Band – I Stared Into The Forest
EP – Unframed Pictures of Our Epilogue
Label – Fading Halo Records
Release date – December 2012 (out now for free download here)
Sounds like – totes old-school screamo, bitches
Chances are you probably haven’t heard of Fading Halo Records (+100 indie points to me). That’s because, from what I can gather, they are newish (2011) independent record label from Romania. Their ‘About Us’ section is certainly interesting and they seem firmly rooted in the DIY ethics of hardcore. I’m a particular fan of the line:
“Fuck anyone who tries to make business out of hardcore.”
I Stared Into The Forest are a group of dudes from Brasov, Romania and their take on hardcore is certainly different from their American and UK contemporaries. For one thing, it’s much rawer – stripped back with minimal frills; focusing on a direct pummeling into the subconscious. Just from their name, you can tell that their music is going to be a desolate and stringent affair and it doesn’t disappoint.
Opening track ‘No Longer Here‘ starts with a dark, buzzing guitar tone. The vocals are a splintered rasping cry that cuts through, similar to Pray for Teeth – aggressively emotional and tormented in execution. It then kicks up a gear – the drumming becomes more erratic, the guitars stabbing and taunt and the vocals swerve from spoken-word style shouts, to guttural roars. The sudden shifts into an almost grindcore-style keep muscling their way in; before being shoved back by the disjointed hardcore onslaught.
It reminds me a bit of Grizzlytwister; a Swedish hardcore/noise band I discovered a few years back – that same feral, spitting sound, the unhinged in-your-face staccato that doesnâ€™t stop. â€˜Failing Lungsâ€™ is a wrought jagged shard that cuts and slices with jerking precision. The guitars are all over the place, shifting from the bludgeoning rain of mangled chords, to erratic time signatures, whilst the vocals are spat with an acidic disgust. â€˜Their Crooked Teethâ€™ is under two minutes of wrought angular hardcore that burns with an abrasive and hectic energy.
Elements of the chaotic-noise of The Rodeo Idiot Engine spill through into â€˜To Hang By A Threadâ€™, especially when it sounds like I Stared Into The Forest are breaking apart â€“ that rolling, cacophony of angular guitars and battered drums collide in a twisted wreckage of sound. It all goes a little Touche Amore near the end (a good thing) dipping into elements of TAâ€™s intense and concentrated sound, coupled with ISITFâ€™s own sense of bitterness and misanthropy.
Make sure to check out I Stared Into The Forest and download their EP here. Also, chuck them a bit of money so they can afford to eat/drink/tour like mad bastards.
(Also, check out Coins as Portraits, which is some seriously crazy grindcore insanity)
By Ross Macdonald