Dienstag, 29. Januar 2019

integrity - live in rome 1992 (tape)

it has been a while since i posted about a tape on this blog. i collected quite a lot of cassettes as of late but didn't feel like writing about them. vinyl always seemed more urgent and as i didn't buy any new releases on tape, they just fell flat. at the end of december i began to listen to more tapes again and i think now it is time to get some gems off the backlog list. first one is this integrity tape.
straight and alert records is/was a small d.i.y. label from france which also ran a distro. at some point in last year i got an e-mail from them with the info that they were about to close down and thus had all items of their webshop on clearance. there wasn't much on the vinyl part but a few tapes caught my interest. first one i spotted was this live tape of an integrity show in rome from 1992.
originally it was as an bootleg release, i believe. but i am not really sure. what i am sure of is, that contraband records from the states gave this recording a proper tape release. the sound quality of the cassette is good and it is real fun to listen to the band and those old songs in such an early and raw stage. contraband made 150 tapes and this is the most common version in a purple shell out of 100 copies. 2018

Sonntag, 27. Januar 2019

death - symbolic

this record is not an official christmas gift but is somewhat linked to one. i really began to love death when relapse records announced a broad re-issue campaign for the band's full length releases. in the course of two years i was able to snag up almost all the albums death released from 1987 up to 1998. with the exception of "leprosy" and "spiritual healing" being back on black re-issues, all my death vinyl are relapse releases.
one album seemed to elude me because strangely relapse could not obtain the rights for it. i don't know why the legal position of "symbolic" is different to the other albums but it meant no easily available vinyl edition for me. so now my christmas gift becomes part of the story. i got the well-researched documentary "death by metal" on dvd and was fascinated by the insight that chuck schuldiner wanted "symbolic" to be the last death record. he wanted to focus on a fusion of the technical approach and traditional metal with a real singer.
only nuclear blast, the label the control denied album appeared on, didn't want to take the risk without releasing a safe death album. so "the sound of perseverance" came to be. this story made me see "symbolic" as one of the milestones in the musical context of death. now i really wanted a copy of that record. original roadrunner copies are skyrocketing on second hand market places, therefore only re-issues came into question. searching all possible options, i stumbled upon an amazon offering.
it showed the metal blade re-issue from 2014 for around thrityfive bucks. quite reasonable and so i pulled the trigger because it was the last copy available, not caring if it was black or white vinyl (the two colours pressed for this re-press). as i saw way more white copies than black on the net, i really hoped for the colour vinyl and i wasn't disappointed. musically this the shit! it won't top "human" as my favourite death record but it is so close! check it out! lovely pressing on 180gr white vinyl. metal blade. 2014.

post scriptum: here is a picture of the great documentary that is "death by metal". tons of interviews with band members and other companions, live excerpts and old interviews of chuck schuldiner. nice fanboy package!

Samstag, 26. Januar 2019

the dillinger escape plan - calculating infinity

another, yet delayed christmas gift. we met up with my father-in-law a week after christmas to attend the sixtieth wedding day(!) of my wife's grandparents. on this occasion we exchanged some gifts and i got this wonderful looking record. my dillinger escape plan record collection is only a half-decent affair. i had three out of six full lengths to this point and so the recent relapse re-pressings came in handy.
when i was asked by my father-in-law what i was wishing for, i kindly forwarded a link to an amazon offering of the latest splatter pressing of "calculating infinity", which was originally released in 1999. thus it wasn't such a big surprise to unwrapp the vinyl but very pleasing nevertheless. musically this is the most raw dillinger escape plan record i know so far. that might be the case because it is the earliest of the albums i have.
the wild, chaotic side of the band is pretty prominent and the catchy melodies, which are to be found in equal measures on further releases, are pretty rare here. i really like that because the album is such a heavy kick to the head. it took me a few spins to fully comprehend but now i cannot get enough. love the uv spot gloss print on the cover sleeve. the vinyl looks ace on orange with silver and black splatter out of 1.000 copies. relapse records. 1999/2018.

Dienstag, 22. Januar 2019

slugdge - dim and slimeridden kingdoms

after "esoteric malacology" ticked all the right boxes and the vinyl was on heavy rotation, of course i ventured deeper into the back catalogue of slugdge. i found out that the band released already three full lengths before "esoteric...", all self-released. now the latest album sells quite good on the vinyl format. as "esoteric..." goes into its third press, willowtip records also got a few more vinyl versions of other slugdge records under their belt.
in 2017 the label already released a vinyl edition of slugdge's third full length called "dim and slimeridden kingdoms" from 2015. two colour-ways were made with the most limited being swamp green with black splatter and the lesser limited being transparent yellow. i ordered via amazon again and therefore it was likely that i was going to recieve the yellow version. fine with me because swamp green always tends to look super dark and thus almost black.
musically this album is maybe less technical and shows the main emphasis on the atmosphere. but that is just a minor difference and every tech death fan with a soft spot for sludge metal will love this record from start to finish. again i love the hilarious song titles like "flying snails" (a nod to gojira and their "flying whales") or "the toxic salts" (a nile reference to "the essential salts" is never wrong in my book) and more. such a strong record! 350 copies on toxic piss yellow vinyl. willowtip records. 2017.

Sonntag, 20. Januar 2019

obscura - retribution

oh, how i was in excitement when relapse records announced the re-issues for the first three obscura records. i managed to get a hold on first press copies of "cosmogenesis" and "omnivium" in the meantime but for "retribution" there simply was no vinyl edition to chase down. so of course i was all over the pre-orders for the latter. i ordered directly from relapse europe although there was a wider colour press for distros and i actually wanted to avoid ordering from the label in the future. only the less limited bone white vinyl version definitely wasn't going to cut it.
strange enough, something always seems to go wrong when ordering from relapse. this time it wasn't their fault, though. the delivery company somehow ignored the delivery address on the mailer and sent the record to my old place. my wife, the kid and i moved in last year's october but out of an old habbit the delivery guy placed the parcel in the shed behind our old flat. the internet tracing told me it was delivered there. man, i was lucky my old neighbour handed me the unharmed record the other day. whatever, here we are with the first vinyl pressing of "retribution".
i never listened to the album before because when it is not on vinyl and i don't get the cd or tape version by chance in a physical store or so, i just have no desire to use a digital format these days. when i dropped the needle on the record for the first time, i was surprised by the sounds. this is a different kind of beast. the band had in comparison to "cosmogenesis" a complete different line-up and musically there was still a step to take. still, "retribution" has its fantastic moments and for any obscura nerd this is a must have. pressed on bone white inside clear with multi-colour splatter out of 250 copies. relapse records. 2018.

Dienstag, 15. Januar 2019

after the burial - rareform

i am always in sheer excitement when a record that was never available on vinyl before, gets finally pressed to everybodies favourite format.in this case we are talking about after the burial's breakthrough and second album "rareform". everytime i am confronted with after the burial and the topic "vinyl", i bury my face in my hands. i once had the chance to easily buy a white vinyl copy of their "wolves within" album from a german distro.
i passed on it for whatever reasons and now copies of this fucker sell for triple digit amounts. oh, what a thorn in my flesh. well, i am sure this will be re-pressed at some point as well but for now, i will not make the same mistakes again. so when the tenth anniversary version of "rareform" was available for pre-order at jpc.de, i didn't think twice. i already saw copies at the sumerian u.s. store and there was a clear with gold splatter and an orange with white splatter version. as jpc wasn't giving any info on the vinyl colour, i was curious about what i was to recieve.
when i got my parcel at some point before christmas of 2018, i was surprised to open something very different. none of the aforementioned colour-ways but a super bright shade of semi-translucent orange vinyl. must have been some special european colour or some such. beside these hard facts, the record is fantastic. an early djent album that delivers one great song after the other. especially "cursing akhenaten" has such a lovely hook, a shame the band didn't take their rareform tour over to europe. sumerian records. 2008/2018.

Samstag, 12. Januar 2019

slugdge - esoteric malacology

what a freaking good record! next to obscura's "diluvium" and beyond creation's "algorythm", slugdge's fourth full length is the technical death metal album of 2018. this record hit me right out of the blue, i saw a copy at js thomas tumblr and just thought, it had a cool looking cover art. reminded me a bit of rings of saturn madness. i needed some more time to finally check out a few tunes at the tube. but as soon as i did, slugdge had me at "hello" and now i needed a vinyl copy fast.
problem was that slugdge released this record on willowtip from the states. i wasn't familiar with them but found out that the label concentrated on releasing technical and proggy death metal stuff but had no large distribution over here in europe. that made getting a vinyl copy difficult, plus i was already late to the party. when i stepped to the table, "esoteric malacology" was already in its second pressing.
after some intensive research i found a commercial seller on the amazon market place sending their stuff from switzerland. fortunately all pressings are on coloured vinyl, so there was no risk in getting black vinyl. it also made getting a lesser limited colour-way highly probable, though. i did get the most common colour of the 2nd press but i think it looks nice. clear deep purple out of 250 copies. hillarious song titles like "salt thrower" (britains love their bolt thrower") or "crop killer" (does ice-t ring a bell?) add to the magic this album creates. willowtip records. 2018.

Donnerstag, 10. Januar 2019

ghost - meliora

i am working on my ghost collection and i am not far from a complete full length catalogue as of now. after snagging "prequelle" and then "opvs eponymovs" shortly afterwards, i was out for the second and third albums, namely "infestissumam"from 2013 and "meliora" from 2015. if i had earnestly pursued these goals, i already would have found solutions. the records are out there in multiple pressings and second hand marketplaces offer reasonable options.
other stuff held me back. i usually blow my monthly budget on new re-issues and new releases, so ebay and discogs finds became rare in the past. no difference this time and right so, because otherwise i still wouldn't know the greatness that is "meliora". i ordered this new pressing at nuclear blast. in preperation for the wacken show last year i listened to the hit singles of the two ghost albums i didn't have, sure that they would play those songs.
when i listened to "from the pinnacle to the pit", "he is" and "mummy dust" only the latter one could really grab me. so i was sceptical if that record was really for me. now with the experience of a few spins i can safely say that there was no need for such feelings. all the songs did click with me and i almost think it is my favourite of the three records i know by now.
the presentation is outstanding to say the least. the record is housed in a super glossy gatefold sleeve that has the accompanying booklet attached to the inside right panel. every single song has its own page and piece of art, which is just breathtaking. the dust sleeve is printed on the outside and black on the inside which is always a nice touch. on top this stunning white and red merge vinyl. yummy. 2.000 copies pressed. universal music. 2018.

Mittwoch, 9. Januar 2019

jeff rosenstock - we cool?

the second record i got for christmas from my brother-in-law was the most surprising, yet the most gratifying this year. i only briefly heard of jeff rosenstock and again it was the one who gave me this record who told me about it. my brother-in-law said that he thinks this record is essential for any self-respecting record collection, still i needed a kick to the head in the shape of the physical vinyl to finally get me into jeff rosenstock.
what can i say? "we cool?" is a fantastic punk rock record and i love it. i think it should be part of any self-respecting record collection. tons of great hooks, beautiful melodies, the right dosage of anarchy and those snotty, self-ironic and honest lyrics about depressions - all of this make for a remarkable album all around. everyone into hardcore punk stuff like h2o, ignite or a bit ska punk like the mighty mighty bosstones should give jeff a try.
the album was released in 2015 on side one dummy records and quote unquote records. never heard of these labels, though. but the fact that this record is still in press and actually in its fourth pressing, proves the success the record was and is for the label. i really dig the cover art. with its aesthetics it reminded me of pink floyd's "wish you were here". white vinyl out of i don't know how many copies. 2015/2018.

Montag, 7. Januar 2019

colour haze - s/t

long time no see. headfirst into 2019 with another christmas gift of mine. i got this colour haze record from my brother-in-law. we share quite a few loves in music. converge, between the buried and me, supertramp, yes or gojira are high on our both fav lists. therefore i like to give records to him, which i believe should be up his alley. the other way around proved to be fruitful in the past as well and so i am always excited when there is a lp-sized gift of him waiting for me.
i was gifted with two records this year and the first one is the first album of this german stoner metal band, called colour haze. he raved about them before but i never came around to check them out, so this time with the physical record in front of me, i had no more excuses. after a few listens. i think it is safe to say that i love the a-side. especially "soltitude" is such a wonderful laid-back piece, it makes me want to spin that side again.
the b-side consists of one coherent song with a duration of a bit over twenty two minutes. to me this is the weak spot of the album. i don't know, it simply fails to pick me up. i'll give it a bit more time and see if it grows on me or if i will just have to skip it. the first colour pressing of this record from 2005 sells for triple digits on discogs. i have a nice re-press from 2007 on good old black vinyl. there is a bit of colour haze going on in my pictures as well, haha. elektrohasch schallplatten. 2005/2007.