Sunday, July 31, 2011

sinner's bleed

Entombed "Clandestine" on black vinyl. Earache Records. What's to say? Possibly the greatest death metal LP of all time? Certainly arguable, and I have a hard time really trying to decide which I prefer, this or "Left Hand Path". If you want to talk superior production and the two best songs the band has written, then look no further. As a whole though, LHP is the more 'rounded' choice I suppose. Regardless, this is an album that I have wanted for a long time, and eBay secured it for something like $50 plus shipping. Not cheap I know, but it's never really going to get cheaper than that for this album.
Pressed in '91, I have no idea if the entire pressing was of this 'limited' embossed sleeve or not. Neither do I know how big the actual pressing was, but being an Earache release, I'd dare say that limited probably translates to something like a few thousand.
Embossed band logo and album title. Tried to get the best photos that I could.
With so many classic albums being reissued lately, and knowledgable of how much this thing regularly fetches on the collector market, I think it's about time that this one saw a repressing.
And the accompanying 7" single for the album that was released prior, "Crawl". Two songs here, the lead track, and a song that as far as I know hasn't appeared anywhere else, "Forsaken". The title track is a different recording to the "Clandestine" LP version, with vocals on both tracks handled by a fellow by the name of Ovar Säfström, who only recorded with the band for this single's sessions. A 12" version of this single also exists, with a third track, "Bitter Loss", a song that originally appeared on "LHP" but was subsequently re-recorded with Ovar. To be honest, the vocalist line up in this bands formative years can get quite confusing, as it seems that the duties were handled by a range of different guys who all managed to sound VERY similar. Though he's not credited, the bands drummer/main songwriter at the time, Nicke Andersson apparently handled all the screaming on the Clandestine LP. Had I not read this, I would never have guessed as he sounds amazingly similar to LG Petrov.
This was purchased on eBay for something like $20, though it's 12" counterpart regularly sells for upwards of $60, a gap I can't quite fathom properly, especially when there's only one extra track and identical artwork.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

anxiety onset

The second last Mammoth Grinder tape that I needed was this cassette version of their MLP from 2009, "Extinction Of Humanity". As far as I know, this was sold on the tour for the album and possibly online in the Ghosthunt store around the same time.
Black print on a black cassette.
I was contacted by a good guy by the name of Andres who was willing to sell this to me. I think he reads this blog. Either that or he saw my HYE trade list.
Someone sell me the "Rage And Ruin" tape, that's the last one that I need.
So while talking with Andres, it came up that his bands new demo was doing the rounds. I hand't heard of them before and he offered to throw it in. This is the Seeds Of Rape demo, the limited mail order edition I was told.
Crushing powerviolence from Las Vegas. Since initially talking with Andres, a good amount of chit chat has surfaced around this band. I expect more in the next 12 months. Not keen on the name though.
So as far as I know, what makes this the mail order version is this x-ray insert...
And this little cut out medical slip.
I get the impression that the mail order portions were of 20. Mine's numbered as you can see. From what I can tell the rest were sold at shows and the like. As far as I know it's sold out now too.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

catacombs of the graceless

Last Hooded Menace related post (for now), their new split 12" with Washington DC's Ilsa. 500 copies on black vinyl, pressed by Contagion Releasing Records out of Seattle. Artwork by Ilsa's drummer, Joshua Brettell.
One track a piece, both exceeding the six minute mark. The HM contribution is a slow, plodding affair, what you'd expect from the band, though it's reasonably chilled out in comparison to their songs on the previous two posts I've made. It's still a metal song, the vocals are still terribly massive, but the riffs are more I guess 'rounded'. For me it's a mood song, but I can still enjoy it.
The Ilsa number is somewhat similar, they've been touted a death doom band, but there is a different vibe going on. For one the vocalist certainly has a range that would identify these guys more with a sludge/stoner kind of vibe. I really think that fans of bands like Thou would like these guys, but I would say the same thing about Hooded Menace too, and I seem to know some people that take sides with either one. Regardless, Ilsa are heavy and slow, just not as heavy (in the 'death' kind of way) as HM.
So with the previous days posts, I've been able to cut out a reasonable chunk of the Hooded Menace discography. Obviously I still need both of the LP's, the demo 7" and the split with Anima Morte. I wouldn't say that I am desperate for all of those records, but the "Fulfil The Curse" LP would be a great gain, for a reasonable price of course. Is anybody listening to me?


Forgot to mention it, as it happened while I was abroad, but July 9th marked three years of this blog. Cool. Though, the argument could be made that nearly half of the life of Skull Fucked has been wasted on silly shit. Especially the first year anyway.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

in bloody sewage

Another Hooded Menace related release, their split 7" with Coffins from Japan that Doomentia Records released last year. This is black vinyl of 400, there was also a variant of clear with black splatter of 100.
The best art that has accompanied any of the Hooded Menace stuff so far as far as I am concerned. I mean, it's predictable, but it's cool.
One track from each band, "The Haunted Ossuary" from HM, a mid tempo, kind of up beat riff heavy piece. It's a really catchy song and would have easily fit in on the "Fulfil The Curse" LP. Coffins' contribution "In Bloody Sewage" is another mid tempo, six minutes + number with deep reverbed vocals. Both songs work really well together, and if I had to choose which one I liked better, I'd more than likely choose the HM song, only just though.

Monday, July 25, 2011

we doom you to death

Here's a record that's now chased for fair amounts of cash on eBay, something that boggles me a little considering it's nigh on a couple months old. Doomentia pressed this, the Hooded Menace/Asphyx split 7" in two variants, this picture disk version and a regular black version, both of 500 copies each.
So as you see, the front is circle cut so the pic disk shows through the front. Gatefold sleeve.
One song from each band, "Bode Of The Grotesque" from Hooded Menace and "We Doom You To Death" from Asphyx. Both are typical from each band; slow doom. Both run in excess of five minutes each. The HM track is a leftover from the "Never Cross The Dead" sessions, the Asphyx number is a new one.
And here's the regular black vinyl version. It's virtually identical to the other version except that the front cover isn't cut out, for obvious reasons.

valium cocoon

First demo tape from this much hyped rough hardcore band The Ropes. As far as I can tell this is a reissue that's come about thanks to Yakuzzi Tapes. This is just that band The Repos renamed (cunningly as you can see), playing a slightly slower brand of the nosiy hardcore they used to. With this new tempo comes a new, 'oi' kind of feel too that you could probably also attribute to the singers throaty approach. This is the precursor to a second demo and a s/t 7" EP (that has just seen a reissue thanks to YA!).
I've never really followed either band closely, and I wouldn't have grabbed this if it weren't on offer for stock price (and along with some other stuff I was grabbing from RSR). It's an okay tape though, but I must say that I much prefer the pace and sound in general that the first band produced.

altar of worms

I can fully understand how my new found interest in current death metal may fall outside of the taste range of the majority of my established list of followers, regardless I need to talk about Finland's Corpsessed. So as I'm sure you've gathered, I only ever blog about vinyl and cassette releases. I won't get into why, if you read this blog you probably know why anyway. I kind of see this blog as a way for me to express what bands I am taking an interest in at the current moment so most of the time if a band hasn't had the chance (or made the effort) to release something on the analogue format, they won't get a mention on here. Corpsessed put an EP out this year of down tuned, scuzzy death metal, but only on CD, so I haven't had the chance to blog about them yet (I never buy CD's). "The Dagger & The Chalice" has been on constant repeat on my ipod for a good six weeks now. Easily the heaviest thing I'm listening to at the moment, I'd quickly describe these guys as purveyors of a sound that falls somewhere between the first Hooded Menace LP and some faster stuff like Horrendous and Bone Sickness. The majority of their work is built around a slow tempo, peppered with blast beats, tremolo's and leads. From that description you'd just gather that they're another run of the mill death metal band, but don't be fooled, they're certainly not. I can't really put my finger on why exactly I'm so fond of them, but a random guess would put it down to the great production they've got going here. It's amazingly heavy. The guys have assured me that this EP will soon see a vinyl release, but until then I can just make this post. A quick google search will find you more information. Any fans of good current death metal need not pass this band up.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

shades of grey

Here's an LP that I believe is too often overlooked in modern day hardcore, the second full length from Brooklyn thugs, Biohazard, "Urban Discipline". Black vinyl. This was their debut for Roadrunner Records back in 1991, and as far as I am concerned, their best stuff. The question has to be asked why these guys aren't as recognised as they perhaps should be by the new scene these days, there are obviously older bands that get more credit, and even bands from the same scene and time that get it too. I put it down to their big label connection and the level of cheese that they exuded in their film clips and in general. Whenever I listen to this album, all I can think about is a bunch of tattooed scum bags wearing bandanas and tough guy posturing on the Brooklyn Bridge. I can certainly see how people would be turned off by the cheese ball imagery, but I love it.
This is an album that I've wanted for a long time, but an album that I've never been prepared to pay the silly amounts asked for it on eBay and the like. This was secured before I went on holiday for $35 post paid from the USA, a figure I can deal with considering it's age.
Just about every song on here is brilliant, the first three being some of the coolest hardcore songs ever written. I can't get past the cool drum sound and Billy's perfect guitar tone. His vocals on this LP sound on point too.
Say what you will, I understand how these guys are perceived these days, especially with some of their later material, and a few of the members side projects and other 'ventures'. I will always love this album though.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

cauldron born

So I'm back in Australia for those of you who are interested, and ready to resume as close to a normal life that I can (I'm actively looking for a new job though, very tired of the current one), which will hopefully include some sort of regular posting schedule on this here blog. I won't lie though, I didn't really miss this thing while I was away. I did miss records though, and music. Upon my return I was greeted with a stack of records near knee high, so I am certainly not short of post fodder. What may be of a surprise though (it was somewhat to me anyway), is that I didn't buy a single record on this trip. Unlike my 2009 trip to the USA, which I detailed extensively on here, none of it revolved around music of any kind. I didn't attend any shows, I didn't even go to any record stores (not necessarily because I didn't want to though, I did plan to hit up All Ages Records in London but I ran out of time). The majority of my time in the UK was spent tripping around the west midlands where my girlfriends family are based. We did all of the standard tourist type stuff while there (castles, old towns, museums, food, drink etc), and we also managed to trek north (Bradford) for a party, stay in a beautiful hotel on the Welsh coast, as I mentioned, visit the capital of London, and stay in Paris for two nights. Two things that I noticed about England during my stay: the ratio of (at least) tolerable people to fuckheads is far greater than that of Australia, and life is infinitely cheaper in that part of the world. Apart from the cost of petrol, which is ridiculous, and except for London, everything, from food, accommodation, real estate, shopping etc is cheaper. I mean everything. Even after the exchange rate. I get the impression though, that it is all relative to some kind of extent. From what I can tell, in general, the average salary is lower than what we get here in Australia. With that in mind though, we have decided to make a move to Britain to live on a permanent basis in two years or so, when my girl finishes her study to become a school teacher, and we have saved some money. Her being of British citizenship will obviously make my bid for residency alot easier, and her father has already offered to house us and to sponsor me in employment/visa etc if need be. I'm kind of fond of the idea of turning this blog into something that resembles Dobek's, except obviously it will be about an ex-pat Aussie record nerd living in the United Kingdom. I'll start spending ridiculous amounts on old Revelation Records presses, register a proper domain address, buy a sick camera and everything.
So as I mentioned, I didn't go to any shows on my trip, for various reasons, not just because I didn't want to. One show that I was really excited about seeing leading up to the trip was something that was originally supposed to happen in a practice room in Nottingham, but then was moved to a larger venue in town; the original line up was sludge merchants Thou (from the US, last show of their European tour I think), partners in crime Moloch and Rot In Hell. Then RIH announced the short notice departure of their singer Nate, their drop from the bill and the cancelation of the show. Knowledgable of the fact that I now wouldn't be able to attend said show anyway, as I had to drive north for this party I mentioned earlier (a family gathering of the girlfriends, people she hadn't seen for years, no way we couldn't go), I wasn't too bummed about the turn of events (other than the fact that Nate had left RIH obviously). Then a week or so later the show was rescheduled at the new venue, and touted as Nate's final ever set with the band. To rub fucking salt in the wound too, Leeds scumbags, Mob Rules were also added to the bill. You can't win em all I guess. Fuck you.
The impact will kind of be lost for some of you if you read Jack's blog, as he's literally just posted about this same record (with the same title and everything), but this is the record that was launched at the show, the Rot In Hell/Moloch split 7". Pressed by Feast Of Tentacles, this is a copy on red that I was quick enough to snag via mail order from the label a day or two after the show. Only 100 were pressed on this colour, the remaining on black. I kind of assumed that these would have all sold at the show, but as it seems, assumptions can often be way off, as I know of at least two other bloggers who also obtained this record on red by means of mail order.
What you get here is a recycled card sleeve with single colour screen, with recycled inserts and a recycled dust cover. It's simple and effective and reminds me alot of the Caulfield LP from last year for more than a few reasons. As I mentioned in that post, I was quite fond of the simplicity of that records layout, and for the exact same reason, I am really liking this. With that in mind though, I am a little (for lack of a more appropriate word) surprised that this record didn't come with some kind of personalised 'cvlt' book, or insert, or something, as has been the story with all of the more recent RIH releases. There's something about the understated classiness (again, for lack of a more appropriate word) of the simplicity of a plain screened sleeve though, you can't beat it.
Music wise we get one track from each band here. The RIH contribution "Cauldron Born" is what you'd expect from the band: heavy metallic hardcore. It's got an acoustic lead-in that progresses into some feedback, then a slow bass beat, then it kicks off. It's fast and massively aggressive. It's got the crunch and leads and as you'd probably expect, a cool break. One of the better RIH songs that exist. It's such a shame that Nate's left the fold, but it's the perfect song to exit the pack with. The Moloch song, "Sibillia", like the RIH song, doesn't at all stray far from this bands established approach; slow, meandering sludge. I've always liked to compare these guys to Iron Monkey for various reasons (style, geographic origins, the singers vocal style), and I'm not changing my tune here. Fans of this bands previous work won't be disappointed with this one. A little side note; I read somewhere that one of the guys in this band, possibly the singer, I can't quite remember, runs Feast Of Tentacles.
Rot In Hell have gone on record in a number of places to say that they are not hanging up the towel yet. They are reportedly in search of a new singer, I just hope they find someone GOOD. There are some massive boots to fill. Before Nate's departure there was talk of at least two new releases this year; a split 7" with Canada's Column Of Heaven, and a new 7" EP, "A Murder Of Crows" on A389 Records. Who knows what exactly will happen with the mentioned split, but on their blog, Breadman, RIH's bassist (I think it's him running the bands Tumblr in Nate's absence now anyway) has said that they still plan to record for the EP as soon as they can find the right frontman. So it sounds like they've got the music ready, they just need the vocals and lyrics. Nate, just do the vocals goddamn it.

Quick note: Our Aussie friend whom we stayed with in London will be putting 6 copies of my zine, Downsided #5 (Crowd Control interview) in at All Ages Records in the coming days, when she gets the chance. Grab one for something like a pound.