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Toetag / Shattered Realm - EP

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Album Review

This split-EP pairs up two of Eulogy Recordings more aggressive (read: "metallic") hardcore signings for a short, sharp shock to the system that inevitably ends up contrasting and comparing each band's abilities against the other. First up is West Palm Beach, FL's latest uprising sons, Toetag, who reveal a distinct connection to underrated New York hardcore favorites Sheer Terror with the hopelessly cynical yet not altogether humor-averse lyrics (humor as in mocking their would-be fans) that grace bludgeoning musical indictments like "Only Yourself to Blame," "Only the Strong Survive," and the especially amusing, alcoholic's self-assessment that is "The Bottle." Bringing up the rear, New Jersey veterans Shattered Realm turn up the heat (and, to be honest, the overall songwriting quality) with the far less predictable riff switcheroos, colossal power chord preludes, and thrash-like double-kick-drum flurries punctuating nihilistic assaults like "Hate for the World," "Fight to Win," and the doubly threatening, rap-delivered "Bring the Violence Back/Every Man for Himself." Beyond all this, the group's very guitar tones are much more metal than hardcore, and their greater experience allows them to effectively blow away Toetag, when it's all said and done. Finally, and not to be denied by the CD-EP's remarkably brief, 18-minute running time, the two bands still make sure to follow the strict hardcore tradition (or is it cliché?) of dedicating their work to no less than three conveniently dead guys — errr, respect! All disrespectful kidding aside, nothing beats an efficient, hardcore, fast-food drive-thru like this for quickly getting to know a couple of bands.


Formed: East Windsor, New Jersey

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Southern New Jersey's Shattered Realm were founded in the year 2000 by guitarist Joe None, and ensuing releases like 2000's Alone with Everybody, 2001's All Will Suffer EP and Human Conditions LP, and 2002's Broken Ties...Spoken Lies invariably contain straight-edge hardcore infused with metalcore and metallic accents. Following a prolonged breakup, the group returned in 2005 with a lineup of None, vocalist Joe Hardcore, guitarist Danny, bassist Jason...
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Toetag / Shattered Realm - EP, Shattered Realm
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