It’s safe to say that, despite its many overlaps with the majority of modern metal, hardcore is a genre that has been fairly absent from coverage here on Black Metal & Brews. In many ways, punk rock and all of its offshoots are too far distanced from the extreme metal and experimental releases covered here. Still, the prospect of featuring a pioneering hardcore act like Siege is too great to ignore. Whether it’s the fact that they influenced pretty much every early grindcore and death metal band of the tape trading era or the simple reality that their Drop Dead EP is more wildly creative than most hardcore and heavy metal being released today, it’s necessary to state how overlooked Siege is by the modern metal and hardcore fan.
This 7″ EP from PATAC Records, Lost Session ’91 was something of a reboot for Siege, with frontman (and occasional saxophonist) Kevin Mahoney out of the picture and the notorious Seth Putnam (of Anal Cunt infamy) taking his place. Nearly three decades after the band’s initial impact, it’s interesting to have these four cuts to ponder. What could have easily been an unnecessary addendum to a short-lived career is instead a clever snapshot of a band whose creativity was still fully charged, despite their imminent end. The songs carry a tension despite the relatively loose form displayed here. Perhaps the raw and sloppy nature is actually what makes this so compelling, as even the most straightforward passages have a chaotic leaning that creates a sensation of unpredictability.
While none of these tracks display anything that makes Siege an even more compelling piece of metal and hardcore history than they already were, each of these provides an enjoyable listen to for those who like to dig deeper into the roots of modern extreme music. The sludgy groove of “New World Order” fading into the extremely brief ferocity of “Cameras” on the record’s B-side will delight both nostalgic geeks and those who want another solid addition to their hardcore collection. The two tracks on side A may be slightly more balanced and by the books, but by no means are they derivative or wasted space. While this album appears to be sold out, it’s probably not too hard to find on discogs. Keep an eye out if you’re looking for a new classic or even if you’re just a casual fan of grind. This won’t disappoint.