"Früher War Auch Nicht Alles Gut" (Bastardized; 2006)

Reviewed by Mike SOS


Don't even try to pronounce the title of this German outfit's album ... or even the band's name for that matter. Just realize that this comprehensive 32-track retrospective offering runs 64:20 and is laden with some of the most crustaceous grindcore the metal world has ever released in any language. And it was recorded in a very low budget DIY in a basement kind of way to boot, which only adds to its unmistakably gruesome charm. 

Leaning toward the grind side of the metal spectrum lately? This disc is a must listen and will satisfy the yearning. Want to experience just how good this raging riff-a-thon of a disc encompassing thrash, death, grind, and hardcore actually is? Pick this disc up and discover it for yourself, but be sure to play it loud enough so the neighbors understand too.

For more information visit http://www.bastardizedrecordings.de

"Hardcore Aus Der Ersten Welt" (Bastardized; 2004)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter


The global reach of metalcore continues – the evidence is staring me in the face. Seriously, it looks like the metalcore genre is getting stronger and that more parts of the world are taking notice. I've never heard of the German band Japanische Kampfhorspiele and I've never heard of the Bastardized Recordings label. Hell, I think the most recent (only?) German entry to the metalcore arms race is Heavenshallburn – and they're certainly interesting to listen to. But I didn't let that stop me from examining Japanische Kampfhorspiele's creative output on "Hardcore Aus Der Ersten Welt."

Hardcore is not my favorite genre, but "Hardcore Aus Der Ersten Welt" was surprisingly listenable even during the first spin. I'll credit most of that to the fact that there were loads of dynamic guitars and musical interplay instead of the usual steady pulse of aggression that hardcore bands usually deliver. It's been a few years now where the increasing arc of metalcore has begun to manifest itself in the incorporation of the stylistic hallmarks into almost any kind of extreme music. In the end, Japanische Kampfhorspiele's approach combines the sledgehammer-like impact of hardcore, the thrashing riffs of metalcore, and death metal precision for a fairly lethal mix.

"Hardcore Aus Der Ersten Welt" gives 13 tracks in 31-minutes and there is very little excess fat to muddy things up (although most of the last track's dialogue seems pointless). Most tracks hover in the two-minute range and rather than being too brief, the song lengths are compact to the point where all the mashed up riffs and arrangements have a better impact rather than getting weighed down in longer songs.

Everything is sung in German and everything in the booklet is published in German so I am at a loss to even begin to tell you what the lyrics are about. The vocalist lacks the same kind of dynamics that the band provides, but I can only guess that this is the band's one nod to the long-standing tradition of hardcore. I don't have a mental list of the different hardcore vocalists I've heard over the years, but I hear a lot of Lee Ving (and perhaps some Billy Milano as well) in the vocalist's style.

"Hardcore Aus Der Ersten Welt" was produced by von Jaka.

Japanische Kampfhorspiele is Dani, Baje, Bony, Paul, Klaus, and Christof.

For more information visit http://www.bastardizedrecordings.de

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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