Chuck Schuldiner Project

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Throatruiner Fest in Paris (@Glazart - 14/05/2015)

When I started writing for Two Guys Metal reviews, one of the main personal objectives I had set out for was to promote and expose the very best of France's hardcore and metal scene, a goldmine of talent severely lacking of the recognition it deserves. Moreover, it hurts me all the more to run into all too many French heavy music enthusiasts claiming that you can count all of the great French metal and hardcore acts on one hand. To these people I dedicate this following article, and to these people I proudly present to them 8 more bands for them to count.
Last Thursday at the Glazart, Paris celebrated the 5th anniversary of one of the country’s' most heavily armed record labels: Throatruiner records. 8 bands, 8 of France's most devastating acts lined up to delivers nearly 8 hours of sonic mayhem.

Right from the get-go, the show kicked off by jumping straight to business with the first of 8 loud, bleak and incredibly abrasive bands scheduled for the evening: Calvaiire. Fronted by none other than the head Throatruiner himself, Matthias Jungbluth, the  metallic hardcore act made for an explosive opening act with its noisy dissonant guitars delivering chaotic syncopated riffs over cataclysmic drum grooves, coupled with Matthias' inhuman vocals (a hybrid between Jacob Bannons' vocals and those of a pissed of humanoid insect from another planet).

Lined up next and ready to keep our blood pumping were the Bayonne-based hardcore act known as The Rodeo Idiot engine, ready to blast our ears with their 30 minute set of wailing guitar riffs and Gatling drums. With their solid half-hour setlist, the band successfully made all hell break loose with a well-articulated setlist showcasing influences from post-hardcore, sludge and black metal amongst others. Their energetic stage presence made for an all the more memorable show, with axes swinging, cymbals swaying and cables flying and dancing through the air. 
Local psychopathic hardcore act Comity stepped up next. Articulating their sound around a post-hardcore baseline, this eclectic and innovative band from Paris kept the show going with their dense, volatile compositions effortlessly tying together influences from mathcore, post-hardcore and noise rock within their ambitious lengthy songs. With a fine-tuned sense of bittersweet melody sprinkled on the bands' set, Comity led the show with a fine balance of winding riffs and crushing sludge-driven landscapes.

The fourth band of the evening, the Lorient-based ear-wreckers known as Death Engine were up next. Out of all of the bands scheduled to play this evening, this one were quite possibly the loudest and the noisiest. Take the climactic, long-winded compositions of a post-metal song, the crushing slow edge of Neurosis, the down pouring desperation of post-hardcore and add a bleak shoegaze-inspired wall of sound and some noise-rock grittiness and what you get is the uncompromising sound of Death Engine. Yet another brilliant show by a promising and original band brilliantly standing out from tonight’s' heavy lineup.

The second half of the evening started off with quite possibly one of the most pissed off bands of the night, the Holy Terror inspired hardcore act from Paris known as Cowards, here to promote their latest chapter in the bands' ruthless discography, titled "Rise to Infamy". The band started off their set slow and steady with a sludgy, massive, evil opener, setting the tone for the rest of the show before letting all hell break loose and unleashing their pitch-black brand of sonic savagery. More than a mere hardcore act, Cowards draws from the bleak, tortured realms of black metal and the groovy low end of sludge metal to deliver filthy, hellish vocals (inspired by bands such as Arkangel and Kickback) , guttural baselines and dissonant riffs, making for the perfect balance between cacophonous chaos and groove.
After the demise of one of Frances' most infamous hardcore bands, Cowards seem to make for a serious contender as one of france's most abrasive bands, with their incredibly abrasive sonic savagery and their great stage performances.

Next up on stage were the Toulouse-based four piece Plebeian Grandstand, ready open up a black hole with their impenetrably black, apocalyptic sonic wrath. With their great stage presence and incredibly dense sound delivered at maximum volume, the band managed to keep their audience present after five sets worth of relentless heaviness. Not unlike Death Engine, the audience was once more hit by a thick wall of sound, yet this time with a strong, distinct experimental black metal edge delivered with the intensity and aggression of a hardcore act. While this kind of music doesn't always work as well live as in the studio, Plebeian Grandstand did a great job when it came to taking both the atmospheric vibe and their ruthlessness to the stage.
 Deathwish Inc.'s very own French protégés were up next to hit the stage to play a set I, for one, had been waiting to see ever since having first heard their album. Birds In Row were finally back to kick some Parisian ass and were largely prepared to do so. The Laval based screamo-infused hardcore punk trio quite simply conquered the stage along with each and every square inch of the venue as soon as they unleashed their fiery energy. Each and every band member was at the top of their game, blasting away and fueled by an unmistakably genuine sense of passion. Seeing a band sing and play their hearts out like this was absolutely enthralling, to the point where their 35 minute seemed to have flown by in what seemed to be a mere 10 minutes.

Last but certainly not least on the bill for the evening, As We Draw were there to close off the show. For their headlining set, As We Draw had decided to make use of their 50 minute set by dedicating it to their latest album, the cosmic voyage that is "Mirages", allowing them to properly lay out their somber sonic textures and set up an atmosphere for the set. Their show made for a perfect balance between bursts of frenetic, heartfelt aggression and cathartic, floating sonicscapes with clear, spaced out instrumentations beautifully intertwining with one another to create a distinctive, introspective, raw and visceral live sound unlike any other.
By brilliantly combining the likes of heartgripping essence of Post-hardcore with the compositional ambition of post-metal, As We Draw will take to the moon and back and make for yet another prime example of an underrated display of brilliance deserving of more recognition in France and overseas.

And thus yet another great evening had come to a close. I walked out of the Glazart that night more confident than ever in the french heavy music scene. If this night was proof of anything, it would be of an incredible amount of talent and passion deserving more exposure. I can only urge you to look up these bands to hear this all for yourself and find out for yourself why this goldmine of a record label deserves our utmost support and attention. French readers out there will also be glad to hear that this might be the last Throatruiner fest, which give us all the more reason to make sure events like these happen more often.


Photos by Rémy Barbe

A Huge thank you goes out to all of the bands and especially to Matthias of Throatruiner for making both this live report and both interviews possible. Long live Throatruiner!

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