Here To Dissapear

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One of the records that i had been waiting to come out for some time now finally saw light of day in last December. Helsinki’s (previously and originally Jyväskylä based band) hardcore heads, Upright, finally got their new 12″ record out. This slab of wax was released by excellent Polish hardcore label Ratel Records and familiar from Upright’s Losing Touch 7″ and Foreseen’s Structural Oppression 7″, Collision Records out of Helsinki. Promises of a new stack of groove ridden dijan-esque mosh anthems didn’t let down as Upright has put out their finest release to the date by adding in new elements into their music. One of the most notable things in this band is that their guitar work exactly ain’t no regular riff work, as Mr. Pekkanen reminds me a lot of Crown Of Thornz original guitarist Mike Dijan, but with his very own distinct style on it. On the new 12″; Here To Disappear, Upright has gone heavier and darker, without forgetting any of that groove and i feel there is also incluences from bands like, Fury Of Five and E-Town Concrete, subtle and even intentional or not, but definitely there. I’ll adress it here still that this ain’t no rap rock or anything whack shit, NYHC still reigns strong as an main element of Upright’s music and bands like Outburst and Breakdown do hear a lot in their music and you could compare them to Subzero as well, since it has always been a band that works with very different styles of parts in their songs (those fucking breakdowns are crushing!). Ok, so now you should have a feel of what to expect when you drop the needle on black, red (Ratel exclusive color) or blue (Collision exclusive color) wax and let the band take you on a ride through Here To Disappear 12″.

On this 12″ Upright offer us six new tracks starting with Isolated that works up an intro right off to that groove-ridden heaviness i’ve been talking about; “Actions speak louder than words“. Flash From The Past has really strong classic NYHC feel, it reminds me of Madball on their better days, but with just heavier riffs that are mixed up with COT styled instrumental guitar leads and Niko’s fierce growling’s urgency that fits in perfectly to the mix. Last of the three tracks on the A-side is record’s title jam, Here To Disappear and every time i listen through this shit, it amazes me how damn heavy this band sounds and songwriting wise these dudes just kill it. It’s one of the things that makes me like this shit so much, it’s not in any way on a regular hardcore on a regular template, they do whatever they feel like and i love it, just listen this song and you’ll hear those melodic, yet heavy as fuck riffs rip it up like no other! B-side doesn’t dissapoint either, The Flipside kicks it with a sick guitar solo and by now you should already noticed that the record hasn’t been recorded in a studio that has polished every little detail of the sound, as Black Floyd’s Analog Lab has done an excellent job with Upright, as it did with few latest Foreseen records, so check them out as well (Upright shares two members with them too, in case you didn’t know)! You can hear everything pretty thorough on this record and the roughness just gives these songs more edge. Outside Looking In moves smoothly between heavier parts into more mosh friendly territory towards the end of the song; “To walk on the wildside, to live and die, outside looking in with no ways to get back in”. Drowning finishes Here To Disappear and it’s pretty cool that they give a nod to one of the finest bands ever from Finland on this track with lyrics, you heard of Down My Throat, right? As i already mentioned probably couple of times, Upright definitely has put out their best record this far and i guess we’ll just have to wait for a full-length or something next? You can check this shit out right here and please support your scene, drop your dimes straight to the band (they got shirts too) or the labels by picking the 12″.

Upright -Bandcamp (listen all their releases)

Upright -Bigcartel

Upright -Facebook

Ratel Records -Homepage

Ratel Records -Facebook

Collision Records -Facebook

Collion Records -Bigcartel

Mukaudu


Väistä! is without a doubt the best hardcore punk band that has emerged from my town of Turku in many years. Originally masterminded by Alley Gods & Ill Omen -drummer Teemu (aka Roippe) solo project, Väistä! started few years back and has put out two 7″ records, but also grew into a full fledged band during the process. After Alley Gods went into hiatus and Ill Omen was going on/off, around 3/4 years back, Teemu had his project already ready to go on in full blast, at least on idea level. Soon after recruiting guitarist and long time friend Lauri (from Alley Gods) to help tracking what would become Väistä! S/T 7″, he probably never guessed how well this little project would storm over whole hardcore/punk scene. Drawing influences from all kinds of groovy hardcore punk, early 2000’s Boston “bust” hardcore (Guns Up, Mental, Righteous Jams and such) and classic driving rock ‘n roll, combined into “every day man’s problems” -lyrics screamed fiercely in Finnish, Väistä! have developed a proper recipe for how to jam hard and deliver. First 7″ record was an early success and was well received, as second 7″, Sivuraiteilla (Sidetracked), followed soon in an year and it was as successful as the first one. In this point the band had already regular solid line-up (Teemu -vocals, Lauri -bass, Lari -drums and “the mysterious frenchie” -guitar) and they went on playing shows all the time, with all kinds of bands all over Finland. Last summer Väistä! concentrated in writing and recording the record everyone has been anxiously waiting as next chapter in Väistä! discography, the first full-length: Mukaudu (Conform) LP.

Funny fact, we offered to release Mukaudu LP on Killing The Legacy Records together with the band, but as Väistä! got better deal from two local labels, Burst Of Silence Räkälevyt, they decided to go with them. I’m just glad that the guys have the record released and are happy with the deal they did with the label, but as how good record it really turned out to be, i would have been happy to be the one who put it out, haha.

Mukaudu LP is offering us ten new Väistä! tracks, few of these might be familiar to those who’ve seen them live recently, such as; Humalistonkatu and Unelma Auringosta -that was also first single off the record as a video (see below). Record will be on a gatefold sleeve and will be out on couple different colors for the collectors. As an intro to the album starts with Pysäkki 955 (Bus Stop 955), that is an instrumental prelude with violins and acoustic guitar, ending into a buss opening it’s doors and then, it’s time to bust it! Humalistonkatu (that is of course a street name in Turku) kicks in trademark rocking Väistä! groove, it’s a song about drinking out and living the dream in weekends. Unelma Auringosta (A Dream Of Sun) continues and starts to build on the sort of lyrical theme of the album, a worker, work itself and how it affects everything. Tässä Ja Nyt (Here & Now) brings in another old bandmate, as Oskari from Alley Gods steps in to drop lines in this track, giving it a bit of Alley Gods feel of a song too. There has to be a fix for the old school fury too and here it’s position is filling Työläinen (Worker) where the pace is stepped up into old school hardcore bursts, combined with heavier breaks, while in lyrics the common workman is judged by the bosses for being stupid for accepting his own job contract. Mitä Jos? (What If?) starts up with bit melodies in riffing, it’s riding nicely with sick guitar solo and ends up with certified mosh starter breakdown. Ahneel On Paskane Loppu (Greedy Has A Shitty End) features Niko from Upright (who also put an stellar 12″ out a while ago, yeah review is coming too), dropping some raspy growls and it’s weird to hear him singing in Finnish, even it sounds great. Kultasormi (Goldfinger) is not an James Bond song, but an essay about how fat rich people need to make the most money out of anything they are into, oh yeah it’s also an sick punk rock jam too. Totuuden Henki (Spirit Of Truth) throws in hard ‘n heavy riffs that drive even in nice mid-tempo heaviness towards the end of song. Rankkaa (It’s Hard) ends the album with a song about people complaining about meaningless things and it features again some nice leads from Mr. Clezio (the guitarist).

Väistä! have the perfect balance between rock ‘n roll drive and hardcore fury, the mosh artists have not been forgotten and still there is speed and roughness that punk and rock -folks can appreciate. That all put into really great lyrical content (that’s unfortunately only in Finnish), Mukaudu is definitely an record that i recommend every fucking one to pick up! Most of Väistä!’s songs are over in barely few minutes, so even just i picked the records yesterday (mint green and black available), i’ve listened it through already so many times and getting really psyched about these songs, it’s such well put together album. It feels like the record is already over when you put it on and flip in the middle, some would say it’s too short or something, but i find it to be excellent length and just advice you to put the needle back on on continue to jam on this, as this is quite probably the best Finnish hardcore punk LP this year.

Why believe me, go see them live, listen and judge them yourself, here’s few tracks off the album (and their both previous 7″ are found on their bandcamp):

Väistä!  – Unelma Auringosta -video

Väistä! -Bandcamp

Väistä! -Facebook

Time’s Expired (by Andrew Aversionline / No Echo)

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Choosing what to write about for this piece proved to be far more difficult than I had anticipated. I wanted to select a topic that I haven’t discussed previously, but I’ve already written about so many of my favorite hardcore bands/albums over the years—Systems Overload (Integrity), Into the Wire (Starkweather), Desperate Measures (Leeway), Mediums & Messages (Parallax); bands like Lash Out, Elements DEC, Cold as Life, Dead City, and so on.

In the end, rather than (re)write about a band or album that had a particularly significant impact on me, since I always prefer to bring attention to lesser-known “underdogs,” I decided to promote an excellent and underrated ’90s hardcore band that I don’t see mentioned very often: Time’s Expired, from Rhode Island.

Primarily active from 1992 – 1998, Time’s Expired’s brand of hip-hop-influenced metallic hardcore should certainly appeal to fans of early E.Town Concrete and the like. My first exposure to the group came from the song “Total Awareness,” featured on Over the Edge Compilation Vol. 1 (literally half of the four-minute track is an instrumental intro of midpaced mosh breaks—always a good sign). But I was certainly not listening to this gem of a compilation in 1993, when it was released. No, unfortunately, it was many years later when I was exposed to this collection and decided that I absolutely had to do some research and find more material from Time’s Expired.

This was before the massive crackdown on file-sharing sites like Megaupload, so I was able to download their self-titled 1994 cassette from a random blog with relative ease. And then, finally, at some point I located a strange online retailer selling mp3s of Time’s Expired’s lone 12-song full-length from 1996: Taciturnity. I can’t recall the name of the site, but let’s just say it was only slightly less sketchy than all of those Russian websites that illegally sell all sorts of obscure recordings from any number of artists. I had no other choice, so I rolled the dice and made the purchase. (Maybe there’s a small chance in hell that a portion of the money actually went to the band!? These days, the entire album is up for free on SoundCloud, as is a self-released EP from 2002 that I didn’t even know existed until I was preparing this write-up!)

Taciturnity was as great as I had hoped, opening strong with what has become one of my favorite Time’s Expired songs, “Remember My Name”:

It highlights all of their strengths: chunky rhythmic grooves (panned left/right to accentuate the interplay between the differing guitar parts), a few Fury of Five-esque harmonics, a quick divebomb or two, bouncy percussion, some really catchy arrangements, and a slick vocal flow that really hits the spot for me. The first time the chorus dropped, I was hooked…

“You may have won but believe me, it isn’t over ’til the next time you see me. I have contained the pain, and after this I promise you will remember my name…”

The vocal arrangements are to some degree more “advanced” (for lack of a better term) in their hip-hop influence than a lot of hardcore-oriented bands of this nature; while the lyrics vary from an at times tough guy angle, to personal hardships (which still come across as completely badass, check out “Cold“), or even “socially conscious” types of messages, as heard in “Chalklines“:

“‘Cause it’s reality, and it happens every day. Another child lost from a bullet went astray, and now the family has to live in endless grief. All because you had to fuckin’ carry a piece. And when I look at the endless list of innocent people that have died due to hollow tips it makes me sick. When I read the headlines, lead winds up in a body whom its death finds. And it will spread like an infection…”

They seem to have lacked the graphic design chops to present their material on a level it deserved, which may or may not have contributed to their underappreciated status over the years, but don’t judge a book by its cover, ’cause the tunes fuckin’ deliver.

Time’s Expired’s Discogs.com entry is incomplete, so for those interested, here’s a list of their recorded output:

  • Demo CS (self-released, 1992)
  • Over the Edge Compilation Vol. 1 compilation CD (Endless Fight Records, 1993)
  • Time’s Expired CS (Trinity Records, 1994)
  • Time’s Expired 7″ (Overdose Records, 1995)
  • Respect Due compilation 7″ (Brick Records, 1995)
  • Taciturnity CD (Serafim Records, 1996)
  • The Elements CD EP (self-released, 2002)

I’m crossing my fingers that there will be at least a small handful of Killing the Legacy readers who are as excited to discover Time’s Expired as I was. I really see no reason why these guys shouldn’t be at least as known as comparable acts from this time period such as Second to None, etc. I mean, shit, Time’s Expired started in 1992, so they must have been one of the first hardcore bands that was so blatantly working with a rapping vocal style, right!? Maybe they were just a few years too far ahead of the game…

-Andrew Aversionline

Songs Of Immortality


A record that took it’s time to come out and was on top of my wait list last year, was very anticipated and to many surprising collective vinyl re-release of Grimlock‘s Songs Of Self cd and their first 7″; Thirst For Immortality. Songs Of Self was originally released only on cd and as all of Gridlock records are a hell to find anywhere, this new edition is called Songs Of Immortality. It brings Grimlock’s pure crushing metallic violence to another generation of hardcore heads. Knives Out Records has again dropped a real gem for all those, who like their records looking as good as they sound, besides also making an huge favor to the hardcore scene by re-releasing Grimlock material after a long, long time. Wait for this 12″ was quite long, as last year’s record store day fucked most of smaller record plant’s schedules and diy run label’s orders were pushed back in timetables. Big business labels put out all kinds of craphole records, as they’ve realized people buy RSD stuff like apeshit. This only of course makes small business labels suffer as their pressing times are becoming lengthy and unpredictable. Songs Of Immortality took it’s time to come out, but the wait, it was again well worth it.

For those who have never heard of Grimlock, the band originated from Boston, Massachusetts area back in 1994. Musically Grimlock were on their own level even back then as “brutality, heavy as possible” -would be the terms i’d use to describe their music. Grimlock put out relatively good amount of releases during their lifespan. First demo tape came out in 1995 and after it, they steadily toured and put out a release almost early. Thirst Of Immortality 7″ was released also in ’95 and the first album, Songs Of Self cd in 1997. Follow up record, Crusade Of Reality cd/10″ was released also in Europe, it came out in 1998. Year after that in 1999, they did a split 7″ with japanese band Rebirth, after of which, they shortly went into hiatus. Final Grimlock opus, mcd Crusher arrived in 2002, when the band returned to stages to tour. That unfortunately lasted only a year, since in 2003 Grimlock called it quits.

First time i heard Grimlock, was few years after Crusher was released and it hit me right away. Metallic fury combined with one of the angriest voices in hardcore hooked me right away to Grimlock’s sound and it didn’t hurt, that their name was taken from one of the most boss Transformers chracters ever. Staying largely under the surface of larger hardcore audiences, at least in Europe, during years for many Grimlock has become very sought after band, that i totally can understand (i’m missing only the Rebirth Split 7″ and the demo tape from my collection…). Grimlock is truly an amazing band, whose heaviness was in their own level  and that put out extremely great records, still they feel today like a hidden gem in the world of hardcore. Few years back LA’s Ruckus put out their appreciation for Grimlock on the map, as they recorded a cover of Mountain Of Power (off Thirst For Immortality 7″) on a limited Split 10″ with, (their other band) Twitching Tongues. Other than that, i haven’t heard many people even mention Grimlock and was super surprised and happy when i heard from Tonr (Knives Out Records & Providence) that he’s going to release something from them.

If you have read my previous reviews of Knives Out releases, you’ll know that they put special effort in what they do. Grimlock layout features lots of live shots and poster / flyer artwork. Two different versions were available during pre-order process, deluxe and classic. Now already sold out deluxe (that my review is based on) features iconic “24” cut in layout, digital download card, patches, pins and an art book titled; Visuals Of Immortality. The book contains lots of never before seem live photos, in which the records artwork is based on mostly and includes as well a story compiling together Grimlock’s walk as a band. So called normal, the classic version comes with same glorious picture vinyl that deluxe, but with a simpler version of the layout and download card is of course included too. I could go on forever how amazing this package is, i can only say that if Knives Out Records is still a new accointance to you, correct that shit out right now and order some of the most amazing looking records you’ll ever own (hint; Arkangel 10″  is available now)!

Song Of Immortality starts with tracks on Songs Of Self and then goes into Thirst For Immortality. The record kicks in with one of the most vicious songs in Grimlock arsenal, My Sins and it’s right here, where you hear why this band is called brutal, the intensity of this metallic mayhem is unparalled; “World’s closing in, don’t know where to begin. I am angry all the time. I hate, i hate all the time”. Cry Of The Dead, builds up with hard and menacing guitar wall, that continues just by turning into slower and heavier as the song processes on. Eye Of The World, follows up, throwing some speed into gear, but it’s again filled with raging breakdowns, the kind of most of today’s heavy bands unfortunately can just dream about writing of. Processed thrusts again into pure, fierce heaviness and it’s all nothing but crushing riffs after another, ’till the mosh part at the end takes over; “FAKE”. Life (After Silence) is almost of an instrumental mosh factory and as the lyrics comprise pretty much as of the song title only, this song has always had like a intro/interlude feel to me in a way. One of the most well known Grimlock songs ever is probably, 24, it is all pure chugging mayhem and tells about legendary hockey fighting champion Bob Probert; “A gladiator primed for battle. A notch above the rest. Drop of the gloves, never backs down. Made to be the best.”.

Originally released back in 1995 by Pin Drop Records (as Songs Of Self cd is too), Thirst For Immortality tracks portray mosh ridden, heavy jams, that aren’t yet as metal influenced than Songs Of Self. Bring The Pain, Feed My Rage and Mountain Of Power –all still represent very powerful and violent hardcore songs, there’s so many part full of face crushing heaviness. These songs remain as few of my favourite Grimlock tracks, even though this whole record is full of pure fucking excellence. Last track, Thirst For Immortality, acts an outro for the record, originally it appeared on Songs Of Self cd as final track, with all three songs from the 7″ as bonus tracks. Songs Of Immortality brings together Grimlock to many new hardcore enthuastics, or so i can hope at least!

If you haven’t ever heard of this band before, i strongly advise you to let Grimlock take you into it’s jaws and crush you in to pieces, most likely you will enjoy it. For any fans of hokest, agressive and brutal hardcore such as Cold As Life, Shattered Realm, Overcast, (early) Harebreed and such bands. Note, that Songs Of Immortality is very limited pressing on picture vinyl and i’m not even sure how many copies Knives Out has in stock at the moment, so check out their store right away.

Here you can stream through the entire album.


Grimlock -Knives Out Records / Knives Out Records -Website / Store / Knives Out Records -Facebook

Grimlock – Mad Titan -video (from 2002 Crusher mcd)

Victory Demands Sacrifice

  

One of the records i was most excited about last year, was the return album by quite obscure band known as; War-Time Manner, straight out of Troy, NY. I wrote about them back in 2011; Wartime Manner (fuck, that’s already some time ago!) and fortunately got in contact with people who knew guys from the band and eventually the band itself. This lead to fill in a lot of questions i had and it was figured out that Scorched Earth Policy (in the previous post) was their demo tape. Lots of those songs were featured also on several compilation cd’s (We The People -comp and Capital Punishment -comp) and War-Time Manner & Two By Four – Split 7″ on infamously legendary Back Ta Basics Records. Roughly few years back War-Time Manner emerged suddenly and ever since i was waiting that they would release something. I’m extremely pleased on what they are offering with the new cd titled; Victory Demands Sacrifice.

Quick recap if you aint’t too keen on reading through the whole 2011 post; 

“Wartime Manner isn’t your typical tough guy hardcore band, but they deliver spectacular variety of styles under hardcore in their music. First off you’ll hear some downright heavy, metallic hardcore, but it’s backed with lots of tempo changes, solos, chugging old school beatdown riffs, hip-hop influences and “clean” vocals too, so this is definitely NOT your average metallic hardcore band.”

We are talking here about one of the least known and most underappreciated bands that i’ve ever known. War-Time Manner is just heavier and more full of surprises than most of the bands that exist today, since WTM songs can have just absolutely anything in them, you’ll never kkow what to expect. They maintain their music absolutely crushing and this has to be one of the most ignorant sounding bands out there who have ever existed, pure thugcore in it’s finest form. Their hometown Troy has always been known from supreme heavy hardcore bands, that all have been pretty under radar: Dying Breed, Brick By BrickPolitics Of Contraband, Burning Human, Execution Style and of course the allmighty; Stigmata.

Victory Demands Sacrifice cd was released by the band itself and it gathers up a almost everything that WTM has ever recorded. New and old songs walk together perfectly and unless you are familiar with the old classics, you couldn’t say which one is older track and which new. That’s pretty damn impressive for a band, whose last recorded output came out years and years ago, maybe 1994 or something like that. I believe other of the compilations that WTM was featured on, either Capital Punisment or We The People -compilations came out around that time. It took some time for War-Time Manner to get back on track with recording, but for real i have to say it, what a fucking comeback it really is! This record is also released all diy by the band themselves, recording is excellent sounding and the whole package portrays WTM’s style and image very clearly, there is lots of guns and violence, but so there is in their music. I really think that i don’t even need to go to the music that much, cause i’ve said all about this band in this and the previous post about them (link is up there in first chapter)All that needs to be said is that War-Time Manner is fucking ignorant, hard, heavy hardcore band, that will do whatever the fuck they want and has deliver the most crushing thugcore record in many years. This was on my top records of 2015 and if you dig heavy, rugged, hard shit, you will love War-Time Manner. I will leave you with some videos and tracks off Victory Demands Sacrifice.


Victory Demands Sacrifice CD / digital is available at Cdbaby.com and from the band via their Facebook page. 



War-Time Manner -Facebook

War-Time Manner -Website


Bloodlands / Cross To Bear – Split 7″

 

I’m lagging behind a lot, when it comes to great hardcore released in Finland in 2015, so here’s one of those records. Bloodlands is familiar to some of you from their full-length last year called Nihilistic Dimension, if not, you can read more of it here; Bloodlands – Nihilistic Dimension. They are one of those rare bands in our scene today to combine more of death and even black -metal influences into their metallic hardcore, that flirts heavily also with beatdown influences. This time Bloodlands, who are from Helsinki, have coupled together with Pori’s own real metalcore heroes, Cross To Bear. CTB might not ring a bell instantly, but be aware that this is a band that has had majority of it’s members in older finnish hardcore heavyweighs such as; Carpe Diem and Breamgod. Cross To Bear had bit of bad luck regarding their demo / untitled first release, as i understood they lost the original masters of this recording by computer glitch, so they couldn’t release it physically. This Split 7″ is the first official Cross To Bear release, they do fortunately have all songs available from that “lost demo” on their bandcamp. If you’re a fan of real proper metalcore like All Out War, Merauder or dig that mid-european vegan / edge metal like Congress or Arkangel, you should seriously take a notice. You should know to expect some skull crushing heaviness on both sides of this Split 7″, that is second release of Helsinki based punk / hardcore label Aggressive Sportwear Records (first being Paska Sakki 7″ EP).

Both bands on this split offer us two new songs and Bloodlands sets things off with Assault and you could say that the title tells all about this track here, it’s pretty straight forward with faster, even black metal influenced parts into riffing of chugging mosh, with vicious lyrics of violent assault (hence the title, get it?). Experience In Flesh continues into horror / gore-esque themes and starts another round of that death metal mosh, with some samples and nice instrumental parts to give aa break to the devastation. All in all Bloodlands have two solid tracks here, that continue the themes and style portrayed on their full-length. It’s going to be interesting to see and hear how this band comes out on their next releases, as they are already very metal -genres influenced, which direction they are going musicwise. Bloodlands are there on the board on both, metal and hardcore, so this could be recommended also to fans of Misery Index and Dying Fetus (who are obvious influences to their music).

Cross To Bear delivers us first into Mind Control, that offers nothing but pure metallic hardcore, in it’s finest form. These guys know what’s up, they know what they are doing and are doing it extremely well, Mind Control builds up crushing riffage walls, adding in some solos and harmonies. Vocalist Ville also delivers perfectly his trademark screaming and the song is all bound together into tight as nails playing. Worst Case Scenario is the second Cross To Bear track and it continues the barrage of heavy riffs and thick, solid beats that drive throughout the song, ending with brutal breakdown to offer you some serious mosh time. Cross To Bear is your answer in search of real metalcore, how it used to sound way before the whole word became more like a curse word. Below you can check out Experience In Flesh from Bloodlands off the split and Mind Control from Cross To Bear (plus their demo).

If you like what you hear and want to pick up this slab of wax, head over to:
Aggressive Sportswear Records

Bloodlands -Facebook
Cross To Bear -Facebook
Aggressive Sportswear Records -Facebook

Swan Song – Coming Up Short 7″

  

UKHC scene is fucking booming at the moment, there are shitloads of hands down amazing bands and the more i hear, the more i seem to find. London’s LBU (and related)-bands  were always something to me that i really enjoyed. Today things are going full on forward and vibrant all over UK, as new bands seem to come up all the time and it’s not just London bands who are putting out quality stuff constantly. Sidetracked, it’s my every time fault with writing, but fuck it. I’ve really enjoyed seeing and hearing from bands like The Flex, Violent Reaction, XRepentanceX, Unholy Majesty, Day Of Rights and more (these few bands are merely a scratch on the surface), there’s really a lot of really diverse and interesting hardcore happening at UK at the moment and i’m pretty stoked about that. 

One of the newer bands i came across lately, found out to be a new band featuring Honor Amongst Thieves frontman Sheep, who i met first time back in 2006 or 2007 (if memory serves right) back in Sweden at Deadfest (annual hardcore festival in Linköping). Knowing that he knows what is good hardcore, i checked out his new band Swan Song and was very pleased of how they sounded and the key word here is – heavy. They site their influences as Dark Throne, Kickback and Merauder for this band and i can definitely hear them all in there. Usually if someone is playing hardcore influenced by Kickback (and knows anything about anything, regarding hardcore), it can’t go wrong and Swan Song are definitley doing their shit properly. This four song title features churning, heavy riffing with Sheep’s intense screaming, it’s quite a lot different than you might remember him singin in HAT, but the whole game is different here. Deceit kicks off the 7″ titled Coming Up Short and it’s all on brutal and unforgiving, while the influences they sited, i hear bands like Indecision there too riff wise, but they do have very French touch on this one. Consecration follows up with pummeling riffing and chants of desecration, with little of that black metal-esque sound in there too combined into heavy as fuck breakdown. Two other tracks, Control and Dissolution are crafted in similar vein, it’s all quality heavy hardcore for those who enjoy really hard stuff. I’m really stoked about this record, it’s great to hear Sheep doing a new band and the fact that UK is putting out so much amazing stuff is just great! I’m very interested to hear recommendations what i would need to check out!  

You can buy the 7″ & some sweet shirts here; Swan Song -Bigcartel



Swan Song -Facebook

Editorial 1/2016: The Return of new blood

What’s up peoples, from long dormant sleep we’re waking up again, cause it seems to be a neccessity. From laziness and “lack of time” i’ve succumbed back and it’s about fucking time to. 2016 starts up with an editorial and then we’ll get back in to normal weekly rotation. 

For what i’ve seen, there is a new rising in the scene. Finland has always been relatively small, when thinking about hardcore, there have always been vibrant centres in several bigger cities throughout the whole country like; Helsinki and Lahti (cities from where the whole metallic and “harder dancing” -inspired hardcore sprung up during the 90’s) to other early active spots of Turku, Pori, Jyväskylä and Lappeenranta. Back in early 2000’s hardcore was hard and heavy, kids were into really rugged and hard shit. It took a turn into more melodic stuff mid 2000’s and soon again into heavy NYHC worship, towards the 2010. More heavy metal / trash -influenced bands came beyond that and as we’re talking, beatdown seems to be in rise, at least amongst the younger crowd.  

Trends never affected all of us in the scene, but the fact is that many kids came and went along the tides among the years. Still at the same time there always have been a core of people, who remained true. These people always come to shows and set ’em up, no matter what was the “cool thing” in the scene at the moment. As a quick comprasion, in how big scale it has affected Finland, i have to mention that even Finland has had trends inside hardcore, it still is pretty small here. If we look over the pond to Sweden (no pun intended, much love to our swedish friends!) and their scene during the years i’ve been traveling there (this is from my point of view, but friends who’ve been going there way longer have seen it happen as well), trends have had much bigger impact in their scene. It seemed crazy, every time we went over to see shows there, kids who were last year “political vegan straight edge” were next time “beatdown thugs” or something similar, faces seemed to have quite big changing rate in few year cycles. Sweden of course has had much bigger scene, as hardcore over there has been in a way more mainstream of an youth culture over there, that may explain the amount of kids who have been victims to the trends. As i have some friends over there too, i can also say that there are lot of people who have stayed true to what they represent and never went along with trends. I never really cared about if someone drops out or changes their whole style, outlook and even way of life with trends or something else, but times it just feels a bit ridiculous. Just that, if hardcore has been such a big thing to a person, how can you suddenly abandon it totally?

After this sidetracking, let’s get into what i really wanted to talk about, as from 2002 when i first started to go to shows, thinking now it felt like that more people have left, than found their way into this scene. You have to remember, that there is a good majority of the people who were there originally back in early / mid 90’s, they ARE still here today, a fact that i find absolutely amazing. People who build this scene, are mostly still there to maintain it even they’re older, have families etc. In 2015 there were numerous new faces coming to shows, younger generation that in this volume i’ve never seen coming into hardcore,ever since i’ve been involved. This scene of course needs new blood, as the scene needs people who are willing to make things happen, put up shows, release records and so on. Without it all there would be no hardcore scene. It’s great to see that new kids are getting into this, but one thing i’ve always thought to be one of the most important aspects in this, so i ask this; is it missing today?

History has always been essential part of everything that i’ve been interested in and for hardcore if you ask me, it’s definitely crucial thing. Again this may be just me, but if you start to listen hardcore from standpoint of metalcore (not the original metallic hardcore) and beatdown, there is so much behind and beyond it- if so you are only interested. I guess Bulldoze (the originators of beatdown hardcore) sounds like skate punk, when compared to “beatdown of today” and it might just be that kids today don’t give a fuck, i really don’t know. Anyhow what i’m really happy about is that in Finland things seem to be going forward strong, kids are putting up shows and things are happening, hopefully it all will be in a positive note and this all will help this scene to grow.

Hardcore has always been for me an amazing board of diversity where so different styles can all be put under one title. And yeah, i fucking love beatdown, but not really that what late few years define it to sound as. Here’s another real classic.

Killing The Legacy “beatdown” recommendations from back in the days till today;

Irate – 11:34 CD

Shattered Realm – Broken Ties, Spoken Lies CD

Next Step Up – Fall From Grace CD/LP

Neglect – Four Years Of Hate 2xLP/2xCD (or Complete Don Fury Sessions CD)

Five Minute Major – When It Ends CD

Fury Of Five – Taste The Steel mCD/7″

Burnside – Visions Of Serenity mCD

Krutch – Our Thing: The Mafia Years CD

Gut Instinct – Disturbing The Peace 7″

Two By Four – Aint’s Ta Be Fucked With 7″

Lifeless – D.R.E.A.M. CD/LP

World Of Pain – Improvise & Survive CD

Xibalba – Hasta La Muerte CD/LP

War-Time Manner – Sacrifice Demands Victory CD

There ya go, not all of these aren’t strictly even beatdown, but you’ll get the picture.