|Death Metal, Thrash Metal
Metal Mind Productions (2010), Nuclear Blast Records
June 20th, 2005 / November 17th, 2003
Release length: 50:19
2010 Reissue review posted on November 2nd, 2010.
Yes, the recording quality of Issue VI leaves a little more to be desired on this release. The vocals presented on Issue VI definitely take some getting adjusted to, especially coming off the heels of their previous album Impact, where they, as well as the music, was much deeper and a little more raw through distortion and a good recording quality. Here, the vocals are a little more higher, and the music seems to have lost a good amount of it’s bite compared to past offerings thanks mostly due to the fact that it’s just not as raw or distorted. This clearer presentation really doesn’t do much for the music and the intensity may still be there, but it’s far from what it should be. There is no denying that the music here is great, however, even if the first track, “Processing Life” leaves a little to be desired, especially with the guitar solo. This is easily the worst sounding guitar solo you could hear, as the whole thing clashes against the rest of the song and just sounds obnoxiously louder then the rest of the album, as if it were added later on when the album was done by someone completely different fromt he band. It’s odd because there’s no other guitar solos on this recording that sound like it either.
Aside that, the music is not as fast as it normally would be from Dew-Scented, which is fine as the music on this release has some more complexity to it which really just makes the album stand out more. The drumming on Issue VI is really the only aspect of the album that seems focused on their more Death Metal sound then anything, as the guitars do have some traces of the inspiration, but just seem to be more geared towards a heavier Thrash influence. This is fine as it really does make some of the songs stand out more then if they were just fueled by fast playing riffs and somewhat more simplistic chords. “The Prison of Reason” and “Bled Dry” are two perfect examples of this. While the guitars on here seem a little more standard then previous releases, the complexity and Death Metal combination really add to the music and make it a highly addicting combination that will have you headbanging the entire time and coming back for more.
As you do progress through the album, the same issues that plagued the last release appear here as far as the repeition goes. Yes, there’s a lot less of it here, but one of the new additions to the sound would be crystal clear spoken word segments that are lower in the mix and echoed. These add a nice new layer to the album, and pop up on random songs, but not randomly in the mix. Usually they pop up around the same spot, typically after the second chorus. Aside that, by the time you get to “Never to Return”, the music does start to sound vaguely like one another after a while, but it’ll only really begin to affect you on later spins since this is still a solid album, and only slightly hinders the enjoyment of three, maybe four songs max. Of course, like the band’s last release, you can’t forget the more Punk-oriented cover song, which this time happens to be the song “Evil Dead” Zeke, another really short, fast paced cover track. The thing is that this song actually does fit in moreso with the flow of the album, just not as complex, and the vocals are not screamed but come more as a forceful harsh Thrash style.
Issue VI is one of six Dew-Scented releases to be reissued in 2010 by Metal Mind Productions and, again, is actually not that old a release to warrant a reissue treatment. Never the less, it still follows suit with the other reissues out there as far as the extra items with it are concerned. The disc is, once again, a gold pressed disc, and the audio sounds a little nicer due to this, and the artwork, of course, is only slightly altered, having a much deeper green color to it then the original artwork had. It is available as a matte-finish Digipack, instead of a gloss-finish, and limited to two thousand pressings. It also includes on page of liner notes, which are available on the left side of the interiour package behind the booklet.
While all of this is really nice and something to consider over the original pressing, this edition features both bonus tracks that were made available for this album. Of course, it includes the North American bonus track “The Torrent”, which is a great track that doesn’t quite capture the speed and intensity of the material on thIS CD, but it does offer a little more variety to the release. Also included is the bonus track “Full Blown Revenge”, which was originally only made available on the Japanese edition of this album. This one shows the more technical side of Dew-Scented at times, having a slight Meshuggah Groove feel to some of the chords that appear, primarily in the beginning. Of course, these tracks were made available on the bonus disc of certain Incinerate albums in 2008, so if you have that version, then you have these and know what to expect. This edition also comes with a live video of “Turn to Ash”, which you can watch on your PC. While this is a nice touch, it’s a little disheartening as there was a limited edition of five thousand copies available that featured a bonus DVD, which is what this video came off of. It would have been nice to have that DVD included with this reissue, especially considering this includes the Japanese bonuss track, and the live video from that very same DVD to begin with.
In North America, a bonus track was included with Issue VI, called “The Torrent”, which is a nice song, but isn’t anything too much. Much like the three songs prior to “Evil Dead”, this song will sound like familiar ground and as if it were a filler track that follows the same repitition formula. Honestly, you’ll probably just turn the album off by the time you get half way through this track as there really isn’t anything special about it, as you’ve already heard a few incarnations of it and it’s structure on this release. So, if you happen to reside in North America, you’ll automatically get this bonus track. If not, unless you are a collector, the song really isn’t worth going out of your way to find a pressing of this specific version, but Issue VI itself is still a solid album worth tackling, even given some of the production issues that are apparent during the release, and that late hitting repetitive feeling of the album. With how hard it is to track down the edition with the bonus DVD, the far more limited 2010 reissue offers liner notes that edition doesn’t have, an excellent pressing for the disc, and the bonus video clip that was featured on the DVD you may not get to see, making it a nice alternative if you cannot find that CD/DVD edition of Issue VI.
01. Processing Life – 4:09
02. Rituals of Time – 5:06
03. Turn to Ash – 3:08
04. Ruins of Hope – 4:12
05. Out of the Self – 3:41
06. The Prison of Reason – 4:49
07. Bled Dry – 3:57
08. In Defeat – 3:52
09. Never to Return – 4:22
10. Vortex – 4:15
11. Conceptual End – 3:18
12. Evil Dead (Zeke cover) – 1:01
|Original Pressing Score: 7/10
2010 Reissue Score: 7.5/10
Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds:.
Physical 2010 Reissue review copy provided by Metal Mind Productions.