Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Vengeance Rising - "Once Dead"

Vengeance Rising - Once Dead
1990/2010, Intense Millennium

1. Warfare
2. Can't Get Out
3. Cut Into Pieces
4. Frontal Lobotomy
5. Herod's Violent Death
6. The Whipping Post
7. Arise
8. Space Truckin'
9. Out of the Will
10. The Wrath to Come
11. Into the Abyss
12. Among the Dead
13. Interruption
Bonus Tracks
14. Interview: Introduction
15. Interview: What happened
16. Interview: It's Gonna Be a Good Show
17. Interview: Closing

Once Dead was definitely a grower. It took me awhile to get past Roger's growly vocal style which I'd never heard on any record until then. It wasn't look until the hooks got me, the sheer heaviness of the riffs, the bluesy leads. It all just clicks. This will be the third time I've owned a copy of this album. Am I complaining? Heck no. This version's remaster removes some of the ear-splitting qualities of the original release without sacrificing the heavy. As a result the album as a whole is even more enjoyable than it was previously. It's too bad things went down they way they did because a third Vengeance album with the original line-up would have been absolutely killer.

Okay... let's talk cover art again. Intense Millennium has been changing the cover art to all of their reissues. Sometimes it's okay, sometimes, like on this disc, it's terrible. The original cover was fun and cheesy and there was really no need to change it. But if you're going to change it - make it better. This cover is terrible - by far my least favorite of the new covers. Why so much empty black space? Why the giant hands? Not only does it not fit the theme of the album, it looks like a cheap Photoshop job. I've heard there was some original artwork that was supposed to be used but wasn't. Why not use that instead? Ugh! I will say the liner notes are good (and legible) though and the artwork inside is cool.

Useless Fact: Not a fact really... Back in the day when my youth group went to Kingdom Bound in upstate NY, Roger Martinez was always there selling Vengeance merch. I must have had six or seven VR shirts. I loved those dang things. I had a girlfriend once who took my "Into the Abyss" shirt and wore it at school practically non-stop - to the point where her friends were telling her she had to wash it. To be fair, those old VR shirts had some cool artwork!

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