What can I say?
One of the best debut albums of all time. I loved this album the first time I heard it and I still love it today - 3000 listenings later!
Everything from the simple but effective cover, to the songs - which are also very simple and very effective.
The slow and ill-boding organ intro of "Deus culpa", which is actually a famous Swedish Christmas carol played backwards, puts you in a mellow mood before the bass crushes you over and over in the first "real" track of the album - "Con clavi con dio".
The pounding beat of the bass, guitars and drums sets the tone for the whole album along with the firm but still almost fragile sounding vocals.
"Ritual", "Elizabeth", "Stand by him" and "Satan prayer" follows and they are all top notch, first class tracks. Again, what can I say? I love those songs!
The only small let-down, in my humble opinion, is "Death knell".
Don´t get me wrong, I still think it´s a good song and it sounds great live, but out of the tracks on this album I think it stands out for the wrong reason.
It´s the weakest one in my book.
Also, the long guitar intro to "Prime mover" is not one of my favourite moments on the album, but the song itself is absolutely great. As is the instrumental outro "Genesis".
All in all, an absolute must-have in any rock-collection!
Before proceeding to the various editions of the album, let me just clarify a few things.
This album is released in many different colours and various pressings.
I will not follow the chronological order in which they were released, but rather by "type".
Splatter editions, single colour editions and so on.
You´ll get the idea.
To start things off, here is a list I found on Discogs regarding the various pressings and supposed pressing quantities:
300 x Black - Deluxe Boxed Edition (Die Hard Box)
300 x Purple
300 x Red/White/Blue tri-colour split
300 x Green with Black splatter
300 x Clear
400 x Solid Blue
400 x Clear with Black speckles
500 x Black in Purple
500 x Transparent Blue
500 x Clear with Blue splatter
500 x Transparent Red/Transparent Blue split
500 x Clear/Transparent Purple split
500 x White with Black and Blue splatter
300 x Black in Clear
500 x Clear with Purple splatter
500 x Blue/Clear split
500 x Green with Red splatter
Fifth press (november 2013, made for the US market):
2000 x Blue/White split
500 x Gold
500 x Red
500 x Sky Blue with White splatter
500 x Blue in Clear
1000 x Black
2000 x Picture Disc
Die-hard box. Limited to 300 copies.
Solid blue, first pressing. 400 copies.
Purple, first pressing. 300 copies.
Clear vinyl, first pressing. 300 copies.
Transparent blue vinyl, second pressing.
Black vinyl, probably third pressing. 1000 copies.
Red vinyl, probably fourth pressing. 500 copies.
Gold vinyl, probably fourth pressing. 500 copies.
Clear / Transparent purple split, second pressing.
White / blue split, US-edition. 1000 copies.
Transparent red / transparent blue split,
second pressing. 500 copies.
Clear / Transparent blue split, third pressing.
Tri-colour, white - red - blue, first pressing. 300 copies.
Clear vinyl with black spot. Third pressing.
Purple vinyl with black spot, second pressing.
Clear vinyl with blue spot, probably third pressing. 500 copies.
Clear vinyl with black splatter, first pressing.
Transparent green vinyl with black splatter,
first pressing. 300 copies.
Clear vinyl with blue splatter, second pressing.
White vinyl with black and blue splatter,
second pressing. 500 copies.
Transparent green vinyl with red splatter,
or "blood stains". Fourth pressing. 500 copies
Clear vinyl with purple splatter, third pressing.
Blue vinyl with white splatter,
probably thirdpressing. 500 copies.
Picture disc originally made for the American market. Comes in a die-cut cover, 2000 copies.