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VITALITY: Respect Is Everything (ODK – H8000)

Time for H8000 content again. The band I will be introducing is VITALITY. They belonged to the H8000 crew but are in a way apart from it. As the scene in ODK was something on its own. Every band member skated and was involved in the ODK Posse. All the band members have the same ODK tattoo in Gothic font. Connected through the ink, as they call it. And for those who don’t know it; ODK is short for ‘Oostduinkerke’ and this is a small town at the Belgian Coast
The musical side of the ODK scene was at its peak in the mid to late nineties, with two active bands; VITALITY and ODK Crew. These bands are the most close to me, because I lived in Oostduinkerke and knew many of the members, hanged out with them and learned from them. “Chief” Steve and Bob were like grandfathers for me and my friends. There was a great unity in town, everybody who listened to Hardcore or skated accepted each other. There never were internal fights except for those who entered the scene and didn’t show respect, they got kicked out!

Their first release is called Bloodline, everybody of the band was SxE in this period and most were veggie to. This reflects in some lyrics, they are dark and apocalyptic what is familiar to the H8000. Some show the inner fight of Steve, the vocalist. Musically this very influenced by the Clevo bands, so this can certainly be labeled as Edge-metal.
They totally radiate a clean and purifying attitude with their sound and appearance. Everybody really looked up to them.

As they grew older they lost their SxE ideals. They released their second release, no longer on Sober Mind Records but on a French label called Overcome Records (Overcome Records is also the label that released the French Hardcore compilation “In This Other Land”). The band became befriended with the French KDS crew bands like Stormcore, Underground Society and A.W.O.L. With this album they kind of left the H8000 style for a less dark and more though guy sound. The sound is less clean and there is a higher ambience or fun level.

Also remarkable is that VITALITY never changed the line-up, all the members stayed true and dedicated to each other and the band. Another remarkable fact is that “Alien” King also played in RISE AND FALL when they just started. On the R&F demo they refer to him as AK.
Nowadays it is only Forced Hate and ODK Crew that exists. But the ODK skate shop is still open and the new generation of ODK kids are still looking up the ODK posse and riding their skateboard on the dike and the many skate spots Oostduinkerke has. The friendship is still as strong as always.
This is definitely worth checking out and these two CD’s are still available for low prices at !

3 replies »

  1. ODK-crew is dead (again) after a comeback for a couple of years. They quit somewhere in 2008 if I'm not wrong.Forced Hate has an awesome demo, but I'm not sure if they will ever play some shows, as AK is almost all the time on the road as a sound engineer for bands like Carcass, Napalm Death, …

  2. Forced Hate played an awesome show in Veurne in 2006 or 2007. Mostly attended by older ODK dudes – the guys from the 90s – the place was literally torn down. Too bad no bands are left from this once so awesome and pretty brutal (musicwise) scene.


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