Sunday, March 31, 2013

XIBALBA Hasta La Muerte 2LP

There are two sides of this record that I'd like to elaborate. You probably think that this is inappropriate on RWHAF blog. Well, I'm featuring this record because influential records out of metal might even well constitute the becoming of a great Hardcore record and so playing a role in history. I'm saying  that this is rather Metal than Hardcore. But it brings us to a new level of heaviness and hardness. A level I think that was long ago reached by one band in the 90's such as All Out War. Let me elaborate this further.

The crossover from Metal and Trash to Hardcore has lead in All Out War to a harder and heavier sound that was undeniably 'harder' in that era. When I heard it as a kid, I was amazed by it's heaviness. And always wondered how they could actually produce that kind of pounding sound and riffage.

Well, now approximately 15 years later I have the same feeling. Although it's actually against a different background that we need to situate this. XIBALBA brings us an underground metal concept, influenced and crossed over by Beat Down, Doom Metal and Sludge into the hardcore landscape. This might change the face of 'Hard'-core as we know it. It comes to a point where you either need to adapt to it or leave it.

Although it's challenging the hardcore listener in my opinion, I would not be afraid of saying some words of criticism too. Maybe it's not positive enough or maybe it's not always necessary to reach a higher level of hardness in music. Maybe it's not always needed to bring the listener to a bigger sensation. Or thinking that hard isn't hard enough or that it needs to become harder as time progresses.

XIBALBA "Hasta La Muerte" dLP YELLOW out of 500 copies

The second side is the hunt for it. I was able to get it without being raped on eBay. So my motto of "Keep Your eBay Out Of My Collecting" was done justice. I was actually thinking that eBay was the only place to go in getting this if you missed out on pre-orders. I was able to buy this for a fair price at ... For which I'm very glad.

Also the package is very high quality, thick gatefold sleeve:

Monday, March 18, 2013

Length Of Time / Bloodstained 7inch

I suggest you get this 7inch on RATEL RECORDS if you are into Length Of Time immediately. It has the first version of 'Maleficious World'. Length Of Time in their rawest and purest form. Truly awesome and way different than the final version you know from the "Let The World With The Sun Go Down" LP/CD. I can assure you it's great to say at least.

Ratel Records is a label from Poland. A label that seems quite alive and kicking. I ordered the RED and BLACK version from their store and they were kind enough to insert one of the in between copies on Red with Black mixed wax. They also made an extra numbered cover for those copies.

length of time bloodstained vinyl 7 inch limited

The package is a beautifully lay-outed gatefold 7inch sleeve:

Bloodstained is a Polish band that sounds a lot like LIAR in their "Deathrow Earth" period, but also some Deformity-like sounds. Anyway, one could easily confuse their style as 90's H8000-style of metal for real...

length of time bloodstained vinyl 7 inch collection ratel records poland

Saturday, March 16, 2013

INTEGRITY - Systems Overload (A2 / Orr mix)

Systems Overload was the name of the 1995 INTEGRITY album that got me hooked to these guys, 'systems overload' was also the term that might be fitting with the situation the band released this album in the nineties. A engineer named Bill Korecky oversaw the production and apparently the jagged vision of Dwid and Aaron's mix didn't compute with those of Bill. After numerous discussion and attempts to lay down the final mix Aaron Melnick gave in to Bill's madness and called it quits. Systems Overload was released as such but to those who gave birth to this masterpiece it remained an unfinished symhony with much more potential. 

integrity a2 orr mix halloween package red vinyl lp organized crime
No hardcover but a space age material bag 

That's when Organized Crime Records steps in with the aid of current and former Integrity masterminds Robert Orr and Aaron Melnick. Together they created this special edition release of Sytems Overload,
remixed from the original tapes by Orr and Melnick to release the original sin.

Thick sturdy vinyl to overload your stereo systems

All this madness came into the highly anticipated Halloween package that Organized Crime Records throws every year around Halloween, ever so mysterious many awaited their faith to grasp a glimpse at the diabolical schemes that would unravel from this godforsaken package. Inside this box of Pandora a bloodred vinyl record bearing the INTEGRITY skull greets us through some mylar packaging embossed with the title and year of this joyfull event. Halloween MMXII.

No distinction between A or B side, except in the matrix etching

Within the bag there is also a gigantic poster with distorted art by Dwid, a decal sticker of the INTEGRITY skull , a booklet regarding the how and why of this album by Robert Orr and Aaron Melnick and a download card for the digital hocus pocus files of this magnificent piece of wax. Next to that there is also a T shirt included in the package.

OCR , Orr and A2 , the unholy trinity

This special edition comes on thick as blood red wax and according to the numbers are out of /165.
It appears there will also be a black edition on /365 copies to appear on this earthly realm soon.

History and Future of INTEGRITY team up 

So this round is another reissue of a classic INTEGRITY records, nothing new you would say since INTEGRITY seems to release all their records on a thousand different versions making it's a collectors nightmare (or wet dream) to collect, but this time it's not the artwork or vinylcolor that stands out but the fact that we get the whole mix redone by original bandmembers the way it was meant to be. Quite a unique release for a true INTEGRITY afficionado.

Psalms of Sarin
With this remixed version of Systems Overload we really get to hear the full exctent of how
this album was recorded. And since receiving this masterpiece in my mailbox i've given it quite some spins on the 'ye olde turntable' with the remastered version that Clint at OCR released last year to compare the differences. And indeed the remixed version offers a world of difference once heard side to side with the original mix.
Since i do not want to bore you all to death with a track by track comparison and also you should indulge in this experience yourself and try to get a hold of a copy of this remixed album.

A few of the things that grasped my ear when listening to this remixed version are as following :
- The overall sound of the recordings are much more separated and distinctive sounds can be noticed, the original mix tends to be noisy and crafted as a wall of sound to speak.
- The vocal parts are amazing on this one, you can hear the back of Dwid's ferocious throat when listening, in the original mixing a lot of the roaring sound ,that Dwid as self proclaimed hellhound can produce, seem to be banished to the background into a blur.
- The bassline in No One plays a massive role when heard through the proper mixing, you can really hear those strings get plucked with the bassline that supports this whole track. Compared to the original mix where the bass gets lost in the over the top production.
- Incarnate 365 still starts with the epic Manson sample but it's put more on the foreground and some additional samples get the upperhand during the track. A snippet of the Manson girls talking adds another layer to this already excellent track.

MMXII shirt front
And to finally close the chapter behind the overdue remix of Systems Overload the final words that we hear on the record are. That's all Bill...

MMXII shirt back
As it is, so it be


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

NASTY "Love" LPs

Finally some input again in my collection. This time I share with you my joy in receiving the first vinyl-versions of a NASTY release. You know NASTY, the declarers of the European Beatdown war. They are already around for a respectable period now. But the band never got around to releasing vinyl, but that all changes now with their signing on BEATDOWN HARDWEAR.

As you know they were previously a Good Life Recordings band. And I already reviewed their Aggression album and their Give A Shit album. Two of my most popular posts of all time. And now they have a new record out on CD, digital and LP called "Love"!

Those who know me, already are familiar with my complaining that many good bands - like Nasty, Six Feet Ditch, Rise Of The Northstar, Slam Coke,... - don't release on vinyl. I think that's a missed opportunity! But this might change now that Nasty successfully (fast selling) released an LP on three colors.

On those colored vinyl records. The 14 songs long album was released on WHITE, RED and BLACK. The three colors were numbered, I got two colors out of hundred. Those numbers were put in the lower left corner of the back of the cover.

nasty love vinyl lp red beat down hardware

So far the red version pictures. Note that the red seems a bit mixed with some black....

But again there's something 'strange' going on with my 'WHITE' version. It isn't white at all but obviously it's GRAY:

I should have bought all hundred white colors to accurately document and know the pressing evolvement of this 'White' version. Why didn't I do that?

No, just kidding! The music on this record is not so different from their previous releases, nothing big changed, they stayed in their blatant, hard and honest style that I love.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Good Life Recordings SUB-Labels

The Good Life Recordings catalog seems impossible to complete. What many people don't know is that Good Life is a parental-label who has sister-labels also. FINAL BEATDOWN Recordings is one of them. Another one is GREEN LEAF Recordings.

But let's start with Final Beatdown Recordings, the sub-label has got some renown bands in her catalog. Bands like BREAKDOWN (NYHC fame), E-TOWN CONCRETE (Ghetto-metal kings from New Jersey) and STIGMATA. But also one Belgian band called CRAWLSPACE. All of those  [some] releases came on black vinyl and color vinyl. 

Here is a collection shot to see them all together in all their glory:

breakdown stigmata e-town concrete crawlspace final beatdown record good life sub label
#01 BREAKDOWN "Battle hymns For An Angry Planet"
#02 STIGMATA "Do Unto Others"
#03 CRAWLSPACE "Enter The Realm of Chaos"
#04 E-TOWN CONCRETE "The Second Coming"

breakdown stigmata e town concrete crawspace vinyl color lp final beatdown record

As far as I know there's one vinyl release on GREEN LEAF Recordings and that's the GWYLLIONS  LP called "Idiosyncracy". My copy comes on BROWN vinyl. 

gwyllions idiosyncracy vinyl lp brown green leaf records

There's also SOULREAPER Records under which the metal releases were housed... But that's for another post.