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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Personal post - Summer of 2013

It's been a while I've written this blog, but I intend to do it and return writing some reviews. It's been quite hectic year. As you may have noted, forums are down due inactivity of the usage (they shut down automatically), but I will be setting up new forums soon.

First and foremost, I lost my job recently, so it will be one god damn money-less Summer of 2013, but looking the bright side of it, the job was provision-salary based one with almost literally no pay and no free-time, so what's the gain? I'd like to make a few bucks if I'm to be tied to a job 6 days a week with readiness to be called to the work at evenings while days will be at office anyway. I hope to find a new one soon.

What's the bright side? Well, there's some time for myself at the moment and so I have managed to start exercising at gym, running now nine months in row and counting. Physically I feel the best shape I've been so far, perhaps ever, in my life. But, there's still long distance to go as I know I'm yet at the very beginning. I've found right mentality to exercise, though, and it's always nice to see you're able to kick your lazy ass.

...but one thing that always remain is my passion towards heavy metal music! Throughout the first half of the year 2013 I've been hunting cheap used records after the long gap when I didn't really buy much albums. I've been hunting CDs mainly, because at this stage I feel like I want to save in shipment costs ;-)

Here's some stuff I've bargained this year (and hopefully I didn't forget any), and as you can see while it's mainly older 80s heavy metal, there's some variation also like early 90s black metal albums:

  1. Abysmal - The Pillorian Age (Norwegian early black, only full length release '95)
  2. Afterworld - Dark Side of Mind (Finnish power from '99, got it cheap)
  3. Alien Force - Hell and High Water (fine danish nwobhm flavored heavy '85 (Karthago reissue))
  4. Amorphis - Tales From The Thousand Lakes (Finnish quite famous death/doom '94)
  5. Ancient Rites - Dim Carcosa (great folk flavored black metal '01)
  6. Blaze - Silicon Messiah (Blaze Bailey, strong debut)
  7. Bloodlust - Guilty As Sin (fine speed metal from US, if Omen went for speedier and thrashier approach.. not sure if boot? '85 (Old Metal Rec.))
  8. Brainstorm - Unholy (great album from rather average German heavy/power metal band '98)
  9. Bullet - Heading For The Top (Swedish AC/DC from 2000s, not bad)
  10. Christ Agony - Darkside (Polish black metal, unique melodies but letdown album '97)
  11. Death SS - ..In Death of Steve Sylvester (good Italian "horror heavy metal" drawing influences from several genres '88 (Lucifer Rising Rec. reissue))
  12. Gravestone - Back To Attack (band photos aside, decently good cheesy German heavy metal, speedy, melodic and fun! '85)
  13. Hades - The Dawn of The Dying Sun (fine Norwegian black metal from '97, heavy and thick!)
  14. Holy Moses - Disorder of The Order (German female fronted thrash, positive surprise of an album! '02)
  15. Lefay - Symhony of The Damned - Re-Symhonized (re-recording of the original album, fine Swedish heavy/power with a bit darker sound '99)
  16. Lions Breed - Damn The Night (average but enjoyable German trad. heavy metal, some members formed Scanner, '85, Cult Metal Classics reissue)
  17. Manilla Road - Crystal Logic (top notch US epic heavy metal with power and doom influences '83, Iron Glory Rec. reissue)
  18. Master's Hammer - Slagry (Czech quality black metal band, don't know what to think about the album though, weird record, is this any form of metal? '95)
  19. Nuclear Assault - Something Wicked (quality US thrash band, decent album, not their best '93)
  20. Nuclear Assault - Out of Order (quality US thrash band, rather average release '91)
  21. Opera IX - Sacro Culto (folk-ish black metal from Italy, quite unique! '85)
  22. Overdrive - Swords and Axes (quality Swedish melodic heavy metal from '84, 2nd rel., Metal for Muthas/High Vaultage reissue)
  23. Pantera - I Am The Night (Bootleg, needs no introduction though, pre-groove-era Pantera, hell, even pre-thrash '85)
  24. Riot - Thundersteel (real soaring, powerful and speedy US heavy metal with influences of speed and power, great stuff! '88)
  25. Sabbat - Dreamweaver (didn't listen the 2nd release yet, but expecting more than HoTtC has to offer! '89)
  26. Sabbat - History of a Time to Come (RAW and powerful blackened thrash metal from UK with good melodies '88, Martin Walkyier went to create Skyclad after this)
  27. Sarcofagus - Cycle of Life (god fathers of the Finnish doom metal! Good stuff. '80!)
  28. Savage Steel - Begins With a Nightmare (very average speedy power/thrash from Canada '87, numbered edition #360 (but what's pressing amount?) New Renaissance rec.)
  29. Steel Vengeance - Call of The Dogs (decent US trad. heavy metal plagued with quite bad sound quality, '85 debut, BDCD058 '96 reissue Black Dragon Records France, legit?)
  30. Stigmata - The Court of Eternity (aka Stygma IV, killer power/prog from Austria '98)
  31. Thor - Live in Detroit (aka Jon Mikl Thor, quality Canadian cheesy and rocking heavy/power '85, Ektro reissue)
  32. Thor - Only The Strong (aka Jon Mikl Thor, quality Canadian cheesy and rocking heavy/power '85, Ektro reissue)
  33. Torment - Not Dead Yet (German thrash, haven't listened yet '98)
  34. Toxik - Think This (top notch technical speed/trash from US with high pitched vocals and insane melodies '87)
  35. Toxik - World Circus (top notch technical speed/trash from US with high pitched vocals and insane melodies '89)
  36. Ulver - Bergtatt - Et Eeventyr I 5 Capitler (journey of an album, folk-influenced Norwegian black metal '95)
  37. Vampyr - Cry Out For Metal (decent German heavy/speed release with phenomenal guitar sound and tone, has rough atmoshpere like Tyrant (GER))
  38. Vicious Rumors - Digital Dictator (quality US heavy/powermetal with top notch solos and soaring vocals, powerful! '88, recent reissue by Shrapnel Rec.)
  39. Vicious Rumors - Soldiers of The Night (great debut of this US heavy/powermetal band with top notch solos and soaring vocals '85, recent reissue by Shrapnel Rec.)
  40. Witch - Damnation (compilation of US Witch of L.A., average but interesting to check out, glam-influenced heavy metal bit like WASP)

The Lot of the first half of 2013!

While I haven't fully listened "the lot" yet, I can say that some of my definite favorites of it are the two Vicious Rumors albums, which, although have no real booklets with lyrics, are well remastered by Shrapnel Records few years back! Other than that, I finally managed to get legit copy of Manilla Road's epic Crystal Logic which kicks ass. Mainly good lot of the year 2013 so far, with a few let-downs, too.

You may wonder, why did I buy some average albums, knowing that they're average? Why some albums at that list are worst of the band like Nuclear Assault CDs for example (oh wait, Third World Genocide is a disaster compared to those) above? Or perhaps Christ Agony's "plodder"?

Well, I like many kinds of different releases. I may go for lesser releases of the band for example if I can hunt the down for cheap and they are out of print for instance! In addition, some of the very minor bands and their old releases interest me very much! Even if the album was plain average. Plus it would be fun to review them honestly as I can. CD reissues of old albums are always nice, as long as they are official and no bootlegs.

So you see Pantera's I am The Night CD there on the list. Why the hell, that's bootleg? I fell for a scam. Heh. As I was in haste I browsed auction house and saw the release sitting there, "wow, Pantera's pre-trash era CD, they must have been reissuing it recently". Of course few minutes later after successfully bidding and winning it, I realized that hell, it's never been reissued on CD , "oh wait...". Well, we all collectors make mistakes sometimes. Bootlegs are sadly very common today. You're not safe even with vinyls, if you bargain online. Many of us have them even without knowing in our collections.

What's wrong with boots you may ask? Well, for starters bootlegs are most often straight copies of worn-out Vinyl records ripped into the CD by someone with cheap equipment, versus an official release made of original high quality master tapes. Secondly, bands do not get paid for bootlegs, because they are not authorized by the band by any contract. That's reason enough not to support them. And thirdly, bootlegs rarely have or hold any value, which you might be interested in if you're a collector. Exception, however, might be if the record was never ever reissued again after decades old release and you wanted just to have a way to listening it, even with crappy bootleg quality. In addition, I find no harm on downloading an hard-to-find album, and buying it later when you come across the record.

The best ways to avoid bootlegs would be checking services like or (and additional info of the certain album) for starters. Although they are not 100% reliable sources either always, they are amongst some of the best quick sources we can use to see if the release is legit. Secondly, you can always find your way into heavy metal collectors circles where there are several people who might been collecting for a long time and have some useful tips!

Have a great heavy metal Summer of 2013! | dungeoncrawler

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