Jef "Wrest" Whitehead of legendary USBM project Leviathan has issued a statement on his denouncing the record label Back on Black for repressing his first six full-lengths without his consent.
According to Whitehead, Moribund Productions sold the albums to Back on Black without either company contacting him. This is in direct opposition to his deep involvement with the music, visual art and design of all of his releases. Not only that, but he also claims that The Blind Wound—interestingly removed from Back on Black's catalogue—had no involvement with Moribund in the first place, making it "straight theft" in his eyes.
As of now, Back on black has the following Leviathan albums in their catalogue:
1. Massive Conspiracy Against All Life (2008)
2. A Silhouette in Splinters (2005)
3. Tentacles of Horror (2004)
4. The Tenth Sublevel of Suicide (2003)
5. Howl Mockery at the Cross (2002)
Being one of the most influential and respected names in US black metal, Whitehead's early releases often sell for triple digits on Discogs and Ebay. This certainly creates a demand for Back on Black to fulfill, but it's clear that their approach is far removed from anything the artist himself would have wanted if they had involved him in the process.
"[the reissues are] simply the files from the CD pressings, blown up and put onto vinyl. This is not how I want my work to be represented," Whitehead said. "For those out there who truly understand what it is I do; these are not the representations of these records I wanted to give to you. They are an out of body experience where you only get a glimpse without any real understanding."
Many of these recordings were recorded during the darkest times in Whitehead's life. He didn't title his debut The Tenth Sublevel of Suicide for the cash. The things he went through almost killed him, but resulted in timeless monuments of dark art. The conduct of Moribund Records and Back on Black is not only disingenuous, but a complete slap in the face to the man whose trials and tribulations birthed the art they'll be selling.
"I’m urging Leviathan fans, record stores, labels, and distributors NOT to support these counterfeit bootlegs and boycott: neither buy nor carry them in your stores," Whitehead concluded.
Those who wish to support Whitehead directly can visit his own independent label Devout Records or Ascension Monuments Media, managed by fellow USBM veteran Blake Judd of Nachtmystium.
Read Whitehead's full statement bellow.
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