Only The Strong MCMXCIX (Victory Records)
By: Jeb Branin
This series of compilations is becoming legendary and serves a two fold purpose for Victory Records. First, of course, is to bring together on one CD (or 7" in the case of the first installment many years ago) several of the hardest and best Victory style hardcore bands around. The second is that "Only The Strong" serves as an advance label sampler of sorts, since many of these bands do, or will, have product out on Victory. As for the sound of the bands on this comp, nobody with a seasoned ear for hardcore could accuse them of being clones but there is also no denying that there is a common thread running through most of artists on tap. Bruising guitars, thick riffs, and raw vocals are the name of the game. Some of the standout bands are VISION with their more classic sound, KILL YOUR IDOLS who also have a more classic sound, NO INNOCENT VICTIM with their crushingly heavy metal-core, BURIED ALIVE with the heavy handed delivery, and AGNOSTIC FRONT because they are AGNOSTIC FRONT.
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