Wednesday, April 27, 2016

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South Florida has been pumping out tons of new hardcore bands lately, including this new Vegan Straight Edge band: ECOSTRIKE. This demo is 4 songs taking influence from demo-era Earth Crisis, Strife, Strain, Tension, Slugfest, etc. Check it out if you're looking to satisfy your urge for early 90's-style Vegan "Chugcore".

Stream the demo here:

Monday, April 25, 2016

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There was a good amount of metallic hardcore being churned out of the Northwest in the late 90s, but Mourn The Sun were one of the few bands that were really bringing elements of serious metal into the hardcore scene. 

In late1998, their singer, Myron, left the band, and I believe moved to California. He was briefly replaced by Fenny Perez, who came out of San Jose, CA and the band Cathy Ames. Unfortunately, Mourn The Sun didn't last all that long. They called it a day after their bass player, Tyler Hook, passed away in, I believe, early1999.

In the download below is their 4 song demo tape from 1998, and a small collection of unreleased tracks. The first unreleased song was actually pre-demo and was intended to be part of a comp on Dead End Records. The other two unreleased tracks feature Fenny on vocals, and were recorded in late 1998 at the Art Institute in one take.

Mourn The Sun

Sunday, April 24, 2016

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Unless you've been living under a proverbial rock, you may have seen that Knives Out Records has been pumping out some great releases lately. Most recently, this has included a reissue of the Arkangel - Prayers Upon Deaf Ears 10", a Sworn Vengeance / St. Hood split 10" and this Grimlock - Songs Of Immortality reissue on picture disc 12".

This reissue covers the Songs Of Self CD, which had never been previously issued on vinyl, and the Thirst For Immortality 7" that could also be found as a hidden track on the Songs Of Self CD. 

Historically speaking, picture discs never used to offer the best in sound quality, but this Grimlock reissue sounds really good. The bass rolls through without any distortion and the highs cut through without any sibilance. For those that actually listen to vinyl, as opposed to just collect it, this is a great benefit to the release as a whole.

One of the main stars of this show, though, is the packaging. The standard edition of 400 copies looks fantastic with a well designed layout, and the die hard edition of 100 is truly something to behold. A die cut cover featuring show flyers folds out to reveal the 12" picture disc. And another bonus to the die hard version is an impressive 32 page booklet filled with live photos spanning the bands time together. Both the die hard and standard editions are also hand numbered.

This is a truly fantastic reissue that I think fans of Grimlock will love from top to bottom. Take a visit over the Knives Out Records, their Grimlock page and , of course, the webstore.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Posted by xjustinx | File under : ,
All photos live by Carrie Whitney

For those that haven't heard yet, it's with a heavy heart that we have to pass on the news of the passing of Jody Taylor. You surely all know him from his time as vocalist for Vancouver, BC's STRAIN.

Last Thursday, Jody was killed in a work accident in British Columbia. He had worked as an arborist for the city for 16 years, and loved his job, but a large limb crushed him to death. An article detailing the event can be found here, and a follow up news story, including an interview with his work partner can be seen here.

For those that didn't have the fortune of knowing him personally, Jody was a great person and a true friend to all those that had the pleasure of knowing him. He had deep love and passion for punk/hardcore, records, photography and of course, his ten year old daughter. A GoFundMe account has been setup by a fellow STRAIN member to provide his daughter with a nest egg as she grows older. We implore everyone to check it out, donate if you can, and at the very least, spread the link around far and wide. -

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

It's safe to say that if you're a fan of this blog, you're a fan of metallic hardcore. While many view the 90's as the golden age for this particular brand of hardcore, there is a very strong crop of new bands carrying that torch proudly. Here are ten of my favorite new(er) bands playing a good variety of heavy, metal-tinged hardcore that is sure to pique the interest of readers who frequent the blog. Keep an eye out for these bands!


Hailing from South Florida, DAY BY DAY is one of my favorite bands in hardcore right now, metallic or otherwise. Putting a different spin on metallic hardcore than what most bands are doing today, DAY BY DAY calls to mind bands like Brethren, Neglect, and Cold As Life and the ability that those bands had to conjure up the perfect combination of anger and sorrow, using their lyrics, riffs, and imagery to create a bleak, hopeless mood. It is always cool when a band can conjure up a vibe or atmosphere with their music, and that's exactly what DBD does. Last year they released the Fakes & Liars 12" EP on Eighty-Sixed Records, and have been honing their already insane live show and working on new material. Keep an ear to the ground for this band, they're poised to take over hardcore in the near future.


While Birmingham, Alabama is certainly not the first place in most people's minds synonymous with metallic hardcore, TRUTH'S LAST HORIZON are setting out to change that. Along with COUNTER, another fantastic metallic hardcore band with whom they share members, TLH are putting Birmingham on the map for crushing metal-influenced hardcore. TRUTH'S LAST HORIZON dropped their demo last year, called The Result Of Taking Life, a title referencing the band's Vegan Straight Edge ethics. Fast, riffy, and full of chugging mosh riffs, TLH's sound is reminiscent of the early output from European bands like Caliban, and not-unlike those bands, their songs can go from introspective and melodic clean guitar parts to punishingly heavy breaks in the blink of an eye. This is metallic hardcore in the Vegan Straight Edge tradition at it's finest.


Metallic hardcore is done best when it has that intangible, indescribable sense of urgency. JUKAI is a band that makes you feel that nervous, paranoid urge in the absolute best way possible. The band released their first slab of wax last year on Mass Movement records, and the 7" titled Devoid of Hope, offers 4 songs of cold, calculated HARDcore. Although it's hard to pinpoint a specific two or three bands that JUKAI calls to mind, that's a large part of their appeal. The band takes the best elements of different flavors of metal-influenced hardcore and blends them together in a way that doesn't sound forced or confused.


Over the past few years, the United Kingdom has become a hotbed for metallic hardcore, producing bands like Repentance and Renounced, both of whom have created a massive buzz for themselves both across the pond and here in the States. The newest offering from this group of bands, DIGRESS put out a fantastic 7" last year on Carry The Weight records, titled The Seventh Day. Claiming to take cues from One King Down and Strongarm, DIGRESS wears these influences on their collective sleeve, with songs that bounce between crushing breakdowns and quiet melodic passages. With such a fantastic debut, it'll be interesting to see what this band does next.


Although they put a different spin on the style than the other bands on this list, FL's own BIND are certainly playing incredibly tight, fast, and crushing metal-tinged hardcore. In their short amount of time as a band, BIND has made a name for themselves with their politically charged lyrics backed by neck-snapping time changes and riffs that are equal parts lightning-fast thrash metal and moshy hardcore, this young band shows a lot of promise and is sure to build off the sound on their fantastic demo to come up with a truly badass follow-up.


Violent, ugly and mean, the five tracks on DEPRIVE's 2015 demo dropped out of seemingly nowhere and blew me away. This demo sounds like it could've easily come out of CT in the late 90's. No bullshit filler here, just crushing metallic hardcore done very, VERY right. Salt Lake City has a history of devastating, heavy hardcore, and this demo keeps the tradition going strong.


FOURTH CRUSADE plays crushing vegan metalcore in the vein of European bands who came before them like Arkangel, Reprisal, and Congress. Death Metal and Hardcore come together in perfect fashion when done by these German riffers. With a very small amount of recorded output, this new band has me excited for their next release.


PDC is another band who, while perhaps don't fit the category "metallic hardcore" in the sense that first comes to mind for many, they certainly pay homage to a style of furious metal-influenced hardcore played in the 90's by bands like Left for Dead and The Swarm. Equal parts punk, hardcore, and metal, PDC are a breath of fresh air in current a sea of bands who are decidedly on one end of the spectrum. Despite that, with buzz-saw guitars churning out heavy, crushing riffs, over furious blasts of drums that waver between tempos, their sound is decidedly metallic nonetheless.


While "Clevo" has made a name for itself in the hardcore world with bands like Integrity and Ringworm, HOMEWRECKER is keeping the Cleveland hardcore flame burning with a style all their own. Furious death metal riffs cross with fast, pounding punk drums on the bands most recently LP, Circle Of Death. While this may sound like a combination you've heard a million times before, HOMEWRECKER does it in a way that is truly original. Every bit as heavy live as they are recorded, they have spread the gospel of their punishing sound with a rigorous touring schedule, and show no signs of slowing down, with a split and more tours on the horizon.


A band who's members are spread out across the east coast, MALICE AT THE PALCE, or MATP as they've come to be known, blend crushing metal riffs with groovy NYHC sensibilities to create a final product that is not unlike All Out War or Merauder. With appearances at last years UNITED BLOOD and THIS IS HARDCORE festivals, and a 12" EP on Six Feet Under Records, this band has been causing quite a stir.

Tying in with our most recent post about legendary Miami hardcore band Brethren's upcoming reunion, Eighty-Sixed records has announced the release of Once Again, a selected discography including Brethren's 19 songs of recorded output, remixed and remastered. Along with bands like MINDFRAME and OUT OF SPITE, Brethren epitomizes the style of bleak, heavy hardcore that dominated the landscape of Miami hardcore in the Mid-90's. This is the perfect introduction to the band for a new generation of hardcore kids. Once Again will be available on CD May 1st through Eighty-Sixed records, and you can check out the first remastered track, "Trapped In Reality", a bonafide Miami Hardcore classic, below.

Monday, March 7, 2016

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Mid/Late 90's Miami hardcore legends BRETHREN have announced a second reunion show in April. The line up includes a reunion from Miami's own ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE, rare appearances from MALDITO and THE LOW LIFE, and two of South Florida's best new bands, GUILTY CONSCIENCE and DAY BY DAY. BRETHREN absolutely crushed it at their first reunion appearance last year in South Florida with Morning Again, so if you missed out on that, here's your chance to catch them now!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Posted by xjustinx | File under : , ,
Motive evolved heavily over the course of their time as a band, and this final recording from 1998 shows them moving much further into metal territory. Fetus Shall Become Ash contains four tracks clocking in at twenty two minutes. Two of these tracks did appear on compilation CDs a year later from Blasphemour Records and one other that I've never been able to find much information about.

As I've listened to this demo over time, I find myself thinking this is actually the best stuff they ever recorded.

Motive - Fetus Shall Become Ash
[demo 1998]

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Damien Moyal is a verified Florida legend who has been involved with such projects as Culture, Morning Again, Bird of Ill Omen, Shai Hulud, As Friends Rust, etc. I was fortunate enough to catch this interview with him about several of those bands, his early days in South Florida's hardcore scene, and what some of these projects are up to now. This interview originally appeared in Plead Your Case Fanzine issue #13 and is being reprinted in the upcoming Giant Sized Plead Your Case Annual.

Hey Damien. First of all, what was your first hardcore or punk show? How did you get involved with the hardcore scene.

            The first show I remember was a local Miami band called The Goods at Washington Square (which was essentially Miami’s CBGBs) in 1990. I was taken there by some older friends, and immediately fell in love with being inside of a filthy, punk club. I was into a lot of thrash/metal stuff at the time, and dabbling in the usual starter kit lot of punk (Dead Kennedys, Sex Pistols, Exploited, GBH, etc.), but my only frame of reference at that point for venues were huge arenas (I had seen some bigger concerts, like Kiss in 1988) so a small, dangerous dive bar made quite an impact on me. Other early shows that stand out were Exploited and Biohazard at the Junkyard, also on South Beach in Miami in like 1991, and Sepultura with Sick Of It All, Sacred Reich and Napalm Death.
            Around 1990 I had started slowly getting wise to bands like Agnostic Front and Sick Of It All, either from friends or through reading thank-you-lists on other bands’ releases. I liked it, and appreciated that this was a nice balance between the punk I was listening to and the metal I loved. But I think when I really fell in love with hardcore was when I heard Minor Threat. The sheer relate-ability of the lyrics, the energy and urgency, and – very importantly – the photos that showed a kid (like me!) down in the crowd screaming in the faces of other kids (like me!)… I was sold, and I think that was the moment I understood what really made hardcore different from the pomp and fashion of metal and punk.
            Not long after that, I joined up with members of a (very) local band called Midget Stew, who mostly played parties and actually did a lot of Minor Threat covers. They needed a singer and wanted to do something new, so I took the microphone and we called the band US Decline. That was my first band. It was all downhill from there.

What was the hardcore scene like in Florida when you started playing in bands? Are there any particular FL bands from that era that stand out as your favorites?

            Miami had some great bands going at the time. Quit, a very skate-y punk band in the vein of Descendents, was incredible, and to this day their LP ‘Earlier Thoughts’ is one of the best things to have come out of Florida. LOAD was another heavy-hitter that you could catch on almost any weekend. The first proper local hardcore I was familiar with were the bands on the ‘Notes From the South’ compilation 7” that Youth Bus released, like Beyond Reason and Ego Trip, and soon after that the scene was brimming with amazing bands like Mindframe, Timescape Zero and Machine. The next wave brought bands like Tension, Brethren and Culture. I’m really focusing on South Florida bands here, as that was where I was from.
            The scene was really diverse, and it wasn’t uncommon to have ska bands on hardcore shows, hardcore bands on indie pop shows, indie bands on punk shows, etc. For being a pretty tough, somewhat dangerous scene (I never realized how much so until I started touring to other cities), the Miami scene was incredibly open-minded when it came to new bands and styles, and there was an overarching sense of unity across the entire underground scene. We didn’t have a lot of divisive politics.

Obviously Culture was a very political band in a lot of different ways. 20 years later, do you still feel passionate about the same political ideals that you did at that time?

            I still adhere to Culture’s most basic tenet, which was about thinking critically about the status quo, and defying it in areas where you feel it hurts, weakens or threatens free thought and expression. I’m still unapologetically liberal, and still vehemently opposed to oppression by political or theocratic powers. Culture was simplified, perhaps oversimplified, as a vegan and straight edge band, and as far as those topics go, I no longer identify with either. We still have folks in the band that do. But, as you mention, Culture decried a pretty vast array of social and political injustices/issues.

Going from being involved with more "metallic" or heavier bands like Culture, Bird of Ill Omen, Morning Again, etc., did you feel like it was a big change moving on to doing As Friends Rust, which is obviously a different direction musically? Was it strange for you to do a band that was so radically different than other bands you had done prior or was it a natural progression for you?

            I think it was a pretty natural progression. While I always loved playing heavy, dark, screamy, metallic hardcore, I listened to far more melodic hardcore off-stage. I had always wanted to do something more along the lines of Dag Nasty, and (in my mind, anyway) As Friends Rust fulfilled that.

One of my favorite personal Culture songs is "Pimping the Revolution". There has always been a sort of air of mystery around that song since the only recording that seems to be readily available is a live version of it. "Why would the machine mass produce what rages against it?" is a lyric that I have always thought was very cool. Would you care to elaborate a bit on that song and what its meaning was?

          That song was really trying to explore the issue of bands with subversive messages signing to major labels. There seemed to be a prevailing theory, and we’ll use Rage Against The Machine as an example since the line you cited addresses them, that subversive bands were “using” the clueless mainstream music industry as a platform to spread insurgent ideas. I started thinking that this was a bullshit justification, and when looking at a band like RATM’s audience – fraught with khaki-shorted Frat guys – I began to question how much of those messages were getting through. On the other hand, I didn’t want to dismiss the potential entirely, because I saw plenty of flaws with hardcore punk’s tendency to keep subversive messages so insular and protected that they couldn’t really being doing very much good in that capacity either. So the song didn’t really end with any conclusion being drawn… It was really about the question itself: Do these messages do more good underground, or above ground? Do they do any good at all? Is anyone listening?

If you were asked to pick 5 hardcore records that you'd consider "essential" or favorites, what would they be?

            Off the top of my head, I’ll go with (1) Judge’s “Bringing It Down” which is the perfect balance of introspection and anger, hardcore and metal, sad and pissed, (2) the Downcast 7” because ‘Hate Comes Easy’ is easily one of the best hardcore songs ever written, (3) the Inside Out 7”, (4) the Minor Threat discography and (5) Corrosion of Conformity’s “Six Songs with Mike Singing”

Are there any current or more recent hardcore bands that you're interested in? If not, what kind of music do you find yourself listening to as of late.

           As far as newer hardcore goes, I’ve been digging Turnstile, Wisdom in Chains, Expire and Alpha & Omega a lot. Maybe my favorite newer band at the moment is Noy, from Tokyo, whom I’ve had the honor of touring with twice now. They’re amazingly intense live, and give 100% of themselves when they play. Pretty special to watch.

In recent years you've been involved with On Bodies? What's going on with that band currently? What other projects, if any, are you currently involved in?

            On Bodies just got back from Japan (last night, actually) where we played a handful of really awesome shows. Cosmic Note Records from Japan released a CD that combines “The Long Con” EP and our (brand new) “Unremarkably Mortal” EP. A similar release will be coming in Europe soon-ish, but on vinyl, and in the US, Irish Voodoo Records will release the “Unremarkably Mortal” EP on 7”. We’re in the process of booking some US dates as well.
            Aside from that, I’m doing the occasional As Friends Rust show (two dates this late spring/early summer) and the occasional Culture show. This year is the 20th anniversary of Culture’s “Born of You” LP, so we’re reissuing it with new artwork on Germany’s Demons Run Amok label, and playing the Florida Rules Fest in June.

Your favorite show you ever played with Culture?

               My first real show with Culture was with Strife and Sick Of It All. Kind of hard to top that one, considering I was 17 and had been in the band like three weeks. The first reunion show in Miami in 2012 was amazing, and This Is Hardcore 2014 was as well.

Culture has a new 7" coming out this year. Tell me a bit about that 7".

             The reunion shows have been so much fun, and a very cool reminder of how much we (the Born Of You lineup) like playing together. So, on the heels of these reunion shows, we were curious to hear what we might sound like today, after twenty years of change and growth. The two new songs are no indication of any future shit, and while they bear some of the essence of old Culture material, they’re definitely more modern and different. We weren’t all interested in 90s hardcore replication, but I’m sure the traces will be there.

For those who don't know, what's the story behind the "Mike Warden Can Suck It" record, which seems to include a lot of alternate recordings of songs from Born Of You?

              Well, it never came out, but was basically just a re-recording of five of the “Born Of You” songs. The idea being that we felt Mike/Conquer The World had been less than honest about his sales and pressings of “Born Of You” so we wanted to re-do some of the songs on a different label, as a limited jab at him, inspired by Judge’s “Chung King Can Suck It” release.

Thank you so much for doing this interview. Any last words or shout outs you'd love to give?

               Thanks for being interested! Culture still has a few plans up its sleeve, and we try to post regularly on our Facebook page: – Aside from that, keep your eyes peeled for On Bodies, because we’re hoping to turn it up a notch this year:

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Posted by xjustinx | File under : , , ,
Tacoma's Safe And Sound will be releasing a new 7", Embers Still Remain, shortly via Life To Live Records and Assault Records. They've been flying the flag of vegan straight edge in the Northwest for some time now, and have no signs of slowing down, as they plan to tour the full US in March and hope to hit Europe by year's end.

They just put out a video for the track "Dream" that can be seen below. If you're into the likes of One King Down, Burn and early era Morning Again, check it out.