Regrouping as four and licking off their wounds from previous trumpet-tongued endeavors under numerous demos and an endless revolving door of exiting collaborators, the final manifestation of "Banshee" is rendered through the final collaborations between Nico Cafarelli, Austin Kranick, Tony Marzello, and Andrew Wallace. They prove to be precise in coloration while remaining calamitous in their delivery of Hardcore and Heavy-Metal amalgamating sonic hellfire. The most recent crusades in their musical subjugation reigns in on the shrieking harmonics of fringed out guitars and a vigorous double kicks that excavates the flats beneath us, plowing their ground shattering half time breakdowns amongst up-tempo outbursts and a fatalistic grit that presents as rasp in the howls and chanting of Nico Cafarelli's lead vocals.
"Terror Bird" comes down thrashing over the edges of the drummer's cymbals as he hails over the rattling drums beneath him. "I'm a fire put me out, I'm a fire put me out," Cafarelli shrieks as the mammoth metal production behind him overwhelms the expanses of the mix with fired up riffs and stubborn connections of hyper-fueled sonics. It's a big-sliced offering from the enthusiastic group who open up this record with a cannonball, sinking into it's intrinsically placed breaks and back tempered buildups amongst the hell-storm that this genre results to naturally: seething saturated mid-range guitars, cascading cymbals, a shrilling topline that quivers in its labored fiery howls. It feels like we just purchased a ticket to the most bent out and intense rallying train ride, set over the burning tracks that Banshee manifests their drive-in with remarkable ferocity when "Keep It Secret, Keep It Safe" implodes from the combustible fumes of its predecessor track. On a post-hardcore-punk blast beat, this cut seems to launch between sudden rushes of enthusiasm and intoxicating dives into melodic refrains that utilize pitched out vocal toplines, scorching in ferocity as they outline the antiquated expiations of this conspicuous Hardcore relic from the Metal-core prophets themselves.
As we reach the centerpiece of this record, what's most notable is how "Banshee" establishes an aesthetic and energy through the opening flashes of "Events Occur in Real Time" and continues in developing from it as each ensuing tracking is reborn from the ashes of its antecedent track, while always maintaining magnetic compulsion through ever-adapting riffs. It's clear and concisely proven throughout the gritty and fleshy wails on "Lizard Conditions," a song that inundates through its cohesive divulgence of intoxicating metal-core instrumentation and cleverness. As we continue, it feels as though the gates of Mordor have opened, and Mount Doom has just erupted; blazing riffs swell with overpowering energy and spew out in the breakdowns like fiery molten lava. It's all found in the next two tracks, "Hollywood Burn," and "Sunflower," where we are shown the most uptempo and scathingly intense sides Banshee's soaring symphonic heights.
Pounding at the drums as if in the middle of a fist provoked brawl "Sunflower" takes effect on the wave of a wall of sound that rings devastatingly wide through an edgy bass and glazed-over guitars that protrude out during the intricately placed breakdowns accompanied by earth-shattering drums; like trap doors opening at the slightest sense of vibration. "Hollywood Burn" doesn't fall far from the tree in its ancestry's sonic aesthetic either. Here, it conveys on more profound effectiveness through the slicing tonality and expressiveness this the instrumentations afford to the vocal performance. The chugging characteristics of the most relevant and influential heavy metal bands can be found here as the pounding verges on the edges of puzzling with dominant kind of sonic radioactivity, sticking to you like an invisible glue of heavy guitar shrills, melodic riffs, and thundering drum orchestrations.
The final sonic meteor storm comes crashing down on the wings of a set of devilish guitar tones and an unmatched searing-hot vocal tenacity. The meticulously concise machinery of drums smashes and turns the cogs of this interlocking gearwork track called "Constable." It feels like the final crescendos of a prehistoric army raised from the ashes of all things metal and heavy-core, blistering with conviction and undying fervor as the blast beats induce an intoxicating sense of wonder. After years of trial, error, and reformulation, Banshee has come together and reestablished their footings with this hardcore record. The imparting afterglow leaves us with itches that pulsate like an uncontrollable urge for some more of that Upstate New York sonic grit.
Can you tell us more about the challenges you have had curating this album and its progression? What oversaw your thought process in the track order and flow?
I would say the biggest challenge would be recording my vocals. Vocals are one of, if not the, most important factors in music, and they can really make or break a song. It's like a first impression, it only takes a few seconds to decide if you're into it or not. Making sure every take was as tight and strong as possible was pretty painstaking, just ask Austin (guitar) and Tyler (engineer). It was definitely exhausting at points, but the final product speaks for itself I think. As far as the track order goes it's actually kind of hilarious how OCD I am about ordering the tracks, because if two titles in a row read in a similar way my brain gets all haywire. So it was kind of a game almost to see how I could sequence them in a way that A) flows with the music and B) doesn't' hurt my head.
What's stuck as to the main reason why this rendering of Banshee proves to be the most effective and synergistic group of musicians to date?
The energy is this lineup is really something. Every member of this band actually played in another group together called More Than Human about five years ago or so, so coming into this together was really painless. Banshee is a little more hectic than that band, so everyone gets to let loose and just bang out the parts you know. They're all talented, hilarious dudes, the vibe in the practice room is always positive. This lineup is bulletproof really.
What is the driving fuel behind your Metal-Core creations and all its adjacent intensive sonic attributes?
The driving force behind everything would be we just really want to make wild music. We enjoy different genres and different bands but actually playing music like this is a rush exclusive to the genre. Metal/hardcore shows are like contact sports except we're all on the same team.
What can we expect from Banshee as you continue to develop your heavy sound and intoxicating character for the next upcoming releases?
We're always going to be a heavy band. But we're always looking for ways to push the envelope as far as what we can pull off. There are no real rules, so something like a jazz breakdown or acoustic guitars is never out of the question. Or blast beats over a poppy sing-song chorus, I think that would just be great. I love things like that. The more ingredients we can throw in the pot the better as far as I'm concerned and it will keep things interesting for the band and for the listener too.
What has been keeping you guys inspired throughout 2020? What can we expect to see next from Banshee?
2020 has been a tough year for every band, small or large, and for most people in general. It's hard for us because you never know when they'll be shows again which is very depressing because that's the whole point of being a performer. But on the other hand, that's given us a lot of time to be creative and work on new demos and whatever else. We're always throwing riffs around. I think we have three or four basic demos right now. I don't know when they'll turn into full-fledged songs, as our EP is still so young, but we've been chipping away. We've also briefly talked about doing a cover song, so whether that happens or not we'll see. We're always looking three weeks down the road so there's always something in the chamber.