Paramus, NJ band Monument Of A Memory creates what some call “modern death metal” and others, with a nod to its origins in a late punk/death metal hybrid, deathcore. The band is about to release its second recording, Catharsis, and vocalist Tommy Gehringer and bassist Josh Correa took the time to give us some insight on music and the theory of being a metal band in the current age.
Tagged as a death/thrash sort of cross-over band, Amok, at least in the present album, sounds much closer to hardcore stemming from the tradition of Discharge Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing and filtered along the line of Amebix Arise!. Some gestures of 80s heavy metal show up but only briefly and not prominently enough to turn this into one of the many kinds of so-called “melodic death” bands out there. In Necrospiritual Deathcore a healthy, coherent mixture of different punk and metal expressions collide to form an enjoyable album.
Like any hardcore album worth its salt, we find fragments of speech taken from television or radio, snippets of urban audio, coughing, among the rough scream-barks of the vocalist. All this, combined with the great pains to which Amok goes to give this album musical variety despite the fact that the music is primarily percussive (and simple in its percussion). Commendable are the smooth tempo changes in the album that are never abrupt even though they change the music drastically. Voice and instruments conspire so that the “line” is never broken when going from a faster speed to a slower one. When it comes to accelerating, though, the punks show themselves.
On the other hand, given the simplicity (and I mean real simplicity) of each song and the fact that the album is a song-collection (rather than a concept album, or a greater work, or a set of variations), the staying power of this kind of record is very limited. Sounding like a more single-minded, less flexible Amebix, Amok Necrospiritual Deathcore will please and entertain, but there is little reason to continue listening to it when there are albums like Arise! lying around. All in all, it is a refreshing hardcore album with heavy and death metal colors done by expert musicians.
The metal scene is not a static thing. It goes on, and you either participate or accept it as is. For this reason, many of us are looking into newer styles of metal.
Cuff combine Cryptopsy-inspired deathcore with slam and a Voivod-inspired technological fascination. Comprised of only two guys, Bob Shaw (vocals) and Zach Smith (all instruments), this band has bashed out an incredible number of albums.
Zach Smith took the time between beard agriculture and research of tortures to answer our questions:
You’re a two-person band with one person doing all vocals and the other doing all instrumentals. How does that work out? Do you collaborate on the songwriting or contribute roles as you can?
Mostly the songs are written by me, with input from Bob as to where or how the song structures should be. I think it works well the way we do things, at least it’s worked for the last 8 years We both write the lyrics , so it’s pretty equal what we do as a band.
As a Canadian band, you have a rich history to live up to… including both Cryptopsy, for your general musicality, and Voivod or Dead Brain Cells perhaps for the sci-fi lyrics. What made you choose to go in this direction?
It was an obvious choice to us to go with the sci-fi stuff, it felt like it matched the music and tone of the band perfectly.
The French metal scene is amazing, we made a trip out to Montreal last year and were met with open arms by some of the coolest fans/bands on the planet.
As for our influences I think we borrow more from American brutal death metal than anything Canadian, but Cryptopsy is an obvious candidate for an influence.
Inevitably your album will be compared with West Coast technical gore-grind but other influences seem to be there. I hear Cannibal Corpse, and notice at least one of y’all wearing a Dying Fetus tshirt. Can you tell us what your other influences were?
My influences vary between styles of music, anything from Zeppelin to the Beatles and back to Devourment. It’s a whole mish-mash of interesting things indeed! Bob’s influences include of course Dying Fetus along with Wormed and Jenovavirus.
Transient Suffering Through the Ergosphere is your third album. What were the other two like? Is there a continuing storyline between them? If so, what part does this third album tell?
Well actually it’s our 8th full length and 24th release in total!
The album is a continuation from our last album from Gore House Productions called Forced Human Sacrifice to the New Gods of Earth. We have plans for a third album in the storyline somewhere down the road but try and keep that between us!
With only two men in the band, it doesn’t seem like you would have the advantage of being able to jam on this material. How do you compose? Are mathematical formulas, laser pointers and graph paper involved?
Lots of riffs and demos in the recording process, and we rehearse with our drum machine named Montgomery a few times a month. We’ve played live with a lot of bands as well over the years. Almost played with the legendary Anal Cunt but Seth had to kick the bucket right before the show was drawing near!
How do you describe the music you make?
Our music, to me, is organized chaos. It has a real dark vibe to it that stands out among other little things like sound design and song structure. We’re heavily influenced by Jenovavirus, Dying Fetus and Devourment mostly for their ‘slam’ elements.
Can you tell us about recording this album? Was it a challenge, where did you do it, and did you achieve the sound you wanted? Were there any production hacks necessary to make that come about?
We recorded it in a little building down the street from our houses with a good friend of ours Ken Coul.
The studio is called Black Cloud Recording Studio and we did get the sound we were looking for and more. It’s our best sounding album to date with the most crushing slams and fastest grinds we’ve written. No frilly production was used other than amp presets and some reverb. It’s all natural!
What’s next for Cuff?
An EP, a new full length, new merch and definitely a tour are sometime in the near future. We really need to get out there to our friends across the world (and also to please our label GHP! Haha).
All in all, we’re keeping busy and that’s what matters.
“Nothing gold can stay,” reminds us the poet Robert Frost, and this applies to black metal. Its gold occurred between 1991 and 1994, when its progenitors innovated a new style and took it to great heights, but after Burzum – Hvis Lyset Tar Oss, it became clear that black metal was not content to be a normal, rock-style music genre.
Social justice warrior deathcore band Bestial Evil are one of the seven openers for Angelcorpse at a pay to play show in Washington, DC tonight. Yes this is the same Bestial Evil you think it is, the antifascist and antiracist and probably Black Lives Matter supporting deathcore band whose antics and temper tantrums have been covered on Death Metal Underground Past. This time Bestial Evil, despite their antifascist stance, are opening for Angelcorpse. The bassist and vocalist of Angelcorpse is none other than Order From Chaos front man, existential social Darwinist and author of The Conqueror Manifesto Pete Helmkamp.
Camouflage cargo shorts band Dying Fetus released a music video for “Panic Amongst The Herd” off their upcoming crap album, Wrong One to Fuck With, on sell-out sludge and metalcore label Relapse Records. Relapse insist that:
Now 25 years into their distinguished career, Dying Fetus cement their legacy with Wrong One to Fuck With and uphold their position as the dominant force in death metal today.
Death Metal Underground’s staff makes great personal sacrifice to ensure that we degrade the unworthy, the inferior, and the charming. We show no mercy and will defile your corpse.
Blood must be shed to atone for the sins of these mostly horrific recordings. Every single person who thought releasing these was a great idea should attempt to give themselves a self-swirlie while under the influence. Banging their head on the porcelain toilet tank lid will knock some sense into them or crack their skulls open. Hopefully the latter.
Facebook deleted the hilarious “Kim Kelly’s Hand” fan page that a few Death Metal Underground readers made in awe of her claw hand and how she is able to type ever-flowing streams of diarrhea despite such a hideous deformity. Facebook accused those few hilarious metal heads of bullying. Apparently jabs at a public figure are not allowed on Facebook’s socialist worker’s playplace. Kim Kelly is the crustfund communist Vice Noisey fake journalist, serial liar, alleged groupie, and supposedly hypocritical racist trying to ruin the careers of metal bands she finds politically objectionable. Kelly called Dismember and Cannibal Corpse sexist and constantly shills for crappy crossover thrash, noise rock, hipster whine rock, and female-fronted deathcore bands.