Reviews July / August 2005


Voice of Reason, c/o Stefan Muench, Dreihalde 15, 73527 Hussenhofen, Germany


AINARA LEGARDON - Each Day A Lie (CD / Aloud Music)






AS I LAY DYING – Shadows Are Security (CD / Metal Blade)

With so many Metalcore releases every month it´s just impossible to follow everything that´s going on. And with so many bands sounding similar it all tends to get exhausting and boring. But every now and then there´s an album that reignites the flame and that shows that not yet everything is said when it comes to Metalcore. AS I LAY DYING´s second album, “Frail Words Collaps” was a surprising success two years ago and everything was expecting them to be the next big thing. So expectations were high regarding “Shadows Are Security”. And let me tell you: Nobody who liked the last album will be disappointed. Especially “Meaning in tragedy”, “Confined” and “The darkest nights” are prove that AS I LAY DYING are able to write melody-lines that won´t leave your head for days. Awesome! “Shadows Are Security” is a great mixture of aggressiveness and breathtaking melodies. Of course, everybody who expects something new and revolutionary will be disappointed, but in my eyes this record has the power and the harmonies that jump right in your face and that save this album from being background music like so many other recent Metalcore releases. Too bad that there are two letdowns called “Illusions” and “Control is dead” which features Zao singer D. Weyandt. But nevertheless “Shadows Are Security” is an awesome release and should satisfy a lot of those people who started to lose interest in new Metalcore releases (like I did). Highly recommended!!! (Tobi)



THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER – Miasma (CD / Metal Blade)

2003 saw the release of THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER´s first full-length “Hallowed” which was compared to late At The Gates stuff. Two years later THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER are back with their second album called “Miasma” and I´m pretty sure that nobody will find any At The Gates influences. “Miasma” is faster and far more pissed off than “Hallowed” and this development suits those five guys well. In one review I read the reviewer compared “Miasma” to Carcass or Napalm Death. I don´t want to go that far but on thing´s for sure: Vocalist Trevor Strnad still offers the whole variety of growls and screams which in connection with the numerous blast-parts will please all Grind fanatics out there. The band succeeded in trying to write more complex arrangements and keep the listener´s attention with interesting and diverse songwriting. Personally, I think that THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER have their strongest moments when they slow down a bit and prove to us that they´re still able to write some catchy guitar harmonies. Compared to “Hallowed” the number of those parts has decreased a bit but that´s the direction the band wanted to go and they definitely managed to take the next step into the extreme and promise a lot more for the future. Damn good album! (Tobi)



BLOOMINGTON - Kill The Rock Stars We Were (CD / Aloud Music)






BOLD -- The Search: 1985 - 1989 (CD / Revelation Records)

To be honest, I never was the biggest Bold fan, but this compilation is the right thing for people like me who don't already have all the songs this influential Hardcore ever out out. Bold were always something like the little brothers of Youth of Today, and after listening to these songs I wonder why I didn't give this band more attention in the past. 32(!) songs can be found on this CD: First there are the seven songs from "Looking back", then there's the song from the "The way it is" comp followed by the CD bonus track for the "Speak out" CD. After that there's the "Speak out" LP (including an unreleased song from the "Speak out" sessions!), the song from the "Together" comp, the track from the unreleased "Changing of leaves" comp that was to come out on Wishing Well Records, and finally the "Join the fight" 7" by Crippled Youth (pre-Bold). And apart from the Crippled Youth tracks I like everything on here (now I REALLY wonder why I didn't give this band more attention in the past) and I would really like these guys to come over to Europe this fall (hopefully the rumours are true). I think most of you will already have noticed that even though Bold broke up in 1989, they reformed this year, already played a couple of shows, plan to release a new record and even recruited Porcell on second guitar! Come over here!! In the meantime, get this discography. Like the Judge discography, this CD comes with lots of pictures and cool liner notes by Matt Warncke. (Stefan)



CURL UP AND DIE - The One Above All, The End Of All That Is (CD / Revelation Records)






DEAD MAN'S HAND -- Demo 2005 (CD)

Dead Man's Hand are friends of Markus Striving For Togetherness and he distributes their demo. This demo features four songs in the vein of New York styled Hardcore that I really like a lot (perhaps even better than The Last Cause who also released a demo through SFT, see review below). I feel reminded to bands like Agnostic Front when it comes to the faster parts that have this "One voice" edge to them. The sound is cool, the layout nice and the whole thing is limited to 250 hand numbered copies, so better be quick. Contact: (Stefan)



DEAD POETS ALIVE - Feelings Overboard (CD / Pampa Music)






DRYROT - Godseyze (CD)






ESTATE - Arson Architecture (CD)






JUDGE -- What It Meant - The Complete Discography (CD / Revelation Records)

Everyone who's only slightly into Hardcore is surely aware of Judge, the outstanding sXe Hardcore outfit from New York. I can clearly remember when I first heard Judge. That was back in 1990 or 1992 when a friend of mine made me a tape that had Bad Religion's "No control" on side A and Gorilla Biscuits "Start today" along with "Bringin' it down" from Judge on side B. And even though I loved Bad Religion (and still do, "No control" is my favourite HC album ever) I was totally blown by the sheer intensity of Judge. Now after years in the making, this discography finally sees the light of day. It features (almost) everything that Judge ever put out: The first EP, entitled "New York Crew", the only full length "Bringin' it down", the infamous "Chung King can suck it" record, the farewell EP "The storm" and finally a song from their demo which was previously unreleased. And that's also what I meant with "almost" above: As far as I know the demo consisted of four tracks, yet only one song can be found on the CD. However, I heard that the other three tracks will be on the double vinyl which is coming out later this year. If you're not already in possession of these songs. get this discography. I mean "Bringin' it down" is one of the best records ever and absolutely timeless. And after having heard "Chung KIng can suck it" I can completely understand that Judge wanted to re-record this album as the production truly sucks. The CD comes with lots of nice pictures and interesting liner notes written by Porcell himself. Everyone into Hardcore must know this band. And hearing  this CD you once again know why Judge were unchallenged when it comes to angry, desperate and honest Hardcore. A must! (Stefan)



THE LAST CAUSE -- Step Ahead E.P. (CD)

The Last Cause are the latest singing by Striving For Togetherness Records, and before a full length will come out next year, these guys recorded a five track demo which is distributed by SFT. On this demo you can find four five and pissed off old school Hardcore songs that remind me to a mix of Negative Approach and ThrashCore (so don't expect Youth Crew old school here). What I like about this demo is that it is not just one of those demo CDRs with shitty cover and bad production, but a really cool demo with nice packaging and in a REAL pressing. Even though I prefer demo tapes, this one is cool and makes me really looking forward to the full length.  Contact: (Stefan)




LATTERMAN -- No Matter Where We Go (CD / Deep Elm Records)

I can clearly remember when I got a copy of Brandtson's ""Trying to figure each other out" album from Deep Elm a couple of years ago. I put that record on and from the very beginning I sensed that I liked this band and something great was on the way. You might wonder what this has to do with Latterman, a newer band on Deep Elm and when the review to their second "No matter where we go" will finally start. Well, I had the exact same feeling when I put this record on and the first chords of "Doom! Doom! Doom!" came on. Imagine a cross between new Hot Water Music and Smoke or Fire and throw in even more energy and enthusiasm and you'll get Latterman. According to the info sheet the album was recorded, mixed and mastered by Phil Douglas in his bedroom using a collection of borrowed microphones worth no more than $200. Believe me, you won't hear that as the sound is great. I can't pick out out particular songs for a first, just put this record on and listen to it LOUD! You'll get addicted soon, I promise. But don't worry, thanks to the good guys at Deep Elm Records, Latterman's debut album "Turn up the Punk, we'll be singing" will be re-released this November so new medicine is on the way. Long Island once again has to offer a great band! (Stefan)



LIPSERVICE - Cardboard Robots (CD / One Take)






LO:MUESO - Next:Materia (CD / Aloud Music)






NARZISS -- Ebenbilder+ (CD / Circulation Records)

I really liked the latest release by Narziß, "Neue Welt" a lot and therefore was happily surprised when I found a new CD by this band in my mailbox. It would be totally incorrect if one would say that this is just a re-release of their "Ebenbilder" EP from 2000 (which was sold out since 2001). In fact, the EP got a new mix as well as a new mastering and to give you even more value for ,money, another CD comes with the EP that features rare and previously unreleased songs. On CD 1 is the aforementioned "Ebenbilder" EP that is a bit different from "Neue Welt" as Narziß didn't play full on MetalCore but were a little bit more influenced by older Boy Sets Fire I would say. But also during these early days of the band youcould hear the influences that should become more dominant on later releases. So both thumbs up for CD 1. But the real winner is CD 2 with the collection of rare songs. And it's 22 songs in total! Songs from the demo tape can be found next to songs from the 1999 split with Nail, a song from the "Killing fields" compilation, a cover by 108 ("Deathbed", which was always my favourite 108 song) and an unreleased old song. And then there's a complete live set from 2003 that features two vocalists (on a side note: One of them, Rayk, has left the band, and original singer Alex has joined the band again). So to make it short: This re-release is definitely worth your attention and you should pick it up. (Stefan)



NME.MINE . Life Without Water (CD / Eat The Beat Music)






NOTHINK - Bipolar Age (CD / Aloud Music)






PELUZE - !?. (CD / Aloud Music)






THE PLANE IS ON FIRE -- s/t (CD Single / Strange Fruit Records)

This is a double A-side 7" and double A-side CD Single respectively featuring two songs, "Honeymoon" and "President suite" and the band's from Nürnberg, Germany. I hope that these guys don't get mad at me when I say that their music might also appeal to people who like bands such as Bloc Party, Franz Ferdinand or Interpol. Like these bands, The Plane Is On Fire have this characteristic straight forward drums, some keyboards and funny haircuts. Just kidding, I don't know about their haircuts, but the music is cool. Maybe their sound is a little bit more Soul influenced than the aforementioned bands, but I like this band and I'm looking forward to a full length from them. Check them out when they play in a club near you. (Stefan)



SCREAMIN' SILENCE / LAST DAY EVER -- Amicizia Famiglia Per Sempre (CD / Fuck This Recordings)

Coming soon!





THE SOVIETTES -- LP III (CD / Fat Wreck Chords)

Wow, this record truly rocks from beginning to end! I didn't know the Soviettes before, but this band makes it pretty easy for the listener (and the reviewer) to figure out which album you're listening to, as their first record was called "LP I", their second one "LP II" and now you can guess which record "LP III" is. I'm really into this band, because their music is a mixture of Bubblegum influenced Pop Punk, the Ramones and Screeching Weasel and, needless to say, totally great. The Soviettes consist of Susy, Danny, Sturgeon and Annie and everybody sings every now and then. I dodn't wanna bore you with any more superfluous descriptions how cool this  band is, but please, do yourself a favor and get this album, it's definitely worth your attention! (Stefan)



SYMBIONTIC – Vaya (Sylphony Creations)

When I got the promo package containing the new SYMBIONTIC album I really was more than impressed. You get my word: This has to be the most stylish promo package I received up to now. The CD comes with a sticker in a slipcase that offers some kind of optical gimmick. The artwork is nothing less but awesome and Sylphony Creations mastermind Sascha Ehrich did a great  job concerning the layout.

After a four track promo (2001) and the self released debut album BioConstruct from 2002 “Vaya” is the third release from the German five piece SYMBIONTIC.  The info describes their music as “morbid melodic Death Metal”. You might ask yourself what that´s supposed to be but to name some “inspirations” the info comes up with bands like Morbid Angel, Death, Pestilence and At The Gates. And I tell you: That´s not far fetched. To be honest: I really don´t hear any At The Gates influences. But some of the epic parts actually do remind me of late Death or Pestilence. Okay, “Vaya” doesn´t really reach the same level as “Human”, “Symbolic” or “Testimony of the ancients” but “Vaya” is more than promising. You guessed it, the album´s not catchy but offers some fine harmonies and is not exhausting at all. I must say that I like this album better than the last three Morbid Angel releases and that should be compliment enough. To through another band in: Some of the epic parts or interludes remind me of Nile ! No, you can´t really compare SYMBIONTIC´s musical style to Nile but the atmosphere that´s built within those interludes just offers the same intensity that Nile do. And that´s a big plus in my eyes for I love those parts that create dark and morbid pictures in your brain (No, I´m not on drugs!). So “Vaya” is worth every single Euro! Go ahead and get the album directly from the band ( or or the label ( or (Tobi)



V/A -- Generations - A Hardcore Compilation (CD / Revelation Records)

Yeah, finally a new compilation from Revelation is out. It's called "Generations - A Hardcore Compilation" and the title couldn't be more true. Even though the latest Revelation releases have not been Hardcore records (the Judge and Bold discographies don't count) but great anyway (Temper Temper comes to my mind), this is Hardcore in its purest form. The funny thing is that all the 16 bands are not on Revelation but on other smaller underground labels such as Deathwish, Lockin' Out Rivalry etc. and most bands are really, really cool. I don't know if all the son gs are unreleased, but most of them arre i guess?! Bands included are Go It Alone (probably my favourite band on this comp), Lights Out, Lion of Judah, Blacklisted, Iron Boots, Keep It Up, Snake Eyes, Robot Whales, Internal Affairs (who I don't like that much, I think their previous stuff was much better), Sinking Ships, Righteous Jams, Down To Nothing, Cold World, Mind Eraser, Fucked Up and Mentzal (yeah!). So you see, there's really no MetalCore, Screamo etc. to be found here, just pure and honest Hardcore of some of the most promising young bands around these days. The only point of criticism is that no European bands are featured on this comp. I mean there are so many outstanding EuroCore bands around these days just like Abusive Action, A Step Apart or Justice, so maybe Revelation can do another comp with all these bands on it, hehe? Apart from that it's a really cool thing. (Stefan)



V/A -- The New Crazy (CD / Deep Elm Records)

This is the latest compilation from Deep Elm, and unlike the "This is Indie Rock" series this comp features new and old Deep Elm recording artist such as Latterman (with a great song from their great Deep Elm debut), Lock and Key, Sounds Like Violence (once again fantastic), Benton Falls, Desert City Soundtrack, Planes Mistaken For Stars, Appleseed Cast, Brandtson, etc. etc. 20 songs in total and another fine example that Deep Elm is a really cool label and that some fine records (Letterman, Sounds Like Violence, Desert City Soundtrack) are on its way. This comp is available for a really low price, so get it. (Stefan)



V/A -- Rock Against Floyd (CD / Fat Wreck Chords)

I don't even know if this comp is available for sale. Oh, it just saw the sticker on the back of the sleeve that says it's not. But as I got it from Fat Wreck I think I'll review it anyway. 10 songs by Fat Wreck bands can be found on here, and the cover is a nice spoof of the "Rock against Bush" CDs. This comp here features 10 songs from the latest Fat Wreck releases by bands such as Against Me, Smoke or Fire, No Use For A Name, The Epoxies, Strung Out or Rise Against. And for all those who aren't a proud member of the NOFX singles club (I am!), there's an unreleased song from one of those 7"s. So why not sending some nice words to the cuties Wiebke and Nanette from Fat Wreck and maybe you'll find this comp in your mail soon? (Stefan)