Monday, 27 February 2012

Integrity - Kingdom of Heaven 7"

Last time I posted about the Evacuate flexi. This time I'm gonna talk about a record that compliments that quite nicely. This 7" contains the three other songs that were recorded 20 whole years ago. It is hard to believe this material was produced that long ago, it could be released today and it would still destroy just about anything else.
I'm pretty sure the artwork was done by Dwid, it sure does fit with the style of artwork he does lately. Obviously there is a big skull in the background, but the rest is anybody's guess. You can probably just about make out the Integrity skull lurking in there somewhere as well.
These invisible pictures are becoming quite notorious for being hard to photograph, but I think that illustrates the Integrity logo quite well.
I think I see some trees in there, maybe....
Ooh, who would have guessed? More invisible ink. This time it shows the Integrity logo as well as the couple of crosses that have been cropping up here and there.
The inside of the cover is really quite minimal. All it has is the logo and track listings on top of a grainy grey background.
I managed to grab myself a white version of this record. These were limited to just 150, and are now all sold out. A black version is still in circulation for those who've missed out on this one. As a commenter added, there was also a more limited version on smoky black and red. These were limited to a ridiculously low 50, and were on sale at the A389 show. A couple were put up for sale on the HT bigcartel, but these went too fast for me to get one.
Stupidly, I wasn't sure who this character was meant to be. I have since been informed this is David Araca, which makes perfect sense if you think about it.
In all honesty, you should all be familiar with the tracks on this EP. But just in case you aren't, A389 has provided one of the songs on their soundcloud page.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Integrity - Evacuate Flexi 7"

A whole 20 years ago, the members of Integrity got together and recorded a set of four songs; Kingdom of Heaven, Rebirth, Eighteen and Evacuate. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of this event, as well as to keep the memory of the late David Aracha alive, this recording session has been pressed onto vinyl. The first three songs are on a separate 7" (which I'll post about later), while this track gets its own 7" flexi.
These were originally on sale at the A389 bash on red and black. The red version was severely limited; only 50 were pressed. Needless to say these were all sold pretty quickly. Luckily, 200 were also pressed on black, so there were still copies available to buy after the show.
At first I had no idea what on earth the centre picture on the flexi was meant to be, absolutely no clue. It makes me sound a bit thick, but I was honestly looking at it for a few minutes trying to figure out what it could be.
After a few frustrating moments I put the record down and I saw it on its side. It's gonna sound cliche, but it was one of those eureka moments when things finally make sense. When looked at from the side I could quite easily see it was a rendition of that face that Negative Approach used on their S/T EP. That makes sense seeing this is a Negative Approach cover. There is also a tiny Integrity skull on the right eye of the face.
I know this is a cover, but this really is one of my favourite Integrity songs of all time. It's great to finally have it on vinyl.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Thors Teeth - Live 12"

Before the monumental annual A389 bash, I found out that a special unannounced item was going to be up for sale at the show. I was no where near able to attend this and so I assumed I'd just have to miss out, no biggy. A little while after, it was announced that this was the special record; a live recording of one of the performances from the previous year's show. 100 white copies were for sale at the bash, but 100 black copies were also pressed specifically for mail order. Aptly named "Thors Teeth", this showcases the musical ability of the members of Pulling Teeth as they play a full set of Thor songs with Jon Mikl Thor on vocals.
The cover is a gatefold deal, and inside we are treated to a collage of photos from that very night. The layout was designed by non other than Dwid, so you know its good.
I was actually pretty close to getting myself one of the white versions. A couple were initially put up on the site, but I didn't get round to ordering until the next morning. By this time, the black copies were all that was left. There is actually no logical reason why, but I just think the white would have been that little bit better.
Interestingly, the record doesn't have the usual A389 centre labels. In fact, it has nothing on it at all, apart from A and B inscribed on it.
The record runs for close to a whole hour and contains 10 of Thor's classics with the almighty members of PT. What could be better?

As a bonus I've decided to embed a track from the LP, courtesy of A389. You might see a few more of these pop up around the place.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Gehenna - Hope Guzzo Bootleg 12"

From a group of Hope Guzzo's photos called "Layers" stems a live bootleg LP from Gehenna. These, as well as most (if not all) of her other artwork is available to view on her website, so I urge you to check them out. From the very first look at this, you can understand why this collection of art has the name that it has. Layers is almost an understatement for this one.
Inside the cover is a negative of the photo on the front, which is a really cool effect for this picture.
The LP is on purple vinyl, although it has many others colours swirled into it. I don't know if that was intentional or not, but it sure looks pretty snazzy. This is limited to 300 copies ever, although I do believe a few more copies are still available to buy.
To round of the package, an interview between Gehenna and Hope was also included. It spans across quite a few pages, and covers topics involving the idea behind the record, as well as Hope's art.
Of course this beast is raw as, it is Gehenna after all. The two sides contains recordings from different shows, but both are fantastic. I'd really love to see Gehenna live, especially if I had a time machine and could go back to the era these were recorded.
Along with this came a special version of The Gehenna/California Love split on red vinyl. I'll post about it in the days to come.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Unholy Majesty - S/T 7"

Along with my new colour of Perpetual 80's that I just posted about, I recently received a whole new batch of records from A389. The first I'll talk about is this fantastic 7". I was already lucky enough to get a copy of this EP on tape from Hemlock Thirteen. However, I saw that A389 was giving the EP the vinyl treatment, and I just couldn't resist.

The artwork has been revamped to better suit the size of the vinyl cover.
I'm having a bit of trouble deciding which of these is better, but I'm leaning ever so slightly towards the original tape artwork.
Inside the cover is pretty much exactly the same as the tape release. Lyrics to the three songs are included, as well as a bit about Unholy Majesty and the songs.
The version I picked up is on clear vinyl and is limited to 150 copies. From what I can tell there is no numbering on this release, which is a bit of a shame. As you can probably tell, the vinyl isn't 100% clear vinyl; a few little black streaks have been mixed in for some reason.
The reverse side centre label continues the theme of individuals in gas masks, but this guy looks particularly menacing.
I do hope these guys put out some new material soon, I'm craving more already. For those who have neither the tape nor vinyl, the entire EP is up for free download at their bandcamp page. I'll even embed it for ya.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Penetration Panthers - Perpetual 80's 7" (Pt. II)

As I said in the original post about Penetration Panthers, I first received the wrong colour from A389. It didn't really bother me, I understand how mistakes can be made. However, true to form, Dom from A389 read my post and offered to send me out the correct colour free of charge! If that isn't great service then I don't know what is.
I must say this is a step up from the plain black version. I wasn't exactly sure how clear with pink and white swirls would turn out, but this looks fantastic.
Everything else about this record/packagaing is exactly the same as the black version I posted about earlier, so i really have nothing more to say, except thank you A389!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Integrity - VVe Are The End 7"

This is a new pick up for me. I'm rather late on getting this one, and to be honest I'm not sure why.
This artwork has so much going on, I'm not sure exactly where to start. What strikes me first is that everything is backwards, perhaps a flipped photo would be appropriate to add here. Down the bottom appears to be some writing in Arabic,  but I have no idea what it is meant to say. I thought it might translate to "We Are The End", but I was mistaken. Something I originally missed on this artwork was the Vermapyre logo in the top left, who knows why that was included.
On the reverse side things are toned down a bit. The lyrics to the song (or 2 songs?) is written over the top of sound waves and audio equipment.
The version I have is on white, which is not the rarest version by far. As usual I was late picking this up, so had to settle for whatever Magic Bullet had left over. It still does look the part though. The centre label has the same style of characters that I posted about on a different Integrity post. I still haven't found out what these are supposed to mean.
The record is only one sided, with the B-side containing a laser etch of the Integrity skull logo.
It is impossible to see in the first photo, but the second photo does a much better job of showing this off.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Thee High Priestess - S/T Tape

This is a bit different to the usual stuff I post about, but I'm very excited about this. It is the debut release from Thee High Priestess, in other words - Hope Guzzo - consisting of four tracks that shows off the more experimental side of the Holy Terror umbrella. The artwork contains a photo from some of Guzzo's photography work.
This is the first pressing of this tape, and is on clear red which looks really cool.
Many releases are pressed in limited amounts, but not many are pressed in an amount as low as this tape. A mere 25 were produced by HP, and mine was #2. Damn, I was so close to getting #1!
For those who missed out (probably quite a lot), a second pressing is said to be done shortly. In the mean time, the bandcamp page will just have to tide you over. I'll also embed the tracks just down the bottom, in case that link is too much for you to handle. 
I am definitely a fan.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Vermapyre / Ides Of Gemini split 12"

Some of the very early information I heard about Vermapyre was this split. It was announced quite a while ago, and has only just surfaced very recently. At the time I knew very little about Vermapyre, and even less about Ides of Gemini, but was interested to see how this would turn out. It may have taken a while to get released, but it was definitely worth it. The contrast of metal genres given here is outstanding.

Ides Of Gemini contribute two tracks to this split, "Martyrium Of The Hippolyt" and "Constantinople". The former was already released on The Disruption of Writ EP a while ago, but the latter is brand new. 

Vermapyre contribute a recording from their latest live show, which was actually quite a while ago now. A have seen live footage of this show, but sadly was not able to get there for real. The set starts off with a harsh black metal track reminiscent of "March Of The Vermapyrical Legions", which then morphs into an abrasive black-noise track full of layers and atmosphere. I'm not really into noise, but I do find this particular track to be very interesting.

The cover of the Vermapyre side is of the mansion featured on the Vermapyre website, as well as the video released on youtube to accompany this performance.
It hasn't come out great, but the Vermapyre V logo is printed on top of the mansion in that invisible ink.
The Ides Of Gemini side features a person (I wanna say girl, but the hands look rather mannish) pulling up some sort of garment. Perhaps they are running to/from something? I'll probably never know.
I reckoned this would sell out pretty quickly, so ordered one from Magic Bullet as soon as I could. Two colour options were available; brown and green, with a pressing of 500. I thought the green sounded nicer so decided to go with it. Little did I know that a super limited (#/50) purple version would be available at the A389 bash very soon afterwards. I couldn't go to this either, so I wasn't too fussed. At least until these were put up on the HT website for sale soon after the show, argh! The green marble still does look really nice though.
Additional art was also promised by Magic Bullet, and this is what came. Keeping with Vermapyre's mysterious nature, the insert is totally ambiguous. That really could be anything.
Luckily the flip side is a bit more straight forward. At least here I can tell what the picture is of, and it clarifies that the cover artwork was of a girl.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Pulling Teeth - Paranoid Delusions/Paradise Illusions 12" 2.0

So I've decided to rewrite this post. I found my original post to be too short, and not really worthy of such a phenomenal record. I may pinch a bit from the old post, but whatever.
This is Pulling Teeth's third full length album, and is considered my many (including me) to be best material put out by the band. In fact, this is actually my favourite record that I own. Although it is only 5 songs long, it manages to show off the entire range of Pulling Teeth's ability; from the blistering speed of "Bloodwolves" to the slow atmospheric  "Paradise Illusions" this album has it all. Another reason this is my favourite record, is because of the artwork. Two images were created for this album, one for Paradise Illusions, and the other for Paranoid Delusions. On the CD (which I also have), these are simply displayed next to each other. However, on this record, the two have been combined in one awesome holographic image. 
I found that the two photos really didn't do it much justice, so I have also done a wee video to really show it off. 
The vinyl itself also looks really great. It was initially released in two colours, red splatter (for paranoid delusions) and green splatter (paradise illusions). I acquired this well after the initial pressing, but was lucky enough to spot 3 left on the A389 webstore a while ago that were going for waaaay cheaper than on ebay. I think the colour was picked at random, and I got the green version.
On the floor this actually looks black, but you can see the colour better when it is held up to the light.
To make things even better, a massive poster of the artwork was also included, Man, what a package!

Rat Music For Rat People 12"

I've been wanting to get this for a while now, but most of the ones on Ebay had been a bit too expensive. I have been doing quite a bit more work recently, so I decided to just go ahead and buy it, it's only money right? 

In case you were wondering, this is a 1982 live collaboration album of many of the greatest punk bands, which you can see from the cover. For em the high point is the song "You" by the Bad Brains. It's the same song as "Don't Bother Me" from Black Dots, but is just such a great version of an already fantastic song.
This is probably the oldest record that I currently own, and seeing that it is 30 years old this year, it is in pretty great shape. As you can probably make out in the above photo, there are a few tears and a bit of wear, but overall it has stood the test of time well. Best of all it plays perfectly, and that is really what matters most.
On the reverse of the cover is a great rat illustration. The rat at the top seems to be holding a hypnotic medallion, which does tie in nicely with the paragraph about "Control through time and patterns". 

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Botfly - Enemies Of The World Tape

It is sad that the first release by Botfly that I acquired would probably be my last. The band formed in 2010, and very recently announced they would be splitting up. I feel Botfly were quite under-appreciated, and in the words of Jacob Abernathy "These dudes put out some really good DIY material and most people didn’t even give a shit.. Then you have bands like Touche Amore that hardly put any work in and fucking blow up beyond anything else". 
So, this tape counts as the band's third and final release. Released on Mvrder Svicide Incidents, this contains 5 previously unreleased songs. The entire EP is streaming on bandcamp (as well as the bottom of the page). 
The artwork folds out into this 4 fold piece of Abernathian art, which is a spin on AFI's "All Hallows EP". It is printed on really thick card, and has the lyrics on the reverse side.
The tape is produced on clear green, and is limited out of 100. It would have been nice to be numbered, but oh well.
I decided to get the package deal of this tape which came with a few extra treats. The first bonus was these two Botfly buttons. They'll probably never get used, but they are still cool to have.
More importantly, this package also came along with this T-shirt, printed on either black or white cotton. It was a bit weird, when it first arrived it smelled exactly like rabbit. A simple wash took care of it though.