At The Gates- "Slaughter Of The Soul" LP (Earache)
'Full Dynamic Range' Reissue, 2014
'Dead Sky' Blue/Grey Vinyl /300
The time I originally posted about "Slaughter Of The Soul" from Gothenburg's At The Gates at the beginning of the year I mentioned how the copy I had managed to pick up was that of an official pressing, most likely a 2002 reissue. The more I've thought about it since that post in January, the more I've suspected that the copy I did speak about was likely in fact a 2013 bootleg. There's no way to be entirely sure, as all reports I've read detail how the bootleg is more or less identical to that of official copies, but the two most telling factors would be that the copy I scored at All Ages Records in London didn't come with an insert, and that I paid around $26 for it. These days, copies of that 2002 official reissue rarely sell for anything under $90-$100 on sites like discogs, so it's unlikely that any record store would be selling such a clean copy off the shelf for such a bargain bin price.
This copy here however is an official 2014 reissue, another chapter in this 'full dynamic range' saga that Earache Records seem to be implementing to cash in on former glories. As I have questioned in former posts about records from previous Earache bands that have received this same treatment in the last two years, you have to be curious as to wether any of the groups are seeing any kind of royalties from Earaches latest efforts. I doubt it. This colourway obviously references the fifth song on the album, a similar story to most of the variants that were made of this pressing. 300 copies on 'dead sky', something like the third most limited version. I will admit that unlike the few albums I've picked up in the last couple of years that have fallen prey to this 'FDR' binge, the wax quality provided here is of a reasonably high grade. The sleeve is still dog shit though.
You have to praise Earache's market savvy. The label could have easily initialised this FDR bender years ago with this LP and made an absolute killing, aware of the mammoth popularity that it's generated in the last decade. They held off though, and have decided to unleash it right at the cusp of the media gambit surrounding the release of the newly reformed bands brand new album, the first in nearly 20 years. Smart marketing. Based off the bland artwork and totally uninspired album title, I'm betting that this new album will be pretty crappy though. Hopefully I am wrong.