On Sunday, May 31st, I sat on the lawn of the State College, Pennsylvania police station. With eyes shut, I…
These posts are written by: Jake Tiernan
It’s been five long years; five long years since Converge, the forefathers of emo leaning metalcore, have released music. That all changed last week, however, as the band put out a 7″ with not one, but two brand new tracks. They still remain slightly controversial, with some in the Heavy Blog camp dismissing them. Here at Grind My Tears, however, those tracks are nothing but pure gold and the exact music the band should release after a five year absence. It is for exactly that reason that those tracks will be explored in depth below, putting them under an intense microscope and examining their every detail.
Another day, another column about screamo. But today this is no ordinary column about screamo as today it focuses primarily…
That’s right it’s time again for your weekly dose of all things post hardcore, screamo, chaotic hardcore, and sass in this weeks Grind My Tears, the superior column to its cousin Grind My Tears. Last week introduced a new track from Texas’s own Lyed, once again celebrated the always wonderful Ostraca, and turned its gaze to the West Coast to put the spotlight on sass-revivers SeeYouSpaceCowboy. This week, however, will remain centralized on the (far superior) East Coast and some of the bands currently driving the scene there.
Making only its second appearance now, Grind My Tears is the screamo/”skramz” centric counterpart to our reoccurring Grind My Gears column. This is necessary as screamo is, admittedly, the far superior counterpart to basically any other genre with blast beats. It may not be peoples favorite thing to hear but its the hard truth, and therefore must be shared.
In the past year as I stood around at a house show, engaged in my normal Saturday night rituals of alternating between watching whatever band was playing and socializing, I heard a statement that disturbed me deeply. Among the casual chatter it was delivered as a light hearted quip, one not meant to shock but rather to gently tease. It came as someone recognized my friend but could not put a name to the face. My friend, casually joking with the stranger, said “just remember me as the one black guy who goes to shows”. They both laughed and I did as well at the time but something about that statement rubbed me in the completely wrong way.
As of recently, it seems as if black metal and crust punk are stuck on somewhat of a collision course. The two, finding natural company in their respective fringe existences, slowly began to adopt one another’s aesthetics. Eventually, this led to the realization that not only were both genres built on a bleak, misanthropic visual representation, but on a shared musical basis as well. Soon, both black metal and crust punk began to openly embrace one another, taking cues from the other on how to make their music the maximum level of pain. Such is the case with Wildspeaker and their electric brand of environmentalist neo-crust.
It is in this new generation of emotionally charged, horrendously heavy music where we find Portrayal of Guilt. The band, hailing from Texas, does not play in the more direct style of thrash and emo, however. Instead they opt to play a far more brutal combination, blending the hectic, crazed pace of screamo with harsh black metal. It is a frightening combination, one that draws on the emotional torment inherent in both genres, and mixes them together into a truly pained form of musical catharsis. Add to that a little bit of 90’s metalcore in the vein of Coalesce and Converge, and you have one truly hectic blend of music.
From the beginning grindcore and d-beat crust had a bond that seemed almost unbreakable. It was a beautiful bond, an everlasting one. A bond of the most steadfast kind, one built on a common devotion to total sonic assault presented always at breakneck speeds. Soon, however, this bond developed into something more. It developed into the two genres bleeding into each other, feeding off of each other, and birthing a generation of grind acts infused with heavily d-beat tendencies. And, eventually, these two styles bleeding together would lead to the birth of a new grind act, coming from New Jersey, known as Death Vacation, the crust/grind act hell bent on total sonic destruction.
Some bands manage to find that sweet spot where they can emulate their heroes while still introducing some sort of new energy into the music. Unfortunately, it does not seem that Shadow of Doubt is one of those bands, nor is there debut, No Mercy, much more beyond your standard NYHC-in-2017-emulator fare. Truly the gang’s all here on this one, be it from the overly forced gang vocals to the mid-tempo “grooves” to those ever so (lovably) cheesy mosh calls. And, fortunately for those digging into this EP, one does not need to look any further than track two, “No Mercy.”