Montag, 28. Juli 2014

earth crisis - breed the killers

earth crisis is one of my favourite bands. i love their mid-tempo kiloton riffs and their very own interpretation of metal and groove-laden hardcore. they have a signature sound and that is rare in today's scene. earth crisis is a band others get compared to, and quite rightly, if you ask me. this is their musical side. next to that, there are karl buechner's formidable lyrics. i'm not always in agreement with his statements but he is never trivial. always stuff to think about and to grapple with. hardcore. period.
it's hard for me to pick a favourite among their records. such a damn good discography. but if i have to pick, it would be, by a narrow margin, 'breed the killers'. it was the second ec-album to hit my ears and i can't tell what it is exactly that makes it special to me. i mean, musically, i can't say that i like it more than 'gomorrah's season ends' or the three records after their re-union, but 'killers' is different. it's probably the records one hears first that binds to a certain band and that leads to idolisation. check 'ultramilitance' and 'one against all' and get lost in controversy. be it because of the lyrics, or be it because of rob flynn, haha.
somewhere along the way i read that 'breed the killers' was also pressed to some coloured vinyl, next to its black counterpart. but i never saw one pop up, nor did i find someone who was willing to sell it for a price i was willing to pay. so i played the waiting game and won eventually. a nice mate on discogs happened to sell his well cared for red copy for some fair money. i took the chance and am now a proud owner of one out of 500 produced copies. by the way, does anyone know what the cover art shows? i just don't get it, no matter for how long i stare on this. roadrunner records handled the cd version. equal vision records took care of the vinyl. 1998.

Freitag, 25. Juli 2014

mastodon - leviathan

when i wrote about the 'call of the mastodon' compilation i bought recently, i mentioned the purchase of their sophomore record 'leviathan'. beause i really wanted the colour variant i ordered directly from the label. which means i ordered from the states. which means it took up to three weeks to arrive here in germany. ahh, waiting, the most gnawing tormentor of all. but anyway, it arrived here in perfect shape. and thanks to the label and the people working there, i didn't have to pay any more fees either, because of a well-meant customer declaration.
first thing that blew me away holding the actual record in hands, was this stunning piece of artwork. i knew the look of the cd artwork being different to its lp equivalent, showing just an excerpt. and that is fantastic in its own right already. but the whole thing with the whale's complete shape and the gloomy dark-blue colour scheme around the picture's principal point are simply outstanding. on top of that, the inner sleeve shows an even more extended art and the back looks amazing with its art nouveau ornamentation.
compared to the 'call of the mastodon' pieces, 'leviathan' sounds more like a whole (quite normal as 'call...' is compiled of two 7"es), is better thought out and got a clearer production. i was reading some reviews about the record beforehand and read about the album being lyrically based on herman melville's moby dick. yes, i love stuff like this. you know, i'm a big fan of all things jules verne, i love star wars and indiana jones, i love comic books and stuff, and therefore moby dick is just my kind of adventurous tale to arouse my deepest curiosity. i knew about the story vaguely and so decided to even buy the book for better comprehension. i'm still at it and it's a very good read so far. recommendation!
back to the music. without knowing 'remission' as yet, they included some more sung parts and in turn reduced the grunts. i really like that, it gives the album a more stoner/doom metal approach which makes quite an entertaining mix with the hardcore and death metal tunes. check out my favourites 'seabeast' and 'aqua dementia'. leviathan is in its eighth pressing by now. lucky me that the demand seems to be still high and relapse keeps on repressing it after ten years of its initial release. spares me the agony of price over at discogs for a coloured copy. 504 copies made on tri-colour vinyl as a mailorder exclusive. relapse records. 2004/2014.

Sonntag, 20. Juli 2014

sick of it all - just look around

it seems only natural that, when a certain label carries the plan to reissue sick of it all's debut 'blood, sweat and no tears', relativity records or whoever holds the rights to this recorded nyhc-history now, throws in a 'just look around' from 1992 for free. it's like pay one, take two. 'blood, sweat...' was re-pressed three times in 1999 (kingfisher), 2006 (street justice rec.) and 2010 (reflections rec.), and everytime 'just look around' came with it. this time as well. i purchased both records through an ebay retailer on pre-order in early april this year. the release date was set on april, 30th. 
the day came and went, so does the following week. i asked the seller. he said that cargo records, which distributed the record in germany, postponed the roll-out because of delivery problems by strength records itself. the next date came and went. another delay of two weeks coming my way. in the meantime i saw copies pop on other german distros, and began to play with the thought of asking for a refund and order somewhere else. after another round of questions, the ebay retailer gave me a final date. and this time it wasn't just to stall me.
after almost two months of waiting both re-presses dropped at my door eventually. and yes, they look fine. for 'just look around', strength records chose a red a shade lighter and white for the merge mix. real good choice, i say. this time i could have done without the splatter but it doesn't ruin it for me either. lovely 180gr vinyl and done is a solid re-issue. don't have to tell you about the music. you know that already. a classic that is at eye level with 'scratch the surface', as long as i am concerned that is. strength records. 2014. 

Donnerstag, 17. Juli 2014

sick of it all - blood, sweat and no tears

the great vinyl-reissue-god maketh thee! worship! sick of it all's first full length record sat for quite some time on my wantlist. not on top of it but definitely there. of course i had plenty options to buy a copy in the past. the first press on in-effect goes for really fair money on discogs (on a side note, i like the weird fact that there were only the lyrics of 'injustice system' printed on the dust sleeve, and you could order a lyric paper sheet with the rest seperately from the label). the kingfisher coloured re-press from 1999 sells in the same range.
availability wasn't an issue. price wasn't too. but there is something about records which are not on top of the want list, and that's simply the fact of medium importance. there are a shitload of them on the list and i always postpone when there are more urgent things to buy. but i know for sure, the time will come. in this case the time had come with a recent re-press.
strength records from the netherlands felt that, after the kingfisher re-press in '99, the street justice picture disc from 2006 and the reflections records black press from 2010, the world needed another version of this classic. in my book they are damn right with that assumption. strength pressed three colours and black vinyl. 100 on silver vinyl, 250 on red vinyl, 250 on black and 400 red/grey swirl w/ black splatter vinyl. i opted for the most interesting. some may argue that this colour pattern is too much but i think it looks pretty nice. check out some hardcore history here. strength records. 2014.

Montag, 14. Juli 2014

cattle decapitation - karma.bloody.karma

as i mentioned in my last cattle decapitation post featuring their second metal blade output 'humanure', i would return confidently with number three for metal blade. so here we are. karma.bloody.karma. what a name for a record! i'm surprised that no new band has chosen to adopt this name. anyway, as soon as 'humanure' was up on the nuclear blast web shop, 'karma' was also there. two versions but with no further explanations. what colour and numbers and so forth.
when 'humanure' dropped, nuclear got more specific. now all the information i needed was there. a splatter version limited to 200 copies and a colour in colour version limited to 300 copies. again i thought the colour merge version would be more attractive visually but this time the collector's heart was pumping stronger. i went for the red/orange splatter. as you can see, something went wrong. at first i was pissed. man, that sucks. holding the record in hands you waited a long pre-order process to arrive and then it's the wrong bloody version. 
now i would have to send it back, probably pay extra bucks for shipping and wait another week or two or so for the right thing. plus i was really eager to listen to it. i avoided to listen to the download in whole because i wanted to drop the needle on it like a new release. when the first grudge was swallowed i thought, fuck it! i keep it. so i removed the shrink wrap and for the first time took a look at the vinyl colour. wait a second, that ain't bad. in fact, it's really good. the a-side looks pretty much like blood running down the drain. fantastic! satisfaction at last.
musically this is their best material to that point. way better than the horrible 'to serve man' and a real step forward to the good 'humanure'. they got a little bit more complex and even a bit noisy, but everything in the right dosage. they also included some grim melodies and the sound is for the first time really good, comes with a handy portion of pressure. the artwork is just classy. the indian goddess of death and destruction, kali, with a cattle head. so, very very good record all around. metal blade records. 2006/2014.

Samstag, 12. Juli 2014

bloodstained & length of time split 7"

my actual goal i tried to achieve by visiting the ratel records webshop, was to get my hands on a copy of a split release involving length of time from belgium. i was able to snag a copy of their 'how good the world could be... again' on red vinyl last year and since then i'm out for more. even though their pre-nineties stuff will be hard to come by, this one was an relatively easy pick.
i read a story that the band length of time shares this split with, bloodstained, was actually supposed to team up with arkangel rather than l.o.t. the 7" got delayed and i don't know exactly what happened but somehow l.o.t. took arkangels place here. the l.o.t. side looks really like an imrovised job. their song is called 'maleficious world 2009' and the name implies that this song was already four years old at the point of release.
after some research i came across the information that the song was, now in its final version, used for the 'let the world with the sun go down' from 2012. i still don't have because it being released on picture disc only. meehhh! that doesn't stop the song from being awesome though. great stuff! that metallic hardcore with this life of agony touch to it. check it out.
the bloodstained part is pretty boring, standard mid 00's metalcore stuff. doesn't knock my socks off. but as always i want to give you the chance to build your own opinion. you can do so here. the artwork is quite interesting. i like that colour-scheme and how the vinyl matches it. but who is this guy on the cover? (willem, you know, mate?) if that is quite obvious and i'm just an idiot for not knowing, forgive my lack of knowledge. ratel pressed 100 copies of this and you can still buy it. ratel records. 2013.

Freitag, 11. Juli 2014

death row - 100% 7"

a quite active label in the past was this up and coming ratel records from poland. they had been releasing some domestic stuff and some other bands from the european hardcore scene. everything with a strong d.i.y. attitude. i have some releases of reality check sitting at home and thought i might check what else they had to offer. so on to the ratel records website and from there to the linked web shop.
death row is a hardcore band from warsaw, poland. i don't know too much about them. they are around since 2010 or 2011 and have three releases in their vita. a demo from 2011, a split 7" with hard to breathe (also from warsaw) from 2013 and this baby in front of me. they are playing no frills nyhc with a strong agnostic front reminiscence. you can download '100%' directly and for free from their bandcamp.
after you downloaded and perhaps enjoyed it, you can head straight over to the store and order a copy. according to the description, ratel still has thirteen copies left at the moment. what i am talking about is the pre-order version on black w/ white splatter vinyl. it comes with a different pre-order cover, which looks preferable to the regular version in my book, some stickers and everything limited to 110 copies. ratel records. 2012.

Montag, 7. Juli 2014

sick of it all - scratch the surface

i've waited a long time for this record. of course i wanted a coloured version, but original colour vinyl is hard to come by. ebay germany didn't come up with an option. shitloads of the east-west records germany lp that came only on black, but none of the american equal vision colour discs. discogs had a clear one for a not too unreasonable price, nevertheless it was still pricey. so twenty years after its initial release and round about sixteen years after i heard it for the first time, music on vinyl did me the favour to repress 'scratch the surface'.
and boy they did a beautiful job with it. mov produced a lovely house for the record in the form of a glossy and thick cardboard sleeve, added a nice poly-lined black dust sleeve and rounded it all out with amazing marbled orange 180gr vinyl. a worthy presentation for one of my favourite albums ever and an auditive pleasure to listen to it on vinyl, finally.
to me, some of the very best sick of it all songs found their place on this album. the driving 'consume', the uniting 'step down' (best video clip there is), the relentless 'maladjusted' (those hypnotising guitar feedbacks at the end) or the almost cathartic 'return to reality' making this album an evergreen. i think it will never bore me. to put it into a nutshell: 'scratch the surface' is my favourite nyhc record. period.
mov limited this release to 1500 numbered lp's, so not really limited at all. but do i look like i care? no way, it's about the music and not limitations. ok, that's a lie, it's not always about limitations. my english mate jake already posted about his copy. read about it here. the records are numbered in the bottom left corner of the back of the cover. mine is #1121. comes with the hidden track 'straight ahead', which was new to me. short slab of classic soia stuff. nice addition! music on vinyl. 2014.

Freitag, 4. Juli 2014

strife - one truth

blueprint nineties hardcore. inextricably linked to this statement is a band called strife. everything that has to be said about them had been said. the hype they generated with their first two victory records, their split in '99, i think, their edge-break, their comeback with 'angermeans' and the long time of uncertainty until their return to form with 'wittness a rebirth'. you all know about that so let us go directly to the music and to the record itself.
'one truth' is a hulk of a debut album. metallic shaped hardcore with simple but very strong lyrics. yeah man, that's good shit. check out 'through and through' and 'lift'. obviously you know the songs but just for the hell of it. the album was released in 1994 and came on three colours. 500 on red vinyl, 510 on lovely opaque light blue vinyl and black vinyl. never saw any of the coloured records on ebay though, so i was quite happy to see the rare clear w/ black smoke re-press poping up on the bay.
victory seems to press all of their newer records and re-pressings on a clear w/ smoke colour-way limited to 100 copies (this one is out of 109 though). i was able to snag that shining copy for the price of a regular new lp. i think they were supposed to come with a download code, understandably mine is missing here. unlike the first pressing, this comes with a glue-pocket sleeve instead of a gatefold. but i'm quite fond of that. victory records. 1994/20??.