Friday, March 30, 2012

108 - Threefold Misery (Classic Review Of the Week)

In the mid 90's one can say that "Krshna-core" was at it's full swing. There were a good deal of bands identifying as Hare Krshna at the time and this may have been due to the fact that some of the more popular values in the hardcore scene (straight edge, animal rights) seemed to have commonalities with some of the principles in the religion. I never subscribed to Hare Krshna, though will admit to my 17 year old self buying a copy of the Bagadva Gheta out of curiosity, only to come to the conclusion of dissatisfaction with it's teachings.

There was one band in the Krshna-core movement that set themselves apart both musically and lyrically. 108 had lyrics that, although may have originated from a spiritual or theological base, came to be accessible to people regardless of whether they subscribed to Hare Krshna or not. Songs like "Killer of the Soul", "Arctic" and "When Death Closes Your Eyes" are so universal to the human condition that even a staunch atheist like myself was singing along.

"Threefold Misery" was the last album 108 released before they broke up (originally broke up) back in 1997. It was a great farewell though I didn't have enough time to fall in love with the songs until after the band had said farewell. Fortunately for me, they got back together in 2006 and I had the pleasure of tearing my hair out screaming along to these songs.

Musically "Threefold Misery" is a perfect combination of chugging guitar, controlled feedback and fast hardcore. The vocal placement is perfect in moving the dynamics of the songs and the heavy handed drumming adds an extra punch to the record that the band's past releases lacked. Walking bass lines (like the one on "Mantra Six") characterize the smooth bass style that can also very to a dirty, distorted mess of aggressive notes when needed.

"...die a jolting phone, cataclysmic in the bone marrow night, I need a blanket to warm me from the chill, of my emptiness, where is sleep to hide me from the fact that you're so absent from my heart? Where is sleep to hide me from the fact that I'm too dead to even care? Hollow are the bones of lonely..."