By Erik Fong

Hate - Malice - Revenge
(Amputated Vein)

No, All Shall Perish doesn't revolutionize death metal or anything on its debut album, but the odds are good that they're not like any other death metal band signed to some secluded Japan-based stoner's private record label that you've ever heard. The Bay Area band's first album, Hate - Malice - Revenge, was recorded with $1,400 of said Japanese stoner's slightly hard-earned money (for the record, it was an $800 money order and six Benjamins sent overseas via FedEx).

What did $1,400 buy him? Answer: exposure for one of the few death metal bands on the planet with feel; a melding of the raw elements of Poison the Well, the heavy-handed chugging of Brujeria and the memorable riffery of Slayer - not to mention the realization that a song is a story, not 1,347 sweet ass riffs jammed together for them to totally rip through while they fling their hair back onstage. Rapid-fire grindage sways through classically-influenced progressions ("Never Ending War") and slow, crushing breakdowns ("Deconstruction"), creating versatility in a niche genre without ever sacrificing the feel of the music. Look, let's just cut the crap: If you make it through the first three tracks and aren't impressed, then your taste sucks.

Rocket Redux
(Smog Veil)

Those of you who enjoy "keeping it real" are already hip to the history of the Rocket From the Tombs, the 20-year old band that's about to release its debut album. For those who aren't familiar with the Rocket: Yes, you read that right. A debut album 20 years after forming.

It's not that they're lazy, they've just been busy. After less than a year together, the band members split and went their separate ways, spawning eventual classic outfits like Pere Ubu and the Dead Boys. The legend of the Rocket From the Tombs has been kept alive for three decades now through bootlegs and word of mouth - and with Rocket Redux, the band's now-legendary songs have finally been transferred from spiral notebook paper to stone tablets. Even if you know nothing about the Rocket, some of these songs probably sound a little familiar: "Down in Flames" and "Sonic Reducer" were made famous by the Dead Boys, and Pere Ubu came on and felt the noise via original Rocket tracks like "Final Solution" and "30 Seconds Over Tokyo." Definitely worth a listen, for history's sake - and for an accurate depiction of the magic that made bands like Mudhoney and Rocket From the Crypt what they are today. Call it a hunch, but these guys may be onto something.

Shockwaves CD REVIEWS ISSUE 9 Page 4