Montag, 26. September 2016

isis - in the absence of truth

a few months back, in march, i wrote about my first isis record "the red sea" and how i loved this one in comparison to other isis records. back then i said something like: "maybe i will change my opinion on them". well, now i am sitting here with my second isis record and i have of course changed my mind. there was this ebay auction with just this baby here popping up and i knew that lovely coloured isis vinyl rarely does, so i sat down and took a closer listen to "in the absence of truth", so to speak.
it was one of the isis albums that i never listened to before. after a few tracks which i thought were pretty good, i decided to take a shot on the ebay offering. i won the auction for a fair price which was around the amount one has to pay for a new double lp nowadays. after it arrived at my place, securely packed by the seller, i was very excited to drop the needle on it. i have listened to it for a handful of times by now and think it's a damn good progressive metal album.
the album immediately reminded me of red sparowes, which seems quite logically when i learned that red sparowes are a sid project of a few neurosis and isis members. i still like "the red sea" better but the evolution is quite remarkable and the unique, experimental sound of isis was genre defining. i enjoy this album all the way through. i scored an european first press on conspiracy records from belgium.
"in the absence of truth" was released by ipecac records in north america, by daymare recordings in japan and by said conspiracy records in europe. there are over 5.000 coloured vinyl copies of this album out there and still this is hard to find for a reasonable price. that says it all about the importance of this band. 500 copies made on clear with pink splatter vinyl. great combination of artwork and vinyl colour. conspiracy records. 2006.

Samstag, 24. September 2016

deftones - s/t

back in the day when korn, coal chamber and the like dominated my playlist, i was also a fan of deftones. my first record i got from them was "around the fur" and i loved it. "my own summer" is such a great opener and the whole record is a damn scorcher. i bought the predecessor "adrenaline" as well as "white pony" in 2000, all great records. in 2003, when the band released their fourth, self-titled album, my interest in new metal began to decrease.
i got the cd burned by a friend and remember that it was not convincing me in its full duration. fast forward ten years plus and i came across many copies of deftones records in almost every record store i have been. until last week i never felt the urge to get one but then, one evening killing time listening to music, i suddenly wanted to listen to "hexagram". it's the opener of the record and was always one of my favourite song of the band. then i listened to the whole album and thought to meself, boy, it aged pretty good.
when i visited blitz record store in kiel lately, had already packed the iron maiden vinyl and then stumbled upon this shining, new copy of "deftones", i just had to take it. funny how this album and me have come full circle after thirteen years. my copy is a re-press from 2012. it comes in a simple slip sleeve with an insert and is pressed on black standard gram vinyl. sounds lovely on vinyl, especially the guitar sound is so heavy and yet organic. nice! maverick records. 2012.

Freitag, 23. September 2016

iron maiden - somewhere in time

another maiden classic for the collection. this time it is about "somewhere in time" from 1986, so this baby is exactly as old as i am. just like my latest two classic maiden purchases, i got this one at blitz record store in kiel. seems to be a good place for second hand maiden vinyl. my copy's cover sleeve is in an ok condition. the edges all a bit worn, some surface scratches on the cardboard but no seam-splits and no bend corners. the vinyl has a lot of thin hair-lines but most of them don't affect play and with the price tag of eight coins, i am really satisfied with it.
musically it is a great album. even though it is not a conceptional album, i love that a lot of songs deal with the general topic of time. i love the complex feel of the material and the use of synthesizers that give the stuff a sort of eighties sci-fi edge. the cover artwork might be the best i have ever seen on a maiden record. artist derek riggs came up with a lovely futuristic city and included so many hints, that it would be way to much to list them all here. you can check them on wikipedia. my favourites are the football hints with west ham winning 7:3 against arsenal and the upton park sign, the blade runner cinema sign and above all the batman above the bridge - all on the back cover.
when checked discogs for what version i might have, i came across a strange incident. the catalogue number on my cover sleeve shows that it is an u.s. first press copy on capitol records. cool thing, i thought. when i checked the centre labels of the actual vinyl, it emerged that the vinyl is part of the european pressing on emi records. funny mix-up here, wonder what story is hidden behind it. anyway, love the tummy shirt that bruce dickinson is wearing on the band shot on the printed dust sleeve. hilarious. emi records. capitol records. 1986.

Dienstag, 20. September 2016

cro-mags - best wishes

i was never a big cro-mags fan, or let me put it this way, i was never a big fan of harley flanagan's singing style. i can hang with a few songs here and there but it never moved me enough to actually track down a physical copy of their albums. that's the story so far. yesterday my wife and me were in elmshorn, a town in the metro area of hamburg, to do some shopping. elmshorn has a small second hand record shop called "von gestern" (from yesterday) and i have been there a few times in the past.
they have a small assorted section of metal and punk records but i never found anything worthwhile in the past. so i didn't really expect to buy anything. the more i was surprised to come across the cro-mags' second full length "best wishes". i took a closer look and found the profile records logo on the back. i knew that leeway's "born to expire" was also released on profile and that first press copies were quite sought after. so the hope for a possible first press and the low price tag of ten bucks made me go for it.
back home i checked discogs and found out that it truly happens to be a u.s. first press copy. the cover sleeve looks quite good considering its age, the printed dust sleeve is in good condition as well and the vinyl is in perfect shape. no noise, no surface scratches just perfect sound. and the important thing, the music? well, i have really come to enjoy "best wishes". the instrumental part is raging crossover and even though i have only listened to it two times in whole, i adjust to flanagan's vocal style. it works well with the hardcore-metal mix. nice! got to look out for more cro-mags stuff. profile records. 1989.

Sonntag, 18. September 2016

atheist - piece of time

wow - that was my first impression when i listened to atheist's first album "piece of time" via the tube. atheist was one of the names that were steadily dropped on ebay auctions for gorguts i was watching recently. that made me curious and so i checked why that was. listening to their first record i was blown away by the techincal quality of "piece of time", especially considering the time it was released in. i was quite surprised that a band played this form of metal in 1989 already. really ahead of its time.
so i checked what vinyl options might be available. discogs told me that there wasn't only the first press on active records from 1990 but also a re-press by season of mist records from france. there were a fair amount of coloured versions in existence as the label re-pressed their re-issue two times theirselves. i thought the opaque yellow vinyl would look best but found a german seller on discogs offering a clear red copy for a good price, so i took that one instead.
as you can see, i have a yellow copy nevertheless. i found this copy on ebay with a starting bid in the range of the discogs copy, only after i bought it. the discogs seller didn't reply with payment informaion and fortunately cancelled the order after a few days. the path was cleared and i won the ebay auction for the starting bid. a shame the pre-owner stuck the hype sticker from the shrink wrap onto the back cover. apart from that this copy is flawless. just like death's "leprosy", here is another nice ed repka artwork. 250 made. season of mist. 2013.

Freitag, 16. September 2016

death - leprosy

"scream bloody gore" lit a fire in me. after i bought death's first record hassle-free from the nuclear blast shop in form of a fancy re-issue, i wanted more death. as i am hoping that relapse will re-press all the death albums post "spiritual healing" in the coming months, i focused on "leprosy" from 1988 and the said "spiritual healing" from 1990. no immediate ebay hit and so i hoped for a reasonable discogs offer.
it came sooner than i anticipated. a friendly discogs e-mail with a red vinyl copy of "leprosy" reached me, price and shipping were in my range and so i pulled the trigger on it. the seller came from the u.k. and to my advantage the exchange rate of the british pound is quite favourable for me mainland european at the moment. one week later i recieved my package.
when i opened it, the first thing that struck my eyes was the record not being housed in a protective pvc sleeve. i think i never got a record in the mail that wasn't delivered in a protection sleeve. fortunately the seller met my request and packed the vinyl outside of the cover sleeve, so no ugly seam-splits were in sight. the next strange thing was the final unveiling of the vinyl.
it wasn't the solid red vinyl as stated in the description but the clear purple version instead. another strong indicator after the missing pvc sleeve that i didn't deal with a collector here. i mean, sure, the purple colour isn't that far from red but clearly not red. anyway, i am pleased with what i got. the gatefold sleeve and vinyl are in prime condition. sharp edges on the cover and minimal to no sign of use on the record. good score.
the music is great. one can clearly hear chuck schuldiner's evolution as a song writer. the songs have more depth as on "scream bloody gore". fewer songs but more lengthy and with a little bit more complex structures. i especially love the four songs of the b-side. "choke on it" is a rager. even better is the picture of rick rozz on the back cover though. a protective hair curtain for the eyes. vinyl looks lovely held against the light. 500 copies made. back on black. 2010 re-press.

Mittwoch, 14. September 2016

gorguts - from wisdom to hate

when i ordered the superb "obscura" from gorguts, i saw that century media also had copies of the re-press of the band's fourth full length "from wisdom to hate" from 2001 in stock. again the limited colour version. with this opportunity in front of me i gave it a quick listen over at the tube and wrapped it up as well. that these two were still available, even though the re-pressings are one year old by now, shows me that this band is fairly underrated. at least these two releases.
a shame in a way but real good for me. it means that my ignorance will not be punished by high second hand market prices. i didn't listen to "from wisdom to hate" as much as it deserved because i am quite occupied with "obscura", but what i can hear from the few spins, the album is a bit easier to comprehend. still complex but with more emphasis on atmosphere. again, the band couldn't remain in a steady line-up. most notable was the change on the drum-kit.
steve macdonald was the new drummer. he suffered from recurrent depressions and committed suicide in 2002. after this tragic incident the band called it quits in 2005. they would re-unite and return with a new record in 2013, but that will be another story. for this re-press century media pressed some 180gr silver vinyl out of 200 copies. the platter is housed in a slip sleeve with an printed dust sleeve and comes with a cd of the album. the dust sleeve contains interesting liner notes by mastermind luc lemay himself. a great package all around. century media. 2015.

Sonntag, 11. September 2016

gorguts - obscura

i pretty much didn't know anything about gorguts half a year ago. i learned about this canadian band when i was getting my first obscura album "akróasis". this german tech death band named itself after the third record of gorguts. in the process of listening a lot to the band obscura, i wanted to check the name giver as well. when i listened to the album "obscura" for the first time i found it too confusing. it didn't click with me and so it vanished from my focus.
two weeks ago i was on the hunt for some atheist vinyl, of which a copy will hopefully show up in the coming days, and i was killing some time on the tube listening to said band. in the next video side bar there was an icon showing gorguts' "obscura" cover and just to see if i might change my mind about the record, i gave it another chance. well, i did change my mind. especially when i read about the status of this release within the genre. it is widely considered to be one of the most influential records of the technical death metal genre and beyond.
to my big advantage century media did a re-press of "obscura" last year and still had copies in stock. the album actually didn't get the vinyl treatment in the first place in 1998 by olympic records. not until 2012 when war on music records from canada gave the world a vinyl version. so this is the second press, so to speak. i listened to "obscura" a handful of times by now and it's fascinating. it grows on me more everytime i spin it. it's definitely challenging and always hard on the edge of being too dissonant.
but the next second another break with some weird melodies or time signatures sets in and eases the complexity. "obscura" demands a lot of attention from the listener but it gives back pure art in equal measures. i always thought that the guy doing meditation on the cover had the head of a pig. from small pics on the net it looked a bit like that and i thought that was quite obscure and therefore matching the title. it's actually just an old, bearded man, haha. looks lovely on mint green vinyl (my cam makes them look a bit blue somehow). 200 copies made. century media. 2015.

Donnerstag, 8. September 2016

kyuss - welcome to sky valley

kyuss has the reputation to be one of the very first stoner rock/metal bands of the genre. i must admit that i didn't know anything about this band before i looked through a good friend's vinyl collection and came across a copy of "welcome to sky valley". he then told me that it was josh homme's first band, before he started queens of the stone age. i love qotsa's "songs for the deaf" album and have a bootleg copy of it, and i knew that i can trust my friend's opinion when it comes to stoner stuff.
so i saved the name kyuss for future vinyl purchases. i then saw the announcement that warner records would do a re-press of the complete full length back-catalogue, spanning four albums. all on coloured vinyl. that sounded very tempting. at one point i was close to buy them all on pre-order but then the voice of reason reached me. it was warner records so there would be a shit load of them pressed and i could pick them up along the way, one by one.
i got my first copy at blitz record store, kiel. they don't come cheap, over twenty bucks for a single lp without even an insert. of course, i couldn't help it and bought it anyway, so who am i to complain? the album is pretty damn good. it starts a bit weak with "gardenia" but afterwards only gets better from song to song. check it out here. the record is housed in a cover sleeve with glossy finish and inside a black dust sleeve. the record it self comes on lovely 180gr gold with black marble vinyl. elektra entertainment a.k.a. warner music. 1994/2016

Dienstag, 6. September 2016

depravation - feast with the rats

i know this german band since i bought their first full length called "maledictvm" two years ago. i really fell in love with this record. with the occult feel, their darkened mix of hardcore, crust and metal and the great artwork it became a regular guest on my turntable. when i read my annual per koro mailorder newsletter, i stumbled upon the pleasant surprise that markus from per koro would also release the vinyl version of depravation's newest e.p., "feast with the rats".
of course i ordered myself a copy of the limited run. depravation comes forth with four new songs and these four pieces are damn sharp. they managed to maintain the same energetic, dark aura they fathered on "maledictvm". you can listen to the whole e.p. on their bandcamp and even download it for free. the only downer with this e.p. is the fact, that it is no full length release.
per koro went for a nice thick cardboard sleeve with a sturdy insert and a 180gr quality vinyl platter. to tell apart the limited from the wider pressing, the label didn't go for different colours of vinyl but for different colours of the screen print on the b-side. the wider press has a white print and the limited press comes with a silver print. i snagged one of the latter version out of only sixty copies. really nice work all around. per koro records. 2016.

Sonntag, 4. September 2016

madball - demonstrating my style

music on vinyl from the netherlands joined forces with roadrunner records and is re-releasing some classic albums on nice colour vinyl. the first one of this series that landed on my shelf was life of agony's "soul searching sun". i am very excited for every new mail i get from the mov-newsletter to see what pearl gets the vinyl treatment next. when i saw the name madball in the list, i got sweaty hands.
i hoped for a "set it off" re-release but in the end it was their sophomore effort "demonstrating my style" from 1996. pretty cool nevertheless, especially when i heard that the "set it off" job was handled by another label, but more of this when the time is right. back to "demonstrating my style". i must admit that i didn't know this one very good. probably listened to it a handful times before and i don't even own a physical copy.
with this lovely vinyl edition i corrected that wrong doing of mine and i think it's a real good madball record. "set it off" will probably remain my favourite output of this nyhc veterans but "demonstrating my style" has some real ragers to offer. "true to the game", "streets of hate" or "pride (times are changing" are fantatstic madball hardcore right where it hurts. love this nineties feeling the album transports.
the presentation by music on vinyl is top notch as expected. for their roadrunner re-issues they seem to use a different cardboard for the cover sleeves. matte card instead of high glossy card. i appreciate this. feels more down to earth and in combination with a hardcore record just the right thing. i am not the biggest silver vinyl fan but it admittedly works very nice with the colours of the artwork. #693 out of 1.000 copies pressed. music on vinyl. 2016.

Donnerstag, 1. September 2016

the setup - the pretense of normality

last weekend i visited the reload festival. it is a small two-days festival in sulingen, a small town in the near of bremen. it was an unbelievable hot weekend with some good shows (agnostic front, dog eat dog, hatebreed, arch enemy), good friends and an awfully dusty festival site. the best thing was the chilly afternoon in sulingen's local open-air bath on the second day. but why am i telling you this?
firstly because i wanted to and secondly because this record at hand was my one and only festival pick-up. for a festival with something around 10.000 participants, reload had quite a good vinyl selection. two tents with metal vinyl and one booth with hardcore records. the metal vinyl dealers must have been the same guys as i have seen at wacken earlier this august. beatdown hardwear records, of which i bought some releases in the past, had the booth with hardcore vinyl.
i flicked through the boxes and, indeed, found a lot of label releases. then, one record caught my attention. this copy of the setup's "the pretense of normality" was tempting. i actually always wanted a limited white vinyl copy but only came across one once on the bay and got outbid. since then not even a whiff. with a physical copy at a nice price in front of me, i couldn't say no anymore. the nice dudes and dudettes at bdhw reserved the record for me for one day, so it didn't need to spend more time as necessary in the heat of my car.
i brought it home unwarped and it sounds awesome. "the pretense of normality" has, in comparison to their other full lengths, this distinct belgian h8000 metal edge to it. i think it is going to be my favourite album of the setup. the cover artwork looks real sharp and is printed on a gatefold sleeve with a glossy finish. i think my black copy looks lovely but nevertheless, if someone out there is willing to part with his/her white copy, get in touch! 400 copies on black vinyl. reality records. 2005.