Metal

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

KTL Fest 2015: Foreseen

Helsinki crossover maniacs, Foreseen has been doing big things in 2015. Their debut LP, Helsinki Savagery, has been the best record to emerge under file crossover for years and years. Fusing hardcore and crossover thrash into perfect form, Foreseen did also play This Is Hardcore in the summer and busted 2-week US tour. So you could say there is a lot going on with these guys!

Yo Foreseen, how’d its going in the swag slam camp at the moment?
We just wrapped the summers shows. After ktl we are taking a short break to finish writing new songs that we are going to record in december. The year has been mad busy this far so its good to slow down a bit cause we still have a one tour left to do.
You played your first US tour in the summer, that was kicked off by show in This Is Hardcore, not bad at all, what kinda experience was that tour overall?

America was really great for us and we are definitely going back. First it was pretty surreal to even be touring the states but it felt pretty natural after couple of shows. TIHC was the biggest show we ever played and everyone was pretty nervous before we went to the stage but we played a good Solid show and got some good feedback. Great experience overall. Joe hardcore gave us some encouraging words in the backstage: if you can swim in the lake you can swim in the ocean, if you can play a small stage you can also play the big stage.

All of your hard work touring DIY and playing countless shows paid off pretty well, cause its pretty rare that euro or Finnish bands get to go to play in the US, i understood the US tour was also partly self booked, with help from stateside too, was that a hard job too?

Well we worked together with the power trip guys to book the first week of the tour and we also got help from Henry from electric assault records to book the second one. It was wasn’t that hard to book but still took a lot of work.

Your first LP, Helsinki Savagery has been on the lips of everyone who listens punk, hardcore and metal ever since it came out, did it come out as you expected, you must be pretty pleased on how all scenes have received it?

LP was received better than we could have hoped for so we were really happy. Of course there are things that we would do a bit differently now but nothing major. We play all types of shows these days and the record have been received really good by all crowds from punk to hardcore to metal.

Going from hardcore more into crossover on the LP, where you think Foreseen’s sound will be going in the future, you got a new 7″ on the works i hear?

We think that we have found our sound so there wont be any big changes in the new songs, obviously we dont want to repeat the LP but i dont think thats going to be a problem. We have a really good feeling about the songs that we are working on now and we want to exceed ourselfs with the next record which will indeed be a 7″.

Will there be new shit heard on KTL Fest Saturday? 

We are going to feature a one new song from the 7″ in the set at ktl. Pretty exited about that!

Thanks a lot!


Foreseen -Bandcamp

Foreseen -Facebook

Foreseen -Bigcartel



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

Down My Throat

DMT-KLUBI-10-12-2005

Klubi, Turku 2005.

Style: Metallic hardcore

Years active: 1996-2008

Discography:

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

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

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

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

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

Real Heroes Die CD / 2001 / Full House Records

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DMT-SEMI-29-8-2006 -2

Semifinal, Helsinki 2006.

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

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

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

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

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

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

DMT-FHR10-5-5-2008(1)

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

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

DMT-FHR10-5-5-2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rest in peace. Down My Throat 1996-2008.

Buy:

Full House Records Store

Combat Rock Shop

Interpunk

Listen:

Down My Throat -Myspace

Down My Throat -Homepage

KTL Classics: Irate

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

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

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

Vendetta -live at Pressure Fest 2005.

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

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

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

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

Bio from CDBaby.com below:

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

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

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

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

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

Irate -Facebook
Irate -Myspace

Sleep Therapy LP / Of Malice And Men LP

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

Sleep Therapy LP

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

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

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

http://stereokiller.com/twitchingtongues

Twitching Tongues -Facebook

I Scream Record

Of Malice And Man LP

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

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

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

http://stereokiller.com/ruckushc

Or listen the whole LP here at Blow The Scene.

Ruckus -Facebook

Harvcore Records

Beatdown Hardwear Records

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

Pigeon Hunt 10″

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

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

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

Pigeon Hunt -Bandcamp

Pigeon Hunt -Facebook

Kukaan ei ole turvassa!

It’s been already a good handful of years, since i last time wrote about (originally) Lappeenranta based No One Is Safe, who nowdays reside in cities of Lappeenranta and Helsinki. These guys dropped one hell of a demo some years ago and i’ve been into them ever since i first time heard of ’em. Hardcore, with HARD very strongly intact in every possible area of their music, is very much present and is the name of NO1S’s game. Now they’re taking the scene by storm with their LONG awaited full-length album; Strike First Strike Hard. While Finnish bands tend really take their time to finish their records, specially full-lengths sometimes seem to take quite a lot time, still again with No One Is Safe’s LP+CD -combination, i’m not complaining at all. Since NO1S demo back in 2006, much hasn’t changed, couple minor line-up changes have happened during the years, but after six years, the guys are stronger and more determined than ever. No One Is Safe is not to fuck with, these guys aren’t playing, when it comes to heavy, pounding metallic hardcore, i’m talking about stuff that punches holes through concrete wall.

Strike First Strike Hard is a eleven track LP, that comes together with CD-version of the record, so anyone who hasn’t got a turntable, should not be whining and crying, that they can’t buy the “cd” version. Isn’t it the fucking same, if you want to support the band, even you wouldn’t like vinyls at all, you still get the CD version too, on a same price. They drop here all new songs and couple oldies from the 2006 Demo, them being of course compeletely re-recorded and sound really awesome. Overall if you think the sounds on the record, it’s fucking mint, heavy as heavy can really sound and i really really love that guitar sound, it’s insane, i can’t even tell how hard it sounds. Intro / Luulot Pois, kicks in Strike First Strike Hard with driving, hard intro and short burst of what’s to come. Brand new banger, Dead In A Second, follows and it’s really great start to the new material, you can expect some crushing, heavy riffs and trademark dual vocals of Timo and Jouko. NO1S has always made their mark for me, for using two vocalists who work together really well, Jouko’s deep growls and Timo’s sharper screaming mix in perfectly in the songs. Hated For The Truth and Loyalty Takes It’s Toll, are both new song, but sound familiar since i remember hearing these live already before the record was out. This material continues in similar vein with what they did on their demo and also making appearance on the LP is Family First, really great track, that was featured originally on Full House Record’s compilation Building The Legacy II. No One Is Safe plays in very traditional field, when you think of hardcore, they are nothing close to a what you call today a “beatdown hardcore band”, they have good deal of very fucking heavy riffs, but still have also a lot of faster parts, that way making more sense in the music itself, making it also sound really traditional style way hardcore, but not forgetting that crushing heaviness and i have to say that this record has certainly few of the sickest breakdowns and moshparts, that i’ve heard for a while. You could think NO1S being influenced by bands such as Bulldoze, Next Step Up, All Out War, Death Threat, Cold As Life, Two By Four, (old) Hatebreed -you know, all that classic good stuff.

They have couple very interesting guest spots on the record, with old Nummela (it’s near Helsinki) band called Bleeding Heart‘s vocalist Sakke is laying off some nice screams on the album’s title track, Strike First Strike Hard. Aside that there’s re-done “classic” track (it’s so old that i’m counting it as NO1S classic, haha), Prevail with AJ of Worth The Pain, just like he was doing his part on the original demo recording too. It’s cool that they got Prevail and their title track, No One Is Safe, re-recorded on the LP, since those two are being my favourite songs off the demo, it’s really great! To make the guest list even more interesting, Resist Forever, has a whole bunch of guys from many great bands; Ville of Breamgod is doing his thing with Matti of Cutdown (who plays guitar and does backup vocals in Cutdown), Abu from Third Man Down (playing guitar for TMD) and Eme, who is a Finnish hip-hop artist with many various different aliases and projects and he’s doing his thing in Finnish too, if you have heard Cutdown’s Rise & Fall, you know what’s up with the rap thing. No One Is Safe’s Strike First Strike Hard LP is certainly upping the bar for Finnish hardcore this year, i’m anxious to hear what’s to come from many bands, but with already records such as this and Worth The Pain’s new LP, it’s gonna bea tough competition for the best album in 2012. I’m just glad to see that Finnish hardcore lives and breathes well, there’s so many amazing bands that just need to get heard more and need to get their asses outside our borders to play shows too!

No One Is Safe – Strike First Strike Hard LP+CD is already available with worldwide shipping through Recordstore X, the label (glad to see my dudes helping on making this release into reality) Poolside Records or the band. You can check out songs from the LP through their Stereokiller site (link below). Catch No One Is Safe’s record release show this Saturday 25.2. at Hyvinkää, they are playing with our favourite French heavyweights, Providence, who are currently touring Finland.

No One Is Safe -Stereokiller

No One Is Safe -Facebook

No One Is Safe -Website

Poolside Records

Recordstore X

At War With The Hound

It’s about time to check out again some of the newer bands, that i’ve been into lately. Most of you who even remotely try to keep up with what’s happening in the world of hardcore currently, have probably heard the name of War Hound. If not about their music, you’ve been mentioned about this band, who’s ripping off Biohazard’s classic Urban Discipline -artwork. I’m not trying to go here to rant on about how most of the new, specially these “hardstyle” -styled bands want to sound like Biohazard and all, but still end up sounding like Trapped Under Ice, which is not certainly a bad thing either. But what i’m saying here, after TUI “got big” aroundSecrets Of The World LP, there started to spawn a lot bands, who tried to play music from same influences with them, but only to ended sounding exactly same. But enough of this, since War Hound, maybe even surprisingly, did pull off the hardstyle thing, very well. They not only went and started to play heavy hardcore, but they did it with right influences, right at the start, when you are digging bands like; Crown Of Thornz, Fury Of Five, Biohazard, Bulldoze, E-Town Concrete and want to play music like them, if you know what you’re doing, you can’t go wrong. War Hound has already been very productive and has released a demo last year, Demo 2010 and their first EP, Return Of The Hardstyle -tape. Since then they have inked a deal with I Scream Records on their upcoming full-length, so things are rolling very righteous for this young band.

Return Of The Hardstyle EP -features solid runthrough on who are War Hound and what makes them thick. With obvious love for Brooklyn legends, War Hound has titled the EP to honor them and hence the artwork is loaned off Urban Discipline, as mentioned earlier. You can hear a lot of heavier hardcore influences on the EP, Intro – Return Of The Hardstyle is as ‘haz as it can be, sirens, chaotic noise in the background, backed with groovy, HEAVY riffs and a hard gangshout welcoming ya’ll to the hardside.Reality Check, unveils their very hip-hop-esque vocal arrangements, nice use of backup vocs, in vein very true to their idols, while dropping chugging heavy riffs all the way down to end of song. If you haven’t listened that much of older metallic hardcore and old school shit like Dmize, Biohazard, (old) Life Of Agony, Merauder and such, you’ll probably just think War Hound really sounds only like Trapped Under Ice, but as they do know, they definitely were’nt the first band to play this style of heavy hardcore. The Path Of The Wicked, drops the next song with very similar riffing as early TUI songs(such as on the Demo), but has even couple similar vocal arrangements too, they’re definitely not ripping TUI off or anything, but i’ve listend TUI so much that i’ll just spot these kinda things, haha. Anyhow, The Path Of The Wicked is no doubt another solid mosh anthem, heavy yet groovy track, not the best on the EP, but very solid still. Despair is the last track on Return To The Hardstyle EP and features more of that nice heavy duty riffing, but displays also some semi-clean vocals, as for the perfect ending to the EP is towards the track’s end, with menacing breakdown that should crush some bones in the dancefloor. War Hound convienced me with this EP to get into them really hard and i have to say that the more i listen this stuff, the more i get into it.

For your pleasure, they have already pulled off couple tracks from their upcoming record on their Stereokiller -page and as listening those tracks, you can definitely hear a lot more real Biohazard -sound with some Fury Of Five -goodness and a lot less similarity to Trapped Under Ice -sound. So let both of these bands do their own thing, cause both of ’em are doing it well. I’m looking very much to hear more new War Hound, this band is hands down awesome and everyone should check ’em out and show them love. They have put up the Demo up for free download and i’ve linked the mediafire link straight here below, from their Stereokiller page. You can listen the whole ROTH EP on the other link below and still pick the tape too from Born Ill, check ’em out and get into it!

War Hound -Facebook
War Hound -Stereokiller
Born Ill -BUY THE TAPE HERE

Oh yeah, if anyone who might read this, has War Hound – Sound And Fury 2011 Fury Of Five -ripoff t-shirt on Large or XLarge, sell it to me. Drop me a email or hit me up on Facebook. Thanks.