The Postage of the Beast – Iron Maiden stamps

A quick post today and more of just a show-off thing. I have apparently entered the world of philately, which isn’t a strange sex act but rather the practice of stamp collecting. Since I’m pretty well broke from buying music, my stamp collecting begins and ends with this series of Iron Maiden stamps the Royal Mail issued earlier this year.

There were a wide variety of stamps and collectible packages available, I settled on the presentation pack as a one-shot deal to cover all the bases. It includes the stamps pictured below as well as a pretty detailed biography on both sides of the presentation card. Eddie gets his own bio on the back of his stamp series, as the most important member of the band surely should.

In ironic fashion it did take a little while for these stamps to arrive, because mailing stuff between the British mail and the US Post Office can’t be as quick and easy and one would figure. I know people in Canada got theirs a bit before anyone here in the US did. Though in fairness I’ve had these for a bit now, I’m just now finally getting around to taking the pictures and making this post.

I am very impressed with the setup and how well done it is. I have no previous exposure to the Royal Mail’s collectible stamp issues, as honestly Iron Maiden is the only band I’d really drop money on for stamps. My intent was to frame this and I probably still will, but it seems a bit of a shame to do that when the double-sided layout is so neatly done. But in the end framing is still likely the best option for display.

And that about does it for the Iron Maiden stamps. Not much more to say, really – they’re very nice and a pretty high-class presentation. Behold the postage of the beast.

King Diamond – No Presents For Christmas

It’s one more dive into my singles collection before the turn of the year and the beginning of my Iron Maiden singles series. Since Christmas is just around the corner I thought I’d get festive and get out what likely is the only Christmas-themed music thing I own.

This single was the very first release from King Diamond after splitting up Mercyful Fate and going solo. Joining King from the ashes of Mercyful Fate were guitarist Michael Denner and bassist Timi Hansen. They recruited guitarist Andy LaRocque and drummer Mikkey Dee to join them in the new venture.

No Presents For Christmas

The A-side features the holiday tune, which of course is twisted into King Diamond form. The song intros a few familiar Christmas melodies before opening into the true experience. It is suitably dark for a King Diamond song but is also extremely silly, lending a light-hearted air to the proceedings.

While King Diamond would use his solo band to primarily tell album-length stories, our song here is a standalone effort. No great, overarching theme here – simply put, Santa can’t deliver the presents and no one else gives a damn. Somehow Tom and Jerry, famed cartoon duo, made it into the chorus while pounding some sherry. I have no clue what Tom and Jerry have to do with Christmas but hey, the chorus rhymes so props to everyone for that. Donald Duck makes an appearance too, again not a noted Christmas icon. But it goes to show the loose and silly nature of the song.

No Presents For Christmas has become a quasi-classic in King Diamond lore. While not an album track when the debut Fatal Portrait was released months later, the song was added as a reissue bonus and the single itself has been reissued through the years. It’s a bit of levity for what is often a dark and spooky atmosphere.


The B-side is a song that did make the cut for Fatal Portrait. Charon is about its namesake, the ferryman in Greek mythology who takes souls to Hades. The King Diamond approach to the song is straightforward as he assumes the role of the ferryman in lyric form. The song does have the feel of a Mercyful Fate tune, but with a bit of NWOBHM vibe to it as well. It’s a nice cut to showcase what was to come with the full-length album hitting shelves a bit after this single.

That pretty well covers the single. Mine is an old cassette copy though it’s available in several formats and versions. I just can’t help but have the cover with King Diamond and goofy Christmas stuff on it. Despite the goofy nature, this was the beginning of a legendary solo career and a gamble that paid off after personal conflict ripped Mercyful Fate apart just as they were making a name for themselves.

It’s about time for the holidays – hope everyone has a merry Christmas and/or other celebrations. After today at work I’ll be off for the rest of the year so I’ll (hopefully) have some time to get this site set up for the new year. Just remember – if there’s nothing in your stocking, it’s because Tom and Jerry got wine drunk and didn’t help out Santa.

Note the screw up in the album name below…

Gold In The Bargain Bin – Where To Buy Music

Today’s post is about buying music, a topic I like to cover here from time to time. This time it isn’t so much how to buy it or what it costs, but it’s about where to buy it. And, more to the point, where I’ve bought it over the years.

While I was born in the late 70’s, I was a child of the 80’s and music was a big deal back then. Radio was huge, MTV was going full blast (with actual music), and people were scooping up albums left and right. Records were still a thing, cassettes were likely the predominant format, and CDs were around but just getting their legs under them.

Pop music was massive in the 80’s. Rock and metal were at their highest point of exposure and sales. Rap was emerging as a force. Country, well, it wasn’t necessarily great in the 80’s but a few legends of the game were setting themselves up on the scene. Music was everywhere – in ads, in movie soundtracks, it was big business in the decade of Reagan and cocaine.

For a good part of the population, buying music in the 1980’s was as simple as having the money for it. Mainstream releases flooded the shelves of both specialized music stores and general retail outlets. Mail order buying clubs existed, even if their best use wasn’t exactly above the board. It was pretty easy to get what you wanted when it came to music.

Well, mostly. I had it a little different. I didn’t grow up in a big city, my hometown’s population was around 2,500. It left one option, that being Wal-Mart. This wasn’t one of the SuperCenter Wal-Marts, either – this was a plain, old-fashioned Wal-Mart. The store was a different animal before the SuperCenter concept took off.

And as a side note – while I rarely ever visit my hometown anymore, I’m fairly certain that the store there is still a regular Wal-Mart, which is an oddity.

Anyway, Wal-Mart is where I had to buy music in my younger days. The selection was honestly pretty decent – I remember records still being in stock when I first really started paying attention to music, but I took to the cassette format due to cost and all that. I was into rock and hair metal at the time, and the store carried all a person could want and more of that.

As my tastes evolved in the early 1990’s, Wal-Mart would still serve a purpose but did become outmoded. I sought more and more stuff with the dreaded “Parental Advisory” sticker, and a holy site like Wal-Mart wouldn’t sell that.

They sort of did, once. I’ll post about it someday but I have to try to dig up more info on it first.

Thankfully a music store opened in the college town just 20 minutes down the highway from me. They had no qualms about selling PA sticker stuff to minors (that was never a law, despite many peoples’ misunderstanding of it) and they’d special order stuff that wasn’t on their shelves. I made out my remaining years of high school with that and the occasional order from underground distributors and labels.

I was in the military for four years and over in Europe during that time. While it seems nice on the surface, since a lot of metal comes from Europe, here’s a reality check – the music there is still just as underground as it is here, or at least was in the late ’90’s. There were plenty of music stores where I could get cool stuff, but mail order was still the lord of the land for more underground fare. That got easier with the advent of the Internet and online ordering, speeding up the process quite a bit.

After returning to the States just before the dawn of the new millennium, things began to shift. Music stores were still in force when I got back, but the digital music revolution clearly eroded the physical distribution model. Music stores began to decline as album sales fell, though the shops were far from extinct.

I was lucky for a very long time – a very quality CD store held out for a long time. Its name was CD Warehouse, and it was an awesome place to buy music. They had a great selection, the staff were super cool, and it was easy to spend a lot of time just browsing for something with no specific purchase in mind. A lot of what still sits on my shelf today came from CD Warehouse over the past few decades.

Sadly, the changing times caught up to the store, and they closed in the late 2010’s. It seemed as though buying physical music was confined to the online retailers. I was at a point where I had too much stuff anyway, so I was only making selective purchases when I really, really wanted to have something. It seemed that the idea of collecting music was going the way of the dinosaur.

But that’s not quite what happened, is it? I wasn’t paying all that much attention to it, but all through the last decade, a once thought-dead format was surging forward in a massive way. Even before my beloved CD store died out, vinyl was again a booming market. What’s old was new again, and the vinyl resurgence has carried into the 2020’s.

While there are plenty of places to buy records, we’ve been lucky that independent shops have seen a comeback. It’s so much better to buy in a shop run by people who know and care about what they’re selling, and the vinyl comeback has been a great opportunity for that sort of business.

Of course it’s getting to be a more rocky road. Vinyl prices are high, inflation is shit and it’s getting tougher to buy music. I’ve personally cut things off entirely for a bit as I regroup financially, and I know many others who have curtailed or eliminated purchases altogether. It’s a necessary thing in the present reality, but it’s a terrible thing for those independent stores who rely on those sales. Big box stores and online monoliths can get buy without music sales, but it’s the thing keeping the good shops alive.

And that sums up the journey of buying music from 1980-whatever through to the present day. I’m sure there will be further adventures in that regard, that is, if I can ever find that elusive thing called “surplus money” again. Nothing beats hitting up the store and finding that perfect album to haul home and put on.

Metallica – Creeping Death and Jump In The Fire

Today I’m going over the two Metallica singles I have in my collection, both on cassette. These are the early singles Creeping Death and Jump In The Fire. Both were released in Europe when Metallica was distributed by Music For Nations over there, I don’t think these singles ever got North America releases.

These are somewhat collectible, owing to them being Metallica releases. They aren’t all that rare and can be had without coughing up huge cash, at least for the cassettes. They do get price gouged a fair bit, but these aren’t worth a huge premium or anything.

Creeping Death

I’m going out of chronological order just because this one was sitting on top of the stack. First up is Creeping Death, from Ride The Lightning. It is absolutely one of my favorite Metallica songs. It’s one I’ll probably talk about in the future in more detail so I won’t get too much into it here, but it is a total beast of a song and is a staple in live sets, I believe it is their most played song. It really doesn’t get much better from Metallica.

The two B-sides are cover songs and are very iconic in Metallica lore. Up first is Am I Evil?, a song that has become an anthem for the originators, England’s own Diamond Head. While Diamond Head’s original did make some waves in the UK, they did not break international markets until Metallica’s cover.

The original is a fantastic tune and Metallica’s version is amazing. This might be the best cover song they ever did, and they’ve done quite a few. It was a boon to Diamond Head, who never broke huge but have had a respectable career.

The obscure picks for cover songs theme marches on with Blitzkrieg. This is a case of the song Blitzkrieg by the band Blitzkrieg. Sadly it was not also from the album Blitzkrieg, as it was a B-side to their debut single and they have never had a self-titled album.

This is also a well-executed cover and one that’s still a highlight of Metallica’s covers selection. Blitzkrieg the band have been on-again and off-again over the decades but were active as of 2019.

Jump In The Fire

The next single on the list is Jump In The Fire. This song is from the debut album Kill ‘Em All and the single was released in early 1984, roughly six months before Ride The Lightning hit shelves. This one has three tracks and repeats the program on both sides. I’ll still use A-side and B-side to denote things but I guess they aren’t technically correct terms here.

The A-side is a fantastic cut from the ferocious debut album. James Hetfield could wail back in the day and it’s on full display here. This is also one of Dave Mustaine’s contributions to the group (no shaking his immense influence).

The two B-sides promise live tracks in the form of Phantom Lord and Seek And Destroy, both also from the debut album. The thing is that both songs are fake live tracks – Metallica recorded alternate versions of the songs and added crowd noise to the recordings. Odd choice but I’m guessing capturing the band live during their first tours didn’t result in the best audio, so this was the chosen alternative. It’s fine from a curiosity standpoint but these B-sides clearly don’t push any real value.

That’s it for my Metallica cassette singles. Tomorrow I’ll wrap up Metallica week with my album ranking.

Xero – Oh Baby!

Today’s single is a curiosity from the early 1980’s. This is a band that never wound up recording a proper album. They released one single, featured here today, as well as a handful of songs on compilation albums. A retrospective CD would come many years later, long after the band called it quits.

There are a number of ways to market a single for an emerging band. In the early 80’s, one such way would be to feature a guest spot from a famous rock star. It would appear from the cover that Xero have that part nailed down.

But, appearances are deceiving. Yes, Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden does have a vocal track on this single. But Bruce never sang for Xero, he did not drop by the studio and lend his vocal talents to the band.

Here’s what happened, this rather obscure tale is sourced through the Discogs page for Xero as hard info is hard to come by. The common thread between Bruce Dickinson and Xero is a band called Shots. Bruce sang for them for a bit before joining Samson in 1979. Shots recorded a few songs with Bruce, one of them being the track Lone Wolf.

At one point in Shots before they broke up, guitarist Billy Liesegang joined. It does not appear that Liesegang was in the group at the same time as Dickinson, but I can’t confirm one way or the other. Shots would break up and Liesegang formed Xero.

As Xero were preparing the release of their lone single, it would appear that the band’s manager was the one who had the idea to take the Shots recording and tack it on to the Xero single. I can’t source this definitively, but I have seen it mentioned at the Bruce Dickinson Wellbeing Network, an archive of Bruce-related news and releases. This concept that it was the manager’s idea also comes up in discussion, but again, a super hard and fast source is tough to come by. It doesn’t appear to have been Billy Liesegang’s idea, that much seems clear.

Whatever the case, Xero released the single with Lone Wolf on it. It apparently didn’t take long for Iron Maiden management to come calling in regards to the unauthorized use of Bruce Dickinson’s vocals. The track was replaced with a different song in subsequent pressings of the single.

So, with all that commotion out of the way, let’s get into the songs themselves. Bear in mind that these are not hosted by any official source and, as is often the case with YouTube, these clips may vanish without warning.

Oh Baby!

The lead single is a melodic rock affair with, uh, not the greatest production but good enough to hear what’s going on. The song seems a bit “light” given that the group have a New Wave of British Heavy Metal billing, and it’s especially light when compared to the B-side. I think the song is fine, I don’t at all mind listening to it. The single apparently moved a few copies back in the day but I don’t have solid information on that, just Internet anecdotes.

Hold On

On to the B-side and a very nice track. This is more along the lines of what I expected when I first checked this single out. It is a very straightforward song with a nice solo passage and I, like many, think maybe they should have led the single with this instead of Oh Baby. This song did appear on a comp record called Brute Force so maybe that’s why they didn’t release it as the A-side.

Lone Wolf

Here we have what is not really the band Xero, but the band Shots instead. This was one of a few tracks that Shots recorded with Bruce Dickinson and it was illicitly used on this single (again, an apparent management decision and not the band’s).

The song is pretty cool but it does stand out a bit from the other two recordings, this one is clearly a bit older than the other two songs. One can be forgiven for not thinking that Bruce is singing on this, but recall that he was still a teenager when he recorded this and hadn’t fully fleshed his voice out, something he’d do more of in Samson. After a few listens I can find him in there a bit, it’s interesting to hear him on an old recording so young.

So that’s the tale of Xero and their big single release, something that would be derailed by a pesky thing called performance rights or something like that. I don’t know what caused Xero to not get around to a full-length or to break up, again, info on them is super hard to come by and almost all of it revolves around the Bruce stuff.

Given the difficult nature of putting all this together with very few good sources, if anyone out there reads this and has any true, factual source material about this release I’d be happy to be pointed to it so I can make sure my stuff is accurate. I’m not really expecting much since few concrete leads turned up in my searches, but hey, never hurts to ask.

Iced Earth – The Reckoning

Today’s single is a CD from 2003 and it gives a wealth of stuff to talk about – we have a singer change, an album theme that got hated on, a (very rare) autograph in my collection, oh and something decades later about the band’s leader attempting to overthrow the US government.

First, the single. This is a four song effort and all songs are from Iced Earth’s upcoming album The Glorious Burden. The second track is an alternate, acoustic version, while the other three are the album cuts.

And yes, the discerning metalhead many find that the cover reminds them of another heavy metal band’s iconic single cover. I always thought so, anyway.

For one bit of background – the work on this album had begun in 2003 when then-singer Matt Barlow left the band. I don’t know the exact timeline of how things worked out, but at some point Rob Halford rejoined Judas Priest and Tim “Ripper” Owens joined Iced Earth. This single marks Ripper’s IE debut.

The Reckoning (Don’t Tread On Me)

The lead song is a metal shredder that plays to Owen’s strengths well. It’s almost a bit thrashy yet retains the “power metal but not quite” feel that Iced Earth were known for. It was a good track to lead with in terms of Owens’ singing.

The song seems to be about the post 9/11 atmosphere, in that the big, bad American war machine is coming for the enemies. I don’t know if anything was ever specifically said about the song’s inspiration but the 9/11 seems obvious.

This would be a criticism of The Glorious Burden initially – the American exceptionalism that was prevalent through the record. While not a concept album, the central theme of the record was major American wars, and the music press had a go at Iced Earth for making such a record. As it would turn out though, fans didn’t really seem to care and the record was largely considered a success.

I’ll run through the other three songs real quick. When The Eagle Cries is directly about 9/11 and the American feeling right after the attacks. The song is a bit much for my tastes but it’s not bad or anything. Valley Forge is about the namesake battle in the Revolutionary War and is a good track, and Hollow Man has nothing to do with American history and is about a personal struggle of some kind. Again, all of the songs are on the full album, though When The Eagle Cries is an unplugged track on this single.

So there are a few more things to discuss here. One is something you might have noticed on the cover of my CD – there’s a bit of scribbling there. This is signed by drummer Richard Christy. Richard spent time in my area in the early 90’s and would often return to the area over the holidays, he signed this at a show he and some friends were putting on. Richard would leave Iced Earth a year later for a job with the Howard Stern show.

I’m not one much for autographs, I only have a few. But since Richard was going to be in town and I happened to have this CD laying around, I decided to do the logical thing and get it signed. Maybe I would have been better off getting a Death album signed, but this is fine.

And I suppose no discussion of Iced Earth and American exceptionalism is complete without talking about the events of January 6, 2021. Jon Schaffer was a part of the US Capitol riot, having been seen with bear spray and advancing toward police officers inside the building. Schaffer quickly took a plea deal, admitting guilt in the attempted insurrection.

It was honestly kind of funny in the immediate aftermath of the riot, when the FBI were releasing photographs trying to identify people and Schaffer was one of the first to be outed. It wasn’t all that shocking – Schaffer had become a dolt in interviews before the 2020 election and no one who’d paid any attention to him was shocked by what happened. It did surprise many who hadn’t followed along with Iced Earth for a long time or at all, but the music news and the general news converging like that was pretty hilarious.

The whole debacle didn’t make much difference to me – this single is the only thing I have by the band. I’ve tried getting more into them a few times over the years but, while I can appreciate that they did some good stuff, it just never really caught me in a huge way. Seeing the band implode because of the stupid actions of its founder and leader wasn’t really skin off my back, I had no vested interest in Iced Earth. The whole January 6 actions were not comedy in and of themselves, but it’s nice to have something to laugh at from them.

All in all, I have this CD that, if nothing else, has Richard Christy’s autograph. It is a nice performance from Tim Owens and company, and it’s a funny little piece of history after Jon Schaffer’s villain turn in early 2021.

Saint Vitus – Blessed Night

Back to my singles collection. I’m winding down on it, though there are still a handful to go over. I’d expect to be done sometime mid- to late-November, then I’ll pause for a moment to re-calibrate before launching the Iron Maiden singles series.

Today I’m looking over a 2012 single from long-running doom merchants Saint Vitus. The band have been an on again, off again proposition since 1979 but were one of the significant figures in the rise of doom in the ’80’s.

This single comes from 2012, when the band were operating again with singer Scott “Wino” Weinrich. They had been active again since 2009 and were ready to release their new full-length Lillie: F-65. This single’s A-side hails from that album, while the B-side is a live track of a cut from their classic album Born Too Late.

The record is on black vinyl, it is limited to 1,500 copies and hand-numbered. While it often doesn’t matter, I always enjoy the hand-numbered stuff. I never do get any of the cool numbers like, well, 69 or 420, or the metalhead’s dream of 666. But it’s still nice to have that tiny bit of serialization to it.

This is one I picked up at a 2013 show where I saw the band. That concert will certainly get its own post one day.

Blessed Night

The single hits with all the same dark riffs and atmosphere that Saint Vitus conjured in their 1980’s run. This is simply a continuation of their catalog, no small feat considering that this was the band’s first recording since 1995. It’s been a few years since I’ve played anything from this album so it’s nice to hear again.

Look Behind You

I could not locate a video of the exact performance used on the record but here is a live cut from earlier the same year. Look Behind You came about as a bonus track on a reissue to the band’s 1986 Born Too Late, widely considered their best effort.

This is a cool song that showcases how doom doesn’t have to always be a slow-paced dirge. It often goes that way, but there are plenty of more rocking cuts to be found among Saint Vitus and their peers like Candlemass.

That’s all for today. Next week’s single will be out of the few CD singles I have and it’s an absolute whopper that I forgot I had and will offer no shortage of stuff, most of it not good, to talk about.

Incantation – Deliverance Of Horrific Prophecies

Today’s single is a relic, both of my collection of the death metal renaissance of the early 1990’s. I originally purchased this record via mail order in 1992 or ’93, not sure exactly. And it’s in my collection today, though it spent a very long time not in the collection. It’s a story I’ll tell after getting into the songs.

Incantation are a US East Coast death metal band, having been at it since 1989. While never a chart-topping act with radio play, they have had a huge influence across the extreme metal scene with their blend of death and doom elements. Their 1992 debut Onward To Golgotha is hailed 30 years later as a classic of death metal and it’s the album from which the songs on this 7 inch single are drawn.

There’s no need for me to get to long-winded about the songs. I’ll post them both here. The A-side is the title track and the B-side is Profanation, both songs are from Onward To Golgotha. The single was released in 1991 before the full length came along in 1992. Both of these are prime cuts of what’s known as “cavernous” death metal, like the kind of shit you’d hear if you were locked in a medieval dungeon.

I originally came into this record in 1992 (I think…), it was a part of my very first mail order of underground metal stuff. I got the record and the full-length album on tape, as well as the first album and another 7 inch single of Amorphis. I was pretty stoked to have this kind of stuff in my collection, there was only one other person in my pissant little hometown who was into this kind of music.

Fast forward a few years and I shipped off to the Navy. In fact I was in Europe for a bit over three years. My music collection, including all of this, sat at my mom’s house and survived a move (thankfully just a few miles away). I got back from the Navy and reintegrated my old crap, including this single, into my existence.

A few years after that in what I think was 2002, I met a friend who was very, very into metal in all its forms. He and I are very good friends to this day, in fact. I mentioned having this single as well as the Amorphis record and he was interested in buying them. Given that I didn’t really care about them at the time and was also pretty hard up for money, I cut the deal.

Now on to late 2006 – we went a few hours away to an Incantation show on Black Friday (the day after US Thanksgiving for those unfamiliar). My buddy took this record with him and Incantation mainstay John McEntee signed the cover for him. There was also a newer 7 inch single running around at that time that John also signed for my friend and which is now also in my collection, we’ll get to that in a few weeks.

Fast forward to, uh, 2019 or maybe even 2020, or hell 2021, I don’t recall exactly. I think it was 2020 but I don’t know, the hell with remembering stuff. Anyway – my buddy and I were doing as we often do on Friday nights, drinking beer and listening to metal. We were shooting the shit about the price of records and we wound up going through his 7 inch singles collection to see what the prices of things were. Well, it turns out the Discogs median on this Incantation record was pushing $50, as was the 2006 single he’d bought at the show.

So, after slamming a few more beers and discussing a price that was fair and saw my pal rake in a tidy little profit but also kept me from having to shell out median prices, I am once again the owner of my old single as well as the other one. The stuff you’ll do after a few beers, that could be a blog all its own.

And that is the story of this single, which is kind of beat to hell but still playable and very nice to have, as I honestly don’t have much stuff now that I did in my childhood.

The Singles Series – Bad Brains

Today’s single is a massive force from one of the most innovative and pioneering bands in the punk and hardcore scenes. Bad Brains wrote the book on fast, ferocious music and one of their signature songs is the feature of this single.

Also I chose not to air the title of the song out in my post title, I figured I’d use an ounce of discretion and leave it out. But in the post anything goes, so here we are with Pay To Cum!

My version is a 2021 reissue of the landmark single, which was the debut release from Bad Brains. The original pressing goes for an amount of money I’m not paying, it’s at least several hundred dollars and has sold in the thousands before. This very easy to obtain reissue sits on my record shelf just fine.

While this is a huge song in the canon of several music subgenres, there actually isn’t a hell of a lot to talk about as the title song is whopping 1:33 and the B-side gets a hefty 2:25 to flex its muscles.

Pay To Cum

The feature song is a monster flex of speed and energy. It is a musical lightning attack, in and out before the inattentive even know something happened. Yet it is a juggernaut that commands that attention by being one of the damnedest things ever heard. No point in searching for layers of meaning or subtle flourishes – just jam it out and get crazy.

Stay Close To Me

The B-side does offer a contrast to the heavy hitter on the other side. It’s a track that offers a bit of reggae, another style Bad Brains would work with extensively over the years. This isn’t an all-out reggae song but does hint at the style. This song could easily be taken as an early template for ska (not that I know much of anything about the history of ska, but this song gives off that vibe in places).

That’s about all for this single. Bad Brains would go on to ignite several 1980’s scenes with their distinct blend of styles and their blistering live sets. While not a global best-seller, they are easily one of the most influential bands to ever pick up instruments. I could spend the rest of my life simply typing the names of bands and acts who honor Bad Brains as an influence. I won’t, but I could.

Autopsy – Horrific Obsession

Today’s single is from one of the heaviest bands in the world and is a very interesting prospect – the group had split 14 years before the single’s release. The single marked the return of a death metal institution, with the band still going today.

Autopsy were an early force on the death metal scene and released two classics of the genre with Severed Survival and Mental Funeral. The band split up in 1995 after poorly organized tours and the grim prospect of death metal not paying the bills. While drummer Chris Reifert and guitarist Danny Coralles ended Autopsy, they took a side project called Abscess and focused on it for several years.

In 2008, news came out that Autopsy were recording new songs to offer as bonus tracks for a deluxe reissue of Severed Survival. Those songs would be on a second disc of the reissue but were also made available on their own in the form of this 7 inch single.

Autopsy would go on to tour again and release new music in the 2010’s and once again become a significant force in death metal. But for today we’ll focus on the two track single from 2009.

Horrific Obsession

The return of Autopsy is hailed with a fitting tune about grave robbing. Not taking material items from graves as grave robbing is generally concerned, but the bodies themselves. This is death metal, after all, this won’t be a treatise on economic relations in the 1800’s. The band keep a doom-laden tempo for much of the song but let it rip a time or two, almost as if easing back into the brutality.

Feast Of The Graveworm

Another simple premise here – a person is killed and their body left to rot. The graveworm, or maggot, comes to get its fill. The song is short, noisy and brutal – just how Autopsy is supposed to be.

That’s about all for the single. Nothing rare or anything here, both songs have been readily available on a few different releases over the years. Autopsy themselves are still running strong and are preparing to release new music this fall.