Mantas – Death By Metal

Only a week into my new era of abstinence and I’m feeling the pressure increase already! Just found out that Relapse Records will be re-releasing the great Chuck Schuldiner’s Pre-Death band Mantas’ recordings on June 19th 2012. Death By Metal will include demos and rehearsal recordings from 1984 and there will be a limited edition 2CD version with extra rehearsals and a live recording. Not sure if the limited 2CD will only be available through Relapse or not.

Relapse have been doing a great job of reissuing the Death back catalogue recently and I’m excited to see these recordings getting the same deluxe treatment. These recordings are essential listening for anyone interested in the genesis of Death Metal and the career of Schuldiner. Mantas also featured Kam Lee and Rick Rozz who are also important figures in the genre and later formed Massacre, another great DM band.

I’ve been listening to quite a few old demos lately, bands like Voivod, Destruction, Hellhammer, Massacre, and Coroner so this is just astoundingly tempting. I’ve also been checking out some other early DM bands like Master and Death Strike so I’m really interested in hearing these, unfortunately!

Aaaarghhh…. at least I’ve got until June 19th. If I maintain my iron resolve until then maybe I can justify treating myself. Maybe I’ll forget about it in the interim. Maybe.

TEMPTATION RATING: 10/10 This purchase is as inevitable as… Death!


Rainbow – Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow and Long Live Rock N’ Roll (Vinyl)

Two all-time classics featuring the sadly departed Ronnie James Dio and the sadly departed Ritchie Blackmore (well… departed from rock music anyway. He’s currently to be found mistrel-ing to the elves at the bottom of his garden. Not bad work if you can get it.).

No heavy music collection should be without these and I have them on CD already. But these Back On Blackvinyl reissues are beautiful things and have been preying on my mind for some time. I was listening to a Shockwaves/Hard Radio podcast episode going in to work this week and Bob Nalbandian was banging on about them, as is his wont, so it got me thinking about them again.

I relented last year and bought the Back On Black vinyl edition of Rising and it’s a lovely thing. Jury’s out on whether it really improved my listening experience, though, compared to the remastered CDs. I’ve just not listened to it enough. I think the temptations here are really the objects themselves and the completist urge to have “the set” on vinyl rather than just one! I do have the later albums on CD (and have a particular passion for Difficult To Cure) but they don’t seem to require the “upgrade” to vinyl for some reason.

So, in order to stave off this temptation, I’m going to listen to these two albums on CD and then Rising on vinyl and see if there’s that much of a difference. Hopefully there won’t be and my wages will live to fight another day!

TEMPTATION LEVEL: 5/10. Collectability high, but no new content here.

… and classic rock too!