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Victory Style - * * *
Strife - Grey / Arms Of The Few
* * * *
If you put Strife and Integrity in a room together, I bet not even their mothers could tell them apart. Then again, I like Integrity, so this isn't bad. The bass is fat, and the singer screams a lot. Thats 2 points on the plus side before the guitar even kicks in on the first track.
Guilt - Omega
* * 1/2
Guilt has a cool sludgy jagged groove sound going, but there are reasons that hardcore shouldn't be played slow. They jump around a lot from fast to slow and carry a simple progression of chords much farther than it was meant to ever go. This is paint by the numbers new school hardcore metal, not bad but nothing to get your nutsack in an uproar over either.
Snapcase - Steps / Incarnation
* * * 1/2
I don't know where to stand on Snapcase. The first song really sucks but the second song is incredible. I want to see them live after hearing Incarnation. I want to kick them violently in the head after hearing Steps. Guess I'll have to buy the album now and see which side comes out.
Bloodlet - Shell
* * 1/2
See the review for Guilt. I think they are really the same band in disguise.
Deadguy - Pins And Needles
* * * * *
From 9 to 5 you're not alive. The song basically tells the story of suburban America. Go to work, make money, grow old, die. "You can't kill yourself because you already did". Truer words were never spoken. The singer sounds mentally unstable. Imagine Henry Rollins on LSD and amphetamines. The music is sporadic bursts of screaming and progressive chord structures, erupting into a catharsis of rage conveying the hopeless anger of a soulless generation splattered across the walls of a 6 by 6 office cubicle. And all this in just over 2 minutes. Damn.
Cause For Alarm - Eyes Of War
* * *
These guys have a fairly decent old school sound going if you ignore the lyrics. Its good that they're trying to "only get all the people to only unite", but they are too god damn happy. They are like a walking straightedge cliche, with forced rhymes and PC lyrics. However the music is played full on, with a fairly decent rhythm section in true punk rock fashion. So I give them some credit there.
One Life Crew - Violent Few
This band is really really funny.
Earth Crisis - Wrath Of Sanity / Firestorm / Forged In The Flames
* * * * *
When all else fails, bring out the big guns. Earth Crisis is a band which makes metal work properly with straightedge hardcore. That's because they have the talent to pull it off without sounding contrived. These are three of their more violent songs from the early days. They are essentially fighting a war with music. The guy didn't seem this pissed off when I met him last year. Maybe time has mellowed him since. They definitely don't pull any punches in advocating violence against the system. Some people say that they are too complex lyrically for hardcore, but Earth Crisis is on a mission. They damn sure are driven by something. Politics aside, the music kicks ass. They have definitely honed their craft to the razor sharp edge that the singer incessantly keeps screaming about.
HiFi And The Roadburners - Fear City
* * * *
This is one fucked up sounding band. I like them for some reason, maybe because they are doing something original with their music. The singer has kind of a Ramones sound going for him. They have a seamless combination of old school punk, social commentary, 50s rock, and even a saxaphone (they are not another god damn ska band however).The singer sings in this really upbeat tone about corrupt politicians and kids shooting up in the streets. Its hard social commentary but the tone of the song is all wrong. The music isn't dark at all. It seems subversive and surreal, and that's fucking punk rock if you ask me.
Integrity - Abraxas Annihilation / Systems Overload
* * * * *
I really can't say enough good things about this band. Their sound is a progressive mix of metal and hardcore. Their rhythm section pounds and swings simeltaeously, alternating with furious bursts of speed, while their singer screams bloody murder. On a full album format, they can get tiring after a few songs. However on a compilation, they are like an injection of adrenaline at just the right places. Systems Overload is absolutely unbelievably incredible.
Doughnuts - Impure
I'm glad that Sweden has some good metal bands if this is Swedish hardcore.
Warzone - Free At Last
* * * * *
Old school straightedge has a true savior here. Played the way it should be, fast and furious. The positive message thing isn't even annoying with this band because the music is so fucking cool. It's actually kind of inspiring. The best band on this disc.
Average :* * *
Reviewed: February, 2000
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