Sunday Old School: Repulsion
Happy new year one and all! While everything is pointing towards another year of events set to depress everyone, Metal Underground will be keeping it brutal too throughout 2017 and what better way to live up to that promise than by covering a band a group credited as one of the earliest and biggest influences on extreme music? It's fair to assume that many bands dream of becoming influential if not commercially successful when they start out, and to make a mark before releasing an album is one only a handful of groups have ever achieved, though some bands were able to do just that including Hellhammer, Siege and today's featured band, Repulsion.
Repulsion were formed in Flint, Michigan in 1984, originally using the name Ultra Violence, before changing it to Genocide and recorded their first demo, "Toxic Metal" the same year. Though they quickly made a name for themselves in their local scene, maintaining a stable lineup proved difficult and it seemed as though they were finished after one demo when core members Matt Olivo and Scott Carlson were invited by Chuck Schuldiner to join Death. The collaboration did not last long and so the duo returned to Flint, determined to pick up where they left off with Genocide, eventually recruiting drummer Dave "Grave" Hollingshead and recording a second demo, "Violent Death."
After inviting Aaron Freeman to join as second guitarist, Genocide returned to the studio and recorded what is initially planned as their first album, "The Stench Of Burning Death," though this ended up becoming their third demo, released in 1986. That same year, the group decided to change their moniker again, opting this time for the now beloved name, Repulsion. The change was made perhaps due to their sound becoming more refined and some might say, "mature," with lyrical themes focusing on the nuclear war panic which was a prominent in the 1980s, as well as fantasy topics such as zombies.
Now under a new name, Repulsion entered the studio to record their first demo under the changed banner. The result was, "Slaughter of the Innocent," an eighteen track cassette tape which would go on to become a highly popular recording among tape traders, particularly in the United Kingdom, where the band would become a major influence on the emerging grindcore scene, leaving a mark especially on groups like Napalm Death and Carcass. Despite their popularity abroad, Repulsion decided to call it a day in 1988 without recording a successor to, "Slaughter of the Innocent."
The following year, Carcass released "Slaughter of the Innocents" under the new title of "Horrified" and with a remixed and changed tracklisting, through their own label, Necrosis Records, a subsidiary of Earache. The album proved popular among grindcore fans and led Repulsion to reform in 1990. They recorded two more demos, which weren't as well received as their earlier material but nonetheless gained the attention of Relapse Records, arguably the North American home of grindcore, through whom the band released one single, "Excruciation," before breaking up again.
In 2003, Repulsion announced that they were returning for some reunion shows and have been making regular live appearances ever since, performing at such festivals as the Maryland Deathfest. Members of the group also popped up in other respected groups, especially Carlson who would join such doom metal legends as Cathedral and Church Of Misery, performing bass and vocals respectively. While the only releases from Repulsion since their second reformation fourteen years ago have been a DVD and a compilation appearance with Incantation, Monstrosity and Rottrevore, fans are no doubt still excited to be able to see such an important band decimating stages still and maybe, just maybe, release a new album in the future.
Repulsion - "Decomposed"
Repulsion - "Take No Prisoners"
Repulsion - "Black Breath"
Repulsion - "Maggots In Your Coffin"
Repulsion - "Radiation Sickness"
Repulsion - "Excruciation"
Repulsion - "Helga (Lost Her Head)"
Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.
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