GRAVE NEW WORLD - "THE LAST SANCTUARY" LP
Active for four years, Tokyo's Grave New World is the unfamiliar work of familiar faces. The group's lone album, 1992's experimental crust epic The Last Sanctuary, is uncommonly challenging and immune to easy comparisons. The band took the post-apocalyptic crust blueprints of Amebix, cut them into jagged pieces, tie-dyed them in a Jonestown punchbowl, and made a papier-mâché bust of Maurizio Bianchi. It's the shockingly unexpected output from a supergroup that rose from the '80s hardcore ashes of Asbestos, Crow, Last Bomb, and Crisis Kill. The band set out with the explicit goal of defying expectations, and has suffered a legacy of relative obscurity as the result.
Grave New World was formed in November of 1989 by drummer Kenji (Asbestos), visual kei guitarist Hitoshi (Crisis Kill), and an ex-Asbestos bassist who was soon replaced by Bondage (Last Bomb). Considering the direction their sound ultimately took, the group surprisingly began as a relatively straightforward Discore band, though this quickly changed with the addition of industrial noise addict Crow, who relocated to Tokyo in 1990 to join the band following the dissolution of his namesake, Osakan band the year prior.
The band's sole release The Last Sanctuary was recorded in September of '91 at Shinjuku Antiknock and released by Never Again Records (run by Yoshikawa of DON DON, Nouzui Records) on vinyl and CD a year later. Following in the unfortunate footsteps of Asbestos' The Final Solution.... and Crow's Last Chaos (both ~200 copies), The Last Sanctuary LP received a tragically identical low press run and has since become a collector's nightmare. In the words of Crow, audiences at the time were mostly "indifferent" and the small press run reflected the low demand.
Although only representing a momentary chapter in the lives of its members, Grave New World remains an ambitious project worthy of its talent. As such, The Last Sanctuary has grown in stature and now stands as one of the greatest audial examples of outsider music within the world of hardcore punk. Bitter Lake Recordings is supremely honored to reintroduce to the world one of our favorite records in a pressing of 100 copies on black/white smokey vinyl for mailorder only and 800 copies on black vinyl with black and silver artwork as originally intended.
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