Donnerstag, 30. Mai 2019

fallujah - undying light

boy, this sucker was hard to come by. i actually hoped for nuclear blast europe to press an e.u. version but they did not. then i hoped for the label to get some copies of the u.s. version to pre-order but they did not. when i attended the gig of obscura's diluvium wolrd tour in hamburg in late february this year, fallujah were also on the bill and really delivered a great set. i hoped for some vinyl on the merch table, even though i knew that chances were slim.
release date of the new record was mid march and therefore they did not carry any records with them. after the show i went to the merch table and met bass player robert morey behind it. i bought a shirt and talked a bit with him about the problems i had getting a vinyl copy of "undying light" over here. he said that for the new record, production costs of the vinyl were on the band's side and that's why they marketed it by theirselves and european distribution wasn't their focus. damn it!
after that i asked a few german distros if they could get me a copy. replied positively and i pre-ordered in early april with a delivery time of two weeks. when i still had no record in mid may, i cancelled the order and found a new option via a commercial seller on amazon. i ordered and ten days later i finally had "undying light" on vinyl. musically i think that "dreamless" was better but fallujah modified their sound a bit and are still on top of their game. fantastic progressive death metal which brings them on eye level with greats like obscura and beyond creation. bone white and orange merge vinyl housed in a gatefold sleeve and limited to 900 copies. nuclear blast. 2019.

Dienstag, 28. Mai 2019

ringworm - death becomes my voice

one of those bands which seems to be unable to write a bad album. ringworm delivers constantly from one full length to the next. they stay true to the way they execute their metallic hardcore and manage to not become a bore. ringworm's last record is already three years old and now they attack anew with their latest piece called "death becomes my voice".
this time i was on spot for the limited pressing. the pre-orders for the rarest colour-way included a lame flag with the cover art and thus inflated the price quite a bit. i was thinking if i should just leave it and go for the second to rarest splatter version. but then the collector in me got the upper hand and i just couldn't say no to this three colour merge disc.
as i already told beforehand, "death becomes my voice" is such a banger which won't leave you on your seat. grooving metallic hardcore of the clevo kind with short full speed attacks here and there. no frills and right where it hurts. love it! the colour-way looks ace in real life and works perfectly with the artwork. released in a slip sleeve (with spot gloss print) with a fold-out insert and a useless flag, which i didn't bother to unwrap. 100 copies made. relapse records. 2019.

Sonntag, 26. Mai 2019

irreversible mechanism - immersion

man, these new technical death metal bands fly in like crazy at the moment. when i was buying quite a few records via amazon, the machine analyses your buying habits and spits out suggestions of stuff similar to bought items. i am an easy victim. the suggestion was this album by belarusian band irreversible mechanism. the country isn't known for death metal but rather for its critical human rights situation. good music knows no boundaries, though and these guys know how to write some captivating tunes.
after a few listens i am completely under the spell by irreversible mechanism. the guys create massive walls of sound. ethereal melodies underlined by gentle clean singing, furious drumming and blade runner-like synth sound waves. of course they don't forget the tech death attacks in the meantime. the album reminded me a bit of rivers of nihil's last opus "where owls know my name", only better in my humble opinion.
considering the greatness of the record, indeed the lame black vinyl version that amazon offered wasn't going to cut it. i searched for the label and hoped they still would have some colour vinyl in stock (the record was already released last year). thankfully blood music from finland had even the rarest colour for the taking. after just four days the beauty arrived. lovely pink and blue merge vinyl, cut at 45rpm, housed in a gatefold sleeve with a black reverse board and slick artwork throughout. blood music. 2018.

Freitag, 24. Mai 2019

inferi - the end of an era | rebirth

next post, next artisan era record. well, this is the last one for now. yet another record from the label that was difficult to get my greedy hands on. a shame that the artisan era has such a poor distribution over here. anyway, i spotted this record for a considerable price tag on amazon but after a careful consideration, i came to the conclusion that i would not get this easier and/or cheaper elsewhere. after only two days of waiting, the record showed up.
when i opened the box i was quite disappointed to find the record with a corner bump on the gatefold sleeve. usually amazon packs their vinyl in a special vinyl mailer and put this into a bigger box. in this case someone forgot to use the vinyl mailer first and put the record without any further protection in the box. the record didn't survive the delivery unharmed because of the loose situation inside the box. after some e-mailing i got twenty five percent off the price because amazon couldn't send a replacement. that is alright because the ding isn't too big and now the price feels reasonable.
musically this is the shit, right here! this is actually inferi's second album and was released in 2009. because of its ten year anniversary the band decided to record the whole material anew with a few improvements here and there. that new recording is awesome all around, again not one stinker on the record. technical, symphonic and melodic death metal in its most complete form. the artwork got revised as well, looks very martial but cool in a way. the vinyl colour is super sharp. purple and light blue merge with white and blue splatter limited to 100 copies. the artisan era released this in a gatefold sleeve and with an etching on the d-side. 2019.

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.