Category Archives: New Releases

How Tempting! March 2013

A monthly look at the CDs, DVDs and vinyl (old and new) that threaten to bother my budget. Part of the HMO Challenge to cut my music spending by half.

The last two months were a hella drag thanks to my stingy £50 spending limit. Thankfully, the budget is finally increasing… to a whole £80! Maybe I can actually come in under budget this month? As usual, the evil Music Industry is doing its utmost to part me from my cash. Let’s look at this month’s temptations.

Saxon Sacrifice CoverSaxon – Sacrifice (Deluxe Edition with Bonus CD)

Good old Saxon have done a great job of clawing back respect with a slew of quality albums. Hopefully this one will continue their run of form. It also has a song on it called Standing in a Queue which sounds like refreshingly British subject matter for a song! I’ll probably buy this on sight.

Iron Maiden Maiden England CoverIron Maiden – Maiden England (2DVD and 2CD Editions)

Maiden finally get round to issuing this classic home video on DVD. Not only that but they are finally releasing the full set-list (taken from two nights at the Birmingham NEC in 1988) as a live album too! There’s no two ways about it… these are both getting bought. This is “first-day buyer” stuff. And it’s not out until the last week of the month so it could be a budget-buster if I’m not careful!

Entombed Left Hand Path CoverEntombed – Left Hand Path (LP reissue)

180g vinyl reissue of a seminal Death Metal platter. I’ve wanted a copy of this album for a while but I always felt a quality reissue was overdue so I held off. As usual, my Heavy Metal Intuition did not fail me. Praise Odin! A strong contender if the price is right. These might not be around for long.

Manilla Road Open the Gates CoverManilla Road – Open the Gates (LP Reissue)

Not a new release but I’ve been enjoying the Crystal Logic album immensely since buying it in 2012 and I think it might be time to add another album of theirs to my collection. This one seems well regarded and is the follow-up to Crystal Logic. Glasgow’s Monorail usually has a copy in stock so this one might be hard to resist this month.

Darkthrone – The Underground Resistance

I’ve held off buying this one so far but I’m not sure how much longer I can resist. See what I did there?

And here’s a “bubbling under” list. While less pressing than the albums mentioned above this is still stuff I could easily convince myself into buying at any point! You can see why £80 is a stricter budget than you might imagine. Decisions!

*****

Def Leppard – Any pre-Pyromania singles

Manowar – Defender 12”, Battle Hymns MXII, Thunder in the Sky EP and Dawn of Battle EP

Skyclad – The Answer Machine, Irrational Anthems, Oui Avant Garde a Chance and Vintage Whine

Pentagram – Relentless and Day of Reckoning

Girlschool – The Bronze Years

Satan – Court in the Act

*****

Let me know if there are any exciting releases I missed and join me later in the month for the March 2013 Buying Round-Up to see what new items have been added to the burgeoning HMO Vault.

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How Tempting? – February 2013

Welcome to the second month of the HMO Challenge 2013! In January I allocated myself a £50 budget to spend on music and music DVDs. I spent £58. Not a great start but not a complete disaster either. For February, once again, I gave myself a paltry £50 to play with. It’s a short month after all.

These How Tempting posts are supposed to be a list of the albums and DVDs that are tempting me the most and therefore mostly likely to be putting a dent in the budget. But I have to come clean. The February budget is already gone… and then some.

So there isn’t any point in doing a list of tempting music this month, given that I’ve probably bought it all already! There is only one notable release still to come in February and that’s Darkthrone’s The Underground Resistance. It’s one of the most exciting new releases of 2013 and, according to Darkthrone’s Fenriz, “torn from the wombs of the Riders of Rohan of Metal”. Indeed. Thankfully, this hugely anticipated release won’t be out until the 25th so if I can just hold off a week it will be a March purchase and I can avoid pounding February’s budget into complete submission.

Mind you, there are still a couple of weeks of February to go and plenty of interesting stuff left over from January that I didn’t buy back then. Temptation abounds! So far this month I’ve already picked up 20+ discs of music including: a box set from some Rock legends, a couple of Richard Thompson albums, an excellent out-of-print CD from one of my favourite UK Metal acts and a cheap compilation from a great American power trio.

Join me at the beginning of March to find out how I get on!

How Tempting! – January 2013

Welcome to the first month of the HMO Challenge 2013! I’m attempting to half my previous year’s spending on music based on last year’s spending, so I’m giving myself £50 to play with this month. I don’t know how much other people spend per month on music but, for me, that’s a tight budget.

January is a tough month. There’s usually good stuff showing up in sales: online and in the shops. All the magazines and websites are also full of tempting best-of lists. On the other hand, new releases tend to be thin on the ground and Christmas usually leaves me with enough new music to amuse myself for a while.

I have, as always, a very long wishlist. Here are the things that are tempting me most this month:

Pentagram - RelentlessPentagram Relentless and Day of Reckoning I’ve been listening to the First Daze compilations heavily for the last few weeks so these guys have to be a strong consideration. I could probably pick up both of these, their first two albums, for £10-£15 through the Amazon Marketplace.

Cirith Ungol - Frost and FireCirith Ungol – Frost and Fire, King of the Dead and One Foot in Hell Early Metal Blade band with awesome album covers taken from Michael Moorcock books. If I order from the US I can get these for £3-£4 a piece so these are strong contenders. No idea what this band sounds like but Fenriz of Darkthrone rates them and that’s good enough for me!

Metallica 598 EPMetallica – $5.98 EP Garage Days Re-Revisited I’ve wanted this on vinyl for a while. Shouldn’t set me back more than a tenner on Discogs. I do have it on the Garage Inc. CD so maybe I can hold off on this. For a while, at least.

Enslaved - EldEnslaved – Eld and Below the Lights (Vinyl Reissues) I spotted some really appealing vinyl reissues of some Enslaved albums at the Earache shop. They are about £14 a pop which isn’t bad for new vinyl, but would still put a sizeable dent in my budget.

The Cult - Pure CultThe Cult – Pure Cult Not having any of The Cult in my collection seems like a major gap and Aaron at WhatOwnsMe reckons this is a great place to start with them. I imagine I could get this pretty cheap. A fiver in my local FOPP maybe?

Girlschool - The Bronze YearsGirlschool – The Bronze Years The most tempting “new” release of January 2013. Especially considering my current NWOBHM kick. This compiles the first four albums the band recorded for the Bronze label. I’d mainly be buying this to add CDs to existing vinyl copies so this could probably wait.

In addition to these wishlist items I’ll be keeping an eye out for any deluxe editions that happen to show up in the sales (deluxe editions can often be found pretty cheap at my local FOPP). I’m especially interested in the Dio series and buying some of the Thin Lizzy and Queen ones that I’m still missing. But the price would have to be right.

So, as you can see, limiting my spending to £50 is going to force me into making some painful decisions! I’ll do my best. I think concentrating on second-hand shops and the sales are maybe the best way to go this month. Let me know what you think. Anything here I must buy or must avoid? What’s on your wishlist for January?

Stay tuned. At the end of the month I’ll be posting a Buying Round-Up of the month’s purchases. We’ll see how I get on…

HMO Challenge 2013!

James takes, and fails, the HMO Shopping Challenge.
James takes, and fails, the HMO Shopping Challenge.

It’s a New Year and a new Heavy Metal Overlord (not, like, an actual new Heavy Metal Overlord… I’ve not been usurped or anything) and I’m going to start 2013 with a challenge!

One of my goals when I started HMO was to be more particular about the music I buy. To an extent, this has been fairly successful! 2012 was a great year in my ears. I spent slightly less money than usual and concentrated my spending on the purchases that excited me the most!

But there’s always room for improvement. In 2012 I kept track of EVERY album I bought and how much I was spending. In light of this information, I’ve decided to revamp my How Tempting posts, my Buying Round-Ups and set myself a goal.

Based on 2012’s spending I’m going to be setting myself a monthly budget. It will be, at the most, 50% of what I spent that month in 2012 – less if the previous year’s spending was totally off the hook!

I’ll kick off each month with a How Tempting post. I’ll disclose my monthly budget and evaluate the merits of any music that’s tempting me at that point. At the end of the month a Buying Round-Up will announce my purchases and disclose my spending. As usual, there will be running totals a-go-go.

I’d love you all to chip in. Let me know what you think I should be buying, let me know if there is anything out there I might have missed and let me know if the stuff I’ve bought sucks. And please let me know if you have set yourself any music-related challenges for 2013. We’re in this together!

HMO Challenge Rules:

  • The monthly total will include: all CDs, vinyl, downloads and box sets I buy.
  • However, only singles that cost me more than £2 will be included. The Single of the Week series continues!
  • Music DVDs, but not any other DVDs, will be included.
  • No book purchases will be included, even if they are music-related.
  • Until an album purchase is disclosed, it will not appear in my Noise-some Notes. To regular readers, these posts may seem shorter than usual.

How Tempting! 11th Sep 2012

Here’s a wee round-up of things that might be burning a hole in my wallet sometime soon!

Lynyrd Skynyrd – Last of a Dyin’ Breed (Classic Rock Magazine Fan-Pack)

I have always enjoyed Skynyrd in the past and have been pretty keen on the post-crash line-ups too. I really rated The Last Rebel and Edge of Forever especially, both excellent albums. I have to say that they’ve lost me a bit on the last couple of releases. Didn’t rate Vicious Cycle much and didn’t even buy Gods and Guns. I am rarely in the mood for this kind of bluesy Rock these days so I think I’m going to have to leave this on the shelf. Pretty surprised to see ex-Black Crowe Johnny Colt popping up here though, when did that happen?!

TEMPTATION RATING: 2 out of 10 Yeeee…..naw.

*****

V/A – Re-Machined: A Tribute to Deep Purple’s Machine Head (Classic Rock Magazine Fan-Pack)

Usually these Fan-Packs are new albums packaged with a bonus magazine. This one feels like a magazine with a bonus CD so this is priced way over the mark at £15. Iron Maiden and Metallica’s contributions are intriguing but I really don’t do tribute albums so I’m going to find this easy to resist I think. Machine Head isn’t even Purple’s best record! Discuss.

TEMPTATION RATING : 3 out of 10 For Maiden and Metallica.

*****

ZZ Top – La Futura

Saw this in Fopp today for a £10… momentarily tempted but I managed to put it back. I have plenty of ZZ Top as it is, some of it has been underplayed. I know Martin Popoff really rates modern-day Top which is encouraging but I might just leave this until I’m in a genuine mood for it. It’s not going anywhere right?

TEMPTATION RATING: 7 out of 10 Not now but I’ll probably pick this up in the futura.

*****

Judas Priest – Screaming for Vengeance 30th Anniversary (CD/DVD)

A great Priest album. The main money shot here is the DVD of their performance at the US Festival. You often see images of Priest performing at this festival in articles and websites about them so this is a pretty iconic show for the band. It is also only £10 which would be an ok price tag for the DVD on its own anyway so it doesn’t feel like I’m being totally ripped off. The elephant in the room is the Live Vengeance ’82 DVD which has all these songs from the same era, is also pretty iconic and has a longer set-list. I could be swayed either way on this. Maybe I’ll hold off until I have a really bad day or something like that.

TEMPTATION RATING: 8 out of 10 Hard to imagine I won’t treat myself to this at some point.

*****

Ozzy Osbourne – Speak of the Devil (DVD)

Been a bit of a debate here about the relative merits of Ozzy’s live releases. It put me in the mood for this. It’s an odd line-up featuring Brad Gillis on guitar, filling in for Randy Rhoads after his tragic and fatal accident. But it’s still Diary-era Ozzy and looks pretty entertaining. It also looks like it might keep coming down in price so I might hover around it like a vulture for a while longer.

TEMPTATION RATING: 9 out of 10 This DVD isn’t going anywhere and neither am I. See you at the bargain bin.

*****

Rollins Band – The Only Way to Know for Sure

Been on a Rollins kick and this live album comes heavily recommended. It’s also a strong contender for the Live After Live After Death column I’ve been doing (if it’s as good as Aaron and Mike say it is!). Going to have a poke around on Discogs and see if I can get this for a good price. Can I also just add that the title is an inspired title for a live album.

TEMPTATION RATING: 10 out of 10 The only way to know is to buy it!

How Tempting! 26th Aug 2012

Here’s a wee round-up of things that might be burning a hole in my wallet sometime soon!

Blue Oyster Cult –  The Complete Columbia Albums Collection

Just had a wee swatch around Amazon, for the first time in ages, and noticed this little beauty!

Fourteen albums of BOC(how do you actually do umlauts on your PC?) from their debut to Imaginos. It also includes the Some Enchanted Evening bonus DVD and two albums of Rarities and Radio broadcasts. Apparently initial copies come with a download voucher for four live concert broadcasts too!

The first question I always want to know with these kind of sets is whether all the albums are remastered because often they are packaged with only the existing editions of CDs with no new work done which means they can be a mixed bag sonically. After a root around online I’m delighted to see that the later albums have all been remastered for this release and that makes it phenomenally tempting for £50. It’s out in the tail end of October. BOC are an essential and cruelly underrated band. I have most of this stuff already but mostly on vinyl so this is a MUST!

Temptation Rating: 10 out of 10 A Fire of Unknown Origin took my money away.

*****

Black Flag – The First Four Years LP

There’s been a lot of Henry Rollins chat here and over at My Left Thumb so I’ve been on the lookout for any Rollins/Black Flag stuff in the shops. There wasn’t much doing as most of the stuff is import-only over here but, I’m happy to report, good old Monorail in Glasgow has saved the day with a nice stock of Black Flag vinyl and CDs so it’s just deciding where to start really! This is the early EPs and singles before Rollins joined the band but I’m told it’s essential so I’ll probably start here as it looks like a bit of a steal at £13 for the vinyl.

Temptation Rating: 9 out of 10 Only financial considerations are getting in the way here but this is definitely on my wish-list.

*****

Enslaved – Riitiir

I really enjoy these Progressive Black Metal legends. But, really, I’ve not listened to their older stuff nearly as much as I should have so I’m going to do my best to hold off on this. At least until I’ve given the rest of their stuff a decent whirl. It’s been getting phenomenal reviews though so it might be hard to fight off the temptation.

Temptation Rating:  6 out of 10 If I’m serious about cutting down the buying, I can do without this… at least for now.

*****

Testament – Dark Roots of the Earth CD/DVD

Pretty much the same story as with Enslaved. Too much music and too little time so I need to make more of what I’ve already got!

Temptation Rating: 5 out of 10 Not had the rave reviews that Enslaved have enjoyed so I’ve docked a point.

*****

KISS – Destroyer: Resurrected

I’ve been staying out of Amazon as much as I can lately to fight off temptation. But I had a wee peek today and noticed this is already out. Aaaarrrgghhhh!!!! WTF?!

Temptation Rating: 10 out of 10 I’m going to get up and get down to the shops right now.