Dischord-Box-Set

Dischord: The First Six Records (2022)

Day 23 of the #mayvinylchallenge asks for a limited edition/signed/numbered or otherwise rare album. I’ve been talking a lot about my love for the Dischord label, and was lucky enough to get in and order their limited edition box set of the First Six Records back when it was $40 and not the $250+ it’s going for now on Discogs. Covering the entire spectrum of music from bands I’ve never listened heard before now to bands that were a formative part of my youth, there’s a lot to unpack here, and that’s besides the great booklet, original liner notes and lyrics/posters, not to mention the careful job of sleeve and colored vinyl recreation, so let’s jump in here with some thoughts.

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nechochwen - kanawha black

Nechochwen: Kanawha Black (2022)

Day 22 of the #mayvinylchallenge asks for your most recent purchase. I’m fairly particular when it comes to metal on vinyl, and black metal specifically. There’s little chance of a sonic upgrade over CD or digital when you’re talking about the production of a lot of classic metal (my beloved Darkthrone included), but as the genre continues to absorb influences and break away from the rigid tenets of its beginnings the production beefs up and can get downright nice. Nechochwen have quietly been showing folks in the know for over a decade they had the chops and commitment to craft some intense and thoughtful black metal focusing on their Appalachian roots, and on Kanawha Black, their first album in seven the duo of Nechochwen (Aaron Carey) and Pohonasin (Andrew D’Cagna, also of Ironflame) show just how far their sonic palate has expanded with an epic, progressive album that breaks their own mold.

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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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dirt redux

Various Artists: Dirt Redux (2020)

Day 8 of the #mayvinylchallenge asks for a concept or cover album. I thought about a concept album, butane remembered the excellent series of Redux compilations put out by Magnetic Eye Records. Featuring interpretations of fantastic album by a killer stable of heavy artists, there are some fantastic cover songs to heard as the series features covers of Hendrix, Sabbath, and most recently AC/DC to name a few. Dirt (Redux) covers the classic second album from Alice in Chains, and it manages the subtle feat of taking such a singular album and carrying its spirit without being overly mimicking.

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sweeping promises - hunger for a way out

Sweeping Promises: Hunger For A Way Out (2020)

It started, like it usually does, by listening to Rollins’s radio show. It ended, like it usually does, by checking out both a new band – Sweeping Promises – and a new label – Feel It Records – digging deep into the wealth of cool new music. Hunger For A Way Out is the two-piece band’s debut, and it checks off all my happy boxes for this kind of niche rock and roll: mono, 45 rpm, garage-y feel that evokes Joy Division and other post-punk but with a keen sense of pop that’s not overly saccharine.

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