Thursday, 28 June 2012

A Compilation For Atonement 7"

We've come to the second item located from the VVegas vvault. It has just occurred to me that like the fantastic 7.17 compilation I mentioned a while ago, this is also a 4 band compilation 7". Perhaps I should have got something other than compilations from the vvault. 

I'll just start by saying how much I love this compilation. I've had it on mere mp3 (somehow) for a while now, and was eager to own a vinyl copy. As you can see below, the compilation consists of Integrity, State of Conviction and Psywarfare, who you are probably familiar with. It does however feature one of the very few releases by Rapewhistle. From memory they only ever featured on two other compilation CDs and consisted of Dwid, the Melnick brothers and Chris Dora. It's a shame this band didn't continue really. They were more on the experimental side of hardcore, but definitely showed some great promise.
I've seen at least three versions of this out there; a grey, a green and a hybrid of the two. Mine is the grey version, which does tie in nicely with the rather bleak album artwork. This version is out of 1000, while the green is only out of 100. To be honest, I'm not even sure if the hybrid is really a variant, although I suppose that does make it more unique.
Obviously the above centre label on this side simply has the band names listed aptly on "This side" and "That Side". On the reverse side is the logo of the "Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms". When I saw this i had no idea what it was about, but after some wiki-ing it turns out this is a federal department of the US department of justice. Interesting...
The sleeve folds out into a multi page book. Each band has a page each, except for Psywarfare. I suppose it's fair enough, two songs should deserve two pages really.
I've actually mentioned this record once before. I was specifically talking about the Integrity track (of course right?), as it is called "All is Lost" on this compilation. The song does appear again later on "Seasons In The Size of Days", although it is called "ATF assault". It's rather strange the name was changed to this, as ATF assault was already the name of the track appearing on the split with the kids of Widney High 7". Perhaps it something to do with the alleged stealing of Integrity's recording of the original ATF assault on the split with Hatebreed ("BATF would be proud" on that split).

Saturday, 23 June 2012

VVegas / Moutheater split 7" part II

Rather recently I posted about a magnificent split between Moutheater and the almighty VVegas. If you read it (or read it now) you may recall I mentioned how great a red copy would look. Well, shortly after said post I received an email from Aaron of Moutheater. I'm assuming he read the post and flicked me an email offering me one of his spare copies. Even better he offered me this for basically free (all he asked was that I payed for shipping), how great is that? Of course I jumped at this chance and agreed to his offer right away. Anyway, here we are:
What did I tell you, the red does look great. I must have amazing abilities to have guessed that one. There is not much to add here really, you can have a look at the original post if you want a more detailed description.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Midnight Mass / I Know VVhere Everyone Lives

I'm going to do something different here. Instead of talking about my latest music pickups, I'll be talking about a magazine. It's okay though, it's still a music magazine, A389's music magazine in fact. That's right, for those who don't know, A389 has recently released their debut magazine entitled Midnight Mass. I'm not gonna be providing every page here, you can order one of the many awesome A389 releases and if you're lucky, you'll get one for yourself. 

On the front cover is some amazing artwork from the rather talented Brianvdp
On the first page we are greeted to a heart warming photo of Dom and his child, with words thanking the reader for keeping all this alive. I find is somewhat ironic that he thanks us, when really we should be thanking him for all he has done for this community. Hell, most of this blog wouldn't exist if it weren't for all A389 has done.
The first article in this magazine is an interview with Countdown to Oblivion. I can't say I'm terribly familiar with the band, although it was still an interesting read. In fact for those interested, the interview is up on cvltnation to read, as well as a stream of the band's discography.
Next up is a collage of live photos from the latest A389 bash. There was literally a plethora of bands playing at this event, and the photos just make it look fantastic. I truly wish I could have been there to witness it all. That'd require some serious travelling though sadly.
It seems A389 has been ridiculously busy as of late. Not only have they put out this printed material (on top of their busy release schedule), but they recently released a 52 track digital mixtape all for free. This magazine contains the official companion to this mixtape. As I mentioned in my post about it, there were a few curly tracks on the mixtape, so it's great to definitely know what they all are and where they all come from.
On the left-hand side of the page is an advertisement for the infamous Holy Terror records, showing off their current releases. If you look closely you can see two yet-to-be-released records, namely a new 7" by Broken Cross, and an Integrity split with Gehenna. Broken Cross released a new song for the mixtape curated by Oede, and if that is anything to go by, this 7" will be amazing. Integrity has also released the song from their Gehenna split, and is available to buy from their bandcamp page. Of course this song is great, so I'll embed it at the bottom for you. Oh, and if you've slept on this, I'm sorry to inform that the pre-order has already sold out. I have a feeling it just took two days, but not all is lost. Yours truly is awaiting a copy so I'll write about it when it arrives.
Anway, back to the magazine. The subsequent few pages contain an interview with Integrity discussing David Araca and Integrity in the 90's. Seeing how big this band has become,I'm sure most people would be interested to read this.
Next up is another interview, this time with Szymon Siech, a creative artist behind several prominent releases. I was actually unaware one guy was behind the artwork for the releases you can see below, but now I can definitely see a link between these artwork pieces. He mentions how collage techniques are his favourite, and they certainly turn out great.
And there we have it, the end of Midnight Mass vol. 1. It's not exactly the longest magazine in the world, but I certainly believe in quality over quantity. And quality is something this has in bucket-loads.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

The Love Below Tape / Midnight Mass Preview

The Love Below are a band I'm really beginning to appreciate.I've had their 1st EP digitally for a while now, but for whatever reason never really got around to listening to it. All that changed when I heard tracks from their latest 12" "Every Tongue Shall Caress". Those tracks blew me away, and I started listening to "Reproductive Rights" more and more. Of course I'm really into those songs now, and should actually get around to buying the 7". Anyway, the band has put out a tape like this before. It contained all the tracks from the aforementioned EP, from the split with homewrecker, as well as a few others. That was limited to 35, and at the time I wasn't overly interested. Very recently however, they did a second version of the tape. It has the same tracks as the 1st version, although the layout is slightly different and is limited to only 24! With my new found interest in the band I snapped it up as soon as I could.
The physical tape isn't all that exciting really. All we have is a plain black tape with the bad's logo printed on the side. It's double sided which makes listening to it repeatedly so much easier.
I did try to include a copy of the side of the cover, it mentions where the songs are from and that it is limited to just 24. It came out really quite fuzzy and I couldn't be bothered taking another one. You can still see the reverse of the cover though. We have a picture of two hands holding swords in amongst a snake. The detail on the snake is really great, the tongue splits into two wee heads.
What was even more exciting was the sheer amount of stuff the guys through in. The first was this insert inside the tape giving the track listings, as well as what records they are off.
When you turn it over, you are greeted by this familiarly scary face.
Inside the packaging was more paper than I've got along with any music.They'd sent me 6 fliers from various recent shows, as well as a small picture of three girls. Things like these are always great to keep inside my box of music related stuff.
There was also some A389 related stuff in there too. The first ( and second I suppose) are these two stickers featuring the new A389 branding.Having two is really great, it means I'll actually use one of these on something.
And most exciting is this copy of Midnight Mass.This is Dom's first attempt at a publication, and it is really great. I don't have time to review this entirely yet, but I thought I'd make some suspense by promising to write about it properly very soon. Below is a sneak preview of the front cover to tide you over.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

VVegas / Abraxis Split 7"

I pre-ordered this a wee while ago now, and I'm so glad it finally finally came! It truly was a great day when I came home to this on the bench. Although for some reason I didn't notice the distinct print on the top-right corner, seeing this was from Oz I could tell exactly what was lurking inside.
Upon opening the box I was greeted by this FANtastic piece of artwork. Pictures of this had been floating around the internet, but I stopped myself from giving into the temptation of spoiling the surprise. Usually I wouldn't bother, but VVegas stuff has such a reputation for going the extra mile with packaging and the likes that I decided to wait until it arrived. I'm glad I made the decision, I was blown away when I finally saw what the design was. On the VVegas side we have a who's who of pop culture in the style of a certain Beatles album cover. So many faces are present here, so there isn't time to go over them all. Some of the more prominent ones are Sigmund Freud, Anton Lavey, Steve Jobs and even Nick Fiction. I have Picasa on my computer, and as you can imagine this picture was an absolute nightmare for it. It did a good job of picking up all the faces in the end though.
It seems Dwid from Integrity has been getting on board with designing cover artwork as of late, and once again has dabbled in both the sides you see here. The use of different purples and blues looks really great on this side, especially contrasted to the grey-scale character.
Overall this is a 3 track split 7", 1 track from VVegas and two from Abraxis. I've always said VVegas really shines when they bring out there more experimental and acoustic tracks, but that is not to say their own brand of metallic hardcore isn't welcome, in fact it is quite the opposite. The song they play on this record is a prime example of just how fantastic VVegas are at this style of music as well. Starting off with incredibly abrasive guitars and howling vocals, the song takes a while to build up. But it is certainly a good thing, you almost need that time to get prepared for the blistering speed that ensues.
To be honest I don't know an awful lot about Abraxis, I've only heard a few songs other than the song contributed to the split with Pale Creation. Regardless, I was blown away by the tracks played on this split. "Among Deep Waters" is metallic hardcore like it should be, with drums that blast like bullets into your brain. "My Friend" continues in the same direction, but has a slightly more punk feel than the previous track. And that solo towards the end, perfect.

If you head over to Midnight Funeral's webstore, you'll see many versions of this one are up for sale. What you won't see however is this version. As part of a secret pre-pre-order version, Craigos created a special "GOTU" version of this record. This was limited to as many as were ordered, which was subsequently only 59. The only main difference is the red inner sleeve that is hand stamped and numbered (I've also just noticed the box was stamped with the version details also). I'm pretty sure the colour variant was limited to this version too.
We can see just in the bottom corner that mine is lucky 30/59.
I just had a look on the website myself, and this is an exclusive colour to this version. In fact all of the colour variants look really great this time around, especially the regular pre-order on pink wax. This green really does a great job too though, especially against the red inner sleeve.
The centre labels pretty much continue the themes from their respective artwork sides.
A couple of extras were included along with the record. The first is this great patch featuring both band logos and the all too familiar Process logo.
The next is this insert detailing T's theory about a Pale conspiracy regarding Nifi, Neefee and Lucy. This is definitely worth a few reads.
As I had expected, this is one great record. Thanks to Craigos for making it all happen. Head over to Midnight Funeral and get your own copy while they still last. Gavin has also written a surprisingly similar write up on his blog (and a more in-depth review of the tracks here as well). And what do you know, so has Ezekiel now too. 

Friday, 1 June 2012

Oede - One Man's Trash 7"

Hailing all the way from Norway is Oede, the mind child of one single individual. This is such a unique EP, that words themselves do not seem adequate to describe such a beast. From the blues infused "Stille Stille" to the blackened metal "One Man's Trash", Oede takes you on a ride so crazy it'll make your head spin. God you've gotta love it though. This is the epitome of limitless creativity, Oede has literally released whatever they have felt like without any boundaries whatsoever. That alone is the perfect formula for success in my books.
The artwork is really great this time around. I know I usually like the artwork, but this is really really great. The detail on those skulls is nothing short of fantastic. One of the children on the left is yielding a cigar-box guitar, which was apparently used to create this EP. Inside the cover we have a picture that looks like it was drawn on the wall of a cave, or perhaps a mental institution. Either way, it fits perfectly with the mindset of Oede.
Holy Terror Records were behind the release of this record, and so far only one version of this has been released, although I anticipate a regular version to be out before too long. This is the pre-order copy and is limited to just 200. I have a feeling there is still some left, so don't hold back. Just buy it.
The centre labels are pretty self explanatory, with one being the negative of the other. Quite a cool effect.
Furthermore, this also came with a great Oede sticker featuring the cover artwork. This one will definitely remain with the record though. I don't really ever have a use for stickers anyway, but it's nice to have them along as memorabilia, or something like that.
Many of these songs are up all over the web, but the best place is at bandcamp, or here if it is easier. If you don't fancy buying the physical EP, HT is selling the digital download for just 50c. You can afford that right?

Plus Oede has recently curated a mixtape of current songs he is obsessed with. If you listen carefully you might just hear a new track from Broken Cross and Integrity in there somewhere.
As an aside, I thought I'd do a bit of a preview for what's coming up this month. Also from Holy Terror is the new Kromosom 7", and as what I believe is a self-release is a tape from The Love Below. (Of course I do have plenty of others up my sleeve). If you've looked at Oede's FB page you may have noticed a picture suspiciously similar to this one. I wonder how that happened....