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.

Rites of Thy Degringolade - The Caryatid / Totality

The first two albums from Canadian black/death metal outfit Rites of Thy Degringolade. I love these guy's work, particularly for the fact that they just sound so... well.. 'wrong'. Raging riffage, disembodied voices, screaming, and blasting - this is quite the anomaly when it comes to matching the band up to an easy reference point, particularly their debut album 'The Caryatid', which was recorded solely by main man Paulus Kressman. 'Totality' has more of a streamlined, less 'out there' sound, but still with an excellent biting edge, so check them out if you like something a little twisted and dark.

Clandestine Blaze - City of Slaughter

The ninth album from the black metal outlet of Finnish multi-instrumentalist and band juggler, Mikko Aspa. Clandestine Blaze has been pretty consistent over it's many years of existence, fiercely unwavering from their strict path of black metal orthodoxy - and this album is no exception. Released on Northern Heritage, Mikko's label.

Carcass - Swansong

Swansong, the 1995 release from Carcass which was (for a long time), the bands Swansong that the title suggested. A departure in sound from their earlier works, increasing on the melody of 'Heartwork', and gaining a much more rock inspired riffage into their sound. The loss of Michael Amott who went on to pretty much reproduce the mid-period Carcass sound with early Arch Enemy was a big one, but Bill Steer was still the driving force and riffmeister general. This was the limited edition 'brain' shaped disc version, which came with a bonus disc featuring (strangely) the last track of the regular album, and a bonus track tacked on - thus 2 tracks on the disc in it's entirety. The reason behind this was apparently that the full album wouldn't fit onto the shaped brain disc, so a last minute fix was made. Oops! Anyhow, a nice little rarity that is worth picking up if you see it kicking around.

Sentient Horror - Ungodly Forms

A band I discovered completely by accident, and found myself purchasing their album having heard merely half a track. These US Swedeath lovers don't just know Swedeath - they simply GET it; recreating its finest aspects in to their own sound. A nice, gritty but bassy production job helps the riffs bed their spines well into your psyche, with a subtle groove and plenty of monsterous roars. Great stuff!

Alcest / Angmar - Aux funérailles du monde... / Tristesse hivernale

A nice black metal treat here, featuring split material from two French bands, with Alcest (a band who have a crazy following these days) and Angmar, a lesser known (but still great) crew from Caen. This was originally slated for a release of 3,000 copies, but due to copyright issues (supposedly) it was reduced to 500 hand numbered copies. It also comes with a sticker of each band logo. Pretty hard to find these days, and highly sought after due to the popularity of Alcest - coupled with the fact it has some pretty damn sweet material on it, makes for a winning combo for collectors.

Various Artists - Swedish Death Metal

A nice death metal compilation here which complimented the excellent book of the same title by Daniel Ekeroth, featuring all the classics, as well as a good slice of obscurities and demo material. I often stick this on as it has a good mix, and runs really well. Also, one thing I like is the extended fat booklet which has a little write up about each band and various other bits and pieces of interest.

Arthemesia - Devs Iratvs

With all the ridiculousness going on with Wintersun's crowdfunding campaign of late (50 Euros per person for the basic package they are offering, which is essentially a stack of digital music featuring only one new album - currently adding up to a total of €318,572 - insanity and pretty heart rending for the likes of myself considering there is absolutely NO physical option), here we have Arthemesia's debut album, a band which had not only Wintersun mainman Jari Mäenpää in its ranks (running alongside his time in Ensiferum too), but also other Wintersun members during the band's time. This release is actually pretty damn good, even if I do say so myself. Melodic black metal, without quite as much cheese as his band is known for these days. Original release on Native North Records.

Deathspell Omega - The Synarchy of Molten Bones

The ever reliable DsO here, reliable in the fact that they're always eager and willing to remove your face completely from skull via their music with pretty much every release. Another churning, tar-like bubbling concoction of musical hell, spouting tales of philosophy, blasphemy and hell.

Delicate News - Scoff

Another piece of random obscurity here from German thrashers Delicate News. There's not much information to be found about these guys, but what I do know is that they started out releasing their material under the name of Rattlehead, before undergoing a name change and releasing 3 full length albums, this being their 2nd from 1996. Smashing out some rocking thrashy metal with nods from the likes of Voivod to Kreator in their sound, they are now firmly to found in the 'where are they now?' file.

Abattoir - The Only Safe Place

Abattoir's 2nd album here 'The Only Safe Place' (their excellent debut was featured many years ago on this site, so have a search if of interest). Great, pumping speed/power metal is the order of the day, featuring blistering solos, bags of melody and great singalong choruses - well, it was '86 afterall! Century Media's pressing on CD from 1999 (it was originally only available on cassette and vinyl).

Tortoise Corpse - World's Got A Problem

Another contender for most dubious band name here with Tortoise Corpse. These Welsh bastards kicked out a rather rocking brand of Motorhead inspired heavy metal on this their debut album from 1991. They went on to release one further album in '96, where their sound had evolved into something much more thrashier (something which they had visited at times on this album, especially on the likes of their re-recorded demo song of 'Psychotaff'), but still revisiting their rocking edge that they had throughout most of this album.

Entombed - Left Hand Path

A legendary album here, and one of my all time favourite death metal releases. The inclusion of this version is solely as it is the first US pressing released between Earache and Combat Records - so certainly not the regular version you'd find on your local record store shelves today. One of the harder to find pressings of this beauty on CD. I could go on all day about my love for this album, but I'll spare you the fanboy-isms. I actually prefer this album to Clandestine too (I think due to the vocals, tbh).

Fleshcrawl / Suffocation - Festering Thoughts From A Grave

This is another Raw Skull Recordz release, a label I seem to be buying almost every release from these days. This is a compilation of early Fleshcrawl material, including their material under their old name of Suffocation (thus, not a split with the US death metal legends). This release starts with earlier material (which is a whole lot more thrash oriented than the death metal they became known for as Fleshcrawl), but ends with the EP 'Lost In A Grave' which preceeded Fleshcrawl's debut album. I'm much more of a fan of the death metal material, as the thrash was lacking bite. Still, an interesting compilation that clearly shows a journey into death that the band followed. This comes with the Obi strip pictured, and hand-numbered with a limitation of 99 for the first copies only.

Anal Cunt - Everyone Should Be Killed / I Like It When You Die / It Just Gets Worse

A selection of albums from the incredibly sensitive and loving grind blasters, Anal Cunt. Yes, of course you've heard of them before (with a name like theirs, it's bound to draw attention). Let's face it, attention is what mainman Seth Putnam loved (his song titles, lyrics and overall lifestyle were pretty much as offensive as it got). GG Allin, eat your heart out. Anyhow, these three albums cover various periods of their earlier works, all released on Earache Records and currently out of print. I must admit, the dark humour has had me chuckling in the past - pretty much due to the shock value and/or childishness of a lot of it, certainly more so than the actual enjoyment of the music on offer (it was - at its most basic - as close to pure white noise, feedback and distortion as it gets at times). But, who can deny their unbending insistence of upsetting as many folks as they possibly could in their time as a band.

Ghoul - Dungeon Bastard

The long awaited fifth full length studio album from US horror merchants, Ghoul. If you haven't come across these guys before, correct that immediately. Featuring quite a pedigree in band members (Sean McGrath & Ross Sewage of Impaled among others), Ghoul mix up the perfect quantity of thrash, death and blasting grind set to a horripilating theme of horror, death and destruction. In terms of quality, these guys rarely put a foot wrong, so well worth your time investigating (if you haven't done so already). Tank Crimes Records.

Wyrd / Häive / Kehrä / 3-Way Split (Metal Tin Edition)

This is the limited to 200 hand-numbered copies metal tin version of the 3 way split between these great Finnish bands (you can just about make out the hand numbered bit on the back in the top left corner). Upon buying this, the only band I was aware of was Wyrd, who have been pretty prolific over the years and released a lot of good stuff, but Häive & Kehrä certainly hold their own on this release too. Comes with an extended booklet featuring all the bands, a Northern Silence label flyer and a Wyrd logo patch

Infected Virulence - Music of Melkor

This is the re-issue of this great underground gem on Raw Skull Recordz. Like the original pressing which I believe was self released, this is also limited (the first press was only 300, this is 500 units). A nice slab of early 90s DM, a release which didn't see a lot of distribution or interest before the advent of the internet - so good to have it freely available once again. If you're a death metal fantatic, don't be a dunce, get on this physical copy before it sells out.

Whiplash - Ticket to Mayhem

The 2nd Whiplash album, and the latest addition to my Roadracer Price Killers series of releases. This is regarded by many as the band's finest hour (well, between this and Power & Pain/Insult to Injury anyway, they released a LOT of good shit at the start of their career!). Coming on like a messed up Metallica cross-bred with Destruction, they spilled beer over you & kicked your teeth in with their aggressive speed/thrash tour de force. Top quality, old school thrashings sir!

Gravebomb - Rot In Putrid Filth

Anyone who reads this blog or knows me will know my one true love is classic Stockholm sounding Swedeath. Well, this is the debut album from Gravebomb, a new Swedish death metal band from Gothenburg who kick out a HM-2 guitared toned, chainsaw dismemberment of an album. Slime, death and that orange and black colour scheme - what a winning combo. Anyway, this is the Raw Skull Recordz release, a fairly new label who continue to release a lot of killer cuts.

Emperor - Wrath of the Tyrant

An unexpected addition to my collection here, as I was ordering via barcode and thinking I was getting something completely different, but was pleasantly surprised where this turned up in it's place. This is the 'unofficial' release of their feral 'Wrath of the Tyrant' demo on infamous US label Wild Rags. Sounding little like the band they went on to become, this is a nice piece of history in itself.

Dark Funeral - Where Shadows Forever Reign

Long running Swedes Dark Funeral here with their latest album from 2016, in it's limited Slipsleeve Digipak pressing. I've said it before, but these guys got lumped in with the whole Norsecore/washing machine metal thing, which is unfair so far as I'm concerned. Although never dazzling me or blowing me into next week, they consistently produce solid, orthodox Scandinavian black metal with gusto. Also, although they weren't the first to do so, the album unfurls into an upside down crucifix - naturally. Cheesier than a tramp's cock, you say? Yes - but it still had a smile creeping across my face when I opened it.

Various Artists - Grind Core's Death Row

A compilation here from old school extreme metal label Grind Core, an American label who has featured such alumni as Morbid Saint, Therion, Cianide and At the Gates among their roster of licensed releases to the US market. In fact, all of those bands feature on this release, and as a 'mix tape' style comp of differing styles, it actually works pretty well. Quite the collectable label these days, similarly to the former Peaceville Records imprint Deaf Records (where a lot of the same releases were put out in Europe).

Immolation - Atonement

There are certain bands (admittedly, a lot of bands) where I will buy their every release without reading any press or researching, just because basing solely off my love for their previous efforts, I figure that each new album is a no brainer each time. Immolation are 100% one of those bands. Their 1991 debut 'Dawn of Possession' is chalked up as one of the very first death metal albums I bought (and heard, for that matter), and since then, their vision and accomplishments have nary left me wanting. What we have here is Immolation once more giving a masterclass of death metal, with their wonky riffage, weird arrangements, equal mix of blasting and brooding is all accompanied by the usual bags of atmosphere which billow throughout their sound. Yes, I'm a fanboy, but so should you be. Seek and be destroyed!

Antaeus - Condemnation

The most recent album from purveyors of fizzing blackness, hatred and evil themselves, Antaeus. Coming 10 years since their highly lauded previous album 'Blood Libels', this sees them back and kicking out more of the same diesel smoked, choking darkness, albeit in a slightly less rabid way as their previous material. That's not to say their sound has been diluted in their decade away, it just feels like it has been honed into something altogether more sinister than their previous efforts. Digipak press on Norma Evangelium Diaboli.