martedì 23 agosto 2016

Left Hand Path

In a few months I will turn 40. Not sure how you elder readers are ageing, but for me it's a very nostalgic process (speaking about my musical tastes). While I've completely lost interest for modern bands and I'm totally out of touch with the current state of the scene (and totally happy with it), over the last few years I've been gradually going back to the music I used to listen to when I was a young kid. In the early '90s I was obsessed with death metal and grindcore. Around '96 or '97 I got tired of it and moved to hardcore. While I kept all my favourite grindcore records, around 2001 I sold all my death/black metal records that I had accumulated in the previous decade. I needed money to print the first issue of my 'zine so I sold my collection to a local record shop for next to nothing. I could have made good bucks outta it since it was all first press of classics. But back then I was brainwashed by all those stupid columns against eBay that were in every zine in those days, so I went for the only other option I had. Of course all the hardcore/punk heroes of that idealistic crusade against eBay ended up selling their collections there for big bucks. Classic. Anyhow, 15 years later I've decided that it's time to rebuild that collection. I've started with an all time classic, a game changer and a genre defining album: Entombed debut album "left hand path", released by Earache in 1990.  
While they previously released 5 demos as Nihilist, they changed their monicker to Entombed (just to kick out of the band John Hedlund, ahaha) just few months before the release of their debut album "left hand path". Recorded in '89 but released only the following year, this has been unanimously considered the very first swedish death metal album ever. And by many people is revered as the best swedish record of this genre. While for me it's a tie with Dismember debut "like an ever flowing stream", I cannot praise this album enough. It's just death metal perfection. From its gloomy & dark vibe to the crushing guitar sound & perfect riffs, from the flawless balance of slow & faster parts to GL Petrov cavernous growls and Nicke Andersson superb drumming, from the incredible artwork to the classic band picture near the cross in the back cover, there's really nothing to complain about Entombed debut full length. It's so well done that the band itself hasn't been able to reproduce its greatness in their second album "clandestine" and slowly morphed into something different (but equally good in my opinion) with "wolverine blues". It's not a surprise that many bands all over the world tried to reproduce LHP sound over the last 26 year. But none went even to closer to it.
I've scored this copy easily outta eBay, but of course it wasn't as cheap as the one I bought in the early 90s. As a small revenge, I've paid it with the money I made by selling hardcore zines on eBay, ahaha. Lesson learnt. Not sure about pressing numbers but being an Earache release from early '90s, I guess we are talking about thousands of copies. There are actually two early presses, one from 1990 and one from the next year. You can easily recognize the very first one from the cool hype sticker on the upper right corner of the cover.
Crushing guitars & mass death, indeed
Here's the ticket from when I was 17 years old and saw both Napalm Death & Entombed (who were the opener of the gig!!) the for the very first time. This was when Entombed had just released "wolverine blues" but they played a good amount of tracks from the early material. Both bands were incredibly good. Good memories...

2 commenti:

  1. you DO NOT wanna take the left-hand-path; I repeat, you DO NOT want the LHP, brudda. Precisely cuzz the LHP leads into the Abyss o'Misery. You want the Right-Hand-Path which leads to Seventh-Heaven. Wanna wiseabove to the Great Beyond. Your choice. Your demise. Choose well.

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. "all the best bands are affiliated with satan!"

      Elimina