Dave Chang, Record Producer

Press & Reviews

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Phobos Corp - 'Felicity'
N-GeniuZ Muzique
25/05/2012
Hollywood are you listening, we just found the best motion picture sound track band in the business, Phobos Corp. The bands debut album Felicity would be an amazing score in any of today’s block buster movies.

Reminiscent of the mega group Evanescence, the new release from Phobos Corp combines heavy musical beats and riffs with a haunting and seductive female lead. Anytime you combine elements of hard core and sultry singing you really have a recipe for success. This is some underground music at it’s finest.

The music & lyrics were written by Spyros Papadakis, the orchestral arrangements by Jon Ong except on the track “Angels in Despair” which was done by Zach Lemmon. And finally mixed and mastered by Dave Chang. This incredible talented and diverse group of musicians and composers has really found a unique niche within the industry. At times I feel like I am at church while listening to Phobos Corp and then seconds later thrown into the mosh pit at a Slayer show, a complete roller coaster ride of emotions.

In 2005 Phobos Corp released their first demo As The Angel Stared, which can be downloaded here.

Fast forward to June 1st 2012 and then band’s LP Felicity is being released worldwide, picking up numerous fans along the way, this reviewer included.

The band is made up of Tara on vocals, Mark Jones guitars and bass ( I wonder how that works live ) and Chris Sutherland on Drums. Together these 3 create a sound that is large, haunting and powerful all at once.

Phobos Corp might not be a band to listen to before bed, or while sitting inside a haunted house unless you truly are a freak. But if you like hardcore music, stuff that gets your blood boiling be sure to take a listen. This is going to be some of my new favorite music to snowboard to as its Hauntingly Awesome!!
Mountain Weekly News (Review) -



Attention Thieves - 'Let It All Out'
Velocity
02/03/2011
Sometimes you just want rock. You don’t want gimmicks. You don’t care for the latest thing rock has been paired up with or some niche genre of rock. No synth-rock, pop-rock, blues-rock, grunge-rock, folk-rock, jazz-rock, glam-rock, post-whatever-rock or neo-whatever-rock for you. What you want is something that despite whatever sub-genre it fits in…it transcends rock. It just IS rock. So, if you want rock, allow me to recommend the latest single “Let It All Out” from Attention Thieves. Crank it up, tap your foot, bang your head, and enjoy the unadulterated rock. That’s right, play this and I dare you not to move your head.
Froglix Radio (Review) -



Dagoba - 'Poseidon'
XIII Bis Records
30/08/2010
...The production is very good, ideal I'd say, it helps every aspect of the album sound just like it should and you gotta love the bombastic drumming that blooms like a bomb exploding at the bottom of the sea in a single shot in tactical moments inbetween the breaking periods. One could say Poseidon holds a biomechanical air, it owns a vivid sea-oriented feeling, but it presents amounts of industrial sharpness that distort the place as well...
Metal Storm (Review) - Production: 9/10



Mantra - 'Blackened Cross'
Mantra
16/01/2009
The album Blackened Cross is sheer class... a feast of mighty riffs, spirit-lifting solos, huge grooves and wonderful, soulful vocals. Hats off to Mantra.
Zero Tolerance Magazine (Reviews) - 5/5



Helgrind - 'Religious Persecution'
Casket
15/01/2009
For their second effort, UK squadron Helgrind have unleashed a beast of thrashing proportions, which truly captures the spirit and energy of its forebears without any retro bullshit whatsoever. This is how thrash needs to persist in order to survive. True to the roots, but serious minded and worth paying attention to. Even more fascinating is the band is conceptually based in Norse and Germanic mythologies and how these have interacted with the atrocity of modern religion. Not very common among bands of this style. Sign me up!

After an intro the album opens with "Death Squad", a moderately paced thrasher which introduced the great mix of the album and the aggressive vocals of Paul Nelson, which sound like the perfect hybrid between the two Toms: Tom Araya, and Tom Angelripper. "Back from Hell" begins with a thrashing, grooving gait which isn't unlike earlier Sepultura (when they were good). "Mass Graves" is another kick ass tune with some nice leads under the steady thrashing, total 80s. The rest of the album is fairly balanced, some of the standout tracks including "Religious Persecution", "Forbidden Lust" and the excellent "Witchery", all of which carry an excellent Germanic thrash style which will appeal to fans of earlier Sodom and Kreator, although vocally they channel Slayer.

It's another of those albums which I found a pleasure to sit and listen through, as the entire thing is well delivered with a great sound quality, and an honest love of thrash without any silly intentions. If you're a thrash purist, you will be banging your head to this for quite some time, and I will definitely be keeping Helgrind on my radar!
From the Dust Returned (Reviews) - 8/10



Helgrind - 'Religious Persecution'
Casket
13/01/2009
Hertfordshire thrashers with enough musical cunning to stand apart. Helgrind offer ruthless riffage, yet also moments of sublime guitar-driven subtlety. Here's a band who've the potential to be more than just mere thrash cannon fodder. Meantime, this album has enough Seps-inspired energy to stand on it's own merits.
Metal Hammer (Reviews) - 6/10



Sanctorum - 'Ashes of Redemption'
Copro
31/07/2008
I missed out on Sanctorums’ debut CD so I have never heard of them before so I wasn't really quite sure what to expect, though of course the name screams death metal. However it actually isn't really death metal at all. It's a mix of thrash and melodic modern metal with great old school solos. First of all I must say that Dave Chang has managed to give these guys a very decent sound. Too often I play stuff and the crappy sound annoys the hell out of me and already I can't wait for it to end.

So at least in that sense, Sanctorums’ CD fits the bill nicely. So what do these guys sound like then? Their sound is quite hard to pin down. The guitar sound is very clean and reasonably melodic. By the end of the first song I am glad that the band is actually a professional outfit and not a mickey mouse affair. They sound tight and thrashy without being brutal and they have decent, groovy sped up headbangy riffs with both gruff and slightly melodic vocals. Actually the melodic voice is not so hot and needs a lot of work to sound better. If you are going to do the melodic voice thing, you should try to do it with conviction and I'm not sure they quite cut it. The second track ‘Sorrow of Man’ is listed as a "playlist" track so perhaps should be their catchiest song and to be fair it got my head and foot tapping! It has cool clean riffs with melody and bounce and to be fair I can't find too much wrong with it. Even the clean melodic voice at the end is reasonable and much better than the opener. Must mention the lead-work which is really great and clean. Fluid and melodic too and very enjoyable, which helps the band to sound that much better.

The third song ‘Against us All’ comes in and I'm really beginning to like this CD. It's catchy galloping rhythms sound very cool and the gang vocals in the chorus are quite a nice tough too and when we finally reach the solo, the song has turned into a hammering monster of a tune followed by a pounding riff that will get heads seriously banging hard in alive setting. As song by song drifts by, you keep waiting for a duff one without cool riffs or solos but it never really turns up. There are great riffs and especially superb solos to enjoy in each song. ‘Call to Arms’ is a great thrash metal anthem with it's unity message for metalheads, though of course it's been done before, but when the song is catchy it makes you feel pretty good. What I like about the band is that they don't try to be over brutal or aggressive but instead try to impress us with their killer song writing and riff construction.

I was not really expecting much of this I must admit and to be perfectly honest this CD has come and knocked me for 6 at the moment. The band has so much confidence in their own ability to pen hummable, cool riffs and never at the expense of melody either. Their instrumental skills are honourable and the sound as I mentioned earlier lifts them to levels that can leave them competing with the big boys. The lead guitar playing is incendiary and the good thing is the band sounds as fresh as a daisy. I can't really pinpoint a major influence on the band, not to say that they are totally original, but they have this knack of entertaining the metal listener with their excellent riffs and memorable tunes. Right now I am not sure how they can improve on this CD to be honest but I guess there is always the need to write catchier tunes and sort out the clean vocals to make them more confident. Sanctorum are one of the best bands from the UK that I've heard recently, and eclipses many bands with far greater profiles. Welcome to big league guys!
Pure Metal (Reviews) - 4.0/5.0



Panic Cell - 'What Doesn't Kill Us'
Ant Hill Records
03/08/2007
'intricate and expressive guitar work... 'What Doesn't Kill Us' is an album apart from the genre's usual style' - Guitarist4/5

'Bitter, brooding and bloody brilliant! 'What Doesn't Kill Us' boasts enough depth to hold equal appeal to the Kerrang! and Classic Rock generations' - The Sun 4/5

'Their finest hour to date' Kerrang! (KKKK)

'Panic Cell produce one righteous metal riot! Confused by the concept of headbanging? Listen to this and your neck inexplicably takes on the consistency of rubber' - NME

'...a band that really sound ready for war... a staggering metal beast!' - Total Guitar

'True grade-A metal with widescreen choruses!!' - Rock Sound

'Forward thinking metal from the English riffmeisters...barnstorming fist-pounders...from end to end this is headbanging air-punching fun!!' - Classic Rock

'Radiating more energy than a nuclear bomb, Panic Cell are fresh and exciting and there isn't much else that sounds like them' - Terrorizer

'A monster of an album... Looking for a perfect slab of melody soaked 21st century metal? Enter the Panic Cell. Just don't expect an exit key' - Big Cheese

''What Doesn't Kill Us' really gets your blood pumping.. so much energy and strength that it's quite unnerving... Panic Cell are metal legends in the making!' - Power Play

'What Doesn't Kill Us.... it kills, verily!!' - Metal Hammer 8/10
various () - 4/5



The Hollow Earth Theory - 'Hanging of the Followers'
HET
02/12/2006
There's no greater proof of power than the ability to master subtlety within grim heaviness. Most metal acts do one or the other - a few, like this young band and Manchester's I-Def-I, do both. 'Letter To The Lost' charges with full metal intent until an emphatically sung chorus sees it transcend the genre. 'Leech' surges with emotions while 'Bruised' shows the band at its heaviest, before a Deftones-esque concoction called 'One Foot On The Ground' takes the band to yet higher emotional peaks. It could have been three times as long and not overstayed its welcome. Exciting times for UK metal.
Kerrang (review) - KKKK/KKKKK



Forever Never - 'Aporia'
Casket Records
22/03/2006
Top metal producer Dave Chang is on the mix so you know that this is gonna sound professional, but it's the dizzying reach of Forever Never's songwriting that makes Aporia one of the best British debuts you're likely to hear this year. Not mainstream enough to crossover, not American enough to appeal to extremo's more elitist fanbase, but 'Aporia' finds brand new breakneck beats to wind your head round and fresh melodic depths at every turn. Songs like 'Better the Epic' and 'Scared to Scarred' spotlight a band with feel, a songwriting craft and a sheer power that would see them trawling the world's stadia were there any justice on this paltry planet. Hear this now, feel smug later
Kerrang! (review) - KKKK



Red Stars Parade - 'Disko'
Dry Run Recordings
03/09/2005
Click on the band's biog page on the red stars parade.com and you'll be rewarded with just 3 words - "Blah blah blah" - for your troubles. Well, fine. Be like that then. But with just one spin of this stunning debut later, and you'll realise just how redundant words are with a band like this.
Whatever their past experiences and however they may have come to this point, it's highly unlikely that any amount of explanation or insight could account for 'Disko''s brink-of-the abyss onslaught without selling it short. Dense, dark, noisy yet underpinned at every caustic point with brutal melodies, this soundtrack to a blackened day offers a skull-kicking colour rush.
Kerrang! (review) - KKKK/5



Red Stars Parade - 'Disko'
Dry Run Recordings
01/09/2005
It's sometimes hard to get rid the idea that apocalyptic noisecore is all getting a bit homogenous. In a genre that is sometimes overshadowed by the continuing legacy of its main protagonist, Red Stars Parade have however taken a side step, and produced a highly engaging record. Of course, overtones of early Neurosis permeate, which is easily attributable to the particular drum and vocal combination. But there can also be detected something of Page Hamilton's angular scrawl in the riffing, making for a far mor grabbing record than usual - hell there's even some Cure-esque singing at times. That said, these tunes are a coherent and well constructed lot, and aren't lacking in identity. A real treat is when the guitars drench themselves in reverb and delay for some simple lead lines, making for a fairly unique tone within the genre. Atmospheric is the key in these instances, and the watery, shimmering vibe it gives the band is more than welcome. Thjis may well be a product of its genre, and certainly stands on the shoulders of established giants, but Red Stars Parade are moody, far from shallow, and affecting if you let them in, which rest assured is not hard.
Terrorizer (review) - 7.5/10



Orange Goblin - 'Time Travelling Blues'
Rise Above Records
17/02/2005
Kerrang! (Top 100 Best British Rock Albums Ever) - 98/100



The Temple - 'Diesel Dog Sound'
Copro Records
05/05/2004
...this is one of the most intense, intelligent records you'll hear all year. Their passionate delivery is compelling, but what makes this so striking is the way they add spice to the tried and tested heavy rock formula, peppering pounding drums, frenzied guitars and chunky riffs with accordians and latin rythms. It's a bizzare combination, but it works to magnificent effect
Kerrang (review) - KKKK/5



ISOR - 'Post Mortem Peep Show'
10/03/2004
I’ve rated a few albums fairly highly in the first few months of 2004. The new Exodus was ok; the new Iced Earth is a real grower, as is the new My Dying Bride. And Decapitated! -Wow, what a death metal rush that one is. However, as good as these releases are, a duo out of Chester, England by the name of ISOR have, in my eyes at least, created the most exciting extreme metal album of this year. Wrap your head around the ‘Post Mortem Peep Show’!!
Originally formed as a three piece in 1999, Isor saw no need for a bass player in their line up and are now a duo consisting of Dave Merricks (Grr & Vrr) and Nick Hemingway (Drr & Vrr). You read that right punters, two guys and no bass player in sight. Now, I’m not sure how it is possible, but producer Dave Chang has somehow enabled Isor to deliver what must be the heaviest fucking album ever laid down by a two-person band. Seriously folks, the discordant racket that has been captured here is astonishing. How can just two guys be capable of such a thing? Obviously, the technology available to studio producers nowadays is incredibly advanced, so maybe the sound Isor have delivered isn’t that surprising, but fucking hell, I’d love to see how they do it in the live situation.

As a description, Isor play what could be loosely termed as aggressive metalcore. But such a tag is doing this band a major injustice. Isor take this sound and style so much further. Encompassing the frenetic riff work of mathcore legends ‘Botch’ and ‘Drowningman’ and fusing it with spastic time-changes ala ‘The DEP’ this album is a much more interesting and terrifying ride than your generic metalcore release. And before you say ‘yeah well, I’ve heard all of that before also’, the best thing about Isor is the inventiveness, imagination and variety that they’ve been able to incorporate in their song writing. Oh yes, this album is brimming with new ideas and dynamic sound play, providing a much-welcomed freshness to what is becoming a rather stale genre.

Unlike many of their contemporaries, ‘PMPS’ has legs and staying power. There is a longevity associated with this album that will take some matching. That is all down to the variety attained in the bands song writing. Metalcore works inside a pretty tight box ideas wise, yet Isor have been able stretch the boundaries of the style by writing interesting riffs that encompass many other influences. The modern Botch/Drowningman/DEP influences are there for sure, but for me this is more old school in sound - I swear that upon my first listen to ‘PMPS’ I heard ‘Fudge Tunnel’ (circa 1991’s E-Minor album) – the sound, the style, the structured heavy groove had Alex Newport’s stamp all over it. Nice work boys!! Furthermore, the varied tempo’s employed between sharp angular picking, heavy sludge riffage, folky jazz blues acoustics to spazz off-kilter time changes makes the listener all the more involved. Throw is the fierce vocal performance of Dave Merricks and this whole disc gets even better.

There is real harsh evil undertone about Isor (even despite the tasteful melody employed here) – they are a nasty sounding band. Their ambiguous lyrics and song titles like ‘Techno Sonic Sunshine (a simply amazing track), We are the People Who Watch You Shower and You Can’t Make a Clown out of Cocoa’ hint at an even more sinister side to this band. Then they throw in gentle little summer-breeze acoustic passages mid-song just to convince you that, yes, they really are just a couple of puppy dogs. Yeah, right!! The Copro/Casket label has an utter monster of a band here folks - Isor are fucking incredible and this album will tear your head off. Absolutely bottom line essential!!
Walls Of Fire (review) - 4.5/5



ISOR - 'Postmortem Peepshow'
Casket Records
28/02/2004
"Post Mortem Peep Show", the bands debut full-length is a journey of razor sharp metalcore, which only the patients at the local big house would be familiar with. How can a two-piece outfit belt out sounds that Isor manage to do? That question is almost unanswerable...

..."Post Mortem Peep Show" is an effort that delivers a fresh sound, which many other bands will try to pilfer in good time, I'm sure. For now though, the people of the metal community can kick back with their beer and enjoy their brand new toy, as the chaotic clamours that Isor so wilfully roll off their tongue and spit out are arguably the best new metal sounds to come out this year.
Anemic (Review) - 4/5



Gorerotted - 'Only Tools And Corpses'
Metal Blade
03/11/2003
dutch metal magazine - highest rating ever in this magazine
Headache Magazine (Reviews) - 11/10



Gorerotted - 'Only Tools And Corpses'
Metal Blade
03/11/2003
dutch metal magazine
Aardshock (Reviews) - 98/100



Browbeat - 'Audioviolence'
Casket Music
06/10/2003
Italian metalband Browbeat created one of the best releases I’ve heard this year with their latest release ‘Audioviolence’. A killer production and thirteen awesome songs of mature quality. They use many influences to create their own sound and it all sounds so compact and heavy! A lot of hardcore like Madball combined with heavy Machine Head-like riffs. And they know how to groove! Mosh! Stomp! Bang head! A pitbull is a pussy compared to singer Fabio. He sounds so real and aggressive. Oh man he scares me! And he can combine this aggressiveness with clean choruses that sound pretty much like Johnny Santos on Spineshanks’s debut ‘Strictly Diesel’. Fabio does it all. The two guitar players compliment each other perfectly and the guitar sound is heavy. The drummer just does his thing; nothing special here but I don’t expect poly-rhythmics with this type of music. Same thing with the bass. As said before the production sounds very professional, the cover looks great and I just can’t wait to see these guys live!!
Lords Of Metal (Review) - 90/100



Browbeat - 'Audioviolence'
Casket Music
05/10/2003
One of Italy's finest metal/crossover bands, Browbeat have spent the last few months holed up in the studio with producer Dave Chang (Johnny Truant and Earthtone9) working on the follow up to 2000's acclaimed 'No Salvation' debut. And what a follow up it is too - intense, melodic, yet at the same time maintaining Browbeat's extreme, hardcore background, 'Audioviolence' is as apt a description of the album's contents as any you'll find. Recommended.
Organ (Review) - Recommended



Landmine Spring - 'Are We The Culprits'
Loudspeaker Records
03/06/2003
Britcore bruisers fulfil their potential second time around ... a much more fluid and versatile approach to the band's trademark bone-crunching, metallic grooves and fearsome, stop-start rhythmic flourishes. This is a remarkably strong collection of songs that seems custom built to send mosh-pits into a bloody, limb-wrenching frenzy. 'Broadsided', in particular, will kick your face off. With so many bands indulging in flagrant and spineless hero worship for their American forebears, it's gratifying to hear that Landmine Spring have discarded such limitations and have evolved into one of the UK's best metal bands.
Kerrang! (reviews) - KKKK/5



Area 54 - 'Beckoning Of The End'
Casket Music
03/05/2003
London-based Area 54 work the Maiden structure so well, you'd think it was Maiden on their more progressive outings. The four of these guys... erm... three guys and one girl... are musicians of the most talented sort. I can even forgive the monotonous use of the dreaded drum triggers because the music is so well done. Epic suicide diddy, "This is the End of Everything" contains so many time changes and textures, that it sucks you in and makes you dizzy. Producer Dave Chang's production is stellar (as usual), so no complaints in that department. The Lakis Kyrlacou/Steve Martin twin leads are excellent, very reminiscent of the Murray/Smith combo. With maybe a little of that Gers fella on the side.
Hellride Music (Reviews) -



Area 54 - 'Beckoning Of The End'
Casket Music
03/04/2003
Area 54’s second album, “Beckoning of the End”, bodes well for the future of British metal. The London-based quartet, which started out back in 1997, have produced a very engaging piece of work that is particularly well executed. Area 54 clearly mean business and they kick things off at a real gallop with “Living a Lie”. Although clearly influenced by Iron Maiden, the band use the next 60-or-so minutes to provide excellent value for money and also demonstrate their own capabilities, coming through with flying colours. In my view, the album’s standout track comes when matters are reduced to more of a walking pace with the hauntingly beautiful “Another Life”. The vocals of Lakis Kyriacou are impressive throughout, but here they are afforded an opportunity to really shine, initially accompanied by an appropriately sensitive use of keys and strings before the rest of the band enters the fray. The remaining tracks continue to impress with their style and delivery, before matters draw to a close with “This is the End of Everything”, a typically Maiden-esque epic (weighing in at over 14 minutes) that crucially stands up in its own right, gradually building towards a deserved, emphatic conclusion.
Powerplay (Reviews) - 8/10



Dagobah - 'Dagobah'
Enternote/EMI
03/04/2003
le groupe neo-metal qui va ATOMISER la scene fancaise!
Rock Sound (reviews) - not known



Area 54 - 'Beckoning Of The End'
Casket Music
02/04/2003
...they've brought in a heap of modern influences such as Megadeth and At The Gates (the ex-vocalist of the latter screams on the brain-mangling Cradle Of Filth-style Cancer Of The Mind). The result is still undeniably trad metal with its huge riffs, strong melodic vocal lines, guitar solos and some of the best drumming I've heard in years, as showcased on Beckoning Of The End. This is a very brave release given the current rap-metal dominance, and Area 54 has overcome that "difficult second album" stage with great aplomb. What could have been a stagnant reliving of the past is instead an excellent statement of intent. A great album.
Meltdown (Reviews) - 4.5/5



Area 54 - 'Beckoning Of The End'
Casket Music
01/04/2003
London quartet deliver a metal mailbomb.

IN THE dense fog of bands competing to be edgier, darker, trendier, or, sniff, more in touch with their feelings, it can be easy to lose sight of groups that put themselves outside of the running. That's what makes Area 54 all the more refreshing, because it's clear that for these metal meisters, it's all about the music.

Following up on this London quartet's debut, 'Beckoning...' sizzles with all the powerhouse soloing and emotive vocals that made the old school great, but updates the sound with progressive interludes and crunchy headbanging riffs. However, what makes this album remarkable is Area 54's obvious songwriting prowess. And with moving compositions like 'To Conform Is To Suffer', there's no chance that Area 54 will.
Kerrang! (Reviews) - KKK/5



Area 54 - 'Beckoning Of The End'
Casket Music
01/04/2003
At last! Area 54 have been around since '97 and possibly had their most successful year recently as a regular support at home, and when securing the help of Tomas Lindberg as a guest on 'Cancer Of The Mind' here. But, lets forget that. It could be too easy an excuse if the rest of the album didn't work. Hard work in the drum department, nicely produced, and some excellent vocals later, I've heard enough. This lot needed to move on dramatically from the hugely undersold debut, and with great moments like the title track and 'Personal Gain' you can be sure that the next step is just around the corner. Melodic and convincing enough to keep their noses up there for sure.
Rock Sound (Reviews) - 7/10



4ft Fingers - 'From Hero To Zero'
Golf
05/09/2002
Even before I played it, I was actually convinced I wasn't going to like this. I may have made a serious error in pre-judging them. Raucously noisy in a pleasingly melodic and infectious way, this British mob are more than capable of beating the Yanks at their own skatepunk game. Yup, I was wrong: I do like 'em. The trouble is, y'see, that of late I've heard far too many really poor punk/hardcore albums, and I almost find myself dreading playing a new one. There are absolutely no such worries here as literally 15 seconds into 'Proud To Know You', I was bouncing off the walls like Zebedee on speed!

Well played and well produced to boot, and positively bursting with good-natured effervescence, this bruising album is a must have item. The quartet simply hammer through 13 rip-roaring punk toons in a breathless 45 minutes, with no fillers in sight. Listening is a pleasantly invigorating experience, the equivalent of a loud early morning wake up call. I defy you to listen to the likes of 'All Downhill From Here' and tell me I'm wrong... because you can't. Now, how about Shelter getting these guys and Spunge as support on their next UK tour? Pretty please, Mr Cappo?
Power Play (reviews) - 8/10



4ft Fingers - 'From Hero To Zero'
Golf
05/09/2002
...Proud To Know You is a belter of an opener; raucous and upbeat, it starts the album in style. Thankfully, things actually get better from thereon in. Emergency Manoeuvre is as good as anything written by, say, Sum41, while the explosive Busted proves to be the highlight of what is a very good album indeed.
Kerrang! (reviews) - KKKK/5



Jor - 'Blunt'
Loudspeaker Record
30/03/2002
...A strikingly confident quintet.. they combine Helmet's staccato riffage with Snapcase's stripped down no-nonsense onslaught and a rawness reminiscent of early Machine Head, for a no-frills head on attack.... exactly what a hardcore record in 2002 should be: vicious, to the point and straight for the throat. With the ever-able Dave Chang at the production helm, Jor have provided yet another wake up call to the wealth of British talent brewing throughout the underground. Brutality to put a smile on your face
Kerrang! (reviews) - KKKK/5



CapDown - 'Pound For The Sound'
Household Name Record
01/12/2001
...Tim's awesome drumming is a bedrock of driving beats and subtle accents, providing the foundation for Boob's smooth and immaculate bass. Keith's guitar is both powerful and melodic, filling either role with equal eagerness, and working brilliantly with Jake's frenetic, confident and versatile vocals. His saxophone is bloody good too, and the whole lot is so well produced (without sounding 'well produced', if you get what I mean) that they leap the hurdle of recreating their fearsome live sound in the studio perfectly (where many other bands have fallen)…
Metal Hammer (reviews) - 8/10



CapDown - 'Pound For The Sound'
Household Name Records
01/09/2001
...this time round they're more mature and a little slicker around the edges. They're still as hard, fast and political as you'd expect, and they remain experts in the art of mixing up a wide range of genres effortlessly, but now [they] have a more varied and evenly paced sound.

One blast of shouty intensity after another and totally unique. Damn near perfect!
Kerrang! (Reviews) - KKKK/5



Gorerotted - 'Mutilated In Minutes'
Dead Again Records
01/04/2001
...Dave Chang's production is amazing and has brought out the best out of each of the members [of the band]. It's hard to believe that a UK death metal band could produce something on world class levels with their debut. By gum, Gorerotted have done just that. Brutal.
Terrorizer (Reviews) - 7.5/10



Mindjuice - 'Autonomy'
01/03/2001
...Brighton's Mindjuice really benefit from a phat-ass Dave Chang production on 'Autonomy' [7.5] that really allows their quite-uplifting material to soar. Think Only Living Witness meets Helmet...very heavy and very tuneful. Nice ...
Terrorizer (Cannon Fodder) - 7.5/10



Gutworm - 'Torn From Me'
01/03/2001
Chang did a stirling job on Gutworm's 'Torn From Me' self released MCD [7.5], a beautifull packaged effort featuring six songs of atmospheric metalcore. Impressive stuff indeed...
Terrorizer (Cannon Fodder) - 7.5/10



Matter - 'Blackleg'
15/02/2001
New UK metal band of the week are Matter (as tipped by Andy King a couple of weeks ago) ... who have been working with the soon to be legendary Dave Chang (the UK answer to Ross Robinson - he'll hate me for writing that). They sound awesome. Imagine Napalm Death being fist f****d by raging Speedhorn. Yes, that good!
the Tip Sheet (Forum) -



Underrule - 'Misfortune Comes By Means Of The Mouth'
Blackfish Records
05/02/2001
...Underule are not for the faint hearted. 'Dark' slams your preconceptions into oblivion, coming across like the bastard son of Obituary and Slayer. 'Whisper Words Of War' slams around on a PCP cocktail of sledgehammer guitars that are more Deicide than Agnostic Front. 'Mocking The Afflicted' has much in common with Raging Speedhorn, while upping the aggression levels with 'You Life For Our Angels' ending the album with a riff that'd give Cannibal Corpse nightmares...
Rock Sound (reviews) - 5/5



Underule - 'Misfortune Comes By Means Of The Mouth'
Blackfish Records
01/02/2001
...This full-length debut-album hits you harder and heavier than a block of steel-reinforced concrete borne at terminal velocity on a twenty ton truck...Underule will appeal as much to extreme metal fans as hardcore kids. With the usual excellent production from Dave Chang, this is essential.
Metal Hammer (Reviews) - 9/10



Evanesce - 'Sower Of Sedition'
Retribute Records
31/01/2001
...When the band claim that Dave Chang has produced the record they've always wanted to hear, then you're inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt. It's a full-on production with depth down the line that allows Jay's versatile vocals to carry this along with sufficient forcefulness...
Terrorizer (Reviews) - 8/10



Linea 77 - 'Ketchup Suicide'
Earache Records
03/01/2001
...this is without a doubt, Linea's finest work yet, combining tuffness and tenderness you might not have suspected them capable of, more often than not coming across as some dream fusion of Corrosion of Conformity and Fugazi. Openers like 'Potato Music Machine' abd the title track should be all daffy jokiness, but the titles hold hidden depths: 'Tadayuki Song' is a gorgeously propulsive mix of blissed out melodies and raging hardcore, 'Machuman Deluxe' twists and pivots on vortexes worthy of Tool or At The Drive-In, 'Miss It' and 'Smile' are simply gorgeous swinging rock'n'roll reminiscent of Husker Du or Dinosaur Jnr. What's so surprising throughout Ketchup Suicide is how far from their own initial templates Linea have gone, expanding their previously narrow sound hugely to encompass a breadth of influence, all peerless, all blisteringly executed.

'You/Kimono' and 'Lo-Fi Boy' build from their near avant-rock openings to blazing finales working on the kind of stellar dynamics you'd assume European bands just weren't interested in anymore, the kind of math-rock raunch and vocal dreangement far hipper names than Linea would kill for. An absolute triumph and the first essential album of 2001. Do not miss.
Metal Hammer (Reviews) - 9/10



Linea 77 - 'Ketchup Suicide'
Earache Records
02/01/2001
...I think the album that's emerged isn't just the best thing we've ever done, it's the most honest reflection of us yet...
Rock Sound (Interview) - n/a



Linea 77 - 'Ketchup Suicide'
Earache Records
02/01/2001
...From the very outset of the opening track the typically zany 'Potato Music Machine' 'Ketchup Suicide' threatens to blow your head clean off your shoulders. Rectum-rattling basslines and chimera chords start and finish the proceedings with truculent force throughout. The accelerated title-track follows suit putting even the recently watered down Limp Bizkit to shame, paradoxically shouting melodically in soaring harmonies usually prohibited by such weighty riffage, also typified by stand-out track, the masterful 'Tadayuki Song' - a stalwart reminder of Feeder's 'My Perfect Day' with intense injection of vigour. 'Moka' a hard'n'heavy hammer in the head sounds surprisingly effective in their mother-tongue (shame it never worked for the Super Furrys) whilst predictably the most noteworthy moment (if only for its comedy rating) is a classic crucifiction of The Bangles' 'Walk Like An Egyptian'. As a perennial live favourite over the last year, it was chosen for inclusion on the album by fans via their website and is a suitably spirited way to conclude...
Rock Sound (Reviews) - 4/5



Underrule - 'Misfortune Comes By Means Of The Mouth'
Blackfish Records
09/12/2000
..."Misfortune..." is quite possibly the heaviest hardcore album of all time. The riffs are phenominal, bordering on purest death metal in places, the rhythm section must be causing earthquakes in Mexico, and singer Alan's voice doesn't just strip paint, it knocks the walls down too. Relentlessly savage, endlessly inventive and 100 per cent horrible, this is a truly staggering slice of metal, UK hardcore style. You need it..
Kerrang! (reviews) - KKKK/5



Miocene - 'Refining The Theory'
Infernal Records
05/12/2000
..."Refining..."s progressive colouring provides ample evidence of something to hang on to well after the first encounter.... Their tracks breathe, each one a tiny epic; "Shine" opening a whole trunk of possibilities with its slow burning intensity. Of course, there's more than enough brutality in here; Miocene are a metal band. But this is future metal - the start of something potentially special.
Metal Hammer (Reviews) - 8/10



Knuckledust - 'Time Wont Heal This'
Blackfish Records
01/10/2000
...We knew Dave Chang was good ... I think (the production) is perfect. He's done a great job, he's captured it, put everything there - there's nothing missing...
Metal Hammer (Interview) - 8/10



Silencer 7 (Anthem Of The Century) - 'Directions On A Compass'
01/08/2000
...'Directions On A Compass' is varied and exciting, without being contrived or poncy ... The melodic bits are interspersed with flashes of real gutsy power, the vocals and guitars mix nicely, providing contrast without either showing off. The drums are fluid and dynamic and the bass is constant and unshakeable... definitely worth a few quid of anyone's money.
Rock Sound (Reviews) - 4/5



Stampin' Ground - 'Carved From Empty Words'
Century Media Records
01/08/2000
LAST year Stampin' Ground had both metal and hardcore fans scraping themselves off the floor thanks to the colossal 'An Expression Of Repressed Violence' album [also produced by Dave Chang]. Well, prepare for another round as the boys are back with a slab that doesn't waste its time redefining the boundaries of metal and hardcore. Instead, it redraws the boundaries of heaviness itself ... The thing that makes this album stand out from the other 'brutal' albums doing the rounds is the monstrous sound. Even on half volume, the windows and walls violently shake, so Christ only knows what this will be like when put through a PA system...
Metal Hammer (Reviews) - 10/10



Restraint - 'Reach The New'
Restraint Records
01/08/2000
...with the omnipresent Dave Chang twiddling the knobs for 'em in the studio, they're infinitely heavier than before. Restraint now sound ready to take on the rest of the world...
Terrorizer (Reviews) - 7/10



Knuckledust - 'Time Won't Heal This'
Blackfish Records
01/08/2000
...What has definitely changed, though is the quality of the production. 'Time Won't Heal This' captures the raw energy of Knuckledust without sounding like a bad demo tape. The band then 'keep it real' with ten tracks that simply kick your ass the way Sick Of It All or Minor Threat would...
Terrorizer (Reviews) - 7/10



Stampin' Ground - 'Carved From Empty Words'
Century Media
15/07/2000
... 'Carved From Empty Words', to put it simply, is a classic. While previous releases were effortlessly brutal and highly addictive, this new ten tracker adds an extra level of heaviness to the SG experience and the end result is not just a truly great hardcore record, but a genuinely awesome dose of 21st century UK extreme metal. The riffs are harder and faster than ever, and the thrilling tempo changes more expertly executed than even the most avid fan of the band could have predicted.

Yes, Stampin' Ground still sound a lot like early slayer, but in truth the makers of 'Reign In Blood' have consistently failed to produce anything this arse wideningly savage and invigorating in the last decade. The spirit of 'Carved From Empty Words' may reside in hardcore, but its heart is firmly entrencehed in metal territory, and consequently this devastating album looks certain to introduce Stampin' Ground to a huge, new, world-wide audience, As the opening machine-gun drum salvo of 'Officer Down' comes bludgeoning from the speakers, it is immediately apparent Ian Glasper and pals have matured considerably since 1998's 'An Expression Of Reppressed Violence'.

Where before the aim was merely to pound the listener into submission, this time around Stampin' Ground have some incredible songs in their vicious arsenal. 'Outside Looking In', quite possibly the best thing the band have ever recorded, is an absolute gem; tighter than an otter's ring-piece, packed full of inspired dynamics and stunning tempo changes, and absolutely guaranteed to get even the most reluctant of heads banging furiously. Elsewhere the likes of 'Everybody Owes A Death' and 'Ultimatum' take the finest bits of the heaviest hardcore and most visceral metal and pummel them with huge knobbly sticks to create one of the most violent and compelling noises the UK underground has ever produced.

...it's not just hardcore fans who are going to soil their y-fronts when this particular shit hits the fan. With Medulla Nocte [also produced by Dave Chang] and Earth Crisis both releasing classic, career defining albums in recent weeks, 2000 is already a vintage year for the world of metalized hardcore. 'Carved From Empty Words' is the best of the lot, a titanic work of masterful aggression and teeth-shattering intensity which is as essential and life-affirming as any record in living memory. If you like your music loud, lean and brutal as f**k then you owe it to yourself to check this out.

Sorry, I think I've just cum.
(Review) - KKKKK/5



Stampin' Ground - 'Carved From Empty Words'
Century Media
15/07/2000
... 'Carved From Empty Words', to put it simply, is a classic. While previous releases were effortlessly brutal and highly addictive, this new ten tracker adds an extra level of heaviness to the SG experience and the end result is not just a truly great hardcore record, but a genuinely awesome dose of 21st century UK extreme metal. The riffs are harder and faster than ever, and the thrilling tempo changes more expertly executed than even the most avid fan of the band could have predicted.

Yes, Stampin' Ground still sound a lot like early slayer, but in truth the makers of 'Reign In Blood' have consistently failed to produce anything this arse wideningly savage and invigorating in the last decade. The spirit of 'Carved From Empty Words' may reside in hardcore, but its heart is firmly entrencehed in metal territory, and consequently this devastating album looks certain to introduce Stampin' Ground to a huge, new, world-wide audience, As the opening machine-gun drum salvo of 'Officer Down' comes bludgeoning from the speakers, it is immediately apparent Ian Glasper and pals have matured considerably since 1998's 'An Expression Of Reppressed Violence'.

Where before the aim was merely to pound the listener into submission, this time around Stampin' Ground have some incredible songs in their vicious arsenal. 'Outside Looking In', quite possibly the best thing the band have ever recorded, is an absolute gem; tighter than an otter's ring-piece, packed full of inspired dynamics and stunning tempo changes, and absolutely guaranteed to get even the most reluctant of heads banging furiously. Elsewhere the likes of 'Everybody Owes A Death' and 'Ultimatum' take the finest bits of the heaviest hardcore and most visceral metal and pummel them with huge knobbly sticks to create one of the most violent and compelling noises the UK underground has ever produced.

...it's not just hardcore fans who are going to soil their y-fronts when this particular shit hits the fan. With Medulla Nocte [also produced by Dave Chang] and Earth Crisis both releasing classic, career defining albums in recent weeks, 2000 is already a vintage year for the world of metalized hardcore. 'Carved From Empty Words' is the best of the lot, a titanic work of masterful aggression and teeth-shattering intensity which is as essential and life-affirming as any record in living memory. If you like your music loud, lean and brutal as f**k then you owe it to yourself to check this out.

Sorry, I think I've just cum.
(Review) - KKKKK/5



Stampin' Ground - 'Carved From Empty Words'
Century Media
01/07/2000
...A dangerous cocktail of riffs, grinds, moshes and thrashes, 'Carved...' succeeds in marrying the lethal breaknecking of 'Reign In Blood' with Exodus, and sits as the perfect join of Dark Angel and both 'New Order' era and modern day Testament.

That less than a third of the tracks peer over the four minute mark is a further statement of intent. Stampin' Ground rush in, deliver the killer blow and dissappear to leave you realing, your head pounding as the slamming 'Ultimatum', one minute circle mosh friendly with its bass-to-stomp end section, one minute jamming 'Pleasure Of The Flesh' style grinds out the end of forty-five minutes of destruction. Everything is geared to mosh, to the live arena, and after several years of not just playing every single toilet, but finding new ones, the band's hard work has paid off in spades, shovels and electric drills. You won't find a tighter, groovier moshtastic record.

From the old school Slayer intro of the first track 'Officer Down' sending 'Post Mortem' running for cover, to the 'Davidian' grind of 'Everyone Owes A Death', Stampin' Ground eschew torrent upon metal fucking torrent of aggression reigning down on the poseurs they will undoubtedly leave behind. Vocalist Adam leaves his bleading throat all over the studio walls, and hidden talent, drummer Ade rivals even Lombardo.

All in all, this is an unbeleivable mix of everything heavy, contemporary and pumping, and with the triplet-picking attack of 'Outside Looking In' live up to guitarist Scott's recent boasts of writing one of the biggest mosh riffs of all time. My stereo is still scared. No word of a lie.
Terrorizer (Reviews) - 8.5/10, album of the month



Silencer 7 (Anthems Of A Century) - 'Directions On A Compass'
Household Name
05/06/2000
This is an outsanding, assured full-length debut for Northampton's Silencer 7. 'Diections On A Compass' firmly refuses to be categorised into any particular cosy little niche of hardcore - they've taken their lead from all over the hardcore map and come up with a sound that is totally their own. There's a strong strand of youthcrew/posicore, bursts of circle-pit-till-you-drop frenzy, but dashes of emo-core as well, alongside some tough, sometimes near-metallic guitar that demands your attention. The songs are tightly played and well constructed, it's like Good Riddance and Avail slugging it out with Last Man Standing and As Friends Rust, with perhaps a bit of early Sick Of It All. It's that good, believe me, and one definitely worth checking out
Metal Hammer (reviews) - 9/10



Silencer 7 (Anthems Of A Century) - 'Directions On A Compass'
Household Name
05/06/2000
Wait a minute! Those breakneck riffs must be the work of someone like Joe D. Foster, right? And that vintage hardcore sound must have been captured in Brian McTernan's Salad Days Studio, am I right? No, I'm wrong - and for once I'm pleased to be... 'cos 'Directions On A Compass' was recorded in Ripley with the omnipresent Dave Chang by none other than Northampton's rising stars, Silencer 7, and the album proves the Brits can play old school as well as the Yanks. This is as thrilling, stirring and anthemic as anything you will have heard recently from Better Than A Thousand or Built To Last or Bane - or any other of those bloody bands beginning with 'B'...
Terrorizer (reviews) - 4/5



Silencer 7 (Anthems Of A Century) - 'Directions On A Compass'
Household Name
05/06/2000
Wait a minute! Those breakneck riffs must be the work of someone like Joe D. Foster, right? And that vintage hardcore sound must have been captured in Brian McTernan's Salad Days Studio, am I right? No, I'm wrong - and for once I'm pleased to be... 'cos 'Directions On A Compass' was recorded in Ripley with the omnipresent Dave Chang by none other than Northampton's rising stars, Silencer 7, and the album proves the Brits can play old school as well as the Yanks. This is as thrilling, stirring and anthemic as anything you will have heard recently from Better Than A Thousand or Built To Last or Bane - or any other of those bloody bands beginning with 'B'...
Terrorizer (reviews) - 4/5



Medulla Nocte - 'Dying From The Inside'
Copro Records
03/06/2000
IF YOU listen to Medulla Nocte's second album at an obscene volume, you'll be picking bits of your skull off the ceiling for weeks. Medulla Nocte have always been phenominal live, but it's only now that their brutal majesty has been accurately captured on record...A tune like 'Nervous Reaction' is so heavy your teeth rattle - Dave Chang's production job is simply perfect, as the band bristle with rabid muscular energy; every instrument crystal clear and heavier than an iron yak. With balls of granite and some of the most uniquely derranged screeching ever committed to tape, "Dying From The Inside" is a masterclass in bleak and bruising mettallic hardore. Utterly essential listening
Kerrang! (reviews) - KKKKK/5



Freebase - 'Nothing To Regret'
Hardboiled Records
01/05/2000
...with the help of Dave Chang, Freebase have produced fifteen blasts of rousing, punked-up, heavy-as-hell hardcore. This is how the likes of Rykers and Backfire wish they could sound...
Terrorizer (Reviews) - 7.5/10



Earthtone9 - 'Hi Point'
Copro Records
22/04/2000
FURTHER PROOF that Brit-metal is increasingly providing a real alternative to US nu-metal which is fast becoming the LA hair metal of the 90s. The 'tones latest EP is a thing of great beauty and brutality occupying the hitherto undiscovered territory between Faith No More's 'King For A Day...Fool For A Lifetime' album and Deftones' 'Adrenaline'. Unpredictable and very very cool, this is metal which dares to be different and deserves to be heard as much as possible. A career high point indeed.
Kerrang! (Reviews) - KKKK/5



Landmine Spring - 'Trepanning'
Casket Records
07/04/2000
...The Dave Chang production just rocks, too, hard and bright and spacious, everything right where it ought to be - like, in your face...
Terrorizer (Reviews) - 7.5/10



Freebase - 'Nothing To Regret'
Hard Boiled/Die Hard Records
05/04/2000
THIS much anticipated debut album from Northampton's favourite sons adds a different shade to the current template for UK hardcore. Now don't get me wrong, I like meyalcore as much as the next chap (or chapette), and Stampin' Ground are one of my favourite bands, but while it has been the favoured mode of expression for the majority of bands for some time now, both here and on the European mainland, we do need some diversity in the scene. Thankfully, Freebase supply this here, with bucketloads of crushingly powerful, old school mega-riffing combining with bruising, punk-edged attitude. This is an extremely confident debut, fulfilling Freebase's promise. One to rush home with and play on repeat while you practice your pit moves.
Metal Hammer (reviews) - 9/10




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