So for this Friday I'm happy to offer you guys Blades of Hades, the original debut of Newcastle Australia's own Blades (fka Blades of Hades at the time of this album). I personally think these guys are seriously underrated, and they've been grindin' since way back. Along with Def Wish Cast they are some of the original pioneers of Newcastle hip hop, which has a dark and hardcore rhyme style with a production reminiscent of early East Coast US rap.
I first heard this band on the Off the Radar Vol. 1 compilation alongside songs by Astronautalis and Sole as well as some indie rock and electronic acts. I was impressed with their rapid fire delivery and hard hitting production, and finding more from them I was really surprised I'd not heard of them earlier. I've since educated myself more on the subject of Australian rap and was lucky enough to come across this one.
Be aware this is by no means their best work. It lacks the polish and confidence of their later albums, but it's pretty cool to have as a curiosity and a decent accomplishment in it's own right. Comparing it to Blades 2013 album The Leak makes it clear how much they've put into their art.
Interesting trivia, Blades was actually the hip hop origin of the talented and gorgeous Abbie Cornish (MC Dusk, or just Dusk), who came up with the group and has since moved on to star in some major Hollywood movies such as Limitless and the more recent dark comedy Three Billboards... MC Dusk is not featured here, but she spits some verses on the albums This Installment and Shadow Art, which can and should be picked up on their Bandcamp page here.
Click here for a music video from the album, called "Find Ya Higher" if you're still on the fence. Hope you enjoy Blades of Hades!