Sunday, July 31, 2016

Hatebreed 2016 Repress

We live in times of huge amounts of represses on almost every established label. But then what are the new bands delivering nowadays? There aren't so much any more. It seems that after New Age repressed some classics back in the beginning of the decade. And since all those Integrity reissues were done. And after Revelation Records pressed the two Youth Of Today LPs on color vinyl again, they haven't stopped repressing a part of their catalogue ever since. All hell breaks loose. Collectors see the availability of their rarities increasing again. But that doesn't necessarily mean the first or original presses loose their collectability. Labels do what they have to do if they want Hardcore to survive these times.

Also Victory Records is pressing some of their catalogue again. I already had the yellow vinyl reissue of the Hatebreed debut LP from 2009 in my possession. No way I would buy another color. But then I saw how good the colors of the vinyl matched the cover and how good the overall look of this thing was. Although I admittedly I am not the biggest fan of all those splattered, swirled, split, color in color and marbled color vinyl art. I do like color vinyl and was very intrigued by it when I saw colored vinyl for the first time. But I like it in one color, whether solid or transparent.

Anyway, look at this one and form your judgement:

I like it a lot, thanks to Tino from Hardcore/metal vinyl and LordxHumungus from Instagram for posting this one, I would have honestly never visited the Victory Records merch site anyway. I'm happy to have this one. And if the record wouldn't have sounded so great this would just be a useless piece of plastic...

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Truth In The Age Of Lies

It's very hard to describe a classic, that's likely why I have never done a review about the All Out War "Truth In The Age Of Lies" LP. As I said earlier they play Death Core. Hardcore mixed with Death Metal that is.

Let's start with an introduction and gathering of information about their contemporaries. It's hard to determine whether they created the sound or if one of the local bands from the H8000 scene did or the Cleveland bands Ringworm and Integrity. It's impossible to say who was first, as all evolved in phases and degrees of Metal added to the sound. But it's also absurd and too easy to say that it happened simultaneous. Since it took a while to get to know each other's delivery. Because an ocean was between them and the records did not come immediately.
All of these bands definitely were inspiring each other and a synergy definitely was at hand. It's undeniable that Congress who was befriended with All Out War and toured with them in Europe, wasn't influenced by them. If you hear the Blackened Persistance and then Angry With The Sun, it's clear that they created a more NYHC inspired sound in 1998.

All Out War "Truth In The Age Of Lies" front cover of original press

All Out War "Truth In The Age Of Lies" back cover of original press

So yeah, this is an important record that was released in 1997 on LP/CD by Gain Ground. The vocals of Mike Score are evil, heavy but most importantly clear to understand also. A rather unique voice in 90's Hardcore, one of the best. Lyrics are ethically involved, deal with personal struggles, society and mankind's nature, the suffering of man and inhumane behaviour of man, criticism on religion and faith. Universal subjects but starting from personal experiences. And a never ending dark world view.

They started with a demo that dates from the year 1993. So there was a rather long time needed to reach the level of this release. When I first heard All Out War around 1998 it was the heaviest band I ever heard, without exaggeration. They had a sound with a prominent drum pedal and low tuned heavy guitar sound.  All music sprouted from Jim Antonelli's mind.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

For Those Who Were Crucified

All Out War's second LP "For Those Who Were Crucified" is one of those classics that I will always like. It was the follow up to their classic debut "Truth In The Age Of Lies". It's their best LP in my opinion. Victory Records pressed all records they have the rights on from start to finish again recently. This smoke vinyl version is one of those represses. It is the most limited version and suits the cover perfectly. This version is out of 171 copies, which isn't too much.

This records has been pressed only twice before according to the Victory Records pressing info page. So yes, this is a rather unknown metal core piece. It's not explicitly collectible for the masses. Although I know some people in Belgium who do collect All Out War vinyl with loads of passion.

All ut War LP Victory Records 2016 repress
All Out War "For Those Who Were Crucified" LP smoke vinyl repress
2016 Victory Records repress
All Out War "For Those Who Were Crucified" LP (2016 repress)

All Out War created with this second album the perfect mix of heavy Hardcore sometimes blistering fast, sometime draggingly slow with crossovers to Death Metal. They are the flag bearers of the Death Core genre. This powerful blend of musical styles combined with the strong, evil vocals and the dark apocalyptic song texts, all make their delivery perfect. At least for my ears.

I'm glad they put the record back in press for a while, otherwise this would have never been on this blog and I would have never had the chance to express my appreciation. I have actually never reviewed an All Out War title on this blog, so here's what I call, an excellent opportunity to do so.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Shurik 'n "Où Je Vis" 3LP repress

While I am on vacation my mind is set on records again. This time a reissue of the classical French Rap of Shurik 'n from Marseille. I already had the Shurik 'n "Où Je Vis" cassette but I really wanted to enlarge my personal comfort and have this on vinyl. Since mint condition copies of the original 1998 pressing go for 200+ euro, I took satisfaction with the very recent reissue of it. Amazing how almost 20 years later this underground Rap jewel still gets the recognition it deserves. If they press it, they must be still buying it also.

Shurik 'n "Où Je Vis" repress 3LP

It's great how widely the songs are spread over the vinyl. It's a triple LP with a maximum of three songs on one side. And they pressed it on 180 gram discs also. No lyrics included unfortunately, but that is usually the case in this branch.

Freely translated "Où Je Vis" stands for "Where I Live". The Rap style is know being 'concious' about reality and live. No party Hip Hop with bull shit lyrics here. Intelligent and wise rhymes with great beats. I like the cover where the rapper looks over the Mediterranean shores of the harbour city Marseille in the South Of France.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Zoxea "A Mon Tour De Briller" 2LP

Back to the beginning of the end. A couple of years after I got into Hardcore, I got into French Rap. I don't know or recall how I discovered Zoxea in 1999 but I still remember their music. Their music still floats through my mind now and then. YouTube was not doing enough for me any more. I needed the real thing. Back then I only had the CD version, so I browsed the site and found some info lines on it. No big information anyway, I needed to have a tangible copy from the Discogs Marketplace.
Since every self respecting Rap artist was releasing vinyl or every self respecting fan was buying vinyl back then, I should have know earlier. To my pleasant surprise their was someone selling a sealed copy of their double LP. I made an offer and it was accepted less than half an hour later. It was a girl who sold it, she was great to communicate with and packaged it very well. It arrived this morning in the mail, so here is a piece of my youth back. Sealed.

Zoxea "A Mon Tour De Briller..." 2LP (front cover)

Zoxea "A Mon Tour De Briller..." 2LP (back cover)

They have great music and rhymes. Rhymes deal with hanging out in Brussels, getting grip on life or loosing it, pressure people experience in life. It's mainly a positive record in my opinion. Although if you do not understand any French I could get why it's not so well known. There is also a feature of Busta Flex (not the US Busta Rhymes) who does a truly great improvisation live.

Skyrock radio station sticker
As you can see from the sticker in the upper left corner, French Rap music wasn't DIY. It got coverage on bigger labels and on the Radio station Skyrock. Skyrock was a French radio broadcaster on the FM radio wave. As I lived near the French border, we could receive the station on the radio. They were known for playing Rap and were somehow an institution for it.

The back cover of this Zoxea LP breaths the atmosphere of living packed together in the French HLM quarters. Freely translated to English, HLM stands for 'low priced housing'. Such housings were created by the French government to ensure housing for the poorer people also, a social housing project on bigger scale in the whole of France. If you drive through the country you will see HLM's near every bigger city. Well Zoxea was obviously from one of them. And maybe they created even more segregation amongst the French citizens.

The record was realized by Kool Shen, a founding member of NTM, another band from Saint Denis in Paris... More about that band soon, I am awaiting the record to be delivered.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Inside Front Zine #9 and Good Life 7 inch

Someone on the social medium Instagram posted a picture of the Inside Front 7 inch made by Good Life Recordings. This record has the four main H8000 bands that were on Good Life back in 1996. It concerns Liar, Congress, Regression and Shortsight.
Seeing that post from @xtokeex made me look in the archives and dig up some stuff that I hadn't mentioned here before. Like in the good old days of this blog.

I remember buying this zine with the record from the person that ran Surrounded Record from Italy. The same person that played in Purification. I do not remember the year but it was after 2006 somewhere. So this guy kept it away from being trashed. I think many good zines ended up that way after cleaning the bedroom when people grow up and leave their parents house. Such a damn shame! Because there were many many zine made back then and some were really good.

inside front catharsis crimethinc good life
Inside Front 7 inch with zine issue number nine
Looking at the back of the zine, we see that many people wrote and cooperated in the realization the Inside Front magazines. Apart from those mentioned, the "Inside Front Workers Collective", there were also various new reporters and editorial writers. So the zine was pretty organized and not a one man effort.

So also Good Life cooperated with the zine, by pressing a 7 inch. There is mentioning in the zine of the 7 inch that was themed with Inside Front #9 but also there was mentioning on the 7 inch of Inside Front. Only the date from the 7 inch differs from that of the zine. So this wasn't exclusively pressed to belong together. I don't know the full details, so if anyone knows, please comment.

Inside Front #9 Good Life Recordings seven inch sampler

The back side of the 7 inch is hilarious. It has Good Life ironically explaining why they are able to press this. Probably annoyed by the many curious and jealous people. It's tongue in cheek but pretty much over the top and also full of sarcasm.

Side 2 of the Good Life 7 inch for Inside Front #9

Furthermore, inside the zine you can find worldwide scene reports. Going from Boston, Brooklyn, Troy and Wisconsin in the USA, to Belgium, Czech, Germany and Italy in Europe. There is also a quality interview with Congress and Timebomb. There are the how to's of booking, packing, transportation, housing, etc. for bands on tour (learning to help them spread the word by touring). And some other universal, Hardcore transcending themes such as conditions in India. Some columns, all philosophically on a good level. And an extensive record review part!

Too bad there aren't many of these left anymore, glad to have one!