One And All Together For Home
Remember being a kid, and that feeling you used to get when you’d find out that a new CD from your favourite band was coming out? Remember the anticipation and the little jobs you’d do to be able to save up so you had enough cash to buy it? Back in the day I would babysit and earn £10 a time. It would take me what felt like a bloody age to be able to get the cash together to afford an album. Sometimes there wasn’t children to babysit…so I’d have a few months waiting time.
When I was in my early teens the price of albums was generally around £15.99 in HMV and in independent music stores. I didn’t blink at the cost though. The music was so god damn important that I’d choose a CD over three new pieces of clothing from Primark any day. Anyway, when I’d get an album it would be on repeat for weeks. The rest of the house would know the lyrics and melodies as well as I did. I treasured my CDs like they were my children. I’d be so damn careful taking out the inlay, and would turn the pages of the booklet as gently as if I was turning the pages of a 1,000 year old Icelandic manuscript.
I first heard about the Season Of Mist compilation One And All Together For Home a few months back, and I was transported back to that age when we had to wait for what we wanted. When I read the description of the album and what had inspired it, I felt like it had been crafted for me. When I listened to a track the label has released as a teaser I felt connected to it. When I wrote down the release date in my diary (who else does this nowadays?) I felt that same anticipation as I did when I was waiting for Mortiis’s album The Stargate to be sent from America to a little record store in Durham. (This was before the Great (?) Age of the Internet.
One And All Together For Home is a gathering by Roman Sayenko (Drudkh) of international metal artists who have, within their music, engaged with the history and culture of their respective countries. Chris Naughton of Winterfylleth explains the concept of the release on the Season Of Mist website: “The idea behind this compilation is a coming together of like-minded artists from all across Europe in an attempt to rediscover the history and traditions of their respective areas of origin; through the medium of traditional music.”
In this post I want to celebrate the aesthetics of this release. (A review of the music will come later.) Today it feels as though cover art and accompanying artwork is losing its significance. People don’t really give a damn anymore, or that’s how it seems to me. But in my little corner of the world, the aesthetics of a release are more important than ever. They’re not something I ever want to lose. I still like reading the liner notes. I still enjoy the surprise of lifting the CD to see if an image or symbol or lyric has been slipped under there. I still like spending a good five, ten minutes admiring the cover art.
From what I can tell, the artwork for One And All Together For Home was done in-house at Season of Mist. I was stunned by the exquisite detail on the cover in gold foil print, (they said deluxe and believe me, they meant it) the intricate coloured illustrations on the sturdy digipack, the haunting imagery on the inside of the booklet and the fascinating insight into the music from the musicians involved. I spent a good half an hour studying and enjoying it all and this was before I’d even put the album on. The whole experience, from taking it out of the packaging to the closing track was a wonderfully familiar ritualistic experience.
I have to say that ordering from Season of Mist was a pleasure from the start, and what I mean by that is that they take care of things properly. I was sent regular emails, updating me on the progress of my order and when it arrived, it was packed snugly in a good quality envelope, with extra bubble wrap to protect it. Excellent service from an excellent label. Here you’ll find the first track I heard off this release, and quite possibly my favourite one too.
You can order the compilation here.