Tag Archives: Deluxe Editions

New Releases – 17th February 2017

There’s not a huge amount of stuff out today so this’ll be short. Some good classic metal reissues out today though.

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Virgin Steele – Visions of Eden

David DeFeis and Co. continue their excellent series of reissues with this deluxe edition of their “Barbaric-Romantic Movie of the Mind”. The 2006 album gets a remix on the first disc and the original album is remastered on disc two. Visions of Eden is a rich, complex album but it never quite reaches the heights of the band’s classic work (apart from the bit where he tells Adam and Eve to eff off). But there’s strong potential for improvement with the remix so I’m intrigued to see how this one works out. And you’ve got to love the pure phallic power of that cover.

Omen – Reissues

Some more classic trad-metal reissues here. Omen’s first three albums on Metal Blade, Battle Cry, Warning of Danger and The Curse, getting newly remastered and repackaged editions on digipak CD and vinyl. The CDs will have some bonus tracks, most notably the Nightmares EP which will be added to The Curse CD, but if you’re buying the vinyl versions you’ll just get the album tracks. The only thing I’m missing here (inc. bonus tracks) is The Curse so I reckon I’ll pick that up cause their other stuff is jolly good. If you like your metal NWOBHM-y and don’t know Omen, now’s your chance… be their wench tonight!

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Benighted – Necrobreed

**UPDATE** Thanks to Nick for the heads-up about this one. Big brutal deathgrind release from France that’s been getting plenty of review praise lately. Not strictly my cup of tea style-wise but I’m intrigued enough to want to hear more, given the praise. And the awesome packaging from Season of Mist doesn’t hurt either. Fans should note that the deluxe box CD version has two bonus cover versions (of Sepultura and Marduk).

Elsewhere we have The Forty Five by black metal combo Cnoc An Tursa. Scenic, folky stuff with tons of Scottishness. Less Trve Kvlt, more Trve Kilt. And if I’m the first person to make that joke surely I deserve some sort of reward. Death metal veterans Morta Skuld return with Wounds Deeper Than Time (one of those bands where I’d rather go back and check them out from the beginning though). And last, and definitely least, Anthrax release the umpteenth version of their “new” album For All Kings. This time it’s the “Tour Edition” with a bonus EP of demos. Don’t encourage them.

Not a particularly stellar week but I’ve been looking forward to the Virgin Steele reissue and I’m up for adding Omen’s The Curse to the collection too so those are my personal picks. Fans of brutal death will want to make a beeline for Benighted though. Until next week, happy hunting!

New Releases – 3rd February 2017

February already, eh? Soon be Christmas! Let’s have a gawp at the latest releases…

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Judas Priest – Turbo 30

First off, we’ve got the 30th anniversary reissue of the controversial Priest album. Available as a remastered album-only 180g vinyl or you can buy the 3CD edition that adds a double-CD live set from 1986. It’s hardly the full selection of Turbo-era rarities that you would have been hoping for, and the live disc is very similar to Priest Live!, but this still looks like a decent reissue. Live Priest is always worth a punt, though.

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Deep Purple – Time for Bedlam EP

The veteran rockers drop an EP to tide you over while you wait on the new album inFinite, which is due out on April. Collectors will mainly want this for the non-album track Paradise Bar and there’s also an instrumental version of Uncommon Man and a rehearsal version a new track Hip Boots too. I’m sure Purps fans will dig all this stuff but… I’m bowing out. I just can’t be arsed with their modern style anymore.

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Master – Master

Hammerheart Records are releasing various editions of this proto-death classic. Choose from the single CD, a frankly beautiful vinyl edition, and a 2CD deluxe with a bunch of bonus stuff: including a different “triggered” mix of the album (wat?), some unreleased rehearsals and the “unreleased” 1985 album (which has been “released” a few times now!) Looks like this could be the definitive version of a cracking album.

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The Mist – Phantasmagoria

Greyhaze Records reissues another Brazilian gem from the Cogumelo roster on CD/Vinyl/Tape. This time it’s The Mist’s Phantasmagoria from 1989. This one will suit fans of old Coroner, Kreator and Destruction. It’s quite slick and accomplished by Cogumelo standards but still rough enough to keep the falses out! I don’t think this album is quite the “lost classic” it’s being pumped up to be but it’s an enjoyable genre entry. If you’re a thrash addict that “mist” out on it when it was released, this is well worth investigating.

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Soen – Lykaia

Third album of prog-metal from ex-Opeth drummer Martin Lopez and friends. I’ve always gave them a bye cause of the Opeth/Tool comparison but their new track Lucidity sounded pretty decent. Decent enough for me to want to hear more.

In a less HMO-friendly vein, there’s also Iron Reagan with Crossover Ministry and Black Star Riders with Heavy Fire. I’m not enough of a crossover fan to bother with Iron Reagan (do like that name though). And I just can’t get into Black Star Riders at all. Kudos to them for doing their own thing and throwing off the Lizzy tag but I’ve not heard anything from them that makes me want to care.

Of today’s lot, I’ll definitely be wanting the Master, Priest and The Mist releases. In that order of preference. And I’ll give the Soen album a listen online too and see if it floats my boat. And that’s it for another week. As usual, let me know what I’ve missed and if there’s anything here that you just gotta have. Happy hunting!

New Releases – 27th January 2017

It’s Friday. Time for some new releases!

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 – 2nd December 2016

Well, this won’t take long. It’s pretty slim pickings today but there are a still a couple of releases worth getting into a big flap about.

Various Artists – Speed Kills VII

Not content with coming back from the dead, the re-animated Music for Nations label has also decided to resurrect the classic compilation series Speed Kills with this long-overdue seventh instalment. The devils! This is going to be an absolute rager. The highlights for me are the first official releases of new songs from The King is Blind, Akercocke and Voices. Fucking YES. And then there’s a track from the very promising Formicarius, a recent Acid Reign track… and if the other stuff here is considered equal in quality to that lot then this is sure to be totally essential. Liner notes from Malcolm Dome too! What’s not to like about all of this?

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Trivium – Ember To Inferno: Ab Initio

Was never a massive fan of Matt Heafy and co. but, as the shouty verse/catchy chorus genre goes, they’ve definitely had their moments. Here’s a new reissue of their now hard-to-find debut album Embers to Inferno, which I’ve never heard. There are vanilla versions on CD and vinyl but the smart money should go on the deluxe versions (also on CD and vinyl and sub-titled Ab Initio) which will come with 13 pre-album demo tracks. I’ve not followed Trivium’s recent career since 2008’s Shogun but this look at their early days is intriguing.

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KISS – Buenos Aires 1994: The Argentinian Broadcast

There’s quite a few of these radio broadcast CDs out today. Unofficial releases featuring the usual suspects like Rush, Cheap Trick and this one from KISS: a 2CD set of an excellent Revenge-era show. The band headlining a Monsters of Rock festival and pulling out a crowd-pleasing 70s-heavy set. Great sound quality and some absolutely storming renditions of tracks like I Stole Your Love and Parasite. Bootleg-hunters will have this already but I’m late to that game so I’m quite happy to get this on CD.

And that’s us! Not a great deal happening but the Speed Kills VII and Trivium reissue are both strong releases. And there’s the new Stones album but, if that’s your thing, you don’t need me to tell you about it.

As always, let me know what I’ve missed (there must have been something this week, surely?) and happy hunting!

New Releases – 18th November 2016

I thought this week would be a bit light on new releases with everyone trying to stay clear of Metallica’s mutant-boogie (?) juggernaut. But I hadn’t really taken the time of year into account… there’s shitloads of stuff coming out today! And from some big bands too. So, take that Metallica! Anyway, there’s tons to get through today so enough of my yakkin’! Let’s mutant-boogie!

"Hit the one in the middle, Rock!" - it's the caption that keeps on giving!
“Hit the one in the middle, Rock!” – it’s the caption that keeps on giving!

Metallica – Hardwired…To Self-Destruct

Did I mention Metallica have an album out today? I dare say you know about this already, you’ve listened to some (or all) of it and you’ve made up your mind whether you’re going to buy this or not. Based on the tracks I’ve heard, I’m not overly fussed. Some good moments but not totally convincing. I’ll check more tracks out online before making any decisions. If you’re going to buy this, I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t go for a version with the bonus disc: plenty of covers, live tracks and Lords of Summer too.

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Even with the supermoon this close, they still couldn’t get a decent picture of it.

Lamb of God – The Duke EP

Randy Blythe and co. return with new EP featuring two new tracks and three live ditties. The EP is dedicated to a big fan of theirs that died of cancer and I believe there’s going to be bunch of special items being sold (check their website for info) to raise money for charity. Never been a fan of the band but this is all pretty cool. Kudos.

Amazingly, considering their age, Geddy and Alex still preferred to deal with stage invaders themselves
Amazingly, considering their age, Geddy and Alex still preferred to deal with stage invaders themselves

Rush – Time Stand Still

Doesn’t seem that long since the last Rush doc Beyond the Lighted Stage and now here’s another. This one does have the added emotional impact of covering the band’s (presumably) final days but I dunno if I really feel the need for this, I’ll probably just wait and see if it shows up on Netflix. Decent extras might maybe provoke a purchase though.

It was easily the most exciting episode of Countdown since "wankers"
It was easily the most exciting episode of Countdown since “wankers”

Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow – Memories in Rock: Live in Germany

The world’s greatest guitarist put down his crumhorn and returned to heavy rock duties earlier this year, performing a batch of live shows under the Rainbow banner. And here’s the inevitable live release documenting one of the shows. Loads of options here: DVD, Blu Ray, Vinyl, CD or combos of those. Not been all that impressed by what I’ve seen so far but I love Blackmore enough that I might buy this by accident.

Sammy Hagar’s post VH work gets compiled in This is Sammy Hagar Volume 1 – When the Party Started. His stuff with The Waboritas was often magnificent but I’ve got those albums already so I can do without this. His live album All Night Long also gets a reissue today from Rock Candy, who have now launched in the US. And they are also reissuing Salty Dog’s Every Dog Has Its Day, Nymphs‘ self-titled album and Tyketto’s Don’t Come Easy today too. Rock Candy does good work with well-chosen albums so this launch should prove to be good news for Stateside classic rockers.

Also on the reissue front we’ve got the latest in Jethro Tull’s ongoing reissue program, Stand Up: The Elevated Edition. Their excellent second album as a 2CD/DVD with remixes, 5.1, live tracks etc…HMO-favourites The Who are up to the Super Deluxe shenanigans with their debut album My Generation. Can’t remember what extra stuff was included but it didn’t look all that exciting. And Soundgarden celebrate the 25th anniversary of Badmotorfinger with a variety of reissue editions. Super Deluxe, not so Super Deluxe, Kinda Deluxe, Not Very Deluxe and… uh… vinyl? I’ve not done my research here, sorry.

Elsewhere, Motörhead guitarist Phil Campbell carries on rocking with a new band and new EP Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons. Scottish sludgy, psych doom troupe Headless Kross kick off a trilogy of albums with the first part, Projections I, available from At War With False Noise. Anyone that likes their death metal primitive and thrashy (think Sodom or Possessed) should check out the self-titled, self-released debut from Dead Conspiracy. Primitive and thrashy death metal is the best kind I reckon. Fans of trad and power metal might want to check out (former Accept guitarist) Herman Frank’s new solo album The Devil Rides Out and Freedom Call’s ridiculously happy Master of Light. Almost tooo happy.

And if I was going to be extra thorough I’d mention the new albums from Disturbed, Devilment and Sixx A.M. but let’s not bother eh?

Tons of stuff out this week after all then! But there isn’t a single release here that I’m in a rush to buy. I’ll listen to the new Metallica and see what happens. And I might panic-buy the Rainbow set.

It’s Black Friday next week so, in addition to painting the devil on the wall, it’ll probably be a bit vinyltastic. Lots of coloured-this,  limited-that and overpriced-the-other. Until then, happy hunting!

New Releases – 11th November 2016

It’s a good day for black metal fans. A cacophonous shitstorm of evil for everyone else. Read on if you dare.

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Tetris. More fun when you’re on drugs.

Enslaved – The Sleeping Gods/Thorn

This might be an “old rope” release but it’s an interesting one from an ever-reliable band. Enslaved’s two EPs The Sleeping Gods and Thorn, both from 2011, packaged together here as part of the band’s ongoing 25th Anniversary festivities. Both were rare as physical releases so collectors will enjoy this chance to own both on CD or vinyl.

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The best defence against the “surprise attack?” The “WTF? attack” – pictured here.

Deathspell Omega – The Synarchy of Molten Bones

The mysterious and revered avant-garde black metallers return with a new EP, their first release in four years. It’s definitely one of the most anticipated and talked-about releases of the last few weeks. It’s been streaming for a while so you’ve probably heard it by now if you’re a fan. I feel like I should like this but it’s not doing much for me.

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You summoned me foolish mortal!? Oh, you didn’t? Sorry, my mistake. Catch you later.

Ravencult – Force of Profanation

I had a listen to some tracks from this already. I was tempted to write it off as unremarkable: heard it before. But the power of the riff is pretty compelling here. Some really nifty writing that keeps your attention. So I’ve got a right notion this could be a keeper. Given more listens, this might be one of this year’s sleeper hits.

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Bob Ross’ “Blue” period. Still wowing art lovers to this day.

Saor – Guardians

I’d always say that GWAR’s Horror of Yig is still the ultimate instance of bagpipes in metal. But here comes Andy Marshall’s Saor with their third album of folky, atmospheric black metal. It’s scenic stuff, layered with all sorts of pipes, fiddles, bodhráns and the like. Like a diablolical tourist centre. Fans of Panopticon, Winterfylleth and Agalloch should check this out.

"Hit the one in the middle Rock!" - let's see if I can use that caption every week!
“Just hit the one in the middle, Rock!” – let’s see if I can use that caption every week!

Black Sabbath – Paranoid (Super Deluxe Edition)

The must-have metal classic with added quad mix (bumped down to a stereo CD for surround-sound luddites) and live discs and book and all that stuff. Looks like a nice set and not as stupidly expensive as these things tend to be. Wish they just released the live stuff on its own rather than tacking it on to an album everyone has already.

Elsewhere we have In Flames’ new album Battles. I was never a fan but the hype is that this is their best for a while so, enjoy! At just under £400 Pink Floyd’s The Early Years 1965-1972 is surely the impulse buy of the week. And there’s a more affordable two disc CRE/ATION version for people that don’t mind feeling like they’re missing out. CanCon regulations force me to mention Rik Emmett and RESolution9’s RES9. Beauty, eh? And to round things off Phil Anslemo is back with Superjoint and Caught Up in the Gears of Application.

Some good stuff. I’ve already got my copy of Enslaved. And I’ll spend more time with the Ravencult and Saor and see if they stick.

So that’s it for another week, join me next Friday for Metallica and a bunch of other bands daft/brave enough to release an album on the same day as Metallica. Until then, happy hunting!

New Releases – 4th November 2016

It’s Christmas! Well not really, but you’d think it was for all the Christmas albums clogging up the new release schedule today. But I’m going to assume that you’re not feeling overly festive yet, so let’s take a gawp at today’s rock and metal highlights instead. Less Santa, more Satan.

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Haw. Listen to me. I’m not over-compensating for ANYTHING!

Vader – The Empire

We had Testament last week and, once more, today’s big metal release is a thrasher. Albeit a growly deathy one. Vader are a Polish institution but I’m honestly not overly familiar with their career. This album was preceded by an EP Iron Times earlier in 2016 and I thought that was good fun with great riffs so I’ll definitely be looking into this. And I noticed there’s a 2CD version of The Empire on the band’s website with the Iron Times disc as a bonus. So that’s a cheap way to get both if you haven’t picked the EP up already.

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It’s life Jim…

Dark Tranquility – Atoma

Another long-running band that I’ve never got into. I have sampled their stuff but I’ve just never heard anything of theirs that floated my boat. A listen to their new track Forward Momentum didn’t change my mind either. Obviously, if you love this band and the Swedish melodeath thing then just ignore grumpy old me. There’s a deluxe edition of this with an extra disc and extra songs so go for that one and get yer money’s worth.

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I’ve been going postively Ga-Ga trying to think of a caption for this. Stumped. Any ideas?

Queen – Queen on Air: The Complete BBC Sessions

Very welcome set of Queen’s Beeb performances. Lots of the good, good early stuff in here which makes this as metal as any other album out this week. Fucking Ogre Battle! There’s a 2CD set and a 3LP set but if you’re a complete saddo there’s also a 6CD set which has another disc of live tracks (including HMO favourite Father to Son) and three CDs of archival interviews. THREE WHOLE CDs! That’s a bit much really but… I’m a complete saddo. I pre-ordered this ages ago.

Ouch! This is sharp... I could hurt someone with this!
Ouch! This is sharp… I could hurt someone with this!

Cirith Ungol – Paradise Lost

An exciting day for Cirith Ungol devotees. The trad metallers’ long-lost fourth album is back: the masters have been found and given a spit and polish by good old Metal Blade. The album has a reputation as being a bit ropey, but we are assured that it deserves a reappraisal. Well, if you fancy giving this some reappraisal…ing then now is the time. Got to be worth having for that Elric cover alone, surely?

Punch the one in the middle Rock!
Just hit the one in the middle, Rock!

Glenn Hughes – Resonate

I used to be all about Glenn Hughes’ solo work but I started to drift away around the time where he started doing Black Country Communion and never really got back on board after that. But now he’s solo again I’m a wee bit curious to hear what he’s up to. I’ve probably got enough Hughes albums to scratch this particular itch but new track Too Long Gone was pretty decent so I’ll give this a few listens on Spotify and see if it… uhh… resonates.

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Fucking magic scales? I asked for one of them gun chairs!!

HammerFall – Built to Last

Unlike their beloved cheese, HammerFall are built to last: ten albums and nearly twenty years under their leather belts. Given that I lean firmly Manowar-d I should probably like HammerFall but it’s all a bit too by-the-numbers for my liking.

Elsewhere, we have the return of poor Bon Jovi with This House is Not for Sale. The band still rudderless without their spiritual leader, Alec John Such. I managed to kick my problematic Jovi addiction a few albums back and I doubt this new album will change that. Bring back Alec! And there’s even more classic rawk from the Graham Bonnet Band with The Book and Motley Crue, who are giving themselves a grand send off with the live DVD/CD The End. Bye bye. And to round things off, the Nuclear War Now! label release Evil Shall Prevail, a plush collection of Black Witchery’s brutal black metal demos and early releases. The press release promises that listeners will find themselves “completely surrounded by the molten sea of the apocalypse.” Ah, so I did manage to fit in something Christmassy after all! I’m off for a Gingerbread muffin then. See you next week.