Tag Archives: Box Sets

Buying Round-Up: New Albums, Reissues, Box Sets and Vinyl!

Not done a collection post for a while so I thought I’d share some highlights from the last couple of months’ buying activity.

I might as well start with the most recent purchases. The big new one is Iron Maiden’s latest live album The Book Of Souls – Live Chapter. I love how the packaging matches the deluxe book format of the studio album, the two together make a lovely set. Musically, this is the most excited I’ve been about a Maiden live release for a while too: the cream of their last album, some really well chosen oldies that fit in well with the new stuff and a great job on the production and mixing.

I’m also very pleased to finally have a copy of The Obsessed’s S/T debut album. This is the only one of their albums that I’m missing in my collection so I’m well-chuffed to finally have a copy… and with a ton of ace bonus tracks too. And while I was picking that up I treated myself to Saxon’s 10 Years Of Denim & Leather too. This is a CD/DVD repackaging of the Greatest Hits Live! album and video so nothing new for me here. But it’s a nice package and… it’s Saxon innit.

Got two massively enjoyable box sets recently too. Whitesnake’s 1987 30th Anniversary Edition is superb value, stuffed with goodies, handsome booklets and loads of bonus tracks. The best of which is the 87 Evolutions disc which is worth the price of admission on its own: a fascinating insight into the early versions of each song and the progression from the initial writing sessions to the finished article. The only (minor) let down is the perfunctory DVD doc on the making of the album.

And I also got folk overload from the new Pentangle set The Albums: 1968-1972 which is one of the best things I’ve bought this year. Superb albums from a genuine supergroup, great sound, gazillions of wonderful bonus tracks and a lovely booklet too. I previously had The Time Has Come box set, which is good, but I much prefer hearing the albums as they were and this new set is a revelation. Can’t stop listening to it.

On the extreme metal front, I picked up the very limited CD edition of the new The King Is Blind album We Are The Parasite, We Are The Cancer and got a nice note from the singer Steve Tovey too! He’s a good lad. The new Satyricon album Deep Calleth Upon Deep was a must-buy and is another fine release from the black metal veterans. And, after picking up the recent Holy Terror box set that I posted about recently, I decided to round it off by finally picking up Guardians Of The Netherworld: A Tribute to Keith Deen. This collection of demo and live tracks makes for an excellent archive release and a wonderful memorial to the band’s late vocalist.

I’ve not been buying much vinyl lately but I’m very pleased to have grabbed the new vinyl edition of Paradise Lost’s Live At The Roundhouse. Recorded at the band’s 25th Anniversary show in London, this 2013 live album was originally released through the Abbey Road Live website but was a bit too pricey for my liking. This new live set is much better value and a lovely addition to my PL collection. I’m chuffed to finally have a copy and the set list is awesome!

Hope you enjoyed this look through these new additions to the HMO Vault! All of these releases come with the HMO goodness guarantee. Get involved.

Advertisements

Holy Terror – Blood Of The Saints (Song)

Here’s some obscure and fantastic 80s thrash for you! A lively and infectious banger from Holy Terror’s 1987 debut album Terror And Submission.

The whole album is superb, a ripping combination of thrash and speed metal. The band already has a unique sound but there are plenty of enjoyable, familiar elements: Megadeth’s fretboard mayhem, Exodus’ violence and the high-speed catchiness of classic Accept and early Helloween.

Terror And Submission has recently been reissued by Dissonance Productions as a standalone vinyl edition or as part of the 4CD/DVD boxset Total Terror which is the version I picked up recently. It’s an essential set that contains every album these overlooked L.A. thrashers ever released (Terror And Submission, 1988’s Mind Wars, 2006’s El Revengo and Live Terror). It also comes with a DVD with the Judas Reward promo vid and live sets from Milwaukee, Chicago and Anaheim. A phenomenally great value set at around £20.

I already had this album and Mind Wars as part of an older double-CD set on Candlelight Records. Unfortunately, that edition had mis-labelled CDs and a mastering glitch on Judas Reward, which put me off spending much time with the albums. So I’m totally delighted with Dissonance Productions’ new, fixed and remastered collection and look forward to finally giving Holy Terror the attention they deserve.

[Holy Terror – Blood Of The Saints]

A MUST-BUY

CD Haul: Danzig, Avatarium, Sólstafir and more!

Friday was a big new release day with a few new albums I’ve been looking forward to… so I had a bit of a buying extravaganza!

First up was the new Danzig album Black Laden Crown. I’ve been reading quite a lot of people talking about how “surprisingly good” this one is. Well, given that Deth Red Sabaoth was excellent, I’m one of the few people that thought Skeletons was good fun and… it’s GLENN F. DANZIG(!) I can’t say I’m all that surprised that this is good. The only thing that was causing me any doubt was the rather shite artwork. And even then, I’ve grown mysteriously fond of the fiery John Travolta on the back. Anyway, this is dark, moody and doomy with some killer grooves and riffs. Surprisingly good!

Next up, the new Avatarium album Hurricanes And Halos. This band has become a modern favourite of mine and, although it’s not fully sunk in yet, this album sounds like an interesting progression of their style. They’ve now dropped pretty much all of the Dehumanizer heft of the debut and gone full Uriah Heep, with tons of driving Hammond, heavy psychedelia and eeeasy livin’. Loads of stellar playing topped off with Jennie-Ann Smith’s wonderful voice.

I headed back from the record store happy and then remembered that the new Sólstafir album Berdreyminn was out too. So, I immediately rushed back out to Fopp to pick that up! It’s a lovely box set with umm… trinkets… and (more importantly) bonus tracks. It sounds like it’s going to be another winner from them, although it’ll take a few listens to fully reveal itself. Seems a bit more rocking than Ótta but still sweeping and lush. Not totally grabbing me yet though, more listens required.

While we’re on the subject of new arrivals I had a couple of cool releases delivered just a couple of days ago too. Hear No Evil have put out this new expanded remaster of the last (for now anyway) Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow album Stranger In Us All. This has always been a big gap in the collection so it’s great to finally have a copy.

And I also got this very exciting new Tygers Of Pan Tang box set The MCA Years which features the band’s NWOBHM-era albums (two of which star Thin Lizzy/Whitesnake axe legend John Sykes) and a bonus disc/booklet too. I’ve got a few albums on vinyl already but it’s nice to get the rest of the bands old albums. And there’s plenty of extra tracks and BBC stuff here to sweeten the deal. Caroline and Cherry Red both seem to have had the same idea to box up old NWOBHM albums lately. I heartily approve. Here are all the ones I’ve bought so far (I think this is all of them so far but let me know if I’ve missed any. They seem to be coming thick and fast!)

NWOBHM Galore! All the box sets I’ve picked up so far.

Well, that’s the lot. This was a great week of buying for me with three albums here that could all realistically appear on my AOTY list. I’m off to do some listening!

New Releases – 24th March 2017

Time for me to rake through today’s new releases. Some great stuff out today!

Memoriam – For the Fallen

There’s a justifiable buzz about this one. The band’s pedigree (Memoriam feature former members of Bolt Thrower, Benediction and Sacrilege) and a couple of excellent demo singles mean the expectations are high for the band’s debut full-length. Old-school death metal with crusty attitude, weapon-grade riffing and a conscience. I’ll be surprised if anyone’s disappointed by this. 

Pallbearer – Heartless

And speaking of buzz… These Arkansas doom-mongers have been enjoying plenty of critical praise in recent years and, judging by the reviews so far, it looks like their critical cache is only going to increase with this, their third album. Fans of extra tracks will want to check out the Japanese edition as it has an extra disc with three bonus tunes on it.

Me and that Man – Songs of Love and Death

And another biggie! Fresh from blowing everyone away with The Satanist, Behemoth’s Nergal is back but, this time, he’s teaming up with guitarist John Porter for this new project. Dark, rootsy music along the lines of Johnny Cash and Nick Cave, I was prepared for this to just not be my cup of tea but I’ve really enjoyed the few songs I’ve heard so far. Intriguing.

Michael Schenker Group – Michael Schenker Fest Live CD/DVD

I was about to knock this into the “elsewhere” category but, on closer inspection, this looks like good fun. It’s a MSG reunion in Tokyo, the Schenk joined by the wonderful Chris Glen/Ted McKenna rhythm section and the trio of vocalists Graham Bonnet, Robin McAuley and Gary Barden along coming along for the ride. Can’t argue with a roster like that! And it’s good to see Michael back on form and enjoying himself.

Samson – The Polydor Years

Samson are mostly known for featuring a pre-Maiden Bruce Bruce on vocals but the talented guitarist Paul Samson kept the band going after the Air Raid Siren’s departure. This new package features the two albums (Before the Storm and Don’t Get Even, Get Mad) they made with replacement vocalist Nicky Moore with tons of bonus tracks. Both albums have been hard, if not impossible, to find on CD so this is a very welcome set.

Blood Divisions – Cardinal One EP

This is an all-star digital-only EP led by Chris Jericho with all proceeds going to Rock and Rescue. They get kudos for choosing two Nasty Savage covers as well as UFO’s awesome Hot N’ Ready (and their single had Scorpions’ Top of the Bill on it too which is another brilliant choice) Two new tracks seal the deal. Fun for fans of Jericho/Fozzy… and it’s all for charidee.

Anthrax – For All Kings (7″ Vinyl Box) 

Yet another new edition of Anthrax’s new album, still getting milked to death before people move on. This box has the album divided up into ten singles for… reasons. Does look pretty cool, I suppose.

Elsewhere, Frontiers (who else?) bring out a couple of releases from veteran AOR acts. House of Lords with Saint of the Lost Souls and Night Ranger with Don’t Let Up. There’s another Metal Blade release: Cut Up with their Wherever They May Rot album. It might surprise you to find out that this is a death metal album. Throw in a deluxe, bonus track-strewn 20th Anniversary Edition of Today Is The Day’s Temple of the Morning Star and that’s quite enough for one day! Please note, this isn’t an exhaustive list: just the stuff that stands out for me as being interesting or notable. If there’s anything you are into that’s not covered here then let us all know in the comments. Until next week… happy hunting.

And now you must vote for your FAVOURITE ALBUM COVER OF THE WEEK.

New Releases – 27th January 2017

It’s Friday. Time for some new releases!

61s6nsr45kl

Kreator – Gods of Violence

I can’t believe its been nearly five years since Kreator’s last album Phantom Antichrist. That album is still one of the best thrash releases of the decade so far, and now the German veterans are back with the hotly-anticipated follow-up. As usual, there’s a mess of versions but the main draw seems to be an extra live DVD or Blu Ray depending on your preference. There are also big box sets for paraphernalia-lovers, people that can’t decide which format they prefer and people that find things like “certificates of authenticity” exciting.

71dwc7kamal-_sl1200_

Annihilator – Triple Threat

The obligatory CanCon of the week! The Canadian thrashers return with three new discs! And it’s called Triple Threat! See what they did there? So you get a disc of acoustic versions of their thrash classics (umm) and a live electric set. And then you get a DVD or a Blu Ray of both of those performances and some extras. Seems like a lot of bang for your Canuck bucks but, here’s the kicker… there is also a 2CD version. Should they not have called that, I dunno, Double Dip?

612xn1xf-fl

Stephen Pearcy – Smash

Here’s the new solo outing from the current, or ex, Ratt vocalist (depending on who you talk to). I’m well out of the Ratt loop but I heard one track Ten Miles Wide and it was good fun. His voice sounded good and it didn’t sound like he was trying to move with the times, which is where a lot of classic rockers tend to trip up. Heard lots of good things about the last Ratt album too so maybe I should be catching up with this Ratt shit.

fresh_cream_deluxe

Cream – Fresh Cream: Deluxe Edition

Cream’s debut album has been re-released plenty of times over the years but never with any notable extras that I can think of. This set looks pretty neat: three CDs and a Blu Ray with alternate mixes/versions, BBC sessions, a nice hardback book, sexy packaging and it’s not too pricey as these things go either. No certificate of authenticity though. Boo.

81oetftxyrl-_sl1500_

Sepultura – The Roadrunner Albums: 1985 – 1996

Box set of the Brazilians’ classic run of albums, available in CD or vinyl sets. There is no bonus stuff on this but if you don’t have any of the band’s stuff, this is pretty much everything you need right here.

61j9lf7xwyl

The Great Old Ones – EOD: A Tale of Dark Legacy

This is the third album of Lovecraft-inspired metal from this French outfit. Gambrel roofs, gibbous moons and fish-folk guaranteed! Looks like Season of Mist have done a really nice job on the packaging for this too.

Quite an interesting week, definitely some stuff here that I’ll want to check out. Anything I’ve missed? Anything you fancy here? Let me know and… happy hunting!

New Releases – 6th January 2017

Happy New Year! Understandably, there wasn’t a whole lot happening over the festive period but we’re getting back to normality now. Let’s see what the first new release day of the year has to offer.

61opewwus1l
When Jack Vettriano and futuristic fairgrounds collide

Magnum – Valley of Tears: the Ballads

Get your year off to a positive start with… err… Valley of Tears. Thanks Magnum! I do love a bit of Magnum but I’m not a huge fan of their recent stuff, which seems to be the focus here. And I gather the few older tracks are live or new versions. But if you like current Magnum and can’t get enough of ballads, fill yer boots.

Anvil, Angra and Freedom Call – 5 Original Albums in One Box

A trio of Original Albums boxes here. There’s some primo CanCon from Anvil: covering their career from Strength of Steel (1987) through to Absolutely No Alternative (1997). Don’t have any of those but I reckon the albums I’ve got are sufficient to scratch that itch. Angra are Brazilian power metallers who are probably most famous now for supplying Megadeth with guitarist Kiko Loureiro. Their set covers their first five albums, starting off with Angels Cry. And finally there’s Freedom Call. Their set covers the four albums that preceded their latest Master of Light. Now, one of those is the 2CD Live in Hellvetia so… that’s really just four albums right? Too pedantic? Pfftthbbtt.

The minimalist packaging of these sets is off-putting but they are pretty good selections from well-regarded bands so if you don’t mind that, and must have a physical copy, then these are good value collection-builders.

81n4iqkfnxl-_sl1200_
I call this piece “Anguish Caused by Pish Whitesnake Cover”

Halestorm – ReAnImate 3.0: The Covers EP

Can’t be arsed doing any research so I’m going to guess this is Halestorm’s third covers EP? This time round they take on Whitesnake, Sophie B. Hawkins, Soundgarden, Joan Jett and Metallica. Lzzy Hale does have a decent voice but I just don’t get the appeal of this band at all.

In other news, there are two good European black metal albums getting US releases today. You probably don’t know who Uprising are because… no-one does! Wow. Such mystique. Their 2016 debut album Uprising gets released via Tridroid. It’s good, nasty stuff whoever they are. And Derhead’s Via gets a US release too: accomplished and memorable avant-garde BM from Italy. It’s just an EP but the CD version has their entire demo discography on it as a neat added bonus. Both these are worth checking out if you like black metal.

Not a particularly noteworthy selection today but the year is only young. Onwards and upwards! Happy hunting and… see you next week.

New Releases – 16th December 2016

We’re getting to the final release dregs that 2016 has to offer now. There’s nothing particularly crucial today, all compilations or live stuff.

mayhemdemysteralive
MAYHEM EUNT DOMUS

Mayhem – De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas Alive

This new live album/video features a full performance of the totally seminal, essential black metal album. The band is still out there doing this tour but this release captures the debut show in Sweden. Unfortunately, only the audio download is available through the normal channels, if you want the physical CD/DVD or LP/DVD sets you’re going to have to buy it through the band’s own website which means either a hefty shipping charge or waiting to buy it at one of their gigs.

91f-8wumjl-_sl1500_
They’ve taken care of everything

Rush – 2112: 40th Anniversary Edition

I saw this listed on one site as “2112: 40th Re-Release”. Well, not quite, but there has been a few… not quite 40 but maybe 37? At any rate, I think it’s safe to say you have this already. So what does this 40th edition have to offer? Well there’s a CD that’s mostly cover versions (including Dave Grohl so they can fuck right off with that), there’s a few live tracks and a live DVD from 1976. The DVD looks decent but cover versions? Reeaally? Oh yeah, and there’s a super-unnecessary idiot edition for £150 too. Attention all planets of the solar federation, Rush have assumed you have more money than sense.

61nvsisb-yl-_ss500
Big in Japan

Uli Jon Roth – Tokyo Tapes Revisited: Live In Japan

Fact: the Scorpions albums with Uli Jon Roth are completely awesome. So good on Uli for revisiting the tremendous songs from that era on this live 2CD/DVD set. Recorded at the same venue as the classic Tokyo Tapes album too and featuring most of the same tracks. Or you could just go and listen to Tokyo Tapes… which is what I’m going to do. There’s also a £100+ version of this too which beggars belief really.

61ypa1rpfdl-_sx425_
Don’t know why the wasted all that money on Joe Petagno to be honest

Motörhead – Wake the Dead

This is a three disc set housing the final brace of Motörhead albums. I don’t have any of these albums as I got fed up with this band when Motörizer came out. At just under £30 it’s not exactly “budget” for three albums though. I’m sure the individual albums could be got pretty cheap and those would come with the bonus tracks, DVDs etc… unlike this. But if you’re happy with just the vanilla albums (and Lemmy sketches!) then this is the set for you.

81buaef107l-_sl1500_
“See, so there’s definitely a link to the hand size” explained Jon to an appalled audience

Bon Jovi – This House is Not for Sale: Live at the London Palladium

Looks like this is just going to do what it says on the tin. All new songs but live! I’ve been boycotting the Jovi since a few albums back so I’ll just pass on this. Bring back Alec, that’s what I say.

And that’s us this week. Amazingly, no Darkthrone or Fenriz-related releases this week. What’s that all about?