You know the lore. Menace and master of the early New York pits, John Watson, sang for Agnostic Front. 1982. Eventually the band needed a new singer. Stigma wanted a true scene participant and had known Roger Miret from shows and his pit style. Forty years on, Roger and Stigma have toured the world many times and released 12 studio albums (and at least five live albums capturing the band’s unique passion and intensity). So, technically this year is the band’s 40th anniversary, but the true magic happened with Roger and the impact of their EP that same year, United Blood; making 2023 the 40th anniversary of a momentous year.
Four decades of reinforcing the spirit and definition of their moniker, Agnostic meaning “in doubt of the absolute truth” and Front being a united movement, the band have maintained the defiant rebellion which they felt as punk teens. Roger is as enthusiastic in their 40th year.
“We will be focused on that celebration with a special 40-year anniversary release of United Blood followed by a special, old school set of shows,” he says.
“Also, next year, my well-anticipated follow-up book to My Riot (Roger’s autobiography) which will be called With Time. (The book will be) a capsule of AF memorabilia laid out in a beautiful coffee book style, also including inserts from a diary I kept of our first U.S. tour in ‘85!”
In 2020, Roger and crew released a remake of the 1986 banger “The Eliminator 2020” as a seven-inch single, b/w “Toxic Shock 2020.. Both songs are from the classic Cause for Alarm and rerecorded with a new energy and vitality. The depth of the production is stunning.
Roger illuminates the inspiration, “Going back to ‘The Eliminator,’ obviously the image has become a logo (our Eddie, lol. Iron Maiden). We have been re-celebrating him since our 2019 release of Get Loud!, where the original artist, Sean Taggart, did a new version of his famous Cause For Alarm cover for Get Loud!. So, that, too, helped out in the reconnection to the image and song. It just felt right to re-record it with the current band line up.”
It should be noted that the band also worked with the legend Sean Taggart, and Super7 action figures to create 3.75-inch manifestation of The Eliminator. They can now get steep asking prices on eBay. But, worry not, because Super7 will be releasing a Glow-In-The-Dark version this coming January 2023.
Considering the limitations of the last two years, the delays are understandable. But now, directed by Todd Huber, here is for “The Eliminator.”
Twenty-twenty was already an epic year for Agnostic Front, as they toured the U.S. bearing the bold flag of NYHC with two other stalwarts of the scene, Sick Of It All and Crown Of Thornz. Rolling stones and all, Agnostic Front will be starting their next European Tour October 7 through October 29. They will be joined by Charger, led by Matt Freeman. They released a killer LP, Warhorse, this year. Also opening will be Spiritworld. They also released a stunning record last year, Pagan Rhythms, and have continued to slay in 2020 with savage songs “Deathwestern” and “Moonlit Torture,” featuring Dwid Hellion of Integrity.
“The Eliminator” video provides a gritty visual to one of the most vicious tracks created by AF. This 2020 version is heavier, cleaner, beefy, and undeniably tight. Props to Pokey (Leeway, Both Worlds, Merauder) for the devastating. drums. Craig (Silverman; Only Witness, Slapshot) handles the riff and lead as if he wrote it. As always, Stigma and Gallo (Mike, On The Rise) team to pound rhythmic riffs which stomp. Roger explains why this is a natural selection for a vibrant redo.
“Well, we have consistently been playing ‘The Eliminator’ and ‘Toxic Shock’ for years! A lot more of ‘The Eliminator.’ It all came about when, one day, we had a few days off a tour run in NYC. We just had our action figure of The Eliminator released by Super 7, and we just thought how cool it would be to do a seven-inch and run it as a bundle on one of the variants! So, we went in the studio and just banged it out! It felt so good to put those two songs down for the 2020 release!”
Back in 1986, Roger was disturbed by the corporate pollution. Thirty-five years later, the words, unfortunately, still are grossly relevant. Roger concurs, “Absolutely, it’s extremely relevant, and sadly, I think due to corruption and greed, that won’t change much in years to come… but all we can do is call them out and hopefully put some roadblocks on the way.”
With this new video for “The Eliminator 2020,” fans from any AF era will be energized. The tight thrash licks, crushing riffs, and bestial drums set in the dismal basement should elate old hardcore dudes, crossover aficionados, and thrash heads. Agnostic Front’s goal is unity! Showing that great music is timeless, “The Eliminator” feels like 1986 and 2022 are interchangeable.
Todd Huber’s intense and gnarly video will surely whet the tongues of rabid fans for the upcoming 40 year release of United Blood in 2023. That EP is regarded as the definitive New York hardcore sound. Respected in all hardcore circles, United Blood is sacred. Boasting true hardcore punk classics such as “Discriminate Me,” “Friend or Foe,” “Last Warning,” and another seven blazing tracks, the record was self-released by Agnostic Front in true D.I.Y. punk fashion. Besides the beginning of Roger and Stigma’s storied careers, United Blood also represents many figures of NYHC. Adam Mucci on bass, Raybeez (RIP) on drums, Uncle Al (of Murphy’s Law) design, and recorded by royalty, Don Fury.
The lineup in 2022/2023 is Roger, Stigma, Gallo, Craig, and now, recent addition, Danny Lamanga on drums (Played on Sworn Enemy’s Living on Borrowed Time). They have toured with Crown Of Thornz, Walls Of Jericho, The Real McKenzies, and Biohazard.
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