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108 - Creation. Sustenance. Destruction. (Cover Artwork)

108

108: Creation. Sustenance. Destruction.Creation. Sustenance. Destruction. (2006)
Equal Vision Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
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Creation. Sustenance. Destruction. is a document encompassing the discography of highly influential hardcore/metal act 108, and could honestly not be released at a more relevant, sensible time. At a time when many perceives America as a country sputtering and choking in the stranglehold of Christian.
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Creation. Sustenance. Destruction. is a document encompassing the discography of highly influential hardcore/metal act 108, and could honestly not be released at a more relevant, sensible time. At a time when many perceives America as a country sputtering and choking in the stranglehold of Christianity, it appears that this may even extend to a little scene otherwise persistently labeled as 'punk,' therefore raising the question: Can religion and punk rock mix? It's quite obvious from certain events this past summer that we've seen both the 'yes' and 'no' opposing sides. While 108 will insist the foundation their beliefs lie upon is not religion, nor a philosophy for that matter, but rather true self expressed in sound, founding guitarist Vic DiCara was known for his deep study of Hinduism and related schools of thought, a trait that clearly found its way into the band's general expression -- even musically at times. While Hinduism itself is often questioned as such, more often that not it's regarded a major world religion. Still, the question begs itself: Will this also raise a dispute of sorts?

As 108 was a band often hit with heavy criticism in their respective hardcore scene despite a friend in DiCara's previous act, Shelter, who shared similar beliefs (though even less veiled), that answer would have to be yes. Nonetheless, the East Coast outfit was one adamantly strong in their beliefs themselves, conveying their intense schools of thought through equally intense, noisy shifts. While taking influence at the spot of their formation from the recently formed alternative metal duo of often-paired Helmet and Quicksand, as well as the dominant youth crew scene of the late 1980s, 108 would go on to visibly influence a legion of followers themselves, from Earth Crisis to Glassjaw to the Hope Conspiracy to American Nightmare. Both heavy and convincing, Creation. Sustenance. Destruction. contains 2 discs, both separated for all too obvious reasons.

The band's earlier material makes up Disc 2. On 1994's Holyname and 1995's Songs of Separation, the stylings feel much more like hardcore with strong alternative metal leanings. It also seems as though the band was still finding their sound; on top of that, the band proves to be noticeably preachy. Undeniably proud of the education they've received from Krishna, references are most prominent here. The key term here is "mid-tempo," as that's often the only cylinder on which the band chooses to fire. A riff in "Solitary" seems to harken back to `80s heavy metal, while others like "Thorn" are tedious. "Govinda - Viahena" wanders in strange, crawling atmospheres. 2 tracks here contain straight Hindu (?) chants: "10.8" and "Tulsai's Song," interesting sidesteps the band takes. The band is at their best when they pick up the pace, with short bursts like "Noonenomore" or the slightly faster, more alive 55-second "Shun the Mask;" "I Am Alive" hints at what's to come later in the band's career, while the urgent "Holyname" is a better reflection of what the band is capable of. The good tracks are here; they're just in need of a solid mining amongst the slower, more monotonous makeup of the rest of the disc.

108 however reached their apex later on. Shorter, faster, and louder, Disc 1 showcases this later stuff, 1996's dual releases and Lost & Found Records pieces Threefold Misery and Curse of Instinct, and has half of many songs -- therefore, it's also much easier to take in one sitting. The band delivers straight-up hardcore here with a metallic flair, with crushing, pounding and equally eerie, screeching riffs, menacing drum beats and a form of varied intensity propelling multiple stop-starts, pauses offered merely for listeners to catch a breath. Here is the band at their best, pulling the listener in with their efforts and greater nod towards punk rock. Newest bassist, Trivikarma / Tim Cohen brought equal bouts of aggression and creativity to the songwriting, and that's likely the songs take so many well-founded jumps between distortion-laced, squealing guitar and dirty, angular rhythms. Tracks like "Invocation" and "Blood" define pulverizing, while the masterpiece of "When Death Closes Your Eyes" provides the major standout in its earth-shattering breakdowns, absolute desperation in the verses and manic conclusion. "Scandal" had to be a favorite of Daryl Palumbo's back in the day, specifically the wavering delivery of the lines "you punish your own self, with the fists of your own, of your own ignorance." "Serve and Defy" is nearly reflective in its slower crossection, with pulsating bass riffs splashed throughout. Closer "Panic" has a rather apt title. Lyrically, the band is more subtle here as well, writing about their beliefs in more relatable, easily grasped ways. A few blatant moments are apparent, like the Hare Krishna chant of the soulful reggae takeout in "Being or Body."

In all likelihood, Creation. Sustenance. Destruction. is not meant to be consumed in one meal. Over an hour and a half of music is available here, with, as mentioned above, its best offerings in the early goings. With Disc 2 the listener may get tired with the more sludgy, one-note bashings that march on throughout, though its strange sidesteps certainly keep attention focused. The packaging is certainly appealing: commentary on nearly every song from the band is included in the sprawling liner notes, placed aside multiple live shots in a strong, black and white dependent bundle. With the band reunited and recording new songs, all the while certain metalcore acts convey whole different forms of faith themselves, the look back is an appropriate one. For those both wishing to revisit the 108 legacy in one convenient package or even merely get an introduction to such, it's hard to go wrong with Creation. Sustenance. Destruction..

STREAM
Blood
Curse of Instinct

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
EyesLikeBombs (August 22, 2006)

you understand what a ridiculous generalization that is, right? all christian hc bands are keeping it a secret and they're all making homophobic comments? that's absurd. and there are many christian hc bands that talk about tolerance the same way bad brains did."

Agreed in spirit, but you should probably know that Bad Brains weren't exactly all about tolerance.

Anonymous (August 20, 2006)

"i don't like the fact that christian hardcore bands try to keep their agenda somewhat secret, until you meet them or see them live and they come up with homophobic and prosylitising bullshit. whatever."

you understand what a ridiculous generalization that is, right? all christian hc bands are keeping it a secret and they're all making homophobic comments? that's absurd. and there are many christian hc bands that talk about tolerance the same way bad brains did.

i'm not christian, but i think ragging on a band for having those beliefs is absurd.

Anonymous (August 20, 2006)

I thought they were from so cal?

Anonymous (August 19, 2006)

This reviewer is a tool.

fox82 (August 19, 2006)

I'll pick this up because I've listened to a few 108 here and there that i kinda liked, so i'd like to get a better overall view of what this band was all about...

about the comment of them claiming to not be based on a religion or philosophy... that's bullshit, they are named 108 for fuck's sake and make reference to lots of aspects of hinduism in their lyrics (at least what i've heard), so unless they are simply into the aesthetics of krishna-influenced hardcore, they basically started off as a 'shelter'-themed band and somewhere along the line they figured out that religion is bullshit. vic dicara said something like that in his static-whatever 'zine, about how he dropped out of it.

good christian hardcore bands? aren't zao supposed to be a christcore band? i don't like them. xlooking forwardx i liked, but i only because they play good music. i don't like the fact that christian hardcore bands try to keep their agenda somewhat secret, until you meet them or see them live and they come up with homophobic and prosylitising bullshit. whatever.

i think hardcore should be against religious dogma, if you ask me.

as for the bad brains comment, yeah they were rastas, but that doesn't mean that everyone universally accepts them as the best ever hardcore band. they were very homophobic as well, which is a minus in my book. the difference is that perhaps at some point in their (messed up) career they began to preach acceptance and tollerance, something i feel christian hardcore bands of today don't do as much, or at least they like to pretend to do so. don't forget that christianity hasn't exactly been the underdog of faiths for quite a long time, so they tend to be a bit more patronising and resentful of everything else.

(sorry about the spelling errors, i haven't had a beer in a while)

Anonymous (August 19, 2006)

I like music that is good with lyrics that have substance and things I can relate to. When there's a christian punk/hardcore band that can do that tell me.

Cos (August 19, 2006)

Yeah, but some of my favorite Shelter songs had blatantly Krishna-conscious lyrics, like "Message of the Bhagivat".

I'm not condemning kids for intolerance; I don't think I'd sing along to a song about Paul's letters to the Corinthinans either, especially when I was in high school. As someone not very friendly to religion, I just find it odd looking back that I could totally get down with a band like Shelter but wouldn't go near MXPX or Dogwood or someone else with a ten foot pole. I still have never bought anything on Tooth and Nail, but I have a few things on Equal Vision

We're all hypocrits
--Cos

Anonymous (August 19, 2006)

they have some pretty blatant religious moments but the overall theme is universal. at the time though it was different and interesting all around.

BizzleBrizzle (August 19, 2006)

Cos:

I think the problem with christian hardcore is just that most of those bands write lyrics that can't be related to to non-christians. 108 and Shelter have lyrics that non-Krishna people can relate to.

Anonymous (August 18, 2006)

everyone gets so pissy about christian hardcore bands, yet everyone loves bad brains, who were openly religious (rastafarian). and yes, they were the fucking rockingest band ever which makes people look the other way, but it is still a bit of a double standard.

Not-To-Regret (August 18, 2006)

"Scientology based punk band" hahaha
That's worth 5 stars there.

Cos (August 18, 2006)

I picked up Holyname in while I was in high school and really, REALLY into Shelter. Nothing about it really stuck with me and it went back into the used bin.

But oh man, Shelter had some awesome moments. Oh, the days of Krishnacore.. Incidently, I doubt Shelter, 108 et al. would be as widely embraced in the hardcore scene if they were into Jesus. Just a thought...

--Cos

etwiels88 (August 18, 2006)

Great release, great band.

Adam_K (August 18, 2006)

Best fucking band.

You need to replace Hindu with Krishna though.

Anonymous (August 18, 2006)

this guys are/were waaaaaaay better live than on record.

kirbypuckett (August 18, 2006)

This band does nothing for me.

However, does anyone want to start a Scientology based punk band?

XENU would be PUMPED!

- Kirby

almostpunkenough (August 18, 2006)

put a '2' between the '1' and the '0' and i'd be all about this.

kevin_hare (August 18, 2006)

Such a great band. Songs of Seperation is my favorite record of theirs, but everything rules.

danperrone (August 18, 2006)

the first disc of this is brilliant, but the second is pretty damn hard to get into

Anonymous (August 18, 2006)

Curse of Instinct should be in everyone's collection. This score's for hardcore bands that think.

BizzleBrizzle (August 18, 2006)

everyone go out and buy this.

Not overly religious, I'm not Krishna and I can relate to just about all of the songs, because even the ones with religious ties are written so that secular people can relate to them.

Best 108 songs:

Arctic
Deathbed
Holy Name
Curse of Instinct
Being or Body
When Death Closes Your Eyes
Woman
Thorn
Solitary
Pale
I Defy

BrendanKelly (August 18, 2006)

pussy music.

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