Andy Boyle

Andy Boyle
I’m very excited for the upcoming release of The Sword’s new album, Apocryphon. Ever since I picked up Age of Winters a few years back I’ve been a fan of these guys. They bring a fresh sound and approach to throwback metal and rock.

Each subsequent album varies greatly from its predecessor, while retaining the band’s unique signature sound. Their guitar tone and love for galloping rhythms always keeps me coming back for more. So I’m really looking forward to hearing the new album, and seeing them play First Ave. when they come to town in November.

But I have one major problem. I don’t know which pre-order package to buy.

So far I’ve seen eleven different packages, and that’s just on the band’s website and their IndieMerch page. There is a deluxe CD, THREE vinyl versions, a poster, several shirts, and a digital download, all available in different combinations. There is even a cassette version included in the biggest bundle. I get the vinyl craze. I’m on board with it. But a cassette? Who even has a cassette deck anymore? I still have one in my car, but all my tapes are long gone.

I doubt that I’m going to buy the biggest bundle that they’ve got. That just seems excessive. And I don’t’ really have $100 to spend on a new album. But which other package do I want? I love vinyl (you’ll hear more about that in the future), and I could always use more t-shirts. Just ask my girlfriend. So I’ve got some serious thinking to do.

This isn’t the first time that this has happened to me in the last few years. It seems that bands are coming up with more and more different ways that they can put out their new albums. CDs, deluxe CDs, vinyl, digital download, t-shirts, posters, neato boxes, candles, incense burners. Do they think they’ll just get people to buy more copies of the same album if each version has something different on it?

I think a lot of this stuff is pretty cool. I’ve deliberated long and hard (huh, huh, he said “long” and “hard”) when purchasing recent albums by Dimmu Borgir, Suffocation, Mastodon, etc. I like to think that I’ve always made the right decision. But this seems like quite a daunting task. And so now I need help. I need to ensure that I will once again make the right decision when it comes to which preorder bundle I purchase.

Won’t someone please help me?

  • Write each of the eleven options on a separate piece of paper. Tie each piece to a stone. Go to the highest skyscraper in St. Paul and get onto the roof of it. Make sure you bring one extra rock, though. It should be bigger than the rest. Throw that bigger rock through the window of the nearest building to break the glass and then throw the rest of the stones at the same time towards that window. The one that gets through the window is your choice. If more than one get through the window, pick the option-stone that goes the farthest into the building. Then when you get the album, as a symbolic culmination of the stoning-selection process, get stoned before listening.

  • Stever

    I still have ALL of my cassettes, but I don’t listen to them. I was thinking of parting with them at one point, but would rather keep them for nostalgic reasons. On the subject of The Sword pre-order packages, I think I’m going with the long sleeve with deluxe CD! It’s a rad shirt and I don’t have anything like it in my limited 20% of the closet I share with my wife, your sister! I will admit, I am VERY tempted to buy that package with the cassette just b/c there’s so much cool shit with it. Argh!

    • I do still have two cassettes. Metallica’s “Sad But True” single with “So What” as the B-Side has a sticker on it with all of the naughty words in the song. And I have a bootleg live tape of Green Day playing at First Ave in 1992. Crazy thing about that is that I found it at a record store in Seattle!

  • Mammy

    I would love to help you out. I have an old tape player. Might be able to scrounge up some tapes as well from my daughters, some favorites from the late 80s, and who knows, maybe an odd Simon and Garfunkel or Hall and Oates, even! Certainly a Neil Diamond. But I suppose you already have those!!