VARIOUS ARTISTS  The Show That Ends The World  10" + DVD   (A389 Records)   25.98

This show may not have truly caused the end of the world, but the bands that played certainly gave their best effort to ring it's death knell. I myself was in attendance at this amazing show; I say "amazing", because it gathered together some of the top names in what was once called the "Holy Terror" circle, a loosely-knit cadre of bands that had come out of the underground hardcore and metal scenes and were connected through their apocalyptic worldview, brutal anti-social attitude, and proclivities towards the occult. I never thought that I would have the chance to see the likes of Gehenna, Ringworm, and Integrity all in the same room together in downtown Baltimore, but there we were on January 22nd, 2010, crammed into the club room at Sonar, watching three of the most vicious bands to come out of the 1990s laying waste to the crowd with zero mercy.

A year later, A389 Records revealed that they had recorded this same show and were releasing select performances from all of the bands on a compilation record that would also come with a Dvd of live footage. This extremely limited vinyl/dvd/digital package put together by Dom at A389 is a beautiful thing, packaged inside of a full color sleeve that reproduces the awesome satanic Manson artwork from the limited edition poster for the show, and includes a black and white xeroxed booklet and a download code for a digital copy of the album. The 10" features one song each from the bands that played, starting with the grueling, bloozy, frothing-at-the-mouth Southern-tinged sludge metal of Gray Ghost and the galloping, sludgy force of "Seraphim", then into the feast of Holy Terror violence that goes from Baltimore's frantic thrashers Pulling Teeth. The drug-fuelled terror of the legendary Gehenna (who stole the show that evening with a truly fearsome performance that sent most in attendance scrambling for the back of the room) is a highlight, followed by Ringworm's crushing occult blackthrash/hardcore hybrid and Integrity's earth-shaking closing set. I wish that we could have gotten a complete Dvd of this show (especially of the Gehenna set, which felt more like street warfare than a hardcore band playing on stage), but as far as live show documents go, this record/dvd set is fucking terrific.

The DVD portion of this package is well-put together, with a simple menu that allows you to access live footage of each of the songs that are presented in the 10" (or watch them in consecutive order). Like the record, the sound quality is taken from the soundboard and is very good, and the camera angle is right on top of the bands and stage to capture the maximum amount of mayhem. Limited to just two hundred copies.