Death Side – Bet on the Possibility

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A month ago I stumbled across a gem I couldn’t believe I have never heard of previously. After a brief research I realized Death Side are actually one of the most influential and legendary Japcore bands – a whole new universe for those thrilled by early British hardcore. Needless to say, the influence of Discharge had spread across Europe and beyond. In Japan, where the followers of all types of subculture practice it with extreme devotion, just as the Samurai followed the bushido code, hardcore punk evolved to a whole new level. Most hardcore-punk fans are with no doubt familiar with the likes of Gauze and Disclose and their emblematic raw style. Death Side, however, take their sound to another level: it is clean, fast and in-your-face brutal. That’s why they deserve wider recognition. The mixture of hardcore-punk and thrash, coupled with an outstanding d-beat drumming make Death Side sound as the Japanese – yet, in my opinion, even better version of Black Uniforms. Listeners are exposed to catchy and diverse punk riffs, followed by genial solos, driving them to replay the album again and again.
“Bet on the Possibility” is an alum I cannot stop listening to. I haven’t felt that way since 1999, when I heard Offspring’s “Smash” for the first time. The album begins with an intro, which a friend of mine compared to the soundtrack of Diablo 2. It is suddenly interrupted by the starting riff of “Meaning” – a melody I cannot stop humming for months. Actually most songs are so catchy, one memorizes the melodies by heart after a few listens. My personal favorite is “Life is only once”, an orthodoxly structured hc/punk/thrash hymn that makes you want to appreciate you are living and spring into the mosh once it is played. That’s highly unlikely to happen, though, as Death Side are not active since 1995. Another song that deserves special attention is “Fight Your Way”: with a classical-like main riff and an outro played on piano. Strange enough, most titles are in English but the lyrics sound extremely Japanese. Another weird thing I noticed is that most are grammatically incorrect – this appears to be a tradition for Japanese bands, as even albums often have English titles that do not make too much sense.

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