Väistä!

20140327-130243.jpg Trying heavily to catch up on all great music that has been coming steadily after i put KTL to hiatus. One of those new, upcoming and promising as fuck -bands is Väistä!. They come from my homefront, Turku and feature also a old band mate of mine, from Ill Omen days. Väistä! (Dodge!) did start kind of as a solo project of frontman, Teemu and came into being as he recruited fellow bandmate from his other band, Alley Gods, Lauri to record guitars and bass for the session, that would become Väistä! S/T 7″. After they had recorded the 7″ and it was ready to be released, Teemu got together with some other familiar faces from local scene and assembled a lineup to start playing shows. Combining rocking hardcore, very much alike famous Boston Bust -style and real hardcore punk, Väistä! created a fresh sound of their own. You can hear similarities in bands like The Wrong Side, Righteous Jams, Mental, but as well more punk like another great Finnish band, Ydinperhe, sounds like. As you might guess, they sing in Finnish too, hence the band name. I really like it how Teemu sounds as a vocalist, he’s got a great voice and presence on the stage. Its always a pleasure to watch a band tear it up live, do it with passion and energy. It’s clear that Väistä! took their time to perfect the 7″, as it’s pretty damn tight package, no dead seconds or boring songs, just full on hardcore assault. They got great groove and hard riffing going on throughout the songs and there’s some melodic parts that sink in just great up in there. Väistä! kicks this jam on with straight forward banger, that displays well all elements this band is made of. Ulkonaliikkumiskielto (Curfew) continues, it reminds me lot of older defunct Turku band, Reckless Crew, as they also had big Boston style influence. Another common factor is Lari, who played drums for Reckless, he’s now banging ‘em for Väistä!. Lyrically these songs are great too, since i know Teemu well and he’s gotten into lot of topics that i know really irritate him; “Ehkä kaikki pitäis kieltää, että täällä pystyis elää – Maybe everything would be forbidden, so we could at least live here”, as the song is mainly about fearing everything and overreacting on every threat. Nuorisotakuu draws another another topic of the youth of today, who are lazy, drink energy drinks, play Xbox and their parents just give them money and expects nothing of them. Väistä! have definitely turned heads with this 5-song 7″ it’s a perfect start for them. Why make a shitty demo if you can make awesome 7″ as your first release. I’m glad to see that they are getting a lot of shows and hearing them getting only good response from people. Hardcore is a wonderful thing and these guys know how to shred it. Väistä! S/T 7″ is unfortunately already sold out. It was released by the band, but had Räkälevyt and Poolside Records participating also. Pressing was small out of “around” 130 copies. But fear not, as the record is in it’s entity available for listen here.

Väistä Facebook

M.O.R.A.

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First, this writing is fucking late, haha. Sorry guys & girls, i’m doing my best here (for the band).

One Finnish band that i missed big time, when they first came around, was M.O.R.A., straight ‘outta Helsinki city. I had heard couple songs from their Myspace, rehearsal recordings and thought that it sounded promising. Still i missed many chances to see their shows. One time we drove from one show to other same night, from Helsinki to Hyvinkää and M.O.R.A. played there, but we arrived just when they had already played their set. I actually think that there was at least 3 or 4 times when i didn’t have any money, to buy their cd and one point when i tried to trade it at one show with some .45 cd’s, they had already done that some time ago, so no CD again. So it was damn hard to get the cd! After finally seeing them live couple times and playing also a show with them, it was clear that i really liked their shit, so we booked them to play KTL Fest last year (2013). To the point, what we are talking about here is a five-piece, who play pretty damn solid heavy hardcore, very much in vein of New Jersey thugs, Clubber Lang, Helsinki’s own alleyway gauntlet kings Cutdown and legendary, loved and feared Lappeenranta unit Black Betsy.

Having members from very different musical backgrounds (only just even inside punk / hardcore -spectre) brings a lot to this band, their members have played in various very different styled bands; Aurinkokerho, Creepy Crawlie, Confusa and Black Betsy. Then again, what makes M.O.R.A. any different than the bands, who i mentioned what they sound alike? I guess i didn’t tell you, that they got two gals singing for them and that they sing their metallic hardcore with our native language, Finnish. M.O.R.A.’s S/T CD is their first release and has been put out by the band themselves. When i first heard M.O.R.A., training tape rips on myspace didnt really give accurate picture how they would really come to sound, can’t remember the year of that, but its already years back, when they were just starting out. I was really impressed how heavy they sounded on the album, guitar tone is crazy, just as heavy and chugging as you can hope for this kind of hardcore, without sounding too clean. Rurik’s got some dope ass riffs and there’s lots of very “clubber langish” moshparts (anyone who knows how i love CL understands, that it’s just fucking awesome, so lots of parts to wreck shit up to)! Real hardcore always needs to have some roughness in there, to even up sometimes very real clean production, or that’s how i like it at least. These Helsinki guys & girls got a good thing going on and their cd is full of non-stop action. Introduced politely by one and only Handsome Strangler, M.O.R.A.’s intro hits up into Feikki (Fake). There’s no empty or boring moment, it’s straight up in your face all the time, Suvi & Piia deliver distinct voices, other going bit deeper and rasper tone as other puts out just straight, bit higher screaming. Vocal arrangements are great, lots of backups, to almost simultaneously switching singers, great use of two vocalists. Lyrically it’s more about fucked up things in life; fucking up, being betrayed, trying from worse to better, into criticizing modern day “fast-credit loan lifestyles” and being brutalized by security guards, by just looking certain way, lots of very good stuff, shit most of our kind can certainly relate to. I think that i don’t need to explain anything more, since as always, the music will speak for itself.

M.O.R.A. is actually in turning point of their band, since other singer Piia and bass player Katja, are leaving the band. They are playing handful of shows and have recorded some new material with the original lineup, that’ll see light of the day this year. Band will continue, but is seeking new members. More distinct info about all this go to their FB.

M.O.R.A. Facebook

M.O.R.A. Bigcartel

 

Killing The Legacy Fest 2013

KTL_2013_Flyer

This years KTL Fest is as you might have noticed bit later this year, but at least we pulled it out and it’s happening, which is the most important thing. We got awesome lineup on both days and i’m happy to see few of my very favourite bands play this year, who haven’t yet played KTL Fest. Also this will be glorious (or not so, we’ll see) return of Ill Omen on the stages, it’s been pretty much 2 years (FUCK) since we have played a show. So it’s going to be an amazing weekend for sure overall, looking forward on seeing everyone, friends from near and far in Turku in couple weeks!

We have two local businesses supporting our fest this year, so please do yourself a favor and check them out.

Skin Craft Tattoo Shop

Jukka-Tukku

More about them and their possible special deals regarding the fest etc. will be informed on our Facebook page later, near the actual dates of the fest. Introductions on both day’s lineups are also on the works, so look forward for them soon as well.

Down My Throat

DMT-KLUBI-10-12-2005

Klubi, Turku 2005.

Style: Metallic hardcore

Years active: 1996-2008

Discography:

Down My Throat – Self-Titled 7″ / 1998 / Full House Records

Promo / Demo 1999 CDr / 1999 / D.I.Y.

Building The Legacy (Compilation) CD / 1999 / Full House Records

Step To The Plate (Compilation) CD / 2000 / Thornz Records

Down For Life (Compilation) 7″ / 2000 / Full House Records

Real Heroes Die CD / 2001 / Full House Records

Now And Then CDr / 2002 / D.I.Y.

Through The River Of Denial CD / 2005 / Full House Records, Combat Rock Industry

It was summer of 2002 in Turku and i went to see a hardcore show, first time in our lives with my friend. It was, as we later found out, the last “Beatdown By The Laituri” -show, that went on couple times in early 2000′s. Line up was; Avoid Eye Contact (Turku), Worth The Pain (Lappeenranta), Carpe Diem (Pori) and Down My Throat (Helsinki) and little did i know, my life would be changed forever after that night. What went on, was kids “beating each other up” along every band (how would i know it was called dancing?), singer of Black Betsy took a 2-metre long bench and rushed it into the crowd, nazi skinheads showed up before Carpe Diem played, leaving soon after and beating up Hate Unit‘s singer, as he “somehow” insulted them outside the venue. This is something i remember from that night, but what struck me the most that time, was the last band who played.

DMT-TVO-19-1-2007(1)TVO, Turku, 2007.

Helsinki has always been important place to the birth of “heavier” brand of hardcore music in Finland, many guys who would be later forming bands like; Down My Throat, Bolt, The Unloved, Past Glories, Cutdown etc., were there from the start, building their legacy from nothing, doing their thing from a scratch. There wasn’t much hardcore, as we know it today, around in early 90′s in Finland, first straight edge bands had emerged already in ’89-91, but it was still more of old school hardcore or punk than “heavy” hardcore. Bands like Down My Throat and Morning After were few of the first bands to start draw heavily influences from New York hardcore, bands like the Cro-Mags, Biohazard and everything in between them. Before that time there were of course other bands such as Endstand, who in the start played pretty heavy stuff (in vein of EARTH CRISIS) and bunch of straight edge bands like: 50×50 and Bonded With Blood, but heavier NY influenced stuff wasn’t yet fully coming up until mid to late ’90′s.

Unofficially Down My Throat was found in ’95 with different name, Surrender, that at the time was thought as bit too “krishna” by the guys, so they decided to look for another name. They started to find their form in 1996 and originally the band had different singer, Sacha and Kristian entered the band when Sacha had to leave to live in England for his studies there. They never didn’t record anything with the line-up before Kristian. Story of Down My Throat is in a way a beginning of also another important cornerstone of Finnish hardcore, cause in need for a label to release their music, Kristian had to start one.

Full House Records was founded in 1997 to put out Down My Throat’s first release, S/T 7″, that was quickly released as the label’s first release back in early ’98. Today, valued hardcore collector’s gem,   7″ demonstrated the birth of their style, uncompromising heavy hardcore, in recorded form, containing four tracks on black and limited blue vinyl. Quickly hardcore started to become little bit bigger in Finland, more bands started to pop up and Full House put out more records, making name with quality release after release. DMT of course released most of their discography through Fullhouse, but let’s continue about them more soon in an later date.

DMT-SEMI-29-8-2006 -2

Semifinal, Helsinki 2006.

After DMT put out the S/T  7″, they ventured on fast with writing new material, recording a promo/demo cdr in ’99. Some of that promo’s material was featured on several compilations, Thornz Records (from Chicago) release; Step To The Plate, that was a split release featuring also Denied (NY), Strength For A Reason (PA) and Full Court Press (Netherlands). Other releases they were featured on were a Finnish compilation and scene document; Building The Legacy (Full House Records) and another Finnish compilation, Down For Life 7″ (Full House Records).

Compiled from influences within both, hardcore and thrash/metal realms, Down My Throat blended their unique style of metallic hardcore into perfection on their first full-length, Full House Records released, Real Heroes Die. It really blew everyone away as it took their NYHC influences even further, but was injected with heavy, thrash ridden riffing, creating a sound that still today sounds like no other. So here with Real Heroes Die, their trademark sound was born. Released in 2001, Real Heroes Die marks a major landmark for Down My Throat, as they started to become one of the most known Finnish hardcore bands outside Finland and the record is today regarded as one of the best records in whole Full House Records catalogue. They combined perfectly the sheer force and raw strength of hardcore with heaviness of metal and thrash, songs like; Shattered, Burn, Real Heroes Die and epic ending, Keeping On, Keeping On (feat. Niclas and Sasu “The Monkey Brothers” of Death From Above (Helsinki / Nummela)), are just couple examples why this record is so amazing. Balancing heaviness, they also had included their take of old school NYHC classic, Life’s Blood‘s Youth Enrage. At this point the band consisted of Kristian -vocals, Antti -guitar, Jukka -bass and Arttu -drums and as time went on, DMT played shitloads of shows in Finland and s couple in europe too.

After Real Heroes Die, next release was DIY compilation called, Now And Then, that the band compiled and released by themselves. This record collected together DMT’s early releases on one cdr, with one brand new track. So it featured on one disc, their 7″, promo / demo ’99, compilation tracks and some live / rehearsal tracks (including Bolt/DMT together doing cover of Judge‘s classic, Forget This Time). I’ve had this compilation as mp3′s, but i never got a hard copy of it, as it was already sold out when i tried to order it from the band, back then.

DMT-BAARIKAAPPI-18-3-2006Baarikaappi, Pori, 2006. Feat. Sami of St. Hood.

Around 2003 to late 2004, the band kept mostly laying low and writing new material and they added another guitar for their lineup, as Jukka L. switched from bass to 2nd guitar and Janne (Bolt, Homefront, Death From Above) stepped in to play bass. During this period, there were rumours about that Krisse had problems with his vocals, which turned out to be true and it seemed uncertain if the band would continue going on. But they took some time off and kept it together, slowly people started to talk about a new Down My Throat record and the band’s return to the stages. In September of 2004, they got back on stage and soon the follower for Real Heroes Die was talked about. It was to be titled Through The River Of Denial and first taste off it was released as mp3′s on their homepage in summer 2005, in form of songs Vermouth Breath and Arms Of A Siren.

Second Down My Throat full-length was released late 2005 and 2006 brought some changes to the line-up, as Jukka N. (TKU Blindside, Back Against The Wall) stepped in to handle 2nd guitar for the band, to replace Jukka L., who left the band. After release of intense second album, that brought Down My Throat’s heaviness into another level, but added a lot melody to songs structures, they again continued to play shows. They hit Europe together with St. Hood in summer of 2006, they had 11 dates booked, but since i wasn’t there with them and it’s a long time ago, i can’t recall how many shows they actually got to play. I remember some shows being cancelled due what it may be, but someone whose memory serves better, might enlighten us?

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Full House Records 10-Years, Nosturi, Helsinki, 2008.

Through The River Of Denial introduced even heavier Down My Throat, their hybrid of hardcore thrash metal was here spiced with more melodic guitar parts, while still maintaining that crushing heaviness. They kind of added even more that old school metalcore sound, that bands like All Out War and Merauder so well performed, but had their own more modern take on it. This is how they also widened their audience as a fan of more metal(core) music like; Unearth, Killswitch Engage, All That Remains, could find himself liking Down My Throat, as much as hardcore kid would. Burn My Eyes sends off the album and unrelenting, Vermouth Breath, follows it into the third track, Kiss It Goodbye, where you finally hear how well the melodic parts fit in the mix with all of the heaviness. Krisse is doing a sick job, sounding as furious and desperate as ever and he continues to lay lyrics as venomous as ever. Lights Out, balances nicely between shattering riffage and melodic parts, ending into hard, hard breakdown. Sami (St. Hood) drops in for guest vocals on Grey, that sort of continues lyrically from St. Hood’s song Blessed With Trust, where Kristian did guest part in. Even darker realms and soundscapes take over on Through The River Of Denial, but there’s still bit of hope time to time lyrically, like  in the song, Anchor. DMT has always had eye for amazing album ender, since Broken Glass Of Failure / Wake Us Up, does pretty much the same job as Keeping On, Keeping On, did on Real Heroes Die. Pummeling riffs open up Broken Glass Of Failure and it drives down melodic passage into traditional Down My Throat signature hardcore assault and when the song moves into Wake Us Up, you’ll get to hear pretty damn fine leads by both Antti and Nino Lauranne (Thunderstone / Antidote), who recorded and mixed the album.

DMT-FHR10-5-5-2008

Full House Records 10-Years, Nosturi, Helsinki 2008.

What ultimately almost turned out to be Down My Throat’s last show, was in September of 2007, when they played in Sweden at annual Deadfest with such bands as; Ratface, Six Ft. Ditch, Have Heart etc. Again i can’t recall why they decided to put call it off after that show, but luckily they decided to do one final show in Finland, to put the beast into rest properly. The last Down My Throat show went on at Full House Record’s 10-year celebration show in 2008, where most of the label’s active bands played a show, in Nosturi, Finland. Down My Throat posted this announcement regarding their breakup on their homepage;

“Due to lack of time and interest we have come to the conclusion that there’s no reason to continue this band in this form. We’re just too busy with other projects at the moment (and have been for a while now) and this band hasn’t been going anywhere for a long time now since we really haven’t had the energy to concentrate on it anymore.

I’m too busy making St.Hood sound bad with my sloppy playing and pretending to be a record producer/audio engineer and making other bands’ records sound bad. Kristian is too busy tattooing his ugly drawings on local kids & lowlifes and living his wannabe “biker/rockabilly rebel” life. Born to be wild…. yeah right… you’ll just make an ass out of yourself and fall down with that bike… again. Visse is just busy ruining Bolt. That band actually used to be quite good before this monkey started writing for them. Good luck to Bolt… you’ll need it! Arttu is busy farting all day and playing drums for Cutdown. He’s actually quite good at one of those things… guess which one? Jukka is busy giving people diarrhea with his “delicious” cookings. Have a good time flipping burgers for the rest of your life mate!

So as you can see we’re still very much around and will be making bad music etc.

Huge thanks to all the people who helped us out during these years of our existence, bought our records and came to our shows. We all had a blast and enjoyed every single moment of it!”

Nosturi show was nothing short of amazing, as they always were in live situation. They played tight set containing all crucial songs from both full-lengths and even some older ones. Down My Throat did leave huge boots unfilled, being one, maybe even the most important, of the first wave of metallic hardcore bands in Finland. Excellent bands that emerged during same era from their city, such as, Bolt and Cutdown, have also done equally amazing work as flag bearers of Helsinki hardcore. Still none have matched sound or style of Down My Throat, since their venomous brand of heavy, thrash-ridden hardcore has always had very special something in it. No question that DMT, one of the few first Finnish hardcore bands i’ve ever seen play live, has been a huge inspiration to me and you have to respect them for having done so much for the whole Finnish hardcore scene. Through all the years they have been here, they have stayed true to hardcore and the scene. They were among the ones who started to build their legacy from nothing, in this small cold country, trying and succeeding to make their mark in the world of hardcore music.

Rest in peace. Down My Throat 1996-2008.

Buy:

Full House Records Store

Combat Rock Shop

Interpunk

Listen:

Down My Throat -Myspace

Down My Throat -Homepage

Witness A Rebirth

It’s kind of weird to see old bands get from “the playing couple re-union shows time to time” to back into stage of full-blown bands, that write new music. In some cases it has worked out perfectly, probably best example being one and only Earth Crisis. Years back, they disbanded for a while, but soon continued, writing excellent new music to this date. LA’s Strife is in same category as EC, being one of the biggest straight edge hardcore bands of the 90′s, but as we know they stopped claiming to be a straight edge band, long time ago when they first broke up. After coming back and writing (by my opinion) not very good album (Angermeans), Strife was around a short time and quit again, playing couple re-union shows during years. Since their last leg of time to time reunion shows, the band seemed to get more serious, so they started writing new music. I’ve been a huge fan of all early Strife records, so while i knew Angermeans was pretty bad record, i thought that they wouldn’t probably anymore go into that direction with their new material, so i was very interested to hear how they would sound. Earth Crisis did the same thing with Slither, otherwise perfect discography was off shot with horrible album, but they as well returned to glory and triumphed after their break-up and so has done Strife. I don’t give a fuck if they aren’t sxe anymore (even it was a big part of the band’s history) and i respect that if they play those songs that distinctly touchs subject of the straight edge, they have some friend who is edge to sing that song (i.e. Force Of Change) and after listening to Witness A Rebirth, the new album, it feels just like it what should have been happening after In This Defiance. They have managed to keep the spirit and direction of their original style very alive with this new album. I really was kinda surprised that Witness A Rebirth really sounded so damn good, cause even interested, i didn’t have any expectations how it would maybe sound. Classic hardcore only how Strife know how to do it.

I strongly courage everyone to check out the new album, it’s best thing (with newer Earth Crisis records and Vision Of Disorder‘s new LP) that an older band, that has made a comeback, has done. Rick Rodney sounds as fierce as ever and everything else is soundwise and songwise in it’s place, it’s classic Strife in it’s finest form. Pick it up if you like it, i’m definitely dropping an order for this sucker right now.

Listen Witness A Rebirth as whole here.

 

Strife -Facebook

6131 Records

BAD REP. TCHC

 

Turku’s currently pretty much newest hardcore band, Broken Ribs have gone and decided to call themselves now as Bad Rep. With name change they bring also a new release, their first actual, actually. Putting out a demo last year, they have done and written new shit, that’s going to be featured on new tape they’ll be having pretty soon. Demolition tape features bunch of new tracks and one older one, if my memory serves me correctly. These will be available on few next shows and as well straight from the band and quantities will most likely be very limited so act fast. My boys are also hitting the road this week, since they’re playing hometown show in Turku next Thursday and travel to Sweden for a show in Norköping Saturday 10.11. Now you can listen first track off Demolition tape. Them dudes got merch on the board as well, so pick that shit up and support independent hardcore.

BAD REP -Facebook

Symptoms Of Our Time 7″

Second time i cross my path with this relatively young band, from Hämeenlinna, Left Cold, was when one of the labels, of their new 7″, contacted me and asked for a review. I’m really sorry, that it took so long, but here it is! So with that said, i’ll fill you in bit more about Left Cold, since many of you probably haven’t heard of them before. I picked their From The Ashes -tape, maybe couple years ago from some distro at a show. Not 100% sure, but i think it was their first demo or something, anyhow i thought that it showed some promise, they played dark and heavy sounding hardcore, that sounded to be very influenced by bands such as Integrity, Cursed and their alikes. I think Left Cold has been playing some shows there and there, but until this year, they hadn’t gotten that much attention. Their newly released first 7″, Symptoms Of Our Time, on Johnny Park Avenue Records and Face Your Gods, on the other hand, has gotten them some  buzz.

Hämeenlinna isn’t exactly well know from it’s hardcore / punk bands, so it is even weird to hear band of this style to come out from that city. Left Cold’s first vinyl release, Symptoms Of Our Time is a 4-track 7″, that’s pretty much easily summed as short, dark and heavy. They have four songs on the record and all tracks have been titled with roman numerics. This way to name your tracks is apparently becoming popular, since i’ve gotten two records in a short period of time, that both have done this (see Pigeon Hunt -review). This being only a minor distraction, cause music comes first, as usual and Left Cold have stepped up their game, that’s for sure. I, well defines their new sound, it’s totally different, at least in soundwise, than on the demo tape. They sound so much heavier and darker than before and the same tone is all over all of these songs. They aren’t singing about happy shit either, it’s darkness and chaos, shit gone wrong etc, you know what young men like to scream about in hardcore songs and it’s working out just fine here too. Crossing between atmoshpheric heaviness and raw “holy-terrorian” influenced hardcore, Left Cold have really got their pieces well fit on Symptoms Of Our Time. I haven’t seen these guys live ever before, but will be going to see them actually tonight in my hometown with local hardcore heroes; Broken Ribs, The Reality Show and couple Helsinki based bands, Pigeon Hunt and Lighthouse Project. Hopefully it’ll turn out a good show, we’ll just see how Left Cold will turn out, since the 7″ is pretty short and still leaves a feeling for “something more”, i hope that they will deliver that “more” with their future releases. Fans of all holy terror -related or influenced hardcore and dark crust (His Hero Is Gone, Tragedy, From Ashes Rise etc.), should check out Left Cold.

Left Cold -Facebook

Johnny Park Avenue Records

Face Your Gods

KTL Classics: Irate

When the old Killing The Legacy -site got put down, i lost majority of my archives of posts and reviews. I was only able to recover few most recent articles, losing pretty much 4 years of material. Only good thing about that is really the fact, that now i can write about of same bands all over again, haha. So here were talking now about a band, that i’ve written about once in the past, one of truly greatest metallic hardcore bands, that have ever come out of New York City.

Irate – a band that shouldn’t need any introductions, but unfortunately they we’re in their time (and today as well) criminally unappreciated. In Europe they had quite good following, but somehow they always stayed under radar in the states. Metalcore wasn’t even a word really in the sense it’s understood today, when Irate started, so these guys were definitely ahead of their time. Not many bands did what they did, these kings from Bronx had it all, amazing talent with their instruments, genius songwriting and one of the most menacing vocalists that i know to this day. Irate crafted their ultra brutal metallic hardcore, that was of course influenced by thrash and heavy metal alike, from 1996 to 2006: “The Decade of DIY” -like they said it themselves on one of their last shirt designs. I think that technically they started already in 1995 and released first demo in ’96, but i guess they know it better themselves. Irate pretty much dominated every other band that tried to be heavy sounding hardcore band and would probably outplay them live without any problem too. I’m still fucked up about the fact i never got to see these guys play, wish i had travelled to Germany, when they played their Euro farewell tour in 2005, but it’s too late to think back now.

If you haven’t heard if Irate before, this video should explain what i’m talking about and if you have, put some record on right now and bang your head.

Vendetta -live at Pressure Fest 2005.

Irate’s records are nowdays pretty damn hard to come by and people pay off ‘em a good money on Ebay. I bought their masterpiece (my personal favorite), 11:34 CD from a friend years ago, as well picked my copies of Burden Of A Crumbling Society MCD and New York Metal CD, when those both were still steady in stock at Goodlife webstore back in ’03 or ’04. There is just so many good things in this band, that it’s almost difficult to put in words how good they were, all their records are pretty much flawless and they managed to keep their stuff sounding fresh, but still in same vein, even the material progressed and went on to next level on each record. Back then the heaviest bands playing this kind of metallic hardcore were Irate and Shattered Realm and no one could really compete with them, even if they tried. As today brings us thousands of bands, who try to sound like these guys, it’s clear that they can’t beat the originals, in fact they don’t even stand a chance.

Irate released their first demo in ’96, after playing together only for couple months. I haven’t been able to track down that demo and i really want to hear it one day. Burden Of A Crumbling Society MCD came out in 1998 and was their first proper release, it was released by Even If It Smells Productions, that most likely is the band themselves or/and their friends. After it they continued on to put out their first full-length, 11:34 CD was released in 2001, by the band themselves, it featured couple tracks from “Burden“, but contained mostly new material and if you ask me, even they were already amazing on the MCD, here they unleashed their true potential. Between 11:34 (that would, by the way translate inverted as HELL, if you didnt get it already) and Irate’s final recording, New York Metal, the band released a promo/demo in 2003, that featured Irate’s probably most known song (featured also on the video above), Vendetta and several other songs that would end up on NY Metal. Vendetta was furious declaration against nu-metal band I.R.A.T.E., that tried to claim the name Irate, even knowing that NYC’s Irate had their name already for years. NY Metal took Irate’s music even further, it was colossal, heavy as fuck and technical at the same time. Songs featured many aspects of music from straight out metallic beatdown to scorching guitar solos to acoustic parts and clean guitar parts, that of course had appeared as well on their earlier material too. You really can’t compare Irate to any band, but from short list of their friends and at least somehow similar sounding bands, you’ll get the picture, if you still haven’t given it a listen; Sworn Enemy, Everybody Gets Hurt, Billy Club Sandvich, Shattered Realm, that is crossed with a good dosage of thrash and heavy metal such as; Megadeth, Sepultura, Cannibal Corpse, Suicidal Tendencies, Death, Slayer and so on.

“We are New York metal, reinventing thrash on a whole new fucking level. Live from this ghetto, we’re slaughtering the weak. Bringing back the Bronx, making history”. Quote from song NY Metal, i think it’s quite well put. You can check out more about Irate from their still existing old Myspace page here, it has couple songs online here.

I also found out, that Itunes has all three Irate records and i noticed also an old bio from CDBaby.com, that offers digital versions of all Irate albums as well, for 6,99$ / 9,99$, check it out here: http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/IrateNyc

Bio from CDBaby.com below:

“In 1995, five young aspiring musicians gathered together in the Bronx, NY. They were drawn to each other for two reasons: a love of heavy music and the disillusionment created by urban adolescence. Nick (guitar), UV (drums), Nando (guitar), Phil (vocals) and Jayson (bass) became known as Irate and established themselves as one of New York City’s most brutal metal bands. Their music exemplified through sound and lyrics the harsh realities of growing up in a city (as well as a world) of apathy and indifference, a place where you had to scream to be heard.

Irate’s first two releases, the EP “Burden of a Crumbling Society” and the full length “11:34″ (recorded with current bassist Curtis Reis), quickly solidified them as a powerful metal act. The first chance for the band to prove their ability in a live setting came at Castle Heights in Queens, NY. The shows at this venue established a loyal fan base and garnered the attention of other promoters and bands on the scene. As a result, Irate has also played the stages of CBGB’s, LimeLight, Lamour’s, The Downtown, Albany’s Valentines and many more. The band has had the pleasure of supporting national acts such as Deicide, Overkill, Napalm Death, Death Angel, Hatebreed, Candiria and Nuclear Assault.

In late 2001, Irate embarked on their first overseas tour, headlining shows in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya in Japan. A year later the band found themselves on the road again, this time on a five country tour of Europe with stops in Belgium, Holland, England, France and Germany. Spring of 2004 saw the band as part of a package tour of Puerto Rico supporting Sworn Enemy with Billy Club Sandwich and EGH.

For the summer of 2004 the band has hit the studio to record their sophomore full length album. Those that have heard the new material have described it as intensely heartfelt and reminiscent of the myriad of influences on the band. The album will hopefully be released before the close of 2005.”

Nowdays pretty much only chance for scoring the actual cd’s is to hit Ebay, unfortunately. But with luck and patience, youll just might pick ‘em cheap. Also, for possible cure to frustration of Ebay, you should check out Discogs. I still listen to this band on regular basis and hope that they’d get more recognition, even their days are over. Irate’s vocalist Phil Vibes is nowdays singing for The Judas Syndrome, who are pretty good too, i’m not really sure what the other guys are up to, but i wouldn’t be suprised if they still play in bands and all. I’m going to leave you with one of the hardest Irate songs ever, Transcedence.

Irate -Facebook
Irate -Myspace

Sleep Therapy LP / Of Malice And Men LP

It makes sense to write about two of LA’s heaviest, Ruckus and Twitching Tongues, in same review since these two bands share most of their members. Both bands feature the brothers Young, who are playing various instruments (in Ruckus: Colin plays drums and Taylor guitar and in Twitching Tongues: Colin sings and Taylor plays as well guitar) and are largely responsible for writing their material and recording their music too. Aside them both bands feature same bass player, other common factor is that both band put out their first LP just a while ago. Twitching Tongues – Sleep Therapy actually originally came out already earlier this year, but the vinyl version’s pre-orders landed just couple weeks ago. Ruckus’s as well first full-length, Of Malice And Man,  had it’s problems too, it was meant to come out through infamous Double Or Nothing Records, but it turned out to be released through Harvcore Records, who did a great job with it. I received both LP’s (bit over) two weeks ago and have been giving ‘em a lot of listen lately, both bands are pretty damn heavy in their own way and are no doutb very good in their respective styles.

Sleep Therapy LP

Twitching Tongues caught my attention through Ruckus, since i had gotten into them, on their Human Pollution CD, that was released by german label, BDHW Records. Later i heard that Colin was singing in Twitching Tongues, so i checked it out and turned into liking their stuff quite a lot. It was totally different styled music than Ruckus, drawing inspiration from slow heavy metal, alt-metal influenced hardcore and such kind of shit. Twitching Tongues cross the line between hardcore and metal and they do it with unique style and ambition. Bands like Life Of Agony, Type O Negative and Only Living Witness came to mind then and still do, when listening their new LP, Sleep Therapy. Prior their first full-lenght the band self-released a Demo and a CDS/7″ -single, Insane & Inhumane, on BDHW / Photobooth Records, that featured the demo remastered and two new tracks, plus Pentagram cover – Forever My Queen. Sleep Therapy features 8 songs, including those two from the single, here on the LP they deliver astounding display of how the band has crafted their material, sounding nothing like most of new hardcore (and related) bands around, with still sounding hardcore. I managed to pick the “Type O Negative”-green vinyl as a pre-order package, that included also Type O -nodding t-shirt and the CD version of Sleep Therapy. Additional nice detail on the vinyl was that it was wrapped with a band, that has pressing number stitched into it, mine was 163 / 200.

Sleep Therapy is truly well knit album, there’s no fillers and new songs work out together beautifully to make it all sound very whole. It doesn’t matter that Insane & Inhumane and Voluntary Confinement re-appear on the LP, cause they sink in together so well with newer songs like, Astigmatism (Of The Phallic Muscle) and record’s starter, I Fell From Grace Feet First. This 8 song LP is, if you ask me, one of this years best hardcore (and related) records, that if you can (like everyone should) listen to some other music than hardcore, too. Just check out Sleep Therapy’s epic conclusion, Arm In Armageddon Part 1: Freezing and Arm In Armageddon Part 2: The Peril Of Our Seasons, it should be enough to impress anyone, who likes good music.

There’s two songs off Sleep Therapy on Twitching Tongue’s Stereokiller site:

http://stereokiller.com/twitchingtongues

Twitching Tongues -Facebook

I Scream Record

Of Malice And Man LP

As you might know, Los Angeles has been the place to follow, when it comes to amazing metallic hardcore lately. Alpha & Omega and Xibalba are just few names who have come and taken hardcore world by storm. But then there is Ruckus, who first hit their chugging metallic mayhem via  BDHW, on their previously mentioned MCD, Human Pollution (interesting trivia, Dwid (of you all know which band), has done the artwork for the mcd). These guys delivered impressive metallic hardcore, somewhere between New Jersey bands such as Second To None, Fury Of Five (Taste The Steel cover was on the MCD) and other metallic monsters like Grimlock (who they would later cover too), Merauder and All Out War. From that standpoint it probably wasn’t a big surprise, that i’m all over this kinda stuff. Ruckus was also featured on Earthquake Split CD with Xibalba and San Diego’s metallic beatdown hardcore monster, World Of Pain, where they delivered some new songs, but it still left me waiting for the full-lenght, yearning for more. With time taken on hassle with labels and shit, they hit up online promo off The LP, which featured some cover goodness (Bad Brains and Agnostic Front) and couple tracks from Of Malice And Man.

Of Malice And Man LP came out through Harvcore and i received mine on same week with TT LP. Limited vinyl version was black this time and i was lucky enough to snatch one of those in the pre-order phase. Ruckus had put in their heaviest tracks this far to the record, they sound just like a band of this style should sound, uncompromising, heavy and rough. Metallic hardcore is huge these days, but these guys have put their influences into pieces and made their own roadmap out of it, thick riffs and overall very tight playing can be heard well on the LP. Previous MCD’s title track, Human Pollution, that did not appear on that release, is first track on Of Malice And Man. Next three songs really raise the gear and let you know that Ruckus “ain’t ta fuck with”, Les Incompetent, Cognitive Genocide and Destructive Criticism present perfectly how these guys roll, heavy riffs, solid menacing vocals and lots of mosh. I’m not talking about anything like mid-Euro ultrabeatdown, cause Ruckus is on totally other level compared to that stuff, there’s so much more variety going on, faster parts pace nicely the heavier ones and there’s still plenty of those crushing breakdowns. Admist new songs they have included new versions of older songs, True Testament (off Human Pollution), Damn Age and Dead Weight (these two were available online as demo-versions, some time after Human Pollution MCD), that have some new kick in ‘em too, through new recording and heavier sounds of the LP in overall. Ten songs is pretty good length for hardcore record and Ruckus maintain to keep it interesting throughout the whole record, without any problems. These guys are among my favorite bands from Los Angeles and also on top of current heavy hardcore today, with bands like: Harms Way, Lifeless, War Hound, Bottomfeeder, Ready To Die, Xibalba and World Of Pain.

You can listen couple songs from Of Malice And Man from Ruckus Stereokiller:

http://stereokiller.com/ruckushc

Or listen the whole LP here at Blow The Scene.

Ruckus -Facebook

Harvcore Records

Beatdown Hardwear Records

Pick out one or even both of these records, if you like what you hear. Hardcore bands are not making huge bucks, so support the scene and help them out. Go see ‘em play if it’s possible, Twitching Tongues is coming to Europe in Summer so i’m definitely trying to catch them somewhere. Ruckus played a tour last year (mostly) in Germany, but i hope next time they come over, they’d play some scandinavian dates too.

Pigeon Hunt 10″

In a way, i have always waited a day to see this band happens. If you didn’t get that, maybe i should be little bit more specific, even it probably doesn’t help a thing. So, i was always expecting a band like this from this great guy, who i’ve known for many years and he used to live in Turku, Mr. Brown. So it was a surprise to suddenly come across a band called, Pigeon Hunt and find out that he’s doing the vocals for them. To make the band even more interesting, PH features members from (now sadly defunct) Endstand, Heads Down and Kylmä Sota, but rest assured though, Pigeon Hunt sounds nothing like the other bands they’ve played in. These guys have been around for relatively short time and still they have already put out a tape and a 10″ vinyl. I’m going to show some insight to the Pigeon Hunt 10″, that was released a while ago through Spelling Trouble Records.

But what i ment with – this kind of band? I was talking of course about little bit different style of hardcore, in vein with (and as a combination of): Some Girls, Panic, Converge, SwitchbladeNeurosis, Swing Kids and Unbroken. Influences are there, all across the board from San Diego to Sweden, with Pigeon Hunt making, turning and twisting them into brand of their own. Modern hardcore, that’s what i would probably call it?

Track titles are here plainly as roman numeric symbols and first song I, kicks off Pigeon Hunt 10″ with short and fast burst of anger. II shows similar influences with first song and it gives off a lot of faster Boston hardcore feel into it, bit like Panic and American Nightmare. Pigeon Hunt just mix it up even more than serving regular hardcore, they have lot of slowed down heavier parts in most of their songs to balance it with their faster parts. There’s a lot of hooks in their riffs as well and you can hear little Converge there too time to time, but not that chaotic or crazy riffs. Towards the end of album, songs VI and VIII demonstrate and deliver a lot of that slower and atmospheric, metallic riffing, drawing them closer to Switchblade, (if you’ve listened to them you’ll realize). Specially i draw Switchblade as very good comparasion to Pigeon Hunt, since at first Switchblade played chaotic, metallic hardcore, very much like Converge, but soon turned into slowing their pace and going deep into doom, sludge and general metallic heaviness, with driving riffs and huge guitar walls. Pigeon Hunt kind of combine very old and new Switchblade together, without sounding like a rip off.  I’ve listened to quite lot to this 10″ after i got it and i think it’s pretty damn awesome. It’s cool to hear yet again very different sounding new band, so i encourage everyone to check out Pigeon Hunt. This 10″ is limited to 300 copies, with 100 on clear and rest on black vinyl, it’s available from the band and Recordstore X, who offer shipping outside Finland.

Pigeon Hunt -Bandcamp

Pigeon Hunt -Facebook