My 5 Favorite '90s Hardcore Records, by Pete Cortese (Death Ray Vision, Overcast)

Death Ray Vision (Photo: Phil Dauria)

In late 2018, Massachusetts metallers Death Ray Vision dropped Negative Mental Attitude, the follow-up to their 2013 debut album, We Ain't Leavin' Till You're Bleeding. For the uninitiated, Death Ray Vision is comprised of bassist Mike D'Antonio (Killswitch Engage, Overcast), vocalist Jeff Gard (Chuggernaut), drummer Colin Conway (Cannae), and guitarist Pete Cortese (Overcast, Seemless, Killswitch Engage). With a thrashy yet catchy songwriting attack, the group's new music video for "Just Let It Die" finds the combo combining Scandi-styled guitar riffs, a wide-screen chorus, and wrestling in one big party:

With Negative Mental Attitude in stores now and a run of dates with Into Another and Beyond coming later this month, I asked Death Ray Vision guitarist Pete Cortese for a quick list of some of his favorite hardcore records from the '90s. It was only fitting since he first started making noise back in that decade.

Integrity, Those Who Fear Tomorrow (1991)

This is my favorite hardcore record of all time. My first “real” band—Overcast—was heavily influenced by these guys. Integrity took the crossover sound and expanded on it, and it just worked on so many levels. They were also one of the first hardcore bands that had a real dark/evil vibe.

Quicksand, Slip (1993)

I don’t think I know one person that doesn’t adore this record. And if I do, we’re not friends anymore.

Only Living Witness, (tie) Prone Mortal FormInnocents (1993 + 1995)

Only Living Witness is the best “heavy” band to come out of the Boston area, and they couldn’t write a bad song if they tried.

Into Another, Into Another (1991)

I remember hearing this record for the first time and not knowing what to make of it, with the power metal song and Richie’s vocals. It all just didn’t compute to my 16-year-old brain. I probably just needed to smoke some reefer first because I absolutely loved it after a few more listens. Pete Moses is one of the greatest guitar players I’ve ever seen — such a tasteful player and his mastery of using effects was a huge influence on me. I’m looking forward to stalking him next month when we play some shows together!

Kingpin, Holding Tomorrow 7" (1991)

These guys were like the cool older brothers that I always looked up to, they were already well established by the time I started in the hardcore scene and it showed. The musicianship was top notch, and the shows were literally bananas. Overcast played with them a bunch and it was always a blast.


Negative Mental Attitude is out now via Bullet Tooth and can be ordered in several options.

Death Ray Vision, Into Another, Beyond tour dates:
3/21 Asbury Park, NJ @ Wonder Bar
3/22 Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Bazaar
3/23 Hamden, CT @ Space Ballroom
3/24 Allston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall

Tagged: death ray vision, killswitch engage, overcast