Saturday, February 13, 2010
San Diego, California's No Innocent Victim began playing in 1992. So much more than just a "Christian hardcore band", they have released records with several different record labels; including Rescue Records, Victory Records, Solid State Records, and Facedown Records; and have toured all over the U.S., Japan, and Europe, playing big hardcore acts of many sorts, both Christian and not, such as; Hatebreed, Madball, Agnostic Front, xDisciplex, P.O.D., and so many more. The first of their records that I ever heard was their Flesh and Blood record and was blown away, especially by the song "My Beliefs". The couple times I have seen them, it was always an experience. I'm pretty certain the biggest circle pit I have EVER seen was during a No Innocent Victim set when I was a freshman in high school. They were one of the few bands that I heard back then that played a Christian version of straight up hardcore style that I was used to secular bands playing like Madball, Agnostic Front, Sick of it All, and Hatebreed. What I have always found great about No Innocent Victim was how big of a deal they have always been, in both the Christian and non-Christian hardcore scenes. They are one of the few bands that don't keep their Christian values under wraps, but are adored by both Christians and non-believers. THAT is a true achievement of a Christian hardcore band, not playing in front of Christian kids all of the time, preaching to the choir. No Innocent Victim has released several records in their time, on a few different record labels, and all of which are AMAZING. As many bands, they've been through TONS of members, but always stuck to the hardcore sound that has made them great. They haven't released anything since their 2005 To Burn Again record, but have toured as recently as last year. I haven't seen them since a few years ago an hour north of where I live, but would LOVE to get to see them again. What sucks is I'm still trying to get my hands on their more rare records, such as their '93 demo, their split with Phanatik from '98, their '98 self titled record, and their first Victory Records release titled The Crazy Engler Brothers from '99. If anyone has copies of these that they can rip and send my way, please let me know! Anyway, here's a few of their records that I do have.
"I would die tonight for my beliefs"
Strength (1995 - Rescue Records)
No Compromise (1997 - Rescue Records)
- Thank you Matt M. for the rip of this record!
Flesh and Blood (1999 - Victory Records)
Tipping the Scales (2001 - Victory Records / Solid State Records)
To Burn Again (2005 - Facedown Records)
Sunday, February 7, 2010
I love Christian hardcore from the 90s and early 2000s. I mean, LOVE it. And I love being able to share what I have of it with everyone, as well as learn even more about rad bands that made it what it was. After receiving TONS of requests to share my personal collection of hardcore that isn't just Christian, but from the same era, please feel free to contact me via email or leave me a comment about what you want and I'll be happy to hook you up. A lot of my favorite hardcore isn't even Christian hardcore, but being a believer in God, I found myself relating to a lot of the Christian hardcore that was around. My collection has become quite large over the years, so don't be afraid to ask me if I have something you're looking for, because chances are, I may have it. I'm tempted to maybe begin sharing the rest of my hardcore collection on another blog, not sure though. Let me know.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Thanks to Guy for his uploads he has recently sent over to me, I can now share with everyone Overcome's The Life of Death five song ep released in 1998 on Facedown Records. This ep was one of the kickstarting records for Facedown Records' success in the hardcore scene. This particular record contains songs that would later be featured on More Than Death, which you can download from my first post on the band. Check it out. Thanks again Guy.
The Life of Death (1998 - Facedown Records)
The Life of Death (1998 - Facedown Records)
Thursday, February 4, 2010
All I can remember about Neshamah was that they were in contact with one of my old bands when they were just getting started. I was super young. They were from Cape Town, South Africa, which is one of the traits of them that helped pushed them immediately to the top of the ladder of the Christian hardcore scene in the early 2000's, temporarily at least. They went from releasing their first record on their own, to be featured internationally (even on Goodlife Recordings), to releasing an ep with Ohio's very own Angry Son Records, to being a part of a split ep on Blood & Ink Records with Kentucky's Rapture of the Meek, to finally releasing their final full length with South Africa's Witch Doctor Records. I saw them play at Cornerstone, liked what I heard then, but I really only got into their first, and self released, full length record titled The Grass Withers and Its Flower Falls. This shit was really good, I thought, and had some crucial heavy parts, but I didn't think very much of their later stuff. The band's old, and now out-of-date, self-run website is still up here. Remember when bands had actual websites rather than just a MySpace page? Speaking of MySpace, Neshamah's MySpace page remains online. The page includes an in-depth look at Neshamah that may be better than myself attempting to write any sort of summary of the band's short career. So, here's the bio:
"Neshamah is Matt Hoyle: vocals Ryan van Rensburg: vocals Jen Roomes: Bass Justin Kruger: drums Russel Aitkenhead : guitar Having been around for more than just a few years, with a massive local, national and international following, Cape based hardcore band Neshamah is showing no signs of slowing down. Their dynamic blend of rock n roll and metal influenced hardcore, their explosive performances and constant touring, and their dedication to the local scene have earned them not only a dedicated fan base, but also extensive media support, their website www.neshamah.com receives between 60 000 – 80 000 hits per month. Neshamah have toured internationally with Norma Jean, Stretch Armstrong and The Culprits, and have also played internationally with bands such as: The Hope Conspiracy, The AKA’s, Figure Four, The Deal, Underoath, Seventh Star, No Innocent Victim, xDisciplex AD, Point of Recognition, Nourish the Flame, Every Time I Die, Thursday, This Day Forward, With Honour, Mortification, xLooking Forwardx, Shattered Realm, Zao, locally they have played with such acts as The Narrow, They have also toured and played locally with to many great South African bands mention. 2001 2001 saw the release of Neshamah’s first full-length cd “The grass withers and its flower falls”. Self funded and released independtly, it managed to hook up both national and international distribution, and was voted into the top 10 releases of 2001 on 5fms Barney Simons national radio show “The night zoo” as well as being selected for cd of the month on Belgium’s Goodlife Recordings (August 2001). Songs from the cd also managed to find their way into numerous local and international compilations. Having played many festivals in South Africa and completing a national tour, Neshamah received an invitation to play at the popular Cornerstone Festival in Bushnell IL (USA). Neshamah rocked a pre fest show with awesome bands such as No Innocent Victim, Figure Four, and Underoath (to about 950 people) and then opened for Luti-Kriss (now norma jean) to a 5000 strong crowd. This resulted in media attention for the band while in the States, including reviews/interviews in local zines and magazines and radio interviews on American Stations. The year also saw Neshamah appearing on various national TV programmes, including playing live to the entire nation on a popular breakfast show and being involved with articles in countless magazines. 2002 From the hard work in 2001 Neshamah sealed a record deal to release an EP on Angryson records an Indy label from Ohio (USA). The EP was released to rave reviews in many local, national and international print and web zines. Effective national and international distribution of the EP helped Neshamah further consolidate their hold on the American hardcore underground. Playing loads of local and national festivals again, Neshamah’s following locally, nationally and internationally continued to grow. 2003 This year was another great year for Neshamah, in February they signed a deal with with hardcore label Blood & Ink Records, a label based in Richmond, Virginia (USA), for a split EP release with label mates Rapture of the Meek (from Kentucky). Neshamah recorded their 6-song contribution to the EP in March that year, and the Ep was released in June, shortly before Neshamah embarked on their second USA tour. Once again exposure was gained through effective distribution and promotion of the release. Neshamah left for the USA. This time round it was a solid month’s worth of touring – including 14 different states. They kicked off by playing with fellow Blood & Ink artists The Culprits, along the way playing with Nourish the Flame, Shattered Realm, Figure Four, xlooking forwardx, and featured on the Blood & Ink showcase festival, once again playing cornerstone festival,(this time on the Rock for Life stage) to an awesome crowd, thereafter hitting the road for 3 weeks with Stretch Armstrong and Norma Jean. Captivating stateside audiences with their live performances and powerful music. American Hardcore fans were pleasantly surprised at level of hardcore to emerge from South Africa. In August Neshamah returned victorious to play 5 explosive shows to local fans on the X-tour. 2004 This year Neshamah are releasing their new full length, “communicating in heartbeats” on South African based record label witchdoctor records with looking at an international licensing deal with a label to release the new cd in the USA and Europe. At home they have already this year toured the country, played fests etc. recorded their new cd in June, been in numerous zines and magazines this year, they also won the award in blunt magazine (a south african music/skate magazine) for best heavy act of 2004, already plans to tour in support of the new cd are in the works as well as tour over to Europe and the states next year… Neshamah are a hard working band and a band to be taken seriously. www.neshamah.com"
The Grass Withers and Its Flower Falls (2001)
In My Heart (2002 - Angry Son Records)
Communicating in Heartbeats (2004 - Witch Doctor Records)