Donnerstag, 29. Januar 2015

korn - take a look in the mirror

back with another korn album. this time it's about their last decent record called 'take a look in the mirror'. after 'untouchables' went in a more experimential direction and was not that well recieved by 'the older korn fans', although being commercially very successful, the band felt the need to take a step back. 'back to the roots' is the oft-cited slogan to this record.
musically this was just a half-assed success, in my humble opinion. i mean, they stripped down their sound to the basic elements of 's/t' and 'life is peachy'. just drums, bass and guitars, no superfluity. that's cool. unfortunately most of the songs sound more or less like pale imitations of the aforementioned records. of course i still enjoy these songs but 'did my time', 'let's do this now' or 'when will this end' lack of real musicianship. they feel like fillers. even 'play me', which is a collaboration with nas, sounds like a tired copy of 'children of the korn' with ice cube. on the other hand on this last album with the original line-up, korn still were able to deliver some killers. 'counting on me', 'here it comes again' and especially 'alive' are downright crackers.
speaking of 'alive', when i heard this song for the first time i thought, man, does korn now start to play the same shit over and over again literally? this sounds just as 'need to' from the '94 album. later i found out that this song appeared on their first e.p. called 'niedermeyer's mind', was re-arranged in the shape of 'need to' for the first record and was now re-recorded almost in its original glory for 'take a look...'. love all versions!
after all, i think i still rank this album higher than 'untouchables' but it can't mess with the first four. beside all this musical part involving my personal feelings towards it, music on vinyl did a flawless job on this release, again. sturdy glue-pocket sleeve big enough to house two 180gr records and an insert. the first 2000 copies were numbered and coming on semi-translucent silver vinyl. nice look! music on vinyl. 2014.

Dienstag, 27. Januar 2015

high on fire - snakes for the divine

another month, another high on fire post. but as much as i enjoyed writing about a new record of high on fire in my possession, the monthly consistency is about to cease. 'snakes for the divine' marks their fifth studio album out of six and i have them all now. so i will have to wait for a new record to write up a new post.
at first i thought this particular record to be the hardest one to come by. as i looked out for it on the bay germany for the first time, i found an offer with a fifty euro price tag and another one with a hundred euro tag. totally insane, especially as there is only black vinyl and two bigger pressings of e1 records and century media in existence. i didn't bother to check discogs and so i assumed it would be pretty much of a task to get a copy.
so when the time had come to get a hold on 'snakes for the divine', which i picked to be the last record to get because of its 'rareness', i checked the obvious sources and found an ebay offering for twenty bucks postage paid. cool. even cooler it was an american pressing on e1 records. now ebay seems to have quite a lot options for reasonable prices, so does discogs. first cut may be the deepest, but sometimes most on the surface.
musically it's great stoner/sludge worship as one came to love it from high on fire. the in the majority great songs easily outgun the one or two weaker pieces and in my personal ranking it comes third after 'de vermiis mysteris' and the superb 'death is this communion'. check out 'holy flames of the fire spitter' and the title song and move your real or imagined long hair in circles. horns up! e1 records. 2010.

Samstag, 24. Januar 2015

final prayer - xy 10"

in my attempt to clear my back log of all of my 2014 records lying around, i would like to introduce you, the appreciated reader, to the new final prayer output. recently i was sharing my point of view concerning the long-life hardcore band matter, and here we are with the ten years (= xy) anniversary release by berlin's finest.
ten years, three full length albums and a handful of split and 7" releases. these are the numbers and with this new effort the band reaches deep into their memory box. alongside an one-sided 10" the band threw a dvd into the package with a feature-length documentary, covering all the memorable moments of ten years final prayer.
the documentary is well done and the four new songs are pretty sweet too. check out the song 'departed'. if you can hang with anything terror ever did, final prayer is your address. so now browse the internet and get a copy on your desired colour. this link might help you. there is black and white vinyl in the first press and all together limited to 500. can't say what the breakdown is, i'm afraid. let it burn records. 2014.

Freitag, 23. Januar 2015

conan - blood eagle

when i'm after a new band, i'm pretty persistent. if i really like an album of a certain band, i definitely want to hunt down their remaining vinyl output. the sooner the better. conan's 'monnos' was on heavy rotation on my turntable and therefore there was not even the shadow of a doubt, that i needed more.
getting my hands on 'horseback battle hammer' proved to be very easy as discogs came to my rescue. no exception with 'blood eagle'. fortunately it was released last year and because of that i was able to snag a copy directly from the label. considering the fact that i even missed the first press, i must praise conan's growing publicity which made napalm records press a second run.
the 'blood eagle' took a bit before it sank its talons into me. after the first several spins it was a good one already, sure, but not as mind blowing as 'monnos'. by now, i think, i fully grasped the album. for me this kind of music needs time to grow. the repetition and heavy slowness doesn't reveal its trance-like magick immediately. but when it does, it won't let up before the last string is touched and the last drum is hit.
check out the video for 'foehammer' and convince yourself! as i mentioned before i got a copy of the second press. the artwork is pretty ace, a bit more colour would have been nice but that's just my humble opinion. it's been pressed on a lovely, very bright shade of red. of course it's called 'blood red' vinyl and being out of 100 copies. the silver vinyl out of 200 copies is still available.
i love it when records come with a sticker to identify the colour and the limitation. every record should have that. no more questions for distributors, easily distinguishable copies in the physical stores and no more searching the net for pressing numbers. what?! a collector can always dream... napalm records. 2014.

Sonntag, 18. Januar 2015

job for a cowboy - sun eater

job for a cowboy is back, back with their new album 'sun eater'. jfac always had a hard time to leave their deathcore image behind. their 'doom' ep invented a new genre but the band itself outgrew this sound as soon as they released their first full length 'genesis'. they lived with the deathcore stigma ever since and i think, they were never able to shake it off fully.
'doom' is ten years old by now and the vocalist jonny davy the only remaining founding member. considering this and with this new record up their sleeve they made a real step forward towards their goal. the goal of being recognised as what they had been for eight years already, a technical death metal band. and a damn good one by now.
'genesis' is still my favourite of them but never saw a proper vinyl release (just on shitty pic disc), 'ruination' is not my cup of tea and 'demonocracy' was a step in the right direction but not completely convincing. 'sun eater' however is in its entirety a thoroughly well worked-out piece. it doesn't make me scream 'album of the year!', but i really enjoy it.
check out 'encircled by mirrors' and fall in love with this tight drumming and those sweet bass lines. unfortunately the presentation isn't that sweet. i'm not talking about the materials, it's just the look of it. the cover art looks like a picture of a bad computer game and the vinyl colour configuration is a bit lame considering its title. 'sun burst' vinyl promised more, at least to me. 200 made. metal blade. 2014.

Samstag, 17. Januar 2015

yob - clearing the path to ascend

when i had 'atma' in my possession and was liking it very much, a well known procedure kicked in. i put my lazy self in front of my home computer device and checked the dicography and available titles. in yob's case the more recent releases crossed my way first. the latest relapse re-press of 'catharsis', which really isn't my thing, and 'clearing the path to ascend'.
'clearing the path...' is yob's latest album and was actually released through neurot records. the vinyl version though was handled by good ol' relapse records. so presentation wise i knew i could rely on their appreciated common quality. for the musical part i downloaded the album first.
there are only four songs of which 'clearing the path...' consists but every single song is a masterpiece on its own. i love how yob manages to put so many emotions in one song but still keep them clearly recognisable as one coherent piece. if i should pick a favourite my decision would probably be rendered towards 'marrow'. one word: beautiful!
i bought this record from the ebay representation of high roller records, of which i snagged the 'atma' lp too. again everything went that smooth. thumbs up! what i have here is part of the third pressing, i believe. this oxblood version is 'limited' to 1500 copies and looking sharp. still available. relapse records. 2014.

Freitag, 16. Januar 2015

born from pain - dance with the devil

long life hardcore bands are always a bit impressing. i mean, your ordinary hardcore band makes something like four or five years?! and i don't even say that with an contemptuously undertone. it's quite natural. members part because of life getting in the way. jobs, family, age and so on. furthermore your ordinary hardcore band just cannot make a living by playing this kind of music. only a few out there can. hardcore isn't the place to get rich. and right so!
born from pain is around since 1997. eighteen years. chapeau! this band went against all odds and is still here in one way or another. ten fromer members and only one original being there right from the beginning. even carl schwartz and scott vogel (as a stand-in on a tour) were once members, more or less.
after all this time they released a new record. 'dance with the devil' is the title and i was pretty curious if these dutch champions can ever come close to famous stuff like 'sands of time' (over ten years ago, holy crap!). their last effort 'the new future' was a bit disappointing to me, so i hoped for the best. after some listens i have to say this record is solid. i spoke to a friend lately and we both came to conclusion that the only thing missing is a hit. something that lifts the other songs by its sheer aura.
nevertheless i really enjoy 'dance with the devil' and fans will dig it as well. listen to 'cause and effect' and 'truth of the streets'. and wei, of course there is an scott vogel guest appearance on this one, haha. pre-ordered at bdhw. solid green vinyl out of 100 copies. beatdown hardwear. 2014.

Freitag, 9. Januar 2015

the acacia strain - the dead walk

the last day of the pink vinyl week has come and i will end it with a lump of sugar. at least that's what it is to me. i'm an acacia strain fan since 'continent' back in 2008. after i fell in love with that specific record, of course i ventured back into their discography to see what their other records would bring. '3750' and 'the dead walk' are some strong bastards and to this date i'm struggling to get my hands on a clear '3750' copy. with 'the dead walk' there never was such struggle, simply because it never got the vinyl treatment. until now. until the day the event of black friday rsd '14 came around the corner.
it was the first time i participated, or let's say i wanted to. in hamburg there wasn't much black friday rsd action going on in any of the stores. only my favourite store, burnout records, had some selected titles in stock but none of them i wanted. so it was clear that i had to bite the bullet and see what i could achieve online checking options across the pond. in the end i was able to score a copy on ebay usa, one day after bf rsd from a participating store. i won the auction for the going rate, but of course with shipping costs it got pretty pricey. ah well, what's the use?!
the record just kicks as much ass as i remembered it did. the typical acacia strain sound which they, thankfully, revived with their latest record 'coma witch' and which made me love them in the first place. check out 'pity' and 'see you next tuesday'. scorchers! the presentation is pretty much standard quality which is fine by me. there's only one exception, the vinyl itself. man, this is one piece of flimsy plastic. i mean, it need not to be 180gr but a bit more quality would have been appropriate, especially for a selling price of around twenty dollars. the colour is awesome though. 1000 on piggy pink. prosthetic records. 2006/2014. 

Donnerstag, 8. Januar 2015

baroness - blue record

at the same time i was ordering the 'red album' i was on the hunt for a copy of the 'blue record'. i listened to some tracks on the internet and was equally thrilled about the tunes as i was about the first full length. these guys just got me hooked and i wanted more.
i was checking the usual sources. ebay came up short. i lost an auction of a grey coloured copy and that kind of drew me to the pink copy i now call my own. i discovered this copy on discogs before the ebay auction ended. the pink copy was reasonable priced but together with postage it was an considerable amount. so i said to myself to get the pink vinyl if i lose the grey ebay copy.
the grey copy ended with a price even higher than the amount the discogs seller wanted, inclusive shipping. that was the sign and in the end i'm quite happy to have lost the ebay option, because deep inside i knew i wanted the pink one. my copy came from austria, so waiting wasn't that long and it came in in perfect condition.
now that i listened to the 'blue record' several times i find it a tiny bit better than the 'red album'. the record is full of elaborate rock/metal mish-mash, every listen is a journey with new bits to discover. great solos, great hooks, just a great album.
being fairly late to a great party again, to my defence i have to say that i have seen some art of the baroness singer john baizley before. so it wasn't all new to me. and yes, it's stunning what this guy pulls off. art work for the blue record being no exception. as my girlfriend looked at it, the first thing that caught her attention was the whipped egg looking like a phallus. never drew that connection before but as it points in the direction of the lady's womb, there might be some truth in her observation. third pressing. 514 made on hot pink. relapse records. 2009.

Mittwoch, 7. Januar 2015

war from a harlots mouth - transmetropolitan

pink vinyl week day #3. you remember my festival post from 2012's with full force? probably not but let me tell you that i bought two war from a harlots mouth records there at the lifeforce records booth. the first three full length records of wfahm appeared on lifeforce and they had the third, which i bought, and the first which i did not buy. that was a decision i regretted ever since. i even had a copy in my hands checking the colour, which was one of the pink vinyl copies, and put it back.
at that point i already had the re-press of 'in shoals', the second record on lifeforce, on my shelf coming with a bonus disc containing 'transmetropolitan' in whole. i thought that should be enough. what a fool i was. especially as the record would have cost me only ten bucks. in the future i struggled to get my hands on a copy for a reasonable price. some chances came but left me with empty hands after all.
so that one day when a familiar discogs message with the option to buy this baby with a twenty five price tag reached me, i didn't waste a minute and clicked 'buy now'. finally after two years and something i am able to cross this one off the list. it's an collector's rule which is as old as the game itself. take reasonable chances or pay extra in the future. hopefully i learned my lessons. by the way the record looks and sounds lovely. if you love slightly chaotic hardcore with groove, melodies, dissonance and even some jazz, this will be right up your alley! 100 made. lifeforce records. 2007.

Dienstag, 6. Januar 2015

baroness - red album

baroness and me had a difficult story. i had several tries in the past to get into their stuff. never crowned by success. so then i saw that relapse would re-press their first full length, the 'red album'. i knew that coloured versions of their records always go for a considerable chunk of money and this re-press would be a chance to get a nice new and shining copy for a regular price.
so with my latest obsession for high on fire and mastodon and with hindsight of how i came to like those bands, i wanted to bring clarity towards my feelings about baroness. on youtube i checked the 'blue record'. well, not bad. then i checked the 'red album' and was suddenly pulled in into their unique sound.
as i read my way through some information on the net about baroness, i came upon a term describing their musical style to one hundert percent for me: catchy weirdness. the basis of their sound is indie/stoner rock with good bits of progressive metal, everything arranged so eloquently and well thought out. just listen to it yourself and be overwhelmed.
as i saw for the first time what colour ways relapse would repress the red album on, i was divided on what to do. retail colour was bone white. so i could get a coloured copy hassle free from a german distributor. but the mailorder exclusive came on pink with white merge and looked just so good. those shipping rates be damned but i wanted the m.o. exclusive. fortunately it was black friday weekend in the states and so relapse had a 20% off on all titles. so i placed the overseas order with a good feeling. seventh press. 500 made. relapse records. 2014.

Montag, 5. Januar 2015

converge - all we love we leave behind pink re-press

it was last year somewhere around the end of november and beginning december i recieved a bunch of records on a specific colour. they came in pretty much one after the other. you know, the colour they are all on is one i never would want to wear or have around me, but on vinyl it just looks superb. by now you all know what we're talking about. pink is the name. i don't know what it is but being pressed to vinyl, this colour makes me want to take these discs somewhere quiet and make some more little pink plastic platters (what an alliteration!) with it.
so of course, as i saw at kingsroad merch europe that they were selling a pink re-press of 'all we love we leave behind', i couldn't say no. this latest converge record was my first real encounter with this boston metal-hardcore-punk institution and i simply love this record. it's so full of everything i love about music. energy, tension, aggression, melancholy - all in converge's very own context. killer! check out the title song, probably my favourite converge song.
as i don't really care about first or second or whatever pressings, i was pretty happy to replace my first copy on boring clear red vinyl with this lovely double pink vinyl copy for a regular price. by now i sold my red copy on ebay and was able to recoup more than eighty percent of the selling price. a financial loss i can live with.
introductory i mentioned that i got a whole bunch of records on pink vinyl. so i thought, i might start the year of 2015 with a pink vinyl week. so here we are, converge's 'all we love we leave behind' marks the beginning and some more crucial stuff will push it forward. stay tuned for tomorrow! second press. 1000 made. deathwish inc. 2012/2014.