Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Rarities

Try as I might to come up with content that isn't music related, I'm having a tough time in deviating my attention at the moment. While I love film nearly as much as music, I'd be remiss to give up the latter for the former. I have write-ups pending for Adam Wingard's the Guest, the Robin Wright starring the Congress, and the pending Amazon Prime series the Man in the High Castle. Unfortunately in the state they currently exist, they read like crap.

So instead I'm going to touch on my personal musical rarities. These are releases that are both uncommon as well as potentially valuable that happen to be in my collection. Some vinyl, CD's, cassettes. All metal for the most part. Anyway, hope you enjoy the read.


Lurker of Chalice - "Self Titled" 2xLP
I went through a pretty rough patch around 2005-2007 and discovered Jef Whitehead's Lurker of Chalice in the midst of it. Black as hell, doomy, death-rock a'la Bauhaus influence that is undeniably present in it's sound, at the same time both cacophonous and cohesively grim. The tunes on this LP stuck with me quite a bit, becoming my second favorite black metal album ever, and one that's exceptionally cathartic for me to spin.

The version I have is the Southern Lord preorder exclusive of 500 copies on clear red vinyl. The gatefold is gorgeous and simplistic, even though there are some small seam splits on the printed inner sleeves. The vinyl itself is mint, and while I got my copy second hand, it didn't look to have ever been played when I got it home. This is easily the crown jewel of my collection.


SOB - "Gate of Doom" CD
I got into SOB way back when I was wading through crust and grindcore and d-beat in its earliest incarnations right around when I picked up Utopia Banished on cassette around '94. The Japanese band is seminal to be sure, a huge influence on UK and US grind, not to mention Japanese adulators like Fuck on the Beach, Unholy Grave, or Romantic Gorilla. On this album SOB deviate from their usual formula and bring us a weird disc of Florida death metal influenced Japanese noise grind. Ed Repka cover art and Colin Richardson mixing that evokes the style of Morrisound Studios in the late 80's and early 90's.

I have the original Toy's Factory CD, imported from Japan. This is another second hand score and proof that if you scour the shelves at your local record store, you might very well find something amazing. This album is a whole package kind of deal, and I personally adore it. Brutal but nuanced there are definite layers to this record that require a lot of listening to grab hold of. My copy is mint, aside from the jewel case, which has seen better days. I've seen copies of this on eBay go for as high as $60-80, on Discogs right around $40.


Napalm Death - "Utopia Banished" LP
My favorite Napalm Death album ever, followed by "Harmony Corruption" and the "Death by Manipulation" comp. I got into this in '94 when I was discovering all sorts of crust and early grind and dipping my feet into death metal. The material on "Utopia Banished" is death metal disguised as grindcore, and is in my opinion Napalm Death's most brazen and politically contemptuous albums ever. Every track is a masterclass in its genre.

I have the original Earache Records pressed vinyl from '92 on black vinyl. The LP sleeve is in great shape but has definitely seen better days. The 12" insert is pristine and the vinyl looks unplayed for its age with the A-side runner out reading "GARY JUMPER CORE" and the B-side runner out stating "SMASH FASCISM". Found this totally randomly and for less money than any respectable store should have sold it for, so of course I had to grab it!


Malevolent Creation - "The Ten Commandments" CD
This is my all time favorite Florida death metal album hands down. Malevolent Creation had a sound that was uniquely their own, with some similarities to the peers in projects like Obituary and Death, Incubus and Massacre. If anything I would say it's more akin to proto-death thrash like Dark Angel, Infernal Majesty, or Protector. An immensely vicious, ripping slab of early death metal that sounds as vitriolic and vital now as it did upon its release in 1991.

Now good luck finding a copy of this for under $30. Used cassettes for this can run that high alone. Prices on eBay or Discogs often reach upwards of $40-60 for the CD, whether or not it's original. My CD, particularly is a mint version of the R/C Records 1992 release from Europe. I won't disclose what I paid for it, because I got such a good deal I feel almost guilty about it. As for the vinyl, be prepared to spend up to $200, as there was only ever one LP released for the album. I had the R/C cassette way back when, and along with most of my music collection circa 2001, I lost it to some really bad decision making and toxic influences. You have no idea how pleased I am to have this back in my collection!


Impaled - "Mondo Medicale" LP
I miss this band quite a bit. While Exhumed were honing their Carcass worship to a refined edge almost unrecognizable from their classic "Slaughtercult" record, Impaled chugged along spewing out nasty albums unapologetic in their adoration of pre-"Heartwork" Carcass. "Mondo Medicale" is their opus of supreme death metal, awash in gore and hilarious medical speak mumbo jumbo. The album art here should speak volumes for the album itself.

While my version of black wax out of 400 isn't quite as rare as the 300 copies each on red or green, the black can still fetch a hefty sum. For whatever reason Necropolis/Deathgasm didn't see fit to include an insert, and my sleeve has seen better days for sure. But the vinyl itself is gorgeously perfect; no scratches, no popping during playback, and no frigging skips. A great record, and another one of my random finds that I had to grab at almost a steal.

I have more, but I'm waiting on one order specifically to come through from Greece (to Kirkland, WA!) before I ramble on about them. I'm currently working on putting up a YouTube channel devoted to my music acquisitions, quick reviews and showing off rarities, though I'm hesitant to put my face and voice out there on the webs. I've always preferred writing, so until I've worked out the details this blogspot will have to suffice. Until next time, take care folks!

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