Wednesday, April 27, 2016

New blood: Penitentiary

I may be a scrawny 40-something year old 'kid' but I do love tough hardcore from time to time. Here's a relatively new band who are heavy and tough as nails. Penitentiary from the Northwest of Indiana recently dropped their first EP online. Great heavy metallic hardcore that also has some slight thrash metal influences. The band members have been around for years and previously did time in bands like Blood In Blood Out, Imprisoned and Blackwater. I am only familiar with BIBO who were awesome, so it's cool to see some of them still playing hardcore. What sets Penitentiary apart are the thrash metal influences, reminding me of bands like Through The Discipline at times, while their overall sounds also bring to mind bands like All Out War and Anger, and some of the harder PAHC bands. If these guys ever make it out here to Europe, they had better play the Ruhrpott area in Germany, kids there go ape-shit for this stuff.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

New Blood: Afterlife

Afterlife is a new female-fronted hardcore band from Saint Petersburg, Russia, who just released their first EP online, and they love their 90s hardcore. Perfect! Their sound incorporates elements from a variety of 90s bands. I hear hints and influences of bands as wide-ranging as Trial, early Undying, Doughnuts and Nientara mixed with some heavier and more modern influences. Thankfully it doesn't come off as a mess, and singer Natasha's vocals are also quite strong. Excellent stuff. Unfortunately my knowledge of the Russian language is pretty much non-existent, but Google Translate suggests the lyrics are more on the personal than political side. In any case, this is an awesome EP, so check it out! I'm looking forward to checking out more material from this band!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Equity - s/t 7"

Equity was a band from Roanoke, Virginia that played raw scathing hardcore with raspy vocals, and they managed to blend in both softer parts and heavier parts, creating a really cool sound, somewhat reminiscent of bands like Channel. This self-titled 7" was released on At A Loss Records in late 1995/early 1996, who also released the 'Destroy Southern Tradition' comp 7", the only other record I know of with Equity, aside from possible demo's. In any case, this 7" is really good stuff, with lyrics that deal with subjects like abortion (which seems inspired by a local story of an illegal abortion that went wrong?) and the death penalty. Members moved on to bands like Aphasia, Die Screaming and The Sword. If anybody has any additional info on this band, or even access to other recordings, please leave a comment!

Equity - s/t 7"

Saturday, March 26, 2016

New blood: Absolve

Absolve is a great new band from Belgium and the Netherlands. And no, they're not bringing back the H8000 sound nor are they even from the H8000 area (some people still think every metallic hardcore band from Belgium is H8000....)... Anyways, they describe their sound as somewhere between Death Threat and No Innocent Victim, I would also add Hatebreed and All Out War to the mix. They've also added a lot of more modern mosh parts, and while they wear their influences on their sleeves, they don't sound like copycats. It's simply great and solid hardcore with pissed off vocals & lyrics. So if you like your hardcore heavy, metallic and angry, this band is for you. They just had their first EP released on Belgium's Kick Out The Jams, so pick that up if you can!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Ignorance Never Settles / Mark Of The Devil split MCD

In 1999 Canada's Ignorance Never Settles and Germany's Mark Of The Devil teamed up to do a split MCD on Belgian label Firestorm Records. A truly international collaboration! Ignorance Never Settles was from Ontario, and they were one of the more metallic hardcore bands around in Canada during the 90s. While they always had the metallic sound, it did evolve over time, also due to countless member changes. Their sound also seemed to incorporate influences from the Florida and European scenes of that era. I believe by the time this split was released, the band had already folded (their recordings for this split are from 1997). Mark Of The Devil was a short-lived German band with a strong atheist/anti-religion stance, which was quite popular in the German metalcore scene at the time. Their sound also uses a mix between 'evil' guttural screams and grunts, reminiscent of bands like Killtheslavemaster. All in all, a great split between 2 bands with a typically late 90s metalcore sound.

Ignorance Never Settles / Mark Of The Devil split MCD

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Breakfall - Words So Softly Spoken MCD

Breakfall was a short-lived straight edge hardcore band out of the UK, with members from Scotland and Northern Ireland. The band played a nice mixture of up-tempo crunchy 90s inspired hardcore with old school influences. This MCD was released in 1998 on their own label, Strength In An Age Of Weakness Records. I think this also served as a demo, I am not aware of any other recordings by this band. Members went to Circle Again (who appeared on the awesome 'More Than The X On Our Hands' 6x7" compilation) and Some Days Better. Apparently the drummer moved to the US and played for Ensign for a while? In any case, enjoy!

Breakfall - Words So Softly Spoken MCD

Saturday, February 27, 2016

New blood: Zero

More new blood! Zero are a youth crew-inspired band from Canada. While I am not exactly the biggest youth crew fan, good stuff is good stuff, such as True Colors (RIP) from Belgium and Insist out of the UK in recent years. And Zero falls into that category as well for me. They take cues from the old CTHC scene, think of Cornerstone and such, but they don't simply rehash that sound however, they add slightly different elements to it, so they do stand out a bit from the pack. They recently released their debut 7" on Insight Records (US/Canada) and Powered Records (Europe). If you're into youth crew and/or more old school-inspired hardcore, check out this band!