When you talk about bands coming out of "nowhere", you're usually referring to bands who claw their way up into your attention, maybe doing really well in their hometown and then bursting onto the national scene, or even kids from an unusual part of the state putting together a really good record and getting noticed. With Cause Ov Death, this band literally came out of nowhere, in that they clandestinely formed, wrote, practiced, made cover art, and recorded with only a small handful of close friends even knowing about them. And even with the tag of "ex members of...", none of this would even be worth giving two shits about if the result wasn't so. damn. good.

Since the band has seemingly made it a policy to focus on their music instead of their connections, the only member I will mention is vocalist, and ex Repercussion member Paul Brown. That reason is that I don't think I was alone in clicking the link to Cause Ov Death's Stereokiller page half expecting there to already be 10 or 15 jokes about "Sealed With A Fist." I think Paul wakes up screaming at least once a night from a nightmare about that song. I instantly figured out why there wasn't even one in sight.

What came through my speakers was one of the most intense and straightforward hardcore records in recent time. It was gratifying in such a personal way, especially since I have caught myself recently slipping out of caring about hardcore. I had even recently had a conversation that basically went something like "hey remember when hardcore bands played actual heavy hardcore? no overdone toughguy shit, no Biohazard riffs and embarrassing white suburban thugs, no youth crew, just the stuff I first identified with in the hardcore scene?" Well to my surprise, here it is.

The very first thing I thought of upon the song "Deceiver" breaking out into an all out thrash madness was how "European" it sounded. Honestly, if you were to tell me this was a long lost Goodlife Records release, I wouldn't even question you. If you think I mean this in a bad way, you don't know how much I love 90's/2000's Euro hardcore. Picture all the bands I listed on the side, plus some early Angel Crew, Hatebreed, Mushmouth, Figure Four, it's like being 18 again for me.

Nothing really stands out as a top spot on this, as everything is pretty consistently great (although I must say the rhythm change in the middle of the song Deceiver is particularly teeth-kick worthy). The production, handled by Len Carmichael, is just the epitome of perfection. Everything is clear and audible and any less of a job would have almost certainly been detrimental to the impact this has had in just one week.

Things are looking up for Cause Ov Death, and I highly suggest you get in on the ground floor because I bet these guys are going to make a dent in the hardcore world before their time is up. If you want to hear "Deceiver", go to their Stereokiller page. Hopefully a nice 7" release is planned as well....hint hint...