Under Review

Total War

Demo Tape (Independent)

Review By Sam Risser


Total War sees ex/current members of local hardcore outfits Unlearn, Massgrave and Fear of Tomorrow coming together to execute exactly ten minutes of absolutely raging, Scandinavian-style hardcore. While their ages-old influences (Anti Cimex, Mob 47) probably played through more modest equipment– the availability of insanely loud amplifiers has definitely increased over the past twenty-five years– this tape sounds like warplanes dropping Marshall JCM-900s on top of your head. Recorded and self-released a couple of months ago, the eight tracks delivered here by Total War are like a nightmare made into reality. Relentless buzzsaw riffs are backed up by a rhythm section that chooses to pursue a style like grindcore without slipping into metal territory- the speed is hysteric, but the sound stays firmly entrenched in punk. No blast beats or any of that nonsense here. The Discharge-inspired, haiku-type lyrics do their best to remind you of all the horrors modern life has in store for you (see “Nuclear Meltdown Hysteria”), and the just-learned-to-pick-up-a-guitar solos drive the point directly into your soft, gelatinous grey matter. Are your ears ringing yet? This is no bullshit hardcore punk. I can’t really say much more than that.