WthCnvctn is a caustic four-piece from Edmonton, Alberta who drive their melodic tendencies home with propulsive beats and shredd-tastic riffery. With a 2016 EP and one full-length, 2018’s Burn out Bright, to their name, the vowel-hating (or fearing?) group is a bombastic joy to listen to, stuffing ears full of all the heavy ‘nu-metalcore’ one could possibly ask for, and their latest single, “Inse(Cure)” – self-released on February 28th – proudly continues this tradition.

Joining us for this instructive feature, WthCnvctn enlists journalist Dylanna Fisher to help them list five metal songs to leave toxic people. We all know toxic relationships are awful; hell, some of us are the perpetrators. So join the boys as they highlight the terrible tendencies of toxic people, and give us the tunes to save us all.

– Dr. Lillian Glass is a psychology expert based out of California who coined the term ‘toxic people’ in her 1995 book Toxic People. She defines a toxic relationship as “any relationship [between people who] don’t support each other, where there’s conflict and one seeks to undermine the other, where there’s competition, where there are disrespect and a lack of cohesiveness.”

Not all toxic people or toxic relationships are the same. These people could be partners, friends, family members, coworkers, or customers. Toxic people can be anyone. What makes them all similar and toxic is their behaviour, which can range from simply negative to outright destructive. Regardless of how toxic they are, they negatively impact the lives of others. Here are just some of the signs:

● All take, no give
● Making people feel drained or anxious
● Lack of trust
● Constant judgment or criticism
● Negative attitude
● Persistent unreliability
● Nonstop narcissism
● lies and deception
● Manipulation
● Disrespecting boundaries
● Controlling behaviour

Beyond the hurt, distrust, pain, and frustration caused by toxic people, they can also have an impact on your health. That’s right. Toxic people hurt your health and your happiness. Neurology published an article in 2014, linking high levels of cynicism later in life to greater risks for dementia, compared to those that were more positive and trusting. A 2009 article from the journal Circulation links cynicism with heart disease from data of about 100,000 women. Psychologist Elaine Hatfield’s work on the impact of others shows that human beings imitate others because we’re empathetic creatures. We will mimic the expressions, attitudes, posture, and voice tones of those that we spend time with. Unfortunately, this includes negative and toxic behaviour.

With all the positive thoughts and intentions in the world, it’s nice to think that we’ll be able to fix these people or help them in some way. Sometimes that’s not the case. More often than not, it’s causing you harm. Their behaviour is theirs to fix and to apologize for. It’s up to them (not you) to improve. There comes a time when enough is enough. Leaving is in the best interest of both parties to grow and find support. Sometimes it’s as simple as distancing yourself, or as overt as saying goodbye. Distance is needed for your health and happiness.

Artwork for “Inse(Cure)” by WthCnvctn

Walking away from a toxic person isn’t easy. If it were, it wouldn’t be a topic for countless self-help novels and music. It’s hard, but it’s worth it to find your freedom, your self, and your happiness again. Remember that you aren’t alone, nor is this your fault. Listening to other’s stories of toxic people helps you to remember that.

Music is emotional and expressive. It takes the human condition and shares it in a way that simple words just can’t do. Here are the five songs from five amazing bands that will help bring you some strength through their lyrics and riffs.

1. Striker – “Heart of Lies”

“Wanting to leave a toxic relationship is the first step, which is always hard with all the lies and manipulation. This song’s lyrics bring up that fact with the line, ‘another victim to a heart of lies can’t see the truth behind those venom eyes.’ Starting strong with a hard guitar intro, ‘Heart of Lies’ brings in powerful and emotional vocals with an impressively energetic guitar lead. ‘Heart of Lies’ from the album of the same name, released by Striker in 2018. Striker is a heavy metal band based in Edmonton that mixes the genres of heavy metal, hard rock, and ‘80s hair metal.”

2. WthCnvctn – “Inse(Cure)”

“‘Inse(Cure)’ is a powerfully emotional track. The lyrics and instruments are matched perfectly to bring forth both power and emotions. This song combines different genre elements, including modern distortion, punk choruses, and metalcore rifts. The band combines their talent to create a song that’s as metal as it is emotional. The lyrics are dark and depressing with the music style to match. Starting with a hard, distorted beat, hard-metal drums follow with vocals in the background. A devastatingly awesome drum beat starts as the lyrics do. ‘I’d say that you’ll miss me, but you never really cared. I’d say that I’m sorry, but you wouldn’t hear me anyway. I’d say we should rewind to a time before you threw it all away. I’ve seen it time and time again,’ reads the lyrics of this fast-paced metalcore single.”

3. Misplaced Intentions – “Solitary Solution”

“‘Solitary Solution’ is a single released by Misplaced Intentions, an Edmonton rock-metal fusion band. The band is made up of four current members: Matthew Lindholm (vocals and guitar), Tyler Baker (lead guitar), Landon Berezanski (bass), and Keilan Thompson (drums). Together, they bring forth hard rock vocals and instrumental riffs. The lyrics, ‘Stay away from me. Save all apologies. Just stay away from me for all eternity,’ echoes the choice to leave toxic people regardless of the manipulation or ‘apologies’ they tend to give. The song tells the story of making the choice to leave as a solitary solution.”

4. PVRIS – “Fire”

“Within the album White Noise, PVRIS released ‘Fire’ in 2014. Pronounced as ‘Paris,’ this band is made up of Lynn Gunn (guitar, vocals, keys), Alex Babinski (guitar, keys), and Brian MacDonald (bass/keys). ‘It’s hard to find life in something that’s already died,’ sings out the lead vocalist, Lynn Gunn, discussing the moment that trying to fix a toxic relationship becomes pointless. The lyrics continue to say, ‘you started the Fire,’ and it resulted in burnt bridges and the fire backfiring. There are consequences for your actions. This song takes that blame and places it on the proper recipient: the toxic person.”

5. Halestorm – “I Miss the Misery”

“‘I miss the bad things, the way you hate me. I miss the screaming, the way that you blame me! Miss the phone calls, when it’s your fault. I miss the late nights. Don’t miss you at all!’ belts out Halestorm’s vocalist, Lizzy Hale. Halestorm’s ‘I Miss the Misery’ puts into perspective the things that you are leaving behind when you leave a toxic relationship. This means leaving behind all the negativity, the screaming, the fighting, the late nights, the blame games, the manipulation. With strong vocals and a power metal band backing her up, this song brings a strong message with even stronger passion.”