CALLED IT. Vinyl nerds shall rejoice further, as Relapse Records have announced plans to expand their recent trend of re-releasing high-profile out-of-print albums from their back catalog of releases. No more scavenging eBay for a reasonably priced copy of Miss Machine!
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Oh damn, just look at that artwork. It’s like Sylosis’ Monolith cover without all the pea green.
Amorphis‘ eleventh studio effort, Circle, now has a face, some tracks, and a pretty high mark to hit. Their 2009 release Skyforger got me interested in the band, and I’ve delved pretty deep into their back catalogue. 2011 rolled around and I picked up the Beginning of Times, which could have been ten bucks I spent on a pretty kick ass sandwich or the life’s blood known only as coffee. It was a lengthy album that jumped from idea to idea without sticking on one long enough for me to get into it. Go ahead and take a look at what Circle has to offer thus far-
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This year in metal has started out with a bang. With new releases from Alcest, Every Time I Die, Meshuggah, and many more on the way. It looks like it is going to be a hell of a good year. Or so it would seem. Though, I’ll be honest, I’ve been less than happy with the majority of releases from the first quarter of 2012. Maybe I was just so spoiled by 2011 and 2010, but it just feels like this years releases have been either really tame and bland, or just plain bad. This sort of revelation has caused me to stray away from the majority of metal with a dismissive wave of my hand. I’ve been finding myself seeking musical pleasure in other avenues, or for some periods of time eschewing the art-form entirely. I don’t like this trend in myself, and in actuality it disgusts me. I want to love the music that’s coming out, and I want to be able to enjoy the albums that I was initially excited to hear when they were being announced. However, that does not seem to be the case so far.
Now, this isn’t the first time this has happened, there were periods from the past two or three years that I experienced a similar sensation. In order to fix these moments of lull I turn to older albums and songs; music that created that original spark for the metal aesthetic so long ago. It seems I visit these songs less and less when I’m actually enjoying new releases, but when new music just doesn’t do the trick I dust these songs off and let the memories and emotions flood back into myself, and rediscover my “roots”. Here are the five songs that I always turn to when my metal tastes are in need of some defibrillator. Beware, these may shock you (is that a pun?). Or not. Whatever.
5. Amorphis – ‘Skyforger’
Skyforger is a fairly modern album, being less than three years old and all, but the songs on it hold a very significant sway for me. This was the first album by Amorphis that I was introduced to, and it took me about 50 seconds to realized that I loved the band. The entire album is top-notch progressive-power metal, but the title track is the keystone to it all. It just stands above the crowd with the best melodies and power from any song on that album, and indeed the band’s entire career. You may disagree with me, but this is Amorphis’ opus as a band.
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01. BARONESS – “Isak”
02. GENGHIS TRON – “I Wont Come Back Alive”
03. TOMBS – “Gossamer”
04. COALESCE – “Wild Ox Moan”
05. THE END – “The Never Ever Aftermath”
06. BURIED INSIDE – “V”
07. ZOMBI – “Orion”
08. BURNT BY THE SUN – “Inner Station”
09. THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN – “Dead As History”
10. DON CABALLERO – “Lord Krepelka”
11. MASTODON – “Mother Puncher”
12. KINGDOM OF SORROW – “Free The Fallen”
13. PIG DESTROYER – “Loathsome”
14. GRAVES OF VALOR – “Bridles Of Incitatus”
15. NECROPHAGIST – “Seven”
16. OBSCURA – “Incarnated”
17. TOXIC HOLOCAUST – “Wild Dogs”
18. HIGH ON FIRE – “Turk”
19. ALABAMA THUNDERPUSSY – “Void Of Harmony”
20. PENTAGRAM – “Forever My Queen”
21. AMORPHIS – “Better Unborn”
22. BRUTAL TRUTH – “Evolution Through Revolution”
23. ORIGIN – “The Aftermath”
So much win on one album, it’s unbelievable. Relapse released the newest “Contamination“ label sampler exclusively as an iTunes digital album. “Contamination 2009“ includes all 23 tracks above for just $5.99, including an exclusive advance download of the new Coalesce track “Wild Ox Moan“ from their upcoming album “Ox”.
Baroness, Dillinger, Genghis Tron, Pig Destroyer, Necrophagist, High on Fire, Mastodon… *head spins*
Relapse has one of the best rosters of any metal label out there. Check this out.