I'll take a moment here to re-focus on my primary means of reviewing so much essential heavy music: bargain hunting! I've said before that if it were not for inexpensive means of hearing music (online sampling via band-websites & online radio, redeeming coupons at major retailers, 2nd-hand music acquisitions like garage sales & used music retailers, and of course visiting the Audio-Visual section of my local library), I would not have the chance to hear much of the music I've already shared with you.
Now let me document a few of my recent finds, beginning with one that is a rare find indeed, for it is no longer in print: Metallica's early EP, 'Creeping Death' (which includes the original 'Garage Days Revisited' and the single for 'Jump In The Fire'). [$7.98 (+10% off) $7.18 final price]
What an excellent find this was! It is probably the only time I've ever even seen this recording in CD format, and now I'm lucky enough to own it. This item was found at one of the Half Price Books locations I frequent, as well as the next item...
Dream Theater-Greatest Hit (...and 21 Other Pretty Cool Songs) [2-disc compilation: $7.98 (+10% off) $7.18 final price]
This one I had already checked out from my library a couple times before I found it at Half Price Books. I was in no hurry to buy it right away, since I have all of Dream Theater's albums from which the songs are selected. However I should point out that 3 of the tracks are remixes (the 3 taken from the Images and Words album), and I wanted to have these alternate versions in my personal collection. Was it necessary for Dream Theater to remix these songs? That is perhaps up to the listener to decide. I, for one, appreciate the new mixes. They sound more crisp than the originals.
From Best Buy: Apocalyptica-7th Symphony [Special Edition w/ Live DVD, 2010] $14.99 + portion of $10 Reward Zone certificate: $6.65 final price!
With Apocalyptica, I've been a fan since their first CD, 'Plays Metallica by Four Cellos'. I've tried to keep up with each release over the years, so naturally I was looking to get this one as well. Having $10 worth of Best Buy Reward Zone coupons burning a hole in my email helped make it an easy decision.
From Half Price Books (during the 20% off Everything Labor Day Weekend sale)
Bloomingdale, IL location: Killswitch Engage-As Daylight Dies (Special Edition w/ bonus tracks and DVD w/ 3 videos & 'making of' documentaries, '07) [$9.98 -20% off = $7.98 final price]
Shadows Fall-Threads of Life ('07) [$7.98 -20% off = $6.38 final price]
Geoff Tate (Self-titled solo recording from lead singer of Queensryche, '02) [$5.98 -20% off = $4.78 final price]
Nevermore-dreaming Neon black ('99) [$5.98-20% off = $4.78 final price]
Palatine, IL location: Soundgarden-Louder Than Love ('89) [$5.98-20% off = $4.78 final price]
Unearth-Our Days of Eulogy ('04 w/ bonus disc of 9 other Eulogy Records recording artists) [$2.00 clearance -20% off = $1.60 final price]
Mushroomhead-Savior Sorrow ('06) [$2.00 clearance -20% off = $1.60 final price]
Machine Head-The Burning Red ('99) [$2.00 clearance -20% off = $1.60 final price]
Flyleaf (Self-titled debut '07) [$2.00 clearance -20% off = $1.60 final price]
To summarize this successful scavenging expedition, over the course of 2 weekends;
Total CD count: 13 (plus 1 bonus CD and 2 bonus DVDs)
Grand total: $56.11
Average cost per CD: $4.32
These are the kinds of deals I'm accustomed to finding. I admit that occasionally there is an essential new release that I will sometimes bring myself to spend $12-$15 on, so that I can have it to enjoy right away. However these cases are relatively few and far between for me. Over the course of the last couple years of reading other music-lovers' blogs, I've found a few who like to document their collection-building shopping sprees in a similar fashion as I just did. Often times, the amount of money they spend makes my budget-conscious mind cringe. Perhaps this will open their eyes to the kinds of bargains that are out there to be had.
For these purchases I didn't even need to utilize the internet, where great prices on music are often found from people selling their CDs second-hand. I simply browsed my local used-music retailers, and even there I'm always sure to peruse the clearance section. Also, I took advantage of rewards programs available at primary retailers. It's fun being rewarded for being a frequent shopper.
So go out there and find yourself some great heavy metal music, but also keep in mind that these kinds of bargains are probably easier to find than you think. It just takes a little dillegence and sometimes a bit of patience.