Mittwoch, 19. Juli 2017

sepultura - arise (box set edition)

arguably the band's most loved album among long time fans. "beneath the remains" set the tone and "arise" is the manifestation of each band member's talents molded into one metal masterpiece. the album was an instant classic. it recieved great reviews in magazines worldwide and achieved platinum sales throughout the world after one year after its release. roadrunner granted a way higher budget for the production of "arise" and so sepultura went to record their first full length outside of brazil. morrisound in florida was the destination where a lot of famous death metal records were recorded when the genre peaked in the late eighties and early nineties.
bands like suffocation, deicide, obituary or atheist got their sound polished in the studios - the place to be for an uprising metal band at the time. with the budget sepultura took their time to prepare and perfect the sound before they recorded. time well spent, "arise" sounds really forceful. musically a lot of new elements found their way into the sepultura cosmos. more groove oriented drumming and riffing, experimental song-writing and those tribal percussions which will increase in future sound of the band. "arise" is a fantastic record on all accounts. i love the progression from album to album even if it meant the band released records i can't relate to anymore - a little foretaste of the "roots" record - but there was never stagnation.
still "beneath the remains" is my favourite album but "arise" ranks damn close to it. i almost feel ashamed that i never listened to those records before i bought this box. this rhino re-press comes in the shape of the first european roadracer pressing from 1991. again everything looks pretty much the same. love that. the vinyl colour is well chosen. although i don't really like solid gold vinyl, i can't deny that it matches the iconic cover art by michael whelan very good. rhino records. 2017.

Montag, 17. Juli 2017

sepultura - beneath the remains (box set edition)

sepultura's breakthrough album was the first one initially released on roadrunner records. with the international distribution and this killer album up their sleeve, sepultura gained a lot of recognition and many positive reviews especially in europe where the first records weren't recieved well. actually roadrunner wasn't really convinced of the sale potential when they signed the band and so the label granted a relatively small budget which even doubled in the process of recording. little did roadrunner know that "beneath the ashes" would become a thrash classic which sold over 600.000 copies and was listed among the top twenty thrash records of all time by u.k. metal magazine terrorizer.
concerning my personal taste i can only praise it with the same superlatives like the music press did. this album is pure gold from first to last tune. the musical development in all departments is remarkable. "schizophrenia" sounds like the band had yet to find themselves. instead of trying to sound like the big bands of the genre, "beneath the remains" shows a group of grown musicians with better understanding for each other and a clear idea of what their very own sound was going to be like. check out the whole thing here.
the re-press is, just like "schizophrenia", a detailed re-work of the european roadracer pressing from 1989. rhino chose a clear orange colour-way for "beneath the remains" and i can only congratulate to this decision. works quite well with the cover art by michael whelan. the artwork is famous because it wasn't originally planned for the album. the artwork by whelan the band actually chose was given to obituary's "cause of death" by the label. the printed insert for this re-press is one-sided with a blank back. i wonder if this was the case with the original pressing. couldn't find any pictures. rhino records. 2017.

Sonntag, 16. Juli 2017

sepultura - schizophrenia (box set edition)

sepultura's second full length "schizophrenia" was, like "morbid visions" and the split with overdose, released on cogumelo records and came out in 1987. it seems that cogumelo released the album only for the south american market. later on the album got a few pressings on different labels, for example shark records from germany, but it was never fully distributed internationally. as i already stated in the preceeding post, sepultura was signed to roadrunner in 1989 for the release of "beneath the remains". a year afterwards roadrunner re-released "schizophrenia", this time on an international scale.
by the time it was re-released on cd, cassette and vinyl. there are a few cd and cassette pressings under the imprints of r/c records and roadracer records and also under the name of the mother label itself. why roadrunner worked with these different imprints i really cannot say. i read that they used roadracer in the states to avoid name right problems with the comic character roadrunner from the looney tunes but that doesn't explain r/c records. anyway, this box set version is a detailed re-press of the european pressing from 1990 on the roadracer imprint.
besides a sticker on the cover advertising the re-mastered album and the bonus track "troops of doom" (a re-recorded version from "morbid visions") and few legal informations in the fine print, this rhino re-press looks like it came out twenty seven years ago. of course it is the easiest way for rhino to keep this re-press as close to the blue prints from the roadrunner archives as possible but this suits me just fine. i love my re-press that way. even the printed dust sleeve comes on standard paper quality that feels so eighties and not with a glossy finish which is common these days.
musically the sound improved quite a lot in comparison to "morbid visions", the production is sharper. the songs are still that early slayer and metallica influenced thrash metal with a few excurses into the realm of death metal here and there. an important event for the future of sepultura was the joining of andreas kisser as lead guitarist for "schizophrenia". nevertheless sepultura's sophomore album remains to be the one i like the least. a shame because the vinyl colour used here is the slickest in my opinion. a lovely baby blue which reveals its marble effect held against the light. rhino records. 2017.

Freitag, 14. Juli 2017

sepultura - morbid visions (box set edition)

the first lp of the set is "morbid visions" from 1986. it is the band's debut full length released by brazilian label cogumelo records. it was recorded in belo horizonte during a seven day session. i never listened to any songs beforehand and wasn't expecting too much from this release. after a few spins i find myself rather enjoying it. of course, the production sounds a bit thin, max cavalera's vocal performance sounds quite untrained, the artwork is hilarious and the lyrics immature but the whole album is so full of energy.
you can really feel that they wanted to record some bad ass metal and hit as hard as possible. no fancy production, a small budget but the sheer enthusiasm of teenagers recording their first real album. this is probably what i like the most about this record. it's not really the music itself but the vibes it transports. one can tell these four brazilians had a strict slayer diet but a few death metal hints are to be heard as well. roadrunner actually re-released the album for the first time in 1990 on cd.
back then they were already part of the roadrunner roster for one year and "beneath the remains" had been released in 1989. as for the rest of this box set re-pressings rhino records stood absolutely true to the original editions, this one is the exception. everything is identical to the roadrunner vinyl re-pressing (out on the sub-label r/c records) from 1991 except of the centre labels. they seem to be the ones used for the polysom re-issue from 2013. strange because i couldn't find any explanation how this came to be. anyway, love the inclusion of "bestial devastation", the band's side of a split shared with overdose. it's pretty raw and i like it even a bit more than "morbid visions". clear red with black splatter vinyl. rhino records. 2017.

Mittwoch, 12. Juli 2017

sepultura - the roadrunner albums: 1985-1996

when this thing came out in january this year i was thinking if i should buy meself a copy. to be honest, i was never the biggest sepultura fan. i know their "roots" album from the mid-nineties because anyone who was slightly interested in metal back then knows that record, and i know their "chaos a.d." record from 1993 of which i bought a re-press five years ago. that's that. never listened to any pre-nineties sepul albums let alone any post max cavalera stuff. therefore i wasn't sure if i wanted to invest round about one hundred bucks into this box set. it drifted a bit out of my focus the coming months. in march i read a string of posts of sean and his skullfuckery blog.
he wrote about his box set and when i saw the pictures my interest grew. still other stuff was more important. finally this month the time was right for the sepultura box set and me. it helped that i found a copy in a media markt electronic store in neumünster on a trip with the wife and kid. with this physical copy in front of me and a good price tag on it, i couldn't deny it anymore. after i examined it closely i came to the following conclusions. the box set is more or less a re-press of a cd box set which roadrunner released in 2013. it was part of a series called "the complete roadrunner collection". the label released cd box sets of a handful of bands which had most of their discography put out by roadrunner. back then it didn't include the "morbid vision" record which thankfully has now been added.
this new release sees all the titles re-pressed on vinyl and for the first time all on colour vinyl. the label responsible for the re-issue is rhino records. since 2006 roadrunner records belongs to warner music and is part of one of the three major labels in the music business (sony music and universal music being the other two). after a little research i found out that rhino records also belongs to warner, so there was no licensing process. all just warner re-warming archive material. i love the kick of nostalgia anyway. maybe rhino re-presses some more of the "complete roadrunner collection". i would love to see some obituary or fear factory box sets. the slip sleeve looks a bit too simple in layout but the records make up for that. although sean already posted about every single record, i will do the same in the coming days because it's what i do. so stay tuned for some classic brazilian metal coming your way. rhino records. 2017.

Dienstag, 11. Juli 2017

inanimate existence - a never-ending cycle of atonement

after i bought the third full length of inanimate existence called "calling from a dream" there was no doubt that i also needed their other stuff on vinyl. in 2014 this technical death metal band from california released their sophomore album going by the name of "a never-ending cycle of atonement". back then unique leader records didn't feel it was necessary to give it the vinyl treatment. fortunately this mindset changed a year later. again ebay was my source for unique leader vinyl.
commercial seller dodax had a few copies in stock and i gladly took one. one and half week later i was the proud owner of a lovely white with blue splatter vinyl copy of "a never-ending cycle of atonement". musically this one is more raw in comparison to "calling from a dream". the female vocals are almost non-existing and the dark ambient melodies which gave the last album a little goth touch are not as prominent on "a never-ending cycle...".
all this doesn't hinder this record in being a great tech-death album, it simply makes it a little less unique. but you may check for yourself via this link. the presentation is the usual way unique leader handles their releases. a slip sleeve and a printed dust sleeve with further information. the cover artwork by guang yang is amazing and together with the lovely vinyl colour it is the perfect combination. don't know how many have been made. unique leader records. 2014/2015.

Sonntag, 9. Juli 2017

exist - so true, so bound

i don't write any best of year lists but if i did, "so true, so bound" would be a strong contender to make the top three. this thing pretty much came out of the blue. but let us start with the beginning. i am subscribed to the prosthetic records mailing list and at some point in may i was informed about the coming full length of a band called exist. never heard of them before. driving force behind exist is max phelps. he is the voice of the death tribute band death to all and played in cynic. these two bands run deep in the musical veins of phelps.
after i listened to "so true, so bound" a couple of times i would summerise the sound of exist as a sophisticated mixture out of death and cynic. take the progressive death metal of later era death and season it with the melodical atmosphere of cynic and you get a fair idea of what exist sound like. the album is demanding but equally rewarding when you give it a little time to fully unfold. check out the video to "take my picture" and witness the band's take on today's presentation of self via social media.
i really like the sound on this album. not as polished as most technical death metal records but still very forceful. love the bass in the mix in particular. hannes grossmann of ex-necrophagist and ex-obscura fame provided the drum play and bobby koelble who is also part of the death to all project and was part of the legendary line-up of death's "symbolic" record lended is talent on "to sever the strings". so loads of metal fame on here.
i ordered my copy via emp mailorder. the description said nothing about the colour-way and the mock-up picture showed a single black vinyl copy. on the prosthetic record store i was able to find only double colour vinyl and so i assumed emp just had scarce information and therefore used a standard procedure in showing the item as single black vinyl. i took the gamble because it was also priced as a single lp and it paid off. lovely light blue marble vinyl matching the artwork perfectly. a masterpiece through and through. prosthetic records. 2017.

Mittwoch, 5. Juli 2017

hatesphere - ballet of the brute

sometimes things just fall into place. a little after i snagged a colour vinyl re-press of the fourth hatesphere record "the sickness within", scarlet records announced a re-issue of my favourite and the band's third full length "ballet of the brute". technically speaking this is the first press of the album because it never got the vinyl treatment in the first place. a shame scarlet records didn't press any colour vinyl but this is really just a second rate complaint because the album looks lovely on black gold.
"ballet of the brute" was released in 2004 and i was already a fan of the band. my uncle and his band isolated had a good rapport with hatesphere vocalist jacob bredahl. also my aunt was booking shows back then and so bredahl's hardcore band barcode played the local venue a couple of times and so did hatesphere in support of their 2002 album "bloodred hatred". via my family connection i met the singer at a show in braunschweig which hatesphere played with cataract. because of me being the kid (i was innocent eighteen back then) i got a shirt and cd from jacob. i felt pretty cool that evening.
so owning this gem finally on vinyl brings back some real fond memories of a time when listening to hardcore and metalcore was pretty much all i really cared for. hatesphere with their thrash metal/death metal mix were not particularly part of that genre but they played a lot of shows with bands with hardcore background and so fitted quite well. the album aged really good and is still a scorcher without any weakness to me. check it out and bang that head. cannot say how many have been pressed. scarlet records. 2004/2017.

Dienstag, 4. Juli 2017

integrity - those who fear tomorrow (tan vinyl)

over a year ago i got myself a copy of integrity's first album called "those who fear tomorrow". back then i didn't want to wait for a cooler copy coming my way and so i ordered a clear blue copy hassle-free from per koro records. although it was convenient to obtain this record, i wasn't completely satisfied and still needed to get an opaque coloured version of former pressings. the reasons were many. first of all those earlier pressings came with a gatefold cover with excerpts of visual work of hieronymus bosch on the inside taken from the dutch east india trading cd version.
that looks very apocalyptic and really works well with the album title. the second reason was all the invisible ink that kind of became a trademark detail for any integrity record done by organized crime records. unfortunately the clear blue re-press didn't have any. the third reason was the vinyl colour. opaque pink or tan colour vinyl looked especially tempting. in the end i snagged this tan copy from a seller from germany and re-invested the money i got from the sale of my clear blue copy.
the album itself is another reason for my preference of the early integrity material. what a timeless mixture of hardcore, thrash and death metal. "systems overload" is still my favourite record of integ but the debut ranks pretty close to it. my tan copy is out of 400 copies pressed of the second organized crime pressing for this album. i love the marble effect of this colour pattern. originally released in 1991 on overkill records. organized crime records. 2010.

Freitag, 30. Juni 2017

the dillinger escape plan - option paralysis

i really liked "ire works", the first the dillinger escape plan record i listened to and bought a copy of a few months before. like always in such cases i was out for more records of the respective band. the problem with the dillinger escape plan was that their stuff is pretty high in demand, especially the post relapse records releases which did not get repressed lately. therefore i knew that the full lengths would not come fast. as luck would have it the seller on ebay kleinanzeigen who sold his atheist record to me also had a silver copy of "option paralysis" on offer.
my monthly vinyl budget was already depleted at that point and so i had to wait for june. luckily nobody else bought it before me. the seller offered this copy for a quite fair price already but i was able to lower it to a very moderate amount. a pretty good deal in my book. musically "option paralysis" is a real scorcher. the string of masterpieces i bought lately is considerable by the way. anyway, in my opinion "option paralysis" beats "ire works" to second place and "ire works" is a monster of an progressive hardcore/mathcore record already. really impressive. check it out here.
now i feel i really need to get a wacken ticket for this years festival because the band is playing their last german festival show before they will disband in the course of this year. "option paralysis" however was released via season of mist records from france. the first press came with a die-cut sleeve and a sweet turning wheel underneath to play a little with the artwork. subsequent pressings unfortunately did not have that special sleeve but a regular sleeve instead. maybe one day... my copy is the rarest colour of the second press and out of 300 copies. season of mist records. 2010/2016.

Donnerstag, 29. Juni 2017

gorguts - colored sands

"colored sands" was the comeback album the band released in 2013. actually creative mastermind luc lemay brought gorguts back in 2008 already but the album took another five years to finally surface. for this release the band collaborated with french label season of mist records for the first time. the wait for "colored sands" was definitely worth it. the record is a demonstration of masterful musical and lyrical skills. gorguts left nothing to chance, every note is the result of a sophisticated masterplan and is distinctively gorguts.
the concept for the album is based on the tibetian culture and history. the album title refers to sand mandalas of the tibetian buddhistic believe. they serve as support for meditation and have a positive affect against the poisons of the mind - hate, greed and delusion. these mandalas are drawn with coloured sand and destroyed after use as a sign for evanescence. the first four songs deal with the culture, topography and geography of the country.
with the orchestral piece "the battle of chamdo" the topic of the last four songs is ringed in. those deal with the chinese invasion in 1950 and its consequences down to the present day. the whole concept is such a strong take on a topic which is to my knlowledge not very common in today's metal and therefore so informative and unique. musically the album is the consequent evolution to "obscura" and a strong follow-up to "from wisdom to hate". luc lemay wanted to create a new musical language with his music and i think he and his band accomplished it completely.
their stuff is so different in thinking and acting from your next best metal band, there is no denying that gorguts are on top of a progressive force in death metal which raised the bar for years to come. considering this i am embarrassingly late to the party. fortunately season of mist re-pressed the album a couple of times with this transparent sand colour out of 250 copies being the latest press from last year. it was still available at high roller records store and so i grabbed myself a copy. season of mist records. 2013/2016.

Sonntag, 25. Juni 2017

elder - reflections of a floating world

the new elder release is finally here and again the trio from massachusetts crafted a truly mesmerising piece of art. on their self-titled debut elder had yet to find theirselves but "dead roots stirring" from 2011 and "lore" from 2015 were nothing short of masterpieces. the guys created a mix of heaviness and atmosphere that is unparalleled in the stoner rock genre and beyond. of course i was very excited to hear the band was releasing a new record in early june. that was at some point in march, i believe. almost every day i checked the band's facebook page eagerly awaiting the pre-orders to go live.
in contrast to "lore" where the first press came on black vinyl only, both european (stickman records) and u.s. (armageddon shop) label offered coloured vinyl. while there are several u.s. versions floating around offered by several sources, stickman records made one vinyl edition available. a lovely sea foam green colour-way. as i definitely found one or another u.s. vinyl colour attractive as well, i didn't want to pay up for international shipping. so i jumped at the stickman pre-orders as soon as it was up and at the end of may i was the proud owner of a vinyl copy of the new elder record, called "reflections of a floating world".
what can i say, again elder gave us a record full of spaced out and dreamy progressive rock/stoner hymns. everything is pure gold on this record. if you like bands such as baroness or mastodon, you have found your new favourite band in elder. i am always a bit puzzled as to why these guys don't gain much more recognition. the artwork by adrian dexter is another milestone in his ongoing collaboration with the band. simply beautiful. the art and lettering on the slip sleeve come with a spot gloss print while the white upper bar is of normal cardboard. printed dust sleeves, an insert with all lyrics and nice 180gr sea foam green round out the lovely package. stickman records. 2017.

post scriptum: i am pretty excited to see elder live in hamburg on 24th of july with two good friends. we'll see if the band carries some tour vinyl. so probably there will be more elder vinyl on here soon...

Freitag, 23. Juni 2017

killswitch engage - alive or just breathing

finally the vinyl gods had mercy with my sorry soul and granted me deliverance through a vinyl pressing of killswitch engage's breakthrough record "alive or just breathing". the album was released in 2002 but i think, it wasn't until late 2003/early 2004 that i listened to the opener "numbered days". it was right after school in front of a small super market which was close to the school building, where a friend of mine handed me his second headphone plug and turned up the volume of his discman.
the song blew me away. it was something completely new to me. the riffing of classic metal combined with hardcore groove and big choruses that were not cheesy because of the unique voice of jesse leach. i was all over it and got my hands on a cd copy which i played to death. "alive or just breathing" came just in time to fill the void that nu metal left after its downfall and killswitch were, along with bands like unearth or shadows fall, leaders of a new genre soon to be called metalcore.
when i started to collect vinyl and set out to get vinyl copies of albums i held dear and had already on cd, killswitch engage's sophomore release was always high on the list of albums i would have liked to see a vinyl pressing of. now, fifteen years after its initial release, roadrunner comes up with an anniversary pressing which is technically the first press. i am not one hundred percent satisfied with it, though. i really would have liked to see roadrunner sticking to the original cover instead of this worked over variant.
and of course a coloured variant would have been cool also. well, 180gr black vinyl looks sharp as well. the upside is the inner gatefold with all the cool band pictures from back in the day and the very informative insert with loads of liner notes by band members, former companions and label employees. for example roadrunner was close to drop all that was metal from their roster because the genre seemed dead in the early 00's. killswitch brought a breath of fresh air and got the label back on track. don't know how many copies were made. roadrunner records. 2002/2017.

Mittwoch, 21. Juni 2017

born of osiris - the eternal reign

the new release of born of osiris is not a new one at all but rather a re-recording of the band's debut full length "the new reign" from 2007. if count count taught you well, you might have recognised that 2017 marks the ten years anniversary of born of osiris' first album. for all their releases they stayed with the label sumerian records, so 2017 was not only the anniversary of the debut but the cooperation with sumerian as well. to celebrate this fruitful relationship for both sides born of osiris hit the studio again to grace the music with a new production.
i have a pretty lively memory of 2007 when i sat in front of my computer, in the room of my first shared flat in leipzig checking bands on myspace. i came across "the new reign" and fell in love with this progressive and modern way of metal. seven years later i was equally excited to add the vinyl version to my collection. right after their milestone "the discovery", this first record is my favourite of them. therefore i was a little torn if there was really the need for me to get this re-recorded version.
at first i flirted with the u.s. pre-order over at sumerian but my doubts hindered me in putting the idea to action. after a while i saw an european version floating around. when i saw the price dropping drastically in the absence of oversea shipping rates i couldn't say no anymore. the final outcome is pretty much what you would expect of a re-recorded version. it's basically the same stuff with a better sound. little changes here and there and a new song as a bonus. so really more of a fanboy package but that's just what i am. i think i prefer the original version but this new edition will not just collect dust on my shelf. good work born of osiris! opaque orange vinyl. sumerian records. 2017.

Montag, 19. Juni 2017

suffocation - pierced from within orange vinyl

almost a year ago i bought a copy of suffocation's third album "pierced from within". back then i won an auction for an orange vinyl re-press by listenable records from france. after some hassle i finally recieved a copy, only it wasn't coloured but black vinyl. i then got a refund and the seller said that i could keep the black copy. in my according post i wrote that i wasn't planning to get the colour copy and stick to my black lp. yeah right, who was i fooling here?
when i decided to buy "pleiades' dust" by gorguts from supreme chaos records, i searched the store for an addition to my order. i came across a new orange vinyl copy for a pretty moderate price. the description said "slight corner ding" which probably was the reason for the good price. i thought "how bad can it be?", and added it to my cart. i am still searching for that corner ding and am very happy that i went for it.
the album was recorded in 1995 and actually released by roadrunner records. it was the first album where the band was satisfied with the sound production. on this album they started with the habbit of re-recording one song of the "breeding the spawn" record, which had a poor production due to some financial issues of roadrunner, on every new album. check out the whole record here. 500 copies pressed. listenable records. 2016.

Sonntag, 18. Juni 2017

gorguts - pleiades' dust

gorguts were a little surprise to me last year. a band that is around since the late eighties and their considered masterpiece "obscura" was written in the mid nineties, were just brought into my focus last year. i bought their re-issues of said "obscura" album and the follow-up "from wisdom to hate" on century media and then my interest drifted onto other things. lately i listened to my gorguts records again and thought it was time to get the latest stuff from the return after their second break-up consequent upon the suicide of drummer steve macdonald in 2002.
in 2008 the band or better luc lemay, guitarist, voclist and mastermind behind gorguts' compositions, started working on a few demo tracks. due to some legal issues with century media which took over olympic records, the label which gorguts released their last two records with, and long recording process, the fifth full length "colored sands" saw the light of day in 2013 and "pleiades' dust" in 2016 eventually. the wait was worth it. the band is still complex and challenging but that is just the way you want your gorguts album. what is more stunning to me is the atmosphere they create.
the e.p. that contains of one coherent song. the lyrical concept is based on the house of wisdom in baghdad and it seperates the piece into seven sections. the house of wisdom was founded in 825 and was some sort academy where arabic scholars translated and provided scientific scripts from the ancient world. next to the translation department the house of wisdom also contained a hospital, a libary and an observatory. in 1258 the house was destroyed by the mongolians who conquered baghdad. all these elements can be found in the fantastic artwork by zbigniew m. bielak from poland. 500 copies on orange vinyl. season of mist records. 2016.

Montag, 12. Juni 2017

inanimate existence - calling from a dream

this is actually the first record i recieved in june. it kicked off a flood of great records being washed up at my doorstep and the flood still won't let up. for this first june record the motto is a new month, a new unique leader record. i came across inanimate existence while checking the unique leader roster. i think i listened to them one or two months ago and was a bit put off by the female voice which kicks right in at the start of the first song "calling from a dream".
it reminded me a bit of fallujah, an experimental death metal band which i hold really dear since their debut "the harvest wombs" started my recent obsession for tech death. so far, so good. only it wasn't as good and that's why i put them aside. after i got myself the hideous divinity and eschaton record i stumbled upon inanimate existence again. re-visiting the album i had to revise my first impression. it wasn't right to say "not as good as fallujah", it was simply different and great in its own way.
inanimate existence brings more of a dark atmosphere into their mix. not as futuristic as fallujah but more occult. i really dig it and am happy to add this to collection. you can check the whole album in stream on the tube. the band was founded in 2010 in santa cruz, california. "calling from a dream" is their third and latest full length all released via unique leader. need to check out the other two releases.
the album comes in a slip sleeve with printed dust sleeve. the great artwork by parin cashmony adds to the dark and mystical mood the music creates. the vinyl is described as white with purple haze, whereas the purple is seemingly added very scarcely to the mix. held against the light the vinyl reveals quite alot purple under the surface, though. for the picture i used a single beam of sunlight that shines through the centre of the record to emphasise the difference. bought this at hhv.de with a sweet discount on it. unique leader records. 2016.

Samstag, 10. Juni 2017

atheist - elements

last year i got meself a copy of atheist's debut full length "piece of time" and was pretty impressed with the sophisticated brand of metal they were playing, especially when considering the year of release of this album which was 1989. back then i wanted to get the other albums of the band as well but lost focus a little. seeing this album for sale two weeks ago on ebay kleinanzeigen served as a reminder. ebay kleinanzeigen is a second hand market by ebay with focus on local offers, similar to craigslist.org.
usually this isn't a proper site for searching for vinyl. in general search hits are limited for hardcore or metal stuff. i was checking options for atheist vinyl and just wanted to make sure i was exhausting all possibilities. actually i looked for a copy of "unquestionable presence" but came across a very reasonable priced copy of the third full length "elements". the seller listed the item as new and if that was true (season of mist vinyl comes unsealed in a protection sleeve), i paid even less than from a store.
musically this album is a blast. a wild, jazzy trip through thrashed prog death metal. "elements" is a surprise bag full of ideas tied together by masterful musicianship. the lyrical theme build around the four elements adds to the progressive approach on metal. the colourful artwork by kristian wåhlin works perfectly with the musical part of the piece. in this context i think that season of mist could have gone a bit crazier with the vinyl colour as well. clear red is a nice match nevertheless. 250 copies made. season of mist records. 2015.

Donnerstag, 8. Juni 2017

mastodon - emperor of sand

i finally came around to get a copy of the new masterpiece by mastadon. the new baby is entitled "emperor of sand" and is a concept album again which really made me see the return of high times of "crack the skye" or "leviathan". it is not like i wouldn't love the non-concept records "the hunter" and "once more 'round the sun", quite on the contrary. in other words: there is no such thing as a bad mastodon record. but the overshadowing myth of a lyrical concept adds a special attraction.
"emperor of sand" tells the story of a protagonist being sentenced to death by a ruler of the desert. he is cursed to wander the wastelands and experiences different stages of exhaustion, dehydration and disorientation. at the end the protagonist dies and is saved at the same time. with these metaphors the band deals with relatives of a few members developing cancer. a gripping concept in a fantastic setting. next to the lyrical common thread the musical part is outstanding.
to me it is a perfect mastodon album. not one weak song on the record. all killer, no filler. again the band worked with producer brendan o'brien. he already was the mediator between the band and recording techniques on "crack the skye" and did an awesome job back then. on "emperor of sand" i feel the same diversity and lust for detail. an artisitic collaboration which paid off completely. listen to the full album and convince yourself.
i got myself a copy that late because i thought and still think that there will be a coloured vinyl version of "emperor of sand" at some point. i tried to wait it out but failed becuase you know, it's mastodon. so of course i will pay for another colour copy when the time arrives. the artwork by alan brown/medusawolf is gorgeous. i love the hieronymus bosch-esque center piece of the gatefold cover. nice 180gr black vinyl housed in a sturdy, glossy gatefold sleeve. european edition. reprise records. 2017.