Montag, 15. Oktober 2018

devildriver - s/t

devildriver again. this time with their self-titled debut and its first vinyl edition. i remember when i was listening to bands such as korn, system of a down or deftones there was another band on heavy rotation in my discman. coal chamber and their three records got a lot of playtime and i was pretty disappointed when they called it a day in 2003. almost in the same breath vocalist dez fafara intorduced his new band - devildriver.
back in 2003 social media wasn't big at all. if one was lucky, record labels offered mp3 downloads of one or two singles. so i was eagerly waiting for my favourite metal show on music television to watch the video for "i could care less", the first single of the album. when the album finally dropped, a friend of mine bought it and i got a burned cd copy. i was playing it a lot and bought my own original cd copy years later. therefore it was really a no-brainer for me to pick up this vinyl version.
after i listened to the record from start to finish, my impression was not too overwhelming. i mean, still i could sing along and knew the breaks and solos but the album didn't age that well. it's still a solid debut with one or two real hits but in comparison to "the fury of our maker's hand", one feels that the band needed this first album to find their own identity. a must have for any remote sympathiser of devildriver, anyway. nice vinyl edition that comes with single sleeve, printed dust sleeve and slick white with brown splatter vinyl. 1500 copies made. bmg. 2018.

Sonntag, 14. Oktober 2018

zaum - oracles

ah man, i couldn't resist. if you read this blog regularly, you may have noticed that i bought this album on tape a few weeks back. when i started out buying tapes i actually swore to myself to not buy multiple copies on different formats, because cassettes seemed like a convenient way to save cash on pricey vinyl versions.
after i listened to "oracles" pretty often in the bygone weeks, i felt more and more tempted to get the vinyl version because of the fantastic cover art. to have that in vinyl format felt way cooler than to look at the cassette. a recent repress on yellow vinyl was steadily available at ebay and i was fighting with the voice of reason and the voice of temptation. in the end temptation's voice screamed louder and again i found myself being unable to resist.
on the one hand i am annoyed that i gave in and that self-restraint isn't my specialty, but on the other hand that sweet vinyl edition makes me smile everytime i pulled it from the racks. the cover art by carter doody looks just so good and the nice opaque yellow vinyl looks very nice in the whole context. (my camera had problems to actually capture the vinyl colour properly - well, nevermind)
i can only repeat myself when i say that zaum's debut is one of the best doom metal records i came across this year. the album was released in 2014, so i am a bit late here. the fact that with this yellow vinyl edition "oracles" is in its third pressing already, stands for the quality of the album. don't know how many of this scorcher have been pressed. i hate records. 2014/2017.

Donnerstag, 11. Oktober 2018

devildriver - beast

the next album i bought from the devildriver re-issue catalogue was their fifth full length called "beast". it was the last of theirs which i obtained when it came out. never listened to any tunes after "beast". maybe i will have to rethink this. anyway, i always thought that this album from 2011 was a splendid one. again, devildriver could not make a record without one or two fillers but the overall quality of "beast" is remarkable.
as much as i like to hear the band's recorded material, their three live performances i saw so far (club and festival shows) have always had a very bad sound. they were a complete blur and dez fafara's voice sounded so weak. maybe this was all due to a drunk soundman or something but i rather spin one of their records than attend a devildriver live gig again. just like with "the fury of our maker's hand" the re-mastered album is a pleasure for the ears.
back in the day i bought the digipak cd version which came with a black and red coloured cover. i am delighted to see that bmg went for the regular cd version cover with the lovely purple and green colour theme. they went above and beyond with the vinyl colour-way and came up with a sugar sweet merge pattern. what beauties those two discs are, aren't they? the gatefold is made in a different fashion from the cargo/roadrunner first pressing. the lyrics are printed onto the inner gatefold and not on printed dust sleeves. 1500 copies made. bmg. 2018.

Mittwoch, 10. Oktober 2018

devildriver - the fury of our maker's hand

another record, another re-issue. well, not quite. devildriver's sophomore album "the fury of our maker's hand" was released in 2005 on roadrunner records as a cd only edition. to this point it was never pressed to vinyl, so actually one could call this first press. but let's not get too technical. back then i bought the cd and while their debut blew me away, "the fury..." left a deeper impression on me. there are a few songs on the album that i consider as the best melodic death metal pieces, i have ever listened to.
therefore it was out of the question that i was going to buy the re-issue as soon as they were announced. i pre-ordered my copy at and the order went down as smooth as can be. my copy arrived in perfect condition. when i dropped the needle on it for the first time, it was the first spin of the album in years and i was suprised at how good i still knew all the details of the songs. to me it aged pretty well. still, not every song is pure gold but i don't recall a single devildriver album without a few weak spots.
nevertheless, "hold back the day", "sin & sacrfice" or the title track are unbelievably strong efforts and justification enough to buy the record. the re-master sounds awesome, i was pleasantly surprised at the thick sound of the vinyl - real good job. i loved the artwork in cd format already but in vinyl size the colour gradient is even sweeter. the vinyl colour itself is the perfect match. semi-translucent orange with black and blue splatter out of 1500 copies. lovely album and vinyl edition. bmg. 2018.

Montag, 8. Oktober 2018

obituary - ten thousand ways to die

when the pre-orders for the new pressing of the obituary self-titled record went live, relapse also offered another bit of obituary vinyl. in 2016 the band released an e.p. with two new songs and a selection of live songs played throughout a north american tour. back then it was pressed to cd and to black vinyl only. now the label decided to give the release the colour vinyl treatment. usually i don't care for such e.p.'s but i got caught up in the excitement and ordered a copy of the most limited colour-way.
a few things went wrong from there on. first one wasn't my fault. after a few weeks i got an e-mail from relapse telling me that they had european warehouse problems and couldn't deliver me the most limited edition anymore. great! what's the use of being quick to the pre-order when the label fucks up your order? they offered me a copy of the lesser limited version and of course i said "yes". the release date came and no shipping notification. i waited a week or so and still no info. i fired off a mail and they answered with a new shipping date, which faced another uninformed delay. man, i don't have a problem with waiting, just keep me informed. that is all i ask for.
the last thing that went wrong was well my fault. i did not know that the two studio songs were not part of the vinyl edition but the live songs only. oh boy, after all this hassle with the colour-way fuck up and the shipping delay, i didn't even get the two studio songs i was actually interested in (ok, the title track is also on the self-titled record). i don't think i will play the record much and will most likely end up selling it at some point. all in all a dissatisfying order with relapse. not the first one. i will stick to my strategy of avoiding to order directly from them where possible. relapse records. 2016/2018.

Sonntag, 7. Oktober 2018

obituary - s/t

i am pretty busy at the moment. my wife, the kid and i are in the process of moving into a new house and a bit of refurbishing is necessary. therefore i won't have too much of spare time this month. enough of that for now. the first post of the month is reserved for the latest obituary full length released a year ago on relapse records. i missed out on the first coloured run and so i sat and waited for a further pressing. this came a few months ago and i pre-ordered quickly.
thanks to social media in the form of instagram i was fast enough to grab a limited colour edition, which i most likely would have missed out on if i relied on the newsletter only. for this pressing relapse changed the cover colours a bit and gave the lettering plus dragon a green tinge. furthermore there are two bonus tracks included and the vinyl comes on semi-translucent green with splatter vinyl. all this limited to 100 copies only. so far, so good.
this sounds like a pretty sweet obituary vinyl package, if there wasn't a minor problem. musically this is the weakest obituary effort i came across so far. i played it a few times and there are just a few songs from the b-side that really can keep my attention up for their whole duration. the rest is like lift background music. to be fair, i just listened to it a handful of times so maybe it will grow on me but for now i am quite underwhelmed. relapse records. 2017/2018.