Samstag, 30. Dezember 2017

cryptopsy - none so vile

the third and final record of this pleasing order at animate records is the second cryptopsy full length release called "none so vile". it was the band's first album for the new label wrong again records from sweden. it was unleashed in 1996 and was singer dan greening's farewell record. the farewell turned out to be just a hiatus before he returned in 2005 for "once was not".
again the record is extremely intense. the high level of technicality keeps this release relevant. a timeless piece which doesn't feel like being over twenty years old already. the only little weakness to me are the vocals again. no problem that they are a bit one-dimensional but still they are so hard to understand. this time the quality of the songs outgun the imperfection of the vocal performance. check out the whole record here. it isn't a fan favourite for nothing.
wrong again records didn't press the album to vinyl. still their cd version has quite a value among collectors (thirty to fourty bucks is considerable). it wasn't until 2005 until emetic records came up with a compilation release, combining "blasphemy made flesh" and "none so vile". in 2012 war on music finally gave the album the single vinyl treatment it deserved. this is a re-press from last year on clear orange vinyl out of 200 copies. war on music. 2016.

Donnerstag, 28. Dezember 2017

cryptopsy - blasphemy made flesh

cryptopsy and me wasn't love at first sight. the first time i heard of them was via lenny's blog the emerging addiction. back then i wasn't interested. my musical taste evolved since then and i began to dig into the history of extreme metal. at the moment i obsess over early death metal releases. "blasphemy made flesh" was released in 1994, a time where death metal was right in the process of declining after a peak in the late eighties and early nineties. cryptopsy went down a more extreme path.
the band played a highly technical demanding and challenging brand of death metal. after i re-visited lenny's blog and came across cryptopsy for a second time i checked out some tunes on the tube. i still wasn't sold but found it interesting at least. when i was browsing through the animate records mailorder looking for a record to add to the benediction lp, i thought it was good idea to finally give it a go. "blasphemy made flesh" is a rock solid piece of technical death metal. great song structures, fast and slow in a good mix (more fast than slow) and some great melodies.
the only thing i find a bit bothering is the voice of vocalist dan greening a.k.a. lord worm. it is so incrompehensible that sounds like cloudy barking and that sucks at times. listen for yourself. animate had a black friday deal going on and so i paid twenty percent off the regular price, which was decent already. a steal in my book. i am happy that i snagged a war on music records pressing. they come in a single sleeve instead of a gatefold sleeve like hammerheart records pressed them a year ago. heavy clear vinyl out of 250 copies. war on music. 2015.

Dienstag, 26. Dezember 2017

benediction - transcend the rubicon

christmas is still upon us and i finally found a bit spare time to listen to some music. i got a bunch of new and cool records for christmas which scream for some attention. it's nothing too special but very nice nevertheless. i'll write about them in due time. now to a record a obtained at the beginning of the month. benediction's third full length "transcend the rubicon". it is widely acknowledged as their crowning work and i can only agree to that opinion.
musically this is precise old school death metal from a time period where death metal already began to decline in poularity. "transcend the rubicon" was released in 1993 and by the mid-nineties the metal world got tired of this form of extreme metal. only when newer bands began to include fragments of other metal genres or even different musical styles into their sound, death metal came back. this benediction record is as mentioned before pure old school death metal and therefore pure gold to me in the moment.
i frequently visit ebay the past weeks to catch some early nineties death metal gems. unfortunately these records can be some real pain from a price point of view. that is why i also buy some good re-issues when they are made in the fashion of the first pressings. in this case original white vinyl copies of "transcend the rubicon" on nuclear blast sell for a shitload of money. the last one on ebay went for over eigthty bucks. too much for me.
when i visited germany's d.i.y. death metal label animate records i came across a nice re-press of this great album from 2016. cosmic key creations from the netherlands did a very nice re-press that is real close to the original. beside of new centre labels and a minimal change in font on the back cover, this one is an exact replica. the cover of dan seagrave is absolutely sick. the best work of him in my humble opinion. 500 copies made. cosmic key creations. 2016.

Mittwoch, 20. Dezember 2017

benediction - the grand leveller

the next nineties death metal record in my collection. this time it is about the second benediction full length "the grand leveller". benediction was a band from birmingham, england. i am not to one hundred percent sure if the band called it quits but since the last activities on their facebook page are dated over a year ago and the last album is almost ten years old, i think it is ok to state them dead and gone. they released a string of great death metal records from 1990 to 1993 and this is the one in between.
"the grand leveller" was released by nuclear blast records, like all their full lengths before and thereafter. it's a great pummeling piece of death metal and added to the success of the predecessor "subconscious terror". like all the classic benediction records, "the grand leveller" doesn't come cheap. doesn't matter if you want the re-press from 2010 or the original pressing. as i was out for the original i came across many high-priced offerings. some with astronomic price tags and none of which i wanted to pay the money asked for.
then i stumbled upon an ebay buy-it-now offering with a reasonable price tag. the pictures showed a cover and printed dust sleeves which had seen better days but the record seemed to be in a good shape. i still hesitated because it would mean a compromise. when the seller lowered his price, i was ready to compromise and am happy with the decision. yepp, the cover lived the rock'n'roll dream but the record is in a very good condition and this is what counts. love the old nuclear blast centre labels of the vinyl. nuclear blast. 1991.

Dienstag, 19. Dezember 2017

morbid angel - blessed are the sick

after i luckily won an ebay auction for an early pressing of the first morbid angel full length "altars of madness", a hunting fever within me broke loose. i fully immersed myself in early nineties death metal. especially in earache records and roadrunner records stuff. the problem is that those first pressings tend to be on the expensive side. so i searched obsessively several sources for metal vinyl on the internet. one option was ebay kleinanzeigen. it is a subsidiary of ebay and is actually for local advertisements but some of the sellers do ship their offerings as well.
so i found this seller from berlin who had a few interestings bits and among them there was "blessed are the sick" from morbid angel. it is the band's second full length and was released in 1991 on earache. after the seller confirmed that he had a first press to offer, we wrapped up a deal and a few days later my copy arrived at my doorstep. musically this album got slower and chunkier in riffs. i really like that. especially the opener "fall from grace" and the title track "blessed are the sick" are unbelievably strong.
the b-side unfortunately can't really hold up to the a-side but three out of six songs are re-recorded material from their 1986 demo "abominations of desolation". the original pressing comes in a slip sleeve instead of the gatefold of the re-issue. i prefer this version because the gatefold shows a picture of the band. mehh, give me some new artwork or something but i don't need a picture of the dudes all over the gatefold inner. the cover artwork looks really sinister and is a painting crafted by painter and occultist jean delville entitled "le trésors de satan" (the treasures of satan). earache records. 1991.

Freitag, 15. Dezember 2017

the black dahlia murder - miasma

the black dahlia murder's second full length is one of those i waited for a re-issue for quite some time. original copies of "miasma" sell for an average of 190€ over at discogs and therefore it was clear to me that i would have to wait for a re-press. somehow it wouldn't come. i saw "nocturnal" being re-pressed, saw "unhallowed" and even "deflorate" being re-pressed but no sign of "miasma". even though the sophomore album of detroit's finest is a fan's favourite, metal blade persistently neglected it.
a month or so before when i checked the emp mailorder pre-order section, i came across the long overdue re-press of this great album. indeed, it took me nothing more than seconds to take the coolest colour variation and proceed the check-out. musically "miasma" is definitely among my dahlia murder top four (together with "nocturnal", "ritual" and "everblack") and it was the first album of them i got into. i remember that a good friend in school passed me "unhallowed" and "miasma" on cd. while "unhallowed" left me underwhelmed at first listen (i drastically changed my mind about that) "miasma" was an instant hit.
so, twelve years after its release, "miasma" didn't lose a bit of its ferocious brilliancy. thankfully metal blade stood pretty true to the initial pressing from 2005. artwork on front and back of the cover, the lyric sheet and the vinyl centre labels - all stayed the same. the only little change is the label logo with skull and swords. the vinyl colour i snagged was limited to 200 copies and is one of the most limited configurations. that clear with multi-colour splatter looks sharp. metal blade. 2005/2017.

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.