156/Silence’s savage madness proves Pittsburgh is hardcore’s new frontier

(Image credit: Press)

After years of metalcore becoming more and more watered down post its commercial peak, a new generation of bands are reaching right back into the depths of the genre’s earliest incarnation for inspiration.

“We look to the likes of Poison The Well, Botch and Norma Jean for inspiration,” says Ryan Wilkinson, guitarist of 156/Silence. “Those bands really took the time to craft something new in heavy music back then. All of us are in our 20s, so we never got to see those bands at their peak, so we’re going to try and recreate it for today.”

True to Ryan’s words, 156/Silence are expertly evocative of that fertile underground period of 1999-2003. Their latest album, Irrational Pull, is wonderfully savage, technically bewildering and as raw as any of the Trustkill-era metalcore bands that they are so indebted to. 

“I have always wanted to be in a metalcore band,” Ryan continues. “I saw the first ever 156/Silence gig, supporting Norma Jean, before I was even a member and I just knew I had to be in this band. They had more post-hardcore, kind of La Dispute, vibes back then, but I could see there was something really special about the ideas. I love how we’ve evolved into what we are now – we all aim to make music that will still sound full of freshness and energy decades from now.”

With this ambition you won’t be remotely surprised to learn that 156/Silence hail from Pittsburgh, surely the heavy music hotspot on the planet right now.

“Pittsburgh is a really great place to make music,” he says. “Everyone is so supportive and so full of ideas, I genuinely believe that people will look back on this scene in years to come and recall it was something very special.” 

Buy 156/Silence’s Irrational Pull on Bandcamp

Stephen Hill

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.