Note: La La Land is the worst movie ever but congratulations anyway, Ms. Stone.
Coucou, les chaton.ne.s! We're back with our best picks of 2017: International Edition. I must admit that 2017 left us a bunch of new releases (just only view our previous post of some of the best colombian hardcore punk records) and was pretty difficult to choose. I know most of them are either american or british, but don't get me worng. Their local scenes are producing some of the best hardcore punk productions recently. I also tried to feature bands from other countries, as well as female-fronted (both cis and trans) remembering the successful result we had with our infamous Not Just Boys Fun mini-special post. So, I hope you enjoy this fairly long yet wholesome list (Ayyyy, qué rico. Pappppuuuu) Ehem...Ok...Enjoy and until next time! Kisses and hugs!
Odio - Ancora LP (Agipunk (Italia), USA)
The second full-length album of this amazing Oakland-based hardcore punk band. Once again, Odio surprise us with their overwhelming and crushing d-beat influenced hardcore punk, drawing the best elements of all-time classic 80s and 90s japanese hardcore such as G.I.S.M., GAI, The Comes, Disclose and Life. The perfect soundtrack for an intense and relentless pogo night. Highly recommended. Enjoy!
Kohti Tohua - Pelon Neljäs Valtakunta (self-released, Finland)
Holy guacamole! This superb female-fronted d-beat hardcore band from Helsinki simply blew my mind out. I really liked it. Their sound has d-beat, crust'n roll and even some metal punk influences for creating an exquisite raw, loud and precise music. Indeed, there's a gap between Rattus' raw style and Inepsy's Motörhead-esque tunes. And, their vocalist makes a superb work with her voice reminiscent of classic female-fronted hardcore punk bands such as Nausea and Detestation. Highly recommended. Enjoy!
Portuguese / Swedish Hardcore Punk Raw Pollution: Systemik Viølence & Rajoitus split (Raw'n'Roll Rex, Portugal).
This superb split contains two abrasive and violent raw d-beat hardcore punk bands Systemik Viølence (Portugal) and Rajoitus (Sweden). The Lisbon-based band draws influences from Anti-Cimex's early recordings with the terrorist violent attitude of Japan's most fearsome band G.I.S.M. and even some of the superb work of Darkthrone's short yet very impressive crust punk era. On the other side, Rajoitus was born in early 90s and, along with contemporary local counterparts such as Totalitär and Disfear, spread the d-beat raw punk reality around the globe. For this split, they contribute some unreleased stuff from 2014 and they pay tribute to finnish hardcore powerhouses Kaaos and Terveet Kädet with two impressive covers. The war against modern hardcore and punk has been declared with this record. When I get my physical copy, I'll undoubtedly upload it for you. Highly recommended.
Hive - Parisitic Twin (Crown And Thorn Ltd. (USA), USA)
This is a pretty solid and outstanding record of this Memphis-based hardcore band. It features members of 90s influential hardcore bands such as 108, Threadbare and Disembodied but, unlike these all-time classics, Hive opted for paying tribute to early-00s american crustcore bands such as Tragedy and His Hero Is Gone. So, you'll find some right doses of d-beat, crust and sludge for pleasing your ears always craving for nonsense and violent music. The musical execution and instrumentation is fantastic with both fast and slow-paced moments creating an obscure and dense atmosphere. You can't miss out this kind of bands. Highly recommended. Enjoy!
Ritual Knife - Hate Invocation (Fallen Empire Records, USA)
What can I say about this Atlanta-based band? I think I have no words to describe it. It's simply amazing. Ritual Knife mixes the best elements of both black metal and crust punk for creating an immersive, violent and noisy as fuck dark ambient. You can have some blackened crust bands such as Iskra, Gallhammer, Cara Neir and even Darkthrone's crust era as reference but this band is a new unexplored world by itself. Let this band rip your heart out with its superb musical style. Highly recommended. Enjoy!
Impalers - Cellar Dweller LP (540 Records (USA) / Static Shock Records (UK))
It's final-fuckin'-lly! The first LP of this amazing Austin-based d-beat hardcore punk band. This is probably the band responsible for leading the creation of the new wave of american hardcore (deeply explored last year in our infamous special post about it) consisting of, in one part, mixing both d-beat and american hardcore styles. So, this record is raw, ferocious and relentless as you can imagine. Indeed, they fuse the best elements of both d-beat and american hardcore, as well as adding some catchy classical rock 'n roll for creating their top-notch musical style, which could be heared after the inminent nuclear holocaust that awaits us. This band achieved where Discharge failed after their lousy and boring glam metal era (Hey, someone had to say it). Highly recommended. Enjoy!
Krimewatch - self-titled 7" (European Tour '17 promo) (Static Shock (UK), USA)
Finally! One full-length album from this superb New York-based female-fronted hardcore punk band. The wait is over...Wait a minute. Isn't that their demo from last year re-released as 7"? Holy fuck...However, I'm really happy that at least european hardcore punx could delight themselves with Krimewatch's musical style (that mixes both early NYHC and British hardcore with english and japanese lyrics). This is by far one of the best emerging american hardcore bands and was already featured in our Not Just Boys Fun mini-special post (Why didn't I make one 2017 edition?). Until their long-awaited full length album gets finally released, listen to this. Highly recommended. Enjoy!
Exit Order - Seed Of Hysteria LP (Side Two Records (USA) / La Vida Es Un Mus (UK))
This is the second full-length album from this outstanding Boston-based female-fronted hardcore punk band, also already featured in our Not Just Boys Fun mini-special post. They're back stronger than ever mixing the best elements of both early british hardcore and their local hardcore style. Finally, we also had talked about this record in our Damaged City Fest '17 mini-special post. Revisit it here. Highly recommended. Enjoy!
Glue - self-titled MLP (La Vida Es Un Mus (UK), USA)
The most recent work of this outstanding Austin-based hardcore band is finally here. This album is fast-paced, intense and violent as ever, taking their british and american hardcore influences to the next level. And, this is also the perfect soundtrack for making riots and fighting the police in the city. This is undoubtedly the proof that hardcore punk is more alive than ever was. Remember we already gave our impressions of this musical group when we made our Damaged City '17 mini-special post. You can revisit it here. Highly recommended. Enjoy!
Witchtrail - Demo 2017
Remember the first we reviewed this impressive D.C.-based metal punk outfit in our Damaged City '17 mini-special post? We were totally amazed by their top-notch musical instrumentation and execution. Well, this is their first studio work and is fantastic as we previously stated. You can read our early impressions here. Highly recommended. Enjoy!
Devil Master - Inhabit The Corpse EP tape (Grim Winds, USA)
I've waited too long for featuring this amazing Pennsylvania-based metal punk outfit. It features members of Cape Of Bats and Blank Spell. Just like the aforementioned outfits, Devil Master has black metal, deathrock and hardcore punk influences. However, it's not as heavy as Cape Of Bats nor as groovy as Blank Spell but it does have a special and unique obscure and cryptic ambient. If you've ever wanted to explore a forest during the midnight, this could be the perfect soundtrack for doing so and maybe we won't ever see you again...Highly recommended. Enjoy!
Concealed Blade - self-titled (Beach Impediment Records, USA)
As we previously announced in our Damaged City Fest '17 mini-special post, Concealed Blade was a potential candidate for our best picks of 2017. Indeed, their crushing and perfect mix between d-beat and american hardcore punk, notably Boston Hardcore style, cannot be ignored. You can read our impressions here. Highly recommended. Enjoy!
Haram - When You Have Won, You Have Lost LP (La Vida Es Un Mus (UK), USA)
Sesso Violento - Vicious (self-released (?), Italy)
here. You can't miss out this fast and loud outfit. Highly recommended. Enjoy!
Drought Year - Nothing More Than Worthless (self-released, USA)
This is the follow-up of their quite charming debut album All S ymbols Are Swastikas (2016). I was really impressed by the musical style of this sludge band from Asheville, North Carolina, due to their eclectic nature. Indeed, they mix early norwegian black metal, both american sludge and hardcore and post-metal for creating a thick and abrasive sound within a dark, cold and isolated ambient. The musical execution and instrumentation is undoubtedly fantastic and reminded me of the first days when I discovered bands such as Cult Of Luna, Isis, Neurosis and EyeHateGod. If you're familiar with some of these names, Drought Year is definitely for you. I'll try to post in the near future bands like this one. Highly recommended. Enjoy!
Primitive Man - Caustic LP (Relapse Records, USA)
Holy fuck, holy fuck, holy fuck! This is the most recent work of this crushing Denver-based sludge band that will simply rip your heart out and blow your mind away with their dark, overwhelming and mesmerizing style. I also detect some traces of drone and harsh noise too, so this will be a complete sonic holocaust in your head. And, as you can imagine, the musical execution is bestial and the growled vocal style perfectly complements this infernal feast of violence and despair. Finally, I must admit I completely dig this record. Highly recommended. Enjoy!
Purple X - Demo 2017 (Byllepest Distro (Norway), Norway)
When I made the infamous yet successful From Norway With Love: Norwegian hardcore punk in the 80s and 90s special post last year, I wasn't really aware at all of the modern local hardcore scene. Thanks to the norwegian/colombian hardcore connection, already mentioned in the previous post, I had the opportunity to know some cool outfits from that beautiful scandinavian country. Surprisingly, I found Purple X, whose noisy, fast-paced, violent and unpredictable style reminded me of cool NY acts such as Crazy Spirit, Dawn Of Humans and Hank Wood And The Hammerheads mixed with some classic norwegian flavor in the same vein as Svart Framtid and Kafka Prosess. Finally, I absolutely recommend this band. It's one of those outfits that remind us that hardcore should always surpass its own natural musical boundaries without leaving aside the short, fast and loud execution that characterize it. I hope more surprises from this band. Highly recommended. Enjoy!
Full Of Hell - Trumpeting Ecstasy LP/CD (Profound Lore Records (Canada), USA)
The most recent full-length album of this monstrous Maryland-based experimental grindcore outfit is finally here. I have to admit that when I first heard this record, I couldn't believe the nonsense and violent music levels this band has reached lately. Since their split with Merzbow (already featured here in the blog), Full Of Hell's eclectic nature has shaped an unique and personal style of their own. Indeed, you'll still find grindcore, sludge, powerviolence, noise, experimental music and other elements that have characterized this band's musical execution but for this record, I think death metal is more relevant than ever. And, this record was also produced by Kurt Ballou from Converge, so you may know what kind of production value is portrayed. This is by far the most versatile and powerful Full Of Hell's work to date (after their split with Merzbow obviously. It's a record that I can't still get over ha ha). Highly recommended. Enjoy!
Power Trip - Nightmare Logic (Southern Lord, USA)
When I heard their split with Holy Terror's masters Integrity (Magic Bullet Records, 2016), I wasn't really paying attention to what this Texan band was capable of. Now I have to pay the price for completely ignoring them reviewing this masterpiece. Power Trip pays tribute to all-time classic crossover thrash acts such as Suicidal Tendencies, D.R.I., Nuclear Assault and, of course, Cryptic Slaughter but executed like a modern hardcore would do so. The result? Fast-paced, frantic and heavy as fuck. The musical instrumentation is fantastic with some of the coolest metallic riffs and breakdowns I've heard recently. At first glance, you'd think this is a metalcore band but no, you'll rapidly notice the crossover feel. Finally, this record was mastered by Joel Grind from Toxic Holocaust, so you may know what all of this is about. If you thought Toxic Holocaust and Municipal Waste were the heaviest crossover thrash bands out there, think twice when listening to Power Trip's Nightmare Logic. You're gonna love it. I do think so. Highly recommended. Enjoy!
Amenra - Mass VI (Neurot Recordings (USA), Belgium)
Amenra is back with their sixth mass (remember every record from this amazing belgian band is a numbered mass) and they will also make your head explode. This band, which also has its own cult named The Church Of Ra, explores more intensely their characteristic sludge and post-metal vibe. In fact, I've always loved their experimental approach with long epic songs, melodic traits, crescendos, mix of both screamed, whispered and spoken words and clean interludes. I know this could sound a little bit repetitive because many bands that have attempted to play like this have sinned falling in a downward spiral of dullness and boredom, but Amenra successfully achieves these faults like an incandescendent and victorious phoenix returning from the dead. Finally, check this album out. Let it mesmerize you with its high-production value. And if you're in Europe, don't miss out either their tour with Boris (Gosh, I'd wish to be there). This is our selected record of the year. Highly recommended. Enjoy!
Candy - Candy Says demo (Triple-B Records, USA)
This is the debut demo of this impressive american hardcore band. Even though I'm not always ready to review modern hardcore outfits, I have to admit that this band has something that completely attracted me. I think it's because this band plays metallic hardcore in the same vein as all-time classics such as Ringworm and Disembodied, two of my favorite hardcore bands ever. I also found their musical execution and instrumentation pretty intense and well-produced with lots of distortion, fuzz and overwhelming tunes, as well as mesmerizing interludes and bonecrushing breakdowns for killing each other in tha muthafuckin' pit. I'll just have to wait for their full-length album. Such a surprise. Highly recommended. Enjoy!
Big Cheese - Aggravated Mopery demo (Quality Control HQ, UK)
One of the most saddest news last year for me was that Violent Reaction, one of the most representative NWOBHC bands, disbanded. So, in a world without such a great hardcore outfit, some of their ex-members moved on into this amazing NYHC-influenced modern british hardcore band. So, every single aspect that made NYHC so great sometime ago in the past is here. You'll detect the spirit of classics such as Killing Time, Outburst and Warzone, among others. Did you think NWOBHC was just a temporary trend? Think twice is more alive than ever. Highly recommended. Enjoy!
Vile Spirit - self-titled demo (Quality Control HQ, UK)
Another great band from Brighton that simply make us lose our minds with their short yet impressive demo. It contains all the elements that have made so great and relevant the so-called New Wave Of British Hardcore - NWOBHC in the past: both american and british influences alike but this band also adds some traits of an unknown 80s american noisecore band named United Mutation. I've always wanted to talk about this band but I haven't had time to doing so. Anyways, check this demo out. It's gritty, violent and raw as fuck. I'll await patiently for their full-length album. Highly recommended. Enjoy!
Game - Who Will Play? demo (Quality Control HQ, UK)
Another impressive NWOBHC that joins the game with their impressive d-beat influenced hardcore punk. Unlike other of their local counterparts, Game has more emphasis on the raw punk side of things delivering an unmatched violent and ferocious style. They draw influences from both 80s japanese (G.I.S.M., Gai, Zouo) and polish (Siekiera (early recordings), Dezerter) with some american hardcore traits as well. I really liked this band since it's not so common this kind of sound in their native country. I'll also await patiently for their debut LP. Highly recommended. Enjoy!
Primal Rite - Sensory Link To Pain (Revelation Records, USA)
This amazing EP was released through Revelation Records. It also features Lucy Xavier's powerful voice, who also is Profile's vocalist too (This band was featured in our Damaged City Fest '17 mini-special post, which can be viewed here. Now, Primal Rite have both 90s metallic hardcore, death metal and crossover thrash with a pretty outstanding heavy and forceful style. It's fast and relentless by itself. Also, unlike many hardcore bands that spread stabbed-in-the-back or poor mental clichés, Primal Rite is heavily political and outspoken. Finally, this band could also have been included in our Not Just Boys Fun mini-special post, due to Primal Rite's vocalist connection with the LGBTQi community. Highly recommended. Enjoy!
Blank Spell - Miasma LP (World Gone Mad, USA)
This is the first LP of this D.C.-based female-fronted band featuring members of Cape Of Bats and Devil Master, whose style perfectly mix both hardcore punk and post punk alike, for creating an unique sound. Unlike their fellow mates, it's not as aggressive nor as obscure but it has a particular style that shouldn't be discarded either. But you'll also find some of the gloomy aesthetic that characterize those interesting blackened hardcore outfits. Highly recommended. Enjoy!
Sacrificio - Pulidores De Tumbas LP (SPHC (USA), Mexico)
This is the first LP of this impressive Mexico City-based hardcore punk band. Unlike other local hardcore counterparts, they pay tribute to all-time classic 80s thrashcore bands such as Ripcord, Heresy (UK) and HHH (Spain), for naming a few, with the raw and visceral style of 80s mexican hardcore classics such as Atoxxxico, Herejía and Solución Mortal. Some friends of mine saw their live performances during their European tour and were amazed by this band's power. This 14-track LP is the proof that Mexico still is a global hardcore punk reference. Highly recommended. Enjoy!
Limp Wrist - Facades LP
This LP marks the glorious return of one of the best hardcore punk ever in the U.S. after 9 years of absence. They were one of the most influential bands within the queercore movement. So, Facades still display their characteristic and iconic short, fast and loud thrashcore style, adding in some tracks an interesting mid-tempo d-beat groove, which isn't bad at all because you will destroy everything in da muthafuckin' pit. There are even some lyrics in spanish, something new for Limp Wrist's discography and their lyrics overall are still outspoken and irreverent. Finally, the record also features some electronic and experimental tracks with the aid of different invited artists, including Chi from Anasazi. Get this 11 trax of complete punk faggotry, not for the weak at heart and never will be. Highly recommended. Enjoy!
Converge - The Dusk In Us LP (Deathwish, USA)
This is the most recent LP from this iconic mathcore outfit. This is also the first time we feature an entire record of theirs, despite being mentioned in different posts. So, like Power Trip, I didn't listened carefully to this record and I have to admit that my romance with Jane Doe could finish. Indeed, Converge compresses all the teachings of their last 10 years of musical career with this record. The music is still fast, frantic and complex than ever. Yes, there could be some slower interludes but their nonsense and violent style is still intact. Highly recommended. Enjoy!
Integrity - Howling, For The Nightmare Shall Consume (Relapse, USA)
Last but not least, after 22 years we have the first LP of this mythic Holy Terror partisan released through a non-Holy Terror-related record label. This record also represents all the lessons learned in almost 30 years of musical career mixing their crushing 90s metallic hardcore style with the more darker, obscure and overwhelming approach in most recent releases. Even there are some songs closer to other Hellion's sideprojects such as Vermapyre (already featured here in the blog). But don't worry, the music is still an auditive terrorism, the prelude of the upcoming apocalyptic destruction of human life as the purest act of love. This record is fast, frantic and violent as fuck. Highly recommended. Enjoy!