Friday, November 28, 2014

Surrounded Records #4: V/A Out Of Cages

Surrounded Records from Italy, Rome to be exact, was a label who focused on the truly Vegan Straight-Edge bands during the late 90's. The most well-known bands on this label were undoubtedly Strength Approach and Purification. I have several of their releases but not all. Will start with the first one I have (Surrounded #4) and continue to post up until their last (Surrounded #9).

The series of posts will be the following, according to those I have:

SR04 Various "Out Of Cages"
SR05 split Statement / Dim Mak
SR06 Dehumanize "Restore the Sacred Order Of Nature"
SR07 Dim-Mak "s/t"
SR08 Purification "Vessel Of Wrath"
SR09 Until Today "Hate Free"

Surrounded Records #4: V/A Out Of Cages

There were several benefit compilations made during the 90's. This one is one of the lesser known. And was exactly made to financially help imprisoned animal rights activists. Most likely for lawyers and such. When people were convinced that political correctness or making people conscious of these critical issues via zines, books, speeches, lectures and pamphlets aren't helpful enough. Or they were so angry about some practices of the meat-industry or multi-nationals, they did direct actions against them. Police arrested them and they got sued. That's the background as to why this record needed to be pressed and how it all came so far.

various artists out of cages benefit compilation surrounded records
V/A Out Of Cages benefit compilation

Technically about the label's work, I have to say the following. The title is very well chosen. People were imprisoned for trying to set imprisoned animals free. So they got the same fate as the species they tried to set free. Both parties now 'speak' out of their cages.

"One day people won't have to rescue animals from prison... only to end up there themselves"

Bands and songs featured on this compilation are:

A1 Insurrection "Higher Justice"
A2 Vengeance Of Gaia "The Myth"
B1 Rancor "Victim 206"
B2 Purification "Purified In Blood"

All but one sound pretty common to other vegan straight-edge bands, so you won't get wiser or be surprised when hearing these tracks. The one that stands out is the Rancor track. Have I already mentioned that band? They used a drum machine instead of a real drummer. The result is pure mayhem. Ultra fast drumming like you've never heard before. Actually in words that sounds stupid but when you'd hear it, you realize it's not that bad actually. With a little listening effort it fits right in.

Also some pink colored vinyl exists, I haven't got one, but there a mentioning with picture on the Discogs site. Seems suspicious, colored vinyl for a benefit compilation is unusual. Making collectible items is kind of a foresight one has. So that it survives the test of time and doesn't sink into oblivion.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wheel Of Progress "It's Alive" 7 inch

Wheel Of Progress was an important band that is considered to have produced the embryonic sound of edge-metal. That's a statement that can be defied by many authors of the history of Hardcore and Punk. This is why I choose not to oppress this statement but let you hear it for yourself.

The recordings were done in Brugge (Bruges) and the layout of their 7 inch was made by René Natzel who is now involved in Reaper Records. Also the vocalist of the band Rob Fransen is now the frontman of the metalcore band Born From Pain. Being both German and/or Dutch nationalities this shows us that Hardcore isn't something 'national' but operates international, with English as the key-language.

For sure there were H8000 alumni in the band also. The guitars were wielded by Josh, the drumming was done by Hans and the bass guitar was played by UxJx. Josh and UxJx came from Dreft, an outspoken doomy metal band and Hans from several other bands such as Rise Above, Shortsight and even (in the very beginning) Spirit Of Youth, which were Straight-edge Hardcore bands.

They have to say the following about it:

When the trend was set you got involved in again something different than the popular HC and SxE-HC sound you created with Rise Above. Because you played in a historical important band called Wheel Of Progress. What made you evolve from the traditional HC sound like Rise Above to the metal infused sound of Wheel Of Progress?We did only a couple of shows with this band, and I guess we got a record deal pretty easily because the sound/style was totally new and far away from the typical hardcore sound, it was basically a slower version of Liar/Congress and probably less technical…The Liar songs Blade & 2000 ad (Invictus) where Wheel Of Progress songs so was the Congress song ' Body Weeps' (Blackened Persistence). I guess the lyrical part was Rob's (Born From pain), it was pretty outspoken and militant edge, the hard metal crunch gave it an extra touch, we wanted to do something different and it worked out the way we wanted it. Most people didn't understand the style and kinda hated our guts for it, nobody could realize this was the beginning of a new style that is normal today as it is. We're talking '93-94. (Taken from my interview with Hans)

With WHEEL OF PROGRESS you guys definitely laid the foundations of your later 'invention' (edge-metal), do you recall what drove you into adding more metal to the sound? Why did you want to make it heavier and harder? Anything to do with the music you listened to? Or is t rather a personal urge you dealt with? Or a trend?Everyone in that band was really into metal but none of them had combined their HC attitude with metal-music. So I came up with those Slayer meets Ministry riffs, which Hans started drumming very basic. Rob (Born From Pain) had this really raw angry voice that fitted in, so we got ourselves a rather new sound for that time. While in WOP, UxJ and me also did Dreft, which was down-tuned death/doom metal. I didn't want to retune my guitar all the time (I only had one) so I kept the low-tuned sound. I listened mainly to bands from Paul Speckmann (Master, Abomination or Speckmann Project) and early Slayer or Morbid Angel back then. (Taken from my interview with Josh)
Although I hear that is was more the foundations of your other band LIAR. Correct?Yeah, sure was the foundation for Liar, extreme metal with a HC message. Although on 'Blackened Persistence' the song "Body Wheeps" got the once-over and was a WOP song... After WOP I quit Dreft too, I had enough of the metal attitude and wanted to start an interesting HC band. I was in a band called Burning Fight at the time, which also had Ilja on vocals (!). Their bassplayer quit so I asked UxJ to join. He said yes but didn't like the drummer, so Ilja switched from mike to drums and we had to find ourselves a singer to move on. (Taken from my interview with Josh)
Wheel Of Progress "It's Alive" 7 inch (1993)

The label who released this was from Canada, Rank And File Records. I guess the ep will never get repressed, but nobody can predict the course of events to come. And I also have no financial gain by putting this online. Educating the masses and introducing this landmark transition in Hardcore history to the next generation of kids is what it's all about.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

L.O.T "How Good The World Could Be Again" LP/CD

After the two great earlier releases; "Approach To The New World" and "Shame To This Weakness Modern World", Length Of Time made their most clear statement. Opinions about what is their 'most defining' or just 'best' release differ. I've heard compliments on all three in an equal amount. The spread of opinions works in their advantage. There's no general consensus.

I got into their work in 1998 with the release of their first LP. I wouldn't say that it was because the H8000 was declining that they got bigger, that's not it. Bands are dependent of circumstances beyond their power for sure. But that implicates that also the broader society and spirit of age play a role in a band's popularity. There was already a lot of criticism towards (Christian) religion started by the H8000 bands. Length Of Time took it to a more organized form with their Holy Terror embrace.

Length Of Time LP red vinyl how good the world could be
Length Of Time "How Good The World Could Be Again..." LP red vinyl

Also it was the last release on Good Life Recordings. I guess after working together for two full lengths and one 12 inch ep things between them and Good Life weren't that bad after all.

This sound is further away from their fast paced sound from their begin days. It slowed down. Also the Merauder-styled riffs combined with Life Of Agony melodic parts haunt you in the middle of the night. At the end of the record there's a neo-folk song.

What many people don't know is that there a limited digipack CD out there, that has an extra and rather long spoken word (not by the band) at the end of it. Also the lettering on this CD is glossy silver. Would have been cool if the vinyl cover also had gotten this treatment.

digipack CD with shiny silver lettering of front and back cover

I'm glad to own these two objects.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Absone / Primal Age - Split / Best Of Tape

Besides now writing for Records With History And Future, I do other stuff as well. I have a small label and this post is to promote my fourth release. It's a best of split release on cassette. Bands featured are Primal Age and Absone. It was released just a day ago. Read everything about it in the following post.

Absone / Primal Age - My Legacy / Eternal Struggle
The Best Of 17 Years XVX 90's Metalcore (And Still Going Strong)
BBMA04 - 1st Press/60 (15 Pre-Order, 45 Regular)
Out Now!

Primal Age were founded '97 in France, as a vegan straight edge metalcore band. After some compilation Songs and a full length in '99, they went on hiatus... But just to mainly focus on their side-project Absone (3, and later 4 of the 5 members were the same as in Primal Age). Under that name they released a split EP with Decontaminate and a killer LP entitled A Last Kiss Before, which came out on Sober Mind Records in Belgium and on x83x in Swiss, both awesome labels!
Unfortunately, in '04 (?) they got some serious beef with their drummer and so they decided to lay things to rest (what only few people know is, this happened right after a studio session! so there is a whole Absone LP out there, in "some box" according to them, that never saw the light of day... and probably never will - I really tried my best to convince them that I should hear it... not a chance!)

Anyway, this was no reason for the remaining guys to stop making music and spreading the good (vegan straight edge) message, so they just revived Primal Age! They started playing some shows in '05 again and Eternalis re-released their LP in '06. (Remastered, with a nice new artwork, etc. - although only on CD) In '07 finally a new Record followed and despite what many people might have thought, they still delivered! Havent sold out or anything like that. In '10 another (even better) album followed and a 3-Way-Split CD in '13.

So, these guys have been around for more than 17 years now and are still going strong! They're still playing shows and (maybe) a new record is planned as well! With these tapes, it was virtually my chance to give something back to them... to kind of honor their memory.

Therefore I equipped these tapes with a lot of information, pictures, lyrics and even an Interview I did with them (for those of you who thought that this whole insert thing just looked like a paper for ants, dont worry, I'll upload pdf's in the next days).

However, just head over to the store now, get yourself a copy of it and decide for yourself:

Thank you for your attention. xRULEx

Introducing xRULEx: A New Author For RWHAF

I am very pleased to announce that there is a new author for Records With History And Future. His blogger name is xRULEx and he resides in Germany. We met up through the internet by a record deal. Communication went smooth and our mutual respect only grew during other conversations.
He is not such an addicted record collector but does like my blog for the quality content about Hardline, the 90's history in general and for the H8000 history I posted here in the beginning. He dislikes the music industry and cherishes bands and listeners independence of that business. Also the social dynamic that sprouts from sharing music is something he takes in high regard.
Despite the fact that we have our differences, I decided to invite him to write for this blog. He accepted and will write here on a monthly basis approximately.
It's not a matter of vinyl collector's blogs versus download blogs per definition. The sometimes hard stances that are taken by both parties take lead us to into a polarized social situation. That's something I dislike and he also. We both have the same passion about the 90's and that unites us. So expect some cool posts coming from him in the future. I'll lift my lazy bump and will try to get things back written up also...

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

AGNOSTIC FRONT Cause For Alarm LP reissue

Because I liked the cover art of this release so much I decided to buy a copy of this classic. Didn't want to go for the original because I had the price in mind. Also in the mind was the fact that I knew this one was recently reissued on Strength Records. So I searched eBay and found a copy of the limited first press color of this reissue. Shipping was from Germany so that was reasonable also. All these facts made me decide to buy it.

reissue of Cause For Alarm by Strength Records (100 copies on splatter vinyl from first press)

As I already mentioned this artwork is done by Sean Taggart in 1985. He also did the design for numerous flyers according to Wikipedia.

You can still buy the second press of this reissue. This time it comes in a high gloss laminated cover. That will do that artwork more justice I think. You can also use this high gloss laminated cover to display in a glass closet or frame it to hang on your wall or something. Makes me want to pre-order it right away. But having two pressings of a reissue would be over the top...

Saturday, November 8, 2014

NAYSAYER No Remorse 7 inch collection

I recently scratched a long time want of the need list. It was the pre-order version of the Naysayer "No Remorse" 7 inch. As this version only has about 200 copies, you can imagine it was hard to find. Nothing too fancy about it also so not actually a record that is sold too much to make some cash also.

I already had versions that seem harder to find than this one before. And all the regular pressings also. So I decided to make a collection photo. It's not complete, it hasn't got the test pressing and it also misses a splatter version with a United Blood 2011 stamp. Although the Reaper Records (outdated) pressing info page doesn't tell about it's existence I've seen and heard about such copies also.

So to my knowledge this 'only' misses two versions:

naysayer no remorse collection photo shot group shot reaper records
Silver vinyl out of 200 copies for pre-order
Splatter vinyl out of 725 copies for regular first press
Red vinyl fold cover is 930 copies for second press
Silver vinyl with United Blood 2011 stamp
Splatter vinyl United Blood fest 2009 out 75 copies
red vinyl for This Is Hardcore fest out of 50 copies

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Backtrack and Sean Taggart

You know the Agnostic Front "Cause For Alarm" cover. It's a cool one for sure, if you aren't familiar with it, check an image here. That cover is drawn by Sean Taggart. Recently Reaper Records and Backtrack used one of his works also. It was three years after the release of the Darker Half LP that there was a new limited edition made. They made these prints to serve as extra cover for the copies sold at United Blood Fest in 2014.

It's cool to say at least. At first I didn't like the monochrome character of it when I saw it pictured. But now that I've found an opportunity to buy it and hold it in my hands I like it a lot. Here are some pictures that I hope does the package justice.

Backtrack darker half united blood 2014 limited vinyl edition reaper records LP
Backtrack "Darker Half" United Blood 2014 edition

Sean taggart print backtrack darker half lp united blood 2014
Sean Taggart 1988 print or cover hand-numbered out of 80

The vinyl comes with rainbow splatter in it. I like the part where the different colored splatters are mixed in the vinyl. Makes me think of paint on a pallet.

Mixed rainbow splatters in the clear vinyl

As usual the limited edition was created after the pressing of the records and comes with a regular cover also. Why should one get rid of these sealed covers? Would be a giant work to open them all to keep the covers as spares for the label. So they actually give the buyer two covers.

I couldn't resist to make a comparison of both covers:

Comparison picture for both covers. Left Spoiler artwork and right Sean Taggart artwork

Copyright Spoiler 2011 left and copyright S.M. Taggart 1988 right
Both covers have the same ambiance going on in the artwork to an extend. Artwork totally suit for Hardcore covers for sure...