There are many paths a band can take in the hardcore landscape, all of which are pretty well tread at this point. However, is still fertile ground to be harvested when trying to make music worth listening to.
One area is the style borne out of bands like Botch, Cave In, Coalesce and Shai Hulud. The crushing, dissonant tones of this indie and post-hardcore variation of the scene has made for many great records and influential bands. Pittsburgh's 156/Silence intends to be the latest of those bands. Drawing direct inspiration from Norma Jean and The Chariot (perhaps a little Poison the Well too), the band intends to take this brand of metalcore and carry it into the future. According to vocalist Aleks Pihl:
"For this album like many before, I drew a lot of my vocal inspiration from older metalcore and hardcore that had the rough and raw vibe. It gives it a more real feeling instead of over production. Surprisingly my vocals embrace a kind of hip hop mentality as well. By that I mean they tend to emphasize with the beat and kinda blend with the ebb and flow of the music. Conceptually I feel this album has a darker more aggressive tone than our last few. So lyrically I really tried to go with the things that kinda get under my skin. I feel like I was able to convey those emotions better this time around because they had more of a personal meaning. An example being the third song on the album titled "Radically Digitalized" is focused around my frustration with the need for social media and technology dependency that kinda runs rampant in our generation."
Guitarist Jimmy Howell put the band's mission a little more directly:
"When I started writing Karma I really wanted to do something heavy but with our own style on top of that. After a few months what we came up with was a our own take on 2000s metalcore and post-hardcore with modern hardcore sensibilities. I think this is the right direction for our band and I can’t wait to expand upon the sound even further in future releases.”
So if you're like me, you're sympathetic to the idea that the 2000s metalcore sound had some real artistic value to it and deserves to be recreated in a meaningful way by future bands. I think 156/Silence are off to a good start. Check them out below: