Tuesday, January 17, 2012

i am your tormentor

We all know who Gehenna are at this stage, I'd hope so anyway, they've existed for a solid 18 years at this point, but I wouldn't blame most people who aren't farmiliar with their EP from 2007, "Land Of Sodom". Since my introduction to the band around the same time the EP always seemed rather elusive and unknown in general. For a long time even, MP3's were impossible to find, just like the hard version itself. Having never been an absolute Gehenna fanatic, it's never been an issue that's really bothered me a huge amount, but I was always curious about it. Last year A389 decided to reissue the 7" in a wider press packaged together with the CD version of the bands album "Upon The Gravehill" from 2003, and renamed "Land Of Sodom II". Here's the white edition of the release. Not sure of the numbers.

So upon inspection of the liner notes, it more or less turns out that the first press of this EP has always been a tough find plainly because the guy who released it was a bit of a flake and basically did a shitty job running his label, Hit The Deck Records. So there's the explanation. Cool. To differentiate with this new version, Dom and A389 have made some minor alterations with this version. From what I can tell (though this is somewhat of a guess, as I have no hard copy of the original to reference, just some stuff I've found online), there's been some remastering to the tracks, and the song names have been altered ever so slightly. As has the artwork. Where the cover of the original bared the bands logo and EP title at the top, this new press is presented with the same original cover, but minus the header. I have no idea what the backside of the old press looked like, but here we get the "UTGH" cover.

So as I mentioned, included here is the "UTGH" CD, as from what I can tell, the album never got a CD release, just wax. It's mounted in the gatefold sleeve. One problem, and it's not even a massive one as I don't listen to CD's at all really, but mine is wedged harder in the sleeve than a tick in a rednecks armpit. It literally will not budge. My girlfriend mistakingly, slightly ripped the corner of the sleeve trying to pull it out. Damn it. Because of this, I can't tell you much more about the music on it, but if my internet research is correct, included on the CD, you also get a digital version of the EP running before the original LP itself.

So after such a period of curiosity, how does this EP way up to the rest of the bands material? It's arguably their roughest recording. Mike's vocals sound the raspiest out of their entire catalogue, and the music is mixed fairly messily. Those unfamiliar with the band and their history could forgivably confuse this for a demo recording. Comparable to their LP's and even their earlier 7" "The Birth Of Vengeance", it's hardly a typical Gehenna release in this respect, but the music presented is more or less what you'd expect from the band. Hateful metallic hardcore heavily influenced by both first wave proto, and second wave black metal bands.

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