5 out of 5
Label: ugEXPLODE, Improved Sequence
Produced by: Weasel Walter
Individual reviews linked above; this is more about the value and presentation of the remaster. …Which is, uh, awesome. For the price (at its original salespoint) of a single LP, you get one of Luttes best recordings – Cataclysm – plus a rarer CDr album, Spectral Warrior. And while that latter recording might not be essentially, it does make sense as an inclusion, here, as Walter was trying to figure out the path of the band as a three-piece post Cataclysm, and so some of that album’s tracks appear again on Spectral. But that doesn’t make it repetitive: the sequencing and three-person approach to those songs has them sounding very different, and I also think the EP is, like, 100% more successful as a coda here, whereas on its own, it feels more like the mettle-test that it was. Furthermore, the 2021 remaster of the material makes it all sound quite amazing, with the most notable bump to the originally somewhat flat EP, here sounding as crisp and forefront as the Cataclysm stuff.
The packaging includes the original narrative liner notes from the album, plus a nice updated bit of text from Weasel that really helps clarify the context of the recordings.
Improved Sequence’s presentation isn’t anything flashy, but it’s constructed well and looks polished, and the pressings, as mentioned, sound great. Definitely a worthwhile collection, even if you own the original albums separately – the recontextualized EP is a plus, and the remastering makes these recordings pretty definitive.