Andy Boyle: “I Need Help!”

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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?