Monday, October 15, 2018

Strange Highways

One of my prouder blogging moments was my string of "Dio-cember" posts last year, where I filled a couple major holes in the collection, and picked up a few oddball promo records. That string of records was so much fun to chase, and taking the group photo of my Dio collection laid out on display felt like a major accomplishment...even though it was still incomplete.

I was only missing a few big ticket records from the Dio collection...Strange Highways, Magica, and Heaven & Hell Live From Radio City Music Hall. There are a few others that I need, like some early singles, but those three command higher price tags...and it feels great to cross one of them off the list.

Some people only hang with Dio through the Sacred Heart album, or maybe stick it out through Dream Evil from 1987...I know that was my position for the longest time...but you are missing out if you are still stuck in that mindset. Dio had some amazing albums when metal started to fall apart in the 90's, and Strange Highways is one of my favorites.

1993 was not a friendly time for vinyl, and many record companies were only releasing CDs, so Strange Highways only saw a European release on wax...therefore, it can cost you some good money to get your hands on a copy. Although, after I picked up this copy, there was a reissue campaign for Dio's catalog from Holy Diver through Strange Highways, so maybe that will drive the price down for the original pressings. Either way, I'm just happy to finally own a first press for this.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Remission To Believe

There was a time when I was all about Remission, and would get wild when it came to collecting every pressing that I could get my hands on. It has been over five years since they released the Pain Understood 7 inch, and I was surprised to see that they were still around when React Records announced preorders for a new album. Damn. I was initially underwhelmed with the last Remission 7 inch, and while I did grow to enjoy it, with so much time having passed, I wondered if the band could still deliver.

Without a doubt, this is a strong hardcore album. Remission have not missed a beat, and keep going with their Verbal Assault influenced sound...although this time around, I get a little Jon Bunch/Reason To Believe flavor here and there...even that screaming face on the cover is reminiscent of Reason To Believe.

Here I am buying Remisison records from React. It feels like it's 2010 all over again, and that put me in the mood to buy multiple copies.

150 pressed on white colored vinyl, and 350 on red.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Orange Goblin Bites Back

2018 has felt relatively strong when it comes to new releases. Across both metal and hardcore, there are records that I keep queuing up for repeat spins, so yeah, it has been a lot of fun buying new records this year. There have been a number of new albums that I've been really excited for, and the new Orange Goblin certainly was one of the top on that list.

First of all, the packaging of this album is fucking stellar, even though it is damn impossible to get a good photo with that UV spot print and the reflective foil wolfs head. Still it looks amazing. Second, this album is a rager. I love all the Orange Goblin records, and The Wolf Bites Back is no exception.

Another 2018 release to fit into the Top 10 for the year.

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Doomsday Catacombs

When bands reunite after calling quits 30 years prior, I don't hold out much hope that they are going to rekindle any of the original magic, or release anything close to what they were doing previously. Surprisingly, Satan was able to do just that, and the two albums they released in 2013 (Life Sentence) and 2015 (Atom By Atom) were a couple of my favorite metal albums from the last five years.

When I heard that Satan was releasing their third album since reuniting, you can bet that I was ready to jump and get my order in as soon as it was available. To prime the metalheads for what is to come, the band released a 7 inch single in advance of the album.

Man, these songs are great, with The Doomsday Clock coming from the new album, and the b-side, Catacombs, being exclusive to this 7 inch.

Of course this is 2018, so labels are required to flood the market with colored vinyl, and this single was released with four different color options. Red vinyl was available from Metal Blade, and hand numbered out of 200.

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Shadowlands

Four years ago, I first heard Mos Generator when they released their Electric Mountain Majesty album. That album was huge for me, and I spent the next couple of years obsessed with the band, and ate up every split and 7 inch they released until their next full length album, Abyssinia, dropped.

I've cooled off on the band since the Abyssinia album...I mean it was still a great record, but the band was getting overplayed in my playlist, so I put them on the back burner for a little bit.

Tony Reed has to be one of the hardest working dudes in Heavy Rock music. I mean, Mos Generator has basically had a new release every year since 2012, and he has no signs of slowing down...and he keeps the fire burning with the release of Shadowlands.

I was a bit underwhelmed with Shadowlands when I first gave it a spin, but I think that was because I was getting dragged down by the seven and a half minute album closer, The Wild And Gentle Dogs, which falls a little flat for me. However, with repeat listens, I'm really digging all the other songs here, and some of them are some nice heavy hitters. Great stuff.

One of my favorite things about the Mos Generator records is the story that is included for each song, explaining the song writing and recording process. I geek out over this cool behind the scenes insight.

Monday, October 01, 2018

Bootleg Fugitive

I love Iron Maiden bootlegs, so when I was recently in the Shadow Kingdom webstore, and scrolling through the list of Maiden records available, I hit the brakes hard when I came across a couple of record covers that weren't from their regular catalog. While these weren't the live bootlegs that I was hoping for, they still held my attention enough for me to drop one of the two into my cart before checking out.

The two albums were from the No Prayer For The Dying and Fear Of The Dark era. Nothing really special here, and they just capture the b-side to the singles from those albums. The first one, titled The Assassin, captured the cover songs that Iron Maiden released between 1990 and 1992, but I went for The Fugitive, which is a bunch of live b-sides...and I was itching for some live Maiden.

The majority of the songs on this record are live recordings from the No Prayer For The Dying and Fear Of The Dark albums, which just happen to be the two Iron Maiden albums that I pay the least amount of attention to. Seriously. I listen to the two Blaze Bayley albums more than these two. Which isn't to say that I don't like those records, I just really love Iron Maiden, and when things shake out, something has to end up on the bottom.

However, listening to these live versions of those songs has me all excited to reach into my collection and listen to those studio albums very soon.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Haunted Eyes

There may have still been snow on the ground when I first started hearing about Haunt earlier this year. I had no clue about this band, but I made some assumptions based on the posts I was seeing on Instagram, and thinking they were Death Metal, I ignored them.

Months later, I discovered that Haunt is basically a project from Trevor William Church, who fronts the Doom band, Beastmaker, that did a couple of albums with Rise Above Records. When I heard that Haunt was to have more of a traditional metal sound, I finally gave in and grabbed a download to check them out.

The Luminous Eyes EP is only four songs long, and it is a great introduction to a cool new band.

While I missed the boat on the first pressing, I was okay with the colored vinyl option for the second press. 300 pressed on orange and white vinyl.