Dark Operative is pleased to release SDOS 1998-2018, a comprehensive digital collection of tracks from 92K-era Milwaukee hardcore outfit SEVEN DAYS OF SAMSARA. The record is now streaming and available on all digital platforms, most of the tracks making their debut into the digital realm with this release.
SEVEN DAYS OF SAMSARA will play two rare live shows at the end of the month with their friends in Majority Rule, playing Chicago March 30th, and their hometown of Milwaukee on March 31st.
While SEVEN DAYS OF SAMSARA has never broken up since their formation, a majority of their recorded output was recorded between 1999 and 2001. The band’s complete recorded works are all featured here, remastered by Will Killingsworth at Dead Air Studios. Compiling all of their previous vinyl including their split EPs with Akarso, Cobra Kai, and Since By Man, along with their Fuck Work EP, SDOS 1998-2018 also features the band’s debut CD, A Reason To Sing,on vinyl for the first time, as well as “The Instrumental,” which was recorded in 2002 for a compilation that never saw a release (a classic cliché of early 2000s hardcore). It’s all here, and whether you’re a fortunate enough to see them live in the early years or a newcomer to the band, Dark Operative Digital is proud to present to you the complete recorded works of this legendary Midwestern hardcore band.
The late-1990s were an interesting but rich time for hardcore. Regions began to develop distinct styles and sounds, and thanks to touring, distros and mail order, the distinct sounds of one region started to travel to locales far removed from their origin. With the major label feeding frenzy of the early ’90s subsiding in favor of rap metal and pop punk, the music industry’s level of interest in the underground was lukewarm at best. Hardcore continued to thrive on small independent labels and a strong commitment to the DIY ethic that the genre was built upon nearly two decades prior. By then, hardcore knew no boundaries, and in the working-class city of Milwaukee existed a band whose tireless work ethic and commitment to self-sufficiency helped establish the working-class city as a destination for many other like-minded acts. That band was SEVEN DAYS OF SAMSARA.
In 1998, SEVEN DAYS OF SAMSARA formed from the ashes of various short-lived punk and hardcore bands in the Milwaukee and Chicago area. Alongside fellow Midwestern contemporaries like Forstella Ford, Since By Man, and Kungfu Rick (which they shared a member), SEVEN DAYS OF SAMSARA played heavy and emotive hardcore that fit well alongside many contemporaries of the era. Unlike many of their contemporaries, though, their unique take on hardcore was not as easy to classify as others. The band was too metallic to be considered screamo, too melodic for the mosh crowd, and the term “metalcore” had yet to be invented. Blurred lines aside, a close listening to the band can reveal a handful of influences, which ranged from Converge and Neurosis all the way to Braid and Hot Water Music. Eclectic, yes, but SEVEN DAYS OF SAMSARA took their wide influences and created something that was as heavy as it was beautiful, as hook-laden as it was abrasive. While many bands of the day could easily be seen as following in the footsteps of the acts that preceded them, SEVEN DAYS OF SAMSARA managed to sound familiar and unique all at once.
In their first few years of existence, SEVEN DAYS OF SAMSARA took the Black Flag model to heart, playing as often as they could in whatever city would host them. Taking advantage of school breaks during winter, weekends and summer holidays, the band crisscrossed the country on self-booked DIY tours, destroying basements and VFW halls with many of the era’s finest, like pageninetynine, His Hero is Gone, Reversal of Man, Ten Grand, Catharsis, and Majority Rule. Initially averaging fifty shows a year, the band’s activity began to slow by the early 2000s, with members focusing on other bands, running businesses and raising families. Live appearances became a rarity, and with the inclusion of their final two performances with Majority Rule at the end of this month, the band will have only performed live five times in the last decade.
Their live shows were as intense and impassioned as their contemporaries. While the band took the music seriously, the never did so at the expense of having fun. Over the years, SEVEN DAYS OF SAMSARA‘s live sets featured everything from homemade pyrotechnics and balloon drops to choreographed dance moves, jugglers and on several occasions, their own blood. This sense of fun and whimsy came from the fact that at their core, SEVEN DAYS OF SAMSARA were four incredibly close friends.