Friday, September 30, 2011

inner incineration

The early 90's was certainly death metal's heyday and a time when a lot of bigger grindcore bands experimented with the genre. Of these cases, probably the most notable was the early(ish) years of Napalm Death. Ask a lot of people today and they'll tell you that some of the best Napalm Death stuff is when they were playing with the style. I'll quickly argue that point though, you can never go past the grinding perfection of "From Enslavement To Obliteration". Anyway, this is their third full length from 1990, "Harmony Corruption". Earache Records #19. Original pressing on black wax that I recently acquired at the same time as winning the Left Hand Path LP.
With my previous argument in mind, I still do enjoy this album, even if the a-typical, muddy, thick Scott Burns death metal production fucks with the real quality of it. Apart from a few of the obvious stalwarts, I really don't think that the American Death metal sound is that good, and it's a widely known fact that this album was obviously more of a step sideways than forward for the English troupe at this stage. They further experimented with this sound for a few more years, and then tread the waters of a slightly more radio friendly approach, before returning to the traditional grind sound. The last two albums are good examples of this, fantastic.
This LP marked the debut of now long running vocalist Mr. Mark Greenway, who's style at this stage in 2011 is certainly the iconic Napalm Death sound. It's like pizza and pepsi; you don't do one without the other, ever.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

the knot

Much to the confusion of a few of my friends, I've never been a fan of New York's Most Precious Blood. They've always come across as a little too polished for me, and apart from the mighty Trial, that typical 90's sound has never really resonated that well within my tastes. Their demo though, and more importantly, it's first song, the initial version of "The Knot", have always been favourites of mine. This is a vinyl pressing of said demo from 2000, put to wax earlier this year by Trip Machine Laboratories. What the label describes as clear/black haze vinyl of 300 copies. There are two other variants as well.
Tom Sheenan's vocals always appealed to me a lot more than those of Rob Fusco, though with that in mind, Indecision have never really been my thing either. It's just this demo that managed to grab me when I first heard it years ago. The roughness of it, and the urgency in Sheenan's delivery have always managed to grab a hold of my interests somehow. The structure and technique displayed in "The Knot" always grabbed me as interesting too, and I have a feeling that's because it was a song that I heard in the formative years of my developing interest in hardcore.
Like I said, it's a release that I had completely forgotten about, and I would never make any effort to chase this one down and pay big bucks, but for a stock price, it's certainly a record that's worthy of it's place in my collection.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

humanity jihad

Here's a couple records by a band that's shrouded in a certain level of mystery (mysterious guy hardcore?). A while back A389 Records started talking about some kind of super group consisting of members of a few holy terror big wigs. Kill Life as they are known feature members of Integrity, Crass and Magrudergrind amongst others and have just released this new flexi through that label entitled D.E.A. (Dead End America). Subject to a reasonable amount of hype no doubt generated by the label, this is a red flexi of 150 copies. Black was also pressed.
So as you may or may not know this single has been touted as Kill Life featuring Mike IV on vocals. His inclusion was more or less the main reason why I grabbed it, though, I wouldn't say that this is a bad release otherwise. Not at all comparable to Mike's EyeHateGod, it's not really definable at all. If I have to make comparisons I'll initially describe them as some sort of PV inspired unit, but the recording doesn't really lend itself to that style at all, and there's no real obvious PV structures or anything. End of the day I'd say that this is just rough, messy punk.
And this is their split with a band called 33, released last year by All The Way Alive Records. Again, shrouded in mystery, details about this record and 33 are more or less non existent. Grabbed it from A389 at the same time as I grabbed the flexi. Purple vinyl.
This Kill Life recording is vastly different to the new one. For one thing, Mike IV has no involvement with the band here, vocals are handled by Dwid. He sounds really good here too. Three songs that span under two minutes, I'd certainly describe these songs as that of a PV influence. The recording is much cleaner and far more in line with that style too. The last song is a bit of a hoot. It's just a slow, dirgy PV instrumental, lined with feedback and ring outs and a fantastic sample of the phone call involving that famous chimp attach from a few years ago. I do giggle, I'm probably going to hell.
33 play a fast, gruff style of hardcore with some rocky bits. Unfamiliar (to me anyway) surnames are credited and it's noted that this was recorded in England last year, so I assume that this is a band from that country. I know absolutely nothing more though. They remind me very vaguely of that cool band from California, Ramparts. Similar recording and approach.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

bigger problems

Following a demo and a s/t 7", and then a vinyl pressing of the demo, this is the debut LP, "Every Actual State Is Corrupt" from Boston's Brain Killer. Gatefold sleeve with black wax, pressed by Deranged Records.
Out of the US at the moment, I'd say that these guys more or less lead the pack when it comes to good interpretations of that late 80's Japanese crust sound ala bands like Bastard and the like. This LP takes on a noticeably more live sound than the previous efforts, and in doing so comes out displaying a more early 80's USHC vibe. I put it down mostly to the singers more noticeable Yankee accent shining through with this recording. Not as gruff and throaty as the earlier stuff. All the staples of what I mentioned are there though. Short and fast structures, built around an obvious d-beat. Basic chord progessions with the odd epic lead thrown in every now and then. Rough recording. Gruff, throaty vox. Similar grim/dark imagery in the actual packaging of the record. Slightly anarcho/political tendencies. They don't at all really hide their influences, though they have made this album a little more of their own.

Monday, September 26, 2011

social slasher

Here's that recent Canadian Comp LP that was released by High Anxiety and No Idea Records, "City Limits: Down And Out In Toronto and Montreal". I don't often buy comps for the pure fact that most modern ones a crap, and all the old ones cost an arm and a leg to buy. This on the other hand is a fucking great showcase of a heap of bands from the cities in the title and well worthy the 20 bones I handed over for it. Blue smudge vinyl, of what I suspect is that cheap mix variety.
All up there is 24 songs on offer here, all of the rough, older sounding variety. There's a handful of bands on here that I am pretty into, there's some I've never really liked, and then there's some that I hadn't heard of before this album. Of the latter, my favourites would have to be Snake Pit and Purity Control. The Snake Pit offering "Justice" is a fast paced number based around a very basic chord. Running in at about 1:30 it varies in pace and finishes off with a cool little half break. The best thing about the song is the vocalists style and the way he grunts through the last few seconds of the song. After I heard this song I went and found some more stuff by these guys, but I have to say that none of it is as good as this song.
Having never heard a thing about this Purity Control band, based on their one song on here I more or less figured these guys to be of the more metallic, thrashy end of the spectrum. Their song "Sex Life" is a fast, riffy number dominated by a heavily reverbed, dual vocal style. It's gruff and relentless. The other material of their's that I've found though (2 demo tapes) is much rougher and aligns itself a lot more with 90's PV sensibilities. It's pretty good stuff, but differs greatly to their song here.
Of the rest of the music here, my favourites would have to be the offerings by post humous Bad Choice- "Angry Americans", surprisingly the track from Mr. Colohan and Mature Situations- "Yoga Predator", the Brutal Knights track- "Bad Choice", "False Truths" by Urban Blight, Vile Intent's "Jumper", "Corrosion" from Brazen Hell, and The Omegas song "Social Slasher". Most of those I suppose would have been predicted, but I wouldn't have bought this comp otherwise.
Once again Canada, and more to the point, Toronto proves why it's a super power when it comes to on point, angry hardcore. The best of the North?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

supposed to rot

I almost feel weird having to write any kind of essay about the following band and record. Along with early Morbid angel, this album is undoubtedly the most influential death metal album of all time. I speak of course about the debut Entombed LP from 1990, "Left Hand Path". Where would modern metal be without this album? I don't even want to think about it. In a single year this masterpiece defined an entire scene and style, and created a springboard for hundreds of imitators. This IS Swedish metal of death. Nothing comes close, nothing ever will. A recent acquisition via eBay, this is an original pressing on black wax. Earache Records #21.
Like I said in my post about the recent Nihilist reissue a couple of weeks back, I find it a little tricky actually saying that I am a fan of early Entombed when 90% of this album was written when the band were still producing and playing music under that first banner. Obviously this album brought the band to the masses, and of course this recording is the more widely regarded one, but you can't go past the charm of those Nihilist demos. Given enough proper thought though, I think that the clearer, more precise recording present on this release is vastly superior, and the very fact that this album represented the first time that all of these fantastic songs were available together in the one place really cemented Entombed as the rightful torch bearers in terms of the definition of the Swedish death metal sound. Nihilist is good when I am in the mood. "Left Hand Path" is fucking great every single time I spin it.
I wish there was more to really showcase with the packaging of this album, but as is the case with every early Earache release, there's not too much to it really. Simple, glossy sleeve (it's note worthy that this one I have is more or less in near mint condition), basic black and white insert with liner notes etc, and stock standard Earache badging on the actual vinyl centre label. Superior and iconic artwork by Dan Seagrave though, that I could look at forever.
You just simply cannot go past this album in terms of formative, classic death metal. The simple, hooky melodic structures, the iconic buzz saw guitar tone, LG's pure death metal growl. One thing that tuns me off of the majority of the popularised American approach is the overly technical proficiency in the guitar work, the use of triggered drums, and the general attitude of a lot of those early guys. Most notably in the case of Trey Azagthoth and Morbid Angel. It got to the point with that band where it was more or less just about being the best and nothing less. What I like about Entombed and the Swedish style is the more organic feel to the writing and recording. There's a much more punk feel to this album than the other big acts (more than likely why my favourite American band is Autopsy I might add too), and a much more humble, timeless feel in turn.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

blood brew

Grind from Sydney is today's post subject. The band is Beer Corpse, and this is their debut 7", "Keg Nuts" thanks to Give Praise Records. Amber vinyl. Fitting.
What ou get here isn't typical at all of the American record label. This is extreme metal tinged grindcore, similar to a lot of those older 90's goregrind bands. Bands that I know nothing about really. Down tuned guitars recorded roughly, layered with a single tone, very guttural, low vocal belch that is occasionally broken up with some scummy sounding high ends. It's remarkably similar to very early Blood Duster for all of these reasons. If you haven't guessed already, lyrical content is humorously based around drinking beer and getting drunk etc, hence the fitting amber vinyl.
Amazing insert poster of a one Mr. Ivan Milat in his plyaground. Excellent.
Hardly comparable I know, but this is no Internal Rot, but it's cool none the less.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Here's a record that I have probably slept on for a bit too long, the "English Terror Boys" EP from Durham, England's Search And Destroy. Not to be confused with the current band out of Melbourne with the same name, this is nasty, gruff skinhead hardcore ala Negative Approach and the like. Shit's all over the Australian band. This was pressed five years ago by Marcus at The Endless Quest Records. If that name sounds familiar to you, then it should. Marcus is responsible for the long running record collecting blog of the same name. Certainly an influence on me as a blogger originally, his blog more or less gradually turned into what it is today after he kind of lost interest in the label in it's original form. The label is back now though, with the release of a 7" by a band that goes by the name of Hope Defeated. This new band is worlds apart from Search And Destroy though, I suspect fans of Bane (and similar 90's hardcore) will probably dig.
An English ex-pat mate of mine living here in Brisbane recently got his hands on a handful of these to sell, hence my acquisition of the EP. Kind of a lucky score I guess in the fact that I was planning to grab one directly off Marcus for full postage costs. Obviously with Kieren getting a small lot to sell cut down on postage for me.
Very clean, hand numbered package with expected nasty artwork for a release of this nature. Red dust sleeve, hand numbered. Having been reading Marcus' blog for years now, learning about his tastes and what he expects in record presentation, I wouldn't expect anything less than perfection from his work. Top notch.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

product of environment

Sea Of Shit out of Chicago recently had their demo pressed to wax by none other than Mr. Jamie Grimes of Suburban Mayhem Records out of Ireland. I heard that he'd sold all of them already which surprised me a little. I have a few copies left if anyone wants one. Great, grimey powerviolence with a slight fastcore approach. Black vinyl, unsure of the numbers. Can't be too many though if they're already all gone.
What's to say? Nasty, downtuned hardcore comparable to the more crusty end of the spectrum. Fast to very fast structures injected with blast beats and punctuated by a double vocal approach of a combination of strewn out laboured styles and a second, more low end friendly grunt. It has it's moments.
They also did a split with a band called Socially Retarded which I think is a better release as a whole. SOS are noticeably more urgent with that recording, and SR aren't half bad either.
I think I read somewhere that these guys broke up, but I may be wrong. Too bad, cool band.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

no paradise for the damned

A little while back I posted about my score in the Despise You "PCP Scapegoat" 7". That was made possibly after a fellow named Carlos emailed me with a list of stuff he was selling. In the same transaction I also grabbed the Nasum/Abstain split 7". Pressed by Yellow Dog Records back in 1997, this is "The Black Illusions" 7" on black wax. Not sure of alternate pressings.
I bought this based on the quality of the majority of the Nasum catalgue. Based around a dual vocal attack, you can't go wrong with the vast majority of the bands stuff. From the earlier material right through to the "Shift" LP, all of it is pretty shit hot. Over the course of the bands life they managed to obtain more 'cleaner' recordings gradually too which did nothing but make them more exciting. In my opinion there's a lot of their sound floating around in quite a few of today's modern grind bands. This EP marked something like their 7th or 8th recorded release and it's a perfect example of the earlier stuff. Noisy grind with a semi muffled recording. Such a recording manages to really exemplify their crust roots too. As their recordings progressed, the cleaner sounds started to lend to a much more metal feel. I do prefer the later stuff, but this is eight great songs regardless.
Abstain from California on a similar note also play a dense style of nifty grind/crust on this split. The recording qualities are arguably quite similar to that of the Nasum contribution and they also utilises a dual vocal front line. They certainly hit their stride when they opt for the full blast/grind attack, something which they manage to do a fair bit on this split. To be honest I'm struggling to decide which band I prefer with this release.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

every day

The last record I need to post about from Youth Attack and their recent(ish) update, this is the latest Vile Gash single, "Deluded". Clear and black smudge vinyl, YA has black vinyl of 500 listed on the website as the pressing, and a photo to back, with no details about this one what so ever, so I have no idea what's going on.
Three songs of shit smeared, noisy hardcore, I actually really like this band and their brand of rough, fast punk. Their second 7", this one is notably shorter than the first their first foray into the disc realm, with only three brief bursts. Obviously rougher than that EP as well, this one has been touted as more or less a lead up to their upcoming LP which is due before the end of the year.
Of the three YA 7"s which arrived in my mail box this week, this one boasts the least tidy packaging, comprised of merely a glued sleeve, and inside the vinyl in a black dust sleeve. No insert as all relevant notes are printed on the back side. Even with this simplistic arrangement though, it still comes across as mega classy, with nice thick card, and a very clean looking piece of vinyl.
Very keen for the LP, this band hasn't done any wrong yet.