It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it. Metalcore in this vein normally leaves me cold but PISSMARK show that there are always exceptions. They describe themselves as Deathcore/Metalcore and who am I to argue? They most definitely are an angry bunch and deliver slow to mid paced music with an implicit threat of a nose to nose if you don’t like what they have to say.
Menace, if you are playing at this speed in this genre, that’s what you need. PISSMARK have it, not an arty, sinister sense of foreboding, rather a street corner don’t fuck attitude. They remind of older, rawer PRO PAIN, the riffs are baseball bats with nails through them, ruck ready. On opener “Amok” they stomp you good and proper and a suitably acidic lead solo twists the knife for good measure. Vocalist Kine is Mr Angry, grunting his guts out and shredding his larynx simultaneously. The vocal delivery best conveys the pure thuggishness of the band, as do the night-stalker drums. You’ve got to love the bass on this promo, it is flatter than an ECG signal, post cardiac arrest. On “Kruppel” it has a glorious digital twang to it but for the most part it is anvil hard with no bounce to it whatsoever. The guitar is low and heavy, forging chunky riffs that often end with a twist. All set together the listener is guaranteed a pummelling.
I rather suspect that these songs would go down a storm in a live setting, the pace is ideal for getting the crowd bouncing around. With this being a four track EP PISSMARK have got away with the narrow range of dynamics, personally on a full length album I think a faster number would not go amiss, or a really slow song for that matter. That observation should not detract from the solid effort evidenced here though. As all the songs are in German, I can’t tell you too much about subject matter, though I have established that they don’t think much of paedophile priests as spat out on “Eusebius” which also features some hefty sub-PANTERA riffing.
The deadly serious attitude of “Amok” delivered in a most business-like fashion bodes well for the bands future. Those of you that want hard hitting music that leaves you with sore kidneys would do well to check out the mp3s provided on the website. Conviction counts and this EP shows the band ain’t messing. Just watch out for that right hook. (Online June 10, 2005)