Warcrimes: Manila Band Honors Classic Trustkill Metalcore Sound on New EP

Photo: Ray Fernandez

In his latest piece for No Echo, Robert from the excellent Australian hardcore label Life.Lair.Regret. Records interviews Joe, the vocalist for Philippines hardcore band Warcrimes.

The Manila-based outfit released an excellent EP a couple of months ago called the death of all prominent figures​.​.​. that deserves your attention.

-Carlos (No Echo)


Firstly thank you for taking the time out for this interview, can you introduce yourself and Warcrimes and tell us a bit about the band 

Hello, I'm Joe, the singer of Warcrimes from Manila. We started in 2017 during the resurgence of '90s metalcore revival, drawn influences by its dissonant and heavy captivating sound. We thought those bands were sick and we aim to incorporate their music with our own twists.  

You play a very modern style of metalcore what do you see as your specific influences? 

Our influences stem from '90s/'00s metalcore, notably Trustkill bands like Eighteen Visions and Martyr AD. Mart, our guitarist, loves It Dies Today and Bury Your Dead—topics we often discussed when we first met.

Allan, our other guitarist, adds a metal touch, blending Gothencore/melodeath riffs and divebombs into our sound. Macoy, our drummer, draws influence from All Out War, Malice At the Palace, and Blistered. shaping his hardcore punk+beatdown style of drumming.

Thrs, whose also the bassist of Shockpoint, contributes greatly, acting as a cohesive force and glue to the tightness of our sound.

I was really impressed by the sound you have on the death of all prominent figures. How was the recording process? 

I'm really glad you appreciated our EP. Recording became quite challenging as we were writing new songs during the pandemic, which significantly hindered our get-togethers. This EP holds immense importance for us as it lays the foundation for the sound our band initially aimed for. We recorded our demo in late 2019 before the pandemic hit.

At that time, I was just starting to learn about recording and mixing, and I feel our debut EP differs from our 2020 demo. The lyrical content of our initial songs primarily focused on overt war crimes, state and church hypocrisy, not just in the Philippines but on a global scale, addressing the unjustified killings during the Duterte Regime.

On our debut EP, we included two new songs written this year. "Unwavering Reality" began as a Pig Destroyer-esque riff that we played around with in the studio before it evolved. The lyrics revolve around battles against tyranny but on a cosmic scale, drawing inspiration from characters like Galactus or Dr. Doom in Marvel comics. Then, 'It That Betrays' takes its name from an MTG (Magic: The Gathering) card that I thought sounded sick and matched the lyrical content of the song.

These new songs allowed us to create 'War Crimes' themed lyrics without explicitly stating it. These ongoing global issues demand attention, even if one isn't directly affected. We aim to popularize and educate people about these concerns. Free Palestine!

Photo: Jhona Labe

You’ve been a band for three years, with a demo and appearing on a compilation put out by Still Ill Records, am I missing anything? Tell me about that compilation and then how has the band developed across this time

As mentioned, we began in 2017, facing recording convenience issues initially as we prioritized other bands that time. Our debut show took place in 2019, and we released our demo in 2020.

Special thanks to Still Ill Records for featuring our song "Forever" in the Pilipinas Hardcore Vol.3 comp, alongside remarkable Filipino bands like Hëx, Constriction, Sandy Good, Hangal, and Salot. "Forever" draws influences from Eighteen Visions, One King Down, Jukai, and Jesus Piece, among others.

Coming from the Philippines, how do you think the global hardcore scene views your scene and what are some bands people should be checking out?

I believe the Philippines hardcore scene is gaining visibility, not only within the Southeast Asian scene but also within the global hardcore community is huge for us. I'm really pleased that this recognition is finally happening, unlike in the early years when we didn't receive that much recognition I believe we deserved, and most of the Asian scene do as well.

A big shoutout to Whispers, Kruelty, and SPEED for taking the torch right now of Asia's hardcore pride. Hopefully, more sick bands from Asia will receive recognition soon! Check out our friends from the band called Gibraltar right now! 

[Gibraltar is a killer band! -Carlos/No Echo]

What do you think are some of the biggest difficulties facing bands from the Philippines and what the average show is like?

I believe the major challenges we face currently include the lack of venues, travel inconveniences, affordability of gears, a lack of common-sense and humor, and primarily, the differences in views of hardcore. Nevertheless, I'm excited for what's happening in our local scene right now—more folks, especially new faces are coming to shows after the pandemic and it is stronger than ever.

However, I believe it's crucial for people to be more aware and not just play without understanding what's really happening. True unity means accepting our differences. The true enemies are the monopolists, the police and the warlords.

Photo: Fulgencio Bermejo III

Finally, what’s next for the band and what do you have planned? 

We plan to write our full-length record by next year, and the goal is just to top thedDebut EP soundwise. Incorporating more influences and obscure stuff to sound more unique, I guess [laughs].

Also, we want to hang out more with our friends, share the stage with new bands, and maybe tour around our local scenes and hopefully outside our country soon. That's everything for now. Thanks a lot, No Echo!


Warcrimes on social media: Facebook | Instagram


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