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)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Overcast demo & 'Twin Terror' split 7" with Converge

If you're reading this, you probably already know Overcast (and/or Converge), so I'll get right down to business. I've tried to upload 2 of the more obscure Overcast releases here, namely their 1993 demo and the 'Twin Terror' split 7" with Converge. The demo was recorded after the release of their first 7", 'Bleed Into One', and features 3 songs, all of which were re-recorded for their 1st album, 'Expectational Dilution'. There are some minor difference in the songs tho such as some arrangements, the acoustic guitars in the intro to 'Absolute Threshold', the opening sample and so on, making these recordings a nice addition to any Overcast collection.

The split 7" from 1995 features 2 tracks by each band and on the labels it mentions it is limited to 500 copies. From what I remember of this release and the stories surrounding it, neither band agreed to it (or weren't even asked about it?), yet Hearsay Records went ahead and released it anyways. It features tracks from Overcast's 'Bleed Into One' 7" and Converge's self-titled 7" and was released sometime after both bands' first albums were released. I wonder if the Vision Of Disorder/Loyal To None split 7" on Hearsay was also released with the bands' permissions? Anyways, another odd thing is that the inside of the cover lists a bunch of supposed releases by Hearsay Records, which were never released on that label as far as I know, such as the B'zrker 'Taking The Law' 7" (Exchange Records) and the 1st Converge 7" (Foundation America Records). I have no idea what to make of this. If somebody could shed any light on this, be my guest! Also notice the really old/odd logo's for the bands used on the inside of the cover of the 7". I can't place the Overcast logo, but the xConvergex one I've seen on one of their demo's (which I unfortunately do not have). And Converge sounds *way* different here than they currently do. The word 'tough' comes to mind, I'm not kidding. I have their self-titled 7" that these tracks are taken from as well, so I might post it someday if people are interested. I wish I had Overcast's 'Bleed Into One' 7" tho. If anybody wants to part with their copy and wants my firstborn son in exchange or whatever, let me know! edit: I have 2 copies now, on black & clear, woohoo!

Overcast 1993 demo
Overcast / Converge - Twin Terror split 7"
Overcast website
Converge website

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sevenday Curse - The Cold Blood demo

Formed in 1996 in Boston, Massachussetts, Sevenday Curse falls into the same category as bands such as Unearth and Barrit. More metal than core, but not falling over into the tech-metal style. They released a self-titled demo in 1997, which got them signed to Tortuga Recordings, a subsidiary of Hydra Head Records. This is their second demo, which was released on Tortuga in 1998. I picked this up at one of the Ieper Fests if I remember correctly, and a few years afterwards I picked up this band's one and only album, 'After The Storm', also released on Tortuga. Singer Justin Reed was no longer part of the band by that time, guitarist Scott McDonald handled vocals on the album besides playing guitar. Unfortunately this band seemed to go unnoticed by many, especially outside of their local scene. And around these parts I've only seen the CD a handful of times if that, so I was pretty lucky. Their 'After The Storm' CD is still available tho, so if you like what you hear, buy it.

Starting with a Tom Cruise quote ( I suppose, not a huge Tom Cruise fan), the first track 'Blind Loyalty' kicks off this demo with high shrieks and fast metal and occasional 'gang' vocals, which continues all throughout this demo. Except for the last track 'November' which is a pretty instrumental. All in all, it's a great demo and I wish this band would've done more than one full-length.

As far as what the members did afterwards, I'm not sure. Googling around I learned that one of their guitarists, Scott McDonald, played guitar on one Unearth tour, and currently plays in Avariel. And other guitarist Dan Lozzi now seems to run an animal rights organization. That's about all I could find. And if anybody has their self-titled demo, please hook me up!

Sevenday Curse - The Color Blood demo
Sevenday Curse myspace

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Inner Dam - Through The Eyes Of Suffering demo's

Inner Dam from Orange County, NY was started by John Vista, who did Vista fanzine in the mid '90s. They mixed a love for the typical hard NYHC sound with 'chugga-chugga' and a love for bands like 108 and Unbroken. Combined with John's personal and tormented lyrics, they stood out from most other bands at the time. A close friend of mine around that time had the lyrics to 'Full Circle Broken' written on a wall in her apartment, cuz they meant so much to her.

The first time I heard this band was when the abovementioned friend gave me a mixtape that had the 1997 version of the Through The Eyes Of Suffering demo on it, among other goodies. Loved it from the first listen on. Not long afterwards R.P.P. Records out of Belgium released their first 7" with the same title, so I acquired it and played it numerous times. The 7" is essentially the 1997 demo but with a different closing track, 'Conviction', leaving out 'Inner Dam' from the demo. 'Inner Dam' would later appear as 'Fall To Nothing' on the 'When Angels Fall' CD which combined a couple of new tracks, the 'Through The Eyes...' recordings, and various compilation tracks, including a blistering cover of 108's 'Killer Of The Soul'.

R.P.P. would end up releasing all Inner Dam records, namely the 'Through The Eyes Of Suffering' 7" (1997), the 'The Day Everything Meant Nothing' CD (1997), the 'When Angels Fall' CD (1998) and the 'The Last Second Of Forever' 7" (1999). I can recommend all of these records, Inner Dam was an awesome band. I was lucky enough to have seen them on their first, and only, European tour in 1999 (or 2000?), they absolutely killed it. An awesome and underrated band for sure. I'm fairly sure all their releases are out of print, so if there are any requests for their CD's and 7"s, I might do another Inner Dam post. Just leave a comment.

For now, here are the 1996 and 1997 'Through The Eyes Of Suffering' demo's. Same tracklist, different recordings. Enjoy!

Inner Dam - Through The Eyes Of Suffering 1996 demo
Inner Dam - Through The Eyes Of Suffering 1997 demo
Inner Dam myspace

Monday, March 16, 2009

East Coast Assault compilation

The '90s spawned a lot of amazing compilations. I plan to post a bunch of those on this blog, starting with my favorite one, East Coast Assault. If you're into NYHC and/or heavy metallic hardcore in general, this compilation should be right up your alley. Released by Too Damn Hype in the early '90s, it features tracks from a number of bands that would end up becoming household names, such as Converge, Merauder, Life Of Agony, Overcast, Sam Black Church and Starkweather. And pretty much every track on here rules big time.

I got this compilation at the 1994 edition of the Dynamo Open Air festival while browsing the boxes of one of the many (mostly metal-oriented) distro's present. At the time, I was still listening to Life Of Agony's River Runs Red album at least 5 times a day, and when I noticed this compilation featured a track of theirs that wasn't on RRR, it was mine in an instant. Seeing more familiar names on there was just a bonus. The LOA track, Plexiglass Gate, would later appear on a re-release of RRR and also on their 1998-1999 CD.

Too Damn Hype would release 2 more East Coast Assault compilations, ECA 2 being a 2 CD compilation and ECA 3 a 3 CD compilation. They also combined both ECA 1 and ECA 2 compilations as a 3 CD re-release. ECA 2 is pretty decent, tho doesn't come close to the level of the original compilation. I don't have a copy of ECA 3, so I can't comment on it. They also did another stellar comp called Philly Dust Krew, which I might post soon as well.

Anyways, if you like any of the abovementioned bands or heavy hardcore in general, do yourself a favor and check out this compilation!

East Coast Assault compilation

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Acrid / Bombs Of Death split 7"

This split has been posted on a number of blogs so I really shouldn't be posting this as well... But whatever, someone asked about it on the xCatalystx forums since he couldn't find a good/complete rip, so here it is. And also cuz it's that good! I have 3 copies of this 7", just cuz I love it so much...

Acrid was a great band from Canada, brutal and grinding sludge/hardcore with some of the sickest vocals around. Members went on to bands such as The Swarm, Grade, Cursed and Quest For Fire.

Bombs Of Death was a one-time-only project done by Steve Heritage (Assück, Jud Jud, and numerous other bands he was either in or produced records for), Max (Spazz, Scholastic Deth) and Dylan (Struggle). How's that for a line-up?! The only 2 songs they ever recorded (at least that I am aware of), but they are insane. Pure genius.

Since this split is supposedly back in print, I'll remove the download at some point in the near future.

Acrid / Bombs Of Death split 7" (download removed)
Acrid myspace
Bombs Of Death myspace

Monday, March 9, 2009

Warzone/Right Direction - Live In Europe 1995 split 7"

Warzone... I don't think there's a whole lot I can say about this band that hasn't been said a million times before. If you don't know them, be really ashamed, and then go and educate yourself. A truly classic NYHC band, based around their singer, Ray 'Raybeez' Barbieri (RIP), the band started in 1982 and ended in September 1997, when Raybeez died of pneumonia.

Right Direction started in '89 and had just released their second album, All Of A Sudden, when they did this tour with Warzone. At that point in time they were one of the biggest bands of the so-called Eurocore style, together with bands like Ryker's and Brightside. Raybeez became good friends with the Right Direction people and the scene in RD's hometown, Maastricht, the Netherlands, a.k.a. the M-Town Rebels. After the tour Raybeez and Vinnie Value (No Redeeming Social Value, Grey Area, Kill Your Idols), who played for Warzone at the time, stayed in Maastricht for some time, hanging out with the locals, and even getting an M-town Rebels tattoo at some point. Their next European tour they did together with another M-town band called Backfire, who are still going strong. And after Raybeez's death, a huge memorial fest was held in Maastricht with 25+ bands paying tribute to Raybeez.

I was lucky enough to have seen Warzone on both of these tours, Raybeez was a very charismatic frontman on stage. This 7" was recorded during the abovementioned European tour Warzone did with Right Direction, at shows in Berlin, Germany (Right Direction) and Maastricht (Warzone). It was released on M-town label Your! Records and was limited to 500 copies. As far as I am aware of, the label didn't release anything else, and I have never seen a re-release of these live-recordings, so good luck finding a copy!

Here is a pretty cool article with people sharing memories of Raybeez, including Vinnie Value and Dave from Right Direction. It also includes an interview with Raybeez.

Warzone / Right Direction - Live in Europe 1995 split 7"
Warzone myspace
Right Direction myspace

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Driven tape (pre-Blood Has Been Shed)

In the mid '90s I was a regular on the alt.music.hardcore newsgroup and did a hardcore newsletter with a friend of mine. I got sent a few demo's and records every now and again because of that. This was one such instance. A band called Driven from Connecticut. I'd not heard of the band before the tape landed in my mailbox and they didn't go anywhere afterwards. At least not with the bandname Driven...

Here's a small biography taken from their old website (courtesy of the Wayback Machine):
We started in Ohio in 93 as Release. After around two years of playing in the midwest we decided to move to the East Coast. Some of us in the band grew up in Ct. so it there was some connection to moving out here. Once we got out here we changed the name to Driven on account of a band named Release getting signed. We played as Driven until December 96, as of January 97 we were in search of a new drummer. After going through a bunch of drummers we decided to form Veiled where John the bassist from Driven played drums. At first we thought we would keep Veiled and Driven seperate and played as Veiled for the summer and fall of 97. In the late fall of 97 we decided to get Driven back on the road and work some Veiled material into the set. We didn't feel funny playing Veiled music in the Driven set since the core of the band was in Driven anyways and Veiled was an extension of Driven we started to keep involved with the scene. About the name, after running into other bands with the name Driven we decided to change to Blood has been Shed. The new name for us represents what we see around us.
Driven was definitely way more of a heavy rock/metal oriented band than BHBS, the core can be hard to find on here. Howard employs a softer and way more dramatic-sounding vocal style and musically it's less aggressive and in your face as BHBS. That doesn't mean this is all bad though, it's just ... different. I find myself torn between parts where I cringe and parts where I am bobbing my head. Either way, if you are into Blood Has Been Shed, this is a tape you need to hear, hehe, even if only for the vocals...

Random piece of trivia: soon after they changed their name to BHBS, they released a 7-song CD called 'I Dwell On Thoughts Of You'. It still lists the Driven email-address and website URL as their contact-address.

Driven self-titled tape