Mittwoch, 16. Dezember 2015

Top 24 Records of 2015

Yeah... 2015 was huge, so this top list is also going to be huge!
And like in 2014, this is not just my personal list - this is the definite list. 
Debating over it is pointless... ;-) (here is 2014's list, just in case anyone is interested)

Edit: I guess I was a bit lazy... procrastinating and stuff... you know?
So, to everyone who is still waiting, here are the last/first 7 places (with only one year delay):

1. xREPENTANCEx - The Sickness Of Eden
Who would've though, huh? Mind-blown!
If you haven't heard of them yet, yeah... your bad... lay down and die or something!
THE vegan straight edge 90's style band of the modern times.
(No fancy description, as I am pretty late with this and don't have the time...
I would say that I'll edit it later, but I probably won't... you're welcome)
listen | buy (12")

2. xLAIRx - Wrath Of The Immaculate
Vegan Straight Edge 90's Metalcore from Australia... also militant and shit!
FFO: The Path Of Resistance, Shockwave, Earth Crisis, ...
(No fancy description, as I am pretty late with this and don't have the time...
I would say that I'll edit it later, but I probably won't... you're welcome)
listen | buy (7") | buy (7"/tape)

3. NoRestraint - The Branches Of Suffering & Down In It Split EP
Vegan Straight Edge 90's metallic Hardcore. Militant and shit...
FFO: Green Rage, Trial, Earth Crisis, ...
(No fancy description, as I am pretty late with this and don't have the time...
I would say that I'll edit it later, but I probably won't... you're welcome)
listen | buy (7") | buy (7"/tape)

4. Realm OfTorment - Testaments Of Hope & Despair
Early 00's Metalcore with some beatdown impact... Killswitch Engage meats UYC Crew.
(No fancy description, as I am pretty late with this and don't have the time...
I would say that I'll edit it later, but I probably won't... you're welcome)
listen | buy (12") | buy (cd)

5. UnholyMajesty - All Is Dust
Oldschool Metal/Hardcore in the vein of bands like Integrity, Ringworm, etc.
(No fancy description, as I am pretty late with this and don't have the time...
I would say that I'll edit it later, but I probably won't... you're welcome)
listen | buy (tape/12")

6. xDEVOURx - Demo
Metallic SxE Hardcore from Members of Blade! know the deal!
(No fancy description, as I am pretty late with this and don't have the time...
I would say that I'll edit it later, but I probably won't... you're welcome)
listen | buy (tape)

7. Vatican - Drowning The Apathy Inside & Paingod
Emotional, yet metallic 90's Metalcore/Crymosh.
FFO: Poison The Well, Hopesfall, Prayer For Cleansing.
(No fancy description, as I am pretty late with this and don't have the time...
I would say that I'll edit it later, but I probably won't... you're welcome)
listen | buy (tape)

8. Deconsecrate - Nothing Is Sacred
Solid H8000 Metalcore with some Black & Death influences. Really evil stuff with 2 Singers
and guest vocals from John Gallagher (Dying Fetus) and Damien Moyal (Morning Again/Culture).
So, you know what to expect, don't you? "Metal", but for 90's Hardcore Kids (and the old guys) ;-)
If this alone wasn't already cool enough, it even came out on Goodlife Records,
as their first Vinyl output in... like 10 (?) years! So you see - this has to be outstandingly good!
Besides the great music they created here, which is basically a mix of All Out War, Congress,
Deformity & Behemoth, there are also really kind and interesting individuals behind this band.
Andy, their main Singer who also did the Artwork and stuff, was also the guy who did
(as part of a team) the H8000 Book (Compilation of the Zines) and is now (together with a friend)
running Kick Out The Jams (a really cool Cassette Label & Distro).
To end this with the words of Ed Goodlife himself:
The Glorious Return of H8000 Hardcore, featuring former members of Retaliate,
Crossed The Line, First Alliance, United Blood, 6 Days of Justice, doing their thing.
listen | buy (12"/cd)

9. No End In Sight - Black Clouds
For me, this definitely deserves the title "Metalcore Super Album 2015".
It has everything this genre needs and you could ask for - it has the typical "modern metalcore"
riffs and blast parts, but also more calm parts, with emotional lyrics and powerful vocals.
Typical metalcore shouts (really well done) but also gang shouts, hardcore style and lots of
guest vocals inbetween the whole thing. So, whilst being "the metalcore album" you can also hear
some hardcore influences here and there, what makes it, to my mind, even more sympathic.
Besides this, they are all very nice dudes and fucking vegan as well - how cool is that?
Like, metal, but with a punk attitude and lyrics about human/animal right and politics.
Another crossover that is pretty obvious in their style is (Thrash) Metal.
There is a goddam solo in every song! I mean, fuck it, thats exactly what I was missing
in most of the standart metalcore and hardcore stuff! So, whilst not being 100% OG Metalcore,
this is my "Metalcore Album 2015", because it is far better than what I expected
and it would deserve so much more attention, it's unreal!
Furthermore they're doing all this since '04 in the spirit of DIY. Self-releasing their records,
booking their own shows, doing their own merch (fairtrade, sustainable - all that shit), etc.
And even donating the money from that to charity/animal rights organisations!
So, dammit - show some support! For they deserve it way more than 99% of the bands out there!
listen | buy (12") | buy (tape)

10. Fourth Crusade - Demo MMXV / At War With The World / EP Promo
Really hard working (vegan) 90's style metalcore band from Germany.
Yeah, finally a "really good" band from Germany again! Was waiting for this!
In their one year of existence they have already achieved what other bands can't do in a lifetime
and they have already developed/changed their musical style pretty much during this,
but for the good! Their year started with a really cool h8000 style/metallic oldschool hxc demo.
Imagine Arkangel, Kickback, Day of Suffering, etc. After this, they released an (online?) Single
in mid '15, which was still awesome - even way better recorded - but more (death)metal!
Imagine influences from Bolt Thrower, Integrity, etc... but still pretty much 90's metalcore,
h8000 style, with breakdowns that really deserve the name! ;-)
And now, in the end of '15 they are just about to release their new EP and you can already
listen to one promo song online - which is even better than everything before.
Combining all the influences and perfectly re-producing the sound of some of my favorite bands!
Just to drop some more names, if you're into bands like Repentance, Incitement, Deconsecrate, etc.,
You don't want to miss on Fourth Crusade! ...and we can expect a lot more from them in 2016!
listen | buy (nothing available atm - just check their fb to know when pre-orders go online)

11. Gaia Bleeds - Demo '15
Scottish's best export. Sounds like the taste of IRN BRU... fucking "wizard"!
Pretty "hard" vegan straight edge 90's Metalcore in the vein of bands like:
Withdrawn, Slavearc, xCanaanx, etc. ...with lyrics about Anime, D&D, MTG and WoW...
nah, just kidding, it's fucking serious, the guys themselves may be all about these topics,
but the band is all about the vegan jihad, like "go vegan, or go fuck yourself".
Starts off with a melodic, kinda clear 90's style intro... until the doomy growls and
dissonant guitars set in. Breakdowns are almost beatdown level - at least I would definitely
beat you down in the pit to this - but also picks up speed again and chugga thrash's the fuck
out off it. "Open your eyes, you're not exempt from the guilt."
All over a 10/10 if you're into metallic slowed down negative 90's style xvx hardcore...
or irn bru, anime & mtg ;-) however, this is definitely one of the best demo's lately, so check it out:
listen | buy (tape) sold out though

12. Rebirth - Instincts Of Suffering / Rising Dissent
One of Australias best exports right now. Imagine "Trial" on Crack...
but of course in a very vegan straight edge way! Very 90's, very Core, much Chugg,
but also kind of Punk and fast forward with a political stance.
Really love everything about them, from the music, to the vocals, the lyrics
and also the visualisation and stuff! Really can't wait for them to tour the EU one day!
"Instinct Of Suffering" was released in early 2015, a follow up EP to their already
awesome '14 Demo. "Rising Dissent" - a 2 Song flexi 7" on LLR Records
was just released a couple of weeks ago (A Reflection on Social Dissent Within Australia).
The more sophisticated/intellectual 90's HxC enthusiast would not want to miss on this! ;-)
listen (EP) | listen (single) | buy (llr distro)

13. First Fight Down - Demo '15
90's Metalcore in the vein of bands like Morning Again, Reprisal and From The Dying Sky.
They even started back then in '97 and released 3 (?) Cd's until '08, when they went on hiatus.
Now they're back, added some new/old members of The Darkest Red and Witness The Fall
to their line up and started to play shows again - and (diy) recorded this demo...
which, to my ears, sounds fucking awesome! Be prepared for a 12" EP in mid 2016.
As you can already hear on these recordings, they might have become older,
but haven't lost a scintilla of power and passion! But, judge for yourself:
listen | buy (tape) sold out though

14. Statement - Genocidal Justice MMXV
Yeah, OG StateXment right here. This is a re-recorded version of the '96 classic.
After their s/t EP on Hardline Records and a few years later a Split EP on Surrouned,
their for the time being, last output was released via Green Fight. Unfortunately only on CD.
Flash forward: In 2014 Rat (the man behind Statement - yeah, he's still alive), started his own label,
Bloodless Records to release some new Statement tunes (and really limited vinyl of old stuff).
During that process he got the great Idea to simply re-record the whole Genocidal Justice Session
and release it as a really limited lathe cut 10" (only 25 copies in existence).
This is still pretty damn good and powerful vegan metal (slayer worship). Check it out:
listen | buy (10") sold out though

15. Encrypted - Tribulations
Oldschool Metal. Not like in Metalcore or Metallic Hardcore, just fucking Metal.
 Foracious riffs over a storm of thunder with solo's like fire raining from the skies.
Lyrically: God is denying his own existence to abandon humanity to their own fate.
This is one for the old crock's who only listen to Black Sabbath and Metallica,
but also for the cool kids who like Obituary and All Out War.
Really well played. Probably Belgiums "truest" Metal Band right now...
or at least the only one I am really interested in! (Ex-)Members of Crucial Times, btw.
And, yeah, this came out on my Label, so you know that it has to be outstanding good!
listen | buy (tape) | buy (cd)

16. In Tongues - Rituals Of Failure And Ruin
You like Black Metal? Then listen to this! You like 90's Metalcore? Listen to this!
You like Straight Edge Hardcore? This! Death Metal? This, this and this!
The perfect mix from stuff like Woods Of Ypres, Entombed & Prayer For Cleansing.
Brutal and melodic at the same time, yet creating an atmosphere of bleakness...
Like an undead wanderer in a medieval surrounding, dragging a church bell through
the mist of cold and lifeless morning... numb and destructively sensitive at the same time .
Pervasive lyrics with misanthropic substance leaving no hope in sight.
Really nice Record though and great improvement to their Demo.
It has carange like riffing, brutal breakdowns and gory blastbeats,
but also soulful melodics and expressive guitar solo's.
But what can I say, just figure it out yourself, this one sure can't disappoint!
listen | buy (12")

17. Drawing Last Breath - Demo
Flawless melodic 90's/early 00's metalcore in the vein of bands like:
Undying, Unearth, Prayer For Cleansing, Poison The Well, etc.
Personal/Emotional Lyrics, screamed by a tormented soul,
meet relentless metal riffs and divine melodic parts... would "crymosh".I read that this is by members of Blistered, but thats already about the only thing I know...
If you have any more info, let me know! This needs to be on vinyl soon!
It would probably be under the top 5 if I had the opportunity to actually hold it in my hands.
Like seriously, if your band also wants to play that melodic 90's metalcore style
and you're not sounding like this here, then you're probably doing it wrong! ;-)
listen | buy (tape)

18. Insider - Between Grace & Sin
Really cool oldschool Vegan Straight Edge Hardcore somwehere between
Warzone, Underdog and Vegan Reich (really interesting mix, yeah).
Short and powerful tunes with fresh vocals (by mr. malik himself).
All rounded up by a dreamy "Wata-Dub" at the end - get that Underdog/Bad Brains vibe!
Members of Bands like: Inherit, Pain Runs Deep, Iron To Gold, Healing, ...
So you kinda know what to expect! ;-)
listen | buy (7")

19. Guidance - Path Of Grace
Crushing metallic 90's Style Hardcore by the Hands of Krishna.
Imagine Outspoken, 108 and Shelter thrown into the flames of Mount Doom,
just to be melted together into one 90's Straight Edge Masterpiece to rule them all!
This record runs from melodic and soulfully to chugging and hard,
all while keeping a beat that constantly tells your feet to move already!
Lyrics are kinda personal but also point out on general issues in life and society as such.
The punchy cocals match perfectly to that + shredding guitars over some expressive bass parts.
Unfortunately I never had the chance to see them live and now that their journey has
ended way too soon, I probably never will as well, but I'm pretty damn sure that
the whole room must've been on fire during their set, I mean, seriously, just listen to this!
(Members are now active in bands like: Digress, Violent Reaction, Frame Of Mind and Repentance)
listen | buy (12") sold out though

20. Fortress Black - I.N.R.I.
Slow and heavy, crawling over the hardcore scene like a huge juggernaut.
Some might want to label it as Post-Black Metal or slowed down, darkened Hardcore,
while others just reffer to it as the force of the god's! Dunkelheit, Naturgewalt & Total Death.
Endzeit starts off with the drums of war, crashing into total chaos and forecasting
the doom of humanity, musically just as lyrically...
After that it picks up speed and unleashes into a misanthropic mayhem.
A Symphony of Destruction, acompanied by metallic Guitars and the crying
from the Sirens of Hell. Fortress Black is strictly anti-religious and anti-fascistic.
Members of Bands like: Radical Development, Empowerment, Beat Down, True Blue,
Absidia, Countless, Iron Skull, Golgatha, The Crimson Divine, 711 Mayhem and many more.
Just mix all of these together, add some Corpsepaint and human blood
and you get a vague Idea of what Fortress Black sounds like.

21. Eakra - The Last Call Of The Wild
Stunning "Vegan D-Frost" (between D-Beat and Celtic Frost) with some Death/Black Metal
and Crust influence, by members of bands like: Statement, Unborn, Hello Bastards, ...
Really heavy and with shrieking female vocals + lyrics about animal/earth liberation.
From what I heard the whole thing was only kind of a project and for that matter
virtually existed just a few days... but after a few years two of the members
eventually wanted to have it pressed on vinyl, so a 10" version by Bloodless Records
and Tofu Murder Squad finally happened this year. Limited to 30 (!!!) though, haha :P
For the music, it's really wild and black and crusty, and... just listen to it yourself!
listen | buy (10") sold out though

22. Cattle Decapitation - The Anthropocene Extinction
Vegan Grindcore/Death Metal with some Black and Core influence here and there.
Hate me, but I think, in contradiction to like almost any other band, they're just
getting better with every new album. I really dig the increasing Metalcore
and Black Metal influence - really peculiar and special sound now!
I won't review every single track for this one, as it is a major label LP release
and there are already far better reviews out there, than I could ever possibly write.
But anyway, Lyrically: Mankind destroy's the earth and consequently itself.
Musically: Brutal as shit Grind and demonic Vocals that destroy Mankind!
This album really has everything. It has the Grindcore Pigsqueal Mayhem,
tumultuous guitar solo's from outer space, atmospheric black metal shit with demonic screams
from the deepest depths of hell and also the In Your Face Metalcore part here and there.
Like, seriously - what else would you want from a record?
Only minus: It came out on Metal Blade Records and most of their stuff is expensive
as fuck ...and comes from the US... what makes it even more expensive...

23. Blinded - Mourn Her
Crushing oldschool Metalcore (with some Beatdown influence) from Australia.
First track starts off really heavy. Chugging Guitar parts and breakdowns to break bones.
Pretty emotional and desperate lyrics though... Crymosh?
Second track kicks in more melodic and 90's sounding - even has one of these
cool offtune singing parts - but also has it's not only heart, but also nose breaking breakdown.
Pretty heavy shit, yo! Then, after a nice and calm Instrumental,
the typical early 00's metalcore riff starts and my feets are telling me to open up
that fucking pit already. Nice off tune singing and lyrics about lost love again.
Seems like highschool (-girls) in Australia can be pretty harsh!
Last track perfectly rounds it up with a more 90's hardcore sounding one again
- and the essential beatdown part + outro movie clipping at the end.
(they also did a really cool exclusive track for the "Life At The Bottom Comp")

Melodic oldschool Hardcore from the Netherlands, consisting of (ex-)members
from the now defunct Metallic 90's Hardcore outfit LIES!
The first track from their demo kicks in energetic and melancholic at the same time.
Especially the last part - would totally give it a crymosh!
The second track starts with a really calm intro but kinda gets brutal & chaotic later on.
The lyrics also match perfectly to that: Emotional, self-doubting, hope crushing, ...
The third tracks start off as a typical melodic hardcore song but also turns into that melancholic
style later on, until when it eventually ends in a fabulous guitar solo.
The fouth track is like the banger at the end - by far the "hardest" track from this demo.
But still very passionate and expressive. No dull 0815 standart hardcore here.

Sonntag, 23. August 2015

BBMA Newbloods: Vegan Jihad

So, yeah, here I am as well introducing a new categorie to you 
BBMA Newbloods - lets see if that'll work out! ;-)

First one - Vegan Jihad - pretty new Metal/Hardcore Band from Nevada
and yeah... I guess you can already tell why I am telling you about them, can't you!?
and while doing so, let's see what they have to tell you about themselves:

Vegan Jihad - i guess the name already says it all, but: whats it about?

We are about bringing together those who are sick and tired of standing by while 
the animal holocaust continues. Sick and tired of being passive about the situation. Sick and tired 
of people not accepting responsibility for their role in the unnecessary enslavement, torture 
and horrifying death of innocent helpless animals. Sick and tired of all the rationalizations and 
cop outs of their support of the animal holocaust.

So, would you guys consider yourselfes "hardline"? 
...and would you say that hardline is still a thing nowadays?

There are multiple definitions of what Hardline could be considered. With Vegan Jihad, 
we may fit the profile of different movements but we will only allow ourselves to be associated 
to one cause and that is elimination of the suffering, torture and murder of helpless animals, 
be it for profit or sport or any other sick reason. Our goal is to reduce the demand of these atrocious 
acts which will reduce the supply. Any way that has to happen is well within what I personally 
am willing to do regardless of the sacrifice.

What about the individuals behind the project? Do we possibly know any of you from other bands?

Very highly unlikely. Even so, regardless of any projects we may have been involved with in 
the past, our individual identities are insignificant. Our past musical involvements are insignificant. When people look at us, all they need to see is 5 faceless human beings who are dead serious 
about our message and achieving our goals.

Concerning your lyrics, it seems like religion is, besides animal rights/veganism, also an 
important point you'd like to address, yeah? is there a connection for you? and is it more 
about christianity or kind of "against all religions"?

The issue is not with religion exactly. The issue is with people who use religion as a cop out 
for contributing to the animal holocaust. With all the different bible versions and religions, 
naive people can always find some bullshit quote in their shit rag bible to interpret any way that is convenient for their conscience and/or comforts. So what I say to these people is if you truly believe your God condones the animal holocaust, then fuck you and fuck your God, for I am the Devil.

What about the straight edge? Would you consider yourself a vegan straight edge band? 
...cause you fucking sound like one!

If it were realistic I wouldn’t even call us a band. We do use music in part though to further 
our cause so calling us a band is fair and accurate. As with the Hardline question, I will not allow 
us to be labeled with anything other than Activists dedicated to the reduction and ultimately the elimination of the animal holocaust. That being said, I won’t even drink caffeine much less 
anything harder that could cloud or soften my mind or destroy my body before I am able to use it 
up and eventually sacrifice it to achieve my goals. Much respect to the straight edge bands who put 
it on the line for their beliefs. I take it as a compliment and an honor that we sound that way to you.

While were just at it: name some of your main influences (i already have some 
90's metal/core bands in mind, but i am curious to hear what you actually wanted to sound like).

I am more influenced by bands like Earth Crisis for their convictions and unwavering dedication 
to their beliefs and weren’t afraid to fight those who challenged them. These are guys that have been on the front line for decades. Those guys get full respect and support. We wouldn’t even play our first show until we could do it with Earth Crisis. Vegan Jihad has been around for more than 3 years and we recorded I Am The Devil over a year ago. Now that the opportunity to perform under Earth Crisis has come, the world will now see what we are about. Watch for our first music video around the second week of October. As far as musical style, I honestly can say there is no intentional style. 
My guitar influence would come mostly from Napalm Death and Obituary type of bands.

For your demo/record/whatever: when will we be able to hear it in it's full? 
Is there a (vinyl) release planned? And will you tour Europe with it?

Haven’t really thought much about how the release will be handled. We will do it however it 
gets heard the most. If making vinyl is something people want we will do it. This outfit will 
never accept profit. Any monies accrued will be swiftly donated to local animal shelters etc. We never wanted people’s first impression of us to be just the music it was supposed to be the videos. Now the music is being heard alone first and that’s fine, but there is so much more to this than what you could get by listening to a few songs. You have to see it either in concert or in videos. Both are now scheduled less than an hour from where we live. With Europe there are festivals out there that would be great platforms for Vegan Jihad to perform on if our stage show could be and would be facilitated. Europeans are far ahead of Americans in Animal Liberation measures so we need to focus our attention on America. We will see though if there is enough interest from Europe at some point for Vegan Jihad to make the trip and do what we do. Hopefully that would be sooner than later.

Stay updated:

Samstag, 18. Juli 2015

Horns Of Resistance

How much more underground can you even go,
than with a local band that only existed for a few years?
Horns Of Resistance - XVX Death-Metal from Germany... real fucking Metal!

The demo was recorded by only 2 people and the demo cd by 3.
Though they've been a 4 and later even a 5 piece at some shows!
I honestly don't know anything about the members, but that their drummer
nowadays plays in some kind of Pagan Metal band called Durothar...
Feel free to hit me up with any additional info! ;-)

Btw. on their myspace page you can find another unreleased song - rise and shine
Idk where that comes from - perhaps from the same session as the demo cd,
perhaps something they did after this/right before they broke up? 
Anyway, please get in touch if you know how to get it from myspace!
(I already tried every fucking "downloader" programm... they don't work!)

Montag, 8. Juni 2015


Yo, first post in a whole while here... so, what better way to start again
than with a band like RAID (which literally stands for everything in BBMA, more or less, hehe ;-)
I know, there are already blogspot posts about them... arent there?
But I remember someone asking me for their stuff a while ago, so here you go:

Raid startet in '90, or late '80s - better use google for some accurate information,
was definitely way before my time so I actually dont know shit!
Anyway, they were one of the first Hardline bands and their EP "Words Of War"
also reads itself like a testament to the Hardline way of life - so it matches just perfect to
Vegan Reich and Statement! Musicwise this is metallic chugga hardcore... 90's, you know?
The 2-Song-Demo before that EP was more kind of Hardcore Punk, like the Vegan Reich
song before their glorious EP, or the Crappy-Statement stuff before "Prepare For Battle" as well!
They were from memphis as well and as far as I know, before raid some of them were
in some kind of christ-metal band called "one way" - never heard them though...

The EP after this - was released as a 12" compilation with their 7" and demo on the b side
- is even more metallic, so even better. Lots of divebombs and stuff... probably the blueprint
for bands like Green Rage or Birthright. Definitely check that out!

Lyrics were all militant all the way, like:
"this is a call to arms for those who put nature above themselves - blood green"

But unfortunately they sold out like almost everyone else... there is this interview somewhere,
might dig it out later, where their singer (?) - some years after the split up of raid - explains
why veganism and animal liberation isnt that important and that especially animal testing
is very much necessary... dumbfuck - this is the epitome of humanity!

Sonntag, 15. Februar 2015

The BBMA Zine(s)

Yo, I know it's been a while since I announced the 3rd Issue of the Zine
...and the truth it is, I have been pretty lazy with it :P
Most of the Interviews and stuff were already did in (late) 2014 and now... since 3 months...
I just did nothing about it - though I focused on other bbma stuff, like physical releases and such,
but now I came to the point, where I could either let it just rot away, or fucking get my shit together
and just bring it out as it is! So, this will definitely happen now (I'm focussing on late March).
Get at me NOW if you want to be part of it - have your review/column whater in it...
or your advert (for free, if i like it)! just let me know asap! ;-)

So, this will most likely be the cover (pre-order information soon):

Since the production costs were pretty high, I unfortuantely had to make Issue #2
more expensive than I wanted it to be (3€)... therefore I will print Issue #3 completely on my own.
Will most likely look pretty cheap then - just stapled A4 pages instead of folded A3
but hey, it will also be pretty cheap then! ;-)
Oh, and for the die-hard fans, I think about doing a very limited "3 in 1" Issue as well.
High quality, with additional Information to everything from the first two Issues, and yeah
actually Issue 1 in a reasonable resolution, haha :D So, keep your eyes open! 

Oh, and while we're just at it, here are pdf's from the first two Issues:

Mittwoch, 11. Februar 2015


Pretty well-known band, so I thought that their stuff would be available all over the internet,
but apparently it is not, haha - someone asked me to up it... so, here you go!

Vegan Straight Edge 90's Metalcore from Belgium - pretty much the H8000 style.
Formed in '97 by members of Wise Up, Deviate, Out For Blood, Length Of Time, Enthroned, ...
Their first EP - Prayers Upon Deaf Ears ('98 on Released Power / Lifeforce) is still
one of the best metalcore records ever written (with sure some death metal influence).
Hard riffing 90's style guitar tunes and lyrics about Animal Liberation - what else could you ask for?
Their first LP - Dead Man Walking ('99 on Good Life) just continued where the EP stopped,
same sound, same message - like a fucking brutal call for liberation!

Then, shortly after, in '00 if I'm not completely wrong, they dropped both, veganism
and straight edge... Perhaps some members still remained veggie or drug free for some time,
I'm not 100% sure on that, but they definitely stopped being an xvx band!
Some of them where eating meat and drinking beer after shows and even rumours about them mocking other xvx bands went around... pretty shitty if you ask me... anyway, despite all that,
in '04 they released a new LP - Hope You Die By Overdose. For your understanding:
this is in no way a sxe statement... even the opposite is the case! It was meant as a critique on sxe.
Like making fun on hardline edgers who take statements like these serious...
(their singer said in an interview, that he got the idea of the album title from a show they played,
where someone stood in the crowd with a banner that said exactly this: I Hope You Die By Overdose
it was shortly after they "officially" broke edge but still continued playing the same songs on stage)

Anyway, musically this is still awesome but ethically/morally questionable, perhaps ;-)
Same thing with their latest release Arkangel Is Your Enemy.
Even more "metal" on this one... still 90's style and all that, but, I guess it is the attitude,
which forbids me to like it as much as their earlier stuff. But decide for yourself.

Members are still active/where also active in bands like: Broken Clown, Knockoutz,
Hangman's Chair, Bullworth, Es La Guerilla, Rising Dust, Length Of Time, ...
Oh, and yeah, Arkangel are currently writing on a new Record as well!
At least thats what I heard... lets see what will come up.

edit: if you like what you hear, please consider buying it as well.
The "Is Your Enemy" LP (CD & 12" Vinyl) is still available from GSR Records
(along with some merch and everything) and the "Prayers Upon Deaf Ears" EP
is just about to get re-issued as Picture 10"by Knives Out Records. Thanks!

Dienstag, 6. Januar 2015

Top 10 Records of 2014

So, here you go - the official Top 10 Records of 2014
(not just my personal list - the definite list. debating over it is pointless).

1. WitnessThe Fall - Reflections LP - 12" / CD

Oldschool 90's style Metalcore in the vein of bands like Skycamefalling and Poison The Well.
With already having recorded two awesome EP's in '05 and '07 they really allowed themselves
some time for this new record to come out... but man, I tell you, it was worth the waiting!
The record opens up with a chugging, yet melodic riff a la skycamefalling and overwhelming,
high pitched screams. Shortly after turns into an almost emotional part - revealing these
fragile structures, to which the lyrics perfectly match. But even before you can deeply think about it,
a devastating breakdown snaps you out of it and just makes you want to let go of all the feelings.
The next song, "Blue Skies Burning" (probably my favorite from the record), is like the typical
metalcore song. Fancy riffs following on 90's style tremolo like parts and even a solo appears,
before the whole thing turns into the essential breakdown. Not least because of the name,
Dead Blue Sky is another band that might comes to mind while listening to this...
Some other songs are more emotional, like "The light of day" which begins with a dream-like
clean interlude before it throws you into a depressing vortex of (self-)doubts and despair.
Songs like "Carrier" (probably my favorite as well) however, do even appear positive.
Still pretty emotional and nostalgic - like mourning about old times - but far from forlorn.
The message in this song gets supported by an Undying like melodie (which gives the nostalgic
part a different note as well). After a pretty oldschool Interlude, which might reminds you of
their first record (in case you know it), "De Herfst" - a dutch song crushes down. Though I guess
you wouldnt actually notice the change of language if you dont listen really closely. I mean,
I really like his style, but you cant really understand 90% of what he screams ;-)
Other than their music (and lyrics) I really like their attitude as well. Everything, from
printing merch, to releasing records and doing shows is done as diy as possible. These guys
are really living it the oldschools (90's) way, what is fucking awesome if you ask me!
If you're keen about some more information, get yourself a copy of the 2nd Issue of my zine,
(along with one of the comp-tapes i put out for them) it's an Interview in there.
So, check them out here, and get it straight, this one is number 1, yo!

2. Renounced - The Melancholy We Ache LP - 12” / Tape
Carry The Weight Records, Life Lair Regret Records
Emotional 90’s Metalcore in the vein of bands like Poison The Well or 7 Angels 7 Plagues.
The record opens up with a clean and melodic, almost beautiful interlude that suddenly,
before you’re completely drowning in it, changes to a devastating riff, accompanied by
emotional screams (lyrics are definitely more emo than metal here). Hard and moshy riffs
are taking turns with groovy chug parts and fragile acoustic/clean interplays during the whole record.
At one time, like in “The Lies We Burn” for example, you get a virtually romantic part, with such
emotional lyrics, spoken/sung and then screamed, that you’re on the verge of breaking into tears
(don’t tell me you aren’t man) and then, in the next second, everything changes into a breakdown,
so damn hard that it turns all these generated emotions into pure fucking rage. Their demo was
already pretty good, but this LP is beyond awesome - people will still talk about it in years I guess!
I read the term “cry-mosh” somewhere… fits perfectly! I mean, obviously you don’t have to cry
if you don’t want to, but this record is just perfect to vent on one’s emotions, whether you want to
fight someone (or just the air in terms of the pit :P ), break down in tears, or anything in between.
“Aching” and “An Unpainted Canvas” for example, are these kind of songs, which definitely
give you a chance for both. 
So, just don’t be an idiot and get wild on it here:

3. Incitement - Hyena EP - 12”
I instantly fell in love with this band when I heard their demo for the first time.
My first thought was: Wow, this is Arkangel - Arkangel in polish. While listening to itthe second time, I just realized that the lyrics are actually in English… Nonetheless it is
a pretty damn good demo and after a while you really get into his accent and everything.
Anyway, their new EP is a bit different - vocals are more evil than before and the accent
doesn’t shine through that much anymore. Their style is still pretty good comparable to H8000,
though this record has more “metal” (in terms of death or even black metal) influence than the demo
I guess. Arkangel meets Entombed, meets Satan (yeah, Satan… just read the lyrics and you’ll
know why). The whole thing just sounds as dark and gloomy as it looks like - pure misanthrophy.Check it out here, if you dare:

4. Funerals - Human Ruin EP - 7” / Tape
Blasphemour Records

Probably one of the best demo’s ever. I really don’t know much about them, where they’ve
come from so suddenly/what they’ve done before/etc. But these 3 songs are just so perfect.
They somehow managed it to combine the good old 90’s Metalcore sound with some serious
Sludge tunes and this “Holy Terror” kind of style… like Disembodied meets EyeHateGod,
meets Integrity, or something like that. I don’t know, it’s just, everything at once:
Brutal and devastating, cold and merciless, but still wild and catchy somehow. Lyrics are,
who would’ve thought, hatefull and misanthropic… perhaps even occultist…
Really looking forward to hear more from them!Check them out here:

5. Foreseen - Helsinki Savagery LP - 12” / Tape / CD
Take It Back Records, 20 Buck Spin

Raging Thrash Metal from Finland that combines the best of the 80’s and 90’s sound,
with lots of Hardcore Crossover elements. Like the bastard child of Carnivore/ Slayer/Sodom
and Agnostic Front/Cro-Mags/Crumbsuckers. And besides getting more and more into
the direction of professional metal (at least it fucking sounds like that), they haven’t lost a bit
of their punk/diy ethics - just read the lyrics and listen to what the guys behind the band have
to tell you! They’re still putting up their own shows/printing their own merch/etc. although
they could easily be fame/stars like Bon Jovi, if they just wanted to! Anyway, this full length is
just perfect - it has riffs, so fast I couldn’t even believe at first listen. I wanted to run, punch
through a wall and start power lifting at the same time! It has solo’s that just sound like
they’d come directly from the depths of the universe. Wrapping you up in a stream of sound,
when suddenly hard as fuck gang vocals snap you out of that journey, bring you back to earth
and just make you want to swing that damn chain in the middle of the pit, or stomp over the heads
of someone. This is World War V (no offense to Twitching Tongues here, I just needed that quote,
they’re a great band… but in comparison to this, they can simply fuck off)!
Nothing but respect for these guys - just check them out or crawl back under your stone!
(btw. If you read the thanks list in the inside of the LP carefully, you’ll come across 
“Tim and Bound By Modern Age” at some point…wohohohoh - I love you guys)!

Totally forgot about this... or rather, wasnt sure if it'd be out in 2014 yet.
But yeah, it is out and it is indeed really good, so it definitely deserves a place in the Top10... therefore you'll have to stick with "5.5" now :P

5.5 ToAshes - Liberation Through Destruction EP - Tape
Bound By Modern Age Records

Vegan Straight Edge Modern Hardcore with a punky attitude. Somewhere between Purification
and Gather. Really promising demo right here… and besides making awesome music, they also
do have a whole lot to say! Great lyrics (tapes come with info text’s and explanations) with
a meaning. Topics like speciesism, capitalism and sobriety.  I’m extremely proud to have the honor
of releasing this (7” vinyl is planned for early 2015, in collaboration with eco.nspiracy) - let’s see
what the future holds for them and in the meantime, de-mosh (destroy/mosh) the state to thissoundtrack! “Smash the state, eradicate traditions, set their world afire, start the revolution!”

6. Unrestrained - Forward Onto Death LP - 12” / Tape
Trip Machine Laboratories, Bound By Modern Age Records
90’s Style Metalcore in the vein of bands like Morning Again and Unbroken. Not to confuse
with “the other Unrestrained” - the one I’m talking about here are the ones from Portland.
Have been around for like 8 years now and still going strong! I feel like they’re just getting better
with every release. And so I can obviously say that this is their best release yet…
and I’m extremely proud that I had the pleasure of releasing it on tape! Members are long time
hardcore veterans like Justin Sitner (vocals) from Stuck In The Past (that blogspot) and
formerly x43x, Jon Sinko from Backlash or John LaCroix from Ten Yard Fight. So you know
that they’re not just some kids trying to make what that 90’s sound because it’s cool…
they are “really” stuck in the past, haha… Just check em out, they’re awesome:

7. Statement - Kill Mode EP - 7”
Bloodless Records
Mercieless Vegan Metal like back in the 90’s. Musically somewhere between Slayer, Integrity
and Entombed. Lyrically just like the old Statement, though I have the feeling that he might even
has improved his songwriting. Vocals are not 100% my cup of tea - only reason that this is “just”
on place 7 I guess. But with passages like “only one thing cures humanity” in “Kill Mode”,
how can you not like it? I mean, obviously this isn’t “Hardline” anymore, and especially with
lines like “don’t breed a human life, end the cycle with your life” he made clear that he’s over
the pro-life phase, but I guess this is as close as it can get nowadays. Still militant vegan
and drug free - a band that exists for over 30 years now. I mean, if this alone isn’t reason enough
to buy the record, I don’t know what is. 
But, decide for yourself, check out a song of it here:
And since Rat is still too lazy for putting up a bandcamp, download the whole thing here.

8. InTongues - Entombed By Existence EP - CD / Tape
Atonement Records
Crushing 90’s Metalcore with lots of divebombs and a militant stance
against fascism/racism/sexism/etc. - Glasgow City Antifa! Misanthropic lyrics to songtitles
like “Once Possessed A Strength Which Has Now Left Me”, which might remind you of
Shai Hulud or Poison The Well, but go musically more into the direction of Disembodied,
Buried Alive or Integrity. The songs really match to each other and create this big picture of
the rising northern darkness… doomy atmosphere, almost depressing. They definitely improved
their style in comparison to their ’12 Demo - this is not just another 90’s rip-off band, with
this record they managed to create something individual with the best of thrash metal,
slowed down hardcore and metalcore. I’d be really keen to hear something new from them in 2015,
although it has been dismayingly quiet about them lately… 
Anyway, let’s just hope for the best,
and if you don’t even know them yet:

9. StrangePlaces - Strange(r) Places EP - 7”
Hardcore / Thrash Metal Crossover with some Stoner / Grunge influence.
This is their second EP and you can say that they’ve developed just fine. Apposite to the lyrics,
the whole record creates that feeling of an adventure game, with creepy vocals and strange sounds.
Besides “The Elder Scrolls” and LOTR, lyrics are about dark and occult stuff… what else!
Btw. It’s the old singer of Wayfarer if I remember correctly - would fit by all means.
So, this is definitely just as much interesting for the people who are more into that Stonger/Grunge
Metal stuff, as for the people who are more into that Thrash or even Black Metal stuff - I mean,
I already stopped counting the comparisons to “the cold south” after the first few lines! Do yourself a favor and check it out here:

10. Decadence - Into The Mouth Of Hell EP - 10” / CD / Tape
Instilled, Cruzade, In My Heart, Dias De Juventud, LifeLair Regret Records
Chugga-Chugga 90’s Style Metalcore from Spain. The Guys have played in a beatdown
hardcore band called Pacto De Sangre before, where they obviously draw some influences from
as well. 
Some of them do also play in another band called Minority Of One, which is goes
more into the direction of New School/Melodic Hardcore, but surely worth a listen! ;-)
Anyway, their debut EP Into The Mouth Of Hell is really the hell of a record. It starts with an evil
as fuck intro - So brutal you want to punch holes into the wall! And then continues with a chugging
90’s metalcore anthem with misanthropic lyrics about animal rights… I mean, how much more 90’s
can it even get? While the record spins along you get more and more reminded of the old H8000
bands like Arkangel and Congress. Socio-critical lyrics are following, rotationally shouted/screamed
by a high pitched voice or spoken/sung in the style of bands like Morning Again and Culture did.They’re perhaps not reinventing the wheel here, but it’s a really awesome record and you can definitely put it into your 90’s/H8000 playlist and nobody will notice that it is from ’14.
Btw. If you want to know some more about them, be prepared for the 3rd Issue of
the BBMA Zine (I’m currently doing an Interview with them)Check them out here:

So, yeah... thats it. But, beacause 2014 was a really awesome year, here are places 11 - 20:

11. Heartfelt - Flaws In Human Nature EP (Demo)

90's Hardcore. FFO: Kindred, Morning Again, Reprisal, ...
Tape Version coming soon (on BBMA Records)

12. Skinfather - None Will Mourn LP
Death/Thrash Metal with some Hardcore (Crossover) influence.
FFO: Entombed, Morbid Angel, Obituary, ...

13. Constrict - Carved In Stone EP
Oldschool (90's) SXE Hardcore. FFO: Judge, Outspoken, Earth Crisis, ...

14. Barren - Anachronism LP
XVX 90's Hardcore. FFO: Chokehold, Unbroken, Left For Dead, ...

15. Desperate Times - Looking For Solution EP
Hardcore/Thrash Metal Crossover. FFO: Cro-Mags, Leeway, Killing Time, ...
Metallic SXE Hardcore with some 90's influence (since this record).
FFO: Throwdown, Strife, Buried Alive, ...
90's Hardcore/Metalcore - Florida Style. FFO: All Out War, Harvest, Buried Alive, ...

18. Battle Ruins - Self Titled LP
80's (Heavy)Metal with Oi and Hardcore influences. 
FFO: Life Of Agony, Youth Defense League, Stars & Stripes, ...
Get it here!

19. Earthly Rage - On Wings Of Darkness EP (Demo)
90's Hardcore/Metalcore. FFO: Chokehold, Unbroken, Raid, ...
90's Metalcore/Death Metal. FFO: Undertow, Slavearc, Arkangel, ...
New stuff is even better! Demo + LP Promo Tape out on BBMA Records

Besides this, there is also a lot of stuff I just discovered recently, like in December/January,after I already started doing this (or even forgot about :P)... so, I was too lazy editing 
the list again, but you should definitely check out the following as well:

Rebirth - Self Titled EP (Demo)
90's SXE Hardcore FFO: Outspoken, Culture, Earth Crisis, ...
Really awesome demo, perhaps even top 10 awesome!

Overturn - Self Titled EP (Demo)
90's Hardcore. FFO: Strain, Canon, Strife, ...

Annulment - Celestial Mother Of The Handless Path EP (Demo)
90's Metalcore, Long Island style. FFO: Unbroken, Catharsis, 108, ...

Titan - Self Titled EP (Demo)
Chaotic 90's Metalcore. FFO: Jane., Orchid, Crucible, ...

Ancst - In Turmoil LP
Oldschool Black Metal with some Death/Metalcore influence.
FFO: Mayhem, Darkthrone, Anaal Nathrakh, ...

A Life Of Torment - Fracture / Conscious EP (Demo)
90's Hardcore/Metalcore. FFO; Chapter, Slavearc, Disembodied, ...

Institution - Uncritical Receiver EP
Metallic Oldschool XVX Hardcore. FFO: Judge, Earth Crisis, Outspoken, ...

Nihility - Consumed EP
Death Metal w/ Thrash and Hardcore influence. FFO: Entombed, Morbid Angel, Obituary, ...

Aim - Foundation EP (Demo)
Melodic SXE Hardcore w/ some youth crew influence. FFO: Trial, Floorpunch, Earth Crisis, ...

Longest War - Self Titled EP (Demo)
Metallic 90's Hardcore. FFO: Integrity, Despair, Slugfest, ...

And as if this wasnt already enough, here is some more stuff,
which obviously would've deserved a place in the top 10 (or at least top 20), but
I dont wanted to add, as it are just "promos" - so the actual records, following on these,
will definitely be in the 2015's top list!

XVX 90's Metalcore. FFO: Arkangel, Statement, Morning Again, ...

90's Metalcore/Death Metal. FFO: Dying Fetus, Suffocation, Heaven Shall Burn, ...

Occult Metallic Hardcore. FFO: Integrity, Ringworm, Withdrawal, ...

And of course everyone of us is still waiting for the following (2015 will be huge as well):
On Bodies EP, Contend With Dying EP, First Fight Down EP, and many more...

Please tell me if I forgot YOUR favorite release! :-)