Samstag, 17. August 2019

the zenith passage - cosmic dissonance

yes, finally! since the artisan era announced the re-issue of the zenith passage's first e.p. "cosmic dissonance" last year, i wanted a copy badly. to this point, artisan era still has no proper european distribution and ordering from the states is no option because of insane shipping rates and extra fees here in germany.
so i hoped for the sources i bought artisan era stuff from before, to get it in stock. little did i know that none of those would lead me to satisfaction. one day a recurrent mail from discogs gave me the chance to snag a copy for a decent price and to a moderate shipping rate. the seller came from latvia and so the record made at least one more interesting turn before it landed at my place. from the czech republic where it was pressed, over the u.s.a. to latvia and finally germany. quite a journey.
the actual e.p. was released in 2013 and one can hear quite some differences to the sound the band would develop three years later on "solipsist". not as eloquent as its successor might sum it up, still a pretty good listen. the packaging is very nice. fantastic artwork which looks real ominous, an etching of the band logo "z" on the b-side and this sick pink/blue merge vinyl out of 200 copies. the artisan era. 2018.

Freitag, 16. August 2019

inanimate existence - clockwork

another record that was hard to come by this year. i already had troubles with born of osiris and fallujah and almost every time jpc.de seems to be involved. i ordered "clockwork" at jpc with an initial delivery time of two weeks. of course this was expanded from week to week. i think after four or five weeks i got a shipping notification.
i thought: "wow, can it be?" when the package arrived and i opened it, i couldn't believe my eyes. they really sent me a fucking cd of the album. oh boy, i was through with them. i took another look around to see if other options emerged in the meantime. look and behold, an amazon market place seller from canada offered a copy for slim eighteen bucks. mine!
musically "clockwork" is a tech death beast. inanimate existence scored with all the right proportions. melodies, sick riffing, brilliant drumming and technical finesse in finest balance. my favourite work of them. the record comes in a single pocket sleeve with insert. got the most common colour-way out of 200 copies. looks very nice although the other colours are a bit hotter, ah what's the use... the artisan era. 2019.

Montag, 12. August 2019

ichor - hadal ascending

ichor is a german death metal band from trier, i believe. they are around for quite some time, eleven years at least, and got four full lengths under their belt. i actually had two of them on cd in my possession before a water damage in my basement ruined three quarter of my cd collection. i pretty much forgot about them but when i bought the avalanche record at the wooaaargh shop, i spotted this gem.
when i saw the cover art and the band name, i knew that i had to check that out. i listened to one song over at the tube and after that, there wasn't the shadow of a doubt that i had to have a vinyl copy for myself. the record is a beautiful bastard of modern death, a good portion doom and a bit tech. the presentation is awesome. lovely gatefold sleeve with cool artwork and stunning turquoise marble vinyl. 200 copies made. wooaaargh. 2018.

Samstag, 10. August 2019

avalanche - interstellar movement

avalanche is a sludge metal band from vienna, austria. i already have their two releases before this full length here. those were just three and five song e.p.'s and already seven and six years old. so a lot of time went by and i thought the guys called it a day. the more i was surprised when i stumbled upon this record when checking the wooaaargh records shop.
what actually made me check out this album in particular was the cover art. as there is no band logo or so on the cover i wasn't aware that the band at hand was avalanche when i clicked it. i think the original painting is oil on canvas and just looks awesome. musically avalanche picked up where they left off with "thanatos" in 2012. rock solid sludge metal with a hardcore edge to it. check them here. 313 copies made. wooaaargh. 2019.

Mittwoch, 7. August 2019

type o negative - dead again (box set)

so i am back from wacken open air. it was again a very well organised edition, great atmosphere and big shows of bands like life of agony, meshuggah, cradle of filth, thy art is murder or body count. even a severe weather alert with an one hour long shut down of the whole festival couldn't change that. of course there have been a lot of merchants and a bit of vinyl sitting in the racks as well. this year i ended up with only one record, but what a record this is!
the best selection was to be gazed upon in the hot shots records tent. this time they had two tents with the second, smaller one being a place for stuff on sale. cd's and records that didn't sell well and stuff with minor damages. i was already through with flicking through the vinyl when i looked into the last two boxes containing vinyl box sets. and there it was, a copy of type o negative's last full length "dead again". i wasn't familiar with the going rates and i couldn't get no internet on my mobile but fourty five bucks seemed like a good deal.
the guy before me even grabbed two copies and the hype sticker ("double 180gr red vinyl)"finally made me buy one. well, my copy has a ding in the upper right corner but for this price i really can live with it. a copy on discogs with the same flaw is listed for 103€. a really cool find considering it was still sealed and actually released over ten years ago. musically this is such a great record. i listened to it nonstop for the last four days. type o in full glory - dark, depressive, self-ironic, dreamy, laid back. the box set is cool, too. the album on two red vinyl discs, a live record on black, an lp-sized booklet, a bonus dvd with a wacken set from 2007 and a shirt. i am in love. rasputin in heaven. spv/steamhammer records. 2007/2008.

Dienstag, 30. Juli 2019

monotheist - scourge

the last of the prosthetic records batch right here. monotheist were new to me but since eighty percent of the vinyl records that land on my turntable are tech death related, i keep my eyes peeled for new additions to the collection. i still had a discount code from jpc.de to burn and when i spotted the record among other prosthetic titles, i decided to go for it.
i remembered a newsletter from prosthetic advertising the album as a new technical death metal pearl and so i gave it a shot. now, after a few listens, i really dig this release. it starts like the usual tech death massacre, solid but nothing new. as soon as "mark of the beast I: the image" kicks in the record takes a turn. the guys experiment with interludes, instrumentals, chamber music and weird hooks.
it still sounds a bit confused at times and not really cohesive but it is definitely a fun listen with many twists. the vinyl pressing looks really nice but is actually the real weakness of the release. a lot of surface noise and it seems that insufficient dehorning in the production process caused repeating grinding noise in the background. do i have a one-off or did anyone here experience the same? still, a great album musically! 300 copies made. prosthetic records. 2018.

Sonntag, 28. Juli 2019

the acacia strain - wormwood

finally! a gaping wound in my collection can now be closed eventually. to this point i had all the acacia strain full lengths on a first press basis, except that miserable first pressing of "wormwood", the band's fifth record. i missed out in the first place in 2010 and when i started to chase the vinyl versions a few years later, prices were already sky rocketing.
there were 1.000 copies of the first press, 500 on black vinyl and five colours each limited to 100. all of them are selling for 100 quid at least. the clear blue version even sold for 180 dollars. no way i was going to fight for a copy in that weight class. thankfully prosthetic records had the insight to finally re-press this monster.
musically this one is fantastic. i had almost forgotten about it but when i listen to the album, i cannot help but keep thinking that it is almost as good as "continent". especially the guest vocals by hatebreed's jamey jasta on "the beast" and 100 demonsbruce lepage on "nightman" are mind blowing. the colour-way is ace, too. 250 copies on semi translucent orange with white and blue splatter. prosthetic records. 2010/2019.

Freitag, 26. Juli 2019

animals as leaders - s/t (10th anniversary pressing)

so yeah, this is actually my third copy of that specific album in my possession. my first one was the clear blue pressing out of 250 copies from 2015 which came in a single pocket sleeve. not my favourite colour-way and no gatefold but beggars can't be choosers, right?! two years ago prosthetic released another pressing.
as part of their silver series they marketed this version containing the songs of the re-vised "encore edition" with more additional bonus tracks and the original 3-d art on an insert. cooler colour-way but still no gatefold. when the band announced their touring cycle to celebrate the 10th year anniversary of their debut record this year, prosthetic records came up with a new pressing.
three colour-ways, encore edition track list and a freaking gatefold sleeve. of course i was all over the pre-order. jpc.de had copies available to pre-order and since jpc is a distro, i was bound to get the least limited version. no problem, because this yellow marble/clear green and black smoke edition looks really nice. finally i have my gatefold cover! 250 copies made. prosthetic records. 2009/2019.


post scriptum: of course i went to see the band play live in hamburg. i bought a ticket in last year, i believe. it was worth every penny. great atmosphere among the crowd, great set list with many songs of the debut, indeed and i even was able to catch a drum stick from matt gorstka (ok, actually the roadie threw it because the band was gone fast after the show :). fanboy heaven.

Mittwoch, 24. Juli 2019

baroness - gold & grey

a new record by baroness. "already a new one?", i asked myself. it felt like "purple" came out last year or so. when i checked back, i realised that said album was released four years ago in 2015. boy, time flies. ok, so a new baroness record isn't that strange after all and i pre-ordered a goddamn copy anyway. i took the easy way out and opted for the indie retailer version that was available from a domestic mailorder.
there are a bunch of nicer looking versions out there but the orange/blue edition seemed like a reasonable choice when i pre-ordered at emp mailorder. after the record was delivered and i unwrapped it for the first time, i was amazed by the whole set. again baroness put so much love into the packaging, alone the lovely booklet with additional art by marald van haasteren from the netherlands is worth the purchase.
musically "gold & grey" is the logical next step to its predecessors "yellow & green" and "purple". a lot of smooth arrangements drenched in progressive rock songs with little bursts of energy here and there. i do really like that and i do have no bad feelings about the sound production here like so many others seem to experience. strong output which comes in a gatefold sleeve, printed dust sleeves, booklet, d-side etching and clear red-orange/clear sea blue vinyl. abraxan hymns records. 2019.

Samstag, 20. Juli 2019

flub - s/t

flub. what a strange name. i didn't know the translation when i first read the title of just another artisan era records release. my research brought up the result that it means similar to a big mistake - still a strange name. when i visited the tube to check them out i found two videos. the first one showed the members performing in white shirts in front of white bed sheets. i really began to wonder.
the next video showed the members in front of the same bed sheets but this time in colourful hawaiian shirts. on top of this the vocalist looks like zach de la rocha and the weird feeling about this band reached its climax. alright, put aside all those admittedly odd appearances and what is left? solid deathcore that feels like it was made in the mid 00's with an proggy edge to it.
all this is very enjoyable because the band knows how to surprise. when you think you know what flub is about, they are coming with another bizarre twist round the corner. great debut that doesn't bore with too much detail. short and crisp! i ordered at jpc.de without knowing what colour-way i would get. i was really happy when i unwrapped the coolest. pink with light blue and purple splatter. 100 copies made. artisan era. 2019.