Sunday, January 8, 2012

Best Reissues of 2011 and more


1. Evil Blood – Midnight in Sodom – LP (Buried by Time and Dust) I had listened to the fuck out of my MP3s & various youschlub clips of their demos. Furious Heavy/Thrash/Speed Metal from Croatia in the very beginning 1983-85. Honestly in league with “Kill ‘Em All”, the 1st Metal Church & Holy Terror. Croatian/ex-Yugo Metal, much less most Eastern Euro Metal from the 80’s doesn’t get enough respect but this COMMANDS IT!
2. Noothgrush – Erode the Person (Blind Date), 1994 demo (Fuck Yoga). I’ve been following these guys since their 2nd demo- these are essential for anyone that likes harsh doom and sludge metal. Lyrically they range from the political, historical to the silly but always very heavy & punishing.
Satan – Into the Fire/Kiss of Death LP + demo 7” (Buried by Time and Dust) – One other thing I listened to a LOT this year was more NWOBHM. This band always piqued my interest but they were often the case of “oh, I’ll get that next time”. Well, next time turned out to be 2011 but this LP/7” set was defo. worth my $$. Like Sabbath they were blessed with three phenomenal vocalists. In this case we have Trevor Robinson, Ian Swift and later Brian Ross (who didn’t join ‘til after these original demos & 7” were recorded in 1981-82). And really this band’s influence on Metallica and Megadeth has to be discussed more. Listen to “Oppression” from 1981 and you’ll know why.
3. V/A: Those Shocking Shaking Days (Now Again) Excellent mix of Indonesian soul, funk, psych, prog, pop and hard rock from 1970-78.  Great drumming on nearly every tune (what was it about 1970s drumming – seems like nearly everyone had a killer tone & style). Interesting to note that these songs were made during the era of the U.S. backed Surharto dictatorship. The moody prog of Shark Move’s “Evil War” underscores the frustrations of the time. Thankfully that bastard is wormfood and these artists music lives on.
4. Wolvserpent – Gathering Strengths/Blood Seed (Crucial Blast) – Really nice and long dark ambient with bits of doom. I intitally thought I wasn’t going to be much into this going in but it quickly became more and more entrancing.

I didn’t get to any of the Death reissues (Human, Individual Thought Patterns, Symbolic, etc). But I already know Human is a killer record and was a killer tour. 

2009-2010 Reissues that ruled but didn't get to 'til now: 
Nazareth's 70's catalogue - especially Loud 'N' Proud (1973), Razamanaz (1973), and Hair of the Dog (1975). Also played my orig. No Mean City LP quite a few times in '11.
Black Sabbath – Master of Reality (deluxe edition) (Universal) OK, OK, this actually came out in 2009 but this is one of the few things the (remaining) majors are doing right. “Weevil Woman ‘71” and the “After Forever” outtakes are worth it alone.

2011 releases too late for review but sounded promising:

Rome – Die Æsthetik Der Herrschaftsfreiheit (Trisol) – Wanted to get the original, deluxe 3 CD edition with Jerome Reuter’s 3 books. Though, 2012 holds the promise of these 3 albums released separately
Sol Invictus - The Cruelest Month (Auerbach/ Prophecy Productions)
Current 93 – HoneySuckle Æons (Coptic Cat)
Hammers of Misfortune – 17th Street (Metal Blade)
Voi Vod – To The Death demos (Alternative Tentacles) – I already know this is great just haven’t heard it in the new remastering.
Peter Bjärgö - The Architecture of Melancholy (Cyclic Law)
Saxon – Call to Arms (Militia Guard)
Vektor - Outer Isolation (Heavy Artillery)
Dirty Beaches – Badlands (Zoo) – Super generic band name but really great, dark ballads, a bit of Suicide and lonely Americana noir.
Tokyo Blade – Thousand Men Strong (Fastball Music)
Lumerians - Transmalinnia (Knitting Factory)
Wooden Shijps – West (Thrill Jockey) – Showed more depth and that they’re NOT a 1 trick pony. Excellent live at Frisco Freakout, too.
Deceased – Surreal Overdose (Patac)
Tim Hecker - Ravedeath 1972 (Kranky)
Soriah with Ashkelon Sain  - Eztica (Projekt)
Cult of Youth – Cult of Youth (Sacred Bones)
Anvil – Juggernaut of Justice (The End)
Hot Graves – Knights in White Phosphorus (Satanik)
Gates of Slumber - The Wretch (Rise Above/Metal Blade)
Slug Guts – Town Tied (Sacred Bones)
Tombs – Path of Totality (Relapse)
Burzum – Fallen (some dodgy Russians?)
Vastum – Carnal Law (Profound Lore)
Necros Christos – Doom of the Occult (Sepulchral Voice)
Wolves in the Throne Room – Celestial Lineage (Southern Lord)
Junius - Reports From The Threshold Of Death (Prosthetic)
Helrunar – Sol (Lupus Lounge)

St. Anger award for craptastic levels of achievement:

Botantist - Convolvulus Althaeoides (Tumult) - By the rasp of Quorthon! – what a bunch of novelty crap. Morbid Angel -Illud Divinum Insanus (Season of Mist) – “Radikult” + even getting history wrong "since '89?" You formed the band in 1985!
Litgury - Aesthethica (Thrill Jockey) -Really this should have about as much impact on Heavy Metal as Stephen Hawking would in a steel cage vs. Necro Butcher.
James Ferraro – Far Side Virtual (Hippos in Tanks) He’s gone of the deep end with his new age obsession.
Reedallica - Lulu (Warner)  – As awful the ballads on “Load & Reload” & Lou selling Honda motorcycles in the 80’s only worse?
 Venom – Fallen Angels (Spinefarm) The good: Cronos vocals & bass sound. The bad: the songs sound he’s singing over 90’s Metallica. Check out “Hammerhead” and “Punk’s Not Dead” and you’ll know what I mean. It’s not 1000% horrible but no Abandon and no Mantas = no Venom. (Much less no Cronos, which they already tried & failed with). 

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