Mittwoch, 30. Dezember 2015

high on fire - luminiferous (e-one version)

this is going to be my last entry for 2015. over 200 posts this year. man, i was pretty industrious. i cut down my backlog about a fair portion of the pile but didn't manage to reduce the entirety. i will fix that next year and be hopefully able to only post about recent additions to the collection. for now i'll end 2015 with the probably best looking piece of wax that i can call my own.
as a constant reader you know that i already have a copy of the latest high on fire record, called 'luminiferous'. it's the clear orange version from century media that serves as the european version of the album. it looks cool with the d-side etching and all but when i saw pictures of the u.s. versions on the net i got pretty jealous. one colour-way among them that made me crave for it in particular. a 'starburst' colour of utter most delicacy.
as it wasn't available through any retailer over here in europe i wrote it off, especially when i already had a copy. when i was browsing through ebay two weeks before christmas i accidentally came across a reasonably priced coloured u.s. version of 'luminiferous'. it was a canadian seller and i asked what version it might be. the answer was 'red yellow blue starburst' and i cheerfully pulled the trigger on it.
it arrived here even before christmas and what a beauty it is. just lovely. musically this is still the great album it was six months back when i initially listened to it, only with the slight difference that this new vinyl colour makes it even more fun to spin it. unfortunately i couldn't find any pressing numbers. u.s. version comes with download dropcard instead of cd. e-one. 2015.

post scriptum: as motörhead seems to be a constant high on fire influence, i'd like to take the opportunity to say goodbye to one who paved the way for heavy music as we know it. rest in peace, lemmy kilmister.

Montag, 28. Dezember 2015

electric wizard - let us prey

the third electric wizard record to appear on my blog and the fourth in the electric wizard discography. after i bought 'dopethrone' on a whim at the nuclear blast shop and was blown away by it i set out to get the wizard's back catalogue on my beloved vinyl. a fun task because there are eight full lengths on numerous colours, so a lot of searching and seeking to get the best possible option.
in this case i had to make a compromise. when i was buying this record i had the following reasonable options. the clear/black smoke re-press from nuclear blast, a few discogs options and a gold re-press from high roller records. as you can see, i opted for the solid gold version from high roller because i was able to order a 'we live' copy along and save on shipping, although other colours looked cool, too.
the record was initially released in 2002 by rise above records. back then, rise above didn't go for a vinyl version. dark times for vinyl. only the u.s. label, the music cartel, released a black vinyl edition for the north american market. five years later rise above did the second pressing on a variety of colour-ways. seven years later the third pressing came around with my golden copy being part of it.
musically this record has a gloomier feel to it. i read in some interview that the band really tried to push the boundaries of their sound in the studio. experimenting with guitar layers and trying to give 'let us prey' an old horror movie feel. works for me. i really love this one. the artwork is a bit strange, though. can't say what it depicts. looks still good. 500 copies made. rise above records. 2002/2014. 

Sonntag, 27. Dezember 2015

jail - resurrection

another farewell records release. this time it's about a brand new one. germany's jail debut 7" called 'resurrection'. first release and still resurrected? well, a lot of members were playing in other bands of the past decade. the most known among them might be vocalist björn of former black friday '29 fame. it's his energetic, typical hardcore-punk voice that appealed to me back then and still does with his new band jail.
so in a way the gathered expertise of all band members have been resurrected with this release. i stumbled upon it when i ordered the river card's 'forced hand' 7" at the farewell e-store. the description said for fans of black friday '29 and synthesizers and i thought it might be an interesting mixture. it was still at pre-order stage and so i was happy to snag one of the limited band colour out of 100 pink copies.
when the record arrived one and half week ago i was a little split as to what i should think of jail. on the one hand it is very decent hardcore topped off with björn's great voice, on the other hand i was missing the synthesizer sounds. that trademark really could have set the band apart from the bulk. in the end only 'no limit' has some synths in it. forge your own opinion right here. farewell records. 2015.

Mittwoch, 23. Dezember 2015

the river card - forced hand

the last time i heard anything of the river card was three years ago when i got their debut full length 'momentum' and 'the great fall' 7". in the mean time the band seemed to be pretty quiet, or maybe it was just me who didn't show a sympathetic ear. whatever it was, i heard news of this new output through jake's blog. it felt a little bit like a déjà vu.
through the same channel i discovered this band in the first place. jake got a clear and a white copy at the band's e-store. i got a hold on a limited baby blue copy because the german label farewell records still had some left. i listened to their other stuff again and when i compare it to the new four songs, the river card didn't lose a bit of that energy. it's still that gritty, ny-tinged hardcore
you can listen to that whole 7" at the band's bandcamp page and if you want, get re-directed to buy a physical copy, which you should do obviously. the artwork of that record is, like all the river card releases, superb. looks lovely in combination with the coloured vinyl. 500 copies in total with 200 on white, another 200 on clear and 100 on that blue marble. farewell records. 2014.

Dienstag, 22. Dezember 2015

rise & fall - hellmouth

so i have walked the path from most recent rise & fall record, which is 'faith', to the furthermost record, which is 'hellmouth'. actually i bought this copy right here before i obtained 'our circle is vicious' and 'into oblivion' but i found the retroverted chronological order somewhat cooler. anyway, i bought this slab of wax at my favourite physical record store in hamburg, burnout record store.
it was one of that records that were sitting there for a long time collecting dust on the shelf. i meant to pick it up several times before but always other stuff was more important and blew the financial frame i set. but eventually good things come to those who wait. musically this is really good stuff. it's a more raw version of their future deeds but with that feeling for energy driven, dark melodies already.
2004 the album was initially released by germany's join the team player records consisting of eight songs. anger management records, also from germany, took care of the vinyl version. jake and willem have copies of that version. 2009 rise & fall signed to deathwish inc. and two years later 'hellmouth' got re-released on some nice colour vinyl plus three bonustracks. this is what we have here. lovely opaque orange out of 756 copies. deathwish inc. 2011.

Montag, 21. Dezember 2015

ignite - call on my brothers

when i thought of the next record to post about and was looking through my vinyl pictures, i came across ignite. i recently pre-ordered their new record 'a war against you' and so this might be a good warm-up for coming january. 'call on my brothers' was ignite's second record and came out in 1995 on conversion records. at the time they were also signed to lost & found records from germany.
their first releases 'scarred for life', 'family' and the ep 'in my time' were all released by lost & found records. obviously the band rather liked to collaborate with an u.s. label because in times without internet, communication across the pond was more difficult than nowadays. as the band asked their german label to hand out the mastertapes for 'in my time' for a u.s. release, lost & found felt decieved and threatened to boycott the release.
ignite backed down and 'in my time' and 'family' were released by lost & found records in europe. the band still signed to conversion records and released the material under the name of 'call on my brothers' in north america. in 2000 revelation records re-released the album on cd first and two years later finally on vinyl again. i now have a further re-press on clear red vinyl out of probably a shitload of copies. great record, by the way. revelation records. 2014.

Sonntag, 20. Dezember 2015

carnifex - the diseased and the poisoned

the final record in two senses. it's the final record to my complete carnifex full length vinyl collection and the final record of the bunch i ordered at victory records. when i threw all that snapcase re-issues in my cart i thought, what the hell i might as well add this one, too. it's the second carnifex full length and the first that was released through chicago's victory records.
back when it came out in 2008 i was eager to hear new stuff of them. i had the 'dead in my arms' debut on uprising records on cd and really liked it. it was one of the first wave of deathcore rolling over me and so their second album was highly anticipated by me. when i finally got the cd of 'the diseased and the poisoned' i was pretty much underwhelmed.
it was the carnifex trademark sound with a better production but the album was missing something. everything is quite good but that last spark of excitement just won't jump to light the fire. it was like that back then and it is like that in present day. despite that fact i just had to get it to have them all. yeah, this confusing record collecting logic.
the label stated the record as clear pink vinyl. well when it arrived and i pulled it out of the sleeve it looked way more like clear red vinyl. only when i hold it up to the light it has this remote pink shade. whatever, this is technically a first press record because it was never pressed to polyvinyl chloride before. clear pink a.k.a. clear red is out of 500 copies. victory records. 2008/2015. 

Mittwoch, 16. Dezember 2015

behold! the monolith - s/t

i was checking the new arrivals section at kozmik artifactz lately, just out of curiosity. kozmik is a very decent mailorder with loads of good doom and stoner releases, thus it's always worthwhile to take a look around. this time i stumbled upon a band called behold! the monolith. i never heard of that band, i just thought their cover looked hilarious. i clicked the offer and read through the description.
it said doomy riffage, pummeling heaviness and exploratory parts that might take you on a journey to another planet. well, that sounded interesting. i seeked the band's bandcamp page to check out some tunes. after i did so, there was not the shadow of a doubt that i wanted a copy. on this record they remind me a lot of high on fire but with those expansive progressive parts thrown into their songs, they create their very own sound and i love that.
you can check out the album in whole at their bandcamp and if you have a soft spot for bands like the aforementioned high on fire, red fang or electric wizard, you definitely should give them a shot. if you don't already have, that is. as usually i am quite late to the party. this self-titled record was released almost seven years ago. still you can pick up a copy of this splattered vinyl version from their e-store.
in the end i didn't order with kozmik artifactz (but i pre-ordered the latest b!tm record there), because i found a cheaper opportunity. not much but still. again i placed my order at - at their ebay store to be precise. the whole order went down all hassle-free. holding the record now in hands, i wonder who thought it might be a good idea to press the record on this colour-pattern. doesn't fit the artwork at all if you ask me. anyway, 200 pressed on grey with multi-colour splatter. arctic forest records. 2009.

Dienstag, 15. Dezember 2015

snapcase - steps

the last piece of snapcase vinyl i ordered from victory in this year's october. the steps 7" from 1995. boy, twenty years. these timeframes never cease to amaze me. victory re-pressed alot of their snapcase back catalogue recently and i am happy to have snatched them all up. to obtain any coloured snapcase vinyl from the usual sources turned out to be quite difficult.
all the copies i came across were too pricey or went for more money than i wanted to pay. so these re-presses were welcomed opportunities to finally grab them on vinyl. the moderate shipping costs victory claims were another encouragement to pull the trigger on the items. again victory went for no changes with the original artwork of 'steps', which just suits me fine.
for me, this is the best way to make a re-press. i do appreciate some slight changes, if they make sense, but i am not that much a fan of completely new artwork. personal preferences aside, i really like the look of this thing. crisp and clean. looks very much hardcore if you ask me. of course i am an admirer of this lovely clear pink vinyl. it has some black smudges in it, which makes it even more attractive.
musically this baby rocks. those three songs were a promise that was about to be kept on 'progression through unlearning' two years later. it's that fine snapcase hardcore that they perfected on further releases. check out 'cognition', 'steps' and 'windows'. three shots of most delicate musicianship. clear pink vinyl is out of 220 copies and still available from the label. victory records. 1995/2015.

Montag, 14. Dezember 2015

kaospilot - shadows

you probably know that, you walk into a record store and get lost in the sheer excitement of record-shopping. you pull a few bits from the racks you always wanted and then you even pull some more stuff because it looks interesting. you think, while i am at it why shouldn't i take some more? it won't do no harm. this was the way kaospilot and me came together. the cover art looked quite cool and so i threw it on the store's turntable to check it out.
after the first tunes hit my ear, i knew it was one of those post-hardcore bands with a screamo touch to it. i thought it wasn't bad and so it ended up in my collection. after i took it home it somehow got lost in the flood of stuff i buy every month. i bought this record more than a year ago and it spun only a handful of times on my turntable. i believe if it had been a band i discovered at home and took the time to really listen to them beforehand, i wouldn't have bought it in the first place.
don't get me wrong, it is not bad at any accounts but just not the stuff that excites me. i'd compare their style to oathbreaker, with the difference that oathbreaker is darker and has a bit more aggression going on. check out the record here. the band hails from norway and for 'shadows' they worked out a deal with magic bullet records from the states. my green marble colour is out of 200 copies and looks just lovely. there are a few more colour-ways. check out the breakdown here. magic bullet records. 2009. 

Sonntag, 13. Dezember 2015

dimmu borgir - death cult armageddon

i still have a bunch of albums which i bought on cd first and now crave to get the vinyl versions of. some were easy and cheap to come by, whereas some prove to be quite difficult to obtain. one album that falls into the latter category is dimmu borgir's sixth full length album called 'death cult armageddon'. like with cradle of filth, i have a soft spot in my heart for these black metal weirdos from norway. at least for a limited number of their releases.
i just love this dark and gloomy atmosphere which they are able to create inside their fast death metal framework. i remember i was buying the cd digipak version off ebay in 2003 or something. boy, that's over twelve years ago by now. anyway, let's not start to walk down memory lane and sound like an old man. back to the music. check out 'lepers among us' and 'cataclysm children'. two strong efforts of this record.
for 'death cult armageddon' the band teamed up with the prague philharmonic orchestra to give the keyboard/classic elements more depth. it sounds even more powerful than 'puritanical euphoric misanthropia' which had a few orchestral parts played by the gothenburg opera orchestra. it is also the last album to feature nicholas barker on drums. man, i loved his work on 'puritanical...' and he's great on here, too.
after his departure they lost energy on the drum set. a shame. to me he is one of that drummers that make a good record a great record. well, nuclear blast did a vinyl pressing in 2003 on black vinyl as far as i know. five years after the release u.k.'s back on black label did a re-press on lovely 180g clear with blue splatter re-press. finally discogs helped me out with a copy. good looking bastard! back on black. 2008. 

Samstag, 12. Dezember 2015

integrity - in contrast of sin

i am slowly getting into that expanded universe that is the integrity back catalogue. after i got the more recent works spinning on my turntable, what better way to get deeper into the subject matter than to reach out for their first proper releases that is the 'in contrast of sin' 7". when i ordered the latest h2o record at per koro, i didn't hestitate to add this gem.
organized crime records is treating us very good with their numerous and lovely produced re-presses of classic integrity releases. this one is no exception. originally released by victory records in 1990, organized crime didn't change much with this re-pressing. the labels of the vinyl got revised and some subtle details of cover and insert, which i won't bother to point out. others have done before and better.
musically this is pretty good stuff. of course you have to set some lower standards when it comes to the sound and you're used to today's clean productions, but i really like it. with every recording you have to consider the time it was made. the songs are raw and full of energy. i like it better than the newer stuff i know of the band. check out the whole ep here.
for this re-press the inner side of the cover was given some interesting liner-notes by aaron melnick, instead of artwork of former re-pressings. a nice touch as i am a fan of those written words by band members or persons involved in the production process. love the little oc-advertisment sheet, gives it a real old-school feel. all in all this was a lovely surprise as i didn't thought this would be that good. i am excited to get more older stuff of integ. organized crime records. 2013.

Mittwoch, 9. Dezember 2015

leeway - desperate measures

'desperate measures' from 1991 is the second full length of leeway from queens, new york. it feels a little bit like the unloved sibling of 'born to expire' when reading through reviews and fan opinions on the net. i can only partly understand that. yes, the vocals of eddie sutton sound a bit overmixed and yes, the band got a bit experimental here and there, but that's not even a bad thing.
the bad vocal mix aside, 'desperate measures' is a great record from start to finish. i love the ragers like 'make me an offer', 'kingpin' or 'the future (ain't what it used to be)'. i love the songs where they experimented with the melody section like 'stand for' or 'who's to blame', i even like the rap song that is 'two minute warning'.
ok, i also think that 'born to expire' is the better record of the two, but no way 'desperate measures' is a stinker. it's the righteous successor to the throne which 'born to expire' built in the first place. again, i love the overall tone of the album. chris williamson built a massive wall of sound at his normandy sound studios, it's hard to believe that this is not a modern recording.
the band released 'desperate measures' on profile records again. a label that was more known for their hip-hop outputs of run dmc. the label kind of experimented with hardcore bands like murphy's law or leeway. unfortunately they failed to promote those releases properly and so leeway's second full length faced a massive delay of release. the label couldn't use the momentum leeway had after 'born to expire'.
maybe another reason why 'desperate measures' wasn't as successful. anyway, reality records did another great job with this re-press. original artwork, extended liner notes, a digital download with a bonus of a live-set from the band's first european tour from 1991 and this lovely vinyl colour. green marble which looks best hold up to the light. 300 copies made. reality records. 2015.

Dienstag, 8. Dezember 2015

leeway - born to expire

in my last post i let shine through that i bought myself some leeway vinyl. as i love those nineties crossover bands such as biohazard or merauder, i was very interested when reality records from belgium announced a re-press series of leeway's back catalogue. the first two in line would be 'born to expire' and 'desperate measures'. the first mentioned being a real classic.
i didn't know much about leeway at this point, to be perfectly honest. when i was talking to my uncle about the re-issues he raved about leeway's sound and the massive impact they had on him. he saw the band play live in the early nineties and was blown away. they were the hot shit back then. so i decided to listen to some music on the net and maybe pull the trigger on this reality records pressing.
you know, i don't really like thrash induced hardcore and leeway definitely has a thrashing edge to their sound, but somehow this band got me hooked. i listened to a few songs of each record and decided that i needed some vinyl copies in my collection. at that point, it must have been late march, i pre-ordered at core tex. and the oddyssey began.
after several delays the records came in over half a year later than actually planned. i don't know what went wrong but pressing plants are pretty much booked out these days because of the great demand. so this re-press probably fell victim to full order books. the outcome, however, compensates for the long wait. thankfully reality records stood true to the original look of 'born to expire'.
it comes in a slip sleeve, an insert with all lyrics and a printed dust sleeve. the dust sleeve has loads of interesting liner notes printed on it. statements from craig ahead to daryl jennifer plus a detailed review on the events leading to 1988's 'born to expire' of carlos ramirez from love that! it gives you an impression of the time the record came about. i bought this lovely white marble vinyl out of 500 copies. lovely all around. reality records. 2015.

Montag, 7. Dezember 2015

wolfxdown - liberation ep

it's been a while since wolfxdown from the ruhrpott area released some stuff. two years have passed and now they are back. in the mean time their female vocalist quit the band and the remaining members introduced a male singer as replacement. at first i was not sure if they could maintain the same energy level they reached on 'stray from the path' with a different singer. larissa proved to be pretty good at what she was doing and, let's be honest, good female vocalists aren't coming around a dime a dozen.
i actually pre-ordered this seven inch around may, i believe. i ordered it together with two leeway re-presses and because those re-presses faced delay after delay, 'liberation' did as well. i waited to hear the songs for the first time on the actual vinyl and not through the net before. so when i finally dropped the needle on it two weeks ago, i was surprised to hear that wolfxdown seriously beefed up their game. the band even added a second guitarist to the line-up to get more pressure across.
that new singer has a harsh, barking voice and the guitar sound was tuned lower to team up. the two songs are great but now they sound like a lot of other heavy metallic hardcore bands out there, instead of that quite unique sound of 'stray from the path'. i am excited for a full length. we'll see if they can manage to shine through the masses. check out 'torch of reason' and 'flames of discontent' and then disguise yourself and throw some stones against authority. no gods, no masters! 500 made. evil greed. end hits records. 2015.

Sonntag, 6. Dezember 2015

zero mentality - demo '03

so, zero mentality had a little comeback two years ago with their 'x' 7" on let it burn records. it was a two song seven inch, so not much more than an appetiser for future deeds. well, future deeds seem to be long in coming. we will see, maybe this band simply needs more time and i'll try to be patient. quite difficult when you listen to their stuff. their demo from twelve years back is no exception.
zero mentality has a great sense for energetic hardcore with catchy melodies. even so in their early days. the hardcore part weighed a bit heavier at the time but not to their disadvantage. all of the three songs also found their way onto their first full length called 'in fear of forever'. in a re-recorded form, naturally. unfortunately i could not find any sound excerpts on the net.
this demo 7" was released by now defunct dead serious recordings from western germany. this label released some decent stuff from the early to mid 00's. mostly european vinyl versions of u.s. bands like terror or 100 demons, and some liscensed vinyl versions of european bands like cataract. for this 7" dead serious made a cool fold out sleeve and pressed the music to some nice milky clear vinyl. dead serious. 2003.

Freitag, 4. Dezember 2015

h2o - use your voice

h2o seems to have established their very own interval of releasing a record. every seven years. after 'go' from 2001 it was seven years until 'nothing to prove' and another seven years until they give us 'use your voice'. looks like a pattern here. i really like h2o but fail to explain it. i mean, it's pop/skate punk. cool and all but usually it's not the music i have in my collection on any format. it seems like it just takes some hardcore typical lyrics and a strong connection to the scene to convince me.
whatever it is, i don't waste any time thinking about why i like h2o, i rather use the time to listen to their stuff. their last record 'nothing to prove' was pretty good and set the bar quite high. maybe that's why 'use your voice' can't live up to my expectations. but that is just my personal opinion. it's a strong album at any moment. your piece of summer in this year's winter. that typical h2o easy listening that makes you want to sing along, jump around with friends and stagedive hard.
there were a few colour ways available over at the bridge9 store but i didn't order. i don't do that anymore because of the often mentioned high shipping rates and because distribution for those bigger u.s. labels like deathwish, reaper records or bridge9 is pretty good. if it's not the most limited colour-way you need, you can hang with a lot of good opportunities over here in germany. i ordered again with per koro and got this real lovely opaque blue marble vinyl out of 1000 copies. bridge9. 2015.

Donnerstag, 3. Dezember 2015

all for nothing - solitary

this was the latest piece of all for nothing vinyl i picked up. it's their debut release for demons run amok entertainment, one year before 'miles & memories' dropped. it stands in between the aforementioned record and their 2007 album 'can't kill what's inside', released on swell creek records. i think, musically it's pretty strong stuff. better than 'miles & memories' in my book.
at least if there is a way to justly compare a 7" to a long player, that is. you can listen to the whole release on youtube. somebody was kind enough to give us a complete playlist. anyway, back in 2008 i wasn't into vinyl and so missed out on the most limited colour way. no real big deal. the problem is, it came on marbled pink vinyl. man, i really would like to have one like that. maybe one day ebay will help out. for now this grey marble version will be sufficient.
i really like the crisp and clean layout. black and shades of grey. therefore the vinyl colour is a very nice match. 400 copies on my colour. a 100 copies on pink as pre-order version. at the time d.r.a. used some special pvc sleeves, which almost had a grainy texture. unfortunately they stick to the cover after some storage time. the black ring wear can still be seen. apart from that the record is in prime condition. demons run amok. 2008.

Mittwoch, 2. Dezember 2015

guns up! - 2002-2007

another powertrip release. i am on the hunt for guns up! vinyl for quite some time. three to four years, i believe. i got outbid a few times on copies of 'outlive' on ebay. i mean, if really wanted it badly, i could have bought it from discogs. but only for too much money in my eyes. that's why i always stood away from a purchase. when i saw that powertrip records from my former home town leipzig would do a compilation release, i rejoiced in my heart.
on top of 'outlive' powertrip put the first album 'all this is' on the comp as well. demons run amok pressed a shortened version on 7" format back in 2004. so now to have the full on release was pretty cool and i awaited the pre-orders eagerly. somewhere along the way i missed the actual date when pre-orders went live. when i joined the party the limited yellow vinyl seemed to be gone already.
there was a brown version out of 500 copies. but i felt a little let down at this moment and didn't bother with it. a few weeks later my mate jake shot me a mail tipping me off that there was a guns up! compilation available, because he thought that i was a fan. right so, my friend! just out of curiosity i checked the webshop again and whatever it was the yellow vinyl was available. were the copies on tour with the band or the pressing plant couldn't deliver the yellow wax on time? i don't know. and it didn't matter at this point.
i ordered straight away and here we are with this lovely slab of vinyl. powertrip put the 'outlive' record at the beginning, followed by 'all this is', stretched the songs over four sides and all cut at 45rpm for the best possible sound. at first i thought it was cooler to have record one for 'outlive' and record two for 'all this is' but the duration of the whole output takes about fourty minutes and so it is no problem to listen to it in one go. yellow marble out of 200 copies. powertrip records. 2015.