Donnerstag, 30. August 2018

gorguts - the erosion of sanity

when listenable records from france re-issued "considered dead" first in 2016, they also did a re-issue of gorguts second effort "the erosion of sanity", originally released in 1993. strangely the album was never pressed to vinyl before. i have a few roadrunner releases on vinyl which came out in the same year or even later. it remains a mystery to me why the label refused the production of a vinyl version.
so the 2016 edition was technically speaking a first press and this makes my copy part of the second press. actually it is just a re-press of a re-issue. fuck all that anyway, what counts is listening to the music on vinyl. and musically gorguts delivers heaps of typical early nineties death metal with a strong american tinge. "the erosion of sanity" is more diverse than its predecessor and sometimes the beginning progressivity shines through.
although i have to say the record has its lengths. it is not always able to keep my attention up and at this point i prefer "considered dead" over this full length. the presentation by listenable is cool, though. great transfer of the cover art into the lp format, sturdy insert and slightly marbled orange vinyl to round out the package. funnily the hype sticker advertises it as splatter vinyl. come on, really cannot see this. 500 copies made. listenable records. 2018.

Dienstag, 28. August 2018

gorguts - considered dead

gorguts became one of my most respected bands since i have their masterpiece "obscura" in my collection. the works of the band are never easily digested but so rich in detail and sophisticated musicianship, that a gorguts record will always be a pleasure for the ears. i own all their post-"obscura" records and couldn't decide which one might be better. "from wisdom to hate", "colored sands" and "pleiades' dust" are proof of the uniqueness of this canadian prog death monster around band leader luc lemay.
but there is also a pre-"obscura" era. a period in the early nineties where gorguts were part of a flourishing scene which chose to call their music death metal. a time where bands like death, obituary, deicide or suffocation were releasing milestones of the genre. right into this time frame, maybe when the death metal hype peaked, gorguts released their debut "considered dead". they even got a record deal with roadrunner records, the label all the aforementioned bands released their stuff on.
i don't how the album was recieved back then but when i am listening to this re-issue now, i assume it was quite successful. it ticks all the right boxes for a death metal fan of the time. it is a solid effort which doesn't show any hints of the brilliancy to come, though. still, i really enjoy it. the presentation by listenable does the original justice. only the back of the sleeve got a work-over that ties in with original very well. i love the cover art by dan seagrave here. 500 copies on clear blue with black smoke vinyl. listenable records. 2018.

Sonntag, 26. August 2018

whitechapel - this is exile

metal blade pursues an aggressive policy of re-issuing everything which isn't fast enough to escape their grip. i took advantage of that expansion a few times and as long as i am concerned, metal blade can keep them coming. earlier on, late in last year the label pressed whitechapel's debut "the somatic defilement" to vinyl for the first time and now the band's second full length "this is exile" is queued up next.
when pre-orders went live at emp mailorder, the host of the european metal blade store, it took me a few seconds to secure meself a copy. that was in april but release date was in july. i don't have a problem waiting for pre-orders but three months were quite long. anyway, i survived the waiting and i have to say the pressing is of great quality. the first press just came on shitty picture disc and that is why i never bothered to obtain it.
this new pressing does the album justice. it comes in a regular slip sleeve with a double-sided insert and nice colour vinyl. the only thing which is weird is the missing of the poster. the sticker clearly indicates a poster but there wasn't any after i unsealed the record. i checked the net for info and only found pictures without a poster but no statement, so i'm still not sure. whatever, my copy is #20 out of 200 and looking sharp on clear with black and red splatter vinyl. metal blade. 2008/2018.

Samstag, 25. August 2018

crowbar - sonic excess in its purest form

back when i bought my first crowbar piece of vinyl at kiel's blitz records store, i also held a copy of "sonic excess in its purest form" in hands but only walked away with "odd fellows rest". in hindsight i regretted that move quite a bit because i found it hard to obtain a copy afterwards. at one point all reasonable priced copies vanished from ebay and discogs and i never saw another one sitting in physical store.
i thought, i just wait for an ebay auction to get my hands on the record and focused on other things. time passed and i forgot about the album. when i finally saw the band live with converge in leipzig this year, i was blown away by their show. crowbar was close to beat converge to second place in terms of intensity and so their appearance served as great reminder to get that record eventually. just out of curiosity i checked ebay again and look and behold, there were a few reasonable buy-it-now options by a commercial seller from switzerland. i used to buy from them in the past and was never disappointed. no change with this order.
"sonic excess in its purest form" was released in 2001 by spitfire records. a record label completely unknown to me. a little research unearthed the information that the label isn't active anymore these days and that they released mostly liscenced stuff for the north american or brazilian market. i believe this crowbar album was one of their genuine releases. anyway, they never did a vinyl version back then and so back on black handled the job fourteen years after its initial release.
the presentation by back on black is very nice as usual with this british, re-issue specialised label. sturdy gatefold sleeve, black dust sleeve and heavyweight coloured vinyl. love the band picture on the inside of the gatefold. what a bunch of handsome dudes, right? these guys have class standing around half-naked and looking real happy. hilarious. the album is fantastic musically. i love "repulsive in its splendid beauty" in particular. 500 copies on clear blue vinyl. back on black. 2015.

Mittwoch, 22. August 2018

crimson glory - transcendence

the second record i scored at the von gestern store is an oddball. when i pulled it from the racks i didn't quite know what i was holding in hands, only the vague idea that i saw the cover somewhere a short while ago. i remembered that i had seen this on the music on vinyl homepage. the terms "progressive metal" and "roadrunner records" i also recalled. with these two in combination i thought i might as well give it a shot, especially as this was the original european roadrunner pressing.
musically this heavy metal with a bright progressive side, which makes it quite an enjoyable listen. in reviews on the internet the record is praised as one of the conceptional most coherent and influential melodic metal albums of the decade. frankly, i never heard of neither band nor record but it was re-issued by music on vinyl as a matter of fact. so there must be a demand for the album. anyway, i like the look of the original press. recorded at the infamous morrisound studios in florida, by the way. roadrunner records. 1988.

Dienstag, 21. August 2018

ac/dc - blow up your video

it is rare that i visit physical stores these days. in ninety nine percent of the cases there is no contemporaray stuff in the variations i am out for. vinyl shopping takes place online nowadays. when i am out in some physical stores usually seventies prog rock and eighties heavy metal and hard rock crosses my path. this is just what happened when a good friend and me were visiting a little record store in elmshorn - von gestern records. they have a small metal selection and the a section held an ac/dc record for me.
"blow up your video" is from their mid-career phase. released in the late eighties, 1988 to be precise, it is one of the weaker ac/dc records to me. the a-side fails to really grab me, at least the b-side makes up for that. "nick of time" or "two's up" are really strong efforts. the edition i scored is from the european first press produced in germany. my copy is in a flawless condition, the pre-owner knew how to handle his vinyl. love the artwork with the tube telly. it looks so dated and yet so familiar. going to play some video cassettes right now... atlantic records. 1988.

Sonntag, 19. August 2018

nevermore - enemies of reality

i work my way into the nevermore release catalogue little by little. i started with their sophomore album "the politics of ecstasy" and obtained now their fifth record "enemies of reality". it is the one i read the most about beforehand and it seems like it is a fan favourite. fifteen years after its initial release in 2003, century media comes up with a re-press and i thought it was the right time to dig deeper into nevermore's music. back in the day the band had to deal with a reduced budget for the recording.
that was the reason nevermore could not record in the facility they actually wished for and thus the sound quality didn't meet their expectations. also did fans and press voice criticism concerning the production. two years later andy sneap re-mixed the whole thing. this re-mix ist pressed to the vinyl here. a good mix that does this superb thrash/death/melodic metal record justice. the presentation is top notch as well. slip sleeve, insert, cd, giant poster and lovely opaque light blue vinyl make for a great re-issue all around. century media. 2003/2018.

Donnerstag, 16. August 2018

between the buried and me - automata II

here we are with part two of between the buried and me's new behemoth called "automata". the first part was and still is pure joy to me and so i was pretty excited for the release of the second affair. pre-orders went up and i was there to ensure that i was recieving a splatter vinyl copy to match my version of "automata I". again i ordered from the sumerian europe store and usually i get a shipment notification upon release date. not so this time.
i waited a few days and fired off an e-mail. it took them another few days to tell me that the euro store was facing some delivery problems and that i was supposed to get a notification by the end of the week. it took another few days more to get the shipping notifiction and after another week of waiting i finally got the actual record. so after a month post release date i listen to this sucker eventually. musically this is pretty close to the style they established with "coma ecliptic". fewer songs, some interludes and a real cinematic soundtrack feel to the overall structure of the album.
maybe the stuff is a bit heavier, vocalist tommy rogers brought back more growls on "automata". the lyrical concept is based on the assumption that some people's dreams can be broadcast into the world for entertainment of others. that is pretty proggy if you ask me. automata II is prog metal only btbam can play it and i simply love their unmistakeable unique sound. the art for part II is a bit cooler than for part I but it won't become my favourite btbam artwork. the clear with magenta and green splatter vinyl looks lovely, though. 1.000 copies made. sumerian records. 2018.

Dienstag, 14. August 2018

despised icon - the healing process

oh yes, another long-time want of mine finally in my hands. despised icon were one of the first technical more demanding metal bands i listened to, or better their crowning work "the ills of modern man" was the first more complex record i really enjoyed. i am very happy that i was able to snag a first press colour copy of said album and still regard it as their best. "the healing process" was album number two of them in my collection. back then it didn't really click with me, the overall feeling was more raw and not as sophisticated as its successor. when i started collecting vinyl i wanted a colour copy badly, anyway.
it started with the lemmy's post of his copy on the now defunct the emerging addiction blog. it was just a line of text and one photo but it set my hunger for this platter ablaze. so it took me at least five years to cross it off the list eventually. i got a mail from discogs with a seller from china with a reasonable priced copy. after two weeks of waiting i got my copy in a cardboard mailer that was wrapped in a big bubble envelope. oh man, i once got a record packed in the same manner and i feared the worst. i believe those envelopes suggest a rather flexible content and thus are not handled with as much care.
i opened it and was relieved to see it was not broken (record was outside of sleeve as requested) but the cover sleeve was heavily bent. i tried my best to fix it but one can clearly see the damage in the lower left corner of the sleeve. ah man, that sucks but i don't think i'll chase another copy for replacement. fortunately the vinyl plays great and the album aged quite good. it is still a raw heavy fucking piece of tech death and hardcore and a real good one. check it out here. 100 copies made on clear orange vinyl. liscensed by century media. goodfellow records. 2005.

Sonntag, 12. August 2018

biohazard - state of the world address (tape)

another tape, another biohazard release. "state of the world address" was my second album after "urban discipline" and therefore one of the biohazard full lengths i wanted the most. same problem here as with the "mata leão" vinyl record. inflated prices made my hunt for a decent copy inconclusive. again the tape format was my way out of the dilemma. there were a few versions but only one that was qualified to meet my needs.
in the end i paid a bit more to get it but a tenner is still way less that i would have to give for a vinyl copy. and come on, this tape looks ace, doesn't it? the cd version i once had also came with a clear orange jewel case with the biohazard logo printed to its front. same with the tape case but the real cool thing is the cassette shell also made of clear highlighter orange plastic. musically you know this, maybe a bit too many hip hop influences, but classic biohazard stuff after all. check it out here. warner bros. music. 1994.

Samstag, 11. August 2018

biohazard - mata leão (tape)

i remember that back in the day when i was lending stuff from the local library (usually comic books and radio plays on cassette) they also had a section for contemporary music. i don't how this biohazard album "mata leão" found its way into their selection among u2 and madonna compact discs. must have been the major label connection. anyway, i loved the record back then and actually wanted to have it on vinyl almost as long as i collect them plastic platters. problem here were the goddamn high prices for a copy.
i did not intend to unload fifty bucks plus on a fucking biohazard and so i stood away from a purchase. now this tape release came to my rescue. i found a seller from france on discogs who sold this baby for three bucks. shipping was even higher than the tape. my copy looks fantastic. minimal wear to the print on the shell but the rest is in prime condition. j-card with whole artwork and the sound quality outstanding. great release and great album all around. check it here. warner music. 1996.

Donnerstag, 9. August 2018

biohazard - s/t (tape)

it is a pain to get early biohazard records in a good condition without paying over the odds. it is the strange combination of old fans who still want original copies and driving up the prices and no new releases of the band and no new fans, that would make re-issues interesting for a record label. to me tape releases from back in the day opened a new door towards a physical copy of the first biohazard record.
i found a small german mailorder, hoz records, which had a few used and new tapes on offer. i was really surprised to find a copy of the "biohazard" album for four bucks. i was bit hesitant because i knew that there were a few polish and russian editions out there. even though some of them are even official, they feel a bit second rate to me and i definitely wanted an u.s. version. so i asked, got a positive reply and the tape was already mine. when it arrived at my place i was pleasantly surprised to find the tape still sealed.
cool, to unwrapp a nearly thirty years old cassette is almost a vulgar but pretty satisfying act. musically biohazard didn't climb to those heights they would reach with the sophomore release "urban discipline", but this album is no stinker either. that typical crossover sound is already there and the groove parts are crushing. love the signature voices of evan seinfeld and billy graziadei and the interaction of both. maze records. 1990.

Mittwoch, 8. August 2018

morning again - martyr

eventually some lovely goodlife colour vinyl on this blog again. i found it harder and harder to obtain the missing goodlife recordings releases in my collection. they are subject to both, rare availability and high prices on the regular second-hand market places. this is a somewhat unfortunate combination. the more i am happy to cross one off the list. this might be not a major want of mine but still, another great piece of nineties heavily metal induced, straight edge hardcore. florida's morning again with their e.p. "martyr" from twenty one years ago.
the first vinyl pressing for "martyr" was desaster for goodlife and the band. the pressing plant used damaged or unclean plates to press the records and thus all the copies appeared to have the same flaws. discogs says that there are twenty five remaining copies of this novelty still around. frankly i am happy to have a copy of the re-press in great condition. i love the haptic of the cover sleeve. some sort of grainy cardboard. musically this e.p. is a killer. crushing metallic hardcore with great accoustic guitar parts. goodlife recordings. 1997.

Montag, 6. August 2018

ghost - opvs eponymovs

i am back from wacken and back in shape to write some new words. this year's festival was a blast! personally i gazed at the best line-up of all my four participations in the world largest all-metal festival. i witnessed fantastic shows of converge, gojira, dimmu borgir, madball, mantar and of course ghost. this time i didn't find any vinyl in the many small booths (i wish back that big merchandise tent) at the retailer area and so i was looking if i had any record at home not written about, which might be apt for the topic.
so here we are with ghost's debut "opvs eponymovs". the band played on friday, or better saturday morning at 1:45 a.m. man, that was a tough time slot for me. i was around for quite a few hours and watching cool bands and because i am old i really felt torn watching ghost. on the one hand i was really enjoying it because they were that good but on the other hand i secretly wished it to be over soon because my back hurt. anyway, it was worth the little pain. check out this video of some dude who stood almost at the same spot as me.
so, what does "opvs eponymovs" sound like? well, i don't have to tell you because most probably you know that already. i am the one who is alarmingly late to this band here. it is just the right mixture of doom/stoner rock with occultism and pop music. there is more emphasis on the doom/stoner part on this early record but it doesn't seem too far from the recent stuff. great music all the way through. i am in love with ghost. this is a recent re-press by rise above records on lovely opaque turquoise vinyl out of 500 copies. bought at nuclear blast. rise above. 2010/2018.

Mittwoch, 1. August 2018

galactic empire - episode II

actually i wanted to be done with all my posts about 2018 releases in july but here we are with the last one in august. ah well, does anybody care anyway? galactic empire was one of the surprises of early 2017 and i was blown away by the technical finesse with which the band played all those lovely orchestral pieces john williams wrote for my favourite movies of all time. even the songs for the sequels worked like magik to my muscles of the neck, i couldn't stop banging my head.
galactic empire made a few north american live appearances and their success even brought them to europe for a string of shows. i was lucky enough that they also played in hamburg so i went there in late april and the gig was a blast. the guys played in full costume which must have been unbelievably hot. even i was sweating just from existing because the small venue was well stocked. galactic played a fantastic gig and i was close to get the new record from the merch table despite my pre-order still going.
i could restrain myself eventually and waited patiently for my ordered copy to arrive. i bought it at and it came in in prime condition. they know how to pack vinyl! musically episode II was not as familiar to me as the debut because quite a few songs are adaptions from the recent star wars movies (which are excellent in my humble opinion). still they play them with such virtuosity that i enjoy them anyway. great record and great colour-way. cyan blue and black merge out of 838 copies. rise records. 2018.

post scriptum: tomorrow is the first festival day of wacken 2018. i am excited for converge, ghost, dimmu borgir, gojira and a few more. i am off to wacken! see you...