Perhaps the best aspect of doing this band has been some of the people I've had the pleasure of meeting along the line. One of the first examples that comes to mind are the people I've had the pleasure of "meeting" from Japan. Granted, we've never met in real life and barely speak the same language, I feel a sort of connection through the similarities we've realized through our respective musical endeavors. If anyone reading this knows me in real life, you know that it is quite rare for me to think this way. It is quite rare for me to consider myself close to someone solely due to enjoying the same type of music and I am far from being a preacher of hardcore unity. The people who I have met from Japan, however, seem to exude a sort of sincerity and genuineness that I remember receiving from people from when I first started going to shows and getting involved with helping out bands. This legitimacy portrayed in their personalities shines through rather exquisitely in their bands.
Perhaps the recordings could be better ... the broken English may sometimes stand in the way of deciphering what it is, exactly, that they're trying to convey ... and while a lot of the riffs you hear may be lifted from an obscure 7" from the 90s ... I decided to put together a sort of digital "mix tape" of some of my favorite bands I've encountered from their portion of the world. Admittedly, I am probably slightly favorable to these bands due to their similarity with all of my favorite bands from the 90s; yet, once again, I stress the heart and passion that somehow manages to cut through the rough edges of most of what you're about to hear.
Nearly every band I am about to share is affiliated with Bloodaxe Communications/Retribution Network ... a sort of label/network centered in Tokyo in which sets up fests and tours for their bands as well as releasing most of their demos and albums. After listening to the included songs, I highly suggest going over to their MySpace page and further investigating their bands.
Thanks to the efforts of Hiro (plays in Loyal To The Grave, God's Heritage, and is co-founder of Retribution Network), Path To Misery's demo and full length have been well-circulated in that area. In turn, the releases of these Retribution Network bands are also available here, in the US, through me. We've traded hundreds of discs over the past year or so and there is a good chance that I can supply you with a release from most of the bands contained within. Anything from $1 compilations to live DVDs to legitimately pressed full lengths CD have resulted from this label which truly embodies the DIY ethic; perhaps even moreso than former counterparts.
I'm not uploading Mp3s of these bands current releases (most of what you would hear on their MySpace pages) as they are still very eager to get their releases into your hands. I have, however, included what I feel to be the best tracks from the twenty or so compilations in which I've attained through our trading sessions. Hopefully this post can be used as some sort of renewal of faith for those who may have, perhaps, given up on finding new bands who are driven by legitimate sincerity.
Divebombs, open chugging, and a lot of mentioning of "blood", "sentient", and "jihad" contained within ... get excited.
(Editor's Note: Due to MediaFire only allowing files under 100MB to be uploaded, several bands had to be omitted. Regretfully, the tracks I had from Genesis, Blood Calls We Die, The Ten Commandments, Hands Upon Salvation, and The Fortress amongst many others had to be cut. Please make special note to check these bands out at their respective pages.)