DANK SLAMS: Talking Slam with DESPISED ICON's Alex Erian
SLAM. For any of you born after the year 2000, this is a very special installment of Dank Slams. Years before y'all were spinning the hottest, dankest platters from today's teen-angst inspired slam, there were REAL bands out there droppin fuqqin bombs heavier – and far more destructive – than the combined weight of the average fast-food engorging North American nuclear family.
Who better to instruct you young'uns in such dankness? We've brought in a very special guest – Mr. Alex Erian of Despised Icon. Now, Despised Icon are not a straight-up slam band… that would be a far too limiting approach for such seasoned, versatile veterans. That said, Alex and his boys definitely aren't strangers to the dank. These guys have been incorporating slams into their music going all the way back to their genre-defining '02 release, Consumed By Your Poison.
After a lengthy absence, Icon are back with a phenomenal new album, Beast, released this past July on Nuclear Blast Records (reviewed here). Back are the cranial crushing breakdowns, along with the pig squealing breeeeee-breeeees of vocalist Steve Marois. The guys are once again showing their love and respect for all things slam. So, in return, let's show them the respect they deserve, especially when they are still delivering crushing pit-riffs, such as can be found at 1:28 of their killer slam-hardcore crossover track, "Bad Vibes". Check it…
At this point, we let Alex take the reigns of Dank Slams to give us the low down on what slam bands have inspired him and his bros in DI, along with a look into what's been infecting his ear meat lately. Take it away Alex…
DEVOURMENT – BUTCHER THE WEAK (2005)
ALEX: To break the ice, let’s start with the OG’s, Devourment. One of the most copied brutal death metal bands out there. I don’t think any of the bands in this column would exist if it wasn’t for them. Just making sure you know! I remember listening to them for the first time on an underground compilation CD in '99 and couldn’t fucking believe my ears. Whether I listen to Devourment’s "Babykiller" or Juicy J’s latest joint, I headbang the same way. So hard.
DISGORGE – CRANIAL IMPALEMENT (1999)
ALEX: Here’s another classic, Disgorge’s Cranial Impalement. Matti Way’s vocals are absolutely disgusting and definitely influenced Despised during our early years. He was doing 'breeeeees' and 'uhhhhhhs' years before the deathcore hype. I remember his other band Cinerary, but revisiting this record makes me want to check out his current stuff in Pathology. Their drummer Ricky Myers now does vocals for Suffocation on tour and, if I’m not mistaken, Derek Boyer recorded the bass on this one.
ABOMINABLE PUTRIDITY – IN THE END OF HUMAN EXISTENCE (2007)
ALEX: The first time DI played in Moscow was a mess. The vodka was so smooth and half the band got so drunk. Definitely not our tightest performance. I somehow finished our set with a black eye. One thing that ruled, though, was a local Russian band opening up the show called Abominable Putridity. I remember Steve and I both grabbed their first album In The End Of Human Existence at that show. We were doing a lot of metalcore tours back then and loved to blast that record backstage. No one liked it! Haha!
INGESTED – THE ARCHITECT OF EXTINCTION (2015)
ALEX: Up next are my friends Ingested from Manchester, UK. It’s always great to catch up with Sean and the boys on the other side of the pond. They recently did Summer Slaughter and I’m glad things are going so well for them. Their drummer Lyn is the real deal. Super fast kicks and blasts with none of the studio magic bullshit. Here’s their latest single. My friend Kam and I did a brief cameo in the video! lol
ALEX: … and here's an older Ingested track featuring your boy on vocals. SLAM.
NASTY – SHOKKA (2015)
ALEX: Let’s vary it up a little, drop the gutturals and end things on a high note with Beatdown heavyweights, Nasty. They’re like the On Broken Wings of this decade, with the addition of Dolf Lundgren on drums. I’ve played a bunch of Euro festivals with them and they always bring the MOSH and pit action. Their latest album Shokka is out in America through Good Fight Music. Check it. They’ve toured a lot with fellow UK bands Malevolence and Desolated. If you dig this shit, check them out as well.