"I had to stand up to D.K. Malone's "one eyed" review of this 2 classic hardcore albums. For starters, this CD includes AGNOSTIC FRONT's 1st full album release, "Victim In Pain" and their second, more metal oriented "Cause For Alarm". Production wise, there IS an abysmal difference between both albums. "Victim" is a decidedly low-budget affair, but what it lacks in the production department more than makes up in the attitude and aggression zone. Granted, Vinnie Stigma is NOT hardcore's answer to Eddie Van Halen...but in that sense, NO hardcore guitarist ever was! Gregg Ginn (EDIT: As much as I like BLACK FLAG, Ginn's playong was sloppy as best. Whether this was intentional or not we'll never know, bu the fact is that he WAS sloppy! Even Johnny Ramone played with much more technique than Gregg Ginn! Nuff said.), Dr. Know, Lyle Preslar, Greg Hetson, Doyle, East Bay Ray...et al...none of these guitarists were paricularly outstanding, but they SERVED a purpose and that purpose was to make over the top guitar mayhem for their respective punk bands. So, to review a "PUNK" albums on the merits of a guitar players' particular sound is TOTALLY out of the question, because Stigma's guitar playing on "VICTIM IN PAIN" will not distract you from the sheer pleasure of listening to a seminal punk album. "VICTIM IN PAIN" is raw, fast (sometimes, EXTREMELY fast!!!) and real. "United & Strong", "Power", "Your Mistake" and the thrashing title track make the 2nd half of this CD a MUST HAVE for any HARDCORE PUNK fan. Now, in 1986 AGNOSTIC FRONT released "Cause For Alarm". Cries of "sell out" and "metal posers" where heard abundantly when the album was released (through COMBAT records, a decidedly METAL label, which made matters only worse!). Truth is, CFA is a GREAT album with slight "metal" overtones (but hardcore bands always waltzed the line between punk and metal because of their common musical aggression). The production improved dramatically over the 1st album: crunchy-thrash-metal like guitars, double bass drums and controversial lyrics (some penned by CARNIVORE main man Pete Steele). "Eliminator", "Time Will Come" and the controversial "Public Assistance" are stand out tracks. The sound on this record helped defined the "CROSSOVER" sub-genre: the fusion of punk and metal played at thrash metal/hardcore punk speeds. If there is anything to complain about is the CD itself. The packaging is BEYOND terrible and does NOT do justice to these two seminal hardcore releases. Like CIRCLE JERKS' "Group Sex" (which is about 15 minutes long and got a full CD release), "Victim In Pain" should have been released separately (and with ORIGINAL cover!). Same goes for CAUSE FOR ALARM. Whoever though of releasing this CD the way it is should be SHOT in the head. Unfortunately, it's the only way you can get your hands on these 2 punk masterpieces!"
Working class hardcore the best of the newyork style!!!!!
jason pike | salem mass | 02/01/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"agnostic front was always the working class hardcore that i can still relate to .hardcore in its finest hour even better its there best 2 albums on one disc.this is truely the roadmap of new york hardcore.before biohazard before the cromags before pantara this is all you really need to get your hardcore fix for the day.starting with there second album cause for alarm .which is as hard as you can get with out listening to a machine gun or a bazoka going off then there is the first album victum in pain which is alot faster and even more powerfull.i still listen to these 2 albums when i need my hardcore fix for the day .being some 16 years later since i first got these ones i cant belive i still have the energy.but anyways..if you like your hardcore strong and want a wake up call for the day you will never go wrong with these must have albums.."
Misses five because we need a remaster.
Pablo W. Wolfe | 04/06/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I mean if you don't like these albums stay out of my wheel house, cuz these slabs of madness changed my life. I thought I knew hardcore before i heard these guys and then I knew myself to be clueless. But it must be said that the packaging and sound qaulity of the cd transfer sucks taint. Also this album deserves a deluxe booklet, rife with pictures, lyrics and the origianl album covers at full size. But if this is all you can get your hands on DO IT!. When people say seminal they usually don't have clue, but these two albums are essential to any music fan, not just hardcore kid in terms of American music history."
Cause for Alarm is just as good...
Reza | Lancaster, England | 05/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a hardcore classic that any fan of hardcore has toown. There are no two ways about it this album is brilliant. The chronlogy on this album is reversed starting with 'Cause for alarm' which came AFTER 'Victim in Pain'. A lot of people for some reason are not too king about Cause... This is a great album which kick started the crossover and later the metalcore genre. It has speed-metal drums, with S.O.D./M.O.D. Carnivore, style double kick drums. Admittedly Roger Miret's vocals aren't the greatest on this album but the music more than makes up for it. Tracks 11-21 are 'victim in Pain' which has been rightly hailed as an all-time classic though personally I prefer the 'United Blood' EP. This is a good package of two classic albums which hardcore fans should be picking up. Buy it now."
In the big inning of hardcore...
NATON | Washington, DC | 07/21/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"....................there was Agnostic Front. classic history here,all yours for the taking."