Saturday, August 20, 2016

REPULSED BY RADIATION

Insect Warfare- "Endless War With Grindcore Restitution" Compilation LP (Torture Garden)
First Pressing, 2016
Picture Disc /500

I hate picture discs but as my OCD would have it, I was incapable of letting this recent Insect Warfare compilation/reissue 12" thing slip by. This record brings together the bands first two EP's, 2005's "At War With Grindcore" and 2006's "Endless Execution Thru Violent Restitution", both long out of print by now. It was pressed to go along with the bands recent "one off shows" on the European leg of the Obscene Extreme festival, though they played a couple of shows in their hometown of Houston leading up to that fest, and they've now also been confirmed for Maryland Deathfest next year. Hardly necessary for anyone really except for uber fans like me I suppose?

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

BLACK BLOOD

Gravehill- "Death Curse" LP (Dark Descent)
First Pressing, 2014
Black Vinyl /?? 

Gravehill's third LP originally released as CD in 2014 made my 'best of' list for that year. Finally it's seen a vinyl release this year. Scorching, Thrash laced Death Metal presented by way of lightning riffs, blast beats and scuzzy vocals captured in an immaculate recording. The title track saw A LOT of plays by me in 2014, and now the whole LP has seen constant rotation this year.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

LOVE THE HURT

Sick People- "In My Nightmare" 7" (Urbn Rage)
First Pressing, 2014
Black Vinyl /?? 

2nd EP release from local mob, Sick People. Over the years their sound has gradually mutated into some kind of broader stroked Australian Hardcore, moving away from the 80's new York inspiration of their earlier stuff. A lot of these changes could probably be attributed to various member switches, along with the ever growing and progressing tastes of front man and main driving force behind the band, Richard. I don't know how active they are these days, but this is good, solid, Brisbane based Hardcore Punk.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

MOWER

Impalers- "Psychedelic Snutskallar" MLP (540)
First Pressing, 2014
Black Vinyl /800

2014 vinyl pressing of this excellent bands latest EP, previously released as a tape earlier in that year. I really think that with their later material (namely this EP and the LP before it) the band proved their quality in droves. For the most part I'd always held them to the standard of the band that they share many members with, Mammoth Grinder, but I find myself listening to Impalers much more than MG these days. The A side is dedicated entirely to a +12 minute droning, pulsing mind fuck (the title track), while the B side presents four more typically chaotic D-beat assaults. They've been very quiet since this came out, I hope they aren't finished just yet.
 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

GATES TO BEYOND

ZOM- "Flesh Assimilation" LP (Invictus/Dark Descent)
First Pressing, 2014
Black Vinyl /?? 

The debut LP from Ireland's ZOM from a while back. The band continues to mine the depths of the grimy, Blackened Death Metal underground with this one and any semblance of the the members Hardcore roots have more or less completely dissipated into the Multiverse at this point. I will admit that I have struggled to maintain my interest in this band over the years, but this is a solid effort and it was worth the $20.

Monday, July 25, 2016

BURDEN OF LIFE

Spine- "Deny" 7" (Bad Teeth)
First Pressing, 2015
Black Vinyl /??

The latest EP from Chicago's/Kansas City's Spine. Certainly my favourite material of theirs so far. Turbulent, ferocious Hardcore littered with menacing blast beats, mosh bits, and sheer venomous vocals. The singers style actually reminds me quite a bit of Alex Hughes of Hatred Surge. This is certainly some of the best hardcore of that fast style to come out since that bands last recordings.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

IMMORTAL RITES

Morbid Angel- "Altars Of Madness" LP (Earache) 
Reissue, 2016
Black Vinyl /?? 

I have never been the biggest fan of Morbid Angel or the technical style of Death Metal that they played a big part in defining, but you certainly cannot deny how far and broad their influence as a band has travelled since the formative years of American Death. This is a new reissue of their debut album from 1989.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

FLOWER PHANTOMS

Blood Ceremony- "Lord Of Misrule" LP (Rise Above) 
First Pressing, 2016
Red Vinyl /700

Their latest release. Similar to previous works, though arguably more refined with stronger Prog and Folk influences. I still prefer yesterday's post matter a little more, but this is still excellent heavy music and will likely make a place in my top 10 releases for the year.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

DRAWING DOWN THE MOON

Blood Ceremony- "The Eldritch Dark" LP (Rise Above/Metal Blade)
First US Pressing, 2013
Solid Red Vinyl /750

I've been pining for a hard copy this album for a good 18 months now, and same old story- I was too tight to pony up the cash for postage from the US. On a recent trip to Japan I was hoping to pick it up from Disk Union as they had it listed not their web shop, but no luck, they didn't actually have it in any of their stores. A little annoyed by this, I just jumped on Discogs one night in the our hotel in Tokyo and parted ways with the hard earned cash.
Released in various colourways in the UK and Europe by Rise Above Records, this copy is the only of the US variant, pressed with help by Metal Blade.
A lush combination of Prog, Doom, Folk, all layered together with female and male vocals, flute, organ and the standard guitars, bass and percussion, I probably haven't listened to any band as much as I have Blood Ceremony in the last year or so. Of their four full length albums (this is their third), this is by far their strongest work in my opinion.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

CHAINED TO EXTINCTION

Abyss- "Heretical Anatomy" LP (20 Buck Spin)
First Pressing, 2015
Black Vinyl /?? 

I can't remember how I first heard about Abyss from Toronto, I think they may have just randomly come up on a forum somewhere. I do remember though that I was instantly attracted to this album upon first listen. Abrasive Death Metal with influences that lay clearly in a reasonable spread of older stuff from various continents. A loud and crushing recording that punctuates 8 tracks in under 20 minutes. One thing that I eventually realised is that the singer from this band happens to be the guy that fronted Slaughter Strike, a band that issued a handful of recordings across various formats a few years ago, including a tape that I released an Australian edition of. This band is hardly comparable though- the sound that they've captured is infinitely heavier and derived from a less grind influence, perhaps claiming debt to something more like Nihilist rather than Terrorizer.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

REHAB

Down- "Nola" 2 x LP (East West) 
Reissue, 2016
Black Vinyl /?? 

The original pressing of this record has been an absolute number one want of mine for years and it's a record that regularly commands high re-sale prices on sites like discogs dot com etc. Even old bootlegs go for obscene amounts. I was extremely pleased then when it was announced that "Nola" would be reissued on RSD 2016 for the first time since 1995.
I won't be another party to weigh into the frenzy surrounding Anselmo's questionable opinions. I have always possessed a large fondness of the man as a musician and a person and events over the last few months have been a catalyst for a sad time for me personally, as I would agree that he probably is everything that he is accused of, contrary to what I would like to believe. The evidence is pretty strong anyway.
I won't let his dodgy choices ruin my love for this phenomenal album though. It's certainly the best thing the band has ever produced, and definitely the strongest thing that Anselmo has ever been involved with. Wheras just about everything he had something to do with from around this era has aged horribly (listen to the recording and horrible guitar tones of any 90's Pantera material for an example), "Nola" stands the test of time with straight up flawless song writing, and an unmatched recording quality, both of which wield an influence so wide that it's practically inconceivable.
Not that I have ever seen a hard copy of the original pressing in real life, the impression that I get is that this edition is relatively true to that 1995 version. I suspect that some fans out there were expecting some sort of epic gatefold presentation with new liner notes, photos etc, but I am glad that the label ran with the regular single sleeve. I do find it odd though that they decided to reissue this as a double LP, when there isn't actually any new music included, or even a 45RPM pressing (it's 33). The 180g is a nice touch though.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

WAIT FOR THE END

Pleasure Cross- s/t 12" EP (Iron Lung)
First Pressing, 2014
Black Vinyl /500

Debut s/t vinyl release from this Portland based weirdo Hardcore/Grind outfit, otherwise known as the "Wait For The End" EP. Members have spent time in Walls and Pig Heart Transplant among many other Iron Lung alumni. Quite a few of the songs here have been re recorded after originally appearing on the bands 2013 demo tape. I prefer the somewhat rougher qualities of that tape, but none the less, this is gripping, fantastically chaotic stuff.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

SODOMATIC MALEVOLENCE

Vastum- "Hole Below" LP (20 Buck Spin)
First Pressing, 2015
Black Vinyl /?? 

Discovered Vastum early this year when I went on a bit of an online trek searching for some new heavy music. This is their second LP following a demo (later pressed to 12") and a debut album, and as far as I am concerned, their crowning glory.  They started life with a much more doom orientated Death Metal approach, but it seems that with this newer stuff, while still certainly maintaining that vibe to a degree (this is a 6 song full length), they made a bit of an effort to inject a bit more energy into the song writing. That raised tempo combined with a pretty impressively loud (and still doom orientated) recording really creates a huge sound in general, and I'd be confident in saying that this is probably the best Death metal LP of the last 18 months or so.