Stormkeep: Tales of Othertime (2021)

Day 18 of the #mayvinylchallenge asks for an album with some incredible art or packaging. was lucky to get in early and snag the limited edition package for Tales of Othertime, the second release and first full length from Stormkeep, a kind of black metal supergroup featuring members from Blood Incantation and Wayfarer. The album’s artwork would be with the entry if that was the only thing that came with the music, but this edition also came with a book, a map, and a patch for the battle vest I have yet to complete.

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radio company - vol 2

Radio Company: Vol. 2 (2021)

Day 17 of the #mayvinylchallenge asks for a guilty pleasure. I get the intent, but not the connotation: if you really enjoy something, do it unreservedly. There’s no room for guilt when there’s so much darkness out there; why hide your joy with something behind inane clich├ęs like “guilty pleasure”? But I can understand sharing something that seems out of the ordinary from what you’re typically known for liking, especially when it comes to music. So let’s talk about how much I love Vol. 2, the second record from Radio Company, which too many people might pass by thinking it simply a vanity project from television star/heartthrob/mancrush Jensen Ackles except…damn, it’s so good.

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mainhorse

Mainhorse: Mainhorse (1971)

Day 16 of the #mayvinylchallenge celebrates the halfway point of the endeavor and asks for a random pick from your collection. I shuffled through my recent acquisitions and came upon Mainhorse, whose sole eponymous album from 1971 begs a certain question: there are so many lost or forgotten bands out there, are all of these band lost gems, or is there a reason they’re buried? Is this really as good as a lot of the more successful and popular prog rock bands out there, or is it that I’ve heard the popular stuff so much that something relatively obscure sounds like a diamond? I think with Mainhorse the answer is a little of both.

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de la soul - 3 feet high and rising

De La Soul: 3 Feet High and Rising (1989)

Day 5 of the #mayvinylchallenge asks for your “black gold” – your most valuable record. You can cut this a number of ways using the selling numbers on Discogs, and truth be told this is my third highest average album in my collection. And as you know, three is the magic number. We’ll get to the first and second highest later during the month in other categories; in the meantime there’s no better cure for a dreary and humid Sunday morning that to break out one of the greatest hip-hop records of all time, the smooth and ridiculous groove of 3 Feet High and Rising, the debut from De La Soul.

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voivod angel rat full

Voivod: Angel Rat (1991)

Day 14 of the #mayvinylchallenge asks for the album you’ve wither waited the longest to receive, or the longest to be released. I’ve got two albums that I ordered back in November that were supposed to be released and six months later I’m still waiting (though one is due to get here next week). And the longest I’ve waited for something that was already shipped I wrote about last year. So how about an album that took 31 years to get a North American release? I may have already featured it a few weeks ago during my Record Store Day excursion, but it’s always a good time to talk about Voivod, and their beguiling release Angel Rat.

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coven - witchcraft

Coven: Witchcraft Destroys Minds and Reaps Souls (1969)

Day 13 of the #mayvinylchanllenge asks for an album evoking the supernatural and the spooky. I’m sure I could have dug through a ton of metal albums that would conceivably fit the bill, but I wanted something that really evoked the spirit of the ask, and there’s no better album in my collection than the “mighty” Coven, whose 1969 album Witchcraft Destroys Minds and Reaps Souls desperately tries to be sinister and mysterious, but can’t help but be slightly silly, very charming, and a lot of fun to boot.

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