Saturday, February 20, 2016

World Be Free "The Anti-cricle" LP

The promotional campaign of the World Be Free release raised some questions in my mind. Who needed a new band featuring Hardcore alumni? Just another super group? And as if that wasn't enough, Revelation Records release it?
I still bought it on vinyl and I must say I was biased. Because I see World Be Free as a call for the continuation of Hardcore's existence. For whatever that might stand... Done by some alumni, including Scott Vogel of Terror. Other band members are Joe Garlipp from Despair, Andrew Kline from Strife and Sammy Siegler from Judge and CIV but also Arthur Smilios of the Biscuits. Might seem an unusual combination for me but the sound came out melodic, catchy and fresh despite what you might think. Scott's vocals fit right in...

The record was pressed on green and orange vinyl with the label layout of a later pressing of the Warzone 7 inch but also the Together compilation. Even I noticed this, so it is a total 'no brainer'.

World Be Free "The Anti-circle" LP on orange

The cover art might seem naive and youthful but then again, the thought of freedom might also be of that kind. Who needs a world in chains? And isn't it always positive thinking that initiates new things in a persons life. I'm not that old but still I learned that. And I think that in their modest way, they succeeded in doing this. Despite the background of war-time and terrorism threatening all of that.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Arkangel "Prayers Upon Deaf Ears" 10 Inch Reissue

Arkangel's debut is considered a record that is truly classic. As well for the international scene as for the scene locally in Belgium. If you would ask an average Hardcore kid or old guy about Belgian scene, 90's vegan Straigh-Edge scene or about Edge-Metal, they would mention this record. Although this is not completely accurate. Edge-metal was a term for the music Congress created earlier in history. If it wasn't for the H8000 scene in Flanders, Arkangel would have never reached such a wide public. Also the moment in time was favorable for them. They released this record during the peak of popularity of Hardcore in Belgium, 1998. So they got a head start.
But that's not the main reason of their succes. They made a great record musically, vicious, heavy but fluently delivered metal and Hardcore. Also the urgent message combined with the chosen artwork is all great and to the point.

As a side note I would like to tell more about the medieval painting they used for the cover. Gerard David is considered to be one of the last Flemish Primitives. One of the properties of a painting from one of the Flemish Primitives are the depiction of landscapes in the background. They were the first to do this and introduced this internationally. But more importantly for me and the link with Arkangel is the depiction of the Archangel Michael. In popular knowledge it is said that Michael was the leader of the forces who fought evil. And that Michael was also the one who held back the angels who rebelled against him from returning to heaven. All this might sound religious but in my interpretation it is a universal theme. We cannot find justice without fighting evil. And there will always be people who turn against you or others also. Not the religious interpretation is what I relate to Arkangel but the universal themes. They are vegan and fight for liberation of animals and freedom of every being. And there will always be people in the scene that turn against you. That's also relevant in the history of the band. So yeah, the cover art is well chosen.

Recently the Prayer Upon Deaf Ears 10 inch was reissued by Knives Out Records from Paris. Got it in the mail a few days ago. I was silenced and amazed by the high level of quality and detail they put in the packaging.

There were two versions made both are with a 10 inch pictures disc. The one mentions "Wood version" and the other mentions "Gold version". The pressing numbers are mentioned also, respectively out of 400 and 100 copies. There is however another aspect that is different for the two versions; the sleeve. The gold version comes with a die cut sleeve and lyrics separately on another insert, while the wood version has lyrics printed on a fold open cover that opens in the middle. All records are numbered on the sleeve, the vinyl and on a card also.

Wood-version (out of 400 copies):

Arkangel "Prayers Upon Deaf Ears" picture disc 10 inch

 closed fold open sleeve with lyrics

fold open sleeve unfolded

numbering on sleeve, extra card and on the disc near the pinhole

 Gold-version (out of 100 copies):

picture disc with die cut sleeve and separate insert card with lyrics

die cut sleeve with gold lettering
Prestige Gold edition out of 100 copies

Also accompanied with the early orders is a limited to 100 and numbered booklet that has a whole bunch of flyers from the band during the late nineties period. Brings back a whole lot of memories. Wish I cold still attend a show with those kind of line-ups.

Flyer booklet called 'flyers sanctuary'

This release sold out very quickly at Knives Out Records... Be sure to check out the Knives Out Records website and show support, there are more pieces of art coming.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Judge Bringin' It Down on purple

I'm so happy to be able to pick this one up finally. For many just a repress by Revelation. But for me rather special because I don't usually pick up Revelation stuff. Revelation decided to repress the Judge LP on colored vinyl along with a black pressing on 180 grams vinyl. They had a good reason to do it. Previous year marked the 25th anniversary of this classic.

Judge "Bringin' It Down" LP 25th anniversary edition with embossed lettering

Hard to describe this record in words. Everybody knows it also. Listening to this still gives me shivers. A harder and darker kind of youth crew Hardcore at the end of the 80's. One of the so many good New York Hardcore titles. Although they weren't the pioneers of that style, they did write a honorable record. Pressed on three colors only throughout it's history. Whether this is little or a lot, I leave in the middle. To nowadays standards three color versions is not much, especially for 25 years of existence. But it makes it so much more special... Although some will not be so happy with another color version I suppose. At least I'm happy with it.

Judge "Bringin' It Down" LP 25th anniversary edition

Clear purple vinyl and die cut insert with the Judge Hammers

I was in a serious doubt whether to order this or not. I keep my hands of Revelation Records vinyl. Initially this version was a Revelation version only. So I could order it only there. And shipping from California requires extra taxes above the already high shipping rates nowadays. Let stand that Belgian customs can inspect the shipment also and charge another tax upon me. So I didn't take the risk.
Past week I started seeing those Judge represses pop up in European distro's, so I started to get interest again. Especially because some (not all) distributors had colored copies in stock, I decided to buy it. from Germany had the best price and had some other titles I needed. So yeah I took it and even took myself a spare copy to save and cherish.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Take Offense "Tables Will Turn" shades of purple

Other blog authors, Reaper Records and I already agreed on the fact that there is a lot of color variation to be found in the vinyl of the Take Offense "Tables Will Turn" LP. But words are not enough, a good photo was needed to proof the stance. So I acquired another copy of the "purple" first pressing. As I said it is always a guess whether it would be a color that differs enough from the other colors. Also on web photos this isn't always clear. But my instinct did not fail me. I found a purple copy that is lavender looking. While my two other copies are one more darker and the other brighter, fuchsia looking.

Reaper Records Chulavista Hardcore Take Offense
Take Offense "Tables Will Turn" LP
different shades of purple

And still I would like to find a copy between the fuchsia and the lavender. This way the gradient would be even clearer. The gradient is a bit abrupt between those two colors.

Solid record by the way...