Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Back From The Fuckin' Dead

I haven't forgotten about this place, time is just nonexistent at the moment. Lately, my time has been consumed with work and hockey (Not to mention buying a car put a huge dent in the wallet). I was able to snag a couple of gems including On Thin Ice's demo tape, Vegas records, and even some Gehenna vinyl. No pictures at the moment - other than the ones I used on my other site (VVake was something to keep me writing even if I really didn't feel like it) so you can ignore the watermark.

Anyway, this was one of my favorite records in quite a while:


Rot In Hell / Horders Split "The Omega Suite"
  "The Omega Suite" is the latest release from Rot In Hell and it doesn't disappoint. Whilst "As Pearls Before Swine" was a take no prisoners hardcore album, this shares more in common with artists such as Boyd Rice and Death In June. RIH's signature sound is stripped down to a pair of acoustic numbers that are both interesting and melancholic. On the flip-side, Horders contribute two tracks in the same instrumental manner as their other material. More on the music below. 

The vinyl is housed in a nice sleeve with artwork from the one and only Give Up. This isn't the first collaboration between the two; Give Up provided the artwork on the US record release version of "APBS" along with a handful of t-shirt designs. I don't know an artist - perhaps Nabbe - that can capture the feel of RIH's music as well as he can. The artwork itself isn't overly busy or messy yet its chaotic enough to set a good mood for the four tracks. 

Much of the same can be said regarding the inside; Give Up artwork, complete with wolves and a Ouija board. It has a very clean look but remains grim and ominous. Overall, it's probably one of the best looking releases as of late - although the VVegas / Gehenna split certainly comes to mind; Rot In Hell always has a knack of well packaged vinyl/tapes. There is a level of detail and creativity that is severely lacking in hardcore (Again there are clear exceptions like A389 and Vedavu), but I think that's what makes a release like this all the more unique and special. 

Rot In Hell starts things off with Das Tierdama, an acoustic track of woe and tragedy. Focusing on god's destructive nature - and man's link with the aforementioned deity - the words are simple yet paint an apocalyptic picture. Listening to "Das Tierdama", I imagine a world full of violence and strife. The second track, "Heraclitus" perfectly continues this theme. It's equally savage with promises of fire consuming all things. The sound may differ from the usual Integrity-esque sound but "The Omega Suite" still contains the band's aggression. 

Recent fans brought in by the recent success of "APBS" will probably be left scratching their heads wondering 'What the hell?'; "The Omega Suite" is a different beast that continues to reinforce the fact Rot In Hell are one of the best bands out there. There may be more acoustic releases but nothing is set in stone. If the neo/apocalyptic folk theme isn't your thing then shame on you don't fret, the band has a handful of releases in the pipeline, including but not limited to the almost mythical Integrity split and a new EP from A389. 

If you're obsessed with the band like I am, check out their tumblr, where never before released tracks can be heard, including a great SOB cover. It's also a great source of pictures and news so definitely check it often. 

Horders' side of the split isn't to be overlooked. After releasing a self-titled tape/CD and a split tape with Pink Priest, Give Up's solo project provides another two tracks of music that straddles the line between folk, ambient, black metal, and drone. "Iron Monument"'s sound-scape is dominated by repetitious and poignant soft guitars, building and building to the second track "Iron Mountain". Both may be instrumental numbers but they can just as much sadness, aggression, and loathing as the Rot In Hell side. The music is akin to walking down the street in the middle of a rain storm, contemplating life's greatest mysteries. 

I love the tone and production; its grimey and depressing for sure yet Horders is clear and crisp. Same could be said about RIH's contribution. When I mainly focus on the pure sound of "The Omega Suite", I think of Boyd Rice And Friends' "Music, Martinis And Misanthropy" album. It's dirty and raw, almost seeming like it was recorded in a dark basement. That style just can't be beat. 

You can check out Horders over at Give Up's site. While you're there, take a gander through his catalog and pick up a beautiful piece of artwork in his shop. I'm very interested in seeing what the next Horders release is. 

Feast Of Tentacles did an outstanding job with "The Omega Suite". Pre-orders went up promptly and within a couple weeks they were shipped out. Perfect practices for a great label/distro. The pre-order version, pictured above, was limited to a hundred copies on blue vinyl - along with a blue sleeve and planchette - but the regular variant, on black vinyl, is available through a host of distros including A389, Deathwish, and Feast Of Tentacles. 

Both bands put forth a handful of tracks that will be sure to please both old and new fans alike. I cannot recommend it enough. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Die Motherfucker Die

Things have been very quiet and I just didn't want to ramble on about useless bullshit. That being said, I took a couple quick shots of two recent acquisitions and both revolve around the excellent Rot In Hell. The item on the left is the very limited lathe cut 7" titled "Ulfhedinn". I was able to snag one of these at the A389 Showcase show and as great as the music is, the fuckin' thing comes housed in a ski mask. It's a great touch. Beside "Ulfhedinn", is Rot In Hell's first demo tape, which has two of my favorite tracks: "Behavioral Resistance" and "Sins Of Malice". The insert folds into an upside cross. Again, another nice touch.

I scored a handful of very cool tapes and a RIH hoodie that was limited to 5. Expect some new stuff soon. Right now, I just can't write worth a damn. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Rot In Hell has been in constant rotation since releasing the excellent "As Pearls Before Swine" full-length (Which you can read over at Halifax Collect). One of their more recent releases was a split with fellow UK band Wayfarer, courtesy of Carry The Weight (CTW) Records. Each band contributed one track and just like RIH earlier material, they don't disappoint.

"Amsvartnir" starts off slowly before growing into a savage assault. I won't bore you with more references to Integrity or Ringworm. As much as those two bands may have influenced Rot In Hell, this is a fresh, bloodthirsty monster. Easily one of their better tracks (Not like they have a bad one). "Father you've had your glory. Now I'm taking mine!"

Wayfarer's "Faithless And Accursed" isn't as raw as "Amvartnir" but just as metallic. This was the first time hearing the band and it certainly was impressive. They have an LP available that I highly recommend and there's a new EP in the works - CTW has more info on both).

The packaging is really gnarly. Housed in a thick cardboard sleeve with artwork by Glyn, the first hundred copies came on white vinyl with a little booklet and other extras. The record release version came with a rune stone I've heard, but those were sold out very quickly.

Rot In Hell always has a knack for fucking interest releases, both musically and aesthetically. As cool and involved as the Wayfarer split was, it has nothing on the lathe 7" that was housed in a fucking ski mask. Even with the alternate versions of "Hallways Of The Always", there is a level of attention and detail paid that few bands can match.

Nothing but death for you all!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Another Friend To The End

Gathering ex-members of Left For Dead, Chokehold, Cursed, and The Swarm, Haymaker is guaranteed to be good. Taking cues from the previously mentioned bands whilst adding an extra level of hostility and uniqueness, a heavy, punishing sound is forged. After releasing a handful of splits and EPs, Haymaker unleashed "It Only Gets Worse", a twenty-five song assault that featured one of Pushead's better pieces on the cover.

As prevalent as the LFD/CH sound is, there is equally a mix of Infest, Negative Approach, and MDC. The lyrics are straight to the point, no bullshit attacks on American policies, gun control, cops, and most notably religion. Make no mistake, there is no tolerance. Their distaste for organized religion, particularly Christianity, is clear and reinforced with tracks such as "God Can Fuck Hymn Self" and "Team Jesus Is Losing"; t-shirts show Jesus surrounded by shotguns along with other 'sacrilegious' designs. There is no middle ground; they hate and they do it well. Yet as aggressive and downright hateful the lyrics can get, there is a limited amount of cursing. Some bands fall into a nasty habit of using cursing as a crutch, often transforming a possibly decent song into something juvenile and uninspired. Not Haymaker though.

My favorite release is "The Lost Tribe" 7", which was released by Deranged Records. From what I've gathered, this material was supposed to be on the second LP but it never saw the light. So, I take it this is a demo of sorts? In any case, there needs to be a second LP.

You get the heavy hardcore 'take no shit' side of the band with perhaps a tinge of Motorhead . By that, I mean the six tracks have a little more melody with some rock n' roll touches. Is it a rock album? Absolutely not. But it does have its moments. For example, "Another Friend To The End" breaks the cycle of under a minute hardcore numbers and in a strange way is catchy. It also happens to be one of my favorite songs, no matter the genre.

The other five tracks hit the usual topics: politics and religion and 'scenes'. To my ears, this is Haymaker at its finest. I really dig the vocals. They dominate the sound-scape - earlier recordings muffled or muddied Jeff's vocals. From the preview of Pick Your Side, Jeff's new band, it sounds the same.

Haymaker embraced hatred for... damn well everything except skateboarding. That aggression often carried over to live performances in the forms of broken glass, fireworks, fire-extinguishers, sofa couches in the 'pit, and in Baltimore's case, flying garbage cans.

So, crack open a cold one and prepare to thrash. In their own words, "Wreck Shit"!


Pre-Order Pick Your Side's (ex-Haymaker) debut 7" over at A389.

* From the Seven Sisters Of Sleep Post: The Gehenna/SSOS/COG/CF show has been canceled, unfortunately.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Tide Is Rising

After being teased with ridiculously cool videos on Youtube, Seven Sisters Of Sleep finally released this fucking behemoth of an album a few weeks ago. A389 did a superb job with the release; "Seven Sisters Of Sleep" comes housed in a gate-fold sleeve with wraparound artwork. The inside is stark yet busy enough to keep one's attention. Instead of an insert, the lyrics are printed inside along with some other text that is best seen with one's own eyes. There are a handful of variations: black, green, and red vinyl.

Seven Sisters Of Sleep is like a supergroup, featuring members of Tafkata, Arm And Sword Of A Bastard God, and Spring Break!, and the finished product clearly shows this. Each track is a brutal blend of hardcore and for lack of a better word sludge/doom. Imagine the aforementioned groups thrown into a blender of Eyehategod, Goatsnake, and at times Noothgrush. To my ears, it's like Tafkata except the more Southern sludge side was replaced by AASOABG's doom.

"Tide Is Rising", the third track on the album is probably one of my favorite tracks in the last five years. The build up makes me want to destory everything in the room. My only complaint about the album is simply I want more. It's over before you know it (Clocking in at twenty minutes, it's almost more like an EP 12").

I broke down and listened to a shitty 192 rip but goddamn, nothing beats hearing it on it's true format: vinyl. It's savage and I can't wait to hear new material. This is available over at the A389 store and most likely from the band.

I fucking love this album. You can see footage of the band performing in Baltimore over at the very gnarly Hate5six site. And check out Seven Sisters Of Sleep in February with the Infamous Gehenna, Cardboard Funeral (ex-California Love), and Children Ov God.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fuck Your Popularity Contest; I Want To See A Murder Contest

If you don't like Left For Dead, I don't want to know you. LFD were around a short while but influenced a whole generation of hardcore bands. It's kind of like the Velvet Underground - not many people - at the time - bought the records, but those who did went out and started bands. "Splitting Heads" is their discography CD, courtesy of No Idea. Chris Colohan's vocals are just full of hate and frustration (It's fun listening to his later bands such as Cursed or Burning Love and then going back to LFD and hearing how young he is). The CD is full of classics, such as "Skin Graft", "Eight Floors Above", and "Who D'You Know", and even contains live tracks as a sort of bonus.

The thing I love about this release and the band is simply the lyrics. They're catchy without seeming contrived and juvenile. For example, during "Skin Graft"

"Why don't I cut off your head and we'll call it negative reinforcement"

Left For Dead disbanded, leaving behind a couple of splits and other releases. Alumni went onto form such bands as Cursed, Ruination, Haymaker, Burning Love, and the newer Pick Your Side. As bold and hyperbolic as it may seem, Left For Dead is without one of the most important bands in hardcore in the last twenty years.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011



This week-end was an absolute blast. I scored some limited Rot In Hell items that'll soon be posted along with some great A389 exclusives.

Big thanks to Dom.

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