Friday, January 29, 2016

Where Metal Dwells

My obsession for 2015 was to buy all the best new releases before the year was up. Time kept moving forward, and in the flood of new shit that I purchased, there were some albums that I just couldn't get to before the new year. When I was picking up the new Magic Circle album at 20 Buck Spin, I was looking for one more record to add to my cart and I saw the Ranger LP sitting there. Seemed like the time was right to finally cross it off the list.

Ranger thrash, and they thrash hard! Songs about killer great white sharks, nuclear war, and Satanic ceremonies...this album feels like it jumped right out of 1985.

While this album probably didn't crack my Top 20 for 2015, dropping the needle on this album tonight, it still gave me a huge charge. There is something about the album that feels it's a hidden treasure that a lot of people might just pass by, or it will end up buried by time an dust. Do people still care about those thrash revival bands from a few years ago...bands like Violator and Avenger Of Blood? No one seems to make much noise about those bands anymore. But like them, Ranger fits in with that same youthful metal defiance that burned bright in me as a kid growing up through the 80's...and honestly, I hope to never lose that fire...still throwing up devil horns and singing goofy Ranger lyrics into my 60's and 70's.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Blind Leading The Blind

I seem to recall that a couple of years ago, there was a bit of a mad scramble to find a copy of the first Magic Circle LP. I didn't want to get caught up in that mess, so as soon as I saw that Deathwish had the new album, Journey Blind, available for pre-order, I jumped on it and ordered a copy. I was a little premature, as a month or so later, the label pressing the album, 20 Buck Spin, posted pre-orders for the limited colored vinyl. Ugh. What was the Deathwish preorder, some general black vinyl pressed in the thousands? Oh yeah, better get that up for pre-order. *rolls eyes* Christ, why not just put them in your store when they arrive?

It was no big deal in the end, as Deathwish allowed me to cancel my order, and refunded my money when I grabbed the limited colored vinyl direct from 20 Buck Spin.

Hot shit, that album cover looks amazing. That is some epic looking metal artwork right there. So good.

Journey Blind has a bit more polish to it, compared to the first album, but it is just as infectious. These riffs are so damn powerful, I want to listen to this daily. Glad to have one of my favorites from 2015 finally in my hands.

160 pressed on blue vinyl.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Two In The Bush

I get excited over the dumbest shit.

I get a bit of a charge over listening to stuff that I know the majority of the people love to hate. It's not that I'm doing it out of some kind of misguided rebellion, I genuinely like albums like St. Anger, the self titled Warzone LP, Token Entry's The Weight Of The World, Tony Martin-era Black Sabbath, and Blaze Bayley-era Iron Maiden. But still, hearing people bitch about any one of these albums gives me a devious little twist, and I'll rush to give it a spin and vocalize my appreciation. Hey, don't look down on me like you don't know what I'm talking about, as you try to explain that "no, Staring Into The Sun is actually a really good Uniform Choice album". We all make bad choices, and I'll proudly stand by mine.

So while people get themselves all wound up tight, going along with the crowd and hating all the right albums, I'm sitting here and thinking about making a serious run at collecting them on vinyl for 2016. And here you were thinking that this blog couldn't get any more lame. Surprise! I can sink even lower.

When it comes to Anthrax, most Metal purists tend to only fall in line with the Belladonna years. At some point, the verdict seems to have come down that we are to not speak of those albums that had John Bush at the mic...and while I'll contend that Spreading The Disease and Among The Living are the high point in Anthrax's career, I'm not going to back away from Bush's 10+ year run through the 90's.

Hey, I'll admit, for the longest time, I was in the camp of Belladonna or nothing. How could I not be? I grew up through the 80's...I bought Among The Living, State Of Euphoria and Persistence Of Time all on release day...and there was a time that I would have defended their position in the Big 4. But just because I didn't bother with the Bush-era Anthrax at the time, doesn't mean that I don't appreciate it now.

Fueled by my obsession with Armored Saint last year, I tentatively reached for an old burned CD of Stomp 442 that I had sitting on my shelf. I'd heard it as the butt of jokes for years, and couldn't remember the last time that I'd even bothered to give it a spin. In my Armored Saint mood, I figured that I'd give it a shot, and if I didn't dig it, I could dump that old CDR and make some room on the shelf.

I didn't just like fucking consumed me. I couldn't get enough of this album, and it became a permanent fixture in my daily playlists for December.

I needed to own this on vinyl, but since the world had written off vinyl when Stomp 442 was released back in '95, that meant that only Germany bothered to press the album on wax. Because of this, it meant that it was going to be priced like Martin Shkreli selling AIDS medication. It was not going to come cheap. That's cool though...I found a seller in the Discogs Marketplace that was willing to unload his copy at a reasonable price, and I was a happy man.

Of course the catch in making Stomp 442 a good deal, was that I had to add the John Bush debut with Anthrax to my order to help sweeten the sale for the seller. What, am I going to complain about having to buy two Anthrax albums?

While Sound Of White Noise wasn't pressed on vinyl in the States back in '93, there were a few countries that kept the vinyl tradition alive at the time. Sure, it saw a recent vinyl repress in '09, but get that shit outta here. It could possibly sound better on the double vinyl repress, but I'm going with the original single LP German pressing. Love the look of that alternate cover art!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Dedicated To The Dedicated

Champion were a huge influence on me when it came to record collecting. To this day, Promises Kept remains one of my favorite Straight Edge records, and when I picked up a copy on vinyl back in 2005, it sent me down the rabbit hole of excess and avarice that I've yet to return from. When I heard that two cornerstones of Champion, Jim Hesketh and Aram Arslanian, had a new band, I was eager to check it out.

I didn't bother with the cassette release for the True Identity demo, so I was very happy to see that React! was doing a proper release on vinyl. These songs do not disappoint! It's exactly what I would want from these two guys. Now I just hope it lasts longer than a quick demo recording, and they give us some more.

250 pressed on both gold and black vinyl, for a total of 500 pressed through React!. Refuse Records also did a pressing on blue, that I'm hoping React! distributes at some point so that I don't have to dick around with overseas shipping.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Fight Like Underdogs

Admittedly, I didn't spend much time with Hardcore records last year, but one of the few that found regular rotations in my playlist was the new album from Suspect. I don't know what it was about this record, but it's charm and energy had it quickly climbing up my Best of 2015 list...leaving crowd favorites like Chain Rank, No Tolerance and Sweet Jesus in their wake.

When I saw that Chris over at Unwavering Spirit posted a copy of the record release pressing of the Suspect record, I was interested. When he mentioned that the singer was selling them over at discogs, I was on the move to grab a copy for myself.

There weren't many records from last year that I bothered chasing multiple copies of, but when given the opportunity to add this one to the collection, I didn't hesitate.

Great looking silk screened cover.

Number 64 of 100.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


Honest, I was going to take a break from buying records for the start of 2016. I've got some serious bills piling up with the Christmas holiday, and some costly car repairs...and I needed to slow things down. When I had an email from a friend, telling me about Seven Sisters, I justified it as "it's only one 7 inch".

I honestly wasn't expecting much on the recommendation, but I figured I'd check them out just the same. Holy shit, what an awesome surprise! Seven Sisters are out of London, and are influenced by the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal that was happening in their country 35 years earlier. They carve their sounds from the influence of Angel Witch, Jaguar, and Satan...and had they been around in the early 80's, I'm sure they would have crashed and burned just like all the legendary from that time period.

This band impressed me so much that I paid for, and downloaded, the digital files from their 2014 demo, The Warden. As someone that absolutely despises paying for digital music files, it says something about how impressed I was by this band.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Accept Some Metal On Vinyl

A few years ago, I was still occasionally taking the cheap and convenient way out when it came to new Metal albums, and buying the CD. There were times where the vinyl was only pressed in Europe, and I just couldn't be bothered with dealing with overseas shipping. It seemed like too much work when I could just grab the CD from my local record store. It seems like the story of my record collecting is based on going back to fix these kinds of stupid choices.

After a 14 year hiatus, Accept was back in 2010 with a new album and a new singer, replacing the irreplaceable Udo. Much to my surprise, I absolutely loved that first album with ex-TT Quick singer, Mark Tornillo, on the mic. Blood Of The Nations was a statement that Accept was back, and with each release after that debut, the band makes a strong case that they aren't fucking around. Accept is here to stay.

When I was recently on a shopping spree over at the Nuclear Blast Germany webstore, I saw that they had Accept's second "reunion" album, Stalingrad, in stock on vinyl. I'd been on a Blood Of The Nations binge lately, so I did not hesitate to add the red vinyl for Stalingrad to the cart. After owning the CD of this for the past 3 or 4 years, it felt good to finally add the vinyl to the collection.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Delirious For Some Saint

I listened to a lot of Armored Saint in 2015. Having seen them live twice during the year, and eventually coming to love their new album, the Saint stayed on my radar and logged a ton of time in my listening playlists. I picked up three pieces of vinyl over the year, and I suddenly realized that I was only a few pieces away from completing my Armored Saint discography. While the band was still fresh in my mind, and before the year closed, I moved one step closer with another record.

While I had March Of The Saint and Raising Fear as a kid, I somehow skipped out on the album released between the two...Delirious Nomad. I don't think that I bothered checking out that album until the early 2000's, when I'd gotten back into Metal and was downloading albums like there was no tomorrow. Even when I first heard the album, it didn't leave much of an impression on me, and I left it to collect dust.

Over the past couple of years, though, my appreciation for Delirious Nomad has grown and grown, and I now recognize it as stone cold Saint classic.

With my Armored Saint obsession in full bloom, I figured that I'd hit up eBay, and see what kind of trouble I could get into.

When I found a listing that included a special promo folder and press release, I knew that I had to have it.

A cool little piece of history for the collection.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

You Said It Ozz

Most of the records that I bought at the end of 2015 were to cover the new releases of the year. Moving into January, things can get back to normal, so lets roll with something that is a bit more of a classic.

As I start to explore the uncharted islands of Metal singles, I'm rich with new found treasures. After discovering that there was a b-side exclusive on Ozzy's Mr. Crowley single I started hanging out on eBay, determined to bring this bad boy home.

How is it that Ozzy and company have let the song You Said It All fade into obscurity, is beyond me. You'd think that it would have been included as a bonus track on one of the reissues of Blizzard Of Ozz. Nope. If you want to own a copy of You Said It All in any form, you've got to hunt down the original vinyl pressings...and yet, this 12 inch single still only cost me $8. Solid deal.

I love the packaging on this record. The design on the front cover, and the live shot on the back are badass. Man, this looks so good.