header_image
top_menu

new noise from crucial blast...


CRUCIAL BLAST WEBSTORE: NEW ARRIVALS FOR FRIDAY FEBRUARY 6TH 2015

Greetings to all you record collectors, necro-addicts, noise fiends and sonic weirdos - I hope you're comfortably navigating the onset of winter and the slow ongoing collapse of Western civilization. We've got some terrific new releases and older obscurities on this week's new arrivals list to help feed your ears as the days continue to dim.

The featured release on this week's new releases list is the latest from American doomdeath duo Encoffination, III - Hear Me, O' Death (Sing Thou Wretched Choirs); while the album has received its share of criticism from some reviewers for its shambling, deadzone ambience and perceived lack of cohesive riffs, I just can't stop listening to this goddamn disc. I can't think of any other recent album that has managed to create an atmosphere of rot and ruin quite like this, and it seems as if the band's sound has putrefied considerably since their last album, evolving into a kind of rumbling mortuary murk. The closest anyone has come to this in recent memory was Grave Upheaval's self-titled debut from last year, though the sounds are quite different from one another. Polluting their crawling, corrupted heaviness with warped demonic choirs, morbid funerary pipe organs and emaciated guitar melodies, the duo of Elektrokutioner and Ghoat succeed in their goal of creating a ritualistic death-meditation with III, producing an intensely oppressive album of unique droning doom/death that I ended up having to post as this week's featured new release.

Also of note on this new arrivals list is a new Crucial Blast release, the new CD release of Emit's Spectre Music Of An Antiquary, the first new release from this long running UK black/noise/ambient outfit in years, delivering a haunting mixture of creepy Abruptumesque weirdness, creeping synthesizers straight out of a Fabio Frizzi score, and eerie field recordings that capture glimpses of an unseen shadow-world. This release features all of the material that had appeared on the previous cassette release that came out on Glorious North, but also includes additional, all-new material exclusive to this release.

And as always, there's an immense list of new additions to the shop. For you underground metal zine addicts, we've got another hefty new issue of The Convivial Hermit (#7), one of the best black metal/neo-folk/experimental music magazines being published right now in the US - along with that latest issue, we also have restocks of a number of previous issues of Hermit, all highly recommended for anyone obsessed with the undercurrents of the black metal underground.

There's been a lot more death metal filling the C-Blast office than usual this Fall, thanks to a bunch of recent reissues from some of our all-time favorite avant-death bands: first and foremost, the three LP series of demo reissues from legendary death metal visionaries Gorguts has absolutely dominated the turntable over the past few weeks, each record an attractively designed piece featuring demo material that leads all the way up to Gorguts's classic Obscura; we also finally got the new double disc collection from Finnish death metal weirdos Demilich in stock, a recent cassette release featuring the murky, nightmarish death metal of Ritual Chamber, another project from Numinas (Krohm, Vetus Obscurum, Infester, Evoken), and both LP, CD and tape versions of Nightfell's killer recent album of atmospheric deathcrust, Living Ever Mourn.

As usual, we've picked up a swarm of killer avant/offbeat black metal releases for your perusal, ranging from the progressive blackened sounds of Epitimia and Katatonia side-project Diabolical Masquerade, to the folk-flecked depressive doom of Bann's now out-of-print Antiochia EP, the ultra low-fi mausoleum anthems of Black Cilice's Summoning The Night, and the pagan no-fi violence of Equinox's Of Blade And Graal cassette. We now have the stunning new album from Nuclearhammer in stock, Serpentine Hermetic Lucifer, a double LP of violent black/death chaos laced with morbid electronic pulsations, as well as restocks of Wyqm's ripping black n' roll EP Negative Of The Mountain and the experimental darkness of Wyqm's split LP with Ukrainian loner Moloch; there's a pair of new split 7"s featuring USBM legend Krieg, one teamed up with recent tour mates Wolvhammer, the other paired up with another legend of American black metal, Leviathan; there's the recent new LP of mutant punk-fueled black metal violence from Harassor, Into Unknown Depths, and another recent offering of exquisite blackened misery from Vardan, Enjoy Of Deep Sadness; we've got the new LP reissue of the first demo from Harvest Gulgaltha, showcasing the band's doom-laden brand of chaotic black metal, and the new Carnal Altar cassette from bestial black-thrash weirdo Jhesu Masturbator, featuring the maniacal mind behind Lucifers Foreskin; and even more avant blackened heaviness from French "dodecatonic black metallers" Void Paradigm, the synth-drenched cosmic black doom of Trube's Zone Of Alienation, and a restock of the ripping split CD between blackened hardcore duo Ives and demented necro-jazz dronebeasts Amort. We've got recent new albums from San Fran avant black metal oddballs Mamaleek (He Never Said A Mumblin Word) and the depressive black metal project Mortualia featuring members of Horna (Blood Of The Hermit), along with some terrific recent releases from Ajna Offensive, Mortuus's long awaited new album of philosophical black metal Grape Of The Vine and the various versions of Reverorum Ib Malacht's hallucinatory De Mysteriis Dom Christi released on CD and cassette.

Did I mention that it's Nondor Nevai week here at the Blast? We've raided the vault at Nevai's black fortress and returned with seven different vinyl records from this blast-prog maniac's back catalog; all issued in small runs of just a couple hundred copies each, we now stock everything from the blistering avant noisecore of his M.N.D.L.S.B.L.S.T.N.G. outfit and the bestial experimental blurr of Nekrocidal Killdeath to the extreme No Wave pandemonium of the DMT Rok + Sonata "The Arrested", the blackened gothic blast of Overshadower Kommand's Three Tocattas... (Or) Kolder Than Heaven, the heavy Beefheartian delirium of Nayk'd Ayres, and the "klassikill" horror of Nevai_Nonet's String Oktet In A. All brilliant blasts of outsider delirium, and all completely insane.

From the industrial side, we've got some seriously heavy new offerings from the likes of Gnawed, the Midwestern death industrialist returning with new album Feign And Cloak that continues to explore a grueling, heavily distorted vision of mechanical horror; and a real rarity that we scored from one of our European suppliers, the long out-of-print album Graveyard Disturbances from Enoch, the horror-synth duo of Killjoy (Necrophagia) and Mirai (Sigh) that sees these underground metal legends producing their own warped version of the sort of vintage Italian horror electronic soundtracks pioneered by Claudio Simonetti and Fabio Frizzi. We also have the new LP reissue of Alberich's monstrous industrial techno/power electronics manifesto NATO-Uniformen, and Bacchanal's bizarre Satanic electro-industrial ritual Purity Through Darkness; a crushing split Lp featuring Japanese industrial legend Dissecting Table paired with the Portuguese tribal/industrial/sludge duo Sektor 304; and even more Sektor 304, via a pair of CD releases that the band recently put out through their own New Approach imprint, Communiphones and Live Reaction. There's a number of other recent new offerings from the always-great Malignant Records as well, including the latest album Closure from one of the best Swedish death industrial outfits in existence, IRM; the debut album Starving The Fires from the blackened noise group Teeth Engraved With The Names Of The Dead; and a new CD reissue of the stunning collaboration between NYC death-synth master Theologian and Finnish industrialists Strom.EC, Hubrizine. We also have extremely limited quantities of the two recent LP reissues of 80s-era material from the cult Japanese industrial project Nord, LSD and NG Tapes, both fantastic exercises in Bianchi-level industrial desolation.

Doom addicts will want to check out the three new vinyl reissues from UK deathdoom legends My Dying Bride that Peaceville recently released, heavyweight gatefold editions of The Dreadful Hours, The Light At The End Of The World and the band's late-90's experimental doom opus 34.788 Complete, as well as a vinyl release of All Is Sorrow from Bay Area band Catapult The Dead, delivering this newer band's interesting mix of apocalyptic sludge and atmospheric organ. Even more abrasive are new releases from some of the best names in noise rock, starting with the phenomenal new album from legends Today Is The Day, Animal Mother, easily the best thing the band has done in years, and continuing through the latest LP from Unsane offshoot Cutthroats 9, Dissent, a seriously heavy slab of blues-damaged sludge rock. We also have new stuff from newer bands like Drunk Dad and their pissed-off Pacific Northwest style slugfest Ripper Killer, a restock of the self-titled debut from drum/bass duo Zeus! that introduced us to their crazed Italian prog/noise rock, a recent LP from Brainbombs-worshipping outfit Nearly Dead that may be one of the vilest records on this week's list, some mean-spirited hardcore/pigfuck violence from Deep Creeps's self-titled cassette, and The Swan King's new album Last So Long featuring more of the Chicago band's brand of sludgy post-hardcore.

The machines have belched forth some great new stuff from the blackened industrial zone, too: there's a cool new album from experimental Polish black metallers Beyond Life, Blackened Sky, and a self-titled tape from Midwestern black industrial project Shadowmass; a restock of Hypsiphrone's And The Void Shall Pierce Their Eyes CD that delivers a horrific Gnaw Their Tongues-esque racket, and the new, long-awaited album Ascending The Solarthrone from avant black/industrial/ambient duo Empire Auriga that is easily the most gorgeous thing I've ever heard on Moribund. And there's more stuff from industrial metal gods Godflesh, as well as a killer new vinyl reissue of early recordings from the cult Bay Area industro-sludge outfit Depressor...

And there's all kinds of other great new stuff we've gotten in, from the a trio of recent discs from UK speedcore demon Yudlugar that include mini-album Vhemt and the collaborative albums with NUH and Sadistic Hate, to the latest album of Teutonic prog-thrash from the mighty Mekong Delta; crushing dark psych albums from Bong side-project Haikai No Ku (Ultra High Dimensionality), the grimy krautrock-influenced acid punk of Joules's self-titled cassette and the latest album taste My Sword Of Understanding from Finnish avant drone metallers Opium Warlords; and a pair of recent releases from Japanese noisegrind duo Sete Star Sept that will rip your face off, one a split 7" with Brazilian noise punks New York Against The Belzebu that is already sold out from the label, the other a 12" titled All Is Wrong that pairs up an out of print tape from a couple of years ago with a crazed "remix" that sounds like Derek Bailey gone noisecore...

As always, we have a lot for you to check out, much more mutant extreme music and misanthropic art to be found on our shelves and in our bins...keep reading below to check out all of the strange and extreme new music, film, and art that's included in this week's new arrivals list.

Don't forget, you can click on the thumbnail image of the album cover for everything we carry in our shop to pull up a pop-up window showing an actual photograph of the item!



FEATURED RELEASE



CARPENTER, JOHN   Lost Themes   LP   (Sacred Bones)    19.99



    There's been feverish anticipation building around the C-Blast office for months, waiting for Lost Themes. The first ever "solo" album from John Carpenter outside of his legendary film score output (and his one-off band The Coupe De Villes with Tommy Lee Wallace and Nick Castle), Lost Themes comes at the height of a recent resurgence of interest in 80's era synthesizer music and classic horror movie scores, and John Carpenter's synth-drenched soundtracks in particular. A number of amazing reissues have surfaced lately from the likes of Mondo and Death Waltz, high-quality vinyl reissues of Carpenter's iconic music for classic films like Escape From New York, Halloween, Prince Of Darkness and The Fog, which have allowed a whole new audience to discover anew what many of us that have been worshipping at the altar of Carpenter since the VHS boom have known all along: this guys is one of the preeminent film and music stylists of the late 20th century. He's more revered now than ever, now that his stately nightmare visuals and pioneering electronic scores have so heavily influenced various aspects of our culture since he first appeared in the 1970s.
    So when word came out that Carpenter would be releasing his first ever collection of non-filmic music, I could hardly wait. While his more recent film work hasn't made much of an impression on me, I had a lot of faith in this project, especially after hearing some of the tracks that came out in advance of the album's release. And when it finally landed in my hands and slipped onto the turntable, I couldn't have been more stoked on how good this album turned out to be. It's not the minimal synthesizer music of his early works like some might have expected, but rather a dark and bombastic sound, well produced and heavy on the guitars. Lost Themes was created with his son Cody (who produces his own brand of progressive rock with the band Ludrium ) and godson Daniel Davies (of stoner rockers Year Long Disaster), but from the opening notes this is immediately recognizable as a John Carpenter recording. Once that moody piano figure enters at the beginning of "Vortex" and the music gives way to those familiar synth arpeggios, there's no question as to who you're listening to. It's lush stuff, with lots of distorted guitar chords and pulsating beats that are definitely reminiscent of the rock-tinged sound of his later 80s work for films like Prince Of Darkness, Big Trouble In Little China and They Live. Still dark and menacing, though, with that signature ability to create a mood of tension that slowly and inexorably builds across the piece of music. These nine songs teem with tension, and the more expansive nature of a full album allows his pulsating electronics and pounding rhythms to develop more extensively than they might on a film score. Every track is a carefully crafted exercise in mood and menace, from the eerie piano melody that cascades across the propulsive gothic prog of "Obsidian", as sinister organs twine around fuzz-burnt guitar, a track that has some surprising echoes of Italian prog rockers Goblin, to the heavy metal guitars that thunder across "Fallen", and the pulsating rhythms transform "Domain" into a killer piece of futuristic dance floor malevolence, complete with one of the most pulse-pounding motorik grooves I've heard in ages. There's actually quite a bit on Lost Themes that reminds me of Goblin, but Carpenter and crew incorporate a larger palette of sounds, from orchestral strings that spread like shadows beneath the propulsive tempos, to gleaming electronic glitchery that gives this a much sleeker, blacker sound.
    It's hard to not to get caught up in a heavy feeling of nostalgia when you're listening to this, but I was genuinely surprised how little Lost Themes sounded like any specific classic Carpenter score; if you listen to a lot of film music, you'll begin to notice that a lot of composers tend to recycle certain themes and ideas. But Carpenter largely avoids that with this new music, and any concerns that the album was going to be made up of cast-off material from older scores disappear pretty quickly once his pounding synth-driven darkness sweeps over you. The album deftly balances vintage tones with modern technique and texture, and most importantly, all of this stuff flows together superbly. Can't imagine anyone else surpassing this as the dark synth album of the year, a stunning, wholly cohesive album from the master; anyone into the likes of Carpenterian disciples like Zombi, Umberto, Antoni Maiovvi, Majeure and the like should make their way to this album pronto. Comes in a striking gatefold sleeve bearing Carpenter's visage cloaked in darkness, and includes a printed insert with liner notes by soundtrack scholar Daniel Schweiger; the vinyl version also comes with a digital download.
Track Samples:
Sample : Night
Sample : Abyss
Sample : Mystery
Sample : Obsidian


NEW ADDITIONS



ALRAUNE   The Process Of Self-Immolation   LP   (Gilead Media)    19.99



    Now available on limited-edition vinyl.
     The Process of Self-Immolation is the debut full-length from Nashville black metallers Alraune, a newer band made up of current and former members of Yautja and Mourner; it's the follow-up to their well-received tape that came out on Graceless Recordings not too long ago. Combining a rhythmically complex brand of blackened metal with Slinty math rock influences and intense, emotional delivery, these guys have whipped up one of the more impressive debuts to appear this year, with a confident approach towards fusing elegant icy melodies with a vicious Scandinavian-inspired attack.
     The brief intro track opens the album with the sounds of mournful, low-fi folk, the distorted buzz of the strings ringing out through a murky haze, before the band launches violently into the blazing black metal of "Exmordium". Alraune's sound immediately reveals the sort of soaring melodic sensibilities found in fellow American BM outfits like Krallice, Fell Voices and Ash Borer, that classic Nordic-influenced sound underscored by eerily pretty minor key melodies and cascades of spidery arpgeggiated notes that seem to draw from early 90's math rock just as much as they do from the frostbitten chordal forms of black metal. And as the album progresses, more of that mathiness emerges through the violent blastbeat-driven wintervisions, vicious buzzsaw riffs and rampaging d-beat tempos suddenly hurtling out of the chaos before slipping into some off-kilter, angular breakdown or wash of creepy dissonant instrumental guitar. There's a raw, low-fi edge to Process that really works in its favor, contrasting with the ambitious complexity of the songs and the Slinty digressions and eruptions into soaring, keening droning guitar leads that streak over the thunderous blasting epics like "Simulacra". The vocals have a strange distorted sheen than clings to them, at times sounding as if those desperate screams and shrieks are being transmitted out of a crackling transistor radio as the elegant, mournful tremolo riffs swarm madly around, slipping into some terrific little moments of phantasmic beauty, like how the end of "Kissed By The Red" goes from the aggressive, majestic metallic blast into the sound of Scottish folk singer Isla Cameron singing "O Willow Waly", taken from Jack Clayton's 1961 supernatural classic The Innocents. And at the end, Alraune drag their ragged frenzy down to an almost doom-laden pace on the closing title track, the song lumbering through an epic sprawl of slow pummeling tempos, blazing blastbeats and wretched screaming that leads towards the powerful combination of frantic blackened tremolo riffs and pounding tribal rhythms that take over the second half of the song.
     A promising start from this new entry in the USBM field, Process skillfully combines haunting melodic dissonance, raw savagery and a distinct progressive edge into a powerful and mournful sound of their own. Killer stuff. Comes in digipack packaging.
Track Samples:
Sample : The Process of Self-Immolation
Sample : Simulacra
Sample : Exordium



ANCESTORS   In Death   7" VINYL   (Youth Attack)    14.99



   Already sold out from the label, so move fast if you want to pick up the latest release from shadowy black metal/punk outfit Ancestors (not to be confused with the neo-psych band on Tee Pee), headed up by Youth Attack label boss and former Das Oath/Charles Bronson member Mark McCoy. New stuff from this band only appears every once in a while, but it's always intensely abrasive and murderous-sounding filth, and In Death delivers four new songs of that caustic, cacophonic low-fi blackened metal, inside one of the coolest 7" packages I've seen in ages - more on that in a moment.
    Musically, this EP is hideous. Ancestors' stuff has always flayed a similar set of nerve-endings as Black Cilice's majestic no-fi din, with previous releases tipping over into some seriously speaker-destroying noisiness tempered with barbaric hardcore-informed riffs. This 7" isn't as insanely blown-out as some of their previous stuff, but it's still exceedingly raw. Songs like "That Which I Should Have Done I Did Not Do " and "Reliquary Ashes" combining raging fast-paced tempos and simple, violent riffage lifted from classic early hardcore, but it's strained through a black murk of hiss and distortion with a putrid gargling vocal attack that renders the lyrics utterly unintelligible, a bizarre droning croak that stretches into a preverbal shriek over the crushing blackened heaviness. Guitars are whipped into squalls of queasy, evil guitar solos and sickly, dissonant melodies amid the frenzied thrash and pummeling tempo changes, sometimes shifting down into a crushing Frostian heaviness. As usual, though, there are stirring melodic touches that briefly emerge out of the band's feral tumult as well.
    But maybe the coolest thing about this 7" is the "hidden track", accessible by pushing down on the cover of the gatefold jacket, where a device inside the cover begins playing an intense blast of evil blackened murk that borders on total necrotic noise, the violent snarling chaos emanating from the sleeve in a tinny blast of transistor evil, similar to those old VHS box covers for movies like The Dead Pit and Metamorphosis that would light up and howl when you pushed them.
Track Samples:
Sample :
Sample :
Sample :



ANCIENT VVISDOM   Sacrificial   CD   (Magic Bullet)    10.98



    These guys seemed to catch some of the blowback from Ghost and their surge in mainstream popularity, falling under a similar shadow of suspicion by those who saw this sort of occult posturing as an empty bid for street cred and black metal-esque mystique. While there's certainly been a vomitous number of bands that have climbed aboard the black magic wagon in recent years, Austin, TX band Ancient VVisdom seemed a little more legit than most. Maybe the fact that they didn't sound like the umpteenth Coven clone was enough for me to dig what I heard on albums like A Godlike Inferno, and the set of theirs I caught a few years back when they were on tour with Enslaved hammered me pretty nicely. Formed by former members of Integrity and Iron Age, Ancient VVisdom are one of the more original bands to come out of that "occult rock" resurgence of recent years, their early albums centering around an acoustic-based sound that offered an interesting mix of heavy metal chug, gothy acoustic folk, big-riff rock and a bit of those weird Holy Terror references.
    On the band's latest album Sacrificial, their stuff sounds more anthemic and accessible than ever. This batch of songs is about as catchy as anything on Ghost's latest, but much of the folkiness of past VVisdom releases now replaced with more overt doom-laden heaviness. They've always had elements of doom metal in their music, but on Sacrificial, the acoustic guitars are almost totally swapped out for crunchier, morose riffage that takes this in the direction of more straightforward metallic rock. I miss that folky quality from previous albums, but as far as songs go, this is still pretty great. The sinister strum of the acoustic guitar at the beginning of introductory instrumental "Rise of an Ancient Evil" quickly gives way to slow, plodding riffage and layered guitars, with eerie choral voices swelling up and giving this piece a strange atmospheric power that sort of feels like something that could have been on a mid-80s Italian horror movie soundtrack. That metallic heaviness sticks around as the album moves into the old-school doom of "Chaos Will Reign", those clear, keening vocals rising over the gloomy chug and sluggish, solemn weight of the music, but like most of the songs on the album, it eventually moves into a wickedly catchy chorus that elevates this into serious earworm territory. They've always had this accessible quality to their songs, but songs like this one are borderline radio-friendly. Passages of moody acoustic strum and harmonized singing turn into a kind of shadow-drenched pop, coiled with the band's overtly satanic and death-drenched imagery. The rest of this stuff is equally infectious, "The Devil's Work" dropping power-pop hooks into the brooding black-magic doom, and a lot of this reminds me a bit of the similarly pop-damaged UK doom-rock band Winters, but even catchier and more rooted in a classic psych-tinged hard rock sound. Of course, this album does little to shake the Ghost comparisons that have followed these guys from the beginning, but there's also a distinctly American feel with this as well; there are several moments on Sacrificial where I'm reminded of certain strains of 90s era post-hardcore, as if one of those old Deep Elm Records outfits had been enfolded within the black wings of Saint Vitus and Pentagram. Like most of the bands that Ancient VVisdom get lumped in with, this stuff will probably grate on heavy metal purists, but I'm digging their infernal, ear-friendly hard rock.
Track Samples:
Sample : Worm Ridden Skull
Sample : The Devil's Work
Sample : Rise of an Ancient Evil



ANCIENT VVISDOM   Sacrificial   LP   (Magic Bullet)    15.99



    These guys seemed to catch some of the blowback from Ghost and their surge in mainstream popularity, falling under a similar shadow of suspicion by those who saw this sort of occult posturing as an empty bid for street cred and black metal-esque mystique. While there's certainly been a vomitous number of bands that have climbed aboard the black magic wagon in recent years, Austin, TX band Ancient VVisdom seemed a little more legit than most. Maybe the fact that they didn't sound like the umpteenth Coven clone was enough for me to dig what I heard on albums like A Godlike Inferno, and the set of theirs I caught a few years back when they were on tour with Enslaved hammered me pretty nicely. Formed by former members of Integrity and Iron Age, Ancient VVisdom are one of the more original bands to come out of that "occult rock" resurgence of recent years, their early albums centering around an acoustic-based sound that offered an interesting mix of heavy metal chug, gothy acoustic folk, big-riff rock and a bit of those weird Holy Terror references.
    On the band's latest album Sacrificial, their stuff sounds more anthemic and accessible than ever. This batch of songs is about as catchy as anything on Ghost's latest, but much of the folkiness of past VVisdom releases now replaced with more overt doom-laden heaviness. They've always had elements of doom metal in their music, but on Sacrificial, the acoustic guitars are almost totally swapped out for crunchier, morose riffage that takes this in the direction of more straightforward metallic rock. I miss that folky quality from previous albums, but as far as songs go, this is still pretty great. The sinister strum of the acoustic guitar at the beginning of introductory instrumental "Rise of an Ancient Evil" quickly gives way to slow, plodding riffage and layered guitars, with eerie choral voices swelling up and giving this piece a strange atmospheric power that sort of feels like something that could have been on a mid-80s Italian horror movie soundtrack. That metallic heaviness sticks around as the album moves into the old-school doom of "Chaos Will Reign", those clear, keening vocals rising over the gloomy chug and sluggish, solemn weight of the music, but like most of the songs on the album, it eventually moves into a wickedly catchy chorus that elevates this into serious earworm territory. They've always had this accessible quality to their songs, but songs like this one are borderline radio-friendly. Passages of moody acoustic strum and harmonized singing turn into a kind of shadow-drenched pop, coiled with the band's overtly satanic and death-drenched imagery. The rest of this stuff is equally infectious, "The Devil's Work" dropping power-pop hooks into the brooding black-magic doom, and a lot of this reminds me a bit of the similarly pop-damaged UK doom-rock band Winters, but even catchier and more rooted in a classic psych-tinged hard rock sound. Of course, this album does little to shake the Ghost comparisons that have followed these guys from the beginning, but there's also a distinctly American feel with this as well; there are several moments on Sacrificial where I'm reminded of certain strains of 90s era post-hardcore, as if one of those old Deep Elm Records outfits had been enfolded within the black wings of Saint Vitus and Pentagram. Like most of the bands that Ancient VVisdom get lumped in with, this stuff will probably grate on heavy metal purists, but I'm digging their infernal, ear-friendly hard rock.
Track Samples:
Sample : Worm Ridden Skull
Sample : The Devil's Work
Sample : Rise of an Ancient Evil



AUBE   Howling Obsession [Revised]   CD   (Manifold)    10.98



    Released in 2002 by Manifold Records, Aube's Howling Obsession is one of the more menacing recordings to come from Akifumi Nakajima's long-running experimental noise project. Like most Aube releases, this focuses on a single sound source that Nakajima proceeds to manipulate and expand into a wider array of sounds, here crafting a black soundworld using only a small speaker to generate his noises, the black cone of his speaker transformed into a gateway into a dark chromium universe. The four main studio tracks that make up Howling Obsession were originally intended for a cassette release on an ill-fated US label that never materialized, and were revised and re-mastered for this proper release through Manifold, supplemented by a sprawling live track.
    Nakajima produces some stunning droneworks on Howling Obsession using just that single speaker; the title track is an intense piece of deadzone soundscapery, an eighteen minute sprawl that starts out with just the muted buzz of an electrical current, a deep, almost subliminal pulse felt more than heard as it slowly fades into view. It slowly expands into a mesmeric static tone-prayer, gradually joined by layers of piercing high-frequency feedback that swell in volume, somewhat comparable to the minimalist nihilistic noise experiments of Italian artist N., but more meditative, focusing on the soft fluttering movement of the speakerbuzz as he gently manipulates his sound across the length of the track. It's disrupted by Nakajima's volleys of scrapes and rattling noises, created by running the speaker noise through a variety of effects processing, drawing back to the sound of distant thunder before surging back into a storm of chittering distortion, an insectile swarm of crackling noise that proceeds to spread out into a textural field of black static somewhat akin to some of The Rita's more subdued recordings. The other three studio tracks that follow range from brief feedback mantras that stretch rhythmic noises across a black void ("Replicate") and surreal soundscapes populated with malformed mechanical loops, spurts of acrid distortion and searingly abrasive locustblast electronics that reach Bastard Noise-style levels of sonic violence ("M.O.L."), to the ghostly, over-modulated chrome-wet drones and asthmatic industrial throb that dominates "Ex-Terminal". All in all, it's some of the bleakest material I've heard from Aube, and rather captivating.
    You can hear some elements of the previous tracks in his live performance of "Howling Obsession" from 1997 that closes the disc. At first this twenty-four minute performance goes much darker and creepier, a hushed dronescape of delicate feedback streaks burning out against the black aural backdrop, deep speaker rumblings rising and falling across the length of the track, punctuated by some seriously tinnitus-inducing high end feedback. But later on, the set develops into a more pugilistic din of harsh noise, erupting into blasts of garbled 8-bit chipviolence. An intense enough experience just listening to this track on the album, I can only imagine what it was like to be there in the flesh as Nakajima coaxed these monstrous sounds from his equipment.
Track Samples:
Sample : M.O.L.
Sample : Howling Obsession
Sample : Ex-Terminal



AUDITOR   Form Destroyer   CDR   (Annihilvs)    11.98



   My teeth are still rattling from this. Form Destroyer is the debut full-length from Auditor, the latest project from Brandon Elkins, who had previously rattled our skulls with the glitched-out industrial dubscapes and doom-laden electronics of Iron Forest (who released that killer Body Horror disc on Crucial Blaze a while back), and before that with the haunting experimental blackness of his old project A Crown Of Amaranth who also appeared on one of the Crucial Blast sub-labels around a decade ago. Elkins's music has kept getting heavier with each new project, incorporating heavier elements of dub, rhythmic industrial sounds and doom-laden metal, making his more recent projects particularly punishing. And in many ways Auditor picks right up where Iron Forest left off with Body Horror, constructing a series of monstrous malformed blasts of lurching industrial heaviness smeared in echoing dub-style percussion and gut-rumbling bass. More metallic than ever, in fact.
    But with Auditor, that dub-damaged sound also gets twisted into something even harsher, with those crushing low-slung rhythms plated in massive low-end and chiseled into breakbeat-like rhythms, over which Elkins layers some pretty oppressive orchestral ambiance and bleak industrial drones. Vast swathes of dystopian ambiance are draped over the grotesque Godfleshian boom-bap and veins of clanking mutant dub that pulse malignantly throughout the album. And it gets pretty nightmarish pretty quick, moving from the noisy, cacophonous chaos of opener "Protocol 1" that spreads out into a wall of staticky drone streaked in sinister melody, into the demonic industrial dirge of "And Vomit As You Devour Them" that sounds like some vile mutation of an old Wax Trax 12". From there it gets relentlessly bleaker, piling ominous sampled voices over those skittering, pneumatic rhythms and bursts of bone-splintering bass, washes of oceanic black ambiance sweeping across the echoing beats and droning distorted bass guitar, snarls of putrid over-modulated feedback twining around squalls of distant guitar noise.
    The tone of the album gets significantly heavier across the second half though, as "Betrayer Of Sleep" suddenly drops the tempo down even more and the sound transforms into an utterly evil crawl of industrial doom, a glacial riff skulking through a haze of sparse, hammered drums, the vocals dispensed in a murderous reptilian whisper, everything adorned in decaying strands of howling feedback. I'm momentarily reminded of some weird synthesized version of bands like Thergothon or Evoken, but powered by a fucked-up mechanical backbeat, the drumming sounding "live" but also hopelessly fractured into something more abstract, with barely any forward momentum at all, which just adds to the oppressive atmosphere of the whole thing. And then the closer, a nearly fifteen minute holocaust of distorted chaos and terrifying choral screams (courtesy of Joan Hacker of Factoria) that gradually disperse into an epic blown-out finale, ghastly howls streaking high above a field of smoldering blackened electronics and dirge-like bass rumble, an evil mesmeric symphony of black noise spreading edgelessly through the cosmos, riding on waves of monstrous distorted doom riffs cloaked in carnivorous static, eventually burning off into a rather strange hallucinatory stretch of dreamy jazziness lit up with tracers of lingering vocals, floating through a deep black carcinogenic haze. Between that immense deathdrone voidscape and the crushing cracked industrial heaviness of the previous tracks, this sort of comes off like a blacknoise-infected Scorn, a malevolent dubstep monstrosity slowed down to a torturous crawl.
    Comes in digipack packaging.
Track Samples:
Sample : Protocol 1
Sample : I Can Never Be Far Enough From You
Sample : Betrayer Of Sleep



AUTHOR & PUNISHER   Drone Machines   2 x LP   (Seventh Rule)    21.00



   Previously available on CD from Israeli avant-metal label Heart & Crossbone, the debut release from mechanical metal titan Author & Punisher is now finally available on vinyl courtesy of Seventh Rule, in gatefold packaging with a digital download; still one of my favorite industrial metal releases of the past decade, here's the original writeup I did of Drone Machines 2010 back when we first got the disc in stock:
   Drone Machines had originally come out earlier in the year as a self-released CDr, but was quickly picked up by Heart & Crossbone for a wider Cd release; the label is a perfect fit, their recent explorations into bleak, dub-influenced industrial doom aligning neatly with the machine-driven ultra-sludge that this one man band creates. That Author & Punisher is indeed a one man band is only part of why this project is so amazing; the sole mastermind behind this is Tristan Shone, who not only operates the arsenal of sound machines and equipment that he uses to create this massive mechanized sludge-metal all on his own, but also designed and manufactured all of it as well. Like the title says, the machines are the basis for Author & Punisher's sound, though this is much less about drone and much more about pulverizing rhythmic heaviness. It's almost impossibly heavy, a perfectly executed assault of grinding, heaving, ultra bass-heavy industrial pummel that immediately made this one of my favorite new albums...     The sound is dense and crushing, at first focused on monstrous exhalations and rapturous chanting that join over huge swaths of low end drone, and then the mechanized drums begin lunging and lurching, a surging rhythmic machine grind taking form on opener "sand Wind And Carcass", a massive abstracted industrial metal dirge, over modulated distortion rumbling over massive percussive pummel, fields of desolate ambience suddenly opening up for a minute and then becoming swallowed up by the machines, distorted bass slowing to a crawl, the riffs becoming warped, various electronic manipulations going on as the music chugs forward, obviously the result of Shone wrangling his machines and sculpting the sound. Hearing all of this lock in together, the machines working in concert to create this monolithic robotic assault, is pretty mind-blowing. Continuing on, "Burrow Below" features some pulverizing dubstep-level bass squelch, and lurches into a devastating Godflesh-like mecha groove, ultra-downtuned lockstep riff and pneumatic drum machine grinding together in a crushing dub-doom groove, with Shone's sneering, malevolent vocals. Godflesh is the easiest comparison to what Author & Punisher is doing, obviously a big influence on Shone, but that classic Streetcleaner sound is warped and mutated into something more mechanical and inhuman, with more processed electronics, eerie melodic fragments appearing in the singing and the dense layers of drone and industrial texture, horrific screams time-stretched to the breaking point, the guitars and bass themselves processed and turned into synth-like blocks of distorted noise, or mangled into looped drones, phased bass and oscillating buzz.
    Drone Machines is an ultra-intense blast of industrial metal performed by enslaved heavy machinery, and at it's most intense, sounds like a symphony of hellish steel presses and tank-tread drum machine rhythms, blasting warped low-end bass and shifting frequencies across a chaotic grindscape of malfunctioning electronics and drones, the doomed grind seizing up, the riffs fracturing, the whole thing becoming a monstrous alien construct splattered with junk metal carnage. A fucking amazing debut, anyone into grinding industrial doom, Godflesh, Halo, Human Quena Orchestra, Grave In The Sky, Dead World, any of that malicious, mechanical metallic crush has got to hear this...
Track Samples:
Sample : Blue Flame
Sample : Doppler
Sample : NTG Part 1 - Time



BAND, RICHARD   H.P. Lovecraft's Re-Animator (2014 Edition)   LP   (Waxwork)    26.00



    Finally have this cult classic score in stock, recently repressed by the folks at Waxwork after initially going out of print. The label's vinyl reissue of Richard Band's Re-animator score was one of the very first releases for the label, and naturally got them quite a bit of attention from horror circles; you'd have a tough time trying to find a film more emblematic of the excesses of 1980s horror, and Re-animator remains one of the most beloved movies from the era. Directed by the brilliant Stuart Gordon, this 1985 film was the first in a series of gory, gloopy adaptations of H.P. Lovecraft stories from the director, updating the weird tale of the original serial with massive doses of 80's gore and mayhem. Not to mention a big helping of pitch-black humor, too; alongside Evil Dead II and Return Of The Living Dead, this is a stone cold horror-comedy classic, capable of eliciting belly laughs one moment, and sheer revulsion in the next, such as the oh-so-infamous sequence of cadaverous cunnilingus in the film's climax that still packs one hell of a revolting punch.
    And Richard Band's score for Re-animator is pretty iconic on its own. Instead of going for a synth-driven sound like many of his contemporaries, Band used the Rome Philharmonic Orchestra to perform his quirky score for the film, a score that directly referenced Bernard Herrmann's classic Psycho theme and extrapolated upon it for Re-animator's own theme. He actually caught a bit of heat over his "borrowing" of certain aspects of Herrmann's score, something that is discussed in the liner notes to Waxwork's reissue; listening to the two pieces of music back to back does point out some definite differences, with Band working the strings around wonky dissonant violins and a pounding disco-like backbeat. But from there Band crafts his own distinct mix of eerie orchestral sounds, strings that slowly weave an atmosphere of morbid whimsicality and building dread, somnambulant electronic drones and blasts of growling synthesizer that weaving in and out of the mix, drifting amid the low groan of cellos and the often thunderous percussion, while that main title theme recurs throughout Band's score, with the occasional shot of almost Carl Stalling/Danny Elfman-esque absurdism briefly appearing amid the darker, more disturbing sequences, perfectly evoking the film's balance of humor and horror.
    He'd go on to produce a large body of music after this, but Re-animator still stands as one of Band's best scores, something that was more in the spirit of his beloved Herrmann and composers like James Horner and Jerry Goldsmith than the electronic scores that 80's horror is usually associated with. And this vinyl reissue is the best presentation this music has ever had, re-mastered from the original tapes and pressed on gorgeous green and white 180 gram vinyl, packaged in a killer-looking jacket designed by Gary Pullin, with a printed inner sleeve that features liner notes from Band and director Gordon that shed light on the Herrmann comparisons and the creation of the score, as well as some neat, rarely-seen photos of the recording session.


BASTARD NOISE   Live At Babycastles   CD   (Small Doses)    11.98



    As much as I love the full-band, weirdo prog-core stuff that Eric Wood has been doing with Bastard Noise in recent years, there's definitely nothing quite like the cosmic terror that the guy is able to whip up with his full-on "caveman electronics" style noisescapes. And that's the territory that we find the band in with this new disc. The seemingly ever-shifting lineup of Bastard Noise evolves once again for this live album, which features Wood teaming up with noise artist Anthony Saunders, who some of you might remember from his crazed digital grindcore band Dataclast that appeared on one of Crucial Blast's earliest releases. Babycastles consists of a single forty-minute piece titled "Alien Mother Nest / Space Graves" that the duo recorded live in New York City in 2014. You probably wouldn't even know that this is a live album from listening to it, though, as the sound quality is great and the group's electronic assault gets pretty massive after the long, slow build across the first third of the disc.
    With "Nest", these guys are in no rush to assault the listener. The first several minutes of the set is all slow-burn celestial drift, slowly undulating waves of distorted drone shifting across a spacious black expanse as eerie electronic cries sound from far off in the distance, and glimmering sine-waves and high-end tones dot the rumbling, sprawling driftscape. As the performance progresses, though, other more abrasive sounds slowly begin to descend upon their thrumming electric field, high distressing feedback tones hovering endlessly over the approach of jittering machine-like noises and more of those weird distant electronic shrieks. The layered sounds become more intricate as they sculpt their noise into an symphony of tortured engines and squealing test-tones, everything clouded by heavy doses of reverb, building into a squirming, howling mass of menacing vermiform electronics punctuated with increasingly violent blasts of monstrous metallic roar, unseen power tool rituals, and avalanches of corroded sheet metal. Abrasive chirping glitchery swarms like gusts of ravenous bio-mech insects sweeping down and around the lifeless factory pulse and collapsing metal forms that loom over the final ten minutes of the set. It's an exquisitely crafted blast of malevolent alien drone, one of the more "ambient" Bastard Noise recordings of late, but underscored with plenty of that roaring mutant heaviness and cyborg / caveman psychedelia that we know and love. Comes in gatefold packaging.
Track Samples:
Sample : Alien Mother Nest / Space Graves
Sample : Alien Mother Nest / Space Graves
Sample : Alien Mother Nest / Space Graves



BASTARD NOISE + KALMEX AND THE RIFF MERCHANTS   Ultra Sonic Holocaust   LP   (Hear More)    18.98



   Need some more Beefheartian stoner metal lunacy in your life? You're going to get it with the first new release from Kalmex and crew in a decade; Ultra Sonic Holocaust is a long-in-the-works album that features this bizarro crew from Redwood City, CA teaming up with Eric Wood's Bastard Noise for a nine-track decent into lysergic hell. Made up of assorted members of some of the more demented Bay Area hardcore / grind / powerviolence gangs like Agents Of Satan, Plutocracy, Immortal Fate and No Less, Kalmex And The Riffmerchants were a short-lived but thoroughly wonky outfit that delivered an experimental derangement of Shaggs-esque shamble, Kyussian sludge, brain-damaged space rock and cracked-out power electronics during their brief run. Before splitting up, the band recorded a collaboration with the Man Is The Bastard electronic noise offshoot Bastard Noise, but a variety of obstacles prevented this album from ever seeing the light of day until now. After being shelved for nearly a decade, this day-glo psych mutation has finally surfaced on Hear More, and it's as intensely fucked up as I'd expected.
    The LP kicks off with a weird intro noisescape made up of answering machine messages, piercing electronics and trippy flutes, all congealing into a druggy sonic haze, then lurches into the Riffmerchants' brand of fucked-up atonal "stoner rock", a brain-wrecking mess of psychedelic wah-splooge and shambling spaced-out grooves, blotted with outbursts of ugly hardcore punk and noxious Eyehategod-esque sludge all smeared in gorked psych-guitar noodling. It's a virtual free-for-all, as they throw in assaults of hideous slow-motion powerviolence and brain-damaged Slayerized riffing, insane vocoder-fucked singing, airy folk-pop tunes with bestial vocals and more of that tuneless flute accompaniment, suddenly bursting into weird thrash metal parts, or spew out Casio keyboard melodies over meaty stoner-rock chug-fests. There's Mike Patton-esque crooning, and lots of random fucking around in the studio that suddenly shows up in the middle of a song, even abrupt blasts of low-fi technical death metal that come out of nowhere. The Merchants layer all kinds of stream-of-consciousness weirdness into their songs, out-of-place noises and trippy guitar tracks, lots of improvisational experimentation no doubt spurred on by copious drug ingestion, and there are large expanses of music that actually sound like you're hearing three different bands all playing at the same time. And all throughout this, they've incorporated Bastard Noise's squealing, swarming electronic noise into their songs, sometimes subtly, sometimes allowing it to totally take over the track as they spin out into a madness of improvised clatter and swirling locust-noise. In a word, fucked.
    Along with this completely insane album of berserker psych rock, you also get a killer twenty-page booklet filled with extensive liner notes on the saga behind this album, as well as lots of full-color artwork from Aaron Guadamuz, who also did the sleeve art; his fevered hallucinatory illustrations are filled with bizarre mutants, twisted biological horrors, and insane technologies that come across like some batshit cross between the psychedelic sci-fi scribblings of Voivod's Michel "Away" Langevin and the repulsive cartoons of underground artist Mike Diana. Limited to five hundred copies.


BASTARD NOISE / BIZARRE UPROAR   split   7" VINYL   (DP)    12.98



    One of several split releases that Bastard Noise did in the 90s with Finnish power electronics fiend Bizarre Uproar, this record is pretty rare, coming out back in 1994 on BN/MITB member Eric Wood's own DP imprint; long out of print and fairly hard to find, we recently unearthed a handful of this 7" from a distributor, most likely the last copies of this crushing EP ever. Packaged in a letter-pressed cardstock cover printed by Thumbprint Press, it's one of the more sought after early Bastard Noise releases.
    Featuring the early lineup of Man Is The Bastard members Eric Wood, Henry Barnes, and W.T. Nelson, the Bastard Noise side offers up three tracks of experimental electronics and low-fidelity rhythmic industrial from the group, starting with the ambient room noise and corroded electro-pulse of "Gunrange" through the sputtering, demonic power electronics of "Ham (Kansas City Mindwash)", where Wood hisses malevolently over a field of chirping tones and juddering low-end noise. That's followed by the unsettling high-frequency glitchery and oscillator fuckery of "Bats", which is harsh as hell. Some of this reminds me of Schimpfluch-Gruppe's abstract noisescapes more than the full-blast insect electronics of the Bastard Noise releases that would come later in the decade, but you still get some of that skull-shredding oscillator mayhem here, which obviously echoes the abrasive noise experiments found on the Man Is The Bastard albums.
    Bizarre Uproar counters with a single track, "Sound Of Gigantic War Machines Malfunctioning". His own brand of grim, threatening power electronics and industrial noise combines what sounds like the rumble of small engines layered together into a rattling bed of metallic noise, chopped apart into passages of murky machine rumble and keening feedback. This is actually somewhat easy on the ears compared to most Bizarre Uproar stuff, a muted dronescape of mechanical murk that drifts and rumbles along quite nicely, with just the right amount of abrasiveness to keep this from slipping into a purely ambient wash of sound.


BEASTMILK   Use Your Deluge (GOLD)   7" VINYL   (Magic Bullet)    7.99



   Now available on limited gold vinyl...
    Here's the second new Beastmilk reissue that just came out from the band's US label Magic Bullet, a new version of the Finnish post-punk outfit's first actual 7" release that came out on Svart back in 2012. Use Your Deluge was the second release from these apocalyptic Helsinki gloom-punks, following up their acclaimed self-released cassette with four more songs of incredibly catchy, sinister music that references everything from Joy Division to Sisters Of Mercy to Danzig, while ultimately crafting a dark driving sound of their own. These tracks are still among my favorites from the band, and did more than merely foreshadow the brilliant songwriting and elegant, icy aggression of their debut album Climax; the caliber of songwriting here is just as high, tracks like "Void Mother", "Forever Animal", "Red majesty" and especially the thoroughly rousing "Children Of The Atom Bomb" all showcasing Beastmilk's perfect hybrid of Danzig-esque darkness and propulsive, rocking post-punk edged with a slight metallic bite. Every one of these songs is wound around a maddeningly catchy hook, drums slipping seamlessly between pounding tribal drumming and that soaring sinister momentum, lush ice-encrusted guitar melodies winding around the coolly detached delivery of Mat McNerney (of Code / Hexvessel / Dødheimsgard fame)'s crooning lead vocals, a perfect accompaniment to Beastmilk's heavy endtime anthems. Highly recommended.
Track Samples:
Sample : Red Majesty
Sample : Children of the Atom Bomb
Sample : Void Mother



BETHLEHEM   Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia   CD   (Prophecy Productions)    19.99



   Long before black metallers everywhere began to embrace and invoke the sounds of 80's era darkwave and post-punk in the manner we've been seeing in recent years, Germany's Bethlehem exuded a uniquely wretched and distressing concoction of crushing doom, unhinged black metal, and utterly morbid gothic filth on early albums like Dictius Te Necare and Sardonischer Untergang Im Zeichen Irreligiöser. Those early records sounded like little else at the time, and still stick out like a black, throbbing growth amongst the 90's black metal hordes. With their bizarre vocal delivery that often seemed to break down into weeping despair, the strange atmospheric touches and avant-garde arrangements, driving Joy Division-esque bass lines coexisting with spectacularly grim mid-paced black metal riffs, and an overwhelmingly oppressive obsession with suicide and death, Bethlehem almost single-handedly formed the template for much of what people now refer to as "depressive" black metal. Bethlehem would eventually move into more industrial-tinged territory in later years, but there's always been a morbid weirdness that's followed their music, even into the strange blend of gothic metal and Rammstein-esque bombast that comprised their 2004 album Mein Weg, which was actually the last proper full length from the band up till now, their ill-received re-working of Sardonischer from 2009 notwithstanding.
    With its glossolalia-like title (which means a fear of the number 666), Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia is the long-awaited return from these Teutonic gloom-mongers, and while this twelve-song album is no return to the razor-wielding suicide-obsessed black metal of those iconic early Lps, this is still some uniquely demented stuff that I found highly enjoyable. Hex kicks off with the band in total Teutonic Sisters Of Mercy mode via the driving, high-gloss goth rock of "Ein Kettenwolf Greint 13:11-18", a track of super-slick, hard rocking stadium-goth that serves up equal helpings of brooding darkness and anthemic fist-shaking choruses, which they follow with the more propulsive, lush gloom-pop of "Egon Erwin's Mongo-Mumu ". Like the latter-day Katatonia stuff, these songs still retain a hefty amount of metallic bite and plenty of grim atmosphere, and the songs that follow delve more than once into Bethlehem's signature dismal slow-moving doom. For the most part, though, the first few songs on Hex are slick, modern post-punk through and through, heavy and ominous and very, very catchy, with lots of driving Peter Hook-style bass lines and lushly cascading guitars, the singer's crooning baritone dominating the mix. At least till "Verbracht In Plastiknacht", where things suddenly turn much more twisted and grotesque, the band finally slipping into jagged, goth-infested blackened heaviness, blasts of mid-paced doom-laden metal laced with peculiar electronic flourishes and industrial rhythms that drift in and out of the evil, lurching crush. It's a pretty varied album, actually: you get the bluesy, heavy instrumental "Höchst Alberner Wichs" with its almost Cult-esque vibe, and gorgeous slide-guitar twang appears on a couple of tracks, as do forays into Rammstein-esque industrial crunch. Other songs are haunting synth-heavy gloomscapes, laced with hints of dark shadowdraped pop and stirring vocal harmonies. An odd mix of sounds for sure, Germanic industrial metal fusing with gorgeous modern darkwave, Lifelover-esque hooks tangling with snarling black doom, with the occasional blast of frenzied black metal a la "Spontaner Freitod". The harshly guttural quality of the German language lyrics mix nicely with the emotional singing style, delivering an unusual combination of gnarled gloompop and sickly blackened dissonance, and while far more experimental than the band's earlier works, it still retains all of the stinking morbidity and suffocating despair that has always been Bethlehem's rot-soaked calling card. Purists should avoid, but for myself, I haven't been able to stop listening to this album.
    Comes in digipack packaging.
Track Samples:
Sample : ÿþWarum Wurdest Du Bloß Solch Ein Schwein?
Sample : Verbracht in Plastiknacht
Sample : Antlitz Eines Teilzeitfreaks



BIANCHI, MAURIZIO   Amentest   7" VINYL   (Dais)    8.99



   I wouldn't have doubted it for a moment if you threw this on sight unseen and told me that this was some long-lost early 80s recording from Bianchi. As he states in his typically incomprehensible sleeve notes that come with the recent 7" release of Amentest, the music on this EP was created by the use of "solemnoises and electrophobic waves", whatever he hell those might be. The two fairly lengthy tracks of morbid reverb-chamber creep that Maurizio Bianchi produces here are cut from a similar cloth as the type of primitive industrial noise works he was producing in the early 80s, as part of the early industrial underground alongside the likes of Whitehouse and Throbbing Gristle. Both "Amentest" and b-side "Testamen" are a bit of a throwback to that classic, desolate Bianchi sound, composed around rattling percussive noises that are run through heavy layers of delay and echo, generating fields of ghostly tremors and ecto-rattlings that ripple across the blackness in waves of over-modulated sound.
    There are moments here that call back to the minimal, sinister industrial music of his iconic Symphony For A Genocide album, which still ranks as some of my all-time favorite material of his. Not as suffocating or oppressive as that album was, this 7" is still my preferred mode of Maurizio, each track rattling and clanking through a thin fog of murky reverb, primitive percussive loops clanking coldly beneath the echoing metallic drift, like the distant pounding of cadaverous fists against the far side of some spectral wall; the second track in particular exudes a nicely spooky quality, as strains of horn-like melody struggle to break through the waves of rattling metallic noise. Released in a limited edition of three hundred copies, includes a download.


BLADH, MARTIN + SEKTOR 304   Ruby   CDR   (Annihilvs)    11.98



    The most recent spate of Annihilvs releases has been pretty fantastic, none more so than the new collaborative album Ruby from dark Swedish visionary Martin Bladh and Portuguese industrial pummelers Sektor 304. I've been getting increasingly hooked on Sektor 304's unique combination of clanking industrial noise and apocalyptic Swans-esque power-dirge, and it was just on the last new arrivals list here at C-Blast that I raved about both their recent new live album and the latest full-length from Bladh's avant death industrial outfit IRM, so this disc landed here at the perfect time, complimenting the constant spins both of those albums have been getting here.
    Made up of a single hour-long piece, Ruby slowly emerges out of a field of mesmeric black throb, deep bass pulses radiating out of slowly swirling electronic loops. It doesn't take long though before the group begins to unleash their full fury, leading the album through a number of distinct passages of crushing synth-drone and doom-laden death industrial, filled with sprawls of evil electronic ambience, glacial percussive movements shifting tectonically beneath the group's array of creepy field recordings and desolate drone. Bladh delivers his unsettling prose as a spoken monologue over the rumbling noisescape, his voice twisted and pitched into layers of helium-sucking squeak and deeper mutterings, the layering of voices adding to what becomes an increasingly surreal atmosphere that develops over the course of the album. Rhythmic loops are also recurring element, rattling percussive noises that resemble rain sticks and distant prayer-bells that are woven into rhythmically hypnotic forms as they tumble into a black abyss, and dread-filled synthesizers cruise that blackness with a minimal menace that verges on Carpenterian. Swells of rumbling improvised cacophony surge out of the depths, and there are moments (like when guest musician Angélica Salvi appears around halfway through with her ghostly harp) where Ruby veers into a kind of phantasmal, Lynchian strangeness that reminded more than once of Nurse With Wound. While this is much more focused on atmosphere than aggression, Sektor 304 fans do get some of the group's slow-motion industrial dirge in the latter half of the album, where that drifting dreamlike strangeness suddenly gives way to grueling mechanical heaviness and clanking, bass-draped crush, with some seriously heavy distorted bass guitar coiling around a particularly doomed passage. Those moments are for the most part brief punctuations of power scattered throughout the mostly formless nightmare of Ruby, however, eventually cresting with an unexpected final stretch of mesmeric noise-drenched rock that gets almost Skullflowery.
    Comes in a four-panel digipack with artwork from Bladh and designed by Sektor 304's André Coelho.
Track Samples:
Sample : Ruby
Sample : Ruby
Sample : Ruby



BOSWELL, SIMON   Stage Fright   LP   (Flick Records)    29.99



   There's probably a good chance you haven't seen Michele Soavi's phantasmal 1987 slasher Stage Fright, even if you're a fan of horror films from the era. Although it's been reissued several times in recent years and continues to build a cult following, this was generally overlooked by horror audiences, and was out of print here in the US for ages following the VHS release of the film (titled Deliria for that format). But it's a personal favorite of mine, ultra-violent and ultra-stylish, with one of the most unique-looking killers in the slasher canon. The ritualistic plotting of 80's slasher cinema is certainly present here, with Stage Fright following a troupe of theatre actors desperately trying to escape from an escaped madman who has locked them in their theatre, hunting them one by one. But Soavi (a protege of Dario Argento) escalates the weirdness, putting a giant owls head mask on his killer that give his scenes a bizarre, uncanny vibe, and the doomed actors are subjected to some truly brutal death sequences, part of a generally nihilistic mood that surrounds the film and ranks it as one of the more mean-spirited and vicious contributions to the slasher genre. Can't recommend it enough if you've got a taste for highly stylized Italian slasher films from the 80s, as you'll not see anything else quite like it. For the film's score, Soavi enlisted Simon Boswell to create the musical backdrop for this gore-splattered nightmare, and it's another one of my favorites from the period, though some contemporary listeners might see it as being a "cheesier" example of 80's horror film music.
    Sure, there's a distinctly 80's feel to Boswell's drum programming and synthetic choral sounds, but that's part of the appeal for me. It's actually a quite odd blend of modern electronic music and gothic atmosphere that he employs here, along with some of the industrial elements that often crept into his scores. His "Aquarius Theme" is a lush fusiony phantasia of over-the-top synth-bass and jazzy electric piano that reminds me of some of Keith Emerson's more decadent compositions for the Italians, and sets the stage for the delirious electronic-based sounds that follow. The score moves from dreamy elliptical arpeggios that have an almost Phillip Glass-esque vibe ("Hieronymus") and washes of jet-black electronic ambience that ripple with echoes of early Carpenter ("Bloody Bird"), to pounding electro-rock anthems like "Deliria" replete with staccato hard rock guitars and screaming solos, driven by blood-pumping tempos that give some of this an almost motorik momentum for some of the more action-heavy sequences. On the mournful "Requiem For An Owl", Boswell weaves lilting synth-flute melodies around ethereal pads and sustained strings to produce a darkly romantic atmosphere with a distinctly Italian feel, sorrowful and sweet electronic orchestrations that sort of feel as if Boswell is paying homage to the likes of Morricone and Ortolani. "Backstage" emits a nerve-shredding atmosphere of tension with its swells of deep brass and strange percussive noises overlaid with eerie music-box chimes, only to be followed by the experimental boom-bap of "Drama Queen" that sounds like some twisted Tackhead-style breakbeat attack, shuffling beneath random industrial clatter, high droning strings, weird tape noises and ominous minor-key orchestral creep. There's more of that rhythmic electro approach along with some additional industrial elements towards the end of the album, elements that fans of Boswell's other scores from the era (Demons, Hardware) will definitely recognize. It's great stuff, especially if you're a longtime fan of the film, and it's one of Boswell's most interesting scores from this time period.
    Flick has done a solid job with this reissue, apparently the first time this has appeared on vinyl since 1987; pressed on clear vinyl, the Lp comes in a jacket featuring eye-catching artwork from LG White, and includes a printed inner sleeve. A much-needed addition to my own collection, my only gripe is that they weren't able to somehow include Stefano Mainetti's awesome contributions to the score as well.


BURROUGHS, WILLIAM S.   Häxan: Witchcraft Through The Ages   CD   (Sotpackan)    17.98



    Observant fans of Benjamin Christensen's classic 1922 quasi-documentary Häxan have probably noticed my own infatuation with this infamous silent film here at C-Blast, as certain images from the film have taken on an almost totem-like presence in some of the organization's visuals. It's easily one of my favorite films of all time, a groundbreaking piece of cinema that blew my eyeballs out of the back of my head the first time I watched it. Released in 1922, this silent horror film/mock documentary from visionary Danish director Benjamin Christensen traced the history of witchcraft and devil-worship from medieval times through to the early 20th century, but Christensen's free-wheeling blending of fact and fantasy ended up transforming the film into a sprawling surrealistic epic. With a mix of academic presentation, grotesque medieval imagery, and dramatized sequences, Häxan gets pretty bonkers; when many of these scenes unfold, it's as if you're seeing woodcuts from the Malleus Maleficarum or scenes from a Bruegel painting coming alive before your eyes. And it's still a provocative film even today, weaving together eroticism, surrealism, perversion and blasphemy to forge flickering cinematic images that continue to linger in my subconsciousness. While the original 1922 release remains the definitive version of Häxan, most contemporary audiences actually discovered the film through a 1968 re-release that replaced the title cards with a spoken-word narration track from none other than William S. Burroughs, backed by a wild experimental jazz score created exclusively for the film. The whole project was commissioned by British experimental filmmaker and cult film distributor Antony Balch, who had already worked with the likes of Burroughs and Kenneth Anger on short films, and his revised, shortened version of Häxan was retitled Witchcraft Through The Ages, eventually finding an audience among midnight movie enthusiasts in the decades that followed. Though the tone of the film mutates wildly from its original form when backed by this combination of Burroughs's spoken word and jazzy soundtrack, this version definitely conjures a strange, dreamlike vibe all its own.
    Apparently never before released outside of the film, Sotpackan's Häxan features what appears to be the entire audio track from the abbreviated 1968 release of the film, nearly seventy-seven minutes of Burroughs reading from Christensen's original text, set over that eerie jazz backing track. And the music is great, and of particular interest to fans of European jazz: the group that Balch assembled for this project include renowned Swiss jazz drummer/composer Daniel Humair and virtuoso French jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty (Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return To Forever, Frank Zappa's The Mothers), who bring a mix of moody, creepy atmosphere and energetic playing to the recording. The sixteen tracks collected on this disc move chronologically, sometimes focused purely on Burroughs's reading of the text, often spiraling out into free jazz madness as the quartet weaves airy vibraphone and eerie violin over Humair's frenetic drumming and booming tribal rhythms, while smears of bleary gothic organ and ghostly Hammond shimmers in the darkness. Oboes chortle like conspiring witches, murmuring through stretches of abstract, clattery noisiness that can almost venture into AMM-esque territory, and there's one track where someone begins gibbering madly over one of these more melodious passages, and I couldn't help but be reminded of one of Magma's jazzier moments.
    Like some infernal beat-jazz cathode-ray drenched dream seeping into your ears at 3 am in the morning, this recording is more delirious than diabolical, though the musicians do frequently slip into passages of sinister cacophony that evoke the scenes of devil worship, child sacrifice, and wanton debauchery that parade across the screen. It's capable of abruptly turning from strange and swinging into something nightmarish, and removed from the amazing imagery of the film, the audio transforms into something new, a murky midnight jazz album guided by Burroughs's gravelly, droning intonation, like something off of some ancient Caedmon LP. A fine addition to one's library of demonic soundtrack arcana.
Track Samples:
Sample : [Untitled]
Sample : [Untitled]



CAMERON, JOHN   Psychomania   CD   (Trunk Records)    16.98



    Mostly known for reissues of deep-cut jazz/psych obscurities, British label Trunk Records had put out a couple of horror-related albums that I'd been wanting to get in stock for years, but which had gone out of print. One was the Dawn Of The Dead Unreleased Soundtrack Music compilation that features the obscure Music De Wolfe library pieces from Romero's apocalyptic zombie epic, and this, the sublimely sinister and psychedelic long-lost John Cameron soundtrack to cult classic British occult biker film Psychomania. In the hazy post-Hammer landscape of 1970's-era British horror cinema, Psychomania has always stuck out with its deranged tale of a hell-raising, devil-worshipping biker gang calling themselves "The Living Dead", and their ill-fated bid for immortality via toad-fueled necromancy and crazed supermarket carnage. It's a hoot, with numerous memorable scenes of nutty biker action, half-baked occultism, and some fantastic dialogue; no wonder it's been heavily referenced by fans of British black magic schlock like Electric Wizard and Satans Satyrs.
    Despite the film's cult following in horror/occult cinema circles, Cameron's Psychomania score was apparently never released in its entirity, with the only official release of music from the film being the two-song Witch Hunt / Living Dead 7" that came out in 1973, featuring two key themes from the film performed by Cameron's ad hoc psych outfit Frog that was formed specifically for the score. That original 7" alone has commanded some hefty prices on the collectors market, so it was great to have the entire score finally released by Trunk around a decade ago. Now back in print, we're getting this disc on our shelves for the first time, and get to revisit this bizarre soundtrack and its terrific low-fi psychedelic sleaze.
    For Psychomania, Cameron enlisted a group of British jazz musicians (going by the aforementioned "Frog" name) to perform his macabre arrangements, performing a set of tracks that craft an uncanny, hallucinatory atmosphere that kick in like good blotter, a killer mix of fuzz-encrusted psych and avant-garde gothic creep. The wah-fueled evil psych that plays over the opening "Psychomania Front Titles" combines airy flute with some seriously skuzzy funk bass and an infectious shuffling groove, producing some cool sinister instrumental rock; from there Cameron continues to exude a druggy, delirious atmosphere that goes well with the hell-raising, devil worshipping insanity on the screen, moving from spooky gothic organ and mesmeric krautrock grooves to minimal drones and echoplex-drenched piano, dropping in some raunchy garage-rock numbers like "Motorcycle Mayhem", belting out wailing female choruses and whirling gusts of witchy weirdness, and there's even some menacing keyboard-streaked tracks of hypnotic progginess that recalls the likes of Goblin. Some of the more memorable dialogue from the film is scattered among the musical tracks, and there are some lighter moments amongst all of the macabre fuzz-guitar jams, like the eerie woodwinds and gently plucked strings that form the nocturnal balladry of "Abby's Nightmare", and the unmistakably 70's-era folk rock that shows up on "Riding Free", the only track on the album that features actual singing. Some of the tracks feature brief cues that run only a few seconds in length, but there's plenty of longer tracks as well to sink your teeth into.
   The whole score was re-mastered for this release, but as label boss Johnny Trunk discusses in his liner notes, it was a tough job due to the deterioration of the original studio reels; that produces a bit of murk in the sound quality, but that's fine by me. It's still a highly listenable release that fans of the film should be greatly pleased with. The disc includes a booklet with liner notes from composer Cameron, Trunk and someone named Jogoku, with Cameron describing how he utilized a variety of experimental recording techniques to create his unearthly sounds, from prepared piano noises to processed vibraphones and Hammond organs that he ran through a bank of effects units. A real blast, still one of the kookiest horror scores of the era, highly recommended for fans of vintage psych-creep and sinister experimental weirdness.
Track Samples:
Sample : Psychomania Front Title
Sample : Motorcycle Mayhem
Sample : Locked Room and Mirror Sequence
Sample : Abby's Nightmare



CARPENTER, JOHN   Lost Themes   LP   (Sacred Bones)    19.99



    There's been feverish anticipation building around the C-Blast office for months, waiting for Lost Themes. The first ever "solo" album from John Carpenter outside of his legendary film score output (and his one-off band The Coupe De Villes with Tommy Lee Wallace and Nick Castle), Lost Themes comes at the height of a recent resurgence of interest in 80's era synthesizer music and classic horror movie scores, and John Carpenter's synth-drenched soundtracks in particular. A number of amazing reissues have surfaced lately from the likes of Mondo and Death Waltz, high-quality vinyl reissues of Carpenter's iconic music for classic films like Escape From New York, Halloween, Prince Of Darkness and The Fog, which have allowed a whole new audience to discover anew what many of us that have been worshipping at the altar of Carpenter since the VHS boom have known all along: this guys is one of the preeminent film and music stylists of the late 20th century. He's more revered now than ever, now that his stately nightmare visuals and pioneering electronic scores have so heavily influenced various aspects of our culture since he first appeared in the 1970s.
    So when word came out that Carpenter would be releasing his first ever collection of non-filmic music, I could hardly wait. While his more recent film work hasn't made much of an impression on me, I had a lot of faith in this project, especially after hearing some of the tracks that came out in advance of the album's release. And when it finally landed in my hands and slipped onto the turntable, I couldn't have been more stoked on how good this album turned out to be. It's not the minimal synthesizer music of his early works like some might have expected, but rather a dark and bombastic sound, well produced and heavy on the guitars. Lost Themes was created with his son Cody (who produces his own brand of progressive rock with the band Ludrium ) and godson Daniel Davies (of stoner rockers Year Long Disaster), but from the opening notes this is immediately recognizable as a John Carpenter recording. Once that moody piano figure enters at the beginning of "Vortex" and the music gives way to those familiar synth arpeggios, there's no question as to who you're listening to. It's lush stuff, with lots of distorted guitar chords and pulsating beats that are definitely reminiscent of the rock-tinged sound of his later 80s work for films like Prince Of Darkness, Big Trouble In Little China and They Live. Still dark and menacing, though, with that signature ability to create a mood of tension that slowly and inexorably builds across the piece of music. These nine songs teem with tension, and the more expansive nature of a full album allows his pulsating electronics and pounding rhythms to develop more extensively than they might on a film score. Every track is a carefully crafted exercise in mood and menace, from the eerie piano melody that cascades across the propulsive gothic prog of "Obsidian", as sinister organs twine around fuzz-burnt guitar, a track that has some surprising echoes of Italian prog rockers Goblin, to the heavy metal guitars that thunder across "Fallen", and the pulsating rhythms transform "Domain" into a killer piece of futuristic dance floor malevolence, complete with one of the most pulse-pounding motorik grooves I've heard in ages. There's actually quite a bit on Lost Themes that reminds me of Goblin, but Carpenter and crew incorporate a larger palette of sounds, from orchestral strings that spread like shadows beneath the propulsive tempos, to gleaming electronic glitchery that gives this a much sleeker, blacker sound.
    It's hard to not to get caught up in a heavy feeling of nostalgia when you're listening to this, but I was genuinely surprised how little Lost Themes sounded like any specific classic Carpenter score; if you listen to a lot of film music, you'll begin to notice that a lot of composers tend to recycle certain themes and ideas. But Carpenter largely avoids that with this new music, and any concerns that the album was going to be made up of cast-off material from older scores disappear pretty quickly once his pounding synth-driven darkness sweeps over you. The album deftly balances vintage tones with modern technique and texture, and most importantly, all of this stuff flows together superbly. Can't imagine anyone else surpassing this as the dark synth album of the year, a stunning, wholly cohesive album from the master; anyone into the likes of Carpenterian disciples like Zombi, Umberto, Antoni Maiovvi, Majeure and the like should make their way to this album pronto. Comes in a striking gatefold sleeve bearing Carpenter's visage cloaked in darkness, and includes a printed insert with liner notes by soundtrack scholar Daniel Schweiger; the vinyl version also comes with a digital download.
Track Samples:
Sample : Night
Sample : Abyss
Sample : Mystery
Sample : Obsidian



CARPENTER, JOHN   Lost Themes   CD   (Sacred Bones)    13.98



    There's been feverish anticipation building around the C-Blast office for months, waiting for Lost Themes. The first ever "solo" album from John Carpenter outside of his legendary film score output (and his one-off band The Coupe De Villes with Tommy Lee Wallace and Nick Castle), Lost Themes comes at the height of a recent resurgence of interest in 80's era synthesizer music and classic horror movie scores, and John Carpenter's synth-drenched soundtracks in particular. A number of amazing reissues have surfaced lately from the likes of Mondo and Death Waltz, high-quality vinyl reissues of Carpenter's iconic music for classic films like Escape From New York, Halloween, Prince Of Darkness and The Fog, which have allowed a whole new audience to discover anew what many of us that have been worshipping at the altar of Carpenter since the VHS boom have known all along: this guys is one of the preeminent film and music stylists of the late 20th century. He's more revered now than ever, now that his stately nightmare visuals and pioneering electronic scores have so heavily influenced various aspects of our culture since he first appeared in the 1970s.
    So when word came out that Carpenter would be releasing his first ever collection of non-filmic music, I could hardly wait. While his more recent film work hasn't made much of an impression on me, I had a lot of faith in this project, especially after hearing some of the tracks that came out in advance of the album's release. And when it finally landed in my hands and slipped onto the turntable, I couldn't have been more stoked on how good this album turned out to be. It's not the minimal synthesizer music of his early works like some might have expected, but rather a dark and bombastic sound, well produced and heavy on the guitars. Lost Themes was created with his son Cody (who produces his own brand of progressive rock with the band Ludrium ) and godson Daniel Davies (of stoner rockers Year Long Disaster), but from the opening notes this is immediately recognizable as a John Carpenter recording. Once that moody piano figure enters at the beginning of "Vortex" and the music gives way to those familiar synth arpeggios, there's no question as to who you're listening to. It's lush stuff, with lots of distorted guitar chords and pulsating beats that are definitely reminiscent of the rock-tinged sound of his later 80s work for films like Prince Of Darkness, Big Trouble In Little China and They Live. Still dark and menacing, though, with that signature ability to create a mood of tension that slowly and inexorably builds across the piece of music. These nine songs teem with tension, and the more expansive nature of a full album allows his pulsating electronics and pounding rhythms to develop more extensively than they might on a film score. Every track is a carefully crafted exercise in mood and menace, from the eerie piano melody that cascades across the propulsive gothic prog of "Obsidian", as sinister organs twine around fuzz-burnt guitar, a track that has some surprising echoes of Italian prog rockers Goblin, to the heavy metal guitars that thunder across "Fallen", and the pulsating rhythms transform "Domain" into a killer piece of futuristic dance floor malevolence, complete with one of the most pulse-pounding motorik grooves I've heard in ages. There's actually quite a bit on Lost Themes that reminds me of Goblin, but Carpenter and crew incorporate a larger palette of sounds, from orchestral strings that spread like shadows beneath the propulsive tempos, to gleaming electronic glitchery that gives this a much sleeker, blacker sound.
    It's hard to not to get caught up in a heavy feeling of nostalgia when you're listening to this, but I was genuinely surprised how little Lost Themes sounded like any specific classic Carpenter score; if you listen to a lot of film music, you'll begin to notice that a lot of composers tend to recycle certain themes and ideas. But Carpenter largely avoids that with this new music, and any concerns that the album was going to be made up of cast-off material from older scores disappear pretty quickly once his pounding synth-driven darkness sweeps over you. The album deftly balances vintage tones with modern technique and texture, and most importantly, all of this stuff flows together superbly. Can't imagine anyone else surpassing this as the dark synth album of the year, a stunning, wholly cohesive album from the master; anyone into the likes of Carpenterian disciples like Zombi, Umberto, Antoni Maiovvi, Majeure and the like should make their way to this album pronto. Comes in a striking gatefold sleeve bearing Carpenter's visage cloaked in darkness, and includes a printed insert with liner notes by soundtrack scholar Daniel Schweiger; the vinyl version also comes with a digital download.
Track Samples:
Sample : Night
Sample : Abyss
Sample : Mystery
Sample : Obsidian



CARPENTER, JOHN + ALAN HOWARTH   Halloween III: Season Of The Witch (2014 Edition)   LP   (Death Waltz)    27.00



    Finally back in stock, this classic Carpenter score has been reissued yet again by Death Waltz for a newly revised 2014 edition that was re-mastered from the original analog tape and includes six previously unreleased cues that did not appear on the previous Death Waltz release. The packaging includes a new obi-strip, 12" by 12" booklet and poster.
   Finally have several of the recent releases from Death Waltz in stock here at C-Blast; this new boutique label from the UK has been putting stuff out for over a year now, but just about everything they have done has quickly sold out. It's one of the coolest new imprints out there, a vinyl-only operation that is curating a fantastic selection of cult horror / exploitation film soundtracks from the 1970s-1980s "golden age" of electronic film scores, with a couple of high quality newer works appearing every now and then as well. With a signature sleeve design aesthetic, a killer logo and impeccable taste in the best in cinematic electronic darkness, every single one of Death Waltz's releases are amazing collectors items for fans of classic horror sounds.
   It really wasn't until fairly recently that the third entry in the Halloween series began to develop the cult following that it currently has; when Season Of The Witch was originally released in 1982, it caught a lot of flack from horror audiences for not featuring series boogeyman Michael Myers and not being directly connected with the previous two films. That's exactly why it became one of my favorite films in the series, I loved John Carpenter's idea that the series should feature a different stand-alone story with each annual entry, and while the concept didn't fly after this movie, it's become much loved by hardcore Carpenter fans in the decades since. Season Of The Witch's bizarre tale of Druidic conspiracies, Silver Shamrock Halloween masks, child sacrifice and android horror is easily one of Carpenter's strangest, and while he didn't sit behind the camera for this one (Tommy Lee Wallace handled directorial duties on Season), Carpenter (along with Alan Howarth) did craft the eerie, throbbing synthesizer score for Season Of The Witch, and its one of their best.
    The Season Of The Witch soundtrack was originally released by MCA back in 1982 and has been a tough score to find on vinyl up till now, with used copies collecting hefty collectors prices; this new Death Waltz edition features the exact same track listing but is newly re-mastered, and comes in the signature Death Waltz designed sleeve with printed inner sleeve and liner notes from Howarth and Jay Shaw, and a gorgeous poster reproduction of the album art. The record starts off with the track "Main title", the theme music that appears in various permutations all throughout the score, an ominous arrangement of dark droning synths, buried pulsating drones, and strange computerized melody all backed by sinister synth-bass rhythms fits the movie's weird, surrealistic tone and quickly gets under your skin. The rest of the soundtrack shifts between those subsequent variations on the Season theme, with that creepy electronic melody becoming wrapped in throbbing black synths and tension-wracked rhythms, and pieces of minimal, murky ambience formed from simple, pulsating synth chords. Of course, being a Carpenter/Howarth score, there's some terrific action pieces in here as well like "Chariots Of Pumpkins", pulse-pounding bass-driven tracks with minimal kettledrum-like pounding that backed the film's harrowing chase sequences and which do a pretty good job of creating unease in the listener even when divorced of the film's frightening visuals. Some of the other tracks have unique little touches that make them stand out, like the harpsichord / synth sounds on "Drive To Santa Mira" that carry faint echoes of Carpenter's original Halloween theme. And then there's that perversely catchy Silver Shamrock jingle, the one that every fan of the film has been unable to get out of their head for more than thirty years, right there at the end, reminding all of you children to be in front of the TV set for the Horrorthon, don't miss it, and don't forget to wear your masks...
Track Samples:
Sample : Main Title
Sample : Chariots of Pumpkins
Sample : Challis Escapes



CARPENTER, JOHN + ALAN HOWARTH   Prince Of Darkness (2014 Edition)   LP   (Death Waltz)    27.00



   Back in stock, this time as a revised 2014 edition that includes new liner notes from Carpenter himself and a new essay from John Doran (The Quietus).
   Finally have several of the recent releases from Death Waltz in stock here at C-Blast; this new boutique label from the UK has been putting stuff out for over a year now, but just about everything they have done has quickly sold out. It's one of the coolest new imprints out there, a vinyl-only operation that is curating a fantastic selection of cult horror / exploitation film soundtracks from the 1970s-1980s "golden age" of electronic film scores, with a couple of high quality newer works appearing every now and then as well. With a signature sleeve design aesthetic, a killer logo and impeccable taste in the best in cinematic electronic darkness, every single one of Death Waltz's releases are amazing collectors items for fans of classic horror sounds.
    For years following its release, Carpenter's 1987 film Prince Of Darkness was widely considered to be one of his weaker efforts and was critically panned as a muddled mess of ideas and narrative. The film has always maintained a strong cult following (I've been a huge fan of this flick ever since discovering it on home video in the late 80s) and more recently Prince Of Darkness has been reappraised as one of Carpenter's most imaginative works, most recently being featured as the cover story for the November 2012 issue of Rue Morgue. Considered to be a part of his "Apocalypse Trilogy" alongside The Thing and In The Mouth Of Madness, POD offered a heady stew of cosmic demonic horror, quantum physics, canisters of liquid Satanic intelligence, Tachyon theory, time travel, and religious conspiracy that was unlike anything else in the esteemed horror director's canon. And as usual, he paired his horrific, often gore-soaked visuals for Prince Of Darkness with a pulsating electronic score that easily wormed it's way into your head as the film plays out. On its own, Carpenter's Prince Of Darkness OST plays like the creepiest, most apocalyptic-sounding 80's prog rock album you've never heard.
   The central theme of the score is introduced in "Opening Titles", an eerie melody that reappears in a variety of permutations throughout the record on a number of different tracks. But like much of Carpetner's late 80s soundtrack work, the score also incorporates loud rock guitars, symphonic elements, choral voices and a massive synth-bass sound with his signature style of pulsating dark synthesizers, and this almost orchestral evocation of dread can really start to shred your nerves. There's a slinky percussive groove that materializes on "Team Assembly", the synth-bass taking on this almost industrialized-funk tone, right before the piece shifts into a super-sinister processional driven by swells of harsh cymbals, synthetic choral voices and hypnotic kick-drum throb, and the encroaching doom of "Darkness Begins" and swarming electronics of "A Message From The Future" add additional harsh textures to the apocalyptic score. The blasts of jarring percussion that appear over the course of the Prince Of Darkness OST are reaally reminiscent of some of the more sinister strains of post-industrial music, and are often interlaced with sorrowful string sections and computer noise.
   Re-mastered by producer Alan Howarth and released in a limited-edition on 140 gram vinyl and packaged in a gorgeous jacket designed by noted Criterion artist Sam Smith (with a large fold-out poster that reproduces the cover art) and liner notes from Howarth, this is another essential Lp for both collectors of the Death Waltz imprint and John Carpenter's black-pulse electronic dreadscapes.


CAULBEARER + SKY BURIAL   Canticle Of The Three   CDR   (Peacock Window)    9.98



   Canticle is a new collaboration between two Crucial Blast alumni, Caulbearer and Sky Burial, teaming up to produce a killer album of doom-laden kosmische electronics, and man is it dark. Dark and impressively grim, this disc unleashes three sprawling, stygian epics of crushing drone-noise and apocalyptic atmosphere, and fans of Mike Page's more sinister work with Sky Burial are going to love the desolate driftscapes that these guys have crafted here. The album moves through swirling miasmal fogbanks of chittering electronics and roaring orchestral drone that stretch across vast yawning chasms of pure blackness, sprawls of nightmarish kosmische dread that rise and fall in waves over fields of grinding, distorted rumble; if indie horror directors had any fucking sense, this is where they would be turning for film-scores.
    The first track "Vortices" unfolds into a kind of jet-black cosmic electronics, the sound utterly vast and oppressive like heavy black clouds of negative energy hanging over a blasted landscape, shot through with bits of eerie choral drift and rhythmic crackle and ominous symphonic swells. Huge grinding tremors reverberate through the track, like cyclopean temple doors opening in the bowels of the earth, while ghostly howls streak high over a distant blood-rimmed horizon. As the album continues to unfurl, elliptic keyboards glimmer in an endless heat haze, only to slowly build and transform into a surprisingly heavy wall of cosmic doom-drift that rises over the latter half of the track; throughout Canticle, this swirling, massive, amorphous driftscape shifts and billows in formless waves of sound, sweeping slowly through fields of endless darkness, the sound traced with jittering mechanical noises and immense orchestral drones, bursts of choral dread that wash through the abyss.
    All of this flows together, a roiling black ambience strafed with high keening feedback that screams out of the distant depths, a vast oceanic roar of metallic shimmer and drift, cold and unwelcoming and inhospitable, formed from layers upon layers of dissonant sound and searing sustained drones and symphonic roar that the two musicians sculpt into a nightmarish wall of sound, culminating with the bleak bathysphere ambience and nocturnal droneology of the closing track "Miserere Nobis". In those last moments, strains of murky gothic organ glimmer beneath the roiling black fog of static and hiss, while EVP-like exhalations swoop through the depths amid the groan of tortured metal and faint, black pulses of low-voltage energy, the album slowly breaking apart and dissolving into the void. Fantastic stuff that's highly recommended if you're into the Malignant / Annihilvs brand of grim industrial ambience and kosmische blackness. Comes in a four-panel digipack, limited to just one hundred copies.
Track Samples:
Sample : Vortices
Sample : Scorched Hymnal
Sample : Miserere Nobis



CHARRED REMAINS AKA MAN IS THE BASTARD   Abundance Of Guns   10" VINYL   (Deep Six)    9.98



    More electro-shock sludgeblast resurrection as another one of Man Is The Bastard's earliest releases gets the vinyl reissue treatment from Deep Six. This new edition of Abundance Of Guns transplants the ten tracks off of the original 1992 7" EP onto a ten-incher for enhanced sound quality, and it sounds massive. This stuff is some of the most brutal stuff that Man Is The Bastard ever produced, in my book.
    Beginning with the sound of unearthly female singing drifting above a squall of horrific death metal-style bellowing, the first side quickly lurches into a miasma of hypnotic drumming, dual bass guitar heaviness and sputtering analogue electronics that infest the opening track "Regression Of Birth". This stuff still blows my mind hearing it twenty years later, a monstrous take on electronics-damaged hardcore that is still totally unique and unmatched in power, in spite of the hoards of bands who have attempted to synthesize this band's sound. The songs that follow like "Mocha Rebirth", "Slave To The Bean " and "Semen In The Eyesocket Of Thomas Lenz" (the latter an invocation of violence to a known bootlegger who ended up on the wrong side of MITB's ire) have lost none of their vicious blasting power, compacting bone-crushing bass chords and angular riffs twisting around the spastic sludgy tempos and sudden surges of blastbeats, blurted into forty-five second eruptions of undiluted, misanthropic disgust.
    The band's penchant for jazzy rhythmic weirdness makes an appearance on "Volatile Cocktail", and while the electronic noise is used more sparsely here than on some of their other records, there's still plenty of that signature chirping/howling pedal abuse and oscillator chaos that streaks through their tangles of deformed bass-heavy hardcore. The flipside of Guns features some longer material, with the monstrous winding dirges "Tumult Being" and "Suttee" both delivering an agonizing crawl through discordant angular bass-riffs and bludgeoning low-end heaviness, while the title track erupts into squirming, gibbering chaos that flares out in less than a minute. A classic slab of mutant hardcore brutality that kicks in my bloodlust almost immediately. Comes on colored vinyl.
Track Samples:
Sample : Suttee
Sample : Tumult Being
Sample : Volatile Cocktail



CHEST PAIN   Weltschmerz   LP   (To Live A Lie)    13.98



    Initial word on the new album from Texas band Chest Pain had me imagining that their stuff was going to sound something like Gasp, that old California outfit who were quite possibly the weirdest of all of the bands to come out of the powerviolence scene of the 90s. While Chest Pain's trippy blastcore will indeed be right up your alley if you're into bands like Gasp, Iron Lung, Suffering Luna and Man Is The Bastard, their music doesn't sound quite like any of 'em. The back cover of the sleeve for Weltschmerz is emblazoned with a quote from Schopenhauer's On the Suffering of the World, pointing towards a skewed pessimistic 'tude compared to most PV outfits, philosophical undercurrents not often seen in bands belting out this sort of brutal din.
    Opening with a blast of belligerent feedback, Weltschmerz immediately sinks its teeth into the listener with a furious, discordant brand of power-violence, the gruff, intensely pissed off barking vocals and the staccato, stop-and-go hyper-speed hardcore undeniably influenced by Infest's classic violent blastcore. But by the fourth song "Culturalized", these guys start to roll out big blats of crushing, almost Sabbathian sludge, the spastic aggression becoming tempered with the surges of doom-laden heaviness and whirring, spacey effects that start to swoop across the background. From there things begin to get gradually more off-kilter, more of those slow, effects-stained dirges emerging out of the thrashing frenzy, sudden gales of psychedelic guitar noise and fucked up, echo-drenched vocal delirium, bizarre gibbering electronics and putrid synthesizer noise, each song mutating into more deranged forms. By the time that you get to "Sex Fear", what you're hearing starts to sound like some wild mashup of classic Slap-A-Ham/Deep Six style powerviolence and Butthole Surfers-esque acid-punk. And towards the end of the record, they really start to hammer down these slow, grueling dirges that are almost Swans-like in their dissonant brutality, like the weird industrial-tinged pummel of both "Hikikomori" and "Ghola", all wrapped in ghostly electronic noise. Some seriously punishing hardcore punk shows up as well, blazing mid-tempo outbursts that are absolutely blood-boiling, and even when Chest Pain are blasting away at a thousand miles per hour, they still grind out some pretty catchy tuneage beneath the heart-attack inducing tempos and blistering noise. Killer stuff.
    On black vinyl limited to five hundred copies, includes a printed insert and a big foldout poster.
Track Samples:
Sample : Ghola
Sample : Shut In
Sample : Sex Fear



CISNEROS, AL   Lantern Of The Soul   7" VINYL   (Sinai)    6.99



    Lantern Of The Soul finds spiritual groovelord Al Cisneros further building upon his own signature brand of dub-influenced psychedelia that he's been doing outside of hypno-metal ensemble Om and psychsludge pioneers Sleep. And like the other solo records that he's been putting out recently, this material trades the heavier, more metallic weight of his main gigs for a more spacious, experimental sound that digs deep into his love of classic dub, while still displaying his propensity for cyclical riffing and deep, brain-massaging psychedelia. Released on his own Sinai imprint, Lantern also marks one of his first solo outings to actually sound like a full band, with more expansive instrumentation that was apparently still all performed by Cisneros.
    "Lantern Of The Soul" and the untitled b-side flow together as one long instrumental piece, weaving a languorous, vaguely mournful trance-state from this narcotic bass-driven psych rock that, with the addition of the slow, shuffling drumming that creeps across both sides of the record, ends up giving this a jazzier feel than some of his other solo records. As always, there's the heavy influence of classic dub, mainly in the long, fluid bass lines and the occasional rattle of snare that echoes across the lumbering groove, but the gorgeously murky synths that he layers over the music add an unusual fusiony feel, with bleary trumpet-like sounds blaring over the darkly sinuous riffing. Cisneros's bass guitar really rumbles off this single, the low notes hitting some seriously skull-massaging frequencies, and when the music slowly breaks down into the minimal stretches of just bass and drums that open up at the end, you can really feel your atoms reverberating. One of his best solo pieces so far, almost sounds like some vintage Italian western theme being worked over by one of those RareNoise heavy jazz/prog outfits.
    Comes on clear vinyl, and as with the other Sinai 7"s, is minimally presented in a plain white paper sleeve.


COFFINWORM   IV.I.VIII   LP   (The Flenser)    19.99



   Now available on vinyl in gatefold packaging courtesy of Flenser, issued in a limited run of five hundred copies.
    Swarming with the stench of rot and veined with a throbbing black malevolence, IV.I.VIII is the terrifying new album from the Indianapolis band Coffinworm, crawling with terminally hideous black sludge that these guys have been puking up ever since they formed out of the ashes of avant-grinders Black Arrows of Filth & Impurity. The music on IV also reveals some interesting atmospheric new textures to the band's filthy, ultra-heavy sound, using piano, synthesizers and other ancillary instruments to add additional shades of dread and misery to their nihilistic crush. Opener "Sympathectomy" erupts into a maelstrom of blasting black metal and filthy D-beat driven crust, the band thrashing violently as the singer swoops in with his terrifying high-pitched screams and guttural howling; when Coffinworm suddenly drops gear into their trademark creeping blackened sludge, the tempo change threatens the listener with a vicious case of whiplash. Washes of dissonant chordal texture and malefic minor key arpeggios creep across the lurching doom-laden dirge, and as the song continues to uncoil its putrid black tentacles, strange echoing noises begin to materialize at the periphery. Shifting back and forth between that deformed crawl and the chaotic crusty black blast.
    That first song unleashes a queasy ash-choked atmosphere that proceeds to spread out across the rest of the album, the following song "Instant Death Syndrome" exuding a similar sodden assault of shambling sludge and dissonant, almost Deathspell-esque blackened riffage, contaminated with rot and decay, then later slipping into a twisted blues-damaged drone-dirge broken into a shuffling, off-kilter crawl. "Black Tears" picks the pace up, grinding out an infectious mid-tempo groove that cuts through the band's violent nihilistic musings, leading it into a squall of suffocating distorted noise at the end, and "Lust vs. Vengeance" crushes the light from beneath it's propulsive caveman cadences and evil echoing guitars, before emitting blasts of jet-black cosmic synthesizer that soar over the devastation. I don't remember Coffinworm making this much use of synthesizer textures on their previous releases, and it's an effective element to tracks like "Of Eating Disorders And Restraining Orders", another titanic dirge that churns violently around the slow, saurian plod of the drummer, breaking off into brief interludes of mutated drone that seems to be oozing out of some ichor-splattered Hammond organ, coiling around sickly discordant melodies and spilling out into dank fields of trippy, dub-like percussive echoes and disturbing samples. After the brutal crustcore of closer "A Death Sentence Called Life" rages over more of that eerie etheric synthdrift, Coffinworm even haul out an acoustic guitar for the finale, the album drifting into oblivion as minor key chords drift out in a somnambulant haze.
Track Samples:
Sample : Sympathectomy
Sample : Black Tears
Sample : A Death Sentence Called Life



COLUMN OF HEAVEN   Ecstatically Embracing All That We Habitually Suppress   LP   (Regurgitated Semen)    17.99



    Recorded directly in the wake of Toronto band The Endless Blockade's dissolution in 2011, Ecstatically Embracing All That We Habitually Suppress was the first demo from Column Of Heaven, the new band formed by Blockade members Andrew Nolan and Eric King. Originally released through their own Survivalist imprint, this lethal demo was subsequently reissued by German grindcore label Regurgitated Semen as a limited-edition one-sided 12", and it smashes straight through your skull with six tracks of the band's brutal, noise-damaged occult blastcore.
    From the bizarre, disorienting intro track "Altars" that combines what sounds like female voices rising in liturgical chant with a power electronics-style vocal assault and a wall of churning, abrasive heaviness, to the five songs of gnarled, barbaric blastcore that follow, this short EP delivers another highly potent dose of Column Of Heaven's unique strain of hateful heaviness, blending together elements of violent death/grind, misanthropic power electronics and industrial noise into a flesh-blistering, bass-heavy powerviolence attack a la Infest and Man Is The Bastard. Many bands fail to capture the "violence" in that last part of the equation, but as with everything else I've heard from these guys, Column's music sounds genuinely threatening. The tracks careen through roughly ten minutes of jagged hyper-speed hardcore that skids to abrupt stops, blasting walls of guttural grind, pounding war-drums thundering beneath gales of horrific electronic chaos, with some of the angriest yet most thought-provoking lyrics you'll find in the extreme hardcore/grind underground. The closing track "The Future Of War" is a powerful finale to this brief blast of nihilistic power, eschewing the blasting violence of the previous tracks for a garbled noisescape that combines fragments of a speech from author Howard Bloom with putrid drones and bursts of terrifying electronics. Just as some of the members did in their previous band Endless Blockade, Column Of Heaven reconstruct extreme hardcore into something vicious and provocative. Limited to five hundred copies.
Track Samples:
Sample : The Future of War
Sample : Knowledge. Culture. Power.
Sample : Binge// Purge



COLUMN OF HEAVEN   Precipice   CASSETTE   (Survivalist)    7.98



   Be warned - this tape has been sold out from Survivalist for quite some time, and we only have a couple of copies left from the batch we picked up from them when the band came through D.C. earlier last year, so it's going to sell out very quickly. It's a fucking killer tape from the Toronto-based band, though, made up of various recorded material, some of which is apparently exclusive to this release. A quick, ugly blast of noise-mutated blastcore from this gang of misanthropes, which continues to showcase an even more savage and skull-crushing sound than what some of these guys did in their previous powerviolence outfit The Endless Blockade.
    The first side of Precipice features seven songs that are going to eventually make their way onto vinyl via a split LP with psychedelic powerviolence / sludge weirdos Suffering Luna that's hopefully going to materialize in the near future. It's some of the best stuff yet from Column Of Heaven, further sharpening their ultra-violent sonic attack that draws from classic powerviolence and blackened death metal influences, while heavily layering their negativity in eruptions of discordant sludge, eerie samples, hallucinatory loopscapes, black veins of throbbing death industrial, and gleaming electronic drone. All of that emerges throughout these songs, with blazing black metal riffs tearing through the ferocious thrash, and bursts of abrasive synth and noxious effects ripping out of chaotic speed-fueled hardcore. The songs slam into the listener one after another, leaving you no time to collect yourself before the next hyper-speed assault kicks in. This stuff is a physical assault, and I can't wait to hear it when it finally ends up on vinyl.
    The flipside features a handful of tracks that seem to be exclusive to this tape, including a crushing cover of "Eternal Woman (Hell Of Your Love)" by demented Finnish black metallers Ride For Revenge that is pretty pulverizing. That's followed by a pair of tracks from their noise / industrial alter-ego Wolves of Heaven, "Love Is A God From Hell" and "Hell Is A Love From God", the former mixing propulsive drumming with slowly building walls of crushing distorted noise and blown-out death metal guitar roar, with monstrous vocalizations woven into delirious looping ambience, amid waves of churning, chest-rattling low-end noise; while the latter is a swirling, strangely mesmeric mass of glitchy dissonant noise, a hauntingly minimal piano melody drifting over rumbling orchestral murmurs that emanate a cold, wintry majesty across the end of the cassette.


COMBAT ASTRONOMY   Time Distort Nine   2 x CD   (Zond)    16.99



    Trans-Atlantic crush-squad Combat Astronomy are back with more of their brilliant fusion of Magma/Univers Zero-style Zeuhl prog and Godfleshian heaviness, and this time they're bludgeoning us with two discs of their jazz-wrecked power. As on other Combat Astronomy albums, this features the core duo of James Huggett (five string bass, guitar, drum programming) and British saxophonist Martin Archer (who also contributes organ, electric piano, mellotron, electronics, clarinet and glockenspiel), with additional assistance from British jazz drummer Peter Fairclough, but for such a small lineup, the music they create sounds massive. Time Distort Nine expands their dark, ultra-heavy sound further across this two-disc set, easily their most immense album to date. And it is immense, heavier than anything I've heard from the band, which is saying a lot if you've already heard the kind of pulverizing jazz-metal these guys have been perfecting over the past decade, a monstrous take on the sort of jazz-damaged heaviness that we used to get from bands like 16-17, Kevin Martin's God and others of the Pathological Records ilk.
    Kicking off with an over-modulated bass guitar winding through the opening minutes of "Tenser Quadrant", the group erupts into their contorted crushing prog pretty quickly, sprawling out across this seventeen minute opener as an ominous riff begins to take shape over Fairclough's martial snares and the slow sinister swirl of electric piano. It's gradually joined by trumpets as the song suddenly swings into a sort of dark, burly jazz-rock, with complex arrangements and hypnotic mile-long grooves that the elliptic bass guitar riffs cut through the constantly shifting time signatures. This song is a perfect example of their mesmeric, menacing jazz-prog, underscored by some amazingly creepy layers of dissonance and electronic noise, the sound sometimes shifting into squalls of improvised shriek and skronk while never straying too far from the heavy percussive rhythms, and often slipping into crushing awkward grooves that hint at a kind of abstract math-metal.
    The other three tracks on that first disc are in a similar vein, with crushing staccato riffage and twisted, angular grooves laid out over swirling electronics and spacey jazziness, the lurching, almost Meshuggah-esque riffs sputtering and slithering through clouds of dreamy keyboard drift and the soft bleating of saxophones. Those horns are layered into lush drones and haunting melodic shapes, plumes of brass rising over those monstrous stuttering rhythms. This stuff can sometimes slip into stretches of abstract ambience and deep-space drone, with squelchy synths buzzing and flitting around the sound of gleaming chrome chord clusters hanging suspended in in space, breaking out into minimal pulses of light and energy, or dissolving into surreal washes of fragmented vocals and abstract electronics, like the glitchy weirdness that takes over the second half of "Unity Weapon". And the closer "Hypogeous" decays into a total drone-zone of dark, rumbling sound, everything stripped down to swirling waves of dissonant thrum and tectonic rumbling, a crushing, almost Earth-en metallic dronescape slowly billowing across the end of the disc.
    Most of the eight tracks that make up the second disc are shorter and more direct, though these too see the band often veering into different directions at once. There are more of those frenetic sax-splattered math-metal grooves that seem to spin out into infinity, ghostly jazz-drones curling across washes of ghostly sample-laden ambience, and ferociously cacophonous jazzcore assaults like "Ankh" and the pummeling industrialized dub-crush of "Almaz"; some of the more experimental material is found in the forays into improvised clatter and squonk on opener "Inertia in Flames", where they develop a pervasive feeling of unease until the track finally erupts into monstrously malformed Magmoid heaviness, while towards the end Combat Astronomy give us what is probably the most accessible song I've ever heard from the band, an almost Sabbathian-style rocker called "SuperFestival" that's pure hypno-rock perfection.
    Needless to say, if you're a fan of Combat Astronomy's prior slabs of monstrous mutant jazz-prog, Time is a must-hear. Comes in digipack packaging.
Track Samples:
Sample : SuperFestival
Sample : Ankh
Sample : Time Distort Nine
Sample : Tenser Quadrant



COMMUNION OF THIEVES / DENDRITIC ARBOR   split   7" VINYL   (Unholy Anarchy)    5.98



    Being a total sucker for bands that twist the more violent aspects of hardcore punk and black metal together, this split from local label Unholy Anarchy caught my ear with two bands who each deliver their own noisy take on this kind of aural carnage.
    El Paso's Communion of Thieves liberally spread all kinds of long, ominous samples and warfare sounds over their half of the split, leading into the snarling, screeching blackened blast-crust of "Taxes for the M.I.C.", "Contaminated Demolition" and "Manos ansiosas", a chaotic assault of rabid reverb-drenched screams, crazed blackened grind, and blazingly fast metallic crust, with D-beat tempos that continually teeter on the edge of tumbling into total pandemonium, all swept into a cyclone of violent blown-out heaviness. Pretty bitchin'.
    It was the Philly band Dendritic Arbor that drew me to this 7", though. The two tracks featured here is the only stuff this Philly band has put out so far, a rather strange blend of murky black metal atmosphere, ramshackle grind and awkward noisy thrash that hints at some of the spazzier, more frenzied bands that came out of the 90's "emo"-hardcore scene like Three Studies For A Crucifixion, Ivich and Ottawa. The songs twitch through passages of grueling discordant sludge and malformed punk, their low-fi noise shot through with bits of filthy blackened industrial rumble, slimy flange effects, and utterly hideous dissonance to produce something uniquely distressing.
   Limited to three hundred copies, comes with download.


CRONE   Gehenna   CD   (Prophecy Productions)    13.98



   A strong debut from the new German band Crone, not to be confused with the drone-rock project from Isis member Jeff Caxide. No, this Crone comes from one of the guys behind the well-regarded black metal outfit Secrets Of The Moon, though you'll only find the faintest traces of his black metal pedigree in these songs. Instead, Crone Germany bring us a dramatic blend of metal and classic 80's era goth rock, but they manage to distinguish themselves from the legions of other bands currently enveloped in this sound by virtue of their strong songwriting chops and attention to lush nocturnal atmospherics. My obsession with this mix of influences has been going on for years now, and Crone's debut definitely delivered with some great, moody heaviness, going for something stately and majestic than most bands who are mining that era of post-punk.
    When opener "Houses Of Gehenna" kicks in with it's mournful, guitar-drenched beauty, I'm immediately reminded of early Fields Of The Nephilim, a sound for which I am a complete sucker, so these guys had me under their spell from the start. The members of Crone definitely seem to be working to capture that kind of lush, dark melodicism and lyrical gravitas, and for their first effort they do a pretty good job of it. By integrating some of their black metal influences into these songs, Gehenna doesn't sound as derivative as it could have, and there's also a heavy dose of shoegaze-style guitars that create some terrifically rocking moments on the EP. The likes of "Your Skull-Sized Kingdom" have a soaring, weighed power that also hints at the likes of Swervedriver and Ride, and there are spacey, bluesy guitar solos streaking high above all of the songs, while the vocals tend towards a strained distorted howl that still succeeds in bringing a stirring melodic feel. "Escher's Stairs" combines plaintively strummed acoustic guitars with hazy synth-strings for a hauntingly pretty piece of sorrowful psychedelia before surging into some massive riffage, and the closing song "Dead Man" features a guest appearance from former Swans member Jarboe, who provides some of her gorgeous backing vocals to this slower, moodier song that ends up building into the most movingly majestic track on the EP. These guys have put together an alluring version of driving, proggy goth metal with Gehenna, echoing the sound of latter-day Katatonia, Agalloch and Solstafir without sounding all that much like any of them; they've definitely caught my ear with this initial four-song offering, and I'm already looking forward to how their sound will develop across a full-length album. Comes in digipack packaging.
Track Samples:
Sample : Your Skull-Sized Kingdom
Sample : Houses of Ghenna
Sample : Dead Man



DÄMONENBLUT   Das Tor Zur Hölle   CD   (Breath Of Pestilence)    11.98



    Recently stumbled across this band's belligerent satanic stomp after picking up the latest Ghost Kommando Ep that came out on the same label. Always on the lookout for the ugliest, most barbaric bands straddling the line between black metal and punk rock, I checked 'em out after seeing them getting compared to Facta Loquuntur-era Absurd and primitive German black metal outfit Priestermord, and these guys definitely delivered that same kind of vicious filth. In fact, Dämonenblut's simplistic blackened stomp swings even more into the realm of lunkheaded punk rock than a lot of bands of this ilk, sharing the same predilection for old-school Oi! and RAC as those creeps in Absurd.
    Released back in 2009, Das Tor zur Hölle appears to be the only album that these German black metallers have belted out thus far, and the primitive boneheaded racket that they deliver on this disc is definitely a total throwback (or callback, as that opening song "Werwolf" suggests) to the sort of evil blackened punk that Absurd championed back before they morphed into their later pagan metal stuff. The songs rumble out rude and raw four-chord demonic assaults that mix that Oi! influence with the most stripped-down of mid-tempo black metal, the sound somewhere in between the punky thrash of classic Venom and the most violent strains of anthemic pub punk. Despite the overt RAC influence on their music, these guys don't seem to align themselves with NS black metal in any way, for what that's worth. From looking at their imagery and lyrics (at least, what I can discern of them), tracks like "Satans Hofgesind", "Satans Sohn", and "Satans Weib" appear to primarily involve, unsurprisingly, devil-worship and acts of Satanic lust. The usual stuff, of course, but musically this album is a fucking stomper, most of the songs pounding out grim and catchy blasts of four-chord devilry, with the occasional dismal dirge thrown in for miserable effect. They throw in a Germanic cover of the Venom classic "In League With Satan" at the end, too. Fans of the sort of punk-fueled black metal regression that Legion Blotan frequently champions should especially check out Das Tor zur Hölle , as Dämonenblut's vulgar necro-punk oozes with both sloppy Shaggsian abandon and violent adolescent cult angst that's pretty goddamn contagious.
Track Samples:
Sample : Werwolf
Sample : Satans Hofgesind
Sample : ÿþDämonenkrieger



DARKSIDE NYC   Optimism Is Self-Deception: Vols. 1& 2   CD   (Satan Wears Suspenders)    14.98



   Haven't paid much attention to the stuff in recent years, but back in the 90s I was a pretty fervent fan of New York hardcore. Agnostic Front, Cro-Mags, Leeway, Sheer Terror, all were favorites, and I still pull out a lot of those older records on a regular basis, especially the more metallic, apocalyptic-sounding stuff. There were lots of lesser known bands that I really dug as well, one of them being Darkside NYC, a band formed by Sheer Terror guitarist Alan Blake in the early 90s. Carrying over the utterly massive, guttural guitar tone and overt Celtic Frost worship that he brought to Sheer Terror's debut Just Can't Hate Enough, Blake's new band took the New York hardcore sound into darker and more malevolent depths, with heavy doses of prehistoric death metal thrashing within their discharges of rampaging hardcore. Aside from how evil and crushing they sounded, Darkside shared the bleak, hateful attitude of Sheer Terror and Long Island nihilists Neglect, dismissing much of the unity/brotherhood vibe trumpeted by many of their peers, which made 'em all the more appealing for me.
    Darkside ended up disbanding in the late 90s, but would reappear more recently minus Blake, with a new lineup featuring longtime members Rich O'Brien and drummer Joe Branciforte (who has also played in The Communion, All Out War, Disassociate, The Voluptuous Horror Of Karen Black and others) alongside fresher blood. Wasn't until now that the band finally delivered a new album though, their first new release since 1998's Ambitions Make Way For Dread, returning with one of the most confrontational hardcore albums I've heard out of NY in ages. Optimism Is Self-Deception still has that signature fusion of pessimistic, streetwise hardcore punk and Morbid Tales-era Celtic Frost, but the punk side of their sound is even more prominent now, and they're also incorporating lots of harsh electronic noise into their music, which really threw me for a loop when I first heard this. It's definitely a lot more experimental than previous Darkside releases, mashing up their ravening, violent punk outbursts and brawny Frostian sludge with tracks of electronic noise and ambient soundscapery using power tools, trumpet, samplers, synths, tape manipulation, and even a "modified autoharp". It's some of the wildest stuff I've heard out of NYC since Disassociate split up.
    Kicking off with one of those blasts of crushing electronic noise, the band lashes out with the ferocious speedy hardcore punk of "Kill All The New Jacks", melding vicious old-school New York style hardcore with a chaos of blackened grind, splattered with nerve-shredding guitar solos and noise. Fucking savage. From there, we get another twenty two songs combining rough n' tumble hardcore with a heavy thrash metal vibe and Rich O'Brien's awesome rabid vocals, the songs strewn with that pulverizing, Frostian sludge and lots of black/death influenced tremolo riffing and blastbeat-driven frenzy, dropping into brooding doom-laden passages laced with Latin percussion, weird moments of hip-hop flow delivered over churning metallic crunch a la Sick Of It All, violently catchy street-punk hooks that abruptly give way to outbursts of crazed grindcore, bizarre industrial metal experiments that are blown out to maximum in-the-red speaker-filth. Genres are blurred and abused, songs shifting from skull-stomping crossover attacks doused with brutal Merzbowian noise, blasts of ultra-distorted Vomir-style HNW, eruptions of screeching power electronics, and there are other experimental flourishes like the punishing To Mega Therion-esque sludge splattered with crazed piano noise and howling electronics that comprises "Bury Me In A Cinch-Sak". When they end the album, it's with a fifteen minute noise track called "Driufracrullium" that sprawls out into a crackling, searing wall of garbled static. Like the aforementioned Disassociate, Darkside NYC employ an eclectic arsenal of sonic weapons on Optimism, making this one of the more interesting blasts of NY hardcore savagery we've gotten in at C-Blast.
Track Samples:
Sample : Casualties Of A Fleeting Existence
Sample : Clawing And Tearing
Sample : Drained In Defeat
Sample : Cognitive Capability Overload (The Ability To Stare Out Into My Own Inner World And No Longer Blink!!)



DARVULIA   Belladone   CD   (Battlesk'rs)    10.98



    Now have this vicious three-song EP from French black metal maniacs Darvulia in stock, in a six-panel gatefold digisleeve, each hand-numbered and limited to four hundred ninety-nine copies...
   One of the groups affiliated with the obscure Les Apôtres De l'Ignominie circle of black metal/black doom bands, Darvulia are another strange French black metal outfit that I've been into for awhile, with several murky, psychedelic albums on the Battleskrs label. The Belladone tape is a newer release, actually a re-issue of a 7" that came out back in 2003 that's pretty short but completely ripping. With a deliberately muddy recording that suggests that the members of Darvulia recorded these songs underneath a sewer grate somewhere in Toulouse. The three songs featured on this Ep are more of the murky, deformed black metal that this band is known for, with twisted, angular riffs that are pretty reminiscent of Deathspell Omega, but they also incorporate other sounds that make this more peculiar like weirdly placed bits of low-fi graveyard ambience and odd rhythmic parts. The first track is a downright bizarre piece for just vocals and guitar that lets loose with some warped LLN-esque ambience, but then the second song "Sorcieres" comes in with a rush of blazing low-fi hate, killer malevolent riffs swarming around the choked, snarling vocals of frontman Kobal (also a member of Sektarism and Malhkebre) and the shambling drumming. This is much rawer than a lot of the French BM that I've been listening to, with an ugly sickly feel with slower lurching riffage that sort of resembles some kind of wretched blackened noise-rock. Lastly, the third track is a faster, speedy blast of dissonance and murky riffing that slips into a killer rocking riff later on, with a level of punk urgency to this one that finished the Ep in a ferocious snarling blast of fuzz.


DE SILENCE ET D'OMBRE   Vol IV: Worship The Hideous   CD   (Le Crépuscule Du Soir)    11.98



    Profoundly disturbed French black metallers De Silence Et D'Ombre deliver their latest dose of Lovecraft-obsessed mutant abjection with Vol IV: Worship The Hideous, and it definitely dug its weird talons into me. Marching forth on a wave of warped, vaguely industrialized black metal, this one-man band whips up some deranged off-kilter heaviness with these ten tracks, shifting between lurching mid-tempo grooves that can sometimes have a bit of Khold feel, to the sort of sickly dissonance often associated with French black metal outfits like Blut Aus Nord, and down into anguished depths of wasted funereal deathdoom. This void-crawler vomits up all manner of weird electronic noises over this filth, and the vocals border on schizophrenic, veering between monotone chant-like growls, a killer gothic croak, and monstrously distorted screams that echo insanely behind the chugging, sludge-smeared doom that erupts across tracks like "My Domain".
    There are swathes of IV that are smeared with Iommi-style down-tuned misery and weird weeping vocalizations, hideous frog-like vocals are run through some kind of pitch-shifter to transform into a bizarre burbling amphibious croak, peals of keening feedback crash across disturbing, echo-laden spoken word sections, lysergic shrieks melt into chromium droid-moans. The weird spaced-out noise rock of "Spitting Blackend Mud" sounds like some Today is The Day-penned power-blast giving praise to Tsathoggua, only to erupt into frenzied mechanized blackgrind violence and slabs of massive Frostian riffage (that goddamn riff on "Alien Magic" in particular is a real skull-stomper). This stuff gets more fucked and agitated with each song, while also peeling back at times to reveal a glimpse of tortured beauty under all the blown-out blackened grooves and slime-slick necro-sludge; there's a positively stunning finale to "Worshp The Hideous" that closes with a wash of wistful, Jesu-like 'gaziness. It's not nearly as scatterbrained as I'm probably making this sound, either. Weird and offbeat, yes, but also focused in its weirdness. The liner notes don't help much in giving De Silence's sludgy blackened racket any clarity, most of it boiling down to a bunch of drug-addled rambling basement-dwelling ranting. Can't come up with any single bands to compare this to, which is always a plus; it's definitely shares some DNA with the more mental ends of the industrial black metal spectrum, but this sure as hell ain't no Mysticum; fans of the more offbeat ends of loner black metal inhabited by the likes of Furze and Striborg might want to dip into this stew of noxious, neurotic evil. Absolutely adore that crude, Lovecraftian cover art, too. Limited to five hundred copies.
Track Samples:
Sample : Worship the Hideous
Sample : Spitting Blackened Mud
Sample : My Domain



DIAPSIQUIR   Virus S.T.N.   CD   (Necrocosm)    11.98



   The 2005 album from one of France's most depraved black metal outfits is finally back in print! Here's my old write-up of the album from when we first got it in stock back then:
   Took multiple spins of Virus S.T.N. to even begin to get a grasp of what is going on with France's Diapsiquir. The sophomore album from these eclectic black metal surrealists is so intricately assembled and disorientating, it is impossible to absorb everything that is going on here in just one sitting. Just looking at the design of this thing, it's hard to guess what this will sound like: collages of photographs capturing blips of urban contamination surround the Diapsiquir logo, an awesome, heavily stylized riff on the "goat of Mendes" image, with the outer ring of the logo inscribed in the words "Seringue Absorption Torture Alienation Nihilisme", which obviously forms the acronym SATAN. All evil and misanthropic enough, but as soon as the eerie beats and classical sampling of opening track "Incubation" kicks this off, it's pretty clear that this is going to be anything but traditional black metal.
    Distant, ambient synths and sampled string sections play a recognizable classical melody over dubby, staticky trip-hop beats and abrasive industrial samples, the beats constantly shifting as far-off black metal riffs and distant sounds of screaming children appear alongside deep, raspy, half-spoken vocals. It's more like apocalyptic, avant-garde trip-hop than anything resembling black metal. But then "Venin Intemporel, Rouille Universelle, Satan" kicks in with that weirdly atonal black metal riff and what sounds like a mix of both blasting drum programming and actual live drumming, and this erupts into total violence; multiple vocalists screech and howl and rant over the percussive thrash before the song turns into a trippy dirge, glitchy electronic noise suddenly sweeping over another eerie, discordant riff and time-delayed vocals, before transforming into a surreal mash-up of Voivod style riffs, crushing breakbeats, damaged French folk music, squawking shrieks trading off with electronically processed vocals and a sort of broken cadence that sounds like some kind of demented, mutant French hip hop.
    It's a bizarre mash-up of influences and sounds that these guys put together, but Diapsiquir somehow manage to make their maniacal cacophony extremely evil sounding, imbued with a gleeful misanthropy that seeps from their whacked-out song structures and forays into fucked-up, anti-human hip-hop. Definitely not what you'd probably expect from a duo that includes one of the guys from blasphemous French black metallers Arkhon Infaustus. But there's certainly a strong current of black metal that runs through this album, an industrialized vision of black metal that prowls the same grim, post-Armageddon urban wastelands as those inhabited by Aborym, Mysticum and Dödheimsgard, but so much more fucked-up and drug-addled. Each song a blackened fever dream of pounding techno beats and grinding Industrial rhythms, powerful and dissonant black/thrash riffs, spurts of avant-garde jazz, appropriated themes from both The Godfather and Scarface film scores tossed into vats of hallucinatory electronics, songs frequently taking a ninety-degree stylistic turn right in the middle of the track. Even the production style of Virus S.T.N. is twisted, using weird mixing decisions and post-production fuckery that makes parts of this sound like some avant-garde hip-hop record. Utterly confounding, flamboyantly weird industrial/electro/black metal strangeness; these guys go pretty far beyond the experimentations of even the likes of Manes and Dødheimsgard. Highly recommended to adventurers in the field of psychedelic, dystopian black metal.


DIMENTIANON   Collapse The Void   LP   (Nuclear War Now! Productions)    18.98



    Another album that I only recently discovered after being out for awhile, Dimentianon's Collapse The Void was the most recent thing to come out from this Carl Sagan-quoting New York death metal outfit, here issued on limited-edition vinyl by Nuclear War Now. It's one of the more overlooked releases from the label, but I really dug this record when I finally heard it, as these guys inject a heavy dose of one of my favorite sounds (that being Teutonic electronics) into a an interesting and progressive black/death assault.
    This co-release with Paragon Records is the third album (really more of a glorified EP, clocking in twenty five minutes) from Dimentianon, who include members of deathdoom extremists Rigor Sardonicous; the swirling star-burnt chaos of Collapse The Void definitely sticks out among all of the ultra-violent blackened death metal that Nuclear War Now is usually known for, though this stuff does share some proggy similarities with Australia's Stargazer, who have also previously appeared on the label. Not to say that Collapse isn't its own brand of viciousness, though; the five sprawling tracks featured here are rooted in a ferocious blackened death metal sound, but Dimentianon embellish it with kosmische keyboards and some ornate songwriting that harkens back to classic 70's era progressive rock. And they do it a manner that doesn't sound like another Enslaved clone or many of the other more recent black/death metal outfits that have gotten cozy with their inner King Crimson. Opener "Return..." gets into that mix of influences pretty quickly, the band veering out of some vicious blasting blackened death at top speed, into flourishes of Moog-festooned prog, brief passages of instrumental music that build upon the band's sinister star-gazing vibe, while unveiling an unearthly ambience over the blasting savagery. The rest of Collapse features lots of sprawling, soaring guitar shred and sweeping cosmic drama amid surges of complex thrash riffery and blastbeating drums, the keyboards figuring heavily into the mix without getting either too overbearing or two frilly. Where things get very prog is the mid-album track "Fragmented Nostalgia", a beautifully pensive piece of instrumental music arranged for female vocals, sweeping Klaus Schulze-esque synthesizers, burbling bass, and piano, a stunningly nostalgic bit of kosmische majesty that sounds like it was plucked right out of 1978, and it's a sound that the guys in Dimentianon pull off really well, somehow turning it into a perfect segueway into the crushing doom-laden evil of the following song "The Forgotten". Gotta say that this has turned into a new favorite prog-death album since stumbling on it; while not quite on the same level as recent offerings from Tribulation and Morbus Chron, fans of that mixture of black/death and old-school progressive rock should definitely give this one a spin. Limited to two hundred fifty copies.


DINOSAUR JR   Dinosaur   LP   (Jagjaguwar)    15.98











Track Samples:
Sample : Forget The Swan
Sample : Does It Float
Sample : Repulsion
Sample : Bulbs Of Passion



DINOSAUR JR   Bug   LP   (Jagjaguwar)    15.98











Track Samples:
Sample : Freak Scene
Sample : Let It Ride
Sample : Don't



DRAUGURINN   Móðuharðindin   CD   (Le Crépuscule Du Soir)    11.98



    The alluring third album from obscure Swedish ambient outfit Draugurinn continues the ritualistic Nordic black ambiance that lone member Disa has been producing since 2010. Some might know Disa from her herbarium-obsessed black metal outfit Turdus Merula that also released a couple of albums on Le Crépuscule Du Soir, but over the course of previous albums Dauðadá and Myrkraverk, she's also been fleshing out her own blend of primitive percussion, layered kosmische drones and sumptuous vocals under the Draugurinn name, all layered together into dark and vast choral driftscapes that glimmer with a sinister abyssal beauty.
    Móðuharðindin brings us some of the project's grimmest work to date. The seven tracks drift languidly through a subterranean soundworld filled with mesmeric chantlike vocals and distant pounding tribal rhythms, clattering percussion that resembles the clack of animal bones resounding from the depths of a cave, temple bells hypnotically ringing in the depths, all surrounded by vast murky synths and smears of black orchestral rumble and sinister cinematic strings. Some of this slips into decidedly soundtrack-like territory, like the ominous post-industrial ambiance of "Hún Kallar Á Surt Og Syni Hans" that recalls some of the latter-day Lustmord material. Disa's vocals are present throughout most of the album though, from haunting far-off wordless singing to witchlike cries that crank the creep factor up considerably; synths are prominent but textural, and while some tracks like "Þau Skapa úr Eldinum, Kötlu Og Heklu" see the keyboards taking on a more melodic, funereal role, it never quite delves into a purely "dungeon synth" style approach. There's a familiarity around Draugurinn's black cosmic ambiance, but it's a sound that I definitely continue to enjoy, apocalyptic kosmische rituals that often ascend into peals of striking nightside beauty. There's certainly aspects of this stuff that would appeal to fans of the Halo Manash/ Arktau Eos / Emme Ya / Endura vein of shamanic dark ambient ritual, though Disa's trancelike rhythmic creepscapes are much simpler and more minimalistic, usually centering around a single motif that slow builds in intensity through repetition; it's just as recommended to fans of the graveyard sorceries of Aghast and Lamia Vox, too. Released in a limited edition of five hundred copies.
Track Samples:
Sample : ÿþÞau Skapa úr Eldinum, Kulda Og Dauða
Sample : ÿþÚr Minni Eldgjáar
Sample : ÿþHún Kallar Á Surt Og Syni Hans



ECHANCRURE   Paysage Octobre   CD   (Le Crépuscule Du Soir)    11.99



    Derelict and debauched, as only the French can do. This 2012 album from French one-man band Echancrure is one of the few things to surface from the band to date, aside from a split with Atrabilis, and offers a dark, paranoid descent through autumnal madness and urban delirium, revealed through a broken narrative composed of drug-damaged jazziness, low-fi industrial metal and even murkier black metal-esque aesthetics, all captured through a dirty, dingy bedroom production quality that just makes this stuff sound that much more disturbed and demented. Certainly one of the stranger forays into "industrial" black metal I've come across lately, though Paysage. Octobre. is as difficult to describe within the context of industrial music as it's connection to black metal is tenuous, though it is clear that this bizarre French outfit draws equally from these two forms.
    On this mysterious band's debut, they merge a cybernetic noir-jazz atmosphere with traces of hallucinatory trip-hop and the jet-black cabaret of Bohren And Der Club of Gore, the sound streaked with screaming metallic guitar and traces of blackened riffery, swells of droning doom-laden heaviness and spurts of sonic lunacy. The songs shift between slow jazz-flecked rhythms shuffling through a nocturnal haze of synth and strange whispered voice-overs, the moody bass leading the songs through this starlit darkness as peals of distorted blackened guitar ring out overhead. They drift into swirling tendrils of fog, coiling around hideous discordant violins and cellos, and swells of baroque, dreamlike piano, then suddenly cutting to distorted drum loops, warped electronics and sinister choral ambiance that hint at a kind of nightmarish electro-industrial. Those damaged electronic rhythms lurk beneath tortured strings that drift in and out of view, then dropping into vast squalls of howling amplifier feedback and dark, dolorous drift that birth massive industrialized doom-dirges, a distant, deranged Godfleshian heaviness that suddenly looms out of the whirling electronic murk, that mutated boom-bap flecked with the sounds of mournful funerary violin and an equally distant disaffected croon.
    Truly delirious stuff; one could point towards the jazzier moments of latter-day Manes or Ulver as one reference point, perhaps, and even more so the narcotics-fueled evil of fellow Frenchmen Diapsiquir. Ultimately, though, Échancrure disappear into much more nightmarish recesses, crawling into bizarre passages of environmental ambiance and random room noise littered with what sounds like improvised percussion and someone huddled in a corner, moaning. Creepy, surrealistic stuff that got under my skin, their sound lit by flickering halogen lamps reflecting off of rain-drenched Parisian streets, revealing malformed figures lurking at the periphery of your vision.
Track Samples:
Sample : Sans titre 1
Sample : Sans titre 3
Sample : Sans titre 6
Sample : Sans titre 8



EDWIGE   Virgin Capricorn   LP   (Antropofago Ateo)    14.99



   Just look at that cover. A striking vintage shot of the achingly gorgeous Edwige Fenech, captured in partially disrobed state, all soft-focus, taken from one of the many 70's era Italian films that she starred in. Most modern audiences would probably only recognize Fenech from her cameo in Eli Roth's Hostel II, if at all. But for those of us with a taste for black gloves and lurid images of violence and eroticism, Fenech's exquisite form is unforgettable. Her bewitching looks haunted some of the greatest gialli of the 1970s, like Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key, The Case of the Bloody Iris, and The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh, often working with the great director Sergio Martino.
    No stranger to obsessive gialli worship, noise artist Sam McKinlay of The Rita would seem to share our enchantment with the lovely Fenech and her body of work, performing alongside members Dan Johansson (Sewer Election, Ättestupa) and Nolan Throop (Kakerlak) to pay homage to the actress by sculpting immense slabs of ego-obliterating electronic noise. Much like The Rita's fetishistic noisescapes dedicated to McKinlay's other specific obsessions, there's nothing that sonically ties Fenech to this recording beyond the concept, but the trio's "Eurotrash Woman Worship" is still an utterly hypnotic listening experience as they carve out these two side-long monoliths of blackened static. This stuff is heavy, combining massive low-end rumbling with faint fragments of musicality that are pushed so far into the red that they appear as subliminal traces of melody that move ghostlike through the crushing magma-flow of burnt-out over-modulated drone, a wall of speakercrushing distortion battered by waves of tectonic crunch. It's firmly based in the HNW aesthetic, but if you're a fan of that sort of extreme, monotonous harsh noise, Capricorn delivers exactly what you need, and there's an atmospheric undercurrent here that gives the album an interesting feel. Massive, trance-inducing distortion that churns relentlessly like violent currents within an ocean of sulfuric gas and broken glass, dense and oppressive and mesmerizing, right up there with the best stuff from The Rita. Comes with a large full-color poster that features an equally striking image of Fenech that I could stare at all day. Limited to two hundred fifty copies.


ELHAZ   The Black Flame   CD   (Memento Mori)    11.98



   I've been enjoying my recent trawl through the catalog of the now defunct German label Memento Mori, which has dredged up quite a stack of albums I'd never heard before. Lots of interesting artifacts from the late-90s satanic industrial/black ambient underground in particular, as the imprint tended to specialize in much darker sounds than its parent label, Dark Vinyl, an early home for the likes of Controlled Bleeding, MZ.412, Lustmord, The Gerogerigegege and Rozz Williams solo works. Elhaz's The Black Flame is one of my favorite Memento Mori releases, the one and only album from this mysterious outfit that hass been described by some as "neo-classical", though that only touches on one part of Elhaz's sound. There's certainly quite a bit of classically-influenced music here, employing an array of orchestral sounds (string sections, horns), but the band also incorporates some great vintage synthesizer that bring a cinematic quality to this stuff as well. Take the opening track "Pilgrimage" for instance, which sounds like it could have come off of one of John Carpenter's later film scores. But Elhaz is also heavily steeped in a kind of coarse, gothic post-industrial, heard in the slow, doom-laden gloom of "Glory" that sounds like a blackened version of First And Last And Always-era Sisters Of Mercy, the grim melodies and sinister baritone vocals winding around swells of metallic guitar and furious drum machine programming. This mix of sounds across the first few tracks give this an odd, off-kilter feel, but it doesn't take long for Flame to weave its strange satanic vibe.
    The rest of the album moves through waves of grinding synthesizer and ominous vocal samples that build into shambling, militaristic death industrial marches, or blend bleak, funerary horns and cello-like minor key strings with burbling black electronica. "Blessed" slowly unfolds into another terrific piece of industrialized goth rock, that Sisters / Nephilim-esque sound married to slow, mechanical beats and mournful symphonics, the singer's deep Eldritch baritone echoing over the slow-motion bombast, and joined by distant crushing droning metallic guitars, eventually turning into this weird cross between classic 80's goth and Godfleshian industrial crunch. More of those horns appear on the elegiac "Bloodthrone", shaping the song into a neo-folky sound, and the latter portion of Flame drifts out into even vaster realms of kosmische choral majesty and menacing industrial creep, with bits of skittering, Coil-esque derangement, and swells of baleful bombast on tracks like "Devil" that almost suggest a trip-hop remix of Carpenter's Prince Of Darkness score being perpetrated by Norwegian weirdos Manes. Definitely a weird mix, but I've really been digging this album. Been pretty obsessed with the Memento Mori catalog lately, and admittedly part of it is the nostalgic glow I get from listening to this sort of classic black/occult industrial stuff, but while some of the albums that came out on the label admittedly sound a bit dated, Elhaz's album has aged a little more gracefully. That's possibly due to the atmospheric synthwork that's so prominent here, which echoes classic horror-score style electronics, though I'm sure that the old-school gothic rock that creeps through this might grate on some listeners. Still, one to check out if you've been digging any of the other Memento Mori releases we've been getting in stock here.
Track Samples:
Sample : Glory
Sample : Devil
Sample : BloodThrone
Sample : Blessed



EMME YA   Ophidian Fetish Mandala   CD   (Noctivagant)    10.98



    Here's the latest album of exotic black ambience from Colombian artist Edgar Kerval and his Emme Ya project, descending further into the lightless depths of dread-filled droneology and ritualistic creep that he's explored with previous albums on Cold Spring and Brave Mysteries. As with that earlier material, Ophidian Fetish Mandala evokes a mysterious magic-obsessed soundworld filled with spare ritualistic percussive elements, vast fields of chthonic drift, quaking with reverberations from monstrous tectonic movements occurring deep beneath the surface of the earth, and awash in mesmeric murky drones that move wraithlike through the dank subterranean gloom of Emme Ya's music. Despite a fairly prolific release schedule, Kerval's work has continued to maintain a high quality of craftsmanship, and is some of my favorite black ambient currently being made, managing to be both deeply unsettling and strikingly evocative.
    On this disc, you get tracks like "Yantra Of The Spider Goddess", whose title evokes images of some classic Clark Ashton Smith vision of subterranean horror, with sprawling stygian ambience laced with the sounds of nightmarish inhuman chanting and monstrous growls that lurk deep in the mix, surrounded by metallic clanks and shuffling rhythms that form into heavy, hypnotic patterns. There's also the blackened rumble and reptilian ritual vibe of "Arcana Of The Waters Of The Bloodred Moon", which is suggestive of Funerary Call at its most nightmarish, but Emme Ya drapes this stuff with its own strange quasi-Lovecraftian vibe; moments such as when ghastly, bestial growls materialize over the hypnotic drone of an organ, while waves of blackened kosmische electronics sweep across massive machinelike rumblings. Other tracks mingle wilderness sounds with distant orchestral murmurs set above rhythmic clanking, and bits of folky melody glimmer softly behind a veil of blackness. Swirling black ambience transforms into more surrealistic electronic glitchery, while tribal drums pound away dazedly in the depths. By the time the album gets to "Sigillum Sabbati", Emme Ya's abyssal ritual ambience has morphed into something substantially stranger, a nightmare haze of fractured electronics and warped horn-like drones strained beneath increasingly heavy swells of distorted drone and bizarre, alien vocalizations, bursts of cosmic electronics whirring out in the blackness. It all leads into the utterly narcotized fog that billows across closer "Spider Goddess", a dreamlike blur of flute and gamelan-like sounds tumbling into the abyss, lost amid foul froglike croak-chants and dub-flecked drums that are stretched into eternity.
    Comes in a six panel gatefold sleeve with a set of five full-color postcards, limited to four hundred ninety-three copies.
Track Samples:
Sample : yantra Of The Spider Goddess
Sample : Sigillum Sabbati
Sample : Arcana Of The Waters Of The Bloodred Moon



EMME YA / NUIT   Hau-Hra (Hymns Ov Adoration To Seth-Apep) / Coiled Purple Splendour   CD   (Noctivagant)    10.98



    Since surfacing sometime around 2010 with his debut album Beyond The Secret Flame, Colombian artist Edgar Kerval has kicked off a prolific release schedule that has produced at least five full length albums (a few of which appeared on renowned industrial label Cold Spring), as well as a number of cassette releases, while surprisingly maintaining a fairly consistent level of quality throughout. One thing you can count on with Kerval's dark ritual ambience is a richly layered listening experience that blankets the listener in coldvoid ambience, dark and dolorous and steeped in a classic kosmische sound that recalls the occult synth-visions of Endvra and Herbst9 while also shuddering with occasional moments of demonic intoxication that can almost rival some of Funerary Call's stuff. Can't recommend his stuff enough if you're into the more ritualistic end of dark ambient music, and on Hau-Hra (his first release for Noctivagant), Kerval pairs up some of that Emme Ya material with the sole recorded output of his Nuit alter-ego, all of which make for some sumptuous subterranean psychedelia.
    On previous releases, Kerval has frequently used elements of Middle Eastern music in his compositions, but for his half of this album, those influences and sounds are predominant. The three tracks from Emme Ya sprawl out for well over half an hour, blending tribal drumming and percussive rattling with distant horns that slowly twist through the night sky like plumes of fragrant wood-smoke, the sounds of nocturnal life surrounding his sinister blackened driftscapes. Hissed invocations and group chanting drifts through clouds of echo, ophidian prayers rising alongside strains of ghostly woodwinds and swells of John Carpenter-esque synthesizer figures, sometimes rattled by the sound of tinny drum machines. A darkly narcotic and cinematic sound that travels through early 21st century Moroccan markets and passages beneath the temples of Egyptian devil-cults.
    Hadn't heard anything from Kerval's other project Nuit before this, and was a little surprised by the surreal, almost Lynchian atmosphere that exudes from these tracks. Could be the weird chanting munchkins that lurk throughout these three tracks, but I just cant shake the strange Black Lodge vibe that I got off this. Definitely stranger stuff than the blackened ritual ambience of Emme Ya, that's for sure. That weird high-pitched spoken word delivery appears over a swirling fog of terrifying orchestral drift and odd, fractured electronic rhythms, mixed in with surges of sinister kosmische synth and vast reverberant drift. Lovely female vocals drift alongside strange, almost liturgical chanting, underscored by eerie chamber strings and bits of classical piano. A primitive drum machine plods throughout the tracks, slow shuffling rhythms buried down in the mix, giving some of this a whiff of early Coil. Quite creepy.
    Like some of the other Noctivagant releases, this disc comes in a six-panel gatefold sleeve, and is limited to four hundred twenty-three hand-numbered copies.
Track Samples:
Sample : NUIT - Hymen 418
Sample : NUIT - Elixir
Sample : EMME YA - Saater-Ta
Sample : EMME YA - Hemhempti



EPHEMEROS   All Hail Corrosion   CD   (Seventh Rule)    11.98



    Back in stock. If there's one thing that I've learned after listening to a couple decades worth of doom metal, it's that merely slowing one's songs down to glacial tempos and offering dour riffs does not alone make for an enjoyable listening experience. Even the most funereal slogs need a song somewhere in there, which Ephemeros realize in spite of the sheer crawling weight of their music. This Portland, Oregon outfit features members from several punk/metal outfits like Nux Vomica, Graves At Sea and Uzala, but the glacial entropic waste that Ephemeros lay out on >All Hail Corrosion is carved out of the most dismal of sounds, with three epic-length songs spreading out in a black stain of funereal doom across the album. As soon as the opening title track kicks in with its sour lead guitars and plate-shifting tempos, the influences of the likes of Thergothon, Mournful Congregation and Worship reveal themselves, but as far as this sort of abject slow-motion metal goes, Ephemeros do it better than most, due to their ability to craft some solid memorable music underneath all of this misery. A soul-wrenching sense of existential horror bleeds from the band's lyrics, casting dire, depressing visions of a life lived in loss and futility, crushed beneath the weight of time, all hung against the band's stately heaviness; the deep, guttural roar of the vocals is imbued with a mournful emotional delivery that packs some punch, and there are moments where those vocals become more frantic and frenzied. Titanic riffs uncoil beneath the hopeless, sunless atmosphere, the crushing dirge often breaking away into the sound of a lone guitar picking out a lonely melody for a moment, before the whole band crashes back in with another punishing blast of funerary crush. Ephemeros's melodies are effective, emotional, intense; while this doesn't break too far from classic funeral doom conventions, it's really well-crafted stuff, certainly better than most Thergothon-worship I hear, and there are some really great touches like the plangent horn-like reveille that shows up on "Stillborn Workhorse". Closer "Soilbringer" is even more powerful, a devastating slow-motion hymn whose chords form into something that at times seems to echo with the dark power of "Dies Irae", the sound vast and majestic, the singer shifting into a strained howl as the guitars blossom into harmony, gorgeous leads guiding the album downward into torturous slow motion death metal obliteration that takes over the last half of the song. Fans of the more sophisticated melodic doom that bands like Thou, Dark Castle and Samothrace trade in will find much to dig here, despite Ephemeros's distinctly slower and more anguished approach. Comes in chipboard digipack packaging.
Track Samples:
Sample : Soilbringer
Sample : All Hail Corrosion



EXPLORING THERAPEUTIC ENCOUNTER   self-titled   CASSETTE   (Tested Souls)    5.98



   So far, I've really dug everything that I've picked up from the new Blossming Noise sub-label Tested Souls, which appears to be focusing more on a mix of ritualistic drone music and power electronics compared to the experimental noise that label boss (and To Live And Shave In L.A. member) Graham Moore has pursued through his main imprint. His solo project Exploring Therapeutic Encounter comes from a similar field of dark, minimal electro-creep, from which Moore casts a strange spell using tapes voice and electronic noise, emitting repetitious, pulsating electronics that invoke a similar trance state as that Cursory La Sorcière 7" that also came out on Tested Souls. There's also more of that vague occult vibe running though this, the six tracks centered around a minimal but mesmeric arrangement of queasy looped bass, eerie keening synthesizer melodies and somnambulant vocals that are so distorted and encrusted in staticky fuzz that Moore's voice ends up being completely unintelligible.
    Of course, that only adds to the oddness of Exploring Therapeutic Encounter's weirdly hypnotic brand of narco-power electronics, the tracks moving from more subdued clinical rumblings of tracks like "Body Feeling" to the utterly malevolent squealing horror of "Physicalism". Statciky pulses, squealing rhythmic electronics and tinny metallic rhythms all pervade this recording , and there are brief moments that seem to sputter with an almost Mille Plateaux-informed approach to glitchy noise. It's also possessed with hypnotically repeating blasts of insectile noise and a disturbing pitch-black vibe on the harsher pieces, moments that can get pretty goddamn abrasive, but he tends to offset that sonic horror with simple, brooding synth melodies that creep across the likes of "In An Ideal", moments that can occasionally resemble an early 80's John Carpenter composition being performed by Hole In The Heart-era Ramleh. As with other Tested Souls releases, this features an attractive minimal design, the tape housed in a black arigato-style case with abstract morbid artwork printed in metallic gold ink, issued in a limited edition of one hundred copies.


FALSE FLAG   Bombshelter Nightmare   CASSETTE   (Terror)    7.00



    One of the more recent releases from Justin Marc Lloyd's paranoid noise project False Flag, an offshoot of the sort of extreme, avant-garde electronics he's pursued with various projects like Dim Dusk Moving Gloom and Pregnant Spore and his tape label Rainbow Bridge. False Flag's dark mixture of contemporary power electronics, malevolent synthesizer music and HNW aesthetics is the most abrasive of these various projects, and this tape released on Lithuanian industrial label Terror is a particularly heavy blast of dystopian noise. There is a strong current of early 21st century global conspiracy paranoia running through this tape, imbuing the slow black pulse and monstrous rumbling power electronics of tracks like "Muslim Police" with a intensely sinister and threatening energy.
    Many of these tracks feature collaborations with other noise artists like HNW engineers Boar, Matt Boettke (Scant), and Divine Shell, bringing a decent amount of variety. Tracks move from the aforementioned blasts of crushing power electronics into sprawls of abrasive industrial rhythm and ghostly nightmare ambience, howling voices sweeping through the depths of some vast black abyss, fields of desolate drone shrouded in murky Lustmordian ambience and strafed with strange electronic sounds that resemble 8-bit star-fighters plummeting to earth. The cumulative effect evokes an expansive smoke-wreathed vista of charred cityscapes and nefarious factories, the sounds growing ever more dim and dread-filled as Lloyd and crew descend deeper into their aural pits of gurgling black electronics and decaying static, eruptions of corroded low-end rumble mingling with clusters of sweeping kosmische synthesizer. The track "Two Brothers" is distinguished by a blackened ultra-heavy dirge, a massive rumbling convergence of distorted drones and sinister samples that slowly evolves into a crushing, crumbling wall of harsh noise, only to be followed by the black-hole nebular driftscape of "Rage For Peace" that resembles some particularly spooky 70's era space music being absorbed into a fluttering swarm of pestilent electronics. The power electronics-style approach appears infrequently throughout the album, but when it does, the combination of Lloyd's heavily distorted and processed growl and the cardiac thud of the synthesizers suddenly coalesce the swarming noisescapes into something quite fearsome, at one point transforming into an intensely abrasive but strangely beautiful wall of elegiac, mournful synth noise that's on par with some of the mid-oughties output from Prurient. Another solid release from this project. Limited to 100 copies.
Track Samples:
Sample : Muslim Police
Sample : Rage For Order
Sample : Korean War



FISTULA   Vermin Prolificus   LP   (To Live A Lie)    14.98



    The latest feast of filth from these Clevo scum-beasts, Vermin Prolificus delivers seven new tracks of fucked-up, violent sludgecore that's some of the grooviest stuff I've heard from 'em since Goat. Never ones to tinker with what makes them such a vicious listening experience, the band brings us the same sort of feedback-smeared, sample-laden misanthropy that we know and love, songs like "Smoke Cat Hair & Toe Nails" hurtling through an utterly hideous mix of shambling slow-mo sludge metal and ferocious crossover-tinged thrash. As on previous albums, Fistula use sinister samples lifted from various television programs and other pop-culture dead-ends, re-employing them here to extol the virtues of hard drug abuse, mutilation, and other depravities. The way that they mix those samples into their abject, abrasive sludge as always recalls the likes of Dystopia and Buzzoven, but Fistula jack up their sound with so much feral thrash and D-beat driven mayhem that they've turned into something uniquely diseased and demented, with a taste for high-speed carnage that gives us the occasional churning blasts of noisy, mangled grindcore that erupt out of their agonized slow-mo slogs through suffering and dementia.
    Yep, Vermin's got all of this, from short blasts of thrashing savagery like "Harmful Situation" and "Goat Brothel" to the rabid buzzsaw punk of "Upside Down" and back into those terrible, torturous crawls through gaping sewers on tracks like "Pig Funeral". It gets really abusive with the monstrous thirteen minute title track, where they drag their down-tuned, ultra-heavy riffage through a septic daze of grinding black crush and urban violence, the whole track almost totally instrumental save for the disturbing collage of sampled voices that the band stitches together across the sprawling , hypnotic puke-groove. The whole Lp is also loaded with those killer tempo shifts that Fistula pulls off so well, dropping from speedy, scum-encrusted thrash in the most devastating manner possible, the amped-up tempos downshifting with bone-breaking abruptness into disgustingly heavy riffs that instantaneously boil your blood. Ridiculously heavy stuff, and with killer album art from both Luciana Nedelea and Frank Oblak, illustrating Fistula's foul scumscape where the only catharsis is found through acts of brutal violence and ritualized narcotic use. Still yet to be disappointed by anything that Fistula has put out, fans of their misanthropic filth will get all the pain they seek and more - can't recommend this enough if you're addicted to the hateful negativity and tar-pit nihilism of bands like Grief, Eyehategod and Buzzoven.
Track Samples:
Sample : Goat Brothel
Sample : Pig Funeral
Sample : Smoke Cat Hair and Toenails



FOREVER DOOMED   Art & Essays by Tenebrous Kate   MAGAZINE A5   (Heretical Sexts)    5.00



   I've been an avid follower of Tenebrous Kate and her blog Love Train for the Tenebrous Empire ever since I stumbled across it a couple of years ago. Since 2008, Kate has been regularly offering her knowledgeable, well-written ruminations on classic Euro-horror and midnight movies, contemporary independent horror films, vintage erotica, the darker fringes of underground music, and underground/psychedelic comic with equal amounts of perceptive criticism, tongue-in-cheek humor and an unflagging enthusiasm for these art forms. The scope of her blog tends to focus on the dark, weird and schlocky, but Kate's articles could range from a smartly written review of the 1971 British satanic shocker Blood on Satan’s Claw to a lengthy interview with psychedelic horror comics artist Sarah Horrocks or an article on French surrealist pulp anti-hero Fantômas. And with her unabashed appreciation for perversity and absurdity, Kate's stuff has consistently hit on numerous fields of interest for me. She's also an avid and outspoken enthusiast of old-school fanzines, which has led to her expanding beyond the Love Train with a new micro-press imprint called Heretical Sexts that's just started to kick in with a handful of limited-press fanzines and comics that all look fucking fantastic. One of the first Heretical Sexts titles is Forever Doomed, a one-shot zine that features an assortment of Kate's writing and art specifically focuses on her dual obsessions with old-school occult horror cinema and the more occult-obsessed side of doom metal. It's only thirty-two pages, but it delivers a solid read that includes essays on the 1980s heavy metal horror classic Black Roses, British occult novelist and historian Dennis Wheatley (To The Devil A Daughter, The Devil And All His Works ), the 1968 horror film Curse of the Crimson Altar, and Jorge Grau's environmental zombie epic Let Sleeping Corpses Lie, as well as musings on her trip to the 2012 Maryland Deathfest to see Electric Wizard, and the utterly ridiculous comic Erotic Rites of the Nazgûl. Definitely worth picking up if you're a fellow fan of satanic cinema and occult metal.


FORTRESS   Unto The Nothing   CD   (Unholy Anarchy)    7.99



    Based in the same seedy Prison City that Crucial Blast calls home, this local outfit finally crawled out of the muck with their first full-length Unto The Nothing, and it might well be the heaviest thing on this week's new arrivals list. A misshapen monstrosity stumbling out of the most abject depths of doom metal, this trio belts out one seriously ugly and gnarled racket on their debut, that's also not without the rare moment of haunting prettiness that serves to make their ugliness sound even uglier. More than anything though, these creeps lean towards long, lumbering passages of crushing droning riffage that threaten to stretch into infinity, building a wall of hypnotic black sludge out of horrendously detuned instruments and rotten amp-noise that occasionally births some twisted, writhing burst of stoned groove, or will pull apart into a damp, crumbling passage of desolate slowcore. The look of this album alone makes quite the impression upon the listener: Unto The Nothing features amazing original album art from Aeron Alfrey, who did the dust jackets for Subterranean Press's reprints of Thomas Ligotti's Grimscribe, Noctuary and Songs Of A Dead Dreamer, and his visions of a nightmare forest filled with flayed corpses, severely deformed mutations, grotesque demonic oaks, and chattering insectoid horrors is done up in a mix of collage and illustration that looks like a JK Potter piece gone completely apeshit. It makes for a striking visual accompaniment to Fortress's grueling, ghastly negative sludge.
    The likes of Winter, Celtic Frost, Worship and Autopsy have all been invoked to describe the band's torturous slow-motion heaviness, which are all fairly apt. The album takes awhile to get there, though, with a long, smoldering build through plaintive guitar chords hovering over a vast field of dead-eyed amplifier drone and mesmeric feedback hum. For a brief moment, that almost suggests a horribly withered, sun-blasted take on White Birch-era Codeine, but once everything finally and violently crashes in though, it's like suddenly being buried underneath a large mound of peat, all crushing down-tuned torpor and Sabbath-on-ketamine glacial blues. When "Fight The Son" kicks in, the mood changes to something even more violent, a chugging, gnarled mass of diseased Frostian riffage, the sledgehammer swing of their riffs mounted to the drummer's monstrous pachyderm groove, while the phlegm-clotted guitar leads rise out of the sludge in a sour miasma to be drawn out over the gluey heaviness. There are a few more moments where the distorted dirge falls away and unexpectedly pretty melodies briefly surface through the murk, and there's also some pretty catchy riffage that shows up when songs like "Lies & Fears" and "Stolen Graves" suddenly surge into their rocking, fuzz-drenched groove. Nothing's most haunting passage comes with the elegiac feel that creeps into the titanic dirge of "The Nothing", as an ethereal female voice drifts out of the gloom, a fragile siren-song lilting over the singer's half-whispered croak and the funerary crush of the band. These guys manage to bring an interesting spaced-out vibe to their grueling slow-mo grind with the multi-tracked vocals and strange somnambulant vibe, the songs frequently disappearing into a black hole of billowing feedback drone and cavernous low-end drift, and in the end the album manages to bridge the agonized crawl of early funereal death-doom bands like Thergothon and Winter, and the crustier, drug-fucked misanthropy of Grief and Noothgrush, wrapping it all in a strangely dazed fog of glacial amp-buzz. Take it from me when I tell you that there is no heavier band to be found creeping through this vile, stinking town.
    Available on digipack CD and gatefold LP in casewrapped jacket with download, limited to three hundred copies.
Track Samples:
Sample : The Nothing
Sample : Stolen Graves
Sample : Lies & Fears



FORTRESS   Unto The Nothing   LP   (Unholy Anarchy)    19.98



Based in the same seedy Prison City that Crucial Blast calls home, this local outfit finally crawled out of the muck with their first full-length Unto The Nothing, and it might well be the heaviest thing on this week's new arrivals list. A misshapen monstrosity stumbling out of the most abject depths of doom metal, this trio belts out one seriously ugly and gnarled racket on their debut, that's also not without the rare moment of haunting prettiness that serves to make their ugliness sound even uglier. More than anything though, these creeps lean towards long, lumbering passages of crushing droning riffage that threaten to stretch into infinity, building a wall of hypnotic black sludge out of horrendously detuned instruments and rotten amp-noise that occasionally births some twisted, writhing burst of stoned groove, or will pull apart into a damp, crumbling passage of desolate slowcore. The look of this album alone makes quite the impression upon the listener: Unto The Nothing features amazing original album art from Aeron Alfrey, who did the dust jackets for Subterranean Press's reprints of Thomas Ligotti's Grimscribe, Noctuary and Songs Of A Dead Dreamer, and his visions of a nightmare forest filled with flayed corpses, severely deformed mutations, grotesque demonic oaks, and chattering insectoid horrors is done up in a mix of collage and illustration that looks like a JK Potter piece gone completely apeshit. It makes for a striking visual accompaniment to Fortress's grueling, ghastly negative sludge.
The likes of Winter, Celtic Frost, Worship and Autopsy have all been invoked to describe the band's torturous slow-motion heaviness, which are all fairly apt. The album takes awhile to get there, though, with a long, smoldering build through plaintive guitar chords hovering over a vast field of dead-eyed amplifier drone and mesmeric feedback hum. For a brief moment, that almost suggests a horribly withered, sun-blasted take on White Birch-era Codeine, but once everything finally and violently crashes in though, it's like suddenly being buried underneath a large mound of peat, all crushing down-tuned torpor and Sabbath-on-ketamine glacial blues. When "Fight The Son" kicks in, the mood changes to something even more violent, a chugging, gnarled mass of diseased Frostian riffage, the sledgehammer swing of their riffs mounted to the drummer's monstrous pachyderm groove, while the phlegm-clotted guitar leads rise out of the sludge in a sour miasma to be drawn out over the gluey heaviness. There are a few more moments where the distorted dirge falls away and unexpectedly pretty melodies briefly surface through the murk, and there's also some pretty catchy riffage that shows up when songs like "Lies & Fears" and "Stolen Graves" suddenly surge into their rocking, fuzz-drenched groove. Nothing's most haunting passage comes with the elegiac feel that creeps into the titanic dirge of "The Nothing", as an ethereal female voice drifts out of the gloom, a fragile siren-song lilting over the singer's half-whispered croak and the funerary crush of the band. These guys manage to bring an interesting spaced-out vibe to their grueling slow-mo grind with the multi-tracked vocals and strange somnambulant vibe, the songs frequently disappearing into a black hole of billowing feedback drone and cavernous low-end drift, and in the end the album manages to bridge the agonized crawl of early funereal death-doom bands like Thergothon and Winter, and the crustier, drug-fucked misanthropy of Grief and Noothgrush, wrapping it all in a strangely dazed fog of glacial amp-buzz. Take it from me when I tell you that there is no heavier band to be found creeping through this vile, stinking town.
Available on digipack CD and gatefold LP in casewrapped jacket with download, limited to three hundred copies.
Track Samples:
Sample : The Nothing
Sample : Stolen Graves
Sample : Lies & Fears



FULL OF HELL + MERZBOW   self-titled   2 x CD   (Profound Lore)    13.98



    Back in stock. Even though the band is from right down the road from C-Blast HQ, it wasn't until quite recently that I started to listen to these guys in earnest, starting with a rather blistering set I saw them perform in DC with Column Of Heaven around a year ago. The 7"s I'd picked up from the band were pretty cool, but after seeing them live I realized they didn't do justice to the strength of their sonic attack; in the live setting, their mix of brutal hardcore and cyclonic grind flayed the flesh right off of my bones. When the band's collaboration with Japanese noise pioneer Merzbow was announced shortly thereafter, this vicious album turned into one of my more anticipated new releases of '14. Released as a double disc set on Profound Lore (with a vinyl edition forthcoming in the next few weeks, which we'll be getting in stock as well), this is one of the best noise/metal collabs I've heard since Masami Akita himself teamed up with those maniacs in Gore Beyond Necropsy, with a ferocious sound that comes much closer to capturing the live savagery of the band.
    The main album that makes up the first disc is a short one, at just twenty-three minutes long, but it hurtles at top speed through eleven tracks of blasting ferocity. Songs race by in a blur of ultra-violent blastbeats and discordant hardcore riffs, the multiple vocalists swapping back and forth between the frantic, bestial screeching and deeper, gruffer bellowing and a weird disaffected moan, the music blending equal parts spazztoid staccato powerviolence with blurts of massive dissonant sludge and full-on grindcore. Occasionally this will slow down into turbulent assaults of jagged noise-rock or pulverizing dirge, and Merzbow's presence is felt throughout, not only in the swells of jittery electronics and squealing high-pitched feedback that bubble up in the spaces between songs, transforming entire tracks like "Raise Thee, Great Wall, Bloody And Terrible" into outbursts of virtual power electronics, but also as an omnipresent texture in the midst of the band's raging grind. A layer of electronic filth and corrosion that smolders beneath the instruments, creating an edgy aural abrasion lurking in every corner of the album. Towards the end, things slow down to a seriously epic crawl, starting with "High Fells" as it drags itself through vast furrows of droning heaviness somewhere in between the industrial plod of early Swans and the barbaric trance of Neurosis, crushing riffs churning over noisy percussion as the vocals rise in wraithlike chant and vein-popping screams, while volleys of jazzy horns streak overhead. And on ""Ljudet Av Gud", most of that instrumentation is swept away, leaving just a creaking noisescape of distant electro-acoustic sounds slowly overcome by the rhythmic boom of hammers on empty oil tanks, building into a desolate industrial dirge that takes over the entire track. Building to the cathartic release of closer "Fawn Heads And Unjoy", the final blast of dissonant, delirious grind violence is splattered in free jazz squonk.
    The Sister Fawn disc offers a more avant-garde sound, and while it seems to be presented as more of a companion piece, I gotta admit I thought this material is even cooler than the album proper. Much of Full Of Hell's screeching grindmetal is absorbed into a more cacophonous wall of industrial violence here, delivering longer tracks of pummeling industrial junk-metal rhythms and howling feedback manipulation, blasts of crushing power electronics and more of that abject Swans-esque dirge, and squalls of apocalyptic jazz-infected noise like "Crumbling Ore" that approach Borbetomagus levels of intensity. This stuff still get very grindy at times, though, like the noise-damaged blast-assault of "Merzdrone" that welds a seemingly endless blastbeat to Merzbow's scorching electronics and shrill skulldrill distortion, ferociously psychedelic.
    Comes in digipack packaging.
Track Samples:
Sample : LuDJet Av Gud
Sample : High Fells
Sample : Fawn Heads And Unjoy
Sample : Blue Litmus
Sample : Merzdrone
Sample : Litany Of Desire



GHOST KOMMANDO   Abraxas Rising   CD   (Breath Of Pestilence)    10.98



    Starting with that demo reissue that came out on Antichrist Kramer's Deathangle Absolution last year, I've become a huge fan of this Swiss band, who have fast become one of my favorite newer black metal outfits. Those initial tape releases showcased a totally fuzz-damaged, infectious take on ultra-raw black metal, delivering a batch of songs that were as catchy and hummable as they were raucous and thrashing, their jangling guitar hooks and weirdly croaked vocals shrouded in a magnificently mangy recording that sounded like that stuff had been recorded on some ancient, poltergeist-possessed Tascam tape deck. I had compared that stuff to a rather weird but totally contagious mutant hybrid of Homestead Records-era Dinosaur Jr. and Darkthrone at their absolute rawest and ugliest, the whole experience enhanced further by the band's apocalyptic lyrics and their Trapper Keeper-style metal artwork. I couldn't get enough of that stuff (those tapes have been played almost to the point of disintegration here in the C-Blast HQ), and I've been yearning for more Ghost Kommando ever since.
    Now, they've finally resurfaced with the new twenty-five minute mini-album Abraxas Rising, and it's fucking killer. Minus the minute-long intro and outro tracks that set the mood with various vintage horror-flick effluvium, this disc cranks out five new songs from Ghost Kommando, in that gloriously roughshod style that still sounds totally unique. I've seen some people reference Joy Division when discussing the Kommando's sound before, but that's mostly due to the singer's deep, mournful baritone singing; the music itself is still that odd mixture of primitive thrashing black metal and fuzz-drenched melody that continues to feel like it was drawn from the veins of classic late 80s American post-punk a la early Dinosaur Jr and Husker Du. Probably looks like a suspect mix of sounds when you're reading this, but the end result that Ghost Kommando belt out is furious and filthy and utterly infectious.
    Abraxas is made up of equal amounts of slower, brooding tracks like "Seven Sermons To The Dead" that usually end up erupting into scraggly blackened buzz and ferocious blastbeats with a raspier, more sinister vocal delivery, and the faster fury of songs like "Intolerance", "Spectre (Conquest)" and "Vultures" that are all rampaging double bass drumming and jangling major chords, as well as the Motorhead-gone-pop thunder of "Raptor". As catchy as all of this gets, though, these songs are definitely quite ominous in mood, with the occasional trace of something folkier going on with some of Karnov's stirring, triumphant guitar melodies. Their production hasn't gotten any more polished than the last time, the whole disc hurtling through a ramshackle blackened blast with little regard for studio polish or even clean editing, songs sometimes suddenly dispersing into a weird spoken word outro, or abruptly skidding to a halt. Man, do I love this stuff. As with previous releases, this features more of singer Void's killer crude phantasmal illustrations as well.
Track Samples:
Sample : Spectre (Conquest)
Sample : Seven Sermons To The Dead
Sample : Intolerance



GLASS, PHILIP   Candyman   LP   (One Way Static)    24.99



    Available in both limited edition LP and cassette editions from One Way Static.
    A sure-fire way to produce one of the most unique horror film scores of the early 90s is to enlist acclaimed modern composer Phillip Glass, which is exactly what director Bernard Rose did for his 1992 film Candyman, an adaptation of the Clive Barker short story "The Forbidden". While the film has enjoyed a strong cult following since its release and in many minds is one of the finest of the filmic Barker adaptations (with Paperhouse director Rose expanding on the original story's themes dealing with the power of myth and the ritual of storytelling), it wasn't received as well by composer Glass, who expressed disdain for the finished product upon its release. Because of that, Glass's haunting score for Candyman took years to eventually be released on CD, and it wasn't until now that the music has finally been made available on vinyl. Since then, Glass's opinion of the film and of his involvement has softened, but in any event it's good to finally have a high-quality edition of his powerful score in our hands. In stark contrast to the orchestral bombast and sleek synthesizer-based scores that generally dominated horror films of the period, Glass's compositions are mesmerizingly minimal, arranged for choral voices, icy pipe organs and delicate piano. Gorgeous stuff that often stood in stark contrast to the images of brutal, visceral violence and gore that Rose shocked his audience with. A masterwork of dread-filled modern classical that is one of the most gothic works to come from Glass's long and illustrious career, the highlight of the score is Glass's opening "Music Box" theme, which remains one of the most haunting pieces of horror film music of the era, and which recurs throughout the film with its ghostly piano motif. Other tracks are similarly eerie, like the droning wordless choral voices and minimal electronic melodies that come together on "Cabrini Green", transforming into an otherworldly calliope tune that circles endlessly over the grey skies of Chicago. Each piece becomes an integral part of the funereal feel and fatalist mood that hangs over the film, and even in its most violent and horrifying sequences, Glass's music imbues the visuals with a gorgeously moody atmosphere that closely follows the doomed protagonist in her dreamlike journey through the bowels of the Chicago projects and into the arms of the titular hook-handed legend, and leads to the strangely triumphant sound of the final portion of the score. An unusual and unforgettable piece of music that intersects the avant-garde with images of haunting, poetic horror. Comes in a gorgeously designed case-wrapped gatefold jacket with an obi strip and an insert with liner notes from Rose, Barker, actors Tony Todd and Ted Raimi and more, while the audio tape version features alternate cover art and some cool foreign film trailers tacked on to the end as bonus material.
Track Samples:
Sample : Music Box
Sample : Cabrini Green
Sample : Candyman Suite - Face to Razor



GLASS, PHILIP   Candyman   CASSETTE   (One Way Static)    9.98



    Available in both limited edition LP and cassette editions from One Way Static.
    A sure-fire way to produce one of the most unique horror film scores of the early 90s is to enlist acclaimed modern composer Phillip Glass, which is exactly what director Bernard Rose did for his 1992 film Candyman, an adaptation of the Clive Barker short story "The Forbidden". While the film has enjoyed a strong cult following since its release and in many minds is one of the finest of the filmic Barker adaptations (with Paperhouse director Rose expanding on the original story's themes dealing with the power of myth and the ritual of storytelling), it wasn't received as well by composer Glass, who expressed disdain for the finished product upon its release. Because of that, Glass's haunting score for Candyman took years to eventually be released on CD, and it wasn't until now that the music has finally been made available on vinyl. Since then, Glass's opinion of the film and of his involvement has softened, but in any event it's good to finally have a high-quality edition of his powerful score in our hands. In stark contrast to the orchestral bombast and sleek synthesizer-based scores that generally dominated horror films of the period, Glass's compositions are mesmerizingly minimal, arranged for choral voices, icy pipe organs and delicate piano. Gorgeous stuff that often stood in stark contrast to the images of brutal, visceral violence and gore that Rose shocked his audience with. A masterwork of dread-filled modern classical that is one of the most gothic works to come from Glass's long and illustrious career, the highlight of the score is Glass's opening "Music Box" theme, which remains one of the most haunting pieces of horror film music of the era, and which recurs throughout the film with its ghostly piano motif. Other tracks are similarly eerie, like the droning wordless choral voices and minimal electronic melodies that come together on "Cabrini Green", transforming into an otherworldly calliope tune that circles endlessly over the grey skies of Chicago. Each piece becomes an integral part of the funereal feel and fatalist mood that hangs over the film, and even in its most violent and horrifying sequences, Glass's music imbues the visuals with a gorgeously moody atmosphere that closely follows the doomed protagonist in her dreamlike journey through the bowels of the Chicago projects and into the arms of the titular hook-handed legend, and leads to the strangely triumphant sound of the final portion of the score. An unusual and unforgettable piece of music that intersects the avant-garde with images of haunting, poetic horror. Comes in a gorgeously designed case-wrapped gatefold jacket with an obi strip and an insert with liner notes from Rose, Barker, actors Tony Todd and Ted Raimi and more, while the audio tape version features alternate cover art and some cool foreign film trailers tacked on to the end as bonus material.
Track Samples:
Sample : Music Box
Sample : Cabrini Green
Sample : Candyman Suite - Face to Razor



GNAW THEIR TONGUES   Collected Atrocities 2005-2008   2 x CD   (Crucial Blast)    12.00



    For nearly a decade, Dutch avant-black/doom entity Gnaw Their Tongues (named after a particularly evocative passage from the Book Of Revelation) has been infecting the underground with a uniquely disturbing brand of chaotic heaviness. Fusing together malevolent, rumbling doom with rabid, noise-damaged aggression and blasts of fearsome orchestral power and industrial pandemonium, and draping these lurching, hellish dirges in an oppressive atmosphere thick with horror and despair, the intensely nightmarish music that GTT mastermind Mories produces still defies easy categorization. Before the release of the band's Crucial Blast debut An Epiphanic Vomiting Of Blood in 2007, I had discovered the band through an extremely limited cassette release called Preferring Human Skin Over Animal Fur that immediately blew me away, sounding unlike anything else I was hearing in either metal or industrial music.
    That tape and various other ultra-limited releases had been surfacing since around 2005, and all of that early material from the band quickly went out of print once fans of extreme sonic perversion started to catch on to what the band was doing. Long sought after by devotees of the band's abject blackened horror, this material has been difficult to procure since then outside of shitty MP3 rips, but we've now assembled much of Gnaw Their Tongues's earliest recorded material as Collected Atrocities 2005-2008, a new double CD anthology that spans the first three years of the band's existence, compiling the Preferring Human Skin Over Animal Fur, Horse Drawn Hearse and For All Slaves... A Song Of False Hope EPs, the material from the Static Hymnal compilation, and other rarities from the bowels of the GTT archive. These early recordings signaled the arrival of a nightmarish new sound unlike anything I'd heard to that point: there were echoes of Abruptum's improvised mutant black metal, the grinding industrialized horror of Filth-era Swans, the bombastic terror of Cold Meat outfits like In Slaughter Natives, but those were all subsumed into Gnaw Their Tongues's twisted form, stitching these aspects of death industrial and doom and black metal into symphonies of madness and debasement and agony.
    The first disc is mostly comprised of the 2008 For All Slaves...A Song Of False Hope EP that came out on Burning World Records, a six song blast of garbled, hateful screams bleeding across plumes of haunting French horns and sorrow-filled strings, that sad orchestral beauty quickly becoming twisted and torn apart by Mories' plodding, blown-out black doom. Drums lurch and stumble through a haze of dungeon reverb, as fragments of obscure samples are cut apart and stitched into haunting loops and melodies, while mad choirs howl in the depths as they go blind with the sight of surfacing abominations. This stuff remains some of his most harrowing material, the tracks stumbling blindly into each other, malformed malevolent death-dirges that lumber with a putrid mindless power, erupting into gales of almost free-jazz style drumming within a storm of corrupted electronics and terrifying atonal strings. And yet glimmers of a strange transcendent beauty break through the gruesome blackened riffage and rabid screaming, fuzz-shrouded melodies that swarm up from the charnel depths of tracks like "A Fiery Deluge", rays of elegiac power that break upon the inchoate nightmares that scuttle and scurry through each track. The EP climaxes with the clattering black metal of "For All Slaves...A Song Of False Hope II", a thrashing shamble of distorted bass and hiss-drenched melody that also has a strangely shoegazey feel, akin to his work with Seirom, and one of my favorite GTT tracks out of his whole catalog.
    Disc two features even older material, the three-song Horse Drawn Hearse EP from 2006 (originally released as an ultra-limited CDR), and the three-song Preferring Human Skin Over Animal Fur cassette that came out on Epicene Sound System in 2007. Both of these releases marked a developing sound, a more stripped-down version of what Gnaw Their Tongues would eventually become, yet even this formative material is fucking ferocious, most of the tracks clambering across the disc as filthy, noise-damaged doom monstrosities, smeared in bizarre, bleary samples and distant screams, ghostly theremins like something out of a Jess Franco film wisping around the distant Neubatenesque clank of metal. The handful of compilation tracks seethe with as much evil as the EP material, booming war-horns resounding over crushing riffs that uncoil like monstrous oily tentacles, blasts of bone-rattling drone and distorted noise smashing through skittering discordant strings. And the final track is one that virtually no-one has heard before now, a fifteen-minute epic called "Circles Of The Abyss" that was never formally released, vast and dreadful, venturing into dark ambient territory with rolling waves of black orchestral drift, sweeping out into the cosmos across pulsating synths, the sound blotting out the stars, erupting at intervals into blasts of crushing, horn-drenched doom or soaring operatic female voices, as cinematic as anything I've heard from Mories, and a perfect close to this collection.
    Comes in digipack packaging, featuring reproductions of Mories's original skin-crawling artwork.
Track Samples:
Sample : Slaves
Sample : Circles Of The Abyss
Sample : Glorification Of Rats
Sample : Prefering Human Skin Over Animal Fur



GNAW THEIR TONGUES   Collected Atrocities 2005-2008 (SMALL)   SHIRT + CD BUNDLE   (Crucial Blast)    24.98



SHIPS AFTER 2.10.15
This bundle includes both the Collected Atrocities 2005-2008 2xCD and the Gnaw Their Tongues Atrocities shirt design. This shirt features artwork from the album on the front and a two-color print of the Gnaw Their Tongues logo on the back, and comes on a black Gildan garment.
    For nearly a decade, Dutch avant-black/doom entity Gnaw Their Tongues (named after a particularly evocative passage from the Book Of Revelation) has been infecting the underground with a uniquely disturbing brand of chaotic heaviness. Fusing together malevolent, rumbling doom with rabid, noise-damaged aggression and blasts of fearsome orchestral power and industrial pandemonium, and draping these lurching, hellish dirges in an oppressive atmosphere thick with horror and despair, the intensely nightmarish music that GTT mastermind Mories produces still defies easy categorization. Before the release of the band's Crucial Blast debut An Epiphanic Vomiting Of Blood in 2007, I had discovered the band through an extremely limited cassette release called Preferring Human Skin Over Animal Fur that immediately blew me away, sounding unlike anything else I was hearing in either metal or industrial music.
    That tape and various other ultra-limited releases had been surfacing since around 2005, and all of that early material from the band quickly went out of print once fans of extreme sonic perversion started to catch on to what the band was doing. Long sought after by devotees of the band's abject blackened horror, this material has been difficult to procure since then outside of shitty MP3 rips, but we've now assembled much of Gnaw Their Tongues's earliest recorded material as Collected Atrocities 2005-2008, a new double CD anthology that spans the first three years of the band's existence, compiling the Preferring Human Skin Over Animal Fur, Horse Drawn Hearse and For All Slaves... A Song Of False Hope EPs, the material from the Static Hymnal compilation, and other rarities from the bowels of the GTT archive. These early recordings signaled the arrival of a nightmarish new sound unlike anything I'd heard to that point: there were echoes of Abruptum's improvised mutant black metal, the grinding industrialized horror of Filth-era Swans, the bombastic terror of Cold Meat outfits like In Slaughter Natives, but those were all subsumed into Gnaw Their Tongues's twisted form, stitching these aspects of death industrial and doom and black metal into symphonies of madness and debasement and agony.
    The first disc is mostly comprised of the 2008 For All Slaves...A Song Of False Hope EP that came out on Burning World Records, a six song blast of garbled, hateful screams bleeding across plumes of haunting French horns and sorrow-filled strings, that sad orchestral beauty quickly becoming twisted and torn apart by Mories' plodding, blown-out black doom. Drums lurch and stumble through a haze of dungeon reverb, as fragments of obscure samples are cut apart and stitched into haunting loops and melodies, while mad choirs howl in the depths as they go blind with the sight of surfacing abominations. This stuff remains some of his most harrowing material, the tracks stumbling blindly into each other, malformed malevolent death-dirges that lumber with a putrid mindless power, erupting into gales of almost free-jazz style drumming within a storm of corrupted electronics and terrifying atonal strings. And yet glimmers of a strange transcendent beauty break through the gruesome blackened riffage and rabid screaming, fuzz-shrouded melodies that swarm up from the charnel depths of tracks like "A Fiery Deluge", rays of elegiac power that break upon the inchoate nightmares that scuttle and scurry through each track. The EP climaxes with the clattering black metal of "For All Slaves...A Song Of False Hope II", a thrashing shamble of distorted bass and hiss-drenched melody that also has a strangely shoegazey feel, akin to his work with Seirom, and one of my favorite GTT tracks out of his whole catalog.
    Disc two features even older material, the three-song Horse Drawn Hearse EP from 2006 (originally released as an ultra-limited CDR), and the three-song Preferring Human Skin Over Animal Fur cassette that came out on Epicene Sound System in 2007. Both of these releases marked a developing sound, a more stripped-down version of what Gnaw Their Tongues would eventually become, yet even this formative material is fucking ferocious, most of the tracks clambering across the disc as filthy, noise-damaged doom monstrosities, smeared in bizarre, bleary samples and distant screams, ghostly theremins like something out of a Jess Franco film wisping around the distant Neubatenesque clank of metal. The handful of compilation tracks seethe with as much evil as the EP material, booming war-horns resounding over crushing riffs that uncoil like monstrous oily tentacles, blasts of bone-rattling drone and distorted noise smashing through skittering discordant strings. And the final track is one that virtually no-one has heard before now, a fifteen-minute epic called "Circles Of The Abyss" that was never formally released, vast and dreadful, venturing into dark ambient territory with rolling waves of black orchestral drift, sweeping out into the cosmos across pulsating synths, the sound blotting out the stars, erupting at intervals into blasts of crushing, horn-drenched doom or soaring operatic female voices, as cinematic as anything I've heard from Mories, and a perfect close to this collection.
    Comes in digipack packaging, featuring reproductions of Mories's original skin-crawling artwork.
Track Samples:
Sample : Slaves
Sample : Circles Of The Abyss
Sample : Glorification Of Rats
Sample : Prefering Human Skin Over Animal Fur



GNAW THEIR TONGUES   Collected Atrocities 2005-2008 (MEDIUM)   SHIRT + CD BUNDLE   (Crucial Blast)    24.98



SHIPS AFTER 2.10.15
This bundle includes both the Collected Atrocities 2005-2008 2xCD and the Gnaw Their Tongues Atrocities shirt design. This shirt features artwork from the album on the front and a two-color print of the Gnaw Their Tongues logo on the back, and comes on a black Gildan garment.
    For nearly a decade, Dutch avant-black/doom entity Gnaw Their Tongues (named after a particularly evocative passage from the Book Of Revelation) has been infecting the underground with a uniquely disturbing brand of chaotic heaviness. Fusing together malevolent, rumbling doom with rabid, noise-damaged aggression and blasts of fearsome orchestral power and industrial pandemonium, and draping these lurching, hellish dirges in an oppressive atmosphere thick with horror and despair, the intensely nightmarish music that GTT mastermind Mories produces still defies easy categorization. Before the release of the band's Crucial Blast debut An Epiphanic Vomiting Of Blood in 2007, I had discovered the band through an extremely limited cassette release called Preferring Human Skin Over Animal Fur that immediately blew me away, sounding unlike anything else I was hearing in either metal or industrial music.
    That tape and various other ultra-limited releases had been surfacing since around 2005, and all of that early material from the band quickly went out of print once fans of extreme sonic perversion started to catch on to what the band was doing. Long sought after by devotees of the band's abject blackened horror, this material has been difficult to procure since then outside of shitty MP3 rips, but we've now assembled much of Gnaw Their Tongues's earliest recorded material as Collected Atrocities 2005-2008, a new double CD anthology that spans the first three years of the band's existence, compiling the Preferring Human Skin Over Animal Fur, Horse Drawn Hearse and For All Slaves... A Song Of False Hope EPs, the material from the Static Hymnal compilation, and other rarities from the bowels of the GTT archive. These early recordings signaled the arrival of a nightmarish new sound unlike anything I'd heard to that point: there were echoes of Abruptum's improvised mutant black metal, the grinding industrialized horror of Filth-era Swans, the bombastic terror of Cold Meat outfits like In Slaughter Natives, but those were all subsumed into Gnaw Their Tongues's twisted form, stitching these aspects of death industrial and doom and black metal into symphonies of madness and debasement and agony.
    The first disc is mostly comprised of the 2008 For All Slaves...A Song Of False Hope EP that came out on Burning World Records, a six song blast of garbled, hateful screams bleeding across plumes of haunting French horns and sorrow-filled strings, that sad orchestral beauty quickly becoming twisted and torn apart by Mories' plodding, blown-out black doom. Drums lurch and stumble through a haze of dungeon reverb, as fragments of obscure samples are cut apart and stitched into haunting loops and melodies, while mad choirs howl in the depths as they go blind with the sight of surfacing abominations. This stuff remains some of his most harrowing material, the tracks stumbling blindly into each other, malformed malevolent death-dirges that lumber with a putrid mindless power, erupting into gales of almost free-jazz style drumming within a storm of corrupted electronics and terrifying atonal strings. And yet glimmers of a strange transcendent beauty break through the gruesome blackened riffage and rabid screaming, fuzz-shrouded melodies that swarm up from the charnel depths of tracks like "A Fiery Deluge", rays of elegiac power that break upon the inchoate nightmares that scuttle and scurry through each track. The EP climaxes with the clattering black metal of "For All Slaves...A Song Of False Hope II", a thrashing shamble of distorted bass and hiss-drenched melody that also has a strangely shoegazey feel, akin to his work with Seirom, and one of my favorite GTT tracks out of his whole catalog.
    Disc two features even older material, the three-song Horse Drawn Hearse EP from 2006 (originally released as an ultra-limited CDR), and the three-song Preferring Human Skin Over Animal Fur cassette that came out on Epicene Sound System in 2007. Both of these releases marked a developing sound, a more stripped-down version of what Gnaw Their Tongues would eventually become, yet even this formative material is fucking ferocious, most of the tracks clambering across the disc as filthy, noise-damaged doom monstrosities, smeared in bizarre, bleary samples and distant screams, ghostly theremins like something out of a Jess Franco film wisping around the distant Neubatenesque clank of metal. The handful of compilation tracks seethe with as much evil as the EP material, booming war-horns resounding over crushing riffs that uncoil like monstrous oily tentacles, blasts of bone-rattling drone and distorted noise smashing through skittering discordant strings. And the final track is one that virtually no-one has heard before now, a fifteen-minute epic called "Circles Of The Abyss" that was never formally released, vast and dreadful, venturing into dark ambient territory with rolling waves of black orchestral drift, sweeping out into the cosmos across pulsating synths, the sound blotting out the stars, erupting at intervals into blasts of crushing, horn-drenched doom or soaring operatic female voices, as cinematic as anything I've heard from Mories, and a perfect close to this collection.
    Comes in digipack packaging, featuring reproductions of Mories's original skin-crawling artwork.
Track Samples:
Sample : Slaves
Sample : Circles Of The Abyss
Sample : Glorification Of Rats
Sample : Prefering Human Skin Over Animal Fur



GNAW THEIR TONGUES   Collected Atrocities 2005-2008 (LARGE)   SHIRT + CD BUNDLE   (Crucial Blast)    24.98



SHIPS AFTER 2.10.15
This bundle includes both the Collected Atrocities 2005-2008 2xCD and the Gnaw Their Tongues Atrocities shirt design. This shirt features artwork from the album on the front and a two-color print of the Gnaw Their Tongues logo on the back, and comes on a black Gildan garment.
    For nearly a decade, Dutch avant-black/doom entity Gnaw Their Tongues (named after a particularly evocative passage from the Book Of Revelation) has been infecting the underground with a uniquely disturbing brand of chaotic heaviness. Fusing together malevolent, rumbling doom with rabid, noise-damaged aggression and blasts of fearsome orchestral power and industrial pandemonium, and draping these lurching, hellish dirges in an oppressive atmosphere thick with horror and despair, the intensely nightmarish music that GTT mastermind Mories produces still defies easy categorization. Before the release of the band's Crucial Blast debut An Epiphanic Vomiting Of Blood in 2007, I had discovered the band through an extremely limited cassette release called Preferring Human Skin Over Animal Fur that immediately blew me away, sounding unlike anything else I was hearing in either metal or industrial music.
    That tape and various other ultra-limited releases had been surfacing since around 2005, and all of that early material from the band quickly went out of print once fans of extreme sonic perversion started to catch on to what the band was doing. Long sought after by devotees of the band's abject blackened horror, this material has been difficult to procure since then outside of shitty MP3 rips, but we've now assembled much of Gnaw Their Tongues's earliest recorded material as Collected Atrocities 2005-2008, a new double CD anthology that spans the first three years of the band's existence, compiling the Preferring Human Skin Over Animal Fur, Horse Drawn Hearse and For All Slaves... A Song Of False Hope EPs, the material from the Static Hymnal compilation, and other rarities from the bowels of the GTT archive. These early recordings signaled the arrival of a nightmarish new sound unlike anything I'd heard to that point: there were echoes of Abruptum's improvised mutant black metal, the grinding industrialized horror of Filth-era Swans, the bombastic terror of Cold Meat outfits like In Slaughter Natives, but those were all subsumed into Gnaw Their Tongues's twisted form, stitching these aspects of death industrial and doom and black metal into symphonies of madness and debasement and agony.
    The first disc is mostly comprised of the 2008 For All Slaves...A Song Of False Hope EP that came out on Burning World Records, a six song blast of garbled, hateful screams bleeding across plumes of haunting French horns and sorrow-filled strings, that sad orchestral beauty quickly becoming twisted and torn apart by Mories' plodding, blown-out black doom. Drums lurch and stumble through a haze of dungeon reverb, as fragments of obscure samples are cut apart and stitched into haunting loops and melodies, while mad choirs howl in the depths as they go blind with the sight of surfacing abominations. This stuff remains some of his most harrowing material, the tracks stumbling blindly into each other, malformed malevolent death-dirges that lumber with a putrid mindless power, erupting into gales of almost free-jazz style drumming within a storm of corrupted electronics and terrifying atonal strings. And yet glimmers of a strange transcendent beauty break through the gruesome blackened riffage and rabid screaming, fuzz-shrouded melodies that swarm up from the charnel depths of tracks like "A Fiery Deluge", rays of elegiac power that break upon the inchoate nightmares that scuttle and scurry through each track. The EP climaxes with the clattering black metal of "For All Slaves...A Song Of False Hope II", a thrashing shamble of distorted bass and hiss-drenched melody that also has a strangely shoegazey feel, akin to his work with Seirom, and one of my favorite GTT tracks out of his whole catalog.
    Disc two features even older material, the three-song Horse Drawn Hearse EP from 2006 (originally released as an ultra-limited CDR), and the three-song Preferring Human Skin Over Animal Fur cassette that came out on Epicene Sound System in 2007. Both of these releases marked a developing sound, a more stripped-down version of what Gnaw Their Tongues would eventually become, yet even this formative material is fucking ferocious, most of the tracks clambering across the disc as filthy, noise-damaged doom monstrosities, smeared in bizarre, bleary samples and distant screams, ghostly theremins like something out of a Jess Franco film wisping around the distant Neubatenesque clank of metal. The handful of compilation tracks seethe with as much evil as the EP material, booming war-horns resounding over crushing riffs that uncoil like monstrous oily tentacles, blasts of bone-rattling drone and distorted noise smashing through skittering discordant strings. And the final track is one that virtually no-one has heard before now, a fifteen-minute epic called "Circles Of The Abyss" that was never formally released, vast and dreadful, venturing into dark ambient territory with rolling waves of black orchestral drift, sweeping out into the cosmos across pulsating synths, the sound blotting out the stars, erupting at intervals into blasts of crushing, horn-drenched doom or soaring operatic female voices, as cinematic as anything I've heard from Mories, and a perfect close to this collection.
    Comes in digipack packaging, featuring reproductions of Mories's original skin-crawling artwork.
Track Samples:
Sample : Slaves
Sample : Circles Of The Abyss
Sample : Glorification Of Rats
Sample : Prefering Human Skin Over Animal Fur



GNAW THEIR TONGUES   Collected Atrocities 2005-2008 (EXTRA LARGE)   SHIRT + CASSETTE BUNDLE   (Crucial Blast)    24.98



SHIPS AFTER 2.10.15
This bundle includes both the Collected Atrocities 2005-2008 2xCD and the Gnaw Their Tongues Atrocities shirt design. This shirt features artwork from the album on the front and a two-color print of the Gnaw Their Tongues logo on the back, and comes on a black Gildan garment.
    For nearly a decade, Dutch avant-black/doom entity Gnaw Their Tongues (named after a particularly evocative passage from the Book Of Revelation) has been infecting the underground with a uniquely disturbing brand of chaotic heaviness. Fusing together malevolent, rumbling doom with rabid, noise-damaged aggression and blasts of fearsome orchestral power and industrial pandemonium, and draping these lurching, hellish dirges in an oppressive atmosphere thick with horror and despair, the intensely nightmarish music that GTT mastermind Mories produces still defies easy categorization. Before the release of the band's Crucial Blast debut An Epiphanic Vomiting Of Blood in 2007, I had discovered the band through an extremely limited cassette release called Preferring Human Skin Over Animal Fur that immediately blew me away, sounding unlike anything else I was hearing in either metal or industrial music.
    That tape and various other ultra-limited releases had been surfacing since around 2005, and all of that early material from the band quickly went out of print once fans of extreme sonic perversion started to catch on to what the band was doing. Long sought after by devotees of the band's abject blackened horror, this material has been difficult to procure since then outside of shitty MP3 rips, but we've now assembled much of Gnaw Their Tongues's earliest recorded material as Collected Atrocities 2005-2008, a new double CD anthology that spans the first three years of the band's existence, compiling the Preferring Human Skin Over Animal Fur, Horse Drawn Hearse and For All Slaves... A Song Of False Hope EPs, the material from the Static Hymnal compilation, and other rarities from the bowels of the GTT archive. These early recordings signaled the arrival of a nightmarish new sound unlike anything I'd heard to that point: there were echoes of Abruptum's improvised mutant black metal, the grinding industrialized horror of Filth-era Swans, the bombastic terror of Cold Meat outfits like In Slaughter Natives, but those were all subsumed into Gnaw Their Tongues's twisted form, stitching these aspects of death industrial and doom and black metal into symphonies of madness and debasement and agony.
    The first disc is mostly comprised of the 2008 For All Slaves...A Song Of False Hope EP that came out on Burning World Records, a six song blast of garbled, hateful screams bleeding across plumes of haunting French horns and sorrow-filled strings, that sad orchestral beauty quickly becoming twisted and torn apart by Mories' plodding, blown-out black doom. Drums lurch and stumble through a haze of dungeon reverb, as fragments of obscure samples are cut apart and stitched into haunting loops and melodies, while mad choirs howl in the depths as they go blind with the sight of surfacing abominations. This stuff remains some of his most harrowing material, the tracks stumbling blindly into each other, malformed malevolent death-dirges that lumber with a putrid mindless power, erupting into gales of almost free-jazz style drumming within a storm of corrupted electronics and terrifying atonal strings. And yet glimmers of a strange transcendent beauty break through the gruesome blackened riffage and rabid screaming, fuzz-shrouded melodies that swarm up from the charnel depths of tracks like "A Fiery Deluge", rays of elegiac power that break upon the inchoate nightmares that scuttle and scurry through each track. The EP climaxes with the clattering black metal of "For All Slaves...A Song Of False Hope II", a thrashing shamble of distorted bass and hiss-drenched melody that also has a strangely shoegazey feel, akin to his work with Seirom, and one of my favorite GTT tracks out of his whole catalog.
    Disc two features even older material, the three-song Horse Drawn Hearse EP from 2006 (originally released as an ultra-limited CDR), and the three-song Preferring Human Skin Over Animal Fur cassette that came out on Epicene Sound System in 2007. Both of these releases marked a developing sound, a more stripped-down version of what Gnaw Their Tongues would eventually become, yet even this formative material is fucking ferocious, most of the tracks clambering across the disc as filthy, noise-damaged doom monstrosities, smeared in bizarre, bleary samples and distant screams, ghostly theremins like something out of a Jess Franco film wisping around the distant Neubatenesque clank of metal. The handful of compilation tracks seethe with as much evil as the EP material, booming war-horns resounding over crushing riffs that uncoil like monstrous oily tentacles, blasts of bone-rattling drone and distorted noise smashing through skittering discordant strings. And the final track is one that virtually no-one has heard before now, a fifteen-minute epic called "Circles Of The Abyss" that was never formally released, vast and dreadful, venturing into dark ambient territory with rolling waves of black orchestral drift, sweeping out into the cosmos across pulsating synths, the sound blotting out the stars, erupting at intervals into blasts of crushing, horn-drenched doom or soaring operatic female voices, as cinematic as anything I've heard from Mories, and a perfect close to this collection.
    Comes in digipack packaging, featuring reproductions of Mories's original skin-crawling artwork.
Track Samples:
Sample : Slaves
Sample : Circles Of The Abyss
Sample : Glorification Of Rats
Sample : Prefering Human Skin Over Animal Fur



GNAW THEIR TONGUES   Collected Atrocities 2005-2008 (XXL)   SHIRT + CD BUNDLE   (Crucial Blast)    25.98



SHIPS AFTER 2.10.15
This bundle includes both the Collected Atrocities 2005-2008 2xCD and the Gnaw Their Tongues Atrocities shirt design. This shirt features artwork from the album on the front and a two-color print of the Gnaw Their Tongues logo on the back, and comes on a black Gildan garment.
    For nearly a decade, Dutch avant-black/doom entity Gnaw Their Tongues (named after a particularly evocative passage from the Book Of Revelation) has been infecting the underground with a uniquely disturbing brand of chaotic heaviness. Fusing together malevolent, rumbling doom with rabid, noise-damaged aggression and blasts of fearsome orchestral power and industrial pandemonium, and draping these lurching, hellish dirges in an oppressive atmosphere thick with horror and despair, the intensely nightmarish music that GTT mastermind Mories produces still defies easy categorization. Before the release of the band's Crucial Blast debut An Epiphanic Vomiting Of Blood in 2007, I had discovered the band through an extremely limited cassette release called Preferring Human Skin Over Animal Fur that immediately blew me away, sounding unlike anything else I was hearing in either metal or industrial music.
    That tape and various other ultra-limited releases had been surfacing since around 2005, and all of that early material from the band quickly went out of print once fans of extreme sonic perversion started to catch on to what the band was doing. Long sought after by devotees of the band's abject blackened horror, this material has been difficult to procure since then outside of shitty MP3 rips, but we've now assembled much of Gnaw Their Tongues's earliest recorded material as Collected Atrocities 2005-2008, a new double CD anthology that spans the first three years of the band's existence, compiling the Preferring Human Skin Over Animal Fur, Horse Drawn Hearse and For All Slaves... A Song Of False Hope EPs, the material from the Static Hymnal compilation, and other rarities from the bowels of the GTT archive. These early recordings signaled the arrival of a nightmarish new sound unlike anything I'd heard to that point: there were echoes of Abruptum's improvised mutant black metal, the grinding industrialized horror of Filth-era Swans, the bombastic terror of Cold Meat outfits like In Slaughter Natives, but those were all subsumed into Gnaw Their Tongues's twisted form, stitching these aspects of death industrial and doom and black metal into symphonies of madness and debasement and agony.
    The first disc is mostly comprised of the 2008 For All Slaves...A Song Of False Hope EP that came out on Burning World Records, a six song blast of garbled, hateful screams bleeding across plumes of haunting French horns and sorrow-filled strings, that sad orchestral beauty quickly becoming twisted and torn apart by Mories' plodding, blown-out black doom. Drums lurch and stumble through a haze of dungeon reverb, as fragments of obscure samples are cut apart and stitched into haunting loops and melodies, while mad choirs howl in the depths as they go blind with the sight of surfacing abominations. This stuff remains some of his most harrowing material, the tracks stumbling blindly into each other, malformed malevolent death-dirges that lumber with a putrid mindless power, erupting into gales of almost free-jazz style drumming within a storm of corrupted electronics and terrifying atonal strings. And yet glimmers of a strange transcendent beauty break through the gruesome blackened riffage and rabid screaming, fuzz-shrouded melodies that swarm up from the charnel depths of tracks like "A Fiery Deluge", rays of elegiac power that break upon the inchoate nightmares that scuttle and scurry through each track. The EP climaxes with the clattering black metal of "For All Slaves...A Song Of False Hope II", a thrashing shamble of distorted bass and hiss-drenched melody that also has a strangely shoegazey feel, akin to his work with Seirom, and one of my favorite GTT tracks out of his whole catalog.
    Disc two features even older material, the three-song Horse Drawn Hearse EP from 2006 (originally released as an ultra-limited CDR), and the three-song Preferring Human Skin Over Animal Fur cassette that came out on Epicene Sound System in 2007. Both of these releases marked a developing sound, a more stripped-down version of what Gnaw Their Tongues would eventually become, yet even this formative material is fucking ferocious, most of the tracks clambering across the disc as filthy, noise-damaged doom monstrosities, smeared in bizarre, bleary samples and distant screams, ghostly theremins like something out of a Jess Franco film wisping around the distant Neubatenesque clank of metal. The handful of compilation tracks seethe with as much evil as the EP material, booming war-horns resounding over crushing riffs that uncoil like monstrous oily tentacles, blasts of bone-rattling drone and distorted noise smashing through skittering discordant strings. And the final track is one that virtually no-one has heard before now, a fifteen-minute epic called "Circles Of The Abyss" that was never formally released, vast and dreadful, venturing into dark ambient territory with rolling waves of black orchestral drift, sweeping out into the cosmos across pulsating synths, the sound blotting out the stars, erupting at intervals into blasts of crushing, horn-drenched doom or soaring operatic female voices, as cinematic as anything I've heard from Mories, and a perfect close to this collection.
    Comes in digipack packaging, featuring reproductions of Mories's original skin-crawling artwork.
Track Samples:
Sample : Slaves
Sample : Circles Of The Abyss
Sample : Glorification Of Rats
Sample : Prefering Human Skin Over Animal Fur



GNAW THEIR TONGUES   Atrocities (SMALL)   SHIRT   (Crucial Blast)    15.00



SHIPS AFTER 2.10.15
This shirt is released in tandem with the Collected Atrocities 2005-2008 2xCD from Gnaw Their Tongues, featuring artwork from the album on the front and a two-color print of the Gnaw Their Tongues logo on the back, and comes on a black Gildan garment.














GNAW THEIR TONGUES   Atrocities (MEDIUM)   SHIRT   (Crucial Blast)    15.00



SHIPS AFTER 2.10.15
This shirt is released in tandem with the Collected Atrocities 2005-2008 2xCD from Gnaw Their Tongues, featuring artwork from the album on the front and a two-color print of the Gnaw Their Tongues logo on the back, and comes on a black Gildan garment.














GNAW THEIR TONGUES   Atrocities (LARGE)   SHIRT   (Crucial Blast)    15.00



SHIPS AFTER 2.10.15
This shirt is released in tandem with the Collected Atrocities 2005-2008 2xCD from Gnaw Their Tongues, featuring artwork from the album on the front and a two-color print of the Gnaw Their Tongues logo on the back, and comes on a black Gildan garment.














GNAW THEIR TONGUES   Atrocities (EXTRA LARGE)   SHIRT   (Crucial Blast)    15.00



SHIPS AFTER 2.10.15
This shirt is released in tandem with the Collected Atrocities 2005-2008 2xCD from Gnaw Their Tongues, featuring artwork from the album on the front and a two-color print of the Gnaw Their Tongues logo on the back, and comes on a black Gildan garment.














GNAW THEIR TONGUES   Atrocities (XXL)   SHIRT   (Crucial Blast)    16.00



SHIPS AFTER 2.10.15
This shirt is released in tandem with the Collected Atrocities 2005-2008 2xCD from Gnaw Their Tongues, featuring artwork from the album on the front and a two-color print of the Gnaw Their Tongues logo on the back, and comes on a black Gildan garment.














GOBLIN   Phenomena   LP   (AMS / Cinevox)    34.98



    Although classic Goblin scores like Suspiria and Profondo Rosso have continued to remain in print off and on throughout the years, the band's music for Dario Argento's 1985 black fantasy Phenomena had up until now been unavailable on vinyl since the late 80s. Largely considered to be one of Argento's lesser works from the era, Phenomena nevertheless remains one of my all-time favorite films from the maestro, and it's certainly one of his strangest. Featuring the innocent, luminous beauty of a young Jennifer Connelly in one of her earliest starring roles, the film plays out in a sequence of increasingly terrifying events that feel like fragments of a waking dream, a surreal tale of entomological telepathy, acts of brutal butchery and decapitation, hidden abominations, chimpanzee mayhem, and oodles of teenage angst. Yeah, it doesn't have the wild stylistic genius of Suspiria, but it's still one of Argento's films that I end up re-watching on at least a yearly basis, and a big part of the film's appeal for me is the score. Granted, due to some last minute scrambling, the soundtrack for Phenomena ended up being a real hodgepodge, but it's also the only Argento film where you'll hear the sinister prog rock of Italy's Goblin appearing side by side with original compositions from composer Simon Boswell, Iron Maiden's "Flash of the Blade", and solo material from Andi Sexgang of British goth rock pioneers Sex Gang Children.
    Thanks to the recent resurgence of interest in Goblin's music, their contributions to that soundtrack have finally been resurrected via Italian label AMS, assembling all of the Goblin-related music for Phenomena in a gorgeous new gatefold configuration. On previous releases, the original score has alternately been attributed to legendary spook-prog masters Goblin and to the individual members Claudio Simonetti and Fabio Pignatelli, when it reality it's a compilation of music from all three. The score features a pair of solo pieces from Simonetti and Pignatelli, with the rest of the material recorded under the Goblin name, albeit an extremely pared-down version of the band. It's also a much different style from their previous scores, with a large amount of 80's metal bombast informing much of this stuff. I love it when the guys in Goblin go "metal", but many fans were turned off by the less "prog", more rock approach they took to these tracks. There's still quite a bit of that classic Goblin vibe though: Claudio Simonetti's "Phenomena" theme is a rollicking mix of operatic female vocals, gothic prog overload and thunderous heavy metal drumming, and is one of the standout tracks, while the various other pieces prominently feature screaming guitar leads and more of that pounding percussion, alternating between moodier instrumental pieces and pulsating, atmospheric rock tracks. You won't find much of that witchy, Suspiria-style prog, this is much more of a glossy 80's style synth-rock soundtrack, but there are still some great moments of nocturnal creepiness and gothic delirium found on tracks like "The Wind". Pignatelli's "Insects" is one of the most experimental tracks, swarming with mesmeric electronics and rushing Alpine winds that create a dark, dreamlike driftscape, while the ominous, propulsive power of "Sleepwalking" and "Jennifer's Friend" both feel as if they were heavily influenced by what Tangerine Dream were doing around the same time, teeming with lush synth melodies and deep grooves. Since the Goblin guys were enlisted to produce music for the film in a last-minute rush to embellish the soundtrack, their contribution to the score is really only about eighteen minutes long, but it's all strong stuff, some of it continuing to be some of my favorite material from the band.
    That original Simonetti / Pignatelli / Goblin score makes up the entire a-side of AMS's new LP edition, while the other side contains alternate versions of the various tracks used throughout the film and during the end credits sequence, and also includes a short solo piano version of Simonetti's hauntingly lovely "Phenomena" theme. It's a great new edition of this oft-overlooked Goblin score that longtime fans of the film will especially enjoy, and AMS's reissue looks terrific, housing the LP in a glossy gatefold jacket that features the original gorgeous one-sheet artwork, reproductions of the different VHS box art variations (which of course includes that iconic image of a half-decomposed Connelly, her hand outstretched and surrounded by swarms of hellish insects - anyone who frequented the horror aisle at the video store back in the 1980's knows that one all too well...), and includes liner notes from Goblin historian Fabio Capuzzo. On black vinyl.
Track Samples:
Sample : Jennifer's Friends
Sample : Sleepwalking
Sample : Wind, The
Sample : Phenomena



GODFLESH   A World Lit Only By Fire   CD   (Avalanche Recordings)    14.98



    Finally in stock on vinyl, and back in stock on digipack CD...
    Throughout 2014, there were numerous long-awaited albums that I was dyin' to hear, long in the works comebacks from longtime favorites like Mysticum and Eyehategod, but more than any of them, I was looking forward to the brand new album from Godflesh. This mucho anticipated comeback from the British industrial metal titans came on the heels of the fantastic Decline & Fall EP from earlier in the year that teased us with a glimpse of the molten fury of the band's reinvigorated sound, but even with that preface, A World Lit Only By Fire still stunned with it's relentless, hammering power. From the opening moments, it's clear that the band is firing on full force, hammering out the sort of punishing mechanized heaviness that their earliest albums were known for. And World has it, a triumphant return after a thirteen year silence, sounding like there's been no downtime at all.
    Aglow in apocalyptic ambience and encrusted in corrosion, A World Lit Only By Fire strips away virtually all of the melodic undercurrents that appeared on the last Godflesh album Hymns (and which foresaw the heavily-layered shoegazey sludge that Broadrick would explore in more depth with his Jesu project following Godflesh's demise), going for a more streamlined and skull-crushing assault right off the bat with the syncopated mecha-crush of "New Dark Ages", massive downtuned guitars piling atop the robotic thud of the drum machine, the bass slung like slack power cables across the grimly hypnotic groove. That relentless chug continues through the pissed-off dirgey dissonance of "Deadend" that downshifts into even more bone-rattling slo-mo tempos, and the death-factory pummel of "Shut Me Down" swings a titanic hammer across it's punishing head-nodding groove; the power of this material is consistent throughout the entire album, with shades of the band's haunting post-punk tinged pummel seeping into some of the middle tracks, echoes of Killing Joke and Swans lurking beneath the grinding grooves and malevolent pneumatic rhythms, alongside brief glimpses of redemptive beauty that shimmer out across the occasional melodic riff that emerges out of the machinelike anvil crush. And then there's "Imperator", which would be the heaviest slab of industrial death metal I've heard in eons if it weren't for Broadrick's contrasting stoned-out crooning vocals. This is one lean comeback album, devoid of anything that would detract from the single-minded lethality of Godflesh's renewed vision, and the result is easily the best industrial metal album to arrive in recent memory. Highest recommendation.
Track Samples:
Sample : New Dark Ages
Sample : Forgive Our Fathers
Sample : Carrion



GODFLESH   A World Lit Only By Fire   LP   (Avalanche Recordings)    23.99



    Finally in stock on vinyl, and back in stock on digipack CD...
    Throughout 2014, there were numerous long-awaited albums that I was dyin' to hear, long in the works comebacks from longtime favorites like Mysticum and Eyehategod, but more than any of them, I was looking forward to the brand new album from Godflesh. This mucho anticipated comeback from the British industrial metal titans came on the heels of the fantastic Decline & Fall EP from earlier in the year that teased us with a glimpse of the molten fury of the band's reinvigorated sound, but even with that preface, A World Lit Only By Fire still stunned with it's relentless, hammering power. From the opening moments, it's clear that the band is firing on full force, hammering out the sort of punishing mechanized heaviness that their earliest albums were known for. And World has it, a triumphant return after a thirteen year silence, sounding like there's been no downtime at all.
    Aglow in apocalyptic ambience and encrusted in corrosion, A World Lit Only By Fire strips away virtually all of the melodic undercurrents that appeared on the last Godflesh album Hymns (and which foresaw the heavily-layered shoegazey sludge that Broadrick would explore in more depth with his Jesu project following Godflesh's demise), going for a more streamlined and skull-crushing assault right off the bat with the syncopated mecha-crush of "New Dark Ages", massive downtuned guitars piling atop the robotic thud of the drum machine, the bass slung like slack power cables across the grimly hypnotic groove. That relentless chug continues through the pissed-off dirgey dissonance of "Deadend" that downshifts into even more bone-rattling slo-mo tempos, and the death-factory pummel of "Shut Me Down" swings a titanic hammer across it's punishing head-nodding groove; the power of this material is consistent throughout the entire album, with shades of the band's haunting post-punk tinged pummel seeping into some of the middle tracks, echoes of Killing Joke and Swans lurking beneath the grinding grooves and malevolent pneumatic rhythms, alongside brief glimpses of redemptive beauty that shimmer out across the occasional melodic riff that emerges out of the machinelike anvil crush. And then there's "Imperator", which would be the heaviest slab of industrial death metal I've heard in eons if it weren't for Broadrick's contrasting stoned-out crooning vocals. This is one lean comeback album, devoid of anything that would detract from the single-minded lethality of Godflesh's renewed vision, and the result is easily the best industrial metal album to arrive in recent memory. Highest recommendation.
Track Samples:
Sample : New Dark Ages
Sample : Forgive Our Fathers
Sample : Carrion



GODSTOPPER / TENDRIL   split   7" VINYL   (Anthems of The Undesirable)    5.98



    More noise rock heaviness from Anthems. This one is an older 7" from the label that we just picked up, pairing some exclusive material from Canadian sludge outfit Godstopper (who features a former member of Column Of Heaven) and the intense, abrasive pummel of Tendril, presented in a hand-painted/hand-assembled sleeve.
    Godstopper's "Everybody Writes Good Songs" is another one of the band's signature sludge-pop crush anthems, made of one part moody early 90s jangle, one part ugly bone-crushing sludge. A shambling sludgy heaviness, like some monstrous sludgemetal version of a Pavement song, the song starting off all atonal and off-kilter as it unfurls it's brooding melody, but once those drums kick in, the gravity suddenly kicks up a couple of notches and that melody erupts into a skronky, math-rock riff that fucking crushes, as the band swings into their elephantine groove, massive down-tuned guitars pressing in with their full weight on top of the song's weirdo pop, getting heavier and heavier until it all combusts in a bleary haze of feedback. Like their other stuff, this is something you'll definitely want to check out if you're into the more melodic purveyors of slow-mo heaviosity like Harvey Milk, Floor and the like.
    Didn't know what to expect from Tendril, but I really dug their side of this split. The band dishes out two songs of ugly, dissonant noise rock that has a bit of a Dazzling Killmen-like mathy metallic edge, with lots of weird droning guitar parts and lurching arrhythmic time signatures, frantically howled vocals and pounding aggression, heavy and unsettling and abrasive. A good match for the broken sludgepop on the previous side.


HADIT   Arise   CD   (Memento Mori)    11.98



   Some more obscure early-oughts occult ambience that I recently rediscovered via the Memento Mori catalog. Hadit's 2003 album Arise was the only release to come from this offshoot of German dark ambient outfit Mondblut, who had previously put out a couple of acclaimed released on Ant-Zen. With Hadit, the members sought to explore the more ritualistic aspects of Mondblut's sound in greater depth, crafting an album of effectively eerie ambience and kosmische dread that seems to combine elements of Euro horror soundtrack music, occult post-industrial, and orchestral ambience. Compared to the earlier Mondblut material, this new project also featured a heavier use of programmed rhythms and electronic beats, as well as employing the occasional abrasive vocal, in the form of black metal-esque croaks that surface intermittently throughout Arise's mesmeric nocturnal driftscapes.
    Like some of the other stuff that came out on Memento Mori, I can also hear a subtle darkwave influence on Hadit's music that makes this a little more musical than many dark ambient projects from around the same period. That shows up here in the form of ethereal female vocals and gloomy keyboard melodies that rise out of the droning darkness, at times reminding me of some of the more malevolent-sounding artists on Projekt. There's a dark liturgical vibe that hovers over the album, tracks opening with choral hymns and church organs reverberating through the corridors of vast ancient cathedrals. Disembodied wailing voices drift vaporously through deep underground vaults, ghostly voices echoing against the damp crypt walls alongside mysterious rattling sounds and more of those sinister Carpenterian synthesizer drones. There's quite a bit of that eerie synth music on this disc, which gives this some of that obscure 80s-era European horror score feel, but then you'll hear bizarre gasping vocalizations and weird chanting begin to drift out of the depths like the hungry murmurs of some desiccated abomination, and it begins to get a bit more surreal. Tympani drums pound in the distance while kosmische electronics coalesce in a nocturnal fog, and a vague Goblin-esque vibe can even be detected on tracks like "Das Tor Des Schweigenz - Gateway Of Solitude", traces of menacing progginess shifting in the depths of Hadit's sound. There's an eighteen minute epic called "Des Engels Tränen - Black Angels Tears" that sits at the center of the album, blending majestic soundtracky twilight vistas with more of those abject mewling voices, ghastly chants and swarming drones for what might be the most unsettling track on the whole disc. It's another one of my favorite dark ambient releases from the label, reeking of a dank, black cinematic atmosphere that fans of Raison d'être, Desiderii Marginis and like-minded Cold Meat artists will probably enjoy.
Track Samples:
Sample : Weltenreich - Realm Of The Worlds
Sample : Sh T-N
Sample : ÿþDes Engels Trànen - Black Angels & Tears



HAIL SPIRIT NOIR   Pneuma   LP   (Code666)    19.99



   The new 2014 vinyl edition of Hail Spirit Noir's killer debut of blackened prog, in gatefold packaging and issued in a hand-numbered limited edition of five hundred copies.
    Along with their latest album, the supremely infectious blackened prog epic Oi Magoi, we've now got the 2012 debut from Greek band Hail Spirit Noir in stock as well, where their brand of wild, Goblin-gone-necro prog first took shape. This six-song album resulted in one of the most unique sounding releases to come from the Code666 label in recent years, and between this and Oi Magoi, I gotta say that Hail Spirit Noir has very quickly turned into my favorite band on the label.
    At times much more like some weird, ghoulish prog rock band, Hail Sprit Noir's music nevertheless keeps a menacing, metallic vibe that often erupts into moments of spectacularly blackened aggression on their debut. Listening to this, I would never have guessed that this band featured members of Transcending Bizarre?, an obscure Greek outfit with a couple of extremely quirky albums that combine black metal and industrial with doses of almost Mr Bungle-style genrefuck. Their 2003 album The Four Scissors is the only TB release that I've stocked here, and I dug the band's ambitious and highly experimental music, but the stuff that they are doing in Hail Spirit Noir is entirely more focused, and manages to draw from some of my favorite sounds ever.
    On Pneuma, the band kick off their creepy hallucinations with the eerie violin-streaked rock of "Mountain Of Horror", setting the strange stage for Hail Spirit Noir's visions of otherworldly evil and Lovecraftian mutation, starting off with that creeping, bluesy rock groove before erupting into a delirious mixture of psychedelic Hammond organ, thunderous double bass, off-kilter dissonant riffage that veers out in Ved Buens Ende territory, and bursts of bizarre blackened thrash flecked with weird electronic effects. That dissonant guitar sound is woven into the more ominous riffs all throughout the album, and there's also some killer bass playing that brings a distinctly jazzy feel to much of the band's frantic attack. All of their songs have this delirious unpredictability, the singer's combining a scathing reptilian croak with dramatic clear singing that's almost reminiscent of Serj Tankian (System Of A Down) at times, and the songs are filled with passages of demented carnival organ and soaring dark rock hooks, vibraphones and folky acoustic guitars, more of those Eastern European violin melodies, haunting quasi-operatic parts, and lots of killer analogue synthesizer textures that give a lot of this stuff a definite Goblin-like vibe. There's a ripping motorik groove that opens up on "Against The Curse, We Dream", leading into one of the album's more ferocious passages of Hammond-smeared black thrash, and the ghostly psych-folk/death pop of "When All Is Black" blends lovely synth-strings with a smattering of dissonance before surging into another one of their mathy prog freak-outs. The surreal jazz-rock flourishes of "Into The Gates Of Time" lead into crazed kosmische synth flare-ups, motorik grooves and shrieking black metal that stretch out over the ten minute song, interspersed with passages of nocturnal forest ambience, and Pneuma closes with the awesome "Haire Pneuma Skoteino", condensing the band's proggy blackened sound into a three and a half minute spookprog anthem that is easily the catchiest song on the album.
    Another album I can't recommended enough if you're into blackened, proggy weirdness. These guys have managed to combine a raw blackened metal attack with sinister prog rock in a way no one else has done; you're going to want to check this out if you're at all into the similarly prog-heavy sounds of bands like Oranssi Pazuzu, Ihsahn, Imaginary Sonicscape-era Sigh, and Mëkanïk.
Track Samples:
Sample : Let Your Devil Come Inside
Sample : When All Is Black
Sample : Haire Pneuma Skoteino



HAMMERHEAD   Memory Hole   CD   (Learning Curve)    6.98



    Anyone who missed out on the original release of this EP can now rejoice; Memory Hole was the first in a series of comeback releases from the greatly missed noise rock band Hammerhead, one of my favorite bands on Amphetamine Reptile back in the 90s. While some of the guys in the band have kept busy after the breakup of Hammerhead with the similarly abrasive noise rock outfit Vaz, nothing quite matched the pummeling, anthemic power of their old band.
    Originally released by Am Rep a few years ago as a limited 12" titled Anarcho Retardist Terror Exhibit , it was the first new recording from the band following their reunion in 2010, a four song EP that was also the first new material to come from the Minneapolis-based outfit in well over a decade. Of course, that vinyl version disappeared pretty quickly after its release, but recently Am Rep teamed up with Learning Curve to reissue the EP again on disc under this new title, packaged in a cardboard sleeve in a series of five different cover variations (don't bother requesting a particular one, we're sending them out at random). Recorded in 2011, this short eleven minute EP shows the classic Hammerhead sound is in full effect, fueled on urban paranoia and dystopian discomfort, the distorted megaphone drawl of the vocals slopped across the bilious churn of the band's heavy rhythmic push and pull, the fuzzdrenched guitars weaving sinister melodies around the sludgy power chords and edgy riffs. Songs like "Once Again With Feeling" surge into a blown-out, distortion drenched hardcore punk attack complete with the kind of eerily catchy melodic hooks that always distinguished Hammerhead from the rest of the noise rock crowd, tough but tuneful as they blend discordance and haunting harmonics with that aggressive distorto-lurch. There's also a short experimental keyboard piece "Cloudless Face" that drifts through a billowing cloudscape of dissonant organ, leading up to the pummeling title track that was alone worth picking this up for, an unsettling blend of angular hardcore brawn and brooding post-punk, with anxiety-dosed guitars lumbering through a hallucinatory din of amp squall. Goddamn great.
Track Samples:
Sample : Once again with feeling
Sample : Memory hole



HAMMERHEAD   Global Depression   CD   (Learning Curve)    13.98



    Available on vinyl (with download) and digipack CD.
    So if you were lusting after more of Hammerhead's pummeling, brooding noise rock after hearing that killer Memory Hole EP that was recently reissued, you'll have to do with another EP's worth of material from the band. Just like Memory Hole, this is a shorter release from the esteemed 90's noise rock outfit, but it looks like we'll have to settle for these teasing EPs for at least the time being, as they've yet to do a new full-length album since reforming a few years ago for the Amphetamine Reptile 25th anniversary show. Global Depression is just as good as the other new stuff the band has done, these six songs sounding like the Minneapolis outfit had been beamed straight out of the mid-90s, packing all of the same propulsive post-punk punch and crushing serpentine hooks as classic works like Into The Vortex and Ethereal Killer. Its got that same sense of dystopian dread and the bleak, misanthropic lyrics that made their older albums such favorites; from the sinister, nihilistic anthem "Santa Prisca" and the swinging, speedy punk lurch of "Outer Rim" to the disturbing dirge psychosis of "Another Room", all of these songs are made up of equal parts lurching power and driving hooks, peppered with deranged singsong choruses and bits of blaring organ, and even what sounds like a trumpet section that shows up at one point on the song "Like A Wizard", stuff that gives Hammerhead's latest a dirty, psychedelic vibe. But the weirdest track on here is the demented Casio deathmarch of "Descended From Apes" that closes the disc, which pairs up another one of their ominous riffs and morose melodic hooks with a mix of chintzy, oddly programmed drum beats and washes of spaced-out guitar, vaguely resembling a more messed-up Chrome. All of this stuff smolders with a great malevolent attitude, still seeping that sinister urban depravity and paranoia that always gave their stuff a meaner, darker feel than a lot of their Am Rep brethren; this and the recent Memory Hole EP are both terrific new EPs, now if only they'll follow this stuff up with a full album of new material that I'm hoping for...
Track Samples:
Sample : Outer Rim
Sample : Global Depression
Sample : Descended From Apes



HAMMERHEAD   Global Depression   LP   (Learning Curve)    19.99



    Available on vinyl (with download) and digipack CD.
    So if you were lusting after more of Hammerhead's pummeling, brooding noise rock after hearing that killer Memory Hole EP that was recently reissued, you'll have to do with another EP's worth of material from the band. Just like Memory Hole, this is a shorter release from the esteemed 90's noise rock outfit, but it looks like we'll have to settle for these teasing EPs for at least the time being, as they've yet to do a new full-length album since reforming a few years ago for the Amphetamine Reptile 25th anniversary show. Global Depression is just as good as the other new stuff the band has done, these six songs sounding like the Minneapolis outfit had been beamed straight out of the mid-90s, packing all of the same propulsive post-punk punch and crushing serpentine hooks as classic works like Into The Vortex and Ethereal Killer. Its got that same sense of dystopian dread and the bleak, misanthropic lyrics that made their older albums such favorites; from the sinister, nihilistic anthem "Santa Prisca" and the swinging, speedy punk lurch of "Outer Rim" to the disturbing dirge psychosis of "Another Room", all of these songs are made up of equal parts lurching power and driving hooks, peppered with deranged singsong choruses and bits of blaring organ, and even what sounds like a trumpet section that shows up at one point on the song "Like A Wizard", stuff that gives Hammerhead's latest a dirty, psychedelic vibe. But the weirdest track on here is the demented Casio deathmarch of "Descended From Apes" that closes the disc, which pairs up another one of their ominous riffs and morose melodic hooks with a mix of chintzy, oddly programmed drum beats and washes of spaced-out guitar, vaguely resembling a more messed-up Chrome. All of this stuff smolders with a great malevolent attitude, still seeping that sinister urban depravity and paranoia that always gave their stuff a meaner, darker feel than a lot of their Am Rep brethren; this and the recent Memory Hole EP are both terrific new EPs, now if only they'll follow this stuff up with a full album of new material that I'm hoping for...
Track Samples:
Sample : Outer Rim
Sample : Global Depression
Sample : Descended From Apes



IMMORTAL FATE / PLUTOCRACY   Live On KZSU January 13, 1993   LP   (Antropofago Ateo)    14.99



    Came across this pair of wicked early 90s radio performance from two bands that must've rattled the walls of the studio all the way to its foundation when this went down. Released by Sissy Spacek / Knelt Rote drummer Charlie Mumma on his Antropofago Ateo label, this Lp pairs up both of the sets that these West Bay/Redwood City maniacs recorded on college station KZSU that cool night in early 1993. For a twenty year old live on the radio recording, the sound quality is pretty great, and both bands sound monstrous, not to mention giving you a fascinating archival document with in-between banter, DJ introductions and interviews with both bands that are all left intact.
    Deathgrind beasts Immortal Fate are first, and jesus, these guys were heavy. Boasting members who would later go on to play in Autopsy and No Less, Immortal Fate were a vicious outfit, whipping through a brutal four-song set comprised of tracks from their Beautiful and Faceless Burial records, an ultra-violent blast of sludgy deathgrind with a heavy dose of noisy murk coating the guttural guitars and slime-encrusted riffs. Deadly stuff that has a similar vibe as much of the raw death metal and grind that was coming out around the time, while detonating some absolutely spine-crushing passages of crawling, skulldozing doom and flesh-melting levels of dissonant riff-vomit, delivering this crushing sound with a high level of energy and aggression that makes it (and their other releases) well worth checking out for anyone into the rawer, more chaotic depths of 90's death metal.
    The fucking lunatics in Plutocracy follow that with a ten-song freak-out of mammoth proportions, blazing savagely through ten songs of spastic, fucked-up grindcore in their uniquely warped fashion that incorporates dissonant guitar chords, bizarre street-slang, and crazed stop/start arrangements, slipping manically from their ultra fast powerviolence assaults into bizarre discordant sludge parts, all while spitting out street-level threats of violence at various individuals, the two vocalists tangled up in a squall of insane high-pitched screaming and monstrous simian bellowing. This stuff is utterly violent and chaotic, the guitars splattering evil atonal solos and blood-spattered hardcore punk riffs in a cuisinart blur of drug-fueled blast-damage, slipping into fucked-up lurching breakdowns and blurts of jacked-up Sabbathoid sludge and weird bass guitar breaks. You can tell that these guys were enamored of Man Is The Bastard (and who wasn't back then?), but Plutocracy mutated that sort of blasting brutality into something far weirder.
    Includes a double-sided poster and liner notes from Dan Lactose (Spazz), comes in gatefold packaging, limited to three hundred copies on red vinyl.


IMPERIAL TRIUMPHANT   Shrine To The Trident Throne   CD   (Code666)    15.98



    Now available on both vinyl (limited to three hundred copies) and digipack CD.
    This New York black metal band has been around for a couple of years, but this collection of early EP material is their first release to get wider attention. It's a sonically striking collection from Imperial Triumphant, whose complex clashing riffery and confusional songwriting clearly points towards both the evil dissonance of French black metal outfits like Deathspell Omega, Aosoth and Blut Aus Nord, as well as the avant-garde orchestral music of Krzysztof Penderecki. Penderecki's stuff in particular is cited by the band as a key influences on their powerful combination of complex black metal and baroque, swoonsome melodies, which tends to make me take notice; wasn't that surprised when I realized that this stuff featured drumming from Alex Cohen, who has also played with tech-grinders Pyrrhon and our own proggy blackened metal outfit Epistasis, and there's a few other guest appearances, including one from drummer Kenny Grohowski of Secret Chiefs 3 on the track "Sodom". This stuff ended up being really goddamn impressive, definitely building anticipation over here for their new album that's coming out.
    Comprised of the band's Abominamentvm album and Goliath EP that were originally only available as digital releases from the band, the disc moves through the band's most recent material leading up to their new album forthcoming from Code666, a dizzying array of hyper-technical math-metal acrobatics and nimble rhythmic complexity, fused with sweeping black melodies draped in discordant forms and waves of eerie vibrato. Ever since Deathspell Omega achieved a certain amount of popularity in extreme metal circles, their sound has been mimicked by legions of leatherclad mockingbirds, but Imperial Triumphant are much more interesting than just another Deathspell-clone. To begin with, their musicianship is pretty impressive, with textural guitarwork and expressive bass playing that is above most of what you hear in American black metal, and the band heavily incorporates convoluted math rock riffs and flourishes of jazzy prog into these songs that diverge from their influences; there are even parts where it sounds like a squall of free-jazz horns is blasting across the band's crushing doom-laden heaviness. You also get a really heavy Gorgutsian vibe to their sound, but it never totally tips over into pure atonal horror, although you do get some guest guitar shred from Gorguts / Krallice member Colin Marston; there are also subtle nods to some of the more jazz-influenced death and thrash metal outfits. Beyond the twisted, atonal riffs, jarring time signatures and rhythmic chaos, though, Imperial Triumphant are some ferociously heavy stuff, capable of balancing their more abrasive qualities with chilling instrumental pieces scattered throughout the disc that offer some superbly desolate modern classical interludes and flystruck industrial ambience, like the swirling, almost Lynchian piano-strafed darkness of "Credo in Nihil" and the queasy nightmarishness of "Scaphism". An intense, commanding collection of avant garde black metal from this formidable new outfit, whom I can't wait to hear more from.
Track Samples:
Sample : Goliath: Gommorah
Sample : Abominamentvm: Scaphism
Sample : Abominamentvm: Crushing the Idol



IMPERIAL TRIUMPHANT   Shrine To The Trident Throne   LP   (Code666)    19.99



    Now available on both vinyl (limited to three hundred copies) and digipack CD.
    This New York black metal band has been around for a couple of years, but this collection of early EP material is their first release to get wider attention. It's a sonically striking collection from Imperial Triumphant, whose complex clashing riffery and confusional songwriting clearly points towards both the evil dissonance of French black metal outfits like Deathspell Omega, Aosoth and Blut Aus Nord, as well as the avant-garde orchestral music of Krzysztof Penderecki. Penderecki's stuff in particular is cited by the band as a key influences on their powerful combination of complex black metal and baroque, swoonsome melodies, which tends to make me take notice; wasn't that surprised when I realized that this stuff featured drumming from Alex Cohen, who has also played with tech-grinders Pyrrhon and our own proggy blackened metal outfit Epistasis, and there's a few other guest appearances, including one from drummer Kenny Grohowski of Secret Chiefs 3 on the track "Sodom". This stuff ended up being really goddamn impressive, definitely building anticipation over here for their new album that's coming out.
    Comprised of the band's Abominamentvm album and Goliath EP that were originally only available as digital releases from the band, the disc moves through the band's most recent material leading up to their new album forthcoming from Code666, a dizzying array of hyper-technical math-metal acrobatics and nimble rhythmic complexity, fused with sweeping black melodies draped in discordant forms and waves of eerie vibrato. Ever since Deathspell Omega achieved a certain amount of popularity in extreme metal circles, their sound has been mimicked by legions of leatherclad mockingbirds, but Imperial Triumphant are much more interesting than just another Deathspell-clone. To begin with, their musicianship is pretty impressive, with textural guitarwork and expressive bass playing that is above most of what you hear in American black metal, and the band heavily incorporates convoluted math rock riffs and flourishes of jazzy prog into these songs that diverge from their influences; there are even parts where it sounds like a squall of free-jazz horns is blasting across the band's crushing doom-laden heaviness. You also get a really heavy Gorgutsian vibe to their sound, but it never totally tips over into pure atonal horror, although you do get some guest guitar shred from Gorguts / Krallice member Colin Marston; there are also subtle nods to some of the more jazz-influenced death and thrash metal outfits. Beyond the twisted, atonal riffs, jarring time signatures and rhythmic chaos, though, Imperial Triumphant are some ferociously heavy stuff, capable of balancing their more abrasive qualities with chilling instrumental pieces scattered throughout the disc that offer some superbly desolate modern classical interludes and flystruck industrial ambience, like the swirling, almost Lynchian piano-strafed darkness of "Credo in Nihil" and the queasy nightmarishness of "Scaphism". An intense, commanding collection of avant garde black metal from this formidable new outfit, whom I can't wait to hear more from.
Track Samples:
Sample : Goliath: Gommorah
Sample : Abominamentvm: Scaphism
Sample : Abominamentvm: Crushing the Idol



IRON LUNG   Savagery   7" VINYL   (Iron Lung Records)    6.99



    All teeth. The latest 7" of elite angular blastcore savagery from Iron Lung delivers twelve new synaptic blasts from the band in total powerviolence mode, and one should expect no quarter. Tearing through a set of tracks (all of which whose titles begin with the letter "s") at hyper-speed velocity, this Seattle-based duo sound as lethal as ever, and this EP once again features the band's unique approach to powerviolence, slamming their rhythmically complex, math-rock tinged riffs into a fucking cuisinart of speedfreak violence. Among all of the legions of bands influenced by classic early 90s blastcore, no one sounds like Iron Lung.
    Supersonic speeds are occasionally broken up with brief bits of atmospheric, moody guitar noise and jarring shifts into pummeling slow-motion dirge, which almost always leave you with a severe case of whiplash. When the duo decides to slow things down, like on the skull-flattening tracks "Shackles" and "Station", the abrupt shift in gravitational pull is absolutely punishing. With their nihilistic lyrics and relentless, tightly wound musicianship, these guys really are one of the few current bands that sound just as murderous as their forebears like Infest and Crossed Out. It's hardly nostalgic, though, mutating that blasting ultra-fast hardcore sound into their own signature style of spastic, stop-and-go arrangements and stop-on-a-dime tempo changes, spewing ugly dissonant riffage stained with traces of industrial murk. Savagery indeed.
    Comes in a printed inner sleeve housed inside of a large poster sleeve with black and white Feeding artwork, the cover hand-stamped, making each one subtly unique.
Track Samples:
Sample : shackles
Sample : station
Sample : stench



ISIS   Panopticon (2014 Re-issue)   2 x LP   (Robotic Empire)    34.98



   A borderline classic of early-oughts atmospheric metal and crushing art-rock, Isis's third album Panopticon is back in print once again, newly re-mastered for vinyl and presented in a high-gloss, heavyweight case-wrapped gatefold jacket with printed inner sleeves for this new 2015 edition. Here's my old write-up for album:
    Released in a heavy gatefold package with different artwork than the CD release, this is a stunning vinyl edition of Isis's 2004 album Panopticon, an album that remains one of their most powerful and thought-provoking records. Panopticon was the band's third album, a sprawling concept piece whose themes and artwork centered around complex prison designs that were created by the 18th century philosopher Jeremy Bentham and later extrapolated upon by Foucault. The idea behind the Panopticon is that an enormous prison system could be maintained by using an all-seeing observer positioned in the center of a massive circular structure, and this Orwellian notion fuels the epic, expansive music. And musically, this album sees Isis moving further from the obvious Neurosis influence in the first two albums and into their own sound, a more melodic and dreamy version of Neurosis's crushing dirge metal that still uses awesome downtuned sludge and earthshaking riffs when the songs explode into their bombastic crescendos, but relies more on brooding math rock and lush, Ride-like shoegaze for the greater part of their dark, epic riffscapes. On Panopticon, the music is more thoughtful and emotive than ever, the songs carefully crafted slabs of melody and minor key riffs that contrast with explosive metallic crush, a perfect fusion of Mogwai and Neurosis.
    All of the seven tracks on Panopticon are majestic smoldering rock epics that build inevitably to release, and the songs are strengthened by all of the clean vocals that Aaron Turner started to utilize more on this album. As heavy as this is, Isis was by now already evolving into something much more avant-rock than sludge metal, a massively heavy post rock outfit with crushing riffs and haunting angular guitars, even sounding like some beefed up version of Slint at times, but with a seething hardcore intensity burning away beneath the songs. Heavy stuff both musically and thematically, and it makes this still one of my favorite Isis records. Recommended.
Track Samples:
Sample : Syndic Calls
Sample : So Did We
Sample : Backlit



ISIS   Oceanic (2014 Re-issue)   2 x LP   (Robotic Empire)    34.98



   Fast on the heels of those other Isis reissues that just came out at the end of last year, the band's 2002 full-length Oceanic has also been reissued, newly re-mastered for vinyl for this revised 2014 edition, and housed in a heavyweight case-wrapped gatefold jacket with printed reverse-board stock and printed inner sleeves; the album has never looked better.
    With all of the pale imitators that sprung weedlike around this band's discography in the years since, it's sometimes surprising how original Isis's music still sounds when you return to it. Isis's second album saw the beginnings of their gradual shift away from the punishing, industrial-tinged sludge and chiseled riffage of Celestial, towards the more melodically nuanced sound that they would essentially perfect with Panopticon. The sound of Oceanic resides in this middle territory, still powered by the relentless drive and monstrous contrapuntal chug of the guitars, the mesmeric sludgy dirges strafed with frontman Aaron Turner's gravelly scream, but right from the opener "The Beginning And The End", Isis pair the weighted riffage with passages of jangling math-rock and moody melody that made for a much more accessible listen. It's a strong album all the way through, following a vague narrative about spurned love and suicide set against a backdrop of elementary forces, with an epically gloomy atmosphere maintained over the course of all nine of these songs. The band's metalcore roots merge fluidly with their proggier approach to the arrangements, and the cinematic qualities of bands like Godspeed You Black Emperor echo more strongly throughout Oceanic than anything the band has done prior. Angular staccato riffs emerge from swirls of electronic drone, and these riffs stretch out, taking minutes to build and crest and wash over you with their majestic downtuned hooks, or dissipate into vast expanses of shimmering twangy gorgeousness lit by a dead desert sun; other songs decay into swells of lush kosmische fog, or bloom into haunting cetaceous noisescapes. And "Weight" still remains one of the band's finest moments, a slow burn through clockwork guitars and moody jangle, laced with the airy vocals of Maria Christopher from Boston avant rockers 27, building into one of the most haunting slabs of sludge-pop ever. It's here that Isis really started to shake off the resemblances to their influences (Godflesh, Neurosis, Godspeed) and come into their own distinct sound, and Oceanic remains one of the best albums of its kind, and certainly one of the most important records in Isis's catalog - no fan of atmospheric metal should go without hearing this.
Track Samples:
Sample : Weight
Sample : False Light
Sample : The Beginning and The End



KHOST   Copper Lock Hell   CD   (Cold Spring)    13.98



   The debut full-length from this new duo features a couple of vets from the UK industrial rock underground, Andy Swan (a frequent collaborator of Godflesh's Justin Broadrick, having previously worked together in Smear Campaign, Final, and Atrocity Exhibition, as well as a member of ambient rock outfit Iroha) and Damian Bennett, a former member of industrial punk-jazz destructo unit 16-17 and the cult avant-industrial doom outfit Deathless. Their collected CV would've been enough to tantalize me, but I wasn't even aware of who was behind this project the first time I heard it; it was the sheer heaviosity of Khost's sound that sucked me in and flattened me utterly when I first gave Copper Lock Hell a spin.     Khost's sound comes from the heaviest end of the UK post-industrial sound, forging creepy, oppressive noisescapes from looped distortion and rumbling rhythmic industrial churn, but they also incorporate some fantastic atmospheric qualities like raga-like drones and Indian flute melodies and the mournful groan of guest cellist Jo Quail, her tortured strings adding a funereal vibe to the ultra-pulverizing dronedoom that lurches out of the depths of tracks like "14 Daggers". These guys are ridiculously heavy, but also have an interesting, imaginative variation on this sort of extreme heaviness, taking the monstrous abject doom of bands like Moss or early Corrupted and twisting it into something stranger and more psychedelic by layering strange ululating cries and chant-like singing over it, transforming that evil glacial crush into something ritualistic and ecstatic, blending in aspects of what sounds like traditional Asian music into the downtuned dronecrush. Massive mega-distorted riffs lumber in slow motion over blasting, reverberant drums that seem to have been slowed down even further in post-production, turning them into a slurred, skull-rattling blast of percussive power, while those flutes and strings bring a uniquely trippy vibe to Khost's psychedelic industrial doom. Grainy samples are looped into a hallucinatory sonic haze, forming murky drones that swirl throughout the album's black delirium; thick layers of crackling static and corrosive fuzz saturate the recording, often choking out the squalls of screaming noise and grinding low-end churn. Ghostly female singing appears over the blown-out lurch of "In The Nest Of The Red Throat", joined by more spectral psychedelia contributed by fellow Cold Spring artist Tunnels of Ah. It's moments like that lend a dark dreamlike beauty to Copper Lock Hell that contrast deeply with the band's corrosive heaviness. The album also breaks down into long stretches of abstract creepiness, from the tribal rhythms that clank beneath a spoken word piece from Oxbow's Eugene Robinson that appears on "Drain", to the stretches of grim ambience that open up out of the band's suffocating sludge, to the nightmarish sound-collage that starts off "Pacify". And the last track is a remix of "14 Daggers" from Novatron / Transitional's Kevin Laska, which turns into something even more majestic and melancholy, stretched out into a vast, mournful blast of tectonic heaviness strafed with droning feedback and more of that haunting cello.
Track Samples:
Sample : in the nest of the red throat
Sample : hypocrisy banality possession
Sample : 14 daggers



KRIEG / RAMLORD   split   7" VINYL   (Unholy Anarchy)    5.98



    Another recent 7" platter of nihilism and misanthropy from infamous black metal outfit Krieg that came out in 2014, which they shared with New England black metal punks Ramlord, a band that also features members of one of my latest new obsessions, Leather Chalice. Ramlord, however, are full-on filth.
    The two Krieg tracks are as hardcore punk as the band has ever sounded, the first song "Mocking Dead Empires" delivering a powerful, violent blast of D-beat driven thrash and blazing blastbeats that segues out of the Dis-crust into a terrifically majestic blackened riff, before closing with a stark industrial noise loop. One of the best things I've heard from the band all year. The other track is a ferocious rendition of "Worthless Nothing", originally by pioneering UK crust-core band Doom. Krieg's version stays true to the original, while adding their own feral blackened vibe. It's an absolute rager. Killer stuff that makes me wish that the band would flex this particular crusty muscle more often.
    Over on Ramlord's side, the New England-based band pukes up two of their own blackened assaults, "Grey Sky Prison" and "From Absolution to Eradication". Both songs stir up a filthy low-fi stew of rabid, sloppy hardcore punk, anguished screaming, murky black metal, and some detours into lurching, off-kilter sludge that cranks up their wretched, tortured vibe. I dug the general fucked-up feel of this stuff, definitely a different take on the sort of black metal/hardcore punk mix that I'm a big fan of, with the occasional soaring guitar solo that adds a brief flash of forlorn majesty to Ramlord's rampaging, necrotic punk.
    Limited to five hundred copies, includes a download.
Track Samples:
Sample : KRIEG - Mocking Dead Empires
Sample : RAMLORD - Grey Sky Prison



LAUBE   self-titled   2 x CD   (Small Doses)    14.98



    Take the acclaimed crepuscular "doom-jazz" of Bohren And Der Club Of Gore, strip away the saxophones and scale the sound down to an even more spare and sinister industrial-tinged creep, and you end up with Laube, a band who, like their sonic brethren in Bohen, hail from Germany and who appear here with a double disc set collecting out-of-print cassette material from a few years back. The Bohren comparisons are impossible to shake, and you've gotta think that these guys were pretty influenced by that more well-known doom-jazz outfit, but their take on that sound is also more minimalist and possibly more sinister; once you start to dig into the recordings that make up this collection (which comprises the Ausmerzen and Schwach Gerkerbt cassettes originally released on Expo ’70's Sonic Meditations label), it becomes apparent that Laube is taking that sort of glacial, moody jazz into sparser, more claustrophobic territory.
    Lacing these shadow-drenched tracks with increasing levels of dissonance and noise, it's like a more industrial-tinged version of Bohren, the nocturnal doom-laden noir jazz fused to minimal post-industrial drones and maybe the austere slowcore of White Birch-era Codeine, using a spare palette of drums, bass, and electric piano, with only the occasional distorted voice or sample. The drummer's staid backbeat tends to focus on a simple, stripped-down pulse that moves so slowly that it feels more informed by funeral doom than actual jazz; the bass likewise slithers through the shadows. It's the piano that sits at the emotional core of Laube's sound, weaving gorgeously morose melodies and fusiony ambience around each of these lengthy dirges, often incorporating clusters of dissonant notes to create a disturbing, paranoid edge. That spare production makes use of echo and bits of delay, giving some of this a dark dub-tinged feel, or shifts from that grim jazzy dirge into something more abstract, as when the drummer strips his rhythm down to a repetitious crashing of cymbals and kick drum while the bass shifts to fluttering feedback and amplified hum of strings, distant metallic rumblings and scrapes stretched into looping ambient drift behind the creeping bass notes, the glimmers of gloomy piano and the vague, eerie field recordings that are threaded throughout the Schwach Gerkerbt tracks. By the time you get to the almost AMM-meets-Neubauten clatter that closes the first disc, they've actually managed to shirk much of the Bohrenisms ; gone is the dark lyricism, in its place is something vastly more desolate. If this is jazz, it's a skeletal, withered jazz skulking through an industrial wasteland, surrounded by plumes of black factory smoke and the buzzing of high voltage generators, the sounds of heavy machinery settling over their moody pulse in the pre-dawn gloom. An interesting addition to the field of claustrophobic doom-laden jazz shared by Bohren, Somnambulist Quintet, The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble and Povarovo.
Track Samples:
Sample : V
Sample : I
Sample : Formal Black
Sample : Dove Gray



LEATHER CHALICE   Luna   CASSETTE   (Broken Limbs)    5.98



   Here's yet another ripping little tape that I recently picked up from the increasingly exciting label Broken Limbs. Leather Chalice's Luna is the latest offering from this New Hampshire-based one-man band featuring one of the guys in Ramlord, delivering a single fifteen minute track of blackened punk delirium that's teeming with some wonderfully warped psychedelic tendencies. As with his previous tape Sweet Perfume of Coffin Air, this is some seriously raw shit that sits somewhere out on the more blown-out fringes of black metal-influenced punk, but he embellishes this stuff with some quirky electronic noise and injects a heavy dose of gloomy post-punk influenced melody that really makes it stand out from most of the Bone Awl / Ildjarn worship you usually hear. Sure, the epic "Luna" is built upon lots of filthy three-chord hardcore riffs and an onslaught of violent energy, comparable to the band's older tapes and the split with Sump that came out a while back, but there's also much more prominent use of synthesizers and electronic noise this time around that makes this my favorite release from Leather Chalice so far.
    Luna opens with an atmospheric wash of reverb-drenched samples, hallucinatory noise and ethereal synthdrift swirling together as it leads into a propulsively rocking drumbeat and bass line, which for a moment sounds like something off of First And Last And Always, jangling minor-key guitars weaving around that driving, dark groove for a moment until it finally shifts into a blast of thunderous hardcore punk. As the song unfolds, the music moves dramatically from that mix of icy blackened tremolo riffing and thrashing tempos into swells of cosmic synthesizer and slower, gloomier passages, suddenly veering from plodding mid-tempo death-punk into spooky, abstract electronic soundscapes and back again. It's a weird trip; even when the band is going full tilt, those spacey synths warble and whoosh across the furious thrash, adding to the already off-kilter feel of "Luna"'s nocturnal delirium. An unpredictable ride to be sure, the vocals a distant, reverb-laden screech swooping across the moonlit nightscape, the whole sound much more haunting and trippy than anything I've heard from 'em before, winding through these various passages of malevolent punk and lysergic electronics and driving gloom-rock until it eventually finds its way to a gloriously anthemic climax that shimmers with a melodic hook that most "blackgaze" outfits would kill for. No doubt too weird for those with more caustic tastes, but this is one of my favorite recent forays into the more eccentric fields between black metal and post-punk, and comes highly recommended. Limited to one hundred copies on pro-manufactured cassette.
Track Samples:
Sample : Luna
Sample : Luna
Sample : Luna



LITHOTOME   self-titled   CASSETTE   (Broken Limbs)    5.98



    Initially released on disc by Australian avant-necro label Fall Of Nature (which we'll also have in stock shortly), the debut full-length from Lithotome was recently reissued by US label Broken Limbs as a limited-edition pro-manufactured cassette. I'd head the album before, but it still floored me on my latest listen. These guys have frequently been compared to Portal, but their brand of violently contorted death metal is a lot uglier and more vicious than you might expect. Made up of several veteran members of the Philly black/death scene (singer Neil Jameson is best known for his bands Krieg, Twilight and Hidden, Alex Poole plays in Chaos Moon and Esoterica as well as Krieg, and Dan Martin hails from Vrolok and Vomit Orchestra), Lithotome produce a putrid chaos that seems to draw equally from the fumes of early 90s Finnish death metal and the atonal Gorgutsian horrors of certain strains of contemporary death metal a la Portal, making for a uniquely fetid stew of crushing doom-laden death and churning angularity whose hideousness becomes enhanced by a skillfully applied coating of cracked electronic noise.
    The psychotic atmosphere on the band's debut is established as soon as the opening track unfolds, a churning nebular mass of murky electronics and demonic utterances that swell up over the first few minutes of the album, before blasting into the vortex of the "Comavoid". The discordant violence produced by the swarming guitars is where we hear many of those echoes of both Obscura-era Gorguts and the hallucinatory dissonance of Portal, but when Lithotome suddenly lurch out of their swirling blackened pandemonium into one of the many rampaging thrash parts that litter the album, they distinguish themselves from a lot of the Portal-esque death metal you've probably heard, dousing this and the following tracks in noisy savagery. Jameson's monstrous gasping vocals are smeared across that thrashing atonal death metal, while the drumming lurches and stutters, slipping into furiously off-kilter rhythms blasting beneath the bleary droning riffs. Things slow things down to a deformed doom-laden crawl on tracks like "Indulge The Flesh Of The Earth", veering between that grotesque murky blast and a heaving slow-motion plod before it drops off again into another one of their imposing riffs, and the album is filled with these abrupt descents into crushing, discordant, doom-laden heaviness. There's some odd, almost Slintlike math-rock elements that surfaces on a couple of the tracks, and bizarre passages of free-jazz-like percussive chaos arise alongside liturgical voices and swirling synthesizer drift suddenly emerging out of one of these crawling discordant dirges. Sprawls of cosmic muck and distant Catholic chants bubble to the surface amid their crawling, mathy sludge, punctuated with squalls of garbled electronic noise. In the end though, what I really like about Lithotome's debut is how rooted it is in classic murky death metal, with a host of ravenous riffs that keep this from disappearing into total abstraction, with aspects that occasionally remind me of the spacey, off-kilter death metal of Timeghoul or Demilich. Another new favorite from the weirder fringes of American death metal.


LITURGY   Renihilation   LP   (Thrill Jockey)    19.99



   Finally back in print, now reissued on vinyl with digital download by Thrill Jockey.
   As a fan of both Behold...The Arctopus and Orthrelm, man, I was really excited when I heard that Colin from BTA and Mick Barr were teaming up for the black metal band Krallice, and in my mind I imagined what this new band was going to sound like, an amalgam of the hyperspeed single-note shredding of Orthrelm with the complex song structures and brilliant melodic textures of BTA coming together in a raging wall of blastbeat-driven sound. I imagined massive clusters of electric guitar shred built into epic sky-reaching figures, crystalline beams of tremelo guitar strafing through the atmosphere, drums falling in a cloudburst of percussive chaos. I had that imagined sound rolling around in my head for months, just waiting to get the Krallice album in my hands so I could put form to thought. When I did finally hear Krallice, though, it wasn't quite what I expected. Epic, majestic black metal that was more Weakling than Branca, that's what Krallice sounded like to me when I finally heard them, and while I totally loved the album, it definitely wasn't anything like the sound that I was imagining in my head. Instead, the sound that I was imagining was that of Liturgy.
    This Brooklyn-based band has just released their first album through 20 Buck Spin, and Renihilation is exactly what I had thought Krallice's debut might have sounded like. It's not surprising that Colin from BTA/Krallice worked with these guys on the recording of Renihilation at his Thousand Caves Of Menegroth studio, and Liturgy mastermind Hunter Hunt-Hendrix definitely has a similiar guitar style as that of Orthrelm and BTA, and even though Liturgy describes their music as "transcendental black metal", this music is so much more proggy and avant-garde than you'd expect. The album is the band's first release as a four piece, with Hunt-Hendrix teaming up with a second guitar player to whip out fierce walls of trebly, hyperfast tremelo picking that build into soaring melodic shapes. The drums blast relentlessly, but drummer Greg Fox combines his hectic blastbeats with cascading tom/snare rolls that gives this a fiery, jazzy feel and makes the music sound even more frenzied than if he was just playing straightforward blasts. The vocals are high pitched, washed-out howls, and the songs race along furiously, but behind the shredding trebly guitars and blurry black metal screams and chaotic drumming, Liturgy also craft amazingly beautiful harmonies that take over the sound, the guitars weaving themselves into ecstatic swarms of cyclical melody that feel like the guitar army compositions of Branca and Chatham transposed over blistering machine gun clatter. Liturgy's music is beautiful and mesmerizing, and quite unlike any black metal band I've ever heard. Highly recommended.
Track Samples:
Sample : Mysterium
Sample : Pagan Dawn



LYNCH, DAVID + ALAN R. SPLET   Eraserhead OST (Jewel Case)   CD   (Absurda)    14.99











Track Samples:
Sample : In Heaven (Lady In the Radiator Song)
Sample : ÿþDigah's Stomp/Lenox Avenue Blues/Stompin’ the Bug/Messin’ Around With t
Sample : Eraserhead [Dance Mix]



LYNCH, DAVID + ALAN R. SPLET   Eraserhead OST (Digipack)   CD   (Sacred Bones)    15.99











Track Samples:
Sample : In Heaven (Lady In the Radiator Song)
Sample : ÿþDigah's Stomp/Lenox Avenue Blues/Stompin’ the Bug/Messin’ Around With t
Sample : Eraserhead [Dance Mix]



MELVINS   Eggnog / Lice All   2 x LP   (Boner)    26.00



   One of two monstrous new vinyl reissues of essential early Melvins, the Eggnog/Lice-all double LP features these two 1991 recordings remastered and available on vinyl again for the first time in fifteen years. Packaged in a gatefold sleeve with original artwork as well as never before issued photos from this era of the band, the LP also includes a digital download. The demand for these vinyl reissues has been nuts - they're already sold out at the source, and we were only able to get our hands on less than half a dozen of each for C-Blast.
    Eggnog is the crucial, legendary 1991 EP from the masters of crushing sludge-punk, and features four of the Melvins' heaviest jams from the Buzzo / Lorax / Crover lineup: the guitar-noise infested nervous breakdown of "Wispy"; "Antitoxidote"'s unstoppable punkmetal boogie with that fist-pumping anthemic verse that will have you bellowing "Pigs don't let it..." in no time; the skullcrushing, fast-paced heavy metal histrionics of "Hog Leg"; and, of course, "Charmicarmicat", one of the band's all-time classic songs, an awesome, earsplitting thirteen-minute monument of slow-motion drone/dirge/doom, pounding tectonic drumbeats over a syrupy riptide of black amplifier buzz and detuned string rumble. Easily one of the heaviest things that the Melvins ever did, "Charmicarmicat" would help to lay down the template for later lava metal explorations from bands like Boris, Sunn O))), all of the others to follow in their wake. An essential acquisition for Melvins fans and glacial metal adventurers.
    AKA Lysol, Lice-all is another crucial Melvins slab, their classic 1991 album with the cover painting of the Native American astride a horse, that featured Joe Preston (Thrones/Earth/High On Fire) on bass, and which was originally called Lysol before the Melvins were forced to change it due to trademark issues. It's hard to argue that this is one of the all-time heaviest Melvins albums, six songs glued together into a single 32 minute track, opening with the 10 minute ultra-sludge of "Hung Bunny", an ambient metal big bang of extreme slow motion sludge that everyone from Sunn O))) to Earth to Boris to Corrupted to Black Boned Angel has been trying to pay homage to since. Gigantic distorted riffs and howling feedback is poured over Dale Crover's sparse but pounding, brutal drumming, and moaning wordless vocals float back in the darkness. MASSIVE. Then the band starts to rev up and "Roman Dog Bird" appears, comparatively faster but still moving at a gooey crawl, King Buzzo's vocals totally drenched in echo, a monstrously crushing psychedelic dirge. After that, the band engages in a couple of covers: a feedback infested rendition of Flipper's "Sacrifice", rendered as suffocating drug doom; and Alice Cooper's "Ballad Of Dwight Frye" is fully Melvinsized. And "With Teeth" appears to close the album -as short as the song is, it's one of my all time favorite Melvins jams, and that hook is definitely one of their catchiest. Essential for Melvins fans, and anyone into super-heavy, hypnotic drone/doom/sludge/avant metal that hasn't heard this album yet needs to do so pronto...
Track Samples:
Sample : Sacrifice
Sample : Hung Bunny



MELVINS   Ozma / Bullhead   2 x LP   (Boner)    26.00



   The other new Melvins vinyl reissue that just came out, Ozma / Bullhead pairs up two of the band's earliest albums and remasters them for vinyl, the first time they've appeared on the format in well over a decade. As with the Eggnog / Lice-all 2xLP we also picked up, this stuff is essential sludge from one of the most influential bands to come out of the American underground of the 1980s. Their reach has been immense, and so much of the ear-crushing music we listen to now has been directly informed by the slo-mo pummel of these early works. More than 20 years later, this is still some of the heaviest shit you'll ever hear.
    1989's Ozma is the second album from the Melvins, following up the landmark sludgepit revelations of Gluey Porch Treatments, and featured the King Buzzo / Dale Crover / Lori "Lorax" Black (daughter of Shirley Temple) lineup now relocated to San Francisco from Seattle. Totally classic angular/abstract sludge-rock, like Flipper, KISS, and My War-era Black Flag dragged through molasses, with spastic, complex riffs and crushing stop/start drum pummel that's so fucking flattening that the album generates immediate whiplash every time you toss it in. A bunch of Buzzo's lyrics are printed in the booklet, and it's drunken, demented lyricism at it's best. A bunch of covers on here, too: the Melvin's run through stomping versions of KISS' "Love Theme", the song "Creepy Smell" works in the intro to the song "Living In Sin" from Gene Simmons' solo album, "Candy-O" is a Cars tune that becomes absolutely crushing here, and "Leech" is a Green River cover. And there's the flirtations with feedback drones and guitar noise that the Melvins would explore in more depth with later albums.
    Another classic old-school dose of Melvins' sludge/punk heaviness, 1991's Bullhead came out on the Boner label and has become one of the harder Melvins titles to get your hands on. Of course, we're here to keep this shit documented, so we've finally got Bullhead in stock - and if you are even a casual fan of the Melvins, then this is an essential addition to the library: packaged in a bright blue case with bizarre covert art featuring a fruit basket, this is where the songs became longer, the riffs even heavier yet catchier....fuck, the album's crawling dronecrush of an opening track is called "Boris" and I'll give you three guesses what band saw this disc as an essential influence. All of the jams here are crushing - the mathy pummel and infectious hook of "Anaconda", "Ligature"'s doomed slow motion stomp, the rocking pre-grunge of "It's Shoved", the stuttering force of "Zodiac"....ugh, this album is just fucking killer from beginning to end. This is from when Lorax was on bass, and the lineup is thunderous. In my opinion this ranks as one of Melvins' best albums, completely crucial and most highly recommended.
   Includes a digital download with the bonus track “Candy-O”.
Track Samples:
Sample : Love Thing
Sample : Oven
Sample : It's Shoved
Sample : Boris



MHONOS   Humiliati   CASSETTE   (Zanjeer Zani Production)    8.00



    Now available as a super-limited cassette (limited to one hundred hand-numbered copies) from French necro-sludge imprint Zanjeer Zani Productions...
    Album number two from this mysterious, black-cloaked collective from France, an ensemble of hooded drone-sculptors who craft monstrous low-frequency psych-dirges through a ritualistic process that has more in common with classic industrial music than the French black metal scene that the band initially emerged from. Each member bears the monastic title of "Frater", each attributed to "low-frequency bass", with other members credited to synthesizers, prayer bowls, bells, "infrasounds", "organum", "ultrasounds" and "incantations"; the entire aesthetic behind Mhonos's music gives it the feel of some arcane underground cult. The music of Humiliati follows in a similar vein as their cassette releases, a kind of experimental extreme doom metal that dispenses with electric guitar, instead heavily relying on the layering of monstrous drones formed from rumbling bass guitar, hypnotic chanting vocals and warbling atonal keyboards to crate their blackened ritualistic dronescapes, the sound infested with crackling electronics and a throbbing, almost motorik pulse that seethes beneath the liturgical black rumble.
    Opening with the thunderous rhythmic pounding of booming kettledrum-like percussion, the band immediately establishes their delirious, ritualistic atmosphere with "Aleveus Terra", as pounding death-rite drums echo through the air, laying down a heavy trance-inducing rhythm that completely dominates the first several minutes of the half-hour long track. After awhile, the band slowly emerges into the mix with distant churning choral moans surfacing around those booming drums, gradually joined by swaying, hypnotic bass riffs and billowing clouds of low-end murkiness. Gregorian-like chanting starts to appear, bringing with them a blackened ecstasy, the sound of eyeless monks lost in endless prayer at the center of a circle of monstrous rhythmic pounding and gnarled, sinister riffage. Later on, loud bursts of distorted doom-laden heaviness briefly appear, and as additional layers of bass guitar are introduced, it starts to turn into a weird sort of blackened trance-rock, a little bit of an Aluk Todolo vibe showing through all of the rumbling black bass. And there is never any feeling of release, only an eternal tension that stretches all the way to the end of the sprawling track, the sound only becoming more complex and layered as it goes on, the band layering more of those warbling murky keyboards churning in the depths. The latter half of the track eventually drops out completely, drifting way out into a long spacious passage of clanking rhythmic heaviness and deep cosmic whoosh, the synthesizers howling and swooping around the ominous, psychedelic space-doom dirge.
    That goes right into the middle track "Ex Nihilo... Ad Nihilum...", where the band picks up the tempo a little bit, pounding out a steady thunderous drumbeat while deep, buzzing voices swirl around in a fog of droning chant and electronic textures, the chanting almost like Tuvan-styler throat singing, maintaining that evil, ritualistic atmosphere as they pound their way through this funereal fog-drenched synthdirge. It's laced with more of those mysterious chiming melodies and the metallic whirr of Tibetan prayer bowls, and the chortling sound of hollowed-out antlers, like some creepy John Carpenter-style electronic synth score merged with the sounds of some pagan blood ritual.
    That leads right into the epic closer "Mortificare", a churning twenty-four minute hypno-sludge workout that weaves crushing angular riffage into huge circular grooves, while a frantic howling voice raves in the distance, the sound building into an ecstasy of down-tuned blackened heaviness and looping rhythms, almost like a heavier, black metal tinged version of old-school hypno-rockers Gore, intense and discordant and seriously hypnotic. The band later drops off into long stretches of their creepy electronic drift and ritual drumming, the kosmische synths swirling in over the increasingly hysteric screams and moans of the singer, the music again becoming a strange soundtracky sort of psychedelia, swirling trance-inducing percussion percolating beneath sprawling fields of electronic whirr and drift, until it finally erupts into even heavier droning doom metal crush at the end, a torturous droning wall of tectonic pummel that rivals the likes of Moss or Monarch...
Track Samples:
Sample : Alveus Terra
Sample : Mortificare



MOURNFUL CONGREGATION   Concrescence Of The Sophia   CD   (20 Buck Spin)    10.98



    With its stately monolithic power and towering melodies, it's kind of hard to believe that this comes from the same group of guys behind the horrific bedlam of Cauldron Black Ram, Martire and StarGazer. The most recent slab of slow-motion misery to come from Australia's Mournful Congregation, Concrescence Of The Sophia brings us two new songs that come in at just over half an hour, the title track taking up most of that with one of the band's most massive and sprawling glacial requiems. The recording features guest drummer Tim Call (of Aldebaran / Nightfell) laying down the funereal tempo beneath the group's gorgeous, plangent doom, and he sounds right at home amongst the rest of the band. Having been crafting this sort of elegant doom-death for over two decades, Mournful Congregation continue to establish themselves as one of the best death/doom outfits in existence, as evidenced by the heartbreaking beauty of "Concrescence"; as always, their soaring, sorrowful guitar harmonies are one of the key elements of their sound, which builds upon the tear-stained foundation laid down by the Peaceville Three with their own brand of achingly lovely melodies that curl up and around the lumbering, slow-motion heaviness. When those sorrowful melodies build and bloom from the droning, down-tuned doom, the sound can be absolutely breathtaking, with that main song unfurling gorgeously and gloomily across the disc, slipping into passages of plaintive acoustic guitar and haunting classical melodies that emerge from the gloom, lit by the gleam of prayer bowl tones, or sliding even deeper into stretches of dread-filled blackness. The music moves through a winding suite of anguished gloomcrush, those sometimes savage death-shrieks and virtuosic solos soaring high over the increasingly miserable atmosphere, crafted as well as the best classic heavy metal, but dragged down into a heart-stopping crawl.
    That title track alone is some of the most beautiful doom you're going to hear, with just the right amount of dark romanticism lurking beneath the outpouring of emotional pain and existential dread that seeps from the lyrics, that stain seeping deeply into Sophia's sonorous shadows. Top tier shit, for sure, extrapolating upon that classic Peaceville doom/death sound better than just about anybody. The other song featured here, "Silence Of The Passed" is no slouch either, another frigid, glacial funerary dirge, the tone more hushed and introspective but no less heavy, the music here unfolding into a strange sort of hymn, dark and dolorous and draped in ghastly guttural roars and monstrous whispers - again, absolutely stunning stuff. If you're a fan of death/doom, this band is essential listening. Available on both digipack CD and limited-edition vinyl.
Track Samples:
Sample : Silence of the Passed
Sample : Concrescence of the Sophia



MOURNFUL CONGREGATION   Concrescence Of The Sophia   LP   (20 Buck Spin)    16.98



    With its stately monolithic power and towering melodies, it's kind of hard to believe that this comes from the same group of guys behind the horrific bedlam of Cauldron Black Ram, Martire and StarGazer. The most recent slab of slow-motion misery to come from Australia's Mournful Congregation, Concrescence Of The Sophia brings us two new songs that come in at just over half an hour, the title track taking up most of that with one of the band's most massive and sprawling glacial requiems. The recording features guest drummer Tim Call (of Aldebaran / Nightfell) laying down the funereal tempo beneath the group's gorgeous, plangent doom, and he sounds right at home amongst the rest of the band. Having been crafting this sort of elegant doom-death for over two decades, Mournful Congregation continue to establish themselves as one of the best death/doom outfits in existence, as evidenced by the heartbreaking beauty of "Concrescence"; as always, their soaring, sorrowful guitar harmonies are one of the key elements of their sound, which builds upon the tear-stained foundation laid down by the Peaceville Three with their own brand of achingly lovely melodies that curl up and around the lumbering, slow-motion heaviness. When those sorrowful melodies build and bloom from the droning, down-tuned doom, the sound can be absolutely breathtaking, with that main song unfurling gorgeously and gloomily across the disc, slipping into passages of plaintive acoustic guitar and haunting classical melodies that emerge from the gloom, lit by the gleam of prayer bowl tones, or sliding even deeper into stretches of dread-filled blackness. The music moves through a winding suite of anguished gloomcrush, those sometimes savage death-shrieks and virtuosic solos soaring high over the increasingly miserable atmosphere, crafted as well as the best classic heavy metal, but dragged down into a heart-stopping crawl.
    That title track alone is some of the most beautiful doom you're going to hear, with just the right amount of dark romanticism lurking beneath the outpouring of emotional pain and existential dread that seeps from the lyrics, that stain seeping deeply into Sophia's sonorous shadows. Top tier shit, for sure, extrapolating upon that classic Peaceville doom/death sound better than just about anybody. The other song featured here, "Silence Of The Passed" is no slouch either, another frigid, glacial funerary dirge, the tone more hushed and introspective but no less heavy, the music here unfolding into a strange sort of hymn, dark and dolorous and draped in ghastly guttural roars and monstrous whispers - again, absolutely stunning stuff. If you're a fan of death/doom, this band is essential listening. Available on both digipack CD and limited-edition vinyl.
Track Samples:
Sample : Silence of the Passed
Sample : Concrescence of the Sophia



MOUTHEATER   Passing Key   LP   (Anthems of The Undesirable)    13.99



    Passing Key is one of those albums that's grown on me more and more, growing even more impressive upon repeated listens, its hybrid fusion of dark noise rock and belligerent hardcore really digging its filthy claws into me with each new listen. Album number two from this Norfolk, VA outfit cranks up their aggressive, hardcore-laden noise rock a notch or two since the last record of theirs I picked up, 2011's Colonial; as with that EP, Passing Key delivers a potent combination of brawny modern hardcore punk and lurching Amphetamine Reptile-style ugliness, their anthems of alienation and self-loathing carved out of massive sludgy riffage and angular, pointed grooves, often awash in howling feedback and amplifier noise, with strained, infuriated vocals that gives this stuff a tougher edge than a lot of current noise rock going around.
    The eleven songs that make up this album offer a mix of pummeling, droning slow-motion dirge and faster-paced aggression, and it frequently reminds me of that sort of noise rock-influenced stuff that was coming out of the hardcore scene in the late 90s, when bands like Coalesce and Converge were fusing their love of evil, crushing metal and Am Rep skuzz into a monstrous new sound. While Moutheater's lumbering pigfucked sludge isn't as metal as some bands in this vein, Passing Key is still pretty goddamn punishing, and the songs where they slow things down to a discordant lurch (like "Wide Eyed") are among their best, grueling anguished dirges that seethe with emotional wreckage, the guitarists weaving some seriously deranged FX-warped leads around the crushing slow-mo riffage before breaking apart into squealing electronic noise and somber strummed chords. Over on the b-side though, the music gets oddly tuneful in the vocal department, the singer even adopting a killer croon on the album's best song, "Tape My Heart Back Together", easily the catchiest thing I've heard from the band, though it packs in some punishing midpaced riffage that's as mean and spiteful as anything else on the album. It's followed by another crusher called "Blood Orange" that almost heads into Goatsnake-like power-sludge territory, a soulful psych-doom tune that gets surprisingly spaced-out. These guys are seriously worth checking out if you're a fan of both brawny, downtuned noise rock and sludge in the vein of Unsane and Melvins as well as the tougher strains of modern era hardcore, as Moutheater bring the two together better and more threateningly than most. A real rager, highly recommended if you're digging the other neo-noise rock stuff we've been digging up lately a la Drunk Dad, Rabbits, Negative Press, etc. Features album art and design by Give Up, issued in a limited edition of three hundred copies.
Track Samples:
Sample : Nepolio's Rooftop
Sample : Wide Eyed
Sample : Sexual Sadness



MURDEROUS VISION   Engines & Disciples   CDR   (Annihilvs)    11.98



    One of the premier American death industrial artists, Stephen Petrus and his long-running death industrial project Murderous Vision has been producing some of the blackest industrial driftscapes in the field since the late 90s. The latest from the Cleveland-area artist is Engines & Disciples, his first new full length in two years, a sweeping nine-track descent into rumbling jet-black factory cities, smoke-shrouded death dirges crawling through a vast subterranean world lit only by the dull glow of some dying nether-sun.
    Tracks like "Nightmare Made Flesh And Bone (Part One)" wash across the album in waves of blackened synthdrift and ominous drone, a kind of jet-black electronic ambience strafed with distant metallic noises and obscured rhythmic currents, vast and heavy and malevolent, laced with the groan of steel girders and swells of orchestral murk, with strange, almost ritualistic vocalizations that murmur up out of the depths. It recalls the bleakest 70's space music and the most cinematic strains of post-industrial dark ambience, resounding with the occasional thud of rhythmic hammering upon the walls of some monstrous metallic chamber. Sounds swell and surge across each track, shifting from a vast Lustmordian heaviness to a seething dreamlike fog of nightmare chaos, the more abrasive noise found on tracks like "Peeling Away Necrotic Flesh" at the meeting place between squealing electronics streaking over swirling oceans of static, and fragments of moody melody obscured within the thick fog of distortion. Engines continues to move between that gorgeous dark ambience and the harsher noisescapes, gleaming kosmische electronics drifting through the abyss, the distorted pounding of drums echoing through the depths, parts of this resembling a Tangerine Dream concert taking place within the heart of a rapidly rotting planetoid. Elsewhere Petrus crafts a symphony of shifting sheet-metal that swirls into a reverberant sonic delirium, akin to a more ambient take on K2-style metallic noise. Other tracks unfurl into smoldering sprawls of corrupted electronics and howling abyssal winds, ominous noisescapes that glimmer with buried, partially glimpsed melodies and creepy sepulchral synth noises, opening into ravenous black overmodulated dronescapes. One of the album's standout tracks is "Immaculate Deception", a crushing industrial dirge weighted with downtuned metallic bass riffs and a rumbling percussive undertow buried beneath a storm of droning electronics and distortion, like some cacophonic industrial metal outfit bleeding through a wall of machine noise, which gets even more harrowing as the ultra-distorted verbal hate of guest vocalist Andrew Grant (The Vomit Arsonist) is unleashed across the track. Creepy, dense and psychedelic, this is one of the most evil sounding Murderous Vision albums the project has brought us. Comes in digipack packaging designed by André Coelho of Sektor 304.
Track Samples:
Sample : Tensile Strength Fracture
Sample : Nightmare Made Flesh And Bone (Part One)
Sample : Immaculate Deception



MUSCLE AND MARROW   The Human Cry   LP   (Belief Mower)    13.98



    Just got turned onto this band after seeing their debut album popping up on a large number of end-of-year best-of lists, and was quickly sucked into the duo's strange, incantatory sound. Based out of Portland, Oregon, Muscle And Marrow are made up of singer/guitarist Kira Clark and drummer Keith McGraw, who also administers the slowly swirling drones and sampled sounds that are smeared beneath the slow, almost funereal creep of these nine songs. They've been described by many as a kind of doom metal outfit while also garnering comparisons to everything from brooding chanteuses like PJ Harvey and Chelsea Wolfe to Swans and Sunn O))), admittedly a pretty wide-ranging comparisons; but while they certainly dish out some seriously heavy, crawling riffs throughout Human Cry, this isn't metal, nor do any of those references really give you the full picture of this stuff.
    With her strange wavering somnambulant wail and breathy singing, Clark's singing to my ears falls somewhere in between a heavily drugged Karen O and a much more subdued Diamanda Galás, her tremulous melodies slightly slurred, quivering in an opiated haze while the songs unfold into a reverb-soaked garage-doom reverie. With the band's stripped-down instrumentation and arrangements, it's a haunting and desolate world that these songs inhabit, the cold reverberant guitar chords crashing sadly against McGraw's stripped-down, slow-motion rhythms, the space around the instruments inhabited by ghostlike noises that echo icily in the darkness. When she hits that stompbox on songs like "Childhood" or slips into the serpentine dirge of "Help Me", though, this stuff erupts into a fuzz-saturated metallic crunch that'll certainly prompt some nodding heads, but Cry is most powerful when the two craft these stark, sparse soundscapes that focus more on Clark's bewitching voice, which is often doubled and layered to create an eerie wash of sound that at times sounds like the cries of birds suddenly alighting in advance of an oncoming thunderstorm. An unusual and arresting combination of doomed introspection and frigidly glacial rock that does indeed add up to one of the most captivating debuts to have surfaced last year.
Track Samples:
Sample : Surround the Fire
Sample : Spirits
Sample : The Brave



MY DYING BRIDE   Turn Loose The Swans   2 x LP   (Peaceville)    30.00



    Newly reissued on vinyl, featuring the original track listing with no bonus material, pressed on 180 gram vinyl and presented in gatefold packaging - an absolute classic in the doom/death genre.
    Never had this album in stock at C-Blast before now, but with Peaceville's recent deluxe reissue of My Dying Bride's 1993 experimental doomdeath classic Turn Loose The Swans, we've got a perfect reason to ruminate on the genre-defining album. The British band was one of the pioneers of the "doomdeath" sound alongside Paradise Lost and Anathema, evolving from their earlier cavernous death metal sound into something much more atmospheric and elegant, slowing their heaviness down to immense, soul-crushing tempos. My Dying Bride took a more experimental approach to their sound compared to the other early doomdeath bands, and the unique goth-flecked sound that these guys crafted on their second album Turn Loose The Swans was unlike anything else in extreme metal back then.
    The use of keyboards and violin in death metal was still a pretty novel concept in 1993, as was the band's tendency towards epic-length arrangements that could stretched out for twelve minutes at a time. Opening with the brooding sounds of piano and violin, the first song "Sear Me MCMXCIII" drips with melancholic atmosphere, the vibe as despondent and introverted as anything in gothic rock, with front man Aaron Stainthorpe's deep, hushed vocals slowly creeping across the band's dismal orchestrations, as synth-like horn sounds pulse beneath the circling keys. And then when "Your River" follows with it's grueling, lumbering death metal, the contrast is intense and striking, even as those violin sounds continue to drift over the ugly, crushing riffage. The atmospheric metallic crush surges into strange breaks led by the bass guitar, then sinks into utterly mournful dirge, an almost folky funereal lament forming at the heart of the song. The vocals shift dramatically between Stainthorpe's guttural death metal growl and his distinctive droning, despondent croon, and there's a grief-stricken heaviness to this music that makes it completely unique. Listening to this classic My Dying Bride stuff now just proves how inept so many "gothic" influenced metal bands are in trying to capture this depth of emotional despair.
    The rest of Swans is equally intense, songs like "The Songless Bird" and "The Snow In My Hand" lurching with a glacial heaviness and twisted angularity, slipping into those weirdly baroque passages of synthesizer and strings. Blasts of crushing double bass and dark chromatic riffing are twisted into winding, majestic hooks, billowing into clouds of black saurian power from the subterranean depths, then transforming into miserably catchy epics like "The Crown of Sympathy", the heaviness stretching out into expansive synthesizer-heavy ambience and weird trumpet-flecked dirge. The title track is an all-time doomdeath classic, crushing morbid heaviness slowed down to a lumbering crawl, the vocals a restrained ghoulish rasp, the monstrous chugging riffage and jagged drum fills breaking off into a mist of funereal violin as the song weaves it's dismal ambience. And the last song, "Black God" closes the album with a somber, requiem-like arrangement for violin, droning synth and backing female vocals, over which Stainthorpe recites his lyrics in a half-whispered eulogy.
    A genuinely genre-defining album, Turn Loose The Swans is practically ground zero for the sort of massive, miserable metal that a million deathdoom bands have tried to emulate over the past two and a half decades. It's atmosphere of weird romanticism, morbid candlelit poetry, and barbaric slow-motion violence still sounds like noone else, and their style would prove to be a considerable influence on more recent progressive minded bands like Agalloch, Pantheist, Kauan, and Opeth. A pioneering extreme metal classic.
Track Samples:
Sample : Your River
Sample : Turn Loose the Swans
Sample : The Snow in My Hand
Sample : Black God



MYSTICUM   Planet Satan   CD DIGIBOOK   (Peaceville)    16.98



    Available as a gatefold LP with poster, and a deluxe, totally gorgeous hardbound digibook CD with the booklet bound into the jacket.
    Took 'em long enough. Nobody has combined black metal guitars with rigidly pummeling drum machines and brute-force technoid rhythms as viciously as Norwegian industro-demons Mysticum as far as I'm concerned, and the star-eating Satanic visions that comprised their 1996 album In The Streams Of Inferno remains one of the defining examples of industrial black metal. The band didn't last long after that though, and despite reforming in more recent years, they never delivered (though often promised) a follow-up to Inferno. Now nearly twenty years later, we're finally getting that long-threatened sophomore album, Planet Satan. If you were expecting In The Streams Of Inferno Part II, you're not quite going to find it here; the band's signature blend of furious staccato drum programming, droning eerie riffs swarming off of guitars whose treble knobs have been cranked all the way to the max, and the flurries of strange carnivalesque electronics and otherworldly samples and textures hasn't changed much at all, but Mysticum seems to be writing catchier, more stripped down songs this time around. There's stuff on here that's actually surprisingly catchy, with tracks like opener "LSD" and "Annihilation" shifting into an anthemic, almost punk-tinged power that really kicks this album off with a bang. You still get lots of that industrialized clank, though, the drum machines mimicking the thud and thunder of a metalshop at peak activity, and lots of the pounding quasi-techno rhythms that these guys pioneered, thumping away ferociously beneath the frostbitten riffs and layered vocal hate. On second thought, this is unmistakably Mysticum: clanking metal meets monstrous bass throb, washes of deep-space synthfog billow out over crushing militaristic rhythms and weirdly wheezing harmonium-like melodies, weird in the way that only these guys are.
   Most of this stuff is ferocious industrial black metal, offset by the occasional crushing droid-dirge and wall of cosmic drift like that towering over the first half of "The Ether", before slipping into a kind of necrotic gabber assault, a face-ripping rush of blood-splattered, goat worshipping raver violence that whips the end of this track into a tornado of churning ice-encrusted riffs. It all ultimately erodes and disintegrates in the final eight minute track though, all of the blackened heaviness stripped out and washed away, leaving behind just this sinister black driftscape populated with mysterious creaks and crackles, malevolent insect-like skittering that scuttles from one speaker to another, flecked with bits of warped electronic melody twisted and tortured and floating like motes of cosmic gas across the vast expanse of droning synth; sort of a cross between classic Norwegian BM and Psalm 69's mechanized thrash, but with these moments where a haunting melody or an infectious electronic beat suddenly coalesces out of the black cosmic storm, thrumming with strange radiation. Definitely delivered everything I wanted to hear in a new Mysticum album, these guys still reign supreme amongst the pantheon of inhuman mechanized black metal.
Track Samples:
Sample : LSD
Sample : Fist of Satan
Sample : All Must End



MYSTICUM   Planet Satan   LP   (Peaceville)    25.00



    Available as a gatefold LP with poster, and a deluxe, totally gorgeous hardbound digibook CD with the booklet bound into the jacket.
    Took 'em long enough. Nobody has combined black metal guitars with rigidly pummeling drum machines and brute-force technoid rhythms as viciously as Norwegian industro-demons Mysticum as far as I'm concerned, and the star-eating Satanic visions that comprised their 1996 album In The Streams Of Inferno remains one of the defining examples of industrial black metal. The band didn't last long after that though, and despite reforming in more recent years, they never delivered (though often promised) a follow-up to Inferno. Now nearly twenty years later, we're finally getting that long-threatened sophomore album, Planet Satan. If you were expecting In The Streams Of Inferno Part II, you're not quite going to find it here; the band's signature blend of furious staccato drum programming, droning eerie riffs swarming off of guitars whose treble knobs have been cranked all the way to the max, and the flurries of strange carnivalesque electronics and otherworldly samples and textures hasn't changed much at all, but Mysticum seems to be writing catchier, more stripped down songs this time around. There's stuff on here that's actually surprisingly catchy, with tracks like opener "LSD" and "Annihilation" shifting into an anthemic, almost punk-tinged power that really kicks this album off with a bang. You still get lots of that industrialized clank, though, the drum machines mimicking the thud and thunder of a metalshop at peak activity, and lots of the pounding quasi-techno rhythms that these guys pioneered, thumping away ferociously beneath the frostbitten riffs and layered vocal hate. On second thought, this is unmistakably Mysticum: clanking metal meets monstrous bass throb, washes of deep-space synthfog billow out over crushing militaristic rhythms and weirdly wheezing harmonium-like melodies, weird in the way that only these guys are.
   Most of this stuff is ferocious industrial black metal, offset by the occasional crushing droid-dirge and wall of cosmic drift like that towering over the first half of "The Ether", before slipping into a kind of necrotic gabber assault, a face-ripping rush of blood-splattered, goat worshipping raver violence that whips the end of this track into a tornado of churning ice-encrusted riffs. It all ultimately erodes and disintegrates in the final eight minute track though, all of the blackened heaviness stripped out and washed away, leaving behind just this sinister black driftscape populated with mysterious creaks and crackles, malevolent insect-like skittering that scuttles from one speaker to another, flecked with bits of warped electronic melody twisted and tortured and floating like motes of cosmic gas across the vast expanse of droning synth; sort of a cross between classic Norwegian BM and Psalm 69's mechanized thrash, but with these moments where a haunting melody or an infectious electronic beat suddenly coalesces out of the black cosmic storm, thrumming with strange radiation. Definitely delivered everything I wanted to hear in a new Mysticum album, these guys still reign supreme amongst the pantheon of inhuman mechanized black metal.
Track Samples:
Sample : LSD
Sample : Fist of Satan
Sample : All Must End



NECROPARTHENOPHAGY ⁄ LAYR   split   3" CDR   (Eleventh Key)    4.98



Back in stock!
This split 3" cd pairs up the blackened doom/noise mutations Layr and Necroparthenophagy, both of 'em proponents of seriously weird and noisy evil...
New York one man band Necroparthenophagy is first up with a nearly nine minute track of random metallic clatter, distant cavernous sound events, buzzing electrical cables, strange bestial breathing, random guitar noise and dissonant fragments of ominous melody. It's all very random and chaotic at first, but after a while coalescing into a strange rhythmic crawl as anguished cries and howling vocals begin to appear, a murky slow motion grind taking root underneath layers of cavernous drift, sounding like a slime encrusted mix of Wolf Eyes and Abruptum. A formless breed of blackened dirge noise, all creepy and wasted and shambling, with bizarre vocals that sound like some crazed bluesman shrieking at the bottom of a sewer drain. Fans of stuff like Abruptum, Ahulabrum, Gormantatinus, and the ultra-damaged black delirium that Korperschwache coughs up will love this.
And next up is Layr. Holy crap. Like Necroparthenophagy, this was a new discovery for us, and we sure as hell weren't expecting the vicious industrial doom that this band would deliver. "Looming" is a pitch-black wave of apocalyptic sludge, a washed out doom metal riff surging over the percussive hammering of machinery and factory noise, distant booming rhythms (tympani, maybe?) echoing in the background, hissing demonic vokills drifting overhead, the drums are murky and very metallic sounding, as if they are pounding out the sparse, brutal rhythms on empty oil drums and sheet metal. It's very industrial sounding, and very ugly, this pounding pitch-black crawl set against a background of tolling bells, random banging and pneumatic hiss, electronic fx and vintage synthesizer tones. Fucking awesome. Very reminiscent of Abruptum, but waaaaaaaay slower and more wretched.
The disc comes in a black and white sleeve, limited to fifty copies.
Track Samples:
Sample : LAYR - Looming
Sample : NECROPARTHENOPHAGY - Donasdogamatatastos



NO FAITH   Dead Weight   7" VINYL   (Vendetta)    5.99



   An impressively brutal new EP from this misanthropic New England outfit, comprised of Will Killingsworth (Clean Plate Records boss and a member of various hardcore/grind outfits like Laceration, Ampere, Bucket Full Of Teeth, Demonbrother, Orchid, The Toll, Ritual Mess, etc. etc.) alongside members of SQRM and Vaccine. This band has put out a couple of other records I haven't come across yet, but this one caught my eye when I saw the label describing the band's sound as being in same vein as early Suppression, one of my favorite extreme hardcore outfits from the 1990s. And it's a reference that makes sense - No Faith take a similar approach to incorporating harsh noise into their ultra-heavy hardcore, mashing barbaric blastcore with crushing electronic noise, the sound of malfunctioning diesel engines suddenly erupting in the midst of a brutal blitzkrieg blast-attack of stop-n-'go thrash. Definitely my kind of racket.
    Dead Weight kicks off with a roar of rumbling, over-modulated noise, spewing a cloud of static filth like something off one of The Rita's LPs, as distant furious roars echo across the distance and peals of syncopated electronics set a threatening atmosphere across opener "Fortress World", with a crushing power electronics dirge that makes the spastic blastcore that follows that much more jarring. When it suddenly erupts into "Life Of Delusion", that's when the band kicks into their ferociously noise-damaged power violence assault, evoking the likes of Infest and Crossed Out, but with those mangled electronics seething and squirming throughout the entire mix. This 7" proceeds to slam you over the skull with one forty-five second blast of down-tuned hardcore after another, shifting abruptly from blasting thrash infested with squealing oscillator abuse into bone-warping dirges that crawl over your pathetic carcass like a blood-splattered half-track. There's a few other forays into power electronics that are scattered throughout this brief EP for good measure, like the grim, paranoid pulsations of "They Watch". No Faith's grinding, down-tuned variation on this sound really hits the spot with it's snarling savagery and brain-melting analogue squall. Limited to five hundred copies, comes with a download.
Track Samples:
Sample : Fortress World
Sample : Dead Weight
Sample : Machine Death



NOOTHGRUSH / SUPPRESSION   split (2014 VERSION)   5" VINYL   (Fuck Yoga)    8.00



   A new 2014 reissue of this tiny blast of scumviolence obliteration, in new brain-abusing artwork.
   Normally, I don't pick up any 5" records for the shop as it's my least favorite of all possible recorded-music formats (goddamn things aren't even playable on my main turntable here at C-Blast), but this team-up between Bay Area sludgecore gods Noothgrush and Richmond blast weirdoes Suppression is such an impressive pairing that I had to get it. These tracks were actually recorded back in 1998, but the split was for some reason cancelled.
    The Noothgrush side has the short song "Flee From Hunger And Disease", which was also included on the Erode The Person Cd collection when this split record was still an unreleased coulda-been. Its one of their typically skull-crushing sludge assaults that combines slithering, asphalt-encrusted sludgecore and hypnotic Sabbathoid riffing with those gargling howls of abject misanthropy and hopelessness that made 'em one of the nastiest bands to come out of the San Fran hardcore/crust/metal scene; the whole thing is over in two and a half minutes but it's primo leaden heaviosity.
    Suppression kick off their side with the squealing harsh noise piece "Cyanide (Iceman)", blending brutal screams fading in the distance with squirming Bastard Noise-esque electronic abuse and rattling bass eruptions, then break out "Amputated Brain Stem", one of their angular, winding power-violence songs with jagged riffs spread out over tumultuous drumming, a warped version of that now-classic early PV sound pioneered by MITB and Infest.
    Comes in a full color sleeve.
Track Samples:
Sample : NOOTHGRUSH - Flee From Hunger and Disease
Sample : SUPPRESSION - Cyanide (Iceman) / Amputated Brain Stem



OLD MAN GLOOM   The Ape Of God I   CD   (Profound Lore)    11.98



    Now available on both gatefold CD and limited-edition vinyl in letterpress jacket with oversized booklet.
    Always my favorite of all of the bands that came out of that Boston metallic hardcore nexus, Old Man Gloom were also always the strangest, taking the sort of pummeling mathy metallic heaviness that the members' other bands were known for (Isis, Converge and Cave In) and combining it with a heavy dose of post-industrial abrasion a la something you'd get from the old HeadDirt catalog. The band's latest offering certainly delivers more of that quirky, occasionally proggy metallic crunch, still rife with those otherworldly noise textures that laced previous albums and still teeming with their weird alien/simian obsessions, but with Ape Of God the guys in Old Man Gloom deliver twice the damage, releasing two nearly identical-looking full-length discs that each features a completely different recording, comprising two halves of a sprawling, demented art-metal whole...
    The first Ape disc is ultra-heavy stuff, for sure. Lurching, down-tuned sludge is carved into mathy, twisted forms, that metallic heaviness at the center of the album's sonic assault, but they surround it with gales of cracked electronics and ghostly electronic ambience, gleaming black drones and squalls of manic glitchery surfacing throughout the pummeling math-metal battery. Eerie female singing (courtesy of Mammifer's Faith Coloccia) gets distorted into a ghostly, grating blur that's smeared across the beginning of opener "Eden's Gate", which leads the band into the album's first blast of jaggedly angular heaviness. From there, strange sample-laden soundscapes materialize beneath the churning, chugging riffage and turbid, almost tribal-tinged drumming, and massive slow-moving dirges sprawl out beneath stunning choral vistas. Punishing, almost power electronics-grade feedback lashes violently against the frenzied math-metal of tracks like "Promise", only to give way to expanses of smoldering, volcanic noise and crumbling electro-acoustic garble, long stretches of grainy, gritty electronics that strongly resemble the harsh noisescapes of artists like Vomir or The Rita. Then there's also some of that spooky, Western-tinged atmosphere that you'd find on previous albums, appearing here in the subtle, moody guitar shadings and watery melodies that occasionally peer through Ape's grim apocalyptic churn. And also as before, the band interjects the occasional blast of speed among the mostly slower tempos, with the shorter tracks "Never Enter" and "Fist Of Fury" erupting into a strange, drone-draped blast of avant-hardcore. By "Simia Dei", these elements finally all come together, a crushing, elegiac wall of 'gazey heaviness laced with seraphic beauty and bone-rattling tribal drumming, easily one of the most gorgeous tracks I've ever heard from Old Man Gloom. Top-notch experimental math-metal/avant-drone from these guys, as always.
Track Samples:
Sample : Simia Dei
Sample : Fist Of Fury
Sample : Eden's Gate



OLD MAN GLOOM   The Ape Of God I   LP   (Sige Records)    24.00



    Now available on both gatefold CD and limited-edition vinyl in letterpress jacket with oversized booklet.
    Always my favorite of all of the bands that came out of that Boston metallic hardcore nexus, Old Man Gloom were also always the strangest, taking the sort of pummeling mathy metallic heaviness that the members' other bands were known for (Isis, Converge and Cave In) and combining it with a heavy dose of post-industrial abrasion a la something you'd get from the old HeadDirt catalog. The band's latest offering certainly delivers more of that quirky, occasionally proggy metallic crunch, still rife with those otherworldly noise textures that laced previous albums and still teeming with their weird alien/simian obsessions, but with Ape Of God the guys in Old Man Gloom deliver twice the damage, releasing two nearly identical-looking full-length discs that each features a completely different recording, comprising two halves of a sprawling, demented art-metal whole...
    The first Ape disc is ultra-heavy stuff, for sure. Lurching, down-tuned sludge is carved into mathy, twisted forms, that metallic heaviness at the center of the album's sonic assault, but they surround it with gales of cracked electronics and ghostly electronic ambience, gleaming black drones and squalls of manic glitchery surfacing throughout the pummeling math-metal battery. Eerie female singing (courtesy of Mammifer's Faith Coloccia) gets distorted into a ghostly, grating blur that's smeared across the beginning of opener "Eden's Gate", which leads the band into the album's first blast of jaggedly angular heaviness. From there, strange sample-laden soundscapes materialize beneath the churning, chugging riffage and turbid, almost tribal-tinged drumming, and massive slow-moving dirges sprawl out beneath stunning choral vistas. Punishing, almost power electronics-grade feedback lashes violently against the frenzied math-metal of tracks like "Promise", only to give way to expanses of smoldering, volcanic noise and crumbling electro-acoustic garble, long stretches of grainy, gritty electronics that strongly resemble the harsh noisescapes of artists like Vomir or The Rita. Then there's also some of that spooky, Western-tinged atmosphere that you'd find on previous albums, appearing here in the subtle, moody guitar shadings and watery melodies that occasionally peer through Ape's grim apocalyptic churn. And also as before, the band interjects the occasional blast of speed among the mostly slower tempos, with the shorter tracks "Never Enter" and "Fist Of Fury" erupting into a strange, drone-draped blast of avant-hardcore. By "Simia Dei", these elements finally all come together, a crushing, elegiac wall of 'gazey heaviness laced with seraphic beauty and bone-rattling tribal drumming, easily one of the most gorgeous tracks I've ever heard from Old Man Gloom. Top-notch experimental math-metal/avant-drone from these guys, as always.
Track Samples:
Sample : Simia Dei
Sample : Fist Of Fury
Sample : Eden's Gate



OLD MAN GLOOM   The Ape Of God II   CD   (Profound Lore)    11.98



    Now available on both gatefold CD and limited-edition vinyl in letterpress jacket with oversized booklet.
    Always my favorite of all of the bands that came out of that Boston metallic hardcore nexus, Old Man Gloom were also always the strangest, taking the sort of pummeling mathy metallic heaviness that the members' other bands were known for (Isis, Converge and Cave In) and combining it with a heavy dose of post-industrial abrasion a la something you'd get from the old HeadDirt catalog. The band's latest offering certainly delivers more of that quirky, occasionally proggy metallic crunch, still rife with those otherworldly noise textures that laced previous albums and still teeming with their weird alien/simian obsessions, but with Ape Of God the guys in Old Man Gloom deliver twice the damage, releasing two nearly identical-looking full-length discs that each features a completely different recording, comprising two halves of a sprawling, demented art-metal whole...
   The second Ape Of God disc delivers even more extreme experiments in feedback-fueled sorcery and high-frequency drone, the very beginning of the album consisting of a piercing tone that is slowly surrounded by bursts of granular static and random glitches, building to the imminent arrival of the band's titanic droning sludge-metal. As that opening suggests, this is the more experimental of the two albums, with longer tracks that tend to center around sprawling riff-scapes of Neurosis-esque apocalyptic sludge. Still skull-cavingly heavy, though; tracks like "Burden" will be fawned over by those aching for Isis's massive atmospheric heaviness, though this ultimately finds itself heading into a spacier, more psychedelic direction, flecked with lots of abstract electronic noise. "Predators" is more in the vein of the previous disc's churning mathy chug, though the rollicking, almost Hammond-like organ accompaniment certainly gives that song its own peculiar trippy taste before it ends up decaying into a crushing wall of over-modulated distortion laced with bits of odd operatic drama and stretches of evil, doom-laden slowcore. The whole direction seems more surreal compared to the other disc, the crushing angular sludgy heaviness often giving way to weird spoken word parts and bizarre Pattonesque vocal weirdness, expansive droning ambience populated with foghorn-like blasts of distant maritime gloom, surreal minimal soundscapes that sound like environmental recordings from the wilderness of some distant alien world, while the epic closer "Arrows To Our Hearts" unfurls into haunting, saurian prog-metal, almost like a dreamier, more solemn Tool at times, awash in glimmering droning guitars, soulful layered vocals and swirling sheets of electronic drift.
Track Samples:
Sample : Predators
Sample : Burden
Sample : Arrows To Our Hearts



OLD MAN GLOOM   The Ape Of God II   LP   (Sige Records)    24.00



    Now available on both gatefold CD and limited-edition vinyl in letterpress jacket with oversized booklet.
    Always my favorite of all of the bands that came out of that Boston metallic hardcore nexus, Old Man Gloom were also always the strangest, taking the sort of pummeling mathy metallic heaviness that the members' other bands were known for (Isis, Converge and Cave In) and combining it with a heavy dose of post-industrial abrasion a la something you'd get from the old HeadDirt catalog. The band's latest offering certainly delivers more of that quirky, occasionally proggy metallic crunch, still rife with those otherworldly noise textures that laced previous albums and still teeming with their weird alien/simian obsessions, but with Ape Of God the guys in Old Man Gloom deliver twice the damage, releasing two nearly identical-looking full-length discs that each features a completely different recording, comprising two halves of a sprawling, demented art-metal whole...
   The second Ape Of God disc delivers even more extreme experiments in feedback-fueled sorcery and high-frequency drone, the very beginning of the album consisting of a piercing tone that is slowly surrounded by bursts of granular static and random glitches, building to the imminent arrival of the band's titanic droning sludge-metal. As that opening suggests, this is the more experimental of the two albums, with longer tracks that tend to center around sprawling riff-scapes of Neurosis-esque apocalyptic sludge. Still skull-cavingly heavy, though; tracks like "Burden" will be fawned over by those aching for Isis's massive atmospheric heaviness, though this ultimately finds itself heading into a spacier, more psychedelic direction, flecked with lots of abstract electronic noise. "Predators" is more in the vein of the previous disc's churning mathy chug, though the rollicking, almost Hammond-like organ accompaniment certainly gives that song its own peculiar trippy taste before it ends up decaying into a crushing wall of over-modulated distortion laced with bits of odd operatic drama and stretches of evil, doom-laden slowcore. The whole direction seems more surreal compared to the other disc, the crushing angular sludgy heaviness often giving way to weird spoken word parts and bizarre Pattonesque vocal weirdness, expansive droning ambience populated with foghorn-like blasts of distant maritime gloom, surreal minimal soundscapes that sound like environmental recordings from the wilderness of some distant alien world, while the epic closer "Arrows To Our Hearts" unfurls into haunting, saurian prog-metal, almost like a dreamier, more solemn Tool at times, awash in glimmering droning guitars, soulful layered vocals and swirling sheets of electronic drift.
Track Samples:
Sample : Predators
Sample : Burden
Sample : Arrows To Our Hearts



ORDER FROM CHAOS   Frozen In Steel   9 x LP BOXSET   (Nuclear War Now! Productions)    189.99



    First off, you will not find a more impressive vinyl boxset than what Nuclear War Now did for Order From Chaos's Frozen In Steel set. The craftsmanship of this massive nine-LP boxset alone had my jaw hanging: this stack of vinyl is housed in a huge case-wrapped box bound in black cloth with foil-stamped artwork, with most of the records (pressed on black vinyl) presented in gatefold jackets; the set also contains a double-sided poster, and a one-hundred twenty-four page hardbound book (also case-wrapped in black cloth with foil stamped artwork) that is filled with extensive liner notes, album info, lyrics, artwork, and much, much more on the legacy of cult death metal outfit Order From Chaos. A definitive, comprehensive collection of all of the band's studio recordings, including their three albums, demos, promotional tapes and EPs, and further fleshed out with a number of rare live and rehearsal recordings - it's all here. The complete works of a band that Nuclear War Now clearly sees as one of the most important bands in American death metal, and it's easy to see why.
    Formed in the late 1980s by a trio of heathen teens from Kansas City, MO, Order From Chaos created one of the most uncompromising and violent sounds to ever come out of the underground. Although I'd followed several of the bands that Order From Chaos bassist/vocalist Pete Helmkamp and guitarist Chuck Keller would go on to form after the band broke up in the mid-90s (Angelcorpse, Terror Organ, Kerasphorus, Vulpecula, etc.), I really didn't begin to develop my obsession with their music until fairly recently. I had heard a few songs here and there over the years, but it wasn't until I stumbled across a description of Order From Chaos's debut album Stillbirth Machine on a list of "Death Metal oddities" (compiled by the guy behind the excellent but sadly short-lived Devoured By Vegans blog) that I finally became infected by the band's elite sonic barbarism. That list compared Stillbirth to "Blasphemy molesting Voivod while GISM watch", an invitation I could hardly ignore, and that record did indeed deliver one of the most bizarre, ultra-violent death metal assaults I've ever heard once I got my hands on it. Weird, noise-damaged death metal that helped to lay the template for the whole "bestial black/death" aesthetic but which still sounds totally unique, and Helmkamp's lyrics often read like a Ligotti cut-up, philosophical nihilism and cosmic horror interwoven with hardcore Social Darwinism into sprawling texts. Much of their music feels accidentally avant-garde, industrial noisescapes and long samples of terrifying modern classical music stitched in among the ravenous, thrashing death metal. Time has not dampened Order From Chaos's sound, either. Listening to all of this material in a marathon session felt like a physical assault, but for fans of the band (especially those of us who weren't there to pick up the original releases), this set is essential.
    The first LP collects the band's demo recordings that were released between 1988 and 1992, comprising the Demo 1, Inhumanities, Crushed Infamy and Alienus Sum cassettes along with the 1990 Will To Power 7" on Putrefaction Records. Presented in chronological order, these sixteen songs follow the band's primitive origins through the early 90s, starting with the crazed hardcore thrash of the earliest demo tracks that bear a noticeable resemblance to early Voivod's ragged violent thrash, played with a blistering punk abandon. Even this early into their career, the band was unleashing a genuinely violent sound, laced with berserk guitar solos and weird atmospheric flanged chords and bits of crushing Frostian heaviness, while at the same time dropping some extremely catchy riffs into the deranged thrash. The Inhumanities tracks are particularly fucked, their tough, nuked-out thrash turning more feral and discordant, with some weird use of guitar effects and doubled vocal tracks, the weird processed recording quality and sheen of metallic flange giving that stuff even more of a lunatic edge, while the Crushed Infamy tape saw the band moving deeper away from their rabid thrash roots into a more frenzied, chaotic death metal sound that they would come to be known for, rhythmically complex with jarring tempo changes and lurching riffs. That record is capped off with the Will To Power 7", a blistering assault of rampaging death-thrash insanity mottled with traces of Voivodian dissonance.
    And then there's the bands bile-stained masterpiece of maniac mutant death metal, 1992's Stillbirth Machine. The double LP set for the Stillbirth Machine era is an expansive set that features additional material in the form of live tracks from the band's ferocious Live: Into Distant Fears 7", the unreleased Pain Lengthens Time EP from 1994, and outtakes from their Alienus Sum promo cassette session alongside the album itself. By this point, Order From Chaos had fully evolved into an insane death-fueled maelstrom of bestial energy, and Stillbirth Machine established a new level in extremity. Seven songs of slavering sonic warfare, opening with a sequence from Gyorgy Ligeti's "Requiem" that sends those terrifying choral voices swelling up from the depths, ascending in a terrifying arc to where the band suddenly rises and meets them head-on, kicking into the rabid deathnoise of "The Edge Of Forever". We're instantly sucked into a carnivorous vortex of crazed angular riffing and churning thrash, Helmkamp's scathing, bestial screams transforming into a truly unhinged litany of violence and blasphemy. We are chewed up in the band's gnashing jaws, slipping with them into sickening blasts of mid-paced buzzsaw punk aggression, batshit atonal guitar solos and weird Voivodian chords tangling with bone-scraping guitar noise splattered like black vomit across the filthy, lurching thrash. The drumming is a brutal clattery cacophony with flashes of intricate playing, while vocals swirl out in tentacles of echoing hatred. That hardcore punk influence is undeniable, boiled down to an ultra-violent essence, but the band also laces their songs with mysterious field recordings and eerie ambience, amplifying the psychotic feel of this record. It is still one of the weirdest and most vicious death metal albums I've heard, and remains my favorite of all of their recordings.
    Available here on vinyl for the first time ever, the band's second album Dawn Bringer is featured on the third double-LP set. This succinct six-song attack is just as chaotic and deranged as the previous album, moving between bizarre experimental tracks like "Labyrinthine Whispers" that fused spoken word vocals with discordant organ noise and a seething black mass of crazed guitar skree, to the gibbering death metal violence of "Ophiuchus Rex (He Who Plays With The Serpents)". Other tracks trudge through eerie, dissonant doom-laden majesty laced with odd gong-like reverberations, see strains of haunting piano suddenly appear over one of their churning mid-paced death metal riffs, or offer weird metallic instrumental renditions of old Germanic anthems, even erupting into an irradiated, lunatic version of the Voivod classic "War And Pain" at one point. The set also includes the tracks from the band's three-song Plateau Of Invincibility 10", a rabid delirium of disjointed blackened death metal laced with chunks of Basil Polidouris's score to Conan The Barbarian, vicious covers of Venom and Sodom, and screaming air raid sirens; and the And I Saw Eternity CDEP on Shivadarshana/Ground Zero that featured re-recorded versions of older tracks, the new song "Imperium", and a sprawling, blackened industrial noisescape that spreads out across the final minutes of the side.
    Their third and final album was 1998's An Ending In Fire, considered by some fans to be their best. Me, I prefer the unhinged bestial ultra-violence of Stillbirth Machine above all else, but Order From Chaos had definitely polished their sound to a lethal edge on their swan song, retaining all of the manic atonality, complex riffage and arcane occult/celestial weirdness that made 'em so unique, while also brandishing the most coherent and powerful production of any of their records. Its an interesting album, essentially made up of three epic "songs" that are then sub-divided into different tracks/chapters, and there are several of those strange ambient/atmospheric/noise sections that add to the band's violent, unearthly chaos. There's a twelve minute bestial thrash epic titled "There Lies Your Lord! Father Of Victories!", blasts of harrowing industrial noise and black-hole ambience that sound like diabolical transmissions from an alien planet ("De Stella Nova"), and walls of down-tuned bass guitar that turn into beastquakes of Repulsion-like noise churn. Seriously brutal stuff. This set is rounded out with a pair of devastating live sets, one recorded in Omaha, Nebraska in 1993, the other from Manassas, Virginia in 1994, each featuring four songs.
    The final record captures an early rehearsal session from the band, recorded on Christmas Day 1988. Adorned in kinetic album art taken from George Grosz's Explosion, this single LP captures the band tearing through a ferocious eight-song set, the sound quality raw but quite listenable. Mostly of interest to hardcore fans of the band, it's a revealing look at the band in the throes of creation, capturing their nascent sound mere months after the band was formed. And even this early into their existence, they fucking ripped.
    Unquestionably essential for fans of the band who missed out on the original vinyl releases or those looking for the definitive collection of the band's works. Easily the reissue/boxset release of the year, at least as far as extreme metal is concerned.
Track Samples:
Sample : Stillbirth Machine
Sample : Iconoclasm Conquest
Sample : The Edge Of Forever
Sample : An Ending In Fire
Sample : De Stella Nova
Sample : Plateau Of Invincibility



PALLBEARER   2010 Demo   12"   (20 Buck Spin)    16.99



   In a relatively short period of time, this Arkansas band has risen to the heights of popularity in metal circles thanks to a highly developed songwriting acumen and golden touch when it comes to crafting memorable, deeply moving riffs and melodies. True, they might be on the receiving end of a ridiculous amount of hype both within metal and beyond, but Pallbearer's songs back it up. And you can hear it even as far back as the band's first demo that came out back in 2010. Originally released by the band as a CDR, that three-song demo boasted some terrific, classic-sounding doom metal that echoed with the lumbering footsteps of masters like Vitus and Warning, Trouble and Solitude Aeturnus, steeped in a doleful melodic grandeur and rumbling with crushing emotional power that set them apart from many of their cheerless peers. This early recording has now been revived by 20 Buck Spin, re-mastered for this limited-edition 12" that features the demo on the a-side and etched artwork from Mike Lawrence on the b-side. Two of these tracks are early versions of "The Legend" and "Devoid Of Redemption", which would later reappear on their acclaimed debut album Sorrow And Extinction, and is rounded out with their cover of Hungarian composer Rezso Seress's funerary classic "Gloomy Sunday", a perennial favorite amongst the perpetually depressed, having been previously covered by numerous other artists ranging from Diamanda Galás and Christian Death to Billie Holiday and Venetian Snares.
    The originals sound pretty fantastic even in demo form, emotionally wrought slabs of classic doom metal with soaring, sorrowful melodies that tug at the tattered strands of your soul, the production huge as it fills the room, massive guitars draped over the ponderous tempos and wreathed in those keening, heartsick vocals. It's some of the finest traditional doom to have appeared in recent years, no wonder that this demo caught so many ears when it first appeared; it's like a more plaintive and tremulous Sabbath, backed by the monstrous down-tuned chug and reverb-drenched guitar leads that snake throughout the songs, Brett Campbell's quavering voice echoing classic Ozzy but with an added emotional edge that keeps his performance from sounding like a simple homage, and they use some neat production tricks in the recording to build upon the otherworldly vibe that emanates from these titanic riff-blasts. Their version of "Gloomy Sunday" is pretty moving as well, transforming the renowned song into a perfect doom anthem, crushingly mournful and soul-stirring. As would be expected, the sound quality on the demo is less polished than their albums, but this still sounds remarkably massive and melancholic, an illuminating look at a band already established in their sound and aesthetic.
Track Samples:
Sample : Devoid of Redemption
Sample : Gloomy Sunday



PEAKE, DON   The Hills Have Eyes (1977) OST   CD   (Hitchcock Media)    14.98



   Now in stock on CD.
    Definitely one of my favorite recently reissued horror scores, Don Peake's soundtrack for the original Hills Have Eyes has been dug up and dusted off for the first time in years, and it's still one of the weirder and more experimental scores that came out of that classic grindhouse era. Newly reissued by Belgian label One Way Static Records on deluxe limited-edition LP (beautifully packaged in a case-wrapped gatefold jacket with a full-color insert featuring liner notes from cast and crew) and as killer throwback audio cassette edition, both versions appear to already be sold out at the source, so move quick if you want to get either one of these.
    Would you believe that this creeped-out, experimental soundscape was created by the same guy that did the Knight Rider theme? It's kind of surprising that something this bleak and disturbing came from a former guitarist for The Everly Brothers, but Don Peake had turned into a respected film composer after he left the world of session work, and he stepped way outside of the box for this project. Peake's score for Hills was an intensely creepy assemblage of sounds that were perfectly suited for Wes Craven's brutal visuals. The story of a modern suburban family under assault from a band of cannibalistic cavemen lurking in the foothills of the Nevada desert, this 1977 film helped to usher in a new wave of ultra-violence onto the American cinematic landscape. To help build the atmosphere of dread and imminent death that hangs over the film like a radioactive cloud, Peake blended together elements of Penderecki-influenced modern classical composition, instrumental 70's-era funk, primitive synthesizer noise, and bestial, free improv percussive freakouts that give the action sequences an increasingly chaotic and desperate feel. And to help add to the stark, barbaric vibe, Peake used animal bones (the same ones worn by the vicious desert cannibals in the film) as percussive instruments to create the ritualistic rattling found all throughout the soundtrack. On it's own, The Hills Have Eyes score almost sounds like some bizarre ESP-Disc release; the very first track is a short dose of mutant caveman funk rattling over grinding synths, followed by similar weird jazziness, frantic hand-drum rhythms and swirls of queasy synthesizers, more of that crazed mutant funk made up of wah-drenched electric guitar and those clattering animal bones, then later shifting into more sinister synth-based dronescapes and murky, ominous electronics. The synthesizer parts could easily pass for some primitive early industrial outfit or primitive dark ambient project, swells of minimal discordant synth and warped electronic noise and rushes of shrill screaming theremin. There's also some really effective short works for strings, percussion and piano that summon up gusts of evil discordant atmosphere that are almost Bartókian, often combined with those skin-crawling squirming synth noises. A classic slab of avant-garde horror composition and barbaric death-prog.
Track Samples:
Sample : M2-3
Sample : M2-6
Sample : M3-4
Sample : MQ-7
Sample : MQ-5



PHARMAKON   Bestial Burden   CD   (Sacred Bones)    13.98











Track Samples:
Sample : Intent or Instinct
Sample : Bestial Burden
Sample : Autoimmune



PHARMAKON   Bestial Burden   LP   (Sacred Bones)    17.99











Track Samples:
Sample : Intent or Instinct
Sample : Bestial Burden
Sample : Autoimmune



PHILLIPS, DAVE + JOHN WIESE   At A Loss For Words   7" VINYL   (Blossoming Noise)    8.50



   One of several older 7"s I recently tracked down from prolific L.A. noise artist John Wiese that we have featured on this week's list, this 2006 EP on Blossoming Noise is a particularly disturbing exercise in electro-acoustic horror from the duo of Wiese and actionist-influenced Swiss artist Dave Phillips, best known amongst extreme music fans for his pioneering proto-grindcore outfit Fear Of God and the radical sound/noise collective Schimpfluch-Gruppe. Knowing full well just how gut-wrenching either of these guys can get all on their lonesome, I'll admit that I approached this record with a certain degree of timidity; there have been other Phillips records I've listened to that I've had some pretty extreme physical reactions to. People talk about how "extreme" metal is supposed to be, but Dave Phillips is one of the few "noise" artists that manages to seriously affect my nervous system.
    And this 7" does deliver with some highly disturbing sounds. Indeed, this is as frightening as the darkest noise artists, but comes from an entirely different approach; At A Loss... muses on our increasing isolation from one another, a kind of lament on the continued erosion of communication between human beings in post-millennial society, relayed through a deeply unsettling series of abstract soundscapes. Harrowing stuff from these guys, the two tracks combining for a ten minute piece that blends Phillips' signature vocal noises with swells of exquisitely sustained drone and metallic dissonance, creating an almost filmic ambience blended with what sounds like someone at the very moment of death. These sounds proceed to break apart into stretches of dissected silence, violently punctuated with terrifying screams, hideous gasping noises, slamming sounds, amplified breathing, vicious tearing noises, high-frequency squealing feedback, and blasts of garbled insanity and tactile microphone abuse. Listened to under the right set of circumstances, and you get a nightmare-inducing experience on par with Phillips' other recent offerings ( Medusa, ?), highly recommended to those into the likes of psychologically distressing noise collage practiced by G*Park, Tarab, and Randy Yau and his Auscultare imprint. Unassumingly presented in an austere white Arigato-style sleeve with silver letterpress printing, limited to five hundred hand-numbered copies on white vinyl.


PRYAPISME   Rococo Holocaust   LP   (Apathia)    19.99



    Now available on vinyl from Apathia Records, on black vinyl limited to two hundred fifty copies.
   The killer debut album of instrumental Zorn-ified electro-ADD-metal from France's Pryapisme, Rococo Holocaust is another genre-bending avant metal freak-out with amazing musicianship and gobs of virtuosic weirdness. They remind me a lot of another French band, Carnival In Coal, in the way that they dexterously shift from black metal and other extreme metal forms into anything from jazz, chamber music, disco and electronica. I actually really dig the fact that this is entirely instrumental, as the music is complex and confusing enough to absorb without some maniac squawking in my ear.
    Pryapisme introduces their album with the pulsating Italo disco and 80s synthesizers of "Suppozitorium Granifujnikoi?" that makes a hairpin turn into intricate 8-bit electronica, and then morphs into a mathy chiptune grind spasm for a minute, veers into game show theme music for a few seconds, then pirouettes back into the Next Life-esque chiptune metal that erupts into blasting digital grindcore. From here, it shifts again into an epic industrial dirge laced with video game melody, pipe organs, and stuttering mechanized drums, dissipates into eerie orchestral drift with a lone cello rising up for a moment, becomes glitchy and processed, and then cuts to a jazzy prog jam with vibraphone, piano, jazz bass and analogue synthesizers that turns into this weird mashup of Mr Bungle and Goblin. That's just the first song.
    The second, "Le Doryphone De Kafka" starts with Caribbean steel drums that introduce a very odd carnival-funk calypso metal fusion flecked with scorching solos and frantic jazz piano workouts, the drums launching into blast beats underneath the super complex jazz fusion, shifting into sleazy 70's funk, and then in blink of eye turns into modern jazz with gorgeous melodic horns.
    The whole album is like this. Each song is a wild and intricately arranged patchwork of sounds and styles that can border on the ridiculous, but it's all put together really well, and seems to center the music around a core sound of chamber prog and black metal that the band keeps returning to throughout all of this, even as they zip out through disco passages and awesome Univers Zero style dark prog into that chiptune metal, Emperor-esque symphonic black metal and skittering electronica, baroque chamber jazz. Imagine an insane mix of Mr Bungle, Emperor, Univers Zero, Whourkr and Amber Asylum, and that's sort of where Pryapisme's Rococo Holocaust ends up. Sort of. This album would have fit right in on Web Of Mimicry, and fans of that label's general aesthetic are recommended to look into these crazed avant-prog / metal shapeshifters.
Track Samples:
Sample : Darkness Lobotomy Insurrection
Sample : Suppozitorium Granifujnikoi?
Sample : Truffade Ou Plutôt J'te Rappelle J'me Fais Sucer Dans La Coudraie



PSUDOKU   Planetarisk Sudoku   LP   (625 Thrash)    14.99



    The return of the cosmic blast-attack. Planetarisk Sudoku is the newest sci-fi damaged spazz-gasm from this interstellar grindcore band headed up by the guy behind Parlamentarisk Sodomi and Brutal Blues, but while the previous album was a solo effort, this one has him teaming up with his Brutal Blues bandmate Anders Hana (also of Noxagt and Ultralyd) to execute his maniacal vision. The album is essentially divided into two halves: the a-side tears through three tracks in about fifteen minutes, a high-speed splatter of choppy grindcore and insane free-jazz squonk sped up and stitched together into a jarring patchwork of eerie blastprog. As crazy as the debut was, this stuff feels even more complex and convoluted, the staccato guitar riffs slashing and slanting wildly through sprawls of Goblin-esque piano arrangements and swells of soundtracky strings, everything spit out into a maelstrom of abruptly shifting time signatures and extreme stop/start tempo changes that leave bloody skidmarks all over the album. The obvious influences that you could pick out on the first record are a little less in your face here; while the pungent stink of 70's era prog rock a la King Crimson still heavily permeates Psudoku's high-speed grind, all of this stuff comes together much more organically this time around, making for an even weirder listening experience. Big chunks of the album appear to be entirely instrumental, but then there's the bugfuck carnival blast of "NeURONaMO" with it's sputtering gorilla chants, blurts of monstrous nonsense over the whiplash-inducing mix of fucked-up fusiony electronics, discordant riffs and theremin abuse, blaring saxophones splattered against blasting mathy grindcore, resembling some crazed ketamine-sucking version of Behold...The Arctopus. And somehow, they manage to lodge some perversely catchy hooks in amongst this cuisinarted skronk-salad.
    Psudoku momentarily restrain themselves at the outset of the b-side track "PsUDoPX.046245", which takes up the entire side. Opening the song with a few minutes of eerie cosmic ambience, this placid intro allows the eminent extended blast-attack to sneak up on the listener. But also it moves in a different direction from the more grind-style songs on the first side. Here, the band spills out of that initial maelstrom of blastbeats and angular riffing into a twisting labyrinth of creepy prog rock, slipping into a killer Magma-esque instrumental passage for a bit before shifting into some more aggressive math-metal contortions strewn with bizarre vocal gibberish, then from there hurtling through continuously evolving passages of heavy jazz-damaged rock flecked with chilling orchestral ambience and blasts of Zeuhl-style choral voices, continuing to contort and confuse in glorious fashion all the way to the weirdly bright and joyous finale of the track. An absolutely bonkers album, anyone into Naked City, Pryapisme, Colin Marston's various projects, Netjajev SS and similar extreme spazz-attacks will lose their fucking mind upon hearing this...
Track Samples:
Sample : BoLTZmanN BRaiN 2099
Sample : NeURONaMO
Sample : PsUDoPX.046245



RASPBERRY BULBS   Privacy   LP   (Blackest Ever Black)    23.00



    At this point the wretched and withered punk of Raspberry Bulbs has crawled completely out from beneath the shadow of frontman Marco Del Rio's previous band Bone Awl, despite the attempts of some to connect his current band's sound to black metal. But this is definitely not the primitive black metal of his former outfit, the Bulbs having established a sound that is thoroughly and undeniably punk, albeit one much more malevolent than one might be used to hearing. This NYC band has been delivering some fantastically crude and clangorous punk, drawing from an obvious appreciation of the darker fringes of classic UK punk a la Rudimentary Peni, while also enshrouding that stomping three-chord aggression in a reverb-blasted production aesthetic and occult aura, as well as a strong dose of Brainbombs-esque ugliness and spitefulness. Stripped down and simplistic, this sort of sounds like something that could have crawled right out of some filthy London squat circa 1982, but it's got this tattered, malevolent undercurrent that gives these guys a uniquely sinister sound.
    Privacy is the latest slab of bludgeoning hate-stomp from this outfit, and it connected with me on deeply personal level, what with it's excoriation of our modern "social" culture- dishing out driving nihilistic anthems like "Light Surrounds Me" and "Hopelessly Alive" that have these simple but totally infectious droning guitar leads and barbaric hooks. It's insidiously catchy, while interspersing these unsettling bits of industrial detritus amid the songs proper, pieces of coldly sinister metallic whir and shadowy ambience that drift like the sounds of a prayer bowl being softly employed beneath a cloud of abstract electric piano and snarls of malfunctioning tape like the blurred crackle of some ancient 78 spinning through a hissy haze of decades-old grit and dust, even slipping into some strangely haunting pieces that vaguely resemble some crude industrial-tinged krautrock experiment, fragments of kosmische synthdrift flitting like black flakes of ash between the Bulbs' bludgeoning punk assaults. A vicious follow-up to their likewise fantastic 2013 album Deformed Worship, and equally recommended.
Track Samples:
Sample : Hopelessly Alive
Sample : How The Strings Are Pulled
Sample : Light Surrounds Me



RED HARVEST   Anarchaos Divine   3 x CD BOXSET   (Candlelight)    28.00



   Though not as known on these shores as bands like Mysticum or Aborym despite having Stateside distribution from Relapse and Candlelight, when it comes to combining electronica, black metal and Godfleshian industrial heaviness, the Norwegian group Red Harvest were one of my favorites. The band broke up in 2010, but their cult following has continued to grow, resulting in this recently issued triple-disc set that reminds us why we dug them so much, collecting the three albums the band released through Nocturnal Art Productions.
    For many of us here in the US, 2000's Cold Dark Matter was the introduction to the band's bleak mechanized metal. Issued by Relapse here in the States, the album (here joined by five bonus tracks from the band's New Rage World Music EP) is a punishing fusion of discordant, Godfleshian guitarcrush, scornful vocals and furious drum machine programming that unfurls into waves of relentless machinelike pummel. The band's use of electronics is inspired, creating dense layers of cinematic ambience and rumbling irradiated drone that pulse throughout these tracks, adding to an already threatening, dystopian vibe. That desolate ambience is shattered by sudden onslaughts of industrialized black metal that sweep across "Absolut Dunkel:Heit", a frantic frostbitten blast of hellish aggression that slips into deranged drum n' bass sequences. Portions of the album definitely remind me of the likes of Mysticum and Aborym, but Red Harvest's sound is even colder and more rooted in a classic industrial metal sound, the black metal elements appearing intermittently amid grinding slower passages. The title track opens with a bit of skittering electro before slowly morphing into a gleaming, majestic industrial metal anthem, echoing Killing Joke at their most devastating; that sound reappears throughout Matter, the band shifting from lurching machinelike crush into elegiac melodies, or incorporating orchestral strings draped in distant murkiness with swirling ghostlike voices, then erupting into deformed, furious junglist mayhem. A nihilistic, smog-enshrouded vision of a near-future tech-hell set to a backdrop of cold, dissonant, churning sonic violence, at times like Mysticum laced with the apocalyptic post-punk of Killing Joke.
    Red Harvest returned with the even more aggressive 2002 album Sick Transit Gloria Mundi. Opening with the muted crackle of minimal electronica before erupting into the vicious industrialized black metal and brutalist techno of "AEP", this album brought more of the band's blackened influences to the fore. It's still varied though, from grueling slow-motion blackened doom to dissonant, mechanized grindcore, and the textural electronics and layers of noise that fill out Red Harvest's chrome-plated violence are once again executed subtly and skillfully, eerie electronic melodies, mechanical noises and murky rhythms intertwining with the violent, blackened riffs, violent drum n' bass elements surging over sleek black ambience. The fourteen songs on Mundi continue with that epic, apocalyptic vibe, their music infected with eschatological anxiety, and it hits hard on slower tracks like the majestic, almost Neurosis-strength dirge of "Beyond The End". There's a punishing cover of "Dead Men Don't Rape" by cult industrial weirdos GGFH that shows up midway through, transformed into a hateful blast of lurching mecha-metal, and deliver another one of their crushing Killing Joke-esque anthems with "WeltSchmertz". Hyperspeed black metal and frenetic drum n' bass merge again at the end of the disc on another bonus track from the band's 1998 New World Rage Music EP, which features vocals from Mayhem's Maniac; the other bonus track, "Re-Hammer-Mix", previously appeared on Red Harvest's split 7" with Zyklon, a techno remix of a song from Cold Dark Matter here transformed into a sinister dancefloor wrecker by OCD of technoid black metallers Void.
    On 2004's Internal Punishment Programs, most of the band's cinematic grandeur and Killing Joke influences that distinguished their previous albums were traded for a more straightforward industrial metal sound, but it's not without some powerful moments. "Anatomy of The Unknown" sets the stage for the album with its seraphic choirs and crushing mechanized groove, which carries over into the rest of the disc, blending punishing staccato riffs with monstrously distorted synthesizers that could have come straight off of a death industrial album. Again, the band expertly blends electronics and noise with the metallic side of their sound, but this is less experimental, more like a blackened Ministry at times, with lots of rampaging thrash and slower skull-crushing grooves built from brutally syncopated riffs that Scaccia fans would dig. There are a few deviations from the more direct industro-metal tracks, like the sinister, Wax Traxy electro-industrial of "Mekanizm" and the experimental electronic death-dirge of "Teknocrate", the pounding necro-techno of "Wormz" and the utterly bleak apocalyptic ambience of "Internal Punishment Programs"; not as strong as earlier work, but still a solid slab of black metal-tinged industrial metal.
Track Samples:
Sample : Omnipotent
Sample : Death in Cyborg Era
Sample : Cold Dark Matter
Sample : Wormz
Sample : Teknocrate
Sample : Fall of Fate
Sample : Godtech



RITA, THE   Womankind 2: Cleopatra, Sacred Servants   CASSETTE   (Survivalist)    6.50



    Just like the other Survivalist tapes that are included in this new arrivals list, we've got extremely limited numbers of these tapes left, picked up from the label when the guys in Column Of Heaven came through the DC area earlier in 2014. Didn't get around to listing this two-track tape from Canadian harsh noise artist The Rita until now, but since it's already been out of print for awhile, move fast if you want to pick this up.
    Released by Survivalist in an edition of one hundred copies, Womankind 2 is another fetishistic blast of extreme rumbling distortion from The Rita that transforms into another one of Sam Mckinlay's signature meditation devices. Here The Rita explores it's obsession with Vivien Leigh through a pair of monolithic harsh noise walls, droning blasts of crushing electronic static that totally enfold the listener, and which has some distinctly physical properties if you listen to this under the right set of circumstances. As with most HNW releases of this nature, it's monotonous and largely unchanging, hypnotically abrasive as Mckinlay constructs an intense roaring wall of noise that offers very little in the way of dynamics, existing more as a kind of jet-black scrying tool. Samples of sorrowful piano and dialogue from the 1945 film Caesar and Cleopatra preface the onslaught of churning speakershred, but once the noise kicks in, it's a relentless roiling mass of static that threatens to overwhelm your speakers as it spreads out into an edgeless ocean of fire, laced with only the most subliminal traces of sonic detritus, sounds that could be the garbled howl of mysterious intercepted voices occasionally leaking through the bubbling carcinogenic trance-blast of MicKinlay's noisescape. Pure HNW.


SEA OF BONES   The Earth Wants Us Dead   3 x LP   (Gilead Media)    36.00



    Had my skull flattened by this one, something that turned out to be much darker, much more oppressive, and much more experimental than I'd expected. First released by the band themselves and now reissued on vinyl by Gilead Media, Earth is the second album from this Connecticut band, and it's epic, sprawling out for nearly an hour and a half. They need the time, too; Sea Of Bones moves through these massive longform sludge-sagas that unfurl some of the heaviest downtuned power-chug I've heard in ages.
    As soon as the album starts, these guys are rolling over you with grueling slow-motion riffage and strained, monstrous screaming, with a strange, almost industrial rumble seeming to inhabit the background of the band's mix, alongside copious amounts of droning feedback. That might be a familiar combination of sounds, but there's something about how Sea Of Bones welds it all together that turns this into something utterly soul-crushing. They also have a flair for spacey guitar effects and surges of howling amplifier noise that swell up between most of the songs, heavy doses of noise that add a black lysergic vibe to this stuff. And the lurching off-kilter fury of songs like "Black Arm" brings an additional corrosive edge to the album, with churning dissonant blasts of hateful heaviness that actually feels like classic noise rock being slowly frozen in carbonite. That level of unbridled rage is one of the key strengths of Earth's misanthropic, droning power, exuded in the utter savageness of the vocals as they spit 'em out contemptuously over the vast hypnotic riffage, while the powerful drumming surges out of the agonizingly crawling tempos.
    The reverb-shrouded guitars have a distant quality, and sometimes drift into long stretches of eerie, twangy instrumental ambience, like the mournful slowcore of "Beneath The Earth", or passages of kosmische synth glimmering like black starlight over sinister guitar lines and tribal rhythms on "The Bridge", while that boiling aggression gives way to a sense of abject resignation that emanates from the desolate noise-drenched dirge of "Failure Of Light". All of this is a precursor to the titanic title track that closes the album, though, a forty-minute wash of kosmische synth and celestial electronics that swirl and eddy over the drummer's slow, almost funerary drumbeat, threatening to eventually build into something explosive but in fact always hanging at the edge of release, ultimately trailing off into the abyss in its finality; it's less of an outro piece and more a monstrous sigh of resignation. Like most current bands in this vein, you can catch a whiff of Neurosis's apocalyptic downer-power in here, but Sea Of Bones definitely held my interest throughout this massive triple-LP set with what ended up being a much more tortured, dread-filled take on that oft-copied sound. If you're prone to having your skull bulldozed by the heaviest, most negatory sludge you can find, this band is one to follow. Comes in a massive double gatefold package, limited to five hundred copies and including a download code.


SEA WITCH   As Above...So Below   2 x CASSETTE   (Small Doses)    13.98



    A ghostly vision of dilapidated, barnacled doom metal makes up these two demo cassettes from Nova Scotia duo Sea Witch, who blend their frigid, almost entirely instrumental doom with flourishes of shambolic, sleeted black metal, strange production choices that lend an abrasive, almost industrial quality to certain aspects of their sound, and waves of depressing maritime atmosphere. All of this serves to evoke visions of freezing northern seas, oceanic black magic and ship-devouring sea beasts, themes that we've heard other doom metal bands take on before, but there's something about Sea Witch's low-fi, murky sound, a certain brooding, blighted quality that I really dug.
    It's actually a pretty stripped down take on classic funeral doom that the band summons on tracks like "Blood Salt" and "Out Of The Depths", the lumbering funereal tempo frosted with those distant, mournful guitars, shambling through long stretched out riffs that grind relentlessly, feedback howling like arctic winds over the creeping fuzz-drenched amplifier drones. The absence of vocals barely registers thanks to the weight of the utterly cold, grim atmosphere they invoke across these songs, and there's a clipped, distorted edge to the drumming that gives this an unusually noisy, almost mechanical feel. Elsewhere, the band drifts out into vast black fog-banks of reverb-drenched guitar and rumbling drone, the drums crashing through the murky midnight haze like whitecaps smashing against the hull of an ancient freighter; it often build into weirdly ramshackle blasts of pounding drums and cymbals beneath the swirling funerary guitars and creeping minor key riffs, almost like some ragged black metal so tangled in seaweed that it struggles to go full blast. Then there are the moments where they whip out an accordion for a gorgeously dreary wash of folky ambience on songs like "Out Of The Depths", before slipping back into the roiling black depths of their crushing dirge.
    There are regal melodies that surface on the second tape, especially with the majestic opener "As Above" that swirls with a powerful, apocalyptic melody over it's rumbling slow-motion heaviness that's almost worthy of Sigur Ros, while the second part of "Dragged Across The Ocean Floor" delivers a stunning climax that has all of the poignancy of an Alcest or Year Of No Light. Pretty mesmerizing stuff, with a washed-out ghostly vibe that creeps into the listener like a deep arctic chill, their morbid, rumbling dirges unfolding across these cassettes like funeral marches across the Sargasso. You can bet the next time I pull out one of my William Hope Hodgson books, this will be playing on my stereo. As Above comes on two professionally manufactured tapes, each one repeating the same material on both sides, housed in a white pasteboard box with a small, nicely-designed booklet. Limited to one hundred twenty copies.
Track Samples:
Sample : Into The Depths
Sample : The Atlantic
Sample : Dragged Across The Ocean Floor (Pt. I)



SERPENTS   Demo 2004   CASSETTE   (Survivalist)    6.50



   Like all of the other Survivalist tapes that are featured on the current new arrivals list, we've got extremely limited qualities of the tape, which is already gone from the label. Released in a limited run of just one hundred copies, this cassette came out a while back on Survivalist (the Toronto-based cassette label operated by Andrew Nolan of Column Of Heaven / Death Agonies / Endless Blockade / Slaughter Strike), and it's the only recording that ever came out from this short-lived Irish outfit. The members would eventually go on to form the slightly more well-known band Drainland, who produce an equally pulverizing brand of dirge-core that's surfaced on labels like Southern Lord, and anyone into seriously ugly and nihilistic heaviness will be interested in the painfully slow and abrasive sludge rock that Serpents dredged up while they were around, a sound that draws heavily from the seminal dirge-abuse of early 80's-era Swans.
    The four tracks on their demo ooze with monstrous misanthropic ugliness, and it's just as discordant as it is bludgeoning. The first song "Hearse On Fire" lurches across the beginning of the tape as a sickening miasma of atonal guitar noise and clanking riffage, the singer shifting between a frantic howl and demented crooning singing, while the rhythm section flails beneath the ear-fucking noise that the guitarists are whipping up, putting their own mangled, sludge-encrusted stamp on the sort of skull-crushing dirge that Swans pioneered with Cop and Filth. The other songs often erupt into faster, more aggressive speeds that stink of ugly, old-school noise rock, and fans of the harshest extremes of the Am Rep/pigfuck oeuvre are going to get pretty aroused by Serpents' slugfuck heaviness. But it's definitely when these guys are pounding your skull with the sort of feedback-drenched riffchug and the undercurrents of haunting melody and cacophonic sludge that seethe out of songs like "Pigsty" and "A Million Knives" that Serpents were at their most fearsome, evoking the most crushing aspects of the classic HeadDirt / Permis De Construire Deutschland outfits (early Godflesh, Pore, Sweet Tooth, Head Of David, etc.), but with the down-tuned crush-factor amplified to an even more metallic degree. A very cool and very torturous chunk of obscure early oughties ear-hate.
Track Samples:
Sample : Hearse On Fire
Sample : Pigsty
Sample : Flower Of Flesh And Blood



SETE STAR SEPT   Sacrifice (DIGIPACK)   CD   (Fuck Yoga)    13.98



   Now available as a limited-edition CD digipack with a Japanese-style obi strip.
    I absolutely can't get enough of Sete Star Sept's barbaric noisegrind. I'm sure most people (including a lot of grindcore fans) probably thinks that this band simply repeats the same obnoxious formula with every song, but for me, this stuff is wonderfully cathartic. As a huge fan of the most extreme fringes of grindcore, harsh noise, improvisational music and noisecore, these guys combine everything I love about that stuff into a simple, but violently effective sound that still manages to tear my face off every time I pick up a new record of theirs.
    The latest such new release from the über-prolific noisegrind duo, Sacrifice is their second album from the Tokyo-based band, another single-sided LP released by the Macedonian label Fuck Yoga. It again finds the duo of Kae (vocals, bass) and drummer Kiyasu (a former member of notorious Toronto power-violence band The Endless Blockade) continuing to emit their signature strain of diseased, ultra-distorted hardcore and cyclonic noise across another twenty-four tracks, and this time the band has employed one of their more blown-out and in-the-red recordings. You'd have to be nuts to expect any kind of coherency from any of Sete Star Sept's albums, but Sacrifice pushes the distortion and noise levels even little further, with everything distorted into near oblivion. As usual, these songs are largely comprised of twenty second blasts of discordant noisegrind chaos, assaulting the listener with their insane confluence of Scum style grindcore and improvisational chaos influenced by the likes of The Gerogerigegege and other Japanese harsh noise outfits; despite the inherent chaos and formlessness found in these songs, Kae is also capable of escaping the chaos with some monstrous riffs that come tumbling and screaming out of the maelstrom, while her garbled vocal vomit and electrocuted ape-shrieks are splattered across the sudden eruptions of insanely noisy crustcore. Oh yeah, this is by far the most distorted and noisy Sete Star Sept record these guys have put out, the recording pushed so into the red, the bass-heavy distortion so immense that there are huge chunks of this album that completely disappear into a storm of over-modulated Merzbowian noise, a hell of horrendous feedback and garbled bass-noise. It's the closest I've heard Sete Star Sept come to degenerating into full-on noisecore, tracks like "Death Circulatory", "Oiran", "Strange Stripper", "Wind Obsession" and "Stimulus Pursued " whipped up into ultra-violent cyclones of shredded riffage and almost free-jazz informed drumming that has been sped up to insane tempos, tempos that immediately crumble into washes of clattering, hissing noise. And yet there is some surprisingly technical playing going on among all of the sonic carnage, the duo skillfully navigating through their eruptions of compressed chaos.
    Comes in a black and white digipack that features cool black and white album art from Edi Mirror.
Track Samples:
Sample : Wind Obsession
Sample : Savage
Sample : Death Circulatory
Sample : Aggression



SIGMA OCTANTIS   Dissipations   CD   (Malignant Antibody)    11.98



    Dissipations is the first album I've heard from this unique French outfit, who produce a rather stunning fusion of tribal rhythms, expansive cinematic ambiance and post-rock aesthetics that they lace with the darker atmospheric undercurrents you'd expect from a band affiliated with Malignant. Released as a collaboration between Malignant's Antibody sub-label and French black metal/industrial imprint OPN, the group's fourth (and apparently final) album strongly blurs the lines between dark, filmic post-rock and the more apocalyptic strains of post-industrial music, incorporating lush instrumentation that includes guitar and piano alongside murky industrial textures and bleak droning minimalism. It's actually a rather singular sound, the album's slow, swoonsome melodies unfolding over the crashing boom of distant sheet-metal rhythms and mesmeric breakbeats; they directly cite the bewitching mix of tribal rhythms and experimental dark ambience that appeared on Morthound's Spindrift as well as the hypnagogic post-industrial drone music of Maeror Tri as key influences on their sound, but Sigma Octantis further expand on that kind of atmospheric music with their distinctive ritualistic vibe that surrounds all eight of these tracks.
    The album is heavily layered with an array of sounds and textures, creating a stirring, darkly shadowed beatscape; at times dark and triumphant, the group's sound frequently slips into something akin to a more industrial-tinged instrumental trip-hop, laced with reverb-streaked guitar and deep mesmeric bass guitar grooves, laying down hypnotic tom tom rhythms and sheets of clanking mechanical throb. On tracks like "Errance Définitive", it sort of sounds like DJ Screw firing a Scorn remix into deep space, which then ends with one of the most achingly beautiful melodies I've heard outside of a Sigur Ros album, while "Des Astres Tranquille" weaves an opiated fog of Middle Eastern doom that swirls darkly around the soporific rhythms. The group skillfully blends these different elements together, so seamlessly that their music doesn't fall under easy classification. At times it's reminiscent of the Teutonic post-rock of latter-day Troum, but with washes of majestic brass fanfare and sweeping orchestral beauty; as with so much dark electronic music I'm listening to lately, shades of both Tangerine Dream's vast electronic vistas and John Carpenter's minimal fluttering synth scores seem to flit through sections of Dissipations, but the group ha definitely produced their own unique strain of evocative and spellbinding post-industrial music that continues to lull me into a trance each time I play it. Gorgeous electronic ghost music, one of the more darkly alluring albums to come from Malignant. Limited edition of five hundred copies, presented in digisleeve packaging.
Track Samples:
Sample : ÿþVieil Océan, Aux Vagues De Cristal
Sample : Parle Moi, Il Fait Si Noir
Sample : Conamara Chaos



SISSY SPACEK   Lead Their Exit   7" VINYL   (Dais)    8.99



    Although the band can always be counted on to slice n' dice your cranium in one form or another, one of the things that I like best about West Coast noisecore unit Sissy Spacek is the band's ability to tweak their sound from release to release, offering slightly different variations on their hyperspeed blurr that, while always intensely abrasive and chaotic, offers more overall variety than the same old inchoate blast that most noisecore bands revert to. This is especially the case with the band's most recent output, which has veered into almost hardcore punk territory at times, when not detonating into blasts of electro-acoustic mayhem that resemble blip-transmissions of skyscrapers crashing to the earth.
    On their Lead Their Exit 7" that recently came out on Dais (and which appears to already be sold out from the label, so move quick if you're interested in picking this up), Sissy Spacek blast through eleven songs that are as fast and ferocious as anything we've heard them, but Charlie Mumma's crazed drumming locks into a vicious static blastbeat that is maintained across virtually the entire record, with John Wiese's tornadic noise-guitar delivering most of the cacophonic violence. This EP also features new vocalist Sara Taylor as well, a member of hot-shit electro-industrial outfit Youth Code, here belting out the lyrics in a maniacal yowl that feels like an old school punk band sped up ten times over. It reminds me of some of the gnarlier bands from the early days of Earache, when the lines between "hardcore" and "grindcore" weren't so delineated. Flip over to the b-side, however, and you get a series of sonic shock-blasts that sound more like their older stuff, mega-mangled noisegrind compressed into twenty-second chunks of ultra-violent sound, with a couple of covers of cult noisecore outfit Arsedestroyer tossed in for good measure, alongside a brief squall of quasi-power electronics filth. Real nice. Limited to three hundred copies, includes a digital download.


SISSY SPACEK   Wastrel Projection   7" VINYL   (Antropofago Ateo)    5.99



   Now available on 7" vinyl with an obi-style cover insert, limited to two hundred eleven copies.
   I'll get anything that Sissy Spacek puts out, but my favorite stuff of theirs will also be the nuclear-blast noisecore recordings found on releases like Dash, the self-titled debut and the Gore Jet 7". When operating in this mode, the quartet of bassist/tape mangler John Wiese (ex-Bastard Noise), drummer Charlie Mumma (also of experimental death/black metallers Knelt Rote and L'Acephale), guitar-wrecker Jesse Jackson and vocalist Corydon Ronnau unleash a hurricane of grind-filth and garbled blast violence that is relentlessly brutal. But caveat emptor: this Cd only has about five and a half minutes of music on it. Like some of the other Sissy Spacek CDs, you don't get a whole lot of bang for your buck, but this Ep does happen to be some of the best fucking noisecore I've heard in ages, and anyone into the short sharp shock violence of this kind of stuff will probably adore what the band has coughed up for Wastrel Projection.
    There are thirty-two "songs" on Wastrel Projection, and most of them do not break the eleven second mark. You get a mixture of hyperspeed blurr blasts and pure noise pieces, with some of the more coherent tracks throwing out chunks of punk guitar and reverby recording; in these moments, it sounds as if you are listening to some L.A. hardcore punk band from the early 80's being sped up and cut apart/re-assembled by Karlheinz Stockhausen. Complete insanity, with lots of hyperfast edits and garbled tape, the sound becoming so extreme at times that it seems as if the disc itself is decomposing beneath the assault of the ultra-distorted chopped-up thrashcore.
    These guys have pretty much taken over as the current reigning kings of American noisecore. And as with their other noisecore releases, its absolutely crucial for anyone into the micro-blast blurr savagery of 7 Minutes Of Nausea, Nikudorei, Anal Cunt, Gerogerigegege, CSMD, Arsedestroyer, Nihilist Commando and New York Against The Belzebu. Released in jewel case packaging with an obi card in a limited edition of two hundred copies.
Track Samples:
Sample : Rapid Violent Oxidation
Sample : Fettered
Sample : Affront
Sample : Calcined
Sample : Time Crisis



SISSY SPACEK   Contretemps   7" VINYL   (PostPresentMedium)    6.50













SOLO ANDATA   Ritual   LP   (Desire Path Recordings)    17.99



    Can't tell you how this stacks up against the previous albums from Solo Andata as I've yet to hear them, but the Australian experimental duo's latest disc Ritual sure caught my attention with its eerie abstract sleeve art and some high praise that it had garnered over on the Anti-Gravity Bunny blog. AGB's description of Ritual as being "avant neo classical horror" was enough to send me searching it out, and certainly suggested that this Lp offered the sort of grim ambience that I continuously crave. And these four lengthy creepscapes do not disappoint, I'm pleased to report. By fusing richly detailed field recordings with delicate, dissonant drones and layers of almost subliminal whirr and creak, the duo creates a truly unnerving atmosphere right from the beginning of the record, the opener "Aggregate" slowly drifting out of the sounds of nocturnal insect life and the noxious buzzing of flies into an increasingly bleak dronescape that recalls the blackest corners of the SMTG Limited catalog. Pulsating drones and distant prayer bowl-like reverberations quickly congeal into an atmosphere of nervous tension and portentous dread, and each of the subsequent tracks likewise drift languidly through a blackened haze of metallic percussive noises and distant scraping sounds, surrounded with swells of ghostly murmur and keening feedback, the noxious buzzing of something small and insistent flitting in and out of the mix, as discordant piano notes appear ringing out of the depths amid the slow crackle of a dying fire.
    "Incantare" takes over the entire second side of the album, a twenty minute piece that takes Solo Andata's sound in a slightly more musical (but no less eerie) direction. Peals of ghostly feedback and amplifier buzz ascend over more of those nocturnal field recordings, the sounds of distant bells and the chug of some mechanical engine shifting in and out of focus as softly strummed chords and a simple, brooding bass line take hold, turning this into a kind of ethereal, twilight slowcore laced with unearthly cries and mysterious rattling that inhabits the background of the entire track. The dull throb of a soft electronic drone surfaces beneath those dreamlike bell sounds, looping endlessly in the distance, echoing from some mist-shrouded chuch steeple on the edge of the Borderland, washes of murky metallic drift creeping across the midnight soundscape, leading into bits of buried technoid thump, gradual shifts into a morbid electronica that signals the latter half of the track. Truly an unsettling excursion into eventide electronics and mysterious soundcraft, spare and minimal in the vein of some of my favorite avant-garde horror scores.


SORFEUM   Ancient Rocks   CD   (Nihil Art)    10.98



    An album of primitive, Slavic kosmische drift released by black metal/electronics label Nihil Art, Ancient Rocks delivers some nicely murky and hypnotic synthesizer music that's a total throwback to the more avant-garde side of the New Age ambience of the 1980s. The title might suggest some sort of Koyaanisqatsi-inspired meditation on natural landscapes, but Sorfeum's Ancient Rocks is really more of an homage to early 80s space music without any overarching conceptual baggage. The first three tracks all center around vast synthesizer scores that blend ominous minor key orchestrations and dreamy vibraphone-esque melodies, blurred by the rush of ghostly winds, and laced with eerie chiming arpeggios that almost resemble something from one of the shabbier Claudio Simonetti scores. The mournful synthdrift of opener "My Sadness" resembles Vangelis at his most funereal, and all of the synthesizer textures that Sorfeum employs are deliciously old-school, that classic analogue sound sprawling out into repetitious waves of darkened electronic fog. There's not one moment on this album that sounds like it was produced after 1988 (or outside of some pot-smoke filled basement), and it's insistently simplistic in its arrangements and construction; Sorfeum's grim synth symphonies tend to revolve around a couple of musical motifs that are repeated over the course of each eight minute piece, but as far as conjuring a spooky, retro atmosphere, it's pretty enjoyable. This stuff gets especially New Agey on the title track, where flutelike melodies mingle with inorganic strings and even some smatterings of Asian atmosphere a la Kitaro, but even here there's an underlying darkness beneath the lilting, dreamy atmospherics that Sorfeum summons across the song. The two tracks at the end comprise a two-part collaboration between Sorfeum and another Ukrainian ambient artist, Filivs Macrocosmi, which expands on themes from the previous tracks, essentially remixing them into different, equally evocative sprawls of lovely shadow-strewn cosmic electronics, smattered with more spacey effects and swells of delay-drenched haze. A rawer take on the sounds of Klaus Schulze / Tangerine Dream, Jean Michel Jarre, and Vangelis filtered through the freezing winter cold of the eastern Ukraine.
   Limited edition of five hundred copies.
Track Samples:
Sample : Forest's Night
Sample : Ancient Rocks
Sample : ÿþFilivs Macrocosmi vs. Sorfeum – Pt. II



STREETMEAT / BACULUM   split   2 x CASSETTE ART BOX   (Phage Tapes)    8.98



    Illustrated with unsettling Weegee-style photos of flesh-on-metal carnage, this crushing collection of two cassette EPs from Houston violator Streetmeat and Sam Stoxen's Baculum has each artist slingin' their own brand of brute-force electronics across an entire ten minute tape.
    Streetmeat's tape contains the two-part "Downfall Of Man", a blast of putrid cacophonic horror that straddles the line between deformed power electronics and full-on, skull-crushing harsh noise. The recording is a rumbling, blatting mass of murmuring voices and coagulated black static, blasts of piercing high-end electronics and belches of crushing bass frequencies, a thick clotted wall of murky electronic noise and extreme distortion-pedal drone that is infested with abrasive metal abuse and sputtering signal fuckery released in controlled bursts of violent energy. The second half shifts from that swirling industrial chaos into a more restrained power electronics sequence that's pretty mesmeric, his whispered vocals drifting like wisps of a blood-drenched dream of murder and devastation decaying in the light, a vile hiss lurking beneath the rumbling, engine-like drones and garbled circuit boards, but that classic power electronics sound gets quickly consumed by a final eruption of cracked, monstrous noise that dominates the end of the tape. Kiss your fucking skull good-bye.
    The two tracks from Baculum ("The Repeated Cycle Of Agony" and "Reverberations In Time") offer up a similar level of amplified entropy. Sprawls of deafening junk-noise collapse stretching out underneath an almost relentless use of screaming feedback, violently lashing the listener with a litany of screeching metallic tones. Densely layered and quite heavy, with lots of stereo panning that builds these pieces into cacophonic roars of collapsing scrap yard chaos that pour out of your speakers, filling the room with ceaseless sonic carnage; that howling feedback also starts to shape into something vaguely melodic as the tape goes on, transforming into a symphony of keening speaker-shriek that brings a haunting quality to the brief but crushing blasts of scrap-metal avalanche that dominate the last half of the tape. Immersive stuff for fans of K2, Macronympha and Hal Hutchinson.
    Issued in an edition of fifty copies in an oversized vinyl clamshell case.
Track Samples:
Sample : BACULUM - The Repeated Cycle Of Agony
Sample : STREETMEAT - Downfall Of Man II



SURPLUS KILLING   Loss Of Face   CASSETTE   (Unseen Force)    5.98



   Just in case Sissy Spacek's face-ripping noisecore is too easy on your ears, here's another blast of brutal blurr from Spacek drummer Charlie Mumma (who also plays in Knelt Rote, L'Acephale, Unexamine and a host of other projects that I'm a big fan of), detonating the second cassette to come from the Los Angeles-based duo Surplus Killing. With Mumma behind the kit and band mate Kevin McEleney of Droughter wielding bass guitar and electronics, you'd be correct in guessing that this is in a similar vein as Sissy Spacek's extreme noisecore, the thirty-two tracks hurtling through a bestial clusterfuck of no-fi blastbeat drumming and blown-out bass guitar slop, swept up in a cyclone of vicious inhuman screaming and a nearly endless volley of screeching high end noise, a storm of howling feedback and cacophonic junk-noise that threatens to shred your skull into tatters. McEleney's vocals get pretty berserk throughout this eleven minute tape, shifting from a monstrous guttural roar to barrages of almost Yamataka Eye-like gibberish, while the songs themselves veer violently from million miles per hour screaming blast-chaos into sickening power electronics-esque assaults of skin-flaying high-frequency feedback. These guys cram in an unholy amount of severely blown out blast-crud into this short tape, delivering an intense jolt of sonic violence that falls somewhere in between that classic early Seven Minutes Of Nausea / Anal Cunt / Cripple Bastards style of low-fi noisecore that I've always been a huge fan of, certain strains of guitar-splattered Broken Flag power electronics, and the drooling weirdness of Yamataka's Destroy 2. Absolute blood-splattered brain scramble, issued in an edition of fifty copies.
Track Samples:
Sample : Loss Of Face
Sample : Loss Of Face



SUTEKH HEXEN   Become   CD   (Cold Spring)    13.98



    Now available as a digipack CD from Cold Spring, featuring a third track "Vestibule" that is apparently exclusive to this release.
    The latest slab of blackened chaos from the Californian black noise metal band Sutekh Hexen Become is actually a reissue of a super-limited EP that the band originally released as a ridiculously limited 1/4" reel-to-reel tape on Auris Apothecary. That release, more of an art object than anything, sold out almost immediately. Now that recording has been resurrected for this gorgeous vinyl edition, allowing the rest of us to finally hear some of the bands most frenzied blackened noisescapes.
    Made up of just two massive side-long tracks, Become reveals itself to be one of the band's most vicious swarms of surrealistic distortion, each of these sprawling tracks spewing an endless swirling current of ultra-distorted guitar noise and evil, blackened riffs cutting and crumbling through the chaos. They've been honing their sound for a couple of years now, perfecting their combination of dense Merzbowian chaos and blackened guitar riffs and experimenting with the use of dark ambient soundscaping, but on this record Sutekh Hexen goes for the throat with a relentless black noise assault. The first track is "Five Faces Of Decay", taking form as clouds of black billowing distortion that erupt across the beginning of the first side, sending waves of soft-focus electronic whirr rippling out across the band's abstract driftscape. They follow that with the sudden surge of churning, murky noise, a wall of increasingly dense and abrasive distorted roar that transforms into a mass of washed-out, blurred black metal, the guitars and vocals and drums awash on an ocean of reverb and echo and scorched electronics, the furious swarming sound diffused and muffled, but still intensely sinister. There are insanely distorted screams and howling vocals that begin to emerge, disembodied spirits adrift on the rolling waves of blackened sound, and some of those vocals begin to turn into something more violent and aggressive, eventually resembling an almost power-electronics style assault of abject vocals. These sounds become swept up in the band's blurry blizzard of blackened force, everything buried beneath torrents of cavernous reverb and whirling metallic drift, growing ever more abstract, the noisiness swelling in power, the various sounds becoming indistinct as it all becomes consumed into the vaporous black din of churning, trance-inducing rumble and roar, while that one ravenous black metal riff continues to circling endlessly in the depths, sweeping through the blackness on tattered wings.
    Over on the other side, "The Voice : The Void" turns into an even more abstract blast of black noise, with the band drowning in vast billowing plumes of blackened reverb. On this track, though, the music moves more slowly as the band carves out a crushing slow-motion riff, a monstrous doom=laden dirge that begins to churn relentlessly beneath the thick suffocating haze of reverb and echo, the vocals suddenly appearing, streaking across the blackness like bursts of concentrated hatred. The whole sound here becomes intensely monotonous, whatever frail structure the band created early on falling away as the sound crumbles into a thick black fog of rumbling necrotic ambience and buzzing black heaviness, spreading out across the track's formless black drift and becoming currents of oceanic blackened sound, a vague shifting pandemonium, almost resembling the aesthetics of HNW being combined with the murky dungeon ambience of the most low-fi and necro black metal demos, a heavily textured sea of roaring sepulchral drone.
   The new exclusive bonus track "Vestibule" featured on this CD release fits right in amid the original tracks, sandwiched between the original tape/LP material; it starts up like ancient synthesizers revving beneath the rumblings of a broken orchestra, but then quickly settles into an intensely creepy ambient noisescape where distant metallic reverberations drift beneath ghastly whispering voices and muted percussion, the stench of rot seeping from the band's murky electronic drones and glacially shambling death-dirge, producing a kind of mesmeric, morbid power electronics.
Track Samples:
Sample : Vestibule
Sample : The Voice The Void
Sample : Five Faces Of Decay



SWANS   Filth / Body To Body, Job To Job   2 x CD   (Young God)    18.98



    An essential early Swans collection, finally back in stock in tandem with the killer new LP reissue of the band's peerless debut Filth, a masterpiece of abject dread and late 20th century urban horror.
    Hey, it's 2015, and still nothing matches the sheer teeth-loosening power of Swans' Filth. An all-time favorite, this one, a crucial slab of crushing urban decay and psychological putrescence from this legendary, pioneering post-punk outfit. The band's 1983 debut (originally released on Neutral Records) from the classic pre-Jarboe lineup is Swans at their all-time ugliest, lumbering through a set of some of the nastiest No Wave-damaged sludge ever, their sound and their attack informed by the early industrial skree of Throbbing Gristle, the discordant energy surrounding the nascent NYC art-punk underground, and the caveman punk stomp of classic Stooges. At the time, Gira stated that he wanted Swans to be heavier than anything else, and he succeeded - make no mistake, Filth sounded like nothing else in the early 80s, an abject trudge through pounding brutalist rhythms produced by the formidable drumming team of Jonathan Kane and Roli Mosimann, who bashed out their simple but powerful rhythms on dual drum kits and assorted metal detritus, infesting the booming slow dirge-like tempos with an array of clanking junk, while guitarist Norman Westberg smears his atonal chords and howling jagged anti-melodies over the spiked off-kilter grooves, and Harry Crosby's bass lurches against the beat. Behind the band's abrasive assault, various crudely constructed tape loops and mutated electronics squeal and splutter, a backdrop of warped noises that potentiate the disturbing feel of this music. The atonal skronk of songs like "Big Strong Boss" obviously draw from the No Wave stuff that had emerged several years earlier, but here Gira and team hammered that sound into something so much more heavy and grotesque, a perfect backing on which Gira was able to hang his yowling vocals, his lyrics drenched in themes of power, sex, greed and debasement that Gira would continue to explore throughout Swans' career, but here blunted and stripped down to a kind of broken sewer poetry, barked out in a minimal, declamatory delivery over the band's brutal noise-addled punk. Seminal stuff; just take a listen to the discordant quasi-hardcore of "Freak", there's no mistaking the album's influence on pretty much all extreme metal, punk and industrial that followed. A truly essential album within the realm of extreme music.
    The Filth disc is rounded out with a pummeling twenty-four minute live set comprised of recordings made between 1982 and 1983 at legendary NYC experimental art venue The Kitchen, featuring six tracks taken from various early Swans releases ("Strip/Burn", "Heatsheet", "Blackout", "Clay Man", "Stay Here" and "Weakling"); this live material captures the band at full ferocity, battering their way through sprawling, monotonous percussive assaults, the band hammering the audience with their din of howling noise and clanking scrap-metal rhythms and lurching, elliptic heaviness. Fucking awesome.
    The second disc is an expanded version of Swans' 1991 compilation Body To Body, Job To Job, a collection of material recorded between 1982 and 1985 comprised of assorted studio recordings (mostly alternate versions of material from the band's Cop album) and some of the squealing noise loops that the band created to be played during their live sets. It's all odds'n'ends, but really fascinating for fans of this era of the band, back when Swans were creating some of the heaviest music to come out of the American post-punk underground. At their heaviest, you get the tortured dirge of "I'll Cry For You" and the howling pummel of "Red Sheet", churning rhythmic thud driven by the crushing dual-drummer assault, while the lurching discordant sludge of "Your Game" and "Half Life" clearly shows where Justin Broadrick got his inspiration for Godflesh's industrial grindcore. That and the other studio recordings featured here rank as some of the bands heaviest ever, monstrous slabs of deformed industrial funk and squalling No Wave horror, insidiously hypnotic but lashed with astringent guitars, offset by murky live tracks that ooze out of your speakers like so much black blood and engine grease. An act of endless self-immolation in motion, the disc finally collapses beneath the weight of a monstrous live rendition of the band's classic "Raping A Slave", recorded in Berlin in 1984, a final testament to the ruination of wretched flesh. Essential.
Track Samples:
Sample : Cop
Sample : Freak
Sample : Get Out
Sample : Job
Sample : Power for Power
Sample : Stay Here
Sample : Weakling



SWANS   Filth   LP   (Young God)    17.98



    Hey, it's 2015, and still nothing matches the sheer teeth-loosening power of Swans' Filth. An all-time favorite, this one. Out of print on vinyl for decades, Young God's new reissue of Filth was one of the most highly anticipated reissues here at C-Blast, a crucial slab of crushing urban decay and psychological putrescence from this legendary, pioneering post-punk outfit. Newly re-mastered and presented in essentially the same jacket design as the original with a large foldout poster, the band's 1983 debut (originally released on Neutral Records) has certainly never sounded heavier or more bludgeoning than it does here. Long available only via the band's extensive double CD collection Filth / Body To Body Job To Job, this album from the classic pre-Jarboe lineup is Swans at their all-time ugliest, lumbering through a set of some of the nastiest No Wave-damaged sludge ever, their sound and their attack informed by the early industrial skree of Throbbing Gristle, the discordant energy surrounding the nascent NYC art-punk underground, and the caveman punk stomp of classic Stooges. At the time, Gira stated that he wanted Swans to be heavier than anything else, and he succeeded - make no mistake, Filth sounded like nothing else in the early 80s, an abject trudge through pounding brutalist rhythms produced by the formidable drumming team of Jonathan Kane and Roli Mosimann, who bashed out their simple but powerful rhythms on dual drum kits and assorted metal detritus, infesting the booming slow dirge-like tempos with an array of clanking junk, while guitarist Norman Westberg smears his atonal chords and howling jagged anti-melodies over the spiked off-kilter grooves, and Harry Crosby's bass lurches against the beat. Behind the band's abrasive assault, various crudely constructed tape loops and mutated electronics squeal and splutter, a backdrop of warped noises that potentiate the disturbing feel of this music. The atonal skronk of songs like "Big Strong Boss" obviously draw from the No Wave stuff that had emerged several years earlier, but here Gira and team hammered that sound into something so much more heavy and grotesque, a perfect backing on which Gira was able to hang his yowling vocals, his lyrics drenched in themes of power, sex, greed and debasement that Gira would continue to explore throughout Swans' career, but here blunted and stripped down to a kind of broken sewer poetry, barked out in a minimal, declamatory delivery over the band's brutal noise-addled punk. Seminal stuff; just take a listen to the discordant quasi-hardcore of "Freak", there's no mistaking the album's influence on pretty much all extreme metal, punk and industrial that followed. A truly essential album within the realm of extreme music.
Track Samples:
Sample : Freak
Sample : Power for Power
Sample : Stay Here
Sample : Weakling



SYK   Atoma   CD   (L'Inphantile Collective)    13.98



   Brash and discordant jazz-damaged industro-sludge is what we get on the debut album from this highly abrasive Italian band, one of 2014's most skull-mashing debuts. Syk's crushing Atoma flew under just about everyone's radar aside from Down frontman Phil Anselmo, who continues to demonstrate fine taste by adding SYK to his burgeoning Housecore roster for their next album; it's tough stuff, a rather strange and violent confluence of sounds that comes off like some twisted mix of Obscura-era Gorguts, Godfleshian industrial heaviness, and Skin Graft-level sonic abrasion. Featuring Stefano Ferrian and Federico De Bernardi di Valserra from the criminally underrated avant-grindcore outfit Psychofagist, Syk certainly don't aim for a more accessible direction. These guys forge a ferociously atonal and ass-kicking strain of industrialized prog-metal that combines the mechanized lurch of Streetcleaner / Pure-era 'Flesh with thick swarms of electronic noise and an aggressively atonal attack that in many ways picks up where Psychofagist's own Gorgutsian tendencies left off.
    Which all would have been enough for me to crank this motherfucker into the red. But the band goes one step further in creating an overall alien vibe with their music by enlisting singer Dalila Kayros, who delivers her vocals in a mostly monotone roar that is layered into a strange, sometimes spectral gust of vocalized dementia. Her lyrics sometimes slip into Sumerian language, and often employ off-kilter phrasings that can make some of her vocals seem as if they are actually going backwards, adding to the already disorientating feel of Syk's mechanized math-crush.
    There are some similarities to Combat Astronomy's jazzy heaviness, with similar tendencies towards a massive Meshuggah-esque percussive assault, but ultimately Syk prove themselves to be a much harsher, more caustic beast, built from relentlessly repetitive machinelike grooves and clanging guitar noise that builds to hypnotic effect, rife with sudden and unexpected time signature changes and abruptly mutating riff-forms. Tracks like "Obsidian" veer from that pummeling industrial metal into something much more frantic and spastic, a supercharged math-metal meltdown that sort of resembles a PCP-dosed Meshuggah contorted beyond recognition, the band twisted into a rapid-fire volley of grinding, atonal riffs and awkwardly stilted time signatures, doused in machinelike hiss and static, a nervous breakdown set to a ferociously angular attack. When a haunting melody is briefly glimpsed like during the opening minutes of "UN-god-KNOWN", it contrasts harshly with the unforgiving discordance and turbid rhythms that surround it. Strange and challenging heaviness that, in spite of my previous attempts to map out some potential reference points, ends up sounding pretty unique. Comes in digipack packaging.
Track Samples:
Sample : UN-god-KNOWN
Sample : Obsidian
Sample : Atoma



THEOLOGIAN   Parasitism Is Life   CDR   (Annihilvs)    8.00



    Theologian's releases often tend to have provocative, disturbing sleeve art, but Parasitism Is Life is visceral and confrontational beyond even previous imagery from the New York death-synth outfit. It's one of the more recent CDR titles released through the band's Annihilvs imprint, featuring lengthy new tracks of crushing celestial electronics and mesmeric death industrial that were produced earlier in 2014, originally intended for a cassette that was going to be released on Haute Magie but which ended up being cancelled. Theologian fans will definitely want to pick this up, as it features some of the project's best stuff from last year; adorned in Gretchen Heinel's extremely graphic, NSFW imagery of a bloody female crotch, there's an unsettling vibe to this release from top to bottom. The music on Parasitism Is Life certainly feels more visceral and wrenching than other recent releases from Theologian, though we do get some of his majestic melodic material in here as well. But track titles like "Abortion", "Incest Cult", and "Pissprophets" point towards darker and more violent themes; soundwise, this material runs the gamut through Theologian's apocalyptic electronic soundworld, opening with the throbbing power electronics and saturated distortion of the aforementioned "Abortion", the looping gritty drones and rumbling filth-encrusted synths threaded with eerily delicate melodies and broken fragments of weirdly blown-out poppiness that undulate in the upper stratosphere of the mix. Other tracks drift through vast sprawls of static-drenched kosmische blackness and pulsating metallic rhythms, swells of strange glitchery and garbled electronics merging with heavy mechanical noise-loops and washes of gorgeous orchestral drift that resemble the sounds of symphonic strings being stretched into infinity over a swirling mass of screeching electronics and mysterious deep-space transmissions. Out of all of this stuff, "Incest Cult" is easily the heaviest, a crushing pneumatic death-dirge that wobbles and weaves drunkenly through a thick fog of buzzsaw drones and terrifying charnel-factory ambience; but the hands-down strangest moment of this disc comes with the closer, "Abortion - Foetal Mix", where that original piece of music gets re-worked into a bizarre blast of over-modulated, auto-tuned electronic pop that is quite unlike anything else I've heard from Theologian. Comes in a cardstock sleeve.
Track Samples:
Sample : Incest Cult
Sample : Catabasis
Sample : Abortion - Foetal Mix



THEOLOGIAN   Reliquaries   CDR   (Annihilvs)    8.00



    In some ways a companion piece to the new double album Pain Of The Saints coming out from Malignant (which we'll have in stock next week), Theologian's Reliquaries features roughly half an hour of material from this amazing New York-based death industrial outfit that was initially created for that release, here presented in its original formative version. Sort of a sketchbook of the material that would evolve into Saints, these four lengthy tracks of mesmeric industrial darkness from Theologian mastermind Leech are much in the same vein as other recent Theologian recordings, an imaginative mixture of heavy death industrial sounds and massive synth-sculpted dronescapes. There's actually a noticeable difference between this material and what ultimately ended up on the album; the eerie drones and orchestral pulse of "The World Is Thus" conjure the more cinematic side of the project, layering ecstatic vocals that have been stretched into infinity over a hypnotic rhythmic throb and swirling sheets of metallic sound and ominous symphonic strings, both grim and gorgeous in its desolate vastness. That same vast, orchestral ambience also sprawls across the beginning of the epic "Salted Wounds", but then is slowly and gradually transformed into something much darker and more sinister, as Leech's seething, distorted vocals gradually starts to infest the wash of dreary droning synths and swirling black static that surrounds the track, shifting it into a kind of murky death industrial dirge, blasted with peals of clustered discordant notes that ring like cracked bells across the expanse and into the distant horizon. There's a sorrowful, funereal vibe that shows up on that track and then continues across the rest of the disc, a mournful, dreamlike ambience that proceeds to wash across the jittery drum machine-like rhythms and bleak kosmische synthdrift that materialize over both "Reliquaries For Sainted Genitalia" and the majestic closer "...Thus Have We Made The World", populated by Leech's haunting, distorted singing that echoes through the rumbling blackness. Powerful blackened ambience and bleak impressions that fans of Pain Of The Saints will want to hear. Comes in a cardstock sleeve.
Track Samples:
Sample : The World Is Thus
Sample : Salted Wounds
Sample : ...Thus Have We Made The World



THEOLOGIAN   Fear Of Death   CDR   (Annihilvs)    8.00



   Some of the heaviest new stuff from NYC death industrialist Theologian, Fear Of Death is a massive hour-plus full length that features nine all-new tracks of heavy, bleak electronic dronescapes and nightmarish death-dirges; where most other recent Theologian titles over the past year have been collaborations, collections of outtakes or reissued older material, this one is a stand-alone album, inspired in part by the surreal, psychedelic street art of Brazilian artist Stephan Doitschinoff. Musically, it's pure darkness, moving through spheres of vast abyssal ambience and minimal blackened drone, sprawls of utterly nightmarish iron-lung deathdrift and muted black orchestrations, frenetic walls of frenzied black industrial powered by monstrous percussive loops and crazed, stretched-out howling vocals, culminating in evil cinematic deathscapes like "The Walls Are Gauze" that flow beneath swarming skies of ravenous black electronics and mutated vocalizations. Out of all of the Theologian discs I've heard in the past few months, this one is the creepiest.
    There are two highlights of the disc for me: the first is "Novo Asceticismo", which takes its name from the 2012 Doitschinoff exhibition that provided Theologian's Leech with some of his inspiration for Fear; on this track, he surrounds a slow, shuffling drum beat with ghostly drones and clanging bell-like tones, creating a murky thumping rhythm that slinks and skulks within the expanding fog of dreamy, almost Badalamenti-esque ambience and squalls of distorted synthesizer, transforming this into a blighted sprawl of delirious industrial techno. The other is the whirring, blissed-out roar of the closer "Molten Fat", which despite its name offers up the album's most gorgeous piece of stygian industrial music, Leech's vocals pulled apart into an infinite howl of abject longing, a stunning minor key melody swirling beneath the fluttering mechanical noise and distorted drones that shimmer and fill the air, a desolate piece of blackened gloom-pop majesty as gorgeous and arresting as anything off of Some Things Have To Be Endured or Chasms Of My Heart. In total, it is both some of the most ghastly and most gorgeous music that Leech has produced through Theologian in the past year, laced with the themes of religious ecstasy and mutilation that have recently been recurring throughout Theologian's work.
Track Samples:
Sample : The Walls Are Gauze
Sample : Novo Asceticismo
Sample : Molten Fat



THREE WINTERS   Chroma   CD   (Termo)    15.98



    I am at this point an unrepentant fan of synthwave. One need only go back through some of the older reviews here at Crucial Blast to see that I've long been a fan of darker-tinged synthesizer music from the 1980s, and the recent resurgence of this sound has fueled many a late night here with new takes on that classic electronic sound. It's always going to be the more sinister strains of synth music that I'm after though, and the debut album Chroma from Nordic trio Three Winters is exactly the sort of stuff I'm looking for.
    This is as grim and gothic as synthwave gets, expanding on the sound I was first introduced to on their Atrocities tape that we picked up from Beläten last year. Made up of renowned black metal graphic designer and Blitzkrieg Baby member Kim Sølve, Lars Fredrik Frøislie from Norwegian black metallers Endezzma and prog rockers White Willow, and old-school industrialist Anders B. (Babyflesh, Mind & Flesh), this group is starting to produce some of the best dark electronic music of its kind, clearly studied in the tone and texture of classic John Carpenter scores, but forged in a modern production aesthetic. The eerie choral sounds and pulsating bass notes on Chroma all call back to the classic synth scores of not only Carpenter, but also the likes of Claudio Simmoneti, Giorgio Moroder and Fabio Frizzi, while also incorporating elements of contemporary coldwave and darkwave into the mix. Obviously, there's a heavy nostalgic feel for those of us who grew up in the golden age of VHS horror: echoes of Carpenter's score for Escape From New York ring throughout the diabolical disco pulse of "Hazard", and on tracks like "At The Center Of Dystopia", they make use of heavily processed stalker vocals that bring that track in the vicinity of Kavinsky's brooding synthpop. Other tracks swell with synthetic orchestral strings, ghostly chimes flurrying around punishing drum machine grooves, distorted guitar chords thundering overhead, and then it shifts into something like "A Thousand Piercing Lights" with its shimmery tremolo guitar licks and droning calliope-like melody, which ends up sounding like some weird Badalamenti piece for a mid-80s Euro horror flick. A deeply malevolent streak runs through these tracks, and it's also more varied than some of the other artists working in this realm, moving from dark drifting atmospherics to throbbing electronic prog to pulse-pounding neon-drenched anthems that stalk the dance floor like the most murderous of Carpenterian disco attacks, all eleven tracks powered by driving Teutonic rhythms and sinister bass-lines, moody Mellotron textures washing over bursts of electric guitar and those minimally employed vocoders. All of it perfectly crafted to be a backing score to scenes of bleak dystopian cityscapes and rain-drenched cinematic wastelands, less suited for the dance floor and more for nocturnal mutant hunts flickering with analog grain and the occasional roll of tracking lines. One of the best new albums to come out of the current synthwave/horror-synth scene, right up there with recent offerings from Perturbator and Lazerhawk. Comes in digipack packaging.
Track Samples:
Sample : Hazard
Sample : At the Centre of Dystopia
Sample : Animism



TREPANERINGSRITUALEN   Perfection & Permanence   LP   (Cold Spring)    25.00



   Now available on black vinyl with printed inner sleeve, in a limited edition of five hundred copies.
    Over the past few years, Swedish noise artist Thomas Ekelund has been amassing a sizable discography of cassette releases under his Trepaneringsritualen project, exploring a melange of morbid imagery, occult subjects, apocalyptic atmosphere and magic ritual through his blasts of pounding, often crushing death industrial murk tinged with the cold fury and visual aesthetics of Scandinavian black metal. It's only recently that his music has been issued in larger editions that we can actually get our hands on, though, and his latest disc Perfection & Permanence is probably his most high profile release so far, coming out on the esteemed UK industrial label Cold Spring.
    That classic Cold Meat death industrial sound is just the starting point for Trepaneringsritualen's explorations into death-worship, expanding consciousness and occult symbolism. Ekelund's sound trawls much blacker waters, combining hypnotic mechanical throb with a scathing, black metal-esque vocal assault, rumbling ritualistic drones wrapping around the rusted-hulk machinery, black pulsations of distorted synthesizer emanating from deep in the mix. It's genuinely heavy, the sound huge and rhythmic, an evil machine-dirge belching black throbbing malice, evil processed vocals locked into prayer like recitation, blasphemies welded to bitter electronics and garbled dronescapes. Huge thumping rhythms sudden emerging on tracks like "Alone/A/Cross/Abyss" that are, god help us, almost danceable, a muffled tribal pounding that loops infinitely beneath those demonic vocals, while other tracks slip into smoldering fields of electronic filth and power-line hum inhabited by ghastly whispers and clanging metal echoing in the distance, like some industrial dub track stretched and slowed to a nightmarish dirge, creeping across a plane of diseased electronic drift.
    And then there's "The Seventh Man", which suddenly shifts into an even heavier grinding death-groove, howling vocals locking into an infectious chantlike cadence, blasts of low-end heaviness reverberating over a steady, monstrous percussive pulse, the whole thing sounding like some classic industrial metal band like Godflesh or Pitch Shifter turning black and rotten, muffled under a mountain of putrid low-fi ambiance. And yet that stuff is also amazingly catchy, the closest I've heard this sort of death industrial get to sounding downright anthemic; both "Konung Krönt I Blod" and "He Who Is My Mirror" are in a similar vein, pounding oil drum percussion and booming tribal rhythms erupting into an almost Test Dept.-like fervor, howling vocals belting out the instantly catchy chorus and making you wish that the album had included lyrics. Distorted synths spit out a menacing riff that almost sounds black metal-esque, and from there the album drifts into emptiness, floating out across a lightless void, a yawning abyss that resounds with the rumble of distant thunder, swirled in plumes of sonic ectoplasma.
    No wonder fans of malevolent industrial music have been flipping out over Trepaneringsritualen's malignant murk; this stuff is right up there with Mz.412 in my opinion, employing black metal aesthetics to a similar extent, but with those moments of surprising catchiness lodged within the grinding ritualistic deathscapes - easily one of the best bands in the death/black industrial realm right now.
Track Samples:
Sample : Venerated & Despised
Sample : ÿþKonung Krönt I Blod
Sample : Alone/A/Cross/Abyss



UMBERTO   Temple Room   LP   (Not Not Fun)    18.98



Back in stock!
   This one is already out of print and we only nabbed a couple copies, so I'll try not to rave about this super-limited 12" from spook-synth revivalist Umberto for too long. Temple Room is one of the most recent releases from the increasingly popular Umberto, probably the only contemporary artist right now successfully driving a black spike through the intersection of John Carpenter's malevolent minimalism and the baroque, rotted aura of Fabio Frizzi. Out of all of the contemporary electronic artists currently revisiting the golden era of horror soundtracks and vintage synthesizer music, Umberto is one of my favorites, with a unique style that effortlessly synthesizes a number of influences; not just the aforementioned murky graveyard prog of Fabio Frizzi and pulsating minimalism of John Carpenter, but also the grandiose synthesizer arrangements of Claudio Simonetti and the malignant mesmerism of European disco, weaving these influences together into something that still sounds remarkably fresh, at least to my ears. While we're waiting on the follow-up to last year's excellent Confrontation, Umberto has slipped us this EP featuring two versions of the track "Temple Room" off the 2010 album Prophecy Of The Black Widow.
   The extended version of "Temple Room" that spreads across the a-side is a fourteen minute exploration into deep, dark Carpenterian synth-dread laced with gothic majesty. Eerie pipe organs drone beneath the vintage electronic melody and pulsating synths, ominous arpeggios looping over the shimmering black waves of chordal drift, slowly building in tension before the drums kick in and the whole thing suddenly erupts into an infectious evil disco groove, thumping midnight body music, a slick death-disco trance that stretches its hypnotic bass line across nearly the entire side - it's one of the most insidious dancefloor ready pieces of synthcreep I've heard from Umberto, catchy and creepy and utterly contagious.
    The b-side remix is a high-energy pounding Euro-disco delirium, washes of spacey synth and glimmering celestial electronic sweeping over the faster backbeat, distinct enough from the original to sound almost like an entirely different track, though there are some key elements from the original theme you can still make out beyond the swirl of astral drift and the more aggressive tempo, later slipping into an endless dark groove. Fucking fantastic, essential for anyone into the current synthwave fascination and retro-splatter synth scores coming from the likes of Robin Coudert, Zombi, Gatekeeper, Antoni Maiovvi, etc.


UNA BÈSTIA INCONTROLABLE   Nou Món   7" VINYL   (Iron Lung Records)    6.99



    First time hearing these guys, and their noisy hardcore is really hitting the spot. Their latest 7" Nou Mon was issued by the Iron Lung guys on their own imprint, which should give you an idea of where this band is coming from, ie. frenzied, off-kilter hardcore of the highest caliber. This Spanish hardcore band also put out a killer LP of likewise dementoid outré punk called Observant Com El Món Es Destrueix a while back that I'll have listed on the next new arrivals list coming from us next week, but for now I've been cranking this ragin' two-song EP until my fucking eyeballs are bleeding. It's a great introduction to their frenzied, eclectic sound, matching their visions of scarification and industrial dis-ease to furious punk powered by pummeling tribal drumming that gives big chunks of this a ferocious, almost Killing Joke-like post-punk vibe, which they also mix with a kind of mangy psychedelia. It's monstrous anarchic hardcore punk, fronted by one of the more frantic, impassioned vocal deliveries I've heard off of a punk record lately, and the recording is slathered with a thick layer of scuzzy distortion over everything that contributes to the slightly industrial-tinged feel of their music. The first song "Nou Món" is an anthemic ripper, mostly comprised of mid-paced hardcore with a real desperate, blown-out vibe, while the b-side "Cinturons, Genolis, Vidres I Cossos" is even more frantic, clotted with bits of burly noise rock-like riffage, and smeared with spacey effects that swoosh across the band's pounding dark hardcore aggression. Way heavier than a lot of stuff in this noise-damaged vein I've been hearing, thanks in part to the crushing guitar tone that these guys have, and the post-punk vibe really puts this one over the edge for me. Highly recommended, includes a download of the EP.


VALEFOR   The Graves Of Andras   CD   (Memento Mori)    11.98



    Another death industrial obscurity from the defunct German label Memento Mori that I've been digging into lately, a sub-imprint of well-known industrial label Dark Vinyl that was active from the early 90s through the mid-oughts. During it's brief run, Memento Mori released some really interesting stuff from a handful of lesser-known death industrial and dark ambient projects, many of which also had connections to the black metal scene, and so far I've really been digging everything that I've picked up from the label's catalog.
    Slightly more known than other artists on the label, Valefor was one of several bands Memento Mori worked with that featured Michael Ford from black metallers Black Funeral, and 2001's The Graves of Andras was the fourth and final release from the project before apparently disbanding. Out of all of the stuff on the label that I've heard from Ford, Valefor comes closest to a classic death industrial sound; unsurprisingly, the groups first album had come out on the Cold Meat Industry side label Death Factory, which might give you an inkling as to what sort of sound Ford was trafficking in. Sharing many of the same occult interests as his other projects, and featuring members of his other outfits Hexentanz and Psychonaut 75, Valefor's Graves offers a series of blackened requiems that unfurl across oceans of metallic whirr and shimmer, with grim funerary strings and ghostly harpsichord-like sounds drifting through a fog of bleary synthesizer. It opens with a dreamlike haze of eerie female vocals that shimmer and warp in the blackness, wisps of witchlike crooning traced against the somber sound of minor key orchestral strings and murky electronics, the music gradually forming into a grim orchestral dirge on the opener "Succubus Musick, Pt. One", heavily reminiscent of Aghast.
    From there, the album moves through a number of different forms, from the recitation of satanic texts that appear over fields of crackling electronic noise and malformed chant-like vocals on "Invocation And Descent", to sprawls of ritualistic ambience and abstract droning noise. Large parts of this are like stumbling across a black magic rite in process, with lots of chanting and monologues over the looping, mesmeric dronescapes and swirling stygian drift. But Ford also incorporates some horrific electronic noise throughout the album that shift parts of Graves into a kind of evil power electronics, heaving putrid synth noise across wafts of dank dungeon drift, sort of resembling a slimier Brighter Death Now at times with blasts of pummeling rhythmic power erupting beneath the horror-score keyboards and melodramatic monologues of "Morning Star Rising". Elsewhere, Valefor's buzzing drones and mechanical loops rattle over stretches of jet-black ambience laced with ominous orchestral brass, or slip into some stunning dungeon synth like on "Succubus Musick II", the sound suddenly transforming into a regal, romantic wash of bleak keys and those wavering, spectral female vocals. Yeah, definitely has that Cold Meat vibe, like Megaptera or Brighter Death Now performing for a Black Mass, mesmeric and menacing stuff, with a vintage quality that's going to be most appreciated by fans of the old CMI and Dark Dungeon Music catalogs. Features album art from Michael Riddick (Equimanthorn).
Track Samples:
Sample : Morning Star Rising (The Old Order In Flames)
Sample : Lilith - Samael
Sample : Blood Spilt In The Circle Of Andras



VARIOUS ARTISTS   Engines Of Modern Dysfunction Vol. 1   7" VINYL   (Phage Tapes)    6.98



   You get a pretty lethal lineup of skull-scraping cut-up noise on this 7" compilation that came out a while back from Phage, potentially the first in a series from the label that focuses on quick blasts to your nerve-system, featuring a bunch of short pieces from some well-known names in the harsh noise field. Engines features exclusive material from Facialmess, John Wiese, K2, Baculum and Ahlzagailzehguh, as well as stuff from a couple artists I wasn't familiar with, A Fail Association and Chrysalis (who here collaborates with Aussie noise artist Agit8).
    Each of these featured artists spew out a blast of garbled noise using a cut-up style of assemblage, each track typically running right around a minute long, producing eruptions of screaming distortion and clanking metallic chaos, severe speaker-shredding bass abuse and skin-flaying contact mic savagery, blurts of alien ambience and brief pauses of near silence, brutal FX-pedal fuckery and glitched-out mayhem, sputtering blasts of shredded, fractured chaos that all come together to create a highly disorientating and thoroughly emetic listening experience that ultimately refuses to end, as the b-side gets stuck in a punishing lock groove that proceeds to drill down through your brain matter for eternity.
    Limited edition of three hundred copies.


VARIOUS ARTISTS   Whispers Through The Black Veil   LP   (Wyrd War)    17.99



   Alas, I didn't find out about this amazing compilation until just now, several months after it had initially come out around Halloween of 2014, but what the hell - here at C-Blast HQ, every day is Halloween. It's one of the very first releases from Wyrd War, the new label headed by underground artist Dennis Dread, an impassioned advocate for original art in the punk/metal scene and producer of numerous album covers for everyone from Darkthrone to Abscess, as well as the editor of the killer art zine Destroying Angels. I love anything this guy smears his ink and fingerprints across, and with this LP, Dread has curated an eclectic assembly of exclusive tracks spanning extreme punk, metal, electronic music and other weirdness, all of it in celebration of Halloween. Lovingly assembled with his wicked sleeve art, Whispers Through The Black Hole explores the origins of the holiday while running through a wild track list that includes everything from gothic old-school country, creepy theme park music, classic heavy metal and blistering black thrash, sinister psychedelia, noisy deathrock, avant-garde electronic ambience, doom-laden prog rock, and more. And it's accompanied by a large eight-page booklet that features a great, in-depth essay by Dread that ties together the various artists with historical information on witchcraft and the origins of Halloween. This thing emanates an autumnal atmosphere from the moment you crack it open and drop the needle.
    Whispers opens with the wonderfully kitschy creep of Enchanted Forest's "Haunted House Theme", an original and never-before released piece of sinister organ music backed by a lone howling wolf, looped over and over, created for this long running family-owned roadside attraction outside of Portland. That's a perfect introduction for Dread's Halloween mixtape, followed by a diverse mix of sounds ranging from the sinister old-school gothic country of Hank Ray's "(They Call Me) Lucifer Sideburns", and the rollicking Swedish death metal of Vampire's "Pyre of the Harvest Queen" that combines a classic heavy metal hook with ghastly screams from beyond the grave, to Cleveland rippers Midnight who belt out an awesomely filthy cover of the Sonics' "The Witch", turning it into a thrashing blast of scummy necro garage punk. Infamous Oregon State Penitentiary inmate and Charles Manson / Kenneth Anger associate Bobby BeauSoleil offers a strange piece of driving, bluesy hard rock called "The Wailing On Witch Mountain" that's pretty fantastic, blending the sort of soaring, quasi-Floydian psychedelic hard rock heard on his mind-bending box set with a motorik backbeat and an almost proto-metal crunch that makes it one of the darkest things I've ever heard from BeauSoleil. And former Melvins/High On Fire member Joe Preston makes an appearance with his one-man sludgemachine Thrones, crafting an eerie mixture of ethereal, haunting voices, softly strummed harp, and sweeping kosmische synthesizers that's utterly bewitching, resembling some airy theme from a late 60's Satanic shocker, and is indeed a little reminiscent of Komeda's work for Rosemary's Baby.
    You also get an Italian horror ambient outfit known as Estasy, who appears with "Il Dio E' Nato", another highlight of the album that's over far too soon. A mixture of witchy vocalizations, creepy piano that slips in and out of tune, and a murky haze that hangs over the entire recording like decades of dust and rot, it's a strange but mesmerizing piece of music that again feels like a throwback to classic Euro horror scores but filtered through a warped low-fi industrial murkiness. Fans of Spettro Family would probably adore that one. Lebenden Toten does a killer combo of noise-damaged punk and reverb-fucked death rock called "At the Window" that sort of sounds like a cross between Rudimentary Peni and Confuse, leaving me wanting to track down everything from this band, and there's a cover of the old 60's era novelty tune "I'm The Wolfman" that is transformed into a slavering assault of drooling garage-thrash by Violation Wound, a new band from Chris Reifert (Autopsy / Abscess / Death). Orodruin offshoot Blizaro give us "Science of Darkness", another one of the band's delectable slabs of vintage 70's style doom a la Pentagram and Death SS, laced with their signature proggy weirdness, smokin' bluesy solos, and deranged throat-singing, and "Whispers Through the Black Veil" from Sweden's Rob Coffinshaker is pure goth-country creep, his deep, weathered baritone eerily reminiscent of Johnny Cash, the song itself a call back to the darker shadowy corners of classic 70's country music, a kind of funereal honkey-tonk.
The biggest surprise of the compilation though is the presence of acclaimed John Carpenter collaborator Alan Howarth, who worked alongside Carpenter on the iconic scores to Halloween II and III, Escape From New York, Christine, Prince Of Darkness and others, contributing a recent, unreleased composition called "Kill a Whole Family". It's a gorgeous and thoroughly gloomy mix of rumbling synths, minimal rhythmic programming and spectral piano from this horror-score legend, and obviously one of the highlights of the collection.
    Easily one of the best comps I've picked up in the past year, Whispers ticks off a lot of boxes for me, and is one that I'll definitely be pulling out on a regular basis, and not just when October rolls around. Limited to five hundred copies.


VARIOUS ARTISTS   Unreleased Soundtrack Music From George A. Romero's Dawn Of The Dead   CD   (Trunk Records)    16.98



    One of the premier collections of horror-related library music that surfaced in the past decade. And it took forever for me to finally get this thing in stock, as it apparently went out of print for a period of time. It seems that this killer disc was just recently repressed though, another crucial vintage horror score that we nabbed from UK label Trunk (who also brought us that amazing Psychomania soundtrack that also just got repressed and featured on this week's list): Unreleased Soundtrack Music From George A. Romero's Dawn Of The Dead is a comprehensive collection of music that makes up the other score to Romero's iconic 1978 splatter-epic, which is universally considered to be one of the greatest films of apocalyptic zombie carnage ever made.
    When most folks think of the music for Dawn Of The Dead, it's the pounding prog-funk score that Italy's Goblin produced for the film that we tend to think of first. But just as synonymous with the film as Goblin's action-funk is the track "The Gonk", that weird piece of marching music that is featured over some of the film's key sequences, and which any fan of the film would recognize immediately. That and other tracks on the film's score were pieces of incidental stock library music that came from the highly regarded British production music company Music De Wolfe, but amazingly this music had never been collected together in one place until Trunk put this together a few years ago. While it's not entirely complete (there are a few incidental stock music tracks that were so short, a few seconds if that, that their inclusion on the disc didn't make much sense), all of the significant library music that appeared in the film is gathered here, and if you're the sort who has worn out your old Thorn/Emi copy of Dawn of The Dead from countless late-night re-watches, this disc is a goddamn nostalgia bomb: the iconic "Gonk" from British composer Herbert Chappell opens the collection, of course, and is followed by everything from the chillingly beautiful orchestral ambience of Paul Lemel's "Cosmogony Part 1" and Even De Tissot's dread-filled "Sinestre" to the country-fried pop of "Cause I'm A Man", performed by De Wolfe house band The Electric Banana's (which was in fact the stock music instrumental alter-ego of legendary UK garage rockers The Pretty Things).
    Some of this stuff is wonderfully eerie, like the mix of morbid drones, jazzy keys and icy horror electronics that appear on Simon Park's tracks, and Jack Trombey (aka Jan Stoeckart)'s brilliant jazz-tinged orchestral pieces likewise stand out in this collection, oozing a mix of gothic atmosphere and action-oriented energy. Brief cues from British Moog pioneer Derek Scott appear alongside the delicate beauty of French composer Pierre Arvay's minimalist modern classical piece "Desert De Glace", and "Dank Earth" from Don Harper (which is unfortunately listed incorrectly as "Dark Earth" and attributed to Trombey) remains another highlight with its unsettling mix of metallic dissonance, booming tympani and nightmarish organ music. It's a fantastic collection that hardcore splatter-soundtrack aficionados will want to add to their collection, even with the discrepancy in the credit for that track. Definitely a great addition to the library of any collector of obscure horror film music with its wild mix of spooky chamber pieces, proggy organ arrangements, weird Radiophonic-style electronic music, and jazzy instrumentals, rounded out by liner notes from label boss Johnny Trunk and vinyl collector Joel Martin that sheds light on the extensive process of assembling and releasing this creepy collection.
Track Samples:
Sample : Cosmogony, Pt. 1
Sample : The Gonk
Sample : Mask of Death
Sample : Dark Earth



VARIOUS ARTISTS   Clone - Play Slow, Die Fast Volume III   LP   (Blind Date)    22.00



   Missed out on the first two records in the series (which are presumably out of print at this point), but I did picked up the third and fourth in the Clone series from German sludge/punk label Blind Date, each one featuring various names from the sludge/hardcore/doom domain doing covers of older bands, both underground and less so. Both records are visually striking, each installment in the series housed in a die-cut jacket that has a full color inlay peering through the opening, and includes a thick oversized booklet loaded with artwork and info from all of the bands. I'm not usually that interested in hearing covers, but the song choices from each band tend to be pretty interesting, and if you're a big enthusiast of this sort of slow-mo sludgy heaviness, there's going to be at least a couple of your favorite bands featured on each of these compilations.
    We begin with Ohio sludgebeasts Fistula, who drag Nirvana's "Something In The Way" through a dimly-lit den of howling abjection and despair, turning what was already a pretty fucking miserable song into something even more wretched and wasted. German band Bad Luck Rides On Wheels (who include former members of old-school crust/grind crews Wojczech and Entrails Massacre) follow that by puking up their own damaged, discordant take on Kiss's "Warmachine" that gets splattered with whirring Hawkwindian electronic effects. Australia's Whitehorse steamroll over a filthy rendition of Neanderthal's "Crawl", slowing it down to a noxious, hysterical dirge, and Japanese power-violence outfit Su19B transform Bathory's "Pace Till Death" into a nearly unrecognizable smear of disgusting slow-motion sludge that's so slurred and wrecked that it sounds like you've got the record playing at the wrong speed, even when the band suddenly erupts into the faster parts. The last few minutes of that one ultimately devolve into one of the album's most putrid passages, a DXM-drenched concrete-mixer churn that resembles a deathdoom version of Corrupted.
    The other side kicks off with a rather ingenious medley from Swedish crustmetal band Crowskin, who mash up some classic Sabbath with Turbonegro for "I Got Sabbath", which really doesn't sound like either. There's Fistula side-project Sollubi doing a gluey porch treatment on Dead Kennedys's "Forward To Death", which rips. Habsyll follow with the shortest song on the compilation, a barely ninety-second blur of chaotic grindcore that's a cover of "Tep Kaos" from the obscure French grind band Tekken. And the side finishes with a sprawling version of L7's "Talk Box" that Finnish avant-sludge band Solar Horn re-imagine as a delirium of glacially grinding guitar chords circling a fog of hymn-like vocal drones like a dead black planet. This freezing driftscape spreads out across the first few minutes of the track before the band finally erupts into a monstrously deformed dirge, and it ended up being my favorite contribution to the record, a weirdly liturgical-sounding sprawl of noisy doom metal that's liberally slathered in psychedelic wah-pedal abuse and electronics. Pretty great.
    Limited to six hundred copies, on black vinyl.


VARIOUS ARTISTS   Clone - Play Slow, Die Fast Volume IV   2 x LP   (Blind Date)    27.00



    My favorite out of the series, Clone IV is the final installment in Blind Date's ambitious covers-collection of various sludge, punk and doom metal outfits, both known and unknown, taking on a variety of classic tunes and obscure personal faves. As with the other records in the series, this comes in an embossed, die-cut chipboard jacket with the inlay art peering out through an oval in the center of the jacket, the full artwork presented as a full-color printed insert, and also comes with a thick oversized booklet loaded with artwork and info from all of the featured bands.
    They kick this off with probably my favorite track from the series, a killer cover of the Wipers classic "No Fair" from Canadian sludge metallers Haggatha that turns the punk pop of the original into this fantastic piece of hauntingly lovely heaviness, the huge hooks countered with the screeching abrasiveness of the vocals, the guitar tone massive. It's one of those covers that kinda makes you wish that the band would actually pursue this sound even deeper with their original material. That's followed by Finnish filth-crawlers Frogskin, who drag their rotting bulk through the sewer for a cover of Regurgitate's "Bleeding Peptic Ulcer", dissolving the song into a putrid pool of rumbling gore-sludge. Experimental doom metallers Black Shape Of Nexus give us a cover of an old Vorkriegsjugend tune that pulls a similar move with the cult German punk outfit, transforming their old-school punk rock into a droning, hypnotic tar-pit creep, while Laudanum filters "The Life Machine" from the early Gary Numan new wave band Tubeways Army through their blackened, industrial-tinged sludge for another highlight moment on the compilation, producing what is easily one of the LP's most desolate, atmospheric pieces.
    Sweden's Modorra are gone in a flash with their faithful cover of Napalm Death's micro-blast classic "You Suffer", leading into another one of my favorite tracks on the LP, a bilious cover of Mudhoney's "Sweet Young Thing Ain't Sweet No More" done by Aussie sludge-thugs Fattura Della Morte, which keep things bludgeoning and nasty without slowing down too much. One of the more unusual choices for a cover song appears with Black Shape of Nexus side-project Ghost Of Wem, who take the old straight-edge hardcore band Chain Of Strength and transform their "Impact" into a churning, feedback-infested sludgepunk dirge, while Poland's Enth take "Down My Throat" from cult crustcore band Disrupt and turn into a crushing wave of vomitous filth. Black Flag songs almost always acquit themselves well to this sort of slugfuck noise, and Unearthly Trance turn their classic "In My Head" into a more metallic beast, fairly faithful to the original but rumbling with the Trance's own trademark blackened power. The set is rounded out by a belligerent cover of Venom's "Countess Bathory" from Chilean doompunks Electrozombies, followed by a bone-splintering, weirdly halting rendition of the song "Suffocation" from Tokyo death metallers Transgressor, performed by Japanese doomdeath band Funeral Moth, and it fucking kills.
    Limited to six hundred copies, on black vinyl.


VENOWL   Patterns Of Failure   CASSETTE   (Broken Limbs)    5.99



    Now sold out at the source, this cassette is the first appearance of Venowl's debut full-length Patterns Of Failure in a (slightly) wider release following the initial release of an extremely limited CD-R that the band put out themselves a few years back. Re-mastered by James Plotkin for this Broken Limbs reissue, Patterns is one of the Chicago group's most structurally focused works, relatively speaking, a three-song monstrosity that further sinks into their peculiar corpse-stink of abject, blackened horror, while also rolling out some of the heaviest riffs I've heard from these guys.
    As with the other Venowl releases I've heard, the tracks on this tape (which run anywhere from twelve minutes to a half-hour in length, to give you an idea as to how torturous this stuff can get) offer a severely abrasive and anguished brand of blackened doom that shambles and lurches through a clangorous din of dissonant guitar noise and sickeningly discordant riffs. It's an even more dire and disease-ridden slog through the depths of cacophonous sludge than what you get from bands like Trees, Khanate, Otesanek and Bunkur, more misshapen and mangled, the music often slipping into a quasi-improvised state of stream-of-consciousness sludge that can sometimes reach near Fushitsusha-like levels of crashed-out ecstasy, slowly glomming together into a massive head-nodding groove that cuts a swathe through the speaker-rattling skuzz, and riddled with bursts of crazed ramshackle black metal-style blast that are suddenly and violently whipped up in the midst of their sickening, slow-motion crawl. It's the vocals that really give Venowl's music its disturbing vibe though, a chorus of distant abject howls, inhuman shrieks and insane screams that echo across the background of these sprawling slow-motion meltdowns, and which continue to imbue this stuff with that weird, Abruptum-esque feel that has lurked through all of their recordings.
    Sounds like this was recorded live in some vast underground bunker, too, a dankness that suits the ugly, clandestine energy rumbling throughout the album, though there are also those rare moments when the nightmarish blots of improvised filth rot away to reveal small, glimmering fragments of melody, glimpses of something almost pretty glinting from out of the shrieking atonal heaviness. Another exquisitely disturbing slab of horror from this outfit. Comes on a professionally manufactured cassette, limited to one hundred copies.


VERMAPYRE / VEHRMÖEDR   split   7" VINYL   (Holy Terror Records)    8.99



    Another recent release that is apparently already sold out at the source, the latest blasphemy from shadowy black metal crew Vermapyre (which shares members with metallic hardcore legends Integrity) sees the band teaming up with another outfit called Vehrmoedr, who would appear to shares the same infatuation with the murky mystique of the French Black Legions. Both bands deliver an equally blurry and bleary brand of monochromatic black metal that sways towards the cracked, outsider vibe that Dwid's Holy Terror imprint has been cultivating.
    Vermapyre's side delivers three new songs of ugly, dissonant black metal recorded in the same low-fi, blown-out production as the band's previous EPs, obsessed with the visual texture of early German and Danish expressionist horror films (Vampyr, Nosferatu, Häxan) and possessed with the bizarre distorted jangle of hand-made "cigar-box" guitars, the same as is used by the "blackened Creole" outfit Oede. This stuff is seriously abrasive, and fucking fantastic: from the hideous graveyard blur of "Lord Of Death" to the Abruptum-esque dungeon ambiance and percussive clanking of "Lord Of Hell" and the bleary raw black metal of "Blood Parchment", it's all wickedly evil and fucked-up. The overall mood and aesthetic definitely echoes some of the aspects of the Les Légions Noires, but Vermapyre's rickety black metal ultimately turns into something uniquely their own, a sonically fucked, unfamiliar cemetery murk rattled by blood-gargling vocals an the sound of that handmade guitar. Too damn short, though. I would love to hear an entire album from this band.
    The two songs on Vehrmöedr's side, "Black Hauntings" and "MMXII", have a similarly murky low-fi production aesthetic, but this stuff is a little closer to resembling traditional black metal. Within the fog of primitive drumming and garbled riffs and emetic shrieking, there's once again a hint of that classic adolescent LLN rawness and deformity, as well as some really deranged musicianship, the songs shambling and lurching through a thick haze of four-track filthiness; at times comparable to a more crazed Black Cilice, perhaps, but with some really fucking wretched screams and moans emanating out of the band's blurry basement din. The other song "MMXII", however, reveals a damaged outsider folkiness in the soft strum of the guitar and wheezing harmonica, the music wafting in and out of clarity, the singer's putrid screams slipping in and out of sight as the music dissolves into a grey haze.
    Limited to three hundred copies.


VORDE   self-titled   LP   (Fallen Empire)    21.00



    Another recent Fallen Empire release that I've been listening to non-stop. Vorde's debut album delivers some killer frenetic, ritualistic black metal, but it also emanates a strange, disorientating vibe and hits some of those post-punk influences that almost always hook me in whenever I hear 'em in this sort of stuff. In fact, Vorde's debut is probably my favorite album from the label. It's another project from Michael Rekevics, who also plays drums with Cali black metallers Fell Voices and hardcore outfit Mohoram Atta, but this is by far my favorite of all of his projects, re-envisioning the sweeping black metal of his main band as a kind of murky postpunk-laced black psychedelia.
    It sucked me into its gloomy vortex as soon as the record kicked into the heat-warped synthlike symphonics of "Hatewave" that liquefy across the beginning of the album. That initial blast of sound is like a slowly melting wall of electronic drift, orchestral and kosmische and creepily weird, those first few moments drifting hazily through a thick reverb-drenched atmosphere, before it finally erupts into a furious, cavernous black metal attack. There's a little of that Fell Voices sound in here, but ultimately Vorde's version of black metal is more esoteric; the vocals are a twisted amphibious croak that stretches out across the loping frost-encrusted metal, transforming into soaring gloom-hued crooning and an almost operatic bellow, as the songs shift between furious blackened blasts and more violent thrashing tempos. Ferociously swarming tremolo riffs bleed with weird dissonances; an off-kilter discordance underlies much of sound, even as these songs start to soar into majestic heights, giving this stuff a surreal feel. At times it can remind me of Xasthur's misshapen black metal, but much more aggressive. There are stirring classically-influenced melodies that worm their way through tracks like "Transformations Of The Vessel", and the arrival of bizarre chanting brings a druggy, ritualistic vibe to parts of the album, as do the presence of weird synth loops and queasy electronics that ripple like black borealis beneath the frozen black sun that hangs suspended in Vorde's void.
    That warbling, warped dissonance is even stronger on "Blood Moon", and that's also where Vorde begins to unveil a strange post-punk element to his sound, one that is subdued beneath the blackened metal but definitely there in the ghostly reverb-heavy guitars that chime over the song's slower passages. It all builds in its hallucinatory atmosphere, slipping into slower, more doom-laden passages and eerie rumbling on the epic "Crown Of Black Flame" and the anthemic closer "Funeral Vortex", but what really makes those two songs so fucking killer are how they both end up transforming into a propulsive, almost motorik blackness, the bass guitar moving to the forefront with these great, driving bass lines that have a definite Joy Division-like feel, that sinister post-punk eventually veering back into the blast-beaten darkness, the sound awash into those uneasy dissonant guitar chords and icy atonal arpeggios circling in the emptiness. It's moments like that on Vorde's debut that make this highly recommended to anyone who dug that amazing Funereal Presence album from last year, both bands sharing a similar, cavernous vibe.
    Limited to five hundred copies, pressed on heavyweight 180 gram vinyl and presented in a nice matte-finish jacket with spot varnish printing.
Track Samples:
Sample : Funeral Vortex
Sample : Blood Moon
Sample : Transformations of the Vessel



VOWELS   Hooves, Leaves And The Death / As December Nightingales   CD   (Sun & Moon Records)    11.98



    Though I really loathe the term "post-black metal", Vowels are one of those bands that it almost suits. They've got a terrific new album that just came out which is currently on its way to C-Blast, but in the meantime I've been spending time with their previous collection, 2012's Hooves, Leaves And The Death / As December Nightingales. This disc features two little-heard EPs from the Italian band, and showcases their heavily atmospheric blend of epic black metal influences, surrealistic art-rock, and odd jazzy ambience that turns this into something not black metal in the end.
    Those black metal influences tend to be pretty subtle, and mainly appear within the first few tracks of the collection. When opener "Wolves Eating The Sun" starts off, it's all pensive guitar spinning autumnal notes that hang in the band's minimal haze, but when a squall of distorted guitar suddenly breaks that wistful spell, this suddenly transforms into a furious wall of sound, spilling out across the first half of the song in a blast of distorted guitars that resembles some classic early 90s indie guitar rock, the reverb-drenched melodic guitars slipping into a noisy, 'gazey squall that suggests the likes of Swervedriver, but strafed by rapid black metal-style tremolo picking, the song halting and luching through off-kilter drumming and angular arrangements. The other songs move from slow, pounding rhythms and washes of gloomy droning riffage into powerful folk-flecked metal, the murky rasping vocals suddenly transforming into powerful singing, much of it an offbeat crooning delivery. This early stuff sort of feels like a more experimental take on some of the Cascadian black metal stuff, much murkier and noisier, with some really disjointed and awkward songwriting, but also with an eerie, folky quality that trickles into the band's regal blackened blasts.
    From there, their songs get a bit more unpredictable and eclectic, some of 'em slipping into stretches of hazy minimal electronica and ghostly ambience, with creepy whispered voices and gasping sounds flitting around distant electronic noises, others drifting into gorgeous passages of moody chamber music, where cello and violin weep beneath glimmering electronic pulses and delicate guitar figures. And as this unfolds, Vowels reveal more of a tendency towards a kind of dark avant jazziness, as those mournful violins and trumpets start to twine around the dark slow pulse of the rhythm section, jazzy piano mingling with Hammond-style organs, or wandering into strange bits of clattery, string-scraping experimental folk. A lot of their stuff is almost totally instrumental, echoes of both Bohren And Der Club of Gore and Godspeed You Black Emperor book-ended by those oh-so-brief blasts of chaotic blackened metal and moody experimentation, meandering through these moody soundscapes, spooling out into a kind of mysterious nocturnal post-rock, with one of the highlights being the soulful, jazzy female vocals that appear on the last track "Wake", closing this with a wash of gorgeous shadowy strangeness.
Track Samples:
Sample : Wolves Eating the Sun
Sample : Wake
Sample : Vespri



WIESE, JOHN   Mixed Metaphor b/w Into A Bad Way   7" VINYL   (Phage Tapes)    6.99



    More nerve-wasting Wiese-violence. Released a few years ago on Phage in a limited edition of three hundred copies, the Mixed Metaphor 7" is still lingering in print, so we picked up some of the last copies of this savage 7" focusing on brutal cut-up noise from John Wiese, he of Sissy Spacek / LHD / ex-Bastard Noise fame. Created using a mix of his own work and source material that was produced by Japanese noise god Merzbow, Wiese reconstructs these sounds into a whiplash assault of distorted mind-blasting chaos that hits a solid ten on the extreme-o-meter. Two tracks of garbled, ultra-violent noise that move at an extremely high rate of speed, each of these two tracks erupts into cyclones of squealing electronics and brute-force walls of distortion, a dense and psychedelic cut-up noise assault that starts off as a deafening roar of utter pandemonium before stuttering and slipping up into more fractured forms as each track plays out, the blaststorm rupturing into blurts of juddering mechanical meltdown and screeching tape garble, while the b-side track "Into A Bad Way" ends up splintering into an almost splittercore-like assault of jittery, hyper-spastic chaos. Yikes. Without a doubt some of the most abrasive stuff I've ever heard from Wiese outside of the Sissy Spacek stuff, and even challenges the utter ear-destroying power of that band's noisecore material. Approach with caution.


WITCH MOUNTAIN   Mobile Of Angels   CD   (Profound Lore)    13.98



   One of 2014's finest doom metal albums is now back in stock, on both limited edition LP (issued in a run of five hundred copies in gatefold packaging) and gatefold CD with printed inner sleeve.
    Since the late 90s, the Portland, Oregon doom metal band Witch Mountain has been dishing out their solemn brand of traditional slow-motion heaviness, shaped by the sound of classic early American doom. It wasn't until the band resurfaced after a period of inactivity with a new singer and a revamped sound on 2011's South Of Salem that they really started to gain notice from the larger metal community. It was the addition of singer Uta Plotkin and her emotionally powerful voice that brought new life to the band, as the guys began to meld their stoned saurian blues-crush with her soulful female vocals to fantastic effect. That potent combination of massive riffage, stirring sorrowful melodies and Plotkin's singular singing style that has become the focal point of the band's sound over the past several years, so when the announcement came out late in 2014 that she would be departing the band following the release of Witch Mountain's fourth album Mobile Of Angels, fans of the band wondered what would become of their sound; as it turns out, she's since been replaced by Washington DC native Kayla Dixon, who brings a similarly confident and powerful vocal delivery to the band, so it'll be interesting to see where their music goes from here.
    But Plotkin did leave the band on a very high note, musically. When that lineup parted ways, it was in the wake of one of the best doom albums of 2014. Now issued on limited edition vinyl, Mobile Of Angels is one that should find its way into the collection of every fan of classically-minded, psychedelically tinged doom metal. Plotkin's soulful, sultry smoke-wreathed vocals sound more bewitching than ever here, soaring above the band's lurching Sabbathian heaviness and what adds up to be their best batch of songs of their career. Sounding not too far off from a young Ann Wilson but also capable of puking up a ghastly death-screech over a particularly gruesome dirge like that towards the end of "Don't Settle", Plotkin rides on the band's epic songcraft, elevating Mobile high above the hordes of traditional doom outfits. These five monstrous tunes crawl sluggishly across the album's forty minute runtime, skillfully weaving passages of solemn beauty amid the slow-motion sludge, adding lots of moody texture to their music by incorporating bits of acoustic strum, droning, stoned-out Hammond organ, vibraphone, piano and gongs, all woven into a wealth of plaintive, understated melodies that snake through the album's rain-drenched sylvan atmosphere, and seeping to the surface between the swell of pulverizing doom, each song encircling some killer hooks that balance out the sheer sluggish weight of this stuff. A fuckin' feast of titanic sinister riffage and 70's-tinged soulfulness from these guys, and it ends with one of the most gorgeously forlorn doom songs ("The Shape Truth Takes") the band has ever delivered. Highly recommended.
Track Samples:
Sample : Your Corrupt Ways (Sour the Hymn)
Sample : Psycho Animundi
Sample : Mobile of Angels



WITCH MOUNTAIN   Mobile Of Angels   LP   (Mountastic Records)    24.00



   One of 2014's finest doom metal albums is now back in stock, on both limited edition LP (issued in a run of five hundred copies in gatefold packaging) and gatefold CD with printed inner sleeve.
    Since the late 90s, the Portland, Oregon doom metal band Witch Mountain has been dishing out their solemn brand of traditional slow-motion heaviness, shaped by the sound of classic early American doom. It wasn't until the band resurfaced after a period of inactivity with a new singer and a revamped sound on 2011's South Of Salem that they really started to gain notice from the larger metal community. It was the addition of singer Uta Plotkin and her emotionally powerful voice that brought new life to the band, as the guys began to meld their stoned saurian blues-crush with her soulful female vocals to fantastic effect. That potent combination of massive riffage, stirring sorrowful melodies and Plotkin's singular singing style that has become the focal point of the band's sound over the past several years, so when the announcement came out late in 2014 that she would be departing the band following the release of Witch Mountain's fourth album Mobile Of Angels, fans of the band wondered what would become of their sound; as it turns out, she's since been replaced by Washington DC native Kayla Dixon, who brings a similarly confident and powerful vocal delivery to the band, so it'll be interesting to see where their music goes from here.
    But Plotkin did leave the band on a very high note, musically. When that lineup parted ways, it was in the wake of one of the best doom albums of 2014. Now issued on limited edition vinyl, Mobile Of Angels is one that should find its way into the collection of every fan of classically-minded, psychedelically tinged doom metal. Plotkin's soulful, sultry smoke-wreathed vocals sound more bewitching than ever here, soaring above the band's lurching Sabbathian heaviness and what adds up to be their best batch of songs of their career. Sounding not too far off from a young Ann Wilson but also capable of puking up a ghastly death-screech over a particularly gruesome dirge like that towards the end of "Don't Settle", Plotkin rides on the band's epic songcraft, elevating Mobile high above the hordes of traditional doom outfits. These five monstrous tunes crawl sluggishly across the album's forty minute runtime, skillfully weaving passages of solemn beauty amid the slow-motion sludge, adding lots of moody texture to their music by incorporating bits of acoustic strum, droning, stoned-out Hammond organ, vibraphone, piano and gongs, all woven into a wealth of plaintive, understated melodies that snake through the album's rain-drenched sylvan atmosphere, and seeping to the surface between the swell of pulverizing doom, each song encircling some killer hooks that balance out the sheer sluggish weight of this stuff. A fuckin' feast of titanic sinister riffage and 70's-tinged soulfulness from these guys, and it ends with one of the most gorgeously forlorn doom songs ("The Shape Truth Takes") the band has ever delivered. Highly recommended.
Track Samples:
Sample : Your Corrupt Ways (Sour the Hymn)
Sample : Psycho Animundi
Sample : Mobile of Angels



WIZARD RIFLE   Here In The Deadlights   LP   (Seventh Rule)    14.99



   Now available on vinyl with download.
    Just now getting into this former Portland, Oregon/now LA-based outfit via their latest album Here In The Deadlights, and it's pretty killer stuff. I could have almost guessed as to where these guys were originally from - they have that sludgy, riff-heavy sound descended from the likes of Karp and Melvins, a predominant DNA strain that seems to run through the majority of bands from this corner of the country that I listen to. But that's only part of what Wizard Rifle sound like. On their second album Deadlights, these guys run their bludgeoning riffage through a whirlwind of prog rock inspired complexity and intricacy, the opener "Crystal Witch" pummeling you with it's twisting, knotty riffery and the percussive acrobatics of the rhythm section, their huge, moody riffs recalling the metallic sludgepunk of Karp and the atmospheric prog of King Crimson in the same breath. Fans of Black Elk in particular would probably love this band; the five songs that make up this fairly short mini-album are crafted from huge sludge-encrusted guitars and titanic Stoner Witch-strength riffage, the band constantly threatening to hurtle into hardcore velocity, then shifting into songs like "Buzzsaw Babes" that cram in a ferocious psych-splattered rave-up into the song's three minute runtime, or "Sky Tyrant"'s rollicking blast of spaced-put sludgepunk. The last two songs on the disc sprawl out into longer and more expansive blasts of confusional heaviness, the former starting out as off-kilter math rock, hushed sing-speak unfurling over the winding guitar melodies and whirring background noise, eerie orchestral feedback wafting up around the song's dark currents, eventually erupting into something much heavier and more menacing, almost akin to the likes of Keelhaul or American Heritage; the latter "Beastwhores" is even heavier, more menacing prog-punk, the fast-paced music moving through multiple sections marked by bombastic power, dizzying technical prowess and raging metallic riffage. At just a little over half and hour, Deadlights keeps things lean for such a prog-fueled album, but it's that lack of excessive self-indulgence that makes this such a hard-hitting listening experience. Definitely has me wanting to go back and check out their previous album Speak Loud, Say Nothing.
Track Samples:
Sample : Psychodynamo
Sample : Crystal Witch
Sample : Beastwhores



WÖLFBAIT   A Veil Of Phosphorous Rot   CASSETTE   (Anthems of The Undesirable)    8.50



    Been wanting to get this band's stuff in stock here at C-Blast ever since they contacted me and turned me on to their stuff a few years ago. This Irish outfit has only released a pair of recordings since forming in 2011, and both of them were digital only, but their latest has finally gotten proper documentation (albeit super limited) via this new tape that came out on what is becoming one of my new favorite labels centering around noise-rock style stuff, Anthems Of The Undesirable.
    Made up of some of the guys from the punishing Swans-worshipping sludge band Drainland, Wölfbait deliver an equally crushing but quite different brand of noisy heaviness, which on previous releases materialized as a kind of punishingly repetitive hardcore punk assault. On this tape that gets traded for something far more noisy and abstract, a kind of psychedelic, skull-shredding "kraut violence" that blends the band's obsessions with classic Teutonic psychedelia, extreme noise and the heaviest strains of industrial music. This eight song album features what might be the band's most ferocious stuff yet, from the bleak industrial squalls and machinelike rumblings of opener "Feral Suit" that unfold across the opening minutes like an ancient Bianchi side, to the putrid distorted throb of "Hairy Bones" that endlessly loops through a scummy haze of blown-out drone and synth-squelch, surrounded by bits of eerie metallic whirr. These hypnotic murkscapes hint at a tripper Wolf Eyes, perhaps, or maybe a heavier, nastier Skull Defekts, for point of reference. Other tracks feature the band brutally torturing stringed instruments and rattling lengths of chain, whipping up a delay-drenched improvised din of creepy abstract sonics, flowing into currents of vast deep low-end rumble. Their crushing mechanical noise is locked into relentless pneumatic rhythms, like the pounding and clanking of monstrous machinery echoing out of the depths of some vast cave system, while high-voltage electricity pulsates beneath waves of swirling black drift. Fractured industrial soundscapes unfold into arrays of mysterious percussive noises and creepy distant voices, drifting back out into fields of infernal kosmische psychedelia. And it's all a lead-up to the tape's titanic closing track, "Taking Drugs To Make Drones To Take Drugs To", a nearly twenty minute sprawl of sinister scraping sounds, massive low-frequency drone, fluttering electronics and spectral rattling all drifting through a freeform haze of factory-floor ambience and ominous black drift.
    Limited to one hundred twenty five copies, housed in a silk-screened cardboard case.
Track Samples:
Sample : Anarchicus Lupus
Sample : Streets of Fire
Sample : Bone Bubbles



WOLVES OF HEAVEN / NYODENE D   split   CASSETTE   (Survivalist)    6.50



    A killer split between Column Of Heaven industrial/noise offshoot Wolves Of Heaven and experimental death industrialist Nyodene D, originally released as a super-limited cassette on Andrew Nolan's Survivalist imprint (of which we have a very few copies remaining in stock), here reissued on vinyl by Anthems Of The Undesirable.
    Combining elements of Broken Flag-style industrial with the more monstrous exhortations of latter-day Bastard Noise, Wolves Of Heaven offer up a seething, pitch-black industrial mutation on their side. Beginning with the bellowing death industrial dirge "Desire", deep guttural vocals echo across a bleak, tortured noisescape formed from blasts of distorted bass, pounding freeform tribal drumming, corroded electronics, fluttering oscillator-like frequencies, and misshapen rhythmic sounds that splutter beneath the increasingly aggressive onslaught. Ugly and heavy and ultimately pretty trance-inducing as the band eventually locks into a putrid mechanical throb that takes over the latter part of the track. The other track "Release" unfolds with bursts of low-end noise echoing over a desolate field of scraping metal detritus and minimal whirr, starting off rather restrained. When it suddenly explodes into a deafening blast of noxious, suffocating power electronics, it's almost startling, as delay-drenched screams hurtle through a wall of distorted bass-drone and static filth, a crushing synthlike riff gradually revealing itself beneath the scraping, searing cacophony. Later, a haunting, quasi-kosmische melody drifts out over the swells of corrosive low-end noise, leading to an unusually arresting and atmospheric climax. An interesting, powerful approach that builds upon the member's previous experiments with noise and electronics.
    The Nyodene D tracks on the second side offer a similarly striking combination of apocalyptic lyrical visions and absolutely punishing industrial music, here lumbering through three lengthy tracks much in the vein of his fantastic Edenfall album. Grinding machinelike rhythms rumble beneath the steady, deliberate pounding of drums, giving "Nostalgia Is A Weapon" an almost militaristic feel as crushing, doom-laden drones, terrifying choral ambience and those putrid, electronically processed vocals intermingle and undulate across Nyodene D's inferno. There are moments of brief calm that emerge at the tail end of some of the tracks, but for the most part this is relentless in its slow motion pummeling, those vaguely martial drums maintaining the deathmarch tempo as he continues to unleash bursts of electronic noise and acrid distortion, eerie monor key melodies and distant orchestral strings drifting through the depths, spacey synthlike effects and shrill metallic drones surrounding the slow collapse of scrap metal mountains crumbling to the earth, that martial pummel giving this an almost Swans-like feel. Terrifying.
Track Samples:
Sample : NYODENE D - Salt
Sample : NYODENE D - Nostalgia Is A Weapon



WOLVES OF HEAVEN / NYODENE D   split   LP   (Anthems of The Undesirable)    12.00



    A killer split between Column Of Heaven industrial/noise offshoot Wolves Of Heaven and experimental death industrialist Nyodene D, originally released as a super-limited cassette on Andrew Nolan's Survivalist imprint (of which we have a very few copies remaining in stock), here reissued on vinyl by Anthems Of The Undesirable.
    Combining elements of Broken Flag-style industrial with the more monstrous exhortations of latter-day Bastard Noise, Wolves Of Heaven offer up a seething, pitch-black industrial mutation on their side. Beginning with the bellowing death industrial dirge "Desire", deep guttural vocals echo across a bleak, tortured noisescape formed from blasts of distorted bass, pounding freeform tribal drumming, corroded electronics, fluttering oscillator-like frequencies, and misshapen rhythmic sounds that splutter beneath the increasingly aggressive onslaught. Ugly and heavy and ultimately pretty trance-inducing as the band eventually locks into a putrid mechanical throb that takes over the latter part of the track. The other track "Release" unfolds with bursts of low-end noise echoing over a desolate field of scraping metal detritus and minimal whirr, starting off rather restrained. When it suddenly explodes into a deafening blast of noxious, suffocating power electronics, it's almost startling, as delay-drenched screams hurtle through a wall of distorted bass-drone and static filth, a crushing synthlike riff gradually revealing itself beneath the scraping, searing cacophony. Later, a haunting, quasi-kosmische melody drifts out over the swells of corrosive low-end noise, leading to an unusually arresting and atmospheric climax. An interesting, powerful approach that builds upon the member's previous experiments with noise and electronics.
    The Nyodene D tracks on the second side offer a similarly striking combination of apocalyptic lyrical visions and absolutely punishing industrial music, here lumbering through three lengthy tracks much in the vein of his fantastic Edenfall album. Grinding machinelike rhythms rumble beneath the steady, deliberate pounding of drums, giving "Nostalgia Is A Weapon" an almost militaristic feel as crushing, doom-laden drones, terrifying choral ambience and those putrid, electronically processed vocals intermingle and undulate across Nyodene D's inferno. There are moments of brief calm that emerge at the tail end of some of the tracks, but for the most part this is relentless in its slow motion pummeling, those vaguely martial drums maintaining the deathmarch tempo as he continues to unleash bursts of electronic noise and acrid distortion, eerie monor key melodies and distant orchestral strings drifting through the depths, spacey synthlike effects and shrill metallic drones surrounding the slow collapse of scrap metal mountains crumbling to the earth, that martial pummel giving this an almost Swans-like feel. Terrifying.
Track Samples:
Sample : NYODENE D - Salt
Sample : NYODENE D - Nostalgia Is A Weapon



X NARRATIVE   XN   CASSETTE   (Tested Souls)    5.99



    Old-school industrial gets filtered through the depraved grey matter of To Live and Shave in L.A. mastermind Tom Smith. Another recent release on the increasingly intriguing Tested Souls imprint, XN is the debut from X Narrative, the new duo of Blossoming Noise boss and To Live And Shave In L.A. / Exploring Therapeutic Encounter / Cursory / Black Meat member Graham Moore on tapes/electronics, and renowned weirdo Smith on vocals, who besides running the long-running sonic freak show To Live and Shave in L.A. has also abused ears and minds with the likes of Miss High Heel and Ohne (not to mention his stint in an early incarnation of Pussy Galore).
    Like the other releases on this burgeoning imprint, XN explores dark regions of the subconscious, opening up with a stretch of murky ambience that could pass for part of a background score to a gialli, deep breathing heaving over a swirling bed of droning synth. That soon moves into the unsettlingly weird "In Sight In An Assumed Body", materializing into a bizarre sort of languid quasi-power electronics, hallucinatory lyrics belted out by Tom Smith's demented lounge singer delivery over a sheet of minimal electronic throb, but nowhere as campy as that description might have you think, as a clipped drum machine rhythm suddenly emerges onto the scene and transforms it into a twisted industrial swagger. The following tracks follow suit, minimal pulsating rhythms and hushed black drones panning from left to right as those depraved crooning vocals continue to ooze from the speakers, flurries of crackling black static and swarming sine waves swelling beneath the dreamlike blur of voices that occur as the multiple layered tracks of vocals become smeared together. It even approaches a kind of twisted, brain-damaged danceability with the fractured tribal rhythms of the closer "Fully Described", recalling the likes of Throbbing Gristle or SPK for a minute. Great stuff. Comes on a pro-manufactured cassette in a screen printed Arigato-style case, limited to one hundred copies.


XOTHIST   Simulacrum   LP   (Fallen Empire)    19.98



   The first full-length from Colorado one-man band Xothist offers yet another intoxicating melding of noise and black metal aesthetics, the sort that I'm always seeking after, delivering a gloriously raw and psychedelic sound across these five tracks of sprawling cosmic cacophony. Hauntingly low-fi nightside melodies seep through Xothist's gauzy, rotted veil of crackling ectoplasmic energy, the album opening into a soft bed of murmuring feedback, drifting like low-laying fog across the opening minutes of the LP. A somber, solemn introduction to Simulacrum that slowly swells in volume as vague chordal melodies unfold in the depths of the mix, a murky ambient drift draped in soured moonglow; then that nocturnal haze is suddenly shredded apart as a snare drum counts off and Xothist lunges into a churning, speaker shredding blur of low-fi black metal, with amplifiers cranked so hard into the high end that the riffs become a hazy smear of trebly hiss, awash in low-fi static and moldering murk. The noisy high-end production on this LP almost buries the tinny rumble of the drums beneath that blanket of hissing distortion and searing blackened riffage; that deliberately blown-out recording fully embraces the mind-flaying properties of black static, creating a sound that's going to be most appreciated by fans of the noisiest extremes of black metal.
    Simulacrum might not head all the way into Wold territory (though at times it definitely comes close) and the long, sprawling songs do follow a fairly traditional type of black metal structure, but the production aesthetics and needle-prick guitars bring an intensely corrosive texture to Xothist's version of black metal. The vocals are rendered totally incomprehensible beneath all of that distortion, a furious impassioned scream enmeshed with so much high-end hiss that it more resembles the howl of icy wind rushing through high mountain passes in the deepest shadows of winter, a mysterious murkiness obscuring the band's lyrics. But beneath all of that trebly hiss and blown-out distorted guitar, there's actually some immensely majestic black metal to be found here, the sweeping tremolo leads echoing the epic feel of classic second wave outfits, each song unfolding into a lengthy introspective epic enshrouded in that thick blanket of distorted static, with forays into warbling blown-out guitar noise or droning bass-guitar plod and pools of corroded kosmische star-rot that ooze off of the grooves of this LP in deformed, atonal instrumental passages; parts of this almost resemble something off of an old Broken Flag cassette, leading into the next blast of icy, isolationist frenzy. And even when the songs shift into a vicious lurching heaviness or a murderous mid-tempo groove, that blizzard of hiss remains constant, an omnipresent flurry of sonic filth swirling endlessly around the regal, mournful melodies. Fantastic.
Track Samples:
Sample : A Dull Integration
Sample : Grief
Sample : Blossom



ZAIDEN   Virus   7" VINYL + CDR   (Hjuj'd Tyrusgr)    5.98



    Ultra-obscure Japanese synth brutalist Sou Hayano makes his first appearance here at C-Blast with this new 7" from his Zaiden project, released by the fine freakazoids over at Hjuj'd Tyrusgr. Not knowing much about this project as there's virtually nothing to be found online about either Hayano or Zaiden, I had initially expected this to be in a similar psychedelic vein as Hiroshi Hasegawa's extreme synth-generated walls of electronic noise. Hayano delivers something a bit more deranged, though, spewing a nine minute eruption of monstrous synthesizer mutation.
    "Virus" starts off as a cluster of frenzied signal sweeps and violent glitchery that slowly builds over a bed of soft, crackling static. As the track progresses, Hayano gradually contorts his cracked and tortured electronics into a series of severely deformed melodies that unfurl into jagged, atonal forms, sinister strains of discordant creep that rise and fall through the swirling distorted signals and rhythmic loops of bleeping noise. Doesn't take long before this transforms into a surreal, nightmarish din of mangled electronics, like some evil Stockhausen piece being force-fed fistfuls of methamphetamines and jammed through a particle accelerator and set against a panoramic backdrop of squirming Cronenbergian mutations and crawling flesh-horror. Solidly abusive stuff that does a nice job of rending your nerve endings before it's all said and done. Issued in a limited edition of one hundred copies, each hand-numbered and comes with a CDR copy of the entire uninterrupted track.
Track Samples:
Sample : Virus
Sample : Virus



ZORN, JOHN   The Last Judgement   CD   (Tzadik)    18.98



   The last chapter in Zorn's long-running Moonchild septology, The Last Judgment reconvenes the legendary avant-jazz composer and saxophonist with acclaimed jazz drummer Joey Baron (Naked City, Masada), bassist Trevor Dunn (Faith No More, Fantômas, Mr. Bungle, Tomahawk, Secret Chiefs 3), organist John Medeski of Medeski Martin & Wood fame, and vocalist Mike Patton, who should need no introduction to fans of the heavy and the outré. This nine-song album continues to mine the sort of mystical, occult-themed imagery and subject matter of the previous Moonchild releases, and is in fact dedicated to the combined memory of Antonin Artaud, Aleister Crowley, and Edgard Varese as well as the legend of the Knights Templar, a heady stew that hints at the dark and esoteric vibe that courses through the album.
    Musically, the group veers from manic, borderline metallic blasts of frenzied prog rock to moodier stretches of an almost medieval jazz-prog, with Medeski's sumptuous organ and Patton's array of ghostly crooning and crazed demonic shrieks at the forefront of it all. It's alternately spooky and savage, and certainly some of the most aggressive stuff to come from Zorn since the last Painkiller album. Fans of that group's Prophecy will no doubt groove on these crazed jazz/rock eruptions and their mix of offbeat rhythms and organ-drenched mania. There's some creepy spoken word stuff that intermingles with foggy keyboard drones and quasi-Gregorian chanting, then gives way to frenetic jazzcore ("Friday The 13th") and blasts of gothic organ, witchy incantations encircling bouts of brooding progginess that wouldn't be out of place on a late 70's Italian horror film ("Misericordia" and especially the eerie, Goblinesque closer "Slipway"). There's even the occasional eruption of Naked City-style chaos that arrives at the end of songs like "Incant", where the band really whip up a ferocious din. It's mostly a moody and labyrinthine piece of music that they've created though, a strange and delirious mixture of virtuosic jazz fusion and burly, muscular King Crimson-esque prog, draped in lyrical black magic and moody cinematic atmosphere.
    Dark and menacing music that'll be appreciated by fans of the more gothic prog found with the likes of The Least We Can Do Is Wave To Each Other-era Van der Graaf Generator and Art Zoyd's silent horror movie soundtracks, an impressive close to this ambitious series of albums from Zorn and company. Stunning package for this album, too, presented in a digipack housed in a die-cut slipcase that partially obscures the Hieronymus Bosch cover art, and includes an exquisitely designed twelve page booklet.
Track Samples:
Sample : Slipway
Sample : Resurrection
Sample : Misericordia









  




keyword_header
specialties
feature_container
Join the Crucial Blast E-Newsletter
Enter your name and email address below:
Name:
Email:
Subscribe  Unsubscribe