Die Version hails from South Africa and this is a re-release of their debut "Victimized" that was released in 1998, with their demo from 1997 included on the end of this disc. The album is on the Family Resources label and is also being distributed by Rowe Productions. Die Version supported Mortification on the fifth African leg of their 2001 World Tour, hence the connection with Steve Rowe.
Rowe Productions describes their sound as "Death Metal meets Rammstein". This is a fairly close description. This band is extremely brutal and tears through song after song with raging intensity. The songs off the "Victimized" half of the album are pretty interesting, but the second half of the album that contains their demo material can get boring at times. You can tell it's the same band, but the songs are not as creative. The album has a death metal feel, but all has a hardcore-like feel to it. Not really like the hardcore you're used to hearing in the U.S. though. It's different, but a little difficult to describe.
Vocally, they throw down some great death vocals that seem to be in the style of No Innocent Victim in the way they are delivered, but more intense. Lyrically the band is not extremely bold, which is unusual for a band bearing the Rowe Productions tag, but you can tell pretty plainly what the band believes in. Probably my biggest disappointment with this release is the artwork. The back cover, while not showing anything explicit, has what seems to be a photo of a nude woman shooting a gun. I could have definitely done without this. And on the front cover, while appealing, it has that silly "Parental Advisory" logo stating that it has "Implicit Lyrics". This has been done way too many times and makes me want to cover the album when friends walk by.
Overall, this is an interesting listen and I'll definitely be checking out the band's next full length which is due out in late 2002. (Review by Matt)