Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Broken Cross - Anti Human Life Test Press

A little while ago I wrote a post about Broken Cross' latest 7", "Anti Human Life". Well, not long afterwards I received an email from the mastermind behind the one-man band thanking me for my review. What is more is he offered to send me a package as gratitude. I didn't quite know what to expect, but was very pleased when I opened the package to see this....
That's right, it was an Anti Human Life test press! Only 9 of these were produced and sell for a lot more than the standard vinyl, it is definitely very generous.
Being a test-press it is all quite plain. The record is on plain black vinyl with no centre labels or inscriptions around the inner edge. There is of course different artwork to the standard version, which actually looks a lot like one of the badges I received with the original demo tape.

If you STILL haven't listened to this EP I strongly suggest you do. Cvlt Nation is currently streaming the whole thing for you, so go and have a listen.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

The Way To Light - The Sun's Ascent

Writing this blog has really had it's advantages. Not only does it give me a chance to document and share music I've managed to get hold of, but it has also opened the path to new music. A perfect example is this, "The Sun's Ascent" from The Way to Light. I hadn't heard of this project until I got a message in my inbox asking me to give it a bit of a listen. Sometimes I've been contacted about stuff that I'm really not into, but this was not one of those times....
The Way to Light rises from the ashes of Botfly, although from listening to it you would never have guessed. In fact you'd be hard pressed to find many similarities between the two projects. Whereas Botfly played metallic hardcore, the guitarist Austin has crafted three acoustic tracks that I can only describe as hauntingly beautiful.

Each track progressively builds up layer upon layer of different sounds and tones, creating a truly mind-altering experience. It is really quite amazing the level of atmosphere that is set from drones and noises, but the guitar work is what has really captured me. It is so soft, yet manages to portray such a mosaic of beauty and sadness that resonates right through your mind. These, coupled with perfectly whispered vocals, produce something really quite special.

This is soon to be released by striVVe recordings as part of a special double cassette with their earlier EP, "That Place Now Forgotten". I'm sure that will be incredibly limited, so keep your eyes peeled if you like what you hear down below.

As an aside, this project is intimately linked with Roses Never Fade, who have somewhat recently released a new track. I hear there may be a new LP in the works, so be sure to get very excited for that.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Integrity - The Blackest Curse 12"

After picking up the controversial 2000 LP a little while ago, it occurred to me that I was one LP away from owning a copy of every Integrity album (excluding Closure which I'm pretty sure was not officially released on vinyl). I practically then went straight onto one of my two favourite internet sites and looked into getting The Blackest Curse. There was a surprising amount of these for sale, so picking up one was relatively hassle free.
Invisible ink has been used quite extensively and effectively on this release. I find it difficult to photograph well, but you can see the classic Integrity skull lurking behind the cover artwork and the track listing revealing itself on the back. I really like this technique and how it has become pretty much synonymous with Integ records.
This was released as aprt of a brief stint on Jacob Bannon's Deathwish label all the way back in 2010. I'm not sure how great this partnership worked out as nothing more was seen on DW after this release. Anyway, quite a few versions were put out, including white, clear, red etc. Mine is grey with some kind of black splatter effect and is part of the second pressing. If my memory serves me well (which it almost certainly doesn't) this was limited to something pretty high, like 1000 copies or something.
This also came with a rather sizeable poster. It's always great when these are included with records, but even better when they arrive along with second hand records. It's good to see it has been looked after well.
This was originally meant to come with a kind of artwork book, but I think there was some problem with getting this along with the records at the time. Luckily I already have the CD version which comes along with a CD sized version of the booklet.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Children of God - We Set Fire to The Sky 12"

Boy how has this band grown! This is the first proper LP released by the band and it is clear that they have come a long way since their original demo and Coup De Gace 7". The trashing brutality is still there, but so are a lot of other elements. Hell there are even periods with clean vocals! We got a taste of the new direction the band was taking with "The Sun Gives Way to False Truths" and I'm glad to see COG has developed this even more. Even since then a lot more atmosphere is now present which helps create one wicked album. Listen below to see just how much they have evolved.
To my knowledge, there are three versions of this out there. The first is the European edition, which features slightly different artwork. It's much the same really, but is on white background instead of black. I might be wrong but I think that came on white vinyl too. Ven Dettta handled that version, which is still available here.
Hellfish released the remaining two versions, which look like the photo above. I guess it is really just one version, but the first 50 ordered came with some sort of large poster. I thought I had gotten in quick when ordering this, but was not greeted with a nice poster when it arrived. I suppose I was just not fast enough.
This version is on plain black vinyl. It is quite a no-frills release, with the record having no centre labels or anything. It's not a necessarily a bad thing, the record is awesome enough to stand up without anything fancy.
Although saying that, it does still come with a rather interesting insert inside the sleeve.There is of course the usual lyrics sheet, but the other side contains a poem by Jorge Luis Borges, Ragnarok. It's definitely an interesting read.

Lastly, there is also news that COG will be releasing a new record shortly. "The Sun Gives Way to False Truths" is set to see it's debut on a one sided 10" very soon, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

A389 Recordings MMXIII Digital Mixtape

I can't believe it has been an entire year since the last amazing A389 sampler. Seriously, that is just ridiculous. I think maybe the label simply had too much awesome stuff to unleash upon us that they've somehow shifted the space-time continuum forward by a few months.
But as much as I doubt time is able to move that quickly, it has been another year. I enjoyed writing up last year's sampler so much that I decided to give it another go this year. I think I'll just note my highlights for now, it's actually quite a mammoth task to go through each individual song, there are 40 you know...
Iron Reagan waste no time getting straight into a thick trashy hardcore number with "Drop The Gun". I've sort of dismissed Iron Reagan up until this point, but for the life of me I can't think why. This track might just be enough to get me started (and probably obsessed) with the band.
Perhaps what I was most excited about with this sampler was the new track by the almighty Integrity. This comes straight from their new yet to be released album, Suicide Black Snake. The track is entitled "Beasts As Gods", which should probably at least sound familiar to you.While technically not a new track, it is a great re-recording from Detonate VVorld's Plague released back in 2011. Dwid's vocals sound perfect, and that solo at 0:57 still sends shivers down my spine.
Next up is "Foreign Lander" from Ilsa. These guys have been my latest band obsession thanks to the amazing album Intoxications, which this track is directly from. If this doesn't get you into the band, I don't think anything will.
Another big highlight of the sampler is "Ghost Plains" from Seven Sisters of Sleep, which is straight from their new LP, Opium Morals (which will hopefully arrive soon!!). This track encompasses everything the band has brought to their tracksover the last couple of years and more. They've also experimented with their vocals a bit and introduced more deeper growls which sound utterly perfect. 
Then we have the self-titled track from Shin to Shin. From the few tracks I've heard from these guys over the years, I have been keen to see a full length or an EP or something. Apart from the split with PT there has been nothing, maybe this year will finally be the lucky year. If this track is something to go by it'll definitely be worth the wait.
Then we have a brand new track from The Love Below! "Let Them Eat Shit" perfectly sums up the frantic style the band has crafted so well. The first 8 seconds hit you with furious speed, while the rest of the track takes a much slower approach. The vocals are as twisted and full of desperation as ever too.
The best surprise of the entire sampler was a brand new track from Unholy Majesty! I've been waiting for some new material by these guys and it looks like if something new does come out it'll be amazing. "Night of Lead" picks up right where their fantastic demo/7" took off and just leaves me wanting more.
Powerviolence beats are blasted through the speakers at the hand of Eddie Brock. Their track is entitled "Boys of Summer", which made me excited for another cover track in vein of their recent Paramore cover. Sadly it isn't, but it is one great furious track.
Pharoah sneak in with a new track, "Spared", right towards the end. In keeping with their sound, this is heavy as and long enough to include some amazing sections without ever getting boring. Maybe we'll finally see a 12" from these guys?
Right at the end there is a sudden change of pace where Dom takes time to highlight the lighter side of A389. Nothing's "The Rites of Life and Death" is a slow acoustic number from their recent LP on the label. It's really great to calm you down after the adrenalin thrill ride that precedes it.
Things are then finished with "Friday Night" from Pleasant Living. I had decided I wasn't fussed about this band, but the song on here is a great (dare I say pop-punk?) track. The gritty vocals sound just about perfect to.

There is a lot more great stuff on here, but I just haven't the time to go through it all.Overall it is a great sampler, but then again of course it is. I think it's safe to say this has locked me in to buying a lot of A389 records over the next year, even possibly some ones I had previously disregarded. The whole thing is entirely free to download, so go ahead.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Gehenna - Self Titled 7"

As promised, here is the bonus 7" that came along with the magnificent repress of Gehenna's debut album. Simply entitled "Gehenna", the whole thing is pretty simple but of course was definitely worth picking up.
The record is clear red with black swirls, although mine really has a minimum of black in there. On the one side is same skull we've seen before, which links this nicely to the album.
This was pressed in a limited quantity of 300, along with the white version of the 12". I guess that means the white version of that album is also limited to 300 copies, but perhaps there are some versions of that intended for sale without this nice bonus. Mine is right towards the end of the 300 copies, #294. Whether this means I was comparatively late in ordering I'm not sure. I'd have hated to be a tad later and miss out entirely.
Three tracks are included on this record, two of which are from a compilation called "Definitely Not the Majors", with the other being an unreleased versions of a track we've seen before. Why I haven't heard these versions until now astonishes me, they are ridiculously awesome. "Covet" has never sounded as brutal as it has on this record, it seems to just want to desperately explode out of my speakers and destroy everything it resonates against. It also features a different version of the GG cover "Bite It". I think I mentioned this was replaced on the 12" repress by DRI's "Yes Ma'am", but I suppose you could say it is still really part of the record. This is a bit slower than the one on the original record, and such is about 30 seconds longer. Of course it's still a great cover though.
I was skeptical about this release being available to stream online, what with the limited copies and all. But no, the whole 7" is available to listen to via A389's bandcamp (and just below)! You don't have the option to buy digital downloads sadly, but that is really up to the band to decide anyway. ENJOY.