Saturday, 23 August 2014

Unreal City - Masks 7"

Unreal City have had quite a sporadic release history. Back in 2008 they released an initial album,  Ephemeral Subsistence, which was actually pretty good. The following year they released a demo, also entitled "Masks", and have also appeared on a compilation 7" alongside Gehenna, Integrity and VVegas. A song or two has also appeared on label compilations from time to time, but they have hardly been the most prolific band out there. 
Very recently, they have released this new 7" EP, courtesy of Holy Terror records (no doubt helped by +Orr's Integrity involvement) and there are rumours out there that new recordings are also in the works. The 2009 demo cassette was also named Masks, and contained the tracks on this EP (plus a little bit more), but from what I can see these are new recordings for this release.
Two versions of this record were produced, the regular black and what has been described as "Human Flesh". I was interested by the latter to see just what would appear on my doorstep. It is really more of a light creamy colour, I think perhaps bone would have been a more accurate description of the true colour. There is also a slight hint of green marbled through, which is clearly just run-off during production.

HT are streaming half of the EP for free, sink your teeth in.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Gehenna - Land of Sodom 7"

About two years ago, A389 did a re-release of this record that came with a CD copy of "Upon the Gravehill". Back in 2008, a small label called Hit the Deck records released the initial version, and from what I've been able to see online, it looks like very few copies of this record every made it into the hands of those who purchased it. I tried looking for the label online, and was only to come across this (somehow I don't think that is the one....).

I have no idea what happened there, but I have been trying to track down a copy for a while. Every time I checked the net there seemed to be copies available, but for reasonably high prices. With the alleged rarity of the copies available, I felt this was probably going to be a record out of my collection for some time. Fortunately, a couple of weeks ago I felt like having another look and a member on Discogs happened to be selling a copy for a much more reasonable price. From time to time a price that is too good to be true is not a good sign, but this turned up in near mint condition!
 The cover artwork on this is the same red tinted wasteland as seen on the re-release, although this original has the band logo and "Land of Sodom" printed on the front.
As with other gehenna records, the physical vinyl is incredibly plain. There is no centre label and no etchings besides the standard ones issues by the pressing plant. I do like this about gehenna records, it is just their like music; straight up and without frills.
 The same four tracks are here as were on the reprint, although they do sound quite different. A389 labelled the reissue as a "few improvements" to the recordings, but I personally think the vocals have ended up sounding quite different. Although perhaps it is not yet safe to mention gehenna and A389 in the same sentence....

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Martyr's Tongue - Tape

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about a new tape from a band named Unit Togo. In the post I mentioned the band contained members from several places, with one of those being Martyr's Tongue. For whatever reason, Martyr's Tongue was a band that I had heard of for a while, but just never really sat down and actually listened to. In more ways than one, I feel I have been missing out, because now that I have actually listened to them, they are fantastic.
This tape comprises the band's first EP, the tracks from a 3-way split, and a cover of Nirvana's "Tourettes". This is the first time the "Cease to Exist EP" has made its way onto a physical format, and as I mentioned before I can't believe I was foolish enough to not listen to these guys sooner. With what can only be described as Puerto Rican Holy Terror, the band have produced 11 tracks of the some of the heaviest, fastest and most crushing tracks in my collection so far. There are come quite clear influences in there, but it never sounds like a complete emulation of records gone by, but rather quite a fresh entry into to the world of metallic hardcore.

 Head2Wall records are behind this great release, who have released two versions of the tape. 70 were produced on a clear tape, and 30 on the green (which was exclusive to H2W). At the time of my purchase, green were still available, but I bet they did not last that long.
It is often difficult to go that extra mile with tape packaging, but this does contain an insert with the lyrics on the back, and two free badges. The left badge is clearly the band's logo, with the one on the right being a Jason mashup of the classic H2W logo.