(About 14 months ago Neill Jameson began a series for our site in which he recommended music in the vein of dark and negative hardcore. We posted a second installment in the series a few months later (here), and after that Neill compiled other lists of recommendations in different genres, including black metal. You can find all of these previous lists via this link. Now we’re fortunate to have Neill back with us for a third collection of negative hardcore.)
A year or so ago I started with the project of forcing my tastes unto others through these lists and in the spirit of having two ouroboros tattoos I figured I’d circle back to the first subject, which was dark and negative hardcore. I’m fitting one extra in from my usual format because I think this will probably conclude this genre, at least for the moment. So with that fascinating introduction let’s just jump into it.
All Pigs Must Die
I should have had APMD in the first segment of this but I guess better late than never. APMD have two full-lengths, an EP, and a few 7 inches, which is a pretty large output considering the band contains members of Converge and Trap Them amongst others. Savage, heavy, and antireligious to a point where some black metal bands would be uncomfortable, there’s really not a record I could recommend over another as they’re all dark, intense, and worth your time.
This is the title track from their first full-length, which has one of my favorite covers of any hardcore record ever. They’re finishing up a new record I believe, which I’m hoping appears this year.
Very rarely do I get a split entirely for one band and end up really digging the other one, but this unicorn happened with last year’s Gehenna/Bleach Everything split. Bleach Everything is a fucking filthy listen and I’m not saying that in order to make a pun. This band is the sound of bad speedy drugs and too many cigarettes washed down with shitty whisky.
I don’t recommend googling them, though, because it’ll take you to a lot of anime pages which will make you lose faith in humanity, but Magic Bullet Records has everything you need. As I stated elsewhere on this site, the split with (the infamous) Gehenna was my favorite split of last year.
I was at Vinyl Conflict awhile back and was digging through crates when I happened upon two seven-inches that had, what I thought, were interesting covers, and since my instincts worked out with Withdrawal as a blind buy I threw caution to the wind and in the truest spirit of being a rebel I went home and checked online for samples first. And then went right back to buy both EPs because, like Withdrawal, Moral Void play a nasty mixture of hardcore with black metal influences.
Also like Withdrawal they have a split with the excellent Young and in the Way, a band which gets too much shit when there’s far more deserving bullshit to spit at. Moral Void will be releasing their first full-length this August through Translation Loss (who have it up for preorder currently) and the bit I’ve heard guarantees it’ll be in my year-end roundup.
From my current city of residence, Richmond VA, comes Future Terror. I’m normally not taken by demos anymore, mostly because I’m almost fucking forty and not easily impressed, but this is one which grabbed me instantly. Future Terror are on the crustier side of things, somewhere between Extreme Noise Terror (around the time of the Driller Killer split) and Anti-Cimex with some hellish vocals. No physical release yet but it’s available for download on their bandcamp.
Alongside Occultist, Left Cross, and Prisoner (whom Future Terror has a member of), Richmond is well represented when it comes to dirty and mean-spirited punk.
The last of the Holy Terror bands I haven’t written about here, Sweden’s one-man Broken Cross is the definition of negativity and isolation in sonic form. Though a punk band at its core I get more of a Bone Awl feeling from Broken Cross, something like the strange molested child of punk and black metal. There’s an LP and a few EPs to choose from, but most recently Broken Cross released a split with another favorite, Vegas, on BC iconoclast Niklas Holm’s Apocalyptic Visions label.
I guess powerviolence is in fashion these days, but for every three dozen bands recording shitty noise in their parents basement there’s bands like Dropdead, Sex Vid, and Mind Eraser to dig your teeth into. This is one of those projects where every member has a lot of other worthwhile bands in various genres of metal and punk that maintain a high degree of quality, Magic Circle being the one a lot of you are probably familiar with. I’d still love a Mind Eraser reunion or reissues/new releases at some point.
I should have included Pittsburgh’s Blood Pressure on my year-end list for 2016 but just because I’m almost seven months late doesn’t make Need to Control any less crushing and oppressive. Somewhere between Driller Killer and Black Flag lands this punishing record. Pittsburgh’s a great scene for punk with Behind Enemy Lines holding up the front and Skullfest every year, but Blood Pressure definitely adds a punch to the city’s legacy.
I’ve decided as a way to wrap up this series (and kill time at work) would be to set up a Spotify playlist featuring the bands from these pieces as well as several others I didn’t get to. So if you’re so inclined I suppose you can find me there.
2017 has been and is going to continue to be a fucking great year for punk and metal, with new records by Integrity, Tau Cross, (the infamous) Gehenna, and more on the horizon. See you soon with another list of shit I’m forcing down your throats.