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Striving Higher – A Hardcore Compilation

Striving Higher – A Hardcore Compilation

Every time I hear about a compilation it takes me back to the Punk-O-Rama compilations (ok  and the Anti-Matter compilation). How cool were those? Discovering cool new bands (I picked up on The Dwarves for instance because of those discs) for a really low price. Good stuff. But it’s 2011 now. Are compilations still cool, or even of any use in this day and age? I mean people just fire up their browser and download anything they want right? We’re making our own compilations these days…

That’s not holding back Six Feet Under Records though, they’re throwing a compilation called “Striving Higher” our way that compiles the best the label has to offer. So let’s see, what’s on it?

As far as I know nothing but new (or unreleased) songs by Blacklisted, Dead Stop, Rhythm To The Madness, Foundation, War Hungry, The Mongoloids, Stick Together and many more. 16 tracks in total. I’m not going into detail on each track, but I’ll highlight my favorites.

Starting with the Blacklisted track, “Those Shields Around You”. I already heard them play it live when we played a show with them in Hengelo (NL), but it’s good to hear a recorded version. Such a great track. Easily ranks amongst the best material they recorded.

Dead Stop is Dead Stop. What’s there to say about it. “Hate To Say” is a 1:14 lasting blitzkrieg, as usual. I’m usually not to fond about the ‘faster-than-the-speed-of-light’ kinda stuff, but I always loved Dead Stop.

Rhythm The Madness was a band I really liked (and they were getting better and better with every show) and I love they went all out with their last recorded effort (clocking in on 7 minutes and 38 seconds), but  for whatever reason I can’t really get into “Challenging The Heavens (Part I & II)”. There’s some great stuff in that track though, maybe I just need to give it a couple of more spins.

War Hungry gets the honor of ending the compilation. I’m not sure if I’ll love the new record as much as I hoped I would, but I like “Broken On The Wheel”. You’ll be banging your head in no time.

And luckily the compilation has an unknown (to me at least) gem too, Battle Ruins were a band I never heard about before, but after hearing their track “Cold Iron Death” I want to hear more. To me it sounds like Iron Maiden who have been on a strict hardcore diet for months, so add a lot of heavyness and make the music a  bit more straight forward. COLD. IRON. DEATH!

There’s also some tracks on this that I couldn’t care less about, but hey, isn’t that the beauty of a compilation? There’s something for everyone on here. Enough highlights for me.

But let’s go back to the first question. Do compilations still serve a purpose? I can be short about that, yes. Without a doubt. Let’s thank Six Feet Under Records for proving compilations can still rock.

I’ve been describing the LP version here, but there’s a CD version too. You might get a smaller package, the booklet just feels tiny compared to the huge vinyl booklet (AWESOME!), but there’s good news too! The CD version has 3 extra songs! One by Inside, one by Gypsy (great track!) and one by Blacklisted (also on the flexi disc coming with the vinyl if you pre-ordered).

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