Mittwoch, 29. Juni 2016

whitechapel - mark of the blade

whitechapel was always my favourite band that emerged from that deathcore hype of the the mid 00's. i practically inhaled their debut full length "the somatic defilement" and since then, even though they changed their sound in favour of pure technical death metal and never reached that raw, energetic heights of the first album again, i await every new release with a bit of that excitement, which takes hold of me when i put on "the somatic defilement".
when "mark of the blade" landed at my door last weekend and i put the needle to it for the first time, i was a bit underwhelmed. i thought it was a bit one-dimensional. many songs that formed one, shadowy mass. with repeated listens that first impression vanished completely. i needed a few spins for the record to grow on me but now it sunk its claws way into me and won't let go. "mark of the blade" is played with high technicalty and is, compared to "our endless war" which was pretty straight forward, rich in dark melodics.
whitechapel creates vast, doomy soundscapes with some real killer solos. the only tiny let down is the first whitechapel ballade called "bring me home". man, i cannot stand that whiney clean voice of phil bozeman. his voice is made to puke guttural acid onto me but please spare me this heart-melting sighing. at least that solo at the end is real tight, so the song isn't a complete catastrophe. to get a better idea of what this record really sounds like, check out the title song here.
unlike the last record 'our endless war', this time i pre-ordered the most limited colour-way that was on display at emp. i took the clear with black smoke because i thought milkey clear, the other, less limited colour, would look pretty boring. i saw some pics on the net by now and it's actually a white marble which looks damn good. ah well, clear with black smoke is a great match as well. #169 out of 200 copies made. metal blade records. 2016.

Sonntag, 26. Juni 2016

elder - lore (armageddon pressing)

elder is such a great band. their first self-titled album sees their elaborate sound in an early stage but what comes after, is most likely the best stoner metal i have ever heard. "dead roots stirring" is a revelation of sound, the "spires burn/release" e.p. is more of the same brilliancy and their latest full length from 2015, "lore", is nothing short of a masterpiece. just recently i felt the urge to listen to "lore" again. i have the double clear vinyl edition which stickman records from hamburg pressed on the occasion of their european tour 2015.
while i was listening to the record, i visited the band's social media page to see if they were up to something new in the coming future. checking out the different postings, i came across pictures of a new u.s. pressing for "spires burn/release" and "lore", both on most lovely starburst colour variations. boy, as soon as i saw them i was hooked. i ventured over to the armageddon shop internet page. it's a record store with branches in providence and boston. from time to time they come up with a vinyl pressing of their own for a certain release.
in this case they were responsible for the first "lore" u.s. pressing coming on 180gr black vinyl. they did this re-press in april this year. the prices for both records were reasonable but together with shipping costs, i had to restrain myself and left out "spires burn/release". my crimson red copy looks nice already. "lore" on this hot yellow, green and purple starburst is a pleasure for ears and eyes alike. thanks to armageddon shop for superbly packing the vinyl so that no seam-split could occur, neither on cover sleeve nor on printed dust sleeves. 405 copies made. armageddon shop. 2015/2016.

while i still possess my european edition of "lore" before it will find a new home at the place of a good friend of mine, i thought i show the main difference of the two, which is the die-cut sleeve. the u.s. edition is of normal cardboard and has a more blue tinge to it, whereas the eu edition is of matte cardboard with a more turquoise colour tinge.

Freitag, 24. Juni 2016

converge - you fail me redux

ahhh, the sound of a new converge release. whenever a somewhat new output is announced it is like the the telepathic call of an unseen master. i must stop what i am doing in an instant, run through dark alleys with my hood up, avoid eye contact with others until i find the source eventually. when i reach my destination, i stand almost hypnotised by the dazzling whirlwinds of sound. ok, ok, the metaphorical device i used here might be a bit too dramatic but you'll get the idea.
when i heard news of this re-pressing through the deathwish inc. newsletter, i was already late to the pre-order. the time difference between the states and europe cost me a few hours but i didn't expect pre-orders to sell out in that little time. i mean, i know it's conerge we are speaking about but it wasn't for a new release but a re-vised work from the past. furthermore i always thought 'you fail me' wasn't even a fan favourite.
five colour-ways had been pressed for the first pressing. white vinyl for the larger press, a white and red split for deathwish us store - sold out, a clear red with black splatter for newbury comics - sold out and a black inside clear red for kingsroad us - sold out as well. then there was a red and black split for the deatwish eu store. at first i thought of the kingsroad eu store but they had no vinyl. more precise it had already sold out.
so i clicked the link in my deathwish e-mail and got redirected to throatruiner records from italy. these guys are now distributing the deathwish stuff for europe. i found the shop that carried the european vinyl version and happily checked out my personal copy. obviously people are still not really aware of the existence of this deathwish eu store because there are still copies left. good for you, of course.
now that i finally have my copy, i can only say it was worth every penny spent. the cover slip sleeve, which got the colours of the original artwork changed vice versa, looks very nice in white. it holds a four-panel gatefold sleeve with re-worked and added artwork. the vinyl colour is also made to match the whole concept. and the re-mastered sound production is a pleasure for the ears. a very well-concieved work all around. 500 copies made of all the aforementioned colour-ways, except white. deathwish inc. 2016.

Mittwoch, 22. Juni 2016

nile - annihilation of the wicked tan vinyl

'annihilation of the wicked' is my absolute favourite record of nile and one of my all-time favourites in general. my first press copy on grey marble is out of 900 copies and as i said in my 'annihilation of the wicked' re-press post, the cover sleeve saw better days. the thing with such highly sought after records is mostly that one has to have patience. i mean, it's not like i had any other chance, if i didn't want to pay over the odds. so one day there was this ebay option popping up.
in the pictures i could see that it was one of the tan coloured copies out of 700 pressed. the seller obviously didn't know because aggressive advertisement of this fact would have surely led to more attention among potential buyers. anyway, it was there for the taking for a buy-it-now price. more than i was willed to pay. after one month of watching the record still sitting there unsold, the seller lowered the b-i-n price and i snagged it right away.
holding this record in hands, i really fell in love with the vinyl colour. at first glance the grey marble and the tan colour are hard to tell apart but only on pictures from the almighty net. next to each other one can clearly see that the tan colour is brighter and the multi-colour marble is pretty prominent. unfortunately i sold my grey marble copy before it dawned on me that it might be a good idea to take a pic of the two side by side.
ah well simply check my old post, compare and see for yourself. for now i am just happy to own this bad boy. the tan has a certain sand tinge to it which matches the overall nile themes very well. maybe someday i will be able to call a bi-coloured blue and black version my own. a vinyl-collector can always dream, right? tan coloured double vinyl out of 700 copies. relapse records. 2005.

Montag, 20. Juni 2016

gojira - magma

a new gojira record and i was all over it. these french metal masters were introduced to me quite recently, through the listenable records re-issues of their back catalogue of three albums released on the label. shortly afterwards i snagged their 2012 record 'l'enfant sauvage'. listening to their records i was simply blown away by their musical diversity, technical heaviness and the broad soundscapes they are able to produce. to me, gojira is one of the rare bands that have a special aura to them.
you can't categorise or limit them to a mere style in metal. gojira are their own category, their own style and that's why i pre-ordered as soon as it went live. ok, maybe it took me a while to figure out where to get the limited colour vinyl. as roadrunner records is part of warner music i headed over to their store and got re-directed to the roadrunner u.k. shop which was selling the colour vinyl for mainland europe prices. i jumped at it and here we are.
'magma' is an instant classic. it got all the trademarks that made you love gojira in the first place. they added some more of these quirky, lengthy melodies and some crazy guitar squealies that make 'magma' even more progressive. i love that. take a little time off, put your headphones on, drop the needle, sit back and take all in that 'magma' has to offer. if you're not convinced by now, then check out the video to 'silveral'. the visuals alone will do the trick. 180gr gold vinyl, a slip sleeve and an insert are the tools for your satisfaction. don't know how many have been made. roadrunner records. 2016.

Sonntag, 19. Juni 2016

dead to fall - everything i touch falls to pieces

i used to listen to a lot of metalcore in the 00's. therefore i have a soft spot for this type of music which most metal or hardcore fans looked down on disdainfully. dead to fall is one of those bands that i listened to because they were on victory. the only record i know from dead to fall is actually 'villainy and virtue' but when i saw that victory gave their first full length 'everything i touch falls to pieces' the first vinyl pressing of the release, i couldn't say no.
in comparison to 'villainy and virtue' there isn't a big change recognisable. it's still that typical metalcore sound taking hints of hardcore, melodic death and black metal. it is not anything new or unique by any means but still, 'everything i touch falls to pieces' is a safe listen. solid all the way through and if the music of early killswitch engage, unearth and as i lay dying was right up your alley, then this will be too. check out 'eternal gates of hell' and 'the balance theory'.
this was the third record of the batch i ordered from victory records and sadly all came in with a dinged up upper right corner due to bad treatment during shipping. at first i was pretty pissed. i mean, by now i think it isn't that bad but when i buy a new record i don't want a damaged sleeve. so i e-mailed ryan, an victory employee, asking him if they had spare sleeves. as the nice chap ryan is, he positively replied and promised me to include the sleeves in my next order. cool thing. hopefully the package won't be damaged as well. anyway, 119 copies on magenta vinyl made. victory records. 2002/2016.

Samstag, 18. Juni 2016

darkest hour - so sedated, so secure

this is my second darkest hour record in general and the second i ordered directly from victory records. that ensured to get the most limited colour-way of this recent re-press of their second full length. darkest hour was founded way back in 1995 a few e.p.'s and a compilation contribution later they released their first album 'the mark of the judas' via m.i.a. records. m.i.a. crashed soon after the album came out and so it wasn't widely distributed. art monk construction re-released it a few months later.
after that unpleasant incident darkest hour searched for a new, more solid label. they found what they were looking for in victory records. for a young, upcoming metalcore band simply the place to be in the 00's. and boy, their debut for victory is a real scorcher. their relentless mix of swedish melodic death metal and modern hardcore is breath taking. energy always at highest level and the right melodies at the right time. check out 'the hollow' and 'an epitaph' and tell you don't nod your head to the music automatically.
in 2002, a few months after the album was released on cd, victory did their first vinyl pressing of 'so sedated, so secure'. back then the label issued a lot of their records with a simple fold-over cover and a small insert. probably the cheapest way to produce them in those dark vinyl times. now, fourteen years later, victory honours this output with a deluxe vinyl edition. it comes in a proper sleeve (mine is creased and i'll lift the mystery of how i might be able to replace them in the next post), heavy duty yellow vinyl and two bonus tracks. thumbs up! 109 copies made. victory records. 2001/2016.

Donnerstag, 16. Juni 2016

hatebreed - satisfaction is the death of desire

i actually already have this record. it was one of my first vinyl platters i bought in 2011. back then i bought it on a dark green colour way which was almost looking black. i can't say that i am a fan of coloured vinyl looking as black vinyl. dark purple, dark green - i mean where is the point when it is only to be seen good held against the light? anyway, when i saw this lovely colour vinyl at the victory merch store, i just had to add it to the records i wanted to order anyway.
some people, including my uncle, would argue that 'satisfaction is the death of desire' is hatebreed's finest moment. well, to me 'the rise of brutality' and especially 'perseverance' (to all you re-pressers, still no vinyl treatment for this cracker) are more important but i can see why this record is held so dear by these people. it's a short, intense and heavy outburst of this typical metallic hardcore that hatebreed shaped and still stand for. take a listen here.
i cannot say how many pressings victory rec actually did for this album but there are at least eleven different colour-ways plus at least two black vinyl pressings. this one right here is from the latest pressing called 'multicolour' out of 325 copies. i know this colour pattern by the name of 'starburst' but whatever it is called, it is looking real good. as you can see, the upper right corner of the sleeve got creased during shipping, as well as the other two records i ordered along. i think i was able to find a solution for this unpleasant situation. more of this in the coming posts. victory records. 1997/2016.

Dienstag, 14. Juni 2016

fourth crusade - sowers of perdition

i was browsing some blogs lately, vinyl related and music related in general. doing so i stumbled upon a blog called 'xstuck-in-the-pastx'. more precisely the post 'ten new metallic hardcore bands you should listen to'. among those chosen ten was a band going by the name of fourth crusade and they were compared to other classic european bands such as arkangel, reprisal and congress. wait, did i read congress? my favourite edge-metal band likened to this german group? my interest awoke.
i followed the hype around u.k.'s xrepentancex last year but it found me a bit disappointed because their stuff didn't work for me. so after i checked fourth crusade's bandcamp i was delighted to experience a strong modern, metallic hardcore band that yet was distinctively reminiscent of that nineties signature sound. a sound that i heard for the last time when wolfxdown released their first 7" five years ago. of course i needed some vinyl after i listened to the songs.
their first onslaught was their demo from 2015 and a tape only release. fortunately their second release called 'sower of perdition' was pressed to vinyl and still available via their german label rising nemesis. this 7" was a co-release with u.k.'s soaked in torment records from manchester. 300 copies pressed in total with 150 clear red vinyl copies for the english label and 150 opaque grey vinyl copies for the german label. go listen to that vegan straight edge monster and then order a copy of your choice. soaked in torment records. rising nemesis records vinyl & tape. 2016.

Freitag, 10. Juni 2016

khemmis - absolution

so this is the other record that arrived two days ago. the very metal one. it is khemmis' first full length called 'absolution'. khemmis and me had a long way coming. when this album was released almost a year ago, i was aware of it because i get the 20 buck spin newsletter. i really found the cover art real cool but i never managed to listen to them. after that the album crossed my path here and there in one form or another but still there must have been more important records. when 20 buck spin announced the third press in a few months, i decided to finally check what the buzz was all about.
i listened to the whole record with the help of a complete album stream on the tube and was blown away. this is lovely doom metal the way i like it. ominously melodic and crushingly heavy. the label draw comparisons to bands such as pallbearer or yob and i think these are quite accurate. if you are into the aforementioned music groups then khemmis will be right up your alley. the six songs are doom metal perfection. maybe a little too close to the pallbearer sound at times but for a debut record it is outstandingly good. what is pretty unique about them is that the singer has one of those great classic metal voices and is able to produce quite some guttural growls as well. makes the overall sound very dynamic.
again, the cover art is looking sharp. wish i had such a pretty assassin to rid myself of opposing wizards. since i thought that 20 buck spin is selling their colour copies through their web shop exclusively, i ordered from the states which meant high shipping costs in the same breath. little did i know that van records from germany had some in stock too. now their copies are gone but i will check back for later 20 buck spin releases to save on shipping. 200 copies made on this lovely gold inside clear w/ white splatter. 20 buck spin records. 2015/2016.

Mittwoch, 8. Juni 2016

strife - my fire burns on

look what was in the mail today. it actually had been two records. one very hardcore and the other very metal. i start with the hardcore platter. this strife 'my fire burns on' 7" crossed my path on ebay. it has been quite some time since i got anything from the bay. it seems nobody is selling anything interesting these days. the more i am happy with this nice colour 7" being a real bargain in the end.
this 7" was released in 1992 through new age records. it was the follow-up release to their self-titled 7" of the same year, of which its musical content was actually recorded a year prior in 1991. next to 'in this defiance', 'my fire burns on' is their strongest material to me. although only three songs being pressed to the plastic, these songs breath this frantic energy for which i love strife. go listen to this ten minutes long, nineties hardcore eruption.
i have a copy of the third pressing from 2010 if information proves correct. since the second pressing from 1994 the 7" got a revised cover basically showing the burning of a first press cover. i really like that smart take on the title and how the label and/or band distinguished second from first pressing. there are three different versions of the third press. mine being the most common one out of 350 tan coloured copies. new age records. 1992/2010.

Donnerstag, 2. Juni 2016

cradle of filth - bitter suites to succubi

in the long run cardle of filth's latest album 'hammer of the witches' couldn't live up to the former glory of 'godspeed on the devil's thunder'. so that is three ok records in a row now. therefore i was very pleasantly surprised to see that peaceville would be re-releasing an album i really liked from back in the day and for the first time on coloured vinyl. fifteen years after 'bitter suites to succubi' was initially released in 2001. this looked like a win-win-situation to me, apart from the pretty hefty price tag for a single lp. indeed, in the end i bit the bullet because i simply cannot help it. i actually ordered this record with the new whitechapel lp, which is set to be released at the end of june.
so usually added items to a pre-order arrive at release date but not so with emp. they must have some fixed price contract with their delivery company, so they don't care to send out more parcels than the customer actually paid shipping for. anyway, good for me. when the record arrived this monday and i listened to it for the first time on vinyl, it appeared to me that 'bitter suites to succubi' stood the test of time. it is still a damn good record. it's actually an e.p. because out of ten songs there are only four new ones, three re-recorded songs, two small instrumental pieces and one misfits cover song. ultimately all songs are really good. the four new songs see cradle of filth at the peak of their musicianship spanning from 'midian' to 'damnation and a day' and 'bitter suites...' in between.
the re-recorded stuff isn't just re-recorded but altered the way the band played them live at the time, the instrumentals are spine-chillingly good and even the misfits song 'no time to cry' sounds cool in its cof incarnation. peaceville changed the appearance of the record in comparison to the first press. a slip sleeve instead of gatefold and a few changes in artwork. check out the original press here if you're interested in the details. most noteworthy is the change in tracklist of the songs interchanging #five 'no time to cry' with #six 'the principle of evil made flesh'. probably for better sound quality due to duration of both vinyl sides? don't know how many were made. peaceville records. 2016.