Current members of Killswitch Engage and Shadows Fall and ex members of Overcast and Cannae combined forces in the project Death Ray Vision and their debut 12 song album “We Ain’t Leavin’ Till You’re Bleedin'” which was released on Bullet Tooth on September 10, 2013. Oft described as metallic hardcore with old school hardcore roots, fans of bands like Cro-Mags, Leeway, Suicidal Tendencies or Bad Brains will find the influences immediately drawn from at the top of the surface. According to vocalist Brian Fair, “When Mike and I first met, we went to see Leeway and Breakdown play in Boston. My love for raw, metallic hardcore began that day and the energy and insanity in that club is something that has stayed with me forever.”
Produced by legendary hardcore guru Dean Baltulonis who has helmed albums for Sick Of It All, Agnostic Front, Madball and Most Precious Blood, DRV describe these new songs as “short blasts of energy and intensity built on thrash metal rhythms and chugging guitar riffs”. True to their word songs like “Over My Dead Body”, “Break Every Chain”and “Fuck Compromise” are throwbacks to furious punk roots with a very hardcore edge. One can see the pit circling up and bruised bodies being ejected as the songs progress. “Condemned When You Were Born” has a bit more thrash bite to it reminding me of some Scotty Ian riffage/chugging and definitely has more metal tinge than punk purity. “A Forest (of Kegs)” tone and guitar pace steps back a bit leaving the listener wondering what direction the ride is taking next, the drums and bass laying down a very rhythmic pounding charge somewhat in a Metallica vein if there must be a comparison, but yet not quite.
Death Ray Vision’s first EP was a lot of fun, a lot of punk, a bit of metal, and maybe only one throwaway instrumental. “We started the band to have fun, there is really no other reason to do Death Ray Vision,” states bassist Mike D. “Apparently we were having so much fun when we started writing for the 1st EP that we just kept writing and writing. All of a sudden, we had a crap load of tunes.” DRV decided to stay with Bullet Tooth for their full length debut, “Josh Grabelle and Bullet Tooth have the capacity to get our record out to more people then we can reach on our own,” explains Mike D. “It also doesn’t hurt that he is an old friend and is really excited about DRV. What more could you want?”
Grabelle is as enthusiastic about the signing as the band is. He’s known the members for years, almost signing Killswitch Engage in 2000. “I’m a huge fan of Shadows Fall, Killswitch Engage, and Overcast,” he said. “I first met Brian Fair in 1995 at an Overcast show in Erie, PA. I’ve been friends with Mike D for years as well. Mike D told me he had started a new band and I already knew it was gonna be awesome, and it was! I was honored they thought of me and Bullet Tooth and I know we will knock it out of the park together.”
We Ain’t Leavin’ Till You’re Bleedin’ is definitely worth more than a listen, in fact, it should definitely be in your download list if you love metalcore, punk, or thrash. Fans of Killswitch and Shadows Fall have probably already picked it up, but if you have not don’t go looking for what those bands have been producing, this is something entirely different.