"I wonder if my wild imagination as a kid and the countless of hours watching Robotech (yeah yeah, I know that it's watered d'wn from the Macross series) in the '80s did the damage or what, but I grew a perversion for Japanese metal bands, especially those that played something resembling thrash metal. It seems that when the Japanese decide to form a band of a hard nature, they're extremely enthusiastic and it really shows. Even if the production job or whatnot is not up there with the German or American ones, it doesn't matter since the 'fun' shines brighter than the sun. Urban Head Raw (huh?) is no different with their Human Instinct album. Like fellow bands such as United and Grim Force, UHR plays fast and hard metal based on crunching riffs and in your face attitude. Basically the musical architecture resembles a mix between something that D.R.I. might have come up with and some of those hardcore bands from New York or New Jersey. Spiced with tormenting solos, it's definitely a mix that will bust people's nuts without even thinking twice. And hell, I'm not even that big of a hardcore fan to begin with so that's saying a lot. On top of that, there's a clear resemblance with Sepultura's Chaos A.D. too. And it's not just music wise, but "Refuse/Resist" and "Territory" sure show up from the lyrics too. Even if there's room to improve on that department for UHR, I can't avoid the comparison. But that's not a bad thing since I'm more than okay with it. Plus it's always heart warming to see songs that have been cut from everything unnecessary in the authentic SCUM-era Napalm Death style. The eight track, “Dai” simply states “Dai!” a couple of times while the music cracks skulls open with a sledge hammer (Trust me, they know what they’re doing!). Listening to Human Instinct is like listening to your old favorites again but also getting a lot of new experiences and feelings on top of that so it doesn't feel like it's just another simple tribute album featuring boring covers of awesome songs. No. This wall of distorted guitars and showered spit is a monument that stands on its own two feet and fist held up high. It's pointless to pick out stand out tracks since it's a pure mosh fest from the beginning to the end. The production is excellent too, with enough rough edges to make it more primal but balanced enough not to make it sound like it was recorded at someone's garage with a broken 4-track. It's a shame that the possibilities for me to see these guys live is pretty much non-existent because I'm sure it would be one of the rawest and most energetic shows I would see in my life." As Armored Saint would say: Urban Head Raw delivers! [Apollyon] http://www.digitalmetal.com/reviews.asp?cid=3580 "Crust metal hardcore destruction from this Japanese trio. Crushing riffs, Cruise missile tempo, gruff vocals, the drums are clear and upfront, Discharge haiku as filtered through Japanese English. These guys will most likely become the heroes of the Japanese crust scene if they keep releasing material this strong." (Maximum Rock N' Roll) "I guess the name doesn't translate so well from Japanese! This however is a fucking gem from the Fukuoka 3-piece. It's heavy as fuck mid-paced chugga D-beat, with mammoth thrash riffs and ace (but not OTT) metal solos I'd say there's quite an obvious nod towards SEPULTURA here (when they were still great of course!). Lyrics are suitably gloomy; about social brainwash, war and “this world of shit' but I can't make out if it's sung in Japanese, English or a mix. Another fine release from C.A.H. with great sound and shitloads of power. Punk as fuck!" (CV) "Awesome heavy hardcore punk from Japan! Metallic guitar riffs that sound like a heavily saturated wall of dark distortion, pounding drum beats, growled vocals, pauses in just the right places, and kick ass break downs that make me want to fucking move. A really nice album of heavy fucking aggression that doesn't stop until it's over, but leaves me with some cool riffs to bounce around my head. Did I mention it was FUCKING HEAVY?!!!" (Heartattack Zine) "All right, this disc is on Crimes Against Humanity so there is your guarantee that it rules! I can't even think of anything but great releases put out by Nick/CAH Records, so just being on the label should let you know you're in for more top-notch material. Urban Head Raw, are a killer crust/metal trio from Japan who completely lay waste to all in their path. These guys totally destroy from the first track to the last; they play extremely heavy crust that brings in some awesome metal influence that is a bit thrashy all around. They're not overly fast, not of grindcore speed but rather maintain a nice balance between fast and midpaced song structures. The focus here is more on delivering, viciously punishing and dense songs as opposed to just going over the top with speed. The songs are long enough for them to develop them in several directions, with excellent riffs and some awesome solo action. The rhythm section is devastating to say the least, delivering pulsating basslines that are heavy enough to level a city and an eight-armed drum assault. The vocals are perfectly suited to the sound, right up front, delivering the lyrics with a forceful, gruff shout that is similar in vein to Tragedy or His Hero is Gone. Totally crushing stuff, I love it! Once again, with anything released by CAH you can expect all the usual bells and whistles including great sound quality and superb packaging. This one gets my highest recommendation and should be an essential buy for all fans of heavy crust that mixes in lots of metal and hardcore elements as well." (daredevil.de) "Tough as nails Japanese hardcore with a big NYHC mosh influence. The vocals are very Japanese in their phrasing and use of back ups with faster, snare heavy breaks and a lot of sub-metal (as opposed to the sub-rock of more traditional Japanese bands) slower to mid sections that often invoke images of pre-major label BIOHAZARD. Fans of later SLANG material would probably enjoy." (Equalizing X Distort) "It really wouldn't give me trouble at all if this kind of bands suddenly began to spring up like mushrooms. Urban Head Raw (one more great Japanese name for a band) plays metallic hardcore. And now we are definitely not talking about any cheap Slayer inspired vegan metal, nor any death metal copycats. Instead we are talking about such sources of inspiration as Hellbastard, Axegrinder, SDS, Sacrilege, or Bolt Thrower, and latter day Amebix. Perhaps even the influences of all these bands are heard at some point in this record. Wonderful. Those influences offer good starting-points for loads of new bands, and actually some bands of this style have already emerged here and there. There's already Acrostix, Hellshock and some others. Take all those before mentioned bands, add a good dose of hardhitting crust (and I don't mean any third-rate crust here!), great musicians, and a really good production which does homage to the traditional Japanese hardcore. And of course those confusing Japanese-English lyrics, too. This really is a record full of some tasty music. Let’s hope we'll hear more of this band in the future!" (.m.) "Fuck yeah! Heavy as fuck hardcore/punk from Japan with a major thrash metal vibe happening. The opening rhythm is just fuckin' classic, and that heaviness adds so much to their driving rhythms. Shit, some of the rhythms are so moshy that they have a NYHC sort of groove happening, and they rip out some solos too. The vocals are burly midrange shouts that are also a great match for the songs. This shit is all about ripping thrash metal breakdowns, and I love every minute of it! "Complicity in Murder" opens up as a flat out metal track, reverting back to the straightforward pounding rhythms as the vocals kick in, but definitely getting into more of that metallic hardcore punch with the chorus. a great fuckin' track. "Human Instinct" is another of the more metal-based tracks, with one of the longer and more melodic lead passages as well. A couple of the tracks that get a little faster like "Dai" and "Pain of Hate" hint at a crossover sort of bite too, and you can't lose there. The recording is strong as well, definitely a little thick, but not really muddy or anything. The bass plays a huge role, the guitar is ultra heavy, etc. The drums are a little unbalanced, and the vocals sound separated from the music at times, but in large part everything's right about where it should be. The guitar tone is so crisp that it totally rips for this kind of stuff. I'm not that into the layout. The collage on the back cover is alright, and the lyrics and stuff are clean and consistent, but the front cover is boring and I don't like the overuse of different typefaces and all that. It's not too eye-catching at all. The lyrics are brief as hell, a couple of lines per track, in rough English and taking an almost exclusive stance against war: "No escape, The past of control, It continues, Bloody just war." My only minor problem with this record is that even at 32 minutes it feels a little one-sided and can get slightly stale, the songs don't differentiate themselves from one another all that much. But fuck it, because I haven't really heard anything that keeps its punk edge intact with so much metal like this in a long fucking time, and I'm totally into it. Check this one out, definitely. It might be too metal for some, but I think they kick ass." (Aversionline.com)

This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 15 October, 2013.

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