Philadelphia’s Ink & Dagger were one of the most influential and strangest bands to ever come out of the city of brotherly shove. Formed back in 1995 and disbanding in 1999 (and which vocalist Sean McCabe died shortly after at the young age of 27), the band is most famously known for on and off stage theatrics (the vocalist once through yogurt at hardcore vegan hate-edge band Earth Crisis) and horror themes written throughout their music. Their most famous, and my personal favorite is their Drive This Seven Inch Wooden Stake Through My Philadelphia Heart album which includes the EP of the same name and a previous “Love Is Dead.” While their later works expanded their style a bit incorporating more elements of prog-rock, their original 10 song compilation is a hardcore masterpiece.
Before Twilight was ever a thing, Ink & Dagger used to take the stage in full face paint and fake blood while vampires were a recurring theme in their music. The hardcore they played was incredibly dark and ambient, yet remained catchy through plenty of melodies. Songs like “Full Circle”, “Bloodlust”, and “Shadowtalker” show Ink & Dagger at their finest.
I’ve been listening to this one since I saw Paint It Black cover Full Circle back on Halloween, and it’s easily becoming one of my most played albums. Check it if you’re a fan of hardcore at all.
Ink & Dagger – Full Circle