Thursday, December 29, 2011

Featured Band: Focused X Minds

FocusedxMinds hail from Milwakee, Wisconsin, US. Even if Milwakee is not particularly famous for HC punk, you should check out FxM for some passionate and self-empowering straight edge HC, because they are making big noise right now with incessant touring and recording.

They already have a great demo (2010) that you can download for free here:

Somewhere between a NYHC / Boston sound and fastpaced straight edge HC (at times thrashcore), songs like ‘No Satisfaction’ and ‘Free Your Thinking’ are bursting into youthful blasts of positive energy.

Earlier in 2011 FxM released a 7’’ at 6131 Records, titled ‘Stay Focused’, which contains 3 tracks from the demo plus 3 new songs!  Especially the title track is one of the best songs I have heard lately. A couple of days ago FxM got out of the studio after recording a bunch of new songs to be released in a 3-way split with Out of Time and Another Mistake later during spring 2012 by 6131 Records. So, stay tuned, there is a lot coming from FxM!

FxM are a new band but they are spreading out mature messages (sxe, animal rights, personal change etc.) and seriously positive vibes. FocusedxMinds stand for being open-minded while being a straight edge kid. It is about self-determination refuting stagnation in any doctrines or submission to norms (even within a sub-culture).

I recall the times when the straight edge community has suffered from ‘zero tolerance’ mentalities and militant violence towards people who do not follow straight edge lifestyles. There is a difference between being passionate about your beliefs and being blinded by them. In a passionate state you can go forward while in a blind condition you can become destructive and backward-minded.

- Rigas


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Another Hardcore Xmas: A TxYxS Story

So... Merry Xmas everyone. Even if you see the whole Xmas thing as pure consumerist business, you too probably appreciate having time off work/school etc and kicking it with nice food and your favorite music, fighting with your family etc. And as this year is drawing to a close, I'll throw a quick recap of the year 2011 for our zine.

2011 has been very productive for Take Your Shot. Not only did we release our 4th issue, but the blog was also updated a lot more often compared to all previous years. The action picked up a lot, with constant communication with music fans, independent bands and labels from all around the world. We'd like to dedicate 2011 to them. I personally got introduced to a lot of good and heavy music through those people, and I am really grateful for that. There's no need to make a top-10 or anything like that... it's so hard to choose with all the good stuff hat came out during this last year.

During the last part of 2011, I feel as TxYxS has really found the purpose of its existence. And this purpose is very simple indeed, but also crucial: to merge ourselves with the worldwide DIY network, and become a mouthpiece for it. Since the areas we cover are often really diverse and whatnot (musically - artistically etc), you could say this was the missing link: the DIY/independent factor, which runs through every Metal, HC, whatever release we cover.

I see Take Your Shot as a journey through all things interesting, extreme, thought provoking, entertaining, even life changing. True story. Our path (metal, hc, punk, veganism, straight edge, anarchy, you name it) has the power to do that. Please don't hold it against us for not being strictly a "hardcore fanzine" any more. We cover what we like. As for me I, feel awesome and really blessed to have reached this point with this zine, and to have access to so much good and inspiring stuff. It's a blast!

Needless to say we will continue at full strength during 2012.

All the best, Fotis TYS

p.s. The Elvis song is a joke, by the way. How many punk covers of classic Xmas songs can we take anyway?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

GROWN BELOW - "The Long Now" LP Review

Grown Below is an exceptionally low and slow post-death metal band, and their new album The Long Now easily deserves to go in 2011's top metal albums. This monster of an album contains seven beautifully brutal songs, four of which exceed the 12 minute mark (the longest being a 17 min epic). Trust me when I say that this is enough to fill the plate of even the most exquisite extreme metal aficionado.

There is a multitude of surprises throughout this doom laden album, some of which being the use of violin, clean guitar parts and some scattered female vocals. But if that scares you away and you think that this is some type of melodic DM, you might want to think twice. This band is totally heavier than you can probably imagine, and belongs to a rare category of ambient and hypnotizing progressive post doom / death. References like DM versions of Neurosis and Cult of Luna come to mind, but for me there is one band that really has touched these depths before - and that band is Asunder. Members of Grown Below have also been in another band called Timer (which we obviously have to check out now).

Essentially, this music really seems to be a whole different genre than all other crushing types of extreme metal (which are fine, too). The difference is that it can go much deeper and touch areas in your mind that really trigger emotions and - how can we put it - nurture deep thoughts. What I hear definitely has a connection with the environment and the world around us, and this is a weird point to make -- because how can all this amplified noise have a connection with the natural earth? Yet, it does. I could imagine Grown Below giving epic 1:30 hour shows on a bill with other anarcho-crust and sludge/doom bands who share a similar philosophy.

Grown Below has this profoundly minimal take on their art, delivering thick layers of sound through multiple pillars of distortion, slow as fuck drums and totally harsh DM vocals. The music is so heavy and melancholic that at times it can become almost unbearable for the untrained. This brutally low combination has the power of throwing you in a whirlwind of emotions dark and spiritual in nature. Indeed, this album is very emotionally charged. But hidden in the noise and brutality, there come hints of powerful, distortion-drenched melodies that give you a chance to breathe and in a way become renewed. The Long Now is filled with subtle guitar effects and atmospheric keyboards, tribal build-ups with clean guitars and - last but not least - a strong bass which fills any possible aural space left. These are additional but definitely not dismissible facts about this album. This will be an hour + of music that you won't forget and you'll frequently come back to.

P.S. Remember to play LOUD.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Archetype - New EP Streaming

In a world where metalcore gets increasingly more polished, it is very nice to hear bands still keeping it aggressive without compromising the most important elements of the metalcore genre: hardcore's intensity and passion combined with a metal character.

Archetype from Britain's Nottinghamshire manage to do the above. Sure they have some clean vocals, but for the most part they just plough on through with some chunky, brutal, downtuned metalcore. At times, the band gets so heavy and metallic that could even be termed deathcore (basically due to the excessive double bass drumming and the fat, discordant metal riffs). They have a chaotic and progressive dimension to their sound, which brings them close to bands like Time in Malta, Poison the Well, British contemporaries While She Sleeps and other metalcore bands with a progressive twist. However, Archetype - as their name suggests - have a unique stamp on what they do and they generally just nail it with this ep release.

Archetype are streaming their awesome new ep and you can check it out for free here. Make sure to give this groovy and extreme British metalcore powerhouse the time it deserves!

Desolate by WeAreArchetype

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Bitter American - 7" EP (Cricket Cemetery Records)

Fuck I'm pissed off. And when I feel like this, the only legal way to vent is through some fast, angry, super pissed music. Bitter American is just like that; they have that ultra rough proto hardcore sound (think Black Flag, Bl'ast etc) but played with definitely more speed and dirt. The outcome is totally scorching and although it can make your ears bleed, it has a cleansing effect on your troubled head.

Bitter American's new 7" is another insane hardcore product of the profoundly noisy Cricket Cemetery records. The label specializes at releasing the dirtiest, trashiest (not thrashiest), meanest hardcore out there, and they do it with unique style. Bitter American is the perfect example of what the labels' all about. This band takes no punches and lands 4 short hardcore blasts of frantic drumming, short riffs, loud bass, and madman vocals. The outcome is a swift punch right in the middle of your face, leaving you on the floor wandering what just happened.

The 7" begins with a 28 second build up of feedback noise and incomprehensive drumming, leading up to the general chaos that takes place throughout the short 5 minutes that this ep lasts. Every song hits hard and straight to the point, with the last song packing a bit of, dare I say, melody to it. There is some type of tuneful guitar noodling oin the background, while the singer repeatedly spits the phrase my mind is a wrecking ball. Couldn't be more right on this one.

This is utterly and most definitely music for this bored generation; we have short attention spans, we are bored to death with all the shit people call entertainment, we desperately need to get out kicks and escape this mundane existence. We need bands like Bitter American to accompany our soundtrack and accomplish the above.

Bitter American will go down well with all fans of noisy hardcore, loud punk, maybe even those hipster fastcore / powerviolence freaks. It could also serve as the punk listen for grindcore and crust / dbeat fans. In fact, fuck it, this band should do justice all fans of extreme and pissed off culture. Get into it!

BITTER AMERICAN - "Infinate Tick" by Cricket Cemetery

And make sure to check the label Crick Cemetery here:

Friday, December 16, 2011

Positively Positive Hardcore Punk Fest #5

Positively Positive is a hardcore fest that has been taking place in the city of Athens every December  for a good 5 years now. It has become a staple part of the Greek hc/punk scene, with the kids eagerly waiting to kickstart the holidays with this pre-Xmas hardcore show. Furthermore, the organizers make sure to bring some of the hottest DIY acts of the day, and make our time spent in An Club's basement worth the ride.

This year, the promoter decided to push the fest towards a more melodic hc/ punk rock direction, with a couple of awesome European bands and a few good local acts. Make sure to check it out!

For more info, check

Monday, December 12, 2011

"Suicidal Pathway" - New song by Unveil!

Unveil is a Swiss metallic hardcore band which proudly brings back the true 90s vegan straight edge sound and message. This poltically minded hardcore outfit functions within a deeply DIY HC/punk framework, constantly playing shows in all kinds of independent venues and releasing one good recording after the other. After a very well received demo and a bunch of 7"s (and split 7"s), Unveil is ready to release their debut full length album through a xCatalystx / Cobra Records collaboration. Make sure to check this scene-changing, highly influential band of our times, and don't say we didn't warn you when they've become a household name in hardcore. Political vegan straight edge hardcore is BACK in Europe!

Suicidal Pathway is a ne song that will be included in Unveil's new album. Make sure to give it a sneak peak through the player below!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

WORLD OF PAIN - New Album Hits Hard!

World of Pain is a brutal style hardcore band, in the vein of early Hatebreed and 100 Demons. This San Diego outfit has a new album out on Beatdown Hardwear records that will crush you like it ain't no thing! What makes this band stand apart the thousands of boring beatdown acts is the fact that they actually have that tried and true, oldschool heavy hardcore sound that isn't so easy to come by these days. It takes knowledge and love of hardcore to pull this style off and not come off as another clone, and these guys manage to do it. There are plenty of metal elements here, but all molded into hardcore in such a way that you can't tell one from the other. This is just 100% mosh.

These guys stand tall alongside other contemporary HC heavyweights like Lionheart and of course the whole Beatdown Hardware roster of bands like Ruckus, Stout etc. This is the definite sound of worldwide heavy hardcore at its purest form. Their new, much awaited, self titled album is out now. Get it!

P.S. Props for the awesome japanese-style tattoo artwork which goes hand in hand with the intensity of this brutal HC musicv. Now go get it tattooed on you or something and start moshing!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Record Review: LIGEIA "Welcome to Palm City" (self-released)

Ligeia return after a two-year hiatus and they choose the most direct way to reach their fans: by offering them their new record for free download. No record labels or other merchants in between, just the band and the listener. I personally support this DIY attitude! This is also why I got into this review. According to Keith Holuk (singer), this decision was a present to all the kids that supported them throughout the years. The download file contains also a booklet with cover, lyrics, photos and info. Thumbs up!

Ligeia was formed in Massachusetts, USA back in 2003. The group has 2 records with Ferret Music under its belt, 2006’s Your Ghost is a Gift and Bad News released in 2008. We are talking about a very experienced band that has managed to play over 600 shows in a 2-year period between 2006 and 2009! That is to say they have the attitude of spreading their music by playing all over the place wherever they can, which is respectable.

The EP kicks in quite fast and hard without wasting any moment. During the first half a minute of ‘Simulated Drowning’ there is a newschool melodic hardcore passage ala Ruiner/Modern Life Is War.  Soon after different aspects of their music are coming into surface like the standard modern metalcore vocal ranges (from pop punk to distorted screams). I need to mention the nice rocking riff at 01:20 leading to a breakdown. The song closes with a dramatic hardcore melody and some poppy vocals on top. The second number ‘Two Weeks Notice’ is more typical metalcore style but has a drunken rocking touch that reminds a bit of Every Time I Die.

Welcome to Palm City contains some memorable songs like the ‘Vodka Demon’ (with guest vocals from Drew York of Stray from the Path) or moments like the driving riff at the beginning of ‘Lie To Me’. The production is neat and clean by Jay DeLuca at The Bear’s Den studio and delivers what Ligeia wants, albeit it does not manage to move much from the standard. Especially the rhythm section has the modern cliché plastic sound, although the musicianship is quite accomplished. However, there is more stand out work on the guitars, they have an exceptionally versatile sound that is less distorted and more rocking in comparison.

Overall, this EP kept me hooked throughout the listen, although I am not too much in this type of hardcore music. It marks some progress for the band since their last effort Bad News: they sound more ‘mature’, with improved guitar work and more serious lyrics. What makes a difference with the rest of this overpopulated scene is the honesty of the band and their more melodic hardcore approach. At least, I prefer this EP than the new super-selling overproduced metalcore stars The Devil Wears Prada or Asking Alexandria not to mention Design The Skyline, who are all drenched in synths that remind impoverished black metallers like Dimmu Borgir.   

I am thankful to Ligeia for sharing these 20 minutes of music with us! You can have it yourself here:

Friday, December 2, 2011


Legion of Parasites was a very noisy UK band that formed in 1981 and released three albums and an ep. Although they truly belonged in the political, crusty punk hardcore scene of their time, their sound is undeniably much closer to a proto-metal thrash sound that still sounds heavy and disturbing some 30 years later. All their recordings are different from each other, meaning that the production is totally different and that the band also fluctuated back and forth from metallic punk to the more traditional UK82 and anarchopunk sounds. This band has gone largely unnoticed throughout the history of heavy music, but I think that their contribution should be reconsidered and credited. Thrash it up with some original old school UK necro sound!

For some sparse info, you can visit Moreover, the song below has been uploaded straight from vinyl (not by us) and it sounds just like it should, so enjoy!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Featured Bands: SICARII - Sheer Brutality & Pure Death

Death metal is a style of music that just doesn't run out. No matter how trends come and go, there will always be bands who form with the sole intention of making some heavy, ugly music that destroys all in its path.

Sicarii is this type of uncompromising band. You won't know what hit you when these guys start delivering their guttural, sickly blasts. This mysteriously named outfit churns out pure death metal in a very punishing manner that could easily be termed as old school. Sicarrii dosn't make any use of contemporary DM musical trends like breakdowns, grindcore parts, burpy vocals and the lile. They have riff upon riff of twisted, heavy as fuck guitar work and groovy, brutal death metal patterns that groove like a motherfucker. This sick, blackened sound owes as much to Immolation as it does to Suffocation, and the reference points couldn't be better really for a DM band. We also have to give extra points for the awesome vokills, which stand out and make such a nasty wall of sound with the concrete guitar riffs. With songs like The Omega Tyrant and Bones of the Fallen, you can understand what this band is all about and that they don't sing about no happy stuff!

You can listen to some Sicarri samples for free on their social media. You can find them on, their Facebook page and also click on DMMCOmpany's band page, to listen to the song Abort the Flesh and check out some awesome graphics which together will give you the complete Sicarii experience.

p.s. I had this on full volume and it made my cat mosh like crazy. Enough said.

Fotis TxYxS

Monday, November 28, 2011

Review: HEADED FOR DISASTER: "Jellyfish" EP (Self-Released)

Right from the start, Headed for Disaster come at you swinging like a rabid bear that hasn't eaten for 10 days. They bust out one metallic punk hymn after the other, landing direct hooks on your already swollen head from too much extreme music. Yes, these guys are noise afficcionados and you gotta love them, really.

Now I should mention at first that these guys are Swedes; and in a way, this monstrous ball of aggression still wears the mark of this rock n roll generator of a country. The musicianship is ultra tight and way above average, I mean these guys can PLAY. They have one foot firmly rooted in 80s aggressive hardcore/punk, but at the same time embellish their sound with lots and lots of icing: straight up thrash, pure rock n roll touches, upbeat skater California punk (RKL, Suicidal Tendencies etc), Motorhead crusty dirt, Swedish punk n roll, epic heavy metal guitar harmonies, some melodic singing coupled with sparse crust/death metal growls, some hard rock singalongs in there somewhere too, and the list goes on. I mean... how do they pull it off? This sounds totally consistent yet it is all over the place!

This punk thrash outfit is like a huge lizard wearing an ST shirt and a backwards baseball cap, skating off a 40ft  ramp with a cola in its hand, grinning in your ugly face. As the name says, destruction and disaster is the game here. This is real flaming rock n roll, by people who must live it in order to play it so well. These tunes are so hard and so tight, and have the perfect sense of urgency and emotion. What is more, Headed for Disaster have the power and ability to transmit this feeling to the listener, Yes... good music is always infectious and contagious and I'm glad to have listened to this.

The song below is from an older 2010 release, but I put it up here cause the song is rad and cause the cover for this video simply rules.
- Fotis TYS

also check:

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thrash Friday #1: ADRENICIDE

From now and on, every Friday at TxYxS will be Thrash Friday! What that means is that we will post stuff about cool bands (current or from the past) that trhash it up and pack tons of energy and aggression. The reason we dedicate Fridays to thrash is because Friday marks the end of the week, the day everyone waits to get some time off and have fun. And what better way to encapsulate and celebrate this feeling with some balls to the wall, crazy fucking music!?

Here is some not forgetten thrash that worships all things DRI and Suicidal Tendencies. It's the mighty Adrenicide from rainy England with a 2011 thrashterpiece! A must listen...

p.s. All our sXe friends, don't worry about the beer worship either, we're sXe too but can still enjoy fun music.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Review: HARM's WAY "Isolation" (Closed Casket Activities)

Harm’s Way play brutal hardcore, but unlike many peers, they are as solid and heavy as it can get without any melodic ear candies or other trendy elements inside. In the present album Harm’s Way put together the grooviest and heaviest styles from hardcore and metalcore, to transform them into a sound uniquely theirs. You can be sure that this record is going to conquer your soundsystem in heavy rotations!

At first listen, Isolation does not sound that startling or extraordinary, rather tardy worn out and cliché, nevertheless it grabbed me from the neck with its megatone heaviness. Slowly as the tracks went by, I started realizing that Harm’s Way stand out from the crowd of ‘chugga-chugga’ thugs and copycats. Especially after listening the title track things got more interesting and addictive to the point that I kept repeating the tracks again and again. Isolation contains at least three of my favourite brutal hardcore numbers of the last years, namely ‘Breeding Grounds’, ‘New Beginnings’ and of course ‘Isolation’.

Here’s the recipe: 90’s mid-paced brutal hardcore ala Buried Alive, Hatebreed, Strife, Terror,  Naysayer etc., pounding open-chord progressions reminiscent of Machine Head (‘The more things change’-period), Throwdown, Soulfly etc (but totally hardcore and personalized). They make some occasional use of thrashy but warm and tuneful Merauder-like riffing of Master Killer era (pay attention to the 2:18 of ‘Slither’ or the starting riff of ‘Pretender’). There are some influences from darker hardcore acts like Integrity or the newcomers Xibalba but also slow downtuned boneshaking Crowbar grooves alongside doom hints. Yes, there are also breakdowns, but given in the band’s plodding and harsh style.

All is delivered in Isolation under an ice cold, introvert yet devastatingly heavy prism with black & white aesthetics. It is anguish, nihilism and soreness that drives Harm’s Way, not the street attitude. It is not another band that produces plastic copy/paste patchworks by the pound; the more you dive into Isolation, the more you realize that it is a cult album that paradoxically deviates from the standard macho style in spite of its heaviness and dance parts. Even though Harm’s Way is a straight edge band, this fact passes totally unnoticed throughout the record.

The songs are perfectly-crafted to reach their ends of pulverizing despair and anger: riffs, moshing grooves, breakdowns put in just the right place to create a flow of different tempos. The severe throaty vocals are sparingly used to force repetitive abstract words into the music like nails and make the crash absolutely harder (in ‘Becoming’ the phrase "cast a shadow. plead. freed" is repeated throughout the whole song). That is a real departure from the tiring endless screaming used by most bands nowadays. 

There are also some more subtle elements that push this record even further like the 2:55 minute mark of the ‘New Beginnings’, where the open-chord groove is molded into pure distorted heaviness that brings sludge/drone mantras in mind (especially the opening riff of Torche’s ‘Charge of the Brown Recluse’). When the vocals kick in the outcome is scorching! Another super effective creative detail is the mellow, quiet end of ‘Slither’ that has an Oceanic era Isis touch (and all the feelings of detachment and withdrawnness it denotes). It lasts only 50 seconds but is again repeated in ‘Pretender’ (the album’s closer) which finishes off with a  synth-assisted epic doom riff.

Isolation is honestly delivered, not overproduced but it has definitely a crashing production (by Andy Nelson at Bricktop Studios, mastered by Carl Saff at Saff Mastering) and highly danceable grooves that can tear any moshpit apart. Harm’s Way deliver mid-paced metallic hardcore of monstrous heaviness; a homage to the 90’s with a reclusive personal twist. While they incorporate a dark image and a hard sound they do not mix many styles (crust/black etc.) like other contemporaries do (see Rise & Fall, Oathbreaker, Trap Them, All Pigs Must Die etc.), they prefer to stay on the straight side of brutal hardcore. Not a single note drifts away from hardcore sound, rather all instruments are packed together like a fist of concrete. Thumbs up also for the great cover illustration by John MacNair!

Harm’s Way have been always changing, steadily focusing their sound on what culminated into Isolation, which is by far their best effort to date. Since it is a relatively young band, the expectations are sky-high for their next steps.  I would be surprised if there are any bands out there that can do any better metallic hardcore than these guys from Chicago.

Harm’s Way previous discography:

(2007) Imprisoned 7’’ EP (Organized Crime records, Tooth Decay Records)
(2009) Reality Approaches (Organized Crime records)
(2010) No gods, No Masters EP (Closed Casket Activities)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Featured Bands: NOOSE - Chicago Straight Edge

Noose is a vegan straight edge band from Chicago US. Their 2010 demo has created quite a lot of noise in the worldwide undergound HC scene, and for a good reason: these guys play no frills, pissed off hardcore that is not easy to come by these days! Their music takes us right back to a proto-HC sound reminiscent of Boston HC like SSD and maybe some faster shit like Infest. Even the production sounds like it was recorded in a crappy studio sometime in the 80s - and that's a good thing!

What is awesome about Noose is the sheer intensity of their sound, which - argue as much as you want - only old school hardcore music can deliver. It's so great to find out bands with this trademark sound in this rotten day and age! The band is now signed on React! Records and their new record will be out soon.

Check their site below because they post all kinds of cool stuff, like photos from their shows, links to other cool HC shit (zines, bands etc), merch, tour updates etc. Also, make sure to listen to their Fuck Art/No Respect demo.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Review: DEUS OTIOSUS "Murderer" (American Line/FDA Records)

It is just great to see death metal bands taking their music seriously. Any bunch of deathcore kids who wanna have fun can learn to play brutal and fast after some years of listening to Relapse bands and practicing; but the bands that ultimately stand out from the pack are the ones which have something more worthwhile, the ones with members who live and breathe real Death Metal all their lives. I'm talking about bands that can creep into your subconscious mind and make a nasty home in it. And Deus Otiosus is such a band.

There is a big difference between just banging out some solid DM tunes with the right ingredients (death growls, heavy riffs, double bass drums etc), and making a piece of real unearthly, sick, and disgustingly dark music.  While Deus Otisius do have all the right ingredients for sure, they fall into the latter category of true deathsters, and have offered the world a true old school DM masterpiece.

Their brand of DM goes way back to the roots of old school death metal. That means really brutal, with a thick wall of sound created by the the solid guitar riffage, 100% DM vocals and a crazy drummer blasting out necro beats in the background. What I mean by 'necro' is that the beats are not hyper fast, more like an exchange of mid tempo/fast parts, but coupled with a punishing and selective use of the double bass. If you want references of what this albums sounds, then I'd have to drop in some names like early Death, Apshyx, Sinister, Bolt Thrower, maybe even rocking stuff like Entombed and Dismember. At times, these guys seem to black/thrash it a little bit in the old school style like Possessed, Celtic Frost etc. And that, my friends, is where the real inferno is at.

While Deus Otisius plays straight out DM, they manage to create a ghastly atmosphere without the use of long interludes, keyboards, or any other extras. They manage to collectively use their instruments, lyrics and layout in such a way as to create a real deathly atmosphere that drives your mind into hellish images, cold cemetaries and ghouls running amuck. Some of the riffs have an epic feel to to them and create a war/battlefield atmposhere, hence the Bolt Thrower influence I mentioned earlier. These are some of the parts that really start growing on you after you give this record a few listens.

To sum it up, I'll leave you with a line that the band itself used in order to promote the album: "twisted death metal with the reek of the damned". This is what it is!

PROS: Total old school feel, great vox, some truly epic guitar riffs, nice production, high level of brutality.
CONS: None, but strictly for DM fans
LOWDOWN: A true DM album for those who worship the roots of this music.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Record Review: RETOX "Ugly Animals" (Ipecac recordings/Three One G)

Retox, seems to be another project band of Justin Pearson (mainly known for his presence at the noise-chaotic-grindcore band The Locust) and their new album…kick ass! I‘ll try to explain myself by telling you a story.

You press the play button and after 13 minutes you wonder what the fuck blew your head away. It takes less than a quarter of an hour so you wonder. Is this possible? You press the play button again. Same result. Then you realize…it’s true….it‘s really happening. Retox, with their first full-length album Ugly Animals succeeded to produce something brilliant. They had warned us one year ago with the release of their self-titled EP and now they come back with an excellent performance again.

An amount of some noise punk/hardcore filled with drops of crust/fastcore and with lots of energy, sickness and creativity, Tragedy meets Some Girls and Cursed meets Melt Banana. Everything coordinated, everything in its right place. 

I don’t think I have to say anything else to describe something so straight forward and direct like “Ugly Animals”. I believe that it’s better to listen to the album instead of spending time reading this review.

Nick Tolis

Monday, November 14, 2011

Old School Tattoo flash, by Dean Denney

If you're like me, you can never, ever have enough tattoo flash to stare at and get inspired from. Traditional tattoo flash is amazing as a contemporary art piece, as inspiration for those of us who draw, and of course as ideas for our next tatttoo! Get it done!

News: Youth of Today free show in NYC!

2011 seems to be the most energetic year for Youth of Today since their reunion in 2008, but their latest show was a special event! They recently headlined the free re-release event/festival for the book ‘Making a Scene: New York Hardcore 1985-1988’ book, which originally came out  back in 1989. The book is now revamped with more than double photographic material, new commentaries etc. You can check it out through the following links:

The festival was entitled True Til Def and was held at Santos Party House in the context of the annual CMJ music marathon, hosted by Andrew W.K. (musician/speaker/owner of the venue). Other bands that played the True Til Def festival were youth crew holdovers Mouthpiece, notorious punks Trash Talk as well as heavies Kylesa and The Fucking Wrath (some indie rock and hip hop artists also appeared). The festival was free, with placed reservations.

Hit this link to see YoT rampage the stage:

Check out  some photos from True Til Def here.

further links:


Things that happen at Youth of Today shows

Sunday, November 13, 2011

REBEL 8: LA Streetstyle Worldwide

 REBEL 8 is a clothing company close to the heart of hardcore kids. The company was founded in 2003 and since then it has been making awesome streetwear that stems from graffiti, tattoo and skateboard culture (3 things closely affiliated with hardcore music as well).

The mastermind behind REBEL 8 is the infamous graffiti and tatto artist, Mike Giant. He is one of the guys that take their creativity to the next level, managing to carve a new niche by doing what they love, even though it might not be so popular when they start out. People like Mike Giant are all about utilizing their talents and seeing the possibilites that an underground culture may have. This Buddhist, party animal, bike lovin', legend of an artist has managed to use the things he loves in life to his advantage and has built REBEL 8 into a respectable compamy based on Giant's all original, most characteristic - still hand-drawn - design. Go to and educate yourself on some loud street culture!

Friday, November 11, 2011

News: RINGWORM strike back with 2 cult 7’’ EPs!

Legendary clevo-core heavyweights Ringworm release a split EP with crossover metalcore merchants Mindsnare from Australia! The 7’’ titled Your Soul Belongs To Us, is provided by A389 Records and includes a mini comic book illustrated by the Human Furnace (the singer) himself! We expect some rough & dark quality metalcore here! Rumours say that in this 7’’ Ringworm continue their vile metalcore legacy!

For those who do not know Mindsnare, they have released split albums with Toe To Toe and Congress (H8000 crew rules!!!) while they have shared the stage with bands like Sick Of It All, Agnostic Front and of course Ringworm.

At the same time A389 Records released almost another Ringworm 7’’, this time based on a 1999 demo cassette. It is titled Madness Of War and is limited to 250 copies! It comes with a nice ‘chaos’ layout! The partisans will proceed I guess..:)


regalbigal [at] yahoo [dot] com

Thursday, November 10, 2011

News: Earth Crisis live show at Hate5Six!

EARTH CRISIS rule, and you already know that. This band doesn't need a special introduction as it has established a legendary status and a solid heritage after years of dedication and hard work. The 2011 album Neutralize The Threat (soon to be reviewed here at TxYxS) is a scorching heavy metallic hardcore record that brings us back to the golden days of 90s hardcore. EC has been touring to support the album throughout most of the current year, wrecking venues and spreading the vegan straight edge message to old and new HC kids alike. You can visit the awesome hardcore website Hate5Six (they shoot entire HC shows from well known bands and stream them for free) and watch EC do their thing at a recent show!

With so much of today's hipster hardcore flooding the music media, it's definitely good to still have bands like Earth Crisis. Let's stay with the real, heavy, original hardcore sound and message!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Featured Bands: NunFuckRitual (Oslo, Norway)

Fucking hell!

Every now and then I like to throw a little something that derails from the classic hardcore/metal stuff we post on this blog. Above all, we are into heavy music that makes an impact and when I listen to something too good and too extreme, I want to share it with the people who read this blog. Moreover, You have to do what you can to spread the word on bands that are making awesome music. BUT, this is the 1st time I ever post something from the black metal realm on this blog. However, this is totally worth it as it is pioneering, brutal, atmospheric BM that will make the hair at the back of your neck stand up. It's that scary.

NunFuckRitual is a Norwegian BM outfit (from Oslo), which however has nothing to do with the BM tradition of this country (musically at least). The black metal we have here is creepy and atmospheric, maybe even psychedelic. However, it maintains a pretty fucking high level of extremity. Perhaps the whole outcome musically and aesthetically points to something more American BM-influenced. Or maybe the Nordic tribes of BM are at it again, reinventing the whole sound of this genre.

NFRitual has released an album in 2011 called In Bondage to the Serpent, you should check it out if you are into weird, extreme BM. Fucking go for it, listen to something that will creep you out! (label website)

Interview: BEAR (Belgium, Let It Burn Records)

A few days ago we did a review for Belgian progressive hardcore/metal pioneers BEAR (their Doradus lp on Let it Burn Records). In fact, we got so excited with this album that one thing led to another and we ended up doing an interview with these guys. We managed to steal some time ftom those brainiac metallic hardcore kids in order to learn some more about this monster of a band that answers to the name BEAR. 

1. What music did you grow up with and what is the process that led to having such a varied musical landscape? Do you have any formal music backgrounds? Were you in other bands before?  
I think I speak for all of us when I say we grew up listening to more heavy music, but learned to appreciate and love all kinds of other stuff during the years. Like funk, free jazz, flamenco...everything that is played with heart or brings something else to the table. That reflects in the music we write. Unavoidably you get influenced by everything you listen to. If you only listen to one kind of music the chances are big you won't be able to step out of that mindframe and get caught in repetition. We were all in other bands before, bringing those experiences into BEAR makes that we can work more focused.
2. What is you it want to achieve with BEAR? Is there a message behind the band and if there were three words to describe BEAR as a whole, what would they be?
We just love to play the music that we do. And like every other band we like to see people enjoy our music. It would be cool to see BEAR influence other musicians or bands in what way so ever. We don't really have a message other than do what you love and believe in, do your own thing, Three words that could describe us would probably be :  Non typical metal !
3. Tell us a few things about the recording process and your cooperation with Let It Burn Records.
The recording process was fun! It's awesome to hear the things you've been working on for a couple of months come together on an album. We recorded at Red Left Hand Studio with Sven Janssens who is a good friend of ours. He knew what we wanted, we trusted him so we just went for it. The album was recorded and mixed in 2 weeks and we're all stoked about the way it came out. As for Let it Burn we couldn't have wished for more at this point. Chris (the label boss) totally believes in us and was willing to give a band that was only playing for like 6 months or so a record deal. That says a lot! 
4. Do you do music as a hobby or do you want to take it a step further in the future? Would you like to have music as your normal job (which is..)?
Well I think when you've been playing in bands all your life like us it isn't just a hobby. And of course we would like to take it as far as possible with BEAR. We love to play together, we've got something going on so it would be a shame to just let it hang. As far as 'normal'  jobs go... well I make a living teaching guitar in music schools so I couldn't ask for more :) Our bass player is a teacher too and our drummer and singer are working in the 'graphic design' department.
5. I've seen some crazy action going on from your live videos. How hard is it to maintain top notch musical accuracy while moshing so hard?
Haha, good question! Well, let's say there are certain parts you can let it go and certain parts you have to stay focussed hard on what you are playing. You kind of make out for yourself which are the 'easy go crazy parts' and the 'shit I wish I hadn't made this so technical parts' haha. All of us have kind of a reputation of going bonkers on stage from our previous bands so we've had some good practice in the old days. 
6. What are listening to nowadays? Do you still listen to metal and hardcore or have turned to other stuff?
My personal taste has always been a bit eclectic. I like music or bands that try to do something else. We all are big Dillinger and Meshuggah fans. But then again I can enjoy a good Katy B track much more than the umpteenth breakdown hardcore band. And as I said before, you need to keep an open mind to evolve. Serch our drummer and Dries our bassist still also listen to a lot of hardcore stuff aswel as other things. What can i say, when it's good... it's good. 

7. What are your main likes and dislikes about the modern metal/hardcore music scene (both industry and people-wise)?
It's cool to see a lot of hardcore/metal bands trying to do their own thing, without copying other bands. More and more kids are trying to make their mark. And you make your mark by standing out, you stand out by doing something else. The only thing we don't like is narrow mindedness but you have that in every scene.  

8. What are your current and near future plans with BEAR?
Well currently we are trying to get our record DORADUS heard everywhere as much as possible by playing gigs, doing interviews :). Trying to get it as much media exposure as possible. We'll probably shoot a second music video to support the album. Near plans: well we are already starting to write music for our next album. So we'll be working on that in our spare time. 

9. If you were going traveling for a year and could only take one tape with you with 2 albums recorded on it, what would they be?
Damn, that's a tough one! Well it would probably be the things I'm listening to currently being: Camaron (great Spanish singer) and Karnivool (Sound Awake).
10. Do you have any other interests aside from music, i.e. art / photography / literature / politics whatever? How do you spend your free time?
Well yeah, we all have our non musical hobbies. But they are all in the creative sector too. I'll just give you a list of some of our free time spendings: basketball, martial arts, photography, comic books, b-movies, drawing, designing, eating, ... yup a whole lot o' other stuff :)

11. Thanks for the interview and for the great music!!! Please close this interview by telling TYS readers how the new BEAR record will benefit their world.
No prob! You're gonna love it or hate it, either way you will have discovered something new!


Right! So I will just close this by saying a big thanks to everyone involved in this interview: BEAR, Chris Let It Burn, as well as, the guy who took these awesome pix. Music speaks louder than words so remember to check BEAR on their social media. You will be rewarded with some awesome music and remember, these guys BREAK STUFF!