Tuesday, September 15, 2009

a testimony

Got this email from Tara, from a fan in Belgium named Iwein. thought it was a cool story to share.

That day. It must have been a stormy one. But I can’t remember anymore. Who cares, actually?

The year was 1997 or 1998. I can’t remember the day or month… but the impact proved to be everlasting.

Doctor Vinyl, at that time my favorite music shop, had a new batch of hardcore delivered. Hell, the guy was an avid technohead, specializing in dance, drum ’n bass and all kinds of weird shit. That time, hardcore was all but mainstream. All 12 kids in our scene (it was that big…) went to Doctor Vinyl on a weekly basis, just to see the new stuff. He did us all a favor by importing the finest wares in hardcore.

I browsed through the newly arrived stuff, quickly. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular. Just hoping to encounter some new cool tunes.

And there it was: a dead body on the cover, not a particularly special bandlogo but it stuck with me. My curiosity was aroused.
But what did it sound like? I asked my dear friend, Doctor Vinyl, to spin this thing for me.

I still remember the look on his face. This was not the ‘hardcore’ he used to hear when we were around. As for me, I was fascinated. This band, disembodied, took me by surprise. I expected yet another Slayer-ish take on hardcore. But no… disembodied chose to strip 90’s metalcore of the fast riffs and thrashy rythms. They introduced heaviness in hardcore. They proved hardcore could be slow and intense at the same time.

I didn’t let Doctor Vinyl finish the first song. I immediately purchased the CD, skipped school and went home to listen to ‘diablerie’. No fucking ipods these days, so I copied it to tape and had it in my walkman for the next couple of weeks. We’re nearly speaking of addiction here… I was going through some difficult times back then. Maybe it was this that made the music stick in? I like to think so…

At that time, the internet wasn’t as omnipresent as it is these days. I wasn’t a very big fanzine reader, so the mystery that surrounded Disembodied remained. The impact of the music and lyrics was this big, I decided to send the guys and girl a fan letter. This became the first and last fan letter I ever wrote to a band. I just needed to write down how I felt about the music. I’ve never received a response but that didn’t matter.

I still feel the same about what I wrote in that letter back then. The cold, distant yet highly emotional mood on all records, is something that has had a lasting influence on myself. Musically and emotionally.
When I’m feeling down or depressed, Disembodied will uplift my spirits every time.

After ‘diablerie’ came ‘if god only knew…’ and ‘heretic’. All three of these pieces of noise are in my car all the time. If some young kid claims to have found the heaviest band on earth, I simply put on some Disembodied. Most of the time, they’ve got a hard time getting into it. It truly must be music for wicked souls.

When I received news that the band split up, I cursed a few times. Never going to see these songs performed live, was a huge disappointment. What I regretted the most, was missing the chance to unravel the mystery behind this band. What about these lyrics? The heaviness? The, obviously, deep emotions that kept singer Aaron cry out these fantastic lyrics?

Fast forward 12 years: *shock* Disembodied reunites. I was in awe and also disappointed. Only three US shows, so it seemed. But there was more to come.

It’s like a strange coincidence, actually: after 6 haunting and very disturbing months at work, I’m feeling emotionally wrecked. It’s in this episode of my life that I’m going to see Disembodied at the annual Ieper Hardcore Fest in Belgium.

When expectations are that tense, disappointment always lurks around the corner. But not this time.
During the show, I felt intensely happy. Moments before, I was able to talk to Tara, Chaz and JJ. I felt like a 33 year old kid. I was fucking nervous. I told them about my fan letter. I told them Disembodied is one of my all time favorite bands. I was happy to get it all out of my system. There were a lot more things I wanted to tell and ask them. That’s why I wrote this all down.

Funny thing is, there were a bunch of other 30 year old ‘kids’ getting completely psyched over the fact that they were at last *sigh* going to see Disembodied play live. Apparently, disembodied have had the same impact on them as it had on me. One of them fucking barfed due to the intensity and psychedness because of this show.

During the gig, I was singing along, filming and taking pictures at the same time. Man, I’ve had the time of my life.

So this is it. My testimony to one of the bands that influenced me big time. I’m sending this over to the band. So they know they did a great job. I like to thank people when they’re still alive.

In conclusion, I wanted to sum up: what, exactly, is Disembodied? Don’t know if you guys and girl are big Star Wars fans, but the best I could come up with:

A beautiful disturbance in the force. That’s what Disembodied is to me.

Big up and see you next year!

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