Here’s my look at the most HMO-friendly new releases and reissues of February as 2014 gets underway in earnest with a couple of high profile and hugely anticipated new releases. January was big spending month for me so I fully intend to lay off for the next couple of months. But here’s the stuff I’ll be adding to my wish-list for possible purchase sooner or later. As always, let me know what I’ve missed or should put out of mind!
New Releases – February 2014 (Release dates are all UK dates)
The big news of the month is the return of Poland’s Behemoth with The Satanist (out now). It’s already being heaped with plaudits and is a must-buy for me. Behemoth label-mates Grand Magus have also released their new album Triumph and Power (out now) which is already being hailed as a True Metal classic and is another priority purchase for me. At the risk of giving myself away: if I’m buying any new albums this month, it’ll be these two. I’m also keen to check out The Wounded Kings new album Consolamentum (out 24th Feb). I’m unfamiliar with this UK band but I like what I’ve read about them and the combination of Doom and female vocals is appealing.
There are also some less interesting releases that might prove to be wild-card purchases later in the year. Prog Metallers Cynic return with Kindly Bent to Free Us (out 17th Feb). I’m a big fan of their debut album Focus but I haven’t really followed them much beyond that. I’ve hear mixed things about it (“birthing music for dolphins” being one disparaging comment that has stuck in my mind) but I’ll give it a listen online when the mood strikes and see what I think before buying. And then there’s Slough Feg who are often touted as one of the best bands out there that no one has heard of! So maybe it’s time I give them a try and pick up their new album Digital Resistance (out 17th Feb)? You never know!
Reissues – February 2014
HMO favourites Def Leppard release their long-promised deluxe edition of Slang (out 10thFeb) with a whole slew of extra tracks. It’s an album that I rate highly and I can’t wait to get this. There is the added feature of eight iTunes-only bonus tracks so those will have to be bought as well. Luckily they can be bought individually without having to buy the whole thing twice but it’s still an extra expense. And if you really must keep tabs on the awful evolution of Joe Elliott’s hairstyles there’s the iTunes Slang video collection too! I’ll pass on that though.
The Hear No Evil and Rock Candy labels keep up their regular schedule of reissued classics as usual. Hear No Evil release Motörhead’s 1916 and March or Die and also Alice Cooper’s The Last Tempatation (all out 24th Feb). Rock Candy bring out the superb Kings X debut Out of the Silent Planet as well as two Ratt reissues: Out of the Cellar and Dancing Undercover (all out on 17th Feb). The Hear No Evil editions usually manage to add a couple of bonus tracks but the Rock Candy reissues rarely have any which means these are hardly essential if you have the albums already but I do like the sound quality of these so I always keep them in mind for possible future purchases.
2014 is the 45th anniversary of The Allman Brothers Band so there are a few releases due in celebration. February sees the reissue of the live album Live at the Beacon 1992 and also a new edition of their Live at Great Woods DVD which reportedly has restored tracks that were excised on the previous DVD edition (these are both out on the 17th Feb). I like the Allmans a lot and my collection from the Betts/Haynes era is a bit slight so these are definitely getting bought at some point this year.
And that’s the main releases of February as far as I can tell! Quite a few cool releases but not much that warrants immediate purchase. The new Behemoth and the Slang deluxe are shoe-ins. Grand Magus is a strong contender and there’s the Wolverine Blues vinyl reissue from last month that got put back to February too so that’s a likely purchase. But other than those, I’d be surprised if I splash out too much this month but expect to see a lot of these titles show up later in the year, especially the Allmans and The Wounded Kings.