As in life, the annals of hardcore are filled with bands that were good, fewer bands that were great, and maybe a handful that just went above and beyond the rest and ended up with a singular sound that one can say, “that’s ____,” when a tune comes on. Germany’s Inferno handily falls within the latter. From their introduction to U.S. punkers via their tracks on MRR’s Welcome to 1984 and Pushead’s Cleanse the Bacteria comps, it was clear these cats were working on a whole different level from the pack of generic thrashers then glutting the market. Like legendary DC band Void, Inferno’s brand of revved-up hardcore contained copious amounts of metal and sly hooks buried under all the Sturm und Drang. Inferno delivered their tunes at velocities that made ‘em sound like they were always on the verge of completely falling apart, yet somehow never quite doing so and, in some cases, oddly enough sounded tight in their borderline chaos. This American pressing of their collected works pulls together fifty-six tracks from assorted albums, splits, EPs and comps spanning the years 1984-92 spread over two discs, and throws in a thirty-two page booklet with the band’s history, flyers, and English translations of their lyrics for good measure. There are some strange differences in the re-mastering from the originals (the intro to “Steinkopf,” has been inexplicably excised, for example), but that shouldn’t dissuade fans of the genre from reveling in the fast ‘n’ spastic thrash these cats unleashed. To paraphrase something Pushead once wrote in a review of one of the band’s releases, plop this into the player and explode.
–jimmy (Beer City)