I was a big fan of AN’s last album The Whole Of The Law so I was looking forward to this one. Unfortunately I wasn’t that fussed by new song Forward! so I decided to ignore all advance tracks and just wait to hear the album in full. It has put a wee dampener on my excitement though… but not enough to stop me buying it.
A Forest Of Stars – Grave Mounds And Grave Mistakes
I first heard these Victorian black metal thespians in a documentary about the UK scene and I’ve wanted to get into them ever since. But so far, I want to like them more than I actually do. I’ve tried this new album and I still don’t quite get it. If you do get it then the handcrafted box edition looks very snazzy.
Horrendous – Idol
Modern death metal mavens Horrendous return with their fourth album. I’ve only heard their last album Anareta which was pretty good but got drowned out among all the other releases of the time. Might happen again with this one cause there’s so much coming out now. But we’ll see.
Cinderella – The Mercury Years
And last but certainly not least, the classic Cinderella studio albums get some long overdue reissue love. I’m not that familiar with the fourth album but the first three are golden. And there’s also bonus tracks on the albums and an extra disc of live tracks and B-sides. And all for just £20?! Ewwww! Ewwww yeah!
And that’s about the lot for this week. See you next week for more new release antics.
HMO heroes Virgin Steele have announced they will celebrate their 35th Anniversary(!) by releasing a brand new box set called Seven Devils Moonshine. It will be released through SPV/Steamhammer on November 23rd 2018 and will include 5 CDs (a total of 88 songs) as well as a sticker and a 24 page booklet with new lyrics and photos by frontman David DeFeis.
The band have been doing extended album reissues for quite a few years now and were planning to reissue the two albums Hymns To Victory and The Book Of Burning together as a deluxe set with extra material. But they started recording some new stuff to put on a bonus disc and in typically overblown Virgin Steele style they ended up with three albums worth of new material! So as well as the two reissued albums the set will include 3CDs worth of new songs, orchestral versions, cover versions… you name it. Looks like a great value package and a must-buy for fans. As I wrote recently, their last studio album wasn’t the best but I love this band and I’ll take as much of this stuff as they’ve got.
I’d normally do a New Release post today but there’s nothing out this week that I can be bothered buying or writing about! So instead, I thought I’d have a quick catch up on some new additions. Been a quiet few weeks so I’ve not been buying a whole lot. Still some good stuff here though, and a couple of AOTY contenders too!
Immortal – Northern Chaos Gods
Blashyrkh’s finest impress mightily with their first Abbath-less album: raging, epic and cold black metal of the most classic variety. At first I thought it was a bit meh but it’s really growing on me with each listen. Reckon this will be a keeper. All black covers are a bummer to photograph though so apologies for the shite photies!
Extra points for a beautiful digipak!
Solstice – White Horse Hill
This is a very nicely done digipak. Looks great! It’s the US version so it’s got a bonus track on it too. This is a immensely stirring epic doom album with brilliant vocals and tons of Bathory/Manowar-style Viking manfeels. Love this kind of stuff.
Rotting Christ – Under Our Black Cult
A superb box set from Peaceville, who are getting jolly good at these things (hoping for a My Dying Bride one next). Five whole discs of albums, demos, live stuff and more! And it also has a signed certificate from RC main-man Sakis Tolis and an excellent photo-packed book.
Autopsy – Critical Madness: The Demo Years
And here’s another excellent Peaceville release. Autopsy’s seminal demos get reissued. Have a lot of this stuff already but this is a brilliant compilation of fat, filthy death metal done right. Love the cover, liner notes and obi-strip… and it was only £8!
Batushka – Litourgiya
A godly black metal album from 2015. This is a new digipak edition. Blabbed a bit about it and posted a track here.
Guns N’ Roses – Appetite For Destruction
Went easy on my wallet and plumped for the 2CD version and bought some other tracks as downloads. Nice to have, remaster sounds great and it’s got good packaging for the price but I’ve not really been getting much out of this reissue. One of those albums I’m kinda done with (Rocket Queen aside… I always get a kick out of that). Thought this might rekindle my interest but it hasn’t yet.
Yes – Yessongs
An unexpected charity shop find. Got this album already but my current vinyl copy is beyond tatty! This is a later repress but it’s in great nick and has the booklet, which my other copy was missing too. Still going to keep the older copy cause it sounds great but this is a lovely copy of an all-time classic live album.
Bought the new Antichrist Imperium vinyl but it’s not turned up yet, and I bought the new Imperial Triumphant album and the three Thou EPs as downloads on Bandcamp. And that’s about the lot! Some really superb music here and plenty to keep me busy during this fallow patch of new releases. I’ll hopefully get back to those next Friday though… if there are any!
I always dig out the Jovi when it’s sunny and it has been sunny here for some time now, which means lots of Jovi has been playing. And New Jersey is peak Jovi, the band at the height of their powers. Jon Bon Jovi’s voice is as powerful as it ever got here and Sambora’s guitar is deadly, belting out classic riffs like the drop-D stunner in Lay Your Hands On Me. I like the way the album mixes up Cinderella-style rootsiness with a massive Lep-esque production too. The album gets a bit too drippy at points but songs like Bad Medicine, Blood On Blood and Born To Me Baby are just irresistible.
(This is the deluxe box version which has lots of rare stuff too but I’ve just been listening to the album proper this week)
Tons of new stuff out today… mostly reissued stuff. I’ll try and be nitpicky but this is going to be a long one I reckon.
The Antichrist Imperium – Volume II: Every Tongue Shall Praise Satan
This is an essential new release from one of the many Akercocke-related bands on the go at the moment. You know I’m nuts for this stuff. Ex-Akercocker Matt Wilcock is joined by current Akercockerers David Gray and Sam Loynes and Sam “I’ve never been in Akercocke” Bean. I loved their 2015 debut and album number two sounds like their upping their game. Ripping, blasting satanic death metal but this time round its blacker, more avant-garde, more eclectic. Pure devilry.
Bruce Dickinson – Scream For Me Sarajevo
It’s not every week you get some Bruce solo action! This is a documentary about the great man’s Balls To Picasso-era solo tour of war-torn Sarajevo. I’m not sure how much live music footage is contained in the movie but it looks fascinating and there is also a soundtrack disc which is pretty cheap. Mainly just a solo best-of, but it does have a Japanese bonus track from the Tyranny Of Souls era that I don’t have. So it will get bought just for that.
Paradise Lost – Believe In Nothing (Remixed/Remastered)
Gloomy northern nihilists Paradise Lost reissue another album from their electro-pop years. This was widely regarded as their worst album by most people, band included. But it’s been remixed, remastered and re-covered and now it’s a lost classic! Yippee. I can’t comment cause this is the only Paradise Lost studio album I’ve never heard. Will probably buy it for that reason alone but I wasn’t a big fan of the preceding album Host and this is in that vein too.
Coroner – Mental Vortex and Grin
Here are two more Coroner reissues to follow the recent Sony reissues of the first three albums. This time it’s Noise doing these though so they’ll probably be done a bit differently. Not sure why different labels are handling these… I got all this stuff already so I reckon I’ll just sit this out. Great albums though. All five will probably get reissued again before you know it. It’s a funny old business.
Guns N’ Roses – Appetite For Destruction
The classic debut gets a long overdue expanded, remastered reissue. There are many variants, but if you want the maximum audio/video content you’re looking at over £100 to get the super deluxe. The 2CD will do me, might buy some more bonus tracks as downloads. I should be excited about this but instead I just feel like I’m missing out on something.
David Bowie – Welcome To The Blackout (Live London ’78)
CD edition of the live album that was released earlier in the year on vinyl (as part of 2018’s RSD slate). They did that with the previous RSD live release Cracked Actor too so I saw this one coming and avoided the over-priced RSD version. Kinda bugs me that I’ll have one on vinyl and one on CD though…
Various Artists – Winds Of Time: The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal 1979-1985
New comp of NWOBHM goodies. I’ve been hoping for a big exhaustive box set that would do this era justice and really tell its story. Not sure this is it… but there are a lot of tracks here and it looks like fun. I’ve slept on a few NWOBHM comps over the years and usually regretted it when they’ve went out of print so I really should buy this one. Probably not a priority though.
And that’s about it for me. Like I said, loads being released today so let me know what you’re after.
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.
I’m fairly skint (blame Ghost and Def Leppard) so hopefully there’s nothing good out today… fingers crossed!
Various Artists – Contract In Blood: A History Of UK Thrash Metal
Ahh baws. Writer/musician Ian Glasper turns the spotlight on the overlooked UK thrash scene with this exciting box set and companion book. The CD set has five whole discs (separated into various areas of the UK) and it looks like a total blast and great value too. There are always going to be gripes and omissions with this kind of thing but who cares? Both the book and box set are getting bought pronto.
Megadeth – Killing Is My Business…And Business Is Good: The Final Kill
Double baws! The incredible, bonkers Megadebut gets reissued (again) with bonus stuff and some sort of re-recorded version of These Boots. Glad I’ve got the original version on LP but I want this too. You can never have too many versions of albums like this! A must(aine) buy.
All that metal thrashing madness leaves me with little interest in the snail’s pace doom of Yob and their new album Our Raw Heart. But it sounds like a good ‘un so I daresay I’ll have to investigate it eventually. Tomb Mold’s Manor Of Infinite Forms, their second album of putrid death metal, sounds more up my alley. And then there’s Zeal & Ardor’s second album Stranger Fruit. Lots of people loving this but I don’t get it. What am I missing?
And that’s the lot. Looks like my wallet isn’t getting a week off after all… ah well…