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CRUCIAL BLAST WEBSTORE: NEW ARRIVALS FOR SUNDAY JULY 5TH 2015

    Greetings, nightrunners...

    So much strange stuff to share with you this week. First and foremost is the latest from Filipino chaos metallers Deiphago, whose latest album Into The Eye of Satan felt like an IED detonating the first time I blasted it here at C-Blast headquarters. Hell, it still does. Produced by Colin Marston of Gorguts/Krallice/Behold The Arctopus fame, Eye is an interesting new chapter in this bestial, blackened death metal outfit's twenty-five year career. Long heralded as one of the most lethal bands to follow in the wake of legendary Ross Bay maniacs Conqueror, Deiphago's music has been some of the most intense and chaotic to come out of this bile-splattered corner of the black/death underground, with bizarre song structures, extreme discordant riffing and traces of filthy black ambience and industrial screech that come together to create an unhinged, ultra-violent assault upon the listener's senses. These guys have been producing some of the craziest stuff that I've heard from the black/death field, up there with the likes of Revenge and Hellvetron in terms of sheer inchoate violence. But with their new album, Deiphago warp their sound into something even more abrasive, with a bizarre, counter-intuitive approach to guitar solos, riffing and song structures that makes this one of the more unusual black/death albums to appear this year. If you thought previous albums like Filipino Antichrist and Satan Alpha Omega were chaotic, wait till you hear this. There's stuff on this album that sounds like Last Exit-era Sonny Sharrock on bath salts, crazed and transcendent blasts of total Satanic chaos that have made this one of my favorite extreme metal albums of 2015, and absolutely worth checking out if you're a fan of the more ferociously fucked-up fringes of sulfuric black/death metal.

    Some of the other new, recently released and newly added titles that are featured on this list include:

      ...the latest slab of fucked-up quasi-black metal psychosis from Boston-based necro-mutant Cryostasium, akin to the surreal dissonance of Striborg/Xasthur but immensely more fucked-up
      ...bitchin' new CD reissues of early albums of neon-drenched synthwave dread from Perturbator
      ...lots of cool, off-kilter occult black metal from the likes of Abhor, Chilean bands Black Grail and Athanatos, Esoterica, and Demoncy
      ...a stack of new vinyl and CD reissues from The Crypt, including avant-garde deathdoom weirdos Pan.Thy.Monium and some killer early Absu recordings
      ...the amazing new album from UK death metallers Abyssal, which perfectly combines their churning blackened heaviness with streaks of melodic grandeur, a unique new direction for their sound
      ...some killer new industrial black metal from the likes of Alien Deviant Circus and Dodheimsgard
      ...lots of cool new progressive black metal and blackened rock from bands like Negura Bunget, Aversion To Mankind, Sigh, Beyond Light, Imperial Triumphant, Kommandant, and Plamen
      ...the stunning new album from funeral doom duo Bell Witch, one of the most listenable albums of it's kind to come through here in ages
      ...great new horror scores including Joe Bishara/Dave Lombardo's Insidious III, Goblin's Claudio Simonetti and his Demons soundtrack, plus stuff from Fabio Frizzi, and Elliot Goldenthal's Pet Sematary
      ...heavy duty new Earache reissues of early cult titles from Confessor and Cathedral, and the recent Century Media vinyl reissue of Gorguts From Wisdom To Hate
      ...lots of bizarre, brain-melting necro-psychedelia, black noise and other macabre weirdness from Dead Reptile Shrine, Funerary Call and Crown Ov Bone, Koozar, and Sect Pig
      ...new blasts of skull-caving sludge and doom metal from Warhorse, Forn, Corrupted, Goatsnake, Cold In Berlin, The Body, Rise of Avernus, Blood Farmers, and Saturnalia Temple
      ...a ton of killer avant-garde death metal and grind releases from the likes of Knelt Rote, Legion Of Andromeda, Phlebotomized, Septic Flesh, Sickening Horror, Irreversible Mechanism, Unholy, Mulk, and Nocturnus
      ...eerie dungeon synth, death industrial and dark ambience from Trepaneringsritualen, Yen Pox, Profane Grace, Resgestae, Satanath, Stonewired, Shinkiro, Trauma, and Obscene Noise Korporation
      ...punishing noise rock from Swans (a deluxe reissue of their classic Filth album), Couch Slut, and Special People
      ...weirdo hardcore and punk from Perspex Flesh, Folded Shirt, YDI, and Same-Sex Dictator


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



DEIPHAGO   Into The Eye of Satan   CD   (Hells Headbangers)    11.98



    I expected chaos with the new Deiphago album, but what they unleash here turned out to be another level of bestial weirdness. These Filipino black/death warmongers have been detonating their blasts of Satanic hate since the late 1980s, but Deiphago's latest Into The Eye Of Satan delivers a seemingly newfound level of aural ear-hate and outré blastcraft. The guitar playing alone is totally insane, an assault of extreme atonal shred that makes one wonder if Deiphago axebeast Sidapa had been guzzling large quantities of Last Exit and Fredrik Thordendal's Special Defects during the writing process. It's not like this feels self-consciously avant-garde, though; the fucked-up, hyper-violent atonality of the solos and fractured, weirdly warped nature of the riffs churning and gnashing through Eye are all in service to an atmosphere of hellish violence. In the past, Deiphago have been derided by some for being too chaotic and seemingly unstructured, but it's that reckless, turbulent quality that makes this stuff sound so unique. "Psychedelic" isn't a word I often when describing this kind of black/death metal, but it definitely applies to Deiphago's swarming, delay-drenched bestial blast.
    On their latest, Deiphago remain rooted in that classic Conqueror-influenced war metal sound while pushing their barbaric sound into stranger extremes. That they enlisted Colin Marston from Gorguts / Behold The Arctopus / Krallice to produce the album is telling, as this propels Deiphago's sound into more abstract, angular territory. The album enters their killzone on a wave of imperious orchestral murk and snarling black noise, then proceeds to unleash a violent assault of total noise metal. In some ways akin to Teitenblood's latest, this is bestial black/death metal pushed into utterly cacophonic madness, a grindcore-style blur of hyperspeed blastbeats and pummeling war-toms hurtling beneath a maelstrom of hopelessly angular riffage and full-blown atonal noise, but with more emphasis on sculpting monstrous riffs out of that churning black chaos. That awesome, twisted dissonant guitarwork really adds to the unusual feel of this stuff; when you hear the sweeping waves of spaced-out skronk and almost jazz-like shredding that flies across these nine tracks, and the overload of rhythmic weirdness that continues to unravel with each song, it's clearly a new level of madness that Deiphago is exploring here. There are moments like "Bloodbath Of Genocide" where the violent blasting falls back and it sounds as if the guitarist is attempting to wrangle a mutated classic rock-style riff out of his instrument, then suddenly everything erupts into an almost Gorgutsian assault of atonal shred. A few riffs even seem to mimic the sounds of doom-laden orchestral string sections, lending moments of oppressive, desolate ambiance glimpsed briefly in the band's cyclonic deathnoise attack. Other tracks like the suffocating “Red Dragon of Chaos” become saturated with cosmic synth-like noise, giving the song an almost industrial vibe.
    It's only with the very last song, "Into The Eye Of Satan", that Deiphago slow down into something approaching a "groove", a monstrous, sludgy, dundering caveman riff that is quickly sucked back up into the tornadic chaos, flayed by another savage shot of ultra-atonal, unmusical skronk-shred that resembles a demonic Sonny Sharrock, and ending with an abrupt blast of sinister, clanging metallic noise and garbled voices tangled in atonal violin-like skree, like the sound of some monstrous sepulchral door slamming shut, leaving the listener entombed in absolute blackness. Definitely one of the most intense blackened death metal albums to show up this year, thanks to the wealth of whacked-out, gonzo riffs and the sheer weirdness of Deiphago's sonic assault. Awesome.

NEW ADDITIONS



ACID WITCH   Witchtanic Hellucinations (Orange / Purple Vinyl)   LP   (Hells Headbangers)    23.98



    The latest vinyl version of Acid Witch's 2008 debut Witchtanic Hellucinations, released as a new Orange/Purple colored vinyl variant for 2015 via Hell's Headbangers. Fans of this band's kooky psychedelic death/doom who slobbered all over the Halloween-centric presentation of their last Lp Stoned will find a similar set of goodies here; featuring a slightly revised look and layout, this latest edition of Hellucinations is otherwise identical to the old Razorback edition, with thirteen songs of Acid Witch's killer horror movie obsessed heaviness and groovy, fx-splattered doom (which also happens to feature Finnish sludgemonger Lasse Pyykkö of Hooded Menace / Vacant Coffin in his only full-length recording with the band). Starting off with a ridiculous intro track that sounds like something off of one of my old Halloween-themed spoken word Lps on the Caedmon imprint from the early 80s, Hellucinations quickly gets down into the bubbling swamp-muck with their mix of burly Sabbathian riffage, gurgling guttural death metal-style vocals, lysergic guitar spew and trippy electronic sounds, sounding not too unlike a more beastly version of Cathedral high on 70's occult horror films, the day-glo pastaland splatter epics of Lucio Fulci, and loads of vintage Halloween visuals. My kind of party.
     Acid Witch throw in all sorts of weird touches in building their stoned basement fug across this album, with moaning voices drifting in from behind the rocking metallic chuggery, washes of spacey Hawkwindian synth-gloop surging out of their many passages of creeping, crawling doom, cauldrons bubbling beneath droning psychedelic guitar spew and nocturnal sounds and howling wolves introduce one pulverizing down tuned deathgroove after another. They even slip into some purely instrumental soundscapery on tracks like "Beastly Brew", where gusts of wah-drenched guitar meets slabs of cavernous black drift soaked in reverb, or the spires of gothic organs and dreamlike electronics that make up the brief interlude "Realm Of The Wicked". Those keyboards are one of my favorite aspects of Acid Witch's sound, their eerie analogue tones and shifts into gothic organ sounds obviously nodding in the direction of those vintage 80's horror movie scores from Goblin, Fabio Frizzi and John Carpenter; where most bands would be content to use that sort of thing to simply introduce a song, Acid Witch incorporate those creepy, hallucinatory keyboards right into the meat of their music, evoking the feel of classic early 80s splat cinema even as the band is grinding out their monstrous doomdeath. I said the same thing about Stoned, and its just as applicable here - Acid Witch really does sound like the perfect fusion of Forest Of Equilibrium-era Cathedral and the kind of 80s-era horror-synth sound that I am a complete and total junkie for.
     The vinyl reissue features a revised album layout, and includes killer artwork from Zornow and Shagrat across the gatefold sleeve, a big foldout full-color poster of the cover art, and a custom window hanging that is designed in the style of those classic Halloween decorations from the 70s and 80s.
Track Samples:
Sample : Witchtanic Hellucinations
Sample : Swamp Spells
Sample : Realm of the Wicked
Sample : October 31st



AFTERBIRTH   Foeticidal Embryo Harvestation   CD   (Pathos Productions)    9.98



    Was never much of a fan of the whole "slam" sound that emerged in death metal towards the latter half of the 90s, save for a couple of bands whose inherent weirdness or insanity distinguished them from the hordes of sub-Suffocation clones that sprouted up across the globe. While I'm all for mindless brutality in metal, most of the stuff in this vein leaves me cold, and comes across as far too formulaic for my tastes. Go back to the early days before "slam" became a thing, though, and you'll dig up some genuinely odd death metal that was particularly extreme for the time. Declared by some as one of the progenitors of this style, Long Island, NY band Afterbirth puked up a small but influential body of work in the early 90s that would later be cited as one of the first bands to produce this combination of monstrous misshapen grooves, fucked-up ultra-guttural vocals and complex arrangements. Some C-Blast followers might recognize member Cody Drasser, who in recent years has produced dark droneological noisescapes with his Caulbearer project, but here he helped to unleash a putrid assault of demented discordant riffery and crushing slower tempos fronted by the utterly unintelligible guttural fumes of singer Matt Duncan. With just a demo, Afterbirth introduced a deranged variant of New York death metal with an extreme vocal style that was really only comparable to what Demilich were doing; in his liner notes to this collection, Internal Bleeding's Frank Rini describes these vocals as "the most guttural and brutal that I had ever heard", and Duncan's delivery definitely sounds less like it came from a human throat and more from a rabid animal trapped in a culvert. It sticks out as one of the more insane death metal vocal performances from that period.
    During their brief run in the early 90s, Afterbirth only released that one demo and a rehearsal tape, all of which was collected and re-mastered for Foeticidal Embryo Harvestation, rounded out by a couple of live tracks. The main attraction is the Psychopathic Embrytomy demo from 1994, which blows four chunks of emetic, fucked-up death metal with songs like "Obliteration Of Human Tissue" and "Obstetric Bastardization". The sound quality is actually pretty good for a demo tape from this time period, and it's certainly heavy as hell, the songs erupting into tangles of colossal chromatic riffing and dissonant shred, smeared with those insanely guttural belched vocal noises. The songs shift spastically between bursts of violent blastbeat tempos and barbaric thrash and those slower, sludgy grooves and doom-laden passages that would prove to be a seminal influence on the nascent "slam" sound, with catchy riffs and an oddly flanged bass sound and unusual playing style (slap bass techniques, odd melodies) that's frequently pushed to the front of the mix.
    The bands 1993 Rehearsal Demo is also pretty interesting, featuring earlier versions of the demo tracks (as well as an exclusive track "Rebirth") laced with snippets of horror film soundtrack music; the sound quality on this recording is naturally pretty raw, but Afterbirth sounded even more bizarre and brutal here, a ramshackle blast of murky, glottal horror that's a bit more frenzied and chaotic compared to the demo. The rest of the disc is rounded out by some soundboard recordings taken from shows in New York and Rhode Island, and feature later material that didn't appear on the demos, tracks like "Saving The Dead", "Crematorial Gates" and "Fleshwound" that pointed towards a more abrasively atonal direction that the band seemed to be taking prior to breaking up, and which potentially hint at a somewhat Gorgutsian brand of sickening discordant violence.
    Comes in digipack packaging.
Track Samples:
Sample : Obstetric Bastardization
Sample : Obliteration of Human Tissue
Sample : Impure Conception



ALDEBARAN   Buried Beneath Aeons   12"   (Parasitic)    14.99



    Back in stock. I've been gradually making my way through the entire discography of Portland, OR band Aldebaran, who have been producing some of the finest contemporary doom/death around ever since forming around a decade ago. I'm a big fan of drummer Tim Call and his various other bands, which ranges from the black metal of Howling Wind and Ardour Loom to the blackened doom-crust of Nightfell to his stints as the live drummer for C-Blast faves like Saturnalia Temple and Mournful Congregation, but Aldebaran is one of his longest running outfits, with a number of fantastic albums of crushing, cosmic doomdeath albums under their belt.
    The 2011 EP Buried Beneath Aeons features just one song from the band, but it's an epic, a half-hour long crawl through hellish depths of molten downtuned doom and ascending on wings of soaring, solemn majesty. As with the rest of Aldebaran's work, "Buried Beneath Aeons" combines otherworldly Lovecraftian imagery and themes of cosmic horror with their creeping tectonic crush, evoking antediluvian intelligences and awakening gods with their mix of monstrously lumbering death metal and sorrowful guitar parts. They're tapping into an old and well-worn sound with this stuff, of course, but Aldebaran combine all of these elements into something much more effective and unearthly than most, skillfully weaving those eldritch vibes through these waves of glacial death metal, crafting stunning, sepulchral melodies that course and creep through the various passages of winding riffery that emerge over the course of the record. Tribal drumming and crushing funereal tempos intertwine as the riffs shift, moving from one impressive depth-charge eruption of slow-mo heaviness to another, the guitars sometimes shedding their molten black weight in favor of plaintive chords that shimmer with heavy doses of reverb, like the passage of almost Earth-esque gloom that rings out over the very beginning of "Buried". Naturally, you'll hear echoes of the classic doom/death of early My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost in this stuff, but the ghostly guitar parts and the almost Neurosis-esque drumming that reappears throughout the record give Aldebaran's music its unique touch. The killer album art from acclaimed illustrator Dan Seageave perfectly matches the towering, titanic feel of their music, and it's reproduced on the big fold-out poster that comes with the album. Pressed on one hundred eighty gram vinyl, and issued in a limited run of five hundred copies.
Track Samples:
Sample : Buried Beneath Aeons
Sample : Buried Beneath Aeons
Sample : Buried Beneath Aeons



ALIEN DEVIANT CIRCUS   Ananta - Abhâva   CD   (Necrocosm)    11.99



    Once again stirring an unholy mix of Satanic delirium, apocalyptic Vedic mysticism, technoid rhythms and necrotic hatefulness, French industrial black metal weirdos Alien Deviant Circus are back with Ananta - Abhâva, the band's first new album since 2010's En To Pan Omegas. And their stuff is still firmly rooted in the maniacal mechanized terror peddled by the likes of Blacklodge, Mysticum and Aborym, but Alien Deviant Circus up the techno ante a bit more than most, at times coming close to the sort of black metal speedcore of D-Trash artists like Schizoid.
    These maniacs kick it off with a twenty-two minute opening track, the mesmeric, murky electronica that creeps across the beginning of "Ap (Nâda)" blending fragments of blackened doom-folk and eerie overtone chants, squelchy bass throb and a slow-motion technoid pulse, the first few minutes swirling with a strange, demented ritualistic vibe. Once those black metal guitars kick in, their bass-driven pulse turns into a relentless thump beneath those icy riffs and washes of black cosmic electronics. Definitely reminiscent of industrial black metal pioneers Mysticum, but enfolding that sound within their own uniquely sensual derangement, as female voices emerge in the distance with ghostly operatic wailing, glitchy noises and rhythmic bleeps creeping around that malignant slow-motion techno pulse. As things progress, the Circus continues to weave a weirdly narcotic atmosphere, erupting into glitch-riddled blasts of frigid blackness, and slipping into twisted, psilocybin-dosed, Tesla-quoting excursions into mechanized heaviness. The singer switches off between those morose chants and a hoarse, gargling croak, and some songs seem to unfold into a bizarre liturgy, layering magickal verses over minimal burbling synthscapes, wafts of malformed kosmische ambience spreading like inky clouds across recitations from Crowley's Liber Samekh. Clanking industrial rhythms and swarming guitars mutate into wicked necro-techno attacks, emitting blasts of pneumatic hiss amid the trance-inducing rhythmic pummel, while bits of Carpenterian synth dread circle in the depths alongside Wax Trax-sized chunks of dancefloor obliteration. These guys aren't doing anything to reinvent industrial black metal, but I could care less when it sounds this insane. Ananta-Abhâva is definitely on par with their previous works, injecting some of that uniquely French depravity into their howling electrocuted black metal, and it delivers what is now my favorite song of theirs, the heavily atmospheric closer "Maha Pralaya (Pradhvamsa-Abhâva)" that welds a particularly tough doom-laden riff to a sweeping tremolo riff, before speedcore-style drum programming ends up turning it into something vaguely Ministry-like, easily the most vicious song on the album.
    Limited to five hundred copies.
Track Samples:
Sample : ÿþMaha Pralaya (Pradhvamsa-Abhâva)
Sample : ÿþAp (Nâda)
Sample : ÿþAham Tattva (Kriyâ)



ATHANATOS   Unholy Union   7" VINYL   (Nuclear War Now! Productions)    6.50



    These Chilean black/death vets get vaguely psychedelic with their new band Athanatos, debuting with a killer demo cassette that surfaced in 2014 and which has now been reissued on 7" by Nuclear War Now. Tantalizingly described on Athanatos's Bandcamp page by one fan as sounding akin to "Dark Angel on LSD", you can definitely hear something more twisted and warped than just another black-thrash attack with this stuff, which delivers some really cool off-kilter riffage winding through these four tracks. Featuring member Hateaxes Command (aka Pablo Clares) of cult death metallers Totten Korps and Atomic Aggressor, Athanatos draws from the classic South American death-thrash sound, but filters that influence through a thick, tenebrous atmosphere of subterranean filth charged with frantic energy, a violent blast of pummeling blackened death-thrash formed from the band's mix of convoluted riffery and blasphemous, brazenly Satanic imagery delivered in fractured English that "consecrates the anal chalice". Athanatos fucking rip on this demo, belting out a crazed blast-assault of blackened chaos across the beginning of "Unholy Union", with crazed shouted vocals drenched in echo instead of the typical guttural puke-approach, giving this stuff a gruff, maniacal feel; there's a moment where the blasting heaviness suddenly stops and those bellowed, reverberant shouts come echoing out of the depths, and all of a sudden it almost sounds like Killing Joke's Jaz Coleman howling over the echoing blackness, right before it leads into an even more twisted riff-maze, the song mutating into an awesomely savage assault of warped, vaguely proggy thrash. A killer debut from these guys, and I can't wait to hear more from them. Limited to five hundred copies.


AVICHI   Catharsis Absolute   LP   (New Density)    19.99



Finally picked this vinyl version of the latest Avichi album up for the shop; originally released on CD in 2014 by Profound Lore, this remains one of the better American black metal albums to come out last year.
The third album from American black metallers Avichi, Catharsis Absolute continues to explore the ambitious, often progressive black metal that main member Aamonael (aka Andrew Markuszewski, a former member of Nachtmystium and current member of black sludge beasts Lord Mantis) has been developing since 2007's Divine Tragedy. His serpent-tongue visions are obsessively detailed, and further distinguished by the fact that Markuszewski recorded all of the music entirely on his own. For a true one-man band, this sounds amazingly cohesive, delivering as powerful and as sophisticated a blackened assault as any of his peers.
Opening with the sounds of requiem-like piano, "Repercussion" introduces the album with a brief bit of dark, atmospheric melody before shifting into the furious dissonance of "Flames In My Eyes". As Avichi's droning black metal glides on repetitive circular riffs over the monotonous blastbeat that gives an almost Von-esque trancelike feel to this first track, the vocals a layered mixture of scowling shrieks and monotone chanting, this simple sinister hypno-blast continues to circle endlessly, blasting through the gloom. Surges of looped orchestral sound swell up out of the depths, before finally shifting into something more melodic halfway through, Markuszewski's vocals transforming into a striking post-punk style croon over the malevolent blackened blast. Killer stuff. Then there's "Lightweaver", contrasting that blazing majestic black metal with a seriously rocking mid-tempo hook joined by some unexpectedly new wavey synthesizer accompaniment, almost Cure-style keyboards drifting up as the music downshifts into a ferocious black n' roll groove. "Voice Of Intuition " is even more haunting, those crooning vocals washing over more menacing chiming minor key melodies and serpentine bluesy leads, blastbeats racing furiously, slipping once more into another one of his signature sickoid rock parts. Markuszewski's complex arrangements mark most of these songs, but never at the expense of atmosphere and regal black ambience, and there's some seriously catchy stuff laced all throughout Catharsis. The nearly thirteen minute "All Gods Fall" starts off in a haze of ceremonial ambience, ritual bells ringing and rattling over a simple percussive pulse, then transforms into a mesmeric instrumental crush, an almost Neurosis-esque dirge laced with more of that eerie singing and furious howling vocals, imperious and apocalyptic and steeped in a heady philosophical darkness. And when the album comes to a close, its not with a blackened roar, but with a final descent into that minimalist piano that opened the album, a sprawling instrumental of elliptical minor key piano that expands the sound of the intro into a somber piece of shadowy chamber music gloom, those eerie ivory keys circling and tumbling through a haze of woodsmoke, an almost religious quality emanating from this meditative sound.
It's all still as evil and progressively minded as previous Avichi works, but with that deeper exploration of post-punk influenced melody that makes this his most infectious work. His most focused and affecting album so far, the vinyl edition of Catharsis Absolute comes in a heavyweight gatefold presentation.
Track Samples:
Sample : Flames in My Eyes
Sample : Catharsis Absolute
Sample : All Gods Fall



BARREN HARVEST   Beautiful Flowers   3 x 7" BOXSET   (Black Horizons)    24.00



    Back in stock. This amazing ghostfolk duo is back with more of their hauntingly beautiful music, bringing us their earliest recordings via this gorgeously assembled collection. Beautiful Flowers is the earliest material from the duo of Jessica Way (Worm Ouroboros) and Lenny Smith (Trees, Atriarch), featured here in all of its stark beauty spread across the six sides of a triple 7" set. If you dug the band's debut album Subtle Cruelties that came out late last year (and which I raved about upon its release), this stuff is just as terrific. Fans might recognize a few of these tracks ("The Bleeding", "Claw And Feather"), as they would appear in reworked form on that album. But this set is worth picking up if you're as enthralled with Barren Harvest as I am, as these early versions can differ a bit from what appeared on Cruelties.
    It's gorgeous, ghostly music, the songs stripped down to spare arrangements of just vocals alongside the lush strum of the acoustic guitar and their slowly swirling synthesizer. Way and Smith weave their voices together through each song, his gravelly baritone billowing beneath her icy, lilting melodies. It's steeped in an occult folk tradition, with echoes of classic witch-folk outfits like Comus and contemporaries like Stone Breath, but there's also a grave majesty to these songs that reminds me a bit of Dead Can Dance, further distinguishing Barren Harvest's music from other current neo-folk outfits. Even their cover of the ancient English folk song "Gently Johnny" (best remembered by most from the score to The Wicker Man) is here transformed into something almost unrecognizable from previous versions, imbued with so much sorrow that the meaning behind the lyrics transforms into something much more dire. All of these songs drift beneath the cold red glow of an autumn moon, delicate strands of dried flower and ivy woven through the lush chords and dramatic singing, offering another shadow-wreathed example of how this sort of grave, gorgeous, gothic folk-flecked darkness can be as grim and powerful as any doom metal outfit. And it's beautifully packaged, the three records housed in a printed slipcase, each record in a plastic sleeve with its own printed lyric sheet, all printed in silver ink on black woven stock, issued in a limited edition of three hundred thirty-three copies.


BEAUSOLEIL, BOBBY   The Lucifer Rising Suite   4 x CD   (Ajna Offensive)    29.99



    Now available as a four-CD boxset that essentially reproduces everything from the original vinyl set that Ajna put out, right down to the pair of miniature posters and the 24-page booklet loaded with liner notes, with each disc housed in it's own full-color sleeve, and all bound together in a casewrapped box. A gorgeous, exhaustive document of some of the best apocalyptic psychedelia of the 20th century.
    Bobby Beausoleil's legendary Lucifer Rising suite has appeared in various forms over the years, first as a limited edition LP release on Lethal Records in 1980, later on self-released CDR through Beausoleil's own White Dog Music imprint that he ran in partnership with his wife. This piece of experimental film/music history never received the sort of deluxe, in-depth treatment that it really deserved, however, until the mighty Ajna imprint assembled this monstrous four-record box set that came out back in 2009. A masterpiece of infernal, occult psychedelia, dark cosmic blues, and shadowy synthesizer music, this boxset featured not only Beausoleil's now infamous score that he recorded in prison for Kenneth Anger's long-in-the-works Aliester Crowley-inspired experimental film Lucifer Rising, but also a ton of additional material that includes some of the earliest Beausoleil recordings in existence. The original boxset sold out not too long after its release, but Ajna has recently issued a new pressing of this massive set, this time on colored vinyl under the guidance of Beausoleil. As before, this is one of the most immersive sets that I've picked up for the store, charting Beausoleil's strange story from his beginnings in the West Coast psychedelia/experimental music underground through his later, more developed prison recordings. And its all essential listening for fans of occult prog and psychedelia.
    This CD boxset edition of The Lucifer Rising Suite includes the four discs along with a thick booklet that features extensive photos and liner notes from illustrator/subterranean historian Dennis Dread (Entarte Kunts), writer Michael Moynihan (Lords Of Chaos) and Beausoleil himself, two full-color poster reproductions of Beausoleil and Dennis Dread's artwork, and printed full-color inner sleeves for each disc, the whole set housed in a stunning tip-on box illustrated by Dread and Finnish artist Timo Ketola (Watain, Opeth, Teitanblood, Deathspell Omega). It's absolutely gorgeous.
    The whole saga behind Beausoleil and the soundtrack to Anger's Lucifer Rising is both tragic and fascinating. Often erroneously considered to have been a part of the actual Manson Family, Beausoleil was a young musician in the late 60's Los Angeles psychedelic underground who had already performed with Arthur Lee of Love and associated with the likes of the Beach Boys and Frank Zappa before being approached by acclaimed experimental filmmaker Kenneth Anger to star in his then current project, Lucifer Rising. Agreeing to take on the role with the understanding that he would also be allowed to create the score for the film, Beausoleil began to work on the music for Anger's film just before finding himself caught up on the fringes of the crowd that was hanging around Charles Manson and his followers, and was soon involved in the brutal murder of fellow musician and drug dealer Gary Hinman in 1969, an act that ended up sending him to prison and became the spark that would ignite the series of events resulting in the horrific Tate-LaBianca murders.
    But to fans of dark underground psychedelia, Beausoleil is more than just a footnote in the bloody saga of the Manson Family. Prior to his murder of Hinman, Beausoleil had staged several live performances that tied in with his work-in-progress for the Lucifer Rising score, sprawling experimental improv sets that blended crude rock dirges and cosmic free-jazz blurt, one of which is documented here. But in the years following his conviction, he spent his time behind bars writing and recording some seriously gorgeous music, using fellow prisoners to flesh out his "Freedom Orchestra", even creating a primitive studio inside of his jail cell. Using ancient Moog synthesizers, trumpets, Fender Rhodes electric piano and a standard rock lineup of bass/drums/guitar, Beausoleil and his backing band created some stunning psychedelic soundscapes that combined primitive electronics and effects-drenched electric guitar with propulsive, hypnotic drumming and lush layered synths, sounding at times remarkably like a more sinister Tangerine Dream flecked with bits of sun-scorched Mojave twang. It's all amazing stuff, and it definitely leads me to believe that if Beausoleil had not been caught up in the insanity of the Manson crowd, he could very well have become a legendary figure of 70's rock.
    So what you get with Ajna's luxuriant Lucifer Rising set is basically everything that Beausoleil recorded up through the end of 70's, up to the long-delayed release of Anger's film in 1980. The recordings span more than a decade, starting with the original 1967 live recordings up through his studio work at Tracey Prison, with much of the material featured here never before released. The music is a lush opiate fog of droning psychedelia and dark kosmische drift, the first side featuring the nearly twenty-five minute live recording of "Lucifer Rising I" from 1967, a sprawling psych-rock workout woven out of saxophones and other horns, flutes and rumbling percussion, the sound a delirious haze of improvised jazziness and haunting, dreamlike melody, meandering blues guitar winding through the squalls of jazzy freeform chaos, with moments of striking dark beauty constantly surfacing throughout the recording. On tracks like "Dark Passage", Beausoleil and company craft an eerie confluence of primitive electronics and subterranean drones into something resembling a psychedelic horror film score, before lurching into the searing spaced-out blues of "Hellion Rebellion", its slide guitar slipping like black tears over the massive reverb-drenched drums. There are blown-out cosmic garage-rock raveups ("Dance Of The Fire Demons") and monstrous choogle ("Tear It Down"), and the gorgeous, almost Morricone-esque moodiness of "Penumbra"; elsewhere, it's all eerie New Age-y synthdrift, abstract and Teutonic, and at it's darkest ("Sleeping Dragon") isn't very far at all from the grim electronic soundcscapes of early Tangerine Dream. "Fallen Angel Blues" employs the talk-box to mesmerizing effect. And through it all, Beausoleil's amazing guitar playing is front and center, warm and expressive and evocative, his blues licks filled with an amazing amount of emotional resonance for someone who was so young at the time of the recording. One of the best tracks included here is the gorgeous sprawling cosmic psychedelia on the twenty one minute long jam "Beacon", one of Beausoleil's most beautiful recordings in the set, a delay-drenched, synth-smeared starburst of sound that is reminiscent of classic Piper-era Pink Floyd.
    But it's the film score for Lucifer Rising that will truly blow you away. The fourth and final disc features the complete six-part Lucifer Rising Suite, and it's undeniably Beausoleil's masterpiece, with that vague Morricone-esque vibe hanging over the ominous melodies and brass-laced moodiness, a dark, malevolent piece of cinematic psychedelia made up of stunning electronic textures and shadowy atmosphere, breathtaking passages of trumpet cutting through the dark twilight soundscape, while distorted, crunchy hard-rock guitar riffs sweep through the abyss. The suite later erupts[ts into gales of wah-drenched psych-guitar frenzy and flurries of otherworldly electronics, and in its final moments transforms into something like a more sinister Tangerine Dream or Ash Ra, and certainly on par with the work that those bands were producing around the same time.
Track Samples:
Sample : Lucifer Rising, Pt VI
Sample : Penumbra
Sample : Fallen Angel Blues, Pt I
Sample : Lucifer Rising I, 1967



BODY, THE + THOU   You, Whom I Have Always Hated   CD   (Thrill Jockey)    14.99



    Back in stock. The ongoing collaboration between Baton Rouge doom metallers Thou and avant-sludge duo The Body continues apace with You, Whom I Have Always Hated, which picks up from their previous collab with more crushing noise-damaged heaviness, creeping doom-laden atmosphere and chunks of twisted mega-crush. The LP release of You, Whom... is certainly heavy enough on its own, but the expanded CD release also includes the entire Released From Love album that came out last year, for maximum art-sludge punishment.
    On the CD, that Released From Love material is first, delivering slow-motion crush colored in Crowleyian imagery and capped off with an impressive cover of the Vic Chesnutt song "Coward" off of his final album At The Cut, here re-imagined as a kind of funereal, doom-laden ambience. As the grueling slomo weight of opener "The Wheel Weaves as the Wheel Wills" spills forth, the presence of both bands feels more cumulative than collaborative; rather than being able to pick out recognizable traits of either, the bands succeed in coalescing into a massive grinding force, an avalanche of asphalt-encrusted down-tuned riffage and gut-churning bass, tribal drums slowly pounding out their hypnotic rhythms. It's not until the two-pronged vocal attack comes in that you can hear the respective front men doing their thing, Chip King's strained, breathless howl drifting over Bryan Funck's monstrous growl, both of these tortured voices echoing through the thin layer of black ether that hangs suspended above the pulverizing dirge. Second track "Manifest Alchemy" is more engaging, dropping passages of looping, caustic electronic noise in among the mournful minor key leads and the funereal atmosphere; it's no less heavy than the preceding song though, especially when it slips into the almost industrial-tinged clank and crush that slowly creeps across the final minutes of the side.
    It's "In Meetings Hearts Beat Closer" over on side two that really flattened me, though. Bringing an icy, almost black metal style tremolo riff to the rolling, percussive power that pushes this grim, noise-drenched dirge through the blackness, the bands come together to craft an effective, intensely eerie atmosphere on this one that doesn't let up, even as the song is hurled into the pummeling, Swans-like sturm und drang that drags "In Meetings" all the way down into that final coda of crackling radio-waves and garbled guitar noise. And to finish this collaboration off, Thou and The Body present a harrowing cover of Vic Chesnutt's "Coward", starting it off with a lone guitar weaving its sorrowful, bluesy song out over the abyss, eventually joined by King's hysterical screams sounding off in the distance. When the rest of the bands kick in, it becomes something both luminous and tortured, the gorgeous guitar harmonies rising like incense smoke curling from a censer. A blast of beautiful, soul-crushing sound.
    The other half of the disc features the newer You, Whom I Have Always Hated LP, and flows perfectly from the previous material. Again, you get this heavy industrial-tinged vibe as soon as the opener "Her Strongholds Unvanquishable" kicks in, with its pummeling metal-shop rhythms echoing beneath squalls of feedback and rumbling noise, leading straight into the song's immense, noise-drenched power-dirge. That sets the tone for the rest of the record, the two bands again fusing together into a monstrous, noisy roar of droning doom metal, the vocals shifting back and forth between guttural roars and that extreme high-pitched screamo-esque yelp, the slow rhythmic pound of hammers slamming against sheet metal ringing out while ultra-distorted, massively down-tuned riffs uncoil in slow motion. The group occasionally lurch into a kind of sickening, deformed groove on tracks like "The Devils Of Trust", while the unexpected cover of Nine Inch Nails' "Terrible Lie" really delivers on that quasi-industrial metal hinted at before, heaving mechanical rhythms and eerie droning guitars surrounded by bursts of processed feedback and distortion, resulting in one of the most interesting tracks to emerge from this experiment (not to mention one of the catchiest). Those industrial elements surface over the rest of the record, with lots of noisy loops and grating textures woven into the tectonic crush, but there's also a brief track titled "He Returns..." that offers its own gorgeously grim soundscape of distant machinelike thunder and ominous ambience towards the end, while the last song sees members of Assembly Of Light Choir joining the fray, lending their haunting vocal harmonies to a hideously lumbering dirge that plows vast black furrows into the earth. Great stuff that leaves me wanting to hear even more from this great team-up.
Track Samples:
Sample : The Wheel Weaves as the Wheel Wills
Sample : Lurking Fear
Sample : In Meetings Hearts Beat Closer
Sample : Her Strongholds Unvanquishable



BODY, THE + THOU   You, Whom I Have Always Hated   LP   (Thrill Jockey)    19.99



    Back in stock. The ongoing collaboration between Baton Rouge doom metallers Thou and avant-sludge duo The Body continues apace with You, Whom I Have Always Hated, which picks up from their previous collab with more crushing noise-damaged heaviness, creeping doom-laden atmosphere and chunks of twisted mega-crush. The LP release of You, Whom... is certainly heavy enough on its own, but the expanded CD release also includes the entire Released From Love album that came out last year, for maximum art-sludge punishment.
    The You, Whom I Have Always Hated LP flows perfectly from the previous collaboration. Again, you get this heavy industrial-tinged vibe as soon as the opener "Her Strongholds Unvanquishable" kicks in, with its pummeling metal-shop rhythms echoing beneath squalls of feedback and rumbling noise, leading straight into the song's immense, noise-drenched power-dirge. That sets the tone for the rest of the record, the two bands again fusing together into a monstrous, noisy roar of droning doom metal, the vocals shifting back and forth between guttural roars and that extreme high-pitched screamo-esque yelp, the slow rhythmic pound of hammers slamming against sheet metal ringing out while ultra-distorted, massively down-tuned riffs uncoil in slow motion. The group occasionally lurch into a kind of sickening, deformed groove on tracks like "The Devils Of Trust", while the unexpected cover of Nine Inch Nails' "Terrible Lie" really delivers on that quasi-industrial metal hinted at before, heaving mechanical rhythms and eerie droning guitars surrounded by bursts of processed feedback and distortion, resulting in one of the most interesting tracks to emerge from this experiment (not to mention one of the catchiest). Those industrial elements surface over the rest of the record, with lots of noisy loops and grating textures woven into the tectonic crush, but there's also a brief track titled "He Returns..." that offers its own gorgeously grim soundscape of distant machinelike thunder and ominous ambience towards the end, while the last song sees members of Assembly Of Light Choir joining the fray, lending their haunting vocal harmonies to a hideously lumbering dirge that plows vast black furrows into the earth. Great stuff that leaves me wanting to hear even more from this great team-up.
Track Samples:
Sample : The Wheel Weaves as the Wheel Wills
Sample : Lurking Fear
Sample : In Meetings Hearts Beat Closer
Sample : Her Strongholds Unvanquishable



BORIS   Absolutego   2 x LP   (Southern Lord)    24.99



    This pulverizing drone-metal classic from 1996 has been out of print for years now, but we recently stumbled across a stack of the vinyl version that Southern Lord put out in 2010, hidden away in some dark corner in the bowels of one of our suppliers warehouses. Move quick, as quantities are limited. Here's the ancient writeup on this album I did way back when the original Southern Lord CD came out:
   More than a decade after they were originally released, the first two Boris albums are finally making an appearance on vinyl courtesy of Southern Lord, who has reissued Absolutego and Amplifier Worship on 180 gram vinyl in gorgeous heavyweight tip-on gatefold jackets that feature new package design from Stephen O'Malley.
   Here's the crucial 1996 debut album from Japanese power drone / sludge / metal trio Boris, released domestically on doom metal powerhouse Souther Lord. This Super Low Frequency Version (an obvious reference to the Earth influence splattered all over this album) gives you new artwork and an additional bonus track, "Dronevil2", for a combined 2 tracks in 73 minutes, with "Absolutego" clocking in at close to 65 minutes (here split across multiple sides of the multi-album set by way of some creative editing). Freaking monolithic feedback-soaked slomo glacial drone-sludge. An essential part of the contemporary drone metal canon alongside Sunn O))) , Khanate, Growing, Isis, and Earth.
Track Samples:
Sample : Absolutego
Sample : Absolutego
Sample : Absolutego



BORIS with MERZBOW   Sun Baked Snow Cave   2 x LP   (Hydra Head)    27.98



We've got one (1) copy of this now out-of-print 2xLP in stock. Here's the original review from the CD release:
This latest collaboration between Japanese drone/sludge/rockers BORIS and legendary noise artist Masami Akita (MERZBOW) follows their previous matchups Megatone and 04092001, and returns to the drone-heavy fields explored on Megatone and BORIS’ Flood. Languidly strummed acoustic guitars open the album, gauzy and delicate as single notes are plucked and hung on a wide open expanse of sound. Eventually far-off rumbles and approaching electronic flashes begin to appear around ten minutes in. At twenty minutes into the track, the roar of massively downtuned guitar crashes in, as Merzbow beams in crackling electronic shrapnel and glitchy noise over the amorphous swells of noisy powerdrone. The final half of the record crawls out of the heavy swirl and drifts into black with ghostly blots of computer noise and feedback, as the album’s opening guitar movements re-appear as the coda. Packaged in a killer casewrapped gatefold jacket virtually identical to the original CD packaging, super striking, Stephen O'Malley's hyper-abstract album artwork printed in blue, black and white metallic inks. Limited to one thousand two hundred copies.


CHAOS ECHOES   Transient   2 x LP   (Nuclear War Now! Productions)    33.00












Track Samples:
Sample : Soul Ruiner
Sample : Senses of the Nonexistent
Sample : Interzone V: Ignorance Is Bliss



CHRISTIAN DEATH   Ashes (Ash Grey Vinyl)   LP   (Season Of Mist)    19.99



    Now available on vinyl as a special "30th Anniversary Edition" from Season Of Mist, in gatefold packaging on ash grey vinyl in a limited edition of 500 copies, released as part of their "Masters Of Goth" series - would love to see where that might lead!
    While Christian Death did put out some highly listenable material after the departure of founding member Rozz Williams (at least early on), there's really only three Christian Death albums that you really, really need in your collection: the pioneering and provocative 1982 debut Only Theatre Of Pain, and the two albums with both Williams and Valor Kand that followed, Catastrophe Ballet and Ashes. All of these are key works in the death rock canon, and their combined influence has reached well into the realms of extreme metal, industrial music and beyond; any headbanger who turns their nose up at Christian Death's early works simply based on the band's campy look should consider sitting down and listening to these albums side by side with Celtic Frost's 80s output to see just how far the band's black tendrils extended. There's been a recent resurgence of interest in the early Christian Death material, though, what with this whole death rock revival thing that's been going on for the past few years, and it looks like a whole new generation of listeners has been turning on to the weird, morbid genius of Rozz Williams. Not a moment too soon, I say. We've had the reissue of Only Theatre Of Pain available here for awhile, but up till now never stocked the following two albums, both of which were reissued by Season Of Mist in 2009; featuring booklet materials from the original first edition LP releases on L'Invitation Au Suicide and newly re-mastered, both come with the highest recommendation for anyone obsessed with true death rock and the most macabre fringes of post-punk.
    Originally released in 1985 on French label L'Invitation Au Suicide, Ashes was the final album from the Rozz Williams-fronted lineup of Christian Death, and an end to an era. While I won't completely write off the post-Williams output from Christian Death (the subsequent 1986 album Atrocities is pretty goddamn good), this was the last chapter in what had been a genre-defining run of albums, now iconic entries in the American death rock canon. On their third album, Christian Death were getting even more progressive, evolving into something totally unique within the realm of American post-punk. Williams' vocals are more measured, less overwrought than before, and there's a heavier feel to this material; maybe more so here than with any of the other Christian Death records, you can really pick out the elements of their sound that so enamored Tom Warrior - one listen to the driving, almost metal-tinged power that emanates off of the opening title track, and you can hear echoes of what would later emerge on Celtic Frost's Into The Pandemonium, the end of the song showcasing a ferocity rarely heard in this era of the band. From there, the eerie instrumental "Ashes Part 2" leads into more of Rozz's penchant for experimental soundscapery, and all throughout the album he laces the tracks with peripheral traces of Gregorian chant and ghostly mechanical sounds, squealing violins and nightmarish sound collage, even dreamlike forays into Weimar cabaret on "Lament (Over The Shadows)". The actual songs are some of their best, too. "When I Was Bed" is classic death rock, catchy and propulsive and draped in elegant shadow, and "Face" is the band at their churning best, fusing a smoldering psychedelic quality to the rolling tribal drums and handclaps and cob-webbed post-punk guitars, another all time favorite. Other highlights on the album include the slow brooding atmosphere that wraps around "The Luxury Of Tears", the metallic mausoleum creep of "Before The Rain" that transforms into something surprisingly triumphant, and the bad-dream dread of closer "Of The Wound", the sound of a screaming infant laid over a nightmarish string section and discordant piano, taking the album out into a final sprawl of surrealistic weirdness. A genuine classic of morbid post-punk.
Track Samples:
Sample : The Luxury of Tears
Sample : Face
Sample : Before the Rain [#][*]
Sample : Ashes



CHRISTIAN DEATH   Catastrophe Ballet (Bone White Vinyl)   LP   (Season Of Mist)    19.99



    Now available on vinyl as a special "30th Anniversary Edition" from Season Of Mist, in gatefold packaging on bone white vinyl in a limited edition of 500 copies, released as part of their "Masters Of Goth" series - would love to see where that might lead!
    While Christian Death did put out some highly listenable material after the departure of founding member Rozz Williams (at least early on), there's really only three Christian Death albums that you really, really need in your collection: the pioneering and provocative 1982 debut Only Theatre Of Pain, and the two albums with both Williams and Valor Kand that followed, Catastrophe Ballet and Ashes. All of these are key works in the death rock canon, and their combined influence has reached well into the realms of extreme metal, industrial music and beyond; any headbanger who turns their nose up at Christian Death's early works simply based on the band's campy look should consider sitting down and listening to these albums side by side with Celtic Frost's 80s output to see just how far the band's black tendrils extended. There's been a recent resurgence of interest in the early Christian Death material, though, what with this whole death rock revival thing that's been going on for the past few years, and it looks like a whole new generation of listeners has been turning on to the weird, morbid genius of Rozz Williams. Not a moment too soon, I say. We've had the reissue of Only Theatre Of Pain available here for awhile, but up till now never stocked the following two albums, both of which were reissued by Season Of Mist in 2009; featuring booklet materials from the original first edition LP releases on L'Invitation Au Suicide and newly re-mastered, both come with the highest recommendation for anyone obsessed with true death rock and the most macabre fringes of post-punk.
    Originally released by the French label L'Invitation Au Suicide in 1984, Catastrophe Ballet is an all-time deathrock classic, part of the essential Christian Death canon. It was also the first release to feature new members Valor Kand and Gitane Demone, both of the LA post-punk outfit Pompeii 99; for this new album, Williams and his new lineup shifted away from the creepy, transgressive punk of their debut, into a more expansive and psychedelic sound that was slightly more accessible, but no less twisted. Dedicated to the memory of André Breton and featuring excerpts from Jean Lorrain's classic text of nightmarish decadence, Nightmares Of An Ether Drinker, Ballet saw Williams getting deeper into his obsession with French surrealism and Dadaism, though this did nothing to improve his terminally dour mood. From it's opening salvo of sinister, kitschy haunted house organs that pave the way for the heavy bass-driven post-punk of "Beneath His Widow" (a bonus track that appears here for the first time), to the surrealistic washes of experimental texture and droning instrumentation of "Sleepwalk", the driving, disaffected menace and gloomy elegance of "The Drowning" and "Evening Falls", the pounding tribal rhythms and twitchy, stop-start momentum of "Cervix Couch" smeared in trippy Hammond organ textures, and the ritualistic dreamlike haze of "The Glass House", the band's sound was clearly becoming more sophisticated and experimental. That fey, androgynous howl that Williams belted out on the first record is replaced by a richer, more resonant croon that's frequently been compared to David Bowie, and he was often joined by Gitane Demone's soulful, sometimes bluesy wail, which added a new wrinkle to Christian Death's sound. Many of the songs on Ballet are sublimely catchy, but they also ventured further afield into the kind of creepy experimental soundscape work that Williams would explore with his solo projects later in the decade, tracks like "The Fleeing Somnambulist" blending together looping vocals, vast sprawls of warbling drone and distant industrial rumble, swells of psychedelic electronic noise and random percussion, dreamlike terrain strafed with the dark carnival sounds of what sounds like a steam-powered calliope. This results in one of the more adventurous dark post-punk albums from the era, combining themes of violence and death and eroticism with haunting hooks and an unsettling, though often strikingly beautiful vibe as no one else could. Crucial.
Track Samples:
Sample : The Fleeing Somnambulist
Sample : Cervix Couch
Sample : Awake at the Wall
Sample : Androgynous Noise Hand Permeates



CONVIVIAL HERMIT, THE   Issue One   MAGAZINE   (Convivial Hermit)    4.99



   The folks behind the excellent metal zine Convivial Hermit have come out with a limited-edition reprint of the very first issue from 2004, long out of print. It's essentially identical to the original, except stapled together and not perfect bound. Still a great read from one of my favorite underground music rags; even this early in its existence, Convivial Hermit editor Yury was cultivating a thoughtful, intelligent mag focused on dark, atmospheric music that spanned an eclectic variety of sounds and forms, centering around themes of art, the occult, nature, misanthropy, and romanticism. The inaugural issue featured the same sort of in-depth interviews and enthusiastic energy found in later issues, with similarly solid writing, and featured lengthy and engaging interviews with Finnish funeral doom gods Skepticism, Romanian avant-garde black metal band Negura Bunget, Finnish darkfolk outfit Tenhi, folk-flecked Irish black metal legends Primordial, Austrian black metallers Abigor, Summoning, Amestigon and Dornenreich, German black metal/neo-folksters Empyrium, Finnish doom metallers Dolorian and Yearning, Aussie black metallers Abyssic Hate, raw German black metaller Akerbeltz, the atmospheric Maryland death metal band Garden Of Shadows, obscure Finnish black/death band Thromdarr, classic funeral doom outfits like Norway's Funeral and Ireland's Mourning Beloveth, Brazilian doomdeath titans Mythological Cold Towers, symphonic Swedish black metallers Parnassus, melodic Finnish death metallers Nocturnal Winds, neo-folk bands like Hekate. It's rounded out with well-written essays on "Some Thoughts On The Concept Of Originality" and "Reawakening The Impulse For Exploration", a piece on Diogenes of Sinope who helped to develop the Cynic philosophy, a well-argued defense on the merits of printed zines, and more, as well as that massive review section that delivers equally in-depth criticism on everything from uber-cult black metal to experimental noise artists like Daniel Menche and Merzbow, to dark industrial artists like Puissance and IRM. Even though it came out a decade ago, this is still an indispensable resource guide to dark, experimental music of the early oughts.


CORRUPTED   Nadie   12"   (Throne)    19.99



    Back in stock. A classic slab of apocalyptic sludge from legendary Japanese band Corrupted, Nadie is once again back in print via the recently reactivated Spanish label Throne, re-mastered and presented in gatefold packaging with a large fold-out poster, all featuring strikingly grim images from equally legendary Japanese photographer Kyotaka Tsurisaki. As one of the earliest releases from the band, this is pre-piano Corrupted, pre-post rock grandeur, rising from the depths of their torturously slow, jet-black wall of sludge. 1995's Nadie captures Corrupted at their most primitive and putrid, rolling out three lengthy songs of filthy, glacial crustmetal carved from the slowed-down Sabbath-meets-hardcore of bands like Buzzoven, Eyehategod, and their diseased ilk, but put their own unique spin on this sort of abject torture by singing all of the lyrics in Spanish, and with their predilections towards exercises in droning, bulldozing mono-riffs. The two songs on the A-side, "Nadie" and "Bajo De Cero", are goddamn titanic, crushing slabs of molten slo-mo metal with smatterings of disgusting Black Sabbath-esque doom-blooze emerging out of the roiling repeato-riff tar-pit, singer Chew bellowing over the slugfuck heaviosity. In the years that followed Nadie, this sound has been copied by a ton of bands, but when this originally came out it really set a new benchmark for bludgeoning skull-caving sludge. And even here, Corrupted wove their eerie melodies into their quarter speed metallic crush, threading trails of phosphorescent melodic guitar and swarms of feedback that wisp off the skull-flattening riffage.
    The flipside is made up of the side-long track "Esclavo", slowly rising out of a fog of droning feedback and squealing amp noise, the band summoning a thick miasma of electric hum and shrieking distortion that a simple, devastating riff slowly emerges from, that noisy intro leading into a barbaric dirge that crawls across the entire side, occasionally dropping out into brief stretches of howling noise before returning with another malevolent riff, gradually crafting an anguished, hopeless atmosphere while what sounds like electronic noise (but is most likely just some seriously overdriven guitar feedback) gargles in the depths of the mix like garbled Morse code transmissions. It's about as close to the sound of a collapsing planet as you can get in the studio.
    A classic of ultra-bleak heaviosity. Limited to four hundred copies.


CROOKED NECKS   Faded Fluorescence   CASSETTE   (Black Horizons)    7.99



    This glorious grungy gloom-rock EP from Crooked Necks is apparently the final release from the band, who have brought us some terrific contempo post-punk darkness in recent years. Initially starting out as a similarly mournful sounding black metal outfit, these guys eventually morphed into a kind of infectiously gloomy, distortion-drenched pop with undercurrents of black metal and noise buried beneath the hooks, a sound that's essentially perfected on Faded Fluorescence. All five of these songs worm their way through your morose mind-meat, as tracks like opener "Tornado Formations" bring together driving Peter Hook-style bass lines and swirling murky keyboards with droning, jangling guitars, with near somnambulant, monotone vocals. You can easily make out the sort of stuff that influenced Crooked Necks' sound (Joy Division, The Cure, Echo & The Bunnymen), but there's still those remnants of blackened gristle that cling to these songs, bits of black metal-esque debris a la the occasional snarling vocal lost in the blizzard of distortion in the background, or the faint buzzing tremolo riffs that bleed into the band's explosive choruses. Naturally, this is all highly recommended if you're into stuff like Deafheaven, Cold Body Radiation, Alcest, etc., but these guys take an overall dirtier and dingier approach to that sort of vaguely black metal-influenced gloompop. The distorted noisiness of this sets it apart as well, with songs like "From The Roots" shimmering with powerful, blissed out waves of overdriven tremolo'd fuzz and intense, high-pitched screaming that makes this sort of sound like some strange but enthralling cross between Loveless-era My Bloody Valentine and the frenzied suicidal black metal of Silencer. Nicely packaged like all Black Horizons tapes, housed in a green metallic paper cover with silver printing and a full-color insert, and limited to two hundred copies.
Track Samples:
Sample : Tornado Formations
Sample : And Now I'm Dying
Sample : Broken Into Shapes



CRYOSTASIUM   self-titled   CD   (Satanath)    9.98














DARVULIA   L'Alliance Des Venins   LP   (Battlesk'rs)    19.99



    Now available on limited edition vinyl with poster and printed inner sleeve, and includes a bonus track called "Le Silence D'Anna" exclusive to this release. Here's my old review of the original CD release:
    If you've been paying attention to the international black metal scene over the past few years, you've no doubt noticed that France has been cultivating an especially fucked-up, furious identity with bands like Deathspell Omega, Blut Aus Nord, Eikenskaden, Mystic Forest, and Diapsiquir all putting their own, unique stamp on ferocious, discordant black metal. Darvulia is another on the list, a two-piece from Toulouse, France that features ex-members of Fornication and Nuit Noire, and whose second full length L'Alliance des Venins summons a strange, hellish swarm of stumbling, droning black metal that nods to both the weirdness of early Ved Buens Ende and Fleurety, and the raw, pitch-black buzzsaw hatred of Vlad Tepes and Mutiilation. A thick swirling black metal blur of bleak, quirky minor-key riffs and depressing droning arpeggios, throaty, growling vocals, chaotic drumming, strange passages where the band suddenly stops and shifts into a waltzing post-rockish dirge with messy drumming and discordant, mathy guitars; weird sloppy punk rock mid-tempo parts, and a general hypnotic murkiness that has a similar diseased, psychedelic vibe as USBM outfits Xasthur and Leviathan. Excellent mystic black metal, with cool almost all-black artwork and interesting imagery.
Track Samples:
Sample :
Sample :



DEAD IN THE MANGER   Cessation   LP   (20 Buck Spin)    16.99



    Back in stock. The anonymous group operating under the name Dead In The Manger returns with their first full-length Cessation, the follow-up to last year's impressive Transience EP. And as with their debut, the band offers a vicious strain of blackened blast-metal, though this time they build on the moments of atmospheric power that were glimpsed on the 12", expanding that aspect of their sound into even more dramatic form. The band's black metal influences comprise only a portion of their overall sound; when the album opens with "I" (the first of six numerically designated track titles), the stark, doleful guitars play over a bed of soft staticky hiss, reminding me more of the elegiac slowcore of Codeine or Slint for a moment, a tense build into that first song's explosive outburst of violent, mournful energy. From there, Dead In The Manger race through these blasts of viciously fast, intense blackened grind, weaving in bits of depressive melody and bursts of pulverizing doom, the occasional ambient noisescape, and a few more traces of that gloomy math rock in the guitars. They can slow things down to punishing effect as well, cutting massive swathes of droning, almost Godfleshian sludge throughout some of these songs, unleashing a simple but powerful riff that repeats ad nauseum amid peals of tortured feedback and squealing guitar noise. Just about every one of these songs features one of their moody, sorrowful melodies, though, and the vocals are used sparingly, a scathing, reptilian rasp that bleeds heavily into the slower, crushing passages. When they're going at top speed, it's blindingly fast, more grindcore than anything, frostbitten blastbeats racing beneath sorrowful chord progressions like something off of White Birch and streaked with regal tremolo-picked leads. It's all put together really well, elevated by strong songwriting chops and their knack for those grimly majestic guitar leads and melodies, further distinguishing their music from the hordes of black metal influenced stuff out there. Recommended.
Track Samples:
Sample : DEAD IN THE MANGER-Cessation
Sample : DEAD IN THE MANGER-Cessation
Sample : DEAD IN THE MANGER-Cessation



DEATH IS THE ULTIMATE LUXURY   Death Is The Ultimate Luxury   ART BOOK - SLIM   (Black Horizons)    6.00



    The third title in this batch of recent art zine offerings from Black Horizons, Death is the Ultimate Luxury is a limited-edition art zine featuring sixty-four pages of black and white xerographic collage art created by the minds behind the Black Horizons visual aesthetic, though the work featured here is much more graphic and eroticized than what many fans of the label might be familiar with. Much of the work presented here starts with hardcore pornographic imagery as the raw material, then cuts it apart and distorts it into vaguely menacing and violently-tinged scenes, using a rough, cut-and-paste aesthetic heavily reminiscent of certain strains of old-school industrial music visuals; flipping through this grotesque Sadeian patchwork of tough homoerotic pornography, abstract collage, malfunctioning Xerox textures, violent penetration, monstrous facial deformations, and macabre imagery, one is reminded of antecedents like Merzbow's Pornoise/1kg-era collage art, Mike Williams' Southern Nihilism Front graphics, the black and white cassette covers of Texas noise artist Richard Ramirez. Most definitely not for anyone under the age of eighteen, nor the biologically squeamish. As with the other art zines that we've picked up recently from Black Horizons, this is nicely assembled, with a dark grey linen cardstock cover and black vellum end papers, housed in a black mylar bag and issued in a limited run of sixty-three copies.


DEATHSTENCH   Nekro Blood Ritual   CASSETTE   (Fall Of Nature)    6.50



    Possibly the ultimate in necro-industrial murk. Still can't get enough of this band's brand of rumbling, glacial horror, and if you dug that supremely putrid album on Malignant and the split with Trepaneringsritualen that these guys put out a while back, this is just as essential. Made up of members of the blackened industrial metal bands Welter In Thy Blood and Pro-Death, this duo delivers another one of their pungent blasts of roiling graveyard droneology with this six-song tape on Aussie label Fall of Nature, moving through a series of ever widening black-hole generated loopscapes and mesmeric rot-rituals. Evolving from the grimy low-end rumblings of opener "Chalice Of Maggots" into the Basinski-esque drones that spin in slow motion through "Blood On Black Books", the tape chases ghostly murmurs that echo endlessly through a vast subterranean abyss. The sounds slowly corrode and decay as it unfolds, completely stripped of any high end frequencies, leaving behind an incredibly murky black sonic residue. Compared to some of their other stuff, Nekro Blood Ritual is a little more amorphous and ambient, but still quite heavy, effortlessly exuding the sort of decomposing bass-heavy darkness that has long marked their work, dank industrial-tinged rumblings streaked with strange sonic detritus and the sound of ghastly chanting.
    Things do get significantly heavier with the likes of "Nekrobloodritual" or the slo-motion chainsaw dirge of "Desecration Of The Host". On those tracks, the duo disgorges some massive Sunn-esque doom metal riffery that tumbles end over end through the darkness, disinterred metallic fragments drifting languidly through a foul miasma of demonic voices and crackling noise. When Deathstench get really heavy, this tape transforms into something akin to hearing a monstrous blackened doom metal outfit performing from the bottom of a bog while thunderheads slowly encroach over the horizon; or, in the case of closer "Burning Ov Entrails", akin to the sound of titanic tentacles rustling against the exterior of a bathysphere deep in the Marianas Trench, while stygian synthdrones bore through the blackness. Another killer blast of necromantic filth from these guys, taking the spirit of old-school death metal and filtering it through a hideous blackened fog. Limited to one hundred copies.
Track Samples:
Sample : Blood On Black Books
Sample : Nekrobloodritual
Sample : Burning Ov Entrails



DEIPHAGO   Into The Eye of Satan   CD   (Hells Headbangers)    11.98



    I expected chaos with the new Deiphago album, but what they unleash here turned out to be another level of bestial weirdness. These Filipino black/death warmongers have been detonating their blasts of Satanic hate since the late 1980s, but Deiphago's latest Into The Eye Of Satan delivers a seemingly newfound level of aural ear-hate and outré blastcraft. The guitar playing alone is totally insane, an assault of extreme atonal shred that makes one wonder if Deiphago axebeast Sidapa had been guzzling large quantities of Last Exit and Fredrik Thordendal's Special Defects during the writing process. It's not like this feels self-consciously avant-garde, though; the fucked-up, hyper-violent atonality of the solos and fractured, weirdly warped nature of the riffs churning and gnashing through Eye are all in service to an atmosphere of hellish violence. In the past, Deiphago have been derided by some for being too chaotic and seemingly unstructured, but it's that reckless, turbulent quality that makes this stuff sound so unique. "Psychedelic" isn't a word I often when describing this kind of black/death metal, but it definitely applies to Deiphago's swarming, delay-drenched bestial blast.
    On their latest, Deiphago remain rooted in that classic Conqueror-influenced war metal sound while pushing their barbaric sound into stranger extremes. That they enlisted Colin Marston from Gorguts / Behold The Arctopus / Krallice to produce the album is telling, as this propels Deiphago's sound into more abstract, angular territory. The album enters their killzone on a wave of imperious orchestral murk and snarling black noise, then proceeds to unleash a violent assault of total noise metal. In some ways akin to Teitenblood's latest, this is bestial black/death metal pushed into utterly cacophonic madness, a grindcore-style blur of hyperspeed blastbeats and pummeling war-toms hurtling beneath a maelstrom of hopelessly angular riffage and full-blown atonal noise, but with more emphasis on sculpting monstrous riffs out of that churning black chaos. That awesome, twisted dissonant guitarwork really adds to the unusual feel of this stuff; when you hear the sweeping waves of spaced-out skronk and almost jazz-like shredding that flies across these nine tracks, and the overload of rhythmic weirdness that continues to unravel with each song, it's clearly a new level of madness that Deiphago is exploring here. There are moments like "Bloodbath Of Genocide" where the violent blasting falls back and it sounds as if the guitarist is attempting to wrangle a mutated classic rock-style riff out of his instrument, then suddenly everything erupts into an almost Gorgutsian assault of atonal shred. A few riffs even seem to mimic the sounds of doom-laden orchestral string sections, lending moments of oppressive, desolate ambiance glimpsed briefly in the band's cyclonic deathnoise attack. Other tracks like the suffocating “Red Dragon of Chaos” become saturated with cosmic synth-like noise, giving the song an almost industrial vibe.
    It's only with the very last song, "Into The Eye Of Satan", that Deiphago slow down into something approaching a "groove", a monstrous, sludgy, dundering caveman riff that is quickly sucked back up into the tornadic chaos, flayed by another savage shot of ultra-atonal, unmusical skronk-shred that resembles a demonic Sonny Sharrock, and ending with an abrupt blast of sinister, clanging metallic noise and garbled voices tangled in atonal violin-like skree, like the sound of some monstrous sepulchral door slamming shut, leaving the listener entombed in absolute blackness. Definitely one of the most intense blackened death metal albums to show up this year, thanks to the wealth of whacked-out, gonzo riffs and the sheer weirdness of Deiphago's sonic assault. Awesome.


DEMONCY   Faustian Dawn / Within The Sylvan Realms Of Frost   2 x CD   (Baphomet)    14.99



    Back in stock. This double-disc collection reissued a while back by Baphomet Records offers most of the early material from this early U.S. black metal outfit, who were one of the first on these shores alongside Absu, Black Funeral and Judas Iscariot. Demoncy was one of my favorites, with a murky, miasmal strain of atmospheric black metal on those early releases that had a harsher, more isolationist feel than his peers. Primarily the sole project of founding member Ixithra, who at one time also played in Profanatica as well as recording various death industrial and dark ambient albums under the names Profane Grace, Mysterian and Raven's Bane, Demoncy sounded like something that had just been dug out of an ancient, rotted cellar; while the project's sound would evolve and become more polished over time, these early, low-fi, dissonant blasts of evil black metal remain my favorite stuff of theirs.
    Demoncy's Faustian Dawn demo still kills more than twenty years later, though modern listeners might find this early stuff to be little more than a blast of low-fidelity noise. It's certainly raw, and supremely oppressive, the music screaming out of the abyss in a rush of hypnotic blastbeats and bizarre vocals that seem to be simultaneously guttural and whispered, the guitar parts simple and repetitive and trance-inducing, occasionally offset by sudden shifts into slower, sludgy heaviness. Sort of comparable to what Beherit was doing early on, with a similarly primitive and fucked-up vibe and a tendency to throw in some eerie experimental synths, atmospheric instrumental guitar and backwards vocals on the book ending tracks, or belt out a thrashing, scum-encrusted punk riff over a pummeling D-beat, but Ixithra also scattered some surprisingly melodic riffs in here as well. The other tracks that round out this first disc are taken from rehearsal recordings from 1995-1996, and mostly make up material that would eventually appear of Demoncy's debut album Within The Sylvan Realms Of Frost.
    That album is the centerpiece of the second disc, a six-song Lp that's one of my favorite American black metal albums from this era. Demoncy's sound had gotten a little more polished and refined by this point, as those rehearsal demos showed, but Frost retained that noisy, saturated distortion and gravelly production, keeping it evil and abrasive. The savagery of that early stuff hadn't been too diminished either, these new songs deliver more of those simple, violent riffs and sweeping ominous scales and frost-charred leads, but there's also the occasional left turn like the borderline poppy hook that shows up on "Abysmal Shores Of The Dark Lands Beyond The Sun", or the dreamy keyboards that drift over some of the tracks like something from a heat-warped Badalamenti soundtrack cassette. And Ixithra slows it down to a monstrous, crumbling dirge every once in a while, where the keyboards take on a low, rumbling distorted sound. It's a killer combination, the sound of a classical heavy metal aesthetic churning within a storm of droning distortion, an epic treble-cranked night-trance that's been mimicked by countless black metal outfits ever since, and still some of the best USBM to come out of the late 90s. The other remaining seven tracks on the disc comprise excerpts from Demoncy's 1994 Hypocrisy Of The Accursed Heavens demo and 1995's Ascension Of A Star Long Since Fallen demo, both of which are in the band's earlier, noisier style of Beherit-esque madness.
Track Samples:
Sample : Ascension Of A Star Long Since Fallen
Sample : Winter Bliss
Sample : In Winter's Ancient Slumber
Sample : Denial Of The Holy Paradise
Sample : Fullmoon Twilight
Sample : Commence ment of the Dark Crusades



DIAGNOSE: LEBENSGEFAHR   Transformalin   CD   (Hidden Marly)    11.99



    The one and only album to date from this diseased industrial project from Silencer's Nattramn was recently reissued by the Japanese label Hidden Marly, with all-new (and much improved) artwork from Nattramn and Romanian artist Costin Chioreanu. This album still sticks out as one of the more unsettling industrial/experimental albums to creep out of the periphery of underground black metal, and is as recommended now as it was back when it came out on Autopsy Kitchen back in 2007. Here's my old review of that original release:
    When Nattramn of Swedish black metallers Silencer ended that project and was purportedly institutionalized in a mental hospital several years ago, he left behind one of the weirdest, most personal expressions of mental anguish to come from the black metal scene, the Death - Pierce me album from 2001, a harrowing combination of shredded, noisy BM and Nattramn's singularly unique vocals that are still some of the most tortured, high pitched vocalizations you'll ever hear, a weeping shriek that disturbs to the core. Silencer's legacy, although obscure, was nonetheless recognized by fans of severe black metal weirdness, and many of us wondered if we'd ever hear another Silencer album. Well, Nattramn ended up leaving the mental institution he was in, and with a back story that alleges that part of his rehabilitation was the creation of a new body of music work, he's back with a completely new project called Diagnose: Lebensgefahr and a debut album Transformalin. You can't call this black metal, that's for sure...there's a black metal influence to Diagnose: Lebensgefahr, but Nattramn's new muse appears to be a wholesale plundering of assorted Industrial, techno, ambient, and other electronic forms, in the process creating a kind of weird black-industrial electro-drone fusion that's tough to compare to anything else. The idea here is that this is an audio portrait of Nattramn's struggle with mental disease, and it certainly transports you through a ever-shifting realm of terminal unease, filled with gritty synthesizer drift and gauzy, old-timey marching songs layered over brutal industrial beats and deranged spoken-word declarations, droning machine noise and grinding loops.
    Diagnose: Lebensgefahr isn't as over the top as Silencer, but there's a similar vibe that things are wrong here, a deeply disturbing atmosphere which makes this album pretty compelling. Parts of Transformalin remind me of both MZ.412 and Godflesh, but much of the album is so wildly abstract that it's more like a damaged version of black ambient than anything, a buzzing electrical presence glowing under yellow sanatorium lights. The third track “Flaggan På Halv Stång I Drömmens Västergård” invokes the icy drift of Lustmord or Troum, and “Tillsammans Men Ensam I Stillhetens Kapell” is a billowy cloud of white hiss and buried half-melodies that remind me of something from Tim Hecker, but darker, bleaker, the stuff of bad dreams, beautiful and threatening. The album's standout might be “The Last Breath Of Tellus”, which opens with a gorgeous wave of angelic voices surging through a veil of fuzz like a blackened Fennesz piece - it's exquisitely beautiful, until a diseased percussive loop enters and turns the track into a throbbing, malevolent techno-industrial jam. The more adventurous explorers out there who delve into the weirdest corners of post-black metal experimentation may well find this to be a fascinating followup to Silencer's suicidal disintegration. Highly recommended.
Track Samples:
Sample : Transformalin
Sample : The Last Breath Of Tellus
Sample : Situazion: Lebensgefahr



DODHEIMSGARD   A Umbra Omega   CD   (Peaceville)    16.98



    Available on both digipack CD, and double LP on 180 gram vinyl in gatefold packaging with digital download.
    Since they started to take seven years between new albums, Norwegian mutants Dodheimsgard have strayed further and further from their black metal roots into a uniquely demented sound that by this point resembles John Zorn-esque assault-prog more than anything. And they've never sounded more distant from their Scandinavian environs than on their latest, A Umbra Omega, fueled by the same sort of violent schizoid delirium that marked their previous album Supervillain Outcast, but largely foregoes the extreme electronic edge of that Lp for something a bit more informed by experimental jazz and European prog rock.
    In fact, the album kicks off with a brief instrumental glitchscape titled "The Love Divine" that may or may not be a vague nod towards John Coltrane. That haunting electronic ghostscape that opens the disc is suddenly shredded in the chaotic blasting black metal and shredding, complex arpeggios that guitarist Vicotnik sends sweeping over "Aphelion Void", though, the music rattled by Bjørn "Aldrahn" Dencker's strangely distorted and processed vocals as the band contorts their intricate, progged-out sound with surges of eerie saxophone and jazzy piano figures. Made up of constantly shifting arrangements and amorphous riffs, that song introduces the complex, jazz-damaged sound that permeates the whole album, each song an epic of convoluted blackened prog with the shortest clocking in at just under twelve minutes. Songs shift from blackened blast and vicious blackthrash into sudden detours into flamenco-flecked rock, or skittering dark electronica, or bits of dark jazz-stained ambience. Chamber strings and frigid post-rock stylings gleam in the cracks between the band's cyclonic whirlwinds, surrounded by lovely choral harmonies, and passages of unearthly blues and classical guitar that are woven into the phantasmal tapestry of the album. Multiple listens reveal a bit of a math rock quality to a lot of the guitar parts on A Umbra Omega as well, and Vicotnik's playing is some of the most interesting I've heard on a DHG record: expressive and virtuosic, lushly layered and atmospheric one moment, then hurtling through a discordant flesh-ripping shred fest the next. The vocals are likewise much more expressive than your typical blackened shriek, a mixture of guttural bloodpuke snarls and a weird declamatory carnival-barker delivery, deranged Patton-esque crooning and evil android chants and hysteric, high-pitched screaming. It's a big part of the harrowing, unearthly vibe, at times a little like the similarly alien Ved Buens Ende, but wholly reflected through DHG's bizarre sensibilities and fractured, fucked-up genius.
Track Samples:
Sample : God Protocol Axiom
Sample : Architect Of Darkness
Sample : Aphelion Void



DODHEIMSGARD   A Umbra Omega   2 x LP   (Peaceville)    39.99



    Available on both digipack CD, and double LP on 180 gram vinyl in gatefold packaging with digital download.
    Since they started to take seven years between new albums, Norwegian mutants Dodheimsgard have strayed further and further from their black metal roots into a uniquely demented sound that by this point resembles John Zorn-esque assault-prog more than anything. And they've never sounded more distant from their Scandinavian environs than on their latest, A Umbra Omega, fueled by the same sort of violent schizoid delirium that marked their previous album Supervillain Outcast, but largely foregoes the extreme electronic edge of that Lp for something a bit more informed by experimental jazz and European prog rock.
    In fact, the album kicks off with a brief instrumental glitchscape titled "The Love Divine" that may or may not be a vague nod towards John Coltrane. That haunting electronic ghostscape that opens the disc is suddenly shredded in the chaotic blasting black metal and shredding, complex arpeggios that guitarist Vicotnik sends sweeping over "Aphelion Void", though, the music rattled by Bjørn "Aldrahn" Dencker's strangely distorted and processed vocals as the band contorts their intricate, progged-out sound with surges of eerie saxophone and jazzy piano figures. Made up of constantly shifting arrangements and amorphous riffs, that song introduces the complex, jazz-damaged sound that permeates the whole album, each song an epic of convoluted blackened prog with the shortest clocking in at just under twelve minutes. Songs shift from blackened blast and vicious blackthrash into sudden detours into flamenco-flecked rock, or skittering dark electronica, or bits of dark jazz-stained ambience. Chamber strings and frigid post-rock stylings gleam in the cracks between the band's cyclonic whirlwinds, surrounded by lovely choral harmonies, and passages of unearthly blues and classical guitar that are woven into the phantasmal tapestry of the album. Multiple listens reveal a bit of a math rock quality to a lot of the guitar parts on A Umbra Omega as well, and Vicotnik's playing is some of the most interesting I've heard on a DHG record: expressive and virtuosic, lushly layered and atmospheric one moment, then hurtling through a discordant flesh-ripping shred fest the next. The vocals are likewise much more expressive than your typical blackened shriek, a mixture of guttural bloodpuke snarls and a weird declamatory carnival-barker delivery, deranged Patton-esque crooning and evil android chants and hysteric, high-pitched screaming. It's a big part of the harrowing, unearthly vibe, at times a little like the similarly alien Ved Buens Ende, but wholly reflected through DHG's bizarre sensibilities and fractured, fucked-up genius.
Track Samples:
Sample : God Protocol Axiom
Sample : Architect Of Darkness
Sample : Aphelion Void



DODHEIMSGARD   Supervillain Outcast   2 x LP   (Peaceville)    39.98



    Finally back in print on vinyl, reissued by Peaceville as a double LP in gatefold packaging. Here's my old review of the album from the original Moonfog release:
    Possibly the avant-black metal album of 2007? After eight long years, Norwegian black metal mutants Dødheimsgard (now referring to themselves as simply "DHG") have risen anew with their fourth album, Supervillain Outcast, and man is this one an awesome, ambitious assault of sleek, futurist blackness. Doesn't come as too much of a shock really, since the band's last album (1999's 666 International) saw them evolving into a digitally-enhanced machine, fusing Dødheimsgard's raw, furious Norwegian black metal with dark industrial and electronica elements. But with Supervillain Outcast , Dødheimsgard have tripped into new obsidian realms, like a black metal warning being beamed back to us from some dystopian, Blade Runner future, and it's a grim, smog-filled vision that I've been blasting nonstop since we got this in. The album begins with "Dushman", a barely one-minute loop of Muslimgauze style Middle Eastern ambience that explodes into the atonal black metal fury of "Vendetta Assassin", which morphs into a brutally catchy machine-groove thrash attack overlapped with awesome synthoid textures and weird insectoid bleeps flaring at the corners of your peripheral vision. "The Snuff That Dreams Are Made Of" is one of my favorite jams on the album, a crushing martial rhythm and precision deathriff onslaught carried on the silicon wings of digitized powerdrill whirrs and synthesized Middle Eastern fanfares. "Foe X Foe" emerges as a mass of bizarre, waltzing rhythm and fractured death metal.
    And things definitely get weirder, more unearthly: "All Is Not Self" sounds like the Psychedelic Furs surrounded by stuttering breakbeats, factory sounds, and choral chanting, while "Secret Identity" is a haunting interlude of clean, harmonized chanting. Songs are tied together with found-sounds and ethno-ambient prettiness. Whiplash breakbeats scuttle beneath syncopated, cybernetically-enhanced Meshuggah-esque grooves. The vocals are handled by newcomer Kvohst (formerly of black metallers Code), and he unleashes an amazing array of voices that move through brutal roars, doo-wop harmonies, creepy understated whispering, clean darkwave-pop croons. And as harsh and CRUSHING and mindbending as Supervillain Outcast is from start to finish, it's equally an amazingly catchy, hooky album, I mean really catchy, I've been blasting this disc in it's entirety all week and still haven't gotten my fill of Dødheimsgard's near-future hallucination. An awesome, trippy, breakbeat-infused black metal/industrial/dance/glitch/tech-metal/gloom-pop epic. Fucking amazing. Definitely in the running for my favorite metal album of the year. The album artwork is awesome too, depicting a manga style cloaked figure sending out hordes of death's-head flies swarming over a murky, polluted city skyline. Highly, HIGHLY recommended.
Track Samples:
Sample : Senseoffender
Sample : Addicted to Perdition [Instrumental]
Sample : Ghostforce Soul Constrictor
Sample : 21st Century Devil
Sample : Vendetta Assassin
Sample : Apocalypticism



DODHEIMSGARD   666 International   2 x LP   (Peaceville)    37.99



    Available again on double LP, white vinyl, with the same music as the expanded 2011 CD reissue.
   Norwegian black metallers were experimenting with the use of electronic music, techno, and industrial elements as far back as Mysticum's In the Streams of Inferno, and bands like Solefald and Arcturus took the fusion of BM and electronics even further out in the late 90s. But when Dodheimsgard released their third album 666 International in 1999, we hadn't heard anything quite this strange and futuristic before. Upon it's release, 666 International was immediately divisive among black metal fans, and was derided by many for lacking the more traditional black metal elements of their previous releases. In hindsight though, this is a pioneering album of extreme electronic black metal that still sounds ahead of its time, with members of Aura Noir, Ved Buens Ende, and Fleurety in the ranks. It originally came out on Moonfog Productions and has been out of print for years, but has now been reissued with bonus tracks on Peaceville. I can't recommend this classic album of mindfuck technoid black metal weirdness enough. Everything about this flies in the face of black metal dogma. From the techno-album style cover art and the full color photo on the back of these (then) young Nordic weirdos made up in dayglo face paint and adorned in Vedic jewelry, to the schizophrenic song arrangements, the weird crooning vocals and shape shifting electronica-meets-mechanized-black-metal, it's total insanity.
    Beginning with strains of dark classical piano and chaotic blasting black metal, opener "Shiva Interfere" soon settles in with it's brooding industrial throb, equal parts UK post-punk and Skinny Puppy creep, shifting across it's nine minute length as dissonant black metal riffs dart out of the thumping rhythming grooves and dark ether, skipping across weird counter-intuitive rhythms and strange music box melodies, a funhouse delirium of 80s goth sensibilities and Wax Trax beats infused with the swarming buzz of classic Norwegian black metal. As strange as that opening song is, I'm betting that it was the chunky techno trance of "Ion Storm" that weaves in and out of a holocaust of robotic hyperspeed blackened chaos that really baffled BM fans back when this first came out, as the song races through breakneck changes from frenzied quasi-gabber beats to loping frosty black metal. Next is the eerie baroque piano music of "Carpet Bombing" and the drill n' bass laced dread of "Regno Potiri", followed by "FInal Conquest"'s pounding percussive groove and tribal black metal hysteria. There's another short piano interlude titled "Magic", and the techno hell of "Completion", which seems to be the final track as the disc moves through a series of 50 short silent tracks. The original "hidden" track "Completion Part 2" appears at the end, a reprise of the previous track that is even heavier and more pummeling. That's the original album proper, but Peaceville's reissue also features two additional bonus tracks: the first is the neck-wrecking EBM of "Hemorrhage-Era One" that had previously been included on the Moonfog 2000 compilation; the second is an unreleased track called "Proton Navigator", a lengthy instrumental that blends together jazzy drumming, horns, strange chanting, bluesy guitar solos, pounding slow breakbeats, and lots of nightmarish ambience that gradually shifts into a kind of dark Eastern European folk-inflected trip hop towards the end.
    The evolution in sound that Dodheimsgard underwent for 666 International has people pegging them incorrectly as a techno/black metal hybrid, but there's much more to this music than just pounding programmed beats and electronic textures. The songs are arranged so strangely, and the vocals so crazed sounding that it feels like this was beamed straight out of a mental ward from the year 2018. It really is a classic in the realm of avant-garde black metal, and absolutely essential for fans of bands like Manes, Thorns, and Aborym.
Track Samples:
Sample : DODHEIMSGARD-666 International
Sample : DODHEIMSGARD-666 International
Sample : DODHEIMSGARD-666 International



DOOMED AND DISGUSTING   Satan's Nightmare   LP   (Nuclear War Now! Productions)    14.99













DREADLORDS   Death Angel   LP   (Not Just Religious Music)    14.99














EDGE OF SANITY   Unorthodox   LP   (Black Mark)    28.98



   The latest vinyl reissue of this Swedish prog-death classic, released in a new 2015 transparent yellow vinyl edition from Black Mark. Here's the old review from the original CD version:
   I'm finally getting the Edge Of Sanity back catalog in stock here at C-Blast, after being almost impossible to obtain for years without paying insane import prices. The Black Mark titles from this pioneering progressive death metal band are all essential for fans of both Swedish death metal and prog-death, with some albums (Crimson, The Spectral Sorrows, Unorthodox) ranking as some of my own favorite progressive extreme metal albums of all time. This was, of course, the most well-known band from Swedish metal polyglot Dan Swano, formed after his run with Pan-Thy-Monium as a crushing entry in the evolving Swedish death metal underground. After a relatively straightforward 1991 debut, Edge Of Sanity quickly began to experiment with a combination of prog rock, hard rock and gothic influences being infused into the band's monstrous death metal, and in the process produced some of the most adventurous extreme metal to come out of the Swedish underground.
    While Edge Of Sanity's 1991 debut Nothing But Death Remains was a solid, if by-the-numbers slab of Swedish death metal, their follow-up Unorthodox came as a shock to the senses, outlining the adventurous and experimental approach that Dan Swano and company would pursue with this band throughout the rest of its career. Full of violent, macabre imagery and cosmic horror, Unorthodox begins with a brief intro track of catacomb ambiance that leads into a doleful violin melody that introduces the crushing three-part prog death epic "Enigma", and in this one song the band brings us a host of different sounds woven together into an ambitious death metal attack; pounding fast-paced thrash and powerful guttural roars stop on a dime and turn into soaring prog with dramatic sung vocals, operatic female voices, and backing violins and cellos; putrid deathslime rises up and is twisted into peculiar angular, mutoid grooves; regal doom-laden synths back the galloping majesty of the middle section. Swano wasn't at all bashful about incorporating a variety of progressive rock and classical elements into Unorthodox's music, and much like Celtic Frost's groundbreaking albums from the mid 80s, these guys were obviously looking to expand the textural and sonic parameters of death metal.
    No heaviness is sacrificed here, though. Songs like ""Incipience to the Butchery", "Everlasting (Epidemic Reign Part III)" and "In the Veins / Darker Than Black" are carved out of the burliest, chunkiest Swedish death metal stock, even as they unfold to reveal some stunning melodic hooks and the occasional oddball production or editing trick. Compared to the even proggier later albums in Edge Of Sanity's career, this is still very rooted in classic Swede-death, but it's juiced up by Swano's clever injections of spacey electronics, somber instrumental classical guitar, horror-movie synthesizers, weird effects and editing tricks, and is loaded with Swano's brilliant use of melody and memorable riffs that would become even more mature on the following album The Spectral Sorrows.
    Essential for fans of progressive and experimental old-school death metal.
Track Samples:
Sample : Dead But Dreaming
Sample : Enigma: The Blessing/Celestial Dissension/The Loss of Hallowed Life
Sample : Everlasting



ELECTRIC FUNERAL   Total Funeral   2 x LP   (Southern Lord)    19.98














ELECTRIC WIZARD   self-titled   LP   (Rise Above)    31.00



Available once again, via this new 2015 reissue on black vinyl via Rise Above, in the same striking gatefold package as the previous edition. Here's my old write-up for this classic UK doom album from way back when...
In honor of Electric Wizard's recent induction into the Decibel Magazine "Hall Of Fame", which was just awarded to their milestone album Dopethrone from 2000, we've got all of their crucial deluxe re-issues available through Crucial Blast for you doomhounds that are missing these mighty platters from yer library. Repackaged in sweet digipack cases with enhanced and expanded artwork, brand new liner notes, great photos captured during each album's respective era, and bonus tracks, these Electric Wizard reissues are essential for any real fan of dope-huffing, spine crushing British DOOM.
Originally released in 1995, Electric Wizard's self-titled debut emerged from the pit with an elephantine heaviness that was pretty well unmatched. Available here in the States as a double CD along with 1997's Come My Fanatics, Electric Wizard is finally available as a standalone album in a sweet digipack with all of of Dave Patchett's amazing psychedelic artwork, and with two previously unavailable bonus tracks, "Illimitable Nebulie" and "Mourning Prayer Part 1" from the unreleased Doom Chapter demo. While their debut wasn't nearly as wrecked and planet-crushing as their classic Dopethrone album, this is still a devastating dose of super-heavy stoner doom, running the stoned science fiction visions and Lovecraftian nightmares of band leader Jus Oborn through cosmic post-Sabbath stomp and blue-collar nihilism ("But look around you, what have you got / no hope, no future, no fuckin' job..."). Absolute crushing hippie doom from the darkside. Essential.
Track Samples:
Sample : Devil's Bride
Sample : Mourning Prayer



EMPTINESS, THE   self-titled   CD   (K35 Incorporated)    11.98











Track Samples:
Sample : Why ?
Sample : Torments
Sample : Prison Without Walls



EPHEMEROS   All Hail Corrosion   LP   (Parasitic)    15.98



   Now in stock on vinyl.
   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.
Track Samples:
Sample : Soilbringer
Sample : All Hail Corrosion



ESOTERICA   A Home For Rats   CASSETTE   (Fall Of Nature)    6.50












Track Samples:
Sample : Elixir And Aer
Sample : Idolatraiae
Sample : IV / Ayahuasca



FAITH NO MORE   Superhero   7" VINYL   (Ipecac)    7.50














FÓRN   The Departure Of Consciousness   LP   (Vendetta)    19.99

The Departure Of Consciousness IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER












FRIZZI, FABIO   Zombie Flesh Eaters (Strong Uncut Edition)   LP   (Death Waltz)    29.98



    The very first release from Death Waltz was their reissue of the classic Fabio Frizzi score for Fulci's Zombi 2, kicking off an amazing run of soundtrack releases over the past few years - this killer Lp is finally back in print with an all new package design and retitled under one of the film's more notorious alternate titles, and newly remastered by Frizzi. It's still one of the coolest soundtracks that Death Waltz has unearthed, a bizarro sonic nightmare of tropical delirium, evil electronics and shambling necro-prog that's an essential addition to your library of classic gore-scores.
    Couldn't have picked out a better score for Death Waltz's inaugural release, really. One of my all-time favorite Italian composers from the Golden Age of pastaland splatter, Fabio Frizzi assembled one of the most iconic film scores from this era with his hallucinatory score for Lucio Fulci's 1979 undead splatter classic Zombie Flesh Eaters. The film itself is a classic of Italian horror, in spite of it's obvious cribbing of ideas from George Romero's work; the story is prone to all of the nonsensical plotting and lapses in logic that infect much of Fulci's horror output, but there are images in Zombi 2 that are among some of the most indelible visions of flesh-carnage on record. The infamous "splinter" sequence alone elevated this into some upper echelon of filmic carnography. For the soundtrack to Fulci's blood-splattered tropical nightmare, Frizzi crafted a dreamlike assemblage of island music, primitive droning synthesizers, and eerie Mellotrons floating in a putrescent haze of rot and decay. If you were to stumble across this Lp blindly, hearing Frizzi's opening sequence of Caribbean percussion, steel drums, and sunny island melodies would hardly suggest the imminent descent into Fulci's nightmarish world of black voodoo magic, violent jungle death and shambling rot contained on these reels; the first track on the Zombi 2 soundtrack sounds more like the theme music for a tropical resort commercial, but this strange intro only serves to make the sinister synthscapes, Mellotron-laced prog and glistening early 80's horror ambience that follows all the more haunting. This is some of Frizzi's best known work, a classic spook-prog soundtrack and a solid album of malevolent synthesizer music all on its own, enhanced by collaborator Maurizio Guarini who handled the keyboard work. Some of those traces of tropical music continue to appear throughout the score, subtle percussive elements suggestive of steel drums that are carefully sublimated beneath the sleek synths and propulsive rhythms, and the feverish trancelike sound of tribal drums are a recurring theme, evoking the themes of voodoo magic and undead chaos that creep through Fulci's film. There's also a smattering of wailing atonal acid guitar and some subtle Moroder-esque disco elements, all wrapped in Frizzi's mutant electronic sounds. And then there's that main theme, those muted muffled drum machines thumping beneath the choral voices buried beneath all that murk, the sound ancient and moldering, only to birth that main synth hook that any fan of Italian splatter will instantly recognize. It's right up there with Goblin's output from the same period, eerie and weird and totally unforgettable, the whole soundtrack imbued with a feeling of wrongness that's impossible to shake.
    This new 2015 reissue looks fantastic, totally revamping the packaging, presented in a gatefold jacket that features the original UK quad art created by legendary poster artist Tom Beauvais, a re-designed insert with liner notes from renowned author and musician Steven Thrower (Coil, Psyclobe, Nightmare USA, Eyeball, etc.), star Ian McCulloch, Beauvais, and Frizzi himself.
Track Samples:
Sample : Main Title
Sample : Maggots
Sample : Eyeball
Sample : Virus



FRIZZI, FABIO   A Cat In The Brain   LP   (Mondo)    34.99














FULL OF HELL + MERZBOW   self-titled   LP   (A389 Records)    19.99



    Back in print, now on 180 gram black vinyl.
    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.It's 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 album 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.
Track Samples:
Sample : LuDJet Av Gud
Sample : High Fells
Sample : Fawn Heads And Unjoy
Sample : Blue Litmus
Sample : Merzdrone
Sample : Litany Of Desire



FUNERARY CALL / CROWN OF BONE   self-titled   CASSETTE   (Fall Of Nature)    6.50












Track Samples:
Sample : FUNERARY CALL / CROWN OF BONE-self-titled
Sample : FUNERARY CALL / CROWN OF BONE-self-titled
Sample : With Curse



GATES   Moths Have Eaten The Core   LP   (Anti-Matter)    16.99



    Finally have this vinyl reissue of Gates' Moths Have Eaten The Core in stock, on colored vinyl in acasewrapped jacket, with download code, double-sided insert and an 11" by 17" poster, all featuring brand-new artwork.     Here's my old review of the original CDR release:
    This album from the Canadian ambient doom project Gates more or less suffered this fate; we're down to just a couple of copies, and once these sell out, this title will be out of print. When I finally did dig it out and give it a spin recently, I was pretty impressed with the massive rumbling doomscapes that Gates produces, a sprawling, wide-flung abyss of industrial doom drifting through utter blackness. The three songs on Moths Have Eaten The Core are expansive affairs, the first built up with dense layers of hiss and reverb and field recordings, huge glacial doom metal riffs slowly undulating in the depths, super heavy and distorted, while high end guitar notes, gleaming cold and shimmering with more reverb, slowly ascend overhead, and mysterious cracking, crashing, clanking noises sound in the background. It's like Sunn's Black One reshaped into a space rock jam. The second track "Inner Labyrinth" is just as heavy, just as blackened, but instead of a howling abyssal mass of amorphous dronemetal, the sound on this one is much more restrained. The slow, oozing riffs are buried under flattened low end frequencies and waves of amplifier hiss, streaked with droning feedback and speaker crackle. The latter half of the song grows more unstable, blasts of high end synthesizer and buzzing, almost black metallic melodies snaking through the murk. And then the final track "Dust of Absence", a monolithic twenty-plus minute symphony that moves through smoking wastelands of pitch-black amplifier drift into oceanic drones and what sounds like majestic strings and French horns and a whole orchestral percussion section playing in extreme slow motion, a washed-out, blurry symphonic drift buried beneath layers upon layers of hum and roar, lifeless moaning and Lustmordian blackness.
Track Samples:
Sample : Dust of Absence
Sample : Inner Labyrinth
Sample : Outer Labyrinth



GNAW THEIR TONGUES   Logo (SMALL)   SHIRT   (Crucial Blast)    14.98



    Specifically printed for the band's Maryland Deathfest and Apex Fest appearances in 2015, this design features the classic logo art from Dutch black industrial metal outfit Gnaw Their Tongues emblazoned in red ink across the front of a black 100% cotton Gildan brand garment. It's pretty sharp. We've have the last available shirts from Gnaw Their Tongues' U.S. dates featuring this print design, so quantities are very limited.











GNAW THEIR TONGUES   Logo (MEDIUM)   SHIRT   (Crucial Blast)    14.98



    Specifically printed for the band's Maryland Deathfest and Apex Fest appearances in 2015, this design features the classic logo art from Dutch black industrial metal outfit Gnaw Their Tongues emblazoned in red ink across the front of a black 100% cotton Gildan brand garment. It's pretty sharp. We've have the last available shirts from Gnaw Their Tongues' U.S. dates featuring this print design, so quantities are very limited.











GNAW THEIR TONGUES   Logo (LARGE)   SHIRT   (Crucial Blast)    14.98



    Specifically printed for the band's Maryland Deathfest and Apex Fest appearances in 2015, this design features the classic logo art from Dutch black industrial metal outfit Gnaw Their Tongues emblazoned in red ink across the front of a black 100% cotton Gildan brand garment. It's pretty sharp. We've have the last available shirts from Gnaw Their Tongues' U.S. dates featuring this print design, so quantities are very limited.











GNAW THEIR TONGUES   Logo (EXTRA LARGE)   SHIRT   (Crucial Blast)    14.98



    Specifically printed for the band's Maryland Deathfest and Apex Fest appearances in 2015, this design features the classic logo art from Dutch black industrial metal outfit Gnaw Their Tongues emblazoned in red ink across the front of a black 100% cotton Gildan brand garment. It's pretty sharp. We've have the last available shirts from Gnaw Their Tongues' U.S. dates featuring this print design, so quantities are very limited.











GNAW THEIR TONGUES   Logo (XXL)   SHIRT   (Crucial Blast)    14.98



    Specifically printed for the band's Maryland Deathfest and Apex Fest appearances in 2015, this design features the classic logo art from Dutch black industrial metal outfit Gnaw Their Tongues emblazoned in red ink across the front of a black 100% cotton Gildan brand garment. It's pretty sharp. We've have the last available shirts from Gnaw Their Tongues' U.S. dates featuring this print design, so quantities are very limited.











GODFLESH   A World Lit Only By Fire   CASSETTE   (Hydra Head)    9.99



Now available on limited edition cassette from Hydra Head.
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   Decline & Fall   CASSETTE   (Hydra Head)    7.99



Now available on limited edition cassette from Hydra Head.
Though Godflesh were resurrected in 2010 for a run of festival dates (one of which ended up being their crushing performance at the 2012 Maryland Deathfest, still one of the best sets I've ever seen at the festival), it's taken them a few years to get around to actually putting together some new material for us. Released as a taste of what's to come with their impending new album A World Lit Only by Fire coming later this year, Decline & Fall finally brings us the new Godflesh that we've been waiting for, their first batch of original songs in thirteen years. And man, as soon as "Ringer" kicks in, it's like it's been no time at all, the massive propulsive crush of that opening song is classic Godflesh, that monstrous corrosive downtuned riffage and low-frequency blast of the bass, Broadrick's bellicose bellow and off-key singing, the inexorable grind of the drum machine, it's all as skullcrushing as anything the band did before Broadrick abruptly ended Godflesh in the depths of an nervous breakdown over a decade ago.
That molten mechanical metal bulldozes across these four songs, powered by the punishing machinelike pummel of the drum machine, but that's also traced by some subtle electronics that are vaguely similar to the sort of textured noise you'd find with Jesu, some murky washed-out melodic drift lingering beneath the surface of the duo's devastating ultra-dirge. Monstrous rhythms lurch across the blown-out dystopian churn of "Dogbite", its deformed funk hammered into a punishing groove splayed over a brutal hip-hop informed breakbeat; and there's an almost tribal energy to the massive bass-driven thud of "Playing With Fire". But its the title track that really sticks out, more complex and faster than what you might expect from these guys, like a a more frenetic, intricate version of their Streetcleaner-era mecha-metal. The band definitely sounds as heavy as ever, the production is crushing. A killer comeback for sure, any skepticism as to whether Godflesh still possessed the consuming fire of their classic output is extinguished as soon as this roars forth from that first track. Can't wait for the album.
Track Samples:
Sample : Playing With Fire
Sample : Dogbite
Sample : Ringer



GOLDENTHAL, ELLIOT   Pet Sematary   2 x LP   (Mondo)    44.99












Track Samples:
Sample : To The Micmac Grounds
Sample : The Return Game
Sample : The Pet Sematary



GORGUTS   From Wisdom To Hate   LP + CD   (Century Media)    23.99



Once again reissued on vinyl, this time by Century Media in a heavyweight LP + CD set, with new liner notes written by Gorguts mastermind Luc Lemay.
Finally back in print! This is the fourth and last album that Gorguts put out before the band went on an indefinite hiatus in 2001 that just let up this past year when the French Canadian metallers reconvened with a new lineup that included members of Dysrhythmia and Behold The Arctopus, and was the follow-up to their career-defining masterpiece Obscura, still one of the most challenging, avant-garde death metal albums of all time. Everyone wondered how Gorguts could follow up the bizarre, ultra-dissonant alien death metal of that album, and in response the band came back with something that was part Obscura, and part old school Gorguts, dialing down some of the over-the-top skronk and atonal riff weirdness while reinstating some of the sound of their technical early 90's albums The Erosion of Sanity and Considered Dead; the result is not as challenging and far-out as the previous album, but it's still a fantastic combination of their avant-garde skronkiness and crushing death metal riffage. The album is full of convoluted time signatures, those trademark discordant guitar sounds, the scrapes and squeals and bizarre chords, and the songs are assembled in strange, complex arrangements that are generally far outside of typical death metal, with angular interlaced riffs often shifting and repeating over and over, like on the mind-warping skronky death metal blastage of opener "Inverted", and the jarring, doom-laden insanity of "Behave Through Mythos". Compared to Obscura, however, the vocals are less extreme, with singer Luc Lemay delivering a deeper, more guttural vocal style than the psychotic wheezing screams that he emitted on the previous record. Also of note is the lengthy "The Quest For Equilibrium", which combines eerie keyboards and gongs for a neo-classical ambience that leads into one of the album's more doom-laden moments. Overall, though, this is a more straightforward and focused album than its predecessor, and an essential disc for Gorguts fans (and anyone into extreme tech/prog death).
Track Samples:
Sample : Elusive Treasures
Sample : Inverted



HADEWYCH   Nu   CASSETTE   (Black Horizons)    7.99












Track Samples:
Sample : Hadewych II
Sample : Nu
Sample : Forest Of Riss



HALL, NATE   Electric Vacuum Roar   CD   (Heart & Crossbone)    11.98



U.S. Christmas guitarist / singer Nate Hall follows up a pair of killer solo appearances on Neurot with this new two-song dip into the cosmic whirlpool, raining down a pair of fairly epic-length psych jams that shudder with Hall's trademark low-slung riffery and penchant for star-scorching effects splooge. This really hit the spot when I threw it on earlier in the midst of a rather depressing workday; the first track "Dance Of The Prophet" howls across the first half of the disc, sending some languidly lysergic power-blooze noodling soaring through a fog of delay and flange effects, billowing out across waves of rumbling distorted amplifier drone and distant slo-mo drumming, almost sounding in those first few minutes like some classic Acid Mothers style space-psych being played back at quarter speed. Once Hall drifts in with those far-off, incantatory vocals, though, this definitely starts to resemble the sort of Appalachian sludge-psych he's been delivering with his main band for the past decade. It's a different spin on it though, incporpoating subtle bits of electronic glithcery and manipulated guitar sounds to craft something a little more spacey and surreal. The whole thing meanders across the disc, both tracks oozing into long stretches of barely formed bleariness and wailing guitar drone, seeping strange shortwave frequencies and drifting into passages of haunting glacial twang, a kind of slow moving and sun-blasted sinister psychedelia beamed in from some rustic black nebulae mapped out by Manly Wade Wellman, rife with moments of startling stark majesty. And on the second song "Long Howling Decline / People Fall Down", Hall cranks up the amps for an even heavier descent into an acid-fried hypno-rock ritual, the frantic howl of Crazy Horse tumbling in reverse up through an ancient mine shaft, before finally breakign apart into a searing blast of solarized feedback and ghostly feedback drone that transforms into a beautiful elegiac passage that climbs upward across the finale of the album. If you're into the likes of Hall's main band, the country-fried doom n' twang of recent Neurosis, the glacial rural gothic of latter day Earth, and the blown-out saurian country rock of Across Tundras, then this is one you're definitely going to want to pick up.
Track Samples:
Sample : Dance Of The Prophet
Sample : Long Howling Decline / People Fall Down



HANNUM, TERENCE   Spectral Life   LP   (Shelter Press)    23.00













HELEL   The French Industrial Cursed Tape [Unreleased demos from 2006 to 2008]   CASSETTE   (Necrocosm)    7.99














HURUSOMA   Sombre Iconoclasm   CD   (Zero Dimensional)    11.99



A killer piece of cult Japanese black metal terror, finally reissued, with new and improved album art and a bonus Burzum cover ("War"). Here's my old review of this awesomely weird disc:
Here's a one-man Japanese black metal outfit that is at least as fucked up and strange and otherworldly sounding as it's Western peers. And where Western black metal uses imagery and themes from Biblical mythology and Satanism, Hurusoma's black metal is enveloped in the floating twilight world of Japanese folklore, it's charred razorwire riffs and flourishes of traditional Japanese folk music invoking visions of Oni demons and ancient monks, unseen forest witches and ghosts. To me, this music is even darker and creepier and more ancient sounding than any Western black metal. Consisting solely of a bald, corpse-painted, intensely creepy looking guy named "Woods" who performs all of the vocals, guitar, and bass on these recordings, and accompanied by session drummer Darkness Profanation from the band Deathlike Silence, Hurusoma is a seriously low-fi, ultra raw black metal assault that takes the most wretched and primitive Darkthrone-meets-Sabbat style blackthrash, adds seriously deranged, weird vocals, and cloaks it in ear-shredding white noise and the sounds of haunted Japanese woodlands. Sombre Iconoclasm is a new CD that collects the strangely titled Welcome To Hurusoma World cassette/LP album from 1998, plus six additional demo and live tracks, with all new artwork.
The disc opens with "Intro", an eerie recording of nocturnal forest sounds, tolling bells, falling trees, and some kind of creepy hooting off in the distance; this sets the nightmarish woodland tone of the album, which then erupts into the blackened buzzsaw thrash and lopsided doom waltzes that makes up most of the songs here. The songs are composed of Woods' ultra-distorted echo-chamber shrieks howling over awesome, ripping riffs and speedy, sloppy thrash tempos, monochromatic and droning, encrusted in buzz and filth and moss, the chaotic drumming buried deep in the mix, the frenzied cymbal crashes loud and hissing. Ultra grim and blown out and thrashing. Like I mentioned, one of the elements of Hurusoma's sound that makes it sound especially twisted are the vocals: in addition to Woods reverb-soaked howls, he'll also break into a sort of bizarre monk-like muttering, a low indiscernible chanting over the razor riffing, or else weird cackling noises that add a whole 'nother level of creep to the deal. There's also frequent use of what sound like traditional Japanese drums and flute, sometimes as the intro to a song, but just as often appearing in the middle of the track over the noisy blasting fuzz. And on the song "Open My Black Grave", he even breaks into some straight-up psychedelic guitar action that sounds like something off of one of the old Tokyo Flashback compilations. Weird and mesmerizing, this disc is an awesome blast of deformed, amazing low-fi Japanese black metal primitivism that reeks of open graves, primeval forests, and unseen rites.
Track Samples:
Sample : Thunderbolt
Sample : Shade Of Soul
Sample : Open My Black Grave
Sample : Grudge - From The Black Forest -



ICECROSS   self-titled   LP   (Vintage / Rockadrome)    26.00



    Finally have this killer early 70's Icelandic band's sole album back in stock, newly reissued on vinyl by Rockadrome sub-label Vintage for the album's fortieth anniversary, with new liner notes and vintage press clippings/band photos and an 11" by 17" poster.
    One thing I don't come across often is creepy, heavy Icelandic psych-rock, so I was instantly curious about the band Icecross when I first heard about them a couple of years ago on some message board conversation about early 70s proto-metal bands. It took forever to finally track their music down as it's gone in and out of print over the years, being released on a number of different labels as well as being bootlegged a couple of times. Eventually I came to what appears to be the most recent version of the self-titled album from this obscure band, a rare Italian (I think?) import of the only record that the sinister Icelandic psych-rockers Icecross ever released during their short career. Several of the songs on Icecross have a definite proto-metal feel, and fans of Captain Beyond, Dust, early Pentagram and Sabbath would probably dig Icecross, but these guys were more of a rollicking psychedelic rock outfit with progressive touches. A really dark one though, much darker than most bands I've heard from this era; the songs are laced with creepy Middle Eastern flavored solos and ominous lurching riffs, and the singer occasionally puts these weird demonic distortion and effects on his voice. The weird occult-themed lyrics and wailing possessed vocals really kick in on the bizarre nightmare psych of "1999", but even the more pastoral, folky songs like "A Sad Mans Story" are seriously dark and gloomy, the moody singing drifting over softly strummed guitars and tinkling piano beneath low, black clouds. The blasphemous psychedelic prog rock of "Jesus Freaks" is probably where Icecross gets most of their notoriety from, with it's evil sounding vibe and the heavy, quasi-Sabbathian crunch; hard to believe that these guys were producing something that heavy and dark this early in the decade. There's a couple of exceptions to all of the doom n' gloom, like the good-time boogie rock of "Wandering Around", but for the most part Icecross's music is at least partially cloaked in shadow, their loose, shambling psychedelia revealing a cloven hoof more than once throughout the album. Who should really be checking Icecross out are fans of all of those newer occult rock revivalists like Witchcraft, Graveyard, and Devil's Blood along with hardcore fans of vintage macabre psych/prog like Coven, Black Widow, and Jacula / Antonius Rex...
Track Samples:
Sample : 1999
Sample : Jesus Freaks
Sample : Nightmare



ICECROSS   self-titled   CD   (Vintage / Rockadrome)    15.99



This killer slab of Icelandic proto-doom is also now back in print on CD via specialty reissue imprint Vintage/Rockadrome, remastered and presented with a twelve page booklet filled with new liner notes, press clippings, and rare photos.
One thing I don't come across often is creepy, heavy Icelandic psych-rock, so I was instantly curious about the band Icecross when I first heard about them a couple of years ago on some message board conversation about early 70s proto-metal bands. It took forever to finally track their music down as it's gone in and out of print over the years, being released on a number of different labels as well as being bootlegged a couple of times. Eventually I came to what appears to be the most recent version of the self-titled album from this obscure band, a rare Italian (I think?) import of the only record that the sinister Icelandic psych-rockers Icecross ever released during their short career. Several of the songs on Icecross have a definite proto-metal feel, and fans of Captain Beyond, Dust, early Pentagram and Sabbath would probably dig Icecross, but these guys were more of a rollicking psychedelic rock outfit with progressive touches. A really dark one though, much darker than most bands I've heard from this era; the songs are laced with creepy Middle Eastern flavored solos and ominous lurching riffs, and the singer occasionally puts these weird demonic distortion and effects on his voice. The weird occult-themed lyrics and wailing possessed vocals really kick in on the bizarre nightmare psych of "1999", but even the more pastoral, folky songs like "A Sad Mans Story" are seriously dark and gloomy, the moody singing drifting over softly strummed guitars and tinkling piano beneath low, black clouds. The blasphemous psychedelic prog rock of "Jesus Freaks" is probably where Icecross gets most of their notoriety from, with it's evil sounding vibe and the heavy, quasi-Sabbathian crunch; hard to believe that these guys were producing something that heavy and dark this early in the decade. There's a couple of exceptions to all of the doom n' gloom, like the good-time boogie rock of "Wandering Around", but for the most part Icecross's music is at least partially cloaked in shadow, their loose, shambling psychedelia revealing a cloven hoof more than once throughout the album. Who should really be checking Icecross out are fans of all of those newer occult rock revivalists like Witchcraft, Graveyard, and Devil's Blood along with hardcore fans of vintage macabre psych/prog like Coven, Black Widow, and Jacula / Antonius Rex...
Track Samples:
Sample : 1999
Sample : Jesus Freaks
Sample : Nightmare



IDRE   self-titled   CD   (Dust House)    11.98














IGORRR   Hallelujah   2 x LP + CD   (Ad Noiseam)    25.99



Now in stock on vinyl, which also includes a CD copy of the album.
Hallelujah is the latest album from former Whourkr member Igorrr, who continues to explore the kind of hyper-surrealistic, hyper-violent breakcore experiments that he had previous pursued with that band's unique mash-up of spastic splattercore, insanely fractured hyper-speed rhythms, and blasts of crushing abstract death metal. While Igorrr hasn't left those extreme metal elements behind, his sound does keep heading into ever more fantastic realms where chopped-up, mutated passages of classical music and opera are fused to the skittery, insectile rhythms, ultra-heavy chunks of death/grind riffage, and gleaming evil ambience. It still reminds me of a cross between a classical-music obsessed version of Shitmat's super-complex breakcore, Mr. Bungle's genre-hopping madness, any random Norwegian black metal outfit and Obscura-era Gorguts splattered together into an insane, violently glitched-out sound, the album shifting between massive lurching deathcore breakdowns draped in spastic rhythmic seizures and bizarre blasts of baroque French harpsichord music that appears out of nowhere, ultra-complex glitchscapes that erupt into weird robotic black metal, random noises like vacuums and dogs barking, sequences of blasting free-jazz saxophone and loungy porno soundtracks, waves of deformed Noism-esque glitchgrind, Christian hymns blending with over-the-top operatic wailing, sinister blackened tremolo riffs giving way to puerile fart noises and virtuosic folk melodies, video game noises and powerful female vocals, monstrous discordant death metal melting into bits of classical guitar, insanely heavy distorted dub-step slamming into swirling cyclical string arrangements that sound like a Phillip Glass piece being tossed into a maelstrom of ultra-tech glitch/grind/breakcore, all assembled into perfectly-placed rhythmic elements, everything laid out coherently despite the seeming chaos of Hallelujah's baroque blackened breackcore. The schizophrenic vocal attack reminds me of Patton's work in Mr. Bungle, an obvious influence on this sort of genre-splattering extremism. It's like some spastic, cyborg version of a Carl Stalling score, blasting breathlessly out of a crazy-quilt of fractured, futuristic electro-heaviness. Total genius.
Track Samples:
Sample : Tout Petit Moineau
Sample : Scarlatti 2.0
Sample : Lullaby for a Fat Jellyfish
Sample : Infinite Loop
Sample : Absolute Psalm



IMPETUOUS RITUAL   Unholy Congregation of Hypocritical Ambivalence   2 x LP   (Profound Lore)    34.99



    One of 2014's best and most sonically oppressive death metal albums is finally out on vinyl, in gatefold packaging from Profound Lore. Let the murk commence!
    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



JESU   Conqueror   2 x LP   (Hydra Head)    29.99



Now remastered and available on limited edition vinyl.
It's been a long year, laying in wait for Conqueror to finally appear. Yeah, we had the Silver EP come out in March of 2006 as a stop-gap between full lengths, and that was an awesome offering from Justin Broadrick and company that included 'Stars', the uptempo shoegazer anthem that hinted at even even poppier side of Jesu. But a mere half hour of new Jesu just isn't enough, you know? It's impossible for me not to gush when it comes to this band, as Jesu sits without question in my top 5 favorite bands ever, a band that finally fulfilled the dream I had had for over a decade of hearing someone marry the blissed strains of early 90's dreampop to the heaviest possible Metal crunch. When I first heard the streaming samples off of the Heartache EP from 2004, it blew my mind, alternating crushing Godflesh rhythms with blissed out melody. And when the self-titled full length on Hydra Head appeared in 2005, I immediately fell in love with that album's dense layers of melodic noise, lumbering slo-mo beats, and pure metallic massiveness. So Conqueror is finally here, and it's as crushingly heavy as I would have hoped, despite all of the naysayers online that have called the album ""too soft"", or ""too pop"". And it is very ""pop"", impossibly catchy and melodic as a matter of fact, with a bit more variety in that department than with the first full length.
Conqueror picks up where Silver left off, and while there aren't any songs that are as fast as 'Stars', Jesu definitely steps further into the realm of pure British shoegazer rock, and on songs like 'Medicine' and 'Mother Earth' sounding more like an ironclad Ride than the MBV / Codeine-trapped-in-sludge of the self-titled album. These eight songs chug along at a brutal pace over the albums hour long running time, the pulverizing downtuned guitar riffs dipped in sugar and bulldozing through shimmering crystalline keyboard melodies and woozy layers of electronic texture, deep layers that reveal unheard nuances and sounds every time I spin this, Broadrick's soft and patient croon almost devoid of the echo overload that was applied to his vocals on previous releases as he delivers his aching, wistful, yet surprisingly hopeful lyrics. That his singing is so much more unaffected and naked here is indicative of how stripped down and concise this album is, the heaviness transmuted but still utterly flattening, a bittersweet glacial pop metal masterpiece oozing from torn amplifier speakers and sparking laptops.


LEE, THANIEL ION   Selections from the Dark Sketchbook 2012-2014   ART BOOK - SLIM   (Black Horizons)    6.00



    Hadn't really heard of this guy before picking up his Selections from the Dark Sketchbook 2012-2014 art zine from those shadow-crawlers over at Black Horizons, but all they had to do was describe this guy's stuff as "Blinko-esque" and I'm sold. This slim, half-sized twenty-four page chapbook style publication delivers a bunch of black and white illustrative work from Lee, who apparently also spends his time working with other forms of multi-media artwork and recording ambient drone music under his own name and black metal/noise chaos as Blood Escutcheon. It's very cool stuff, definitely reminiscent of Nick Blinko's obsessively detailed black ink drawings, but also inhabits that weird realm that exists in the cracks between perverted Mike Diana-esque scum-doodles, crude horror comics art, the decadent visions of Aubrey Beardsley, and demented death metal demo-cover scribbling that I'm continuously obsessed with. Fans of morbid, surrealistic art should check this out: the twenty-four different works collected here offer an array of fanged third-eye mutations, intense phantasmagoric scenes, crude demonic visages, occult symbolism, botanical drawings of bizarre Lovecraftian forms, cadaverous seraphim, and other snarling horrors seemingly dredged up out of a dissociative psychedelic state. Like the other art zines we've picked up recently from Black Horizons, this comes in a cardstock cover with black vellum end papers, and is housed in an opaque black mylar bag, limited to just seventy-five copies.


LEGION OF ANDROMEDA   Iron Scorn   LP   (Unholy Anarchy)    19.99












Track Samples:
Sample : Cosmo Hammer
Sample : Transuranic Ejaculation
Sample : Fist Of Hammurabi
Sample : Scourge Of Pestilence



LILES, ANDREW   Wanton Wives, Monstrous Maidens And Wicked Witches   LP   (Blackest Rainbow)    27.99














LITHOTOME   self-titled   CD   (Fall Of Nature)    11.99



    Finally have this killer avant death grotesquerie in stock on CD from Australian label Fall Of Nature. 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.
Track Samples:
Sample : Indulge The Flesh Of The Earth
Sample : Comavoid
Sample : ÿþA Halo´s Swarm Of Locusts



LOST TRIBE   Solace   LP   (Mass Media)    21.00














MYSTICUM   In The Streams Of Inferno   LP   (Peaceville)    29.99



    Available again on vinyl with poster, in embossed gatefold packaging.
    A classic industrial black metal album that has been out of print for years, Mysticum's The Streams Of Inferno was one of the very first albums to combine the mechanical coldness of industrial music with blazing Norwegian black metal. Although their debut full-lengther might not be as complex and crazed as Dødheimsgard's 666 International or the experiments with fusing black metal and spastic breakcore that would emerge a few years later, this is still a crushing blast of Satan-worshipping, drug guzzling, narco-worshipping heaviness that has actually aged a bit more gracefully than some of the more techno-influenced BM experiments that followed in their wake. Originally slated to be released on Deathlike Silence, eventually found its way to the American label Full Moon Productions and came out in 1996, delivered a relatively straightforward strain of crushing black metal that was fused to programmed percussion and ultra heavy mechanical grooves, with a couple of detours into experiments with hardcore techno and drum n' bass.
    The monstrous slow-motion drum machines that crawl across the beginning of "Industries Of Inferno" resemble the earth-rending pistons of infernal machinery, draping the album with a heavy cloak of smog-covered dread from the beginning, but Mysticum's electronically-mutated black metal really kicks in to full gear with "The Rest", where sinister tremolo riffing is welded to jackhammer drum machines and sheets of crackling, corrosive electricity. That drum programming gives this album a really cold, robotic feel, and in some places take on the mechanical percussive precision of heavy artillery fire; the vocals are a withered shriek joined by majestic choral synths, and minimal keyboard melodies and smatterings of vintage horror movie samples were worked in for added atmosphere. A lot of this pounding, hypnotic black metal is infused with a diseased "techno"-like propulsion, but the band can also slow down, such as on the syrupy, almost breakbeat-like swing on tracks like "Kingdom Comes" or the murky oil-drum percussion that becomes lost in the blizzard of evil, droning riffs on "Wintermass".
    There are vast rumbling synths and black pulsating electronics that take over tracks like "Crypt Of Fear", and passages of extreme low-frequency drone and minimal crackling noisescapes that open up several tracks, or take over entirely, as on the eerie "In The Last Of The Ruins We Search For A New Planet" which crawls with bits of discordant piano music and fluttering electronics, gothic organs and eerie black cosmic ambience. That noisiness and murkiness in Mysticum's sound prevents this from ever turning too "symphonic", even when the band reveals waves of warped orchestral sound, whole string sections melting over the machinelike blasting and wavering electronic textures. When it closes with the blown-out, chaotic techno/BM terror of "Black Magic Mushrooms", the album's wildest track, things truly reach a psychotic peak, as trippy Hammond-like organs cuirl around the pounding jackhammer rhythms and spastic snares, the closest that Mysticum ever get to actual techno on this album.
    This 2013 reissue of The Streams Of Inferno also includes a number of bonus tracks, as well as a Dvd that features two full live sets from Mysticum circa 1996, one from Asker, Norway, the other in Bradford, UK while the band was touring Europe with Marduk and Gehenna; both of these concert films were shot on VHS by fans of the band, but both the picture quality and the audio are surprisingly good considering the source material, with the former set in Norway being particularly atmospheric, the band playing by candlelight in some small, darkened underground club. Highly recommended.
Track Samples:
Sample : Wintermass
Sample : Eriaminell
Sample : Crypt of Fear
Sample : Black Magic Mushrooms



NEPTUNE TOWERS   Caravans To Empire Algol   LP   (Peaceville)    29.98



    Finally available again on vinyl.
    Want another example of just how closely black metal and experimental electronic music have been aligned since the beginning? Just look to the music of Neptune Towers, the strange all-electronic project that Darkthrone's Fenriz was involved with for a brief time in the 90s; this side-project allowed him to pursue a singularly dark and sinister strain of interstellar ambience that was directly influenced by the young Norwegian's interest in the kosmische music of Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk's seminal krautrock. As with the bizarre mid-90s albums from Beherit and the sympho-ambient excursions from noth Burzum and Emperor's Ihsahn, whenever any of these corpse-painted teens tried to channel the vast, majestic sound of their Teutonic heroes the result would be a fractured, distinctly darker mutation of this sound, and Neptune Towers was definitely one of the strangest. Fenriz only released two albums of this ominous space music with Neptune Towers, 1994's Caravans To Empire Algol and 1995's Transmissions From Empire Algol, both featuring a dramatic electronic sound that combined those classic cosmic synthesizers with simple sequencer robotic rhythms and hypnotic pulsations, otherworldly ambience and eerie melodies, crafted into epic astral soundscapes. Both of the Moonfog albums have been out of print for years until recently, when Peaceville re-issued them with new artwork and liner notes, full-color slipcases, and in the case of the Transmissions re-issue, never-before-released bonus tracks that were originally supposed to appear on the third Neptune Towers album before Fenriz abandoned the project.
   The debut album from Neptune Towers features just two tracks, the first "Caravans To Empire Algol" sprawling out for nearly twenty five minutes as it passes through a number of different passages. It begins with the slow steady hum of cosmic keys rising into the night sky, clustered notes warbling and warping while celestial feedback streaks and dives across the blackness. After a few minutes, Fenriz starts to develop a simple, pulsating rhythm beneath the howling buzzing drones, a hypnotic throb that fades in and out of view while at the same time these huge swells of distorted low-end heaviness begin to emerge, waves of almost Sunn O)))-like rumble hovering in clouds of electronic whoosh and blasts of murky orchestral sound. By this point, you can really hear how Fenriz goes for a more sinister, oppressive take on analogue space music, the black hole ambience and grinding chordal clusters fused to stentorian rhythms and smears of gothic melody. After about ten minutes or so, a wash of crystalline melodic keys flows in over the eerie phased synthesizers and that throbbing bass arpeggio, briefly transforming the music into something brighter and more heavenly, but then fades soon enough as more chaotic synth noises and more sinister melody lines take over, again guiding us into the consuming maw of the black hole, our eyes slowly burnt out by starlight, our ears filled with the whispers of irradiated seraphim. Towards the end, some sort of Middle Eastern-tinged stringed melody takes over, a motif that continues to writhe and undulate for awhile even as the central arpeggio from the beginning reappears amid a stirring, cinematic finale, a vast grinding doom-laden synthdirge that dominates the final minutes of the track, evoking an apocalyptic, Lovecraftian take on classic Tangerine Dream...
    The other piece "The Arrival At Empire Algol" is shorter at just twelve minutes long, and presents a more desolate synthscape in the wake of the title track. Distant clanging chords echo through the cosmic haze while deep rumbling reverberations ripple across the void, and bits of stray electronic noise soar overhead. Darker and more ambient in tone, this does begin to reveal a host of glimmering keys far off in the background as some of the heavier droning elements begin to fall away, glimpses of celestial light breaking through the blackness for a moment before being swallowed up again by the emptiness of space. Finally about halfway through Fenriz drops in another deep hypnotic bass line that creeps through the remainder of the track, a looping ominous figure that anchors the music even as all manner of frenzied electronics and granular hiss and primitive synth effects swoop and trickle and bubble over the grim gothic astral ambience.
    Both of these Neptune Towers albums ranks as some of the best stuff to ever come out of black metal's ongoing dalliance with electronic music in the early 90s, and now that they've been given the posh reissue treatment are ripe for rediscovery for anyone who digs the void-worshipping electronic music and black-hole ambience of their protégés in Moloch, Northaunt, Raven's Bane, Tomhet, Vinterriket and Atomine Elektrine...
Track Samples:
Sample : Caravans To Empire Algol
Sample : The Arrival At Empire Algol



NOCTURNUS   self-titled   CD   (Moribund)    9.98











Track Samples:
Sample : Possess the Priest
Sample : Mummified



ODOUR SONOUR   Earth Burial   CD   (Exabyss)    8.98











Track Samples:
Sample : Hands That Not Mine ( Dead Hands )
Sample : Aspirating Soul From The Abdominal Cavity
Sample : Algor Mortis



ORDER FROM CHAOS   Frozen In Steel   5 x CD   (Nuclear War Now! Productions)    47.98



    We now have the five CD boxset version of this awesome collection in stock, packaged in a foil-stamped, casewrapped box that's essentially just a miniature version of the one that holds the multi-LP set. 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. Here's my previous review of the vinyl version:
    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



ORTOLANI, RIZ   Cannibal Holocaust   LP   (Mondo)    29.99



   Can you believe that this is the first time that Ortolani's Cannibal Holocaust has ever appeared on vinyl? Considering Ortolani's prestige, I was really surprised to see that. But Mondo's new reissue of Ortolani's classic score is indeed the first time that this haunting work has appeared on wax - it's the same material that appeared on Red Stream's CD release a few years ago, re-mastered by James Plotkin and pressed on 180 gram black vinyl, and housed in a strikingly designed gatefold jacket with a full-color art print. Here's my old review of the score from when we had the CD version in stock:
    Riz Ortolani's legendary score to the 1979 fim Cannibal Holocaust is one of the most renowned of all of the Italian horror soundtracks, the work of a Grammy Award-winning composer setting sound to some of the most depraved visions of violence and degradation and gut-churning horror ever put to film. One of his only forays into the realm of horror, Ortolani's score blended unearthly beauty with sickening electronics for one of the most unsettling scores I've heard, and was an effective accompaniment to Ruggero Deodato's vile visuals found on this pioneering early found-footage nightmare. The utterly gorgeous sound of Ortolani's "Cannibal Holocaust (Main Theme)" that plays out over the film's opening scenes of the vast, verdant Amazon rainforest is about the last thing that you would expect to hear at the onset of an ultra-violent cannibal epic, but the haunting sound of those nostalgic strings and tremulous choir voices are arranged into a theme that's as romantic and achingly pretty as anything I've heard from Morricone, an aural beauty that is completely at odds with the retina-scorching flesh carnage that follows. But from there, Ortolani's score meets those lurid horrors of Cannibal Holocaust with a combination of sickening atonal synthesizers that lurk through pieces like "Adulteress' Punishment", solemn string arrangements, airy acoustic guitars, passages of weird, sickly jazziness, bits of bizarre 70's action-funk, and the horrific mutant disco of "Massacre Of The Troupe" and "Savage Rite" that creates a thoroughly disturbing tension between the horror movie style orchestral strings and the seemingly random blubbering synth-funk. And there's another striking composition titled "Crucified Woman" that accompanied what might be the film's most notorious set-piece, a profoundly mournful piece of music that ranks as one of Ortolani's finest works.
Track Samples:
Sample : Cannibal Holocaust (Main Theme)
Sample : Crucified Woman
Sample : Savage Rite



OWL GLITTERS   Alchemical Tones   CD   (Heart & Crossbone)    11.98











Track Samples:
Sample : Mindfull of Gems
Sample : Khalifa's Visions
Sample : Poets of Shiraz



PAN.THY.MONIUM   ...Dawn / Dream II   CD   (The Crypt)    11.99



   Now available on CD for the first time ever, remastered and featuring reversible cover art, liner notes and rare photos. Here's my old review from the previous vinyl version that came out on The Crypt:
   Alongside Abruptum and Ophthalamia, Pan-Thy-Mononium was indisputably one of the weirdest of Sweden's death metal exports in the very early 1990's. The band (led by Swedish death metal legend Dan Swano) played a brutally heavy brand of death metal, but this was like no other death metal anyone had heard before. Deliberately trying to play the weirdest, most doom-laden death metal that the members could come up with, Pan-Thy-Monium blasted into deep space with a wigged-out combination of complicated arrangements and drawn-out songs, pummeling old-school death metal riffs, gaseous guttural vokills, and lots of weird spacey effects, the recurring sound of a ticking clock, horror-movie synthesizers, synthetic flutes and clavichord-like melodies, creepy droning ambience and swells of gorgeous Vangelis bliss, quirky Voivod-esque chords, and plenty of jarring changes that take the band abruptly from blasting death metal into crawling angular doom and then straight into oddball off-time rock parts. "Unpredictable" is one way to describe Pan-Thy-Monium's music, but in spite of it's rampant weirdness, these songs are both crushing and engaging, a weird Beefheart approach to early death metal that's never been rivaled. In addition, the guys in Pan-Thy-Monium created their own language, or something like that, with totally nonsensical song titles and constant references to some sort of deity called "Raagoonshinnaah", and the liner notes that accompany this record reveal that the singer was actually improvising all of that awesome monstrous growling, calling it "Obituary syndrome" since having lyrics wouldn't be "spontaneous" enough for their music. This wasn't your typical death metal band by a long shot.
    Pan-Thy-Monium would eventually release several cult albums on labels like Osmose and Relapse, but their earliest demo releases remained some of the band's most bizarre-sounding and sought-after recordings. The ...Dawn and Dream II demos, recorded and released in 1990 and 1991 respectively, are completely fucking bonkers; this music must have seriously blown the minds of death metallers who ordered these demos from the band. The debut demo ...Dawn never received any sort of official release beyond the original cassette, and while Dreams II was later released on Cd by Avantgarde Music, both recordings have been almost impossible to find in recent years. Enter cult vinyl reissue label The Crypt, who has assembled and released a stunning new Lp collection of both recordings, re-mastered and presented in a thick gatefold jacket which has demo artwork, fanzine interviews, brief liner notes from Dan Swano and photos printed on the interior, and issued in a limited one-time edition of 500 copies (250 of which are on 180 gram gold vinyl, which is the color that we have in stock), and includes a huge 24" x 36" poster of the original Paw Nielsen artwork for the cover of Dream II!
Track Samples:
Sample : II
Sample : Vvoiiccheeces
Sample : Zenotaffph



PECCATUM   Strangling From Within   CD   (Candlelight)    7.99












Track Samples:
Sample : The Song Which No Name Carry
Sample : Speak of the Devil (As the Devil May Care)



PECCATUM   The Moribund People   CD   (The End)    6.50












Track Samples:
Sample : PECCATUM-The Moribund People
Sample : For All Those Who Died
Sample : The Moribund People



PECCATUM   Lost In Reverie   CD   (The End)    7.98











Track Samples:
Sample : Black Star
Sample : Desolate Ever After
Sample : Parasite My Heart
Sample : Stillness



PELICAN   Arktika (ORANGE VINYL)   2 x LP   (Oblique)    26.00











Track Samples:
Sample : Immutable Dusk
Sample : Parasite Colony
Sample : The Creeper



PELICAN   Arktika (CREAM VINYL)   2 x LP   (Oblique)    26.00











Track Samples:
Sample : Immutable Dusk
Sample : Parasite Colony
Sample : The Creeper



PERSONAL BEST   Issue 5   MAGAZINE   (Personal Best)    14.99














PERSPEX FLESH   self-titled   12"   (Static Shock)    17.99












Track Samples:
Sample : Prison Of Glass
Sample : Black Magic
Sample : White Horse



PERTURBATOR   Terror 404   CD   (Blood Music)    14.99














PERTURBATOR   I Am The Night   CD   (Blood Music)    14.99














PIG HEART TRANSPLANT   For Mass Consumption   LP   (Iron Lung Records)    15.98



    Now available as a limited-edition LP, with the same track listing as the CD version.
    When he's not flaying listeners alive with surgically precise powerviolence as one half of blastcore duo Iron Lung, Jon Kortland spends his time assembling gruesome power electronics assaults, pummeling slo-mo industrial sludge and desaturated ambient fragments with his solo outfit Pig Heart Transplant, who returns here with new album For Mass Consumption. This newest chunk of torturous, terrifying industrial punishment barrels over the listener with some of the most grueling industrial sludge I've heard from this project yet, though there's some stuff in here that borders on the cinematic when Kortland breaks out one of his super-short synthesizer pieces. And it's all super short, actually; the whole album is maddeningly made up of forty-five second tracks, twenty-eight of 'em, so the whole thing is constantly churning through one sonic attack after another, almost demanding an immediate replay to absorb all of this stuff. The core of Pig Heart Transplant's sound has long been rooted in a pummeling, noise-damaged heaviness influenced by the abject sludge of Cop / Filth-era Swans, but Kortland distorts and deforms his repetitious dirges into an immensely abrasive blast of sound that ends up mutating into something gnarlier. Each of these tracks lurches between that grinding distorted dirge and more experimental pieces that range from monotonous electronic drones to extreme over-modulated ear-hate and bouts of pummeling pistoning sheet-metal abuse, the monstrous vocals bellowing through the cracked and crumbling noisescapes. The distortion levels are pushed into ridiculous extremes, emitting waves of pulsating static reminiscent of certain strains of death industrial, as the sound threatens to disintegrate beneath the sheer corrosiveness of that distortion, blasts of caustic throb emanating from the boiling guts of some of these tracks like a particularly malignant Brighter Death Now recording. But Kortland also employs the occasional blast of excoriating No Wave guitar noise or eerie, blown-out synthesizer melody that will suddenly focus the crawling chrome-skinned horror into something more tangibly human. Even then, the obsessively brief nature of these decollated tracks makes this a jarring listen. A rumbling, misanthropic mass of monstrous pneumatic violence, one of the more challenging releases from Pig Heart Transplant, with more of that Feeding style of minimal typography that reminds me a little of the Young God aesthetic.
Track Samples:
Sample : Safe
Sample : Drug
Sample : Dirt
Sample : Acts
Sample : 1980



PORTAL   Outre (Oxblood Vinyl)   LP   (Hells Headbangers)    19.99



    A new 2015 vinyl reissue of Portal's second album, remastered exclusively for this release and with a slightly reworked album layout.
   Up till now, Portal's Outre mind-melting second album of avant-garde death metal had only been released on vinyl in Australia, in a super-limited run on Obsidian Records, but its back on wax this time courtesy of Hells Headbangers, presented in a gatefold jacket with new alternative cover art and pressed on heavy vinyl. Here's my old write-up on the original Cd release:
    The Australian death metal band's previous release Seepia was a brilliantly disturbed assault of cyclonic death, an organic hateful sound that felt like I was hearing something oozing out of another dimension into our own as all of the instruments seemed to melt together into a trance inducing smear of atonal riffing, buzzing guitars seemingly sliding in and out of tune, gloomy glacial doom, and demonic guttural invocations. Seepia seeped dread, and was the closest thing I've ever heard to capturing Lovecraft's cosmic horror in the context of death metal. Everything about this band screamed weirdness, with members named Aphotic Mote, The Curator, and Horror Illogium, who wore black executioners hoods and in the case of The Curator, an ridiculously oversized witches hat that completely obscured his face. Now Portal are back, and they've crafted an even more oppressive and atmospheric dive into swirling chaos with Outre. The album features surreal artwork from artist Jeff Lowe depicting the "Clockfather", with a booklet that includes additional freakish visions and lyrics. The eight songs on Outre blend together into an amorphous blackness, hallucinogenic technical death metal with slippery, filth-covered riffs inverted and twisted into themselves, the riffs crawling through a thick murky ambience of effects and distortion. The grunting, growling vocals are likewise buried in the mix, heard as horrific subterranean mutterings reciting bizarre verses through Portal's muddy vortex. Melodies are stretched out, warped and melted, and the drumming alternately plodding and blasting with little warning, creating an endless seasick vibe. Imagine hearing Morbid Angel and Gorguts melted down into formless ooze, laced with grinding industrial rhythms, otherworldly smears of droning synthesizer, crushing doom being spun slowly backwards, sudden eruptions of harsh chaotic guitars, and swimming through a noxious, suffocating mire. Total genius. One of the creepiest, most fucked up, psychedelic and unearthly sounding death metal albums that I've picked up.
Track Samples:
Sample : Black Houses
Sample : Moil
Sample : Omnipotent Crawling Chaos



PROFANE GRACE   Cast In The Mold Of The Ancients   CD   (Memento Mori)    11.98












Track Samples:
Sample : When Only Dark Suns Rise And Set
Sample : Sanctum Of Desolation II
Sample : Descent Into Primordial Chaos



PROVOCATIVE RITUALS   II   ART BOOK - SLIM   (Black Horizons)    14.99



   Here's the second issue of this beautifully assembled, 6" by 6" zine from the folks behind Black Horizons. Housed in a painted metallic silver envelope, Provocative Rituals II continues to explore the subterranean interests that fuel the label, this time focusing on an array of original artwork and written work from a mix of artists both aligned with Black Horizons and otherwise. Sixty pages, professionally printed on a mix of different textured paper stocks, part art-zine and part philosophical chapbook, with all of the different material relating to the overarching theme of the issue, "Blood". You get artwork from Sherri Higgins, Joel Danielsson, Emme Ya's Edgar Kerval, and French artist Maxime Taccardi, who uses his own blood in his painting and illustrative work; there's nine pages of material from Taccardi featured here, all of which is amazing. The issue also contains a portion of Burton Watson's translation of The Lotus Sutra and Its Opening and Closing Chapters, surrealistic collage art that folds out into multi-panel triptychs, and the sleazy microfiction of Marcus Labonte's "The Sweetest Eyes"; a series of drawings from Jackson Holbrook that look like what Stu Mead might have come up with if he had been enlisted to do Barker's Tapping The Vein; an interesting discussion on black metal and neo-folk aesthetics with the minds behind the Amarantos zine; nightmarish art from Rudolf Eb. er (Runzelstirn & Gurgelstock); live photos of black noise / death industrial outfits Trepaneringsritualen and Sutekh Hexen; hideously erotic collage art from Genevieve Ryoko Larson; and more, all with an emphasis on erotic imagery, malevolent surrealism, and extreme sonic art. In other words, right up my alley. Published in a limited edition of one hundred copies.


PRURIENT   Time's Arrow   CASSETTE   (Hydra Head)    9.50



    Just dug up some remaining copies of the limited edition cassette version of this Prurient EP...
   The follow-up companion piece to Prurient's controversial Bermuda Drain, the Time's Arrow Ep continues in the same vein of crepuscular electronica and cold synth dread that ran through that album, offering up more of Dominick Fernow's alluring fusion of malevolent darkwave and grim industrial sounds.
    The a-side is made up of the title track and an epilogue. Rattling drum loops cruise beneath glowing black synthesizers and Fernow's eerie spoken word narration about infamous Hollywood murder victim Elizabeth Short, also known as the "Black Dahlia", the song moving horizontally as new glimmering electronic melodies and lush chordal shadow are continuously draped over this sleek industrial darkwave track. It's like a bastard fusion of something from Tangerine Dream's brilliant score to Risky Business and Floodland-era Sisters Of Mercy. Which would explain why it's one of the best things I've heard all year. I could care less about all of the bellyaching I've seen over Prurient's recent music; this stuff sounds amazing, the sounds pooling across my ears and brain like liquid blackness, icy and driving and merciless. The track that follows is titled "Time's Arrow (Unsolved)" and is basically what would have appeared as a b-side remix. The rhythm is rougher, the sound slightly more jagged, but it's still mesmerizing and jet-black.
    Over on the second side, we get three different odds and ends. The first, "Let's Make A Slave (De-Shelled)" is an alternate version of a song off the recent Bermuda Drain album. Exponentially more savage than the original, here the blackened electronica is penetrated by brutal high end feedback and skull-damaging noise as well as variations in the vocal track. "Maskless Face" is, I believe, exclusive to this Ep. Pounding drums alternate with controlled blasts of noise, and Fernow howls a litany of threats and demands; it's the closest to power electronics that we get on this record. The instrumental piece "Slavery In The Bahamas" is also new to this disc, a vicious mash-up of junk noise and fractured high-speed rhythms that at a couple of points seems like it's about the reform into some sort of spastic drum n' bass attack, but it never quite gets there. After a few minutes of that sputtering chaos, it melts down into a field of pure black electroshock, laying down waves of roaring metallic noise, feedback and ominous guitar-like drones over a sea of crackling, smoking distortion.


PYRAMIDS   A Northern Meadow   CD   (Profound Lore)    13.98











Track Samples:
Sample : The Earth Melts Into Red Gashes Like the Mouths of Whales
Sample : My Father, Tall As Goliath
Sample : Indigo Birds



PYRAMIDS   A Northern Meadow   LP   (Profound Lore)    34.98











Track Samples:
Sample : The Earth Melts Into Red Gashes Like the Mouths of Whales
Sample : My Father, Tall As Goliath
Sample : Indigo Birds



SIEGE   Drop Dead (30th Anniversary edition)   LP   (Deep Six)    12.98



    This latest vinyl edition celebrates the 30th anniversary of this seminal hardcore punk / proto-grindcore album with a limited colored wax run, newly re-mastered, and including all three of the bonus tracks that appeared on the various other editions over the years.
    When it comes to extreme hardcore, Siege's legendary Drop Dead is the most important record ever. Can there be any doubt? C'mon, we're talking about the EP that influenced Napalm Death to play grindcore, and the music that birthed every blastbeat spewing outfit that has come since. It's fucking staggering to listen to Drop Dead today, in 2006...these songs, recorded way back in 1984, still sound every bit as berserk and apocalyptic and brain melting as they did then. Beneath Rob Williams' mach 10 thrash beats and Kevin Mahoney's psychotic, blood-curdling vocals, Siege's songs had hooks that any band would kill for, and one of the most destroyed guitar performances ever put to tape. These guys totally mutated hardcore in the early 80's and turned it into something completely new, just listen to the psychedelic hardcore epic "Grim Reaper" with Mahoney howling about a man being diagnosed with cancer as he belts out a freaked out saxophone performance over nightmarish tape loops and the rest of the band noisily improvising on one noxious riff. Total genius. Aside from Bad Brains and Black Flag, I can't think of any other bands that were this crucial to the development of the American punk underground. Drop Dead is one of my all-time favorite records, a statement of extreme music that has never been equalled in my opnion, and it's essential to anyone into extreme hardcore, grindcore, outsider heaviness, and noise-damaged insanity.
Track Samples:
Sample : Grim Reaper
Sample : Walls
Sample : Conform



SIGH   Scorn Defeat (Euro Version)   2 x CD   (Hammerheart)    14.98



    Here's the Dutch release of Sigh's classic Scorn Defeat in jewel case packaging.
   The reissue of the debut album Scorn Defeat from Japanese black metal avant-gardists Sigh first appeared a couple of years ago on the Enucleation label, but went out of print pretty quickly when that label ended up going down the tubes. Thankfully, Deepsend and Hammerheart resurrected this classic album yet again as an expansive double disc set that improves upon the previous version with a wealth of rare, never-before-heard material that Sigh fans are going to drool over.
    There's few black metal bands as quirky and strange as Japan's Sigh, who have been delivering their whacked-out brand of cinematic prog-influenced blackthrash since the early 1990's. The band burst into the black metal underground when their debut album Scorn Defeat was released in 1993 on Deathlike Silence, the label run by Euronymous from Mayhem, and Sigh's debut would become legendary for being the last release on the label before Euronymous was murdered. But even if Scorn Defeat hadn't been caught in the shadow of the events chronicled in Lords Of Chaos, this album would still have become one of the great cult classics of the second wave of black metal just for it's sheer weirdness. From Imaginary Sonicscape (the band's brilliant 2001 masterpiece) onward, Sigh has become one of the world's most psychedelic metal bands, blending together Wagnerian bombast and 70's psychedelia and jazz fusion and Venom and John Zorn into a unique and mind-boggling sound of their own, but it might surprise a lot of fans that haven't heard Sigh's earliest material just how oddball the band was even in the beginning. Compared to their later albums, Scorn Defeat is obviously a black metal album, with lots of killer fast paced buzzsaw riffing and blastbeats and slower dirgier parts, and the song titles and lyrics all pointed towards the kind of death worship that no doubt had the Norwegian black metal kids bugging out. But then there's the weird band photos, with the not-quite-right corpse paint makeup that's way more kabuki than necro, and the band doing battle with fuckin' maces while Mirai breathes fire in the background...and then there's the music itself, a ripping black metal attack that's heavily influenced by the primitive sound of classic Venom, but which is injected with weird prog-rock interludes, classical piano (that's shockingly competent compared to what most bands were doing with keyboards back then), subtle psychedelic overtones and other elements that made it abundantly clear that Sigh were not just another black metal band...
    The first song "A Victory Of Dakini" is as heavy and blackened as anything off their most recent, and already pointed towards the wild, avant-garde direction that Sigh would continue in; the songs kicks off with a halting doomy dirge and some acoustic guitar over top, then lurches into a plodding black metal riff with that unique majestic quality that all of Sigh's riffs have, super catchy but dark and evil, and it winds through slower sections of gloomy acoustic strum and grim mid-paced dirge with Mirai's distinctive raspy vocals. But then towards the end of the song, the band breaks off into a weird punky riff that suddenly erupts into an insane Hendrix-style acid-guitar freakout complete with jazzy bass, which goes on for a minute or so, stops abruptly, and then goes right back in to the gloomy black dirge, only this time the band backs the music with beautiful Pink Floyd-like vocal harmonies and Hammond-like keyboards. It's the sort of jarring and bizarre shift in tone that won't surprise anyone who's heard their classic Imaginary Sonicscape album, but I bet that this confused quite a few black metallers back in 1993.
    "The Knell" is more straightforward black metal, thrashing buzz-saw guitars and scorched vocals, epic melodies clashing with squealing Slayerized solos, but as the song progresses, it starts to reveal another proggy arrangement, this time moving into passages of heavy keyboard and acoustic guitar that alternate with the heavier parts, and culminating in a blazing psychedelic climax with ripping harpsichord solos (!) and angelic vocal choirs. "At My Funeral" gets even stranger, mixing up that Venom-esque mid-paced plod with more tinkling piano lines, soaring choral synths, and a killer theatrical part that kicks in during the middle.
    On "Gundali", the guitars are excised completely for another theatrical sounding piece that combines church organs / harpsichord keys, Mirai speaking in a low, creepy whisper, tambourines and a simple repetitive drumbeat into a cinematic dirge that later turns into a purely instrumental performance of classical piano. The black metal returns on the next song, though, and it's one of my favorites - "Ready For The Final War" is another proggy blackthrash anthem, with some of the most crushing riffage on the album, going from proggy synth-driven drama to raging high-speed thrash to one of those immensely rocking and catchy Venom-chugs that, again, turns into a pure piano piece at the end, one that's so beautiful and jazzy it's as much of a shock as any of the other moments of weirdness that have previously appeared on the album. The rest of Scorn Defeat is loaded with these amazing what-the-fuck moments, like the jazz piano that pops up in the middle of the black metal anthem "Weakness Within", or the Floydian atmospherics and chiming triangles (how often do you hear those on a black metal album?) on "Taste Defeat".
    The last five songs on the disc are all bonus material. There's the three tracks ("The Knell", "Desolation Of My Mind", "Taste Defeat") from the Requiem For Fools cassette that came out on Wild Rags in 1992, two of which are rawer versions of the album tracks, and the other a crushing dose of doomy blackness with loads of supremely cheesy splatter movie synths. And the last two tracks ("Suicidogenic" and a cover of Venom's "Schizo") are from the 1994 split 7" with Kawir, and these two songs are the most straightforward black metal numbers that I've ever heard from the band (although there's still weird phone-ringing sounds and squelchy noises and other weirdness floating around in here, too).
    Along with the first disc, this latest re-issue also features a second disc of stuff from the same era as Scorn Defeat that is black manna for Sigh fans, collecting unreleased covers of Venom, Mayhem, their Tragedies and Desolation demos, unreleased rough mixes, and some unearthed studio tracks recorded for long-forgotten compilations that never materialized. On top of that, this switches out the new artwork from the Enucleation edition for even newer black and white artwork from artist Chris Moyen and a package design from Mike Riddick, as well as the extensive liner notes from Mirai, photos, lyrics and other information printed in the eight-page booklet. The recording has also been remastered (by Scott Hull over at Visceral Sound), and it sounds HUGE compared to previous versions; add that together with all of the assorted bonus tracks included here, and you get an essential document of Sigh's earliest work. Highly recommended.
Track Samples:
Sample : Gundali
Sample : The Knell
Sample : Weakness Within



SLAVES   Issue 2   MAGAZINE A5   (Slaves Fanzine)    7.50














SLEEP   Dopesmoker   2 x LP PICTURE DISC   (Southern Lord)    31.99



    The latest repress of the double picture disc LP version of this all-time stoner metal classic.
    The umpteenth release of one of sludge metal's most legendary albums, the 2012 reissue of Sleep's classic Dopesmoker album offers a new re-mastering, new (and improved, in my opinion) artwork from Arik Roper, and a different bonus track from the previous edition released by Tee Pee back in 2003. Most doom fans know that this album itself is an alternate release of the ill-fated Jerusalem that famously was supposed to have been released by the major label London Records back in the 90s, but ended up being shelved for years due to the label's complete loss of interest in the release. It was later resurrected at the end of the decade, and an alternate version titled Dopesmoker emerged at the beginning of the 2000s, which has gone on to become the band's (and fan's ) preferred version of the album. Listening to Dopesmoker again, it's easy to see why this has become such a landmark of slow-motion metal.
    Sprawling out for just over an hour, this titanic tar pit jam winds through a maze of gluey riffs and thunderous hypnotic tempos, shifting from a leaden crawl to quicker (but still pulverizing) grooves every couple of minutes. It's hardly a one-riff slogfest; just take a look at the copy of the band's ridiculous "charts" that's included on the insert - how these guys could manage to keep track of what they were doing and where they were going while smoking as much dope as they did is nothing short of amazing. The trio of Al Cisneros, Chris Hakius and Matt Pike crafted a towering monument to explorational heaviness on this album, pushing past the boundaries of Black Sabbath's dread-filled doom into more ecstatic regions of molten psychedlia and tectonic drone. All through the lumbering lava-like riffing and trance-like repetition of "Dopesmoker", you can hear the seeds of the meditational hypno-rock that Cisneros and Hakius would go on to develop with Om, and the bone-rattling guitar tone, chant-like bellow and molten war-riffage of Matt Pike (later of High On Fire) was fully formed here. The religious references and reverence for the Leaf were another aspect of Sleep's music and presentation that would be later adopted by a million stoner-doom wannabes, but here it feels unique.
    For the CD version, the band also includes a live performance of their "Holy Mountain" from a 1994 San Francisco show, replacing the live track "Sonic Titan" from the Tee Pee release. On the 2xLP version, however, both "Sonic Titan" and "Holy Mountain" are included together on the last side.
    Utterly essential. I can't imagine any serious doom metal/sludge fan not having this in their collection.
Track Samples:
Sample : Dopesmoker
Sample : Sonic Titan



SOLUTIONS   Life Of Joy   12"   (Iron Lung Records)    14.99














STONE WIRED   Umbral Depth Of Shade   CD   (Exabyss)    7.99











Track Samples:
Sample : With The Eyes Of A Blind ( Version )
Sample : Severe The Silence
Sample : Desecration Of A Venerated Object



T.A.Z.   Communique #1 (Fall 2013)   7" VINYL + CDR   (Annihilvs)    8.50














THOABATH   Through Smoke and Feathers   CASSETTE   (Black Horizons)    7.99














THORNS   self-titled   2 x LP   (Peaceville)    37.99



    Finally available again on vinyl, repressed by Peaceville in gatefold packaging.
    First released back in 2001 on Moonfog Productions, the self-titled debut from the Norwegian band Thorns reached a new level in sleek industrialized black metal power, combining bizarre electronic textures and sheets of noise with the pummeling, precise black metal assault of primary member Snorre W. Ruch. Ruch's project had its roots in the nascent Norwegian black metal scene of the late 80s/early 90s alongside the likes of Mayhem, Emperor and Burzum, but the band's activity was cut short when Snorre was imprisoned for his role in the murder of Mayhem guitarist Euronymous. It wouldn't be until the very end of the decade that Snorre would resurface and return to his dormant project, resurrecting it as a fearsome new vision of cold, futuristic black metal, combining blazing Nordic blast with heavy doses of pitch-black abyssal electronica that didn't sound like anything else out there when it came out, the closest possible comparison being the bizarre avant-gardisms of Dødheimsgard's 666 International. This bold, bombastic new industrial black metal sound would first appear on the split LP with Emperor, which is still one of the weirdest albums to come from the Norwegian black metal scene, and was then followed by this, Thorns's self-titled debut, which remains to this day the only official full-length from the band.
    Recorded with the help of members of Satyricon, Mayhem and Dodheimsgard, Thorns is a futuristic, often abstract album unlike anything else in the Norwegian black metal underground. From the album opener "Existence" and onward, Snorre crafts tightly constructed blasts of blackened violence from his arsenal of dissonant guitar riffs, ferocious blastbeats, and the scowling vocal attack of Satyr Wongraven and Bjørn Dencker. Cold, clinical tremolo riffs ripple across the mechanized percussive pummel as the songs surge and spasm, lurching through odd time signature changes and sudden breakdowns into vicious militant martial rhythms, like the fucking ferocious breakdown that rips apart "World Playground Deceit". Other tracks feature pounding sheet-metal / machine shop percussion and swells of sinister orchestral drift injected into the creeping black dirge, at times sounding like some ultra malevolent Wax Trax industrial, the sounds of drills and pneumatic presses operating behind the jagged metallic riffage and pounding percussive stomp. There's some killer mechanized thrash that appears on songs like "Stellar Master Elite" and "Interface to God", while other tracks drift out into fields of minimal dark ambience, distant bathysphere pings and tectonic rumblings like something off of an Inade album, slowly building into another militant metallic kill-groove. There's a warped, seasick quality to a lot of these riffs, bringing a disturbing discordance to Thorns's strange Satanic cyber-symphony, and the surreal feel of the album is further enhanced by blasts of chilling organ and skittering, almost breakbeat-like rhythms, gleaming black electronics and fractured trip-hop like beats, and passages of ominous minor key piano laced with crushing metallic guitars and Snorre's sinister spoken word delivery.
    Can't recommend this one enough to anyone into mechanized black metal. Thorns is still one of the more terrifying industrial black metal albums from that era, as weird and as vicious as what Dodheimsgard were doing around that time. On the CD version of the Peaceville reissue, the original album is also joined by a pair of bonus tracks taken from Thorns's 2000 demo, a longer version of "Existence" followed by a track titled "TSoS" that delivers a killer blast of kosmische-tinged blackness.
Track Samples:
Sample : Existence
Sample : Tsos [*][Demo Version]
Sample : Underneath the Universe, Pt. 2
Sample : Vortex



TRAUMA   After Visiting Hours   CASSETTE   (Fall Of Nature)    6.50














TRTRKMMR   Avec La Souillure Nous Entrons Au Règne De La Terreur   LP   (Iron Lung Records)    15.99














UFOMAMMUT   Ecate   CD   (Neurot)    14.99












Track Samples:
Sample : Somnium
Sample : Revelation
Sample : Chaosecret



UN FESTIN SAGITAL   Deimos   CASSETTE   (Black Horizons)    9.50












Track Samples:
Sample : Terror Diluviano
Sample : Deimos
Sample : Ni Sobreproteccion, Ni Descuido



UN FESTIN SAGITAL   Etna   CASSETTE   (Black Horizons)    7.99












Track Samples:
Sample : ÿþÁrboles Negros
Sample : ÿþAnuibis (Sueño Y Muerte)
Sample : Etna



UNHOLY   The Second Ring Of Power   CD + DVD   (Peaceville)    12.98












Track Samples:
Sample : Covetous Glance
Sample : Dreamside
Sample : Lady Babylon



UNHOLY   Gracefallen   CD   (Peaceville)    12.98












Track Samples:
Sample : Athene Noctua
Sample : Reek of the Night
Sample : ...of Tragedy



UNHOLY   From The Shadows   CD   (Peaceville)    12.98











Track Samples:
Sample : Gray Blow
Sample : Autumn
Sample : The Trip Was Infra Green



UNHOLY   Rapture   CD   (Peaceville)    12.98











Track Samples:
Sample : Into Cold Light
Sample : Petrified Spirits
Sample : Unzeitgeist
Sample : Deluge



VARIOUS ARTISTS   Nekromantik: Original Expanded 1987 Motion Picture Soundtrack (SPECIAL EDITION)   LP + 7"   (One Way Static)    33.00














VARIOUS ARTISTS   Nekromantik: Original Expanded 1987 Motion Picture Soundtrack   CASSETTE   (One Way Static)    9.98














VARIOUS ARTISTS   Frozen In Time II: Music To Accompany The Films Of Ingmar Bergman   3 x CASSETTE   (Black Horizons)    19.99














WAVES CRASHING PIANO CHORDS / FOOT & MOUTH DISEASE   split   12"   (CONTINUUM.)    13.98












Track Samples:
Sample : WAVES CRASHING PIANO CHORDS - I Hope I Get AIDS



WHORID   The Will To Speak Shall Be Severed   CDR   (Annihilvs)    7.50











Track Samples:
Sample : To The Dead Sentence Of Abandonment
Sample : Meek Death
Sample : I Never Loved You; I Suffered You



WILT   From Depths Profound And Inconceivable   CD   (Fall Of Nature)    11.99












Track Samples:
Sample : Les Fleurs Du Mal
Sample : Buried Temples Of Belial
Sample : An Ancient Circle Of Monoliths



WILT   A Daemonic Alteration   CASSETTE   (Fall Of Nature)    6.50












Track Samples:
Sample : A Shadowed Portal
Sample : An Oily River That Flows Under Endless Onyx Bridges To A Black Putrid Sea
Sample : Winter Solstice Procession



WODDREA MYLENSTEDE   Demo II   CASSETTE   (Legion Blotan)    6.50












ZORN, JOHN   Simulacrum   CD   (Tzadik)    17.98











Track Samples:
Sample : Snakes and Ladders
Sample : Paradigm Shift
Sample : Marmarath



ZU   Cortar Todo   CD   (Ipecac)    16.99












Track Samples:
Sample : Vantablack Vomitorium
Sample : The Unseen War
Sample : Cortar Todo



ZU + EUGENE S. ROBINSON   The Left Hand Path   LP   (Trost)    24.98














ZYANOSE   Insane Noise Raid   CD   (L.A.R.V.A.)    17.99



    Check this out, static addicts: we've had the vinyl releases from "Osaka noise crusties" Zyanose in stock for awhile, but never had a chance to carry the Japanese import CDs that this speaker-blowing noise punk band out on the L.A.R.V.A. label until now. Each one is beautifully packaged, some in chunky "super" jewel-case packaging, all with those Japanese style obi-strips, but they're also on the short side, each one featuring the exact same material as the vinyl, and are a bit pricey considering the length. That aside, all three of these mini-albums are killer, rampaging blasts of bass-heavy, cyclonic punk that makes up some of my favorite contemporary noise-punk coming out of Japan. Here's my original write-up from the vinyl version:
    One of the noisiest and most extreme "crasher crust" bands I've come across, Zyanose is a newer Japanese trio who whip out ultra-distorted, ultra-noisy blasts of maniacal hardcore punk in the vein of fellow noise-damaged outfits like Framtid, Gloom and earlier pioneers of the style like Confuse and Gai, but with that fuzz and distortion cranked to absolutely insane extremes that makes 'em sound as if they've got Japanese noise gods Incapacitants circa Alcoholic Speculation jamming with them off in the background. They don't, of course, which makes the sonic chaos of Insane Noise Raid all the more impressive for being able to whip this level of earfuck with just three guys. And Insane Noise Raid is exactly that, a rabid assault of chaotic hardcore punk drenched in immense caustic feedback, blasting a heavy duty hyper fast thrash attack using two bass guitars and no regular guitar, yet the high end skree screams though this record. A lot of this stuff is borderline white-noise, a flesh-rending blur of distorted roar and hiss, and the vocals are some of the sickest I've ever heard from this kind of hardcore, a puking, unintelligible yowl; each of the songs more or less deal with each of the seven deadly sins ("Gluttony", "Greed", "Lust", "Wrath", etc.), and they veer violently between pounding hardcore thrash and pure skull-shredding noise , with a couple moments of gnarled, brutal noise rock slipped in. The drummer fuckin' destroys, serving up a mix of furious tribal rhythms, blitzkrieg thrash tempos and moments of such unbridled chaos that it sounds like the drummer just stood up and suddenly hurled his entire kit down a fire escape. Indeed, there's moments on Insane Noise Raid that borders on full on noisecore, yet they toe that line without totally abandoning the hardcore punk foundation of their music. Fucking awesome extreme hardcore that is absolutely recommended to fans of bands like Schizophasia and Nuklear Blast Suntan.
    The L.A.R.V.A. CD edition comes in a cool, minimalist package design, totally different from the vinyl version.


ZYANOSE   Isolation   CD   (L.A.R.V.A.)    17.99



    Check this out, static addicts: we've had the vinyl releases from "Osaka noise crusties" Zyanose in stock for awhile, but never had a chance to carry the Japanese import CDs that this speaker-blowing noise punk band out on the L.A.R.V.A. label until now. Each one is beautifully packaged, some in chunky "super" jewel-case packaging, all with those Japanese style obi-strips, but they're also on the short side, each one featuring the exact same material as the vinyl, and are a bit pricey considering the length. That aside, all three of these mini-albums are killer, rampaging blasts of bass-heavy, cyclonic punk that makes up some of my favorite contemporary noise-punk coming out of Japan. Here's my original write-up from the vinyl version:
    The Japanese hardcore punk scene has long produced some of the most extreme, noise-damaged punk bands around, but the recent wave of newer "crasher crust" bands that has appeared over the past couple of years has really elevated extreme hardcore to a new level of ear-shredding, pandemonic insanity. I've heard tons of killer shit coming out of this particular scene, bands like D-Clone, Framtid, and Death Dust Extractor all delivering a vicious mix of ultra-distorted guitar noise, weird effects, and PCP-fueled thrash, but none of these bands quite reach the level of skull-shredding violence that one encounters in the music of Zyanose. This Tokyo-based group first hit my ears with their awesome Insane Noise Raid 12" a while back, a record that I described as being in the vein of "fellow noise-damaged outfits like Framtid, Gloom and earlier pioneers of the style like Confuse and Gai, but with that fuzz and distortion cranked to absolutely insane extremes that makes 'em sound as if they've got Japanese noise gods Incapacitants circa Alcoholic Speculation jamming with them off in the background". What made their insane noise-drenched sound even more impressive was that they band didn't even use guitars, instead wielding a dual-bass guitar lineup that created crushing cement-mixer levels of distortion over their furious pogoing bass-lines and the wicked twin vocal attack. The band's latest is the Isolation EP, which features nine short blasts of ultra-distorted noise-punk, each one a sudden assault of mangled buzzsaw guitars whose distortion levels have been pushed into Merzbowian levels of screech and roar, the manic bass basically laying down the riffs over the drummer's speedy, stumbling attack, the sound often coming very close to total noisecore, the sound completely blasted in feedback and amp- noise. This CD version of the EP features additional songs that didn't appear on the Distort Reality 7" of the same name, though this CD does not include the noise remix that appeared on the b-side of that 7".


ZYANOSE   Why There Grieve?   CD   (L.A.R.V.A.)    17.99



    Check this out, static addicts: we've had the vinyl releases from "Osaka noise crusties" Zyanose in stock for awhile, but never had a chance to carry the Japanese import CDs that this speaker-blowing noise punk band out on the L.A.R.V.A. label until now. Each one is beautifully packaged, some in chunky "super" jewel-case packaging, all with those Japanese style obi-strips, but they're also on the short side, each one featuring the exact same material as the vinyl, and are a bit pricey considering the length. That aside, all three of these mini-albums are killer, rampaging blasts of bass-heavy, cyclonic punk that makes up some of my favorite contemporary noise-punk coming out of Japan. Here's my original write-up from the vinyl version:
    Why There Grieve? is the latest twelve-song blast of extreme D-beat hyperdistortion from Osaka's Zyanose, a band that has quickly turned into one of my favorites among that whole Japanese noise-punk scene. A lot of people throw the term "noisecore" around a little too loosely when talking about the current wave of ultra-noisy, Confuse-influenced noise punk, either forgetting or being ignorant of the extreme blast aesthetic of bands like Seven Minutes Of Nausea and Anal Cunt that term was originally conceived around. But with Zyanose, that descriptor becomes a little more appropriate. Featuring an unusual lineup of two bass guitars and no lead guitar, Zyanose have a quirkier take on that ultra-distorted noise punk sound, with an (obviously) heavier low-end presence that gives their music a constant rumbling abrasiveness, and their songs often erupt into torrents of ultra violent chaos that are, in fact, so noisy and frenzied that it often does indeed turn into a full-on noisecore assault; while we've seen that kind of chaos erupt on previous Zyanose records, it's never been more prominent than here on Grieve.
    Here, the band's wall of bass-heavy blurr becomes as noxious and ear-wrecking as anything from early Boredoms or Deche-Charge or Anal Cunt, the rumbling distorted bass riffs suddenly blasting out of the pummeling Discharge-style hardcore at maximum velocity, becoming a blur of crushing noise. The use of two bass guitars gives their racket a sludgier, more blown-out sound than many of their peers, producing an intensely heavy sound, with huge driving bass riffs surging and racing over the churning blasts, the usually blazing-fast tempos delivered via the drummer's quirky combination of ferocious tribal rhythms and rampaging D-beat thrash, while the other bass guitar often fractures into a maelstrom of insane flanger-pedal abuse, squealing feedback and bizarre effects. Despite the absolute cacophony that these guys create, though, their songs for the most part tend to stick to a classic hardcore punk structure; as on previous records, this delivers some crushing ultra-heavy, ultra-noisy Japanese hardcore, often akin to being subjected to some insane collaboration between Confuse and the brutal harsh noise of artists like Masonna or Merzbow. Their lyrics are in that classic Discharge nuclear-haiku format, but are even more fragmented and insane, filled with bizarre gibberish. Grieve features a few surprising moments as well, like the weirdly-placed, jarring edits and blasts of pure noise that are laced throughout the songs, and a few blistering attacks of mega-distorted pogo punk like "Chipping Song Of Bird", or the lurching noise-drenched dirge "Keep Your Self" that closes the album. Fans of offbeat, noise-damaged hardcore like Gloom, D-Clone, Framtid, Disclose, Isterismo, Death Dust Extractor and the like should definitely be checking these guys out, but ultimately Zyanose exist in a over-the-top nuclear hellstorm that is uniquely their own.








  




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