I was in high school when I joined my first band, and by "band" I mean mostly my friends I making an awful racket down my buddy Jim's basement. Still, we thought we were a band. It helped that Jim was an incredibly good drummer too, and introduced me to a handful of bands that I still love dearly today by burning me copies of their CDs. Two stick out to me to this day – Unhallowed by The Black Dahlia Murder and Plague Soundscapes by The Locust.
Unhallowed made sense to me. There was a very classical, metalcore-type sound to it that I could follow. Having just discovered bands like At The Gates and Carcass, The Black Dahlia Murder wasn't a stretch. There was melody. The Locust was like getting thrown in the dryer with a bunch of razors and bleach, and being told to just try and stay as still as possible.
I had no idea what the hell was going on for those 23 tracks, but I listened to it over and over again until I fell in love with the chaos. It was insane, but it made sense, because at the heart of it all was Gabe Serbian directing the chaos; framing the buzzing keyboards and insane guitars in such a way that the intention came across. I remember being blown away and actively seeking out similar bands in the following years (Dead Mountain Mouth by Genghis Tron was a similar revelation). How can chaos be framed? How do you create rhythms that aren't these repeating "beats" and still make them work? Again – The Black Dahlia Murder's Unhallowed clicked because it was a little more "traditional" in its writing. Plague Soundscapes made me think and opened my eyes that there was a lot more to extreme metal.
I guess what I'm getting at here is this – Gabe Serbian was an important drummer to me. Gabe Serbian was an important drummer to a lot of people, but in my experience it was an eye-opener. One that challenged my perception of what metal was, and basically kicked my ass right off a cliff into exploring what else was out there. I'm grateful to The Locust for making the art they did, and for Serbian for being so goddamn good.
Thanks Gabe. Thanks for all the music in The Locust, in Cattle Decaptation, and for your work with Three One G over the years. The world lost something special, and that truly sucks. The Locust has launched a fund to help with Serbian's funeral expenses, which you can find here.