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".

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hopes Of Harmony... Abnegation ... just wanted to say that this is the best song ever written. Ever.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Path To Misery/Japan Connection

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.)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

CHAPTER: Discography

I'm putting this Chapter album up as an honored request for Yusuke over at the Broken Dust blog. I'm actually not very familiar with this project in which pre-dated Creation Is Crucifixion, but I'll throw out the information that I do know. Existing from 1995 until 1997, the line-up consisted of Nathan Martin on vocals, Scott Mellinger and Dan Deemer on guitar, Tim Krupar on bass, and Mike Laughlin on drums. The following upload is their complete discography which was the first release on xEyewitnessx Recordings out of France. Hard enough to find in itself, this discography contains the band's original 1995 demo, their hard-to-find "Sins Of Our Fathers" 7" and both of their nearly-as-rare split 7"s.

The progression is quite obvious throughout this release which is in reverse chronological order. Tracks 14-20 make up the original 1995 demo. Tracks 5-13 are some combination of a 1996 demo and the Sins Of Our Fathers 7" (which I do not own and would greatly appreciate a copy of). Tracks 3 and 4 are taken from their split 7" with Abnegation while tracks 1 and 2 were from their final release in 1997, which was a split 7" with Junta. One bit of information I can give is that the final two Chapter songs (from the Junta split) were taken and re-released as the first Creation Is Crucifixion release. Self-released in three different presses, the one-sided 7" served as a transition from Chapter into Creation Is Crucifixion alongside the addition of Paul Nowoczynski on second guitar and the departure of Tim Krupar on bass. Guitarist Scott Mellinger stuck around through the transition between bands but left the group soon after to join Zao.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

RACETRAITOR: Burn The Idol Of The White Messiah

I feel like anything I can say about Racetraitor has already been said.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Let's get into it.

Here is my record collection that I typed out on Dead Format. Get in touch if you have a list on there (or any other record trading site) and we'll try to work out some mutually beneficial trades.

Record List -

I typed out my list of videos that I have. 99% of them are master copies of shows I've taped from over the past 9 years. There's a lot of local bands, but also a lot of more well-known bands. I'm looking for anything ... not going to be picky in what I trade for. I'd prefer DVDs, but VHS tapes will work as well as long as you can be smart enough to tape in SP mode. Send me a list of what you want and what you have ... I'm sure we can make some trades happen.

Video List -

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

ABNEGATION: Discography

For the past few months I had kept in touch with Iggy (former Abnegation vocalist) about the prospect of releasing a discography CD for this highly under-appreciated band from the mid-90s. With neither side looking to make any sort of financial gain from the theoretical release, the only thing that could potentially prevent it from happening would be someone outside of the conversation owning both the original DAT tapes and the copyrights to said tapes. Regretfully, however, this is the case in this specific scenario.

Rewinding a few years back to when I had a bit more faith in and enthusiasm for the 'core, I was the furthest thing from an Abnegation fan. I was staunch in my stance against bands who no longer embodied the beliefs in which they held for the duration of the project. I felt as though the "selling out" process cheapened the dedication of bands like Earth Crisis who are, to my knowledge, the only vegan straight edge band who has remained "true" even seven years after their initial break-up. I've since learned to take things to heart slightly less and have developed an appreciation for bands who stood for whatever it was they stood for, if only for the handful of years in which they were active.

While I am in no way comparing the brief tenure of conviction held by bands such as Abnegation to that of a band such as Earth Crisis, I'm merely illustrating the appreciation one can hold for the moment in time in which these bands managed to spark some sort of emotion into lives of those who were lucky enough to be there. I am sure there is, at the very least, one person who is still vegan or straight edge to this day due to the lyrics and/or speeches conveyed by this band. In my eyes, this fact makes the band legitimate regardless of whatever paths the members have taken since the dissolution of the band.

That being said, I always thought Abnegation sucked musically up until about two years ago. This can be contributed 100% to the fact that the only release I had from the band was the Verses Of The Bleeding full length released on Good Life Recordings in 1997. We'll cover this issue later in the post, but for now, we're going to go back in time a bit.

Starting in Erie, PA in 1993, Abnegation self-released their demo entitled Life For A Life. Ardently illustrating their militancy on issues such as abortion and animal rights, blatant lyrics were put into effect from the very beginning of the band. The first track on their 1994 follow-up 7" (Extinguish The Sickness) only further emphasized their pro-life stance with the title Birthright. Starting the song off with a soundclip of a beating heart and ending with a repeating chant of "the fetus is a life", there were no question as to where the band stood on the issue of abortion. Oh yeah, the 7" came out on Militant Records.

Amidst much controversy (as was normal for the time), the band lined up two releases for 1995; the first being the In The Eye Of The Storm 7" on Enigmatic Records. Featuring two new songs alongside a re-recorded and re-vamped version of the song In The Eye Of The Storm (which previously appeared on the Extinguish The Sickness 7"), the new release followed along the path of controversy in which the band was essentially paving. Later in the same year, Catalyst Records released the Jihad 7", which was commonly referred to as being self-titled due to the lack of the album title on the cover. Once again featuring two new songs, the b-side to the 7" featured the a-side to the previously released 7" of the same year. I'm not too sure why, possibly because the pressing of the Catalyst release was double that of what Enigmatic Records could offer.

Looking back, the release of the song Hopes Of Harmony on the Stones To Mark A Fire compilation is really the only way Abnegation could have topped themselves after the release of the preceding 7"s. Put together in 1995 as a benefit CD for Rod Coronado, the release also included unreleased tracks from Earth Crisis and Hatebreed amongst many other notables from the era. Hopes Of Harmony was rivaled on the comp only by The Order That Shall Be by Earth Crisis. The intensity of the song can be seen here as the first of three tracks recorded at the legendary Cleveland Fest in 1996.

1996 would mark the final year for the original incarnation of Abnegation. Nearly simulataneously releasing the As The Stone Strikes The Cedar demo cassette alongside the split 7" with Pittsburgh, PA's Chapter, Abnegation's original line-up went out with more than a bang. The split with Chapter is without question the best release from Michigan's +/- Records. Over 2000 copies were pressed and the release is still sought after by those "in the know". Two songs from the As The Stone Strikes The Cedar sessions were put onto the Lake Effect Scene Report compilation. I have included the CD rips of those two songs while only having a low quality cassette rip of the third track, Chalice Of Gaia. I have had good luck thusfar through this blog of receiving Mp3s that I have requested in return for my efforts of posting what I do ... hopefully the tradition will continue in this post.

There were four songs recorded during the "Stone session". The fourth track was a re-recorded version of the song Shiver which, for whatever reason, did not appear on the cassette (of which only approximately 100 were made). Iggy told me that he is rather certain that no one outside of the band has ever had the chance to hear this re-recorded masterpiece.

Not long after the release of this demo and split in 1996, main composer and lead guitarist Paul left the band to pursue the formation of a new project entitled Creation Is Crucifixion in Pittsburgh, PA. Several shows were performed as a four-piece before the departure of vocalist Iggy. Rhythm guitarist Nate Black would also soon quit to pursue other projects (including xDisciplex and Run Devil Run). Remaining members Chris Leonard (on drums) and Dave Steele (on bass) decided to recruit local guitarist Doug Corey in order to keep the band functioning as a three-piece. The second incarnation of the band forged ahead to release the much-anticipated full length record on Good Life Recordings. Many people were disappointed with the release due to the new sound and relinquishment of political stances once held by the band. The group disbanded not long afterwards and the project has lay dormant (sans one reunion show in 2003) ever since.

Normally whenever I do an upload thread, I will include everything I have by a band and allow the listener to decide for oneself as to what releases are worth their time. This is not the case, however, this time around. The final full length was flat out atrocious and I'm not going to subject anyone to the pain that is listening to this album. As stated earlier in the post, it was this album (and its ease of availabilty in comparison to the 7"s) that kept me from appreciating this band for however many years. I promise you that its nothing more than uninspired, rehashed, third-tier "metal" placed alongside several re-recordings of old classics. My blood is boiling at the mere thought of the album.

All of this being said, I'm glad that I've allowed myself to appreciate bands such as Abnegation for the influence that they contributed to the hardcore scene in years past, regardless of its length in tenure.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

THE FUNERAL: Discography

In keeping with the spirit of my last post, I'm going to post albums from yet another band in which I missed the reunion show of; in turn making myself look like a shithead.

As you may have noticed, there haven't been many "standard" sounding hardcore bands on this blog. The genre had become stale to my ears many years ago. The lack of sincerity behind most of these newer bands playing the style is both laughable and disheartening. While admittedly, upon first listen, one could easily confuse this band as "typical", I assure you all that The Funeral, from Syracuse, NY, contains as much intensity and legitimacy as any band of any genre.

Completely annihilating any of these current bands who are playing the "angst-ridden" role, The Funeral created an album of pure adrenaline and apparent outrage. Where bands like The Hope Conspiracy and other "rock influenced hardcore" bands always struck me as being nothing more than a babe-impressing gimmick, The Funeral stands firm in their distress which is eloquently displayed through their music. Possessing equal influences of both driving rock riffs and intense hardcore persona, this band got things right.

While I also included their debut demo and their self-released final album, I primarily want to stress the relevance of the Ruled By None album which is included in the bundle. The album is what everyone within the genre is trying to attain. It doesn't hurt that the album is riddled with sound clips from The Big Lebowski. Vocalist Ryan Canavan (of Hex Records fame) later went on to form the short-lived No Idols, which was of a similar nature of The Funeral. He now partakes in an early 90s-inspired, Dischord-esque project entitled Mistletoe ... which you can check out at