Album Year: 2012
Genre: Progressive Death Metal
Location: Port St. Lucie, Florida
2: Homeland Invasion
3: Drop the Hammer
4: To Punish and Enslave
This EP is nothing short of gruesome. A Riot in Moscow manages to coalesce blisteringly fast blastbeats, technical guitars, scathing vocals, and crushing breakdowns to make one hell of a release sure to simultaneously kick your ass and melt your face. Coming from the same region that brought us bands like Rings of Saturn, King Conquer, Abiotic, Dark Sermon, and Paris is Burning, and counting deathcore/death metal stalwarts such as Job For a Cowboy, Molotov Solution, The Faceless, and Behemoth as key influences, this Floridian sextet is sure to make a name for themselves in the metal universe if not with this EP, then surely with whatever follows. Songs like “Anonymous” and the title track display impressive songwriting abilities in their blend of hardcore and death metal, while subtracting the typical annoyances a listener might find in either genre. For instance, while they do employ breakdowns (something deathcore bands often do to the chagrin of most death metalheads), they are not overused and simply serve to make fun yet furious grooves that’ll definitely get a hell of a reaction in the pit. At the same time, the facemelting technicality and brutality signature of most traditional death metal does not get in the way of great songwriting that can be almost anthemic at times, as manifest in “Anonymous.” Exhibiting their face-melting side is the final track, “To Punish and Enslave,” that might remind the listener of pre-Discovery Born of Osiris, a more technical Whitechapel, or a more patient and balanced Beneath the Massacre. Kicking in with frantic speed and concluding with a down-tuned and down-tempo breakdown, the song successfully runs the gamut of things I (and surely most people) look for in a great, forward-thinking deathcore song, and avoids any sort of cliche that would make them really comparable to any of the aforementioned bands and proves to be a fervid conclusion to an absolutely brutal EP.
I think my favorite thing about A Riot in Moscow is the vocalist’s remarkable range, utilizing killer deathcore highs and lows topped off with Darkest Hour-esque mid-range screams, complemented by truly striking guitarwork. However, one of my biggest pet peeves with many deathcore and metalcore bands is the employment of certain trendy gimmicks like layered vocals and breakdowns, especially when they’re overdone to the point where they obscure real songwriting ability and actually become annoying and interfere with the hidden gems in either the actual song, or those that I’m sure lie in the artists’ minds. A Riot in Moscow certainly does not go overboard with either layering or breakdowns, and they do manage to use both of them more or less in their favor, but I still can’t help but feel like their vocalist has enough natural skill to render such overproduction unnecessary, and their guitarists enough to hook the listener without reverting to hackneyed deathcore from creative shredding. When it comes down to it, I think the real beauty of the Homeland Invasion EP lies in A Riot in Moscow’s natural ability and the wide range of death metal, deathcore, and hardcore influences conspicuous in their sound. Although they do have some kinks to work out in the studio, this band is certainly one to keep an eye on and definitely worth checking out.
Collectively in your band, who would you say is your biggest musical inspiration/influence?
The Black Dahlia Murder has always been a huge influence to each of us. We love what they do and the music they produce. The Majesty DVD was like a behind the scenes look at the life we want to live. We don’t care about being filthy, broke, or homeless even. All we want to do is share our music with the world.
You guys recently found a new drummer. What sort of influences do you think he’ll bring to your sound?
Brent is an extremely talented drummer and musician. He’s been playing drums for most of his entire life and has a very broad spectrum of play styles. We don’t want to say that he will influence our sound too much, because he has told us that he likes the sound we have. If anything, he will help us tighten up our sound and produce better more complex music. We only want to get better as a band, and he feels the same way.
The Florida death metal scene currently has a lot of great competition, between other up-and-coming bands like Abiotic, Dark Sermon, Paris is Burning, King Conquer, And the Kingdom Fell, etc. What would you say A Riot in Moscow brings to the table that separates you guys from the pack, musically or otherwise? In other words, why should the people reading this interview listen to A Riot in Moscow?
Although we support each and every one of the aforementioned bands, they are not us and we are not them. We strive to produce the best music we can while staying true to our own style. A Riot in Moscow may remind you of other bands, but we have no affiliation with those bands. This band is a work in progress that you get to witness and experience in your own way. We would never say that we are the best at what we do. Nor that we have reached a plateau in our progress, because we will always be oriented towards getting better. People should listen to A Riot in Moscow because this band will grow as the people who listen to us will as well. We will remain current and to the point with our message. You will be able to look back on our music one day and remember the things that you were going through in your life.
It seems like there’s something for everyone in the Floridian metal scene. I personally love Silenmara, Spectrum, and The Continuum Shift. What other bands from your area should your fans check out?
We are big fans of our friends in Scheletal (West Palm Beach), they have a lot of talent and are reminiscent of Beneath the Massacre. Check them out. Blood of the Broken (Port Saint Lucie), is another heavy band from our area, they have a very punchy and powerful sound. Give them a listen for yourself. Finally, we’d like to mention Blunt Trauma (Tampa Bay), although we don’t personally know them they write some decimating death core. Look them up if you haven’t already.
Speaking of all those bands and their recent success, what’s it like to see your friends, like Abiotic who just got signed to Metal Blade and announced a debut full length, finally starting to make it big after years of hard work?
To be honest, it really feels like we’ve gotten a lot of recognition very quickly. It is almost like we started a wave and it hasn’t really stopped going yet. In regards to Abiotic, it’s really exciting to see bands like them, bands who have been working towards success for so long and put so much effort into it finally getting the recognition they deserve. We’d like to throw out another congratulations to Abiotic on their signing with Metal Blad Records and their skyrocketing popularity. You guys shred. \m/
If you guys could pick any label to get signed to, which would it be?
We’ve always been big fans of the talented roster of Sumerian Records and to be a part of that family would be monumentous for us. Century Media would also be a huge score by our marks.
If you guys could pick any 3 bands, past or present, to tour with, who would they be and why?
1. Pantera. Because, duh?
2. The Black Dahlia Murder, because they have amazing showmanship and huge personalitys.
3. Job for a Cowboy, they’re another huge influence to us and we love what they’re doing and the message they’re promoting.
2012 has been a huge year for your style of music, and metal in general. It seems like every band ever is coming out with a new album, or did in 2011. Which have been your personal favorite releases this year?
The New Dying Fetus, New Cannibal Corpse, New Veil of Maya, New Nile, New Cattle Decapitation, New The Contortionist, New Job for a Cowboy, New Aegaeon, and we’re extremely excited for the New The Acacia Strain album as well.
A lot of 2012′s new albums have been nothing short of groundbreaking. Have any of those albums inspired you to try something new with your sound, or shaped what you accomplished with your sound on the “Homeland Invasion” EP?
Honestly, they really didn’t influence us that much. Most of our inspiration came from albums released far earlier in time. That is not to say that some of the bands mentioned above handn’t played a role. We wanted to create something new while paying homage to our original influences.
I loved that EP. Do you guys currently have any plans for a follow-up full length or any other releases?
We do have plans for a Full Length. We’ve written and finished two songs since the finalizing of the Homeland Invasion EP. We want to record this with the geniuses at Sonic Assault in Cape Coral, Florida. They’ve produced some great work and we feel like they will do us justice when the time comes. Expect to hear more violent, invigorating, and crushing jams in the future. \m/
(If there are plans) What can your fans expect from you guys with this next release?
Like a wine, we will only get better with time. We’re going to continue to polish up and grow, the songs will have better structure and more technicality in the writing. It’s just as we said earlier, we will always be focused on getting better as a band and as musicians. I would also say that it’s safe to say that our sound may mature from this EP into something different while still being distinct as an A Riot in Moscow song.