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.

Nocturnus - The Key / Thresholds / Nocturnus E.P

Ahh, the infamous Nocturnus. Equally admired for putting out some high quality death metal, and reviled for their use of - SHOCK! HORROR! - keyboards in their death metal. To be fair, most of the hate was around the time they first hit the scene, and time has been kinder to their legacy in the realm of death. The Key and Thresholds are in particular a must for any extreme metal fans collection in my opinion, but their s/t EP is also worth a spin (if not criminally short). The two albums are original Earache Records pressings, and the EP is on Moribund.

Amorphis - Privilege of Evil E.P

Another long running band, Finns Amorphis started out great, went not so great, and have started to come around to great again in recent years (albeit in a different way to their early greatness!). Well, this is a prime slab of said early greatness, with the EP which was recorded before their debut full length album, but released after it. Good death metal with a doomy edge. An original pressing on Relapse Records, an early purveyor of classic death.

Sacramentum - Finis Malorum E.P

One of the best Black Metal EPs ever? Sure, why not. Sacramentum's early works are not easily surpassed at the best of times, but Finis Malorum really is packed with some of the most killer melodic black metal which you could ever wish for. Most people fawn over their debut 'Far Away From The Sun', but for me - this EP is just as good, if not a little better. This is an original pressing on Adipocere Records.

The Gathering - Always...

The debut album from Holland's The Gathering, and in my opinion, the only album they released that was worth a shit. I know, pretty harsh seeing as they went on to become very popular with a lot of people, but I just didn't enjoy anything they put out after this one. This is the remixed/remastered version re-issued by Foundation 2000, with the original artwork intact - not so easy to find these days.

Odium - The Sad Realm of the Stars

There are a hell of a lot of metal bands called Odium - go search on the Metal Archives website and you'll get a list of around 20. These guys are the Norwegian Odium, and arguably the most well know (certainly the most well know in symphonic black metal circles). There's a lot of Limbonic Art to be heard here, along with touches of Emperor and Sorhin - sound like your bag? If so, seek it down. This is the original first pressing on Samoth's label Nocturnal Art Productions.

Judecca - Beyond, What The Eyes Can't See...

US underground death metallers Judecca seem to be one of the most highly sought after bands on the old Wild Rags label. I'm not surprised, as the death metal they produce was fucking great (if not a little let down by weak production). Still, this was the bands only full length studio album from 1996, in its original first pressing on Wild Rags.

Dimmu Borgir - For All Tid

The debut album of possibly one of the most maligned extreme metal bands of this day and age. This is the original pressing on No Colours Records, with the original black and white artwork, waaaay before Shagrath & co were selling out tours and headlining festivals. First time I picked this up from a trade, I realised the copy I was sent was a bootleg due to it not having a legit CD matrix. I returned that, and have since picked up a legit version - pictured here.

Bewitched - Encyclopedia of Evil E.P

Following on from my post months ago of their debut album, here is the EP which was released very shortly after 'Diabolical Desecration'. Featuring mainly covers of their idols, this features such gems as Venom's 'Warhead', and Celtic Frost's 'Circle of the Tyrants'. A good spin packed with great covers of classic cuts. An original pressing on Osmose Records.

Meshuggah - Contradictions Collapse / None E.P

Love them or hate them, Meshuggah are super-popular these days in the metal world. These two CDs are actually my favourite releases from them, particularly their progressive-thrash debut album 'Contradictions Collapse'. Their 'None' EP followed a few years later, and showed more of the rhythmic sound they'd become renowned for from the mid-nineties onward (they pretty much invented their own genre in Djent, lets face it). Both original first pressings on Nuclear Blast - they were released again by Nuclear Blast together in a single disc Digipak format (albeit, with the None EP having a track missing).

Poltergeist - Nothing Lasts Forever

Switzerland's Poltergeist are known by most for having their vocalist take the mic stand on Destruction's first 'Schmier-less' album, 'Cracked Brain'. Poltergeist were pretty good in their own right to be fair, with this being their 3rd and final album. Not bad for a 1993 thrash album, all in all. An original pressing on Haunted House records.

Atrocity - Todessehnsucht

The second album from German technical death metal experts, Atrocity. These guys went on to go shit (in my opinion) after this album, and nowadays can be found playing various different styles of metal and non metal stuff that personally I think is pretty lame. Still, this and their debut albums exist and deserve respect. An original pressing on Roadrunner records - not particularly hard to find if you look in the right places, but if you can't find it, it was also re-issued by Polish label Metal Mind in Digipak form.

Desire - Infinity... A Timeless Journey Through An Emotional Dream

Portugal's Desire were yet another one of those bands that went by the wayside back in the day, only to reach near cult status in the age of the internet. Growling doom death, with piano segments and sporadic clean vocals - really high quality material that should not go un-noticed. Original pressing on Skyfall Records.

Samael - Worship Him

The debut album of Swiss black metal masters Samael, pressed on Osmose Records - the very first release on the long running French label. This, Blood Ritual and Ceremony of Opposites are all classics of the genre in my opinion - so if you haven't already, you must check them all out. But, of course you've already own and know them all like the back of your hand... don't you?!

Ragnarok (UK) - To Mend The Oaken Heart / Domgeorn

This isn't the same band as the Norwegian black metal crew who I featured early on in my blog, this Ragnarok is the British version who are much more of a Pagan outfit, but do have a blackened edge. Worth a check if you're into the 'jolly fiddles and distortion' shizznit. Their only two full length studio albums, released on Neat Records (debut) and Eldethorn (sophomore) respectively.

Vermeth - Your Ruin..

Vermeth was a massively under-rated French black metal band from the early 00's. This their debut album is as morbid, cold and evil as anything which was released by LLN - the infamous scene which spawned the likes of Mutiilation, Belketre and Torgeist (Torgeist member Black Lord Beleth'Rim is actually the main talent behind Vermeth). A must for fans of LLN stuff, and also bands like Manes (demo-era) and Xasthur. Chilling!

Risk - The Daily Horror News / Hell's Animals / Ratman EP / Dirty Surfaces / The Reborn

German's Risk first four albums (and early EP!) of fun, thrashing metal (well, perhaps a little less fun come The Reborn!). Risk started out as 'Faithful Breath', who actually formed back in the 60's as a prog rock band - many years and line up changes later, a few members went onto form Risk and go Thrash. Mixing up the likes of Rage, early Helloween and Scanner, these guys were a little more Speed metal early on, but they certainly knew how to thrash when it mattered. If you're a thrasher and haven't heard the name Risk before, you could do a lot worse than checking out any of theses releases (though, you can give their final fifth album - not pictured here - a miss). All original pressings on Steamhammer.

Stone - Emotional Playground

Stone are probably the best known thrash band from Finland, and 'Emotional Playground' was their final album from 1991. Their earlier stuff had a slightly thrashier edge for me, but this is still a worthwhile album to stick on when you want to wreck your neck. An original press on Black Mark.

Arcane Sun - Arcane Sun

The one and only album from Irish doom/death crew Arcane Sun. These guys were on the unfortunate Ars Metalli label who went bust and let a whole lot of talented bands down (Arcane Sun had actually recorded their 2nd album but it's been left unreleased to this day). A great album which shouldn't disappear into the mists of time - atmospheric dirgy doom death.

God Forsaken - Dismal Gleams of Desolation / The Tide Has Turned

These guys never quite won me over unfortunately, but I know they do have a fairly decent following in the underground. The music they made was indeed doom/death, but the doom side to it is more of a bouncy, Cathedral-esque doom which gives off a rock and roll vibe - all with death metal vocals! Both original Adipocere Records pressings.

Armageddon - The Money Mask

Debut and only release from these US power/heavy metal crew from the late 80s. Apparently, these guys were Christian metallers too - possibly 'reformed' Christians, seeing as their original moniker was 'Second Chance'. The music isn't too bad at all, reminding at times of Priest - but, these guys disappear just about as soon as they arrived on the scene. The album was re-issued in 2007 with a bonus disc of demo material, but this is an original pressing on R.E.X / Talkingtown Records.

Damnation (Pol) - Rebel Souls

The second album by Poles Damnation saw them kick into gear after a mediocre debut. This is fierce Polish death metal as you know, love and demand it (played by members of Behemoth and Hell-Born, among other Polish luminaries). Influenced by Vader (naturally), and with hints of Morbid Angel and Immolation - well worth checking on. This is an original Digipak pressing on Last Epitaph Productions, now out of print.

Ascended - Temple of Dark Offerings

So after two posts from strictly Christian metal bands, to prove I've not turned into a rabid religious nut - here comes Ascended. One of the most badass modern death metal bands who ended far too soon (they never even got to release a full length unfortunately). This is the bands EP, 'Temple of Dark Offerings', which recalls some of the finest Scandinavian death metal you care to mention (particularly Finnish bands like Convulse). An original CD pressing on tiny US label Enucleation, who went the way of the dodo a few years back. Seek this out.

Mortification - Break The Curse / Post Momentary Affliction

..and after sharing a band member with Horde, I figured I'd post up some more Mortification originals (to go alongside my post of 'Scrolls of the Megilloth' all those months ago). This is the bands original demo re-issued for the first time on CD, as well as the bands great third album (also on Nuclear Blast as an original pressing). Mortification started to go shit after 'Post Momentary Affliction', so it's really only the stuff released pre-1994 that is worth looking into. Similarly Christian lyrics to Horde, but the death/thrash metal is really good here.

Horde - Hellig Usvart

Horde were pretty much universally hated due to their take on 'Unblack' Christian black metal. For years no-one knew who these guys were, many thinking they were part of the Norwegian, or even Swedish scene. But, it turned out it was just one guy who was in Australia's Christian death metal crew Mortification - Jayson Sherlock. Musically, it's OK I guess - the lyrics are WAY too preachy though, but what more can you expect from Christian lyrics I guess? An original pressing on Nuclear Blast.

Disfear - Everyday Slaughter

Sweden's Disfear belt out some great crusty punk, with this being their second album released on Kron-H (a sub-label of Osmose Records which is no longer in existence). Angry, fast and nasty - just the way I like it.