KTL Classics: Irate

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

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

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

Vendetta -live at Pressure Fest 2005.

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

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

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

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

Bio from CDBaby.com below:

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

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

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

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

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

Irate -Facebook
Irate -Myspace

7 comments

  1. Agreed, Irate was an awesome band. Here is the link to their 96 demo : http://www.divshare.com/download/launch/14120793-08d

    It’s allright but what they did later was way better. Enjoy !!

    I’m also bummed I missed them when they toured Europe in 2005. They played in Paris with Die My Demon, Purgatory and Count To React, but I couldn’t take time off work that evening, it’s the one show I’m the most gutted on missing.

    1. Thanks a lot for the link, will get it as i get off work today. I think Irate stands as one most impressive sounding bands i’ve ever heard and even to this day it’s amazing music. I like 11:34 the best, but really love all three cd’s.

      That show would have probably been crazy, great support bands too, Purgatory is really good and C2R too (specially now as Out For The Count)! I would love to get Purgatory’s cd, but it seems quite hard to find. Many french bands are in all really hard to find stuff!

  2. I reckon your must have heard the demo since, it’s good, but the melodic vibe of the band isn’t really on it, and obviously … it has the sound quality of a demo tape, wich doesnt quite suit their music. But yeah I agree that Irate had a high level on songwriting, no band come even close to them, or to sounding like them. 11:34 is also my favorite, that album is just on a level of it’s own.

    If you need Purgatory records you can order them there : http://purgatorysxc.bigcartel.com/
    You might wanna send them an email first because the band hasn’t really been active since the release of the second album so make sure your money isn’t gonna get lost. I’m not in France for now, but if you need infos on where to find french bands stuff, I can always try to help !

    And for the Irate show, one of my best friends was there, after all these years and all the shows we’ve been to, he still says it was one of the best gigs he even attended. Irate got nearly everyone moshing !

    1. Yeah i downloaded the demo as soon as i remembered, heh. It’s good, but true, their later stuff are pertty much superior over it. We just have to wish Irate re-union, to get to see them haha! 11:34 just perfect, everything in it’s place there, i listen that cd a lot still these days. Thanks for the tip on Purgatory, i’ll check it out later in couple months when i got money again. Would be greatly appreciated if you might help me out with some Frech bands/records, there’s stuff i’ve been tracking!

  3. Great post guy! I found this after I unearthed a couple of demos when I was moving and wanted to find out more about them. Here is the info I have on them:

    Irate Demo 1999 – black disc released by the band with logo, “Limited Edition,” and track listing (Supremacy, Malignant, C.P.R.); copyright 1999

    Irate Demo 2000 – Red disc released by the band with logo and track listing (Devoid, Instant Gratification, Malignant (different version from 1999 demo)); copyright 2000; I think this had Joe Reilly from Disfigured on vocals

    If you have any more info, I would appreciate it. The versions on these demos are different from any of the full-lengths, which can be easily deciphered by the “poppy” snare and better production. If you would like these tracks, just say the word!

    1. Hey man,

      Thanks for checking us out! I’m really fucking intrigued to hear those demos both demos, so if you could send ’em to me, it would rule! Especially that demo with Joe Reilly, i didn’t even know that it exists and those track names haven’t appeared on any other Irate releases either?! Shoot me up an email man! -Markus / KTL

      1. No problem man. When I get a chance this weekend, I will get them on the computer and send them over. I had seen them quite a few times around the release dates of these demos, even had a shirt at one point. They always opened for some decently-followed death metal bands at the time but their music never really caught on with the loyal death metal following. My roots were in hardcore, so it was a win-win for me!

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