Dying Victims Productions is proud to announce the following new releases:
DVP-R 008 Sortilège – Larmes de héros Box/LP/CD
RELICS FROM THE CRYPT, the sub-label of DYING VICTIMS PRODUCTIONS dedicated to keeping the past alive, is proud to present a long-overdue vinyl reissue of the classic second album of France’s SORTILÈGE, Larmes de héros.
A cult fixture in the ‘80s French heavy metal scene that retroactively grew in legendry, SORTILÈGE defined a unique national style that had equal footing in the NWOBHM, contemporaneous hard rock, and nascent epic metal. Formed in 1981 and releasing a demo and EP over the new two years, it was SORTILÈGE’s 1984 debut album, Métamorphose – also concurrently released in an English-language version as Metamorphosis – that truly introduced the band to worldwide audiences with a wild ‘n’ weird iteration of heavy metal. While that English version made their unique style more palatable (helped in no small part by its release on Steamhammer), it’s arguably the French-language version that defined the SORTILÈGE sound. And so it went with its superior follow-up.
Again released in both French- and English-language versions, SORTILÈGE’s second album is a tour de force of true-metal passion and performance, mysticism and might. Blithely summarized as French romantic twist on Judas Priest’s transition from the ‘70s to the ‘80s – or, rather, spanning Sin After Sin to Defenders of the Faith – the original Larmes de héros was released in that golden year of 1986, harkening to a fantastical place far, far away where hot rockers bloomed into heroic-yet-tragic epics. The English version of Hero’s Tears plainly spells out the path ahead, but the dramatic (and oft-melancholic) vocals of Christian Augustin in his native language truly chill/sizzle the soul: a veritable French Metal God. Not to be outdone, his bandmates create a canvas at once anthemic and narrative; pacing is crucial across Larmes de héros, as more direct power-surges flank the album’s utterly immersive epic songs. And at nine songs across 46 minutes, you feel like you’ve undertaken a hero’s journey – but one not without a monumental amount of headbanging.
Tragically and too fittingly, Larmes de héros would be SORTILÈGE’s final studio album. A number of re-formations would happen over the next couple decades and then fizzle out, but the true SORTILÈGE died with Larmes de héros. Wipe away those hero’s tears, though, for RELICS FROM THE CRYPT at long last resurrects this stone-cold classic for posterity!
– Regular edition on black vinyl, with insert, poster, sticker, post card and download code.
– Special edition sold out – any spare copies will be added to the webshop at a specific time, announced via newsletter and social media.
– Limited Box sold out – any spare copies will be added to the webshop at a specific time, announced via newsletter and social media.
– CD edition with sticker and obi – slightly delayed until late December.
DVP-R 009 Rampage – Veil of Mourn LP/CD
RELICS FROM THE CRYPT, the sub-label of DYING VICTIMS PRODUCTIONS dedicated to keeping the past alive, is proud to present a long-overdue vinyl reissue of the cult lone album of Australia’s RAMPAGE, Veil of Mourn, along with a CD edition with both demos as bonus.
While there have been many Rampages past and present, there was only one RAMPAGE from Australia – and a more cult band you will not find. Formed in 1985, the band went through several lineup changes before recording their debut demo, Acid Storm, in July 1986. Recorded on a home 4-track, the demo sold well in their native Melbourne but failed to gain any interest. More lineup changes followed the next year, with a pre-production demo recorded as a prelude to their album, but once again, RAMPAGE failed to generate any record company interest. Then, in late 1987, the band recorded, produced, and financed their debut album, Veil of Mourn, which was more-or-less self-released in early 1988. Extensive touring across Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Canberra, and Brisbane followed. Likewise, excellent record sales locally and overseas followed, but no interest from international record companies came. In May 1988, vocalist/guitarist George Mitrov rang bassist Dave Frew and advised that he had found God and would no longer have anything to do with the band; cancellation of all gigs followed. Then, later that year, Dave Frew (who had formed TYRUS with Peter Hobbs) and drummer Bruno Canzianni join Hobbs Angel of Death, and RAMPAGE effectively came to an end.
However, as a lone document of a band and era, RAMPAGE’s Veil of Mourn is superlative in every sense. There’s a distinct ruggedness to the band’s ceaselessly shifting style of thrash. Mind you, NOT necessarily “rawness” – although the album’s production certainly tends toward the rough – but RAMPAGE’s execution eschews the super-clean sharpness that thrash metal was largely heading toward in the post-Master of Puppets era. With form meeting content, the power-trio’s songwriting similarly takes all sorts of labyrinthine paths short of being qualified as “tech,” racing around and restarting with sometimes-maddening fury. Hooks thankfully abounded, and RAMPAGE’s attack undeniably possessed a death metalled underbelly not unlike Dark Angel or aforementioned Oz cult icons Hobbs Angel of Death. With that songwriting often reaching a fever pitch of diabolism and all three members barely keeping that fury in check, Veil of Mourn becomes a palpitating experience, a veritable ‘80s horror movie turned into a thrash record. The creepy cover art only heightened this sensation.
As years passed, the aura around Veil of Mourn only grew, helped in part by Australia’s ever-growing prominence in the extreme metal landscape. RAMPAGE thus became an etched-in-time “what could have been?” cult band, who respectably preserved their legacy with a mere album. Connect the dots to “the Australian sound” with this LONG-overdue reissue!
– CD edition with sticker and obi – slightly delayed until late December.
DVP 239 Hellish – The Dance of the Four Elemental Serpents LP
DYING VICTIMS PRODUCTIONS, in conspiracy with UNSPEAKABLE AXE RECORDS, is proud to present the highly anticipated third album of Chile’s HELLISH, The Dance of the Four Elemental Serpents. DYING VICTIMS will handle the vinyl LP version while UNSPEAKABLE AXE will handle the CD version.
Since their formation in 2010, HELLISH have become a prolific force on the blackened thrash scene. With a discography to date totaling two albums, three EPs, four demos, a couple compilations, a split, and a single, this Chilean quartet have been nothing but dedicated to their evil cause over the past decade-plus. During that cursed year of 2020, longtime vocalist/bassist Necromancer departed the band, but in came Christopher Aravena as his replacement, and HELLISH sounded more invigorated than ever on last year’s The Vermis Mysteriis EP.
With that bolstered lineup in place, HELLISH return to the full-length front with The Dance of the Four Elemental Serpents. The title alone should speak toward the band’s elevation above the cliché aspects of idiomatic blackthrash; while their grounding in the Teutonic “Big Four” of Sodom, Kreator, and Destruction has never been in question, HELLISH have always made subtle-yet-concerted strides to separate themselves from mere worship, and The Dance of the Four Elemental Serpents proves this beyond a shadow of a doubt. For one, the guitars of Francisco Sanhueza and Javier Salgado wind and wend with wild abandon, keeping the riff trajectory aggressive yet creative, twisting and turning with a diabolism that reaches a fever pitch with well-timed (and quite literally explosive) solos. For another, Aravena’s bass goes in busier directions than just following the guitarists’ riffing; hulking and upfront, his chops match those of the six-stringers, and guitarist-turned-drummer Christian León’s tasteful touches on the kit flesh out that momentum with fury and finesse. Altogether, HELLISH give a masterclass in blackened thrash songwriting that’s far more inventive and interesting than “blackthrash,” and The Dance of the Four Elemental Serpents becomes a surprisingly epic spin during its deceptive eight-song/33-minute runtime.
Dizzying and diabolical, HELLISH hereby raise the bar considerably with The Dance of the Four Elemental Serpents.