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.

Funeral Nation - After The Battle

A beautiful little gem here to tide you over this Christmas... the 1991 full length album from Chicagoan thrashers Funeral Nation. This is an angry fucker of an album, which buzzes with intensity, channelling Slayer and Venom, meshing them into an electrical storm of deathly thrash. Original pressing on Turbo Records, not easy to find - but so worth the hunt.

Xentrix - The Order of Chaos EP

Something I picked up from a car boot sale a few months ago for 25p, adding a little "non-essential" goodness to my Xentrix collection. This single features the lead single of their much maligned album 'Kin', where they started to... well.. not mellow out per se, but become incredibly more groove oriented and cut out their awesome aggressive thrashiness that their earlier material was loved for. Very much passable in my opinion, but here it is none-the-less. Roadracer Records.

Autopsy - Fiend For Blood EP

Autopsy need no introduction, but this is one of their great early EPs. The tracks on this have featured on re-issued versions of 'Acts of the Unspeakable', but here it is in it's original Peaceville slimcase glory.

Gotsu Totsu Kotsu - Legend of Shadow

Gotsu Totsu Kotsu here with their album Legend of Shadow. Some fine death metal from a little known Japanese band. Similarities with Defiled can be heard (they shared a band member in fact). These guys have phenomenal grooves and gnarled blasting - well worth investigating. It's just a shame their albums are pretty hard to find in the western world!

Deathrow - Satan's Gift / Raging Steel

The debut and sophomore albums from German thrash crew Deathrow here. These are the original CD pressings which were released by Displeased Records in 2008, as they never had an official release on CD before this time I believe. Their debut 'Satan's Gift' also had a censored release under the name of 'Riders of Doom' with different artwork for the easily upset US market too, but Displeased decided to release the album as it was meant to be enjoyed. Good quality, 80s Teutonic thrash. What's not to love? Go mad, and seek these out if you haven't already.

Furbowl - Those Shredded Dreams

The debut album from Swedes Furbowl, in it's original pressing on Step One Records (it was re-issued by Vic Records in 2009 with a bonus disc of demo material). At this point they were very much purveyors of the death n roll sound, much like a lot of bands who heard 'Wolverine Blues' and became obsessed with the mixture of groove and growl.

Miscreant - Dreaming Ice

Swedish death metal crew Miscreant here, with their sole full length album from 1994 on Wrong Again Records. These guys took the early At The Gates sound (their Deaf Records era) and ran with it, so you should have a good idea what to expect from their sound. It's pretty good for what it is, like many of the bands who missed the boat in the early 90s amongst the outpouring of talent that took the limelight. These guys supposedly recorded a 2nd album, but it never saw the light of day - shame.

Wombbath / Departed Souls - Embracing the Cold (Split)

A well known band from the past who has reunited for new glories, and a not so well known hungry up and comer - got to love a split album, and this album, although not showing off much material from either band, is a nice slab of gnarled death which spews diesel and shits acid. Wombbath are back showing of their awesomeness, and Departed Souls show major promise with chainsaw guitars and vocals from hell. Raw Skull Recordz.

Dark Fortress - Venereal Dawn

German black metal crew Dark Fortress here, with this most recent album from 2014. These guys have been incredibly consistent throughout the years, and this album keeps up their misanthropic awesomeness with blood drooling glee. Digipak pressing on Century Media.

Dissection - Storm of the Lights Bane

Do I really need a caption for this? An original jewel case pressing on Nuclear Blast of one of my favourite albums of all time. A lot of Dissection enthusiasts argue over which is best, this, or 'The Somberlain' (also featured elsewhere on this site in it's original pressing on No Fashion). For me, it's this - hands down. Some of the best melodious black/death you're ever likely to hear - some of the melodies give me chills to this day.

Krisiun - Arise From Blackness

A compilation of material from the growling boys from Brazil Krisiun here. This release combines their much sought after 'Unmerciful Order' EP, as well as tracks from their split with Violent Hate. There's also a bonus of one unreleased song, but I guess that's the sweetener for completists who already have the rest of the material. Still, a good odds and sods release featuring the band at their early feral best.

Broken Hope - Repulsive Conception / Loathing

Original pressings of the 3rd and 4th albums of infamous US death metal crew, Broken Hope (their first and second albums can be found featured elsewhere on this site). I remember these guys were always seen as pretty much seen as a 'meat and potatoes' band back in the 90s when they were releasing these albums, but are seen in a much warmer light with hindsight (I'd say it's because there was just such a huge glut of quality stuff coming out at that time to be honest). These guys used to push the gore / shock value of their lyrics to the nth degree too, putting the likes of Cannibal Corpse to shame. Good stuff.

Mgla - Exercises In Futility

Mgla, one of the shining lights of not only the Polish black metal scene, but black metal as a whole at present. These guys have been churning out excellent black metal for well over 10 years now, and 'Exercises in Futility' is their latest full length addition. Definitely one to give some time to if you're in any way a fan of the subgenre.

Swallow The Sun - Songs From The North I, II & III (Box Set)

The latest triple album release from the bringers of much misery and gloom, Swallow the Sun. Part I sees the band in their usual form, mixing weeping melodies with their usual brand of heaviness, Part II sees them stripped back to acoustic instruments, tempering the sadness without the heavy, and Part III unleashes only the gloomy heaviness - being one of the heaviest pieces of work they've released. As individual albums it works better, as I struggle to take it double albums, let alone a damn triple album. But, no-one can deny the flow of consistent quality on offer here - as is the way with the vast majority of their works.

Warfare - A Conflict of Hatred

The 4th album from Brit speed metal crew Warfare here, released on Neat Records and out of print. These guys started out with much more of a NWOBHM sound, turning slowly towards a thrashier, speed metal sound on this album. An underrated gem right here, definitely one for the 'old' sound, with true quality and songwriting.

Khors - Night Falls onto the Fronts of Ours

The most recent album from Khors here, named after the slavic God of sun and light. Featuring former & current members of the brilliant Astrofaes and Nokturnal Mortem, I found the beginning of Khors career to be the most impressive, but they are still able to pull out some excellent atmospheres and frosty cold passages to get those hairs bristling on this, their most recent album from 2015.

Wormed - Krighsu

I fell in love with Wormed's first full length album, 2003's 'Planisphaerium' - a release which quickly went out of print in it's original form and was highly sought after for a while (my copy also featured on this very site). Well, this is their 2016 album, and they're still kicking out the crazy technical brutality. If you like it brutal and chunky, Wormed might very well be your new favourite thing.

Mithras - On Strange Loops

The long awaited new album from Mithras, ordered directly from the band so one of the first 100 hand numbered & autographed copies. I think these guys are still one of the most innovative and interesting forces to push the boundaries of death metal, whilst staying true to it's core and not being avant garde. Definitely one to check out, and one of my favourite albums of 2016 so far.

Atrocity - Hallucinations

The debut album from well known Germans Atrocity here, and one of the only albums which I actually give a shit about of theirs (their sophomore album 'Todessehnsucht' is equally killer tech death - and also featured on this very blog a while ago). After these two albums, they went swiftly downhill in my opinion. This is the original press on Nuclear Blast - mixed and produced by none other than Mr early 90s DM himself, Scott Burns. Deffo one to check out.

Venom - Calm Before The Storm

Venom here with one of their lesser known (and more commercial) albums, 1987's 'Calm Before The Storm'. This is the original pressing on Filmtrax, but this album has seen many re-issues and even a few name changes throughout the years (it was also released under the titles 'Beauty and the Beast' and 'Under A Spell' by various other labels, as well as an unofficial release under the title 'Metal Punk'). Until finding a copy for myself, I'd always believed they'd gone for the fully monochromatic album artwork with this - not so when you take a look a the slight bluey hues in the cover art. This album was definitely one of their more polished, very NWOBHM sounding, even with Cronos taming his vocals and the other guys providing some harmonising from time to time. I know, Venom, harmonising. Whatever next.

Aborted - Retrogore (Box Set)

Aborted's latest album here, in it's limited to 5,000 copies box set version. This comes with the usual extras (flag, bonus tracks etc), but the sweetest part of this set is the bonus EP of 'Termination Redux', which was previously only available on vinyl/digitally. These guys have really turned on the style in their last few albums, after going through a bit of a bare patch a few years ago. Glad to have em back smashing out the grimy grinding death we know and love them for once more.

Cyclone Temple - I Hate, Therefore I Am

Cyclone Temple's debut here, and a CD which I used to see in bargain bins ten a penny throughout the land only 10-15 years ago. These days Combat is quite a collectable label so it's not quite so widespread, but I know that I have owned it on CD at least three times - haha! Forming after the dissolution of Znowhite, these guys came out through Combat Records and tried to make a name for themselves. To an extent they did, but for me they never quite lived up to Znowhite's awesomeness. This album is pretty damn good however, so definitely give it a whirl if you manage to stumble across it.

Winterfylleth - The Dark Hereafter (Digibook)

The latest album from purveyors of cold, nature inspired blackness - Winterfylleth. These guys have been churning out quality album after quality album, and this is no exception.

Wombbath - Lavatory EP

Coming up very quickly after their trudging death metal debut 'Internal Caustic Torments', Wombbath released this EP on an embryonic Napalm Records, musically showing a very different band indeed. That cover art... hmmm! On 'Lavatory', they pushed much harder towards the groove style, and came out much more in the vein of death & roll. However, the main issue I had (and still have, tbh) is the big change in vocal style too - the vocals suck ass on this release. I mean, they're seriously bad. Plainly, this CD is only worthy for posterity's sake to show just how bad a band going off the rails musically can go! Still, they returned after many years of not existing recently and returned to the sound they're more known for - thank fuck!

Hate Eternal - Infernus (Box Set)

Another one of Season of Mist's limited box editions here, and another which is still easily available. It makes me wonder just how limited these boxes are, or whether they just generally don't sell very well in comparison to the regular 'vanilla' versions. This box comes with the usual flag/patch combo, as well as a digipak version of the album - no bonus tracks this time though. Erik Rutan's main band's crushingly hateful death metal majesty hits the mark once more!

Belkètre - Ryan Èvn-a

Part of the mysterious and shrouded French underground movement of Les Legions Noires, Belketre were best known for their demo 'Ambre Zuetki Vuordrevartre' and their split with Vlad Tepes in the early/mid nineties. Mainman Vordb was involved in the movement not only for his work in Belketre, but also Vlad Tepes, Brenoritvrezorkre and Black Murder amongst others. He is renowned for shunning the limelight, even going so far as requiring personal vetting to be able to access his art and information on his personal website. This CD was a 2015 EP release, his first material to be released for the best part of 10 years, and it was equally hard to get a hold of - but I did, direct from the man himself. Naturally, it was well worth the effort!

Tsjuder - Antiliv (Box Set)

The most recent (2015) release from Norwegian band Tsjuder here, featuring their evil brand of darkness and demon filled black metal. I remember the love these guys got upon the release of their first few albums, which waned later into their career. I still love 'em, can't beat a bit of orthodox Norwegian BM, and these guys smash it out with glee. This is the limited box version (which is still available), featuring a flag, a patch, a larger booklet and 5 bonus tracks.

Septic Flesh - Revolution DNA

2 different versions of the fifth album of Septic Flesh (or Septicflesh, as they're now known). This was their last album of the 90s, and continued to keep up the quality and standards for which they are renowned. I've always found these guys hard to categorise (nailing them with a 'death metal' tag just doesn't seem right!), as they ploughed their own route in extremity - I guess death metal is the closest approximation though. Both versions were released on Holy Records, with the top being the initial release on Digipak, and the bottom version being the 'red jewel cased' limited edition re-press they did in 2005 (limited to 1,000 copies, with bonus tracks).

Destruction - Under Attack

The limited Digipak version of Destruction's latest album, which comes with 2 bonus songs. Destruction are my 2nd favourite of the 'big three' teutonic bands (I've always favoured Kreator!), but the consistency & quality of their work rarely wavers in my opinion (ignoring the period between 'Cracked Brain' and 'All Hell Breaks Loose' of course).

Tiamat - The Ark of the Covenant (Box Set)

I found this box set at an awesomely cheap price, so figured it was worth a shot. I'm not the greatest lover of Tiamat, only really knowing of their first albums up to and including 'Wildhoney' (and not being overly impressed with what I'd heard). But, I couldn't turn down the opportunity to pick up so many of their albums to test out in one hit for what worked out as less than £1 each. To be honest, the set isn't that great and the rest of their material really wasn't to my taste either. Although it looks pretty from the outside, each of the 12 albums (and one bonus DVD) comes in a cheap, bare-bones 'promo album' styled card sleeve - no individual booklets at all. It does have a rather fat 74 page booklet separately with great photos etc, but I'd much prefer the individual album ones personally. Featuring material only from their Century Media years (including far too many live albums - 4 in total including the DVD), it does have one exclusive B-sides package 'Panopticon', it also comes with a numbered certificate stating a number out of it's limitation of 3,000 copies. It is what it is.

Blood Red Throne - Union of Flesh and Machine

I've been a long time admirer of this crazy Norwegian death metal crew in all it's forms over the years. Chunky, downtuned US-styled carnage with feral growling and blasting drums - what more can you ask for? I actually think I like the band more since Tchort left - not that his presence degraded the sound, I just think they've gotten better and more assured as they've gone on.

Voivod - Into My Hypercube (Promo)

A nice little pick from a car boot sale here, I spotted this along with a handful of other bits I thought I might like. I saw it had no booklet, but went for it anyway as it mentioned being a promotional copy (even though it has a regular back inlay). Turns out, its not meant to have a booklet - so all good. A couple of nice cuts from the bands rocking 'Nothingface' album.

Meshuggah - The Violent Sleep of Reason

Meshuggah's latest album here, the creators (whether they like it or not) of 'djent', and all the bands that spawned in its name. I can't say I'm a huge fan of this onomatopoeic genre, but I do have a soft spot for Meshuggah themselves following them from their proggy, almost Metallica like beginnings. Twisted polyrhythms, bellowed growls and guitar's tuned so as to register on the Richter scale as is usual with these guys, with a killer production job that pushes it all in your face for a claustrophobic atmosphere.