New music is happening. Today! Here’s my selection of the highlights… mostly metal but with some other HMO-approved stuff thrown in for good measure too.
Hanoi Rocks – Strange Boys Box
Five classic Hanoi Rocks albums lovingly reckapaged and reboxed in a CD (or vinyl) set. Not sure whether these are remastered or not and there aren’t any bonus tracks, which would have been nice. Still, looks like a cheap way of getting a batch of the Finns’ albums for a decent price. I’ve got all these albums on vinyl but I would like CD editions so I’m pretty into this. It’s got all the albums from Bangkok Shocks, Saigon Shakes… through to Back to Mystery City and the live album All Those Wasted Years. It’s missing Two Steps From the Move but Rock Candy did a great 2CD set of that recently anyway (with actual bonus tracks!) But basically, anyone that doesn’t have these albums must get involved and get involved NOW.
Khemmis – Hunted
This US doom outfit made a big splash last year with their debut album Absolution. I thought it had real promise (and outrageously good artwork) but I was put off by their inappropriate penchant for shouty “core” vocals. Here they are again with album number two, another awesome album cover and another heap of critical praise. Reckon I’ll give this a listen and just hope they’ve cut out all the drill sergeant stuff.
Pantera – The Great Southern Trendkill (20th Anniversary Edition)
20 years, eh? Feel old yet? The Pantera anniversary editions keep coming. This album doesn’t enjoy quite the same reverence as the previous three but it should. A great album with classic tracks like Floods and Drag the Waters and there’s a darker, sludgier edge to this album that I love. Bonus disc comes with a mix of mixes, new mixes, early mixes and Mixy McMixface. Oh, and there’s a couple of live tracks too.
Dead Congregation – Sombre Doom EP
For all it’s obsessed with kicking the bucket, death metal has been enjoying rude health in recent years. And these Greeks have been a big part of that with 2014’s excellent Promulgation of the Fall. Their latest release Sombre Doom is out on the band’s own Martyrdoom Productions and, to be honest, I don’t really know much about it or have much to say about it other than “yes please”. It’s certainly not been getting the coverage it deserves. Possibly because EPs aren’t as sexy as albums but then you can’t beat a good death metal EP! Just ask Autopsy.
Ian Hunter – Stranded in Reality
I read that Ian Hunter’s new box set is not a music industry creation: it was created by fans. That means his fans created a 28CD/2DVD box set that will include about 19 CDs of studio albums and live albums that they probably already own. Because they’re fans. That leaves them 9 CDs and 2 DVDs that they don’t already own, and a nice book. This will cost them £250. Daft buggers! Come back music industry, all is forgiven!
Mithras – On Strange Loops
Another notable death metal release, from England this time. I’m totally unfamiliar with this band (maybe because this is their first new album in 10 years) but there’s quite a buzz about On Strange Loops so I’ll definitely be checking it out. I say “death metal” but, supposedly, this is genre-defying stuff. Like Morbid Angel in space or something. And I noticed there’s a nice download bundle of their albums (including this one) available on their bandcamp page too.
Demoncy – Faustian Dawn
Demoncy were one of the original US black metal acts in the early-to-mid nineties, along with the likes of Von. Here’s a reissue of their first album from the label Nuclear War Now! Productions. By all accounts, this album hasn’t been served very well by previous editions so this new one will offer the best sound to date. Remixed and remastered by Ixithra himself. Surely not!
Elsewhere, Gillan’s stellar output from Mr. Universe through to Magic gets a loving vinyl box release in The Vinyl Collection 1979-1982. I’m happy with my CD copies but if you’re a vinyl buff and are new to the band, this is a brilliant run of albums. The great man in peak form with musicians to match. Continuing a good week for death metal fans, there’s also Obituary’s Ten Thousand Ways to Die. Seems like one of those titles that must have been done before: if not by a death metal band then surely by Steven Seagal? This EP has a couple of new tunes and a big batch of live tracks too so plenty for fans to enjoy here. There’s also a big release from Korn today with The Serenity of Suffering and retro glammers can enjoy Kix’s Can’t Stop the Show: The Return of Kix on CD/DVD too. I’ll avoid that because cause I’m worried Body Talk is on it. Last time I heard that tune, it took weeks to get it out my head. Maybe months. “She talks body talk, music I can see. She talks body talk… body talk” Aarrghhh it’s happening again!
And that’s the lot this week. A good, and possibly extremely expensive, day for lovers of box sets and/or death metal. Let me know if I’ve missed anything incredibly awesome and, until next Friday… happy hunting!