Review: At Our Heels – Misanthropy and Godlessness

“Through Their Teeth” opens with a bit of feedback before letting the music come through. A nice, melencholic riff begins accompanied by a very suitable drum pattern. The vocals are strong and not at all overbearing. You can really understand why the band is sited as “Blackened Hardcore” based on this first track alone. They lay it out in a very misanthropic manner and I have to say, it’s fucking great. “The Old Gloomies” contains the same vibe as the opening track, this time, however, a more upbeat riff fills the air. The drumming sets an extraordinary pace and these vocals tie everything togther in a very tight knit manner. I love this main riff. It definitely has that hardcore punk sound to it. Amazing. “Unholy” speeds things up a bit more. A nice melodic riff sets a rather eerie tone while the punishing drumming pattern keeps this track moving at a steady pace. Close to the end of the first minute, a nice breakdown sets in that I could not help but headbang to. “Sink With Me” is punk right from the get-go. This riff takes me back to when I first started listening to hardcore and punk music. The vocals are screamed with every known emotion and the accompanying gang vocals set a nice tone. I like the bass line at the beginning of the track. It is quite obvious where these dudes influences lie. The heart of Punk Rock never dies. The track goes out in feedback and leads right into “Teeth & Bone” which has a great bass line at the beginning of it as well. The main riff on this track reminds me of a black metal riff slowed to around 50%. I like it. This band harnesses one of my favorite elements of hardcore music, the fact that you don’t have to be overly complex to make a song work. These dudes are total shredders, though. I believe that this band would be unbelievable live. “Graves” is the first At Our Heels song that I ever heard. This one song made me fall for this band. This song possess such gloom and atmospheric creepiness that I just knew this band would have an impact on me. Right around 56 seconds, a nice chugging sets in. This band, as I stated already, have obvious punk roots, but I will not believe that it all lies there. I hear clear influence from doom and sludge metal aswell. This track, I feel, has a very strong message that is to be put across. I absolutely love everything about this track. From the amazingly tortured and perfectly executed vocals to the melancholic droning guitars, one of my favorite, if not my favorite At Our Heels track. “The Recluse” picks the pace back up with a nice chugging riff. I instantly find myself headbanging. This is true hardcore. Fast and metallic with a killer beat behind it. At 1:00, we have a solo! A fucking amazing solo at that. I love the way this vocalist can enunciate. That is a strong quality in any vocalist of this style of music. The fact that one can scream with all of their ability and still be clearly understood, that’s amazing. “Detach/Withdraw” contains another very old school punk influenced riff. Melodic and yet strangly misanthropic at the same time. The drumming is the thing that is standing out the most to me on this track. There is a lot of superior drumming going on here. I dig that a lot. Don’t get me wrong, the riffing is amazing, as are the vocals, there is just something about the drums on this. “The Fainting Game” begins almost like “Graves” but changes very quickly. This evolves from depressing to heavy and crushing in the blink of an eye. There is a lot of vocal variation in this track. Around 38 seconds, the track slows down, but don’t fret, this doesn’t in any way bring the track down. “Non Sum Qualis Eram” opens almot exactly like “Graves” and stays that way. This riff is fucking killer. At around 52 seconds, the track steps up. The vocals really set the mood on this. Regardless of how the guitar sound is, these amazing screams keep everything together like a screaming adhesive. I do not mean to say that the vocalist plays a bigger part in the band than anyone else, just saying. This track is fucking amazing. Yes, one of my favorites. “Rituals” opens with some more feedback before the band vocals kick in around 21 seconds. The stringed instruments don’t fully chime in on this track, but the drumming cannot be topped. There is a lot of extremely complex drumming going on here. Pretty fucking great. Great indeed. “Capture & Consume” contains a very thick chunky bass line that I fucking love. The riff is outstanding and the drumming sets a great tempo to this evil piece. I get a strong feeling of a sludge influence on this track. The gang vocals add a nice accent to the screams present throughout the album. The final 30 seconds or so of this track are very atmospheric and create an even creepy vibe than the song has when it began. “Kicking Rocks” jumps in with a straight up hardcore fury. Pummeling drums and a melodic riff that soar just right with these fantastic vocals. I actually will not be able to write a very clear review of this track because, as I was listening to it, I actually got lost in the track itself. I became unaware of anything around me and all I heard was this fucking unbelievable track. This. This is my favorite track on this entire record. That said, every song on this album is fucking killer, therefore, At Our Heels gets a perfect 10. Congrats, dudes. You made an amazing record!

Rating: 10/10

Exclusive: Matt & Chaz (An Isle Ate Her) Interview

Do you like your music insane, complex and loud as fuck? Then I do believe An Isle Ate Her might just be the band for you. This interview is interesting because it is the first I have had with more than one member of the band. Read on to learn about how the band came together, the origin on the band’s name and what the band’s plans for 2011 are.

Chaz — Matt


Can you tell me how the band came to be?

Matt: It started off when a band I was in way long ago played a show in Collin’s basement with their old band.  They ended up needing a drummer for a show so I practiced with them a couple times, but the show never happened.  Both of our bands ended up disbanding, so Chaz, Collin, and an older member of their band asked me to start Feeding the Foxes with them.  We had an EP, played shows and toured for about 2 and a half years until we realized that we could be writing much more complex and cohesive music.  That’s when we decided a name change was in order to suit the new material, and AIAH was born in February 2010.  We finally found Eric, who plays bass for us now and it rounded out the lineup perfectly.

How was the band name thought of?
Chaz: It came to Collin in a dream.
Yeah it was pretty random, haha.

The band plays a style of music that is, as best I can describe it, fucking chaotic. Did the band come together to play this style of music or did it evolve over time?
We’ve always wanted to write this style of music, but earlier it just wasn’t as possible as we thought.
When we first started, we thought we were really crazy and weird, and looking back, the music we were making then is nothing compared to what it is now. If the 2006 versions of ourselves heard the music we’re making now we would have hated it/not even considered it music. Back then we were in no way capable of writing/performing this music, which makes me excited to see where we’ll be in a few years.


You released an EP a little while back. Can you tell me a little about the writing and recording of it?
It was definitely written over time.  “A Core and Some Seeds” and “Tributary…” were written about a year before the EP was released, but we had changed or added riffs since then, and the other 4 songs were written in between summer 2009 and spring when we recorded it.  As far as the writing process goes, Collin will think of riffs, and play them over and over until he has a full song done.  Then, him and I will go through it riff by riff so I can add the drums, and in that time we’ll work out transitions, change rhythms, or anything else that needs to be done.  Chaz writes his lyrics and vocal patterns to fit with what we’ve done after that.  During the time of writing and recording, we didn’t have a steady bassist, so Collin did all those parts impromptu in the studio.  We also had a second guitarist at the time, Joey Kavanaugh, who isn’t in the band anymore, but he worked with Collin to write his parts that he recorded.  We recorded Desiderium with our good friend Paul Hundeby over at City Pro Recording in Orlando, FL.
We met Pauly last winter when we went on tour with his band City of Ifa. One of us would be in his bedroom all day recording parts while the rest of us would be smoking blunts with Jake, Ifa’s ex-drummer.
I did my drums first in a few hours, Collin and Joey did guitar parts, Chaz then did his vocals, and bass was recorded last.  It was kind of rushed, but fairly stress-less except for some click track issues…
And I forgot to do some vocals on “A Core And Some Seeds”, which I ended up recording in my bedroom in Georgia.

How was the EP recieved when it came out?
About as well as it could have. We play a very selective style of music so about 97.8% of the world’s population is going to hate it, but all the reviews online (that I’ve seen) have given it positive scores.
A lot of people that were into the style seemed to dig it, and tell other people about it.  We especially got a lot of love from the Apparatus (http://theapparat.us), a tech-metal/music message board that we all frequently post on.  All the members voted on the top EP of the year, and we got first place, over Dirty Projectors + Bjork even, so that was pretty rad.  Also, people started posting on Blogspots that A Core and Some Seeds was the demo version, it’s not!  If you got it with the EP, it’s the final version.

What comprises some of the lyrical content or themes on the EP?
While being as brief as I possibly can, the lyrics tell of an Alien whose race has evolved to the point where they no longer die nor reproduce. After millennia of existence, the main character or ‘the rogue’ grows tired of living. Each song details a separate attempt in which the rogue tries to commit suicide, but due to his immortality, he ultimately fails each time. After throwing himself into a volcano, he floats through earth’s mantle dissolved into billions of particles. After thousands of years he reforms to find that humans now have the technology to create black holes. The EP ends with the rogue detonating a bomb which creates a black hole that sucks him, along with the rest of humanity, into oblivion.


When can the full length album be available?
We have 3 songs as a full band completely done for it, and Collin has around 5 more songs written ready for us to write our parts onto, so we should be getting into that writing process pretty soon.  We hope to have it out by summer, or at least be recording by then.

What is in store for An Isle Ate Her in 2011?
Writing, shows in Georgia/bordering states, recording, hopefully a pretty long east coast tour in the summer.
New merch, the death of thousands of innocent virgins/babies.
All I suggest is for everyone to keep an eye out for us, our new stuff is gonna blow your brains out.