Monday, April 16, 2012

When Tigers Fight-Death Songs

Closed Casket Activities

Sometimes it feels so good to be wrong. Looking at this band's name and cover art work I was really expecting some sort of post-rock/black metal hybrid. Instead this is another vehicle for vocalist Mike McTernan of Washington DC-based hardcore band Damnation A.D. With Mike on vocals and Jonathan Dennison of Another Victim, Unholy, Santa Sangre, The Path Of Resistance, The Promise and more on guitars this one couldn't help but win me over. Had I bothered to do my homework in the past on what Mike was up to post-Damnation A.D. (homework never being my strong suite I admit) I'd have seen that this band already had released an EP and LP before "Death Songs". I wish I would have known that sooner as I am an admitted Damnation A.D fan. Their take on hardcore was infused with such otherworldly intensity it was mind boggling. It is amazing more people are not aware of the brutality and general heaviness they unleashed on the scene. When Tigers Fight are also particularly heavy and hardcore. They seem like the natural evolution of Damnation A.D. For those not familiar with either Damnation A.D. or When Tigers Fight this is not trendy hardcore or even hardcore along the lines of the great Black Flag. This is hardcore that takes what bands like Black Flag and the Cro-Mags were doing and takes it up several layers. It comes of as nasty, mean, ugly, gritty and as stated extra brutal/crunchy. Mike McTernan is a beast on the mic and I mean to tell you that until you've heard him you cannot even begin to imagine what it is like to have a lead singer who sounds like he is trying to punch the crap out the the air with his voice. Unreal. A similar band would be Earth Crisis. When Tigers Fight (a great a name given the true nature of this band by the way) are like Earth Crisis in that they are real street-level hardcore. The next step up from this sound would be grindcore. So really the hardcore sound on display here is more crusty and menacing than your run of the mill hardcore act. 9-5 heavy metal/thrash fans might not fully get this album. These guys preach a whole different sermon than most people have ever heard. Then again if you have an open mind and want to lay witness to something truly heavy I strongly suggest you get off your butt and grab hold of this release. It will blow away all the trendy mallcore bands out there and destroy mind, body and soul in the process.

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