Samstag, 31. August 2013

bdhw rec: the setup - this thing of ours

the setup - this thing of ours
i really like the setup's early stuff. their first two records 'the pretense of normality' and 'minister of death' are real steamrolling metallic hardcore galore. the record they released afterwards called 'torchbearer' never made it to my ears due to never being pressed to vinyl. so i'm not sure if the new direction they are going started with 'this thing of ours' or with the last album. but anyway, this new record is a hell of a good hardcore record.
good mix between up- and mid-tempo parts, loads of great melodies and nice crew shouts. all the ingredients needed for a well-tolerated dose of european hardcore. reminds me sometimes of old blacklisted. check the songs 'trapped under the weight', 'walking blind' and 'burn'. if i would do such thing as a best-of-year-list, this great record would probably make it into the top five.
actually i'm bit surprised at why my mate willem didn't post about this earlier. as these guys are coming from belgium and their music should be right up his alley, i can't see why he seems to be sleeping on them. you living under a rock lately or what? just kidding, man!
i pre-ordered this thing as soon as it was up. i struggled a bit with what colour i should take. the following options were and still are available: 200 on black, 125 on blue, 100 on red and 75 copies on grey that were originally bound to a pre-order package which i didn't want to spend extra bucks on (you can buy it seperately now). at first i was flirting with the blue vinyl which i simply like as a colour. but then i opted for the red because it matches the cover a little bit looking at the 'this thing of ours' lettering and because it is more limited.
beatdown hardwear records. 2013.

Mittwoch, 28. August 2013

kings road merch: parkway drive

parkway drive - killing with a smile
i like re-issues. that being said i know that a lot of collectors wish them to hell because they only add more variations to the vinyl pile. for me they mostly give me the opportunity to get a record hassle free and wallet friendly into my collection. this instance right here is something different because 'killing with a smile' never got the vinyl treatment before so technically this thing is as 'first press' as it gets. only eight years after its initial release on resist records from australia. 
because i ordered there some time ago i always get a newsletter e-mail from shop radio cast. and it was spring this year i believe where they announced that the breakthrough record from parkway drive would be available on vinyl soon. i knew that epitaph would handle matters. the only problem that arose was that src didn't announce any colour vinyl. i mean, i was pretty sure that there would be some but you know, it's that little shadow of a doubt. so i began the check kings road merch regularly. but always when i tried to enter their vinyl section it said 'no items available'. and then i forgot about it. other stuff was important too...
and then june came around and i was killing time on the internet. i came across a photo of 'killing with a smile' on gold vinyl. immediately i was back on track. i wanted it badly. the photo i found was from the north american epitaph store. but the record had sold out there. again i checked kings road europe. but this time i checked the 'parkway drive' section instead of the vinyl section. that was the trick. a golden copy was there for the taking. that's what i did, et voila - it looks real good! it sold out in the meantime but kr-merch relisted it, it seems.
comes with printed dust sleeve and album on cd. 500 pressed. epitaph records. 2013.

Sonntag, 25. August 2013

stateless society pt 2/2: trapped under ice - dirty money split

trapped under ice/dirty money split 7"
of course i needed at least one more item from stateless society. that's a law. and because i'm a law-abiding citizen who knows what's right and proper i opted for another 7". what i found was the only other 7" in store and answers to the name of the trapped under ice & dirty money split release. because i'm really getting into tui at the moment and couldn't get enough of their 'stay cold' 7" there was no doubt what i was about to do seeing this record in the store. adding it to cart indeed!
in that case i didn't even listen to the songs in advance. i knew i would love the tui part. and 'gemini' and 'death clock ticking' are as sharp as expected. the dirty money part is cool too. dm was a band from the u.k., london to be precise. they played a similar brand of hardcore and because of that teaming up with tui was a good choice. on my search for information about dirty money i found out that they called it a day in 2010. check out 'hollow shell' or '2007 was a bad year', their contributions to this split e.p.
looking for pressing information proved to be the most enlightening source, leaving some shadows nevertheless. dead & gone records from the u.k. handled the european version with a complete different art work. a389 records from the u.s. did the north american pressing. a389's first pressing was 700 on black and 250 on clear vinyl (100 out of that numbered and with a special cover for the record release show). albeit there is photo up on the site showing a clear blue record. what's that all about? can't be part of the second pressing from 2012 according to the information given there. three colours: red, white and my grey version. unfortunately only the red pressing provided with numbers - 100 pressed. quite confusing. anyone here an idea?
a389 records. released 2008.

Samstag, 24. August 2013

stateless society pt 1/2: benchpress - stay hated

benchpress - stay hated 7"
can’t tell you anymore how this connection to stateless society or benchpress came to be in the first place. no memory. erased. i think i stumbled upon the stateless society big cartel by one of these jumping-from-link-to-link searches on the net rather than hearing from benchpress first. but anyway i looked through the shop, spotted this 7” and judging by its cover i thought this could be something i like. what can i say… i was right! my advice: check their bandcampsite and like them.
they already have a full length out but on cd only at the moment. as i downloaded ‘stay hated’ from their bandcamp i sent a message asking if it would get the vinyl treatment too. one of the band members (again i can’t recall who – man i need to get some mind training) told me that it would be released through stateless society as well at some point. can’t wait!
u.s based benchpress play heavy metallic hardcore. the singers voice sounds pretty harsh and therefore matches the overall sound of the music quite well. it did really grow on me. at first i thought it to be just more of the same. and yes, they don’t really add something new to this hatebreed-like sound but man, it’s just damn good executed! strangely the original e.p. had six songs songs and for this european version they dropped one. why that?
the description and the picture at the statelesssociety shop implicated clearly a clear bordeaux red w/ black smoke colour. now what i got is more of a clear red with some marble effect. the first two pictures don’t do it justice but hold up to the light i could make it visible with the cam. looks cool nevertheless! 300 made. stateless society records. 2013.   

Dienstag, 20. August 2013

strikedown rec pt 4/4: curse this ocean 12"+7"

curse this ocean – lightbringer
this is the second 12” of this lot i ordered at strikedown. it leaped to my eyes because of its mysterious cover art. the upside down building always makes me think i hold the cover the wrong way. everytime i pull it out i want to turn it before i realise that it’s supposed to be upside down. boy, too confusing for my simple mind :-) the bands origin is notable too. it’s a italo-german band with members from cagliari, italy (seems to be a strong scene there – rise after defeat and anchors aweigh records from the same town) and frankfurt, germany. not that close geographically but however they make it work the outcome is well done.
when i first dropped the needle on ‘lightbringer’ another band came to my mind immediately. if the band members put down a list of their favourite musicians, converge would definitely be among them. with that comparison made it’s actually a compliment. of course you hear the influences but they sound independent enough to not get labeled as a copycat. at least that’s my opinion. forge your own at their bandcamp.
i was lucky enough to enter the game just in time to snag a black w/ golden haze copy. they are limited to 100 copies and still some available i believe. this colour pattern looks really nice if you ask me. as usual with this colour scheme the different sides of the record vary in look. the golden haze is more subtle on the b-side. another 400 copies are pressed on white vinyl. strikedown records. 2013. 

curse this ocean – cursed 7”
i include this 7” into this post because i actually didn’t order it. strikedown records or the guys behind this label seem to be an awesome bunch of dudes. along with free compact discs of my own prison, hardway, blame it on the ocean, embracedestruction and rise after defeat they threw in this debut 7” of curse this ocean as well!
here you can witness the beginnings of cto. they started out as a more melodic hardcore orientated band. less complex but still good. knowing ‘lightbringer’ this release makes perfectly sense as their full length is just the next logical step. 500 made. all on black vinyl. strikedown records. 2010.

Sonntag, 18. August 2013

strikedown rec pt 3/4: rise after defeat - maieutica

rise after defeat – maieutica 7“
i love to check out new stuff from a label or a distro i didn’t know previously. usually i come across a lot of bands i get excited about. while working my way through the strikedown shop i spotted this little gem right here. this time an italian band called rise after defeat from cagliari. never heard of them but the band name is pretty cool. if my information is correct ‘maieutica’ was their first release.
the word ‘maieutica’ made me curious and so i looked it up. the result is quite interesting. the term goes back to the greek philosopher socrates. it means to help a person to knowledge by posing the right questions so the respective person will find its way to knowledge by itself. these guys payed attention in class, that’s for sure :-)
musically rise after defeat deliver some metallic hardcore. metalcore so to speak. but really good, without the whiney clear singing parts or whatever cheesy stylistic device you can think of related to metalcore. check out the songs linked to the 7" offer over at strikedown. strikedown pressed 500 copies of this 7”. 300 on black vinyl and the first 200 on clear green w/ black splatter vinyl. all hand numbered on the back of the sleeve. i have #159. a digital download code included as well. 2010. 

Samstag, 17. August 2013

strikedown rec pt 2/4: reflections of internal rain

reflections of internal rain - answers
glancing through the internet store of strikedown records i came across this interesting piece of music. reflections of internal rain is a serbian hardcore band playing a brand of melodic hardcore. this is my first encounter with the band and so i searched for some infos on these guys. unfortunately this proved to be very difficult. they only have an abandoned myspace site but no facebook account, which i find actually very likeable :)
so i can't say what these guys are up to. what i know is that they have a sense of humor. the last song 'army barmy' is a parody to the deathcore genre. it has it all, the downtempo parts, pig squeals, the whole package. funny chaps! the musical side here is, to describe it with one word, solid. nothing too overwhelming but it's cool to have a record of a band from a country that is not known for its outstanding hardcore subculture.
the record is a one sided 12". it comes on thick milky clear vinyl. they made no proper sleeve for this release to save on production costs, i assume. an lp sized sort of insert included instead. on one side the cover art and on the flip side lyrics and credits. a black dust sleeve on top and this 'answers' e.p. is ready to attack your auditory canals.
strikedown records and brain ache records released this to 250 units limited record. 2012.
(edit: thanks to james' wisdom i can provide the interested reader with a reflections of internal rain facebook address:

Mittwoch, 14. August 2013

strikedown rec pt 1/4: foxxes - forget the rain

foxxes - forget the rain
i'm reading a lot vinyl related blogs across the net which proved to be worthwile when it comes to checking some new stuff. in this case i was reading james' this ain't no fetish blog and in particular his post about a band called foxxes. never heard of them but this post made me curious. i visited the strikedown webstore. on their site they linked the song 'darkest days' to the 7" offer. i listened to it and before you know it i threw the coloured version in my cart.
i really like the tunes foxxes are coming along with. as james said it's pretty solid and honest melodic hardcore. the only little drop of bitterness is that foxxes sound pretty similar to other european melo hardcore bands. check out cannoneer, the cold harbour or empty handed and you will know what i mean. foxxes present very good stuff indeed but they need to develop to sound more independent, just like the others as well :-)
the artwork and the whole presentation looks pretty neat. glue-pocket sleeve, insert with all lyrics and the always appreciated download code. a little strange is that they put three bonus tracks into the digital download. why wasn't it put to vinyl as well? too much running time? in that case an other format would have made sense - 10" or one sided 12" or something. and what is it with that double x in the name? fo'xx'es. it looked odd at first and then i thought the plural of 'fox' was written that way but i checked back with my old oxford dictionary i still have from school. it isn't. so what's up with that?
anyway, strikedown did 300 on black and 200 on black w/ grey haze. 2012. 

Montag, 12. August 2013

musikhaus kietz: burnt by the sun

burnt by the sun - soundtrack to the personal revolution
i was in leipzig with my girlfriend to visit the parents of hers and on a trip to city centre i couldn't resist walking into this record store. i had it in good memory because last year i was able to score a darkane record there. it was the weekend of the 'wave-gotik-treffen' which is one of the biggest cultural festivals around for goth fans. its events are spreaded all over the city and therefore it is crowded with odd painted people dressed in all kinds of black or gothic related suits, gowns or bondage clothes. always interesting and fun to watch them. musikhaus kietz had something special for this day too. some obscure dj dude playing weird goth-industrial-techno stuff. i'm not familiar with this kind of music at all so probably it was something totally different but it was surely fucking annoying. not only because i didn't like it but the dude turned it that loud that the shopkeep and i couldn't understand a single word of each other as i was trying to ask him if i could listen to the record (the records weren't in the sleeves, they kept them in some back room).
this burnt by the sun record caught my attention because of the cover. i knew it from some far memory related to lifeforce records from germany. as i began to get really involved with hardcore in the early 00's lifeforce rec was 'the' label here in germany. they had all the european edge metal and new school bands i was loving at the time. cataract, heaven shall burn, caliban, deadsoil or destiny to name a few. i checked back and burnt by the sun never had anything to do with lifeforce so i can't really recall where this connection on my mind came from but it tricked me into taking a listen. i did a quick listen of two or three songs and decided it was good enough to buy it. you know, there was nothing else to get and as i hate walking out of a store empty handed i (over)payed and left.
i should know myself better by now. either it was the constant diversion of that dj dude and his music or this instant gratification thing that takes hold of me when i'm in a physical record store. when i listen to that record now i always come to the conclusion that i could live without it and my world would still be turning. the music isn't that bad. some sort of chaotic hardcore and i can enjoy that if well executed. but the problem with burnt by the sun is that they deliver some good rudiments but there is always something missing in the songs to get them out of the grey mass. to be honest this record bores me. but maybe it's just me and it will grow on me... if i can overcome myself and give it some more spins. song titles are great though. 'dow jones and the temple of doom' is a nice word play :)
900 pressed on clear blue vinyl, 20 test pressings, 100 on the infamous 'not for puplic' clear vinyl and 1000 on white vinyl. relapse records. 2002.

Samstag, 10. August 2013

animate rec pt. 2/2: winds of plague - decimate the weak

winds of plague - decimate the weak
i had this album on cd as it was released in 2008, i think. it was the time when all this deathcore hype was fresh and coming. stuff like suicide silence or despised icon released some heavy weight records and winds of plague came up in the wake of the aforementioned bands. they had the problem that they were always and still are compared to another band from california - bleeding through. lined up pretty equally when certain characters of members are concerned (hot chick on keyboards, heavily tattooed singer) plus a similar sound, winds of plague never managed to step out of bt's shadow.
unjustly in my eyes. because wop has more to offer than just being bleeding through's lookalikes. although their latest album 'against the world' was a bit of a let down, 'decimate the weak' is a scorcher! if you like symphonic death metal and can dig a little bit of hardcore attitude this will be just your taste. the most outstanding to me is the great number of kick ass guitar solos. check out 'one body too many', one of my favourite songs of that record.
the record comes in a nice gatefold sleeve which i think looks pretty decent. what is somewhat strange is the insert which you can see in both pictures. it shows the cover art and on the flip side a head on a lance taken from the inner gatefold art. nothing more. no credits, no thank list, no nothing. so what is the purpose? anyway, nice heavy white vinyl rounds out the packaging. nicely done!
century media. 2008.

Dienstag, 6. August 2013

animate rec pt. 1/2: behemoth - evangelion

behemoth - evangelion
way back at christmas 2011 i bought some stuff from animate rec for the first and until now the last time. from that time on i knew that they had this record here in store. but in 2011 i was still of the opinion that i should prefer a picture disc over a normal black vinyl version. nuclear blast just pressed black vinyl and a limited amount of picture discs for this album. the picture discs come in a common cardboard sleeve and not in those crappy plastic pieces of sh... so i thought it'd be ok to get one of them. of course they had sold out at nb two years after the initial release and so i had to seek other sources. it turned out to be a difficult task. couldn't find it in the usual places like ebay or discogs. it only crossed my path once in an american vinyl internet shop called (which seems to have downsized a bit since i surfed there the last time) but it was pretty pricey and so i abandoned the idea.
in the meantime almost two years passed and i considered to buy another record at animate which i wanted since christmas 2011, too (upcoming post). i searched through the stuff to add something to my cart and behemoth came up in the b section. i already repressed my memory concerning this record. at this point i really hate picture discs and changed my mind. of course the scale turns in favour for black vinyl now. somehow i was lucky now not to have been able to score a picture disc before.
the album itself is a scorcher. blackened tech death metal at its best. 'evangelion' bursts with energy and especially the drummer is not of this earth - stunning to listen to. the lyrics are pretty cryptic so thankfully they included liner notes (but even with them the content is beyond my grasp sometimes). if you like fast death metal of any kind it seems unlikely you never heard of them but if so, do yourself a favour and check it out!
the presentation is almost perfect. sweet 180gr black vinyl, nice fold out insert with all lyrics and liner notes and great mystic artwork all around. only thing that sucks is the inner gatefold sleeve. waste of space and material. i spare you the view because this is what i do too when pulling the record out of the sleeve.
nuclear blast limited this black version to 1000 copies. i have #280. 2009.

Sonntag, 4. August 2013

per koro pt. 2/2: guilty s/t 7"

guilty 7"
guilty are some dudes from sweden playing hardcore with a thrash metal edge to it. they were on my radar for quite some time and just like with the carrier buying this record was long overdue. i saw this record for the first time at the six feet under records big cartel and was kind of drawn to it because of its great cover art. looks pretty apocalyptic.
the four songs on it are all pretty solid. not brilliant but no outage as well. you can listen to that whole thing on their bandcamp page. in my search for pressing information i came across some mysterious stuff. this record was a triple release by six feet under records from the us, carry the weight records from the uk and green menace records from sweden. they all pressed different coloured versions.
discogs says the following: green menace has a blue and white swirl version of 300 copies. carry the weight comes around with an orange w/ black splatter version of 200 copies. plus ctw also did 100 on black. finally six feet under pressed 100 on red/white/orange tri-colour vinyl and 200 on my blue w/ black swirl vinyl. so according to discogs it's 300 of each label. that makes 900 copies in total. strangely discogs says there are 1000 copies. so where are the remaining 100? another source, dead format, states that sfu rec. made 400 copies but all on tri-colour vinyl which i know for sure looking at my copy isn't true. then i thought i should pay six feet under records a visit to solve this. the label gives me the information that they made 400 copies with 300 copies of the blue w/ black swirl vinyl. secret unlocked!
six feet under records. 2011.

Freitag, 2. August 2013

per koro pt. 1/2: the carrier - blind to what is right

the carrier - blind to what is right
it seems ages ago that i bought the first album of the carrier called 'one year later...'. actually it was last year in march, so not that long. but long enough to me because from the point on i had 'one year later' i wanted 'blind to what is right' too. in 2012 the release of 'btwir' was already over a year ago and still available at per koro so i figured it would also be available at some other point of '12. as i mentioned before if i feel that there is a constant availabilty of a record i don't feel the urge to pull the trigger immediately. if there is other stuff that i think to be more urgent i will always put these records aside. the very thing happened here. i didn't throw this in my cart because i thought i could get one at any time.
and in a rare case like this i was right with that. so i ordered my coloured copy of 'btwir' hassle-free from per koro. the music is pretty awesome. if you know them you know what you're going to get. only better than on 'one year later'. if you do not know them let me tell you that the carrier play some intense melodic hardcore. more fast then slow and with propensity to frantic melodies. check out the song 'hollow pain', one of my favourites. i think that the carrier play this style with a big recall value. a factor that not much bands in this genre can claim for themselves. while european bands like empty handed, the cold harbour, cannoneer or foxxes sound pretty similar the carrier manages to stay original.
the record appeared on deathwish records and the first pressing came with 2000 copies. there are 300 on cream w/ maroon swirl vinyl, 700 on pink w/ maroon swirl vinyl and 1000 on cream w/ pink swirl vinyl. obviously i have a copy of the last colour out of 1000. that is ok with me as this colour way looks pretty cool. almost like it's edible... tasty! somehow i like the gatefold sleeve although a normal sleeve would have been appropriate too as there is not much artwork on the inner sleeve. comes with digital download.