Thursday, 27 September 2012

Integrity / Mayday split 7" 2.0

A short while ago, I wrote a post about this split. Well, not this one but a later repress from Game Two records. This is the original press from Endgame records from 1992. For whatever reason, I was browsing Discogs and came across a copy of the 1st version rather cheap. It wasn't exactly essential that I got another version of this record, but the price was so good I felt it would almost be wrong not to get it. 
Like I mentioned before, I still think the artwork is better on the repress, to be honest I don't know what the Integrity side is meant to be. It is nice to see that Mayday original got some artwork of their own though. There's is definitely the interesting one of the two.
Instead of white, this version is on black vinyl this time around. The centre labels are also exactly the same as the later model.
Interestingly, both versions share another aspect in common. The later version was dedicated to the memory of the then recently deceased David Araca. Likewise, this version was dedicated to the memory of the artist Francis Bacon, who was responsible for the artwork seen on Those Who Fear Tomorrow, as well as that on the Rot in Hell demo EP.
The reverse of the insert belongs to Mayday, who seem to also be showcasing the work of "bacon". Perhaps they too found a link between the artist's last name and choice of subject in the paintings.
So there we have it, another classic Integrity record to add to the collection. It's not really adding anything new to what I've already got, but it's still cool to pick up another variant. It's a pretty great split anyway.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Pharoah - This House Is Doomed 7"

I first heard of Pharaoh when I initially discovered A389. I've mentioned this before, but they had one of their fantastic deals going at the time where you could buy all of their music (in digital form) for some ridiculously cheap price. One of the EPs included in the deal was the self titled Pharaoh 7" which was just great. That was so just so distinct and heavy so stood out among the rest. And I've just realised I don't have a physical copy of that EP, I guess that's going on my next order (which hopefully will have the new 'Nothing' LP!). Anyway, that was released a whole 2 years ago and Pharaoh hasn't released anything since then. Well, until now that is.....
Pharaoh are back with their latest EP, entitled "This House is Doomed", and it seems as if no time has passed since their self titled release. The two tracks pick up right where "I Murderer, I" left off and sound just as perfect as you'd expect.
The artwork is really well done again, I think it's always an impressive look when it stretches to both sides of the cover. Flipped over we have the lyrics to both monumental songs. I only just realised that the picture on the inside contains 'Pharaoh' in amongst its limbs.
I was pretty keen to get a hold of this record, so I kept an eye out and pre-ordered a copy as soon as I could. Two colour variants were available at the time; black and clear. Naturally I picked up a copy of the clear version, which is limited to 200 copies (or so I think). As seems to be the norm with clear records, there is a hint of black left over from the black press.
This is also one of the first few releases that bare the new A389 branding, it's definitely a step up in my opinion.
Copies are still available for you to buy, and if you want a taste (well, more than a taste) of what the EP is like, it is streaming in its entirety down below. Oh, and if you search the A389 site and only find copies of the first EP, don't worry this hasn't sold out yet. Try searching 'Pharoah' instead.....

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Pulling Teeth - Witches Sabbath IV 7"

I've loved Pulling Teeth for quite a while now, and I've decided it's time to start collecting more of their records, starting with their Witches Sabbath series. These were a series of EPs released on various record labels consisting of covers of songs influential to the band. Most, if not all, were only available as freebies when purchasing other items. This one was originally only available with the 2nd press of the Vicious Skin CD.
The first of these I've managed to acquire is number IV. Luckily it was selling on trusty Discogs for pretty cheap when I'd decided I wanted to start getting these EPs.
This time around Pulling Teeth cover "Teenage Lobotomy" by the Ramones. Of course it's a great cover, PT seemed to be able to pull off any style flawlessly. I really wish the band hadn't dissolved.
Each record in this series is a one sided, reverse grooved 7" on black vinyl. It's interesting being reverse grooved, they play from the outside in. I'm pretty sure the only other reverse grooved record I've got before this is the Blind To Faith 12". Each record is also only produced in quantities of 300, although they are un-numbered.
The artwork for each of these comes from the book, Compendium Maleficarum by Francesco Maria Guazzo all the way back in 1608. This looks like quite an interesting book, which is in fact completely available online, albeit in Latin which makes it a tad difficult to read.
I've actually already managed to pick up another one from the series, so I'll be posting about that one soon. Some are proving to be more difficult to get than others, but hopefully it won't take me too long to get the whole set.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Integrity - Those Who Fear Tomorrow CD

Most of the music I purchase is from online stores, generally direct from the label that released them or from Ebay. It is quick and convenient but things generally take a long time to arrive, and somehow it is just not the same as buying from a physical store. I find it is always quite exciting when you go to a music store, and they actually stock of a copy of what you are looking for. Even better is when you stumble across something you didn't even anticipate buying, which was the case with this CD. Usually I don't even bother looking at the CDs anymore, but I had some time to kill and decided to give it a go. Even rarer than me actually browsing the so-called compact discs is finding an Integrity release in-store. I know I already own a version of this iconic hardcore album on vinyl, but I just couldn't let this slip into the hands of somebody else. 
The story of this album starts over 20 years ago, back in 1991. It was first released on CD by Overkill records, and featured the classic Francis Bacon artwork. A few years later (1993 I believe) it was released again by Dutch East India, which is the version you see above. The artwork was changed up in this one, instead featuring the centre piece of "The Temptation of Saint Anthony" by Bosch.
Of course being a CD the packaging isn't overly interesting, although the lyrics insert does contain a piece about each band member, which I've just realised I haven't included a photo of. Each member includes ....
On the back of this are the lyrics to eight of the tracks, in a somewhat jumbled order. I'm not sure why they aren't all included and ordered randomly, perhaps it was due to space constraints on the insert.
Now what I think I need is to get is a copy of the original vinyl pressing, "Those Who Still Fear Tomorrow", perhaps I'll be keeping an eye out for one.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Children of God - The Sun Gives Way To False Truths

I've been a fan of Children of God ever since I first heard "You Will Suffer" on the MMXI A389 sampler. Their ferocious blend of power-violence infused hardcore seemed to really stand out to me, and the band has only gotten better since then. So when I got an email from the band asking me to review their latest song, I was more than happy to oblige, even before I'd really heard the song. I was even more willing once I'd actually listened to the song, I'd say it's probably their best yet! 
"The Sun Gives Way To False Truths" starts out somewhat different to what you'd expect from this band. Instead of jumping straight into blasting beats and screaming vocals full of despair, the track begins very quietly and slowly. I've only experienced this side of the band once before on the awesome split with Seven Sisters of Sleep (Bled Dry). For the first minute or so you are only greeted by an ominous tone that slowly works its way into the higher decibel range, which eventually is replaced by a painfully slow down-tuned riff. All the while you can just feel the tension rising, rising towards something outstanding. There is a slight pause and then it hits you; a heavy drumbeat that seems to rip the very fabric holding the song together wide open. From here on in it's all go, or so it would seem....
Much to my surprise, things are slowed down once more. This time bringing the sound to resemble an eerie dark noise track not unlike rVeVV. I assumed this would continue to the end and eventually fade away, but I was again taken by surprise. It does fade away, but only to bring the crushing drums back again one more time...

Although this is still very much a COG track something seems different. it sounds more refined and mature. Instead of focusing on the blistering speed seen in their previous work, the band has taken the time to develop a really solid heavy atmosphere, and it's just great. At just under 10 minutes, "The Sun Gives Way to False Truths" is the longest track by COG, one that takes you on a trip showing the true musical skills of this band. I've said it before, but I am always impressed when a band is able draw influences from several places and merge them into such a cohesive piece of work. In my opinion this is the best work they have done to date. The track is just below so give it a listen, you know you wanna.

I've also included the link in the new media page. I've included lots of other free music too, check it out if you've been interested in anything I've had to say.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Anne - Power Exchange 7

Back when I first started this blog I wrote a peculiar little band named Anne. They initially caught my interest on the 2011 A389 sampler last year. Far from the usual metallic hardcore released by the label, Anne played  a distinctive style of shoegaze. Well here I am 8 months later, talking about the band's latest release, "Power Exchange".
Apparently the man on the front cover is called Fishnets, from a band called Heavy Voodoo. There is also a different version of the artwork out there on the ultra limited silk-screened press of just 50! I wish I could've gotten one of those.
Inside the cover we got a nice wee lyrics sheet, and of course the lyrics are awesome. The guys in Anne are really talented.
I was pretty keen to order a copy of this once I heard it was going to be released. Quite often I would re-check the Run For Cover website for information about the release date so I could get the best variant. When it finally went on sale, I saw there was a version on clear with a silk-screened cover, limited to just 50 copies. These must have sold ridiculously fast because I wasn't able to order one anymore! I then opted for the regular clear version you see below. This is still only out of 150 copies anyway. Alongside these versions there is also 300 on white, 500 on black and 50 black with blank labels released at their record release show. Like another clear record I received recently, this has a hint of black smeared in there. It looks like a finger print, but apparently is just run-off from the black pressing.
The EP consists of two new tracks; "Power Exchange" and "Rings". Right now, Power exchange is probably just about my favorite song, I don't know how many times I've listened to it anymore. Both of these songs show a bit of a change from the previous work, it is clear the band is progressing from "Dream Punx". Sometimes progression is not a good thing, but in this case it most certainly is.
I also found this neat label sticker inside the packaging.
Well that's the end of another great EP. I can only hope that Anne continue to release more great music. Perhaps their mixtape II will emerge sometime soon...

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Rot In Hell - Studies in Emerald CD

When I posted about RIHs first proper LP, As Pearls before Swine, I mentioned a similar post by Marcus. In that post he mentioned a certain CD he got with this record, something I hadn't received. I couldn't really find much more information about it on in the internet, but wanted it badly. Well, after some lucky discogs searching I came across a seller selling this rare CD-EP. After only a few days since I purchased it, it came from all the way across the globe and was sitting in my mailbox just waiting to be opened. 
This CD only contains four songs, and are a completely different style to most of the RIH material out there. I say most because there is a particular 7" split that is exactly this style. That's the split with Horders, and if you have keen eyes you can see the second track is actually featured on that split. Even more, the third track also appears on the awesome split with Integrity. While I already knew of two of these tracks, the other two are brand new and completely blew me away. Especially "Sixteen", it sounds more like a deranged Johnny Cash track than something from RIH, but it's fantastic (and funnily enough that's exactly what it is). I've listened to it so many times already. As my commenter has said below, "Come Back" is a re-interpretation of a Misfits track, I really had no idea! Of course Rot in Hell's hardcore persona is amazing, but I've a real soft spot for this acoustic side of the band. It really shows the level of creativity these guys have.
It seems this CD was released alongside the US release version of As Pearls before Swine. It makes sense, both are limited to 50 copies. Seeing as I've got mine separately, both have different numbers, but I wouldn't mind betting the numbers would have coincided originally. Anyway, mine is number 36/50.
I wasn't sure what the artwork was initially, but I've been informed it is a picture of the Wicker Man. It certainly looks haunting. The actual CD has been nicely decorated as well; the RIH logo has been sprayed on the top.
I also got a set of four neat RIH badges along with the CD. It's really good of sellers to keep these and sell them with the music, it makes special releases like this all the more special.
I'm still desperately waiting for new RIH material to be released. Hopefully it won't take too long now. 

And for those 50 people who have a copy of the CD (or those who have "obtained" the songs somehow...) here is a scan of the artwork to keep your iTunes nice and tidy.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Seven Sisters of Sleep - S/T 7"/CD

I know I tend to say something like this a lot, but I have definitely been meaning to post about this record for some time now. So why haven't I? Well, I'm rather strapped for time these days and providing decent photos seems to take a fair amount of time sometimes. For whatever reason, this proved particularly challenging for this record. No matter what I tried, the photos seemed to come out over-exposed. Although, I'm not exactly a camera-wizz so perhaps I'm not doing all that I can to good good quality photos.
Anyway, here we have the latest release from the almighty Seven Sisters of Sleep. This is incredibly selfish of me, but these guys just don't put out enough material. If I had my way there'd already be a plethora of tracks out there to listen to. The A389 sampler's opening track provided a taste of things to come from this record, and needless to say I was very excited for when it was released.
This is quite a special package. Not only is there a 7" with three whole new tracks, but also a CD containing the new tracks, the songs from the split with Children of God and four new videos. Three of these are music videos for the split, and the fourth video is a remix of "The Devil's Rain". For those who've never heard of this film before, it was a horror movie from 1975. Obviously the whole movie isn't included, but there's a good 20 minutes of video to watch. The three new awesome songs are played in certain parts as well, so it's definitely interesting to watch.
Opposite the CD we have the lyrics to the three tracks. They are pretty short, but don't let that fool you. They still certainly pack a mighty punch.
I was very keen to hand my hands on this EP, so pretty much ordered it the day it was released. Luckily that meant I was able to get my hands on the red version, which I think is limited to 200 copies (That sounds right anyway). The photos really haven't turned out as I'd hoped, this really doesn't do justice to the true record. In reality it is a much deeper red, whereas it appears more pink just below. What has come out fine though is that awesome patch. Getting things like this is really one of the best parts of releases by A389.
Squeezed inside the gatefold cover is this massive poster of the artwork. While I love this poster, it was one of the main reasons preventing me from writing this post. I finally decided to settle on these ones below, they aren't great but they'll do. On the bottom I've included the record for size comparison.
So there we have it, the latest effort from SSOS. It's certainly a fantastic 7", and copies are still just about available for you to buy yourself. I have a feeling they may be putting out something soon on Vedavu records, so you know straight away how awesome that is going to be. Keep your eyes peeled