Montag, 31. Oktober 2016

crowbar - lifesblood for the downtrodden

crowbar is one of my favourite recently discovered bands. i have three records of theirs in my possession and am always on the look-out for more of their vinyl releases. one of them was "lifesblood for the downtrodden". in my first crowbar post about "odd fellows rest" i told the story of actually holding a copy of "lifesblood..." in my hands once at burnout store, hamburg. since then, i came across other copies several times but never pulled the trigger immediately and when i came back to finally get it, it was already gone.
when i pre-ordered the re-issue of gojira's "terra incognita" album and saw a nice priced copy of "lifesblood for the downtrodden" in stock at high roller records, i knew the time had come to cross this one off of the list eventually. so far i know of no weak crowbar record and this one will not change my mind about it. "lifesblood..." is an angry, sludgy bastard of metal, doom and hardcore and simply that good - alone that last song is musical perfection.
back in 2005 this album was released via candlelight records. that british metal label, founded by extreme noise terror bass player lee barrett, joined forces with back on black records and liscenced the vinyl rights to the latter. back then it was released on black double vinyl only. it took back on black nine years to repress it on coloured vinyl. just in time to the release of the, at the time, new album "symmetry in black". very industrious.
the presentation by back on black is very nice. a gatefold sleeve to house the two 180gr transparent red vinyl records with all lyrics and great artwork, plus the black dust sleeves round out this overall good looking combination of cardboard and plastic. crowbar has eleven full lengths and i hope more will get re-pressed. about the new one, "the serpent only lies", i will write soon. 500 copies made of this great album on red vinyl. back on black. 2005/2014.

Samstag, 29. Oktober 2016

gojira - terra incognita

after listenable records re-pressed "the link", "from mars to sirius" and "the way of all flesh" very sucessfully at the beginning of this year - the clear vinyl with matching colour splatter for each record sold out pretty quickly - and the band released their new album "magma" in summer, listenable saw the signs and decided to re-press gojira's debut from 2000 as well. technically it is even a first press because "terra incognita" didn't recieve the vinyl treatment before.
i heard about the re-issue of gojira's first album via the label's facebook page and waited for the pre-orders to go live at nuclear blast, because most listenable stuff is distributed through the german metal label. not so this time, at least no coloured versions. so i searched my way through german mailorders and finally made a find at high roller records. unfortunately they didn't sell the more limited orange vinyl but i was glad to find some colour vinyl without paying international shipping.
i got the white vinyl and think it looks pretty lovely. the musical part is again a typical gojira record. sophisticated metal that is unmistakably the french four-piece. they have a special idea of rhythm which is recognisable throughout their whole work but still gojira develops from record to record. even in this early stage they are better than most in today's progressive metal. every gojira record is a classic in its own right and "terra incognita" is no exception. listen to the complete album and be convinced.
the presentation is very well done. a lovely gatefold made of matte cardboard which has a nice haptic, black dust sleeves and heavy duty white double vinyl. it is the second to most limited version out of 600 copies. the re-issue is liscensed from silvera records. i believe this is the band's own label because "silvera" is a song and single from "magma". cool to see the band taking events into their own hands. get a coloured copy as long they last, listenable still has both in stock. listenable records. silvera records. 2016.

Freitag, 28. Oktober 2016

pallbearer - fear and fury e.p.

pallbearer released two fantastic full length records so far. "sorrow and extinction" from 2012 and "foundations of burden" from two years later are doom metal masterpieces. the band delivers a complete package. outstanding music, ominous lyrics, masterful artwork, lovely vinyl presentations - the real deal. as i am not the only one being aware of the quality that is a pallbearer record, it is very likely that a new release of theirs would sell out at pre-order stage. so when the "fear and fury" e.p. was announced, it was about to act quickly.
fortunately i check the lambgoat upcoming releases page quite regularly. this is how the word reached me. the next thing that was to my advantage was that profound lore records, pallbearers label at the moment, has now one of those lovely european stores, which makes it way more reasonable to order stuff because of lower shipping costs. when i hit the store, the gold vinyl out of 100 copies were already gone, which wasn't that much of a problem because the colour-ways out of 200 copies each were looking way more attractive.
there was a yellow/blue merge and a red/orange merge vinyl version. the decision was easy as the yellow/blue one was already sold out as well. so the red/orange was added to my cart and i checked it out without further hesitation. the pre-order process took one and a half month or so and i almost forgot about it until it showed up last week safe and sound. it was extremely well packed, the record inside an addtional pvc dust sleeve outside cover and printed dust sleeve, so none of the sleeves could suffer from any seam-splits. thumbs up!
musically there isn't much to tell. i knew the song "fear and fury" from the decibel flexi disc i got with my order of the "foundations of burden" record last year, and the remaining two songs are cover songs. there is a bit boring version of sabbath's "over and over" and an ok version of one of type o's greatest - "love you to death". the presentation on the other hand is a scorcher. lovely die-cut sleeve with beautiful art on the dust sleeve, an etched b-side and a hot vinyl colour pattern. still, give me a full length, pallbearer! profound lore records. 2016.

Dienstag, 25. Oktober 2016

khemmis - hunted

khemmis is the new force to be reckoned with in doom metal at the moment. their first record "absolution" which was released in summer last year hit the metal scene like a sledge hammer and was praised by the press as one of the best doom albums of the year. rightfully so as long as i am concerned, even though i jumped on the band wagon a bit late and bought a third press copy only a few months ago. a year after "absolution" was unleashed, 20 buck spin announced the follow-up release "hunted", set to be put out in late october 2016.
the pre-orders were going live in early september and i was ready to put some money towards a limited colour vinyl version. when i read the descriptions for the several vinyl colours, it appeared that 20 buck spin was selling a silver version via nuclear blast and a very few of the shop exclusive electric blue edition via vàn records from germany upon release date. back when i ordered my copy of "absolution" from 20 buck spin, i wasn't aware of the partnership between the two labels.
i missed the chance to order an exclusive colour-way with reasonable shipping charges. but not this time, i said to myself. so i waited. it was quite hard to see the limited electric blue version sell out over at 20 buck spin. i e-mailed the vàn records team to ask if i could pre-order the khemmis record but got no reply. as there was no specific date announced when the record was available, i started to check the vàn page on a daily basis. paranoia of a record collector. when the record showed up in the store last weekend, i didn't hestitate to order a copy straight away.
vàn even had some sea blue inside ultra clear vinyl copies on offer but of course i chose the sick white inside electric blue with silver and black splatter vinyl (pretty long description for a colour-way, huh?). musically this is just the keeping of what "absolution" promised. melodic doom metal in perfection. no big talk, just listen to the whole album by clicking this youtube link. listen and stand in awe. my colour-way, as all the colour vinyl of the first press, is limited to 150 copies. comes with a nice 8" booklet and a slip sleeve with foil print and a coloured inside. sharp! 20 buck spin records. 2016.

Sonntag, 23. Oktober 2016

red fang - only ghosts

last sunday i went to see red fang play live in hamburg. of course i knew that the band released their new record two days before, on 14th of october. when the release was announced, i considered to order the most limited colour version from relapse but the damn thing sold out super fast. therefore i wanted to wait for the european edition on hot pink vinyl. it isn't that limited but i thought the colour way looked pretty cool.
then i saw the announcement of red fang's european tour this autumn and was delighted to see that they would stop at hamburg as well. i saw them live at wacken open air this year, they played a great set and i was really looking forward to see them in a more intimate club show setting. furthermore i thought it might be cool to snag a limited tour colour edition of which i read in the relapse pressing info. what can i say, the show was great.
the band seemed to really enjoy playing the new songs and people were going crazy. especially when they played their encore and let loose the "prehistoric dog". good times. torche played as support act and just before they hit the stage i went to the merch table and grabbed three copies of "only ghosts". one for my uncle, another one for a good friend and the last one for myself. now that i listened to the record a few times, i can only say that the band's third full length is in no way inferior the the prior albums.
red fang take no prisoners with their catchy mix of stoner rock, sludge, doom metal and some progressive elements. i love the fact that they are so variable, not least because the two vocalists. bass player aaron beam and guitarist maurice bryan. beam brings in a queens of the stone age edge and bryan the rough high on fire spirit. winner combination. the artwork has a nice seventies feel to it and works lovely with the gold with black splatter vinyl. a shame there is no insert with lyrics. 1000 copies made exclusive to the band. relapse records. 2016.

Freitag, 21. Oktober 2016

animals as leaders - weightless

i am pretty fascinated by this band called animals as leaders at the moment. an instrumental mathcore or djent or whatever band is new to my collection. listening to it right now, i cannot understand how i got along before without them. crazy drumming and even crazier guitar work that rushes through your auditory canals like a whirlwind. but from the beginning, i already told you about the self-titled first animals as leaders record, which i bid on but went for more than i was willed to pay, in the last post.
at the same time a different seller offered animals as leaders' second album "weightless" for a buy-it-now price including an make-an-offer option. i was thinking if i should go for this copy because i was about to put serious money towards the self-titled one. but when i saw this copy going way out of my price range, the path was cleared. the buy-it-now price wasn't even unreasonable but i was able to lower it a bit and was from there on the proud owner of a white vinyl "weightless" copy.
this album is so deliciously sophisticated, a pleasure from the beginning right down to the end. just sit back, close your eyes and bear witness onto musical masterpieces such as "somnarium", "to lead you to an overwhelming question" or the title song. the presentation by prosthetic records is just as good. a thick die-cut slip sleeve with a lovey printed dust sleeve to show through. the nice white vinyl (here on an additional black dust sleeve for picture purpose) rounds out the package. need more stuff of that band! 328 copies pressed. prosthetic records. 2011.

Dienstag, 18. Oktober 2016

cynic - kindly bent to free us

a week or so ago i was bidding on ebay for a record i wanted badly. it was animals as leaders' first self titled full length. but not only this, i was bidding on the glow-in-the-dark vinyl pressing out of 106 copies. i don't have any glow in the dark colour records and the combination with this great album made it very desirable. in the last twenty hours of the auction a bidding war flared up. i mean, i was expecting it to go for considerable money but when i saw the end result, i was stunned.
that fucking thing went for over one hundred euros. boy, i bid something over sixty bucks and thought that was pretty inflated. sometimes i am amazed at what people pay for those plastic discs. ok, anyway, why am i telling you this when the post title indicates something about cynic? well, the same seller who offered the glow-in-the-dark animals as leaders record also had a copy of cynic's latest album "kindly bent to free us" up for grabs.
and it wasn't some random copy, it was a semi-translucent bronze colour copy of the first press. one of the most limited colour press. so i also prepared myself to pay a good chunk of money for it and then something unexpected happened. i don't know what it was. probably people lost their interest in bidding over that erruption concerning the animals as leaders record, or "kindly bent to free us" isn't that sought after as i thought. whatever it was, i got it for fourteen bucks. good catch in my book.
musically this the great quirky, progressive metal that cynic perfected. there is a certain depth and beauty to their music which i fail to describe with words. on "kindly bent to free us" the band reduced the death metal parts, which is really the only reason why i like "traced in air" a bit more. the drum sound is very organic and a nice contrast to the extra-stringed guitar and bass. the band's third full length under the name cynic is complex but never loses focus. prog supremacy. 150 copies made. season of mist records. 2014.

Sonntag, 16. Oktober 2016

sleep - sleep's holy mountain

i had a long way getting into sleep. when their probably most critically acclaimed effort "dopesmoker" got another re-release this year, i finally bought myself a copy. i still don't listen to it very often, because "dopesmoker" isn't what you call an easy listening record but every once in a while it fits the mood. because of it i definitely wanted to check out the other sleep records as well. two weeks ago i spotted this yellow version on ebay.
it was a side effect of a search for another band and the first thing that caught my attention was the quite affordable price for a coloured version. i checked the different pressings on discogs before and all of them, regardless of which year or label, go for a considerable chunk of cash. the yellow version i saw, is the most recent pressing from this year and was sold directly from the label earache records. this and the momentarily favourable exchange rates from pound to euro made the purchase a no-brainer for me.
listening to "sleep's holy mountain" there is no doubt that it easily outguns "dopesmoker" in my personal ranking. this is such a great stoner/doom metal album. considering the time when it was released, it is easy to undertsand the importance of "sleep's holy mountain" for the whole stoner metal scene. next to kyuss' "wretch", the groundbreaking album for stoner/doom metal in the early nineties. 500 copies made on opaque yellow vinyl. earache records. 1992/2016.

Freitag, 14. Oktober 2016

edgewise - silent rage

the last of the batch i took home with me was the edgewise 10" "silent rage". when i spotted it at andrä record store, the name edgewise rang a distant bell in the back of my head and so i pulled it from the racks to take a quick listen. i expected some nineties hardcore and boy, what i got was just that. this is as nineties hardcore as it gets. after the first song, i knew i had a new addtion to the collection here.
this u.s. band from philadelphia had an eight year run throughout the very late eighties and the nineties releasing a cassette demo, a 7" and two full length records. my 10" is an expanded re-release of their "silent rage" 7" from 1990 on smorgasbord records. german label gain ground records from dortmund handled this output. the label re-vised the artwork completely, not very much to its advantage, if you ask me.
the green face on the left is pretty pixelated and why the hell chosing that blue, red, yellow, green colour scheme anyway? the shot of the two band members on the back cover looks strange as well. don't know if the singer wears a mask or if that effect was some kind of blur by the camera or if the gain ground guys altered it for this release. anyway, the music counts and it is lovely chugga chugga hardcore. always good in my book. 1.500 copies made on clear orange vinyl. gain ground records. 1995.

Mittwoch, 12. Oktober 2016

enabler - fail to feel safe

the second record i pulled from the racks at andrä store was enabler's fourth full length called "fail to feel safe". i didn't even know just one song from that record but had the vague idea, that i would like it. back then, when the band released their third album "la fin absolue du monde", i wasn't far from ordering a copy from century media and a little time later i had a physical copy of it in my hands at burnout store, hamburg. somehow i never got around to picking up a copy and when "fail to feel safe" came out, other things were more important.
but just the same thing with the city to city record seconds before, holding a coloured copy in hands was all i needed to give it a shot. furthermore, for just a tenner as price for admission, who was i to let it down. now that i have listened to the record i am very pleasantly surprised at the variety of enabler's sound. i listened to the opener "suffer to survive" at the store and felt a good dosage of that converge or trap them venom but now after full spin, i found enabler adding a few bits of clean singing and punk hooks to the mix. they managed to create a distinct sound for theirselves.
the whole record does really entertain me from first to last tune, we will see if it has a long term quality but for now, "fail to feel safe" is a flawless record. period. the presentation is quite nice. lovely cover art work printed on some fancy matte cardboard sleeve, a sturdy printed dust sleeve, a poster of the cover art in black and white, a cd for digital amusement and 180g dark green vinyl. the vinyl colour seems a bit out of place, don't who thought that this might be a good idea. anyway, only 100 copies made as green hell exclusive edition. century media. 2015.

Montag, 10. Oktober 2016

city to city - nothing worth to die for

the wife and me were visiting family in the ruhrpott area last weekend. on saturday the whole gang went for a day trip to dortmund. besides feeling good because of being in the city of my favourite football club borussia dortmund again, i was looking forward to visit andrä record store again. i have been there a few times before and despite not scoring any real cool vinyl records in the past, they also have a good sorted used cd and dvd section. so always worth a visit.
this time it was set to be different from the other visits before. andrä changed a bit its interior by locating the vinyl section at a different spot inside the store. with it came the expansion of the heavy/alternative vinyl section and so i was able to snag three pretty cool records. the first of the haul was city to city's debut full length called "nothing worth to die for". it was some sort of a local pick up because the band comes from the ruhrpott area as well.
i heard of the band when the record was released two years ago but was never interested enough to place an order. but in the store with the record in my hands, the very good price and the coloured vinyl, i couldn't deny it. listening to it i am glad i picked it up. it is such a great modern hardcore record, packed with passion and energy. you should go and listen to the album in its entirety at the band's bandcamp page. grey marble vinyl is limited to 110 copies. farewell records. 2014.

Dienstag, 4. Oktober 2016

coalesce - give them rope

when i was picking up my first pelican record and came across this coalesce record in the kingsroad europe e-store, it dawned on me that this was quite the same story. just like pelican, i heard the name coalesce multiple times before and knew vaguely that it was up my alley, as they had been compared to converge quite frequently. so, when i saw the band's first full length as a fancy re-press on some lovely colour vinyl, i had no excuse anymore.
no sleep records from the united states did this latest re-press from five years ago, while relapse records released the double cd version. the label pressed the re-mastered original onto the first record and the re-mixed version from 2001, going by the name of "give them rope she said v2.0", onto the second record. the two versions do not differ that much, so i doubt the necessity of that double release. anyway, it's the right thing for the die hard fan and for me a good way to get into coalesce's stuff.
relapse and no sleep went for the original artwork instead of the art used for the v2.0 remix from 2004. a good choice in my book. another nice take are the liner notes by guitarist jes steineger. i love such information added by the personal memory of people involved. it gives the listener a better understanding of the tunes resonating from needle and groove. in this case it must have been tough and confusing days for the band members without money and with borrowed and semi-professional equipment.
the outcome however is pretty intense. it is one of those records that don't click with me at first listen, but nevertheless i feel that "give them rope" is worth every second spent listening and it grows on me with every spin i give it. the presentation is great. i already talked about the gatefold. the vinyl colours chosen are sharp too. i love the tan marble for the first disc. the dark blue marble with the v2.0 remix doesn't look too bad either. 500 copies pressed. no sleep records. 2011.

Sonntag, 2. Oktober 2016

pelican - city of echoes

after a few days off in my small hometown visiting family and friends, a package containing two new records was waiting for me back home. again it wasn't anything recently released which i ordered from kingsroad merch europe, at least no recently written music. but from the start, i actually was browsing the kingsroad shop for some converge vinyl but then came across a pelican re-issue of "city of echoes". i saw the name pelican thrown around several times on other blogs i follow but never actually listened to them.
in hindsight i find this pretty strange because the band totally fits my taste in instrumental music, anyway, with this re-issue up for grabs and the vague idea that they might be cool i gave the album a listen via the tube. the first two songs "bliss in concrete" and the title track"city of echoes" were all i needed to be convinced that this record was a must have for me. i always thought that when it comes to this instrumental, progressive, post-rock, whatever metal european bands like toundra or terraformer were second to none. to me u.s. bands like russian circles or even red sparowes, which i really like, never had the drive of their european counterparts. but pelican is different.
they don't seem to lose thereselves in lengthy, progressive melodies without giving the listener a sludgy kick to the head. pelican delivers just the right dosage of heaviness, at least on "city of echoes". the presentation by hydra head records is really neat. the record comes in a gatefold sleeve with some invisible ink here and there to highlight the overall minimalistic artwork. i really like that, it gives the package a special touch. this re-issue is a double lp affair and, as some of you might already have noticed, the original press was a single lp release. for the re-press hydra head didn't spread the album across two 12" platters, but included a live session instead.
the second lp contains seven songs of a set the band played in wroclaw, poland in november of 2007 on their tour with high on fire on the printed dust sleeve of the second lp, the band gives the interested listener some liner notes as to how this idea came to be and some memories to the live set cut into the vinyl grooves. nice gimmick, although i won't be reaching to it very often. on the other hand the first lp will be put on quite often, i imagine, as "city of echoes" is a great record. lovely re-issue. white vinyl. don't know how many were made. hydra head records. 2007/2016.