Mittwoch, 31. August 2016

obscura - illegimitation

obscura's "akróasis" remained pretty high on my vinyl rotation since i bought this baby in march this year. such an unbelievably strong technical death metal record, definitely one of my top ten releases at this point of the year. because that album is so good, naturally i wanted the remaining releases on vinyl as well. that proved to be impossible for a price i am willed to pay. these damn things are that pricey, so i will wait it out. fingers crossed for re-pressings.
actually there was one vinyl release of obscura that was available, their compilation release called "illegimitation" from 2012. the band realised this output via crowd-funding and it contains their demo from 2003, three songs of the pre-production for the "cosmogenesis" album from 2006 and three cover songs to represent the influences certain bands had on obscura. in 2002 the guys started out under the name of illegimitation and sounded quite different.
the demo songs show the band in an state of progression. the stuff sounds way more like swedish school and by far not as technical as familiar pieces. in the following years the band changed its name and a lot of members. steffen kummerer is the only founding member by now. in 2006 the album "retribution" was released and in 2009, for the first time on relapse records, "cosmogenesis" saw the light of day. pre-production for the latter album already started in 2006 and from that sessions the three songs "incarnated", "open the gates" and "headworm" found their way onto this release.
those sound great and more like the obscura i knew from "akróasis". the cover songs are pure tech-death greatness. i knew the death and the cynic song. listening to the atheist cover, i should listen more to the original. the presentation is pretty nice. gatefold cover with printed dust sleeve containing very interesting liner notes to the early days of the band by steffen kummerer himself. all topped off by matching clear red vinyl. probably just a fanboy record but worthwhile to me. good price too. released on the band's own label, voice of the soul records. 2012.

Montag, 29. August 2016

death - scream bloody gore

i had a lot of fun getting into suffocation's early recordings recently. i loved the cover artworks and the overall sound of those releases. all at once i could hang with this death metal sound of the early nineties. when i was ordering from nuclear blast and had already two records in my cart - carnifex and the depression sessions - i stumbled upon another record that looked interesting. death's "scream bloody gore".
i knew about the re-pressings of classic death records that relapse records was throwing in the pit last and this year. i was always tempted to buy coloured copies of "leprosy" and "spiritual healing". the problem was that for these two records relapse only had shop exclusive colour copies to offer, no european distro version. eventually i declined because oversea shipping seemed too much.
now, seeing death's debut record on coloured vinyl ready for the taking, i didn't think twice and took the opportunity. i read some reviews stating that "scream bloody gore" is considered to be one of the very first death metal records. listening to it, that seems to be true. the record has the fast parts, the groove parts, the raw vocals and the shocking imagery. it was released in 1987 and i believe a lot of parents freaked out when they saw what new horrors their kid brought home from the record store.
relapse put a lot of work into this re-press. everything looks and feels top notch. the record comes in a sturdy slip-sleeve with awesome red foil print on the cover. the insert is a fold out affair with tons of photos from the good ol' days and loads of liner notes from drummer chris reifert, producer randy burns and friend of the band max cavalera. the album was re.mastered by the infamous alan douches and the record itself comes on lovely "halloween" orange vinyl. 2.000 copies made. relapse records. 2016.

Mittwoch, 24. August 2016

the depression sessions

"the depression sessions" is a three-way split featuring thy art is murder, the acacia strain and fit for an autopsy. i am a fan of the first two, the acacia strain in particular and therefore was tempted to get this split 12". as all three bands would contribute only one new song and a cover song each, i was a bit split over the relevance of this output. two things convinced me eventually. number one was the song "they will know another" from thy art is murder. since "holy war", their latest album, this band knows how to combine finest tech death metal with wonderful, apocalyptic melodies and this song is just another proof.
reason number two was the two cover songs of taim and tas. tas graces us with their version of soundgarden's "black hole sun" and taim crafted rammstein's "du hast" into their very own sound. i have a personal connection with both songs. "black hole sun" was a video favourite of mine. the song and the video make for such a strong symbiosis and the visuals make the music even better. i got rammstein's record "sehnsucht" from 1997 as a gift back then and it was one of the first real full lengths i listened to. i knew every song by heart but their stuff didn't really age well with me.
all the more i was surprised as to how taim made this song so enjoyable to me. i love how these australians played with the tempo and song structure. it gives "du hast" a real unique touch plus it's always entertaining listening to non-native speakers trying to sing/scream in german, haha. tas's version of "black hole sun" is more in the vein of the original but still cool. fit for an autopsy's two songs are not really my cup of tea - i had to look up that they did a nine inch nails cover - but still this is quality and i can see why they share this split. 350 copies on clear with red splatter. nuclear blast. rise records. good fight entertainment. 2016.

Dienstag, 23. August 2016

carnifex - slow death

carnifex had a blistering return with "die without hope" from two years ago. almost disbanded after the release of "until i feel nothing" in 2011, the band grew to new heights and left me deeply impressed. in the following two years i obtained the rest of their vinyl output. now, after a time that definitely doesn't feel like two years to me, the band is back with their newest assault, going by the name of "slow death".
what can i say? "slow death" isn't a slow burn by all means. these ten songs are so damn catchy, if that is a proper term in connection with carnifex, and yet so heartfelt evil. carnifex pushes forward their mix of technical, modern death metal and this specific blackened tinch in melodies. the result works out so well that it's hard for me to pick a favourite. simply check out the title song and "six feet closer to hell".
when nuclear blast announced the release of "slow death" and pre-orders went up, nb had the european edition on offer and a few copies of the u.s. version. the eu version came on clear red vinyl, a bit boring to be honest, but the u.s. version came on "beer" vinyl which looked more intriguing. i opted for this version, regardless of higher pressing numbers. i think the outcomes look as lovely as it looks basic.
a glue pocket sleeve with a typical carnifex artwork - not really my taste but it works well with the musical style of carnifex - a printed dust sleeve and this nice clear "beer" vinyl. is there an actual name to this colour? anyway, i love the sound production on this one in particular. some may call it over-produced but i love this massive wall of bass-driven sound. as you can read on the hype sticker this version is limited to 500 copies. nuclear blast. 2016.

Sonntag, 21. August 2016

red fang - s/t

red fang's upcoming album "only ghosts" ranks pretty high on this year's new releases list. i love their "murder the mountains" lp, at this year's wacken festival they had a killer set and i am really looking forward to the club show in hamburg coming october, where i will be hopefully able to snag a tour copy of the new record. therefore i needed more red fang vinyl on my shelf. there were two records still to get for me and so i checked the market situation.
i opted for the self titled debut record from 2008. it was released originally on wäntage records from the states. the label did a black pressing and a limited coloured edition on red vinyl out of 121 copies. as this is pretty limited, copies start at 130 buck at discogs. no way i would unload that much cash on a record and so i settled with a re-press from six years back on sargent house records. the music itself is great but i didn't expect differently.
after i saw the video to "prehistoric dog", i wasn't doubting the quality of this baby. this release is actually a compilation and no coherent full length. the first four songs have been released as "tour e.p. 2" in 2007 and the last five songs as "tour e.p. 1" in 2006. the song in between, "good to die", is the only one that was written and recorded on the occasion of this output. sargent house did a real basic presentation here. cover sleeve and vinyl, there you go. sargent house records. 2010.

Montag, 15. August 2016

suffocation - pinnacle of bedlam

after i treated myself wih chunks of early suffocation material, i wanted some recent stuff of this new york death metal outfit. getting information i found out that the easiest accessible record at the moment, is their latest full length "pinnacle of bedlam". i had various colour options to choose from. a green vinyl edition directly from the label nuclear blast and a clear splattered edition from animate records, plus a few ebay buy-it-now options.
i was pretty close to buy the clear splatter u.s. vinyl edition when i stumbled upon an ebay auction with yet another colour-way. it was the dusk blue version of the first press which is by far the best looking and seemingly the highest sought after. if discogs is to be believed, that is. the starting bid was around twenty bucks and that must have put off a lot of bidders. i won it for the starting bid and consider myself lucky, because the price was still the half of what is called for the cheapest discogs offer at the moment.
last week this lovely package arrived and it simply looks awesome. i hoped for an equally awesome experience when dropping the needle on this grooved plastic platter. i wasn't disappointed. "pinnacle of bedlam" is a whirlwind of riffs, pumping bass, blast beats and guttural growls. it takes everything in its way and leaves devastation behind. straight forward technical death metal without gimmicks. speed, groove and solos. that simple but that good.
this is the band's seventh full length and the second since "pierced from within" not to feature mike smith on drums. dave culross of malevolent creation fame is a pretty good equivalent and does a splendid job here. it seems like all band members had a good time recording the pinnacle. the whole record feels packed with energy. the presentation is equally as great. nice artwork which doesn't look as cheap as a lot of its counterparts do nowadays, a poster and sharp 180gr dusk blue vinyl. i have  #153/250. nuclear blast. 2013.

Samstag, 13. August 2016

cynic - traced in air

this one had a long time coming. i had "traced in air" by cynic on my radar for quite some time but somehow never found the motivation to finally go for a physical copy. a few weeks ago cynic found their way back into focus and this time for good. there are three versions of the band's second full length out there. a clear blue, a clear and a grey vinyl edition. as i am not the biggest clear vinyl colour fan, i wanted the opaque grey platter. the problem was this edition was the first press.
so logically this edition has the tendency to be the most expensive. fortunately cynic doesn't seem to be hyped and therefore prices were, even for a first press copy, quite moderate. i found a seller from greece with good price and shipping costs proportions and bought it right away. i asked him to pack the vinyl outside of the sleeve to avoid seam-splits. well, either way he didn't figure what i meant and didn't care to ask or he simply ignored it knowingly.
the result is an ugly bend on the back of the gatefold sleeve and seam-splits at all three edges of the printed dust sleeve. fortunately no seam-split of the cover sleeve but the other damages are rather enough to me. the vinyl however is in mint condition and seems rarely played or even unplayed. so all in all the music is what counts and i think i can live with the rest. speaking of, the music is outstanding. a wild, dreamy trip through big soundscapes and technical diversity.
cynic's sound is the blueprint of prog metal to me. "traced in air" is packed with details, quirky melodies and riff virtuosity. anyone into between the buried and me or born of osiris will love this record. the album was released via french metal label season of mist in 2008 but on cd only. a year later england's back on black records gave it the vinyl treatment. first press comes on 180gr grey vinyl out of  1.000 copies. back on black. 2009.

Donnerstag, 11. August 2016

ion dissonance - minus the herd

as i already told you last year, i live only a short hop away from the small village called wacken, which is the host of the annual wacken open air festival. it's one of the biggest metal festivals in the world with over eighty thousand participants. i wasn't planning to go this year. the tickets were pretty pricey and, again, sold out within one day on pre-order in 2015. when the time came, friends of mine were telling me they got tickets via ebay a week before the festival started. as iron maiden were headlining wacken and i wanted to see them before they will be gone one day, i sat down on my comp and seeked the bay for a ticket.
four days before the first band hit the stage, i won an auction for only a fraction of the actual price. the line-up wasn't that strong this year but maiden killed it and closing act arch enemy were a very pleasant surprise, plus there were a few nice bands in between like clutch, ektomorf or red fang. the only thing that sucked was the rain and the endless fields of mud again. just like last year the gumboots were my saviour. when it came to record shopping, prey was limited this year. no big metal market tent anymore, just a few small tents with loads of shirts and patches and few cd's and even fewer vinyl records.
the only bigger tent was the hot shot records tent. hot shot is a record store from bremen and last year i bought aborted's "coronary reconstruction" mini-lp at their tent. when i was flicking through the racks on the last festival day on saturday, i didn't come across much but then i pulled this ion dissonance album out of the bunch. i knew vaguely that they were from canada and good friends with the guys from despised icon. this connection, the coloured vinyl and the five euro price tag were enough to convince me. beside a death baseball longsleeve, a mastodon and a gojira patch there wasn't any more vinyl to get, unfortunately.
back home, when i dropped the needle on this monster for the first time, i didn't feel unfortunate anymore. "minus the herd" is one hell of a heavy and dark mathcore album. if you are into stuff like war from a harlots mouth, despised icon or meshuggah, these guys have got you covered. i heard the chaps recorded new material recently, so probably there is a new release in air. my copy is used and the cover doesn't look like the pre-owner stored it in a plastic sleeve but the vinyl is in great condition. 200 made on 180gr silver vinyl. garden of exile records under liscence of abacus records.

Sonntag, 7. August 2016

suffocation - breeding the spawn

i apologise for the lack of posts last week but their simply wasn't much to write about plus i was occupied with getting a ticket for the sold out wacken open air via ebay on sunday last week and then attending the festival which is only a twenty minutes drive away from where i live. i will tell you more about it in the upcoming post about my festival pick-up. but for now, let's move the attention to the record at hand. death metal at it's best with suffocation's sophomore release "breeding the spawn".
i had a lot of fun with their third record "pierced from within" and thought i might acquire more of the latest listenable re-issue series of the band's early titles. i wanted the clear yellow vinyl for "breeding the spawn" but unfortunately listenable sells their most limited colour-ways through their own shop exclusively and as the label is situated in france, it would increase shipping costs. so i searched discogs and came across an offering from a german seller.
in the end the price was the same as if ordered from france but i see no advantage in international shipping and so took the discogs option. to me "breeding the spawn" beats "pierced from within" to second place. the song writing is somewhat more compact. i really like the groovy parts and the charming nineties feel of the album. check it out here. the cover art is actually quite horrible but in a way which makes it almost cool again. well, almost. what does it show? an icey breeding ground for evil sculptures? anyway, 200 copies on "piss yellow". listenable records. 2016.