Thursday, April 24, 2008

AT WAR-retaliatory strike LP (1988)

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2.conscientious objector
3.creed of the sniper
4.covert sins
5.crush your life
6.gutless sympathizer & state
8.felon's guilt
10.the example

These dudes were from Virginia, and formed in the early 80's as a three piece. They are considered by many to be the first "war metal" band. The bands records were always themed around war, and it quickly became the bands shtick. I loved the cover of their first LP, Ordered to kill, so hilarious with them on the cover with guns. This the bands second full length came out a few years after the debut, and musically was a step up in production. The songs are good thrash metal songs, that listening back, you can almost see how an entire "hardcore" metal scene stole the bands sound. They really influenced the metallic hc scene incredibly. From the opening of this with them messing around in the control room chattering on walkie talkies like they are about to invade Iran or something, to the end with the fierce guitar riffs the record pounds.
I originally bought this At Music Shack in Albany Ny in around 1990. The logo of the band, and the fact that it was recorded in my old home turf of Ihtaca NY made me buy this thing.
Recently my buddy/neighbor Artie found some records for sale on line, and invited me along to buy with him as well. The Russian dude selling the shit out of his basement had everything from punk, metal, polka.. whatever you wanted he had. I found about three test pressings in his collection, a Bad Brains I against I, a Fall test, and this At War test pressing. Out of the three, he would only sell me this one. I was/am in heaven. Also got the Spasstic Blur LP off him, I'll post that at some point as well. Enjoy, and comment.


  1. I really love these old thrash album covers- don't know why the fuck they change the covers on so many of these reissues (ie Exodus, Dark Angel, Intruder, Stone, etc). that artwork was part of what made these releases classics of their time!! and your so right about the hardcore-metal thing - I always thought the first Cro Mags record sounded a lot like these guys. Word em up.

  2. Been meaning to check these guys out, thanks.

    You've mentioned in your blog that you're from the upstate NY area. I go to school in Rochester. Purely out of historical curiosity, do you know what the punk and metal scenes in Rochester were like back in the day? I'd be somewhat curious to know.

  3. crazy good stuff. your blog is the best on the net in my humble opinion. Makes me recall those old feelings. How old are you? thanks for the hard work in making these records available.

  4. Thanks dudes! Glad you enjoy the stuff.

    Rochester didn't have a lot going on back then...

  5. Ive never heard a band that dedicated their songs entirely to war. Thats rad. How familiar are you with the euro hardcore/punk scene? Cuz I just got some stuff by Fallout, Shockintv, Bedboys, and Reig.

  6. Even back in the day these records were hard to find (at least for me). Thanks a ton for posting!!


  7. awesome! just picked up ordered to kill about 2 weeks ago at some weird record store in CT that still had a bunch of old printed back patches from back in the day of like Slayer, Dio, Megadeth, etc.

  8. Bombastic SXhit man..

    cc, you've been getting some great stuff in stores lately man. fucking awesome.

  9. The guitars are awesome on this album,with complicated metrics and amazing melodies.
    They where very ahead of theyr time!Thanks,Nate,your blog rules,except for the use of rapidshare in the begining:)

  10. I hear yeah there Tuna.

    Mediafire has been so much better. Wish I'd have used it early on.

    oh and learn. thanks for the comments. Nate

  11. I lived in Ithaca from '84 to '91, from the ages of 12 to 19. I basically lived right behind Pyramid Sound (on Spencer Street) and me and my friend Tim would always be super stoked when we ran into one of the bands recording there, and when Tim's band Milktoast recorded a demo there, Alex Perialis had tons of hilarious stories to tell us.

    One of the bands we met was At War when they were recording their first record, and they were some of the nicest guys ever. This post brings back great memories, thanks :)

  12. Oh, and I had never heard this record, so thanks for that!

  13. Guav, thats cool as shit.
    I grew up 15 miles west of Ithaca in Spencer NY. I left there in around 1982-83, but would go back to visit my old friends.
    Were those studios near the Pyramid Mall? I recall a Jamesway up there as well.
    Its strange that metal bands were recording there. If I'm not mistaken wasn't the S.o.D. LP recorded there as well?

  14. At War played Richmond Va a few weeks ago. The show wasn't very well promoted and I didn't find out about it until that day. I feel like a total ass now that I know they were from Va and that I have not heard them before. thanks for putting it up.

  15. AT WAR fans rejoice. long lost 80's interview available now.

    Peep it here:



  16. How familiar are you with the euro hardcore/punk scene? I think we can't avoid this question. All is about good music and everyone here love it, so we must to understand the main point behind all this: we'll need more information about those bands and songs.

  17. A reply six years later is better than no reply at all, right?

    No, Pyramid Sound was downtown right across the street from the police station and the Woolworths parking lot (now the library) and I lived on the street right behind that. Yes, S.O.D. and M.O.D. both recorded there along with many others.