Thursday, January 31, 2013

BACKTRACK LP 1st VS. 2nd Press

A while ago the second pressing of BACKTRACK's LP "Darker Half", was nominated for the 'Record Of The Week' feature from Pirate Press. It was October 12th to be precise. Not that I needed motivation to buy it. I try to collect every release and every variant of Reaper Records. But I knew it wouldn't sell out immediately so I only recently got it in the mail. And must say it looks awesome indeed.

backtrack darker half lp second press vinyl

The record got a new bandlogo color. From pale green to blue, which is an improvement:

backtrack darker half lp first press second press reaper records vinyl

Also the band picture is totally different, they stand up in the second press cover, while they are sat on the first press cover:


And B-side labels are totally different too:

1st press B-side label

backtrack darker half lp dog pound nation vinyl
2nd press B-side label

If you also think it looks and sounds good, I suggest you support Reaper Records and buy it...



Wednesday, January 30, 2013

CULTURE 1993-1998 From The Vault LP

Who would have thought that a new CULTURE release would see the light of day after they called it quits in the late 90's. I didn't, but eventually there recently came one. As in the 90's tradition, this is a low-budget release. With the vinyl in a folded piece of heavy paper as sleeve. Look at it for yourself.

Colored vinyl in Cover 2: Kids and guns
Track-list and information are to be found on the sleeve
Ghetto Josh Records logo and numbering #10 /150 (Cover 2)
As you can see, a chronological discography history is on the backside of the sleeve. All of this with lots of details and who played or sang in the band at the moment. Also information about when and where the songs were recorded. And a lyrical explanation also. 

A nice little detail is that the last song "Pimping The Revolution" is a live track recorded here in Belgium at the Vort'n Vis in Ieper.

Anyway there's a lot of variety in the songs on this LP, it's a compilation of demo tracks and other unreleased tracks. I enjoy listening to it a lot, as you probably might have guessed. 

The label that released this is Ghetto Josh Records, also to my surprise. And they don't let the opportunity to dis Conquer The World Records pass by. As you can see from this drawing:


There's another cover called Smokestack cover which seems to be sold out. There's also a CD version that you can buy at Good Life with 7 extra tracks...






Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Big Kiss Goodnight Record Release

Finally I acquired the release version of the Big Kiss Goodnight LP of TRAPPED UNDER ICE. It's besides the test-pressing the rarest version out there. Although it had been flipped many times on eBay, I resisted the urge to bid on it. Various reasons like sellers not willing to ship elsewhere than USA for example, or too expensive, or not able to bid on it.

But this time I couldn't wait any longer. Before I went to sleep I did my bid and when I woke up and saw to my pleasant surprise that I won it. So here it is, the Big Kiss Goodnight record release.

trapped under ice tui big kiss good night bkg record release vinyl lp reaper records


Doesn't look bad, actually it's the only version where band-name and record-title are mentioned on the front-cover. Regular versions have graphical artwork only, without the typography. Except if you kept it in shrink, there's a sticker on it with info of the release...


Sunday, January 27, 2013

BLADE Release New Recordings

Blade has a significant meaning in and vision on nowadays Hardcore which I will try to elaborate in this article. This write-up begins with a review of their newest record and ends with an earlier recorded 7 inch release. There are also has some discography details.

BLADE obviously takes influences from 90's metalcore. You can hear that from first listen. Although it needs to be said that it's definitely not repetitive or similar sounding to the bands the are inspired by. I hear a lot of All Out War heavy hitting riffs in their sound for example, maybe some Morning Again metal-melody but definitely also Congress and Earth Crisis sounds are involved. Not that it's a reincarnation of the H8000-area sound somewhere else in Belgium (Limburg), definitely not. They do it right and with this I mean they continue to set an updated trend of that metallic hardcore that emerged in the 90's with Integrity and Ringworm up to this very day in 2013.

They just released  their newest recordings (recorded this winter), under the name "Armed With Abstinence". That you can buy a download or hard copy CD from on several places. Support real hardcore, music and bands by getting a legal copy!

As a package deal (CD and Shirt)
http://seventhdagger.bigcartel.com/product/blade-armed-with-abstinence-package

As a CDep:
@RevHQ
@Good Life

Or as a LEGAL download on various sites:
iTunes
Spotify
Last FM
Amazon
Rhapsody
Interpunk

They already had three titles released before this: respectively a demo CD-r, a split 10 Inch and a 7 Inch.

Firstly their demo 2007 which was self-released on a CD-r. In my opinion, this ain't bad but too heavy on the Integrity trip. A little bit to much of Integrity to be original and progressive. Although I hear it's the best time-period that they are inspired from. Namely the "Humanity Is The Devil" period. I guess this DIY release is almost nowhere to be found.


So consequently they gave these exact same songs a decent release later on a 10 Inch split vinyl with Goldust shortly after in the same year 2007. The 10 Inch vinyl exists in two versions; black (/100) and colored vinyl (/400) in a gatefold sleeve. You can listen to these tracks here. The label that released this is BreakxOut Records from Hamburg in Germany. You can still order this from some distro's, even on colored vinyl. I see them for sale at Good Life webstore and Demons Run Amok distribution on eBay.


As it appears I already have the third release of earlier (2009) BLADE in my collection but never came to write about it before. Look at the typical nineties artwork (fire-spitting dragon fighting knights in harnesses) in a beautiful, warm and hazy looking color-scheme.
I interpret it as such; the ethical mission started by 90's hardcore and continued nowadays by Blade couldn't be symbolized more with this imagery. Good versus evil fighting each other as well on the inside and outside of people. Outside as in this music or message they try to bring forward in the contemporary Hardcore landscape. Even if demons appear bigger than us we gather to fight them still. In the formation of a Straight-Edge band they voice their anger and discontent. But they also express regret about the current hardcore scene. They still want to bring a decent message with intelligent content, which is a bit forgotten nowadays. As it's all about sensation, being though and not thinking about good and right so much anymore.

BLADE "Lambs To The Slaughter" 7 inch
The title track of this 7inch features Hans from LIAR fame on vocals and was released by Ugly And Proud Records. The track "Lambs To The Slaughter" has a faster intro with loads of melody also and is a protest against warfare. And shows musical influences taken from Ringworm and Integrity.

The lyrical writing style is like the nineties writing style; dark, symbolic and showing the wrongs and rights of things. An approach to ethical side of things happening in our world. Also showing a deeper conscience of human nature and intelligence overall.

And they aren't shy in saying they are Straight-edge too. Straight-edge pride and ethics in their song-texts. The fact that they are still straight-edge combined with this style of music is a real powerful message as it truly was and should remain up to this day. Thanks Blade!





Saturday, January 19, 2013

EXPIRE Sink With Me 7inch

After lots of praises about the mid-west hardcore band EXPIRE, I decided to check in and actually buy the Expire teaser single on Bridge 9. Although Bridge 9 does not release so much that I'm interested in anymore. They also changed their strategy in mentioning the pressing info, as earlier they'd tell it right away, they don't do that anymore. So now people have to guess if they want the most  limited colorway or they have to buy all colors if they want to be sure to have the most limited version. Done with buying a release just for flipping it on eBay already...

Anyway, I lucked out on my Expire single, it's the most limited color. Although it wasn't completely lucking out, as I know that split wax is more expensive to make than the fully clear wax, I guessed the BLACK / WHITE wax was more limited. Solely because it's more expensive to make for Bridge 9.

It's not the only split wax single that's most limited also the Foundation teaser press was that way.

expire sink with me vinyl 7 inch wax split bridge nine 9

Although I admit that this theory isn't completely closing, there's still an amount of luck involved... I certainly don't want to say that all split waxes are the most limited...

Enough small-talk already, the band is really good if you like real Hardcore, angry and pissed hardcore that is! No need to draw comparisons, they play a genuine kind of hardcore, that you will like if you're into breakdowns and into a variety of tempo too; slower, heavier parts varied with faster, trashy parts.

A witty and realistic way of writing lyrics. Modern day interpersonal relationship are criticized and relativized.  Brought down to what they truly are, the hardcore way of dealing with things. Blatant reality, in the face truth with no frills spitted out.

They earlier had a release on SIX FEET UNDER Records. Although I'm in doubt whether to buy the full-length LP or not, I see it's already up to it's second pressing on Bridge 9.



Monday, January 14, 2013

SOLID Sadness Of Mankind CD

It must have been 1994 or 1995 when Dominiek and his brother Frederiek started to make groovier and heavier music under influence of Heavy Metal. Under the name of Spirit Of Youth they couldn't release their music anymore. The band changed their sound, message and line-up too much to still go under that name. Two 'new' faces appeared, namely Sid and Kris. A new band came to being and they called it SOLID. Sid would become the vocalist and Kris did the bass. While Dominiek played guitar and his brother Frederiek drummed.

solid sadness of mankind cover cd h8000
Front cover

Their first CD was called SADNESS OF MANKIND, over and out with the fast paced traditional old-school straight-edge sound. Over and out with singing about friendship, politics, love, etc. Sid wrote in 1995 darker, angrier and more hateful lyrics.

The 5 songs that are on it were definitely a tad harder and of a more vicious nature. It was definitely ahead of it's time then. Not that H8000 was free of hate and violence before, but it became more and more outspoken.

"Solid is the name and hating is the game."
"What brings forth deceit, unchains my hatred, you're gonna end up beneath my feet."
As we all now, the music came first and became harder, heavier and groovier. Metal influence more outspoken and that requiered ofcourse a different message to, although Straight-Edge and Animal Rights were still the motors behind the message. As if they had enbough of saying the message peacefully.

1996 H8000 Hardcore


NOTES:
  • No vinyl version was made, only a CD in a cardboard cover.
  • The labels were Released Power Productions and Existence Of Hate Records
  • Recorded at Midas Studio January 1996 in Lokeren



Sunday, January 13, 2013

IRON BOOTS Colored 7inches And DISCOGRAPHY

Time to update the database of the blog with some 00's nostalgia that has not been posted yet. There was this band called IRON BOOTS featuring Flza from FIRE AND ICE on drums. They had a nice old-school vibe, sounding a lot like Warzone. I still listen to the compilation CD regularly.

But who cares abut collecting American 00's-era records anyway? Isn't it all about Dischord and Revelation? And will the next generation still care about what they listened to when they went to school and had friends to share CD's and records with and saw these bands live? Will they still want to spend a lot of money for that nostalgia-driven hunger for knowledge and tangible formats? They'll need to do a huge effort since nowadays pressing-histories are quite complex with all those different colors and sleeves of one single release...

Anyway, I started collecting in that decade so I see it as a duty to share my knowledge. I already updated DISCOGS with photo's and pressing info of some hard to find BRAIN GRENADE RECORDS stuff. Also updated my post concerning this matter. Making things ready for the next generation of collectors to strive for and complete collections of.

First thing updated was the debut 7inch of BRACEWAR:
  • colored versions photo's 
  • one of the two sleeve-colors of the Record Release
  • pressing information
  • also added the tape of the first demo

Second band updated was WAR HUNGRY from which the debut 7inch also was on Brain Grenade Records.

And that's how we come to the first IRON BOOTS record I wanted and scored on theB9 board. Had to wait a long time to receive it and got paranoid since it was the first trade I did through the old B9 tradeboard. As it turned out, the person I traded with broke his hand and couldn't decently package things up... Those times were awesome.

Let's try to remember everything I know about it. Brain Grenade was the second label who released their demotape on a 7inch. This Gold version was highly sought after. I think the first label was called Damaged Records.

iron boots brain grenade demo 2004 vinyl gold 7 inch version
Brain Grenade Records Press

Then a few years later, the record was still sought-after and Grave Mistake Records repressed it for the last time. Red labels for the first press, grey was the one and only color of that repress.

iron boots grave mistake demo 2004 seveninch version vinyl grey gray
Grave Mistake Records Press

But they also had a record called "Easy Green", referring to making fast cash on the street by selling drugs. Also pressed three times, I'm sure. The GREEN version is second press and out of 500 copies. Also the only color existing.

iron boots easy green green vinyl 7 inch record version brain grenade grave mistake record
Green Vinyl: 500 made (second press)

The last 7inch I had of the band was this one, probably on of the even harder to find ones, because it was out of 100 copies only on WHITE. The other copies are Black and were out of 900. Pressed by Boredom Kills Records.


iron boots weight of the world vinyl white color 7 inch parts unknown collapse records
White Vinyl: 100 made

[EDIT:] Nico Sailin On added pressing info of his own. It coincides with what I thought but he further detailed and specified it. So thanks to him here it is:



Demo 2004

DAMAGED RECORDS PRESSING (1st pressing)

Iron Boots - Demo - Damaged
Iron Boots - Demo (orange met pin, pre-order edition) - Damaged
Iron Boots - Demo (orange, Damaged records can suck it sleeve #6/10) - Damaged
Iron Boots - Demo (green, Posi Fest editie out of #100) - Damaged
Remarks:
  1. I pre-ordered these but never got them in the mail from the label. After complaint the band made the DAMAGED RECORDS CAN SUCK IT SLEEVE using left-over vinyl.
  2. I personally picked up the green one on the last day of POSI NUMBERS FEST in 2004 in Wilkes-Barre PA.

BRAIN GRENADE PRESSING (2nd pressing)

Iron Boots - Demo (gold) - Brain Grenade
Iron Boots - Demo (Iron Boots Crew #34/75) - Brain Grenade
Iron Boots - Demo - Brain Grenade
Remark:
A few years after the Gold this record was repressed on Brain Grenade. The Iron Boots Crew Sleeve was made for friends and the Release Show of this reissue on Brain Grenade.

GRAVE MISTAKE PRESSING (3rd and 4th pressing)

3rd press:
Iron Boots - Demo (red label) - Grave Mistake
Iron Boots - Demo (grey, red label) - Grave Mistake
Iron Boots - Demo (red label with last show sleeve #’d/150) - Grave Mistake


4th press:
Iron Boots - Demo (orange label) - Grave Mistake


Weight Of The World 

Iron Boots - Weight Of The World - Boredom Kills
Iron Boots - Weight Of The World (white) - Boredom Kills
Iron Boots - Weight Of The World (record release) - Boredom Kills
Remark:
White vinyl is a pre-order version, it took me 5 years to find it for a reasonable price. Although I pre-ordered it and never received a thing.
Easy Green
Remark:
Was initially planned as a one-time pressing, but ended up being pressed three times.
1st press: 
Iron Boots - Easy Green (#22/500, gemaakt voor Positive Numbers Fest 2005) - Grave Mistake 
2nd press: 
Iron Boots - Easy Green (green) - Grave Mistake 
Remark:
There were 500 pressed, but ca. 100 were poor quality and were trashed. Then the pressing plant pressed about 200 new ones on Black. That is the reason there came a third press.
Sleeves for them were made, silk-screened.
3rd press:
Iron Boots - Easy Green (black, 3rd press 200) - Grave Mistake 




OUT FOR BLOOD 1996 Demo CASSETTE

This tape has a significant meaning to me. I had the chance to buy it a couple years back but I know OUT FOR BLOOD actually since mid- to late-nineties. They actually had a CD called "Strive To Survive" that I listened to or borrowed of a friend back in the days. It was one of the first though guy and more negative hardcore releases I heard. And also the one and only Brussels Hardcore (BXL-Hardcore) I was exposed to first time. Otherwise, it was Vitality and Congress and Culture or Morning Again. Everything went so fast I don't remember the sequencing exactly. But I do remember the atmosphere of the first listen. Me as a teenage kid back then was extremely challenged and pumped by the sentence "Now it's time to prove that your a man...", a line somewhere in the lyrics.

out for blood demo 1996 cassette tape brussels hardcore
OUT FOR BLOOD demo 1996 CASSETTE

Ofcourse some of the tracks on the CD - which seems impossible to find now, except for a few on Discogs.com - appeared on that CD.  On a side note, I also think the CD-cover was different than that pictured on discogs now, if I remember correctly. Someone fill me in on this?
It's also released on a 7inch by a label of Switzerland and came on red vinyl. See this earlier entry. Although I also saw black vinyl copies somewhere.

Well having this demotape surely brings back those memories. I still think to myself sometimes that "now it's time to prove that you are a man..."!


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Two LIVE AND LEARN RECORDS Tapes

One day I get a message hinting me the existence of a new Bruges-based label from a collector colleague. Many things need to be said about what followed from that message.

Firstly the collector-colleague is a guy whose older than me and so more experienced in collecting items from the Belgian punk and Hardcore scene. We exchange things we know about the Belgian scene on a regular basis. I also sold an arm and a leg of myself to him. Which means he got some of fancy H8000 and POWERED stuff from my collection. He's not afraid of collecting all versions of a certain release too. The only difference between me and him is that he focuses on the entire Belgian punk/metal/hardcore scene and that I focus on H8000 and REAPER RECORDS, as you might have noticed...

So one day he tipped me of this fairly new label in the region where I live, BRUGGE in Dutch or BRUGES in English, called LIVE AND LEARN Records. Tjorven is the person who started this label and he has some good releases already. Very inspiring work he does to me. I ordered two tapes of his store. And they got personally delivered by him in my mailbox. I need to say that unfortunately he didn't ring my bell. I would have met up with him and be able to ask some questions. Because I was at home at the time but didn't hear a thing probably because as usual my music is up loud!

With this background information we come to the actual releases I just got.

Firstly the tangible format of the GRIM 2012 DEMO I interviewed a bandmember earlier about. It's a totally cool TAPE or CASSETTE in flashy orange with only the logo of the band on it in white.


Cool to have not only a download but actually a tangible bearer of that promising demo. It's numbered also and exists on three colors. Blue, Green and this color. Unfortunately there aren't many left, in fact the only chance you have is going to the Live And Learn store and pick up the orange...

The other release I got is also aesthetically and original looking. Actually something totally new to me. It's the European release of DIRECT EFFECT "Forget The Rest" ep.7



Totally limited as you can see. It was Get Outta Town Records who released the 7inch version. Remarkably there are only three bandmembers.  Has in my opinion a late 80's straight-edge sound to it. In vein of Turning Point, Fugazi but also surprisingly a Nirvana sound created by the guitars in the intro's...

Anway check for yourself on the DIRECT EFFECT Bandcamp Page:
 
Support DIY made tangible releases of real Hardcore in the aftermath of 2010...

You can follow the label on Facebook and Tumblr:
http://www.facebook.com/liveandlearnrecords
http://liveandlearnhc.tumblr.com/


-FF

Sunday, January 6, 2013

ROT IN HELL Termini Terrae

2013, the year that we will witness the return of the legendary DARK EMPIRE records.
Yes, you heard it right, DARK EMPIRE is back, the original label that was created by Dwid Hellion back in the '90's to release the earliest incarnations of Holy Terror upon the world is back, this time with Dwid's son,
Max Mclimans on the helm. To kick off this resurrection they choose ROT IN HELL newest EP as it's first release with the magnificent title Termini Terrae. The process of releasing this 7" EP took a while since both label and band needed to work out the details on releasing this together, but it was worth the patience.

Termini Terrae
Termini Terrae contains four new tracks by the UK's chapter of the church of Holy Terror and features their new vocalist Lecky (former Voorhees vocalist). The result of this new influence is mindblowing and has made this first release for DARK EMPIRE a killer release to start the new year.

Artwork by Give Up
This four track release opens up with title track Termini Terrae, a vulgar display of what these UKHC legends are capable of. Every breath is war and that's exactly the feeling you'll get when listening to this track, Lecky who has taken the mic on this release is a perfect choice to help develop ROT IN HELL into this apocalyptic machine of world domination. A match made in heaven or should it be hell?

4P branches

Next up is Carrion Dawn Of Vultures, another example of how this band of UKHC warriors keep on evolving with every release. When in their earliest releases the band tried to sound like an INTEGRITY clone it seems they have outgrown this phase and evolved into a mighty outfit that takes it to the next level.
With their own style and sound that keeps on developing with every new release and reinventing themselves each time we may say that ROT IN HELL is a power on it's own nowadays.


The matrix etching on this release is MANCHESTER
on one side and UNITED on  the other side. 

The B side of the record starts of what seems to be a trademark sound for ROT IN HELL, an acoustic intro with a dark atmosphere that erupts into heavy guitar madness, that's what Black Edelweiss is all about.
Next to that the following track Spiritus Mundi seems to be attached to the hip on previous track Black Edelweiss what makes the entire B side into one continious sonic attack. Spiritus Mundi fades out into a chaotic noise near the end that fits the ending of this magnificent release.

4P colours (picture by DARK EMPIRE)

The artwork on this release was handled by Give Up again and is truly amazing, from the cover to the centerlabels, every detail was thought of and creates this dark atmosphere that fits perfect with the sonic terrorism that ROT IN HELL delivers again. Available in four colours this release was set to be sold out in no time. A blue and white version were made available as pre-orders through the DARK EMPIRE store and both in a pressing of 100 pieces each. Next to that a red and black vinyl version were released upon this sickening world to the general public, the red also comes on 100 pieces and the black version i haven't heard numbers yet. Next to that a test press version was available for a short period but as expected sold out in no time.

Test press cover by Give Up (picture by DARK EMPIRE)
A neat extra to the white vinyl i got into my hands is you can notice the spot of colour that appears on my copy. Probably some sort of transition during the pressing proces when some scraps of red and/or blue colored vinyl clinged to the presses and ended up in the white vinyl pressings. Leaving the virgin white vinyl with an added dimension of a colored smear.

Blue / red vinyl scraps disrupt the virgin white
ROT IN HELL are on their way to world domination and i'm already looking forward to some of their upcoming releases, being a follow up to previous full album in the form of Hallways Of The Allways II and even rumours of another RIH boxset coming up. So keep an eye out on DARK EMPIRE records this year cause i'm pretty sure they will amaze us with some more goodies this year.
Get yours here : Dark Empire store or listen to the demo version of Termini Terrae here.

Ezekiel02:24:81

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

LENGTH OF TIME Let The World... CASSETTE

In addition to the vinyl version of this release -which isn't so well received by collectors because it's a picture disc- there's also a totally underground CASSETTE version available. The TAPE is released on the guitarist's label and has the 5 songs of the LP on the A-side and the B-side features war hymns and neo-folk music on it, scary stuff...


length of time let the world with the sun go down cassette tape

This release is ultra-limited and will probably be more sought after than the vinyl version. Because nowadays tapes are pure nostalgia and there are only 150 made.

Numbered on insert out 150 copies only!

Comes with different stickers included

Follow this link to get one yourself:
http://www.tanquamaegrisomnia.com


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

TAKE OFFENSE "T.W.T." Unstable Pressing Process

I recently gathered proof of a detail that fetched my attention when surfing the web. I had this very DARK PURPLE almost black version of TAKE OFFENSE's full length on Reaper Records. But then while checking rambeaupunk's auctions, I saw a LIGHT PURPLE or almost Fuchsia colored record, that's mentioned as the same color out of 700 by Reaper Records, as well when they sold it and as well on their discography.

Look at both records to see that there is a difference. The difference is huge in my eyes:

take offense tables will turn purple vinyl lp reaper records

So we can conclude that this version's pressing process was UNSTABLE...

Makes me wonder if there are 'In Between' copies??