Dienstag, 30. September 2014

alpha & omega - devil's bed

i'm pretty busy with packing things because i'm moving appartments in the coming week, so everything is a bit stressful. that's why i didn't find the time to listen to as much music as i want to. i got some nice new releases but i can't say anything profound about them. next month will see more up to date posting about new stuff. for now this will have to do. alpha & omeg's first release in the form of the devil's bed 7" from 2008.
i really loved their sophomore album from last year, 'no rest, no peace', and i said to myself to get their previous stuff whenever given the chance to. and the chance came through ebay. i already lost an auction in the past and now the less limited blue version and this gold copy were ending not far from each other time-wise. the copy that was ending sooner, the blue copy, oddly went for more money than i got the gold copy for. strange world.
musically this is just the great stuff that made me fall in love with 'no rest, no peace'. great riffing, on point drumming and nice hook lines plus a forceful portion of energy. if you like metallic hardcore of any form, give them a chance. disappointment won't be a side effect. check out 'devil's blood' and 'no more pain' in case you don't believe. 1.000 copies of the first pressing: 100 on purple, 600 on blue and 300 on gold vinyl. 6131 records. 2008.

Sonntag, 28. September 2014

cattle decapitation - to serve man

ah man, i did it. i bought a record i don't wanted. and i don't mean an 'i don't really needed it at that point but it was cheap' case, i mean a straight 'i don't want that record' case. i always thought it was unnecessary to buy a certain record for reasons like collecting label releases, getting all colour-ways of one single album or simply for being a fan of a band and even buying the records that were shit. now i can relate.
when i started buying the cattle decapitation re-issues metal blade was cranking out this year, i downloaded all the albums that were due to be repressed just to re-visit them. 'to serve man' was first in line. it was all new to me and after the first listen i was heavily underwhelmed. it sounded irrelevant, insignificant... plain boring. i put it off and bought 'humanure' instead.
after i got 'karma.bloody.karma', time had come for 'the harvest floor'. and with the purchase of this album a certain item came along, that changed it all. the ominous collector's box. it had all the albums of the 'decade of decapitaion' series written on the back. suddenly, without having 'to serve man' in my collection meant the box wouldn't be complete. without having all five records meant the box would be useless. damn it, i couldn't lie to myself anymore. the task was perfectly clear.
i was about to order it from nuclear blast but as i was in hamburg, i took the chance to buy it in a physical store. saturn's metal vinyl section came to my rescue. i saw pictures of the two colour-ways on the net and again i was out for the less limited variant. that colour in colour pattern is more subtle than usual for this pattern, but it still looks better than the splatter version. thankfully saturn had my desired copy in stock.
after listening to it again, it isn't that bad. some good parts can be found here, but if you ask me, this is really for the die-hard-fans. i don't think i'll give it much spins. to me it all sounds way too unformed and uninspired. nevertheless the set will be complete and i can come to peace with it. 300 copies made. metal blade. 2002/2014.

four down, one to go...  

Donnerstag, 25. September 2014

trapped under ice - secrets of the world

i was in london and all i got was a third press copy of a wider press. should get this on a shirt. when i was in the uk capitol for a holiday, indeed i checked what record stores may be worth visiting before i was going. all ages records was pretty high on the list, as they are advertising theirselves as the only independent hardcore/punk record store in london. i planned to go there pretty much at the end of the trip. firstly to avoid blowing my holiday budget on the first day and secondly to avoid boring my girlfriend to death the first day already.
i found the store without much problems and my first impression when i entered was, man, that's a small shop. not that there was anything wrong with that, i actually prefer that. so i made my way to the hardcore section and began to flick through the racks. well, what can i say. i mean, i hadn't anything special in mind, but i hoped to score something cooler than a record i could have easily ordered here in good ol' germany.
i took the record anyway because there was no way i was leaving empty handed. afterwards i wanted to go to flashback records and the nice shop keep told me how to find it, but that will be another story... to the record, yeah i came to like trapped under ice way too late. i bought my first record of them, the stay cold 7", not until last year. so their debut album was on the list since that point but not high priority. after i stumbled upon it at all ages, who am i to say no?
the record is great. i love their fresh take on hardcore. i mean, they weren't playing anything real new. they threw the same ingredients in the mix as every self-respecting hardcore band but somehow they managed not to sound battered and worn-out. they really had a unique style. check 'from birth' and 'gemini' and buy their legacy if you can. probably you already have. 'secrets of the world' was pressed for three times and this a copy of the last press out of 1000. the artwork got a little made over. the lettering comes in green instead of red ink. love the art work. reaper records. 2009.

Sonntag, 21. September 2014

high on fire - de vermis mysteriis

when i started interest in high on fire the only record that clicked with the first listen was 'death is this communion'. i downloaded the whole discography and with the rest it was a bit difficult. not that i didn't like them, they just needed more time. so it happened with their latest output 'de vermis mysteriis'. i think that holding an actual material copy of the record in hands changes a lot in that terms. as i put the record on the turntable, suddenly i couldn't understand why i didn't fall in love with this album immediately.
it's a whole different feeling looking at the stunning artwork, reading along to the lyrics and watching the lovely coloured vinyl spin, instead of just pressing play on your digital device. that's why i am always on the hunt for these physical copies. that's why i spent way too much money for these plastic plates. that's why i spent hours and hours in the net or in stores. it's simply the real deal. amen.
in this case i was checking ebay for copies of high on fire's sixth studio album. to my surprise it was no problem to find some new and sealed copies for regular prices. even coloured copies. high on fire seems not as hyped in europe as overseas. not that i complain about it. for grabs was a white copy and a grey one. i actually wanted the white vinyl but waited for too long and it was gone. so i took the grey, and in the end i am quite happy with this forced decision. the grey looks lovely. a light shade of the colour and it's even a bit marbled, plus 180g quality.
after several spins myimpression on 'de vermis mysteriis' is a darker and maybe even a more aggressive one in comparison to 'death is this communion'. of course i lack a record, 'snakes for the divine', but it sounds quite angry with its up-tempo songs and the gloomy slow tracks. check out 'spiritual rights' and 'madness of an architect' for good examples. but whatever you think about the album, you can't deny its strong aura and sheer intensity.
there are several vinyl versions for 'de vermis mysteriis'. u.s. versions came on e-one music, to which the band was signed for this release and which liscensed the music for the different vinyl versions, and on relapse records. european affairs were handled by century media. my light grey version is a century media release with blue 'high on fire' lettering, just as the dark red version. but unlike the white vinyl edition that also came from century media, which seems to have the lettering in red. so i see no real pattern in this. furthermore i don't know about pressing numbers for my edition. can anyone help out? century media. 2012. 

Donnerstag, 18. September 2014

expire - pretty low

i know, i know, i am late. expire's first full length 'pendulum swings' was a real grower and i enjoyed this album very much. so actually i should have been all over the place when it came to the release of their new effort 'pretty low'. but at the time of its release onto the human race, my sole interest was drawn to metal. alot of mastodon, cattle decapitation and high on fire got in the way. and still is but not as strong. so after my holiday i had some money left to burn, and what better place to do so than burnout record store, hamburg.
i entered the store with a plan. included in this elaborate intend was the purchase of a record, i ignored for far too long. as i saw before on jake's blog, 'pretty low' was pressed on lovely split coloured vinyl and actually i wanted a copy of that pressing. problem as always were the limitations. the split colour was the medium limited colour-way, so it was unlikely that burnout would have it in store. but not impossible. with an optimistic state of mind i rushed to the hardcore racks and grabbed the first copy i saw. i opened it and luck wasn't my partner this day (how right i was - but read on - you will know why later on). the least limited colour-way staring back at me. i opened another with the same result. okay, whatever, i looked more closely at the record and thought, man, that white w/ black haze looks awesome! suddenly i wasn't that disappointed in my find and dragged it to the counter.
after that i went to saturn, hamburg to check the metal section. they have a good metal corner but the hardcore selection is, let's say, limited a.k.a. not existent. so you may understand my curiosity to find a copy of 'pretty low' among the alternative section. a bad feeling claimed place in my belly. i pulled out the vinyl just to see what it looked like. oh damn, of course it was the split colour. ah man, what to do now? should i buy it and try to give back the white copy and ask for the money at burnout? i was thinking to and fro but in the end settled with the copy i already had. and i'm fine with that. if i had really wanted the split colour-way badly, i would have gone the extra mile. the album, by the way, is awesome. expire didn't change much but i like this record a bit more than 'pendulum'. it sounds more like a union, one crisp chunk of heavy metallic hardcore. fantastic! more of this! bridge9 records. 2014.

Montag, 15. September 2014

ryker's - payback time

i said this several times before but in the light of events i'll tell the story again. there are a handful of nineties hardcore records that were passed to me by my uncle in my early days, where i began to evolve real interest in music. the albums were the following: biohazard - urban discipline, sick of it all - scratch the surface, life of agony - river runs red, madball - set it off and ryker's - payback time. very crucial stuff in my humble opinion. in the mean time i managed to get a lot of these on vinyl. except the latter two.
as you can see with this post here, i crossed another one from the list. ryker's 'payback time' ep. i never really listed this on my want list, because to this point there simply wasn't a vinyl version of this release in existence. the 'payback time' ep was actually released in 1994 by lost & found records on cd only. it compiles the 'kickback' 7" on strike records from early 1993 and the songs from the split 7" with pitbull on lost & found records also from 1993. check out my favourite 'nothing to regret'.
cupcake did the job again. and the outcome looks superb. as it's usual for their ryker's represses, they changed the cover art. this time most drastically, as there seems nothing left of the actual look of the original. not that this would be a bad thing. the new lay out looks way better than its original counterpart. crisp and clean, just the right thing for a hardcore classic. the same five colours that are/were available for the 'first blood' lp, can be ordered for the 'payback time' lp. i opted for the white vinyl to match the cover aesthetics. a lot of traces of other colours in the white. looks nice! 100 made. cupcake records. 2014.   

Sonntag, 14. September 2014

ryker's - first blood

i was checking out core tex mailorder from berlin for the coming sick of it all record. core tex is quite a big name among german hardcore mailorders and so i thought they might have an exclusive version. but not in this case. what i stumbled upon instead, was just as pleasant. the first vinyl version for ryker's 'first blood' mini-cd ever. it was listed among their current top ten sellers, which were advertised on the home page and so things took their course.
somehow i missed the announcement of the release of this vinyl version. that's the price for my ignorance towards social networks, i think. maybe i should reconsider this. anyway, the songs on this seven song release are just awesome. the groove, the breakdowns, the whole attitude - rykers's really were atop of their game. strong shit! you can ckeck this album in its whole glory here. worth a listen if you love nineties hardcore.
again cupcake records handled things with this vinyl release, just as they did with the re-release of 'brother against brother' from last year. for 'first blood' they slightly changed the cover art, included a poster and sticker and put the records in black dust sleeves. the vinyl itself comes in a pressing of 500 copies in five different colours. black, white, green, blue and red vinyl. all 100 copies apiece. my colour is already sold out, as it's simply the best match for the artwork i suppose. the rest still available. cupcake records. 2014.

Mittwoch, 10. September 2014

sheer terror - standing up for falling down

the next coming three posts will be about some more or less recent hardcore releases. the metal stuff that sits on the pile will come a bit later. so the record at hand is sheer terror's latest output, called 'standing up for falling down'. you know, i know sheer terror. but for explanation, there are different kinds of 'i know sheer terror'. my kind of 'i know sheer terror' is more like the kind of 'i know the english queen'. i know she is there and what she looks like, sure, but i never saw her live nor did see some of her recorded appearances from the past. and that's how i know sheer terror.
but their album before the new one, 'love songs for the unloved', had been released for quite a while. in 1995 to be exact. that's almost twenty years, so my lack of knowledge is at least understandable. anyway, i heard of the coming release back in summer but wasn't too interested. i said to myself that i would check out some tunes when possible, but never came around to it. until that one day at my uncle's place.
he played it as background music and i heard the songs with half-assed attention. the first song that pricked up my ears was 'boots, braces and alimony'. what a great feel-good-hardcore song. and after that came what blew me away. 'coffee, five sugars' came along with these crazy horns and its twisted hook line. yeah man, after that i was sold. i knew i had to have it. but i definitely wanted the split colour version.
in order to avoid shipping costs from the u.s., i wanted to order it from some german retailer. the problem that appeared then was, that the desired colour was the second to rarest of the first press. so it was obvious that the german stores only had the most common colour - purple - in store. but as i searched around at core tex web store, actually for different records, i came across a shining half clear blue half pink record out of 700 copies. strike! reaper records. 2014.

Freitag, 5. September 2014

mastodon - remission box set

i really came to love mastodon lately. at least their early stuff. their latest record 'once more 'round the sun' isn't really my cup of tea musically. but what they did at the beginning of their career is simply jaw-dropping. i loved their first two 7"es in the from of one handy 12" called 'call of the mastodon' and 'leviathan' is a damn scorcher of a record. so timely to the release of mastodon's new record, relapse comes around with another re-press of 'remission'.
'remission' is a great album. it is still very raw sound-wise, yet the songs are structual more sophisticated and, i have only one word to describe that, intense. brann dailor's drumming on this recording is absolutely stunning. these crazy snare rolls and relentless fills seem random, but are nothing but sheer accuracy and proof of most delicate musicianship. yeah, i go into raptures here... great album. still cannot believe i ignored them for such a long time.
on a very interesting side note, i read that the original cover artwork, which is shown on the dust sleeve of record one within this box set, goes back to the mentioned drummer brann dailor. it depicts a burning horse (before then i didn't even recognise that the animal was burning), which was involved in a dream about his sister. she commited suicide in the age of fourteen (dailor was fifteen at the time). with mastodon and his move to atlanta came personal healing. therefore the name of the album, remission (forgiveness).
on another interesting side note, the first four records of mastodon are loosely based on the cosmogenic theroy of the four elements - fire, water, earth and air. 'remission' stands for fire, 'leviathan' for water, 'blood mountain' for earth and finally 'crack the skye' for air. the box set consists of two oxblood coloured vinyl discs with an etching on the d-side, two individually designed dust sleeves, a huge booklet with all lyrics and artwork for every song and a lovely black box with gold ink. fantastic presentation! relapse records. 2002/2014.

Mittwoch, 3. September 2014

length of time - approach to the new world

back on track. this time i will write about another record from the vault. more recent stuff will come up next. but now to this length of time record called 'aproach to the new world'. after i got 'how good the world could be... again', i wanted this one badly. 'how good' was a killer of an album and the song from the split with bloodstained was a cracker too. i love their blend of metal, clear singing in the vein of life of agony and some hardcore hints. i needed more length of time tunes.
after i wrapped the record out of its packaging and put the record on the turntable, my feelings were mixed. i found the album quite long and not as matured as their later stuff, which is pretty normal as this is their first album from 1998. but after more spins i came to like it for what it is. it's a good record and essential if you want to understand the band's development in its whole context.
i snagged this record from ebay. it seems that a lot of crucial goodlife records are standing on shelfs in asia. this time a decent dude from japan sold this baby for a fair buy it now price (or was it the starting price and i was the only one to bid?) and i couldn't pass up. my copy is a loved one. some minor scratches on the vinyl and dent in the lower right corner. but i can live with that. i like the selection of postcards of robert de grimston coming with the record. nice touch. 500 copies on clear vinyl. goodlife recordings. 1998.