Wheel Of Progress was an important band that is considered to have produced the embryonic sound of Edge-Metal. That’s a statement that can be defied by many authors of the history of Hardcore and Punk. This is why I choose not to oppress this statement but let you hear it for yourself
The recordings were done in Brugge (Bruges) and the layout of their 7 inch was made by René Natzel who is now involved in Reaper Records. Also the vocalist of the band Rob Fransen is now the frontman of the metal core band Born From Pain. Being both German and/or Dutch nationalities this shows us that Hardcore isn’t something ‘national’ but operates international, with English as the key-language.
For sure there were H8000 alumni in the band also. The guitars were wielded by Josh, the drumming was done by Hans and the bass guitar was played by UxJx. Josh and UxJx came from Dreft, an outspoken doomy metal band and Hans from several other bands such as Rise Above, Shortsight and even (in the very beginning) Spirit Of Youth, which were Straight-edge Hardcore bands.
They have to say the following about it:
When the trend was set you got involved in again something different than the popular Hardcore and Straight-Edge Hardcore sound you created with Rise Above. Because you played in a historical important band called Wheel Of Progress. What made you evolve from the traditional Hardcore sound like Rise Above to the metal infused sound of Wheel Of Progress?
We did only a couple of shows with this band, and I guess we got a record deal pretty easily because the sound/style was totally new and far away from the typical hardcore sound, it was basically a slower version of Liar/Congress and probably less technical…The Liar songs Blade & 2000 ad (Invictus) where Wheel Of Progress songs so was the Congress song ‘ Body Weeps’ (Blackened Persistence). I guess the lyrical part was Rob’s (Born From pain), it was pretty outspoken and militant edge, the hard metal crunch gave it an extra touch, we wanted to do something different and it worked out the way we wanted it. Most people didn’t understand the style and kinda hated our guts for it, nobody could realize this was the beginning of a new style that is normal today as it is. We’re talking ’93-94. (Taken from my interview with Hans)
With WHEEL OF PROGRESS you guys definitely laid the foundations of your later ‘invention’ (edge-metal), do you recall what drove you into adding more metal to the sound? Why did you want to make it heavier and harder? Anything to do with the music you listened to? Or is t rather a personal urge you dealt with? Or a trend?
Everyone in that band was really into metal but none of them had combined their Hardcore attitude with metal-music. So I came up with those Slayer meets Ministry riffs, which Hans started drumming very basic. Rob (Born From Pain) had this really raw angry voice that fitted in, so we got ourselves a rather new sound for that time. While in WOP, UxJ and me also did Dreft, which was down-tuned death/doom metal. I didn’t want to retune my guitar all the time (I only had one) so I kept the low-tuned sound. I listened mainly to bands from Paul Speckmann (Master, Abomination or Speckmann Project) and early Slayer or Morbid Angel back then. (Taken from my interview with Josh)
Although I hear that is was more the foundations of your other band LIAR. Correct?
Yeah, sure was the foundation for Liar, extreme metal with a Hardcore message. Although on ‘Blackened Persistence’ the song “Body Wheeps” got the once-over and was a Wheel Of Progress song… After Wheel Of P rogress, I quit Dreft to, I had enough of the metal attitude and wanted to start an interesting Hardcore band. I was in a band called Burning Fight at the time, which also had Ilja on vocals (!). Their bass player quit so I asked UxJ to join. He said yes but didn’t like the drummer, so Ilja switched from mike to drums and we had to find ourselves a singer to move on.(Taken from my interview with Josh)
The label who released this was from Canada, Rank And File Records. I guess the ep will never get repressed, but nobody can predict the course of events to come. And I also have no financial gain by putting this online. Educating the masses and introducing this landmark transition in Hardcore history to the next generation of kids is what it’s all about.