Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Potergeist Interview - Pantera, Badass Attitude & Big Fucking Riffs

Potergeist is one of the more notorious, up and coming Greek metal bands of today. They have been on the trenches for a good while, blasting that mean southern/groove metal and gaining more followers with each and every day. TxYxS zine would like to thank Alex (of Wish Upon a Star) for setting up this interview.

OK let's start from the latest news; you got an album full of chunky riffs and southern metal attitude. How was it received in Greece and elsewhere? How did you promote it other than playing local live shows? Well our first album Southwards was well received worldwide and helped us make a name for ourselves. I think it sold out all its copies and since our then label exist no more it has become a collectors item so if you have it keep it, hahahahaha! Unfortunately we didn t promote it outside greece because we had problems with the band members so we are happy it went so well in countries like Japan and UK since we never played there. Our new album Muddy Mermaids will be out in April so we will have to wait and see how it goes.

You obviously have a love for Pantera, Down etc. What made you guys want to play this kind of music? Does it represent some kind of values or attitude for you? To be fair Pantera is the word "love" in my dictionary and yes you can hear some Pantera here and there in our music. We are big fans of them and they changed the way we compose and play music in various levels, nothing more nothing less.

What do you have to say to the metal dudes who used to give this music shit and now are all over it and praising it, with the rise of doom/stoner metal and all? Well metal is the music we play, but being a not so open-minded metalhead when i was a kid makes me understand that anything that is not metal metal - if you know what i mean - is just weird to your ears and you reject it. I'm glad all this has changed know.

How do you see the Greek scene in 2012? Do you think a fair level of success is possible for heavy bands or do they have to set their eyes abroad (tours, foreign record labels etc)? Cds are dead my friend and so are labels. Ok it helps if you are in a good label but gigs is what you must do and yes you must play your music live outside your country. The Greek scene gets bigger day by day and success comes for many bands so keep an eye.

Would you ever pursue a full-time music career if you had the chance, meaning that you would have to drop everything else in life? I really don t know, and the promoters and music labels worldwide know this and that is why they don't invest in Greek bands that much. I guess we are not raised to see music as a job but more like a hobby.

Tell us a few things about what you do in everyday life. What do you find interesting in life (apart from music, of course)? Well we work in shitty jobs we have fun getting wasted with our friends we go to gigs we are still big time fans of bands and concerts chill with our girls. The usual stuff everybody does i guess.

What has been the high time of playing with Potergeist? I know you've played with some notable hardcore and metal bands, but is there something in particular you want to mention? Playing with Monster Magnet was something big and generally meeting your idols up close and sharing the stage with them is a lifetime experience. Memories to take with you to grave you know.

Speaking of "high times", there is some obvious sort of connection between the band's name and smoking weed!? Do you think weed is an integral part of Potergeist? Ok we are potheads and yes the weed is our sixth member, hahahahaha! But don t tell anyone ok?Hahahahaha!we respect the same those who smoke and those who don t so i guess it is something that just happened to be this way. Hahahaha! What a question damn!

Which Pantera record is your favorite and why? Also, is Anselmo the main man or is there some other singers and frontmen you think are awesome and influential? No way i can answer that question. All Pantera records are what music is all about and how it should be played. No Pantera = no modern sounding metal and that is that, period. Jesse Leech is the other god front man.

Who is the best guitarist in your opinion for the style of music you play (from all of doom, stoner, southern, swamp metal)? Pepper and Matt Pike if you ask me not shreders but fucking great composers man.

OK, close this interview by telling some things about your current plans for the future (records, live shows, other plans). Let us know of any bands you want to mention or other cool stuff in general. Thanks for your time and watch out for our new album out april by distroball productions, watch out for Potergeist on tour this september and some local gigs like the one on the 6th of april with our good friends Harsh Demise @ Six Dogs. Check out Stonebringer for they will be next big thing... enjoy the pot!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Hardcore Personalities: Dave Haze (That's What's Up)

Dave Haze: "I don't care if it offends"
Dave Haze is the singer and most recognizable figure behind the infamous Detroit straight edge hardcore band, xTyrantx. This 7th Dagger recording outfit has raised more than a few eyebrows due to some militant edge viewpoints, as well as its violent sound and admittedly extreme looks. 

Let's face it: xTyrantx is not here for the happy PMA kids. However, Haze and xTyrantx help in representing hardcore as the most extreme and dangerous music subculture in the world!

Aside from xTyrantx, Haze also tattoos at Eternal Tattoos and is apparently a big fan of outlaw country.

Respect to the people who are still keeping hardcore extreme!

TERROR "The New Blood" Video (Guest Vox by Toby Morse)

Terror is a band that needs no introduction in hardcore circles or fanzines like this. They are arguably the most popular hardcore band of recent times, and one of the very few bands that keep hardcore simple and represent its core (sic) values. In fact, this is exactly what the new song "The New Blood" talks about: hardcore in its purest form and the solid, life-saving impact it can have on one's life. The song is a mid-tempo schorcher which includes guest vocals by none other than H2O's Toby Morse. Enjoy the video, and visit Reaper Records for more info on Terror and many other back to basics hardcore acts!

Coming to think of it (and after watching "The New Blood" several times), it seems like this video is a good educational clip for people who want to know more about hardcore music and its roots. If you don't know the bands featured throughout this video, it's a good place to start doing some homework. If you do, well... feel proud and play those classics fucking loud!

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Switchblade Saints - "State of War" video

The Switchblade Saints is a German rapsy-voiced Street/Core combo who sings about topics that focus on war and the apocalypse. This has to sound good, right? Of course it does. OK, well this band takes a while to get used to cause they play a pretty basic form of that street rock n roll formula, but after a couple of repeated listens the cathciness and infectiousness of their sound starts to grow on you. Playing this on top volume takes your mind to some forgotten dive at the ugly side of the town, where you can just smell the beer-soaked wood and the blood from the fight that just broke out.

Let's face it: Isn't that what we are looking for when we're after some good rock n roll? The attittude, the dirty buzzsaw guitars, the desperate singing. The feeling like it's your last night on earth. Luckily, the Switchblade Saints have all of that. Street-flavored HC etc is not something I play every day at home, but this is a band that I can surely dig. I don't care if they are shooting for wider recognition or whatever; I enjoy the sound and this band brings to mind the much loved Street Rock that Burning Heart, I Scream, People Like You etc released in the late 90s, so yeah -- I dig!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mental Waste - "Meltdown" (self-released)

Genre: Raw hardcore/Fastcore
Country: Salinas, USA
Band website: bandcamp
Label: -

Mental Waste is the type of band that brings a wonderful combination of the extreme and the catchy; and I don't only mean that as far as the music goes, but also in relation to the artwork and the overall feel they give off as a band. Even though they play some pretty mean fastcore with grindcore passages, they manage to come off as listenable, straightforward and rather punky overall.

Usually when we use the terms grind and/or fastcore in this zine we are talking of crusty bands who usually flirt - even a little - with metal. This is not the case with Mental Waste, who deliver their short hardcore blasts without even giving a nod to the metal format. What we have here are simple but effective riffs backed by machine gun drumming and an pissed of vocalist. All of the 10 songs in this recording (except the last number) are below the one-minute mark, but they are so potent and so much stuff happens, that you think they have lasted for more.

As I mentioned above, the vocals sound pretty fucking angry but while the vocalist screams and shouts, he doesn't exactly growl. This is another fact about Mental Waste being closer to punky thrash and of course another clue as to whether this is your type of stuff. Fans of he Maximum RNR-school, who call fasctore "thrash" will definitely dig this record and will play it loud on their mp3s, while biking down the road going to the DIY show. But rest assured, there are many interesting ideas, especially in those slow, mini mosh parts which last only for a few seconds before the insanity starts again!

Essentially, this is pissed off hardcore for pissed of HC kids who have escaped the chugga-chugga (which I love, personally) sound and are looking for something rawer and unprocessed. The good thing about Mental Waste is that they don't copy any of the famous bands of the genre, but actually do their own thing while paying respect to the roots (Heresy, Siege, Ripcord, Dropdead etc), and of course with a newer, fatter sound! Eat this up, vegan thraskids with bikes!

- Fotis.TYS

Dead Swans: “Anxiety and Everything Else” (Bridge9 Records)

Genre: Modern Hardcore
Country: Britain, UK
Band Website: FB
Dead Swans are a British hardcore band that has made quite an impact to the scene the last years. One full length, couple of EPs and a nomination at Kerrang awards as the Best British Newcomer are what they have to show up to date. But of course the reason why we are writing about their new release is not because of the quantity of their releases nor about their nominations, wins or losses at several awards. What we care about here is good music and since these guys continue to do that we are gonna bother ourselves talking about them. So, Dead Swans new release, second in a raw for Bridge9 records, is a 7 track EP called Anxiety and Everything Else that lasts approximately 15 minutes and it has definitely met our expectations.

At this new EP, Dead Swans actually continue from where they have stopped at their previous album. Include some extra speed and some killer break-downs and you get what you were looking for. Dead Swans feed us with aggressive hardcore till we bleed. And we like that! Their music has nothing to do with complexity, innovation, or commercialism. Here, it’s all about enthusiasm, energy, aggression and great ideas that step on known patterns. The opening “I‘ve been trying to leave” will convince you with its -straight to the face- attitude that will force you to enter the pit and will make your heart beat faster. The story goes on like that during the rest of the EP. Melodic parts appear at regular intervals in order to calm you down, let you breathe and…here we go again. Their sound and musical style will bring to your mind bands like Have Heart, Down to Nothing, Champion, Terror or even Snapcase.

Many times while hearing the EP I‘ve noticed that some parts reminded me of something but no matter how much I tried I ended up with the same conclusion: “It sounds like Dead Swans”. And probably that is what makes them a band worth talking about. Thumbs up for vocalist Nick who, I believe brings the band and the album to an upper level with his aggressive, passionate and diverse vocals. I guess that this release is a warm up for their new, full-length album to come. Our expectations have risen but something tells me that we can expect something even better from them in the future.

Note: “Anxiety and Everything Else” is highly recommended to fans of both the old school and the new era of hardcore.

Nikos Tolis

Friday, February 17, 2012

Record Review: Čad - “Ťažký Kov” (My Sleeping Cat Records)

Genre: Progressive Crust/Metal
Country: Slovakia
Label: My Sleeping Cat website facebook
Band website: facebook bandzone

Metallic crustcore is not known to be the most innovative of genres. However, there is always the exception to the rule, like CAD, who are at least a few years ahead of their game. These Slovakian crust maniacs have been at it for a while, having released a number of eps with well known crust and grind/death bands like Unholy Grave, Entrails Massacre and Ripcord. However, Cad has the cleverness to avoid all crust cliches and go on to create heavy music that isn't necessarily blackened and can go down well with any fan of brutal sounds. The name of the game here is progressive crustcore, but don't ever think that it is not brutal enough cause you will be in for a surpirse. A big one. The band actually calls its style 'ripcore' which is fine by me, cause this hardcore hybrid does in fact truly rip!

You can understand what I mean by the above from looking at the record cover. Grim and mysterious though it may be, it doesn't stick to the black/white colors and skull/war imagery that is so fucking commonplace in crust. The same happens with the music and lyrics. This devastating mix of crust and extreme metal does destroy our ears, but it also packs a dose of white light; technical proficiency and a touch of upbeat rock and roll-ness do the trick. The lyrics (which come in a translated sheet of paper as Cad sing in their native language) are rooted in the hardcore tradition of looking at the world through eyes of contempt, but also with a positive mind.  More things that differentiate this not-so-ordinary crustcore outfit is the fact that they are straight edge (or at least drug-free) and that they have a female in their ranks. The more you learn about this band, the more interesting stuff you discover.

Now we should mention some things about the album title Heavy Metal in our Chestrs. It may sound funny to some, but I for one am totally down with it. Heavy metal here is the term which depicts differentiation, our culture, the underground, the flame in your heart -- whatever you want to call it. One lyric reads "we're the worms from the underground and we're eating everything, we have bloody jaws and bite the heavy metal". This is exactly what I'm talking about. This is what makes us alive... Metal, hardcore, punk, whatever it is you identify with is the thing that saved your life and Cad are here to represent this notion. The rest of the lyrics are expressions of hatred towards society, or slightly humorous poems about death on golf courses and zombie massacres.

OK, and of course I shall also provide some record info for us nerdy freaks. Ťažký Kov has been released as a 12" by My Sleeping Cat Records. It is printed on plain black vinyl and I have to say that the album art does indeed look rad on this edition, because you can see all the fine detail and try to figure out what the fuck it is you're watching exactly. As mentioned above the lyrics are included in the package with their english traslantion. Support this awesome DIY effort and own a record that will stand out in your tried n true vinyl collection!
- Fotis.TYS

Saturday, February 11, 2012

INTEGRITY live in Athens, 11 Feb 2012

I've been waiting a long time for this... Being so that I was out of the country and missed the first time Integrity visited Athens (in a show that Chubby of One Life Crew fame allegedly broke down the snare drum!), I am eagerly waiting to witness this legendary hardcore band in action. This shit is going to be heavy.

I consider Integrity not only the best Clevo-core band (along with Ringworm, obviously) but actually more than that: Dwid Helion (Integrity's singer and main figure) is pretty much responsible for the whole Kvlt hardcore scene that has grown like a monster and is steadily getting bigger and stronger around the world. There are really no words to describe how important Integrity are for the way hardcore has evolved.

Long-running hardcore metal act Endsight will scorch our ears with the heavy role of the opening act.

Old School Classics - Disrupt / Sauna "People Killing People" (split)

Our contributor Rigas goes back in time to review some legendary crust from grind pioneers Disrupt!
Given that Disrupt is one of my favourite bands, it was really a hard choice which release to present here:  The cult classic 7’’ split with Destroy! (1991) or their most influential and probably most complete work ‘Unrest’ (1994)? Although, Unrest is their only full-length that actually kept Disrupt alive in punk history I chose to write something about their split album with Sauna as representative of that era and their most crustcore output.

Disrupt was one of the best hardcore punk bands of their era playing unrelentless ferocious crust/grindcore, or more aptly termed in this case discore (Dis-bands). I particularly like their style because there are no metallic influences just pure punk energy and ethos, unlike most of the ‘grind’ or ‘polished’ punk bands of today. Disrupt, like most of their peers back then, were spreading anarchist values:  DIY, abolitionist, anti-corporate, anti-authoritarian etc. (Check the anti-vivisection blast ‘A life’s a life’ from Unrest album).

Disrupt, hailing from Lynn, MA, US, were formed in 1987. They managed to release various splits, 7’’ and EPs in their short-lived career, which lasted only six years. They were in the same wave of bands as Dropdead, Destroy! and the likes. Actually, the songs found in this album were recorded only few months before their European tour (October/November 1993), after which they disbanded. Sauna, were a Swedish band and this is their only recording.
Recorded and mixed during two days (13th and 14th June 1993) at The  Lanes studio in Boston, MA by Bill Miller ‘People Killing People’ contains some of the most consistent tracks of Disrupt. Between the necessary Discharge and Extreme Noise Terror influences, Disrupt’s skilful and outright intense delivery sets them apart from the early American crust/grindcore bands. The riffs are crashing, the drums are pummelling, the vocals are lacerated in urgency. From the d-beat holocaust of ‘Xenophobia’, ‘You’ve no one left to blame’, ‘Succumb to the pressure’ and ‘An end to white rule’ to the slightly faster tracks ‘Trapped’ and ‘Leave me be’, this split album is a manifesto of punk essence. They even included a cover of ‘Protest’ from the UK anarcho-punk legends Conflict.

Sauna’s side is a good example of Swedish crust, albeit a bit weaker in comparison with Disrupt. The production at Markstudio with Mats Andersson is more muddy and downtuned. Highlights are the desperate, shouted vocals and the typical d-beat cuts ‘Welfare’and ‘Love’.  
Bottom line is that Disrupt delivered uncompromised music throughout their course to raise awareness and break the system apart. Their version of punk is stripped down to its pure, original essence: strictly political, rebellious and raw creating feelings of defiance and urgency. I suggest everybody should check them out. Disrupt were not playing punk, they were real punks. Not to forget also that 4 members went on to form the sludge masters Grief.

Monday, February 6, 2012

DUCKCORE: Not Quite Gone

Until last week, was one of the premier DIY sites for free br00tal downloads. Its owner Ducky had uploaded hundreds of quality albums with deathcore as the main focus, as well as various forms of death metal and metalcore (technical DM, blackened deathcore, progressive DM, djent etc). Unfortunately his blog has been taken down along with all the links to the albums he uploaded. Needless to say this is a major bummer. Even if we don't upload stuff on this blog and only review music, we too appreciate free stuff and have downloaded albums through Duckcore for sure. We will miss it for sure!

In any case, the site is back at a new adress and Ducky has started uploading stuff again. Check the new version of the sitr called The Duckore here: Spread the word!

Also, check what Ducky himself had to say about the whole shutting down of his blog, as well as for the new site.
So listen as I'm sure most of you are aware is no more unfortunately. We got completely shafted by blogger. Anyways this is going to be the new DuckCore and I know with all of your help we can restore this to it's former glory. So please I'm not begging but if you could share this new blog with your friends, post about it on facebook, show your mum, do whatever you can to get this out there it would be really appreciated. We were almost at two million page views and we were averaging almost 250,000 views a month. So yeah needless to say, I'm pretty bummed.

Things will get better though and with all of you guys supporting I'm sure that we can get back to where we were. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and I'm going to be very busy with trying to get a new layout and get some sweet stuff done for the blog so yeah, thanks again guys. 

Love, Ducky

Friday, February 3, 2012

Record Review: Comrades – "Collection 2010 – 2011" (Blood & Ink Records)

Great music-great musicianship and songwriting. Comrades delve into (mostly) instrumental, progressive rock and post-hardcore to eliminate musical boundaries and achieve a coherent whole. Enchanting melodies and captivating song structures, compiled here in a stunning release for the music enthusiast.
Genre: Rock / Post-hardcore
Country: USA
Label: Blood & Ink Records (link)
Band Website: Reverbnation
This is a rather unusual review for TYS, since Comrades’ music is much ‘softer’ compared to most of the bands presented here. Their sound might surely turn off some hardcore kids, but on the other hand it can surely please music enthusiasts. You can simple describe this as ‘good music’ without any terms and definitions. That is to say that these guys and gals, Joe, Connor and Laura, wrote some really inspired, good-sounding songs.

Now, more in detail, Comrades play rock with some post-hardcore hints here and there. That sounds like Sweet Cobra but Comrades invest more on ethereal, heartfelt melodies than sheer heaviness. There are surely parallels to post rock acts like Explosions in the Sky but again Comrades are quite different: their songs are more ‘unsettling’, featuring more changes and complex structures than the usual ‘building up climax to the point of distorted catharsis’ pattern. You can find some similarities to bands like Keelhaul, Red Sparowes or Burst (less), but although they share the passion of building ‘progressive’ songs with manifold changes of rocking riffs and melodies, Comrades are much less loud, sweaty and dissonant.

This album consists of 10 compositions, gathered over a span of time of two years as the title conveys. This is actually a compilation of 3 self-released EPs, as an outcome of their recent signing with Blood & Ink Records to be followed by a new album later this year. Most of the songs are instrumental and whenever vocals appear they just complement the message of the songs. The production is very bright and every instrument has its own place delivering all those timbres that you can expect from an instrumental rock band. Apart from unerring songwriting, Comrades’ are skilful players.

Riffs, melodies and tempo changes are intermixed in a very eclectic and captivating way. What really stands out here is the omnipresent enchanting melodies. The songs are utterly memorable and interesting to the point of ‘forced’ repeat. It is hard to talk about particular favourites here - all songs have something to say. They have a very grounded, human nature which is appealing directly from the heart of the musician to the heart of the listener: ‘Weight’, ‘Giants’, ‘Where Moth and Rust Destroy’ (the most HC song), ‘Hammerhand’, ‘Lend Me Your Heart’, ‘We Are Halves’, ‘Encourage, Encourage’. You can actually listen to the whole record through the following link:

Comrades are doing their part; they have built their own sound and have pushed some elements of rock, progressive rock and post hardcore further. It is like they distilled those music styles into a coherent whole in order to expand, or better abolish, their boundaries.

Comrades come from Richmond, Virginia, US and they have toured extensively playing in any imaginable place. They are also part of the ‘Motherland Collective’, which is dedicated to re-establishing respect, collaboration and mutual support in the scene. As Comrades put it in their own words:

“[We are] Three very different people trying our best to make honest music about things we believe to be important, such as (but not limited to) integrity, the remedying of social injustice, and our creator God.”

Review by Rigas