Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Children Of God / Seven Sisters of Sleep split 12"

I think I mentioned this in the post about "To Die For", but I'll say it again. I originally ordered this when it was first released on A389, amongst other things. When the package arrived I was disappointed to see that this almighty split was not there. Instead was my third copy of "To Die For". Dom was very apologetic and promised to send me a replacement as soon as he could. Unluckily for me, Pulling Teeth were then busy with their Europe tour. Then there was Christmas, so I didn't see anything of this record for a long time. Although one day, a few weeks ago, I came home to find this sitting on my bed staring at me.
It may have taken a while to arrive, but it was certainly worth the wait. This split is absolutely epic. Seven Sisters of Sleep are back, bringing their take on sludge infused hardcore to a whole new level. Children of God bring their trademark style chaotic ridiculousness, but also slow things down for one of the tracks, which really shows off the bands talent. 

The artwork here is really quite menacing, it seems to be a rather distressed looking individual preparing for surgery. 
As a bonus, the dust sleeve and (what would be) insert have been fused into this great hybrid. The surgical artwork has been continued on the front, while the lyrics have been printed on the back.
Only a plain black version of this was pressed, and is limited to 1000 copies ever. The black really keeps in with the rest of the packaging, so I'm pleased other colours weren't produced. 
The COG side is up streaming on their bandcamp, I urge you to check it out.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Seraphim - S/T 7"

If there is anybody out there who listened to "A Light In The Distance" before this, the first thing that probably strikes you is how different the band sounds on this 7". It was only released a mere two years prior, but at times it seems a completely different sound to the LP. Honestly, I don't think it is quite as good, but that is to be expected right? Two years is a long time for a band to grow and progress.

The artwork looks very Egyptian, what with the eye and winged shaped patterns and all. This made a lot of sense when I thought that Seraphim was an Egyptian god, but after some wikipedia-ing I'm not too sure if it really makes sense or not. Either way it's still pretty nice looking.
The same kind of pattern in continued inside the cover with the lyrics printed on top.
I can't really remember what colour this was meant to be. I do know this was the second pressing of either dark purple or light pink and I'm leaning towards the light pink, but the colours can sometimes be a bit off can't they?

Broken Cross - New World Solider Tape

This is probably just about the most D.I.Y. release I currently own, and I just love it. Broken Cross is a new one-man band from the Nordic territory. This guy has some real talent, and in his own words was influenced heavily by Integrity and G.I.S.M. At times this is really obvious, but there is nothing wrong with Integrity worship in my books. 

The Integ influences are even pretty noticeable on the artwork, which seems to be home-printed on just regular paper. Take a look at the band logo, does the font look familiar at all? A certain 4P design is also visible on the helmet of the soldier.
Inside the tape box is the lyrics sheet. I don't think the printer was exactly the best quality because these are a tad hard to read. They certainly are good lyrics though.
They were also nice enough to send me this wee button free of charge. A nice bonus.
The tape almost appears to be a re-used one. You can see something peeking through on the bottom right hand corner of the label. I'm interested to see if I'm right, but I really don't wanna wreck the tape.
So yeah, this thing is homemade as. But you know what? I think that really adds to the Broken Cross experience. It really is just one guy doing what he loves doing without the constraints of anyone else. That to me is true art. Hopefully I'll be seeing more from Broken Cross before the end of days.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Ancient VVisdom - A Godlike Inferno CD

Ancient VVisdom are something a bit different. Featuring ex-members of Integrity and Iron Age, the music they play is probably not what you would expect. Instead of metallic hardcore, these guys play what some might describe as dark-folk. But don't get me wrong, this isn't disappointing in the slightest. In fact this album'll just about blow anything else out the water.

When I originally ordered this I was utterly disappointed. Instead of sending me the correct package, I received a shirt from a band called "August Burns Red". I looked these guys up and what I heard was awful, just awful. They right gear did turn up eventually, and here it is:
Being a CD, the packaging isn't outstanding, but they have still done a pretty good job. I do like how clean and simple the artwork and layout is.
Again the CD is pretty simple. This has been released on vinyl since(although only in a stupidly low amount(UPDATE)), it would be good to see how much better the packaging turned out.
What makes this CD a bit more special is that it came along with this great t-shirt. Designed by Dvvid of Integrity fame, it features a devilish hand with the band logo on the sleeve.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Penetration Panthers - Perpetual 80s 7"

If Gehenna and The Stooges/Ramones were to have an affair, the illegitimate love child that would spawn would undoubtedly be Penetration Panthers. Part of the Cvlt of Seven Crowns, these guys play old-school skate style punk and do a really great job of it too. When I first heard "Wasted Mind" I was instantly hooked.
Two versions of this were pressed; black and white with pink splatters. I actually ordered the white/pink version, but got this in the mail instead. I was a bit disappointed but A389 has always been good to me, so I let it slide this time. 
Tossed inside the cover was an insert containing a great skating photo with the Penetration Panthers logo on top. It looks so much fun, I wish I had got into skating at an earlier age.
When you flip this over you are greeted to the lyrics to "Perpetual 80's". Quite a nice tidy package isn't it?
The word out there is that these guys will be releasing a full length LP before the end of days, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for that. 

Rot In Hell/ Moloch split 7"

Seeing as this is the last Rot In Hell release with the original line-up (going by when it was recorded, not released), I thought I'd start things off with a kind of group photo. 
Look at all the gang, they look so happy together.

Like I just said, this is the last Rot In Hell release still featuring the original vocalist, and what a record to go out on. The one song encompasses every aspect of Rot In Hell that make them so good, and I'd say this is probably the most vicious sounding song the band has released to date. "Cauldron Born" starts off by showing the band's diverse talent. The first minute is a sombre acoustic intro that slowly builds up to what they unleash next. The rest of the song is pure acoustic violence. It fast, its heavy and its oh so angry. Beautiful. The B-side contains one track from the band, Moloch. They provide quite a contrast to the blistering speed of RIH, and play a slow sludgy number. I must say, I did enjoy what they brought to the table.

What also makes this release so special is amount of detail the guys have put in. The cover features a death potrait, which appears very similar to a particular LP released last year. 
Everything was printed using some ancient letter press, and the inserts were all tea stained by hand. This features the lyrics to both of this smashing songs.
To top it off, the red vinyl just looks amazing.
This was originally sold at RIH's last (original line-up) show, but the leftover copies were put up on their online store. Two versions were available, red and black. The red was more limited, out of 100, and looked way nicer, so I was quick to purchase one. I knew they wouldn't last long. 

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Rot In Hell / The Process - The Works Of Fate split 7"

As per usual with Rot In Hell releases, I have only good things to say about this split. Rot In Hell contribute one song, "Dionysian", that would later be released on "Hallways Of The Always".  This is really one of their best songs to date, with just over 4 minutes of the RIH style I've grown to love. The Process are a band I knew nothing of, but they certainly do not disappoint. While they don't quite match RIH in musical prowess, they certainly pack one almighty punch.

Again, the artwork for this was done by scrawled, and they have done a magnificent job. It is to be expected though, it is a Rot In Hell record, the material they produce is pretty much always gold in every way.
Inside the cover we have the lyrics sheet. Apparently these tracks were inspired by the writings of Marquis de Sade.
The vinyl is pressed on black wax and comes in a nice black dust jacket. You've got to love the little touches like this.

GOUM - 2010 demo tape

I got into GOUM really quickly after hearing "Rensa" for the first time. As I usually do, I searched the web for any and all releases by the band. After getting "The MotherFetus" I set my sights on getting the 2010 demo tape released by Crysis records. only 100 were produced and they were pretty much nowhere to be found, but I decided to try my luck at emailing Crysis to see if any were left. At first I didn't hear anything, but after several months they replied saying they had some left over! Needless to say I bought one as soon as possible, and to my surprise it arrived in the mail within the week. Now that is good service.
This demo tape contains 4 tracks from GOUM; 2 from their previously released demo CD-R, as well as the songs from the MotherFetus EP. 
I'm pretty sure the star shown on the artwork is meant to serve as the band logo, it is printed on the tape as well. Although I can't really tell what is going on with the artwork besides the star, I do like the artwork this time around. It really gives a crusty feel.
The artwork folds out into the lyrics sheet, which like last time has been  translated into English. Again it isn't the best translation, but at least they tried though right?
While I'm writing about releases, I generally like to have them playing. As I went to put this on, I noticed the magnetic tape was caught underneath the head and so wouldn't play anymore! Luckily after some carefully operation-style tape surgery it is all back to normal now. 

Integrity - Darkness/Marched Of The Damned 7"

It seems like I've mentioned an Integrity lot from Ebay more times than the amount of records I received. I know that's impossible really. Anywho, as you probably guessed, this is one of the records I received. Originally this was included with the blue version of "To Die For". A mere 350 were produced, so this was quite a good score. I'm beginning to think I severely underpaid for what I got in that lot... not my problem though right?

The record contains two songs, which are early recordings of tracks from "Those Who Fear Tomorrow". You can probably guess which two they are.
Inside the cover are the lyrics to both of the songs. Down in the bottom right corner is the familiar 6 cross picture. I wonder what the meaning of that one is?
Only one version of this was pressed; plain black vinyl. The A side centre label is a picture of the Baphomet with some strange writing circling it. I really can't figure out what it is meant to say.
The reverse label is a tad less cryptic; it is simply the process logo. The red really does make it look menacing though.
It is always awesome when a second hand item comes with the original extras. This time around I got a HT sticker showing the lamb and the goat fused as one.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Ides Of Gemini - Disruption Of Writ Tape

While trying to find out more information about Vermapyre, I discovered that a split with Ides Of Gemini was in the works. At the time I knew nothing of the band apart from this. I was then introduced to one of their video clips from one of these songs. It was eerily haunting, but I liked it. A wee while later I came across the band's page and saw they had this EP up for sale. At the time this was only on CD and for some reason I decided against buying it. Then the second press came along, this time on cassette. I felt I had missed out by not buying the CD, so I ordered one of these instead. This contains the same four songs from the CD, as well as a bonus ambient introduction. How great!

For a tape the packaging is really great. The artwork (rightfully named "Hanging Man") is printed on lovely metallic blue card. 
Only a mere 100 of these were pressed, and I got number 25. It is always great to get something that is hand numbered. 
In theme with the blue artwork, the cassette is blue. That is such a nice colour. 
To top it off, a small sticker was included in the tape box. 
J, a member of the band, was also nice enough to write me a little note thanking me for buying the tape. You just don't get that kind of personal touch with bigger releases. Thank you.

Rot In Hell - Wayfarer split 7"

Here we have yet another split featuring Rot In Hell, this time featuring Wayfarer. The people who designed this, Scrawled design, have done a fantastic job on this one. The record comes in a 7" gatefold sleeve, with a very impressive picture of Odin's Raven. A lot of thought has been out into this one, and I suggest reading about the ideas behind it.
There were a few different versions of this records pressed, including one with a limited booklet. The version I have is on grey vinyl. I'm not sure of how many of this were pressed. I could find out quite easily, but .... well I have no excuse really.
Now as you may have guessed, I find it is always a nice extra for a release to come along with a lyrical insert. (Or any insert for that matter). This record does have one, but sadly it is a tad lackluster. The lyrics are all there, but it is just printed on a normal piece of printer paper. It is not a biggie really, the rest of the package is superb.
If you haven't heard this EP already, the Rot In Hell track is streaming just below.

Integrity / Pale Creation Split 7"

I have mentioned an Integrity bulk lot I won from Ebay a couple of times now. I knew this would be coming with the lot, although I didn't really know much about it. When it did finally arrive I decided to put on my detective cap and find out about this record. After some sleuthing of the A389 site I found this was a rather limited record put out around the same time as the re-release of "To Die For". 

Where do I begin with the artwork? Both inside and out this thing is obscure as. At a first glance we see a rather tormented looking face made up of several different image bands. Down the bottom there seems to be some bodies lying in rather un-living positions. Coming off the right of the face is the profile of either a wolf or a bear, I think it is more likely a wolf. Struggling a bit to understand what is going on yet? The inside doesn't get any clearer.
The top half appears to be an X-ray of a human rib cage. What the black areas are meant to be is beyond me. The bottom half is definitely a photo of a pelvis, but again I don't know why.
The reverse side is a bunch of people, or limbs or something, with some obscure writing over the top. All I can make out is "LSD - Try it".  It seems they most certainly have.
Thrown in for good measure was this neat Manson Fish patch. I guess they were taking their own advice (^^) when they came up with this one too. 
Anyway, back to the story. I found that two versions of this were pressed; black and clear. The black was out of 300 and initially came with the red version of "To Die For". As you can see, this is not what I got. No, I got the even more limited clear version of the record. These are limited to a piddly 120 and were only distributed by the bands. A few more are available from A389, but the word is these can fetch upward of $60 on Ebay. I paid only a fraction more than that for the whole lot! 

Monday, 23 January 2012

Rot In Hell / Horders - Omega Suite split 7"

This split sort of marks the departure of RIH as a pure metallic hardcore band. When I got this I didn't know what to expect, and almost thought it was the wrong record or something. Instead of the raging fury of the band's previous material, this split takes a more sombre approach much like some of VVegas' work. It really shows off the diversity of this momentous band. 
Of course this is a split, so two bands present work here. Horders is the musical project for the artistic project Give Up. This sort of continues along the same path as the Rot In Hell side; the tracks are slow acoustic/experimental tracks. 

Describing the artwork is a bit like, well, finding a guitar pick in a hay stack. 
Inside the cover is the lyrics to both to Rot In Hell songs. This is probably the only release where this wasn't entirely necessary, you can actually tell the lyrics when listening to it. Imagine that! I do really like this inside though, the black and white design is well put together.
There were too versions of this record pressed, a blue and a black version. The blue version looks really impressive, and even comes with its own little guitar pick. Sadly, I do not own such a version. All I have is the regular black version, well so far anyway.