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.

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.

Peste Noire - Les Démos (Box Set)

A highly sought after set here, featuring two individual digipaks of Peste Noire's pre-album demo material, a sticker, a patch, and separate booklet all housed in a hard card shell box. As with most of Peste Noire's stuff, I picked it up directly from the band's website - otherwise you'll pay through the nose to scalpers. Pretty much zero marketing or fanfare upon release (again, standard for the band) this was limited to 1,000 copies. A good insight to the embryonic ages of one of the most refreshing and controversial bands of the modern era of black metal.

Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire

This is one album I left far too late before checking out, even though I'd heard good things about it through reliable sources. I wanted to check it out, but was waiting for the right price - found it cheap, so decided to give it a whirl. Talk about a return to form! I loved early Godflesh (Streetcleaner, and their self titled EP in particular), but got a little jaded with their later albums before their original split. This, the 'reformation' album absolutely rocked me back on my heels. Killer, primal, crushing and coldly clinical, Justin Broadrick and co have combined all the elements that made thousands fall in love with their sound in the first place, and connected them together here for an absolute stone monolith of an album.

Kampfar - Profan

The most recent release from long-running and consistently excellent pagan black metallers Kampfar. These guys are seriously underrated in my opinion and deserve to be talked about in revered tones a lot more than they are. If you've not checked these guys out (or only heard their earlier works in their Malicious Records era as a couple of my friends had), they definitely deserve a once over for their top tier sweepingly passionate black metal. This is the digipak version which comes with a free patch

The Dead Youth - Intense Brutality

I think (in fact, I'm pretty sure) that this is the only the 2nd Avanzada Metálica release in my collection. It is such a sought after label for collectors, once featuring such ancient classics as Morbid Saint's debut, and Dark Half on their roster, this was a much less known US band who kicked out a nasty sounding style of death metal. I was never 100% sold on the vocals, which at times sounded pretty drunk and bellowing, but the music is good enough to warrant repeated listens. I bought this dirt cheap off Discogs a few years ago, and it came still sealed in cellophane. I've still not had the balls to open it. "The disc might not even be inside" says the evil devil in the back of my mind. Urgh! What a pretentious asshole collectors can be huh? To be fair this is the only CD where I've acted this way, I'm much more of a buy to actually listen to music rather than a "hold with rubber gloves and keep in an airtight container out of sunlight at all times" sort of guy.

Cradle of Filth - Dusk & Her Embrace (Coffin Box Set)

The infamous Cradle of Filth here, loved and hated in equal measure (though, maybe not quite so equal - they get a LOT of hate - haha). This was one of the albums which was seen as their best, their 2nd full length from 1996, before they went fully mainstream. Comes in a cool coffin shaped box, limited to 10,000 copies. At one point I managed to find three of these in the same shop, all being sold off cheap. I kept the one in best condition, one went to a friend, and the other went on eBay. I'm a sucker for ltd edition packaging versions of albums, so it was nice to find an older one just waiting to be picked up.

Entombed A.D. - Dead Dawn (Box Set)

LG Petrov and his not so merry men continue their journey under the Entombed A.D moniker, after the huge fallout and lawsuit which ensued following them continuing under the name Entombed. Decent death metal here, with enough of interest for even the most ardent of naysayers. Catchy but gnarled riffage is the order of the day, and they serve it up with aplomb. This set comes with a bonus cassette tape of their 2015 demos, pin badges, a digipak of the CD and a patch.

Phantasm - The Abominable / Lycanthropy

A dose of old school death metal from Wisconsin's own Phantasm. Both CDs are compilations of their early demo material, never actually releasing an official full length album - but the quality was enough for them to get quite a name for themselves back in the day.

Spiral Architect - A Sceptic's Universe

One of my all time favourite albums here, it took me completely by surprise on release (I also have the standard EU version with blue artwork on Sensory Records). This is the Japanese version licenced through Avalon, which comes with a bonus track 'Prelude to Ruin' (a Fates Warning cover). Still in it's cellophane with stickers as it only arrived a couple of days ago! For those who are unaware of the band, they are the absolute epitome of crazy-assed, manic prog metal. If the likes of Watchtower are a bit much for you, give these guys an even wider berth :). Roaming, technical basslines, crazy rhythmic structures, falsetto vocals - all churning and twisting over the top of each other like tectonic plates made of snakes. I can't fawn over this album enough, it's absolutely fantastic.

Sepultura - Kairos

Sepultura are a divisive band, and have been for a good while now. Some will ignore any release post-'Arise', many will ignore any release post-Max Cavelera, and various degrees of turn offs in between. Myself, I kept following the band through their 'groove/nu' phase, but lost interest along with many others. I'd occasionally dip in to see what they were up to these days, and this purchase was another one of those  occurances (via a £3 2nd hand shop pick up). I was pleasantly surprised with this, actually sounding a lot better than the bad memories of 'Nation' and 'Roorback' which I was left with previously. They will never re-visit their death/thrash days, but this stuff is actually fairly palatable in my opinion - nothing to be blown away with or life changing, but certainly worth the £3. This is the deluxe edition with comes with a bonus DVD of the making of the album (which admittedly, I've no intention of watching haha).

Obscura - Akróasis

Do these Germans need an introduction among such esteemed metal heads as your good selves? Obscura have been kicking out the jams with their excellent style of progressive and technical death metal for a good few years now, and seem to just get better and better. This, their fourth studio album really finds them pushing themselves to the limit. I've found myself listening to this a lot of late, so if you haven't checked it out yet (and are a fan of tech/prog death), this is definitely one to add to your check lists.

Kruiz - Kruiz

The fifth album from little known Russian speed metal crew Kruiz. These guys started out as a dubious AOR band, and slowly progressed from their rock releases in the early 80s to their speed metal sound that can be heard here. Really good stuff, with jagged riffs and a great kicking energy throughout the album. This is the original pressing on WEA - well worth keeping an eye out for, quite a rarity these days.