I had a whole £80 to spend on Metal this month but, since I was already £43 over my yearly budget so far, I was hoping to spend a good bit less than my £80 allowance! Here’s how I got on:
Darkthrone – The Underground Resistance (£10 – Fopp Edinburgh)
This is one of the most exciting new albums to come out this the year. And it’s fantastic, a much more focused, bloodthirsty and none-more-Metal effort than their previous album Circle the Wagons. The Underground Resistance also scores extra points for its incredible Jim Fitzpatrick artwork.
Saxon – Sacrifice 2CD (£13 – HMV Glasgow)
First day buyer! This blew me away immediately. The material is not quite up to the high standard of the previous Call to Arms but the production is excellent, the delivery is fiery and each song has a clear, distinctive personality which makes it a satisfying listen. One of the few new albums I’ve wanted to listen to over and over. I’m continually impressed with these guys and the bonus disc has some goodies on it too. Particularly the orchestral version of Crusader.
Manowar – Defender 12 (£4 – Discogs)
Manowar – Dawn of Battle EP (£7 – Discogs)
Manowar – Thunder in the Sky EP (£7 – Amazon Marketplace)
A bumper load of Manowar! In the past I had a tendency to overlook singles and EPs and I’ve been rectifying that oversight recently by plugging some gaps in my collection. I’m no completist but if there is any band I have that urge towards, it’s Manowar. Dawn of Battle has only got 2 songs I don’t have but is worth it for the title track alone as it’s an absolute corker. Thunder in the Sky is a Thor-themed mini-album. I listened to it online when it was released and wasn’t overly impressed but since owning it I’ve enjoyed it immensely. There’s probably a lesson in there somewhere… It also has a bonus disc with numerous versions of Father sung in various languages. A commendable idea but I’ll probably never listen to this unless I decide to learn Romanian.
Defender is the most exciting purchase of the 3 as it features the classic Ross the Boss/Scott Columbus line-up. This is an early version of the track (featuring Orson Welles) that was later re-recorded for the Fighting the World album. I prefer the later version as it has a better arrangement but it’s great to finally have this in my collection. I took a punt on a cheap copy so the sleeve and vinyl condition ended up being a touch shabby. I can see myself splashing out for a nicer copy one day…
Def Leppard – Def Leppard EP (£8 – Discogs)
One of the classic NWOBHM releases, I thought this was an unobtainable rarity but I didn’t know there are later re-pressings that are more affordable. This was a good price for a pristine copy. Never imagined in a million years that I would own a copy of this! Praise Discogs! … and check out a great review of the EP here.
Entombed – Left Hand Path LP (£14 – Monorail Glasgow)
I saw this in Monorail and bought it on the spot. Pretty good price for a heavyweight vinyl reissue and it sounds and looks great. I’m kind of tempted to buy all the Carcass albums again now…
Skyclad – Another Fine Mess (£7 – Amazon Marketplace)
This is a live album culled from the Wacken festival but I already have the live tracks on another CD. The main reason for buying this was its 4 bonus tracks that were originally featured on a rare EP, Outrageous Fourtunes. This was the cheapest way of getting the 4 songs (and on a new CD too rather than a second-hand one), which are acoustic reworkings of Skyclad classics. Unfortunately, I’m not particularly impressed with the results. It’s all a tad dull and uninspired sounding. One for the collection anyway… and maybe they’ll grow on me. Skyclad were never the most immediate of bands!
I’ve came in under budget for the first time! While I’ve not exactly steadied the ship I have at least stopped it wobbling quite so much. Let’s see if I can continue this de-wobilisation (Halford would be proud) in April. From May onwards, things start getting tougher again.
MARCH 2013 TOTALS
Amount spent on purchases: £70
Amount budgeted: £80
Amount over/under budget: £10 Under!
HMO CHALLENGE 2013 TOTALS
Amount spent on purchases: £213
Amount budgeted: £180
Amount over/under budget: £33 Over