Arkangel’s debut is considered a record that is truly classic. As well for the international scene as for the scene locally in Belgium. If you would ask an average Hardcore kid or old guy about Belgian scene, 90’s vegan Straigh-Edge scene or about Edge-Metal, they would mention this record. Although this is not completely accurate. Edge-metal was a term for the music Congress created earlier in history. If it wasn’t for the H8000 scene in Flanders, Arkangel would have never reached such a wide public. Also the moment in time was favorable for them. They released this record during the peak of popularity of Hardcore in Belgium, 1998. So they got a head start.
But that’s not the main reason of their succes. They made a great record musically, vicious, heavy but fluently delivered metal and Hardcore. Also the urgent message combined with the chosen artwork is all great and to the point.
As a side note I would like to tell more about the medieval painting they used for the cover. Gerard David is considered to be one of the last Flemish Primitives. One of the properties of a painting from one of the Flemish Primitives are the depiction of landscapes in the background. They were the first to do this and introduced this internationally. But more importantly for me and the link with Arkangel is the depiction of the Archangel Michael. In popular knowledge it is said that Michael was the leader of the forces who fought evil. And that Michael was also the one who held back the angels who rebelled against him from returning to heaven. All this might sound religious but in my interpretation it is a universal theme. We cannot find justice without fighting evil. And there will always be people who turn against you or others also. Not the religious interpretation is what I relate to Arkangel but the universal themes. They are vegan and fight for liberation of animals and freedom of every being. And there will always be people in the scene that turn against you. That’s also relevant in the history of the band. So yeah, the cover art is well chosen.
Recently the Prayer Upon Deaf Ears 10 inch was reissued by Knives Out Records from Paris. Got it in the mail a few days ago. I was silenced and amazed by the high level of quality and detail they put in the packaging.
There were two versions made both are with a 10 inch pictures disc. The one mentions “Wood version” and the other mentions “Gold version”. The pressing numbers are mentioned also, respectively out of 400 and 100 copies. There is however another aspect that is different for the two versions; the sleeve. The gold version comes with a die cut sleeve and lyrics separately on another insert, while the wood version has lyrics printed on a fold open cover that opens in the middle. All records are numbered on the sleeve, the vinyl and on a card also.
Wood-version (out of 400 copies):
|Arkangel “Prayers Upon Deaf Ears” picture disc 10 inch|
|closed fold open sleeve with lyrics|
|fold open sleeve unfolded|
|numbering on sleeve, extra card and on the disc near the pinhole|
Gold-version (out of 100 copies):
|picture disc with die cut sleeve and separate insert card with lyrics|
|die cut sleeve with gold lettering|
|Prestige Gold edition out of 100 copies|
Also accompanied with the early orders is a limited to 100 and numbered booklet that has a whole bunch of flyers from the band during the late nineties period. Brings back a whole lot of memories. Wish I cold still attend a show with those kind of line-ups.
|Flyer booklet called ‘flyers sanctuary’|
This release sold out very quickly at Knives Out Records… Be sure to check out the Knives Out Records website and show support, there are more pieces of art coming.
Knives Out Records has got a tradition of pressing on picture discs. I personally don't mind that much. I like looking at it and holding it in my hands…
the packaging is really nicely done but why in the world a picture disc? cannot convince myself to get a copy.musically outstanding, though!