Metal Hammer (UK)


Unearthing the latest metal reissues


Blackheart­s rejoice! cradle of Filth have finally finished the remixed and remastered – or, as the band have it, re-mistressed – Cruelty And The Beast (Music For Nations) [9]. An undeniable classic, even in its sonically impoverish­ed original form, Cradle’s third album remains one of their definitive works, but hearing it wholly revived like this is an even greater joy. Monstrousl­y heavy and powerful, the likes of Beneath The Howling Stars and The Twisted Nails Of Faith are reborn in three-dimensiona­l splendour. Most importantl­y, the album’s legendaril­y shitty drum sound has been artfully replaced. Hats off to engineer Scott Atkins for a simply superb job. epica are celebratin­g the 10th anniversar­y of their fourth album with Design Your Universe: Gold Edition (Nuclear Blast) [8], a lavish remixed redux with bonus tracks galore. The Dutch band’s rise to glory has been admirably steady, but this album was a definite turning point. Sounding more grandiose than ever, the likes of Kingdom Of Heaven and the title track are symphonic metal milestones. A unique force for creative abandon,

Madder Mortem are among Norway’s best-kept secrets. Listening to the 20th anniversar­y edition of debut Mercury (Karisma) [8], it’s hard to deny that this band were brilliant from the start, blending arcane folk melodies with raging, baroque prog metal and sounding quite unlike anything else. Thrash nerds definitely need to hear artillery’s two reissues (both Mighty Music). Originally released in 1998, Deadly Relics [7] is a decent primer that draws from the Danes’ first few records, but it’s In The Trash [8] that will have diehards drooling. Dirty and lo-fi as hell, it’s a collection of early demos, showcasing unsung legends that were way ahead of the game in 1982. The same cannot be said of Missouri’s

anacrusis, whose catalogue hasn’t aged particular­ly well. Among four remastered reissues, Manic Impression­s (1991) [7] and Screams And Whispers (1992) (both Metal Blade) [6] are solid examples of proggy technical thrash with an endearing melodic bent. But don’t all rush at once. Finally, fans of explorator­y doom need to hear cain’s reissued self-titled debut album (Rise Above) [8] immediatel­y. A long, lost 90s proto-post-metal gem that pitched torpid riffs against a backdrop of fathomless echo and buzz, it still sounds terrifying and deeply trippy. DOM LAWSON

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