Last month, Concord announced that it had acquired legendary indie Victory Records, with Billboard estimating that Concord paid in the ballpark of $30 million to acquire the smaller label. This also came with the news that Victory will most likely not release new records.
Though the label is widely known for its association with bands like A Day to Remember, Emmure, Taking Back Sunday and Bayside, Victory played an integral role in the hardcore and metalcore scene, breaking a number of new bands and releasing seminal albums. Here are five times Victory Records ruled.
Deadguy – Fixation on a Coworker
I’m not sure if the homage T-shirt or the Hall of Fame induction tipped you off, but Fixation on a Coworker is a favorite in the Decibel offices. The 1995 opus is the only full-length from the New Jersey outfit is negative and aggressive, its jagged rhythms, chaotic guitars and screamed/snarled vocals serving as an influence on many that came after.
Jungle Rot – Jungle Rot
Jungle Rot have been around for almost thirty years and 2018’s self-titled album is one of their strongest releases. The album is driven by bouncy riffs, mid-paced grooves and low, articulated growls that are beefed up by weighty production.
Hatebreed – Satisfaction is the Death of Desire
Satisfaction is the definitive Hatebreed record. The debut album from the Connecticut metalcore champions, Satisfaction is the Death of Desire showcases the rawest, most stripped-down side of Hatebreed. Jamey Jasta’s vocals are somewhere between a drill sergeant and Crowbar’s Kirk Windstein. Satisfaction is still one of the heaviest releases in the Hatebreed discography.
Earth Crisis – Firestorm
The 1993 seven-inch from vegan straightedge legends Earth Crisis is only four songs, but its title track is one of the most important straightedge hardcore songs ever, behind that one Minor Threat song. The lyrics are straight and to the point (“Violence against violence, let the roundups begin. / A firestorm to purify the bane that society drowns in. No mercy, no / Exceptions, a declaration of total war. / The innocent’s defense is the reason it’s waged for”), a call to action against the issues Earth Crisis saw in the world. Even today, the song inspires rabid crowd participation in a live setting.
Integrity – Systems Overload
Dark hardcore royalty Integrity released the Decibel Hall of Fame-inducted Systems Overload four years after debut album Those Who Fear Tomorrow, cementing the then-Clevelanders ties to darker art and bridging the gap between metal and hardcore. There’s a mix of serious, real-world issues (“Armenian Persecution”) and straight hardcore rippers (“No One”), there’s devil-worshipping spoken word (“Salvations Malevolence”) and there’s a sense that Integrity are in their peak form.