Nightterrors: Sleep is for the weak

Monday 14th, July 2014 / 15:04
By Heath Fenton
Photo: tiina liimu

Photo: tiina liimu

VANCOUVER — The path a band takes to get to a particular line-up is like a fingerprint stamp on a crime scene. Just dig into its origins and each one is unique in its own way. Some come together as an act of faith, others are constructed carefully piece by piece and some are made up of old schoolmates. Nightterrors’ development was marked out along a trail of chance and circumstance.

Coincidentally, when Victoria transplants and dual guitarists Nick Engwer and Zak Ross relocated, they were familiar with one another from the island, but they both had no idea that they were starting new projects, independently, in Vancouver. Meanwhile, Vancouver scene veterans, bassist Kavan Cronin and drummer Andrew Burry just started to jam looking for an upstart project themselves. They managed to hook up with Engwer and Ross via some crafty networking and realized that they may be a fit together musically. After two months of hashing out some songs together, enter former Calgary resident and ex Wake drummer Tyler Dergousoff. He met Burry at a show and he was ultimately recruited to become the vocalist for the new project. Dergousoff suggested the name Nightterrors and by that point, they were on.

Usually the next step for a band is to define a sound. While Engwer and Ross were slamming ‘crust’ filled D-beat jams, Cronin and Burry were busy busting out old-school thrash with some ‘grindy’ goodness and these influences to come together in an uncontrived cacophony. “I love straight up D-beat. Like the songs they had before we all connected,” says Cronin. “We were talking between songs, Andrew suggested to add in some grind to some of the songs. From there [something heavier crept in.] I don’t want us to sound like one particular influence. But at the same time we all dig that blend of crust, hardcore, grind, metal and thrash. You can name it until the cows come home. I just call it angry music that is fun to play.”

With that appraisal, Cronin pretty much hits the nail on the tale. Their initial five-song demo, recorded by Engwer is still available online. Give it a listen and you will agree that it is a deadly mix of some of music’s most brutal upbringings with relentless and crashing speed; a vicious pelting with sandpaper-burnt vocals that scratch at your ear buds until they bleed the good blood. Back in the studio, Nightterrors hit up Engwer last spring with five newly penned songs. They just polished off their next recording due out in late summer. “As much as the old songs were good,” Cronin says, “they are the first songs we wrote together. The sound has progressed since then.”

Heading into their second year this crew has been making a name for themselves, hard at work inside their deafening jam room and terrorizing local venues. With Dergousoff lurching around the stage lecturing the crowd with his demonic diatribe, touching on all things bleak. They deliver a tenacious set with waves of iron-fisted punishment, you may get the feeling that they are battering you out of the venue but, instead you find yourself drawn into a bizarre tug of war that will leave you blind and disorientated. Then you go home to bed, only to wake up in a sweat wanting more of what you just got.

Nightterrors play Funkys on July 19th with Sexloader and Old Man Strength.

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