Slaves BC is set to release my favorite hardcore album since Code Orange – I Am King. The bands press announcement for All Is Dust And I Am Nothing says it is “a concept album that is based upon a subject matter that is as bleak as the music, the book of Ecclesiastes“. Ecclesiastes. What is that? Some philosopher that I don’t remember learning about back in General Studies at University? Oh snap, it is a book in the bible. Obviously I’m not a golfer (shoutout to the Dude). I am not well versed in the bible or its books so it got me curious about what would have inspired Slaves BC to make such a punishing concept album about a religious text. So I decided to educate myself and get a bible app so I could read this Ecclesiastes for myself.
Before I put my theology hat on I was anticipating talks of hell fire when Slaves BC mentioned subject matter “as bleak as the music”. However, it wasn’t the fantastic or other-worldly at all that stuck out to me after reading Ecclesiastes. The major themes I picked up were vanity and the vexation of spirit, being wise vs. being a fool and at the end of the day you die regardless of how you lived your life and what you did with your time. That is an over simplistic view of the book of Ecclesiastes but that is what I took away from it. After I got done reading it the feeling was…well…bleak. It was real life stuff that was I was relating to. No angels or demons. No miracles or turning fish into wine (is that right?). The amount of time I spend feeling productive with my day job so that I can be in debt with my on-time mortgage payments is very depressing when you consider someone that doesn’t bother with that shit and panhandles is in the same spot at the end of the day. Who is the wiser? Who is the fool? I totally get why they felt an urge of sorts to write an album such as All Is Dust And I Am Nothing. It is the depressing side of the human experience that we all endure. I kind of started feeling like the “were-monster” from Season 10, Episode 3 of the X-Files.
I don’t know how to quote the bible. I am not a religious person but in book four you read that the preacher “considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter. Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive”. I look at the All Is Dust And I Am Nothing art and really feel that I understand the message they are presenting. To me, the sky represents the idea that time will keep on ticking regardless of who is dead or alive. People will be walking that same path and trying to accomplish the same things as people did before them and people will continue to do after them. No matter what happens, they will turn to dust and blow away.
Don’t worry, this isn’t all about being sad and depressed. Just some context about the stories Slaves BC are telling. When you get All Is Dust And I Am Nothing, make sure to read along with their lyrics. After reading Ecclesiastes I totally get the concept of the album relating to that book. But in my opinion, I like the way they tell the stories better than the bible. The band comes from Pittsburgh and is comprised of Josh (Vocals/Lyrics/Drums/Art), Sean (Guitar/Vocals), Rick (Guitar), Brandon (Bass) and Adam (delivers live vocals). Their delivery of these songs is brutal to say the least. Insane screams and growls coming from people that clearly have dwelled on the issues they are pounding into their listeners minds. Their style of furiously blackened doom has been a go-to for me when caffeine is simply not enough to get me through the work day. All Is Dust And I Am Nothing is my favorite album in this style that I have heard in years. Keeping true to the theme of heavy religious themes in their lyrics/inspiration, band name (Slaves BEFORE CHRIST) their short description on Facebook indicates that they have been turning upside-down crosses upside-down since 2010. I may not believe in the same stuff as these guys but I do appreciate their conviction and viewpoints. They are clearly dedicated to their craft and are top notch musicians. Pick up All Is Dust And I Am Nothing and no matter how pointless and vain life seems at times you can just headbang those worries away.
Rating: 4.75/5 (AKA VERY VERY VERY GOOD)
I really hope to get to see Slaves BC play live one day. It sounds like it would be an incredible experience! The album is going to be released on 2/16/2016 and pre-orders are live. Pick up a copy of limited vinyl (going fast!) over here –> Slaves BC – All Is Dust And I Am Nothing
Slaves BC Links: Bandcamp| Facebook | Twitter
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For the most part I only write about albums that I have personally purchased. I believe these albums are created by bands that deserve your support and money. If one person that didn’t know about one of these albums enjoys it and in turn supports that band…it is all worth it. There are links to purchase the music in posts, but I also urge you to go support your local record stores if possible!