This episode of the Vinyl Corner will be dedicated to two of the finest classic thrash bands that managed to create new and stunning releases in 2019. Releases that can match up to their albums from the early years. I can still remember the amazing performances both bands gave while I was attending the Dynamo Open Air festivals in the 1990s.
Death Angel is the first one I would like to shed some light on. These Bay Area youngsters (all under 20 when the album was released) dropped their debut album ‘The Ultra-Violence’ in 1987 to the world and it has been a fan favourite ever since.
The band went into hibernation from 1991 to 2001, when they reunited for the 'Thrash Of The Titans' concert, a co-benefit show for Testament front man Chuck Billy.
Since then the band released 6 new albums and the most recent one is their 9th album ‘Humanicide’, which is released on vinyl as a two-record set, issued with a nice gatefold cover. The album cover artwork was done by Brent Elliot White who is also known for his work with bands like Amon Amarth, Megadeth, Lamb of God, Trivium to name a few.
The back cover shows us the song titles and all the credits for the album. On the inside of the gatefold album cover we can find the lyrics on the left side and a compilation of live band photo’s, made by Andreas Krispler. The inner record sleeves are just standard black ones.
A rather nice touch is the fact that there are only 3 sides on the records that contain music. The fourth side is etched with the design of wolf heads, kind of like the wolfs that decorate the front cover.
The labels on the vinyl contain the song titles and also a little bit of the album artwork in its design.
This release is a worthy addition to the Death Angel catalogue. Not only because of the fact that they are still releasing high quality thrash metal albums but also for the effort put into the looks of this release.
The second release I would like to put some attention to is Sacred Reich’s 'Awakening'.
These guys managed to put out a record that connect seamlessly with their classic releases like 'Ignorance' (1987), the EP 'Surf Nicaragua' (1988) and 'The American Way.' (1990). Although the biggest successes may lay behind the band for quite some years they kept playing live (with the exception of the period between 2000 and 2006) and deliver the goods, which has resulted in a great fan base.
Twenty-three (!!!!) years after their last studio release 'Heal', the band did finally put out a new studio effort.
The front cover features black and white artwork, with as centerpiece of attention the band's mascot OD (Our Dude), the gas masked mutant that also appeared on the artwork of 'Surf Nicaragua'. The artwork was done by long time friend of the band, Paul Stottler who has also signed for most of the classic Sacred Reich artwork we know.
On the backside of the cover we can find the song titles and a band photo. The separate insert sheet contains the lyrics to the songs, the credits, the thank you’s etc. It also contains more photo’s from the band members in the studio. All the photography was done by Stephanie Cabral.
The album comes with a free digital download card and a big double sided poster, with the artwork on one side and the band photo (that also appears on the back cover) on the other side.
My version of the record itself is issued as clear red/brown marbled vinyl, but there are 10 more colors available, each of which are limited to 300 copies worldwide. This release is a great addition to the Sacred Reich catalogue, with clearly lots of attention to the details. Not only to the music, but absolutely to the appearance of this great vinyl release.
Vinyl Corner Episode 1 here
Vinyl Corner Episode 2 here
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HBLS Backstage Encounter video interview with Death Angel guitarist Ted Aguilar during WOA in 2015 here