Back in 1998, Philly's Troc hosted a fantastic triple bill featuring Sepultura, Vision Of Disorder and Earth Crisis. Notably, each band had released a record that year that, for better or worse, would serve as a turning point in its career. While Sepultura ushered in the Derrick Green era with Against and Earth Crisis jumped to Roadrunner to release the criminally underrated Breed The Killers, it was Vision Of Disorder that jumped ahead of the pack that year when it dropped Imprint. Rawer and more experimental than its predecessor, the record was a huge step forward both in terms of sound and ambition. Unfortunately, the quintet would go tits up a mere four years later not long after releasing the divisive From Bliss To Devastation, never to be heard from again... ...until officially reuniting in the fall of 2008. And four years after getting back together, the New Yorkers have finally given us a new album in the form of The Cursed Remain Cursed. Given the length of time between albums, we asked guitarist Matt Baumbach and bassist Mike Fleischmann to take a little trip down memory lane and tell us about a non-VOD record that related in some way to each of their band's full-lengths (including For The Bleeders). As usual, you can listen along here as you read about their picks.
Vision Of Disorder (1996) :: Korn's Korn I would say the album that influenced me most during this time period was Korn’s first record. We had played with them on Long Island at a place called the Roxy right when they were gaining momentum and I also caught them at their first NYC show opening for Biohazard. I liked the fact that they had alternative parts along with the darker, detuned heavy ones. It was a nice change from the more metal and hardcore stuff we were used to. I also remember wanting to go alternative in a more hardcore way but being pleased that [VOD vocalist] Tim [Williams] wasn’t into Korn cause everyone was trying to sound like Jonathan Davis’ painful vocal at the time. The music was more the influence for me personally. You can hear it in tracks like "Zone Zero", "Through My Eyes" and even earlier stuff like "Beneath the Green". (Matt Baumbach)
Vision Of Disorder (1996) :: Sepultura's Roots One of the first times we were invited to the Roadrunner offices, they gave us a sneak peek listen to Sepultura's Roots. Our jaws all dropped on the floor. From that point on, that was the quintessential heavy record for me. We needed to aspire to be as heavy as that record. The production on our first album came nowhere even close… (Mike Fleischmann)
Imprint (1998) :: Neurosis's Through Silver In Blood This record's process was crazy because we were writing nonstop as soon as we got off the road following our stint on Ozzfest. One of the bands we played with on that tour was Neurosis, who we hit it off with big time. We would party like crazy on that tour with those guys, but there was also a huge respect I gained for what they were as a band. Their record Through Silver In Blood is a classic, groundbreaking album to me. I became heavily influenced by how noise itself could be a musical movement. If you hear stuff on Imprint like the verse of "By The River" or the riffs in "Colorblind" or "12 Steps to Nothing", you can hear the influence. I wanted to play more dynamically after Neurosis and I think the whole band had similar feelings. Neurosis was the heaviest thing we had heard in a long time. (MB)
Imprint (1998) :: Radiohead's OK Computer During this period in 1998, I was listening to a lot of Radiohead. OK Computer came out and we picked it up while we were on tour. We would make all of the other bands that that came on our bus to hang out on Ozzfest listen to it. After touring for a year, I remember that being the only show I was willing to go see as I was so sick of being at shows. They definitely were an inspiration to try new things and it shows on that record. (MF)
For The Bleeders (1999) :: Pantera's Vulgar Display Of Power and Life Of Agony's River Runs Red Being that this was pretty much a re-recording of demo material, I would go back to that time with a 50/50 split between Pantera’s Vulgar record and Life Of Agony’s River Runs Red. Both influenced us immensely in the very early days between '92 and '95. The groove of both bands were their biggest assets for me. I think you can hear Pantera in songs like "Take Them Out" and LOA in stuff like "Formula for Failure". It was all a mish-mash in the early days. We didn’t really know what we were doing except just trying to sound good enough to play out. (MB)
For The Bleeders (1999) :: The Beatles' Abbey Road At this point, I was listening to a lot of The Beatles, mostly Abbey Road. I was getting very tired of heavy music and had never really explored Beatles albums before. I always thought of them as something my Mom listened to. It sounds clichéd, but it's important for every musician to go through a Beatles phase. For The Bleeders was actually recorded while we were demoing songs for From Bliss, so those both kind of roll into each other. (MF)
From Bliss To Devastation (2001) :: Soundgarden's Superunknown This record was probably the most challenging. We knew we were taking a chance and I became super heavy influenced by Soundgarden’s Superunknown record. I remember thinking that even if it was not received well by fans of Imprint, it was still something we had to make. The band seemed to be up to the challenge of going more simple but also maturing and trying to make actual "songs". Sometimes it worked out great on tracks like "Itchin' to Bleed" or the title track and then other experiments like "Pretty Hate" didn’t fare well. I was really into the idea of writing guitar parts with melodic dissonance like Soundgarden did and then combining them with the heavier, sludgier groove stuff. I still think "4th of July" by them is one of the heaviest riffs ever. The overall musicality of Superunknown can be heard all over this record to me. (MB)
I had all Soundgarden records in heavy rotation at this point, but mostly Superunknown. I was really into the sound of that record, it was dark and heavy, but was still easy on the ears. You can hear their influence on FBTD. Got to see them again recently and it was awesome! (MF)
The Cursed Remain Cursed (2012) :: Slipknot's Vol. 3 (The Subliminal Verses) and M83's Saturdays=Youth Currently, I can't really say that there is one record that influenced this new record. Over the years my taste has gotten more diverse. I will say that I consistently listened to Slipknot's Vol. 3 all the way to M83's Saturdays=Youth. Everything can be an influence nowadays as long as it is done with full integrity, which is hard to come by. I also referenced our back catalog now and again because I had not heard it in a long time. I’m really into big dynamics with music now. Songs on TCRC like "Annihilator", "Hard Times" and "Heart and Soul" I think show that. It takes time for a band to fully understand who it is from a sound perspective and this one is VOD at its most coherent. (MB)
The Cursed Remain Cursed (2012) :: Queens Of The Stone Age's Rated R There’s a good ten years of albums and influences between FBTD and TCRC. If I had to pick a main album that really stands out, I’d have to say Queens of the Stone Age's Rated R. I definitely listened to that album a ton, but since iPods were invented after we made our last album, I prefer to put my music on shuffle and let the gods of rock and roll decide what I am going to listen to! (MF)
*Photo: Tez Mercer
**Pick up a copy of The Cursed Remain Cursed here!
***We update one Spotify playlist for each new Decibrity entry, so feel free to subscribe to that here. Past entries include:
Grave Anders Nyström (Katatonia) (Part 1) (Part 2) "Best of" Rush (Part 1) (Part 2) Dawnbringer Ufomammut Shadows Fall Horseback Greg Mackintosh (Paradise Lost) (Part 1) (Part 2) Torche "Best of" Meshuggah Astra Pallbearer Barren Earth Shane Embury (Napalm Death) (Part 1) (Part 2)