GRAVE NEW WORLD • The Last Sanctuary LP

GRAVE NEW WORLD –The Last Sanctuary LP 

2020

Bitter Lake Recordings

Grave New World_1

This is a very current reissue of a super rare Japanese LP that came out back in 1992. It was pretty impossible to find the original for sure, even when it initially came out. It features the vocalist of Crow and a bunch of other Japanese hardcore alumni that people will go batshit over. 

GNW really made a weird assed record indeed. To me it has more elements of psych and rock than it does maybe punk hardcore.  I even hear some Zepplin in the vox approach toward the end of the record. Blasphemy, I know! When the hardcore parts do kick in they are so fierce and noisy that it makes all of the waiting well worth it. The guitars are buzzing like broken chainsaws. People will tell you there is some Amebix in the bands sound but I don’t hear it.  I def see it in the art and the text used but Amebix sound like Venom… This sounds nothing like Venom.  

Everything this label puts out is gold and sells out immediately. I’m happy to have been pointed in the right direction so that I could finally have this classic Japanese hardcore album on vinyl.  (NW)

Hit me up on Instagram if you want to send me your release for review at: nate_gloom

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Justin Dratson: JD Wilson  Nate : NW   Matt Average: MA

Why Is This Even Collectible? Vol. 2

Band:     Blues Creation
Title:      Demon & Eleven Children (1971)
Label:    Denon (original press w/Gatefold Cover), Blow Up (1975 reissue w/single sleeve), Various unofficial reissues

Line-up:
Ōsawa Hiromi – Vocals
Takeda Kazuo – Guitar
Saeki Masashi – Bass
Higuchi Masayuki – Drums

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This second Blues Creation LP is a crushing beast of early-70s Japanese heavy, heavy blues tinged rock not dissimilar to Sabbath overall, but with little bits of Cream, Sir Lord Baltimore, Hendrix, and of course Mountain (whose Felix Pappalardi they would later record an LP with as “Creation”) mixed in. For this effort, guitarist and founder Takeda Kazuo wisely cleaned house, assembling an entirely new line-up and forging a new direction away from the covers-only approach of their first LP towards this true masterpiece of original compositions. Demon & Eleven Children, has somewhat looser production than stoner-friendly rivals from the States and UK of the time, but packs a two-ton wallop that will leave you reeling in awe nonetheless.

On that note, this is definitely not an album to be listened to via a YouTube video or on your shitty phone speaker. A decent set of headphones will give you a serviceable experience of this recording, but I recommend cranking your stereo up loud enough that you can feel the bass ripple through the floorboards. Grab a pillow and lie down in that good shit…settle in and let the heaviness seep deep into your pores and your being.

Blues Creation recorded just one other album after this with Japanese psych hero Carmen Maki that has its moments but, honestly, underutilizes the talents of both. Blues Creation would later morph into Creation and produce a string of quite good heavy rock LPs that litter both the cheapy bins of Disk Unions across Japan as well as my personal collection.

BLUES CREATIONLP_2

Why is this even collectible?

Japan only pressing for Japanese market, so incredibly scarce. Incredibly stellar LP that surpasses much of the heaviness emerging from the US and Europe at the time.

Advantage: Seller. The original Denon press (gatefold) is a holy-grail item that is nearly impossible to find complete and in good shape. This (pictured) nice 1975 repress is much more common, though the meager single-sleeve is enough of a trade-off to keep collectors dreaming of an original.

Price range: The original Denon press can grab well over $1k (oof!) if complete and in decent shape. Until recently, you could sometimes snag this press (1975 single-sleeve reissue) for $50-ish, but lately I’ve not seen a complete copy go for less than $150. A few “unofficial” vinyl reissues exist, but I’ve not encountered any to report on. I’m actually surprised this never got an Akarma high-end bootleg treatment.

Tracks:

1.        Atomic Bombs Away (5:30)
2.        Mississippi Mountain Blues (4:05)
3.        Just I Was Born (6:18)
4.        Sorrow (7:13)
5.        One Summer Day (2:26)
6.        Brane Baster (2:00)
7.        Sooner or Later (5:13)
8.        Demon & Eleven Children (9:15)
(DC)

Why Is This Even Collectible? Vol. 1

Join Devon as he dares to ask:

Why Is This Even Collectible?

Vol. 1

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Ever feel your heart race as you grab a super-obscure want list record from the cheapy bin only to be left scratching your head upon first spin wondering what the fuss was about? Ever snag a weird looking slab you never heard of that quickly becomes a favorite record in your collection?

In “Why Is This Even collectible” we’ll look at collectible records of all types, from top-shelf items that are worthy of a lofty price tag to those that completely defy logic. We’ll also look at obscure titles that fly under the radar, but are tough to pry off the turntable once you give ‘em a spin.

My first entry falls into the latter category:

Band:                               野獣 (Nokemono) trans. Wild Beast
Title:                                From the Black World (1979)
Label:                              Sound Marketing System, Inc. (SMS)
Vinyl Variations:            Regular label, White label promo

Line-up:
Cherry – BassNokemono_2
Ace – Vocals
Rolla – Guitars
Bunchan – Guitars
Popeye – Drums

Living in Japan for an extended period of time was a record collectors dream. Stuff like this Nokemono LP would just appear in the bins in top shape for next to nothing. Some epic hauls were had during each of my stints there, though the resurgence of vinyl is finally catching on in Japan, too, with prices starting to climb in response. One saving grace is that Japanese shops tend to be super-strict with their grading, so any blemish can result in a massive discount. This is a big advantage to a US record freak who’s used to being charged top dollar for musty, skated on, seam split, and ring worn garbage.

When I picked this up a few years back, I had no idea what it was other than that it looked too cool to leave in the bins. After getting home I discovered this is LP is a pretty important milestone in Japanese metal. With 44 Magnum and Vow Wow, Nokemono formed the first wave of Japanese bands straddling the line between hard rock and heavy metal, with From the Black World widely considered to be Japan’s first true metal record. Apparently, Nokemono were big in Japan, winning the Nagoya Midlands Grand Prix at Yamaha’s battle of the bands in 1978 and opening for Judas Priest at the Nagoya stop on the Stained Class tour that same year, but they only released this one decent LP.

From the Black World actually reminds me a lot of Sin After Sin (1977) -era Priest but with production that’s closer to Point of Entry (1981). You get plenty of metal staples here…some cow bell, a gong, galloping and whinnying guitars, and an air raid siren screams topped off with a dual lead guitar assault of Rolla/Bunchan that’s half Tipton/Downing half early Smith/Murray. The two standout tracks “Runaway” and “From the Black World” that open each side of the LP are both hard drivers and difficult to extract from your brain after a listen, but as is typical with most metal LPs of the era, there are a couple real clunkers on here (most notably Big Wednesday). All-in-all, while it’s not a game-changing debut, From the Black World definitely deserves a spot in any serious metaller’s collection.

Why is this even collectible?

Japan only pressing for Japanese market, so pretty scarce.

Widely accepted as Japan’s first true metal album, so historically important.

Advantage: Buyer! Not many people will even know what this is when it comes up in the bins or for auction, so prices paid are all over the place. That said, you’ll probably still never see this in a dollar bin in the US.

Price range: Though not perfect copies with an obi have gone for over $200, if you’re willing to be patient you can probably pick up a copy without an obi for under $30.

Tracks:

1. Run Away (03:09)
2. Terrible Night (04:37)
3. Tozasareta Machi (03:59)
4. Ushinawareta Ai (04:48)
5. Big Wednesday (04:45)
6. From The Black World (04:05)
7. Back Street (04:22)
8. Hai Ni Kieta Kako (06:13)
9. Ari Jigoku (04:49)
10. Run Away (Part II) (00:25)

(DC)