Combining the battery of finest metallic hardcore and metalcore with sinister crossover thrash, Indiana based ENEMY OF CREATION formed just 2 years ago and should be soon well known to keep things wild, giving us a good time with their blend of venomous sounds of a couple different genres. One year after their debut EP, the five-piece are out for blood once more with their Camo Pants Records EP dubbed “Victims of the Cross”, and we’re thrilled to give you a proper overview of this interesting offering, along with the band’s track by track commentary and more insights behind their inspirations!
Clocking in just shy of 25 minutes, ‘Victims of the Cross’ is a melting pot of thrash and hardcore (with the occasional nod to death metal greats Obituary and Bolt Thrower) which is set to have circle pits opening across the Midwest.
Produced by Andrew Nelson (ex-Weekend Nachos) and mastered by Arthur Rizk (Outer Heaven, Tomb Mould), ‘Victims of the Cross’ is without question the bands most refined material to date and with vocalist Steve McIntosh’s howls of religious criticism going hand in hand with the visual art of illustrator Suri, (who has previously created works for the likes of Enforced and Tragedy), Enemy of Creation have created a release with an identity strong enough to stand on its own, while never making any effort to hide their penchant for creating music heavily influenced by the likes of All Out War, Stampin’ Ground, and Power Trip.
Formed in 2017 by five veterans of the underground hardcore scene, Enemy of Creation came together with the mission of taking their hardcore and punk rock roots and melding them with their love of death metal, old school metalcore, and thrash. This combination of metal and hardcore takes a variety of forms throughout the entirety of ‘Victims of the Cross’, shifting from the opening ‘Seasons in the Abyss’ era Slayer worship of ‘Paradise is Punishment’ to the acoustic intro of mini-epic closer, ‘Buried in Guilt’.
‘Victims of the Cross’ will be available on cassette and as digital download via Camo Pants Records.
“This album in its entirety, represents a vast majority of what I see wrong with religion as a whole. Over the last few years I’ve watched friends and family grow distant over our religious differences, which made for great inspiration when writing these songs. Do I think all religious people are evil? Of course not, but with this album I wanted to expose what is hidden in the dark.” – Steve
Track by track breakdown:
‘Paradise is Punishment’ embodies everything that Enemy of Creation set out to accomplish on ‘Victims of the Cross’ and although an initial slow-burner (by typical hardcore and metal standards), once the bruising intro has passed, the band pull a complete 180, setting things off in their own way by throwing everything that falls under the ‘metalcore’ umbrella and more into a . From blast beats and gang vocals to elements of thrash, the band showcases their songwriting chops as well as an obvious love for all things metallic.
Across the entirety of ‘Victims of the Cross’, the band make no effort to pull any punches regarding their feelings on organised religion and the title track is no exception. Opening with eerie news samples that detail crimes committed by members of the Catholic church before shortly leading into the call and response chorus of ‘Offering you god! Rape and deceit!’, the mid-tempo thrashing of ‘Victims of the Cross’ provides the perfect backdrop for the bands once describe, ‘blasphemous metalcore’.
Clocking in at just over three minutes, ‘Lies’ is the closest thing to a ‘single’ on the whole of ‘Victims of the Cross’ and wastes no time in getting down to business with the band performing a circle pit inducing balancing act between the thrashier side of Ringworm and the battering ram heaviness of All Out War. Most notably, ‘Lies’ features a vocal refrain catchy enough to get stuck in even the densest of cro-magnon’s skull, something that bores deeper into the listeners brain through the undeniably convicted vocal delivery of Steve McIntosh.
Continuing with the immediacy of its predecessor, ‘Dying Views’ combines the to the point delivery of ‘Lies’ with the nonlinear song-writing of tracks one and two and sees the band throw just about everything metal and hardcore at the wall. Tremolo picked riffs and closest thing to death metal drum parts all drive ‘Dying Views’ forward, with no quarter given for the entire track and the band continuing to demonstrate their unabashed love for all the iconic 90’s metalcore sound.
Closer, ‘Buried in Guilt’ is without doubt the most ambitious of the five tracks featured on ‘Victims of the Cross’ and sees the band taking their sound as far as they possibly can. Although initially greeted with acoustic guitar and accompanying melodic lead line, once the acoustic intro has faded, ‘Buried in Guilt’ definitely calls back to the pit-centric zeitgeist of the late 90’s bruiser mentality.
Asked about their inspirations, the band commented:
“Usually we go into any writing practice with a riff or two that I wrote. And after I play the riff, our drummer points out what band it reminds him of. Like for instance the main riff of the LIES he said “oh shit that sounds like something Ringworm or Pale Horse would write, that’s bad ass!” So, as we move forward in writing that song – we call the riff “the Ringworm riff” or “the pale horse riff”.
As a whole we musically, I knew I personally wanted to make this EP more metal. We as a band are all into hardcore, punk and metal – and we all have a desire to cross all those lines whenever we want and not cater to any single genre specifically even though we play in a predominantly hardcore scene. I felt we would stay truer to ourselves if we just wrote music as it came out rather than say shit like “well that’s too metal – that won’t work for us”.
Our good friends in the band Millions of Dead Angels brought that to light to me. They started their band to basically do that – play any riff that comes to mind and not just write to a genre specific scene. And one of my best friends, is in the death metal band Dysphoria and they are a huge inspiration to me writing songs – I wanted to play more shows with rich and Dysphoria and their crowd. So basically, that’s more the approach this time around, we are more open to branching out and not being a one genre band. It’s a hard task as sometimes our natural instincts pull us a certain way, but we try to make the riffs and songs fun rather than the “this is the way it has to go” mentality.
We, like every band, loved every song as our new favourite song after we wrote it and felt like we couldn’t beat it. But we kept writing killer songs. We also wrote a rough finished song – then constantly would tweak and tweak and tweak and tweak for weeks/months. Then onto the next song. I feel we blended a bunch of styles well. Def bands we are all into and inspired us throughout this were All Out War, Obituary, Ringworm, Dysphoria, Millions of Dead Angels, Undying, Prayer for Cleansing and newer bands we all were digging on were bands like Homewrecker, Skeletal Remains, Gatecreeper, Power Trip, Trip, Genocide Pact, etc.”