Reissues: Vengeance Rising, Holy Soldier, Minier
Of the making of many reissues, there is no end...thankfully. I want to give a quick review and rundown of three recent reissues in one quick pass. Three totally different styles, three amazing releases. But first, a word about reissues. As we know, music comes, and music goes. Things go out of print, and usually fade out into oblivion if there is not enough interest in them to encourage a label to reprint them. Things are a little different in the Christian metal market, since there is no, and never has been, big money or labels behind the scenes reprinting these items.
Instead, you have a few music lovers dedicated to keeping the flame and passion of metal alive for future generations, and placing their time and finances on the line to accomplish the work. They believe so strongly in the music, that they take the risk of investing money into producing limited runs of an item, hoping in the end it is not only appreciated, but that it is also bought up by the consumers. For the amount of labor, time and money that goes into each and every one of these types of releases, I applaud everyone involved in making them happen. I love reissues. Some more than others, but all of them in different ways. Especially when they contain new and/or improved content. So recently we've had three noteworthy releases I wanted to briefly mention and encourage you to check out...and purchase.
MINIER - Minier (Expanded Edition) [Retroactive Records]
Up first, the Greg Minier solo album. As you hopefully already know, Greg is the guitarist for The Crucified, and in 1990 ventured out to do this little recording of a different style. I am almost certain that this is the first time we are seeing this one being reissued, so that should make a lot of people happy who have been trying to get a copy since it's initial release. This expanded edition includes 6 demo tracks and a 2-part radio interview bonus to sweeten the deal, but the core original seven tracks are still the real meat here, and enough to satisfy. The liner notes include the story behind the recordings, putting everything into context, and adds a little fun depth to the whole project. The remastering breathes new life into an already great thrashy metal release. I loved it when originally released, and still love listening to this gem that never had a follow up. Grab a copy today from the label HERE or at Amazon if you prefer.
HOLY SOLDIER - Last Train [Roxx Records]
Here is another one that was long overdue for needing a reissue, and that is basically exactly what we get. Nothing added here, no bonuses, no major noticeable changes in production or sound quality as it was already a top notch release; just a cool reissue, though with unique updated art combining elements of the Japanese and US releases to make this a bit more special. The one big thing here is the new vinyl edition which is great for those of us who have jump head first back into vinyl collection. The vinyl sounds AMAZING! And if you bought the red one like I did, it LOOKS amazing. Kind of a red marbled swirl — simply beautiful to look at, and such a deep warm sounding record.
I have to admit, back in the day when this originally came out, I wasn't a huge fan of it. I loved the style of the first release much better, and this hard rock sound in comparison left me a little less than completely satisfied at the time. Also, having never been a fan of the Rolling Stones (blasphemy? please don't stone me), the cover of Gimme Shelter here was a negative to me also. Don't get me wrong, I still listened to this album quite a lot, and over time it grew on me, but just never as much as their first release. And funny thing is, now when I hear the Stone's version of Gimme Shelter, I think it pales in comparison to this version which I have listened to more.
Even with all of that, when this was announced as being released, I jumped on it with both feet, grabbing the CD and vinyl, and again, the vinyl sounds amazing, so all of these years later, this album shines even more than it originally did. If you haven't already seen the short video explaining the reissue process involved in this release, I share it here, as I find it is really cool to know some of the work that went into this...and you should too.
So, if you are not a hard core collector that has to have everything released by a band, and you already have an original copy of this album, then you may wonder if you need to shell out funds for this, right? I suggest this — sell your original copy, because there is some collector out there who wants it, and then turn around and buy this updated copy to have the latest and greatest looking and sounding edition in your collection. Grab a copy TODAY from the label HERE, or from Amazon.
VENGEANCE RISING - Human Sacrifice (30th Anniversary) [Roxx Records]
ANOTHER reissues of Human Sacrifice? Didn't we just have one recently? I know, you may be asking yourself this, but when something is so popular that the demand is there, just be thankful someone is willing to give the people what they want (speaking of which, I want another vinyl reissue, if my opinion counts).
I do find it hard to believe it has been thirty years. I still remember the day I ordered the original demo, and then received it in the mail. I knew very little about the band, but back then I just bought most anything labeled metal. I was a bit taken back by the raw harshness of the style, but in time I enjoyed it for what it was, as well as subsequent releases. Remember, at the time this came out, there was little to nothing in the Christian realm that was similar. Well, this album is still holding people's attention all of these years later.
With all of this band's albums seeing a reissue in the past few years, their popularity is still alive and well decades later. But what makes this reissue different from the past few others? I admit, I have copies of most every reissue (except the vinyl stuff), and every edition is a little different. On previous reissues, we've seen bonus live tracks, bonus interview segments, as well as the original demo tracks. So what do we get new this time? NOTHING!
Well, wait, by nothing, I mean nothing new, nothing that has not been previously released as far as the music. But when you take something old and make it better, that definitely qualifies as being worthy of a reissue, and therefore is something new - a new better edition.
This time around we are given the original tracks, and again the original 1987 5-song demo tracks, but the production this time around excels above the prior releases. The demo tracks in particular have never sounded better, in my opinion. They have boosted the low end, removing the "thin" demo sound that often plagues the old, low budget recordings, and which was present even on prior versions of reissuing those tracks. The whole package sounds great in fact. Actually, I found that the prior 25th anniversary edition had boosted in volume a bit too much, and at times became a bit distorted. In comparison with this release, this edition does not suffer from that at all, giving it a cleaner sound you can crank even better.
I am not sure it will get much better than this anytime soon, so again, as I mentioned above with Holy Soldier, if you are not a collector who wants every edition, sell your edition to a collector, and buy this one so that you can possess one of the best versions available to date, and help support those who work so hard to continue to invest in reissuing such great classics as this. Grab one TODAY from the label HERE.