Montag, 30. Juli 2018

pestilence - hadeon (tape)

almost done with my attempt to get all the 2018 releases off of my to-blog-pile. with the new album of pestilence i had problems from the get go. i was digging the re-issues of their classic first four records a lot and still listen to them occasionally. after their break-up in the mid-nineties they returned in 2009 and sixteen years between "spheres" and "resurrection macabre" changed the band, indeed. not only the personnel but the music as well.
i listened to a few bits of "resurrection macabre" and it didn't really set me ablaze. so i didn't even bother with the other post reunion records. when "hadeon" was announced i also tried my ears on the singles "multi-dimensional" and "non physical existent". these were cooler but not fully convincing as well. i dropped the idea of getting the record. then came my new weakness for cassette tapes and the option to buy it from nuclear blast with my recent order.
eight bucks seemed fair and here we are with "hadeon" on tape. musically this is solid technical death metal with a hint of the ingenuity of the old days. when i feel like listen to pestilence i certainly reach for their old stuff but this album won't just collect dust either. it is too good for that. the transfer of the artwork into the tape format worked quite good and the sound quality is good throughout. a shame there are no lyrics printed in the j-card. 300 copies made. hammerheart records. 2018.

Freitag, 27. Juli 2018

bongripper - terminal

i am really stoked to have the new bongripper in my hands. these instrumental doomsters are not known for dropping full lengths at a high rate. so it doesn't surprise that "miserable" is already four years old. the more i was happy that i was spot-on for the pre-order deals here. a few months back i missed out on some bongripper re-issues because when i was at the party it was already old news. not really a problem because i already had vinyl copies of these re-issues but it annoyed me to have missed out.
so i e-mailed the guys asking for something like a mailing list. to cut it short, i am now recieving the bongripper newsletter and via this channel i heard news of the pre-orders for "terminal". the band handled north american orders themselves and burning world records from the netherlands did so for europe. it's a collaboration with history and everything went smooth again. i opted for the grey and purple swirl variant and am very happy with the outcome - vinyl looks fantastic. musically the new record is just the same, fantastic!
their ultra low tuned string sound and the kiloton drumming is a sonic experience of its own and with this album bongripper reduced the duration which proved to be refreshing for the overall song-writing. "terminal" feels more compact with loads of memorable riffs and lovely melodies. the physical component of the album is also superb. nice gatefold cover with sick artwork by sam alcarez and the aforementioned grey/purple merge vinyl as a fine match. 500 copies made. great barrier records. 2018.

Mittwoch, 25. Juli 2018

obscura - diluvium

oh yes, the new obscura through the speakers! i fell in deep love with this german technical death metal band two years ago. "akróasis" was a goddamn scorcher that annihilated everything in its path. it was obvious that i needed more. after i bought their early days compilation "illegimitation" and snagged "cosmogenesis" via ebay, only "omnivium" was able to elude me until now. that being said, it was out of the question to be all over the pre-orders for a new album when they were announced.
i hate to admit it but social media helped me. in his youthful energy my brother-in-law suggested that i should take advantage of instagram. i could follow bands and labels without being active on my own, being anonymous so to speak and was never to be late to a pre-order announcement again. he has got a point there. so my instagram relapse feed told me time and place for the pre-order and there i was, able to buy the most limited colour-way. only i didn't want it because a less limited one looked cooler. it was nice to have the chance for once, though.
"diluvium" is such a strong record. i only listened to it a handful of times but i am absolutely blown away at this point already. intelligent arrangements, fantastic melody lines, sophisticated bass play and those delicious solos, not to speak of the amazing drumming - "diluvium" is obscura par excellence. hard to pick some favourites so check them all out. the presentation is simple but effective. slip sleeve of nice matte cardboard with lovely artwork by orion landau and sweet splattered bone white with deep purple merge out of 250 copies. album of the year so far! relapse records. 2018.

Dienstag, 24. Juli 2018

converge - beautiful ruin

another converge release and so soon after last november's full length "the dusk in us". for this 7" the band and label did without a lengthy pre-process. they produced the records, put them live when they were ready and delivered right after the sale. a nice change for once. there were four store exclusive colour-ways and one retail colour up for grabs. since the deathwish eu store is loctaed in italy, i usually go for the epitaph exclusive colours because they ship from germany which means domestic shipping costs.
kingsroad merch is the exclusive retailer for epitaph, so i placed my order there. frankly, i wasn't really excited for the epitaph colour which was clear with a black blob. i think clear vinyl is pretty boring and in the mix with a black blob it didn't do anything for me. whereas the neat aesthetics of white vinyl does appeal to me, so my choice was made. the four songs appearing here were recorded during "the dusk in us" sessions. for one reason or another they were not meant to be part of the full length.
thankfully converge thought these songs to be too good to be forgotten in the vault and pressed them to this nice 7". four times fast and heavy converge venom right where it hurts. i saw the guys live this year's april in my old hometown leipzig. they played at conne island, to which i have been numerous times in the past. a great night with heaps of energy from the band. i am about to see them again at wacken festival and hopefully they play one or two songs from "beautiful ruin". white vinyl out of 2000 copies comes with a lovely mirror board gatefold sleeve. deathwish inc. 2018.

Sonntag, 22. Juli 2018

dimmu borgir - eonian

dimmu borgir got a lot of playtime on my turntable recently. mainly because of nuclear blasts industrious policy of re-pressing titles of the borgir back catalogue to commemorate the new album "eonian". with me, this tactic worked nicely in throwing money at the re-presses but failed to buy a copy of the actual purpose - dimmu's ninth full length after eight years of waiting. i finally came to terms and bought a copy after i was refunded by the label in the first place for a u.s. version which seemed to be already sold out when i ordered.
some weeks later, after i swallowed my anger, i made a move and reached out for the half and half coloured european edition. i was anxious to get a copy now because i am going to see the band play live for the first time at this year's wacken festival and thus wanted to hear the material before they played it live. well, what does the new album sound like? previously i read a few devastating reviews which opinions i definitely cannot share. there is a change in their overall sound, indeed. more industrial influences, a little less orchestration and way more choirs.
the first single "interdimensional summit" gives a good insight on the whole album, i think. for me the record needed a few spins to fully sink in. it won't become my favourite record of them but hell, it's an entertaining listen. the band saved the best songs for last and with the fantastic "i am sovereign" begins the strong last third of "eonian". the presentation is in no way inferior to the music. nice slip sleeve with reflecting golden ink, a superb 28-page booklet and slick looking black and white split vinyl. 700 copies made. nuclear blast. 2018.

Freitag, 20. Juli 2018

incendiary - thousand mile stare

alright, alright, this record is not really recently released as it saw the light of day in december last year, but at least it is the recent album of incendiary and therefore fits into my little july series of new albums. i was late to the incendiary party when i bought their sophomore full length "cost of living" a few years ago when it was already three years old. i didn't need that much time this time around but still, to wait for the fourth press of a record i wanted seems a bit phlegmatic.
by the time i bought the bleeding through "love will kill all" record from per koro mailorder, i was in search for another record to add to the order. this new edition of "thousand mile stare" was just what i was looking for. i gave the record just a few spins by now but i can surely say that their third album is a killer. the four years of waiting paid off. they took the basic notions of their preceeding records and added a new level of anger and inner anxiety. utter heavy and utter intense. check it out.
again the band released this album on closed casket activities and the label did the musical part justice in terms of physical presentation. the record comes in a sturdy gatefold sleeve which has a nice matte finish to it. the whole cover artwork ties in nicely with the album title and the colour tone of the layout is well thought out. the vinyl colour is a winner as well. the white blob in the centre looks so cool because of its unevenness. 500 copies made. closed casket activities. 2017/2018.

Donnerstag, 19. Juli 2018

madball - for the cause (tape)

another nice tape release for the collection and another release i was happy to just pay under a tenner in order to get it. madball's iconic "set it off" album from 1994 was one of my door openers into the realms of heavy music, therefore the band will always have a special place in my heart. that being said, recent music of them failed to evolve the same excitement in me as their debut did. the last full length that really got me going was "infiltrate the system" from 2007.
i still bought the following albums and e.p.'s simply because it was madball but not really out of earnest anticipation. same thing with "for the cause". when nuclear blast spread the word for the coming record and its pre-order deals, i was more in an inner conflict because i had to extend my monthly budget limit if i wanted the vinyl rather than to be eager to listen to the album. i hesitated to order.
then i saw the tape version up for sale and made the decision to get a copy in that format instead. cheaper and cool as well. i ordered at season of mist because they had a few more nice tapes in stock. what's the record actually like? well, a piece of the better recent madball stuff. great guest appearances by ice-t and tim armstrong of rancid fame. 300 copies on blue shell cassettes. nuclear blast. 2018.

Dienstag, 17. Juli 2018

kataklysm - meditations (tape)

i have been not very enthusiastic about the release of the new kataklysm record in the first place. the predcessor "of ghosts and gods" was a very good record but somehow it didn't get much play time on my turntable. on every, admittedly rarer, occasion i dropped the needle on that one, i wondered as to why there is such a discrepancy between quality and play time. i feel it is because of this contradiction i was not in gleeful anticipation of "meditations". that changed when i saw the album on tape for pre-order at nuclear blast.
i found cassette tapes to be a fantastic way of still getting music on a physical format for which i don't want to pay the extra cash of the vinyl editions. the excitement for the actual look of the tape and its transfer of artwork to the cassette format, changed my initial attitude towards "meditations". now i was eager to listen to it. after a few run-throughs i am sure that this album will face more play time in the future. a great record. not all songs are pure gold but pieces like "outsider" or "narcissist" carry the whole to higher spheres. lovely! 200 copies made. nuclear blast. 2018.

Sonntag, 15. Juli 2018

yob - our raw heart

yob is one of the bands i regard as a real concept of art - musically, lyrically and visually. their records are melting pots of great musicianship, creativity and much thought. therefore i am always looking forward to new stuff of this american three-piece around band leader mike scheidt. when pre-orders for "our raw heart" went live at the relapse records e-shop, i was thinking if i should get a relapse exclusive version or settle for the german retail version.
in the end the better price and the easier availability tipped the scale in favour of the retail version. i pre-ordered at emp mailorder and the record arrived in prime condition. after listening to "our raw heart" a couple of times, i think it is safe to say that it is one of their best records. to me "atma" will stay number one because it was my introduction to the band but the new record is all you ever wished for from yob.
it is heavy, slow, hypnotising, intense and melodic - sometimes all at once. a crazy journey which i think is more variable than "clearing the path to ascend" and easier accessible in general. still yob emphasises everything they stand for. fantastic, bluntly put. the presentation does the musical content justice. lovely artwork by orion landau (who worked on quite a few relapse titles, including obscura, red fang, ect.) and nice electric blue vinyl out of 300 copies. relapse records. 2018.

Samstag, 14. Juli 2018

khemmis - desolation

the announcement of khemmis' new full length "desolation" gave me a thrill of anticipation. the first reason for this delight was an obvious one: a new khemmis full length. secondly i was happy that they signed an almost worldwide (excluding north america) deal with nuclear blast which would spare me the agony of ordering vinyl from the states. when pre-orders went live i didn't waste a second and ordered a copy of the limited orange vinyl.
with my copy in hands the first thing that jumps at me looking at the cover is the consistency in artwork throughout their records. again the two main characters, the wizard and the warrioress, are to be seen. this time united in bitterness, it seems. musically khemmis went by the motto "why fix what ain't broke?" and delivered what will become a modern classic. same recipe as on "absolution" and "hunted" but simply better. check the video for "isolation".
the orange copies already sold out at nuclear blast but they now have a second press on blue to offer. i have to admit that in comaprison with the 20 buck spin (the label that handled vinyl affairs for north america) vinyl versions, the nb version falls a bit flat but all in all i am really happy with the look. great cover sleeve with bronze foil print, cool lp-sized booklet with more art and the nice solid orange vinyl make for a clean and neat presentation. 300 copies made. nuclear blast. 2018.

Montag, 9. Juli 2018

bleeding through - love will kill all

the name bleeding through is back on the map. i was a bit surprised i have to admit. for the most part band combacks doesn't really astonish me these days but concerning bleeding through, i really thought they were gone for good. well, reality taught me differently. the band is back with the most succesful line-up from the past and what can i say? the boys and girl know how to write some killer metalcore songs.
the band proves that after six years since their last full length they still have something to say. the single songs get a specific urge across, to me the record feels faster and angrier than the last three albums. of course bleeding through includes a few of those kitsch choruses (which i still like, though) but they are part of their signature sound. so all in all nothing new but a high quality continuation of what the band is good at. check it for yourself here.
after the last few records were released through rise records and roadrunner records, for "love will kill all" bt teamed up with sharptone records. it is a subsidiary company of nuclear blast and targets a rather young audience. despite the close link of nuclear blast and sharptone there was no vinyl available via the nb euro store. i got my copy via and recieved the clear red variant. a clear with black splatter variant is also flowing around. 500 copies made of both colours. sharptone records. 2018.

Freitag, 6. Juli 2018

asg - survive sunrise

asg are back with a new album and again relapse records handled the vinyl treatment. it has been five years since "blood drive" came out and i still have no copy of that record. to appease my bad conscience i have because of the lack of "blood drive" in my collection, i wanted to be early in the pre-order game for "survive sunrise".
i had two reasonable options. there was the possibility to order directly from the relapse euro store. that would have meant a cool vinyl colour-way but together with shipping from the netherlands to germany the price increased over thirty bucks. the other way was to order from emp mailorder and to get a lesser cool colour but no shipping costs and fast domestic delivery. well, i gave the latter option a go.
after a month of waiting for the delivery date to come, it was finally time. the record landed at my door step and after the first spin there was not the shadow of a doubt that "survive sunrise" is another cracker from first to last tune by amplification of self gratification, short asg. super smooth stoner metal with all the good ingredients. groove, melodies, solos - perfect summer record to me.
check out the video for "lightning song" and don't blame me for falling in love with it. you have been warned. the presentation is pretty nice. the artwork spans over the two panels of the gatefold and is made to be seen vertically. the inside shows the lyrics and album credits. the double lp comes on lovely opaque cyan blue vinyl. although the relapse exclusive colours look a bit more exciting, i am very pleased with my copy. 200 made. relapse records. 2018.

Mittwoch, 4. Juli 2018

rivers of nihil - where owls know my name

rivers of nihil were quite unknown to me when i glimpsed the cover art for their new record "where owls know my name" over at emp mailorder. the band was founded in 2009 and two e.p.'s later they were signed to metal blade records in 2012. in the course of the coming three years rivers of nihil released two full lengths, both flew under my radar. nevertheless the artwork for their third record was intriguing and the term technical death metal made my heart beat faster.
i checked out one or two songs. my initial thought was: "not bad but do i really need that record?" well, the music was cool enough to convince me of buying the lp. i have listened to "where owls know my name" a few times and am still not sure what to think of it. on the one hand this album is a pandemonium of ideas and progression. a multi-layered piece that bursts with creativity. but on the other hand i feel it is sometimes too much of a good thing.
they seem to get lost in their own sound cosmos and overlook the easy, powerful riff that gives way to all the progressivity. maybe it will grow on me but when i imagine standing in front of my shelf in the need for a modern melodic tech death record, i think i rather pick a fallujah album. still, for fans of the genre this is a no-brainer. the presentation is well done by metal blade. gatefold sleeve with slick artwork and very nice mint and olive green merge with black splatter vinyl. limited and hand-numbered out of 100 copies. metal blade records. 2018.

Dienstag, 3. Juli 2018

ghost - prequelle

i got a number of new releases in the span of the past two or three weeks and i am very excited about them. so in an attempt to be up-to-date and not slow and old, i am going to blog them all off in a row. the starter will be my first ghost record "prequelle". i was always good at being late to a great band party and in keeping with the tradition, i am late with ghost as well. yeah, i am old-fashioned like that.
there was quite a buzz surrounding the release of "prequelle". the band's first three full lengths sold very well and especially the theatrical stage performances and image of the band built quite a reputation. a reputation which didn't reach me in the past. but via a backstage club notification of emp mailorder (a member ship which spares me domestic shipping costs and paid off numerous times by now) i got news of an exclusive vinyl edition and a link to the video of the first single "rats".
wow, video and song both blew me away. "rats" is a catchy hell of a great pop-metal piece and the video reminded me partly of michael jacksons "thriller". after witnessing this revelation i had to buy the record. the whole package doesn't disappoint at all. "prequelle" is occult pop entertainment the best possible way. can't wait to see them live at this year's wacken festival. the physical vinyl edition looks nice as well. only the vinyl colour seemed more exciting in theory than in reality. 500 clear/silver swirl copies made. loma vista records. spinefarm records. 2018.

Sonntag, 1. Juli 2018

depravation - II: maledictvm (tape)

you remember my post about the nile "at the gates of sethu" tape? i wrote that i do not want to buy tapes of albums i already had on vinyl. yeah right, who am i trying to fool here? this is actually the third album on tape i already own on polyvinyl chloride. well, be that as it may. when i bought the 50 lions 7" at the store, i was searching fro something to add to the order. you know, collector's rules and stuff.
i found a sweet looking item which was also on clearance and so the choice was an easy one to make. depravation's first and to date only full length is a real cracker. i got the vinyl edition years ago in 2013 and was blown away by its subliminal occult charme. the presentation of the tape looks pretty different to its vinyl counterpart and so i thought, i could use a copy of that cassette release. a lovely screen printed slipcase with a labled clear shell tape and a fold-out insert with all lyrics is what you get. hand-numbered out of 100 copies. life and death records. dark omen records. 2013.