Thursday, 30 May 2013

Pulling Teeth - Witches Sabbath V 7"

All the way back in February I mentioned I had picked up this record, it has taken me this long to actually get round to writing about it! For those not hot on Roman numerals, this is the fifth and second to last in the series of six records.  from Pulling Teeth. Here the band play homage to Left For Dead with "Who D'You Know?" and "Skin Graft".
This is a bit of an oddity in the series as it is the only one to contain two tracks rather than just one. Although there are a bit on the short side so maybe this is why. Either way they are right on par with the other cover versions in the series. 
Everything else is much the same as the others in the set; the record is one-sided and reverse grooved, the artwork comes from Compendium Maleficarum by Francesco Maria Guazzo and the packaging comes with no information other than a number on the back.
I picked this up on Discogs I think, and was pleasantly surprised to pick up considerable more than I bargained for. The first of my extra goodies is a 7" by a band called Malefaction, entitled "Worship Nothing". From what I've been able to find this is a Canadian grind band, which I'm not all that into.
Next is another copy of this bloody Affront CD! I got a free copy of this when I received my Reproductive Rights EP. It's not entirely awful, but isn't exactly the best either. It seems like people are just trying to get rid of it!
While the first two extras were a bit of a bust, the last freebie certainly wasn't. This is a CD version of The Love Below's 2009 demo EP. I haven't been able to find any information about this on the internet anywhere, but it is quite exciting to own a copy of. The artwork is the same as the flexi released by A389, which really isn't quite as offensive as what you see on their later releases.
Although saying that the disc itself makes up for that. There is some quite heavy detail there, and the band logo/CD title looks to be well written so I'd like to think this is the real deal.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Ides of Gemini - Hexagram 45 7"

About a month ago it was Record Store Day, a celebration of all things vinyl. It is also a time where many bands/labels put out special and rather limited releases. To be honest I didn't even bother to go to my local record store this year, they didn't really have anything that sparked my interest. There were however a few things from some of my favourite labels that I wanted to get my hands on. The first is the latest 7" by Ides of Gemini, Hexagram 45.
Since their awesome split with Vermapyre I have been a fan of this band and when Magic Bullet announced they were releasing the new 7" for RSD I was hoping they would have some left over for mail order. While Magic Bullet didn't have any to send directly, their distributors, Cobraside, where able to send me out a copy in what seemed like record (get it?) time.
I have absolutely no idea about the pressing information for this one. According to the Magic Bullet webstore there are four different versions, but I'm unsure in what quantities these are. Mine is a cool pink, that has a smidgen of green blended in right at the top. The centres have some interesting words inscribed on each side; side A has "I got a grey kitty, white one and a tabby too" and side B has "And a big orange guy who put snakes in my shoes". Any idea what it means? Me niether.
The 7" has two new tracks, "Spectral Queen" and "Darkness at Noon". The former is what you would expect from the band; a track much like Ides' earlier work, drawing on the slower, droney aspects of the metal spectrum. However, the latter is something quite different. It is played entirely on piano with Sera Timms' hauntingly beautiful voice resonating over the top.

In fact I feel the layout of the record goes really well with this track. There is something very ghostly and haunting about the people on the back and insert, it is almost like they are being summoned by the track.
If you weren't quite lucky enough to get your hands on one of these, you are in luck. Thanks to Decibel Magazine the whole 7" is streaming online. Enjoy

Friday, 17 May 2013

Oede -Sør Norsk Djevel Blues Tape

Last year, Holy Terror records released an EP from a one man Norwegian band going by the name of Oede. Since then Oede has appeared on a couple of compilation releases including a striVVe recordings tape and Thee Compilation from Classified Resistance. A few weeks ago Oede released his next solo release as the first release from the new Negromancy label.
This new tape is entitled "Sør Norsk Djevel Blues", which roughly translates to South Norwegian Devil Blues. I think that pretty much sums up the content of this tape perfectly. Somehow Oede has managed to take the low-fi black-metal blues sound from "One Man's Trash" and enhance almost every element into something even more wonderfully weird. The vocals are harsher, and the twisted blues feel comes through even stronger than in that first EP.
The artwork is a clever combination of the Norwegian and confederate flag, highlighting two quite distinct styles present in Oede's work. One on hand we have the track "Kråkevisa", a classic Norwegian folk song where on the other we have a track like "Pinnekjøtt Blues" which has a very southern blues feel to it. 

The tape is black with a hand-stamped Oede logo and is limited to just 66 copies. It is now officially sold out, as with Negromancy's next tape, VVlad. 
The insert folds out to become quite large, and on one side contains some artwork and information stating the production of the tracks. The entire thing was recorded with homemade guitars, which is really quite impressive.
What is perhaps one of the coolest aspects of this release is this instruction set on the back of the insert. It is step instructions on how to build your very own Cigar Box guitar! I am very interested in actually trying to make one myself at some point, I shall post if anything does ever come of it...

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Seven Sisters of Sleep - Opium Morals 12"

This is a record I have been looking forward to for quite a while now. Ever since their first self titled album, I have been a huge fan of this band and when I heard a new LP would be being released I was very excited. In some ways I wondered if it were possible to top their first efforts, it was really that good. But they have certainly done it with Opium Morals, it has been on very high rotation since it arrived.
What I really appreciate about this album is the level of progression seen since their first album. While that was still amazing, I feel it was much more one-track minded than the work present on this LP. The band have experimented with quite a few different elements and have managed to pull them off brilliantly across all 10 tracks.

As if the music couldn't stand up by itself, the record comes housed in this wicked gatefold sleeve. Mike Kendrick has done a magnificent job with the artwork design, which really doesn't look as good in my photos as it does right in front of your eyes. Inside the sleeve are the lyrics to the first 9 tracks, with simply the words "lyrics withheld" for the last track, "Part 2".
This is available as a CD and vinyl, but I really had to opt for the vinyl. My memory is really not serving me well, but I think there were three versions of this pressed; a regular black and a limited red and blue. I'm gonna say the colour variants are limited to 200, someone correct me if I'm wrong. I decided to pick up a blue version simply because I thought it would look the best out of the two colour options. I haven't seen what the red looks like, but I am very happy with how this looks.
The whole record is also available to stream completely free thanks to A389s bandcamp page, so if you haven't got your hands on this yet listen up.

SSOS have been pretty recently as of late. Apart from this LP, they have since released a split with Ilsa for record store day (which will be coming up soon..). There is also talk of a new 7" coming out on Vedavu records, which you know will be fantastic.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

New Integrity and Blind to Faith

Yeah this isn't a post about a record, but it is damn exciting news so I thought I would share. Most of you probably know, but it has been an exciting week for new track releases.
First and foremost is the new track from Integrity, from their yet to be released "Suicide Black Snake". It is entitled "There Aint No Living In Life", and is quite honestly one of the best tracks they have released to date. It is really something quite different to what you would expect from the masters of metallic hardcore, but it is truly something amazing.
I guess it can best be described as a perfect blend between Integrity and Roses Never Fade, with a dash of Oede thrown in with the harmonica sections. And yes you did read that last part right. Dwid performs his fantastic harsh whisper vocals seen in RNF that just go perfectly. It has definitely made me even more excited for this new record. originally hosted the new song, but it has since been uploaded onto the A389 bandcamp page if you'd prefer to listen right here.

Next was something that caught me completely off guard, a new track from Blind to Faith. I have literally just written a post about their new live tape, saying how keen I was to hear something new from these guys. A couple of days later they posted a link on their Facebook page to a new track with accompanying video.

This track is entitled "Under The Heptagram" from their new EP with the same name. It picks right up from where The Seven Fat Years Are Over left off, and is just damn brutal. Like Suicide Black Snake, it is set to be released on the almighty A389 records relatively soon, so keep your eyes peeled. I'm sure neither will last very long.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Bouncing Souls - Hopeless Romantic 12"

Not too long ago I was lucky to see the Bouncing Souls for a second time, in support of there latest album , "Comet". Of course the show was awesome, but during 'Ole!' I realised there was one album I was missing out on completely. Even counting my CD albums, I had not got (or even really had the chance to listen to much of) Hopeless Romantic. That just wouldn't do, so within the next few days I jumped online and hunted down a copy.
I'm glad I did too, I've listened to this album a lot since it arrived. It's been great to blast on my ipod while sitting all day at work. There are the performance mainstays such as the title track and the aforementioned Ole!, but a few other gems that have slipped under my radar until now. 
Overall it is quite a transitional album for the band, bridging the sound between 99's self titled album and 01's  "How I Spent My Summer Vacation", which I still think is their best album to date.
From what I could see online this blue version is a repress, limited to 500. I sometimes try and get a copy of a first press, but in this case the blue looked so much better than the original. It was first pressed on black, which is fine, but I think this blue has much more of an edge.
It also came with the original inserts which is always a bonus with second hand records. This has lyrics to all the songs as well as a couple of band pictures.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Blind to Faith - Live At The Pits Tape

It almost doesn't seem possible, but it was almost 4 years ago that Blind to Faith released their debut LP "The Seven Fat Years Are Over'. What an album though, not a single low point throughout the whole thing. Since then the only other BTF release we have been blessed with is the split with Gehenna, which was still three years ago. Well all that has changed now with the release of a brand new tape!
Entitled "Live at the Pits", this tape contains a live recording of the band playing at Pits bar in Belgium. Sadly there are no surprise new tracks, but there areall of the classic tracks from "The Seven Fat Years Are Over". They sound like they would have been awesome live too. They managed to take the already fantastic tracks from their album and somehow found some room left to amp up the brutality.
This tape marks the first release for the new label, Soul Slayer records, who have done a great job with the packaging. The tape is right yellow, and is housed inside a red case with a nice thick cardboard insert. The artwork looks cool, and features the band's heptagram logo. Inside is a picture from a flyer that has since been modified into a T-Shirt design and some notes by none other than Mike Apocalypse. A cool Blind to Faith sticker was also thrown in to sweeten the deal, awesome stuff.

This is limited to 100 versions, but it still seems there are a few copies available here. There was originally a version that came with a T-shirt with the tape artwork on it. These seem to be gone now, but if you are quick you can still acquire the tape by itself.