10s Essentials: In Crust We Trust – Part 2

Welcome to the second installment of this two-part In Crust We Trust: 2010s Essentials special. The first part of this ear-splitting fiesta included a lengthy introduction followed by a raft of releases from the likes of LIFE, War//Plague, Cancer Spreading, Putrefaction, Swordwielder, Akrasia, and plenty more besides. Part two also features oceans of thundering noise, but before you dive in, let me just reiterate one important point from the original introduction to this saga.

Some crust bands are trapped in an aesthetic ouroboros, heavily referencing the sub-genre’s pioneers time and again. Personally, I’m fine with that. Plenty of other niche musical spheres echo bygone eras, and I love heavyset crust that evokes the pungent romance of the past.

That said, it would be wrong to presume that crust is obsessed with old school mimicry. Some bands stick to a template established decades ago, but these days crust has traveled well beyond its initial creative borders.

Nowadays, scores of crust bands incorporate umpteen influences from other sub-genres (and sub-sub-genres) into their sound. Crust is now a very broad church, where many different-sounding bands choose to worship, and that’s reflected below, where you’ll find staunch traditionalists sitting beside deafening nonconformists.

How did I pick the music featured below? Good question, bruv. I stuck to strict criteria, which were:

  • If it sounds crusty, it’s up for consideration or inclusion.
  • That’s it.
  • I’m also going to add a “Like ↑ try →” note at the end of every blurb so I can shove more recommendations down your gullet.

The only thing to remember from here on in is that all the bands below, whether caveman crusties or not, dispense their mind-smashing music with equal amounts of obnoxious glee.

Fingers crossed you find something to enjoy.

Thanks for stopping by.

The Essentials: Part 2

Piggery – S/T (2019)
Bonecruncher – S/T (2015)

I’m starting the second part of this raucous chronicle with a shout-out to a couple of bands from around my neck of the woods—i.e. Aotearoa New Zealand. I’m firmly convinced that Piggery’s 2019 self-titled debut is a stone-cold classic, with the Pōneke (Wellington) band unleashing hope-smashing tracks that called to mind Skaven, Hellshock, and Stormcrow. Piggery matched feral hostility to bulldozing intensity, mixing heavyweight crust, doom, stenchcore, and death metal. The band wrenched open the pits of Hell on debut, resulting in some of the darkest and brutalist punk ever recorded in the southern hemisphere.

Fellow Pōneke crust outfit Bonecruncher released a single full-length and a 12″ split with long-running NZ d-beat band Rogernomix. Bonecruncher’s 2015 self-titled debut tackles issues like mental health, poverty, and the eternal struggles of modernity. But the band’s thickset stadium crust wasn’t downhearted, it was rip-roaring and cathartic. Bonecruncher bolsters your resolve to face life’s interminable hurdles head-on, with short/sharp blasts of riotous and rousing punk.

Like ↑ try → Australian melodic neo-crust band Terra Mater. The group’s dramatic 2019 release, Holocene Extinction Parts I & II, features epic crust you can wrap yourself in as you stare down life’s daily challenges.

Alement – Onward (2019)
Rigorous Institution – The Coming of the Terror / Penitent (2019)

For all of crust’s fraternizing with other sub-genres, there are still contemporary bands who exemplify the intertwining sonic and emotional heaviness of crust originators like Amebix, Deviated Instinct, Antisect, and Axegrinder. Philadelphia trio Alement are a prime example of that, and their colossal 2019 EP, Onward, featured artillery-strength barrages of primordial stenchcore. Alement’s bruising pronouncements were clearly influenced by vintage crust bands aplenty, but Onward still sounded fresh (albeit thoroughly fetid) and exhilaratingly imaginative too.

Eldritch PDX punks Rigorous Institution also proved there are still plenty of creative possibilities to be mined from crust that honors the old guard. Rigorous Institution released two magick/essential 7″ releases in 2019, and both were equally inspired. The Coming of the Terror and Penitent featured strongly realized songs mixing crushing anarcho-punk with stench-ridden ’80s crust. Gloomy atmospherics and dense dirges amplified all the required apocalyptic peril on perfectly nightmarish noisescapes.

Like ↑ try → Zygome’s magnificent 2018 self-titled EP, which also featured impressively thick slabs of filthy stenchcore and crasher crust. See also: Warkrusher’s first-rate 2019 demo, All is Not Lost, which includes similarly distortion-drenched stench/crust pandemonium.

Asmodeus ‎– S/T (2015)

Asmodeus’ self-titled full-length debut is a dream come true if you think crust punk peaked around the time of S.D.S and Misery’s classic 1992 split. Asmodeus’ gruff-toned stenchcrust owes a clear debt to Out of the Void-era Antisect, and Asmodeus’ self-described “EVIL HARDCORE FROM HELL” is fittingly shadowy with a whiff of brimstone about it too. Asmodeus’ 2015 self-titled LP featured mid-paced growling/crawling/clawing crust, which evoked doomsday prophecies galore (and it sure ain’t on Bandcamp or YouTube). Asmodeus’ 2016 Life? compilation is though, and it’s equally dark, downbeat, and just as spirit-shatteringly heavy. Superbly gloomy, sublimely moody, perfectly wretched.

Like ↑ try → Ruinebell’s 2015 12″, Embers’ Grave, which is also replete with bleak and steamrolling stenchcore. Or pick up French band Lust for Death’s 2017 LP,Demons, which grafts evil-sounding stenchcore onto old school metalpunk.

Warcollapse – Deserts of Ash (2019)
Absolut / Svaveldioxid – Split (2017)

Scandi crust warriors Warcollapse returned in 2019 with their demolishing 12″, Deserts of Ash. The release was heavy as a bomber squadron, lining up over their target, and Deserts of Ash added another storming chapter to Warcollapse’s storied history. Deserts of Ash delivered an onslaught of pile-driving, metallic crust – with wrath and unadulterated aural barbarity fueling Warcollapse’s stubborn sound. Yet another exemplary example from Warcollapse on how to combine a throttling old school ambience with bitter and bruising urgency.

The berzerker 2017 split between Absolut and Svaveldioxid was a perfect meeting of (concussion-inducing) minds. Canadian crew Absolut are rightly revered in raw punk and d-beat circles (their 2014 EP, Punk Survival, is a monumental piece of ultra-hostile ear-fuckery), but there’s also plenty of raging crust embedded in Absolut’s sound. Absolut’s split with Swedish band Svaveldioxid (see Svaveldioxid’s discography for more quintessential ’80s/’90s kängpunk battered by a crusty cudgel) saw both bands deliver crashing tracks with nuclear-powered drums, heavily distorted guitars, and venom-dripping vocals. Absolut and Svaveldioxid’s split will satisfy anyone titillated by violent, volatile, and volcanic punk. See within for all the hallmarks of a true underground classic.

Like ↑ try → Virginian band Future Terror, whose 2019 full-length, Plague, was an all-guns-blazing juggernaut – and one of the hardest crust releases in years. See also: Minneapolis band Geiger Counter, who hold nothing back on their titanium-tipped crust assaults. Start with Geiger Counter’s 2018 EP, Nuclear, and then work your way back.

Misery ‎– Where the Sun Never Shines (2012)

US crust band Misery’s 2012 LP, From Where The Sun Never Shines, saw the band blasting back into full-strength/full-length action after a number of years in the creative wilderness. Misery’s energy and steamrolling intensity were in no doubt, nor was their lyrical fierceness or guttural metallic might. The past decade has seen a number of veteran bands return to punk’s front lines, but not everyone proved up to the fight. On From Where the Sun Never Shines, Misery sounded like a tank division ready to wreak havoc and decimate their foes.

Like ↑ try → D-beat and raw hardcore crew Deathraid, who’ve always been popular with the crust crowd. Deathraid’s careening 2014 LP, The Year the Earth Struck Back, is a great place to start. See also: Hellshock. The band’s earlier releases were far more stench-ridden, but their 2010 LP, They Wait for You Still, might well appeal to fans of high-speed crusty hardcore.

Framtid ‎– Defeat of Civilization (2013)

Japanese punk legends Framtid set the bar for full-blown, full-throttle, and full-noise hardcore. Of the band’s music that falls within this feature’s purview, Framtid’s über-aggressive 2013 LP, Defeat of Civilization, is the most essential. (But don’t skip on their breakneck 2016 EP, The Horrific Visions.) Defeat of Civilization strips every extraneous element from belligerent crust, raw punk, and feedbacking d-beat, ensuring Framtid’s tracks are paired down to their harshest and most corrosive-sounding essentials. Then Framtid crank their amps, and stomp on their distortion pedals, kicking things into mind-splintering gear. Phenomenal.

Like ↑ try → Acrostix’s first-rate 2010 LP, Dear Daily Life. The band’s 2008 LP, (A Chain of) Hatred, featured more stench-slathered noise, but that falls outside the timeframe for this list, and Dear Daily Life is still heavily influenced by Amebix, Axegrinder, and Antisect, providing a ferocious lesson in crust-fuelled hardcore.

Instinct of Survival – LIFE split / Fatum split (2016) / (2017)
Fatum – Time Passes to the Dark (2012)

The gutter goth dalliances on Instinct of Survival’s 2014 LP, Call of the Blue Distance, alienated some fans, but in the ’10s the German crusties also appeared on a number of EP and split releases filled with harder-hitting crustcore. I couldn’t pick between Instinct of Survival’s 2016 split with renowned Japanese band LIFE or their similarly uncompromising 2017 split with Russian stenchcore outfit Fatum. Both see Instinct of Survival coiling wretched-sounding crust around dark punk, post-punk, and hardcore – and dialing up their brooding intensity with every passing second.

The last couple of LPs from stenchcore/howling metalpunks Fatum (2015’s Life Dungeons, and 2018’s Edge of the Wild) have seen the band markedly increase the influence of groups like Venom, Motörhead, and early Celtic Frost. Fatum’s 2012 LP, Time Passes to the Dark, is a stenchier, crustier, and much grimmer affair, with crustcore and dirty hardcore rumbling and grumbling on rotten-sounding tracks. Time Passes to the Dark captures stenchcore’s noxiousness and squalidness to a T.

Like ↑ try → Malmö d-beat/raw punk band Crutches, who have released plenty of crust-friendly recordings. Start with their gnarly 2015 album, FörlOrAD, which owes a debt to the Scandi school of blown-out crust.

Extinction of Mankind – Storm of Resentment (2017)
Extinction of Mankind / Apocalypse – Split (2017)

Plenty of crust’s old guard have released new music over the past decade, and while some were worthy efforts, not many were *essential*. One release that does stand out is Storm of Resentment, the 2017 full-length from UK anarcho-crust outfit Extinction of Mankind. Storm of Resentment falls squarely into the too punk to be metal and too metal to be punk category, and the LP is just as fierce and fetid as Extinction of Mankind’s 1995 classic, Baptised in Shit. Also well worth tracking down is Extinction of Mankind’s excellent 2017 split with similarly minded, similarly aged, and similarly rowdy Californian crusties Apocalypse.

Like ↑ try → Long-in-the-tooth UK scrappers Deviated Instinct. The band’s metal-driven EPs Husk(2018) and Liberty Crawls … to the Sanctuary of Slaves (2012) feature some of Deviated Instinct’s heaviest music yet. See also: long-running UK crust icons Doom, who released another fired-up and mangling release in 2013’s Corrupt Fucking System.

Mass Grave ‎– The Absurdity of Humanity (2016)

Canadian grindcore/crustcore band Mass Grave have been cranking out super-fast and reliably pummeling/pulverizing gunk for close to two decades. Mass Grave’s 2016 LP, The Absurdity of Humanity, is blistering and withering, and the band’s 2018 LP, Our Due Descent, is an equally sledgehammering riot. If you enjoy the bone-breaking mechanics of Disrupt (or the crude ferocity of early Doom, Extreme Noise Terror, and Napalm Death) The Absurdity of Humanity also features the same violent velocity and brutal impact.

Like ↑ try → The similarly grinding savagery of the similarly named Massgrave. If you dig the traumatic nastiness of Mass Grave – or the noisy wares of Death Dust Extractor or Asocial Terror Fabrication – you’ll love Massgrave’s 2010 7″, You Are Freaks Now Too.

Iskra – Ruins (2015)
Storm of Sedition – Decivilize (2016)

Canadian crust/metal anarchists Iskra have dug ever-deeper into black metal and myriad other corrosive strains of extreme punk and metal as the years have gone by. The band’s 2015 album, Ruins, is a raging political firestorm, featuring Iskra’s punchiest production yet. Capitalism is torn to shreds with revolutionary zeal, and Iskra’s fierce dissent offers catharsis as they howl bloody murder at those holding the reins of power and subjugation.

Closely linked Canadian anarchists Storm of Sedition also explore subversive ideals. The band’s 2016 LP, Decivilize, spits vitriol and venom, expressing a deep hatred of humankind, capitalism, domination, and conformity. Storm of Sedition’s ferocious music is duly ready to do battle, mixing weapons-grade crustcore with black metal, death metal, and massive-sounding stenchcore.

Like ↑ try → West Virginian collective Appalachian Terror Unit, who are uncompromising and outspoken. The band’s impassioned 2014 album, We Don’t Need Them, is replete with cries for social justice, freedom from oppression, and calls to remedy environmental inaction.

Agnosy ‎– Traits of the Past (2014)

The last album from UK crust quartet Agnosy, 2019’s When Daylight Reveals the Torture, was an absolute triumph. However, I’m also partial to the band’s 2014 LP, Traits of the Past, which represented a huge step up for Agnosy, both compositionally and instrumentally. Traits of the Past featured a palpable increase in heft and harshness, with Agnosy ratcheting up the tension to vein-bursting levels. Trampling d-beat and stenchcore mixed with bass-heavy deathcrust, and Traits of the Past gnashed and gnawed at your psyche like a rabid fucking beast.

Like ↑ try → Oiltanker, who also sound like a monster unleashed. The band’s 2012 compilation, The Shadow of Greed / Crusades, was released by label Southern Lord, granting Oiltanker access to a larger audience, and granting that audience access to some of the heaviest crust around.

Napalm Raid ‎– Storm (2014)

Storm was the first release I heard from crust trio Napalm Raid and, fittingly, their 2014 EP blew me away, straight away. I immediately tracked down Napalm Raid’s 2012 12″ Mindless, and I then waited for what felt like an age until Napalm Raid released their brain-battering 2017 LP, Wheel of War. Few crust bands have come close to capturing the aural and emotional heaviness (or the raw intensity) of Napalm Raid in full-flight. Comparisons to Doom, Discharge and Extreme Noise Terror are warranted, but it’s more important to note the bludgeoning d-beaten crust on Storm is guaranteed to crush your dreams and stain your soul.

Like ↑ try → Menacing Seattle death/crust four-piece Wilt. The band’s self-titled 2017 LP is one of the most intimidatingly heavy recordings that labels Neanderthal-Stench ‎and Profane Existence have ever released.

Procrastinate – S/T (2017)
Sarabante – Remnants (2011)

I could have stacked this two-part feature with scorching recordings from Greek crust bands. But I don’t have room for that, so you’ll have to hunt down the likes of Discordance, Kataxnia, Conspiracy of Denial, Last Rites, and every other crusty Greek ensemble on your own. I’ve got space for two bands, plus a couple of groups I couldn’t leave behind.

Stalwart DIY crew Procrastinate’s self-titled 2017 album features galloping crust and darker neo-crust scattered with big fat hooks and giant melodic riffs. Roaring vocals rise on crashing cathartic crescendos, and Procrastinate’s powerhouse approach will definitely appeal to fans of fist-raising metallic crust – à la Tragedy, Myteri, and From Ashes Rise.

Athens band Sarabante had their profile lifted when their spitting and snarling 2011 album, Remnants, and their 2016 album, Poisonous Legacy, got a helping hand from US label Southern Lord. Remnants is rawer and rougher, and thus sounds a little crustier, and Sarabante display an astute understanding of captivating songwriting balancing foot-to-the-floor aggressiveness with impassioned, melodic hooks.

Like ↑ try → The phenomenal 2019 debut from Greek d-beat/crust troop Dishönor, which featured bleak and barreling bulldog crust, and was one of my favorite releases last year. See also: long-running Greek band Hibernation. The band’s epic 2018 LP, In the Years of Desolation, was filled with dark and dirty atmospheric crust comprising some of Hibernation’s finest and fiercest work yet.

Nuclear Death Terror – Chaos Reigns (2012)
ExtinctExist – Cursed Earth (2016)

Nuclear Death Terror originated in Copenhagen before moving to Australia’s scorched shores. The band’s self-described “APOCALYPTIC DEATHCRUST” is just that –– a decimating barrage of raw aural filth. Nuclear Death Terror’s raucous 2012 compilation, Chaos Reigns, featured non-stop deluges of ear-piercing riffs, bombarding percussion, and throat-slit howls and growls. Zero subtly, supreme savagery, flawless delivery.

ExtinctExist features members from groups like Nuclear Death Terror and almighty noise-mongers Pisschrist. ExtinctExist’s 2016 Cursed Earth LP hurls brute-force crust at you with the stated aim of sounding like a “blood-encrusted war-machine running rampant in your living room”. Fair enough. ExtinctExist rachet every (Peaceville-worshipping) mechanism in their arsenal up to its deadliest degree, and Cursed Earth does a great job of sounding like a rampaging, world-eating automaton. (FYI: ExtinctExist have a new album out soon!)

Like ↑ try → Fellow Aussie crust band Territory, whose excellent self-titled 2019 LP was full of ear-piercing pleasures. And make sure to track down Warcycle’s 2019 7″, Legalised Onslaught, which featured red-hot broadsides of the rawest crasher crust.

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Posted by Craig Hayes

New Zealand's most successfully unsuccessful music writer. Dadcrust for d-beat dorks, noise punk nerds, and metal dweebs.

  1. I don’t know much about crust at all, I just ended up buying Swordwielder’s System Overlord LP last year after clicking around on Bandcamp. I like it and will seek out some more.

    I’ve bookmarked this for use as a crust primer. Thank you.

    Reply

    1. Cheers for leaving a comment. I hope this feature – and Part #1 – make for helpful primers. I think there’s a pretty good mix of gateway and deep-cut releases to explore. Definitely plenty more heavyweight crusties like Swordwielder to enjoy. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply

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