Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Genocide (Nippon) - Black Sanctuary (1988, King Klassic Records / 2009, Shadow Kingdom)

Genocide play epic old school metal. I guess the closest comparison is Mercyful Fate, but I find myself listening to this album way more than that band. There is definitely some well-executed wankery (a ballad and an acoustic instrumental)... But then you've got hard stuff like "Doomsday," "Last Confusion," and the first two songs on side B. It all builds up to a glorious climax: "Living Legend." This one alone is worth an entire album of acoustic instrumentals. It is seriously one of the heaviest songs ever written, grinding away at mid-tempo until a solo gives way to a doom part that bludgeons like Pentagram. The theatrical vocals would be overbearing if they weren't so evil sounding.

I am guessing the rip I downloaded (which has been going around forever) is the new remastered re-release that seems so readily available around the internet. Tell me if it sounds good... If it doesn't, look for a cheap copy of the original.

Black Sanctuary

Monday, January 17, 2011

Revenge - S/T 10" (1998, Brause Enterprises/An's Bein Pissen Records)

I am jacking these tracks from Am I Mean, a blog ran by a guy who roadied for this band when they were around. I found this 10" for 4 bucks recently, and have since been playing it a lot. Nothing on this is really groundbreaking, but it is hardly generic. If 90's hardcore wasn't mostly garbage (see my entry on TOETAG), they would be generic. Alas, find another band that collided such streamlined, heavy power chord riffs with breakdowns that were heavy as shit without being drawn out or "epic" (in fact, many of them constitute what some idiot assholes might call a "TWO STEP" part). It sounds like a Discharge/Broken Bones worshiping band (of the 90's variety, ala State of Fear) that integrated their favorite NYHC parts without creating a gimmicky or convoluted end result.

Revenge - 10"

Thursday, January 13, 2011

SLANG - Life Made Me Hardcore (2010, Prank [USA]/Hardware Records [Europe])

Reviewing a Slang record kind of misses the point. They have been playing hardcore for over 20 years. Unlike most bands that have been around that long, they are as good as ever, if not better. What makes them stand out to me is their precise approach to the simplistic. Most bands that do the Discharge thing only have one of those qualities. Slang bring both in spades and even throw in a few curve balls (time changes, riff change ups) without ever being "metal." So what sets this apart from "The Immortal Sin?" Not much, but there are some differences. The production is really blown out but thankfully they keep the distortion levels down so that everything is clear. There are also more hulking mid-tempo parts than ever.

As I said, reviewing a record like this kind of misses the point. When the name of your record is "Life Made Me Hardcore" and the cover is a skull sword shield thing, you are wearing your sound on your sleeve. In some ways, I think Slang are a little too good for such obviousness, but I also think that if anyone has earned the right to be so obvious, it's them. Maybe I'm making excuses because in America the only bands that wave banners like that are bad fucking jokes taking part in some weird modern teddy boy charade.