Left for Dead
Devoid of Everything
Anyone familiar with Left for Dead knows that it’s nearly a foregone conclusion that a review written about them by a hardcore fan is going to be glowingly positive. So let’s just get this out of the way: I love Left for Dead. And yes, I giggled like a school girl when I found out they were releasing this discography and recording new material. Also, anyone familiar with Hamilton, Ontario will not be surprised to find out that there was a time in the late-90s/early 00s that this city consistently produced the most angry, fast, metallic hardcore Canada had to offer. The epitome of this working-class-teen aggression came from Left for Dead, led by Chris Colohan (Swarm/Cursed/Burning Love) and Jeff Beckman (Chokehold/Haymaker/Pick Your Side).
My only issue with Left for Dead up to this point was their piss-poor production. Now, as a fan of both hardcore and black metal, I’m really not caught off-guard by bad recordings and production, but I always knew that it was an injustice that such a furious band had such flat, tinny sounding recordings. Fortunately, thanks to a complete remastering from the original ¼” reels by Kevin Bernsten and James Plotkin, the days of Left for Dead sounding like garbage are over! I’ve never considered myself an audiophile in the sense that I don’t obsess over sound quality (I either listen to music on my $100 record player or on my phone at 128kpbs) but the change in quality between Devoid of Everything and Splitting Heads (or any other release) is unbelievable. And to anyone who is about to get nostalgic and talk about how they hate remasterings...you are wrong. Flat out. Devoid of Everything is the best that Left for Dead has ever sounded, on any format. It’s heavier, crunchier, warmer, cleaner, and finally gives this band the sound they’ve always deserved.
In other words, you can now listen to songs like “Eight Floors Above”, “Who Do You Know?” and “Left For Dead” and they will be even more crushing and aggressive-sounding then they previously were...and these are some of the most destructive, scream-your-guts-out confrontational songs I had ever heard....and now they are remastered and even more obscenely heavy.