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From the Depths


March 13th, 2009 · post by Dave · 2 Comments

‘From the Depths’ formed in early 2008 and have recently released their debut album ‘Germinate’ through CrimethInc. The band is made up of members of Catharsis, Requiem, Network of Terror, Auryn and Balaclava. They have already toured within the states and played many benefits in solidarity with Green scare victims, prisoners in the anticapitalist struggle and those of us facing the reprisals of the attempted riots/blockades at the Republican National Convention in September 2008. This album is a prodigy of dark, epic and resonant music.

It might take those used to the rough vocal styling of Catharsis/Requiem by surprise when Monica’s powerful yet melodic vocals explode into the song after the initial shout of “Let the black flags fly!”, but you will soon realize how uncompromising and harmonic they make this opening track. Throughout, Monica is backed up by Brian and Neil’s harsh vocals, keeping the intensity of hardcore punk, especially with Catharsis style double kick pedal. They sing with intense and inspiring passion about striking back with a vengeance and the potential of all the exploited, described as “blisters of violence swelling to burst”, holy shit…

“This album is a prodigy of dark, epic and resonant music.”

The second track, ‘Last Transmission’ is an epic tale of the insurrection in Oaxaca, Mexico. The title refers to an occupied radio station, the last building remaining in the hands of the people after the autonomous zone was taken back by the federal police a month after the uprising began. The space was not lost without intense pitched battles in the streets and unfortunately the life of Indy media journalist, committed anarchist and friend Brad Will. A technical riff that ruptures into a powerful d-beat sets the scene. Quieter guitar breaks slow it down for the anger and strength of the bi-lingual lyrics that speak for standing together and fighting back despite the reprisals of violence and state repression for simply desiring autonomy.

The next song, ‘Murderers’ exemplifies the bands willingness to experiment. They integrate hardcore with noise music and it works particularly well into a lengthy, anticipatory build up. This is the song that stuck in my memory after the first time I saw ‘From the Depths’. Opening with an intimidating, heavyset riff, the song develops into an all out assault against apathy, neutrality and ironically apolitical attitudes. They send a clear message to all those who can afford to sit comfortably and chose to do nothing against systematic abuse, that there are no excuses, “every blow you let fall, you’re accomplices, all murderers”.

I expect a great many of us can relate to the personal message written about the song ‘Marathon’. Steve (bass) describes feelings of loneliness within the bustling metropolis of North American cities. These emotions gave him a great appreciation for his experiences and relationships and how this crowded isolation is motivation enough for resistance. Double kick pedal punches through the intro as abstract lyrics echo over the unrelenting pace building up into a chorus of Monica’s almost operatic melody. The song is dominated by a set of (en)chanting lyrics, that will get stuck in your head for days on end.

Mixing it up a bit, ‘Dirge’ is a dark and heavy slow paced metal track. The drummer, Geoff, refers the lyrics to his experiences of resisting a squat eviction from religious property developers. Although it is not literally mentioned I would assume he is describing the eviction and eventual destruction of Ungdomshuset in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2007,( Although the short term battle was lost, the seed was planted for the growth of defiant and strengthened community networks.

‘A Sante Caserio’ is a traditional anarchist ballad sung alone by Monica. Although this song does add to the variety of the album and leads well into the final track, I think that if I did not know the context of the song (it is a good story, explained in the booklet) I would skip over it more than I already do. It is more of an intro to the end of the album than something comparable to the other tracks.

“This band prove that their rhetoric is not just for their fans to digest, but an integral part of their lives”

Dedicated to eco defense prisoner Daniel McGowan, ‘Joan of Arc With Hair Aflame’ bursts alive with a beautiful beat down that flows into the classic d-beat and more fierce vocals. With bitterness toward those who look so indifferently upon life as something to be controlled they sing about those who have their lives taken away by despicable judges and jailers and how their memories are the fuel that ignites the future. The beat down returns to end the album as
merciless as it began.

‘From the depths’ have a genuine and absolute abhorrence of authority, a steadfast dedication to fighting all forms of domination and they continue to organize for mutual aid and self-determination. This band prove that their rhetoric is not just for their fans to digest, but an integral part of their lives and ‘germinate’ clearly aims to inspire listeners into action.

The CD is available online for a suggested donation of $4 from the bands website.

The CD booklet is in both English and Spanish has and more detailed explanations about their lyrics, check it out!

→ 2 CommentsThis entry belongs to the following categories: CD reviews · Reviews

2 responses so far

  • Jennifer, Austin posted:
    Mar 13, 2009 at 2:08 pm. Comment #1

    Will check this band out. Good to raise awareness, so we can act. About Oaxaca and the murder of Brad Will…Drug War Doublespeak

    Laura Carlsen | March 9, 2009
    Americas Program, Center for International Policy (CIP)

    Through late February and early March, a blitzkrieg of declarations from U.S. government and military officials and pundits hit the media, claiming that Mexico was alternately at risk of being a failed state, on the verge of civil war, losing control of its territory, and posing a threat to U.S. national security.

    In the same breath, we’re told that President Calderon with the aid of the U.S. government is winning the war on drugs, significantly weakening organized crime, and restoring order and legality.

    None of these claims is true. Instead they are critical elements in waging the hypocritical drug war in Mexico. Read more of this excellent article by Laura Carlsen outlining the disinformation and fear tactics used to strong arm Plan Mexico through a placid Congress and Senate here

    Note: The Merida Initiative Round II (aka Plan Mexico) was passed by the Congress in February, by the Senate March 10th late in the evening, and signed into law by President Obama(!!!!) March 12th, 2009 (today).

    We are now looking forward to stopping the delivery of as much of the military/police ‘aid’ package as we can in order to have those resources properly invested in local and regional economic development programs which recognize the Mexican, Latin American and Caribbean peoples’ right to their own form of developing their economies.

    We will continue to inform our elected officials that the funding of a ‘failed policy’ (see GAO November 2008 report on lessons learned from Plan Colombia) is wasteful and – given the record of massacres and systematic abuse by the Mexican, Latin American and Caribbean military and police forces – is incredibly dangerous for the citizens of those regions.

    No metrics to allow lawmakers to measure success on the stated goals of this Bush Initiative were included in the spending package guaranteeing that ‘drug war’ profiteers (consultants, security and arms corporations, and U.S. extractive industries benefiting from a more powerful (but still quite unpopular) Mexican right wing President will continue to peddle disinformation with no scientific, public policy counterweight.

    We have and will continue to propose that the mainstream D.C.-based human rights organizations join the many organizations which have spoken out against Plan Mexico and take a position against the ‘war on drugs’.

  • Tom Fiction posted:
    Mar 18, 2009 at 2:02 pm. Comment #2

    Took me a while to get used to the vocals on this but it is most definitely awesome!