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

 

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Vinyl and Cassette News: Man Eats Vinyl Copy of “Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City” Because Kendrick Lamar Did Not Release An Album On Sunday

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In what is probably the most bizarre news story we’ve ever covered at Erik’s Album Reviews, apparently a Reddit user, /u/CousinTyrone, made an agreement with himself via Reddit that if Kendrick Lamar did not release a new album on Easter Sunday, he would eat a vinyl copy of Kendrick’s monumental album, “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City”.

The speculation of this potential double/related album began when Kendrick himself released his fourth full length album, “Damn”, on April 14th, which was Good Friday.  Reddit threads quickly erupted after the release and the theory that Kendrick would follow up the 4th studio album with a 5th one called “Nation” on Easter Sunday soon arose.  The dual release would be symbolic of the two religious holidays the albums would be released on, and when put together, the dual album would be called “Damnation”.  This theory instantly grew in popularity and approval and soon, after /u/CousinTyrone announced that he was so certain this dual release project would happen that if it didn’t he would eat a vinyl copy of the sophomore full length album, “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City”.

Of course, “Nation”, or any other album by Kendrick, was not released last Sunday, and because of this, /u/CousinTyrone took to Youtube to prove to the world that he would in fact eat a vinyl record.  The Reddit user also added in ice cream and chocolate chips to the musical concoction to help the drink taste less like “gravel”, which according to him is what vinyl tastes like apparently.  The user himself also went on to later say that he took “A LOT” of laxatives to pass the record as fast as he could because, as it turns out, eating a vinyl record isn’t all that good for you (who would’ve known?).  Despite the laxatives, /u/CousinTyrone was still feeling the side effects that come with eating vinyl at least 16 hours after the video was filmed, further showing why it might not be the best idea to digest your favorite pressing of an album.

The video of this impressive(?) feat is attached below, and it is 1000% worth watching.  Also, in Kendrick Lamar news, our “Damn” review is in the works and will be out very soon, so stay tuned and don’t forget to check back in for more breaking news stories, which may or may not be as bizarre as this one.

Welcome to the Erik’s Album Reviews Youtube Channel!

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Do you like watching Youtubers talk about their vinyl, cassette and CD collections? Do you enjoy watching unboxing videos of physical formats for metal, punk, electronic, and other genres?  Do you like watching album reviews?  If you said yes to any of those questions then you need to subscribe to our recently launched Youtube channel, which will feature everything mentioned and then some!  Drop a sub at the link below and check out our first ever Collection Update and our Relapse Records 10 LP grab bag video attached below!

 

Erik’s Album Reviews Youtube Channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT2WZ3e5utc9eqs7JF8PnTA/videos

The First Collection Update Part 1:

 

The First Collection Update Part 2:

 

Relapse Records 10 LP Grab Bag + Dying Fetus “Reign Supreme” Vinyl:

Breaking News: The Acacia Strain Announce New Album “Gravebloom”

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Massachusetts’ own The Acacia Strain are back with a new record to follow up their monumental 2014 release, “Coma Witch”.  Their 8th full length album will be titled “Gravebloom” and will be the first album in the band’s history that will not be released 2 years after the previous full length record in their discography.  Prior to “Gravebloom”, The Acacia Strain albums were released in two year intervals, starting with “…And Life Is Very Long” in 2002 all the way until 2014’s “Coma Witch”.  While it may be frustrating to have to wait an extra 6 months than usual for a new TAS release, I am fairly sure it will be worth the wait (not to mention that having an extra long album cycle for “Coma Witch” was something I personally was very happy to see).  However, we are now months away from yet another TAS album, and the first single released, “Bitter Pill”, already showcases how the legendary metal band will continue their profound legacy in the extreme music scene.

“Bitter Pill” is the perfect representation of how the sound from “Above/Below” and “Coma Witch” has continued to live on, but slightly evolve, in the recent years of TAS’s history.  Deep, crushing guitar and bass tones and riffs steamroll through the entire track as thunderous percussion and Vincent Bennett’s demonic and instantly recognizable harsh vocal tracks add a punishing, unforgiving heaviness to the track as a whole, resulting in brutal song that is a perfect representation of The Acacia Strain’s signature, near flawless sound they’ve come to embody since 2013.  Personally, “Coma Witch” isn’t just my favorite TAS album, it’s one of my favorite albums of all time and is extremely influential and important to me and the music I enjoy today.  That being said, I’m extremely excited to see “Gravebloom” take on this continuation of the theme and sound heard on “Coma Witch”.  Everything to the artwork, which looks surprisingly similar to that of “Coma Witch” (seen below), to even the unique guitar tones and riffs heard on “Bitter Pill”, appear as if they could easily fit into “Coma Witch” as interchangeable aspects.  This isn’t meant to be interpreted as an insult, as I personally believe that if The Acacia Strain are writing some of the best material of their careers, why should they change anything?  In fact, I’m ecstatic to see that “Gravebloom” will be an even heavier, slightly more evolved (in a positive way) version of “Coma Witch” that might even be able to surpass the 2014 masterpiece as the new greatest release from TAS’s long history.  Of course, it will take a lot more than one phenomenal single to accomplish this, however, they are off to a solid start so far.  I will say, however, I am fairly disappointed to see that a track similar to “Observer” won’t be heard on “Gravebloom”.  Even though TAS or Rise Records haven’t released the official length of each individual track, the fact that pre-orders for the album, which are attached below, feature CDs and vinyl releases with only 1 disc per item means that we won’t be seeing another epic, masterfully written half-hour long track like we did on “Coma Witch”.  However, it might be too redundant if “Gravebloom” practically mimicked “Coma With” in composition, so I can see why the group chose not to write a song similar in structure.  Regardless of similarity to “Coma Witch”, it is a known fact that adding Devin Shidaker to TAS was the greatest move in the band’s history, as the songwriting heard on “Above/Below”, “Coma Witch”, and “Gravebloom” is nothing short of impeccable.

“Gravebloom” artwork vs. “Coma Witch” artwork:

2017 is shaping up to be one of the best years in extreme music in recent memory, and myself and the rest of the staff at Erik’s Album Reviews will constantly keep you updated on all things involving The Acacia Strain this year, so stay tuned as we get closer to the release of “Gravebloom” on June 30th!  Pre-order the new, pretty much guaranteed to be stellar The Acacia Strain album below, listen to “Bitter Pill”, and check out our recent post about Oceano’s new upcoming album, as “Revelation” is very similar to “Gravebloom” as they both appear to be continuation’s of their respective band’s previous and best material to date (not to mention that Devin Shidaker also used to play guitar for Oceano).  Lastly, a review of “Coma Witch” is in the works, which further discusses the vast significance of the superb album and it’s influence on myself and the rest of the modern extreme music community.

“Gravebloom” Pre-orders:

http://merchnow.com/catalogs/the-acacia-strain

Oceano new album post:

https://eriksalbumreviews.wordpress.com/2017/04/14/breaking-news-oceano-announce-new-album-revelation/

“Bitter Pill”:

Breaking News: Oceano Announce New Album “Revelation”

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Chicago based deathcore giants, Oceano, are back with a new album for 2017!  The 5th full length album, titled Revelation”, for the Adam Warren headed band will be released May 19th and will be the first release on their new label Sumerian Records (Oceano has released all previous material through Earache Records)!

For those who have read Erik’s Album Reviews for the last few months, you will remember that the album we deemed as the absolute best record of 2015 was actually Oceano’s “Ascendants”, which beat out Cattle Decapitation’s “The Anthropocene Exctinction” for the number 1 spot.  Not only did “Ascendants” feature beautiful artwork and the best material Oceano had ever written as a band, but it also served as a pivotal landmark in deathcore history, as the use of mind numbingly heavy riffs with eerie leads played through an Axe FX 2 system along with Adam Warren’s impossibly low harsh vocals, which seem to be taken straight out of the Mariana Trench, have created a unique sound and song structure that have influenced countless modern deathcore bands.

The first single off “Revelation” is “The Great Tribulation” and it is everything I hoped the new Oceano album would be.  Based off the album artwork, which is equally as gorgeous as “Ascendants'”, and the first track attached below, it appears that “Revelation” will be a continuation of the “Ascendants” era with some slight changes.  For example, it appears that production quality has gone up since the groundbreaking 2015 full length album (which might be due to the fact that Sumerian might have higher production quality standards for their releases) and the songwriting is slightly heavier and puts the impactful, breakdown filled verses and Warren’s impeccable low screams at the forefront of each performance.  After only one single, I’m 99.99% this new Oceano album will also be one of the best releases heard all year and will be a strong contender for best Oceano release of all time!

Being a massive Oceano fan myself, I can guarantee I will post a ton about “Revelation” both before and after it is released on May 19th.  Also, thanks to Sumerian Records, I can now finally own an Oceano album on vinyl!  If you would also like to pick up a copy, I’ve attached the link below to the merchandise store.  Give “The Great Tribulation” a listen below, check out our 2015 album of the year list, and pre-order a copy of what might be the best album of 2017 below!

Erik’s Album Reviews’ 2015 Album of the Year List:

https://eriksalbumreviews.wordpress.com/2016/09/26/2015-albums-and-eps-of-the-year/

Oceano Vinyl (FINALLY!):

Vinyl Records

“The Great Tribulation”:

Track of the Day Tuesday: LORNA SHORE Godmaker

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This week the “Track of the Day Tuesday” is by a heavier, New Jersey based deathcore band called Lorna Shore.  Lorna Shore is actually a group that I discovered in 2013 after their drummer actively posted on the site, Vinylcollective.com.  Being a huge vinyl collector myself, I was able to talk to him through the forums and messaging function on the site about his band, who was fairly unknown at the time, Lorna Shore.  In 2013, I rarely listened to anything heavier than you’re basic deathcore bands like Chelsea Grin, Suicide Silence, and As Blood Runs Black, so the “Maleficium” EP was too heavy for me to enjoy when I first heard it.  However, after listening to their sophomore album, “Flesh Coffin”, which was recently released (by the way a review for “Flesh Coffin” is in the works), I realized how amazing this young deathcore band is and decided to revisit older works, especially the “Maleficium” EP.  After listening to these tracks for the first time in years, I was shocked to hear how amazing the project truly is, more specifically the successful single, “Godmaker”.  It is because of this that I have decided to name “Godmaker”, the best song on the 2013 “Maleficium” EP in my opinion, the “Track of the Day Tuesday”.

“Godmaker” is an eerie track that starts off with different sounds and effects that could easily be heard in the most suspenseful horror movie.  After the near minute intro, the track then brings in the full band as the guitars hit three melodic minor chords before going into a fast paced deathcore riff.  Throughout the track, multiple tempo changes, transitions between breakdowns and mind-numbing riffs, and astonishing blast beats accompanied by an impressively chilling vocal performance are heard, which help make “Godmaker” so memorable.  However, the most remarkable aspect isn’t any of the features previously mentioned.  In fact, it is the atonal guitar lead heard over the breakdown at (3:48?) in the track.  Not only does this lead guitar part make this breakdown even more brutal, but it adds a horrific (in a very good way), gothic influenced mood and sound to the already heinous track.  The atonal lead part, which you can listen to below, has made “Godmaker” not only one of my favorite tracks off “Maleficium”, but one of my favorite Lorna Shore songs in their discography, while also further proving my theory that melody, whether its tonal, atonal, or influenced and categorized differently, can help improve the song structure of even the most brutally heavy deathcore tracks, resulting in a more memorable project.

The music video for “Godmaker” is attached below.  Of course, I highly suggest you check out the “Track of the Day Tuesday” for both this week and previous weeks.  Also, if you are a Lorna Shore fan, stay tuned as I will be doing reviews for “Flesh Coffin” and possibly “Psalms”.  Lastly, let us know what you think should be next week’s “Track of the Day Tuesday” and stay tuned for more reviews and content to be released later this week!

Breaking News: Young Thug Releases 2 New Music Videos and Releases “JEFFERY” On Vinyl

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One of my favorite rappers, Young Thug, has made some headlines in his most recent releases.  The Atlanta based rapper has released 2 new music videos in 2017 and his latest commercial mixtape, “JEFFERY”, is finally on vinyl!  The two music videos for the tracks “Wyclef Jean” and his latest single “Safe” have both become extremely successful video representations of these great Young Thug tracks, but both have made headlines for completely different reasons.

Back in January, the release of the “Wyclef Jean” music video instantly became a trending topic.  The song itself is fantastic, and “JEFFERY” is without a doubt my favorite mixtape in Thug’s discography, but how the video was filmed and the story behind it made this music video release so significant.  Throughout the entire video, the director, or as he describes it “co-director”, Ryan Staake, includes notes about how the video was filmed.  Apparently Young Thug had a ton of abstract and odd ideas for the music video, and some of these ideas did make it into the music video, but the major problem of the short film was that Young Thug never appeared in the music video.  Despite stating that he wanted to be in multiple shots and co-direct the entire video with Ryan, he arrived to the shoot hours late, even though he had been contacted by the film staff and his label, and he never once got out of his car.  However, even though Thug was extremely hard to work with, and essentially completely omitted from his own music video, the shots Ryan did get and his editing and commentary are extremely entertaining.  In fact, I guarantee that even if the music video was filmed as originally planned, I would still enjoy this version more.  It’s unfortunate that Young Thug was disrespectful to the people working on his own music video, but the final product from this unexpected turn of events has become truly iconic.

Young Thug’s latest music video, “Safe”, was released last Thursday, and unfortunately, it does not include a crazy back story like the one for “Wyclef Jean”.  The shots throughout the film are very simple and aren’t really anything too memorable, but what is prominent is the song itself.  “Safe” has yet to be released on any platform besides this music video on Youtube and serves as the first release of new music from Young Thug in 2017.  The song itself has easily become my favorite track from Young Thug.  The more material Thug releases, the more he truly discovers what his sound is.  His voice and delivery in his tracks continues to keep getting better and extremely unique and distinct.  Also, the quality of his beats continues to progress in a positive way, with each new release surpassing the other in quality of vocal performance and instrumental composition.  “Safe” features more of a laid back, near ambient, electronic beat that perfectly fits Young Thug style.  The captivating beat intertwines with Thug’s personal lyricism and delivery in a phenomenal way that I hope is present in the rest of Young Thug’s releases this year.

Finally, the extremely successful commercial mixtape, “JEFFERY”, is now available on vinyl for this first time ever!  Before this release, only “Barter 6”, Thug’s 2015 mixtape, was the only release of his available on vinyl.  “JEFFERY” has been pressed on standard vinyl, which can be purchased below, and on a Blue/White Marbled variant that appears to be completely sold out at the moment.  If you collect vinyl as avidly as I do, “JEFFERY” is a record you absolutely have to pick up.  Being one of the best Rap releases of 2016, “JEFFERY” is a must have for any fan of modern trap music.  Copies are already selling fast so pick up a copy now!

http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/urban/catalog/productdetail.jsp?id=42090118&category=A-VINYL-ALL

When “Safe” is released on other platforms we’ll be sure to be the first ones to let you know!  Also, stay tuned for any other release Young Thug has in store for 2017.  We also have more reviews of recently released hip hop projects that are due out this week and next so don’t forget to check back in to see what albums and mixtapes we review next!