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There are two kinds of compilation albums. One is that easy and useless "best off" sort of shit, which no one should ever pay for, unless it comes with a blow job as a bonus. And then there's something like this Angel Corpse compilation. Absolutely brilliant piece of wax (or CD, depending what you have), which includes rare studio songs, EPs, live recordings, covers... I know that not everyone likes covers or re-releases of EPs, but hey... Not everyone managed to buy the original "Wolflust" EP for instance (luckily I also own that one), so such compilation album is a must have and a pleasant addition to every fan of the band.
"Iron Blood and Blasphemy" comes as a great looking gatefold double LP from Osmose Records. The front cover looks as much blasphemous as a bit chaotic, but it's always cool to watch another goat-warrior decapitating the Nazarene. Inside of the gatefold looks awesome, as there're plenty of old Corpse photos as well as the details about the recordings, which are on the album. Nothing more I need to see (lyrics maybe, but you'll get them on the original EPs, etc). Side A has the 1999 "Winds of Desecration" EP session songs - one fantastic Corpse tune, the legendary "When Abyss Winds Return", one of their best tracks. Then there are four cover songs - Sarcofago, Morbid Angel, Slayer and Judas Priest. First three are especially amazing, sound just killer and also gives a great picture of what are the main sources of influence for Angel Corpse. Really, these two songs sound as much like Angel Corpse as their own tracks. Simply brilliant. Side B is from 1997, from "Wolflust" EP session. This one has two songs from the EP, one being Possessed mighty fuckin cover and two additional songs from that session, which are covers from Kreator and Iron Maiden. Again, so well played and fast that you'll bang your skull till death.
Side C is just awesome, it starts with two live recordings from 1998 gig in Rome and man! They sound better than many studio recordings! They sound just furious and like fuckin' destruction. But this is the power of Angel Corpse music - relentless and damn fast, blasphemous and unstoppable - "Phalleluyah" is another fantastic song. Next two live songs are from 1996 and originally were released as "Nuclear Hell" EP. The sound is bit more shaky and raw, but who cares as this is just another cool addition to this album. Finally side D... This one is something really extra and a great bonus for the fans. "Goats to Azazel" demo from 1996... How great is to listen to it on vinyl, even if the sound isn't as great and massive as on the EPs... But who cares, let the chaos begin!!!!!
TO conclude - really great compilation album; one that must be in everyone's collection, especially if you're a fan of the band. Get it!!!!!!!!
In my opinion Pete Helmkamp has yet to release a shitty album. He is one of those few people who never do anything I do not approve of. Perhaps if him and Craig Pillard got together to work on something I would just die of the orgasm that would ensue upon hearing it. Os I am biased about this one, since I think this is his best band out of all of them. Angelcorpse is simply one of the fastest metal bands out there, and they play in an old school sort of way, albeit the speed it self makes this music something akin to complex death metal. So it is complex death metal with a primitive attitude.
I love it when bands of old do this. Release a CD with a bunch of old material and a bunch of new material as well. Their first demo is on this, and it sounds like garbage, although the music is so good on it that I am willing to over look even that horrible sound. And it is pretty horrible, so I just will not write about those last few songs on this CD. They are good death metal in Angelcorpse vein with shitty production value. End of story.
The other things on here are pretty good. The live tracks do a good job of transferring the energy that can be felt at an Angelcorpse show, and as such are useful, and the recording quality is very good for a live album. The EP’s on here are what take the cake. If you have ever heard Helmkamp sing a Judas Priest song, you will not be likely to be able to forget it! Fucking hilarious, and they also play covers of Morbid Angel, Sarcofago, Kreator, Slayer and Iron Maiden as well. The originals that they produce on these Eps are what really take the cake, though. This is essential if you already like Angelcorpse, and if you are tryong to get to know them, I would recommend something else, like ‘The Inexorable’ or ‘Hammer Of Gods’ but I think everyone should own this album. Simply because it is so much fun to listen to, mainly. And because the various Eps make it a varied and interesting listen.