Heresy: Face Up to It! Expanded 30th Anniversary Edition 2x12"

Heresy: Face Up to It! Expanded 30th Anniversary Edition 2x12"


Tags: · 80s · fast · hardcore · reissues · UK · USHC
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Available on double LP with CD included or as a stand alone CD. Total ground up restoration/remix by the band from the original 2” master tapes! Finally, after 30 years “Face Up To It” has the production it should have had back in 1988. To say that the results have been remarkable would be an understatement and have exceeded the bands own expectations - turns out underneath the muddy production there was a phenomenal album just waiting to get out! Liner notes from all 4 members of the band, and features the 8 extra songs from the session that originally only appeared on the Japanese “Voice Your Opinion” release! Gatefold sleeve for first pressing, including 24” x 12” insert and CD in PVC wallet of all tracks.

Our take: Heresy’s Face Up to It is a legendarily poorly recorded record, and the deal with this expanded reissue is that they took the original multi-track tapes, restored them, and completely remixed the album to correct the problems that plagued the original release. Actually, it sounds like there was a fair bit more involved with the restoration project than that. Since the original album was recorded with triggered kick and snare drums, it sounds like they had to completely reconstruct the drum tracks using modern, more natural-sounding samples. So, how good of a job did they do? Well, the first thing that I did was pull my original copy of the album off the shelf (actually it’s the original Dutch pressing on Konkurrel, but I can’t imagine it sounds that much different than the UK version) and give it a listen. I have to say it doesn’t sound nearly as bad as I remember. Certainly the whole thing is very muggy sounding and the tracks are overly compressed, making it sound like you’re hearing the band rehearsing in the next room, but you can hear the drums well enough that tracks like the ripping opener “Consume” still have quite a lot of impact. I mean, despite all of the problems with the record, it’s still pretty legendary and I’ve kept a copy for myself all these years so it’s not like it’s total crap. However, throwing on the reissue you immediately hear a vast improvement. The whole thing sounds clearer and brighter, and the mix is more even; on the original the guitar is way too loud and the bass is essentially inaudible. The drums in particular are a huge improvement… in particular, the snare doesn’t dominate the drum mix in the way that it does on the original. Interestingly, the improved sound makes for a radically different and much improved overall listening experience. I’ve always enjoyed the standout tracks on Face Up to It like “Consume,” the title track, “Network of Friends,” and “Trapped in a Scene,” but the lesser tracks always struck me as very forgettable, even on my most recent listen to the original pressing. Of course the standout tracks still sound great on the reissue, but tracks like “Too Close to Home,” “Against the Grain,” or “Into the Grey,” which never made much of an impression on me before, now stand out as absolute scorchers that approach (and perhaps even meet) the sheer blinding speed and ferocity of From Enslavement to Obliteration-era Napalm Death. It’s something of a cliche to say that listening to an updated reissue is like hearing a record for the first time, but the cliche holds true for this particular reissue, and if you are a fan of this album I can’t see any reason why you would ever listen to the original version again after hearing this, which is something I can’t recall saying about very many hardcore punk reissues in the past, especially ones that seek to “improve” fundamentally flawed records. I should also mention that in addition to the vastly improved original album, you also get an additional 1-sided 12” that includes what I believe are outtakes from the recording sessions, including a bunch of covers of bands like DYS and Siege, rerecorded old tracks like “Never Healed,” and a few other bits and bobs from the cutting room floor. And then there’s the liner notes and repackaging, which are tastefully done even if they aren’t quite as on-the-nose authentic as, say, the reissues on Radio Raheem. Basically, if you like Heresy, the late 80s UK hardcore/thrash/grindcore scene, or the late 80s proto-grind/power violence scene of bands like Larm, Ripcord, and Infest this is a highly recommended purchase.