THIS TOPIC IS STILL SUBJECT TO RESEARCH
Last week in the mail was a true H8000 classic. I’m speaking of the LIAR ‘Invictus’ LP on Genet Records. While this is LIAR’s second full length, the first (‘Falls Of Torment’) and the third (‘Deathrow Earth’) were on Good Life Recordings. If you are a smart reader of my blog you already know some details of this label switch, because it was in the Liar interview in H8 Zine issue 5 that I reviewed.
Liar’s ‘Invictus’ is so classic to the H8000 scene and beyond that it is hard to review this. I’m used to this so much that it’s difficult to describe. So it took me a while to write this down and make a decent post of it. But here it goes:
The songs reflect the continued, blackened and empowered battle against the demons of our modern world. Every evil from youthful life throughout adult life is argued in this release. And the lyrics are still meaningful and relevant to me and everyone from nowadays.
According to me, Hans and Liar are and were out to drive the demons out of your daily live. With musical aggression, discipline and militancy they march forward to create the ultimate soundtrack for the H8000 scene. If I could choose a musical banner for H8000 hardcore it would certainly be this release. It was classic in the days and still is until this very day. And it will live on because this is such a powerful message.
Hans has, through the years, observed the hardcore scene as it is. And writes to the point lyrics about the social problems in the scene and the drug proliferation he witnessed. The band is definitely against the backbiting and mainstream followers.
The cryptical lyrics are accompanied with explanations. And the music has something like; march along with us, the new born fire legions. Because instead of bringing forth doom like many other H8000 bands (which is probably just an expression of the feelings). Liar brings forth disciplined and forward music. Liar proves with this record that they sustain the evils of the 90’s and have all the power to resist and fight against them. Liar has risen above them and doesn’t suffer from the sometimes frustrating battle they conduct. They bring the kids beacons in their search for justice toward every living being including their selves.
Regarding the song lyrics versus the explanations. Some of the lyrics that Hans wrote are rather a straight forward answer to the problems Hans describes in the explanations. So rather than describing complaints or problems Hans gives a self assured answer to it in the lyrics. The music is Liar’s way of dealing with the modern day social problems of envy, sloth, back-biting, betrayal, prejudice and ignorance; writing them down and screaming them out on metal infused militant battle hymns brings forth an empowered message that is a mean to be heard and to bring about a change. I can definitely understand how much these songs must have meant to the kids back in the days and they are still more than relevant.
As you can read, the majority of the songs deal with the hardcore scene and the people in it. Besides those rather cult songs, there are two songs that explicitly deal with Straight-edge and one song with veganism or vegetarianism. Although there are only a few songs about it, this remains the main message, since Liar is a 100% straight-edge band.
The straight-edge lifestyle struggle is described in the song ‘2000 ad’. And in the song ‘Invictus’ Hans says that Liar despite the difficulties will defend the straight-edge lifestyle until the very end. Also the cover of this record, the invincible fire, stand for Liar’s never ending passion for the X.
The song ‘Circle Of Blood’ – that was originally by Wheel Of Progress – deals with the compassion for living beings who can’t fight back against the killing of their species. Liar will never accept the bloody circle of killing in the meat industry and has to break it. Liar will do this by education and information.
low self respect
a modern disease
looking in the dark eyes of chaos
dimensions of weakness
and seas of blood
blinded by a painful fear
the hard reality this cold remorseless demon
tried to bite my soul
the strength of my discipline
crushed his bones
and destroyed his game
that holds it’s poisons
ready to enslave
and hold me back from reality
man in fear, hold your tears
and fight back till the bitter end
reject the poisons forced into my body
no betrayal to the edge
Circle Of Blood
lies, daily force-fed this society
the smell of death
the man next door never knew
but what the fuck have you got it to show for
there’s no excuse, no argument, I won’t accept and never will
this bloody circle, a viscous design
we got to break it in time
this systems circle
more blood will flow
What the fuck have you got it to show for
there’s no excuse, no argument, I won’t accept and never will
face the blood-stained walls of the living holocaust
the tears they make my heart bleed
the screams my anger they feed you kill,
you just kill, kill they can’t fight back, but I will instead
to end massacres in the camps of death
Another aspect of Liar is the mythical or medieval realm feel. It was already introduced by Liar into the scene by their first LP ‘Falls Of Torment’. The dark lyrical imagery Hans uses in ‘Falls Of Torment’ is continued in this release. This is copied by many smaller H8000 bands like Legion for instance.
Also the record title is militant because ‘Invictus’ is Latin for unconquered. And the title is adjust because Liar explicitly stand for a warfare against drugs, animal abuse and disrespect towards others in the scene. The back of the cover has a big picture saying; “Warfare against your drug generation”.
As I said before this is Liar’s most cult album, it is consequently on the cult label Genet Records. So this explains it well I guess. It is cult because every kid knows these songs by heart and because Hans wrote several lyrics about the Hardcore / H8000 scene he has observed throughout the years. It was well-meant of Hans for sure but these songs became cult by the listeners and numerous Liar fanatics.
Liar were at time of recording this album:
Guitars: Josh (songwriter)
Vocals: Hans (lyric writer)
To be complete or to help those unfamiliar with this release I have the scan of the CD cover. This cover is different than the LP cover so that’s why I mention it. According to Hans the LP cover has a deep meaning and the CD cover is just a little fantasy.
Conclusion: This record shaped the mid-nineties H8000 hardcore as it was. Every song is a true battle hymn for those who seek defence in their convictions and morals like Straight-Edge and veganism or vegetarianism. The songs being battle hymns is both by the confronting and self-assured lyrics by Hans and the forward raging song writing of Josh. This synergy made Liar big and one of the most influential bands.
If I compare the ‘Falls Of Torment’ with ‘Invictus’, I come to the conclusion that Liar has analysed and described problems in the ‘Falls Of Torment’ period and has come to a more convinced, stronger message and answer to them. Namely never give in and fight forever, do this with strength and conviction. I could write a lot more about this release, but I mentioned the most important.
nameless, faceless whispering lies
are staring at me with no eyes
wicked arms hold me in a grip
breaking my wrong breaking my right
box your demons in my heart
lying, dying, crying
making me suffer means salvation
in your own created pain
Singalong and interpret these lyrics by yourself, because that’s how Hans wanted it.