WORDS : LUCA CESCON

Is Delaware the new mecca of hardcore music? According to the discography of bands like Simulakra, No Option, Too Late, and Year Of The Knife, just to name a few, the answer is yes. Geographically located close to Pennsylvania and New Jersey, two of the most important States that come to mind when talking about hardcore and punk music, Delaware has been delivering some amazing acts in the last five years. The East Coast is shining again: while the West Coast came to us with extraordinary records from bands like Drain and Rotting Out, Delaware in particular is trying to have its say with the new Year Of The Knife’s album. Internal Incarceration will mark the return of the metallic hardcore outfit, with thirteen tracks that will set a new bar for modern heavy music. Following Ultimate Aggression, a collection of old tracks released one year ago, Internal Incarceration is going to be Year Of The Knife’s first full length record. 

since its beginning, Y.O.T.K. has always been a straight edge band

Retracing the history of this band, we can say that five years have passed since the beginning of this project, with guitarist Brandon confirming us that “it’s been a blast so far, I’d like to describe this first five years as positive chaos”. For those who are not familiar with this band, it’s important to say that the Year Of Knife project includes actual familial connections: the vocalist is Tyler alongside Brandon (guitar) and Madison (bass) being husband and wife, plus the twin brothers Aaron and Andrew on guitar and drums duties respectively. These bonds are not the only one linking the band’s members: since its beginning, Y.O.T.K. has always been a straight edge band. 

During the first months of 2020 Y.O.T.K. were forced to put a full stop to their plans due to the worldwide pandemic. “Just about everything we had lined up for 2020 has been pushed back or cancelled. We’ve toured pretty heavily since 2018, so now we’ve got a lot of time at home. I think we’ve all been enjoying our space and time off after grinding so hard leading up to the record”, reveals Brandon. Some of the tracks off Internal Incarceration were written at the very beginning of the Y.O.T.K. project, while others later last year. The record’s lyrics will massively be about loss, grief and death from Tyler’s point of view: “all these feelings are inevitable but they don’t have to be all bad”, tells us Brandon. The guitarist himself looks at this band “as a way to promote positivity and release aggressions.” 

there isn’t another record in heavy music that sounds like Internal Incarceration. All killer no filler and every song has a message

From a production point of view, Y.O.T.K. teamed up with Kurt Ballou at Salem’s GodCity Studio: “he is a genius”, tells us Brandon, “what we brought to Kurt was the best shit we’ve ever done and he found a way to take every song to the next level.” Internal Incarceration will hit the listener with an even more aggressive sound, compared to what the Delaware outfit has released so far. With lots of peers losing the ability to keep releasing memorable music, Brandon tells us that “there isn’t another record in heavy music that sounds like Internal Incarceration. All killer no filler and every song has a message.” With musical inspiration coming both from death metal, movies and videogames, Internal Incarceration “is much more extreme than anything we’ve done before, but it still stays true to hardcore”, reveals Brandon. Internal Incarceration will be released on August 7th, 2020 via Pure Noise Records, with an already available music video for “Virtual Narcotic.”

 The band will join the Berkeley-based label again after the release of Ultimate Aggression. For Brandon, this is something that went beyond his expectations: “I never thought in a million years when I was a kid that I’d be on the same label as Terror. They even have bands like Hawthorne Heights, the shit is crazy. They do a lot for us. We got to record with Kurt Ballou. What more do I need to say?” Needless to say, Y.O.T.K. stand against all nowadays injustices and racism, with Brandon telling us that “There isn’t a better use for music than to bring attention to the fucked up shit that’s going on in the world and to speak out against it.” 

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