What Makes Us Tick #2: Edwin Heijmen of One x Path -blog

 

Here we got another entry to “What Makes Us Tick” -series and we continue with Edwin of OnexPath -blog, about one of his favourite records ever. Be sure to check his site, it’s filled with crazy good old and obscure hardcore gems! 

Friday the 13th, January 1995. I wish that was a joke, but it’s not. Sick Of It All were set to play at the Noorderligt in Tilburg, The Netherlands. Noorderligt, formerly a (sex-)cinema, had been converted into a great venue for shows sometime in the mid 80s, including metal & hardcore shows. I saw all kinds of bands there in the early 90s like Biohazard, The Spudmonsters, Danzig, White Zombie, Pantera, Sepultura, etc… Anyways, on that cold evening Sick Of It All had brought along a US support act, Strife. I had heard Strife before but in many ways they were YAHCB (Yet Another Hardcore Band ™). Still, their set surprised me tho, it was filled with a ton of energy and Rick Rodney was all over the stage. They sounded so much better and intense than what I had heard of their stuff. I bought their ‘One Truth’ CD afterwards and a Sick Of It All t-shirt. 

 ‘It burns – in my heart’ 

Over the course of a month or so I went from listening to a song or two here and there before moving on to another record to playing the CD several times a day, sometimes back-to-back. Things clicked. It was a gradual click, sure, but it hasn’t unclicked since. It’s fair to say I’ve listened to ‘One Truth’ more than any other record in my collection. 

 ‘Am I the only one?’ 

It’s impossible to pinpoint what exactly it is about this record that makes it stand out for me. All I know is that it’s about as perfect a hardcore record as anything before or since. 90s hardcore through and through, what more could you ask for (see what I did there)? ‘One Truth’ was hardcore, but also with a definite metallic edge. If you want a template for 90s new school hardcore, look no further. Divebombs? Check. Moshparts & breakdowns? Check. More personal lyrics? Check. Huge singalongs? Check. The Edge? Check. At least until Rick decided he never sang about The Edge after all. A ballad? Check… Wait, what? 

‘I fell again, and where were you? My crutch, my need, my everything’ 

Yes, a ballad. People have talked shit about ‘Slipping’ since the album was released. And you know what? I don’t give a fuck, it’s an amazing track. Strife went out on a limb and did something they wanted to do, and fuck it, it works. It still grabs me and gives me goosebumps. Sure, it’s not exactly youth crew hardcore. It’s layered, emotional and the lyrics could’ve been used for any ‘normal’ hardcore song and all the haters would’ve been up-front, screaming their lungs out. Lyrically it fits the rest of the album to a tee. Musically, it wraps up the album, the last track on the LP version, and in a way it’s what always leaves me wanting to listen to the entire album again. Fuck the haters, ‘Slipping’ rules. 

‘Lift my mind my body my soul’ 

 The other stand-out track is my fave Strife song, period, ‘Lift’. When the break happens at 1.40 and the song goes into full chugga chugga mode, I still want to bash a hole in the wall to this day. Shit still gets me pumped so hard. The entire album makes me want to get back on stage again and scream my lungs out (except for ‘Slipping’ perhaps), but nothing like what ‘Lift’ does to me. Fuck it, got to play it again right now.

 ‘What will remain of those days?’

Another thing people have talked shit about from day one is the production. Too over-produced? No, it’s almost perfect. Not heavy enough? No, it’s almost perfect. We’re talking 1994, and a young band with only 2 7″s under their belt. Cut ’em some slack. Maybe it’s my ears, gawd knows they’re fucked up from not wearing earplugs at shows and rehearsals for years, but this album just sounds so good to me, loud but clear, and with a ton of power. Fuck it, even the additional re-recorded older tracks on the CD version sound better than their original recordings. I don’t know… ‘One Truth’ is hardcore perfection to me. That is all. 

 ‘There’s only one truth!’ 

 And yes, I also still have that SOIA t-shirt I bought that night… somewhere.

Edwin Heijmen – ‘The author is a vegan straight edge oldhead who still wears his tulasi beads as if the 90s never ended.’

The Sickness Of Eden

As i mentioned in last post (Steel Nation interview) that XRepentanceX almost single handedly revived the 90’s vsxe mosh into it’s glory days, i have to remind that they are not indeed all alone as a new flagbearers of the style. There is solid as fuck bands all over Europe and my favourites are Incitement from Poland and Decadence from Spain, all these three bands are so fucking good and you’ll be hearing more about them soon. XRepentanceX again, struck me hard with their demo tape / 7″, In Violation Of Asa and ever since i’ve been looking for a copy of it, still no luck on that front. I wasn’t first even familiar that they feature couple members from now defunt (?) metallic hardcore band Wayfarer, that was pretty good one. XRepentanceX’s formula of metallic hardcore fuses together Earth Crisis, Day Of Suffering, Liar, Arkangel and Slayer is sounding awesome and this kind of ’90’s influenced stuff can’t really go wrong in my books. Of course they are vegan straight edge band and it’s cool, as a long-time man of edge myself too, i can always dig that. I still have to address, that whatever your stance is on drinking / drugs or consuming of animals, you should give a listen to this, since this stuff is well thousand times better than most of the crap that nowdays is called metalcore. XRepentanceX are dead right on the tracks, when talking of real metalcore (ref. the original metallic hardcore that bands were called in early/mid 90’s) like IntegrityAll Out War, Earth Crisis, Merauder and such, these guys also have strong influences from H8000 -styled metal tingled hardcore. I was really looking forward on their first LP, The Sickness Of Eden and it was well worth wait, Carry The Weight Records aint’ no joke, when it comes to UK hardcore labels, if they don’t ring a bell, you should definitely correct that right away, as most of their releases are streaming free at their bandcamp.

The Sickness Of Eden is well crafted entity, it’s just like classic 90’s vegan straight edge album all the way from the artwork, to the music and that’s just fucking sweet. I mean, they aren’t stuck in the past by just emulating bands whom which they have drawn influences from. Artwork fits like a glove and it’s done by friend of the band, Swedish dude called Staffan (he also plays in Sectarian Violence with members of XRepentanceX and Coke Bust), who’s been doing shirt designs and such for them for a while now.  On the LP there’s slightly less of traditional vsxe chugga compared to the demo and a deadly dosage of more Slayer in it, pure rawness is imminent throughout the whole record, just give a listen to Dominion’s End or the first track, Through Eyes Unclouded, you might just get blown away. There is no fillers on this LP, it’s all solid from start to finish, there’s nice variety on the songs from shorter, faster and vicious to slower and tense, even melodic parts, that before you realize it, throw you back into the spinkick heaven, it’s all fucking great stuff! You’ll even get a instrumental breather with Culpable Genocide and it’s opposite force as The Price Of Progression, violently quickly starting tune, thats starts to build up quickly in to astounding heaviness. Lyrically there is a strong theme (as this kinda bands well often do, of course) about humanity’s demise and the mistakes it has made to itself and that’s well true though and can provoke some thinking to be done with veganism and animal liberation issues. Hardcore has always been a venue where issues should be brought to light and take a stand about them. It’s about saying and facing hard things and by hard i don’t mean “acting hard”, but heavy, alerting, un-noticed and difficult things, not every band needs to have the message, but with this music most do and they often have real things to say. I’ve always, ever since i found this scene concidered those who really have committed our lives to it, to be real people from all walks of life, who can and will say what to think about things and raise issues that need to be talked about, XRepentanceX walk that walk and talk well straight. Whenever you just want to mosh your eyes out or chant along; “vegan straight edge” or do both and even more, XRepentanceX need to be notified, this band fucking rules and is the best out of it’s style that i have heard in years and years, UK and the whole Europe are stepping up hard these days with excellent bands popping up all the time. Watch out for UK sxe as with XRepentanceX i’ve eyed at least; The Flex, Violent Reaction, Day Of Rights and Digress, that’ll be making waves in the hardcore scene.

XRepentanceX

Carry The Weight Records

Life. Lair. Regret. Records

Goodlife Recordings 

The Harder They Fall, Steel Nation interview

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In 2015, this far, there has been only few records, that i’ve really been waiting to be released for. New Jersey’s Lifeless new album Dream will most likely shock the very foundations of heavy hardcore of today and UK’s XRepentanceX‘s The Sickness Of Eden almost single handedly revived 90’s styled vegan mosh / edge metal back to it’s glory days. But were not talking about them two now are we, nope.

Steel Nation hails originally from Pittsburg, PA and today is scattered around the well known PA -area. I’ve been into the band ever since i picked their A389 Records debut, The New Nation 7″ and got really blown away and sold by Soul Swallower mcd on Double Or Nothing. Ever since then i’ve kept the band in my radar tight and their first full-length Forever Wounded was indeed a perfect package of unrelentless metallic hardcore, that doesn’t lack any groove either. For me, Forever Wounded solidated their stand as one of the best bands in hardcore today and after seeing them live couple times last year, i was even more excited to finally hear the upcoming LP, The Harder They Fall.

Just out few days ago (while writing this so NOW it’s few weeks), new Steel Nation album was released on vinyl by Harm Reduction Records and Kick Out The Jams Records also put in a tape version. There is also a cd version coming out via Marked For Death Records. The Harder They Fall continues in very same direction on where Forever Wounded left on and takes their sound forward. What you can expect is lots of sick guitar leads, chugging groove and driving beats, combined with dual vocalists that in style remind very Biohazard-esque setting. The Harder They Fall features eleven new tracks and with this album Steel Nation have focused on writing killer tracks, that have shitloads of hooks and very sing-a-long demanding choruses, that fit in perfectly with the thick riffing. If you’ve heard what is on Forever Wounded, you will fucking love The Harder They Fall. 

I’ll let the music talk instead my yawn yawn blabbering. 

 

Also i had a brief talk with Ethan of Steel Nation awhile ago, so read up and check out what we talked about below.

Sup guys, first up introduce yourselves?

– Ethan, drums in Steel Nation

Steel Nation has been around for quite some time already, how did you guys get together in the first place? 

– We all met about 11 or 12 years ago. Neil, Alex and Steve had been playing in a band before I met them all. I was living out in Philadelphia and started playing in a band out of central PA where everyone else was living. I met Steve and Alex through that band which was called Those Who Remain and I think one day Steve said he was looking to start a new band with Alex and Neil and I just ended up jamming with them and things went from there.

Did you have any previous bands before Steel Nation?

Yea I played in a ton of bands out of West Virginia where I grew up. None that ever really did anything. Right before I met everyone in Steel Nation I was filling in for a band from Erie called Problem Solver Revolver. 

Do all of you guys live in Pittsburg currently or where are all of you located and what are you guys doing for living, aside when you’re not playing with Steel Nation?

Right now I am actually the only one that lives in Pittsburgh. Neil was out here for awhile when we were writing The Harder They Fall. Everyone else is living out in central PA about 3 hours away which makes things tough when it comes to practicing and writing but we make it happen. I think we all lived in the same area for only a few months. Aside from Steel Nation we all just live the normal life working a job and watching sports. 

Since you are a PAHC band, what’s up in PA-area, how is the scene back in there, all i know is that there’s shitloads of amazing current and old bands as well?

Things in PA are good but I feel that they have always been good, sometimes the happening scene in the state just moves from city to city. When Steel Nation started in the Harrisburg PA area, there was a venue called the Championship and things in that area were really good. However, like most good venues, it came to an end and I feel like that area has struggled since losing that venue. Pittsburgh is back on the come up now. Code Orange has really been a big help not only to the Pittsburgh scene but also PA in general and there are some newer bands coming up like Eternal Sleep that are doing big things. PA has also been a scene where a lot of bands stick around. Bands like Strength for a Reason have paved the way for a lot of bands like ours and are still playing and putting out music to this day which I think is a big part of having a good scene. 

Name a few older favourite bands with a little background why you dig that shit?

As far as older PA bands go I would have to say that Strength for a Reason and Mushmouth were two of the bands that had the biggest impact on me growing up. Pittsburgh also had Built Upon Frustration and No Retreat when I was younger seeing shows in the area. I have said it before and will say it again, Built Upon Frustration is the best band no one has ever heard. Between those bands and Krutch, I’d say those are some of the older bands that represent what PAHC is. I may have to throw Disciple in there too, they were a band that I think went underrated. 

I did interview with Stickman a while back and asked him about the state of US hardcore scene, what’s your thoughts about it, how is hardcore doing today?

I think things are good and bad right now with hardcore but that is about everything in the world. There is no doubt in my mind that 2015 will be one of the best years for new music coming out. One thing I see now and maybe this is because of where I live but I feel there just aren’t as many tours going on anymore. There could be a lot of reasons for this but I just don’t think that kids are going out to local shows anymore which is a problem. Everyone just wants to wait for the big fest to happen and then they will decide to get out of their house. Some times I feel that kids will look for any reason not to go out to a show, if a show is coming up they will have to see what is going on rather than committing to going to a show. Responding to an invite that you’ll attend a show is sometimes all a kid needs these days for them to feel that they have helped out. Things change when you get older but when I had less responsibilities I never missed local shows. Especially where I grew up in West Virginia. But with that said, I think a lot of credit needs to go out to people putting on these fests. I’ve maybe booked 3 shows myself and that was too stressful for me, I think I lost a few years off my life dealing with those. I once helped book the Killer in Pittsburgh, things were going fine till the power went out from a giant storm and just never came back on. So a lot of respect goes out to those who deal with unexpected problems like that along with dedicating their own time to make a fest happen or even a show happen. Another good thing I am seeing these days are some newer record labels coming up such as Harm Reduction which has given us the chance to release our new record. Thank you Jami and Patrick. Along with Harm Reduction there are labels like Mass Movement, Bad Grounds and Fast Break just to name a few, give bands the chance to get their music out there on places than just the internet. It is one thing to just put music up online but to actually getting it pressed and distributed makes a big difference. 

I remember some time around “The New Nation EP”, that you had some problems with lineup, has there been a lot of problems with member changes in the past?

Nah I wouldn’t say there have been a lot of problems, it just took us a while to figure out the line up. We actually had a singer before the one that recorded “The New Nation”. He recorded our first demo that we ever did and played some shows but wasn’t able to make it work. We were looking for a singer right before recording the Crucified split and we weren’t having much luck and we thought we’d just try being a four piece. It was the four of us that started the band so it seemed to make sense to keep it that way. Looking back on things I wish we would have just been a four piece from day one but hind sight is always 20/20. Either way I couldn’t be happier with where my band is musically right now. 

You had a bit tough luck as a band when releasing your first LP “Forever Wounded”, putting it out had it’s problems, do you got any idea on what happened with the label, Double Or Nothing, i understood lots of people (including me) didn’t have their pre-orders of the LP?

Yea that really didn’t go as planned but we still really appreciate all that Double Or Nothing did for us. If it wasn’t for them and their support we probably wouldn’t have released Forever Wounded and there would be no chance we would be a band today. I can’t really speak on what happened with the preorders because I think communication within the label was not the best. I tried to do my best and with people who emailed me about not getting their records I tried to make up for it by sending them what we had. 

Aside the hassle with the label, i think that Forever Wounded was a spectacular record, meaning it’s basically as perfect hardcore record that a band can make for their first full-length. So now when your new LP “The Harder They Come” is coming out, what are your feels about the new record?

I think I speak for everyone in my band and probably most musicians but if you aren’t excited about your new record and the new material you are writing you may need to either quit writing music or do a new band. We are always trying to grow as a band and we have always done what we wanted which is good because we never dug our selves into a whole with our music. We learned a lot from writing and recording Forever Wounded and took things to what we feel is a new level on The Harder They Fall. The last thing we wanted to do was to write the same record twice.

Giving already quite a few listens of the new album myself, i can say that i really like and it really seems to continues where Forever Wounded left off and kicks in another bunch of hard, heavy and real damn groovy hardcore. Where you drew influences as a band on the new LP, was there something new in the mix compared to the first record?

We are constantly listening to new music and drawing influences from all kinds of bands. All of us grew up listening to bands like Ringworm and Madball but I know for myself I’ve always listened to everything from HipHop and reggae to bands like Bolt Thrower. Listening to a wide variety of bands has allowed me to have the tools and creativity to have my playing be a more honest representation of self expression. If I hear something in a  song by someone such as Peter Tosh that I think is awesome I want to know how to make it something Steel Nation would do. But despite all the music we listen to Steel Nation will always be a hardcore band at the end of the day. I’ve been playing drums for 18 years and when I was younger I drummers like Abe Cunningham, Chad Sexton, Jason Bittner and Chris Dora were big influences on me. Over the last few years I’ve really been into the drumming of guys like Gil Sharone, JoJo Mayer and Scott Abels. I’m always trying to learn from drummers better than me.  

Did The Harder They Fall come out as you planned, are you happy with the record and have you already been hearing feedback regarding it? Tape version was released already some time ago and as i understood LP pre-orders are also shipping as the official release dare is in few days?

Yea by the time this interview is out the record should be available. The Harder They Fall took almost 3 years to record. We recorded it in Pittsburgh and ran into so many problems it almost felt like it was never supposed to happen. We record about half the record then I went back and redid all the drum tracks so we had to start over. During the recording the hard drive crashed and we lots a few sessions. Our buddy who was recording us had a stroke and that set us back. People’s lives were hectic and it wasn’t easy for everyone to get together. At the end of the day we are very happy with how things turned out. Sure there will always be some things we would do differently and I think that is natural, especially when it took as long as it did to finish it. 

What kind of plans you got to tour after the new LP is out, any plans to hit europe this year?

We are working on some shows in Europe this summer. If all goes as planned it is going to be an awesome tour. As far as the states go I don’t think we are going to be doing any touring in the near future but we are always trying to get back to the places we have played in the past. in 2015 we hope to make it back to a lot of cities we haven’t played in years. 

You havent played a alot shows in Europe, but last year you did a brief run of two shows in Germany and UK, how those went and what your trip makes you think of European scene?

Those shows were awesome. First of all, we were surprised that we would even get the offer to come play just two shows in Europe but then when we got the reaction we did it was unreal. Even to this day it is still crazy to me people in different countries are listening to my band. Before those two shows I had been over in Europe playing with bands like Strength for a Reason and Bitter End so I knew what Europe had to offer and it was a pleasure to finally make if over with Steel Nation. 

You also played exclusive two shows in Finland late 2014, i remember that was originally meant to be some kinda scandinavian tour in Sweden and Finland both? 

Yea that would have been our first tour over there. We were all super stoked for those, especially because we were getting to play with Bolt and St. Hood. I remember I had a friend over in Sweden on vacation and he told me that there we flyers for the tour up in stores. Sadly, I guess some of the US bands dropped one of the fests we were going to play in Sweden. After that the fest got cancelled then the tour wasn’t going to be able to happen. 

How did you like the Finnish scene, i know that you guys have love for Finnish bands, first time i caught this was when i saw Ethan’s other band Bitter End play in Germany at Filled With Hate bunch of years ago and i remember being so stoked to see someone in a bigger band (and outside Finland) to sport BOLT shirt on stage?

The Finnish scene reminds me so much of the PA scene. Great bands, good shows and even better people. I remember having that BOLT shirt, it got stolen at that show and I was pissed. I was all stoked to get it from those guys in a fest in Denmark earlier on that tour. Bitter End played the day before them and Strength for a Reason and I was bummed to not be on the same day. I was selling a few Steel Nation things and bunch of the Finnish guys came up and introduced themselves and that was the first time I met all of them. At that time I didn’t that I’d end up becoming friends with everyone. It was probably a good thing that my BOLT shirt got stolen because I ended up keeping in touch with everyone after that… mainly because I wanted another shirt hahah. 

Any other memories you might share on your trip in our cold country? 

Me and Alex came over early and got to hang out in Helsinki with Esa and all the other guys in the Helsinki area. We had a great time, explored the city, hung out with great people, went to a hockey match and I must say the food in Helsinki is awesome. Getting to see Jarkko Ruutu playing hockey again and be a total asshole really was great. I remember just sitting in a shopping area high giving Alex every time a beautiful girl walked by. My hand got pretty sore after awhile, there are too many attractive women in Helsinki hahaha. The entire trip was an experience I won’t ever forget and I can’t thank everyone involved with those shows enough for their hospitality and making it happen

What can we expect from Steel Nation in the near future? 

New music and more shows. We are working on writing music for some splits with some awesome bands and maybe an EP.

Thanks a lot for the interview, you can send greets or whatever you like!

 Thanks for letting me share some stories about Steel Nation. Shout out to everyone in the Helsinki scene for their support and friendship… See all you real soon.

 

Steel Nation

Deathwish Inc. Store 

Harm Reduction Records

Marked For Death Records

Kick Out The Jams Records

Helsinki Savagery

a3331792435_10 Helsinki Savagery is the long awaited first full-length from Helsinki (duh, of course) hardcore metal crossover thrashers, Foreseen. This record had a long way to be finally released, but it’s almost like an tradition to Finnish hardcore bands, that producing a full-length record takes it’s time to come out. With Foreseen’s case, as they say; “all good things come with time” and if you have followed the band’s career, you’ve noticed it like me, that with every single release, the band has grown. Their metallic hardcore, that originally flirted with influences from crossover and pure metal realms, has turned the other way around into crossover with hardcore influences and with this they have definitely reached into their prime. I really fucking loved the first 7″ (ok, right from the demo tape) and after it released Split 7″ with Upright (who are, if you don’t know, the hardest “newer” band from Finland for some time) and at that point they were still more hardcore than metal. Structural Oppression 7″ offered us newer side of Foreseen, thrash metal influenced mayhem with crazy screams provided by their bass player at time, Dimi (a.k.a. Bon Jovi). What seems really cool is that kids of metal and hardcore scenes both have taken Foreseen into their aim with the new lp and it actually is already nearly sold out on vinyl (European part of the pressing is sold out, USA still should have copies at least in record stores / distros).

Helsinki Savagery presents everything perfectly, what this band has become, unrelentless, fucking tight riffs and speed that matches the great one, yes i’m talking about Slayer, all other (thrash metal) bands can fucking suck ass. I’m not totally putting Foreseen into heavy metal field though, cause there is influences still so deep from hardcore too, that they should be labelled as crossover, if labelling is neccessary. You can hear bands from the Cro-Mags, (from early to their crossover era) Agnostic Front, Leeway and Carnivore in there without searching too deeply and all that has been put together into vicious burst of thrash metal. Vocals sound raw and fit in to the music perfectly, there aren’t not too much of those “cleanish” vocals, that often are present in thrash and crossover, i mean more Carnivore, less german clean sung thrash. I’m pointing out all this cause i really aren’t that huge fan of metal (unless it’s paired with hardcore or punk) at all, i love my Slayer records and some bunch of GOOD crossover and yea some metal too, but i’m very picky. Ok, so if you now decided you hate me, i really don’t give a fuck, since you too love Foreseen, so just read on.

20 Buck Spin (USA) and Take It Back Records (Germany) put out Helsinki Savagery and it’s released in most possible mediums, that music consumers still use, so you got tape, cd and vinyl versions to choose from. As i mentioned, vinyl is almost sold out worldwide and selling out a whole pressing in a bit over month after it’s release is pretty fucking sick, i think they are considering a second pressing of the vinyl. Take It Back had few tapes still available some time ago (NOT sold out!) and cd is available everywhere so you’ll get this record on one form or another if you are interested. If you live under a rock or just came across Foreseen just now by some accident, the band released a teaser 7″ for their Euro tour 2014, with two tracks off the LP with Death Injection /w B-side Market Target, if tou copped that one you might have a quick preview of what’s to come. Now it’s finally time for some Slam SWAGgery!

Slam Savagery kicks in (your teeth) Helsinki Savagery with furious thrashing and mid tempo riffing as a taste of what’s to come straight into Death Injection, that tells tales of death and drug abuse with very tasty heavy riffing, chorus will make your head bang and then it’s time for some fast rushing in the pit and finally it all ends into gigantic moshpart that again activates the pit, may it be two-step, spinkicks or whatever your style is. The Prowler continues with ultra-speed tempo and sick guitar leads, but also displays how these guys got the sense for great mosh parts and that lovely mid tempo heaviness. Next up is b-side from the tour single, Market Target, that starts with sweet leads in there. By this far you might hear too, that Helsinki Savagery doesn’t sound like overproduced clean modern metal record, but it has very natural sound on all aspects, instruments and vocals, Black Floyd’s Analog Studio has done spectacular job with the recording here (the studio is ran by Carpe Diem vocalist, Tapio Lepistö). I think that on Helsinki Savagery things sound pretty cool, it sounds really like a good heavy / thrash metal record from the 80’s, but without everything that might have sucked in production, i mean sometimes records do sound like they were recorded inside a trash can or something. Back to the action, as for a pure mosh anthem and direct crash course about the influences on this album we got; Bonded By United Blood, that tells quite a bit by just it’s name. As you’ve probably this far realized, these guys can handle their instruments, so Interlude is just pure jamming, readying you for Structural Oppression. This song is old aquintance, if you have followed Foreseen at all, here this is a fresh version recorded again for Helsinki Savagery. Delusion Of No Consequence is another mid tempo smasher and it features some backups from the drum section as Mårtenforcer drops in on the chorus for some growls and for the rest of this track, you got all you need right here, fast part in the middle of song and a mosh-inducing chugging dancefloor sweeper at the end. Ending the record is another older song, again re-worked, Paving The Way, it was originally released on Foreseen / Upright – Split 7″, but fits in rightfully as the finale for Helsinki Savagery.

If something, Foreseen have defined their style to perfection with this record and there is no doubt that it will please equally the hardcore and metal scenes. Helsinki Savagery is one hell of a ride and i encourage everyone to take it, if you loved this band before, you will definitely like what you will hear on this release. Few years back there were only a small handful of hardcore bands who were going after this style of crossover and those who actually succeeded on it, we’re pretty much Power Trip and Iron Age (on and after their 2nd LP), but Foreseen is topping their game 100-0, you really know this when you put this LP on and let that wrecking ball hit you straight intothe face.

Foreseen -Facebook
Foreseen -bigcartel
20 Buck Spin Records
Take It Back Records

Return Of The Real: Interview with Fury Of Five

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Fury Of Five was introduced to me quite early when i got into hardcore music back in early 2000’s, it seemed to be a band, that people would either love or hate, but for some it was a band that they dug, but thought somehow it’s embarassing to like them or something really whack like that. I always embraced Fury Of Five from the start, i got hooked from the first album i bought, it was their 1:st full-length, No Reason To Smile cd. Now in 2015, the band that broke up after their third euro tour back in 1998, is back for good and they are doing a tour in Europe in February. With a new 7″ coming and lots more on the way, i decided that i need to ask for an interview. This is e-mail interview is done with James Ismean, who resurrected Fury Of Five to bring the band back to all those who never got to see them back in the day. Big thanks to James, now read up.

KTL: Lets start with very basics, could you introduce who is playing in Fury Of Five today?
James: Dave Devastation, Sean Guillotine, Derrick Haymaker & Johnny Warbeatz 

FOV goes way back in the 90’s, how did Fury come together originally back in the day? 
Fury formed in early 1994. My band Position Of Power had broken up so I was sitting idle. Mike Terror met Jay Fury at an AA meeting and was jamming with our first drummer Mark. They were looking for a singer, so Mike called me because we had history. Mike was in my first band Locked Up In Life. I went to check them out, named the band Fury of Five and we wrote our first song called IOU Nothing. The rest is history…

I know you played in Position Of Power and Locked Up In Life prior to FOV of which the later one did couple demos, were there any other bands and did POP record anything?
No other bands, but Position of Power did record. I just haven’t uploaded to the computer because the recording isn’t that great.

Your sound has always been very unique and for what i think, about NJ back then when you started, most bands seemed to do whatever they wanted regarding mixing influences. Bands like FOV, E-Town, Burnside and so on, played very original style of hardcore, their very own, where you took influences in the beginning of Fury?
We all had different band influences from metal, hardcore and rap. Biohazard, Sepultura, Slayer just to name a few. Lyrically I write from true to life experiences and the heart – reality being the main influence.

I’ve read that you have mentioned in several occasions that Ritchie Kruth (from Wisdom In Chains) has been pushing you to start playing again for some years. What’s up with that, can you tell a bit more about why you wanted to get the band back into the stages?
Rich is a great friend of mine. He has kept me relevant, as well as Fury, since our break up in 98. I never really wanted to do it out of respect for the OG members or even thought I could pull it off, but as time lapsed and none of them wanted to play due to internal personal differences, I decided to make my first attempt to try it with other players in 2010. That was Chris Mushmouth’s first Tsunami Fest. Chris played bass and that’s when I first met Dave and John. Doc from God Forbid played guitar as well. A lot of controversy came with that show, which we called the Fury Jam, but it was a success despite all of that. In 2013, I was offered This Hard Core Fest. Dave and Soda were down, Derrick and Sean joined us, we practiced hard, and killed TIHC 2014.

And to continue the topic little, what did the original Fury guys think of about the band getting back together? Was any of them even interested to start play again?
I wanted to do it for the fans that still support the band regardless so I reached out hoping they would be interested, but I was told that they couldn’t play for different reasons. Jay blessed me to do both shows and Mike showed some interest but later changed his mind, so these new guys stepped up and now real is back.

You played Fury Of Five show with Mushmouth/Out To Win & BFL -guys few years back at East Cost Tsunami, it was prior the new Fury band members, but was it like a launch point for the return of the band?
Not really. It was a great show but all the hate deterred me from wanting to continue. That’s where Richie coached me and told me “you are Fury and nobody cares who plays the instruments.” It was something really hard to wrap my mind around until we played TIHC. Then I finally believed I could continue without the original members.

Now that you have played couple of shows and recorded old & new material with the new lineup, how you feel about kids receiving you guys, i watched the TIHC set and it was at times really crazy?
TIHC was great but the scene and attitude has changed. I think it has a lot to do with crew violence here in the states. Hopefully that’s not the case in Europe. We’re also 17 years out of the loop with many different generations who have never heard or seen us. It’s kinda like starting over, but we’re ready for the challenge and determined to win over the new hardcore generation.

You released Takin’ Respect -video early this year with re-done music, it features Karl of Strenght For A Reason and your son J-Rock dropping some lines, how have people received that song?
I think people like it. It’s updated and freshly recorded. The updated recording has Mad Joe Black from Wisdom In Chains, Karl from Strength For A Reason, and Jeremy from Lifeless on it as well as my son. I though it was a great song to re-introduce ourselves.

Regarding Takin’ Respect i have to ask about the original too, it had feats from Ant Money of E-Town and Joe None of Second To None on vocals, are you still in touch with those guys and was the NJ scene real tight back in the day? You guys did also together the Want It All (Rap remix) -track. 
Jersey was tight back in the day and I tried to look out for all the local bands. When we went away, so did that mentality. We just played with E-town at TIHC. I know those dudes well. All great guys. The other fake you mentioned is dead to me and that’s all I say about that.

As you know there are many stories about how crazy times could get with Fury Of Five, New Jersey and maybe hardcore overall back on ’90’s and the book that is in works of Fury Of Five, you know anything about what’s up with that project? 
Haven’t heard much about the book. That was also being written on the thought process that FOF was over forever, which we now know is not the case.

You always had an reputation of not taking shit from ANYONE, that led the band to all kinds of situations in the past. How are things today, do you see that there is these days have called down the scene so there isnt’t need for street justice and hostile situations?
I still have the same attitude but at 47 years of age, I have mellowed out a bit. I’m not looking for hostile situations but if they happen I will absolutely handle myself. I’m just back to play music and that’s it. I’ll leave the fighting to the young bucks lol.

Okay, enough of old shit, your new 7″ is coming out soon via Fast Break Records it’s titled; “Real Is Back” and it features 2 old songs re-recorded and a brand new one, how did it feel to be writing new material again after so many years?
Awesome. The new song is called Real Is Back. I couldn’t ask for a better song for us to write. The fellas did a hell of a job. That song isn’t on the 7in, though. It’s only available on the digital download of the 7inch.


You have also shot Real Is Back video, when that will be released? 
Very soon.

On recording / release front, what are your plans next, a new full-length maybe? 
We are working on material for a full length that’s already named “Welcome To Evolution”.

FOF-Post

Fury Of Five is also hitting Europe in February and i’m sure that there is shitloads of people over here who are waiting your return here, it’s been a while since Fury went on tour, what kinda memories you have from you last tour in europe? 

We were there 3 times. There were good shows and bad shows. The Dynamo Fest is one of my great memories. So many bands, 3 stages and thousands of people. We also played with Misfits which was an honor. Had some good fights over there as well lol.

This tour seems to have pretty cool dates, you are playing also in places that US bands don’t usually play like Finland and Czech Republic, how the tour came together? 

Martin from No Turning Back / Stronger Bookings hooked it up. Respect to him for bringing us over there.

I’ve heard from some of my friends that when you played first time ever in Europe, you played also in Sweden and there were some kids who traveled from Finland to see you and they remember you guys were so stoked about it, that you gave ’em shirts and all, any memories of that? 

I don’t specifically remember that, but I know I’ve hooked people up in the past. I appreciate the love and respect from the fans of Fury. I never put myself above the crowd because I am the crowd.


You’ve had you
r crazy past on tour, like beating up a band that you toured with, want to go into that story at all? 

Not really lol I have apologized to most and am friends with some so there is really no need to tell those stories anymore.

What expectations you got with this tour and do you have any other tour plan currently regarding other parts of the world or the USA maybe? 
I’ll take it one show at a time and do what we do. The times have change and crowd participation is not what it was so I don’t know what to expect. As for touring, it is hard since we all work, families, and responsibilities but we are working on things so that we can tour the west coast and Japan.

 

Lets talk a bit about hardcore scene in general today, how you feel about it since you have been around for a good while, is everything the same, better or worse in the states in your eyes?

 

Worse for sure. Nothing is original and all the music has been done. PA (Pennsylvania) is probably one of the best places for hardcore right now in the states. Jersey scene is ass. NYC always maintains itself and thrives. Not sure about the rest of the states but I don’t see it getting any better or united.

Bands, is there any new bands that you are into, specially what’s good in NJ?

In NJ – Sicker Than Most, Lifeless, Old Wounds, and Suburban Scum. On the West Coast, LionHeart, and of course Wisdom In Chains, Madball and Strength For A Reason.


I think were pretty much done here, i want to thank you guys for answering the questions and taking time to do this interview and see you in Finland! 
You can send shoutouts or whatever you want to say here in the end?
 

#realisback #harderthanever

Listen the new track Real Is Back at Fast Break Records Soundcloud here;

Don’t forget to order Fury Of Five – Real Is Back 7″ at Fast Break Records and for your FOV merch needs hit up their own webstore here: Fury Of Five -Bigcartel store.

What Makes Us Tick #1: Olli Hänninen

Welcome to a brand new feature of Killing The Legacy, in 2015 we’ll make lots of more action happen here and hopefully put out a record of two, who knows! I’ve been working on a idea to include some guest posts for a while and finally we’re going to feature the first edition of “What Makes Us Tick”. Idea is that i asked some of my friends, fellow writers & band members etc. to make a write up for a record, that has made a huge impression to them. I give a lot gratitude to Andrew for this, since this kind of a version of his new site, No Echo‘s sections “In The Beginning” and “Albums We Love”. I really hope you find these posts as interesting as i do.

First What Makes Us Tick guest is Olli Hänninen. You might know this guy from old Turku hardcore bands such as; Hate Unit and Confirmed Kill. These days he is doing his thing with Ronskibiitti and he is also a world famous skwee lord, Claws CosteauLet’s hear what the guy has to say about…

cover-bad_brains-i_against_i-fBad BrainsI Against I (SST Records, 1986)

At some point in the early 90’s I bought Bad Brains 3rd studio album I Against I from the used CD section of a local record store Kane Records in Turku, Finland. I was a greasy haired indie- and alternative music fan in a flannel lumberjack coat and 12 holed Getta Grip combat boots, slowly turning back towards “harder” music after the shame of 80’s hair-metal haze started to settle down a little. That time I was drawn towards punk and hardcore, but the love for 80’s thrash-metal would re-flame later on when it wasn’t such a taboo anymore. Bad Brains was not a completely new acquaintance. It was familiar from the pages of late 80’s skateboard magazines and even from MTV’s Headbangers Ball. There was always something very intriguing in this group of four African-American Rastafarians who, as if the world would have sidetracked for a second, had chosen to play music in a fairly Caucasian way: hard and heavy. Being a somewhat voluntary victim of the late 80’s funk-metal craze listening to Faith No More, Suicidal Tendencies, Fishbone, Living Colour and of course The Red Hot Chili Peppers it was actually weird that I hadn’t really listened to Bad Brains before I bought that Instant Records German CD issue. It was a game changer for sure though.

The very intro of the record already promised something spectacular. At the same time hard and groovy, threatening and soulful. As the intro slipped into the title track it left no questions. This album was what my life had been lacking so far. It shamelessly combined things I for some unexplained reason held dear: hard, alternative music and Afro-American youth culture with a flavor of Jamaican roots-reggae and dancehall vibrations. Even though the sound and production of Ron St. Germain may not have stood most gloriously the test of time they are still a crucial part of the record and what makes it so magical. The remarkable and original style of musicianship and the captured emotions wouldn’t be the same without the thin guitar sounds and that horrible reverb on the snare drum. So in this case I’d have to say: fuck a re-master. The only thing that made me uncomfortable listening to the record was the freaky sounding and out of tuned vocals on Sacred Love. I’ve grown to forgive it as I learned the reason later on reading The Dance Of Days by Mark Andersen and Mark Jenkins: One can’t really record perfect vocals through telephone while locked up on drug charges.

If I had to pick a favorite track out of the record it would be Re-ignition. The guitar riff on this slower mid-tempo jam is in all its simplicity pure genius and the heavily reggae influenced vocals are haunting and fateful. Crushing breakdowns of the song really kills it. Re-ignition is a schoolbook example of what it is to be chill, cool and relaxed but at the same time being hard, cold and fatal. (In this analog cool and cold are each other’s antithesis.)

When it comes to American hardcore music, in my books Washington D.C. is winning. Even though New York, Boston and Cleveland have a special place in my dark and scarred tough-guy heart, the loving, emotional and liberal hippie side of me hands the trophy to D.C., the birthplace of the straight edge movement, Dischord Records, Minor Threat and Bad Brains. During the times of Quickness Bad Brains was accused of being anti-gay and homophobic. They lost a lot of love in their politically correct hometown. As a basic snot-faced bozo from northern Europe I know and feel that their views on said matter rises from cultural differences. Homosexuality was and still is a subject that is strongly being objected in both African-American and Jamaican Rastafarian cultures. Making a fuss about cultural differences is almost as narrow minded as are the views and thoughts of some right wing extremists. I tend to keep a more open mind especially when it comes to music. If I feel the music and enjoy it I let myself do so despite the lyrical content. I don’t care if the gangsta rap I blast is anti-Semitic and sexist or if the Oi! and black metal I occasionally enjoy listening to is a bit suspicious. I don’t let it shape my mind. As a homo sapiens with a fairly functional brain I’m able to tell myself I don’t have to obey musicians or agree with them. I don’t have to hate songs or bands if I don’t share their views. For example I don’t agree with Velvet Undergrounds glamorizing stance on certain intoxicants but it doesn’t prevent it to be one of the most influential bands in the history of modern music in my opinion. At the end of the day it’s all just punk rock anyway so fuck it! That’s why I can say Bad Brains is as it stands the best hardcore band, possibly the best band ever. Paul, Gary, Darryl and Earl: thank you for being my The Beatles.

Olli Hänninen

“The writer is a fat, white straight edge dad who dreams he was a drug dealer from Compton”

Primeval: Sworn Vengeance x St. Hood

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One of the most important labels in europe today is relatively new label from Paris, France, that concetrates on releasing only perfection in all of the aspects of their releases. One man operation is run by my man, TONR, vocalist of the infamous heavy hardcore hitters, Providence. Now with his label, he also known to the world as: Knives Out Records. I’m going to conduct an interview with him in near future, where we will get more in depth about the whole label, art and it’s future, but now i’m going to concentrate on the newest “knife”, this offering is known as; Sworn Vengeance / St. HoodPrimeval Split 10″.

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I was very stoked about hearing that this release was in the works, since St. Hood is one of the best Finnish hardcore bands ever for me and i’ve followed Sworn Vengeance for many years, not to mention that they did pretty impressive comeback with their new cd/lp, …And With This Hammer Of Vengeance. It’s pretty cool thing too, that these both bands are well known in their local scenes, but not that big outside their own countries. Primeval split 10″ has a theme of “bridging the ocean”, this split and Providence / HoodsAces Split 7″ both share the same idea of bringing two distant bands & countries together. If you aren’t yet familiar of the concept that Knives Out Records has, you should know that the releases they put out are aiming to be nothing but exraordinary, in every sense of the word, all details have been perfected to match the quality. Knives Out -releases are put out high quality heavy picture vinyl and varying regarding the release, they have few different sleeve styles available. Mostly presented as “classic”, “pre-order” and “deluxe” -editions, these are meant to be highly collectible records, but still maintaining pricing very reasonable and pressings, that do not run out instantly. My copy of the record is one of deluxe version, that features different sleeve than classic and pre-order versions. You can see below how the sleeve has been cutted to fit into bat and ape skulls. Artwork is something Knives Out obviously take very seriously, so as Tonr works a lot of it himself, he has brought in excellent artists too to match the dedication he is putting to this slabs of wax. Some of the artists that have been working with Knives Out are Matt Worthey (Suicide Kings “Crown Of Thorns” 12″), Dave Quiggle (Providence / Hoods “Aces” Split 7″) and on Primeval Justin Kamerer, all of these guys might ring a bell, if you wear band shirts like most of us do. To add, of course these records are hand numbered and there is digital download card featured with the vinyl.

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I could go on lot longer about how awesome this release is only on based on it’s art, but i’ll let the photos talk instead of blabbing more about that. Music wise both, Sworn Vengeance and St. Hood offer up two tracks and a cover song each. If somehow Sworn Vengeance doesn’t ring a bell, brief recap for all you who are not familiar. Based in San Fransisco, Sworn Vengeance started back in 1998 , they came together when their old band Downshift changed it’s name, reason for that was simple, they wanted to play different style of music, notably very much heavier. Putting out several releases such as; My Friend The Violence demo (that was later released also properly on cd as a demo compilation), Abaddon cd and Domination cd, they made name for themselves and became known for their vicious and punishing metallic hardcore. They disbanded in 2002, but next year put out only digital release for their unfinished and released album; The Outstretched Arms Of Damnation. By the way, their bass player at the time, Carl Schwartz went on to form First Blood. First talk about reunion emerged in 2010, but it took few more years for them to come together, as in 2013 they went to studio to record …And With This Hammer Of Vengeance, it was released early 2014 in europe by Goodlife Records (cd) and in USA by Escapist Records (lp). They never lost their grip, since the new record is equally pummeling showcase of fierce heaviness, as their classic record, Domination is.

Primeval kicks in with a new Sworn Vengeance jam, Killers Of Gods , traditional metallic mayhem, that represents beautifully, what this band is about. Another one of their originals is a new rendition of old classic, Unresolved Issues Of Rage, that you might have heard on Abaddon cd or The Blood & The Chaos 7″. As both bands on the split have a cover song, Sworn Vengeance is putting their mark on Rage Against The Machine‘s classic track, Bulls On Parade and as everyone can make their own mind, if they dig it or not, in their defense i need to say, that they make the cover sound very their own styled one. If this sounds good, i strongly recommend to pick the new cd/lp i mentioned, it’s pretty fucking hard stuff and if you can find any of their older records, all those too are a must have for any self respecting hardcore fanatic.

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On the other side waiting is St. Hood, who are one of the finest and most respected bands, that Finland has to offer. Coming a good way since their demo back in 2004, St. Hood have dropped two full-lengths since then and appeared on few compilations. All material on Primeval 10″ is brand new shit and it’s the first time they release new stuff after 2009 release, their second full-length, For The Dead on Combat Rock Records. The Same One is delivering just what you might think, groovy hardcore, that doesn’t lack any of heaviness either. It’s also a kick into the teeth for all the doubters and disbelievers, who might have critized the band by any reason, St. Hood is coming strong with and they sound more determined than ever. Their other new track Let It All Out works out as great as the first, dropping driving riffs, that are combined into mid-tempo heavy groove, but don’t lack some melody in the verse, it’s just what you want to hear from these guys, solid stuff from start to finish. These both songs are really good and i just can’t wait to hear how their next lp would sound. St. Hood perfected their style of straight forward hardcore, mixed with heavy metal elements on very “street” level on their second album and these songs are very logical continuum of that, so let’s hope they don’t make us wait for so long ’till they put out something new. Aside being always really great band on record, they are excellent live and they are also very versatile when it comes to picking cover songs, as in the past they have played bands such as; Life Of Agony, Fury Of Five and Mötley Crüe. Now they continue that varying line with Beastie Boys‘s Gratitude and as did Sworn Vengeance, they make this cover sound like their own, very effectively.

I sincerely hope that this split release will turn heads in the USA towards cold shores of Finland and vice versa (even the US shore’s can’t be THAT cold, like here). In the end, Primeval split is amazing work of art and this kind of devotion to the medium of picture vinyl is nothing but admirable. I hope you enjoy Sworn Vengeance and St. Hood, support hardcore and independent labels, buy the records you enjoy and support bands by going to shows and buying their merch. Most of the Knives Out Records -releases are available through their website, that you can access below. Now, put them fucking jams on and wreck your room!

Knives Out Records

Sworn Vengeance -Facebook

Sworn Vengeance -Official website

St. Hood -Facebook

St. Hood -Official website

Losing Touch

If you follow the Finnish hardcore scene you know, that i’m bit of lagging behind on releases that have come out in few late years, when it comes to posting about ’em. You probably already know about the newest Bolt LP, True Colors and newest Cutdown 7″, Harsh Reality and i will get briefly back on them too, but for what i want to serve you now is another bit younger band, than those two older war juggernauts. In fact juggernaut, is a title fit for Upright as well, these guys (on this recording 3 guys and a gal) originate from Jyväskylä. Known as a home for On A Solid Rock, Rebound, Defend, Presley Bastards, Delta Force II, Security Threat (2/4 of the band) and more, Jyväskylä has definitely made it’s place in Finnish hardcore map. After starting their path in there, recently Helsinkicized band put out in 2012 one of the hardest 7″ records of late few years.

Losing Touch 7″  was released already in 2012, together by Helsinki based Collision Records, Swedish Green Menace and Germany’s Street Survival Records. This joint release was Upright’s first own 7″ and followed also very successful Split 7″, that they did with crossover maniacs, Foreseen (who they share a drummer with). This 4-song 7″ featured all new tracks and the groove, it’s damn right present here strong! Courtesy of that grooving and intense riffing goes to Upright’s guitarist Markus, who i in some point gave a nickname; “Mike Dijan of Petäjävesi” (it’s the town he’s originally from) cause this dude fucking shreds! So as a logical continuation to that, you could hear bands like; Breakdown, Crown Of Thornz, Everybody Gets Hurt, Outburst and Killing Time, when thinking of Upright’s style. I think that generally the whole point of the band from the start was to make hard NYHC with their own flavours, but for what i’m hearing about their new material (since this one  was released already 2 years ago, again sorry i’m lazy and slow), it’s really damn hard stuff and i can’t wait to hear what they got coming up. Back to Losing Touch, as i said, four songs, no fillers, all straight forward hardcore with nice twists and crushing breakdowns. I’ve really grown to like Niko‘s style of screaming, he’s a dude who gives it all out, raw and hard. Lyrically Losing Touch touches more personal issues, than standard hardcore topics. All songs are great, but With Time is probably my favourite out of them, nice COT-esque riffing and that breakdown in the end, just pffft and you’re losing your mind in the pit. So if you still have somehow missed Upright (they’ve toured couple good runs in Europe too), check them out right now!

Listen Losing Touch here in it’s entitety, as well all their previous efforts (Foreseen -split 7″ and Demo);

 

Upright -live at Anterok 4.

 

Upright -Facebook

Recordstore X (Order Losing Touch 7″)

Brain Rot – Primal Rage CS

Brain Rot is a new hardcore band from Turku, that i’m very involved with. My mates Samuli (guitar) and Janne (drums) asked me to come try out vocals for their new straight edge band, which i did. Later we added Niko to bass and that was it, Brain Rot was complete. Musically we sound pretty old school and punk, if i may say so, but there’s influences from all over the board from Lockin’ Out -shit to Boston hardcore in general to Confront and Clevo styled stuff. It’s so hard to say how we sound but these comments might clarify something;

“Sounds like Lärm playing Youth Crew hardcore”

“Sounds like Today’s Waste”

We put out couple weeks ago our first demo tape called; PRIMAL RAGE, released as a joint by Poolside Records & KTL Records. It’s already sold it out, but we’ll have more copies later. You can also listen to the whole demo right here;

We’re down for playing shows and got a shirts for sale as well. Check us out on Facebook, as well if you like us.

http://killingthelegacy.bigcartel.com/ // “Hangman’s Hill” t-shirts available

https://www.facebook.com/brainrothc

Band contact: brainrothc@gmail.com