The Verdict by I Am Noah; here is a heavy-as-Hell metalcore album that has melodic, almost post-metal flourishes to it, making for a very satisfying listen. It’s definitely one of the best recent releases of this sometimes-maligned sub-genre and is good enough to easily remind anyone of just how effective metalcore can be when played with passion, conviction and substance. I took the time to catch up with the band just as The Verdict is being unleashed on the world…
Explain the concept behind the band name
I Am Noah is our way to address things and share our emotions. “Noah” is a fictional character who questions and condemns the boundaries of our intellect and behaviour which are omnipresent. On our record we intended “Noah” to be thought-provoking. He should speak for us as a band and reflects all our feelings, opinions, positions.
What are your influences?
Musically speaking, we are strongly influenced by bands like Architects, August Burns Red and As I lay Dying, to name just a few. Actually, we could name a whole lot of other bands at this point, ‘cause there are countless bands and musicians from many different genres we love to hear, too.
Name five things you’ve listened to recently that you’d recommend
Architects – Daybreaker
This or the Apocalypse – Haunt what’s left
Thy Art is Murder – Holy War
Deftones – Gore
Northlane – Singularity
Tell us about The Verdict
After more than a year of intensive songwriting, we recorded THE VERDICT at the Pitchback Studios in March 2015. On 12 songs we tried to show as many facets as possible. In addition to fast and aggressive songs there is also a ballad with clean vocals from a guest vocalist on our record as well as an instrumental Intro.
How did you choose the cover artwork? Is album art an important part of the band for you?
In our opinion, music, lyrics and design should have an overall concept. From the outset, we had a clear concept in mind and early agreed on the way we wanted to proceed with the artwork. Ani, our designer who created the cover artwork and booklet of “The Verdict”, was involved in the whole process from the beginning on. We’re huge fans of her art!
What’s the process you use for writing songs?
That’s pretty hard to say, because we don’t really have a straight way of writing our songs but rather proceed differently from song to song. In simple words you could say that we’re throwing all the stuff we wrote into a big pool of riffs, interludes, breakdowns, etc. to get a first impression. Then it usually becomes clear very quickly which riff corresponds to which breakdown and so on. We’re rejecting stuff that doesn’t fit our mood and collecting ideas of parts matching perfectly. For us this is a bit like playing puzzle.
Amidst the brutality and heaviness, it’s noticeable you have a lot of almost post-metal-type colourful melodics. You describe this as ambient hardcore. Tell us a bit about this
We love the contrast between fast and loud parts to quiet and spherical sounds. We’re often fiddling around with technical parts and blunt breakdowns or loud blastbeats and very quiet acoustic sounds. It is important for us, that our songs are catchy. Unfortunately, nowadays many Bands sound extremely massive and well produced, but in the end you don’t remember their songs because there are no catchy riffs or singalongs. We try to write catchy songs without the usual pop song structure. The mixture between aggressive riffs and clean parts is very important to us.
How do you think your music will progress in the future?
We don’t know yet. We are very busy promoting our upcoming album right now, but we are also eager to write new stuff. We all have many new ideas in our heads and surely have a lot of great plans for the future.
What’s your favourite song on the album and why?
Hard to say. We all have different ones. It mostly depends on our mood. But we think that “If Life Could Be the Answer”, “Rise of Mankind” and “Drowned” are maybe the strongest of the album. It is pretty hard to rate songs that you’ve written yourself, because actually we love all of them. ☺
What’s the I Am Noah live show like?
Loud, sweaty and shnizzlmanizzl.
With music becoming increasingly digital in nature, what’s your take on the digital/physical debate and the current state of the music industry?
There’s no doubt about the growing amount of digital records in the future. You can listen to your favourite songs via streams while driving to work or having a walk. That’s a good thing, I guess. On the other side, there’s nothing more satisfying than tearing the package of a new CD or Vinyl. I can only speak for myself, but I love the feeling of looking for new Vinyls and adding them to my collection. Thats why it was very important to us to release a physical copy of our record, too. For me, buying physical copies of bands I love is the best way to show them the respect they deserve.
How do you think you fit in with the wider metal scene?
We think that our music has got the capability to add a new touch to the older metalcore scene. Our music is influenced by old school metalcore as well as djent and other modern styles of the subgenre. Maybe you could say that we’re doing a new wave of old school metalcore, if that makes any sense 🙂
What are the next steps for the band?
Our first record “The Verdict” has been released on May 13th via Bastardized Recordings. We are very excited about that. In addition to this, there’s a new music video coming soon, too. So stay tuned! This year we’ll enjoy all the shows and festivals we’re going to play. Meanwhile, we’ll be writing new stuff and hopefully there will be something big coming in 2017.
You can buy the CD here.