Sunday, August 26, 2012

"Being vegan edge is just being myself": An interview with PURIFICATION

Purification is in my opinion one of the most important bands for the vegan straight edge movement. And why, you may ask? Well, simply because they are one of the few who can combine both the important message and the hard music to make the perfect combo. Stalwarts of a scene in which the norm is to come and go, these Italians have stayed the course and now they are here to reap the results. They have been through a lot as a band, and it is definitely nice to see them coming back with such a strong album and the same comviction in veganism and the straight edge!

p.s. Review for A Torch o Pierce the Night coming soon!
1. Hi there and confradulations on the crushing new album! Can you tell us where "A Torch To Pierce the Night" picks up compared to last album? What is the meaning of the album title (please elaborate)?

- Thanks! Well, the new album sounds a little bit more metal than the last one and the major change has been the switch at the vocals, consequently changing the lyrics style as well. The meaning of the title is to carry a positive message in the sense that we still have to be brave and even if few we must carry the torch (our values) that enlightens todays era where you see so few of them.

2. You're a legendary band. What are the pressures of being one of the few vegan edge hc/metal bands left today? Is the message as important as it used to be or do you want to focus on the music?

- Thanks but I'd doubt very much we're legendary! There are no real pressures other than the urgency of putting out a record that has a meaning. Hence the heavy importance of the lyrics, where we try to convey a hard yet compassionate message to whoever interested.

3. The new album has a heavier Slayer influence but also many atmospheric intros and keyboard parts. Do you think metal is a good carrier? What about the hardcore aspect? Where do you feel you belong as a band?

- We've always been more on the metal edge of the core, the album is just another evolution towards that. I believe the hardcore aspect is more in the lyrics and on the message we carry rather than musically.

4. Your lyrics portray a post-apocalyptic/war imagery & notion which hide an environmental/eco message. Can you tell a little more about the lyrics and the use of metaphors in your songs?

- I can tell more about the latest ones, which are the ones I wrote. I've tried to be focused on a slightly more positive and open message but keeping the hard edge on. I want people into this music to be able to identify themselves in the lyrics and the message to be a positive change for the world we live and for the vegan edge ones to keep on going on and try to be the best example, to lead and have people be interested more into veganism rather than pushing them out. I want people to be conscious of their choices.

5. The new album contains a spoken word by all-time hardcore icon, Jon Joseph (Cro-Mags). Can you tell us how that came about? What about other scene pioneers you've met (i.e. Vegan Reich's Sean Muttaqi and Earth Crisis's Karl Buechner): who is the most influential?

- The idea just popped up as I've been following John Joseph in his vegan quests and battles for quite a long time and I thought it could fit perfectly with what we're trying to say with this album.
Hard to say the most influential, every one of them has something special in some way that is worth to get to know and that contributed to veganism.

6. Is it hard to maintain you beliefs in veganism and straight edge while growing up? Have you mellowed out or compromised in any way? Is the scene better now compared to the past?

- Not at all, being vegan edge is just being myself. I think I'm trying more nowadays than yesterday to get more people aware of their choices, to change some lives for the better.
I know almost nothing about today's scene, and to be honest I don't really care anymore. I care about veganism and I care about people with something to say, which is rare today.

7. It seems common for people in vegan/sxe to fade in and out of the public eye (including Purification). Why is that?

- The public eye follows trends, vegan xxx has never been one but for a short time at the end of the 90's.

8. Can you shed some info about your personal life? What are the things you love/hate in everyday life, and what is your typical day?

- I'm just a regular guy who works as a web developer, I like vegan food, traveling and stay with my family :)

9. Militant and hardline scenes seem to arise again in vegan/sxe hc. What are your views on hardline vegan sxe? I am talking about people being pro-life, anti-gay, anti-tattoos, sxe who don't drink coffee or eat tropical fruit and all of that... what is your stance?

- I had no clue about those bands, people who are too hard and pure tend to fade away quickly, we've seen so many already. I don't see many problems in being pro-life, I've plenty of tattoos and I have no problem with people with a different sexual preference than mine. I don't drink coffee because I don't like it, I try to avoid sodas and I love tropical fruits.

9. I hate to ask this, but would you care to clear up the rumors about people in Purification being right wing or racist? I have seen pics with you wearing anti-racist tshirts, so what is the deal with the rumors?

- People love to talk shit when you don't sell out and have strong beliefs, personally I don't give a crap about the losers that are big mouth on the web and when you play don't even have the courage to come up and have a chat about those things they make up while they don't even know you are.

10. Do you have any other music projects? What type of music do you listen daily (both hardcore and non-hardcore)? Do you have any other source of inspiration (books/art/anything else)? Do you have any reading material to recommend to people?

- We don't at the moment, we're quite too busy with life itself! I do listen to quite a lot of regular music, the one that plays on the Italian radios...I also like a lot the indipendent Italian hip-hop as well. Inspiration comes mostly from the regular people we meet on the day-to-day basis, people that dedicate themselves to make this place a better world. People running farm sanctuaries, people doing demos, people doing actions, volunteers, people writing, people not giving up.
I recently read Eating Animals by Safran-Foer and the documentary Forks Over Knives, bot highly recommended to everybody.

11. You've lived this scene from the inside out. What keeps you inspired to do what you do? Is there an ethic or philosophy that you would like to pass on or be remembered for?

- The vegan straight edge.

12. That is all, thank you very much. Please close this interview in any way you want to. Give a message to the still vegan straight edge kids and those who sold out/who will sell out in the future.

- Be who you want to be but think responsibly. Be part of the solution. Peace.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Truth Inside - EPs and Comp songs (2012)

In the near futute, we will be reviewing records from a label which has been putting out good hardcore that gets us psyched about all kinds of shit. This label is Life to Live Records. With the craziness of personal life and vast amount of music I have to go through to actually get to what's good, I almost missed out on Life to Live. But hey, I didn't, so good for me. First up will be Truth Inside, which is actually the band of Dan who runs the label.

Truth Inside (I'd like to write it Truth X Inside) is a band that's fairly well known in the hardcore circles of today. Especially within the straight edge hardcore scene, this band has spread its name and rightly achieved a status of hard earned respect. I can easily see why: this is the type of youth crew... no! -- just plain hardcore that we've always loved, the style that's been in our heart. We got catchy, fast hardcore songs with a positive message about unity, staying true (to the straight edge but most of all yourself) and giving respect when it's due.

Best Times is the 5-song ep that Truth Inside released in January 2012. The cover art is consistent with the positive lyrics and album title and generally adds to the overall upbeat feel. It all blends together perfectly for a hardcore record that overflows with energy and that I can play both summer and winter. My favorite song has to be "Abstain" since I am biased and down with the straight edge, but really -- all the songs are good.

In addition, this positive hardcore combo recently had two songs released by the legendary Commitment Records (in the form of a three-way split with other notable straight edge hardcore acts). OK that's gotta be good! What we get by Truth Inside on this one are two short and anthemic songs of hardcore appreciation. Nice grooves, positive vibes, a rawer 'organic' production and a total thumbs up is what I'm feeling about this. It's good to have bands like Truth Inside to remind us the good old solid values of hardcore. The awesome thing is that they can do it in such a fresh way.

p.s. Truth Inside also released a 7" on Ugly and Proud Records in 2011. The label is run by Nikki, an awesome dude who has done a lot for straight edge hardcore in his native Bulgaria, but also in Europe and the world. Respect!

D&D Allstars: "1,2 Pass It"

Why the hell would I ever post a hip hop video from the 90s on this blog? Well, partly because I just feel like it, but also because I really love old school rap. I've actually always felt that real hip hop is awesome as the chill alternative to hardcore (which undoubtedly will always be this blog's first love and main focus). It has a street mentality and it is undoubtedly an outspoken, in your face form of music. Enough said.

But anyways, "1,2 Pass it"  is a dreamteam collaboration and a true hip hop classic with a bunch of legendary rappers in one video (personal fav's are: Jeru the Damaga, KRS and Fat Joe, but the rest also nail it!). Don't you know what this style is about? It's all about keeping it fresh in the city jungle and stepping up your game amidst the urban chaos. These guys show how it's done. So take their lead, wise up and do your thing!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Resurgency - "False Enlightenment" (full-length, Hellthrasher Productions)

I realized it's been a pretty long time since we had some death metal going on here... and this review has been sitting around for quite a while, so it was finally time to get off my ass, edit it and post it. It's written by one of our favorite contributors... enjoy it together with the undiluted realness of this awesomely-titled, barbarous Greek death metal album!
How does it feel to be capable to relive some glorious times? How does it feel to hear the maggots crunching in your teeth (well that's a different story)? Anyway, my point is it smells like Florida death metal around here.. and that is definitely a compliment!

These guys seem to bring back the glory of the late 80s early 90s era, when death metal shorts and sunglasses were regarded as poseur antics by Norwegian black metallers. We're talking about an era when Morbid Angel used to live together in the same house, where Nile's Karl Sanders would randomly show up and listen to Pete "Commando" Sandoval constantly molesting his drum set in the basement (source:

Well if these stories sound fascinating for you too, we are born in the wrong era my friends. Nevertheless the seeds of death metal have grown and many bands are keeping the tradition nowadays. One of them is Resurgency from our very own Athens, Greece. They deliver death metal the old way, with razor twisted melodic riffs, excellent drumming, proper production and thunderous growls along dark lyrics.

Tracks like the opening “Cranium of Slain Disciples”, “Black Hole of Antiverse” and  the title track “False Enlightenment” are my personal favorites! The artwork is definitely a plus since it combines harmonically with the music and the lyrical context. 2xDeicide t-shirts in the band photo, this pretty much sums it up. Comparing this release with the split they did (with Desolator), I can clearly say there has been progress, so guys keep up the good work! For the rest of you: Dive in, this is pure old school death metal!

Check them out: Resurgency Facebook
Review by Lord Warm

Monday, August 13, 2012

I Want The Moon - s/t Demo

What I find interesting about some Greek punk and hardcore bands, is the fact that their influences are  not so direct and harder to trace. And this is something that's good in a world of copycats and tried gimmicks. This is also the case with I Want The Moon, a Athenian melodic hardcore band made up of real old schoolers of the local scene (learn more about their bio at their reverbnation page).

With that said, I guess that we could say that I Want The Moon pay their respect to an older, slower, and proudly harsh form of melodic hardcore. It borrows inspiration equally from Leatherface as it does from Mudhoney and even Deus. I don't even know if one could actually term this music as "melodic", since the vocals are pretty rough and the melodies are on the pessimistic side but without a single hint of mainstream, romantic punk rock melancholy. Just grim, weird music with nicely accentuated and discordant guitar work. Also, it is not necessary to term IWTM "hardcore" as such, since there is no fast hardcore drums here; but I guess post hardcore is the only genre that could serve as a home for these lonely punk souls.

The reality of the matter is that the potent melodies that these guys have thrown in their songs have their own antisocial brand of melody and catchiness, and have something that grows on you with every time you listen to this demo. I should also mention that this demo is a live recording, and that's something that has worked very well on this occasion: a prefectly rough sound with a high impact on your ears (in fact, it all sounds very decent and 'clear'). There is nothing pretentious in what this band plays at all; and that is a good reason to start liking them a lot.

To sum this review up... IWTM's music is good at painting pictures of introspection, ferociousness and loneliness... a strange mix indeed. We have to do with that sort of matured ferocity that accompanies much of the good Leatherface-isnpired punk. it's like a bunch of angry bears giving you a lesson in irony, apathy and bitterness. Very nicely done!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Gallows - new self titled album

With 2009's Grey Britain album, Gallows achieved pretty much the very top of the hardcore/punk world. Since then a lot has changed for them, with the departure of their singer (and main figure) Frank Carter, and his replacement with Alexisonfire's Wade MacNeil.

This is not really big news for any punk fan (just a boring introduction). The news is that Gallows have a new self titled album ready to be released by Bridge 9 records. "Last June" is the first track that has leaked as a pre-taster. It has been released as a video and it can also be downloaded free at Gallows' official site. You can also check the video below.

In my personal opinion, the song carries that characteristic trashy rocknroll hardcore feel, and definitely needs a few listens before you can actually get into it. Check it out!

Poster from Gallows' upcoming Euro tour

Monday, August 6, 2012

Minority Unit (Last show) Sound & Fury 2012

Gotta love that internet... Actually I mostly hate it, but the fact that a hardcore show happens at the other side of the world and the next week you can kick back and watch it online is just insane. What a great way to check out bands and see if they rep their music like they should on stage.

Which is the case with this video here. The band is Minority Unit, a band that was made in order to pay homage to that old school Boston hardcore sound. Can't go wrong with intentions like these, really. Anyways, enjoy the video, the quality is not all that great, but we're sure you'll appreciate the energy and the general madness that goes on.

 And if you are somewhat bummed that this was Minority Unit's last show, don't despair. Walter Delgado's (vocals) other band is Rotting Out, so there is plenty more hardcore action for you to check out there!