108

Creation. Sustenance. Destruction

Written by: PP on 28/09/2006 16:45:17

Should you ask most hardcore bands today about the significance of the number 108, most of them would immediately refer you to "Threefold Misery", arguably one of the most important hardcore releases of 90s. 108's life span was short, but the amount of influence the band radiated during their explosive five year existence is unquantifiable. The sole concept of combining religious concepts of Khrisna with passionate exploration of self to others with occasional references to classic literature already sets the band apart from the great majority of their genre, and it comes as a no surprise to find them at Equal Vision, known for housing 'special' bands. "Creation. Sustenance. Destruction" is 108's entire discography of 34 tracks (2 albums, 2 EPs) re-mastered onto a double-disc, filled with all the lyrics and, as a major plus, substantial notes from the band members commenting the purposes and inspirations behind each track.

The re-mastering almost isn't audible at all. Tom Hutten has done a great job retaining the intensity and passion the band put into their music as perfectly demonstrated on "Blood"'s painstakingly slow cyclical vocal assault. As if to label modern acts pseudo-hardcore, "Killer Of The Soul" gives a whole new meaning to a 'daunting' riff with its low-tuned, edgy-as-fuck leads, not to mention Rasajara Dasa (Robert Fish)'s intense lo-fi screams with messages about spirituality and social injustice. The collaboration between Rasajara's dark vocal work and Trivikrama Dasa (Tim Cohen)'s dark guitar riffs is as fantastic and original as it ever was with modern bands standing no contest to the passion and dynamics 108 slowly throws at you. Be it the ghostly jamming sessions in "Being Or Body", or the sustained slow aggression on "Invocation", the "Threefold Misery" part of the album is utterly spectacular, representing the height of the 108 legacy for years to come.

The revolving doors of the lineup largely effected the later releases, making the more chaotic and less intriguing in their nature, though some of the groups most famous tracks come from this era. "Serve And Defy" uses sheer lo-fi melody-over-chaos to depict an almost singalongable chorus, serving as a signpost for future hardcore bands to come. What the band lost in members, though, did not affect the overall Buddhist/far-eastern spiritual mood in the songs. Throughout the record, each and every song sounds like a violent separation of soul from the band, with each track delivered with suffering you wouldn't wish upon even your worst enemies. This, however, is (was) the band's strength, the unique separator between them and the genre. The label's promo sheet has (for once) hit it spot on by describing the disc as a testament of an era of hardcore delivered with "passion, intensity, and spirit the likes of which have yet to be duplicated".

The legacy of 108 on a single release is a bargain, even if it contains tracks from the less popular late '95-'96-era of the band. Just play around with a thought of having "Songs Of Separation", "Threefold Misery" and more remastered on the same release, and try to justify not owning this release. You just can't.

8

Download: Blood, Killer Of The Soul
For the fans of: Quicksand, American Nightmare, Avail, Integrity
Listen: Many MP3s @ Official Website

Release date 17.07.2006
Equal Vision
Provided by Target ApS

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