Thursday, January 25, 2007

A Declaration Of War

In the midst of the vegan straightedge explosion during the mid 90s in its focal point, Syracuse, came this gem. 4 tracks, no more then 15 minutes (if that) of material but Green Rage cemented themselves as one of the most kvlt (bring it on you black metal bitches) straight edge bands from the 90s. For about the last 2 years I've been dying too hear this, so when I went to Japan last year and stayed with my crazy Japanese hardcore collector friends, one of the first things I asked to burn was this. However, there's nothing like having the real thing in your own collection and I managed to score a copy of this from an auction held by , last year.
But that isn't really telling you how this record sounds? Well, for the record's all to brief duration it has one premise to chug, then chug again, and finally chug some more, that's it, nowt more, nowt less, but the sheer ferocity (especially with those vocals) and burning passion that drives this songs along draws you in so strongly that the lack of variation becomes insignificant, its just about pure rage.
Since acquiring this, I have actually seen quite a few copies floating around on the Internet, obviously would be the best place to keep an eye out for it. Green Rage - Declaration Green Rage - Sea Of Blood Green Rage - Disinfect Green Rage - Existance
On a side note, an almost romantic (if possible) memory I have of this record was when I was discussing it with Monster (vegan sXe overlord who has been a part of Purification/Dehumanize/Opposite Force and now Doomsday), "awwwwwww, si, si, quel disco assomiglo' completamente Firestorm di Earth Crisis!!' and then he hammered out that opening riff of 'Declaration,' upon the steering wheel as we drove through the Roman night.

The Beast From The East

Even though the mid 90s style of hardcore has become more and more scarce in the US and to some extent Europe, it has been left to more untraditional demographics to continue the endeavour. The two current strongholds are South America and Japan, more so the latter and especially the Tokyo 168 and 178 crews who seem to be determined to preserve but also improve the sound of those who founded the style in the aforementioned epoch. At the centre of this is Hiro Kohama who is now involved in 4 bands (if not others he hasn't told me about) that are dedicated to the sound of those mid 90s illuminaries such as Earth Crisis, Morning Again, Culture, Day Of Suffering and a million others who have, over time become almost legendary in their obscurity (such an example being Blood Of Judas a band that released a tape only demo and it has become an obsession for Japanese kids and vegan diehards to find this tape).

Fortunately the productivity of these Japanese bands is far more efficient then the majority of their influences and at the forefront is Loyal who released their second full length at the tail end of last year. No tracks are posted here, although I seriously recommend that you check them out on their myspace page, Before doing that, you can sample some of their older material, - Loyal To The Grave - 168 Set Terror - Loyal To The Grave - Jasper - Loyal To The Grave - Countless Attempts - Loyal To The Grave - Endless Maze - Loyal To The Grave - Epidemic (guess who wrote this one)

The lead track showcases the direction that Loyal have moved towards, the riffs flow fare more loosely and whilst there is still that ominpotent chug at the basis of their writing they are able to entwine deftly with subtle melodies making it memorable whilst rendering the riffs even more powerful. The tracks 'Jasper,' and 'Countless Attempts,' are from their debut full length, here they were far more rigid in their approach focusing on choking the listener with their riffs. The final two tracks are from a stop gap EP which featured 5 smoking originals and 2 interesting covers, you'll have to pick up the CD to see who the other cover is!

In terms of finding this stuff, its still a tad frustrating, Surprise Attack has copies of the full length,
I believe that the new full length will be coming out on that label sometime this year, but if you can't wait, its best to go directly to the source and get in touch with xHirox for a copy,

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

From the Kingdom...

Well, after many false starts and much frustration with this blog I think it will finally get going in 2007. As promised in the dying months of 2005, I would be featuring for the majority of posts items from the world of metallic hardcore and one couldn't wish to start in a more obvious manner with the choice of this gem.

Above All were one of the first UK heavy hardcore bands, precedeed only by the likes of the enigmatic Ironside. They released a 7 inch on the almighty Sure Hand records and then bought forth this metallic monster on, of all labels, Roadrunner.

Unfortunately when this came out (1996), it was well before my time of being involved in UKHC so I can't really provide much primary background of what was going on (meaning that what I know wasn't experienced first hand but cobbled from various sources over the years). What I do know is that from around 96-98, UKHC was thriving with countless bands spawning all over the country and Above All were considered too be the absolute pinnacle of that talent.

They took all 3 tracks from the 7 inch and bolstered them with 6 new cuts for this full length. Being the mid 90s, the influential shadow of Earth Crisis is cast profoundly on the material here, especially on the final track 'Empire,' which has plenty of sumptious riffs that echo 'Destroy The Machines.' Additionally there is an apocalyptic feel to the material, reminding me of the almighty Overcast, although Above All weren't as technical as the Bostonians, they share that urgency and aforementioned 'apocalyptic,' quality that gives their work a definitive edge in terms of impact and memorability (the songs from this record are constantly stuck in my head).

What happened to Above All is a mystery, I'm not sure when or why they broke up, I only know that vocalist Tony Maddocks resurfaced with Light of the morning in 1999, who, sadly, were rather dismal. If anyone does know what happened to Above All, please fill me in, in the meantime, enjoy the choice cuts selected here, -Above All - Allies -Above All - Threshold -Above All - Forebearer -Above All - Empire

Unlike some of Roadrunner's more obscure records, this one, whilst out of print, is easy to find, I have seen plenty of copies on and as well as quite a few copies on

Also, I am planning to post the tracks from the 7 inch to show a contrast, especially vocally, those will be up soon but before then, other obscure items will be posted!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Trying, trying, trying

Well, we shall see if this shit works, and if it does, watch out world ;)