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.

Believer - Extraction from Mortality

The debut album from Believer, the tech/prog thrash band who  - along with the likes of Deliverance and Sacrament - used to espouse Christianity back in the late 80s. Later in their career, they moved more into a more philosophical & scientific mindset for their lyrical inspiration, which I can't complain about. For me, along with their sophomore album 'Sanity Obscure' this is some of their best material however, so this is well worth picking up for the fans of forward thinking, progressive thrash metal. Original pressing on Rex Records.

Abyssal - Novit Enim Dominus Qui Sunt Eius

This is the equally out of print re-issue (limited to 1,000 copies) of Abyssal's 2nd album on Profound Lore. The original press was self released by the band on CD-r only. For the uninitiated, this is a project from the UK which combines gnarly death, black and doom into a maelstrom of an album which recalls the likes of Portal & Antediluvian amongst other noise makers which share a similar outlook. Completely devastating - check this band out.

Taake - Striden Hus

Taake's most recent album here (from 2014 - they have been quiet of late) This is one that frankly I'd been slow to pick up (being a tight wad, I was merely waiting for the right price). As always with Taake the music is yet more great Norwegian black metal, with Hoest and co. shrouding things in a foggy cold atmosphere that pervades the darkness. Digipak pressing on Dark Essence.

Silent Death - Stone Cold EP

Another little gem from the depths of the mid-nineties underground here, with the only major release from the Swiss Death Metal band Silent Death. With a guitar tone that sounds like it's tearing the space time continuum, ferocious drumming and vocals courtesy of Brett Hoffman of Malevolent Creation, this is one feral motherfucker of an EP. At a short 23 minutes in length, it's here and gone before you know it. The good thing is, it has you reaching for the play button for another crack at it instantly after finishing. Great shit right here, so check it out. Massacre Records.

Vader - The Empire

The most recent album from the ever-present beast that is Vader. More excellent death thrash here, with spiraling riffage, chugging choruses and Peter's throaty roar continuing to plough their musical mindset of 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'. After so many years, they've nary released what could be classed as a duffer; and this is another great piece added to their legacy.

Ekron Cult - Queen of the Luxury

Death metal from the depths of the Paraguayan underground here, with the sole full length album from Ekron Cult. This isn't particularly rare or hard to find, but I figured it was worth a feature more for its packaging, which is a digi sleeve the size of a 7" with a regular sized CD tray glued to the card. Limited to 1000 units on Proselytism Records, this darkly rumbles quite nicely for the occasional spin.

Drephjard - Sorgsvart

The 2006 EP from young Norwegian black metal crew Drephjard here, again on Northern Silence, and in it's original hand numbered original pressing (limited to 100 copies). This features yet more excellent Norwegian black metal, painfully stubborn in its stern orthodoxy, and unrelentingly furious and waspish; just the way it's played best in my opinion. I'm surprised these guys aren't mentioned more often, but I guess the glut of blackness that flows so inexorably from Norway can only allow praise to be spread so far. Good shit anyway, check them out below.

Perisynti - Hiilenmusta Lammas

Finnish black metal here from Perisynti, shown here in it's hand numbered original digipak version, limited to 100 copies. Furiously lo-fi, piercingly howling and frosty, it hits all the right notes, with spite-filled tremolo picked riffage that leaves you figuratively having your flesh removed from bones a la Sarah Connor's dream in Terminator 2. I love discovering bands like this, even though these guys seem to have been pretty short lived. Northern Silence release.

Darkspace - Dark Space -I

The final piece I needed to complete my Darkspace discography on CD, here is the re-recorded demo of the band on Digisleeve CD. This version was released in 2013, but the music was originally available in 2002, the first compositions under the band's name. These Italians have been incredible over the years, consistently releasing spacey, atmospheric black metal which seeps into ones psyche like alien spores infecting a host.

Misery - Revel In Blasphemy

Not the first time Misery have featured on this site, with the original pressing of their debut 'A Necessary Evil' being one of my favourite rarities in my collection. This is the bands 2nd album 'Revel in Blasphemy', featuring another dose of abrasive death metal which gets the fists clenching and the neck snapping. Original pressing on Warhead Records, one to track down for the death metal heads. One weird quirk this album has, after the final track ends, the album plays through backwards for its entirety. INVERTED ALBUM ATTACK!

Mysto Dysto - The Rules Have Been Disturbed / No AIDS in Hell

Another fine re-issue from the wonderful people at Dark Symphonies, this time from dutch speed/thrash crew Mysto Dysto (the band that went on to become Mandator). This compiles the bands only album 'The Rules Have Been Disturbed' and their later demo 'No Aids In Hell'. Truly great stuff here; music which captured the fire which burned in the 80s - a time when ears were free of all the clutter of 2017 and their purity shines through.

Heresy - Voice of Fear

An unofficial two disc compilation of... erm... two other unofficial compilations here from Lost & Found Records. This compiles 'Voice Your Opinion' and 'Visions of Fear', two previous comps which together pretty much makes up the discography of the band. Included is 'Never Healed', 'Face Up To It', 'Whose Generation', '13 Rockin Anthems' & a stack of live tracks. Musically, obviously the band are one of the big names from the British hardcore punk scene, with politically themed anarcho crustiness abound. Good stuff if it fits your tastes.

Agony - Apocalyptic Dawning

Canadian death metallers Agony here, with their debut album from 1995. This was originally self released on cassette only in '95, but finally got this CD release on Disconcert Records in 2006, which comes with songs from their '93 demo as bonus tracks. Although brutal and technical, this is reassuringly mid-90s sounding brutality - so this would probably go down very nicely with the OSDM lovers amongst you. Well worth tracking down, a pretty damn tasty morsel of metal goodness.

Angmar - Metamorphosis

This is the debut album from French black metal crew Angmar, in it's hand numbered & limited to 100 copies digipak version. Whilst the band has had moderate success over the years, many will best know them from their split release with Alcest (which I featured here recently). This is good stuff to throw on when the mood occurs, and yet another one for the 'Tolkien inspired band name' file!

Magnus - Alcoholic Suicide

The fourth album from Polish death/thrash crew Magnus here, following 2 years after their magnum opus 'I Was Watching My Death'. This album didn't match the quality that came before, disappointing many (myself included) - but as is the way with a lot of bands unfortunately; many who strike gold only follow up with tin. This is not a bad album per se, but it just stands in heavy shade of what came before. Still, if you're wanting a gnarled earful of death/thrash, you can't go wrong with Magnus.

Carcass - Symphonies of Sickness

Carcass' 2nd album here; where they kept their grinding edge but moved away from the carcinogenic & atonal distortion blistered mess that was their debut, to something with more palatable structuring and songwriting. This pressing is the most interesting thing for me, as it's a joint release between Combat Records & Earache (the first US pressing of it, I believe). Not a particularly easy to version find these days. As is evident, this has the original artwork intact, too. Carcass are still the daddies of pathology/gore inspired metal to this very day.

Blood Incantation - Starspawn

Blood Incantation here with their debut full length, 'Starspawn'. Dark Descent releases so many releases I end up buying, I might as well have set up a direct debit from my bank account to keep the albums regularly drip feeding into my collection. Blood Incantation is no exception, in fact, I'd say they're one of the strongest bands on their roster if this effort is anything to go by. Seriously archaic, dark and evil sounding death metal - some of the best I've heard from a 'new' band in an age. If you're a fan of the old school, dank and dingy Incantation/Demilich style death trip, you can't go far wrong with Blood Incantation.

Obituary - Obituary

I must admit, in their recent years before this album, I'd not been overly wowed by much material Obituary had released. Sure, they could still kick out the jams, but nothing really grabbed me like their early stuff. When I heard they were releasing a self titled album quite so far down the line into their careers, I'll again admit I figured they were probably done for - doing a self titled album can either mean a band is treading water and lacking ideas, or it can be a fully focused crystallisation of what makes the band what they are. Thankfully, it was the latter - 'Obituary' is the best album Obituary has released in donkey's years. Well worth checking out if you - like myself - had become a little jaded with them.

Exodus - Bonded By Blood

Exodus' seminal debut album here, which is still to this day a lynchpin of US thrash metal. This is an original of one of the very earliest pressings of it on Combat/Torrid Records. People are still banging their head against the stage to this, 32 years on from its release. That alone is testament to its top quality songwriting, frenetic playing and the much missed ball of charisma that was Paul Baloff. Upper echelons of thrash greatness right here.

Darklin Reach - Where Evil Dwells

Another old obscurity here, 'Where Evil Dwells', the only full length release from this Chicagoan speed/thrash metal band. A good mix of speed and thrash throughout, this originally came out in 1992, a time when most eyes & ears were pointing toward more extreme options, thus this (as well as many other speed/thrash bands) went by the wayside, sadly undiscovered by many. Original pressing on Tombstone Records. The full album can be sampled below:

God Dethroned - The Ancient Ones

This early compilation from long running Dutch death/black veterans God Dethroned is a pretty tasty treat. Featuring the bands 3 track demo 'The Christhunt' (which came before their debut full length of the same name), unreleased songs and live material all packaged together in one great package. This is the original pressing on Cold Blood Industries from 2000.

Until Death Overtakes Me - Symphony I: Deep Dark Red / Symphony II: Absence of Life / Symphony III: Monolith

Three early releases from Until Death Overtakes Me here, featuring the prolific dutch multi instrumentalist (and doom enthusiast) Stijn van Cauter. Symphony I & II were bought directly from Stijn himself, and were released as a double CD-r set with reversible sleeves (hence the photos). Symphony III was released on CD by Flood the Earth Records. All three feature the very slowest, most torturous drone, ambient and funeral doom you can imagine, which mix into a truly dreary package.

Wraith of the Ropes - Ada / The Red Door EP

US funereal doom here from Wraith of the Ropes. 'Ada' was their only full length album and is still pretty widely available, but also featured here is the free EP 'The Red Door' which was sent out to customers who ordered directly from the band, on self released CD-r, hand numbered, blood spattered and limited to 120 copies. The EP has a different tone to their album, featuring covers from Black Sabbath & The Cure, as well as their own versions of the Halloween theme and Suspiria by Goblin. I kept the promo sheet that was sent with it, where there's talk of their next album 'Demonic Influence'. To date - over 10 years later, it has still yet to materialise; the status of the band is pretty much unknown.