Welcome to Source of Steel - The Heavy Metal Museum. For the metal head who likes to own or collect physical CDs, Source of Steel is my website dedicated to the love of physical metal on shiny plastic discs. Micro-reviews, thoughts, pics of my own collection and random utterances are abound. The site started out purely as a way of sharing my rarities to like-minded fans, but now (for longevity's sake more than anything) it is open to new physical metal music bits I've picked up, including new releases and other random shit.

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Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Warpath - Damnation

A nice piece of obscurity here, featuring British thrashers Warpath. These guys self released this debut album in 2008, then seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth. A shame, as this is a top old school thrash album. Lots of euro thrash influences to be heard here, not to mention a good helping of US/Bay Area, they manage to cream off the best of their influences and mould it into their own impressive shape. A real head turner, which is worth tracking down.

Tomb Mold - Primordial Malignity

A nice slab of gnarled old school death metal from Blood Music here, the debut album from Tomb Mold 'Primordial Malignity'. As a fairly new band, they certainly hit the ground running and smash all the right notes on their journey into slime filled death. You're certainly going to need to crack a window when playing this one, unless you happen to love the stench of decaying crypts. Killer stuff.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Abramelin - Deadspeak

The 2nd album from Australia's brilliant Abramelin here, featuring some of their best produced, face punching death metal. Thick, angry and chunky, this bristles with unbridled rage and blasts through you like an out of control freight train. This is the original pressing on Shock/Thrust Records, but their discography was re-issued by Century Media if you're looking for a more affordable physical option.

Alcest - Kodama

Alcest have certainly changed style through the ages of their existence, blowing through their earlier more atmospheric black metal oriented material before settling for a post-metal/shoegaze sound which they've clung to ever since. Everything about this is about as far from metal as you can get in reality, but being a fan of the likes of My Bloody Valentine, I still embrace their dreamy, solipsistic sound.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Sceptic - Blind Existence / Pathetic Being / Unbeliever's Script / Internal Complexity

Technical death metal from the magnificent Sceptic from Poland. This is the band of guitarist Jacek Hiro, a former live guitarist for Decapitated and formally of Dies Irae. Over a lot of their early material they sounded like the latter 'tech' period of Death's career. These guys are incredibly technical but tuneful with it, and enough genuine riffery to carry it through without just being a showcase of guitar gymnastics. Well worth a look - my personal favourite is their debut, 'Blind Existence'.

Torture Killer - For Maggots To Devour / Swarm! / Sewers / Phobia

Starting out as a Six Feet Under covers band (with their name taken from a song from SFU's 'Maximum Carnage'), these Finns started out sounding very similar too. However later into their career they found their own path (even with Chris Barnes himself guesting on multiple tracks of their album 'Swarm!'). Out of these four, I actually prefer their most recent album 'Phobia' - it's pretty deadly. Fans of SFU need to check these guys out, and for those who aren't - check out 'Phobia'  & 'Sewers'.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Visceral Evisceration - Incessant Desire For Palatable Flesh

More doomy death metal here from Austrians Visceral Evisceration. These guys didn't hang around for long, with this being their sole full length album from 1994. The music on offer is actually fairly melodious (considering the artwork would perhaps point to a gore grind styled approach), these guys had something more in common with earlier Paradise Lost than early Carcass. One of the earlier releases on a then budding Napalm Records (this being the very first pressing), these guys changed their name to As I Lay Dying (no, that THAT As I Lay Dying), and released a demo before disbanding completely. A small, but perfectly formed piece of the massive jigsaw that is European metal.

Novembers Doom - Bled White

I always seem to be about an album behind with Novembers Doom, picking up each of their 'most recent' albums just as the next one is about to drop. This is their 2014 album 'Bled White' (album number 9, in fact) which features more of their downbeat, growly death/doom, packed with sorrow, aching melodies and when the feeling requires, a bit of head down crushery. Can't really fault these guys, as they've consistently released quality music album after album. The End Records.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Sortilège - Sortilege EP / Metamorphose

The early EP and debut album from French trad/heavy metal band Sortilège here, both in numbered limited copies (5,000 for each) on Axe Killer Records. A real gem from the underground here, these guys are exactly what you'd expect to hear when the words 'heavy metal' are uttered. Blazing solos, twin leads, melodic sections, soaring falsetto vocals and a pounding rhythm section - all in a days work for these boys. Surprising these guys never made their name the likes of ADX or Blaspheme did - they're every bit as good.

Winterfylleth ‎– The Divination Of Antiquity (Digipak)

The fourth album from Winterfylleth here, bursting with Saxon pride and generally being in awe of beautiful untouched landscapes and nature. This is the limited digipak pressing that they did which was actually very limited - I'm not sure the amount but it's become quite a collectors piece these days. If you're a fan of the genre, this is definitely worth a listen if you've not come across the band already, one of the bands doing their bit to make Britain great again.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Chakal - Abominable Anno Domini

Classic is a word bandied around far too easily in music. But Chakal's debut album 'Abominable Anno Domini' is a bone fide Brazilian thrash metal classic if ever there was one. It was available only on vinyl for a long time (from its original release of 1987 through until the first CD issue in 2005). Here it is featured in both its CD forms, pictured at the top the re-issue from Cogumelo (licensed through Greyhaze Records), and below the original Cogumelo digipak pressing - both sadly out of print. Both come with the 'Living With The Pigs' EP as bonus tracks. The band went on to play much more groove-oriented metal later in their careers, but their debut was a fiery blast of tropical heat from the depths of the Brazilian jungles. Oh, and if you recognise the cover art, it's because it's 'The Triumph of Death', painted by Pieter Bruegel - also used in many other metal cover artworks (Angelcorpse's 'Hammer of Gods' to name but one).

Storm - Nordavind

The pagan/viking metal supergroup from Norway here, Storm. For those who are unaware, this featured Satyr (Satyricon), Fenriz (Darkthrone) and Kari (The Third & The Mortal) playing an approximation of folsky viking metal. It's actually really good, and having owned it for years and years, I'm surprised I've not featured it on this site before. Original pressing on Satyr's own Moonfog Productions.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Vindicator - There Will Be Blood / The Antique Witcheries

The first two albums from US thrashers Vindicator here, featuring some of the finest 'new' thrash you could possibly wish for. Not that it sounds new (the best stuff doesn't in my opinion), but seeing as these were released in 2008 and 2010 respectively, I guess they aren't exactly of the old school. Anyhow, old, new, whatever - this digs deep and thrashes your head against the stage exactly as you'd expect. Well worth picking these up if you can find them nestling in 2nd hand shop shelves (it'd be a struggle to buy 'em new these days as their debut was self released, and their sophomore album was on the now defunct Heavy Artillery Records - thus both are out of print).

Woods of Ypres / Necramyth - IV: The Green Album / Slaughter of the Seoul

The 4th album from the late, great Woods of Ypres here, in it's original first pressing on Practical Art Records.  This was the version which came with a bonus album of material from Necramyth, a South Korean black/death metal band which David Gold played drums for at the time. 'IV: The Green Album' wasn't Woods of Ypres finest hour, but still an enjoyable album of material - the Necramyth stuff is also not to be sniffed at.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

My (Small) Vinyl Collection

I've had a few people asking about whether I collect vinyl. Well, not really, for space reasons more than anything - thankfully I never caught the bug. That said, I do have a few bits and pieces picked up through the years.

I made a video review of the best parts of it, for those who are interested. Check it out below!

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Heathen - Breaking The Silence

The original pressing of the debut album from US speed/thrash crew Heathen here, released on Combat Records. This is pretty renowned as it is, with Heathen garnering a good following for good reason. However, I personally prefer their 2nd album 'Victims of Deception' which came in 1991. Not particularly aggressive, with a lot of speed/power metal influence in their sound (particularly something like 'Goblin's Blade'). Anyhow, still a strong effort and a powerful start from a well loved band.

Deceiver - Tales of Time

Maximum obscurity from the depths of Germany's early 90s trad metal scene here. Deceiver formed in the mid-80s, releasing a single full length album 'Tales of Time'. Originally released on vinyl in 1991, this was the CD pressing which came a few years later in 1994. Nothing to lose your mind over, but and interesting piece of work non-the-less, hitting all the usual tropes you'd expect from classic/traditional heavy metal.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

New Instagram Account

For those looking for more regular updates, pictures of new arrivals and band discographies - I recently started up an instagram account solely for this purpose.

Check it out if it's of interest!


Monday, 29 May 2017

Believer - Extraction from Mortality

The debut album from Believer, the tech/prog thrash band who  - along with the likes of Deliverance and Sacrament - used to espouse Christianity back in the late 80s. Later in their career, they moved more into a more philosophical & scientific mindset for their lyrical inspiration, which I can't complain about. For me, along with their sophomore album 'Sanity Obscure' this is some of their best material however, so this is well worth picking up for the fans of forward thinking, progressive thrash metal. Original pressing on Rex Records.

Abyssal - Novit Enim Dominus Qui Sunt Eius

This is the equally out of print re-issue (limited to 1,000 copies) of Abyssal's 2nd album on Profound Lore. The original press was self released by the band on CD-r only. For the uninitiated, this is a project from the UK which combines gnarly death, black and doom into a maelstrom of an album which recalls the likes of Portal & Antediluvian amongst other noise makers which share a similar outlook. Completely devastating - check this band out.

Taake - Striden Hus

Taake's most recent album here (from 2014 - they have been quiet of late) This is one that frankly I'd been slow to pick up (being a tight wad, I was merely waiting for the right price). As always with Taake the music is yet more great Norwegian black metal, with Hoest and co. shrouding things in a foggy cold atmosphere that pervades the darkness. Digipak pressing on Dark Essence.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Silent Death - Stone Cold EP

Another little gem from the depths of the mid-nineties underground here, with the only major release from the Swiss Death Metal band Silent Death. With a guitar tone that sounds like it's tearing the space time continuum, ferocious drumming and vocals courtesy of Brett Hoffman of Malevolent Creation, this is one feral motherfucker of an EP. At a short 23 minutes in length, it's here and gone before you know it. The good thing is, it has you reaching for the play button for another crack at it instantly after finishing. Great shit right here, so check it out. Massacre Records.

Vader - The Empire

The most recent album from the ever-present beast that is Vader. More excellent death thrash here, with spiraling riffage, chugging choruses and Peter's throaty roar continuing to plough their musical mindset of 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'. After so many years, they've nary released what could be classed as a duffer; and this is another great piece added to their legacy.

Ekron Cult - Queen of the Luxury

Death metal from the depths of the Paraguayan underground here, with the sole full length album from Ekron Cult. This isn't particularly rare or hard to find, but I figured it was worth a feature more for its packaging, which is a digi sleeve the size of a 7" with a regular sized CD tray glued to the card. Limited to 1000 units on Proselytism Records, this darkly rumbles quite nicely for the occasional spin.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Drephjard - Sorgsvart

The 2006 EP from young Norwegian black metal crew Drephjard here, again on Northern Silence, and in it's original hand numbered original pressing (limited to 100 copies). This features yet more excellent Norwegian black metal, painfully stubborn in its stern orthodoxy, and unrelentingly furious and waspish; just the way it's played best in my opinion. I'm surprised these guys aren't mentioned more often, but I guess the glut of blackness that flows so inexorably from Norway can only allow praise to be spread so far. Good shit anyway, check them out below.