Dienstag, 21. Mai 2019

equipoise - demiurgus

the next artisan era records release in my collection. amazon proved to be the best source for vinyl from this american tech death label. still they only seem to have a portion of the label's catalogue. re-issues for spawn of possession records or the first the zenith passage e.p. successfully elude me as for now. we'll see if i ever get a hold on them.
back to equipoise. i saw this album advertised in the artisan era shop. it was praised as a technical death metal masterpiece with numerous members from bands such as first fragment, inferi or beyond creation. those super band line-up's raise expectations which are too often not met. in this case one does not have to be afraid, equipoise meets the expectations and at times even exceeds them.
the record is a whirlwind of breathtaking musical technicalty. every song bursts with energy and playfulness that "demiurgus" only weakness is the sheer flood of impressions. that is a complaint on a very high level, though. any beyond creation or obscura fan will feast on this opus. i snagged the dualis version on orange and blue merge vinyl limited to 300 copies. i used a may discount offering from amazon and made the price worthwhile through that. good score! artisan era released this in a slip sleeve with a double-sided insert. 2019.

Samstag, 18. Mai 2019

inferi - revenant

it was at some point in 2017 when i was fully immersed in the realms of technical death metal. i bought stuff from fallujah, rings of saturn or decrepit birth like crazy and as of late i feel a bit set back into that time. all i am interested in lately is tech death. it started with the re-press of decrepit birth's opus "polarity" and the good shit keeps rolling in. a label that helped starting that new kick is the artisan era.
i got to know them via inanimate existence. this fine technical death metal band released their fourth record "underneath a melting sky" on this label and because i really liked the packaging, i checked what else they had to offer. there was a lot of very intriguing releases in their back catalogue, especially one band and its imagery was fascinating. inferi is the band's name and i needed a few listens before it clicked, but now the fire is raging.
it was difficult to get my hands on some vinyl but a commercial seller which i know from ebay seems to be more present on the amazon market place these days. they had vinyl in stock but without any info on the colour-way. fortunately the artisan era didn't press any black vinyl and so i ended up with some lovely clear blue with light blue splatter. musically this is the perfect mixture of the black dahlia murder madness with orchestration and a black metal edge to it. a-w-e-s-o-m-e! 250 copies pressed. the artisan era. 2018.

Freitag, 17. Mai 2019

all will know

a few weeks ago i was asked by a german independent metal label, if i wanted to write a review of a new release of them. the label in question is noizegate records and the band is all will know. i have to admit that i didn't hear of either one before. i was a bit flattered to be honest, but of course i know that this is ultimately just advertisement. after i assured myself that there were no limitations by the label that i was forced under, i gave in to the curiosity. they sent me a vinyl copy of the respective album and here we are.
all will know is a german modern melodic death metal band. to be frank, that specific genre is not for me. i made some experiences with early 00 releases of in flames and dark tranquillity but those days are long gone. but when i listen to this compilation of the band's work (it is a "best of" of the three full lengths of all will know), it does remind me of "reroute to remain" by in flames and "damage done" by dark tranquillity. if you are into that sort of thing, than this is for you. solid release that brings nothing new to table. a safe pick-up for genre devotees, i guess. the whole package has a very nice and clean layout and the vinyl sounds flawless. noizegate records. 2019.

Samstag, 11. Mai 2019

after the burial - evergreen

as far as i am concerned new sumerian records releases have always a special attraction to them. their roster of modern and technical metal bands is impressive and saw some of my favourite releases, especially born of osiris was striking in the past. so when there is some new vinyl i don't try to fuck around and buy as soon as possible.
so as soon as pre-orders were up at emp mailorder, i didn't hesitate to throw my money at them. their last album "dig deep" did not get much play time, although when i did spin it i really liked it. therefore i was curious if "evergreen" was to become a more frequent guest on my turntable or not. when the record arrived, the first thing that caught my attention was the beautiful artwork throughout the gatefold sleeve and printed dust sleeve. clean and minimalistic with fantastic cover pictures.
musically the band mixes complex time signatures, grooving breakdowns and big melodies into an undeniable modern metal mishmash. "evergreen" is not perfect but songs like "exit, exist" or "quicksand" are very close to it. it surprised me that the vinyl colour wasn't a mono colour pattern, which the european variants usually are. you don't hear me complain about this clear green and black split vinyl. don't know how many have been pressed. sumerian records. 2019.

Donnerstag, 9. Mai 2019

the dillinger escape plan - dissociation

the final piece in my dillinger full length puzzle has fallen into place. after i got "calculating infinity" and "miss machine", i really wanted to finish off my task and began to seriously search for a colour copy of the final dillinger escape plan record "dissociation". after scanning the internet, i stumbled upon a white version from a german seller on discogs.
it was the right price and the best compromise considering the colour-way. i actually thought that the opaque blue looked best but as an australian exclusive, there was no way to get it for an adequate price over here. white does look nice as well and therefore i am very happy with it. it was sold as the u.s. version but i was almost sure it would turn to be the european white edition. also fine by me because they are almost identical.
after the first listen i wasn't sold to one hundred percent. it felt a bit like they wanted to include too many elements to create something special. after a few more listens i realised that they did just that and i just couldn't fully comprehend. a fantastic piece of creative musicianship and a worthy swansong of this game changing band. gatefold sleeve with printed dust sleeves. don't know excactly how many have been pressed. most likely 500 copies. party smasher inc. 2016.

Sonntag, 5. Mai 2019

decrepit birth - polarity

uuhh baby, i was excited when i saw a re-press for the third decrepit birth record pop up on several german distros, i tell you that. i really loved the last record "axis mundi" from 2017 and therefore needed "polarity" badly. the problem was that i couldn't find info on the colour of vinyl and which label was releasing it.
i presumed it was nuclear blast because it was the label the album/cd version was initially released on. i asked them if they offered colour vinyl and got a negative reply, black vinyl only. so i searched deeper in the internet and found out that agonia records from poland was responsible for this vinyl edition - and they had a colour option. i ordered a copy in no time.
musically "polarity" clearly beats "axis mundi" to second place if you ask me. this album is such a whirlwind of progressivity, technicality and artistry, it leaves me breathless after each listen. agonia released it in a slip sleeve with a printed dust sleeve and a poster of the nice dudes who formed this version of the band in 2010. lovely opaque orange vinyl and all hand-numbered. #59/100. agonia records. 2019.

Samstag, 4. Mai 2019

misery index - rituals of power (tape)

we are already in may and here i am with the second new release of 2019. this year seems to become pretty weak in terms of new outputs. nevermind, i have a few in pre-order pipelines, so stuff won't get boring. now on to this lovely new misery index album called "rituals of power". it has been five years since their last album "the killing gods" was released, so it was about time.
when i heard news of the album, i checked pre-order options and stumbled upon the tape version offered by emp mailorder. i already have two albums on cassette by misery index ("retaliate" and "the killing gods", although i didn't write about the latter one yet) and so it seemed like a sensible idea to add another one.
"rituals of power" is a great record all the way through. it's the band's typical mixture of grooving u.s. death metal and fast grind core attacks that misery index perfected in their time of being. the tape version looks slick as well. nice clear blue shell and a j-card with all lyrics and production credits. don't know how many have been made. season of mist records. 2019.

Mittwoch, 1. Mai 2019

the dillinger escape plan - miss machine

i am missing two dillinger escape plan records before i can call a complete full length collection my own. the two are the band's last record "dissociation" and the sophomore release "miss machine". so for me the recent relapse re-press of dillinger's first two albums came at the proper time. i got "calculating infinity" for christmas and now "miss machine" for my birthday. so just one more to go. check.
"miss machine" is such a scorcher. i am still undecided which one might be my favourite dillinger record. if there ever will be one, this record is close to it. they fully evolved their mix of dizzying mathcore, bitter sweet melody lines and electronic parts. superb album. i was never a big an of the band's idea for artwork and this is no exceptions. doesn't appeal to me. the vinyl colour however is a really nice splatter platter. 1.000 copies pressed. relapse records. 2004/2018.

Montag, 29. April 2019

suffocation - blood oath

suffocation's debut studio album for nuclear blast was released in 2009 and since then it saw only one initial vinyl pressing. back then nuclear blast didn't unnerve collectors by pressing numerous vinyl colour editions. there was only one, a red and black split version. when i got into suffocation, of course that record was long sold out and did not come cheap on second hand market places.
in such cases i am a big fan of re-issues. i never intended to pay the fourty plus bucks asked for it these days. i patiently waited and floga records came to my rescue. i knew this greek label only from cassette re-issues of sodom, therion and lately hypocrisy. they did an outstanding job on those early hypocrisy tapes and so i had no problems with ordering their "blood oath" re-press from high roller records.
i never held an original pressing of this record in hands but judging from pictures on the net, floga pressed an exact replica as long as the gatefold sleeve is concerned. don't know about the texture of the cardboard used (the floga version is high glossy) but i would not mind a difference. the vinyl comes on a bright shade of clear red. obvious choice. the album is great, by the way. 250 copies made. floga records. 2019.

Samstag, 27. April 2019

silverchair - neon ballroom

a little walk down memory lane. when this one came out in 1999 it still took me another four years or so before i ventured out of my new metal phase into heavier spheres. but that year saw me knee deep in new metal and all the contemporary mtv heaviness. among them was silverchair. i knew them from their "freak" video of their breakthrough record "freak show".
that song left such an positive impression on me that i went out to buy the follow-up "neon ballroom" on cd. i already heard the "anthem for the year 2000" single and really liked it, so anticipation was high. i remember that the whole record could not live up to my expectations but i still listened to it quite often back then. nevertheless i ended up selling the cd at some point along the way.
when i saw the mov version coming on a new colour edition, i couldn't resist. my collegues at work asked me what to give to me for birthday and i thought it might be a good idea to point them towards this record. i really enjoy re-visiting this album. especially "emotion sickness" is so full of drama and gives a little glimpse on how inwardly disintegrated singer daniel johns was. 20th anniversary pressing on clear blue vinyl out of 3.000 copies. music on vinyl. 2019.

Donnerstag, 25. April 2019

death - human (original pressing)

a heavy hitter for the collection right here. considering the usual going rates for an original pressing of my favourite death album "human", i was pretty sure that i would never own one. i saw copies go for over ninety bucks on ebay and at discogs they start at seventy, without shipping and vg+. i wrote that idea off and settled with my relapse re-press from 2017.
when my birthday came round the corner, i got a bit of cash from the relatives to fulfil some desires. just around that time i came across an ebay auction for a near mint copy of "human" with a seventy euro starting bid. big money and not even cheaper than other copies on discogs. the advantage here were the included shipping costs and the great condition. in the end i wanted it more than i did not want to blow that much money on a record.
i just consider this a birthday gift from my family, so that's all good. to have this document of its respective time in my hands and listen to this beautiful copy is very rewarding. the sound feels more vibrant than the relapse press and the cover art is way more detailed (forgot to make a picture to compare, sorry). love the black/white version of the cover art on the printed dust sleeve. i have only love for this pressing. r/c records a.k.a. roadrunner records. 1991.

Sonntag, 21. April 2019

whitechapel - the valley

end of april and finally i am able to write about my first new release of 2019, whitechapel's seventh full length release called "the valley". i don't get overly excited over a new album of the band anymore, still i buy them religiously because i know it is worth it. i ordered this record at some point in late 2018 at emp mailorder.
do not ask me why pre-orders started so early. release date was 29th of march this year, so it was round about five months of waiting. longest official pre-order process i can remember. anyway, of course i opted for the most limited colour-way on orange and purple marble vinyl. well, the outcome looks not as exciting as the description sounds.
the vinyl colour came out as some sort of clear burnt orange which is nice in its own right but i expected more of the purple to come through. whatever, who cares what i expected? of greater interest is the musical part of this release. next to their typical technical modern death metal sound, they gave more space to the more melodic side. clean vocals are more prominent. even though i prefer the first three records, i do enjoy "the valley".
mainly because the lyrical part is very interesting here. vocalist phil bozeman wrote about his difficult youth with his mother suffering from schizophrenia. very intimate and interesting stuff. the artwork is something pretty different in comparison to the bands other records, very cinematically. i like it more the more often i look at it. 100 copies made. i have #35. metal blade. 2019.

Freitag, 19. April 2019

atheist - unquestionable presence

this is post #1.000 on this blog. wow, never thought i would keep the blog going for that long. it's still fun to write about my passion, it makes me curious where the journey will take me. we will see. for now, this post is about a new and nice re-press of atheist's second full length "unquestionable presence" on season of mist records.
this album was originally released in 1991 and the only atheist record that was missing in my collection but i didn't stress out to get a copy. as french label season of mist did a few re-pressings for it already, i knew that further pressings  were just a question of time. so when the high roller records shop from germany announced pre-orders for a blue vinyl variant, i was there for the taking.
musically this is just the raging complexity and love for detailed arrangements i knew from the follow-up "elements". the album is not widely regarded as their finest moment for nothing. atheist in their prime. not to be missed by any fan of proggy metal. this latest pressing comes on clear blue vinyl cut at 45rpm and is out of 350 copies. season of mist records. 2019

Donnerstag, 18. April 2019

obscura - omnivium (splatter re-press)

i usually do not buy multiple pressings of one and the same record. i am happy with one copy for the collection and rather burn my money for a bigger range of albums than for a bigger range of colour-ways. for some selected records and/or bands i love to make exceptions. one of those special bands is definitely obscura.
when relapse records announced the re-pressing of the first three obscura full length releases, i walked away with "retribution" only, because i already had first pressings of "cosmogenesis" and "omnivium". when the first pictures of the "omnivium" re-press surfaced on the net, i was really intrigued with the look of the yellow blob of this splatter pressing. it looks so melted and irregular that i kind of wanted a copy.
at the time relapse had sold out on all of their copies. thankfully the band had a bunch of them to offer via their webshop and i got one for my birthday. i went to see them play live in hamburg in last february together with fallujah and boy, they have been great. they had copies with them but i was already covered. 250 copies pressed of this beauty. relapse records. 2011/2019.

Montag, 15. April 2019

meshuggah - koloss

the last record of the nuclear blast meshugah re-issue is their full length studio album from 2012 "koloss". this one completes my studio album collection of the band and i could not be happier. when i obtained "the violent sleep of reason" in late 2016 (it baffles my mind that this is already over two and a half years ago), i wondered how long it may take to get the remaining records on vinyl.
it seemed like an impossible target because at the time most of the records had very few pressings and thus prices were enormous. even though i would have wished for the original cover artworks, i am pleased that nuclear blast made these records available again. especially this version of "koloss" is top notch, probably my favourite of the haul.
not only the layout of the gatefold sleeve is the closest to the original pressings (same cover artwork, different inner gatefold and back) but the actual vinyl is so lovely. in the pre-order process i was a bit disappointed because the mock-ups looked just like the marble variant i have for "destroy erase improve".
but when i held the actual vinyl in hands i discovered the gold in the mix as well as some different coloured streaks like green. a real beauty in my eyes. this is what they call vinyl porn, i guess. musically "koloss" is a masterpiece, i can think of no other word to describe it. 300 copies pressed. nuclear blast. 2012/2019.

Samstag, 13. April 2019

meshuggah - obzen

the sixth studio album of meshuggah called "obzen" was originally released in 2008 via nuclear blast and was one of the few pre-2010 meshuggah releases that saw an initial vinyl pressing. back on black pressed a grey double lp set for the european market and the american nuclear blast off-shoot pressed a clear red double lp set for the north american market. understandably over ten years after release date those copies now cost quite some pennies.
another proof that this re-issue series by nuclear blast was long overdue. in this case the new artwork looks pretty good, maybe even better than the original. i snagged the most limited edition of the european run. a nice white with red splatter version. funnily the b- and d-side are almost none splattered. just one or two spots. amittedly the u.s.-version looks a bit nicer with its pink and oxblood merge pattern. anyway, love this edition limited to 300 copies. nuclear blast. 2019.

Mittwoch, 10. April 2019

meshuggah - catch thirtythree

next up in the meshuggah re-issue series is the band's fifth full length from 2005 going by the name "catch thirtythree". it was the only record of the haul that was delivered with a huge corner ding. as none of the other records were damaged and even the cardboard mailer didn't show any sign of bad delivery, the record must have been damaged before it was packed.
things like this can happen but i feared that i had to return the record to get a new one. so what's the problem? well, the limited colour way was already sold out in pre-order stage, so there was no way the label could send me another copy of the marble pressing. that is why i asked if they had spare sleeves and thank god, it was no problem to send me an unharmed gatefold cover as replacement.
of all the re-imagined cover artworks, this is the one i like the least. the original one is not much of a looker as well but still way better than the new art. furthermore i was a bit disappointed that nb chose the same colour way as they did for the "chaosphere" re-issue. lame idea... anyway, the album is a cracker indeed and i feel lucky to have this beast on vinyl after all. 300 copies pressed. nuclear blast. 2019.

Montag, 8. April 2019

meshuggah - nothing

when the second batch of meshuggah re-issues rolled in for pre-order, it was out of the question that i wanted them all. i put in a massive order at nuclear blast and they were kind enough to send me the already available "none" e.p. a bit earlier. two weeks later the box with the four remaining records was delivered to my house and i happily unwrapped the goods. the first of the pile was "nothing" from 2002.
back then nuclear blast didn't feel the urge to produce a vinyl version of the album. it took five years before the metal world world was to receive "nothing" in the ultimate format. infamous italian label night of the vinyl dead pressed a run of 333 copies, all on black vinyl. i don't have to mention that copies fetched insane prices on second hand markets by now. seventeen years after its initial release, nuclear blast finally crafted a re-issue.
the re-imagined artwork is pretty cool this time. still, i think the original looks better but i like the new one almost as much. the vinyl colour pattern is great as well and works really good with the art. the inside gatefold is made in the fashion as all the re-issues are, pictures of the respective times, arranged in this special way. 300 copies made, sounding and looking great. nuclear blast. 2019.

Sonntag, 7. April 2019

jeff rosenstock - post- (tape)

since i really fell in love with rosenstock's second full length "we cool?" and was also able to add the superb "worry." to the collection, i had to make a serious move towards his latest effort "post-" from 2018. the record was released on first of january of the bygone year, so when i began looking for it, it was already over one year old and therefore all fancy colour vinyl was sold out at the german distros.
so when i was browsing the rev hq tape section, i was delighted to see that they still had the cassette version in stock. so via coretex records from berlin i was able to order that album without ugly oversea shipping rates. the tape looks lovely. a silver-lined clear blue shell and a nice j-card with all lyrics and production credits on the inside. musically you won't be disappointed if you liked the predecessors. melodic and snotty indie punk rock with fantastic lyrics. polyvinyl records. 2018.

Dienstag, 2. April 2019

terror - total retaliation (tape)

i probably said it before and still my interest in new hardcore stuff is, let's say limited. i don't care much for new albums of old bands and even less for new albums of new bands. usually the only thing that awakens my interest are re-pressings of old stuff which i still need for the collection. same problem with the latest terror record. to me their fifth full length "keepers of the faith was their musical climax. the successors "live by the code" and "the twenty fifth hour" are good blasts of hardcore but couldn't come close and thus didn't get much play time on my turntable in the past.
so when their 2018 record "total retaliation" was announced and ready for pre-order, i shrugged my shoulders and moved on. fast forward a few months and i was in search for a tape of an album i will write about in the next post. the best way for to get it with reasonable shipping costs, was to use the rev hq service from coretex records from berlin and order stuff from the revelation webshop through this fine record store.
browsing through the tape section of rev, i came across the cassette version of terror's new album. the price was the half of the vinyl version and so i thought it was a good idea to add it to the order. i don't regret that move at all. "total retaliation" is another proof that old hardcore dudes don't lose a bit of their fury with advancing age. we'll see if it stands the test of time and gets more air time than the last two records. i read somewhere this version is limited to 100 copies but i am not sure about that. pure noise records. 2018.

Sonntag, 31. März 2019

meshuggah - none

when the first batch of meshuggah re-pressings were unleashed by nuclear blast in late 2018, i left out the e.p.'s and just went for the full lengths. it felt like i didn't really need those half-baked ideas of a proper album and thus i walked away. when the second and final batch was up for pre-orders and the e.p.'s were still available in the limited colour variants, i began to reconsider my opinion.
in the end, i gave in and ordered at least one of the mini-lp's. i went for the 1994 release called "none". i don't know why, it was simply the most appealing to me. musically this is the logical link between the full lengths "contradictions collapse" from 1991 and the follow-up "destroy erase improve" from 1995 and it is highly enjoyable too.
like all the other re-issues "none" also got a re-vised artwork by artist luminokaya. can't say i like it more than the original though. the inner gatefold shows some funny pictures of the band back in the day. ah yes, the nineties... the colour-way, clear red with black smoke, is rad as well. 300 copies made. nuclear blast. 2018.

Samstag, 30. März 2019

integrity - to die for

integrity's comeback album from this weird integ2000 phase came in the form of "to die for" in 2003. it was released by deathwish inc. and it marked the first collaboration of the band and the label. back then deathwish did not care for a vinyl release - dark times. years later in 2010 a389 records took pity on that miserable situation and released a 10" vinyl version, which was re-pressed a few times by now.
i never really fancied a copy because of the format. a full length on a 10" seemed somewhat undesireble. the more i was happy when i heard news that backbite records from germany was about to give "to die for" a proper 12" release. unfortunately i missed out on the two limited marble colour-ways and got the clear red version instead but it is still a looker, though. dwid hellion himself re-vised the artwork (although the original by jacob bennon is lovely too) and of course the sleeve comes with the obligatory invisible ink. musically the record is a scorcher indeed. 300 copies pressed. backbite records. 2019.