Montag, 30. November 2015

rise & fall - into oblivion

last month i was snagging the third rise & fall record 'our circle is vicious' from ebay. the same seller also had their second full length 'into oblivion' on offer. while i got a second offer on 'our circle...' because the initial buyer didn't pay for the item, i simply won the auction for 'into oblivion'. i felt lucky because it's a first press on reflections records.
all subsequent pressings came on deathwish records. the cool thing here is that the reflections pressing came with a gatefold cover, while deathwish produced slip sleeves with an insert. the record was released in 2005. wow, that's ten years already. time flies. well, musically this isn't obsolete at all. these belgian dudes just know how to write a fast and dark hardcore-punk record.
the converge proximity can be heard all the way through the album, but it's damn good executed. just like the two following records, 'into oblivion' knocks you off your seat at the first tunes. the album was recorded in belgium but the mix was handled by kurt ballou at his infamous godcity studios. also the cover artwork was again made by jacob bannon and is looking sharp.
reflections pressed a limited colour version and a black vinyl version for 'into oblivion'. i can't say how many black vinyl was pressed. there is also a limited tour edition that came on black vinyl, i believe. anyway, my clear red with black splatter vinyl is out of 250 copies. the record comes with a printed inner sleeve with all lyrics and credits. looks really good. reflections records. 2005.

Sonntag, 29. November 2015

mastodon - once more 'round the sun

a big 'yes'! the last piece of the puzzle. the last words to this chapter. mastodon's latest album 'once more 'round the sun' on coloured vinyl. again i ordered through the german warner/reprise webshop and this time the delivery didn't turn out a complete catastrophe, like happened with my first 'the hunter' order. warner imports the goods from their u.k. offshoot and this time all went down very smooth.
after repeated spins on my turntable, i can only say that mastodon have outdone themselves again with this masterpiece. i probably used this word in connection with this band quite often, but what can i do? their stuff is breathtaking on a regular basis. progressive, quite gritty, balls to the wall rocking and sludgy here and there. 'once more 'round the sun' is a friggin' scorcher which cannot be denied.
i think it was when i wrote about the 'call of the mastodon' lp, i said that i couldn't really hang with mastodon's newer stuff. well, i feel like i've grown with the bands releases and when i listen to 'chimes at midnight', 'asleep in the deep' (funny cat video) or the heartbreaking final of 'diamond in the witch house', i feel like i never want to listen to anything else. it's that good.
again and keeping in touch with 'the hunter', this album is non-conceptional. the band stated that every member went through some troubled times in 2013, but by doing so all at the same time the writing process for 'once more...' had have a cathartic effect. they pooled those negative forces and turned them into something positive. i can only confirm the positive outcome to hundert percent.
the artwork for this record looks absolutely stunning. so many details and completely over the top. a wild, spacy trip for the eyes. it was done by the artist skinner. the two monsters represent life and death and everything in between symbolises the journey from birth to demise. reprise went for a lovely colour pattern this time. it's called cyan blue and white mixed. but it has a somewhat green tinge to it, like toothpaste. i really like it. reprise records. 2014/2015.

Donnerstag, 26. November 2015

snapcase - progression through unlearning

some essential nineties hardcore release. this is, without a doubt, the second snapcase full length 'progression through unlearning'. i really love their records. it's unmistakably hardcore but not the same old routine over and over again. it's elaborate and heavy music. you can hear its nineties origin any time but at the risk i am repeating myself, it still sounds fresh today. fortunately victory decided to re-press their gems quite regularly.
so after the last re-pressing from 2012 for the annual record store day, three years later and we saw the birth of another pressing. the purchase of a used copy of 'end transmission' triggered my hunt for their remaining output, and so this new edition was more than welcomed. i ordered directly from the victory store and thus was able to snag the most limited variant. i am, among other collectors, a friend of pink vinyl colour patterns so there isn't much to be desired here.
ok, maybe an opaque pink would have been a little cooler but that's just my personal opinion. again victory went for a more or less duplicate version compared to the original first press. i like that. concerning the cover art, i am always a bit puzzled as to what snapcase did pursue with them. they must have a meaning but i can't figure it out. anyway, listen to some 'zombie prescription' and then go and order a pink copy out of 112 pressed as long as they are available. victory records. 1997/2015.

Mittwoch, 25. November 2015

shattered realm - from the dead end blocks where life means nothing

shattered realm was a hardcore band from asbury park, new jersey. back in the day when the german label alveran records was still active, i listened to a lot of bands from their roster. european bands like maroon, do or die or purified in blood and, through their cooperation with u.s. based eulogy recordings, some american bands like until the end, casey jones or said shattered realm.
via this connection i knew 'from the dead end blocks...' vaguely and when i was browsing through the webshop to look for a birthday gift for a friend, i also checked their vinyl section. not much to get but two releases. one of them being the one i am writing about right here. it had some storage wear because it was sitting their for probably almost ten years but it looked good enough to spend eleven bucks on it.
in the end it wasn't only a bargain but also a lucky find because copies don't sell too often on ebay or discogs, especilly coloured copies. musically this is hardcore at the metallic end of the spectrum. not too spectacular but entertaining all the way through. on a side note, joe hardcore who did vocals on this record, became one of the main forces behind the establishment of the infamous this is hardcore fest in philadelphia later on. don't know how many copies were made. spook city records. 2005.

Dienstag, 24. November 2015

outspoken - a light in the dark

when i bought the two outspoken 7"es 'survival' and 'the current' from willem almost two years ago, i knew that i would go for the full length as well at some point. when i searched the relevant vinyl sections at core tex webshop for interesting stuff, i came across a marbled orange copy of 'a light in the dark' for eleven bucks and i was floored. i thought it was difficult to get hold on a copy and to get it for the regular price was pretty cool in my book.
i later learned that it was not even that hard to obtain a nice coloured copy on the usual second hand markets. you get them for quite reasonable money. whatever, i have a copy and that's the point. i really like the full length. when i feel like listening to some outspoken i rather grab the twelve inch instead of the two 7" formats. i know you already heard that classic before but just for the hell of it, check it out in its full bloom.
when my copy arrived, the vinyl looked flawless but the cover was a little beat up. it has some dents and surface wear, which the pictures hide quite charmingly but are still definitely to be seen. i asked core tex for a replacement but they said that they just had a bunch that were all looking this way because they bought them from the band and the records probably had been on tour. i don't know if this can be true, but i like the idea of my copy being on tour with the band, so i stay with this version of the story, ha! second pressing and 275 copies made. new age records/conversion records. 1992/2011.

Montag, 23. November 2015

electric wizard - come my fanatics...

the wizard is back again. after i fell in love with their 2000 masterpiece called 'dopethrone', i set out to collect all their releases on coloured vinyl. so this is my second find. the band's second full length 'come my fanatics...' from 1997. luckily rise above records did a lot of re-presses for their electric wizard back catalogue recently, and so this was relatively easy to obtain.
i was checking german distros carrying electric wizard titles and i stumbled upon high roller records, which had a fair amount of copies up for sale. among others they got copies of 'come my fanatics...' on purple/gold vinyl in stock recently. seeing them, i didn't hestitate to order even though i already blew my monthly vinyl budget. but man, you know how it is, being late means paying even more in the future. this logic will always justify my dirty deeds, haha.
i like what rise above does with those electric wizard re-presses. for 'come my fanatics...' they changed the art work, which was absolutely in favour of the all around look. check the original here. aside from my love for vinyl, i am also a big comic book enthusiast. i recently read 'fatale' by ed brubaker and sean phillips. it has a lovecraftian theme and is partly about a cult worshipping the cold, alien gods known as the great old ones.
the dudes from the cover remind me of those cultists. check out an excerpt here. musically this is great stoner/doom metal of that special electric wizard kind, that i came to love on 'dopethrone'. the only song i find a bit useless is the instrumental 'ivixor b/phase inducer', the rest is doom perfection. check out 'wizard in black' and 'son of nothing'. 500 pressed on that gold marbled purple vinyl. rise above records. 1997/2015.

Sonntag, 22. November 2015

100 demons - s/t

earlier this year i was writing about the re-press of 100 demons' first full length release 'in the eyes of our lord' on a389 records. by the same time i ordered their sophomore release on deathwish inc. that was re-pressed for record store day 2014. this album marks their last release up to now. actually i can't even say if the band is still active.
their facebook page showed some posts from this year and they even played some very few shows. so i don't know if they just come together to play some concerts occasionally, or if they will record some new material at some point, or if they even called it quits. who knows? anyway their self titled album is a blast. they recorded at zeuss' planet z studios in massachusetts and therefore the sound is awesome.
musically they remind me of hatebreed in their early 00' phase, which fits the time of the release date of '100 demons' pretty good. check out 'time bomb' and 'repeat process'. the record went through a few pressings. at least two pressings by deathwish and even one european pressing by now defunct dead serious recordings. i'm afraid i can't provide any numbers on my clear red copy, though. deathwish inc. 2004/2014.

Freitag, 20. November 2015

ryker's - never meant to last

it's not that long ago that german hardcore legends from kassel released their return album after a fourteen year long hiatus. ryker's were back in 2014 with 'hard to the core'. well, it was an ok record. good, sure, but as i said back in this post i rather drop the needle on their classic nineties stuff. all this didn't hold me from being there when pre-orders for their new record 'never meant to last' went up. only one year after their last output.
just like it was the case with 'hard to the core', i was too slow for the most limited colour-way on blue marble out of 75 copies. so i snagged the second to most limited version on white with red and green marble vinyl. seems like white wax is my way to go with ryker's vinyl. four out of five coming on this colour. anyway, for 'never meant to last' the band experienced a substantial line-up change.
founding member kid-d left the band because of decreasing motivation and no time for recording new stuff, but no bad blood apparently. as a permanent stand-in ryker's introduced dennis of brightside fame. at first i doubted that he could replace kid-d properly. i mean, kid has a real characteristic voice and was therefore part of my love for the band. in then end all my worries have been washed away. dennis pulled it off real nicely.
generally the album is better than 'hard to the core' in my book. that mixture of old biohazard and sick of it all stuff is heavily to be felt and i really like that a lot. great to see that this band is still able to put out valuable music. at the beginning of the year i was lucky enough to catch them live with kid-d still being part of the ensemble. now i'm eager to see them with dennis on the mic. check some tunes here. 100 made. beatdown hardwear. 2015.

Mittwoch, 18. November 2015

parkway drive - ire

when parkway drive released their first album 'killing with a smile' in august of 2005, it was a few month later when a friend of mine played it to me while driving from a show. i thought, man, this is pretty damn good. i bought the cd and listened the shit out of it. two years later came 'horizons' and i got the cd as soon as it was out. expectations weren't fully met but it's still a real good record, which by the way has never got the vinyl treatment. someone needs to fill that void!
three years later 'deep blue' was released and this is where i lost them for a while. 2010 was a troubled year for me with some big changes along the way. money was short and so i stood away from everything that wasn't totally necessary. 'deep blue' fell through the cracks back then. in 2012 'atlas' was unleashed and i struggled to get a copy. it took me another two years to finally pick it up.
listening to that record, i had to admit to myself that i was an idiot for ignoring them. 'atlas' is a powerful record from start to finish. so when parkway drive announced their new album going by the name of 'ire', i knew i would be there right from the start. well, not straight because i didn't pre-order but i knew that there would be plenty of options available, so no real pressure to order fast.
in the end i even got hold on one of the most limited colour-ways. this transparent red should have only been available to people on the pwd mailing list. well, i am not but through some links of the kingsroad merch eu shop i got directed to the offer and so i took the chance. with a few spins under my belt i must say that these aussies really amaze me. the band is experimenting quite a lot. pwd got a bit catchier and more hymnal on 'ire' but also more intense.
boy, just listen to 'writings on the wall'. vocalist winston mccall gives me the goose bumps with his batman voice here, haha! the record sounds like it was made for the big halls, the big summer festival stages. it might push them further and they are standing on the edge to become a real big name. we'll see. the artwork is quite cool, even though i don't think i understand it. the vinyl looks ace. somehow pinkish. the d-side etching looks sharp as well. very good release all around. 300 made. epitaph records. 2015.

Dienstag, 17. November 2015

converge / dropdead - split 7"

in the course of the past two years, converge has become one of my favourite bands and therefore i do things when it's about converge, i usually don't. i buy stuff that, if it wasn't for this band, i could easily live without. stuff like live releases, like the bbc 7" from last year or an outrageous expensive live blu ray/vinyl boxset which is yet in pre-order stage and will be discussed in due time; and stuff like one-song 7"es.
ok, technically this is a two song 7" because there is dropdead on the b-side. i only listened to their song once, which is probably the amount of spins it will ever get already. and yes, the converge song 'runaway' is also featured on the vinyl version of 'all we love we leave behind' but man, the five bucks have been well spent on the cover art alone.
this 7" is actually an anniversary release for both of the participating bands. both, converge and dropdead have been formed in 1991 and this split marks their 20th year anniversary. therefore the whole thing was a d.i.y. job. no label work was involved. plus the songs were recorded at converge guitarist kurt ballou's godcity studios. artwork done by jacob bannon, of course.
the split was released on numerous colours. five of them to be precise but i won't bore you with the complete breakdown, you know where to find it by yourself. the amount of copies for the whole pressing is remarkable, though. crazy 7.000 copies out there. my 'bong' vinyl is the least limited colour coming out of 2700 copies. looks best held against the light. self-released. 2011.

Montag, 16. November 2015

carnifex - hell chose me

carnifex third full length, which goes by the name of 'hell chose me'. after their second full length 'the poisoned and the diseased', which didn't really clicked with me, i lost track of them. when they released their latest full length 'die without hope' last year and after some hestitation of mine i finally bought it and really liked it. after that i set out to get the rest of their stuff on vinyl. 'until i feel nothing' from 2011 was first and here we are with 'hell chose me'.
i think this album saw carnifex on the peak of their popularity. deathcore was not that strong anymore but still going and carnifex sat on top of the genre. the record proves that. musically it's tight death metal with the right doses of speed and groove. some hints of melody here and there and ready is the beast to set loose. check out the video to the title track here.
the record was released on victory records. they did two pressing so far. the first pressing came on solid red vinyl out of 100 copies and my clear vinyl out of 400 copies. a second pressing on clear red vinyl out of 500 copies is currently up for sale. the artwork might be a bit cheesy but i like it in a way. pretty ominous and anti-christian. very death metal-ish. victory records. 2010.

Sonntag, 15. November 2015

turmoil - anchor

not long ago jake was writing about his copy of turmoil's 'anchor' 7" and how his children go crazy to the music, haha. well, after that it came to my mind that i have to write about it myself, because i have a copy sitting on my shelf since last year's february. so here it is. picking up turmoil releases is always a no-brainer to me when they cross my path.
as this 7" was released on century media and this is a german label, it was relatively easy for me to obtain this for a very good price. copies pop up every once in a while on the bay and this is where i got this sucker from. music-wise this baby is really a strong pack. four songs of that typical heavy and slightly chaotic metallic hardcore.
'killing today for a better tomorrow' and 'staring back' were also featured on 1999's album 'the process of' later on, but check out the complete release, anyway. the cover photo is good hardcore standard. the pressing came on two colours, i believe. black vinyl and white vinyl. unfortunately i couldn't find any pressing information on the net. century media. 1997.

Samstag, 14. November 2015

lifeless - if i could be anyone but me

lifeless is a heavy hardcore band from new jersey. some call this tough guy hardcore, which i think, is a stupid term for describing aggressive music but if you hear that term, you know what they sound like. they released their first full length in 2011, called 'n.l.f.t.w.' and it was a solid slab of crushing metal induced hardcore with a dark tinge in the refrains ala type o negative. i liked the record and so i bought their follow-up 7" when i got the chance to.
this one is called 'if i could be anyone but me' and offers stuff in the same vein as the full length. the sound quality was improved and the 7" sounds real forceful and not that hollow as 'n.l.f.t.w.'. solid stuff all the way through. listen to 'reflections' and 'fame'. they have a good sense for energetic songwriting and damn, it grooves!
this piece of vinyl was, just as the first full length, released by harvcore records from the states. they came up with a bunch of nice vinyl colours. i ordered via per koro, so my colour was a mistery until the point the copy reached me. i got the blue/greyish 'corpse' vinyl. bad boy! on the harvcore page my 'corpse' vinyl isn't listed, but with cross reference from discogs this must be the purple one out of 100 copies. but i can't be sure. harvcore records. 2012.

Freitag, 13. November 2015

narziss - ebenbilder / hope dies

last year i was writing about narziss' full length from 2004 called 'neue welt'. a special release to me because of its time and special in general, because the album came in german language. on the one hand a real cool idea becuase it's easier for locals to understand the lyrics and it definitely spares you the agony of bad english lyrics.
on the other hand it is limiting your range of audience right from the start. i mean, i don't know if i listen to, let's say a finnish hardcore band the same way as an english band when i miss the message completely. anyway, narziss did all their lyrics in german with one exception, the 'hope dies...' e.p. from 2003. and boy, they had some bad english lyrics.
but hey, that's ok. it's about the music anyway and musically the e.p. is pretty good. this release right here is a compilation of the said e.p. and their first mini-album 'ebenbilder' from the start of the century. unfortunately i couldn't find any music samples from the 'hope dies...' e.p. but here is some stuff from 'ebenbilder'. 'tot' and 'erbsünde' are strong efforts of political and melodic hardcore with a nineties edge to it.
this compilation was released at the same time as 'neue welt' came out. probably in celebration of the full length. it comes on clear red vinyl and on white vinyl. both colour-ways out of 500 copies. so a thousand in total. quite a lot for an underground hardcore band with german lyrics. still it sells pretty rarely. i finally snagged a copy through ebay. i.c. recordings. 2004. 

Sonntag, 8. November 2015

ays - suburban haze

when i get into a band that already has a bunch of releases out, i always find myself trying to get their whole output together very quickly after i got hooked. i don't know, it's something like a new mission that i have to accomplish. sometimes it works out better than other times. anyway, after i bought ays' first vinyl full length release 'wreck my soul', it wasn't long until i got myself a copy of the follow-up 'eroded by the breeze'.
i ordered the latter at cobra records mailorder because daniel, the owner dug up a box with some left-over copies in his warehouse. while taking the chance of owning this nice piece of vinyl, i thought i might as well throw their latest 7" from two years ago into the package. listening to it, it feels like ays finally found the sound they were already looking for on 'eroded by the breeze'. while the full length lacks a bit substance, this 7" burns all the way through.
great mix of the typical ays energy ridden hardcore and the new darker elements, which already shown through on 'eroded...'. check out the title track and the video to 'ambitions' and see what places hardcore can take you. i really like the cover artwork, although i can't say what it means. anyone a clue? i have the clear vinyl version out of 300 copies. cobra records. purgatory records. dead souls records. 2013.

Samstag, 7. November 2015

all for nothing - to live and to die for

the last of the bunch i bought at underdog records store, cologne was all for nothing's third full length called 'to live and to die for'. all for nothing is a very solid hardcore band from the netherlands and when stuff of them falls in my lap, i don't hestitate to pick it up but i don't actually go the extra mile for them. you know what you get when you listen to an all for nothing record and that's why i don't get overly excited about them.
but i don't want to belittle their music and achievements in general. who is around for over ten years and still going strong, is a name in today's hardcore world. furthermore i can hang with every release of them and 'to live and to die for' is a scorcher. probably the angriest and my personal favourite of the band. check out 'dead to me' and 'seize today'. strong stuff!
the album was released on gangstyle records, also from the netherlands. the record is in its second pressing by now. the first pressing came on 150 copies on white vinyl and my mint blue version of which i can't seem to find any numbers. i believe this was the lesser limited colour but looks without any doubt much better than white. delicious. the whole artwork looks pretty cool, too. package well done! gsr music. 2012.  

Freitag, 6. November 2015

cold snap - bad moon rising

when i was at it and posting about my down to nothing 7" of the previous post, i thought it might be apt to finally write about the stuff i purchased with it. the second record of the lot is this cold snap 7". cold snap is or was a hardcore band from the uk and i can't really recall why i wanted this record in the first place, i only know that i was roaming ebay quite frequently for this piece of pressed plastic.
so you may understand my excitement when i found it among the racks at underdog records store. the only thing which was now to be verified was the colour of the wax. i pulled the vinyl out of the sleeve and was relieved and surprised at the same time. relieved to see it was coloured vinyl and surprised at the colour pattern. i only knew of a splatter version and this merge version never crossed my path until then.
after some research i found out that this is the second to rarest version out of 300 copies. 200 splatter copies and 500 black copies round out the first press of 1000 copies in total. musically this is an absolute cracker. straight forward old school hardcore. nothing new, you might say? you're right but it's simply better than most. a shame they never made it to a full length. check it out here. carry the weight records. 2010.

Donnerstag, 5. November 2015

down to nothing - all my sons

it is actually not that hard to get a coloured copy of down to nothing's 'all my sons' 7". just hit discogs and you will get some reasonable priced options. despite that fact, this 7" sat on my want list for quite some time. it simply wasn't high priority and so it never appeared to me to buy it on its own. it is one of that records you throw into an order to make the deal worthwhile. at least to me.
so when i was in underdog records store, cologne last year (yeah, this slab of wax sat on my to-blog-pile for quite some time, too) and flicking through the 7" racks, i was very pleased to see a clear copy waiting for me. musically it's that type of hardcore you expect from down to nothing. positive and straight forward. if you have any of their releases in your collection and you like them, you can buy this blindly and won't be disappointed.
check out 'pipeline' and 'gone for summer'. to this date this is their one and only reaper records release. reaper pressed the record four times as far as my information goes. there is also an australian press on dead souls records. my copy only can be part of the third pressing on clear vinyl out of 497 copies. the lettering on the cover comes in yellow instead of white as can be seen on the black vinyl copies. reaper records. 2010.