CORE, Act of Hate (2012, Southcore)
As an example of the mushroom cloud skull, this is as close to the archetype as you could reasonably expect a cover to come. It’s well drawn, and the ruined city beneath is a nice touch. I couldn’t say why the whole thing needed to be slathered in a thick layer of shit brown, though, except to speculate that Core were actually running down some kind of BDS checklist when they conceived of this artwork. Sure, this album was released 11 months before we Friars convened at this virtual monastery, but the will and desire of The Council are so strong that I suspect the entire human race feels the pull of The Skull in their dreams, like some vast Jungian synchronicity. I think it’s only a matter of time before some band designs their cover with the express intent of landing a spot in these hallowed halls, and I should say, such shameless attempts at currying The Council’s favor are highly likely to work, so get on it, ye bands of narrow vision!
Core never released an album, only some demos and some compilation tracks, and this disc collects them all together. In 2013, you might think that a band called Core were a technical death metal band or something, but in 1995, when this band was in its heyday, a name like Core immediately signaled that you were gonna get some shitty Pantera-inspired groove thrash. It’s kind of hard to remember those dark times, because that style of music has almost entirely gone away, but back in the mid 90s, these sorts of shitty Far Beyond Driven-meets-Roots amalgams were positively everywhere, and inescapable. Creatively bankrupt and aesthetically impotent, this stuff was the pits 20 years ago and it hasn’t gotten any better since. That said, guitarist/vocalist Dejan Knezevic is currently in a band called Pelvic Meatloaf, and I’m sure they’re awesome.
— Friar Johnsen