A Global Assembly of Spirit-Filled Hardcore in ‘The Bitter Taste of Lost Years'” – Resuscitation Records multi-artist interview

21 mins read
The Bitter Taste of Lost Years
The Bitter Taste of Lost Years

Los Angeles-based Resuscitation Records released their inaugural vinyl compilation, aptly titled “The Bitter Taste of Lost Years.” This ambitious endeavor congregates spirit-filled hardcore and metalcore bands hailing from the globe’s furthest corners, manifesting an authentic global resonance within its grooves.

This 10-song compilation intimately documents the evolution of the spirit-filled hardcore scene during the pandemic, a period of palpable despair and heightened creativity. The ensembled artists – including I Am The Vine, Plead the Widow’s Cause, BoughtByBlood, Collapse//Revive, Barriers, Your Hands Write History, So Much Hope, Buried., Intercessor, Ænon, and The Forerunner – present tracks that were carefully curated from an array of potent compositions engendered during this uncertain epoch.

Embodying the compilation’s themes, the album cover is adorned with a painting of the “Prodigal Son” by Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, a 19th century French artist. This artwork encapsulates the agonizing desperation of a man who has suffered irrevocable loss, reflecting the profound yearning inherent in the record’s music and lyrics.

The carefully pressed 180-gram vinyl comes with a 12-page lyric booklet, offering a deeper dive into the resonating narratives that permeate the tracks. With “The Bitter Taste of Lost Years,Resuscitation Records establishes a high benchmark for quality, signaling the thoughtful curation and meticulous production that listeners can anticipate in the label’s future ventures.

We had the opportunity to catch up with nine out of ten artists featured in this groundbreaking compilation.

In a rich dialogue, they shared their reflections on “The Bitter Taste of Lost Years,” provided updates on their individual projects, and discussed the distinct music scenes they represent. Their insights, peppered with recommendations of fellow bands deserving of a listen, provide a unique window into this globally united, yet geographically diverse, community of spirit-filled hardcore. Stay tuned for the full interview, a journey into the heart of a genre marked by its The Bitter Taste of Lost Years energy and resounding spirit.

Please introduce your band, give us a quick overview of the project, how it came to be, your evolution as a band till this day.

I Am the Vine: Hey IDIOTEQ! We are a band from Windsor, Ontario called I AM THE VINE and I’m Dave St. Pierre, the singer/guitarist and creator of the band. Ryan Bondy is on bass and Joel Masse is on drums – two of my oldest and best friends. We were an active band in high school and after a long time apart (over a decade), we reformed – during Covid actually. One of the good things to come out of a bad time. We put out 3 singles recently: Consumed (featuring Brooke Reeves of Impending Doom), The Pull & Heat Death.


When Erick approached us about featuring our song The Pull on the compilation, we were psyched about it. We believed in Erick’s dream – and the final product turned out incredible. A compilation with bands from all over who share the same love for this music, but even more than that – what it means to us.

Plead the Widow’s Cause: We’re Plead the Widow’s Cause, and we’re a post-hardcore band from South Jersey. When Erick reached out and asked us to be a part of the comp we thought it was really cool what he was doing and were happy to be a part of it. We haven’t been a band too long but we did put out our debut record last year and have been playing shows since, as well as writing for our next record.

BoughtByBlood: Hey! We’re Boughtbyblood from the Philippines. We are a Christian metal/hardcore band, formed in the early 2000’s and are the pioneering metal/hardcore band in our country. Our main goal from the beginning is to use our music for evangelism and also to express our love for the Lord. This project, has been a huge blessing for us and honestly we’re not sure how Erick came to know about us, but he was the one who contacted us through FB messenger. Being from different countries, it must’ve been divine intervention 🙂. We’re honored to be a part of this project and also it’s a privilege to share this platform with other like minded bands from various countries. When we started our band, more than 20 years ago we were all just kids and even spiritually, you might say that we were more driven by passion and not very theologically sound, but as with anything that goes through learning and training, we have become more rooted in the word and even as a band our music has evolved from being a straight up hardcore sound to what it is now.

BoughtByBlood by Pitik Ni Pablo
BoughtByBlood by Pitik Ni Pablo

Collapse//Revive: We were contacted by Resuscitation to be apart of the The Bitter Taste of Lost Years. That’s how that came to be. Our evolution as as band is a bit of a long story. From 2017 to today – Member changes, musical changes and tons of learning.

Barriers: Barriers are a straight-up hardcore band from Northern Ireland. We have no idea how Erick came to find us, hear our music or contact us, but when he did, we were delighted to feature on TBTOLY. Basically, YEARS ago, the idea of Barriers was born, before Alan (the guitarist) came to salvation. He had joked with a mutual friend that if/when he did, we (Alan, vocals) HAD TO start a metal band with a christian ethos/message/agenda, whatever you want to call it. So when he did, we did! We started writing songs, and not long after, we approached a drummer, Jay, living in England. He not only wanted in, but brought his brother Matt to round out the rhythm section too. Unfortunately, after a few years (and not very many practices) we had to part ways with the Chambers brothers.

Collapse Revive min

We had a couple of drummers after this, who didn’t REALLY fit, or force themselves into the band in a serious way, so with Stu Armstrong (now the Rev. Stu Armstrong) on bass, we pushed forward. Things obviously slowed down during covid, but instead of letting this hold us back, we teamed up with producer Ross McQueen & Keebler of Collapse Revive to record 2 singles remotely and release them. John was our contact at South-West hardcore, who put these out and by the time live shows came back, he muscled his way into the band! He drums now and between 3 or 4 good friends, we find a bassist before we need to travel anywhere.

So Much Hope, Buried: We are So Much Hope, Buried. “The Bitter Taste of Lost Years” was awesome to be a part of! We were honored to have been asked to have our song “Slave” on the compilation. “Slave” is from a season of SMHB we are no longer in.

Although we are still proud of the EP, we have moved on to a different sound, more geared towards rock, similar to Holding Absence.

So Much Hope, Buried.
So Much Hope, Buried.

Intercessor: We’re Intercessor, a 4-piece progressive metalcore band from the Twin Cities, MN. “Sola,” our debut album released in 2021, was a concept album focused on the 5 Solas of the Protestant Reformation. The project began casually with just 2 members, but eventually led to us forming a full band.

A few months back, Erick from Resuscitation Records reached out to us about the vinyl compilation project “The Bitter Taste of Lost Years” and asked us to be a part of it. We are very stoked and honored to be a part of a project with tons of other great bands!

As a band, we’ve continued to work on new songs since the release of Sola. When we write new songs, we try to write parts that are beyond our skill level and sometimes require techniques we haven’t mastered yet. As we write and learn these new songs, we grow as musicians until eventually our skill level matches the difficulty of the content. Our writing process on our upcoming work has been centered around this same concept, and we’ve focused on carving out our sound and composition style in general.

ÆNON: We’re ÆNON from the Central Coast, Australia. Musically we are metalcore with progressive influences. While our songs are written from a Christian world view, our lyrical content cover war, suffering, faith and internal/spiritual conflict. Which is how we came to work with Erick at Resuscitation for this project. Our song ‘Despite All This’ is about enduring while suffering for the faith, which fits with The Spirit Filled approach of TBTOLY.

The Forerunner by Courtney Ware Photography
The Forerunner by Courtney Ware Photography

The Forerunner: Hi I’m John. I do vocals. Well most of them. I can’t really sing so our guitarist Michael takes care of those. We started in 2010 I think. We played for about 4 years. Released 2 full lengths then called it a day. Sometime last year I got talking to my drummer in my other band TAKE and asked him if he wanted to play guitar in The Forerunner. I felt the need to start the band again. He said yes, we recruited a couple other members and here we are. We have 7 to 8 members for every show.

Tell us a bit about your newest work – new or upcoming releases that we should be aware of.

I Am the Vine: Our newest release is a single called Heat Death. It’s about my past deep struggle with a loss of meaning and belief. The feeling of possibly losing it all and doing whatever you can to hold on. Heat Death (the title) refers to a theory about what some believe will ultimately happen to the universe. It’s a belief that everything ends tragically. I believe the total opposite is true. There’s so much more than what we can see and know.

Plead the Widow’s Cause: We released our first record “Pain Split” at the beginning of 2022 and as mentioned before, we’re in the process of writing our next record. We have another fun project in the works, but you’ll have to wait for more details on that.

BoughtByBlood: The song we have on this project is one of the newer song we have that is included in an upcoming full length album we’re hoping will be released this year. Other tracks include, Prophetic Counterfeit, Hosanna and A Call to Worship.

Collapse//Revive: Unleavened is our newest single but we have an album in the works for our next releases.

Barriers: As well as hopefully confirming a full-on, set, live incarnation of the band for the first time really, we will be releasing an EP later this year, titled ‘Be Still’. The lead single from this will be called ‘Still Angry’ and will feature guest vocals from a prominent member of the Christian hardcore/metal scene. Be excited for this! It’ll be released through The Charon Collective and we’re hopeful that there will be physical copies available in addition to digital upon it’s release.


So Much Hope, Buried: In February of 2023 we released the first song under the new sound titled “Dissolve.” This song is a really nice blend between the old and new sound. You’ll find similar instrumentation with the new vocal style. There will be a second single within the next few months with a music video, which will be a full dive into the new direction. As of right now we are currently working on an LP we are all extremely excited about.

Intercessor: We’re very excited to release a new full-length record later in 2023. The new record is a strong progression from our previous work, but will also stay true to the sound that we’ve had. Our creative process has been more focused on song composition this time around, allowing the listener to hopefully connect more with the overall arc and motifs throughout each song. We’ve also pushed our limits on creating more technical and interesting riffs, drum parts, and vocal sounds. Overall writing this record has driven us to improve our skills as musicians and hone our sound.


The new record will not be a concept album like Sola was, but instead will focus more on the brokenness that exists in the world, and how we as humans process this experience. It connects more with the emotions of living in a fallen world, and presents a commentary on several relevant topics in our current culture.

ÆNON: Our most recent release was our single “Heretic” which marks ÆNON’s shift to a heavier and darker tone, which we’ll be expanding upon in future releases.

The Forerunner: Since forming again we’ve released 3 singles. O My Soul, Crowns and a cover by Elevation Worship called Lion. We plan on 2 more singles as of now to be released sometime in the next few months. All of the songs are worship songs meaning they are all lyrically hymns both new and old.

Give us a quick overview of your local hardcore scene, its history as you know it, its post pandemic state and how thriving it is these days.

I Am the Vine: I started going to local 519 hardcore shows when I was a kid and started playing in bands when I was 13, so I’ve always been connected to my local scene. They had my back since day one and believed in me. My bands were accepted by the older guys and that meant a lot to a bunch of kids coming from nowhere and knowing very little about what we were doing at the time. The acceptance the scene showed us has always stuck with me and I want to show that to others. Windsor is a city full of creative and hard working people. The future is bright for us.

Plead the Widow’s Cause: We’re right near Philly which has an incredible hardcore scene. There’s always shows to go to and people really support the local and touring bands which is sick. The scene in South Jersey has been growing a lot since everything opened back up and it’s been cool to see new venues, promoters, and collectives rise up and start putting on shows.

BoughtByBlood: The local hardcore scene in the Philippines as I know it started in the early 90’s and since then has grown immensely and I can say that it is alive and thriving.

Collapse//Revive: The local scene here has always been less than desirable and small. It’s has many cliques and a healthy cancel culture which gives way for many arguments and hatred between parts of the state. Post covid the scene blew up again but the rather remains.

Barriers: The local hardcore scene here has never exactly stood out… we DO, however, finally have a hardcore band from Belfast that people elsewhere in the world know… Last Wishes have recently toured with Terror and played other tours and shows stateside, so that’s incredible. Bands like No Great Loss/Embrace Execution/New Mud and Unyielding Love are pushing the boundaries, with Archives and Survivalist getting radioplay and attracting labels. I played in hardcore bands years ago, but prior to starting Barriers was playing the microphone in death metal band Indominus.

So Much Hope, Buried: The local hardcore scene where we are is not very big. We have a few spots to play but it’s tough around us. We have recently adopted an attitude of playing with anyone and everyone regardless of genre. Keep meeting more people and developing more friendships.

Intercessor: Like everywhere else in the world, our local scene took a big hit during the pandemic years. Our band formed just prior to the pandemic, so we didn’t have the opportunity to participate in any shows before the pandemic hit. This, however, allowed us to finish writing our first album, which we released in the middle of the pandemic in 2021. For us as a small local band, this was an interesting opportunity, as not many other bands were releasing music during the pandemic years (as they couldn’t tour). Now that things have returned to a new state of normal, many more tours and large local shows are popping back up again. The energy in the local scene has been fantastic, as people are definitely looking for more ways to connect in person again, especially with great bands and live music.

ÆNON: Australia has always had a strong alternative/heavy scene despite our relatively low population and large distances between cities. Our home town, the Central Coast lies in the no man’s land between Sydney and Newcastle. While this gives us the opportunity to break into both of these cities, the Central Coast itself has always struggled to have a consistent healthy scene. Live music and the scene as a whole have really bounced back after the pandemic, but the greater threat surrounding the strength of the scene is the lack of all ages venues. We in the band were blessed to have all ages shows to go to when we were in high school and these experiences solidified our love of local heavy music. We hope all ages shows can return for the next generation of core kids.


The Forerunner: Las Vegas Hardcore is strong. I mean really strong. Any hardcore show you go to it’s a packed house. There’s a handful of old heads who formed a booking agency called Blackpath Booking who have helped revive and keep the scene thriving. Since then a few other booking groups have popped up and done an amazing job. The scene here is one of the best.

Give us some names of noteworthy local bands, DIY artists, labels, etc. that we should be aware of.

I Am the Vine: Some great local bands/projects you should know from around here are Territory, Leech, Linebacker XL, I See Aura, GentleWolf, Heavy Breather, Galdmatic, Plague, MZTF, Save The Night, Riverside Drive, Reliever and many more that aren’t coming to me right now. I also have a solo project called Alone Together.

Plead the Widow’s Cause: Some local bands we love are Tether, Mind Goblin, Regrown, Heather Grey, Lasting Dose, and Silithyst. Head Above Water Collective is a South Jersey collective that’s been putting on a ton of killer shows that have helped revitalize the scene here as well as eks.marksthespot Booking. We also recently played a show at Fear and Loathing Philly which is a super cool house venue that really supports bands and artists. Also, shoutout to Erick at Resuscitation Records for what he’s doing for Spirit-Filled Hardcore and Metalcore bands and Paul at Small Step Records as well. When it comes to podcasts, make sure to check out the All Consuming Podcast and KingdomCore Podcast as they do a great job of supporting bands in our scene as well.

BoughtByBlood: There are many notable bands here such as Piledriver from Laguna, Surebol from Iloilo and Stand As One from Bacolod. The latter 2 are also Christians.

Collapse//Revive: Be very aware of Shallows Truths.

Barriers: I also feel like we have to give mad props to our boys in Hornets and although it’s not exactly the same ‘scene’ you should all know about-or at the very least go check out-And So I Watch You From Afar. If you prefer pop punk (and let’s face it, you might!) get a listen to Cavalier Attitude and North Ghost. Again, further from home, but if you wanna extend a little grace on our part, we’d love to include Irish bands Worn Out and Bailer as well… but there really are a lot the further south you go. Would love it if there were more Christians into music-especially heavy stuff-but we’ll make do for now. And I feel like I should mention a few bands from England as well…Meet Your Maker and We Are Revival are closely linked to the Rev Reality Midlands movement and Confessions of a Traitor are now part of the Facedown Family. Exciting times! Everyone should take a tiny break from listening to new Underneath The Gun to check these bands out… Then get back to more UTG!

So Much Hope, Buried: We have so many great friends near us! Some of our favorites include: Escape Artist, Sleepsculptor, Toothless, The Tribe, Altered Pink. There are so many more but those are just a few. Not all of them are metal bands but still excellent bands.

Intercessor: Minnesota is home to tons of excellent local metal bands, here’s a couple we really enjoy: By The Thousands, Kept Awake, Waste, Perth, Our Common Collapse, Terraform, Common Choir, Inflict, and Rot.

ÆNON: In the world of vinyl pressing, we have a few amazing labels for the local heavy/alternative scene, Stiffcut Records, Summit Distro and Anti Vinyl Vinyl Club have all put out some amazing pressings and really build up the Australian scene.

The Forerunner: One that’s blowing up right now is Roman Candle. So stinking talented. If they keep grinding they will be huge. You also need to check out Dredge, Scrutiny, Disassociate, Graey, Mourning Anguish, The Red Charade, there are so many amazing bands right now.

Back to “The Bitter Taste of Lost Years”, how did you team up with Resuscitation for this project?

I Am the Vine: Erick messaged us and told us about his amazing idea and we were instantly in!

Plead the Widow’s Cause: Erick messaged us on Instagram and asked us if we wanted to be a part of it and it all went from there.

Plead the Widow's Cause
Plead the Widow’s Cause

BoughtByBlood: As I mentioned earlier, Erick sent us an FB message and he introduced the project to us. At first, we were hesitant to rely as we weren’t sure if it was real or not. As you know we are from the Philippines and it is very uncommon for someone outside of our country to know about us and even the idea of having us be a part of a project like this was kind of sketchy. But, lo and behold we were wrong (thank God) and Erick turned out to be legit and even if we only communicated via messenger, we believe that his heart is pure and solid in the ministry as we have seen his effort in making this project a reality. We really do commend him for the great work he’s done and pray continually that the Lord guide him always and give him wisdom.

Collapse//Revive: We got an email and the rest is history.

Barriers: Erick literally just emailed us, or contacted the band one day… super random but as I said earlier, we were all in straight away! Hope we can do more in the future together too.

So Much Hope, Buried: We were stoked Erick reached out to us to be on this compilation even with our new direction and sound!

Intercessor: Erick reached out to us to see if we would be interested to team up! He’s put in a ton of work on this project, and we’re really stoked on how it turned out. The artwork and production quality are sick! A big thanks to Erick and Resuscitation Records for the effort on this compilation, and for allowing us to be a part of it.

ÆNON: Erick contacted us through Instagram and gave us the offer to get on board for the project. Being a little band from Australia it was humbling to be involved with a label based in LA. That’s the beauty of the modern age of online music!

The Forerunner: They reached out to us. Told us their vision and we were on board from the get go. They have been incredible to work with!

Tell us a bit about your contributed track and its lyrical concept.

I Am the Vine: There’s a line in our song ‘The Pull’ that goes – “do you feel the pull of darkness grasping for control?” – The Pull is temptation to do what you know to be the wrong thing. We face it every day and our choices set the patterns we will follow for the rest of our lives.

Plead the Widow’s Cause: Pain Split is about the struggle between wanting to follow God but also wanting to satisfy our selfish desires, and the tension that arises from that. The song ends with lyrics referencing Matthew 5:29-30, cutting off and removing the things that hold us back from walking in the Spirit, and being willing to cut off and remove anything that keeps us from following Christ.

BoughtByBlood: As for our song Vipers, the main concept of this track is a call out to those who claim to be a Christian but do not really live it. Even the Bible has various verses about such and says that “you will know them by their fruit.” It also serves as a reminder to others to be wary of such so called Christians who might lead others astray.

Collapse//Revive: Unleavened is about church leadership being corrupt. The western church has an affinity for stealing from the poor and lining the pockets of their coffers. They need to remember Yahweh is Holy.

Barriers: The song we contributed for the compilation is called Speed of Light and it was inspired by Jesus’ words in Acts chapter 1 immediately before His ascension. He is asked “Are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” so the verses in the song begin with this question and two, poorly constructed ‘theological’ inquisitions that modern-day, “nominal christians” might ask in frustration. It’s tongue-in-cheek at times but hopefully encourages listeners to think about what they think restoration of the kingdom is and what it might look like today, wherever we find ourselves. Jesus’ answer reminds us that God only knows and is in complete control but then also commissions us to bear witness all over the world, through the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s a bit more ‘metal’ than I would say is ‘typical’ or fully representative of us but that’s ok too!

So Much Hope, Buried: We have our song “Slave” on this compilation. Slave is about being a slave to money. Not enjoying life, and constantly pursuing money instead of the more important things in life.

Intercessor: The track featured on the compilation is titled “Fide.” It focuses on the concept of Sola Fide, “Faith Alone,” which means that we are justified before God by faith alone. The Sola encapsulates the idea that there is nothing we can do to redeem ourselves, it is simply our faith that saves us. God does not ask us for any act or deed to obtain salvation, and in fact there is no possible action we could perform to justify ourselves, he only requires that we trust in the work of his son on the cross.

The lyrics in this song deal with the constant and incessant battle with sin and emptiness that everyone battles within this world. We constantly look to other things to fill our soul, and these things can never satisfy us. The song reaches its peak toward the end, where the individual in the song finally wants to believe, but wrestles with doubt (as we all do). The song ends with the individual, encouraged by looking to Christ’s finished work on the cross through the exchange in the final stanzas, crying out “I believe, help my unbelief.” It encompasses the very human experience of realizing that we cannot save ourselves, and we in fact need God to help us even have the faith to trust in him.

ÆNON: The inspiration for “Despite All This” came when I saw a news report of Christians being killed for their beliefs in Central Africa a few years ago. You don’t often hear of Christian martyrdom in the west (though it does happen) so I felt compelled to write a hopeful song in the context of that and to speak to this subject. The lyrics are what I would want to hear if I was ever in that position of dying for my faith, to focus on eternity and hope for the next life.

The Forerunner: O My Soul uses the lyrics from a worship song called 10,000 reasons. It’s a straight to the point worship song. We wanted something heavy, fast with a killer breakdown at the end and with the help of our producer Josh Beardon, that’s what we got…pure energy!

Thank you so much guys. Please feel free to add anything you like that is worth sharing and spreading.

I Am the Vine: We are an old band that is new again. We couldn’t be more pumped that people still love the old music, but we are beyond thankful that the new songs are connecting with fans. There’s a LOT more to come.

Plead the Widow’s Cause: Support your local scene, go to shows, buy merch and if you can, start a band or book shows.

BoughtByBlood: To anyone who has heard our track from this project please also do check out our official FB page ( and also we have a ministry called Mosh with Jesus (search Mosh with Jesus Official on FB). We just want to invite all brethren to continue praying for us and our ministry as there are a lot of souls yet to be saved and in our more than 2 decades in this ministry we can testify that a lot of kids in our local scene have come to God and we are praying the Lord use us even more. Lastly, please do continue supporting this project and we give all the Glory to God alone as without Him, we are nothing.

Collapse//Revive: That Jesus is the Christ and he is worthy to receive the reward of his suffering.

Barriers: Nothing else really to add, just to emphasize how proud we are to sit alongside so many great bands on this release and how we are so encouraged by them and their various ministries. Hopefully we can each bring a little light to our dark corners of the world and infuse a scene (or scenes) that are often so exclusive in terms of faith and opinion. Thanks for having us!

So Much Hope, Buried: We are so grateful for the love and support we’ve been given. The new direction is extremely exciting and we can not wait to show everyone what we’ve been working on. We hope you all love it too.

Intercessor: We’re stoked to be releasing new music relatively soon, stick around to give it a listen!

ÆNON: If you’re reading this, we honestly appreciate you. Feel free to reach out to us, if you’re feeling isolated, struggling or just want to have a chat. This band was made to build community and friendship. You are loved my friend.

The Forerunner: The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? Psalms 27:1

Take a look at the vinyl unboxing and review video by For The Rock below.

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