My name is Joel. I play bass in Ancient Shores. This is my track by track review of the A389 2012 mixtape/sampler. I believe that there may be one track out of order (Hatewaves?) but I believe other than that the order is correct. Obviously this only my opinion and not the rest of the guys.
Seven Sisters of Sleep - Slower Downer - I love these dudes. Was extremely excited to see them at the A389 bash and they killed it. I really like the vibe of this song. It's not too lathargic but still slowly creeps along. That main riff is gnarly. SO HEAVY.
Countdown to Oblivion - Poster Children For Family Values - Hell yes. This is a rager. All the riffs flow perfectly into one another and those vocals rule (duh). Extremely happy that this record/discography has seen the light of day. #joelsucks
Ilsa - Deadbeat's Ballad - Heavy. I can't wait to see these guys sometime soon. Those vocals are pisssssed and the tone of the guitars is terrific. Although totally unrelated I'm getting a lot of the same vibes from these guys as I do from Cynarae.
Ringworm - Leviathon - I never got super into Ringworm. At first I wasn't a fan but over time I've been able to appreciate them more and more. The pace of this song is pretty frantic (in an awesome way) and I really liked that quick little solo in there.
Homewrecker - Worms and Dirt - Consider me impressed as shit. This track blows everything else they've done out of the water. I'm really into those nasty vocals. Perfectly abrupt song.
Like Rats - Fire - Super dark. I find myself slowly nodding my head without even realizing it. Vocals cut through. Not very familiar with these guys but will be checking them out for sure.
Children of God - Desolate - I'm not gonna lie. I have slept on this band and I'm incredibly ashamed after hearing this. HOLY SHIT. This might be favorite on the whole sampler. The second half of the song sets an incredible mood and feel. Instant fan right here.
The Guilt Of... - Social Recall Rewind - I read that these guys were putting out a split 7" with Full of Hell and got really excited. The FOH dudes are my favorite to play with. I fully expected this to sound like traditional FOH but instead was gladly greeted with what could be compared more to the Full of Hell Noise sets. I'm really looking forward to hearing more from these guys. Definitely not what I was expecting (in a good way).
ANNE - Virginal Plight - Oh, ANNE. The awesome weird brother that feels like it doesn't fit with A389 which is the exact reason why it does. This track has such a strong melody and I can see it easily getting stuck in my head. The brightness of the guitar in this is perfect.
Pulling Teeth - Lightning Strikes Twice - Duuuuude. I love this. Love it love it. That riff in the start of the second half of the song needs to be "borrowed" more and more. It's a Rorschach cover. Come on.
Young and in the Way - Death is Eager to Hold You - Initially I wasn't a big fan of these dudes until I sat down and absorbed it. I immediately bought some merch and I'll gladly fight you in an argument if you disagree with me. This track really puts it all together. Brutal vocals and guitar lines that have slightly enough melody to be infectious while still maintaining that dark tone and overall vibe. Awesome.
Junior Bruce - Lt. Fury - Beer drinking music with my buddies. That's what I think about when I listen to Junior Bruce. This song is exactly that. Keeps up the pace for the most part and slows down enough for the necessary slow headbang. It's a rager.
God's America - Brain Numb - Quick. Furious. A very raw and aggressive mix. Definitely in your face.
The Love Below - Buyer's Remorse - I can tell you that this record would have been in constant rotation at the old party house where we had shows back in 2008-2009. This is such a rowdy song/record. My buddy Andy Mack would be calling you out during Beer Ball for not screaming your balls off to this. He'd probably elbow drop the beer pong table or call your mom and tell her you were dead.
Empire of Rats - Untitled - This is so. damn. good. I've never heard these dudes until now. I'm floored with this and I'm not normally into straight forward stuff. They've got a great sound. I want to play shows with you guys. This rules.
Shin To Shin - Don't Lose Your Way - Pretty straight forward hardcore tunes. Not really the style I listen to. It's got it's heavier moments, but not necessarily what I'm used to listening to. OK...that solo at the end kicks ass. Recovery.
Sick Fix - Boudica - Another band I haven't heard until now. I'm REALLY loving the vocals on this. Really sets it apart. Very quick and to the point. This was great.
Kill Like - Dead End America - I think this track had already played by the time I typed out the title. Sounded awesome though. Next time I'll be paying attention.
Enforcers - All I Am - Old school sounding hardcore. I could see this being the cause to people ripping into the walls of the old party house I mentioned earlier. Very traditional, not reinventing the wheel, but keeps moving.
Pleasant Living - All I Ever Loved - Super easy to sing along to. This is awesome. Beats the shit out of every other band that plays this Oi! style. Great song to have driving around with your windows down or riding down the street on your bike.
Gravehill - Death Knell - Super angry. Super dark. Turn those crosses upside down if you haven't already. Pretty straight forward but doesn't end up sounding stale.
Cynarae - Prescribed Burn - I love Cynarae with all my heart. I've known their guitar player Geoff for almost 10 years and I'm incredibly happy to be able to put out a split with his band. He's one of the guys that put me down this road. This record was one of my top 10s last year and will be seeing a vinyl release in the next few weeks I think. Everything about this song rules. It's incredibly heavy (that bass is HUGE), the drums keep everything on the same page, those guitars sound great, and Kyle is one of my favorite vocalists going right now.
Triac - Child Thief - Sooooooooooooooooooooo good. I will never be able to get over the genius that is Triac. The structure of this song is brilliant. I want to play with these dudes so bad. Think you're better than Triac? You're not.
Thee High Priestess - Ekstasis - A greatly appreciated addition to the sampler and perfect placement too to help change the mood a bit. Very eerie and I'm looking forward to hearing more. I don't understand how this style gets passed over or ignored. It's incredibly good. Love getting my drone going. I needs me a cassette....
NOTHING - Downward Years to Come - Oh my shit this is terrific. Automatically got some Whirr vibes and I'm 100% into it. Some really good major sounding progressions. This is one of my favorites so far. I want more.
Rot in Hell - Heraclitus - Not what I was expecting from Rot in Hell. I went it thinking some fast paced drums to start things off. Boy was I wrong. Instead we're graced with a beautiful acoustic track. This is terrific.
I'm taking a break. I'm not cut out for the music reviewing business.
Unholy Majesty - Age of Affliction - Ok. I've been away from the tracks for a few days and this was a great track to get me back into it. The intro leading up to the meat of the song is relatively soothing and makes perfect sense. I'm normally not much of a "solo" fan but they're used really well here. Dig the jams. That intro/outro riff is awesome.
Integrity - Kingdom of Heaven - This EP rules. They just played the A389/Scion Showcase this weekend and I'm sure it was awesome. I love how eerie the intro riff is and that they get down to business pretty quick. Always innovative but still maintaining that sound that has made them Integrity. Holy Terror.
Gehenna - Disciple in My Own Image - I legit feel look a douche when I say that I've never heard of Gehenna prior to A389. Chalk it up to sheer ignorance. I've tried to listen as much of their back catalog as I can and it's so creepy (their albums are, that is). This track shows that. The music is a little straight forward but these vocals are so weird. I love it.
Low Places - Struggle to Exist - The enigmatic Low Places. This is a great, fresh hardcore sound. I'd really like to play with these dudes one day. Constantly look and sound like they are pissed at literally everything. Even when I saw them at the A389 bash they looked like they didn't want to be there. Angry dudes. Their singer's voice reminds me of my buddy Philly Rabbit.
Pharaoh - This House is Doomed - Oh man. I've been looking forward to this. Pharaoh is that amazing band that you've always wanted to hear. This track's general vibe is perfect. It's so fucking scary. The vocals are spot-on. I could listen to these guys all day. I've almost worn out their last 7" that Dom sent me. These guitars are the definition of heavy. Holy shit....I've still got 3:40 left to list to? See you guys at the next track, I'm gonna enjoy this.
Full of Hell - The Lonely Path of the Cestoda - Brandon Brown and I have a fight brewing that hasn't happened yet. We need a WWE ring, Jami from Code Orange Kids as the referee and Dave Bland announcing it. I assume a random A389 band member will come out towards the end and rescue whoever is losing. Our match would last 3 times as long as this song...and we'd both have insane muscles.
Vilipend - Cutting Heartstrings - The 90's hardcore that we all love, these guys are killing it. Definitely one of my favorite additions to the roster. From the structure of the song I get a pretty heavy Minor Times feel, obivously with totally different vocals. I'm super into this song. They just keep pulling out riff after riff and it sounds heavier and heavier.
Ancient Shores - Sinking Ships - This is the demo of our song "Forget the Sinking Ships" that will be on our upcoming split with Cynarae. It's really fun to play. It was kind of funny writing it because we initially were going to add more to the end of the song but whenever we listened to a recording we just said "screw it, sounds good. next song." The final recording is a little faster and has some guest vocals by some of our friends in Morgantown.
Pale Creation - Beauty Destruct - Straight off sounds like we're ready for a rager...and we are. Keeps the pace going, not necessarily fast, but the drums keep driving going and you take notice. The guitar solo towards the end is flawless. Exactly where it should be.
Chappelle Des Mortes - Blood Stained in White Lace - Starts incredibly creepy and keeps rolling with it. Acoustic with heavy reverbed vocals over top. I'm really digging this. It just sounds scary. My neice would be having nightmares after hearing it.
Virgin Witch - Nail of Dicara - Yep. This rules. It's starting slow and these vocals are as metal as they get. I'm a fan. They just sound like the shit that my mom would have taken away from me as a kid. Perfect harmonies kick in towards the end. Keep it creepy.
Pick Your Side - New War - Fuuuuuuck yes. They've really stepped their game up in terms of recording quality in my opinion. They were awesome at the A389 bash and keep things short and simple in this. No need to drag it out. I love PYS.
Eddie Brock - Demoralizing Banter - Yes. Yes. Yes. I love how I heard a review of this and the reviewer mentioned that the bass was pretty noticeable...sorry dude, just a three piece....with no bass. I'm bummed we weren't able to play any shows with them this summer. The ending on this song is so furious.
Penetration Panthers - Perpetual 80's - I'm going to say that this is the worst title for a song I've ever heard. As a person born in '83 I didn't actually get into anything until the 90's. So yeah, fuck most of the 80's. Thankfully, this sounds nothing like I would associate (hair metal) with the 80s. Nevermind. This has a great Black Flag feel. Such a good song to sit down and listen to on repeat. It really doesn't get old.
Day of Mourning - Bitter Taste of Every Murder - Someone likes metal. Some really good guitar leads happening here. I can see the mosh picking up. Someone is about ready to run into a wall at the 2:24 mark. I've used the word "some" too many times.
Withdrawal - Shapeshifter - I'm super pissed I still haven't seen these dudes. Extremely aggressive sounding and incredibly tight. That mix of metal like Homewrecker pulls in is flawless. Super kudos for taking something that could be really redundant and adding a new spin.
Trapped Under Ice - Death Clock Ticking - Am I really on a mixtape with Trapped Under Ice? hahaha this track kicks in so hard. Making use of traditional structure but these vocals and the drums are what really set it apart. I can just see the stagedives now.
In Cold Blood - Straight Flush - Oh my. This is angry. Super sweet lead and the vocals are of course more pissed than your alcoholic dad. Have you kicked anyone lately? Oh...next song. Boom.
Mindsnare - Gather to Decompose - Traditional thrash intro. Normally not a fan of the style but they've recovered. They manage to tie everything together with some awesome slower parts...much like The Dude and his rug. I'm always a fan of little leads here and and there...mainly because I can't do them.
Astronomer - Mud Witch - Goddammit Astronomer is awesome. They are the band happening right now that my 18 year old self would have rode in a trunk to see. And I probably still would. I always got a Sean Ingram vocals meets Hopesfall's music...until this track....but wait...they're pulling in their awesome "experimental sound" now. Now it's not. Fuck. These guys can do what they want. It's still amazing. Whenever we eventually play with them I'm gonna nerd out.
Masakari - Fight Back - I believe this was part of their cover for Toxicbreed's Covers comp. A pretty faithful rendition of the song. Didn't realize Dom was doing a release of it. Stoked.
Wisdon in Chains - Snakes - Yuuup. I can just see all my buds throwing down at 604 accidently beating the shit out of each other to this. A very traditional song but still sounds really fresh.
Mighty Sphincter - Holy Unholy - This is the creepiness that has been lurking on the comp. The ghost that has been waiting to come out. Such a soothing song that could easily turn your nephew into a metalhead without him knowing it.
Earthride - Something Wicked - The super solid stoner track of the comp. I really want this to extend to at least 20 minutes. I can see my buddy Howard leaning against a wall with a Black Label in his right hand and fretting out the guitar lines on his left. OH AND IT PICKS UP. This is when Howard yells "JOEL" and throws himself onto everyone on the couch and riffs out until the songs over.
Hatewaves - No Friends - The best way to start a song. Soooooo goooooood. Taste the beast! This track hits super hard. Make sure to put it on repeat because you won't be able to get over it. Especially that middle part. dun dun dun dun dun dun.....
Vermapyre - Return of the Sorcerer - Some super fun guitar lines with what can only be described as holy darkness on vocals. A terrificly fun track to end the sampler on. I think I'll play it again.