Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Posted by xjustinx | File under : , , , ,
I've been a bit behind on some album reviews lately, but here's a nice chunk of what has come our way in recent times.

Natural Order - s/t (Purgatory Records)
Unfortunately, this Natural Order 7" came to me cracked in half in the mail, so I've still only heard the two songs on Sound Cloud, but I love what I've been able to hear.  This has a heavy vibe reminiscent of late 90s bands like Turmoil, Bloodlet and Damnation AD.  There's a discordant and noisy aspect that adds to the dark feel provided by the lyrics.  If you're into heavy, mid-paced hardcore, definitely check out Natural Order.

 No Turning Back - No Regrets (Fastbreak Records)
It's crazy that No Turning Back have been around since 1997, and I've heard their name tossed around plenty of times over the years, but for some reason, I've never actually heard them until now.  I can see why these guys have existed for so long in Europe, though.  They carry a nice mix of fast beats and groove oriented riffs that remind me of bands like Terror and Madball.  No Regrets features 11 new tracks, but the US version of the CD contains two bonus tracks that were originally released as a split 7" with SFAR in 2009.  Given that this was my first time hearing No Turning Back, I don't have any old releases to compare this with, but I'm sure I will be seeking some out here soon.

The Weight We Carry - Downcast (Full Circle Attack)
From the first minute that I put this 7" on my turntable, it had upstate New York written all over it.  Heavy and angry are a perfect description, but doesn't quite do it justice.  Although the music carries some huge breakdowns and double kick action, the lyrics also convey a working class sentiment that isn't often seen in heavier hardcore bands, which is a nice change of pace from the standard fare.  It's pretty amazing that they were able to squeeze six songs onto this 7", because they don't feel like they scream by in a short burst.  Overall, this is a pretty impressive 7" for a newer band and label, so I'm anticipating much more from both in the future.

Triggerman - Learning To Lie (1124 Records)
It can always be difficult to review records by bands that have reunited nearly 20 years after they called it quits, especially if you actually enjoyed their output the first time around.  A fear sets in that you might hate the new effort, and that could potentially even ruin your outlook on old material.  Thankfully, that didn't happen at all with the recent Triggerman LP - Learning To Lie.
The songs featured on this LP were actually written in the early 90s before the band broke up, and I think that these songs benefit from the improved recording technology of today.  A lot of older melodic hardcore records are very hit and miss for me due to poor recording quality, or perhaps just studio engineers that didn't know how to handle it properly.  All instruments cut through nicely on this recording, and play well with Joe Nelson's clean vocals.  More than anything, I would say that Triggerman carry a strong Dag Nasty vibe on Learning To Lie.  There's a lot of melody throughout the songs, but they don't detract from the punk nature of the songs themselves.  The fourteen tracks have a nice flow, but I would say stand out tracks are the title track and "This Town".  If melodic, early 90s hardcore is your thing, I'm sure this will fit very nicely into your collection.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

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Blood Runs Black were from Syracuse, NY, and played a pretty chunky hybrid of metal and hardcore.  They released a couple demos, a handful of comp tracks and one EP on Harvest Records before a couple members morphed into Godbelow.  Although there isn't any pertinent date related recording info in the liner notes, I believe this is their second demo from 1994, as it features Kris Wiechmann (Earth Crisis) on guitar.

Blood Runs Black - Demo 1994

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Posted by xjustinx | File under : ,

Right on the heels of news that Terror has signed with Victory Records, another group of hardcore stalwarts has left Century Media in the form of Earth Crisis signing to Candlelight Records.  

Here's the press release:
Candlelight Records proudly announces the worldwide signing of EARTH CRISIS. The Syracuse-based band, featuring vocalist Karl Buechner, guitarists Scott Crouse and Erick Edwards, bassist Ian Edwards, and drummer Dennis Merrick, is currently writing and demoing material for their ninth studio album. Recording is expected to begin in June.

No hardcore or metal fan can be unaware of EARTH CRISIS or the contributions the band has made to heavy music since their founding in 1989. Championing the weak and the voiceless, the band has over 200,000 catalogue sales to date, according to Nielsen Soundscan. Regardless of passing trends, the five-piece has maintained their vision, dedication to their craft (and causes), and most importantly respected their fans in the 20-plus years of their performing career. In 2013, the band embarks on a new chapter delivering mission music as only they can.

Guitarist Scott Crouse says, “We are excited to be working on a new album, and equally as excited to be working on it with Candlelight. Their roster speaks for itself. It's an honor to be alongside bands like Fear Factory, Corrosion of Conformity, and our old friends in Vision of Disorder.” Vocalist Karl Buechner comments, “I'm really looking forward to sharing this next chapter of EC with Candlelight Records. I think they've proven to know the genre well, and will help push us in the right direction.” Candlelight co-owner Steve Beatty notes, “I am very proud to have EARTH CRISIS on Candlelight. I hope our partnership sees the band retain their rightful place in extreme music.”

Founded by Buechner, EARTH CRISIS has enjoyed two chapters in their musical journey. From 1991 to 2001, the straight-edge, vegan band would cultivate a global fanbase. Enduring numerous line-up changes, van accidents, and the natural up-and-down of music industry fads, the band released five full-length albums, two EPs, and two live albums before saying goodbye before a sold out audience at the 6th Annual Hellfest in 2001. Six years later, the band would reunite and perform at the Maryland Metal & Hardcore Festival January 2007. It would open the door to additional performances in the US and Europe, later leading to the band’s headline appearance at 2008’s Firestorm Fest. A rejuvenated EARTH CRISIS would later record two albums, To the Death (2008) and Neutralize the Threat (2011). Each followed by extensive international touring. Revealing a bit about the new album and its focus, Buechner conveys, “Lyrically this new record is going to focus strictly on an animal rights/anti-vivisection theme. Of course this is what the band is known for, but we've actually never solely dedicated an entire album to the topic.”

EARTH CRISIS has made a name for itself not only through punishing metal and hardcore, but via staunch support of straight edge, animal rights, and veganism,” says Lambgoat editor Alex Arnold. “Few bands command the respect that EARTH CRISIS does, and they've earned it through 20 years of hard work and consistency. Contain, control, to dominate! Contain, control, exterminate!”

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Posted by xjustinx | File under : ,
Over at the Metal Blade webstore, pre-orders are now available for Shai Hulud's new album, "Reach Beyond The Sun".  If you're itching to hear a track from it, we did a post a few weeks ago -

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Posted by xCHIPxSEM |
Well it looks like my Mediafire account was suspended...I've received messages from people asking me to re-up files but it looks like I can't. I apologize but I'm not sure what else to do. If anyone else has any suggestions, my ears open.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

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Here's the second (and I believe final) issue of x206x, which was done by Chris Jacobson (Wait In Vain) and Big Jake.  This came out sometime in late 1998, and has interviews with Trial, Indecision, Left With Nothing and Skarhead.  It's a fun zine, even though they completely butchered my last name in the Top 10 lists.

x206x Zine #2