Samstag, 28. Mai 2016

ringworm - the venomous grand design

and yet another ringworm album. today it's their fourth full length 'the venomous grand design'. i have real fun collecting their records at the moment and when i saw that had, next to the coloured 'the promise' lp, this baby right here in stock, i didn't hestitate to include it into the order. i only knew it was coloured, so in secret i hoped for the yellow rsd version from 2012.
in the end it happened to be the opaque red version which, i believe, is out of a pressing that came shortly after the rsd pressing. musically this is just what i love about ringworm. short eruptions of aggression and intensity. straight to the point without any useless add-ons. just some raw, slayer influenced crossover sound played the clevo style. can't do no wrong with that.
i love the sound production on 'the venomous grand design' and the snare sound in particular. the first ringworm full length i know so far that completely convices me in that matter. the artwork is made to look like some sort of ancient, occult book. the insert has a little piece of art for every song which is pretty cool in my eyes. the reference to the band's myspace page made me chuckle. almost ten years ago the world was a different one. 100 made. victory records. 2007.

Mittwoch, 25. Mai 2016

ringworm - the promise

when i ordered the latest re-press of integrity's 'humanity is the devil', i searched the store for a few additions to sweeten the order. thanks to's extensive selection i was able to add a copy of the debut full length of cleveland's ringworm. since i loved 'justice replaced by revenge' and 'birth is pain', which i acquired in the course of the last two months, getting more ringworm stuff was just the thing to do.
ringworm was founded in 1990 and after releasing a few demos, in 1993 the band released their first album 'the promise' through incision records. shortly afterwards ringworm disbanded, leaving the world a legacy of their interpretation of metallic hardcore. thankfully they re-considered their status as a band in 1998, when they fully returned. unlike integrity - the other big cleveland hardcore band - i think i like ringworm's post split releases better.
'the promise' shows the band, and i know the following insight will most likely blow your mind, in an early stage. everything is pretty raw and unpolished, not in terms of recording quality but in terms of song writing. this record is essential to understand where the band came from but when i feel like listening to some ringworm, i will reach for the records released after the millenium descended upon us.
a389 recordings did a few pressings for this re-press. i think it had been three pressings. they issued it in a gatefold sleeve, whereas the original press came with a slip sleeve. thankfully a389 stood true to the original artwork in most parts. my opaque orange copy is part of the third pressings and is again reminiscent of the original press being an orange marble colour. i have read there were a 100 copies made of my version but i can't be sure. a389 recordings. 2013.

Montag, 23. Mai 2016

integrity - humanity is the devil rsd '16

i don't write much at the time. it is not because i am too lazy or i am too busy to do so. there simply isn't anything to write about. after my backlog has vanished because of my efforts to reduce it, i am now, for the first time, in the position to only write about new additions to the collection. that was the actual purpose but now i feel a little bit bored at times.
what fortunate coincidence it is that today a small batch of new records arrived at my door. so this is my final record store day 2016 post. for this year i only had two records on my wantlist. the first one, parkway drive's 'horizons', was available but either way hamburg record stores didn't have the integrity record in stock or i was simply too late, i just left empty handed.
no big deal, i found it relatively easy in the past to get my rsd stuff via the good ol' internet. a little ironic when rsd's purpose is actually to support your local record store, but people and their ways don't make sense quite regularly. so after a quick search i found that were selling copies for the going rate. the strange thing was that they offered 'humanity is the devil' on pre-order, set to be released on sixth of may.
waiting wasn't an issue and so i ordered straight away. in the meantime the pre-order date was postponed to the twentieth of may and when i was visiting blitz record store in kiel, i saw a brand new copy sitting on the shelf right there for the taking. man, i really had to suppress the urge of buying it immediately. thankfully it is finally here and looks and sounds amazing.
i just listened to it once until now but i definitely see why i reach much rather for the band's old material than their recent stuff. there is a sheer intensity about these early recordings which makes me stand in awe listening to it. in the unlikely event you never listened to 'humanity is the devil' before, here is your ticket. this mini-album was actually released via victory records on ten inch format in 1996.
in celebartion of its twentieth birthday, organized crime records hand out presents in the shape of a slick re-press. they decided to give it the way more favourable twelve inch treatment and pack it with numerous extras. the record comes with a poster, a fold-out insert with all lyrics, a small booklet supporting the holy terror church of final judgement, liner notes by aaron melnick and lovely red/pinkish vinyl out of 1.000 copies. superb! organized crime records. 2016.

Donnerstag, 19. Mai 2016

hatebreed - the concrete confessional

full length number eight and still delivering the goods. hatebreed knows what works best and i know of not one bad record of this connecticut based band. i know that there are more critical opinions in people's heads about this five-piece here and there. their albums would all sound the same and be interchangeable. that's right to a certain degree. they didn't change their signature sound much since the first record 'satisfaction is the death of desire' but they shaped this kind of metallic hardcore, an original and they still release quality.
it doesn't knock me off my socks like 'perseverance' or 'the rise of brutality' did back then but i enjoy this new one, 'the concrete confessional' from first to last tune. they pump out hit after hit as if to the manner born. i think of the gang shout bound 'something's off', the gritty and pissed 'seven enemies' or the bouncing 'remember when', to only name a few. they still sound fresh and relevant and i am really looking forward to see them live at this year's reload festival.
like the last full length from 2013 'the divinity of purpose', hatebreed releases this new record via nuclear blast records. nb came up with pre-orders early april with a few coloured vinyl options. no surprise among them, the usual clear, gold, red, white palette. no problem actually, love the white vinyl next to the dark artwork colouring. pretty much standard packaging. slip sleeve with insert and black dust sleeve. no complaint though, like it that way. 300 copies made. nuclear blast. 2016.

Dienstag, 17. Mai 2016

mantar - ode to the flame

mantar completely came out of the blue when i bought their debut record two years ago. this band had something to it. mystical artwork, dark image and a nihilistic lyric approach appealed to me. the special thing about them is that mantar consists of only two members and while i loved the recorded tunes on 'death by burning', i was a little sceptical if they could deliver playing live the same way as on record.
fortunately i saw them on the wacken open air last year and boy, next to biohazard they have been my favourite band at the festival. they started with loads of feedback noise and blended directly into 'the berserker's path'. atmosphere was heating up and as soon as bare-chested guitarist and singer hanno was climbing up some pretty high speaker tower and started palying on this unsteady pile of megaphones, people were getting crazy.
it was a real intense live set and from that time on i was convinced to one hundred percent of this two-piece, called mantar (which seems to be turkish for mushroom). sometime last year they announced a record deal with nuclear blast and follow up release to 'death by burning' in early 2016. fast forward to april this year and pre-orders went up with me jumping at it. now the vinyl arrived and i had a couple of listens.
first of all, it was worth the wait. mantar doesn't disappoint. if it's better than the first record? i don't know yet and this is personal opinion anyway. what 'ode to the flame' definitely is? it is a quality blackened stoner metal record. everyone who enjoyed the first shot will find a new kick of the same drug dropping the needle on a physical copy. the artwork is simple but striking. black matte card with golden foil ink on front and back, nice inner gatefold artwork and 180gr gold vinyl. ace! 1000 copies made. nuclear blast. 2016.

Sonntag, 15. Mai 2016

crowbar - symmetry in black

it's not too long ago that i discovered crowbar for myself. i bought 'odd fellows rest' on a whim and couldn't get enough of it. their sludgy, blusy and muddy style of metal really appeals to me and i find myself on a huge crowbar kick. after i bought two early records - the self-titled sophomore release followed recently - i searched sources to obtain a coloured copy of their most recent work, called 'symmetry in black'.
i even remembered when pre-orders for this record went live back in 2014 and i had a quick thought of getting a copy because i liked windsteins side-project kingdom of sorrow a lot. for now, of course i was way too late to the party to simply buy a new copy of one of the limited runs made by century media for europe and by e1 records for north america. so as usually i checked for discogs.
there were three colours pressed for the european edition and one for the american. i said to myself not to be picky about them, as it most likely would prove hard enough to get one at all for a reasonable price. when i checked the options i was surprised to find one which was quite affordable and at least ten bucks cheaper than the rest. to add to the astonishment it was a white copy out of 100 - you have to know that there is a gold one out of 300 copies, which seems to be more likely to appear for this rate.
astonished or not, the only sensible reaction to such an offer was to buy it straight away and obviously this was what i did. i didn't have the chance to give the record proper spins by now but judging it by the few times i listened to it, i can only say this bad boy was worth every penny i gave in exchange for it. in comparison with the older records i know from them, it appears that crowbar didn't change their modus operandi pretty much and still managed to keep up the high amount of quality. great record through and through. the 180gr white vinyl matches the crisp and clean artwork perfectly. century media. 2014.

Donnerstag, 5. Mai 2016

kataklysm - serenity in fire

this is one from my wantlist. 'serenity in fire' stood there for four years or so and like it usually is with records you want for that long, i had the chance to snag a copy a few times before. was it due to being to late or sellers wanting too much cash, i was missing out in any case. but only as long as another discogs message was coming my way with someone reasonable offering his copy for a fair price.
in my eyes it was even a bit too little but who am i to complain really. i am definitely happy to finally hold a copy in my hands. 'ambassador of pain' was the first kataklysm song i ever listened to in 2004 and 'serenity in fire' the first kataklysm album i listened to when i revived my interest in metal at the beginning of this decade. therefore the album was somewhat special to me and the pruchase now is really satisfying.
'serenity in fire' is one of the band's finest moments in their dicography. i love how they always start their records with some movie samples. this time it is a quote by john rooney, impersonated by paul newman, from the movie 'road to perdition'. great movie by the way. of course, kataklysm doesn't bring anything new to the table, they do what they do, but they do it so damn well on this album.
as mentioned before, the album was released in 2004 by nuclear blast - only on compact disc. animate records, a small d.i.y. metal label from germany, corrected this error six years later with a lovely vinyl edition. the limited coloured vinyl is housed in a nice gatefold sleeve with a printed dust sleeve. the vinyl colour is really yummy. an orange/reddish marble called 'bleeding sun' vinyl, named after the last song of the album. first press, so to speak. 100 made. unfortunately the number sticker is missing. animate records. 2010.

Sonntag, 1. Mai 2016

electric wizard - time to die

my latest addition to the electric wizard collection. it is their freshest full length being released two years ago. for the first time in their longplayer history there was no involvement by rise above records. it is a co-release by spinefarm records from finland, which might be known to a broader audience through their melodic death metal releases by children of bodom or dark tranquility, and the band's own label - witchfinder records.
yet another record on which the wizard comes around with an altered personnel. tas danazoglou and shaun rutter - bass-player and drummer - left the band and jus osborn recorded the bass tracks himself on this album. most remarkably is the return of mark greening on drums. when he left after the 2002 album 'let us prey', it seemed there was a lot of bad blood between him and band leader osborn.
whatever it was that brought them back together, the world was about to witness the return of this fertile combination of the two, completed by the excellent craftsmanship of liz buckingham. the record has become one of their strongest efforts to date, as long as my humble self is concerned. a bit more sludgier all in all and with all that movie samples it has a great cinematic feel to it. the artwork ties in perfectly with that occult seventies horror movie theme.
i love the back piece showing the band members and the bonus poster in particular. i got this copy via a friendly discogs seller from germany. my version actually is a record store day release from 2015 to be distinguished from the first press by it's copper coloured cover art and the clear vinyl colour. the quantity pressed seems to be unknown, at least i couldn't find any info. spinefarm records. witchfinder records. 2014.