Vinyl and Cassette News: Periphery Repress Debut Album On Vinyl

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Sumerian Records quietly repressed one of the most influential albums in their extensive catalog recently.  In case you missed it, this week is “Sumerian Vinyl Week” and many of their records for sale on their merchandise site are for sale at prices 40% off the original retail price.  Along with this, the metal label also repressed some of their most notable releases, that are not for sale, but are in promotion of the vinyl week.  These represses include Animals As Leaders’ “The Madness of Many”, which sold out fairly fast, Erra’s “Drift”, which was also previously sold out, Asking Alexandria’s “The Black”, and the Faceless’ “Planetary Duality” and “Akeldama”, which were repressed on silver colored vinyl limited to 100 copies.  The repress that was the most significant, however, was Periphery’s first self titled album.  “Periphery” was repressed on two variants, one on Red/White Haze out of 500 copies and one on Clear with Blue and White Splatter, also out of 500 copies.  To add to this, the instrumental version of “Periphery” was pressed for the first time on an opaque blue vinyl variant and the amount of copies pressed is currently unknown.

Before this repress, only 150 copies of the album were ever released on vinyl.  In 2011, the metal band sold 3 different variants of the album (Blue, White, and Blue/White mix) each limited to 50 copies that could only be bought from the band’s merch table while they were on tour.  Since the 1st pressing was released, the demand for the vinyl copies drastically increased, causing the value of these records to skyrocket up to $200+ for a copy in many cases.  It was insanely hard to find any collectors willing to sell their copy, nonetheless for an affordable price.

Now 150 copies have skyrocketed to 1,150 copies worldwide and I for one am completely outraged at Sumerian Records.  Being an avid collector of vinyl, cassettes, and other physical formats, I believe that some albums should never be repressed.  In many cases, especially in the extreme music scene, some albums themselves become extremely rare and in high demand from many record collectors globally.  This results in vinyl records that become highly sought after collectors items, even branded as “holy grails” for these respective collections.  Personally, I was shocked when I finally got my hands on a copy of the Blue variant of “Periphery”.  It instantly became my favorite and most valuable individual record in my possession and I was extremely proud and stunned to have it in my collection.  Now, a sense of defeat and disappointment has been overwhelmingly encompassing everything I think about since seeing the infamous repressing.  Not only does this repress drastically decrease the value of the 1st pressing, as the total supply of “Periphery” vinyl copies practically increased 10 fold this week, but the rarity and significance of owning this record has now greatly diminished.  Before, it was impressive to say you have the first Periphery full length record in your vinyl collection, but now everyone who is somewhat familiar with the material will have a copy in their possession, and soon record stores will be filled with a copious amount of the release.

Being a record collector means that sometimes the record you love or need to have is insanely hard to come by.  It might be years before you get your hands on a copy, or you might never get it at all, but that is part of the entire experience in collecting vinyl.  Represses for legendary presses like ‘Periphery” are perfect examples of how greed and utter stupidity from labels and even bands themselves can ruin the vinyl collecting community.  If Sumerian, or whoever had the genius idea of repressing “Periphery”, wanted to make money off the release through represses while keeping the collectable aspect of the 1st press in tact, they would’ve combined “Periphery” and the instrumental version of “Periphery” (which is something I’m actually glad they finally pressed) into one 4xLP package, which would’ve made the item a unique product that would have a higher retail value than the items separately.  They would be guaranteed to sell out both the instrumental and regular versions of the album on vinyl, instead of having one version sell faster like how “Periphery” is selling faster on its own as we speak, and in the process they would be creating a new collective item in the Periphery discography that would not hurt the value and significance of the rare 1st pressing of “Periphery”.  But instead, Sumerian, Periphery themselves, or whoever is responsible simply was ignorant, blind, and unfazed by the impact this repress might have on the vinyl collecting community and decided to produce a ridiculous 1,000 copies.  What irks me the most is that there are a handful of great Sumerian releases that have never seen a single vinyl pressing, yet “Periphery” just received a completely undeserving, unnecessary 2nd pressing.  Betraying the Martyrs’ “Breathe in Life”, Veil of Maya’s “The Common Man’s Collapse” and “Eclipse”, After the Burial’s “Rareform” and “In Dreams”, Structures’ “Divided By” and “Life Through A Window”, every full length album by Upon a Burning Body besides “Straight From the Barrio”, Dayshell’s self titled debut album, Erra’s “Moments in Clarity EP”, and even Periphery’s “Icarus EP” have been release through Sumerian Records and have never been pressed on vinyl, and could sell better than “Periphery”, yet “Periphery”, a record that should’ve NEVER been repressed, received a 1,000 copy 2nd pressing.

It’s literally impossible to express how ashamed, disappointed, and above all outraged I am at Sumerian Records about this recent repress.  I probably sound very pretentious and even elitist at this point, but like I mentioned before, some records truly should not be repressed due to their rare and collectable nature.  The process of searching for and finally buying a copy of the record you truly want to add to your collection is what record collecting is all about.  You may have to wait years and pay a fairly large amount for these records, but that is what the hobby is truly about.  Pressing literally thousands of copies of a previously hard to come by record panders to those who do not wish to truly emerge themselves in the record collecting community, and as a result produces a scapegoat for these vinyl consumers to buy a record they want without having to actually go through the long, and sometimes challenging, process of collecting a rare item you truly want.  After seeing this repress I’m now very concerned that The Devil Wears Prada’s “With Roots Above and Branches Below” and August Burns Red’s “Thrill Seeker” will also receive unnecessary and truly greedy represses and further hurt the vinyl collecting community.  Maybe I am overreacting about the situation, but 1,000 new copies released of such a previously rare and important item like “Periphery” vinyl is where I draw the line.

Regardless of my anger and frustration about the whole situation, I have included the links to where to buy copies of the represses.  If you absolutely have to buy a copy of “Periphery”, at least buy it off of the band’s store themselves instead of further supporting the ignorant culprits behind the repress at Sumerian Records, assuming it was their idea and intentions to go through with the repress, as they are in control of vinyl sales and distribution of their releases.  I’m actually very interested in hearing what other vinyl collectors have to say about this!  Do you think repressing “Periphery” is as big of a deal as I’m making it out to be, or am I simply overreacting to news about plastic discs?  Leave a comment below and see what other vinyl and cassette news we’ve covered hear at Erik’s Album Reviews lately!

Periphery’s store:

http://store.periphery.net

 

Sumerian Records’ store:

Vinyl Records

 

Update: Animals As Leaders Release Third Single Off New Album “The Madness Of Many”

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The anticipation continues to grow for the new material by instrumental prog metal group, Animals As Leaders.  If you have been following the page lately, you would know that the genre-defying band, Animals As Leaders, are releasing their fourth studio album a week from today, and it is on pace to be their greatest release to date.  This is an extremely significant statement, especially since “The Joy of Motion” was such a stellar album.  The group originally announced the upcoming release with two singles; the first being a lighter, soothing track titled “The Brain Dance”, and the second single, released shortly after, was a far more heavy and aggressive song called “Arithmophobia”.  These two tracks appear to be the most polarizing songs on the project and give the listener the full range of how light or heavy any track on the album will be.

The third single, released this week titled “Inner Assassins”, appears to be the middle ground of the two singles previously mentioned.  It features both the light sounding, complexing riffing and the upbeat, heavier sections that were emphasized in the first two singles.  “Inner Assassins” sounds like classic Animals As Leaders with the superb songwriting we’ve heard so far on “The Madness of Many” mixed in, which is an extremely prominent sign that the rest of the album will follow this already fantastic song structure.  I will say, however, that the most impressive aspect of this track is actually the mind-numbingly intricate drumming.  Artfully mastering odd time signatures and polyrhythmic sections, while simultaneously adding character to the track and essentially becoming the backbone to the song itself, the performance by Animals As Leaders’ Matt Garstka, is easily my favorite part of the third single.

A handful of phenomenal albums will be released this month, and “The Madness of Many” is sure to be one of them.  If you are equally as excited for the latest record by Animals As Leaders, be sure to visit the site next week to check out the album review for “The Madness of Many”.  Check out the posts about each previous single off the upcoming album below and give “Inner Assassins” a listen as well!

“The Brain Dance” Review:

https://eriksalbumreviews.wordpress.com/2016/10/06/update-animals-as-leaders-release-first-single-off-upcoming-album-the-madness-of-many/

“Arithmophobia” Review:

https://eriksalbumreviews.wordpress.com/2016/10/23/update-animals-as-leaders-release-second-single-off-the-madness-of-many/

“Inner Assassins”:

Update: Animals As Leaders Release Second Single Off “The Madness Of Many”

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We’re getting closer and closer to the release of the next Animals As Leaders record and the anticipation could not be any higher.  The upcoming fourth studio album by the instrumental, prog-metal innovators is titled, “The Madness of Many”, and so far we have heard two singles off the soon to be released record.  The latest of these two singles is a track called “Arithmophobia”, and it is the complete polar opposite of the first single, “The Brain Dance”.

“Arithmophobia” is a mix between smooth-flowing riffing in peculiar time signatures and impressively heavy sections that make any listener subconsciously head bang.  From melodic, sitar leads to polyrhythmic, heavy breakdowns, “Arithmophobia” adds to the already extremely high anticipation for this sure to be stellar Animals As Leaders album.  I’m assuming AAL released these two singles to show the extreme ends of the spectrum “The Madness of Many” will feature.

With what I’ve heard so far off this upcoming release, I would not be surprised if “The Madness of Many” finds its way onto the Albums of the Year list for 2016!  Check out this latest single below and be sure to check in for more updates and reviews leading up to the release of “The Madness of Many”!

Update: Animals As Leaders Release First Single Off Upcoming Album “The Madness Of Many”

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As stated earlier, Animals As Leaders recently announced they will be releasing a new record this year titled “The Madness Of Many”.  Following the highly praised release of their previous album, “The Joy of Motion”, AAL look to continue this success through their inspirational songwriting and also look to capitalize on the drastic increase in interest in instrumental rock/metal.

The first single off their fourth studio album is “The Brain Dance” and it is actually a very relaxing, melodic track showcasing a surprising twist on their patented sound.  Varying from their slightly more upbeat tracks, “The Brain Dance” features beautiful mixing between bass, guitar, and drums while also demonstrating the numerous genre influences that helped form this track like indie rock, progressive metal, and even some sections that feature a slight but noticeable resemblance to the instrumentals heard in flamenco.  Of course, the complex bass solos can still be heard on this song that are a staple for the AAL sound.

“The Brain Dance” is a very therapeutic and refreshing song to listen to and suggests that “The Madness Of Many” will continue their reign of instrumental rock/metal legends with yet another groundbreaking release.  I also want to give a quick shoutout to Sumerian Records who will be releasing two phenomenal albums at the end of this year, Thomas Giles’s “Velcro_Kid” and Animals As Leaders’ “The Madness Of Many”.  Both of these records, based on the first single alone, sound absolutely stellar and I personally cannot wait for them to be released.  The single “The Brain Dance” is posted below for those who want to hear the latest material from Animals As Leaders!

Breaking News: Animals As Leaders Announce New Album “The Madness Of Many”

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Progressive Instrumental metal powerhouse, Animals As Leaders, have announced they will be releasing their fourth full length album, “The Madness Of Many”, on November 11th via Sumerian Records.  Following their phenomenal album, “The Joy Of Motion”, Animals As Leaders are back and the hype could not be more real.  They have yet to release a single for the album, however they have revealed the stellar artwork for the album, seen above, which surpasses any previous release as the greatest AAL album artwork ever.  In the meantime, listen to their older material and get stoked for “The Madness Of Many”!