TEN FROM THE TOMB is a weekly feature in the form of a themed list devoted to grouping together albums of similar interest that I missed throughout the year 2019. These albums were overlooked for review for any number of reasons with the most common reason being constraint of time. I have a policy of covering 99% of everything I receive in some form, be it mini-review or full-feature, so don’t hesitate to send anything and everything my way.
Here I present a ten album sampler of some of the absolute best hardcore punk and related music I’ve received for review consideration (so far) this year. Consider it reminder to shake loose the chaos of the sophisticated mind and defy all things that control you day by day. Most of these albums made it here to Ten From the Tomb because I couldn’t manage the time for a long-form review or because I really didn’t have more than a paragraph or two worth of insight beyond banal description. If you’re not into the selection this week, relax! This’ll be back every 7 days with 10 more albums from different styles, genres, themes, etc.
Hey! Don’t dive in thinking this will all be shit just because I am not doing full reviews for these releases! I always have some quality control in mind and look for expressive, meaningful, or just damn heavy releases that hold value without gimmickry or bland plagiarism. This weeks focus was chosen because a quick flip through the year in hardcore saw a grip of great hardcore punk records I didn’t have time to write about. Thank you! I am eternally grateful for the support of readers and appreciate the friendly and positive interactions I’ve had with all thus far. Think my opinions are trash and that I suck? Want to totally tell me off, bro? Click away and let’s all live more sensible lives full of meaningful interactions. I’m too old and bored with people to care.
|Title [Type/Year]||Savage Monstrosities [LP/2019]|
|Rating [3.75/5.0]||BUY from Tankcrimes|
Screaming psychotropic thrashing hardcore punk from folks who’d cut their teeth in Metamorphosis (Peru), Deadfall, Starlite Coffins and continue to blow minds with their free-whirling atmospherics and ‘running up the stairs’ kinda riffs. ‘Savage Monstrosities’ has been that record I’d kept coming back to over and over but didn’t have much to write about. I hear a love for west coast early 80’s hardcore and maybe even some surf/garage punk ideas along the way. For 12″ LP it is remarkably short at 15 minutes but no doubt ‘Savage Monstrosities’ is the tightest, most succinct punch of Los Huaycos yet. Biggest songs of the bunch: Total ripper “Monstruosidades Salvajes” and the pure suffocation of “No Consegui Nada”.
|Title [Type/Year]||Come, Annihilation [EP/2019]|
|Rating [3.5/5.0]||BUY from Prison|
Nihilistic, sarcastic and apathetic on paper but a good amount of fun in person is not only the perfect fill-in for an ‘About Me:’ in an online dating profile for the average too-stoned punk-aligned Seattleite folk but also slick way to angle into the music of Prison— a sometimes metallic hardcore punk trio who’ve been kicking around the area for at least a decade now. They thrash around a bit, hit a few metal riffs, chunk into a crust ripper, and generally leave a slug trail of grime and cigarette butts as they do it on this latest EP ‘Come, Annihilation’. There is that bit of stoney-dark humor to it all that I can appreciate, “He lived as he died / Knee deep in the dead…” says it all really, I’m not saying this shits “fun”-core but there is a sulky, sneering vibe atop the oomph of their noisome richness.
|Title [Type/Year]||Ei kuole koskaan [LP/2019]|
|Rating [3.5/5.0]||BUY from Suicide Records|
Hey if you appreciated melodic hardcore growing up in the 90’s and found your niche in the sometimes metallic-tinged Scandinavian section of that grid I’d say the evolution of Finnish band Tryer has a lot to offer. As someone who still owns records by bands like Oheisvasara I ‘get’ the brash and flatly shouted vocal harmonies on ‘Ei kuole koskaan’ because they’re meant to be so over the top in the tradition of Finnish hardcore. The band clearly meant to sound a bit nuts but still have fun with it, providing a musically interesting record that drops some of their chunkier, muscled riffing for something much more in line with mid-90’s melodic hardcore from their region. I appreciated getting slapped around by a record that wasn’t solely there to remind me of the coming apocalypse while still being reasonable heavy. All of Tryer’s strengths as a metallic melodic hardcore band can be summed up within “Vaivoin Ehjä, Vaivoin Vain”.
|Title [Type/Year]||Cruel World [EP/2019]|
|Rating [3.75/5.0]||BUY from The Shrine|
I’ve been a huge fan of The Shrine‘s garage metal/skate punk excess since they’d covered Black Flag‘s “In My Head” just prior to the release of ‘Bless Off’ (2014), a record that surely embodied the junked-ass side of Venice, California past and present in the best way possible. It’d land them a deal with Century Media for their next album, which I’d honestly just totally missed, and now several years later the trio have a new third and a slightly different sound in 2019. ‘Cruel World’ leans into their LA punk rock n’ roll side, and I’d like to type ‘rawk’ but shit, I don’t think that’d been socially acceptable since 1999 so, I’ll let the addition of Corey Parks (ex-Nashville Pussy) speak for itself. This EP reminds me of the hey-dey of Electric Frankenstein, Hellacopters, Hot Snakes, etc. where that ‘roll’ is bigger than the riffs (most of the time). Dirty up that guitar tone a bit and I’ll be all about this side of the band.
|Title [Type/Year]||Inhuman Nature [LP/2019]|
|Rating [3.25/5.0]||BUY from Inhuman Nature|
There is no shortage in sight of ‘old school’ crossover thrash bands who’re cropping up with a harder, moshable edge a la early Cro-Mags and for sure count London based Inhuman Nature in with the crowd. So, if you don’t remember where this style of music went beyond ‘Age of Quarrel’, the inevitable result is either a late 80’s/early 90’s Agnostic Front sort of sound or, basically Strife, and I’d say Inhuman Nature are somewhere in between. ‘Inhuman Nature’ will appeal to folks who’re already pretty hyped about Power Trip, Iron Age, Enforced, and the many other bands playing these big ‘breakdown thrash’ riffs but I’m not sure they’re bringing their own angle. Not a dig, I’m all for this type of stuff, but I would like to imagine they’re looking for an edge that’ll push beyond obvious comparison. Gang shouts are particularly cool when they pop up. “Satan’s Claw” has this incredible ‘evil thrash’ side to it that is just an inch away from early 90’s metalcore. I found the full listen reasonably satisfying.
|Title [Type/Year]||Adrenaline [EP/2019]|
|Rating [3.5/5.0]||BUY from Flatspot Records|
Flatspot Records have the pulse of real hardcore in mind at all times although this is the first release in the last year where I felt like they’d scored a 90’s styled metallic hardcore band that really nailed it. This self-titled debut EP from Baltimore hardcore band Adrenaline is most definitely influenced by the kind of stuff you’d find featured in a Revelation Records (or Victory Records) mail order around 1995-1998. Youth crew song structures, metal chunking guitar tones with harmonics whipped out left and right, moshable stuff that isn’t so obsessed with breakdowns that it becomes tasteless… Hell, I love any record that keeps the spirit of late 80’s hardcore and doesn’t go full on stupid with the mosh metal parts and I’d say this is a solid beast for the most part. Only thing I’m not into is the use of movie samples which clash so strangely with the music.
|Title [Type/Year]||Ensomhedens Kolde Kald [Full-length/2019]|
|Rating [3.75/5.0]||BUY from Nyt Liv/Indisciplinarian|
Danish hardcore punk band Nyt Liv speak to the ills and joys of the human experience without pretension on their debut ‘Ensomhedens Kolde Kald’, a record defined by hooks and feeling more than it is any sort of performative spirit. It plays like a gritty hardcore band gone hard rock band, something like if Kvelertak were covering mid-career Fucked Up. European hardcore tinged rock music? I guess I’d struggle to really nail down their sound and that’d be the main reason why I didn’t write a full review but man, I spent plenty of time sitting with this record and loving the mix of Scandinavian sullen rock with hardcore n’ roll heaviness. Definitely stick around for Side B because it is even better than the first half.
|Title [Type/Year]||Meatwound [Full-length/2019]|
|Rating [4.0/5.0]||BUY from Dark Operative|
Tampa, Florida’s burliest dark hardcore act Meatwound edge in an even heavier sound on their third full-length while cranking the brain melting noise rock/chaotic hardcore aspect they’ve been perfecting. So many modern hardcore record I come across do the same bullshit metal bands do, find a cool sound but die a quiet death when it comes to writing memorable songs, not Meatwound they’re old pros who know some level of musical worth is the difference between a lost gem and an unmarked grave. No doubt I loved this album, I didn’t for a second sit there thinking “well, they sound like this, this and that…” and that’d be a damn rarity in 2019. That fuckin’ havoc riff on “Fist of God”, the punch of the bass tone on “Nightmare Farm”, etc. the whole damn thing is going to be a revelation to folks with taste that crosses between sludge, dark hardcore, and noise rock.
|Title [Type/Year]||Die in Bombay [EP/2019]|
|Rating [3.75/5.0]||BUY from Death by Fungi|
Consider what a great defiance punk music must be considered in a place like Mumbai, India where the next generation of young people are sick of caste and enforced class after generations of being told to stay in line. Death By Fungi aren’t just a politically striking statement but their ability to mold and weave hardcore into freshly modern but still inherently enraged structures has improved in leaps and bounds in their six years in action thus far. ‘Die in Bombay’ is a succinct window into Death By Fungi‘s world, a ruinous and dissonant growl of screaming hardcore that blasts out a two minute depth charge at a time. Influences from post-hardcore, metallic hardcore, and such keep each of these four songs in their own lanes and make this probably the best introduction to the bands sound.
|Title [Type/Year]||What Time Takes [EP/2019]|
|Rating [4.25/5.0]||BUY from WAR Records|
You gotta go jump over to WAR Records and catch up with all the youth crew, straight edge, metallic hardcore, and crossover thrash they’re breaking out with. Big releases from Enforced (who’re touring with High Command) and Fixation aside, label owner and Strife guitarist Andrew Kline‘s own band Berthold City continues to fire on all cylinders. ‘What Time Takes’ is that ultra seamless throwback to the most classic era of straight edge hardcore punk– Intense, present, high-energy, and conscious for the greater good. So, the angle here from my own experience is that youth crew from young folks for young folks always felt I dunno, like a youth pastor who’d never lived enough to share wisdom he could sell. Today the perspective Kline brings is steadfast, conscious from a point of experience, and it is something I’ll happily listen to and feel great soaking up. I don’t think anyone from that early 90’s scene is cranking out records as sharp and clear-headed as Berthold City in 2019 and I have nothing but praise for each EP these guys release.
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