Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Horders / The Way to Light split review

The Way to Light and Horders have recently teamed up on a split cassette tape released on Die Song. Both belong to the ambient/noise genre spectrums, but are certainly quite different in terms of sound. While Horders tend to produce more abrasive sounding tracks, The Way to Light tends to create more atmospheric pieces. 
Horders play five new tracks on this split, and they are really something quite different to their earlier work. For a noise/instrumental project that may seem like a hard thing to do, but they have certainly tried to push the limits and explore some new territories this time round. It is almost hard for me to explain exactly what is different, it really needs to be heard to be understood.
The first track, "No Hope" follows an ominous distorted acoustic riff that really captures the name of the track, and is filled with the usual samples and abrasive reverb I've come to associate with Horders. "Desert Glass" starts in a completely different direction, with a minute of building distortion that builds into an enormous wall of sound that bursts through your ear drums. In a way it is horrible to listen to, but yet in another strange way I keep going back to listen to it over and over again. Once the wall is finally broken down there is another solemn riff surrounded by samples of machine guns and other unearthly noises.
Where this side gets particularly interesting for me is the last track "Erase the Slate". While Horders has definitely had samples of spoken words in previous tracks, this is the first I am aware of to feature actual lyrics. Of course they are wickedly distorted, but they work on top of the acoustic guitar perfectly and without careful listening sound just like another layer of twisted noise samples.

As I had thought, the TWTL is entirely different to the Horders side. All of the abrasiveness has been stripped back and replaced with intense drawn out drones. Everything about these tracks is very soft, yet somehow very dark. It makes me feel like I am hearing the sounds from a very long distance, as if I have travelled away from the source to a place inside my own mind.
The first track, "Aghartha" starts with roughly three and a half minutes of drones and hints of an array of sounds that create such an immense atmosphere. A quiet acoustic riff then makes it's way through all the layers of sound and is eventually accompanied by a whisper of spoken vocals. "Worthless Crown" starts with a slow, heavy drum beat that is at the start a part of some distant noises which eventually fades into the abyss. A slow tune creeps it's way back into the air, and by the three minute mark starts some acoutisc guitar and vocals that would not be out of place on a Roses Never Fade record (no surprises there really).

A small promotional video was also made for the release, and all of the tracks are now streaming online. TWTL even has it's first full-length album on the horizon, again thanks to Die Song.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Septic Death - Now That I Have The Attention What Do I Do With It?

I had originally meant to post about this record just under a year ago. Even then it had been on my list for a while, and after some time I decided to actively look online to find myself a copy. Turns out there are lots of copies for sale around the place, ranging in price and authenticity. I did manage to find a copy that met my needs and placed my order. Unfortunately this copy never arrived, I'm not sure what happened to the trader but it seemed they suddenly received a lot of negative feedback regarding undelivered packages. These things happen sometimes, and I'll never learn what really happened there. 
For a while I laid off purchasing another copy, until a few weeks ago when my interest peeked once again. This time I found a similarly good deal and it did actually arrive! 
This album was released back in 1986 and is somewhat of a compilation from previous EPs and tracks from various other compilations. It contains 18 tracks of some of strangest and unusual hardcore tracks, that is utterly fantastic. One of the things I love about Septic Death is how they transition from medium paces to the absolute insane in an instant, and these tracks showcase that so well.
Since their release in the mid 80s, Septic Death records have inspired a vast number of bootlegs, and this record is no exception. From what I have been able to gather, the original record was released in the US and UK in '86, and then in Japan in '87. A German label has since released an unofficial bootleg back in 2009 featuring both a red and a blue colour vinyl. I really wanted to try and get an original copy, and to the best of my knowledge I have been able to do that.
Mine is obviously an older copy, but it has been taken care of extremely well. Aside from the slightest of outer sleeve wear, the record may as well be brand new!
It has even come with the original inner sleeve that has all the lyrics printed on it.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Rot in Hell / Wayfarer split 7" - 2.0

Back in 2010, Rot in Hell released an amazing split 7" with another UK band, Wayfarer. I have already picked up a copy of the more standard grey version, which I posted about a while ago. I knew several different quite interesting versions existed out there, but at the time that was all I could get my hands on. But then a few weeks ago I was browsing discogs and noticed one of the special versions up for sale. Before anyone else could grab it I put in my order, I didn't want it to get away!
This is still part of the grey pressing, but also comes with a special cover, limited to 25 copies. Overall 50 were made with special covers, and two different covers exist. One is entitle, "Northern Wolf", and this copy is entitled "Southern Dragon". These were sold exclusively at the release gig, and although the photo isn't doing it justice, it looks outstanding.
One of the other cool additions to this version of the record is a rune stone, which to be honest was part of the big draw for me to get this copy. I'm unsure if all the copies came with the same rune stone, but the rune on my stone appears to be kenaz, the rune of enlightenment (at least in Anglo Saxon). It's things like this that really make RIH releases stand out above all others.

Apart from these two additions, the packaging is the same as the copy I already owned. It was totally worth picking up though, and the tracks from both bands are still absolutely killer.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Organized Crime - Halloween Surprise MMXIII

This release marks my third entry in the Organized Crime Records Halloween series. For those not in the know, this is a great concept the label does every year. A package becomes available for order on the website sometime around Halloween, and you are only supplied with the bare minimum of information about what you are going to receive. It is a bit of a gamble, but so far I have not been disappointed with any of the packages OCR have put out. 
This time around the only information was the record would be "Integrity related", but this didn't even cross my mind.
This is of course a re-release of the classic In Cold Blood 7", first released back in 1997. My past surprise packages have been much more HT related, so it was definitely quite a surprise to see this record when I opened my package, but overall it was still a great one to receive.
The original four tracks have been pressed on translucent pink vinyl, that has a hint of red streaks running through it. It looks quite stunning, and is certainly not a colour you would associate with the heavy hardcore of In Cold Blood. One of the original centre labels (above) has been kept on the B-side. The vinyl comes inside a standard white dust jacket with an OCR stamp on the top right hand corner.
One of the things you do know about these packages, is that you are going to receive at least some kind of shirt as well as a record. That is only because you have to specify the size upon order, but other than that it is a total mystery. This time around OCR have given us a great long-sleeve with the 7" artwork on the front. The back has the track listing, and the arms both say "In Cold Blood". 
Once again a great surprise package. I hope OCR continue this tradition in the coming years, it is certainly something I look forward to as we reach the end of October.