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.

Nocturn - Estranged Dimensions

Another long awaited re-issue on Dark Symphonies here. Dutch death/thrashers Nocturn with their only album 'Estranged Dimensions'. Originally issued on the long dissolved Old World Records' in 1991, this had been long out of print before Dark Symphonies did the right thing and aired it once more earlier this year for whomever seeks out such beautiful underground gems... and a gem this really is. Similarities abound of Mercyless or Protector, with a rabid, rasping sound - this is definitely one to dig in deep on if you've not come across it before. Comes with an OBI strip.

Invocator - Early Years

A compilation of demo material and cover songs here from Danish tech thrash heroes Invocator. This combines both their 'Genetic Confusion' and 'Alterations' demos, as well as cover tunes from Dark Angel and fellow Dane thrashers Artillery. For demo material it has a very strong sound, with their rabid approach at time broaching a thrashy death metal sound. A must have for fans of the band for sure! Diehard Worldwide release.

Extreme Noise Terror / Extreme Noise Terror

This is last year's self titled album from Extreme Noise Terror. After the tragic death of one of their vocalist Phil Vane, he was replaced in the band by former Gorerotted vocalist Ben McCrow for this release. I'm always slightly dubious when a band releases a self titled album so far into their career, as it often shows sign of stagnation or lacking ideas. This is definitely NOT so with this album. To me it seems that this was clearly a sign of intent of a return to the band's roots, with the album being packed with blasting bursts of song, rattling drums, strangled guitars and gnarled vocals bellowing over the top - just what the doctor ordered!

Necrony - Necronycism: Distorting The Originals

A nice slice of history here, with Necrony's covers EP on Poserslaughter Records, 1994. Necrony members went on to form Nasum as a side project, but in these early days, they worshipped the gods that are Carcass (as if you wouldn't be able to tell from the cover and title!). 12 tracks, featuring covers from Carcass, Impetigo, Repulsion, Napalm Death, Bolt Thrower and Carnage - what's not to love?

Death Angel - The Evil Divide

Death Angel have always been a little bit of a strange one for me. Their classic debut 'The Ultra Violence' is, of course, held in high regard for good reason. But since that release, they've not seemed to quite reach the same levels of fiery attack, even at times seemed to be blatantly treading water. When they reformed after the long absence in 2001, I was hoping for big things, but those things never quite came into fruition. This is not to say that their albums have been mediocre - far from it - and this album is yet another example of their ability to pen some decent songs. It's just that the songs don't quite gel with each other, or even at times drag when hitting album format. Perhaps it attests to the strength of their debut that I'm expecting too much  - I don't know - it's just something intangible for me personally. Anyhow, this is the CD & DVD version of 'The Evil Divide' on Nuclear Blast.

Various Artists / Grindcores Death Row

A random pick up from a 2nd hand shop here. I think I have most (if not all) of the tracks here on their original albums, but am a sucker for picking up little spots like this. Featuring the likes of Cianide, Vital Remains, At The Gates & Morgue, this has a nice balance of different bands with similar vibes. One of those nice 'moment in time' releases, where tasters of bands who went on to become semi-legendary in the scene all mingled shoulder to shoulder with those who never made it on one release. Released on Red Light/Grindcore Records, and out of print.

Ihsahn - Arktis.

The new album from former Emperor main main Ihsahn, in it's limited edition Digibook format (now deleted). Other than the card book & booklet, the only difference between this and the standard version is that it has a near 10 minute bonus track. Being a huge lover of all stages of Emperor's career, I've always followed both Ihsahn and Samoth's separate projects closely. For me, Ihsahn's have been hit and miss - sometimes a little too proggy/jazzy for my tastes. Arktis. however, hits the spot perfectly. Great twisted riffs, a claustrophobic and at times unwelcoming vibe - overall the sound is hard to classify as anything other than pure 100% Ihsahn.

Arx Atrata - Spiritus In Terra

I was super happy to receive this the other day, the newly released 2nd album from one man Nottingham atmospheric black metallers Arx Atrata, hand numbered digipak, number 1 of 500! Usually early issues of hand numbered releases are held off for friends/family/band members, so to receive number one, I am surprised and honoured. I first discovered the band when the debut album came out and I was writing for Ave Noctum, site owner Pete Woods reviewed it, and being such a huge fan of the style I figured I had to check it out. Thus, I managed to pick up the Digipak version, and I wasn't disappointed. A few years down the line and album number two has finally seen the foggy light of day, and what can I say - Arx Atrata should definitely be on the lips of any fans of the style. Their every pore billows with icy atmospheres, wonderous majesty and shivering nostalgia. Do yourself a favour and investigate their music, you won't regret it.


Grave Miasma - Endless Pilgramage

Now going right to the other end of the metal scale from the Anthrax post (I have to keep at a least *some* underground cred, right?!), we have the latest EP from Grave Miasma. I absolutely love what these guys are doing. It must be a tough line to walk when trying to sound like the throbbing ebb scattering from a hellish black hole without just sounding like pure trash, but Grave Miasma do it time and time again. File under grimy, misanthropic and occult, and get swept away in their foul musical miasma.

Anthrax - For All Kings

Well, this the latest album from US thrashers Anthrax here, in limited digipak format with a bonus live EP. I, like many, love their early career, but I feel they'd gone off the boil a bit during their John Bush era. Since the return of Joey Belladonna to their ranks and the release of 'Worship Music' a few years back, I feel they've had a real resurgence in their sound. This album is pretty decent, never really crazy or 'metal thrashing mad', and filled plenty of sugary sing-along melodies (so kvlt patrol, look away now). For me, it's a solid effort, and as strong as you can expect from any of the big four these days.

Saint Vitus - Born Too Late

The first collaboration between Dave Chandler and Wino here, and it went down in history as being one of the all time classic doom albums. The "real" lyrics about depression and oppression struck a chord with many, and combined with the monolithic riffwork, it pushed an already heralded band ever further into their fans hearts. Original pressing on CD on SST records (and bonus ticket stub).

Vreid - Sólverv

Here we have the most recent album from the underated Vreid, 'Sólverv'. This is the limited edition digipak version on Indie Recordings, which as you can see comes with a free patch. As you might know, most of the band members started out their career in Windir, and after Valfar's death they went on to form Vreid. I remember their earlier albums had quick a stompy, rocking black metal edge. These days, they still rock, but their black metal is pretty melodic and filled with great songwriting and great musicianship, at times akin to early Satyricon. Well worth a look.

Moonsorrow - Jumalten Aika

Moonsorrow's most recent album here, continuing their journey in metal to channel the ancient spirit of Bathory, and then some. These guys rarely put a foot wrong with their pagan/folk black metal, and this album is no different. Supreme atmospheres abound and music with true heart. Digibook pressing on Century Media, with free patch. If you're interested, the title translates to "The Age of Gods".

Sacrificial - Forever Entangled

Originally released on Trechoma, this is the long awaited 2015 Dark Symphonies re-issue of the debut album of Danish crew Sacrificial. An absolute killer of an album, which walks the line of thrash metal so heavy it falls most regularly on death metal. Snarled vocals, guitars which tear holes in sub-woofers, and powerful percussion puts this regularly on my playlists at home. There's no excuse now it's widely available again, so seek and be destroyed! Extra kudos to the band for referencing Blackadder in their opening track :)

Holy Moses - The New Machine of Liechtenstein

Coming a couple of years after their highly regarded 'Finished with the Dogs', the 1989 third album from German thrashers Holy Moses didn't quite make the same impact. However, it's certainly no slouch - it's still packed full of churning thrashy riffs and dynamism - all the things I loved from their previous albums. I actually enjoy it a lot, but it shares more in common with their debut in comparison to the raw smash in the face of 'Finished with the Dogs'. Original pressing on WEA.

Gama Bomb - Untouchable Glory

I was as happy as anyone with the huge resurgence of "proper" thrash which happened 10+ years ago, and amongst the wave one the bands whose energy I was most responsive too was Gama Bomb. This is their 5th album from 2015 on AFM, where they still smash out great thrash, tongue in cheek lyrics and an overall vibe of actually enjoying what they do and having a lot of fun along the way.

Angel Witch - Screamin' Assault

This is the original 1988 Killerwatt pressing of this CD only compilation of material from the Angel Witch's 2nd and 3rd albums "Screamin' N' Bleedin'" and "Frontal Assault". It was reissued on CD in 1995, but with different artwork. Music wise, it's trad heavy / NWOBHM as usual, but just not quite on the same scales of greatness as their timeless debut. Fairly hard to find these days, so worth picking up if you spot it on your travels.

Mortification - Mortification / Scrolls of the Megilloth

This is an admittedly pretty disappointing package featuring the first couple of Mortification albums in one bare bones double set. Literally a slip inlay card, no lyrics or artwork - crap. No thought put into it at all, and certainly not fan oriented. The label did similar releases for Vengeance Rising, Deliverance and Tourniquet and they were all similar in their sparseness. The music is of course great (see my other posts for Mortification), but this was picked up cheap solely for the fact that I don't have a physical copy of their self titled album as yet. 1998 issue on KMG Records.

Heretic - Breaking Point

The 1988 debut album from LA's Heretic, 'Breaking Point'. Vocalist Mike Howe quickly joined Metal Church after this release, with guitarist Brian Korban and bassist Dennis O'Hara later forming Reverend with David Wayne (former Metal Church vocalist). With that said, there are a few similarities in sound with the Church, with a mix of thrashing riffs and a strong (but not overbearingly cheesy) power/heavy metal sound. Good riffage to be found, so worth looking out for if you're a fan of the style. Metal Blade Records.

Gruesome - Dimensions of Horror

First off, we have one of my favourite new bands, Gruesome. Featuring a line up featuring members old and new of Exhumed and Malevolent Creation amongst their ranks, Gruesome are unashamedly worshippers of Chuck Schuldiner's Death, particularly their early Combat Records era. These guys have the sound, style - EVERYTHING down pat, and damn is it awesome. This is the band's recent EP, serving as a taster of what is to come following their brilliant 2015 debut. The Ed Repka artwork is again, the icing on the cake. Relapse Records 2016.

Source of Steel LIVES!!

That is not dead which can eternal lie and with strange aeons even death may die...

OK, for those who are still clinging on or have happened to stumble across my site - I'm back. Older, fuglier and generally full of the same joys as before. :)

I'll cut right to the chase. Source of Steel 2010-2015 was always a site of rarities, the obscure or hard to find. Moving forward, as I'm still buying and listening to metal, I've the itch to share just what I've been buying, whether rare & covered in dust, 2nd hand, discovered in a crypt under Euronymous' armpit, or brand new straight off the shelves mainstream and generally hated by misanthropes. Fuck, you know what? I may even share something I've discovered on Spotify and think you guys might like (though probably not, tbh - physical still rules).

My old scanner has long since died, so the style of each pic is likely to vary, but the heart & vibe of the site and my usual 'rainbows and unicorns' outlook will remain as ever (as will the shitty formatting and dodgy style sheets - far too much hassle to go changing now - hahaha)

So, prepare your anus' (anuses?) for the metal, because here it shall flow once again - and I promise to try to update more regularly than my last few years of activity.

Daemonlord / Source of Steel 2.0 - 2016-?