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, scans & 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 music bits I've picked up, including new releases and other random shit.

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Friday, 24 March 2017

Arthemesia - Devs Iratvs

With all the ridiculousness going on with Wintersun's crowdfunding campaign of late (50 Euros per person for the basic package they are offering, which is essentially a stack of digital music featuring only one new album - currently adding up to a total of €318,572 - insanity and pretty heart rending for the likes of myself considering there is absolutely NO physical option), here we have Arthemesia's debut album, a band which had not only Wintersun mainman Jari Mäenpää in its ranks (running alongside his time in Ensiferum too), but also other Wintersun members during the band's time. This release is actually pretty damn good, even if I do say so myself. Melodic black metal, without quite as much cheese as the bands are known for these days. Original release on Native North Records.

Deathspell Omega - The Synarchy of Molten Bones

The ever reliable DsO here, reliable in the fact that they're always eager and willing to remove your face completely from skull via their music with pretty much every release. Another churning, tar-like bubbling concoction of musical hell, spouting tales of philosophy, blasphemy and hell.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Delicate News - Scoff

Another piece of random obscurity here from German thrashers Delicate News. There's not much information to be found about these guys, but what I do know is that they started out releasing their material under the name of Rattlehead, before undergoing a name change and releasing 3 full length albums, this being their 2nd from 1996. Smashing out some rocking thrashy metal with nods from the likes of Voivod to Kreator in their sound, they are now firmly to found in the 'where are they now?' file.

Abattoir - The Only Safe Place

Abattoir's 2nd album here 'The Only Safe Place' (their excellent debut was featured many years ago on this site, so have a search if of interest). Great, pumping speed/power metal is the order of the day, featuring blistering solos, bags of melody and great singalong choruses - well, it was '86 afterall! Century Media's pressing on CD from 1999 (it was originally only available on cassette and vinyl).

Tortoise Corpse - World's Got A Problem

Another contender for most dubious band name here with Tortoise Corpse. These Welsh bastards kicked out a rather rocking brand of Motorhead inspired heavy metal on this their debut album from 1991. They went on to release one further album in '96, where their sound had evolved into something much more thrashier (something which they had visited at times on this album, especially on the likes of their re-recorded demo song of 'Psychotaff'), but still revisiting their rocking edge that they had throughout most of this album.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Entombed - Left Hand Path

A legendary album here, and one of my all time favourite death metal releases. The inclusion of this version is solely as it is the first US pressing released between Earache and Combat Records - so certainly not the regular version you'd find on your local record store shelves today. One of the harder to find pressings of this beauty on CD. I could go on all day about my love for this album, but I'll spare you the fanboy-isms. I actually prefer this album to Clandestine too (I think due to the vocals, tbh).

Fleshcrawl / Suffocation - Festering Thoughts From A Grave

This is another Raw Skull Recordz release, a label I seem to be buying almost every release from these days. This is a compilation of early Fleshcrawl material, including their material under their old name of Suffocation (thus, not a split with the US death metal legends). This release starts with earlier material (which is a whole lot more thrash oriented than the death metal they became known for as Fleshcrawl), but ends with the EP 'Lost In A Grave' which preceeded Fleshcrawl's debut album. I'm much more of a fan of the death metal material, as the thrash was lacking bite. Still, and interesting compilation that clearly shows a journey into death that the band followed. This comes with the Obi strip pictured, and hand-numbered with a limitation of 99 for the first copies only.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Anal Cunt - Everyone Should Be Killed / I Like It When You Die / It Just Gets Worse

A selection of albums from the incredibly sensitive and loving grind blasters, Anal Cunt. Yes, of course you've heard of them before (with a name like theirs, it's bound to draw attention). Let's face it, attention is what mainman Seth Putnam loved (his song titles, lyrics and overall lifestyle were pretty much as offensive as it got). GG Allin, eat your heart out. Anyhow, these three albums cover various periods of their earlier works, all released on Earache Records and currently out of print. I must admit, the dark humour has had me chuckling in the past - pretty much due to the shock value and/or childishness of a lot of it, certainly more so than the actual enjoyment of the music on offer (it was - at its most basic - as close to pure white noise, feedback and distortion as it gets at times). But, who can deny their unbending insistence of upsetting as many folks as they possibly could in their time as a band.

Ghoul - Dungeon Bastard

The long awaited fifth full length studio album from US horror merchants, Ghoul. If you haven't come across these guys before, correct that immediately. Featuring quite a pedigree in band members (Sean McGrath & Ross Sewage of Impaled among others), Ghoul mix up the perfect quantity of thrash, death and blasting grind set to a horripilating theme of horror, death and destruction. In terms of quality, these guys rarely put a foot wrong, so well worth your time investigating (if you haven't done so already). Tank Crimes Records.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Wyrd / Häive / Kehrä / 3-Way Split (Metal Tin Edition)

This is the limited to 200 hand-numbered copies metal tin version of the 3 way split between these great Finnish bands (you can just about make out the hand numbered bit on the back in the top left corner). Upon buying this, the only band I was aware of was Wyrd, who have been pretty prolific over the years and released a lot of good stuff, but Häive & Kehrä certainly hold their own on this release too. Comes with an extended booklet featuring all the bands, a Northern Silence label flyer and a Wyrd logo patch

Infected Virulence - Music of Melkor

This is the re-issue of this great underground gem on Raw Skull Recordz. Like the original pressing which I believe was self released, this is also limited (the first press was only 300, this is 500 units). A nice slab of early 90s DM, a release which didn't see a lot of distribution or interest before the advent of the internet - so good to have it freely available once again. If you're a death metal fantatic, don't be a dunce, get on this physical copy before it sells out.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Whiplash - Ticket to Mayhem

The 2nd Whiplash album, and the latest addition to my Roadracer Price Killers series of releases. This is regarded by many as the band's finest hour (well, between this and Power & Pain/Insult to Injury anyway, they released a LOT of good shit at the start of their career!). Coming on like a messed up Metallica cross-bred with Destruction, they spilled beer over you & kicked your teeth in with their aggressive speed/thrash tour de force. Top quality, old school thrashings sir!

Gravebomb - Rot In Putrid Filth

Anyone who reads this blog or knows me will know my one true love is classic Stockholm sounding Swedeath. Well, this is the debut album from Gravebomb, a new Swedish death metal band from Gothenburg who kick out a HM-2 guitared toned, chainsaw dismemberment of an album. Slime, death and that orange and black colour scheme - what a winning combo. Anyway, this is the Raw Skull Recordz release, a fairly new label who continue to release a lot of killer cuts.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Emperor - Wrath of the Tyrant

An unexpected addition to my collection here, as I was ordering via barcode and thinking I was getting something completely different, but was pleasantly surprised where this turned up in it's place. This is the 'unofficial' release of their feral 'Wrath of the Tyrant' demo on infamous US label Wild Rags. Sounding little like the band they went on to become, this is a nice piece of history in itself.

Dark Funeral - Where Shadows Forever Reign

Long running Swedes Dark Funeral here with their latest album from 2016, in it's limited Slipsleeve Digipak pressing. I've said it before, but these guys got lumped in with the whole Norsecore/washing machine metal thing, which is unfair so far as I'm concerned. Although never dazzling me or blowing me into next week, they consistently produce solid, orthodox Scandinavian black metal with gusto. Also, although they weren't the first to do so, the album unfurls into an upside down crucifix - naturally. Cheesier than a tramp's cock, you say? Yes - but it still had a smile creeping across my face when I opened it.