Slaves BC – “All is Dust and I am Nothing”


All_is_dust_and_I_am_nothing_a19Slaves BC debut full length All is Dust and I am Nothing is just as dark, dirty, gritty, heavy, tough, and pummeling as one would expect if you know the stereotype of their hometown Pittsburgh.

Back in 2010, longtime friends Josh Thieler, Sean Singer, and Rick van Newkirk joined together as Slaves BC and began writing their first demos.  After picking up Jason Cantu in 2011, the band went into Bloodbot Studios and recorded “The World Shall Pass Away.”  In 2012, the band started playing shows and writing more songs and since that time have put out an ep and a couple of splits, one with Cousin Sleaze out of New York and one with Grace and Thieves.  For their full length, the band opted for a concept album based on the book of Ecclesiastes.  Those who have read through Ecclesiastes  know it often presents a rather gloomy view of humanity and life in general, so in that way it makes sense for a doomy hardcore band to take on that challenge.

I almost feel as if description won’t do this album justice, it needs to be experienced.  There is a blending of a styles and elements in the songs that in some ways defies a genre tag.  On “God Has Turned His Back”, the song opens up with an almost doom feel to it only to venture into death and black metal territory with blast beats.  Vocals throughout the album are tortured screams with vocal chords seemingly shredding within every song.

Production is suitably gritty and the band makes good use of feedback.  Songs like “Crawling Through Nothing to Nothing” have that ominous feel to them as the bass and drums thump along slowly at the beginning and the song actually builds in intensity before exploding into more blast beats part way through and veering off into a black metal section before ending in a slow pounding, grinding manner.

The band seems to have found a nice groovy riff for “All Find Their Way to the Grave”.  The bass line opens up and one thinks initially that there may be a bit of relief from the brutality but that really never comes.  Feedback announces the arrival of the guitars and while the song does rumble along with that groove, it is still heavy and dark.  Interestingly there are some slower sections with a definite Black Sabbath feel to them, making this song one of my favorites on the album. Keeping with their concept of borrowing from many different genres, “Everything is Meaningless” has sections that sound straight out of a some old-school hardcore, but done with a more menacing tone and feel before returning to the slower, sludgier feel more common to the rest of the album.

Very simply, this is an album of pure destruction.  There is no subtlety, no nuance, simply all-out pummeling brutality from the opening sludgy riffs of “God Has Turned His Back” to the closing screams and wall of feedback in “Why are We Here”.  In between, listeners will hear everything from black metal to old-school hardcore to doom used wherever and whenever the band deems appropriate.

Rating: 8/10

Written by John Jackson

01. God Has Turned His Back
02. Crawling Through Nothing to Nothing
03. Dust
04. All Find their Way to the Grave
05. Everything is Meaningless
06. Everything Under the Sun
07. Nothing Remains but Death
08. There is Nothing for Me Here
09. Why are We Here

Band Members:
Josh Thieler – Vocals,  Drums
Sean Singer– Guitar, Vocals
Rick van Newkirk – Guitar
Adam – Vocals
Brandon – Bass

Record Label: Veritas Vinyl, Feb. 2016

Weblinks: Facebook / Bandcamp / Twitter

Buy the album here:
Holland: First Paradox
Norway: Nordic Mission

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