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.

Revenant - Prophecies of a Dying World

This band are mainly known for - at one time - featuring Incantation's John McEntee. Shame really, as Revenant deserve to be remembered for more than being a "who also featured" band. Anyhoo, this was their one and only full length studio CD (which didn't actually feature Mr McEntee), and it was pretty damn good in my opinion. Released in 1991 by Nuclear Blast... ahh... remember those days when everything was fresh and new!

Depravity - Silence of the Centuries

It's all death metal recently. This is Finland's very own Depravity, and a fine piece of work it is too. I truly love this E.P, it's such a shame that these guys never got it together to make a full length album. For quality though, you can't get much better than this Scandinavian old school dirty mass of infection. An original press on Adipocere Records.

Impaler - Charnel Deity

Yet another gem that got lost in the underground of the early 90s. Impaler were an English death metal band, and this, their only album has that fantastic 90s feel. The 'not quite perfect' production job and the much sought after chainsaw guitar tones are all present and correct, helping to make this an excellent lump of dreary death. Released on Peaceville imprint, Deaf Records.

Morta Skuld - Dying Remains / As Humanity Fades

Painfully overseen, this is a two disc compilation of Morta Skuld's first two releases in one tasty package from Peaceville Records. Excellent early US death metal, which you should really look at investigating if you haven't done already. Usually I try to ignore these 'two album' compilation things where possible, but this has both album's full booklets and full artwork of the original releases, as well as two separate discs.

Eternal Dirge - Morbus Ascendit

Another fine slab of German death metal from Eternal Dirge. This was the band's debut album on Hass Productions, now out of print. Another one to check out if you happen to find it.

The Chasm - Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm

The Chasm should need no introduction to any death metal fanatic, so they won't get one. This is the very first pressing of their most recent album, limited to 500 copies and out of print. It came with a nice poster and some stickers. The artwork changed for the following pressings.

Vacuum - Climbing my Sky

Well here's a little obscurity for you all. Vacuum were around for a few years in the mid-nineties, managing to release a demo, this EP and a split album with fellow Czechs Hypnotic Scenery. This is the only release of theirs that I've heard before they disappeared into the annals of metal history, and it's not too bad at all.

Ignoring one of the weirdest pieces of artwork I think I've ever seen on a metal album (featuring a tsunami crashing through a huge city), Vacuum manage to encapsulate some great atmospheres into this short EP. Whilst this isn't exactly a classic release, it certainly managed to spend a good chunk of time getting repeated spins in my CD player for the old school vibes that flow so freely from it in torrents. Vacuum's refreshing blend of doom/death relies heavily on organ-like synthesizer work, and chugging guitars which bleed an unwholesome aura throughout the main body of the album. There are some great mournfully slow melodic leads couple the main riff guitar (especially in 'Withering Away'), which when laden with the growled vocal work reminds me greatly of early My Dying Bride, brimming with all the same sorrow and self destructivity as you'd expect.

So, for those people out there looking for some gloomy old school doom/death metal, you can do no wrong with Vacuum (if you can find it anywhere nowadays, of course). Just don't expect to be blown into next year by it.

Afterlife - Surreality

US styled death metal again, this time from underground Americans, Afterlife. First pressing on Grindcore/Olympic.

Jaldaboath - Hark the Herald E.P

This is pretty damn eccentric, from James Fogarty - the mind behind Ewigheit, and the early works of Meads of Asphodel. This is the debut EP, released on a 3" CD, with a paper parchment listing all the knights who fought at the Battle of Haystings. Nutty as a squirrels turd, and pretty enjoyable too luckily. Released on Fogarty's own Death to Music anti-label.

Graveyard - Into the Mausoleum

This is a fine piece of Stockholm styled Swedish death metal from...er... Spain's Graveyard. This is the original version of their demo (which was later released as an official EP), with the promo sheet I was also sent with it. Pretty awesome death metal.

Adorior - Like Cutting the Sleeping

First album by these English guys, on Head Not Found. Not bad at all, if not a little generic at times. They churn out a pretty good din though, so worth investigating.

Monastyr - Never Dreaming

Ignore the childish artwork, this is some damn good death metal. These Poles churned out the brutish death like it was going out of fashion, leaving this singular album as a prime example of what they could do. Originally released only on tape, this is the Nuclear Blast affiliated CD release from 1995. Good stuff.

Torchure - Beyond the Veil / The Essence

Got the taste for some underground German death metal? Torchure may well be worth looking into then, as they certainly have a sound of their own. Both these CDs are original pressings on 1MF records (The Essence is the US press on 1MF/Cargo), both currently out of print.