Arma X is a sick hardcore band from Madrid making their No Echo debut today. The quintet was formed in 2018 by guitarist Yoshi and vocalist Leo.
"We were starting to build our scene, and we had managed to break with a long tradition of mediocre beatdown in Madrid by making bands with a faster and rawer sound," Yoshi told me via an email exchange this week with the guitarist. "But we were missing a band in Madrid with a harder and heavier sound. So we got down to business."
The "X" in Arma X is exactly what you think it is. "We wanted it to be a straight edge band, so we immediately thought of Tania for drums, we knew she would be great. We got together with her and in one rehearsal we shaped some riffs I had into the demo tracks.
"To complete the band, we brought in Íker as bass player and Rodri as second guitarist. We all knew each other for a long time, and we knew they would like the idea of making a straight edge band with a harder sound. We all really connected, and we all had a clear idea of where we wanted to take the band."
Knowing a great thing when she hears it, Ola from Quality Control HQ forged a partnership with Arma X, and the label will be releasing their forthcoming debut album, Violento Ritual. "Solo Ante El Abismo" below should whet the appetite:
Yoshi was crystal clear about the group's influences:
"In the beginning, we started as a band with obvious Cleveland hardcore influences. The 'Only the Strong' compilation or Integrity's 'Humanity Is the Devil' were some key influences on the band's early sound."
The guitarist continued: "For Violento Ritual, we have kept the essence of this sound, but also adding NYHC, beatdown or even some metal influences. In this record we have achieved a more mature sound and more of our own. There is a lot more dedication in the songwriting and the production is very good. Thankfully, we had Will Killingsworth in charge of mixing and mastering."
The topic of Madrid hardcore was obviously discussed. "In my humble opinion, the Madrid hardcore scene is one of the most active in Europe right now. In the last five years, young people have taken over the scene in a very active way, in many cases learning to play instruments from scratch and getting involved in bands. Six years ago we had no local hardcore bands. Now we can sell out gigs with only local bands. Thinking about how everything has changed makes me very proud of what my best friends and I have done in this city."
How about some other bands outside of Arma X from the Madrid punk community we should check out? Yoshi had some suggestions:
"Desorden, Castigo and Impacto were the first of this new wave of hardcore bands in Madrid. Those three are working on their debut LPs, so you should keep a close eye on these bands in the upcoming months. Other amazing bands from Madrid are La Vorágine, Ritual, Golpe de Gracia, Mazmorra, CPU or Voidness. You can find most of these bands in the Tambores de Guerra Bandcamp, the main hardcore label in Madrid."
Here's Yoshi's parting message for the No Echo readership: "Do yourself a favour and buy a Spanish dictionary!"
Luckily, I'm covered there.
Violento Ritual will be out September 9th via Quality Control HQ (US|Europe).
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