“Angels Weep starts off with an apocalyptic cue, which foretells the story of a world riddled by sin,” elucidates Bryle Tomilap, the man behind the vocal cords that carve each verse into the audience’s psyche. “Unraveling the violent descent of angels prophesized to purge the wicked and those who take advantage of the weak.”
Just as Dante sculpted words to guide us through his inferno, Turnpike builds their narratives through sonic grit and introspective turmoil. Releasing their newest offering “Angels Weep” on September 1, this metallic hardcore ensemble from Cebu, Philippines, has managed to sew another riveting patch onto the ever-expanding quilt of worldwide hardcore catalogue this year.
According to the band, “The song harps on an apocalyptic setting, where the wicked and the wretched are purged from the earth by brute and remorseless angels.” The sound is a labyrinthian hybrid—structured yet abrasive—bearing the kind of gravitas that calls back to late 90s metallic hardcore legends such as Turmoil, Arkangel, All Out War, and Converge. Yet, they’ve managed to filter this through the sieve of modern sensibilities, offering a “reimagined” take on the style.
A Brief Anatomy of Turnpike
When one peels back the textured layers of Turnpike’s music, a quintet reveals itself, each member essential in chiseling their sound from the monolith that is the hardcore genre. Sean Villareal strums the rhythm guitar, Renato John Mosqueda orchestrates the lead guitar, Vinz Bartiana pounds on the drums, Kerwin Scythe Britania governs the bass, and Bryle Tomilap takes up vocal duties.
The band wades through a murky sea of influences—from melodic and chaotic hardcore to metallic hardcore and metalcore of yesteryears. It’s an intricate weave of nostalgia and reinvention, with themes that coalesce around self-introspection, isolation battles, and poetic ruminations on suffering.
“The song is set to be a part of a full length release…”
Turnpike is on a mission of gradual unveilings. “Angels Weep” is not an isolated endeavor but part of a more extensive offering. The band has announced that it’s set to release a single each month until December, culminating in a six-song EP under Melt Records. They’ve taken to stages already, engaged in a ritual of cathartic screams and resounding chords as they promote their upcoming project.
The Fertile Grounds of Cebu City’s Hardcore Landscape
Yet, Turnpike is not a lone wolf howling into the abyss. They are a critical part of a local scene in Cebu City that has been nurtured for the past three decades by organizers and communities such as Struggle for Radical Action (SRA), Friends, Fun, Hardcore (FFH), Blaxkbox Productions, Small House Records, and Violent Healing Productions.
Notably, this scene has been significant enough to attract international attention; just this year, New York Hardcore band Roll Call and Vienna Hardcore band Lowlife made their way to Cebu. Turnpike‘s contemporaries like GRIP, Sephtis, Do by Heart, Armed, Sift, and Fear Them Wolves also contribute to the symphony of metallic hardcore that resonates within the city.
Though Turnpike shares an audible lineage with bands from as early as the 90s—names like Shrapnel, Left of Center, Queen City Crew, and Gardo come to mind—they represent a new leaf in a long-standing tradition. They’re keeping the core but adding the edge, literally and metaphorically, reviving but also refreshing the themes and soundscapes that define metallic hardcore with a catchy vibe.