Electrified Porcupine’s New Music (CD & Vinyl) Showcase Vol. 29
I’m back with my last music showcase of the summer. I honestly don’t think I’ll be getting to another one until maybe the end of September but I did play a lot of catch-up over the last six weeks so my backlog has been eliminated!
This is another all vinyl edition featuring some releases all over the map and some really cool special editions. Before I start, I’m giving props to (and hoping you check out) Dave and Mad Rush Media. Check the Ebay store out for a vast catalogue of CDs and vinyl. It’s always amazing service and stuff is always well packed.
Amorphis – Forging The Land Of Thousand Lakes
(Nuclear Blast, 2010/Night of the Vinyl Dead, 2017)
I love classic and the modern day versions/line-ups of Amorphis. They’re a band where the vast majority of their catalogue is great. This release was first put out as an amazing CD/DVD set and it’s one of my favourite live DVDs in my collection. Imagine my surprise when I saw a vinyl release of this concert was being released. Imagine my surprise again when I found who was releasing it.
Night of the Vinyl Dead is a company that works with labels and make the most scant and limited releases imaginable. This release was limited to 333 copies and that’s it. I have no idea why they do such small runs. Fans want these releases but as soon as resellers get them, they hike the prices. Hell, one of the releases I want for my Cathedral collection, Caravan Beyond Redemption, was released by them and it goes for some big bucks.
Rant aside, this is a very nice release with two different coloured records and an elaborate packaging. The vinyl sounds great and doesn’t have any issues….besides it being a limited release.
The Offspring – Self Titled
(Nemesis Records, 1989/Nitro Records, 1995/This release: Nitro Records, 2017)
This brings me back. While not as popular as the band’s breakthrough album, Smash, this debut was actually not too bad. Most people were introduced to this way after the band broke it big.
This was a limited release of 2500 for Record Store Day (Spring, 2017) and for some reason it flew under my radar until I saw it listed on Discogs. I went on Ebay and scored one for cheap. It looks great and sounds great and it was a pleasant surprised to see this re-released.
Alice Cooper – Paranormal (Ear Music, 2017)
If you’ve seen my past music features, you’ve probably caught on I’m a big Alice Cooper fan. Since it was announced that Cooper was releasing an album this year, I was anxiously awaiting it. There was very little information released up until close to a month before it came out. I’m happy to say it’s a hit with me and I’ve spun it on vinyl, and CD in my car, numerous times since buying it.
Not only do you get 10 new Cooper tracks but you also get two new songs by the remaining members of the original Alice Cooper band. They’re not bad, but I prefer “You and All of Your Friends” more than “American Girl.”
I find it odd that on the vinyl pressing, the two Alice Cooper band songs are tracks 10 and 11 then the vinyl ends with the solo Cooper song, “The Sound of A.” Whereas the double CD version I have (that I don’t feature here) has the 10 songs on one CD and then the two Alice Cooper band songs plus six live tracks on the second CD.
The live tracks are not on the vinyl edition but this release does come with a CD in a paper sleeve that has the six live tracks.
I’m still trying to track down a copy of Dirty Diamonds for a decent price. Can anyone help me out?
Dying Fetus – Wrong One to Fuck With (Relapse Records, 2017)
I showed off this album on CD in one of my last two features and I was trying to hunt this release down on vinyl to go along with my Dying Fetus reissues. I finally tracked down the Oxblood edition that was limited to 500 copies. There are a few other colours available and I’m really surprised at the aftermarket price of this album. Perhaps I wasn’t the only one that found it hard to track down. Could it be the title and the cover? Who knows!
Suffice to say, this album kills. It features the intensity, the technical chops, and the groove the band is known for, all wrapped up in a perfect auditory attack. If you’re a fan of the band, you won’t be disappointed. For those who haven’t sampled them before, this is surely a great place to start. Buy it!
Incantation – Profane Nexus (Relapse Records, 2017)
It always seems to go hand in hand that Immolation and Incantation release albums in the same year. I think it’s been like that with the last three or four releases. All coincidences aside, it makes me a happy man that two of my favourite death metal bands of all time had new albums released this year.
This album has some of the speed, blasts, and cutting riffs (along with excellent lyrics) the band is known for but I am very surprised with the amount of slower, prodding, doomy metal on here. Sometimes I just expect a front to back album of non-stop bludgeoning but that’s not the case on this album. That’s not a bad thing, though, as the album is quite good. I’ll see where it ends up on my top 20 of the year in a few months.
Mastodon – Emperor of the Sand (Reprise Records, 2017)
You don’t have to tell me…I know I am VERY late showcasing this album on my site. For some reason this release on vinyl always ended up in various piles when moving around my newest releases, then I’d do my features and forget to include it. The weird thing is this album is one of my most listened to this year so to keep forgetting to take pictures of it and write about it boggles my mind.
You’ll see in the picture above that I have the regular edition of this release that anyone can get. Thanks to Dave (at Mad Rush Media), I scored the the edition that came with a black and white gatefold jacket and some pencil crayons that was only available on the band’s web store (and as of the time of writing this at the end of August, it’s still available). I thought it was a really neat idea and if you look on the band’s Instagram page and other places online, you can see some fan’s excellent work. To clarify: ordering it from the band’s site comes with everything above – the black and white sleeve doesn’t have anything in it.
To end on a quick note: buy this album. It’s soooo good!
Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse – NES Game Soundtrack (Mondo, 2017)
I’ve showcased Mondo’s releases of the Nintendo (NES) soundtracks of Castlevania and Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest in past features. Mondo is working with Konami Kukeiha Club and delivering amazing gaming soundtracks. This game was quite large at the time and was filled to the brim with excellent music that is still memorable to me to this day.
Just like the Castlevania II soundtrack, the Famicon (Japan NES) had a slightly different soundtrack that many die-hard gamers say is superior due to the better audio chip that was in Japan’s NES. Both are included on this release, just like Castlevania II.
This edition I purchased was limited to 1000 copies featuring a black/brown split and a red and light blue split.
Super Castlevania IV – Super Nintendo Game Soundtrack (Mondo, 2017)
I guess you can read what I said again about the Castlevania III release because it applies here as well. It has been ages since I listened to the music from Super Castlevania IV (that came out in 1991). I am very familiar with the NES games, but as I started gaming more in from Grade 8 and into high school, I was always blasting music from my stereo instead of paying attention to music from games. I totally forgot how much orchestral music was featured in SNES games to really showcase the audio chip.
This edition is limited to 1000 copies on bronze vinyl.
After listening to this soundtrack, I hope Capcom teams up with a label/company for some of their releases. I know Super Street Fighter IV has been done, but I need others – like Super Ghosts & Goblins because it features a similar style soundtrack that is heavy on orchestra compositions.
Contra – NES Game Soundtrack (Mondo, 2017)
To end this edition, I’m featuring one more NES video game soundtrack that arrived recently: Contra! I picked up the Contra III: The Alien Wars soundtrack that Mondo/Konami Kukeiha Club put out a couple of months ago because I was so happy with what they were doing with the Castlevania games and once again, this soundtrack didn’t disappoint. The music is crisp and clean and optimized for this release.
Side A features the music from the classic Nintendo game and side B features music from the original arcade game – music I never heard before. It was neat to hear where the NES music was originally taken from, so this was a little bit of gaming history for me.
Mondo decided to make their most limited colour (well, tri-colour pressing) available at this year’s San Diego Comic Con. Unfortunately I didn’t (and can’t afford to) go and I missed out when they put the few they had left up on their website. This is the standard red/blue edition that reminds me of a Pokemon ball. It’s a weird choice of colours for this game, I think.