Tuesday, June 28, 2016


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


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


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.

Sunday, June 12, 2016


United Void- Demo Tape
First Edition, 2016

This could be a contender for my favourite demo of the year. Hailing from the Seattle area and comprised of relatively unknown (to me anyway) guys playing stripped down and very well written Hardcore. The recording is excellent and the vocalists approach is absolutely vicious. I love when I discover bands out of the blue like I did with this one.

Saturday, June 11, 2016


Repos- "Poser" LP (Youth Attack)
First Pressing, 2016
Red Vinyl /300

"Poser" marks my first foray into any hard copy material by the Repos for various reasons. One such reason is that as a general rule, over the years, all of their hard copy studio albums have always managed to sell very quickly upon initial release, and then used copies would command a slight premium online etc. Though the main reason would probably be that despite the amount of hype that has always surrounded the band - statements like "the only relevant modern hardcore band" etc are rife among various blogs and message boards - apart from that "Poison Head" tape from a few years ago, I have never been absolutely crazy about these guys. When YA uploaded a couple of tracks a few months ago though, I was instantly captivated by the blown out recording and burly nature of the songs. I'm confident now that this record meets all of that hype (but there are plenty of other modern hardcore bands that are just as worthy, if not more, of the attention).

Tuesday, June 7, 2016


Obscure Burial- "Epiphany" Demo Tape (Invictus)
Second Edition, 2015

This second demo from Finland's Obscure Burial made my best of list from last year, and without a doubt, it was the best tape I found in 2015. It was first actually released in 2014 though, this second edition surfaced 12 months later.
Gritty, horrid, guttural Death Metal with a slight Black Metal lean. New LP due soon. I hope it's as shit coated as this.