“I’ve personally been a digital hardcore devotee since my first dose of ‘Destroyer’ by Alec Empire. This led me to other DHR acts like ATR and EC8TOR and for a time I greedily ate an overly DHR saturated diet. Sadly, DHR ouput has drastically waned in relevance as budding rock star wankerism has swamped their early drive but luckily others have stepped in to fill the angry void, Schizoid being an example.
Canadian act Schizoid has been kicking around for a while now, being one of the the first ‘official’ acts signed by D-Trash Technolgies. Initially this meant a stream of free MP3s via the various mp3.com, BeSonic and other free hosting sites (as well as @home based ftp sites) but now D-Trash have seen fit to collect a slew of these tracks plus various unreleased material to create ‘All Things Are Connected’, the label’s first professionally pressed CD.
This disc is one of the first hardcore discs I have heard in a while that I can honestly say is pushing the genre in an admittedly parallel but still distinct (if not necessarily unique) direction. Most digital hardcore types stick firmly to punk rawk source material (for riffs anyway), perhaps stealing the odd metal dead chord or hammer on but definitely jumping into the mosh pit sporting a mohawk and hightops as opposed to jack boots and black hood. Schizoid however spends more time working the Black Metal angle, primarily with the vocal treatment. This disc is way more Mayhem than Black Flag, diluting much of the political feel and instead pushing more of a ‘fuck it all’ or purely destruction oriented intent.
Sonically it’s like getting mouth raped by a digital answering machine that’s playing back a long distance call from from Rotterdamn that’s getting line crossed with cell call from the pit of a Mayhem gig in Poland. This is not gabber in the pure sense as waaaaaaaay to much dangerous shit is flying around. Calling it complex would make it sound far too academic though – think chaotically flailing high pressure fire hose or perhaps an over-revved lawn mower with the shielding removed crammed into a crowded business tower elevator. Manic for sure, pissed off definitely. . .with a MAJOR asshole on it. A lot of the time it makes we want to reach for an inhaler (despite the fact I don’t use or need one).
The songs are constructed from a mix of blatant theft type material (movies, commercials, metal albums, etc.), sofsynth blips and bleeps and refreshingly, un-hammerhead sounding percussion loops. A lot of digital hardcore types never recover from Bram Bros lure and devolve off into numbingly retreaded ‘Amen break’ purgatory. ‘All Things Are Connected’ completely bypasses this lame ass ghetto and instead makes as excellent use of brutally chopped 909 kicks as it does stolen guitar riffs and bad science samples. Admittedly, there are a couple of transgressions, the Dr. Who ‘Exterminate’ sample should be marked permanently off limits for example but overall this disc pulls off its high speed audio cement mixing with blood red flair. The third track ‘New God’ works in some very cool plugin vocal effects along with some almost ‘Carnival of Souls’ sounding backing material, resulting in far more menance than some of Schizoid’s brethren. The vocal treatment in particular is really nasty, like J is screaming with his mouth full of glistening entrails (this is not an exageration). The last track ‘Amputate’ is like a contact sheet for the rest of album in this aspect – it includes soft intro sections, lifted diatribes and unnerving tape mangled guitar riffing together with the obnoxious vocal atack in such a way that it kicks your slovenly ass just as much as your aching head. Let’s just say that none of the tracks suck, it’s all good and it’s all intense.
‘All Things Are Connected’ is an example of black metal intents setting fire to the digital hardcore trappings without completely burning down church that gave rise to it. Normally I consider black metal to be the false metal but this disc is one of the few with a strong black metal influence other than brutal types Incantation that pulls it off without sounding stupid or infantiley goofy (that can be good too though). Unlike other acts, this is substance over style, or more aptly, a dangerous substance in dripping blackened style. It’s invigoratingly hardened shit that is aggressive and blatant enough that I think most of us could do with a double force feeding.” [Moron]