Cleveland, Ohio – if the only thing you think of now are the Indians you should probably stop reading. But if bands like Ringworm, One Life Crew or Integrity start to pop up in your sick head, there’s no need to tell you about the city’s relevance during the 1990ies when it comes down to the creation of some of the best and most important Hardcore records EVER. But whereas Integrity is arguably one of the most popular names in Hardcore these days, Ringworm keep releasing quality records and OLC ‘s reputation remains to be highly infamous, there was one band closely related to those, that was and is nonetheless somehow completely under the radar of Hardcore kids then and today. Its name was IN COLD BLOOD. Full story further down!
Their only full-length Hell On Earth, released 1998 on Victory Records (CD and LP), might not only be my favourite Clevo-Hardcore record, but my favourite overall Hardcore record (well, at least from the 90ies). When you look at the personnel taking part on Hell On Earth, you’ll stop wondering about those merciless, heavy riffs that make every other Hardcore band in the world sound like Celine Dion’s backing-band. The backbone of Integrity‘s outstanding early records, the Melnick brothers, formed IN COLD BLOOD after leaving Integ, and it’s clearly showing in the unmatched magnificence of ICB‘s songs and riffs. And if the talent of the Melnick’s wouldn’t ensure enough high-quality output, you’ll also have Blaze Tishko in ICB, the guy responsible for a great bunch of the most antisocial riffs in the history of heavy music. That guy played on OLC‘s Crime Ridden Society as well as on numerous Pitboss 2000 records. He’s also to be found on Integrity‘s To Die For record, released in 2003. By the way, on this record a bunch of original ICB riffs can be heard.
Music-wise you definetely get what you’d expect: 13 dark, aggressive and super pissed-off songs, mostly clocking-in at under two minutes, fattened with sick, metallic solos and some melodic interludes. The gut-wrenching vocals seem to hit you in the face with every word of the depressed, hopeless lyrics. I mean this record is the fucking definition and best example of how amazing “tough guy” Hardcore could be, if the world (and the Hardcore scene as well) wouldn’t be full of dumb, simple idiots.
Really, if I had to choose only one Clevo-Hardcore record to listen to for the rest of my life, I’d happily take IN COLD BLOOD‘s Hell On Earth. A perfect record, embarrassingly unknown.
Release date: 1998
Label: Victory Records
Some more information on IN COLD BLOOD can be found here:
Under the banner of Criminally underrated I write about, well, criminally underrated records of all genres. This is the second episode of that series, the first one being Hades – Dawn of the dying sun.