new noise from crucial blast...


    I'm back after another extended delay with a huge list of new stuff and restocks that are swelling over the shelves here at C-Blast, lots of mind-bending metal and avant-death weirdness, vinyl slabs of outre hardcore punk and blistering power electronics assaults, a HUGE stack of horror soundtracks both recent and brand new, lots of stuff from labels like Flenser and Husk and Hell Comes Home and Parasitic. Not even sure where to start. Probably the best place would be with the new album from Isolator, Culture & Principal Of Anti-Human Exaltation , which is what I've singled out as my pick for this weel's new arrivals list; you guys know how much I love the blackest, most evil-sounding extremes of industrial music, right? This one delivers that sound in a big way, a sprawling, nightmarish din of demonic screams and blackened ambient rumble, crushing doom-laden drums lumbering through the ash-choked atmopshere, the whole sound having this entropic feel, as if the music itself is rotting away as you're listening to it. And it's incredibly heavy, which isn't surprising seeing as how the guys behind this project are also involved with death and black metal bands Father Befouled, Encoffination and Set. This album's the best wallow in sonic evil I've had all summer - anyone into the heaviest strains of death industrial and bands like Gnaw Their Tongues, Deathstench and T.O.M.B. should check this out.

    I also have a couple of new releases out on the Crucial Blaze imprint: first is a limited-edition CD from UK noise artist Hal Hutchinson, also of Pollutive Static; under his own name, Hutchinson has been recording and releasing some of the most interesting "junk metal" material I've heard in ages, his heavily layered aesthetic creating these cathartic noisescapes filled with the sounds of crashing, banging, scraping metal that sounds like a machine shop stuck in a state of eternal collapse, the sounds of metal forming into a kind of grating symphony of noise. Definitely something I'd only recommended to fans of that particular "scrap metal" aesthetic and like-minded noise artists like K2 and Alan Bloor/Knurl. If you're into this sort of acoustic "industrial" sound, though, this guy's producing some fantastic stuff, and his latest disc Wreckage Installations has over an hour of this pandemonium, presented in an edition of four hundred copies with prints of corroded machinery taken by Hutchinson that I assume consist of at least some of the stuff that was used to create this.
    There's also a pair of art zines that were issued this week under the Blaze imprint: there's Dans L'oeil Du Mort , an art zine featuring the work of INDUSTRIE CHIMČRE NOIRE, the French Canadian artist who has produced some fantastic imagery for bands like PORTAL and FISTULA; this zine collects a variety of his work both new and old, including some stuff that appears here for the first time, and it's all great eye-candy for anyone into his surrealistic, demonic visions. The other one is Vomitous Mass, a thick collection of artwork from Cody Drasser, who has been playing in a variety of death metal and experimental projects over the past few decades; focusing heavily on his 90's era death metal artwork, this art zine showcases work that ranges from crude, death metal demo-style abominations to more intricate drawings, nightmarish collage art, and more. I've been a fan of this guy's artwork after stumbling across an online repository for his work a while back, and I'd been wanting to document this stuff in physical form ever since.

Here's a rundown of the other new releases and re-stocks that are also on this week's list:

- the recent new album of lady-fronted ultra-heavy doom metal from WOUNDED KINGS, Consolamentum
- the latest album from WRECK & REFERENCE Want, further exploring their unique amalgam of black metal, goth, industrial and doom
- a skull-shredding EP of filthy, noise-damaged black sludge from WRETCHED WORST titled Funeral Burning
- the debut album from Nashville crushers YAUTJA, Songs Of Descent, which combines noisy Am Rep-style bludgeon with brutal grind
- restocks of the recent vinyl reissues of YOB's The Great Cessation and OM's Pilgrimage from Southern Lord
- two CD releases of crusty and surprisingly catchy Japanese black metal from YVONXHE
- a new 7" of ripping thrash metal from ZATH, the Chicago band featuring members of psych rock / industrial outfits OAKEATER, CAVE, COUGHS and OOZING WOUND
- a new single-sided etched 12" from Italian jazz-core/math metal crushers ZU, featuring guest appearances from members of NAPALM DEATH and THE LOCUST
- Visitor, the first album in nearly twenty years of grim industrial dub from SIMM, like an even more nightmarish Scorn
- a new 7" / DVDR set titled Window Hammer from experimental noisecore trio SISSY SPACEK
- the recent new full length of dark arctic ambient from SKORNEG
- a new 7" of vicious Holy Terror-influenced apocalyptic hardcore from SON OF MAN
- the limited edition vinyl for STARGAZER's progressive death opus A Great Work Of Ages / A Work Of Great Ages
- STATION DYSTHYMIA's impressive latest album of atmopsheric, progressive deathdoom Overhead, Without Any Fuss, The Stars Were Going Out
- a handful of bleak, soul-rotting industrial cassettes from the obscure Italian label Diazepam featuring the likes of SHIVER, DEPRIVATION, HEXEN, WAILING OF THE WINDS and ECOUTE LA MERDE
- the new album from ghastly industrial drift and extoplasmic ambience from NYC duo A MURDER OF ANGELS, Before Your Eyes
- the recent reissue of the long out of print album Intercourse & Lust from sex-crazed Japanese blackthrash maniacs ABIGAIL
- the latest album from Greek blackened prog-metallers AENAON, Extance, delivering more of their crushing blackened mathy heaviness
- a bunch of 7"s from the Hell Comes Home series, featuring splits from AKANAME, COFFINWORM, LESBIAN'S FUNGAL ABYSS, BLACK SUN, PYRAMIDO, FISTULA, DUKATALON, SUMA, ULTRAPHALLUS, RITES, UNION OF SLEEP, DEAD ELEPHANTS, BURNING LOVE, DEPHOSPHORUS, RABBITS, THROAT, GREAT FALLS, FIGHT AMP, all packaged in sleeves adorned in striking mutant insect artwork
- the debut full length from atmopsheric Nashville black metallers ALRAUN, The Process Of Self-Immolation
- the new cassette edition of the crushing ANEMONE TUBE / DISSECTING TABLE split album This Dismal World
- the latest 12" of ripping black metal/sludge from ARGENTINUM ASTRUM, and a restock of their super-limited second CD
- a recent vinyl release of Labyrinth Constellation, the amazing debut from interplanetary prog-death wizards ARTIFICIAL BRAIN
- L'Etre Et La Nausee, the latest sprawling double disc album from impassioned French doomdeath masters ATARAXIE
- the killer CD edition of THE ATLAS MOTH's latest album of sludgy prog metal The Old Believer with its wild album art design
- the new disc of chaotic technical death metal from Mitochondrion offshoot AUROCH
- the bewitching debut album from BARREN HARVEST, the neo-folk/kosmische duo of Lenny Smith (Atriarch/Trees) and Jessica Way (Worm Ouroboros)
- the debut album of eccentric death-thrash from Japanese blast warriors BASILISK
- a couple of long out-of-print Bastard Noise records from the early 90s, including splits with BIZARRE UPROAR and AUNT MARY...
- ...as well as some newer records from the mighty BASTARD NOISE, paired up with the likes of GUILTY CONNECTOR and WITCHES OF MALIBU (ex-Hunting Lodge)
- ...and a reissue of the classic 1992 MAN IS THE BASTARD 7" Backwards Species, classic mutant powerviolence
- recent 7" releases on the extreme speedcore/breakcore label Omega Warfare from DJ SKULL VOMIT / LADYSCRAPER, COMPANY FUCK / SANTISIMA VIRGEN MARIA and PENTADRVG / YUDLUGAR
- the brain-scrambling debut EP of ultra-complex confusional tech-death Mustma Dorcheme from Japan's BLEEDEAD
- new ultra-limited lathe cuts from Midwestern harsh noise wall artist BOAR and Boar-side project I WATCHED YOU DIE
- a restock of the recent collaboration from avant sludge metallers THE BODY and UK electro-creeper HAXAN CLOAK, I Shall Die Here
- a restock of the crushing 2010 Live At Roadburn album from British psychedelic sludgelords BONG
- the stunning new vinyl reissue of SIMON BOSWELL's fearsome score to Richard Stanley's visionary 1990 cyberpunk nightmare Hardware
- a new LP edition of BOTANIST's III: Doom In Bloom as well as a restock of the origina 2xCD release
- album number two of jet-black space rock oblivion from the amazing new Brainbombs offshoot BREMEN
- a new 7" from frenzied blackened hardcore fiend BROKEN CROSS, with more of his evil GISM-meets-VENOM insanity
- a cassette only final release from Kentucky psychedelic noise rock outfit CADAVER IN DRAG, featuring Josh Lay of GLASS COFFIN
- the eye-popping new Death Waltz vinyl reissue of Fabio Frizzi's fantastic score to Fulci's surrealistic splatterfest City Of The Living Dead...
- ...as well as a bunch of recent horror/exploitation soundtracks from Death Waltz back in stock, including the scores for JOHN CARPENTER's The Fog, ROB's Maniac, JOE DELIA's Ms. 45, RALPH JONES's Slumber Party Massacre, HARRY ROBINSON's Twins Of Evil and SUSAN JUSTIN's Forbidden World
- as well as the new deluxe reissue of ROBERTO DONATI's score to the cannibal chunkblower classic Cannibal Ferox
- the recent new album of dank pirate-themed death metal horror from Australian cave crawlers CAULDRON BLACK RAM (featuring members of MOURNFUL CONGREGATION)
- a recent 7" of rambling jailhouse folk from CHARLES MANSON with liners from Nikolas Schreck, released by black/death imprint Parasitic
- deluxe new CD reissues of the classic early albums In The Glare Of Burning Churches and The Celtic Winter from Polish black metallers GRAVELAND
- recent tape releases from Carbon Records featuring the heavy free-rock sludge of RASH and the raw hypno-sludge trances of CHILLUM
- the Season Of Mist CD reissues of the classic early CHRISTIAN DEATH albums Ashes and Catastrophe Ballet...
- ...and a recent Record Store Day release of a limited two-song 7" from death rockers CHRISTIAN DEATH, The Edward Colver Edition
- new vinyl reissues of GOBLIN's classic horror-prog soundtracks to Suspiria and Zombi (Dawn Of The Dead)
- an all-too-brief debut from CLAY RENDERING, Waters Above The Firmament, Mike Connelly's (WOLF EYES / HAIR POLICE) new dark industrial/dreampop duo with wife Tara
- a restock of crucial blackened death discs including CONQUEROR's War Cult Supremacy and REVENGE's Attack.Blood.Revenge
- the stunning apocalyptic power electronics/industrial darkness of CREMATION LILY's new LP Fires Frame The Silhouette
- a CD reissue of the amazingly bonkers early 80s Mexican speed metal rock opera Kuman from CRISTAL Y ACERO
- a new LP from Claudio Simonetti's heavy metal/prog side project DAEMONIA performing the score to Zombi / Dawn Of The Dead
- the latest album of dreamy, dolorous deathdoom from DARKFLIGHT, like some strange mix of Alcest and Thergothon
- the latest album of crushing, atmopsheric occult death metal from Greece's DEAD CONGREGATION, Promulgation Of The Fall
- the blazing epic black metal melodies and violent grindcore tempos of DEAD IN THE MANGER's Transience 12"
- restocks of the NED vinyl reissues of DEATHSPELL OMEGA's Drought and Si Monvmentvm Reqvires, Circvmspice
- the debut album from Lithuanian "blackgaze" outfit DEVLSY, who sort of resemble a killer cross between the emo-core of ENVY and depressive black metal
- vinyl releases of both the brand new four-song comeback from industrial metal legends GODFLESH, and a 2xLP reissue of their classic album Pure
- recent vinyl and cassette releases from the strange Spanish experimental black metal band EMANATION, who resembles a more furious, noisy ALUK TODOLO
- a super-limited cassette of murky, gorgeous low-fi ambient black metal from one man UK band EPOCH.OF.STARS
- a staggering triple LP vinyl edition of ESOTERIC's 2008 psychedelic deathdoom epic The Maniacal Vale
- tape and CDR versions of the debut EP from Seattle operatic prog-crust weirdos EYE OF NIX
- some cool death rock influenced blackened weirdness on FATALISM's Mystery Of Death EP
- restock of the latest album from Japanese grindcore outfit FLAGITIOUS IDIOSYNCRASY IN THE DILAPIDATION
- a big haul of old and new vinyl from former SKULLFLOWER axeman STEFAN JAWORZYN, incl his new Drained Of Connotation and Principles Of Inertia LPs
- the new ripping new 7" of psychotic noise-damaged hardcore punk from Aussie maniacs FLESH WORLD, Planned Obsolescence
- a restock of the new FLOOR comeback album Oblation on CD/LP/CS, and their brand new sludgepop blast Homegoings And Transitions / Shadowline on 12"
- the recent zodiac-themed EP of psych-tinged hardcore punk from Toronto's FUCKED UP, Year Of The Dragon
- FUNERAL MOTH's latest album of immense atmopsheric Japanese deathdoom Dense Fog, from former COFFINS members
- the sprawling new triple-disc from Japanese jet-black improv masters FUSHITSUSHA teaming up with free-jazz legend Peter Brotzmann
- the debut 12" from avant-death metal duo GERYON, featuring members of Krallice belting out some twisted Gorgutsian heaviness
- the ripping RSD limited 10" from thrash metallers GHOUL, Hang Ten, featuring their crazed mix of surf/garage rock and pummeling thrash
- the recent split 12" featuring low-fi black metal mutants GLASS COFFIN and HARASSOR, and a restock of GLASS COFFIN's 12" on Prison Tatt
- a recent CD featuring a collaboration between black industrial/noise/doom outfits GNAW THEIR TONGUES and ALKERDEEL, Dyodyo Asema
- a restock of the blazing final album from ex-Discordance Axis grindcore unit GRIDLINK, Longhena, on vinyl and CD
- the latest album of bizarre, nightmarish sound/noise collage from GUILTY CONNECTOR side project GRIM TALKERS
- more mesmeric, noisy black metal weirdness from L'ACEPHALE on their new Decollate cassette and their older Book Of Lies 7"
- the new album from HARDCORE ANAL HYDROGEN, Talas Of Satan, spewing their brand of insane Naked City-esque blastprog
- a restock of the now out of print vinyl reissue of JOHN HARRISON's classic score to Romero's Creepshow
- Nightfall, the latest album of majestic, time-stopping funeral doom from THE HOWLING VOID
- Seriés Aphonos's beautiful new LP release of KRZYSZTOF KOMEDA's (Rosemary's Baby) lyrical score to another Polanski horror film, Dance Of The Vampires
- a disgustingly abrasive split cassette featuring the bizarre dissonant black metal of JUTE GYTE paired up with the brain-damaged black doom horror of VENOWL
- the debut album from heavy duty UK doom metallers LIMB, who deliver total riff-city with their eponymous first album
- a new 3" CDR of dark improv/industrial from LOCI titled Around The Edges Of All
- the newest album of treble-overloaded experimental black metal fury from MALKUTH, Hathir Sakta
- a new repress of The Coast Explodes from psych heavies MAMMATUS, now with digital download code
- some of the last copies ever of the recent vinyl reissue of My Fruit Psychobells, the 1999 debut from avant garde death metallers MAUDLIN OF THE WELL
- Esoteric Warfare, the new album of discordant evil and ever-experimental black metal mastery from Norwegian legends MAYHEM
- a killer split 7" featuring the desperate off-kilter black metal of Ukraine's MOLOCH, and more crude low-fi necro-vengeance from GLASS COFFIN
- and a new Japanese CD release from Ukrainian black metal miserablist MOLOCH, Gebrechlichkeit, that collects various rare recordings from the band's career
- a reissue of the 2007 album Radiance Of Shadows from fuzzed-out shoegazer-doom duo NADJA
- more face-ripping powerviolence via new 7"s from NO COMMENT and SEX PRISONER
- a bunch of killer nocturnal psych albums on Japanese label Musik Atlach from KEIKO HIGUCHI/CRIS X, MAJUTSU NO NIWA, and SACHIKO & FUKUOKA RINJI
- a recent split 7" from cult prog/industrial outfit NOVY SVET and Goblin-influenced C-Blast faves SPETTRO FAMILY
- the new LP The Algea from NRIII, moving away from the projects bizarro black industrial origins into an equally bizarre occult industrial sound
- crushing noise rock/hyperfast hardcore punk mayhem from NUDES and their new Stain 7"
- a restock of the latest disc from John Zorn and Bill Laswell's longrunning dub/hardcore/improv outfit PAINKILLER, here playing with Tatsuya Yoshida of RUINS
- the latest issue (#4) from Lasse Marhaug's Norwegian experimental music magazine PERSONAL BEST
- Desideratum, the new album of gorgeous drone-n'-noise drenched gloompop from PLANNING FOR BURIAL
- new cassette releases of Swarth and Vexovoid from Australian avant garde death metallers PORTAL
- a rare split CD featuring improv-black metal creeps SMOKE teaming up with the raw black metal of Germany's PROSATANOS
- the punishing split 7" featuring punk-fueled war metallers RADIOACTIVE VOMIT and avant-powerviolence killsquad COLUMN OF HEAVEN
- the debut 7" of atmopsheric blackened doomdeath from RITUAAL, featuring members of Encoffination / Father Befouled / Mourner
- a 7" reissue of the ultra-heavy demo from sludge metallers RUINE
- another split 7" featuring noisegrinders SETE STAR SEPT, here teamed with cult 90's noisecore weirdo NUT SCREAMER
- a killer 12" debut from UK deathrock throwbacks SHALLOW SANCTION, delivering some grim Rudimentary Peni-esque aggression
- the recent vinyl reissue of SHINING's 2002 ode to self-destruction III: Angst, out from Peaceville
- a double CD reissue of out of print albums from the other Shining, the jazzy metallic prog outfit behind Grindstone and In The Kingdom Of Kitsch
- a new 7" featuring the long-lost early 90s recordings from Boston thrash extremists SIEGE, with Seth Putnam (ANAL CUNT) on vocals
- a new CD release (and a restock of the LP edition) of SUTEKH HEXEN's sprawling black noise epic Monument Of Decay
- the primitive punk-tinged blackened violence of TARE's Ritual Degradation
- the new album from Australian dark ambient master TERRA SANCTA, Exile, featuring more of his sweeping apocalyptic dronescapes
- a restock of the second issue of European power electronics / industrial / noise zine TERROR
- the latest CD release from death industrialist TREPANERINGSRITUALEN, Perfection & Permanence, featuring some of his best material yet
- more crushing retardo sludge rock from Rochester knuckle-draggers TUURD, blending together mathy riffage, bone-rattling low-end and some perniciously poppy hooks
- the one and only album of nihilistic death industrial from U-731, By All Means
- the latest edition of ULVER's classic debut album of Norwegian black metal, Bergtatt - Et Eeventyr I 5 Capitler
- some of the last copies of this bangin' 12" of horror-disco remixes from UMBERTO, Temple Room
- the newest album of atmospheric old-school death metal from VANHELGD, Relics Of Sulphur Salvation
- some excavated copies of the long out-of-print Negative Approach tribute 7" Reproach, featuring Spazz, Man Is The Bastard and more
- the new CD edition of VILLAINS's latest album of transgressive, lusty black thrash, Never Abandon The Slut Train
- the newest album of slow-motion misery from WALK THROUGH FIRE, Hope Is Misery, featuring their most elegantly depressing doom to date
- a reissue of the classic album of proggy surrealism Black White & Grey by WHEN, a noted influence on the early Norwegian black metal scene
- a restock of Totem, the latest album of deranged, ultra-distorted noise rock from NYC's WHITE SUNS
- a restock of the crushing live album on Small Doses from Australian doom metal extremists WHITEHORSE
- the long-awaited new album from WIJLEN WIJ Coronachs that slips further into their unique delirium of funeral doom and prog rock
- Postsocial, the latest album from black noise masters WOLD that has some of their most aggressive stuff in years
- the latest album from WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM Celestite that sees the avant black metallers going full-on Tangerine Dream

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!


ISOLATOR   Culture and Principal of Anti-Human Exaltation   CD   (Black Plagve)    10.99

    Self-described as "anti-human death musick", Isolator's Culture and Principal of Anti-Human Exaltation is the debut album from this new duo made up of members of death/black metal outfits Set, Encoffination and Father Befouled, their first for black industrial imprint Black Plagve. The band's collective CV only hints at how massive this album is, though, and out of all of the black/death industrial albums I've been abusing myself with lately, this might just be the most unsettling, a noxious yet mesmerizing slab of abyssal ambience and black noise horror that fully envelops you within its monstrous mass of murky midnight ambience, unfurling vast fields of muffled orchestral drift, surges of grim soundtracky synthesizer drone, and ghastly industrial rumble that often slips into some seriously heavy fields of low-end black crush.
    The five tracks that comprise Culture sprawl out for nearly an hour, each one unfolding into a delirium of growling, heavily distorted bass drones and doom-laden metallic murk, blasts of ultra-heavy sound that bloom into almost Sunn 0)))-like waves of blackened tectonic rumble. That subterranean drift is threaded with soft glimmering veins of synthlike feedback and haunting melodious drift, but alongside those vague glimpses of eerie prettiness are infestations of demonic mutterings and barely audible whispers that slip in and out of perception, evil voices adrift in the duo's dense churning sea of blackened sound. Those slow eruptions of crushing low-end heaviness continue throughout the album, continuing to echo the molten drone-metal of Sunn 0))) or Black Boned Angel when they're at their heaviest, but that downtuned rumble is slowed down to an even more torturous crawl, draped in a filthy worm-eaten blanket of distressed classical music that has been deformed and stretched and broken down into a nightmarish blown-out din. All of this stuff is buried way down in the depths of Isolator's suffocating stygian fog, joined with swells of diffused, distorted choral-like sound drifting up in ash-black plumes. These guys definitely share some of the same DNA as some of the more orchestral-tinged black ambient outfits that have previously appeared on Malignant, but this is much more malevolent and abrasive and most of all heavy as hell. On tracks like the monolithic "Mankind Shall Reap The Mistakes God Hath Sown" and "Your Heaven Will Writhe Within The Chaos Of My Hell", Isolator's sound also almost seems to suggest a Satanic version of Tim Hecker's fuzzed-out, gorgeously hazy dronescapes, shades of grim gothic majesty warped and buried beneath an ocean of swirling soft distortion and hiss. That roiling black cloudscape of rumbling noise is shattered by the recurring roar of some vast metallic heaviness blasting through the abyss, spreading out beneath far-flung fields of kosmische glow and pulsating synthesizer drones hovering in space, drifting into stretches of soundtracky, almost Carpenterian dread, while the likes of "Carrion For The Feasts Of Angels" blend those hellish groans and screams with the glacial churn of black noise that resembles a Demonologists track stretched out into an agonizing blast of hateful slow-motion blackness.
    Awesomely nightmarish, Culture And Principle is exactly what I'd want to hear from a band of death metallers developing their own version of death industrial. The whole album is one long plunge into total sonic corruption, like a time-lapsed doomscape of rust and decay amplified to deafening power, the atmosphere sickeningly heavy and oppressive, especially towards the very end of the album as the sound of drums slowly enter into the fray, a punishing slow-motion grind like that of some funeral doom drummer unwittingly dropped into the middle of a maelstrom of swirling blackened drone, surrounded by ghastly gasping death metal-like rasps, everything blanketed beneath a heavy layer of black rot. A new level of heaviness from the Black Plagve camp. Comes in an eight panel digipack, limited to five hundred copies.
Track Samples:
Sample : Mankind Shall Reap The Mistakes God Hath Sown
Sample : Into The Blood Of Our Kingdom
Sample : Carrion For The Feasts Of Angels


!T.O.O.H.! (!TOTAL OBLITERATION OF HUMANITY!)   Řád A Trest (Order And Punishment)   LP   (Cylindrical Habitat Modules)    9.98

One of the craziest grindcore albums ever, !T.O.O.H.!'s third album Řád A Trest received the vinyl treatment last year courtesy of American avant-garde label Cylindrical Habitat Modules. We've finally gotten this cult classic in stock, on black vinyl limited to five hundred copies, with completely different (and much more appropriate, in my opinion) album artwork. Here's my original review of the CD version of the album that was released by the now-defunct avant-metal label Elitist (which we still have in stock, as well)...
Of all of the Czech grindcore bands that I've been listening to over the past decade, the most well known would probably be !T.O.O.H.! , also known as Total Obliteration Of Humanity. These weirdos released an album years ago called Pod Vladou Bice that was an instant hit around here, a brutally heavy, seriously tweaked grindcore album that stood out from the rest of the Czech grind scene with their skilled chops, complex songwriting and a tendency to throw a bunch of different styles (psych, jazz, pop punk, etc) into their vicious techgrind blender. That album (released on the obscure but very cool mutoid-grind label Plazzma) managed to reach a decent amount of ears outside of the Czech underground, and in 2005 the band reached a wider audience with the release of their album Order And Punishment on the short-lived Earache subsidiary Elitist, where they were labelmates with fellow metal mutants Ephel Duath. Heavier and less zany than their previous disc, this album nevertheless pushed T.O.O.H.'s zonked deathgrind into further realms of progginess, infusing the chunky, complex heaviness with trace elements of jazz fusion and neo-classical melody, and topping it all off with their nutty shrieking vocals that have always kind of reminded me of Macabre. The songs on this album are subversively catchy for a deathgrind band, and by all rights this should have been a huge hit in the extreme metal scene. Which it probably would have become, if it hadn't been for the acrimonious split between Elitist and Earache a mere few months after it was released, which effectively buried the album. This definitely needs to be heard by anyone into wonky, tech-head deathgrind though. Imagine early Athiest on whippits and a serious Zappa obsession, and loaded with insane fusiony soloing, jazzy basslines, n' spastic crunchy death metal riffage. I love Czech grind almost across the board - anytime I hear a death/grind band from this corner of Europe, it sounds like they are out of their minds - but T.O.O.H. were probably the most coherent and skilled band to come out of this scene so far. Recommended!
Track Samples:
Sample : Abu-Hassan
Sample : Analyza Zahnedy (Analysis of the Shitstain)
Sample : Konec Kontinentalniho Kontejneru (Conclusion of the Continental ...)

A BLACK PEOPLE   Visceral Realists   CASSETTE   (Death Agonies And Screams)    5.98

   Still don't know much about A Black People, the rather mysterious death rock/post punk outfit on Death Agonies And Screams who've returned here with their second cassette release; the band has kept all information regarding their lineup and location a secret thus far, though it's probably a safe bet that the key players are the same folks behind the label. Over the course of these two mini-albums (always manifesting physically on cassette only, at least so far), A Black People has become one of my favorite bands in this current death rock/dark post-punk resurgence that's been going on for awhile now, pursuing a more menacing vibe and aggressive attitude that's naturally right up my alley.
   Issued by Death Agonies in a super-limited edition of just one hundred copies like its predecessor, Visceral Realists features six new songs that continue with the somewhat blown-out, fairly morbid post-punk of the first tape, just as dark and infectious as the earlier stuff, but also feeling a little less ragged around the edges than the previous release, with a slightly more polished sound. Still fantastic stuff, though; you've got the requisite Christian Death and Rudimentary Peni influences still coursing through Realists' grim mid-tempo pulse and the nihilistic, surreal imagery found in the lyrics. The band's sound is mainly driven by the ominous throb of the bassist, each song formed around a simple but catchy hook that is also tinged with some cool, subtle use of tape-noise fuckery and spacey effects that are thrown into the mix, songs like "Harlett" sometimes drifting into washes of trippy electronic ambience, and the singer's got this great derisive monotone sneer, moaning throughout the entire tape like an even more blasé Rozz Williams. They crank the distortion up on some of the tracks, belting out droning fuzz-drenched riffs that buzz beneath the occasional swell of 'gazey distortion and dreamy tremolo drift that wash across songs like the uber-catchy "Sanctuary", and there are a few moments where the riffs even take on a metallic bite, adding to the menacing tone. The closer "Drowning" is another standout, finishing this off with a morose, heavy dirge that ends with a killer final blast of suffocating pessimism and miserable buzzsaw blackness. Like the previous tape, I can't recommend this enough if you're into the sort of miserablist punk and neo-deathrock stuff that's been coming out from likeminded gloom-punks like Blue Cross, Arctic Flowers, Dekoder, Crimson Scarlet, Night Sins, Funeral Parade, Blessure Grave and Liar In Wait.

A STORM OF LIGHT   Nations To Flames   2 x LP   (Southern Lord)    17.98

Finally managed to get the vinyl version of this killer, oft-overlooked 2013 album from A Storm Of Light...
Four albums in, it's clear that A Storm Of Might is Josh Graham. The former Neurosis member and minister of visual propaganda has employed an impressive coterie of musicians over the course of the band's five year career, a collective curriculum vitae that has run the gamut from the iconic to the upstart, from Vinnie Signorelli (Swans, Foetus, Unsane) to Domenic Seita (Tombs), Pete Angevine (Satanized) to Geoff Summers (Batillus), with assorted guest appearances from other avant-rock and post-punk luminaries like Lydia Lunch and Jarboe scattered across A Storm Of Light's discography. With each album, though, the lineup shifts, the players change, even as the sound has remained consistent, firmly rooted in Graham's sonic vision of slow-moving doom-laden soundscapes and electronically-enhanced atmospheric dirge. On previous albums, this resulted in a sound fairly rooted in the sort atmospheric, darkly majestic sludge-metal that his old band Neurosis pioneered, but on Nations To Flames, Graham appears to have moved beyond that straightforward, Neurosis-influenced sludge metal into something more strident and distinctive, delivering an assault of belligerent percussive power and jagged metallic crunch that appears to draw more influence from the apocalyptic crush of later-era Killing Joke and even the more extreme sounds of early 90's-era industrial metal. That's a sound that I've always loved, so Nations hooked me in pretty quick; surrounded by sights and sounds of violent urban protest and cities swept in flames, Nations kicks in with the crushing staccato guitars, distorted megaphone howls and militant, snare-driven rhythms of opener "Fall", and I'm immediately catching a whiff of both Killing Joke and early 90s Ministry.
That sort of percussive, apocalyptic mechanical metal sound is here infused into something more majestic, though, the sludgy riffage and martial rhythms giving way to skillfully assembled samples and looped soundscapes. Like on the song "Omens", which reminds me even more of that Minstry-esque warzone metal, the apocalyptic atmosphere of previous albums becoming amplified tenfold, the melodies steeped in dark drama and an unshakeable sense of foreboding. The sheer aggression of A Storm Of Light's music has been amplified, transforming into churning, violent prog-metal with massive chugging riffs, a heavy layer of synthesizer sheen and cold electronics sweeping through the entire album. Massive tribal rhythms churn alongside droning, hypnotic riffage and densely layered samples on "Dead Flags" as the band evokes the album title in the howling, furious lyrics. Waves of howling feedback cascade across "Lifeless", almost threatening to drown out the jagged riffage and percussive heaviness. And once the ominous cinematic power of the instrumental "Soothsayer" really starts to kick in, it's almost as if these guys have crafted something that is equal part Beating The Retreat-era Test Dept. and the angular, fiery sludge metal of Mastodon or High On Fire; elsewhere, I'm reminded of both Neurosis and Psalm 69 with the grinding, distorted thrash of "Disintegrate". A previous guest collaborator, Soundgarden's Kim Thayil returns to contribute his guitar playing to the songs "The Fire Sermon", "Omen" and "The Year Is One", and his sound is unmistakable when it appears, his signature sinuous bluesy solos searing through the angular sludge-metal; Will Lindsay (Ahisma, Indian, Anatomy Of Habit, Middian, Nachtmystium, Wolves In The Throne Room) also appears, playing guitar on four of the songs. Again, though, this is Graham's vision, one that has evolved into something even darker and more threatening on Nations To Flames, a pounding metallic soundtrack to violent street protests, the atmosphere thick with smoke and tear gas fumes. Easily their most intense work yet.
Track Samples:
Sample : You Are the Hunted
Sample : Omen
Sample : The Year Is One
Sample : Fall

ALBERICH   NATO-Uniformen   2 x LP   (Hospital Productions)    29.99

Track Samples:
Sample : Gas Mask
Sample : Infrared Kommando
Sample : Atlantic Munitions Development

ANTIGAMA   Zeroland   CD   (Selfmadegod)    11.98

Antigama's second album Zeroland from 2005 remains my favorite from this Polish outfit, a masterwork of discordant, progressive grindcore that combined a Voivoidian dissonance and spirit of experimentation with a precision grindcore attack that is still unmatched. The album has been out of print for awhile, but Selfmadegod finally repressed it this year; if you're a fan of challenging, crushing grind, you seriously need to hear this album if you've yet already done so. Here's my old writeup for the album from back when it was originally released:
Looking at the packaging on this CD, it would be easy to assume that this might contain some sort of psychedelic techno if it weren't for the Selfmadegod Records logo on the back of the case. What this is, is one of the best grindcore releases of 2005, a superb new blast of futurist grind violence from Poland that sounds to my ears like a modern day Voivod gone grind, or maybe Diatribes-era Napalm Death crossed with Nasum's rabid lockstep blastmetal and the nightmarish industrial atmosphere of classic Skinny Puppy. The album spews streams of speed-of-light blastbeats, disharmonic ultra-poly-rhythmic deathcore colliding with psychedelic electronic noise and chilling industrial loops.. These guys are at the top of their game here, delivering skullcracking, machine-tight grind combined with cleverly assembled avant/cyber/electronic sections and their signature dissonant guitar sound.
Zeroland, despite its experimental leanings and odd time signatures flirting with the boundries of free jazz and extreme noise, is also surprisingly catchy. The vocals here are an effective mixture of clean, heavily processed and spacey clean vocals and brutal gorilla tantrum deathgrunt, the singer's morbid moan getting into some weird territory that definitely doesn't sound like your usual death/grind delivery. And when the band isn't blasting through their insane cybergrind , they're melting your brainpaste with stuff like "Starshit" (a harrowing piece of extreme psychedelic vocal noise) and the massive closer "Zeroland", with it's 9 minutes of sinister fuzzed-out sample collage spoolling off into an ambient blackness while subtle clicks and cuts dance around far-off feedback screams. HIGHLY recommended to fans of primo avant-garde grindcore.
Track Samples:
Sample : Zeroland
Sample : Wounded Butterfly
Sample : Starshit
Sample : Seed

ATHEIST   Elements (ORANGE VINYL)   LP   (Season Of Mist)    23.98

Out of all of the death metal bands that were flirting with prog and avant-garde tendencies in the early 90's (a crowd that included the likes of Pestilence, Cynic, Death and Nocturnus), Atheist was the one that seemed to venture the furthest into full-blown jazz territory, releasing a trio of albums that would continue to mutate more and more into a strange sort of experimental fusion-death that liberally applied elements of tripped-out psychedelia, sweat-soaked samba (!) and similar Latin influences into their complex, crushing metal. Atheist's three albums (1989's Piece of Time, 1991's Unquestionable Presence and 1993's mind-bending Elements) went on to become landmarks in the field of progressive death metal; though the band reunited in recent years and produced the solid comeback album Jupiter for Season Of Mist, it's those earlier albums that I always go back to, as these guys sounded so unique, so outré, their music has aged remarkably well in the decades since their release. Founded by guitarist Kelly Shaefer (who also handled the vocals in Atheist, with a ferocious yowl that was totally unlike the guttural growling most other bands were doing back then) and his crew of pot-smoking visionaries in the early 80's as a standard issue thrash metal band, by the end of the decade they had evolved into one of the most unique metal bands to ever come out of the Sunshine State, morphing into something much more complex and left-field than almost anyone else in the Floridian death metal scene, combining dizzying baroque arrangements and highly complex time signatures with vicious, discordant riffs and heavy doses of fusiony jazz, Latin music and prog influences. Unsurprisingly, these albums went over the heads of most metalheads when they originally came out, the complexity and insane tonal shifts throwing most 'bangers for a loop. They never received the sort of widespread acclaim that many of their peers enjoyed throughout the 90's, and Atheist ended up breaking up not long after the release of their third album Elements. Released on the long-defunct Active Records, all three of the early Atheist LPs were later re-mastered and reissued with bonus materials on CD via Relapse Records in 2005, followed by these new limited-edition vinyl reissues on new label Season Of Mist that pretty much duplicate the original Active releases all the way down to the center labels.
On album number three, listeners followed Atheist all the way down their weird rabbit-hole of surreal songwriting and jazz/samba influenced prog meshed with crushing staccato death metal heaviness. Despite the fact that Elements was in essence a rush-job that the band belted out quickly to finish off their contract, the album was an intense, accomplished work that featured some of Atheist's most imaginative songwriting ever. Most of the songs are titled after various elemental forces, continuing in the band's strange New Age-style themes of spirituality, and their Byzantine songwriting was further fleshed out with polyrhythmic drumming, complex time signatures and unpredictable shifts in style and tone that often completely abandoned the death metal form. Cynic bassist Tony Choy returned as well, contributing his virtuosic deep-pocket playing that the band wisely put way up front in the mix. Choy's playing is a big part of what makes this album sound so unique, his grooves more informed by jazz, funk and Latin influences than the plodding chug of classical heavy metal. The song "Mineral" breaks into one of the sickest and most unusual death metal breakdowns I have ever heard, while elsewhere the band blends soaring guitar solos, fusiony shredding and haunting e-bow textures into gorgeous abstract guitar instrumentals like "Fractal Point" and "See You Again". And all throughout Elements, the band swerves from that wicked metallic heaviness into frenetic samba session or searing Latin jazz style guitar solos, with some full-on samba appearing on the piano-laced interlude "Samba Briza". I know that this stuff blew my mind the first time I listened to this album, I can only imagine how other death metal fans might have reacted when they first heard this wild, jazz-infected progdeath back in 1993. Atheist's rhythmic complexity and stylistic indulgences were like no other band; in fact, in the twenty years since Elements first came out, the only band that has even come close to capturing the sort of bizarre, mind-bending jazzmetal virtuosity heard here would be Brooklyn's Candiria. A lot of Atheist fans consider their second album to be their finest, but for me, Elements remains the band's career high point, a masterpiece of memorable, utterly unique, highly adventurous metal. Highly recommended.
Track Samples:
Sample : Fire
Sample : Green
Sample : On They Slay [*][Live]

BODY, THE   self-titled   LP   (Howling Mine)    13.98

Just got the recent vinyl reissue of The Body's eponymous debut from 2004 back in, released by Howling Mine, the label run by some of the guys in Thou. This latest edition has been remastered for this release, and comes on 180 gram black vinyl, limited to five hundred copies. Here's my old write-up for the original release of the album...
I'd been hearing good things about The Body and their self-titled album, but it took awhile to finally track this down and dig in. Based out of Providence, Rhode Island, The Body is two guys named Chip and Lee, one drummer and one guitar player playing through a wall of amps, and they are freaking heavy. And kind of enigmatic, too. Their website doesn't tell you anything...it's just a old-looking, sepia-toned photograph of two guys on a hill in the distance, wearing potato sacks over their heads. That's it. And the band's Myspace page isn't that much more informative. Which is kinda cool. Definitely lends a weird, mystical vibe to The Body's pummeling sludge.
Musically, for one reason or another I was expecting this album to sound like some sort of Melvins knockoff, but that's not what this sounds like at all. Nope, this seven song album is a weird mixture of super heavy, repetitively droning sludgecore, ferocious jangly balls of mathy riffage, and strange vocal samples and other noises moving around in the big, murky fog these guys whip up. The first track is an untitled nine-minute dronefeast, huge drums and monochord sludge riffing lumbering through a thick haze of rumbling feedback and growing in volume and intensity until the entire performance begins to become more and more distorted and blown out, eventually turning into a crunchy blast of ripped-speaker overload and buzzing drone. Then it abruptly kicks into "The City of The Magnificent Jewel", with a massive grooving riff and slightly faster, churning drumming, playing the same droning hypnotic riff over and over, tied together by insane sounding, desperate shrieked vocals that are way off in the back of the mix. The rest of the disc alternates between slo-mo pummeling sludge and strange detours into math rock; parts of this remind me of the metallic mathy crush of Conifer and Tides, but those wrecked screaming vocals and the odd atmosphere that permeates the album definitely make this stand out.
Dig the last track, too: a fifteen minute long descent into hypno sludge dementia, huge pounding monotono-riffage bashing your skull in right before it disappears and the sound of singing children enters the room, then rushing back in as a churning, chaotic dark riff grinding over and over and over, lulling you into a uneasy trance until disassembling into a spacious field of upright bass tones (and I swear I hear violin in there...) and roaring droning feedback.
Track Samples:
Sample : Hearts Ache, Even In Dreams (City Eater)
Sample : Failings
Sample : ( )

BRUTAL BLUES   self-titled   CD   (Selfmadegod)    11.98

Track Samples:
Sample : Stafett
Sample : Skjold
Sample : Alminneleg Utsegn

DIABOLICAL MASQUERADE   The Phantom Lodge   LP   (Peaceville)    24.99

Track Samples:
Sample : Hater
Sample : Ravenclaw
Sample : The Puzzling Constellation of a Deathrune

EMIT   Spectre Music of an Antiquary   CD   (Crucial Blast)    9.98

The latest album of murky graveyard ambience, deranged synth, phantasmic dread and ritualistic black drift from this cult UK outfit, their first in nearly ten years. Surrealistic, spectral music and nocturnal delirium transmitted from beyond the veil and steeped in the mysteries of old Britain, like some twisted, eldritch fusion of Fabio Frizzi, In Umbra Malitiae Ambulabo-era Abruptum, and 80’s darkwave.
First released as an extremely limited cassette on Glorious North, Spectre Music Of An Antiquary is the first new material from Emit in over five years, a full length collection of murky ambience, deranged 80's style synth, ritualistic black drift, and stranger sounds forays into black noise. This British outfit has been creating their unique brand of experimental blackened delirium since the late 90s, branching out of a low-fi UK black metal band called Ante Cryst. With Emit, the members began to explore a creepy, synth-heavy sound that was unmistakably descended from black metal but supremely more deformed, combining harsh electronic noise, horror-movie soundtrack atmospherics, droning keyboards, wrecked and fractured black metal guitars, and bizarre vocals that would often push Emit's music into a strange realm of hallucinatory, ghastly psychedelia. On their latest tape Spectre, though, Emit's sound has morphed into something that more resembles some mutated, primitive 80's darkwave being completely taken over by malevolent spirits, with eerie electronic drones and distant moaning vocals often taking over; very different from what I've heard from Emit in the past, though no less weird or phantasmagoric. And as with other Emit offerings, this is concerned more with the occult lore and hidden history of the British isles than Satanism or goat worship or any of the other over-used black metal tropes, which all serves to enhance the wraithlike vibe of these songs.
The album opens up with that chorus-drenched minor key guitar sound that is unmistakably Emit, eerie choral drift intertwining around the vaguely off-key melody of this short intro track "Haunter Of Benighted English Summers", sounding dreamlike and hallucinatory and off from the start. That's over pretty quickly, and then it completely shifts gears with the throbbing distorted synth and gated drums of "Mors Wher Devels Are Abrod", an eerie melody woven around ghoulish vocals lost off in the background, that chiming, chorus-soaked guitar coming back in after a while; utterly weird, this sounds like some cross between something off Tangerine Dream's score for Risky Business, a rack of keyboards lifted from John Carpenter's Prince Of Darkness soundtrack, and a shambling low-fi basement black metal outfit, and the result is rather bewitching. Clanking industrial percussion, strange mechanical melodies and distant crooning blur together on "The Dusk Gardens Of Translucent Mansions", continuing the bizarre dreamlike feel of the album, sounding like some inebriated death rock band wandering through a graveyard of broken clocks, and then that murky, soundtrack-like sound returns on "Shades Over The Mere", with more distant Tangerine Dream-esque synths droning over heavy mechanical rhythms, those deranged vocals waaaaaay off in the distance, everything wrapped in a thick fog of tape hiss and low-fi corrosion, but still strangely pretty and haunting beneath all of the sonic slime. The rest of the songs are similarly delirious, "Sylvan Old Enchanter" drifting on waves of buried synth and deformed black metal guitar, washed out and bleary as it transforms into a wash of gorgeous organ-drift, like something out of a Hammer Horror film drenched in lysergic acid, followed by the ghostly ambience, strange melodic singing and plodding drums that almost sounds like a more stripped-down, minimal version of black psych weirdoes Yoga; that's followed by "The Meadow Reapers (A Field Recording)", which is pretty much just that, a stretch of minimal environmental sound flecked with strange nocturnal cries, mysterious rumblings, bits of ominous warbling synth and distant voices, everything slightly skewed and otherworldly.
The final track "Emanations From Beneath Far Hills, Beyond Far Moons", though, is closer to the sort of weird black ambience heard on older Emit releases like The Dark Bleeding Gods and the excellent Abortions collection, a dimly lit, murky wash of metallic resonance, soft shimmery pulsations of cymbal-like reverberations, these sounds coalescing in the blackness into strange, chiming, half-formed melodies. After awhile, mysterious percussive sounds begin to appear and disappear, soft ghostly knockings that drift up like transmissions from beyond the grave as the track slowly fades into total and utter darkness.
A must-hear for anyone into the murky surrealistic blackness of artists like Reverorum ib Malacht (a band that has shared members with Emit in the past), Yoga, Occultation, Uno Actu, Utarm, and Dapnom, Spectre is now available from Crucial Blast as a digital album and on CD in digipack packaging featuring evocative, all-new artwork.

ENCOFFINATION   III – Hear Me, O’ Death (Sing Thou Wretched Choirs)   CD   (Selfmadegod)    11.98

Track Samples:
Sample : Rotting Immemorial
Sample : Movld of Abandonment
Sample : Charnel Bowels of a Pvtrescent Earth

IMMEMORIAL / LEBEN OHNE LICHT KOLLEKTIV ‎   Quantum Of Abstract Physics   CD   (Le Crépuscule Du Soir)    11.98

Track Samples:
Sample : LEBEN OHNE LICHT KOLLEKTIV -The Dust Is Eternal
Sample : IMMEMORIAL - The Downfall Of Astral Radiance

IMPETUOUS RITUAL   Unholy Congregation of Hypocritical Ambivalence   CASSETTE   (Parasitic)    6.00

Now available on cassette, limited to two hundred fifty copies, with the entire album repeated on the b-side in reverse for expanded abyssal delirium...
Another killer album of outré death metal from Down Under. Sharing some of the same personnel as Portal and Grave Upheaval, Impetuous Ritual ply an intensely oppressive brand of death metal that was first introduced on their 2009 album Relentless Execution Of Ceremonial Excrescence. Like the other bands in the Brisbane underground, the approach is primal, deformed, and pitch-black, the music formed from waves of putrescent, near indecipherable riffs, unconventional song structures and a churning, subterranean low-end heaviness. Their brand of barbaric death metal might not be quite as abstract as Portal or as noisy and oppressive as Grave Upheaval, but these guys definitely seethe with a similar sonic sickness and hallucinatory vibe that sounds more twisted than ever on their latest album Unholy Congregation of Hypocritical Ambivalence.
As soon as that first song "Verboten Genesis" pours forth in a volcanic blast of blacknoise guitar chaos, and the monstrous exhalations and pounding war-drums begin to race with ever ascending levels of frantic energy through the band's almost totally inchoate deathstorm, you're left crippled by the sheer barbarism of Impetuous Ritual's sonic attack. Comparisons to the chaotic, angular death metal of Portal are to be expected, but Unholy Congregation offers a swarming horror that is distinctly its own, the sound soaked in a fetid fog of low-end noise that casts an unholy hallucinatory glow across these nine tracks, but also possessed by some intensely eerie melodies that the guitarists strategically place amid their more unformed blasting violence. The guitar solos are insane squalls of tortured squealing shred; the listener will suddenly be able to clutch at a monstrous riff, a massive sludge-splattered hook that will suddenly loom out of the maelstrom, but these moments are surrounded by expanses of sheer chromatic chaos. On tracks like "Despair", the band abruptly shifts out of that blasting black chaos-storm into an expanse of dank, doom-laden atmosphere as everything slips into a slow seething churn, earthquake double bass rumbling beneath the black static swarm of the guitars, the crushing riffage smeared into a droning, dreadful ambience, then shifting into a truly haunting tremolo-picked riff that rises above the amorphous, tectonic roar. The vocals are largely a guttural hiss, suffused into the chaos, but there are some moments of hysteric savagery that sear the deathscape, like the crazed falsetto scream that rips through "Inservitude of Asynchronous Duality". Strange auditory hallucinations form at the edges, like the ritual tolling of bells on "Metastasis" that synchronize with the blast of stentorian riffage, and the surges of sepulchral reverb and streaks of alien ambience that appear in the chasms left as one track collapses into the next, until we're left with the sprawling fifteen minute closer "Blight", a near instrumental epic save for some wordless, chant-like moans and bizarre wailing that drifts lugubriously through the abyss, the music shifting down into a swarming slow-motion crawl that gradually dissolves into a final blast of formless blackened noise at the end. For death metal fans who dug the oppressive nature of Grave Upheaval's suffocating sound but who wished that there was more in the way of tangible riffs, this album's going to be exactly what you're looking for.
Track Samples:
Sample : Verboten Genesis
Sample : Inservitude of Asynchronous Duality
Sample : Blight

ISIS   In The Absence Of Truth   2 x LP   (Robotic Empire)    26.00

Back in print via a new 2014 vinyl reissue from Robotic Empire, in a gatefold jacket with printed inner sleeves.
Finally getting around to listing both the vinyl and cd version of Isis's In The Absence Of Truth here at C-Blast for anyone that's new to Isis or who missed out on the vinyl edition the first time around. Hard to imagine anyone being new to Isis though, since these guys have become one of the biggest bands in the artier end of the metal underground over the past few years; the Isis name itself is now often used by lazy rockcrits as a genre in itself to describe the myriad other bands who ply similiarly slow-moving and atmospheric sludgewaters, for chrissakes. It's easy enough to do, I guess...when the heavy grey tides of 2002's Oceanic rolled in, they established Isis as the overlords of crushing, smoldering metallic rock with a sound that blew through the early Neurosis/Godflesh inspired sludge into cinematic new territory, with carefully crafted epics that rivalled the time-released power of Mogwai and Godspeed You Black Emperor, but with riffage and explosive power that was far heavier and more complex than any of those bands, and immediately influenced legions of bands who wanted to harness that sound.
When In The Absence Of Truth came out in 2006, I remember reading reviews that knocked the album for not progressing beyond the epic, atmospheric sludge/ambient rock of the previous two albums Oceanic and Panopticon, but I thought otherwise; this massive disc (their longest at over 65 minutes) reveals some subtle shifts in their sound that has actually made Abscence my favorite of Isis's full lengths. With each album, Isis seem to slough off more of their outer metal skin to reveal proggier, more emotive surfaces, but Absence isn't light on the heaviness either, with the core components of the Isis sound showing up in all of the right places: the pounding tribal drums, vast droning metallic riffs, the gruff, feral roars. But these parts are contrasted with a moodier approach than on the previous records. Aaron Turner delivers most of his vocals in a mesmeric croon, only erupting into his monstrous roar at climactic explosions of riff and volume, and the guitars themselves are much more textured and ambient here, with an added emphasis on textured chords, ringing clean guitars and jangly melodies that more than once recall the ethereal rock of bands like Ride, The Cure and The Church. It's that dreamy alt rock sound that really differentiates In The Abscence Of Truth from the rest of the Isis catalog in my mind, while still remaining an intensely heavy experience, with songs like "Dulcinea" and "Wrists Of Kings" unleashing some of the heaviest Isis riffs ever, carefully interwoven with expansive instrumental sections and cryptic lyrics. It's another crushing chapter in the band's evolution, and reaffirms their mastery of the form.

IVES / AMORT   split   CD   (Boue Records)    11.98

Track Samples:
Sample : IVES - Sweet Fields of Ecstacy
Sample : IVES - Outro (Death Within Primal Grain)
Sample : AMORT - In Bed With Decay

JOULES   Eponymous   CASSETTE   (Self Released)    6.98

Track Samples:
Sample : Blasphemy
Sample : Lasonic tre-931
Sample : Detroit Hustle

KNURL   Mesosoma   CDR   (Impulsy Stetoskopu)    10.98

Track Samples:
Sample : Thenium
Sample : Matolytic
Sample : Lascination

KONGH   Shadows Of The Shapeless   CD   (Seventh Rule)    10.00

We now have the digipack CD edition of Kongh's Shadows on Seventh Rule in stock.
While so many of these newer U.S. bands that play dark, sludgy, atmospheric heaviness either continue to mine the Neurosis discography for all that it's worth or just rip off Eyehategod without remorse, the Europeans keep bringing us most of the good stuff. That's not to say that there's a whole lot of new ground being broken on the other side of the pond, but somehow sludgy metal bands from Europe keep things a little more interesting, at least in my opinion. There sure isn't anything radical about the music that the Swedish trio Kongh are playing - this is pure metallic crush tempered with the sort of somber atmospheric rock moves that everyone seems to be utilizing nowadays - but these guys win out on the strenght of their riffs, which fucking CRUSH, every last one of 'em, and the somewhat odd but effective equation that they came up with for their second album, Shadows Of The Shapeless. That equation, obviously, being Yob + Mogwai + Alice In Chains = maximum skullcrush.
From the first few minutes of the opener "Unholy Water", it would be easy to assume that Kongh were simply going to cop the ultra-heavy spacedoom crush of Yob, as the ominous chiming lead, sheets of dissonant chords and monstrous jagged riffing that surge up from the black shadows at the beginning of that song sound a whole lot like the kind of buildups that Yob trademarked on The Illusion Of Motion. As "Unholy" progresses, though, the band slowly reveals their own subtle spin on this sound; over the course of its eleven-some minutes, Kongh flecks the massive bottom-end undertow of droning riffage and propulsive drumming with bursts of dramatic crooning vocals and epic jangling melodies that melt back into the heaviness, eventually building into explosive Mogwai-like dynamics across the second half of the song. But that's followed by the bluesy "Essence Asunder" which goes in a totally different direction, starting off with a warm, lugubrious space-blues jam that stretches out for several minutes until it suddenly collapses into a heaving sludge riff, twangy and angular, a simple but devestating downtuned riff that almost sounds like a doomy Soundgarden riff cycling over and over as the scorched death metal vocals appear. That crushing main riff drops out every few minutes, opening the song up with chiming mathy arpeggios that alternate with darker, doomier guitars, and towards the middle, some trippy guitar harmonies begin to appear. At about the ten minute mark, though, the song makes an abrupt turn as everything drops out and leaves just a single guitar playing a series of sparse clean chords, slowly building into a haunting feedback laced coda as a twisted sinister riff takes form, and the whole band crashes back in with another MASSIVE angular doom riff, and all of a sudden the vocals reappear, now singing with a soulful croon similiar to Layne Staley from Alice In Chains.
The instrumental "Tänk Pĺ Döden" is another slab of bleak, desolate desert blues, it's twangy chords drifting across windswept expanse, a definite western vibe seeping through, like hearing Earth's Hex infused with a doomy undertow, the slide guitar melody dark and ominous until the last minute, when shafts of sunlight break through the gloom. Then "Voice Of The Below" kicks in, another surging sludge anthem with growling melodic vocals and crushing riffage; here again, Kongh channel Yob's monolothic doom and complex riffs while detonating bursts of mid-paced blastbeats and abrupt detours into restrained ambient plod, and makes it way into a pummeling thrash section a la High On Fire.
The closing title track starts off with atmospheric post-punk guitars and intricate drumming, staying purely instrumental for the first couple of minutes before segueing into immense slow-motion doom, the elastic riffs stretched to the point of breaking, huge pregnant pauses between as the band slowly picks up steam, the hovering chords congealing into a massive groove as the song evolves into more of their warped Yob-meets-Alice In Chains doom.
So, yeah, it's hard not to notice the influence that Yob has had on Kongh's sound, but that's just part of their overall sound, melded together with soaring gloomy metallic rock and chunky thrash and somber instrumental passages into the molten brooding doom of Kongh!
Track Samples:
Sample : Essence Asunder
Sample : Unholy Water
Sample : Voice of the Below

MY DYING BRIDE   The Dreadful Hours   2 x LP   (Peaceville)    29.99

Track Samples:
Sample : My Hope the Destroyer
Sample : Le Figlie Della Tempesta
Sample : The Dreadful Hours

NADJA   Radiance Of Shadows (Alien8)   CD   (Alien8)    14.98

Just found a couple copies of the original, now out-of-print Alien8 release of Nadja's arctic dreamdoom classic Radiance hidden in our stockroom; when it was originally released, Radiance saw Aidan Baker and Leah Buckareff's dreamy doom growing even more devastating, further exploring their unique fusion of droning industrial heaviness and Fennesz-esque ambience, and it remains one of my favorite Nadja albums.
Three massive tracks of glacial metallic slowcore, a dolorous doom-laden heaviness immersed in grainy blissed-out distortion and thunderous industrialized rhythms that move at immense ponderous tempos, each song nearly half an hour in length. The opener "Now I Am Become Death, The Destroyer Of Worlds" is classic Nadja, the song slowly taking form within a cloud of nebulous metallic hiss and whirr, bits of backwards sound emerging out of the void as the drums slowly drift into view, a minimal cymbal-heavy pulse that surges up from the depths, shrouded in waves of Baker's effects-drenched drone and incandescent synthesizer textures. His guitar erupts into a massively saturated distorted crunch welded to Buckareff's lumbering, narcoleptic bass, and while those Codeine-esque qualities that have long lurked within Nadja's music are at their heaviest here, the music also often shifts from that lumbering, ultra-heavy shoegazer dirge into stretches of wintry desolation, glimmering pools of electronic ambience and murky orchestral beauty muted by the duo's frosty aura. The riffs are monstrous Sabbathian dirges when these two really get going, locking into a pulverizing saurian groove on this and the other tracks, titanic doom metal drowning in a fog of noise and synths, flutes and billowing distorted buzz, the melodies wrapped in a dense cloud of heavily saturated distortion that recalls the experimental ambience of Tim Hecker, Christian Fennesz and William Basinski.
That flows right into the second track, a dreamier expanse of droning synth and spacious slow-motion plod, dreamy vocals drifting slowly across the softened, feedback-strewn dirge, the sound akin to a washed out, drugged-out version of Jesu, that shoegazey sludge-metal muted and muffled into an even more lush and luxurious sprawl. That menacing monstrous riff gradually gives way to a vast sea of swirling orchestral drones and gleaming Loveless-esque feedback stretched wide across the horizon, a din of dubbed-out drumming building into a weird sort of motorik propulsion as the track spirals ever outward.
The final song, however, offers something a bit more abstract and subdued, at least at first; from stretches of minimal near silent emptiness streaked with soft traces of whirring synth and staccato acoustic guitar strum, the title track slowly unfolds from that weirdly muted and droning strum into a massive creeping dirge, an almost Swans-like blast of percussive pummel and militant rhythmic power erupting beneath the blizzard of distortion and that huge, sinister riff, maybe the heaviest moment on the entire album as that crushing doom dirge rises above the swirling noise, Baker's vocals transforming into a guttural, vicious roar, the sound like some 'gazed-out doomdeath monstrosity, threaded with peals of searing feedback and orchestral power as it steadily creeps into a crushing wall of symphonic chaos and oceanic noise that almost completely takes over the rest of the album...
Track Samples:
Sample : Now I Am Become Death
Sample : I Have Tasted the Fire Inside Your Mouth

NEVAI, NONDOR   Diabolikal In(ter)ventions For Distorted Guitar   7" VINYL   (Flemish Masters)    7.99

Track Samples:
Sample : Diabolikal In(ter)vention #1
Sample : Diabolikal In(ter)ventions # 2, 3, 4

SEKTOR 304   Communiphones   CD   (New Approach)    11.98

Track Samples:
Sample : Communiphones
Sample : Communiphones
Sample : Communiphones

SEKTOR 304   Live Reaction   CD   (New Approach)    11.98

Track Samples:
Sample : Vultures
Sample : Pulse Generator V2
Sample : Body Hammer

SWANS   To Be Kind   CD + DVD   (Young God)    22.98

Track Samples:
Sample : Screen Shot
Sample : Just a Little Boy [For Chester Burnett]
Sample : Bring the Sun/Toussaint Louverture

SWANS   To Be Kind   3 x LP   (Young God)    29.99

Track Samples:
Sample : Screen Shot
Sample : Just a Little Boy [For Chester Burnett]
Sample : Bring the Sun/Toussaint Louverture

TEETH ENGRAVED WITH THE NAMES OF THE DEAD   Starving The Fires Part I   CD   (Malignant)    10.98

Track Samples:
Sample : When Storms Come
Sample : Shredded Sky, Hung In Tatters
Sample : Radians

THEOLOGIAN + STROM.EC   Hubrizine   CD   (Malignant)    10.98

Track Samples:
Sample : World War Terminus
Sample : Ubik
Sample : Involuntary Dilation

THERGOTHON   Stream From The Heavens   LP   (Peaceville)    24.99

Here's the latest vinyl edition of Thergothon's classic album of glacial funeral doom, on 180 gram vinyl...
A classic album of extreme doom, Thergothon's genre-defining 1994 album Stream From The Heavens is finally back in print from Peaceville, and any doom metal collection that's missing this can finally fill the void. When these Finnish kids decided to start a Lovecraft-obsessed death metal band but slow it down to a tectonic crawl slower than almost any other band before them, they inadvertently kicked off an entire aesthetic that would later become known as "funeral doom". Hearing Stream almost fifteen years after it came out, it's wild how weird and avant-garde this still sounds. Compared to bands that would follow in their footsteps (Evoken, Hierophant, Mournful Congregation, Esoteric, etc.), Thergothon's songs really weren't all that exceptionally long, and only half of the album breaches the seven minute mark. But they did play so...fucking...slow. Not only that, but these glacial deathdoom riffs are smeared in a weird phased effect and stretched out to the point that you feel like you're stuck in a k-hole when listening to songs like "Yet The Watchers Guard" and "Who Rides The Astral Wings". The tinny toy Casio keyboard sounds and prog-influenced keyboard melodies that the band use on Stream From The Heavens also contribute to the gluey hallucinogenic atmosphere, as do the parts where songs break off from the stately depresso-doom into stumbling acoustic folk or pastoral ambience, and the vocals are a quirky combination of insanely guttural death metal growls, mournful chanting and dramatic spoken word passages.
With as many bands that have ripped off Thergothon’s sound, you'd think that there would be more of them that sound as weird as this, but that's what makes this album so crucial in the pantheon of death/funeral doom. Thergothon were following their own mutant muse, and this disc continues to hold up as a masterpiece of doom extremism. The members went on to a variety of other projects, with Niko Skorpio continuing to fall under the watchful eye of C-Blast with his various electronic projects (our favorite of which is still the crazed digi-grind/electronica of Reptiljan), but none of 'em ever returned to anything resembling the stentorian majesty of Thergothon.
Track Samples:
Sample : Everlasting
Sample : Yet the Watchers Guard

ULVER   The Norwegian National Opera   DVD + BLU RAY   (Kscope)    19.98

We've had the vinyl and CD/DVD version of this phenomenal live album in stock for awhile, but are only now getting the DVD/Blu-ray set on our shelves, featuring the same concert film that was included in the CD/DVD set, a multi-camera professionally shot concert film of the entire performance. The film incorporates the macabre pantomime that both begins and ends the concert along with the often provocative film footage that is projected behind the band throughout the entire performance, dark and disturbing visuals that contrast in interesting ways with the gorgeous twilit music of Ulver's set.
Here's my review of the audio from the vinyl version:
From their beginnings as one of the pioneers of the Norwegian black metal underground (from where they produced the classic album Nattens Madrigal) to their subsequent evolution into a kind of dark, sweeping prog rock, Ulver has always followed their own unique and ambitious agenda while seemingly ignoring all trends and outside influences, continuing to explore the same dark, often apocalyptic themes that have run through their music since their beginning while exploring new textures and sounds through their incorporation of jazz influences, experimental electronics, dark pop songcraft, and classical elements into their music. While you wouldn't be able to call Ulver in the current version a "metal" band, they are still a heavy and formidable beast, capable of crafting some intensely sinister music as well as flights of moody sonic majesty that continue to capture my ears with each new release.
But for the first fifteen years of their existence, Ulver demurred from the live experience. Save for one lone show that the band played at the very beginning of their career, Ulver remained exclusively a studio band, creating their worlds of dark electronica and jazz-flecked metallic prog within the confines of the recording space. For years, it seemed as if Ulver would never decide to take their music into the realm of live performance, but in 2009, the band was finally coaxed out of their den to perform at the Lillehammer Literary Festival, an event that stirred the band to take their newfound live set to other festivals in Europe that year, and which has led them to finally cross the Atlantic and perform in the US in early 2014 at the Maryland Deathfest.
The last show of that initial run of live dates took place at the Norwegian National Opera in Oslo in July of 2010, an acclaimed performance that featured surreal video footage projected behind the band as they played. This concert was captured via a professional film and audio crew, the entire set filmed using high definition cameras, and it's now presented as a massive live album that was first released as a CD/DVD set, and then earlier this year came out as a gorgeous double LP set. Ulver's Norwegian National Opera sees the band running through an extensive set list that includes songs from their albums Perdition City, Shadows Of The Sun, A Quick Fix Of Melancholy, Blood Inside, Themes From William Blake's The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell, War Of The Roses, Teachings In Silence and Ulver's original soundtrack to Svidd Neger, along with a number of songs that appear here for the first time ("The Moon Piece", "A Cold Kiss", "The Leg Cutting Piece", "Excerpts Of Silence"). For this concert, Ulver were joined by guest guitarist Christian Fennesz, a frequent collaborator with the band, and the sound is absolutely massive, with just about every era of Ulver's career being touched upon aside from their early black metal material. Their performances are spot-on, the sound quality is impeccable, perfectly capturing their complex prog rock arrangements, sweeping dark electronic soundscapes and moments of crushing heaviosity.
The performance opens with the eerie piano and fluttering, ghostly electronics of "The Moon Piece", where dark rumbling sheets of sound spread out from the band's haunting orchestrations, leads into the breathtaking dark chamber-prog of "Eos", one of the band's most moving pieces. It's here that Ulver's sound really begins to bloom, the strings and other instruments swelling behind the band's ethereal melodies. Songs like the sinister Tears For Fears-esque "Little Blue Bird" and "Let The Children Go" take flight on dark wings, guitars soaring into the twilight, while Garm's moody baritone curls around the strings and horns that softly swell through the room. There's a couple of moments of heaviness, the band slipping into some of their thunderous, vaguely metallic prog rock songs like "Rock Massif" and the pummeling, almost doom-laden might of songs like "Operator" and "For The Love Of God", the band finally revealing some serious metallic heft with crunchy metallic guitars and wailing leads. Elsewhere, those orchestral elements combine with mesmeric layers of record scratching and electronic ambience, metallic guitars and dark jazzy piano merging with those soaring vocals, the surreal, dub-flecked experimentalism and sample-laden soundscapes of "In The Red", and the portentous beauty of "Funebre" , laced with it's industrial percussive reverberations and brooding jazziness. And through it all, the sound continues to largely form around Ulver's dark, moody pop.
It's one of my favorite recent live albums, a powerful performance that anyone into these Norwegian masters of dark art will dig.
Track Samples:
Sample : The Leg Cutting Piece
Sample : Funebre
Sample : For the Love of God
Sample : Little Blue Bird

UNIVERS ZERO   Relaps: Archives 1984-1986   2 x LP   (Sub Rosa)    27.00

Now available on vinyl for the first time ever.
The latest in Cuneiform's ongoing campaign to keep the seminal recordings of dark European progsters Univers Zero alive, Relaps: Archives 1984-1986 is a thrilling collection of live recordings that captures the band in the live setting, where their creepy fusion of Magma-esque prog and 20th Century classical is often at it's heaviest. I've been on a serious Univers Zero kick lately, and am working on getting all of their in-print releases in stock here at Crucial Blast; even though many of their recordings date back as far as the late 70's, this Belgian band remains one of the heaviest, darkest prog bands ever, and even within the ranks of the Rock In Opposition movement that they helped to create, Univers Zero stood out as one of the more intense groups, infusing their eerie chamber-jazz-prog with a doomy atmosphere that was years ahead of its time. For fans of newer bands like Kayo Dot and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and even the later Iceburn albums, hearing Univers Zero for the first time is a revelation, and both of those bands (as well as legions of others that we listen to all the time around here) owe a large part of their sound to what this band was doing back then. The often-epic compositions of Univers Zero were entirely instrumental, and featured an assortment of instruments that included clarinet, sax, cello, synths, violin, and viola with the rock-style lineup of electric guitar, bass and drums; the songs weave through intensely complex arrangements that shift from lighter jazzy passages to astoundingly heavy (for their time) dirge-like sections and ultra dense chamber-prog workouts, and there is a constant tension at work in their music, a sense of dark foreboding that seeps from everything that Univers Zero has recorded, at times suggesting a much more complex and orchestrated Goblin. I'm amazed that their music was never used for horror movie soundtracks back in the 80's when the band was heavily active, 'cuz their doom-laden music would have been perfect as an aural accompaniment for some of the decade's more phantasmagoric exercises in horror cinema.
Relaps collects live recordings that were taken from two different lineups of the band during the early 1980's, culled from four different shows in Germany and Belgium. There are two shows from 1984, and one each from 1985 and 1986, and some of the tracks are embryonic versions of music that would later appear on the UZED and Heatwave albums. Some of the highlights featured here include an improvised version of "L'Etrange Mixture du Docteur Schwartz" (from UZED), and an extended 18-minute version of "The Funeral Plain" (that would later appear in a more truncated form on Heatwave) that fuses howling dissonant acid guitar and pounding abstract drumming with multiple keyboards, strings, and clarinets over a series of distinct movements, with some supremely heavy classical dread emerging towards the end. It's all killer, though, and just as essential as any of their studio albums, with an intensity and precision performance that proves that Univers Zero were masters of their craft. The tracks benefit from an excellent recording that made me forget that the material was live more than once, and the disc comes with a thick 16 page booklet that is filled with fascinating liner notes on the history of the band and never-before-published photos. Like everything else from Univers Zero, this is crucial stuff for fans of the modern heavy dark-prog of Kayo Dot and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and Zs as well as anyone into older heavy prog like King Crimson and Magma.
Track Samples:
Sample : Emanations
Sample : The Funeral Plain
Sample : Heatwave

VARIOUS ARTISTS   Those Who Dwell Beyond (JEWEL CASE VERSION)   CD   (Black Mass)    11.98

Just got the more recent version of this killer death-ambient/black industrial three-way that comes in jewel-case packaging.
Black Mass curates this three-band compilation that features a mix of dark heavy sounds, from nightmarish orchestral ambient doom to blackened psychedelic kosmiche music to grim atmospheric gloompop drift, and all of it is great. I've already been digging the band Like Drone Razors Through Flesh Sphere that opens this disc, after picking up their excellent collaboration with avant-guitarist Miguel Prado, but the other two bands that appear on Those Who Dwell Beyond are new to my ears.
The mysterious blackdrone entity Like Drone Razors Through Flesh Sphere opens the album with a thirty-two minute epic called "I Invoke", an intensely ominous black dronescape that moves between massive stygian rhythmic throb and slabs of thunderous ambient doom that sounds like an ultra-heavy blackened version of Scorn, with massive bass drops rumbling way off in the distance, surges of crushing blackened doom riffage, crawling sheets of black drift, distant choral singing that sounds lost in the depths of an infernal pit, high pitched sine waves, and the slow groaning wail of cellos drifting through the darkness and gradually joined by violins and horns that sound slightly warped and out of tune. This sprawling dronescape mixes together abstract chamber music sounds and crushing blackdrone, laced with strains of folk melody that float and tumbling in slow motion into the sulphurous abyss, ground beneath the pounding force of slow, throbbing rhythmic bass, eerie strings and horns bent and deformed, like an Arvo Part performance slowed to a crawl and spun backwards. But about twelve minutes in, actual drums materialize, pounding out a super slow spacious beat, sort of Swans-like, an angular juddering rhythm that lasts for a minute before all of a sudden the earth cracks open, and the sound is transformed without warning into a savage tempest of ultra-distorted blacknoise and insanely pitchshifted vocals, the music now unbelievably harsh and oppressive, like hearing a deathdoom band slowed down to an insanely slow tempo and with the distortion pushed into speaker-shredding levels of noize. Eventually, this blacknoize holocaust dissipates, and we're returned to the swirling black miasma from earlier, an infinite expanse of subterranean catacomb drone, the strings and horns now replaced by an ever present distorted rumbling and strange noises, voices muttering in Latin, clanking chains, weird backwards effects, rattling percussive sounds, and in the last few minutes of the track, a single distorted demonic voice appears, intoning a strange ritual spell as massive kettle drums thunder in the distance. What a trip. It has a similar fearsome hallucinatory vibe as Revorvorum Ib Malacht, but much more abstract and shapeless.
Gate To Void follow that with three tracks of superb wrist-slashing/pill-devouring black ambience. The first, "LIfeless (A Journey Towards The Inner Death)" mixes clean guitar and orchestral synths in the beginning, then shifts into a formless mass of fx and percussive chimes and rumbling drones, moving back and forth between keyboards and strings and thick waves of dense fx-soaked electronics and the sound of a crackling bonfire. The cover of Xasthur's "Forgotten Depths Of Nowhere" is rendered as a solemn synth piece, like Tangerine Dream drowning in suicidal melancholy, the music reshaped into incredibly sad and somber washes of analogue synthesizer drone, with delicate piano and choking sobs appearing later in the track, sending it even deeper into depths of abject misery and loss. And "Dreams Of Cosmic Failure" is a collaborative effort between Gate To Void and Like Drone Razors Through Flesh Sphere, twelve minutes of pitch black drone filled with rumbling distorted synth, airy keyboard drift, metallic reverberations, streaks of shimmery feedback, echoing pulses decaying into the shadows, a great Lustmordian vastness with vague shapes of doom-metal guitar wavering in the far horizon. Fans of Vinterriket, you should especially investigate this band.
And Ćon Nought closes the disc with two long tracks of gorgeously ghoulish ambience. The first track "Mined Fades Away" blends a depressingly morose guitar melody with tinny, gong-like percussion, high pained shrieks, softly whispered female vocals, and hypnotic electronic drones, a strangely romantic and melodic black ambience covered in a fuzzy low-fi haze, almost poppy in a gloomy, weepy, 4AD sort of way, especially when the piano comes in towards the end playing a beautiful melancholy melody. The other track "Monolith/Prelude to the Previous Universe" is heavier on the drone and whir, a mostly Lustmordian expanse of black ambience colored by sorrowful piano at the end.
Track Samples:
Sample : Aeon Nought - Monolithe
Sample : Gate To Void - Lifeless
Sample : Like Drone Razors Through Flesh Sphere - I Invoke

VOMIR   Application Ŕ Aphistemi   CD   (Maisonbruit)    12.98

Track Samples:
Sample : ˙ţPaulina Semilionova Irait Ŕ L'Équarrissage
Sample : L'Apparence Du Vrai Est Un Moment Du Faux

WOLD   Postsocial   LP   (The Death Of Rave)    22.98

Now available on vinyl, featuring a different track arrangement from the CD version.
The long awaited follow-up to 2011's Freermasonry, Postsocial is the sixth album from these exemplars of the black noise aesthetic, the duo of Obey and Fortress Crookedjaw who had previously hailed from the prairielands of Saskatchewan, now relocated to Providence, Rhode Island. Musically, Postsocial finds the band sounding as abrasive and chaotic as ever, with some of the most overtly "black metal" sounding material I've heard from them in years. Sort of. The first song "Throwing Star", at least, sputters out of the band's yawning black maw in a spew of mangled blackened punk, clanging out-of-tune powerchords hammered over a thick fog of overmodulated gunk and sticky static, almost like an Ildjarn jam gone totally to rot. "Inner Space Infirmary", on the other hand, offers that sort of hazy, almost droneological black blur that's marked their past few records, an inchoate smear of sound, blurred blackened riffs and howling noise fusing with Crookedjaw's distressed, murderous rasp, all washing together into a massive murky low-fi din, strange malformed melodies materializing over the endless clanking chaos, the sound slowly drifting out into a weirdly beautifully noisescape as choppy enginelike flutters fly through the blackness. It's impossible to discern individual instruments within this blizzard of black static, or really any sort of form at all, the sound is so murky and muddled that everything blurs together into a bleary murkiness, like hearing some epic black metal outfit performing through a mile of concrete. Other tracks erupt into spluttering power electronics assaults laced with droning black metal riffs, all juddering low-end and squealing deathray feedback throbbing beneath those furious frostkissed tremolo riffs, while wild guitar solos are unleashed in jets of frenzied shredding as the duo examine the symbolism of the pentagram. What makes Postsocial so potent is how, once immersed in the band's low-fi chaos, each song reveals some massive riff or spooky, melodious hook at the corroded heart of each track, some epic melody churning, repeating endlessly, evaporating into the ritualistic clanking and minimal atonal melodies of the sprawling "Spiral Star Inversion", or the hypnotic static of "Sapphire Sect Of Tubal Cain" suffused in Hecker-esque melodic drift. Psychedelic in the same way that the most deranged strains of noisecore are psychedelic.
Track Samples:
Sample : Throwing Star
Sample : Sapphire Sect of Tubal Cain
Sample : Five Points


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