THE SHORT LIST: 5.31.24

The Short List is a periodic dive into non-album gems including reissues, splits, EPs, live, comps, etc.

This week we have five EPs ranging from Chilean thrash newcomers Abreaktion, the debut EP from metallic hardcore outfit End Of Dayz, fast and angry hardcore from Direct Threat, the black metal mastery of Black Sorcery, queer punk iconoclasts from Vermont Blossom, the reissue of FORN’s sludge/doom mind-bending The Departure Of Consciousness, and a final live record after 45 years from punk icons UK Subs.

EPs:

Abreaktion Bornhatred Chaos Records
May 31, 2024

Formed less then a year ago, Abreaktion are dropping their debut EP. The savage quartet from Santiago, Chile decimate expectations and eardrums equally providing four tracks plus a Dark Angel cover, “Welcome to the Slaughterhouse.” While the nod to Dark Angel is a gripping cover, Abreaktion delve deeper than just the usual Bay Area and Teutonic worship.

Touted by the band, they look to Sacrifice (ooof, Forward to Termination and Soldiers of Fortune are personal favorites), Holy Terror (Terror and Submission, Mind Wars, also classics), Artillery (take any release of this Danish stalwart from their 1983 Demo to their ’92 Promo, which includes three LPs or their 2021 album, X), and Atrophy (Socialized Hate, Violent By Nature).

Death metal accents their blistering thrash delivery with succinct punches. Let’s be honest, when a metalhead hears “thrash” and “Chile” in the same sentence, full attention is paid to said album. The flourishing land is known for thrash, fronted by other hyphenated genres. Continually turning heads with their consistency are peers coveting space in my collection such as Atomicide, Atomic Aggressor, Perversor, and Pentagram Chile.

Last year, guitarist (and drums on this recording), Javier Salgado, took his Addiction bandmates, guitarist Roran Fatehatred and bassist Sebastián Logan, to create Abreaktion. As Bornhatred emerges from the diseased soil of this planet, the band unleashes a revamped line up with Edu (bass) and Andrés “Ratanás” Vega (drums) joining Fatehatred and Salgado.

Unrelenting is a description utilized without hyperbole as Bornhatred never relents. The songs arrive at a furious pace. Driven by dynamic, thunderous drums, each track blasts through their under-five-minute duration. Guitars bring punishing riffs and timely squeals, solos, and dive bombs. Snarling vocals fit perfectly, no high octave records challenged here, no prog or spatious mix with over polished filters. This is enraged, diabolical thrash. Recorded, mixed, and mastered at Lion’s Roar Studio in Peñaflor, Chile, Bornhatred excels in destroying all in earshot. Sinister, dark, and unforgiving, the album has been on repeat and demands the majority of bands to kneel.

*Santiago, Chile also houses Coffin Curse, who dropped a personal Top5 death metal ROTY in April with The Continuous Nothing. For the other four, see also Nuclear Tomb, Antichrist Siege Machine, Necrot, and the impending 200 Stab Wounds. Wait for that insane record.

Pressed on CD, ltd to 300
Cover art by Alex Aguayo and layout by Dan Fried
Pre-order at Chaos Records bandcamp

Follow Abreaktion:
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Black Sorcery Plummeting Into the Hour of the Wolf  Eternal Death
May 24, 2024

Ah, Rhode Island. The smallest state who boasts the longest coastline. A nautical state rampant with pastel polos, luxury boats, and brunch gatherings costing more than your rent. But from the sleazy alleys of Providence emerge black metal new comers Black Sorcery. They have returned to follow up their debut album, Deciphering Torment Through Malediction, from last summer.

Three tracks of scathing treachery are spewed with venom and vitriol on their new EP, Plummeting Into the Hour of the Wolf. These three suffocating songs—respectively five, six, and nine minutes—writhe in torturous tenacity. A tinny ’90s drum hammers away the blast beats. The razor-like tremolo guitars stammer and penetrate with a caustic apathy. Black sorcery nail (to a cross?) the cavernous aesthetic of the Norwegian forefathers. That said, I usually hate that approach, but they still finagle a full sound which revels in the instrumentation. The isolated, misanthropic, icy feel is relayed without the shitty production of a off-brand 1987 boombox. Black Sorcery span the two sonic techniques standing defiantly as a unique entity. Rarely do I enjoy this traditional style of black metal. Black Sorcery have produced a surprising treat drenched in debaucherous enmity to savor.

Pressed on cassette, 100
Buy tape or digital on Eternal Death bandcamp

Follow Black Sorcery on bandcamp

End Of Dayz Searching For A Way Out Creator-Destructor/Code of Conduct
May 17, 2023

This debut from Washington’s End Of Dayz is an unapologetic declaration. An intro is followed by four tough-ass tracks of beatdown hardcore. A stammering chug starts off, and then all instruments and vocals descend on the speakers. You’ll be head bobbing instantly. That is, if you are not already spin-kicking.

Citing lyrics from “Do or Die,” “The pain. The hate. All that I feel” are growled with disdain aimed toward “the architect of my suffering.” This has a strong Detroit hardcore influence. End Of Dayz obviously stay comfortably in the realm of metallic hardcore, but there are dynamics and nuances that keep you interested and, more importantly, moshing and windmilling. “No Salvation” encases about four or five different tempos, all within 2:30 minutes. Matt Bertell’s and Landon Boyd’s guitars are layered with gruff riffs but bandy with added ideas and dive bombs.

“Searching for a Way Out” channels Biohazard and Fury Of Five, which are noted by the band as influences along with Merauder, King Nine, Cold As Life, 100 Demons, Madball, and Killing Time. I would throw in bands such as Never Ending Game, Earthmover, Bulldoze, Back Of Tha Neck, Death Before Dishonor, Furious Styles, Shattered Realm, and Missing Link.

That title track lingers for a while, allowing some shine for Caleb Sugiyama’s bass and Nick Cody’s drums which have been pounding away propelling each track, all of which can be elicited from the closer, “War(Riot) Spirit.” This is a vicious statement with the brutality to back it, a quick record in 11 minutes. Not a second wasted. Call it hardcore or metallic hardcore, beatdown or tough guy, this shit slays and leaves an undoubted impression of conviction and urgency.

VINYL:
Blood Red vinyl w/ Black Splatter, 250. *Includes the brand new EP + both previous demos

Purchase the LP at Creator-Destructor or at End Of Dayz bandcamp

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Follow End Of Dayz:
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Direct Threat Endless Siege Iron Lung (US)/QCHQ (EU)
May 31 2024

Short. Fast. Loud. It’s a tried and true combination for hardcore punk. Read the name Direct Threat and it will be obvious what is about to play like monikers such as Negative Approach, 86 Mentality, or Boston Strangler. Imagery evoked matches the crashing savagery you are about to endure. Direct Threat had an impressive demo on Iron Lung in 2021. Three years, and the vengeance and impatience is palpable. The Denver band blend Oi! and hardcore like aforementioned bands plus recent peers like Stigmatism, Bootlicker, No Time, Heavy Discipline, Concealed Blade, and Repeat Offender.

Direct Threat rise above the land of IPAs and hippies. (I jest. I love Denver, actually. Superb food, endless beer, and a solid reggae/rocksteady DJ scene.) The malevolence and derisive observations come to fervent fruition with fetid dominance. Iron Lung state it better than I: ” (T)ackling subjects ranging from a monotonous reality sparking violence to hopeless futures to threats and paranoia. To say life is uneasy is putting it mildly and mild is something DT just doesn’t fuck with.” Maladies and misery get the spotlight and these hooligans direct you to deal with them armed with an iron chin and clenched fists. One of the best out this this year. Do not sleep. One of my favorites out right now. Buy the record and support.

VINYL:
70gm Transparent Green, 300
Black, 500

Recorded by Joey Hidalgo, Ryan Jones and River English. Mixed and mastered by Will Killingsworth. Art and Layout by Andoni de la Cruz

Buy this banger at Iron Lung or QCHQ

Blossom self-titled State Of Mind + Burnitdown/REBUILD
May 24, 2024

Despite the delicate name, Blossom hits like a cactus to the face or a thick tree trunk to the midsection. And that is the fucking point. Having driven through to Burlington, Vermont to indulge in the epicenter of beer and cheese and lush greenery, I have walked among the multitudes of hippies. It is a vibrant and relaxed city. College Kids, scholarly professors, and elderly burnouts populate the cobblestone and streets. It is refreshing and satiating, but one must exit quickly, or at least take the satchel of purchased cheese back to the quaint New England bed and breakfast.

In the early 2000’s My Revenge! stood valiantly to declare Burlington could embrace hardcore punk. They released records from 2001 to 2008. Then, in 2016, The Path resurrected the torch. Since then, hardcore punk has been gifted with music from Cooked and Blossom (all three of which are releasing records on State Of Mind Recordings).


Blossom immediately establish a ferocity forged from flames of sincerity and indignation. Igniting a fury in the vein of Firewalker, Krimewatch, and G.L.O.S.S., the band bookends this release with an aural tribal war call to arms via ancient horn. This is not some misplaced homage. Blossom are here to battle bigotry and oppression. The arsenal is equipped with evocations of The Fix, Articles Of Faith, The F.U.’s speed and grit. Blossom embodies a rage unfortunately earned.

The band—with the banner of “queer femme hardcore punk”—stands for “queer joy, resistance, and liberation.” Blossom do not just play with speed (which they do) but also some textures that highlight their individuality. Also, a brash catchiness that will induce moshing. The trans community is well represented here by people who will not retreat. And punk is a brilliant venue for resistance against the tumultuous tyranny. “Our Own Image” delivers a great creepy crawl NYHC style. Pace switches throughout the record. Songs are between one and two minutes. Seven tracks over 13 minutes. Blossom devise necessary aggression with confrontational vigilance.

CASSETTE:
Pink, 25 (State of Mind Direct only)
Clear with Gold Glitter, 25 (Rec Release show version)
Purple, 50

Follow Blossom:
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Checkout State Of Mind releases on bandcamp

LIVE:

UK Subs The Last Will & Testament of… CD/DVD Cleopatra Records
May 3, 2024

It is intimidating to attempt to encapsulate the career and impactful legacy of UK Subs, especially when that summary is plopped into a section named “The Short List.” And it has been done previously. Two paragraphs on Discogs nips the early days quite well. Searched for an extensive bio from a DIY aging punk but could not find one and Wikipedia did the job just fine. Basically, vocalist Charlie Harper, was in pub rock bands about 1974/75, heard The Damned, and in 1976 formed The Subversives, which morphed into UK Subs. As the bio says, “Harper’s growling Cockney vocals (was paired) with Nicky Garratt on Guitar, Paul Slack on Bass and a variety of drummers. They became the ‘U.K. Subversives’, later shortened to ‘U.K. Subs.'”

Quickly, UK Subs were incendiary factors of The Roxy in ’77 London with Shane MacGowan (RIP), and luminaries such as The Adverts, The Boys, The Buzzcocks, Chelsea, The Clash, Cock Sparrer (with their name “written on the walls of The Roxy loo”), The Cortinas, The Damned, The Drones, Eater, The Jam and so many others (a long list, but every punk should own a record by each of these masters).

UK Subs quickly established themselves as a standout and cemented their upper echelon status with Another Kind of Blues. With Harper’s love of RnB and the bands ear for power pop, the record stood out and was a sonic disease, infectious and with you for life. The Last Will & Testament… extracts tracks from this classic and the equally stunning successor, Brand New Age. ’82 and ’83 delivered stye and substance with Endangered Species and Flood of Lies. The band made music into the 2000’s and continually released records and live albums and represses for the new generations.

Now, this is a live album. Some fans shudder at that thought, not only because the sound can be dodgy whether an arena or a pub, but also, in this context of a band from this era or most ’80s bands, it is a contractual escape instead of putting love and energy into writing another record for the lecherous label. I have my live records which make the cut: Sick Of It All, Agnostic Front, Kill Your Idols, Sheer Terror, Cock Sparrer, Bad Brains (multiple), Ramones, Band Of Gypsys, Miles Davis, Muddy Waters, and a few others.

The sound on The Last Will & Testament… represents a gritty, raucous group of older gentlemen that can play their instruments. Harper’s vocals are strong and discernable. Drums pound. The bass is mixed well, providing the steady low end splendor. The guitar riffs are tough while the solos are crisp. The record was recorded by Jurgen Englerat The 100 Club in London ion September 29 and 30, 2023 to lay these legends down to a final rest. Six months later, this album allows the rest of us to perspire, pogo, and scream with them.

The album begins with a chant from a hungry crowd, “UK SUBS! UK SUBS! UK SUBS!” This fades up quickly as the band hits the stage, and Parker simply states, “Alright. Let’s Go.” This is emblematic of the record. No indulgent or weepy sentimental banter or tirades between songs, just hard hitting rowdy punk song after another. The sound is perfect, but captures that it’s a punk show. It should feel a little claustrophobic, a little loud, and very sweaty. But close your eyes to this and feel the undeniable energy still coursing through these geezers blood.

Final line-up: Charlie Harper, vocals; Alvin Gibbs, bass; Steve Straughan, guitar; Stefan Haublein, drums.

The Last Will & Testament… is out on Cleopatra Records. Design is a gorgeous, sepia-drenched presentation with their stark red logo which triggers the eyes. Once opened, the skull illustrations and photos allow the words and emotions and sights to coalesce. Available on double-disc digipak which folds out to reveal a CD/DVD or 2XLP on gold vinyl.

Buy vinyl at Cleopatra Records.
Buy CD/DVD here at MVD.

Here is a solid article on Charlie Harper by The Guardian UK in 2015.

REISSUES:

Forn The Departure of Consciousness Persistent Vision
June 14th, 2024

This year marks the 10-year anniversary of a masterpiece. As the past decade has plodded by armed with despair and suffering, Forn’s eviscerating creation concoction of blackened-sludge/doom stands as a soundtrack. Each song encapsulates an acerbic diatribe over bludgeoning tunes. Beefy, down-tuned journeys embody an embattled quartet of sonic devastation. Thirty-three minutes of defeat and isolation merge to drag the listener through stretches of desolation and cataclysmic crescendos. Textured layers and cavernous yearnings interweave to ensnare the audience, reminding and jostling regrets and misfortunes.

Originally released in 2014 via Vendetta Records and Gilead Media, The Departure of Consciousness was a leviathan of desperation. The template predicted a legacy only to be followed by one full length, Rites of Despair (2018, Gilead Media), an EP (Weltschmerz, 2015, Gilead Media), and a split with the mighty Yaujta (2015, Gilead Media). This time capsule of anguish and longing stands obstinate today. Vocals are spat from an acrimonious pitch, bellowed and grating. The pure drudgery beckoned from the six strings and the hammering drums match with mounting guitar lines. Truly rooting anxiety and returning it to the audience guides them into the plunging depths of the soul.

The complexity and intricacies have been written previously by greater reviewers than I. But as a dude born in Boston and raised in Mass, the memory of Forn’s mentioned inspiration, “a particularly dismal and harsh winter in Boston, Massachusetts.” Relating is reflex, not a task. That exercise illustrates the band’s nods to Burning Witch, Asunder, and the home state legends, Grief. No one is surprised to see Forn move to tour with Thou, Windhand, Noothgrush, Brainoil, Bell Witch, and The Body.

Speaking of some of those bands, to manifest their crushing vision, the band collaborated with Alec Rodriguez at New Alliance Audio for engineering and Greg Wilkinson at Earhammer Studios. He plays guitar in Branoil and has twisted knobs for Southern Lord, Tankcrimes, Deranged Records, 20 Buck Spin releases, totaling 466 projects (hell, let’s name some: Iron Lung, Vastum, Annihilation Time, Lecherous Gaze, Stormcrow, No Statik, Necrot, Noothgrush, Mortuous, Body Void, Connoisseur, High On Fire… and the list keeps unravelling). The record was the mastered by the Midas Touch of Brad Boatright at Audiosiege.

VINYL:
Grape & Sky Blue Merge Packaged in reverse board jacket with printed inner sleeve. Limited to 250 copies.
Grape w/ Sky Blue & Black Splatter Packaged in reverse board jacket with printed inner sleeve. Limited to 250 copies.
Sky Blue Cassette Comes packaged with j-card and sky blue shell cassette, limited to 100 copies.
* expanded artwork, by tattoo artist Bryan Proteau

Purchase at Persistent Vision or Deathwish Inc

Follow Forn on instagram

Tour:
May 29 – Cambridge, MA @ Middle East
May 30 – Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus
Jun 1 – Toronto, ON @ Prepare The Ground Festival
Jun 2 – Montreal, QC @ Casa Del Popolo
Jun 20 – Los Angeles, CA @ Knucklehead
Jun 21 – Bakersfield, CA @ Death Over Bakersfield
Jun 23 – Pe Ell, WA @ Cascadian Midsummer Festival

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