BETTER WATCH YOUR FAX IF YOU DIAL MOLDE!*
* There was a saying among the LO members in the wake of the BIOHAZARD / NY macho core hype around ´93: "Better watch your back if you come to MOLDE"
My old band LASH OUT was signed and released on STORMSTRIKE Rec, run by the sympathic German hardcore kid, JOJO. Johannes Schrammel, the Emmendingen wolf, in the year of 1994, seemed to be in the middle of a transition, from the stranglehold of straight edge to the dark realms of metal. He was not the first and he´s certainly not the last. Still dwelling in a shadow of doubt, wondering if his Satanic flirtation was a bit too extreme for the framework he was operating within. After all we re talking about a cross point of PC, asceticism, moral absolutism and a positivism, a far cry from the so called "evil" core of Black Metal. Instead of running the risk of loosing his integrity and reputation in his native hardcore scene, he slightly overdid it to secure the backdoor of a joke, and who can argue with that? The father of the bassist.
Even though still claiming the vegan edge, Jojo, definitely talked more about BURZUM, wolfs, witches, occult circles, pentagrams than the usual cliches of compassionate living, environmentalism, tofu or skin imitations. So the tone in the original fax from Stormstrike HQ to LASH OUT, was one that we had grown familiar with. The heading "AVANTI SATAN", came as no surprise to us, coming from that person, and we laughed it off once again. What was more of a problem, was that the only fax number available to us at the time, was the fax machine at the office of Lauritz Godøy, Håvard LASH OUTs dad, the local cultural department, where he served as the chief. Probably a role model for the rest of his working stock. Lauritz was in general more supportive of his sons hobbies than parents most, helping us out with legal advice on the signing of contracts etc, but I guess this episode was a heavy test of his love to the band.
Deep within, we probably felt the same attraction to the black flame as Jojo, but perhaps showing it off much more in terms of music. LASH OUT was at this point a band with a political and ethical agenda, 4 out 5 being straight edge and 5 out of 5 vegan/vegetarian, only listening to KISS, SLAYER, IRON MAIDEN, KING DIAMOND, BURZUM and DARKTHRONE in the privacy of our boy rooms. This was at the height of the media hype of Black Metal in Norway, with churches burning down and even murder and torture. LASH OUT was thus bound to take a stance against all this officially, but speaking for myself, I was of course nevertheless very fascinated and also a big fan of the music.
Like the jargon of antichrist that lurked underneath the alphabet of the dark prince of Emmendingen, the spell of heavy metal was apparent in the music of LASH OUT from the very beginning. This tendency increased by every release, in lyrical themes and moods, as well as guitar riffs and vocals
On the 1994 Stormstrike Records release Worn Path by LASH OUT, you find substantial traces of the works of Satan, ermm, heavy metal, in the riffs and guitar solos, and likewise in a title such as "Evening Shade" or the Black Metal touch in the vocals of the same track and also "Portrait Of A Serial Killer". The epic arrangements of symphonic desperation , rather than the typical anger of hardcore punk, bares resemblance to the contemporary doom metal of CATHEDRAL,TESTAMENT, NEUROSIS, SAINT VITUS and the semi industrial droning of PITCH SHIFTER,SCORN and MINISTRY.
You may compare it to the influences often name dropped by LO in those days INTEGRITY, BURN, UNBROKEN, SNAP CASE, EARTH CRISIS, MEAN SEASON and 108, LASH OUT still had a genuine and unique sound, a take of crossover hardcore and metal that rather followed the left hand path of the sabbatical goat than the raging fists sporting the "X". No wonder they ended up as a purist heavy metal act, leather pants and castrato refrains.
THUNDERBOLT: Hønefoss Black Circle. (trying themselves out in a IRON
MAIDEN "Piece Of Mind" setting.
MAIDEN "Piece Of Mind" setting.
I eventually founded a project that probably could pass as "dark","pseudo occult" or even "quasi Satanic". Reminding us of the fact stated in the Apocalypse Now sample on LASH OUT 1995 album What Absence Yields:
"Under every depth, a lower deep opens".