Video: Soulground - Faces Of Death

I've watched this video twice already and can't help thinking how cheesy and cheap it looks. Was forcing myself, yes forcing myself, to go through that crap in full and the only thing that kept me around was the music. The track is not bad at all, heavy hardcore that sits somewhere between recent European metallic core and Clevo sound. It features guest vocals from Jess of Swoon and it's probably the best recorded performance of her, she's way more menacing here than with her main band.

If you like it, pre-orders are up at Farewell Recs along with new Method Of Proof.

Audio: War Master - Denial Of Life

War Master is death metal influenced hardcore from UK, think something between Bolt Thrower and Merauder. Heavy on riffs and slow to mid tempo groove. An album that you should definitely tune into just for the the amount of aggression displayed here.


Review: Incendiary - Thousand Mile Stare

Incendiary’s rose to fame was with their previous full length Cost Of Living which as you know I heavily backed. Even if hardcore fame doesn’t mean much in real life, they still deserve it cause it was beast of a record. And it’s coming from a person who don’t get that whole 90’ new school nostalgia happening now. Truth is, many bands are jumping on the bandwagon and most of them suck. Not the case here, Thousand Mile Stare sounds like these dudes been on heavy steroids doses when writing this shit.

Cost Of Living was solid, but Thousand Mile Stare is a marked step up. Everything that was good about that old record is even better here. If you remember bands like Indecision, Earthmover or Earth Crisis this album sounds comfortably familiar, but it’s not like they act like last 20 years in hardcore didn’t happen. You can sense they put much thought into shaping these tracks as they use tons of different elements. The band turns in a quality performance with heavy ass chugging riffs and massive stomp parts with maximum effectiveness. When it hits right it’s powerful and ferocious, but there are moments that feel overlong or too complicated. I’m too basic for some of that but I guess it’s what 90’ new school is about.

A separate salute should go to the vocals, not only because of his on point delivery, but also things being said on the record. Maybe not the strongest voice in hardcore, but he’s putting 100% into it. That I respect. And the lyrics are highlight here. The older I get, the more I appreciate stuff that makes me aware about shady shit going on in this world. Fuck apathy, you gotta keep your mind sharp! The political edge in hardcore in recent years has been either absent or reduced to some butt hurt drama over what Gorilla Biscuits said. Or joke bands like Wolf X Down. Incendiary brings more common sense with their politics and it feels the lyrics are based on actual research not tumblr. Whether dealing with topics like how profits rules everything and our lives reduced being to numbers, the lyrics always express devotion to being aware of the forces that be. The key message is that things are looking bad for this generation and it’s going to be even worse for our children. I’ve been telling the same for a long time and it’s good to know other people are feeling the same about where we’re heading. Too bad today’s youth is too stupid to figure this out. Maybe if they weren’t so busy filling pockets of the same people who shipped their very jobs to little kids in Asia, like Steve Jobs. I know he's dead but fuck him and fuck them too. There’s no hope for humanity.

Closed Casket Activities, 2017

New hardcore: Hardside - Sink With Me

Another dope track by Hardside. This is 2 minutes of aggressive and raw hardcore bound together by the meanest vocals, but as usual they top it off with some clean singing that somehow works for this band. No doubt dude got a gift for harmonizing.

Good to see this band growing with each record. I remember I did check their Welcome To Hell ep when it came out and really liked it. You can hear they listen to right amount of Merauder, 100 Demons and all that metallic hardcore classics but keep to their own vibe. It took me a little bit to get used to the way they use clean vocals in their songs but once I did I was all in. This is what would go on to become their trademark sound after all. You’d better get on this!

New Blood: Fuse

Fuse is a killer all-female hardcore from Singapure whose recent demo was a massive display of force and strength. This band definitely deserves attention.

There are 2 aspects that people first notice when they learn of Fuse. First, it’s all female band. Second, you’re from Singapur. Let’s start with the first one, was it an idea from the start to have only girls in the band?
At first, yes, we only wanted girls in the band. This is because we feel that they aren't many females who are given the chance to be included in something that they love. Some females can't seem to find a place where they can have an outlet to showcase their talent and express themselves. But we then realised, we wanted to expand not only to females but those males who were outcasted in some way. So, we kept our options very open. The vocalist went around to find a second guitarist that was male who was interested in joining the band as the rest were all already girls. However, we found our current guitarist now, that happens to be a female and is one of the best guitarist we can find!

Do you get any funny reactions because of that? Does the local scene show proper support?
Funny reactions? Not really. We aren't the first female band in Singapore after all. Before us, especially the pioneers, have already established some form of female empowerment in the music scene. The Singapore scene has showed us more love than we ever expected! And we are eternally grateful for our friends who helped us a lot in the preparation of shaping Fuse. Not all of us have much experience in music and thus took us quite a long time to actually decide that we were ready to record. With many supportive friends who advice us on tone, what kind of gears to get, giving us their opinions etc, has helped us a lot.

Naysayer - Nation Of Greed

Solid hardcore is of plenty nowadays but only few of the newer bands are able to resonate with my inner self to the point of provoking deeper feelings and thoughts. Be it the fury of Manipulate, social skills of Crowd Deterrent or world commentary of Bitter End, I am always down for taking the path of self awareness through slick riff, loud drums and antisocial tendencies. Naysayer fall into that category and since the demo they've been known to deliver heavy hitters with grit and dirt levels of epic proportions. That landed them a deal with Reaper for the debut ep. Any random band from the street can't just walk up to that label's CEO and have their shit released. One LP and two EPs deeper into their career and they haven't been dropped yet, which shows how steady they are with quality of their output.

Not that much changed with how they go about their craft. This new ep Nation Of Greed is little more metallic than Laid To Rest but still hits with a familiar crunch. It’s 7 tracks in about 12 minutes, and no moment is wasted. There are lot of creeping mid to slow tempo parts, driven by slick, thrash guitar work and just nasty groove. I sense something seriously sinister about the tracks like Can You Feel it? or Face The Fantasy that gives me goosebumps. Lyrically it’s pessimistic as it deals with lower depths of society and what it takes to stand your ground in face of all the madness around. The delivery is straight in your face though. If you’re looking for abstract poetry and souls searching this ain’t one.

Summary: both the music and the message and the mindset behind the band makes me believe we have the same outlook on hardcore and live in general. This is something I respect and look for in other people. This ep got my sincere recommendation.

FFO: Timberlands, army pants, black hoodies...

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Review: Crowd Deterrent - Show Of Supreme Force

Being a hardcore kid is like being a junkie in many ways. You get hooked up first time you hear Set It Off, Crime Ridden Society or Brightside and the rest of your life you just chase the same feeling. And sometimes you succeed. Crowd Deterrent for last couple of years has been the bomb and this lp combines their various shit since Show of Supreme Force ep came out in 2012. I didn’t need to sell my TV to get this record yet but I would if I had to. Somehow they do it better than anyone out there.

For those who don’t know, CR sound is Agnostic Front meets One Life Crew meets Blitz meets Sheer Terror and just every hardcore band in history that cultivated values such as hatred for fellow man and not-to-be-fucked-with attitude. And they put their own stamp on it with obnoxious antisocial vibe and gang mentality. Combined with technical skills that keeps their delivery sharp and effective you know we’re talking serious shit here. And the vocals are of beast kind, on tracks like Worldwie or Outcast Mentality he proves he has some serious vocal chops. The dude has been blessed with a perfect voice for this shit.

Show of Supreme Force ep are hands down the best of the batch. These tracks are fat to death, I don’t even have a favorite one, front to back this is top notch. This record is already in my top ten for the last decade. The title track is aggressive and raw, hitting you hard with tight groove and sharp riffs all bound together by the meanest vocals. "Life's on the line for you/ no matter what I do/ always stay down for the crew". Hard as nails! As for the Certain Death, I got no problem putting it next to Murdario Stomp easily. The Hated Ones tracks are solid as well, just see me wilding out in my living room to these tunes. The lyrics are the same, most of all a salute to sticking to your guns in world gone to shit. "I can’t handle all this stress / I’m a paranoid mess/ There’s no life left in these eyes/ Seeking shelter but there’s none to bo found /The only peace I’ll find when I’m six feet underground"

This lp gets my highest recommendation.

New music: Forced Order

New track from Forced Order camp taken from the upcoming full length One Last Prayer. Shit sounds powerful like it's 1995 again. The band’s apocalyptic aesthetic has seen it compared to Clevo sound, but I also thought of early Kickback and the way they manage to blend grim with severe aggression. The band turns in solid performance which gets me pumped for the whole thing to drop later this year via Triple B records.


Harness - Carve The New Path

This stuff has been out for a while but for those who still don't know: 5 years after they made their debut with Victims of Suffering ep, Harness has posted two new tracks: Neophyte is a grimy metallic hardcore with a massive stomp part towards the end, while Meditations takes the same route but throws slower, sludgy bent to the game. I put this on the list of shit to write about when it was originally posted to their bandcamp in May but didn't do it until now.

Check it out if you haven't already. If you have, check it again.