Only two months of the HMO Challenge to go and, if you’ve been keeping score, you’ll know there’s no way I’m coming in under budget this year. But, budgets aside, the project has been a useful way of helping me single out my preferred purchase each month so let’s keep it going! This month I’m looking to spend no more than £40 if possible.
Helpfully, the release schedule has slowed somewhat after a hectic October. But, unhelpfully, two of November’s releases are from Saxon which means two unavoidable purchases! There’s Unplugged and Strung Up (Nov 18th UK release date), a selection of classics given an acoustic and orchestral makeover (I’d imagine in the same style as the bonus tracks from Sacrifice earlier in the year). The deluxe edition also comes with their Heavy Metal Thunder album as a bonus disc. That’s another set of re-recordings that is already available elsewhere but I don’t have it so that’s a nice bonus! Also, there is an archive live album Live in Germany 1991 (out now) which has a great tracklist from an under-rated period of their history so I’ll be picking that up too for sure.
Three new albums stand out this month. I’m especially excited about Hell’s Curse and Chapter (25th Nov). This reactivated British band brought out a modern classic with 2011’s Human Remains and I’m eager to hear more from them. There is also the debut EP Receive from Nocturno Culto’s Gift of Gods (out now) that sounds well worth a listen. And November’s wild-card is Asa from Falkenbach (4th Nov) because I’m always up for a bit of Norse Metal and I’ve been hearing good things on Twitter. Unfortunately, its price on Amazon is £30 so I doubt I’ll be buying that until I find out why it’s so goddamn expensive…
And continuing the current vogue for CD/DVD/Blu Ray live sets is Black Sabbath with their Live… Gathered in their Masses. It’s a Sabbath release so there’s a certain pull there but I’m on record for not liking 13 so I’ll probably give this a miss.
Outside of the release schedules there’s still plenty tickling my fancy from previous months. After enjoying the Small Faces deluxe so much I’d like some more of theirs and there’s that Humble Pie Rockin’ the Fillmore: Complete Recordings box set too. The recent albums, Sister by In Solitude and White Goddess by Atlantean Kodex are still intriguing me a lot. Although I managed to resist them last month maybe I shouldn’t have!
So there’s a lot I want to hear in November but I have to keep in mind the mountain of music I already have. The Saxon releases are must-buys for me but I’ll possibly try to hold off any further spending until December if only so I can get my money’s worth from what I’ve already bought. As usual, let me know if there’s anything else coming out that I’ve missed or anything here that I should just flat-out avoid.