Saturday, 23 November 2013

Blind to Faith Under the Heptagram - 12" EP

It has been 4 years since Blind to Faith released the almighty "The Seven Fat Years Are Over", but they are finally back with a new 12" EP, "Under the Heptagram". This brings three new BTF tracks, that have been definitiely worth the wait to hear. The whole thing comes to just over 11 minutes, but it definitely showcases the true skill of the band. Not many can switch from blistering speed to slow, heavy riffs so seamlessly. 
The whole package is incredibly brutal. Look at that insane artwork, we've got razor blades, rotting flesh, maggots, and that's not even mentioning the bloodied figure in the middle. It is all really quite shocking to the senses, but then so is BTF's music. It may be nasty to look at but it reflects the music so perfectly. Of course this is another great piece by Szymon Seich, who has done the artwork on previous BTF releases, as well as for many other great hardcore bands.
Three versions of the EP have been pressed so far; red, green and black. I believe that red was the preorder colour, as (quite obviously) it was the one I received. It is definitely a cool looking piece of wax, but the real treasure of this release lies beneath. The tracks only take up one side of the LP, which has left the under side available for this amazing etching of the band logo. I think it may have caused the pressing plant some difficulties during production, but it was definitely worth it. The photo doesn't quite do it justice, because it looks truly amazing.
So once again, A389 have been able to put together a great package. But after going back to their site, I have noticed something else particularly neat they are doing. Not only do they have the regular copies available for purchase, they also have what they are calling a "Diehard set". This contains all copies of the colour variants, and a copy of the test press. It is available for many releases, although at $99.99 is really only available to the diehard fans who have the cash...

As always, the entire EP is available to stream online, so enjoy.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Blacklisted - Heavier Than Heaven Lonelier Than God 12"

Along with the previously posted Doomriders LP, I also picked up a copy of "Heavier Than Heaven, Lonelier Than God", released by Blacklisted a few years ago. I do have a copy of their later LP "No One Deserves to be Here More Than Me", which is really in quite a different direction for the band. Where as that took a more grunge approach, this was a lot more hardcore oriented.In my opinion it is definitely the better album of the two, and I just love George Hirsch's vocals on this.
This LP is inside a gatefold sleeve, which contains some rather unpleasent imagery of a girl who is about to be buried.
The LP I picked up is transparent blue, which looks great with the rest of the artwork. This is actually the 2nd press, out of 2000 copies, so is nothing special in that regard. There is a clear with green haze version limited to only 200 copies that I would really like to see a copy of. Apparently they were only available at the release shows.
After listening to this quite thoroughly, it is hard to see exactly how the band made the progression from this to their next album. Although in some ways this deviated from being a normal hardcore release, it was really still hardcore at heart. But in a year the band managed to change their sound almost entirely. Apparently they are in the midst of writing a new album, so time will only tell if we see a revert or a continuation in the new direction..

Monday, 11 November 2013

Doomriders - Grand Blood 12"

Here we have the brand new album by Doomriders. I first got into them through a Deathwish sampler a few years back, I'm pretty sure with the track "Come Alive". It has now been four years since that monumental album, and they really have outdone themselves with Grand Blood.
I picked this up straight from the Deathwish store. They are probably about one of three bands on the deathwish label that I'm into these days. There was a time when I was overly keen on a lot of stuff they were releasing, but I almost feel that disappeared and transferred onto the far superior A389 records.
The packaging on this release is pretty cool, although there is one thing that grates me a little. It is a 12" gatefold, that opens from the top of the picture. That may be of no consequence to most people, but it means that in order for the spine to be correctly facing outwards on my shelf, the picture has to be sitting perpendicular. I suppose it's only a minor annoyance really.
Inside the gatefold is something I'm seeing a bit more of, a dual purpose insert and record sleeve. It is quite a nice touch really, giving a lot more interest to the regular monochromatic sleeves.
Several versions of the vinyl were cut, including "River of Blood", "Bone and Blood" and "Opaque Purple". These were released as 300, 700 and 4000 copies respectively. It is pretty obvious which one I chose, but this time I decided for which colour I wanted the most, rather than the rarest. I'm pretty happy about the choice, especially since I am lacking in purple vinyl..

Sadly I haven't been able to find a stream via bandcamp/soundcloud. I guess if you really want to hear it (you do), then you will have to hit the Deathwish Estore and get your own copy.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Negromancy - 3 Tape set

If any of you have been following the likes of Integrity or Oede on FaceBook, you have probably stumbled across NEGROMANCY. What is the best way to describe exactly what this is? Perhaps the best decription comes straight from the source; "Negromancy conjures lo-fi blackened creole cigar box guitar spells and other acts of swamp witchery".
But just in case that was a bit obscure, here is an outsider's description. I'd say Negromancy is best described as a tape label specialising in cigar-box guitar based music. This is pretty cool, as generally the instruments are not only played by the musicians, but also produced by them too. They even sell their own wicked looking cigar box guitars from time to time.
But enough about the label. What we have here is one of their latest releases, a set of three brand new tapes. The first, released by Bleme, comes in this great cardboard packaging above. It also came with it's own feather and incredibly loud artwork.
On the reverse of this is another cool aspect of Negromancy. The provide instructions on how to make your own weapons of musical destruction. I'd love to give this a go...
Next in the set of three is this split by VVlad and Nékrhärkh. No I can't pronounce that either.
The tape is dark as hell, with vocals sounding like they emerged right from the depths of Hell. It comes with a rather large foldout/artwork that is equally as menacing.
What I was actually most interested in (and really why I bought the whole package), was this tape by Fog Specter. On the Cvlt of the 7 Crovvns mixtape there was a single track by Fog Specter, Fog Mistress. I tried to find out more about this band online as it was something in very stark contrast to the rest of the tape. My search was not entirely fruitful, and only managed to find a tiny piece of information somewhere.
This tape contains just over 17 minutes of Fog Specter goodness. It is really something quite strange, and feels like it is haunting your very soul. But in a strange way it is quite soothing to listen to.
The whole set is limited to just 33 copies, and sold out pretty quickly. Luckily you can hear everything courtesy of their bandcamp page.