The Gathering

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PostPosted: 05 Feb 2014, 21:24 
Pathfinder (newbie)
Pathfinder (newbie)
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Joined: 17 May 2012, 20:57
Posts: 9
Location: Krakow, Poland
I purchased Home few years ago, I bought it second-hand, but seller seemed reliable. It costed about 18 euro + shipping to a foreign country, so it was quite expensive for me. This week I saw bunch of copies in my city's music store, each for about 4 euro. They seemed a bit different to mine, so I thought to hell with this, I'll buy myself a replacement copy for that price. I came home to compare my old and new Home and I discovered my old copy has very noticeably poorer artwork! The strange thing is that I always thought I had official release, I never saw anything on the internet that would question my version. Anyway, I prepared a little comparison below.

1. Barcodes - my old version has barcode 602527584171, my new version has barcode 5050159641826 (I'll call them "old one" and "new one" respectively, because of my purchase order. "New one" may actually be original, initial run, but first things first).

2. Back cover side by side - I don't know if it's clearly visible here, but "old" 602527... version has slight colour shift and is more orange, "new" 505015... is redder and has no paint shift.

3. Back cover side by side (lower part) - now it's getting interesting. On the left there's old one, with reddish "cords", on the right there's new version, with grey image.

4a. Footnote - old one. Blurred, only big letters are readable, note companies' logos.

4b. Footnote - new one. Note you can clearly read RECORDS under NOISE, Sanctuary logo has borders, letters in Psychonaut Rec. are discernable.

5. Cover. New on top, old underneath. Old one is definitely more "reddish/brownish" and blurred - the blackest black is just very dark brown. Letters' ornaments are smoothed, less details are visible in the background. Blue shift is unfortunately my camera's lens distortion, not present on actual prints.

6. Cover - lower part. As above, brownish old version is blurred.

7. Some booklet excerpts. New one is always on top, old one is underneath. Same as above - old one is overall brownish and blurred, new one is sharper and in "colder" colours.
Next-to-last page is pinkish instead of blue. Very different.

8a. Middle page. Old one. Note colour scale sorting - white stripe, yellow stripe, red stripe, dark red stripe, brown stripe, dark background.

8b. And now new version. Colour gradient is much more natural and even blue in part.

9. Last page of booklet - shows clearly how blurred is my old version. Apart from slight blue lens distortion, image is well focused on both releases.

10. CDs. New on top, old underneath. New is more red, old is a bit orange by comparison, but overall rather comparable (maybe Psychonaut Rec. logo is a bit better on new one?).

11a. CD bottom - old one. Looks legit. Universal logo, matrix numbers in style of other releases. Two IFPI codes. Definitely not a CD-R.

11b. CD bottom - new one. Huh. Much more scarce numbers, but still plausible, 2 IFPI codes.

12. Ok, and now something that made me think my "new" version is actually an original, initial issue. I got a nice card with code to access content on band's website (similar to one from Sound Relief DVD). It makes some sense, since it's the version with better artwork. My "old" version would be then a reissue, probably made with scanned images, but issued by official label (lately there's been awful lot of releases with image quality much worse than original).

Note on audio quality. I didn't have time to make some tests, but it seems to me that most important part, the music, is very similar, if not the same, on both releases. I did not hear any difference in excerpts I played, but I have to admit I'm far, far from audiophile. And that's actually a good news (both on releases and me, I dare say)


1. Well, if you don't already own a Home on CD and would like to have one with good artwork, look for the one with barcode 5050159641826, clearly visible label logos on the rear and with sharp, cold colours (cords on back are grey, not brown).
2. Other thing is that I'm pretty convinced both my versions are legal, official releases. It's just sad that one of them has clearly inferior package. If I didn't care about booklet, I'd buy mp3s with a .jpg cover. Also I have Anneke's Everything Is Changing CD with image distortion of very similar kind, so I guess there may be some "good" version to that too.
3. I also may be a bit bitter that I overpaid about 5 times and waited long weeks for what I can now get on my way from work to home. But hey, it's the Gathering, I've been enjoying this album a lot since purchase, so it's not like I wasted money (there ARE some albums in my collection I feel shameful about...)
4. If anyone cares, I can buy you a copy of my "new" version and send to you. Just keep in mind that apart from 4 euro/CD, there will be shipping costs (I'm in Poland). (small note - while looking on copies for sale I noticed that some are packed in different jewel cases and have slightly - 1-2 mm - damage to booklet in place where it meets case's "teeth". Since I think it'd be odd for a factory to mix cases in one batch, I cannot guarantee in any way that they contain code card, if that's what you're looking for. They all have "good" barcode and seem to be printed properly, though.)
5. I noticed there are some release maniacs here, so someone may actually enjoy my post.

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