While I wait for a bunch of other cool shit to appear, this release follows hot on the heels of the last Sodom re-issue that I did layouts for. Persecution Mania: Sodom’s second full length (and really superior to the first) available for order now from Wax Maniax.
This is quite a cool package. Doubly vinyl, gatefold, full lyrics, etc. This release has never been better. But it’s not for want of trying to be worse. It seems that when it comes to the 1980s, there was a little to be desired in terms of archiving all the media that went into creating such a milestone record of thrash metal.
To say that I was a tad stunned is an understatement. What source file was I provided by the original label to layout for a re-issue of Sodom’s stunning 2nd LP? A scan of the original LP. With the shrink wrap still on. With a price tag attached.
I had to compile these scans and do a load of fixing in Photoshop. Bless the Adobe gods. With several scans of the LP, the clone tool, and a clever mixture of blurring and sharpening, I was able to make the new LP look like a new LP instead of some south-of-the-border bootleg. I was, however, given some amazing, never-before-seen photos to work with for the interior collage and insert. What a thrill as a Sodom fan!
That isn’t to say I didn’t make some missteps in the layout. In fact, by paying too much attention to recreating the original labels, I got a ration of shit on some collector forums. They didn’t like they way I laid the songs out as “this side” and “other side” in weird reverse order. Well, it wasn’t my original idea, but it’s probably one I shouldn’t have followed. By paying slavish attention to the original layout, I kinda fucked up the new one. I shoulda just changed this dumb idea they had in 1987.
And then there’s the matter of the song title order. People think I fucked up. The song listings don’t actually match the sides. This is because I was given a song order, the same song order the guy who cut the actual lacquers was given. I followed the song title order. The asshole at the pressing plant didn’t. And when the test press came in to the label, they listened, and said, “sounds great!” And it does sound great. But the running time of each side had been evened out, destroying the groupings of songs from the LP and the bonus EP into one mass of songs.
This error will be corrected on the repress. I convinced the label to keep the running order as it was cut and to change the art. I think collectors will be less angry about art changing rather than having the actual runtimes on the LP changed. The wax itself will sound the same, and that’s what is important.
Or, maybe I’m wrong again. Still, this thing looks beautiful. I’m stoked to have brought new life to the birthplace of Sodom’s Knarrenheinz. The lessons learned, kiddies, is to always keep your original art and to ALWAYS double check your test pressings.