Sunday, November 11, 2018

Sheer Terror & Dare

Dare bring us minimalist Old School Hardcore for the new generation of kids who are new to the genre. At first I thought that kids will be entertained. But then they will most likely dig up the original bands who initiated this music. We are eventually in the age of Google...

Dare s/t 7 inch yellow and blue split wax
What is better is this Sheer Terror 7 inch from the year 2018, called "Pall In The Family". Still doing it 30 years later is what I call an achievement for a Hardcore band.

Sheer Terror "Pall In The Family" 7 inch yellow red splatter wax

Both 7 inches released this fall by Reaper Records! And still available...

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Facedown Debut 7 Inch

Facedown was a band from the Province of Antwerp in Belgium. They played powerful and emotional Metalcore with the Straight-Edge and vegetarian philosophy as message. Their lyrics are rather introspective with a hint of the Straight-edge and animal liberation mindset blended in.
They must have been the pioneers of the melody-guided spoken word in their song writing. And I do explicitly say this is their merit. Generally spoken, the other part of Belgium, the H8000 bands, didn't do that very often, if not to say, never did that. Because it's too emotional for them. Argue this if you think I am wrong and bring forward some musical examples please.

Facedown "Friendship Is Everything" clear and black vinyl

This 7 inch was released in the year 1996 according to Discogs.com on the label Evil Twin Records. This is the label of the two brothers Baeken. Is 1996 the correct year?

The clear one comes with a letter from Thomas Baeken to the buyers of this 7 inch. Explains us the band name and gives us an insight into the band's philosophy. And the state of the Hardcore scene in Belgium.

Later on they had Genet Records as their label, for which they produced another four song 7 inch, called Friendship Is Still Everything. And their 1998 full-length Beyond All Horizons.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Fire And Ice Test Press

I needed this record badly. It had been listed on Discogs.com for a ages. But I didn't want to buy it there because it was priced too high. It was listed for a price that only the label could ask in my opinion. So I played the waiting game. Then suddenly the "make offer" was added to the listing. So I took my chance and made an offer. The seller didn't want to accept the offer. So again a no deal.

About a year later, I looked it up again a few times.The record disappeared and reappeared several times on Discogs. And then all of sudden it was offered for a reasonable price. The price was even lower than the offer I made a year ago. So the seller must have changed his mind.

And so I quickly committed to buy the item, at last. But the story didn't end here. The seller shipped the record promptly but two months later still no arrival. I contacted the seller but he didn't answer my message. So I decided to put some pressure by opening a PayPal case. As it is the sellers responsibility to make sure the record arrived.
About five days later the seller explained what happened. The record had never crossed the Canadian border. Customs held it back because they could not read the declared value. So he retrieved the record from them. And send the item to me for the second time.

And a week later the record arrived at my doorstep. Happy ending!

Although I don't like the music that much, the cover of this test press is totally awesome. Also the stamped label and all, just perfect. The tests of this release weren't numbered by Reaper Records, but there can't be much.


Fire And Ice "Not Of This Earth" test press

Not Of This Earth test press cover

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Dead Man Walking Reissue

Gang Style Records has reissued the Arkangel debut full length. And people are cashing in big time on Discogs.com while it's still available straight from the label. Exploiting other people's ignorance is nothing I want to do. Go grab it straight from the label.

GSR Gang Style Records red vinyl Arkangel

Monday, August 27, 2018

Deforestation Leads To Extinction

The "Deforestation" single of Culture has always been on my list of wants. And that is because the band Culture is one of the better vegan straight-edge bands out of the United States to me. They have more or less written down and further explained what it is to be straight-edge and vegan to me as a kid in the song 'Oath'. And on top of that I still like their music unto this day.

Good Life has introduced the band to a larger public here in Europe, no doubt about that. And this introduction broadened the audience for the band also for sure. That's a win-win situation. Also to me this band was first heard by listening to "Heteronome" on my CD-player, I immediately liked it and started reflecting about straight-edge, vegetarianism and veganism. I bought this one at the Music Mania record store in Ghent.

Besides 'Oath' the song 'Deforestation' is also featured on that "Heteronome" CD. And that is why I liked it, gave me clear reasons why to protect the forests.

It was only when I started getting more into vinyl that I discovered the existence of this two song seveninch. I got one on black for years but the blue one always stayed out of reach. Recently I scooped one in a last seconds bid on eBay. It went rather cheap but overseas shipping fees added up the total.

Anyway, here it is in all it's glory, the Culture Deforestation 7 inch on clear blue vinyl:

Culture Deforestation catalyst records xculturex
Culture "Deforestation" 7 inch blue vinyl
The record was released on Catalyst Records Indianapolis, IN. The band is from Florida and had a different vocalist on this recording, Mark. The other recording of 'Deforestation' is with Damien from Morning Again, As Friend Rust, etc. The other song on the B-side is 'Momento Mori' is against hunting and is also on the V/A "Ceremony Of Fire" compilation.

It was recorded in 1996 and had one of the earlier covers that depicted explicit animal abuse. Many other bands followed like some Surrounded Records releases, but also Reprisal and Arkangel. Not sure if this cover inspired them to do so or not...

Culture "Heteronome" CD on Good Life Recordings

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Pink & Beige Firestone

Had a sweet discovery today. While I suspected colour variation in the pressing of the Firestone "Element" LP, I could only make assumptions. Today I found the proof that can clear all assumptions and create facts. This LP was pressed by Sober Mind Records in the late nineties. Copies were numbered out of 110 with the usual stamp in blue ink on the centre label. They didn't make distinction between the obviously two totally different copies. I can say even more. There were also in between copies or transitional copies made. Look at the photos below for the proof of all facts I discovered!

firestone element sober mind records all colours
Firestone "Element" LP Sober Mind Records
both colours stamp numbered out of 110 copies
except the transitional copy
the transitional copy with the two origin copies
Feels like a great achievement having these all together!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Uniform Choice demo LP

The demo of the Orange County Straight-Edge pioneers Uniform Choice is pressed on a 12 inch for the first time ever recently for record store day. So I discovered after that day. Was looking to buy the Uniform Choice demo double seven inch on eBay and when I was looking up some information about it on Discogs, I discovered that there was a record store day reissue of those demo tracks out there. So I quickly acted and ordered a copy of it through mail order. This one isn't supposed to be available outside a physical record store. Because it's pressed to be sold on record store day. It was a tad more expensive probably online.

The demo is truly great, has the songs from the Screaming For Change LP on it. These demo versions of those songs sound more natural and less far produced. More initial and primitive than the definitive LP versions. Pat Dubar's vocals are cleaner and more natural also. Getting and hearing this is really something for the Uniform Choice fan I am. Have always considered the SFC LP as one of the greatest of the 80's.

Packaging is top also. White gatefold cover with the classical cover and beautiful layout filled with live pictures. It has got two inserts also, one with the lyrics and the other a live photo and graphical artwork on the back side.

I've learned there are white copies also out there, those that were actually meant to be sold online. Looks like those white copies are rarer also. This demo was originally released by Nemesis Records on an inconvenient double seven inch of which also some totally rare blue copies exist.

record store day RSD mankind records
Uniform Choice demo LP pressed by Mankind Records

clear red vinyl pressed for record store day 2018
Was regretting I bought this after I ordered. I am trying to buy less records and save some cash. But all in all a great outcome and glad to have it.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Aim For A New Tomorrow

Quite a step away from the "Element" release, is the follow up LP from the year 2000 of Firestone. It was released on Genet Records. The band had quite a few line-up changes, especially in the vocal department. This last release had Iris on vocals. A melodic female voice, was a substantial change in their sound. Also the music was written more melodic and less brutal. Although still deeply rooted in the typical edge-metal sound. A melodic edge-metal sound is what can be found in their sound at that moment.

I am not able to read the lyrics on the LP insert, far too small lettering. Luckily the lyrics in the CD booklet are printed bigger. Lyrics deal with more (inter-)personal and introspective issues. But also with religiosity as obstruction to think freely. And a song against poisons like drugs, can not be missing.

Firestone "Aim for a New Tomorrow" LP white vinyl
"Let conscience be your guide"
white vinyl, stamp numbered out of 69 copies
What is remarkable about this release is that it also features Colin in two songs. He does additional vocals the exact same way as he still does for his band AmenRa.


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Reconquered (Part 2)

Two Good Life Recordings titles I needed back in my collection. Of which one I thought to had lost forever. The Deathrow Earth LP with the Thor cover is one of those special Good Life Recordings releases because they didn't focus on limited editions, they only sporadically entered that game. They have written more history with the quality and the kind of the music they released and spread to a wider audience.

Liar Deathrow Earth LP Thor cover

One of my favourite limited editions ever. Because I like to compare Liar with Thor; the god of war and thunder. Musically this takes Liar to the extreme side with more technical metal. And with the arrival of Lennart in the band, they had two guitarist from that point.

The other record I needed, was the one of the last ever copies Good Life sold of the orange "The Other Cheek" LP. This one seems less rare than the black version, if you look at the quantity for sale on Discogs. So I think for this one, black is rarer. This record is the the first one with Michael in the band, so Josh could focus on more technical instead of rhythmic guitarplay. The record has the highly sought after cassette demo on it. And a radio introduction of the Blackened Persistance CD in Dutch. The back cover photo with Josh and Pierre is a time and history capsule of Congress. Why is hard to explain, I just think it tells and speaks so much. Another photograph well-done.  I would have made it bigger on the cover, so cool!

Good Life Recordings
Congress "The Other Cheek" LP orange vinyl

Monday, April 23, 2018

Reconquered (Part 1)

More than half a decade ago I wanted to get rid of a part of my 90's Belgian Hardcore collection. This was because of two reasons. First was because some important people from that scene began to vilify what I was doing. The other reason was because I was unemployed at the same moment. Two different reasons of which the last reason had the most weight.

Good news is that I had the opportunity to buy some of these again recently. And another positive aspect is that the records I was able to buy were definitely condition upgrades compared to those I sold.

First one I got is a near mint copy of the green Spirit Of Youth "Source" LP. The song of this LP were actually written during the year 1993 and recorded on tape by the guitarist Dominiek. Peter Hoeren of Crucial Response Records -their then current label- did not want to release the songs. Because they didn't fit in his concept of Straight-Edge Hardcore, too groovy and not fast enough. So the songs got abandoned and the band changed in Solid. Luckily these songs got remade and recorded with a different line up on the label Sober Mind Records! Great groovy Hardcore, less metallic than the other releases from that period.

Spirit Of Youth "Source" green vinyl

Another record I got is the purple Spineless LP called "A Talk Between Me And The Stars". This is also released by Sober Mind Records. I got this one from the main man behind Ieperfest. He invited me at his house to pick up the records, great meet up. The record is in perfect shape and I got the symbolic number 13. This is symbolic because the band had a car accident when they were abroad on tour and had to go to the hospital. Great looking clear purple vinyl numbered out of 35 with the returning classic stamp Sober Mind and Genet Records use. I should be doing a decent review about this.

Sober Mind Records
Spineless "A Talk Between Me And The Stars" LP

purple vinyl, numbered out of 35 copies


Some things were sold like a Blindfold test and the gray "Source" LP, those I will probably never ever get back. For which I feel bummed, but selling those was my own full responsibility.

And yes, there are four more titles I reconquered, these are for the next posts!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Illiterate Compilation

This is a compilation from the mid nineties released on an American Hardcore label. The label owner released this compilation for two reasons in general. The first one is that he thinks the American Hardcore is being too self sufficient and ignore the rest of the world and he thinks that this is wrong. The other reason is that he wants to criticise the fact that everything in the media is too visually constructed. With images, television, commercials, video games being all around us. Kent (Ebullition Records label owner) became aware of that trend already in 1995. So he made a record that has only European bands and only has writings and but a few images.

The record also comes with some of Kent's writings and band information in a 32 page booklet. There is another version, the first version, that has got no cover, to put the accent on only writings and music.

The main reason that I bought this is because it has a Blindfold track on it. I became a big Blindfold fan over the years, while I wasn't in my teenager years.









Personally I think the visually oriented stream of information has only increased with social media (and Instagram by example) over the years. Luckily there's a few die hard bloggers out there who still want to write some words along with their record pictures, instead of only hash-tags... 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Double Vision

Despite the fact that I was curious about these records and wanted to check them out, I had some hesitation in buying these. That hesitation led to not having the most limited colour of these represses. But I don't care since these aren't that desired by collectors anyway. Double that with the fact that the limited colours were splatter vinyl, which I don't like anyway. These came out nice on the lesser limited colours.

First is the repress of the Equal Vision classic, "Attaining The Supreme" by Shelter. I must say that this record has a clear message if not the clearest Shelter message I have heard so far. With the line "We found a better way", they speak out against society and try to take distance from it. And with "In Praise Of Others", Ray Cappo criticises the scene he was in for years. Probably one of the last good Shelter albums before they started to sound more popular. Originally released in the year 1993 and now repressed on white vinyl and splatter vinyl. Krishna Core is still alive as they played recently and will play again soon.



The other record I got was also released through Equal Vision Record later in the nineties. I got to know the band from their split with Spirit Of Youth on Good Life Recordings. I must say that this record sounds quite average, had expected better. Cover is embossed and has got gloss on the embossed letters, impossible to photograph with the shrink wrap still attached.



Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Titan & Witness The Fall collection

With the order of this black version of the Witness The Fall and Titan split, I completed the collection. I already posted the three other versions in three separate posts. So here is what the collection for a mortal soul (without test press) looks like:

Titan & Witness The Fall split: covers

Titan & Witness The Fall split: covers and vinyl
70 on red with red screened cover
63 on blue with blue screened cover
60 on black with black screened cover
23 on black with tri-coloured and glittered cover

 


Hand screened covers by Aaron of Witness The Fall. Ordered another record from Bound By Modern Age as well, Servitude 7 inch, this one is coming up next.

Friday, January 26, 2018

RWHAF history and mission declarations

Ten years ago, I started something I couldn't finish. I started this website as a quick tool to do two simple things. First mission was to communicate and easily publish about my record collecting. I collect records and listen to Hardcore music since 1996. But to actively write and publish about it has started with this blog. Soon after that second mission became bringing this to a broader and more inclusive level for the readers and influence the (local) scene. To create an output from which the entire readership could learn and become enthusiastic.

Back then it wasn't the platform like Facebook and Instagram that created the readership easily. I had to do everything myself like actively promoting my site on other sites and in newsletters. I didn't do a lot a web design but I did change the layout of this blog actively and added some modules to make it more interesting and interactive. I had to do everything myself.

This site also received heaps of hate and criticism in the start but also lots of love and interest of others. The idea to actively start documenting music also had the idea of documenting the local (H8000) scene in it's wake. I was the first to start writing and publishing about the matter. And also the first to start doing interviews about the entire 'history' of H8000 bands. Although these bands are not completely history or dead. But it will never be the same again. This under the influence of Good Life and H8000 Central also.
So came the third mission and that was to pro-actively start documenting and spreading the history in tangible publications. But that soon seemed a bridge too far. Publishers were ripping people off and and I soon felt abused and no longer free to do it at my pace and goodwill.

So now there is a rebirth of the old and regular blog and it still has all it's entries over the years in it's baggage. I am sure that the superficial Instagram follow-up generation will also reach it's end soon. As they are dragged in the Facebook downfall. More and more people start to distrust it and ask questions about the health and use of social media. All in all Instagram is a subdivision of Facebook and no matter under what nickname you post it's connected to your Facebook, so big brother still watches...

Watch out for more posts to come in the future! Stay tuned for the real deal!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Liar "Invictus" Remaster

Last year, before the end of it, FX7 Records released the reissue of Liar "Invictus" LP. As I already mentioned "Invictus" is a milestone for the H8000 scene and beyond. The records was remastered by Midas Studio. The same studio as for the original mix. I must say that I am pleasantly surprised by the result of that remastering. Hard to describe what makes it sound different. The songs are hard and so well written by Josh, that the fury of this recording is well-received. And this remaster further enhances this listening pleasure, as it sounds less raw, harsh and more polished. I know that as a diehard H8000 fan, who lived through the 90's, it would supposedly be the original mastering that's preferred. But this one is not bad at all. The vocals also polished to an extent, it makes them sound less harsh.

For the limited edition, the packaging is top notch, less is more all the way. FX7 Records screened the sleeves themselves. And let press the record on white 180 grams vinyl. There is a stamp on the centre label in red ink as you can see from the picture:


The limited version was called "Die Hard Edition". If you are interested in checking out the remastered version, you can still do that, as there is a regular black version pressed also with a regular cover.

Go to the FX7 store to buy it: http://fx7.bigcartel.com/

With all of this comes a sheet with the story of the making of this record. It has some interesting facts, but I am sure that all the songs were not written in a month as the sheet states. It also has the mentioning of collectors, that they said that the original is only a 300 pressed. And that makes them pretty rare. So this was a motive to let them be pressed again. And made back available for a while.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Opaque Blue Sky

I can't believe I am discovering another colour of this 45. I am buying records from Good Life Recordings since 1997 and still I am discovering titles and colour variations. This time I found an opaque blue version of the Dead Blue Sky 7 inch. Previously I thought there were only two colours of this, black and clear blue. And before this I only knew of that clear blue.

Dead Blue Sky "Reduced To A Whisper" 7 inch



solid blue opaque blue vinyl
opaque blue vinyl


Dead Blue Sky had Kevin Byers of Morning Again in the line up. On bass, if I am correct. They played emotional melodic metal with a voice straight out of purgatory. Glad to have found this rather easily in the rare section of Good Life's webstore. This colour isn't even mentioned on Discogs. In doubt whether I will be adding it to their database.


 

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Don't Stop The Youth

Nominated by many people for record of the year. I needed to check it out. My local distro still had a coloured copy in stock, so I took it. And yes, I like it too. It's an energetic mix of trash and punk rock that unavoidably reminds me of Bad Brains, the masters of Hardcore Punk music. Globally speaking a bit fast and trashy also, so yeah, this record is approved.

Fireburn "Don't Stop The Youth" LP

Cover art looks great and colourful also. Old school and hand drawn covers still do it for me. Unfortunately there are only three songs on side A and the B-side songs are reggae songs, from which one is the dub-remix of the other.

My copy comes on green clear vinyl, mixed with black smoke, what makes it look darker.


Released by Closed Casket Activities and has some Hardcore alumni in the line up. Israel Joseph from the Bad Brains, Todd Jones from current bands like Terror and Nails, Nick Townsend and Todd Youth, a New York Hardcore legend.