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The Venomous Grand Design (Victory)

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Ringworm frontman the Human Furnace refuses to publicly reveal the origins of his stage name, but here's one possible explanation: In "The Ninth Circle," you can actually hear phlegm boil in the back of his throat.

Just two years after Justice Replaced by Revenge put Cleveland's reigning hardcore kings back on the national map, The Venomous Grand Design crashes into crossover territory: "Razor's Line" could be a lost Suicidal Tendencies track. The underground legends are now legit contenders for the city's heavyweight title, period.

Original guitarist Frank "3 Gun" Novinec doesn't play on the disc, but he wrote "Razor's Line" and "Never Was." Replacement axeman Matt Sorg shreds like he's fighting for his life, and he makes the disc a bloody riff-riot, with hyperspeed metal solos and more fretwork than the entire 1990s hardcore scene combined. In "Hell on Earth," Furnace sketches out apocalyptic visions of suicide, vengeance, and death cults, recalling vintage Integrity. Please stand and shout along with your new anthem.

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