Monday, September 30, 2019

12 Years In The Tomb

I love the Scott Reagers era of Saint Vitus. I was lucky to catch the band live in Boston a few years ago when the band reunited with Reagers after 20 years...and man, the band could still fucking deliver live. I figured that they would play a few shows, and maybe do a small tour, and that would be the end of it. When I heard that Vitus were doing a new album with Reagers, I was over the fucking moon.

Reagers sounds as good as he did when Saint Vitus released their self-titled album and Hallow's Victim back in '84 and '85. His voice ranges from doomy to absolutely maniacal, and fits the songs perfectly while Dave Chandler and crew keep cranking out some amazing doom.

I was pretty excited for this new album, and most of these songs deliver the punch that I want from Vitus. There are a couple of times when things slip for me, and would have preferred to have some of the padding trimmed off, but overall, this record is fantastic.

Crystal clear colored vinyl is looking sharp, and I was able to grab a copy locally, so that was cool with me.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Keep Your Edge

The 7 inch from Bystander was a nice surprise at the end of 2018, and even made it's way into my Top 10 for that year. With Greg Bennick from Trial on the mic, I had high expectations, and Bystander was able to meet them. The band still sounded relevant and intense in '18. I was surprised to see the band following up that debut EP so soon, but I was still onboard and quickly preordered a copy.

Between the German pressing on Goodwill, and the US pressing from Safe Inside, there were five different pressings to choose from. I rarely order from Deathwish, but when I saw that they had the record available through their distro, I grabbed the pink vinyl pressing from them. The vinyl looks more red than pink, but it is still a good look.

150 pressed on "pink".

Bystander keep things rollin' with their newest 12 inch EP, Where Did We Go Wrong. This is hardcore, and this is what I want to listen to when I'm in the mood for hardcore. I've only listened to it a handful of times, so I can't say where it will land overall, but this is some good shit.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

New Organon

There has been some cool new metal records released this year, but one of the more anticipated records to come out, for me, has been the new Slough Feg album. The band released a teaser with the New Organon single last year, and I have been itching for the band to give us the full length album since then.

It has been about five years since I first heard Slough Feg, and I was introduced to them with the Digital Resistance album in 2014. That record came out of nowhere for me, and I was blown away by the band. I committed to diving into their back catalog at that point...covering eight albums...and while I loved what I was hearing, for one reason or another, I never pulled the trigger on more vinyl. I love this band, so it feels really good to finally add another record to the collection with New Organon.

But seriously...I need to get off my ass and get a copy of Down Among the Deadmen or something soon. My metal collection will be better off with more Slough Feg in it.

Slough Feg have such a unique sound, and I can't think of another band that sounds like them. I love this record. I'm not sure where New Organon is going to land in my Top 10 for the year, but I guarantee that it will be slugging it out somewhere in the top five.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Blood Red Pressure

Recently, I was on a big kick for newer hardcore bands. Triple B has had a solid string of releases, and I definitely spent most of my time immersing myself into those records, but there is more to hardcore than Triple B, right? What the hell else is going on out there?

While I was trying to figure out what else was going on in hardcore scene, I saw a post on Instagram for the latest Blood Pressure record. I'm obviously out of the loop, because this record was from 2018, but I had no idea that the band had released a follow up to Need To Control from 2015. To be honest, I didn't remember anything about the last Blood Pressure record, but fuck it, I was itching to check out more hardcore, so I checked the songs on Spotify. Oh damn. If this was released this year, it would top my list of 2019 hardcore albums. This albums rips and rages, and fires me up the same way that the first Boston Strangler record did.

I was so excited over the Surrounded record that the regular black vinyl pressing wasn't going to cut it. The red colored vinyl was limited to 150, and was long sold out from the label, but I wanted one bad enough that I paid a ridiculous price for one through Discogs. I considered the higher price to be my punishment for sleeping on this when it was first available last year. Thank you, sir, may I have another.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Long Stick Goes Boom

Early this year, and completely on a whim, I picked up the Hardware record from Krokus. I really wasn't expecting very much, so that fact that it has ended up as one of my most played albums this year is a testament to how much it surprised me.

Shortly after buying Hardware, I was in another record store and happened to find a copy of The Blitz from '84, and suddenly I was diving into a lot of the Krokus back catalog.

I'm fairly certain that my brother or I owned the cassette for One Vice At A Time when we were young metalheads, but I didn't really remember anything about the album. I feel like we quickly pushed those Krokus albums aside as our musical tastes were getting heavier and heavier...and it is a damn shame because albums like Hardware and One Vice At A Time are fucking fantastic.

This stuff is pure AC/DC influenced heavy metal. If I'd heard this stuff back in '82 and '83, I imagine that I would have been rocking this stuff right along side Powerage and Flick Of The Switch.

When I was checking out the Krokus discography on Discogs, I noticed that the Swiss pressing of the Hardware album came with a much nicer insert than the shitty record label advertisement insert that came with my US pressing. Suddenly, my copy wasn't good enough, and I vowed not to make the same mistake when I started chasing other Krokus records. When I was looking for a copy of the One Vice At A Time album, I noticed that the album art was a bit different for the overseas pressings...and when I discovered a Switzerland pressing that included the fan club insert, I knew that was the one to have...even if the price was a bit higher than most people would have paid.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Tyger Bay

I've picked up a few solid New Wave Of British Heavy Metal records this year, and I've been itching to finally pick up some big names. Some of this stuff isn't difficult to find, and the prices are it really just comes down to me getting off my ass and getting it done.

The Tygers Of Pan Tang were a pretty big deal back during the early days of the NWOBHM. After releasing their first EP on Neat during the label's early years of '79, the band was quickly picked up by a major label. By the time they released their second album, Spellbound, in '81, they had a new singer and a new hot shot guitarist by the name of John Sykes (who would go on to play in Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake and Blue Murder).

Spellbound may be my favorite album from Tygers, and the deciding factor on that is because the song Gangland is just so fucking good. When I was looking to pick up my first Tygers album on vinyl, Spellbound was where my attention was.

When I started looking around for a copy on Discogs, I noticed that Spellbound originally came with an autographed poster. Of course every available copy at the time did not include the poster, so I threw it on my Want List and played the waiting game. As soon as I got the notification that there was a copy up for sale that included the poster, I jumped on it...and the $15 price tag didn't break the bank, so I was happy.

It should go without saying that I needed a copy of the album with the merchandise insert as well.

Sunday, September 15, 2019


I've been chasing a handful of different record collecting goals this year, but one of my favorites has been those albums celebrating their 30th anniversary. When the year started, my collection for 1989 was pretty pathetic, however, the past nine months has slowly seen me pick up some top tier stuff...many of my favorite metal albums from that year. It has been a few months since I've grabbed a classic from '89, so it feels great to pick up another one.

I was still a metalhead in 1989, and while I was buying albums from Sick Of It All and Cro-Mags, I was probably still a year away from really discovering the hardcore scene. The Thrash Zone album from D.R.I. was pretty big transition album between the two worlds for me.

Shortly after a group of me and my friends took a trip to Boston to catch Testament at The Channel, I discovered that D.R.I. were playing in Providence in early 1990. It was a good three hour drive to Rhode Island, and when a couple of friends bailed on the trip, I decided to make the trip alone. This was before GPS and smartphones, I packed a state map in my car and headed in the general direction of Providence with no real idea where I was going. I stopped at various gas stations to ask for directions and drove through some sketchy parts of town, but eventually found the club. Growing up only knowing about big arena be up front, stagediving with Kurt Brecht putting the microphone in my face to sing along to Suit And Tie Guy, and then having the entire band come out on the floor to talk with everyone...that shit was life changing. This was the real deal, and soon after I was travelling to see Agnostic Front and Slapshot play live, and from there, there was no turning back.

It had been a while since I'd given the Thrash Zone album a spin, but diving into my 1989 playlist this year, I've rediscovered how much fun this record still is. Hey, it is no Dealing With It or Crossover, but fuck, this album is a blast.

Monday, September 09, 2019


There are a number of old school thrash bands that are still around and releasing quality albums. Overkill and Flotsam & Jetsam have already released new albums this year, and it is good to see Death Angel on the attack as well. No lie...the new Death Angel albums are heavier and faster than their Frolic Through The Park and Act III albums from the late 80's/early 90's. I'm not saying they are better, but there is a level of intensity and anger that I don't remember from those early days.

Humanicide is the sixth album from Death Angel since they reunited in the early 2000's, and this thing definitely hits hard. Mark Osegueda's voice is absolutely doesn't sound like he has lost anything since the metal glory days of the 80's. Mad respect for this band.

I didn't want to mess around with colored vinyl when I picked up this album. Black vinyl gets the job done here. Nice looking etching on the d-side.

Saturday, September 07, 2019

I Am The Ugly American

I thought it was just a year or so ago that I had rekindled my relationship with Big Black, but checking the blog for details, it turns out that it has been over three years since I picked up the Atomizer album. Damn. I remember being very excited about buying that album, and I really wanted to pick up more from the Big Black catalog for the collection. Three years have passed with zero progress...until now.

When I was obsessing about Big Black back in 2016 I somehow missed giving the Racer-X EP a spin at the time. I don't know why. I guess that the song titles didn't jump out at me, so I didn't bother with it. When I got the itch this year for some more Big Black, I decided it was time for some Racer-X. I don't know how I couldn't have forgotten these songs because they are absolutely killer. I've had such a good time revisiting this EP that I needed this record in my collection as soon as possible.

I loved the look of the original Homestead pressing, with the exploding car on the front, so that's the one that I stepped up for. I found a copy at a great price on Discogs and I quickly pulled the trigger.

When the package arrived, I quickly ripped open the box to check out the record, and at first I was puzzled. When I first saw the record cover, it wasn't what I recalled buying. I did some research and discovered that the seller sent me the Touch And Go repress from 1992. I was bummed. The record only cost me $14, and I really hate to complain over that small dollar amount, but I reached out to the seller anyway. Thankfully, the seller was very accommodating, and he told me to keep the pressing that I'd received, and he would send out the correct one right away. Two records for the price of one!

It's nice to have both pressings, but damn, this Touch And Go pressing is ugly.

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

World Shaker

It has been fun digging into some newer hardcore records lately, but it ain't like I'm going to stop chasing some great new metal as well.

Back in 2013, Asomvel released one of my favorite metal records of the time. That Knuckle Duster record was so damn great, I'd be willing to bet that of all post-2000 metal records, it still sits comfortably in the top five. Their infectious, Motorhead influenced sound is just that good.

Shortly after releasing Knuckle Duster, the singer left the band, and band seemed to be in flux for years leaving me to wonder if they were ever going to recover. Then, in 2016, the band came out of nowhere with a new video for a song called The Nightmare Ain't Over, and then in 2017 we got the World Shaker in 2019, we finally get a new album.

While World Shaker doesn't quite knock me on my ass like Knuckle Duster did, this record is still a ton of fun. Even with a new singer/bass player, they still keep that Motorhead vibe going. They keep the hits coming.

I took the easy way out, and ordered the black vinyl because it was available from a US distro, but now I'm wishing that I'd held out for the white vinyl.