Released: 2012, HSP Productions
This month I had the good fortune to be contacted by an up & coming Canadian record label, HSP Productions. This Quebec-based outfit has been slowly gaining some traction in the metal underground, and sent me six of their most promising releases for review. Those are: Demonolator, Hell Crucificator, Iapethos, Outre Tombe, Sights of War, and Svalbard. Please feel free to check them all out this month.
Sherbrooke, Quebec’s Sights of War are the proverbial “odd man out” on the HSP Productions’ roster. While all the other bands on the label play some form of black and/or death metal, Sights of War are a different beast completely. Their 2012 debut, FOR I AM… is a raucous, bludgeoning hardcore/punk record that delivers quite a beat down.
Make no mistake about the use of the term “punk” though, this isn’t anywhere near the likes of the bubble-gum nonsense that passes as punk today; Sights of War stomps the shit out of that crap. No, think more along the lines of The Exploited and you’re nearing where these Quebecois are coming from. “The Plague” starts the album off with a head of steam worthy of a locomotive as the thrashy riff takes hold. From that moment on, FOR I AM… is about nothing more than spreading musical chaos, right up to the last notes of “Witness the Birth of Evil”. The energy the band emits is palpable and infectious, and doesn’t let up for one second. Occultor’s vocals are nothing to write home about, his being a standard undistinguished hardcore bark. His commanding, no-nonsense presence certainly fits the music though.
The only other complaint I could level at the record is that all starts to blur together after a few songs. Mind you, that’s a criticism you could level at most hardcore records, and this album’s very short length (15 minutes) serves it well, preventing boredom from setting in. FOR I AM… may not be a genre-changer, but I doubt I’ve heard a livelier record recently. Besides which, I can’t think of too many bands treading this ground these days, so that in itself makes this a refreshing listen. They’re live shows must absolute chaos.