v/a "7.17" compilation 7"
Posted on Monday, August 30th, 2010 @ 6:34am » permalink
Earlier this summer, Hellfish put together the extremely limited edition "7.17" compilation 7" – featuring new and exclusive tracks from Vegas, Gehenna, Unreal City, and Integrity – to commemorate the rare event of all four bands performing together in Anaheim, CA on 7/17/2010. The release seemed to come completely out of nowhere, and that's almost literally the case, as there was only about a month from the time the idea was conceived until the label had the finished product on hand (Apparently the Gehenna track was turned in at the pressing plant – how's that for cutting it close!?).
Vegas kicks things off with "Verklingen" (an awesome, dead-on cover of Integrity's "Fading Away"), followed by Gehenna's "I'll Always Say Forever" – which includes repetitious, plodding riffs and pounding percussion behind surprisingly well-spliced samples. Unreal City's "Oath" then begins with a similarly pulsing intro of percussion/distorted bass before breaking into one of their more energetic compositions, made up of the same driving power chords and melodic leads you'd expect. Integrity closes things out with "+Orrchida": Another short, raw burst of explosive material that really hits the spot. I'm not sure if the song title is supposed to be any kind of reference to G.I.S.M.'s Randy Uchida, but Integrity guitarist Robert Orr's work during the second solo is certainly reminiscent of Uchida's killer little dual-guitar harmonies, so… who knows!?
This was a one-time pressing of just 300 copies – 100 on black vinyl with covers screened in white ink (sold exclusively through Hellfish), 100 on black vinyl with covers screened in red ink (sold only at the show), and 100 on green vinyl with covers screened in silver ink (available only through the bands). There were also 12 box sets that included one of each color of vinyl inside a 7" mailer wrapped in twine, with the art screenprinted onto the mailer itself. Obviously this thing is pretty much sold out in all forms, but it's been said that the label still has a select few copies hanging around. So… if you'd like to get your hands on one, send an email to email@example.com and see what happens…
As is often the case these days, Integrity has made their contribution available for free download, so you can grab that song here (scroll down), but I'm breaking convention and not posting excerpts from the other tunes. None of 'em have leaked out or been released by the bands yet, and I don't wanna be the guy to ruin the mystique of this release!
Facada "O Joio" CD
Posted on Thursday, August 26th, 2010 @ 6:44am » permalink
It's been a few years since the last full-length from Brazilian grinders Facada, but they're back in action with "O Joio" – released by Death Toll Records (which is sadly now defunct, due to an accident in which two members of one of their bands drowned), Gallery Productions, Kasamata Records, and Independência Records. Thankfully not a lot has changed. Perhaps there's a hint more of a churning death metal influence to some of the riffing these days, but the band generally keeps things ragingly fast and in your face (only one song tops the two-minute mark), so when all is said and done you'll get 14 tracks in a mere 21 minutes. Expect all the staples of the genre: Ripping tremolo picking runs and blasting percussion, surging breakdowns, high/low sneering/snarling/growling, sparse moments that suggest a hardcore/punk vibe, a few more chaotic bursts, and so on. They even close with two covers: "Satanist", by the Filthy Christians; and "Lucro é o Fim", by longstanding Brazilian crossover act D.F.C. Good stuff. The production's got a few little inconsistencies here and there (it sounds like there may have been two different recording sessions involved), but for the most part sounds really damn good. I don't know what else to say. As far as I'm concerned, this is exactly what grindcore should be, and I see no reason why fans of early Brutal Truth or mid-period Napalm Death wouldn't be all over this. I haven't been doing a good job of keeping up with a lot of these Brazilian bands, and it seems that many of 'em still deserve a lot more attention!
Facada "Arrogância é meu Privilégio"
Unfortunately this one's not very widely distributed, so to get your hands on a copy of the CD you'll need to email the band or use the MySpace links above to send a message to the band/labels and ask about ordering information.
Meant to Suffer "Colony Collapse Disorder" CD
Posted on Monday, August 23rd, 2010 @ 6:28am » permalink
"Colony Collapse Disorder" is the debut full-length from Brazil's Meant to Suffer, self-released on the band's own Blasted Flag label. I had never heard of these guys before they sent me the album to check out, but their approach is an interesting mix of death metal, metallic hardcore, and a little bit of grind. It's got a vibe similar to some of those early- to mid-90's death metal albums that started stripping down to simpler riffs with a little more groove, but the songs are all pretty short (12 tracks in just 21 minutes), which seems to make the hardcore influences feel more dominant throughout. As a result, it sort of reminds of that sorely underrated band Anger, from Florida, that was a hardcore side project from some members of Solstice and such – though Meant to Suffer occasionally changes things up with some weird dissonant riffs and quickly shifting arrangements to keep you on your toes. It's honestly a little bit confusing, though the blend of influences doesn't particularly come across as disjointed or anything like that. I don't have the lyrics, but also strange is the shift from (potentially) more serious song titles like "Gods Made of Clay" and "Minor Universe" to oddball tunes like "Ballerina Fetish" and "Lovely Chainsaw Incident". Who knows!? All that being said, if you stop over-thinking unnecessary questions about genre classification, it's a solid album with plenty of chugging riffs, forceful vocals, and just the right amount of quirkiness. Check out a song for yourselves and see what you make of it:
Meant to Suffer "Nine Ghosts"
You can't order the disc online anywhere at the moment, so you'll have to contact the band directly via email or MySpace to see what it takes to acquire a copy. They've been kind enough to offer the album up for free download to those interested in checking out the material, so definitely contact them for more information if you like what you hear!
[DOWNLOAD] Meant to Suffer "Colony Collapse Disorder" (@ MediaFire)
Integrity "We are the End" 7"
Posted on Thursday, August 19th, 2010 @ 6:49am » permalink
Integrity now continues what seems to be a prolific run of new material with the one-sided "We are the End" 7" (on Magic Bullet Records) – which includes two new tracks, "We are the End" and "Beneath Black Flames We Ride", for about five minutes of music with the band's skull logo etched onto side B. If "The Blackest Curse" was an impressive foray back towards the shorter, more intense songwriting of the band's early years, then this 7" is even more so. This is easily some of Integrity's most explosive work since "Systems Overload", and the record's title track actually would've fit in perfectly during the "Seasons in the Size of Days" era. Both songs are just loaded with chaotic lead bursts and driving power chord rhythms, and even the vocals feel a little more concentrated here. Short, furious, straight to the point… and fuckin' great. I hate to keep it so short, but I don't know what more to say here. It's well-documented that I've been a huge fan of this band for the past 15 years, so if I ramble on I'll just be repeating myself!
Integrity "Beneath Black Flames We Ride" (excerpt)
I'm not sure how limited the first pressing of the record is, but it's already sold out from the label (you can keep checking the link below for repress availability), so if you want a physical copy you should snag one from a distributor while you still can. The 7"s come with download codes, but you can score the tracks straight from the bigger digital outlets as well.
@ Magic Bullet Records (7")
@ Interpunk (7")
@ RevHQ (7")
@ Amazon.com (mp3)
@ eMusic (mp3)
@ iTunes (mp3)
Foreseen "s/t" 7"
Posted on Monday, August 16th, 2010 @ 6:45am » permalink
Here's some more absolutely amazing metallic hardcore from Finland, via Helsinki's Foreseen (and the increasingly awesome German label Take it Back Records). This material's in more of a late-80's/early-90's NYHC crossover style, so you can expect vicious breakdowns, scorching solos, and top-notch riffs that balance a midpaced hardcore crunch with raging thrash metal. A lot of current hardcore bands seem to be drawing inspiration from these types of influences right now, but many of 'em tend to fall into the rut of sticking with the chugging, midpaced power chords – which often results in one-sided releases that can leave you feeling somewhat unsatisfied. That's not the case with Foreseen at all. These guys definitely have an edge in that there's a hell of a lot more energy to their riffs and arrangements, which really hits the spot. There's nothing about their overall sound that really breaks the mold (and I'm very much fine with that), but their higher quality songwriting/musicianship really stands out and leaves a mark. You just can't argue with this brand of explosive, fast-paced rhythms and tight picking patterns. I'm totally loving this shit and can't wait to hear more from this band. Excellent.
Foreseen "Contrast's Clear"
The record's in the pre-order stage at the moment, and should ship around mid-September. Every copy will come with an mp3 download code, so you can't lose. Pick one up if you like what you hear!
@ Take it Back Records