Sonntag, 28. Januar 2018

elephant tree - s/t

the upcoming records for this blog will all be stoner metal related as i bought a nice little batch over at the ever fantastic kozmik artifactz. again i wasn't looking for anything in particular, just browsing through the new-in-stock section. the first record i came across was elephant tree's self-titled record on magnetic eye. i read about it at the vinyl diaries blog but didn't come as to close to actually listen to the record.
this changed when i saw the record up for grabs with a listening opportunity included in the listing. the band plays a highly infectious brand of stoner metal. lovely psychedelic melodies, heavy and stomping riffs and a great voice. it felt reminiscent of another magnetic eye band i bought a record of not too long ago - summoner. check out the whole album on the tube.
the version i snagged up is a recent re-press from 2017. it is the doublemint with milky clear merge version and looks pretty nice. at first glimpse it looks pretty much mint green but at closer examination the merge pattern is clearly visible, albeit not in the pictures. therefore i took a photo with the record in front of a light source, that did the trick. the rest is a gatefold sleeve and a printed dust sleeve. 100 copies made. magnetic eye records. 2016.

Samstag, 27. Januar 2018

causa sui - euporie tide

the final record of my little christmas gift series is one i got from my brother in law. he happens to be one of the nicest human beings i know and we have a few common interests. beside our love for football, seventies prog rock and converge, we also share an interest in stoner metal. therefore his choice here is superb. i never heard of causa sui before but when he told me that this was some excellent instrumental stoner prog metal, i already knew it was up my alley.
causa sui are a four-piece and they hail from denmark. they are around since 2005 and frequently likened to kyuss and i can only nod my head to this comparison. the band has something like ten albums under their belt and "euporie tide" is from 2013 and somewhere in the middle. i didn't really sort out yet what are studio full lengths and what are live records over at the album page at discogs. anyway, check ou that record here.
the vinyl version i hold in hands now is a recent re-press by el paraiso records. this label was also founded by the band members to have direct control over the releases of causa sui. sounds like a lot of work for the guys but seems to be a great way to get the music out to the people just the way the artists intended it. the presentation is pretty cool. the cover sleeve comes on recycled cardboard and the vinyl on heavy transparent orange dual discs. 500 copies made and sounding good. el paraiso records. 2013/2017.

Sonntag, 21. Januar 2018

kreator - pleasure to kill re-mastered

the second album i got from the re-mastered series of the classic kreator records was "pleasure to kill". the young band released their second full length in 1986, just one year after "endless pain". after thirty two years of its initial release, the resurrected noise records gave the album a worthy re-press. among the four re-issued first full lengths of kreator, original copies of "pleasure to kill" seem to sell for higher prices than the other three. maybe because of the impact the record had on the german thrash scene. therefore i am happy to call this new edition my own.
i mean, i didn't pay for it because it was a present but a lot of thought and care went into this edition. the best thing are the extended liner notes by vocalist and guitarist mille petrozza. the interested reader learns about the recording process, the realtion ship to the label boss karl walterbach, how the album title came to be or how the cover artwork was chosen. love these extra informations, a great way to dive headfirst into the complexity of the record.
the gatefold sleeve and the printed dust sleeves are graced with loads of old photos, concert tickets, old reviews, merchandise from back in the day and vinyl centre labels. another great gimmick is the second disc which comes with the u.s. version of the "flag of hate" e.p. (got that already, though). so all in all this a fantastic fanboy release. again i could have done without the "re-mastered" logo on the cover, though. anyway, i am really looking forward to the continuation of the series with kreator's nineties records. noise records. 2017.

Donnerstag, 18. Januar 2018

kreator - endless pain re-mastered

universal music is one of the three major music labels worldwide. of course, those billion dollar companies participate on trends when there is business to make. nowadays vinyl is a business again. independent labels started the hype when digital music peaked. they offered something physical and collectible, something with more soul than a click with your right finger. now the big labels cash in on the rising demand. so does universal.
noise records, a label with a rich history in european and especially german heavy music, became part of sanctuary records (the british label that first signed iron maiden) in 2001 which itself became part of universal in 2007. noise records was already shut down at some point along the way but now with fans craving for re-issues of long sold out gems, universal revived noise records and started to give the masses what they want.
i wasn't sure if i wanted those re-issues of the first kreator records recently released by noise. i am not too much a fan of kreator's early stuff and the originals are still readily available for reasonable prices on a second hand basis. when i was searching for some stuff to put on the christmas wishlist, i stumbled upon these new re-issues and thought, why the hell not. when i unwrapped "endless pain", which was originally released in 1985, i felt some excitement creeping up because of the lovely presentation.
musically "endless pain" still won't enter high ranks in my personal kreator charts but it is very cool to hear where the guys came from. the gatefold is printed on matte cardboard and comes with fantastic liner notes by singer mille petrozza. i love to read along the early history of the band while listening to the record. the second disc comes with the full demos "blitzkrieg" and "end of the world". great package. the only little downer is the "re-mastered" logo on the front cover. otherwise a real little treasure. noise records. 2017.

Dienstag, 16. Januar 2018

iron maiden - fear of the dark

iron maiden's ninth full length record "fear of the dark" wasn't well recieved when it was released in 1992 and is still no fan favourite. it was the last album before bruce dickinson called it quits and focused on his solo career. it seemed that his focus already drifted upon time of recording. the rest of the band and their performance was also subpar. too many basic ac/dc-ish riffs and too less epics like the closing title track "fear of the dark".
despite these facts, original pressings sell for a considerable chunk of money. in the same store i found the used "powerslave" copy, i talked about in the preceeding post, i also came across a used "fear of the dark" copy with a ninety euro price tag on it. this contradiction seems to be the way to go with maiden. original copies of the despised "the x-factor" album with singer blaze bayley sold for two hundred bucks and more.
anyway, as i was never going to pay the asking prices on second hand markets these days, i was more than pleased to have now this nice re-press in my collection. i mainly wanted "fear of the dark" because the cover was the first impression of iron maiden i ever got. i remember holding the cd in hands at some point in the mid-nineties in some big super market with a small cd-section. i thought that the cover was the most evil thing i ever saw. i had too much respect to even listen to it.
this little reminiscence made the re-issue a no-brainer for a spot on the wishlist plus it was affordable. again parlophone re-pressed this record in the very same way as the original pressing from 1992 on emi records. from the pictures inside the gatefold to the centre labels of the vinyl discs - besides the fine print a complete replica. the cover is made of some heavy and glossy cardboard with great artwork and the vinyl comes on 180gr quality, indeed. good job, parlophone. 2017.

Sonntag, 14. Januar 2018

iron maiden - powerslave

next record, next christmas gift. from my wishlist came this re-press of iron maiden's fifth record "powerslave". musically this was never my favourite of their impressive seven records run throughout the decade that were the eighties. nevertheless i was always heavily attracted to it because of its egyptian artwork. i don't pursue these classic maiden records via ebay or discogs, even though they pop up regularly and for reasonable money. i rather like to find them in record stores, don't really know why but i think it's cooler this way.
unfortunately "powerslave" managed to elude me in the past and so, in my search for items for my wishlist, i thought it wouldn't hurt to add the re-press to the list. little did i know that a few days after christmas a used copy crossed my path at zardoz record store, hamburg. ah well, my re-press looks lovely anyway. the band went to nassau again to record this album and it was the first to be recorded with the same line-up as the predecessor "piece of mind". "powerslave" was pretty successful and the subsequent "world slavery tour" led to the live album "live after death".
a great album all around. i still like "piece of mind", "somewhere in time" and especially "seventh son of a seventh son" better but "powerslave" is packed with that great typical iron maiden heavy metal, that it's hard to find any weaknesses. maybe it is now time for me to have a go at the two di'anno records. this re-press by parlophone records is an exact replica of the original release by emi records. the main reason why i will stick to this copy. the next is nice 180gr vinyl quality. sounds awesome! don't know how many have been made. parlophone records. 2014.

Donnerstag, 11. Januar 2018

life of agony - ugly

let us come to my little batch of christmas gifts. i wrote a little wishlist for my relatives to make the search for gifts easier for them. yeah, i am that nice kind of a person. in the end i got nine records for the season of which i will put up seven here (the other two are not hardcore or metal related). the first one is the latest re-press of life of agony's second full length "ugly". since vocalist mina communicated her new self to the world, i saw the band play live twice but didn't come around to even listen to one song of the new album.
i will have to right that wrong soon. but as of late i was more interested in their old stuff. i mean, "river runs red" is definitely one of the best nyhc records out there and the guys never reached those highs again but i really can enjoy "soul searching sun" and thus was excited for "ugly". on this record one can strongly feel the departure from the hardcore background to a more alternative driven sound. still, "ugly" is great for what it is and to hear caputo sing is always a pleasure. a voice as one in a million.
music on vinyl did the job and as always they did a splendid one. "ugly" has been released in 1995 and got the vinyl treatment via roadrunner records back then. twelve years later, in 2007 roadrunner re-issued the album as part of their classics series on 180gr black wax. so ten years after that music on vinyl continues their collaboration with roadrunner and comes up with this nice gold vinyl version. the presentation is very close to the original, like that. only the centre labels are taken from the '07 re-issue. 1500 made. music on vinyl. 2017.

Sonntag, 7. Januar 2018

napalm death - from enslavement to obliteration

a few weeks ago i bid on a morbid angel lp version of their debut "altars of madness". it was a re-press from 1991 and came on a very nice white marble colour edition. it was called grindcrushing splatter vinyl by the label earache records. with a little research i found out that earache did a re-press series of a few successful titles of their back catalogue on this specific colour-way. in the back of my mind i thought it might be cool to chase them all down and start a little collection.
when i saw the second napalm death full length "from enslavement to obliteration" for a reasonable starting bid on ebay, i began to really consider this idea. i saw napalm death play live a couple of times and was never really into their music. songs under one minute just don't do it for me. so was this a good idea at all? buying a record just because of a colour vinyl series? i listened to the album on the tube and decided that i would like the music good enough to justify the purchase.
in the end i won the record for the starting bid. it wasn't a steal but not overpriced as well. the ususal going rate, so a good deal. the condition of this specific copy is flawless. the cover is in great shape and the vinyl looks barely played. the album was actually released in 1988 and i was surprised at how good the sound of the recording is. it definitely can hold up to contemporary productions. despite the twenty two songs and the short duration of each, i really can enjoy the stuff. great grindcore with a hefty hardcore/punk vibe going on.
earache issued this re-press in a single cover sleeve with a lyric insert. the original pressing from 1988 comes in different variations. a few come with a gatefold sleeve, others with a single cover sleeve and a printed dust sleeve and yet others in the same fashion as my grindcrushing splatter edition. i like this way best. there are two more napalm death records issued within this series, so my napalm collection is bound to grow in the future. we'll see how fast. 2000 copies made. earache records. 1988/1991.

Mittwoch, 3. Januar 2018

amon amarth - surtur rising

the next part of the metal blade re-issue series for the whole amon amarth back catalogue. i actually wanted to write about "twilight of the thunder god" first because they were scheduled for the same release date and i ordered both. unfortunately i am still waiting for my copy and am not sure if i will get it at all. but now to the record i do got - "surtur rising". it was the first amon amarth album i heard from start to finish.
it must have been in early 2011, shortly before i got into vinyl collecting. a very good friend of mine and me were working together at the time and we drove there together every day. i still didn't have a car back then and so we drove in his over twenty years old ford fiesta. he had a few cd's on board and i remember him being excited about the new amon amarth record. he had the digipak version which was nice with extra artwork and all. we did spin the cd very often.
i remember being a bit let down by the last third of the record. an opinion i cannot relate to anymore. now with the vinyl spinning on my turntable i enjoy this beast all the way through. amon modernised their sound here and there but basically stood true to their strengths - epic melodic death metal. i love the opener "war of the gods" in particular. metal blade re-pressed this record on single vinyl this time. i ordered this on the less limited but nicer looking signal orange colour way out of 500 copies. metal blade. 2011/2017.

Montag, 1. Januar 2018

dimmu borgir - enthrone darkness triumphant

actually i wanted to get this post done in 2017 but life got in the way. so this is my first post in the new year of 2018. i don't produce any end-of-year posts because i am too lazy but i love to read about the statistics of fellow bloggers. if i was writing down some stats then one fact would be pretty prominent. over sixty percent of all my purchase in 2017 have been re-presses and re-issues.
there is a huge retro wave swapping over the vinyl land and therefore it seemed to be apt to start the year with a re-issue. i am very fond of retro stuff myself recently and thus was very interested when i saw pre-orders for the third dimmu borgir full length at nuclear blast. when i started to listen to some serious metal in the early 00's i had a few dimmu borgir cd's, including "spiritual black dimensions", "puritanical euphoric misanthropia" and "death cult armageddon".
at the time "spiritual black dimensions" was always the one i liked the least and that was why i never pursued the purchase of the predecessor "enthrone darkness triumphant". but right now i am just in the mood for this kind of throwback music. a thing which was helpful for my decision was the nice booklet included in this twenty year anniversary set.
musically this third full length was a novum in dimmu's discography by being the first one to be sung completely in english. this opened doors for a wider audience and more commercial success. therefore the original press is pretty pricey to come by. this new pressing looks lovely and was reasonable priced. nice gatefold, fantastic booklet and matching dark green vinyl. 300 copies made. nuclear blast. 1997/2017.