Friday, April 28, 2017

UNRAVELED

Spine- "Time Has Gone" LP (Bad Teeth)
First Pressing, 2014
Black Vinyl /?? 

More of the excellent same from Chicago's/Kansas City's Spine. The recording probably isn't slick as the EP that followed this one, but it doesn't matter. A new album this year apparently.

thumb_IMG_7531_1024thumb_IMG_7532_1024 thumb_IMG_7533_1024 thumb_IMG_7534_1024

Saturday, April 22, 2017

NEVER GET IT BACK

Boston Strangler- Demo, Single Sided 12" (Boston Strangler)
First Pressing, 2017
Black Vinyl /?? 

New vinyl pressing of the demo tape from Boston Strangler.

thumb_IMG_7607_1024thumb_IMG_7608_1038

Saturday, April 8, 2017

SPLINTER THE CROSS

Sentient Horror- "Ungodly Forms" LP (Testimony/Redefining Darkness)
First Pressing, 2017
Black Vinyl /300

Highly accurate "Left Hand Path" worship from New Jersey. Possibly the strongest take on the style that I've heard in a while. All the hallmarks of the genre are present: the mandatory sunlight guitar sound, presented in a tasteful style, not overdone like it has been many times in recent history, chunky riffing layered over D-beat that interplays with tremolo picking during up tempo moments, and a vocalist who's range sits in those mid areas just like L.G's. There's even a few occasions when the singer here attempts those half high screams in that half hearted attempt like L.G. did/does. And while it's hardly breaking any boundaries, thankfully the songs are well written and really catchy/heavy. Thoroughly surprised by how much I've enjoyed this.

thumb_IMG_7613_1024 thumb_IMG_7614_1024 thumb_IMG_7615_1024 thumb_IMG_7616_1024

Saturday, April 1, 2017

NOT A LOT GETS FORGIVEN

Mindsnare- 
- "The Holy Bull Rides Fast" 7",  Clear Vinyl with Black Smudge /200 (Resist)
- "Into Infinity" 7",  Clear Vinyl with Red Smudge /200 (Resist)
- "Unholy Rush" LP, Swamp Green Vinyl /100 (Resist)
First Pressings, 2017

In the grand context of Australian Hardcore, the following post matter would probably have had to come about under the most extraordinary of circumstances. Mindsnare would easily be this country's most respected Hardcore band, with a strong legacy that extends across more than twenty years at this point. It's been ten years though since their most recent LP proper (with only a split with Ringworm surfacing nearly seven years ago), and since that split at least, they have been very, very quiet, only opting for limited live appearances every twelve months or so. I was always confident that a new album would surface at some point though, I suppose it was just a matter of time...

A little more than a month ago, Resist Records announced the immediate release of a set of twin 7"s from the band. No pre orders or anything, just ready to order right away. One could see that the Daniel Shaw artwork for each EP was part of a larger piece, which was probably a clue to something bigger for most people. Each EP contained two original tracks and a cover song on each. One by Motorhead and one by Destruction. These EP's went out to their respective orderers within the next week or so and then gradually I started seeing these Mindsnare photo hashtags coming up everywhere, some of which containing photos of some fucking 'bonus' new LP along with these two new 7"s. I missed out on this and at first I thought it was some sort of gag as there was no information anywhere about it. The band was silent. The record label was silent. You could see the complete artwork on this LP, along with what looked like a bonus slip containing some alternate artwork. Over the course of the next three weeks or so there just seemed to be a lot of talk amongst people and I think the general consensus was that the wider release of the LP would be announced at some point before an upcoming tour they had planned in support of the two EP's. I personally thought that they would announce it on the eve of the first show of the tour and then just have them for sale at these shows.

And then around a week ago, in unison, the band and the label announced the wider release of their new album with a big 'surprise' (cheesy?) on their respective online portals, available for order immediately, again, no pre orders. They also announced that various bricks & mortar stores around the country had copies available for immediate sale. Colour ways and pressing details were released also- 50 went out with that alternate cover with the EP's, 200 on 'beer and bone' and 150 on black for record stores, and 100 on 'swamp green' for online ordering direct from Resist.  The four original tracks that were on the EP's would also see release on this new album along with an additional eight originals and a cover of The Accused. My roommate whom was out at the time went straight to our local record store and secured himself a copy of the b&b. I opted to order the more limited variant on the labels site. But then the fucking website crashed for unknown reasons, nobody could order anything, and nobody knew when the site would be back up. Good thing it was on a Friday night, as I was up past midnight when the site went back up and I secured my copy of the pressing of 100 copies...

You couldn't write this shit.

The music? Absoloutely Exceptional. The last LP, "Disturb The Hive" wasn't received well for various reasons. The production was unfitting (very Thrash Metal) and Matt's vocals were totally lost in the mix. The band have stated that they're aware of how unpopular that album is, but it certainly has it's high points, and had it been released by any other band, I think it would have likely been huge. It just didn't meet the very high expectations set by the album before it, "The Death". It seems though that's it's safe to say that the band have made a conscious effort to nail down the recording qualities with this new one. Recorded by Jason Fuller (Bloodduster among many other greats) at Goatsound in Melbourne, mixed by Kurt Ballou at his studio and mastered by Brad Boatright at Audioseige. It's loud and heavy, Matt's vocals are a feature, Gordy further solidifies that he is just about Australia's best drummer, and Beltsy and Nigel come together to produce some of their most crushing riffs in years. Like all of their best material, with "Unholy Rush" the band manage to masterfully combine a solid Metallic Hardcore base with a varied mix of Thrash, Grindcore and Mosh without making it sound directionless or tacky. There really is no other band in the world that creates a sound like these guys and like I have said quite a few times before, it has always confused me as to why they haven't picked up a wider international following. Maybe they will now.

thumb_IMG_7514_1024 thumb_IMG_7515_1024 thumb_IMG_7516_1024 thumb_IMG_7517_1024 thumb_IMG_7518_1024 thumb_IMG_7698_1024 thumb_IMG_7699_1024 thumb_IMG_7700_1024 thumb_IMG_7702_1024 thumb_IMG_7701_1024

Monday, March 13, 2017

BREED APART

Sepultura- "Roots" LP  (Roadrunner)
"The Roadrunner Albums: 1985-1996" Box Set Pressing, 2017
Red Vinyl /??

Definitely my least favourite Max era Sepultura album, but arguably their most well known amongst the mainstream. When I was first getting into Metal as a kid this record had just been released and was massive. All of my friends were into the band, wore their Roots shirts, had the CD etc. I tried to get into them too, I had the CD, and while I enjoyed it a little, I never really understood the appeal. The songs were way too simple, and I always thought the recording sounded muddy. In retrospect I can enjoy bits and pieces, notably the more energetic punk songs like 'Spit' and 'Dictatorshit', but really, you cannot deny how much influence this album had in ushering nu-metal to a wider audience at the time. Listen to that riff on the opener, 'Roots Bloody Roots'. You could put that on a Korn album and you'd never know the difference. Obviously that's what the band were trying to achieve, most Roadrunner bands from this era made similar moves, but even then I hated how all these bands morphed to suit current or identified upcoming music trends like that.

thumb_IMG_7445_1024thumb_IMG_7446_1024 thumb_IMG_7447_1024 thumb_IMG_7448_1024

Saturday, March 11, 2017

SLAVE NEW WORLD

Sepultura- "Chaos A.D." LP  (Roadrunner)
"The Roadrunner Albums: 1985-1996" Box Set Pressing, 2017
Blue with Green Splatter Vinyl /??

A classic of a record undoubtedly but I've read many statements over the years basically accusing this thing as being one of a handful of albums from the early to mid 90's that helped kick start the wider popularity of nu-metal. I agree. Stylistically, the progression between Arise and this LP is hefty and probably the most considerable within the bands entire catalogue, pre and post Max departure. Still, just about every song on this album achieves cult status at this point.

thumb_IMG_7441_1024thumb_IMG_7442_1024 thumb_IMG_7443_1024 thumb_IMG_7444_1024

Friday, March 10, 2017

DEAD EMBRYONIC CELLS

Sepultura- "Arise" LP  (Roadracer)
"The Roadrunner Albums: 1985-1996" Box Set Pressing, 2017
Gold Vinyl /??

Certainly my favourite Sepultura album, and I'd suspect that it would be a similar story for most of us. Heavy, fast, energetic, with a perfect era recording. Apart from the colour way, this thing is pretty much identical to the original pressing. The label calls this thing 'gold' vinyl but it's more of a beige to me.

thumb_IMG_7437_1024thumb_IMG_7438_1024 thumb_IMG_7439_1024 thumb_IMG_7440_1024

Thursday, March 9, 2017

INNER SELF

Sepultura- "Beneath The Remains" LP  (Roadracer)
"The Roadrunner Albums: 1985-1996" Box Set Pressing, 2017
Transparent Orange Vinyl /??

Probably the first record where the band really achieved a more professional sound, and that could probably be directly attributed with their signing to Roadracer and the inevitably larger recording cash pot that would have been budgeted for this LP, a budget that would afford them the services of Scott Burns as producer. You can really hear the genesis of "Arise" on this album. Interesting fact: this wasn't the original planned artwork. They ended up giving it away, but the artwork from "Cause Of Death" by Obituary was originally slotted for BTR.

thumb_IMG_7434_1024 thumb_IMG_7435_1024 thumb_IMG_7436_1024

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

R.I.P.

Sepultura- "Schizophrenia" LP  (Roadracer)
"The Roadrunner Albums: 1985-1996" Box Set Pressing, 2017
Blue Vinyl /??

Next up in the Sepultura box set, the bands 1987 follow up LP, "Schizophrenia". Once again, technically speaking, this thing isn't a reissue of their debut, as that album was released by Cogumelo. It wasn't until after the band signed to Roadracer that it was reissued by that label in 1990. So this is a reissue of a reissue. Further to that point, the band re-recorded Troops Of Doom for that first reissue, and that track has been made available here again. I'm probably over thinking it though.

thumb_IMG_7430_1024 thumb_IMG_7431_1024 thumb_IMG_7432_1024 thumb_IMG_7433_1024

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

TROOPS OF DOOM

Sepultura- "Morbid Visions/Bestial Devestation" LP  (Roadracer)
"The Roadrunner Albums: 1985-1996" Box Set Pressing, 2017
Red with Black Splatter Vinyl /??

With the rights granted by Roadrunner, Rhino Records has recently released this Sepultura box set, reissuing all of the Max Cavalera era LP's. It certainly comes in handy, as most of them existed on my want list. As far as I can tell, Rhino have created a spread that remains pretty true to the originals, just presented with various new colourways, compiled in this slip case. Unfortunately the slip case arrived a little dinged up, but all the records seemed to escape unharmed. Instead of posting about all six records today, I will keep the posting to one per day. "Morbid Visions" below...

thumb_IMG_7423_1024 thumb_IMG_7424_1024 thumb_IMG_7425_1024

I guess strictly speaking this reissue of MV isn't totally true to the very first pressing. The band debuted in '85 with their split 12" with Overdose, their portion of that record entitled "Bestial Devastation". That was released by Cogumelo Records. The following year MV was unleashed via that same label. It wasn't until 1992 that the two releases were combined on one piece of wax via Roadracer (runner). To add to confusion, BD was also released as it's own stand alone 12" EP somewhere in 1990. So technically speaking, this is a reissue of "Morbid Visions/Bestial Devastation", not their 1986 debut LP. It's a very tidy package though, with a quality slab. Bang your head to Troops Of Doom.

thumb_IMG_7426_1024thumb_IMG_7427_1024 thumb_IMG_7428_1024 thumb_IMG_7429_1024

Monday, February 27, 2017

PETRIFIED

Innumerable Forms- "Petrified/Joyless" Cassette (Hell Massacre)
Second Edition, 2017 - 12/250 

True Finnish Death Metal's legacy continues to be dredged from the depths by Boston's Justin Detore, this time with the help of Iron Lung's Jensen Ward. It seems that this band has grown beyond the work of just Detore now and that Ward has been enlisted as a permanent fixture. His addition hasn't changed the general mission statement of this project though and more of what one familiar with previous work would expect and hope for is offered here; slow, guttural Death Metal, taking cues from all of the classic early 90's acts from Helsinki and surrounds. Two songs that are to re-appear on a planned full length, due at some point this year. An initial small run first edition of this was issued in 2016, only to sell out at the bands only live show of that year, this copy is from the new wider run, put together by Painkiller imprint, Hell Massacre.

thumb_IMG_7412_1024 thumb_IMG_7413_1038 thumb_IMG_7414_1024

Sunday, February 26, 2017

LEGACY OF HATE

Black Jesus/Darkhorse- Split 7" (Grindhead)
First Pressing, 2014
Blue with Black Splatter Vinyl /?? 

A record that I have possessed for a number of years now, bought mainly just to satiate my dumb need to complete collections of bands that I really like (which is Black Jesus in this case). One song from that band that went on to appear on their following LP, and two from Darkhorse.