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.

Solstice (UK) - Lamentations

Here is the original first pressing of Solstice's debut album from 1994 on Candlelight Records. Solstice of course, being one of the shining lights of the UK doom scene, featuring one of the greatest stalwarts of UK punk and metal scene, Richard M Walker. Later pressings of this classic had different artwork, and, if you ask me - the original is the best (as per usual!).

Isengard - Vinterskugge

The debut album from Fenriz' side project Isengard. His vocals can be off a little at times, but you can fault its heart. The tracks were originally spread over 3 separate demos, but here they are compiled into one full length album. Original first press on Deaf Records, the Peaceville offshoot.

Demoniac - Prepare For War

The debut album from Demoniac from New Zealand. This is the band that featured Sam Totman of Dragonforce. Yes, THAT Dragonforce. Herman Li would later join to play on their later albums too, where the band took on more of a Power Metal sound. This, their debut was pure black metal though. Nothing super special here, but worth a punt for enthusiasts. Original press on Evil Omen Records, an offshoot of Osmose Records.

Darkthrone - Transilvanian Hunger

One of my all time favourite black metal albums right here, in its very early pressing on Peaceville Records. Note the 'Norsk Arisk Black Metal' slogan on the back of the album (meaning Norwegian Aryan Black Metal), which got them so much shit at the time (alongside their press statement of people not liking their album having to be thoroughly patronized for their 'obviously Jewish behaviour').

Cradle of Filth - Cruelty & The Beast

MEH. Hahaha. To be fair, I think Cradle of Filth wouldn't get half the shit they do if it wasn't for that poison goblin they have behind the mic stand. I really dislike Dani's vocal style, and those shrieks just make me gag. Jesus he's bad. Anyway, I quite like some of the music these guys have done, it's just a shame they had this guy farting all over it with his piss poor multi-tracked screams. This is the limited crucifix edition of what most people would say is their best album.

Dark Funeral - Dark Funeral E.P

The first release from the Swedes that everyone loves to hate, Dark Funeral. This is the very first press on Hellspawn Records. Not super hard to find if you look in the right places, but still out of print in this form (it was later re-issued with bonus tracks if I recall rightly). Good shit if you ask me, I don't fall into the whole 'meh norsecore' crowd who hate on similar sounding bands.

Fleurety - Min Tid Skal Komme

The debut album of Norwegian weirdos Fleurety. They went on to do some really, 'out there' avantgarde material after their earlier releases, with this being their best release (at least in my eyes). An original pressing on Aesthetic Death, later re-pressed with bonus tracks by Candlelight records, minus the great grim cover art pictured in the original you see here, but including the tracks from their early (and equally good) 7" release.

Xentrix - Shattered Existence / For Whose Advantage / Dilute To Taste E.P

Xentrix for me were the UKs shining light of thrash metal in the late 80s. These releases were all great in their own rights (although, clearly borrowing heavily from the Bay Area sound - but hey, who gives a shit when it thrashes this hard, right?). All are original early Roadracer/Roadrunner pressings.

At the Gates - The Red In The Sky Is Ours / With Fear I Kiss The Burning Darkness

At the Gates, a popular band to hate on it seems (I guess this goes in hand with success). I love these guys first two albums, the rawness, weird songwriting courtesy of former guitarist Alf Svensson was missed for sure. Both are original pressings on Deaf Records here.

Arcturus - Aspera Hiems Symfonia

The debut album from the infamous Arcturus. Garm is one of my favourite vocalists, and here he is doing what he used to do best, screaming and crooning in equal measures. In the later re-issue of this album, he re-recorded his clean vocals - to me, they're still pretty good on this - but you can hear his progress as a vocalist over the years on the re-recordings for sure. Original US pressing on Century Black.

Nasum - Industrislaven EP

Everyone should own some Nasum if you ask me. If a band can rejuvenate one of the old school grind legends into upping their game (as they did for Napalm Death, according to interviews with Shane) they can certainly get some grinders to bang some heads whilst listening to this. An original press of one of the bands very early EPs, released on Poserslaughter Records.

God Dethroned - The Christhunt

This is the 2nd issue of God Dethroned's gnarly debut album. First released on Shark Records in 1992, this is the 1998 original re-issue on Cold Blood industries with the grim skinned/gutted rat cover art. Great death metal if you ask me, possibly the bands best (and undeniably, the bands most feral).

General Surgery - Necrology

The European pressing of this classic, licensed from Relapse Records to Nuclear Blast. Classic Carcass worshiping gory deathgrind from members past & present of Dismember, Afflicted and Regurgitate.

Skythrone - The Way

The 1995 debut album from pagan/ambient crew Skythrone. Original press on Metalagen - hard to come across these days, but not particularly well sought after due to the band's super-obscure nature.

Rotting Christ - Thy Mighty Contract

An original press of Greek black metal legends Rotting Christ's debut album here, on Osmose Records. The later re-presses had a weak new cover art which wasn't a touch on this original.

Mercyful Fate - Melissa

Manage to find an original early Roadrunner pressing of this classic in my 2nd hand shop the other day, so just had to pick it up as it was £4. Besides being an original press, what a classic album this is! But, you know that already... don't you?

The Art of the Legendary Tishvaisings - Catharsis

Some real obscurity from Germany here. Just take a look at that bizarre cover art.. and the band name!! Don't let it fool you into thinking this is complete toilet fodder though as there's some great thrashing death metal to be heard upon pressing play on 'Catharsis'. Reminds me of Macabre from time to time too. Original press on 1MF records (home of Torchure etc).

Fear of God - Within the Veil

Some great thrash metal here, with fantastic set of lungs behind the mic stand, courtesy of the late Dawn Crosby (also of Detente). I find this album quite an interesting listen, as not only does it thrash, but it has quite a good range of songs on offer. Well worth looking into for those who haven't already.

Death - Scream Bloody Gore

..and while we're on the topic of classic death metal (ha ha!), what better time to post the daddy of them all? This is a bona fide original pressing of Death's 'Scream Bloody Gore' on Combat Records. If you need a further description, you really should be looking for a blog about disco.

Dismember - Like An Everflowing Stream

..and while we're on the topic of the Stockholm sound from my Entombed post, what better time to post this. This is an early original pressing of Dismember's world-destroying debut album 'Like An Everflowing Stream', on Nuclear Blast records. No further description necessary, I'm sure.

Entombed - Crawl E.P

The legendary Entombed here, with their hard to find Crawl E.P. The only Entombed release to feature Orvar Säfström from Nirvana 2002 on vocals, this was worth picking up for the artwork alone in my opinion. I'm a sucker for the Stockholm sound, so this shit is like mana from heaven for me. Awesome stuff.

Havoc Mass - Killing The Future

Here is Tampa's very own Havoc Mass, with their one and only album Killing The Future, released on Massacre Records. These guys got buried in the glut of death metal that was flying out of the Florida scene at the time. Even though their aggressive thrash bordered on death at times (especially the vocals), it seemed it was not quite enough for the majority of the local death heads who saw the style as old hat. Still, it stands the test of time pretty well I think, check it out and see for yourself.

Supuration - The Cube / Still In The Sphere E.P

France's Supuration here, good progressive death metal from the early 90s. Both these are original pressings on Reincarnate Records. Supuration went on to become SUP, a weird industrialized version of their former selves that didn't interest me whatsoever. However, their days as Supuration are well worth checking out for the old school (especially their debut 'The Cube').