Origin: Austin, Texas
Genre: Crust Punk
Years active: 2000-present
World Burns to Death demo tape (35 pressed [self released]) 2001
Human Meat … Tossed to the Dogs of War 7″ EP (3000 pressed [Prank Records USA]) 2001
The Sucking of the Missile Cock LP (3000 pressed [Hardcore Holocaust Records USA]) 2002 (2000 repressed April 2004 w/black label on B side)
The Sucking of the Missile Cock CD (3000 pressed [Hardcore Holocaust Records USA]) 2003 (500 seized by Brazilian customs)
Acid in the Face of Human Rights 7″ EP (1000 pressed [Fight Records] Finland) 2003
Art of self-destruction 7″ EP (3000 pressed [Prank Records USA]) 2003
No Dawn Comes … Night Without End 7″ EP (3000 pressed [Hardcore Holocaust Records USA]) 2003
Curse Them Forever split 7″ EP with SICK TERROR (? pressed [Terrotten Records Brazil]) 2003
Split 7″ EP with DISCLOSE (700 pressed [Dan-Doh Records Japan]) 2005 (? repressed 2005 [Yellowdog Records Germany] 100 w/poster, envelope, and split badge)
Totalitarian Sodomy LP (3000 pressed [Hardcore Holocaust Records USA]) 2006. Artwork by Sakevi Yokoyama Beast Arts/GISM
Totalitarian Sodomy CD (500 w/Japanese lyrics booklet [Hardcore Holocaust Records USA])
Cease To Exist DVD (1000 pressed [Prank Records USA]) 2007
Graveyard of Utopia CD/LP (HG Fact Records Japan/Prank Records USA) 2008
“Black Becomes The Sun” 7″ EP (1000 pressed [HG Fact Records Japan]) 2009
Split 7″ EP with BLOW BACK (HG Fact Records Japan) 2009
Split 7″ EP with SLANG (Prank Records USA) 2010
World Burns to Death are an American Crust punk band from Austin, Texas. Formed in 2000, the current lineup (as of September, 2014) consists of: Jack Control, vocals; Zac Tew, guitar; Craig Merritt, bass; and Jon Guerinot, drums. Current and former members are also involved with other bands, including From Ashes Rise, Kegcharge, The Bulemics, Severed Head of State, and Krematorium Dogs. World Burns to Death’s singer, Jack Control, was stabbed outside of a show in late January, 2006. The weapon, a 5″ knife, barely missed his heart.
World Burns to Death take their name from the title of a song by the early 1980s Finnish hardcore punk band Bastards. In addition, the name reflects the band’s apocalyptic imagery and grim outlook on world events.
Whom the Gods Destroy… They First Make Ridiculous
Track 6 from The Sucking of the Missile Cock
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The Finnish band referenced in World Burns to Death’s name also serves to connote the band’s sound: A thrashy, gloom-heavy, driving form of hardcore punk inspired by Scandinavian bands like Anti-Cimex and Riistetyt.
As well, World Burns to Death’s music reflects the tradition of 80s purist American hardcore (Negative Approach and Minor Threat), European bands influenced by, and including, Discharge, and Japanese hardcore punk (Burning Spirits). Also in the mix may be hints of black metal and crust punk.
The earliest World Burns to Death EPs are astonishingly fast and lean more in the direction of Japanese hardcore punk. The band’s debut full-length, 2002’s The Sucking of the Missile Cock, saw the tempo slow slightly. Also displayed on the LP are greater attention to songwriting and production. Whereas the earliest EPs sound raw and almost impossibly fast, The Sucking of the Missile Cock has a larger, richer sound, with vocal duties alternating between Jack Control and guitarist Zac Tew. The LP was almost universally lauded in punk fanzines and websites upon its release. In 2002, famous British DJ John Peel played songs from World Burns to Death’s Human Meat … Tossed to the Dogs of War 7″ EP and accorded it “recommended” status at his webpage before his death.
World Burns to Death currently tour and record in a militantly underground milieu of DIY punk bands that includes Tragedy, Bury the Living, Paintbox, Hellshock, Inepsy, Gouka, and others. The insert in Sucking of the Missile Cock underscores the band’s underground convictions: “No Fucking Copyright … Fuck That Shit.”
§Imagery and lyrical themes
Almost without exception, World Burns to Death’s aesthetic preference is for stark black-and-white imagery: t-shirts, posters, and record covers stick to this formula. These images mirror the lyrical themes of the band, which detail crimes against humanity, religious hypocrisy and religion’s effect on society, class oppression, nationalism, and man’s general inhumanity to man.
The ‘tsadi’ logo
The band’s striking logo usually appears written in Hebrew, in the Chaya[disambiguation needed] font. The Hebrew wording might appear to be a literal translation of the band’s name, but it is not. Rather, it is “World Burns to Death” typed out on a standard English computer keyboard with the Chaya font installed. Thus, pressing the “W” key on a standard English computer keyboard would produce the corresponding Hebrew symbol, a tsadi (which looks somewhat like the English letter “y”). The tsadi (sometimes spelled “tzaadi”) has become the band’s logo. The logo is also noteworthy because the symbol is an inscription commonly used on Israeli army munitions. In addition, the tsadi “Y”-looking symbol is of prime significance in the Kabbalah (the Hebrew metaphysical scripture) identifying “one who fights for the righteous good of mankind”. This duality of a cryptic non-language written in an occult alphabet, as well as the deep symbolism, creates an imagery and lexicon that has incited confusion and controversy with those exposed to the aesthetic. The usage of the Chaya lettering lends the band’s releases a perhaps unintentional occult look, something that may have helped the band gain popularity among members of the black metal community. Fenriz of Darkthrone cites World Burns to Death as a favorite band, as does Maniac from Mayhem.
The band’s English font is an Anglicized version of Chaya font characters. This font may have been inspired by that used on the cover of Simon Wiesenthal’s 1990 book Justice, Not Vengeance. Singer Jack Control designs the fonts, writes the lyrics, and provides the band’s graphics.
World Burns to Death’s lyrics focus almost obsessively on war crimes, religious and class oppression, militarism, and, more directly, the consequences thereof. As singer Jack Control noted in an interview, “Murdering the innocent in the name of ‘democracy,’ destabilizing economies in the name of ‘capitalism,’ installing brutal dictatorships in the name of ‘freedom'” are all terrible injustices and serve to fill the lyrical coffers of World Burns to Death.
The band’s lyric sheets contain references to, or quotes from, writer William Shakespeare, German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, individualist anarchist Max Stirner, leftist writers Susan Sontag and Herbert Marcuse, political prisoner Stephen Biko, and others. Sometimes quoted for ironic effect are the inscriptions above concentration camps, such as the “Welcome to the Jewish State” statement written on Belzec’s gates, which is quoted in the No Dawn Comes … Night Without End 7″ EP. Although the imagery of death camps, gulags, and scenes of genocide appear often (in artwork and lyrics), the point is to underscore the effects of war, barbarism, and ultimately to expose the bleak horror of the human condition.
Some of World Burns to Death’s lyrics focus on traditional punk concerns, like the hypocrisy of patriotism within the punk scene, such as the title song of The Sucking of the Missile Cock.
Other songs cover terrorism (and how it’s selectively defined by powerful interests), global imperialism, the tendency of many people to be complicit in their own oppression (“In the Country of the Blind … the One Eyed Man is King”), and more.
One of the first of World Burns to Death’s tours was the Texas-only “Tripple Terror Tour” with Inepsy and Spazm 151. The arrival of 2003 saw a “Queimando Para a Morte” tour of Brazil. Fall of 2004 saw the “Ghoulish Killing Orgy” US east coast/Canadian tour; Fall of 2005 saw the “Those Who Have Come To The End” tour of the US west coast; 2007 was the Burning Spirits tour of Japan with Forward; 2008 they were back on tour in Europe for 2 weeks; and 2009, a second tour of Japan with Paintbox and Blow Back remembering the late guitarist of Paintbox, Chelsea. 2010 will see a tour of the US east coast and the “deep south” with Japan hardcore legends Slang.