If you enjoy(ed) Aversionline, please check out No Echo, a new music site I co-run. Updated daily.

Texas is the Reason "Do You Know Who You Are?" CD

Posted on Friday, December 30th, 2005 @ 11:23am » permalink

Texas is the Reason - Do You Know Who You Are?I figured I might as well stick with what I did last week and kick off this holiday weekend with yet another outstanding classic from the Revelation Records back catalog (man, what an excellent label that used to be) in Texas is the Reason's "Do You Know Who You Are?", which is among the greatest emo records ever from a band whose time certainly came to an end all too soon. Their memorable songs possessed a unique sound that has never been matched, and probably never will be.

When the band formed in 1994 its members had served not particularly noteworthy stints in Shelter, 108, Ressurection (yes, that's actually how they spelled it), Copper, and Fountainhead; but whether they like it or not (and I see no reason why they wouldn't), they'll likely all be most remembered for their time in Texas is the Reason. To the best of my knowledge they recorded a mere 14 songs in three years, including a self-titled EP, splits 7"s with The Promise Ring and Samuel, and the aforementioned full-length – their final release in 1996. Turmoil amidst the individual members apparently led to their breakup in 1997, at a time when the band was said to be courting numerous major labels. And oh, the pain it brings when I imagine what brilliance could've materialized had such gifted songwriters been given the opportunity to work with a major label budget. Damn…

But anyway, while they may have borrowed their name from a Misfits lyric, the "punkest" thing about the band was probably their record collections, as musically we're talking flawless emo blueprints that have been all too disregarded in recent years as the genre becomes further distorted and confused with age. "Do You Know Who You Are?" really is the perfect emo record: Fusing equal parts slower, moody atmospheres and punchy, pop-tinged smatterings using fluid clean passages and crunchy distortion within catchy songs that range from memorable to purely infectious – there's not even close to a bad song in their entire discography. Garrett Klahn's unique vocals certainly lent a lot to the band's identity, but even the instrumental title track works wonders in proving the band's universal strengths. And "Back and to the Left"? One of the best songs ever. Period.

Texas is the Reason "Back and to the Left"
Texas is the Reason "The Day's Refrain"

In the years since Texas is the Reason's unfortunate breakup, guitarist Norm Arenas and bassist Scott Winegard played in New End Original (with Arenas most recently joining Gratitude as a touring guitarist under the name Norman Brannon); drummer Chris Daly did time with Jets to Brazil; and Garrett Klahn was in the New Rising Sons, though his current outfit, Solea, is by far the best of the band's post-Texas… exploits.

Thankfully, once more, the most important half of Texas is the Reason's recorded output is still in print straight from the label, so if you're so insane as to not possess this CD already, take care of business, my friends. This is absolutely another record that should be used for takin' the young ones to school, so to speak:

@ RevHQ

And while we're somewhat close to the topic, can someone please tell me how it is humanly possible for Jets to Brazil to suck as bad as they do? Okay, okay, maybe they don't outright suck, but after so much anticipation when I first heard them years and years ago I was so let down that at that moment, believe me, they fucking sucked. Come on, ex-members of Jawbreaker, Handsome, and Texas is the Reason? Including the mighty Blake Schwarzenbach and Jeremy Chatelain? How the fuck can the results not be one of the greatest bands to have ever set foot on the planet!? I never could figure that one out. Talk about heartbreaking…

Project X and No Turning Back…

Posted on Wednesday, December 28th, 2005 @ 3:32pm » permalink

Project X - s/tGotta keep this one short as I feel like absolute dirt once again. But anyway, who wouldn't be grateful to Bridge Nine for their reissue of the "straightedgest" record of all time!? Originally a 7" limited to 500 copies that came with issue #7 of the legendary Schism fanzine, this side project whose members had been involved (around that time period) with Youth of Today, Side by Side, Gorilla Biscuits, and Judge was destined to become a legendary collectors' item. And indeed, what Porcell (Slam), Alex Brown (Kid Hard), Walter Schreifels (ND), and Sammy Siegler (The Youth) created with this EP was a masterpiece of borderline hokey straightedge hardcore of the most typical 1987 fashion, complete with no song hitting two minutes. Hell, even with the bonus live tracks tacked onto this edition ("Dance Floor Justice" and "Cross Me" recorded in 1988 at the Anthrax) the total running time is still less than 10 minutes!

Project X "Straight Edge Revenge"

And speaking of Schism fanzine, also recommended is the awesome new B9 Press book, "Schism: New York Hardcore Fanzine", which collects all three issues of Alex Brown and Porcell's one-of-a-kind zine circa 1987/1988. Included are interviews with Agnostic Front, Bold, Dag Nasty, SSD, Slapshot, Warzone, and many others that prove what a different world it was back then. You'll also find reviews, shitloads of classic era hardcore photos, and reflective commentary pieces from the zine's authors. You can't fucking lose, and I'd love to see this branch of Bridge Nine give other zines the same treatment (cough, cough, Hardware, cough, cough).

You can pick up both of these re-released gems either from the label or plenty of distros, and I'd fully recommend doing so. I fucking love reissues and it's always great to see labels keeping this stuff out there with improved packaging and sound.

Get the CD:

@ Bridge Nine
@ Very Distribution

Get the book:

@ Bridge Nine
@ Very Distribution

No Turning Back - Rise From the AshesAlso recently out on Bridge Nine is the latest from Dutch metallic hardcore act No Turning Back. "Rise From the Ashes" sees the band dropping six new tracks after some significant lineup changes, as well as three songs from their split with The Deal (including a cover of Breakdown's "Vengeance"). It seems the band's sound remains unaffected, as the new material is as tight and punchy as ever, increasingly honing the band's NYHC-inspired grooves and chunky breakdowns with a damn solid recording (check the rad bass tone). They've been called one of the best hardcore bands in Europe, and I wouldn't argue with that… they've definitely stepped it up over the years.

No Turning Back "True Colors"

You know how it goes. Buy the shit:

@ Bridge Nine
@ Very Distribution

Slumber "Fallout" CD

Posted on Tuesday, December 27th, 2005 @ 11:33am » permalink

Slumber - FalloutI bought this one a few weeks ago upon being reminded that it had crept past me unnoticed for quite some time. Slumber is a Swedish six-piece that's been around since 2002, and "Fallout" is their first proper release, originally hitting the streets in 2004 via Karmageddon Media and for whatever reason not released in the States until earlier this year thanks to Candlelight Records USA. Clearly this fucker hasn't been promoted well enough for what it has to offer, as I had never even heard of the band before reading about them last summer on Darkdose, and only re-discovered them on a whim when searching through The End Records' online catalog as I had forgotten to purchase the CD earlier!

While the cover art's a little less than interesting, this is a relatively concise album offering seven tracks in about 38 minutes, which should appeal to fans of other Scandinavian acts such as Rapture combined with elements of classics like My Dying Bride in its display of powerfully melodic, atmospheric doom metal that's not one-sided: There are plenty of tempo changes and shifts that all convey a certain sense of melancholy, but there's enough color and energy there to supply the songs with an extra kick all around. Lots of cool picking patterns and little dissonant chord phrasings pop up throughout, plus the basslines interact perfectly between the guitars and the drums. Great recording, too. I totally love the guitar tone and the placement of the bass accents the performance just enough to make a huge difference. Hell, even the keyboards sound perfect, and I'm generally no supporter of keyboards!

Slumber "Fallout"

The band's planning to hit the studio for a follow-up in mid-2006, so I'll definitely be keeping an eye out based on the impressive strengths of this debut. I certainly recommend picking this one up, though The End is closed for the holidays until January 2nd, so you might wanna wait until next week to place an order:

@ The End Records

Farside "Rigged" CD

Posted on Friday, December 23rd, 2005 @ 11:29am » permalink

Farside - RiggedI sincerely feel sorry for anyone who's a simple fan of good music that has never heard this band before, so this is my "holiday" gift to you. (Yes, "The War on Christmas" rages on!)

Apparently formed in 1989, what would become Farside's core membership also experienced various levels of overlapping involvement in west coast hardcore bands like 411, Borderline, Collateral Damage, God Forgot, Headfirst, Ice, and Triggerman during the early-90's, and future regretfully mainstream rebel Zack de la Rocha was actually their original guitar player. But none of that has much of anything to do with the fact that everything the band went on to release via Revelation Records (which comprises the majority of their discography, as well as every Farside record that actually matters) is quite solid. In fact, the label even refers to 1994's "Rigged" as "possibly the best record ever", and for once I can actually support the hype of such an exaggerated statement, because this is without a doubt one of the greatest records of all time in my opinion.

Is it melodic hardcore? Is it emo? I don't care what the fuck it is, every song on this record is an example of absolute brilliance on every level, from the inimitable vocal tradeoffs between guitarists Michael "Popeye" Vogelsang and Kevin Murphy, to the superbly layered riffs that mask their subtle complexities within a remarkable combination of tactful heaviness and overwhelming melody. Plus… the shit is just catchy as hell! When I bought this CD as a kid it didn't leave my rotation for at least three months, and the digipack is among the most battered and worn with use in my entire collection. I don't think I'll need to convince you of much more after you hear for yourself, but I have to say… if you don't appreciate this record there's a good possibility that I might hate you.

Farside "Square One"
Farside "Silver Anniversary"

Thankfully, unlike so many other amazing records that are over a decade old, you can still buy this unparalleled masterpiece directly from the label for $11. All these kids today who go apeshit over Taking Back Sunday or whatever happenstance bands are selling hundreds of thousands of records out of sheer luck of timing should cut the shit and realize where true talent really lies. Every last one of those fucking bands could learn a thing or 5,000 from the supreme impeccability of this album. I don't know where any of these guys are today, but I've missed the hell out of this band ever since they announced their untimely dissipation, and were "Rigged" released today it would be an unforgivable crime were it not one of the most popular records in the world.

"Possibly the best record ever"? Yeah, that is a damn good possibility. So do yourself a favor and buy it:

@ RevHQ

Vile "The New Age of Chaos" CD

Posted on Thursday, December 22nd, 2005 @ 10:49am » permalink

Vile - The New Age of ChaosFor whatever reason, I think Vile's "The New Age of Chaos" has some of the best cover art of the year. I really don't know why, but even months ago when I was starting to see ads for this thing, I totally loved the cover art – which actually made me want to check out the record – and that kind of thing hasn't happened to me very much since I was 14 or 15 and getting into Iron Maiden, ha, ha. Luckily it just happened to show up in the mail awhile back from Unique Leader Records.

From what I've read, it seems that guitarist Colin Davis basically runs the show here in terms of the writing (vocalist Juan Urteaga handles the lyrics, however), and the rest of the band is almost viewed as session musicians – to the point where I believe all of the guitar solos on the record (which are totally fucking awesome, by the way) were performed by guest musicians. I'm not sure how that translates when Vile performs live, and I've honestly never been much of a guest spot fan unless it pertains to a vocal verse or something (which they also do herein with Steev Esquivel from Defiance/Skinlab appearing on "The Burning Shrines"), but it definitely works great on this record, so screw it. The lyrics have been deemed "controversial" by many in their dealings with terrorism and such, but while potentially offensive to Muslims or whatever, aside from one or two portions that push it there's nothing that doesn't really come across as more of a fairly commonplace war-driven/anti-religious death metal slant – it's just geared towards touchy "current" events.

This is Vile's third full-length, and admittedly I've never really heard that much of their prior work. I don't keep up with death metal as much as I'd prefer, but this is a really strong offering that's not quite "old school", but demonstrates more diversity and songwriting ability than most contemporary bands that I tend to come across in the genre. All of the really twisted little dissonant riffs add feeling and atmosphere amidst some typical (yet quality) uses of speed and strong midpaced breathers, and that's always a plus. I enjoy the clarity of the recording, but I have to confess finding it to lack the meatiness that I prefer in my death metal. This could be a phenomenal record with more natural oomph to the percussion and a thicker guitar tone. I definitely dig the bass presence, and the vocals are well mixed considering the spaciousness of everything, but damn do they need to beef up the guitar dominance all around to really flesh out the quality of these songs. And how about those textbook death metal song titles? Hell yeah, I'm such a huge sucker for that shit, ha!

Vile "Suicidal Warfare"
Vile "Ritual Decapitation"

I'm surprised this one isn't in stock at more of my usual stops, but it shouldn't be that hard to come by since Unique Leader tends to have solid distribution (What's up with shit from labels like Unique Leader and Moribund often showing up in stores for fucking $18, though!?), so all you death metal fanatics who for some reason haven't snagged this already, go for it:

@ Relapse Records

In other news, the always opinionated James Edward Raggi IV of the long-running Lamentations of the Flame Princess zine (home to some of the longest and best metal interviews of all time, in my opinion) has just posted the online edition of his infamous "Scum" issue, which outlines in almost painful detail Mr. Raggi's near disgust with the contemporary state of heavy metal (read it and you'll understand). The easiest way to partake of this ambitious diatribe is in .pdf format, but it's also up in an HTML version. Be sure to check out the hilarious cover art, too. And send Jim your angry comments – especially if you're in a band or run a label, he'll have a field day, I'm sure!

Mean Season "The Memory and I Still Suffer in Love" CD

Posted on Wednesday, December 21st, 2005 @ 11:39am » permalink

Mean Season - The Memory and I Still Suffer in LoveMan, I fucking love Indecision Records if for no other reason than they're one of the only labels out there that's giving the proper discography CD treatment to so many bands from the days of old. First the almighty Unbroken, then Insted, then Undertow, and now Outspoken (which I'll cover later) and god damn Mean Season, motherfuckers! I slept on buying this one, "The Memory and I Still Suffer in Love", for a little while since I already have most of these songs on the original releases, but this puppy collects remastered (and some remixed) tracks spanning 1992 – 1995, including compilation appearances and some unreleased tunes to boot – in addition to the "Bleed to Me" 7" and "Grace" full-length.

Now, there seems to be somewhat of an odd (but well deserved) resurgence in appreciation for these guys lately, and a lot of what you read about 'em makes it seem like they were huge, which maybe they were in some locales, but I can tell you straight up that in my experience I distinctly remember that no one seemed to give two shits about this band when they were around or in the years just following their demise. Every time I used to wear my Mean Season t-shirt I got sick of explaining to people that, no, I was not a Mad Season fan (Remember that half-assed side project from members of Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, and the Screaming Trees or whatever? Yeah, that one.), and I never really saw much coverage on these guys in zines or anything either.

The band formed in the early-90's and basically started out sounding like a not-as-powerful west coast version of Integrity or something along those lines, namely on the 7". But by the time "Grace" came out in 1994 they had morphed into a total metal band that was way the fuck ahead of their time, and were tied to hardcore mainly by mentality and their original label (New Age Records) alone. "Grace" is easily among the best metalcore releases of the 90's, as the damn thing's chock full of powerhouse songwriting and sick riffs that combine a mildly technical European sounding edge with the chunkiness of the US sound. There are just so many raging riffs on this thing, not to mention some sweet acoustic work. And those vocals? Man, the dude sounded standard in the early days, but he became a fuckin' nutjob on the LP! It sounds like he's yelling with a mouthful of blood and teeth or something, his enunciation is terrible, but somehow the end result is so fuckin' perfect. Seriously, say what you will, but these fuckers were a really original sounding band, and it's hard to narrow it down to just a few songs from the 11-tracks on "Grace" alone (and there are 19 total on this collection). "Pilgrim" is quite possibly one of the greatest songs ever, too. And "Suffer"? Fuck, this band at their best was just incredible…

Mean Season "Pilgrim"
Mean Season "Suffer"
Mean Season "Numb Again"

There's also a CD-Rom video herein for "Lesser Man", which is nothing to write home about, but hey, it's there. And I will say that even though all of the lyrics and plenty of killer photos are included, that cover art is a fucking abomination and does not in any way do the massive awesomeness of this release justice. The lack of liner notes is a little bit of a letdown as well, but I'm a nerd, so screw it… the jams are what really matters.

Allegedly the band has in fact reunited and plans on recording a new album in 2006, but like many of their west coast brothers they sort of ended up going in a weird sort of discordantly aggressive post-hardcore direction in their final days (demonstrated in the first two tracks on this CD, which were recorded for compilations in 1995), so who knows what that will yield? For now, though? Fuck it, buy this shit immediately. And I'm especially looking at any younger kids who have today's "metalcore" to live with. Mean Season makes bands like Bleeding Through look like god damn Menudo. Save yourselves:

@ RevHQ
@ Very Distribution

Mind Eraser "Cave" CD

Posted on Tuesday, December 20th, 2005 @ 4:58pm » permalink

Mind Eraser - CaveThis damn thing has been sitting here for at least two to three months, so it's ridiculous that it took me so long to get around to it, but that's life, I guess. Anyway, Mind Eraser's debut full-length, "Cave", comes to us from Painkiller Records, and since Boston has a damn fine tradition of churning out hardcore bands that are extremely fucking pissed off, this one should please a specific niche of listeners quite greatly – namely the (usually) short, fast, and loud kind of crowd.

Apparently named for a song off of Neanderthal's "Fighting Music" 7", these cats crank out an excellent variety of hardcore/punk that's been loosely compared to Crossed Out, Despise You, and Infest (in addition to Neanderthal, of course). I'd also throw some No Comment in there just for kicks, but what really matters is that this is some dead on material that fits in with the early roots of the whole "power violence" thing. Now, a lot of the stuff that was tagged "power violence" in the 90's was total crap, but this shit really borrows from the classics, laying down a great mix of fast and pissed hardcore with plenty of pounding slow passages and a really bitter attitude. I love this kind of shit, and honestly haven't heard many bands do this style so perfectly in a really long time. The tracks range from 20 seconds to more than three minutes, definitely keeping things moving rather than sticking with the fast, fast, fast nonsense that really harmed this genre years ago (which is also probably the quickest way to bore me to tears). They've also got a killer recording that's just dingy enough, but still sounds thick thanks to a raging bass presence and a nice sense of subtle grit to the guitar texture.

The CD version contains eight bonus tracks from the band's 2003 demo, which are basically rawer sounding renditions of a handful of the LP tracks plus covers of Think I Care and Taste of Fear; plus an alternate mix of "Subtle Entities" (I'm not really sure what the point is there) – totaling 23 tracks in 33 minutes. Take a bite of this action:

Mind Eraser "Thawed Out"
Mind Eraser "Finished"
Mind Eraser "Amazing Solution" (demo version)

I wholly encourage the support of any hardcore/punk band that's reveling in this meaty realm of no nonsense, in your fucking face assaults, so do yourself a favor and make the grab if you dig it:

@ RevHQ

Coliseum/Doomriders, and Mikoto…

Posted on Monday, December 19th, 2005 @ 12:19pm » permalink

 - Not of This World - A Salute to Danzig - splitHell yeah, I popped this one in figuring they just stole the title from Danzig, but no, in fact the full title of the latest release from Level-Plane is "Not of This World – A Salute to Danzig": A killer split CD where the two contributing artists do in fact cover Danzig tunes, in addition to offering up original material. And how can you lose with Coliseum or the Doomriders? Two bands known for their brands of gritty rock 'n' roll colliding with noisy hardcore/punk who kick ass on their own, so of course they maul your fucking worthless face when they team up together. Coliseum takes on "Am I Demon" and then blasts through two quick originals, while the Doomriders drop one longer track of their own before unleashing a perfect rendition of "Possession". There's no slacking here either, just check the accuracy of that intro! This one's got some badass artwork too, the usual when Ryan Patterson's involved. Simple as that. The end. I'm sold. If you don't dig these bands, you suck.

Coliseum "Ride on Death Riders"
Doomriders "Possession"

The label was selling this fucker for less than $6, so of course it's sold out, but you can grab it elsewhere for barely more than that, so… for those about to rock:

@ Very Distribution

Mikoto - s/tMy guess is that a lot of people who read this site probably aren't gonna be into Mikoto's self-titled EP, and I admit its contents came as somewhat of a surprise considering what I'm accustomed to hearing from Level-Plane, but hopefully there are enough people out there like me who just listen to whatever the fuck they want without concern for what's "cool" (and therefore "acceptable").

At face value, Mikoto comes across as somewhat of a typical contemporary emo/screamo band, what with their blend of singing and screaming, chugging guitar parts and moderate discordance with a strong sense of melody, plenty of post-hardcore textures, etc. But what can I say? I like it. Memorable songwriting does the trick for me, and there's enough diversity happening with this one to throw you for a couple of loops and keep you wondering where they'll take it in the future. If these guys play their cards right (or get lucky, whatever it is that works these days) I would honestly expect to see 'em get kind of "big", although, the general lyrical approach and song explanations are still tied pretty tightly to the tenets of the hardcore/punk scene, so… maybe they'll decide not to go that route? I don't know, but this is a promising debut!

Mikoto "Tired of Me"

You can also grab this one for a mere $6 at 29 North Records, a distro that I believe is run by the folks at Level-Plane, so if you enjoy it and you're not afraid to get sensitive from time to time, you know the drill:

@ 29 North Records

On somewhat of an unrelated note (okay, not really), I have to say, I can't do a "real" post about it because major labels are overflowing with ignorant weenies and I'd probably get sued or some shit, but The Darkness' new record, "One Way Ticket to Hell… and Back", is without question one of the best records of the year. (Funny that I never would've bothered to listen to it in a million years had I not randomly downloaded it from some student FTP site or some shit that I recently came across – and I immediately bought it within 24 hours, thank you very much ignorant major label weenies.) I hated this band when they first popped up a couple years ago, and in general I just hate "funny" bands, but what can I say? The fuckers are brilliant and they've converted me in full. Who would've thought that an even mix of Queen (who I hate), Def Leppard, and AC/DC would kick so much ass? Seriously, I highly encourage you to at least give this record a shot. The ridiculously pristine recording and massively bloated vocal harmonies, the absurd lyrics… it's all gold. I simply can't not bow before a band that somehow manages to make one of the most epic songs I've heard all year out of the topic of male pattern baldness. No shit. Best $13 I've spent in quite some time.

Worth the Pain "Sacrifices" CD

Posted on Friday, December 16th, 2005 @ 10:52am » permalink

Worth the Pain - SacrificesIt's only been a couple of weeks since the last dose, but what can I say, I've been hit with another shot of raging Finnish hardcore in the form of Worth the Pain's debut CD EP (after a demo and a split 7" with Rejected), "Sacrifices", from On My Own Records . Now, I know that when a lot of people think "Finnish hardcore" they think typical black and white artwork, raw recordings, and crusty D-beat madness. Not me. I think pounding mosh breaks, super pissed vocals, and damn solid songwriting… and that's what we're here to discuss today.

Apparently not the most prolific band out there since they've been around for four or five years now, "Sacrifices" sees Worth the Pain kicking out seven tracks in a little over 18 minutes, consisting solely of straight up metallic hardcore with moderately fast, chunky, old school styled power chords and a little added metallic groove to the drum work (I really dig the drumming on this thing) and the crushing breakdowns. The strained vocal shouts have that awesome blown out sort of sound that tends to be characteristic of a lot of European bands, though this material sounds somewhat different from their earlier work since they used to have two vocalists. I actually prefer this more consistent and focused approach, though. It's a pretty straightforward attack with this one: Two- to three-minute songs, no bullshit. The recording is fairly strong, the packaging looks slick, and I'm into it. Finland rules.

Worth the Pain "Down the Drain"
Worth the Pain "The Game"

I'm pleased to report that to my surprise this one's actually already available in the US, and damn cheap, too. I mean, less than $6!? Who would've thought? So if you're down with this shit there's no excuse not to jump at that price:

@ Interpunk

Apartment 213 "'93 – '97" CD

Posted on Thursday, December 15th, 2005 @ 8:58am » permalink

Apartment 213 - '93 - '97Hell yeah, I've been waiting literally years to see something like this come about, and I've been bugging the band about it straight out since the late-90's as well. And when they recently reunited earlier this year, the mighty Apartment 213 finally got the opportunity to collect all of their vinyl output, plus their original demo, onto one handy discography CD thanks to 625 Thrashcore. "'93 – '97" contains 40 tracks and an hour of inimitable grindcore/power violence fury – which is among the finest and most dedicated underground material out there focusing solely on serial killers, murder, violence, hatred, plus murder, violence, hatred, more murder, more violence, and more hatred – making this Cleveland act totally legendary in my book.

As one might expect when it comes to material that was always so raw and unpolished, this is not a band that keeps archived master tapes hanging around in pristine condition on a closet shelf somewhere, so I actually digitized all this shit for the CD straight from the old vinyl/cassette myself, and whoever mastered it did a pretty nice job of cleaning it up, so all things considered the end result sounds pretty satisfying to these ears. Included, of course, are the classic "Vacancy" and "Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things" 7"s, split EP's with Gehenna, Thug, Benumb, Dahmer, and Forced Expression, and "The Power of Tools" demo. I definitely would've preferred to see the booklet do more than just indicate where the tracks originally came from (there are no lyrics, no original artwork, no liner notes, etc.), but I'll take what I can get at this point! Here are a handful of tracks from some of the various releases collected on the disc:

Apartment 213 "Mutilation"
Apartment 213 "Severed"
Apartment 213 "Endless Killing (Arm the Insane)"
Apartment 213 "Blue Collar Guy/'Til the Cows Come Home"

You know you need a little more slicin' and dicin' in your life, so pick this shit up. It's pretty hot off the press, so it hasn't yet made the rounds at all of my normal distro stops, but it's out there:

@ RevHQ

And look out for loads of new Apartment 213 material in 2006, including a split 7" with Agoraphobic Nosebleed and a brand new full-length!

Burst "Origo" CD

Posted on Wednesday, December 14th, 2005 @ 12:34pm » permalink

Burst - OrigoI never really recall that Burst has in fact been around for well over 10 years now. I was first exposed to the Swedes around four years ago by the impeccable "In Coveting Ways" EP (which is well overdue for a reissue, it's simply too hard to find on CD these days), when they had already started to grow rather drastically from their already impressive hardcore/punk background (their first full-length, "Conquest : Writhe", was released on CD in the US by Prank Records, after all), and that EP actually remains my favorite of the band's releases to date.

With, "Origo", the band's third full-length (and second for Relapse Records), Burst demonstrates a continuation of the more focused direction exhibited by "Prey on Life", which weighs in around a core of rhythm and texture while becoming increasingly diverse without losing the consistency and unified atmosphere of their more recent efforts – whereas some of their earlier material was a bit more random in terms of its breadth of influences.

Some have loosely used the term "metalcore" with regards to the Burst, but I disagree, and would keep the use of that term pretty far from these guys all around… they're simply not worth pigeonholing for the sake of convenience, and are certainly fond of Neurosis-esque methods for exploring both literal and non-literal executions of "heaviness". There are plenty of robust drum fills and loads of vocal variation that includes scathing screams and surprisingly soothing singing, with some of those weird little winding technical riffs hanging around, too. And I absolutely adore the quality of their acoustic passages and the way they layer them in against distorted guitars. Despite some brilliant (and Opeth-esque) moments, the seven-minute instrumental "It Comes Into View" really tests my patience at times, especially once the stupid newborn baby samples seep in (cheesy), but that's the only real "flaw" for me. The other tracks make great use of their time, and there are some really memorable tunes in place (namely the awesome "The Immateria").

I love the natural sounding instrumentation, but it sort of seems as though the band could benefit from beefing things up and sacrificing some of that "live vibe" they might be shooting for. For instance, I love all the hard panned guitar work, but some density is definitely lost in the process that lessens some of the punch, so were they to get a little more relentless in terms of just unloading a massive wall of sound… yeah, sign me up. Nice, elegant looking layout and well executed lyrics with this one as well.

Sleep is all I ask. Rest from all these bitter ends. I've found a place where I won't be missed…

Burst "The Immateria"
Burst "Where the Wave Broke"

Despite the disc having been out for months already in both Europe and Japan, it won't be hitting the streets in the US until February for some odd reason, so you'll have to go with a pre-order if you're impatient or what have you:

@ Relapse Records

Death "Human" CD

Posted on Tuesday, December 13th, 2005 @ 3:54am » permalink

Death - HumanIt has now been a shocking four years since the untimely passing of legendary death metal progenitor and Death/Control Denied mastermind Chuck Schuldiner – who died on December 13, 2001 at just 34 years of age after a long battle with pontine glioma, a rare form of brain tumor – proving once more that there is simply no justice in this cold and unforgiving world.

It's a close call, but 1991's "Human" (Relativity Records) is definitely my personal favorite among the many masterwork's of Death's discography that Chuck left behind. Besides exhibiting Schuldiner's strongest work to date at the time, "Human" boasted what I'd doubtlessly laud as the band's finest lineup – seeing Chuck backed by Paul Masvidal and Sean Reinert of the almighty Cynic, and of course bass maniac extraordinaire Steve DiGiorgio of Sadus. This record is simply crammed with astounding riffs, ridiculously thick production, awesome cover art, the works… and it all boils down to exceptional songwriting and musicianship that were totally unparalleled within the genre back in 1991.

I remember I rode my bike to the mall one day as a kid and picked this shit up on cassette alongside a Mighty Mighty Bosstones tape, if you can believe that (I'm proud to say that I now own both on CD and still listen to them regularly, ha!), and immediately after listening to it decided that I absolutely had to find out more about Cynic – who, needless to say, later became my all time favorite band (and remains it to this day). If for some shameful reason "Human" isn't already a staple in your collection, give yourself a firm kick in the ass and then take action and pick it up:

@ Relapse Records

Like many, I listened to a lot of old Death records during the week that Chuck passed away in 2001, at which time so many of his post-"Spiritual Healing" lyrics took on a new light. His eventual loss in the battle with cancer was without question one of the most impactful deaths for me in terms of the loss of a musician – someone that I had never met, nor even seen in person, but whose art I had admired and followed for so long. His indelible mark on the landscape of metal will remain forever unmatched, and forever remembered.

Close your eyes and imagine to be without what we take for granted every time we open our eyes…

Human Demise "Whitechapel Demise" CD

Posted on Monday, December 12th, 2005 @ 11:55am » permalink

Human Demise - Whitechapel DemiseBelieve me, anyone who knows me can tell you that just about 10 years ago I was all over "holy terror" hardcore. Integrity, Catharsis, Gehenna, All Out War, Overcast… pretty much any band that was ever rightfully hit with that tag has a happy home in my collection. I never really understood why that term died out as it pertains to metallic hardcore with a certain apocalyptic lyrical edge/musical tone, but I guess as the face of metalcore changed, so did the terminology.

Thankfully I'm not the only who remembers the good ol' days.

I have to give Human Demise credit, as the Dutch act and their label, Envy Records, are the first parties in at least six or seven years that I've seen flat out use the term "holy terror" to promote this brand of hardcore. The band has been around for just about two years now, and the "Whitechapel Demise" EP will hopefully introduce them to the rest of the world who likely missed out on their demo. In terms of Cleveland influences these cast are most directly tied to Ringworm, both musically and in terms of vocal texture, and drop nothing but short tracks of fewer than three minutes apiece with maniacal vocals and thick power chords – tossing in a 90's European metalcore lean as well by adding in extra dashes of actual metal to the hardcore backbone. I was all over this within seconds. You had me at "holy terror", guys!

Human Demise "You Sicken Me"
Human Demise "Whitechapel Demise"

I'm definitely expecting bigger and better things to come from Human Demise, though sadly I can't seem to find any US distributors who are currently carrying the CD. Hopefully that will change in 2006, but for now email the band or the label for ordering information.

And I, for one, wholly encourage more bands to follow their lead and bring this shit back. Get to it!

Detestation "s/t" CD

Posted on Friday, December 9th, 2005 @ 1:39am » permalink

Detestation - s/tExisting between roughly 1995 – 1998 or so, Detestation was a rather surprisingly prolific group during that time. This repress of the band's 1998 self-titled CD comes once more from the mighty Profane Existence and collects some of the legendary Portland outfit's finest material on one handy disc – despite the fact that there's plenty of material not included on this massive hour-long collection, too. Included as an added bonus to the LP tracks are the "Inhuman Condition" 7", split 7"s with Substandard and Abuso Sonoro, and this 2005 edition also adds the "Blood of the Gods" 7" as well. A previously unreleased (I think?) cover of Crucifix's "Rise and Fall" is also tacked on, amidst other renditions of Kaaos and Republika songs from the EP's.

Though the mandatorily interconnected Portland lineup contains pre-/post- ties to Defiance, Masskontroll, Resist, Hellshock, and Severed Head of State, among others, Detestation's rather commonplace brand of 90's crust punk remains a well rooted benchmark for the scene, and with good reason. Thanks in no small part to some scorching female vocals with great vocal arrangements, the band's lightly metallic power chords tended to be a little tighter and more memorable than most, thus Detestation is rightfully remembered as one of the finest of the genre. Generally fast tracks of two to three minutes occasionally give way to longer compositions with drawn out intros or midpaced breaks with a little added dissonance (Like the awesome "White Trash Genocide" from the band's first 7" – check out that chugga break near the end!), so the material is consistent without feeling one-sided.

Speaking to the quality of the band's songwriting abilities, admittedly I haven't listened to my copy of the original pressing of this CD in years, and yet I still recall several of these songs upon first listen – which is really rare for this form of hardcore/punk, to be quite honest. Hell, I probably only listened to the split 7" with Substandard once after I bought it back in the day, but I still remember "Day In Day Out", too! Pretty solid recordings are also demonstrated throughout the disc, and ironically it's the most recent recordings from the "Blood of the Gods" 7" that are the rawest – which is a shame, because the title track is great, but the recording basically blows. That's no big deal, though, and as it should, the packaging includes the original cover art for the bonus EP's, all of the lyrics, etc.

Here's a smattering of tracks from several of the releases represented on the CD:

Detestation "Trash"
Detestation "White Trash Genocide"
Detestation "Day In Day Out"

If you missed out on this one the first time around, you might as well buy it straight from the label's massive distro of hardcore/punk gold. Enjoy:

@ Profane Existence

Lash Out/Contention split 7"

Posted on Thursday, December 8th, 2005 @ 12:51am » permalink

Lash Out/Contention - splitI've never been able to name many hardcore bands from Norway at all, and it seems as though there have never been a great deal of them anyway, but more than 10 years ago two of the country's finest did a split 7" together, and I was lucky enough to stumble across a copy for a mere buck in a used bin about a month ago. Released in 1994 as Stormstrike Records #2, Lash Out recorded their track in August of 1993, while Contention recorded two of their own in January of 1994, just prior to the record's release.

I remember Lash Out being big with the Inside Front zine crowd, though the band never seemed as "progressive" to me as they were always billed back in the day, but they were a badass band, so I've been kicking myself for years for sleeping on 'em when they were still around. After recording a demo in 1993, they actually went on to release a fair amount of material, from splits and 12" EP's, to the "What Absence Yields" full-length. 1994 – 1996 were the band's most productive years by far, and they called it quits in '98, with some of the former members moving on to what I'd have to deem much less interesting acts such as JR Ewing, Thunderbolt, and Sportswear.

I think these two tracks on side B may have been Contention's only released material. They had later recorded a full-length, also for Stormstrike Records, but it was never released due to financial constraints and a subsequent falling out between the label and the band. A damn shame, because this basically sounds almost exactly like a Norwegian version of Outspoken, just with a little more chugging metal involved. I'm pretty sure most folks wouldn't give a shit these days since people are fuckin' dumb, but I'd love to see a posthumous release of their full-length come about.

1. Lash Out "A Reflection in Blood"
2. Contention "Perish"
3. Contention "Burned"

This one's long out of print, so trade lists are probably your only bet unless the label happens to have a handful of extras sitting around. I've been scanning eBay for other Lash Out material for awhile now and have yet to get a bite, so if anyone knows where the hell can I get some more Lash Out, please shoot me a line. There are too many fucking bands out there that deserve discography CD's, it just kills me. It's a shame such undertakings would be financial nightmares due to the aforementioned idiocy of the general listening audience these days. There are also people out there that are sitting on a shitload of old records like this that they never listen to and no longer give a fuck about, and these people need to sell that shit to me!

Kill the Client, Neuraxis, Watchmaker, and Crowpath…

Posted on Wednesday, December 7th, 2005 @ 4:52am » permalink

Kill the Client - Escalation of HostilityNew releases from one of the best underground metal labels on Earth, Willowtip, just keep stacking up lately, and among my favorites is the latest from Kill the Client – who follow-up their absolutely impeccable "Wage Slave" EP with the "Escalation of Hostility" full-length. Get ready for 15 tracks of absolutely scathing socio-political grindcore in less than a half-hour, delivered in the classic vein of Napalm Death meets Brutal Truth with raging speeds that still harness plenty of power. They generally stick with the one- to two-minute songs approach, though there are a couple of much longer, slower tracks herein that prove the band should slow things down and mix it up a little more often! There's not much more to say, really: This is the way grindcore was meant to be played.

Kill the Client "Bloodline"
Kill the Client "Decorated Dunce"

The band would likely be pleased to know that the corporation for which I work lost power this morning as I was listening to the track called "Illumination", of all things. Ha. But anyway, if you're down with the pure, unadulterated grind, buy it straight from the label, they run a killer distro with blazing fast service and super cheap prices to boot:

@ Willowtip

Neuraxis - Trilateral ProgressionCanada's Neuraxis has also returned with "Trilateral Progression", unleashing more of their technical death metal that strikes a damn fine blend between surprisingly brutal heaviness and snarling vocal growls with lots of forceful melodic tendencies and memorable songwriting tactics that keep the complexity up front without making it the focus. That is to say that there's very clearly a lot of technical aptitude involved here, but that's not the base of the material. One could even argue that there are some classic thrash and modern black metal riffs rearing their heads as well (check out "A Curative Struggle"), and I wouldn't be complaining were they to toss around a few more of those clean breaks either! I also like the fact that despite there being ample tempo changes, these guys really make energetic use of speed in a manner that doesn't feel tiresome or overbearing, which is no easy task. This is some of the band's most memorable work to date, for sure. The mix feels a little dominated by drums and vocals to me, so I find myself wishing that the guitars were running the show with a little more brightness to their presence, but my ears tend to adjust about 10 minutes in. I'm digging the artwork on this one, too.

Neuraxis "Shatter the Wisdom"
Neuraxis "A Curative Struggle"

Same story, make the grab straight from the label's online catalog:

@ Willowtip

Watchmaker - Erased From the Memory of ManWatchmaker's latest assault on the health of your eardrums, "Erased From the Memory of Man", was written and recorded in a mere two months this summer, resulting in 18 tracks (some of which run together) in about 26 minutes – which might as well be viewed as one single attack of raw, cacophonous thrash! This band just keeps getting more and more insane in terms of unloading a constant barrage of caustic thrash metal with indecipherable screams, squawks, and cackles galore. Seriously, we're talkin' some of the noisiest and most chaotic shit you're ever gonna find out there. Vocalist Brian Livoti is the fucking man all around, and I'll never forget that he hooked me up with a sweet old thrash metal compilation of Virginia/Maryland area bands called "All Thrashed Out and No Place to Go" years ago after I interviewed Watchmaker (I'll be posting that compilation sometime, too), and he's also responsible for the artwork displayed on the slick 12-panel foldout booklet here – where all of the printing was done with a light satin finish for added effect. Hail and kill!

Watchmaker "Irrevocable Change"
Watchmaker "Inescapable Melancholy"

Yep, you guessed it: If you need a little more pain and hate in your life, or just express your rage for all existence through demolishing your hearing, pick it up:

@ Willowtip

Crowpath - Red on ChromeThe first time I encountered the Swedish maniacs operating under the name of Crowpath was on their 5" vinyl EP released by Pillowscars Records, which is still the best thing I've heard from the band to date. But "Son of Sulphur" is indeed what I would call a little more focused than "Red on Chrome" in terms of exploring slightly longer songs and achieving a hint more sheer intensity and actual feeling within all that brute chaos and dissonant technicality. Admittedly these fellows are still a little nutty for my regular rotation in terms of songwriting and arrangements, but make no mistake, there are no doubt some fierce performances and plenty of raging riffs and killer midpaced dissonant breaks. I just can't help but still be a little put off by the sheer noisiness and all of the frenzied change-ups that fly around all over the place. This is a very solid effort that stands leagues above most such material from comparable acts, but for my money Crowpath has still yet to really maximize the destructive force that they collectively hold. Hell, the drummer's a fuckin' lunatic, though. There are some wicked fills and cymbal flare throughout these jams.

Crowpath "The Will to Burn"
Crowpath "Picked Clean"

If your ears survived the Watchmaker holocaust and are still hungry for more, this one should do the trick, and we all know that downloading instead of buying is for pussies, and Crowpath would most definitely not support such a thing:

@ Willowtip

M.O.D. "Rhythm of Fear" CD

Posted on Tuesday, December 6th, 2005 @ 4:20am » permalink

M.O.D. - Rhythm of FearWhen the other three members of the almighty S.O.D. went back to their full-time bands in the wake of "Speak English or Die", notorious frontman Billy Milano plodded onward, debuting his new band M.O.D. (Method of Destruction) in 1987 with the very S.O.D.-esque crossover classic "U.S.A. for M.O.D." LP. And for most people, that's where it ends: The be all and end all of M.O.D.'s existence. Well, that's gotta change, and that's all there is to it.

I've gotta say, after a couple of other somewhat lackluster records in the late-80's with an entirely different lineup, the band's fourth full-length, "Rhythm of Fear", released in 1992 on Megaforce, is arguably their finest work. Milano handled bass in addition to vocals, with Dave Chavarri on drums (who later played with Ill Niño and Merauder, among others, and had previously served in thrash acts like Gothic Slam and Laaz Rockit), but the real kicker was "U.S.A. for M.O.D." guitarist Tim McMurtrie coming back into the fold with a shitload of badass mosh parts in tow. For my money this album demonstrates the real "Milano Mosh"!

Say what you will about Billy Milano's over the top sense of humor, but this is a damn near flawless album. I'm talking perfect recording, sick riffs, catchy songwriting, the works. This is by far one of the most inexplicably overlooked records of all time – I've loved every minute of this thing for more than 13 years now, and it still stands up without fail to this day. 12 tracks, about 31 minutes, every song's a keeper. And despite the politically incorrect humor that built the band's reputation in the early days, the lyrics on this disc are actually a far cry from that whole vein, making for a fun listen that's not out there in that sense. And the riffs!? The fucking riffs, man! I don't even know what to say, anyone who listens to late-80's thrash and 90's hardcore that doesn't drool over these riffs is a fuckin' jackass. End of story.

Admittedly I haven't paid much attention to anything the band has done since this record, as it's simply not possible to top either "Rhythm of Fear" or "U.S.A. for M.O.D." at this point, so in the end I guess I can understand why so many people overlooked "Rhythm of Fear" in the first place. But it's still available new or used, so it's time to remedy that fucking problem right now:

@ Amazon.com
@ Half.com

Animosity, Ed Gein, and Bolt Thrower…

Posted on Monday, December 5th, 2005 @ 10:47am » permalink

Animosity - EmpiresOnce again, I've been sitting on some of these discs from Black Market Activities and/or Metal Blade for quite awhile now, so it's about time I give 'em a nod. First up is Animosity with "Empires". This young band out of San Francisco has only been around for a couple of years, and I believe some of these kids are still teenagers, but after a rather mediocre debut on Tribunal Records, this sophomore full-length abandons most of their annoying metalcore trappings in favor of some brutal, breakdown-laden death metal. While it doesn't necessarily blow me away through and through, this is definitely a huge step forward, with a solid recording and tons of churning riffs that blend sludgy chord progressions with aptly technical death metal runs. And the generally short tracks of fewer than three minutes apiece tend to keep things moving along nicely. Also worth noting are the solid socio-political lyrics, which are certainly far stronger than the majority of what you'll get from either death metal or the brand of metalcore from which the band has grown out of. I'm certainly looking to see this band do some severe damage over time.

Animosity "Commoditism"
Animosity "Plutocracy"

You know the drill, if it's something that interests you, pick it up, don't be a leech:

@ The End Records

Ed Gein - Judas Goats & DieseleatersUnless my memory is failing me, which is entirely possible, I don't think I've heard anything from Ed Gein since their 2002 demo. Well, their long awaited debut full-length, "Judas Goats & Dieseleaters", sees the Syracuse, NY trio sticking to that same approach with 14 tracks of super caustic material that ranges from dissonant hyper speed grind to frantic bursts of metalcore, with tons of quick shifts and plenty of noisy layering – but not without losing all of its cohesion – so there are graspable elements, namely in the form of some wicked midpaced bashings (check out the scathing nastiness of "We're Drowning in It" below). They're certainly a busy sounding trio, so I wish the recording were a little crisper in terms of clarity, but the natural sense of warmth is in full effect and gets the job done by keeping things knit together. The pissed off lyrics also attack from a socio-political angle, though keeping things somewhat abstract in terms of not beating the listener over the head. Not too shabby…

Ed Gein "We're Drowning in It"
Ed Gein "Bastard"

Come on, there's actually a song called "Pee-Wee Herman/Paul Reubens", how can you lose? Grab that shit:

@ The End Records

Bolt Thrower - Honour Valor PrideAhhh, Bolt Thrower. What can be said about these UK legends that hasn't already been said? It's been four years since Benediction's Dave Ingram took over the vocal slot for "Honour Valor Pride", which was a decent enough record, but I eventually got rid of it – because let's face it: It's just not the same without Karl Willets, man. This classic act has been at it for damn near 20 fucking years, and "Those Once Loyal" delivers nine tracks in about 40 minutes of the band's patented brand of guitar melodies over chugging riffs and basic song structures – all dealing with war, war, and more war! The layout blows and the recording feels a little flat, there's not quite enough brightness to the vocal texture and the guitars need more of a churning crunch to really nail that classic "The IVth Crusade" type of sound, but from a songwriting standpoint this is precisely what anyone who has ever been a Bolt Thrower fan has come to expect. The band is still looking in a few different directions on occasion to keep things from sounding like a complete retread of the days of old, but Bolt Thrower has never been shy about refusing to change their sound, this is what they do best and they're proud of it, and so are their fans. Sign me up!

Bolt Thrower "Entrenched"
Bolt Thrower "Last Stand of Humanity"

Dig it? Then make the purchase, or shall a relentless hail of gunfire rain down upon your dwelling…

@ The End Records

And yo, post some god damn comments, people. Thousands of downloads a month and yet the ratio of comments to visitors is still like 1/300, if that? That's just pathetic. I don't care if you love it or hate it, I just like the feedback. It's nice to feel like I'm not spinning my wheels for nothing… thanks!

Minsk "Out of a Center Which is Neither Dead Nor Alive" CD

Posted on Friday, December 2nd, 2005 @ 12:58pm » permalink

Minsk - Out of a Center Which is Neither Dead Nor AliveThis one's really hitting the spot today 'cause I'm in a total fog of feeling like shit. Sure to draw Neurosis comparisons abound due to their display of lengthy compositions that sway from hefty shouting over crushing midpaced rhythms with plenty of electronic accent textures and pummeling percussive work to moody atmospheres of bleak clean guitars and singing, the Illinois quartet Minsk has been around for a little over three years now, and their At a Loss Recordings debut, "Out of a Center Which is Neither Dead Nor Alive", unloads six tracks in over an hour. Even the shortest tune tops eight minutes, while most average around 11, and there's actually some fairly caustic discordance in there on occasion as well. I'd definitely point to a few moments reminiscent of a slightly rawer Mindrot, too.

I do find myself wishing that the recording achieved a little more clarity, as despite the forceful intrigue of the sheer feeling of the material, it does tend to land on the cluttered side of things in terms of the instrumentation blurring together in the core of the mix. They've got a fuckin' badass drum sound though, and some of the slower, sparser passages sound killer – so this thing really only needs minimal tweaking. Overall they're working with a very natural sense of warmth, which I'm a major supporter of, and the songwriting exhibits a great balance of gritty crunch and well harnessed melodic tinges, so I'm sold on the big picture. Check this shit out:

Minsk "Narcotics and Dissecting Knives"

Apparently there are many out there who agree with me, as this one's out of stock at several of my usual stops. But it's still out and about all around, and At a Loss' main distributor is as good a source as any, so take the plunge if you like what you hear…

@ Stickfigure Distribution

Gammacide "Victims of Science" CD

Posted on Thursday, December 1st, 2005 @ 10:11am » permalink

Gammacide - Victims of ScienceSomewhat lesser known Texas thrashers Gammacide formed in late-1986 and by the summer of 1987 had already recorded their first demo at Pantego Sound (owned by the father of Pantera's Vinnie and Darrell Abbott). A few years later their sole official release, "Victims of Science", hit the streets in early-1990 on Wild Rags Records, but after a 1991 demo the band had called it a day by 1992 – when the thrash scene was really starting to dwindle. I always wanted to pick up the album based on the coolness of the band name alone, but I hate vinyl, and never really felt like paying $20 – $25 for an LP-only release on eBay. So, I listened to a few crappy quality streaming audio samples of the record years and years ago and left it at that, keeping my eyes out for the long talked about CD re-release after the band did a reunion show in 1998.

Well, all those rumors of a CD reissue finally delivered in recent months, as the band has self-released "Victims of Science" as a 15-track CD that includes their 1991 demo as well as two brand new tracks recorded in 2005 that are actually shockingly true to form considering how rare it is to hear accurate representations of old school thrash metal these days. But the new material consists of longer songs with plenty of solos and a feel that really does stay wholly true to the classic age of thrash metal. The band's late-80's/early-90's heyday was of course a similar brand of generally fast thrash that's somewhat reminiscent of Exodus in terms of song structure and catchiness, though from a riffing standpoint Gammacide could have been compared to some of their fellow Texas peers such as Devastation.

Here are a couple of tracks from the remastered reissue to check out, one from the LP and one from the '91 demo:

Gammacide "Fossilized"
Gammacide "Ballistic"

Apparently the reissue is selling well, which is a good sign that people still give a shit about thrash metal, so old school fans should keep buying this shit and hopefully encourage other bands to repress their material. The End Records will probably have copies back in stock soon, but you can also buy the CD and slick t-shirts straight from the band. Check out the rest of their site as well, because there are shitloads of badass old show flyers and such from the golden days. Good stuff.

@ Gammacide

In other news, November logged the site's third highest month of traffic ever at just barely under 50,000 unique visitors, so I guess people don't really mind about the format change, eh? And if anyone has the song titles for Jasta 14's demo (or a copy of the first track without any dropouts in the tape), or can scan me that god damn Social Decay 7" insert, please help me out!