Saturday, July 30, 2011

Camp Records Presents

I've said it before, I'm not a fan of compilations. One song from a band, while it can be a nice introduction, doesn't really give me much of an indication as to if the band is going to stick with me or if they are disappear like so many bands from the Voice of the Voiceless comp.

When Camp Records announced they were releasing a 7 inch comp, More Than A Piece Of Mind, I was torn. Sure there were some up and coming bands that I was interested in checking out, but still, it was a tough decision to part with the five dollars for this one. In the end, my curiosity to check out bands like Truth Inside, razorXfade, and the new Caught In A Crowd song, was enough incentive to make the purchase. All of the bands on the comp are good, but the production is pretty rough and it all sounds like a demo recording...nothing amazing, but it will be cool to see if any of these bands can take the next step, and it is always cool to see kids still passionate about this style of music. Keep it up.

25 of the red vinyl came with the green cover for pre-orders. Hand numbered on the dust sleeve, and I got number 10.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

DTN All My Sons

By the end of 2007, Down To Nothing had released one of the best albums of the year with The Most. Man, that LP was killer...solid all the way through. Then three years passed with nothing but some jerk-off 7 inch, and a split with an Australian band that failed to hold my attention. In 2010 they came storming back with a brand new 7 inch called All My Sons. It was released on Reaper Records, who I pay no attention to, and ended up missing out on the first pressing. At some point I picked up the second pressing, and quickly realized that DTN could still deliver the goods.

Looking back, this record should have been rated higher on my Top 10 list from last year. A record so good that I had to pick up another copy. Third press. 497 pressed on clear vinyl.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Last Rites Of Pentagram

My third, and final, post from my latest order from Rise Above Records.

Pentagram are a difficult band to follow historically. Since the band started up in the early 70's, they have gone through close to 30 different members, broke up and reformed a half a dozen times, and didn't release their first LP until 14 years after their formation. Total clusterfuck. Recently, vocalist Bobby Liebling, reunited with the guitarist from the band's first three albums, Victor Griffin. The result is Last Rites.

Now, other than the first album, I'm not really well versed in the past Pentagram output, so I can't say how the new album compares to their previous records. I can say, however, that this new album is some classic doom metal. It took me a little while to warm up to this record, but since I've been on a doom/stoner metal kick lately, this album is a perfect fit in the playlist rotation.

I'm not 100% sure on the pressing for this album. I bought this through Rise Above, but it is pressed by Metal Blade...I'm assuming the vinyl is limited to a Euro press, and that it only saw a CD release through Metal Blade in the states. What I do know is that they pressed a few different colors, 300 pressed of each color. I picked up the "caramel" colored version.

This album also came with a huge poster for the band's 40th anniversary tour...which will stay folded up and stored in the album sleeve and not see the light of day again, regardless of how cool it looks.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

True Gentleman

When I picked up the Blood Ceremony LP from Rise Above a few weeks back, the new Gentleman's Pistols album, At Her Majesty's Pleasure, had just been posted in the store as well. I didn't hesitate to grab a copy.

I clearly remember reading about Gentleman's Pistols on Marcus' blog back in 2008. Before going to bed that night, I checked them out on this website that was really popular at the time, called myspace. The songs were totally influenced by the late 60's and early 70's, and at the time I was completely falling in love with that time in rock history. As I lay there in bed that night, I had a hard time falling asleep because I had just stumbled upon this incredible new band playing a classic style.

The new Gentleman's Pistols album continues on with the same formula that I loved on the first album. The band just keeps on keepin' on...playing amazing guitar driven rock.

Oh yeah, my kids absolutely hated the album cover for At Her Majesty's Pleasure. They were interested to check out what I got in the mail, and when they saw the album cover, with the horse and lion heads on naked human bodies, my son reached up,slapped me in the face, and said it was disgusting. It kind of made me like the cover even more.

Rise Above Records typically does a limited deluxe vinyl version, called the Die Hard pressing, of the albums they release. They didn't do that for the Gentleman's Pistols LP, but they did to a pretty limited run of 100 on clear vinyl. I'm glad I got one when I did, because they are now long gone.

Sometime before the release of the LP, Rise Above also released a new single from Gentleman's Pistols. The 7 inch vinyl contains one song from the new album, plus an exclusive track called Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker. Worth it for that song alone. 400 pressed on black.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ceremony Bloody Ceremony

Some bands I deliberately avoid. I have preconceived notions about what they will sound like, and stay away from them. After reading reviews about the first Blood Ceremony LP back in 2008, even though they were positive, I kept my distance because of two things...female vocals and a flute. No matter how many comparisons were made to Black Sabbath, those two pieces insured that I stayed away.

I believe that my musical tastes have expanded since 2008, so when Blood Ceremony were set to release their new album, Living With The Ancients, this year, I figured that I'd check to see what the hype was all about

From the heavy crashing doom riff that starts the first song, The Great God Pan, I was immediately hooked. No one is more surprised than me at how much I'm enjoying this album. The female vocals (which really remind me of the early 90's punk/emo band Junction), and even the flute adds so much texture and contrast to the traditional Sabbath sound...the whole thing is amazingly powerful. Living With The Ancients is definitely in the running for my favorite Metal album of this year.

Regardless of the high shipping fee, as soon as the vinyl was available to order from Rise Above, I immediately placed an order. 330 pressed on red with black swirl colored vinyl.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

More Fire, More Ice

I'm beginning to feel like Marcus, who's blog posts seem to split between either Integrity or Rot In Hell. The man is focused. I'll give him that. I seem to have taken a page from his book, and have had my sights locked in on adding to my Fire & Ice collection.

My latest FNI additions were won on ebay at the end of May. Thinking of it now, I haven't been back to ebay since winning these records.

Other than the 2X7 inch package, this is my first colored vinyl for Grim. The pressing info lists this color as teal "Maui Wowee", and is limited to 100.

This is my seventh copy of Gods & Devils. Still, I've got 3 more copies to go to finish this collection.

First press on clear with red and silver splatter. Limited to 200.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sign Of The Jackal

A few months ago, I was at the height of Metal passion. I was buying Metal records left and right...could not get enough of it. I took a trip over to REVHQ and what do I see listed in the New Release Spotlight section? The Beyond EP from Italy's Sign of the Jackal, which features an album cover that looks like a definite nod to a certain Mercyful Fate record...and with a description that mentions the album is for fans of Judas Priest and early Iron Maiden...I was certainly interested to check them out, and rushed over to Heavy Artillery Records to pick up a copy.

While I certainly wouldn't put them at the same level as Priest or Maiden, Sign of the Jackal are a fun listen. 70's horror imagery mixed with a musical style like those New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands from the early 80's. Great mix.

The one thing that caught me off guard, was that Sign of the Jackal has a female singer. I don't know exactly what it is, but I tend to stay away from any music with a woman on lead vocals. When I first heard this band, I thought it was some dude with a high voice...kind of like some of those early 80's Metal bands. After I start digging the band, I discover that it is a woman singing...holy shit, I was tricked! You win, Sign of the Jackal. Your female vocals are fantastic.

The record itself appears to just be something that the band threw together to hold their fans over as they go into the studio this year to record a real LP. The Beyond is just a collection of rare studio tracks and obscure cover songs. Cool enough, and certainly has me looking forward to what the band will do next.

500 pieces of vinyl was pressed for this album. 300 on black, and 100 a piece for clear and yellow colored vinyl. Looks like only the colored vinyl was numbered and I got 127 out of 200.

The band's first 7 inch, Haunted House Tapes, from 2009, is what really captures my attention. Two songs, each with their own intro, really show how much fun this Metal band can be. From the red cover, to the name of the seems like a great tribute to Iron Maiden's Soundhouse Tapes.

The only place that I could find a copy of this 7 inch was at REVHQ. It was a little pricey, but I really wanted a copy. 300 pressed on black vinyl.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

I've Had Enough

Okay, this is my second draft of this post. The first time I typed this thing out, Blogger didn't autosave and then shit the bed, leaving me to have to write the whole thing again. Okay, here we go again...

Enough are a Straight Edge band out of Tennessee. They play a classic style of Youth Crew Hardcore, but more importantly they play with a ton of passion. I stumbled across this band when I was downloading some new music from Keith Alert's great blog, The Price of Silence. Keith posts up a bunch of demos and stuff from newer bands, and helps keep me in touch. Enough are just one of the recent demos that Keith has posted a download link for, but for me, they stand above most of the stuff he has recently posted.

Enough self released their debut EP, When You Don't Think You Can, and it marks a nice improvement over their 2010 demo. This 7 inch has a sound similar to early Mental, but I also get a great '97 Youth Crew Revival vibe from these songs. I can see this record being a great fit with what Youngblood was releasing around that time.

You can download it HERE, and when you agree with me about how great they are, you can order it HERE. 85 on pink colored vinyl, 100 on tan/marble, and 105 on black.

The band put up a couple test pressings of this record in their webstore. I would have definitely picked up a copy, but unfortunately, I was out of town, on vacation with the family, at the time, and therefore missed my opportunity to grab one. Damn.

While I was picking up Enough's new 7 inch, I also grabbed a vinyl copy of the demo that they had available as well. I don't have the pressing info for this, but I believe there were around 200 pressed.