Let's kick it off with an old classic. This record just about ripped my fucking head off the first time I heard it, back in the heady high school daze of '93-'94. I think it was actually, technically, the first blast beat I ever heard. And the transition between the first and second songs, 'Mandible' and 'In Ruins', still sends my brain spinning to this very day. They released an earlier album, 'Remain Sedate' which had a very different sound than 'Protestant', due to some sort of throat surgery their singer, Charles Maggio, underwent between albums, resulting in a much harsher, screechier tone than the knuckle-dragging NYHC tone heard on the former. The music also changed for the better, careening from straight-up speedy hardcore to a much more dissonant, angular, sludgier beast. This band sometimes gets name-dropped as progenitors of the dreaded 'metalcore' genre, which I find both misleading and unfair. This album is too weird, too crazy, and just too damn GOOD to be associated with such limp-wristed silliness.