I briefly (though admittedly cryptically) touched upon—or at least hinted at—the absolute brilliance of this album a few months ago, but god damn have I been listening to these songs over and over and over lately. I just can't believe how consistently blown away I am. I haven't posted about many older releases recently, but I'm just not gonna get into the usual "biographical information" spiel this time around (check out Only Living Witness on MySpace if you want background facts), 'cause I'm just all about flat out gushing here, boys and girls. That's all there is to it. The album's that fucking incredible. Seriously.
Originally released in 1996 and then re-released (remastered with bonus tracks) alongside their debut, "Prone Mortal Form", as part of a 2xCD set in 2006, something about "Innocents" just kicks the shit out of me every time. And I'm not gonna lie, I never even owned this album until the reissue came out. Fuckin' pathetic, yeah? I had "Prone Mortal Form" on cassette when I was a kid (I thought the album cover looked awesome), somehow ended up with the 7" that Chainsaw Safety released, and of course had the track that was on the "East Coast Assault" compilation (which always reminded me of Death Angel, oddly enough), but that was the extent of my Only Living Witness collection until 2006. And my full-blown worship didn't blossom until sometime in mid-2007, when "Downpour" came on my iPod during shuffle and I was suddenly like, "Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait... now that is a fucking million dollar song right there." I listened to that track about 20 times that day (it's the most played song in my iTunes library now), and have listened to this album about five times already this week—something that I almost never do anymore. I don't know why it took some time, but "Innocents" rapidly grew on me from that point forward, and now I can't get enough of it, and fully regret the fact that I inexplicably paid it no mind 12 fucking years ago when it originally hit the streets. (Damn you, chugging mid-90's hardcore, for once, damn you...)
And it's weird, because this isn't particularly the type of record that I'd normally think of as being one of "those records" for me—which perhaps makes it somehow all the more likely candidate to be just that type of record, but... well, whatever. I guess it covers all the bases. Heavy, diverse , rockin', melodic, creative... great riffs, excellent recording, golden performances... and it's damn sure loaded with feeling and emotion. I don't know what it is, because for the most part it's only little fragmented bits and pieces of the lyrics that jump out at me and make want to shoot myself in the face (And for me, that's actually a good thing here. I'm all about connection and response with music, so if it makes me want to put my fist through a wall or something like that, we're good to go.), but... the vast majority of these songs hit me like a fuckin' brick in the mouth, and though the metaphor reads illogically, I'd be a much happier man if I could find more music that stirred such feelings within me.
I realize I've said very little about their actual music, but that's because I'm going to let it speak for itself:
I should say so much more, but I don't even know what more to say. Amazing, amazing album, and I commend these cats with full fucking force across the board for this one. I'm floored. (And, yeah, embarrassed. Why the hell did it take me so long to wake up? Why!?)
I mean, if that shit doesn't do something for you, something's not right, man...
With regard to "Downpour" I stated awhile back that everyone in Only Living Witness "should be fuckin' rich for having something to do with a song so amazing". I wasn't kidding. They are, however, not rich. "Innocents" is, however, fucking perfect. So you should, of course, buy the album and contribute to their continually unfortunate lack of riches. Unless my eyes deceive me, Century Media seems to be selling the 2xCD reissue for a mere $5 (That makes no sense, but it's a hell of a deal, so jump at it!), so... if you download this album for free, you suck. The end.