PUSHING THE ENVELOPE
An old proverb in the music business says: the first album introduces a band to the public, but their second album will prove how much musical substance they really have. Having said that, we can’t but predict a golden future for Hanover metal/hardcore act Bashdown, who have been around since 2018, causing a major stir from the very beginning. Following their successful album release A New Set Of Problems (2019), which caused more than mere rumblings in the press, the quartet is now ready to present their successor, Pushing The Envelope, which surpasses their debut in every respect. The new songs are without a doubt even more compact, uncompromising and mature throughout. Frontman Helge Haß puts it in a nutshell:
Tougher, pedal to the metal!
This kind of thoroughly positive evolvement is almost always linked to small but not insignificant stories. In this case, there are three that deserve to be mentioned: To start off with, the group garnered unanimous praise for their debut offering. The press complimented them on, among other things, their “ambitioned hardcore on an international level” and “powerful, pissed-off vocals, metallic riffs, driving drums and lush, punchy grooves”, and live audiences honoured the band’s sudorific (with Winds Of Promise, Nasty, Hate Squad and Warpath, among others) with resounding applause. Both these elements together ensured that the band developed the required self-confidence and the conviction to be on the right path. And thirdly, Bashdown underwent a significant personnel change only a few months ago: Guitarist Martin Blankenburg, familiar to insiders from his work with groups such as Hate Squad and Treibhaus, recently joined the fold. “Martin’s style is much more metal and he’s a true riff giant, which has significantly influenced our songwriting,” Helge Haß describes this important change to the band’s line-up, which is completed by bassist Florian Krause and Berlin drummer Janis Haag. “I’ve known Martin for some thirty years and know what an outstanding guitarist he is. He’s added even more power and metallic intensity to our material.”
Anybody wanting proof to support these statements will find it on the lead single ‘Create A God’, scheduled for release on 13 November 2020, including an atmospherically sinister video clip. ‘Create A God’ documents unmistakably what Bashdown are all about: down-to-earth, hard-as-nails metalcore featuring relentless vocals that shake their listeners to the core and a rhythmic extravaganza that would melt even the toughest steel.
All this and much more is also reflected by the intelligent lyrics which leave listeners scope for their own interpretation, while their general direction remains unambiguous. “Everybody should think seriously about whether it’s okay to continue treating nature, the environment and each other the way we have been,” explains Bashdown’s frontman, adding: “The things we write about may not be political, but it’s our intention to make people think. Lots of people think they’re so clever, but reality paints a different picture, as we all know from our own experience.”
‘Checkmate’, the second single to be lifted off Pushing The Envelope, will be out on 18 December 2020, before the full album and the third single ‘U’ (plus another video clip) will be launched simultaneously on 22 January 2021. “There will be something for everybody on Pushing The Envelope,” Haß explains of the 13 songs, whose complexity is bound to impress. “The album as a whole is very important to us, it’s sound is diverse and stylistically complex.” Including the fact that it’s interspersed with intelligently placed little details, for example on ‘Duplicity’ and ‘U’. Haß: “Whenever it seems musically justified, we like to step away from the arrangements and experiment a little.”
Pushing The Envelope was mixed and produced by Kai Panschow, the drum parts were recorded at Hamburg’s Chameleon Studios under the direction of Eike Freese (Heaven Shall Burn, Eisbrecher), who also mastered the songs. The second Bashdown album, which has turned into an impressive recording in every respect, is rounded off by the highly symbolic cover artwork courtesy of Kai Seeliger: “It features a globe which is completely covered by buildings,” explains Helge Haß. “Our planet is totally overcrowded, which is a consequence of mankind taking itself too seriously. It’s really tragic how humanity recklessly defies the laws of nature.”
No doubt about it: In Pushing The Envelope, Bashdown have succeeded in creating an aspiring, uncompromising and very aggressive album that highlights the band’s accomplished musical substance, thus once and for all confirming that old proverb (see above).
Checkmate * Create A God * The Chosen One * U * Demonize * Hell-Bent * If I Were You * Right Off The Bat * Duplicity * Get A Grip * Truth Is * Cleaning House * Too Big (For My Britches)
A NEW SET OF PROBLEMS (2019)
new: PUSHING THE ENVELOPE (Release date: 22 January 2021)
Helge Haß – vocals
Martin Blankenburg – guitar
Florian Krause – bass
Janis Haag – drums