Mittwoch, 29. April 2015

august burns red - rescue and restore

i really love august burns red. they evolved a pretty unique sound over the years and releases. so every abr output is a little cosmos of its own. so  much to discover. furthermore they are in my top-five live bands. i rarely saw a band that is able to reproduce their recorded material so flawlessly on the stage. every fill and every solo played absolutely to the point. sheer accuracy and still so energetic.
the next thing i really appreciate in their modus operandi is, they are not all over one's face with their christian believe. live and let live. i once read that the band members stated to be together to play music and not convince people of any denomination. they have a positive message, make out of it what thou wilt.
i have 'leveler' in my collection for three years by now, since 2012, and loved the shit out of it. only one year later 'rescue & restore' was released, but despite my great sympathy for this band i never really tried to get a copy of that album in a serious manner. i believe back then, all vinyl was sold out at pre-order stage and so i lost interest. until the end of last year, that is. with an automatic mail of new listings from my wantlist, discogs came to my rescue again.
the album however, is another master-piece. maybe not quite as strong as 'leveler' in my eyes, but boy, that means this baby is a god damn cracker never the less! just listen to 'creative captivity' and i promise you, you won't get that trumpet melody out of you head for days. my copy seems to be what is called 'gold with white swirls'. pressing information is inclompete everywhere i searched and so, i am afraid to not be able to provide you with numbers for my copy. solid state records. 2013.

p.s.: pre-orders for the coming abr 'found in far away places' album are up now. merchnow/north america, firebrand/uk and impericon/europe.

Montag, 27. April 2015

no turning back - never give up

the new no turning back effort and without even a tune of that new record hitting my ears, i pre-ordered it straight away. since ntb started out in the late nineties, there has been no release that disappointed. they never strayed away from the small musical frame that is called old school hardcore, but within it they are definitely an european institution.
call it what you may, but i love these half an hour short eruptions full of scene clichés and lyrical stereotypes that we all hold so dear. no turning back doesn't invent the wheel anew but they are damn good at rolling it along the stages of this planet earth. a band that always delivers.
'never give up' is no exception. fast and bouncing hardcore with a strong nyhc-tinge. check out the videos for 'true love' and 'destination unknown' and feel your feet moving to the beat automatically. i pre-ordered at berlin's core-tex records and chose the white and red mix vinyl.
as you can see, white and red makes a bit of a marbled pink. looks pretty sweet in my book. they got two other colour-ways available from their own d.i.y. e-store and core-tex has copies left as well. the three colours are limited to 200 copies each. furthermore they had 400 black copies with them on the release tour with four different sleeves limited to 100 copies each. take control records. 2015.

Samstag, 25. April 2015

agnostic front - the american dream died

after four years since their last output, agnostic front is back with a renewed oath of undying nyhc. the forerunner 'my life my way' was a defiant and above all very positive record to me. with 'the american dream died', as the title already indicates, they went for a more dark and angry approach to the lyrics and thus for a faster and heavier musical take.
short and pissed blasts like 'no war fuck you' and 'police violence' say everything about what af feels towards the current situation in the states and the world alike. they lowered their metal influence a bit to make space for some raw and swift punk. of course they still have some lovely crossover gems. so, everything is pretty balanced on 'the american dream died'.
i got my copy through the nuclear blast mailorder on pre-order. they had two options available. a gold vinyl variant and this silver one. i chose the latter because it matches the artwork very nicely, although it's less limited to the 200 gold copies. black vinyl also available. next to this three european editions there is also a clear (300 copies) and black edition for the u.s. market. furthermore emp mailorder got an exclusive clear red edition out of 200 copies.
this seems to be a regular collaboration between nb and emp, as the latest madball album got an exclusive emp treatment as well. funnily the sticker on the shrink indicates a gatefold sleeve but what i hold in my hands is clearly a glue pocket sleeve. nuclear blast goes very rarely for a glue pocket sleeve for their releases, in fact i believe 'the american dream died' is the only nb pocket sleeve release i have, and that might explain the little mistake. 300 copies made. nuclear blast. 2015.

Freitag, 24. April 2015

harms way - rust

their last release, the 'blinded' ep, was a huge cracker. i love it from first to last. 'blinded' is so deliciously evil and crushing that it is easily their musical peak to me. therefore i was in joyful anticipation of a full length through deathwish. then, in the beginning of the year, i got news from deathwish that pre-orders were up.
i really thought about getting the most limited edition from the states, because i really regret missing the blue green merge vinyl of 'blinded' and i believed deathwish would go for a similar good looking platter for 'rust'. but when i hit the e-store i realised that the 'rust vinyl' was already gone. ah well, fuck that, i would get a copy through a german distro.
and so, in pretty much all of such cases i could rely on my distro of trust, per koro records. markus of per koro had some copies in stock and i gladly took one off of his hands. after several spins the album really grew on me so far. at first i found that it just couldn't live up to 'blinded'. by now, i still think that but it's pretty close to its forerunner. a very well executed mosh monster, it is. check out 'infestation' and 'turned to stone', my favourites of the record.
the packaging of 'rust' looks pretty good all around. deathwish went for a gatefold sleeve in a rust and bone colour scheme with a die-cut sleeve to highlight the album title. looks pretty neat. as expected, i got the least limited colour way, which is fine by me. that 'ginger ale vinyl' matches the whole asthetics quite good. 3.121 copies of the first press with 2.100 of my ginger baby. deathwish inc. 2015.

Mittwoch, 22. April 2015

the acacia strain - 3750

this is the last record in my little 'long-time-want' series. the final piece is the acacia strain's second album called '3750'. acacia strain always had changing band members and even the number of members wasn't consistent over the years. back in 2004 they had been six in number. the only constant is singer vincent benett and his voice really is the poster child of the group. '3750' is more 'metalcore' in comparison to recent works but considering the time frame and the fact that adam dutkiewicz of killswitch engage fame was the producer, this make sense.
listen to 'smoke ya later' and 'sun poison and skin cancer' and move like everybody did ten years ago, whatever that means. next to 'wormwood', which i still don't have in my collection, a coloured vinyl copy of '3750' always seemd to be the most elusive one. the cd version was released through prosthetic records, they in turn liscensed the rights to spare change records. spare change was active from the mid to late 00's and they pressed only 199 coloured copies of this album.
i made some half-assed attempts to get my hands on a copy throughout the years, but with some money of an ebay deal in my paypal account i finally stepped up and got serious. i found a seller on discogs who listed the album for a considerable chunk of cash but with an 'make an offer' option. i was able to lower the price a bit and am now the proud owner of #119/199 on this nice clear vinyl. sadly there is no insert coming with this release but i have the cd as well. spare change records. 2004.

Montag, 20. April 2015

madball - infiltrate the system

another long time want of mine. madball's sixth album 'infiltrate the system' is one of my favourites of them. very energetic and the sound is the shit on this album. they recorded at zeuss' planet z studios and in the 00's alot of great hardcore records were forged there. emmure, hatebreed, or the acacia strain recorded in massachussetts to name a few.
the album was released by ferret records for the u.s. market and by i scream records from belgium for europe. i scream in turn liscened the rights for a vinyl release to reality records, also from belgium. they pressed two colour ways. an opaque grey with black splatter and a tri-colour version.
as you might know i am a sucker for split colours, so of course i needed the latter variant. i wanted this record pretty much from the beginning of my collecting days, but never had a chance to grab a copy before. in last year's december an opportunity finally arose. i was an ebay auction away from my desired copy.
what can i say, you might imagine the end result. the record itself isn't in prime condition. some surface noise here and there but it plays without skipping. it is a loved one but i'm happy with it. check out 'we the people' and 'revolt' and tell me you don't feel like moshing around. can't be! great vibe. 500 made. reality records. 2007.

Sonntag, 19. April 2015

zero mentality - in fear of forever

this is a record i was after for as long as i had their sophomore effort 'invite your soul' in my collection. 'invite you soul' is a cracker of an album, it was a regular guest on my turntable and i still like to give it a spin from time to time. first i checked pressing information for 'in fear of forever'. it turned out that there was only one coloured vinyl version released by a label called cathargo records.
never heard of them before and ever since but taking a look at discogs, i found out that they released a handful of vinyl records for some european hardcore bands of lesser popularity. bands like solid ground or teamkiller. anyway, they produced a turquoise colour version for this specific zero mentality album. in that case, the price isn't that much of an issue. availability is the key. i once had the opportunity to get it via discogs but i was too slow.
two years later, in 2014, finally another chance came my way and this time i was ahead of the game. for the first time i saw the real deal. i couldn't get any pictures beforehand because there just weren't any to be found and i always thought it was an opaque vinyl affair. man, take a look at this beauty. an 180g clear turquoise marble vinyl. lovely! check out 'face the music' and 'nicht mehr'. pre-order version limited to 100 copies. cathargo records. 2005.

Freitag, 17. April 2015

congress - blackened persistence

my backlog is huge. if i don't consider to go over my usual of something like twelve posts for two or three months, i don't think i will ever make a serious dent in that matter. for now, i'm not really in the mood but we will see to what the year will lead. to make me feel better though, within the coming four posts, this one included, i will put up some stuff from my wantlist, i already have what feels like forever. first one: 'blackened persistence' by congress.
congress is my favourite h8000 band. period. none better, in my eyes. along the way, i managed to get my greedy hands on almost every vinyl release of congress there is. only two were missing. the split with liar and 'blackened persistence', their first full length. the split isn't high priority but 'blackened persistence' definitely was. some years ago i even had the chance to snag a green copy from ebay for fifteen bucks. can you imagine, i let this chance pass me by. but then discogs made my day.
you know the rules, of course i paid more for this lovely opaque sky blue version. but i'm ok with it. it was reasonable still. musically this early work is a scorcher. the perfect blend between metal and hardcore which makes them so special to me. check out the album in its full glory by clicking this link. the record doesn't come with a proper insert but with a cd booklet. different sources tell me that there are either 50 or 100 copies of the blue vinyl. goodlife recordings. 1995.

Dienstag, 14. April 2015

xibalba & suburban scum split

i actually had this record in my possession before i ordered the new xibalba album 'tierra y libertad'. but only as of late and i gave 'tierra y libertad' the advantage in order to be contemporary. i saw this release first on lenny's blog. he always wrote very fondly of xibalba and as this post was no difference, i couldn't help it but to give them a shot.
i came across this specific record at hamburg's finest, burnout record store, pulled it from the racks and threw it on the turntable to check. boy, these two xibalba songs are nothing short of amazing. bulldozing death metal with hardcore and doom elements of most crushing nature. check out 'death threat' and bring your surroundings to nought.
the suburban scum part however isn't really grabbing me. it's not like their stuff is complete shit, it simply fails to excite me. but check for yourself. 'misery loves company' to your service. the split 12" was pressed on three different colour-ways. 300 on blue w/ white merge, 500 on blue w/ black splatter and 1200 on clear blue. closed casket activities. 2014.

Sonntag, 12. April 2015

nile - annihilation of the wicked re-issue

here is the next exception. a brand new re-issue of nile's mammoth release 'annihilation of the wicked'. it is my favourite album of these egyptian death metal fanatics. as you might know, i already have a first press copy on marbled grey vinyl but i was always a little bit dissatisfied with it. first: i don't think that marbled grey is the best match for the cover art.
second: my copy's glue, which holds the cover together, dried off on some ends. i can almost fold it out completely. i was always too worried to fix that, because i am scared to make it worse and probably glue it too tight so i cannot put the records inside the sleeve. anyway, grabbing an upgrade copy of a more limited first press copy seemed too expensive to really pursue it.
when i saw the whole package of this re-press at the relapse store, i couldn't help but get me a copy. fortunately high roller records from germany put up pre-orders for all four re-presses. i didn't hestitate and jumped at it. that spared me the agony of oversea shipping rates.
relapse went for a few changes to the original pressing. they changed the tracklisting of the three vinyl sides to add a bonus track. 'sss haa set yoth' was previously unreleased on vinyl. it got included on the japanese cd-version of 'anihilation...'. it was all new to me but sounds just as rad as the rest of this cracker.
furthermore they re-arranged the tracklist on the back cover, printed red instead of grey labels, gold foil logo print on the front and graced the d-side with a new etching. sorry for the bad pic of that. the colour is bad ass too. love how the gold changes with the light from gold to almost brown. i don't buy the re-pressings for 'amongst catacombs...' and 'black seeds...' because i think my original copies are superior to the new ones. but for the two i have, i can only say that relapse did a hell of a good job here. 1700 made. relapse records. 2005/2015.

Freitag, 10. April 2015

nile - in their darkened shrines re-issue

this year marks the twenty fifth birthday of relapse records. this very fine underground metal label has a back catalogue full of classics and boy, they are not even slightly modest with giving these classics the re-issue treatment. one can think about this policy critically or not, it gives the new fan the possibility to get music on a new and shining copy of their desired format without paying over the odds on a second hand platform. i really acclaim this, with all its negative side effects.
in the past i exclusively bought re-issues because first press copies were hard to come by, or mostly because i couldn't afford them. i am real fine with re-issues. it's about the music and not about how limited a release is, at least not foremost. so, when i have one copy of a record, this is where i stop. don't need several copies. what for? can't spin multiple copies of the same record all at once.
at the beginning of the year an interesting problem was heading my way. i saw the announcement of relapse re-pressing their whole nile back catalogue on lovely pieces of coloured vinyl. i love nile. i have all of their albums on vinyl, for two of them i even spent the most cash i ever did for a record. so of course i have a first press copy of 'in their darkened shrines' on green vinyl in my possession. but man, just take a look on this re-press. so lovely! usually when i get an upgrade-copy i give the spare one to a friend or sell them but this time...
i listened to the green copy and thought, man, that copy looks real nice, it's a thirteen years old original and i want to keep it. so now i have two copies of that record and somehow i am ok with it. is this a change in the game? or just an exception? well, time will tell. anyway, relapse went for some changes with this new version. they made a new master for the vinyl pressing, printed some new labels with the nile logo on, printed the liner notes in a legible typeface and put the nile logo on the front in green metallic foil. 1700 made. relapse records. 2002/2015.

Mittwoch, 8. April 2015

rise after defeat - adrift

only the regular reader of this blog might remember my first post about this italian band called rise after defeat. back then, two years ago, it was about their first release 'maieutica'. check this entry by clicking the label tag at the end of this post. at the time i believed to never hear anything else of this band. not because the music was bad, the contrary was the case, but it seemed to be one of these bands that just get too less attention for another release.
as you witness i was pretty wrong with that assumption. rise after defeat released their first full length in all its glory last year. i saw the announcement via strikedown, which was their record label at the time but seems to be defunct by now, but i never bothered to rush the purchase. to be honest, 'adrift' wasn't high priority.
by the start of 2015 i decided to finally pull the trigger and get myself a copy. listening to the tunes coming out of the grooves, i have to say the band really grew musically. the overall sound is matured and more focused. it's funny what time and better understanding for each other does to a band's sound. worked again. convince yourself by listening to the whole album at their bandcamp.
the whole packaging of 'adrift' is very well done. a thick cardboard sleeve with superb artwork, an insert of thick paper, black dust sleeve, nice clear red with black splatter vinyl, a poster, stickers and a friggin' rise after defeat guitar pick. value for money as one can afford the vinyl for lousy ten bucks. 300 copies made and still some available in their e-store. strikedown records. 2014.

Montag, 6. April 2015

mastodon - blood mountain

mastodon is a big name in today's metal scene. as i seem to live under a rock from time to time, i managed to not pay attention to them until last year. i grabbed a copy of their compilation release 'call of the mastodon' at burnout store hamburg. from that point on i was lost to this prehistorical mammoth. since relapse is re-pressing a lot of their back catalogue it was pretty easy to get a hold on the first few records of mastodon.
with 'blood mountain' it's different. sure, the vinyl version was also handled by relapse back in 2006 and the first two pressings came out through relapse, but the rights were only licensed by reprise records - the label mastodon signed to for their third record. as reprise wasn't that outgoing when it came to re-presses, which was a mistake of mine that i will explain in a moment, i waited for my chances.
the chance came in the shape of an auction on the bay. i payed about the same amount which is recently asked on discogs, only for a flawless copy plus i just had to pay domestic shipping rates. so, a good deal in my book. i already had a clear blue copy of the rsd '10 re-press by reprise, which i sold by now, and i have to say the gatefold of the relapse pressing looks way better than the reprise sleeve. that paul romano artwork is incredibly awesome. love it!
musically 'blood mountain' is a masterpiece. can't decide which record i love more, 'leviathan' or this. doesn't matter though, in such cases i'm happy about being undecided. check out 'hunters of the sky' and 'colony of birchmen'. face melting! if you want a new copy of that killer record hassle-free, you can easily order a recent reprise re-press on green vinyl. so much for reprise's limited re-press policy! thankfully they are going to give 'crack the skye' a re-issue too. looking forward to it. 500 copies on real nice clear red and yellow split vinyl. relapse. 2006.

Sonntag, 5. April 2015

the dull eyes - titanomachy

the dull eyes is a young band from the west of germany, düsseldorf to be precise. they play a brand of hardcore induced stoner/doom metal. they already released a 10" in 2013 which goes by the name of 'war anthems'. i have this release too and bought it actually before i got my hands on 'titanomachy', but for currency reasons i chose to go with their full length first. to be perfectly honest, with a duration of almost twenty five minutes this is only scantly a full length but muically this is played so damn good.
perfect stoner worship. they have stripped down their hardcore elements to an hardly existent minimum and it worked out pretty well. 'titanomachy' easily outguns the first 10" by far. i didn't know beforehand and probably it isn't that much of a novelty, but at least it is for me and so i'll share it with you. titanomachy is the term for the 'clash of titans' from the greek mythology. that is a pretty cool album title, if you ask me.
if you're interested you can download or stream their whole album via their soundcloud. the vinyl version was released by germany's powertrip records. on my search for this album on the net, i came across another mailorder from germany, called evil greed. searching their offerings i found a purple copy of 'titanomachy' and some more vinyl to add to the order. check them out. what i have is what i believe to be the regular version out of 300 copies. i'm not really sure, information is a bit scarce. powertrip records. 2014.

Freitag, 3. April 2015

pallbearer - foundations of burden

around the end of the last year, i discovered a new band for me. pallbearer. i ordered a re-press of their first record called 'sorrow and extinction' and fell in love. i fell in love with their massive wall of sound and their mix of modern doom and classical heavy metal. so naturally i wanted more. i checked their discography and their latest album was 'foundations of burden' released by canada's profound lore records.
my problem was that the record's coloured vinyl pressing was already gone. all 500 units of a black with red merge colour configuration sold. as didn't want to pay the high prices over at discogs, i was forced to play the waiting game. as 'sorrow and extinction' was already re-pressed and the demo pressed to vinyl for the first time, i was pretty sure that the current popularity of the band and the generally high re-press rate at the moment would inevitably lead to a re-issue.
my clairvoyant abilities didn't disappoint. on one of my usual visits at pallbearer's internet page i stumbled upon news of a new coloured pressing of their sophomore album. i headed over to the label's page and ordered a copy straight away. after one and a half week this baby, plus a canadian spider in the mailer which is now living on my balcony, landed at my door.
musically they sound somewhat different to 'sorrow and extinction'. the sound is more nuanced and complex. still epic and crushing but more vigorous. check out the first two songs, 'worlds apart' and 'foundations' and be doomed. the look of this new pressing is uniform to the first, except the vinyl of course. lovely red gatefold sleeve with glossy print and fantastic inside art. blue with red merge vinyl out of 500 copies. profound lore. 2014/2015.

as a little bonus, profound lore threw a copy of the pallbearer 'fear and fury' flexi from the decibel magazine flexi series into the package. nice treat!