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From Indianapolis, Indiana; Birthright was a hardcore band dedicated to the vegan straight edge philosophy, as well as to fighting sexism, racism, specieism, homophobia and nationalism. Musically less metal-influenced than many of the bands from the genre, Birthright's sound is more grounded in straight forward hardcore.
Birthright had three releases, a self-titled 7" EP, Ascension,a MCD which included the first EP along with additional tracks, a song on the "Ceremony of Fire" benefit compilation CD, and a final MCD, Out of Darkness. The first two releases were put out by Catalyst Records, and the final by GoodLife Recordings.
Birthright called it quits not long after their first European Tour, in 1999, due to continuing line up problems. Members of Birthright went on to be in Anthem Boy, Angelville, and Risen among others.
Birthright was founded by Kurt "Catalyst," after he left his previous band Jackhammer, and his short stint as bass player for Earth Crisis on that band's first US tour. His goal was to start a band with the intentions of promoting the straight edge lifestyle, animal liberation, and D.I.Y hardcore in general.
Though the band originally had a strong vegetarian slant to their lyrics, after a number of members quit the band in the early stages of development, Birthright eventually evolved into a vegan straight edge band. The band was outspoken in support of living a drug free lifestyle, of earth, human and animal liberation, as well as the practice of direct action to achieve these goals. The lyrics also centered around these issues, though near the end of the band's life songs became more political in their focus, while the music developed a more metal-influenced sound.
During the height of the band's popularity Birthright was a mainstay of the Indianapolis punk hardcore scene, and commonly played shows at the local punk collective space, The Sitcom. Birthright also played numerous shows around the Midwest, toured once to California in 1998 and once in Europe in the winter of 1998/1999.
The band broke up shortly after their European tour, primarily due to constant problems with keeping a stable line-up, and personal differences between current band members.
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