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Strife "One Truth" CD

Posted on Friday, April 13th, 2007 @ 7:41am » permalink

Strife - One TruthI decided this week that, as far as I'm concerned, Strife's "One Truth" is one of the greatest hardcore records of all time. Period. Not to mention a true classic from the golden age (pre-emo cash cow, of course) of Victory Records. Sure, the recording's too thin (hey, it was 1994), but from a songwriting standpoint this shit's gold. I was all over this record when I was 18 or whatever, but even today I can still listen to these jams and want to scream until my face explodes. I don't care whether or not you're straightedge; I don't care that the band "sold out" "the edge" years afterwards; and I don't care that this album, their debut, was pretty much 10 times better than any of their other output (sans one standalone gem of note – see below): If you're a fan of hardcore, you should own and love this record. (Unless you're in/past your late-30's and refuse to listen to any hardcore that came out after 1989 or whatnot, ha.) Hell, looking back on records like this makes it a little easier for me to understand why I don't get too excited over much hardcore these days.

Upon a foundation of standard power chords and those super plunky basslines that were so prevalent amidst the hardcore of that era, the band added just the right amount of metal: Lightly chugging rhythms, some slick lead breaks, badass little palm-muting riffs… and, yes, even a straight up "ballad" ("Slipping", and I always loved that shit). They were probably big fans of Judge or something – also developing bits of that west coast style (at least on this album) that was also being honed by their contemporaries in Outspoken and such along the way. And, man, Rick Rodney's vocals were just the shit: Totally pissed, at times unhinged, and yet quite convincingly emotional (in a good way). There were even subtle hints of melody in there too, so his singing wasn't half bad either (Just check out that fuckin' metal shriek near the end of "Question Mark"!). He was a great fuckin' frontman all around. Great band, too. So I'm just gonna shut up. Listen for yourself:

Strife "Through and Through"
Strife "Lift"
Strife "Still Rise"
Strife "Slipping"
Strife "Question Mark"

Unlike so many other 90's hardcore jewels, this one remains readily available (Victory Records is still good for somethin'), so if you missed out 13 years ago, you know what to do:

@ RevHQ
@ Very Distribution

As for that "standalone gem" mentioned above, "Untitled" – which was on the soundtrack to that movie "Godmoney" (never saw it) that Rick Rodney was in – absolutely crushes everything else Strife did post-"One Truth", and is actually my single favorite Strife track ever. It's one of the most ragingly furious songs I've ever heard in my life, and totally makes you feel like beating the shit out of everyone on the planet. Unsurprisingly, the video's on YouTube, so enjoy… and try not to kill anyone, eh?

God damn, that shit actually gives me chills. The way his voice drops off the first time he screams, "Someone just take me out…", (around 1:58 above) makes me fuckin' lose it. Amazing. Fuckin' amazing.

The song was later released on Strife's "Truth Through Defiance" collection, so buy that shit, too. It's worth the price for this track alone, I shit you not.

49 Comments...

  1. xBenx says:

    This band was so important for me growing up, thanks to them and Earth Crisis I made the choice to "officially," become edge and then veggie (obviously more so eXc), I love everything Strife did pre Angermeans and still listen to them so often, amazing band, great post, good one Andrew ;)

  2. Tom DK says:

    One truth is definitely one of the best hardcore albums of the 90'ies, no doubt. But… that youtube song? First time I ever heard it, it sounds like they want to be Korn or something.

  3. AVERSIONLINE says:

    Congrats, Tom DK, I think you just won the award for most insane and incomprehensible comment ever to be posted on this site, ha, ha. Korn!? Have you ever heard Korn!? Even I'M offended! Ha, ha, ha… WRONG, sir! Ha…

  4. steve says:

    oh man, Victory used to be a really solid label back at this point. early eXC, Bloodlet, Deadguy, Integrity, (the best) Refused, Snapcase, Guilt, By the grace of god…

    As the label got bigger and the bands got bigger they all got crappier

  5. Hans says:

    Korn? you are insane…

  6. Eddie says:

    I just read an article in Decibel Magazine where they spotted Rick Rodney at a show going to the bar to get drinks wearing a leather jacket and an ancient Slayer shirt.

    One Truth and In This Defiance set the bar pretty high for west coast hardcore in those days. I really haven't heard a band that can come close to topping their sound and their overall talent. Their drummer was one of the fastest drummers I had ever seen playing without a double bass pedal.

    I'm shocked you didn't bring up what a turd Angermeans was.

  7. Chris says:

    Ummm, yeah…I guess. Greatest of all time? Really?

    There are just so many other bands that were more original and sounded fresher…even back then. Strife for me were just the vanilla 'go to band' if you wanted to jump right into straight-edge for a weekend. I can't imagine how many short-term edgsters had this record right next to their Stone Temple Pilots and other grunge rock CDs.

    That's not always a bad thing…but during that time give me Chokehold (for sXe) or Deadguy (on Victory).

  8. L.Ron says:

    its good but it sounds like they ALL needed to play with a click-track…..

  9. Tom DK says:

    There's obviously still some Strife in there but…
    The humming and whispering with that "phone effect" on it. The NU metal drumming. The verse parts where the guitar is just hanging there while the bass is going. If not Korn, then Deftones or something along those lines. If you can't hear the NU metal influence on this track, then you must be deaf.

  10. Eddie says:

    That track was recorded before Korn's first album was released, so your argument was pretty invalid based that Nu Metal hadn't even made a fart at that point.

  11. Hans says:

    rhis is maybe not typical hardcore song, but if you found numetal here you are fucking moron.

  12. chris says:

    i don't see anything special in this song either. and it DOES have a teeny-weeny bit of that (later to be called) "nu metal" ring to it. face it.

    the song from that period that makes me want to rip shit up even today is machine head's "davidian".

  13. Adrianoso says:

    LMAO!!! Holy crap! First, it was The End/Limp Bizkit/Linkin Park comparison and now this? Well, good day to you Sir!…I SAID GOOD DAY SIR!

  14. AVERSIONLINE says:

    Eddie, I read that article, too. Rick fuckin' needs to sing for another band, and I don't care what genre. Just SOMETHING.

    Chris (Neck Deep), Strife shits all over Chokehold in my book. Chokehold had one or two utterly vicious tracks, but… I dunno. It's funny, I can remember so many people talking about Strife being generic back then, but in retrospect, while not wholly original, I'm not seeing them in much of a "generic" light. And note that I did say "ONE OF the greatest hardcore records of all time", ha, ha… I'm not an idiot! I'd never rank a band from 1994 over the Cro-Mags or anything like that, heh.

    Everyone else: For better or for worse, I can almost personally guarantee you that I have listened to more nu-metal than anyone who reads this site, and I'm just not hearing it. I guess if you're 1,000% anti-nu-metal on every possible level you could be hyper-critical and draw some parallels to bits and pieces, but regardless that track is a fucking scorcher. I love it.

  15. Chris says:

    Andrew,

    I guess for me hardcore is less the 'chugga-chugga' and sing alongs and more about the ideas and content.

    Strife just took the BOLD, YOT direction and punched it up with a tad more modern metal sound. I loved BOLD and YOT but they did it right the first time. Chokehold were a bit more dangerous and seemed to be thinking more about their lyrics and the world around them. Yeah, the music wasn't as well produced and the guitars as well tuned…but it's hardcore. Maybe that's why by the time Strife hit I was more interested attending Born Against shows and being challenged a bit more rather than X'ing up and yelling, "It burns in my heart!"…

    But yes, those break downs are tight and harsh…no question : )

  16. Tom DK says:

    Eddie: Korn's first album was released in 1994, same year as One truth. From what I understand, this song is from much later in Strife's career? If so, you're wrong, it'll have been written somewhere around the peak of NU metal.

    Hans: No reaaon for namecalling because I disagree with you. That's just childish.

    Andrew: Well, let's agree to disagree. You do have to acknowledge the fact that one other person agreed with me, so it's not that inconseivable that there's something in what I'm saying. Or do you REALLY believe there's only ONE TRUTH? ;)

  17. Eddie says:

    Actually, my dates were off. I thought Korn's first album was in 1996, but I wiped out most of my memories from those years with doing things Strife was against.

    Well, at least before Angermeans broke up.

    And Andrew, you're right, Rick does need to do another band. The same goes for Tim from Deadguy. Well, Tim has a new band, but who knows when material will surface.

  18. ANONYMOUS says:

    "…making platinum has nothing to do with luck, it just means that a million people are stupid as fuck…" You'd be surprised how true this statement is. (Note; This is directed toward Tom DK; who had ONE person agree with him.) Besides, all those little "details" you pointed out are just that; miniscule, superfluous, and trivial. You went from Korn to Deftones to NuMetal in general (All used as some form of derogatory term.)When the fact is, the end product of that song decimates anything any of those "nu metal" bands have or will ever put out.

  19. Hil says:

    "the recording’s too thin (hey, it was 1994), "

    the hilarious thing about that is I remember a large amount of the hc population i conversed with when this came out – their #1 complaint was how Overproduced it was.

  20. hector@desintegrado says:

    sorry if i talk too much about myself here, but strife was the first hardcore band i ever listened to, thanx to a metal hammer magazine sampler, i didn't know what the fuck hardcore was(i'm from spain and back them hardcore was a 100% undeground thing), but it really IMPRESSED ME, the intensity of the voice and the emotions you feel through the lyrics, the furious rage, blablabla…everything…i didn't stop looking in every single import record store in madrid until i found the "in this defiance" and right after i bought "one truth"…

    changed my life, really, strife was a turning point in my musical education…and i would say in my life…

    before that ii was a fan of the mainstream metal of the time: metallica, pantera, seputlura, etc…but strife meant something TOTALLY different to me…

    maybe only metallica was as impressive as strife to me…

    later came converge, botch, integrity, overcast, cold as life, morning again, congress, etc…MY LIFE STARTED TO GET RUINED THANX TO STRIFE…

    andrew, you almost made me cry :)))

  21. Tom DK says:

    I guess there's a reason you're anonymous… You have a lot of hostility toward people who hear somethng different than you do huh?
    Fact is, those details I mentioned are there, which you don't even deny. What might be miniscule, superfluous, and trivial to you, jumps out at me. I hear something you don't hear (or like to admit you hear, it would seem) in that song. How does that threaten you to the point of getting hostile?
    And don't tell me what I meant to be derogatory. I like Deftones, so there.
    Yes, I'll readily agree that this song is better than Korn, but that doesn't mean I don't hear a numetal influence in the song.

  22. Tom DK says:

    And don't worry, I won't post my opinions in here anymore. I really don't feel like being called insane, moron and what have you, just because I have an opinion on a song, of all things…

  23. ANONYMOUS says:

    Well, It didn't seem like you were trying to compliment them with your first comment comparing them to Korn. (Shit, I use to like em too; same goes for Deftones) However, simply because said details stand out to you more then they do me doesn't change that fact that they sound absolutely nothing like said bands. (And you're right those little details are there it just so happens that I don't regard them as nu metal, like you do.) If you want to nitpick, by all means, feel free. If you want to disagree, fine. I can respect that. Oh and I in no way feel threatened by your opinion nor do I harbor any hostility or ill will toward you or anyone who disagrees with me. (It just so came off khappened the quote I used had profanity in it and came off kinda harsh. And for that I apologize. Its just that I have to agree with Andrew on that Korn comment to the fullest.)

  24. Adrianoso says:

    ahahahaha. You see what you started, Andrew?

  25. carlos says:

    GODMONEY was a horrid movie!

    I love when sXe singers who talked shit break the edge!

    Yes, I am a hater.

  26. Adrianoso says:

    *laughs at carlos* You be sippin' on dat Haterade, huh? Hate! Hate! Hate!

  27. Samuli says:

    I'd say that there is some Deftones influence on that untitled track. Chino Moreno signs on "Will to die" on In This Defiance, and I believe that is the reason why I seem to find that connection. I still like the track… …and Deftones.

    Funny how labels get ruined. When I started to listen hardcore Victory was definetly the greatest (and I pretty much didn't know about anything else). Then I found out that Trustkill releases kinda music that I like. Then it went downhill too. Now I'm just wondering how long will Deathwish last :)

  28. AVERSIONLINE says:

    Tom DK, definitely don't stop posting comments over this crap. I tried to make my response fairly lighthearted, I wasn't bashing you or anything. Any comment is better than silence in my book: I appreciate 'em all, and certainly never expect everyone to agree with me. I just love that damn song, ha, ha…

    And Anonymous, Tom did say kind things about "One Truth", it was only the video he wasn't down with. Which I still think is insane, heh, heh… but fair enough!

  29. Johnny says:

    This song…is called…the fucking essence!!!!!

  30. Hans says:

    its stupid to argue about ONE fucking song. I agree maybe I was rude. But here and there in some bands you will/ had find/found a part which maybe dont seats well into there music. If some grindcore band made drum and bass song, so what are they drum and bass, we must argue about that? If somebody find nu metal in that song fine, i dont. And beside that i dont find anything bad at all in nu metal. Peoples change, music change, everything change. Everything is "cursed" to changing. I know there are a lot of people who say: "how was back in old days"… fuck that, life goes on.

    And this numetal "talk" make one the most commented post on this site amongst Handsome, Starkweather and others. Really interesting.

  31. chris says:

    let me save some face here. i only reacted 'cause i thought it was funny how that "dreaded" term got everyone's knickers in a twist. and was thinking more along the lines of deftones or mid-machine head, not korn. not meaning that in a bad way, of course. we all privately like some some nu metal, so stop frontin'. and the more violently you react to it, the more it proves it's true. :p anyways, i like the feel of the song, it's just that it doesn't really produce violent tendencies in me. if it was a tad faster… or if that part after the voice-drop was "breakier" and opened by an "urgh!" utterance… or maybe it's the lyrics? i dunno. and as for "selling the edge" – who gives a shit? why take it so personally and feel "betrayed"? it's not like anyone became a "bad" person. the dude just took a drink. :)

  32. chris says:

    p. s. on second thoughts, maybe i can relate to you sXe people feeling betrayed. it's how i felt seeing billy play in suicide city and evan, whose lyrics i spent half my childhood singing out loud, star in 2nd-rate porno flicks and spout shit like "oh, yeah, lick my balls, baby".

    :(

  33. Hans says:

    yeah Andrew probably didnt think that this song would wake violenet tendencies in everyone, he was talking forhimSELF…

  34. Donny says:

    They were Great amazing,…most kids in my country were Influenced By Victory Bands ( Earlier…) If there's no Victory ,…Maybe we would still listen to those silly bollywood dance stuffs…zzzzz

  35. Jason says:

    Always down for some STRIFE.
    Thanks, hadn't listened to this since last week :)

  36. reno says:

    i wanna say something.. STRIFE.. fakyeah! hihihi

  37. xmarkusx KTL says:

    Spectacular post. This is one seriously amazing record, one of those classics i'll never get bored to listen. There's lots of those moments that gives chills on this record. Even tho the band did what they did later, One Truth & In This Defiance will ring true always.

  38. Nick M says:

    Yep. Strife = awesome

  39. chris says:

    i heard somewhere through the grapevine that strife is putting together a pretty comprehensive live dvd. should be worth checking out if it sees the light of day.

  40. AVERSIONLINE says:

    There's some sort of "trailer" type thing for the DVD here. Looks cool and all, but I fucking hate live DVD's, and if it's only one show, I'd rather just re-watch bits and pieces of the old "One Truth Live" DVD anyway. I'd only be interested if there were interviews or whatever.

  41. Adam K says:

    Man, I've listened to A LOT of nu-metal, and that song definitely has that vibe.

    It's also not better than "Blistered."

  42. Rold says:

    I remember buying this record. I read a review about it in a Dutch metalmagazine and got on my bike and went for a 30 minute ride into the city to the record shop. This was at the time when if you wanted to listen to a record you could borrow it from friend or go the recordshop. You actually had to do something more than putting on you computer and visit a myspace page.

    The review was all about how great the band was, they would be the sxe leaders of a new era. Well that got my attention and damn the record was great. Definately the best thing Victory ever released. The later Strife stuff was such a let down.

  43. Anonymous says:

    this talk about nu-metal song is completley pointless and doesnt have anything with fact how great this band really was. various influences are and was heard in many bands from the begining of man kind…

  44. chris says:

    according to what ive heard the dvd is a show from last feb. including all original members in addition to a documentary which boasts a band history and in depth interviews along with never before seen footage. so comprehensive seems to be the word.

  45. todays says:

    haha, I'm remember my strife experience oh too well. being from germany, it took me probably a few months longer to get a hold of their first two 7"es, but anyway, they totally blew my away, along with their compilation tracks. mind you, i was sXe back then, and in that time there was possibly not a single edge band with tighter choruses (and stronger, declamatory lyrics) than Strife.

    then "one truth" came out, and i was disappointed like hell. yep, it seemed overproduced. it didn't have the power of the earlier stuff. and though they were trying like hell, they didn't manage to put any real anthems onto that record. but what was worse: those lame-ass versions of "what will remain" and "am i the only one". till then, those two tracks had been among my top-10-edge-hymns EVER. but those new versions just plain sucked.

    anyway, i spent the summer of 1995 in the southern California sXe community and as far as i remember not a single hour of a single day during that time went by without anyone making remarks about how ridiculous and fake all the Strife guys were. i didn't feel like arguing about that, and listening to those songs today… ummm … no, I still don't think Strife EVER were a band that really had to say something important or meaningful.

  46. spark says:

    The one thing I remember about this album was that is got a pretty mediocre review in Anti-Matter and Norm saying how the back-ups "plagued" this record, and one of the dudes in Strife asked him to rereview the record where he pretty much was "yup, still think the same thing!"

    TODAY – you mean to tell me LIFT wasn't an anthem?! Come on now. "LIFE MY MIND MY BODY MY SOUL!!!" HAHAHAA

  47. xarrisinx says:

    Aww, man. I remember coming home from elementary school and my older brother blasting Strife, Unbroken, Outspoken, Undertow, and Strain in his room.Me, just being a little kid not knowing anything about hardcore, but just listening to these bands just moved me and Strife was my favorite band to listen to.Hell, still is, if fact i am going to go listen to it right now!!!

  48. andy says:

    excellent write-up, andrew! but i have to contradict you: "in this defiance" blows "one truth" (got my vinyl right when it was released and love it to this day…) away. been jamming that shit for one week straight now. obviously it doesn't bother me much that they sold out. but lyrics like "convictions held to my grave" kind of leave a stale taste behind nevertheless…

    • AVERSIONLINE says:

      We must agree to disagree. I think it's the other way around, of course, ha, ha. Although, my favorite Strife song of all time is probably that "Untitled" track from the "Truth Through Defiance" collection.