Category Archives: Black Metal

Buying Round-Up: Apr/May/Jun 2018

I’m long overdue doing one of these so I’m going to rattle through the key purchases from the last couple of months… and a bit.

Let’s start with the most recent new arrivals. The just-released expanded edition of Sepultura’s Arise follows similar reissues of Chaos A.D. and Roots from last year and like those it’s stuffed with extras! Rough mixes, demos and live tracks galore. Love/Hate’s Wasted In America gets the Rock Candy treatment. It’s an album I’ve wanted for ages but my first listen is a bit disappointing. Prefer the sleaze bludgeon of their debut Blackout In The Red Room. Ah well, might be a grower. I’ve only listened to the first half of Rotting Christ’s 2LP early days comp Abyssic Black Metal but it hit the spot. I’m really into these guys lately.

On the new album front, we’ve got Voices superb and sexy Frightened, Sleep’s The Sciences on CD at last(!) and the deluxe version of Ihsahn’s killer new album Ámr (worth getting for the great bonus track). All three are album of the year contenders. And I also bought Ghost’s Prequelle which… isn’t. Still pretty decent though.

I got a couple of live CD/DVD combos. Dokken’s reunion gigs captured for posterity on the flawed but entertaining Return To The East Live and Behemoth’s Messe Noire which has two gigs on DVD, promo vids and The Satanist album live on CD. It’s not flawed in the slightest, great stuff.

Def Leppard’s CD Collection: Volume 1 next. Very cool set, much along the design lines of the recent Bowie sets but with less text in the book and less rare material. But then it was also about half the price! Bought mainly for the remastered On Through The Night and the CD debut of some early singles and because… Def Leppard.

Also on the box set front there’s Marduk’s Dark Endless 25th Anniversary Edition. Nice reissue of the strong debut album with a neat digipak of the Here’s No Peace EP with demo artwork from deceased Mayhem vocalist Dead. Also has some stickers which doesn’t really seem very black metal to me. Shouldn’t it just have a dead rat in it or something like that?

On the reissue front I bought the “Final Kill” edition of Megadeth’s classic debut Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good! which sounds genuinely amazing! Sadly the CD design is clearly just an impossible-to-read transfer of the vinyl design because CD buyers and their pesky money don’t matter anymore. I’m well chuffed with the deluxe editions of hard rock pioneers Montrose’s S/T debut and Paper Money: great remasters, interesting (and readable!) liner notes and tons of bonus tracks.

I’m a big fan of The Who and got a few great additions to my collection recently. Live At Fillmore East 1968 is a brilliant concert recording: fiery performance, some lesser-heard tracks and an epic My Generation to close it out. Pete Townshend’s Who Came First gets some added rarities and is very nicely packaged for the price. And last, but not least, I bought a vinyl reissue of the comp Meaty, Beaty, Big And Bouncy. An odd one cause there’s nothing on there I don’t have already but it’s a bit of Who history with one of those perfect tracklistings… I had to get it eventually and it’s just fantastic! Classic after classic, it sounds phenomenal and I can’t stop listening to it. Highly recommended!

And I reckon that’s about the lot! I’ll try and do this more regularly so I can get into more detail and put up more photos in future.

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New Releases – 15th June 2018

Let’s keep this short and satanic. Apart from a few interesting(ish) reissues there’s only one new release that truly matters today.

Blasphamagoatachrist – Black Metal Warfare

Bestial black metal demo from members of Blasphemy, Goatpenis and Antichrist. Absolute metal bombs going off left, right and centre on this one. I love Blasphemy and this stuff is hitting that spot… which makes it essential. Hilarious band name a plus. The fact that it’s only available on tape or streaming a negative. But hopefully there will be more to come. And it’s CanCon so you have to listen to it. It’s the law!

And that really is it for this week. There’s also a reissue of Sepultura’s Arise that I quite fancy but I couldn’t be arsed writing about it and didn’t want to detract from the importance of Blasphamagoatachrist. See you next week!

Ghost – Prequelle (Review)

Ghost – Prequelle Ltd. Edition with bonus tracks and 3D cover thing

Hard to believe it’s already eight years since Ghost’s debut album Opus Eponymous. Time flies when you’re having satanic fun. And on the plague, death and apocalypse themed Prequelle, Ghost are still all about fun. Like on its excellent predecessor 2015’s Meliora, Ghost’s fourth album is full of blissfully catchy theatrical rock that laces its spiritually uplifting hooks with diabolical twists. But it doesn’t do much that Meliora didn’t already do better. Two flat instrumentals pad out the running time, Pro Memoria is beyond Muppety and the fiendish lyrical slants aren’t as keen or effective (replacing “be with” with “bewitch” isn’t enough to add depth to the ABBA-tastic Danse Macabre). But all gripes are rendered churlish when faced with the excellence of tracks like the glam metal Rats, the passionately defiant See The Light and majestically melodic Witch Image. Prequelle might be a weak facsimile of its predecessor but there’s still enough devilish fun in its diminishing returns to make it worthy of devotion.

HMO Rating: 3.5 Out Of 5

New Releases – 1st June 2018

Haw! Check oot aw the new releases!

Continuing their theme of re-imagining famous movie posters, this one is based on Chevy Chase’s Funny Farm.

Ghost – Prequelle

One of 2018’s biggies and it’s been getting hyped out the arse for a while now, mainly because they replaced lead vocalist Tobias Forge with new vocalist Tobias Forge. I think they might have replaced a bunch of nameless ghouls too, which is fine by me as long as Dave bloody Grohl isn’t hiding in there anymore. I loved their last album Meloria so I’m excited about this one. Want to hear it fresh so I’ve avoided listening to any of it so far.

Def Leppard – Volume One

This is the first of four career-spanning box sets covering the period from Lep’s debut EP to the gazillion-selling Hysteria. There’s not much in here that serious fans won’t have already but I want the remasters of the first two albums, the 3” EP looks cute and the bonus disc of rarities has some stuff I’d like on CD too. Of course there’s a much more expensive vinyl version too if you are that way inclined.

Gruesome – Twisted Prayers

This US band has been releasing albums that follow the musical progression of the mighty Death. They’re on their third album now so this is in the vein of Death’s third album Spiritual Healing. I was particularly excited about their last EP Fragments Of Psyche but then I couldn’t bloody find it anywhere! I think I’m still in too much of a huff to buy this one.

And that’s the lot. Not a lot but some exciting stuff. Let me know what you’re after today and I hope you all have an awesome metaltastic weekend!

New Releases – 25th May 2018

Treat yourself to some new music. You know you’re worth it.

Rotting Christ – Abyssic Black Metal

Peaceville Records have been gearing up a big vinyl campaign for the Greek band but it seemed to go awry when their last mooted reissue of Passage To Arcturo went AWOL without much of an explanation. Anyway, looks like they’re back on track now with this new release of the band’s early demos. A must-buy. Featuring the infamous early line-up of Necrosauron, Necromayhem, Morbid and… Jim!

Candlemass – House Of Doom EP

Normally, any Candlemass release would be a must-buy but their last release Death Thy Lover was painfully average. So this is one House Of Doom I’ll be entering with caution. It doesn’t look all that cheap as EPs go either. I’ll listen online and see if it’s worth adding to the collection. If it’s not I might call it a day with these guys.

Witchsorrow – Hexenhammer

More doom… this time of the British variety. Fronted by Kerrang! editor Nick Ruskell or ‘Necroskull’ as he likes to be known. He should probably join Rotting Christ with a name like that… or maybe that would be one Necro too many? Anyhoo, I hear that this is along the Cathedral lines which makes it worth checking out and it also gets intrigue points for that ace Paolo Girardi cover.

And that’s about it for me. Let me know what you’re after today and happy hunting!

New Releases – 4th May 2018

Happy Star Trek Day! I’m a doctor not an escalator! …Let’s see what new releases are out on this glorious day.

Ihsahn – Ámr

New releases from the prog/black metal wizard are always big news. But I’ve grown a bit wary. I really enjoyed 2010’s After and subsequent releases have been good but I’ve rarely went back to any of them afterwards. Don’t feel a pull there. Reviews for this have been good but… they always are. I might revisit the previous albums again first and see if they put me in the mood. Otherwise, might just pass.

Dimmu Borgir – Eonian

Another big name in black metal but I never got massively into this band. I’ve heard enough to want to hear more but I doubt I’d start here so I’ll likely pass on this one. Title is apparently all about the illusion of time and rifts (hehe) in time. I preferred it when black metal bands just spent all their time telling Jesus to fuck off.

Various Artists – We All Want Our Time In Hell

I don’t find tribute albums all that compelling and there aren’t many bands on this that I know about (Midnight and Joel Grind stick out though). But it is a tribute to Glenn Danzig’s less-celebrated “other” band Samhain which is cool. Cover is also cool. I might have plumped for a digital copy on Bandcamp but Fonzig has apparently forbade that option. Not so cool. Looks like it’s vinyl or nothing… I vote for nothing.

Dead Cross – Dead Cross EP

Dave Lombardo, Mike Patton and some other people drop this surprise EP. Dunno… found the debut album pretty underwhelming so can’t see me bothering with this. I mention it because I know you love them though. You totally love them don’t you? Not you… you.

That’s about the lot for me. Until next time, live long and prosper!

New Releases – 27th April 2018

Not a huge amount out today, compared to last week’s madness anyway, but there are a couple of important new releases at least!

Voices – Frightened

This is the one I’ve been waiting for. Comprised mostly of ex and current Akercocke members (with links to other great bands like Shrines and The Antichrist Imperium), Voices’ previous album London was a masterpiece and a very tough act to follow. But the two singles released since, Petrograph and Dead Feelings, were top dollar and bode well for a satisfying and different follow-up.

Aura Noir – Aura Noire

Another great band, one of the key black thrash bands, back with a much-anticipated new album. The three guys here have been in a wealth of great bands like Virus, Immortal and Mayhem (as well as a gazillion others) so there’s a lot of talent here. I’m a big fan of 2008’s Hades Rise and it’s been a good six or so years since previous album Out To Die so it’s exciting to have them back.

Anthrax – Kings Among Scotland

Glasgow crowds always goes totally ape-shit for Anthrax so recording a live show here was a good call. I reckon I’m done with these guys now though. I know their last couple of studio albums were well-received but they didn’t do much for me and I’ve got enough live Anthrax stuff to live without this. Usual bunch of formats available… take your pick.

Count Raven – Storm Warning and Destruction Of The Void

Couple of early-90s doom reissues here from Metal Blade. Only available on digital or vinyl so I’ll probably pass. The vinyl editions do look pretty sexy though.

And I think that’s as far as I’ll go, nothing else on my radar today. Let me know what’s on your shopping list today.