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Hear This: The Arson Choir Choice (part II)
Hear This: The Arson Choir Choice (part II)

The Arson Choir – post-hardcore collective residing in California. Following their own words, The Arson Choir is an aggressive one band. «Hardcore is rooted in punk-rock» – says the vocalist of the band, Phillip Penegar.

He notices that: «We shouldn't be scared of speaking out and creating spaces for the kids that felt like they didn't fit in with the normies. If we all have to scream together and create unrest and make people uncomfortable, so be it».

At the beginning of October, The Arson Choir released their newest EP «Invisible Monsters» – shrilling combination of Dillinger Escape Plan and Every Time I Die.

The members of The Arson Choir: vocalist - Phillip Penegar and guitarist - Eric Carrizales made a playlist of their TOP 5 Records and reviewed it for Distortion Magazine.

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Marc Motley (Guitar)


Eighteen Visions – «Vanity» (2002)

Hear This: The Arson Choir Choice (part II)


An absolute staple band and record for me. This one pushed the boundaries of how a song can be structured and how a band can express themselves by being able to be different than every other hardcore band. Mathy, aggressive and fashion.



Every Time I Die – «Hot Damn!» (2003)

Hear This: The Arson Choir Choice (part II)


I don't think there is a single person that plays hardcore that this isn't one of their favorite records. Fast, chaotic, but fun!



The Dillinger Escape Plan – «Calculating Infinity» (1999)

Hear This: The Arson Choir Choice (part II)


MATHCORE! This is the record that holds up and established the mathcore sound and the band was the one thing I could always look to for inspiration.



Underoath – «Define The Great Line» (2006)

Hear This: The Arson Choir Choice (part II)


Melody and heavy guitars were never blended any better than this. For a good amount of time, every band wanted to sound like this, myself included. I think that speaks for itself.



The Chariot – «Wars And Rumors Of Wars» (2009)

Hear This: The Arson Choir Choice (part II)


This was a tough one. It was always going to be THE CHARIOT, but every record is a hit for me. The one thing that this record was – ENERGY! There's just energy pouring from the songs and when I think of this band and record, I can see them playing and throwing guitars and jumping off cabs.




Steven Del Castillo (Bass)


Circa Survive – «Juturna» (2005)

Hear This: The Arson Choir Choice (part II)


Growing up, I was a big Anthony Green fan. SAOSIN was one of the first posthardcore/screamo bands I was introduced to as well as they are one of my favorite bands. Naturally, I was anticipating Juturna, when I heard rumors of a new project. From start to finish, it did not disappoint. I was instantly hooked on the guitar work. From dual leads with delay complimenting each other, to beautiful dreamy chords. The rhythm section, on point and keeping things interesting throughout the entire album. All accompanied by Anthony’s creative melodies. I felt like CIRCA SURVIVE figured out the perfect formula for making music that can be mellow and slow while still delivering energy of epic proportions in an extremely satisfying way.



Thrice – «Vheissu» (2005)

Hear This: The Arson Choir Choice (part II)


I’ve always had a lot of respect for THRICE and how they operate. Over the years, I’ve loved watching them grow as musicians and song writers and always anticipate what they are going to do next. But initially, I was not hooked on Vheissu. Probably because The Artist In The Ambulance(2003), their previous album, was so well done that it left me wanting something more reminiscent of that sound. It wasn’t until I really sat down and dissected the album, did I realize and appreciate how amazing it really was.

It felt like this whole album had fallen together effortlessly because of how well balanced the band was as a whole. It didn’t feel like anyone was over shining or lacking, only complimenting each other perfectly. I remember thinking “THIS is what bands need to be doing”. One of my influences on guitar is Teppei Teranishi. Possibly the biggest impact his style has left on me is his tapping lead on the chorus to “Of Dust And Nations” I was in awe and overwhelmed at what I was hearing. I didn’t know what he was doing at the time, all I knew was I’d never heard anything like it and that I wanted my guitar to sound like an ambient whale too. That being said, each track is strong and carries itself in its own unique way while still managing to flow with the others at the same time. Dare I call this album flawless?



Glassjaw – «Worship And Tribute» (2002)

Hear This: The Arson Choir Choice (part II)


When listening to a new album, I can’t help but to primarily focus on the music and instruments but when it came to Worship And Tribute, Daryl Palumbo’s vocals are what immediately stood out to me. A unique vocal style with clean melodies transitioning back and forth between some of the most aggressive screams I’d ever heard that flow so naturally together. Palumbo’s technique simply just kept me wanting more.

Appropriately, the guitar work follows in the same direction, heavy riffs that just felt original and different to me than what everyone else was doing at the time and ambient soundscapes and textures placed perfectly. GlLASSJAW has always been that band for me that can do no wrong. But if I had to describe this album and possibly the band as a whole in one word it would be “hypnotizing”.



Finch – «What It Is To Burn» (2002)

Hear This: The Arson Choir Choice (part II)


When I started getting into more modern music as a kid, I was initially into more pop punk/emo. What it is to burn was one of the first albums that introduced me to more of the hardcore/screamo scene. They managed to create the right balance of everything that I enjoyed all in one sound. I had felt like some bands were attempting to do what finch was doing but no one delivered or executed it quite like they did. Every song structure worked for me. The right blend of catchy and emotional melodies and riffs. They just nailed it! The overall quality of these recordings was just gorgeous in general. “What It Is To Burn” it’s ultimately one of the main albums that influenced to me explore and transitioned me into playing harder music and for that I am grateful.



Armor For Sleep – «What To Do When You Are Dead» (2005)

Hear This: The Arson Choir Choice (part II)


This album is the first concept album that really led me to enjoy concept albums. From start to finish, each track follows each other very appropriately in terms of lyrics and the overall feel and energy of the music. The music somehow conveys the same emotion and translates what the lyrics are saying in a pristine way.

Very well structured, catchy, and emotional song after song, Ben Jorgensen hits with a refreshing vocal style from soft and melancholy to loud and in your face aggression. Lastly, for me personally the drums played a big role in how much I enjoyed this album. There isn’t anything super mind blowing about them but rather there are several transitions and parts where the drums just make the track. A drummer can make or break a song in my opinion and those drums are solid.




Kevin Kincaid (Drums)


Lower Definition – «The Greatest Of All Lost Arts» (2008)

Hear This: The Arson Choir Choice (part II)


This album is truly timeless. it so perfectly weaves heavy riffing with beautiful melodic singing together along with catchy hooks left and right. I can listen to this album nonstop front to back no matter what mood I’m in.



Thrice – «Vheissu» (2005)

Hear This: The Arson Choir Choice (part II)


I feel like people don’t give this album the true credit it deserves. To me, the whole album almost plays like a symphony or an opera - it’s such a roller coaster of emotion with awesome highs and lows, hills and valleys. Even down to the way each song transitions into the next. A true masterpiece, in my opinion.



Underoath – «Define The Great Line» (2006)

Hear This: The Arson Choir Choice (part II)


This one is a staple for sure. Aaron Gillespie is definitely a huge drumming influence of mine and for a long time, I tried to mold my own personal style of playing around what he did on this album.



Norma Jean – «Polar Similar» (2016)

Hear This: The Arson Choir Choice (part II)

Definitely my favorite one from them. It’s just awesome, dark, and heavy. Every time I listen to this record, I always find myself screaming the opening lyrics to the first track - “I HOPE YOU BURN!!!!!”



My Chemical Romance – «Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge» (2004)

Hear This: The Arson Choir Choice (part II)


Like many albums in the early 2000’s, I was a huge emo kid and this record was pretty much my Holy Grail. “ITS NOT A PHASE MOM!”(laughs). I’ve always had huge amounts of respect for this band though because they came up from nothing basically and became one of the biggest bands ever doing a sound that didn’t really have any business being in the “mainstream”. It was very inspiring for me as a young musician also chasing the dream.



Text: Danil Volohov

Hear This: The Arson Choir Choice (part II)





   

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