This Time It’s War Aren’t ‘Overly Flashy’ on Self-Released Debut
This Time It’s War remind us of the long-gone DIY era. The progressive metal band from Virginia has been touring the East Coast and beyond, performing with everyone from Lamb of God to August Burns Red to Municipal Waste. Along the way, they’ve been self-releasing demos, EPs and their full-length ‘Terror Plots.’
The band admitted to being influenced by the likes of Meshuggah, Opeth, Tool and Darkest Hour, despite guitarist Alan Simpson telling Noisecreep that “we probably don’t sound anything like them!” Noisecreep listened to songs like ‘Manic Dependence’ and ‘Pathways’ and we found the band did indeed mesh elements of prog and modern metal. We also detected a bit of noticeable Opeth influence.
This Time It’s War clearly understand that if you want something done, it’s best to just do it yourself. Simpson said, “We self-released ‘Terror Plots,’ mostly due to necessity. The Cliffs Notes version of the story is that in 2009, we signed a deal with a pretty well-known metal label and started recording the album later that year with every intention of having it released in spring or summer of 2010 and to start touring constantly. It was completed in early 2010, but after delivering it to our record label, they decided not to put it out.”
But things didn’t end there for the band. Most acts sign to labels so they can focus on the task at hand — which is making the music while allowing the record company to suss out the promotion and printing of the platter. This Time It’s War, however, took matters into their own hands.
Simpson continued, “Since we were still bound by our contract, we had to recoup them for the recording cost on our own before we could do anything with the record. We figured out a plan for paying our debt, financed the printing of the CD and digital distribution ourselves, and finally got it out on Nov. 12, 2010.”
‘Terror Plots’ doesn’t have a “definitive” sound, according to Simpson, since some of the songs have been in the band’s arsenal for several years in demo form. “It’s kind of a retrospective on the last few years of our existence, as well as where we are right now, musically. So it’s a little all over the map,” he admitted. “Our next effort will probably be a bit more focused as a whole, though.
“We don’t try to be flashy and overly technical for the sake of it; we just have a strong bond as musicians, and everything comes naturally. We put a strong emphasis on writing good songs first and foremost, and we put a lot of time into practicing our craft to become better players and musicians, which we think is reflected in our music.”
Simpson also reflected on the recording experience for ‘Terror Plots,’ deeming it “haunted in more ways than one, though … it was a total mess in every way, and almost everything that could have gone wrong during the process did: from instruments breaking, amps blowing up, running out of time in the studio which lead to massive delays, tracking vocals ourselves in a shed in mid-winter with no heat, our former record label giving us the cold shoulder.
“But in the end, we got through it, and it feels great to have it out there and have all of that behind us. Time to hit the road and promote this thing, and get to work on the next one.”
This Time It’s War have more dedication than most signed bands. We’re thinking they won’t remain unsigned for long, though.