Montag, 20. November 2017

bolt thrower - war master

bolt thrower and me had a long time coming. i heard the name thrown around quite often in combination with old heaven shall burn stuff and given the fact that i love old heaven shall burn stuff, i actually wanted to check them out way earlier. what always put me off was the obvious war affinity in lyrics and artwork. i could never share the fascination and think that wars should be an invention mankind got rid off long time ago and only discuss about the idiocy of it in school lessons. anyway, i still ended up with the band's second full length on some nice vinyl colour. how come? good question.
well, i watched a few bits on ebay on auction by the same seller. among his offerings were this copy of bolt thrower's "war master". albeit the cover looked absolutely cheesy and beyond, i was attracted to it. so i did a bit research about the band and found out that they loosely based their lyrics on the tabletop game warhammer. i am no player/worshipper by any means but i got introduced to the game in my teens by an old friend who was very enthusiastic about it. he gave me endless lectures about warhammer back then and i thought it was a cool game. i couldn't warm up with playing it because it was too tactical but i liked the idea of collecting those figures and painting them in your favoured fashion.
serious nerd stuff, and nerd stuff is something i can rely to very well. suddenly bolt thrower became very interesting. i finally listened to some stuff of "war master" and liked it. in the end this record was the only i succesfully bid on and i am really happy to have it. it is a re-press from 2013 and earache kept completely true to the original release from 1991. even the lyric booklet is included. i read that the lyrics were not warhammer related anymore but the artwork from the gatefold sleeve and booklet is obvioulsy leaned on warhammer fantasy and 40k. cool in a way, love the alice cooper warrior in the centre. musically this lovely old school mid-tempo death metal but you already know that. 200 copies on white with blue splatter vinyl. earache records. 1991/2013.

Samstag, 18. November 2017

shroud eater - strike the sun

save the best for last. the fourth record i ordered at kozmik artifactz is such a rager. shroud eater's debut full length was a little surprise box to me. i read about the album on the vinyl diaries blog and just thought that the artwork was looking cool. when i saw the record at kozmik, i gave it a shot just to see if i might be interested. as soon as "iron mountain" was through, i knew i needed this piece. what a crushing behemoth of a doom metal song.
the band is a three-piece consisting of two girls on bass respectively on guitar and a guy on drums. all three are also performing vocals on the recording which adds a touch of more diversity. the rest is sludgy doom metal of the heavy kind. another band that came to my mind several times while listening to shroud eater was the mighty conan. the ultra low tuned string instruments are pounding out riffs of biblical proportions and the heavy drumming continuously reverberates amongst the madness.
check out this scorcher in its entirety here. what i have here is the 'not so standard' edition on cream, red and brown swirl. at the time it was the only available option at kozmik. by now they added some copies of the hand-numbered obi-strip edition. too bad for me because they look pretty good. anyway, this swirl edition looks sharp as well and i think the it's the nicest of the pressing. the gatefold is graced with disturbing yet beautiful artwork which is printed partly with an uv effect. great presentation all around. 250 copies made. stb records. 2017.

Mittwoch, 15. November 2017

asg - win us over

the third record of my little haul from kozmik artifactz aptly is asg's (amplification of self-gratification) third full length "win us over". this is one of the records i am actually after for quite a while now but somehow lost track on it along the way. when i searched for the monolord record it was an accidental find. "win us over" popped up among the search results and i thought it was finally time for me to snag a copy.
the album was actually released in 2008 on volcom entertainment. i never heard of the label and thought volcom was just a clothing company. obviously the guys at volcom also had some interest in music. anyway, it wasn't until six years later in 2014 that relapse records produced the first vinyl pressing for "win us over". in the mean time the band moved to relapse and had already released their first full length for the label in 2013 ("blood drive").
"win us over" is a brilliant stoner record from start to finish. the band members had a strict queens of the stone age and kyuss diet, it seems. still asg knows how to throw their very own ingredients into the mix. they strongly lean to the metal end of the spectrum when the singer deals some harsh shouts here and there. but the most of the time asg plays some high-nod-rate stoner rock/metal with beautiful melodies. check out the full album here.
for their first vinyl press relapse subtly changed the colours of the cover background from red/yellow to purple. don't know why they thought this was a good idea. some legal problems with volcom? i mean, it's not a big deal, just seems so random and therefore unnecessary. anyway, it's still a good cover that screams stoner rock. the vinyl colour is very nice. i think for splatter colour patterns, white is the best main colour. lovely white with multi-colour splatter out of 800 copies. relapse records. 2014.

Montag, 13. November 2017

monolord - rust

the mighty monolord is back. my wife always shakes her head in disbelief when the name monolord drops. to be fair, it is a quite stupid name but over time i think it grows into being just cool. names aside, i learned pretty early in the year that the swedish trio would come up with a new full length but this time i wasn't sucked into pre-ordering the record from sweden like i did with the predecessor "vænir".
after i pre-ordered "vænir" back in 2015, kozmik artifactz put up some opaque colours in their store and i always thought that it would have been cooler to get one of those. but i stepped back because i already paid enough for the band exclusive version. this time around i wanted to wait for kozmik to buy a copy from them and save on shipping costs. it worked out and so i ordered a mysterious "colour vinyl" copy not knowing what it would turn out to be.
as you can see, it came to be the opaque yellow version. musically monolord knows the score. upon first listen i wasn't completely convinced of "rust". the songs felt a bit dull. after repeated listens my opinion did a 180. the record crushes everything in its way and is such a laid back piece of doom metal at the same time - infectious to say the least. the closing riff of "at niceae" is representative for this contrast. crushing but laid back as well. check it out.
the record appeared on riding easy records, like all monolord records to this point. the label pressed numerous editions for "rust". as mentioned before i got a copy of the opaque yellow pressing out of 400 copies. nice shade of the colour. it is super bright. the fold out cover is made of sturdy matte cardboard which smells good (yeah, i smell at records too). a quality release all around. kozmik artifactz has some copies left. riding easy records. 2017.

Freitag, 10. November 2017

mother crone - awakening

first part of my order at kozmik artifactz mailorder. it is arguably the best stoner/doom/psych mailorder in germany and their supply is always perfectly up-to-date and exclusive in many cases. no difference this time. i start with the band mother crone from the united states and their debut "awakening". i stumbled upon this band via another fellow vinyl collector and his blog. the blog is called vinyl diaries and here i heard the first time of dhu records from the netherlands. it's a small d.i.y. label specialised on stoner, doom and sludge metal stuff. i searched thorugh their selection and came across mother crone.
i found the artwork cool and just because of that i listened to some songs of their album via their bandcamp. i liked what i heard and as i wanted to avoid the higher shipping from the netherlands, i ordered at kozmik artifactz instead. therfore i couldn't get my greedy hands on the most limited version but i think this "revelation edition" looks nice anyway. what does "awakening" sound like? it's a mixture of doom and stoner metal, mostly played in midtempo. a crusher. here and there the three guys venture into some progressive areas which really helps to add some freshness. a rock solid debut here.
the dark hedonistic union (dhu records) really put some effort into the presentation of "awakening". sturdy gatefold sleeve with thick spine. black poly-lined dust sleeve and really nice bone white with sea blue and oxblood splatter vinyl out of 100 copies. although the splatter was a bit more prominent in the mock-ups. anyway, all three colour-ways (including the more limited "black sea" edition) are still available at the label's bigcartel store. will keep my eyes peeled in the future for both, dhu and mother crone. dhu records. 2017.

Montag, 6. November 2017

gojira - the way of all flesh (blue/black merge re-press)

after the mastodon record of the last post another band out of my top five is honouring this blog. gojira. this french institution is unbeaten in terms of atmosphere, intelligent song-writing and sophisticated, yet philosophical lyrics. gojira never released any half-baked records, their discography is flawless. as the greatness of this band didn't go unrecognised among music fans, their recorded material is object to high demand.
listenable records didn't even press some vinyl for the initial release in 2008. the liscence to do so went to prosthetic records, which pressed some colour copies for the north american market. those copies fetch crazy prices on second-hand market places nowadays. listenable produced their first press in 2013 and keeps the record in press pretty regularly. i bought a copy of the second listenable pressing on clear with black and blue splatter two years back.
a good friend of mine shares the excitement for gojira with me and as a present i couldn't think of a better way than to get him his favourite gojira record "the way of all flesh". i was toying with the idea to get a copy of the new merge colour re-press anyway and so i gave away my clear splatter copy and ordered a new record at nuclear blast along with the recent cradle of filth release. the release date got postponed week after week until nuclear blast told me, that they wouldn't get any copies from the wholesale and then gave me a refund.
i got a bit nervous because all the german distros didn't carry any copies anymore. finally i reached out for the mother label. in the end i paid about ten bucks more because of the high shipping rates from france but i got a lovely blue and black merge copy eventually. this colour-way compliments the cover art superbly. great edition. unfortunately my printed dust sleeves are split on the edges but at least my cover sleeve is in great condition. got a little discount on future orders at listenable in return. we'll see when there is the chance to use it anyway. 700 copies made. listenable records. 2008/2017.

Freitag, 3. November 2017

mastodon - remission (gatefold lp)

no doubt, mastodon is among my top five of favourite bands and they are ranking pretty high. therefore it always was important to get all their full length releases on vinyl. i accomplished this goal two years ago and extended the collection with this year's release of "emperor of sand". so all the records sit on my shelf in the m-section, waiting right there for listening purposes. almost all. three years ago i bought the box-set re-issue of the band's debut "remission" dircetly from relapse.
as i feel that my box-sets deserve a special spot on my shelf, i placed them seperately. the problem was that this kind of ruined my full mastodon album set in the m-section. there were two possible solutions. first one was to place the box among the other mastodon records which was pretty much out of the question for me, second one was to get a regular gatefold version of "remission". the nerd-o-meter was heavily responding here and i knew it, that is why i was hesitant in the past.
i even let a purple and black spit copy of the sixth press slip through my fingers at blitz record store in kiel because i felt that i didn't really need another copy. but in terms of record collecting the word "need" is misplaced right from the start. of course, i don't need all my records but it's fun to have and to spin them. with this insight i embraced the ninth pressing that emp mailorder had to offer and finally filled the vacant space in my mastodon album set in the m-section. peace at last.
the re-press itself looks very nice. the two vinyl discs cut at 45rpm come on a colour-inside-colour pattern which is pretty en vogue these days. aqua blue inside ultra clear with multi colour splatter vinyl - wow, what a description. the cover sleeve features some artwork on gatefold inside and back which is not included in the box-set version. more reasons that tame my conscience. this pressing is limited to 1500 copies. crazy, ninth pressing and still the demand for these mastodon records is high. quality work here, i guess. relapse records. 2002/2017.

Montag, 30. Oktober 2017

cradle of filth - cryptoriana - the seductiveness of decay

the twelfth album of cradle of filth. pretty impressing number, especially when the numerous e.p's, compilations, dvd's and other odds and ends releases are not even taken into consideration. nevertheless i wasn't overly excited when the pre-orders went live. since "hammer of the witches" couldn't stand the test of time - great songs like "right wing of the garden tryptich" or "yours immortally" overshadowed a few weaker songs at first glance - my expectations weren't going through the roof.
when i finally ordered a copy, the album was even already released and i put it in the cart just because i had to make the order worthwhile with a second record. considering that the last real good cradle album was released almost ten years ago ("goodspeed on the devil's thunder") and that records without guitarist paul allender tend to suck - to be fair there are actually quite a few weak cradle releases that feature allender as well - chances for a return to form seemed faint. but these bad omens seemed to be all the band needed to prove me wrong.
oh boy, "cyrptoriana - the seductiveness of decay" is a rager all the way through. when i said that "hammer of the witches" could be good after a few spins (and came out to be "ok" in the end), all i needed was one run-through to recognise that this record was all i wanted from a cradle of filth piece. the song quantity was lowered, songs got lengthier and thus more complex and that seemed to be the trick. seven lengthy pieces of gothic horror - intense, fast, epic and heavy. check the single "heartbreak and seance".
lyrically there is no concept story line, just the theme of the victorian age of great britain to which the lyrics are loosely connected. still, these kind of short stories are a really interesting read and the perfect match for the fantastic music. the presentation is quite nice. standard gatefold with the obligatory band pic on the inside - just the second time in the over twenty five year long existence that cradle recorded two albums in a row with the same line-up - a fold-out insert with lyrics and further artwork and lovely black and white split vinyl out of 500 copies. nuclear blast. 2017.

Samstag, 28. Oktober 2017

death - individual thought patterns

the newest installment in the death album re-issue series by relapse records. "individual thought patterns" is the fifth death full length and was originally released in 1993 on relativity records. relapse learned from the past re-issues and was ready to unleash a shit-load of vinyl options for this one, so i tried to choose wisely from what source i should get a copy. when the "human" re-press was released it was the last record i ordered directly from the label in the states. in the meanwhile they opened an european store which will spare me undesired shipping costs in the future.
but for "individual thought patterns" relapse again pressed a german retail edition which, unlike the last editions, promised to come on some nice colour configuration. emp mailorder offered some copies and i was there for the taking. the record arrived clocklike and after the first listen i was blown away. the record is the perfect successor of "human". the jazzy feel to their compositions got explored further and the technical skills of mastermind schuldiner and his version of the band for this record are breathtaking.
you all probably already did but if not, then check this record out, now! relapse did an awesome job with this re-issue, like always. the label especially loves its cover foil prints for the re-pressings. nile had them and most death records have them too. i like it. the vinyl itself comes on sharp clear red with black and white splatter out of 500 copies. there is also some bronze supposed to be in the mix but i am not sure about that. the fold-out insert comes with liner notes of ex-band members and contemporary witnesses. good work! relapse records. 2017.

Donnerstag, 19. Oktober 2017

the black dahlia murder - nightbringers

this band is regular as clockwork. every two years a new record and this procedure continues since the debut "unhallowed" from 2003. so without any confirmation, i prepared myself for a new album this year and wouldn't you know it, there was one in the pipeline. the new baby goes by the name of "nightbringers" and the first thing that let me burst with anticipation was the awesome cover art by necrolord a.k.a. kristian wåhlin. i wasn't a fan of the "abysmal" art concept and was therefore more than happy with this great artwork.
he also drew the "nocturnal" cover and in the face of the ten-year-anniversary of that classic dahlia record it seemed like the perfect idea to let the man go for "nightbringers". he did an outstandingly good job. so expectations were high. can "nightbringers" live up to that? partly. the album has some undeniable fantastic moments. songs like "of god and serpent, of spectre and snake", the title track "nightbringers" or "catacomb hecatomb" are pure gold.
on the other side songs like "jars" or "as good as dead" don't really click with me. don't get me wrong, this is complaining on a high level. of course, the album is a good listen - i mean, it's a black dahlia album after all - but i am not sure if i consider this full length a classic in ten years. well, that's just my opinion. go, pick up a copy and form your own on "nightbringers". vinyl variations are plenty for this eighth album of the band.
if discogs information is complete then there are at least ten different colour variations. i snagged the exclusive european mailorder edition on white vinyl. i ordered a copy as soon as pre-orders went up at emp and thus were too early for the impericon edition on opaque red with black splatter. as i didn't want to go through the hassle to cancel an order for another one, i stuck with my white copy and am happy with it. comes with a big poster. 300 copies made. metal blade. 2017.