Thursday, October 14, 2010

Woe : New album out on Candlelight Records

New Woe record: Quietly, UndramaticallyI've just read that the Philly based Black metal band WOE recently released a new album entitled Quietly, Undramatically via Candlelight Records. Why should that be relevant to you? Because the band's first record, A spell for the death of man, is still an awesome record that brings a very freshening "non-style and non-image attitude" into a genre that sometimes seems to concentrate way too much on those things. Since I haven't had the chance to listen to the album yet there's not really much more to say about it; but I'll surely check the album out asap.

Get more information and listen to the title track on

Friday, October 8, 2010

Millenial Reign - Bones...Dust...Nothing (Review)

This decent record could easily become a very sought-after collectors item, due to the fact that Damian from the almighty Fucked Up is doing the vocals. If that wouldn't be rad enough, Jordan from No Warning/Terror is playing guitar. So I guess this is enough all-star-line-up'ness. Millenial Reign's only goal was to worship Integrity, nothing more, nothing less. Well, they definitely succeeded in this, there's not much more to say about it. Heavy, Melnick'ish riffs, sick solos, Damian bawls the dark, metaphoric lyrics, so everything you'd expect from a Holy Terror worship is there and accomplished well. I mean there are many, many bands at the moment that try to do the classic Integrity sound, copying everything from A to Z and think nevertheless that they're the most innovative thing in the world. Millenial Reign copy everything, too, but, and that's what makes the difference, they never said they wanted to do anything else. And, as opposed to this whole "Holy Terror kindergarten", the lyrics are really worth to be read, and even come along with short liner notes. Conclusion: for sure not the reinvention of the wheel, but super well done and Damian is cool anyway. Go for it.

Hear it:
Buy it: A389 Records online store

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Surroundings - Self-Titled (Review)

So here is my contribution to Lost In Sabbath. Another old jaded dude.It doesn't happen often nowaways that a band really catches a glimpse of my eyes and ears. I finally figured out that my taste in music stagnated somewhere in time and only few bands that formed and released their shit after 2003 interest me much but every now and then you cross something.

I stumbled across the name SURROUNDINGS in a thread about the beef between their singer and Mr give-me-my-burger-usa-rules (Let Down. Mother of Mercy, soon on a European Tour again). Apparentely they played a show together and the singer of SURROUNDINGS was watching Let Down in the front row with a beer in his hand (nothing better than having a beer in hand and enjoying the show of a mediocre band) and got his keg of beer kicked out of his hands and getting called a whiny faggot afterwards. So this incident founded my sympathy and I have started my researches. The result was well this something, a split record called "World Darkness" between Pellinore and SURROUNDINGS. [Yes, the word actually is WORLD and not this fancy fashionshit like VVorld.]

I have to admit that Pellinore are great as well but SURROUNDINGS really did it for me. Besides this split they have released so far a nice 7" called "Monuments in Ruins". This year Surroundings have now unleashed their first long-player (I guess you can call it that way) which is simply-put "self-titled". So why did I claim that I rarely listen to any new shit. Well, the new shit I mainly listen to sounds like old shit, like the good old days. I will now quote the influences that SURROUNDINGS stated on their myspace and as you will see, besides the name-dropping, they cover a nice range of influences, at least in my book: Eyehategod, Neurosis, Unsane, Discharge, Nirvana, Earth and Discordance Axis.

And if this isn't self-explanairy enough, I will give you a short description: SURROUNDINGS are playing their own interpretation of hardcore: lightning fast, heavy and slow, down-tuned riffage, distortion and ear-piercing feedback and heartfelt screams/yells. Calling them powerviolence won't do them justice, neither are they a Mind Eraser rip-off. They remind me of Drop Dead and Siege a fair amount of times and they have this southern sludge introspective nihilistic element. The lyrics are harsh and tell us that this world and what man made out of it is just a huge pile of shit, the songs are short and grinding. When you expect it the least SURROUNDINGS will turn around the song structure and let the song fall apart in a gritty way. Then you have deal with an unpredictable feedback-infested muddy slowpaced swamp and the notes keep dragging and dragging. While most (let's call them evil, depressived, dark) bands stick to a well-ridden dark and depressed formula: Let's just play real slooooow and let nothing else happen and bore the shit out of everyone, SURROUNDINGS present a different approach with the sheer rage, compressed negativity and the brick to your face.
The guy has a voice that I envy and I jealously wish was my own. He has a great feeling when it comes down to place the words and how to fit them in. Most vocalists don't understand that their voice is an immanent element of a band, another instrument to be taken care of, another piece to keep it all together and they give the sound their own gritty character. SURROUNDINGS know how to do it and how to do it right.
I haven't been excited about a band coming from the hardcore spectrum lately and that's why you should be too.

1. World of Failure
2. Virgilkapelle
3. Harvesting Dirt
4. No Seed
5. Man Has Failed
6. Dead Mass
7. Five Suns
8. Trouble In the Dunes
9. The Jar Is Empty
10. Walls and Wires
11. Gluttony of God

Hear it:
Buy it:

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A new dawn rising: six new bands

When you're in a band that plays shows on a quite regular basis it's probably unavoidable that you get to know loads of new bands. Most of the time local ones that are opening, and more often than not those bands aren't that great - probably the reason why most of them never leave ther "local band" status. However, sometimes it happens that those new bands leave a good impression, may it be because they are totally rad people or the music and performance is really inspiring. Within the last few months we played with a couple of new/young bands that appealed to me in a way or another - so I decided to feature six new bands on this blog. The rules are easy: six bands, the same five questions to each band. Enjoy this and support the bands!

LightbearerLightbearer are from Essen, Ruhrpott, Germany. We played their first show with them, and as far as I remember it was the best first show I've ever seen. In addition, their bass player Ansgar is one of the raddest persons I know.

When have you startet the band and what is your motivation?
Our drummer Marcel and I (bass) started the band almost one year ago. It took us a few months to find a singer and the guitarplayers. We started the band because we wanted to play heavy music that fits our taste and we needed an excuse to have some beers during normal weekdays.

Name three bands that influenced your music and/or attitude...
Speaking for the whole band I would say that Pantera is definitely number one. Next is Down and at the moment The Sword for one half of the band and High on Fire for the other half.

...and now tell what makes you unique.
We have really nothing that makes us unique. We are just a bunch of guys who like to play heavy music and drinking beer.

Your lyrics usually deal with...
Anger, Frustration, Destruction, and Death... keep it metal... haha. But I think we´re going in for Satan next time... hahahaha

Your next plans as a band?
Honestly speaking, there is no real plan at the moment. We just want to play some good shows and hang out with friends. Hopefully, we´ll find a label soon and have a 7" produced. We are also talking to some friends to have a split 7" in a few month and if we are lucky we can play a tour next year and have enough money to hit the studio again.

A wild band from Vienna, Austria. Hard partying whiskey drinkers and hell raisers with the heart in the right place. Love 'em.

When have you startet the band and what is your motivation?
I think our first practice was some time around December 2008. We never had a certain goal in mind or anything, we just wanted to write some songs, have some kinda outlet, you know.. and yeah, that's still what it's about.

Name three bands that influenced your music and/or attitude...
I hate such questions, they're always pretty hard to answer as there are usually a billion of influences and they change on a daily basis. However, there are of course some constants, recently including mainly Cleveland/Holy Terror style bands, and a lot of Thrash and Death Metal classics, such as Kreator or Bolt Thrower.

...and now tell what makes you unique.
Well, we're still trying to find what you could call our own sound. As we develop as human beings throughout the years, so do our creations, and the more music we write and play, the more distinct our ideas become. In the last time, we tried to break out of that generic hardcore song structure our demo songs still had. I don't know if that makes us unique, but we actually just want to create music that we ourselves like at the very moment, the song comes into existence. Everything else would be kinda strange anyway, I think.

Your lyrics usually deal with...
The usual stuff: feeling confused, disoriented and misplaced in this world. This is of course very generalized but sums up everything quite well, haha.

Your next plans as a band?
As mentioned before, we're still working on finding a unique sound. Something that doesn't feel like the music we write actually came from someone else. This is our music, so we want it to sound that way. Of course we also want to do everything every band wants to do like releasing a lot of records, getting rich and never having to work again.

InfectedInfected are from Saxony, Germany. We shared the stage twice. They instantly got my attention with their super heavy, no bullshit attitude. There are many bands doing the super-fast-meets-super-slow-thing right now, but Infected are able to scare you

When have you startet the band and what is your motivation?
We startet in fall 2007 as a side project, with honestly no expectations, but in early 2009 Infected became our main band. The only motivation was just to hang out, having a great time together and creating a beast that contains powerviolence, doom, metal and punk.

Name three bands that influenced your music and/or attitude...
Eyehategod, Mind Eraser and some 80's stuff like Depeche Mode, Phill Collins etc.

...and now tell what makes you unique.
Uhhh, hard question, don't know, we're just a band playing the music we like. The people who listen to our shit should decide if we're unique or not. We don't care.

Your lyrics usually deal with...
Disbelief & SATAN!

Your next plans as a band?
Artwork and master for the split with Mind Trap are finally done. Hopefully it will be released in November. Also in November or December we will recording a few new songs for another split with our mates from Dresden in Equality, if you're into Botch or Converge, check them out. And of course, playing shows as often as we can.

ColdburnTo be honest, we've never played with Coldburn so far. A fact that sucks, because they're great. As easy as that. I know Christian, one of their guitarists, when we were touring together with his old band The Realness. If Coldburn can get their shit together, they could get big.

When have you startet the band and what is your motivation?
We started the band in autumn 2009 and our motivation was to play hardcore music the way we like it. I guess theres nothing more to say about it.

Name three bands that influenced your music and/or attitude...
Terror, HopeCon and Biohazard.

...and now tell what makes you unique.
I think its hard to say what makes a band unique in times, when there are so many bands around. Were definitely doing our own thing, but were also influenced a lot by music we‘ve heard, shows we‘ve seen and the lives we‘ve lived. We dont know if we are really unique and in the end its up to the listeners and show-visitors to decide if we are.

Your lyrics usually deal with...
Situations and experiences we had, made and learned from. Since most of the stuff which had huge impact on us were feelings like anger, letdown and hard times we shout out about that. However, we dont like to be considered as a negative hardcore band cause in the end were all pretty nice guys and our message definitely has a positive outlook. But to sing about being in love and partying wouldn‘t fit the musical idea.

Your next plans as a band?
We recorded songs for a 7inch which is coming out this winter on Worship Records. Apart from that we wanna play as many shows as possible, meet more great people on the road and hopefully go on our first tour next year.

Mind TrapIn a review of their demo I wrote that they remind me of a glue sniffing version of Infest. Well, they still do. Playing with them is always cool, and just like their friends of Juggernaut they like to have a nip of liquor now and then.

When have you startet the band and what is your motivation?
We started with Mind Trap in early 2009! Our motivation? It’s the best feeling when we see people going nuts and singalong to our music.

Name three bands that influenced your music and/or attitude...
Infest, Neanderthal and Mind Eraser.

...and now tell what makes you unique.
Well, each of us has a stunning, beautiful, cute and intelligent girlfriend. Be jealous!

Your lyrics usually deal with...
This fucked up place we call earth and these fucked up things we call humanity and religion.

Your next plans as a band?
At the moment we are playing a game. It’s called “Who in the band can be the laziest?”. But in the next few weeks a split 7” with Infected from Germany will come to life on Power Trip Records. Our plans for the next year are simple, release the first LP and play as much shows as we can. Thanks for your support. All of you should listen to Avalanche!

SoultraderMy first impression of Soultrader, when we played with them a few months ago, was: "Damn, their intro sounds kinda like SOD." All in all, Souldtrader doesn't sound like SOD, but they're a good band anyway haha. They recently released a 7" called "Inner Universe", so check that out!

First of all we have to say that it's difficult to entirely answer these questions without neglecting some personal aspects because subordinating five individuals in one group never engenders an unmitigated result. Nevertheless, here we go...

When have you startet the band and what is your motivation?
We started around May 2009 after different other projects with the intention to create a personal escape out of reality and just beeing creativ. As a band and as five individuals we try to slip through the daily torture while making music and writing lyrics which just reflects the liaison of all of us.

Name three bands that influenced your music and/or attitude...
Hard to choose only three from tons of stunning bands out of over 30 years “hardcore/punk history”. We would say that we are influenced by many different genres which are mainly based in the hardcore/punk/metal movement. Especially the 90s took our fancy. Naming only three bands would cause a misrepresentation, so this has to be enough.

...and now tell what makes you unique.
Listen to our records and tell us.

Your lyrics usually deal with...
...personal emotions, problems, experiences and/or politics; both packed up in a garment out of metaphers and destined to make you think.

Your next plans as a band?
We try to play as many shows as possible. Furthermore SOULTRADER will write and record some new songs for a planned 10”. Therefore we search for supplementary labels (next to Demon Spawn Records). So hit us up.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Starkweather - This Sheltering Night (Review)

Most of the time you pick up a record, listen to it two or three times, and maybe like it. You remember every song after the first listening, have your favourite ones after the second time, maybe already know some of the words. You understand the song structures, the riffs, the composition, if you like the record it gives you a good feeling. But sometimes you listen to a record that's very different - the music that beats down on you is so complex it's hard to follow the songs, with a shitload of riffs is packed into every single song, when you listen to the record for the first time you turn it off after three tracks because you can't handle it. If you knew Starkweather before their latest record on Deathwish (they're already around since 1989), you know what kind of record "This Sheltering Night" is: a complex, harsh, uncomfortable one. By the way, props go out to Deathwish for releasing awesome records like this and not only mediocre crap like Killing The Dream. So I think in a way Starkweather translated 70ies Prog-Rock à la King Crimson into (Post-)Metal, with all its weird riffs, chords, time signatures and guitar leads, all very heavy and very, very dark. The most outstanding thing about Starkweather is (and always were) the vocals though. It is simply unbelievable how one person can come up with so many different voices (and not sounding like someone who tries to fake them). From sung vocals to nearly guttural ones, screaming, whispering, it's all there and all good. As good as it is, I have to make clear that "This Sheltering Night" is definetely a record that demands a lot of time. I listened to it for quite some time now and still discover new aspects, new layers of guitar underneath the riff-storm on top or new sick breaks I haven't perceived before. So if you like to spend a lot of time with one and the same record, and wish not to get bored after two days, check out "This Sheltering Night", if you're looking for your rather generic Hardcore or Metal record, better stay away from this one.

Starkweather on myspace

Pulling Teeth/Shin To Shin split 7" (Review)

When I read the news that Aaron Melnick of Integrity/In Cold Blood fame would release a split 7" with his new band Shin To Shin and Pulling Teeth on the flipside I was so amazed I couldn't sleep for three days. Aaron Melnick is definetely in the 5 of the most influental guitarists for me - I stopped counting the riffs I stole from him. As you might guess after this introduction, I really expected A LOT from Shin To Shin. But when I listened to one of the tracks online as soon as possible, I was quite disappointed. On the one hand I probably expected to much, on the other hand I didn't really know what kind of sound to expect. Of course I ordered the 7" anyway, and after it took a few spins on my record player I had to reconsider my opinion. I think what turned me off the first time was the fact that Shin To Shin's riffs aren't in the fashion of Melnicks "early works". The music hasn't too much to do with the classic Clevo-Hardcore sound, but, in my opinion, a whole lot with first wave Black Metal, think of bands like Hellhammer, early Celtic Frost and, most of all, early Venom. This, a little bit of Motörhead'ish rock and Discharge's wall-of-sound brutality is what Shin To Shin sound like, well, at least in my ears. And the more often I listen to it, the better I like it. It's different, it's not very Hardcore'ish, but it's hard, and that's the important thing isn't it?
On the flipside, like I mentioned before, Pulling Teeth. This song was already avaible online for quite some time, sounds like Slayer meets Integrity and is awesome, like all of their stuff. Nothing more to say. Oh well, one more thing: the artwork sucks, what's the matter with a bunch of bugs? I don't get it.

A389 Records

Hatewaves - Taste The Beast (Review)

A while ago I received a five-7"-pre-order-package from A389 Records (what else...), but due to the fact that I fall asleep after 30 minutes at most after I come home from work, I haven't found the time to review that stuff. And if I keep up this rate I'll have all five 7"s reviewed in January 2011. Nice. Anyway, I'll start with the Hatewaves 7" because of all records in the package I like this one best. Hatewaves is another band with Dom from Pulling Teeth/A389 Records on guitar, so I knew already beforehand that this record wouldn't suck. Somehow this band reminds me of a faster version of Until The End, especially the style of the (backing) vocals, the production and, most of all, the super heavy moshparts. But don't expect this "mosh part during another mosh part"-thing Until The End celebrated in excess, Hatewaves keep it rather short, but nonetheless heavy. Throw in a few blast beats here and there, pissed-off lyrics (on this record is the first anti-facebook-song I know...), a bunch of catchy sing-alongs ("there's nothing free but death and air, I pay no taxes I refuse to share" <= I've had these lines in my head now for weeks) and you'll get a quite amazing Hardcore record. By the way, on the label's website it says "Brutal, stupid and awesome grind/hardcore". Now it's time for me to practise spin kicks. 

Hatewaves on

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Morning Again reunion confirmed

I realized a lot of people coming to this blog via google because they searched for information concerning the Morning Again reunion, so here's the newest info from Stuck In the Past:
It's true: Morning Again will play one reunion show this year: The show will take place at Churchill's Pub in Miami on Saturday, December 11 2010. More details will be released later this week but the following bands are scheduled to play:

Morning Again
Kids Like Us
All Hell Breaks Loose
Remembering Never
Knock Em Dead

The lineup for the band will be John and Steve on guitar, Jerry on bass, Kevin on vocals and Matt on drums. 

More info: Stuck In the Past blog.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Pale Creation - s/t 7" (Review)

When I heard that Pale Creation were about to release a new 7", I was more than stoked. I mean their last record was released in the last century, who would expect to get the chance to listen to new Pale Creation songs at all? Not me. And of course my expectations were quite high - to me, the Twilight full length is one of the most outstanding records of the 90ies. Surely rooted in Clevelands Hardcore scene, Pale Creation managed to create something really unique. It's not just Hardcore mixed with Metal, so way deeper than that. I'm not sure if Neurosis was an influence, but I think the comparison is not too odd. The factor that really made me an Pale Creation addict are the guitar solos: They're not of the Thrashy kind like those of Integrity for example (which are, of course, awesome as well), but more atmospheric, with loads of delay onto them, and a very smooth neck-humbucker sound. It's the kind of solos that let you shiver. 
To make a long story short: the new 7" doesn't sound exactly like the Twilight record, which isn't too surprising when you consider the timespan in between, it sounds different but still awesome. I'd say it's more a mix of the (split-) 7"s and the full length, soundwise, and the songs are just plain great, really, there's not much more to say about it. The song on the A-side, "Rose Colored Haze", comes with an super spheric intro, then the guitars all of a sudden start, and you get washed away by a whirl of harsh vocals, double bass, and the heaviest riffs pressed onto vinyl in 2010. The solo ain't missing as well and it completes the song in a way only Pale Creation solos can. The song on the B-side, "Wake Of temptation" starts calm, with sung (!) vocals, and leads to the chorus, where Dwid Hellion is doing guest vocals. And whereas I still don't like his vocals on the new Integrity full length, here he's doing an awesome job. All in all, I think "Wake Of Temptation" is arguably Pale Creation's best song ever, and for damn sure the best song released in 2010 so far. Seriously, I'm addicted to this song. It's emotive, it creates a tense atmosphere, it's heavy, dark... I don't know, it's hard to describe music in words. Just go get this 7", and if it's the only 7" you buy this year, so be it. There's not likely anything better to come. 

Pale Creation:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Black Breath - Heavy Breathing

Black Breath got my attention sometime last year, when they got featured in the same fanzine like my own band. They had one record out, "Razor To Oblivion", a 10" I purchased shortly afterwards. A heavy, solid record for everyone who likes rough Hardcore and Swedish Deathmetal (so obviously this record was made for me, haha), giving you a good 50/50 mix of both genres. 
Their new record entitled "Heavy Breathing" was released via Southern Lord Records, somehow I missed to order it directly, so one day I checked the SL-site again when the vinyl version's gonna be released, and found out it was already sold out. Bummer. But Per Koro Records from Germany got some copies shortly afterwards, so I finally got mine. And, as you've probably heard somewhere else, this record is fucking awesome. It leans definetely more towards early Swedish Death Metal, sound- and songwise, a.k.a. Entombed "Left Hand Path" era, Dismember "Like an everflowing stream" era, or, not so Swedish but for sure influental for those, Autopsy. Heavy, groovy Death Metal riffs, uptempo beats but not ridiculously fast, that's the way it goes. Add a good dose of Motörhead and Discharge, put a Boss HM-2 pedal between guitar and the old Marshall, there you go: Black Breath. The vocals are the main factor reminiscent of Hardcore, but don't get me wrong: "Heavy Breathing" for sure eyes more towards Metal than the previous record. 
The first Black Breath full length should complement everybody's record collection (if available haha) who likes his Death Metal "Stockholmish", his Hardcore raw and/or his hair long. Amazing record that leaves me longing for more. 

Black Breath:

Southern Lord Records

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Agalloch - Wooden Box 7xLP

I've waited quite a long time for this. But after I saw the massive box, I knew it was worth it. What more can I say, check out the pictures, and if you haven't yet, check out Agalloch, especially their latest record, "Ashes against the grain".

The box
Logo detail

The open box

Booklet (contains all lyrics) detail

Booklet detail


The four records (three of them are double LPs)

Box detail

Call me a nerd, I think it's beautiful and totally worth its price. 
The box is exclusively available through the Viva Hate Records webstore.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Integrity - The Blackest Curse (Review)

The latest Integrity output called "The Blackest Curse" was maybe one of the most anticipated records in 2010. And 2009. And 2008, or since the date it was scheduled for the first time, when ever that was. Because of the growing attention towards the classic "Holy-Terror"-sound (whatever that term means, nobody really seems to know that, even bands that use that term to describe themselves don't know it; I'd really like to know what the idea behind Holy Terrorism is, if there really is one) during the last few years, a lot of people look at the originators Integrity and what they are doing within this sub-sub-genre. And, to be honest, I was quite curious myself. Would Dwid surprise/piss off a lot of people again by doing something different like Integrity 2000, would Integrity do a second "To Die For" record, or would they even go for a more "classic" Integrity sound à la "Humanity Is The Devil"? The truth lies in between the latter two options. The riffs are huge, the solos are awesome, the songs are all heavy and dark, in general they are a lot more raw and unpolished than those on "To Die For" - of course, due to the awesome, rough production, that even adds a punk-feeling to the sound. So song-wise, "The Blackest Curse" is definetely a winner. But not everything's good about this record: the total lack of any information about who actually played on that record, no lyrics, no credits, just nothing, could be interpreted as the artist's idea of focusing the listener to the music, but basically it pisses me off. I mean I'm not a fan of liner notes that are longer than the lyrics themselves, nor of never ending thanks lists, and I see that those would be pretty displaced in an Integrity record anyway. But at least some basic information about the record would have been fine, if all records I buy would be like this one I'd stop paying for them and download everything. I mean if you don't miss anything by downloading a record instead of buying it, why do it then? But the fact that makes "The Blackest Curse" just a good, and not an awesome record is Dwid's vocal performance. The vocals are monotone, too deep, and way too gargling, in a way they even sound a bit bored, you know, just sung somehow - no comparison to the grandness of the early Integrity recordings. After a while I really feel annoyed - and keep in mind, this is written by someone who "likes" the vocals on Napalm Death's "Enslavement" record for example.
To sum it up, if you dig the early records by this band, and don't need a super high-end sound like they had on "To Die For", you'll probably like "The Blackes Curse". But because of the substandard vocals and the lack of information I'd only give this record a 7 out of 10.

Integrity on myspace
Deathwish Records

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Love Below - Reproductive Rights 7" (Review)

The beginning of the first track reminds me of Napalm Death’s „Enslavement“ record, just because every record that starts with a bass drum with lots of reverb does so. Well, not the worst first impression I’d say. The Love Below are quite hard to classify, which isn’t a bad thing, somehow they sound like a tougher version of Left For Dead, which is a stupid thesis anyway because Left For Dead were tough as fuck. Next try. The Love Below combine the heaviness of bands like early Blacklisted and the rawness and riffs of bands like Left For Dead or the more Hardcore-ish songs of The Swarm, with vocals that remind me of spazzy Hardcore outfits like early Some Girls or even Swing Kids. The lyrics are quite personal, quite pissed, and more in the vein of Hardcore ca. 2001, but without all the sadness-thing. On their myspace page they state their influences the following: "godlessness. drug abuse. adult situations". I guess that sums it up pretty well.  The more often I listen to this, the better it gets, this record is definetely a grower. At first I thought something like „well, another Hardcore record, not bad, but not exciting as well“, but after a few more turns this record get’s damn awesome, and proves that you just can’t go wrong with A389 Records. Oh, and on the cover artwork there’s a lot of pink. Hint, hint. 

The Love Below on myspace
A389 Records

Virgin Witch - s/t 7" (Review)

Here we have a cool Hardcore item on a small label I unfortunatly haven’t heard about until now, Free Cake Records. In Virgin Witch, Dom from Pulling Teeth is filling on the bass and guitar duties, so I knew beforehand that this shit’s gonna rule. So what music can you expect from a one sided 7“ with two songs, the flip side of the record with a silk screened pentagramm on it, and a cover artwork that has everything what’s good (boobs, skulls, devil horns)? Let me say it like this, if the number of the Os in the word doom correlates with the slowness of the music, the first track is definetely a dooooooooooooom song. Sludgy, with nice twin guitar harmonies here and there, and realy slow, mean vocals, you know the deal. Nothing to bring you into an happy mood, though, like Grief when they had a really bad day. The second song is faster, not really super fast but a solid midtempo, a good Hardcore song in the vein of Pulling Teeth (sorry for the unoriginal comparison), and the solo is one of the best Dom has done so far. It could very well be on one of the earyl Angel Witch recordings as well. I love Angel Witch’s solos. Virgin Witch is probably only one of Dom’s many side projects, but a very good one and I hope that there will be more tunes of that band sometime soon.

Nails - Unsilent Death (Review)

Does anybody remember the movie 28 Days Later? In that film humans get infected by a virus, that is basically like to pure rage and turns its victims into some kind of zombies („some kind of“ because they are able to run and climb, something a normal zombie doesn’t). Why am I mentioning this? The first time I’ve listened to this LP, I thought that this record was pure rage pressed on vinyl. And I still think it is. At first I wanted to make the usual Dropdead-meets-early-Terror-comparison, and it still would describe pretty good what’s going on here, but this morning, on my way to the bus, I suddenly knew of what band Nails, especially the new record, reminds me. I think Nails are like a Hardcore-interpretation of Terrorizer (speaking of Terrorizer I only speak about their masterpiece „World Downfall“ of course, I never even listened to the second record because everybody kept telling me how shitty it was). Nails have the same „all go no slow“ meets unseen brutality attitude, a lot of blastbeats, typical Hardcore-rythm parts, with 20 Boss Heavy Metal pedals between instruments and amps, add the hardest moshparts since Hatebreed's "Satisfaction..." record, there you are. The angriest vocals on earth screaming some of the most pissed off lyrics in Hardcore's short but angry history: "Bow to no man, no pig, no book of myths/tolerate no deception, no ignorance/I'm not your fucking servant" ("No Servant") or "Show your true self/Your loyality runs thin/You want to be liked by everyone/Two-faced faker, fucking traitor/Your feet are firmly planted/On both sides of the drawn line/Coward" (Traitor). A lot of "me against the world"-attitude, which is cool if it's authentic like in Nails' case. Now I probably should write about who’s playing in this band, but I don’t think Nails really need that. This thing was recorded at Kurt Ballou’s Godcity Studios, but don’t expect something rather slick like the Carry On full length (no diss towards Carry On, I love that record), the production is really noisy and dirty, still super heavy and, well, brutal. What more can I say... this is one of THE Hardcore records in 2010, if you’re into bands like [namedropping mode on] early Terror or Hatebreed, Terrorizer, Mind Eraser, Dropdead, Entombed or Napalm Death [namedropping mode off] you’ll be blown away by Nails.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Keept It Real #9 (Review)

Maybe you remember this post from March - I finally found the time to read this whole thing and write a review about it. First of all, the guy who's doing this zine, Apostolis from Athens, Greece, seems to be a very nice dude, so I didn't buy only one zine but six, so if you're from Germany and want to have one of those babies, drop me a line. Price is three Euros plus shipping haha. But back to the review. First thing you realize when you pick this up is of course the artwork, and this one looks really cool, as you can see on the picture to the left. It was done by a guy named Peio. Second, the paper is quite thick, especially the cover, but the normal pages as well, so reading this thing is also a haptic experience, which is cool. Zines that are made of this super thin paper (like MRR for example) always tend to annoy me after a while, because the pages get ripped up quite fast. No diss towards MRR intended by the way. Content-wise, this zine offers a good mixture of bands, and from a subjective point of view, of bands I can relate to. I especially enjoyed the interviews with Pulling Teeth, Poison The Well, Vitamin X (I didn't know Wolfi of Tangled Lines fame is drumming in that band now, I did an interview with him like five years ago) and above all (and to my own surprise) Greg Bennick of Trial. He has a lot of interesting things to say, and manages to do it in an entertaining way. The let downer is IMO the Lewd Acts interview, due to the LA-guy's laziness to come up with a little bit more interesting answers. The questions in all interviews are above the average you usually get to read, although I wish that Apostolis would have pressed on certain topics a little bit more. Then there's an article about Krishna consciousness, not something groundbreaking new, but on the other hand, 90 percent of today's Hardcore kids surely don't know about the connection between Hardcore and Krishna anymore. Personally, I always thought it was kinda strange, and this not only due to the fact that Krishna also involves some kind of organised religion, and with that, religious leaders, something that doesn't go to well hand in hand with Hardcore in my book. The other side of the coin is that I'm still siked about hanging out with the guys from 108, especially Vic, three years ago or something when we had the chance to play with them. Vic is cool, and for sure wouldn't be the person he is without all that Krishna-rave. But back to the Keep It Real zine, well, there's not much left to tell you, there's also a photo report from last years Fluff Fest, I never understood what's so great about festivals, because this is not what keeps Hardcore alive, but I can understand that a lot of people appriciate the chance to see a lot of good bands in a very short time. In addition to this content there are a couple of record reviews as well, I know people who only read the record reviews in zines. Whatever, to bring this to an end, this printzine is definetely worth your money, all in all it's nice to read, looks great and seems to be the perfect match with a hot summerday by the swimming pool, hanging out, drinking ice tea, and reading a zine. 

For info, orders, trades etc. pp.:

And like I said, I also have a few copies flying around, if you're interested, let me know!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New layout

Today I had an interview for a pretty cool internship, I can't really say how it was. I mean, it was a pretty nice talk, but I think I talked too much bullshit all the time haha. We will see. Hopefully I get the job and hopefully it'll help me to find some kind of direction after my studies. Anyway, afterwards I felt some kind of motivation, so I decided to "relaunch" the layout of LIS, looks pretty cool IMO, I guess all the woodcut stuff is a little bit worn out since every jack ass-wanna be-holy terror band, and not even those, every Hardcore band that tries to be "dark", uses woodcuts. Whatever. I have a bunch of stuff planned in the near future, stay tuned for that, until then:


Monday, May 17, 2010

Morning Again reunion

You've probably heard about that: Morning Again will reunite for a bunch of shows in the US and Europe. I probably won't go haha, but it would quite rad to see them playing songs like "God framed me" or "Martyr"

Info found on xStuck in the pastx.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Keep It Real Fanzine Issue No. 9 out now

My friend Apostolis from Greece asked me to do a post about the newest issue of his print-zine, because it just got released. Well, I don't know a lot about it now, because I haven't read it yet, but since I ordered a few copies I will review the zine later on. 

For now I can tell you what's inside: Interviews with Greg Bennick of Trial, Birds Of A Feather, Lewd Acts, Confronto, Vitamin X, To Kill, Pulling Teeth, Poison The Well and Despite Everything. Especially the combination of Pulling Teeth and Poison The Well is fucking rad, I wouldn't have thought that somebody except me likes both bands haha. Besides that you'll get a six pages photo report of Fluff fest '09, a thought provoking article concerning Krishna Hardcore Consciousness and the usual reviews. 

There will be 500 copies, Din A4, price for this baby is 3 Euros plus shipping. You can contact Apostolis at (also for wholesale and what not).

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Are we still alive?

Uh, sorry for not posting anything for like, months. I'm quite busy at the moment with writing my thesis, and listing to harsh Black Metal like early Mayhem, or to sorrowful tunes like Slowdive. Sounds weird? Well, welcome to my world. 
Destroyer|Borderlines is about to be released in two days, and for the last few weeks a lot of reviews came in. It's funny to see that either people seem to really like it, or think it really sucks. Only very few reviews are in between those two poles. That really makes we wonder how things like "taste" work. I mean, how is it possible that two persons, listening to same same record, come to totally different conclusions? 
One thing that seems to be important is, of course, the scene or subculture the listener feels hisself connected to. Like, there was this one review from this dude whose favourite bands are Children of Bodom and Blind Guardian. The "commercial metal" kind of guy. Of course he didn't like our record. He said something in the meaning of ambitious, but not executed. Other people, who I'd say also came to our shows before and in general belong to same sub-scene or hardcore like we do, like the record. Of course. They understand the different influences, the whole concept behind the album, and they don't expect us to sound like Lamb Of God or something. Then you'll find a lot of reviews written by people, who, sorry for that, don't seem to know A SHIT about music at all. Not necesserilly Hardcore, or extreme Metal. Just no clue at all. One review said "Old School Hardcore with youthcrew melodies" or crap like that. Come on, we might sound like a lot, but Old School Hardcore?! What's that anyway? It's just like names like "Indie" or "Heavy Rock". It sais SHIT about the music, it doesn't mean anything. And "youthcrew melodies", fuck, that's even worse. When I think about youth crew I think of bands like Youth Of Today or Chain Of Strength, Gorilla Buscuits, you name it. And even though those bands are kinda melodic, it's definetly a different kind of melodies than we do. When I read the review I knew what the kid who wrote it looked like: White flesh tunnels in his ears, red, checked shirt above a Go It Alone t-shirt, tight jeans, New Era Vans. Am I right? I'm sure I am. How do I know the Go It Alone shirt? Because that was the only band he compared us to. None of us ever listened to that band. The only effect reviews like that have is that the reader realizes that the writer doesn't know shit. 
One guy thinks the production is bullshit, everybody else thinks it's good. Weird. Even though the cultural studies tell me that every media reception is linked to cultural influences, I don't understand how it works. Maybe the wide range of reviews tells at least one thing: Destroyer|Borderlines is a record that is not just black or white, but releases different feelings in everybody who listens to it (unlike records like "Reign In Blood" everybody loves haha), and call me pathetic: that's the only thing you can hope to achieve by playing music. 
On the other hand: Do I really give a shit? Reviews mean rating music, and that doesn't make a lot of sense anyway, it's just a part of music business. I mean, when I write a review, I want to support the band (that is why you only find good ones on this blog). But a lot of reviews are written because some guy writing for some zine/blog gets it and has to review it, because he's part of the whole music-consume-machinery. Although he's writing for nothing but fame for some non-profit blog. I don't exactly know what I want to tell you haha. Just make up your own mind, listen to what you want, fuck everybody who want's to tell you what to listen to, including me. Culture belongs to you, so use it the way you want it.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Liers In Wait - Spiritually Uncontrolled Art EP

Death Metal time again, today: the only official release by this Swedish band called Liers In Wait (which was released in 1991). I believe they named themselves after that line in "Abominations" by Morbid Angel: "Liars in wait, priests of the night/Make images to burn by the moon/Robbing the spirit, raping gods law/Send up our hate to burn heavens gate" and changed the A to an E. But that's only a guess. Liers In Wait have musically way more in common with what was happening concerning Death Metal in the USA at that time than with the "typical" Stockholm- or Goteburg-style. I'm thinking of bands like Morbid Angel (obviously), maybe Cannibal Corpse and Deicide above all. You know that means we're more on the technical side of things. Loads of riffs, sick harmonies, strange rhythm patterns, you name it. What makes this record so awesome is that Liers In Wait managed to keep their songs technically, catchy, groovy and super heavy at the same time, not to mention the superb production. The band came to live after the break up of Grotesque 1990; their main songwriter Kristian is also the dude behind the songwriting in LIW. Whereas two other guys (Tomas and Alf) of Grotesque went to form what would become one of the best known Swedish Death Metal (and, not their fault, quasi proto-metalcore) bands ever, At The Gates, LIW never really made it, although they definetly had their chances. I'm very curious to listen to their other releases, their seems to exist a demo and even an unreleased LP, but none of it seems to be findable anywhere in the depths of the internet. So if anyone has this stuff or knows where to download it, write me! Most information given here is taken from Ekeroth's book, what else. 

Monday, February 1, 2010

Update on the The Swarm post

Just in case you haven't noticed, I've uploaded three exclusive compilation tracks from The Swarm. Just hit this post, scroll down, there you go!

Judas - s/t 7"

Judas is a band from California, thrashing out some of the heaviest Hardcore imaginable. You already know what to expect just looking at the dark, disturbing artwork, which looks really awesome and contributes a quite big part to the overall violent and dark atmosphere. The lyrics get spitten out in short phrases, not unlike bands like Dropdead, but way sicker. "I am here/From the depths of hell/City streets I dwell/Control this world I shall/Judas lives" (Ascension). That's one song. So as you might guess, the songs are rather short, burning out in an explosive mixture between Powerviolence and Sludgecore, taking no prisoners.  
At first I wanted to order this record directly from the label (16 Oh), unfortunately I never received my 7", nor any replies to my e-mails. So I bought months later from a mailorder in Germany, being glad I wasn't a cry baby not buying the record again haha. Because this shit rules. I wonder why there isn't much more rave about this band.

Judas on

Instilled - Unfinished Business

If you're one of those people who think that American Nightmare should have split after their first 7", Blacklisted lost track after their first full lentgh, and the Frostbite EP is one of the best 7"s ever, this record is for you.
"Unfinished Business" (released on State Of Mind Recordings) delivers seven songs of hard hitting, tough, fast and passionate Hardcore, just like the aforementioned bands and not of a worse quality, sound and songwriting-wise, the last song, "Looks like rain" for example is catchy as hell.
It's really a bummer this band split up without any further releases; if they've kept going (or if this 7" would have been on a bigger label like Bridge 9) they surely would be one of those cult bands. But sadly enough that didn't happen, so Instilled remained largely in the underground of Hardcore. Which isn't a bad thing anyway. After the split up some members went to form a new band called Depression, but they split up not too long afterwards as well. I don't know if Depression ever recorded anything, maybe a few demo tracks.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Mourningside - Confessions Of Disbelieve

One day my friend Lars showed me the myspace site of a band, that, in his words "is a total Disembodied worship", Mourningside AD (actually I don't know if they have that AD now, or not anymore or whatever, because on the cover of my 7" there is no AD). Although Disembodied is probably a huge influence for this band they also remind me of other great 90ies bands, Mean Season for example or even Chokehold. Saying that, you should know what to expect: grooving, hard hitting Hardcore with a super heavy, metallic edge. The lyrics cover mostly personal topics, with a depressed but always combative undertone and a relation to political topics as well: "...we must come to the conclusion that we're on the brink of destruction. Liberation must be gained. Until we're free." (from "Life Deceived"). The production is perfect, not to "vintage sounding" and far away from beeing too slick, just as your favourite releases from New Age records for example.
Maybe Mourningside AD can't stand the comparison anymore, but it just fits so well; if this 7" would have been released 1995, it would be a sought after item now. Excellent stuff which makes me waiting for more! This 7" (released on Hard Press Records) should be avaible at your favourite mailorder or record store, get it.

Mourningside AD on