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90's hardcore compilation bands I'd like to know more about: Vol. 1

Posted on Friday, July 31st, 2009 @ 6:46am » permalink

For awhile now I've been meaning to write about a bunch of badass bands from old 90's hardcore compilations that I've been wanting to hear more from, but can't find anything about. I just haven't had time to put together one mega-post about all of 'em at once, so I'm just gonna do it piece by piece as time permits. Going down the list alphabetically, these are the first two bands that I've been unable to find any information on whatsoever. I don't even know where these guys are from since I don't have the CD's in front of me, and these are the only songs I have (that I know of) from both of these groups, so I've got very little to go on… especially seeing as the band names are pretty much useless for searching online. I've been relatively unsuccessful in such posting attempts in the past, but… it's always worth a shot! And if nothing else, hopefully these succinct write-ups will introduce others to some great obscure music that they had never heard before.

The first is from a band called Alert that appeared on the "Over the Edge Compilation Vol. I" in 1993. It's an absolutely killer metallic hardcore tune with tons of those slick little melodic riffs that I love to counterbalance all the crunchy palm-muting. There's actually somewhat of a later Turning Point vibe happening musically with this one. This is one of my favorite styles of "metalcore", and it's one that's unfortunately become extremely rare these days:

Alert "Penance (That Song)"

Next up is Arcane, and this track is from "The Tie That Binds" compilation (1996). Being from the mid-90's, it's much more metallic and possesses many token characteristics of the time period, right down to the (awesome) plunky basslines, tolerably muddy mix, and one of those distant "snaps" to the snare. I would assume these guys were big Chokehold fans. There's some subtle variety, though, with surprisingly energetic little bursts amidst the plodding, midpaced, chugga-styled breaks – while the aggressive sneers also appear alongside more of a spoken approach from time to time:

Arcane "Malefactor"

If anyone has any information on either of these bands, most specifically potential discography information, please do post a comment or email me. Thank you!


  1. Dan says:

    I may be way off about this, but I don't think Arcane released anything else. They were a short-lived band and a couple of the guys ended up started the Dillinger Escape Plan.

    I saw them in a basement in NJ once and I don't remember them even having a demo tape available. I think they recorded a self-titled demo, but ended up releasing it as the first DEP ep on Now Or Never Records.


    Wow, according to Wikipedia, that's true. I had no idea!? I've never heard that Dillinger EP, does it sound anything like this Arcane track, or is it more in the style that DEP came to be known for?

  3. Hil says:

    Great post idea!
    The Tie That Binds is one of my top 10 comps I've ever owned in any genre.
    I'll hit you up with that DEP EP (assuming I still have it laying around) so you can judge for yourself. I haven't listened to it in quite a long time, but I believe it was more in the style that eventually DEP was known for. I remember getting it cause i was intrigued by the cover, and then being like…oh this is different. I'll try to track down tonight to send to you

  4. steve says:

    yea arcane was pre-DEP. they had at least one demo possibly 2. i have them at my parents house. i used to be good friends with them back then. ben actually filled in on guitar temporarily for my band Uprise. i think youtube has a couple songs from them from a nj show, try lookin it up. they were supposed to release a 7" on chapter records but that never happened. i think they even recorded for it

  5. Dan says:

    Not to plug myself or anything, but I posted that DEP ep at my blog. Check it out:


    If I had to describe it, I'd say it was a little more primitive than all the DEP material that followed it, but it was definitely more DEP than it was Arcane.

  6. GREAT initiative! I look forward to the rest of these posts. There are tons of obscure, one-hit wonder hardcore bands from the 90s down the alphabet.

  7. Chris says:

    definitely a sweet post, also I dig the first DEP ep… but its not necessarily the same as the Arcane track.. as you've probably figured out by now. But I didn't know Arcane even existed prior to this so I'm stoked about that… one 90's band I really liked that I could never find that much of was Function, they of course have the cover on the Embrace tribute and I found one 7" that I think was released on the Rev sub label Crisis (i don't know if thats correct I just currently think it is). Maybe its just all really obscure. Well.. Thanks for the sweet post.

  8. John Hasson says:

    Alert LOVES Judge clearly.

  9. C says:

    I have that Arcane demo somewhere at my parent's house as well. I will seek it out and try to upload it. I remember seeing them in Middletown, NJ, at a house show done by ubiquitous mid-90s show promoter Tim Morris. Arcane had two singers at the time- Dimitri (later of DEP) and another guy whose name I forget. No idea who else played that show, maybe Endeavor.

  10. wampag says:

    I just found NJ's Got It on mediafire thinking it was this great comp I had back in the day and although it is amazing "I'd rather be an asshole" what a great song but it is not the one I was looking for, there is one compilation that i listened to every day and for the life of me I have no clue what it was

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