Breaking News: The Black Dahlia Murder Release Custom Glass Pipes for 4/20

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In case you might live under a rock, today is April 20th, which is the international smoke marijuana day.  Many labels, artists, and even media sites in the industry will celebrate this joyous holiday in different ways.  Some labels might release THC themed content (like Nuclear Blast releasing a music video for the remix of Surgical Meth Machine’s “I’m Invisible”), other media sites might even dedicate the entire week to the plant (like Noisey’s weed week), and many artists will sell grinders and merchandise covered in designs with their logos and pot leaves.  However, nothing is as amazing as what the Black Dahlia Murder recently did for the stoner holiday.  Through Indiemerch, the band themselves sold 7 different colored pipes made by Chameleon Glass.  The pipes each featured the bands iconic logo on the stem and were unique to each of the 7 full length studio albums that TBDM has released in their impressive history as a metal band.  Each pipe was marked with a logo at the end of the bowl that represented the respective album and the entire pipe itself was colored to match the same respective album’s visual appearance, based off the album artwork.  A list of what pipe represents what album is listed below along with a picture of all 7 pipes on display.  Fans could also buy a travel bag covered in TBDM’s logo that could fit one pipe safely.

Unfortunately, these pipes, which were limited to 100 pieces per color, sold out practically instantly and cannot be purchased anywhere else.  The pipes, which sold for a reasonable $30 each, appear to have only been made for sale on April 20th, and the possibility of more being made in the future is unclear.  Who knows, maybe it will become a yearly tradition for The Black Dahlia Murder and other bands to sell well thought out and produced pipes at the tail end of April.  If you picked up a piece for yourself, let us know what you think of the product and if it was worth it or just a scheme for the marijuana holiday itself!

 

Pipe Colors:

Unhallowed (2003) – blue glass

Miasma (2005) – onyx black glass

Nocturnal (2007) – navy blue glass

Deflorate (2009) – clear glass

Ritual (2011) – green glass

Everblack (2013) – purple glass

Abysmal (2015) – amber glass

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Vinyl and Cassette News: Periphery Repress Debut Album On Vinyl

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Sumerian Records quietly repressed one of the most influential albums in their extensive catalog recently.  In case you missed it, this week is “Sumerian Vinyl Week” and many of their records for sale on their merchandise site are for sale at prices 40% off the original retail price.  Along with this, the metal label also repressed some of their most notable releases, that are not for sale, but are in promotion of the vinyl week.  These represses include Animals As Leaders’ “The Madness of Many”, which sold out fairly fast, Erra’s “Drift”, which was also previously sold out, Asking Alexandria’s “The Black”, and the Faceless’ “Planetary Duality” and “Akeldama”, which were repressed on silver colored vinyl limited to 100 copies.  The repress that was the most significant, however, was Periphery’s first self titled album.  “Periphery” was repressed on two variants, one on Red/White Haze out of 500 copies and one on Clear with Blue and White Splatter, also out of 500 copies.  To add to this, the instrumental version of “Periphery” was pressed for the first time on an opaque blue vinyl variant and the amount of copies pressed is currently unknown.

Before this repress, only 150 copies of the album were ever released on vinyl.  In 2011, the metal band sold 3 different variants of the album (Blue, White, and Blue/White mix) each limited to 50 copies that could only be bought from the band’s merch table while they were on tour.  Since the 1st pressing was released, the demand for the vinyl copies drastically increased, causing the value of these records to skyrocket up to $200+ for a copy in many cases.  It was insanely hard to find any collectors willing to sell their copy, nonetheless for an affordable price.

Now 150 copies have skyrocketed to 1,150 copies worldwide and I for one am completely outraged at Sumerian Records.  Being an avid collector of vinyl, cassettes, and other physical formats, I believe that some albums should never be repressed.  In many cases, especially in the extreme music scene, some albums themselves become extremely rare and in high demand from many record collectors globally.  This results in vinyl records that become highly sought after collectors items, even branded as “holy grails” for these respective collections.  Personally, I was shocked when I finally got my hands on a copy of the Blue variant of “Periphery”.  It instantly became my favorite and most valuable individual record in my possession and I was extremely proud and stunned to have it in my collection.  Now, a sense of defeat and disappointment has been overwhelmingly encompassing everything I think about since seeing the infamous repressing.  Not only does this repress drastically decrease the value of the 1st pressing, as the total supply of “Periphery” vinyl copies practically increased 10 fold this week, but the rarity and significance of owning this record has now greatly diminished.  Before, it was impressive to say you have the first Periphery full length record in your vinyl collection, but now everyone who is somewhat familiar with the material will have a copy in their possession, and soon record stores will be filled with a copious amount of the release.

Being a record collector means that sometimes the record you love or need to have is insanely hard to come by.  It might be years before you get your hands on a copy, or you might never get it at all, but that is part of the entire experience in collecting vinyl.  Represses for legendary presses like ‘Periphery” are perfect examples of how greed and utter stupidity from labels and even bands themselves can ruin the vinyl collecting community.  If Sumerian, or whoever had the genius idea of repressing “Periphery”, wanted to make money off the release through represses while keeping the collectable aspect of the 1st press in tact, they would’ve combined “Periphery” and the instrumental version of “Periphery” (which is something I’m actually glad they finally pressed) into one 4xLP package, which would’ve made the item a unique product that would have a higher retail value than the items separately.  They would be guaranteed to sell out both the instrumental and regular versions of the album on vinyl, instead of having one version sell faster like how “Periphery” is selling faster on its own as we speak, and in the process they would be creating a new collective item in the Periphery discography that would not hurt the value and significance of the rare 1st pressing of “Periphery”.  But instead, Sumerian, Periphery themselves, or whoever is responsible simply was ignorant, blind, and unfazed by the impact this repress might have on the vinyl collecting community and decided to produce a ridiculous 1,000 copies.  What irks me the most is that there are a handful of great Sumerian releases that have never seen a single vinyl pressing, yet “Periphery” just received a completely undeserving, unnecessary 2nd pressing.  Betraying the Martyrs’ “Breathe in Life”, Veil of Maya’s “The Common Man’s Collapse” and “Eclipse”, After the Burial’s “Rareform” and “In Dreams”, Structures’ “Divided By” and “Life Through A Window”, every full length album by Upon a Burning Body besides “Straight From the Barrio”, Dayshell’s self titled debut album, Erra’s “Moments in Clarity EP”, and even Periphery’s “Icarus EP” have been release through Sumerian Records and have never been pressed on vinyl, and could sell better than “Periphery”, yet “Periphery”, a record that should’ve NEVER been repressed, received a 1,000 copy 2nd pressing.

It’s literally impossible to express how ashamed, disappointed, and above all outraged I am at Sumerian Records about this recent repress.  I probably sound very pretentious and even elitist at this point, but like I mentioned before, some records truly should not be repressed due to their rare and collectable nature.  The process of searching for and finally buying a copy of the record you truly want to add to your collection is what record collecting is all about.  You may have to wait years and pay a fairly large amount for these records, but that is what the hobby is truly about.  Pressing literally thousands of copies of a previously hard to come by record panders to those who do not wish to truly emerge themselves in the record collecting community, and as a result produces a scapegoat for these vinyl consumers to buy a record they want without having to actually go through the long, and sometimes challenging, process of collecting a rare item you truly want.  After seeing this repress I’m now very concerned that The Devil Wears Prada’s “With Roots Above and Branches Below” and August Burns Red’s “Thrill Seeker” will also receive unnecessary and truly greedy represses and further hurt the vinyl collecting community.  Maybe I am overreacting about the situation, but 1,000 new copies released of such a previously rare and important item like “Periphery” vinyl is where I draw the line.

Regardless of my anger and frustration about the whole situation, I have included the links to where to buy copies of the represses.  If you absolutely have to buy a copy of “Periphery”, at least buy it off of the band’s store themselves instead of further supporting the ignorant culprits behind the repress at Sumerian Records, assuming it was their idea and intentions to go through with the repress, as they are in control of vinyl sales and distribution of their releases.  I’m actually very interested in hearing what other vinyl collectors have to say about this!  Do you think repressing “Periphery” is as big of a deal as I’m making it out to be, or am I simply overreacting to news about plastic discs?  Leave a comment below and see what other vinyl and cassette news we’ve covered hear at Erik’s Album Reviews lately!

Periphery’s store:

http://store.periphery.net

 

Sumerian Records’ store:

Vinyl Records

 

Vinyl and Cassette News: Man Eats Vinyl Copy of “Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City” Because Kendrick Lamar Did Not Release An Album On Sunday

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In what is probably the most bizarre news story I’ve ever covered at Erik’s Album Reviews, apparently a Reddit user, /u/CousinTyrone, made an agreement with himself via Reddit that if Kendrick Lamar did not release a new album on Easter Sunday, he would eat a vinyl copy of Kendrick’s monumental album, “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City”.

The speculation of this potential double/related album began when Kendrick himself released his fourth full length album, “Damn”, on April 14th, which was Good Friday.  Reddit threads quickly erupted after the release and the theory that Kendrick would follow up the 4th studio album with a 5th one called “Nation” on Easter Sunday soon arose.  The dual release would be symbolic of the two religious holidays the albums would be released on, and when put together, the dual album would be called “Damnation”.  This theory instantly grew in popularity and approval, and soon after /u/CousinTyrone announced that he was so certain this dual release project would happen that if it didn’t he would eat a vinyl copy of the sophomore full length album, “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City”.

Of course, “Nation”, or any other album by Kendrick, was not released last Sunday, and because of this, /u/CousinTyrone took to Youtube to prove to the world that he would in fact eat a vinyl record.  The Reddit user also added in ice cream and chocolate chips to the musical concoction to help the drink taste less like “gravel”, which according to him is what vinyl tastes like apparently.  The user himself also went on to later say that he took “A LOT” of laxatives to pass the record as fast as he could because, as it turns out, eating a vinyl record isn’t all that good for you (who would’ve known?).  Despite the laxatives, /u/CousinTyrone was still feeling the side effects that come with eating vinyl at least 16 hours after the video was filmed, further showing why it might not be the best idea to digest your favorite pressing of an album.

The video of this impressive(?) feat is attached below, and it is 1000% worth watching.  Also, in Kendrick Lamar news, my “Damn” review is in the works and will be out very soon, so stay tuned and don’t forget to check back in for more breaking news stories, which may or may not be as bizarre as this one.

500 Word Review: Enterprise Earth “Embodiment”

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For the last 3 years I’ve been big fan of Enterprise Earth, which is the band that Dan Watson went on to found and front after leaving Infant Annihilator in 2014. I discovered the group’s debut EP “23” months after it’s release and instantly loved the entire project. Personally, at the time I thought that Enterprise Earth would be one of the bands that encompasses the future of deathcore, and if their songwriting and stellar musicianship could stay constant or even improve, they would easily become one of the best artists in the genre’s brief history.

Upon first listening to the band’s debut full length album, “Patient 0”, I found the project to be very disappointing initially. The uniqueness of “23” that made me truly enjoy the EP itself seemed to be omitted from “Patient 0”, and as a result, it took multiple listens to truly hear the distinction between tracks. However, after revisiting the album months later, I enjoyed the record a lot more than I did after hearing it soon after it’s release. “Patient 0’s” aggressive and more technical composition definitely separated itself, in a good way, from the rest of the noise heard in the modern deathcore scene, but it was still much harder to distinguish differences between tracks on the album itself compared to “23”, where each track is unique and instantly recognizable. Regardless, it was clear that Enterprise Earth was releasing material on a whole other tier than any of the other new deathcore band to emerge in the last few years, so upon seeing the announcement of “Embodiment’s” 2017 release, I was very excited to hear what Enterprise Earth would put out next.

For starters, the artwork instantly caught my full attention. With a space themed album artwork, it appeared as if Enterprise Earth was at least returning to the themes heard on “23”, which was a great sign to initially see upon album announcement. In fact, after hearing the first single, “Mortem Incarnatum”, it became more evident that this sophomore album may be very similar to the iconic debut EP.

After listening to the entire sophomore full length record in its entirety, I can confirm that this is without a doubt yet another superb Enterprise Earth release. Pummeling, complex riffs and unrelenting, face smashing breakdowns give any listener chills while making it nearly impossible to not headbang during these bone-crushing moments, especially during tracks like “Temptress”. This album is full of hard hitting, fast, and aggressive sections that are masterfully performed by the Spokane based deathcore act themselves, exemplifying why this band is a role model for the rest of the newly formed deathcore groups globally. Eerie, and at some moments, ambient leads and intricate, chugging riffs are frequently heard, which were featured on both “23” and “Patient 0” and show the references to older material and song structure that help maintain Enterprise Earth’s signature sound. Dan Watson’s vocals sound amazing, but I actually prefer how they were recorded and mixed on “Patient 0” far more and believe that how his vocal performance is mixed on “Embodiment” actually really hurts the release itself. His genre trailblazing vocal performance and technique should be at the forefront of each track, and mixing it to a quieter, less prominent volume, like what is heard on “Embodiment”, truly takes away from the Enterprise Earth sound.

“Father of Abortion” brings back the excellent use of guitar and overall production effects that I loved on “23”, especially “Masquerade of Angels”.  Don’t be confused by the handful of complaints, “Patient 0” was fantastic, but it lacked the distinct, memorable sections that every song on “23” had, resulting in a debut album where many songs seem to blend together. “Embodiment”, interestingly enough, actually sounds like the natural succession to “23”, showing a return to form from Enterprise Earth and making “Patient 0” seem almost out of place as if it were an experimental project or a diversion from the classic Enterprise Earth sound.  Essentially it almost seems like the influence from “23” skips over “Patient 0” and finds itself embedded in “Embodiment”.  It’s nearly impossible currently to determine which full length record is the best album by Enterprise Earth, as each one has unique features and qualities that I truly admire, but it definitely is interesting to have another Enterprise Earth release that features an expanded sound and overall composition of the classic EP, “23”.

Lastly, I want to reiterate that I still really enjoy “Patient 0”, and actually, at times I enjoy riffs and even tracks heard on the debut full length, like “Shallow Breath”, more than “Embodiment”, but hearing the natural succession to “23” is a great feeling and results in yet another sensational Enterprise Earth release. “Embodiment” keeps your attention on the material focused and unwavering from start to finish, resulting in a truly enjoyable full length record. I have very few complaints about this record, as it represents everything I hoped to see in a new Enterprise Earth release. Overall, I give “Embodiment” a 9.0/10, and have attached the full stream of the album below for you to listen to! The release is not only one of the best deathcore albums of this year, which is saying something as a plethora of phenomenal deathcore albums have already surfaced before 2017’s halfway point, but it should also earn a spot on our Albums of the Year list come late December. Definitely give this album, and later releases, from Enterprise Earth a listen and stay tuned for more metal content due out very soon!  Also check back in soon as I will be posting reviews for both “Patient 0” and the EP, “23”!

 

“Embodiment”:

Breaking News: Oceano Announce New Album “Revelation”

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Chicago based deathcore giants, Oceano, are back with a new album for 2017!  The 5th full length album, titled Revelation”, for the Adam Warren headed band will be released May 19th and will be the first release on their new label Sumerian Records (Oceano has released all previous material through Earache Records)!

For those who have read Erik’s Album Reviews for the last few months, you will remember that the album we deemed as the absolute best record of 2015 was actually Oceano’s “Ascendants”, which beat out Cattle Decapitation’s “The Anthropocene Exctinction” for the number 1 spot.  Not only did “Ascendants” feature beautiful artwork and the best material Oceano had ever written as a band, but it also served as a pivotal landmark in deathcore history, as the use of mind numbingly heavy riffs with eerie leads played through an Axe FX 2 system along with Adam Warren’s impossibly low harsh vocals, which seem to be taken straight out of the Mariana Trench, have created a unique sound and song structure that have influenced countless modern deathcore bands.

The first single off “Revelation” is “The Great Tribulation” and it is everything I hoped the new Oceano album would be.  Based off the album artwork, which is equally as gorgeous as “Ascendants'”, and the first track attached below, it appears that “Revelation” will be a continuation of the “Ascendants” era with some slight changes.  For example, it appears that production quality has gone up since the groundbreaking 2015 full length album (which might be due to the fact that Sumerian might have higher production quality standards for their releases) and the songwriting is slightly heavier and puts the impactful, breakdown filled verses and Warren’s impeccable low screams at the forefront of each performance.  After only one single, I’m 99.99% this new Oceano album will also be one of the best releases heard all year and will be a strong contender for best Oceano release of all time!

Being a massive Oceano fan myself, I can guarantee I will post a ton about “Revelation” both before and after it is released on May 19th.  Also, thanks to Sumerian Records, I can now finally own an Oceano album on vinyl!  If you would also like to pick up a copy, I’ve attached the link below to the merchandise store.  Give “The Great Tribulation” a listen below, check out our 2015 album of the year list, and pre-order a copy of what might be the best album of 2017 below!

Erik’s Album Reviews’ 2015 Album of the Year List:

https://eriksalbumreviews.wordpress.com/2016/09/26/2015-albums-and-eps-of-the-year/

Oceano Vinyl (FINALLY!):

Vinyl Records

“The Great Tribulation”:

Breaking News: Dying Fetus Reveal Artwork and Album Title For Upcoming New Record

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Recently, one of the most accomplished bands in death metal history, Dying Fetus, announced the album title and revealed the artwork for their upcoming 8th full length album, “Wrong One To Fuck With”.  The Maryland based 3 piece death metal act, who haven’t released any new material since 2012’s extremely successful “Reign Supreme”, are back with a new project that is sure to be just as bone-crushing, if not even more, than their previous releases.

As I’ve stated before, “Reign Supreme” is my absolute favorite Dying Fetus album, with “Stop at Nothing” and “War of Attrition” close behind.  That being said, if “Wrong One To Fuck With” follows this path of continuous improvement, there should be no reason as to why this album isn’t deemed the best release in Dying Fetus’ extensive history.

I will say though, based off the morbid artwork and intense album title, if this record is anything less than painfully brutal, it will be a complete disappointment.  With a title like “Wrong One To Fuck With” and artwork that features a deceased girl completely drenched in either her own blood or a mixture of her blood and someone else’s blood, with her alleged murderer standing over her with what looks like the machete he used to kill her, this album simply has to be the most aggressive, bone-snapping, offensively heavy album of all of 2017.  However, we are talking about Dying Fetus of course, and I highly doubt they will disappoint at all.

A single hasn’t been released yet for the upcoming album, but a teaser for the upcoming full length is attached below!  Based on the 26 seconds of audio from the upcoming album, it seems like “Wrong One To Fuck With” will be the perfect follow up to “Reign Supreme”.  Stay tuned as we’ll keep you updated on all Dying Fetus news up until the album release date on June 23rd.

Breaking News: Being As An Ocean Announce New Album To Be Released in 2017

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Earlier this month, prominent melodic hardcore act Being As An Ocean announced that their fourth full length studio album will be released on June 9th, 2017.  The upcoming album, titled “Waiting For Morning To Come, will be their latest record since their 2015 self titled full length and will also be their first album released through Equal Vision Records.  The California based act has seen a significant increase in their fan base since their latest release and it is safe to say that this forthcoming record will be one of the most anticipated records in the first half of 2017.

Personally, I believe that BAAO’s self titled album is their worst release to date.  Their absolutely legendary debut album, “Dear G-d”, and their great sophomore record, “How We Both Wondrously Perish”, completely outperform their third full length album and as a result, Being As An Ocean’s self titled record was very disappointing.  There is one thing, however, that is keeping my anticipation for this new material from BAAO very high and that is the fact that the two singles the band has released in 2016 have been unfathomably phenomenal.  The two singles, “Dissolve” and “Ok”, feature a perfect mix between the classic, original Being As An Ocean sound, and the more alternative rock influenced new sound that has emerged in the last few years.  With a combination of melodic guitar and bass riffs with background, ambient sounding synths and other instruments, Being As An Ocean has been able to completely redeem themselves from what they released in 2015.  If these two singles are featured on “Waiting For Morning To Come”, or if this new album sounds anything like these two new singles, I can absolutely say that this fourth studio album will easily exceed the expectations established after the last release.

Singles and merchandise bundles will definitely be released early next year, and the minute they do, we’ll be the first ones to share it with you.  Until then, check out the two singles released by Being As An Ocean in 2016 and check out our post about the latest single, “Ok”, below!  The post attached below was actually one of the first “Breaking News” blogs ever written on Erik’s Album Reviews, so it’s pretty neat to see how far we’ve come since that post was first released.  We’ll continued to keep you updated on all Being As An Ocean news, so make sure to check back in for more updates on one of the biggest names in melodic hardcore music today!

New Single “Ok” Out Now:

https://eriksalbumreviews.wordpress.com/2016/09/16/breaking-news-being-as-an-ocean-release-untitled-new-song/