Monday, September 28, 2009

Poll Result For Favorite CONGRESS Blackened Persistance Song

I don't like what I see with this poll. Not that the song "Lifting The Ban" isn't the best song but the fact that only a 5% of my total visitors during this poll actually voted.

Are people totally ignorant of this record or are people too lazy to push the button?

Oh well, those who did take the time to vote are the true ones. It separates the real from the pack.

'Lifting The Ban' killed it with 75% of the votes. The song is indeed a pretty good song with a power full meaning. It tells in symbolic way how CONGRESS overcame difficulties with living amongst others and amongst enemies. Overcoming this isn't easy sometimes but the power full music of this song is definitely delivering you the strength to do it.

Phoenix rising from the ashes, leave the past behind.
Those who took my lust for life are buried in my mind.
Smell the air feel the breeze, a new wind is blowing.
Hear the sound of victory, the repressed are awaking.

Lifting the ban – that made me change for the worse.
I finally escaped – from this curse.
A new breed of hope – is what they have to cope
Feel the strength – till the bitter end

Dogs are barking in my face so they're not able to bite
Pointing at mistakes of my past, I'm focused on
what's yet to come.
Anger and distortion, my fuel for life,
my engine is turning like never before.

At last the silence is broken
Lifting the ban…

While typing these lyrics I realize more and more that this song should become the theme song of my blog. Very accurate to my position.

THANKS to those who voted!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

NEW POLL: Favorite CONGRESS 'Blackened Persistance' Song

Up now is a poll for the favorite song of the premium Edge-Metal album from H8000 kings CONGRESS.
My Favorite album ever made for sure and classic for everyone into the H8000 scene and beyond, like Japan beyond. I'll start off the poll with choosing the song ...

Let's go!!!

NASTY : Hardcore In The Age Of Modernity

This Belgium - Germany based band really breaks it up good. Musically they shred through everything and smash through the boundaries of heavy hardcore. This is extremely hard beatdown drawing influences from the prototype 90's Belgian metallic hardcore and the intense heaviness of German contemporary metal acts. But in a way also rooted in the rich musical vegan sxe tradition of European hardcore.

This record is hard to take and to listen to. It isn't easy to fully keep enjoying this music because it is very punishing. Like Ed Goodlife said it is a sensation. This sensation is also brought to the readers by the lyrics that Matthi writes. He allocates images of murder, anorexia, warfare, …So it is modernity not only in the subjects he writes about but also in the way he builds up those images with words. Reading this is just like watching shocking images on a television. This iconic way of communicating with the fans is something that I have never experienced that present in a hardcore record.

The lyrical imageries are (in the fine Good Life tradition) again pleading for a better world free of the diseases of modernity. Like cowardice bombarding innocent civilians in the wars, being sociological imposed to look like a skeleton, getting murdered on the streets because of drug issues, etc.

This modern piece of beatdown is definitely worth the term HARDCORE. And is definitely a 100% Good Life Recordings worthy album. Pioneering is something Good Life has always done and this album certainly paves the same path.
This because it is taking you uncompromisingly to better attitude and convictions. Nasty rules and you can only get better by their leadership. This album is a trip to better things in life.

As far as this innovation goes, it gets even more innovative by releasing the limited to a hundred pieces Holly D. edition. Although that is what Good Life wants to see in Hardcore. Fine music empowered by a fine looking girl like Holly D.
I am rather critical towards this evolution but wouldn't mind if it does happen, it is good clean fun I guess. But I wouldn't like to see girls being used as a mascot or a cheer leader for new releases. We aren't selling a race car here! But rather a message for the kids and the next generation.

nasty aggression limited edition cd

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Being A Collector Is Being Comprehensive Of Economy

The number of the pressing plays a role in the world of collecting but when a record is very old the number of the pressing is inferior to the amount made. This can simply be explained by the basic 'supply and demand law' of economy:

"The price (P) of a product is determined by the amount circulating/existing (supply (S)) on the market and the amount questioned (demand (D)) by the consumers."

So translated in the world of record collecting this means that when a record is highly desired by collectors and short in numbers the price will certainly be at it's highest.
Or also when a record is not much desired the price of it will be lower. Or when a record is old and due to damage or loss short in numbers, the price will also be higher, because there are less existing (especially in good condition).

If you want to take this professionally, you should always be aware of trends also. Or when you have a distro or label you should keep the last copies of a record that sells out fast. This is something I do on occasion but mostly I collect records that I like or that meant a great deal to me. And sometimes these two approaches converge with each other. Then it is kinda cool.

My conclusion of this is that the condition of a record is the most important factor. Because vinyl records are mostly falling into the hands of collectors. But the way they handle the record is definitely showing a collector's worth. The newer an old record looks, the better the message of a record comes through. Also since vinyl records almost never disappear, the condition he is in is the only variant.

Hatebreed: rare Colorways

Some months ago I finally get to buy the debut album of HATEBREED, called 'Satisfaction Is The Death Of Desire'. I knew this record from the time it came out but never actually get to buy stuff from this band back in the days. I heard the record on my friends bedroom though and was immediately a big fan of Jamey Jasta's voice. It felt so warm while still remaining a heavy and brutal voice.

The Victory records webstore mentioned the pressing info. And since Victory has no pressing info page online I immediately wrote down the numbers. That being known I still didn't know the number of the pressing. So I looked it up on a very decent collectors site called 'DEAD FORMAT'. It must be a 5th + pressing. Also saw to my pleasant surprise that the yellow color (200 made) is one of the rarest colors ever pressed. Look it up here:

hatebreed satisfaction is the death of desire lp yellow victory records

I also picked up the 'Under The Knife' 7" from HATEBREED. This time I didn't get it online but found in mint condition in a collector store in Bruges. I saw it in the record boxes and immediately went home to find the pressing info on the internet. So I found it a saw that it was an only 200 made version and that it was together with the gold version the most limited color. This was quite a find I thought and hurried back to the store.
hatebreed under the knife 7 inch green vinyl
Another thing I would like to share with you is the way I graded this record mint. When looking at the grooves I saw now tear on the sides of the grooves, they were simply straight, smooth and shiny lines. It is not simple to teach it someone, but after all these years of collecting I got this skill. The cover is something anyone can judge. There cannot be wear on the corners or ringwear. The sleeve must look totally new or looking like it never had a vinyl record in it.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Setting Out To Northern Regions

You might wonder why this long silence here on my blog. Well, previous week has been very boundary breaking for me. I have made a trip to Friesland ( = the absolute north of The Netherlands) and I have done this with my fathers bicycle.

The Route Description:

I started out from Bruges in Belgium, right in front of my house and took myself, my tent and my sleeping bag accross Zeeland in the first two days. There I realized I had to move further so I did and took all my energy and strength I had in me and continued the trip along the North Sea coast across the endless dunes that Holland has. Once in North-Holland I went to the other side and crossed the endless dike that protects The Netherlands from flooding when it storms. Once I passed the 32km dike I arrived in Friesland and went to Harlingen where I took the boat to cross the Wadden Sea and arrived on a pretty island called Vlieland. The last day I found myself on a sketchy boat that went from Vlieland to Texel. Arriving on the shores of Texel I crossed that Island and went back to the mainland of Holland with the ferry. I could have stayed there but the feeling of having reached my goal and putting everything I had in me for reaching that goal was already enough to call the journey succesfull. So I took the train back home and six hours later passing Amsterdam and Antwerp I arrived back in Bruges. This is a 600km approximately in 7 days.

The wind as the only constant:

I had luck with the weather; it never rained but there was a strong wind coming from the north. I really found my natural enemy in this wind. But I liked the physical struggle I delivered while smashing myself through it. And loved this natural enemy because he was making it more difficult for me. All those people who had wind in the back aren't really living I thought. In life you need to go against the wind.

The inside struggle:

Everything else wasn't constant though. Since I found myself all alone on this trip I had nobody else but myself to think about. This absolute solitude has made me find peace within myself. But this was not without a fight. There was hatred towards myself and others I left behind by doing this journey. There was fear of what might become of my mental attitude (I actually thought that the solitude would get me down) and there was doubt (can I ride and reach my goal within 7 days or should I just return to Belgium and continue to f$ck up my life at home). So, I found myself very challenged while riding my bicycle and besides pretty landscapes I have encountered many demons within myself. I have seen sides of me that I considered non-existent. Scary sides and joyfull sides. I have overcome the darkness I was embedded in before my journey. I don't know what caused my sudden discipline and sportsmanship but I realized that in the darkest moments of life there is a light and that this light lies within. When wearied by grief or calamity, when tired of everything you see around you, when feeling crushed by the weight of the world just look within and you will find answers and solutions. Just focus and break through it all.

Friday, September 4, 2009

TRAPPED UNDER ICE "Secrets Of The World" LP

I have done some POWER collecting. I have gathered every color from the first pressing in a total no-time. I had something like buy them now or pay every money you have later. So I did and here they already are...

I could write a review, but I couldn't do better than the review I read on the web page from the digital download. So here you can read this from the label:

The countdown begins! 2009s most anticipated full length from Baltimore’s TRAPPED UNDER ICE is about to be let loose on the unsuspecting ears of both the faithful and the doubters. SECRETS Of THE WORLD is the title of the 12 track album length release from Maryland’s new standard bearers.

The LP continues on where ‘08s STAY COLD EP left off. Pressing after pressing, the EP continues to sell to new audiences and this release and is considered by many to be the hardcore record of that year. With its cover art being painted by artistic luminary and musician Daniel Higgs, from its packaging design, to the music within, it is a must have for anyone interested in the genre.

That being said, SECRETS OF THE WORLD is poised and ready to add the next level to there still embryonic legacy. The 12 tracks contained on the album are designed for inspiration and self-reflection on a world that leaves one beaten and bleeding. Recorded in early 2009 by Dean Baltulonis at his THE WILD ARTIC studio in Queens, N.Y., the album is glory bound to be both a classic and iconic of its time. A standout for many is the lyrical choices. A super personal approach being taken by T.U.I front man Justice; using his personal experiences as allegory to the decaying society surrounding his urban environment. This uniquely autobiographical approach is what many feel completely separates T.U.I. from the pack.

Immediate plans for the group being constant touring of the United States of America, Europe, Asia and Australia by the years end. This will continue there tours heavy past with such heavy hitters as TERROR, BORN FROM PAIN, DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR, HAVE HEART, BITTER END, TRASH TALK and on and on.
The war-mammoth is headed your way. Attack is imminent, feel the chill...

trapped under ice lp first press colors black gold red clear reaper records gatefold

What you see is the "gold" version or also "beer" version that consist out of 200 pieces. The red version was the Merchnow exclusive version that has 500 colors existing and the Reaper Records pre-order is black with 300 made and finally the distributional version; clear that has a 1000 made.

I am far from finished however because a second pressing is coming up...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

FF’s Lesson In DIY Pressing info Determination

This post is here to test and display my auto-didactic pressing info determination. I'm actually kind of proud on my reasoning and insight I had this afternoon when photographing my MORNING AGAIN 'Martyr' collection.

So here it goes; the first thing I noticed was that there are two kinds of sleeves in circulation. The first one has the same artwork as the other one but the difference is that it is printed on mat cardboard:

And the other one on glossy cardboard:

Another difference is that the colors are slightly different in contrast.

I unpacked these LP's further and noticed another difference, this time in the colors of the vinyl labels. There are also two variants in circulation. Namely bordeaux labels with beige letters:

and bordeaux labels with white letters:

Then I noticed that these differences are coinciding with each other. The mat sleeves have the beige letters and the glossy sleeves have the white letters.

My conclusions was that both versions must come from a different pressing, since these differences converge with each other. The question still remained; which one is the first pressing. But this it was easily solved by having the premise that the clear version (which has the glossy sleeve and the white lettering on the labels) is still available at Good Life. So logically this must be the second pressing and the other two color versions must come from the first pressing.

All the pieces fitted together and the theory was made, I felt besides proud of my collection also softly enlightened. It really made my day.

Another thing that I would like to say it that this record is the record that meant the most to me when I was younger and that the first Morning Again album, called 'Hand Of Hope' is one of the three records that got me into hardcore for sure.

I really had to wait very long to finally obtain this record on vinyl. These are rare as hell. I always had bad luck on ebay, the item ended when I wasn't able to bid on it (sleeping, working,...) and with other traders (It was either no longer in their possession or they didn't wanted to trade this). But then a light in the darkness occurred; I saw them for sale on ebay in a lot and at a good price, plus they were from a person I already bought from. So this really was my chance. So I got them and can now retire... LOL

As a side note I would like to point out that if the sleeves were been switched I would have been totally confused. So if you are a decent collector who has got some responsibility and love for the next generation, then you may never switch the sleeves of two records. Only the labels can decide which record should have which sleeve. You must preserve everything as OG as can be.