How Tempting! – May 2014

It looks to me like May is a bit light on the new release front so I’ll keep this month’s selection of new releases relatively brief. All release dates are for the UK.

I call them skelfs personally!
I call them skelfs personally!

Vallenfyre – Splinters (out 12th May)

This is the priority purchase of the month. Vallenfyre is a dirty Death Metal side-project involving members of Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride. Their debut album A Fragile King was fantastic so I’m glad to see they’re keeping this band going. I’m excited to hear where they go with this style.

Dio fancy buying this album?
Dio fancy buying this album?

Dio – Live in London Hammersmith Apollo 1993 (12th May)

This live recording is taken from the tour that accompanied Ronnie’s Strange Highways album. I’ll pass on this myself but I thought I’d include it here as it looks like interesting stuff for any Dio diehards out there… Diohards? No, that doesn’t sound quite right does it?

Enough to gie ye the boak
Handstands were not popular in the Middle Ages

Dread Sovereign – All Hell’s Martyrs (12th May)

Primordial/Twilight of the Gods main-man Alan “Nemtheanga” Averill returns with this exciting Doom Metal project. Expect plenty of historical detail and no irony whatsoever. As a scuzzy genre celebration this looks likely to be a good companion purchase alongside the Vallenfyre album.

Did the Mighty Boosh design this?
The award for “Shittest Album Cover of the Year” goes to…

California Breed – California Breed (19th May)

I had hoped that after the Black Country Communion albums, Glenn might return to a funkier, soulful style but from what I’ve heard so far, California Breed seems more in the straight-up Classic Rock vein which isn’t really working for me. I just can’t escape the feeling that Glenn is just trying a bit too hard these days. Think I might have to pass on this one.

It's got two mules too many
It’s got two mules too many

Deep Purple – Made in Japan (19th May)

Stupor-deluxe box set edition of the Purps’ classic live album. I’m pretty happy with my current Made in Japan remaster and the excellent Live in Japan set so I think I’ll just make do with those.

5.999 out of 6!
5.999 out of 6!

Agalloch – Serpent and Sphere (19th May)

I don’t know anything about these guys but the recent rave-review in ZT Mag makes me want to own this (giving it a bizarre 5.999 out of 6 rating no less!) Atmospheric, folky… sounds like my kind of thing.

Seriously. With a title like that shouldn't this cover just have been black?
He’s just a Devil Goat with evil on his mind

Cradle of Filth – Total Fucking Darkness (19th May)

The UK’s most well-known Black Metal export reissue their early demo recordings. I’m not a huge fan of this band but I like their early stuff and I always love hearing old Extreme Metal demos. A definite purchase, if not this month then soon.

An album title guaranteed to make long-time fans feel very old indeed
An album title guaranteed to make long-time fans feel very old indeed

KISS – KISS 40 (26th May)

The HMO-favourites mark their 40th anniversary with yet another compilation. Because there just aren’t enough KISS compilations out there already! Part of me wants to not encourage this but a bigger and stupider part of me wants to hear the unreleased tracks… Cue epic struggle of wills.

It's impossible not to love a cover that has Orcs in it
It’s impossible not to love a cover that has Orcs on it

Emperor – In the Nightside Eclipse 20th Anniversary (26th May)

Another anniversary celebrated as the reunited Emperor reissue their classic album. The bonus disc of an alternate album mix is a pretty tempting bonus and there is also some rehearsal recordings and an EP thrown in too. There’s certainly enough extra here for me to consider buying it again.


And that’s about the lot for me. Please let me know if there’s anything cool you’ve got your eye on or if there’s anything here that gets your goat. There’s some good stuff out this month but not much that demands first-day buying so there could be all sorts of random stuff bought instead. One the eve of June’s new Mayhem album I have a notion to catch up with some of their back catalogue and there are still strong titles from previous months that are contenders. Or, even better, I could just make this month a quiet one and explore the HMO Vault for some neglected past purchases. I’m sure there are plenty of those in there! Happy hunting everyone and I’ll be back soon with April’s haul.

32 thoughts on “How Tempting! – May 2014”

  1. LOTS of goodness here to discuss!

    First of all, Dio. I guess I’m a Diohard. (Maybe Dio-head works better?) So my OCD dictates that I will eventually add this CD to my collection. Maybe this year, maybe next year, who knows. I’m not that excited, Strange Highways is not my favourite era, but also we’ve been inundated with Live Dio, haven’t we?

    California Breed. Hmmm, well BCC was great, and maybe Glenn is trying a bit too hard. I don’t know. I was just listening to his “From Now On” solo album from 1994. It was really good, and it had lots of soul AND rock. This one is on my back burner though. My level of care has since dropped.

    PURPLE! OCD! Mine mine mine mine. What’s special about it? Who gives a f***, I’m pre-ordering it now and that’s all there is to it.

    KISS! Already pre-ordered the Japanese as you are well aware. I don’t think you need to worry about “encouraging” anything though HMO. This stuff is coming whether you encourage it or not. It’s up to you how much you value me. Me, lots, for the live cuts and unreleased track.

    I don’t know when the pre-order will arrive, but CD Japan is usually pretty fast and I’ll be sure to review it in a quick a turnaround time as I can muster.

    Nice layout, what is the name of this theme?


    1. Dio-head it is!

      Dio – I thought you’d be interested in this one. But, yeah, we have been inundated with Dio stuff lately. I can understand why but it does make it hard to build up enthusiasm for each new release.

      California Breed – I couldn’t work up any interest in BCC. I guess my level of caring dropped there. Agree with you on From Now On although my faves would be Feel and Addiction.

      Purple – I knew you’d be getting this. I just can’t justify spending that much. I’m not a crazed completist like you are!

      KISS – Yes, I doubt anything I could do would make much difference but still… a man has to have a code! In fairness, it seems like good value. It’s cheap enough for me not to mind buying it for the rarities. And it’s KISS so…

      Glad you like it! Thought HMO was due a facelift. The site not the person! The theme is Twenty Fourteen.


  2. OK so I’ve done a little research on Made In Japan. I’m in for the new remix of all three concerts, which will pretty much render obselete the Live In Japan version. And the DVD will be interesting to me.


    1. What’s on the DVD? I understand totally why you want it, I just can’t justify the spend on it personally. I wouldn’t say it rendered the older versions obsolete though.

      As a personal rule, I’ve decided now that if I’m happy with my current edition of an album I’m going to just stick with it. I’ve not bought the last run of Who reissues for that reason. I feel like I have to draw a line somewhere!


      1. The DVD is supposed to be behind-the-scenes stuff. Either way I have nothing video-wise from this period, and I’d like to, so that’s a draw for me.

        I have similar personal rules with some bands. With other bands, I have OCD attention to detail, and Deep Purple is one of the first and foremost, for me!

        They could release a CD of Ian Gillan mumbling in his sleep to Jon Lord’s organ and I’d buy it.


      2. Well, you’re OCD attention to detail is definitely a thing of wonder!

        I think it’s only a matter of time before that Gillan/Lord collaboration sees the light of day. I’d be interested only if Simon Robinson does the sleeve notes.


  3. My partner, who is a worldwide-selling artist, is in total agreement with you on the Cali-Breed album artwork! For what it’s worth, I don’t like it either, it’s bloody awful.Looks like it took a kid 5 minutes to do with a crayon. Regarding the musical style….I like what I’ve heard so far, but like you, I had hoped (been led to believe?) it might be more of a funk rock outing. I too love the ‘From now on’, ‘Feel’ era Glenn. Anyhow, he’s been such a major influence on me as a musician, I buy everything he makes! I’ve only heard two songs proper so far, so let’s hope he’s spirited a little funk away in there somewhere.


    1. Absolutely! It looks like some child’s fingerpainting. Who knows… maybe it is?

      Fingers crossed for the funk! Let me know what it’s like when you’ve heard the rest of it. Feel and Addiction are my favourites of his.


  4. Made in Japan’s on the 1001 – thank you for the reminder about Deep Purple, I’ll try to get to it when looking at ‘D’s!

    The Agalloch one is intriguing (what was possibly 0.001less than perfect about it?)

    I enjoyed the struggle of wills visual, good luck!


    1. I’m glad Made In Japan is in there. What else by Purple do they have? It would be a shame if MIJ was the only one, because it’s not like their studio work at all.


      1. I like that reluctance as well – there’s a line in the movie the Incredibles where the villain said, “when everyone’s super, nobody’s super”

        So if every album got a 6, talk about deflating the value of a perfect score!


      2. Exactly! I love that Incredibles analogy. I always find ratings systems a bit suspect but, at the same time, I’d probably be annoyed if my favorite magazines stopped using them!


  5. Lots to love here, and a few I’ve never heard of (as usual). The Dio live looks cool. So does the Purple. That’s a tasty-looking thing, indeed! As for that cover, it is pretty bad. I remember several Where-Are-They-Now 90s bands that had toss-off covers like that. And speaking of covers, the Cradle Of Filth looks like it came from the Sandman series…

    You say it looks light this month, but I dunno. Lots to bring the rawk, here!! Wahoo!


    1. Funnily enough EvaOverload has just started reading Sandman. I can see the similarity!

      Definitely a 90s vibe on that cover. It reminded me of some sort of Mighty Boosh reject. Did that show ever air in Canada?

      It’s all good stuff, it was light in the respect that I usually need to whittle it down more whereas this was pretty much all the stuff I had any interest in.


      1. Oh man, we have the harcover leather-look boxsets of all the Sandmans. Gorgeous series.

        I have never heard of the mighty boosh. I’m not sure I want to, as that name is very evocative…

        Hey, I was telling Mike that a buddy here took his 4-year-old daughter to see Volbeat this week (it’s her fave band) and they got her up on stage during the encore. Even let her play a guitar. So awesome.


  6. Wow, £104 for the vinyl version of Made In Japan: rules me out.

    I’ve pre-ordered the new Black Keys LP and other than that I really want the new Baroness LP – not heard a note, but the cover is excellent. I also fancy the (very subtly titled) ‘Stoner Rock’ by Bong – nope, I didn’t make it up!


    1. Haha brilliant! I think that’s a band name and album title you can rely on. I’m a little intrigued by Baroness… only heard a few songs here and there. I hadn’t realised that was due out.

      BTW I’ve got a record coming up in my next buying round up that you are totally going to want! (If you don’t have it already anyway)


    2. OMFG THERE’S A NEW BARONESS?!?!?! Tell me when, where and how much and I will be first in frickin’ line!! I wants it the precioussssssss!!!

      Talk about greatness in 2014, I’m off to see Mastodon this weekend in Toronto and THEY have a new record about to drop too!

      Baroness and Mastodon all at the same time. They are trying to make my head explode.


      1. Out soon, available to pre-order through Amazon. It’s the covers I like best, they’re gorgeous. Yes, I’m that shallow.


      2. Unless I’m missing something, isn’t listing it yet.

        I have heard the new track! It’s all kinds of yummy and crunchy. It’s gonna absolutely SOAR in concert, this weekend!!!


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