Powerviolence or Grindcore?

Two hefty slabs of music arrived via the ethernet today. In the promo that always arrives with such offerings New York City’s Black Army Jacket , the rascals responsible for the two albums, are described  as one of the key players in the powerviolence movement of the 1990s. This gave me pause for thought as the music that came blasting through the earphone was more metal than punk to my one good ear. More grindcore than powerviolence I thought. In any event it all starts with either Discharge or Napalm Death and moves on from there doesn’t it?  Lets not get hung up on the various genres, sub genres, and sub sub genres of metal and punk though, as therein lies a pedantic circular form of madness which could lead to severe psychological problems in the long run. The stated progenitor in this case is Napalm Death as founder members Andrew Orlando (ex-guitarist of Milhouse and owner of Reservoir Records) and Carlos Ramirez wanted to create a band of that ilk,  consequently the band specialise in a  version of relentless grinding hardcore which hangs between metal and punk.

Notably, the group was one of the earliest bands in the playing career of drummer Dave Witte. Having previously been in Human Remains and Discordance Axis (among others) and then Black Army Jacket, Witte went on to play in many more notable bands within the genre and beyond, including Municipal Waste, Publicist UK, Brain Tentacles, and Burnt By The Sun.  Guitarist Orlando’s  Reservoir Records represented like-minded talent such as Spazz, Jesuit, C.R., and Noothgrush.


222 is the bands’ full-length, originally recorded and released in 1999.  Magic Bullet Records and re-releasing it on 22nd February. The original sixteen tracks have now been remixed and remastered and two previously unheard bonus tracks recorded at the same time as the album are included in the release

On the same date Closed Casket is released. This is a fifty-song compilation collecting  material from various cassettes, 7”s, and splits in one convenient spot. The material included is culled from the band’s self-titled, self-released cassette (1996), split with Spazz (1997), split with Corrupted (1997), split with Noothgrush, (1997), and The Path Of Two Swords As One 7” (1998).

This is intense stuff, hyper-actively leaping between  a variety of styles to create an engaging cacophony.

Tracks will be featured on Sonic Attack 196.

Earlier versions of these releases are available via Bandcamp



Author: HalfEdgeMedia

Regular writing and podcasting about music

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