Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Neglect - En Public live 7"

If you're into lyrics that deal with self-loathing, anger, thoughts of suicide, thoughts of killing people, hatred towards humanity, and so on, you should already be familiar with Neglect. Great metallic NYHC with raw shouted vocals, also known as 'hatecore'. The two main persons in the band were singer Brian and guitarist Derek, unfortunately their fights ultimately led to this bands' demise. But Neglect recorded some great records in their 4-year existence. Their 'Don Fury Sessions' CD is still available and combines a couple of recording sessions on one CD. While it isn't as complete as the out-of-print 'Four Years Of Hate' 2xCD (which you can download here), it blows 99% of what's out there out of the water.

This live 7" was recorded on their late 1994/early 1995 European tour, on Friday January 13 1995 to be exact, and was released by Diabolik Records in 1996, in a single pressing of 1000 copies. It isn't included on the abovementioned 'Four Years Of Hate' 2xCD btw. It's a decent recording, altho the sound on 'Deluxe' is insane (especially the drums), not sure what was going on there... Unfortunately there's no insert with this 7" with lyrics or something, to me they were always an integral part of Neglect's appeal. Anyways, it's Neglect, so it's awesome by default. I did scan in the flyers that came with the 7", including the flyer for this show, where Stormcore and Kickback supported Neglect. Quite the line-up, must've been one hell of a show!

The Neglect myspace has plenty of info on Neglect and their current bands and all, so check that out if you want more info. Related to this post, a while ago I posted a demo of one of Derek's later bands, Cleanser. Anyways, Neglect was a one of a kind band, I urge you to check them out if you haven't done so yet. Dig it!

Neglect - En Public 7"
Neglect myspace

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Philly Dust Krew compilation

Someone requested this comp a while ago, so here it finally is. Released on Too Damn Hype in 1994, the same label who released the amazing East Coast Assault compilation I posted months ago, this one features 4 bands. I guess that makes it a 4-way split rather than a comp, but whatever. They don't make em like these comps anymore, seriously.

The first band, Dare To Defy, is the least band on here, which is more because of the other 3 bands than anything else. Their drummer, Met, did Too Damn Hype however, so that's how they ended up on here I guess. As said, they were a pretty good band, and I really dig their YDI cover on here, 'Get Out', but compared to the 3 heavyweights on here (and the other bands on East Coast Assault, where they contributed the opening track), they fall a tad bit short.
The next band is Starkweather, who at this point still had a slightly more straight forward metal approach as far as that is possible for this band, albeit with their typical eerie mood and Rennie's sick vocals and amazing lyrics. It's Starkweather tho, these 3 songs rule, end of story, one of the best and most unique bands out there, still. Featured here are the 2 songs from their 1993 7" plus 'Mainline' from a 'Food Not Bombs' compilation. 'My will bends for I, steeped in darkness, am a shadow's reflection'. Fuck...
Next up is All Out War. All of these tracks are also available in one form or another on other releases of theirs, such as their 'Destined To Burn' 7" which I posted here, altho they are from different recording sessions I believe. Either way, you can't go wrong with All Out War. Awesome stuff.
The last band is Hard Response, who I believe never got the recognition they deserved. These songs here sound like a mix between Leeway, VOD and Killing Time. Good stuff, some of these songs would later be re-recorded for their, highly recommended, full-length 'Single Bullet Theory'. They've been back together for a few years now and have since released a superb CD called 'Hostile Environment', which is a bit more straight-forward than this stuff, but still quality stuff. Underrated band.

Various - Philly Dust Krew
Starkweather myspace
All Out War myspace
Hard Response website

Monday, November 23, 2009

Only Living Witness 1990 demo

Some time after I posted Only Living Witness' self-titled 7" from 1991 here, I managed to get my hands on their original 1990 demo. Basically, 3 of the 4 songs on this demo ended up on the 7" after being remixed. Here is a rip of the demo, finally. If you want more of my thoughts on this amazing and underrated band, check out my aforementioned blogpost on their self-titled 7". Also note that this demo is not included on the 2xCD discography on Century Media (which is now available in their webstore for less than $5!).

Only Living Witness 1990 demo
Only Living Witness myspace (which now has this demo on its player actually)

Jihad 1993 demo

Jihad from Kalamazoo, MI was an abrasive and raw hardcore band with lyrics that are deeply intense, angry and bitter, and a voice to match. Bands like Rorschach, Union Of Uranus and Groundwork all come to mind. They were around from 1993 to 1997 and released a bunch of material. Most of it was eventually compiled on the 'Old Testament' CD, apart from the 'New Testament' 7", some compilation tracks and their 1993 demo, which I've ripped and uploaded here.

Their bass-player, Joel Wick, also ran Makoto Recordings, responsible for releasing some Thoughts Of Ionesco albums among others, which makes the label awesome in my book as TOI were amazing (altho when the label folded a bunch of people with outstanding orders were screwed over apparently). He was also in bands such as Quixote and currently plays in Mesa. Either way, Jihad rocked it and this is where it all started so to say. This is one seriously awesome demo in my opinion. So check it out and enjoy!

Jihad 1993 demo

Sunday, November 15, 2009

One Path joins xStuck In The Pastx

Yesterday Chip from xStuck In The Pastx invited me as a contributor to his blog/zine, the main '90s hardcore blog/zine out there... A real honor, and one I gladly accepted. So expect features done by me on there from now on, with a focus on '90s European hardcore. One Path has not ended tho, I will continue to do my own blog and post random records that are worthy of some attention.

Thanxxx to Chip, Justin, Jav and Jake for bringing me on board.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fall From Grace demo and split 7" with Polyglot

Fall From Grace was a short-lived metallic hardcore band from PA MA. I don't know too much about 'em and unfortunately there's not a lot of info on 'em to be found online either. I got their 1996 split 7" with Polyglot (from Maine) years ago because of the label, Pin Drop Records, which released a number of records I was, and still am, into (Grimlock, Holdstrong, Die My Will). Polyglot didn't really do it for me, but Fall From Grace sure did. Their metallic hardcore with the crazy, screamed vocals and 'poetic' lyrics did it for me. I was really into it. So much so that I wrote them a letter, and received their 1997 demo, which is pretty damn good as well.After the split 7" and 1997 demo they changed their name to August Autumn Grows Cold, but I've never seen a demo or release with that name. I am also unaware what bands the members did after FFG/AGC. If anybody has any info or something on Fall From Grace and/or August Autumn Grows Cold, please get in touch!

I've uploaded both the split 7" and the 1997 demo, hopefully they will bring a bit more attention to a band that, in my opinion, didn't get the recognition they deserved.

BTW, this post has been briefly and prematurely published while I was still drafting it, it ended under the March 2009 posts (yes, I have a few dozen drafts for possible future posts). I'm sorry if you happened to stumble upon it and couldn't download anything. It was supposed to remain a draft!

Fall From Grace / Polyglot split 7"
Fall From Grace 1997 demo
Fall From Grace myspace

Thursday, October 15, 2009

No posts for a few weeks

There will be no posts on the blog for a few weeks, because my gf and I are going on a trip to the USA. Point of destination: Los Angeles. We also plan to go down to San Diego for 7 Generations' final show (see flyer below) and to Las Vegas. I have plenty of posts in the works, so I will start posting again as soon as I can (requests are always welcome). In the mean time, have a blast and if you haven't done so, check out the blogs in the sidebar, they're all good.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Next Step Up - Passive Aggression demo

One of the best known hardcore bands out of Baltimore, MD, is Next Step Up. If you're not familiar with NSU yet, expect tough, hard and heavy hardcore with gruff vocals. To me, Baltimore hardcore bands are exactly that, tough, hard and heavy. And in this case, really good. Gotta love it! Formed in 1991, Next Step Up released their first demo, called 'Passive Aggression', in 1992. There are about 400 copies in total, of which 15 came with a different cover, mine has the regular cover (source). This demo rules, plain and simple. If you already know NSU and haven't heard this demo, you will love it! Some of these songs would later be re-recorded for other releases.

Some bands that members have been in include Wake Up Cold, Hell To Pay, Together We Fall and boatloads more... Singer JR Glass and bassist Aaron Martinek have a new band called Bet The Devil, which is straight up metal but still awesome, do check them out if you haven't already!

Here's a video of NSU's classic track 'Fall From Grace' (from their album of the same name), awesome stuff!

Next Step Up - Passive Aggression demo
Next Step Up myspace

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Way Of Life revisited

After I posted the AWOL demo someone requested a post of their other records. It's been in the back of my mind for quite some time, and finally I've come around to it. Sorry for the huge delay, what can I say, I'm a lazy piece of shit. I ripped their vinyl output and the tracks from 2 compilations they appeared on. I believe that, together with the demo, this represents a complete discography for this amazing and underrated French band.

As you will notice if you download this stuff, A Way Of Life (AWOL) changed their style a bit from their demo. They added more metal influences to their style and dropped the mosh parts. While I think their demo is their best stuff, and it is still easily one of my favorite demo's ever, I do love this period of AWOL as well. The 'Deep Thoughts About The End' 7" from 1997 however, released on Braveheart Records, is not their strongest release. It starts off with a re-recording of 'The Last Scream' from the demo, which unfortunately doesn't add much to the demo-version, it even suffers from a somewhat thin production which lacks bass and heaviness. The B side shows a band that is trying to find a new sound. It's more metallic than the demo but it just doesn't sound right, the band seems to have thrown too many ideas into one song and it doesn't come out too well. Easily the worst AWOL track.

'In This Cold Weather' from the split 7" with Headway, released in 1998 on MoshXBart, shows a huge progression from the 'Deep Thoughts...' 7". Over 7 minutes long, this is a great track that shows AWOL successfully moving into a new direction. An impressive effort. Only 2 months after recording this track they went back into the studio and recorded 3 more tracks, 2 were to appear on the 'The Nightmare Begins... In This Other Land' 2xCD compilation (Overcome Records, 1998) and 1 on the 'KDS Crew: Rise & Fall' compilation (The Age Of Venus, 2001). These 3 tracks are again awesome, especially 'Signs Of The Downfall'. Unfortunately these also happened to be the last official recordings. As I also mentioned when I blogged about the demo, there were plans to release more stuff, but this never happened unfortunately. So enjoy these tracks, and if you haven't done already, also download the demo. I cannot recommend this band enough.

Live picture courtesy of the KDS Crew myspace.

A Way Of Life revisited
A Way Of Life myspace

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Betrayed - s/t 7"

Not too long ago I scored a bunch of '90s (and late '80s) hardcore records, including a number of records by bands I hadn't even heard of. Sometimes you just gotta go for it. It doesn't always turn out to be a good gamble, but every so often you come across a record that makes all the shitty records worthwhile. This 7" from 1991 by Betrayed, a band from upstate New York (I think?), definitely falls into the worthwhile category. They weren't the first hardcore band to be called Betrayed and they certainly weren't the last, and certainly weren't as well-known as the current ex-Champion/Carry On Betrayed, but they were one of the better ones for sure! This is damn solid early '90s metallic hardcore, with a really gifted and creative guitarist who totally gave this band a sound all of their own. The songs are great, and there are some killer riffs on here, I'm stunned, and sad, I have never come across this band before. But I'm glad I can now make up for it, hehe...

Anyways, I know nothing about this band really, so if anybody can share anything about this band, please leave a comment! Would love to know if they did anything else, if the members played in other bands before/after Betrayed (esp the guitarist!), etc... Either way, give this a chance, you won't regret it...

Betrayed - s/t 7"

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Punch The Klown '97 demo

Punch The Klown were a hardcore band from Brockton, MA. One of the members sent me their 1997 demo back in early 1998, and included 2 extra songs on it, one studio-recording, 'Endless', and one live-recording, 'Broken Path', which was recorded at Cafe Savoi on December 30 1997. I don't know a whole lot about 'em. Shawn Rounds played guitar for them, who also did time in the almighty Overcast. According to their myspace, members also did/do time in bands such as Diecast & Colin Of Arabia. Both of the extra songs on this demo are supposedly on the split 7" with Grudgeholder, but I've never seen/heard this one, if somebody can confirm this, leave a comment. Would love to hear that split 7"! Their myspace also features this awesome song called 'Destined For Failure' which isn't on either the demo or the split 7" with Beneath The Remains, which I blogged about a while ago. Is 'Destined For Failure' also on this 7"? If anybody can give me more information on it, or a full discography or something, please leave a comment!

Either way, despite the slightly muffled sound, this is a really solid demo by a relatively obscure and definitely underrated band. They had a great mix going of mid-tempo hardcore with great vocals, ranging from spoken vocals to screams to deep shouts to gang vocals, with plenty of groove. Give it a chance!

Punch The Klown demo
Punch The Klown myspace

Thursday, September 17, 2009

November's Fire 7"

A random 7" that I picked up on one of my trips to the USA, and it happened to be a damn sweet slab of vinyl. I know very little about this band or the label (Crop Circle Records, this is their 1st release), and I couldn't really find a whole lot online either. I seem to remember another blog posted this 7" ages ago but can't find it anymore... So here it is, again maybe? Anyways, this is pretty solid '90s hardcore from New Jersey. Perhaps the band named itself after the Samhain track, but they definitely don't sound like them (thankfully), this is pretty typical '90s metallic 'new school' hardcore. On the back there's a live-shot with an X-ed up singer, but I have no idea if the band as a whole was sXe as well. Apparently this was supposed to be a 3 song 7" rather than a 2 song 7", the missing one being called 'Forgiven', but I have no clue what happened with it. Would love to hear that track, or anything from/about this band really, if anybody knows what else they did or has a demo or something, let me know or leave a comment.

Oh and screw record stores that put price-tags on the actual cover (Mystery Train in Amherst, MA in this case) and not on the protective sleeve.

November's Fire 7"

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Just Cause - No Barriers 7"

Absolutely awesome pounding hardcore from 1991. Just Cause was a hardcore band from Maryland which had a crossover/metal edge, similar to bands such as Edgewise ('Silent Rage' era). The first time I heard this band was on the 'A Change For The Better' compilation 7", which I posted a while ago. While their track on there didn't really stand out for me, I did manage to get 2 copies of their 'No Barriers' 7" shortly after posting the compilation, and it's great! Released on the same label as the compilation, Vicious Circle Records, these 4 songs pound away with fast hardcore parts and slower, mid-tempo 'mosh'-parts.

However, the main selling point of this 7" is the cover, as you can see. Can't beat that cover! A wolf wearing a leather jacket and a cap holding a spray can in his paw, the spray can having a laughing face with bulging eyes! Not to mention the graffity-style bandlogo. Yeah, it's weird, laughable, odd and great all at the same time, and somehow totally fits that era. That's the regular cover. My other copy however has one of the limited covers (#17/50), there were 5 different limited covers of 10 copies each, mine is the L7 one. Funnily enough, both covers have the wrong tracklist for side A. Both my copies are on maroon vinyl, the majority of the (1st and only) press was on black.

Here's a true lyrical gem (from 'Tolerance') that just begs for you to love this band:
The minds of the world are closed
And mine is too
I'm only aware of my own ignorance
And that others are ignorant too
We live in a great country
The greatest in the land
But it's nowhere near perfect
'Cause all I have to do is look around
Anyways, if anybody knows anything else about this band, such as a discography or what the members did before/after Just Cause, please leave me a comment! I'm digging this 7", hard. Enjoy!

Just Cause - No Barriers 7"

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Pillar demo (pre-Harvest/Disembodied)

A random demo from 1993 that I found on ebay not too long ago. Its redeeming value for me is the fact that Dave Walker does vocals on this one, and Justin Kane plays drums. Dave Walker would later on do vocals for Harvest and Krakatoa, and Justin Kane would go on to drum for Disembodied and Martyr AD, all of those are great bands, with Disembodied being one of my all-time fave bands. Anyways, back to Pillar. Apart from them two, I know nothing about this band really, heh. Well, continuing with the name-dropping, Chad Dziewior (Threadbare, 108, Judas Factor, and a gazillion more bands) produced this demo. And that's it... So if anybody out there knows anything else about this band, leave a comment.

Anyways, this was not the best band ever of the Minneapolis, MN area. Dave Walker's voice was not yet as mature and powerful as it was for Harvest, and musically it lacks power as well as memorable parts. In some parts I'm reminded of Endpoint, some other parts remind me of Undertow, without ever reaching either one's level. I'm afraid to say, it's a fairly mediocre demo all in all. Either way, consider this a piece of Minneapolis hardcore history, nothing more, nothing less.

Pillar demo

Monday, August 24, 2009


After mentioning Bonesaw on a Point Blank post a while go, here's a long overdue post with pretty much all the records that Bonesaw did (I'm not sure if they did any demo's?). Bonesaw from California was formed by 3 Point Blank members right after Point Blank broke up. They played a similar style of hardcore, Bonesaw built on the Point Blank sound and kept the 'tough', up-tempo hardcore approach with some metallic undertones. Over time the metal influences grew without ever really diving into metalcore territories. I think it's safe to say that if you like the Point Blank 7"s, you will also like Bonesaw.

Soon after Bonesaw formed, they released their debut-album 'Written In Stone' on Nemesis Records (which also released both Point Blank 7"s), in 1993. The album features a re-recording of Point Blank's 'Turning Back' (from the 'Hardcore 1990 - East Meets West' compilation 7", also on Nemesis Records). Soon after they were signed by Lost & Found records. Yes, the scumbag, bootlegging label out of Germany actually signed a US band. In 1994 they released the follow-up album, 'Abandoned', which is my personal fave. Two tracks of that album appeared on the L&F compilation 'You Deserve Even Worse', which is where I actually first heard this band. They toured Europe supporting Black Train Jack in 1994 as well, I still have an ugly yellow/brown Bonesaw longsleeve tucked away somewhere from the show I went to.

In 1995 their third, and final, album called 'Shadow Of Doubt' was released. Reduced to a 3-man band, on this last album, drummer Shane Valdez also did vocals (which he also did on the European tour), but his voice is pretty similar to former singer Chris Malinowski's, so it didn't mark a radical change in sound. In the mean time, Lost & Found had also re-released the 'Written In Stone' album with alternative artwork (the original cover ended up on the flipside). As far as I know the band broke up shortly after the album was released.

A few years ago Lost & Found Records re-released all 3 albums as a 3-CD package, without additional tracks that I know of. They also released a Bonesaw / No Escape split 7" in 1995 which featured 'Deal With It' from the 'Shadow Of Doubt' CD and No Escape's side has 'No' (Big Boys cover, from their 'Just Accept It' album) and 'Silenced' (from the 'Rebuilding' compilation 7"). My copy is on white, I believe all copies were. Since it's got no new material or alternative recordings by either band, I didn't rip it.

Bonesaw - Written In Stone
Bonesaw - Abandoned
Bonesaw - Shadow Of Doubt
Bonesaw myspace

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Beneath The Remains MCD & split 7" with Punch The Klown

After posting the Beneath The Remains 'Self Destruction' demo, someone requested a post of their other releases. So here are the other BTR releases I have, the 'Quest Of The Lost Souls' MCD and the split 7" with Punch The Klown from Brockton, MA.

The 'Quest Of The Lost Souls' MCD was released in 1998 on RPP Records out of Belgium. It has got 4 new tracks and re-recordings of 2 songs from the 'Self Destruction' demo. The recording quality has definitely improved over the demo, but I still prefer the rawness of the demo. The demo version of 'Last Breath', their best song, is so much stronger than the MCD version. Either way, they definitely deserved a proper release, and I feel RPP was the perfect label for them.

The split 7" with Punch The Klown was also released in 1998, on Back Ta Basics, Rick ta Life's label. The cover and insert have the same shitty xeroxed 'quality' that most of the BTB 7"'s have unfortunately. But at the same time, there was something about those BTB 7"'s, band-wise Rick did manage to put out records by a lot of good bands. The Beneath The Remains songs are probably their most (death-)metal ones, especially cuz Cesar grunts more on here than on their other releases. Good stuff, would definitely liked to have this band do more releases. The Punch The Klown songs are great. Mid-tempo heavy hardcore with several people in the band doing vocals, ranging from spoken to shouted to raw vocals. Really good stuff! Expect a separate Punch The Klown post in the future!

Beneath The Remains - Quest Of The Lost Souls MCD
Beneath The Remains / Punch The Klown split 7"
Beneath The Remains myspace
Punch The Klown myspace

Monday, August 10, 2009

Cleanser demo

Cleanser was one of many bands that Derek Neglect was in, and to me, one of the more unique ones. I got this demo cuz Derek was in it, and on first listen I was like 'what the hell?!', not what I expected. It's quite different from Neglect with the crazy drumming, all the stuff that's going on and especially the vocal delivery, however it is also quality stuff and I quickly came to absolutely love it. At times it reminds me of Vision Of Disorder, if that makes any sense. Here's a quote from their myspace that is pretty accurate:
They mixed Hardcore/Metal & Melodic parts to create a unique sound. Derek's metallic riffage, Keith's unique drumwork, mixed with the very unique vocals of The one and only Christian McKnight brought a style of metalcore that was new to the scene form 1995-98.
This is one of their demo's, their 2nd one from 1996 I believe. All of these songs would later be re-recorded for various releases. I tried to give the songs the correct name, as the track-listing on the demo-cover does not match the order in which they appear on the tape. As mentioned on their myspace, they have a number of releases, some of which I own and can recommend. I'm still looking for the 2nd full-length 'Monster...With Eyes of a Boy' tho so hook me up if you have it! Also, on the insert of their 'Unclean' 7", it mentions some releases not listed on their myspace, namely split releases with Figurehead and Day In The Life, if anybody has any information on these, please come forth and hook me up! Thanxxx! Either way, give this a chance, you won't be disappointed.

For the record tho, Neglect was and still is untouchable.

Cleanser demo
Cleanser myspace

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Stalemate demo & 7"

Not to be confused with the US band of the same name that released a MCD on Stillborn Records, Stalemate was a short-lived German metal/hardcore band, from the Koblenz area. Sound-wise they were somewhat similar to the bands of the Per Koro/Bremen scene, Acme specifically comes to mind. Harsh, heavy, mostly mid-tempo, intense and metallic hardcore with very deep and gruff vocals, which wouldn't sound bad in a death metal band. I know very little about this band, and I could find very little information online, so if anybody has any more information, please leave a comment. They're not even mentioned on the Alveran Records website anymore, even though Alveran released Stalemate's only 7" back in 1997 (Alveran Records #9).

I have seen them live once, and they gave a blistering performance. I'm surprised there's so little information on them, given the quality of their songs and the relative popularity of the style they played, also when they were around. As mentioned, they were a short-lived band, only releasing a demo in 1996 and a 7" the next year as far as I know. Which is a shame really, they were a pretty good band, and deserve to be heard. As far as what the members did after Stalemate split up, I know their singer, and possibly the bass-player, went on to Six Reasons To Kill, and one of the guitarists now plays in Gomorrha. Anyways, give it a chance, you won't be disappointed!

Stalemate demo
Stalemate 7"

****edit: I found the booklet that came with the demo, totally forgot about it until I went through a bag of old zines recently... Follow the link.***

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Standpoint 7"

Standpoint was a female-fronted band from New Jersey in the mid '90s. Their sound was on the softer side, more indie than hardcore. If you are familiar with Ashes, the female-fronted band that Brian McTernan (Battery) played in, you'll find that Standpoint has a very similar sound, including the nice female vocals with the occasional shouted male vocals as back-up. For me, the female/male vocals things worked better with Standpoint than with Ashes tho, even tho I do like Ashes quite a bit. I love this 7" from 1994 (I think?) especially the 1st track, 'Blindsided', although all 3 songs are great. 'Blindsided' would also be re-recorded for their full-length album, 'Whatever', on Smorgasbord Records, however I prefer this version. All in all, a sweet 7". This 7" was the 1st release on Spiritfall Records, which would later release records by bands such as Born Under Saturn, Neil Perry, The Swarm and Mörser, quite a change from the sound of this 7".

Unfortunately I don't know too much about this band. From what I gathered they released a demo called 'Opened Doors' but I've never seen or heard it, so if anybody has it and can send me some info or mp3's, I would be grateful! As mentioned they did a full-length called 'Whatever' on Smorgasbord Records, which is still available. They also appear on the 'The Tie That Binds' compilation. Apart from that this band is sort of a mystery to me, so I would appreciate any and all information.

Standpoint 7"
Standpoint myspace

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

X Gasmask X - Fear Of A Red Planet 7"

This is a weird little gem. For reasons unknown to me, S.O.A. Records out of Italy decided to repress Napalm Death's classic 'From Enslavement To Obliteration' album minus a couple of tracks (and not 'Scum' as some sources claim), except they sped it up from 33rpm to 45rpm and renamed the record and band! I guess they thought it sounded better at 45rpm and didn't have permission from Napalm Death to do it? They made up this band, X Gasmask X, which was apparently a 'commie s.e. grind' band according to a S.O.A. mailorder catalog from that time. There's even some sort of manifesto that comes with the 7", a 'declaration of war', in both English and Italian, outlining the band's stance on straight edge and politics. The English manifesto is part of the folded-in sleeve together with a picture of a person with one X-ed fist and one fist with the communist/socialist hammer and sickle, the Italian one comes on a separate piece of paper.

Whatever the reason was, this is a record that needs to be heard to be believed. It actually sounds great, even with the occasional chipmunk-like vocals! Since they only pressed 200 copies (mine's hand-numbered 108/200), the 7" is quite rare, even tho the music on it is easy to obtain, just play the regular record on 45rpm, heh...

X Gasmask X - Fear Of A Red Planet 7"

Monday, August 3, 2009

Baby Gopal

Lately I've been posting a bunch of the 'harder' stuff that I enjoy. But that's far from all that I enjoy and listen to. One 'soft' band from the '90s that I really enjoy is Baby Gopal. Baby Gopal was a Krishna-conscious power-pop/indie-rock band centered around Australian-born Sri Kesava. Sri Kesava is, unfortunately, also known as the wife of Ray Cappo, and she also played guitar for Ray Cappo's band Shelter for some time. However, Baby Gopal was her thing, together with guitarist Graham Land, also a Krishna devotee who goes by the name Gayatri, she co-wrote a number of beautiful songs (granted, Ray Cappo co-wrote a couple). Baby Gopal, while rooted in Krishna consciousness, served as an outlet for Sri's feelings, emotions and thoughts rather than spreading the Krishna message, even if references were made regularly. With Sri's beautiful voice, personal lyrics and a definite melodic indie/poppy approach, even more so than Shelter, they took a more mainstream approach which normally puts me off, but with this band it totally worked for me. I was lucky enough to have seen Baby Gopal live, in Belgium, and I can assure you Sri's voice is just as beautiful live as on record.

Besides putting out a self-titled full-length (sometimes called 'Fearless') on Victory/Banda Bonnot in 1996, which is great and comes highly recommended, they didn't release a lot of records. They did 2 7"s on Get Go Records prior to the full-length, with all songs on these being re-recorded for the full-length. These 2 7"'s and the full-length are the only recordings they released, apart from possible demo's (which, if you have any, please let me know).

After Baby Gopal ended, Sri Kesava did a brief stint in Shelter and she also started a solo-career which spawned a full-length CD called 'Gravity Reminds Me' on Blue Boy Records and a mini-CD called 'Union Square' on Reflections Records. These sound pretty similar to Baby Gopal and she even re-recorded a couple of BG songs for the full-length, however I don't enjoy them nearly as much as I do Baby Gopal. She also starting focusing on other musical endeavors, she has released a couple of bhajan CD's where she plays all/most of the instruments and sings devotional hymns in Sanskrit and Hindi and such.

As mentioned, the other main member of Baby Gopal was Graham Land who co-wrote most of the music with Sri. Other bands he played in include Shelter, Worlds Collide, Better Than A Thousand and Battery. One of the Baby Gopal's drummers was Alex Garcia-Rivera who went on to drum for American Nightmare/Give Up The Ghost. I don't really have too much info on any of the other members tho apart from what's written up in a few articles, such as this one.

*** edit (August 2010): Here's the personal blog of Sri Keshava: Gurus, Rock Stars & the Men In Between ***

As a sidenote, here's the video they did for the full-length version of 'Shiva', they also did one for the full-length version of 'Lost Generation':

Baby Gopal - ...Shiva 7"
Baby Gopal - Boys Against Girls 7"
Sri Kesava's website

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

One Eight Seven demo

I don't know too much about this band. They were a short-lived deathmetal band from the H8000 area in Belgium around 1998-1999. Their singer was this small, cute, nice girl called Kathy 187 who was at pretty much all the H8000 shows at the time. I saw them once, at this show in Eeklo where on the day of the show they persuaded the organizer to let them do a short set. We'd only heard rumors about 187 and were curious what Kathy sounded like live... Well, we quickly learned she had a massive grunt, something we did not expect. Not too long after I picked up this demo, and I've not seen or heard 187 since. Members went on to other H8000 bands such as Edge Of Life and All My Sins. Anyways, this is a pretty decent demo, so check it out!

One Eight Seven demo

Born From Pain demo

Born From Pain from the Netherlands started in 1997 and was formed by Rob & Wouter of Feeding The Fire. I saw them numerous times in the late '90s and while they never really did it for me on record, their live-shows were always good. They've since become one of the biggest names in the European hardcore/metal scene and are still going strong to this day. Over time they've had many member changes, currently the only original member left is Rob, who now does vocals but played bass until last year, after original singer Ché left and several other singers dropped out one by one.

Here is their demo from late 1997/early 1998, released on Repel Records, which was done by Patrick Kitzel (Spawn, True Blue), who is now involved with Reaper Records. All 3 tracks from the demo were later re-recorded for their 'Immortality' and 'Reclaiming The Crown' records.

Born From Pain demo
Born From Pain website

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Zero Hour 7"

As mentioned in the 'About me' section of this blog, I like and listen to a variety of hardcore. This doesn't mean I like all genres equally, but I'll give everything a chance and sometimes I come across a band that's quite different from what I usually listen to yet still like. Zero Hour, a short-lived female-fronted anarcho hardcore/punk band from the Bay Area, is one such band. This 7" was released in 1994, I got it a couple of years later at a random show for whatever reason, probably cuz I had some money to spare, and never regretted it. These 4 songs are awesome! From the distinct guitar-lines which are way more developed and intricate than yer average anarcho hardcore/punk band to the amazing, raging, emotion-filled vocals, this is great stuff. Lyrically it deals with conformity vs. individuality, patriotism and such, pretty typical themes for this style but done well nonetheless. Their drummer also drummed for Econochrist.

After this 7", the band did a split 12" with Apeface, a band I've never heard (of). I do have mp3's of the Zero Hour songs from the split and they're pretty good but they don't compare to the 7". The singer, oddly enough called Whisper, did another short-lived band called Children Of Barren Wasteland, and as mentioned already, the drummer also did time in Econochrist. I have no idea what the other members did musically. Because the sleeve folds out to 6 times its folded size (in a 3x2 configuration), I decided to not scan in the back-side, which is one large image, and scan in parts of the other side separately.

Zero Hour 7"

All Out War - Destined To Burn 7"

As requested in the comments to the End Of One 7" post, here's the 1st All Out War 7", also released on Hardway Records. If you're following this blog, you probably don't need an introduction to All Out War, so I'll keep this one short. Formed in 1991, they mixed hardcore with thrash & death metal and had lyrical themes dealing mostly with the evils of humanity and (organized) religion. They released some classic albums and made a lasting impact on the '90s hardcore & metal scene, and beyond, and what's even better, they're still around today.

This is their 1st 7", from 1994. After the release of this 7", the band broke up. 2 Years later they got back together and after a 2nd 7", 'Hymns Of The Apocalypse', they recorded their classic first full-length from 1997, 'Truth In The Age Of Lies', which was released on Gain Ground Records. All 3 songs from the 'Destined To Burn' 7" were re-recorded for this full-length. If you're familiar with the full-length, note the differences with the original versions, especially the song 'Fall From Grace' was changed a bit. Enjoy!

All Out War - Destined To Burn 7"
All Out War myspace

Friday, July 3, 2009

A Change For The Better comp 7"

Named after the Gut Instinct song 'Vicious Circle', a track from the 'Disturbing The Peace' 7" recording session that didn't make it on the 7", Vicious Circle Records started in 1989/1990 by Dave Brown, who also did Take A Stand fanzine. Together with Bombshell fanzine he released the 'A Change For The Better' compilation 7" in 1991, which was Vicious Circle's first release. Dave Brown is also the author/photographer of 'Adult Crash', a photobook detailing the hardcore scene in the DC/MD area over a 20 year period. I haven't seen it yet, but from what I heard and read it's quite nicely done with great shots, plus it comes with a free 7". So check that out!

The bands featured on here are Gut Instinct (MD), Step Aside (VA), Just Cause (MD), Face Value (OH) and Endpoint (KY). The A-side features the 'harder' side with the first 3 bands, the B-side the more 'melodic' side with Face Value and Endpoint. The stand-out track for me is Step Aside's track 'Show Me The Way', which reminds me of bands of that era such as Dmize, Enrage and Judgement Day in the way it mixes metal and hardcore. Good stuff. I'm still looking for their 7", also released on Vicious Circle. The production of the Gut Instinct track is pretty bad unfortunately, it might actually be from a rehearsal tape or something. Just Cause's track is pretty decent but nothing special. Face Value is always great and Endpoint's track is also featured on their 'Catharsis' album and at that time Endpoint were still amazing (I don't really care for their last records). Unfortunately there's a click right at the end of the Endpoint track that I am unable to remove, sorry! Also, the insert is too large for my scanner, so I scanned each band-section separately. Enjoy!

A Change For The Better comp 7"

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Beneath The Remains - Self Destruction demo

Beneath The Remains from Montgomery, NY was sometimes referred to as All Out War's little brother by me and this one crew of people I used to go to shows with. While not sounding like a complete copycat their sounds do have similarities. The first time I heard this 1997 demo (and BTR in general) was when we were driving back home after a show, where I picked up this demo from the R.P.P. distro. When this demo played we were all like 'Mike Score has a little brother?!'... The vocals of singer Cesar Bobadilla are quite similar, albeit a bit rougher and deeper, and musically it's also pretty similar. We didn't mind however, as we quite dug All Out War and the demo. I can't speak for the rest of the people in the car, but I still do. On one of All Out War's European tours, Mike Score couldn't make it out here for part of the tour for whatever reason, and Cesar BTR did vocals for All Out War, so you know I'm not kidding here...

Either way, this demo is pretty good, although the sound-quality sucks and the levels are weird as fuck, especially when there's just one guitar playing the volume's way low compared to when the entire band is playing. The stand-out track is 'Last Breath' which is heavy as fuck and has very personal lyrics dealing with the loss of a loved one and seeking forgiveness. It also shows this band was more than just another band going for the All Out War sound. It has a build up in the second half of the track that still gets me all worked up, intense stuff. I remember on that car ride we uttered a collective 'fuck' after this track ended, and rewound the tape to play it again. I still love it loads. Incidentally, this track, and opening track 'Mutilation Of The Mind' were re-recorded for the 'Quest For The Lost Souls' MCD On R.P.P. Records.

As far as releases go, they did another demo, a split 7" with Punch The Klown (on Back Ta Basics) and the aforementioned 'Quest For The Lost Souls' MCD, both of which I can rip if wanted (ripped, check here). They also appear on a number of compilations. Based on their myspace, there are also some unreleased recordings. While the BTR myspace mentions trying to get these recordings released one way or another, it hasn't happened yet... Make it happen!

Beneath The Remains - Self Destruction demo
Beneath The Remains myspace

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

End Of One - The Aftermath 7"

End Of One was a band from Poughkeepsie, NY that mixed death metal and hardcore. Formed in 1994, they didn't release a lot as far as I know, but their 'The Aftermath' 7" from 1996 is awesome enough to warrant a post. It's basically death metal with pretty sweet mosh-parts. Sound-wise, it is reminiscent of All Out War, but the vocals are much much deeper. And to keep up the All Out War reference, 3 End Of One members (2 from the 7" line-up) would eventually end up in All Out War. Also, this 7" was released on Hardway Records out of France, the label of Stephan, the singer of Kickback. The same label had released All Out War's 1st 7", 'Destined To Burn', 2 years earlier. So really, if you like All Out War, you will love End Of One!

End Of One - The Aftermath 7"
End Of One myspace

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Slavearc demo

Militant vegan sXe deathmetal from the UK. Got this demo at the time from some distro and loved it. Unfortunately I never got a chance to see the band at a show, even though they did play one of the Geleen fests if I remember correctly (annual hardcore fest in the south of the Netherlands which is no more). Either way, they were damn good. They released 2 CD's afterwards called 'Vanquish' and 'Structural Damage In The Blueprint Of Humanity', the latter of which features a re-recording of 'Web Of Darkness' from the demo. Both CD's are great as well and come highly recommended. Here's the demo though, enjoy!

From their myspace:
Slavearc were formed by ex-members of Withdrawn in mid-1997, inspired by animal and earth liberation ideals, and pushing a militant vegan and drug-free ideology. Controversial within the UK Hardcore scene for their polarizing stance, they split up in 1999.

Members moved on to such bands as Koreisch, Kevorkian Solution, Stockton Foster, Unborn, Cracked Cop Skulls, Touchdown, xCanaanx, and Kurohata.
Slavearc demo
Slavearc myspace

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Season - Hardcore Is Real demo

Cashdog was (and still is) a vegan sXe scenestar from New Zealand. I first got to know him through IRC in the mid '90s. He told me about his band at the time, Season Of Evil, and I obtained a copy of the Season Of Evil demo and after that the The Season demo, which was essentially the same band. Over-the-top chugga chugga vegan sXe hardcore, just the way I liked (and still like) it! We eventually hung out when he did a trip around Europe in '97 and he ended up doing a spoken words intro for a demo of my old band.

Henrik over at Bring Honour Or Walk Away recently posted the awesome Season Of Evil demo, so check it out! In the meantime, here's the Season demo from 1996. Continuing where the 1st demo ended, it's unrelenting and uncompromising.

Here's a bio of the band written up by Cashdog:

The history of The Auckland/Hamilton band The Season started in Auckland in late 1994. The band then was called 'Armed with Anger'. They wrote a few songs and played only one house show with Shinkasta in 1995 where they played 2 originals (which ended up being reworked and recorded on the Season of Evil - Purifire demo) and 2 covers. One by Sick of it All and one by Bloodline.
After an almost complete line up change (bar the singer) in late '95 including members from Hamilton bands of the day, the name was changed to 'Season of Evil'. Season of Evil recorded the 'Purifire' demo in January '96 and played one show with that line up.
Another large line up change (bar the singer and guitarist) led to shortening the name of the band to 'The Season'. Although still largely referred to as Season of Evil, The Season got to work on the' Hardcore is Real' demo. With a new line up and demo The Season started playing a lot of shows through the end of '96. One song from this demo was remastered and ended up on the international compilation 'Mother Earth' on Impression Records.
1997 brought a new drummer and a recording of a bunch more songs. These songs combined with a re-edited and remastered 'Hardcore is Real' demo ended up on The Season's discography "A Cursed Journey" that came out mid '97. A lot of shows were played right through '97 and The Season finished up with their last show in Jan '98 (which was an amazing show).
After The Season was done, Cashdog went on to Coming Of The New Messiah, who did a split CD with Brother's Keeper, and a full-length on Surprise Attack Records. After that he fronted Evil Priest who released several albums and were also featured on the "Harder They Fall: Tribute to Integrity" compilation on Escapist Records. From there he moved on to The Wrongmen, and is currently in Black Tuesday. Still keeping it real, gotta love it.

The Season - Hardcore Is Real demo

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Naked Angels

Here are 3 Naked Angels 7 inches, as requested by a friend of mine. Naked Angels was a sXe hardcore band from North Carolina in the late '80s to early '90s. One of the members, Rob Seeman, called himself Rob R Rock, and became known as the first sXe hardcore rapper, with his track 'Cruelty Free' on the 'Voice Of The Voiceless' compilation from 1991. For a long time I didn't bother checking out this band because I expected some kind of bad rap/punk/hardcore mix... Thankfully I was wrong. And while Naked Angels are far from great, they're also definitely not bad. Decent punk/hardcore, nothing more, nothing less.

Despite the title of their 'The Real Hardline' 7" from 1991/1992, which also features a song with the title 'Hardline', the band was not hardline. The song 'Hardline' is actually about homophobic jocks in the straight edge scene, an issue that is still as relevant now as it was back then. The band did support veg(etari)anism as mentioned on the inside of the cover for the 'Intent To Kill' 7" from 1992, and all the members were straight edge as far as I know. The sound on this 7" is harder than on the 'The Real Hardline' 7", with Rob singing with a deeper, tougher voice. My favourite of these 3 7inches.

Also included here is a live 7" called 'On The Road E.P.', also from 1992. It has the subtitle "Recorded live at WRTC on 'Notes From The Underground'".

After these records, the band did another 7", 2 albums and were on a number of compilations. Some of these were released on Rob R Rock's own Groovecore label.

I did come across an 'interesting' piece of info regarding the Naked Angels drummer on the 'Intent To Kill' 7" from 1992, who turned out to have lots of issues and eventually ended up murdering his own mother... Check it out. Crazy stuff!

Naked Angels - The Real Hardline 7"
Naked Angels - Intent To Kill 7"
Naked Angels - One The Road E.P. 7"
Naked Angels website (old and unmaintained)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Bound (MA) 7"

As mentioned in my post of the Soundtrack To The Revolution comp 7" not too long ago, I have been trying to find a copy of the Bound 7" for a while now. And finally with success! Found a copy on the almighty eBay that I managed to scoop up at a damn nice price, and it arrived in my mailbox on the same day as a comment about that same 7" was made in response to the comp 7". Sweet coincidence!

This 7" from 1994 was the first release on Stolnacke Records, a short-lived label mostly known for co-releasing the Converge 'Halo In A Haystack' album. Apart from a demo, this is the only release by Bound from Leominster, Massachusetts. They later renamed themselves Hatchetface, and released an LP. That's about all the info to be found online about this band, I did find another blog that wrote about this 7", but the download no longer works. There's also this Hatchetface interview in Maximum Rock 'n Roll that has some information on Bound. Either way, this is damn good stuff. Gritty thrashy hardcore punk with a definite metallic edge, and pretty sick vocals, it reminds me of bands like Groundwork and Econochrist in parts.

In case you've downloaded this and are wondering where the scans of the insert are... there aren't any scans. The insert is poster-format, so it is too big for my scanner, sorry! One side is an Albrecht Durer woodcarving, thankfully one which isn't used too often by hardcore bands (this one). The other side has the usual stuff: lyrics (to 2 of the 4 tracks, Die Like Them and The Long March), a thanks list, general information, and a cryptic message that the lyrics to the other 2 songs are too whiny to show. BTW, since there was also a rather good hardcore band called Bound from New Jersey in the '90s, I added the 'MA' to the title. I might just put up some Bound (NJ) material at some point, you never know!

Bound (MA) - s/t 7"

Monday, April 27, 2009

New Day Rising live LP

New Day Rising was one of the best emocore bands of the '90s. This band from Ontario, Canada played an explosive kind of emo. They were more metallic than the average emo-band in the '90s, but kept the soft parts mixed with the emotional and musical frenzy and outbursts, and going from soft vocals to gutwrenching screams. The first time I heard them was when I got the Atlas Shrugged/New Day Rising split 7", which I got because I was (and am) really into Atlas Shrugged. I got into the NDR track right from the start. I eventually picked up their other releases, all of which are awesome.

Anyways, after a number of splits and such, the band got picked up by Eulogy Recordings, who released a full-length CD, 'Memoirs Of Cynicism', and a discography CD, 'We Cannot Know How Much Blood It Costs' (which does not contain the track from the split 7" with Atlas Shrugged). Both are available from the Eulogy webstore for a couple of bucks b.t.w. and come highly recommended. However, this live LP isn't on the discography CD. And since there are only 500 copies, I figured I'd put it online. Released on the almighty Moo Cow Records in the late '90s, it's pretty barren in terms of layout and all, see here for the reason why, it doesn't even have a setlist. Each copy comes with a black cardboard sleeve with a photo tacked on and 2 tiny stickers, that's it. It's damn good though and I wish I could've seen NDR live when they were around, which you can see a video of here. Based on the rambles inbetween songs, this was recorded sometime in 1996 (but released in 1998 I believe), but that's about all I know of where and when, heh, and I couldn't find any other info on it besides the Moo Cow Records page linked earlier. No matter what tho, New Day Rising were awesome and so is this live-recording. Check it out and don't be scared of the word 'emo'.

New Day Rising live LP

Thursday, April 23, 2009

108 - Spoken Words tape

Ripped and posted because of a request on the xCatalystx forums. This is 108's 'Spoken Words' tape from 1991. It's a seemingly random mix of explanations of songs from the at that time still to be released 'Holyname' album, Vic trying out stuff on his guitar, Vic doing what appears to be a Q&A at a Krishna gathering, kirtans, random rambles, and so on. I'm not sure what the deal was with this tape, and quite frankly it is not something one listens to a lot. But it's 108, and therefore it is worthwhile. End of story.

Because of the random nature of the contents, I decided not to attempt to turn each part into a separate mp3 and come up with a title and such. One mp3 for each side of the tape will have to do.

Also, my copy of the spoken words tape is not an original, but a 'bootleg' version, hence the bad quality cover that looks nothing like the original cover, which can be seen on the 108 website.

108 - Spoken Words tape
108 website

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Soundtrack To The Revolution compilation 7"

Any compilation which features both Converge and Chokehold is worth getting in my book. This one is quite possibly the first one which features both bands, the other bands on here being Knockdown and Bound (the one from Massachusetts). It was released on Onlook Records in 1994. Onlook Records was a label done by Aaron Dalbec, who at that time also played in both Converge and Knockdown, but is also known for doing time in Bane. The 7" was limited to 500 copies total, mine's numbered 323/500, and is on black, but there are also copies on orange/yellow.

The best track on here is Chokehold's anti-smoking anthem 'Kill Me' which also happens to be the first track. Gotta love Chokehold! Knockdown do a fairly decent track but it's the weakest one on here. The band featured Aaron Dalbec on guitar as mentioned above and Tre McCarthy of Deathwish Inc fame on bass. Converge's 'Sky' is great if you're into old Converge (I am), it would later be featured on their 'Caring & Killing' CD which compiles a bunch of their older material. Finally Bound delivers a great track, making this an overall pretty damn good compilation. Bound would eventually turn into Hatchetface, but not before doing a 7", which I'm still searching for. Which reminds me that I should post some Bound (NJ) material at some point, they were also pretty damn good. Anyways... cool compilation, enjoy!

Soundtrack To The Revolution compilation 7"

Monday, April 13, 2009

Maharahj - A Replication Of The Process And Product MCD

Maharahj was an awesome chaotic technical metal band from Oakville, Ontario, Canada. If you like bands such as Creation Is Crucifixion, Chapter and Spread The Disease, you will like Maharahj. I got their 2 full-lengths pretty soon after they were released, also since I'm heavily into Creation Is Crucifixion and I had read some review of Maharahj's first album 'Chapter One: The Descent' comparing them to CIC. Loved both albums, but information about the band was pretty hard to find, at least over here in Europe they seemed to fly under the radar for the most part.

It took me ages, until about 2 months ago, to track down an affordable copy of their 'A Replication Of The Process And Product' MCD from 1999. Thankfully it only cost me about $5 and not the $150 that it's going for on Amazon.com. Insanity! I uploaded it here as it is by far the hardest record of Maharahj to obtain. This is the version on Now Or Never, which was released prior to their 1st full-length 'Chapter One: The Descent'. All 3 songs would be re-recorded for the 1st album later that year.

There were also plans for a split CD with Circle Of Dead Children on Robotic Empire Records, but as far as I know that was never released. However, if anybody has any information on it (it seems some recordings were made?) or any other Maharahj recordings, please let me know!

Here's a write-up on the band from Wikipedia:
"Maharahj" is a metalcore band from Oakville, Ontario. Their name originated from a modified spelling of the East Indian term maharaj. This now defunct band was founded in 1997 by Garren and Clay under the original name “One Winged Angel”. The band released 1 demo and 2 studio albums. They disbanded in 2002. Members went on to start bands Explode the Airwaves and Silverstein.

Maharahj exploded on the scene with screaming technical metal intensity. Hailing from the sleepy Toronto suburb of Oakville, Ontario, Maharahj created a whirlwind of chaotic metal that was already stirred up by other local acts such as Spread the Disease and The End (mathcore band). With the release of the independent demo (A Replication of the Process and the Product), Clay, Dave, Neil, Garren and Jon paved the way for a breed of metal that (at that time) had never been heard in the metalcore community. The demo was well embraced, selling out within the first year. During their first US tour, record owner Matt Beckerman signed them to his (also now defunct) nowornever records. Sharing the stage with such label-mates as The Dillinger Escape Plan and Diecast (band), Maharahj found success in their blend of cacophony and mathematical technicality. Shortly afterwards, they were in the studio recording their 1st full length "Chapter One, The Decent". With a major label financial backing the record, Maharahj was able to win over a huge fan base. Record sales soared. However, the rigorous demands of the touring and difficult musicianship had their toll on some of the members. The crack of the Maharahj whip created some dramatic lineup changes. Colin and Andrew were recruited later that year to replace Jon and Neil. Neil went on to join and play in the successful band Silverstein. Progressing as a more diverse band with more diverse interests, Maharahj later recorded "Repetition". Unfortunately, this album was not as well received as they had hoped. Poor tour support was also a contributing factor. One year later, the band split ways.
Maharahj - A Replication Of The Process And Product MCD
Maharahj myspace

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Agni Hotra

After Chip's post on '90s Krishnacore I thought of Agni Hotra and how good they were. So I decided to post their releases (at least the ones I know of, and own). Agni Hotra was a Krishna-conscious band from Poland in the mid to late '90s. I got their releases through a Polish friend and was, and still am, quite into them. They went through some stylistic changes, not to mention starting out with a male singer and ending with a female singer. But they maintained a high level throughout their releases.

The 'Protect Your Friends' demo from 1995 kicks things off the right way. Upbeat hardcore, great songs, lotsa enthusiasm and sweet back-up vocals. A really good demo, and the title-track rules. The last track goes into a long recording of a group of Krishna's chanting and after that the band does the intro for 'Warriors' (by UK punk/oi band Blitz, tho among the hardcore community better known by the cover Judge did). Unfortunately it fades out so I'm not sure why this was added to the end, but maybe they used to do this cover at their live shows. Either way, this demo is good stuff for sure!

Their first album 'Govinda', from 1996, continued the sound from the demo and added some new sounds to it. To me, this is the least of their releases, since it sounds at times like the band was searching for a new sound but couldn't quite get there yet. Nonetheless, the album is pretty good and the re-recording of 'Protect Your Friends' is great, and the cover of Minor Threat's 'Straight Edge' is pretty decent. But I wish they had taken some more time to work on these songs, this album could've been so much better.

It took them until 2000 to have another album released, called 'Krsna'. At this point a girl had taken over vocal duties, and they had changed their style completely. And to me, while I like their older stuff, this CD is what separated Agni Hotra from other bands. It took me a while to get into, but damn, it's g-o-o-d. I'm sure a lot of people from Poland back in the day will disagree with me, but this is their best release as far as I'm concerned. It's softer at times tho not soft like Baby Gopal, it is quite layered, the female vocals are mostly soft but still compliment even the harder tracks very well... I can't think of any band that sounds like this Agni Hotra incarnation. Give it a chance!

I couldn't find a site or myspace for Agni Hotra, but here's a 'video' for the title-track of their demo:

Agni Hotra - Protect Your Friends demo
Agni Hotra - Govinda CD
Agni Hotra - Krsna CD

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Over The Edge compilations

Endless Fight Records didn't release a lot of records during its existence in the '90s, less than 20 releases. But some of those releases were pure gold. The original version of Overcast's 'Expectational Dilusion' (re-released on Edison), the Mayday 'Lost In Sabbath' 7" and the first Catharsis 7" among others. They also released 3 Over The Edge compilations, which I uploaded here.

The first release on Endless Fight, back in 1994, was also the first Over The Edge compilation, which features tracks from bands such as Shift, Overcast, Mayday, Dissolve and Converge. It also has a Jasta 14 track with Jamey from Hatebreed on vocals, the track is harder than the self-titled 7" (on which he doesn't sing), pretty decent stuff. Not all tracks here are up my alley (Malachi Krunch, Age Of Reason), but overall it's a pretty good compilation. The Frostbite track on here is amazing, but I've not been able to find more of their stuff unfortunately. Members of Frostbite went on to do time in Hatebreed, but this is way slower and has a definite '90s vibe. BTW, this is not the same Frostbite as the Wilkes-Barre one whose members went on to Cold World and War Hungry.

Over The Edge Vol. 2, released in 1995, is the best of the three in my opinion, it's almost as good as the East Coast Assault compilation I blogged about not too long ago, hehe... No but seriously, this one also ends up in my top 5 compilations of the '90s. It's got no filler tracks, every single song on here is great, at the very least. The track that stands out the most on here, to me, is Arise's song 'Graffilthy'. They had a unique and eerie style all of their own, with a singer whose voice went from shrill, almost crying, shrieks to guttural screams and back. A seriously amazing song. Other highlights include Catharsis, Backlash, Cross-Section, Dismay, altho like I said, no bad tracks here.... Great great stuff. It also features the first contributions from overseas bands, namely Lash Out from Norway and Divided We Fall from Japan. A compilation I played countless times and can still play and enjoy from start to finish.

The last installment, from 1997, is similar to the first one in that it is a mix of hits and misses. It's got an eclectic mix of styles, like on the previous OTE's. However, I feel this one has more misses than hits and it suffers as a whole. It's got some great stuff, like Die My Will, Southpaw, Denile, and Statecraft, but also some really bad songs such as Eastcide and Crossthread (the latter of which had some great stuff, just not on here). It also features a Dutch band, Guiding Line, I actually bought this comp through their drummer at a random show in Belgium we were both at. Never been into GL tho, heh, but it was nice to see a Dutch band on this CD nonetheless.

Over The Edge Vol. 1
Over The Edge Vol. 2
Over The Edge Vol. 3
Endless Fight Records website (or what's left of it)