Music Review: XL & DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR – Offensive Truth vol. 1+2

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xl & death before dishonor - offensive truth vol 1xl & death before dishonor - offensive truth vol 2

XL & DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR
Offensive Truth vol. 1+2
Independent
2016

XL & Death Before Dishonor. They are one of those bands that sadly never got the respect they more than deserved back in the day. They released their debut album, Sodom And America, in 1993, but instead of being recognized for being the genuine article as far as the burgeoning Rap/Rock hybrid that was emerging in the very early 1990s (before it got lumped in with the Nu Metal tag later in the decade), they kind of got lost on the wayside, while bands like Pillar and Payable On Death got more attention. Fortunately, main man XL kept busy, releasing other albums quietly both with DBD and as a solo artist. Then, in 2016, the group released a double album entitled Offensive Truth vol. 1 and vol. 2.

In case you’re not familiar with XL & Death Before Dishonor, and thinking they’re just another P. O. D. wannabe band…no. You can maybe say they’re a Rage Against The Machine clone, but they were contemporaries, releasing their debut a year after Rage released theirs. However, I would say, if you want to make a more apt comparison, Body Count is closer to the mark. Regardless, XL& DBD is awesome. So, enough of that, and on to the album. Or albums, as it were.

Vol. 1 opens with “In Need Of Therapy”, a nice rocking track with an infectious hook and groove, and a catchy melodic chorus, and you realize that XL & DBD haven’t skipped a beat, in a manner of speaking. The music is heavy, but has a variety going with hardcore, metal, rock and funk grooves that keeps things from going stale. Vol. 2 continues on with this, giving us 20 solid tracks of rap/rock hybrid that will get your head bopping along, no matter what the speed.

Mind you, XL and the gang are talented enough as it is (a fact pointed out in “Yeah, I Know Right”). What makes this double album even more awesome is some guest spots by Deliverance main guy Jimmy P. Brown II (“Devastated”, “The Wilderness”, “Daddy’s Too Friendly” and “Corporate Elite”), Oz Fox from Stryper (“Best Friend, Worst Enemy”), musical Jack of all trades, but remembered most from Poor Old Lu., Jesse Sprinkle (“Because Of This”), Crucified guitarist and Applehead guy Greg Minier (“Rapist”), the guy from Crystal Lewis’ band, Joel Goodwin (“The Wrath To Come”), Whitecross and King James guitarist Rex Carroll (“Methamphetamine”) and Jim Chaffon from The Crucified and The Blamed, among others (“My Hour Of Desperation”). Also, there’s a redux of the song “Armed For Battle”, which was originally from their sophomore release, Live From Nineveh, another release there’s hardly any information about online. Trust me, it exists.

Bottom line, if you happen to be one of the people who picked up Sodom And America and wore that down to a nub, here’s two more that you’re going to love. If P. O. D. is your only idea of rap rock nu metal whatever with a Christian message, you really need to pick up Offensive Truth vol. 1+2. They don’t mess around or mince words. Which…okay, I’m beginning to see why maybe these guys didn’t catch on to your standard CCM crowd. Highly recommended.

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Movie Review: GREEN ROOM

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green roomA24
2015
R

“It’s funny. You were so scary at night.”

Down on their luck punk rockers The Ain’t Rights are finishing up a long and unsuccessful tour, and are about to call it quits when they get an unexpected booking at an isolated, run-down club deep in the backwoods of Oregon. What seems merely to be a third-rate gig escalates into something much more sinister when they witness an act of violence backstage that they weren’t meant to see. Now trapped backstage, they must face off against the club’s depraved owner, Darcy Banker, a man who will do anything to protect the secrets of his nefarious enterprise. But while Darcy and his henchmen think the band will be easy to get rid of, The Ain’t Rights prove themselves much more cunning and capable than anyone expected, turning the tables on their unsuspecting captors and setting the stage for the ultimate life-or-death showdown.

I know, I know. I had the chance to see the movie Green Room during its blink-and-it’s-gone run time in the theaters. I kept hearing very, very good things about the movie, how it’s not only a tense independent thriller featuring great performances from the cast as well as a fantastic cinematography that really brought out the claustrophobic nature of the story, but I kept hearing from acquaintances in the underground punk scenes that the depiction of the hardcore punk aesthetic was quite legit. The thing was, I rarely want to go to the movies alone nowadays, and since most if not all of the Exalted Geeks I would go with aren’t into horror movies, I decided to wait until the VOD release.

My mistake. I admit that now. I should have worked past my anxiety to take in this flick on the big screen when I had the chance. Because, boy does Green Room pack a significant roundhouse kick to the midsection with a steel-toed boot.

So, here we have a story about a hardcore punk band, named the Ain’t Rights, trying to get by on their DIY ethos and playing some seriously righteous hardcore punk wherever they can. Before they decide to call it quits on the tour, they’re given a shot at an out-in-the-boonies bar for a decent payout for gas to get back home. Only, the bar has a rather narrow kind of clientèle–namely, skinhead Nazis. But, money is money, and they do the set anyway, and when they’re getting set to leave, they accidentally stumble upon a murder in the titular Green Room, and now they have to spend the rest of the night trying to survive getting snuffed by the bar’s owner and his army of skinheads to cover everything up. Things…don’t go well.

There are two things that make Green Room a fantastic horror thriller: 1) the depiction of the whole hardcore punk aesthetic, I’m told from acquaintances who adhere to that scene, is pretty authentic. I say “I’m told”, because I don’t claim to be part of or even an expert on the scene; while I read up and try to understand and have an appreciation for the scene and the music, I also hold no delusion as to claiming I’m part of it. The ones I know of who are have given their seal of approval, though. As long as they’re not really messing with Poser Boy here, I’m going to accept it. 2) This is a well-crafted and tight horror thriller that is claustrophobic, quick-paced and doesn’t take any easy way outs. There were a few times where I caught myself drawing my knees up to my chest and getting unnerved at the goings on I was witnessing. Add to this a fantastic performance from none other than Patrick Stewart as the head Skinhead, and you’ve got yourself a chilling time.

Really, don’t make the same mistake I did. If you haven’t watched Green Room, do yourself a favor and rectify that oversight. Highly recommended by your Uncle NecRo.

NECRO SHOCK RADIO – 4-8-2017

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APRIL 8, 2017

Not even having a massive head cold will stop Uncle NecRo from dispensing the Brutal Music Therapy!

Featuring cuts from:

NECRO SHOCK RADIO -February 18, 2017

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February 18, 2017

Featuring Cuts From:

NECRO SHOCK RADIO – January 28, 2017

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January 28,2017

Featuring Cuts From:

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Uncle NecRo’s TOP 100 CHRISTIAN ALBUMS FROM THE 1990s, Part 5: 20-1

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Here we are, arrived at Part 5, the final ten in this little mini-series on the blog. Hope it was good for you. I know you’re just itching with curiosity to know what the rest are, so without further adieu:

mortification-mortification20 – Mortification (Mortification)
…this was my first exposure to this new fangled style of metal that was Death Metal. Back in the tail end of 1992, on the trip back from a national youth group convention in Texas, someone in the van I was riding in lent me his copy of this album, because he saw the Destruction Comes cassette in my collection. I’ve been hooked ever since.

crashdog-mudangels19 – Mud Angels (Crashdog)
…what do you know, actual legit punk rawk, at a time when “punk” consisted of the radio-friendly pop styles of Green Day, MxPx and…some other bands, I don’t really know much about all of that. But this, nothing slick about this rawness.

circle-of-dust-disengage18 – Disengage (Circle Of Dust)
…dark, electronic goodness that goes great with brooding.

no-innocent-victim-1997-no-compromise17 – No Compromise (No Innocent Victim)
…one of the better of the so-called “Spirit-Filled Hardcore” bands I’ve come across, only slightly less pretentiously amusing than those Straight Edge bands.

one-bad-pig-i-scream-sunday16 – I Scream Sunday (One Bad Pig)
…while the inclusion of the duet with Johnny Cash on his song “Man In Black” is enough to warrant this as the best of One Bad Pig’s discography to date, there’s some seriously good cuts on this besides just that song.

leaderdogs-for-the-blind-lemonade15 – Lemonade (Leaderdogs For The Blind)
…since it was given to me by one of my alternative music snob friends, I was expecting just that. Imagine my surprise when this turned out to be pretty good industrialized rock.

pod-snuff-the-punk14 – Snuff The Punk [Rescue Records 1994 Version] (Payable On Death)
…yep, there’s Payable On Death in my collection. Yep, it’s been in there since long before they became youth group darlings. Yep, this original version is preferable to the post-fame remaster re-release version. Yep, I refuse to call the band “P-O-D”. Yep, even I want to punch myself in the face right now.

stryper-against-the-law13 – Against The Law (Stryper)
…like with the Bloodgood entry, this is the only studio album Stryper released in the 1990s, so I can’t include the previous releases. But, unlike the Bloodgood entry, this album is very good and should be listened to a whole bunch of times.

seventh-angel-lament-for-the-weary12 – Lament For The Weary (Seventh Angel)
…after only hearing a couple of their cuts on the Arise Skates compilation, I found this at a Camelot Records. Good find, methinks.

jesus-freaks-socially-unacceptable11 – Socially Unacceptable (Jesus Freaks)
…I remember this being the first legit thrash album I’ve heard from a Christian band, immediately comparing it to Metallica in their Ride The Lightning era. Oh, how adorable I was back then. Still, great little EP.

groms-ascension10 – Ascension (GROMS)
…pity these guys didn’t produces more than just this album. Great death metal, this one is.

seventh-angel-the-torment9 – The Torment (Seventh Angel)
…I like this debut album just slightly more than their second one, simply because it’s more straight-up thrash. They’re both excellent, though.

deliverance-what-a-joke8 – What A Joke! (Deliverance)
…my first Deliverance album, also my first exposure to the existence of Christians playing thrash metal. Which is why this one is the most-listened to album of their discography.

living-sacrifice-nonexistent7 – Nonexistent (Living Sacrifice)
…my first exposure to the band that is Living Sacrifice, I got this because of the cover art alone. I was thinking, “wow, they sell this at a Christian bookstore!” Fortunately, the death metal was fantastic to boot.

circle-of-dust-brainchild6 – Brainchild (Circle Of Dust)
…heavy industrial metal goodness. More in the vein of Ministry than Nine Inch Nails, and it still hasn’t gotten old over 20 years later.

klank-1997-still-suffering5 – Still Suffering (Klank)
…I cannot tell you how many speakers I’ve damaged cranking this thing. Or how many countless hours of darkness this helped me get through.

rackets-drapes-candyland4 – Candyland (Rackets & Drapes)
…I could write pages on how this album by this particular band was such a paradigm shift for me when I first discovered it, but that would defeat the purpose of a brief synopsis for this list. Maybe later.

vengeance-rising-destruction-comes3 – Destruction Comes (Vengeance Rising)
…you long time Vengeance Rising fans are probably wondering why I placed this one so high on the list. Well…it was the first Vengeance album I owned, and it was the first one to pop into my head when I was brainstorming. Also, sometimes you just need to sit back and GRIND.

tourniquet-pathogenic-ocular-disonance2 – Pathogenic Ocular Dissonance (Tourniquet)
…hmmm, what’s that? You’ve been wondering which Tourniquet album I deem to be better than Psycho Surgery? Why, it’s this one, silly. No, no, don’t feel bad. You’re not the only one who’s wrong.

mortification-scrolls-of-the-megilloth1 – Scrolls Of The Megilloth (Mortification)
…and the top spot goes to the greatest death metal album to ever be released, period.

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Uncle NecRo’s TOP 100 CHRISTIAN ALBUMS FROM THE 1990s, Part 4: 40-21

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Hey hey, it’s Part 4 of this list! Hope I’m not giving anyone any antacid flasbacks with this. Anyway, here’s the next 20 in the list:

stavesacre-friction40 – Friction (Stavesacre)
…I remember someone from the church I was attending at the time giving me this CD, stating that it wasn’t Christian enough for him. So, it was good enough for me, is what you’re saying?

mortal-lusis39 – Lusis (Mortal)
…I remember having a friend in college play me this album, and then telling me to close my mouth as I was attracting flies. Behold my first taste of industrial music.

zao-all-else-failed38 – All Else Failed [1996 Steadfast version] (Zao)
…yes, I happen to be one of those people who prefer the pre-Solid State Zao release to their later output. This just seems more raw, more ferocious.

deliverance-learn37 – Learn (Deliverance)
…dark, introspective, and given to fits of artistic brilliance. That album cover, though. Needs to be re-released with artwork befitting the music.

mortal-fathom36 – Fathom (Mortal)
…while Lusis was groundbreaking, this second release of theirs was darker, heavier and much more diverse. The video to “Rift” still haunts me.

living-sacrifice-living-sacrifice35 – Living Sacrifice (Living Sacrifice)
…Deliverance may have been the Metallica rip-off, but the first release by Living Sacrifice was definitely the Slayer rip-off we all needed.

vengeance-rising-released-upon-the-earth34 – Released Upon The Earth (Vengeance Rising)
…it may have been made under very tumultuous circumstances, but this one is still a pretty good thrash/death release. Upon the Earth. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

klank-1999-numb33 – Numb (Klank)
…I know what you’re thinking. “Hey, this was released in 2000! This doesn’t count!” And you’d be right…for the re-release on some label that stiffed him and thus shall not be named. My copy was the 1999 version on Klank’s own SmokeDogg Productions, purchased at the band’s merch table at Cornerstone 1999. Hah.

mortification-post-momentary-affliction32 – Post Momentary Affliction (Mortification)
…my third-favorite Mortification album, a bit more progressive death metal style. And the last death metal album Mortification would release.

tourniquet-stop-the-bleeding31 – Stop The Bleeding (Tourniquet)
…blistering speed metal with a vocalist that could give King Diamond a run for his money. Mmmmm.

crimson-thorn-dissection30 – Dissection (Crimson Thorn)
…thick, heavy, innards-congealing DEATH METAL. That’s all you need to know. That, and their cover of Stryper’s “Loud N’ Clear”. It’s awesome.

living-sacrifice-inhabit29 – Inhabit (Living Sacrifice)
…third release from Living Sacrifice, and it’s a nice blend of thrash and death metal. The only complaint I have is that it’s too short, really. Also, the last to feature DJ on the vocals, and a switch to a Sepultura-inspired metalcore sound.

deliverance-stay-of-execution28 – Stay Of Execution (Deliverance)
…I remember getting this when it was first released in the late summer of 1992; I listened to the cassette so many times, it wore out within the year. Sure, it wasn’t speed metal; it was fantastic dark heavy metal.

argyle-park-misguided27 – Misguided (Argyle Park)
…another one I got from that guy who gave me the aforementioned Stavesacre CD, for the same reason. His loss. Sometimes knowing that one holier-than-thou person pays off.

tourniquet-psycho-surgery26 – Psycho Surgery (Tourniquet)
…many consider this release to be the bestest Tourniquet release, like, evah. They are wrong. But, it’s still a really good collection of technical thrash metal. Second best, easily.

bride-snakes-in-the-playground25 – Snakes In The Playground (Bride)
…my first introduction to the band that is Bride, and it was this particular one that took the gritty heaviness of Gn’R’s Appetite For Destruction and gave it a nice Southern glaze.

the-pillars-of-humanity24 – The Pillars Of Humanity (The Crucified)
…crossover thrash classic. Recently remastered and re-released with much better album artwork.

believer-sanity-obscure23 – Sanity Obscure (Believer)
…complex technical thrash metal that still rips it up after all this time.

vengeance-rising-once-dead22 – Once Dead (Vengeance Rising)
…quite a bit more honed than the debut, but still some tasty raw thrash metal here. Great cover of Deep Purple’s “Space Truckin'”, too.

deliverance-weapons-of-our-warfare21 – Weapons Of Our Warfare (Deliverance)
…this is the one everybody says is the ultimate classic Deliverance release. I disagree with it being the best of their releases, but it is a fantastic speed metal album.

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