Saturday, March 17, 2018

Dispatch - Hate Core Crew demo

Here's another request... Dispatch was a hardcore band from Thionville in the north east of France. I don't really know anything about the band, other than that they did this demo back in 1996/1997. Pretty sure I picked up this demo at a show in Belgium based on the title, 'Hate Core Crew', and the cover image, I don't recall ever seeing them play live... Unfortunately this demo doesn't quite live up to expectations... It's definitely got some moments, but overall it feels like Dispatch was a bit like a Eurocore band trying to play slower and heavier, but not quite succeeding. It's not bad, just nothing great either. There are some pretty decent parts such as the heavy middle part of 'Don't Come To Me', which I wish they had done more of. So yeah, not one of my favorite demo's, but give it a chance, you might enjoy it! If anybody has any info on this band and/or the band members, please leave a comment...

Dispatch - Hate Core Crew demo

Saturday, February 24, 2018

New blood: Embitter

Formed in late 2016, Embitter is a veggie/vegan metallic hardcore band from Warsaw, Poland. They just released their debut 7" on Bound By Modern Age Records from Germany, and they have (ex-)members of bands like Incitement, Outbound and Heatseeker. Guitarist Patryk contacted me about his band and told me their sound is inspired by bands like Morning Again, Culture, Unbroken and Mean Season... While you can definitely hear those influences here and there, Embitter is far from a carbon copy. Their sound is not quite what you think of when you think of those bands, even if at times you can hear a guitar line or progression that reminds you of those bands. The way they've structured their songs tho, does remind me of bands of that era in general. It's definitely a 90s approach to songwriting. But Embitter still sounds fresh and modern, and not stuck in the 90s (not that there's anything wrong with that, I know I am, haha)...

Production-wise it sounds like the band spent quite some time perfecting the sound of this 7". It's very layered and they've tried to mix things up with the guitar sound, the rhythm guitars are crunchy while the leads are much cleaner and sometimes even have some effects applied for a more open sound. Interesting to hear, and I'm sure the experience the band members had in their previous bands helped here... The 7" isn't perfect tho, I wish the vocals were a bit stronger, but the band shows a ton of promise, and I hope they stick around for a while longer than their previous bands did.

As a bonus, here's my buddy Tim, who does Bound By Modern Age Record, talking about the 7" and why he released it:

Sunday, February 18, 2018

New School - 1990 demo

Here's another demo I picked up recently, New School's 1st demo from 1990. New School was a crossover band from Queens, NY, blending NYHC with metal and rap/hiphop, even throwing in some scratching and funky bass-lines. Definitely an acquired taste, nobody can say this band sounded like yer average late 80s/early 90s NYHC band... The band would do several demo's and a full-length CD in 1993 called 'Hardharderhardest' which includes a re-recorded version of this demo's opening track 'New School'. From what I heard of their later material the scratching and hiphop influences only increased, making this demo the best, and hardest, material I've heard by New School... It has a ton of energy to it, and at times the singer, when he's not trying to rap, sounds like Lou from Sick Of It All. Songs like 'Hard As Steel' and 'Off My Piece' are simply great! If you dig the Judgment Night soundtrack, you might get a kick out of this demo (not that this demo ever reaches that level, that's impossible!). Give it a shot.

New School - 1990 demo

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Sennacherib - Beyond A Wall Of Fire CDEP

Although not from the 90s, as this was released in 2000, Sennacherib's sole release is worthy of posting. The reason being that this shortlived band had 2 ex-members of 90s vegan sXe metal warriors Day Of Suffering in it, drummer Paul Hart and guitarist Rob Townsend. After the demise of DOS, they moved on to a band called Canaan which soon after became Sennacherib. They recorded a 2-song demo called 'The Rapture Incomplete', which Tribunal Records re-released on CD under the title 'Beyond A Wall Of Fire'. As Tribunal occasionally did, this one was released in a plastic CD bag with just 1 thick paper insert. Sennacherib's style was way more death metal than DOS, and as far as I know they were also not a 100% vegan or sXe band. As I said, the band was shortlived, after these 2 songs the band folded, and singer Ted Gasper moved on to Burn The Blood. I don't know what the other bandmembers did afterwards. In any case, as there are still plenty of people into DOS (and/or their predecessor Falling Down), so I figured this might be something interesting. Enjoy!

Sennacherib - Beyond A Wall Of Fire CDEP

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Wrecking Crew 1993 7"

Here's a request, Wrecking Crew's self-titled 7" from 1993. When it comes to Boston's hardcore outfit Wrecking Crew it appears most people tend to focus on their older output: the self-titled 7" from 1988 and the 'Balance Of Terror' LP from 1989. I can't blame them, both are great records. But Wrecking Crew continued into the '90s, even beyond 1991, despite what the title of the '1987 - 1991' compilation CD released on Bridge Nine about a decade ago might imply.

In that year, the band went through a rough phase and saw several line-up changes, with original singer Glenn Dudley and guitarist John Darga eventually being replaced by Nathan Elgin James and Nick Clancy respectively. With this line-up the band would record a 1993 demo, which was re-released as a self-titled 7" that same year on local label Sonic Aggression Records. Excellent hard & rough hardcore that can more than go toe to toe with their older songs. The sound is a slight departure from their older sound, and not just cuz of the new singer, but for my money, it's just as strong as their older material. But it didn't help the band a lot, Wrecking Crew finally came to an end in 1994. Members moved on to bands like 454 Big Block, Righteous Jams and Bitter.

Wrecking Crew 1993 7"

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Get A Grip On Reality compilation CD

Best Wishes for 2018! To start the year with, here's an Italian hardcore compilation from 1997 called 'Get A Grip On Reality'... It was released on the Italian label Circus, which specialized in Italian hardcore & punk. This compilation provides a great overview of the Italian hardcore scene of that time, even it does ignore the edgemetal bands such as Reprisal or Purification etc... It still has Timebomb tho, a band somewhat loosely associated with that scene, even if they were way rougher than those bands. Their track here, 'Bow', is a different version than the recording that appears on their 'Hymns For A Decaying Empire' album btw. Other bands include Ivory Cage, Headsman, Opposite Force and many more. The Spawn that appears on his comp is from Rome btw, and unrelated to the German band from around the same time. All in all, an excellent document of mid/late 90s Italian hardcore.

Get A Grip On Reality compilation CD

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Best of 2017

2017 was an awesome year for hardcore. There have been tons of great releases, so much so that I've had to make some hard choices to come up with a top 10. 'Thankfully' I haven't had a chance yet to listen properly to a bunch of obvious yearlist contenders like the new Converge, Amenra, Integrity or Sect records... So that made this list a little bit easier... But in the end I had to make some hard choices. And I decided to stop mulling over which releases to drop once I narrowed down the list to 15...

I'm sure I missed a ton of awesome releases, so please leave a comment with your top picks! I love checking out new records even if I mostly blog about 90s hardcore.

So, my top 15 records of 2017, in alphabetical order:

Body Count - Bloodlust
The video (and lyrics!) for 'No Lives Matter' already promised a lot, and Ice-T, Ernie C and co delivered. To say this album exceeded my expectations is putting it mildly. BC ... BC ... BC ...

Break Through - The Seventh Circle Of Hell
Crushing Disembodied-inspired metalcore from Tasmania. Yep.

xDevourx - Defiant Until The End
Uncompromising XXXedgeXXX metal from Belgium.

Drawing Last Breath - Final Sacrifice
Florida edge metal. I think that says it all...

Ecostrike - Time Is Now
Vegan straight edge hardcore from Florida that sounds more like Strife or Outspoken than Morning Again.

Get The Shot - Infinite Punishment
Their previous album 'No Peace In Hell' made my top 10 of 2014 list, and this one does it again. If you like up-tempo thrashy metalcore that brings the mosh, this is for you.

Grasp - Under The Grief
Late 90s/early 00s metalcore done by kids from the Crimea peninsula.

Higher Power - Soul Structure
This band from Leeds, UK keep going from strength to strength. Imagine what Leeway might've sounded like had they kept going after 'Adult Crash' and 'Open Mouth Kiss'.

Malevolence - Self Supremacy
Sheffield, UK's hardest. Sick metalcore meets beatdown with plenty of groove, this shit is addictive.

Mindforce - The Future Of...
Excellent followup to their 2016 demo. Crossover hardcore from Poughkeepsie, NY that brings back the early 90s.

Mourning demo
A two-man project from the UK, this kicks serious ass. The small hints of old Kickback certainly don't hurt!

Pulse - The Light Is Calling My Way
After seeing them several times over the years at shows in Belgium, I'm glad this EP shows the major potential this band has. Overcast worshipping done right. 'Bloodstains' might be my fave song of 2017, it's seriously amazing.

xReignx demo
Blistering and militant vegan sXe hardcore from San Diego. Fuck yeah!

Soulground - Life Ends
Awesome heavy riffing hardcore from Berlin, Germany.

Thoughts Of Ionesco - Skar Cymbals
TOI are back and they're still a one-of-a-kind band. Uncomparable and unique, suffice it to say, TOI still sounds like TOI.