A Breath Of Fresh Air Jun22

A Breath Of Fresh Air

I was certainly happy to see Be’lakor’s sophmore album get a proper vinyl release with a dedicated dynamic master in late 2014, but what really made that release in particular such a big deal wasn’t the vinyl itself, but the fact that anyone could access that master as a stream or digital download from Bandcamp. It’s not as if special vinyl reissues are anything out of the ordinary. Typically five hundred or a thousand lucky souls get to hear a great sounding version of a particular release, and everyone else is left out in the cold (“A very loud cold.” -Alex). Thanks to Bandcamp though, everyone who appreciates great sound can...

Interview: Kristian (The Cantor) of Vainaja

In 2014, Svart Records described Vainaja‘s debut, Kadotetut, as “the heaviest album ever recorded in the Finnish language,” and I can not find any flaw in that statement. In case you missed it though, please read both my review as well as Grymm’s over on AMG to get an idea of why I have a lot of love for this record. Recently, the band has unleashed its follow-up entitled Verenvalaja, which has also received high marks all around as well. Better still, both records have gotten high dynamic 24-bit vinyl masters courtesy of Dan “the Man” Swanö that are now available for purchase through the band’s...

Angry Metal-Fi: Finding Provenance

Angry Metal-Fi is a series of articles that are cross posted on Angry Metal Guy and Metal-Fi as a collaborative effort to evangelize dynamics in metal. A little over two years ago, I attempted to separate fact from fiction, and explain the reality of music on vinyl as opposed to the most common misconceptions. This is still an area where I see a lot of confusion though, so I believe the time has come to finally set the record, as it were, straight. First, let’s talk about how your favorite metal album makes its way onto that 12” piece of wax. Once the final digital master has been locked down by the mastering engineer, it’s sent to the...

Forgotten Legends: Razor – Violent Restitution

Forgotten Legends is an ongoing series where we look back on those extraordinary yet often overlooked albums that are essential to any serious metal collection. They can be of any format, released at any time. As always, a dynamic range measurement is provided for reference. I think it’s safe to say now that 2016 has become a banner year for thrash. I mean we’ve already seen a number of thrastastic records from industry stalwarts Megadeth, Anthrax, and Death Angel to more nouveau acts like Vektor and Destroyer 666, and there is still a lot more yet to come with new releases looming from the likes of Revocation and of course that...

Know Your Phono Jun02

Know Your Phono

iFi Audio has really been on a tear lately with new product introductions, and with updated variants of the company’s DACs, headphone amplifiers, and USB power source now available, it was time for their popular iPhono phono preamp to go under the knife. Low cost phono preamps are typically either MM only with fixed 47K Ohm impedance and ~40dB of gain, or selectable between MM and MC with a ~100 Ohm impedance option for moving coils, and 60dB of gain intended to provide a compromise between low and high output MC carts. Spend a few hundred more, and you’ll likely get a few gain options between 40-60dB, and a couple of choices for MC...

Vektor – Terminal Redux May23

Vektor – Terminal Redux

If you’ve been following the metal scene at all over the last few years then it’s hard not to be even peripherally aware of Vektor. Their story began back in 2009 with Black Future, which despite its Voivodian aesthetics was much more than an exercise in artful plagiarism. Where Voivod’s underpinning is squarely in punk, Vektor’s sound moves past the prototypical progressive thrash metal formula by infusing it with elements of both black and death, resulting in a much more aggressive tone than their Canadian muse. Two years later, they reaffirmed their position as one of the most exciting bands in the thrash metal...