Supergroup Sect Revive '90s Hardcore Glory

Supergroup Sect Revive '90s Hardcore Glory
Photo: Chuck Johnson
If Sect sound as if they have a thing for vicious, metal-tinged '90s hardcore, there's a good reason. Though having only formally announced the project last month — and independently releasing their self-titled debut this week — the collective back catalogue of the quintet includes records from some of the cream of the hardcore crop of the last two decades.
When asked what the mission statement of this latest outfit is, Toronto-based vocalist Chris Colohan explains how he was approached to join: "They just wanted to do something noisy, fast and loud."
On top of Colohan — who has logged hours screaming for Left for Dead, Burning Love and Cursed — Sect also includes guitarists James Chang (Catharsis) and Scott Crouse (Earth Crisis), bassist Ian Edwards (Earth Crisis) and drummer Andrew Hurley, who stomped it out with Racetraitor in the '90s. (These days, he may be more recognizable as the skinsman for Fall Out Boy.) To say these guys are seasoned veterans of chugga-chugga-era hardcore is an understatement.
"It's not like people putting on a '90s hardcore sound — we actually come from making that," Colohan tells Exclaim!, noting that following the comparatively melodic death 'n' roll style of Burning Love, Sect have brought him back to being a fireball of contemptuous rage. "Burning Love was definitely trying to do something a little different in the wake of Cursed, but I've always just been loud, aggro, dark. It's a vein in there that hasn't got a lot of exercise for a few years."
While Sect didn't get off the ground until last year, members crossed paths long ago. It's been almost 25 years since Colohan caught an Earth Crisis house show in Hamilton, ON. "A 20-foot living room in a busted house, it goes back that far," the singer says with a laugh.
In 2012, Colohan and Hurley bonded when their then-current projects, Burning Love and Enabler, were out on the road together as part of a Southern Lord package tour. The musicians grew closer on the trip, despite Colohan noting that Left for Dead and Racetraitor had "momentary beef" two decades ago, owing to a "flighty" conversation about politics and privilege.
"I think it's important to take that to people in general, not just within a hardcore scene where you know that everybody agrees with what you're saying," Colohan explained of his side of the argument, an ethos he carries over to Sect.
After sending files back and forth between its various members, Portland-based Hurley and Colohan took off for the rest of the group's hometown of Raleigh, NC, to work on their self-titled debut. Lyrically, it has Colohan revisiting topics like the corruption of the church ("Scourge of Empire," "Seventh Extinction") and police oppression ("Curfew"). Musically, the record is a hurricane of blast beats, wheat-thresher guitar savagery and dirt-simple moshcore grooves.
For Colohan, he was excited to get back to some hardcore fundamentals. "It was really cool to do something that comes so naturally. I love playing stuff like that. I love that there are breakdowns, and unapologetic mosh parts."