The Gathering (Fire)storm
Every day our consciences are inundated with invitations—to silence, to rationalization, to apathy, to accommodation, to convenience, to normalization. And each time we choose to participate in an economy of suffering—whether over the cries of a terrified pig prodded onto the killing floor or the whimpers of a daughter wishing for invisibility in the corner of an alcoholic household or the howl of a fox desperate to escape a fur trap’s steel jaws or the lamentations of father helplessly watching an addiction-riddled son snuff out his one precious spark of life—that is our RSVP.
To stand by, of course, carries a price. “How can we hope that peace and prosperity will reign on Earth,” Leo Tolstoy noted, “if our bodies are living tombs, in which murdered animals”—or aspirations or ecosystems or species—“are buried?” Conversely, a single act of compassionate defiance can ripple into a tidal wave. Imagine, for example, a perfectly ordinary middle-aged woman paying a perfectly ordinary visit to her husband at the Chicago food processing plant he manages. Imagine her catching a glimpse of the reality of abattoir, the suffering of cattle. Imagine her immediately becoming a vegetarian, effectively renouncing the very meat industrial complex upon which subsistence relies. Imagine her tearing up that RSVP.
Decades later, inspired by her bravery, that woman’s grandson, one Karl Buechner, would join forces with a small cadre of deft, philosophically like-minded, trailblazing musicians to launch not only one of the few true revolutionary countercultural mass movements of the last quarter-century, but also infuse these breathtakingly original, genre-refracting songs with that same iconoclastic impulse, leaving extreme music forever changed in its wake.
This is the story of Destroy the Machines, the platonic ideal of a metallic hardcore record and one of the best, most pioneering heavy albums ever, period. Dedicated, like the release itself, to the vegan straight-edge. Scrawl it across your own rejected RSVP: “From love comes this hatred.”
Need more Earth Crisis? To read the entire six-page story, featuring interviews with all members on Destroy the Machines, purchase the print issue from our store, or digitally via our app for iPhone/iPad or Android.