Buying Round-Up – January 2014 Part 1

I spent most of January looking for bargains and catching up on some of last year’s releases that I hadn’t got round to yet. Unshackled from any pesky challenges, I bought a lot this month but I’ll be saving up in February and March for a trip to Berlin so I’m telling myself that this month’s large haul is meant to keep me amused for the next couple of months. We’ll see how that works out! January’s release schedules are never particularly exciting and 2014 has been no exception (especially as the vinyl reissue of Entombed’s Wolverine Blues got put back to February.) So it seemed like a good month to plug some gaps in the collection.

Ihsahn – Das Seelenbrechen (Ltd. Edition CD) (£13 HMV Glasgow)

I’d convinced myself that I wasn’t interested in the Emperor front-man’s latest solo outing but its high placing on many “Best of 2013” lists and Metal Mellowdee’s excellent review changed my mind. I’m glad I picked it up. It’s a welcome shift in direction from his last album, Eremita and possibly the best of his solo work so far. No mean feat.

KISS – The Ritz on Fire (£8 Fopp Glasgow)

This is an unofficial CD but any KISS release is welcome news at HMO Mission Control. Especially when it features the Heavy Metal Overlord’s favourite line-up: the one with Bruce Kulick and Eric Carr! This is a good quality live recording made for radio and the performance is absolutely scorching. This show has been floating around on t’Internet for a while but it’s good to have a physical copy: mp3s don’t come with hilarious photos of Paul Stanley’s chest rug! If I seem to have neglected to listen to any of January’s other purchases, this album is to blame. Check out LeBrain for a thorough review of this excellent set.

Death Angel – The Dream Calls for Blood (CD/DVD Ltd. Edition) (£11 HMV Glasgow)

I’ve not paid any attention to these Bay Area Thrashers since their reunion in 2001 which meant this 2013 album passed me by. The same thing happened with Ihashn: the end-of-year lists had me hunting it down. I’ve only listened to it once (blame KISS) but it sounds great and the guitar-playing is stunning. This edition also has an impressive cover of Heaven and Hell as a bonus track.

Assassin – Chronicles of Resistance (2CD Edition) (£8 Monorail Glasgow)

Another bunch of Thrashers but this time of the Teutonic variety! I really love German Thrash and was really pleased to find this for such a cheap price. It’s the band’s first two albums with a whole slew of bonus tracks. I’ve not listened to it yet… KISS happened.

I – Between Two Worlds (£5 Amazon)

Another bargain I couldn’t refuse. I was a short-lived project that featured Abbath (Immortal) and Ice Dale (Enslaved). Thanks to Abbath’s unmistakable croak and riffing-style it doesn’t sound very far removed from Immortal’s blizzardy Black Metal but has a more accessible and straightforward hard rockin’ approach. Some of the songs and riffs are hugely enjoyable but there’s a fatigue-inducing lack of variety which stops the album being entirely convincing.

*****

Not a bad way to kick off the year’s shopping but there’s more! I’ve bought so much great stuff this month that I’ve decided to split my Buying Round-Up into two further parts: Box Sets and Second-Hand. Watch this space for some great bargains and a couple of real rarities.

Buying Round-Up – January 2014 Part 2: Box Sets

Buying Round-Up – January 2014 Part 3: Second Hand

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55 thoughts on “Buying Round-Up – January 2014 Part 1”

  1. I can’t wait for the real rarities!

    I too have the Ritz On Fire as you are aware, and I recommend that as a great document of classic 80’s Kiss. People who love 80’s hard rock will dig that live album.

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    1. Shite! I knew there was something I’d forgot. Totally meant to link to your review. Done it now.

      I got two rare CDs this month. I got one really cheap and one was fairly reasonable but I think it might be the most I’ve ever spent to get one song! Nothing compared to you and your crazy Japanese editions though! 🙂

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      1. Hey thanks good sir knight!

        Man, if you saw some of those Japanese editions for as cheap as I got them for ($20 in some cases) you’d say you’re crazy not to buy them!

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      2. That’s not too bad actually especially when some of those bonus tracks are so hard to find! What’s the most you’ve laid down for a Japanese CD?

        And you already know what one the main rarity is cause I sent you it a few days ago!

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      3. Yes — you know how most DVD versions have many more songs than the CD? Same with this case, except in Japan. The Japanese got a full 2 CD set with the whole show. It even has a “new” songs called “Too Much Fun” featuring lead vocals by Funky Claude. You knew I had to have it.

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    1. Awesome. Same happens with me in January – I spent a lot to try and amuse myself. I have one album in February I know I’m getting.

      I’m glad you got Ihsahn and Death Angel – two fantastic albums. I look forward to seeing part 2.

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  2. Interesting batch of albums. Not familiar with any of them, but Ihsahn has been on the outskirts of my “artists to check out” list for the last year, since PROG Magazine has been raving about him. With your positive review he’s now officially on the list. Also, although I’m only a casual fan of ’80s Kiss, they were my first rock & roll love from ’75 through ’79 and I’m always open to checking out a good live recording. I also met Eric Carr for 2 seconds back in ’83 so it would be nice to hear a full concert with him behind the kit.

    Happy buying in February!

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    1. I think KISS fans of any stripes would enjoy this live album. It’s rough and ready but it’s got an incredible vibe and energy. That’s great you meet Eric. What a sad loss he was.

      I’m sure you’d enjoy the Ihsahn album. Very adventurous and forward looking.

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  3. All of this looks yummy. You are amassing an impressive collection, sir!

    I know you guys were (justifiably) excited about the KISS CD. Shame the others haven’t gotten multiple plays because “KISS happened.” Haha.

    Bring on part 2!

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    1. And the worst of it is – KISS is still happening! Not just the live CD, it’s kicked off a massive KISS listening spree that’s still ongoing.

      And if you think this stuff looks yummy, just wait till you see part 2!

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  4. Some very interesting stuff there. Will have to check out Death Angel. Re: Kiss, I follow Bruce on twitter – great guitar player. I hauled 8 CDs back from Gran Canaria last week, and I’ll be doing a couple of articles on my purchases!

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    1. Awesome! Can’t wait to see what you bought. Sounds like you’re having too much fun in the sun… want to swap and live in rainy old Glasgow for a while? It’s very… um… atmospheric!

      Bruce is criminally under rated. He has amazing chops but never overplays. Always tasteful. Brilliant player and one of my very favorite guitarists!

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  5. Great buys! That unofficial KISS I’d love to get a hold of. I am very interested in both Assassin and I. I’ll have to put them on my ‘need’ list. It’s fun to hear you are on a KISS Kick… it happens to me too, right now I’ve been listening to all of my Primal Fear! The new Primal Fear and Iced Earth are excellent! \m/\m/

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    1. Thanks Stone! Primal Fear are a band I still need to investigate at some point. And Iced Earth I only have a few albums of (mainly with Ripper Owens) but I’d like to hear more. I’ll definitely be checking out the albums with the new singer if you think they’re worth hearing.

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      1. I will do so, sir.

        Incidentally I have a Judas Priest review coming. With Ripper’s only writing credit with that band. But I don’t know when. I’m trying to work it into a theme series.

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      2. I don’t either, but I will eventually. I think in Priest Glenn was writing all the lyrics. But I’m jumping ahead of myself 🙂

        Anyway one way or another I actually really do like your suggestion of a Japanese import theme week. Sounds like a lot of fun for me.

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      3. That Priest review I mentioned COULD fit into a Japanese week 🙂

        I’m also working on The Week of Singles 2. This was prompted by a Def Leppard rarity that was a total gamble…

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      4. I hope Joe Elliot has a bigger one.

        This single I’m referring to had no information on the single itself or anywhere that I could find, as to what exactly the B-side was. There was a good solid chance it was available elsewhere. But it wasn’t 🙂 Which is good as it was a very expensive gamble…

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      5. Oh yeah, Stu Block is a tremendous singer!! I hope he never leaves Iced Earth!!

        BTW… I just consistently find it amazing, how Japan ALWAYS gets those awesome bonus tracks! LOL! Here in the States, we will get bonus tracks too… only it never measures up to those Japanese import gems. \m/\m/

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  6. Ha! I agree Stone! Why do the Japanese have it so good? LOL! Having said that, I’d already bought ‘Addiction’ by Glenn Hughes in the UK back in ’97, and I went into Tower Records NYC when I was on tour with The Gonads in ’98 and found the U.S. version with three live bonus tracks, so I had to get it! You don’t get that kind of buzz with digital downloads!

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