The Vegan Straight Edge
(Image from Purification - Vessel of Wrath 1998 album cover)
I first heard vegan straight edge metalcore in 1996 in New York City when I saw Earth Crisis in concert. They also played with Buffalo, New York metalcore band Snapcase that night. This was a night that would forever change my life because it was my first hardcore show and my first exposure to The Vegan Straight Edge. Since that night in 1996 I have never stopped listening to vegan straight edge metalcore. Right now I’m over 13 years sober and drug free from vicodin, alcohol, marijuana and I even tried cocaine a couple times but I hated it so much. I don’t even drink caffeine. I don’t ever practice any promiscuous sex of any kind. I have also been vegetarian twice in my life and after watching the documentary film “Behind the Mask” about the Animal Liberation Front it was very hard for me to eat any meat for a long time because of the atrocities committed against animals that were shown in the film that were extremely hard for me to watch. Right now I’m a vegetarian again for the third time in my life. To abstain from meat is a healthy choice in my life right now. So no I don’t call myself straight edge and I have never been a vegan but I do believe these are both very important beliefs in my life especially being sober and drug free. When I was a vegetarian my goal was to become a vegan but I never achieved that goal obviously. I however do see myself as an expert on the topic of vegan straight metalcore because of the reasons shared above and also the fact that I have been listening to this style of music since 1996. I will now give you a long list of the best and most important vegan straight edge metalcore bands ever. So now to The Vegan Straight Edge!!!!!
Framework- Never Again is a must buy for your vegan straight edge metalcore CD collection. This is the complete discography of this Syracuse, New York band who later became Earth Crisis. This is the original lineup of Earth Crisis with a different singer named Shane Durgee who went on to become the singer of Gatekeeper. The vegan straight edge band Gather recorded a cover version of the Framework song “Justice Coming” for their debut full length album. Framework’s singer uses vocal melody to pace this classic metalcore discography.
Earth Crisis- This is the best and most important vegan straight edge metalcore band ever. The Syracuse, New York legends have several albums that you must own. These albums are All Out War, Firestorm, Breed The Killers, Gomorrah’s Season Ends, Destroy The Machines. This is where it all started for me and many others like me with the mighty Earth Crisis. I have seen them play live numerous times and they always put on such an unbelievable show. I actually saw Earth Crisis play out a few years ago in Boston before the covid pandemic and they are old now but they’re still awesome live of course.
Path Of Resistance- Who Dares Wins is a must buy. This is the second best and second most important vegan straight edge metalcore band ever. This Syracuse, New York hardcore band is a side project and super group with four singers total and featuring members of Earth Crisis, Framework, Gatekeeper, Prayer For A Fallen Angel, Another Victim, Godbelow. The vocals on this album are very metalcore similar to Earth Crisis. The music is more in the vein of hardcore from the early 1990’s though.
Another Victim- Former Path Of Resistance and former Earth Crisis drummer Mike Riccardi is the drummer for this Syracuse, New York vegan straight edge metalcore band. Another Victim also has members of One King Down, Contempt, Beta Minus Mechanic, Santa Sangre, Freya, Unholy. Earth Crisis are huge supporters and great friends of Another Victim. They have a couple albums that you must own including A Portrayal Of Vengeance, a split CD with the metalcore band Shai Hulud called A Whole New Level Of Sickness, Apocalypse Now. The excellent Apocalypse Now album has the classic Sepultura tribal drumming often present.
Contempt- One Justice is a must buy CD from this Rochester, New York vegan straight edge metalcore band. Jamie Coyle is a former member of Another Victim and is the drummer on this album. The singer Brad has some very tough and angry lyrics to match his vegan straight edge message. Contempt is most definitely for fans of Green Rage, Another Victim, Earth Crisis. This band is different from the other bands I have been writing about because their message borders on the hardline philosophy which can be considered very controversial. There is also the fact that they are from Rochester, New York and not from Syracuse, New York like the several different bands I have been discussing.
One King Down- God Loves, Man Kills with singer Jon Peters, Bloodlust Revenge with singer Rob Fusco are must own albums. They are a vegan straight edge metalcore band from Albany, New York. Derrick Van Wie was also the drummer on the Another Victim 7” For The Liars And The Cheaters. One King Down has a similar sound to Earth Crisis, Snapcase, Another Victim. Rob Fusco’s lyrics are anthems for the mid 1990’s vegan straight edge generation that have empowered many people to make positive changes in their lives and the outside world around them. I have seen One King Down live twice and singer Rob Fusco was always wearing so many tight krishna beads around his neck that it looked like he was almost being choked by his beads. If you want to talk about a man who is dedicated to his band’s live show then you can’t forget about One King Down frontman Rob Fusco.
Raid- A militant vegan straight edge hardline hardcore and metalcore band from Memphis, Tennessee. Raid is legendary and controversial because they are one of the pioneers of the vegan straight edge scene and the hardline scene which inspired bands like Framework, Another Victim, Abnegation, Earth Crisis and their debut EP All Out War. Raid formerly was a Christian straight edge band called One Way. Must own albums are the Demo tape, Above The Law, Hands Off The Animals. Raid’s importance as a band can’t be overstated because they’re incredibly influential and very inspirational to the hardcore genre and the metalcore genre.
Unconquered- They are a vegan straight edge hardcore and metalcore band hailing from the infamous Reno, Nevada scene. In the city of Reno if you wear a straight edge band’s T-shirt or hoody the Reno Police Department can arrest you. They use extremely gruff sounding vocals and gargling with glass style vocals. Their serious lyrics focus on veganism and straight edge. They are one of the toughest straight edge hardcore bands in the scene. Unconquered has a Split 7” with Birthright and The Program album on the influential Sober Mind Records. They have members of 1618 and New Blood. Must own albums are the Split 7” with Birthright and Wall Of Time album. They are from the same hardcore and metalcore scene as Fall Silent and have played in bands with members of Fall Silent. Unconquered is so well regarded that they even appeared on the amazing Victory Records Compilation called Only The Strong in 1999 with their new song “Vision”. This band has become known as infamous and tough but I always have just thought of them as an awesome hardcore and metalcore band from Reno, Nevada.
Clear- They are a vegan straight edge metalcore band from Salt Lake City, Utah. Deeper Than Blood that includes the classic song “Fire Walk With Me” is a must own album. Their guitarist Mick Morris played in Utah’s Decontaminate, Eighteen Visions and Bleeding Through. He died in Utah on June 3rd 2013 at the age of 35. The Clear album “The Sickness Must End” has the song “Falling Into Ashes” which is also included on the essential metalcore album Deeper Than Blood. Salt Lake City has a notorious vegan straight edge scene because they have a massive mormon population in that city. I have seen Clear play in my hometown of Chicago before and a fight broke out during their show between them and the audience. Then after that a fight happened in the audience before people calmed down and the violence stopped. It was pretty scary for a few minutes but overall Clear put on a fantastic show. This is not a band about violence though because they are just an amazing metalcore band from Salt Lake City, Utah.
Day Of Atonement- They are a Christian and vegan straight edge band from Melbourne, and Sydney, Australia. They play a mix of Grindcore, Death Metal, Black Metal, Metalcore and have two members of the Death Metal band Mortification and they even do a cover of the Mortification song “Blood World”. Cremation Of The Guilty is their classic album and it’s a must own for fans of extreme metal. This album also includes the amazing song “Justifiable Homicide” which really shows that Day Of Atonement are not just serious about Christianity but that they are very serious about vegan straight edge as well. Cremation Of The Guilty was originally released by Screams Of Salvation which was a vegan straight edge record label from Sheffield, England. These guys wear Earth Crisis, Death and Cannibal Corpse T-shirts so you can tell that they are really into Metalcore and Death Metal. Day Of Atonement also includes members of Australian Christian metalcore band Callous.
State Craft- They are a vegan straight edge metalcore band from Tokyo, Japan. To Celebrate The Forlorn Seasons is a must own album and the classic song “Reborn” from Until The Darkness Is Gone makes that five song CD EP a release to definitely check out. I have heard that at the State Craft shows in Tokyo the crowds go completely insane for the band. The crowds are known to practice their “Mortal Kombat” style kung fu dancing at State Craft shows all over the country of Japan. They have a similar style to Morning Again, Culture, Poison The Well, Arkangel. State Craft shares members with God’s Heritage, Loyal To The Grave, Deacon. Loyal To The Grave is another amazing hardcore and metalcore band from Tokyo, Japan. State Craft is now considered to be a classic Japanese metalcore band. You should definitely listen to this Japanese metalcore band because you don’t want to miss out on State Craft.
Slavearc- They are a militant vegan straight edge hardcore, death metal, metalcore band from Sheffield, England. Structural Damage In The Blueprint Of Humanity is an album that you have to own and it was released by the amazing Screams Of Salvation. This was a vegan straight edge record label that was owned by the guys from Slavearc and was based out of Sheffield, England. The CD EP Vanquish has the classic song “Crucifixion”. Vanquish is an EP that you must own and it was put out by the incredible Screams Of Salvation. Slavearc has a similar style to Obituary, Earth Crisis, Arkangel, Abnegation. Check out the band Kruelty from Tokyo, Japan who do two covers of Slavearc songs and because they are really awesome. The two songs they cover are “Stem The Plague” and “Crucifixion” and Kruelty does a great job with these tracks. Slavearc shares members with Unborn, Withdrawn, Koreisch, Talisman. Slavearc has a vegan justice message in their music. I have always loved the brutal music of Slavearc and you have to listen to their albums to hear what I’m talking about guys.
I have been working on The Vegan Straight Edge review since December and it's so much work. It is worth it though. I feel like this is information is very crucial to the history of our hardcore and metalcore culture. I don't know when I will be done with this review but I promise you all that I will keep working on it until the review is done and has all the high standards that my webzine is known for.
Here is what I'm working on with the review at this moment.
I want to tell the readers that not every band in this review has to be a metalcore band. I also want to tell my loyal fanbase that not every member of each band follows or followed the vegan straight lifestyle, either now
or in the past.
Unborn- Metalcore and Thrash from England.
Statement- Hardcore and Thrash from England.
Reprisal- Metalcore from Forli, Italy
Purification- Metalcore from Rome, Italy
Apostle- Death Metal from Falkenberg, Sweden
Purified In Blood- Metalcore and Death Metal from Stavanger, Norway
Shorebreak- Hardcore and Metalcore from Barcelona, Spain
Santa Sangre- Hardcore and Metalcore from Syracuse, New York
X-Acto- Hardcore and Punk from Lisbon, Portugal
New Winds- Melodic Hardcore from Lisbon, Portugal
For the past thirty years I have been listening to heavy music. I wanted to take my knowledge and my love for music and share it with my viewers.