Monday, April 30, 2007

Walking through fire

Day Of Suffering have ascended through the years to become one of my all time favorites. Their sound and their attitude fortunately spread through to some loyal disciples (Heaven Shall Burn most notably until they signed to Century Media and stopped sounding like an even more metal incarnation of DOS) but now, the band face being cast into the annals of history with countless others as one of "those," vegan bands from the 90s that sound dated and "weak," because they are bereft of certain elements circulating in today's music that makes it heavy.

What's most frustrating is that 'The Eternal Jihad,' (DOS's lone full length) hinted at so many possibilities some of which I understand were explored on a demo that the band released in 1998. I haven't personally heard it but I have been told that it sounded like the band's older material mixed with vicious black metal, apparently that track (and some others) will be surfacing at some point this year through Anyway, after Day Of Suffering's demise two of the members (Rob Townsend and Paul Hart) went on to form this short lived project and it looks like they released nothing more then these two tracks (taken from a demo that was limited to 25 copies, how kvlt is that??).

Despite the brevity, for 11 minutes it sounds like the world is going to cave in, imagine Townsend's and Hart's former material mixed up with a heavy dose of Morbid Angel, broody vocals supplied by Ted Gasper and voila! Armageddon unleashed. - Sennacherib - Hands Bound - Sennacherib - Shroud

Due to this being released on a good label that keeps their stuff in print you can find this easily and is readily available here for a good price -

Again, its utterly infuriating that this band only put out these tracks, with a little investment they could have been something that equalled or even surpassed the almighty Day Of Suffering.

I guess we will never know.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Missing Files

For some reason sendspace deletes files, god knows why but if any do go missing just mail me and I will put them back up, I found that The Ten Commandments and The Fortress songs were missing today, so they are now back up.

Drown In Sorrow

Clowns. Hate em. Ever since seeing I.T. (and a few other cinematic atrocities where clowns were involved) coupled with my earlier encounters with them (at parties, come on, everyone during their formative years went to, or had a party where a clown was present) my feelings towards them have taken the form of nothing but pure vehemence. The idea of them, the point of them, goddamn, the mere presence of a clown, anywhere just makes me curl up in a ball, wishing that it would disappear into a very deep, black hole. So when I heard that members of Arkangel and Moules from the mysterious Backstabbers (has this band ever released anything??? If anyone knows then fill me in!!) were getting together under the name of 'Broken Clown,' I was perplexed, thinking "What the hell could this possibly sound like?? Arkangel with circus music???!"

In spite of the moniker, Broken Clown and the feelings of trepidation that were coursing through me when I bought this CD were surprisingly (and gloriously) quashed by the band's fluid and potent mix of doomy, miserable yet driving rock that fleshes out this EP's duration. Moules really excels here, usually I'm accustomed to him wrenching his guts out (he can be found on the last Arkangel full length and Kickback's 'Les 150 Passions,') but here there is not a trace of his former self to be found, rather, he moans, mumbles and drawls his way through the material which coupled with the sludgy but tuneful riffing creates a sizable emotional weight that becomes enticing and hypnotic and draws you in to his wretched world of love, loss and depression. - Broken Clown - At The Surface - Broken Clown - That Wall - Broken Clown - Who The Fuck Is Mary? - Broken Clown - My Precious - Broken Clown - Murdered By Love

Now distros in the US (as far as I have looked anyway) seem to be carrying this, the only outlet I have found this far is here, alternatively, you could try contacting the band, to see if they have any copies left.

The band have been threatening to bring forth a full length for some time but there is still no sign of it, hopefully it will see the light of day before the end of this year, in the meantime this will have to suffice.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Searching For The Truth...

Lifeforce's current roster cannot hold a candle to that of their past, so many of their releases are now so sugary, so palatable, so zeitgeist (I mean that in a bad sense) that its really amazing and still for me, hard to comprehend, that this label was churning out great record after great record. Yeah I know its not the late 90s or early 2000s but how a label can go from releasing some of the best metallic hardcore that Europe and the States had to offer to dross such as Raunchy is still something I am having a hard time to swallow. Having said all that, you can all castrate me for the fact that when it hits the right distros, I will be purchasing very quickly the new Deadlock album, even though I have heard reports that they have also now become somewhat sugary. .

Anyway, back when Lifeforce was a hardline (this is being used as an adjective, I have no idea if the owners were actually hardline) vegan straightedge label that only released material by bands that were of that ideology. They put out a slew of quality EP's, reissues (the Framework collection) before moving onto acts such as Heaven Shall Burn, Caliban etc that really made the label a force to be reckoned with. Then when Trivium joined the label, it ascended their status further and they are now a big, big label (in terms of independents anyway).

Thus its even harder to believe that they stuff they used to release was so raw, and unpolished, typified by the likes of Rancor, Insurrection and the mighty Unborn. This UK pack (of wolves) unleashed this, their second major release back in 1998, at a time when the UKHC scene was in a pretty tumultuous state. 'Truth Against The World,' followed their raging debut 7 inch on Sure Hand and it saw Unborn increase the metal factor (and song length), making this EP a short but potent stab to the eardrums. - Unborn - Eternal Resistance - Unborn - Wrath Of Persistence - Unborn - Blood & Time At The End Of The World - Unborn - Free To Be Human

This is going for a silly price here -

Now seeing this EP is criminally short (and because I'm a generous feller) I'm enclosing two of Unborn's rarer tracks that were released on compilations (Rat told me, but I've forgotten which ones, one track was definitely on 'Stones To Mark A Fire.') These rip, and are easily some of the best material the band put to tape, - Unborn - Covenant - Unborn - Convoluted

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Sensual Sounds

God how long ago it seems since the heady summer of 2003 and what great times, I was looking forward to a long break after my first year of college and the Goodlife summer fest was placed at the pinnacle of that summer break. A big crew from the UK headed out and we all met up to enjoy the likes of Congress, Liar, Die My Demon, Shai Hulud, Heaven Shall Burn, Arkangel etc, etc. It was a great line up and a great fest but one band that surprised everyone there was this mysterious Japanese entity, Naiad. They had flown out for this one show and stole the fest from pretty much all the big names present (which included The Haunted). The appearance (and release of the MCD) was one of the big factors for Goodlife on this fest, and after the performance (and then buying the MCD and listening to it after) its not hard to see why, Naiad were incredible live, pulling in pretty much everyone in attendance with their mesmeric show, which included a burning of incense (if memory serves me correctly) and hypnotic visuals before each member plunged body and soul into a half hour catharsis. Even Shai Hulud (who headlined on the same day) had a tough act to follow (but were still great) as Naiad had truly, stolen the show.

But none of this truly reveals the sound of Naiad.

Well, they managed to concoct a rich, vibrant musical tapestry that is seamless in its execution. In spite of the moments where they swing from melody to mayhem, each transition is so smooth, so lush, that it made the record finish way too quickly. At the time, the band was compared to the likes of Hopesfall and Poison The Well, two fair comparisons due to the mingling of beauty and brutality, but Naiad were no mere impersonation of those two Stateside giants, rather, they were their own, independent entity. - Naiad - Sensuous Tone - Naiad - Believing Dreams - Naiad - Waves Of Influence Strike Within What Truly Moves You - Naiad - Song Of Nature - Naiad - Hopeful progress

This is still about, and there are copies here, so if you feel it, pick it up -

Naiad unfortunately disbanded in 2006, a full CD was set for release but the band imploded due to line up problems and thus decided to cancel the release of their full length. A real shame because the potential on this MCD hinted at vast and incredible possibilities.

Still if you enjoyed this, then you should scroll down and check out Birthplace who play a similar (bit more aggressive) style and are still together.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Facing The End

Canadian hardcore. Some good bands have come from there, proving that the country isn't an anomaly when it comes to hardcore. Before the likes of Figure Four and A Death For Every Sin started tearing shit up there was the almighty Day Of Mourning who mixed up the tough east coast side with holy terror style atmospherics and feel, shit, on this EP the band even drafted in Human Furnace and Dwid for guest vocals. Whilst Day Of Mourning were adept and knowing in how to pen crushing songs, one of their most distinctive features was vocalist Fawad Bokhari, whose fearsome lungs added a more heaving weight to the songs that made them all the more crushing. - Day Of Mourning - Iconoclast - Day Of Mourning - Demons Who Wear The Same Face - Day Of Mourning - Enshrouded In Briars - Day Of Mourning - Under A Veil - Day Of Mourning - Enemy Of Angels

I grabbed this at a fest in Belgium sometime in 2002/03, I can't pinpoint exactly when, but I was lucky as it was not only the last copy available but its a record that had been (and still is) long, long out of print. I have found a copy though currently going at ebay -

Despite the hefty tag for you stateside readers, I do feel that this is worth it, this is a rare gem that will not be reissued. Likewise if you come across their debut full length from 1998, 'Reborn As The Enemy,' or the split with Clenched Fist, then pick those up as they are both equally devastating.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Pure Brutality

Finally. I've been meaning to do a death metal post for such a long time and this is the first of several so for you death metal freaks, watch out, shits gonna start getting BrOOtal ;) So it begins with one of the underground's most obscure but beloved gems 'Drowning In Tragedy,' by the long deceased Eternal Suffering. The band began in 1994 and took their first major step with the release of the demo 'Remain Forever In Misery,' which was a primitive but viral slab of brutality. However, the progression for the material for the full length was astounding as the band managed to juxtapose deftly the brutality factor (as well as escalate it) with stunning atmosphere. Check the doomy riffs that open and then run throughout 'Let The Dark Waters Flow,' it adds so much more personality to the material and makes it much more memorable. Where Eternal Suffering excelled though was their breakdowns, absolute towering monoliths that crushed everything. - Eternal Suffering - Let The Dark Waters Flow - Eternal Suffering - The Warmth In Her Torment - Eternal Suffering - Love Can Never Conquer Hate - Eternal Suffering - Rise

After the album's release in 1999 the band played numerous fests and then began work on their next batch of songs for a split with the almighty Vomit Remnants in 2000. Well for varying reasons, that split never happened (a tragedy, it would have been one of the best ever) and in 2001, the band disbanded.

Now whilst 'Drowning in tragedy,' has been long out of print and is very hard to find there is good news.

Firstly pathos productions ( will be reissuing (but god knows when) the band's entire discography, in the meantime, if you really need to find a copy of the album, then hit

The good news doesn't end there, the 6 tracks that were set to be featured on the split with Vomit Remnants will be reissued with some bonus material this year on the awesome Inherited Suffering ( you can preview a track on there.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Screaming For Justice

Bloody hell this has been a fucker to get up today, clearly my pc doesn't like the 'Verses Of The Bleeding,' tunes. Minchia. Anyway, of all the 90s bands that I have become most obsessed with, Abnegation rank near the top, due to the rumours and stories that this band have caused because of their music, because of their politics and because of their history. Whenever I have quizzed anyone about Abnegation, I have received a cast iron opinion, that is either one of praise or one of sheer hatred. In regards to the latter, the reasoning stems from this due to their views as well as the absolute abomination of a full length that they released in 1997, even though I, like many others, don't consider that album as the true Abnegation. Hence, this post features cuts from their golden days and from the full length so that a fair balance is maintained but also to show the (not progression, far from it) the direction the band took in their twilight period.

'Extinguish The Sickness,' is one of my favorite 7 inches. The amount of times I have spun it now even surprises me, more so if the queasy feeling of excitement that enters my stomach each time a song starts. On this release the band had excelled from their demo 'Life For A Life,' which was bestowed with a sincere energy but lacked quality songs. For 'Extinguish,' they took the raw materials from the demo and unearthed (probably from the depths of hell) some of the hardest riffs, poignant lyrics and punishing beats from the mid 90s. Fuck. If only this band could have got a good deal and released a proper full length at this time... - Abnegation - Birthright - Abnegation - Siphon - Abnegation - Extinguish The Sickness - Abnegation - In The Eye Of The Storm

'In The Eye Of The Storm,' was actually the second track on this 7 inch, but the version I have included here appeared on the 7 Inch of the same name released by Enigmatic records in 1995. Musically it is of the same ilk as the 3 other cuts but with the 'harsher,' vocals that Iggy employed for the remainder of their releases with him on the mic.

I have seen 'Extinguish The Sickness,' on a lot recently, so keep watching there for it.

Now, that abominable full length. 'Verses Of The Bleeding,' reared its ugly head in 1997 and by this time, the line up had drastically changed. Vocal duties were handled by Dave Steele after Iggy left and Doug Corey became the band's sole guitarist after Paul Nowoczynski jumped ship. The notable progression that the band choose here was to gorge and overdose on their metal influences and to eradicate any trace of their former 'core,' self. What was left was a sludgy, primal and very primitive. The tracks that had began to earmark this progression were also featured (but re-recorded) here, one of them being 'Hopes Of Harmony,' one of my favorite Abnegation songs but was completely desecrated for this full length.

Anyway, make your own minds up, - When The Smoke Clears - Verses Of The Bleeding - Hopes Of Harmony (Horrible Version) - Cry Of The Ezurate

If you do like this record, then it is readily available for a cheapo price here -

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Let me know

If anything is broken. I have added my email if you want to get in touch, but if anything does break (like the Caliban songs), let me know!!! And Nick, there you go my friend, the whole Caliban EP is now back up, enjoy and thanks for the comment ;) !!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

No longer a joke...

Reaching back into the folds of memory, I recall that when my interest for black metal began to ferment (around 1999/2000), American bands weren't held in the highest regard. Granted, there weren't very many of them, but those that were operating simply couldn't hold a candle to their European peers.

Post 2000, this began to change when artists as diverse, not to mention classy, such as Weakling, Leviathan, Xasthur, Nachtmystium and legions more, commenced a bloody crusade to not only establish credibility for American black metal but show their peers that they could create their own sound which didn't rely or attempt to mimic that of Europe.

Be it the psychedelic blackened other worldliness of Leviathan and Xasthur or the grandiose brutality of Weakling, the releases by these bands (and others) have become staples as well as hallmarks of the black metal genre. Furthermore, the likes of Xasthur have gone on to cause controversy by switching labels, being 'appreciated,' by trendy rags and declaring all out war on pretty much everyone that has tried to halt or demean the band's progress. This confirms that USBM no longer has to look over its shoulder to examine what's going on in Europe, they can look to trace their own path without that need to acknowledge (or in fact respect) their peers.

One of the strongholds of USBM is the West Coast, both where Leviathan and Xasthur reside but also the focus of this post, Fanisk. Like their contemporaries (especially Weakling and Velvet Cocoon) Fanisk are shrouded in mystery, the members choosing pseudonyms and numerically titling their pieces. The music itself is even more mystically. Each piece if a vast, ambitious canvas that works within but more so beyond the constituents and constraints of black metal. The result is that each song is an ominous but enticing beast, fluctuating and oscillating through various moods, riffs and melodies but always coalescing poignantly so that coherence is maintained. - Fanisk - I - Fanisk - II

Locating this one is not going to be easy, I suggest to try the band directly to see if they have any copies left. I know that had some copies but I fear they have disappeared. Otherwise, you can consult to see if any copies arise.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

There's chugging and then there's Another Victim...

Yet another monster from Syracuse (I should have done a weekly feature on these bands) and one that certainly could have become as notorious (although perhaps not as famous) as the scene gods, Earth Crisis, they had that much potential.

Whereas the likes of Green Rage, Contempt and Soulstice (as well as many others of the Syracuse Vanguard) had 1 or at a push 2 significant releases (excluding demos), Another Victim where constantly releasing material, even if the most at any one time was 6 songs (the Equal Vision EP). Their first significant release was this, their debut from 1997 on none other then Stillborn Records. Damn, if only Jamie had the budget and resources that he had now, who knows what Another Victim could have gone on to release.

At just shy of 12 minutes, this EP shows Another Victim at their juiciest, each riff is a smoldering firestorm of a pure metallic fury, intensified by Andrew's gut wrenching bark. Every track moves so quickly with none topping more then 3 minutes. In spite of the brevity their is a unique character weaved into each song, making it distinguishable and memorable but as always frustrating because they are so addictive and often leave me pleading for more... - Another Victim - Martyr - Another Victim - The Undertaker - Another Victim - Ritual Of Decay - Another Victim - Trial For A Waste Of Life - Another Victim - A Portrayal Of Vengeance

Well, this is another record that is long out of print, only one place to look people -

Still Striking Back...

Better late then never.

Well, here is the second part of the Resurrection comp tracks as promised and as with part 1, the quality and variation is still very high. The latter part of the disc though features two of the 168/178's more unusual artists, these being Eric (named after Unbroken's guitarist, Eric Allen, nice touch I thought), and Unboy (who also sound a little like Unbroken, especially musically) but coupled with Unboy and Eric are two bands that typify the expected (but not typical per se) Japanese sound, these being Canopus (awesome mix of Arkangel and Children Of Gaia) and God's Heritage (one of my fave Japanese bands, now broken up :(.
So enjoy, - Eric - Education Of The Arrow - Canopus - Born II Die - Unboy - Hold Kindled Truth - God's Heritage - Traditional Evangel

Again, if you want a copy of the CD (and why wouldn't you???) then hit xHirox up directly at, but, I have heard that copies of this will be soon available at, so the choice, is yours!