Welcome to Source of Steel - The Heavy Metal Museum. All CD exhibits pictured are from my own personal collection. Hopefully the collector/geek in you will find something of interest between the out of print & rarities (and as of 2016, the more mainstream and available as well). The 2016 resurrection update includes larger high quality images, a slightly smoother design and an awfully 'shopped banner which actually made me laugh out loud at my own skills (or lack thereof). But hey, it's all about the DIY bitches.
CLICK THE IMAGES FOR A LARGER VIEW!
Saturday, 18 February 2017
Another limited edition set here (to 500 units this time), this one was ordered directly from Relapse, something I would do more often, if it wasn't for their crazy excessive pricing for shipping to anyone outside of the USA. 'End Time' is the final album from grindcore pioneers Brutal Truth, featuring their usual shards of spastic riffage and disdain for regular arrangements and melody. This set comes with some admittedly pretty cool art cards, 6 bonus tracks of covers from Napalm Death, S.O.B, Discharge and others, and also the sleeve is scratch and sniff, supposedly smelling of weed. Now, I dunno what weed these guys are smoking, but it's smell is like no other weed I've ever caught a whiff of!
The most recent album from Greek stalwarts of extremity Rotting Christ here, in it's limited edition box set, which comes with stickers, patch and metal badge (and a bonus track). This was limited to 5,000 copies, and they actually flew pretty quickly (often I find 'limited' things from the larger labels are around for a good while, but this one seemed to disappear in a few months). Hard to classify, so we'll go with death/black - in reality its more of the same of their top quality extreme metal.
Wednesday, 15 February 2017
Some time ago (2011 to be precise), I created a YouTube channel to mirror what I was doing here on Source of Steel. I took a stack of pics of the CDs which were in my collection at the time and stuck them all into video format. It's pretty basic as you can see. My eyes burn at the font choices. The quality of my collection is much better now, thinning out a lot of the chaff I'd accumulated over the years (as well as a phase of replacing a few represses with first editions that I'd picked up along the way). Maybe one day I'll have the patience and time to do a refresher of everything from my collection as it is now. But don't hold your breath - haha! Anyhow, take a look at the playlist above if you're inclined to do so!
Also I'm trying to delve back into social media, so if you're a twitterer, or a twatterer, please do follow me on my account below:
Tuesday, 14 February 2017
In addition to the band's two full length albums which I featured a few years ago on this very website (have a search if it's of interest), came this EP which was released shortly after the bands debut 'Hymns to the Stone', also on Godhead Recordings. Yet more smokey, hazy stoner here, with a darker edge in places. Have a taster below, well worth a blasts next time you light a doobie and kick back in the name of Sabbath.
A couple of Cynic demo compilations here, the first is their 'Portal Tapes' material, secondly their early pre 'Focus' demo material collected on 'Uroboric Forms'. 'The Portal Tapes' is basically a stripped down, metal-free version of Cynic as we knew and loved them, recorded after their debut 'Focus', they were heading down the route of this new sound, changing their name to Portal. Anyhow, none of this came to fruition and the project was put on hold, only to be released officially years later on this comp. More interesting to a metal head is their 'Uroboric Forms', featuring their thrashy beginnings, right through to the material released just before their debut, which sounded very similar indeed to the material on it, minus the vocoder-ed vocals.
Wednesday, 8 February 2017
'When this work of audio Darkness was out in August 1993, it was originally dedicated to Lord Meyna'ch; it still is, and forever will be...'. So says Vordb of Les Légions Noire's very own Brenoritvrezorkre (and many others). This is far from the black metal he might be known for, instead featuring crepuscular dark ambient which drifts over you like a cold fog. Haunting and original, this is a tough title to find on CD these days (it was issued only in small quantities on Vordb's own label).
Sunday, 5 February 2017
The first release for Vintersorg (a.k.a Andreas Hedlund) Hedniskhjärtad (or Heathen-hearted, in English), was one of the very earliest releases on Napalm Records. I'm a huge fan of Vintersorg's mix of clean and harsh vocals, and have followed his career throughout not only his own band, but also Borknagar, Otyg and many others. This is a nice piece to have to hear some of his earliest material and to see how he's progressed as an artist (and a vocalist) over the years. Great, epic melodies, fizzing guitars and heartfelt music. Good stuff.
Among the many bands named Cemetery nestles these German death metallers who were to release their debut album 'Enter the Gate' on West Virginia Records (a label whose CDs are pretty sought after by collectors these days). Shortly before it was released, their drummer left, and the label went bankrupt - so the album ended up never getting an official release on CD. Spanish label Memento Mori (who are one of my favourite labels these days) has compiled their entire discography onto a beautiful double CD set, which includes the album and demo material to boot. Considering the material on display (particularly the album itself) it's a shame these guys aren't mentioned in the same breath as German greats such as Morgoth and Fleshcrawl. Well worth checking out!
Saturday, 4 February 2017
Kat were another thrash obscurity from the Eastern Bloc, rising from Poland in the early 80s with a speed metal vibe which morphed into something entirely more thrashy by the time they released this (their 3rd) album in 1988. This is the re-issued version of the album from the masters of the Digipak remasters themselves, Metal Mind records. Occasionally aggressive, but mostly chunky thrash is the order of the day here, with plenty of dynamics to keep your interest throughout. Check it out below.
Another little gem dug up from the deepest dankest depths of the underground here, with the re-issued 1993 EP from dutch death metallers Antropomorphia (along with their '92 demo 'Bowel Mutilation' as bonus tracks). This comp was originally released on vinyl in 2011 by serial re-issuers The Crypt, and then finally transferred into the silvery circle of plastic joy you see here by Metal Blade in 2016. A nice slice of early death metal, with an unwholesome early Death-esque vibe to some of the riffage, as well as a nice growly Broken Hope styled edge to their faster blasting moments.
The Japanese scat-kings themselves, and self proclaimed masters of "Analdrillingrind Hardshit Core". It takes a strong disposition to get anything out of such aural abused which is trying to be the very antithesis of music's usual core structures, which is probably why these guys are hated by so many - much to their own pleasure. To me, this is funny as.... shit. It just makes me laugh that they go to such extremes in just about every respect. Pure mindless noise-grind for poo lovers everywhere! Relapse Records.
Sunday, 29 January 2017
The classic debut of Sepultura here, on (correct me if I'm wrong), it's first American pressing on CD. Originally released on vinyl by the lauded Cogumelo label, this also had an outing in Europe on Shark Records - all way before Roadrunner picked it up and reissued it a shitload of times. This is the sort of stuff I live for as a collector, such a plain & boring back inlay, you can tell it came at a time when CDs were a relatively new thing.
Another album which has been featured previously on this blog (if you have a search, the 2nd edition on Listenable is also here for your perusal). This version however, is the very first pressing on Listenable with the fire-breathing artwork and different layout, disc & backsleeve. Ancient aren't mentioned much in terms of the very best of Norwegian BM, with this album being released in 94, they kinda missed the first real big fleet of albums from the 2nd wave. Still, this is an enjoyable enough album as it is, probably their strongest material overall.
Saturday, 7 January 2017
Another slice of obscure rarity here, with Swiss death metal band Azrael and their only full length album 'There Shall Be No Answer'. This is a great (mostly) undiscovered gem, featuring a wholeheartedly old school approach to death metal, mixing in the US and European styles to great effect. Not original by any means, but far from triggered drums and overproduced plastic DM as you can wish for. Good stuff, gets quite a bit of play from yours truly.
A late Merry Christmas to you all, you filthy animals. But more importantly, hope you're all experiencing a happy new year so far. Kicking 2017 off with another rarity here, with French black metallers Osculum Infame. This is pretty hard to find these days, even though Mordgrimm stuff was generally in pretty good supply in the 90s. Perhaps there's 100s of 2nd hand shops throughout the world with racks stuffed with these? eBay and Discogs prices would say not. Haha. Worth picking up for fans of authentic, orthodox BM. Killer!