Dienstag, 17. Juli 2018

kataklysm - meditations (tape)

i have been not very enthusiastic about the release of the new kataklysm record in the first place. the predcessor "of ghosts and gods" was a very good record but somehow it didn't get much play time on my turntable. on every, admittedly rarer, occasion i dropped the needle on that one, i wondered as to why there is such a discrepancy between quality and play time. i feel it is because of this contradiction i was not in gleeful anticipation of "meditations". that changed when i saw the album on tape for pre-order at nuclear blast.
i found cassette tapes to be a fantastic way of still getting music on a physical format for which i don't want to pay the extra cash of the vinyl editions. the excitement for the actual look of the tape and its transfer of artwork to the cassette format, changed my initial attitude towards "meditations". now i was eager to listen to it. after a few run-throughs i am sure that this album will face more play time in the future. a great record. not all songs are pure gold but pieces like "outsider" or "narcissist" carry the whole to higher spheres. lovely! 200 copies made. nuclear blast. 2018.

Sonntag, 15. Juli 2018

yob - our raw heart

yob is one of the bands i regard as a real concept of art - musically, lyrically and visually. their records are melting pots of great musicianship, creativity and much thought. therefore i am always looking forward to new stuff of this american three-piece around band leader mike scheidt. when pre-orders for "our raw heart" went live at the relapse records e-shop, i was thinking if i should get a relapse exclusive version or settle for the german retail version.
in the end the better price and the easier availability tipped the scale in favour of the retail version. i pre-ordered at emp mailorder and the record arrived in prime condition. after listening to "our raw heart" a couple of times, i think it is safe to say that it is one of their best records. to me "atma" will stay number one because it was my introduction to the band but the new record is all you ever wished for from yob.
it is heavy, slow, hypnotising, intense and melodic - sometimes all at once. a crazy journey which i think is more variable than "clearing the path to ascend" and easier accessible in general. still yob emphasises everything they stand for. fantastic, bluntly put. the presentation does the musical content justice. lovely artwork by orion landau (who worked on quite a few relapse titles, including obscura, red fang, ect.) and nice electric blue vinyl out of 300 copies. relapse records. 2018.

Samstag, 14. Juli 2018

khemmis - desolation

the announcement of khemmis' new full length "desolation" gave me a thrill of anticipation. the first reason for this delight was an obvious one: a new khemmis full length. secondly i was happy that they signed an almost worldwide (excluding north america) deal with nuclear blast which would spare me the agony of ordering vinyl from the states. when pre-orders went live i didn't waste a second and ordered a copy of the limited orange vinyl.
with my copy in hands the first thing that jumps at me looking at the cover is the consistency in artwork throughout their records. again the two main characters, the wizard and the warrioress, are to be seen. this time united in bitterness, it seems. musically khemmis went by the motto "why fix what ain't broke?" and delivered what will become a modern classic. same recipe as on "absolution" and "hunted" but simply better. check the video for "isolation".
the orange copies already sold out at nuclear blast but they now have a second press on blue to offer. i have to admit that in comaprison with the 20 buck spin (the label that handled vinyl affairs for north america) vinyl versions, the nb version falls a bit flat but all in all i am really happy with the look. great cover sleeve with bronze foil print, cool lp-sized booklet with more art and the nice solid orange vinyl make for a clean and neat presentation. 300 copies made. nuclear blast. 2018.

Montag, 9. Juli 2018

bleeding through - love will kill all

the name bleeding through is back on the map. i was a bit surprised i have to admit. for the most part band combacks doesn't really astonish me these days but concerning bleeding through, i really thought they were gone for good. well, reality taught me differently. the band is back with the most succesful line-up from the past and what can i say? the boys and girl know how to write some killer metalcore songs.
the band proves that after six years since their last full length they still have something to say. the single songs get a specific urge across, to me the record feels faster and angrier than the last three albums. of course bleeding through includes a few of those kitsch choruses (which i still like, though) but they are part of their signature sound. so all in all nothing new but a high quality continuation of what the band is good at. check it for yourself here.
after the last few records were released through rise records and roadrunner records, for "love will kill all" bt teamed up with sharptone records. it is a subsidiary company of nuclear blast and targets a rather young audience. despite the close link of nuclear blast and sharptone there was no vinyl available via the nb euro store. i got my copy via perkoro.com and recieved the clear red variant. a clear with black splatter variant is also flowing around. 500 copies made of both colours. sharptone records. 2018.

Freitag, 6. Juli 2018

asg - survive sunrise

asg are back with a new album and again relapse records handled the vinyl treatment. it has been five years since "blood drive" came out and i still have no copy of that record. to appease my bad conscience i have because of the lack of "blood drive" in my collection, i wanted to be early in the pre-order game for "survive sunrise".
i had two reasonable options. there was the possibility to order directly from the relapse euro store. that would have meant a cool vinyl colour-way but together with shipping from the netherlands to germany the price increased over thirty bucks. the other way was to order from emp mailorder and to get a lesser cool colour but no shipping costs and fast domestic delivery. well, i gave the latter option a go.
after a month of waiting for the delivery date to come, it was finally time. the record landed at my door step and after the first spin there was not the shadow of a doubt that "survive sunrise" is another cracker from first to last tune by amplification of self gratification, short asg. super smooth stoner metal with all the good ingredients. groove, melodies, solos - perfect summer record to me.
check out the video for "lightning song" and don't blame me for falling in love with it. you have been warned. the presentation is pretty nice. the artwork spans over the two panels of the gatefold and is made to be seen vertically. the inside shows the lyrics and album credits. the double lp comes on lovely opaque cyan blue vinyl. although the relapse exclusive colours look a bit more exciting, i am very pleased with my copy. 200 made. relapse records. 2018.

Mittwoch, 4. Juli 2018

rivers of nihil - where owls know my name

rivers of nihil were quite unknown to me when i glimpsed the cover art for their new record "where owls know my name" over at emp mailorder. the band was founded in 2009 and two e.p.'s later they were signed to metal blade records in 2012. in the course of the coming three years rivers of nihil released two full lengths, both flew under my radar. nevertheless the artwork for their third record was intriguing and the term technical death metal made my heart beat faster.
i checked out one or two songs. my initial thought was: "not bad but do i really need that record?" well, the music was cool enough to convince me of buying the lp. i have listened to "where owls know my name" a few times and am still not sure what to think of it. on the one hand this album is a pandemonium of ideas and progression. a multi-layered piece that bursts with creativity. but on the other hand i feel it is sometimes too much of a good thing.
they seem to get lost in their own sound cosmos and overlook the easy, powerful riff that gives way to all the progressivity. maybe it will grow on me but when i imagine standing in front of my shelf in the need for a modern melodic tech death record, i think i rather pick a fallujah album. still, for fans of the genre this is a no-brainer. the presentation is well done by metal blade. gatefold sleeve with slick artwork and very nice mint and olive green merge with black splatter vinyl. limited and hand-numbered out of 100 copies. metal blade records. 2018.

Dienstag, 3. Juli 2018

ghost - prequelle

i got a number of new releases in the span of the past two or three weeks and i am very excited about them. so in an attempt to be up-to-date and not slow and old, i am going to blog them all off in a row. the starter will be my first ghost record "prequelle". i was always good at being late to a great band party and in keeping with the tradition, i am late with ghost as well. yeah, i am old-fashioned like that.
there was quite a buzz surrounding the release of "prequelle". the band's first three full lengths sold very well and especially the theatrical stage performances and image of the band built quite a reputation. a reputation which didn't reach me in the past. but via a backstage club notification of emp mailorder (a member ship which spares me domestic shipping costs and paid off numerous times by now) i got news of an exclusive vinyl edition and a link to the video of the first single "rats".
wow, video and song both blew me away. "rats" is a catchy hell of a great pop-metal piece and the video reminded me partly of michael jacksons "thriller". after witnessing this revelation i had to buy the record. the whole package doesn't disappoint at all. "prequelle" is occult pop entertainment the best possible way. can't wait to see them live at this year's wacken festival. the physical vinyl edition looks nice as well. only the vinyl colour seemed more exciting in theory than in reality. 500 clear/silver swirl copies made. loma vista records. spinefarm records. 2018.

Sonntag, 1. Juli 2018

depravation - II: maledictvm (tape)

you remember my post about the nile "at the gates of sethu" tape? i wrote that i do not want to buy tapes of albums i already had on vinyl. yeah right, who am i trying to fool here? this is actually the third album on tape i already own on polyvinyl chloride. well, be that as it may. when i bought the 50 lions 7" at the evilgreed.net store, i was searching fro something to add to the order. you know, collector's rules and stuff.
i found a sweet looking item which was also on clearance and so the choice was an easy one to make. depravation's first and to date only full length is a real cracker. i got the vinyl edition years ago in 2013 and was blown away by its subliminal occult charme. the presentation of the tape looks pretty different to its vinyl counterpart and so i thought, i could use a copy of that cassette release. a lovely screen printed slipcase with a labled clear shell tape and a fold-out insert with all lyrics is what you get. hand-numbered out of 100 copies. life and death records. dark omen records. 2013.

Donnerstag, 28. Juni 2018

50 lions - former glory

hands down, 50 lions are one of my favourite contemporary hardcore bands. the only problem i have with the band is that they don't seem to get their shit together to release a new full length. already nine years passed since "where life expires" saw the light of day. in the mean time only two 7"es emerged from the depths.
i found a copy of "pray for nothing" at underdog record store in cologne but i really had a hard time to get my hands on "former glory" this time around. it wasn't like it was hard to find. i could have easily bought one from the states or from australia, where the band comes from, but i couldn't get past these goddamn high shipping rates. black copies were available through german distros but i wanted a coloured one.
so i waited and at some point i forgot about it. when i visited the german evilgreed.net e-store out of boredom i finally came across a colour copy and bought it right away. those two songs are so fucking good, can't stop to listen to them. check them out! second press on lovely burgundy marble vinyl. unfortunately i don't know how many of these beauties were made. six feet under records. 2016./2017.

Dienstag, 26. Juni 2018

iron heel - book of grief (tape)

this tape actually is in my possession since two or three years by now. at the time i already had the vinyl version of "book of grief" from 2013. the album is superb and i played it a lot and still give it a spin occasionally. back then i bought a very good depravation record with dark omen records being involved. i checked the label's store and they had this slick tape version of iron heel's debut full length in stock. the presentation really appealed to me and so i bought it.
even though i had no tape deck at that point i listened to it via my walkman. well, probably just once and then i shelved it. now with a player in my reach i gave it its first proper run-through. the sound quality of the tape is amazing and the tape only bonus track "the end result of 11 months in the mental hospital" alone makes this cassette a winner. nice slipcase with alternate artwork adds to the overall great impression. must have been a real homejob to assemble them. one can see glue fingerprints on the back. 100 copies made. dvvm records. dark omen records. 2015.