Montag, 29. Juni 2015

lions - bit by bit

did you ever ask yourself what ex-cataract members are doing nowadays? well, i have no answer to that either, but two years ago a fifth of them released a new e.p. together with his new band called lions. i am speaking of drummer ricky and the output named 'bit by bit'. i checked back and the band is still alive. time for something new, huh? anyway, back to the record.
lions plays some good ol' straight edge hardcore in the vein of some nyhc bands of the bygone century. nothing too exciting, but really solid. you can listen to the whole of 'bit by bit' by simply visiting the lions bandcamp page and clicking the play button. they even posted a link to download it on their facebook.
if you much rather like to invest in a physical copy, you are able to do this in the way i got to even know this band. take it back records is the name and as i was browsing through their big cartel last year in april. doing so i came across the vinyl version of 'bit by bit'. it was actually released on tape in 2013 and one year later both parties decided to give it the vinyl treatment. wise decision! 82 copies on clear blue vinyl as a label exclusive. take it back records. 2013/2014. 

Samstag, 27. Juni 2015

toundra - III

i already posted about toundra's second album, aptly entitled 'II'. but before i ordered that record, i got aware of this spanish instrumental band through this album right here. i stumbled across this copy of 'III' while looking through per koro's discogs offerings. the cover looked really cool and i just wanted to check what was behind it. i do this quite often, listening to bands because i like cover artworks. sometimes it fails and sometimes it works out.
after i listened to 'cielo negro' i knew this would work out. even though i think that 'II' is a bit nicer, because of the geographical concept to the music, 'III' is such a strong record. so fine balanced between the atmospheric parts and the more forceful parts that a missing of lyrics isn't even an issue. that band should really get more attention.
checking the pressing information at discogs i am a little puzzled as to what version i hold in hands. not one colour way seems to fit my opaque blue with white and black marble vinyl platter. per koro sold it with a 'limited to 100' description. well, i am inclined to accept this assumption. anyone knows the real deal? apart from that the whole artwork together with the back cover looks stunning. love the semi-transparent insert. aloud music. 2012.

Freitag, 26. Juni 2015

agnostic front - warriors

when nuclear blast released the latest agnostic front record 'the american dream died', they smelled the chance to sell some more records while the hype was still going. well, good bait catches fine fish, they say. and that 'warriors' re-press bait was too good to not get hooked, at least for me. the first press on clear blue, even though one thousand in existence, is quite hard to come by.
when i saw it on the bay, copies always went for over thirty, sometimes even fourty bucks. when they hit the twenty five euro mark i was out. i wasn't too anxious to get one and i hoped time would be on my side. it was, in a way. when the re-press smiled back at me not long after i purchased 'the american dream...', i didn't hestitate to order.
'warriors' was released three years after 'another voice' from 2004. the latter record was the most metallic tinged that agnostic front came up with to that point. much to my pleasure, i have to admit. when 'warriors' showed up and i listened to the album whole and in one go, it produced the same warm hearted feeling as its predecessor. check out 'addiction' and 'black and blue' and you will get a good inside view on what the album sounds like.
i actually think that the new colour, magenta or purple - whatever you call it - looks even better than clear blue. it helps a bit to oversee the stupid cover art work. i was a little surprised to find that tiny 'limited vinyl edition' beam at the bottom end of the cover. i checked and the first press had that too. funny, never saw nuclear blast doing this with any other release of theirs. 300 copies made and still available. 2007/2015.

Mittwoch, 24. Juni 2015

earth crisis - the discipline

since i was pretty obsessed with metal lately, i haven't forgot about hardcore of course. so here is the new earth crisis 7" called 'the discipline'. when i read about the title of this record, and i am sure a lot of earth crisis fans did too, i was immediately reminded of the fifth song of the same name from their debut full length 'destroy the machines'. i didn't seek any information about this slab of vinyl beforehand and was therefore pretty curious as to what was pressed on it.
i came to the following conclusions. it's a four song release with two re-recorded songs from 'destroy the machines'. the first one is the eponymous 'the discipline' and the second is 'new ethic'. i actually don't know why they chose those two songs. probably because the one is a straight edge song and the other is about veganism. the two things that characterise this band. but that's just a guess though. anyone knows better?
the other two songs are tracks from the '92 demo , respectively from a compilation cassette from the early nineties. 'behind the mask' and 'time of strife' are pretty good songs with that typical nineties earh crisis chugga chugga riffing. great additions to the canon and a pleasure to any fan of the band. i'm a little puzzled as to why they actually released that 7". is it a teaser for an upcoming album? twentieth anniversary of 'destroy...'? well, i am happy to have a cameo version out of 500 copies anyway. love the different look of both sides. bullet tooth records. 2015.

Dienstag, 23. Juni 2015

high on fire - luminiferous (century media version)

a new high on fire record. the seventh full length and the first one i witness right from its release date. thus i didn't have to search second hand markets like discogs or ebay, thus i didn't have to buy some re-press, no. i was right there for the pre-order process. man, this year seems to be a fruitful one for new releases i am interested in. i am up to my ears in pre-orders. but that is a different story.
to the point. when i heard news of a coming hof record european pre-orders weren't up. since 'snakes for the divine', high on fire releases their stuff through e-one entertainment from the states. and since then century media handled release matters over here in europe. no exception with 'luminiferous' and so i waited for cm to come up with a vinyl release. when they finally did, century media offered various pre-order options.
i opted for the 180gr clear orange variant. even though it was not as limited as a dark green edition, i thought it looked better in combination with the cover art. i am satisfied with my decision after checking the pictures now being available at cm distro. century media seems to have sold out on their copies already but nuclear blast has some left to get you covered.
e-one also had an u.s. version to offer. a grey with black 'starburst' pressing. i checked the net for some pictures but couldn't find some. i would really like to see one. sounds like a cool colour variant. anyway, what does the new album hold musically, you may ask? right so. 'luminiferous' is a cracker on all accounts. it comes with the right dosage of furious motörhead punk metal and their very own stoner-doom heaviness.
the whole album is very well balanced and will stand in line with their previous work. not one stinker among them. but before i bore you with more inexpressive talk, you will most likely want to check some tunes for yourself. here you go with the whole output at one dash.
lyrically it's about the wide subject of conspiracy theories. chemtrails and stuff. but i will have to go deeper into the matter before its luminiferous effect will enlighten me wholly. again a high on fire album cover art looks pretty sinister, can't say what it depicts but it looks great. the d-side etching shows the entity from the cover. comes with a cd of the album. 200 copies made. century media. 2015.

Montag, 22. Juni 2015

mastodon - crack the skye

since i discovered this band for myself last year, i have become what is widely regarded a fan. i have their records up to 'blood mountain' and was listening to these albums in a quite natural way, which means i listened to them in order of appearance. almost, that is. i heard 'leviathan' before 'remission'. whatever, at the beginning of the year mastodon announced re-pressings of their reprise records back catalogue on coloured vinyl. i was thrilled to bits as it would spare me the agony of getting original colour vinyl of 'crack the skye'.
i already have 'blood mountain' on my favourite colour pattern and so i skipped the re-press. 'crack...' was set to be released on june, second and i pre-ordered through their u.k. store. i was really excited to finally hold it in my hands. i was able to maintain the illusion of hearing the records in order of release just like it would be a new output. as i never listened to the record before, i couldn't wait to drop the needle on it. musically it's quite different to their previous stuff. way more prog rock and less metal.
i have got to say i really dig the album. not the fact that it's less metal-ish but this whole thing is so sophistically worked out, it's simply jaw-dropping. i love the weird lyrical story of a paraplegic child leaving its body in a transcendental manner, slipping through a wormhole, landing in russia of the early twentieth century where the russian cult of the khlysts passing its soul into rasputin's body. after the assassination of the assumed khlyst rasputin, his soul is trying to help the child getting back into its own body. completely over the top but because of that so damn cool.
music wise mastodon serves the whole pallet of emotions, from raging to melancholic, over heavy to progressive. the only little downer is that brann dailor's drumming got less complex. it's a wild trip anyway and you should take it right now. the album name and the title song was inspired by brann dailor's sister skye, who committed suicide at the age of fourteen. 'remission' had some references too. 'crack the skye' is the last out of four mastodon albums based on the theory of the four elements, representing 'air' or better 'aether'. don't know how many were made on this 'baby blue' vinyl. reprise records. 2009/2015. 

Sonntag, 21. Juni 2015

iron walrus - the plague

the new iron walrus record at hand. it just took this five-piece from osnabrück one year to come up with their second full length, entitled 'the plague'. this was actually the album i heard stuff from first, before i got to know any songs of 'insidious black sea'. on 'insidious...' you can hear that the band had an idea of what they wanted to sound like, on 'the plague' however they seem to have felt way more comfortable and grown together.
the songs have more depth and really stand as one. whereas 'insidious...' had some hits, the sophomore record is an unholy unit where it's hard to pick a favourite. therefore i will give you the link to the redfield records youtube channel, where you have the chance to listen to the album in all its glory.
beside the better song-writing of the walrus, vocalist sven's voice really stands out. it seems he treated his vocal chords with a huge amount of tobacco goods and whiskey in the course of the last year. so grumbling and barking that it reminds me of crowbar's kirk windstein to some extent. the art work goes hand in hand with the band's name and shows some consistency looking at the debut.
i really like that maritime theme. the record even ends with some sounds of the sea. when i ordered the records at the beginning of may the cd-version was already out since a few months and redfield had some problems with the pressing plant. as june came the vinyl was finally there and the outcome looks pretty neat. numbered sleeves, printed dust sleeves and nice marbled dark red vinyl. love when orders come with a little personal note. 525 made. get a copy here. nice job, redfield records. 2015.

Samstag, 20. Juni 2015

iron walrus - insidious black sea

i am in a metal state of mind recently. i made my way into the doom genre and am therefore discovering a lot of new stuff. just as happened here. iron walrus is a german band and i stumbled upn them when checking the redfield records online store. the cover art of their second record, which will appear in the next post, was pretty cool and as i read 'doom metal' in the description i ventured over to the tube.
checking some tunes there, my decision was made. i wanted a copy. as redfield also had their debut record still in stock, i didn't do any monkey buisness and added it to the order. musically 'insidious black sea' is a real solid debut record. chunky riffs, beefy drums and rough vocals and the outcome is a great doom record with a distinct stoner edge. reminds me a bit of high on fire.
check out the songs 'sleep' and above all 'erdbeermund'. it's an instrumental song played over a six minute long klaus kinski sample. klaus kinski was a controversial but successful german actor in the seventies and eighties of the last century. he was known for his uncontrollable temper but also for his acting genius. this sample is a recorded reciting of a villion poem by paul zech. you can almost feel the raging energy floating through kinski here.
the album was released last year and pressed to vinyl in a crystal blue with black smoke edition. someone really spent some thoughts here matching the vinyl colour perfectly to the album title 'insidious black sea'. looks real nice held against the light. 503 copies made. comes with a numbered sleeve, mine is #227. copies still available. redfield records. 2014. 

Donnerstag, 18. Juni 2015

monolord - vænir

it wasn't that long ago that i actually discovered this swedish doom band for me. something like two months ago i bought 'empress rising' and just a few days later i sensed news of an upcoming album flowing through the aether. as i was really liking 'empress...', i naturally wanted to be in the game for 'vænir'. so i weighed the odds for the pre-orders.
'vænir' was to appear on riding easy records from the states. the fact alone put me off. it meant high shipping rates. all together just too much money involved and really just the last possible option for me. fortunately the band offered an exclusive clear yellow version in their own web-shop. shipping from sweden wasn't cheap too by any means, but affordable at least and therfore reasonable.
i would have liked an opaque colour version but beggars can't be choosers. so i ordered. when the time of release date came nearer, the band posted on their facebook that it had to be delayed due some shipping errors by the delivery company. it all took an month or so extra but last week it finally showed up. the record looks pretty good as long as i am concerned. cool cover art. the word vænir is the name of a swedish lake, the third biggest in the world actually.
considering this, there should be a story to the cover motive. would really like to know it. anyway, the musical part of this release is pretty damn good. i just listened to it for a couple of times but i can say that it is every bit as crushing as 'empress rising' is. check out some tunes on the band's bandcamp page. riding easy has orange and black vinyl left. monolord has still some of the band exclusive clear yellow, or better clear gold, left in stock. get a copy, it's worth it! 200 made with a monolord amp-etching on the d-side. riding easy records. 2015.

Dienstag, 16. Juni 2015

oathbreaker - eros|anteros

another record that is lying around for a way too long time. oathbreaker's sophomore album 'eros|anteros' came out two years ago and that was when i actually bought it. now i'm finally coming around to post it up. again the starting point was a visit at burnout record store hamburg. i heard of the new oathbreaker record via the deathwish news letter but wasn't sure if i liked the band.
i didn't listen to any stuff of them, so when i came across a first press copy on milky clear vinyl at the store and put it on the turntable, it was my first encounter with this belgian crust/black metal/hardcore band. the first bits of the opening voice tracks on 'upheaval' of female singer caro sound much like alvin of the chipmunks on serious drugs and that put me off a little. nevertheless i liked the following stuff. thus i was a bit divided and so i put it back on the shelf.
being on my record store tour, i reached saturn store and stumbled upon another copy of the record. this time on the more limited electric blue colour way. i considered to and fro, in cause of the missing of a turntable at the store i grabbed a cd version and listened to it again. finally i came to the conclusion that i was unable to resist. all too obvious, indeed. but i really don't regret buying 'eros|anteros'. it's a great record, very raw and dark. check it out! sorry for the bad pics but it was actually winter and bad light when i took the photos. 700 copies on 'electric blue'. deathwish inc. 2013.

Montag, 15. Juni 2015

slomatics - estron

you remember that post about conan's split release together with slomatics and how i said the latter band wasn't my cup of tea? well, when i looked through the burning world web page, just out of curiosity, one cover caught my eye immediately. the regular reader might know that besides my addiction for vinyl, i am a huge star wars geek. and this cover reminded me strongly of a tatooine desert secene from 'a new hope'.
with this pleasant reminiscence i checked to which band such a cool cover might belong. slomatics was the name. so with my first dislike concerning these guys from belfast in the back of my mind, i ventured out to check some tunes of 'estron'. boy, suddenly it clicked with me. check 'tunnel dragger' and 'futurian' and get spaced out! quickly thereafter i ordered a copy together with the bongripper 'hate ashbury' record of a few posts back.
this new pressing is the first burning world vinyl pressing of this release. the first press was liscensed to head of crom records from the u.k. and came on 'dried blood red' vinyl. burning world brings us an orange variant, which matches the artwork perfectly. speaking of, the artist behind this awesome work is tony roberts who graced conan's records with his visuals as well. lovely! 300 copies made. burning world threw a digi-cd of the album into the package. thanks! 2014/2015. 

Sonntag, 14. Juni 2015

bitterness exhumed / optimist - split

bitterness exhumed's first full length release 'a place for many ghosts' was one of my favourite releaes from 2013. i really love their heavy mix of crust, doom, sludge and hardcore. so after that i was eager to get more stuff of them. in 2014 they released an e.p. on a twelve inch via demons run amok, called 'desperate and miserable'. unfortunately it couldn't really live up to 'a place...'.
so i was a little sceptical when beatdown hardwear announced a split together with optimist. of course i wasn't that sceptical to miss out on the pre-order of that thing. i was early in the game and so i snagged the most limited colour way. when it finally arrived last week and i dropped the needle on it, all my worries had been causelessly.
the doomier parts that were missing on 'deperate and miserable' are back and beside their noisy and fast outbreaks, the slower, ominous parts round out this bastard. great stuff! optimist on the other side is one hell of heavy old school death. does anyone out there remember the band end of days? they released a full length called 'dedicated to the extreme' in 2005 on alveran and century media.
optimist is kind of the follower band and do sound pretty similar, not least because of kevin otto's voice. skull crushing death metal in the vein of obituary. like the bitterness exhumed side better, but that's just my personal taste. optimist delivers! the presentation is lovely. nice matte card slip sleeve, big poster with all lyrics, the split on cd, a sweet obi strip and clear red vinyl with black smoke. all out of 100 copies. thumbs up! beatdown hardwear. 2015.

Samstag, 13. Juni 2015

killing the dream - lucky me

burnout store hamburg is a convenient thirty minutes drive away from my home. i try to visit my favourite physical store pretty regulary. round about once every two months. when flicking through the racks, there is always a small amount of records that seem to collect dust for a considerable time already, records i come across since i visited the store for the first time.
killing the dream's third full length 'lucky me' is such a record, or better was, because i finally decided to give it a try. killing time is one of that typical deathwish melodic hardcore bands. the carrier and carpathian were two names that came to my mind when trying to find similar sounding bands. maybe killing the dream has a little bigger screamo slice.
'lucky me' is a solid output. i like some killing the dream from time to time, but it's nothing that spins on heavy rotation. so i'll pick up the other records when they are coming my way and the price is right. just like i did with 'lucky me'. listen to the whole record here. will take only twenty minutes of your time. short, crisp, good.
the first and only press to date got three colours. 300 copies on green merge, 700 on green and black split and 1000 copies on opaque green. as you can see i have the latter variant. love the jacob bennon artwork but wasn't the picture from the inside gatefold featured on converge's 'you fail me' also? i see some similarities at least. deathwish inc. 2010.

Mittwoch, 10. Juni 2015

red sparowes - at the soundless dawn

red sparowes is an instrumental band from los angeles, california. they are consisting of current and former members of renown bands like isis and neurosis, plus some other bands i don't know about but might be also pretty popular. the first encounter between red sparowes and me, was on lenny's 'the emerging addiction' blog.
at the time i wasn't ready for some instrumental post-rock, which is the term i come across pretty often in connection with their sound. after i lost my heart to toundra from spain, being an instrumental band as well, i thought i might give them a shot. after some internet research i listened to some stuff via the tube and the next minute i was scouring the market for some red sparowes vinyl.
discogs became one of my biggest friends in the past when it comes to get used and sought after vinyl, without the pain of bidding on ebay. a great source for collectors. i found a german seller offering a copy of red sparowes' first full length 'at the soundless dawn' from 2004 for a reasonable price and a few days later it was mine.
the record is pretty complex and it doesn't reveal its full beauty by the first listen. it takes time to fully embrace the multi-layered soundscapes. but once you did, it won't let go. beautiful music. beautiful vinyl, too. the first time i see a clear coloured merge pattern. usually this pattern comes with opaque colours. clear dark green with clear light green merge, or 'swamp' coloured out of 500 copies. robotic empire records. 2011 re-press.

Dienstag, 9. Juni 2015

all for nothing - miles & memories

all for nothing is a dutch powerhouse. they released their first record over ten years ago and are still here. i believe they do this more or less completely on a weekend basis. you can feel they're doing the band as their off-time pleasure and not because they have to make a living with the music. especially when playing live, as i was able to witness last persistence tour together with ryker's, ignite and sick of it all.
they play melodic hardcore with a metallic edge to it. the sound they produce might not be the most innovative of all, but it's honest. give me more of that. but now onto the music pressed to vinyl here. it has already been a long ass time since i ordered this record. 'miles & memories' is their second full length album, coming after 'can't kill what's inside'. besides, if anyone out there is willing to let go of their orange copy of 'can't kill...', get in touch!
'miles & memories' saw the light of day in 2009 and was released on cd through gsr music first. it somehow took the album half a year to finally get pressed to polyvinyl chloride. it seems that gsr didn't do any vinyl releases pre 2012, so demons run amok from germany was willing to give the album the format it deserved.
i think i ordered this record together with the human animal / additional time 7" of the last post. i just picked the colour-way that sounded best, not knowing that i chose a 2010 tourpressing leftover. well, not as special as i thought, because all colours are still available. check some tunes and give this underrated record a caring home. 109 copies on white/blue marble vinyl. demons run amok. 2010.

Montag, 8. Juni 2015

human animal / additional time - split

i just recently wrote about my first human animal 7", called 'dark days'. after i recieved it, it wasn't long until demons run amok announced the release of a split 7" with additional time. a band from west-germany, that features the owner of now defunct dead serious records on vocals. i posted about their first release three years ago.
i pre-ordered the record and my interest in this split was really just about the human animal part. judging from their first 7", i knew additional time's contribution would be solid but not too exciting. when i finally got my copy, i was a little bit disappointed by the human animal songs.
somehow they sound as if they had been written before 'dark days', a step back so to speak. the additional time part is just what i expected beforehand. solid hardcore at the metallic end of the spectrum. you can check the whole output at d.r.a.'s bandcamp. there are three colour-ways available through the label. clear, clear green and clear yellow, all limited to 100 copies. demons run amok. 2014.

Sonntag, 7. Juni 2015

bongripper - hate ashbury

irony of faith. who would have thought that a band with a name such as bongripper could land on an x'ed up blog like mine? me at the very least. but this blog was never about the consumption of drugs or the complete denial of it. it's about the music. that is what counts to me. and the music on this slab of wax is the shit! i heard of bongripper before, because they have a split together with my favourite british band conan. i didn't buy the split yet because i thought instrumental doom wasn't my cup of tea.
how wrong i was. as i am warming up with instrumental prog/avantgarde/metal through bands like toundra or red sparowes, it was the right time for me to check out some serious doom/sludge instrumental metal. i was browsing through the burning world records home-page, looking for a different release i will soon write about, and stumbled across this re-press of 'hate ashbury', the band's 2008 release. it looked pretty good and so i went to the tube, to see if i would like the music as well.
what can i say, this record is as close to perfection as it gets. the songs have no titles and flow into each other seamlessly, so it's like listening to one coherent piece. the album has some relentlessly good hooks and the downtuned guitars pummeling through your belly like a sledge hammer. man, i really like this record. bongripper played this year's roadburn festival in the netherlands. for this occasion great barrier records, which is the band's very own label i believe, pressed a 'roadburn blue' edition of 250 copies. burning world has some left. great barrier records. 2008/2015.

Freitag, 5. Juni 2015

cynarae - s/t

boy, what the hell just hit me? that or something very similar was the initial thought that came to my mind after i listened to the first tunes of this record. but let's start from the outset. hanging around at burnout store hamburg i stumbled upon the cover of the first and self-titled cynarae album. not long before i read an entry on some blog about this record, stating it was peculiar and heavy.
a little curious, because that description leaves a lot of space for interpretation, i pulled the record out of the rack and made my way to the next turntable. i dropped the needle and then it just... well, you know what i thought. this washington state band plays some pretty hefty and crusty shade of hardcore. dark, fast and angry. check out 'prescribed burn' and be sure to fasten your seat belt.
the whole album clocks in just under the twenty minutes mark. thus the album fits on one side of a 12" record. someone involved in the process of making the record, band or label, or whoever it was seemed to think it might be funny to press the songs played backwards on side two. peculiar, indeed. just as the cover art. what is this? anyway, the vinyl colour is a pretty good match. 'bark/bone' mix, or brown with white merge. a389 records. 2012.

Donnerstag, 4. Juni 2015

agitator - bleak

i am after this record for quite some time. actually since it was released in 2013. measured against the band's fame, which isn't that big apparantly, it took an inappropriately long time for me to finally get a copy. the main reason for me was that i wasn't able to get coloured vinyl over here in germany and i definitely wanted to avoid oversea shipping costs.
i was pretty close in last year's august. wei from dead moon massachusetts and me were having a little chat about expire and shady lyrics. in this context we came across agitator sometimes having lousy lyrics too and how i am blessed with not noticing because my mother tongue isn't english. anyway, he stated he might have a spare copy but it came to nothing in the end.
by some circumstances that are unknown to me, core tex mailorder from berlin managed to get some coloured copies this year and as i recieve the regular newsletter, i didn't hestiate to finally pull the trigger on this baby when i heard the news. check out the probably best hardcore video ever for 'contempt'. ooooh yeah! 215 copies on clear gold. six feet under records. 2013.