My last post I did covering physical music media scans seemed to do well, and they're a lot easier to write about, so I've felt a lot more willing to take leaps to get my hands on physical CDs as of late for albums quite special to me. Hellfire is absolutely 100% one of those albums that keeps being thrown on my music rotation, and has a lot of unique qualities to it I just can't seem to quit.
Scans dumped here for now, for anyone who wants to download high res copies
Black Midi overall is just, one of those bands that seems to keep getting better and better, and makes me wish every album was longer, and that they just put out more and more experimental music. I worked through their discography backwards, and Hellfire to me still reigns supreme with it's chaotic horns, spiraling lyrics and story, crashing pianos, and just, just goddammit it's such a wild trip I'm always crushed I only get to experience for the first time once. It pulls your attention, straps you to a chair and carries your unwilling body on the craziest adventure you couldn't imagine
Was the purchase impulsive ? Maybe, but no regrets whatsoever. The thing that stood out to me so starkly on getting a physical copy (ignore my extremely stressed bed and a rubber band ball I thought was out of frame) was how the art extended beyond the cover, it was practically folded out into it's own piece
It actually took me a while to decipher where the inside of the foldout was pulled from when it comes to the actual full composite, and it just made me visually deconstruct it all much, much further. I didn't even notice the two people chilling right on the cover, because the the blue person in the pink sponge cloud always draws my attention to how textured and chaotic it all is
But enough of camera pictures, you came here for scans !
The booklet is just so beautifully chaotic, and I feel just conveys a thousand emotions and ideas all at once. If you've ever attempted to make something like this before, you know it's hard to create something coherent in chaos. My mind wanders from the pink, swampy, dead background to the foreground of two or more people relaxing there as if comfortable with their fate, or perhaps apathetic and defeated
Normally I'm actually really not a fan of minimalism, and will cheer the virtues of maximalism and self-expression, but I think it actually works quite well to contrast the visual chaos that hides these pages. I can tell I'm reading kind of deeply into what's basically just lyrics on a page, but this album does things to me creatively I swear
I know it's also a small detail, but seeing things in the credits about taping a woodblock to one's knee to use as a musical instrument, if I'm understanding that correctly, is just a super charming detail to find tucked away. Knowing the actual equipment recorded with just feels like invaluable information to me.
Also good lord Geordie's vocals are just so on point constantly throughout the album
I think the only thing that didn't stand out to me is the disc, it gives me a mass printed feeling and just feels...off somehow, for lack of a better word. Though, Spirit Phone very much spoiled me in that regard, so maybe it's just the standard.
I got nothing else, go listen to the album if you haven't, and thank you for reading as usual. If the scans seem a touch off from last time, it's actually because the printer I scanned things with for convenience's sake broke down, and lost it's shit because it couldn't print something, even though I just wanted to use to for scanning.