Sonntag, 29. Januar 2017

kreator - enemy of god

the last kreator re-press before we hit the new release "gods of violence". this time it is "enemy of god" from 2005. just like "violent revolution" i didn't know the band's eleventh full length record when i ordered a copy. in the meanwhile when i waited for the record to arrive i didn't listen to it via the net as well, because there is nothing like experiencing new old music by dropping the needle on a vinyl record. so when my pre-order package arrived timely on friday - i ordered "enemy of god" together with the new album from nuclear blast - i was eager to set the music free.
the "enemy" doesn't disappoint at all. a very strong album by this german thrash institution. twelve full songs, no interlude or instrumental, just straight forward metal with the right feeling for classic solos and melodies. "impossible brutality" and "voices of the dead" are two fine examples of what amazing song writing this band is capable of. the record was recorded in andy sneap's backstage studios in derbyshire, england. actually mille petrozza wanted to record the album completely analogue but sneap changed his mind. petrozza's idea was implemented in 2009 on "hordes of chaos".
analogue recorded or not "enemy of god" sounds real good. a modern and forceful production like i have expected from an andy sneap piece of work. the artwork was crafted by joachim luetke, who was also responsible for dimmu borgir's "death cult armageddon" and others. i mean, it won't become my favourite style of art but i like it for what it is, definitely better than the visuals for "hordes of chaos".
the presentation is solid all the way through. a gatefold sleeve with cool artwork inside and double 180gr vinyl housed in printed dust sleeves. i opted for the regular clear red vinyl version for "enemy of god" and am quite satisfied with it. looks real nice. so, this was it with the latest re-issues of three great kreator records. i am really looking forward to listen to the new album. well, i think this is just what i will do after posting this entry. smell ya later. steamhammer recordings. 2005/2017.

Dienstag, 24. Januar 2017

fallujah - nomadic

after i got meself all the fallujah full length records on coloured vinyl, there was only one missing piece left in the puzzle - their "nomadic" 10" release from 2013. it was released in between "the harvest wombs" and "the flesh prevails". knowing the full lengths i can surely say that "the harvest wombs" is my favourite album of the band and it feels like the two songs of "nomadic" could have been on the debut as well, even though they are closer to the second record time-wise. "the dead sea" and "venom upon the blade" are unbelievably strong!
still with only eighteen minutes of duration, while five minutes for the soundscape called "silent" doesn't really count, "nomadic" is my favourite release right after the band's first album. i ordered it via an ebay seller from switzerland. it was the same seller i bought other oversea stuff from lately, the invoking the abstract record for example. problem with this seller is they don't provide one with further information of pressing and colour, so it was a gamble. i was pretty sure that i would get a second press copy from 2015. this pressing came with two colour-ways.
the first colour was a darker shade of clear blue, called "sea blue" and the second colour was an opaque purple, "grimace purple". i hoped for the purple version because of its opaqueness but was unsure because i didn't know a thing about the limitations. in the end i lucked out and got my desired copy in perfect condition. well, well, job done for the complete fallujah colour vinyl collection. two of them were a little on the expensive side but still worth it. i go listen to some fallujah... unique leader records. 2013/2015.

Sonntag, 22. Januar 2017

kreator - hordes of chaos

part two in the recent kreator re-issue series. this time it is about their record from 2009, "hordes of chaos". out of the three re-issues it is the only one i knew beforehand. i bought myself the "ultra-riot" version last year, which is a cd-boxset released by spv in 2010. actually i wanted to order this album on the emp exclusive grey marble colour-way but as i was too late to order a copy before they sold out, i headed over to the napalm records store to get their exclusive edition.
napalm records has the steamhammer repressings on an exclusive gold colour vinyl version. i am not the biggest fan of that solid gold colour but it works with the cover art because violent mind, the kreator mascot, has some shades of gold in his armour. that brings me right to the artwork. boy, this is some cheesy stuff. especially the inner gatefold is that bad, it's almost good again.
musically "hordes of chaos" is a very good output. it just slows down a bit in the middle. whereas the start and the end of the album are bursting with energy and sharp song-writing. just check "escalation" and "to the afterborn" and be overrun by the horde going by the name kreator. the album was produced by moses schneider, who produced foremost alternative rock bands. "hordes of chaos" was his first metal album he worked on. aside from the vocal lines and the solos, the album was recorded live and analog and sounds great.
the presentation doesn't differ much to the "violent revolution" package. gatefold sleeve, printed dust sleeve with all lyrics, the whole album on cd and 180gr coloured vinyl. forthis re-press steamhammer used the same design the first press on black vinyl from 2009 came on. solid job all around. 150 copies on gold vinyl as napalm records exclusive. steamhammer records. 2009/2017.

Donnerstag, 19. Januar 2017

job for a cowboy - ruination pt.I

i don't know exactly why i was doing a search on job for a cowboy on ebay recently. probably because i re-visited "sun eater", the band's last full length, and was just curious as to what would be available. when it comes to job for a cowboy vinyl releases i am missing the first two full lengths. the reason for not owning "genesis" on vinyl is obvious. by this point the album was only released on despicable picture disc. the reason for not owning "ruination" is the weird format as well.
metal blade didn't gave "ruination" a proper vinyl release but did a strange triple 10" box set as a metal club exclusive. i have never seen other metal club pressings. don't know if that was some failed attempt of releasing some special stuff under that club banner or if there is actual more released material. anyway, "ruination" was split into two parts to fit onto two 10"es plus a bonus 10" with some live recordings and a cover song. all on different colour vinyl.
so when i was checking the search results i came across an offer for a job for a cowboy 10" single with the picture of the "ruination" pt. I cover for under a tenner. i thought, hey, why not? i mean, it was cheap, colour vinyl and maybe i would be able to track down pt. II as well at some point. so i bought it on a whim. by now, i still think that it is pretty cool but somehow i now feel the urge of owning the complete package. i mean, what's the point of only possessing one third of a set? arrrgh, damned be the collector in me! metal blade records. 2009/2010.

Dienstag, 17. Januar 2017

kreator - violent revolution

kreator got some new tunes set to be released at the end of january and going by the name of "gods of violence". i already got my pre-order in over at nuclear blast and am waiting for the day. in the meanwhile steamhammer records, which is a division of spv, came up with the idea to accompany the release of the new piece with re-issues of the three records by kreator the label released in the first decade of the 21st century.
i got into kreator last year by buying their 2012 opus "phantom antichrist", so naturally i wasn't going to miss a chance to expand my kreator vinyl collection which borders on embarrasing. steamhammer made three exclusive versions of every record, each version for one of three retailers which were nuclear blast shop (green vinyl), napalm records (gold vinyl) and emp mailorder (grey vinyl). a wider pressing on red vinyl was made for other retailers.
as i did want to have every re-press on a different colour-way i ordered one special version per mailorder, except from nuclear blast because i didn't think that green was an appropriate choice of vinyl colour for the respective cover artworks. i actually wanted "hordes of chaos" on the emp exclusive grey colour but i was to late to the party and so i altered my plan ordering "violent revolution" on marbled grey instead.
musically this is thrashingly right after my fancy. it's the first album with guitarist sami yli-sirniö who replaced tom vetterli. with him and this album the band returned to their roots leaving the more experimental phase of the nineties behind. "violent revolution" is fast, crunchy, melodic and so vicious - i mean, i am no expert in thrash metal and probably will never become one but the way kreator delivers the goods is just up my alley. 100 copies made as emp exclusive. steamhammer. 2001/2017.

Sonntag, 15. Januar 2017

fallujah - the flesh prevails

one of my recent obesession within the obsession is fallujah. my current fixation on progressive death metal started out with the band's debut "the harvest wombs" and since then i was on the hunt for the rest of their discography on coloured vinyl. fallujah's sophomore album "the flesh prevails" proved to be the hardest one to come by. it was available through two sources here in germany. the first is, a mailorder with a huge selection of all kinds of genres and formats.
the problem was that i had no info on the specific pressing, so i ordered in the hope it would be a coloured pressing because the latest two pressing came on colour vinyl. after a month jpc told me that their wholesaler couldn't deliver the record at the moment and that they didn't know if the record was available later on. so i cancelled the order. the next option was kingsroad merch europe. they had a copy in stock with a really good price, still no info on the pressing. i took the gamble again receiving a black first press copy.
damn it, first press is cool but i enjoy colour vinyl, doesn't matter the pressing and therefore i really wanted a coloured copy. so i swallowed the bitter pill of ordering from the states and paid quite a bit for a single vinyl lp. i ordered from where they had an aqua blue and a bone white variant to offer. i opted for the bone colour because my copy of "dreamless" is on aqua blue and i didn't want to have two records in the same colour-way. i gave the record a few spins by now and can only say that fallujah doesn't disappoint at all.
"the flesh prevails" sounds as deliciously sophisticated as their other stuff i had the pleasure to listen to. not one bad egg in the basket. on this album they introduced female vocals into their sound. really subtle but i love it. the lovely voice belongs to roniit. never heard of her before but she describes her music as dark pop sounds. the visuals are really nice again. the artwork is crafted in cooperation between artist tomasz alen kopera and singer alex hofmann. love this cream/bone white colour. 100 copies made. unique leader records. 2014/2016.

Freitag, 13. Januar 2017

slomatics - future echo returns

so finally this is the last record i recieved in the bygone year of 2016. it took quite a bit to get to me. unlike the last two records of slomatics, which have been released on burning world records from the netherlands, "future echo returns" was put out by black bow records. it is a label from the u.k. and run by a member from fellow doomsters conan. i believe i ordered the record at some point in early november. by the time the record was in its second press already.
somehow i missed the boat in the first place, which was in early september '16, but was lucky afterwards. i followed an intrinsic impulse to check the slomatics bandcamp again and got aware that they released a new record. fortunately black bow had still second press colour vinyl in stock. after i completed the order it took black bow over a month to ship the record and a few days before new year's eve it finally arrived here. don't get me wrong, i don't have an issue with waiting when i order from d.i.y. labels or mailorders. i even forgot about the record at some point.
anyway, i have to admit that i didn't listen to "future echo returns" as much as it deserves. it just doesn't really fits in my listening habbits at the moment. i am all over that technical death metal stuff and in that mood i am not looking for some slow doom attacks. but of course i recognise a musical pearl when it is right in front of me and this album is a goddamn musical pearl. the band maintains their heavy and sludgy doom sound, reminding me a bit of electric wizard, combined with those weird seventies science-fiction movie sounds.
slomatics widened their sound a bit and "future echo returns" feels more diverse. i love it when you can here a band evolve from record to record creating multifaceted music. the artwork has been worked into reality by tony roberts again. he also worked on the last album "estron" and on all conan records as well. great stuff on display here and definitely worth the gatefold treatment. the vinyl colour looks ace and ties in well into the whole package. check this cracker out! copies still available. black bow records. 2016.

Mittwoch, 11. Januar 2017

fallujah - dreamless

since "the harvest wombs" was such a winner in my book, definitely one of favourite records i have listened to last year and still listen to on a regular basis, i was looking what else this band released. i remembered that they came up with a new record at some point in autumn last year and that it was put out via nuclear blast records. so my first impulse was to search the european shop for some vinyl. unfortunately the search ended with empty hands of mine.
after that fruitless attempt i checked the nuclear blast u.s. shop. they had some copies in stock but i wanted to avoid those mean prices for international shipping. i asked the guys at nb europe if i could order through their shop or if they plan to distribute a few copies in the future. they negatively replied to both parts of the questions with the addition that i must have missed the copies they have already sold. yeah, i must have obviously. ah well, fuck it. i bit the bullet and ordered from the states.
still cheaper than to get a copy from discogs and the like, furthermore i was lucky that nb usa had my desired title on clearance. all in all it was ok from a financial point of view. so now to the more interesting side, the music. i needed quite a few spins to find my way through the compact wall of sound that is "dreamless". once the album sunk in the single contours can be clearly seen, or better clearly heard. pearls like "abandon" or "the prodigal son" are proof of the outstanding song writing abilities of the band.
fallujah has one nice instrumental - the title song - on the album which is a known procedure since "the harvest wombs" has two instrumentals on its own. the new additions to the band's sound cosmos are two electronical music instrumentals which are real classy and not cheesy at all. check "fidelio". the record might be not as good as the debut but if you like prog/tech death metal, there is no way around fallujah. the artwork is very nice and the vinyl colour fits in real lovely. 500 copies on aqua blue vinyl. nuclear blast. 2016.

Montag, 9. Januar 2017

the faceless - planetary duality

the second record of the sumerian order which is actually the one i was after the most. it is one of those records where the imagery promised great deeds. over the year a few of them cross my path and only through some hearsay and nice cover art i know, this is going to be great. that was what happened with "planetary duality" and me. so without much thinking i ordered this gem from the states. the dude over at killer merch, which hosts the sumerian store, was very compliant and helped me out with the customer's declaration. thanks again!
as i already stated in the "akeldama" post, the records arrived here in best condition. after the first listen i wasn't sold immediately, i have to admit. i thought that "akeldama", which clicked with me right away, was catchier but after a few more spins "planetary duality" sunk its claws in deep. a great album without any weakness. i love that the faceless didn't try to stretch out the length of the record. with thirty minutes it's pretty short but i don't miss a thing. a complete work as long as i am concerned.
another lovely presentation by sumerian records. as i am not that much a fan of printed dust sleeves i really appreciate the insert with lyrics and credits. simple sleeve with awesome apocalyptic artwork by pär olofsson and now to the secret star of the package - the super sharp vinyl colour-way. i still drool over the looks of it every time i pull it out of the sleeve. the mix between blue and baby pink is an absolute winner! got to keep my eyes peeled for a re-press of "autotheism". 699 copies made on "galactic burst" vinyl. don't be fooled by discogs sellers trying to sell these for insane prices. both records still available. sumerian records. 2008/2016.

Samstag, 7. Januar 2017

the faceless - akeldama

in my last post i gave a subtle clue as to what my next post might be about, a sumerian records release. with my latest obsession for tech/prog death metal i searched a bit in the back catalogue of sumerian records. i came across the name the faceless and checked if there was any vinyl available. i heard of the band before and knew that they have a good reputation among stalwarts, so i wasn't surprised to find that second hand market prices were pretty inflated for copies of the band's second and third album.
like sumerian would have heard my prayers they came up with a twelve days of sumerian christmas special. for twelve days they put up some limited merchandise in their store and on day three they offered re-presses of the faceless' second album "planetary duality" and the first vinyl press ever of the band's debut "akeldama". there was no chance i was going to miss that. even though the prices were hefty for a single lp, i did what i had to do.
fortunately the records arrived here in prime condition and when i dropped the needle for the first time on "akeldama" - meaning "field of blood" and is a place in jerusalem where the traitor judas iscariot died and which later became a burial field for foreigners - i was surprised at how dynamic it is. the basic framework is technical death metal and then they threw in chunks of swedish melodic death metal and black metal and topped it all off with some crushing breakdowns. the presentation is lovely. slip sleeve, ten inch insert and heavy clear green vinyl. 765 copies made. sumerian records. 2009/2016.

post scriptum: sorry for the bad quality of the pictures but it seems that every weekend, when i have actually time to make some, the sun hides behind an impervious wall of clouds. maybe i'll replace them at some point.

Donnerstag, 5. Januar 2017

wretched - son of perdition

the second and last record of my victory order was the third album by wretched, called "son of perdition" from 2012. just like "the exodus of autonomy" it wasn't pressed to vinyl until 2015 with the album actually released on cd three years prior. good that the chaps over at victory records came to their senses and made it availabe on the only format that really matters. also good that i was able to take advantage of the black friday weekend sale and save up a bit.
sound-wise "son of perdition" is a hybrid of the first and second album. the production is a lean towards "the exodus of autonomy" - it sounds way rawer than the second album - but the technical death metal share is just as prominent as on "beyond the gate". on this album the band changed the vocalist. billy powers waved goodbye and adam cody stepped in. a good choice if you're of the opinion the singer is a band's soul. if i didn't stumble upon it reading the credits, i wouldn't have noticed.
the presentation is simple but effective. a slip sleeve, a ten inch insert and lovely colour vinyl. victory releases the majority of their records in that fashion and really love it. sumerian records handles most of their releases the same way. it's the consistency and simplicity that appeals to me. so all in all a more than solid output by both, band and label. got to look out for their 2014 album "cannibal". victory records. 2012/2015.

Montag, 2. Januar 2017

wretched - the exodus of autonomy

another year rolls in and i need to clear my last remaining 2016 records. six records that i will deal with in the upcoming posts. the first one will be wretched's debut full length called "the exodus of autonomy". wretched's sophomore album "beyond the gate" was one of the first records i bought round about five years ago and i always liked because of its progressive thinking. even though they have an undeniable the black dahlia murder influence on their music, they still manage to deliver really sophisticated and well thought-out music on this album.
2015 victory records decided to finally press the first and third wretched record to vinyl which had been to this point cd releases only. i always meant to pick them up but it took me a whole year to finally add them to my belongings. ordering with victory is always a pleasure. nice contact, fast delivery and good packaging and as a side effect, the fine dudes and dudettes at victory sent me some replacement covers for the beaten ones i recieved with my last order (read here). thank you guys very much!
on their debut wretched sounds less technical and their melodic death metal influences are much more prominent. they yet had to find their own sound and even though the guys knew how to write a good song, individuality isn't an attribute of "the exodus of autonomy". nevertheless the record is really good. if you are willed to overlook the lack of an unique sound, you will be well entertained listening to this vinyl record. i enjoy every bit and that lovely vinyl colour caps it all off. 165 copies on "purple abyss". victory records. 2009/2015.