Monday, 23 July 2012

Rot In Hell - As Pearls Before Swine 12"

This is another album that I'd have for a while on formats other than vinyl. I picked the CD version from Deathwish when it first came out, which is actually quite a while ago now that I think about it. For the while I was satisfied just having this, but while doing one of my regular searches on Ebay, I came across this special version of the record. I'm a bit of a sucker for this kind of thing, so set my heart on winning the auction. Luckily it didn't seem to drum up too much interest (unlike a damn unpronounceable 7" of theirs a wee while ago) so winning it was not much of a hassle.
I suppose this counts as the first proper album by the band. "Hallways of the Always" was a 12" LP released before this, but that was more of a compilation album containing tracks from their various splits and EPs. They haven't strayed from their classic sound here at all, although I'd say the songs are somewhat easier on the ears.
This is a pretty special version of this record. As part of the US release, RIH produced 50 alternate covers of the album, which is what you see above. I actually really prefer this artwork to the standard version (which I'll get to in a bit), it ties in with their other artwork so much better. The subtle process cross is just great too.
The special version of this record is basically the same as the standard version, although with an extra silk screened cover placed on top. Once that is removed, you reveal the standard dead rat artwork. If you read Marcus' post, you'll see he has an amusing theory behind the reason of this artwork. In some ways, I feel he may almost be true.
 I like when records come in gatefold covers, although really only when something interesting is done with the extra printing space. This one is pretty cool, with the continuation of the dead animals theme. I really hope this wasn't the rat featured on the front..
Inside the sleeve is an insert featuring a palindromic version of the rat skeleton featured on the front. I'd like to think this animal were real, no doubt a two-headed rat would just about be the most vile animal most people could imagine.
When this beastly insert is flipped over it reveals the lyrics to all of the tracks. If there is one thing about RIH that really stands out for me, it is the lyrics. This type of music can sometimes get a bit repetitive if you are not careful, and I feel lyrics is one of the things that can really separate a band from the rest of the trash.
As I mentioned, part of the reason I didn't get the vinyl straight away was because I already had this album on CD. The design of the CD mimics the vinyl in every way, it is just as if you shrunk the record down to a quarter of the size and digitized it.
The actual vinyl is a mixture of orange and brown, which I think was limited to 300 copies.
It seems the copy Marcus got came with a bonus CD, Studies In Emerald. I wasn't lukcy enough to get this, but mine did come with a badge of the album artwork.
There we have it, yet another quality release by RIH. Relatively recently, the band has had a bit of a line-up change. Nothing concrete has been released yet, so here's hoping they can top this fantastic album whenever they decide to release something.

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