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 galore. 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.

Tyranny - Tides Of Awakening

Out of the greyest of grimmest of the grim Finland. Even though their earlier EP was nearly 45 mins long, this is down as the band's debut full length with 66 minutes of pure aural misery spread across 5 tracks, there is real beauty to behold for the patient listener. Funeral doom is the order of the day, this being one of the ultimate prime examples of it's genre in my opinion. Original pressing on Firedoom Music.

Sarpanitum - Despoilment Of Origin

The debut album of ferocious eastern flavoured death metal from British crew Sarpanitum. Released in 2007, this album will flatten not only you but all standing objects in the surrounding area, leaving everything molecular at ground zero. A real English gem, these guys followed up with a sophomore album in 2015 which was also pretty tasty. This is the original press on Galactic Records (Leon Macey's of Mithras' label - Macey also recording and mixing the album).

The True Werwolf - Vampyr Strigoi & Rituals

This is the hand-numbered original release from The True Werwolf, a side project of Satanic Warmaster main man, Werwolf (not just any old Werwolf, THE TRUE one, OK?). Limited to 500 copies, this compiled the bands 2 early demos of strange groaning atmospheres and straight up black metal. If you're thinking along the lines of Abruptum, you're not too far off for the first demo, the 2nd has more of what you would perhaps expect from Satanic Warmaster.

Svartidauði - Flesh Cathedral / The Temple of Deformation

Some fine blackness that seeped out of Iceland here, with the sole full length album and early demo material from Svartidauði - Icelandic for 'black death'. I picked these up ages ago and didn't really give them much time originally - however having revisited, and given time to seep in, I can fully realise quite why everyone seems to fawn over them. Certainly not immediate releases, these need time on the ears for full appreciation. Great, great stuff.

Satan - Into The Future / Suspended Sentence

Been a while updating this site, it's been left as an archive for a long time due to most of my updates coming via my Instagram account (it's so much simpler and quick for me than updating here). Still, I found a stack of pics I took a long time ago which I will now post, starting with this - a compilation of the 2nd album 'Suspended Sentence' and the EP that preceded it 'Into the Future' from British NWOBHM band Satan. Great stuff here, this version is pretty hard to come by these days, and was initially at least the only way to get this material on CD (as it was original vinyl & cassette only).

Promethean Reign - Aftó Eínai Pólemos

Living in the backwoods of rural Oxfordshire, it’s always pleasing when an extreme metal band raises its gnarled head from the murky waters of the River Windrush and proceeds to spray you with distortion, bile and phlegm. Blackened death metal crew Promethean Reign are the latest band to spawn from the darkest recesses of Witney, releasing only a few pieces of demo material up until this, their debut EP release entitled ‘Aftó Eínai Pólemos’ (translating roughly to an approximation of ‘This Is War’ in English).

Opening with a foreboding Emperor-styled synth piece, ‘By the Ashen Light of Dawn’ demonstrates directly what the band are about, by segueing into a feast of slow burning tremolo picked harmonised guitar and double bass drum work. The harshly spat vocals are well enunciated, punctuated with moments of clearly announced oratory pieces, adding to the dark feeling of revenge and hatred the lyrics convey. ‘The Great Deceiver’ features more of the demonic harmonised tremolo picking that At the Gates utilized to great effect in their very earliest of works, before smashing into the ground running with inexorable down-tuned carnage, squealing guitars and barely contained chaotic drum work, leveling landscapes to smouldering remains as they go.

‘Dead Gods and Excrement’ shows no sign of letting up either, whipping up a maelstrom of furious guitars and crashing percussion over embittered vocals, grabbing you by the throat and choking you out for the entire 3 minutes of its run time. ‘Titanomachy’ begins with its foot off the gas, creeping slowly into your psyche with Mayhem-styled shimmering cold guitars, which shape shift into writhing, serpentine riffage. By the time the chorus arrives, it has a rather eastern flavour, which when coupled with bellows of “We Will Rise!”, gives off a strongly triumphant vibe to the proceedings. The EP finishes up on a high with ‘Burn’, a rapturous Morbid Angel-esque stomper which is swathed in dark mysticism, and features some of the best solos and riff work on the EP. Overall, Promethean Reign remind me of a looser, freer flowing Behemoth at times. Perhaps not quite as blasting or immaculately arranged as their Polish brethren, but with a billowing organic fustiness to them that brings to mind many great bands from the Greek extreme metal scene (the fact the EP was recorded live, rather than clinically pieced together on Pro Tools likely helps this). This is the physical release on digipak, limited to 100 hand numbered copies – so if you’re a physical music lover like myself, best to act quickly. 

This is certainly a promising start for the band, who I’m sure will continue to improve and hone their creative vision to an even sharper point than shown here – good stuff.

Sore Throat - Disgrace To The Corpse Of Sid / Unhindered By Talent

Gnarled punk/hardcore/grind from the legendary Sore Throat. This compiles two of the bands releases into one CD, both of which were never given the CD treatment in Europe until this point. This was bought through Earache, and is an Earache release - however it wasn't around for long. Even the cover mentions not to pay "more than £50 on eBay" - hahaha! A nice trinket for the collector.

Wehrmacht - Biermächt / Shark Attack

This CD combines the two albums from US crossover/thrashers Wehrmacht - 'Biermacht' & 'Shark Attack'. Released firstly on Shark Records, this is the a.b.s Records version. Original label New Renaissance counts this edition as a bootleg, mentioning that any CD released after 1990 is a boot. I'm not totally convinced, but I don't have the band's take on the situation.

Savage Messiah - Spitting Venom

The first EP from thrash/power/heavy metal crew Savage Messiah. Not the easiest thing to find these days, I received this for reviewing purposes back when it was released in 2007. These guys have gone from strength to strength, with a sound packed with riffs and melodies coming out from every orifice.

Prophecy of Doom - Matrix

The 2nd album from Prophecy of Doom released by Metalcore Records in 1992. Featuring reliably authentic old school sound, with a fierce guitar tone and growled vocals - whilst it won't blow you away with originality, it makes up it in enthusiasm and power. Good shit!

Kataklysm - Vision The Chaos

The was a 2005 issue on CD of the earliest of EPs from Canadian Hyperblast kings, Kataklysm. Indeed, this came even before their debut album, originally released as a 7" on Boundless Records (1994), this was released by Skyscraper Music. This obviously featured their early sound winding epic DM sound, a mile away from the thick skulled pounding they dish out these days. Less than 12 minutes of music over 2 tracks - but well worth checking out.

Trouble - Trouble / The Skull / Run To The Light

Masters of doomy goodness Trouble here, with the masterful Eric Wagner and co laying down the doomy misery through their 80s period. They went on to have a more psychedelic/stoner vibe as they continued on into the 90s and beyond, but I've always prefered their early days best. Pictured are the first three albums, with all bar the self titled debut CD & DVD reissue on Escapi Music released on Metal Blade, with a compilation of the first two albums in one set.

Weakling - Dead As Dreams

The sole album from Weakling here, 'Dead As Dreams' still holds up as one of the finest pieces of USBM for me nearly 20 years since it was created. Long, mesmerising songs (no track is less than 10 minutes in length), and an unhealthy fixation on war and spite. This isn't an easy album to digest by any means, but a rewarding one. Tumult Records.

Sleep - Volume One

Daddies of 90s stoner doom Sleep here, with their debut album 'Volume One'. I picked this up in the mid-nineties, and realised that of late it's not easy to find on any physical format. With the band reforming and creating music once more, hopefully their back catalogue will get a much needed re-release for those that crave it. Tupelo Recording Company.

Winter - Into Darkness / Eternal Frost

Classic doom/death here from New York's Winter. This is the Metal Mind re-issue from 2008, which combines their debut and EP into one beautiful digipak, numbered and limited to 2000 units. For fans of soul scouring, slow and doomy death metal, this is not one to miss out on - but if you're a fan, no doubt you will already know of its greatness.

Slugathor - Unleashing The Slugathron / Circle of Death

Slugathor were one of the gnarliest death metal bands to ever drool out of cold, grey Finland. Pictured are the original pressings of their debut and sophomore albums, both of which are pretty hard to come across these days, and going for silly money on the usual marketplace sites. If you like your death metal raw, sick and angry, you can't go far wrong with these two little beauties. 'Circle of Death' was later reissued with a red logo, but this is the original with the pus yellow logo.

Slaughter - Strappado

This is the Metal Mind re-issue of some prime classic death/thrash from Canadians Slaughter. Limitation of 2,000 copies, this is as hard to track down as some of the earlier pressings these days, but comes with the bonus of live tracks in addition to the original album itself. A must for fans of the old school, this is a beastly force to be reckoned with.

Ulver - Vargnatt

'Vargnatt' is the fine demo of Ulver, the one time black metal band who went on to metamorphose into any number of genres you'd care to mention. This came before any of their full length outputs, and is a beauty in this re-issued CD by Kyrck Productions, in a leather (or, faux leather?) bound book. A real treat.

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.

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.

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'.

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.