With their new live-bass project Destroid, veterans Excision, Downlink, and KJ Sawka push boundaries to create a new milestone in bass music. Long past the days of “Swagga” yesteryear, Destroid’s arrival marks the next stage in the global bass music scene development. It was through Excision’s solo work and Rottun Recordings label that the existence of a North American bass scene became a reality in the first place, so it’s only fitting that he’s behind the next great step forward.
Though we have yet to witness the first Destroid live experiences, through piecing together information already on the interwebs and listening (err, raging) to their debut album The Invasion, there’s no doubt that the trio has struck gold. Translating their industrial and metal inspired take on dubstep into a live show, Destroid seeks to continue in the arena concert tradition with their own modern electronic edge, fusing a number of different styles into something that can only be described as arena bass.
Delivering an adrenaline and aggression fueled tour-de-force, Destroid summons an energy not dissimilar to that of an old-school Metallica show. So while this music would most certainly translate to smaller venues with impassioned crowds, there’s no doubt that this album was crafted with arenas in mind. The album moves through multiple styles and tempos touching on tear-out drumstep, pounding dubstep, gnarly mid-tempo bass music and even heavy-handed electro house in “Annihilate.” The album is made up of solo efforts from Excision and Downlink and collaborations with Space Laces, Messinian, Bassnectar, Far Too Loud, and Ajapai, with each one bringing their own nuanced yet distinct flavors. Standout tracks include opening number “Raise Your Fist,” as well as “Wasteland” and “Bounce.” The album’s aggression is felt all the way through and as such sets up the band (yes BAND) for what is sure to be one raucous, moshpit-inducing live show. The album is not just a collection of tracks, but a curated sonic experience with something to say.
The Invasion opens with “Raise Your Fist” simultaneously galvanizing the listener and setting the brutal and menacing tone of the album: “Year’s have passed since our arrival on earth. Your democracy has become an illusion. Global mind control tactics must be stopped. We must unite as one to save your planet. Those who rise against us, will be DESTROID. Those who have achieved an elevated existence, raise your fists!“
Deconstructing the lyrics illustrate the underdog attitudes that have become a core part of the bass music scene. This underdog attitude parallels the metal and hardcore scenes that bass music is often compared to. The parallel continues when fitting in bass music’s place within the greater place of dance music. While the glitzier and more commercially appealing house and trance music DJs routinely close festival main stages, gain sponsorships, and dominate the annual top DJ polls, bass music as a whole has yet to achieve the same status, often times being relegated to smaller side stages with cramped areas and inferior sound systems. As such, “Raise Your Fist” is a call to action as much as it is the first track of The Invasion. The statement continues as the album delivers a total 44 minutes of bass mayhem, sure to wear you down as intended. With this album, Destroid is effectively saying “FUCK YOU” to anyone who doesn’t like them bringing their own modern, huge, arena sound with bone-crushing bass.