2015 Record Store Day Releases: Jackson May’s Picks

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With Record Store Day less than a week away, I figured I should skim over the list of releases we’re getting in the store and highlight a few of my favorites. I tend to lean towards the more heavy releases of Record Store Day this year, and these are a few albums that caught my attention.

At The Gates – Gardens of Grief

at the gates gardens

At The Gates is one of the most important extreme metal bands in the history of the genre. While they made a name for themselves with a steady output of outstanding albums in their early years, 1995′s “Slaughter Of The Soul” was a landmark shift in the overall world of death metal, moving towards a more melodic and accessible sound. It’s not a stretch to say “Slaughter Of The Soul” is responsible for most popular metal bands of the early-to-mid 2000′s. “Gardens of Grief” is the Swedish band’s first demo release from 1991. Although the four-track release is full of frenzied drumming and down-tuned riffs reminiscent of California’s Autopsy, there are still glimpses of the melodic undertone that would eventually bubble over into the band’s main sound four years later. An undeniably interesting look into the beginnings of one of the most important metal bands of all time.


Candlemass – Live

candlemass live

Another release from an extremely important heavy metal band, pioneering doom band Candlemass was at the height of their creative brilliance when this live album was recorded in 1990. With their classic vocalist Messiah Marcolin providing his legendary voice to this release, it captures Candlemass after the release of four genre-defining classic albums that combine the beauty and melody of classical music with the intense, crushing heaviness of doom metal that, at that point, was unheard of at the time. A timeless band with countless timeless classics – this is a must-have.


Puig Destroyer – s/t

puig destroyer

What’s better than baseball? What’s better than grindcore? What about baseball-themed grindcore? It sounds like a gimmick, but the end results are blowing my mind. Delightfully old-school grind/hardcore, Puig Destroyer takes the riffing and dissonance of early Botch and Converge albums and combines them with the frenzied grind of Pig Destroyer (who else?) to make a unique take on the grindcore world. Sure, it’s not Royals-themed, but maybe that’ll be the band’s next project?


Carcass – Choice Cuts

carcass choice cuts

Lying dormant for more than a decade after their now-infamous demise in 1996, English grindcore pioneers Carcass exploded back into the modern metal world with their 2013 release “Surgical Steel,” showcasing the band hasn’t slowed down a bit since the 90s. But what about their earlier works? With countless demos and EP’s and splits and albums before they ever hit mainstream success with the melodic death metal masterpiece “Heartwork” in 1993, this compilation aims to highlight essential tracks from Carcass’ varied and deep career as a band. From harsh goregrind to soaring melodies, this is the perfect jumping-off point for anyone looking to get into Carcass.


Clutch – From Beale Street To Oblivion

clutch beale

Everyone loves Clutch. Even if it’s your first time hearing the, chances are you’re going to dig them and you’re going to delve further into their huge discography. With a crazy fanbase that rivals even the most dedicated of Phish-loving hippies, Clutch scored a major crossover hit with 2007′s “From Beale Street To Oblivion.” The band had always mixed blues, rock-and-roll and a myriad of other influences into their sound, but none so apparent as with this album. In fact, it’s not a stretch to say this album was a key turning point in the overall sound of the band which still continues to this day. Their mammoth hit “Electric Worry” is also a highlight on this album, but far from the only good track here.


Pick all these up and more at Mills Record Company on Saturday, April 18th – Record Store Day!

About Jackson May

Read more from Jackson at Mandatory Metallica and follow him on Twitter at @Mankvill.

View all articles by Jackson May

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