Thursday, November 19, 2009


Uploaded these a few weeks ago and realized I never put them on the blog. Here are a few samples from some of the shows we played right before going on hiatus.

Third World War & For The Innocent at The School - September 6th, 2008

Forget Me (Disembodied cover) at The School - September 6th, 2008

Victims Of Our Own Device & Relentless Persistence at The School on September 6th, 2008

Cheating Life in Auburn, NY on March 14th, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I was thinking about amazing splits after posting on the Pensive & Seasons In The Field split and remembered that I've been meaning to post this split between 200 North and Every Life On Cold Keen.

200 North is quite possibly THE most underrated band in hardcore history. They were from a small town in Maryland called Cumberland not too far from the PA border. I really don't even want to get started on how much I like this band because I know I won't be able to express myself as desired. Imagine if any of these melodic, supposedly passionate hardcore bands of today were interesting or genuine. There are only three songs on this split, but they're all perfect and should serve as motivation for you to check out their full length which came out on Da' Core Records out of Pittsburgh. I'm pretty sure members are now in Circa Survive, Carry The Torch, Signs Of Hope, and Delilah Why. Better Days is probably one of my favorite songs of all time; takes me to some higher place or something.

You may or may not notice that the name Every Life On Cold Keen makes absolutely no sense. They're from Japan though, so its OK; plus their music does the talking for them. As with 200 North, the Shai Hulud influence is definitely there, but to an even stronger degree and moreso on the progressive metalcore side. There is even a song that ends with an entire section of piano. These guys had no problem experimenting and I love every bit of it. They are still together and have shortened the length of their name to Evylock, you can keep up with them at

Their tracks were recorded in 2003 while 200 North's contribution was put to tape in 2000. Not sure how that works out, but if my memory serves me correct, 200 North simply donated some pre-production material for their full length to serve as a split with Every Life On Cold Keen on a Japanese label known as Falling Leaves Records.



Alright, so anyone who knows anything about me understands both my knowledge and obsession with 90s metalcore; especially that in which roots from western Pennsylvania. For whatever reason, it was only yesterday that I got my hands on this monumental release. I am quite ashamed that I had never gotten my hands on this earlier; especially considering I own every other release on the often-ignored Akeldama Records out of Michigan. Either way, I finally got my copy of the Pensive & Seasons In The Field split and I feel a bit more fulfilled as a human being considering.

While I was fully aware of the respective legacies of said bands and knew I would be very into their musical undertakings, I never would have guessed to what extent. I'm talking better than Zao and better than The Juliana Theory here, people. In case anyone is not familiar with the names I've been tossing around, I'll give a bit of history. Pensive featured Brett Detar, Chad Monticue, Martin Lunn, and Joshua Walters. Brett Detar was responsible for Where Blood And Fire Brings Rest ... at the very least, the catchy guitar riffs of the albums. Along with Joshua Walters and Chad Monticue, he also started (and fronted) The Juliana Theory. Martin Lunn, a half of a decade later, would join Zao to fulfill bass duties. Seasons In The Field has an even larger connection to Zao as its members consisted of Daniel Weyandt, Russ Cogdell, Steven Peck, and Jason Keener. Daniel Weyandt and Russ Cogdell are obviously the members who took Zao into the next level of metalcore with their contributions that came in the form of Where Blood And Fire Bring Rest. Steven Peck would also join Zao around the same time as Martin Lunn (in 2004) to take the place of Jesse Smith on drums. To top things off, Joshua Walters (of Pensive) was supposedly going to be playing drums for Zao a year or so ago, but it never came to fruition for whatever reason. Enough about Zao, though ... this post is about Pensive & Seasons In The Field.

The first half of the split comes from Pensive in the form of six songs. This was a follow-up effort from their debut release, The Subtlety Of Silence which was released a year earlier. The pre-Juliana Theory mention gives you a pretty good idea what this sounds like. However, while there is definitely the hooks and catchiness of The Juliana Theory, there are also plenty of screamo-esque backing vocals matched with the occasional Blood And Fire styled metalcore riffs. While the last thing I want to do is paint these songs out to be "predictable" or anything close, it is the exact music you would expect coming from someone who would later go on to be in both The Juliana Theory and on Zao's Where Blood And Fire Brings Rest album. It makes sense, that is all.

The true infatuation I am developing with this album comes in the form of Seasons In The Field, however. To sum it up in a sentence, it sounds like kids who would eventually go on to write Where Blood And Fire Brings Rest while they were still worshiping Passover and ripping off Iggy from Abnegation's vocals. In fact, they even recorded in the same studio as Passover as admitted by Daniel on the Zao documentary DVD. Surprisingly, however, Daniel was merely playing bass on this recording while Jason Keener was handling the vocal duties. The true talent of the vocalist lays in his ability to simultaneously sound like Iggy from Abnegation while also sounding like Jack from Passover. I should mention that when I make these comparisons, I make them with the highest regard.

I really don't know how to sum up the perfection of this band. In the aforementioned DVD, the members seemingly minimize their efforts put forth during this era. Without any disrespect to the monumental works that they've accomplished with Zao ... Seasons In The Field kills all of it. I may be alone in this thinking, but I know of at least one other person who sees it my way.

Speaking of which, this entire post is dedicated to one Derek "Poop Toss" Camp. If it wasn't for his insistence on Seasons In The Field being the best metalcore band of all time (and consequentially his favorite band overall), I would have probably never spent the time that I did tracking this album down. His dedication to obscure, over-looked metalcore from the 90s rivals that of myself and I respect him just as much for that as I do his shit-scooping abilities.

Check this split out NOW. I will hopefully be collaborating with The Poop Crank to bring you demo material from both bands in the near future. Oh yeah, the layout for this album rules ... but you need to do your homework and track down a real copy to see that part.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I used to review CDs for from like 2001-2002. Possibly the only decent CDs I ever got were the Irate and Through The Discipline EPs and some random disc from a band called Clearing Autumn Skies. All I ever knew of the band were that they were from California and sounded like a west coast take on earlier Candiria material (minus the jazz). I haven't listened to this EP in a few years. I recently pulled it out and was equally blown away as the first time I heard it back in 2002.

This is the definition of a criminally underrated band. I have yet to meet a single person who was even remotely familiar with this group. They put out a follow-up full length and later turned into Apiary (minus the drummer) who did a full length for Iron Clad Records. (Apiary has since turned into the band Early Graves and has somehow lost every single original member in the process.) These are both solid releases, but neither of them have been able to match up to this EP for some reason. There's just something about the recording of the original EP that the follow-ups fail to re-create in my fucked up head. I'm sure its nothing more than a personal inclination towards the first thing I had heard from them, but who can really

The music flows back and forth between the dreary acoustic instrumentation that went hand-in-hand with their earlier metalcore counterparts and the off-time, down-tuned Meshuggah-esque chugging in which the metalcore bands of today are still trying to perfect. As previously stated the band constantly breaks into Candiria styled riffing and percussion work reminiscent of their Beyond Reasonable Doubt and Surrealistic Madness albums without lifting any of their actual material. The vocals remind me of something that I can't put my finger on. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

I initially uploaded the Apiary full length while it was unknowingly still in press. If you've downloaded it, I'm sure you loved it and should now go HERE to purchase it from Iron Clad Recordings.

Drummer John Lazarus has been playing with Stomacher since the end of Clearing Autumn Skies. Guitarist Mike McClatchey has three projects under the monikers Balcony, Lament Cityscape and The Conceal (which is possibly the heaviest thing I've heard in years). All of these projects are putting out some of the more interesting music I've heard in recent memory all across the musical spectrum


Thursday, August 13, 2009

MARTYR AD: The Human Condition In Twelve Fractions

Through recent conversations with some younger kids, I've realized that a lot of people are only aware of Martyr AD's "On Earth As It Is In Hell" album. With the internet playing the role that it does these days, its weird to think that there are still albums out there that remain void of tenure on iPods amongst the hardcore world. It makes you remember how much ahead of the the time Victory Records was in comparison to the likes of Ferret and Trustkill at the time as far as promotion and distribution goes.

The Human Condition In Twelve Fractions was Martyr AD's first effort as a band. These ex-Disembodied members went straight for the throat with a debut full length release. Unlike most full lengths, this one both deserves and has a reason to exist. Martyr AD can not be summed up in four-to-six tracks. A full length offering was in call and these guys stepped up to the plate with this release.

The album starts off with quite possibly the only fitting intro to the album; Failed Polygraph Examination. Immediately breaking into possibly the most chaotic sounding riff of my at-the-time 16 year old life, Broken Mouth had me hooked from my first listen. I specifically remember thinking "this sounds like The Great Southern Trendkill".

Seventyfive-Twentyfive, the third track on the album, was responsible for making me a lot of friends in Erie, PA. The second or third show I attended up there was the Martyr AD/Throwdown tour in late 2001; at which I was knocked-the-fuck-out during the break in the aforementioned song. I was out cold for the remainder of the song, but stood up and proceeded to mosh for the rest of the set; because I'm hard. Hell, I even tried moshing for Throwdown after but the venue told me I had to "cool it". HxC.

Martyr AD was also responsible for being the band to initially introduce me to The Mr Roboto Project. Somewhere early in the year 2001 was when I first was introduced to The Mr Roboto Project when I went to see Martyr AD and Burnt By The Sun. The venue altered my reality of what going to a show could be (there's no bouncers!?!?! you didn't have to leave smelling like smoke!?!?!) but that is another story for another day I suppose. Point being, had Martyr AD not written such a superior mosh album for its time, I would've been delayed finding out about Roboto for god knows how long (it was rare for the mosh to be present at Roboto back then). I specifically remember wanting to mosh the entire set, yet being too nervous to until the Martyr AD vocalist ran up to the wall and did some sort of kick off of it as though he was on a skateboard; knocking into me and in turn starting the first karate mosh that Roboto had probably ever seen.

As I eluded to earlier, Martyr AD was essentially a continuation of Disembodied after their break-up in 1999. Featuring guitarist Joel (guitar), Tara (bass), and Justin (drums) of their former band, Martyr AD was a furthering of the progression heard on the final Disembodied album. Looking back, the "Heretic" album serves as a perfect precursor to what would eventually be heard from Martyr AD. Its like listening to a 33 RPM Disembodied record at 45 RPM, but with the vocals somehow getting lower and meaner.

As much as I love Disembodied and everything about the band, Martyr AD was definitely an "improvement" on what Disembodied was doing as far as musicianship goes. The drums really got taken up a notch as did the vocals. Don't get me wrong, the lyrics and vocals of Disembodied are perfect in my eyes, however, some of the vocal techniques used by Michael James Fisketti on The Human Condition were considerably groundbreaking; especially for its time. The main reason that their follow-up album on Victory Records couldn't hold up to their debut was the departure of the drummer and vocalist who appeared on said debut. The riffing available on the follow-up is more than satisfactory, however, the vocals and drumming could never keep up the way that they did on the debut (sorry Holding On guys).

Listen to this album the whole way through - DOWNLOAD


POST UPDATE - Stuck In The Past has posted up the definitive collection of Martyr AD demo material. The post includes pre-production for the entire debut album, FOUR tracks from the session with Jared on drums, and five pre-production tracks for On Earth As It Is In Hell. You can download these all at Stuck In The Past.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Always being a fan of the unrecognized and under-appreciated, Dissolve is probably my favorite finding within the past few years. To be completely honest, I always kinda heard the name floating around but chose to delay checking the band out for absolutely no reason at all. It wasn't until I heard as many people who's musical taste I respect getting as excited as they did over the band's reunion shows in 2008 that I chose to pay attention. I found their self-titled 7" on Endless Fight Records and it was decided before side A was even done that I was fully obsessed with this band.

To sum up this band, I chose to quote the "bio" found on their MySpace page as it is stated more precisely than I am sure I could word.

"Now into their second decade, Dissolve has shown an undeniable persistence in the underground music scene through never straying from the overwhelming call to creativity felt by its members. Dissolve's approach to making music draws upon their diverse musical talents and interests, mixing in the eclectic backgrounds of each member. This independence has resulted in a sound that is unique to the metal and hardcore scene. Heavy, unexpected, and hard to imitate. Put plainly, one is hard-pressed to pigeon-hole their style of music into a particular category. Honestly, the only "label" that would truly apply to Dissolve is heavy."

Rewinding a bit to the band's beginning, they started with the release of a cassette demo entitled Rebirth Of Thought in 1992 which I unfortunately do not have. This was followed up by a 7 track demo in 1993 which I am fortunate enough to have a copy of. In fact, I actually have two different rips of it that I included in the download link for the diehards.

I'm not sure which came out first, but in 1994 the band released their debut 7" on Endless Fight Records while, almost simultaneously, contributing two tracks to the original Over The Edge compilation put out by the same label. Both songs would later be re-recorded for their Dismantle CD which is surprisingly still available through Interpunk for $8.25; a very random find.

After the release of the Dismantle EP, the band's final two recording sessions would the Graverobber EP and a very rare two-song demo from 1998. They continued on with their tradition of playing "sludgy metal crunch, yet with a mix of psychedelic paranoia, and a Voivod-ish slant on bizarre out-of-this-world angular riffs... except slower". Thank you, Ryan Hex, for the perfect description of Dissolve.

For the better part of 10 years they gave it their all to make it in music, resulting finally in a well-deserved contract with MIA records back in 2000, putting them on a label in which also housed noteworthy bands such as Candiria and Darkest Hour. A greatly anticipated album was recorded, mixed and mastered; even having artwork created. The actual release of the album was the only aspect which would not see the light of day. The owner of the label decided to fold the operation just as Dissolve's album was about to be released. Undaunted by this setback the band trudged on for a year and a half in support of their never-released album, entitled Caveman of the Future, hoping that someone would pick them up and put out the album. As fate would have it, this never happened. Day jobs, distance, and side projects began to take precedence resulting in a hiatus from touring for Dissolve.

While the band never officially broke up, performing stopped and the band went into a kind of hibernation. Incredibly, in defiance of the implications of the hiatus they took, a death knell for most other bands, Dissolve sustained. Due in part to the reformation of both Overcast and Trip Machine Laboratories, 2008 finally saw the release of their Caveman Of The Future album, as well as some live performances from the band in support of their "new" record. I'm not going to post the Mp3s to the new album as you can easily order it for $6 from Trip Machine Laboratories. If you're not sold yet from the Mp3s that I've posted, then you can also preview a few of the tracks on their MySpace page.

Here's to hoping the band decides to continue playing. According to a MySpace message they sent me, they plan on doing so. I'll be there, man.

By the way, vocal delivery ... holy shit.

DOWNLOAD: Dissolve - Demo 1993
DOWNLOAD: Dissolve - Dismantle (1995)
DOWNLOAD: Dissolve - Graverobber (1998)

BUY - CAVEMAN OF THE FUTURE from Trip Machine Laboratories

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I finally tracked down master copies of the re-released Ed Gein demo. To re-iterate, the band initially put out the first three tracks as their 2002 demo, later adding on another three tracks that were recorded not long after, yet before their first full length. Two of the additional tracks appeared on the Mutation compilation put out by Robotic Empire (which also featured some unreleased Minor Times songs). I'm not sure if Pee Wee Herman/Paul Reubens was ever released officially, but I still had the Mp3 from when they posted it on their website in 2002. You know, back when you had to pay for bandwidth. Good times.

Anyhow, here is the full demo (all 6 songs) ripped in 320 ... apparently the only place on the internet where you're going to find this.

The break at the end of Bathed In Orange is still the bat-craziest-shit ever.


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

TERRA FIRMA: Silence Cries

I'm actually fairly unfamiliar with this band. All I know is that the album is perfect. If I had to sum it up in a comparison ... I would say Strongarm (who goes without mention) meets In Loving Memory (who I did a write-up on HERE). The chant at the beginning of Shatter The Silence ... holy shit (the good kind).

These guys were from Butler, PA and formed from ex-members of Blindside (also from Butler ... not Sweden). As we all know, I have a slight preference towards bands who I feel are legitimately down with JC. I know that the whole christian thing to do is to not judge or persecute or whatever else you want to label it, but that's the best part of being an agnostic who is infatuated with christian hardcore ... I have no problem with sniffing out the bands who are using the label as a means to make a quick buck and calling them on it. I'm down to cast them out of the temple and throw their chickens on the ground, you know? The point is ... Terra Firma (and every other christian band I've met from Butler) have always struck me as intensely passionate about their music and the reason they are creating it. Terra Firma succeeds where most christian bands of today fail in making me want to go up front for an altar call due to the sincerity behind their music and lyrics. Their passion shines through even in the recording of this album..

There's no reason this band shouldn't have been the biggest deal in christian hardcore in their time. As with most western PA bands from their era, they would have shredded the hell (literally and figuratively) out of their contemporaries had they ever been given the label opportunity in which they quite obviously deserved. Its a shame the internet didn't really exist back then to the extent that it does now so that bands like this would have had an even shot at being heard over most of the garbage Tooth & Nail was putting out at the time.

"Every tear he shed, every drop he bled ... it was for you"


Tuesday, June 16, 2009


People say I'm too serious. I have a blog about moshing. Feel free to contribute.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Living Sacrifice started off in1989 in Little Rock, Arkansas. I'm sure that the concept of christian death metal would have failed in most other parts of the world at the time. Despite existing amongst the southern bible belt, I'm sure the band had to deal with more than their fair share of mindless "satanic" metal fans. The fact that Living Sacrifice was doing what they were doing at the time they were doing so is truly a testament to the band's sincerity.

To be completely honest, I am not too familiar with the early stages of the band's career. They recorded a demo 1989 entitled Not Yielding To Ungodly which got them signed to REX Music (the label ran by one of the only other christian metal bands, Believer). I know that their debut, self-titled release gives anything that Slayer has ever released a run for its money. I'm not joking. The fact that older Living Sacrifice material is not spoken of in the same regard as their "legendary" thrash counterparts really makes a statement as to how overlooked the band probably was due to their christian beliefs.

With their sophomore release, Nonexistent, the band went with a more death metal approach. A much darker sound is found on this album. Judging from reading several old interviews, the band didn't seem happy with the outcome of this album. This doesn't serve as a surprise considering the obvious return to the "original" sound with their third full length, Inhabit. While the vocals remained a bit lower and "death metal", the neck-breaking thrash beats were back in full effect. The band even began to show the development of what was to result from their entire reformation, which would come after the release of Inhabit in 1994.

After roughly a year of touring in support of Inhabit, lead vocalist and bassist Darren Johnson stepped down; leaving rhythm guitarist Bruce Fitzhugh to take over on lead vocal duties. Along with this line-up change came an entirely different approach to the band's musical direction. Along with the dissolution of the REX Music label who had released their first three albums, the band shed much of their thrash and death metal influences in favor of a slower, more "hardcore" sound which they have since become synonymous with.

Somewhere in this time frame, Sepultura also phased their way out of the thrash and death metal scenes in favor of a slower, down-tuned sound; essentially forging an entirely new sound within heavy music in the process. It seems as though everyone, since the release of Roots, who has incorporated any sort of auxillary percussion has been immediately labeled as a Sepultura knock-off. I always felt as though Living Sacrifice did a very similar style in a drastically different manner. Incorporating much more off-time parts similar to Meshuggah, I'm doubting Max Cavalera would even be able to play anything off of Living Sacrifice's "Reborn" album.

While the band's new found uniqueness and creativity are primarily responsible in my eyes for the sudden popularization of the band, it would be laughable to deny the impact that signing to the newly forged Solid State Records had for the band. Serving as Tooth & Nail Records' metal sub-label, Solid State in 1997 was the place to be. The label served as home to so many legendary releases from this era that I can't even begin to get started on the subject. The only reason I bring this up is because I feel as though Reborn by Living Sacrifice was, alongside several others, largely responsible for the initial success of the label.

Several years passed before Living Sacrifice released another album. The wait did not disappoint in the slightest. As with every album, The Hammering Process was a huge step in the growth of the band. It was with this album that Living Sacrifice cemented themselves as a true force to be reckoned with. Incorporating a full-time auxiliary percussionist into the fold alongside new guitarist Rocky Gray took Living Sacrifice to a whole new level of creativity. Looking back, it was this step in the band's career that stood out to me as a prime example as to how it could be possible to entirely expand one's musical horizons. The addition of non-conventional instrumentation can only serve as a means to foster growth. How the fuck could anyone have written tracks as intense as Bloodwork or Hand Of The Dead without the addition of an auxiliary percussionist? Not happening.

Conceived In Fire was released in 2002. For some reason or another, a lot of people wrote this album off as being inconsistent with the perfection of their previous efforts. I'm going to assume that any and all criticism was based off of the release of the album's "single", Symbiotic, which featured a repeating verse/chorus structure. The intensity of that song, specifically, makes any and all calls of "selling out" a complete joke in the eyes of anyone who truly understands legitimately heavy music. Ironically, it was on this album, released in 2002, that the band came closest to a Sepultura-esque sound in my opinion. Once again utilizing the percussion work of Matt Putnam, Conceived In Fire ranks in as possibly my favorite of all Living Sacrifice albums.

The band dissolved not long after the release of this album. They managed to record a 3 song demo before doing so, however. It was paired up alongside a "best of" collection entitled In Memoriam in conjunction with their final tour. These supposed final three songs from the project showed that the band had not lost a single step throughout their career. Encompassing all aspects of the band's progression throughout the years, "In Christ", "Power Of God", and "Killers" were an impressive summation of what the band was capable. As representative as I felt the songs were, the band's musical arsenal proved to be far too versatile to be left as is and the band announced their reformation in early 2008.

Needless to say, I was more than enthusiastic at the announcement of this reunion. It was somewhere around 2005 that I started hating myself for skipping out on the one and only chance I had to see this powerhouse. The band preceded their tour with Demon Hunter in the summer of 2008 with the release of an online-only release of 2 newly recorded songs. As with the small, three-song dose of the band's capability released in 2003, Living Sacrifice did not disappoint with Death Machine and The Battle.

Sadly, this time around the band was not accompanied by their former percussionist ... or any percussionist at all for that matter. When I saw the band set up on stage without any form of auxillary percussion, I was assuming that certain songs would have to be cut from the set. Further proving their superiority in musicianship, however, I was proven wrong as the band delivered Bloodwork, Hand Of The Dead, and Send Your Regrets amongst many others with the same amount of intensity as they once encompassed with the tribal drumming patterns within the songs. Simply put, Lance Garvin is one of the most insane drummers within heavy music

One of the main reasons I've always been drawn to Living Sacrifice has been the sincerity and legitimacy they have shown to their faith in christ. I know it probably makes no sense, but a large portion of my favorite bands have always been "christian". Sometimes because I think its funny or cute, but in cases such as Living Sacrifice (or original Zao line-up, for example), the sincerity that radiates from their live shows, lyrics, and/or interviews is undeniable despite my obvious lack of similar beliefs. Point being ... these 90s christian metalcore bands have a higher legitimacy rating than any of the vegan SxE gatherings of the same era.

Its safe to say I'm quite excited for this new material in which the band is scheduled to record by the end of the year. I'm anxiously awaiting to hear the one thrash song that the band throws on towards the end of every album just to prove that they can still thrash 20 years after the initial start of the band. More than I can say for most bands who used to bring it.

DOWNLOAD - self-titled
DOWNLOAD - Nonexistent
DOWNLOAD - Inhabit
DOWNLOAD - The Hammering Process
DOWNLOAD - Conceived In Fire
DOWNLOAD - Living Sacrifice Demos (2003 & 2008)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Earth Crisis & Unholy

No, their new records aren't available for download here. It's every bit as good as every other Earth Crisis release. Picture somewhere between Breed The Killers and Gomorrah's Season Ends. There are still some special order packages left through Century Media's distro. You get the CD, a 7" with two songs from their unreleased 1992 demo, and size small shirt (all the other sizes are sold out). Guess how much that will cost you? $18. Don't slack ... order this before its gone. Make sure you go out and support Earth Crisis on their current tour. The band has went through a lot to get this project up and going again and the support would be much appreciated I am sure.

Its easy to sit around and talk shit on an album when you downloaded shitty Mp3 rips of it for free. No sense of or pride in ownership through downloading Mp3s. I waited to listen to the album until my pre-order package arrived ... lyrics and all. It's been a while since I've cared enough about an album to buy it brand new, let alone to pre-order it and wait for the real deal to show up. A lot of people have forgotten the concept of taking more from an album other than the music itself. The lyrics and actual sound quality found on the CD (as opposed to shit quality Mp3s floating around the internet) give you an actual indication as to what the band has created.

And while you're at it ... pick up the new Unholy through Prosthetic Records' online store ... or pick it up at one of their shows on the Earth Crisis tour they're currently on. These are two of the most legit bands within hardcore and metal currently and they deserve your support. Bands of this nature are becoming few and far between. Instead of reminiscing about the "glory days" exclusively, make a point to show your appreciation to the bands who are currently going at it with their full dedication. Its harder now than ever for sincere bands to keep their heads above water.

Earth Crisis Package

Order Unholy's New Record
Listen To Unholy's New Record

Friday, April 10, 2009

CANDIRIA: Discography

I remember seeing Candiria when I first started going to shows. At the time I had my standard education in metal through my mastery of Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax, Megadeth, and Testament (always the big 5 in my head at the time) supplemented by the hardcore likes of Hatebreed, Sworn Enemy, Mushmouth and bands of that nature. While I still jam those bands quite frequently, my musical perspective was completely fucked the first time I saw Candiria. Sure, I had heard the thrashing of Slayer, every Kirk Hammet solo, the hardest breakdowns known to man on Satisfaction Is The Death Of Desire ... but none of that seemed as crazy after Candiria combined jazz with death metal.

Looking back now, as a musician, it all makes quite a bit of sense. However, as a 15 year old kid who thought double kick drums were the end-all-be-all of heavy music, my mind was quite perplexed by the shit Candiria was bringing to the table. I specifically remember getting caught in my own mosh on at least 5 different occasions during their set due to their fucked-up time signatures that I did not know existed at the time. Candiria, to this day, remains as the one-and-only band in which I prepared my mosh for prior to attending their shows. You basically had to.

I didn't get into Candiria until around 1999 whenever the band released their Process Of Self.Development full length on the infamous MIA Records (ironic label name). In order to cover the band's process of self-development up until this point in their career, I'm going to switch over to a biography written up by some guy who, up until 2007, ran the Angelfire-hosted Candiria fan page. Mad respect to him for keeping the tradition alive for as long as he did. For a bit of a trip down memory lane of hardcore-on-the-internet prior to unlimited bandwidth, pay your respects to his work right here.

"Have you ever successfully tried to follow one of their songs? I can almost do it but there's always that one bastard riff in every song that I can't get! And obviously you're here to learn more about the band, so I'll stop rambling now and give you some meat about the Brooklyn quintet...

It is 1992, Brooklyn, New York. In a rehearsal studio, Eric Mathews, Chris Puma, Carley Coma, Kenneth Schalk and original bassist Matt Holt come together week after week to dictate the beginnings of what they understand to be music. All five of them were seriously focused on changing the face of heavy music. Inspired from all directions, Candiria was ready to hit the laboratory and experiment with a new musical formula. The center point or foundation, of course, was the consistent element of DANCEABLE MUSIC. From that, the song was to be like a beautifully written novel-an introduction leading to a well defined, in-depth and expansively informative body that brings you smoothly and excitingly through the conclusion and off to the back cover for the "about the author." It would take many years of pain staking labor and commitment to pull this off.

Candiria was growing musically, and had the impetus to move forward but faced a few hurdles... One of them being the issue of a bass player. Candiria had 2 bass players after Matt left in the spring of 1992. It was winter 1994 and the band just watched their 3rd bassist leave and decided to go on without one. They had been playing around the city for the past year and gave out about 300 or 400 copies of their Subliminal. demo to fans and bands as well as sending it off to various record companies, rock venues and management and booking agencies . The band had too much momentum to start looking for a fourth bass player. The first album, Surrealistic Madness was originally warranted to be a demo also, but the band had generated a good enough buzz at that point to interest Too Damn Hype records in releasing their music. The hard work and unique vision was beginning to get recognized.

The second album Beyond Reasonable Doubt was created with the same line-up, and on this album, the bass lines were executed by Eric, and Ken. Still no bass player. Candiria continued to play live shows, but the low end was missing and it just wasn't right..........yet.

The Candiria line-up was forced to make change when Chris Puma became impatient with the bass situation, and for some unknown personal reasons, left the band. Candiria had to let him go.

Candiria then recruited friend John Lamacchia, who was in a band called Dead Air. Since Dead Air was calling it quits, and happened to rehearse in the same studio as Candiria, they asked John to join, and he did. The bass player in Dead Air, Michael MacIvor, had already left the band to play with NYHC pioneers Merauder. MacIvor was honored to play with Merauder at first, but as time passed wanted to go in a more open-ended direction. He was always a fan of Candiria, and when they asked him to join, he couldn't refuse. The five members have now fortified, and remain a constant entity since 1998.

Candiria has two albums to date (EDITOR'S NOTE: this was written just before The Process Of Self.Development was released), both in their own respect are different, yet all contain elements of fusion, metal, ambience, jazz, rap, and urban madness. The sound produced by these cats is one that sincerely stands alone, by itself. Defiant in nature, they break common threads that unify the common 4/4 tempo of many bands today. A major focus for Candiria is the off-beat practice of syncopation. Candiria is just the remedy we need in this world so full of pre-packaged aggression. To be unique in a market bonded by threads of anti-this, and anti-that, and "My life sucks" type songs, is truly something to savor. It almost seems that metal along with all Rock sub-genres combined, has found a complacent bowl of fruit to eat from. The inability to evolve musically, will be the self-destruction of what modern music is today. Candiria will continue to evolve, bringing new and exciting music to its listeners and is something I'll always look forward to, now that I've found FUCKING CANDIRIA!!!"

Picking up where this article leaves off, I shall tell you of the perfection that is The Process Of Self.Development. Essentially serving as a "best of" album from that point in their career, the full length consists of re-recorded tracks from the first two full lengths alongside obscure demo and 7" material. In true Candiria fashion, the band also included new material in order to keep their musical revolution in "constant velocity". Through the acquisition of what was thought to be a legitimate label at the time, the band finally managed to finance a recording worthy of the material that was being put to tape. The album also marked the start of the transition away from the prevelant death metal influences heard primarily in the vocals on the first two albums. Don't get me wrong, there are definitely parts on this third full length offering that put Cannibal Corpse to shame, however quite obviously through the acquisition of a full-time bassist, the group seemed to shift focus moreso onto the groove aspect of the band. That is also not to say that the element was not relevant on previous recordings.

I was lucky enough in this era to see Candiria on multiple occassions despite never getting to see Jamey from Hatebreed and Phil from Irate jump on stage to do their parts as can be seen in the YouTube video above. It was seeming as though "things" were starting to happen for Candiria around this era. A constant touring schedule coupled alongside the demise of MIA Records landed Candiria a deal with Century Media for the release of their next full length, 300 Percent Density.

Despite the once-again flawless nature of this new album, I remember a bit of dissent from the hardcore scene at the time. For the younger kids who may be reading this and not understanding how something as simple as signing to Century Media could cause such a reaction, I don't really have a good explanation for you. Regretfully, at the time whenever a "hardcore" band signed to a "metal" label, talks of sedition instantly arose. This was 2001, Hatebreed had just signed to Universal Records and written the song "You're Never Alone" alongside playing OzzFest and bringing rednecks into "the scene". Looking back I can almost under the apprehension that came with bands getting picked up by Roadrunner, Century Media, and other pseudo-major labels. Candiria's musical offering was untouched by the transition, however.

300 Percent Density was perhaps the pinnacle of Candiria's aggressive music career. While The Process Of Self.Development had all of the hits and guest appearances, there were still tracks on the album that had been written almost 5 years prior to its release. The musicianship on 300 Percent Density had matured ten-fold since the release of their previous album in 1999. Despite the tastefulness that was used in doing so, the band DID introduce the usage of more standard song structures; at times even utilizing repeating choruses. With the release of the "single" from the album, Without Water, I remember realizing that big changes were on the way for Candiria.

Candiria toured relentless with the release of their 300 Percent Density album with acts ranging from the Soul Brains (Bad Brains) to Poison The Well to Cryptopsy to Madball to Shadows Fall. It was amongst this touring, however, that the band was almost taken away due to a severe wreck with a tractor-trailer. I pulled up the following statement made by the band from the incident.

"The five members of the pioneering metal-fusion band Candiria and their tour manager escaped life-threatening injury when their van was rear-ended by a tractor trailer east of Buffalo, New York on Monday September 9th, 2002. The accident occurred at 9:15 am on Interstate 90 in Batavia, New York, when the tractor trailer driver, who was charged with speeding, plowed into the back of the van at full throttle. The van was hauling an equipment trailer, which buffered the blow. Upon impact, the van left the pavement, flipped over four times, then skidded on its roof for several hundred feet before stopping at the side of the center median culvert. Four members of the band were ejected from the vehicle through the shattered side windows. The other two were in the front of the van and were able to crawl from the wreckage.
Candiria drummer Ken Schalk was flown by MediVac helicopter to the nearest trauma unit, located at the Erie County Medical Center, the others followed by ambulance. They all suffered multiple contusions, abrasions and lacerations that required extensive stitching. Schalk was treated for six hours for his injuries, which included a severe cut to the ear. He also suffered a concussion. Guitarist John LaMacchia also sustained a so-called "closed head injury," as well as a broken clavicle and fractured shoulder. Guitarist Eric Matthews suffered two broken ribs and injured knees. Singer Carley Coma was feared to have internal injuries, but escaped with abdominal contusions. Bassist Mike MacIvor suffered a hand injury as well as the bruises, scrapes and cuts they all sustained. Tour manager Kevin Macormick also suffered a torn rotator cuff.

The tractor trailer driver admitted fault and was issued a summons by police at the scene on several charges, including following too close, reckless endangerment and speeding. Candiria's van and all its contents were completely demolished. The equipment trailer was split in two and everything in it destroyed."

The future of Candiria was very uncertain at the time. Members all took part in their various solo and side projects including Ghosts of the Canal, which was featured at the Micro Museum in Brooklyn, NY, in part of a multimedia production "that also features live dancers, videography, and projections". Drummer Kenneth Schalk also played live drums for several jazz groups, some of which featured members who had contributed elements to prior Candiria albums. It was also in this downtime when the band wrote material for their next album, "What Doesn't Kill You...".

While the following is mere speculation, I think it is safe to say that the band's musical progression on their follow-up to 300 Percent Density is what caused the split between the band and Century Media. While the band always managed to make considerable progression between every album, the difference between 300 Percent Density and its successor, What Doesn't Kill You... is quite drastic. While the album still focuses quite strongly on the aggressive aspect of the band on the earlier tracks, the B-side tends to stray moreso into the realms of jazz, hip hop, and even reggae at times. While I personally find this release to be the most listenable album of all the Candiria albums, I think it is safe to say that a large majority of Candiria's fan base felt quite alienated by this release. I would venture to say that the vocals on the album consist of equal parts harsh screaming and clean singing. Personally, I find this album to be yet another pinnacle of the band's song-writing capacity ... yes, I'm illustrating the fact that every album is the band's pinnacle.

As always, the band embarked on considerably varied tours with the release of this album. I was lucky enough to see the band on their stint with Kittie, 36 Crazyfists, and Twelve Tribes. The show was being held at one of the larger venues in Pittsburgh that I was not particularly fond of and, in turn, would not donate any finances to. I went down in hopes of sneaking in and directly supporting the band with merch purchases to no avail. It was on my way back to my car that I encountered Carley who asked where we were going. I told him my deal of wanting to see Candiria (and Twelve Tribes) without being able to bring myself to give any money to the venue or promoter involved with the show. Without the slightest bit of a second guess, he instructed my friend and I to follow him into the show. We did so, and in turn, got to witness the band perform their new album, What Doesn't Kill You in its almost entirety. Looking back, it was one of the best sets I have ever witnessed and wouldn't have traded it for the world. I digress.

It was not long after this that long-standing guitarists John LaMacchia and Eric Matthews both stepped down. The original intent was for Eric Matthews to temporarily leave for a back surgery whereas John LaMacchia was to permanently step down citing musical differences. The band continued on temporarily with two fill-in guitarists in order to continue with their touring schedule, which included a short-run on the Stillborn Fest. This show was not three months after I had just seen Candiria perform a set of entirely new material. While I was overly exuberant at the prospect of seeing a repeat performance of the newer material, I was even moreso excited whenever the band got on stage and played a set of "old" material exclusively. It truly put into perspective the wide range of capability the band possessed amongst their ranks; even when nearly half of the band were fill-ins.

From this point on, the band seemed to dissolve in front of everyone's eyes. Guitarist Eric Matthews was the first to leave. As previously stated, the original intent was for him to take a temporary leave of absence in order to facilitate his back surgery. There was never any specific statement made by the band as to his exit other than that it, in turn, yielded the departure of drummer Kenneth Schalk. Bassist Mike MacIvor and vocalist Carley Coma were then left with a nearly completed album without a band to tour on it. Despite the re-addition of long-standing guitarist John LaMacchia, their label, Type-A Records who released their previous full length, would not release the album due to the band's unwillingness to tour without Kenneth Schalk on the shells. The album sat on the shelf for over two years before finally being released by John LaMacchia's new label, Rising Pulse Records.

The album is once again another huge step into the creative world that is Candiria. If you weren't into What Doesn't Kill You, there is a very good chance that you will also not appreciate their latest release, Kiss The Lie. If you gave their previous album an honest chance and took the time to understand its intricacies, then I would highly suggest picking up the beautifully laid-out, gatefolded double LP at Rising Pulse Record's MySpace page. I am specifically not including the Mp3s to this album as the band essentially put this out through their own DIY work ethics and it deserves support for all of the apparent bullshit they had to go through in order to ensure its release. There are also future plans for a collection of 4 limited edition remix LPs entitled Toying With The Insanities. Even if you're not as dedicated of a Candiria as am I, you can also pick up Surrealistic Madness on clear vinyl while you're there.

The band is currently on yet another "indefiniate hiatus" while members state in interviews that interest in the project has been lost. As much as it may be wishful thinking, I would like to believe that the members of Candiria realize the monster of a project that they created can never come to an end. While I am more than content with checking out the various side projects that the members are currently partaking in, the necessity of Candiria is insatiable to me. I'm not going to be content until I get another chance to cut shit up to Faction.

Overall, I think Candiria was summed up by the best following statement made by the webmaster of the Candiria Pit 718 Angelfire Fan Page. "Simply put, take some salt in one hand, and pepper in the other. Bring both your hands together and shake it here's where music and salt part ways. Throw the mixture on the table. Physically, the pepper and salt will mix , forming a ---pepper and salt mix. But musically, after mixing the pepper and salt, the two will miraculously end up where they started.....salt on one side, pepper on the other! (did I confuse you?)"

Check out Spylacopa, ft John LaMacchia
Check out Hope Kills Fear, ft Carley Coma
Check out Ghosts Of The Canal, ft most of Candiria


By the way, if anyone could upload the Mathematics/Down To The Last Element 7" put out by Stillborn Records ... that would complete the discography as far as I know. Any information on other recordings would be greatly appreciated.

OUTSPOKEN: The Current

I'm not sure what I can really say about this record other than that it is perfect. This record has been getting (poorly) ripped off since its been written. Imagine if all of the "passionate" Bridge 9-type bands of today were original, interesting, or legitimate. I'm obviously not a fan of the genre, but this record is essential listening for anyone remotely down with the core. I'll go out on a limb and say that it was the best release that New Age Records ever released. This is the CD version which includes 5 songs as opposed to the 3 tracks that fit on the 7" version.

Despite this being available on other blogs, I couldn't pass up writing up a report on it. A better write-up on this record can be found at Zen And The Art Of Face Punching.

Seriously ... the piano at the beginning of the song, "The Current" ... untouchable.

Monday, March 16, 2009

EIGHTEEN VISIONS: Until The Ink Runs Out

I recently had a conversation with Javier Van Huss, who runs several blogs including The Best Of Times, and who formerly played bass for Eighteen Visions about how perfect the Until The Ink Runs Out album was. He quit not long after this album was released and was probably better off for doing so. It's well-documented that I'm a fan of all things 18V, however the legitimately good material is what we'll be covering in this post.

"Until the Ink Runs Out was not 18 Visions first record, though it is arguably its best. It was the first record that really garnered national attention for the band.

We had recorded Lifeless at some Christian-run studio in Los Alamitos (xChorusx had also recorded there) and decided to record Yesterday is Time Killed at Doubletime studio in San Diego. Jeff Forrest was an interesting guy to say the least, but he had recorded Life Love Regret and Cheshire Cat, so we knew he was the shit behind a mixing board. I believe we had even done two other sessions there, one that never saw the light of day and one for the No Time For Love 7". I don't remember much about the recording of Until The Ink Runs Out except that as always, we were all open to trying new shit.

It was our first recording session with Keith and he was such a powerhouse. Say what you want about his voice, but the dude can riff like nobody's business. Song writing for the record was primarily done by Brandan and Keith, but everyone contributed, even James (who would jam out tunes on his broken acoustic and Ken would be left to translate). I'd say that I contributed the least to the actual writing of the songs, but heavily contributed to arranging them and adding aesthetic changes. To me, it wasn't about what you played, but how the fuck you played it.

Having signed with Trustkill, we entered the studio with every song written and mapped out, including samples and keyboards. I had written an insane keyboard part that was all but obliterated by a phaser effect and I also played piano on the last song. Being so prepared allowed us to complete the entire record in 4 days. Yesterday Is Time Killed was recorded and mixed in 20 hours for 600 dollars, and I think Until The Ink Runs Out was made for just over 1000. Everything ran smoothly in the studio. Ken had all of the samples prepared on his Korg Dr. Sample beforehand. I remember thinking the Back To The Future sample was silly, but it worked and I hear people all the time say "there's that word again..."

The Shining sample was interesting. Ken and I were huge Kubrik fans and Full Metal Jacket was constantly on in the tour van. The noise behind it is me playing my bass with a screwdriver and twisting the tuning pegs. The sample would prove invaluable in the event of a broken guitar string while playing live. Ken had been experimenting a lot with effects pedals and 808s, and could make his snare sound like a frog's ribbit. Brandan and Keith together were a massive and solid sound, with 5150s and Sonic Maximizers. We built 2 speaker cabs which we painted gold, to match the mic stand. My bass cabinet was 2 18's and 2 12's, and was a pain in the fucking ass to haul. We sounded massive, at least to ourselves.

Our live show/stage antics would solidify during this era; the imagery, hair, clothes, doll heads. James and I were in/graduating from beauty school at the time. We had to wear all black every day. Ken and James worked at Banana Republic and got amazing discounts on nicer clothes. We were visually influenced by the band Orgy. The Virgin Megastore was on our way to school, and we'd see the giant heads of Ryan Shuck and his posse and think about how cool they looked. We just wanted to get away from what everyone else was doing; the jerseys and headband flavor that dominated the scene. It was never intended to be serious or to start "fashioncore". We just wanted to have fun and be different. Really, how many bands sounded exactly the same as 18V in that era?

My swansong with 18V would be the summer of 2000. We toured with Throwdown, and had a pretty amazing time. We were friends with bands and kids all over the country. But the tour was plauged by lots of mechanical troubles and bickering. We missed 9 shows in 4 weeks due to breakdowns (not the kind you dance to). I remember one particularly heated argument between Brandan and myself in northern Florida that proved to be the beginning of the end.

In El Paso, Texas the Throwdown van broke down. We were on our way home, and I was riding in the TD van as I had much of that tour. People went in both vans, but somehow I was more comfortable in that van. I had some problems at home that had been building in me and had not eaten since Florida. 18V made the decision to head home. I started loading my stuff in the van and was met with a "what are you doing? You're staying here". And so I stayed with Throwdown for 2 days while the van got fixed.

I got home and was told by a girl that one of the members had told her "tell your friend Javier that the guy from xCLEARx is taking his place". I played two more shows with the band, one headlining show at Chain Reaction which was my "funeral" show, and one supporting Converge at the Showcase Theater.

I saw 18V four times after that. The release show for the "Best Of" CD, in Santa Cruz with Poison The Well, at a Warped Tour, and their last show. Over the years I had many ups and downs with the members, but I'd like to say things are cool now.

I tried my hardest to get everyone together to play with the "classic" lineup with Disembodied this coming June, and the attempt proved unsuccessful due to James' dedication to his new band Burn Halo.

I don't own a physical copy of Until The Ink Runs out, although I do have it on my iPod and crank it somewhat regularly. I am proud to have played on that record. It totally stands the test of time. I had the "master" copy from Doubletime but when my car was broken into it disappeared. I still get recognized for being in the band, which 9 years later to me seems crazy to me. But I'm happy that I have those time and I can say I played on an amazing, brutal, and fun album."

All I can say on top of this is that Eighteen Visions slayed 99% of the metalcore coming from this era but never got the recognition due to their "own hardcore fashion". Obviously the band got their fair share of recognition for doing so, but at the same time were dismissed by so many of the "true hardcore kids" (including myself at the time) which was obviously quite a shame. Watch the Hell Fest 2000 DVD (or VHS) and try to tell me that Eighteen Visions isn't every bit as intense as Buried Alive or Converge or any of the other bands from that era who get the respect they deserve.


Thursday, March 5, 2009


Someone told me I needed to "post some good shit". I informed this individual that I had been doing so quite regularly, but at the same time realized that a lot of the more recent posts have been rather similar (heavy as fuck hardcore). That being said I decided to mix it up a bit with this newest post. This probably won't be considered to be "good" either, but that's not my problem, haha.

While I don't want to attach the word "overhyped" to such legendary bands as pg99, Majority Rule, Saetia or the likes ... I will say that In Loving Memory was doing equally innovative things at the same time with a fraction of the recognition for doing so. Their location of Des Moines, IA was probably not helping their situation in this case. It probably did wonders for their "peculiarity", however. There are quite a few rather majestic acoustic riffs played amongst the chaotic spazz parts which gives the songs that little extra something that a lot of screamo bands lacked. I regretfully have no access to any lyrics, however, the lines that I CAN make out seem to be rather exemplary of the screamo genre.

These Mp3s were ripped by Joe of The Haunted Basement fame in Des Moines, IA. He went above and beyond his call of duty and provided Path To Misery with its best show on our entire 2008 summer tour. He also saved me from waiting potentially forever for the Init Records proposed In Loving Memory discography by ripping these tracks. The discography would supposedly include more tracks, but what is included here is their self-released CD-R featuring 10 tracks which were to be used for various splits. The only one which saw the light of day was a split 7" with Examination Of The... which is quite hard to come by. Also included within this upload are their 4 songs in which they contributed to a split cassette release with Black Market Fetus (who's tracks are being omitted on purpose). Some of the songs ended up being re-recorded for their 10 track CD-R.

If anyone has copies of any of this, I would obviously be more than excited to take them off of your hands. I could perhaps trade you more Junior High School Prom pictures of the members for these releases.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

DIE MY WILL: Discography

As promised ... this is the gem I've been working on for the past few weeks.

There aren't many releases from Pin Drop Records that make it to my turntable or CD player any more. The exception to this rule is obviously Die My Will (god knows its not the Polyglot/Fall From Grace split). I used to pick up everything from this label for whatever reason or another and looking back, it was well worth the money I wasted on the Holdstrong 7"s in order to stumble upon Die My Will. There's something about this band that put them years ahead of ANY of their contemporaries; especially within their general area.

Their debut, self-released and self-titled EP came out in 1996 on Drawn And Quartered Records, which was ran by bassist Todd Reynolds. The debut EP contained 8 tracks which would set the tone for what was to come from the band in the future; heavy, unrelenting, downtuned, innovative aggression. Not to be overshadowed, the lyrics of the band were every bit as potent as the music which was being created by this group. Touching on subjects not commonly done within the hardcore scene at the time, Die My Will escaped the monotony of the era in the lyrical department as effortlessly as they did musically. An explanation of the song "Homunculus" was given by lyricist Brandon Debrosky in an interview taken from Hurt Newsletter Zine.

"The song actually has a ton of different meanings and concepts within it. Some that I don't even think I can explain without writing a novel, but I will try to explain it as best I can as quick as I can. The song deals with the commonality of people looking for absolute truths, by which to live their lives. I think that most people, as I do, look for answers to everything in order to gain comfort in life. So we tend to put our trust or faith both consciously and unconsciously into different schools of thought and then disconcern ourselves with other contradictory concepts. Whether it is religion, logic or science, they represent the same thing for me. They are concepts we have constructed to deal with phenomenon that we can't understand without such framework. I think that it's dangerous to focus all of your beliefs on any one concept or idea. This type of thought process seems to lend itself to very close-mindedness. So the concept behind the song is that different truths by themselves may be useless and non-beneficial, but when everything is taken into account and excepted for what it is, together they can help lead to a very healthy and beneficial mindset. So in the song I tried to address this with imagery from different religious and social beliefs. Homunculus is the name of the man that ancient Egyptians believed lived in a person and controlled a persons health and humor. That's the basic concept behind the song"

The follow-up effort was a split 7" release with another CT local by the name of All You've Lost. If you were to listen to the All You've Lost tracks on their own, you would probably think it was considerably good for its time. However, when put up against the two tracks donated by Die My Will, the efforts of All You've Lost become instantaneously stale. The same can be said for the following two comps in which Die My Will took part in. Their tracks on the Call For Unity pt 2 (on Back Ta Basics) and Over The Edge pt 3 (on Endless Fight) render the other tracks worthless. Their contribution to the Back Ta Basics comp was a demo version for what was to appear on the And Still We Destroy full length while the track donated to Endless Fight was otherwise unreleased. A third track was recorded specifically for a compilation which was supposed to be released by Jamey Jasta through his Stillborn Records label which was to be entitled CT Brotherhood. The comp never came out and the track has since been lost, according to reports from band members. The song, entitled Laconic, lives ever-so-fondly in my imagination as one line of lyrics proclaims that we are "suffocation on our own existence" ... I couldn't say it better myself.

Die My Will took things to the next level with the release of their And Still We Destroy full length on the previously-mentioned Pin Drop Records. It was on this release that Die My Will attained legendary status in my mind. Pummeling listeners with the transitions between caveman-esque chug parts and intricate, yet distrubingly eerie acoustic pieces, the band set the standard for heavy in their era.

As with every release, the band managed to one-up themselves yet again with the release of their final recording session in the form of a split with Piecemeal. Everything about this session is ... I don't know ... just disgusting. The low-end presence on the recording is sickening and definitely imitated on the Path To Misery CD. The vocals are gut-wrenching in every sense of the word that I wouldn't use in any other aspect of life. The dissonance and drive of the guitars is surely capable of evoking some sort of inner, primal rage inherent in anyone who is conscious to the world around them. There's not enough that can be said of this final session and band in general.

Sadly the group disbanded not long after this release. As with any great band from their era, the band never received a fraction of the credit in which was due. Even if the band put the recordings out a decade later in which they did (aka now), they would still reign as the heaviest songs known to man. I know that in a previous post I had already labeled Disembodied as the heaviest band ever, but the point is that Die My Will is every bit as legendary as Disembodied amongst this genre; they just never received the credit that was due. I'm hoping that this post will start to reverse this trend if only in the minds of the couple hundred people who read this thing.

As a matter of fact, it seems as though my efforts are being coupled by that of a respectable label who is in talks with the band to collaborate on not only a remixed and remastered discography, but the potential of the recording of some previously unreleased tracks which were written at the same time as the tracks which appeared on the Piecemeal split. If things actually go through as planned, I will be the first one posting about it, rest assured.

Special thanks to Edwin at the One Path blog for the help with attaining several of the more rare Mp3s as well as Brandon from Die My Will who hooked me up with some of the insider information regarding the band (as well as allowing me to call off the search for those unreleased comps, haha). If everything goes as planned with the potential release of this discography on the currently undisclosed label PLEASE do yourself the favor of picking it up as it will contained remixed, remastered tracks as well as the equally relevant lyrics ... and hopefully those previously unreleased tracks which would make my life complete.

I was going to include a text file including all of their lyrics as I feel they were also years ahead of their time (bands STILL don't touch on some of these subjects) but I decided instead to post a link to their tripod-esque website which will serve as quite the trip down memory lane for anyone who simultaneously had the internet and was into DIY hardcore around 1999-2001.


Monday, February 23, 2009


Built Upon Frustration started off in Greensburg, PA in 1997 releasing the Cast The First Stone 4 song demo which was later followed up by the Low Life Crew full length on the infamous Da' Core Records out of Pittsburgh, PA. After playing out for a year or two following the release of the full length, the band technically broke up leaving guitarist Derek "Diggums" Kovacs to join Pittsburgh powerhouses No Retreat. The band laid dormant for roughly four years until Diggums decided to team up with original Built Upon Frustration vocalist Jason Hominsky and former Spudmonsters and Section 315 guitarist, Eric Klinger. This is when things got REALLY good, in my eyes.

I specifically remember whenever I got my hands on the two song demo they did when first getting back together in 2001. I studied Birthrights and Nothing and had them memorized by the end of the night. It has been a while since a band of this stature had come out of Pittsburgh, so the feeling of excitement was rather mutual amongst everyone going to shows in the area at the time. Luckily for me (and I suppose whoever is downloading this as well) I was putting together a compilation at the time entitled Set An Emo Kid On Fire (chock full of the heaviest bands I knew at the time) in which Built Upon Frustration gave me three extra demo tracks to pick from that the rest of the world didn't get to hear ... until now.

I promised I wouldn't let these songs slip, but I figure 8 years after the fact that its OK to let others in on the fun. All of the songs ended up being re-recorded for the monumental full length that was Resurrected. The album also featured the drumming of local legend Keith Hurka which put the album above and beyond the demo tracks which featured a rather inconspicuous drum machine.

Later on, vocalist Jason Hominsky quit the band due to the acquisition of a family life. The band persevered with the addition of vocalist Joe Bonnadio for a brief tenure before the band opted to go at it as a four-piece to feature the vocals of guitarist Eric Klinger. Somewhere in that time frame original drummer Keith Hurka also stepped down and was replaced by Mike Papillo of Fight Machine. All things considered, the second album turned out to be quite good in its own right.

Before leaving the band, original vocalist Jason Hominsky tracked two songs which would later appear on the Book Of Mourning full length disc. Also, during his short tenure in the band, vocalist Joe Bonnadio tracked these same two songs as well as two others in which appeared on the second full length. Both demo sessions were rather hard to come by as not many discs were passed out due to continual departures of both vocalists. Considering I attended every Built Upon Frustration show (minus a show in Columbus and an over 21 show when I had yet to reach that age), I managed to obtain copies of both sessions.

The group regretfully disbanded not longer after the release of The Book Of Mourning leaving many clamoring for a reunion show which will presumably never happen for more than a dozen reasons.

Resurrected is the first album I throw into the stereo whenever extremely shitty things happen in my life and I have no way to deal with it other than music. There are even a few tracks on The Book Of Mourning where Built Upon Frustration reminds me of their ability to be the angriest band of all time. There was supposedly a third album recorded for pre-production that never saw the light of day. Hopefully one day these tracks will see an unofficial release via the Path To Misery blog.

DOWNLOAD: Low Life Crew
DOWNLOAD: Resurrected
DOWNLOAD: The Book Of Mourning