Dienstag, 30. Mai 2017

eschaton - sentinel apocalypse

in the past few months i was working my way through the vast unique leader records back catalogue. i found a few releases that were not my cup of tea and a lot more that were right up my alley. now i am playing catch up with what i missed in the past. fortunately the musical style which unique leader stands for is not the most popular in the metal genre. otherwise i would not have been able to still find most vinyl releases i am interested in pretty much hassle free.
technical death metal really embraced me and i cannot get enough of new stuff. one of those bands that fit that mood lately is eschaton. another band from the states which plays this progressive and technical metal style flawlessly. fast and crushing guitar work, sophisticated bass play, fierce drumming and guttural growling along with high pitched screaming make for a great death metal record. maybe they won't gain much recognition beyond the genre but for fans this is a highly enjoyable piece of recorded music.
the record comes in a slip sleeve with a simple one-sided insert and a white dust sleeve. love it this way though. the artwork is pretty bad on all accounts. it looks really cheesy with those three naked guys in front of a medieval gate. the only things that helps is the psychedelic colouring. speaking of nice colours. the vinyl colour-way is a real charm in my eyes. lovely purple and pink merge with blue splatter vinyl. don't know how many were made. unique leader records. 2015.

Sonntag, 28. Mai 2017

between the buried and me - coma ecliptic (dusk blue vinyl)

now i went all crazy with this lovely concept album of between the buried and me. after i had the pink vinyl version of "coma ecliptic" in my possession and was browsing through some ebay offerings to kill time, i came across the dusk blue vinyl edition of the band's latest record. the starting bid was ten bucks and i was thinking if it was reasonable to take the chance and go for it.
even though i came to appreciate the european gold edition i ordered back when it was released, i always thought the dusk blue edition looked way better. the conclusion of my thinking was that it was not reasonable to bid. indeed it wasn't but hell, i wanted it anyway and so i threw in the starting bid and went to sleep. when i came home from work the next day it was all mine and somehow it felt pretty good to ignore the voice of reason.
the vinyl itself looks gorgeous. metal blade chose the same colour-way as they did for the black dahlia murder re-press of "unhallowed". held against the light it reveals a marble effect which looks pretty nice. the european version comes with a poster, the rest is identical to its u.s. counterpart. 300 copies made. they were actually numbered on the hype sticker, mine is missing unfortunately. metal blade records. 2015.

Freitag, 26. Mai 2017

kronos - arisen new era

another unique leader technical death metal release. this label seems to run its own tech death band breed going by the rate of albums they crank out. kronos is a band hailing from france and was founded in 1994 already. it took the band three years to release their first demo and another four years to come up with a full length. you can see, kronos might not be the fastest band in terms of release cycles. "arisen new era" and its predecessor are even eight years apart.
"arisen new era" is the first output released via unique leader records two years ago and i just discovered this band. tragically kronos called it a day on april 1st this year. the guys have family lives and found it hard to invest one hundred percent of their dedication into kronos. mature decision but a real shame. this album is very diverse and even though they don't re-invent the wheel here, it is a highly enjoyable listen. though, pretty unique is their lyrical concept leaning towards greek mythology. check out "klymenos underwrath" and "zeus dethroned".
i ordered this baby from hhv.de together with the pink between the buried and me of the last post. i crossed my fingers to recieve a coloured copy on clear with blue haze. it was a gamble as unique leader doesn't seem to indicate the colour-way on the shrink wrap. in the end it came to be generic black vinyl. in this case i am fine with it though because a coloured edition would mean high shipping rates as i would have to order from unique leader records directly. artwork is amazing. very cinematic. unique leader records. 2015.

Dienstag, 23. Mai 2017

between the buried and me - coma ecliptic (pink vinyl)

listening to latest live album of between the buried and me covering their album "coma ecliptic" in its entirety, a fire was re-lit inside me. suddenly i found myself spinning "coma ecliptic: live" almost daily. this reminded me of how i was never really satisfied with my gold copy of the european first press. with a refund of a dissatisfying recent relapse order up my sleeve, i was ready to unload some cash. being in the mood for btbam i searched for an option to snag a pink copy of the latest record.
the pink vinyl edition was part of the ten bands one cause reissue series. the proceeds of this record were forwarded to the gilda's club nyc organisation, which provides community support for people diagnosed with cancer and caretakers alike. therefore the records are sold only in the states through actual stores and mailorders. definitely too much of an financial effort to get one of the copies. luckily hhv.de had a sealed copy in stock but pretty pricey as well.
with hhv.de putting a discount on the record recently and with some money to burn all my restraints went straight out the window two weeks ago. i pulled the trigger on it and now cannot stop looking at it. what a beauty. don't know what it is but my fascination for opaque pink vinyl doesn't seem to fade anytime soon. just love it. unfortunately my copy has a small production flaw on the d-side. the surface isn't sealed properly and so "memory palace" skips at one point. damn it. it was hhv's only copy and so i will have to be patient for a reasonable upgrade coming my way. metal blade records. 2015.

Sonntag, 21. Mai 2017

ecostrike - time is now

i did buy quite a few records as of lately but i don't find the time to listen to them properly. so i find it hard to keep up with the blog. oh so many things to do and so little time. for today i finally found the time to write about the superb "time is now" 7" from the band called ecostrike. when this thing was released in february this year it passed me by completely.
i am not really in touch with what carry the weight records from the u.k. put out, even though i know that they have some quality bands amongst their ranks. i came to knowledge about the existence of this 7" via fellow bloggers nico and mike who raved about it. words like early nineties straight edge sound or vegan straight edge worship got me hooked. i checked them out on their bandcamp and knew i needed this.
fortunately the fine german distro xsentientx got some in stock and so i call meself now a proud owner of one of 500 copies on this nice red vinyl. the record is an absolute rager. gives me great early earth crisis and outspoken vibes. hopefully these guys from florida will be around long enough for a full length. lovely presentation by carry the weight. everything is basic, it breathes nineties vegan straigh edge hardcore. carry the weight records. 2017.

Dienstag, 16. Mai 2017

snapcase - lookinglasself rsd '17

for record store day as such i care less and less every year. i am not speaking of the vinyl releases. although the prices are helplessly inflated but i know if i really want a record, i would buy it regardless. i am speaking of actually getting out of the house and take the trip to a store. my favourite store in hamburg, burnout records, closed down last year and the rest doesn't carry much metal vinyl let alone hardcore titles.
therefore it was difficult to obtain my desired items through the record stores and so i bought stuff via the internet, at least one if not all of the records i wanted for rsd. i said to myself not to leave the house this year and try to get all from the digital world. after checking the list there was just one interesting release anyway. snapcase's debut album "lookinglasself" put out back in 1993 via victory records.
back then the label even had a european imprint aptly called victory europe. so there is also an eu vinyl edition of "lookinglasself" but whatever first press copy you're after, they don't come too cheap. to see the record on the rsd list on coloured vinyl made me anxious to find a source to get it from. the search became a brief one, though. nuclear blast put up some copies without even marking it as a record store day release.
now with the final product in hands i have got to say the label did a splendid job. for this re-press victory produced it in the fashion of the most limited and numbered version of the first press. with the art of dan o'connor spread over the whole cover instead of the combination with a live photography of the regular first press version. the opaque light blue vinyl cut at 45rpm looks just as good. 2000 copies made if discogs is right. victory records. 1993/2017.

Freitag, 12. Mai 2017

darkest hour - godless prophets and the migrant flora

the new darkest hour record is finally here. three years after their last, self-titled record which didn't get much love from fans darkest hour is back to give us the ninth full length of the band's existence. although i never listened to the two unloved post 00's records and therefore was not biased, i was not really excited for "godless prophets and the migrant flora". when pre-orders went up i hesitated to snag a copy right away.
there was a limited white version available through their new label southern lord but they sold out on them in pre-order stage and so i missed it. when the record was released in march this year i was busy with obtaining mid-00's darkest hour stuff and didn't pay attention. fast forward a month and i saw nuclear blast offering a clear vinyl version. this served as a friendly reminder that i actually wanted a copy.
i included it in my last order together with the between the buried and me live album and a rsd release. fast forward another two weeks and after a first listen to "godless prophets and the migrant flora", i am pretty sure that this album stands in one line with other great deeds like "undoing ruin" or "deliver us". i may be a bit too enthusiastic in the face of the first impression but jesus, this bad boy is probably their best work. everything you want from a darkest hour album, just played a bit tighter.
check out "none of this is the truth" and "those who survived" and they will wash away the last shadow of a doubt that darkest hour couldn't deliver the goods anymore. the production by kurt ballou crafted in his godcity studios is so raw and energetic, it's the icing on the cake. speaking of, the artwork done by shaun beaudry printed on a lovely matte card sleeve is just as awesome. can't stop raving about the whole package. 300 copies on ultra clear vinyl as cargo exclusive. southern lord records. 2017.

Mittwoch, 10. Mai 2017

between the buried and me - coma ecliptic: live

i don't know what it is but i am buying an alarming amount of live albums lately. a few converge live albums, an arch enemy live record and now this. ok, looking closely it is not really a surprise. i just love between the buried and me and therefore they're one of those bands where i do enjoy a live recording here and there. furthermore i still have a btbam live record - the rsd release of "colors live"from 2014 - so why stop there?
when i ordered the "coma ecliptic" record in 2015 i went for the most limited colour-way, even though i still think the second to limited colour, which is dusk blue vinyl, looks better. when pre-orders for "coma ecliptic: live" went up i listened to my heart and ordered the colour-way which sounded yummier, regardless it being not as limited.
in hindsight i don't regret my decision to order the golden/yellow marble version of this release at all. some would call this colour a tan marble but whatever one calls it, there is no denying that it is a beauty. unfortunately i can't find any pictures of the limited ultra violet colour on the net. would be really interesting to see the actual vinyl. the recording itself is crystal clear and the band was absolutely spot-on that night. in comparison with the studio recording i even enjoy its live equivalent a bit more. an absolute winner in my book.
the packaging is the standard affair of a simple gatefold sleeve without any gimmicks. that is fine with me, though. again metal blade housed the records in their custom dust sleeves which i think are pretty cool. a shame the label didn't include the dvd of the actual visual release. i can't imagine that this would have raised the costs over the odds. recorded on the fourth of octobre at the observatory north park in san diego. 300 copies made. metal blade records. 2017.

Sonntag, 7. Mai 2017

necrophagist - epitaph

diving more and more into the realm of technical death metal and its representative bands it is ineviteble to stumble upon necrophagist at some point. the band has somewhat of a legend status among fans. this may derive from their lack of information if the band is still active and the few hints band members are giving in interviews about the progress of the recording of a new album. another fact that adds to the myth is the fantastic back catalogue of necrophagist.
the debut "onset of putrefaction" from 1999 and the follow-up "epitaph" from 2004 are nothing short of masterpieces inside and beyond the genre. considering this it is no wonder that coloured vinyl copies of the relapse first pressings are catching insane prices on the common second hand market places. way more than i was willed to pay. so i waited for relapse records to re-press them. my prayers had been heard and pre-orders went live at some point in february this year. unfortunately i missed the boat because the 300 copies of the exclusive relapse coloured run went within two hours or so.
damn it. i was surprised that the label pressed, apart from an u.s. indie retailer exclusive, no other colour edition for the european market or something like they did with all the death re-presses lately. a band like necropahgist with fans panting for any new stuff of their favourite band generates a higher demand than those 300 copies. anyway, gone is gone. i hoped for a discogs or ebay find shortly after the release where prices may be still sort of moderate. with a little easter bonus in my pocket i pulled the trigger on one of those indie retailer versions on orange krush vinyl for ten dollars over the actual relapse price. an okay deal in my book. 200 copies made. relapse records. 2004/2017.

Samstag, 6. Mai 2017

deathrite - where evil arises

the last record of this little per koro batch is this new deathrite 7" called "where evil arises". i didn't hear any news about the release of this 7" beforehand and so was surprised and happy alike to find it among the new stuff section of per koro. for those not in the know deathrite is a german death metal band which raised quite a bit dust in the last four to five years. the zenith of their development was the release of their last full length via prosthetic records and gaining more popularity in the states.
for this 7" the band teamed up with young german grindcore/death metal label affront vinyl. don't know if deathrite only had an one release contract with prosthetic or if they treat this as an off release and further stuff will be handled by the american label again. whatever it is, "where evil arises" holds two new songs and one cover song. the a-side contains the title track and is probably one of the very best tunes the band ever recorded. pummeling death metal with that little extra tip of horror atmosphere. great song!
whereas the title track is over seven minutes long and therefore in its length a bit unusual for the band, the second song "into the ever black" is more of the death 'n' roll type i am used to listening to deathrite. a rager through and through. the last track is a misfits cover. it's cool but i am not much of a misfits fan so i am not going nuts over it. you can check out all the three songs via the deaf forever site. 100 copies on black vinyl and 400 on green. nice slip sleeve with insert and black dust sleeve. affront vinyl. 2017.

Mittwoch, 3. Mai 2017

ion dissonance - cast the first stone

when i picked up ion dissonance's third full length "minus the herd" on vinyl at wacken festival last year and did some research in order to post it here, i came across an social media entry about the band writing new material. the last full length "cursed" is now seven years old. in the meantime it was pretty quiet around these canadian guys and therefore i was excited for new stuff.
i actually wanted to get a vinyl copy on release date and was happy to see that german distro per koro was offering some coloured vinyl. but when the time came other records were more important and i held off on buying "cast the first stone". the album was actually released in november of 2016, so it took me quite some time but here we are eventually.
musically this is an absolute beast. dark, heavy, desperate, angry and poly-rhythmic indeed. mathcore brewed together from grindcore, hardcore, crust and metal as ingredients. i only have the band's third album to compare to and "cast the first stone" is still clearly ion dissonance but with more depth in song-writing than "minus the herd". check out a few songs from the album via the goodfight youtube channel.
the presentation is very nice. the record comes in a gatefold made of thick cardboard with all lyrics printed inside. the vinyl is protected by a black dust sleeve (the white is for picture purpose) band the disc itself comes on a lovely clear with black smoke colour-way. there are two other colours orbiting, some salt 'n' pepper colour out of 350 and opaque yellow as smart-punk exclusive out of 300 copies. my copy is out of 350 copies. goodfight music. 2016.