Hardcore

Xibalba – Hasta La Muerte Review

Xibalba – Hasta La Muerte Review

Xibalbá is the name of the Mayan underworld: not exactly a nice place, it must be said. A cave next to Alta Verapaz, somewhere in central Guatemala, is the entry to this domain whose hottest places, to quote none other than Dante Alighieri, “are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.” If there’s a circle which refuses to stay neutral in favour of a purely negative stance, it’s a band from Southern California whose name, doom and gloom take us straight to the Mayan idea of hell.

Biohazard – Reborn in Defiance Review

Biohazard – Reborn in Defiance Review

Oh man. Biohazard were one of those bands that really broke me into heavy music when I was just a tyke. While the band’s debut, which oddly enough was largely edited verbally, never did much for me, Urban Discipline, State of the World Address (I still have the version with the orange gel case somewhere), and the much maligned Mata Leao were all albums that dug into my 10 to 14 year old soul and left permanent impressions. Those records were tough, heavy slabs of machismo that with Type O Negative, Life of Agony and Sepultura paved the way towards the heavier side of tracks. Unfortunately, I grew away from these guys and, I’m going to be frank, their records really started going downhill in quality (turns out I *wasn’t* down for life). So, when I saw that the original lineup had reunited for a new record (before Evan Seinfeld left the band), I gotta say: I was interested in spite of myself.

Vise Massacre – Expendable Humans Review

Vise Massacre – Expendable Humans Review

Here’s something slightly different for us here at Angry Metal Guy Worldwide Industries. Vise Massacre is a Brooklyn-based hardcore/punk-thrash power trio and Expendable Humans is their debut full-length (a very short one at thirty-one minutes). Although it’s fairly thrashy and abrasive, there’s no mistaking that this is pure hardcore with similarities to vets of the past like Cryptic Slaughter, Cro-Mags and Sick of It All. It’s all short bursts of fast, chunky punk rage, with most songs (fourteen of em) clocking in at, or under, two minutes. There are some decent riffs scattered about and some really aggressive, herky-jerky, pissed-off material, but sadly, not much here really interests or grabs me in the slightest. Now, let’s be clear. I’m not anti-hardcore at all. In fact, I really like the bands mentioned above. This just feels entirely generic and flat to me, almost like paint-by-numbers angry punk. This somewhat surprised me, since these guys have a fair amount of underground buzz swirling around them.

Rabbits – Lower Forms Review

Rabbits – Lower Forms Review

OK. So. Let me preface this by saying that I’m not a huge fan of anything Rabbits is defined as. I don’t really like hardcore and haven’t liked it since I was in high school. And even then I only flirted with the genre and never really got into it. Second, I listen to a lot of music. I get new music every day and I hear new shit all the time. I try to be pretty open minded, but sometimes I just don’t like shit. And I really, really, really don’t like Rabbits – Lower Forms. I’m sure these guys are OK with that, though, because that’s the point of being counter cultural.

The Ocean – Anthropocentric Review

The Ocean – Anthropocentric Review

gotta say up front that I am not a big fan of sludge, I mean, you should be forewarned of this. So when I first heard The Ocean’s controversial (and apparently much hated) opus Heliocentric I was really happy about it. It was way more shoegaze or post-hardcore than it was sludge or anything really coming near to it. Short on the hardcore and tall on the clean vocals, I was impressed. I gave it a 4.5/5.0 and I stand by that (in spite of the incessant whining of jilted fans). So I was pretty interested to take a listen to the follow-up Anthropocentric. And my worst fears were confirmed: they pulled an Opeth. Soft record. Heavy record. Blech. Anyone else ever notice that this never works?