Formicide "s/t" CDPosted on Friday, November 3rd, 2006 @ 9:13am » permalink
Before anyone gripes about it, I'm just taking a week off from the whole "Holy Terror Fridays" thing because I obviously have to do what I can to spread the word about my own endeavors here, and I'm psyched that the first Due Process release is finally out. Yeah, it's technically the second catalog number (that's a long story), but whatever. As a diehard fan of 80's thrash metal, which is what I predominantly listened to growing up and still holds a special place in my heart, it's quite fitting that the first release on my label is from such a criminally underrated thrash act as Formicide, from Boston.
Pathetically enough, I myself still don't really know much about this band at all, but their aforementioned underrated status combined with the fact that they only existed from July of '87 until June of '89 probably has a lot to do with that. Whatever the case, these cats seem to be pretty well revered in the New England area (and rightfully so) – as a band and as people – and the general consensus seems to be the same: Why the fuck didn't these dudes get signed back in the 80's, and why the hell did it take so long for these demos to be properly released on CD!? Hell if I know, but I was hooked from the moment I heard the bursting intro to "The Omen", the opening track from the band's 1987 demo, which gets stuck in my head constantly.
With all of the second- and third-rate thrash that was getting scooped up by labels in the late-80's/early-90's, it really is inconceivable that a band as strong as Formicide was relegated to the demo stage, especially given the admirable sound quality of their first two recording sessions. For the bulk of the band's tenure the lineup consisted of Roy Costa on bass, Steve Reppucci on vocals, and brothers Kevin and Eric Stevenson on guitar and drums respectively. In February 1989, Craig Silverman replaced Kevin Stevenson on guitar, and the band sadly called it a day a few months later – leaving behind three demos (the third of which I don't believe was viewed as an "official" demo) and a total of 15 tracks. That final demo was in part re-recorded sans one track (the awesome "Platten #2") after Silverman joined up, with the three remaining songs getting vocal/lyrical facelifts as well (which resulted in "Nocturnal Justice" morphing into "Scientific Alternative").
Formicide's brand of thrash was of the generally straightforward and aggressive variety – less melodic and slightly more in your face than some of their east coast counterparts, but with no lack of badass solos and crunchy, memorable riffing – not to mention tight performances. The resulting songwriting bears a slight lean towards faster pacing, but given proper time to sink in there's some seriously "catchy" shit to be found here. The final two recording sessions sounded significantly rawer than those for "Demo I" and "Demo II", which is somewhat unfortunate given the noticeable progression in terms of songwriting quality, but personally I can get past the rugged production values since I dig the tunes so much. Master tapes were unavailable, so we had to work under less than optimal circumstances since no one in the band even had a copy of the original four-song version of the third demo, but thankfully everything the band recorded is here, so it's a complete document of their top-notch, true-to-form thrash.
For trivia purposes, after the breakup of Formicide, the Stevenson brothers and Roy Costa formed Only Living Witness with Jonah Jenkins, and somewhat ironically, former Formicide guitarist Craig Silverman once again replaced Kevin Stevenson on guitar a few of years later. Only Living Witness is finally getting a little more love these days what with Shadows Fall covering them on that "Fallout From the War" CD, as well as Century Media releasing a pretty killer double-CD discography earlier this year (I've actually been meaning to write that thing up, but time's been tight), so, yeah… there were several lineup ties happening there.
Anyway, if you dig the Formicide stuff, the CD's are $10ppd in the US, Canada, and Mexico, and $12ppd everywhere else. The D.I.Y. in me wanted to try to sell them a bit cheaper, but increasing postage costs plus PayPal fees are sort of brutal, and I'm really hoping to keep the label thing going for some time, so… if you dig the tracks and have the cash, I'd appreciate the support! I haven't had time to explore much in the way of distribution options yet, but I've been hitting the post office daily to mail orders, so… as an impatient bastard who hates waiting for mail, I'm definitely not slacking in that department! Thanks…