Album: State of Fury – EP
It’s 2017 in the United States of America. It should be a time of love, acceptance and joy. Of mirth, cultural inclusivity and kindness—it should be a time where we collectively embrace what it is to be human and share the world.
It should be—but it isn’t.
It’s 2017 in the United States of America, and if you aren’t angry, you’re ignorant. Men are still killing other men over the color of their skin or the choices they make with their own lives. Governments and authorities insist on oppression and unkindness, reigning with the ferocity of a totalitarian dictatorship but with the smooth, suave guise of democracy. So I’ll say it again—you’re either mad or you’re ignorant; and while the latest EP from TwelvexTitans is certainly ignorantly heavy, it is far from ignorant, and very, very heavy. State of Fury is just that—it is pure, unrestrained fury—intensity that cannot be ignored or swept aside. Sounding like the bastard child of Rage Against the Machine, Stray from the Path, Drowning and No Zodiac, TwelvexTitans take a hard-hitting punk attitude and give it crushing brutality and quick, catchy candor all in one—so if you’re not up in arms by the time you’re finishing this sentence, you’ll certainly be there by the time you finish State of Fury.
State of Fury is fueled by the very thing that it’s named after—and if you don’t hear that from the first brain-bashing riff or gut-busting breakdown, then you’re deaf. TwelvexTitans take all the energy and bitterness prevalent on their previous release, Black Smoke and give it a facelift, infusing it with a style and candor that blends punk and hip-hop influences like one might expect from a contemporary Rage Against the Machine—if they just got back from a tour with modern-day beatdown hardcore behemoths like World of Pain or Drowning. At the band’s core, David Tellez hammers away with drive and ferocity that seems akin to a freight train on meth-amphetamines (although likely not actually on meth, given the band’s straight-edge attitude and lifestyle). Tellez’s percussion is tremendous, from “OnexTwo,” through the anthemic and uplifting “Burn the Rope,” and all the way to the last fading snare hit of “Still Right Here.” Tellez works well as the band’s pacemaker, with smooth segues into smashing breakdowns and scintillating, driving patterns—but he works just as well to craft a thick, meaty foundation with bassist Jake White, especially on “A Thousand Words,” and the dismally heavy introductory track, “OnexTwo.” Together, the two capture a raw, visceral style of no-holds-barred hardcore that draws from more influences than I can fit in a single article. While Tellez and White are wonderful together, the most immediate and consistently striking thing that TwelvexTitans bombard the listener with is the inventive fretwork and off-the-wall writing of Cameron McBride—whose sprawling involvement in bands like his one-man-slamming-somethingcore act Methwitch, to beatdown barons Drowning is likely to thank for some of the diversity on State of Fury. McBride (who has yet to disappoint when it comes to crafting music in any of his projects) absolutely dominates. Right off the bat, his strung-out and frantic tone is reminiscent of Rage-meets-ruthless contemporary heaviness. This is compounded by the time “Wolfpack” kicks in and McBride has used not just a sprawling arsenal of awesome riffs, but pedals and effects that will make the listener think to themselves, wait, what the fuck was that?! If you remember hearing songs like Stray from the Path’s “Mad Girl” or “Daimien” for the first time, then McBride has something you won’t be able to get enough of.
Where most bands rely on a single voice to front their instrumental efforts, TwelvexTitans take a less traditional route—one that may be a large contributor to how peerlessly and powerfully aggressive their sound and dynamic is. Fronted by the dynamic duo Kody Hamilton and Caleb Mason, TwelvexTitans’ State of Fury is a pure and unfiltered onslaught of energetic, enthusiastic and eviscerating vocal prowess. Where songs like “Burn the Rope” see Hamilton and Mason creating an anthemic and catchy heavy-metalcore atmosphere, “Wolfpack” is a more dynamic display of their diverse range and individual talents—all while managing to be catchy in its own right. Then, there are songs like “Still Right Here” or “State of Fury” that take the enormous, anthemic feel of “Burn the Rope” and inflate it until it’s full-to-bursting with punk-infused, punishingly heavy metalcore magnificence; possibly some of the strongest closing tracks on an EP in some time. The duo write about things that are very real—be it to themselves (Straight edge, comradery, the heavy music scene) or to the world at large—to the very thing that makes State of Fury so damn…furious.
State of Fury is a powerful experience. Engaging from start to finish while managing to be catchy, heavy, riff-driven and ruthless all at varying points during its duration, TwelvexTitans not only out-do their previous effort, but the efforts of their peers and the expectations of their fans. From hectic and heavy to quick and pummeling without skipping a beat, State of Fury is a must-listen for fans of yesteryear’s punk-driven hardcore or today’s tumultuous and tremendous displays of devastation.
For Fans Of: Rage Against the Machine, Stray from the Path, No Zodiac, Drowning, World of Pain
By: Connor Welsh