Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Zouo - The Final Agony 7"

In order to get my copy of the latest Kromosom 12", I had to search for a label called distort reality records. I'd never bought from the store before, so had a quick look to see what else they had for sale. I almost couldn't believe my eyes when I saw they had a copy of this for sale, at a very reasonable price too.
Of course it is not the original, highly sought-after AA-002 press, but the repress put out by crust war records some time last year. Even still, I consider this quite a find. At the time I tried to get my hands on a copy of this, with everywhere I tried being sold out very quickly.

For those of you that don't know, Zouo was a Japanese hardcore band in the 80s. They are somewhat similar to G.I.S.M (although better in my opinion), and originally released "The Final Agony" in 1984. This EP contained four tracks of raw Japanese hardcore goodness, which has since become somewhat of a collectors item.
As far as I know (and Discogs knows) there has been three reissues of this record since 84. The first was an unofficial copy released by Underwear On Trial in 1996. This featured different (and much crappier) artwork , white labels and scratched out matrix numbers. In 2011, crust war released the second reissue which was pressed as 2000 copies on black vinyl. The very next year Crust War re-re-issued it on red vinyl, which is the copy I have managed to get my hands on.
Although only four tracks long, it is a surprisingly long EP, totaling at just over 15 minutes. Not a second feels too long, it is truly one of the greats. Integrity has even done a cover one of the tracks, "No Power", which was featured on the "No Peace/War" compilation with RIH, VVegas, Cape of Bats and Gehenna back in 2011. The cover track also snuck it's way onto the CD version of VVorld's Plague Detonate.
The record comes housed in a fold-out poster sleeve, which I think is how the original version also came. The artwork folds out to continue the scene with the demon on the front, while the inside has a band and logo photo on one side with some rather haunting images on the other. 
I must add how impressed I am with that hair, that would surely take a lot of dedication..

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