Nine Circles ov… Re-Issues (the 2015 Edition)

2015 saw plenty of reissues. Nearly fifty by my count. And, because most websites are dying for new content and clicks, many of those albums went unnoticed. We covered a few but, much like the fate of other sites,we weren’t able to adequately cover them all. In some cases, the reissues were merely previously self-released albums getting a look on an actual label. At other times, historic albums were getting remastered and re-issued giving fans a chance to get to know their favorite works better. So today we take a look at the Nine best reissues from 2015. None of these albums made my year end list so it’s going to be a nice way to give some recognition to labels and PR folks who work their tails off trying to remind people these albums are fantastic. And, yes, these will be ranked.

9. Integrity – Palm Sunday, Den of Iniquity & Humanity is the Devil: It’s hard to find a band in the 90’s that exhibited more angst and did more for hardcore and metalcore than Integrity. So it was with great excitement that Magic Bullet Records re-issued three albums from their nearly thirty year career (feel old?). These Cleveland based moshers included lots of bonus material on all three of the albums. Palm Sunday is a CD/DVD set of a 1992 performance by Integrity. The reissue was packaged in a beautiful double box including original photos from the show and art by Dwid Hellion. Den of Iniquity is entirely material pulled together from demo’s, splits, singled and 7″ and compilations. Finally, Humanity is the Devil celebrated it’s 20th anniversary this year and the reissue celebrated the groundbreaking album by having Brad Boatright of Audiosiege remix and remaster the gem. So, younguns, if you haven’t heard Integrity do it now. Just be sure to pad your walls and hide all delicates before pressing play. Oh, and put on shorts (you’re going to be jumping really high).

8. Necromancy – Ancient Wrath: Necromancy is a sad story although this reissue is probably the most exciting of the bunch. The band only survived between 1986-1992 due to guitarist Living Dead suffering a fatal heart attack. Just before he met his end, and the band followed, they recorded Ancient Wrath which, for the aforementioned reasons, never saw the proper light of day. So, kudos to Nuclear War Now! Productions for digging this one up and sharing it. While it might not be the best of the reissues it certainly has a story that makes it worth a listen.

7. Satanic Ripper – Southern Black Spells: Sure, this album was released all the way back in 2014, so it hardly needs an introduction. Suffice it to say, the first release was minimal. In fact, the Chilean blackened death thrash band didn’t get to place their ferocity on vinyl. Originally released by the Chilean label Apocalyptic Productions the tracks only saw the daylight on CD. So, in 2015 Blood Harvest stepped up and did the right thing: reissued the burner on vinyl. Dim your lights, lay down the black and maroon velvet and take a spin.

6. Blasphemy – Fallen Angel of Doom…: Another album that really needs no introduction. For this puppy Ross Bay Records teamed up with Nuclear War Now! Productions to re-issue one of the most game-changing albums in the history of black metal.  Blasphemy is back on tour an incredible twenty-five years after the 1990 release of Fallen Angel of Doom… No frills, no extras, no nothing. Just a straight up reissue of an album that speaks for itself.

5. Doom Snake Cult – Love Sorrow Doom: Let’s go all the way back to 1992. Doesn’t sound that long ago but it’s actually 28 years ago now. Seriously. Doom Snake Cult first landed on US soil via cassette (thanks to JL America). Although the band was heavily influenced by Hellhammer, they took the influences and kept them to tone, releasing music that was distinctly their own. The vocal delivery may sound familiar as, yes, that is Ace Still of Goatlord. Love Sorrow Doom is another release far ahead of its time. Thanks to the efforts of Nuclear War Now! Productions the album was first reissued in 2004. Now back, again with new artwork courtesy of Manuel Tinnemans and a new layout the album is packaged as consistently as ever. Another change is the track listing. Unlike Tool this one wasn’t changed by fans but by the band themselves.

4. Abominator – Barbarian War Worship: Abominator had a hell of a year. Earlier in 2015 they released Evil Proclaimed. Then, capitalizing on the band’s first release post layoff, and probably their best, Nuclear War Now! Productions decided to reissue the band’s demos from twenty years ago. Barbarian War Worship (1995) and The Conqueror (1997). While these two were originally reissued in 2010, this 2015 update includes bonus material left in the cutting room from 2000-2005. Barbarian War Worship is now a more complete history of the band’s sound (which mirrors the development and progression of their genre). There’s no better introduction to a great band full of American style blast beats.

3. Ysengrin – Liber Hermetis: The majority of Ysengrin’s work released to date was released in 2011 on the album of a similar name, Tragedies – Liber Hermetis. Ysengrin, hailing from Normandy, France, originally released Tragedies – Liber Hermetis on the French label De Profundis Éditions. The re-issue is a compilation of sorts including all the original material from Tragedies – Liber Hermetis but further includes a 2010 demo Alchimete also released on De Profundis Éditions. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Nuclear War Now! productions, we can all partake in this beauty. It’s experimental and it’s different and it’s wonderful.

2. Cianide – Death, Doom and Destruction: This bad boy got exactly what it deserved when Hells Headbangers decided to reissue it on double LP (in a beautiful slipcase). It’s actually the second time this album has been reissued as in 2008 it saw a reissue with updated artwork thanks to Razorback Recordings. Death, Doom and Destruction was originally released in 1997 and, as you will here, was eons ahead of its time. Also included is their demo, Rage War 1996 and a 7″ entitled The Truth.

1. Derketa – In Death We Meet: I could go on and on for like forty paragraphs about how unbelievably awesome Derketa is. Much like Vastum, Derketa follow in the footsteps of Blot Thrower and teach men of death metal that ladies can rock equally as hard (duh!) and wield their instruments with superior skill and power (double duh!). The reissue of In Death We Meet (originally released in 2012) includes a bonus track “Darkness Fades Life” and a cover of Sepultura’s “Troops Of Doom.” Shades of Winter and early Paradise Lost squeak through but, if you ask me, there’s a ton of Bolt Thrower and Convulse (and Cianide actually) on this one. So good for Ibex Records for stepping up and reissuing Derketa’s only full-length to date.

– Manny-O-War


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