrative, si possa avere un’idea abbastanza rilevante di cosa sia veramente il crust e cosa esprime, quale momento culturale incarna, ovvero la collisione di anarchopunk, hardcore e metal estremo nel panorama sonoro britannico di metà anni 80. Il compito è stato estremamente divertente ma anche un po ‘ambizioso e sareste sorpresi di sapere quanto tempo abbia speso pensando all’inclusione o all’esclusione di alcune band (Bolt Thrower per fare un esempio).

Alla fine ho creato due compilation di 95 minuti ciascuna, rispettando quindi più o meno il classico formato mixtape, con 58 band in totale (comprese band della Repubblica d’Irlanda) e 62 canzoni, in un decennio che va dal 1985 al 1995. Concentrarsi sulle band degli anni ’80 e ’90 ha avuto senso per diversi motivi. Innanzitutto, illustra come il genere sia sopravvissuto e si sia evoluto dai tempi dei suoi padri fondatori, così come la nuova generazione di band considerasse e rielaborasse il suono originale del crust. In secondo luogo, troppo spesso si tende a erigere un muro tra gli anni ’80 e ’90, glorificando retroattivamente i primi e scartando i secondi, come se ci fossero grandi differenze epistemologiche nella realizzazione del punk dopo il 1989, e credo che la transizione tra la fine degli anni ’80 ei primi anni ’90 fu, in realtà, molto più fluida; il cambiamento principale fu l’ascesa del formato cd a scapito del vinile nell’industria musicale.

Alcune scelte son state estremamente facili e scegliere canzoni dai classici indiscussi del genere è sembrato stranamente gratificante. In Echoes of Crust potrete godervi ovviamente i grandi classici del crust metallico e apocalittico tipico della scena inglese in tutto il loro glorioso potere (Deviated Instinct, Hellbastard, Axegrinder e simili), i quali hanno costruito il genere sulla base del suono dei due padri fondatori, Antisect e Amebix (tuttavia, ho scelto di tralasciare lo stile noise di Bristol, sebbene band come Chaos UK e Disorder abbiano certamente giocato un ruolo importante nell’ascesa del crust). La scuola dei cavemen che impersonifica l’hardcore punk crudo e furioso è invece altrettanto ben rappresentata da Doom, Extreme Noise Terror e dai loro entusiasti seguaci. Troverai anche band che non rientrano perfettamente sotto l’etichetta crust in questa esplorazione celebrativa della musica crust punk come band di veloce hardcore politico come Generic o Electro Hippies, crossover metal-punk come Sacrilege e Concrete Sox o entità di grindcore oscuro come Grunge o Drudge; tutti loro infatti offrono canzoni che comunque esemplificano quell’atmosfera crusty e pesante che ricerco sempre, da qui la loro inclusione in queste compilation. Qualcuno potrebbe anche sostenere che il suono metallico e industriale dei Sonic Violence o il groovy straight-edge hardcore degli Ironside non abbiano senso in questa selezione, ma queste band hanno involontariamente un’atmosfera crusty che permea alcuni dei loro lavori e, in fin dei conti, rappresentano anche una dose interessante di varietà all’interno della compilation.

La qualità del suono varia molto in quanto ci sono registrazioni di prove dal vivo o approssimative, cosi come produzioni piuttosto chiare vicine a quelle professionali e sebbene abbia fatto del mio meglio per equalizzare e persino aumentare i livelli (senza menzionare che molti strappi provengono dalla mia collezione), a volte era quasi impossibile anche per un genio del computer come me. Alcune canzoni sono effettivamente difficili da ascoltare, ma sarebbe incompleto avere una compilation crust senza dover affrontare una vera sfida sonora (sto pensando a Violent Phobia e all’enigmatico Angry Worta Melonz qui), giusto? Ho cercato il più possibile di selezionare canzoni o versioni di canzoni che non fossero troppo ovvie per mantenere le cose interessanti e, forse, anche sorprendenti.

Un enorme ringraziamento va a tutte le band per aver scritto della musica così importante (e, beh, anche oggettivamente non così importante) . Il crust è sempre stata una parte importante della mia vita e spero, attraverso queste umili compilation, di essere riuscito a trasmettere una vera sensazione di crustness e raccontare in modo significativo la storia del genere. Quanto a voi cari ascoltatori, spero che vi divertiate in questo viaggio nei primi dieci anni del genere, agli albori del crust punk.

Volume one: 
01. Intro: Antisect “Instrumental” from Live at Planet X, Liverpool, March, 27th, 1987 (London)
02. Prophecy of Doom “Insanity reigns supreme” from The Peel Sessions 12” Ep, 1990 (Tewkesbury)
03. Bio-Hazard “Society’s rejects” from A Nightmare on Albion Street compilation Lp, 1992 (Bradford?)
04. Rest In Pain “How the mighty have fallen” from A Vile Peace compilation Lp, 1987 (Bath)
05. Coitus “Silo 5” from Failure to Communicate unreleased album, 1994 (London)
06. Pro Patria Mori “The question (chains of guilt)” from Where Shadows Lie… demo tape, 1986 (Wokingham)
07. Embittered “Infected” from And you Ask Why? When you’ve only Got Yourself to Blame tape, 1991 (Middlesbrough)
08. Aural Corpse “Cong” from S/t split Lp with Mortal Terror, 1990 (Middlesbrough)
09. Hellbastard “Death camp #1” from Hate Militia demo tape, 1987 (Newcastle)
10. Depth Charge “Sirens” from Just for a Doss demo tape, 1988 (Birmingham)
11. Generic “The death of an era” from The Spark Inside Ep, 1987 (Newcastle)
12. Sore Throat “Something that never was” from Never Mind the Napalm Here’s Sore Throat Lp, 1989 (Huddersfield)
13. Mortal Terror “Release / Horrible death” from S/t split Lp with Generic, 1988 (Newcastle)
14. Napalm Death “The traitor” from Live at the Mermaid, Birmingham, January, 1st, 1986 (Birmingham)
15. Black Winter “Winter armaggedon” from Live at Queen’s Head, ?, July, 25th, 1987 (Doncaster)
16. Interlude: Axegrinder “Armistice” from Grind the Enemy demo tape, 1987 (London)
17. Debauchery “Ice of another” from The Ice Lp, 1988 (Newcastle)
18. Deviated Instinct “Scarecrow” from Hiatus (The Peaceville Sampler) compilation Lp, 1989 (Norwich)
19. Warfear “Dig your own grave” from Wild & Crazy Noise Merchants… compilation 2xLp, 1990 (Bradford)
20. Raw Noise “Communication breakdown” from Making a Killing split Lp with Chaos UK, 1992 (Ipswich)
21. Sarcasm “Suppression” from Your Funeral My Party Ep, 1991 (Leicester)
22. Electro Hippies “Acid rain” from The Only Good Punk… Lp, 1988 (Wigan)
23. Doom “Same mind” from The Greatest Invention cd, 1993 (Birmingham)
24. Sonic Violence “Crystalization of despair” from Jagd Lp, 1990 (Southend)
25. Filthkick “Mind games” from Peel Sessions, July, 8th, 1990 (Birmingham)
26. Extinction of Mankind “Confusion” from A Scream from the Silence Volume 2, compilation Lp, 1993 (Manchester)
27. Drudge “Sacrilege” from Suppose it was you / Drudge split Lp with Agathocles, 1990 (Wolverhampton)
28. Gutrot “Hypocrites archieve nothing” from Filthy Muck 10”, 2008/1987? (London)
29. Violent Phobia “Animal abuse”, from No Excuse demo tape, early 90’s? (Cork)
30. Bolt Thrower “Concession of pain” from Concession of Pain demo tape, 1987 (Coventry)
31. Antisect “New dark ages” from Leeds 2.4.86 Lp, 2010/1986 (London)
Volume two:
01. Intro: Amebix “The moor” from Live at the Station, 1985 (Bristol)
02. Policebastard “Traumatized” from S/t split cd with Defiance, 1995 (Birmingham)
03. Atavistic “Maelstrom” from A Vile Peace compilation Lp, 1987 (Whitstable)
04. Saw Throat “Inde$troy part 4” from Inde$troy Lp, 1989 (Huddersfield)
05. Blood Sucking Freaks “Raining napalm” from Those Left Behind tape, 1994 (Bradford)
06. Life Cycle “Indifference” from Myth & Ritual Ep, 1988 (Neath, Wales)
07. Domination Factor “Judge not the cover” from Dominated Till Death tape, 1987 (Tewkesbury)
08. Corpus Vile “Waste of life” from I’m Glad I’m not in Danzig & I Bloody Mean that tape, 1991 (Bristol)
09. Anemia “Axe the tax” from Live at the Tyneside Irish Center, August, 14th, 1991 (Newcastle)
10. Extreme Noise Terror “Deceived” from Are you that Desperate? Ep, 1991 (Ipswich)
11. Kulturo “Unknown” from Live at Planet X, Liverpool, April, 13th, 1991 (London)
12. Oi Polloi “Resist the atomic menace” from Outrage Ep, 1988 (Edinburgh)
13. Genital Deformities “Crouterposs / Dark sky” from Shag Nasty Oi! Lp, 1989 (Birmingham)
14. Ironside “Suffocation” from Endless Struggle compilation 2xLp, 1995 (Bradford)
15. Screaming Holocaust “Fanta babies” from Cancer Up Your Bum Ep, 1990 (Ipswich)
16. Interlude: Deviated Instinct “Possession (intro)” from Terminal Filth Stenchcore tape, 1987 (Norwich)
17. Rhetoric “To no one in particular” from Consolidation compilation Ep, 1987 (Norwich)
18. Senile Decay “Isolated (in your private cell)” from S/t split Ep with Canol Caled, 1989 (Gateshead)
19. Killer Crust “Random intimidation, anywhere” from S/t split Ep with Undersiege, 1989 (Dublin)
20. Angry Worta Melonz “Third world” from Rehearsal tape, April, 5th, 1986 (Norwich???)
21. Sludgelord “Rillington sunrise” from Unreleased recordings, September, 1989 (Huddersfield)
22. Axegrinder “Lifechain” from Hiatus (the Peaceville Sampler) compilation Lp, 1989 (London)
23. Hellkrusher “Dark side” from Wasteland Lp, 1990 (Newcastle)
24. Dread Messiah “Mind insurrection” from Mind Insurrection Ep, 1994 (London)
25. Acrasy “Pain” from Deviated Instinct’s Re-Opening Old Wounds cd, 1993/1990? (Birmingham)
26. Sacrilege “Stark reality” from Demo 2, February, 1985 (Birmingham)
27. Excrement of War “The ultimate end” from S/t demo tape, 1992? (Birmingham)
28. Grunge “Lemmings” from Gore Maggots tape, 1989 (?)
29. Concrete Sox “Speak Japanese or die” from Crust and Anguished Life compilation cd, 1993 (Nottingham)
30. Mortified “Dreary” from Drivel (the Grungalogic Beer Theory) tape, 1991 (Honiton)
31. Amebix “Chain reaction” from The Power Remains Lp, 1993/1987 (Bristol) 

Evil Fragments #04

Quarto appuntamento con Evil Fragments, un appuntamento però per certi versi diverso dai precedenti tre. Questa volta saranno solamente due i protagonisti di questa ennesima discesa tra i frammenti del male e rispondono al nome di Corrupted Human Behavior e Mace Head. Sara diverso sopratutto il mood generale che accompagnerà la lettura delle seguenti recensioni, perchè le atmosfere, le ambientazioni e i paesaggi evocati dalla musica dei due gruppi sono in grado (o quanto meno lo spero) di portarvi a vagare con la mente e l’immaginazione per campi di battaglia dominati dalla distruzione e lande desolate invase da odori nauseabondi di morte, in rotta verso l’ignoto tra toni apocalittici, oscurità senza fine e lamenti lancinanti di eterna dannazione. Verso un sole che non sorge mai, che le orde barbariche vadano all’assalto di questo mondo e delle sue macerie. E allora quale colonna sonora migliore per tutto questo, se non quel brodo primordiale marciulento e oscuro conosciuto come stenchcore?

Continue reading Evil Fragments #04

Ahna – Crimson Dawn (2020)

Mentre il regno della follia viene inghiottito da un’oscurità senza fine, gli Ahna si abbattono come un vortice di caos e distruzione su un campo di battaglia che non conosce alcuna legge. 

La British Columbia, regione canadese che si affaccia sull’Oceano Pacifico, nel corso degli anni ha dimostrato di essere terreno estremamente fertile per il proliferare di progetti devoti a sonorità crust punk di ogni sorta, da quelle più vicine al grind dei Massgrave a quelle che esondavano su territori black metal come gli indimenticabili Iskra e i più recenti Storm of Sedition. Dieci anni dopo il loro primo full lenght, ma solamente a cinque anni di distanza dal bellissimo Ep “Perpetual Warfare“, come un fulmine che squarcia improvvisamente la quiete preannunciando una notte di devastante tempesta, gli Ahna, nome storico della scena crust della British Columbia, ritornano con questo nuovissimo e inaspettato disco intitolato “Crimson Dawn“! Ai tempi del primo omonimo full lenght, gli Ahna ci avevano proposto un sound crust punk fortemente influenzato e imbastardito con le frange più estreme del metal, death in primis, e nelle sette tracce che compongono “Crimson Dawn” , il gruppo  torna a riproporre una formula sempre vincente: death metal di tradizione svedese, Bolt Thrower, Sacrilege, Axegrinder e Hellbastard si uniscono in questa bomba di death-crust selvaggio e dal sapore fortemente old school.

Il disco di apre con “Run for your Life”, pezzo che evoca in modo inconfondibile i Sacrilege di quel capolavoro che è “Realms of Madness“, un’assalto che sta in bilico tra sfuriate crust e cavalcate propriamente thrash metal e che può riportare alla mente anche gli Hellbastard di “Heading for Internal Darkness”, con la voce della batterista Anju a ricordare proprio quella di Lynda dei Sacrilege. Nella successiva “In Death’s Grip” sembra invece di imbattersi in una versione swedish death dei Bolt Thrower e in un sound che può essere descritto solamente come se, in un universo parallelo, il seminale “In Battle There’s No Law” fosse stato registrato in terra svedese durante una jam insieme ai Grave e agli Unleashed. In questi due primi brani di “Crimson Dawn” possiamo subito notare l’alternarsi di due voci, quella di Anju più urlata sullo stile dei Sacrilege (influenza onnipresente in tutte e sette le tracce) e quella del chitarrista Graham invece decisamente più growl e corrosiva, due stili che però finiscono per non convergere mai all’interno di una stessa traccia. Bellissimo anche un pezzo come “Sick Waste” aperto dall’urlo di Anju che sembra preannunciare l’inizio dell’assalto selvaggio. Assalto selvaggio che non si fa chiaramente aspettare travolgendoci in un vortice fatto di riff thrash metal serratissimi, quasi a lambire territori proto-death, e da ritmi di batteria martellanti che sembrano potere e volere frantumare qualsiasi cosa si trovi sul loro cammino. Un pezzo che potremmo definire come la perfetta sintesi di quanto fatto dagli Hellbastard su “Heading for Internal Darkness” e i già citati Bolt Thrower di “In Battle There Is No Law”. Nel complesso tutte e sette le tracce sono come attraversate da una furia selvaggia e caratterizzate da un’atteggiamento fortemente bellicoso, come a non voler lasciare nessuna possibilità di sopravvivenza una volta che ci si è addentrati tra la devastazione e la brutalità di questo “Crimson Dawn”. È dunque un sound bestiale e famelico quello che gli Ahna ci propongono oggi, sonorità che rievocano volutamente un periodo storico in cui le contaminazioni tra la scena punk e quella del metal estremo diedero origine a quel brodo primordiale che ha portato alla nascita di quello che noi oggi conosciamo come crust punk. “Crimson Dawn” risulta essere quindi un ottimo disco in cui l’anima più crust e quella più death trovano il loro terreno ideale per regnare incontrastati nella distruzione e nel caos più selvaggio, sottolineando l’immortalità di cui sembrano godere certe sonorità ancora oggi. Gli Ahna cantano la morte ed è… tempo di massacro!

Evil Fragments #02

E’ di marzo dello scorso anno il primo e unico capitolo di questa rubrica che porta il nome di un disco dei giapponesi Effigy, uno dei migliori gruppi a suonare quel magnifico ibrido tra crust punk e thrash metal che ha reso immortali nella storia della musica estrema i nomi di gente come Amebix Axegrinder, Sacrilege e compagnia. Non è difficile perciò capire di cosa tratterò in questa rubrica, ovvero i dischi più interessanti in ambito crust punk, stenchcore e d-beat usciti recentemente e che meritano perciò la mia così come la vostra attenzione. Doomsday hour has come, evil fragments will swallow you!

 

Tapioca – Demo (2020)

Vengono dalla British Columbia, territorio canadese, hanno un nome che riprende un prodotto alimentare derivato dalla lavorazione della Manioca, pianta originaria del Sud America, e buona parte dei loro testi è scritta e cantata in cinese. Questi sono i Tapioca e in questa loro primissima fatica ci regalano venti minuti di ibrido bastardo tra l’anarcho-crust punk e sonorità più orientate verso territori metal che ha le radici piantate in profondità nelle sonorità, così come nell’immaginario e nelle tematiche, riconducibili a gruppi come i Nausea, i Contravene, i grandiosi Appalachian Terror Unite, i Nux Vomica, gli Scatha di “Respect, Protect, Reconnect” e i Sedition di “Earth Beat”. La demo in questione si compone di cinque tracce a cui si somma una cover dei Fear of God posta in chiusura che toccano gli argomenti più classici e cari all’anarcho-crust punk, dalla critica della guerra e del patriottismo fino alla presa di posizione ecologista contro la catastrofe climatica e ambientale causata dal capitalismo che sfrutta l’uomo così come devasta e saccheggia i territori. Il filo conduttore che lega nell’insieme il progetto Tapioca e le cinque tracce della demo è ben delineato dallo “slogan” che accompagno il gruppo canadese: “We went from being, to having, to appearing…”. Una presa di coscienza netta e forte nei confronti del consumismo, della mercificazione e della proprietà, tutti germi che vengono coltivati internamente dall’economia capitalista stessa e che sembrano ormai dominare le esistenze degli esseri umani. Un’ottimo debutto per i Tapioca, autori di un anarcho-crust punk metallizzato se non del tutto originale certamente suonato con passione e attitudine e per questo estremamente godibile per chiunque sia follemente infatuato dei gruppi citati in apertura di recensione, come il sottoscritto del resto.

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Warkrusher – All is Not Lost (2019)

Anche i Warkrusher come i Tapioca provengono dalle terre canadesi, però questa volta dalla parte opposta rispetto alla British Columbia, ovvero dal Quebec e anche loro con questa demo intitolata “All Is Not Lost” e rilasciata nel dicembre del 2019 sono alla loro primissima fatica in studio. In appena venti minuti e cinque tracce i canadesi Warkrusher ci sparano nelle orecchie il loro sound pesantemente influenzato da sonorità riconducibili all’universo stenchcore e ad apocalittici territori crust punk sia di gruppi seminali come i Deviated Istinct o i Misery, sia di gruppi crust della seconda ondata degli anni ’00 come i magnifici Hellshock o i War//Plague. In tracce come “Tyranny of Vengeance/All Is Not Lost” e “Endless Night” si possono sentire infatti tanto le influenze dei Misery di “Children of War” quanto quelle dei War//Plague di “Temperaments of War”, mentre in “Screaming from Hell“, traccia con cui termina questa demo, si possono addirittura sentire lontani richiami agli Effigy di “Grindin Metal Massacre“. Cinque tracce di ottimo stench-crust che se fossero state pubblicate agli inizi degli anni duemila, in pieno revival crust punk, avrebbero sicuramente riscosso maggiori consensi. Ma i Warkrusher se ne fregano di tutto questo, seguono una strada ben precisa, suonano stenchcore e crust punk come piace a loro e ribadiscono un concetto fondamentale: “Non tutto è ancora perduto!”

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Paranoid – Kind of Noise (2019)

A pochissimi giorni dalla fine del 2o19 i Paranaoid hanno vomitato fuori dal nulla questo nuovo ep intitolato “Kind of Noise”, un titolo che più emblematico non si può per definire la proposta ed il sound degli svedesi. Fedeli da sempre al culto di Kawakami e dei Disclose, i Paranoid ci regalano quattro tracce che invertono leggermente la rotta rispetto a “Heavy Mental Fuck Up!” rilasciato ormai due anni fa, disco segnato da uno spostamento molto più netto verso lidi propriamente metal, nel quale le sonorità riconducibili ai Venom erano più accentuate che mai. Su questo “Kind of Noise” i Paranoid sembrano aver fatto un importante ritorno al passato, riuscendo a ricreare perfettamente quella furia di d-beat hardcore rumoroso e distorto influenzato in egual modo dai Disclose e Framtid, onnipresenti nel sound dei nostri, e dal fondamentale kangpunk svedese di Totalitar e Mob47 che caratterizzò i loro primi lavori. Un vortice distruttivo e violento come solamente un temporale tuonante nei cieli scandinavi sa essere, una tempesta di caos che trita e devasta qualsiasi cosa in cui si imbatte sul suo percorso. Con questo “Kind of Noise” il sound dei Paranoid rappresenta ancora il miglior punto di incontro tra due scuole seminali dell’hardcore e del d-beat mondiali, quella giapponese più caotica e distorta e quella svedese più violenta e ruggente, una vera e propria furia devastatrice di rumore assordante di cui si sentiva sinceramente il bisogno in questi tempi bui in cui la scena hardcore mondiale è preda della moda “raw punk”. Fuck off and die, this is just a kind of jawbreaking mangle devastation!

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Dishönor – S/t (2019)

La mancanza pressochè totale di informazioni certe e contatti rende i Dishönor una creatura estremamente affascinante e misteriosa. Si sa veramente poco sul loro conto, se non che vengono da Salonicco in Grecia e che su questo loro primo lavoro ci offrono un ottimo d-beat/crust influenzato in egual misura da gruppi come Doom, Discharge, Hiatus, Visions of War, Disgust e compagnia brutta e cattiva intenta a suonare il più brutale e martellante d-beat possibile. Fin dalla copertina di questo self-titled debutto dei Dishönor si può facilmente comprendere quale sia la tematica centrale attorno alla quale ruotano le dieci tracce, ovvero una feroce presa di coscienza antimilitarista contro la brutalità della guerra, i suoi orrori e il sistema capitalista che nella guerra ha i suoi interessi economico-finanziari e che vede negli esseri umani solamente carne da macello da sacrificare sull’altare del profitto. Tracce quali l’iniziale “War Victims”, “Savagies of War” e “Neverending Bombraid” sono esempi perfetti tanto della solidità e dell’inaudita violenza del d-beat/crust suonato dai greci quanto delle tematiche appena elencate, a cui si affiancano pezzi e liriche che trattano altri argomenti classici del genere come le visioni post-apocalittiche intimamente legate ad un imminente catastrofe ambientale, l’incertezza del futuro causata da un sistema economico predatorio che inquina, devasta e distrugge l’ecosistema e la critica del potere, della gerarchia e dell’autorità. Niente di nuovo sia sul fronte delle sonorità che sul fronte delle tematiche affrontate, questo è innegabile, ma nonostante ciò questa prima fatica dei Dishönor suona tutt’altro che scontata o noiosa, e anzi, per tutti gli amanti di un certo sound è un disco da ascoltare dall’inizio alla fine senza prender fiato facendosi trafiggere da queste dieci schegge di d-beat/crust violento e indomabile! Inoltre parte dei soldi ricavati dalla vendita di questo self-titled album sono benefit per supportare le spese e le lotte del movimento anarchico greco, quindi cazzo volete di più? Nights without end, reality or nightmare? Will this ever end?

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