Sonntag, 26. März 2017

hatesphere - the sickness within

hatesphere's "the sickness within" is one of that albums i had on my cd shelves since it came out. the album was released in 2005 and at the time i was eagerly awaiting for my cd copy to arrive. i loved the two predecessors "bloodred hatred" and "ballet of the brute" and couldn't get enough of their material. i remember when i listened to "the sickness within" for the first time i was blown away by songs like "the fallen shall rise in a river of blood" or the title track.
unfortunately the album cannot maintain the hit quality of the first half throughout the whole duration and to me, this album marks the beginning of the decline of hatesphere. i have a few albums the band released after "the sickness within" but they cannot come close to past deeds, especially without jacob bredahl on vocals who left in 2007. anyway, ten years after its initial release "the sickness within" got the vinyl treatment for the first time by danish label heartburn music.
i heard about the vinyl release two years ago but somehow never made an attempt to get a copy. when i was browsing the napalm records web shop to buy a birthday present for a friend, i found the limited splatter variant on sale and finally had no more excuses. since it was on clearance it was definitely a no-brainer to add it to the cart. the presentation is solid, slip sleeve with a printed dust sleeve, whereas the splatter is pretty pathetic. whatever, nice to listen to it again after such a long period of time. 100 copies made. heartburn music. 2015.

Freitag, 24. März 2017

archspire - the lucid collective

in my recent obsession with technical death metal i stumbled upon a band called archspire when surfing through youtube suggestions. i listened to a few bits and thought they were worth the effort of getting some recorded material. at first i seeked the assistance of discogs. the data base told me the band had two full lengths under their belt. the first one, "all shall align", never saw a vinyl release and the second one, their latest, was put to vinyl by season of mist records.
it came in handy that i listened to some songs of "the lucid collective" and therefore knew that this second album was definitely up my alley. so i gleefully checked the copies for sale only to find that the coolest variant, which is transparent red, wasn't for sale. the second colour-way, transparent blue, was available but only u.s.-seller offered them. a quick search through domestic distros and the mother label season of mist concluded with the insight that the red lp wasn't available via the usual channels.
i wrote the record off with the idea to get it if an ebay option popped up. when i searched for a copy of the dillinger escape plan's "ire works" last weekend, i came across a german record from berlin which also has an e-shop. the talk is of dodo beach records. i never heard of them before but they seem to have a decent selection of hardcore and metal titles. i didn't find my desired "ire works" variant but "the lucid collective" instead and was surprised to see that it was marked as red vinyl. i checked this sucker out immediately and two days later it was mine.
musically "the lucid collective" is an outburst of creativity and technical skills. fast, melodic, groovy at times and all arranged so sophistically evil that there is no denying these canadians know their craft. check them out. you can tell by the cover that my copy was a store copy that has been sitting in the dodo beach racks for almost three years. a bit shopworn here and there. the vinyl however is in top condition. 250 copies made. season of mist. 2014.

Samstag, 18. März 2017

galactic empire

this thing came straight out of the blue for me. i mean, i remember that i saw the video to the "main theme" somewhere along the way on the tube last year but i thought this was some well done fan project, a one-time occurence. i think, actually i am not far from the truth with that assumption. the "main theme" was put out to the release of star wars VII - the force awakens and was pretty succesful with over four million clicks to date.
backed up with such good resonance the guys set up a crowdfunding campaign and collected over sixty thousand dollars to record a full length album. rise records signed the band and over a year after they first appeared, the self-titled debut is out for the taking. i missed all the buzz around them and just learned about the existence of this record by seeing the album pop up for order at some german distros a week ago. i simply liked the cover art and then was delighted to find that this whole thing was a metal adaption of the music of my favourite movies of all time.
star wars metal is probably the coolest thing on earth, especially when it is so god damn well executed. their technical approach to the classic pieces is breathtaking at times. just listen to "duel of fates" (the first time i partly enjoy a prequel) and "across the stars" and be taken to a galaxy far far away... i ordered this pearl via jpc.de and i can only recommend them. fast and smooth transaction here. the vinyl colour looks awesome and matches the cover art very well. 1138 copies on transparent orange crush with halloween orange splatter. rise records. 2017.

Mittwoch, 15. März 2017

converge - jane live

another converge live album. after i unloaded an unholy amount of cash to buy the boxset edition of "thousands of miles between us" and still i think it was worth every goddamn penny, i wasn't too much a fan of the idea to get just another live record by the band. when i learned that it would be a recording of their set at roadburn festival in the netherlands, my curiosity was aroused. the band played two evenings, one set called "blood moon" where converge played some odds and ends from their albums they usually don't. stuff with additional instruments and musicians like "cruel bloom" for example.
the other evening the band played their legendary album "jane doe" in its entirety on the occasion of its fifteenth anniversary. at first i was delighted because i hoped for both sets to be released on vinyl. a little disappointment crawled in when i realised only the "jane doe" recording was pressed to the plastic discs. after a few moments i came to the conclusion that "jane live" was still special and that i wanted a copy, indeed. but just for a moment consider the greatness of both sets in an epochal boxset. not that bad, right?
anyway, "jane live" was available in five different versions. the idea was to give five befriended artists the possibility to make their own run on the iconic jane doe artwork. a lovely and very collectible idea for all the converge fangirls and -boys out there. i gave the crazy idea of getting one copy of each version a moment of reflection but then decided to just get my personal favourite. i opted for the "main" variant with ashley rouse couture's real life reconstruction of jane.
i really like florian bertmer's take on jane as well but in combination with this lovely merge colour-way, ashley rouse couture was an easy choice. the other cover variants were crafted by john dyer baizley (from baroness), thomas hooper and randy ortiz - choose your own fav. all of the other variants are limited to 500 copies each. mine is limited to 2000 copies but fuck those limitations and take another glance at this beauty. pre-ordered from the european deathwish store, which is really a nice idea for all the fans over here. self-released by the band. 2017.

Sonntag, 12. März 2017

rings of saturn - dingir

i got the first and third full length by rings of saturn pretty much hassle-free as they were both available via a german mailorder, hhv.de. the second album called "dingir" seemed to be much harder to come by. i searched all my usual distros in germany and europe but came up with nothing. so i was already close to order a copy from the states where there are still a few copies available from indie merch store. i did one last try to find a domestic solution by just entering the band and album name at google.
among the hits was an amazon option for a "dingir" copy. the price was reasonable, especially when i considered what i would have to pay, if i ordered from the states. furthermore i had a five euro credit from my last amazon order and so it seemed like the perfect solution. i pulled the trigger and four days later my copy arrived. on the package i read that amazon imported the record from a warehouse of them in england. the vinyl was pressed in czech republic, sent to the american label unique leader and then sent back to great britain to finally land in germany. some records move in mysterious ways.
fortunately i recieve more and more records shipped in cardboard mailers with a crumple zone to prevent bumped corners. amazon shipped this way as well. thumbs up! musically rings of saturn delivered a diverse and sophisticated piece of technical modern death metal. not one weak song on "dingir". listen to the whole output here. unique leader pressed the album on clear green and opaque blue vinyl. i believe clear green was more limited and so it was likely i would get the blue variant. suited me just fine. love this shade of blue. winner! unique leader records. 2013.

Mittwoch, 8. März 2017

isis - wavering radiant

isis is one of those bands that have a certain attraction to me but still i would never go over the odds to get a hold on their records. i'll gladly pick up whatever i find along the way but won't unload extra cash for a specific variant or something like that. nevertheless i am always very excited when an ebay option or colour re-press pops up. this being so i was surprised to find a coloured lp offer for the band's last full length "wavering radiant" from 2009 amongst the new stuff over at per koro.
even though the record was a little bit on the expensive side, i didn't hestitate to add a copy to my cart. i always loved the visual aesthetics of isis records and "wavering radiant" is no exception. the cover art looks like it was glowing and the blue streaks have almost a 3d quality to them. the haptic of the gatefold adds to spatial feeling because it is not smooth but a little wavy. well, sort of, you have to feel it yourself, i guess.
the gatefold is one of those ultra sturdy stoughton tip-on jackets. because of the cardboard being that thick, i can't even slip the gatefold into my usual reclosable pvc sleeves. a real piece of quality work. the vinyl itself is the european pressing on black with white splatter. i was a little sceptical if the outcome was looking good. in theory a cool colour-way but mostly those variants have way too less splatter and thus look still boring. fortunately i got a copy where the guys at the pressing plant didn't save on white vinyl pellets. looking sharp!
musically this is just the moody and avant-garde metal and hardcore mix i was expecting from isis. their stuff is nothing i can listen to on a daily basis but when i am in the mood for their atmospheric yet heavy stuff, i will definitely grab "wavering radiant" with a thrill of anticipation. it's hard to pick a favourite because i understand an isis record as a whole, so i suggest you listen to all of it. 775 copies on this variant. robotic empire. 2017.

Sonntag, 5. März 2017

xibalba - diablo, con amor... adios

a new release by one of the heaviest bands around - xibalba. unfortunately it is not a full length but whatever it is this band comes up with, i am there to willingly open my wallet and buy the product. the new 7" consists of three new songs and is aptly called "diablo, con amor... adios." which are the three song titles compiled in one sentence. the guys released it via closed casket activities, like almost all of their non-album releases like splits or 7"es.
the musical content is what you expect of xibalba. crushing riffs, kiloton heavy breakdowns and their very own doomy melancholia in the mix. you can check out the songs at the label's bandcamp site and also order the vinyl there. i ordered my copy via per koro, therefore it was clear that i would get the most common version. that's ok because the alternative meant ordering from the states with paying double for the shipping. smooth transaction as always with per koro.
the artwork by dan seagrave, who is also responsible for the look of "hasta la muerte" and "tierra y libertad" and for many other legendary records in the death metal genre, is really great. almost a shame that is wasn't used to grace the 12" format. there were four colour-ways pressed for this 7". electric blue with olive splatter out of 200 copies, clear orange with bronze splatter and blood red out of 300 copies and my electric blue out of 700 copies. closed casket activities. 2017.