Tuesday, 23 June 2015

SCHATTENKRIEGER - update

Spot the newest member of the Schattenkrieger family....
CD Maximum pressing on the right

Band: HROSSHARSGRANI
Title: Schattenkrieger
Reason for update: To acknowledge a (very) slightly different pressing of the album, on CD-Maximum, catalogue reference CDM 0403-1349.

Cast your eye over the original review of Schattenkrieger and you may recall the somewhat strained relations that existed between Hugin and CCP Records by the time the album was finally issued.

The reason for today's short post is to acknowledge another entry in the discography of Hrossharsgrani, albeit one likely to throw petrol onto a simmering fire as Hugin wasn't aware of it's existence until Nazgul mentioned it to him, and I only found out by chance whilst pottering around on Discogs one afternoon.  The inevitable questions surrounding royalities etc are murky and probably best not mentioned here...

It's a CD-Maximum release, and if you're aware of this Russian label you'll know their licensed releases are for the Russian and Baltic State territories only.  Indeed, the online blurb for the label states:

"Based in Moscow, CD-Maximum is one of the leading Russian labels. Unlike many of its contemporaries, their label adheres to a strict policy of complying with both International and Russian copyright laws.  When signing exclusive manufacturing, marketing& distribution deals with foreign labels in Europe, Asia & North America, CD-Maximum agrees to sell their legally licensed, re-packaged, re-labeled merchandise within Russia, CIS and the Baltic States only and will not export their moderately priced products abroad.  CD-Maximum's A&R department has signed numerous Russian bands to their label, and promotes and distributes those works internationally."

There's a reasonable amount of online debate about this label (and others like it) who release cheaper albeit licensed material, as whilst not a bootleg it generally has inferior printing quality and the discs are alleged to degrade faster than 'Western' pressings.  True or not, it's not hard to come across meterial on CD-Maximum online, and often they will come packaged with another album or additional songs from EP's or singles to make a 2-in-1 style package (Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath being two bands who have had releases in this vein). 

Looking at the two releases there's a few obvious differences between them on the back, although the cover is exactly the same.  The CD-Maximum pressing has no barcode, and adds the label logo next to that of CCP Records on the rear tray inlay.  It also replaces the CCP copyright and publication details with their own blurb, part Cyrillic and part English (the latter stating, 'This CD must not be sold outside Russia, CIS & Baltic States').

The disc itself is a more yellowy-golden colour than the CCP Records original, whilst the inner circle of the disc itself has both the CD-Maximum label name and catalogue number (it's plain silver on the CCP original).  Apart from these small differences in design, it's the same throughout.  The date of release on the back says 2003, which is only a year after the original was released, which does seem odd as this has only just surfaced as far as I'm aware.  Perhaps it was the date CCP licensed the album to CD Maximum even if the latter only chose to release it sometime later?

Strictly one for the completists, the 17 songs here are exactly the same as on the CCP version (no additional material here, then!) and if you've already tracked down the original Austrian pressed version then you really don't need to source this one.

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