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

Justice Unknown "This is What Rage is About" CD

Posted on Wednesday, September 26th, 2007 @ 8:23pm » permalink

Justice Unknown - This is What Rage is AboutI haven't posted about any criminally underrated gems lately, so here's one of the best absurdly rare and borderline unheard of albums in my collection. Justice Unknown was from Long Island and formed in 1995, breaking up but a few short years later after releasing their sole album, "This is What Rage is About", on None of the Above Records in 1996. I used to see ads for this record in damn near every zine known to man back in the day, but for some reason I never bothered to pick it up. I still know damn near nothing about this band, and pathetically enough most everything I've picked up was on their MySpace page, which I randomly stumbled across the other day (there's an unreleased track from 1997 up there too, if you're interested). All I can tell you is that the disc contains a mere eight tracks in about 22 minutes and seems to be heavily influenced by the crunchy grooves and in your face bitterness of Neglect, with a little Fury of Five tucked into the guitar work here and there, alongside loosely comparable traits of bands like Sheer Terror, Blood for Blood, etc. Expect gruff, burly vocals; loads of midpaced chugging with sparse bursts of faster, more traditional hardcore; and a great recording (especially considering the band's relatively unknown status) with a super crisp/crunchy guitar tone, thudding bass runs, and a balanced mix with just the right amount of rough-edged ruggedness. That's honestly about all I can give you on this one. Maybe some of the former band members will stumble across this post and offer some insight? It's an awesome album, so enjoy…

1. "Plugged In"
2. "Lock on My Rage"
3. "Sixth Precinct"
4. "No Brain No Pain"
5. "Lost Cause"
6. "Payment in Pain"
7. "Wasted Mind"
8. "Justice Unknown"

Hopefully no one will mind that I went ahead and posted the whole disc, because this thing is so fucking rare that I can't imagine anyone having an easy time finding a copy to purchase. I found one used on Amazon.com a few years ago and the damn thing came with a completely water-damaged booklet that won't even open (hence I've never seen the lyrics or anything else that might be inside the packaging), and I've never been able to find another copy since, so… good luck with that.

Edit: I took down the mp3's of the full-length based on the comment that Matt from Justice Unknown posted below. If you missed it: "We will be putting out a double CD in May with the album, our demos, and our comp tracks. The second CD will have like 12 new songs and some other shit that we did before we all went off to jail, the army, and the 9-to-5 bullshit. I promise the new stuff will be some of the most brutal music in a long time. For more info and updates go to the MySpace page for details."

I for one can't fuckin' wait to see/hear this thing!

Fury of Five "The High Cost of Dying" demo

Posted on Tuesday, September 25th, 2007 @ 12:36pm » permalink

Fury of Five - The High Cost of DyingHaving listened to damn near every Fury of Five track ever recorded yesterday at work (though you'd never know it from those stupid Last.fm widgets over there on the right, since they rarely work and only track like 40% of what I actually listen to), I dug out an old CD-R with this demo on it last night while I wait for my copy of the "Jersey Style" CD (on Filled With Hate Records) to come in the mail. Though, for some bizarre and unfortunate reason it appears that the best song off this demo ("I Owe You Nothing") is not even on that CD!? I'm not entirely sure since the damn tracklist seems to be under lock and key, but the one mention of the tracklist that I've found online doesn't include "I Owe You Nothing" or the tracks from the "Convicted and Condemned" 7", which makes no sense to me seeing as any Fury of Five collection CD should've included all that old rare shit, but… I guess I'll wait and see what's up when the CD arrives. Either way, this demo sounds rough (What year is this from? 1995?), but the earlier Fury of Five tracks were so fucking hard… the mosh breaks in "I Owe You Nothing" are just priceless. I had originally planned to post this demo a long time ago, but kept forgetting, so… I figured I'd waste my lunch break on it today. Have at it:

1. "I Owe You Nothing"
2. "Wipe Away the Tears"
3. "Bloodshot Eyes"

I've been spotting a few rumors floating around online lately about a potential Fury of Five reunion show of some sort. I don't really buy it, but… I'd love to see it happen if they ended up recording some new shit after the fact, that's for damn sure.

Oh, and if anyone has mp3's of any demo material from James Ismean's pre-Fury of Five bands Locked Up in Life or Position of Power, please fucking hook me up! Thanks…

Bulldoze "The Final Beatdown" CD

Posted on Monday, September 24th, 2007 @ 6:49am » permalink

Bulldoze - The Final BeatdownAt my count this is the third and by far the best edition of the complete discography from the almighty Bulldoze, released earlier this year by Trip Machine Laboratories. If you've been living under a rock for the last 10 – 15 years and remain unaware, the DMS-affiliated Bulldoze had their original run in the early- to mid-90's cranking out crushing metallic hardcore packed with mosh-inducing midpaced grooves and a burly, stomping approach that basically birthed the "beatdown" style for which they and so many bands to follow have become become known – thus having had a fairly significant influence on legions of "toughguy" hardcore acts ever since. Members went on to form Train of Thought, Agents of Man, Terror Zone, and Homicidal, and Bulldoze has reunited for live performances a few times over the years (it's rumored that they're going to play again this year, in fact).

As with the prior issues of this collection, the disc contains their demo, 7", and tracks from the "New York's Hardest" compilation, but now there's a full live set (as opposed to just the four songs that appeared on the last Time Served Records repress of this disc around 2003 or so) recorded at The Wetlands in 1995 (complete with a cover of Breakdown's classic "Sick People" to close things out) for a total of 19 tracks in about 73 minutes. Plus there's an hour-long DVD that includes the aforementioned Wetlands show and another set from the summer of 2005 at CBGB (which they open up with a quick shot of Dmize's "DMS" intro)… all wrapped up in a much tighter and more consistent layout than the pressings that preceded it. Lyrics, flyers, photos, it's all here. I can't imagine what more anyone could ask for…

Growing up, pain was my best friend. Things have changed, for no apparent reason. My heart's turned to ice, don't ask me why. Just stay on your back, and look at the sky…

Bulldoze "Bulldoze"
Bulldoze "Nothing But a Beatdown"


@ Interpunk
@ RevHQ
@ Surprise Attack Records
@ Very Distribution

Pellinore "Memento Mori/Hell Mouth" CD

Posted on Thursday, September 20th, 2007 @ 6:49am » permalink

Pellinore - Memento Mori/Hell MouthBrand new on Strike Three Records, this all-too-brief disc compiles 11 tracks from two previously released EP's in only 16-and-a-half minutes from New Jersey's Pellinore – whose diverse range of influences includes Siege, D.R.I., Dropdead, His Hero is Gone, Integrity, and Converge; and who've been compared to Rorschach, Citizen's Arrest, Born Against, and early Ringworm, among others. What's weirder? I can actually hear a good portion of that stuff flying around in there. Believe it. Expect fast, chaotic (but not exactly unhinged) hardcore/punk with a great balance of loose, dirty, dissonant textures and surging metallic chunkiness, with vocals that walk a strange yet awesome line between the scorching fury of Ringworm's Human Furnace and a snottier, Grimple-esque punk aesthetic. No song hits three minutes, so these dudes just tear shit up and call it a day. I was hooked on this stuff pretty damn quickly, and the quality of their songwriting far outshines many comparable-yet-ultimately-lesser bands of the last decade, so… check this shit out and see what you think.

Pellinore "Disappear/Sink"
Pellinore "Gnarwhal"

It's dirt cheap (Less than $7!), so there's really no excuse not to pick one up if you like what you hear…


@ Strike Three Records

Merauder "Master Killer" LP

Posted on Monday, September 17th, 2007 @ 6:49am » permalink

Merauder - Master KillerOriginally released in 1995 and still hailed by many as the band's finest album, "Master Killer" was the debut full-length from New York's legendary Merauder, now getting the reissue treatment on thick 180 gram vinyl thanks to Reaper Records. In addition to all-new cover art (with what I assume are slain iconic references to Iron Maiden, Anthrax, S.O.D., Quiet Riot, Ozzy, and Megadeth, among others) there's also a big foldout insert with lyrics and a photo collage on the inside, while the other's dedicated to Merauder guitarist Javier "Sob" Carpio (who sadly passed away last year, R.I.P.) – with some liner notes from members of Stigmata, Terror, Earth Crisis, World Collapse, Biohazard, All Out War, Obituary, and Converge reflecting on his memory and/or their memories of this album and Merauder's history in the scene.

What can I really say, here? At this point you either know and love this band, or you're just not into this kind of thing. Hopefully there's a chance that a reissue like this can introduce the force of their work to a younger generation that's unaware of some of the roots of a lot of the stuff that's out there these days, I guess (after all, there are a number of bands whose sole intention seems to have been to replicate the style of this album), but whatever the case this shit's all gold to this day. They don't seem to get a terrible amount of credit for it since they were around for a good five or so years before finally releasing a full-length, but Merauder was definitely one of the earlier acts to really push "hardcore" into a way metal realm, but without sounding like a full-blown metal band. They've always had an immediately identifiable sound across the board – be it vocally, through their subtle grooves and rhythmic structures, or that fluid and melodic lead playing – and to me this album definitely represents the epitome of the sound that makes Merauder what they are. "Time Ends", "Life is Pain", "Mirror Shows Black", "Master Killer"… the album never fuckin' lets up, and it's got a great balance between chugging power chords and churning, thrashy midpaced picking patterns with just the perfect feel. You can't lose, man. I actually love this shit more today than I did back when I was 18. Go figure!

Merauder "Master Killer"
Merauder "Downfall of Christ"
Merauder "Life is Pain"

I don't know how many copies were pressed, but this thing's limited edition and I believe there are still some colored vinyl editions left (mine is a spattered swirl of black and pink), so if you're a vinyl junkie don't sleep on it for too long…


@ Reaper Records
@ RevHQ
@ Very Distribution

Soul Control "Involution" CD

Posted on Friday, September 14th, 2007 @ 5:38am » permalink

Soul Control - InvolutionFor their Rivalry Records debut, Rhode Island's Soul Control only needs about 23 minutes to crank out 11 short tracks (only one more than three minutes) of (post-)hardcore that the label cites as being influenced by the most impressive roster of Bad Brains, Burn, 108, Quicksand, and Into Another (whose unreleased LP's titled was borrowed for their band name, but that's about the only superficial connection I'd cite). For the most part that's a fairly accurate assessment, though Soul Control doesn't particularly sound like any of those bands when all is said and done – just in bits and pieces throughout. There's definitely some of that dryer, rawer, "Manic Compression" era Quicksand post-hardcore churn happening, which is then accented by bursts of semi-straightforward hardcore colored up with plenty of those slick little Burn-esque arpeggios and oddball pinches and plucks of 108's earlier and more energetic work. Something about the material feels kinda laidback in a weird way, but the more I listen to it the more it's growing on me, and there's a good mix of tempos and influences all around to keep things interesting. There's absolutely some great stuff to be found here, and I'm extremely curious to see where this band will head down the road. Very cool…

Soul Control "Self Delusion"
Soul Control "On Survival"


@ Rivalry Records

Ulcerate "Of Fracture and Failure" CD

Posted on Thursday, September 13th, 2007 @ 6:38am » permalink

Ulcerate - Of Fracture and FailureHaving been most impressed with the demo material from Auckland, New Zealand death metal act Ulcerate a few years ago, I was looking forward to checking out their debut full-length, "Of Fracture and Failure" (on Neurotic Records), when it showed up in the mail recently. I referred to the general tone of their demo recordings as "a mix of Cryptopsy (but not that over the top), a dash of Suffocation, some of the Florida classics, and even a few more modern shredding riffs akin to the Polish scene" – which still stands to some degree, as this is still thick, brutal material – but they're definitely leaning in that more "over the top" direction these days in terms of infusing a greater deal of explosive technicality and chaotic songwriting arrangements. I'd also throw a Gorguts mention into the mix now, though, because along with the aforementioned characteristics comes a certain air of churning dissonance and just, well… weirdness that really works in the band's favor. While I tend to be turned off by these types of frantic and frenzied compositional tactics, Ulcerate proves to be a top-notch act in that regard by continuing to provide enough little fits of breathing room for the listener to latch onto unexpectedly atmospheric twists or flat out crushing grooves – not to mention the fact that their playing is excellently tight (the drumming is fuckin' great) and the production values are nice and beefy. It might be a slightly more enjoyable listen were they to ease up and restrain themselves just a hint more often, but I'm still quite pleased with this effort, and would expect the band to start garnering quite a bit more attention based on the merits of their material. Well done…

Ulcerate "Martyr of the Soil"


@ Ulcerate
@ Neurotic Records

Rot in Hell "2007 demo" one-sided 7"

Posted on Tuesday, September 11th, 2007 @ 5:41am » permalink

Rot in Hell - 2007 demoA mere three tracks, barely over six minutes, yet all gold. This UK metallic hardcore outfit takes "holy terror" so seriously they've got fuckin' Robert DeGrimston in their cover art! A little more Gehenna than Clevo to these ears (though there's a good dose of early Ringworm and raw, primal Integrity in there – complete with some dead on little Melnick-ian lead bursts), expect short, chugging onslaughts of pissed off and ruggedly recorded (in the best possible way) material that absolutely leaves you wanting more. They've got split 7"s with Brain Dead and The Process on the way (hopefully I can get my hands on those tracks as well), and the demo's gonna be released as a one-sided 7" by Hemlock13 at some point in the relatively near future as well. Oh, and did I mention there's a fucking Meanstreak cover!? Hot damn… "Final Word" is still one of the greatest hardcore songs ever written. I love these motherfuckers!

Rot in Hell "Sins of Malice"


Well, you can't yet, so… contact the label on MySpace and see what's up with a release date. I don't think the band even has a MySpace page or anything like that. "Kvlt". If this is gonna be a new trend, sign me up. Long fucking live "holy terror"…

Memfis "The Wind-Up" CD

Posted on Monday, September 10th, 2007 @ 5:51am » permalink

Memfis - The Wind-UpOriginally released about a year ago by Swedish label Dental Records and then licensed stateside earlier this year by Candlelight Records, "The Wind-Up" is the incredibly impressive debut from Kristinehamn, Sweden's Memfis. You'd never really guess it from the band name or the oddly "indie" looking style of the album art, but the band's focused and surprisingly technical style is an almost perfect blend of equal parts Opeth and Burst – and both from the fellow Swedes' golden ages (circa, say, "Still Life" and "In Coveting Ways", respectively). That's not to take anything away from the band's own creativity, though. Sure, these riffing styles may be familiar on many levels, but I've certainly never heard the two combined so fluidly, and there's nothing but quality steadily streaming from throughout the riffs and compositions that Memfis places on display here – only a few of which top the four-minute mark (though the album does tend to play through almost as though it's one complete whole). I don't know, while I'm still a fan of Opeth and Burst, this album actually contains some of the much-needed energy and zest that both of those bands have been lacking in recent years. There are just a ton of awesome little smooth melodies and roving bass runs, a great recording… it's just a really cool album all in all.

Memfis "The Wind-Up"
Memfis "The Judgement"


@ Candlelight Records
@ eMusic

Cutdown, Last Laugh, and Ratface…

Posted on Friday, September 7th, 2007 @ 5:40am » permalink

Cutdown - Always Intact"Always Intact" is the latest from Helsinki, Finland's Cutdown on Musta Maija Records, doing what Finland does best: Pissed off, no bullshit metallic hardcore with loads of chugging midpaced breakdowns and absolutely sick vocals that definitely lend some texture and aggression to the tracks. I've said it many times before and I'm sure I'll say it many more before I'm through, but Finland has the absolute best scene in the world for this form of no nonsense, 90's styled metallic hardcore, and I can't get enough of it. These bands are certainly not rewriting the book on this stuff, but they write consistently powerful songs, and in this particular case Cutdown is sounding tighter and more cohesive than ever, straight down to the crisp guitar tone and pulsing basslines of the improved recording quality. 10 tracks, 28 minutes, all solid. That's all there is to it, really…

Cutdown "No Apologies"
Cutdown "Strike You Down"


This one may only be available from the band and the label, so hit 'em up on MySpace to check on the ordering information if this is your thing.

Last Laugh - Dead SeriousAlso from Helsinki, Finland and Musta Maija Records is "Dead Serious", the newest from Last Laugh, whose style remains more rooted in traditional hardcore than some of their Finnish contemporaries. Expect more of their short, fast, in your face material with plenty of bitter, sarcastic lyrical content delivered in tracks like "Soy Does Not Taste Like Meat" and "Kicked Out of MySpace", among numerous others. As with Cutdown above, this album sees Last Laugh benefiting from a much stronger set of production values, which makes a hell of a difference in the overall impact of their relatively straightforward old school hardcore with a sense of humor. They tear through 19 tracks in just under 20 minutes and definitely leave me wanting more this time around, so I'll be looking forward to observing their continued progression on the next one, too.

Last Laugh "Just Being Honest"
Last Laugh "Soy Does Not Taste Like Meat"


Same deal here. Contact the band and the label on MySpace for ordering information.

Ratface - Demon DayzAnd one more out of Finland, this time released by Fast Rock Factory, I believe "Demon Dayz" is the debut EP from Ratface. The whole "'z' is the new 's'" thing alongside song titles like "From da Streetz" and "Bringa of Beatz, Raiser of Downz" would most definitely lead one to expect some E.Town Concrete level hip-hop influences, but that's actually not the case at all, as there are barely any such vocal characteristics present throughout the disc, and the vast majority of the material is the same brand of tight, breakdown-laden metallic hardcore I've come to expect from the mighty Finnish scene. These cats also toss in a good balance of thrashing speed to counterbalance all of the chugging midpaced power chords, and once more the vocals possess a unique texture that definitely adds to their take on this niche of hardcore. At just 11 minutes long I'm certainly left curious as to where Ratface will go next, so hopefully a full-length's on deck…

Ratface "Bringa of Beatz, Raiser of Downz"


Aaaaaand again… contact the band and the label on MySpace to see about getting your hands on one of these jams.

Dekapitator "The Storm Before the Calm" CD

Posted on Wednesday, September 5th, 2007 @ 7:16am » permalink

Dekapitator - The Storm Before the CalmHoly shit, has it really been something like eight years since the last Dekapitator album!? I had no idea it had been so long, but I guess that might have something to do with why I haven't listened to "We Will Destroy… You Will Obey!" in quite some time. Regardless, I guess now's as good a time as any for "The Storm Before the Calm" (on Relapse Records) to hit the streets, what with so many bands doing their damnedest to recapture that classic 80's thrash vibe that we all know and love so well. I'm assuming anyone who cares is aware of the lineup ties that Dekapitator has to numerous other bands, so I'm not gonna bother going there, but on this album the songwriting covers a good amount of ground from the speed, aggression, and chaotic leads of "Show No Mercy"/"Hell Awaits" era Slayer to the catchy midpaced crunch and subtly melodic solos of something like "Extreme Aggression" era Kreator – all topped off with some fairly Martin Van Drunen-esque vocals. There's more to it than that, of course, but that should give you a general idea of what to expect here. No, it's not original, but that's not really the point, is it? And at least these dudes are trying to capture a wide range of old school thrash styles as opposed to zeroing in on one particular little niche, right? I don't have much more to say, really. When thrash is done right I'll always be a fan, and these fuckers know precisely what they're doing…

Dekapitator "Toxic Sanctuary"
Dekapitator "Run With the Pack"


@ Relapse Records
@ The End Records
@ eMusic

Far From Finished "Living in the Fallout" CD

Posted on Monday, September 3rd, 2007 @ 7:54am » permalink

Far From Finished - Living in the FalloutHaving never heard of the band before I didn't really expect a great deal out of it based on the cover art or anything, but by far one of the most impressive albums I've encountered as of late is "Living in the Fallout", the sophomore full-length from Boston's Far From Finished on Think Fast! Records. I'm a huge fan of being taken by surprise like this by an awesome album that comes out of nowhere and really hits the spot, and that hasn't really been happening very much lately, so I'm glad this disc randomly showed up in the mail a few weeks ago. Stylistically the band sounds quite a fucking lot like The Ducky Boys with a hint more polish 'n' punk amidst all the heartfelt rock 'n' roll, so there's plenty of energy and just enough of an edge in addition to the punchy songwriting and gruff yet catchy vocal melodies and such. As often seems to be the case these days it's nothing I haven't heard before, but I simply can't argue with songwriting this strong. I hate to be keeping these write-ups so damn short, but shit, what else can I say? Just check out the tunes and let the music do the talking…

Far From Finished "Broken"
Far From Finished "Heroes and Ghosts"


@ Think Fast! Records
@ Very Distribution
@ Download Punk