Sunday, November 30, 2014

Midnight Mayhem

Three years ago, Sandwell introduced me to Midnight's Satanic it really been that long? Their brand of Venom/Motorhead inspired Metal was just what I needed at that time, and I listened to the shit out of it throughout 2012. Would Midnight still be able to cast their black magic spell over me in 2014?

While I haven't been giving No Mercy For Mayhem the obsessive spins like I did with the previous Midnight LP, this this is still a raging album. Raw power that is on the verge of going off the rails and taking out everyone in it's path. Midnight keep on doing what they do best.

Pressed on oxblood colored vinyl.

The Midnight LP comes with a huge poster as a bonus. Taped nipples and black hoods at knife point. I'll have to check with the wife and kids as to which wall I should mount this beauty.

In addition to releasing their new album, Midnight also was included in the Decibel Flexi Series with their cover of Venom's Too Loud (For The Crowd). I'm not really interested in Decibel magazine, as I don't care about 90% of the bands featured, but occasionally they will throw in a flexi disc that will be too good to resist. The Midnight flexi was one, and the Iron Reagan flexi was another.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Purple Pursuance

Shit. I wasn't going to write a post today. I loaded the pictures and threw the "Purple Pursuance" title on this yesterday, and figured that I'd get around to writing something later this week. When I saw the "Purple Bug" post that Marcus posted today, I thought, "How can I not follow up with my own Purple post?"...especially since he was the one that turned me on to this Only Crime record.

I remember being pretty excited when the first Only Crime album was released back in 2004. Dudes from Good Riddance and Bane in the same band? Goddamn right, I was interested. Still, while I enjoy both of the Only Crime albums, I've probably listened to each of them less than 10 times. I don't is good stuff, but it lacks something that makes me want to return to it time and time again. Still, when Marcus posted about this record last month, it sparked my interest.

Pursuance follows the same blueprint put forth with the first two Only Crime records. I'm enjoying it, and I've already listened to more than Virulence. Still there are times that it is poppy enough to make me uncomfortable, and I just want the band to rage.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Join The Legion Of The Damned

I've always come up short when looking for Legion Of The Damned vinyl. Sure, I suppose that I could cough up some big bucks and order it from overseas, but I guess that I keep holding out for some US distributor to stock it, and make the hunt easier for me. I've been listening to the band for seven years, and with each album they release, I tell myself that this time I'm going to make it happen...this time, I'll put up whatever cash it takes, and I'll buy the album on vinyl. However, each year, while I enjoy that new Legion Of The Damned album, I find that I don't return to it enough...thus it fades from the forefront of my thoughts, and I move on to records that are higher on my immediate Want List.

So when it was announced that Legion Of The Damned had a new album, Ravenous Plague, being released this year, I found myself in a similar position. I told myself that this was the year...this time it was going to happen. The difference this year was that I'd really been digging a ton of Metal, and with a push from the new Cannibal Corpse album, I'd been craving some Metal that is a bit more brutal. Legion Of The Damned's brand of blackened thrash was just what I was looking for.

Legion Of The Damned follow the same path as Motorhead and AC/DC. Not that they sound anything like those bands, but like them, you know exactly what you are going to get with a new album. No need to worry if they are going to go "soft", or if they are going to "mature". They do what they do, and that is cool with me.

Limited to 150 as a special Napalm Records pressing on golden vinyl. At first I thought that the vinyl was kind of ugly, but the more I look at it, I get sucked into the ripple of, it does complement the art very nicely.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Primitive Blast

Earlier this year, I picked up the new album from The Shrine. While hanging out in the Tee Pee store recently, I noticed that they had the band's Primitive Blast album available. Feeling like I had money to throw around, I bought a copy.

Back in 2007/2008 I was all about a band called Annihilation, I couldn't get enough of them at the time. The Shrine does a great job of playing that same skate punk/destroy/thrash rock sound, and their video for Freak Fighter captures the vibe perfectly.

Third pressing is limited to 100 on white vinyl.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

25 Years: Time Flies

I once heard it proclaimed that Start Today was Age Of Quarrel for girls. Hey, I'm not looking down on the Cro-Mags at all, but for me, I go with Gorilla Biscuits every damn day. Guess I'm not that hard.

While I first heard Start Today back around 1990, and fell in love with it immediately, I've never owned a copy on vinyl. I've always been intimidated with trying to track down and drop the cash for those old REV titles, and Start Today was no exception.

With the album celebrating it's 25th anniversary this year, and REV reissuing it on vinyl, it seemed like the time was finally right for me to grab a copy. I immediately picked up the glow in the dark vinyl pressing when it was available, but REV has warned us that this pressing tends to have a lot of surface noise, so I'm obviously going to need to buy a different pressing at some point.

Embossed cover, glow in the dark vinyl, and the GB logo printed on the inner cover.

Actually, with the way the REV reissue machine has been rolling, I'm kind of surprised that it has taken them so long to finally repress the Start Today LP. However, now that we have seen this one, we can probably expect to see another colored vinyl press in about 6 months.

Pictures of glow in the dark vinyl always look like shit, but here you go anyway.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Trouble To The Skull

I've really fallen in love with Trouble this year. Sure I've enjoyed them for years, but things jumped to the next level when I bought my first piece of Trouble vinyl earlier this year. Spoiler alert: the band is going to show up on my Most Played list for 2014.

The Skull is made up of three former members of Trouble, with the main draw being the voice of Eric when I started to hear talk about the band coming together and starting to record an album, I couldn't wait for the release date. In the meantime though, I discovered that the drummer for the band, Jeff Olsen, now lives in my home state of about a half hour down the highway from me. Apparently he gives drum lessons, and since my son plays drums, it was tempting to see if I could get the dude from Trouble to show him a thing or two.

The album itself is rather solid. Wagner's voice is a bit clean, and I miss the bit of edge he had with Trouble...but then again, that was over 20 years ago. Still, his voice is easily identifiable, and this album just oozes with crushing doom riffs.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Wild Life / Survival

Powered Records is on a roll...following up their Not Afraid pre-orders with two new 7 inches. For a label that disappeared for a few years, it is cool to have them back in action.

Sometimes I buy shit that I'm not really that interested in. I buy it out of some weird kind of obligation. Seriously, most of the stuff I want, falls in the realm of Metal or Rock. I still love Hardcore, and there have been some gems that have been released this year, but I've been finding that it has been a bit of a struggle to get me excited about new stuff.

When Powered put up pre-orders over the summer, for the new Survival and Wild Life records, I really wanted to ignore it and put the money towards something more exciting. But 10 years of record collecting habit is hard to break. Powered is a solid Hardcore record label, and I generally enjoy everything they release, so I sucked it up and placed an order anyway.

When the records first arrived, I tossed them into the pile of new shit that I've received. surprise, but I was not in the mood to check them out. The time came this week, when I'd worked through my vinyl backlog, and I couldn't avoid it any was time to finally write about them. Suddenly, it felt like a like from that Circle Jerks song, Defamation Innuendo.

Hell, I never heard 'em and now I've gotta write about 'em
God, the story is due, the story's due tomorrow
What should I write? Well, they're no good

Thankfully, it didn't play out like that at all. First up, I drop the needle on the new Survival record. Even though I'd spent the day listening to Testament, Exodus, and Dio, the songs on this nine minute record are like a strong kick to the jaw. Man, even in this Metal state of mind, I can't help but recognize how good this is. Straight forward Hardcore.

Limited to 150, and hand numbered for Powered preorders.

Survival helped to whet the appetite, and things roll nicely as I moved on to check out the Wild Life 7 inch next. This one taking swings at more of a New York Hardcore sound. Goddamn, I'm really glad that I didn't turn my back on these two solid releases.

Wild Life preorders were limited to 75 on orange vinyl. Typically, Powered places the preorder sticker on the dust sleeve, but in this case they stuck it on the inside of the fold out cover. Odd...maybe they ran out of dust sleeves.

While placing my order for these two 7 inches, I figured that it was also a good time to grab the blue vinyl pressing for the Caught In A Crowd 12 inch.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Blood In Blood Out

I would have been looking forward to a new Exodus record regardless, but when you tell me that Steve "Zetro" Souza is back in the I'm really paying attention.

I've never had a problem with Dukes, and I really liked the three albums that he sang on (sorry, Let There Be Blood doesn't count), but having Zetro return is like welcoming home an old friend. In addition to the first Exodus album with Baloff, I grew up on Pleasures of the Flesh and Fabulous Disaster with Zetro behind the mic. This is the sound that I know...the sound that I love.

While it has been 10 years since Zetro's brief return with the 2004 album, Tempo of the Damned, Blood In Blood Out doesn't miss a beat. Tempo hit hard and fast, and this new one follows the same blueprint, sounding even nastier and more raw than than those Zetro albums from the 80's. While other bands from those early days "grow" and their sound "matures", Exodus give you exactly what you want...pure fucking Thrash.

Friday, November 14, 2014

The First Amulet LP

Some things can't be explained or rationalized. A band will hit you just right, get their hooks into you, and give you a charge that keeps you returning for repeat listens. They aren't anything extra special...they aren't doing anything new...and when asked why you are losing your shit over them, the best you can do is shrug your shoulders, and exclaim "Because they are awesome!"...or in the case of Amulet, "Because they are fucking Metal!".

Honestly, I'm not sure exactly why I'm so in love with the new Amulet album, The First. They play strictly by-the-numbers Heavy Metal...just straight forward head banging mania...and I can't get enough of it. For some reason, it reminds me of the first Laaz Rockit album, City's Gonna Burn...maybe not so much with the sound, but just the general delivery of it's proud metal-ness.

The back cover bears a bit of a resemblance the the back of Metallica's Kill 'Em All.

There have been a lot of great Metal releases this year, and it is going to be tough trying to figure out where this on falls in my Best Of list at the end of the year.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

World Full Of Hate

Last year was a great year for Hardcore, with one of the best surprises being the debut LP from Hounds of Hate. Great stuff in the vein of early Sick of it All and Killing Time. You can't ignore a band like this...well, you can, but you'd be a chump.

Over this past summer, I was surprised to see the band post up a new album, Hate Springs Eternal, on their bandcamp page. Seriously, what Hardcore bands can turn out two albums in two years? Unheard of.

Even though the band offered up a free download of the album, I still wasn't too excited over it. Digital releases do nothing for me, and it wasn't until a couple of months later, when the vinyl finally went up for sale, that I started to pay attention.

Hounds of Hate are great at what they do, and they keep doing it with Hate Springs Eternal. Man, this is the real deal. Hardcore that is loud and agressive, with a chip on the shoulder and nothing to prove. The band didn't need to rely on some well known label to get this album on the decided to go all D.I.Y., and release it themselves. Fantastic job too. Quality through and through.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Fire Up The Chainsaw

As the late 80's came to a close, Death Metal was becoming more and more popular in the scene. Obituary and Deicide seemed to help push things to another level of extreme in Metal, and I just wasn't getting it. I tried to hang with it, but I just didn't get the attraction. Hardcore was really starting to make some noise for me at the time, and I took that as my queue to exit the Metal scene.

Despite how I felt about Death Metal, when I was looking for something new last year...something that was ugly, violent, and utterly over the top...I decide to give the newest Cannibal Corpse album, Torture, a shot. While it wasn't something I didn't think that I'd be reaching for very often, it certainly fit what I was looking for at the moment.

When the band released their new album, A Skeletal Domain, a couple months ago, I didn't really give it much thought. At some point, something enticed me to check out the band's video for Kill Or Become...perhaps it was the promise of zombies, chainsaws and gore...whatever the reason was, I'm glad I did, because I was immediately hooked.

So while I generally don't really like this style of Metal, for some reason Cannibal Corpse does it for me. I hit play, and my eyes roll back in my head, my fingers immediately go to devil horn formation, and I bang my head, wishing that I had long straight hair that I could thrash around. When I found that I couldn't get enough of A Skeletal Domain, and that I kept spinning it daily in my iPod, I knew it was time to get the vinyl. The only problem was that it seemed the only vinyl option in the US was a shitty looking picture disk. No thanks, I'll pass. Thankfully, the Nuclear Blast webstore offered an import vinyl option, and I quickly snatched it up.

500 pressed on this sweet looking green and black colored vinyl that matches the Nuclear Blast logo.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Sentenced To Death

Earlier this year, Rise Above put up preorders for the Death Penalty 7 inch. Apparently, this was the new band that the guitarist from Cathedral put together, so people were pretty excited to check it out. Me? I'd never really bothered to check out Cathedral, and the thought of yet another female fronted Doom band made me simply shrug my shoulders and move on. Not interested.

A few months after the release of the 7 inch, Death Penalty followed it up with their self titled debut LP. While it was easy enough to ignore a two song 7 inch, I figured that I'd put the effort in and at least check out the promo video for the song Immortal By Your Hand. Whoa. I did not expect that it was going to sound this good! I was so impressed that I immediately preordered the Die Hard pressing from Rise Above.

The album, as a whole, isn't as mind blowing as that first song I'd heard. It is still pretty solid, but some songs seem to drag a bit, as doomy female fronted songs can do at times.

The vinyl for this, comes as double LP, with an etching on side D. The Die Hard pressing was limited to 100 on clear vinyl, and looks exceptionally nice.

Also included in the Die Hard edition was a bonus 7 inch, with two unreleased songs, plus a patch. Die Hard is obviously the way to go.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Perfect Midwaste

Rune over at Just Another Day Records has done a great job resurrecting the label. First he brings the long lost Resolve 7 inch back from the dead, and now he follows it up with a brand new release from Perfect People.

I'd never heard of the band Perfect People, but as soon as I saw Rune's tribute to The First Step with the preorder cover, I knew that I needed to check them out. TFS are one of my favorites, so if you are going to come at me with this cover, you've immediately got my attention. Great choice, and well executed.

Preorder cover was limited to 30.

I've been a little slow to gravitate to many Hardcore releases this year, but like the Protester 7 inch, this one is an immediate kick in the nuts. I love this record, and after only a couple of listens, I can tell that it is going to quickly climb my Best of 2014 list.

As I was listening to this, the singer's voice was so familiar, it was driving me crazy trying to place it. I was sure that he had sung in another band that I'd listened to. I checked in with Rune, but wasn't familiar with any of the bands that he was listing. Then it hit me...Ruiner...the singer sounds just like the guy from Ruiner.

The original plan was for Just Another Day to have 100 pressed on a peach colored vinyl. According to the note from Rune, the plant had some problems mixing the color, so we ended up with an orange/black smoke color. Truth be told, I think this color probably looks better, and compliments the cover art nicely. Great mistake.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Rog & Pip Revolution

I trust Rise Above Records on most of their releases, and I've taken chances on some albums just because it has their logo on it. However, when the label announced they were going to be releasing an album from Rog & Pip, even I approached it with extreme caution.

Even with the Rise Above bio dropping big time names like Zeppelin and Sabbath, I was going to need to check out a full download before I ventured into Rog & Pip territory. It took a while for it to show up on Soulseek, but once I finally heard it, I was immediately sold.

It might be a bit of a stretch throwing around the Zeppelin and Sabbath names...I suppose I can hear a bit of the influence hear and there, but I find Rog & Pip to be more comparable to Sweet, and man, I absolutely love Sweet.

Bare chested dudes named Rog and Pip. I would have never imagined that this album would rule as much as it does.

Rise Above does a great job with the packaging, and the big booklet is a nice touch. Tons of old photos, and history on how these two dudes from the late 60's/early 70's came to record an albums worth of amazing songs that I would imagine very few people had heard prior to this...oh and apparently they liked to take their shirts off too. Pin up material.

Monday, November 03, 2014

On With The Show

Lately, it seems like whenever I swing through the All That Is Heavy store, I'm end up grabbing some vinyl for one of Tony Reed's bands...either Mos Generator or Stone Axe. Both of those bands have been in constant rotation for me all year, and I've been slowly adding their vinyl to the collection.

Nothing new here for the Stone Axe side, as the song On With The Show also appears on the Stone Axe II LP...however, this is limited to 100 on green vinyl with the reverse image of the cover, so obviously I grabbed one when I had the opportunity.

The flip side of this split has a song from a band called Sun Gods In Exile. I'm not too familiar with them, but their song on here kind of caught my attention, so I started looking for info on them and was surprised to find that they reside in my backyard of Portland, Maine. Very cool. I'm going to have to check out more of their stuff.

The highlight for me with this purchase was the Until There Was Rock, You Only Had God 7 inch...mainly because of the song When I Came Down. For those that don't know, this was a song written by Norman Haines, and one of the first songs that Black Sabbath recorded. The Sabbath version has never been released, so it is very cool to hear this version from Stone Axe.

Limited to 300 pressed.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

20 Have Heart 2003

A couple months back, REV added four new pieces of colored vinyl to their distro for the Have Heart demo. The Bottled Up pressing history for the Have Heart is full on ridiculous, and in trying to contain my record spending, the last thing that I needed were four more copies of this thing. While I already had stupid amounts of Have Heart vinyl, I had lost all desire to try and keep up any longer. Fuck it. I quit this stupid game.

That was my line of thinking when I ignored the new pressings available over at REVHQ. A few months later, Rune over at Droid Rage posted up an article on record collecting. Marcus and Lins participated in the interview, and since I've known those dudes for a while, I figured that I'd check it out. As I read through it, and saw the photos capturing the idiocy of everyone's collections, it ignited that old spark of doing stupid shit and having fun. Did I need more Have Heart records? No. Did I want more, and increase how dumb I could get with my collection? Oh hell yes.

By the time I'd returned to the REV store, two of the four new pressings were sold out, so I grabbed what was available. 150 pressed on mint green, and 200 pressed on red vinyl.

It was stupid how excited I was to receive these two 7 inches. It was a complete waste of money, and I had much better things to buy...but I don't know if anything else would have put a smile on my face the same way that taking this group picture did. 20 copies of the Have Heart 2003 demo, and I have still barely scratched the surface.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Pocket Hurts

These days, it seems like I'm continually playing catch-up with Chris over at Unwavering Spirit. I'll see him post about a new record, and then about a month later, I will have worked through my vinyl backlog, and finally get it up over here. It seems to happen quite a bit lately, and here we are with a post on the new Soulside reissue from Dischord, and of course it has all been done before. Either that dude needs to calm down, or I need to get my shit together and catch up on my backlog.

The reason why Dischord reissues are better than most, is evident with their latest offering of Soulside vinyl. Even though I'm trying to save the money, and stay away from needless repressings, with the label adding the three songs from the Bass/103 7 inch, and updating the cover made this release too tempting to avoid.

Honestly, I'd forgotten how much I love these Soulside songs until I dropped the needle on this vinyl. I bought this reissue because "it just looked nice", but this ended up as a nice reminder as to how great the band was. If I'd received this kind of wake up call a few months ago, I may have made an attempt to make a trip to DC to catch the band play a reunion show with Moss Icon in December. Man, that show is going to rule.