Tag Archives: Singles

New Releases – 12th May 2017

It’s time, once again, for my weekly perusal of the new release schedules. I’m trying to streamline these posts a bit so, just to clarify, this is just my own personal picks from the day’s release schedules. I try to stick to albums that I genuinely think I might buy or at least listen to at some point. When I can be bothered I’ll throw in some albums that I think are notable even if they’re not my cup of tea.

Candlemass – Dark Are The Veils Of Death

Two rare and previously unreleased tracks from a 1987 rehearsal for their essential album Nightfall? OK that’ll be must-buy of the week then. This limited 7″ vinyl, is part of the ongoing Peaceville 30th anniversary celebrations and ties in with the 30th anniversary of Nightfall too. I’ll basically buy most anything that has Candlemass written on it so this is a no-brainer.

Wormwitch – Strike Mortal Soil

Every week needs some CanCon (it’s a legal requirement) so here’s the debut album from Wormwitch. If I’m being totally honest, the only reason this stood out to me is cause the cover is so thoroughly metal but then I checked out some songs and this is a very intriguing debut: black metal with a big filthy dose of rock n’ roll thrown in and some tasty riffs.

Ensnared – Dysangelium

Here’s another debut album, this time of the Swedish death metal variety. Hard to say based on one listen but this is promising stuff. Ensnared has a way with a riff. There’s some really sharp and inventive writing on this and it has an authentically murky and old-school death metal vibe. Fans of bands like Dead Congregation should give this a go.

Harem Scarem – United

I was just gonna include this as another CanCon joke but then I went and checked out the track Here Today, Gone Tomorrow and… hey! This is pretty good! I’ve been finding a lot of the older classic rock bands getting increasingly dicey so it’s nice to hear some slick melodic rock that actually delivers the goods. So, come on Canucks, what have I been missing out on and where should I start?

Elsewhere Sabbath Assembly’s Rites Of Passage should appeal to fans of female-fronted, psychedelic occult rock. I’m maybe just being too impatient but I don’t really get the appeal. It makes me all bored and twitchy. Fans of beery blues rock ala old Whitesnake or Bad Company might enjoy Second Skin, the second album (see what they did there?) from Snakecharmer. Warrant are back with Louder Harder Faster which, going by the title-track, sounds like it might be decent, anthemic 80s raunch. And while we’re in the 80s there are also Rock Candy remasters of two Lillian Axe albums, their S/T debut and Love & War. Not very familiar with them at all but both these albums seem well-liked and hard-to-find so these look like worthwhile reissues.

And that’s about it. Chip in if there’s anything I’ve missed and I’ll tell you whether a) I’ve made a terrible error b) couldn’t be arsed including it or c) I genuinely don’t have a scooby who/what you’re talking about.

Until next week, happy hunting!

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New Releases – 10th February 2017

Another Friday is upon us and that means… new stuff!

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Cynic – Uroboric Forms: The Complete Demo Collection

Cynic’s 1993 debut album Focus is the stuff of giddy prog tech wonderfulness. But there has always been grumblings of discontent among death metal fans who feel that the debut album was a disappointment compared to the band’s earlier demos. I’ll be able to make my own mind up now, as the pre-Focus demos get this official release. The CD version looks great but the vinyl edition is particularly snazzy, and has the CD and a 7″ with it too, so that’s the one I’ve pre-ordered.

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Overkill – The Grinding Wheel

Following the return of Kreator last week, the thrash good-times continue with the return of New Jersey veterans Overkill. Actually, of the classic thrash acts, Overkill are one of the few that just never caught on with me. So I’ll probably pass on this myself… I’d rather try some older albums again than hop on here. But if you’re up for buying this, the limited edition CD and vinyl versions have a bonus track, Emerald… I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that’s a Lizzy cover?

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Nidingr – The High Heat Licks Against Heaven

I’ve never heard these Norwegian black metallers but I know the name through (their guitarist) Teloch’s involvement with Mayhem and their last album Estoteric Warfare. He was the main writer for that impressive album so if you enjoyed his work with Mayhem, this should be worth looking into. And I love that title.

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Mayhem – Live in Zeitz

Speaking of Mayhem! This old live recording was recently featured as a bonus disc with the Live in Leipzig reissue. But then a version taken from a better source was released very soon afterwards as a standalone vinyl edition with new liner notes and packaging. I was more than a little annoyed at this so I didn’t buy the vinyl. But now this cheaper CD version is hitting the shops so I think I might finally upgrade. No doubt, they’ll find an even better version down the back of the couch next week.

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Sleep – The Clarity

Not strictly a “new” Sleep song as it was available as a free download a couple of years ago on the Adult Swim site. But here it is on 12″ vinyl. I’ve never been a big Sleep fan but this is a great track and it’s well worth getting if you don’t have the song already and/or love vinyl. Just the one side of music here but the B-Side will have a, no doubt suitably cosmic, etching.

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Def Leppard – And There Will Be a Next Time: Live from Detroit

And finally, we’ve got Def Leppard’s new live DVD/BR/CD combo And There Will Be a Next Time: Live from Detroit. I’d normally be a sucker for some live Lep but after Mirrorball and Viva! Hysteria made little impact, not to mention their dicey self-titled album, I can’t work up any enthusiasm for this. Arm no geddon it.

And that’s quite enough for one week, thank you very much! Happy hunting.

New Releases – 20th January 2017

Here’s my personal pick of the new metal releases coming out today. There’s only a few that stand out but we are starting to get into the first properly tempting releases of the year now.

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Memoriam – The Hellfire Demos II

Following the sad death of their drummer Martin “Kiddie” Kearns, the legendary Bolt Thrower called it a day in 2016. But their vocalist Karl Willetts has formed Memoriam along with old BT pal Andy Whale and members of Benediction and Sacrilege for added supergroupness. Their debut single The Hellfire Demos was one of 2016’s best singles and now they’re back with the follow-up: one unheard track Drone Strike and Surrounded (By Death) which was previously only available on a Decibel mag flexi. This will be available on vinyl (through Nuclear Blast’s webshop) and you can download it from the usual places. It’s the first real must-buy of the year so get involved!

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Emptiness – Not For Music

Time flies. I was meaning to check out Emptiness’ Nothing But the Whole since it was released in 2014 and I still haven’t got round it. Now they’re back with a new album! I had a listen to a new song Your Skin Won’t Hide You and was thoroughly impressed by its black, unsettling atmosphere. It’s an exciting track, I’ve been reading good things and I love the cover too so this is looking like another must-buy. And as an added bonus, they’re Belgian. I can finally add some Belgian metal to the HMO Vault!

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Ashenspire – Speak Not Of The Laudanum Quandary

Here’s a promising debut from a Glaswegian avant-garde metal band. It’s an intriguing concept album about the dark realities of British imperialism: something Glasgwegians should know plenty about, with its history of tobacco lords, slave trade and all that. It’s an interesting topic, I like the atmosphere, deranged vocals and the violin but the songs I’ve heard have went a bit over my head. More listens required to see if it connects with me but if you like the weirder strains of metal you should definitely give this a go.

And that’s the lot for this week. To play us out, I thought you might enjoy a wee visual jaunt around Glasgow (it is HMO’s neck of the woods, after all) so here’s the lyric video for Ashenspire’s Restless Giants.

Dead Congregation – Sombre Doom EP (Review)

Dead Congregation - Sombre Doom (2016)
Dead Congregation – Sombre Doom (2016)

Fans of 2014’s excellent Promulgation of the Fall would have been hoping for more than just two tracks from these Greek death metallers this year but their new EP Sombre Doom satisfies with quality over quantity. Opening with a howling dead wind of feedback, the first track Redemptive Immolation is grave and doom-laden with a thick, dark atmosphere. After the oppressive opener, the up-tempo battering of Wind’s Bane comes as a relief but is still rich in ghostly gloom and haunting guitar. The songs and riffs aren’t the most original but Sombre Doom is all about the vibe and the execution: this reeks of rain, death, evil and graveyards. Proper death metal if you ask me, and one of the best EPs of the year.

HMO Rating: 4 out of 5

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New Releases – 9th December 2016

Greg Lake’s passing has cast a right pall over the HMO Mission Control this week. There’s only one thing for it… some retail therapy. Get some music down ye!

Lovely shades of brown there but maybe this needs some... black. Black!
Lovely shades of brown there but maybe this needs some… black. Black!

Terra – Mors Secunda

UK black metallers Terra release the follow-up to their debut Untitled. Two dark and atmostpheric epics with some uplifting crescendos but mostly dank, raw, dirty and rhythmic. I singled their drummer Luke Braddick out for praise last year and he excels himself again here with a dynamic and intense performance. Worth checking out if you’re a fan of bands like Wolves in the Throne Room.

The anti-gravity guitar: easy on your back but a bugger to hold on to
The anti-gravity guitar: easy on your back but a bugger to hold on to

Deep Purple – California Jam 1974

The film of Purple’s legendary headliner restored for a new release on Blu Ray and DVD. If you don’t have it, this is a totally essential performance. Blackmore’s climatic solo is the stuff of rock legend, both in terms of music and antics. As well as the restorative spit and polish this version has supposedly been re-edited with different camera angles and stuff like that. Not sure that’s enough for me to buy it again but this is worth getting if you’ve never seen it, or if there’s a big Deep Purple fan in your life that you need to buy a Xmas gift for (cough).

Sigh. I miss MERP
Sigh. I miss MERP

Isengard – Traditional Doom Cult

A new Darkthrone album, then an archive release from them and now this! Fenriz fans (and that’s everyone surely?) really are getting spoiled rotten these days. Here are two unheard recordings from his old Bathory-esque side project on a sexy 7” single. Might be a bit of a barrel-scraper but I’ll bite. I’ve got this pre-ordered and if all this Fenriz-related activity keeps up I might have to just arrange a direct debit straight into his bloody bank account.

I'm not sure... but I think this might be a metal album
I’m not sure… but I think this might be a metal album

Root – Hell Symphony

Root’s new album came out recently and I said that, because I only have their debut, I’d rather get more of their older stuff first. Well, the Eternal Death label, were apparently paying attention because here’s a reissue of their second album (on CD and vinyl) with extra live tracks. Bugger. They went to all this bother so I’m going to have to buy this now aren’t I?

Get tae fog!
Get tae fog!

The Doors – London Fog 1966

Fog! This week’s over-egged and over-priced award goes to the new release from The Doors. Fog fog! It’s a recording of a very early show called London Fog 1966 and the set has both the CD and LP in it FOR NO REASON WHATSOEVER and all sorts of trinkets and tat just to pop the price up. Fog Fog Fog! It’s also got a track on it called Tuning. I’m sure that’ll be exciting.

And on top of all this there’s also the new Gnaw Their Tongues album Hymns for the Broken, Swollen and Silent. I didn’t really “get” their last album so I’ll probably pass but I do feel like I’m maybe missing out on something. Shape of Despair’s album Monotony Fields had a buzz about it last year. Seems like it might be up my street but I still haven’t got round to checking it out. And now here’s Alone in the Mist, an album of their old demos from when they were called Raven. I’m sure I’ll catch up with all this stuff eventually… when Fenriz gives me some time off.

And that’s the lot for this week. Let me know if there’s anything cool I’ve missed and if there’s anything you’re rushing out to buy today. Happy hunting!

New Releases – Black Friday 2016

This Friday, 25th November, will be Black Friday and that means special Record Store Day releases! There will be rare albums and singles released, some new and some reissued. There will be limited editions, fancy gatefolds and vinyl that comes in all ranges of exciting colours like “red”, “clear”, “gold”, “green”, “jobby”, “cherry trifle” and “the colour out of space”.

This is all a much bigger deal in the US where Black Friday is more of a “thing”. It hasn’t quite caught on as much over here in the UK so our list of titles is considerably smaller. Boo. However, the RSD high heid yins promise us that many of the US titles will be released in the UK at some point in the future.

There’s still some good stuff coming out in the UK though, so here’s a selection of the stuff I reckon is the most tempting. But make sure and check out the rest of the available titles for yourself. The UK list here and the much bigger US list here.

Alice Cooper – Live from the Astroturf

Automatically the release of the day as it includes the surviving members of the classic original band. A 7″ single with live versions of I’m Eighteen and Is It My Body: that’s two unfuckwithable classics right there. It’s a gatefold with art prints too. If I was buying one Black Friday release today, it would be this one.

Faith No More – Cone of Shame

The fourth single to come off their excellent Sol Invictus album. This is released everywhere on Friday but only seems to be classed as an RSD-exclusive release in the UK. Just in case you get confused and think it’s only a UK release. It isn’t. The B-Side is just a remix of Motherfucker so I can probably live without this.

Alice in Chains – Live Facelift

The six concert tracks from Alice in Chains live video get their first (I think?) audio-only release. It’s definitely the first vinyl release at any rate. You can’t beat a bit of AIC, especially with Layne Staley, so this is fairly tantalizing. Don’t think I’d want it enough to queue up or get in a fight though…

Jethro Tull – Ring Out, Solstice Bells

The Tull’s Christmas EP given a 40th Anniversary reissue. These tracks are probably available elsewhere and almost certainly remixed by Steven Wilson. Cause what isn’t these days? I do like the idea of this one though… a wee Christmassy bit of Tull.

Napalm Death/Melt Banana – Split

Split 7″ with the UK grind legends and the Japanese noisemakers Melt Banana. Not sure about Metal Banana but Napalm are in great form these days and this looks pretty tempting. Cool cover too.

And that’s about it for me. There’s other stuff like the recent Extreme live album on vinyl, more Hendrix archive-raking, a totally pointless Mötley Crüe disc and on and on and on. But let’s not get carried away here. I don’t go mad for RSD stuff and can’t even really see myself buying most of the stuff I’ve selected here. I would like a copy of the Coop single but I’m not going to lose any sleep over it if I miss out either.

If there’s anything you particularly have your sights on please chip in below and… good luck! I’ll back on Friday with a look at the day’s normal releases. And I tell you, there are a couple of “normal” releases out on Friday that blow this lot right out the water. See you then!

Horoma Exordium – World’s Falling (Single Debut)

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An HMO Premiere! I’m proud to debut the new single, World’s Falling, from Horoma Exordium. They’re from Glasgow, feature Aghast (instruments, recording) and Bhaldraithe (vocals) and are signed to Ordo Nocturnal Records.

The single will be available on 19th September but you can stream it here now. It’s a promising, brutal debut. As well as the ferocious black metal there’s some rumbling death metal riffs creeping in too and the whole thing has a threatening and eerie atmosphere. It reminds me of recent Mayhem stuff with its relentless riffing and vocal maelstrom.

Based on this, I’ll be keen to hear what they come up with next. Fans of Mayhem, Emperor, Anaal Nathrakh and Gorgoroth should check it out. If you like what you hear too, you can hit the band up on social media:

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