Montag, 11. Dezember 2017

the black dahlia murder - nocturnal (tenth anniversary press)

back in 2013 i bought the long overdue first european vinyl press of the black dahlia murder's third full length "nocturnal" from 2007. it was a nice edition with clear blue/black smoke vinyl out of 500 copies. in the meantime inflated second-hand prices for this edition had been asked and payed. usually i tend to keep my stuff but this time it was different. i obsessed over a bolt thrower record for which i needed some cash.
so i searched my collection for something valuable i could let go of. if it wasn't for the occasion of the tenth anniversary re-press of "nocturnal", i would have never sold my initial copy. a nice dude from the states actually payed a hundred bucks for it. wow, i never considered to pay that much money for a single record myself so it felt strange that someone else thought it was worth that much cash. anyway, in the end i didn't get the bolt thrower record i wanted but a few other gems instead, but this will be a different story.
what i did get to balance the loss of my first press "nocturnal" copy was this lovely new edition by metal blade records. there are a few differences to the first press. the first is that the anniversary press comes with a lyric sheet and a custom paper dust sleeve instead of a printed dust sleeve. layout-wise the lyric sheet is a replica of the printed dust sleeve from the first press. the second change isn't visible at first glance.
metal blade chose not to end the a-side with the title track but with "deathmask divine" (so now six songs on the a-side and four on the b-side).a good choice in my book because it prevents the harsh cut after "nocturnal". notably metal blade forgot to change the tracklist on the back cover, so i was a little surprised when i heard "deathmask divine" on side a. the vinyl colour is a real looker. love the different shades in different lights. 300 copies made. metal blade records. 2007/2017.

Mittwoch, 6. Dezember 2017

bolt thrower - the IVth crusade

i am on a bolt thrower kick as of late. after i got the band's third full length on ebay and the re-press of their second album "realm of chaos" via some bonus points from nuclear blast, i was searching their discography for more stuff i might be interested in. as i cannot relate to bolt thrower's obvious war affinity, "war master" and especially "realm of chaos" appealed to me because of their lyrical and graphical connection to the warhammer tabletop game. very nerdy but i love nerd stuff. "the IVth crusade" had something different to offer.
as the album title clearly indicates the lyrical theme is loosely based on the fourth crusade from 1202 until 1204. a very interesting historic topic. this made me want the record. luckily earache just put up pre-orders for a new re-press on silver vinyl. the price and shipping from the u.k. were very moderate and so i didn't ask twice and ordered a copy. musically this is absolutely bulldozing mid-tempo death metal. the band incorporated an even doomier sound which i like very much.
now it is obvious to me from where a lot of european metalcore bands from the early 00's took their influences. bands like heaven shall burn, born from pain or cataract have some strong bolt thrower references in their sound. the presentation by earache is very nice. not because of innovative or high quality packaging but because of doing the re-press in the same fashion as the first press from 1992. the great cover shows "the entry of the crusaders in constantinople" by eugène delacroix. silver vinyl for the 25th anniversary and out of 500 copies. earache records. 1992/2017.

Dienstag, 5. Dezember 2017

metal massacre ten

the record of today's post isn't a special one by any means and i didn't even pursued the purchase. it kind of fell into my hands. i like to go on flea markets in my area and seek seventies and eighties pop, prog rock stuff. very rarely there is anything metal related among the second hand vinyl. if so, it is mostly ac/dc and they are more hard rock than metal. so when i come across something for a good price, i don't hesitate to grab it.
in this case a friend and me were working our ways through a pile of assorted records. he came up with a nice bruce springsteen lp and i found this metal massacre number ten. i knew that metal blade records were releasing these compilations and that some famous bands had their first appearances here. do i hear metallica anywhere? when i looked for the tracklist, there was not one band that sounded familiar but for measly four bucks i figured it could do no harm to take it.
after i spun the album i understood why no band sounded familiar. there is just pretty average stuff to be found here. beside of two bands none of them got past the one full length mark. after all i won't spin this very often but i think it is cool to have, especially in that fine condition. only the printed dust sleeve looks a bit worn, cover sleeve and vinyl are in great condition. the songs for the comp were chosen from mid 1988 to early 1989. the record itself was released in early 1990. metal blade records.

Sonntag, 3. Dezember 2017

bolt thrower - realm of chaos re-issue

the first press of this bolt thrower album became my white whale in the bygone weeks. i am still out on the sea, standing in my boat with a harpoon in my hand and waiting for the great fish to appear out of the deep. to scratch the itch just a bit, this re-press copy fell into my lap. i order at nuclear blast records quite regularly. for every item i buy at nb i get some bonus points, those are called blasts. because i am a bronze customer by now i get the double amount of blasts for each item.
the bottom line of the story is that i had some bonus points to burn and ordered a copy of "realm of chaos" for the shipping costs. so i finally have the tunes on vinyl, this will make the waiting time for a first press copy more bearable. in most cases i don't have any problems with re-issues. they serve a great purpose by making music which is high in demand accessible without paying over the odds. things are different with this one here. i am not a fan of different artwork to the original pressing. i can live with changes on the cover, layout, bonus tracks or the amount of vinyl discs but a changed cover artwork is a killer.
earache had a problem when they wanted to re-press the album in 2012. the original release was a joint venture release with games workshop. the inventors of the warhammer tabletop game liscensed artwork for "realm of chaos" and sold copies directly through their stores. the liscence for the art run out in 2002 and wasn't prolonged. so earache was forced to come up with something new. it's ok for what it is but i definitely need an original press of this release. the music itself is great and i will dive further into the matter when i write about the first press. clear vinyl as a nuclear blast exclusive out of 500 copies. earache records. 1989/2017.

Donnerstag, 30. November 2017

morbid angel - altars of madness

that "war master" record from bolt thrower which i got from ebay a few weeks before, kind of kick started a new obsession. early nineties death metal. in a way i was already riding this wave with the constant re-issues of the death back catalogue by relapse records and the early suffocation records re-issued by listenable records. but this time it hit me with full spead ahead. i was digging into the early bolt thrower stuff and from that point into the early earache records releases and then into the roadrunner records death metal heyday. so many cool stuff. i also recognised pretty quick that original pressings from that time don't come cheap.
ebay had a lot of early nineties death metal to offer in the last weeks and so, among many outbids, i was able to snag a very nice version of morbid angel's debut full length "altars of madness". morbid angel are one of the originators of the florida death metal sound that was swapping the earth at the time. this album however still has a good portion of slayer thrash in the mix. the band really found their style on the follow-up "blessed are the sick". that fact doesn't compromise my appreciation for"altars of madness" a bit. i enjoy it all the way through. check out this rager here.
this copy isn't a first press. the record was released in 1989 and around 1991 and 1992 earache re-pressed some crucial titles of their back catalogue on nice white splatter vinyl. today this colour-way would surely be named marble vinyl but anyway, it looks absolutely lovely. i scored this baby for way under the going rate on discogs but popsike told me that the price wasn't unusual considering the more recent auctions on ebay. whatever, i am more than happy with the condition of the vinyl in particular. there is something about those early pressings, i will try to get more classics. love those tasks, it makes collecting real fun. 2000 copies made. earache records. 1989/1991.

Dienstag, 28. November 2017

gojira - from mars to sirius (cream/black merge)

did i really need this re-press of my favourite gojira record "from mars to sirius"? obviously i did not because i already own a nice clear with white and orange splatter variant from two years ago. but when i saw these nice new colour-ways go up for pre-order i couldn't resist.
the merge variant looked just too delicious. unlike the merge copy for "the way of all flesh" i ordered "from mars to sirius" from emp mailorder. they had serious delivery issues and so my record arrived way later than "the way of all flesh" which i ordered directly from listenable records.
so really not much to say about this one. musically this is easily my favourite of this french band. when the first tunes of "ocean planet" kick in, i am in another world. a perfect melange of progressivity, rhythm, melody and heaviness. check out the heaviest matter of gojira in its entirety.
listenable records printed this album for the sixth time by now. nothing special, you say, considering the album was released in 2005. remarkable is that the first listenable press is from 2011. every year a new pressing and they sell quick. speaks for the quality of "from mars to sirius". 700 copies made. listenable records. 2005/2017.

Montag, 27. November 2017

atheist - jupiter

i really came to love my two atheist records i have on vinyl so far. "piece of time" and especially "elements" are unique, progressive and so beautifully sophistacted. among fans, their second record "unquestionable presence" seems to be their crowning work. as i was late to the re-press parties that season of mist threw in the past, i am always on the look-out for some new re-issues. i get all kinds of update mails from several distros and labels to not miss anything. when i got a mail from high roller records i was delighted to see the name atheist in the pre-order section. it wasn't the desired re-press of "unquestionable presence" but of "jupiter" instead. and it came on colour vinyl. a no-brainer.
"jupiter" is the band's fourth full length album which came out in 2010. so seventeen years after the band released their third record "elements". the guys are not the ones for quick decisions. after disbanding in 1994 they actually came back together in 2006 already. it took them another four years to come up with new stuff. anyway, the album is quite a good return. thankfully they didn't try to push things. they wrote eight songs without any fillers like intro or interludes (although i liked those interludes on "elements"). those eight songs are everything the band promised on their preceding three records, only without the surprising joy of playing of the nineties.
i think, this it what makes "jupiter" go pale compared to the old atheist stuff. you know what you will get. despite all complexity, atheist doesn't bring something unexpected to the table. but that's just what i would expect of a progressive band. in the end my view on "jupiter" is not as harsh as these words sound like. i still enjoy this album all the way through. a great prog death release. period. i wonder if it takes them another seventeen years for new tunes. seven years already down. fingers crossed. the re-press comes in a gatefold with a nice poster and transparent yellow vinyl out of 300 copies. season of mist records. 2010/2017.

Mittwoch, 22. November 2017

converge - the dusk in us

finally the new converge record is upon us. it took the band five years to come up with new material but if it is with this high level of creativity and artistic brilliancy, i have no problems with waiting another five years for the next record. a good friend, who shares the fascination for this boston based band, and me were eagerly awaiting the pre-orders going live for this full length. we already bought the teaser 7" at the same time and when he messaged me that pre-orders were up, we checked the possibilities. we wanted to keep shipping costs as low as possible, so an order from the states wasn't acceptable. the deathwish e.u. store had an opaque orange version but shipping was still pretty high due to the store being located in italy.
then it dawned on me that kingsroad merch europe would probably sell the epitaph exclusive version because they host the epitaph e-store. they did and as the store has its home here in germany shipping costs were reasonable. after almost two months of waiting, the record finally arrived. what can i say? it is a masterpiece through and through. maybe the scale turned a tiny bit in favour of the more melodic side of their work but the heavy and fast hardcore punk is still plenty. "the dusk in us" is so well balanced. i especially love the straight metal riffs at the end of the album in songs like "reptilian"or "cannibals".
new to this album is that jacob bannon does the complete clean singing. on previous albums a handful of guest singers did the job but bannon, probably trained by his side project wear your wounds, pulls it off flawlessly. the lyrical side of the album is amazing. so sophisticated, check "under duress" for example. the presentation is top notch like the rest. it comes with a fantastic holographic mirror board sleeve which represents all the rainbow vinyl colours of the first press. next thing is the outstanding thick booklet with wonderful artwork. beautiful! next to mastodon's "emperor of sand" converge's ninth full length is definitely the release of the year. period. 500 copies on yellow vinyl. deathwish inc. epitaph records. 2017.

Montag, 20. November 2017

bolt thrower - war master

bolt thrower and me had a long time coming. i heard the name thrown around quite often in combination with old heaven shall burn stuff and given the fact that i love old heaven shall burn stuff, i actually wanted to check them out way earlier. what always put me off was the obvious war affinity in lyrics and artwork. i could never share the fascination and think that wars should be an invention mankind got rid off long time ago and only discuss about the idiocy of it in school lessons. anyway, i still ended up with the band's second full length on some nice vinyl colour. how come? good question.
well, i watched a few bits on ebay on auction by the same seller. among his offerings were this copy of bolt thrower's "war master". albeit the cover looked absolutely cheesy and beyond, i was attracted to it. so i did a bit research about the band and found out that they loosely based their lyrics on the tabletop game warhammer. i am no player/worshipper by any means but i got introduced to the game in my teens by an old friend who was very enthusiastic about it. he gave me endless lectures about warhammer back then and i thought it was a cool game. i couldn't warm up with playing it because it was too tactical but i liked the idea of collecting those figures and painting them in your favoured fashion.
serious nerd stuff, and nerd stuff is something i can rely to very well. suddenly bolt thrower became very interesting. i finally listened to some stuff of "war master" and liked it. in the end this record was the only i succesfully bid on and i am really happy to have it. it is a re-press from 2013 and earache kept completely true to the original release from 1991. even the lyric booklet is included. i read that the lyrics were not warhammer related anymore but the artwork from the gatefold sleeve and booklet is obvioulsy leaned on warhammer fantasy and 40k. cool in a way, love the alice cooper warrior in the centre. musically this lovely old school mid-tempo death metal but you already know that. 200 copies on white with blue splatter vinyl. earache records. 1991/2013.

Samstag, 18. November 2017

shroud eater - strike the sun

save the best for last. the fourth record i ordered at kozmik artifactz is such a rager. shroud eater's debut full length was a little surprise box to me. i read about the album on the vinyl diaries blog and just thought that the artwork was looking cool. when i saw the record at kozmik, i gave it a shot just to see if i might be interested. as soon as "iron mountain" was through, i knew i needed this piece. what a crushing behemoth of a doom metal song.
the band is a three-piece consisting of two girls on bass respectively on guitar and a guy on drums. all three are also performing vocals on the recording which adds a touch of more diversity. the rest is sludgy doom metal of the heavy kind. another band that came to my mind several times while listening to shroud eater was the mighty conan. the ultra low tuned string instruments are pounding out riffs of biblical proportions and the heavy drumming continuously reverberates amongst the madness.
check out this scorcher in its entirety here. what i have here is the 'not so standard' edition on cream, red and brown swirl. at the time it was the only available option at kozmik. by now they added some copies of the hand-numbered obi-strip edition. too bad for me because they look pretty good. anyway, this swirl edition looks sharp as well and i think the it's the nicest of the pressing. the gatefold is graced with disturbing yet beautiful artwork which is printed partly with an uv effect. great presentation all around. 250 copies made. stb records. 2017.

Mittwoch, 15. November 2017

asg - win us over

the third record of my little haul from kozmik artifactz aptly is asg's (amplification of self-gratification) third full length "win us over". this is one of the records i am actually after for quite a while now but somehow lost track on it along the way. when i searched for the monolord record it was an accidental find. "win us over" popped up among the search results and i thought it was finally time for me to snag a copy.
the album was actually released in 2008 on volcom entertainment. i never heard of the label and thought volcom was just a clothing company. obviously the guys at volcom also had some interest in music. anyway, it wasn't until six years later in 2014 that relapse records produced the first vinyl pressing for "win us over". in the mean time the band moved to relapse and had already released their first full length for the label in 2013 ("blood drive").
"win us over" is a brilliant stoner record from start to finish. the band members had a strict queens of the stone age and kyuss diet, it seems. still asg knows how to throw their very own ingredients into the mix. they strongly lean to the metal end of the spectrum when the singer deals some harsh shouts here and there. but the most of the time asg plays some high-nod-rate stoner rock/metal with beautiful melodies. check out the full album here.
for their first vinyl press relapse subtly changed the colours of the cover background from red/yellow to purple. don't know why they thought this was a good idea. some legal problems with volcom? i mean, it's not a big deal, just seems so random and therefore unnecessary. anyway, it's still a good cover that screams stoner rock. the vinyl colour is very nice. i think for splatter colour patterns, white is the best main colour. lovely white with multi-colour splatter out of 800 copies. relapse records. 2014.

Montag, 13. November 2017

monolord - rust

the mighty monolord is back. my wife always shakes her head in disbelief when the name monolord drops. to be fair, it is a quite stupid name but over time i think it grows into being just cool. names aside, i learned pretty early in the year that the swedish trio would come up with a new full length but this time i wasn't sucked into pre-ordering the record from sweden like i did with the predecessor "vænir".
after i pre-ordered "vænir" back in 2015, kozmik artifactz put up some opaque colours in their store and i always thought that it would have been cooler to get one of those. but i stepped back because i already paid enough for the band exclusive version. this time around i wanted to wait for kozmik to buy a copy from them and save on shipping costs. it worked out and so i ordered a mysterious "colour vinyl" copy not knowing what it would turn out to be.
as you can see, it came to be the opaque yellow version. musically monolord knows the score. upon first listen i wasn't completely convinced of "rust". the songs felt a bit dull. after repeated listens my opinion did a 180. the record crushes everything in its way and is such a laid back piece of doom metal at the same time - infectious to say the least. the closing riff of "at niceae" is representative for this contrast. crushing but laid back as well. check it out.
the record appeared on riding easy records, like all monolord records to this point. the label pressed numerous editions for "rust". as mentioned before i got a copy of the opaque yellow pressing out of 400 copies. nice shade of the colour. it is super bright. the fold out cover is made of sturdy matte cardboard which smells good (yeah, i smell at records too). a quality release all around. kozmik artifactz has some copies left. riding easy records. 2017.

Freitag, 10. November 2017

mother crone - awakening

first part of my order at kozmik artifactz mailorder. it is arguably the best stoner/doom/psych mailorder in germany and their supply is always perfectly up-to-date and exclusive in many cases. no difference this time. i start with the band mother crone from the united states and their debut "awakening". i stumbled upon this band via another fellow vinyl collector and his blog. the blog is called vinyl diaries and here i heard the first time of dhu records from the netherlands. it's a small d.i.y. label specialised on stoner, doom and sludge metal stuff. i searched thorugh their selection and came across mother crone.
i found the artwork cool and just because of that i listened to some songs of their album via their bandcamp. i liked what i heard and as i wanted to avoid the higher shipping from the netherlands, i ordered at kozmik artifactz instead. therfore i couldn't get my greedy hands on the most limited version but i think this "revelation edition" looks nice anyway. what does "awakening" sound like? it's a mixture of doom and stoner metal, mostly played in midtempo. a crusher. here and there the three guys venture into some progressive areas which really helps to add some freshness. a rock solid debut here.
the dark hedonistic union (dhu records) really put some effort into the presentation of "awakening". sturdy gatefold sleeve with thick spine. black poly-lined dust sleeve and really nice bone white with sea blue and oxblood splatter vinyl out of 100 copies. although the splatter was a bit more prominent in the mock-ups. anyway, all three colour-ways (including the more limited "black sea" edition) are still available at the label's bigcartel store. will keep my eyes peeled in the future for both, dhu and mother crone. dhu records. 2017.

Montag, 6. November 2017

gojira - the way of all flesh (blue/black merge re-press)

after the mastodon record of the last post another band out of my top five is honouring this blog. gojira. this french institution is unbeaten in terms of atmosphere, intelligent song-writing and sophisticated, yet philosophical lyrics. gojira never released any half-baked records, their discography is flawless. as the greatness of this band didn't go unrecognised among music fans, their recorded material is object to high demand.
listenable records didn't even press some vinyl for the initial release in 2008. the liscence to do so went to prosthetic records, which pressed some colour copies for the north american market. those copies fetch crazy prices on second-hand market places nowadays. listenable produced their first press in 2013 and keeps the record in press pretty regularly. i bought a copy of the second listenable pressing on clear with black and blue splatter two years back.
a good friend of mine shares the excitement for gojira with me and as a present i couldn't think of a better way than to get him his favourite gojira record "the way of all flesh". i was toying with the idea to get a copy of the new merge colour re-press anyway and so i gave away my clear splatter copy and ordered a new record at nuclear blast along with the recent cradle of filth release. the release date got postponed week after week until nuclear blast told me, that they wouldn't get any copies from the wholesale and then gave me a refund.
i got a bit nervous because all the german distros didn't carry any copies anymore. finally i reached out for the mother label. in the end i paid about ten bucks more because of the high shipping rates from france but i got a lovely blue and black merge copy eventually. this colour-way compliments the cover art superbly. great edition. unfortunately my printed dust sleeves are split on the edges but at least my cover sleeve is in great condition. got a little discount on future orders at listenable in return. we'll see when there is the chance to use it anyway. 700 copies made. listenable records. 2008/2017.

Freitag, 3. November 2017

mastodon - remission (gatefold lp)

no doubt, mastodon is among my top five of favourite bands and they are ranking pretty high. therefore it always was important to get all their full length releases on vinyl. i accomplished this goal two years ago and extended the collection with this year's release of "emperor of sand". so all the records sit on my shelf in the m-section, waiting right there for listening purposes. almost all. three years ago i bought the box-set re-issue of the band's debut "remission" dircetly from relapse.
as i feel that my box-sets deserve a special spot on my shelf, i placed them seperately. the problem was that this kind of ruined my full mastodon album set in the m-section. there were two possible solutions. first one was to place the box among the other mastodon records which was pretty much out of the question for me, second one was to get a regular gatefold version of "remission". the nerd-o-meter was heavily responding here and i knew it, that is why i was hesitant in the past.
i even let a purple and black spit copy of the sixth press slip through my fingers at blitz record store in kiel because i felt that i didn't really need another copy. but in terms of record collecting the word "need" is misplaced right from the start. of course, i don't need all my records but it's fun to have and to spin them. with this insight i embraced the ninth pressing that emp mailorder had to offer and finally filled the vacant space in my mastodon album set in the m-section. peace at last.
the re-press itself looks very nice. the two vinyl discs cut at 45rpm come on a colour-inside-colour pattern which is pretty en vogue these days. aqua blue inside ultra clear with multi colour splatter vinyl - wow, what a description. the cover sleeve features some artwork on gatefold inside and back which is not included in the box-set version. more reasons that tame my conscience. this pressing is limited to 1500 copies. crazy, ninth pressing and still the demand for these mastodon records is high. quality work here, i guess. relapse records. 2002/2017.