Saturday, May 19, 2018

Silent Fall - In A Perfect World... CD

Silent Fall was a melodic hardcore band from Minneapolis, MN in the second half of the 90s. Formed out of the ashes of a band called Standpoint (not to be confused with Standpoint from NJ which I blogged about here), they were never able to get the same sort of attention as their contemporaries like Harvest or Disembodied. Here is their sole full-length, 'In A Perfect World...', which was released on One Percent Records, also out of Minneapolis, in 1997. I am not the biggest fan of melodic hardcore, so I never really listened too much to this band. Listening to it now tho, I have to admit it holds up way better than I had expected. It is quite hard & heavy in places for this style (including in stand-out track 'Burning Away'), while the vocals alternate between screamed and semi-sung vocals. They were definitely good at what they played, and I dig the personal lyrics. I haven't a clue if the band members played in bands after Silent Fall disbanded, so please leave a comment if you have any info! Do enjoy!

Silent Fall - In A Perfect World... CD

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Exist - 1996 demo

Exist were a short-lived hardcore band from a small town in Bavaria, Germany (near Munich). I think they only did this one demo, and they also appeared on a couple of German compilations. This demo was recorded in the summer of '96 and the band plays a mix between faster hardcore and more 90s style hardcore. The band, also because of the vocals, sound like they were still quite young at this point and trying to figure out their style. At times I am a bit reminded of early Refused (This Is The New Deal period). As mentioned on the insert, this demo was recording in their rehearsal space, so that explains why this sounds pretty rough (altho I've heard much worse!). It's not bad but also really not that great, it reminds me a lot of going to random small shows and seeing young, local bands as the opening band. I'm fairly certain I never saw Exist tho, I'm guessing I must've picked it up from someone selling their demo collection. Anyways, members moved on to bands like Empire, The Blackout Argument and GWLT. Enjoy!

And just to make sure, this is not the same Exist I wrote about a few years ago here.

Exist - 1996 demo

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Compression - s/t CD

And another request, hehe... This time Compression's self-titled album from 1997. Compression was an alternative metal band from Maryland, who came from the hardcore scene but their sound doesn't really reflect this anymore on this CD. Their style is hard to define as it takes so many influences and melts them into one. You can hear hints of bands like Helmet, Soundgarden, Quicksand, Black Sabbath and many many more. But at the same time Compression never comes off as a copycat, it is more that they simply didn't limit themselves and played whatever the hell they wanted. I'm not gonna lie, I am not a fan of the entire album, some songs don't do anything for me, while others are great. This album was first released on Tolerance Records out of the Netherlands in 1997, and then was re-released the next year on Chord Recordings in the US. Chord was run by the people behind the well-known Chord fanzine, Too Damn Hype Records and the band Dare To Defy btw. I only have the version on Chord (despite being Dutch myself, hah), I am not sure the hidden track that is on this version was also present on the original CD, which is also my fave track on this album, I don't know why it's not a regular track. The band reunited a few years ago and even released a new album, which I've not heard it yet. In any case, give Compression a chance, they're certainly an interesting band.

I also wanted to rip their split 7" with War Prayer from 1995 for this post, but unfortunately I couldn't find it, I must've misplaced it. I'll rip it when I stumble across it, which is probably next time I'll be searching for a competely unrelated 7", hahaha...

Compression - s/t CD

Saturday, March 24, 2018

XrigidX - Rebuilding What Was Lost... demo

XrigidX was a straight edge hardcore band from New Jersey that started out as a typical 90s sXe hardcore band. In their lifespan they did several demo's, of which the 'Rebuilding What Was Lost...' demo from 1996 was their last, and the only one I own. It's got 4 songs that were recorded over 2 sessions in 1995 & 1996 with slightly different lineups. Pretty typical metallic mid 90s sXe hardcore, so it's right up my alley. The 2nd song 'Fading Away', from the '96 session, already hints a bit at the change in sound they would go through afterwards. In 1997 they would release their final recording, the 'One Boy's Tragic Story...' 7" on Mindwalk Recordings. By this time the band played a more post-hardcore/emocore like style. They had also dropped the X's surrounding their band name on the 7", so perhaps they were also no longer a sXe band? In any case, that was the last thing the band would do. One of the band members currently plays in an alternative/acoustic band called Rain the Shining, I don't have a clue what the rest of the band members did afterwards. Enjoy!

XrigidX - Rebuilding What Was Lost... demo

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