Here's a reply I got from the bass player Karl, who released it:
"Yes, you’ve got the right disc. It is a CD-R, it’s created via a ‘burn-on-demand’ process from a US company. Although this means a lower quality compared to replicated discs, this is the only way we can offer the Sacred tracks. Minimum runs for replication are 500 units, and as much as I wish it was different the fact is that there simply is nowhere near that level of demand. CD sales are falling anyway, and I doubt we’ll ever see a replicated Sacred disc (never say never but it’snot likely). We really only had 3 choices – offer nothing, offer the ‘burn-on-demand, or “leave it to the bootleggers”.
I can’t speak for the quality for any bootleg you’ve previously purchased. I’ve seen Sacred bootlegs over the years, they have all been CD-R and of dubious quality. None have been in anyway official, and all have been simple audio-rips from vinyl. The CD you have is the first official remaster of the audio, and the sound quality (IMO) is superior to any bootleg copies previously available. Your opinion may differ I guess.
The burn of demand process gave us no real ability to deliver ‘extra’ content like bio, lyrics, etc. An 8 page booklet would have been great, and I may still look at offering something like that as a downloadable PDF. We aren’t there yet though. The main reason for this release is to get the ‘real’ audio out there, and offer a legitimate alternative to the bootleggers."
And this from the guy who remastered it:
"My involvement with the Sacred CD was instrumented by Karl Lean, and had to do with the digital transfer and mastering. I was originally given the multi track tapes of the EP (one song was missing) and the 1/2 inch master tapes of the album. The idea was that I would transfer the EP and Remix it, and transfer the already mixed album and master it. (or vice versa - I can't remember!)
Alas, there was not cheap option to do this as most studios I'm associated with have not got multi track machines any more.
I sought out studios that can do this and the fee is astronomical... many thousands of dollars.
So, the cheap option was to do a digital transfer from the actual vinyl to digital using high quality gear to do so. This was all recorded pre DAT, unfortunately.
The EP was something I actually did a few years back, simply because I wanted a digital copy for myself. Karl was very interested in this method when he found out about what I'd done, so I remastered that again for this release.
Then I did the same thing for the Let us Prey album.
The remastering was pretty simple and consisted of doing it track by track because every song seemed to have a different mix with widely different guitar tones. While it does sound superior to the vinyl, it's not ideal - it would have been nice to be able to access the master tapes. Maybe one day."
Why are a wise man & a wise guy opposites?