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.

Septic Flesh - Mystic Places of Dawn / Esoptron / Ophidian Wheel

Here we have the first three Septic Flesh albums including both the 1994 first press, and the 2002 re-press of their debut Mystic Places of Dawn (the re-press featuring their early Temple of the Lost Race EP as bonus tracks). Certainly one of the most well known bands from Greece, and one of the mainstays of the early Greek extreme metal scene, along with the likes of Rotting Christ and Necromantia. A lot of quality to be found here, especially on my personal favourite of their albums, Esoptron. All albums released on Holy Records.

Suffer - Global Warming E.P / Structures

Great Swedish death metal here from Suffer, a band who seem to draw mixed opinions from most I've spoken to. For me, I love their brand of crushing death - no frills but the occasional thrill - both releases are more than just 'meat and potatos' level death metal for me, even though I'm not completely sold on the vocalist's style at all. Both original pressings on Napalm Records, and out of print.

Forced Entry - Uncertain Future

The debut album from US thrashers Forced Entry here, pulling out a style similar to a plethora of other more renowned thrashers (Forbidden, Exodus, Megadeth... etc - take your pick!). It's well worth checking these guys out if you haven't come across the name before. An original pressing on Combat Records.

Cirith Gorgor - Onwards to the Spectral Defile

A refreshing change for a band to use a Tolkien reference for band names eh?! Perhaps not, I've lost count now. Still, Dutch black metallers Cirith Gorgor blast some pretty good tunes out on this, their debut album. Touches of Marduk, touches of Emperor - not many touches of originality, but plenty of touches of quality. Original pressing on Osmose from 1999, and now out of print.

Unsane - Unsane / Singles 89-92

Unsane were a band I wouldn't normally have checked out, but I took a chance due to Entombed banging on about them in interviews. I'm glad I did. I love their sloppy, jagged shards of anger and feedback squeezed into musical form. This is the bands debut album, and early compilation featuring material from their early days. Early original pressings on City Slang Records.

Kvikksølvguttene - Krieg

A side project of Mayhem's Necrobutcher here, Kvikksølvguttene started out as an attempt to re-start the band Vomit (an early death metal band), but ended up being it's own thing. This was the only full length studio album by the project (though they did release an E.P also). You'll get an idea of the amount of fucks given to feelings by the cover art (depicting what seems to be an African militia, chowing down on some poor fuckers severed hand - nice). Anyhow, although the music won't have won them any awards, it was clearly warranted for the band members to vent a spleen or three. An original pressing on Head Not Found.

Inferia - Masterpiece

Here is the debut album from Finnish noise-merchants Inferia. These guys bash out some gnarled grindcore with touches of death metal thrown in to bulk up the recipe. The artwork is pretty apt when taken into consideration the music here - someone drilling a hole into someone elses skull (trepanation, my dear Watson!). Turn the volume up, certainly feels like that doesn't it? Hahaha. Anyhow, this is the original pressing on Streetrock Records - definitely one to keep an eye out for.

Dead Orchestra - Global Lobotomy

Dead Orchestra from Kansas here, with their debut album from 1991 'Global Lobotomy'. Musically it's an intense mix of death & thrash (perhaps leaning more to the death side than thrash), which although packed with meaty riffage and interesting sections, never really seems to get the blood pumping. Out of print, but fairly easy to pick up cheaply for those who need their fix of early 90s death thrash (like myself!). An original press on Colossal Records.

Banished - Deliver Me Unto Pain

Formally known as Baphomet (whose only album can also be found on this very blog in its original first pressing!), this was the only album released by New York's Banished. For me, although it doesn't live up to the quality of Baphomet's album, there's still some joy to be had from throwing this on for a few spins every now and then. Original pressing on Peaceville subsiduary Deaf Records.

Judecca - Scenes Of An Obscure Death E.P

The 1993 EP from US gnarled death metallers Judecca here, pre-dating their one and only full length studio album from 1996 which was featured earlier in this very blog. Picked this up cheap from Dark Descent Records as they sell off a fair bit of sealed legit Wild Rags releases even to this day. Well worth checking out, as is all Judecca's stuff.

Altar / Cartilage - Ex Oblivione / The Fragile Concept of Affection Split

Here we have the Altar & Cartilage split album released on Drowned Productions. Nice gnarled death metal here, with the Finnish crew Cartilage's side of the split coming out the stronger over Swedes Altar (note, not the better known Dutch Altar!). Well worth checking out though, definitely pick it up if you see it around.

Cathedral - In Memorium

Cathedral's early demo here, in its early issue on CD from 1994 by Rough Trade Records. Good trudging doom, probably my favourite of all Cathedral's eras of stuff in my eyes.

Darkseed - Romantic Tales E.P

Germany's Darkseed here, with their early EP Romantic Tales. They called themselves 'dark metal', which roughly equates to doom/death with a gothic vibe. There is some decent stuff here, but there is also some awful shite (some dubious remix track). Yin & yang I guess, haha. This is an original pressing on Invasion Records, but it was later re-issued with bonus tracks.

Ensiferum - 1997-1999

Finland's very own folky vikings here with their self released 2005 compilation of their three demos. Only available directly from the band or from their gigs, this was released shortly after the bands 2nd album and disappeared pretty quickly due to the small quantity printed and the sudden clamour for their material after they got very popular very quickly. Worth checking out if this sort of thing is to your taste!

Cro-Mags - The Age of Quarrel

One of the all-time best US hardcore albums? Yeah why not. This is Cro-Mags debut, the critically acclaimed 1986 full length which saw them crash into the scene with a blast. There's also plenty of nods to thrash metal here and there (their later albums were to have much more of a crossover edge than this though, with quite a few full on thrashers under their belts). An original pressing on Profile Records.

Skeletonwitch - At One With The Shadows

Skeletonwitch are pretty well known these days, blowing up after their magnificent 2nd album 'Beyond the Permafrost'. This is the bands debut album from 2004, and features a similar sound to their other stuff (albeit an embryonic version with weaker production). Decent, raging melodic death/black with thrashy parts - covers a lot of bases and ticks a lot of boxes for me.