I remember it like it was yesterday. The year was 1999, and I was a junior in high school, at a point in my life where I was just discovering hardcore music. I had been to Warped Tour since it first opened, and was a pretty big fan of punk - and I liked a lot of the hardcore punk that I was hearing, but I never bothered really buying any of the CD's. That is, until one day - I went to a benefit for some weird disease at an Elks lodge in Manville, NJ with a couple of my friends. At the time, I didn't realize it - but nearly every hardcore band that would later become the basis for every other band was there. Hatebreed, Stretch Armstrong, Vision, Kill Your Idols, Nora (a very young one, at that), 25 Ta Life, NJ Bloodline, Ensign, and of course - Bane.Now, coming into this show I only knew Hatebreed because I was a newcomer, and they had been featured on the Victory Style 3 compilation which I had bought after I first started getting into hardcore. So, of course I was excited to see them - but this guy Jeff from my school told me to watch out for Bane and Vision. He was pretty big in the scene, so I assumed he knew what he was talking about, so I did just that. So Bane comes out and I was blown away. The energy, the crowd throwing themselves on this ugly-as-fuck singer who was spitting out some of the fiercest shit I had ever heard. It was awesome - and of course, I got the shit kicked out of me for not expecting the onslaught of people's kicks and punches aimed in my direction. This was like a week before "It All Comes Down To This" was released in stores, but they sold it at the show, so I made sure to live through the pit long enough to go pick myself up a copy. I brought it home, and to my surprise, the CD was just as amazing as their live show. At the exact moment when "Fuck What You Heard" blasted it's first chord, I think I shit my pants. Everything I was hearing was so new to me, but it felt like I had been part of the scene forever, and I instantly connected with the music. "Struck Down By Me," "Can We Start Again," and "What Makes Us Strong" made it onto nearly every mix tape I made for a year (yea, before CD burners), even as my taste in hardcore expanded. No matter how many times I listened to this record, it didn't get old. My friends were so tired of hearing it every time they got into my car, or me suggesting we put it on when I was in someone else's. This CD was that important to me, and I even wore out the first copy I owned and had to buy a new one. While now I know a lot more about hardcore and have come to realize there are a lot better discs than this one, none of that really influences how I feel about it. All the other Bane fans insist this isn't their best CD - and it isn't, by far. "Give Blood" was much more affective at getting across their hardcore visions, but because of all the reasons I stated above - none of that mattered. I loved this record because it helped me through a hard time, and helped me get my feet wet in a genre with a lot of tough history. And the fact that I still reference this album at least once a week to this very day makes it a fine candidate for one of the best records of all time.