Criminally underrated, Ep. II:
IN COLD BLOOD – Hell On Earth

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!

In Cold Blood - Hell On Earth cover

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
Aaron Melnick
Blaze Tishko
Jason Popson
Leon Melnick
Rich Ferjanic

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.

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3 Comments on "Criminally underrated, Ep. II:
IN COLD BLOOD – Hell On Earth

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Incredible record.  You can also hear the 2nd IN COLD BLOOD LP ‘Suicide King’ which was a collection of pre/post Hell On Earth EPs and Demos here:

Chris Noir

Yeah the Suicide King compilation is essential as well. Aren’t there even rumors around that Frank 3 Gun did vocals on some of the songs?

blaze tishko

I sang on some of the songs and our original singer Bourbon sang on some of the songs. we recorded them seperate as i was living is Columbus at the time. its a shame we werent able to make that record a little better but we had gotten pretty burned out by then. as it stands it was the last time the Melnicks and I came close to recording or playing together since we reunited this year. about 13 years later. could have went through kindergarten and high school in that span. crazy.