Montag, 30. März 2015

coldburn - down in the dumps

coldburn is one of my favourite german bands. i love their dark and gritty take on hardcore. they manage to sound modern enough to stand their ground in today's scene, but still have an undeniable old-school edge that shows where they have been coming from. it's been four years since their first 7" and three since their last lp. quite a long time for a sophomore output but they took their time and the wait was definitely worth it.
while on 'the harsh fangs of life' they couldn't keep intensity up throughout the whole record, 'down in the dumps' takes all the good ingredients of 'harsh fangs' and adds a healthy portion of grown musicianship and song-writing skills. if you like stuff in the vein of downpresser and alpha and omega, you should definitely give them a try. speaking of, via this link you can check out the album in its entirety.
i was lucky as to how i came to know about pre-orders for the new record. the new nasty record gone on pre-order something like a month before 'down in the dumps' did. i was checking the beatdown hardwear facebook page for some snap shots of the vinyl colour configurations of 'shokka' and came across the anouncement concerning the coldburn record. up to this incident i wasn't even aware of a new coldburn album coming my way.
that's the irony of life. without having an acount and despising facebook, it was this very social network that helped me out. i thought i snagged the most limited colour way on opaque pink marble vinyl out of /100. after checking discogs i know that there is a clear pink marble edition out of /75 and another colour limited to 100 copies. green marble which was sold by the band. whatever, love the artwork. but who is this guy and is that a bat in his hands? somebody knows the story behind it? beatdown hardwear. 2015.

Sonntag, 29. März 2015

turnstile - nonstop feeling

after all this between the buried and me metal madness that took place on this blog the last few weeks, i get back to some solid hardcore. it's actually more than just solid. it's about the new turnstile output. after two groundbreaking 7"es, they do us the favour and give us their first full length. and boy, i'm blown away by this nonstop feeling.
i thought turnstile would be the perfect 7" hardcore band. i couldn't imagine that they would be able to keep the level high over a full length record. what can i say, i was wrong. so wrong! 'nonstop feeling' is a blast from first to last. not one weak song on it. they have such an unmistakeably unique sound, i imagine this will make it on many best-of-2015 lists. check out 'bad wave' and 'drop'.
saw them live this january on the persistence tour in hamburg and actually i wanted to snag a copy from their table. i missed the first band and either way all their stuff was gone to that point or they didn't even have one. so i placed an order with per koro. got the least limited colour of the first press, which looks rad on mint green though. so i'm satisfied. 1000 made. a second press already available. reaper records. 2015.

Samstag, 28. März 2015

between the buried and me - the parallax II: future sequence

this is the last post of this btbam series. for now. pre-orders for the coming album called 'coma ecliptic' will be up on april third and release date is somewhere in june. so, some time this summer the series will go on. anyway, the record at hand is the first full length for btbam on metal blade. it is the continuation to their 'parallax: hypersleep dialogues' ep, musically and conceptionally.
it is their longest album to date, just over seventy minutes, and feels like the next logical step in their development. everything is so full of details, so sophistically evolved. nothing on this record happens by chance. everything is put in place pefectly conceived. after so many listens i still notice new small parts in their elaborate sound that i missed before. it's like digging in an enormous box of sweets and with every new search you discover something tastier than last time.
simply listen for yourself with 'extremophile elite' and 'melting citiy'. lyrically the story is pretty hard to understand. at least that's my impression. i believe i understand that the two characters who got introduced on 'parallax I', are linked by their soul. via a hyperspace jump they come together, recognising that they are the very same person and starting to destroy everything around them/her/him. dificult to decipher but that's just what makes the story so mystically attractive.
before i bought this record last year i checked sources. i didn't find any european or german distro with some colour copies left in stock, which was quite unsurprising to me considering the album being released in 2012. but then i found out that revelation hq still sold coloured copies. as my favourite german distro per koro recieves a big heap of its oversea records from revelation, i asked if markus/per koro could get me a copy. as you can see it worked out pretty good. can't say how many were made on this lovely blue and grey marble vinyl. metal blade. 2012.

Mittwoch, 25. März 2015

between the buried and me - the parallax: hypersleep dialogues

this is the first non-full length title i own from btbam. it is about half an hour of music, which is an respective duration for any hardcore album out there, so still quite long for an ep. 'hypersleep dialogues' marked the beginning of an album spanning conceptional story and the cooperation with metal blade alike. after releasing their first full length through lifeforce records and the four albums afterwards via victory (plus a cover album and a live record), they took the next step.
signing to metal blade they were able to get bigger promotion and more connections and recognition in the metal scene, which is quite proper. the story line that was set into motion here is about two individuals living on worlds lightyears apart. they both make life changing decisions that may even affect the universe. on parallax two they come together via a lightspeed journey and the story will be pushed further.
with only the first chapter of the story, understanding is difficult and everything is pretty cryptic. so you'll definitely need the follower. but this will be a different story. the musical part is outstanding as usual. even a bit more metal than 'the great misdirect'. more focused and less wackiness. though, we're speaking in btbam terms again of course, so don't expect this to be your average metal record. but everyone who followed their stuff will know what i mean.
actually i wanted to give some links here for your audio pleasure, unfortunately i am unable to find some. but i trust you guys out there are in the position to find some downloadable material by yourself. with the vinyl itself, i was lucky. when i snagged it last year it had been long sold out. somehow a clear pink coloured copy managed to survive and wait for me at underdog record store in cologne. my hands started to shake as i got aware of the little gem i held in my hands. took it for eigthteen instead of the fifty bucks discogs asking price. yepp, good day! metal blade. 2012.

Samstag, 21. März 2015

between the buried and me - the great misdirect

this album was probably the one i had the hardest time to get into. i didn't click with me for a considerable lapse of time. in hindsight i couldn't tell why. i mean it's not overly haywired, speaking in btbam proportions. at least not more than 'colors', which grabbed me by the very first listen. whatever it was, i'm over it now and i enjoy this record from first to last.
on their fifth full length album they stripped down the number of songs again. now from the eight pieces of 'colors' to six, which gives the listener more than ever the feeling of the whole album being one consistent song. of course the weird musical excursions didn't get neglected this time around. a jazz part with a horse whicker as the signal for the start, a piano part from the turn of the forelast millenium and more bizarre keyboard gimmicks are just the usual madness.
lyrically, as far as i understand, one of the general theme seems to deal with the question if intelligence of human kind is just a flaw of nature, because it's mainly used to promote self-destruction. the other common thread is how future trends working towards total dependence on machines and how the few in power control and manipulate the forced-into-line masses. in the end the only way for the character to esacpe seems to be suicide.
if you drew different conclusions feel free to comment. it'd be fun to read about some other views. if you don't really care about the lyrics and want to listen to some tunes, fine, here's your chance. check out 'disease, injury, madness' and 'fossil genera - a feed from cloud mountain'. ordered my copy directly from victory. third pressing on bubble gum pink vinyl. 171 copies made. victory records. 2009.

Freitag, 20. März 2015

between the buried and me - colors live

record store day 2014. what a horrible day! i came up short on everything i had on my list. that list wasn't enormous by all means. only two releases. i wasn't asking for much, was i?! sick of it all's 'death to tyrants' and btbam's 'colors live' lp. that was all. and in the end i just was able to get the stuff i wanted from the internet anyway, which is taking the idea of rsd ad absurdum.
this year's rsd doesn't hold anything really interesting for me, so i think i won't bother getting up early at a weekend. maybe. whatever, in the case of 'colors live' green hell came to my rescue. that damn thing wasn't cheap. came pricier for at least a third of the usual victory double lp going rate. and everything for a live album? plus i must admit, i'm not a fan of live albums.
this one is actually a little different to the average live album. this is no best of but the whole 'colors' album played live, as the title already indicates. as 'colors' is my favourite btbam record, i had enough reasons to justify this purchase. and let's not forget the completion matter. so, the exception proves the rule.
this live recording shows that btbam are able to reproduce the intensity and elaborate musicianship of their studio material on the stage flawlessly. gives me the same shivers down the spine as the studio 'colors'. although i prefer to listen to the studio version at home, it makes me itch to see them live by myself. for the european tour that will hopefully come along with the new record this year, i'll definitely be there and ready for action. released on cd/dvd in 2008 and pressed to vinyl for rsd '14. 1400 copies made on opaque red vinyl. victory records.

Montag, 16. März 2015

between the buried and me - colors

here we are with my favourite btbam record and the one that started it all off. my girlfriend and me were in hamburg and i killed some time at saturn store checking the metal vinyl. then i came across this black cover with its colourful lines and thought: 'man, i know this band by name but never checked them out'. a small sticker on my cd version of born of osiris' 'the discovery' album came to my mind, stating 'for fans of between the buried and me'.
i love born of osiris and so i'd probably like this too. furthermore the 'limited coloured vinyl' sticker that victory uses was pinned to the shrink wrap. so i pulled it out of the racks and took it home. unfortunately one can't listen to vinyl at saturn because they simply don't have a player, only those screens with headphones where one can listen to a thirty second excerpt. yeah, thirty seconds doesn't tell me shit. so i took the gamble.
it turned out to be a well rewarding gamble. 'colors' is just so good. it's like an hour of listening to one song straight. the eight songs all go into one another seemlessly and there is so much to discover. from jungle sounds to an banjo interlude to a strange a capella part. 'all this on a metal record?' you might ask. yepp, and much more. check out 'ants of the sky' and 'informal gluttony' and experience some metal progressivity.
the copy i scored is part of the third pressing on white marble vinyl. it's out of 350 copies and looks real nice. sadly the pictures doesn't really do it justice. it was kind of tricky to photograph with a cheap digital cam but you'll get the idea. victory records. 2007.
five down, four to go...

Sonntag, 15. März 2015

between the buried and me - the anatomy of

i am writing about the btbam releases in order of their appearances but 'the anatomy of btbam' was actually the last missing piece i added to the collection. i was never really aware of its existence but when i was informing myself about some pressing numbers of an album of them, i stumbled upon this release. it's an cover album, so actually not a real album and the reason why it eluded me that long.
when i read about it being a cover record i was thinking if i needed it at all. i don't really like cover songs. why should i listen to stuff that wasn't written by the regarding band and thus doesn't give me an impression what the band is capable of? plus the original is in 99% of the cases the better song anyway. but then i was thinking of an certain example. it doesn't connect with hardcore or metal but have you ever heard the cover of john lennon's 'imagine' by a perfect circle?
this piece proved the relevance of cover songs to me. it's so far from the original that it's hardly recognisable but written so well that the original is always present in the back of the head and i'm always in awe of the transition. considering the musical genius of btbam in their past work i expected something in the vein of said a perfect circle version. maybe that high expectations killed it for me. of course, there are some interesting choices to be found here. smashing pumkins, queen, depeche mode and pink floyd for example.
in the end btbam's interpretations are pretty close to its original counterpart. just in metal with some keys. doesn't do anything for me, i'm afraid. i'll stick to their own stuff. bought this from london's flashback record store. actually wanted to grab it when i was in london last year but didn't found the shop. discogs came to my rescue though. the presentation looks pretty nice with its two glue pocket sleeves that makes one when put together. made for rsd '13. 900 copies on clear orange double vinyl. victory records. 2006/2013.

Samstag, 14. März 2015

between the buried and me - alaska

on their third full length 'alaska', btbam once more pushed the boundaries of their own sound. for the first time the band played with the still current line-up. three new members, dan on bass, blake on drums and dusty on guitar; were then new in the collective. i can't say how much of their own ideas each of the new members could bring into the writing of the songs but 'alaska' feels really like a coherent piece.
sure, 'the silent circus' was and is a great record but to me, 'alaska' was the birth of an elaborate monster let loose onto the world. maybe for some that goes too far but i cannot do otherwise but liken them to almighty queen. not really musically but just like queen was known for their sheer endless stylistic variety with the basis being rock music, btbam impress with the very same quality only with the basis being metal.
for the title song they released a video. check it out here. i read somewhere that it's about trying to stay awake while driving in the night. it might also deal with insomnia as parts of the lyrics and, above all, the video itself indicates. the whole album however, is non-conceptional lyrically. a far as i understand it, that is. alot of the lyrics though seem to deal with how consumption and fancy media lies of the western world are supposed to keep people in line and distract from the fact that corrupt governments are selling our very souls for profit.
i grabbed this nice version of 'alaska' directly from the label, together with 'the silent circus' and another btbam record. it's from the third pressing of this album, i believe. 165 copies pressed on this nice pink marble vinyl. yeah, lovely vinyl colour. grey marble vinyl and a new pressing on red available at the label's shop. victory records. 2005.

Montag, 9. März 2015

between the buried and me - the silent circus

the second album of between the buried and me really helped the band in terms of popularity. 'alaska' was the breakthrough i think, but 'the silent circus' definitely paved the way. musically they pushed their very own sound a step forward. while the self titled record sounded like they put together riff after riff, songwriting improved here.
of course it's still an early stage of the musical path of btbam but some real pearls found their way on 'the silent circus' already. check out 'mordecai', which broadly speaking is the name of a biblical figure that denied to kneel before authority. if my researches are correct, that is.
furthermore you should give 'ad a dglgmut' a listen. great song! the name of it seems to come from a text message that vocalist tommy recieved from a friend. that friend dropped the phone while writing and the outcome was that gibberish. funny story if true.
i ordered this record directly from victory in november 2013. they had a sale going on (black friday sale, i believe) and among two more btbam records i got this one on lovely green marble vinyl. i could have taken the more limited red variant of the second press, but green seems to match the new cover perfectly and looks just so nice. 552 copies made. victory records.

when being in the victory e-store and that sale prices alluring me, i just could not say no to this nice slipmat. looks lovely!
two down, seven to go...

Sonntag, 8. März 2015

between the buried and me - s/t

so actually i wanted to start the month off with a little series on a band that i really came to love in the course of the last two years. what do i say, i do not only love their stuff, i'd go that far to say i adore it. as between the buried and me have a new album in the making and i was able to collect all their recorded works on vinyl so far, the time has come to finally showcase it here. their first record marks the beginning. here we go.
i still remember when this came out, although the tunes came to my ears as recently as last year. in 2002, the year the album appeared, lifeforce records from germany was handling release matters. two years later, when i was getting knee deep into european hardcore, lifeforce was the home of all my favourite bands. cataract, destiny, heaven shall burn - to name a few. so of course i saw the album cover of btbam's debut a couple of times but somehow never checked it out. something like ten years later and i hold this first vinyl issue of this album by victory records in hands.
musically btbam made a great start here. of course, everything a bit raw and not fully developed in comparison with their latter work, but that's quite a natural thing with the debut of almost any band. nevertheless, all the trademarks were already there. complex song structures, heavy death metal grooves, almost classic melodies accomponied by the beautiful tenor voice of vocalist tommy rogers and those quirky parts that prove their musical variety and creativeness. check the bar scene in 'shevanel cut a flip'. awesome. funny spelling mistake with that pressing. betweeen the buried and me. white vinyl with some colour smudges. 1037 pressed. victory records.

stay tuned for more btbam stuff coming your way!

Freitag, 6. März 2015

50 lions - pray for nothing

man, i love 50 lions. considering this fact and how long i have this record in my possession already, it's ridiculous how long it took me to post it up here. when checking the date i pictured this 7" it's almost one year since i added it to the collection.
it was released in 2013 and i always struggled to get a copy because there were a couple of coloured versions and the quite a big heap on black. as black was less limited it was the distro version to get and as shipping rates from the states for one 7" didn't seem worthwhile i waited for anohter option.
that took a damn year. finally, while visiting my sister in cologne last year, i stopped by at underdog record store and was delighted to find a coloured copy among the racks. strike! looks lovely on this purple marble. don't know how many were made. the sfu page is missing this variant. 2013.

Montag, 2. März 2015

nasty - shokka

the half belgian half german steam roller strikes again. this time they release their shokka (is that shocker or what?) onto the world. and boy, they are pissed. nothing changed here you might say? right you are! if you loved nasty beforehand, after listening to their fifth record you'll love them even more.
next to the nasty trademark sound, that probably got a bit faster which is good in my humble opinion, again the lyrics are remarkable. simple truths told with direct words. they name and shame shady acting towards the other sex from both sides, money fueling the decadence of few and breeding the poverty of so many and how politics fuck you over with false promises. best in my book is the song 'politessenhass' (meter maid hate). lovely.
you can check the whole album here. 'shokka' went on pre-order in early january and i was lucky to get a copy of the most limited colour purple marble out of 100. the whole first press sold out pretty fast and all at pre-order stage. so quickly bdhw came up with a second press on green marble vinyl. get your copy here. goodfight also did an u.s. pressing. beatdown hardwear. 2015. 

Sonntag, 1. März 2015

star wars - o.s.t.

i was thinking to and fro if i should up this here. in fact, this record has nothing to do with hardcore and this record has also nothing to do with metal. but as i really love it and am very happy to call it part of my collection, i thought 'fuck it!'. i'll give it a go. so actually i recieved this as a christmas gift from my girlfriend.
as she knows my obsession with both, star wars and records, she thought it to be apt to give me a combination of the two for christmas. now i am the proud owner of the german version of the star wars original soundtrack by mastermind john williams with the london symphony orchestra.
the overall package is really well done. the front and back cover look really nice and are only topped by the inner sleeve, with its nice selection of pictures taken from the movie. furthermore one gets two inserts with some words to every song. information to the parts of the movie where the respective orchestral piece appears and why it sounds the way it does.
one insert is in english, the other in german. not like i would need them though, of course i do know which piece belongs to which scene of the motion-picture, ha! the vinyl of the original press however is in mint condition. remarkable considering that it's 38 years old by now. great christmas gift by the girl! phonogram. 1977.