Friday, January 30, 2009


There's something about western PA bands that is different. Whether you are into the bands or not, one must acknowledge the creativity flowing from the area. Abnegation, Creation Is Crucifixion, Zao, Brother's Keeper ... everyone in this area at the time was continually striving to do something on their own terms; Passover is no different in this scenario.

Arising from the small town of Greensburg, PA in the early 90s from the ashes of former band, Transit (a band who's split 7" with Package-E will be uploaded in the near future), Passover pushed the limits of what was acceptable within hardcore at the time; both lyrically and musically. Atheistic poetry layed atop dissonant, frantic metal riffing led to the creation of a very unique sound on their one and only release.

As is typically the case with groundbreaking bands of the past from this area, little-to-no recognition was ever given to Passover. The only mention that I have ever heard outside of a handful of locals occasionally bringing up the band in conversation has been on the Zao DVD released a year or two ago on Ferret Records. Zao vocalist Daniel Weyandt, who has, for years, continually been given credit within the christian hardcore scene as being the first to incorporate a black metal influenced vocal style to hardcore, fully admits to the major influence in which Passover held over Zao; specifically the vocal stylings of Jack Wright.

Sadly this group never even released a demo that I can look forward to tracking down over the next few years. Many efforts have been made to get these songs re-released in either the vinyl format or at least some sort of CD repress as this split CD was limited to 1000 copies (with perhaps the worst layout ever put to print, on top of that). Former vocalist Jack Wright now partakes in another metalcore group who goes by the name of Sanctify Her Death while guitarist Brad creates some rather intense noise in the black metal realm with his new project, Abysme.

Oh yeah, the No Retreat portion of the split. While No Retreat will always be near and dear to my heart as I was fortunate enough to legitimately see the band nearly every weekend for the first couple years that I started going to shows, Passover straight up blows them out of the water on this split. While No Retreat later took on a harder, more Hatebreed-influenced sound on their next demo and full length, Rise Of The Underdog, the material on this split is very reminiscent of the ever-so-popular PAHC breakbeat style popularized by Krutch. While their contribution to this split serves its purpose as an influence to "cut that shit up old school knife fight style", the legendary status goes to Passover on this one.

Ian Malcom is all over the Passover side of the split, by the way.



Editor's Note: Passover bassist Jim now partakes in Helsinki, who I will be seeing on March 27th. While there are no songs on their page yet, the description I've been given has been "mid-90s hardcore meets Jesus Lizard".


KimmoPT said...

Hey, great that you have this!
I have been watching the Zao DVD and thinking about those bands.
Do you have any stuff from Seasons In The Field? Would like to hear it.
Their split with Pensive is awailable at Amazon in a reasonable price and I have been thinking of ordering it.

AJ said...

I'm working on it ... a friend of mine has material from both bands, just trying to work out a date to go to his place and rip it.

EMS / COREGASM said...

dude, i have so been wanting this passover stuff! sooo good. These songs make me want to smash shit. If i'm not mistaken singer Jack gnarly broke his leg during a Brother's Keeper set at the Continental ballroom and had to be taken away in an ambulance. We stopped playing mid song when we had heard a commotion, then checked to see if everything was cool (we couldnt see anything at all from where we were standing plus there were hundreds of kids). We then finished the set. The PC police of erie at the time then crucified us for finishing playing and overly glamorized the event saying "we played our songs without a care while some kid laid sprawled out on the floor" as if we didnt care. These were people that just wanted any reason to try to tear us down. Other people told us that while Jack was being carried out on a stretcher that he was saying for us to keep playing and singing along. Who knows, like we honestly didnt care someone got hurt?!? but yeah, passover.... good shit for sure.

jv said...

wow. This was really flattering. Thanks. I played bass in that band.

I have some transit demos but they might be pretty disappointing because we were way into ripping off earth crisis and biohazard at the time.

re: the worse designed cover ever...pretty much. we left the studio, walked to a goodwill and bought some hippie book of affirmations. picked the picture of a flower and then got back to recording.

Jack was totally singing along when he was being carried out on the stretcher. He was actually shaking one of his legs and pretending to dance. For about 6 months after that, he would just play shows laying on the floor.

raviisangry said...

Any chance you can upload the package e transit split? thanks