As promised ... this is the gem I've been working on for the past few weeks.
There aren't many releases from Pin Drop Records that make it to my turntable or CD player any more. The exception to this rule is obviously Die My Will (god knows its not the Polyglot/Fall From Grace split). I used to pick up everything from this label for whatever reason or another and looking back, it was well worth the money I wasted on the Holdstrong 7"s in order to stumble upon Die My Will. There's something about this band that put them years ahead of ANY of their contemporaries; especially within their general area.
Their debut, self-released and self-titled EP came out in 1996 on Drawn And Quartered Records, which was ran by bassist Todd Reynolds. The debut EP contained 8 tracks which would set the tone for what was to come from the band in the future; heavy, unrelenting, downtuned, innovative aggression. Not to be overshadowed, the lyrics of the band were every bit as potent as the music which was being created by this group. Touching on subjects not commonly done within the hardcore scene at the time, Die My Will escaped the monotony of the era in the lyrical department as effortlessly as they did musically. An explanation of the song "Homunculus" was given by lyricist Brandon Debrosky in an interview taken from Hurt Newsletter Zine.
"The song actually has a ton of different meanings and concepts within it. Some that I don't even think I can explain without writing a novel, but I will try to explain it as best I can as quick as I can. The song deals with the commonality of people looking for absolute truths, by which to live their lives. I think that most people, as I do, look for answers to everything in order to gain comfort in life. So we tend to put our trust or faith both consciously and unconsciously into different schools of thought and then disconcern ourselves with other contradictory concepts. Whether it is religion, logic or science, they represent the same thing for me. They are concepts we have constructed to deal with phenomenon that we can't understand without such framework. I think that it's dangerous to focus all of your beliefs on any one concept or idea. This type of thought process seems to lend itself to very close-mindedness. So the concept behind the song is that different truths by themselves may be useless and non-beneficial, but when everything is taken into account and excepted for what it is, together they can help lead to a very healthy and beneficial mindset. So in the song I tried to address this with imagery from different religious and social beliefs. Homunculus is the name of the man that ancient Egyptians believed lived in a person and controlled a persons health and humor. That's the basic concept behind the song"
The follow-up effort was a split 7" release with another CT local by the name of All You've Lost. If you were to listen to the All You've Lost tracks on their own, you would probably think it was considerably good for its time. However, when put up against the two tracks donated by Die My Will, the efforts of All You've Lost become instantaneously stale. The same can be said for the following two comps in which Die My Will took part in. Their tracks on the Call For Unity pt 2 (on Back Ta Basics) and Over The Edge pt 3 (on Endless Fight) render the other tracks worthless. Their contribution to the Back Ta Basics comp was a demo version for what was to appear on the And Still We Destroy full length while the track donated to Endless Fight was otherwise unreleased. A third track was recorded specifically for a compilation which was supposed to be released by Jamey Jasta through his Stillborn Records label which was to be entitled CT Brotherhood. The comp never came out and the track has since been lost, according to reports from band members. The song, entitled Laconic, lives ever-so-fondly in my imagination as one line of lyrics proclaims that we are "suffocation on our own existence" ... I couldn't say it better myself.
Die My Will took things to the next level with the release of their And Still We Destroy full length on the previously-mentioned Pin Drop Records. It was on this release that Die My Will attained legendary status in my mind. Pummeling listeners with the transitions between caveman-esque chug parts and intricate, yet distrubingly eerie acoustic pieces, the band set the standard for heavy in their era.
As with every release, the band managed to one-up themselves yet again with the release of their final recording session in the form of a split with Piecemeal. Everything about this session is ... I don't know ... just disgusting. The low-end presence on the recording is sickening and definitely imitated on the Path To Misery CD. The vocals are gut-wrenching in every sense of the word that I wouldn't use in any other aspect of life. The dissonance and drive of the guitars is surely capable of evoking some sort of inner, primal rage inherent in anyone who is conscious to the world around them. There's not enough that can be said of this final session and band in general.
Sadly the group disbanded not long after this release. As with any great band from their era, the band never received a fraction of the credit in which was due. Even if the band put the recordings out a decade later in which they did (aka now), they would still reign as the heaviest songs known to man. I know that in a previous post I had already labeled Disembodied as the heaviest band ever, but the point is that Die My Will is every bit as legendary as Disembodied amongst this genre; they just never received the credit that was due. I'm hoping that this post will start to reverse this trend if only in the minds of the couple hundred people who read this thing.
As a matter of fact, it seems as though my efforts are being coupled by that of a respectable label who is in talks with the band to collaborate on not only a remixed and remastered discography, but the potential of the recording of some previously unreleased tracks which were written at the same time as the tracks which appeared on the Piecemeal split. If things actually go through as planned, I will be the first one posting about it, rest assured.
Special thanks to Edwin at the One Path blog for the help with attaining several of the more rare Mp3s as well as Brandon from Die My Will who hooked me up with some of the insider information regarding the band (as well as allowing me to call off the search for those unreleased comps, haha). If everything goes as planned with the potential release of this discography on the currently undisclosed label PLEASE do yourself the favor of picking it up as it will contained remixed, remastered tracks as well as the equally relevant lyrics ... and hopefully those previously unreleased tracks which would make my life complete.
I was going to include a text file including all of their lyrics as I feel they were also years ahead of their time (bands STILL don't touch on some of these subjects) but I decided instead to post a link to their tripod-esque website which will serve as quite the trip down memory lane for anyone who simultaneously had the internet and was into DIY hardcore around 1999-2001.