Saturday, August 11, 2012

Abomination - Abomination (1990)

Every once in a blue moon I come across something that I totally did not expect to find. With all do respect, the record stores within the area I live lack and have lacked with regards to selection, particularly metal. On occasion when The Works still had a location here in Arcata (they consolidated into one store in Eureka) I'd come across something awesome, like the first four Iron Maiden with Dickinson on vinyl, but usually it was the same old CDs, records, and tapes I had already listened to and or sold to them. One could easily try to order something but often it took forever to come in and usually one could find it cheaper online. That's why when I visit San Francisco I make a valiant attempt to visit Amoeba Records, often getting lost within the bins and three hours later walking out the door a couple hundred dollars less.
Now, it's not to say that there isn't that rare opportunity that one does happen across here in my hometown. Such was the case last Monday when I went into Missing Link Records. Missing Link opened about three to four years ago and remained an enigma of sorts in part due to their original location being off on a side street near downtown in a quaint building but also at the time we had three other record stores, now we have only two and Missing Link has helped fill the shoes of the other two after they closed their doors. It took me the better part of a year to summon up enough curiosity to actually check the store out but since then I've been surprised at what I've been able to find in there! Now I know half the people associated with the store and as I was headed by the shop while running some errands last Monday, I figured I'd swing in...
Now they have a very small selection of LPs, CDs, tapes, comics, and random knick-knacks but looks are deceiving. It didn't take me long to discover this particular gem though: Abomination - Tragedy Strikes.

I was blown away by seeing it there. It was an original pressing to boot and in surprisingly good condition. Their sound is straight forward, old-school death/thrash from Chicago, Illinois. Their sound is quite fitting for the time of release (early '90s). Imagine the best of early Death, Morbid Angel, and Obituary with a peppering of Death Strike and a light salting of early Slayer. Then again, what the hell do I know?! I say tomato, you say tomato. Anyways...
Apparently, the band is still 'active' but have not released anything since Tragedy Strikes which was released in '91. Also knowing that Paul Speckman of Master/Death Strike fame is involved, it has to rule right?! And ruling, yes it does.

I had heard Abomination years ago through a friend of mine and was thoroughly impressed. I often stumbled upon a CD of theirs in the used bins at certain record stores or on Ebay but for whatever I never actually picked up a copy of any of their albums. Not sure why. Their self-titled debut slays so when I stumbled upon Tragedy Strikes, I figured the metal gods were telling me something and that I should pick up the LP regardless of the cost. And I am quite grateful I did! While Tragedy Strikes is not as good as Abomination itself, it is still a great album. So with that in mind, I took it upon myself to scour the internet for some sort of downloadable link and or used copy for the first album, Abomination, and I was surprised to notice a lack thereof. I had to fulfill my need and find me a copy of Abomination and while both albums were eventually rereleased as a compilation last year, nothing beats the originals. So after a painstaking search, I finally located the self-titled album and as a token of my gratitude I've uploaded a link for you to enjoy yourself!


 Get it Here

Monday, August 6, 2012

When drawing goes wrong pt3. Photoshop abortions.

During the previous two installments, here and here, it gradually became apparent that even amongst the bad album artwork that plagues the Internet and peoples music collections there are even worse examples of dreadful artistic vision and crap delivery. Previous posts concentrated on art that was in the most part actually drawn/painted/dribbled out by someone. They might not have had much of a idea about anatomy or have ever seen a women naked but they at least possess, in the loosest sense, charm.
Tonight's post deals with those most heinous of culprits when it comes to bad album artwork. The Photoshop abortions. Your technology can't save you.

To kicks things off, IllCon follower SoulReaper recommended this blinding piece of ham fisted photo shopping nonsense. Dismal Euphony....dismal euphotoshoppy. Sorry.

This was always one of the first things that came into my head whenever anyone mentioned bad photo-shopping. You have all manner of tools at your disposal  yet you can't even get the lower jaw of a skull right!

Not content with making it look like some pre-1997 PC game art they just go and use the most basic, default font.

You'll never get anything started slacking off like that Mr Speckmann.

Another example of not only being dreadful ( I mean look at it!) but knocked even more for having a bog standard font. Plus, a dreadful album title.

I can wager that if this image, an angel being defeated and having its life force sucked out by a demon inside a church, had been hand drawn and coloured I would probably have thought it pretty cool. Sadly someone got to it with Photoshop first.

If ever a single image summed up the plight of the regular IllCon follower then this album cover is it.

I like Benediction. I don't like this artwork. 

I still haven't been able to work out if this band are a joke or not. I could only get about 20 seconds into this video. This artwork and album title certainly suggest its all a joke.

The soft-porn/1997 "adult" PC game vibe was perfectly nailed on these two covers by everyone's favourite band we all claim not to like.

German engineering perfection. No.

Another example of quality band let down by PS1 quality artwork. it doesn't really fit.

You send something off to the printers, you send it at the right resolution don't you. I have been aware of this one for ages but I never knew the actual band name, I still don't.

Not often do tasteless album title/artwork concepts combine with bad Photoshop. But when they do the results are pretty special.

I can spot a circular saw, cyborg eyes, pink hair, robotic boobs and what looks like parts of a motorcycle. its not a magic eye image either.

Its like the cheap version of a Minotaur. A bemused armadillo. Doesn't really chase you round the maze. Just sits there looking confused.

Hypocrisy have quite a few probable entries lurking in that back catalogue of theirs. Funnily enough nearly most of it has been reissued in recent years with different artwork. I'd like to think that's because they looked back in horror at the below image.

To top it off is the one that got mentioned the most in past correspondence. Iron Maiden have done many great things for metal but this artwork certainly wasn't one of them. In my research I came across a story about how this was originally a mock up of the concept. The band saw it and decided to use it. Maybe save a bit of money. It may be true it may not be, it does sound like something you would say after many years of reflection and you slowly come to the realisation of how lame your album art is. I always like to think that Iron Maiden don't really need to go near computer technology. keep the two separate. Ed Hunter was bad enough.

Once again I will leave it up to you guys to let me know if there are any that deserve inclusion? In all fairness I spent quite a bit of time trawling the Nuclear Blast, Spinefarm and Roadrunner back catalogues and its almost another full post on some of the lame art those guys have hidden away.