Dio/Killswitch Engage – “Holy Diver”

Standard

In 2015 I started a project which had me designing jackets and other artwork for 7″ records that had none. In my collection was the Dio/Killswitch Engage “Holy Diver” single from the Side By Side series. This was released for Record Store Day 2013 on “oxblood red” vinyl and it was limited to 2,800 pressings. If you know anything about Classic Rock/Heavy Metal then you already know about “Holy Diver” and all of the unholy awesomeness that it holds. Killswitch Engage covered the song in 2006, originally appearing on a Kerrang! compilation album but it was also later released on the special edition of KsE’s 2006 album As Daylight Dies. The original is amazing, the cover is good in its own right but the artwork for this release was severely lacking. That’s where I came in.

I really wanted to do some cool artwork for this release but for the longest time I was totally stumped on what to create. I had visions of a modern re-imagining of the iconic cover image but it just wasn’t ever good enough when I put the ideas to the computer. In the end I decided it was best not to mess with what is already great and a super detailed die cut was settled upon. In all reality this was the best decision I could have made. It stands out from the rest of my project, looks amazing and adds a level of bitchin’ looks that was missing from the release. The only real decisions I had to make was how to treat the tracklisting, liner notes and logos. I decided on a small flap on the back side so that I wouldn’t take away from the die cut image and also because it just doesn’t require anything larger. Keep it simple, stupid. The only design I really had trouble coming up with for this part was the 45RPM graphic. I went with a design that gives a nod back to the 80s roots of the song with a modern treatment.

Continue reading

Vinyl Wednesday: Metallica – “Whiplash”

Standard

Whiplash-pre

Bang your head against the stage – Like you never did before – Make it ring, make it bleed – Make it really sore – In a frenzied madness – With your leathers and your spikes – Heads are bobbing all around – It’s hot as hell tonight

Adrenaline starts to flow – You’re thrashing all around – Acting like a maniac – Whiplash

I snagged this record in that big box-o-metal that I bought a while back. I was flipping through the jackets and immediately noticed this and decided that I had to have it. And true to old-Metallica form, I am glad I got it because this little EP is a total monster!

Now, I didn’t happen to get the first pressing but that’s ok. It’s the 1985 reissue and it plays perfectly. Nancy and I have seen this record multiple times at Reckless Records in Chicago but the price was always really high. Like, $50+ kind of high. No thanks to that. Instead, I waited patiently and was eventually rewarded with it here. It’s only 4 tracks but it packs a hell of a wallop and it’s worth every penny spent toward it.

Continue reading

Vinyl Wednesday: Recent Additions & RSD 2016

Standard

New_Additions-pre1

*Note: I wrote this post last week but never got around to clicking “Publish” so now there will be two vinyl posts today. Whoops.

Nancy and I aren’t real big fans of Record Store Day. Well, I enjoy any day at the record store but one where all the creeps and hustlers come out of the woodwork to buy inferior releases at jacked-up prices really brings me down. Honestly though, my biggest gripe with RSD is more about the lack of Heavy Metal releases lately. A few years ago there were plenty of Metal albums being put out on RSD. I got Pantera, Jungle Rot, Machine Head, Slipknot and Gojira all in one year. ONE YEAR! Now, I understand that each year will have it’s own agenda and there may or may not be much Metal to choose from. I get it. I really do. But honestly, all these random reissues that end up in bargain bins and soundtracks to movies are beginning to clog up the vinyl production process for the whole world. It is also making it harder for the smaller labels and bands to get their stuff made for RSD or a regular album release. That’s a bummer to me. Couple that with the nutty prices that are set for these records and it is starting to just be no fun at all to be a part of. Regular vinyl releases are getting expensive. Let’s not make it so they are cost prohibitive on the one day that is supposed to be fun and extra supportive of the scene as a whole.

With all that being said, Naners and I ventured out a few days after RSD to see what scraps we could find left over. We really only wanted the Deftones record (kind of), Left Lane Cruiser and maybe the Atreyu best-of compilation. *I have a soft-spot for Atreyu, don’t judge. We hit up a couple stores and eventually stumbled upon Left Lane Cruiser and promptly snatched it up. We are both fans of this band and their down-and-dirty approach to the blues. The album is a compilation featuring old songs and a few unreleased that all feature their old drummer. Good stuff. I definitely recommend them for anyone who likes Scott H. Biram, RL Burnside or Junior Kimbrough.

We also received two albums in the mail this week. CKY’s Carver City and the “Familiar Realm” single. I saw someone selling them on Facebook and I made it happen. I love Carver City and I haven’t seen a copy for sale in a long time, especially not for under $100. Naners tried to get the “Familiar Realm” single a few months ago but she was denied when we moved a little too slowly for it. That song comes off of the CKY album An Answer Can Be Found. It’s a good song and the B-Side is “Deceit Is Striking Gold”, also a good track to jam to.

Anyway, we ordered the albums from a fella named Austin from Dallas, Texas. He bubbled wrapped them really well, tossed in a few goodies (signed CD booklet, some stickers, a bonus CD) and sent them our way. It cost us $90 but I’m not complaining. We split the price, I’m happy with our purchase and I am happy to help out a fellow fan of the once-mighty CKY.

Click the photo above to see an alternate, cleaner version of the shot.

Vinyl Wednesday: AC/DC – “Rock N Roll Train”

Standard

ACDC-RnR_Train-pre

AC/DC is back on my mind recently. Naners and I were supposed to see them in Cleveland at the Q arena a couple weeks back but they have postponed the remaining 10 dates of their US tour and we are waiting to see what happens before we decide to keep the tickets or not. The rumors are that Axl Rose may end up being the replacement for the 10 dates and that is NOT something I want to see. So, in the spirit of wanting to hear some Brian Johnson-fronted tunes, I give you the 7″ single for the 2008 song “Rock N Roll Train” from the album Black Ice.

Continue reading

Vinyl Wednesday: Korn – Here To Stay

Standard

HereToStay-pre

Another Wednesday, another record to display. This week’s winner is a 7″ single from Korn entitled “Here To Stay” that was released in 2002. A Hot Topic exclusive pressing of only 5,000 on transparent blue vinyl that I’m sure had no problem selling out as Korn were the biggest thing going in the Nu-Metal scene.

I picked this record because it’s the second record I ever purchased and I was feeling a bit nostalgic. The first record I bought was Back In Black (post about that here) and then came this record a few years later. I think I had a turntable at this time but something was wrong with the wiring and I couldn’t get sound to the speakers. Then, this sat on the shelf for years until I was able to properly give it a spin. I believe it’s a little warped now (from not really knowing how to care for vinyl back in my younger years) and it skips once or twice on the A-Side. No big deal to me. The imagery is taken from the “Here To Stay” music video along with the typeface from the Untouchables album design. Simple and cool. Add in a nice, electric-blue color to the vinyl and you’ve got yourself a winner. Check it out!

Continue reading

Vinyl Wednesday: Creedence Clearwater Revival – Proud Mary

Standard

VinylWednesday-CCR_ProudMary-pre

Vinyl Wednesday comes back at you with some custom record art from yours truly. This was the second sleeve that I designed for my latest project entitled “The 7-Inch Series” and it also happens to be one of my favorites.

Continue reading