Donnerstag, 28. Juni 2018

50 lions - former glory

hands down, 50 lions are one of my favourite contemporary hardcore bands. the only problem i have with the band is that they don't seem to get their shit together to release a new full length. already nine years passed since "where life expires" saw the light of day. in the mean time only two 7"es emerged from the depths.
i found a copy of "pray for nothing" at underdog record store in cologne but i really had a hard time to get my hands on "former glory" this time around. it wasn't like it was hard to find. i could have easily bought one from the states or from australia, where the band comes from, but i couldn't get past these goddamn high shipping rates. black copies were available through german distros but i wanted a coloured one.
so i waited and at some point i forgot about it. when i visited the german e-store out of boredom i finally came across a colour copy and bought it right away. those two songs are so fucking good, can't stop to listen to them. check them out! second press on lovely burgundy marble vinyl. unfortunately i don't know how many of these beauties were made. six feet under records. 2016./2017.

Dienstag, 26. Juni 2018

iron heel - book of grief (tape)

this tape actually is in my possession since two or three years by now. at the time i already had the vinyl version of "book of grief" from 2013. the album is superb and i played it a lot and still give it a spin occasionally. back then i bought a very good depravation record with dark omen records being involved. i checked the label's store and they had this slick tape version of iron heel's debut full length in stock. the presentation really appealed to me and so i bought it.
even though i had no tape deck at that point i listened to it via my walkman. well, probably just once and then i shelved it. now with a player in my reach i gave it its first proper run-through. the sound quality of the tape is amazing and the tape only bonus track "the end result of 11 months in the mental hospital" alone makes this cassette a winner. nice slipcase with alternate artwork adds to the overall great impression. must have been a real homejob to assemble them. one can see glue fingerprints on the back. 100 copies made. dvvm records. dark omen records. 2015.

Sonntag, 24. Juni 2018

drawing last breath - hymns of suffering

when i added drawing last breath's debut full length to my cart at the carry the weight e-store, i was searching for another item to justify the shipping costs to myself. seeing the 7"es they had to offer it was a no-brainer to pick up drawing last breath's first release for the english label. the "hymns of suffering" 7" was released in 2016 and was also on sale. two pounds later i was the owner of a nice clear green copy.
musically "hymns of suffering" doesn't have the brilliancy of "final sacrifice", song-writing wise and production wise as well. remarkable is the cover art of this 7". it shows sappho, a poetess from greek ancient times, and her suicide in cause of rejection painted by aintoine-jean gros in 1801. perfect match to the record title and works really good in the late nineties/early 00's metallic hardcore context. 400 copies made on clear green vinyl. carry the weight records. 2016.

Samstag, 23. Juni 2018

drawing last breath - final sacrifice

oh boy, what a crushing late nineties/early 00's metallic hardcore reminiscence this sucker right here is! i think i was browsing through the carry the weight e-store to see what cassettes they may have in stock. what i found instead was a cool looking cover artwork which made me curious. it reminded me a bit of maroon's "antagonist" (a hell of a vegan/straight edge hardcore album) cover art and i felt compelled to listen to drawing last breath. the tube helped out and a few minutes later i knew i had to have a copy.
drawing last breath hails from florida, usa and by tradition they stand in line with those classic bands like morning again and culture. soundwise there is another band from the states which acted as a model here. undying blended swedish melodic death metal with hardcore in a masterly fashion and drawing last breath sounds like they have listened to them very closely. a fantastic record which spins a lot lately. sharing members with ecostrike, i hope drawing last breath won't become a side project. carry the weight had the record on sale and so i snagged it for lousy five pounds. steal! 400 made on red with black splatter vinyl. carry the weight records. 2017.

Freitag, 22. Juni 2018

indiana jones and the temple of doom soundtrack

to me the second indy movie was the most difficult of the classic trilogy. not that it was boring or showcased bad acting, even the little boy part is bearable (in most other movies those parts plain suck). i can't quite put my finger on it but somehow "temple of doom" is inferior to its predecessor and successor. maybe it is the missing of the opulent artifact as the secret star of the picture.
anyway, "temple of doom" is still an indy movie and thus better than all adventure movies without indy. the soundtrack is fantastic john williams work as always. the title "anything goes" for the opening sequence is one of the best of its kind and "the mine car chase" is the right action induced piece for one of the coolest chase scenes in movie history. the record was a bit pricier than "raiders" but this seems to be the usual case. very nice artwork here. european version on polydor records. 1984.

Mittwoch, 20. Juni 2018

indiana jones - raiders of the lost ark

next to my big star wars and batman affinity, i am sucker for all things concerning indy jones and his adventures. if you are a star wars geek it seems like a natural thing to be a fan of dr. jones also. both are the brainchild of george lucas so the same sense of fairy tale-ish adventurism is plausible. when i was in kiel lately i visited a record store i have never been to before. the metal section was a dead end but the movie soundtrack rack was a direct hit.
i saw the familiar cover art of "raiders of the lost ark" and knew it had to be mine. the price was fair and the vinyl plus cover sleeve in pristine condition, so i really had no excuse. dropping the needle on the record, the movie plays in front of my mind's eye. especially "the map room: dawn" is such a strong and ominous piece. i love the whole ark theme, a highly memorable melody it is. i have a copy of the european version on cbs records released in 1981. great score!

Dienstag, 19. Juni 2018

electric wizard - wizard, bloody wizard

there wasn't much for me this year's record store. literally not one single release caught my attention. i wrote off rsd 2018. in one of my regular searches at the new vinyl section over at the european nuclear blast store i came across a new pressing of the recent electric wizard record. it was actually released in 2017 and of course i was aware of the output but a few factors really put me off and i refrained from ordering a copy.
coloured first press copies had a hefty price tag on them considering this was just a single lp release. even for a double lp, i think thirty bucks are quite expensive. furthermore the colour-way was clear vinyl and i am not the biggest fan of that. other stuff seemed more attractive at that point. ok, hands down for this rsd version i didn't pay much less but i felt it was finally time to get a copy. i wasn't disappointed at all.
this is a no frills doom/stoner metal record with the right dosage of occultism. electric wizard seems not to be capable of writing a bad album. the presentation is pretty neat. gatefold cover with glossy card on the outside and matte card on the inside. a cool touch, never saw something like this before. then we have a printed dust sleeve, a huge poster and nice white with red splatter vinyl. tattooed retro female ass and genitalia in the artwork is always a winner. rsd '18 release on spinefarm records. 2017/2018.

Sonntag, 17. Juni 2018

machine head - the burning red

machine head was never of much interest to me. i saw them a couple of times play live at festivals, which were always good shows, but i never really sat down to listen to their records - with one exception. in the late nineties i was listening to a lot of nu metal stuff, korn and the like. at the time machine head was also influenced by this musical movement and they wrote an album that in parts also appealed to nu metal fans.
actually it were just two verses of the whole album where flynn incorporated some rap vocals into the sound and that was it. nevertheless the band got a lot of hate for "the burning red" from 1999 and it is maybe the most controversial album of the band. anyway, back in the day i saw the video for "from this day" on music television and i liked the song. so when i saw a cd copy sitting at a record store in the neighbour town, i grabbed it.
i remember that i liked three quarter of "the burning red" and thus i never listened overly often to the cd. when music on vinyl announced a re-issue i still was interested and so i ordered a copy. listening to the record now is pretty much a reassurement of my impression from almost twenty years ago. a solid album that doesn't go beyond. still entertaining, though. good work of mov here. great restoring of the original artwork and layout plus lovely red/black marble vinyl. 3000 copies made. music on vinyl.  2018.

Freitag, 15. Juni 2018

misery index - retaliate (tape)

my misery index collection borders on the embarrasing. considering that i really like this band and that my first record i bought was their "heirs to thievery" lp, it is hard to understand why this record is the only misery index album on my shelf. when i was searching the animate records webshop for another tape to add to the nile cassette, a "retaliate" copy was looking pretty attractive to me. finally i saw the chance to atone for my sins and bought misery index release number two for the collection.
the band's debut was actually released in 2003 by nuclear blast records. back then it got cd and black vinyl treatment. power it up records from germany did another vinyl run in 2011. it took another five years and a fine finnish indie label to come up with a tape release. the other records took a way better alternative front cover, printed it on a multi fold out j-card and produced 100 clear shell cassettes. great sound quality to top it all off. musically "retaliate" is a relentless bastard of death and grind metal. check it out! the other records. 2016.

Donnerstag, 14. Juni 2018

nile - at the gate of sethu (tape)

tapes have become a recent guilty pleasure of mine. it is real fun to hunt readily available cassettes for cheap. it is a welcomed addition to the vinyl collecting game, which nowadays pretty much consists of pre-ordering and paying quite some cash for rare titles. to not get too caught up in buying tape after tape i set a rule for me: don't buy stuff you already have on vinyl. well, of course there is always an exception to the rule.
i am a big nile fan. they are part of what i consider my big five (converge, mastodon, between the buried and me, high on fire and nile). for those bands i go above and beyond and when i saw a tape version of nile's 2012 opus "at the gate of sethu", i couldn't possibly say no. the cassette was released by small czech label evil horn records three years later. unfortunately my copy got a flaw in the song "tribunal of the dead" on the b-side. two pretty harsh disturbing noises were reason enough to ask for a replacement at animate records, the distro i bought the tape from.
they sent me a new one but sadly it was flawed too. strangely not equal flaws but on two songs of the b-side this time. don't know what went wrong in the production but i won't ask for another flawed tape. i consider to dub the tape myself but i have to collect more information about the process. apart from the actual cassette the j-card is an absolute winner. alternate cover art to the vinyl release and all lyrics and more art inside the fould out j-card. very nice! 100 copies made (has anyone out there also a flawed or maybe even a flawless copy?). evil horn records. 2015.

Mittwoch, 13. Juni 2018

bleeding through - portrait of the goddess

bleeding through was one of the most influential metalcore bands coming from the states throughout the first decade of the 21st century. their records "this is love, this is murderous" from 2003 and "the truth" from 2006 were milestones of the genre. they released their final album in 2012 and called it quits after some farewell touring in 2013 and 2014. well, that is not the whole story obviously. reunions are en vougue and so bleeding through are back with a new album that should arrive here in a few days. to get back to the topic, certain parties found it apt to accompany the release of the new album with a re-issue of an old one.
back in 2002 bleeding through released their second full length via indecision records. the late nineties and early 00's have been the most prolific years of this californian based label. bands like throwdown, death by stereo or undertow worked with indecision. in the recent past they focused on re-releasing some classics of their back catalogue. "portrait of the goddess" was a cd only output sixteen years ago now it is finally pressed to vinyl. man, that record sounds fantastic. i listened to my cd years ago and forgot how good it actually is. so much energy pouring from the grooves of this nice clear red vinyl. 500 copies made. indecision records. 2002/2018.

Dienstag, 12. Juni 2018

cynic - focus

wow, a re-issue i am most pleased about. cynic's mammoth record and debut "focus" back in press. and what a beauty it is. but from the beginning - i get the regular newsletter of high roller records, a fine independent german metal label and distro. in the past i was able to snag a few limited bits of french label season of mist records via high roller (atheist, archspire) and so i pay good attention when those newsletter roll in.
this time when i was scrolling down the "new pre-orders" list, my jaw dropped when i saw a coloured version of "focus" for the taking. original copies just went through the roof and so i got sweaty hands and checked out a copy as fast as i could. after i got my pre-order in, i started to search for some information on the re-press. i couldn't really find something illuminating. the official source roadrunner records doesn't have it in their store nor mention it at all.
furthermore i wasn't able to find any pressing numbers. this thing just appeared out of the blue and nobody seems to know anything. well, i won't lose my mind over this. i rather dance around like crazy and take another listen to this masterpiece via my beautiful orange marble record. i am still amazed at how unique and ahead of its time this album was. the re-press is actually a vinyl edition of the 2004 cd re-issue.
therefore it comes with some nice liner notes by vocalist paul masvidal and ula gehret (he works for century media and actually i don't know why he was involved here). at the time both didn't know that cynic was to return with "traced in air" a few years later. roadrunner stood true to the original artwork and layout of the cover sleeve. i really appreciate this. a few changes on the printed dust sleeve and different centre labels but i can live with that. gorgeous choice of vinyl colour. roadrunner records. 1993/2018.

Montag, 11. Juni 2018

all out war - give us extinction

the new all out war! well, it is not really new after all. the album was released in 2017 already. at the time i wasn't really interested because i knew that it would not pose a problem to get a colour copy at any time after the release. other stuff with higher sell out risk was more important. time went by and i forgot about "give us extinction". when i searched for a record to add to the ecostrike vinyl it was a no brainer to go for all out war.
these guys are around since 1991. despite all out war not being active troughout all these years in cause of a few break-ups and re-unions, something like a quarter century of existence is an impressing life span for a hardcore band. they managed not to alter their sound too much in all this time but to stay relevant with every new record spat forth. no difference with "give us extinction". hate for stupidity of mankind, for the few in power and for social injustice is felt in every screamed word of vocalist mike score.
this accompanied by fast thrash parts and bulldozing hardcore groove, et voilà another great all out war record at your service. the only little downer is the guest appearance of emily muscara. never heard of her but her voice kills the songs she is involved with for me. still, a rager this new album is. i got the retail version on clear vinyl. not the best choice in my book but i didn't want to pay for oversea shipping. the artwork is top notch, though. organized crime records. 2017.

Dienstag, 5. Juni 2018

ecostrike - voice of strength

i feel that hardcore is reclaiming its rightful place in my daily music time. this is to the most part due to the recovered status of the cassette tape format. still there are a few new bits and pieces that attract my attention. pieces such as the new ecostrike record "voice of strength". i missed the initial release and pre-order at triple-b records. no prblem, though, would not have ordered from the states, anyway. the happier i was when i learned that the least limited colour-way was the pink version.
as i am bound to the retail versions in order to avoid high shipping rates from the u.s. i welcomed this one with open arms. i already read a few posts about this album on different blogs and the comparisons made with early earth crisis and strife are pretty accurate. fantastic mid-nineties metallic hardcore of the american tinge. even the sound production is made in the fashion of twenty five years ago. that cover artwork is so ugly, it is even cool in a way. a great release all around. best hardcore record of 2018 so far. 800 copies made. triple b records. 2018.

Sonntag, 3. Juni 2018

backtrack - bad to my world (tape)

i was off blogger for a few days because there was a heatwave flooding the north of germany and i was trying hard to stay cool, especially after sunset. during those days i had no intention of writing at an overheating computer. now temperatures dropped to a bearable degree and i am back on track with backtrack, ha! another hardcore record on which i didn't want to spend the regular vinyl price in cause of lack of excitement. when i saw this tape version for eight bucks at coretex, i had another item next to the expire tape to make the order shipping costs worthwhile.
"bad to my world" is a typical backtrack album. short nyhc slabs right where it hurts. twenty minutes and the band is through with their third full length. no chance for boredom. the cassette version is a bit stripped down in comparison to the lp version. the lp version has an insert with lyrics and some photo collages. a pity bridge 9 passed on that, a fold-out j-card would have been capable of carrying all the art. anyway, the tape is still a looker with its crystal clear shell and it sounds great. 300 copies made. bridge 9. 2017.