Archive for Hardcore

Album Review – Killswitch Engage “Killswitch Engage” 2009

Posted in Album Reviews, FourFiveSix with tags , , , , on March 9, 2011 by Lightning Slim

Monday: “Hey, chicken!”

Tuesday: “There’s some chicken left. That’s okay.”

Wednesday: “There better be some gravy kicking around.”

Thursday: “Unh, chicken again?!”

5 out of 10

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Classic Album Review – Sepultura “Chaos A.D.” 1993

Posted in Album Reviews, Sevens to Nines with tags , , , , , , on January 18, 2011 by Lightning Slim

  After touring for a year on Arise, Sepultura had proved everything that needed proving about their ability to provide world-class technical thrash metal. To follow this up, they decided to say less about what they could do  and more about who they really were, which at the time meant multicultural anarchists with a decidedly political axe to grind. If Arise was an assault rifle of riffs, Chaos A.D. is a pipe-bomb explosion of punk aggression.

Good bands inhabit their genres, great ones invent their own. In the tribal drumming of “Refuse/Resist”, the acoustic loneliness of “Kaiowas” and the raw protest music of “Manifest” Sepultura helped to forge a global metal movement well away from the concerns of elite white culture. They brought producer Andy Wallace along with them, and one of the best decisions he’s ever made was to let them run with it. To experience this record is to be invited into a world of pain, poverty and oppression tempered by a powerful tribal solidarity with no interest whatsoever in papering over anyone’s cultural complicity. Chaos A.D. is a record that hates your guts for needing to hear it. It will stare you in the face and you will look away, only to follow in its wake. 

Why? Because it shows the brilliance of the musicians behind it; it’s heavy and groovy as hell. Because it looks ahead to the tribal freak-out that is Roots; without this album as a primer you could not even handle the raw power of the next. Because the best punk album of the 90’s was by a Brazilian thrash metal band. 9 out of 10 

Album Review – Shockwave “Omega Supreme” 2001

Posted in Album Reviews, Deals & Steals, FourFiveSix with tags , , , , , on August 10, 2010 by Lightning Slim

  There is sometimes a bit of silver lining to being a not-necessarily-successful hardcore band. A) your career output fits on a single disc. B) that disc ends up in the $2 delete bin, giving the band a second life among the curious. 

Omega Supreme, subtitled The Complete Collection: 1996-2001 contains the album Autohate, the Dominicon EP, Warpath single and a couple of demos and unreleased tracks. The sound is classic NY hardcore a la Biohazard or Pro-pain with all the inherent shout-outs, slowdowns and threats of beat-down. Also,  in case you hadn’t noticed, these guys really like the Transformers.

The songs are saved from complete terribility by decent playing, solid recording and an admirable dedication to conceptual continuity. I must admit, “Bruticus” gets stuck in my head due to sheer catchiness and a dim memory that he was one of my favourite Decepticons. For fans of a certain 80’s TV show, there are plenty of fun (and lawsuit-worthy) sound bites here which must have coasted under the radar of the “Earth Germs” in charge. Omega Supreme holds my attention long just enough to retain its place on my shelf, even after everyone else has transformed and rolled out. 6 out of 10

Classic Album Review – Suicidal Tendencies “Lights…Camera…Revolution” 1990

Posted in Album Reviews, Sevens to Nines with tags , , , , , on February 23, 2010 by Lightning Slim

Fond memories of “Trip at the Brain” and “Institutionalized” notwithstanding, 1990’s Lights… held all the right ingredients for the most successful period in ST’s history. Not only did this one blow up big on the strength of opener “You Can’t Bring Me Down”, Mike Muir and Robert Trujillo were also producing great  sounds as the Infectious Grooves. There’s a taste of that side project’s urban roots on  funky second single “Send Me Your Money”, but what the band mostly do with their newfound cash and production muscle is indulge their inner Ozzy. Everything is big, operatic and sprawling, a tactic well-suited to updating their melancholy period (“Alone”) and punk roots (“Disco’s Out, Murder’s In”) alike.

It’s slick, it’s cohesive and it holds up well over the years. Unfortunately, the sheer accessibility of Lights…Camera…Revolution would lead the band to question their own street cred and self-sabotage in a messy spiral,  culminating in a dull thud of garage-punk that never held the hunger of the early years or the intelligence of this time. One of the first trumpet blasts of a charge that would see the ascendancy of Rage Against The Machine, this document of revolution endures. 8 out of 10

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