Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Cape of Bats / AVM split 7" - Black Mass of Jihad

It seems that there has been quite a few records that I have been super eager to get my hands on lately, and this is one that was right at the top of that list. When Integrity released their SDK 2 split with /\\//\/\ a few years ago, I became obsessed with the two tracks released by the mysterious Japanese band. Ever since I have been trying to find out if the band has had, or will have any more releases. Rumours started to surface that they would be releasing a new split with none other than Cape of Bats! It sounded just perfect to me, so as soon as I heard information about the imminent release I was sure to get my order in.
Of course it didn't disappoint. The tracks are just superb, but I will get to that in a minute and focus on the packaging for now. The record comes housed within a folded cover that unfolds to reveal artwork and lyrcis from each of the bands. /\\//\/\ features the same figure as on the front of the Integ split, which also fits with the title of the split. Cape of Bats feature a more disturbing image of a Japanese individual in studded clothing with blood dripping from his mouth.
The rear of the cover contains the split name, and band logos as well as the track titles in Japanese. In the middle bottom is the Grim Winds logo, who released the split. You can't really see it in the photo, but the whole thing has been produced with a hand-made aesthetic. It has been properly printed, but it looks like it has been hand cut and pasted together, which is a pretty cool effect.
The record is on plain black vinyl with purple labels. It is rather plain, but I do really like the purple colour that has been used. It does mean that to play a particular side you have you read the matrix etchings, but that is hardly the end of the world.
A total of 200 copies were released, 100 of which were sold during COB's recent tour with the remainder kept aside for mail order (some are still available). Mine is number 111.
Now while the packaging is pretty good, the music is really what makes this split so fantastic. Side A belongs to /\\//\/\ who I think really steal the show. Their first track is entitled "Devil's Last Dance", and is already my new favourite song. I can't even find the words to describe just how awesome it is, you'll really have to get a copy of the record yourself to hear it. Honestly, it is a shame that more people won't get to hear this track.
They also offer "Victim For Sorcery" from the split with Integrity. I was kind of hoping for two new songs from the band, but this song is so good that I don't mind getting it again. Thankfully this song is online for you to hear it( if you haven't already). As it is myspace I can't find how to embed it, but here is the link

Side B is all about Cape of Bats, who give two new songs. These are great black-metal punk tracks that are very obviously Cape of Bats songs. Of the two, "Days of Dark" is my favourite as the guitar work feels quite emotional and painful behind the screaming vocals. This is online as well, get your ears ready.

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