Sunday, February 7, 2016

Fallen - Cold Turns On Cold CD

Fallen were an emocore band from the Worcester, Massachusetts area. They were around in the mid to late 90s, in various line-ups, but didn't release a lot of material. Their sound mixed the softer emo sound with a harder more metallic sound, influenced by bands like Converge, Cast Iron Hike and Cave In, and at times the band also sounds like New Day Rising. In 1998 a couple of their recordings sessions, which were originally meant for releases that never happened like a split 7", were released on a CD by Pensive Recording Group, who also released a Forcefedglass CD that same year. After this CD the band also did a split with a band called Kilnemia, but I've never seen it, let alone heard it. Around 2000 or so the band split up. Bass player Nick Van Someren went on to play in Ink Cartridge Funeral and Silent Drive, I have no idea if the other members went on to play in other bands. If you're into emocore with a metallic edge, you might find this interesting.

Fallen - Cold Turns On Cold CD

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Grasp - s/t 7"

There is something about a certain style of artwork that screams 90s hardcore to me, and when I see such a record, I want to check it out. Like this self-titled 7" by Grasp, a short-lived band from British Columbia, Canada. As you can already guess from the cover with its typewriter font and badly copied art (probably copied from some historical/art book), this has 90s written all over it. Hell, the 7" even comes with a handmade DIY patch. Released in 1995 on Construction Records, this record has 5 awesome tracks of intense mid-tempo metallic 90s hardcore on it with screamed vocals and socio-political lyrics dealing with subjects such as rape, pro-choice and addiction. The inserts even have explanations for the, already pretty self-explanatory, lyrics. There really is nothing bad I can say about this 7", it's just another great, and fairly obscure, 90s hardcore record. Members also played in bands such as Render Useless, Jonas and Lost Cause. Unfortunately, this is their only record I'm aware of, if anybody has any other recordings of this band, please share them!

Grasp - s/t 7"

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Fasten - Our Dynasty Is Nigh... 7"

My first post of 2016 and this is by far the worst record I've put on my blog since its inception, sorry about that. But... it was time, it kept popping up every time I flipped through my 7"s, begging for a post. Fasten was a shortlived militant sXe band from Venice, Florida and as far as I know they did nothing else besides maybe a few demo's, and this 7" called 'The Dynasty Is Nigh...' which they released on their own label, Upheld Records. I can't give you a year of release, but I am pretty sure I got this some time in the late 90s, so you do the math. My copy is on red and hand-numbered out of 300, I have no idea if other versions exist, if they do I've never seen them. In any case, good or bad, Fasten is and also was a pretty obscure band, playing heavy 90s chugga chugga metalcore style.

Unfortunately for them they were kinda mediocre at it with some pretty bad vocals. Actually, 'Acquittal' is rather decent really, all things considering. But as I mentioned casually above, this was a militant sXe band. Or should I say a MILITANT STRAIGHT FUCKING EDGE band? I don't think there are many bands that took the line 'The militant edge, it's not a joke' from A Chorus Of Disapproval's 'No Part' as serious as this band. Check out the opening of 'Soaked And Showered':
Tapping the vein of the scum I slay
The final blood bath
I stand alone
Soaked and showered from the spray
Of their precious lives
Taken by me the executioner
And yes, they mean xbusinessx, as the song ends with:
Victorious in the name of the X
Man, I doubt my edge is real enough for these straight edge warriors.

All joking aside tho, it sounds like Fasten was a bunch of kids who found the edge and truly believed enough in themselves to release their songs on 7". And that is more than hardcore enough for me. Even if the 7" is not that good.

Fasten - Our Dynasty Is Nigh... 7"

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Through The Haze comp 7"

So here's another of many compilation 7"s that came out in the 90s: the 'Through The Haze' compilation 7", which was released by Overdose Records in 1994. It was Overdose's first release, they would do 7"s afterwards by bands like Disbelief and Time's Expired. Those bands aren't on here tho, this 7" has tracks by Eternal, Frail, Disregard and Temperance. Aside from Eternal, who plays full-on heavy metallic hardcore, the bands are on the emocore end of the spectrum, while still having that crunchy 90s sound. Disregard is easily the weakest band here, especially the vocals don't do it for me. The other three are all winners in my book, with Temperance doing almost a ballad like Strife's 'Slipping', not their best stuff but still decent enough, for me anyways, haha... Eternal did a couple of demo's (which I don't have, hint hint) but they never did a 7" or anything, which is a real shame, their song shreds. The other bands all have other releases out there, seek them out if you like what you hear. In any case, a solid compilation, so check it out!

BTW, the band order on the back of the 7" is wrong, Disregard and Temperance are switched on the 7" itself, which is the order I've used.

*edit* Awesome, Buske just posted Eternal's 1993 demo on his blog, An Attitude Exhumed!

Through The Haze comp 7"

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Review: Wildspeaker - Survey The Wreckage

Wildspeaker from Dallas/Forth Worth, Texas just released their first full-length album, 'Survey The Wreckage', and asked me to review it for OPFMTD. They play what they describe as 'Blackened Crust heavily influenced by punk, hardcore, and doom', and that is a pretty accurate description. I readily admit this is not the stuff I listen to the most, but as with any style, awesome is awesome! And Wildspeaker falls into that category for me. To me, I feel this entire 'blackened' thing sorta started with the Amebix back in the day, and bands like Nausea (NYC), Catharsis and (early) Gehenna introduced it from the punk scene into the more metallic hardcore scene, and more extreme metal influences started to seep in. Nowadays it also includes a lot of black metal influences, altho Wildspeaker's sound is more rooted in crust punk and hardcore than doom or black metal to me, even those those influences are also clearly here.

Their sound is centered around 2 elements: the awesome guitar sound and the equally impressive vocals. The guitars are heavy with razorsharp riffs, and occasionally have that slight buzzsaw sound often heard in this style, but it rarely becomes a blur, which is a compliment to both the band and the producer. The vocals compliment the music perfectly. The singer's voice reminds me of those of bands like Gather and Belgium's Oathbreaker, piercing screams that are raspy, throaty and full of conviction. Lyrically the band takes a very nihilistic, mysanthropic & apocalyptic stance, humanity fucked up and nature will eventually rise up against our destructive habits.

In their email to me they mentioned their influences also include 90s hardcore (inspired) bands like Chokehold, Racetraitor and the aforementioned Gather. I would also add bands like the amazing Zero Hour and their successor Children Of Barren Wasteland to that list.

Wildspeaker is seriously good, even if you don't wear tight black jeans covered in patches and a bullet belt. It's always great to come across bands that surprise you, and Wildspeaker certainly does. Please give them a chance! I don't think their album has been released in physical form (yet?), so for now check it out on their bandcamp. My favorite track? Tie between 'Abrupt Decay' and title track 'Survey The Wreckage'.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Stronghold

Doghouse Records was started by Dirk Hemsath to release stuff by his band at the time, Majority Of One. After releasing a few records of Majority Of One as well as a 7" for his other band, Transcend, Doghouse signed Stronghold, a band Dirk/Doghouse had befriended while touring. Stronghold was a Dayton, OH hardcore band from the late 80s/early 90s and had that typical sound when hardcore bands were starting to experiment a bit more with their sound, with a more intricate and clear guitar sound and such. Think bands like Trial By Jury which I blogged about a few times and Billingsgate (on their severely underrated LP).

Stronghold's first, self-titled, 7" was released in 1991. It's a good one, and already shows a band that wants to progress. But with their follow-up 7" called 'Ad Infinitum...' from 1992 the band really came into their own. Opening track 'Slow Burning' (the listing on the back & inside of the sleeve is wrong) is nothing short of amazing with its mid-tempo groove and contemplative lyrics. And it continues with the rest of the 4 songs on this 7". To me this band on this 7" was ahead of their time, some stuff (like the opening of 'Only Human') already brings future bands like Cast Iron Hike to mind.

In any case, for some reason Stronghold never seemed to really get the attention and recognition they deserved. I also have no idea what the band members did once the band folded, if anybody knows, please leave a comment! The band would also contribute to the 'Live At The New Space' double 7" live compilation. I might post that at a later date. There's a pop in 'Only Human' that I was unable to remove, sorry about that!

Stronghold - s/t 7"
Stronghold - Ad Infinitum... 7"

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Bleeding - The End?! 7"

Bleeding from Viersen in the Ruhrpott area of Germany were a short-lived band that released their only record, the 'The End?!' 7", on Dead Soil Records in 1998. Bleeding played a great mix between metalcore and deathmetal with 'evil' screeched vocals. The band shared members with other metalcore bands from Viersen at the time like Drift and Bloodstring (Dead Soil also released a split 7" of Bloodstring and Furnace). They quit sometime in 1999 I believe. Dead Soil Records was co-run by Bleeding's drummer Matthias and it mostly released stuff by bands they were playing in or were from the Viersen area, such as a split 7" between Bloodstring and Furnace.

Members of the band later went on to bands like The Ice, Born From Pain and more pure metal bands like Coronation and Battlesword.

Bleeding - The End?! 7"