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.

Disaffected - Vast

Disaffected - possibly one of Portugal's finest exports? I'd say so, certainly for death metal. This is the band's debut album which ripples with technical (yet strangely melodic) death metal of the very finest quality. I was super lucky to stumble across this album at a really cheap price from a 2nd hand store along with a ton of other great stuff. An original pressing on Skyfall Records.

The Darksend - Unsunned

Debut album from The Darksend from Sweden, which is a fairly decent slab of mid-90s black metal. This is an original press on Head Not Found, a label which released a good quantity of classic albums over the years.

Demolition Hammer - Epidemic of Violence

The second album by US deathly thrashers Demolition Hammer, in an original press on Century Media Records. For those who haven't already come across Demolition Hammer you should check this album out first, followed directly by their debut. Excellent, angry thrash which no-one should be without in their collection.

Sleep - Dopesmoker

The final release (to date) from Matt Pike's stoner doom legends, Sleep. This was the rough, original cut of their Jerusalem album which was released years earlier, released as an extended single hypnotic track (with a bonus live track, if that wasn't enough seeing as the main album is 63 minutes plus!). For stoner doom fans, this is the holy grail. An original pressing on Tee Pee Records (though, I hear it's soon to be re-issued - about time too!).

Saturnus - Paradise Belongs To You

It's such a shame that Denmark's Saturnus are such an obscure band, because the doomy, melodic death they purvey is some of the best you're ever likely to find. In my opinion, these guys should be mentioned in the same breath as My Dying Bride, as this album in particular matches anything those guys have done with ease. This is the original first pressing on Euphonious Records from 1996. It has since been re-pressed with a bonus live disc, so seek this out in any form which you can find it.

Sabbat (UK) - Dreamweaver

Martin Walkyier's Sabbat were one of the shining lights of UK thrash metal in the 80s. Dreamweaver was their second album, and their masterpiece of an album in my opinion. Not only were Andy Sneap's riffs steeped in aggression, but the lyrics of Walkyier were intelligent and thought provoking. This is an original early press on Noise Records, but as far as I'm aware, it has been repressed many times, and is still in print to this day

Pyogenesis - Pyogenesis (Ignis Creatio)

Pyogenesis started out ticking all the right boxes for people who're into their morbid, deathly doom metal. However, they soon lost the plot and change their style massively, opting to play anything from alt rock to pop punk throughout their years of existence. This was the band's crowning masterpiece from 1992, their EP Ignis Creatio (which actually pre-dates their debut album). Worth checking out, but I wouldn't venture much further into the band's discography unless you're some sort of sadist. Original pressing on Osmose Records.

Unanimated - In The Forest Of The Dreaming Dead

Debut album from Sweden's Unanimated, who purveyed some great death/black metal back in the day (well, I say back in the day, these guys reformed a few years back and released their long awaited 3rd album). This is the original pressing on No Fashion Records with barcode. It was re-pressed for the US market by Pavement Music, with different cover art. Lets face it, the cover art isn't so hot anyway, but the re-issue didn't exactly improve either.

Celestia - Apparitia: Sumptuous Spectre

For me, Noktu's Celestia (and Mortifera too) released some of the best black metal in the 00's. This is the original first pressing of their debut album from 2002 on Full Moon Productions, limited to 2,000 units. Later re-issued a couple of times on various different labels (Paragon, and ATMF from memory). An album worth checking in on for those black metal folk who's ears are becoming jaded from countless Darkthrone and Burzum-clones.

Crumbsuckers - Life of Dreams / Beast On My Back

Great cross-over thrash from this US crew. This CD features both of the bands albums on one CD, released by Rough Justice (part of the Music for Nations umbrella). You can find the albums pretty easily released separately on Century Media pressings, but it's not so easy to find in this format.

General Surgery / County Medical Examiners - Split CD

This is a rare split released by Razorback Records in 2003, and as it goes, it's one of my favourite split albums. Nearly 40 minutes of grinding, early Carcass-like death metal - what's not to love?

Carnivore - Carnivore / Retaliation

I can't believe it's been over two years since Pete Steele passed away. I was never a fan of Type O Negative, but did enjoy a good slice of Pete's earlier band - Carnivore. Carnivore of course were the cross-over/thrash band from the 80s, with a great savage vibe. Here's the bands both albums on the early Roadracer Price Killers pressings.

Pungent Stench - For God Your Soul... For Me Your Flesh / Been Caught Buttering / Club Mondo Bizarre: For Members Only

Damn, my 400th post. I honestly never thought I would get this far with this blog, especially when I put it on hold due to lack of time/interest/rarities a while ago. Well I'm pleased to say I'm getting more interest than ever these days, which is really motivating for me to keep it up. So, PLEASE keep your comments, requests and e-mails coming! Hell, I've even spotted some cheeky/lazy fuckers stealing my images for their eBay listings! hahah! Looking to the future of the blog, I currently have a stack of pre-scanned CDs that I've yet to post up, which should last me quite some time (about 80-plus new ones at last count). So I'm not going anywhere anytime soon most of you will be pleased to hear.

Anyhow, as this is my four hundredth milestone of posts, I figured I should be posting something fairly special in terms of releases. And then I thought 'no, fuck it - I'll go for Pungent Stench' - haha! So here we have Pungent Stench's first three albums (including both the first and repress of their debut album). 'Been Caught Buttering' is the original US pressing, and 'Club Mondo Bizare' is the 'banned artwork' version, with the monkey having.. errr.. fun with a banana and a lady (when you unfold the booklet, it reveals all - but it's too big for me to scan on my scanner unfortunately!). All presses on Nuclear Blast Records.

Earthquake - The Truth

These Swedes make me think of one thing only. Remember the band mentioned in Wayne's World? The Shitty Beatles. Well, these guys are The Shitty Metallica. Hahahah. They really REALLY wanted to be Metallica, but just failed for the most part. Sure, there are a few signs of hope (usually when they decide they also want to be Megadeth), but for most, it's really not so good. Still, out of print on the short-lived Eurorecords label (and quite frankly, probably deservedly so!).

In Battle - In Battle

Let's not beat around the bush, the debut album from Sweden's In Battle is about as generic as you can get. It was released in 1997 by Napalm Records, the late nineties being a particular saturated time for this style of blasting black metal. Still, I guess it's worth throwing on once in a while for a change to clear out your head. Not often though.

Dyoxen - First Among Equals

Canadian thrashers Dyoxen were one of those bands who released a single album in the late 80s, then disappeared just as quickly. Still, that doesn't mean it's not a quality release, as it is - in fact, it's fucking great. Technical thrash in the vein of Toxik or Realm, with great songwriting. An Active Records pressing.

Thyrfing - Hednaland

This is the demo compilation from these blackened/viking Swedes. Limited to 1,000 copies on Hammerheart Records, and out of print. In my opinion, this now only captures some of the bands most raw material, but also their best.

Otargos - Ten Eyed Nemesis

Otargos for me are one of the most promising black metal bands in recent years. This is their out of print debut album from 2005, in an original pressing on Rupture Music. This was an embryonic period for the band, and their quality wasn't quite as strong as it was on the preceding albums, but there are still glimmers of brilliance to be heard for sure. Investigate!

Lawnmower Deth - Ooh Crikey It's... Lawnmower Deth

Bat shit crazy as most will know, this is Lawnmower Deth's debut album, in an original pressing on Earache Records from 1990. The band never tried to be a chin-stroking, epic thrash band - they were all about the laughs and the fun, and that shines through on this album more than any of their other releases. Great, for what it is.

Slammer - Insanity Addicts E.P

To go along with my earlier posts of the two Slammer full length albums (check the history for earlier posts), here is their 1990 E.P, an original pressing on CD with Heavy Metal Records. Great, English thrash, up there with Xentrix, Sabbat et al in my opinion.

Order From Chaos - Plateau of Invincibility / And I Saw Eternity

Two EPs from the brutal pre-Angelcorpse & Revenge band, Pete Helmkamp's monsterpiece from the 90s, Order from Chaos. Really enjoyable shit, leaves the ears smoking - haha. Both are original pressings on Shivadarshana & Ground Zero Records.

Baphomet - The Dead Shall Inherit

Some early NYDM for you here, classic stuff. Baphomet's debut (and only) album from 1992, an original pressing on Peaceville Records. Reminds me of DM era Napalm Death, or Benediction at times - shame these never went anywhere as Baphomet (they did change their name to Banished and released another single album, but their material just wasn't as good).

Crusher - Corporal Punishment

Despite hailing from the land of frogs legs and Champagne, Crusher have a very much English feel about their death metal to me. With that said, there is quite a varied mix of deathly sounds here, a lot of stolen ideas and many many nods to oh-so-many death metal band, so it's hard to pinpoint outside the realms of 'early DM period Napalm Death', Benediction and Bolt Thrower styled musings at the best of times, but I guess you can heard tidbits of US death metal too if you listen attentively. Behind the lame cover art (hmm, smeary period blood sunset!), there is an above average death metal album waiting to be heard. Noise Records pressing, from the early 90s.

Grinder - Nothing is Sacred

This was Grinder's 3rd and final album, and the only one I own or have heard for that matter. I hear their early stuff knocks this album out of the water in terms of great thrash, but I'm not willing to pay the astronomical prices for the ones available on eBay! With that said, 'Nothing is Sacred' is still worth the odd spin in my CD player - fairly decent thrash, nice acoustic interludes etc - plus I love the cover art work, but that's beside the point. An original pressing from 1991 on Noise Records.

Mezzrow - And Then Came The Killing

Mezzrow were one of Sweden's better thrash bands (let's face it though, there weren't that many of note to start with). This is an original CD pressing on Active Records, long out of print and worth seeking out for some fairly aggressive, no frills thrash (albeit, with a slightly flat production).

Bewitched - Diabolical Desecration

Bewitched from Sweden (as opposed to the blackened Mercyful Fate worshiping one from Chile who are also awesome), were a mid-90s supergroup of sorts, featuring then members of Naglfar, Katatonia and Ancient Wisdom, among others. This, their debut album is prime black thrash, packed with awesome riffage and a perfect vibe. This is the original pressing on Osmose from 1996.