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German metalcore quartet DROWN IN MALICE premiere new song & video “20XX”; share top influential records

After they released their first EP ‘Post Futures‘ by the end of 2019, German metalcore four piece DROWN IN MALICE were eager to play these songs live, but unfortunately thepandemic has put their plans on hold. The band decided to write more songs and today we’re pleased to unveil the striking effect of their work, a new song and music video called “20XX”. The new jam deals with the blatant social inequalities and polarization that Covid made impossible to deny anymore.

“We never felt as if we need the band as a form of escapism from reality but instead as a way to comment on it and this song is another example.” – comments the band.

The song itself was mostly done before the pandemic, with a few minor tweaks here and there that were changed before the band tracked it.

“We think it’s a step up for us as a band but still carries forth some of the trademarks we hoped to establish with the ‘Post-Futures’-EP.” – they continue. “So far we have not recorded any more songs, given our drummer situation but we sit on more than enough musical ideas and during the last 1,5 years at least creativity was not something we were worried about.”

Drown in Malice

The lyrics, however, deal with the aspects that DROWN IN MALICE are worried about.

“Maybe it was just out of naivety or out of incurable optimism but in the first few weeks the lockdown situation for us felt like a chance for change as it revealed the possibility to bring almost everything to a halt.”

“The economy, it appeared from the confines of our homes, almost stopped and everything slowed down and there was a short moment when it appeared as if it could not go back to normal ever again. At the same time the struggles of those working in the health sector were visible to all of us through our TVs or laptops and the inhuman conditions that the neoliberal agenda with its focus on privatizations and the exploitation of human beings had created was at the forefront.”

Drown in MALICE

“At no point this could just all get back to the way it has been before. Well, it turns out: it would go back to normal and it would even get worse. More and more people were dying during the second wave and politically almost nothing had been done to prevent this. Also there was a huge disparity between those who could go back to work in the industry without any mandatory limitations and those who were e.g. working in the cultural domain. Or students. They were left alone for many months while at the same time having lost their jobs. Those who were working and living under precarious conditions were forgotten almost entirely.”

“And with this setup which showed the inequalities we live in so clearly, the ones that were actually heard and discussed the most were those who were denying or downplaying the virus and such easy and basic precautions as simply wearing a mask. They also had no problem walking side by side with known neonazis and other right wing and conspiratory nutjobs. All under the eyes of the police and politicians. The small glimmer of hope for solidarity and a restructuring of our current society had turned into an egomanical, chauvinistic and manically anti-scientifical shitshow. And it far overstayed its welcome.”

π‘‡β„Žπ‘–π‘  𝑖𝑠 π‘€β„Žπ‘Žπ‘‘ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘™π‘¦π‘Ÿπ‘–π‘π‘  π‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘’ π‘Žπ‘π‘œπ‘’π‘‘. π»π‘œπ‘€ π‘’π‘£π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘¦π‘‘β„Žπ‘–π‘›π‘” 𝑀𝑒𝑛𝑑 π‘π‘Žπ‘π‘˜ π‘‘π‘œ ‘π‘›π‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘šπ‘Žπ‘™’ π‘“π‘Žπ‘Ÿ π‘‘π‘œπ‘œ π‘“π‘Žπ‘ π‘‘ π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ π‘‘β„Žπ‘–π‘  ‘π‘›π‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘šπ‘Žπ‘™π‘–π‘‘π‘¦’ 𝑖𝑠 π‘ π‘œπ‘šπ‘’π‘‘β„Žπ‘–π‘›π‘” π‘‘β„Žπ‘Žπ‘‘ 𝑀𝑖𝑙𝑙 π‘šπ‘œπ‘ π‘‘ π‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘‘π‘Žπ‘–π‘›π‘™π‘¦ π‘™π‘’π‘Žπ‘‘ π‘‘π‘œ π‘π‘Žπ‘‘π‘Žπ‘ π‘‘π‘Ÿπ‘œπ‘β„Žπ‘–π‘ π‘œπ‘’π‘‘π‘π‘œπ‘šπ‘’π‘  𝑖𝑛 π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘“π‘’π‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’.

“Regarding the music video, we wanted to go one step further and show the indisparities not only the virus had once again made so visible to everyone who wanted to see it but also draw parallels to the climate catastrophe which needs to be at least contained as soon as possible and other instances of protest out of solidarity and anger instead of egocentrism and crude power fantasies.”

The video was edited with the band’s friend Philipp Oertel and it certainly adds another layer to the song and complements it well.

Drown in Malice

Drown In Malice started in 2016 in Konstanz in South Germany.

“The current line-up consists of our two guitar players Robin and Jan, our bass player Dennis and our singer Manuel.” – says the band.

“We are currently still searching for a drummer, something we didn’t expect to be so challenging but as Konstanz is not a large city and the region itself is also quite rural, it turned out that it’s more like the needle in a haystack situation.

“When we were a full band and there wasn’t a global pandemic we loved to play shows whenever we got the opportunity and we would love to continue that run, especially since we are convinced that the new songs that we wrote during the pandemic are a serious step up for us as a band. We still like our first record ‘Post Futures’ a lot and also loved to play these songs live and the lyrical content still feels relevant to us. But as it is with probably most bands, the newest stuff is always the most interesting and fun one.”

π‘Šπ‘’ π‘‘π‘œπ‘›’𝑑 𝑓𝑒𝑒𝑙 π‘Žπ‘ β„Žπ‘Žπ‘šπ‘’π‘‘ π‘‘π‘œ π‘™π‘Žπ‘π‘’π‘™ π‘œπ‘’π‘Ÿπ‘ π‘’π‘™π‘£π‘’π‘  π‘Žπ‘  π‘Ž π‘šπ‘’π‘‘π‘Žπ‘™π‘π‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘’ π‘π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘.

“As much as we don’t care about a lot of the music that had been released under this notion, we still think that there is a lot that can be done within this genre and a certain fuzzy feeling we get when we listen to a lot of the stuff that was released in the early to mid 2000s by bands like Poison The Well, From Autumn To Ashes or August Burns Red.”

“We also love the direction this style has been taken within the last couple of years with bands like Vein, SeeYouSpaceCowboy or Renounced. We think that there is still much room for interesting ideas in the metalcore realm. As hard as it is to describe your own music, we would say that we’re not on the super heavy side of things but instead focus on dynamic songwriting and melodies as well as the occasional breakdown here and there.”

Regarding the lyrical content, the band continues: “Our singer Manuel’s decision to write his lyrics in German was one that he wanted to do for a couple of years before joining the band, as he had never done it before with his other bands and therefore wanted to try something new.”

“The topics we touch are mostly socially and politically motivated and it usually swings back between very specific topics such as police brutality in ‘Kadavergehorsam’ or the human atrocities of the resurged far right in many European countries in ‘Die tΓΌchtige Wut’ and more general observations on the human condition in songs like ‘Der menschliche Makel’. ’20XX’, the song you can now hear and watch the video for falls somewhere in between these two poles.”

Drown in Malice

The Konstanz heavy music scene:

“Konstanz is not a huge city, so the DIY scene is also not very huge. We do have some cool venues, however, with the Contrast in Konstanz and the Horst Klub in Kreuzlingen (our neighbouring Swiss town) doing some cool shows with interesting bands. There’s also the Kulturladen, which is a commercial music club with a couple of interesting concerts spread throughout the year as well and the Zebra Kino, a non-profit local cinema which organizes some cool festivals such as the Queergestreift LGBTQIA+ festival and the Shivers Film Festival, in which our singer Manuel is also involved.”

“Some of us also organize shows with the Melodic Depression concert collective, even though we were just starting to get a little momentum when the pandemic hit.”

Regarding bands in the Punk/HC/Metal-scene, we have our friends in Unredd, who we shared the stage with many times as well as our practice room buddies The Sound Monkeys and I Saw Daylight, who at least have one member residing in Konstanz and who we also had the pleasure of sharing the stage with as well as organizing a show for. As we are really close to Switzerland, there are of course also many bands and venues so at least going to a show in non-pandemic times doesn’t always mean that you have to make a two hour drive.”

Continued below…

Drown in Malice

Five records I’ve been listening to a lot over the last two years, by Manuel (vocals):

Cloud Rat – Pollinator

I love this band so much. They keep evolving and are very forward thinking and emotional while still keeping the energy that I enjoy so much when listening to grindcore. An insanely good live band as well (saw them at Fluff Fest and fell in love immediately).

Violet Cold – Empire Of Love

Speaking of forward thinking. This record is probably a black metal gatekeeper’s nightmare. Just take a look at the artwork. I love it. Violet Cold had won me over with his exceptional ‘Kosmik’ record but ‘Empire Of Love’ feels even grander and more personal at the same time and I’m always looking forward to new music from this project out of Azerbaijan.

Adia Victoria – Silences

Let’s slow down a bit. ‘Silences’ came out of nowhere for me and I still think that this record is criminally underappreciated. The songs on this one are intense and beautifully composed and Adia’s vocals are something else. Sends shivers down my spine everytime I listen to this and I mean this in the best possible way.

Youth Code & King Yosef – A Skeleton Key In The Doors Of Depression

I always liked Youth Code for their energy but this record is the first one that really clicked with me. The vocals are incredibly powerful and the music makes my fist clench and my heart pump in all the right ways. That they were able to implement some seriously catchy choruses with this one does’t hurt either.

Charli XCX – How I’m Feeling Now

Charli is so consistent, I’m just in awe. This was one of the first records that directly refers to the pandemic and came out during the first months of it and it has no right to be so good, given the circumstances but it is. The whole ‘Hyperpop’ movement is a rabbit hole I willfully jumped into over the last couple of months but Charli is still it’s shiniest example.

Five records that had a decisive musical impact on me, by huitarist Jan:

Billy Talent – s/t

First record on my way into heavy music. It gave me a feeling of freedom, strength, self-confidence and reminds me of my youth and friendships.

Bullet For My Valentine – The Poison

This record inspired me to learn playing guitar. All of my fundamental guitar techniques and skills came from playing these songs over and over again.

August Burns Red – Constellations

I immediately fell in love with this band the first time I heard this. The distinctive staccato riffing, the varied guitar runs, the massive breakdowns and the well thought-out songwriting give the record a great dynamic and atmosphere.

Parkway Drive – Killing With A Smile:

I would have to say that this is one of my favorite melodic metalcore albums of all time. It’s brutal and catchy, has crushing breakdowns and impressive melodic metal riffs with some fairly technical leads. I love the crisp, yet crushing guitar tone on this record.

Tool – 10.000 Days:

I love this progressive genre-mix, it’s mystical and has a hypnotic, dense atmosphere. It’s a record I discover something new with every listen . From the quiet moments, which are also quite numerous here, you take away more beauty with each listen.

Five records that influenced me as a musician, by guitarist Robin:

Parkway Drive – Killing With A Smile

This album is the reason why I fell in love with metalcore in the first place. For me it combines great catchy songs along with a variety of different atmospheres. This is how a good metalcore has to be and sound like, if you ask me. Fun fact: The idea for our band name came along when Jan listened to this record once again. On the song “Anasasis (Xenophontis)” there is a line that goes “left alone to drown in malice”. So he suggested the name in our next rehearsal. The rest is history.

Poison The Well – The Opposite of December

I discovered this album pretty late. At that time I was already listening to a lot of metal and hardcore records but nothing was like this album. I love how diverse the songs and structures are while keeping the riffs more or less simple. It’s crazy how far ahead of their time these guys were when they released this in 1999. I wish more people would know them here in Europe.

Omega Massif – Karpatia

I started listening to this album in 2020 when we had curfew in our state of Baden-WΓΌrrtemberg. It’s a really dark and heavy record or in other words: perfect for the walking routine I established around that time before I had to stay at home. These walks combined with this music helped me to get through those quite difficult months.

Ancst – Moloch

Ancst is probably one of my favourite German metal bands. Their fusion of death metal, black metal and crust is so unique, you won’t find anything simular to this. They are the reason I started becoming more interested in black metal and black metal influenced music. ‘Moloch’, ‘Human Hive’ and ‘Turning Point’ are my favourite tracks on this record. If you like this kind of music I highly suggest checking out their latest album. It’s awesome!

Blink -182 – Take of your Pants and Jacket

After all those rather heavy bands probably very few would’ve expected Blink 182 on this list. But they are the main reason I picked up a guitar in my teens. They showed me that music doesn’t need to be complicated to play to be fun. So I learned most of the songs from this album pretty quickly. Even though I rarely listen to a lot of pop punk these days I enjoy revisiting this album from time to time.

Bonus

Converge – Jane Doe

Can there even be a top 5 list without a Converge record? If you ask me: certainly not. I think I don’t need to write much to this about this as it’s pretty popular with a lot of people. It definitely made me interested in listening to more chaotic music.

Five records that influenced me as a musician, by bassist Denis:

Red Hot Chili Peppers – Stadium Arcadium

In 2006 a friend introduced me to the Red Hot Chili Peppers who had just published this record. One year later I started playing Bass. If it werenβ€˜t for this band and their absolute mad man of a bass player Flea I might have never picked up the bass und joined a band.

Dream Theater – Images and Words

This record opened up a new world for me. The world of prog. This band is responsible for me becoming a music nerd.

Tool – 10’000 Days

Another band with unique songwriting. Justin Chancellorβ€˜s bass riffs are on another level and definitely had a huge impact on my songwriting.

Opeth – Watershed

Mikael Akerfeldt has to be one of the most talented musicians in the genre. I love the fact that a lot of Opeth songs have this incredible groove in them.

Plini – Handmade Cities

Plini and Simon Grove have done an incredibly good job in what feels like layering 100 guitar and keyboard tracks and still making everything audible. The riffs, the solos – the musicianship in general on this record – are world-class in my opinion.

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