I didn’t make it out on Record Store Day this year so it was pretty much business as usual on the buying front. But there is an independent store vinyl purchase here so I still did my bit! Not that the music industry should have any complaints about my levels of support…
Triptykon – Melana Chasmata (£10 Amazon)
My acquisition of this proved to be a touch frustrating. I ordered the jewel case edition by mistake and had to send it back in exchange for the Ltd. Edition version. So I had a few days of hearing about how much everyone was enjoying it before I managed to get my paws on it. It was worth the wait though, a big improvement on their debut and one of the vital albums of the year so far.
The Wounded Kings – Consolamentum (£10 HMV Ayr)
Another key release of 2014 and I’m a good bit late picking this up. For some reason I just wanted to find this in the shops and it didn’t seem to be stocked anywhere. Eventually it turned up in the HMV in Ayr. Kudos to the seaside town for having its finger on the Metal pulse! This is crucial for Doom fans, grindingly heavy and with haunting vocals.
Manowar – Kings Of Metal MMXIV (2CD Silver Edition) (£17 Amazon)
Any month that has new Manowar is an exciting month but I can’t say I’m entirely bowled over by this one. An anniversary re-recording of their classic Kings of Metal album, it’s actually a lot better than I expected but not enough to justify it being done. None of the versions here surpass the originals (although Heart of Steel MMXIV comes damn close.) And another old-school double jewel case! I can’t complain here though because, unlike Def Leppard’s recent Slang reissue, this was never advertised as being “deluxe” so… I’ll let them off.
Death – Leprosy (2CD Edition) (LoveMusic Glasgow)
Death – Vivus ! (2CD Edition) (HMV Glasgow)
Leprosy is the latest of the excellent Death reissues from the Relapse label. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying these and this might be the best yet. Essential early Death Metal with a foot in the Thrash camp. I dug this one so much I ended up picking up the live Vivus! double too and it is devastatingly good. No idea why I left it so long to buy that! I can’t wait for the next in the series (presumably Scream Bloody Gore as I’m guessing they haven’t scored the rights to Symbolic?)
Coroner – Death Cult (£12 eBay)
An amazing surprise! This is the first official band-approved release of the Swiss metallers’ legendary demo. I’ve been anticipating it highly but it seemed to keep getting pushed back. It was due out last year but was then pushed back to January and then Amazon were saying it would be out in October 2014 (and still are). I ended up double-checking on the label’s website (No Remorse) and they said it was available! I hot-footed it to eBay and sure enough! And so it’s finally here. It’s a fantastic twisty, thrashy demo and of special interest as the vocalist here is none other than Metal legend (and Triptykon main-man) Tom G. Warrior. Have I got your interest now? If so, make sure and pick this up fast as it is fairly limited and make sure the label is No Remorse as there are bootlegs of this floating about too.
Various Artists – Wayfaring Strangers: Darkscorch Canticles 2LP (£27 Monorail Glasgow)
An unexpected curio! This gorgeous vinyl release charts the impact of Led Zep and Sabbath on the early 70s US underground. This is a real labour of love from the Numero Uno label who have done a brilliant job of compiling these extremely rare releases from practically unknown and short-lived Heavy Rock bands. It’s predominantly psychedelic Garage Rock and much of it reminds me of the early Pentagram stuff. It’s all infectiously amateur and a fairly timely collection given the popularity of Occult Retro-Rock these days. And special mention for the packaging, a heavy, tactile gatefold sleeve with tons of Dungeons and Dragons-esque artwork with jotter background! It’s absolutely beautiful and truly deluxe! …cough… Def Leppard… cough