Fearless and Unapologetic.
Bold and confrontational.
Completely hopeful against a backdrop of desperate hopelessness.
When Solid State recording artist Beloved suddenly called it a day in the winter of 2005, many of the band’s fans were left scratching their heads. The North Carolina band seemed to be on the cusp of something larger than they had ever been before. They’d toured the nation numerous times, their debut full length Failure On had gotten positive reviews in critical press and they seemed to be in a place where most bands could only imagine. But, despite having grown up together, they were growing apart musically and emotionally. Band members began relationships and started projects that took their attention away from Beloved.
On of those projects was called Advent. Fronted by former Beloved drummer Joe Musten, Advent was an outlet for Musten and former Beloved guitarist Matt Harrison and bassist Johnny Smrdel, alongside newcomers Chris Ankelein on drums and Mike Rich on guitar, to express the heavier side of music they loved.
“The three of us grew up together listening to the heavy stuff,” states the Advent vocalist. “It was bands like Buried Alive, Strongarm and Turmoil that really inspired us. I always wanted to be a front man and get in people’s faces. I enjoy the screaming and I always believed I had something to say.”
Since the bands inception in 2005 Advent has been making quiet but steady progress out of Kernersville, North Carolina. Having shared the stage with musical contemporaries like Underoath, Every Time I Die, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster and others, Advent has been reaching out to crowds who are familiar with the member’s former melodic hardcore ties and introducing them to a more aggressive and straight forward incarnation.
“When we went on tour we only had 3 songs that Matt and Johnny and I wrote,” states Musten. “At first kids were thrown off. They knew we were from Beloved but they didn’t expect something this intense.”
In the Fall of 2007, Advent entered Warrior Sound Studio to record their Solid State full length Remove the Earth with producers Mitch Marlow and Al Jacobs. “When we recorded Failure On with Garth Richardson I wasn’t as emotionally invested and meticulous as I am with this record,” claims Musten. “We want to make a record that we can be proud of.”
Advent’s honest approach to hardcore will surely rekindle the genuine spirit within a style of music that often seems to have lost its way.
In 2009, Advent will release Naked And Cold, their second offering from Solid State Records.
“The story behind the album title isn’t much of a story at all. It’s more of a feeling,” explains bassist Johnny Smrdel. “I think as we’ve gotten older we’ve become more aware and affected by this world we live in. We’re in a time where death, hopelessness, disease and hate are what’s normal. I think Naked and Cold sums up the feeling we all have on this world that rejects truth, love and hope.”
The first thing you notice when you hear the opening track, “Nothing,” is the absolute rawness of both the sound and the emotion. It’s not only heavy, but it is unsettling. And the most disturbing element of the sonics may just be that they are also (gasp!) real. Ditto for the rage in the voice behind the words. All you know is that you hearing hardcore as it was meant to sound – with honesty seeping from every pore of every facet of the music.
“We aren’t trying to be down-tuned and heavy just to be cool. We definitely believe in writing good songs and being able to play our instruments, unlike the fashion today. We want people to be intrigued by the music to look into the lyrics and the message, not hit people over the head with our beliefs first.”
But once they hook you, the Advent boys set their barbs deep as you squirm to be released. As promised, frontman Joe Musten is not one to mince words, as he speaks in no unclear terms. On “Out of Line,” he confronts our nation and its leaders: "The American way. I pray to God, this lie will have nothing to do with me. The American way. The lie of the century." And on “With Anger,” Musten rebukes the endless parade of trendy heavy bands today: "State your values. State your case. State your purpose. We just want to hear you say you’re fake. We scream with anger but not from hate. We scream with passion but not for fame. We scream resistance to see a change." But amidst all of this confrontation, the band is, at it’s core, spirit-filled. On focal tracks like, “Overcome,” hope prevails, even amidst this naked and cold world: "I am not ashamed. To live is Christ, to die is surely gain. Overcome this worthless sense of grief. Stare death in the face. I am not afraid...We will stare death in the face."
The band has shared the stage with everyone from Underoath to Living Sacrifice to Shai Halud to The Carrier, and anyone who has a brush with the band knows they are true to what they stand for to the core. Live, they are not just a whirlwind of sloppy sounds, spinkicks and trite choreography; they are a real band who communicates something genuine through only their own instruments.
In the shallow, predictable world that is heavy music today it is more than refreshing when a band comes along that is doing everything for the right reasons. Advent is that band. Naked and Cold is that record. Bring your mosh shorts and prepare to leave changed, your mind opened, your heart at peace with your Creator.
“We aren’t ashamed of our faith or trying to weasel around anything to downplay it. Love someone with all your heart and you don’t have to be the loudest person on your soap box, screaming. Sometimes it’s all about just doing simple things to love another person, like pulling over to the side of the road to help someone who has a flat tire. In a similar way, we want the music to speak for us first and foremost, because if your music doesn’t demand respect, then no one will care one bit about what you have to say.”
In 2011, despite being one of the most talked about and respected bands in the scene, Advent called it a day playing their final two shows in the summer of that year.
Listen to Advent Here
|Remove the Earth||2008||Solid State Records|
|Naked and Cold||2009||Solid State Records|