Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Integrity - In Contrast of Sin 7"

God I was originally going to post about this over 2 months ago! It's a shame that I've looked over such a  seminal Integrity record for so long, but I have finally got myself a copy of ICOS.
In Contrast of Sin was the band's very first 7". This was originally released by the now infamous (for all the wrong reasons) victory records. Over the 22 years since its initial release there have been many versions and represses made, but two years ago Organized Crime records released an official updated repress of the record. Earlier versions seem to fetch quite a high price, so for the sake of just owning a copy of ICOS I decided to opt for a nice new copy of the OCR repress.
Including test presses, I've counted a total of 10 different versions with this repress. There's been everything from clear purple, to glow in the dark, to clear blue with special "In Contrast of Dom" covers. Being very late to the game I've actually got a copy of the second press of the repress. (Is that a re-repress?). This colour is called grey putty and is limited to 400 copies.
As per usual, OCR has done an excellent job on releasing this record, all the little details really do make all the difference. Of course I don't have a copy of the original version to compare to, but luckily Marcus at The Endless Quest has and has done an excellent comparative post. The above picture is from the inside of the sleeve, and it certainly looks impressive.
Inside the sleeve we have this insert featuring the now classic photo of the band and ICOS artwork. The inside contains all the lyrics, but you know all the words already right? They've really managed to keep the old-style of the inside, it looks exactly like it's been cut and stuck together.
Finally is the back of the cover with this truly great photo. Overall it's a great package, but then when has OCR ever steered me wrong?

Friday, 23 November 2012

Pale Creation / Hessian split 12"

It's hard to believe it was a whole month ago that I reviewed the tracks for this split, where has that time gone? Anyway, after hearing the MP3's I couldn't wait to get a physical copy of this split. Digital music is fine and easy to listen to, but it just doesn't compare to having something tangible in your hands.
I previously only saw one side of the artwork, the Hessian side. One lovely commenter posted about disliking the artwork because of the 'stupid white stripes'. I actually rather like it, if you look well enough you can see the lines can be used to spell Hessian. It is however nice to see that there is also a Paler side to the split artwork. This is courtesy of DH, and has now been printed as a limited t-shirt.
It seems the norm that Magic Bullet presses their records on three different colours, and this release is no exception. Blood, purple/red and red/black variants were pressed and I opted for the blood version. The colour has really turned out great too. I've a feeling I remember reading the total press is out of 500 copies with undisclosed numbers of each colour. I'll just say this is out of 166.667.
Of course there are other goodies along with the record. First and foremost is the sleeve insert. Each band has one side, while only thee Pale side any lyrics.
I love when record labels throw in freebies along with orders, and Magic Bullet is one that seems to consistently give me something extra. This time I received a copy of the CD "I Have Supped Full of Horrors", by Romance of Young Tigers, which consists of 4 instrumental tracks. The artwork on the CD is also really great. The four songs are available to listen to online, so I'll embed them down the bottom.
I was also hoping to have the Kill Life record along with this, but sadly Magic Bullet has had a problem with receiving their copies from the pressing plant. Hopefully the wait won't be too much longer...

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Moutheater - Ornament 12"

Here is another record I've been pretty excited about for a wee while now. This great album was first brought to my attention when ordering the later Moutheater album, "Colonial". To make up for the lack of glow in the dark copies of that record, a copy of the CD release of this album was included. Ornament was first released three years ago on CD, and rumours have been circulating around the depths of the internet that it was finally going to receive the vinyl treatment. A couple of weeks ago it finally did so I made sure to order one straight away.
Aaron has done a great job with the layout for this release. The same dead bird artwork is present from the CD, but has been stripped of the Moutheater logo and album title, which definitely cleans the whole thing up considerably. Instead of on the cover these are on a sticker on the plastic sleeve, a real nice touch.
Three different versions of this have been pressed, pink/green, green/green and pink/black. The pink/green version is only limited to 6, but sadly was not available to the public. The green/green version was then the obvious choice, this is limited to just 24 copies and is now all sold out. It looks amazing as well, I wasn't sure just what it'd look like but it is just great. The pink/black is still up for sale via Head2Wall, but is also rather limited (to 220). You can see one what this looks like here.
Also thrown in the package is a trusty insert. On the front is the lyrics to every track and on the back is some info/thanks.
The label also gave me a download code (which coincidentally I didn't need) and a card advertising their recent summer sampler. If you're a fan of Moutheater or are just intrigued I'd suggested checking it out at the below address. You've got nothing to lose with free samplers anyway.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Discreet Doll Band - Back in Business 7"

My first introduction to this band was on the Cult of The Seven Crowns Mixtape I posted about a while ago.  Of course that track was mixed and distorted, but sounded interesting so I decided to try and put my basic music manipulation skills to the test. After some Audacity magicry I was able to get the track back to a somewhat decent speed and I liked what I heard. Instead of Gehennas or Sangraals vicious take on metallic hardcore, this was a lo-fi garage rock sound. I was keen to hear more so decided to track down their releases. As seems usual currently, it was Discogs to the rescue.
There isn't actually a lot I can talk about with this record, the whole thing is pretty bare-bones. It's a simple black 7" in a basic orange sleeve. I have a feeling there is also a light blue version of the sleeve lurking out there somewhere.
Although the packaging isn't particularly exciting, I quite like it. The music is pretty straight up with no frills, which is encompassed well with the bare packaging.
Despite the reverse of the sleeve only displaying two tracks, the record contains three tracks of simple rock greatness. Since this EP the band have released "Disposable" which I'll be trying to track down in the near future.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Integrity - VValpurgisnacht Glow in the Dark 7"

This only came today and is going to jump the gun in front of other things a bit. 

VValpurgisnacht is one of those records that have been pressed on about 387 different colours, which has lead to some pretty cool looking collections. I haven't really been getting the variants of this one, there is simply too much to get and it doesn't seem worth just getting a few different ones. I made an exception this time though, this fifth pressing brings something interesting to the VValpurgisnacht family; glow in the dark vinyl.
This time around the records have been pressed in a green theme, and as such Charlie has been given the green treatment. In the normal light the record is a light green colour. Interestingly the centre labels have been changed this time.
But the main reason I bought this was the ability to glow in the dark. I hadn't got any records that do this yet so the opportunity was almost too good to pass up. The photo is rather noisy, but I really had to crank up the ISO level on the camera to even get a decent picture.
As for the two tracks on the EP, they still purely awesome even after four years of listening to them. I don't think I'll every grow tired of listening to them.
Here's what it looks like compared to my third round press. I wonder how many more versions will be pressed in the years to come..

Monday, 12 November 2012

The Love Below - Reproductive Rights 7"

I've finally got around to acquiring "Reproductive Rights". It was sitting on my wants list for a while, and I eventually decided I would seriously start putting my mind towards getting it. Of course I ideally wanted to get a copy of the more limited coloured version which by this time was all sold out. I did have a quick peek at the band's own online store, but they stated you may get coloured vinyl. I almost took the risk, but decided to have a look elsewhere first. Usually once I actually decide to start looking for something it can be hard to find. Rather luckily, this was not one of those times. After only a brief period of searching I came across a coloured copy on Ebay going for pretty cheap. I put a bid in and won it without a problem. Awesome!

It feels like a very long time ago that I actually first heard this EP, it was actually what got me into the band in the first place. It's not quite the masterpiece as "Every Tongue Shall Caress", but it was definitely good enough to catch my attention when I first heard it two years ago.
The band really have gone all out with the artwork on this one. ETSC may have been awkward to look at, but I think this is really quite visually offensive. Shock must really be what they were going for, and in which case the artwork is great. It ties in with the theme of the EP great as well; the line "I'm like a life support system for a cock" sums it up quite nicely.
Like I said, I was able to acquire a copy of the limited colour version. This is a great hot pink that really complements the colour of the artwork, with only 250 copies in circulation. There is also a regualr black pressing, which is still actually available from A389.
Inside the cover are the lyrics to all the tracks as well.

My searching for the record lead me to one of the more obvious places for second-hand goods; Ebay. The seller advertised giving something free away with every one of his auctions  but I didn't really expect him to honour his promise. True to his word though, he sent me this CD. At first glance I thought this would be some god awful early 2000s metalcore CD, but was pleasantly surprised to see it was a melodic hardcore album.
Granted it's not the best, but at least the price was right.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Cease To Exist - Heptaparaparshinokh 7"

Heptaparaparshinokh, yes it is a real word. It's definitely a mouthful, but it relates to the law of seven. Read up here if you want to know more, although I'm not entirely sure how it relates to this release per se
This isn't exactly something brand new; it's been out a while and many others have had the chance of detailing how awesome it is. But for those not in the loop, this is the first 7" from UK's Cease to Exist, released as a joint venture between Hemlock 13 and Feast of Tentacles. I'm not sure why I didn't pick this up earlier, it's never really been too expensive or anything. I'm definitely glad it's finally mine though, it's a seriously good 7" and is probably just about the filthiest sounding thing I've heard in a long time.

This release is purely on black vinyl, which has really turned out great. The centre labels are inverted on either side and seem to resemble a part-lion-part-worm creature.
I'm not sure how many were pressed in total, but Hemlock had 135 copies to themselves. These were all hand stamped and numbered on the inner sleeve. Hopefully there have been sent in no particular order, mine is only 0031. Surely more people would have bought this by now.
And then of course being the great label that Hemlock 13 is there are the extras. First off is this Cease to Exist patch. This is actually rather big, I should have added something else in there for comparison.
Although it was great to receive, to patch above did not take me by surprise. What was surprising though was the three other extras tucked into the record sleeve, extras originally meant for the fantastic Grace 7". There is a patch, sticker and download code for Grace's first self-released CD. That's another six songs of Grace awesomeness all for nothing! Perhaps Nate read my Grace post and decided to send me these to complete that package, if so I thank you.
The whole is this only a measly £3.50, but if that is too much for you, the entire EP is online for free too! You've really got to love bands that do this.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Pale Creation - 2nd Demo Tape

I first got into Pale Creation with the FANtastic album "Twilight Haunt", which was first released about 12 years ago. I'd heard of the existence of earlier work from the band but for whatever reason never really tracked it down. Well at least until  heard about this, the second Pale Creation demo tape, which the band used to sell ages ago. Even the band thought these were all sold out, but the drummer's father found a completely unopened box which contained nearly another 100 tapes!

This was quite a lot different from what I was expecting based on their later material. It's considerably more melodic than the Pale Creation I was accustomed to, and the vocals are actually sung! It may be different, but it's still a great demo tape. It was released in 1994, so I guess the band had a long time to grow and change their sound.

Andrew from the currently defunct Aversiononline posted about this tape about 7 years ago and included some interesting comments from Nick. Funnily enough he describes the tape as taking more of an emo direction than their first tape!
A total of five tracks is included on the tape, which total to just under 15 minutes all together. The lyrics for each song is on the insert, which I must say is on really nice thick card.

Hearing this has made me want to track down the first 1992 demo tape, although I haven't seen one around anywhere. Maybe I'll be lucky and spot one somewhere soon.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Horders - Fimbulvetr 12"

Okay, back to vinyl now.
My first exposure to Horders was on the awesome split with RIH. At the time I didn't quite appreciate what Horders did on that split and like a fool didn't really listen to it. Then I bought a second coloured copy of that split and listened to the two tracks some more, and they started to grow on me a bit. Various other internet folks had mentioned how good the new LP was so I decided to head over to Give Up's webstore and order myself a copy. I'm pleased I made that decision.
For those who are unfamiliar with Horders, it is the music incarnation of the street art project, Give Up. Horders has a dark (mostly) acoustic style, incorporating various samples and the likes. They've also incorporated a lot of their artwork into this release, which is really great of course. The inside of the cover has my favourite piece from Give Up, "sleipnir". Once I've got the money to do so I'd really like to get this screen print to put on the wall.
One hundred of these were pressed on clear vinyl which does look really nice. I was a bit slow on picking mine up, so was only able to get the regular black pressing, out of 400 copies. It does still look pretty great though, the triangle on the centre label goes really well.
The inside the box was three Horders/Give Up badges. I originally forgot about these when I first wrote the post, it was only when I went to recycle the box that I found them once again.
And if there wasn't enough art in this release already, it also came with a photocopy of another of Give Up's works. A Horders patch was also lurking inside the cover.