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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.

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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

Archives: .45 Stainless – O.G.B.D.

Hardcore is best when it’s fat free; when it’s lean, menacing, frothing at the mouth and intent onstabbing your ears with a rusty knife. The essence that possesses this music is unlike any other. At the heart of it all sits a pure, refined chassis of rage, which is proudly aware of what it is. Never at any point does it boil over into an extension of teenage angst and sulkiness, pointing an accusative finger of blame. Rather, it’s quite the opposite. It’s a rousing, empowering rally against all the cunts in the world that live to bring you down, and as Stigmata proclaimed, no one can bring me down. 

This fire breathing hydra from Finland emphatically embodies this. The odd man of Scandinavia is home to scores of other metallic marvels, but few gleam with such confidence and yet harbour such utter spite against everything like .45 Stainless. The middle finger is defiantly raised throughout every minute of their debut’s duration. Pregnant with menace, it stalks with purpose, cramming in as much musical carnage as is possible into each track’s framework.

The musical DNA of their heroes runs deep in their blood, but is gloriously manipulated to create
hideous musical mutations, hell bent on turning dance floors into killing fields littered with headless
corpses. After all, that’s clearly the purpose, and to be frank, there’s no need to deaden the impact
with unnecessary extras that would otherwise dilute such a potent barrage.

Deciding which is king of the monstrous musical components that have been melded together here is
a tricky endeavour. Vocally, the record is flawless, perfectly balancing tough, throaty spits with earth
shaking gutturals that don’t creep into samey, cookie monster on coke, repetition. Equally flawless
are the beats and the rhythm, which seem to be divinely crafted. They smoothly merge with the riffs
and vocals to accentuate the intensity of each passage whilst never at any point choking a groove or
suffocating a vocal.

The rulers though, are the riffs, the alpha and the omega, the first and the last, and always the
axis of quality hardcore. Here, they glisten with a bold, omnipotent tone which just simply crushes
relentlessly. Without them, this band, and all those like them, would be nothing, the impotence would
be overwhelming, and when it would come to the last judgment, this, would be their greatest crime, for
a hardcore band with no riffs is not a hardcore band.

Don’t call it a comeback, hardcore never left, and contrary to what OLC says (be it ironic or not), it’s
not dead.

.45 Stainless – O.G.B.D.
 //O.G.B.D. MCD//2011//Beatdown Hardwear Records
.45 Stainless – Violence For Violence//O.G.B.D. MCD//2011//Beatdown Hardwear Records

“Hated” promo video:

O.G.B.D. CD + T-shirt combo package is available from Beatdown Hardwear HERE. Other merch and CD’s are also available from straight from the band: 45stainless@gmail.com

.45 Stainless -Stereokiller
.45 Stainless -Facebook
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