Iconic Nightmare

Southern Lord has been making some serious inroads to seedy underbelly of dark, crusty hardcore in the last couple of years. Their roster was originally accented with the likes of Nails, The Secret and Masakari, but has most recently seen the addition of bands like Wolfbrigade and Martyrdod. Now continuing on in that vein, and showing no signs of slowing, is their recent addition of Appleton, Wisconsin-based Wartorn.

Raging crusty D-beat hardcore is the order of the day here. While the scene of crusty, metallic, hardcore punk is a tight niche, there are, in fact, subtle variations within it’s tightly defined range. Wartorn deftly exhibits pretty much every quality of this scene: socio-polical lyrical stance, fast D-beat runs, gloomy slow chuggy dirges, anarcho imagery, moments of melody, constant savagery… the whole shebang. The band should get a feather in their cap for almost being ambassadors for the crusty hardcore scene/style as they represent its spectrum quite thoroughly.

Fortunately, the band has other merits that deserve kudos. For starters, the production is probably the best of this style of music – thick, clear and all instruments are represented in a great balance. Singer Bitty has great presence, his vocals riding that edge of fury and clarity that makes the words discernible while still ferocious (and, hey, a few moments of death growls doesn’t hurt either). I love the moments where the music cuts out for a full stop while he shouts lyrics (usually a song title), like “Knee Deep In BLOOOOOOOOD!”, “Permanent Blackout!” and also “Wake up from the iconic nightmare!”

Full disclosure: dialing down into specifics of crusty hardcore is somewhat futile. It’s meant to be simple and raw with a few key ingredients – picking it apart is pointless. As such, it’s great “recommended if you like” material – such as, Tragedy, Wolfbrigade, Skitsystem, etc. Iconic Nightmare is top-notch, nowhere near original, totally enjoyable crusty, metallic hardcore that should appeal to fans of the aforementioned bands and also serve to be a great gateway band for those new to this scene/style of music.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Stacy Buchanan
August 20th, 2013


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