Following two EPs, Swiss metallic hardcore four-piece SXOKONDO are now ready to release their first full-length “Altered Ego“, which is set for release on October 28th via Division Records. Today, we’re stoked to give you an insane new video for the title track, along with the band’s extensive commentary on the concept of the song and more details on the upcoming full length below.
“Altered Ego” marks a new beginning for Sxokondo (pronounced shock-hondo, from the esperanto word for Shockwave), not only this is their first album, but they’ve also decided for a DIY approach and recruited local technicians to help them with the recordings, namely Kevin Galland from Studio Mécanique for the recording and mixing, and then Christoph Noth for the mastering, both being established in La Chaux-de-Fonds.
Inspired by the global pandemic and the deep social disruption it caused, this album sees Sxokondo churning out a brash, noisy, and intense metallic hardcore in the vein of Botch, Converge and Breach.
With a decade of existence and featuring members from various Swiss projects like Elenkhos, Mass Control, Churchill, Bunkr, The Stand or Desert Hobo, Sxokondo are not exactly newcomers so expect nothing less than a loud, frantic, violent, and explosive sound, especially if you ever get the opportunity to catch them live.
We sat down with the band to get some more details about their new release, get their opinion about the new BOTCH single and ask for more bands worth our attention this year. Check out their commentary below.
The track is called Altered Ego, but originally it was supposed to be called Phineas Gage. Gage was a 19th century railroad construction foreman who survived a really violent accident in which he got a large piece of iron through his head. The accident destroyed a good part of his brain, but did not kill him. The story tells that his behaviour and temperament started to change to the point where some of his friends did not recognize him, saying that he was “no longer Gage”. The idea behind the title and this song is that some events in life (or just life itself) can drive you to the point where you’re not really you anymore – hence the altered ego – and because of this, your empathy or sensitivity to the events of the world may diminish or disappear. You became totally out of touch with everything, especially dramatic or difficult events and you just live in a state of apathy.
Which has absolutely nothing to do with the video, where a guy gets his head smashed by a guitar. This was an idea that one of our guitarist he had for a long time and when the opportunity to shoot with a high-speed camera presented itself, we didn’t hesitate long about what we wanted to shoot.
The new release
The album, like the track, is called Altered Ego and is in fact the first album of the band, after two eps in 2014 and 2020. It’s a collection of songs that was composed during the last 3 years and, with the last ep, it shows the evolution of the band towards a more diverse sound. The band mixed a bit of everything they like, which goes from punk hardcore to grind, with more chaotic stuff, slower parts and even some kind of instrumental post metal parts. Lyrically it was mostly inspired by the time of the pandemic and the deep social disruption it caused.
Actually we were all particularly thrilled to see the band reform and release this new track, because everyone in the band has been a big fan of Botch for a long time now. And we can only hope that they will get back together for real and not just for one song. But still, it’s definitely one of the highlight of the year.
Top local bands worth a check
To avoid the “big” names of the Swiss scene that everyone already know, these are some of the bands we can recommend: