Sonntag, 31. Januar 2016

electric wizard - we live

'we live' marks electric wizard's fifth album and leads me to the conclusion that the band is unable of producing a bad album. although this wasn't the same band i knew from the previous records. for 'we live' only founding member and vocalist/guitarist jus oborn remained and three new members joined the electric wizard. by a mysterious incident oborn fell out with tim bagshaw and mark greening.
rumour has it that the north american tour to promote 'let us prey' from 2002 raised a lot of tension between the band members. shortly after that tour even the break-up of the wizard was announced. however, in 2003 bagshaw and greening left the band and founded ramesses later on. liz buckingham on second guitar, rob al-issa on bass and justin greaves on drums were the new names in the game.
remarks to that change in line-up are that the band refers to itself as the electric wizard on the cover for the first time and within the booklet as electric wizard II. furthermore, statetments such as 'my enemies, i fear not... but god save me from my friends' printed in the booklet or the whole album title can be considered as raised middle fingers to the former band-members.
anyway, the songs are great. check out the title song and 'flower of evil a.k.a. malfiore' and get your wizard's fix just like you need it. i ordered this one together with the 'let us prey' record from high roller. it's a copy of the 2014 re-press on clear green with black marble. my second disc came out pretty dark, so i held it up to the light. looks lovely. third pressing. 500 copies made. rise above records. 2004/2014. 

Samstag, 30. Januar 2016

length of time / santa karla - split 7"

i really like length of time. that being said i am always on the hunt for vinyl releases i am lacking in my collection. to this point these releases are 'shame to this weakness modern world', which proves to be very hard to come by, and this split release with a band called santa karla. i don't count 'let the world with the sun go down' as it comes on loathed picture vinyl. as you can see, i can cross the split 7" off the list by now.
i believe it was shortly before christmas last year, when i came across an ebay auction offering this title. in the end i came up short and that spark lit a fire of desire. in the face of my defeat at the bay, i searched feverishly for other options. of course, an obvious source was discogs and it didn't leave me empty handed. a reasonable offer from italy was accepted within a breath and a few weeks later it was all mine.
listening to this split i fairly have to admit that santa karla takes the price by a hair's breadth. both sides are really good. the two length of time songs are destroying in their well known manner and santa karla presents some wild punk/hardcore/crust tunes that maltreats your neck so bitter sweet. i have the lemon yellow version out of 200 copies. check willem's blog for the brown and yellow merge version. thirty days of night records. 2010.

Montag, 25. Januar 2016

baroness - purple

here we are with baroness' latest master piece going by the name of simply 'purple'. the record had a massive pre-order time span, starting with the announcement in late august and ending with the release date in late december of 2015. four month of waiting. it actually doesn't bother me, it just appears that more and more bands/labels are managing things this way.
must have something to do with the increased vinyl demand everywhere and the thus full order books at the pressing plants. anyway, i heard news of the pre-orders for 'purple' quite early and i really would have liked to order a purple/white split copy but due to oversea shipping costs i refused. i think i was too slow anyway. the more limited stuff had been sold out pretty quickly,
so i sat back and said to myself to wait for a german distro to have some coloured vinyl in stock. was the first and i immediately grabbed a copy. the description only said purple coloured vinyl and so i assumed it would be the solid purple colour-way of which there is a shitload around. when my package showed up at the end of the last year, i was pleasantly surprised to see that i just obtained a translucent marbled version.
but now to the music. this baby is one awesome piece of catchy weirdness. i like the 'red album', i absolutely love the 'blue record' but i was a little split when it comes to the 'yellow and green', which may have something to do with the fact that i don't own a physical copy but will be corrected soon, and 'purple' blows me away. they are celebrating their very own style with so much passion and sophisticated musical craftsmanship, that i want to spin this piece of plastic over and over again.
besides the musical part, there is this wonderful piece of art which gracefully accompanies the notes. the cover front was, as always with baroness, crafted by john dyer baizley. the inner gatefold and the absolute lovely lp-sized booklet were illustrated by marald van haasteren. the marbled, translucent 180g purple vinyl on top and 'purple' is one of, if not the best baroness record to this point. 900 copies made. can't wait to see them live in hamburg in coming march. abraxan hymns records. 2015.

Sonntag, 24. Januar 2016

botch - an anthology of dead ends

botch is another band that has left its marks in the musical landscapes quite some years ago and i am finally getting around to give them a try. if you don't know, botch was one of the pioneers of that sub-genre called mathcore. i always loved bands like war from a harlots mouth or between the buried and me and when i saw a recent repress of this mini-lp at kings road merch europe, i didn't have any excuses not to get it.
the band came from tacoma, washington, usa and was founded in 1993. they split up in 2002 and 'an anthology of dead ends' marks their last studio recordings. the material got released even after the band called it a day. hydra head records was putting it out and initially came around with a ten inch release. in the following years the record saw two re-presses. this time on a nicer twelve inch format.
with the six songs on this record the band definitely didn't botch it, ha! yeah, lame pun, i know, but i just had to do it. anyway, i really dig this stuff and i will be on the look-out for their other releases. check out 'anthology of dead ends' right here. the artwork is pretty cool, too. love that mountain scene in the back. unfortunately, i couldn't find any pressing numbers of the third press. hydra head records. 2002/2014. 

Freitag, 22. Januar 2016

terraformer - the sea shaper

whoa, where does that come from? i definitely didn't see it coming. terraformer. what a cool name, was my initial thought when i crossed paths with the band at the narshardaa big cartel store. i was browsing this shop because of a new pressing of toundra's 'II' record. i was looking for it as a potential birthday present for a friend of mine. the vinyl packaging of this terraformer record looked so good, that i gave them a listen.
i checked their bandcamp and was blown away. the band plays a brand of instrumental post rock/math metal that reminds me of toundra at times. they come from belgium and in this specific kind of music, the european bands really kick ass. i mean i like bands like red sparowes or russian circles, but toundra as well as terraformer understand to bring the right dosage of heaviness into the mix. therefore they sound very variable.
the vinyl edition of 'the sea shaper' was released three years ago by dunk records from belgium. a year earlier, in 2012, the band self-released this album on cd. dunk records pressed the vinyl in celebration of their very own dunk festival. revolvermann records from germany also collaborated on this release. this lovely orange and red merge platter comes on quality 180gr vinyl, housed in a black dust sleeve and in a beatifully artwork piece of cover sleeve. delicious all around. dunk records. revolvermann records. 2013.

Mittwoch, 20. Januar 2016

behold! the monolith - architects of the void

the new behold! the monolith record. i pre-ordered this record over at kozmik artifactz mailorder and they said that release date would be somewhere at the very end of december of the last year. i put my pre-order in early december and got my mind set for the announced release date. thus i was pleasantly surprised to recieve my package only a week later. in times where releases usually get delayed, it makes for a nice change to get a record earlier than expected.
i listened to this record a few times since and to me it can't beat their self-titled record. but from the start, 'architects of the void' marks another step in the development of the band. for this record they added some black metal atmosphere to their playful psych/stoner style. it ties in very well with their sound and gives them a very unique touch. you should listen to the whole album at their bandcamp right now.
as i mentioned, i like their first record better, though. but that's basically choosing one lovely album over the other. this album got the vinyl treatment by arctic forest records and the colour vinyl variant comes on solid gold. jake recently revealed his resentment to this specific vinyl colour. i totally agree with him but in this case it matches the absolute stunning artwork by dusty peterson quite well. arctic forest records. 2015.

Dienstag, 19. Januar 2016

i am heresey - o day star, son of dawn

last year i wrote about i am heresy's debut full length, which is self-titled and had been released via magic bullet records. this record really took me by surprise and therefore i wanted to check what else they might have up their sleeve. checking the usual source for vinyl related information, discogs told me that there was also an e.p. in existence.
so i searched around where i could get this e.p. called 'o day star, son of dawn'. this time end hits records, which also handled the european version of the self-titled album, took release matters into their hands exclusively. end hits is german label and afterwards they put out even more nathan gray related music.
stuff like his solo project and some more european pressings and re-pressings of boysetsfire albums respectively 7"es. with this i am heresy material the label did a great job when it comes to packaging. a nice matte card cover with cool artwork, matching white vinyl, a sick-ass owl etching on the b-side and all hand-numbered. good work! i, however, scored this baby at per koro distro.
musically this is just the dark metal/hardcore/punk mishmash that appealed to me on the self-titled record by this now defunct band. sometimes it sounds a bit dated, if you know what i mean, but that's not really a bad thing. listen to the whole glory at the cargo records youtube channel. this release was pressed in a limited run of 500 copies. mine is #448. end hits records. 2013.  

Montag, 18. Januar 2016

die young - survival

die young is one of those bands that have a massive 7" back catalogue. if i can count there are eight 7" releases, either as a split or as a solely die young output. technically i have four of them including 'survival', but i like to look at it as if i had five of them. the european version of 'chosen path' came as a one-sided 12", so i won't bother with the u.s. 7" edition.
anyway, 'survival' was their last release before the now recalled split-up six years ago. also this marks their return to surprise attack records, through which they also put forth their split with 7 generations from 2005. i got my hands on this clear copy by shopping some vinyl over at per koro distro. don't have to tell you that it was a pleasure to order, as always indeed.
musically these are seven short blasts of eruptive metallic hardcore with a political and socio-critical of my favourite releases of the band. you can listen to and even read along to the lyrics of this sucker right here. surprise attack did a limited run of 300 copies and, as far as i know, all coming on clear vinyl. surprise attack records. 2009.

Sonntag, 17. Januar 2016

lumbar - the first and last days of unwelcome

lumbar is kind of a sludge/doom allstar band. the notorious mastermind mike scheidt of yob fame together with aaron edge and tad doyle, both played in brothers of the sonic cloth. theses three got together to form a band called lumbar and three years ago they unleashed 'the first and last days of unwelcome'.
i missed the initial release of that record but when i was getting into yob last year and was searching for yob vinyl on the net, i stumbled upon this band and was interested. i listened to a few songs and then ordered the record at coretex mailorder from berlin. they had some copies of the orange first press left in stock for a good price. a no-brainer to order one straight away.
i listened to two songs beforehand and they were great. i mean, if someone had told me these were yob songs, i would have believed it without a shadow of a doubt. but frankly, that is not an issue to me. what actually is an issue to me, is that the record in whole cannot live up to those two songs. seven songs found their way on the platter and with three of them just being some sound samples thrown together.
i really could have lived without these, one song sucks and so there are three good ones which left me pretty unsatisfied. check out the album for yourself right here. the vinyl release was handled by southern lord and they pressed 1500 copies for the first press on orange vinyl. i love that even the inside of the cover sleeve is orange to match the overall look. nice. southern lord. 2013.

Samstag, 16. Januar 2016

bone dance - s/t

this album was an impulse buy. i can't remember anymore to which records i added this bone dance platter over at burnout record store, but i definitely wasn't looking to get this one right here. it was among burnout's 'new arrivals' and just looked interesting cover-wise. so i checked them out. they describe themselves as punk/progressive/grumpy and i think that hits the nail right on the head.
this self-titled record sounds like a beefed-up version of converge and some stuff that usually would come out on a389 records. the only little weakness is that their songs lack of some memorable hooks from time to time. the songs don't carve into one's long-time memory, if you can follow me. anyway, that is, as always, only my opinion. check out and download their stuff for free at their bandcamp.
when i did some research for this post, i stumbled upon the band's facebook page where they announced to call it a day. in their five year run they released two full lengths, an e.p. and a three-way split with bands i don't know. this self-titled album was released by melotov records with 300 copies on clear vinyl. it even got an european pressing on throatruiner records and prototype records. melotov records. 2012.

Donnerstag, 14. Januar 2016

liar / sunrise - decontaminate

a liar record and my record collection. long time no see, would be the most apt description for this relation ship. coloured copies of releases of this band are pretty hard to come by, it seems. well, at this point i am able to finally make another dent in this matter. after christmas i got a discogs message telling me that there was a copy on red vinyl available, the price was reasonable and shipping wasn't too expensive because the record came from belgium.
when the record showed up i was a little puzzled as to why my copy didn't come with an insert. the discogs pic was showing just this and so i asked the seller if he somehow forgot to include, which seemed unlikely, or if there just wasn't any. tijs, the nice dude i bought the record from, said that the three red copies he has all came without an insert plus he asked a friend who had a red copy and also no insert.
he said that as far as he knows the coloured run was made for tour and so i presume the pic on discogs was made by someone who had both, black and red copies. anyway, the liar part is pretty good and just what you would expect from them. heavy and harsh thrash/death metal with vegan/straight edge ethics. the sunrise part is melodic death metal and ok and that's it. i don't enjoy it as much as the liar side. 100 copies made. wanted records. lifeforce records. 2003. 

Mittwoch, 13. Januar 2016

continents - idle hands

another rather old record. i bought this one together with the emmure 'eternal enemies'. at least the record caught my attention when i ordered the emmure vinyl from the victory web shop. but due to increasing shipping cost i ordered 'idle hands' elsewhere. as victory pressed coloured vinyl only it was an easy decision for me to go for a german retailer. in this case.
continents is a modern hardcore band from the uk. south wales to be more precise. a lot of successful bands seemed to emerge from the island in the course of the last ten years. bring me the horizon, architects to name the spearheads of the movement. continents formed in 2010 and seemed to impress victory records that much, that they got a deal without any releases up their sleeve in 2012. it took a year until 'idle hands' dropped.
i really like their type of metallic hardcore with sometimes very catchy and sometimes dark/melancholic hooks plus a good portion of sing-a-longs. of course, they didn't re-invent the wheel here but it's good stuff. reminds me of the new for the fallen dreams from time to time. continents got a new album under their belt right now called 'reprisal'. no vinyl version from victory as yet. hopefully that will change. 400 copies on purple putty. victory records. 2013. 

Montag, 11. Januar 2016

as i bleed - fire in summer

around christmas time my girl and me are visiting both of our families. as the relatives don't live around the corner, these visits are extended trips. in 2014 we were staying at the house of my mother in law and, as a day trip, we were going to dortmund, which is in the near where she lives, to do some post-christmas shopping. indeed, my only destinations were the record stores in dortmund. my first stop is usually andrä store for used cd's, dvd's and vinyl.
they have a small hard 'n' heavy section which holds some gems from time to time. this time i found a ten inch by a band whose name rang a bell somewhere inside. i couldn't say where that reminiscence came from but i knew that this band plays some stuff i like. i took it to the turntable to confirm my assumption. after i successfully did so, i didn't hestitate to throw four lousy bucks at the shopkeep and took my black version home.
a little time went by and in summer 2015 i came across a clear copy of this ten inch on ebay. as it came even cheaper, because i got it for the starting bid of one euro, it was no problem to me to add another variant to the collection, especially as it is a coloured one. unfortunately i can't tell you much about the band or label because information is a bit scarce but if you like nineties vegan-straight edge hardcore ala arkangel or morning again, this will be right up your alley. the cover is gross though. voice of life records. 1998.

Sonntag, 10. Januar 2016

bongripper - hippie killer

bongripper record #4 in my collection and the second full length in their discography. what i hold in hands here is the recent colour re-press from december of the bygone year 2015. i heard news of it just a few days after burning world records, which has a distribution deal with the ripper, posted a respecitive message with pre-order informations on their facebook page. i instantly hit the web-store.
once there i could only see pre-order options for 'miserable', which got re-issued, too. at this point i freaked a little. could it be that all the copies burning world would recieve had already been sold, or was it some flaw on the site that made 'hippie killer' currently unavailable? i checked the bongripper big cartel store and found copies still available. i thought to and fro if i should get a copy from overseas, or wait for burning world to put some up.
i mean, i just couldn't imagine that all copies were gone so soon but in the end i was too frightened to miss out and bought a coloured copy directly from the band. fuck them oversea shipping costs! surprisingly my copy arrived even before christmas and didn't get delayed because of the increased package traffic in this time of year. while i was waiting for the vinyl to show up, burning world offered copies after all. typical.
i listened to this record a few times since and have to say that it was the hardest to get into yet. the first half is brilliant but the second half wears thin in comparison. maybe further listens will change my opinion but for now 'hippie killer' is the weakest of the four albums i know. still a great listen though. the artwork is absolutely stunning. mike miller did a great job to transfer the title into disturbing and yet funny images. the vinyl colour is lovely, too. 250 copies on luna green. great barrier records. 2007/2015.

Samstag, 9. Januar 2016

until the end 7"

until the end is an ever-welcome guest on my turntable. they were active from the early to the mid 00's and played some, at the time very popular and uncompromising metallic hardcore with straight edge attitude. they came up with not even a handful of releases but as far as i know them, they are all great. only of 'the blind leading the lost', their last full length from 2004, i am unable to form an opinion due to my unknowing.
the rest of their stuff is top notch. of course not really timely anymore but what a surprise, most of it is approximately fifteen years old. i still enjoy this shit and that is why i couldn't say no to this 7" when ebay gave me the opportunity to obtain it. in the end i payed a fair price, i believe. i can't be too sure because i bought this two years ago, but according to the current discogs prices it couldn't have been much.
this self-titled 7" was released on equal vision records, home to iconic vinyl releases such as converge's 'jane doe', sick of it all's 'scratch the surface', give up the ghost's 'background music' and many more. equal vision pressed a bunch of them on black vinyl for retail and a mailorder edition of something in the range of 200 copies on opaque purple vinyl. looks pretty nice. now i want that 'let the world burn' 7". equal vision records. 2000.

Mittwoch, 6. Januar 2016

red fang - murder the mountains

for the first time this year i will post about a recent addition to the collection. although this record was released already five years ago. i know the name red fang since i plunged head first into relapse records' stoner and progressive metal pool, riding big waves of mastodon, baroness and high on fire. these top notch bands are constantly on heavy rotation on my turntable with one album or another.
being compared to those bands, i always knew that interest in red fang might pay off by being awarded with more great stoner tunes. especially this record, 'murder the mountains', was to cross my path alarmingly frequent. i once held a fourth press copy on brown marble in my hands four years ago but put it back due to a lack of understanding. in the following time i checked a song or two of that album every once in a while, but it never really clicked.
when a good friend and me were on a vinyl shopping spree in hamburg, hopping from store to the other, we also stopped at saturn store where we found copies of red fang's first self-titled album and 'murder the mountains'. he was raving about the band but already blew his budget. and i tasted blood. when i was at the store a few weeks later doing some christmas shopping, the record still sat there and i couldn't resist anymore.
sometimes you simply know that you like a certain record without listening to it properly before. 'murder the mountains' is such a record to me. i really love the queens of the stone age vibe going on here. still the band has its very own sound. a cracker all the way through. check out 'throw up' and 'human herd', my favourites. the packaging is great with its die-cut cover, the nasty mountain underneath and the lovely white vinyl. tenth press out of 1340 copies. relapse records. 2011/2015.

Dienstag, 5. Januar 2016

these days - death sentence

i pretty much regularly visit my favourite record store burnout records in hamburg. it's always fun to poke around seeing what's new or discovering new old stuff. such was the case when i was looking through the 7" racks. the cover looked interesting but the band's name didn't tell me anything.
so i pulled it out of the pile to check it out more thoroughly. i spun it and thought man, this isn't bad. unfortunately i can't find any tunes on the net. i added it to the stuff i wanted to buy. since then i never saw anything else the band released. in preparation for this post i checked discogs for more info. it says that there is a full length released on cd only from 2005.
then there are two more releases which i am pretty sure got mixed up. they look completely different artwork wise and the bandmember names don't fit as well. when i assembled the hints that the internet gave me correctly, then there are 500 copies on mixed vinyl in existence. some came out more grey, some more purple and some more pink. run for cover records. 2004.

Montag, 4. Januar 2016

oathbreaker - maelstrom

when i bought oathbreaker's second full length 'eros|anteros' two years ago, i really came to like the gloomy and desperate atmosphere the band creates on this album. the album isn't breath-taking all the way through but definitely worth the time spent listening to. when i come across a new album of a band i never heard before, my natural hunting instincts force me to check out possible other releases.
in the case of oathbreaker i inevitable stumbled upon 'maelstrom'. it's their debut full length and out through deathwish inc. quite a compliment for a european band that even across the pond such a well-reputed american label heard of their musical deeds. but when i listened to 'maelstrom' for the first time it couldn't convince me completely. and in comparison with 'eros|anteros' it still can't but that's ok.
it misses a bit of that cold and dark black metal touch of the sophomore record. but i can appreciate this record in the musical context of the band and it is still an entertaining listen. check for yourself. the full record at your service. there are two colour-ways of the first press. 300 on bone white and 700 on my bronze vinyl. a second press on bone/bronze merge vinyl also in circulation, which looks way better but i can't be bothered to get a copy. i'm fine with my ebay find. deathwish inc. 2011.

Sonntag, 3. Januar 2016

stillborn - degrading culture

i always try to add at least one more record to an order that has only one item yet. it's a complete irrational act that makes me think i saved a bit on shipping. in the end i just pay for another record which usually bears no proportion to the amount saved on postage. i believe, this 7" of stillborn right here, called 'degrading culture' must have been such an addition.
stillborn hails from vienna, austria. lovely city. been there on holidays last year, the vinyl yield was a shame though, but that's another story or better no story at all. the band is around since 2012 or something and this is their debut release. they play some gritty and metallic hardcore that reminds me of coldburn or expire. pretty good stuff but not too unique, which is their only weakness.
check out the band's bandcamp page. you can listen and download 'degrading culture' for free, after that you can head over to their big cartel and buy the physical copy. by the way, stillborn released their second 7" called 'forced' this year and pressed it to vinyl as well. i might check that out. 'degrading culture' however comes on nice yellow with black splatter vinyl out of 250 copies. self-released. 2013.   

Samstag, 2. Januar 2016

cruel hand - born into debt

let's start the new year off with yet another record from the vault. when i actually bought this 7" a year ago it was a new release. by now another cruel hand full length came out called 'the negatives', but 'born into debt, we all owe a death' killed it for me. i really liked their stuff up to 'lock and key', which reminds me that i need a physical copy of this album, 'vigilant citizen' was different but still cool but this 7" doesn't do anything for me.
the band went into a new direction and it's just not my cup of tea anymore. that's all. check it out for yourself here. for this release cruel hand teamed up with closed casket activities, while 'vigilant citizen' which came out the same year was released on triple-b records. 'the negatives' appeared on yet another label, hopeless records from the states.
closed casket pressed 1700 copies in total. 250 on blue with orange splatter, 500 on gold with black haze, 750 on my gold vinyl and 200 copies on black that the label actually didn't order at the pressing plant but the plant pressed accidentally. reality records from belgium did a compilation 7" with the two 'vigilant citizen' songs and the two a-side songs of this release. the b-side song is a in cold blood cover. closed casket activities. 2013.