header_image
top_menu

!T.O.O.H.! (!TOTAL OBLITERATION OF HUMANITY!)   Order And Punishment   CD   (Earache)    13.98



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



⁄⁄TENSE⁄⁄   Consume   CDR   (Disaro)    5.98

Consume IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Another denizen of the strange, impossible-to-pin-down electro/goth scene surrounding the Disaro label that has been tagged as "witch house", //TENSE//, like many of the bands that we've heard from this label (Modern Witch, Fostercare, The Present Moment) beams a skewed vision of 80s synth pop through a cracked and distorted lens marked with occult sigils. In this case, it's a dark brooding take on the EBM vibes of Front Line Assembly and Twitch-era Ministry that we hear creeping out of the Houston duo on Consume, their killer new EP of crepuscular industrial synthpop that stands out from much of the weirder, more fractured stuff on the label. This disc fixes our urge for some classic sounding dark industrial synth hookage quite nicely, and the cold, sterile production sounds like something Adrian Sherwood would have cooked up. The vocals are delivered in a weird affected British accent over pounding drum machines, deep synth bass and sinister keyboards, blasting out orchestral walls of sound, or crawling back into the throbbing malevolence of "TV Teach Me". There's a warped robotic EBM delirium that infects "Cash In (Night Version)", and the killer booming industrial breakbeat and space-funk keyboards on "Wasted Flesh" even remind us of Tackhead a little. "End Crawl" layers dreamlike sheets of synthesizer chaos and pulsating electronic darkness over a spare kick drum beat, and gets into seriously warped and nightmarish territory, which carries into that last couple of tracks ("Versus Man", "Between The Strike"). The disc delivers eight tracks of this mysterious nocturnal throb, great stuff for fans of classic EBM-tinged industrial rock who are down for a strange, occult-influenced take on the sound. Limited to one hundred hand-numbered copies.
Track Samples:
Sample : Between The Strike
Sample : TV Teach Me
Sample : Wasted Flesh



10LEC6   Join Us!   CD   (Troubleman Unlimited)    9.98



10LEC6 (pronounced "dis-lec-six") and their nocturnal Parisian disco punk first surfaced on a self-released 7" in 2005, which has been re-released on disc and 12" by Troubleman. Formed by a couple of French art school kids infatuated with post-punk and hardcore and the original drummer of Daft Punk, 10LEC6 use wiry bass guitar lines, martial drums, found sounds, and percussion to create their jumpy, hyper dance punk jams. I really dug the variety of percussive instruments used here, congos, bongos, shakers and more all rattling away, and the tribal rhythms that these instruments create sort of makes the band sound like a mutation of 1979 art punk a la Crass and Slits and anarchos DIRT mixed with Bow Wow Wow's bouncy new wave and shot through with brief blasts of primitive hardcore thrash. Plus, singer Emi's killer lead vocals eerily recall Eve Libertine of Crass, further turning this EP into a weird timewarp. Join Us! sports some fuckin' creepy artwork that recreates the original 7" layout. This CD re-issue is released as a limited edition of 1,000 copies.


10LEC6   Join Us!   LP   (Troubleman Unlimited)    9.98

Join Us! IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

The 12" vinyl version of Parisian dance-punkers debut EP.
10LEC6 (pronounced "dis-lec-six") and their nocturnal Parisian disco punk first surfaced on a self-released 7" in 2005, which has been re-released on disc and 12" by Troubleman. Formed by a couple of French art school kids infatuated with post-punk and hardcore and the original drummer of Daft Punk, 10LEC6 use wiry bass guitar lines, martial drums, found sounds, and percussion to create their jumpy, hyper dance punk jams. I really dug the variety of percussive instruments used here, congos, bongos, shakers and more all rattling away, and the tribal rhythms that these instruments create sort of makes the band sound like a mutation of 1979 art punk a la Crass and Slits and anarchos DIRT mixed with Bow Wow Wow's bouncy new wave and shot through with brief blasts of primitive hardcore thrash. Plus, singer Emi's killer lead vocals eerily recall Eve Libertine of Crass, further turning this EP into a weird timewarp. Join Us! sports some fuckin' creepy artwork that recreates the original 7" layout. This CD re-issue is released as a limited edition of 1,000 copies.


11 AS IN ADVERSARIES   The Full Intrepid Experience Of Light   CD   (ATMF)    11.99



If you're hip to the Italian label Aeternitas Tenebrarum Music Foundation, then you're probably a fan of the more experimental and progressive fringes of European black metal, something the label has been focused on from early on. While this 2010 debut from 11 As In Adversaries is further removed from black metal than most of the bands on the label, it's easy to see why it found a home here alongside the likes of Visthia, Tal'set, Disiplin and Semen Datura. Featuring two of the members of the French black metal cult Glorior Belli and apparently originally intended for that band until they realized that it would be better served by releasing it under a completely different band name, 11 As In Adversaries infuses a bit of BM influence into its angular heavy prog, though those black metal elements are generally petty subtle, taking form as violent blastbeat drumming and bits of evil, metallic riffing. What 11 As In Adversaries really sound like is a sinister, slightly blackened math-metal outfit, with lots of spiky, spidery guitar work and passionate sung/yowled vocals, off-kilter rock guitar leads, and winding complex songwriting.
There's a discordance and off-kilter quality to the riffs that'll remind you of Voivod's later work cica Angel Rat/The Outer Limits, but I also hear the sound of 90's metallic post-hardcore in here as well, faint traces of Quicksand and (especially) Iceburn in the chunky melodic riffs and "rockier" moments. But like the newer Glorior Belli stuff, this stuff really swings, fusing together blazing psychedelic guitar shred and some huge jagged riffs and smatterings of jazziness in the rhythm section. Some other tracks delve into experimental electronic music ("A Stealthy Freedom"), and there's a guest appearance from Shining front man Kvarforth, who lends his gnarled, deranged croon to "The Night Scalp Challenger". Most of this sounds to me like post-hardcore filtered through the blackened weirdness of Ved Buens Ende though, especially on the catchy, ferocious closer "Verses From Which To Whirl" where the lush guitar-heavy sound is fused to killer blackened riffs and the most aggro drumming on the album that finally spins out into a cyclone of blastbeats towards the end.
Definitely something different from the ATMF camp, but not without it's moments of savagery that should appeal to fans of the label's more left-field offerings, as well as those digging the recent spate of post-hardcore/black metal influenced bands like Deafheaven and Celeste.
Track Samples:
Sample : The Full Intrepid Experience Of Light
Sample : Agitation In The Glorious Theme
Sample : The Night Scalp Challenger



12 AULLIDOS   self-titled   CD   (Six Weeks)    5.00



The Spanish Hardcore scene hasn't exactly been known for ferocious extreme HC outfits; in the late 90's, there was All Ill, an obscure outfit that released one hell of a neck-snapping album that injected a ton of meth energy into an in-the-red, Infest style blast whiteout. And then there was 12 Audillos, whose OTT thrash/blast/noise is some of the most pulverizing post-powerviolence ever. The band's sole CD release, issued here in the States via respected thrashcore imprint Six Weeks, crashes over you with a mega-crushing, cyclonic blastcore storm of ultra distorted whiteout riffs played at 1,000 miles per hour, tornado blastbeats, and a singer who sounds like he's struggling to narrate these tales of despair through a throatful of broken glass and gasoline. Total mach 10 aggression that melts together the most rabid elements of West Coast powerviolence, classic 80's Hardcore vitriol, and neurotic destruction; imagine a murderous hybrid of Siege, Infest, Neurosis' apocalyptic buildups, Rorschach, and the mangled Tuetonic metalcore of bands like Systral, Acme, and Morser, splicing turbulent freakouts of controlled thrash chaos with slow, eerie interludes and hyperspeed meltdowns that turn into pure noise cataclysm. This disc collects their hard-to-find self released EP with 2 unreleased songs, and also includes enhanced CD-ROM features with live footage of an explosive 12 Aullidos show. Awesome, twisted, crazed destructo-core!


16   Curves That Kick   LP   (Relapse)    18.98



Now available in a limited edition 180 gram vinyl release, limited to 500 copies and packaged with an MP3 download card/code for the entire album.
The early 16 albums have been long overdue for reissue. With the demise of their longtime label Theologian/Pessimiser Records earlier this past decade, most of the 16 catalog became increasingly hard to track down, and their Bacteria Sour releases were even more rare and sought after. Now with a new album Bridges To Burn out on new label Relapse, a reissue campaign is underway to make these albums available once again, remastered and with all new album layouts, starting with their most crucial discs, 1993's Curves That Kick and 1996's Drop Out. Both of these discs are absolutely essential for anyone into the grinding, stop-and-go sludge rock of 16, and either one is a perfect starting point for anybody that's not yet familiar with their brand of sledgehammer heaviness.
Originally released on Pushead's Bacteria Sour label, Curves That Kick was the band's debut album, a crushing twelve-song beating that introduced their extremely pissed-off, negative, groove-heavy metallic rock to the underground. With a sound that essentially combined the punishing heaviness of the Melvins with gnarled hardcore punk and the bludgeoning percussive riffs of Strap It On-era Helmet, the LA band made a name for themselves pretty quickly within the extreme hardcore/grind/metal scene in southern California, aided in part by their connection to Pushead and his boutique label. Their minimalist stop-and-go attack is mixed with bursts of thrashy speed on tracks like "Nova" and the very Black Flag-ish "Sedatives", but most of Curves That Kick smashes you over the head with relentless, discordantly noisy riffs played in a crushing mechanical 4/4 groove. Sludgy, brutal and metallic, 16 were also skilled in writing fucking AWESOME riffs, and this album (along with Drop Out) is loaded with 'em, massive catchy riffs that are impossible to resist, any of these songs could have been huge hitys with the alt-metal crowd in the early 90's. To this day, 16 were one of the few bands to find the perfect middle ground between the nihilistic sludge of bands like Buzzoven and Eyehategod, and the aggressive noise rock of the Amphetamine Reptile label.
Track Samples:
Sample : Curves That Kick
Sample : Resin



16   Zoloft Smile   CD   (At A Loss)    13.98

Zoloft Smile IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

It always baffles me to think that 16 never became a huge band. I mean, these guys were the ultimate in picking up where Helmet left off after Meantime, a perfect marriage of bonecrushing stop-and-go riffage and primal youth angst and hige hooks, all filtered through the burliness of the West Coast extreme hardcore scene of the early 90's and endorsed by Pushead, for chrissakes. I dunno, maybe it was the seething negativity and lurid tales of retribution that scared people off, or maybe it was the band's commitment to increasingly intensify their rage over the course of five albums. Sadly, 16 called it a day right after releasing this fucking monster of an album in 2003, after slogging it out for over a decade in the underground. But at least they left us with one of the heaviest albums in their discog, eleven sludge-loaded tales of urban decay, domestic despair, revenge and hatred and abject misery. Terminally negative downer tirades, distorto hammer riffs, machinelike rhythmic propulsion, like pre-Betty Helmet conspiring with Eyehategod to drain you of your will, with tastefully applied spacey effects and stoopidly crushing grooves laying waste to everything. Freaking awesome album, right up there with their classic Drop Out and Blaze Of Incompetance. Recommended.


16   Zoloft Smile   CD   (Bastardized)    11.98



Right around the same time that Relapse signed the recently reformed 16 and announced that the band would be putting out a brand new album, there was a unsurprising burst of interest in these Southern Cali nihilists from within the extreme metal scene that had newcomers to 16's sound checking out their past releases. The last album that 16 released, Zoloft Smile, went out of print pretty soon thereafter. It's still out of print here in the US, but I just found some copies of the German release of the album through one of our suppliers and grabbed a bunch for the C-Blast shop. I know that a bunch of our customers have been looking for a copy of this crushing 2003 album, so here's your chance at last.
Here's the original listing for the At A Loss release of Zoloft Smile: It always baffles me to think that 16 never became a huge band. I mean, these guys were the ultimate in picking up where Helmet left off after Meantime, a perfect marriage of bonecrushing stop-and-go riffage and primal youth angst and hige hooks, all filtered through the burliness of the West Coast extreme hardcore scene of the early 90's and endorsed by Pushead, for chrissakes. I dunno, maybe it was the seething negativity and lurid tales of retribution that scared people off, or maybe it was the band's commitment to increasingly intensify their rage over the course of five albums. Sadly, 16 called it a day right after releasing this fucking monster of an album in 2003, after slogging it out for over a decade in the underground. But at least they left us with one of the heaviest albums in their discog, eleven sludge-loaded tales of urban decay, domestic despair, revenge and hatred and abject misery. Terminally negative downer tirades, distorto hammer riffs, machinelike rhythmic propulsion, like pre-Betty Helmet conspiring with Eyehategod to drain you of your will, with tastefully applied spacey effects and stoopidly crushing grooves laying waste to everything. Freaking awesome album, right up there with their classic Drop Out and Blaze Of Incompetance. Recommended.
Track Samples:
Sample : Born To Lose
Sample : Damone
Sample : You're Not My Real Dad



16   Drop Out   CD   (Relapse)    14.98



The early 16 albums have been long overdue for reissue. With the demise of their longtime label Theologian/Pessimiser Records earlier this past decade, most of the 16 catalog became increasingly hard to track down, and their Bacteria Sour releases were even rarer and more sought after. Now with a new album Bridges To Burn out on new label Relapse, a reissue campaign is underway to make these albums available once again, re-mastered and with all new album layouts, starting with their most crucial discs, 1993's Curves That Kick and 1996's Drop Out. Both of these discs are absolutely essential for anyone into the grinding, stop-and-go sludge rock of 16, and either one is a perfect starting point for anybody that's not yet familiar with their brand of sledgehammer heaviness.
Ask a fan what their favorite 16 album is, and most likely they'll say Drop Out. The second album from the LA sludge metallers arguably remains their strongest work, with some of the catchiest, most crushing riffs and songs that the band ever wrote. Their sound and delivery was pretty fucking aggro on Curves The Kick, but this time around, things were way more pissed and negative, pent-up frustration and disillusionment with life that explodes across the ten songs in a murderous rage, strapped down to monstrous bass-driven grooves and crushing stop/start riffing. Their stripped-down, discordant mix of early Helmet, Melvins sludge and violent hardcore is sharpened to a lethal edge here, opening with the brutal chug of "Trigger Happy", then moves through seething sludge ("Pumpfake"), noisy syncopated post-hardcore ("Tocohara"), churning stop-on-a-dime sludge rock ("Sniper"), and minute-long hardcore thrash ferocity that borders on power violence ("Fucked For Life"). Everything is way darker than their debut, uglier, the lyrics steeped in themes of betrayal, self-loathing and despair, but the songs are also laced with subtle guitar and vocal effects that add a newfound psychedelic feel to 16's down tuned throb. Highly recommended - this is the album to start with if you want to get in 16!
Track Samples:
Sample : Pumpfake
Sample : Trigger Happy



16   Curves That Kick   CD   (Relapse)    14.98



The early 16 albums have been long overdue for reissue. With the demise of their longtime label Theologian/Pessimiser Records earlier this past decade, most of the 16 catalog became increasingly hard to track down, and their Bacteria Sour releases were even more rare and sought after. Now with a new album Bridges To Burn out on new label Relapse, a reissue campaign is underway to make these albums available once again, remastered and with all new album layouts, starting with their most crucial discs, 1993's Curves That Kick and 1996's Drop Out. Both of these discs are absolutely essential for anyone into the grinding, stop-and-go sludge rock of 16, and either one is a perfect starting point for anybody that's not yet familiar with their brand of sledgehammer heaviness.
Originally released on Pushead's Bacteria Sour label, Curves That Kick was the band's debut album, a crushing twelve-song beating that introduced their extremely pissed-off, negative, groove-heavy metallic rock to the underground. With a sound that essentially combined the punishing heaviness of the Melvins with gnarled hardcore punk and the bludgeoning percussive riffs of Strap It On-era Helmet, the LA band made a name for themselves pretty quickly within the extreme hardcore/grind/metal scene in southern California, aided in part by their connection to Pushead and his boutique label. Their minimalist stop-and-go attack is mixed with bursts of thrashy speed on tracks like "Nova" and the very Black Flag-ish "Sedatives", but most of Curves That Kick smashes you over the head with relentless, discordantly noisy riffs played in a crushing mechanical 4/4 groove. Sludgy, brutal and metallic, 16 were also skilled in writing fucking AWESOME riffs, and this album (along with Drop Out) is loaded with 'em, massive catchy riffs that are impossible to resist, any of these songs could have been huge hitys with the alt-metal crowd in the early 90's. To this day, 16 were one of the few bands to find the perfect middle ground between the nihilistic sludge of bands like Buzzoven and Eyehategod, and the aggressive noise rock of the Amphetamine Reptile label.
Track Samples:
Sample : Curves That Kick
Sample : Resin



16   Bridges To Burn   CD   (Relapse)    14.98



A new dose of extreme nihilistic sludge from 16! After a long hiatus (its been more than five years since their last album), the mighty 16 are back and totally on fire with their first new album for Relapse, Bridges To Burn, and from the first bludgeoning chords of "Throw In The Towel" it's clear that time sure hasn't softened any of their bitterness or murderous scorn. The SoCal sludge metallers deliver twelve new tracks of raging stop/start bass-heavy metallic noise rock that picks up where their last album (2002's Zoloft Smile) left off, matching catchy, vertebrae-wrecking hooks to simple, pummeling sludgy riffage and MASSIVE rhythmic chug (attributable to drummer Jason Corley, who was at one point played in C-Blast faves Fistula), fusing together the low-slung rumble of Melvins, the staccato riffing of Helmet, the angular swagger and churn of Jesus Lizard, and the occasional whiskey-soaked Eyehategod-esque swamp groove, combined with those furiously misanthropic and nihilistic lyrics and attitude that has always made this band one of the most pissed off outfits in the US metal underground. If there's anything that distinguishes Bridges To Burn from the previous albums, it's the fucking huge production that this album has, making it their heaviest album, in my opinion. The metallic side of their sound is heavier than ever too, with songs like "Skin And Bones" and "So Broken Down" dropping chunky thrash metal chug into the monstrous mid-tempo groove, and "Me & My Shadow" pounds away at a swampy Sabbathoid dirge that builds into a massive down tuned mechanical stomp that's one of the band's more doomed moments. Absolutely killer artwork from Orion Landau, too. Bridges is as crushingly cathartic as anything in 16's long and storied catalog.
Track Samples:
Sample : Permanent Good One
Sample : Throw in the Towel



16   Curves That Kick   CD   (Bacteria Sour)    9.98

Curves That Kick IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Although a remastered and repackaged new version of Curves That Kick was reissued earlier this year on Relapse Records, I couldn't pass up grabbing these stray copies of the original Bacteria Sour Cd when one of our suppliers dug some up during one of their warehouse cleanings. The Bacteria Sour disc has been out of print for ages, and while the Relapse reissue does boast a much better (and heavier) mastering job, the new version doesn't have the original Pushead album artwork, presumably due to licensing/rights issues. Which makes this original release of interest to Pushead collectors and 16 uber-fanatics. We have a very, very limited number of these Bacteria Sour discs in stock, less than six, and we'll most likely never have these available in the shop again.
Originally released on Pushead's Bacteria Sour label, Curves That Kick was the band's debut album, a crushing twelve-song beating that introduced their extremely pissed-off, negative, groove-heavy metallic rock to the underground. With a sound that essentially combined the punishing heaviness of the Melvins with gnarled hardcore punk and the bludgeoning percussive riffs of Strap It On-era Helmet, the LA band made a name for themselves pretty quickly within the extreme hardcore/grind/metal scene in southern California, aided in part by their connection to Pushead and his boutique label. Their minimalist stop-and-go attack is mixed with bursts of thrashy speed on tracks like "Nova" and the very Black Flag-ish "Sedatives", but most of Curves That Kick smashes you over the head with relentless, discordantly noisy riffs played in a crushing mechanical 4/4 groove. Sludgy, brutal and metallic, 16 were also skilled in writing fucking AWESOME riffs, and this album (along with Drop Out) is loaded with 'em, massive catchy riffs that are impossible to resist, any of these songs could have been huge hitys with the alt-metal crowd in the early 90's. To this day, 16 were one of the few bands to find the perfect middle ground between the nihilistic sludge of bands like Buzzoven and Eyehategod, and the aggressive noise rock of the Amphetamine Reptile label.
Track Samples:
Sample : Chum
Sample : Resin



16   Tocohara   7" VINYL   (Bacteria Sour)    4.98



Along with the handful of copies of the original out-of-print Curves That Kick cd on Bacteria Sour that we just obtained through one of our suppliers while they were cleaning out their warehouse, we also picked up an unearthed stack of the likewise long out-of-print Tocohara 7" that 16 released on Bacteria Sour in 1994. This extremely hard to find 7" Ep features two songs from the Cali sludge rockers, the title track "Tocohara" and their pummeling, percussive downer anthem "16". Both of these songs later appeared in re-recorded versions on the legendary Drop Out album, but here sound a little quicker, a little more punchy, each one a lunging attack of sludgy concussive hardcore aggro and grooving low-end battery, which I've described in the past as a perfect combination of the Melvins's detuned lumber and the stop-and-go percussive aggression of early Helmet. A killer set of early 16 jams that come in a full color sleeve designed by Bacteria Sour label boss Pushead. On black vinyl.


16   Drop Out   LP   (Relapse)    17.98



Now available on limited edition 180 gram vinyl!
The early 16 albums have been long overdue for reissue. With the demise of their longtime label Theologian/Pessimiser Records earlier this past decade, most of the 16 catalog became increasingly hard to track down, and their Bacteria Sour releases were even rarer and more sought after. Now with a new album Bridges To Burn out on new label Relapse, a reissue campaign is underway to make these albums available once again, re-mastered and with all new album layouts, starting with their most crucial discs, 1993's Curves That Kick and 1996's Drop Out. Both of these discs are absolutely essential for anyone into the grinding, stop-and-go sludge rock of 16, and either one is a perfect starting point for anybody that's not yet familiar with their brand of sledgehammer heaviness.
Ask a fan what their favorite 16 album is, and most likely they'll say Drop Out. The second album from the LA sludge metallers arguably remains their strongest work, with some of the catchiest, most crushing riffs and songs that the band ever wrote. Their sound and delivery was pretty fucking aggro on Curves The Kick, but this time around, things were way more pissed and negative, pent-up frustration and disillusionment with life that explodes across the ten songs in a murderous rage, strapped down to monstrous bass-driven grooves and crushing stop/start riffing. Their stripped-down, discordant mix of early Helmet, Melvins sludge and violent hardcore is sharpened to a lethal edge here, opening with the brutal chug of "Trigger Happy", then moves through seething sludge ("Pumpfake"), noisy syncopated post-hardcore ("Tocohara"), churning stop-on-a-dime sludge rock ("Sniper"), and minute-long hardcore thrash ferocity that borders on power violence ("Fucked For Life"). Everything is way darker than their debut, uglier, the lyrics steeped in themes of betrayal, self-loathing and despair, but the songs are also laced with subtle guitar and vocal effects that add a newfound psychedelic feel to 16's down tuned throb. Highly recommended - this is the album to start with if you want to get in 16!
Track Samples:
Sample : Pumpfake
Sample : Trigger Happy



16 BITCH PILE-UP   Bury Me Deep   CD   (Troniks)    10.98



Bury Me Deep is the first new release that I've heard from 16 Bitch Pile-Up since the band relocated to San Francisco from Ohio and pared their numbers down to the current power trio lineup of Sarah Bernat, Sarah Cathers, and Shannon Walter. Right off the bat, my eyes are glued to the awesome package for Bury Me Deep, which was designed by Damion Romero. The album design looks like a ultra-trashy splatter video cover straight off of the video store shelf circa 1988, with bold purple electric neon lettering and the tag line "...the beaches were covered in blood...and so were the bitches!" roaring across the album cover. If you've got a love (as I do) for that breed of straight-to-video grime from the 80's, you'll love this cover...it's one of the more imaginative "noise" covers I've seen lately. Digging inside, the booklet folds open into a poster with several photos of the girls, sprawled out and posed dead on som litter-covered beach and covered in gross gore, the killer photography courtesy of David Lim of Tralphaz. Killer nasty imagery that totally sets the mood for the hour of heavy terror drone-noise contained on the disc. Bury Me Deep plays like a single extended piece chopped up into chapters, like the film-scores of several mindless exploitation videos melted down into a pool of psychedelid gloopy melted tonal drift and layered action, moving through passages of splatter movie soundtrack, scraping textured noise, thickened vocal syrup, and deep, heavy drones submerged in creepfest samples. Limited edition of 1,000.


16-17   Gyatso   CD   (Savage Land)    14.98



Originally released on the Pathological label run by Kevin Martin (The Bug, Ice, God, Techno Animal) in the 1990s, 16-17 and their album Gyatso was probably the closest in spirit to Martin's own band God - fierce, heavy jazz-core that wrapped the total energy and primal howl of free-jazz around a crushing industrial/rock backbone. These Swiss improv jazzcore legends were masters at creating tension between the free, chaotic voices of shrill, screeching saxophones and sliced n' diced samples, and the staccato drumming of Knut Remond and monstrous, circular basslines, which on Gyatso were supplied by Godflesh's G.C. Green. I recently listed the Savage Land double CD re-release of 16-17's crucial early albums from the 1980's that had been released through Early Recordings, and while those albums were amazing blats of extreme hardcore jazzpunk, this 1994 disc is the heaviest stuff that the band has ever done, with the thick, full production the band had always needed. Holy shit, is this intense. Each track generally revolves around a single central rhythmic grind made up of a crushing sludgy bassline and a brutal martial drumbeat, jagged and angular, which is then pounded into the ground through relentless hypnotic repetition while Alex Buess shoots fire out of his skull via sax and bass clarinet and guitarist Markus Kneubuhler splatters electronic motes and stabs of distorted guitar above it all. Kevin Martin himself engineered the album, and he even contributes some dub-style effects and echoes to the mix. Might just be the heaviest jazz I've ever heard, a pummeling, trance-inducing matchup between John Zorn's Painkiller and Godflesh and Brotzmann's Machine Gun Sessions . Totally crushing. The whole album batters you with track after track of sick, punishing hypno-jazzcore, and there are a couple of additional noise-soaked deconstructions/remixes that have been included at the end of the album to complete the assault. Digitally remastered by Weasel Walter from the Flying Luttenbachers.This crucial reissue is essential for anyone into extreme free-jazz and bands like Alboth, Last Exit, Painkiller, Flying Luttenbachers, etc., and comes with a thick booklet that contains detailed new liner notes by Jason Pettigrew (Alternative Press) that draw from interviews with the band that discuss the history of 16-17, and cool new artwork. Highly recommended.
Track Samples:
Sample : Attack-Impulse
Sample : Flamethrower
Sample : Intravenous



16-17   Early Recordings   2 x CD   (Savage Land)    21.98



Back in stock!
Early Recordings is a two-CD set from the legendary Swiss avant- rock/deathjazz group 16-17, whose early releases have been out of print for eons and have been nigh-impossible to land one's mitts on. Savage Land came to the rescue bigtime though, pairing up the band's 1986 16-17 and 1989 When All Else Fails albums, and also adding on the mega rare Hardkore & Buffbunker cassette that 16-17 put out in 1984 on the Vision label, and had Weasel Walter from The Flying Luttenbachers remaster everything.
So what's 16-17 all about? BLAZING HARDCORE JAZZ VIOLENCE. As soon as you hit "play" on 16-17, the entire geneology of the past 25 years of hardcore skronk becomes immediately clear. The band was first formed in Basel, Switzerland in 1983 by Markus Kneubuhler (electronics, guitar), Nicolas Knut Redmond (drums) and Alex Buess (saxophone), and they employed Buess' saxophone in a rock band format to play a kind of "jazz" that was utterly unlike anything else at the time, a super harsh and chaotic hardcore No Wave attack that was equal parts Borbetomagus powerskronk, thugged out neanderthal krautrock, and incendiary hardcore with industrial/noise undercurrents. They predated the whole John Zorn/Painkiller/Last Exit hardcore jazz scene by at least a couple of years, and you can hear the impact that 16-17 had on everyone from Flying Luttenbachers and God to Alboth! and Painkiller. Buess' sax is the centerpiece of 16-17's violent churn, a neverending screaming stream of squonking, screeching blurt, sometimes sounding like actual jazz lines, but largely slicing through the air like a chain of razorblades, backed up by the PCP-fueled motorik beats and grungy riffage being slammed out on Kneubuhler's self-built guitars. For years 16-17 was known to only a few in the underground, despite bonding with Swans, whom they supported on a couple of tours, and even working with Alec Empire's Digital Hardcore label on an Ep that the label released in 1998. Now we know, and these early, crucial recordings are finally available to be heard, an essential piece of the extreme music puzzle. This stuff still holds up in a big way, an utterly crushing assault of vicious freejazz hypnocore harshnoise destruction. Mega recommended. The anthology consists of two CDs packaged in jewel cases, and contained in a printed cardboard slipcase.
Track Samples:
Sample : BROWBEATEN BEAT
Sample : 16-17-Early Recordings
Sample : 16-17-Early Recordings
Sample : 16-17-Early Recordings



1985, THE   self-titled   7" VINYL   (Monoton Studio)    5.98

self-titled IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

This happens to be a different lineup of the Pittsburgh weirdo-wavers The 1985 than the one that featured John Roman from Microwaves on drums; this is regardless a highly enjoyable platter of energetic, zonked no-wave/post punk that sounds like it was vomited out of some back alley behind the Rhode Island School Of Design. The three songs on here are, for the most part, much more Public Image Ltd. than Arab On Radar, but fans of skronky, abrasive dance punk will probably still dig this in a big way. "The Long Weekend" is just so damn catchy with it's pounding motorik disco beat and wailing guitars coming together with Joe Vernet's yowling vocals, it sounds a bit like a noisy P.I.L./krautrock hybrid and it works great. And "Latin Watches" brings a mutant 80's dancefloor vibe to a spazzy assault that rolls off of these grooves like a sugarshocked combo of Chinese Stars and the VSS. The b-side is the corker, however, a sidelong track called "(Even) More" that in any sane worl d would have been a top 10 noise pop/no wave/dancepunk hit. This jam is unbelievably catchy, and marries a simple but crunchy guitar riff and retro synthoid electronics over a wonderfully inhuman electronic drumbeat while soft warbly vocals coo melodically and feedback and other noisy buzzing swirls around. Super dreamy and hooky, with a droning melody that'll be stuck in yer skull for at least a day or two.


1985, THE   Nerve Eighty   CD   (Progeria)    11.98

Nerve Eighty IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Before Microwaves, before Zombi, there was The 1985, a heavy, skronky noise rock band from Pittsburgh that was around from 1996 to 2000. The band released two LPs while they were around, one of which was 1999's Nerve Eighty, a burly bit of nervous aggro that weilds a loud, angular attack that's a bit heavier than much of what was coming out of the noise punk scene around that time. Along with their tourmates in Arab On Radar, The 1985 were originators of that blend of twitchy, distorted guitars and the dancey rhythms of experimental punk outfits Crass, Gang Of Four and Public Image, Ltd., but these guys were the heavier of the bunch, their guitars bashing out some great rusted-out riffage and grating electroshock feedback while the rhythm section would dig in with heavy grooves that anchored their chaotic, sexually charged freakouts. Kinda has a Jesus Lizard/Big Black feel to it at times. We just picked up some copies of this disc from John Roman from Microwaves, who had previously played drums in The 1985, and you can hear where Microwaves took the herky-jerky noise of his former band and added a serious dose of metallic skullburn to create the thrashy no wave of the 'Waves. Pretty crucial noise rock for fans of Microwaves, Arab On Radar, and Skin Graft noise punk.
Track Samples:
Sample : cosmo with children
Sample : she works weekends
Sample : warning shot



20.SV   Acid Vomit Human Genocide   CD   (Autumn Wind Productions)    6.50



A sort of an apocalyptic industrial soundtrack project, 20.SV is one Lebanese electronic composer Osman Arabi, who has released a number of cassettes on various deep-underground noise labels around the globe over the past few years as well as collaborating with black noise technicians Stallagh. This is the first 20.SV release on disc, though, and it's a gripping five-part suite of menacing ambient designs that channel visions of post-industrial/post-nuclear horror through grim power electronics frequencies and grueling low-end distortion drones, all of which succeed in evoking images of dead cities and an atmosphere poisoned by radiation, and toxic winds screaming across the charred landscape of a nuclear holocaust. Electronic sinewaves are warped into emulating the sounds of computer-guided bombs being dropped on cities, and grinding mechanical textures are unleashed into bulldozing loops that crush their way across the withered landscape. Acid Vomit Human Genocide is ultra bleak, extremely imaginative heavy drone/industrial/abstraction, equal parts Sutcliffe Jugend and Gruntsplatter and post-apocalyptic film soundtrack, with whooshing electronic phasing swooping down over dark heavy ambient drones and weird alien feedback frequencies manipulated into terrifying FX. An amazing album of horrific industrial drone visions that will haunt you. Packaged in a full color wallet sleeve.


20.SV   Insects   CD   (Autumn Wind Productions)    6.50



It's not all that often that we're presented with extreme music from the Middle East, but when we are, it's almost always an intense experience. This black-industrial project is the brainchild of Lebanese artist Osman Arabi, whose last CD (the excellent Acid Vomit Human Genocide) really impressed me when we first discovered it a couple of months ago. That album contained a series of harsh, hellish post-apocalyptic visions, mixing nightmarish synth ambience, tightly controlled feedback loops, and heavy duty low-frequency drone into radioactive dronescapes. Heavy and unsettling, it's easy to see why blacknoise terrorizers Stalagggh chose to collaborate with 20.SV on remixes of their recordings. With this new disc, 20.SV returns with a single 30+ minute track titled ""Insects"" that continues to map out those bleak, hypnotic landscapes of industrial wreckage and threatening alien frequencies, and conjures slow-drifting clouds of shrill feedback tones and shimmering metallic buzz that swirl over ominous minor-key synthesizer doom and distorted low-frequency throb. The track ebbs and flows across it's half hour expanse, and the feedback textures and waves of distortion are carefully sculpted into a strange environment that reminds me of Bastard Noise gone dark-ambient drone. From the excellent, eerie wasp photography in the package design, to the intricately assembled sound design, it's as if 20.SV was trying to create an ambient-blacknoise soundtrack to a nature program documenting malevolent insect life on some distant planet. Packaged in a full color wallet sleeve.


20.SV   Apocalyptic Desert   CD   (Autumn Wind Productions)    6.50



20.SV has been releasing these grim aural prophecies for a couple of years, and Apocalyptic Desert is the third disc in the series, following Acid Vomit Human Genocide and Insects (both of which we also have in stock). It's the product of Lebanese experimental noise artist Xardas, who is also behind the ritualistic black industrial of Seeker, one of his other projects that we carry here at C-Blast. Where Seeker is heavy and bleak and drenched in black ambience, 20.SV is pure chaos, an assault of over the top harsh industrial noise that evokes visions of a blasted and ruined Earth poisoned by radioactivity and festering with the rotting refuse of humanity. All of these discs are challenging and extreme even by noise standards, and this one doesn't slack. One drawn out twenty-eight minute track of hideous low-end grind, decayed radio signals drifting over ultra-distorted guitar noise, overdriven synths and harsh, corrosive noise, distorted subsonic rumbles, electrical pulses and generator hum rising off of charged machinery, menacing midrange drones, and vicious bursts of high-end feedback and digital filth, occasionally revealing snippets of looped guitar melody rotting in the hulking mass of evil electronic scum that 20.SV strafes his apocalyptic wasteland with. Yikes. Gutteral, bestial vocals emerge as well, totally inhuman and sounding like the puking grunts and leprous vocalizations of some gamma-blasted hellspawn. It's like old Ramleh on steroids with psychotic goregrind vocals squirting out of the radioactive noise - terrifying, intensely grating stuff. Along the lines of projects like Navicon Torture Technoligies and Messiah Complex, but even more caustic. Comes in a full color wallet sleeve.
Track Samples:
Sample : Apocalyptic Desert



303 COMMITTEE   Nine Angles   CDR   (Inam)    5.98



This new duo featuring Ryan Huber of Inam Records / Sujo / Olekranon / Vopat is easily the darkest thing that I've heard from him, a blackened noise outfit that has already released a couple of super-limited Cdr titles that are already long out of print. Nine Angles is as bleak and cancerous sounding as any of the previous 303 Committee recordings I've heard, a fusion of haunting minimal soundscapes formed out of field recordings and subdued synthesizer drones, and more intensive ambient workouts that center around the use of roaring low-end keyboard drones, waves of crushing over-modulated distortion, and simple creepy melodies that spin out of the darkness, short loops of minor-key creep that soar over the gleaming twilight hum of the synths and undercurrents of crackling black electricity like stray bits of a black metal song intro that has been torn from it's moorings. Each of these four lengthy tracks slowly build into walls of blown-out sound, starting with clusters of melodious drone but gradually spreading outward into heavier, more distorted plumes of sound, somewhere in between Tim Hecker at his most apocalyptic and Theologian at his most mournful as they offer up shimmering nebulae of discordant electronic notes within storms of crushing black static. It's the final track "Bride of the south" where the field recordings fully come into play, the thirteen minute piece constructed out of mysterious sound events and environmental noises, distant roaring synthdrones and swirling clouds of low-fi grit, a sprawling dark ambient soundscape that is both menacing and starkly beautiful, it's gorgeous, grainy drift-visions draped in dead-grey Satanic imagery. Fantastic stuff. Like everything released through Huber's Inam imprint, Nine Angles is released in a tiny edition of just thirty-three hand-numbered copies, and comes in a textured sleeve with a vellum insert.
Track Samples:
Sample : Nine Angles
Sample : Bride Of The South
Sample : Aeons



324   Across The Black Wings   CD   (HG Fact)    11.98

Across The Black Wings IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

This is a recent 3-song EP disc from Japan's finest executors of TERRORIZER/NAUSEA -influenced grindcore thrash, manned by former members of MELT BANANA, CROW, and a host of other Japanese thrash faves. These tunes are freaking FAST but shift away from the ultragrind DISCORDANCE AXIS worship of their previous releases...on this EP, 324 incorporates some heavy fucking crustcore velocity with cool melodic undertones (sort of like TRAGEDY), while still launching into those insane grindcore blasts. One of the best Japanese grind acts out there.


324   Boutoku No Taiyo   LP   (HG Fact)    11.98

Boutoku No Taiyo IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

We picked up a stack of the hard-to-find HG Fact release of 324's Boutoku No Taiyo LP direct from the band's Japanese label, HG Fact at a really cheap price; what we weren't aware of though was that these records all suffer from varying degrees of shelf wear, which we want to make very clear to anyone thinking about picking up this record. The vinyl is all in mint, unplayed condition, but the jackets for these records all have a visible amount of wear along the top half of the cover - not so bad that the artwork is messed up or anything, but enough is there that the jackets are basically "used" quality. That said, this is a crucial dose of crushing, vaguely arty Japanese grindcore, and we're offering these up SUPER CHEAP...we've only got 20 copies of the vinyl and will not be getting these back in stock!
The crucial 2000 mini-album from one of Japan's heaviest grindcore trios. Featuring former members of Melt Banana, Satanic Hell Slaughter, and Crow, 324 dropped this 14 song, 24 minute blast of primal blast energy at the turn of the century, and it remains one of the band's most crushing statements...noisy, controlled, HEAVY grindcore with an early Napalm Death/Earache Records vibe, ferocious and punk as fuck while having these really developed lyrical and thematic ideas happening alongside some amazing hooks and inventive riffing. Every song here is a skullcrusher, blasting out ultra catchy downtuned riffs over D-beat drumming and whirlwind blastbeats, deep, monstrous vocals, grooving sludgy breaks, and a general apocalyptic vibe, like a Japanese answer to the crusty grind of Terrorizer and Disassociate. There aren't that many bands that manage to be this artful and unrelentingly brutal and catchy at the same time, and it's not that surprising that Discordance Axis were BIG advocates for these guys while they were still around, going so far as to release this slab of grind genius on vinyl in the US via DA singer Jon Chang's Studio Grey imprint, and tour with 324 in Japan. Definitely something you should check out if you're into the more cerebral grind of bands like Pig Destroyer, Discordance Axis, Napalm Death, and Disassociate.


324   Rebelgrind   CD   (HG Fact)    15.98

Rebelgrind IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

324: our favorite Japanese grind band going right now, with their noisy, apocalyptic rush of metallic, ultraheavy grindpunk and dark vibes. Seriously awesome heaviness that's just as great as Napalm Death's best, and easily the most ferocious grind band to emerge from Japan since Die! You Bastard. Rebelgrind is the second full length from these Tokyo denizens after 10 years of crushing heads, and it delivers everything these cats excel at, moving between endtime hardcore that reminds us of Integrity and Tragedy, brutal and raw grind straight outta the Earache school of blast-thought, anthemic rock riffs transmitted at bone powdering density, and immense throat destruction that serves as a megaphone of nihilistic visions. Quality. 14 songs in half an hour. Dressed in weirdly esoteric artwork. Pretty crucial for fans of Napalm Death, Disassociate, Discordance Axis, Pig Destroyer, and any insane fast and crushing heaviness!


324   Boutoku No Taiyo   CD   (HG Fact)    17.98

Boutoku No Taiyo IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

The crucial 2000 mini-album from one of Japan's heaviest grindcore trios. Featuring former members of Melt Banana, Satanic Hell Slaughter, and Crow, 324 dropped this 14 song, 24 minute blast of primal blast energy at the turn of the century, and it remains one of the band's most crushing statements...noisy, controlled, HEAVY grindcore with an early Napalm Death/Earache Records vibe, ferocious and punk as fuck while having these really developed lyrical and thematic ideas happening alongside some amazing hooks and inventive riffing. Every song here is a skullcrusher, blasting out ultra catchy downtuned riffs over D-beat drumming and whirlwind blastbeats, deep, monstrous vocals, grooving sludgy breaks, and a general apocalyptic vibe, like a Japanese answer to the crusty grind of Terrorizer and Disassociate. There aren't that many bands that manage to be this artful and unrelentingly brutal and catchy at the same time, and it's not that surprising that Discordance Axis were BIG advocates for these guys while they were still around, going so far as to release this slab of grind genius on vinyl via DA singer Jon Chang's Studio Grey imprint, and tour with 324 in Japan. Definitely something you should check out if you're into the more cerebral grind of bands like Pig Destroyer, Discordance Axis, Napalm Death, and Disassociate.


324   Across The Black Wings   CD   (HG Fact)    12.98

Across The Black Wings IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

At long last, we've got the 324 back catalog on Japanese label HG Fact back in stock. Due to the crazy upward rise of the yen, these titles are more expensive now than the last time that we had them in stock, and it also looks like we're one of the only U.S. shops that have these on the shelves right now.
This is a recent 3-song EP disc from Japan's finest executors of TERRORIZER/NAUSEA -influenced grindcore thrash, manned by former members of MELT BANANA, CROW, and a host of other Japanese thrash faves. These tunes are freaking FAST but shift away from the ultragrind DISCORDANCE AXIS worship of their previous releases...on this EP, 324 incorporates some heavy fucking crustcore velocity with cool melodic undertones (sort of like TRAGEDY), while still launching into those insane grindcore blasts. One of the best Japanese grind acts out there.
Track Samples:
Sample : boutokunotaiyo
Sample : kage wo samayou



324   Boutoku No Taiyo   CD   (HG Fact)    15.98

Boutoku No Taiyo IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

At long last, we've got the 324 back catalog on Japanese label HG Fact back in stock. Due to the crazy upward rise of the yen, these titles are more expensive now than the last time that we had them in stock, and it also looks like we're one of the only U.S. shops that have these on the shelves right now.
The crucial 2000 mini-album from one of Japan's heaviest grindcore trios. Featuring former members of Melt Banana, Satanic Hell Slaughter, and Crow, 324 dropped this 14 song, 24 minute blast of primal blast energy at the turn of the century, and it remains one of the band's most crushing statements...noisy, controlled, HEAVY grindcore with an early Napalm Death/Earache Records vibe, ferocious and punk as fuck while having these really developed lyrical and thematic ideas happening alongside some amazing hooks and inventive riffing. Every song here is a skullcrusher, blasting out ultra catchy downtuned riffs over D-beat drumming and whirlwind blastbeats, deep, monstrous vocals, grooving sludgy breaks, and a general apocalyptic vibe, like a Japanese answer to the crusty grind of Terrorizer and Disassociate. There aren't that many bands that manage to be this artful and unrelentingly brutal and catchy at the same time, and it's not that surprising that Discordance Axis were BIG advocates for these guys while they were still around, going so far as to release this slab of grind genius on vinyl via DA singer Jon Chang's Studio Grey imprint, and tour with 324 in Japan. Definitely something you should check out if you're into the more cerebral grind of bands like Pig Destroyer, Discordance Axis, Napalm Death, and Disassociate.
Track Samples:
Sample : Broken Clock
Sample : Glenghost
Sample : Silence Before Silver Screen



3EEM   Essence Of 3EEM   CD   (Small Voices)    7.98

Essence Of 3EEM IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

More unique, electronic/post-rock/avant pop from our current favorite Italian label, Small Voices. This debut full length from Italian trio 3EEM (comprised of saxophonist Fabrizio Bazzoni, guitarist Danilo Corgnati, and electronics tweaker Valerio Zucca Paul (aka Abstract Q) combines infectious avant-dub, spacey trip-hop beats, airy guitar drones a la Labradford , and circular krautrock with alternating melodic tenor sax lines and manic, nervous free blowing. The end result is totally hypnotic, like bits and pieces of a 60's spy film on endless repeat mashed up with electronic noise and static white-outs, trumpet solos, and Middle Eastern melodies. Pretty killer stuff, especially the album closer, "24 Apes", which clocks in at 24 minutes of loopy, jazzy, noisy bliss, like Fennesz and Scorn jamming with Massive Attack and Mogwai. An excellent hybrid of avant-jazz and post rock.


400 BLOWS   Angels Trumpets And Devils Trombones   CD   (GSL)    14.98



The anxiously awaited new full length from LA's 400 BLOWS. Ignore the hype: these guys offer up a potent brand of stripped down, minimalist, mathy punk sludge, equal parts modern LA punk, Wire, and Eyehategod, all rapid sideways drumming, perforating atonal guitar, and singer Skot's sneering nasal assault. This new shit is way catchier than previous releases; a bunch of songs on Angel's Trumpets... almost sound like sing-songy schoolyard taunts, but with crushing axe riffage,obviously. A bruising follow up to Black Rainbow.


5IVE   Hesperus   CD   (Tortuga)    13.98



A long awaited followup to The Telestic Disfracture from 2001 (has it really been that long?), the Boston drum n' guitar duo 5ive are back with a seven-song monolith of psychedelic riff metal that presents some of their most beautiful and earth-moving music yet. Hesperus surrounds itself in the misty atmosphere of the coastal environs of Gloucester, Massachusetts, from the evocative photos of the Gloucester waterfront that cover the album's digipack, to the song titles "Kettle Cove", "Big Sea", and album opener "Gulls", and taking it's titular inspiration from the classic macabre poem "The Wreck Of The Hesperus" from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The album kicks in with a searing machine drone as rumbling guitar distortion looms into view, and then erupts into thunderous drumming and massive riffing of "Gull", huge droning riffage and melodic guitar lines screaming through a wall of dense fuzzbox grit - and sounding more like a heavier, more hypnotic drone-rock version of Kyuss than I ever remember them sounding like before. From there, 5ive move into the vaguely arabesque swirl of "Big Sea", swirling drones and restrained rolling drums underpinning a series of gigantic repetitive riffs and proggy changeups. The rest of the album follows the same path, the two musicians crafting mighty riff/percussion raveups that go from quietly subdued valleys of simmering post-rock to explosive stoner-metal trances, and despite the hypnotic quality of the riffs and the absence of vocals, the ride is consistently engaging as Charlie Harrold thunders his way through constantly evolving rhtyhms and guitarist Ben Carr pairs his fuzzslab riffing with multilayered melodies and tons of drugtrip FX boxes. These guys were always one of my favorite instrumental bands, emitting a sonic power that totally belies their two- piece status. All of their releases are pretty essential if yer into this kind of hypnotic heavy rock, so check this out if the music of Kyuss, Loop, Pelican, Old Man Gloom, Earth and Tarantula Hawk all share shelf space in yer music collection. The CD is packaged in a high-gloss digipack with a big foldout 11" x 17" poster.
Track Samples:
Sample : Big Sea
Sample : 5IVE-Hesperus



5IVE   Versus   CD   (Tortuga)    10.98



Versus, 5ive's follow up to last year's rad split 12" with Kid 606, is actually just a digital reformatting of the 2 songs that made up the 5ive side ("Reso-I" and "Soma"), with the addition of two excellent remixes from Justin Broadrick (Jesu/Godflesh/Final) that bookend the 5ive tracks. The 5ive originals are mighty instrumental jams, possessed of the same dusty, Morricone-esque spirit as Earth's last two albums that cranking the distortion up when the duo kick into crushing dirge metal mode. The band's seemingly spare guitar/drums two-piece setup is pretty much forgotten by the time they launch into the first devestating riff. The album opens with "Soma Stage 1", the first part of Broadrick's remix, a spacey dirge that has that signature Jesu/bliss feel to it. That's followed by "Reso-I", a heavy and hypnotic slab of western-tinged post-rock with repetitive jangly guitar figures and rolling drums that builds into a massive meditative riff that rolls along on a huge droning groove. The second song, "Soma", is a devestatingly heavy sludge/math/post-rock avalanche that focuses on a wonderfully ominous central riff that builds in intensity until it crumbles into an effects-heavy spaceout. Broadrick's "Soma (Stage 2)" remix wraps Versus up with an eight minute heavy blissout that's worth picking up the disc for on it's own, a beautiful epic riff repeated over and over as continuous layers of backwards swirling keyboards and feedback are added, very Jesu/Mogwai like. Very cool!


666 VOLT BATTERY NOISE   Audio Super-Predator   CD   (RRRecords)    9.98



Another richly-textured distortion storm from RRR by someone called 666 Volt Battery Noise. I wasn't able to track down any information on this project anywhere, which sucks as I really enjoyed the turbulent brain-flattening this hour long disc laid on me. The four tracks on here are LONG, ranging from 9-23 minutes, and each one is a dense ocean of swarming, squiggling, fried-out distortion and feedback tones in the vein of The Rita, Cherry Point, and Knurl, with what sound to me like vocals run through a mile-long chain of distortion pedals. Now, maybe it's only because I've been listening to so much of this type of stuff lately that it's fucking with my inner ear, but 666 Volt's wash of noise feels a little, uh, softer, more hypnotic than what The Rita and Cherry Point are doing; listening to this disc makes me feel like someone has tossed my head into a concrete mixer filled with steel wool pads and set it to spin, a ""soft"" but abrasive blast of white noise enveloping your senses, the sound of billions of pixelated insects swarming in and around your skull, your third eye opening to reveal an eternity of buried riffs and melodies. Like I said, it's probably just me; this is some heavy duty distortion wipeout aktion. Packaged in a xerox-damaged wallet sleeve in the archetypal PURE/RRR steez.
Track Samples:
Sample : 666 VOLT BATTERY NOISE-Audio Super-Predator



666 VOLT BATTERY NOISE   Audio Super-Predator   CD   (RRRecords)    9.98



Another richly-textured distortion storm from RRR by someone called 666 Volt Battery Noise. I wasn't able to track down any information on this project anywhere, which sucks as I really enjoyed the turbulent brain-flattening this hour long disc laid on me. The four tracks on here are LONG, ranging from 9-23 minutes, and each one is a dense ocean of swarming, squiggling, fried-out distortion and feedback tones in the vein of The Rita, Cherry Point, and Knurl, with what sound to me like vocals run through a mile-long chain of distortion pedals. Now, maybe it's only because I've been listening to so much of this type of stuff lately that it's fucking with my inner ear, but 666 Volt's wash of noise feels a little, uh, softer, more hypnotic than what The Rita and Cherry Point are doing; listening to this disc makes me feel like someone has tossed my head into a concrete mixer filled with steel wool pads and set it to spin, a "soft" but abrasive blast of white noise enveloping your senses, the sound of billions of pixelated insects swarming in and around your skull, your third eye opening to reveal an eternity of buried riffs and melodies. Like I said, it's probably just me; this is some heavy duty distortion wipeout aktion. Packaged in a xerox-damaged wallet sleeve in the archetypal PURE/RRR steez.


7 MINUTES OF NAUSEA / PTAO   split   3" CD   (Merciless Core)    12.98

split IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

I'm amazed I was able to get this in stock - this incredibly hard to find 3" CD was released as a joint venture between Bizarre Leprous Productions and Merciless Core Records, two labels from the Czech Republic whom I've never had any luck with getting stuff from in the past, let alone a 3" CD released back in the late 90's that features two of the sickest improv-grind outfits of all time! Yeah, this disc is a must-have for fans of extreme grind/noisecore/noise, with one long track each from the Czech freegrind band PTAO and legendary teutonic destroyers 7 Minutes Of Nausea. PTAO starts it off with their untitled ten-and-a-half minutes of total blasting carnage, a demonic grindscape of echo-chamber grindcore, freeform punk slop, samples of orchestral Mozart pieces, and blast after blast of ripping formless death metal set to puree. This stuff is fucking awesome, and any fan of weirdo grindcore or noisecore who hasn't heard PTAO is going to crap themselves once they hear these maniacs.
Anybody that's already a fan of "noisecore" is undoubtedly familiar with 7 Minutes Of Nausea (or 7MON, as they are frequently abbreviated). Along with Anal Cunt, Meatshits, and Fear Of God, these guys were not only one of the more well known noisecore bands, but also one of the weirdest. Their contribution to this split is "Feedbackselfdeath", and like the PTAO material, it's one long track made up of a bunch of microsecond outbursts, but their stuff is even less musical and more bizarre than the PTAO side...it's tough to get across how fucked this actually sounds, and how psychotic it sounds: the whole track is a series of rumbling subsonic noise that might be a group of bass drums being tossed down an elevator shaft, over which the band layers harsh, sudden blasts of distorted guitar riffing that is blurred into pure noise, and creepy Gregorian monk chants. Each "song" is over in a matter of seconds, with those creeped out monk chants filling the space in between blasts. The vocals that are splattered over this fucked-up soundscape totally take the cake, though...switching between brutal gutteral grunts, deranged muttering and Infest-esque roaring, Mick from 7 Minutes Of Nausea delivers some of the craziest vocal sounds I've ever heard. The guy sounds like he's literally schizophrenic. If you're looking for some really way-out grind or intensely heavy free-noise stuff, this disc is right up yer alley. Comes in a 3" fold-out sleeve.


7000 DYING RATS   Forced Boat   7" VINYL   (Scenester Credentials)    5.98

Forced Boat IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Talk about a troubled release...this 7"" from Chicago comedy grinders 7000 Dying Rats was recorded back in 2002 but due to an assortment of pressing plant problems, many of which stemmed from the band's ""appropriation"" of various pop culture flotsam, this EP was delayed for years, and finally saw the light of day in 2006. It's kinda weird hearing 7000 Dying Rats back in action all of a sudden, with this ""lost"" EP finally coming out, the new Season In Hell album that just showed up, and the band being featured in a recent article on ""comedy grind"" in Decibel magazine. I thought their last album, Sound Of No Hands Clapping, was genius, a bizarro cut-n-paste freakout somewhere in between the Butthole Surfers, Anal Cunt, Naked City, and Lawnmower Deth, so all of this new Rats action is more than welcome.
The Forced Boat 7"" is a kind of hodgepodge of 7000 Dying Rats insanity, a collage of brutal grinding blurr, funereal violins, tape montages, with the EP's centerpieces consisting of a manic, drunken cover of 'Any Way You Want It', and a meth'd up rendition of Sabbath's 'Paranoid', the first half of which is delivered with distorted megaphone vocals and crunchy guitars, but then the second half is played on acoustic guitars and banjos. This is a very weird, very goofy EP that's not necessarly the best introduction to the Rats delirious assault (I'd direct the curious to check out either Season In Hell or Sounds Of No Hands Clapping first), but if you're already into these guys, the 10 minutes or so of ridiculousness on this platter is pretty zonked. Released in a a limited edition pressing of 440 copies on clear pink colored vinyl, in a full color sleeve with do-it-yourself 7"" center labels sporting the faces of Don Knotts and Steven Segal and an insert sheet describing the full saga of the EP's release.


7000 DYING RATS   Season In Hell   CD   (Hewhocorrupts, Inc)    14.98



Chicago's 7000 Dying Rats return after five years of silence with a new full length of their self-styled ""comedy grind"" heaviness, loaded with 28 tracks of grindcore/goofball skit/genre-fucking weirdness that's so full of in-jokes that I gave up trying to keep up, and just let their insane, Naked City-style approach sweep me along in a wave of weirdness. If the album cover depicting a bat-winged Indian god farting bats out of it's ass in Hell doesn't clue you in to the brilliance of Season In Hell, you'll get the picture by song three. When these guys play it heavy, it's crushing, like with the ridiculously Slayerized deathcore of second song ""Altar Of Goat Skulls"", which takes a sudden left turn into cheesy Nightmare On Elm Street style synthesizers and samples from some obscure occult horror movie. Or the plodding Frostian sludge of ""Bigfoot Destroy"". I noticed that the metal songs and sections have a similiar sludgy thrash sound as Lair Of The Minotaur, due in no small part to Lair guitarists Steve Rathbone and Donald James Barraca both playing in 7000 Dying Rats. Weasel Walter from Flying Luttenbachers plays drums as well, along with a constantly shifting lineup that reads like a who's who of the Chicago underground. And of course there are all of the goofy bits in between the heavier stuff, like tons of awesomely cheesy 80's style keyboard interludes, atonal violin scraping, terminally dumb white-boy hip-hop, the heartfelt ballad ""Your Studied Indifference is Duly Noted"", the glammy cock rocker ""Rock n Roll Weapon"" that coulda been an Eagles Of Death Metal b-side. 7000 Dying Rats also turn Sabbath's ""Paranoid"" into a tripped-out techno/bluegrass meltdown, and present us with ""Hellcatcher"", a retarded medley of satanic bass-noise and live recordings of drunken covers of Journey's ""Any Way You Want It"" and Judas Priest's ""Living After Midnight"". “Ballad of Chico” is a hilarious, epic space-prog freakout. And Scott Kelley from Neurosis appears on ""A Real Kneeslapper"", a weird ambient-drone track with Kelley telling a story that I'm still not getting. The whole album is confusing like that, blenderizing off-the-cuff silliness, metal parody, bits of stage and studio banter, and genuine grind/death devestation.


7000 DYING RATS   The Sound Of No Hands Clapping   CD   (Tumult)    13.98



After a long while, this classic piece of retarded genius is back in stock! 7000 Dying Rats have been appearing on the radar a bit over the past year with that killer new album on He Who Corrupts and a 7" that came out on Scenester Credentials, but it was their second album from 2001 that the Chicago comedy grinders released on Tumult that first put them on the map. The band's lineup featured a who's-who of the then-current Chicago metal/noise underground, including Weasel Walter of the Flying Luttenbachers/Hatewave/Lake Of Dracula on drums and Steve Rathbone from Lair Of The Minotaur, and they deliver an often confusional but tightly executed collage of extreme grind, fucked up comedy bits and hilariously stoopid sampling, and some more experimental, abstract shit. The humour tends towards weird in-jokes that probably only the members of 7000 Dying Rats actually "get", but that doesn't make this any less entertaining, especially if you dig it when genre-hopping grind is capable of getting this fucking absurd. "The Queen Of Vermin" opens the album with John Carpenter-esque synthesizers, orchestral samples, and a woman's voice announcing the coming rat apocalypse, and then rips into "This Close"'s crazed onslaught of raw, metallic grind and rippin' NWOBHM riffage. That segues into the retarded hard rock jam "Strippers On Ecstacy", completed with nut-grabbing falsetto crooning, and the even goofier medley of Beverley Hills 90210 samples and noisecore blast of "Rat's Ass (Judas Priestly)". The rest of the album continues on an increasingly ridiculous trajectory of brutal grind and full-blown noisecore spliced with synth pop, surprisingly adept funk jams, comedy skits on par with Neil Hamburger, lot's of 80's hair metal love, creepazoid Italian cannibal movie tributes, tape collage, and brain damaged hip-hop. It's easy to compare this to Mr. Bungle, but these guys are WAY more heavy and brutal, heavy on the grind and ass-rock, performed by terminal heshers completely wasted on cheap beer and dirtweed but still sentient enough to construct some seriously brainfucking cut-and-paste grind damage. Obviously, if you're a fan of bands like Anal Cunt, Mr. Bungle, Fuck...I'm Dead, and even the genre splicing of Naked City (though this shit is way more rough around the edges) and the whacked out death metal of Faxed Head, this'll be right up yer alley.


7000 DYING RATS   Forced Boat   7" VINYL   (Scenester Credentials)    5.98

Forced Boat IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Talk about a troubled release...this 7" from Chicago comedy grinders 7000 Dying Rats was recorded back in 2002 but due to an assortment of pressing plant problems, many of which stemmed from the band's "appropriation" of various pop culture flotsam, this EP was delayed for years, and finally saw the light of day in 2006. It's kinda weird hearing 7000 Dying Rats back in action all of a sudden, with this "lost" EP finally coming out, the new Season In Hell album that just showed up, and the band being featured in a recent article on "comedy grind" in Decibel magazine. I thought their last album, Sound Of No Hands Clapping, was genius, a bizarro cut-n-paste freakout somewhere in between the Butthole Surfers, Anal Cunt, Naked City, and Lawnmower Deth, so all of this new Rats action is more than welcome.
The Forced Boat 7" is a kind of hodgepodge of 7000 Dying Rats insanity, a collage of brutal grinding blurr, funereal violins, tape montages, with the EP's centerpieces consisting of a manic, drunken cover of 'Any Way You Want It', and a meth'd up rendition of Sabbath's 'Paranoid', the first half of which is delivered with distorted megaphone vocals and crunchy guitars, but then the second half is played on acoustic guitars and banjos. This is a very weird, very goofy EP that's not necessarly the best introduction to the Rats delirious assault (I'd direct the curious to check out either Season In Hell or Sounds Of No Hands Clapping first), but if you're already into these guys, the 10 minutes or so of ridiculousness on this platter is pretty zonked. Released in a a limited edition pressing of 440 copies on clear pink colored vinyl, in a full color sleeve with do-it-yourself 7" center labels sporting the faces of Don Knotts and Steven Segal and an insert sheet describing the full saga of the EP's release.


7000 DYING RATS   Season In Hell   CD   (Hewhocorrupts, Inc)    13.98



Chicago's 7000 Dying Rats return after five years of silence with a new full length of their self-styled "comedy grind" heaviness, loaded with 28 tracks of grindcore/goofball skit/genre-fucking weirdness that's so full of in-jokes that I gave up trying to keep up, and just let their insane, Naked City-style approach sweep me along in a wave of weirdness. If the album cover depicting a bat-winged Indian god farting bats out of it's ass in Hell doesn't clue you in to the brilliance of Season In Hell, you'll get the picture by song three. When these guys play it heavy, it's crushing, like with the ridiculously Slayerized deathcore of second song "Altar Of Goat Skulls", which takes a sudden left turn into cheesy Nightmare On Elm Street style synthesizers and samples from some obscure occult horror movie. Or the plodding Frostian sludge of "Bigfoot Destroy". I noticed that the metal songs and sections have a similiar sludgy thrash sound as Lair Of The Minotaur, due in no small part to Lair guitarists Steve Rathbone and Donald James Barraca both playing in 7000 Dying Rats. Weasel Walter from Flying Luttenbachers plays drums as well, along with a constantly shifting lineup that reads like a who's who of the Chicago underground. And of course there are all of the goofy bits in between the heavier stuff, like tons of awesomely cheesy 80's style keyboard interludes, atonal violin scraping, terminally dumb white-boy hip-hop, the heartfelt ballad "Your Studied Indifference is Duly Noted", the glammy cock rocker "Rock n Roll Weapon" that coulda been an Eagles Of Death Metal b-side. 7000 Dying Rats also turn Sabbath's "Paranoid" into a tripped-out techno/bluegrass meltdown, and present us with "Hellcatcher", a retarded medley of satanic bass-noise and live recordings of drunken covers of Journey's "Any Way You Want It" and Judas Priest's "Living After Midnight". “Ballad of Chico” is a hilarious, epic space-prog freakout. And Scott Kelley from Neurosis appears on "A Real Kneeslapper", a weird ambient-drone track with Kelley telling a story that I'm still not getting. The whole album is confusing like that, blenderizing off-the-cuff silliness, metal parody, bits of stage and studio banter, and genuine grind/death devestation.


A BLACK PEOPLE   Red Eyes   CASSETTE   (Death Agonies And Screams)    6.98











Track Samples:
Sample : Isolation
Sample : The Fool
Sample : Death Head



A CROWN OF LIGHT   The Clearing   CD   (Eibon)    11.98



This collaboration between A Crown Of Amaranth and Conversations About The Light came out about a year ago on the Italian label Eibon, but I accidently buried the copies that we got for Crucial Blast in a corner of the C-Blast warehouse, which were just discovered when we were moving everything into a larger location recently. I've been a fan of both of these projects individually for awhile now, releasing a CD-R from A Crown Of Amaranth through the Crucial Bliss series about 2 years ago that was an amazing collection of deep-space drone n' megaheavy metallic abstraction, and carrying multiple releases of intense ambient electronic doom and black drift from Conversations About The Light. So the idea of an album of music created by both artists working together sounded like it was going to be amazing. And it definitely is. The Clearing is a concept album, with each track corresponding to a chapter in a short story that is printed in the 12-page booklet, which follows a character named Espin and his slow, surreal descent into insanity. The music beings with "Power Outage Tapestries", a horrific blast of disembodied black metal guitars floating far off in the blackness behind drifiting minor key synth pulses and fearsome distorted roars, almost sounding like a more ambient Xasthur track. After this, the album makes it's way through a changing landscape populated by serene black ambience, field recordings of dogs barking, skittering electronic textures, solemn melodies being played on what sound like processed electric guitars, crushing stygian drone a la Lustmord or Gruntsplatter combined with the sounds of a shovel digging at earth, psychedelic noise and field recordings stitched together into nightmarish collages, serene post-rock melodies swimming in reverb and drifting lazily backwards, blasts of ghoulish feedback, John Carpenter-style synth pulses, monstrous synthetic industrial dirges, all ending in a flurry of chirping songbirds. It's a deeply unsettling, strangely beautiful slab of abstract blackness, similiar to the last two Vomit Orchestra discs that we listed in last week's update, combining harsh electronic noise, dark ambient, musique concrete, and blackened guitars into a worldess nightmare narrative.


A FINE BOAT THAT COFFIN   Second Nail   LP   (OhNoNo)    14.98



Whoa, this German band's 12" full length tore face off instantly with it's raging, chaotic amalgam of arty, chaotic hardcore and progressive jazz-grind. Featuring members of Calling Gina Clark and The Apoplexy Twist Orchestra, these guys deliver impossibly complex Dillnger Escape Plan-esque fretboard meltdown and convoluted song structures over a relentless, stuttering, dissonant assault of Per Koro style Teutonic hardcore and ferocious wall-of-noise grind that is broken up with passages of spacey, psychedelic jazz and shimmery drones. Imagine a fusion of jazz-grind masters Virulence, screamy modern hardcore like Off Minor, Saetia, and Forstella Ford, and the apocalyptic crush of Systral. This album is totally nuts, a mind-bending anarchic avant-hardcore/grind riot from the same label that brought us that kickass White Mice live CD-R and the Cousins Of Reggae LP. The vinyl is housed in a cool black/white/grey screenprinted jacket with glossy insert sleeve.


A FINE BOAT THAT COFFIN   Morse Zeichen   CD   (Tor Johnson)    5.98



This EP is the first new release from this German avant-grind that we've heard since that blazing LP that came out on Oh No No a couple of years ago. I've been hoping that I'd get to hear some more of their cacophonic, jazz-damaged blastcore, and while this disc is a total tease with only three songs and a mere twelve minutes of music, this stuff really kills. A Fine Boat, That Coffin impressed us before with their churning complex brand of art-damaged grindcore that seemed to combine that 90's fall-on-the-floor Gravity sound with raging grind and even some of that awesome Per Koro/Bremen sound, and these three jams continue in that vein, each song stiched from impossibly complex shredding, eerie samples, insanely technical song arrangements, high pitch shrieking vocals, monstrous slow-motion doom, and seething dissonant riffs that recall the ferocious sounds of bands like Acme and Morser. But those dark jazz parts that the band breaks off into every now and then are what make this really unique. The jazz stuff is an acquired taste, but if the idea of hearing a band that mixes together the tricky jazz-grind of Virulence with the armageddon blast of Systral sounds like a rad idea to you, then this band is what is you need. Dark, proggy, immensely heavy and chaotic, A Fine Boat The Coffin is primo weirdo grind, and this EP has been getting a ton of play around the Crucial Blast office. The disc has a killer visual presentation too, packaged in a full color jewel case and pressed onto a clear cd.
Track Samples:
Sample : Morse Zeichen
Sample : Zettel und Stift



A HAPPY DEATH / SHIVER   split   CASSETTE   (Diazepam)    8.98



  More nihilistic noise from Diazepam, this split tape features two Italian outfits teaming up to deliver some sinister psychedelic skree and charred industrial filth. It's my first time hearing A Happy Death, and their ultra-heavy industrial blackness is good stuff, but I'd already been a fan of Shiver, a solo project from Mauro Sciaccaluga of Italian occult industrial/psych band Ur that delivers a strain of nightmarish, bestial industrial noise that's definitely worth checking out if you're into the more evil-sounding fringes of power electronics.
  Latin prayers and cathedral bells pave the way for A Happy Death's putrid low-fi noise assault on the a-side, a battery of extreme blown-out distorted synth rumble and crackling burnt-out drones that quickly seep from your speakers into a haze of hateful noise. That first track "Laudamus Nihil" is intensely heavy and malevolent, and sort of resembles some low-fi doom metal recording being remixed by Dead Body Love, huge evil sounding riffs surfacing out of the smoldering static and crackling speakershred, oppressive and suffocating and crushing as it devolves into a more atmospheric mass of sound. Waves of fearsome feedback are layered over random environmental sounds, turning this into a murky locust-swarm of corroded noise. The other track is more straightforward, abrasive feedback and distorted crackle sweeping across clusters of tangled tape noise and ghostly percussive murmurs, but it's equally as atmospheric and effective.
  The four tracks on Shiver's side are the first I've heard from the project since his The Taste Of Repent tape on Prairie Fire from a few years ago. The vibe is certainly the same, building up each long track into a seething psychedelic fog of frenzied guttural screams, brain-melting synthesizer drone, and putrescent electronic noise that is possessed by a pervasive threatening atmosphere. At times, this stuff can begin to sound like some particularly nightmarish score to an early 80s British sci-fi gore flick being played back on a decomposing cassette tape. Pretty grim, especially when those hazy, gloomy synthesizer melodies start to peer through all of that rumbling black muck, and the vocals transform into a terrifying, almost black metal-like shriek that rips through the whirling scrap-metal squeal and grating feedback abuse. Slow, pulsating rhythms emerge on later tracks, shifting the sound into a kind of static death-meditation as mysterious voices echo in the depths and swells of sinister metallic guitar melody and dark atmospheric sound rise to the surface. Definitely my favorite stuff from this project so far.
   Like the other tapes I recently picked up from Diazepam, this has a similarly distressed look and feel, lettering hand-scratched onto the surface of the black cassette, the tape housed in an oversized cardstock sleeve, and it's limited to just one hundred copies.
Track Samples:
Sample : A HAPPY DEATH - Laudamus Nihil
Sample : SHIVER - I Want To Die Alone



A MINORITY OF ONE   Prime   LP   (Autumn Wind Productions)    13.98



One of the last releases from Autumn Wind before the label went on hiatus, Prime is the first Lp (actually a reissue of a limited cdr release from 2006) from A Minority Of One, a somewhat mysterious outfit from the Pacific Northwest that includes members of Crash Worship, avant-black metallers L'Acephale, and the experimental neo-folk project Waldteufel. The band delves into abstract, shadowy sound rituals and strange ethno-ambient beatscapes on Prime using electric guitar, bass, handmade drums, e-bow, horns, bull roarer, bells, prayer bowls, field recordings, samples of glass, water, as well as a drum sequencer. They summon up a sumptuous organic ambience made up of circular percussive sounds and whispers, clanking metal and whirring drones, which after a few minutes leads into the primitive boom-bap of an ancient drum machine, taking this into unexpected Scorn-like territory, the big dubbed out beats whirling over another metallic polyrhythm as strange shamanic chanting drifts in, and ending with everything fading out and being replaced with a locked groove of metallic thrum. Not at all what I was initially expecting from this group, but very cool...the second song "A Call To Action" has ominous horns blowing across a vast distance while sampled galloping percussive sounds echo in the foreground, and more and more horns are layered on top of each other, creating a strange surreal soundscape. The following tracks move through more eerie droning strings, more sampled looped sounds of hooves trampling the earth that eventually form into a clicking electronic rhythm; the track "Yarroway" (which originally appeared on the Infernal Proteus compilation from Ajna Offensive) blends over modulated synths with a distorted bass line and a loping, rubbery groove. On "The Newest Of Grey Days", thick distorted bass chords hum like huge blocks of buzzing Earth-ish drone, bits of delicate guitar winding at the edges. The last song "Felld" has another simple looped bass line locked into another infinite groove, swells of buzzing feedback and black amplifier smoke drifting through this buzzing, repetitious ambient piece that's sort of similar to the looped turntablescapes of Strotter Inst., finally fading off as those hoof beats come trampling back in, and end the record with a constant galloping loop repeating over and over. It's a weird experience that should be of interest to enthusiasts of the Glass Throat roster, post-industrial mysticism and occult drone-folk...


A MURDER OF ANGELS   Before Your Eyes   CD   (Annihilvs)    9.99



  Darkest stuff yet from the NYC-based duo of Bryin Dall (of Thee Majesty and 4th Sign Of The Apocalypse) and Derek Rush (Compactor), who have worked together previously in a number of projects ranging from the experimental, surrealist goth of Loretta's Doll to the multi-faceted industrial music of Dream Into Dust and the occult soundscapery of Of Unknown Origin?. Describing their sound "damnbient", the duo craft a series of dank, phantasmal driftscapes on Before Your Eyes that are primed for listening to in the dark. Housed in a gatefold sleeve and printed inner sleeve that feature ghostly blue-tinged images of Victorian-era specters and ectoplasmic emissions, this album is spooky stuff, the ten songs drifting languidly through a midnight fog of distant wavering dissonance and murky drones that curl around cadaverous moans, swells of metallic shimmer and far-off clanking, weird echoing effects and washes of creepy minor key drift, slow washes of cello-like drone creeping low in the mix beneath the sound of strange chittering voices and the rapid flutter of insect-like wings, all of this stuff melting together into a hallucinatory din that stretches across the entire disc.
  It starts off with the ghoulish industrial ambience of "Wading Through Floating Children", as the duo make their way through increasingly creepy underworld of murmurous sound: garbled inhuman voices sputter across fragments of evil orchestral murk like coded messages from an alien tongue; heavenly choir voices ascend over the shifting black waves of over-modulated electronics, like the sound of a High Mass being slowly sucked into a gaping, ravenous inter-dimensional black hole; howling discordant noise and clattering Aube-esque noise becomes caught in vague looping patterns beneath vast black dungeon exhalations and surges of incorporeal EVP; monstrous growls drift up out of that blackness, joined by the sounds of wailing theremin-like tones and brief glimpses of glitchy, Bernard Herrmann-esque strings, as a female voice is heard speaking backwards, out of phase, like a fragmented transmission from beyond the grave. This creepy Coil-influenced post-industrial nightmare comes into sharper focus on tracks like "They Only Eat Themselves" and "Folding The Fabric Of Time", as whirring, meditative mechanical rhythms begin to emerge from beneath a roiling ectoplasmic mass of guttural, demonic mutterings, sinister soundtracky ambience and chthonic death-pulses. One of the creepier albums to come out on Leech's (Theologian) Annihilvs imprint, this inhabits a similar nightmare zone as some of Atrium Carceri's more dreamlike moments, the black ambient of Kerovnian, and Accurst's formless horrorscape Fragments Of A Nightmare; if any of those names perk your ears up, this is one to check out.
Track Samples:
Sample : Wading Through Floating Children
Sample : They Only Eat Themselves
Sample : Damaging The Hidden Light



A SCANNER DARKLY   self-titled   CD   (Gilead Media)    10.98



This killer new Midwestern avant-grindcore outfit debuts with this six song CD of paranoid, cerebral heaviness that is influenced and informed by the dystopian sci-fi works of writer Philip K. Dick. One not need be familiar with Dick's writing, however, to get your hooks dug into A Scanner Darkly's futurist grind/sludge/drone/noise, generated from a surprisingly dense guitar/drums/keyboards/vocals lineup, and rife with lethal post-Slayer thrash riffs, strangely catchy major-key doom rock breakdowns and alien sludge crawl like Black Mayonnaise doing some weird variation on mathy metalcore, squalls of sweet luscious feedback overdrive (these guys LOVE feedback) and squealing free-guitar/amp freakout, bright major-key futuristic fastcore meltdown, with the final looong track "Four Years, False memories" sounding akin to Earth and K.K. Null channeling the sounds of an intergalactic cruiser moving through deep space while a loop of Japanese singing spirals into out into the blackness. Haunting stuff. A Scanner Darkly moves between the spheres of intelli-grind populated by Pig Destroyer and Discordance Axis, monstrous ultra-drone a la Sunn and Earth, Nasum's blazing blastcrust, and a whopping spurt of Melvins worship. A thoroughly weird and wonderful neo-grind blast, we can't wait to hear more from these cats.


A SERBIAN FILM   A Serbian Film   DVD   (Invincible Pictures)    16.98














A SLEEPING IRONY   Your Concrete Eyes   7" VINYL   (Black Horizons)    5.98



Here's some screamy modern hardcore of the darkest variety. The A side is "Your Concrete Eyes", a dirgy, heavy sludgepunk blast with nasty ripped-throat shrieks and splattered in waves of feedback delay. Side B opens with "Cancer Is The Cure", an apocalyptic tantrum of blackened metalcore and crushing riffage ending in brutal noise spasm, and closes with the scratchy,crackling loops and awesomely messy grindthrash of "Step Off The Corpse Path", complete with a bass guitar breakdown that made me want to tear the walls down. Definitely one of the best hardcore EP's I've laid my mitts on in 2005, falling somewhere between modern metallic 'core and TRAGEDY/FROM ASHES RISE crust epics but with some vicious noise and feedback abuse added for good measure. Mastered by Jim Plotkin (OLD, KHANATE), and comes housed in a super nice silkscreened sleeve with neat ink interplay/graphics.


A STORM OF LIGHT   Forgive Us Our Trespasses (RED/BLACK/CLEAR VINYL)   2 x LP   (Neurot)    21.98



Also available on limited edition colored vinyl, swirled red/black/clear wax, in a gorgeous heavy gatefold package that also includes a digital download card for the entire album.
Starting with their 2008 debut and the amazing split with Nadja Primitive North, A Storm Of Light have quickly risen above the rest in a sea of bands following in the footsteps of Neurosis. It helps when you have an actual member of Neurosis on board, and Josh Graham (also of Red Sparowes and Battle Of Mice) brings a very similar apocalyptic vibe to his new band, mixing together slow, leaden metallic heaviness and epic rock steeped in portentous atmosphere. The first album didn't bother hiding it's origins in the end-time sludge-metal of Neurosis, but Forgive Us Our Trespasses, the band's second full length, sees A Storm Of Light evolving their sound into something both doomier and more accessible, thanks in large part to Graham's powerful, emotive vocals. As with the previous releases, the prophetic ecological nightmares of industrial collapse and the almost suffocating sense of foreboding ride on massive waves of tectonic heaviness, but where the debut rose directly from the raw genetic matter of Neurosis with only a subtle extrapolation on that band's signature sound, A Storm Of Light sounds a little more symphonic this time around, with lush electronic textures accompanying the massive riffs, the prominent use of cello and violin on several tracks, and the presence of three female singers who have been brought in to contribute a mix of vocal styles. There's even a banjo that appears on the three "Law Of Nature" tracks that are spread across the album, which also features Lydia Lunch doing a spoken-word thing over the delicate twang and eerie ambience...creepy stuff. One of the other guest singers is Jarboe from Swans, who lends her ethereal voice to two different songs ("The Light In Their Eyes" and "Across The Wilderness"); Nerissa Campbell (who also appeared on Primitve North) sings on another three tracks (" Amber Waves Of Gray", "Arc Of Failure (Law Of Nature Pt 2)" and " Mindnight"). This array of female voices and the dark washes of orchestral strings (courtesy of Marika Hughes of Charming Hostess and Carla Kihlstedt of Charming Hostess/Sleepytime Gorilla Museum) turn A Storm Of Light's massive slow-motion metal into majestic slabs of sound, their oceanic riffage and soaring vocals mixing with soundtrack-style synthesizers and strings and haunting ambience and ultimately sounding fairly different from Neurosis, spacey and cinematic and lush. Of course, Neurosis fans are going to love this, but these guys are definitely growing into their own sound. The disc is gorgeously packaged with a thick booklet and comes in a printed o-card, all of which have the same sort of digitally manipulated photo-collage artwork that appeared on their previous releases, a now signature visual aesthetic that depicts surreal ruined cityscapes and abandoned technology overrun by wildlife and geological upheaval.
Track Samples:
Sample : Alpha - Law Of Nature Part I
Sample : Amber Waves Of Gay
Sample : The Light In Their Eyes
Sample : Midnight



A STORM OF LIGHT   And We Wept The Black Ocean Within   CD   (Neurot)    14.98

And We Wept The Black Ocean Within IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

In the great orbit that surrounds the bright burning creative nexus that is Neurosis, there have been a multitude of musical projects from the members that seem to reach out towards every possible corner of dark, underground sonics. Blood And Time, Tribes Of Neurot, Culper Ring, Harvestman, Red Sparowes, Battle Of Mice, and A Storm Of Light are all occasional projects or full-blown bands that members have branched out with, and out of all of these, A Storm Of Light is the heaviest, and the closest sonically to the massive tribal metal of Neurosis. This new band was formed by Josh Graham, the visual/video artist for Neurosis who has also worked with Battle Of Mice and Red Sparowes over the past few years (all of which are amazing bands, especially Battle Of Mice, whose debut album was one of my favorite albums of 2006 and contained an intensely personal soul excavation through the combined weight of metallic dirge, Julie Christmas' intoxicating vocals, and gripping ethereal rock), and he's joined by members of Tombs, Satanized, and most impressively, the mighty Vinnie Signorelli from Swans/Unsane/Foetus on drums. I'm a megafan of every band that Vinnie has been involved with, and it was his name that initially drew me to check out the debut from A Storm Of Light. I was a little surprised at first by how much this new band sounds like Neurosis themselves, all the way down to Graham's gravelly growl, lumbering minor-key riffs, and the brooding, apocalyptic dirges that drive most of the music on And We Wept The Black Ocean Within; in fact, you could put this on back to back with Neurosis' 2007 album Given To The Rising and stylistically, the two albums would flow together almost seamlessly. There are some special touches that A Storm Of Light apply to their take on this sound, like in "Vast And Endless" where the band lays down a crushing compressed Godflesh like rhythm that continues throughout the album. And the band creates dense layers of electronic noise and cinematic synthesizer ambience in each song that give this a spacier feel than the last Neurosis album. The songs are tied together by dark themes of oceanic destruction and drowning that fit the pressurized dirges, and several interludes appear in between the larger metallic tracks, brief flashes of ominous tidal drift and weeping piano melodies, swirling aquatic drones and symphonies of creaking ships that rumble in the darkness for an eternity. A companion piece to the Neurosis catalog, no doubt, but one with an almost orchestral feel that will fully satiate anyone jonesing for the next Neurosis album to appear.
Track Samples:
Sample : Black Ocean
Sample : Wast and Endless



A STORM OF LIGHT   And We Wept The Black Ocean Within   2 x LP   (Neurot)    19.98



Also available as a beautiful heavyweight double LP gatefold, on limited edition colored vinyl!
In the great orbit that surrounds the bright burning creative nexus that is Neurosis, there have been a multitude of musical projects from the members that seem to reach out towards every possible corner of dark, underground sonics. Blood And Time, Tribes Of Neurot, Culper Ring, Harvestman, Red Sparowes, Battle Of Mice, and A Storm Of Light are all occasional projects or full-blown bands that members have branched out with, and out of all of these, A Storm Of Light is the heaviest, and the closest sonically to the massive tribal metal of Neurosis. This new band was formed by Josh Graham, the visual/video artist for Neurosis who has also worked with Battle Of Mice and Red Sparowes over the past few years (all of which are amazing bands, especially Battle Of Mice, whose debut album was one of my favorite albums of 2006 and contained an intensely personal soul excavation through the combined weight of metallic dirge, Julie Christmas' intoxicating vocals, and gripping ethereal rock), and he's joined by members of Tombs, Satanized, and most impressively, the mighty Vinnie Signorelli from Swans/Unsane/Foetus on drums. I'm a megafan of every band that Vinnie has been involved with, and it was his name that initially drew me to check out the debut from A Storm Of Light. I was a little surprised at first by how much this new band sounds like Neurosis themselves, all the way down to Graham's gravelly growl, lumbering minor-key riffs, and the brooding, apocalyptic dirges that drive most of the music on And We Wept The Black Ocean Within; in fact, you could put this on back to back with Neurosis' 2007 album Given To The Rising and stylistically, the two albums would flow together almost seamlessly. There are some special touches that A Storm Of Light apply to their take on this sound, like in "Vast And Endless" where the band lays down a crushing compressed Godflesh like rhythm that continues throughout the album. And the band creates dense layers of electronic noise and cinematic synthesizer ambience in each song that give this a spacier feel than the last Neurosis album. The songs are tied together by dark themes of oceanic destruction and drowning that fit the pressurized dirges, and several interludes appear in between the larger metallic tracks, brief flashes of ominous tidal drift and weeping piano melodies, swirling aquatic drones and symphonies of creaking ships that rumble in the darkness for an eternity. A companion piece to the Neurosis catalog, no doubt, but one with an almost orchestral feel that will fully satiate anyone jonesing for the next Neurosis album to appear.
Track Samples:
Sample : Black Ocean
Sample : Wast and Endless



A STORM OF LIGHT   Forgive Us Our Trespasses   CD   (Neurot)    14.98



Starting with their 2008 debut and the amazing split with Nadja Primitive North, A Storm Of Light have quickly risen above the rest in a sea of bands following in the footsteps of Neurosis. It helps when you have an actual member of Neurosis on board, and Josh Graham (also of Red Sparowes and Battle Of Mice) brings a very similar apocalyptic vibe to his new band, mixing together slow, leaden metallic heaviness and epic rock steeped in portentous atmosphere. The first album didn't bother hiding it's origins in the end-time sludge-metal of Neurosis, but Forgive Us Our Trespasses, the band's second full length, sees A Storm Of Light evolving their sound into something both doomier and more accessible, thanks in large part to Graham's powerful, emotive vocals. As with the previous releases, the prophetic ecological nightmares of industrial collapse and the almost suffocating sense of foreboding ride on massive waves of tectonic heaviness, but where the debut rose directly from the raw genetic matter of Neurosis with only a subtle extrapolation on that band's signature sound, A Storm Of Light sounds a little more symphonic this time around, with lush electronic textures accompanying the massive riffs, the prominent use of cello and violin on several tracks, and the presence of three female singers who have been brought in to contribute a mix of vocal styles. There's even a banjo that appears on the three "Law Of Nature" tracks that are spread across the album, which also features Lydia Lunch doing a spoken-word thing over the delicate twang and eerie ambience...creepy stuff. One of the other guest singers is Jarboe from Swans, who lends her ethereal voice to two different songs ("The Light In Their Eyes" and "Across The Wilderness"); Nerissa Campbell (who also appeared on Primitve North) sings on another three tracks (" Amber Waves Of Gray", "Arc Of Failure (Law Of Nature Pt 2)" and " Mindnight"). This array of female voices and the dark washes of orchestral strings (courtesy of Marika Hughes of Charming Hostess and Carla Kihlstedt of Charming Hostess/Sleepytime Gorilla Museum) turn A Storm Of Light's massive slow-motion metal into majestic slabs of sound, their oceanic riffage and soaring vocals mixing with soundtrack-style synthesizers and strings and haunting ambience and ultimately sounding fairly different from Neurosis, spacey and cinematic and lush. Of course, Neurosis fans are going to love this, but these guys are definitely growing into their own sound. The disc is gorgeously packaged with a thick booklet and comes in a printed o-card, all of which have the same sort of digitally manipulated photo-collage artwork that appeared on their previous releases, a now signature visual aesthetic that depicts surreal ruined cityscapes and abandoned technology overrun by wildlife and geological upheaval.
Track Samples:
Sample : Alpha - Law Of Nature Part I
Sample : Amber Waves Of Gay
Sample : The Light In Their Eyes
Sample : Midnight



A STORM OF LIGHT   Nations To Flames   CD   (Southern Lord)    13.98



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



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



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



A STORM OF LIGHT + NADJA   Primitive North   2 x LP   (Robotic Empire)    24.98



The debut album from A Storm Of Light (reviewed and listed here at C-Blast a few months ago) was terrific, a killer slab of oceanic-themed Neurosis influenced tribal sludge that delivered both crushing metallic weight and a moody, Swans-esque feel, which makes since seeing as how the band features members of both of those bands. Now we've got this new record from A Storm Of Light, and it's shared with our favorite dreamsludge duo Nadja, with both bands teaming up for a colossal slab of dreamy, industrial-tinged ambient dirge-metal massiveness.
The first side consists of two tracks from A Storm Of Light, titled "Brother" and "Sister". "Brother" starts off, a dark brooding dirge of swirling keyboards and pounding drums, alternating sections of expansive low-end drift, dubby martial snares and deep, crooning male vocals trading off against a dreamy female voice against the bombastic choruses where the band erupts from the brooding Swans-like tension into massive Neurosis/Isis style heaviness. Guitars grind and rumble, the male vocals explode into furious roaring, the drums switch from the glacial industrial pummel to rolling waves of thunderous crush, building into a symphonic dirge that moves in oceanic swells of volume and power. The end of the song drifts off on waves of buzzing cosmic drone, then lurches into "Sister", where the band changes into a more angular, shambling dirge. The vocals are more strained and sinister sounding on this one, and the guitars are matched by an equally heavy layer of howling synthesizers and somber minor key piano, with synths everywhere sparking off whooshing space effects and trippy effects. The heaviness peels back a few minutes in, exposing a lengthy passage of soft guitar playing, distant tribal drums pounding way off behind veils of smoke and fog, the male vocals sounding much like the singer from the Church all of a sudden, the female singer becoming much more prominent as their two voices entertwine, the grinding guitars and rumbling drones finally surging back up to the surface and washing over the song, finishing it out in a crushing, super heavy metallic dirge thats intensely epic and dramatic.
On their side, Nadja follow up with a single massive track called "I Make From Your Eyes The Sun". It begins as a soft, hushed haze of dolorous guitar chords, minimal percussion and muted feedback droning in the background, the drums soft and brushed as a gorgeous piano line slowly enters in surrounded by all kinds of ethereal drones and barely-percerptible chimes and streaks of backwards guitar. It's soft and beautiful and immensely dreamy, and slowly grows into a cloudburst of ultra distorted heaviness signaled by a booming drumroll a couple of minutes in. Less grinding and industrial sounding as some of Nadja's recent stuff, here the guitars are wrapped in glorious gauzy fuzz, thick and syrupy, melting over the minimal mechanical drums, Aidan's dreamy vocals blurred and warped by the swirling waves of fuzz and hiss. A glacial, noise-drenched pop melody is drowned in the dense distortion and caustic buzz, and it starts to sound like a massively distorted Slowdive, all shoegazey and swirled with strange flute-like fluttering, but still extremely heavy, particularly when the riff becomes darker and doomier in the middle, turning into an almost Godflesh-like mecha-groove grinding through the airy feedback and swirling clouds of buzz. Towards the end, this crushing metallic riff is absorbed into a thick soup of blissed out synth, the whole sound boiling down into a smeared expanse of deconstructed rhythms and fractured drum machine pummel, guitars blossoming into formless layers of glorious orchestral drone, until the song finally fades out in a haze of backwards melody and murky buzz.
The third side features the last two tracks, both of which are remix/collaborations between the two bands. The first one has Nadja taking the A Storm Of Light song "Brother" and mutating it into something much closer to Nadja's sound, muting the crushing metallic guitars and pounding tribal rhythms into a tidal surge of low-end rumble and oceanic swells of feedback. At first it's all soft and eerie, the looped guitars washed in reverb and echo, swirling synthesizers, smears of backwards percussion and melody appearing across the blurred expanse of drone, then suddenly an utterly monstrous sludge riff drops in with zero warning, the dirge-metal crush made even heavier by Nadja's layering of additional feedback and synths and oppressive night-sky ambience, the riff and lumbering drums wound into an infinite loop, everything distorted and bathed in effects, and eventually the drums fade off, leaving just the massive swirl of distorted riffage and rumbling feedback floating through space. And on the last track, A Storm Of Light does the reverse, taking the Nadja song and reshaping it into something very different from the original. The riffs and beats are taken apart and restructured into something darker and more electronic sounding, the vocals way up front and much more prominent, the riff barely recognizeable as it's blurred into a creepy ambient buzz, the drums cut up into fragmented beats, all very industrial sounding; when the drums drop out towards the end, it turns into a seriously dark piece of gothic ambience as vocals and looping synth melody and noisy, pneumatic sounds drift skyward, contorting into a weird psychedelic coda at the very end.
And then there is the fourth side, which doesn't have any music; instead, it's an eye-popping laser etching that features an amazingly detailed piece of artwork cut into the vinyl, one of the coolest etchings that I've seen. Both records are pressed on a dark, gorgeous colored vinyl (randomly selected), and the whole thing is presented with one of the coolest vinyl packages that I've seen lately, which is no surprise seeing as how this came out on Robotic Empire. The heavy gatefold jacket features amazing full color artwork depicting a bizarre arctic fantasy world of polar bears and snow owls and ancient crumbling monuments, all resting beneath a vast black sky filled with aurora borealis and distant galaxies, and inside there's a full color lyric insert as well as a CD version of the album that contains all of the music. Seriously recommended!


A STORY OF RATS   Thought Forms   LP   (Eiderdown Records)    19.98



I was blown away by A Story Of Rats when I saw him open for Wolvserpent in Baltimore around a year ago. The solo project of Seattle musician Garek Druss, I only knew him previously for his contributions to Pussygutt's (who of course later changed their name tro Wolvserpent) Sea Of Sand Lp and the drone-metal group Tecumseh. Set up with only a rack of synths, Druss proceeded to construct a wall of black-hole ambience for nearly half an hour, moving from gorgeous cosmic drift to absolutely terrifying black ambience that seemed to swallow up the entire room. It was a perfect lead-in to Wolvserpent's ritualistic performance, and I was instantly lusting for more of Druss's music after that set.
Thought Forms is the most recent recording (and vinyl debut) from A Story Of Rats, and it's a minor masterpiece of pitch-black kosmiche music. That live set that I witnessed had some truly monstrous moments, but for the most part is hewed much closer to a classic space music sound than this album, and I couldn't help but be reminded of the darkest corners of 70's cosmic music (Tangerine Dream's Zeit, etc) once his set was finished. Here, though, Druss delves far deeper into the blackness, crafting two massive side-long tracks that drift ever so slowly through cavernous spaces deep beneath the surface of the earth, glacial feedback creeping in geological time above layers of grit and static and almost imperceptible subsonic rumblings. Above this minimal black dronescape, Druss introduces steady pulses of metallic thrum and distant-sounding growls, the occasional flash of a voice way off in the darkness, and various random environmental sounds. Obviously from that you can glean that this is very much in the vein of classic early 90s Lustmord, and this album really nails that totally desolate vibe that albums like Heresy and The Place Where The Black Stars Hang, especially on the first side. On the b-side, though, Druss does allow some light to creep into the desolate drift, bringing together rhythmic metallic drones and blurred choral voices with huge rumbling drones, creating something similar to the crepuscular industrial drones of Troum...
Eiderdown's release of Thought Forms comes on grey colored vinyl in a limited edition of three hundred copies, beautifully packaged in a textured screen-printed sleeve with artwork by Druss.


A TASTE FOR DECAY   Beneath Black Waters   CD   (Black Goat)    13.98



Hail the Black Goat, once again. All of the stuff that the label has been putting out from this small, incestuous circle of blackdoom/industrial noise obsessed freaks has been consistently satisfying. The debut from A Taste For Decay comes out of that same grimy, necrotic dronecult and features one of the members from Welter In Thy Blood, another of the Black Goat affiliated groups, as well as a guest appearance from Alan Dubin (Gnaw/Khanate/OLD) who lends his demonic vocalizations to one of the longer tracks on the disc. The sound is less metallic and riff-based than the other bands on the label, but these six tracks of occult black ambience and abstract doom are still plenty heavy, blended together into a blackened, nightmare soundscape.
The first track is all filthy, rumbling drones carved out of distorted guitar and molten feedback, cutting through thick grinding industrial blackness that stretches out into infinity, endless oceanic waves of minimal low-end thrum, and disturbed by ominous creaking sounds, like hearing a rotting ship adrift on a stygian sunless sea and navigating towards the keening siren of feedback in the distance.
The next track is a Nurse With Wound-esque nightmare of random creepiness, starting off with weird, monstrous chuckling, clanking chains, scraped metal, a machine-like clang and whir in the background, a bleak sort of factory-drift that slowly reveals huge doom metal guitars approaching in the distance, and murderous whispers conspiring nearby in the shadows. Hypnotic loops of metallic drone and murky synths emerge over time, bells begin to toll ominously way off on the horizon, and it all builds slowly and incrementally into a hellish din of roaring noise and blackened ambience.
An acoustic guitar introduces the third track, the eerie strum drifting over buzzing machine noise and more of that bleak factory atmosphere that seems to pervade the entire album...more muted and subliminal than the previous tracks, this forms into a hushed industrial nightmare of droning strings and far off guitar buzz, which then lurches into the suffocating death industrial drone of the subsequent track.
The eleven minute "Approaching Fresh Throats" features Dubin's ghoulish vokill contributions over a slow-motion cacophony of buzzing bass tones, disembodied whispers stretching out across the abyss, a spacious ghoulish ambience full of deep-earth rumble and dank crypt ambience. The first half of this is seriously creepy and oppressive, but later it shifts into a more expansive soundscape of mysterious field recordings, the patter of rainfall, bells, metal striking metal, with those minimal bass swells continuing to rumble in the background.
The album closes with more eerie field recordings and found sounds, dark expansive ambience laced with the buzzing of black flies, a music box chiming a familiar childhood melody, wind chimes singing softly in the cold wind of an oncoming storm, and as this abstract ambience continues to unfold, a distant swarming buzz can be heard just over the horizon, and a soft metallic whir seeps in as the sound of children playing materializes in the background, the sound haunting at first, but growing more and more sinister as the track comes to a close...
Terrific nightmarish ambience that blends aspects of black ambient and CMI-style death industrial and abstract metallic drone into a hallucinatory smear of sound, echoing the ghastly formlessness of Abruptum, Blue Sabbath Black Cheer and early Sunn in it's heavier moments, but mostly inhabiting a much more subtle realm of shadowy crypt-drift that's still pretty damn enthralling. The disc is limited to an edition of 1000 copies.
Track Samples:
Sample : Charred Remains
Sample : In The Wake Of A Dying Sun



A) TORTURE MECHANISM   Tears Of Glass   CDR   (Balefire Recordings)    7.98



It's been awhile since we were last graced with new A) TORTURE MECHANISM stuff,with ATM pedla-basher Ryan Copeland and company taking recent detours into space-psyche territory with the Desensitized Robots project, but the wait for TORTURE MECHANISM output was well worth it...these three new tracks are pure psychedelic distortion drone|noise, setting forth wooshing black winds coarsing through deep, steel-plated cavern systems and across oceans teeming with tiny electronic lifeforms. Streams of tar-thick amplifier crunch ooze over a creeped out music-box melody, and loops of electronic distortion break apart and scatter in all directions. The third track, "Tears Of Glass", remains my favorite piece of music from Ryan ever, a radiant pool of crystalline, eternally-delayed guitars that stretches across infinity and swirls around a core of molten distortion, sounding like a lost track from MY BLOODY VALENTINE's Loveless featuring a guest performance from U2's The Edge circa-The Joshua Tree, and mixed by Merzbow. A breathtaking, all-too-short piece of supreme shoegaze drone. A varied but cohesive EP (clocking in at just over 14 minutes in length), with arcane artwork designed by Crucial Blast and packaged in a full color DVD case with painted disc.


A) TORTURE MECHANISM   self-titled   CDR   (MT6)    7.98

self-titled IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

After god knows how long, Baltimore psychedelic noise crew A) Torture Mechanism return with a new recording and a heavier, more freaked out sound that will no doubt surprise anyone that remembers their side of the Merzbow split CD from 1999. Stoner electronics wiz Ryan Copeland is still the driving force behind A)TM, joined here by Alex Strama from MT6 Records/Wire Orchestra on assorted instrumentation and substances, but this self-titled full length (almost an hour in length) is a far more diverse release than anything A) Torture Mechanism has done before. The duo takes the core elements of the snakey free improv and early industrial-meets-harsh-electronics sounds of their early releases and dive straight into a jet-black sea of heavy psychedelic noise and ambient industrial drug metal that often uncovers passages of immense, woozy beauty. An arsenal of instruments is used here, everything from synths, guitars, drums, bass, fender rhodes, acoustic guitars, trunpet, various percussion, miles of effects pedals, tone generators, etc., all incorporated into these thick walls of brain melting sludge and cosmic noise, and the sound here is sometimes inpenetrably dense. Some of these songs take on a sinister dronechug hue, sort of like Skullflower playing the blues before slipping into beastly grooves of Michigan-style noise rock with huge growling loops bearing down on you hungrily. There is also a noticeable shoegazer/space rock influence on some of these jams when the heavily processed and delayed guitars come into view , usually revolving around a downcast melody soaked in effects. There is a ton of massively distorted guitar on here, too, much of which is courtesy of Crucial Blast honcho Adam Wright, blasting out miles of roaring amp drone and worshipping at the altar of Broken Flag, along with some diseased, disembodied Iommi style riffing that crawls out from out of nowhere. The last half of the disc is the heaviest, when the band turns into a charred amalgam of Earth 2's drone metal, Wolf Eyes / Universal Indians style junk creep, and lo-fi Hawkwindian psychedelia. Fucking A. Comes in crusty xeroxed cardstock sleeve.


A.H. KRAKEN   self-titled   LP + CD   (In The Red)    14.98

self-titled IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Where did this French band come from? All I know aside from the fact the band hails from Metz, France and that their new self-titled album just came out on In The Red, is that these cats just jackhammered my fucking skull with one of the burliest legit noise rock albums of 2008. Ugh! No metallicisms anywhere on this, this self-titled debut is just pure skuzz-rock. A.H. Kraken heave up a brand of brutal, brain-damaged noise-soaked punk that bears comparisons to crucially greasy bands like Flipper, Pussy Galore (another great noise rock band that has been documented on In The Red), Drunks With Guns, Cherubs, and Brainbombs, while staking out their own sound. This record (and CD - this is one of those dual-format releases where you get a CD version that is included with the vinyl) features a stoned looking young femme on the cover sporting a Slipknot shirt and a rifle, and she appears to be locked, loaded, and ready to blow somebody's goddamn head off. The record features eleven songs that do nothing to eleviate any tension you might be feeling...this music is ugly as fuck, with atonal riffs played over and over again by two guitar players that do not sound like they are using any kind of standard tuning, a bassist that plunks out fat basslines that really don't much to do with whatever songs the rest of the band is playing, which actually gives some of these jams a weird, jazzy feel, and the drummer is the most rock solid part, bashing out simple but bludgeoning beats that firmly anchor the skronky, atonal tunes and busting out some clattery, clanging junkyard percussion that on a couple of songs turns into a Pussy Galore/No Wave type cacophony that is pretty sweet. The vocals are total slop, a male voice that screeches, wails, squeals, all in French of course. I have no idea what he's bugging out about, but with songs called "Kevin Costner Est Un Acteur Americain" and "Drop Sex", I'll let my imagination run wild, thank you very much. Yeah, if you love noise rock, Brainbombs, US Maple, Pussy Galore, Drunks With Guns, Flipper and similiarly brain damaged rock as much as I do, you'll love this record. Recommended!
Track Samples:
Sample : Axe vertical
Sample : Cette fille est a genoux
Sample : De Type caucasien



A.M.   Orla   CD   (Ikuisuus)    14.98



In my eternal quest for total heaviness, I'm frequently brought back to the realm of the drone, that realm where tones and sounds are stretched out into infinity (or as close to infinity as an LP, CD, or cassette will permit...) and are transmuted into pure sound. And there surfaces some sublime sonic heaviness with those who craft the drone, from Phil Niblock's thick washes of minimalist throb all the way to the metallic sub-harmonic drift of Sunn O))), Black Boned Angel, and early Earth. It's in between these reference points that I often stumble across some of the coolest drone music out there, like as with this recent album from New Zealand's Anthony Milton. Some of you might know Milton from his Mrytu! project, which has released a couple of rad, ritualistic black-drone-sludge titles that we've been carrying. But Anthony Milton is probably more widely known for his exquisite drone compositions, which is the setting that we find him in with Orla. The story behind this album is this: Milton was given an Orla reed organ from a friend who picked it up at a garage sale, and after receiving some influence from Charlamagne Palestine's concepts of the religious quality of drone music, took it upon himself to experiment with the Orla organ as the predominant sound source. The result is this amazing album that the Finnish label Ikuisuus just released not too long ago, and it features five tracks of beautiful, entrancing drones that are accompanied only by the occasional recording of rain or other field recording. Each peice ranges from the sublime to the crushing - "As the Rain Comes Down" opens the disc with a radiant series of spiralling chord drones before moving into the subsonic tectonic rumbling and Sunroof-ish overtones of "Sky Voltage" and "Ribscraper", while the final track "Chamber Lull" features only a calm, drifting hum over which Milton plucks and bows away at the spring pegs of the organ keys. At it's loudest and heaviest, Orla achieves the ecstatic buzz of some of Sunn O))) and Earth's most abstract drifts, but actually comes closer to the blown out minimalist fuzzslabs of Growing and Growing side-project Total Life. A beautiful, mind erasing drone album, lavishly packaged in an 8-panel gatefold digipack printed in gold, black, and grey inks, with mysterious images of the organ's interior workings.
Track Samples:
Sample : Ribscraper
Sample : Sky Voltage



A.M.S.G.   Anti-Cosmic Tyranny   CD   (Profound Lore)    13.98



Part of the same Edmonton underground that birthed black/death warmongers Revenge, A.M.S.G. is the latest project from multi-instrumentalist Ryan Page, aka Angelfukk Witchhammer of Gloria Diaboli, Ouroboros and the mindfucking chaos-storm known as Rites of Thy Degringolade. With his latest band (whose name is an acronym for Ad Majorem Satanae Gloriam, or "For the Greater Glory of Satan"), Page remains committed to the intense Satanic imagery and philosophies that have marked his previous work, unleashing a vision of anti-human hatred and evil via a killer, experimental black metal assault across the band's debut album Anti-Cosmic Tyranny. I had already been looking forward to hearing this just based on how much I've dug his previous bands, but when I finally heard this disc and its complex, sometimes saxophone-smeared black delirium, I was totally sold. The music is, unsurprisingly, deeply rooted in the classic, icy blackness of second wave Nordic black metal, but A.M.S.G. take that sound and mutate it into something that ends up sounding new, blending in bits of violent noise and proggy song structures, and adding that dark jazzy quality via the sax into two of these tracks, which unsurprisingly ended up being my favorite on the disc. Anti-Cosmic tyranny opens with a blast of excoriating black noise, a mass of rumbling electronic chaos and low-frequency sonic rot that could easily be mistaken for The Rita, if it weren't for the harsh, monstrous vocals that scream across the blown-out black static. The band roars out of that churning amp-filth into the "Black Rites Of Black Shadows", unleashing a vicious black metal assault with spiraling baroque melodies and somewhat complex arrangements, and tons of grim, subterranean atmosphere. But just as the band drops into one of their slower, lurching passages of discordant gloom, we're greeted by that sudden appearance of saxophone, belting out some killer noir jazz lines over the blackened guitars and roiling drums. From there, the band continues to weave their weirdness into the violent, swarming black metal, making interesting use of chaotic off-kilter breakdowns and complex rhythms, the sudden tempo changes and odd meters recalling the swirling chaos of Page's old band Rites of Thy Degringolade.
There are some moments of straight forward blackened heaviness that absolutely rip, like the wicked old-school blackthrash of "Blood Bone And Blackthorn ", but those are contrasted with songs like "Reincarnation Of The Sun", which features reverb-drenched post-punk guitar smeared in psychedelic backwards sound and strange samples, and for a moment it slips into something that sounds more like the gnarled gloom rock of Circle Of Ouroborus. Some vicious, chittering electronic noise introduces "Sacrificial Chants Of Cosmic Separation", which later explodes into pummeling doom-laden heaviness and cascades of eerie chorus-drenched guitar before slipping into a cyclonic finale of blasting inchoate chaos. There are passages of liturgical chanting run through some weird vocoder-like effect, and the songs are limned with subtle touches of electronic noise, murky sample-laden soundscapes and crazed vocal effects that add further otherworldly ambience. Those wretched, ripped-throat screams deal in some pretty wordy lyrics, too; each song reads like a different Satanic prayer, a surrealist religious vision that Page delivers in a breathless, almost ecstatic fury. This stuff is fucking ferocious, a maniacal black metal assault laced with some killer experimental touches, crafting a strange, jazz-flecked mutation of classic black metal. A killer debut album.
Comes in jewel case packaging with a printed slipcover.
Track Samples:
Sample : Gnosis Granted From The Bloodline Of Fire
Sample : Bone Blood And Blackthorn
Sample : Black Rites Of Black Shadows



AABSYNTHUM   Inanimus   CD   (Marche Funebre)    11.98



Aabsynthum's Inanimus is the most recent release from the cult Russian doom/experimental label Marche Funebre Productions, a label that I've been avidly following since the release of the Beyond Black Void debut album nearly a decade ago. The work of a single guy named Groza Gabriel, this Romanian one-man band plays a mix of orchestral drone music and titanic funeral doom that lurks on the more ambient edges of extreme doom.
The opening song "Initium" is pure gothic drone, ominous feedback, strings, bells and electronic hum stretching out in a wave of cosmic buzz as a minimal piano melody plays mournfully above it for several minutes. That leads into the monolithic "Are Themselves Simple Thoughts...", a twenty two minute chamber doom epic that slowly grows out of the sound of weeping violins and cellos and more of that massive bass drone, then lurches into massive crawling dirge with sparse distorted guitars, 10 bpm drums and monstrous guttural death metal roars.
It becomes apparent that Aabsynthum's music is deliberately monotonous, driven by an inexorable slow-motion death-crawl evocative of the steady, unwavering work of decay on organic matter, or the slow turn of the Earth through the vast uncaring emptiness of the cosmos. It's far from feel-good music like most funeral doom, but Aabsynthum are more droning and minimal than most, rarely introducing new sounds into the rumbling, swirling death-march, save for the occasional surge of Gregorian chant, or angelic choral voices or descending synth melody that marks a slight change in direction for these massive epic songs. Those subdued moments of almost liturgical beauty are pretty impressive, though, like when the androgynous choral voices begin singing in wordless hymn over church organs at the end of "Are Themselves...", and on the parts where the guitars drop out and the music drifts along in a cloud of sorrowful cello and dark keys that remind me of the music of composer Angelo Badalamenti.
To look for dynamics or evolution when listening to the utterly morbid music of Aabsynthum is to miss the point. Deliberately monochromatic, the four songs that make up Inanimus are embodied with the soul-crushing awareness of our ephemeral nature as we all come apart beneath the weight of time. It's absolute desolation, rendered as sonic ritual; anyone into the solemn gravitational crush of early Pantheist, Ea, Thergothon, and Skepticism should check this out.
The disc comes in a jewel case package with a cardboard slipcase.
Track Samples:
Sample : ...At The Hour Of Death
Sample : That Comes Before The Final... Rest
Sample : That Comes Before The Final... Rest



AANAL BEEHEMOTH   Forest Paranoid   CD   (Suffering Jesus)    9.98

Forest Paranoid IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Finland has given us plenty of fucked up black metal bands; Beherit, Impaled Nazarene, Clandestine Blaze, Wyrd, and Trollheim's Grott all spring to mind. It seems to me that the Finnish metal scene is a fertile environment for weird, punky blackness in particular, but while the debut album from Aanal Beehemoth straddles both the blasted catharsis of punk and the negation and atavism of black metal, Forest Paranoid is in it's own weird world, a freakish splooge of psychedelic necropunk that drips filth and junkie sweat from their reverb-soaked jams.
The whole album is whacked out, from the photos of members Deathly Fightor and Crazy Bomber in over-the-top corpse paint and their faces contorted into gruesome kabuki-like grimaces, smoking joints and shooting junk, to their band name (what the fuck does Aanal Beehemoth even mean?), but it's their music that is really frying my brain. A grotty sort of garage punk, fast and loose and catchy as hell, but filtered through utterly weirdo black metal with the vocals jammed through a bunch of trippy effects. Take a look at the influences that the band lists on their MySpace page - Hellhammer, early 80's Finnish punks Kaaos, the outsider garage rock of The Shaggs, Gism, Elvis, and Black Flag...that might give you an idea of what's festering on this album.
The album was recorded on a 4-track, and the raw production fits these damaged blackpunk anthems perfectly; it feels like yer hearing the band jamming at full force down in some slime-covered dungeon, grinding out their three minute buzzsaw anthems in abandon, slinging crazy acid-guitar solos, dreamy organ freakouts that sound like the band dragged a beat up old Hammond into the middle of their cave, mutant blasts of ghostly ambience and electronic effects, and best of all, surprising bits of pretty psychedelic melody and trippy guitar lines that show up in almost every song. Imagine if you took a primal 60's garage punk outfit like the Stooges, or the Sonics, or the MC5, ripped them out of their timeline and transported them to a snowy Scandanavian forest circa now, and left 'em to their own devices with only a crate of Kossu and copies of Darkthrone's Plaguewielder, GISM's Detestation and Celtic Frost's Morbid Angels to guide them through the void. It fits right in on Suffering Jesus alongside the psychedelic 70's rock/black metal of Tjolgtjar, but where Tjolgtjar is deadly serious with his weirdo occultic themes and wonky black-acid-metal, the tongues of the Aanal Beehemoth is firmly planted in it's collective cheek, as evidenced by songs like "From Aanal With Love" and "Loaded Head Empty Veins". Regardless, this freaking rocks.
Track Samples:
Sample : Nuclear Hell
Sample : Penetrator
Sample : Witch Hunt



AARNI   Bathos   CD   (Firedoom / Firebox)    14.98

Bathos IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

This is by far the weirdest thing we’ve heard from the up and coming Firedoom label (an offshoot of Finland’s Firebox Records). Aarni’s art-damaged, lo-fi avant-doom can only barely be described as “metal”, as these space cadets formulate a psychedelic and thoroughly weird doom/psych/folk mutation with ample amounts of acoustic instrumentals and ambient keyboards floating around a bizarre jazzy atmosphere that’s pretty much unlike anything I’ve ever heard, a bizarre brand of spacey n’ pastoral instrumental folk with lots of flute and other “woodsy” instruments, with weirdly delicate, shambling doom metal dirges and eerie soundscapes mixed in with a singer who sounds sort of like a narcoleptic Michael Gira. Imagine the folksy doom of Agalloch mixed with drug-addled synth ambience and the gloomy metal of Solstice and Amorphis. Or Skepticism meeting Deinonychus at a folk/prog festival. Or early My Dying Bride if they were a psych-folk/noise group with Doors-style hammond keyboards. Or Mr. Bungle’s LSD-addled, Lovecraft-obsessed little brother playing Sisters Of Mercy and Katatonia and Jethro Tull covers all at the same time while busting out ridiculous Joe Satriani-style power metal leads. It’s that fucked. There are also parts that remind me of Maudlin Of The Well, but this is far more lysergic than that outfit ever was. Bathos delivers nine tracks in 65 minutes, and the songs flow in and out of each other with little in the way of traditional rock structure, making this album more of a single organic piece of music that has been separated into chapters. Vocals, when they appear (the bulk of the album is instrumental) range from baritone chanting, clean crooning and strange robotic moaning, and occasional death roars or blackened rasps, and the lyrics are in various languages (Finnish of course, but also French, English, Latin, Swedish, and even ancient Egyptian! ), which further amplifies the dreamlike weirdness of the album. Despite all of these different elements being combined together, the arrangements and instrumentation are quite spare and efficient, a sort of futuristic, quasi-post-rock doomjazzfolk mutation….pretty otherworldly-sounding stuff. There’s additional bonus tracks from their 2001 demo that includes an off-the-wall cover of Slayer’s “Dead Skin Mask”. Weird stuff.


AARNI   Tohcoth   CD   (Epidemie)    11.98



Quite possibly the weirdest Finnish "doom" band ever, Aarni returns with their second album of bizarre space-cadet art metal; as always, Aarni's music is almost impossible to nail down. When we listed their last album Bathos a few years ago, I called them "art-damaged, lo-fi avant-doom", and that still holds true for the most part, except with this new album Aarni are rocking a much better production, it's heavier and more full sounding than before, and the band has moved even further away from what you would normally recognize as "doom metal".
Just looking at the album cover and going through the booklet for Tohcoth tells you that this is weird shit. The album cover is a freaked out collage of a cartoonish Lovecraftian octopoid monster wreaking havoc in a huge crowd of people while a tower hovers in midair nearby. The rest of the packaging has cartoon artwork of the band depicting them as weird Vedic multi-armed gods, keytar-playing Victorian dandies and, um, an old lady with hair curlers holding a rolling pin as she wafts out of a crock pot like some kind of genie? And despite listing a full band lineup in the booklet (with the "members" Comte de Saint-Germain, Doomintroll, and Mrs. Palm all included in the credits), I'm pretty sure that Aarni is really just a one-man band, the project of one Master Warjomaa, who also plays in the much less bizarre doom band Umbra Nihil. In Aarni though, Master Warjomaa plays all of the instruments and handles all of the vocals except for the majority of the drumming, and Tohcoth continues his fascination with stitching together old school deathdoom a la My Dying Bride or Paradise Lost with mutant jazz, demented 70's prog rock and krautrock with textured electronic noise and Aleister Crowley samples into a set of seriously fucking weird songs that are obsessed with H.P. Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos. The heavier stuff sounds like a weird bedroom version of old school deathdoom, all plodding guitars and glacial tempos but played over a chintzy drum machine, with the infrequent deathgrunt belted out over top. But the doomy parts are only a small part of this album; the rest of Tohcoth includes some loosely played Pink Floyd -inspired rock with deep, uber-dramatic and Gothy baritone singing that reminds me of Michael Gira from Swans, trippy blackened prog-metal that is kind of like hearing Agalloch on peyote buttons, trumpets, speed metal riffs, clean folk guitars, Caribbean rhythms, lots of awesome 70's style Moog synths beamed straight off of Emerson Lake And Palmer's Brain Salad Surgery and Yes' Tales from Topographic Oceans...man, this whole album sounds like it might have started off as crushing Euro doom metal, but somehow fell into a timewarp and was zapped back to the early 70's where it was discovered by a bunch of shaggy haired prog rockers and rewritten/reshaped into an overblown, overindulgent Lovecraft-obsessed progressive rock epic, but then got zapped back to the present day with it's DNA all scrambled, and became this. It's pretty whacked out. Black Sabbath, Camel, Van Der Graaf Generator, King Crimson, Kayo Dot, Opeth, RObert Anton Wilson, Timothy Leary, Hakim Bey, H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Hermann Hesse, Philip K. Dick, Michael Moorcock, Salvidor Dali, David Lynch, Monty Pythons Flying Circus, David Cronenberg, Patrick McGoohan...."
Patrick McGoohan? The British character actor from the cult 60's series The Prisoner? What the hell. It's just one more strange non sequitur in an album that's freakin' filled with them. Aarni's brain-damaged, prog overloaded is pretty genius though. A wonky mix of epic 70's progressive rock, Skepticism, King Crimson, Agalloch, My Dying Bride, Hawkwind, Candlemass, folk metal, the dark electro-gloom-pop of Beyond Dawn, and Captain Beefheart? It's that weird. And awesome. Awesomely weird.
Track Samples:
Sample : Chapel Perilous
Sample : Iku-Turso
Sample : The Hieroglyph



AARNI / PERSISTENCE IN MOURNING   split   CD   (Witch Sermon)    10.99

split IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

If you asked me to make a list of the most adventurous (and strangest sounding) doom metal bands around right now, both Aarni and Persistence In Mourning would be somewhere at the top of it. The two bands make a good pairing on this new split album that just came out from Witch Sermon, which features five new songs from each outfit, joined by Alessandro Falca's colorful, arcane album art. Both Persistence In Mourning and Aarni infuse their crawling metal with strange occult-tinged imagery and concepts, but they diverge from there into very different directions of slo-mo weirdness.
The first half of the disc features the unique and utterly strange prog-doom of Finland's Aarni, and it's as mystical and convoluted as their previous offerings. The band lurches from heavy, lop-sided doom to bizarre psychedelic soundscapes, where utterly stoned flute solos and gorgeous dark guitar meanders through hazy twilight shadows and field recordings of wild birds and honking geese. Aarni have always been prone to venturing into borderline "pop" sounds within their lysergic doom, and that appears here with the catchy "Land Beyond The Night", with it's part classic doom metal crunch, part gloomy alt rock jangle. But then they follow that bit of quirky doom-pop with the growling deformed sludge of "Lemminkainens Temple", an acid-damaged hallucination that sounds like Saint Vitus playing on broken instruments as they're slowly descending into a severe psilocybin-fueled breakdown. Their last song "Goetia" is the creepiest, the songs of wolves leading into strange verbal invocations and another warped heavy doom-metal freak-out, their heaviest riff dropping in among deep death metal style growls and eerie melodic guitar interludes, someone muttering in Finnish while weird cackling voices emerge in the background, and a church organ plays wildly over a crushing Frost-like dirge and the drummer's wild mix of tribal rhythms and break-beats.
A much uglier sound rears its head when Persistence In Mourning takes over. Creeping through their experimental doom metal shot through with moments of haunted beauty, this is oppressive, isolated heaviness that's based in raw, creeping funereal doom influenced by the likes of Skepticism and Thergothon, but from there Persistence In Mourning drapes it's morose crawling sludge with all kinds of squealing electronic noises and effects. The turgid riffs and minimal drums slowly drift through clouds of amp-squeal and Theremin-like effects, a thick layer of hiss and speaker-crackle covering the music, while the harsh, blackened shrieks drift up from below. The noise elements and simple, pounding drums give this a cold industrial feel, an interesting contrast with the fuzz-soaked primitive doom riffs and eerie chorus-drenched guitar melodies that float over the grungy doom, but then it'll drop off into passages of squelchy prog synth ooze and waves of phased distortion, or stretches of howling feedback and manipulated noise that transform the sound into a pure power electronic-style assault. One of the more interesting PiM tracks featured here is "Purification", whose haunting bass and piano melody, hellish vocals and putrid noise come together like a weird cross between a blackened power electronics assault and an Angelo Badalamenti piece. Just like all of PiM's other recordings, this is recommended stuff if you're a fan of both extreme funeral doom in the Skepticism vein and the electronic sludge mayhem of Bastard Noise.
Track Samples:
Sample : AARNI - Land Beyond The Night
Sample : AARNI - Lemminkainens Tempel
Sample : PERSISTENCE IN MOURNING - A Tangled Mess Of Veins
Sample : PERSISTENCE IN MOURNING - Purification



AATHMA   The Call Of Shiva   CD   (Odio Sonoro)    11.98



It's an interesting variation of monolithic, crawling, ultra-down tuned war-sludge that this Spanish trio offers up on their debut full length, put out by the doomanoids over at Odio Sonoro. The six songs on The Call Of Shiva deliver CRUSHING asphalt-coated riffs that are obviously influenced by the Matt Pike school of heaviosity, nothing too technical and exactly the kind of mega-doom heaviness that you'd expect from anything with the Odio Sonoro stamp of approval, just massive droning slabs of mega heavy sludge and pounding mid-paced drumming, the sound relentlessly crushing. I'm hearing some Crowbar influence in here, too, and the deep, gruff vocals definitely remind me of the NOLA sludge metallers. Where Aathma distinguish themselves is the shift in vocal styles that comes in on the first track; that opener is plodding, doom-laden crush, equal parts High On Fire and Crowbar, incredibly heavy and leaden, but then the song suddenly shifts gears about halfway in, the sludge turning into a droning melodic riff, and then the vocalist starts singing in this deep dramatic voice, sort of like those of recently deceased Type O Negative front man Pete Steele. This crushing goth-tinged sludge begins to get increasingly more melancholy as the riff grinds on, the sound becoming more distorted and blown, becoming a blast of raging distorted noise at the end of the track.
Those deep baritone Type O-esque vocals continue to add an unconventional dimension to Aathma's sound, which as the album progresses, begins to add in the moodier gothic parts of Neurosis and the heaviest riffs from Streetcleaner-era Godflesh and early Isis alongside the crushing war-sludge. Heavy stuff, with some of the standout tracks including the moodier goth-sludge of "Snowdream" and "The End of the Snake". And "Oaks" ranks as one the heaviest jams on here, sounding like the band has taken the main riff from Nirvana's "Negative Creep" and slowed it down to 1/10th speed and tuned it to C, and "Voice" opens with some ominous piano chords that lead into the brooding deep vocals and dark slowcore spaciousness, but then morphs into more of that HOF-esque sludge. Every track on here is a crusher, until you reach the closer "Shiva The Destroyer", which ends the disc with five minutes of abstract improv-drone, random heavy tribal drums and distant whispers and swirling dark ambience and eerie effects unfurling in a trance inducing dose of formless doomdrone heaviness.
Track Samples:
Sample : Oaks
Sample : Shiva the Destroyer
Sample : A Thousand Nail



ABANDON   In Reality We Suffer   CD   (Thrash And Burn)    12.98

In Reality We Suffer IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

This awesome blast of downbeat, anguished, progressive mega-sludge was released back in 2004 and has been issued through several different labels, but I only recently found out about Abandon via the Finnish version of their unstoppable In Reality We Suffer. This is seriously heavy stuff...72 minutes of grueling ultra DOOM that flows like a black tar river, pure negativity combining the massiveness of Neurosis circa Through Silver In Blood with the raw as hell, vomitous dirge of Grief and occasionally shot through with these strange, clean, vaguely post-rock/lounge jazz guitar chords that hover between the band's rumbling sludge reverberations. Bleak dissonant chords clash over droning, gooey basslines and crushing caveman drumming; the band's two headed throat spits out contrasting shades of vocal horror over winding, labyrinthine riffs that creep at a glacial rate. This oozes bleak, pitch black sludge that's as heavy as fellow plate shifters Corrupted, Khanate, Warhorse, Old Man Gloom, Melvins, Godflesh, and Buried At Sea. In Reality We Suffer was released through Earache Records/Codebreaker in the UK and the Us, but this is the original Scandinavian version, packaged in a neat glossy digisleeve style wallet with an eight-page full color booklet stapled to the inside so the entire sleeve opens up like a small book, illustrated with hellish, hand drawn artwork. Released in an edition of 500.


ABANDONED HEARTS CLUB   The Initial Confessions Of...   CD   (Init)    4.98



This Canadian band came out of nowhere a couple of years ago, dropped a handful of amazing, fucked-up grind/metal jams on us that combined ultra heaviness with wild electronic fuckery, made a small appearance on Hydra Head, subsequently got signed by Abacus Records, and then seemed to drop right back off of the face of the planet. What in the hell happened? These guys were pretty awesome, really. Featuring members of New Day Rising and Spread The Disease, their four song debut on Init came with supremely weird artwork from Jeremy Wabiszczewicz of Daughters/Monsters In Disguise design, and the tunes are a too-brief eruption of intelligent, adventurous grind that fell somewhere in between an even heavier Botch, the first Daughters EP gone space-prog, and a towering heap of sound generators spitting out trippy computer noise. And man, is this stuff HEAVY. The riffing is pretty whack, going from brutal metal chugging to slippery fretboard freakouts and full blown guitar noise, and the vocals sound alot like Spread The Disease, an awesome crusty rasp that sounds fucking insane. Crushing, spacey, blasting, psychedelic...these guys would have been HUGE if they hadn't broken up. Amazing stuff. We've got this EP on both CD and 7", and both are fantastic looking objects that Init went all-out for; the CD is a clear fan-disc job with a big brain screened onto the disc, and the 7" is an awesome looking three-color die-cut cover with screen printed artwork.
Track Samples:
Sample : The Abstraction of Form and Function
Sample : The Failure a Posteriori



ABANDONED HEARTS CLUB   The Initial Confessions Of...   7" VINYL   (Init)    4.98



This Canadian band came out of nowhere a couple of years ago, dropped a handful of amazing, fucked-up grind/metal jams on us that combined ultra heaviness with wild electronic fuckery, made a small appearance on Hydra Head, subsequently got signed by Abacus Records, and then seemed to drop right back off of the face of the planet. What in the hell happened? These guys were pretty awesome, really. Featuring members of New Day Rising and Spread The Disease, their four song debut on Init came with supremely weird artwork from Jeremy Wabiszczewicz of Daughters/Monsters In Disguise design, and the tunes are a too-brief eruption of intelligent, adventurous grind that fell somewhere in between an even heavier Botch, the first Daughters EP gone space-prog, and a towering heap of sound generators spitting out trippy computer noise. And man, is this stuff HEAVY. The riffing is pretty whack, going from brutal metal chugging to slippery fretboard freakouts and full blown guitar noise, and the vocals sound alot like Spread The Disease, an awesome crusty rasp that sounds fucking insane. Crushing, spacey, blasting, psychedelic...these guys would have been HUGE if they hadn't broken up. Amazing stuff. We've got this EP on both CD and 7", and both are fantastic looking objects that Init went all-out for; the CD is a clear fan-disc job with a big brain screened onto the disc, and the 7" is an awesome looking three-color die-cut cover with screen printed artwork. Holy shit! We've got clear vinyl for this baby too, only 400 made!
Track Samples:
Sample : The Abstraction of Form and Function
Sample : The Failure a Posteriori



ABANDONER + DEATH BY A THOUSAND CUTS   Choir Of Dead Whores   CDR   (Chrome Peeler)    5.00



A collaboration between the harsh blacknoise of Abandoner and the slicing feedback-driven power electronics of Dead By A Thousand Cuts, this CD-R contains six tracks of evil, ultra-murky skree that is actually comparable to an subtly satanic version of Matt Bower's Total, particularly on tracks like "Thunders N Lightnings" and "Lower Your Flag" with their dense clotted masses of rumbling amplifier noise and chaotic feedback. Death By A Thousand Cuts is a noise project that I had already been familiar with, mainly from their split CD with Cattle Decapitation's Travis Ryan that came out a few years ago (and which we still have in stock here), but this was the first that I had heard from the NYC based project Abandoner. It turns out that Abandoner is actually the "noise" solo project of Jay Newman, who all of you doom metal fans will probably recognize as the drummer for Unearthly Trance, and he's joined here by his Unearthly Trance bandmate Darren Verni who contributes some scathing, grisly vocals on a few of the tracks. Choir of Dead Whores is super negatory guitar/electronic noise, shifting between those aforementioned blasts of Total-style amplifier carnage to heavy static drones and whirring electronic sounds, and even has Verni reciting the poetry of Charles Baudelaire over the final two tracks "The Gladly Dead" and "The Litanies Of Satan", both of which are awesome black fogs of nightmarish droning black metal guitar noise, Prurient-style feedback, and confrontational verbal venom. The disc is spraypainted in black paint, and comes in a black slimline jewelcase with an acetate/xerox insert cover, limited to 100 copies.
Track Samples:
Sample : thelitaniesofsatan
Sample : toofragiletofuck



ABDULLAH   Graveyard Poetry   CD   (Meteor City)    9.98



The grungy, Clevo-based doom/sludge/metal outfit Abdullah dropped their second album Graveyard Poetry a while back, and it's one of my favorite MeteorCity releases. On Graveyard Poetry, Abdullah continues to deliver their combination of crushing Sabbathy riffage and soulful, melodic vocals which have garnered some comparisons in the past to Dax Riggs (Acid Bath/Deadboy And The Elephant Men). The riffs and songs are much closer to true doom though, with dark, sludgy blues riffs that remind me of Saint Vitus, Trouble and Spirit Caravan, but then Abdullah throws some interesting elements that I didn't hear on their earlier releases, like some spacey Pink Floyd-esque guitar lines and haunting keyboards that appear every once in awhile, but the big difference here is the influence of (according to their European label) cult traditional heavy metal bands like New Wave Of British Heavy Metallers Diamond Head, Holocaust, and Tank, and cult San Fran old-schoolers Brocas Helm that has now crept into Abdullah's stoner metal on a handful of songs on the album ("Deprogrammed" especially!). On these songs, Abdullah veer from their dark brooding doomrock steez into killer mid-paced, almost thrashin' metal chuggery with killer dual-harmony guitars. I love the mixture of the NWOBHM sound and their grunge-rock influenced doomrock, and this album immediately stood out from the other stuff that was coming out on MeteorCity at the time.
Track Samples:
Sample : Black Helicopters



ABDULLAH   self-titled   CD   (Meteor City)    9.98



Digging even further back into the crates of esteemed stoner rock imprint Meteorcity, I've pulled out this self titled debut from Ohio cult doom faves Abdullah for re-investigation. Christ knows that back in 2000 when this album originally came out, we had more than enough mediocre sub-Sabbath knockoffs sucking up oxygen in the heavy underground rock scene, but Abdullah managed to stand out from the sea of faceless, boring Sab/Kyuss clones with a dark soulful sound that drew just as many comparisons to the Northwest grunge rock as it did to early American doom metal. This self-titled disc merged crushing Vitus/Obsessed style riffage with trippy melodies, tons of airy acoustic guitars, wah-soaked psych solos, and some passages of primo St. Vitus style crawl in songs like "Earth's Answer" and "Proverbs In Hell". A lot of people have compared singer Jeff Shirilla to Layne Staley from Alice In Chains, which I do hear in some of the dramatic choruses, but much of his deep, heartfelt singing actually reminds me of a younger, more polished Wino. Like Solace, Abdullah are peddlin' a more rocking, accessible brand of doom rock, but that's not to say that this isn't heavy stuff. The slow doomy riffs are just balanced with an equal amount of uptempo Sabbathian hooks and laid-back, stoned acoustic playing. There's some cool retro-crunch on this album; fans of The Obsessed and Goatsnake should give 'em a listen.
Track Samples:
Sample : Awakening the Colossus
Sample : Earth's Answer



ABE VIGODA   Sky Route/Star Roof   LP   (Not Not Fun)    11.98

Sky Route/Star Roof IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Abe Vigoda's vibrant, nervous no wave seizures find a vinyl home on this 12 song LP issued by the awesome noise punks at Not Not Fun. Their tape releases on Not Not Fun are all kickass, but we needed a full length! Full of spastic hooks and wavering noise guitar figures over a tempest of rolling drums, Sky Route / Star Roof takes the screwdriver-to-the-fretboard attack of old school Sonic Youth to a dirgey nocturnal pop feast for maximum spasm. The DNA here definitely glows similiar to Unwound, old Sonic Youth, and Wives, but the songs often have a noisy heaviosity that surprised us. Pretty killer, really. Comes packaged in a great silkscreened black jacket, and released in an edition of 300. Apparently this is already sold out at Not Not Fun, so move quick!


ABIGAIL   Tribute To NME   7" VINYL   (Nuclear War Now! Productions)    5.98

Tribute To NME IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

One of my favorite contemporary Japanese black/thrash bands, Abigail has been kicking out their awesome blackened thrash hysteria since the early 90's with a wild, wonky mix of Venom and 80's garage thrash metal and that inherent weirdness that you usually expect to find in Japanese metal. Most of their stuff has been pretty hard to come by though, usually going out of print fairly quickly and/or being released on really small labels that can take some effort to track down, but a couple of Abigail's newer releases have popped up on the ultra-cult Nuclear War Now! label, making them a bit easier to stock here in the store. That's great news for those of us who are totally addicted to the raw, punky perverted speed metal and filthy sex obsessed lunacy that these cats (who include members of psych-metal gods Sigh and black thrashers Barbatos) traffic in, with albums like Forever Street Metal Bitch and Lust And Intercourse loaded with their scumbag thrashpunk and their deliberately ridiculous, adolescent Satanic sex fantasies of songs like "We're the Pussy Hunter" and "Teen Age Metal Fuck". Yikes!
This 7" EP from 2007 has Abigail hooking up with one of their 80's proto-thrash heroes, Brian Llapitan from cult American metallers NME, paying tribute to decased NME guitarist Kurt Struebing by covering a handful of their songs. Abigail has long cited the primitive black metal/thrash of NME as one of their key influences (along with the likes of Motorhead, Venom, and Bulldozer) on their own whacked-out pervo-thrash style, and on this four song EP the band tears through material off of NME's 1986 debut album Unholy Death, the first three tracks ("Black Knight", "Stormwarning / Blood & Souls" and "Lethal Dose") firmly in the Venom/Motorhead speed metal tradition, but the fourth track a peculiar cover of "Of Hell / Thunder Breaks Peace", which is improvised guitar noise, weird effects and demonic growling...pretty cool! The vocal duties are split across the two sides - Brian from NME handles the lead vocals on the first side, and Yasuyuki from Abigail does the b-side vocals. It's a blast. Comes in a B&W sleeve that's designed in the same style and layout as the original Unholy Death Lp jacket.


ABIGAIL   Sweet Baby Metal Slut   LP   (Nuclear War Now! Productions)    18.98

Sweet Baby Metal Slut IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

One of my favorite contemporary Japanese black/thrash bands, Abigail has been kicking out their awesome blackened thrash hysteria since the early 90's with a wild, wonky mix of Venom and 80's garage thrash metal and that inherent weirdness that you usually expect to find in Japanese metal. Most of their stuff has been pretty hard to come by though, usually going out of print fairly quickly and/or being released on really small labels that can take some effort to track down, but a couple of Abigail's newer releases have popped up on the ultra-cult Nuclear War Now! label, making them a bit easier to stock here in the store. That's great news for those of us who are totally addicted to the raw, punky perverted speed metal and filthy sex obsessed lunacy that these cats (who include members of psych-metal gods Sigh and black thrashers Barbatos) traffic in, with albums like Forever Street Metal Bitch and Lust And Intercourse loaded with their scumbag thrashpunk and their deliberately ridiculous, adolescent Satanic sex fantasies of songs like "We're the Pussy Hunter" and "Teen Age Metal Fuck". Yikes!
Housed inside of a smutty high contrast album cover, Sweet Baby Metal Slut is the fourth and latest album from the devilthrash sex-fiends, loaded with ten tracks of day-glo Baphometic sex fantasies and thrashing Motorhead/Venom meets hardcore punk meets GG Allin scumfuck mayhem. And whoo-boy, does this album rip. Super catchy and infectious hook-laden thrash with those blackened muppet-squawking vocals from front man/bassist Yasuyuki Suzuki, one kickass riff after another, and tons of speed, the songs whipped into a pounding D-beat fury, songs about "sexual metal holocaust", a frenzy of fast and ragged fury flecked with drunken bits of 70's hard rock wankery, even slipping into some Southern rock tainted rawk on "Satanic Hell Slut". There's "Sweet Bloody Cunt" with it's ridiculously poppy main hook, and the pure simplistic psycho thrash of "Witching Hell" and "Metal Evil Metal" and "Wild Fire Metal Bitch"... Furiously thrashing metal at it's most savage and sex-crazed, with some of Abigail's catchiest tunes ever.
Nuclear War Now!'s vinyl release of Sweet Baby comes in a heavy gatefold package with sleazy hot pink artwork and includes a couple of inserts and a Nuclear War Now! Festival poster.


ABIGAIL   Sweet Baby Metal Slut   CD   (Nuclear War Now! Productions)    10.98



Back in stock!
Now available on Cd, and just in time, as the vinyl release of this sicko blackened thrashpunk assault went out of print recently. The following is my review of the original vinyl release on Nuclear War Now; my lust for this album has remained unabated in the time since I jotted this down:
One of my favorite contemporary Japanese black/thrash bands, Abigail has been kicking out their awesome blackened thrash hysteria since the early 90's with a wild, wonky mix of Venom and 80's garage thrash metal and that inherent weirdness that you usually expect to find in Japanese metal. Most of their stuff has been pretty hard to come by though, usually going out of print fairly quickly and/or being released on really small labels that can take some effort to track down, but a couple of Abigail's newer releases have popped up on the ultra-cult Nuclear War Now! label, making them a bit easier to stock here in the store. That's great news for those of us who are totally addicted to the raw, punky perverted speed metal and filthy sex obsessed lunacy that these cats (who include members of psych-metal gods Sigh and black thrashers Barbatos) traffic in, with albums like Forever Street Metal Bitch and Lust And Intercourse loaded with their scumbag thrashpunk and their deliberately ridiculous, adolescent Satanic sex fantasies of songs like "We're the Pussy Hunter" and "Teen Age Metal Fuck". Yikes!
Housed inside of a smutty high contrast album cover, Sweet Baby Metal Slut is the fourth and latest album from the devilthrash sex-fiends, loaded with ten tracks of day-glo Baphometic sex fantasies and thrashing Motorhead/Venom meets hardcore punk meets GG Allin scumfuck mayhem. And whoo-boy, does this album rip. Super catchy and infectious hook-laden thrash with those blackened muppet-squawking vocals from front man/bassist Yasuyuki Suzuki, one kickass riff after another, and tons of speed, the songs whipped into a pounding D-beat fury, songs about "sexual metal holocaust", a frenzy of fast and ragged fury flecked with drunken bits of 70's hard rock wankery, even slipping into some Southern rock tainted rawk on "Satanic Hell Slut". There's "Sweet Bloody Cunt" with it's ridiculously poppy main hook, and the pure simplistic psycho thrash of "Witching Hell" and "Metal Evil Metal" and "Wild Fire Metal Bitch"... Furiously thrashing metal at it's most savage and sex-crazed, with some of Abigail's catchiest tunes ever.
An essential "sexual metal holocaust".
Track Samples:
Sample : Metal Evil Metal
Sample : Sexual metal Holocaust
Sample : Tokyo Pussy Girl



ABIGAIL   The Lord Of Satan   LP   (Nuclear War Now! Productions)    22.98



An awesome collection of mid-90s EP tracks from Japanese black thrashers Abigail, from earlier in their career before the band evolved into the pussy-obsessed necro-punks that have released such classic slabs of carnal metal as Forever Street Metal Bitch, Intercourse And Lust and Sweet Baby Metal Slut. It's hard not to gush about these guys; Abigail are one of my favorite "black metal" bands of all time, and certainly my favorite Japanese black metal band right alongside avant-garde weirdoes Sigh (the two bands have in fact shared members at various points over the past twenty years). However, Abigail's version of black metal is a cruder, snottier beast, much closer in sound and spirit to Venom and the newer blackened, speed-metal punk of bands like Midnight, Speedwolf, and Syphilitic Vaginas, even hinting at the grungy ultra-distorted punk stomp of bands like Malveillance and Sump at times, with ripping punk-influenced guitar riffs, Yasuyuki's weird snarling, choking vocal delivery, and lots of wickedly catchy hooks.
The twelve songs collected on The Lord Of Satan come from the band's split with Funeral Winds and the Confound Eternal and Descending from a Blackened Sky Eps, all from 1993 through 1996. While there's still TONS of that sloppy, blackened speedpunk going on with these early songs, there's also lots of actual black metal too, where the band will suddenly launch into a blazing blast attack (like on "We Shall Not Await The Dawn" and the feral savagery of "Swing Your Hammer"), something which you hear a lot less of on their newer albums. Abigail always throw in all kinds of neat, quirky touches into their black thrash as well, like the melodic backing "woah-oh's" on "Dawn" that add a weird Misfits flourish to the blackened blasting fury, and the KILLER synthesizer track "Darkness Steals" that closes the first side of the album and sounds like a cross between Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells" and a late 80's horror movie soundtrack. There's more creepy electronic music on the b-side with "Descending From A Blackened Sky", where sky-gazing synthesizers and a simple keyboard melody play over deep bass tones and a slow pounding drumbeat. These weird little interludes add a lot to the depraved dungeon-glow that surrounds Abigail's warped Nipponese blackthrash.
We've got both the vinyl edition of The Lord Of Satan that comes in a deluxe heavyweight glossy gatefold that also includes a black and white lyric insert and a large Abigail poster, and a high quality Cd edition.
Track Samples:
Sample : Attack With Spell
Sample : Darkness Steals
Sample : The Lord Of Satam
Sample : Descending From A Blackened Sky
Sample : COnfound Eternal



ABIGAIL   The Lord Of Satan   CD   (Nuclear War Now! Productions)    10.98



Back in print, and back in stock...
An awesome collection of mid-90s EP tracks from Japanese black thrashers Abigail, from earlier in their career before the band evolved into the pussy-obsessed necro-punks that have released such classic slabs of carnal metal as Forever Street Metal Bitch, Intercourse And Lust and Sweet Baby Metal Slut. It's hard not to gush about these guys; Abigail are one of my favorite "black metal" bands of all time, and certainly my favorite Japanese black metal band right alongside avant-garde weirdoes Sigh (the two bands have in fact shared members at various points over the past twenty years). However, Abigail's version of black metal is a cruder, snottier beast, much closer in sound and spirit to Venom and the newer blackened, speed-metal punk of bands like Midnight, Speedwolf, and Syphilitic Vaginas, even hinting at the grungy ultra-distorted punk stomp of bands like Malveillance and Sump at times, with ripping punk-influenced guitar riffs, Yasuyuki's weird snarling, choking vocal delivery, and lots of wickedly catchy hooks.
The twelve songs collected on The Lord Of Satan come from the band's split with Funeral Winds and the Confound Eternal and Descending from a Blackened Sky Eps, all from 1993 through 1996. While there's still TONS of that sloppy, blackened speedpunk going on with these early songs, there's also lots of actual black metal too, where the band will suddenly launch into a blazing blast attack (like on "We Shall Not Await The Dawn" and the feral savagery of "Swing Your Hammer"), something which you hear a lot less of on their newer albums. Abigail always throw in all kinds of neat, quirky touches into their black thrash as well, like the melodic backing "woah-oh's" on "Dawn" that add a weird Misfits flourish to the blackened blasting fury, and the KILLER synthesizer track "Darkness Steals" that closes the first side of the album and sounds like a cross between Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells" and a late 80's horror movie soundtrack. There's more creepy electronic music on the b-side with "Descending From A Blackened Sky", where sky-gazing synthesizers and a simple keyboard melody play over deep bass tones and a slow pounding drumbeat. These weird little interludes add a lot to the depraved dungeon-glow that surrounds Abigail's warped Nipponese blackthrash.
We've got both the vinyl edition of The Lord Of Satan that comes in a deluxe heavyweight glossy gatefold that also includes a black and white lyric insert and a large Abigail poster, and a high quality Cd edition.
Track Samples:
Sample : Attack With Spell
Sample : Darkness Steals
Sample : The Lord Of Satam
Sample : Descending From A Blackened Sky
Sample : COnfound Eternal



ABIGAIL   Confound Eternal   7" VINYL   (Of God's Disgrace Productions)    9.99



This long-lost platter of vicious, punk-infested Tokyo black-thrash from Abigail surfaced at just the right moment for yours truly; I've been cranking every Abigail record I own to the hilt lately, in feverish anticipation of their upcoming foray into the States for Maryland Death Fest, and the Confound Eternal 7" has been on repeat on my turntable ever since the records came in. This is one of the oldest releases from Abigail, a two-song 7" that was released back in 1996 on the short-lived Vancouver label Of God's Disgrace Productions, whose only other release that I know of was the Funerary Call Pronounced Unholy 7". Issued in a limited edition of five hundred copies, this has been a tough record to come by for fans of these Venom-worshipping Japanese black metal punks, and both of the tracks were later included on the The Lord Of Satan Cd / Lp collection that came out on Nuclear War Now; if you've got that release in your collection, then you already have this stuff. On their own, though, these two songs pack a killer wallop; a-side track "Mephistopheles" is ridiculously catchy, starting off with chiming clean guitars and a big melodic hook for the intro before kicking into some driving, sinister Frostian riffage and gargling unintelligible shrieks. A primo example of Abigail's punk-infected blackened metal, shifting between the buzzsaw thrash and that hooky melodic chorus, waiting till the very end to hurtle into their blastbeat-riddled chaos. On the other hand, "Confound Eternal" erupts almost immediately into ferocious blackened thrash on the flipside, blasting aggression and droning blackswarm riffing giving way to galloping breakneck thrash, Yasuyuki spitting blood in every direction. A real ripper. We picked up the last-ever copies of this 7", and quantities are limited...
Track Samples:
Sample : COnfound Eternal



ABIGAIL   Intercourse And Lust   CD   (Nuclear War Now! Productions)    10.98



  Available on both CD and gatefold LP.
  While not quite as balls-out weird as country mates Sigh, sleazoid Japanese black thrashers Abigail put their own eccentric spin on a classic black/thrash attack, and are still one of my favorite bands of this ilk from that corner of the globe. Their 1996 debut album Intercourse & Lust remains one of their most ferocious slabs of perverted black metal hysteria; originally released by the Aussie label Modern Invasion, Intercourse had been out of print for ages before Nuclear War Now unleashed this latest reissue on us, complete with the revised cover art that features Hokusai's infamous squidfuck masterpiece The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife. Beautiful!
   The vicious Intercourse features nine tracks of Abigail's feral, slightly sloppy blackened thrash, with most of the album's lyrics written by Chuck Keller of Order From Chaos/Ares Kingdom. The music has a definite early Mayhem influence, along with a big ol' dose of classic Teutonic thrash, but Abigail mutate those influences into a blistering speed assault that cranks the sneering punk attitude up to a frenzied new level, and splatters their sound with some of the craziest goddamn guitar solos this side of Hell Awaits-era Hanneman. Much of this album races by at blistering blasting tempos, but there's a couple of ferociously rocking tracks like "Attack With Spell" where they drop some vicious, super-catchy Venomesque blackened punk onto the listener while front man Yasuyuki retches out a rabid array of distorted yelps and screams. A weird growling synth-bass-like effect shows up briefly on the snarling blast-orgy of "Strength Of Other World" that, for a brief moment in the middle of the track, breaks into this weird, proggy little interlude right before the band crashes back in to the blazing necro-punk assault. Yasuyuki's vocals reached a sublime level of insanity on this album, often rupturing into an insanely unhinged ultra-distorted yowl that's definitely reminiscent of Takaho from noise-grinders Unholy Grave. And the band gives us another one of their trademark weirdo synthesizer interludes on the title track, with spacey soundtracky synths and a delicate xylophone melody leading right into the oddly atmospheric multi-part closer "Hail Yakuza", a sprawling instrumental that features samples from cult Japanese crime flicks playing out over a slower, swirling, jangling black metal dirge before moving into odd waltzing rhythms and blasts of anthemic thrash. Killer stuff that's right up there with the classic Forever Street Metal Bitch album, essential for anyone in thrall to the "Black Metal Yakuza".
Track Samples:
Sample : The Crown Bearer
Sample : Strength of Other World
Sample : Mephistopheles
Sample : A Witch Named Aspilcuetta



ABIGAIL   Intercourse And Lust   LP   (Nuclear War Now! Productions)    18.98



  Available on both CD and gatefold LP.
  While not quite as balls-out weird as country mates Sigh, sleazoid Japanese black thrashers Abigail put their own eccentric spin on a classic black/thrash attack, and are still one of my favorite bands of this ilk from that corner of the globe. Their 1996 debut album Intercourse & Lust remains one of their most ferocious slabs of perverted black metal hysteria; originally released by the Aussie label Modern Invasion, Intercourse had been out of print for ages before Nuclear War Now unleashed this latest reissue on us, complete with the revised cover art that features Hokusai's infamous squidfuck masterpiece The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife. Beautiful!
   The vicious Intercourse features nine tracks of Abigail's feral, slightly sloppy blackened thrash, with most of the album's lyrics written by Chuck Keller of Order From Chaos/Ares Kingdom. The music has a definite early Mayhem influence, along with a big ol' dose of classic Teutonic thrash, but Abigail mutate those influences into a blistering speed assault that cranks the sneering punk attitude up to a frenzied new level, and splatters their sound with some of the craziest goddamn guitar solos this side of Hell Awaits-era Hanneman. Much of this album races by at blistering blasting tempos, but there's a couple of ferociously rocking tracks like "Attack With Spell" where they drop some vicious, super-catchy Venomesque blackened punk onto the listener while front man Yasuyuki retches out a rabid array of distorted yelps and screams. A weird growling synth-bass-like effect shows up briefly on the snarling blast-orgy of "Strength Of Other World" that, for a brief moment in the middle of the track, breaks into this weird, proggy little interlude right before the band crashes back in to the blazing necro-punk assault. Yasuyuki's vocals reached a sublime level of insanity on this album, often rupturing into an insanely unhinged ultra-distorted yowl that's definitely reminiscent of Takaho from noise-grinders Unholy Grave. And the band gives us another one of their trademark weirdo synthesizer interludes on the title track, with spacey soundtracky synths and a delicate xylophone melody leading right into the oddly atmospheric multi-part closer "Hail Yakuza", a sprawling instrumental that features samples from cult Japanese crime flicks playing out over a slower, swirling, jangling black metal dirge before moving into odd waltzing rhythms and blasts of anthemic thrash. Killer stuff that's right up there with the classic Forever Street Metal Bitch album, essential for anyone in thrall to the "Black Metal Yakuza".
Track Samples:
Sample : The Crown Bearer
Sample : Strength of Other World
Sample : Mephistopheles
Sample : A Witch Named Aspilcuetta



ABIGOR   Fractal Possession   CD   (End All Life Productions)    15.98

Fractal Possession IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

As Abigor puts it, they play "play True Austrian Black Metal exclusively". Which apparently means black metal as played by intergalactic fucking reptoids. Seriously, Fractal Possession is one of the craziest black metal albums I've heard recently. The longrunning black metal clan returned in 2007 with this new album after close to half a decade of nada which included a brief breakup for a year or so, then reconvened with a whole new cast of characters. And if anything, the band blasted has blasted even deeper into the sci-fi metal territory that they were exploring on their previous album Satanized, and apparently alienating a bunch of their fans with their new evolved approach to 21st century black metal along the way. Me, I fucking love this album.
The first few albums from Abigor were entirely different from what we've got here, more in the vein of Nordic-influenced melodic black metal, buzzing and majestic but marked by extreme levels of aggression forged into a style of their own that made 'em pretty popular with fans of traditional black metal back in the 90's. When their 2001 album Satanized came around, though, Abigor's sound took off into a whole new direction, infusing their black metal with a cold, inhuman sheen and futuristic atmosphere and becoming an intensely complex and industrialized version of their previous epic blackened self. If you've heard that album and are a fan of the bizarre, sci-fi black metal that Abigor evolved into, then Fractal Possession definitely won't disappoint.
As soon as I pick up Fractal Possession, I find myself entering the confusional techno-hell of Abigor just by looking at this album - the CD version is packaged in a gorgeous hardback digibook, covered in abstract gold-tinted artwork and stylized inverted pentagrams, definitely staying true to their Satanic black metal roots in iconography alone, and the twelve-page booklet is filled with demonic woodcuts and surreal photos of urban decay and alien entities, beautifully printed in white, grey and metallic gold inks.
But once the album begins, yer immediately overwhelmed by Abigor's warped cosmic blackness. The disc opens with a glitchy intro of factory clang and skittering industrial beats and whirring drill sounds as a lone dissonant guitar figure appears, playing this jagged little melody over increasing layers of industrial machine sound, robotic engines clanking and bleeping, and ominous soundbites of dialogue, and then suddenly the band erupts into the sputtering black electro blast of "Project Shadow", a chopped up black hellscape of insanely squiggly guitars and shimmering harmonies, the guitar shredding all woven into these intricate clusters of spastic notes, ferocious blastbeats and croaked vocals racing throughout the insane stop/start arrangements. It's impossible to not think of Mick Barr from Orthrelm when you hear these guitars with the over-the-top shredding and flurries of angular notes (I'm not the first to hear it, as the Mick Barr/Orthrelm comparison has been made in a bunch of other reviews of this album). It's like hearing Mick playing over the industrial black metal of Dodheimsgard, but it's even more fucked up sounding than DHG already are. From there, the album moves through similiar angular black metal forms, fierce precision blastbeats and crushing percussive dirges meeting with soaring black melodies and those hypershred leads, each song turning into a complex tangle of mechanical rhythms and hellish alien melody. In between the blastbeats and shred eruptions, Abigor drop in all sorts of odd little segueways, like brief flashes of blackened kosmiche ambience, walls of orchestral guitar drone, discordant math-metal, epic Viking-esque clean vocals and drunken Gothy crooning, mutant Gorguts-esque no wave deathriffage, galloping traditional metal, or evocative acoustic guitar strum that appears before your eyes in an instant, then disappear just as quickly as Abigor fall back in with their choppy alien buzzsaw attack. This jarring, ultra-dynamic sound turned off alot of trad black metal fans when this album first came out, but in my opinion it's one of the best avant-black metal albums of the past ten years, surpassing even Dodheimsgard in their audacious sci-fi approach, intense and original and most definitely weird as fuck, but ultra heavy too, almost more like death metal than black metal much of the time as heavy as this is, but always cloaked in their own unique alien interplanetary futuristic blackness. Highly recommended!

Track Samples:
Sample : Cold Void Choir
Sample : Injection Satan
Sample : Project: Shadow



ABIGOR   Fractal Possession   2 x LP   (End All Life Productions)    19.98

Fractal Possession IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Also available as a double LP set on heavy vinyl, packaged in a full color heavy gatefold jacket with gold and black printed inner sleeves...and, of course, quite limited.
As Abigor puts it, they play "play True Austrian Black Metal exclusively". Which apparently means black metal as played by intergalactic fucking reptoids. Seriously, Fractal Possession is one of the craziest black metal albums I've heard recently. The longrunning black metal clan returned in 2007 with this new album after close to half a decade of nada which included a brief breakup for a year or so, then reconvened with a whole new cast of characters. And if anything, the band blasted has blasted even deeper into the sci-fi metal territory that they were exploring on their previous album Satanized, and apparently alienating a bunch of their fans with their new evolved approach to 21st century black metal along the way. Me, I fucking love this album.
The first few albums from Abigor were entirely different from what we've got here, more in the vein of Nordic-influenced melodic black metal, buzzing and majestic but marked by extreme levels of aggression forged into a style of their own that made 'em pretty popular with fans of traditional black metal back in the 90's. When their 2001 album Satanized came around, though, Abigor's sound took off into a whole new direction, infusing their black metal with a cold, inhuman sheen and futuristic atmosphere and becoming an intensely complex and industrialized version of their previous epic blackened self. If you've heard that album and are a fan of the bizarre, sci-fi black metal that Abigor evolved into, then Fractal Possession definitely won't disappoint.
As soon as I pick up Fractal Possession, I find myself entering the confusional techno-hell of Abigor just by looking at this album - the CD version is packaged in a gorgeous hardback digibook, covered in abstract gold-tinted artwork and stylized inverted pentagrams, definitely staying true to their Satanic black metal roots in iconography alone, and the twelve-page booklet is filled with demonic woodcuts and surreal photos of urban decay and alien entities, beautifully printed in white, grey and metallic gold inks.
But once the album begins, yer immediately overwhelmed by Abigor's warped cosmic blackness. The disc opens with a glitchy intro of factory clang and skittering industrial beats and whirring drill sounds as a lone dissonant guitar figure appears, playing this jagged little melody over increasing layers of industrial machine sound, robotic engines clanking and bleeping, and ominous soundbites of dialogue, and then suddenly the band erupts into the sputtering black electro blast of "Project Shadow", a chopped up black hellscape of insanely squiggly guitars and shimmering harmonies, the guitar shredding all woven into these intricate clusters of spastic notes, ferocious blastbeats and croaked vocals racing throughout the insane stop/start arrangements. It's impossible to not think of Mick Barr from Orthrelm when you hear these guitars with the over-the-top shredding and flurries of angular notes (I'm not the first to hear it, as the Mick Barr/Orthrelm comparison has been made in a bunch of other reviews of this album). It's like hearing Mick playing over the industrial black metal of Dodheimsgard, but it's even more fucked up sounding than DHG already are. From there, the album moves through similiar angular black metal forms, fierce precision blastbeats and crushing percussive dirges meeting with soaring black melodies and those hypershred leads, each song turning into a complex tangle of mechanical rhythms and hellish alien melody. In between the blastbeats and shred eruptions, Abigor drop in all sorts of odd little segueways, like brief flashes of blackened kosmiche ambience, walls of orchestral guitar drone, discordant math-metal, epic Viking-esque clean vocals and drunken Gothy crooning, mutant Gorguts-esque no wave deathriffage, galloping traditional metal, or evocative acoustic guitar strum that appears before your eyes in an instant, then disappear just as quickly as Abigor fall back in with their choppy alien buzzsaw attack. This jarring, ultra-dynamic sound turned off alot of trad black metal fans when this album first came out, but in my opinion it's one of the best avant-black metal albums of the past ten years, surpassing even Dodheimsgard in their audacious sci-fi approach, intense and original and most definitely weird as fuck, but ultra heavy too, almost more like death metal than black metal much of the time as heavy as this is, but always cloaked in their own unique alien interplanetary futuristic blackness. Highly recommended!

Track Samples:
Sample : Cold Void Choir
Sample : Injection Satan
Sample : Project: Shadow



ABIGOR   Time Is The Sulphur In The Veins Of The Saint - An   CD DIGI-BOX   (End All Life Productions)    17.98












Track Samples:
Sample : Part I
Sample : Part II
Sample : Part II



ABIKU   Set The Pace To Grueling And The Rations To Meage   2 x CDR   (MT6)    7.98

Set The Pace To Grueling And The Rations To Meage IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

From the goofy pixel artwork taken from that old 1980's computer game Oregon Trail that Abiku stuck on the CD sleeve for this double disc set, you'd never guess that the music on here is as brutal as it can sometimes end up being. The Baltimore based duo plays a kind of computer-generated noisecore/gabba/electropop hybrid with singer Jane Vincent screeching and singing over a blizzard of thumping four-on-the-floor speedcore beats, hyperspeed digigrind blastbeats, laser beams, and huge slabs of new agey ambient drone and damaged techno. That weirdo Baltimore/Wham City vibe is all over Abiku's tuneage, and some of this stuff even reminds me of Atom & His Package a little bit, but way weirder and totally immersed in noise and drum machine grind and fucked up techno and goth rock, art-damaged and industrial-tinged and quivering with a violent, exuberant energy. They're a part of the cool DIY warehouse dance punk scene that's been going on out in Baltimore lately, and although I haven't seen 'em yet, I bet they crush live. This CD-R set is actually a live collection from Abiku, the first disc contains a ton of MP3 files of live sets that the band recorded in basements and houses across the country when they toured the US in 2004, each show represented by a seperate folder designated by city, and there is close to nine hours of music collected here. Pretty massive, and the recoridngs are generally pretty decent, punchy and clear enough to give you a good idea of what it must have been like to be jammed in a crowded basement with the lights shut off while Jane goes psychotic over the jet engine roar of Abiku's laptop gabba-grind-goth-dancepop.
The second disc, though, is something different. There are a couple of live sets that are on here as well, but the last track, titled "Chaos Mix", is the centerpiece of this half of the set, an hour-plus track of all of the shows digitally collaged and layered together into a single massive brain liquifying soundscape. This track is nearly overwhelming. It's an ocean of swirling chaotic sound, like hearing one hundred different Napalm Death records and scratched up Suicide and La Düsseldorf albums all spinning simultaneously, melting into an endless whirlpool of molten electro-psychedelic goo.



ABIKU   Novelty   CD   (MT6)    9.98



This Baltimore duo have been around for a couple of years, but are just now coming out with their first real full-length, released through Baltimore's finest imprint for all things noisy and bonkers, MT6. The first time that I heard these cats was when they played with Wildildlife in a basement in Baltimore a few years ago, where the duo of Jane and Josh blasted the entire block with their deafening brand of mutant synth-disco/no wave/gabber/grind weirdness. Both of 'em rock some massive keytar-like appliances, and stick to a fairly rigid formula: songs are generally one-to-two minute micro-bursts of ominous synthesizer chords and whooshing, sweeping electronic noises over jackhammer drum programming that's somewhere in between techno/disco throb, drum-machine blastbeat, or violent gabber, depending on the song, while Jane utters a hair-raising high pitched scream over it all, or croons in a narcoleptic speak/sing cadence. They've been compared to bands like The Locust and Genghis Tron because of their synth-based instrumentation, but those references are wholly inaccurate. This shit is difficult and definitely not pretty, and almost totally devoid of what I'd call hooks - what this does sound like is brutal digi-grind beats trading off against mutant techno throb while the vocals channel the sound of Lydia Lunch with 75,000 volts of electricity being rocketed straight into her spinal column, while cheapo 8-bit melodies, harsh industrial textures, icy robo-funk synth basslines and atmospheric ambience scuttle out of the thick backdrop of synths and samplers that Abiku employ. I can hear trace elements of old school industrial like Clock DVA, Severed Heads and Controlled Bleeding in here, but these industrial qualities are cranked to mach ten and almost totally obliterated by the relentless computerized blastbeats. I just caught them again as the opener for the Brutal Truth/Pig Destroyer show that went down at the Talking Head last week, where Abiku took the stage in what looked like silver Lamé robes and proceeded to totally polarize the audience with their screeching, industrial techno-disco-blast. They're definitely one of the most brutal bands to inhabit the Baltimore freakscene, that's for sure. As far as this disc is concerned, Novelty isn't an actual new album, but rather a collection of tracks from their Novelty demo from 2002 and some later demos that have been reworked and rerecorded, along with an additional enhanced section of the disc that contains all of their demo tracks and singles that were recorded between 2002 and 2005, all available as MP3s, and since most of that stuff is way out of print, this is the last place you'll find these early Abiku jams.
Track Samples:
Sample : Dance O Rama
Sample : March
Sample : New Day Rock
Sample : Padded



ABISYEIKAH   Jiyuumo Kattemo Onajida Nandemo Iikara Yacchimae!   2 x CDR   ()    12.98

Jiyuumo Kattemo Onajida Nandemo Iikara Yacchimae! IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

We totally fell onto these guys by accident, discovering this handmade double-disc set after hooking up with Japanese noise label Dotsmart to grab some of their new JESUS OF NAZARETH CD. Self-described "bizarre hobby violent music group" ABISYEIKAH are an ultra enigmatic duo dealing in high-power psychedelic noisecore violence and insane/stoopid electronics/soundbite meltdowns. Jiyuumo Kattemo Onajida Nandemo Iikara Yacchimae! is a double CD-R set, with the first disc filled to the gills with 99 tracks of Japanese pop culture soundbite loops, stoned and stumbling casio-pop jams, hideous lo-fi noisecore with retarded vocals, like a FEAR OF GOD/ANAL CUNT hybrid fronted by Yamatsuka Eye, sliced with paint-peeling electronic noise and dance music...along with fucked up/drug damaged sludgy breakbeats and zonked techno, beyond-gutteral toilet-bowl-monster vocal psychedelia, beatboxing, squeaky electro-acoustic fuckery,childlike babbling, and loads more. Totally nuts. The second disc is even more abusive harsh noise mixed with mongoloid beats, chainsaw noisegrind eruptions, vomiting phone pranks, braindamaged rapping, and skull rupturing blast spread across 99 tracks. Insane shit, with nary a moments peace to be found in this 2 hour-plus scum marathon. The packaging is handmade and killer, a full color double-disc digisleeve gatefold thing with some crazed group pics.


ABJECT 666   Reign Of Agony   CASSETTE   (Infernal Kommando)    6.50

Reign Of Agony IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

If you're looking for the rawest, most atavistic sounds currently wafting out of the French necro underground, I doubt that there's a better place to start digging than the Infernal Kommando label. I've done a lot of ranting in the past about all of the assorted doses of foulness that I've picked up from the label, tapes from such primitive, low-fi black/thrash/punk abominations as Zarach'Baal'Tharagh, and the latest two Infernal Kommando tapes that we've gotten in come from a one-man band called Abject 666, another purveyor of primitive French filth. A project from one of the guys behind black thrashers Tank Genocide, Abject 666's cassettes have been described by the label as "raw, putrid and minimalist Black Metal...for fans of old Beherit, Zarach'Baal'Tharagh and Ildjarn." Didn't need much more prompting than that, so here we've got both of the cassette EPs on Infernal Kommando, both ugly, deformed blasts of messed-up black metal that sometimes veers into severe noise damage or warped soundscapery.
Reign Of Agony is the first of the two Abject 666 tapes, laying out the project's general MO with bits of pilfered horror movie scores (this time it's Christopher Young's Hellraiser Theme that gets lifted wholesale and slapped across the beginning of the tape), that theme playing out beneath Razor's garbled, delay-drenched mutterings, giving the opening minutes of the tape a deranged feel. Then it kicks in to the blown-out assault of noisy primitive black metal, the rest of the tape made up of short songs built from simple repetitive riffs, roaring over a mid-paced drum machine beat that at a couple of points had me thinking of a more "industrialized" Ildjarn. That's completely enshrouded in a pukey no-fi recording that turns into a wall of putrid black noise half the time. It's a real mess. The band also makes a couple of detours into raw Hellhammer / Frost-style sludge, and the vocals are completely fucked up, totally incomprehensible, a series of endlessly echoing death-croaks that get swallowed up in Abject 666's pounding hypnotic scum-storm. This stuff is definitely the most frenzied of the two Abject 666 tapes we've picked up, with tracks like "Sodomized Nazarene" erupting into almost Wold-like blasts of formless, black static horror. For fans of barbaric basement black thrash only...
Limited to one hundred copies.


ABJECT 666   Vile Devotion   CASSETTE   (Infernal Kommando)    6.50

Vile Devotion IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

If you're looking for the rawest, most atavistic sounds currently wafting out of the French necro underground, I doubt that there's a better place to start digging than the Infernal Kommando label. I've done a lot of ranting in the past about all of the assorted doses of foulness that I've picked up from the label, tapes from such primitive, low-fi black/thrash/punk abominations as Zarach'Baal'Tharagh, and the latest two Infernal Kommando tapes that we've gotten in come from a one-man band called Abject 666, another purveyor of primitive French filth. A project from one of the guys behind black thrashers Tank Genocide, Abject 666's cassettes have been described by the label as "raw, putrid and minimalist Black Metal...for fans of old Beherit, Zarach'Baal'Tharagh and Ildjarn." Didn't need much more prompting than that, so here we've got both of the cassette EPs on Infernal Kommando, both ugly, deformed blasts of messed-up black metal that sometimes veers into severe noise damage or warped soundscapery.
Tape number two from this fucked-up French blackthrash mutant, Vile Devotion features six tracks of Razor's mangy primitive black metal, opening up with a cribbed sample of Carpenter's iconic Halloween theme for the intro, before slithering off into the plodding, caveman necro-trance of the title track. Like the other Abject 666 tape that I picked up, this is mostly made up of pounding primitive thrash with tracks like "Visceral Abomination", "Infamous Agony" and "The Praise of Devil" stripping down to a single riff or two, buzzsaw three-chord punk riffs whipped into a chaotic roar of blown-out distortion and croaked, hateful vocals, the spiteful mess laid out over the skeletal mechanical pound of the drum machine. There's a heavy layer of reverb and hiss splattered over everything, and the songs tend to collapse into weird circular riffs where the drum machine completely drops out, or slips into pummeling passages of filthy Frostian sludge. Unsurprisingly, Abject 666's drunken black metal is often reminiscent of the repetitive, hypnotic violence of Ildjarn's Strength And Anger, but that sound becomes completely blanketed in rotting low-fi murk, ending with a faint ambient outro that sounds like an old Tangerine Dream piece breaking through a hiss-filled recording of ghostly knockings. Definitely has that murky, low-fi Infernal Kommando aesthetic all over it. I can't get enough of this stuff.
Limited to one hundred copies.


ABORYM   With No Human Intervention   CD   (Mercenary Musik)    11.98



Back in stock!
I haven't stocked this 2003 album from Aborym until now, but since their newest album Psychogrotesque recently came out and I've been listening to it constantly, I've been working on picking up whatever other Aborym titles are still in print for the shop. This was their third album following Kali-Yuga Bizarre and Fire Walk With Us!, both of which captured Aborym's ongoing evolution that began with their strange experiments in electronically-enhanced black metal in the mid 90s. By this point, their mix of satanic blackened techno and experimental shapeshifting black/death was fully formed, a brand of sleek futuristic BM terror that positioned Aborym alongside the likes of Mysticum, Anaal Nathrakh, Declaration Of War-era Mayhem and (especially) Dodheimsgard. Fronted by singer Attila Csihar's awesome demented vocalizations that range from throat singing, blackened shrieks, and chant like intonations, and powered by eerie samples and blasting industrial black metal, this is fearsome, violent music that repudiates the claims of commercialization that many BM purists levelled at bands like this who utilized electronic elements. Feel-good music, this ain't. And it's very much rooted in a classic black metal sound, machinelike blastbeat drumming performed with rigid precision, and dizzying arpeggio sweeps and classical-influenced soloing coating the sound with a brittle layer of ice, while bits of electronic ambience and effects are strewn throughout the ferocious mechanized black metal assaults. Like it states in the booklet, "Aborym plays alien-black-hard/industrial exclusively".
With No Human Intervention's opening title track is feral, mechanical black metal with a killer programmed blastbeat and blackened death riff that appears later in the song, shifting gears into galloping thrash and then revealing some minor techno elements that creep in, like programmed snare rushes and swells of orchestral electronic ambience. It still mostly sounds like an electronically enhanced classic black metal band, though. As the album goes on, the music mutates more and more as harsh, unexpected edits, caustic computer glitchery and synthetic ambience increasingly mixes with the warped, evil black blast and crushing slower death metal riffage. It's not till the fourth track "Humechanics-Virus" that Aborym finally starts to inject their bursts of drum n' bass and hardcore techno into the music; when this kicks in, the aggressive electronic beats come in blasts and blurts, pounding savage rhythms seething beneath catchy blackened melodic hooks and the hellish vocals. The track "Does Not Compute" stands out with looped machine noises, factory floor ambience and clanking rhythms opening the song, then turning into a jittery, hard-edged drum n' bass workout laced with electronic noises and a massive sinister bassline. The pure techno of "Cheronobyl Generation" is as close to actual dance music as Aborym gets here, but with it's scorched blackened shrieks and evil tone, it's hardly party music. The rest of the album is rife with more crazed electro-BM experimentation that ranges from weird Morbid Angel-like soloing and orgasmic female moans, harpsichord sections backed by pummeling industrial beats and hoovering techno synths, and stretches of creepy slasher movie soundtrack music. The album constantly shifts and changes shape, with an almost Mr Bungle-like tendency for wild stylistic leaps. "The Triumph" even features an emotional ballad-like breakdown with synths and a soaring guitar solo that sounds like something off of an 80s hair metal album, right before the band kicks into an equally soaring kosimiche hallucination that combines the sounds of agonized screaming and demented carnival music.
A strange and unpredictable album, Intervention is one of my favorite electro/black metal records and highly recommended to fans of bizarre, experimental, digitally-possessed BM and the likes of Dodheimsgard and Blacklodge. This US release on Mercenary Musik also features an enhanced CD-Rom portion of the disc that features a music video for the title track "With No Human Intervention".
Track Samples:
Sample : Chernobyl Generation
Sample : Does Not Compute
Sample : Faustian Spirit of the Earth
Sample : Humechanics-Virus



ABORYM   Kali Yuga Bizarre   LP PICTURE DISC   (Scarlet)    23.98



Just found a few copies of this rather hard-to-find picture disc edition of Aborym's classic 1999 debut album, and it's a beaut, with full color artwork on both sides and a version of their song "Tantra Bizarre" that is exclusive to this release.
Not as off-the-hook bizarre as Dodheimsgard but much more electronically enhanced than bands like Mysticum or Thorns, Aborym would develop their mix of classic second wave Norwegian black metal and electronic music into a much more sophisticated sound on later albums during the early 00's. Kali Yuga Bizarre was still a fine blast of brain-frying electro-infected baroque blackness from this European collective, though. Kicking off with the icy majesty of "Wehrmacht Kali Ma", the disc makes its way through a shadowy labyrinth of frostbitten black buzz and odd carnival-esque melodies, diving suddenly into the synth-heavy black metal of "Horrenda Peccata Christi" that twists through spasms of frenetic drum n' bass and throbbing industrial metal, and slow doom-laden passages backed with soaring orchestral keyboards. The vocals are handled by both lead vocalist Yorga SM and legendary black metal frontman Attila Csihar, who both spew a litany of demonic croaks, Latin incantations, and draconian imperatives while the rest of the band claws their way through these ten tracks of hallucinatory industrial black metal. And that's heavy on the "hallucination"; haunted pipe organs rise out of the mist, industrial percussion rattles in the distance, and deep monk-like chanting drifts in the background, and there's the constant presence of 80's style horror movie keyboards throughout Kali Yuga, on tracks like "Hellraiser", the slow reverberating pace, heavy bass line and gloomy keys evokes the sound of 80's darkwave before the music decomposes into weird effect-laden nightmare ambience. The track "Roma Divina Urbs" flows out of that into the sound of booming kettledrums and medieval horns resembling something off of the Conan The Barbarian soundtrack, and then Aborym bursts into a blackened metal version of the same arrangement now laced with electronic harpsichord sounds and frenzied blast beats, with dramatic clean vocals appearing later in the song. This unpredictable lunatic vibe is all over this album.
On the flipside, "Tantra Bizarre" delivers one of the album's most majestic songs with Attila's bizarre moaning vokills, one killer melodic hook after another, and a wild mix of shredding guitar solos and some very strange shrieking sounds that dive-bomb throughout the whole track. "Come Thou Long Expected Jesus" is one of the album's most twisted tracks, a hellish mishmash of hardcore techno, Black Mass atmospherics, blackened tremolo riffing, distorted bass lines and synths, and blown-out break beats all wound together into a delirious funhouse nightmare. A maniacal voice rants in Italian while a church choir sings, and then the band rips into the ferocious blackthrash of "Metal Striken Terror Action". That's followed by the delirious gothic blackness of "The First Four Trumpets", which resembles something from Fields Of The Nephilim, down to the deep Carl McCoy-esque vocals. The final bonus track "Tantra Bizarre (Co30 Version)" takes certain elements of the original version and gloms it all back together into a frantic skittering hardcore techno jam, a massive bass line slithering among the distorted fast-paced break beats and swarming synth, blackened shrieks and bizarre gasping vocals swooping back and forth, foreshadowing the more drum n' bass infected direction the band would take on later albums like With No Human Intervention.
Released in a limited edition of 1,000 copies.
Track Samples:
Sample : The First Four Trumpets
Sample : Hellraiser
Sample : Roma Divina Urbs
Sample : Tantra Bizarre



ABORYM   Kali Yuga Bizarre   CD   (Scarlet)    11.98

Kali Yuga Bizarre IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

This classic industrial black metal album hasn't been the easiest for me to find, especially (perversely enough) on CD, but it finally turned up through one of my suppliers recently. It's time for you to pick this up if you dig mechanized, futuristic black metal, 'cuz Aborym were (and are) one of the best...
Not as off-the-hook bizarre as Dodheimsgard but much more electronically enhanced than bands like Mysticum or Thorns, Aborym would develop their mix of classic second wave Norwegian black metal and electronic music into a much more sophisticated sound on later albums during the early 00's. Kali Yuga Bizarre was still a fine blast of brain-frying electro-infected baroque blackness from this European collective, though. Kicking off with the icy majesty of "Wehrmacht Kali Ma", the disc makes its way through a shadowy labyrinth of frostbitten black buzz and odd carnival-esque melodies, diving suddenly into the synth-heavy black metal of "Horrenda Peccata Christi" that twists through spasms of frenetic drum n' bass and throbbing industrial metal, and slow doom-laden passages backed with soaring orchestral keyboards. The vocals are handled by both lead vocalist Yorga SM and legendary black metal frontman Attila Csihar, who both spew a litany of demonic croaks, Latin incantations, and draconian imperatives while the rest of the band claws their way through these ten tracks of hallucinatory industrial black metal. And that's heavy on the "hallucination"; haunted pipe organs rise out of the mist, industrial percussion rattles in the distance, and deep monk-like chanting drifts in the background, and there's the constant presence of 80's style horror movie keyboards throughout Kali Yuga, on tracks like "Hellraiser", the slow reverberating pace, heavy bass line and gloomy keys evokes the sound of 80's darkwave before the music decomposes into weird effect-laden nightmare ambience. The track "Roma Divina Urbs" flows out of that into the sound of booming kettledrums and medieval horns resembling something off of the Conan The Barbarian soundtrack, and then Aborym bursts into a blackened metal version of the same arrangement now laced with electronic harpsichord sounds and frenzied blast beats, with dramatic clean vocals appearing later in the song. This unpredictable lunatic vibe is all over this album.
On the flipside, "Tantra Bizarre" delivers one of the album's most majestic songs with Attila's bizarre moaning vokills, one killer melodic hook after another, and a wild mix of shredding guitar solos and some very strange shrieking sounds that dive-bomb throughout the whole track. "Come Thou Long Expected Jesus" is one of the album's most twisted tracks, a hellish mishmash of hardcore techno, Black Mass atmospherics, blackened tremolo riffing, distorted bass lines and synths, and blown-out break beats all wound together into a delirious funhouse nightmare. A maniacal voice rants in Italian while a church choir sings, and then the band rips into the ferocious blackthrash of "Metal Striken Terror Action". That's followed by the delirious gothic blackness of "The First Four Trumpets", which resembles something from Fields Of The Nephilim, down to the deep Carl McCoy-esque vocals. The final bonus track "Tantra Bizarre (Co30 Version)" takes certain elements of the original version and gloms it all back together into a frantic skittering hardcore techno jam, a massive bass line slithering among the distorted fast-paced break beats and swarming synth, blackened shrieks and bizarre gasping vocals swooping back and forth, foreshadowing the more drum n' bass infected direction the band would take on later albums like With No Human Intervention.
Track Samples:
Sample : The First Four Trumpets
Sample : Hellraiser
Sample : Roma Divina Urbs
Sample : Tantra Bizarre



ABRUPTUM   Evil Genius   CD   (Southern Lord)    8.98

Evil Genius IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Black metal psychonauts have been waiting eons for this: a fully authorized, impeccably assembled re-issue of the 1995 Evil Genius CD which compiled the earliest recordings from Swedish black metal group Abruptum. For the most part operated as a duo comprised of founding member It (a guy allegely so evil that he couldn't be given a human name) and Marduk member Evil, Abruptum hailed from Stockholm, Sweden, and worked to become "the essence of pure audio evil". Evil Genius was originally released in 1995 on Hellspawn Records, and the first edition received abit of notoriety when it was packaged with a razor blade and a sticker that instructed the listener to kill themselves. That shit, along with the persistent rumours over the years that It was a dwarf who tortured himself in the studio to achieve the anguished sounds found on their demos and albums, has formed some of the weirdest mythology around a black metal band that I've ever heard. Evil Genius includes the 1990 demo cassettes Hexum Galaem Zelog and The Satanist Tunes, as well as the Evil 7" EP from 1992, and the sounds on these early demos can barely be described as black metal, actually; the music is almost completely unstructered and improvised, barely ever picking up speed (although there are a couple of awesome blastbeat eruptions scattered around these tracks) and mostly lumbering along in a messy mid-tempo doom plod. It's all about atmosphere though, and Abruptum are masters of creating some of the blackest, most disturbing and diseased soundscapes you'll ever hear, a sludgy, murky pit of impossibly detuned proto-deathsludge riffs and stumbling blackdoom buzz, gothic synthesizers and tolling bells jumping in and out of the mix, insane anguished screams and monstrous grunts of Latin wordage appear at random, the drums plod along covered in black mud, totally drunken freeform guitar solo-noise splattered over all kinds of strange random creaks and noises, all drifting out of a subterranean basement-dungeon and drenched in reverb. A megalithic, mindbending descent into garbled psychedelic blackness. Listened to this for the first time in my living room with the lights out one night, and man, did it freak me the fuck out. This stateside remastered re-issue comes atcha from Southern Lord, and features all new artwork, brand new liner notes from It himself, and the track "De Profundis Mors Vas Cousumet" from the Nordic Metal - A Tribute To Euronymous CD tacked on as a bonus track.


ABRUPTUM   Evil Genius   LP   (Southern Lord)    14.98

Evil Genius IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

We now have this crucial piece of weird black metal history available on vinyl, with new artwork, in a black jacket with aweosome black gloss printing that has the Abruptum logo filling the album cover, and the back featuring that huge straightrazor and the track listing. The record comes in a really thick inner sleeve that has killer photos of Abruptum as well as the liner notes. Stunning!
Black metal psychonauts have been waiting eons for this: a fully authorized, impeccably assembled re-issue of the 1995 Evil Genius CD which compiled the earliest recordings from Swedish black metal group Abruptum. For the most part operated as a duo comprised of founding member It (a guy allegely so evil that he couldn't be given a human name) and Marduk member Evil, Abruptum hailed from Stockholm, Sweden, and worked to become "the essence of pure audio evil". Evil Genius was originally released in 1995 on Hellspawn Records, and the first edition received abit of notoriety when it was packaged with a razor blade and a sticker that instructed the listener to kill themselves. That shit, along with the persistent rumours over the years that It was a dwarf who tortured himself in the studio to achieve the anguished sounds found on their demos and albums, has formed some of the weirdest mythology around a black metal band that I've ever heard. Evil Genius includes the 1990 demo cassettes Hexum Galaem Zelog and The Satanist Tunes, as well as the Evil 7" EP from 1992, and the sounds on these early demos can barely be described as black metal, actually; the music is almost completely unstructered and improvised, barely ever picking up speed (although there are a couple of awesome blastbeat eruptions scattered around these tracks) and mostly lumbering along in a messy mid-tempo doom plod. It's all about atmosphere though, and Abruptum are masters of creating some of the blackest, most disturbing and diseased soundscapes you'll ever hear, a sludgy, murky pit of impossibly detuned proto-deathsludge riffs and stumbling blackdoom buzz, gothic synthesizers and tolling bells jumping in and out of the mix, insane anguished screams and monstrous grunts of Latin wordage appear at random, the drums plod along covered in black mud, totally drunken freeform guitar solo-noise splattered over all kinds of strange random creaks and noises, all drifting out of a subterranean basement-dungeon and drenched in reverb. A megalithic, mindbending descent into garbled psychedelic blackness. Listened to this for the first time in my living room with the lights out one night, and man, did it freak me the fuck out. This stateside remastered re-issue comes atcha from Southern Lord, and features all new artwork, brand new liner notes from It himself, and the track "De Profundis Mors Vas Cousumet" from the Nordic Metal - A Tribute To Euronymous CD tacked on as a bonus track.


ABRUPTUM   In Umbra Malitiae Ambulabo,In Aeternum in Triumpho   CD   (Regain)    14.98

In Umbra Malitiae Ambulabo,In Aeternum in Triumpho IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Now that several of their older titles on Regain are once again available to us, we have finally managed to get a bunch of Abruptum's import CDs in stock at Crucial Blast. I've been spending the last month getting reacquainted with these demented Swedish black metallers while working on writing up the reviews for these discs, and have basically fallen in love with 'em all over again. Out of all of the bands that made up the second wave of the Scandinavian black metal movement of the early 90's, there was none weirder than Abruptum. Their sound was a black pit of anguished screams and chaotic, mostly improvised ambient noise and mutated metal, and not surprisingly Abruptum were disliked by many black metal fans who came to their albums expecting something more, um, "structured".
Abruptum's second album In Umbra Malitiae Ambulabo... was the band's second and also had the distinguished honor of being the final release to come out through Euronymous' Deathlike Silence label before his murder at the hands of Varg Vikernes. Released in 1994, the album consisted of another single epic track created by the duo of Evil and It, and is slightly more structured than the hellish cacophony of their debut Obscuritatem Advoco Amplectere Me . The diminutive It continues to deliver his tortured wailing and shrill shrieks over improvised drumming, mangled riffing that seems to unravel on itself, and a chaotic symphony of noises, evil orchestral strings, and black ambient textures, but the duo also begins to introduce other elements like crushing, droning riffs, 80's sounding synthesizers playing horror film score type passages, scraping violin strings, ponderous doom metal dirges, and samples of dripping water and other dungeony sounds. There are parts of this album where it starts to sound more like some sort of deranged industrial doom metal, lumbering and massive, though the music is just as improvised and seemingly disorganized as their previous work. These moments of tangible riffing and actual melodies and the drumming make this a heavier exercise in Abruptum's free-improv black metal as brief as those parts might be, and the combination of these parts and those awesomely cheesy 80's-horro keyboard sounds with It's blubbering, wailing, grunting, moaning and altogether anguished vocal performance makes this a delirious listen. As always, Abruptum evoke the hallucinatory hellish visions of Bosch and Grunewald through their utterly evil, trance-like improvisations and murky ambient goatworship. All of Abruptum's releases are essential for anyone into weird, fucked-up blackened "metal", but this album is one of their more epic sounding works and is a good place to start if you haven't yet experienced these weirdos yet. Recommended.
Track Samples:
Sample : In Umbra Malitiae Ambulabo, In Aeternum in Triumpho Tenebrau



ABRUPTUM   Casus Luciferi   CD   (Regain)    14.98

Casus Luciferi IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Now that several of their older titles on Regain are once again available to us, we have finally managed to get a bunch of Abruptum's import CDs in stock at Crucial Blast. I've been spending the last month getting reacquainted with these demented Swedish black metallers while working on writing up the reviews for these discs, and have basically fallen in love with 'em all over again. Out of all of the bands that made up the second wave of the Scandinavian black metal movement of the early 90's, there was none weirder than Abruptum. Their sound was a black pit of anguished screams and chaotic, mostly improvised ambient noise and mutated metal, and not surprisingly Abruptum were disliked by many black metal fans who came to their albums expecting something more, um, "structured".
The latest and last actual full length from Abruptum, the Swedish black metal duo who were easily the most fucked-up, far out band to come out of the original black metal movement, whose early albums were hour-long exercises in demented improvised "black metal", free-form noise, and the shrieks and wailing of the members engaged in self-torture. Over the top and pretty ridiculous, sure, but also totally EVIL sounding. I've been spending a lot of time with Abruptum lately as we finally added their albums that are still available and in print to our catalog (you'll find their In Umbra Malitiae Ambulabo, In Aeternum in Triumpho Tenebrau, De Profundis Mors Vas Cousumet and Obscuritatem Advoco Amplectére Me discs in stock this week as well), and their recordings still stand as some of the most bizarre stuff to ever get labeled as "black metal".
2004's Casus Luciferi is a much different album than their earlier ones, and is more like a Satanic version of Cold Meat style death industrial at times, although Abruptum's unique hellish ambience again puts this in it's own weird territory. It begins with the thumping and pounding of a muffled drumline, booming kettledrum rhythms heard from a distance that is joined by some seriously fucked up and mangled guitar playing, super distorted, super detuned riffage slithering and buzzing over weird whistling wind sounds. This eventually dissipates and a series of massive orchestral swells appear, like a symphony of strings and woodwinds surging into sustained drones for several minutes. The end of the track joins all of these elements, the martial drumming and deformed riffs and dark orchestral ambience melting together with shrieking demonic voices into a fog of blackened, droning murk.
"In Actu Oculi" is next, a churning mass of blown-out, ultra-distorted bass riffage so gnarly sounding that you can just barely make out the grinding riff buried underneath of the grit and filth. Over this floats haunting female chanting, tolling bells, waves of caustic white noise and crackling low-end rumble. "Ex Inferno Inferiori" starts off as a quiet murmur of throbbing bass frequencies that is gradually joined by more of that hellish, blown-out guitar noise, blasts of crumbling distorted heaviness sliding in pitch and creating a super heavy slab of ambient drone. Throughout this one, strange tinny noises and distant cicada swarms swirl across the background.
The final track "Gehennae Perpetuae Cruciatus" opens with a glacial industrial rhythm, massive thunderclaps of tympani-esque percussive blasts and harrowing violin strings scraping far off in the distance, with pregnant pauses of almost complete silence appearing every few minutes. In a way, this is the least abrasive piece of music on the disc, but it's also the scariest sounding, and could easily work as part of a horror film score.
The droning Industrial rhythms and dark ambience of this album sets it apart from the rest of the Abruptum catalog, and it's the most composed of any of their works. As always, the music here is a soundtrack to hellish visions of eternal suffering and demonic torture, a sonic counterpart to Bosch's images of Hell (and as a matter of fact, a closeup of part of one of Bosch's paintings is featured as the interior spread of the booklet for Casus Luciferi, depicting two demons in the act of sodomizing some poor bastard), but here Abruptum go for pure mood and atmosphere. Recommended.
Track Samples:
Sample : Casus Luciferi
Sample : Ex Inferno Inferiori
Sample : In Ictu Oculi



ABRUPTUM   De Profundis Mors Vas Cousumet   CD   (Regain)    10.98

De Profundis Mors Vas Cousumet IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Now that several of their older titles on Regain are once again available to us, we have finally managed to get a bunch of Abruptum's import CDs in stock at Crucial Blast. I've been spending the last month getting reacquainted with these demented Swedish black metallers while working on writing up the reviews for these discs, and have basically fallen in love with 'em all over again. Out of all of the bands that made up the second wave of the Scandinavian black metal movement of the early 90's, there was none weirder than Abruptum. Their sound was a black pit of anguished screams and chaotic, mostly improvised ambient noise and mutated metal, and not surprisingly Abruptum were disliked by many black metal fans who came to their albums expecting something more, um, "structured".
This EP from 2000 is one of Abruptum's last releases, a three song disc that features three very different sides of this infamous Swedish improv-black metal band. The disc opens with the most structured song that Abruptum has EVER released, "De Profundis Mors Vas Cousumet" from 1991, which had previously appeared on the Nordic Metal - A Tribute To Euronymous compilation. It begins with vintage horror movie synths and synthetic vocal choirs playing this over-the-top cartoon Gothic intro, and then moves into a crushing blackened doom jam, plodding drums and boiling double-bass underscoring grinding slo-mo riffage while gutteral vocals roar over top. Kinda sounds like Thergothon with some maniac screaming random blather in Latin over it, at least until random Casio sounds, electronic tinkling and other weird bits enter the picture...and a backing chorus of "lalala"'s that pops up for a brief moment towards the end? Utterly fucked up, and genius. That one is one of my favorite Abruptum songs ever. The other two on the disc are just as crazed,. but each in a very different way. Where the first song is the most "accessible" and structured that Abruptum has ever released, the second track "Dödsapparaten" recorded in 2000 is without a doubt the most abrasive and harsh, over eight minutes of crushing blackened NOISE that begins with a clanging bell but which almost immediately explodes into an avalanche of lead pipes and sheet metal, exploding amplifiers and the screams of the demonically possessed. It sounds an awful lot like Merzbow, MSBR or Incapacitants or some other blazing wall-of-noise Japanese distortion wrecking machine, but infused with pure evil. Stalaggh is another comparison, and it wouldn't surprise me a bit if the guys behind Stalaggh were inspired to start their project after hearing this particular Abruptum track. And the third and final track "Massdöd" is a super brief (two and a half minutes) but ominous piece that combines a heavy, distorted synth squelch loop and marching troops into a hypnotic industrial jam that ends in a triumphant fanfare of anthemic orchestral music. As always, Abruptum succeed in creating an abstract, hellish atmosphere from both metallic and decidedly non-metallic sounds, and like all of their releases, this EP is essential to anyone into ultra-weird, improvised blackness.
Track Samples:
Sample : De Profundis Mors Vas Cousumet
Sample : Dobsapparaten
Sample : Massdod



ABRUPTUM   Obscuritatem Advoco Amplectére Me   CD   (Regain)    14.98

Obscuritatem Advoco Amplectére Me IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Back in stock after more than two years of unavailability!
Now that several of their older titles on Regain are once again available to us, we have finally managed to get a bunch of Abruptum's import CDs in stock at Crucial Blast. I've been spending the last month getting reacquainted with these demented Swedish black metallers while working on writing up the reviews for these discs, and have basically fallen in love with 'em all over again. Out of all of the bands that made up the second wave of the Scandinavian black metal movement of the early 90's, there was none weirder than Abruptum. Their sound was a black pit of anguished screams and chaotic, mostly improvised ambient noise and mutated metal, and not surprisingly Abruptum were disliked by many black metal fans who came to their albums expecting something more, um, "structured".
Recently reissued by Regain, the Swedish black metal label run by one of the guys in Marduk, Abruptum's Obscuritatem Advoco Amplectére Me is the first album from the notorious Swedish improv-black metallers Abruptum, and even still this is some of the most insane and psychotic sounding "black metal" ever recorded. Both this and Abruptum's In Umbra Malaitae Ambulabo in Aternum in Triumpho Tenebrarum were originally released by Euronymous on his Deathlike Silence label before his murder, all of which has been documented in the book Lords Of Chaos, but Abruptum have remained something of a footnote in the history of Scandinavian black metal. Their music was simply too bizarre for most black metal fans to parse, and their earlier material feels like it has more in common with free jazz than traditional black metal. On this first album, the duo of Evil and It conjured a hellish hallucinatory fog of tortured screams, rumbling black ambience, mangled guitar noise and abstract riffs that start off sounding like black metal riffs but quickly turn into something different, strange noises and clankling sounds, pummeling double bass drumming and freeform improvised percussion, and hysterical blackened shrieks run through all kinds of effects processors. And the production is weird, with tape dropouts and sudden spikes in volume where guitars or vocals suddenly become VERY loud appearing all over the single, hour long track (split into two halves on this CD). This is also where the whole legend started that involved the members of Abruptum torturing themselves in the studio, recording themselves as they whipped, cut, burned themselves and poured boiling water on each other - totally ridiculous, but you can't deny that Obscuritatem Advoco Amplectére Me is some of the most evil music ever, a sonic manifestation of the demonic horror that is envisioned in Bosch's Hell and Fall Of The Damned paintings. Anyone that digs the fucked up, free-form "black metal"/ blackened noise of bands like Emit and Stalaggh needs to hear Abruptum, since this is where it all began. Crucial.

Track Samples:
Sample : Part 1
Sample : Part 2



ABSCESS   Dawn Of Inhumanity   CD   (Peaceville)    17.98



Although they never achieving the same level of legendary status as Chris Reifert's previous band Autopsy, Abscess were an amazingly weird and heavy outfit that has been cranking out a demented cross between barbaric death metal slime and psychedelic sludgepunk since the mid-90's, releasing a couple of crucial discs on Relapse before moving on to UK label Peaceville for their last few releases. I actually hadn't paid much attention to their last couple of releases since Peaceville titles had been hard for me to track down for a while, but their latest album Dawn Of Inhumanity caught my attention immediately once I heard some of the preview tracks and laid my eyes on Dennis Dread's spectacularly wonky album artwork, a wild looking vision of levitating cloaked cultists, occult symbolism, and demonic alien-eyeball beasts. If you’re a fan of the older Abscess stuff, you know what to expect here; the songs on Dawn are in the same vein as previous Abscess offerings, an offbeat mix of caveman death metal, hardcore punk, Sabbathy doom, and crazed acid-guitar freakouts that crawl and lurch through a dank cloud of sewer ambience, with weirdo riffing and Voivod-esque skronk appearing alongside their punky blasts of guttural down tuned crush and primitive thrash. Their sound is heavy enough for Autopsy fans, but Abscess are so much weirder, the songs often wandering into bizarre noise freak outs (such as “The Rotting Land”, where the guys from Darkthrone can be heard gibbering and grunting within a chaotic free-noise mess), fucked-up tribal psychedelic death murk, even layering acoustic guitars within an otherwise roaring blast of rocking mid-paced death metal, and Reifert's vocals wheeze and grunt through a myriad of delay and echo effects that gives all of this a bent, cough-syrup covered vibe. Along with Dread's killer album art, the booklet that comes with Dawn is also filled with additional artwork from Reifert himself, who creates nightmarish primitive visions of black and red demons that somewhat resembles Mike Diana's artwork. It stinks that this turned out to be the band's final album, as they announced that the band was being put to rest soon after the release of Dawn Of Inhumanity, but they left on a high note with one of the year's wackiest death metal albums that continues to blare out of my stereo on a regular basis. Recommended!
Track Samples:
Sample : Divine Architect of Disaster
Sample : Goddess of Filth and Plague



ABSCESS   Damned And Mummified   CD   (Red Stream)    11.98



The 2004 album Damned And Mummified from Californian death metal mutants Abcess is back in stock after a period of unavailability, and it's an essential chapter in the career of this terminally weird side project from members of death metal legends Autopsy. The songs on Damned... are loaded with hideous doom-laden psychedelic death metal slime, at times reminiscent of Autopsy, but with weird gasping, snarling vocals that are run through an exorbitant amount of delay and other effects, lurching primitive death metal riffs find themselves reshaped into monstrously stoned Sabbathian grooves, insanely dissonant guitar solos and discordant almost Voivod-ian riffs, and lots of weird effects and noises. There are a number of tracks on here where Abscess get into their bulldozing sludgy hardcore punk modem, like "Swallow The Venom", "Tattoo Collector" and the bludgeoning title track, and there's an equal amount of crushing doom death and raging tribal drum freak outs strewn throughout this disc. It also has one of my favorite Abscess songs, "Twilight Bleeds", which has the band mixing together haunting doom-laden lead guitars and sludgy, lurching doom with a trippy mess of bizarre noises, maniacal gargles, bluesy soloing, and even some backing acoustic guitar and a couple of bursts of brutal hardcore that all adds up to one of their heaviest, catchiest tracks. They reached a pinnacle of glorious other-dimensional weirdness on their swan song Dawn Of Inhumanity, but this is still a killer disc from these death sludge freaks, and the music on Damned... continues to suggest to me what Celtic Frost could have sounded like if they had eaten a ton of mushrooms during their recording sessions. Anyone into offbeat death metal who isn't already a fan of Abscess should check them out ASAP. Oh, and the artwork on this disc is terrific; it's got a mix of bizarre drawings from Abscess front man Chris Reifert (which always have this weird Boiled Angel vibe) and illustrations from the masterful Dennis Dread on the cover.
Track Samples:
Sample : Inferno of Perverse Creation
Sample : Lust for the Grave
Sample : Twilight Bleeds



ABSCESS   Bourbon, Blood And Butchery   CD   (Aphelion Productions)    11.98



Death metal pioneer Chris Reifert will always be known first and foremost for his seminal doom/death outfit Autopsy, but my favorite stuff from the guy has always been post-Autopsy project Abscess, the hardcore punk-influenced death metal band that he started up in the mid 90s with fellow Autopsy member Danny Coralles. Abscess were an odd band, one that blended together crushing primitive death metal, Sabbathy doom-blooze, and bursts of feral fast-paced punk rock, all with a weird discordant quality to the guitars. There's a quirky, somewhat psychedelic vibe to much of their stuff that was only enhanced by the often bizarre artwork that adorned their albums, much of which was created by Reifert himself via bizarre illustrations that resembled Lovecraftian horrors as viewed through the lens of Mike Diana's Boiled Angel comic. Unfortunately, Abscess called it quits not too long ago, but Aphelion has gathered together a bunch of the band's rare out-of-print splits, demo recordings and live tracks for this new collection, and it's essential for fans of Abscess's brand of quirky, filthy death metal who missed out on the original releases. Bourbon, Blood And Butchery collects the songs off of their splits with Population Reduction, Bonesaw, and Eat My Fuk, a number of live tracks recorded between 2005 and 2009 (including songs from their sets at Los Angeles Murderfest and Maryland Deathfest), and a 1999 rehearsal demo, with album art from the mighty Dennis Dread.
The only one of these releases that we've been able to stock in the past is the split with Population Reduction, whose original write-up follows:
It sucks that San Francisco weirdoes Abscess recently called it quits after almost two decades of delivering their quirky stoner death, but some new material has still oozed out in the wake of their exit, like this slammin' split LP with fellow Cali grinders Population Reduction. The Abscess side of this record serves up eight new tracks of their blistering acid death from these underground vets/Autopsy members, nothing quite as wonky as what I heard on their phenomenal final album Dawn of Inhumanity, but still plenty warped, songs like "Nausea Without End", "Bourbon, Blood and Butchery", "Volcanic Psychosis" and "Senseless Waste of Space" grinding out putrid blasts of sticky, sickly dissonant death metal slime, punky thrash, Sabbathy riffing and those weird forays into a kind of noxious stoner rock grooviness that has been one of their trademarks since the beginning, and there's a very strange detour into the Pepto-Bismol jingle that briefly appears at the end. Abscess fuse together an old school death metal assault with hardcore punk and a subliminal psych influences and it's a style all of their own that I'm definitely going to miss, but these songs make their passing much easier to bear.
Beyond that material, the tracks from the split EPs with Bonesaw and Eat My Fuk are equally raw and crazed, tracks like "Born to be Doomed" and "Skulldozer" rampaging with souped-up Motorhead style thrash that breaks down into some wicked Sabbathian weirdness, while "Poison Messiah" assaults the listener with a killer blast of crazed heaviness that shifts between spastic, discordant grind, slower, Voivodian riffs and brief bits of bone-crushing glacial doom. There's a killer cover of the classic Black Flag song "Nervous Breakdown" that gets filtered through Abscess's putrid deathpunk vision, too. The live tracks are raw soundboard recordings, but they certainly sound ferocious enough, especially those taken from the band's 2009 appearance at Maryland Deathfest that I was fortunate enough to witness. The three rehearsal tracks are pretty raw as well, but feature some of the more brutal, death metal centric songs on this collection. Newcomers to Abscess's twisted, drug-addled death metal should certainly start with their semi-classic Seminal Vampires and Maggot Men, but for anyone already hooked on Abscess's quirky, tongue-in-cheek brand of weirdo death, this is great stuff.
Track Samples:
Sample : Speed Freak
Sample : Poison messiah
Sample : Madness and Parasites
Sample : Bourbon, Blood and Butchery
Sample : Born To Be Dommed



ABSCESS / POPULATION REDUCTION   split   LP   (Tank Crimes)    14.98



It sucks that San Francisco weirdoes Abscess recently called it quits after almost two decades of delivering their quirky stoner death, but some new material has still oozed out in the wake of their exit, like this slammin' split LP with fellow Cali grinders Population Reduction. The Abscess side of this record serves up eight new tracks of their blistering acid death from these underground vets/Autopsy members, nothing quite as wonky as what I heard on their phenomenal final album Dawn of Inhumanity, but still plenty warped, songs like "Nausea Without End", "Bourbon, Blood and Butchery", "Volcanic Psychosis" and "Senseless Waste of Space" grinding out putrid blasts of sticky, sickly dissonant death metal slime, punky thrash, Sabbathy riffing and those weird forays into a kind of noxious stoner rock grooviness that has been one of their trademarks since the beginning, and there's a very strange detour into the Pepto-Bismol jingle that briefly appears at the end. Abscess fuse together an old school death metal assault with hardcore punk and a subliminal psych influences and it's a style all of their own that I'm definitely going to miss, but these songs make their passing much easier to bear.
Also comforting is the presence of their pals Population Reduction on the b-side, a two-piece band that makes a great showing here with seven songs of awesome thrash-infected grindcore that sounds to me like a perfect hybrid of late 80's Bay Area thrash metal and the monstrous cacophonic whirlwind of the early Earache roster. I've heard a bunch of other bands try to pull this sort of thing off before, but I don't think that anyone has mixed the two influences together as well as Population Reduction does here. Manic growling vokills rip through the speed-demon blastscapes of "Cannabis Holocaust" and "In with the Old, Out with the Cold", puking up the venomous tongue-in-cheek lyrics over arrangements that flow between ripping thrash metal and guttural atavistic death/grind, with the guitarists laying down a couple of shredding harmonized leads and some of the songs lurching through unpredictable stop-start seizures. One of the highlights of their side is "Cult Scam" which drops the most pit-inducing thrash riffs on the whole record into the middle of the song, and they wrap things up with a cover of "In Nephritic Blue" from Spanish death metallers Haemorrhage.
The record has Abscess's Chris Reifert doing the bizarre alien artwork featured on the jacket (I always love to see his stuff), and it's released in a limited edition of five hundred copies.
Track Samples:
Sample : POPULATION REDUCTION - Cult Scam
Sample : POPULATION REDUCTION - Cannabis Holocaust
Sample : ABSCESS - Bourboun, Blood and Butchery
Sample : ABSCESS - The World Insane
Sample : ABSCESS - Volcanic Psychosis



ABSCESS / POPULATION REDUCTION   split   CD   (Tank Crimes)    7.98



Just picked up some of the last-ever copies of the CD version of this split...
It sucks that San Francisco weirdoes Abscess recently called it quits after almost two decades of delivering their quirky stoner death, but some new material has still oozed out in the wake of their exit, like this slammin' split LP with fellow Cali grinders Population Reduction. The Abscess side of this record serves up eight new tracks of their blistering acid death from these underground vets/Autopsy members, nothing quite as wonky as what I heard on their phenomenal final album Dawn of Inhumanity, but still plenty warped, songs like "Nausea Without End", "Bourbon, Blood and Butchery", "Volcanic Psychosis" and "Senseless Waste of Space" grinding out putrid blasts of sticky, sickly dissonant death metal slime, punky thrash, Sabbathy riffing and those weird forays into a kind of noxious stoner rock grooviness that has been one of their trademarks since the beginning, and there's a very strange detour into the Pepto-Bismol jingle that briefly appears at the end. Abscess fuse together an old school death metal assault with hardcore punk and a subliminal psych influences and it's a style all of their own that I'm definitely going to miss, but these songs make their passing much easier to bear.
Also comforting is the presence of their pals Population Reduction on the b-side, a two-piece band that makes a great showing here with seven songs of awesome thrash-infected grindcore that sounds to me like a perfect hybrid of late 80's Bay Area thrash metal and the monstrous cacophonic whirlwind of the early Earache roster. I've heard a bunch of other bands try to pull this sort of thing off before, but I don't think that anyone has mixed the two influences together as well as Population Reduction does here. Manic growling vokills rip through the speed-demon blastscapes of "Cannabis Holocaust" and "In with the Old, Out with the Cold", puking up the venomous tongue-in-cheek lyrics over arrangements that flow between ripping thrash metal and guttural atavistic death/grind, with the guitarists laying down a couple of shredding harmonized leads and some of the songs lurching through unpredictable stop-start seizures. One of the highlights of their side is "Cult Scam" which drops the most pit-inducing thrash riffs on the whole record into the middle of the song, and they wrap things up with a cover of "In Nephritic Blue" from Spanish death metallers Haemorrhage.
The record has Abscess's Chris Reifert doing the bizarre alien artwork featured on the jacket (I always love to see his stuff), released in a limited edition.
Track Samples:
Sample : POPULATION REDUCTION - Cult Scam
Sample : POPULATION REDUCTION - Cannabis Holocaust
Sample : ABSCESS - Bourboun, Blood and Butchery
Sample : ABSCESS - The World Insane
Sample : ABSCESS - Volcanic Psychosis



ABSEMIA   Morbo Praxis   CD   (American Line)    9.98

Morbo Praxis IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

There's something about gore-soaked South American death metal that really hits the spot. This new full length from Argentinian grinders Absemia features strong musicianship, while maintaining that fiercely raw and noisy edge that draws me to bands from this region of the world. Executing extremely brutal deathgrind that’s rough around the edges, with raw production values and a flair for ultra chaotic riffing and blastbeats, Absemia grind through 9 tracks of atonal, ugly, and clinical shred with guttural vocals and demented song structures that perfectly fit their Carcass-esque medical textbook song titles and splatter aesthetics. The leadwork and riffing on Morbopraxis toe the line between spastic chaos and atmospheric/disharmonic melody, and some great doomy slow passages pop up throughout the disc, breaking up what would otherwise be a nonstop noise gore tech blast fest. Packaging features typical South American psychosexual/autopsy themes, with splatterized, hand-rendered cover art. Features a CD-Rom enhanced video for Cronica Infeccion.


ABSENTIA LUNAE   In Umbra Imperii Gloria   CD   (Sol Invictus)    11.98



More high quality black metal from Italy! Absentia Lunae hail from Trieste, Italy, to be precise, and this quartet spins an icy whirlwind of progressive black metal that's right at home with the generally avant-garde aesthetic behind the Sol Invictus label. If the band's intricately assembled blasts of dissonant blackness weren't cool enough, Absentia Lunae also stand out as one of the few black metal bands that I've heard that have a woman in their lineup, and a lady lead guitarist named Climaxia to boot! She might have one of the coolest black metal pseudonyms that I've ever seen, but Climaxia is also a shredding riffmistress, which I already knew from hearing her awesome solo project Melencolia Estatica (which we'll have available here at Crucial Blast shortly). In Umbra Imperii Gloria has previously been released on limited edition LP on Serpens Caput Productions in 2006, and the music is intensely epic, blazing fast and complex like Spite Extreme Wing but with twisted atonal riffs and dark post-rock elements showing up in unexpected places. Songs move seamlessly between raw, aggressive blasting with speedy tremelo riffs and waltzy melodic passages, and there are tons of amazing, moving melodies all over this album, even when the drummer is blasting at inhuman speeds, and the drummer keeps things interesting by throwing in odd jazzy percussive patterns (often matched by equally jazz-influenced basslines), sudden tempo changes and weird shifts in time signature, often slipping into strange off-time rhythms. Cool vocals too, usually delivered in a hateful throat-shredding rasp but sometimes shifting into dramatic, almost operatic singing. And always, there are Climaxia's guitars, razorblade-sharp and trebly, slicing through Absentia Lunae's discordant blackness with ominous arpeggios, abstract chords and heartrending melodic figures, creating all kinds of otherworldly textures and alien riffs that the rest of the band deftly navigates. The melodies are so catchy and moving on In Umbra that I sometimes forget just how dissonant and off-kilter rest of the music is, but it's far closer in tone and feel to mathy, avant-garde black metallers like Deathspell Omega, newer Enslaved and (especially) Ved Beuns Ende than the more traditional Italian black metal that I've been listening to. Awesome stuff, and I'm most definitely looking forward to hearing more from Climaxia and company!
Track Samples:
Sample : Died Story Manifesto
Sample : Mid Svmmer Spiritval Holocavst



ABSKE FIDES   self-titled   CD   (Solitude Productions)    11.98



An impressive debut album from this Brazilian prog-doom trio. Abske Fides's 2012 disc comes to us from the Solitude Productions label out of Russia, and is one to check out if you're a fan of the dour, prog-tinged heaviness found in bands like Mar De Grises, Void Of Silence and some of the newer Pantheist material. These guys do a similar sort of slow-moving, atmospheric doom metal that employs complex songwriting, proggy instrumental passages and electronic textures throughout their music, and tie in grim philosophical musings and stark urban photography to weave the moody atmosphere that surrounds this album.
The disc opens with the slow mo skullcrush of "The Consequence Of The Other", slow, surging waves of droning sludge and blackened guitar melodies giving the somewhat Neurosis-esque dirge a discordant edge that adds to the song's grim, threatening feel. It takes on a stranger vibe as classical violins begin to appear, joined by the eerie wordless backing vocals of guest singer Marina Jovalangelo. Vocally, Abske Fides keep things interesting with a mixture of moody harmonized male singing, guttural death metal style growls and those occasional female vocals. The rest of the album features more of these long, drawn out arrangements, offering a bit of angularity and drama in each track without diminishing their overall heaviness; there's definitely a bit of a Tool/Isis feel to some of this, though Abske Fides are considerably more doom-laden, with a definite doom-death streak running through their music. They do make several detours away from the lumbering doom into well-crafted passages of brooding instrumental rock, almost math-rock like parts and the occasional burst of rocking power, but the focus mostly stays on the massive dissonant riffage and sorrowful funeral-bell guitars, a wicked distorted bass tone that adds an extra dose of gnarled ugliness to the music, pounding tribal rhythms and grueling doom-laden tempos laced with atmospheric drones, with samples and subtle synthesizers adding an extra layer of cold industrial texture to the music.
Then there's "Coldness", a song that opens with an extended introduction of bleak industrial noise and thrumming drones before the band suddenly drops into an unexpectedly bluesy bit of slow-mo prog, the soulful blues rock guitar winding around the hushed, icy slowcore like something out of an 80's era Pink Floyd record. Some other standout tracks include the song "4.48" with its super catchy, major key riffage wrapped in darker, droning crushing sludge, and the instrumental "Embroided In Reflections" that closes the album, a killer mix of jangly melody and distorted wah-drenched crunch that reminds me, strangely enough, of a Texas Is The Reason hook being doused in squalls of metallic crush, with haunting documentary film samples playing over it a la something from Godspeed You Black Emperor.
Its pretty cool stuff that these guys are doing here, the odd proggy parts and violins and synthesizers give this an interesting added dimension that definitely makes Abske Fides stand out among the ultra-glacial funeral doom that you usually hear coming from this label while still offering lots of crushing, crawling heaviness.
Track Samples:
Sample : The Consequence Of The Other
Sample : Coldness
Sample : 4.48



ABSOLUT   Demo Tape 2013   CASSETTE   (Sub//Par Records)    6.50














ABSOLUT NULL PUNKT   Ultrasonic Action   CD   (Charnel Music)    9.98

Ultrasonic Action IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Punishing early-90's re-issue that collects the entire Ultrasonic LP and two tracks off of the Ultima Action LP from K.K. Null's pre-ZENI GEVA noise rock monster, originally released in the late 1980's and remastered onto one 68 minute disc. ABSOLUT NULL PUNKT's jams were recorded way back in 1986/1987 in Japan, and even after 20 years, this is still a SKULLCRUSHING series of death improv beatings. Consisting of a spare bass/drums/guitar trio (featuring drummer Seijiro Murayama, who was also the original drummer for Keiji Haino's Fushitsusha ), Ultrasonic Action delves into a combination of free improvised rock, caustic, feedback saturated punk slop, and plodding dirge that recalls early Swans, accompanied by primitive percussion and Null's terrifying death howls ...sort of an industrialized improv take on freeform sludge rock, but definitely much more fucked up than that delivered by Zeni Geva. Definitely paints a picture of what K.K. Null would go on to create with Zeni Geva and his other, later projects. Excellent, completely abrasive and ear shredding atonal rock destruction. Released on Zeni Geva's Nux Organization imprint.


ABSOLUT NULL PUNKT   Absolute Magnitude   CD   (Blossoming Noise)    12.98



2008's Absolute Magnitude is the latest album from the reunited Japanese noise/improv/industrial/rock duo Absolut Null Punkt, which features drummer Seijiro Murayama (who used to play in Fushitsusha back in the late 80's) and KK Null (from Zeni Geva, natch) teaming up for another go-round of blistering freeform noise blat. Some of the older ANP albums like Ultrasonic Action treaded closer to a kind of industrial thud-rock similar to that of Zeni Geva and Swans, but the recent ANP albums have gotten progressively more abstract and noisy, and WAY more psychedelic. Which is ace by me. Absolute Magnitude doesn't really have anything that I'd describe as a riff, and the duo certainly don't come near the crushing angular noise-metal of Zeni Geva, but Null's guitars do get pretty damn extreme on this disc, spewing out thick jets of howling, bleeping, soaring effects-blasted guitar noise that sound more like the sort of stuff you'd hear on one of his solo albums, only here it's backed by the propulsive drumming of Murayama, whose rhythms often slip into a killer hypnotic throb that turns some of this stuff into a sort of super-abstract computer-battle krautrock. On the other hand, the second track explodes into full-on chaos, Murayama bashing and skittering crazed anti-rhythms and clanging industrial percussion that smashes headon into Null's distorted, mangled spaceship FX. Gets pretty heavy, in fact.
The first track starts off with a six minute splatterfest of pounding, tear-down-the-walls improv drumming, dense squalls of harsh industrial noise rushing in from opposing directions, and bits of jacked-up synth squiggle and raygun photon blasts zipping around all over the place; all of that electronic blat and Null's thoroughly mangled guitar skronk suggests the crazy spaceship chaos-scapes of his noisier solo stuff, but melded with a furious, almost free-jazz-style percussive assault. But when it hits the midway point, everything drops out except for a smattering of random bleating electronic noises, and then the band rebuilds the track slowly into a throbbing, pulsating sci-fi krautrock jam, the drums pulsating beneath robotic synths and streaking high-end effects, and it gets pretty dense and hypnotic as the band rides this noisy, psychedelic groove to the end.
But track two is way more abstract, a sprawling soundscape littered with busy tribal free-drumming that percolates in a haze of damaged synth noise, wheezy digital glitch, Null's weirdly processed guitar that he somehow manages to turn into a screaming sax-like bleat, stretches of spatial percussion and random sounds, and Moog-y synth arpeggios. And the third track essentially combines all of the elements that came before into a massive thirty minute jam that takes you from Nullsonic brand starship bleep to super-distorted industrial/free improv dirge to furious blasts of way-out guitar skronk and hammering drumbeats, wandering in and out of more of those wicked overdriven synth/drums workouts with wild looping prog-style arpeggios that circle around Murayama's treated drumming.
Comes in a full color digipack.
Track Samples:
Sample : Absolute Magnitude 1
Sample : Absolute Magnitude 2



ABSTRACT SPIRIT   Liquid Dimensions Change   CD   (Solitude Productions)    9.98



If you go back and read the reviews that I've written over the past two years for albums on Solitude, Bad Mood Man, bands like Darkflight, Flegethon, etc., you'll notice that I've been hearing an awful lot of kosmiche and psych influences in these doom metal albums, as if there's this heavy undercurrent of space music and Tangerine Dream worship that has been seeping into the death/funeral/doom continuum. I might be imagining alot of this, and it's hard to follow up on my suspicions that we've got all of these deathdoom bands in Eastern Europe and Russia locked down in their basements with copies of Stratosfear, Dark Side Of The Moon and Stream from the Heavens endlessly spinning on their turntables since I can never find any interviews with most of these bands. There's definitely some big love for psychedelia going on in the deathdoom scene, though, and I'm constantly discovering cool, as-yet-unheard bands from this sector of the globe who are whipping out their synths en masse and pushing ultra-heavy doom deeper into the outer sectors.
Abstract Spirit's Liquid Dimensions Change is exactly this kind of album. The band is from Russia and has members of another cult funeral doom outfit called Comatose Vigil, and the music on here is first and foremost devestatingly heavy funeral doom, utterly punishing slow-motion riffs and plodding, ultra-heavy drumming, and impossibly deep vocals. Think Thergothon, Shape Of Despair, Skepticism, Evoken, Heirophant, Esoteric, Pantheist, etc.. The riffs are beyond heavy, the songs are epic monoliths of misery and horror that stretch up to fourteen minutes in length, and it feels like being suffocated beneath waves of crushing glacial death metal. That would be fine by itself, but Abstract Spirit make this even cooler by giving the songs a super atmospheric sheen, coating the lumbering, Cthulhian deathdoom with prominent church organs, horror soundtrack synths, symphonic strings, insanely majestic harmonies, choral voices, and yeah, some supremely trippy cosmic keyboards and psychedelic electronics that soar over the blackened dirgescapes. There are parts of Liquid Dimensions Change where the music turns into a massive infernal orchestra before being bulldozed by the monstrous doom riffs, and at other points the keyboards take on a gleaming, celestial gorgeousness that is total Tangerine Dream, whether the band realizes or not. And then there are also the weird appearances of jazz piano that show up in a couple of spots, which somehow just manages to imbue the music with an additional layer of unease. Fans of melodic funeral doom will love this, as well as anyone into the more psychedelic end of the death/funeral doom spectrum like Pantheist and Esoteric. Awesome!


ABSU   self-titled   CD   (Candlelight)    13.98



Eight long years have gone by since the last time that we had a new album of "Mythological Occult Metal" from Texas thrashers Absu, the last one being 2001's amazing Tara, and there's been some shakeup in the ranks since then. The only remaining original member is drummer/vocalist Sir Proscriptor McGovern, who also plays in Mesopotamian blackthrashers Melechesh as well as the occultic ambient/prog projects Equimanthorn and Proscriptor), and he's put together a new Absu lineup in the wake of departing members Equitant and Shaftiel. No need to sweat though, because this new, revamped version of Absu is just as ripping and magick-obsessed a thrashathon as you'd hope. Simply titled Abu, this discharges thirteen tracks of esoteric blackened thrash that's equal parts mystic investigation and Teutonic speedmetal, like a methed out Kreator musing on serious spiritual/occult concepts and multi-part examinations of magickal theory like "Of the Dead Who Never Rest in Their Tombs Are the Attendance of Familiar Spirits Including: A.) Diversified Signs Inscribed B.) Our Earth of Black C.) Voor" . Wait, what? Yeah, Absu have always been a headier proposition than yer typical black metal junk, drawing their lyrical and visual inspiration from ancient Sumerian and Gaelic mythology and beyond, and backing it up with ferocious, complex thrash that continues to get quirkier with each new album. They aren't rehashing Tara - there's lots of slower, midpaced riffage, and some awesome Ash Ra-grade Mellotron and the occasional injection of siderial synthesizer - but that freaked-out Absu sound is still as fierce as ever. The riffs are ferocious and ripping, and laid out in strange sprawling arrangements, strewn with awesome psychotic soloing. Lots of unpredictable twists and turns and convoluted time signatures. And Proscriptor remains one of black metal's most proficient drummers, whipping up furious tempests of tumultuous percussive fills and choppy thrash, as well as coming up with most of Absu's arcane subject matter. So good to have a new album from these guys. There are some guest contributions from members of Melechesh, Enthroned, Zemial and Mayhem, and former member Equitant does make an appearance in a brief cameo. The band has morphed a bit, but this album is still a blazing slab of blackened thrash that I've been playing nonstop. The band is slated to appear at this year's Maryland Death Fest too, one of their first live shows in ages, so we are doubly stoked on this re-emergence of the mighty Absu!
Track Samples:
Sample : 13 Globes
Sample : Night Fire Canonization
Sample : …Of The Dead Who Never Rest In Their Tombs Are The Attendance Of Familiar Spirits…Including:
Sample : Those Of The Void Will Re-Enter



ABSU   self-titled (DELUXE EDITION)   CD + DVD   (Candlelight)    14.98



Candlelight has released 2009's stunning comeback album from Texan black metal mystics Absu as a new limited edition cd/dvd set for collectors, with new artwork, new packaging (including a printed slipcase), and of most interest to Absu fans, a professionally produced DVD that was filmed in June of 2009 in Montreal, Quebec, which features a blistering set that includes a ton of material from the new album and a handful of classic earlier tracks.
Eight long years have gone by since the last time that we had a new album of "Mythological Occult Metal" from Texas thrashers Absu, the last one being 2001's amazing Tara, and there's been some shakeup in the ranks since then. The only remaining original member is drummer/vocalist Sir Proscriptor McGovern, who also plays in Mesopotamian blackthrashers Melechesh as well as the occultic ambient/prog projects Equimanthorn and Proscriptor), and he's put together a new Absu lineup in the wake of departing members Equitant and Shaftiel. No need to sweat though, because this new, revamped version of Absu is just as ripping and magick-obsessed a thrashathon as you'd hope. Simply titled Abu, this discharges thirteen tracks of esoteric blackened thrash that's equal parts mystic investigation and Teutonic speedmetal, like a methed out Kreator musing on serious spiritual/occult concepts and multi-part examinations of magickal theory like "Of the Dead Who Never Rest in Their Tombs Are the Attendance of Familiar Spirits Including: A.) Diversified Signs Inscribed B.) Our Earth of Black C.) Voor" . Wait, what? Yeah, Absu have always been a headier proposition than yer typical black metal junk, drawing their lyrical and visual inspiration from ancient Sumerian and Gaelic mythology and beyond, and backing it up with ferocious, complex thrash that continues to get quirkier with each new album. They aren't rehashing Tara - there's lots of slower, midpaced riffage, and some awesome Ash Ra-grade Mellotron and the occasional injection of siderial synthesizer - but that freaked-out Absu sound is still as fierce as ever. The riffs are ferocious and ripping, and laid out in strange sprawling arrangements, strewn with awesome psychotic soloing. Lots of unpredictable twists and turns and convoluted time signatures. And Proscriptor remains one of black metal's most proficient drummers, whipping up furious tempests of tumultuous percussive fills and choppy thrash, as well as coming up with most of Absu's arcane subject matter. So good to have a new album from these guys. There are some guest contributions from members of Melechesh, Enthroned, Zemial and Mayhem, and former member Equitant does make an appearance in a brief cameo. The band has morphed a bit, but this album is still a blazing slab of blackened thrash that I've been playing nonstop.
Track Samples:
Sample : 13 Globes
Sample : Night Fire Canonization
Sample : …Of The Dead Who Never Rest In Their Tombs Are The Attendance Of Familiar Spirits…Including:
Sample : Those Of The Void Will Re-Enter



ABSU   self-titled   LP   (Back On Black)    28.98

self-titled IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Now available as a dope double Lp set on Back On Black, on 180 gran vinyl and packaged in a heavy full color gatefold package!
Eight long years have gone by since the last time that we had a new album of "Mythological Occult Metal" from Texas thrashers Absu, the last one being 2001's amazing Tara, and there's been some shakeup in the ranks since then. The only remaining original member is drummer/vocalist Sir Proscriptor McGovern, who also plays in Mesopotamian blackthrashers Melechesh as well as the occultic ambient/prog projects Equimanthorn and Proscriptor), and he's put together a new Absu lineup in the wake of departing members Equitant and Shaftiel. No need to sweat though, because this new, revamped version of Absu is just as ripping and magick-obsessed a thrashathon as you'd hope. Simply titled Abu, this discharges thirteen tracks of esoteric blackened thrash that's equal parts mystic investigation and Teutonic speedmetal, like a methed out Kreator musing on serious spiritual/occult concepts and multi-part examinations of magickal theory like "Of the Dead Who Never Rest in Their Tombs Are the Attendance of Familiar Spirits Including: A.) Diversified Signs Inscribed B.) Our Earth of Black C.) Voor" . Wait, what? Yeah, Absu have always been a headier proposition than yer typical black metal junk, drawing their lyrical and visual inspiration from ancient Sumerian and Gaelic mythology and beyond, and backing it up with ferocious, complex thrash that continues to get quirkier with each new album. They aren't rehashing Tara - there's lots of slower, midpaced riffage, and some awesome Ash Ra-grade Mellotron and the occasional injection of siderial synthesizer - but that freaked-out Absu sound is still as fierce as ever. The riffs are ferocious and ripping, and laid out in strange sprawling arrangements, strewn with awesome psychotic soloing. Lots of unpredictable twists and turns and convoluted time signatures. And Proscriptor remains one of black metal's most proficient drummers, whipping up furious tempests of tumultuous percussive fills and choppy thrash, as well as coming up with most of Absu's arcane subject matter. So good to have a new album from these guys. There are some guest contributions from members of Melechesh, Enthroned, Zemial and Mayhem, and former member Equitant does make an appearance in a brief cameo. The band has morphed a bit, but this album is still a blazing slab of blackened thrash that I've been playing nonstop.
Track Samples:
Sample : 13 Globes
Sample : Night Fire Canonization
Sample : …Of The Dead Who Never Rest In Their Tombs Are The Attendance Of Familiar Spirits…Including:
Sample : Those Of The Void Will Re-Enter



ABYSMAL DARKENING   No Light Behind   CD   (Total Rust)    11.98



This Dutch band features former and current members of Planet AIDS, Bunkur and Funeral Goat and has been lurking around the underground doom scene since earlier this past decade - in fact, it took seven years before Abysmal Darkening finally got around to putting out their first full length, after releasing one demo back in 2004. The band's excruciatingly slow progress may well have been infected by the extreme sluggishness of their music, which centers around a mix of slow grinding doom metal cut from the greasy black cloth of classic 80's dirge merchants like Saint Vitus, The Obsessed and Pentagram; a heavy dose of feral old school Nordic black metal a la Darkthrone; and some dour downcast moves into depressive black metal that they manage to meld pretty well with the blackened doom. No Light Behind has the huge sauropod riffs and bleak outlook that I want to hear whenever anyone mines that older style of doom, but singer Kev delivers these snarling crusty vocals and deeper growls (which often turn into a killer Abbath-like sneer) that add a fierceness to Abysmal Darkening's music, which really takes off whenever they suddenly break out of the Sabbathian dirge into raw, messy black metal blasts and mid-paced Burzum-esque gallop. The first time that this occurs (on the opener "Behold The Gods"), it sounds odd and unexpected, but as the album goes on, this mix of atavistic doom and manic blast evolves into their signature sound, like a weird mix of Darkthrone and Vitus that's shot through with an extra dose of abjest misery and oppressive dread. The six originals are laced with mournful guitar leads and moments of depressed blackened majesty, but the closer, a cover of the classic Sisters of Mercy song "Marian", is killer finale. Abysmal Darkening turn the song (which was already plenty dark and ominous in its original form) into slow, grief-stricken blackened doom, with that memorable melancholic hook winding down in slow motion as the lyrics are gasped in a horrific charred croak. Very nice.
Track Samples:
Sample : ABYSMAL DARKENING-No Light Behind
Sample : ABYSMAL DARKENING-No Light Behind
Sample : ABYSMAL DARKENING-No Light Behind



ABYSSAL   Novit Enim Dominus Qui Sunt Eius   CD   (Profound Lore)    13.98



Back in stock.
First released in a limited run by the band themselves, Abyssal's swirling death vortex Novit Enim Dominus Qui Sunt Eius has been reissued by Profound Lore in a limited edition digipack release with new artwork. This British outfit offers up a surrealistic, highly deformed blast of death metal that has some similar qualities as label-mates Portal, Mitochondrion, Antediluvian and Impetuous Ritual, while lacing their filthy black blast with their own unique strain of sonic weirdness. The album begins with a brief blackened dronescape that sprawls out for a minute, a vast black fog of low-end rumble and chthonic drift that begins to extend its tendrils outward, and then the band suddenly crashes in with "The Tongue Of The Demagogue", revealing their true form as a contorted blackened death metal monstrosity, composed of hypnotic droning riffs and discordant tremolo sections, the drummer careening through ever-shifting patterns of blast and dirge, the guitars straining against form as they undulate in bizarre slippery figures and are fractured into harshly discordant shapes. Right off the bat, these guys tap into a surrealistic sound that, although sounding quite different, will no doubt get them lots of comparisons to the likes of Mitochondrion, Portal and Antediluvian; there's definitely a shared hallucinatory quality to their music, and you can also hear some common DNA between Abyssal's churning atonal horror and the discordance and experimentation found in the later Blut Aus Nord albums. This is unmistakably rooted in death metal though, with inhuman guttural vocals, ultra-heavy churning chuggery and a punishing bottom-end at the heart of Abyssal's music. The other songs move through similarly suffocating terrain, darkly majestic riffs bending and melting around the scattershot arrangements and bilious black atmosphere, while a few of the shorter tracks drift into seething Lustmordian ambience and subterranean industrial horror, scattered among the longer death metal eruptions. When the trio opt to drop in to one of their monstrous grooves ("The Headless Serpent", the instrumental "Created Sick ; Commanded To Be Well"), these parts slither up from beneath the churning amorphous blastscapes to create a powerful, jarring shift in the band's churning chaos. There's also some vaguely jazzy moments that appear in the middle of "As Paupers Safeguard Magnates" and at the end of the closing track "The Last King" that give Abyssal's murky death metal an additional unique touch, and definitely makes this stand out from the rest of the Incantation-influenced crowd that has been dominating so much of underground death metal in recent times. This is one of my favorite albums to emerge from Profound Lore this year, an oppressive and hallucinatory assault that fans of the more avant-garde end of the death metal spectrum will definitely want to check out.
Limited to one thousand copies.
Track Samples:
Sample : The Tongue of the Demagogue
Sample : The Last King
Sample : The Headless Serpent
Sample : As Paupers Safeguard Magnates



ABYZM   In The Boundaries Of Nowhere   CDR   (Occult Supremacy)    5.00

In The Boundaries Of Nowhere IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

    Started up by Crown Of Bone mastermind / ex-Demonologist member Dustin Redington in 2012, Occult Supremacy is a CDR label focused on "Blackened Noise, White Noise, Death Industrial, HNW, Dark Ambient, Black Metal, Horror Drone"; in other words, exactly the sort of stuff that I can't stop listening to here at C-Blast. The label's crude aesthetic is pure 90's harsh noise, with each disc issued in a limited run of fifty copies and packaged in either a slimline jewel case or a plastic sleeve with minimal Xeroxed artwork, the discs themselves either scrawled on with black magic marker or blasted with abstract spray-paint patterns. But the sound that Occult Supremacy traffics in is total horror, heavily leaning towards the bleakest strains of harsh noise wall and experimental, noise-damaged black metal, and over the past year it has maintained a crazed release schedule that has already produced nearly forty discs, from a variety of artists that includes slightly more recognizable names from the harsh electronics underground (Vomir, Burial Ground, Luasa Raelon). While we haven't been able to get all of the Occult Supremacy titles in stock, we have managed to stock a pretty large selection of their titles, all of which are recommended listening to anyone into the filthiest depths of black noise, experimental black metal, and brutal electronic noise.
    This is the first Abyzm release we've picked up for the C-Blast shop, although the guy behind this harsh noise project has been putting stuff like this out for more than a decade. His first disc for Occult Supremacy is a heavy one, though, delivering a solid set of crushing, oppressive HNW for you to completely zone out to. Boundaries features two twenty-five minute slabs of molten wall noise, each one a sprawling sonic inferno filled with roaring avalanches of black static; the first, "Vestigial", is a maelstrom of crushing low-end distortion and buzzing bass frequencies that spreads its monotonous rumbling power out into infinity, a sprawling sputtering wall of guttural static that carries some of the same crusty, trance-inducing properties as The Rita's charred electronic noisescapes. As the track unfolds, though, controlled bursts of pedal-noise and fluctuating distortion are used to create sudden, jarring shifts in sound. The second track "Myriad" is a seething, boiling mass of electronic squelch, a mountain of fracturing, fragmenting glass slowly collapsing to earth, the grinding noise of disintegration looped and amplified into a swirling, drone-like rumble. Both of these tracks are pretty intense, offering up severe bone-rattling distorto-scapes filled with all kinds of swarming activity and movement that continues to reveal itself to the obsessive listener at higher volume levels. Monotonous, droning HNW for void-enthusiasts into the likes of Vomir, Burial Ground and The Rita.
Limited to fifty copies.
Track Samples:
Sample : Myriad
Sample : Vestigial



ACCEPT DEATH   self-titled   CD   (Retribute)    11.98

self-titled IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Hugely nasty and barbaric death sludge from former members of HEMDALE, Clevo SXE thugs DIE HARD, and FISTULA, from one of the few areas of the country that seems to be capable of consistently birthing high-caliber lava metal. Forming in 2005 from the void left by the almighty FISTULA, ACCEPT DEATH sort of picks up where FISTULA left off, taking the monstrously downtuned, sludgy hate punk of the excellent Idiopathic album and their phlegm spewing split disc with BURMESE and slowing the music down even more, and adding even more noxious vocals on exquisitely stoopid/negatively titled jams like "Punish The Retarded", "Kill Everyone", and "Skinning The Face For Relief". This self titled debut album sounds like EYEHATEGOD gone mentally unstable death metal, retardedly slow and diseased FROST riffs obscuring deceptively catchy hooks underneath the boils and scar tissue while axeman Scott Stearns voms majorly corroded and damaged acid-guitar and squealing feedback over sudden blasts of gnarly ultraheavy thrash. Former HEMDALE singer Matt Rositano's schizo vocals do a constant switch between fucking unhinged mental patient rants and some ridiculously gruff death grunts, and sometimes emits effective moaning chants, like on "A Slow Funeral For A Lifetime Of Suffering". Makita from LOCKWELD / APARTMENT 213 lends some additional fucked up vocal damage to "Wallowing In Filth". Awesomely acrid power death sludge hatred that intersects the goo of IRON MONKEY, COFFINS, EYEHATEGOD, NOOSEBOMB, FISTULA, etc., with face flattening, primitive OBITUARY / CELTIC FROST style heaviness.


ACCEPT DEATH   self-titled (BLACK VINYL)   LP   (Hydro-Phonic)    18.98



Released in an extremely limited run of one hundred and fifty copies, the vinyl version of the debut album from these Ohio deathsludge thugs is presented in a nice minimal jacket that has the AD logo foil stamped in metallic silver on the cover, and is pressed on black vinyl.
Here's our review of the original cd release on Retribute: Hugely nasty and barbaric death sludge from former members of Hemdale, Clevo straightedge thugs Die Hard, and Fistula, from one of the few areas of the country that seems to be capable of consistently birthing this sort of high-caliber lava metal. Forming in 2005 from the void left by the almighty Fistula (prior to their reformation soon thereafter), Accept Death more or less of picks up where Fistula left off, taking the monstrously downtuned, sludgy hate punk of the excellent Idiopathic album and their phlegm spewing split disc with BURMESE and slowing the music down even more, and adding even more noxious vocals on exquisitely stoopid/negatively titled jams like "Punish The Retarded", "Kill Everyone", and "Skinning The Face For Relief". This self titled debut album sounds like Eyehategod gone mentally unstable death metal, retardedly slow and diseased Frost riffs obscuring deceptively catchy hooks underneath the boils and scar tissue while axeman Scott Stearns voms majorly corroded and damaged acid-guitar and squealing feedback over sudden blasts of gnarly ultraheavy thrash. Former HEMDALE singer Matt Rositano's schizo vocals do a constant switch between fucking unhinged mental patient rants and some ridiculously gruff death grunts, and sometimes emits effective moaning chants, like on "A Slow Funeral For A Lifetime Of Suffering". Makita from Lockweld / Apartment 213 lends some additional fucked up vocal damage to "Wallowing In Filth". Awesomely acrid power death sludge hatred that intersects the goo of Iron Monkey, Coffins, Eyehategod, Noosebomb, Fistula, etc., with face flattening, primitive Obituary/Celtic Frost style death-crush.


ACCURST   Fragments Of A Nightmare   CD   (Coldflesh)    9.99



We didn't discover Accurst's 2004 album Fragments of a Nightmare on the Coldflesh imprint until recently while looking through the Red Stream catalog, which was the main distributor for this disc. We had seen the name mentioned in some blog entries, and one online posting in particular that listed Fragments as one of the "scariest" dark ambient albums ever helped guide us in the direction of this album. It turned out to not be the Lustmord style dark cavernous drift that we were more or less expecting, but instead a very weird, and indeed very creepy slab of lysergic black soundscapery, sounding like a mix of minimal horror movie score and black demonic drift blended with the isolationist ambient sounds.
The ten tracks on Fragments are set up as individual chapters of an interconnected whole, making up a single album-long piece, each chapter wandering through strange aural realms of gargling, inhuman moans and shrieks, deep and ominous swells of rumbling bass, the looped crackle of vinyl forming into a mesmeric hiss, distant gong-like reverberations that echo throughout vast underground passageways, strange verbal incantations rising out of fissures and cracks in the walls, and the appearance of some very dissonant violin sounds combined with booming tympani-like percussion and metallic scraping noises. Slow heartbeat-like pulses emerge from the shadows and are met with muted, looped percussive rhythm; and all sorts of weird, nerve-wracking effects and samples flit through Accurst's ghoulish deathdrift, which often makes this album sound like someone mixing up old experimental horror movie scores from the 70's with Cold Meat style death industrial. Some interesting melodic elements creep through this stuff, too; bits of evil xylophone and eerie minimal piano figures that are repeated over and over, and ghostly voices wail in the distant gloom, occasionally forming into deep chanting that sounds like the utterances of undead monks, or erupting into bizarre gargling growls. We keep thinking of recordings of the dead, EVP phenomenon, the sounds of tortured beings trapped between worlds, those crepuscular recordings accompanied by super minimal instrumentation, with a recording quality that makes this sound remarkably old and decayed. Some vague reference points that might give you an idea if this is your sort of nocturnal crypt-ambience or not include artists like Aghast, MZ412, Atrium Carceri and some of Abruptum's later, less black metal influenced work, but Accurst go for a much more surreal and cinematic sound that achieves a different form of psychological horror. Regardless, it's highly recommended for fans of all dark, abstract horror-ambience.
Track Samples:
Sample : Fragment 3
Sample : Fragment 5
Sample : Fragment 8



ACEPHALIX   Interminable Night   CD   (Southern Lord)    13.98












Track Samples:
Sample : Christ Hole
Sample : Interminable Night
Sample : Rebirth Into Perversion



ACEPHALIX   Interminable Night   LP   (Agipunk)    15.98












Track Samples:
Sample : Christ Hole
Sample : Interminable Night
Sample : Rebirth Into Perversion



ACEPHALIX   Deathless Master   CD   (Southern Lord)    13.98











Track Samples:
Sample : On Wings
Sample : Blood Of Desire
Sample : Deathless Master



ACID KING   III (BLACK VINYL)   LP   (Kreation)    14.98

III (BLACK VINYL) IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Spaced out girl chants, fuzzbomb stoner doom riffage, lethargic stoned hypno-blues freakouts crawling in slow motion...hell yeah, it's the latest slab of psychedelic devil doom from San Francisco's Acid King, fronted by the terminally trippy sludge siren Lori S. III (available here on a recently issued vinyl LP edition from Kreation Records) is, as you mighta guessed, the third album from Acid King, after something like a six year abscence, and first came into being via CD in 2005 on Small Stone. This is also the last Acid King album to feature bassist Guy Pinhas, who many of you might remember from doom heavyweights The Obsessed and Goatsnake. On III, the band kicks out seven jams of monstrous, shambling Quaalude-doom laced with trash Satanism/biker goddess imagery, given a majorly bottom-heavy throb via Billy Anderson's weighty production. Lori's signature drone-moan, soaked in reverb, drifts over the songs as they wind through huge grooving slogs of plodding Sabbathian sludge and hypnotic, repetitious riffs, as occasional snatches of beautiful melody suddenly appear out of the fuzz of '2 Wheel Nation', 'Bad Vision', and 'On To Everafter'. Fucking awesome, it's like hearing Cherie Currie from The Runaways fronting the Goatsnake/Hawkwind Big Band after eating a tab or four. I love everything this band has done, and this latest slab is no exception; it's crucial to ya if yer into the smoke-wreathed, lysergic trance crush of Boris' more psychedelic moments, the FX overloaded sludge of Sons Of Otis, Ufomammut, early Electric Wizard, Dead Meadow, Sleep's Jerusalem, Om, etc. Leaves you wasted by the time the needle rises off the last groove. This LP edition comes in a full color jacket, on black vinyl.


ACID KING   Busse Woods (BLACK VINYL)   LP   (Kreation)    15.98

Busse Woods (BLACK VINYL) IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

A long-awaited vinyl reissue of my favorite Acid King album, the dark and crushingly creepy (or is it creepily crushing?) Busse Woods, in a super limited run of 500 copies on black vinyl. Singer/guitarist Lori S. and her dope-doom juggernaut has always been one of my favorite stoner sludge outfits, dropping some of the heaviest trance riffing ever, but it's always been Lori's bewitching, spaced out moan that made me love Acid king, her druggy vocals just seem to float like plumes of ethereal bong smoke over the huge, bottom-heavy Sabbathian guitars and slow, sludgy tempos. Busse Woods was the bands second full length and originally came out in 1999 through Man's Ruin, but after that label folded at the turn of the decade the album was reissued by Small Stone with a couple of bonus tracks. This limited edition vinyl version only has the six tracks from the original release, but it's still an essential slab of ultra-heavy psychedelic sludge that anyone into bands like Warhorse, Om, Electric Wizard, Mammatus, Sleep, The Obsessed, and Sons Of Otis will adore. The album's named after a forest preserve outside of Chicago where Lori spent her formative teenage years blasting loud rock and selling drugs, and songs like "Electric Machine", "Silent Circle", "Drive Fast, Take Chances", and the title track all reek of weed, beat-up dubbed cassettes of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and Hallow's Victim and teenage devil worship. Each of these songs might center around a single riff, maybe two, but they're the heaviest riffs ever, massive, bass-heavy grooves and downtuned fuzzbomb guitar uncoiling as ridiculously hypnotic riff mantras that seem to plod on forever, everything surrounded with an eerie autumnal chill. Beyond crushing. And I still think that Acid King are what Sleep would have sounded like if they had been fronted by Joan Jett.


ACID KING   Busse Woods   LP PICTURE DISC   (Kreation)    16.98

Busse Woods IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Now available as a limited edition picture disc, released through Kreation on the tenth anniversary of the original release of this Cali stoner metal thunderblast.
A long-awaited vinyl reissue of my favorite Acid King album, the dark and crushingly creepy (or is it creepily crushing?) Busse Woods, in a limited run of 500 copies. Singer/guitarist Lori S. and her dope-doom juggernaut has always been one of my favorite stoner sludge outfits, dropping some of the heaviest trance riffing ever, but it's always been Lori's bewitching, spaced out moan that made me love Acid king, her druggy vocals just seem to float like plumes of ethereal bong smoke over the huge, bottom-heavy Sabbathian guitars and slow, sludgy tempos. Busse Woods was the bands second full length and originally came out in 1999 through Man's Ruin, but after that label folded at the turn of the decade the album was reissued by Small Stone with a couple of bonus tracks. This limited edition vinyl version only has the six tracks from the original release, but it's still an essential slab of ultra-heavy psychedelic sludge that anyone into bands like Warhorse, Om, Electric Wizard, Mammatus, Sleep, The Obsessed, and Sons Of Otis will adore. The album's named after a forest preserve outside of Chicago where Lori spent her formative teenage years blasting loud rock and selling drugs, and songs like "Electric Machine", "Silent Circle", "Drive Fast, Take Chances", and the title track all reek of weed, beat-up dubbed cassettes of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath and Hallow's Victim and teenage devil worship. Each of these songs might center around a single riff, maybe two, but they're the heaviest riffs ever, massive, bass-heavy grooves and downtuned fuzzbomb guitar uncoiling as ridiculously hypnotic riff mantras that seem to plod on forever, everything surrounded with an eerie autumnal chill. Beyond crushing. And I still think that Acid King are what Sleep would have sounded like if they had been fronted by Joan Jett.


ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE   In C / In E   LP   (Eclipse -USA-)    14.98

In C / In E IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

A crucial blast from the planet-tripping hippie collective Acid Mothers Temple, amassed from classic minimalism and crushing galactic psych! This LP features a single lengthy track per side: In C sees Acid Mothers Temple mutating the legendary Terry Riley composition as a gorgeous beaming of crystalline cosmic krautrock jamming filled with spacey laser synths, shimmering feedback ragas doused in reverb and shuffling motorik rhythms, the collective turning the meditative drones of the key of C into a heavy, frenzied, beautiful blast of light extending endlessly. Totally gorgeous. On the other hand, In E kickstarts Acid Mothers Temple into total heavy mode, busting out an entire side of heavyweight psychedelic thrum freakout that begins with peals of oozing bagpipe-like synthesizer drones giving way to Makoto's frenetic open E chord strumming that drives a ferocious 2-note dirge-riff for over 16 minutes, over a powerful speedy rock beat and swarms of swooping banshee electronics. Makes me think of some creeped out, interdimensional krautrock mutation of Chatham's Die Donnergotter. Tight. Definitely one of my fave AMT sides, total speed hypnosis wipeout. This slab features the AMT lineup of Kawabata Makoto (electric guitars, violin, zuruna, sythesizer), Tsuyama Atsushi (monster bass), Higashi Hiroshi (electric guitar, synthesizer), Cotton Casino (voice), Ichiraku Yoshimitsu (drums), and Terukina Noriko (vibraphone, glockenspiel). Limited edition of 1000 copies on 180 gram vinyl and presented in a full color gatefold sleeve with Riley's score printed on the back cover .


ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE   Mantra Of Love   CD   (Alien8)    15.98

Mantra Of Love IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

A two song studio full length from prolific Japanese cosmic-psych orbiters ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE. Features two extended tracks, opening with the half-hour long "La Le Lo", a lovely traditional Occitan piece somewhat similar to the band's La Novia release, based around the melodic vocals of Cotton Casino and Kawabata Makoto's dreamy, serpentine guitar and deep-space effects, closing in a wash of psych-guitar heroics and mellow bliss. It's followed by "Ambition dans le Miroir", an ACID MOTHERS original, engaging in a fifteen-minute medieval spacerock workout with Casino's gurgling, speaker-panning synth washes, a beautiful guitar melody, and some spacey electronics. Another excellent release from the masters. Packaged in a beautiful gatefold sleeve.


ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE   Pataphysical Freak Out Mu !!   2 x LP   (Eclipse -USA-)    18.98

Pataphysical Freak Out Mu !! IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Freaking explosive double LP gatefold re-issue of the time-flattening 1999 album from mystical Japanese hippie squad Acid Mothers Temple, led by modern acid guitar master Kawabata Makoto. This was the first AMT reissue on Eclipse, preserving this massive heavy-psych freakout on nice, heavy HQ 180 gram vinyl in a beautiful heavy-duty gatefold sleeve with new artwork; not only are all of the tracks from the original CD release captured here, but "Blue Velvet Blues" has been restored to it's original 40 minute version, spanning sides C and D. The music? Otherworldly. This is one of AMT's earliest, darkest, most out-there and unearthly sounding albums. Across these four sides, Acid Mothers Temple conjures beautiful, monstrously heavy and damaged psychedelic rock via dreamy gauzy dronescapes and Hendrix-gone-nuclear shredfest, screaming feedback and amazingly destroyed solos melting down over a rhythm section that sounds like it's literally exploding; eruptive, crushing free-rock splatter; passages of blissed out, sweet acoustic folk with female singing soaked in reverb and cosmic electronic squiggles flying through the mist; extended 60's style acid jams with deranged guitar playing, sputtering drumming, and distant banshee vocals; underwater alien lounge music; and the breathtaking, tremelo-heavy slow-jam "Blue Velvet Blues" stretching out for over 30 minutes alongside weepy, dreamy theremin singing, fading out and then back into it's coda, swirling together into a huge, all-enveloping cloud of shimmery, miasmic drone that builds for close to half an hour. This is one of those albums that just sounds enormous, a single organic blast of magic that must be experienced from start to finish.


ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE & SPACE PARANOID   Black Magic Satori   LP   (Safety Meeting Records)    19.99














ACID MOUTH   self-titled   CDR   (Outfall Channel)    5.00

self-titled IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

We just busted open a new box of Outfall Channel releases and related stuff this week, which is always a cause for celebration - these Cincy mutants have been releasing some of my favorite bizarro noise/grind/scum tapes and cd-rs of the past year, like those killer discs and cassingles from the dayglo avant-noisecore troupe Hentai Lacerator, that rad-looking handcrafted cd-r box from Fields Of Blood (and the blackened free-murk-doom transmissions captured on the disc itself), Robe's charred and rusted black rumbling, and the jacked-up, freeform hardcore jazz improv destruction of Capital Hemorrhage, all of which have been packaged up in cool, hand assembled sleeves and cases covered in all kinds of strange, tactile materials. Awesome to look at and hold, and thoroughly mindscrambling to listen to. Outfall Channel might just be the coolest DIY hardcore noise label out there right now.
So I get extremely stoked whenever new stuff arrives here from those guys. This new batch of stuff includes a new 7" split with Hentai Lacerator and Gaybomb, the fucking terrific debut issue of the new zine Sacrifice, a killer new disc from Robe called Depth that delivers more of that mysterious artists black sonic goo, and this caustic slab of severe drug feedback and harsh electronic rhythms from Acid Mouth, which from what little I have been able to learn about the project, is another project from whoever is behind Robe. This self-titled CD-R moves from pulsating, fastpaced feedback manipulations to harshly distorted drum corps workouts, slipping some heavily narcotized vocal loops and reverb channel powerfucks in amongst the blasts of psychedelic amp squeal and pummeling rhythms rattling away behind a thick veil of white noise. It's a pretty damaging noise excursion somewhere in between old school Test Dept. and some of the nastier Broken Flag stuff like early Ramleh, with song's titled "Electronic Bukkake", "Cum On Glass", and "Fuck It Let's Huff" to outline Acid Mouth's depraved visions. Packaged in a cd wallet that is covered in some kind of thick paint gunk over bits and pieces of vaguely vaginal illustrations that altogether looks nicely twisted, with a silkscreened insert foldout inside.


ACID WITCH   Midnight Mass   7" VINYL   (Hells Headbangers)    9.99

Midnight Mass IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

This 7" has been out of print for awhile, but I've dug some up from the depths of the Crucial Blast warehouse this week. Released with two different full color covers to totally infuriate collectors and Acid Witch obsessives, Midnight Mass / To Magic, Sex And Gore delivers two monstrous tracks of the band's awesome psychedelic sludgy death metal Walpurgisnacht. Each of these different versions features artwork for one of the two songs, and they look fuckin' killer; as a fanatic for creepy, old EC Comics style artwork, I had to pick up both of 'em.
On "Midnight Mass", the song begins with an Goblin-style keyboard intro combined with some sampled audio from an old witchcraft film (which I'm not able to place), and then it kicks into the crushing chugging doom death, monstrous slow motion Sabbathian deathsludge backed by those killer horror movie style keyboards and soaring psychedelic leads. The other track "To Magic, Sex And Gore" is equally crushing, a blast of groovy doomed death with a pulverizing classic Sab-riff slowed down to a bone crushing crawl and backed by keyboards straight out of a 70's Hammer film. Awesome!
Both versions are extremely limited, and will not be restocked when they sell out.


ACID WITCH   To Magic, Sex And Gore   7" VINYL   (Hells Headbangers)    9.99

To Magic, Sex And Gore IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

This 7" has been out of print for awhile, but I've dug some up from the depths of the Crucial Blast warehouse this week. Released with two different full color covers to totally infuriate collectors and Acid Witch obsessives, Midnight Mass / To Magic, Sex And Gore delivers two monstrous tracks of the band's awesome psychedelic sludgy death metal Walpurgisnacht. Each of these different versions features artwork for one of the two songs, and they look fuckin' killer; as a fanatic for creepy, old EC Comics style artwork, I had to pick up both of 'em.
On "Midnight Mass", the song begins with an Goblin-style keyboard intro combined with some sampled audio from an old witchcraft film (which I'm not able to place), and then it kicks into the crushing chugging doom death, monstrous slow motion Sabbathian deathsludge backed by those killer horror movie style keyboards and soaring psychedelic leads. The other track "To Magic, Sex And Gore" is equally crushing, a blast of groovy doomed death with a pulverizing classic Sab-riff slowed down to a bone crushing crawl and backed by keyboards straight out of a 70's Hammer film. Awesome!
Both versions are extremely limited, and will not be restocked when they sell out. ONLY ONE COPY LEFT OF THIS VERSION!!!!


ACID WITCH   Witchtanic Hellucinations   CD   (Hells Headbangers)    11.99



After being out of print for a while following its release on the notorious death metal label Razorback Records, Acid Witch's 2008 debut Witchtanic Hellucinations was reissued late last year on Cd through Hell's Headbangers, followed by this posh new vinyl reissue of the album. 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, the 2013 redux 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 opnly 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.
Track Samples:
Sample : Witchtanic Hellucinations
Sample : Swamp Spells
Sample : Realm of the Wicked
Sample : October 31st



ACID WITCH   Witchtanic Hellucinations   LP   (Hells Headbangers)    23.98



After being out of print for a while following its release on the notorious death metal label Razorback Records, Acid Witch's 2008 debut Witchtanic Hellucinations was reissued late last year on Cd through Hell's Headbangers, followed by this posh new vinyl reissue of the album. 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, the 2013 redux 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 opnly 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; comes on black and orange vinyl.
Track Samples:
Sample : Witchtanic Hellucinations
Sample : Swamp Spells
Sample : Realm of the Wicked
Sample : October 31st



ACID WITCH   Witchtanic Hellucinations (PURPLE / GREEN VINYL)   LP   (Hells Headbangers)    23.98



  After being out of print for a while following its release on the notorious death metal label Razorback Records, Acid Witch's 2008 debut Witchtanic Hellucinations was reissued late last year on Cd through Hell's Headbangers, followed by this posh new vinyl reissue of the album. 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, the 2013 redux 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 opnly 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; comes on purple and green vinyl.
Track Samples:
Sample : Witchtanic Hellucinations
Sample : Swamp Spells
Sample : Realm of the Wicked
Sample : October 31st



ACRIMONY / CHURCH OF MISERY   split   CD   (Game Two)    11.98

split IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Holy SHIT, are we happy to get this back in stock! Seeing as how this is one of THEE BEST Doom metal splits ever commited to aluminum, and we sold out of 'em the first time around before we could snag a copy for the Crucial Blast office CD rack, we had been hounding Game Two CEO Conan to repress this split featuring the final studio recordings from Welsh melodic/stoned Doom outfit ACRIMONY and blazing tracks from Japan's serial-killer obsessed Doomlords CHURCH OF MISERY. Conan finally got this thing back in print, and we highly recommend it to any fans of crushing DOOM. ACRIMONY's five tracks (never before released, and recorded in 1999) are awesome, melodic, insanely catchy stonerized post-Sabbath psychedelic riffchug anthems, with ultracool vocals from singer Dor and punishing, resin coated, slow as hell doom rock, with grooving asphalt riffs that easily challenge the likes of GOATSNAKE and ELECTRIC WIZARD for sludgy superiority. Awesome. Seriously awesome. CHURCH OF MISERY follow with four unreleased slammers, two of which ("Race With The Devil"- a GUN cover, and "Chilly Grave" )were written/recorded for an EP that ended up never being released, and two other crushers ("Cloud Bed" and "Kingdom Scum"), all of which were recorded in 1996. Monstrous, wah-wah abusing stoner-Doom from these guys, who never fail to flatten us with their fuzz soaked riffage and city-levelling tempos. Again, essential for fans of ultra heavy stoner Doom and gooey sludge metal.


ACROSS TUNDRAS   Dark Songs Of The Prairie   CD   (Crucial Blast)    9.98



Dark Songs Of The Prairie, the first full-length album from Denver's ACROSS TUNDRAS, holds eight portraits of heavy majesty carved out of massive syrup riffage and spacious melodies. Every time I listen to this album, it makes me think of hearing some mysterious 70's country rock outfit thawed out and refitted with mighty amplification, sludgecore tempos, and shoegazey shimmer that conjures up visions of the wide open prairies and looming mountains of the band's home territory. As weighty as the melodic heaviness coming from the from the whole "post-metal" camp, i.e. Pelican, Mouth Of The Architect, Isis, etc., but coming from a different place altogether with their dreamlike vocals and forays into blasted country/folk, ACROSS TUNDRAS draw a tangential line from Neil Young to HUM to NEUROSIS, and unleash a powerful new statement of rustic, crushing Americana. Features former members of Sioux Falls, SD post-hardcore outfits SPIRIT OF VERSAILLES and EXAMINATION OF THE... This is one of the best "heavy metallic rock" albums I've ever heard!


ACROSS TUNDRAS   Divides   CD   (Feeling Faint)    9.98

Divides IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Killer four-song debut from Denver trio ACROSS TUNDRAS, made up of former members of Sioux Falls post-hardcore outfits SPIRIT OR VERSAILLES and EXAMINATION OF THE... Divides sculpts epic,windswept ballads out of huge syrupy melodic sludge riffs and heartfelt, gravelly singing, as spare, chiming guitars map out the snowcapped peaks and great expanses evoked by the band’s moniker. ACROSS TUNDRAS sort of touch on the modern metallic post-rock sound, a la Pelican,Isis,Neurosis, and Mouth Of The Architect, etc., but their minimalist-yet-majestic riffing and distinctly rustic, dusky hooks are more along the lines of GODFLESH jamming with Neil Young on Pentastar-era EARTH tunes. Beautiful and crushing. In any event, this is great shit, and Divides is hands-down one of our fave debut releases of 2005. Can’t wait to hear a full length from these guys! Great artwork from Paul Romano (MASTODON), too.


ACROSS TUNDRAS   Full Moon Blizzard   CDR   (Self Released)    8.98



Released as a limited-run EP that the band was selling on their US tour back in September, Full Moon Blizzard has five new jams from Denver's country-sludge riders packaged in a hamdmade paper sleeve...we only got a couple of these off of the band when they came through Baltimore, and I'm not sure if we'll be able to restock it once these sell out. The disc opens with "Razorwire Blues", a drowsy rocker that 's pretty upbeat compared to their Dark Songs Of The Prairie stuff, but still has that Neil Young-gone-sludge metal vibe with distant howling vocals. "Thunderclap Stomp" has the thick sheen of reverb that enshrouded Dark Songs and sounds like it could've fit right onto that album; there's a killer hook here too, and some pretty aggressive metallic riffing before it slows down into a killer psychedelic zone-out for the last half of the song. "Oh, Bury Me Not..." is a thumping country-folk jam moving through a swirling fog of effects, heavy drumming, somber acoustic strum and layered vocals that are even more hazed out and stoned than usual for these guys. "Gallows Pole" follows, another slow motion countrified sludge jam, and the last track "Phantom Ride" marries a faintly distorted acoustic guitar and slow-galloping rhythms to a Harvest-esque melody. The three "louder" songs are basically demo versions of tunes that are slated to appear on Across Tundra's next full length, while the other two folk tunes are recordings that only appear on this disc. The recording is pretty raw, as everything was recorded live to tape and it's essentially an in-the-moment document of the band's new material captured through busted equipment and vintage amplifiers, but if you were into their Dark Songs album and the Divides EP, these jams definitely bring the heavy Tundra action. Eerie, druggy Western atmosphere from Denver's heaviest. The unmarked CD-R comes in a paper folder printed on an odd textured stock embossed with swirly patterns, along with a couple of insert/lyric sheets and an actual black bird feather.


ACROSS TUNDRAS   Dark Songs Of The Prairie   LP   (Kreation)    14.98



Now available on heavy silver and black vinyl from Kreation.
Dark Songs Of The Prairie, the first full-length album from Denver's ACROSS TUNDRAS, holds eight portraits of heavy majesty carved out of massive syrup riffage and spacious melodies. Every time I listen to this album, it makes me think of hearing some mysterious 70's country rock outfit thawed out and refitted with mighty amplification, sludgecore tempos, and shoegazey shimmer that conjures up visions of the wide open prairies and looming mountains of the band's home territory. As weighty as the melodic heaviness coming from the from the whole "post-metal" camp, i.e. Pelican, Mouth Of The Architect, Isis, etc., but coming from a different place altogether with their dreamlike vocals and forays into blasted country/folk, ACROSS TUNDRAS draw a tangential line from Neil Young to HUM to NEUROSIS, and unleash a powerful new statement of rustic, crushing Americana. Features former members of Sioux Falls, SD post-hardcore outfits SPIRIT OF VERSAILLES and EXAMINATION OF THE... This is one of the best "heavy metallic rock" albums I've ever heard!


ACT   XL   CD   (Amanita)    12.98

XL IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Powerful complex post-rock from France that offers an intricate blend of live-action drum&bass breakbeats,guitar noise and free jazz,heavy SCORN-like dub beats and swirling RAPOON-style drones as played by a post-industrial/fusion-metal outfit, using bowed strings,a variety of percussion kits,prepared guitar,computer feedback,saxophone,custom-built bass,and sampler. Quite heavy and bombastic at times, but also slipping into some total right-angle grooves and jazzy abstraction,and actually getting nice and dreamy when ACT falls into some processed sax blowing and scraping drones. Kinda reminds us of a thunderous mix of Tortoise and Young Gods and Kong. Eighteen songs in seventy-four minutes, totally rewarding, often beautiful music for fans of challenging post-rock.


ACTUARY   The Reality Is The Dream Is Dead   CD + ZINE   (Crucial Blaze)    9.99

The Reality Is The Dream Is Dead IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Since forming late in the latter half of the past decade, the California-based extreme noise outfit Actuary has been steadily cranking out a stream of split releases that saw them sharing wax (or other petroleum-based substances) with everyone from Merzbow, Bastard Noise and Gnaw Their Tongues side-project Aderlating to cult underground noise spewers like Winters In Osaka, Bacteria Cult, Juhyo and Fetus Eaters. Keeping up with their prolific output has been a daunting task, but also a rewarding one, as Actuary has been pretty consistent in quality, offering epic-length blasts of abstract electronic chaos, extreme psychedelic circuit-fuckery and monstrous synth abuse with each new release that are primed for some serious sonic skull-melt.
On their first real full-length Cd 'The Reality Is, The Dream Is Dead', Actuary returns to present us with four new tracks of intense noise that covers all of the different aspects of their sound. The opener 'Spiritual Armageddon' sends spasms of squelchy electronic carnage through a massive rumbling dronescape, evoking visions of high-end robotics in the throes of mass suicide in the bowels of some subterranean forge, interspersing the blasts of crazed glitchery and hyper-speed tape-vomit with passages of dark, reverberating factory ambience. 'Heat Of Eternal Punishment' blends together scraping metallic tones and textures with more of that violently spastic sine wave manipulation and sputtering distortion, later shifting into fields of fearsome industrial soundscaping and layered, processed samples that ratchet up the panic level to nearly unbearable heights. Corrosive buzz saw drones flutter and fluctuate across the 'Pool Of Perpetual Torment', building into crushing waves of percussive industrial pummel, malfunctioning engine roar and mangled electronics. And on the final track 'Baptized In Flames', the band works up a smoldering, apocalyptic noisescape infested with the sounds of clanking metal chains, pulsating distorted synths, and the howling of mutant cetaceans, and by the end of the album has transformed into something resembling an entire megalopolis being consumed in a hell of nuclear fire.
The malevolent, psychedelic electronics that Actuary exudes across 'Reality' takes the sort of brutal cyborg chaos found in the likes of Bastard Noise and Government Alpha, and drenches it in a heavy coating of dextromethorphan delirium, making for some of their heaviest noise so far. Released in a limited, hand-numbered edition of two hundred copies as part of the 'Crucial Blaze' series, 'The Reality Is The Dream Is Dead' also features a thirty-two page art zine assembled by the band, filled with strange, surrealistic artwork from members of the band as well as contributions from FetusK, Mories (Gnaw Their Tongues), Chris Dodge (Spazz), Jay Randall (Agoraphobic Nosebleed) and more...
Track Samples:
Sample : Spiritual Armageddon
Sample : Baptized In Flames
Sample : Pool Of Perpetual Torment



ACTUARY / ADERLATING   Curses and Conspiracies   CASSETTE   (Love Earth Music)    6.00

Curses and Conspiracies IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Gah, Actuary is all over place lately; these guys just keep cranking out their oft-bizarre nightmare industrial music, and on this tape they're doing another collaborative project, here hooking up with Aderlating (the improv-black-psych side project from Mories of Gnaw Their Tongues. Aderlating brings more of it's improvised infernal mania to it's appearance on this tape, which is put together around the concept of each artist contributing percussion to each others tracks. The result might be my fave Actuary recordings to date.
The garbled processed screams that introduce Actuary's "Interior Interloper" kick their side right into swarming horror from the start, unleashing a bunch of strained, distorted howls of PE-style violence over a backdrop of furious static distortion, pounding sampled percussion, bizarre rhythmic loops, and a thick layer of flesh melting hiss that coats every inch of the psychotic industrial assault. At times, it sounds as if Actuary are trying to smash huge hunks of K2-style junknoise into something resembling a 'groove', but then they'll end up collapsing into a squirming heap of over-modulated feedback, writhing musical fragments, mangled tape noise and walls of fx-blasted static. This mode of assault drops off when the second track "Feast Or Famine" comes in, switching gears into a monstrous drum-circle of pounding tribal percussion from Aderlating that becomes surrounded by demonic growls, high keening horn-like drones, all sorts of chirping electronics, and again, that sticky coating of granular hiss that hangs on everything like black mold, and gradually turns into something resembling a midnight Moroccan devil ritual entangled in thick trails in opium smoke.
That sonic is turned all the way up on Aderlating's side, beginning with the blasting black metal trance of "Goat Mass". This song is insane, a free-for-all skullfuck of improvised drumming, mechanized blast beats, harsh hellish screams, weird electronic effects and synths, black metal riffs so distorted and murky that they come out as a blur of swarming botfly noise. The first few minutes are vicious, a mess of black noize mayhem, but then it transforms into an even weirder free-jazz infected improv jam over the second half of the track. The other Aderlating track "Sadist Devil Children" picks right up from there with another filthy free-noise/drum freak-out, mashing together old 60's devil-worship film samples with wild, unhinged drumming (courtesy of the Actuary guys), clattering scrap-metal, putrid wordless vocalizations, and some extremely deformed bass riffage. It's not like anything I've heard from Aderlating, like this fucked-up PCP-fueled mash up of Abruptum and Merzbow's recent improv-drumming noise workouts. Love it !!!
Released in a limited edition of one hundred copies, with full-color artwork/packaging.


ACTUARY / BACTERIA CULT   split   7" VINYL   (Vomitcore Music)    8.50



I've been getting into Actuary quite a bit this year after hearing their sickening side of the split with Bastard Noise that came out a few months ago, along with their stuff that I just picked up on Love Earth Music. It comes out of a true-blue industrial music approach, but Actuary's music has this evil, sadistic energy to it that really reels me in. They make a good match for fellow Californians Bacteria Cult on this split 7", with both bands offering a single track of murderous electronic/industrial filth on a translucent blue slab of wax that is presented in a very nice-looking, kaleidoscopic full color sleeve.
Actuary's "The Self Defies The Soul" is a seething mass of nightmare death drone, possessed by recordings of an axe hacking through a torso and the accompanying shrieks of horror, and snatches of overheard conversation in desperate tones that are draped over a soul-charring synthesizer drone and feedback that scrapes against the edges of your nerves and time-stretched screams of extreme agony, all escalating into increasingly abrasive and harsh levels of crushing sun-blotting black distortion.
Offering an experience that is just as bleak, "Milgram's Participants" (which takes it's title and subject matter from controversial early 60s electro-shock experiments) from Bacteria Cult (featuring Chris Dodge from Spazz/Hellnation/Ancient Chinese Secret/East West Blast Test, Jay Howard from Circuit Wound / Wire Werewolves and Kevin Fetus from Fetus Eaters / Watch Me Burn) layers static-soaked voices over stretched and manipulated drum sounds, sheets of industrial hum and whirr, and slow-motion cymbal splashes, then introduces a crushing percussive loop that transforms the song into a malevolent factory dirge. Heavy stuff.


ACTUARY / BASTARD NOISE   Skeletal Uncertainty   LP   (Love Earth Music)    11.98



The Actuary onslaught continues as these prolific electro-terrorists drop another dose of their brutal psychedelic noise alongside some new brute-force locust-swarm electronics from Bastard Noise...
Bastard Noise's "Incineration Prayer" is one of their hardcore electronic meltdowns, beginning with a maniacal pedal / oscillator freak-out that sends globs of juddering bass tones, abrasive glitchy noises and gigantic amp-shaking drones flying around the room. This grows more violent as it goes on, a frenzy of squelch and squeal and rumbling rib-rattling heaviness, building into this massive murderous death-drone that worms it's way through the entire side. And then the vocals hit - a squirming mass of black metal-esque shrieks and gargling guttural horror that comes drifting in from the background, a nightmare wave of vomit and hostility that joins in with the whirring, squealing electronic noise. It's fucking terrifying when this starts to peak towards the end, and is as brutal and psychedelic and apocalyptic as anything off their newer albums.
Actuary are an unpredictable lot, sometimes dishing out experimental glitchscapes and blackened industrial, sometimes melting down into a bizarre grindnoise assault. Here, you get the more ambient side of Actuary's sound. The first of the two tracks on their side begins with steady waves of white noise and crackling feedback, a hushed oceanswirl of noise that resembles some of Werewolf Jerusalem's minimalist drone-walls. This swirling black sea of hiss later on becomes a murky mass of sampled radio signals and unintelligible voices, heavy low end drone and more abrasive noise, getting downright violent towards the end. The second is based around a deep, threatening low-end drone that undulates beneath various Morse code beeps, clipped CB transmissions, and faint synth noises trailing across the pitch black ambience, less in-your-face than the preceding material, but much more textural and malevolent. Comes on grey vinyl in a jacket illustrated and designed by Fetus K.


ACTUARY / JUHYO   split   7" FLEXI   (Love Earth Music)    4.99



The hyper-prolific Cali band Actuary (which sometimes features members of Bacteria Cult, Spazz, and grind weirdoes Fetus Eaters) continues to puke up more of their abstract dark industrial, a sound that seems to be growing more monstrous and deformed with each new release; on this outing, they share a one-sided flexi disc with Minneapolis noise duo Juhyo, and both groups deliver a short but effective track of heavy industrial atmospherics and pneumatic death-trance.
First up is Actuary's "Non Passive Failure"; it's a mesmerizing cloud of interstellar ambience, a billowing mass of incandescent drones and whirring electronics that become increasingly littered with an assortment of scratching noises, gritty textural sounds and eventually a rush of sinister synth notes ascending into the atmosphere as a wall of smoldering black distortion encroaches on the shimmering cosmic drift; by the end of the track, it becomes a pyre of electronic immolation.
Juhyo's "The Suffocation Colony" follows with an exercise in rhythmic noise fuckery and bursts of controlled harsh distortion, one that gradually evolves into a factory din of looping machine rumble, rhythmic flanger sweeps, juddering engines, and erupting into a malevolent wall of mechanical noise and haunting synthdrift at the end. Definitely in the same vein as the similarly bleak industrial sounds that were recently offered on their recent split with Blue Sabbath Black Cheer and Bacteria Cult.
Released on a red translucent flexi disc without a sleeve, no doubt in some tiny limited edition run.


ACTUARY / THE BLACK SCORPIO UNDERGROUND   Metamorphosis Of The Transgressor   CASSETTE   (Love Earth Music)    6.50



Here is some more crushing skull-shred from Actuary, who has been taking over my stereo lately after a bunch of their releases landed on my desk all at once. I've got their new split with Bacteria Cult elsewhere on this week’s list of new arrivals, and here we have another split, this one with Black Scorpio Underground, another Californian noise group that has been around awhile from what I can tell, but up till now I haven't come across any of their stuff. Each band takes over a side of this cassette and dish out a mix of abstract sounds both hallucinatory and violent.
Up first is Actuary with "Stricken Host Lies Down", a gleaming abyssal dronescape of flanged metallic pulses receding into darkness, surrounded by glitchy electronic noises and heavy use of delay, which seems to be a signature part of their sound. The side starts off quietly with an eerie, minimal field of dark drift, but it soon erupts into a chaos of modulated squelch and glitch and thick buzzing drones; the chanting of demonic monks appears, their low hymn buried under layers of increasingly violent noise. By the end of the track, Actuary whips up a raging storm of sonic skullshred that is on par with the junknoise orgies of K2.
On the other side, The Black Scorpio Underground go for a weirder, more ritualistic din with their two tracks. The first, "Genital Minotaur", is an unnerving cut-up of singing voices and the blathering of TV evangelists over a simple hypnotic drumbeat, joined by clanking chains and squealing guitar noise. On the second, "Immolation/Revelation", the band sets off a harrowing descent into the grinding machinery of an infernal steelworks surrounded by vague voices muttering almost out of earshot as titanic slabs of metal grind together in harmony. I really dug this, and will be keeping an eye out for more from this obscure outfit.


ACTUARY / WINTERS IN OSAKA   Chosen Curse   7" VINYL   (Love Earth Music)    6.50



More Actuary, more creeping industrial menace, more psychic abrasion. On Chosen Curse, the SoCal void-pilots hitch a ride with Winters In Osaka for a quick jaunt straight down the yawning throat of Hell. The guys in Actuary have so far been pretty good at selecting bands on their splits that actually compliment their sound, rather than just taking up space on the other side of the record.
Actuary's "False Relics" journey's further into the realms of cybernetic industrial horror that this band has been progressively exploring with each new release. It's a hailstorm of broken glass and menacing distorted synths that sweep in and lead right into the track's chaotic noisescape, quickly rising in intensity and volume from that glitch-ridden mass of swirling electronic noise and processed bells into a destructive tidal wave of harsh blast, sampled screams and ultra-distorted heaviness that consumes and pulverizes everything in it's path. Definitely hits the spot.
Depending on the record, I've heard Winters In Osaka unleash everything from Godfleshian industrial crush to total abstract noise, so I wasn't sure what to expect this time around. Their track "Floors" begins with soft cinematic ambience at first, delicate electronic notes sparkling against a pitch-black void, but as a steady rising swell of rumbling bass comes rushing in, it quickly becomes much more threatening and transforms into the sort of ghastly infernal ambience that these guys excel at. Those high, shimmering tones maintain a constant presence throughout the track, even as a huge wall of distortion nearly consumes the entire sound field, becoming an almost wall-like block of black static through which faint traces of melody can be heard. Bursts of abrasive rhythmic noise and vast trumpeting bass tones take flight at the very end, when everything suddenly crashes to a stop.
On colored vinyl, and presented in a gorgeous looking record that features brightly colored, occult-themed sleeve art that was created by Mories (Gnaw Their Tongues / Aderlating) and Kevin Fetus (Lack Of Interest / Fetus Eaters / Bacteria Cult).


AD LUX TENEBRAE   Zov Predkov   CD   (Vegvisir Music)    12.98












Track Samples:
Sample : II
Sample : III



ADERLATING   The Nectar Of Perversity Springs From The Well Of   CDR   (Shadowgraph)    10.98

The Nectar Of Perversity Springs From The Well Of IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

If you've seen one of Gnaw Their Tongues's albums, it's easy to see the familiar traits when you look over the gatefold jacket that the disc comes in...there's that verbose album title, and songs with over-the-top occultic names like "Rope, Pig's Blood, Dead Flesh And Two Candles", "Cut Off My Penis In Praise Of Black Satan", "A Circle Drawn With Chalk On Wood", the murky artwork on the back cover that seems to show a cloaked figure standing before a nude woman with a couple of candles sticking out of her ass in some dank crypt-temple, the horrific cover art that has a screaming woman huddled in deep shadows, covered only by some kind of shroud, her eyes nothing but smudges of pure blackness...yep, the visuals and vibe make it pretty obvious that Aderlating is another project from Gnaw Their Tongues mainman Mories, and fans of GTT's pitch-black orchestral/industrial horror are going to love this too, even though Aderlating does indeed differ a bit from Mories's main band...
If anything, Aderlating is more stripped down and ambient than GTT, with wide expanses of swirling reverb and plodding industrial sounds and vast fields of Lustmordian cavedrift. The eight tracks move through passages of fearsome demonic ambience, blasts of caustic carrion wind and crushing death industrial rhythms, utterly massive subterranean drones, monstrous roaring and distant screams lost in a fog of hellish noise, huge grinding chunks of distorted doom riffage surfacing from out of the slime, deep satanic chants resounding from stygian depths, the sounds of wailing tortured voices welling up in bloodcurdling chorales, warped bits of melody and waves of rotted-out amp drone, washes of endless cymbal shimmer and pummeling martial percussion, hideous smears of abstract black metal guitar buried beneath dense layers of metallic clang and electronic detritus and diseased ambience...but where naw Their Tongues follows a similiar path by piling on immense orchestral strings and pounding tympani and building a suffocating wall of blackened symphonic chaos, Aderlating stretches that sound out into a more abstract and ambient expanse of formless industrial dread. At times, this sounds like a weird mix of classic Swedish death industrial, horror film soundtracks and free-jazz percussion. It has enough of that GTT DNA that Gnaw Their TOngues fans will definitely want to hear this, but it's definitely it's own beast. Totally great, and another excellent vision of infernal black horror from the master...limited to only 200 copies, packaged in a full color jacket.
Track Samples:
Sample : Doodstorm
Sample : Geest
Sample : Rope Pigs Blood Dead Flesh And Two Candles



ADERLATING   The Golden Mass   CASSETTE   (Fall Of Nature)    7.50

The Golden Mass IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

A new limited edition cassette from this offshoot of the famed Dutch black industrial/doom outfit Gnaw Their Tongues. Aderlating has always been an outlet for GTT mastermind Mories to explore more ambient, subdued soundscapes. The Golden Mass certainly falls in that realm with five tracks of ghostly rumblings, ominous metallic drones, distant percussion and haunted aural apparitions that swirl and uncoil like the heavy smoke that rises over a subterranean black magic ritual. The opening title track is a nightmarish fog of monstrous whispers and chiming tones, distant bells and raging undercurrents of heavy distorted noise, at times sounding like some washed-out, muffled HNW piece occurring behind a veil of electronic voice phenomena. On "Rapture", though, you start to hear the terrifying orchestral sounds that Mories is known for, as he lays evil, dissonant violin and other sinister strings over vague horn sections and more swirling black fog, some strange creaking sounds slowly coming to the forefront, developing into an intensely disturbing, industrial tinged horror-score. The sound of clanking chains and grinding machinery takes over on "Wisdom From Pain", a violent foundry hallucination filled with pounding pneumatic presses and sheet-metal chaos.
The second side begins with the guttural buzz of Tibetan throat singing over the vast rumbling apocalypse of "Song For Mahapadma", a pitch-black industrial dronescape littered with clanking machinery, massive grinding drones, deep tectonic tremors and frenetic percussion. The last track "The Traditions Of Magyar Witchery" also revolves around powerful metal reverberations and heavy machine noises, but it unleashes a choir of ghostly voices and strange electronic sounds into the din, taking the abstract industrial ambience and transforming it into a hellish urban bedlam not unlike the mortuary industrial music of T.O.M.B.
Released in an edition of one hundred copies, with on-shell printing on red tinted cassettes and full-color packaging.
Track Samples:
Sample : The Golden Mass
Sample : Wisdom From Pain
Sample : The Traditions Of Magyar Witchery



ADERLATING   Gospel Of The Burning Idols   CD   (Black Plagve)    9.98



Like most of his other projects, Aderlating is steeped in an intense haze of nightmarish delirium and depravity, a sound that seethes within most of the projects from Dutch nightmare sculptor Mories (Gnaw Their Tongues, De Magia Veterum, Cloak Of Altering, Mors Sonat, etc.). But with Aderlating, the duo that Mories is in alongside Eric Eijspaart from noise project Mowlawner, the musicians craft a more abstract vision of disturbing death-worship that is considerably less rooted in extreme metal and more in black, formless industrial music. Gospel Of The Burning Idols is a new full-length from the group that features seven tracks of this chaotic, stygian sound, undulating with smoldering black distortion and eerie chamber-strings, vague strains of orchestral sound glimmering beneath the echoing clank of monstrous mechanical rhythms and those putrid, inhuman vocals.
While there's some tenuous sonic connection to Mories's work with Gnaw Their Tongues in the use of mutated orchestral samples, this is pretty much an entirely different beast, a nightmarish concoction of experimental black ambience that is marked with a furious percussive element that is a signature part of Aderlating's sound. All throughout the album, the music is set upon by blasts of flailing free-form drumming that give parts of this a demented free-jazz feel, a kind of abstract black doom but with fragmented orchestral moans, blasts of hellish power electronics and waves of suffocating swarming static in place of metallic riffage. The musical elements are mostly obscured beneath the crumbling walls of distorted noise and rumbling distorted synth, and at times this album takes on an almost HNW-like feel as waves of dense black static crash endlessly across the far-off symphonic strings and smears of soundtracky electronic texture. On tracks like "A Vulture's Tongue Disease", shambolic drums lurch and stumble beneath the sounds of deformed liturgical chanting and murderous croaked vocals, angelic choirs bleeding across the black cauldron of the night sky, coming together into a surreal din of heavy improvisational drumming and pitch-black ambience. "The Burial Gown Reeks Of Semen" unleashes a clanking cacophony of far-off percussive sound into a dank dungeon thrumming with hateful demonic gibberish and buzzing synthesizer, and on "Dragged To The Smouldering Pits Of Infinity" the duo delve even deeper into a strange sort of abyssal free-jazz, those roiling formless drums tumbling chaotically through the haze of haunted drift and dreary monochrome drone as snarling distorted voices snap at their tails.
The rest of Gospel maintains that midnight, nightmarish vibe, wandering deliriously through clouds of ghostly whispering and strange incantations, the sound of tolling church bells swallowed up by churning nocturnal fog. The sound suddenly surges into another one of those frenetic percussive freak-outs, crashing, pounding drums surrounded by sinister utterances and murky ambient rumble, that percussive free-jazz feel coursing through these delirious black industrial driftscapes, finally closing with the hallucinatory electronic din of the title track, where squirming feedback becomes fused to doom-laden cellos creeping in slow-mo through the vast, sulfurous depths.
Comes in a four-panel gatefold digisleeve.
Track Samples:
Sample : The Burial Gown Reeks Of Semen
Sample : Gospel Of The Burning Idols
Sample : A Vulture's Tongue Disease



ADERLATING   Spear Of Gold And Seraphim Bone Part Two   CD   (ConSOULing Sounds)    13.98



  The duo of Maurice de Jong (Gnaw Their Tongues / Cloak Of Altering / Mors Sonat) and Eric Eijspaart (Mowlawner) are back with the second chapter in their Spear Of Gold And Seraphim Bone saga. As with the previous album, Aderlating unleash their particular brand of improv-heavy black industrial over the course of these eight tracks, and it's an almost totally oppressive listening experience. Gnaw their Tongues fans will no doubt appreciate the intense nightmarish quality of Aderlating's music, but what makes this stand out from the rest of Mories's projects is the formidable free-improv drumming that lurches and thunders throughout this album, bringing a twisted, almost free-jazz like kineticism to their sprawling, chaotic noisescapes.
  Opening with horrific squalls of ghostly anguish and rumbling industrial murk that tear through the beginning of "Per Luciferum Dominum Nostrum", Aderlating begins to unveil the album's eight descents into black delirium, the repetitive pounding of kettledrum-like rhythms thundering way down in the depths of their dirty, darkened mix, bleating horns and smears of surreal orchestral sound appearing over the noisy, abstract hellscape, veins of churning distorted noise pulsing with black energy as warped string sections come tumbling wildly out of the abyss - the first five minutes of Spear alone is the stuff of nightmares. As the album unfolds, swarms of insectile noise billow out in black clouds from sulfuric holes, and demented, agonized cries echo endlessly out of the depths. Tracks like "Worship Of Dead Gods" can resemble some of the more subdued Gnaw Their Tongues material, with smears of distant orchestral sound becoming blurred beneath monstrous tectonic rumblings and bursts of searing electronic noise, the sound bleary and amorphous, an abstract dreamlike blur of ghostly sound and distant infernal churn that is slowly overtaken by the band's signature use of frantic, improvised percussion.
   There are moments of eerie gleaming beauty here as well, strains of soft symphonic strings bleeding out of deep rumbling noisescapes, washes of spectral minor key chamber ambience wafting across the blasted, charred apocalyptic wastes of Aderlating's aural landscape. On "The Seer Is Burning", they unfold a vast muted ambient sprawl of strange creaking noises, witchy murmurings, spurts of backwards glitch and clouds of dissonant symphonic strings that hang suspended in the gloom, amid far-off percussive noises and crashing sounds, and massive low-frequency pulses. In moments like those, it's like some abstract horror movie soundtrack, stitched together from mutated modern classical elements and field recordings of abandoned mental asylums. From there, the album moves through increasingly terrible realms of murky doom-laden heaviness, screaming choirs of fallen angels, monstrous moaning utterances and ghastly gasping voices, expanses of cold morgue ambience and reverberating metallic clank, sheets of smoldering distorted crackle, diseased pools of seething dungeon drift split apart by volleys of that violent free-improvised drumming, and rushes of terrifying EVP-esque voices from beyond the grave, all fused together and merged into dense, suffocating waves of black sound that can almost give you the impression that you're listening to some foul, necrotic version of European improvisers AMM.
Track Samples:
Sample : When The Darkness Overwhelms Angels Return To Their Graves
Sample : Per Luciferum Dominum Nostrum
Sample : A Vessel For The Void



ADERLATING   Spear Of Gold And Seraphim Bone Part One   CD   (ConSOULing Sounds)    13.98



   Along with Aderlating's newest follow-up, we finally have this 2011 disc back in stock as well. The first in the duo's Spear Of Gold And Seraphim Bone series, this album continues in the vein of their previous excursions into rumbling blackened industrial, slimy dungeon ambience, and ferocious free-improv. Made up of members Mories (of Gnaw Their Tongues infamy, as well as a member of other, equally blackened and bizarre projects like Mors Sonat, Cloak Of Altering, and De Magia Veterum) and fellow Dutch noisemaker Eric Eijspaart (aka Mowlawner), Aderlating specializes in a particular brand of twisted sonic nightmare, one that billows out across Spear of Gold in phosphorescent flashes of chaotic horror that illuminate a churning, percussive undercurrent.
   From the rattling chains, monstrous incantations and orchestral disorder that swarms over the beginning of "Black Emperor At The Temple’s Gate", the duo unleash an intensely murky, frenzied sound that shares the faintest similarity with the mutant symphonic dread of Gnaw Their Tongues. The pounding, freeform drumming that rumbles and rattles throughout the mix is, as always, one of Aderlating's signature qualities, like some caveman free-jazz percussive freak-out detonating way down in the depths, the crashing cymbals and rolling freight-train rhythms obscured by the dim light, seething beneath a veil of corroded factory ambience, choruses of ghostly sighs and deep, low-frequency drones. It's a fearsome mix of cinematic sound design, intensely abstracted black metal, pitch-black electronic ambience and an derangement of almost AMM-like percussive tumult that these guys whip up here, hellish wailing voices drifting up from the sulfurous bass-drenched depths, flecks of ghastly utterances mixed with putrid distorted glitchery, and then suddenly they'll explode into something like the title track, a swirling miasma of violent black metal and frantic blastbeats polluted with strange clanking sounds and swarming demonic shrieks, the sound all diffused and bleary, the blasting drums becoming increasingly lost in the sonic fog, further obscured by more random sheet metal clatter and nightmarish chorales. The centerpiece of the album, however, arrives with the epic "Engel Der Wrake"; for more than eighteen minutes, the band unleashes a mutated High Mass of ritualistic percussion and deformed chanting, which later transforms into bizarre, electronically-tinged black metal, the off-kilter blastbeats buried beneath bursts of blaring war-horns, marked by the sudden appearance of a single, malevolent vocal presence that hisses its reptilian malice over the hallucinatory black chaos before it all melts down into a vast expanse of mesmerizing orchestral drift and immense bass tones that pulse mindlessly in the depths. In a lot of ways, this is the most alien-sounding of all of Mories's many projects; fans of his work with Gnaw Their Tongues will obviously dig the dreadful vibe of this stuff, but ultimately Aderlating's hallucinogenic death-improv creeps through a particular layer of hell all its own.
   Comes in slipcase packaging in a limited edition of five hundred copies.
Track Samples:
Sample : Black Emperor at the Temple's Gate
Sample : A New Plaque for Every Triumph
Sample : Spear of Gold and Seraphim Bone



ADERLATING / CROWN OF BONE   split   CDR   (Small Doses)    10.99













ADMIRAL BROWNING   Magic Elixer   CD   (Dancing Sasquatch Records And Medicine Company)    5.00



This power-trio hails from Middletown, a small town that's just a couple of minutes down the road from Crucial Blast HQ here in Maryland, and while they have self-released a couple of discs since 2005, this is the first time that I've picked up their stuff to carry here at Crucial Blast. The band has been honing their brand of instrumental prog-sludge with these self released discs and tours along the East Coast, and with this new five song EP, Admiral Browning have really blossomed into something amazing. This is immensely heavy stuff that combines old school doom metal, prog, math rock, and psychedelia into a burly mass of complex, dizzying heaviness that doesn't really sound like anyone else. Fans of metallic riff-heavy instrumental bands like Karma To Burn, Suzukiton and Stinking Lizaveta will probably go berserk over this, but Admiral Browning doesn't sound like those bands. The doomy element is WAY heavier, the riffs huge and leaden like Saint Vitus, but from the crawling suarian doom the band leaps into spiralling shred, the guitars weaving from Greg Ginn style skronk to awesome Champs-like harmonies, angular math rock and spacey Floydian psychedelia. There's the massive Mastodon-meets-Saint Vitus crush of "Vortexer", the energetic guitar heroics of "Ol Martini Man" and even the campfire acoustic jam "No Good Stones". I love the way that the Maryland doom metal influence is so prominent here, while at the same time this is more than just doom, like other Maryland bands like Revelation and Life Beyond, these guys take that plodding Sabbath-influenced sound into proggier territory, though noone has done quite as heavily as Admiral Browning have with Magic Elixir. Recommended.
Nice digipack packaging, too.
Track Samples:
Sample : Vortexer
Sample : Ol Martini Man
Sample : No Good Stones



ADP   Grey   CASSETTE   (Self Released)    4.98

Grey IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Here's a pretty fuckin' bonkers demo of (brain)damaged outsider metal from Australia that came my way as part of a big box of stuff that we picked up from Starlight Temple Society. Starlight Temple Society seems to be a beacon for some really whacked out, low fi death n' black metal, and this four song tape is certainly ranking pretty high on my weirdometer... ADP is also about as obscure as a band can get, with no website or any information about them at all to be found online, and the jacket for the tape is totally devoid of info save for the track titles. The four songs on this tape are super low fi, fairly muddy, but also kinda huge sounding, as if ADP used an 8-track tape recorder inside of an empty church to record their demo. The first song is called "Genocide Diver" and it's a twisted bit of murky doom, slow reverb soaked riffs churning repeatedly over sloppy, straightforward drumming, weird atonal melodies contorting in the background, sickening wordless screams and brain-damaged chanting oozing across their raw dirge. Somewhat like what I would expect a demo tape from Esoteric or Disembowelment to sound like if either of those bands ended up getting too fucking stoned and just started to let the tape roll. "Carcinogenic" is even more shapeless, and sounds like it might be mostly improvised: the drummer plays a minimal beat while the guitars melt into a gooey pile of primitive doom riffing that just up and stops every few measures, no vocals, nuthin', and then the end of the track become all clipped and phased as the music begins to run backward. Weird. "I Drunk Your Bones" barrels in with raw punky riffing, drooling pub chanting and a midtempo beat that sounds like some weird Oi! version of Venom or something. And as if this tape couldn't get any weirder, we get the last track "Darkest Grey", which returns to the raw doom of the first two songs, but goes completely off the deep end with a mix of bizarre vocal styles, one of which is ridiculously nasally and affected, the other one a deep gutteral snot-gurgling roar that goes way beyond being incomprehensible, and even breaking down into fits of coughing. The nasally vocals remind me a little of The Wizar'd, that wacky Australian doom metal band that put out a CD on Rusty Axe, and come to think of it, ADP sound exactly like the kind of damaged, weirdo metal I'd expect to hear from that label. This jam gets more fucked up as it progresses, with weird jazzy basslines, high pitched falsetto chanting, endlessly repeating dirge riffs, and other strangeness.


ADRIFT   Monolito   CD   (Alone -Spain-)    11.98



The European sludge offensive continues! Some of you might have caught these guys on the Waterloo compilation that came out a while back on Waterloo Records, but that was a good four years ago and through a series of label mishaps it's taken this long for their debut full length to make it's way over here, via the Spanish label Alone who picked the album up after the original label that released it bit the dust. Alone is a perfect home for this stuff, Adrift's complex sludge sitting comfortably next to other contempo arty/psych-warped tarpit-metal bands like Warachetype, Cuzo, El Paramo, and Orthodox. I thought their tracks on that comp were pretty cool, their slightly proggy take on Neurosis/Isis style sludge metal more interesting than a lot of this kind of stuff, and on Monolito they explore that sound further, adding a little more prog influence while keeping their riffs mired in asphalt crunch. The nine songs are more slightly more mathy and more angular than what you hear from your typical Neurosis disciples, and it seems like both Tool and King Crimson influences are at work here. Their sludge is heavy as hell though, massive down tuned riffs and lumbering tempos galore, layered with those math rock moments, angular basslines, drumming that weaves in and out of subtle time signature changes and punishing elephantine crush, the band sometimes slipping into a rocking Sabbathy groove or quick bursts of Dillenger / Killmen-esque math metal, or letting soaring space rock leads take flight, or drop into scummy, staggering swamp-doom. While these flourishes (which also include some eerie slide guitar sounds, some scathing black metal style shrieks, and druggy psychedelic effects) don't distance their music that far from the rest of the Neurosis/Isis influenced crowd, fans of this sort of crushing metallic math heaviness (a la Celeste, Minsk, Neila, Overmars, Kongh, General Lee, Battlefields, Cult Of Luna, Omega Massif, etc. ) are going to dig Adrift's slightly more oblique sludge battery.
Track Samples:
Sample : Falling Towers
Sample : Scar Thunder



ADRIVA   Cold Sea Week   CD   (Abgurd)    9.98



Another sonic portrait of icy black drone from the Russian Abgurd label, Cold Sea Week is a new full length disc from the solo project Adriva aka Denis Shapovalov from the Russian city of Rostov-On-Don. He's also responsible for creating the grim industrial drones in the groups Sunchariot, Enmerkar, and Matter, and fans of the ominous ambience of that Sunchariot CD-R that we listed in the last Crucial Blast update in December will dig this at least as much. A three track disc, packaged in a simple full-color cardstock sleeve in a sealed mylar bag, the disc jacket featuring front and back paintings of cold, grey expanses of water beneath overcast skies, painted in a highly impressionistic style that fits with the heavy submerged dronescapes. Each lengthy track is a dense swirl of doomy minor key ambience and soft rumbling amplifier distortion, buried under leagues of looping percussion, rumbling synthesizer pulses, and deep bass tones. The sound is completely blurred, all of it's edges softened and smeared into a churning haunting hum. The last track is the most minimal, a shimmery subsonic ocean of amplifier hum turning over on itself in extreme slow motion, ghostly voices and soft focus melody emerging alongside the menacing far-off clangs of metal and feedback. Beautiful, dark drone works a la Troum, in another super limited run of only 100 copies.
Track Samples:
Sample : Track 1
Sample : Track 3



ADRIVA   Losung   CDR   (Strely Peruna)    10.00



All of the releases that have surfaced from the cult Russian outfit Adriva over the past decade have been issued in extremely tiny editions and are thus highly sought after by fans of the project's brand of dark occult-influenced industrial ambience. The 2007 disc Losung is no exception, released in a hand-numbered edition of one hundred copies on the obscure Russian label Strely Peruna in a large, hand-assembled folder with an assortment of insert materials. The guy behind Adriva is Denis Shapovalov, who fans of Slavic black metal might recognize from the band Sunchariot, and the desolate ritualistic sounds that are explored on Adriva's Losung share some common ground with the grim pagan death-rites of the later Sunchariot material when that band started to go into more of a 'dark ritual ambient' direction. These six tracks are pure hypnotic dread, each long piece constructed out of simple, rumbling percussive rhythms and looped drums that become the bedrock beneath sheets of metallic guitar drone and densely layered feedback that grind and roar in the background, sometimes turning the clanking, throbbing ambience into a wave of blackened amplifier sludge reminiscent of early Earth and OO Void-era Sunn O))). Mostly, though, Adriva's music is super abstract and stitched together with streaks of black sound, expansive tapestries of nocturnal hum and ceremonial pounding, bleak industrialized wastelands and mechanical drones that hint at the influence of Teutonic industrial dronelords Maeror Tri, buzzing black clouds of apocalyptic locust-chant, muffled female voices and warped, melting hymns, distant factory clanking, charred synthesizer drone, all of these sounds bathed in a cold crepuscular glow. As an added bonus, this edition of Losung also has the track 'Ultra Noir Fetish' that didn't appear on the original Observatory Records release.
Track Samples:
Sample : Illuminations
Sample : Axain
Sample : Ultra Noir Fetish



ADVERSARIAL / ANTEDILUVIAN   Initiated In Impiety As Mysteries   LP   (Nuclear War Now! Productions)    19.99



Two of the most warped modern death metal acts team up for this split LP, each band delivering three new tracks of their deformed bestial DM. The two bands come from a similar place (influenced by the cruel discordance and sludgy chaos of prime Incantation and Immolation) and compliment the other nicely, though the approaches are distinctly their own.
Side "Leviathan" begins with a chilling din of roaring arctic winds and distant air raid sirens, a swirling, apocalyptic black fog of sound that leads into the regimented deathblast of Adversarial's "Swirling Chaos That Swallows Horizons". This is bestial blackened death metal to the core, crushing riffing and ultra-guttural belching riddled with violent machinegun blast beats. From there, the band starts to whip out spiky discordant riffs and bizarre dissonant shredding that puts off whiffs of both Voivod and Obscura-era Gorguts without straying from the blasting monstrous death metal. "Into The Waning Of Twilight's Death Ocean" is loaded with these caustic riffs and atonal leads, gasping, gaseous beast-roars drifting over the warped chords and inverted arpeggios, the speed rarely dropping below blast-level tempos. The harshest and most deformed riffing, though, is saved for "Spiraling Towards The Ultimate End", with howling atonal sounds coming out of the guitars that would send most No Wave outfits running for cover.
The three songs from Antediluvian are even more mutated. As with their amazing Through The Cervix Of Hawwah, these songs crawl through a toxic black muck made up of Incantation's DNA but emerge as something quite unique, an often formless, thoroughly avant-garde take on cavernous doom-laden death metal. The wailing discordant leads that come screaming across the murky blast of "Force Of Suns Of Adversary" obscures some even weirder noise and fret board-mangling hidden in the grinding amorphous heaviness, and "Dissolution Spires" slips in and out of shambling doom from the almost Portal-esque swirl of blackened chaos, with the bass guitar leading the song as strange slide-guitar sounds melt and bend over the fractured blast beats. An eerie minor key melody starts off "Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh (I Am That I Am)", but it quickly evolves into a funeral dirge erupting with short blasts of grinding barbarism. This band rules, and these newer tracks further demonstrate why they've quickly grown into one of my favorite current DM outfits.
Highly recommended to fans of alien, avant-garde death metal. The record includes a large glossy poster and lyric sheet, and comes on black vinyl.


AEGES   self-titled   CASSETTE   (Dead Accents)    6.50














AELTER   Dusk-Dawn / Follow You Beloved (2xCD / LP Bundle)   LP + CD   (Crucial Blast)    25.00



While we've got 'em, we're offering a package deal for both AELTER's new double disc set Dusk-Dawn/Follow You Beloved AND the limited-edition Lp version of AELTER's Follow You Beloved that was released on the Wolvserpent imprint; both can be had together for $25.00.
One of several side-projects to emerge from the Wolvserpent camp, Aelter is the solo effort of Wolvserpent guitarist Blake Green. With Aelter, Blake explores a similar realm of dark majestic sound to Wolvserpent, with his massive downtuned guitar roar and bleak minor key melodies being the common thread between the two projects. But where Wolvserpent blends this chugging Melvins-esque heaviness and haunting slowcore arpeggios with violins, pounding drums, and a propensity for extended hypno-dirges, Aelter dispenses with the drums almost completely and goes for a more cinematic approach using layered keyboards and gorgeous harmonized voices that reminds me of something you would have heard on Beggers Banquet or 4AD being fused to a malevolent black heaviness. Both of the Aelter albums were only released on vinyl in limited editions of a few hundred copies and are close to going out of print completely, but we have now gathered both Dusk Dawn and Follow You Beloved together in a double disc set.
The first Aelter record Dusk Dawn from 2009 from is now out of print on vinyl and featured two side-long tracks. The first half "Dusk" begins much like something you would hear from Wolvserpent, an eerie guitar figure slowly plucked over heavy, rumbling doom metal chords, the dark menacing sound slowly unfolding in a manner similar to newer Earth but with a much more sinister vibe. But then this gloomy dirge starts to transform into something that is not so much like Wolvserpent as lush gauzy synthesizers wash in alongside ethereal choral voices, the sound drifting and uncoiling without the propulsion of drums or any other percussion, just a cloudy black fog of doom-laden darkwave underscored with those heavy rumbling guitars. This sound is utterly gorgeous, like some strange mixture of Earth's bleak ambient heaviness and the dark ethereal downer pop of Clan Of Xymox or some similar darkwave outfit. The second track travels deeper into this lush shadowy ambience, the guitars dropping out for long stretches of time as gorgeous high-end drones and shimmering dream-pop keyboards. The vocals begin to appear way off in the distance, slowly fading inwards as the guitars again materialize with chugging downtuned crunch and somber minor key melodies unwinding overhead. And when the vocals build into a majestic multi-part harmony, this becomes incredibly beautiful, like some drifting dreampop epic descending into darkness, finally combining with a minimal piano melody at the end.
The second Aelter album Follow You Beloved (released on vinyl in 2011) grows even darker, much of the prettiness from the first album leeched out by the swelling blackness, but still rife with moments of fragile beauty. The drums are also more prominent here, making this the heavier of the two albums by far. The first side is "Beloved", which begins with a solemn organ line joined by equally funereal piano notes awash in lunar glow. It transforms into a desolate guitar instrumental, reverby guitar twang unfolding around delicate acoustic picking and washes of ethereal synth that almost has a Badalamenti tint to it; then the drums come in, heavy and plodding, just as the airy fragile layered vocals materialize and the sound appears as some kind of shadow-cast, doom laden slowcore. It's really gorgeous stuff, moving through passages where everything drops out and just a single electric guitar chimes in the darkness, a simple minor key figure repeated over and over, and spacey orchestral synths gradually drift in as a steady sinister bass pulse echoes through the darkness. Like the earlier work, this makes me think of drone metallers Earth crossed with swirling darkwave pop, heavy and ominous but shot through with gorgeous moody melody. The song finally returns to the dark lumbering heaviness as everything drops back in, sheets of delayed guitar and what sounds like a mandolin swirling around the treacly drums and that central melody that threads throughout the song, turning even heavier and blacker as massive distorted doom riffage slowly pours in and the music slows down, changing into a blackly majestic Western-tinged doom in it's last few minutes.
On the other side, "Follow You" takes us once more into eerie Badalamenti-like haze of sorrowful reverb guitar and haunting droning keys joined by deep bass notes and cello-like sounds, and then suddenly drops into doomed crush, slow ponderous drums and crushing glacial guitars continuing the main melody, distant ethereal vocals layered in eerie harmony behind the grim doom-laden heaviness, eventually flowing out into a mass of choral darkness later in the song when the music drops out and the vocals come to the fore. Later, it transforms back into the heavy droning funeral procession from before, the riff repeating over and over again, a droning, swirling processional dirge adorned with droning keyboards.
Track Samples:
Sample : dusk
Sample : Dawn



AELTER   Aelter II: Follow You Beloved   LP   (Wolvserpent)    15.98



One of several side-projects to emerge from the Wolvserpent camp, Aelter is the solo effort of Wolvserpent guitarist Blake Green. With Aelter, Blake explores a similar realm of dark majestic sound to Wolvserpent, with his massive downtuned guitar roar and bleak minor key melodies being the common thread between the two projects. But where Wolvserpent blends this chugging Melvins-esque heaviness and haunting slowcore arpeggios with violins, pounding drums, and a propensity for extended hypno-dirges, Aelter dispenses with the drums almost completely and goes for a more cinematic approach using layered keyboards and gorgeous harmonized voices that reminds me of something you would have heard on Beggers Banquet or 4AD being fused to a malevolent black heaviness. Both of the Aelter albums were only released on vinyl in limited editions of a few hundred copies and are close to going out of print completely, but we've got a limited number of both records in stock.
The second Aelter album Follow You Beloved (released on vinyl in 2011) grows even darker, much of the prettiness from the first album leeched out by the swelling blackness, but still rife with moments of fragile beauty. The drums are also more prominent here, making this the heavier of the two albums by far. The first side is "Beloved", which begins with a solemn organ line joined by equally funereal piano notes awash in lunar glow. It transforms into a desolate guitar instrumental, reverby guitar twang unfolding around delicate acoustic picking and washes of ethereal synth that almost has a Badalamenti tint to it; then the drums come in, heavy and plodding, just as the airy fragile layered vocals materialize and the sound appears as some kind of shadow-cast, doom laden slowcore. It's really gorgeous stuff, moving through passages where everything drops out and just a single electric guitar chimes in the darkness, a simple minor key figure repeated over and over, and spacey orchestral synths gradually drift in as a steady sinister bass pulse echoes through the darkness. Like the earlier work, this makes me think of drone metallers Earth crossed with swirling darkwave pop, heavy and ominous but shot through with gorgeous moody melody. The song finally returns to the dark lumbering heaviness as everything drops back in, sheets of delayed guitar and what sounds like a mandolin swirling around the treacly drums and that central melody that threads throughout the song, turning even heavier and blacker as massive distorted doom riffage slowly pours in and the music slows down, changing into a blackly majestic Western-tinged doom in it's last few minutes.
On the other side, "Follow You" takes us once more into eerie Badalamenti-like haze of sorrowful reverb guitar and haunting droning keys joined by deep bass notes and cello-like sounds, and then suddenly drops into doomed crush, slow ponderous drums and crushing glacial guitars continuing the main melody, distant ethereal vocals layered in eerie harmony behind the grim doom-laden heaviness, eventually flowing out into a mass of choral darkness later in the song when the music drops out and the vocals come to the fore. Later, it transforms back into the heavy droning funeral procession from before, the riff repeating over and over again, a droning, swirling processional dirge adorned with droning keyboards.
Limited to a mere 85 copies, and packaged in a hand-screened, hand-numbered insert with a foldout poster insert.
Track Samples:
Sample : Beloved web sample
Sample : Follow You web sample



AELTER   Dusk-Dawn   LP   (Wolvserpent)    22.98

Dusk-Dawn IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

One of several side-projects to emerge from the Wolvserpent camp, Aelter is the solo effort of Wolvserpent guitarist Blake Green. With Aelter, Blake explores a similar realm of dark majestic sound to Wolvserpent, with his massive downtuned guitar roar and bleak minor key melodies being the common thread between the two projects. But where Wolvserpent blends this chugging Melvins-esque heaviness and haunting slowcore arpeggios with violins, pounding drums, and a propensity for extended hypno-dirges, Aelter dispenses with the drums almost completely and goes for a more cinematic approach using layered keyboards and gorgeous harmonized voices that reminds me of something you would have heard on Beggers Banquet or 4AD being fused to a malevolent black heaviness.
Both of the Aelter albums were only released on vinyl in limited editions of a few hundred copies and are close to going out of print completely, but we have now gathered both Dusk Dawn and Follow You Beloved together in a double disc set.
The first Aelter record Dusk Dawn from 2009 from is now out of print on vinyl and featured two side-long tracks. The first half "Dusk" begins much like something you would hear from Wolvserpent, an eerie guitar figure slowly plucked over heavy, rumbling doom metal chords, the dark menacing sound slowly unfolding in a manner similar to newer Earth but with a much more sinister vibe. But then this gloomy dirge starts to transform into something that is not so much like Wolvserpent as lush gauzy synthesizers wash in alongside ethereal choral voices, the sound drifting and uncoiling without the propulsion of drums or any other percussion, just a cloudy black fog of doom-laden darkwave underscored with those heavy rumbling guitars. This sound is utterly gorgeous, like some strange mixture of Earth's bleak ambient heaviness and the dark ethereal downer pop of Clan Of Xymox or some similar darkwave outfit. The second track travels deeper into this lush shadowy ambience, the guitars dropping out for long stretches of time as gorgeous high-end drones and shimmering dream-pop keyboards. The vocals begin to appear way off in the distance, slowly fading inwards as the guitars again materialize with chugging downtuned crunch and somber minor key melodies unwinding overhead. And when the vocals build into a majestic multi-part harmony, this becomes incredibly beautiful, like some drifting dreampop epic descending into darkness, finally combining with a minimal piano melody at the end. Limited to three hundred hand-numbered copies, packaged in a silkscreened wraparound sleeve.
Track Samples:
Sample : dusk
Sample : Dawn



AELTER   Dusk Dawn / Follow You Beloved   2 x CD   (Crucial Blast)    11.98



One of several side-projects to emerge from the Wolvserpent camp, Aelter is the solo effort of Wolvserpent guitarist Blake Green. With Aelter, Blake explores a similar realm of dark majestic sound to Wolvserpent, with his massive downtuned guitar roar and bleak minor key melodies being the common thread between the two projects. But where Wolvserpent blends this chugging Melvins-esque heaviness and haunting slowcore arpeggios with violins, pounding drums, and a propensity for extended hypno-dirges, Aelter dispenses with the drums almost completely and goes for a more cinematic approach using layered keyboards and gorgeous harmonized voices that reminds me of something you would have heard on Beggers Banquet or 4AD being fused to a malevolent black heaviness. Both of the Aelter albums were only released on vinyl in limited editions of a few hundred copies and are close to going out of print completely, but we have now gathered both Dusk Dawn and Follow You Beloved together in a double disc set.
The first Aelter record Dusk Dawn from 2009 from is now out of print on vinyl and featured two side-long tracks. The first half "Dusk" begins much like something you would hear from Wolvserpent, an eerie guitar figure slowly plucked over heavy, rumbling doom metal chords, the dark menacing sound slowly unfolding in a manner similar to newer Earth but with a much more sinister vibe. But then this gloomy dirge starts to transform into something that is not so much like Wolvserpent as lush gauzy synthesizers wash in alongside ethereal choral voices, the sound drifting and uncoiling without the propulsion of drums or any other percussion, just a cloudy black fog of doom-laden darkwave underscored with those heavy rumbling guitars. This sound is utterly gorgeous, like some strange mixture of Earth's bleak ambient heaviness and the dark ethereal downer pop of Clan Of Xymox or some similar darkwave outfit. The second track travels deeper into this lush shadowy ambience, the guitars dropping out for long stretches of time as gorgeous high-end drones and shimmering dream-pop keyboards. The vocals begin to appear way off in the distance, slowly fading inwards as the guitars again materialize with chugging downtuned crunch and somber minor key melodies unwinding overhead. And when the vocals build into a majestic multi-part harmony, this becomes incredibly beautiful, like some drifting dreampop epic descending into darkness, finally combining with a minimal piano melody at the end.
The second Aelter album Follow You Beloved (released on vinyl in 2011) grows even darker, much of the prettiness from the first album leeched out by the swelling blackness, but still rife with moments of fragile beauty. The drums are also more prominent here, making this the heavier of the two albums by far. The first side is "Beloved", which begins with a solemn organ line joined by equally funereal piano notes awash in lunar glow. It transforms into a desolate guitar instrumental, reverby guitar twang unfolding around delicate acoustic picking and washes of ethereal synth that almost has a Badalamenti tint to it; then the drums come in, heavy and plodding, just as the airy fragile layered vocals materialize and the sound appears as some kind of shadow-cast, doom laden slowcore. It's really gorgeous stuff, moving through passages where everything drops out and just a single electric guitar chimes in the darkness, a simple minor key figure repeated over and over, and spacey orchestral synths gradually drift in as a steady sinister bass pulse echoes through the darkness. Like the earlier work, this makes me think of drone metallers Earth crossed with swirling darkwave pop, heavy and ominous but shot through with gorgeous moody melody. The song finally returns to the dark lumbering heaviness as everything drops back in, sheets of delayed guitar and what sounds like a mandolin swirling around the treacly drums and that central melody that threads throughout the song, turning even heavier and blacker as massive distorted doom riffage slowly pours in and the music slows down, changing into a blackly majestic Western-tinged doom in it's last few minutes.
On the other side, "Follow You" takes us once more into eerie Badalamenti-like haze of sorrowful reverb guitar and haunting droning keys joined by deep bass notes and cello-like sounds, and then suddenly drops into doomed crush, slow ponderous drums and crushing glacial guitars continuing the main melody, distant ethereal vocals layered in eerie harmony behind the grim doom-laden heaviness, eventually flowing out into a mass of choral darkness later in the song when the music drops out and the vocals come to the fore. Later, it transforms back into the heavy droning funeral procession from before, the riff repeating over and over again, a droning, swirling processional dirge adorned with droning keyboards.
Track Samples:
Sample : Beloved
Sample : Dawn
Sample : Dusk
Sample : Follow You



AELTER   III   CASSETTE   (Wolvserpent)    8.50

III IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

The third album to come from Wolvserpent-offshoot Aelter, III moves beyond the fantastic ethereal heaviness and synth-drenched darkwave of main member Blake Green's previous albums into mucho heavier realms of blackened gloom. There's a lot of the same mysterious, midnight ambience that you hear in Wolvserpent. But where that band delivers slo-mo crushing riffage and mesmerizing nocturnal vibes, this stuff travels further into the ether, emerging out of gorgeous murky synthesizers and harmonized choral voices into a haunting doomgaze finale.
The first half of "Clarity" drifts in slowly on a wave of warm, glimmering synthesizers, the shimmery glacial drones spreading out into infinity, a kind of blissed-out kosmische crawl that feels like something from Tangerine Dream or Steve Roach softly billowing out of your speakers. This heavenly twilight synth-glow spreads across almost the entire side, sheets of wavering chordal shift and muted cosmic drone overlapping one another, the sound of pure electronic dreamblur. Asit progresses though, the sound slowly darkens, grows more ominous as it transforms into towering spires of gothic drone that rise over the last several minutes of the side, suddenly shifting into a looping mass of guttural, murky synth-groan at the very end that resembles the pitch-shifted moaning of sightless monks woven into an unsettling death-chant.
But when the second side starts back up, the music suddenly changes into slow, droning blackened metal, eerie minor key guitars creeping across howling distant choral voices and washed-out droning synths and the pulsating throb of the drums and bass, the sound tense and ominous, almost like something from Year Of No Light slowed to a funereal pace and draped in nightmarish choirs. When the lead vocals come in, they're a deep, ethereal croon drenched in reverb, hinting at that blackened darkwave sound of Aelter albums past, but here pushed deeper into the swirling twilight fog. When the last half of the song comes in, it transforms yet again into a final long stretch of ghostly, jangly gloom with high, keening tremolo riffs rising over catchy minor key strum and a crushing distorted bass-riff, the melodies almost like something out of a Badalamenti score, woven with the gorgeous doom-laden gloompop and gothic synthdrift that finally consumes the song. Pretty amazing, and quite different from anything that I've heard from Aelter.
We have some of the last copies available of the vinyl edition of Aelter's III that came out on Handmade Birds, as its now sold out from the label; for those cassette-junkies out there, we also have the new limited-edition tape of III that the band just released on their own Wolvserpent label, limited to one hundred copies and presented in a gorgeous silk-screened black cardstock cover.


AELTER   III   LP   (Handmade Birds)    22.00

III IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

The third album to come from Wolvserpent-offshoot Aelter, III moves beyond the fantastic ethereal heaviness and synth-drenched darkwave of main member Blake Green's previous albums into mucho heavier realms of blackened gloom. There's a lot of the same mysterious, midnight ambience that you hear in Wolvserpent. But where that band delivers slo-mo crushing riffage and mesmerizing nocturnal vibes, this stuff travels further into the ether, emerging out of gorgeous murky synthesizers and harmonized choral voices into a haunting doomgaze finale.
The first half of "Clarity" drifts in slowly on a wave of warm, glimmering synthesizers, the shimmery glacial drones spreading out into infinity, a kind of blissed-out kosmische crawl that feels like something from Tangerine Dream or Steve Roach softly billowing out of your speakers. This heavenly twilight synth-glow spreads across almost the entire side, sheets of wavering chordal shift and muted cosmic drone overlapping one another, the sound of pure electronic dreamblur. Asit progresses though, the sound slowly darkens, grows more ominous as it transforms into towering spires of gothic drone that rise over the last several minutes of the side, suddenly shifting into a looping mass of guttural, murky synth-groan at the very end that resembles the pitch-shifted moaning of sightless monks woven into an unsettling death-chant.
But when the second side starts back up, the music suddenly changes into slow, droning blackened metal, eerie minor key guitars creeping across howling distant choral voices and washed-out droning synths and the pulsating throb of the drums and bass, the sound tense and ominous, almost like something from Year Of No Light slowed to a funereal pace and draped in nightmarish choirs. When the lead vocals come in, they're a deep, ethereal croon drenched in reverb, hinting at that blackened darkwave sound of Aelter albums past, but here pushed deeper into the swirling twilight fog. When the last half of the song comes in, it transforms yet again into a final long stretch of ghostly, jangly gloom with high, keening tremolo riffs rising over catchy minor key strum and a crushing distorted bass-riff, the melodies almost like something out of a Badalamenti score, woven with the gorgeous doom-laden gloompop and gothic synthdrift that finally consumes the song. Pretty amazing, and quite different from anything that I've heard from Aelter.
We have some of the last copies available of the vinyl edition of Aelter's III that came out on Handmade Birds, as its now sold out from the label. Limited to three hundred copies.


AENAON   Cendres Et Sang   CD   (Code666)    14.98



  Back in stock! The precursor to their latest album of killer blackened jazz/prog/metal from this Greek outfit. There's been some great stuff coming out of Greece lately in the realm of blackened prog, with the likes of Hail Spirit Noir and Aenaon both getting a lot of heavy play around here. A particularly jazz-influenced outfit that includes members of Hellenic black metallers Varathron, Aenaon debuted with their 2011 album Cendres Et Sang, which the avant-garde metallers released on the very prog-centric black metal label Code666.
   The music combines elements of dark jazz, progressive rock, black metal and math rock into an ambitious, sometimes operatic sound that's pretty impressive. Christos Agouridakis's lyrical saxophone opens the album, delivering dark, complex lines that drift over the churning, blackened mathmetal crush of "Suncord", the sax later winding around passages of sinister, almost Slint-y guitar parts and some expressive and complex percussive work. At their heaviest, Aenaon unleash a crushing, complex math-thrash assault that brings a heavily blackened malevolence to their touches of Meshugga-esque angularity, as well as some wonderfully eerie guitar leads, atmospheric electronic textures, and flourishes of trippy Hammond organ. Along with the jazz elements, the drummer's performance is one of the most distinguishing aspects of Aenaon's music, with a precise, almost mechanical style that can give certain parts of Cendres a vaguely industrial feel. That machinelike precision can be heard on a lot of the blastbeats as well, and when heard in concert with the electronic textures and bursts of abstract glitchery, can make this somewhat reminiscent of a proggier, jazz-damaged Dodheimsgard at times. There's lots of spacey synthesizer textures alongside that Hammond organ and even a grand piano, all woven into the band's complex time signatures and dense arrangements, a hevay King Crimson influence permeating the crushing blackened metal. Towards the end of the album, Aenaon move even further into evocative jazz-tinged ambience with the lurching power of "Black Nerve", which features one of the album's most impressive saxophone sequences; it's followed by a haunting re-imagining of David Lynch's "In Heaven" from the soundtrack to his surrealistic 1977 midnight movie masterpiece Eraserhead, with guest vocalist Thomais Chatzigianni contributing her rich bluesy wail over the eerie piano music before the band explodes into a punishing metallic version of the song, that eerie aching melody transformed into a massive metallic rage. This album might not be as out-there as the stuff that their country mates Hail Spirit Noir have been doing, but this is still some compelling stuff for fans of contemporary black prog, and it's especially recommended if you're a fan of the bombastic jazz-streaked heaviness found with bands like Ephel Duath, Yakuza, Carnival in Coal and Unexpect.
Track Samples:
Sample : Grand Narcotic Harvest
Sample : Necroscope
Sample : In Heaven



AENAON   Extance   CD   (Code666)    15.98



  The second album from avant-garde Greek metallers Aenaon, the follow-up to their killer debut Cendres Et Sang that was featured on the last C-Blast new arrivals list. I loved the band's imaginative fusion of ambitious prog rock, dark jazz and violent black n' roll that made their debut one of the more unique offerings from Code666 at the time of it's release, and unlike a lot of bands that come from a similar black metal background whose music ends up moving into proggier directions, Aenaon continue to retain a strong connection to their blackened roots. Much of Extance features the band's crushing mathy angularity and blazing blackened aggression, but the eleven songs on this album are infested with strange outside sounds, taking their music into even more surreal directions than before.
   On Extance, Aenaon continues to forge a strangely elegant sound that mixes an interesting assemblage of influences (classic prog rock, Hellenic black metal) into something that has gradually grown into a distinct sound of their own. You get plenty of the crushing mathy riffage, chunky staccato grooves and blasts of violent blackness that teemed throughout their debut, with those vicious raspy screams trading off against clear, harmonized crooning that brings a heavy dose of dark drama to the music, those vocal arrangements even sometimes shifting into a kind of maniacal, operatic delivery. The songs feature surges of spacey futuristic electronics, fragments of ragtime piano and strange alien glitchery amid the blackened prog, along with atmospheric classical piano sequences, jazzy vibraphone accompaniment, sudden descents into whirling Middle Eastern folk music, choral chants, soulful harmonica playing, and best of all, more of that searing moody saxophone that strafes Aenaon's violent metallic crush.
   Fans of Enslaved, Sigh, and the recent solo albums from Emperor's Ihsahn will dig the killer progged-out black metal that emerges on songs like "Deathtrip Chronicle", especially when that crushing angular assault suddenly swerves out into a long stretch of sumptuous atmospheric jazz layered with swooping saxophone and washes of trippy Hammond organ. And songs like "Grau Diva" lay down some monstrous grooves, as that discordant, off-kilter blackened heaviness slips into a savage, infectious black n' roll riff. Aeneon infuse the whole album with these off-kilter moments and their knack for stirring melodies, with haunting minor key elegies drifting out of the complex blasting churn, the guitarists more concerned with memorable and emotive melodies than simply spewing out a self-indulgent shred-salad. Some interesting guest appearances show up, too; various tracks feature the talents of Mirai Kawashima (Sigh), Sindre Nedland (Funeral) and Haris (Hail Spirit Noir), and on "Funeral Blues", vocalist Tanya Leontiou from Greek evil doom-prog band Universe217 contributes her soulful, powerful voice over a song that does indeed get pretty bluesy, laying down a huge Sabbathian hook around a night-sea of glimmering pianos and blackened tremolo buzz. Along with Hail Spirit Noir, Aenaon are producing some of the most interesting and innovative black metal-influenced music coming out of Greece at the moment; anyone into the proggier end of contempo BM should definitely check these guys out.
Track Samples:
Sample : The Land of No Water
Sample : Palindrome
Sample : Deathtrip Chronicle



AEOGA   Coav   CD   (Aural Hypnox)    12.98

Coav IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

More stunning ambient/drone/drift from Finland courtesy of Aural Hypnox. AEOGO trafficks in spacey drift reminiscent of RAPOON and HEEMAN, with distant shuffling and cosmic muttering drones. This is the debut release from this project, yet these eight tracks expertly weaves a haunting atmosphere through spiralling guitar feedback and textured drones, primitive percussion and rhythms, creepy atonal vocal abstractions and distant underground choirs,and layers upon layers of cavernous thrum, balancing organic dark ambience with blackened ritual vibes. Highly recommended to fans of MAEROR TRI and TROUM. Comes packaged in a special octagon-shaped cardboard cover that includes a six-panel textured cardboard sleeve. Limited to 1000 copies.


AEOGA   Zenith Beyond The Helix-Locus   CD   (Aural Hypnox)    12.98

Zenith Beyond The Helix-Locus IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

More excellent dark drone from ritual-ambient shamans Aeoga, whose scraping metals and shimmering feedback coalesce into some of the most beautiful and hallucinatory droneworks this side of Troum. But where Troum achieves great beauty and sublime submerged melodies, Aeoga's densely populated soundscapes utter the screams of amorphous unseen beasts in the abyss and majestic chorales of the undead. Even with every light on, Zenith Beyond The Helix-Locus is thoroughly unnerving. Filled with the distant hiss of cymbals, clattery echoes, dark heavy synthesizer hum, and heavily layered electronics, this is grim, shadowy twilight drone of the highest order...excellent. Whenever I listen to Aeoga, I feel like I'm deep underground, adrift in some forgotten Lovecraftian cavern system, surrounded by frightening sounds. Fans of Troum and Maeror Tri are highly advised to check out AEOGA, as well as enthusiasts of all things drone and cave-ambient. Like all Aural Hypnox releases, this is nicely packaged in a hand-assembled oversize gatefold sleeve. Limited to 1,000 copies.


AER   Light Beyond The Universe   CDR   (Cold Current)    5.00



Strange alien cosmic throb comprises this CDR album from the obscure Italian project AER, which is a solo deal from someone named "L.A.". Couldn't find out anything else about this project, but the music speaks for itself - this is a heavy synth feast with gobs of dark, space-drifting buzz and shimmering astral ambience right out of the 1980's that stretches out across infinity, conjuring images of exploding stars and eldritch nebulae, of dead planets hanging in space and strange colors that are impossible for the human mind to fathom. The tracks are titled evocatively enough ("Oblivion", "Void Within", "Esoteric Emanations", "Asymmetric Chambers", "Under A Crimsonj Sky", etc), and AER creates an effective synth-prog atmosphere that soaks the music in an unearthly haze. Buzzing, synthetic drones and rumbling ambience move through the void and are surrounded by epic layered keyboard riffs and all sorts of little sonic events, spacey melodies appear and disappear, pulsating moody basslines stalk through the darkness, and various alien electronic sounds emerge through the murk. The classic space/kraut rock of Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream is obviously a component of AER's DNA, but there's also a bit of the epic and cinematic New Age of Vangelis and the rhythmic propulsion of some of Claudio Simonetti's post-Goblin 80's era soundtrack work in here as well. The music of Light Beyond The Universe is bathed in a black cosmic light that puts this in a similiar realm as that of Neptune Towers, the ambient space music project from Darkthrone's Fenriz, and fans of Fenriz's krauty black-hole descents are going to eat this up. Procyon-x and Zombi are also reference points; though AER isn't as proggy and rock-based as the latter nor as isolationist and minimal as the former, this is right up your alley if yer a fan of either of those projects. The disc comes in a small clamshell case with a sepia toned cover and a small insert card pasted to the interior of the case.


AETHENOR   Betimes Black Cloudmasses   CD   (VHF)    14.98



The second album from the trio Aethenor, a band that features Stephen O'Malley (Sunn O)))/Khanate/KTL/Burning Witch), Daniel O'Sullivan (of Zeuhl-worshipping UK prog masters Guapo), and Vincent De Roguin (of Swiss prog/metal/post-rockers Shora). Aethenor follows up their VHF debut Deep In Ocean Sunk The Lamp Of Light with this new excursion into otherwordly drones, frenetic free-improv percussion, and ghoulish electro-acoustic sonic textures that sounds nothing like what you would expect based on their other bands. Divided into three ten-minute-plus pieces, Betimes Black Cloudmasses explores a similiar creaking world of dark-toned drones and clattering percussion as the first record, seemingly informed by David Jackman's Organum collaborations with Eddie Provost, all creepy dark drift and throbbing low-end, strange metal clanking sounds and haunted organs, super slow moving glacial ambience that sounds more like an abstract film score to an old horror movie than out-and-out dark ambient. The album also features contributions from percussionists Nicolas Field and Alex Babel, who add flurries of splattery, FMP-style free jazz drumming to Aethenor's dark soundworld. The first track opens with distant, whistling high-end drones slowly coming into view, as a repetitive electronic pulse begins to throb like a black heart beating in the middle of a cloud of softly bending feedback and eerie minor key melodies that sound like they are coming out of a tape machine being played backwards. As the track progresses, all kinds of little sonic particles enter into the sound field, from ghostly moaning vocal-like utterances to warbling fragments of pipe organ melodies, and then halfway through the hypnotic ambience is jarred by a scream, and heavy metal chains being dragged across some hard surface. Swells of doomy low-end rumble and spacious percussion rise and recede, surrounded by chimes and thunderous exhaled breaths. Towards the end of the track, dreamy keyboard melodies become more prominent. The second track is even bleaker, a super abstract industrial improv freakout with both of the guest percussionists unleashing a torrent of frenzied free jazz drumming over some sinister sounding electronic sinewave fluctuations, ringing bells, grisly keyboard tinkling, and blasts of torrential noise that rise to a fever pitch. Later though, those chiming bells begin to form into a heavenly choir of nocturnal tones that begins to sound like some fractured 70's krautrock like Klaus Schulze or Tangerine Dream, even as the melodious tinkling is overcome by the rumbling, splattery drumming and clusters of insectile drone. Then the third and final track appears, with all of the preceding sounds stripped away leaving only sparse, random keyboard notes and the dueling free jazz drumming tumbling over each other in dense clots of smacking sticks, bubbling percussion and rushes of cymbal noise. A few minutes into it, the clatter and keys are joined by muttering, worldess vocals, a stream of gutteral babble and grunting (courtesy of Ulver's Kristoffer Rygg) which reminds me of some of Attila Csihar's expressive throat mumble. The rest of the track goes from fluttering high-pitched squeals of feedback that are manipulated into bird-like chirps, distant shadows of distorted guitar, sprinkles of abstract piano and synthesizer, surges of freeform percussion, and creaking wooden noises, and in the last few minutes evolves into an absolutely breathtaking wash of kosmiche bliss. A superbly creepy album. Packaged in a nice letterpress gatefold jacket with artwork from swiss designer Nicola Todeschini.


AETHENOR   Betimes Black Cloudmasses   LP   (VHF)    14.98



Also available on LP!
The second album from the trio Aethenor, a band that features Stephen O'Malley (Sunn O)))/Khanate/KTL/Burning Witch), Daniel O'Sullivan (of Zeuhl-worshipping UK prog masters Guapo), and Vincent De Roguin (of Swiss prog/metal/post-rockers Shora). Aethenor follows up their VHF debut Deep In Ocean Sunk The Lamp Of Light with this new excursion into otherwordly drones, frenetic free-improv percussion, and ghoulish electro-acoustic sonic textures that sounds nothing like what you would expect based on their other bands. Divided into three ten-minute-plus pieces, Betimes Black Cloudmasses explores a similiar creaking world of dark-toned drones and clattering percussion as the first record, seemingly informed by David Jackman's Organum collaborations with Eddie Provost, all creepy dark drift and throbbing low-end, strange metal clanking sounds and haunted organs, super slow moving glacial ambience that sounds more like an abstract film score to an old horror movie than out-and-out dark ambient. The album also features contributions from percussionists Nicolas Field and Alex Babel, who add flurries of splattery, FMP-style free jazz drumming to Aethenor's dark soundworld. The first track opens with distant, whistling high-end drones slowly coming into view, as a repetitive electronic pulse begins to throb like a black heart beating in the middle of a cloud of softly bending feedback and eerie minor key melodies that sound like they are coming out of a tape machine being played backwards. As the track progresses, all kinds of little sonic particles enter into the sound field, from ghostly moaning vocal-like utterances to warbling fragments of pipe organ melodies, and then halfway through the hypnotic ambience is jarred by a scream, and heavy metal chains being dragged across some hard surface. Swells of doomy low-end rumble and spacious percussion rise and recede, surrounded by chimes and thunderous exhaled breaths. Towards the end of the track, dreamy keyboard melodies become more prominent. The second track is even bleaker, a super abstract industrial improv freakout with both of the guest percussionists unleashing a torrent of frenzied free jazz drumming over some sinister sounding electronic sinewave fluctuations, ringing bells, grisly keyboard tinkling, and blasts of torrential noise that rise to a fever pitch. Later though, those chiming bells begin to form into a heavenly choir of nocturnal tones that begins to sound like some fractured 70's krautrock like Klaus Schulze or Tangerine Dream, even as the melodious tinkling is overcome by the rumbling, splattery drumming and clusters of insectile drone. Then the third and final track appears, with all of the preceding sounds stripped away leaving only sparse, random keyboard notes and the dueling free jazz drumming tumbling over each other in dense clots of smacking sticks, bubbling percussion and rushes of cymbal noise. A few minutes into it, the clatter and keys are joined by muttering, worldess vocals, a stream of gutteral babble and grunting (courtesy of Ulver's Kristoffer Rygg) which reminds me of some of Attila Csihar's expressive throat mumble. The rest of the track goes from fluttering high-pitched squeals of feedback that are manipulated into bird-like chirps, distant shadows of distorted guitar, sprinkles of abstract piano and synthesizer, surges of freeform percussion, and creaking wooden noises, and in the last few minutes evolves into an absolutely breathtaking wash of kosmiche bliss. A superbly creepy album. Packaged in a nice letterpress jacket with artwork from swiss designer Nicola Todeschini.


AETHENOR   Faking Gold & Murder   CD   (VHF)    13.98



Loved the last two Aethenor albums. The creepy, creaking industrial dronescapes that this all-star band of avant-rock artists have been crafting on their previous releases were dark, alien-sounding fields of organic ambience and strange percussive formations that didn't really sound like anything else that I could put my finger on. Their sound has definitely changed, morphed, taken on a new cast for their third album Faking Gold & Murder, which sees the core trio of Stephen O'Malley (you know, Sunn O))), Khanate, KTL, etc etc etc), Daniel O'Sullivan (Guapo) and Vincent De Roguin (Shora) joining with a number of additional musicians, not the least of which is David Tibet from Current 93 who contributes a terrific vocal performance to what had previously been a primarily instrumental project. The band also teams up with guitarist Alexander Tucker and percussionists Nicolas Field and Alex Babel, and the resulting sound on Faking Gold & Murder is quite different from the Aethenor of before, and not what I was expecting when we first threw this on. The band still weaves their shadowy drones and sheets of occultic ambience around massive prayer-bowl resonances and strange percussive scrapings and clattering, but these four lengthy tracks also move into structured melodies and rhythmic passages that reveal a dark prog underbelly to Aethenor that wasn't apparent on the last two albums.
All four tracks are untitled and reach upwards of ten minutes, and each track unveils an expanse of black starlit heavens hovering above heavy waves of harsh distorted drone and crushing guitar rumblings, endless high end drones strafing the darkness and ominous melodies unravelling against the clouds of twinkling electronics and Rhodes piano. These rich dronescapes are blazed by sudden eruptions of powerful free-jazz drumming from Field and Babel, whose complex bursts of percussion contrast with the majestic black ambience and add much to the tension that runs all through the album. Tibet wanders through these mysterious fields of black drift and infernal melodies, singing and proclaiming above it, sounding something like a preacher giving a feverish, nightmarish sermon over clusters of electronics, clanking atonal piano and glockenspiel, flurries of cascading chimes and the furious free-jazz percussion, and O'Malley's rolling waves of distorted doom. There are similiarities with Current 93 of course, since Tibet's vocals and delivery are so distinctive, but Aethenor invoke a much heavier sound, dark and asbtract, sometimes pushing forward on thunderheads of manic drumming, riding on slow-motion surges of crushing riff. Best stuff yet from this continually impressive outfit, and definitely their heaviest. Comes in a beautiful black Stumptown style six-panel gatefold, decorated with mystical symbols and artwork designed by Nicola Todeschini and Vincent De Roguin and printed with metallic gold ink on the black letterpressed jacket.
Track Samples:
Sample : AETHENOR-Faking Gold & Murder
Sample : AETHENOR-Faking Gold & Murder



AETHENOR   Faking Gold & Murder   LP   (VHF)    21.98



Finally have the vinyl in stock, packaged in a deluxe letterpressed cardstock jacket created by the folks at Stumptown; it's a beautiful presentation for this heavy-duty Aethenor album.
Loved the last two Aethenor albums. The creepy, creaking industrial dronescapes that this all-star band of avant-rock artists have been crafting on their previous releases were dark, alien-sounding fields of organic ambience and strange percussive formations that didn't really sound like anything else that I could put my finger on. Their sound has definitely changed, morphed, taken on a new cast for their third album Faking Gold & Murder, which sees the core trio of Stephen O'Malley (you know, Sunn O))), Khanate, KTL, etc etc etc), Daniel O'Sullivan (Guapo) and Vincent De Roguin (Shora) joining with a number of additional musicians, not the least of which is David Tibet from Current 93 who contributes a terrific vocal performance to what had previously been a primarily instrumental project. The band also teams up with guitarist Alexander Tucker and percussionists Nicolas Field and Alex Babel, and the resulting sound on Faking Gold & Murder is quite different from the Aethenor of before, and not what I was expecting when we first threw this on. The band still weaves their shadowy drones and sheets of occultic ambience around massive prayer-bowl resonances and strange percussive scrapings and clattering, but these four lengthy tracks also move into structured melodies and rhythmic passages that reveal a dark prog underbelly to Aethenor that wasn't apparent on the last two albums.
All four tracks are untitled and reach upwards of ten minutes, and each track unveils an expanse of black starlit heavens hovering above heavy waves of harsh distorted drone and crushing guitar rumblings, endless high end drones strafing the darkness and ominous melodies unravelling against the clouds of twinkling electronics and Rhodes piano. These rich dronescapes are blazed by sudden eruptions of powerful free-jazz drumming from Field and Babel, whose complex bursts of percussion contrast with the majestic black ambience and add much to the tension that runs all through the album. Tibet wanders through these mysterious fields of black drift and infernal melodies, singing and proclaiming above it, sounding something like a preacher giving a feverish, nightmarish sermon over clusters of electronics, clanking atonal piano and glockenspiel, flurries of cascading chimes and the furious free-jazz percussion, and O'Malley's rolling waves of distorted doom. There are similiarities with Current 93 of course, since Tibet's vocals and delivery are so distinctive, but Aethenor invoke a much heavier sound, dark and asbtract, sometimes pushing forward on thunderheads of manic drumming, riding on slow-motion surges of crushing riff. Best stuff yet from this continually impressive outfit, and definitely their heaviest. Comes in a beautiful black Stumptown style six-panel gatefold, decorated with mystical symbols and artwork designed by Nicola Todeschini and Vincent De Roguin and printed with metallic gold ink on the black letterpressed jacket.
Track Samples:
Sample : AETHENOR-Faking Gold & Murder
Sample : AETHENOR-Faking Gold & Murder



AETHENOR   En Form For Bla   CD   (VHF)    13.98



Back in stock, this is the newest album from the shape shifting improv ensemble Aethenor, which originally formed around the duo of Daniel O'Sullivan (Guapo) and Stephen O'Malley (Burning Witch, Sunn, KTL, Thorr's Hammer) and which now has them working with Steve Noble from Derek Bailey's Company/N.E.W./Tongues Of Fire and Ulver's Kristoffer Rygg. En Form For Bla is comprised of live recordings from three separate performances that went down in Oslo, Norway in 2010, where the group delved deep into strange dark realms of otherworldly doom-laden ambience, dark fusion atmosphere that at times resembles Miles Davis circa Bitches Brew filtered through spectral shadow, and eddies of powerful sonic movement. Mostly, the music is driven by Noble's fantastic detailed bursts of percussion and the warm, fluid Rhodes keys that O'Sullivan melts like black syrup over the sheets of guitar drift and amp rumble. The effect is enthralling, making this one of my favorite offerings from Aethenor yet, and easily their "jazziest".
"Jocasta" opens as soft looped thrum and abstract metal percussion leads into cymbal washes, deep resonant rumblings, smatterings of fusion-y Rhodes piano and warped jazz guitar, crashing into controlled swells of doom laden darkness and low end heaviness, but never ventures too far from the menacing ethereal improv. Rattling drum volleys appear beneath sparkling star clusters, then veer into strange nocturnal prog soundscapery and minimal dark ambience, a mix of delicate processed guitar, distorted bass tones, and pounding freeform drumming, eventually becoming super blown out and chaotic for a moment at the midway point, then abruptly slips into a clanking anti-groove, almost spacious free jazz blurt and stumble. After a powerful freeform drum freak-out, the track transforms into eerie deep space blissout later on, mixing almost kosimiche textures with the detailed percussive work.
The next track "Laudanum Tusk" is more abstract creepiness, ominous metallic scrapes and squeals over subdued drumming, barely there at times, creating this horror movie style atmosphere that builds to a stunning dark prog jam. "One Number of Destiny In Ninety Nine" takes shape as a strange glitchfest symphony of metal clatter and processed brass sounds, and "Something To Sleep is Still" sees volleys of blast beats sounding through a vast ambient jazz shadow alive with pulsating keys and super-distorted doom-laden bass rumble. More of that deep fluttering bass and rattling percussion scuttles around on "Vyomagami Plume", rumbling beneath gouts of cable sputter before birthing a lumbering and fractured prog jam that forms into something that resembles a chopped up, glitched out Goblin track.
This one is highly recommended for fans of dark, atmospheric improvisation, fans of Bohren and the Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation/Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble, and Ulver's most recent work. Both editions are beautifully designed by O'Malley, the disc in a gatefold jacket and the double Lp presented on colored vinyl in printed inner sleeves.
Track Samples:
Sample : Laudanum Tusk
Sample : One Number of Destiny In Ninety Nine



AETHENOR   En Form For Bla   2 x LP   (VHF)    21.00



The double Lp vinyl edition of En Form For Bla comes in an expanded jacket, with both records pressed onto thick white vinyl.
Back in stock, this is the newest album from the shape shifting improv ensemble Aethenor, which originally formed around the duo of Daniel O'Sullivan (Guapo) and Stephen O'Malley (Burning Witch, Sunn, KTL, Thorr's Hammer) and which now has them working with Steve Noble from Derek Bailey's Company/N.E.W./Tongues Of Fire and Ulver's Kristoffer Rygg. En Form For Bla is comprised of live recordings from three separate performances that went down in Oslo, Norway in 2010, where the group delved deep into strange dark realms of otherworldly doom-laden ambience, dark fusion atmosphere that at times resembles Miles Davis circa Bitches Brew filtered through spectral shadow, and eddies of powerful sonic movement. Mostly, the music is driven by Noble's fantastic detailed bursts of percussion and the warm, fluid Rhodes keys that O'Sullivan melts like black syrup over the sheets of guitar drift and amp rumble. The effect is enthralling, making this one of my favorite offerings from Aethenor yet, and easily their "jazziest".
"Jocasta" opens as soft looped thrum and abstract metal percussion leads into cymbal washes, deep resonant rumblings, smatterings of fusion-y Rhodes piano and warped jazz guitar, crashing into controlled swells of doom laden darkness and low end heaviness, but never ventures too far from the menacing ethereal improv. Rattling drum volleys appear beneath sparkling star clusters, then veer into strange nocturnal prog soundscapery and minimal dark ambience, a mix of delicate processed guitar, distorted bass tones, and pounding freeform drumming, eventually becoming super blown out and chaotic for a moment at the midway point, then abruptly slips into a clanking anti-groove, almost spacious free jazz blurt and stumble. After a powerful freeform drum freak-out, the track transforms into eerie deep space blissout later on, mixing almost kosimiche textures with the detailed percussive work.
The next track "Laudanum Tusk" is more abstract creepiness, ominous metallic scrapes and squeals over subdued drumming, barely there at times, creating this horror movie style atmosphere that builds to a stunning dark prog jam. "One Number of Destiny In Ninety Nine" takes shape as a strange glitchfest symphony of metal clatter and processed brass sounds, and "Something To Sleep is Still" sees volleys of blast beats sounding through a vast ambient jazz shadow alive with pulsating keys and super-distorted doom-laden bass rumble. More of that deep fluttering bass and rattling percussion scuttles around on "Vyomagami Plume", rumbling beneath gouts of cable sputter before birthing a lumbering and fractured prog jam that forms into something that resembles a chopped up, glitched out Goblin track.
This one is highly recommended for fans of dark, atmospheric improvisation, fans of Bohren and the Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation/Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble, and Ulver's most recent work. Both editions are beautifully designed by O'Malley, the disc in a gatefold jacket and the double Lp presented on colored vinyl in printed inner sleeves.
Track Samples:
Sample : Laudanum Tusk
Sample : One Number of Destiny In Ninety Nine



AETHYR   Messio   CD   (R.A.I.G.)    12.98



Usually, whenever we crank up a new released from RAIG, we expect some kind of crazy Russian prog to come jiggling out of the speakers, but Aethyr are very different from the label's usual fare. Messio is the first album from this Russian duo, a black-tar spill of occult industrial amp-sludge that blends a pungent ritual atmosphere with huge slugs of metallic black doom. RAIG always puts their releases together nicely, and Messio is especially striking, the disc enclosed in a hand-assembled all-black hardback gatefold jacket with silver embossed lettering and symbols on the cover, and a printed card with the album notes pasted to the interior of the cover. Nice!
The duo creates a kind of blackened instrumental ambient doom that fuses a primitive post-industrial influence to chthonic heaviness on this nearly hour-long album. Messio begins with a wave of rumbling, buzzing slabs of low-end amp roar and gooey ultra-distorted freeform riffage that undulates beneath ancient wax-cylinder recordings of 20th century occultist Aleister Crowley; there's the early Earth/Sunn vibe like you'd expect, but pretty soon the riffs become so twisted and contorted that it turns into something quite different, a sort of pitch-black ultra-heavy improv guitar/amplifier noise jam with bass so low they rattle the phlegm loose in your lungs, melting down into swirling bass drones that wash over the end of the piece. The second track "Ocultus I" takes a different approach, tying a massive slow motion doom riff to a simple plodding percussive rhythm, an echoing oil drum hammered beneath the lava-like serpentine doom riff with some fuzz-soaked, buzzing psych guitar meandering through the ten minute sludge trance. As it goes on, eerie choral-like voices begin to emerge out of the shadows like ululations from partially decomposed Gregorian monks, their looped, ominous chanting adding further shadow to this circular dirge-trance that's part Corrupted, part Neubatuen.
The next track "Mass II" is similar, in that it combines another simple droning doom riff that rides on waves of reverberating low end sludge pushed forward by the steady monotonous clank and pound of martial percussion. But here the sound is actually somewhat pretty, with a maudlin synthesizer melody playing out over the ominous doom, sounding just a little like something from Jesu, but stripped down and devoid of vocals. Later, the song becomes slightly faster and more urgent, a cavernous echoing subterranean Melvins-like crush that eventually returns to the somber sadness of the main melody, ending in a haze of droning keys, rumbling amps and more sampled speech from The Great Beast.
The remaining four pieces on Messio follow a similar route with clanking metallic rhythms banging away beneath Skullflowery psych guitar skree and droning feedback and thick, buzzing blackened distorted metallic sludge, each one unfolding into murky psych sludge that oozes with wailing guitar splatter that sears the blackness, the guitar sometimes shifting into screaming tremolo riffs that add a vague black metal element to the sound, or shifts into stretches of pure noise and incredibly deep low-end over modulated bass frequencies and washes of amplifier hiss pouring out of their speakers in black jets of distortion. Out of these, it's the twelve minute "Ave S" that heads deepest into psychedelic territory, blasting out huge squalls of psychedelic guitar fx and delayed feedback before it slides into a lugubrious acid-sludge plod reminiscent of Burnt Hills or a way heavier Fushitsusha, changing direction every few minutes and shifting between skeletal industrial doom and blown-out space-tripping psychdirge. It's the closer "Occultus III" that's actually the closest that the band gets to Sunn territory, ending the disc with a rumbling, drifting cloud of ambient sludge that fades into Crowley's final utterances, his surrounded by a mist of ancient hiss and crackle.
Track Samples:
Sample : ACS I
Sample : Ave S
Sample : Mass II



AFFLICTIS LENTAE   From Nothing...To Nothing   CD   (Infernal Kommando)    11.98

From Nothing...To Nothing IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

The first time I heard Afflictis Lentae was on the split 7" with The Austrasian Goat that came out on At War With False Noise, and ever since hearing that brief blast of nuclear blackthrash from this French lone wolf, I've been looking for more of his music. It didn't take long, as Infernal Kommando has just issued this cd collection of out-of-print material from this blackthrash maniac, and ever since I got our copies of From Nothing...To Nothing, I've been spinning this disc almost non-stop! The album collects the seven tracks from the band's Saint Office LP, the Intolerance Deathsquad cassette, and the two tracks from the split with The Austrasian Goat, and all of this shit is blackthrash GOLD. I didn't even realize that Afflictis Lentae was a one-man band (the brainchild of a guy who goes by "Nuclear Thrash Gaichal") until I started looking into the band, the music is so tight and CRUSHING that it sounds like the product of a full band. But Gaichal handles all of the guitars, vocals and programming, crafting one awesome thrash riff after another, his voice soaring from an insane blackened shriek to deep, devilish growls to weird wailing in the blink of an eye, tons of Slayerized soloing and whammy-bar divebombs splattered all over, the sound a cross between the classic Teutonic thrash of Sodom and Kreator and the hyperblast black metal of Marduk, but with Tangerine Dream-y ambience drifting out of the cracks between songs, and strange samples, drunken bar-hall sing-alongs and murky drones lurking at the edges of the bestial blackthrash assaults. And the drum machine programming is out of fucking control. Usually, I tend to think that drum machines are a liability in speed/thrash bands, but Gaichal manages to eke a surprisingly natural drum sound, thick and dense and resonant...that is, of course, until he sets the drum machines for CHAIN GUN BLAST, where the drums suddenly sound like the mechanized blasting of machine guns going off. AWESOME. It's like hearing Sodom outfitted with industrial blasts and creepy electronic ambience. This is some of the rippingest French blackthrash ever, with killer song titles like "Exterminate and Dominate ", "Sadistic Messiah ", "The Eliminator ", and "Panzer Delirium ", and there's even a bestial blackened cover of Judas Priest's "Nightcrawler"! Recommended!
Track Samples:
Sample : Reject The Devil
Sample : Sadistic Messiah
Sample : There Heretic Part I
Sample : Traitors Of Mankind



AFTER THE LAST SKY   And This Is Progress?   LP   (Super-Fi)    13.98



Vinyl only import of the debut album from this blackened British grind/sludge/crust band, who are pretty much unknown over here on these shores despite being active in the UK underground for several years now. You should check these guys out pronto, though, if yer into sickeningly heavy sludge and dire apocalyptic warnings, 'cuz these cretins have knocked out five tracks of insanely heavy anarcho-violence on this five song record that blends together urgent and grim anarcho punk with hyperblasting black metal and awesomely epic crusty doom. They remind me of the old UK band Hard To Swallow, who were also an uncatagorizeable mix of grind and sludge and other elements a little harder to pin down, but After The Last Sky bring a big helping of BLACK METAL to the proceedings, as they shift between gloomy, bass-heavy parts that are reminiscent of Amebix to frantic, dissonant raw black metal riffing and ultrafast blastbeats a la Marduk with insane sounding screeched vocals that sound like someone screaming, weeping and blowing their fucking appendix out simultaneously, switching so abruptuly that it blows yer hair back, and just when the grindy black metal seems on the verge of going so fast and becoming so freaked out that someones head is going to explode, the band falls back into a crushing, majestic doom riff that just flattens you. The song "Fire!Salvation!" is one of the highlight of the album with it's frenzied grinding buzz and heartwrenching melodic lead that's played over the slow part, but all of these songs are crushing and raw and vicious, all the way up until the track "I Weep For The First Bluebell Of Spring" where the buzzing, psychotic black metal gives way to a somber acoustic guitar part that eventually builds into a crushing, droning Mogwai-esque crescendo. From there, the last track, "Land Of Gluttony And Rape" breaks out some awesome epic guitar leads over one of the album's most chaotic tracks, blasting black metal that winds knots around itself with tangles of choppy, intricate riffing, finally downshifting into bloozy, swampy sludge before dissipating into a cloud of ambient noise that lingers for several minutes before fading into blackness.
Track Samples:
Sample : AFTER THE LAST SKY-And This Is Progress?



AFTERBIRTH   Foeticidal Embryo Harvestation   CD   (Pathos Productions)    9.98














AGAINST NATURE   Pluperfect   7" VINYL   (Church Within)    6.98



Revelation were always one of the more enigmatic bands to arise from the Maryland doom metal scene of the late 80's/early 90's, with a style that was more informed by progressive rock than the grittier Sabbathisms of their peers in Wretched, Unorthodox, and Internal Void. When I was assembling the Doom Capital compilation a few years ago, Revelation were one of the few bands that I had heard was still around and recording, but for one reason or another I had been unable to get ahold of anyone (this was before the Myspace explosion, obviously). Curious as to what the members of Revelation were up to, I didn't hear anything about them until recently, when I found out about a new band called Against Nature from Baltimore that was bascially comprised of the Revelation lineup from their debut album Salvation's Answer that came out on Rise Above back in 1991. Taking their name from a Revelation song, Against Nature combined the crushing bluesy riffing of Black Sabbath and Trouble with prog rock moves reminiscent of Rush and even Voivod at times, a distinctive brand of doom metal different from anyone else from the Doom Capital. This German import 7" is the first thing I've heard from 'em, but the two songs on here are killer, "Pluperfect", a new jam exclusive to this EP, and "Confusion", a new reworking of an old Revelation song from one of their early demos that never appeared on any of Revelation's albums proper. Limited edition of 500.


AGAKUS   IV III II I   CASSETTE   (SYGIL)    5.00

IV III II I IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Here's some mood music from the blood-stained heathens over at Sygil. I've been lovin' their other recent releases, with that new disc from Charnel House front and center in my mind, one of the most skull-fracturing albums of fucked black noise metal I've heard all decade. Hot on the heels of that album comes Sygil's newest offering, a full-length cassette from a band called Agakus which is actually another loner outfit, one guy out there somewhere in the Midwest crafting some terrific black ambience that manages to inject the bleakest abyssal driftscapes possible with shards of haunting musicality.
There's a massive wave of almost kosmiche immenseness that begins the tape, the sound of The Keep-era Tangerine Dream by way of Charlamagne Palestine, the keys melting into rivulets of black quivering drone, slowly growing from unease to dread, real dread. And from there to vast fields of near nothing, minimal organ-like notes rumbling and disappearing into the shadows, shifting almost glacially into tense drones suspended over the massive reverberations of some massive inhuman technology activated somewhere miles below the earth's surface, an almost subliminal ambient massiveness. It goes on to stretches of ghostly guitar chords that hang and twist above more minimalist hum-scapes, the guitar passages resembling a deconstructed black metal chord progression, eerie dissonant notes cascading slowly over the infinite thrum.
This side really reminds me of Emit, without sounding like knockoff. The feel is similar: spare, weird, ethereal, like listening to a black metal guitarist playing somewhere off in the depths of catacombs beneath a massive cathedral, or hearing the hyper-amplified collapse of the dying earth.
The other side is considerably more extreme though. Blasts of monstrous roaring sound and distorted power are spaced out between long stretches of silence, causing the eruptions of black noise to jar the listener, and then a seriously foul army of tuneless guitars come howling into the depths, warped and melted tremolo riffs swarming around a vast hall, joined by strange deep drums being pounded slowly over waves of metallic noise. And when the slow motion rumble and sheets of diffused noise finally transform into the hellish black noise and ghastly screams that take over at the end, it's crushing; like some slow motion deathdoom march further dragged out and dragged apart into a pulverizing glacial dirge, almost like Human Quena Orchestra or Reclusa but even more washed out and stretched apart and crushing...
Can't recommend this one enough to blackened drone junkies and death ambient addicts. Massively heavy but almost entirely 'ambient', this falls somewhere in between the extreme slow-mo earthcrush of Human Quena Orchestra and Blue Sabbath Black Cheer, the deep-earth drones of Lustmord and the demonic nocturnal weirdness of Emit and Vomit Orchestra. Comes in an odd Chinatown-style paper sleeve with printed stickers on it, and includes a Agakus sticker and a small insert. Released in a limited edition of one hundred copies.
Track Samples:
Sample : I
Sample : IV III II



AGALLOCH   Ashes Against The Grain   CD   (The End)    13.98



This brilliant 2006 album from Agalloch marked a quantum leap for the band, who had already created a buzz for themselves with their previous release, The Mantle. Their earlier releases blended together black metal, Godspeed-style post rock, fragile folk music, and majestic slow motion heaviness into a highly evocative style that didn't sound like anything else happening at the time, but with Ashes Against The Grain, the Portland, OR quartet move into another realm that has just as much in common with old school shoegazer atmospheres as it does with the arty black metal that Agalloch had pioneered. The album opens with "Limbs", and the first minutes of this monolith deliver a melodic sludge wave that is as dreamily gorgeous as anything that Justin Broadrock has done with Jesu. It eventually gives way to a dark piano interlude though, and then plunges into slow, super dramatic black metal with a somber central melody and deep, raspy vocals, and the ending of the song turns into a moody metalgaze coda, again reminding me of Jesu, slow and somber and super melodic but heard through a darker, black metal informed lens. The next song "Falling Snow" picks up in speed and continues the shoegazey black metal, awesome rock drumming moving the amazing melodic hooks and crushing riffs forward, effects-soaked guitars laying down emotional, almost poppy melodies, and about halfway through the clean vocals kick in for the first time and it takes my fucking breath away, sounding like later-era Katatonia but with a more overt indie rock edge. Jesus, "Falling Snow" is easily one of the catchiest metal songs ever, if it weren't for those blackened hissing vocals you could probably pass this off as some long-lost, unusually heavy '90's shoegazer band.
"This White Mountain On Which You Will Die" is a brief bit of beautiful ambience, made up of ominous industrial loops and gauzy distortion, kinda like a flash of Eluvium or Tim Hecker style prettiness, and it moves right into the folky "Fire Above, Ice Below", a slow moving 10+ minute epic that shifts from dark strum to epic builds a la Mono accompanied by lovely vocal harmonies. The last quarter of the album is taken up by a three part suite titled "Our Fortress Is Burning", which begins with a proggy piano-driven instrumental, builds into a heavy hypnotic indie dirge with some searing psychedelic soloing, and then liquifies into a storm of droning feedback, ambient metal powerchords, heavy amplifier rumble, and swirling melody that closes the album. A masterwork of progressive, atmospheric metal - all throughout these songs I'm reminded of everything from Opeth to Jesu to Catherine Wheel to Katatonia to Mogwai and Godspeed You Black Emperor, but Agalloch doesn't particularly sound like any one of these bands. Comes in a full color slipcase.


AGATHOCLES / BRUTAL TRUTH   Rest In Noise Amigo   CASSETTE   (Haunted Hotel)    6.99














AGATHOCLES / BRIGLIA BUTLER SCHOONMAKER WILLIAMS   split   7" VINYL   (Self Released)    4.98

split IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

It's been years since the last time that I picked up a 7" with Agathocles on it, even though I've always been a fan of their faithful, tried-and-true old-school grind. The Belgian grinders are one of the few constants in underground grindcore, and have a discography that has by now reached absurd lengths with a prolific output that rivals Merzbow and Unholy Grave. Honestly, after I picked up the discography CDs of Agathocles 90's singles that Selfmadegod put out, I just couldn't bring myself to try to keep up with their subsequent hundreds of EPs. It's too daunting a task.
I jumped on this newish split EP with Agathocles when Logan Butler, one of the members of the other band on the split and a longtime Crucial Blast customer, got in touch to tell me about his project. His band goes by J. Briglia/L. Butler/D. Schoonmaker/J. Williams, like they are a jazz quartet or something, but their music is anything but. On the J. Briglia, L. Butler, D.Schoonmaker & J.Williams side of this 7", the "band with no name" (as they also sometimes call themselves) blast you in the face with three tracks of ultra-raw blackened thrash that sounds like old school West Coast extreme hardcore like Crossed Out or Infest mixed with truly scummy primitive black metal, each song a tangled chaotic blast of trebly buzzsaw riffs and sloppy blastbeats and pounding sludgy dirge and shrieking vocals, and then drown the whole thing in caustic, speaker-shredding noise a la Merzbow. Nice! The sound is extremely raw and blown, giving distorto-blackpunk bands like Akitsa and Malveillance a run for their money in the noise department, but the waves of electronic screech and molten burblings that wash over the blackened power-violence and ooze up between the cracks in the songs gives this a weird, noxious aura of it's own. This is what I'd imagine Gasp might have turned into if those guys had been ardent fans of the seriously low-fi underground black metal.
After that mayhem , the Agathocles songs almost sound comforting. If you've heard them before, you know what to expect with their six songs: blasting, detuned grindcore with dual vocalists, one belching out pissed-off socially conscious lyrics in a deep, gutteral voice, the other shrieking in that high-pitched, electroshock scream, tons of crusty Carcass-esque riffs, midpaced punky breakdowns, ferocious blastbeats, the works. Agathocles haven't evolved one step beyond the raw, anti-corporate grindcore that they started out with over twenty years ago, but dammit, they sound just as brutal and ferocious as ever. Limited to 400 copies.


AGHAST   Hexerei Im Zwielicht Der Finsternis   CD   (Eternal Pride)    12.98

Hexerei Im Zwielicht Der Finsternis IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

There was lots of strange musics that appeared on the periphery of black metal in the early 1990's, projects that were intrinsically linked to the black metal scene in one way or another but whose music didn't sound anything like actual black metal, at least not the kind of black metal that was becoming popular in the extreme metal underground. One of the best and most obvious examples of this kind of necromutation continues to be Abruptum, whose mix of deformed improvised riffing and crawling dungeon ambience went way over the heads of many fans of traditional Scandinavian black metal. Even more obscure was the band Aghast, a Norwegian duo of two women who only played together for a brief period of time and released just one album during their short existence, a limited edition release called Hexerei Im Zwielicht Der Finsternis that came out on the Swedish industrial label Cold Meat Industry in 1995, and which has been an extremely difficult album to track down ever since.
Not only did the ladies of Aghast come out of the early Norwegian lack metal scene, they were actually married to some of the most influential members of the scene at that time, Andrea Haugen (who would later go on to form the band Hagalaz Runedance) to Samoth from Emperor, and Tanja Stene to Fenriz from Darkthrone; you might also recognize Tanja Stene as the artist behind some of the iconic album artwork for Darkthrone, Burzum and Ulver from the early 90's, and it's safe to say that she's probably much more recognized for her contributions to early black metal art than her forays into ghostly black ambience. But Aghast's music is truly amazing stuff, and it was a crime that their album slipped into total obscurity for so long. At long last, Hexerei has finally been reissued, via Eternal Pride, and it's an amazing piece of nocturnal dread that fans of the more ambient ends of the avant-garde black metal spectrum, black ambience, and experimental horror film music will all fall in love with. The sound of Aghast is a mix of spectral, minimal synths, ghostly female vocals, and extreme layers of echo and other fx, but the way that Aghast shapes this sound into their mesmeric stygian drift is pretty unique. Heavy sheets of minimal low-end and swells of pulsating rumble drift slowly through expanses of vast emptiness, and above this dark ambience float dreamy female vocals, which vary from lusty narcotized moans to hair-raising witch-shrieks, echo-drenched chanting and demonic howls, like hearing Diamanda Galas leading a series of occult rituals in a huge cavern deep beneath the earth. The music is sparse but chilling, with stretches of near silence opening up between the sounds of chimes and swells of orchestral strings, minimal violins and thick foglike ambience, everything obfuscated by a murky quality that gives the impression that this music has been mouldering and decaying for years. Most of the music is without percussion, save for one track: "Totentanz", the most terrifying track on the album. Here, Aghast lay down a pounding tattoo of tympani drums that rumble beneath the sounds of wailing, laughing witches and processed strings, and it sounds alot like the more percussive pieces from Goblin's fearsome soundtrack for Susperia, and I'd recommend Hexerei alone just for this awesome piece of psychedelic witch-ambience. But the whole album is fantasic, definitely very black and evil sounding and occultic, but unlike any other black ambient project that I can think of - really, the clostest comparison that pops into my head when listening to Aghast is the creepy Japanese ghost-ambience of Onna-Kodomo, but the connection is more in spirit than actual sound. An amazing album of blackened dread and witchy ambience that is obviously highly recommended! Comes in a digipack featuring metallic silver print.
Track Samples:
Sample : Das Irrlicht
Sample : Enter the Hall of Ice
Sample : Sacrifice
Sample : Totentanz



AGHAST MANOR   Gaslights   CD   (Infinite Fog)    14.99



The all-girl Norwegian duo Aghast only put out one album, 1995's Hexerei Im Zwielicht Der Finsternis, but it remains one of my favorite records of spectral witch-ambience. a collection of phantasmagoric funeral hymns, nocturnal drift, and graveyard atmospherics that still sounds remarkably unique. After the release of their one and only album for Cold Meat, the ladies of Aghast (who were also very closely aligned with the nascent Norwegian black metal scene) would pursue other projects both musical and otherwise, with Tania Stene going on to create some iconic album artwork for a number of classic black metal albums; Andréa Nebel followed up her wraith-like black ambient band with a number of albums of dark Nordic-flavored classical and folk music under the names Hagalaz' Runedance and Nebelhexë, neither of which I've really delved into too deeply, as they were all pretty far removed from the ghastly dream-drift of Aghast. Fast forward to the end of 2012, and Scott Derrickson's demonic shocker Sinister comes out in theatres and features a bunch of bands that get a lot of play here at C-Blast, the ultra-creepy soundtrack utilizing music from black ambient master Accurst, Ulver, Sunn O))), and most surprisingly to me, tracks from both Hexerai as well as all new music from by Andréa Nebel under the name Aghast Manor.
Of course, I was hoping for some sort of follow-up to Hexerei, but Gaslights turns out to be something different; that delirious graveyard chill and ghostly crypt-ambience of her work in Aghast is definitely lurking in these songs, but Nebel takes it into a strange new direction as she crafts a vision of blackened goth-industrial that brings together dire militant industrial music, utterly creepy neo-classical/cabaret vibes, and a strange, narcotized sound that reminds me of a darker, more "witchy" version of Dead Can Dance. Songs like " Decademons" and "The Nun Of St. Claire Abbey" pummel the listener with stentorian rhythms and martial snare drums, eerie cries and funereal organs droning in the backgrounds, her gorgeous powerful voice shifting between an almost liturgical chanting and frenzied howls, while Nebel's whispered singing and witchy laughter on "Dance The Hanged Man's Jig" drift on soft strings and eerie piano music like some mysterious black-forest lullaby. The other songs are equally eerie, from the blackened synthesizers on "Cross The Bridge To Manmade Insanity" that guide this short song through a grim grave-littered wasteland, to the cinematic atmosphere of "La Petite Mort" where I can hear vague traces of Goblin's decadent prog as well as the orchestral apocalyptic power of latter day Swans.
As lush and dramatic as the music on Gaslights is, I can still hear that connection to the early 90s "dungeon ambient" scene in the droning strings, ominous synthesizers and vaporous sighs that drift like gossamer cobwebs through the twilight gloom of the Manor. The electronic elements shift into really dark territory as you approach the end of the album, the dread setting in on the pulsating synth-dirge "Fear" where cracked Wax Trax-like rhythms are combined with buzzing blackened guitars, and the dread-filled cavernous murk of "Waking Chtluhu". The creep factor hits it's peak with the final song "Suck My Drain", though, a pitch-black tumble through an abyss laced with demonic shrieks, waves of suffocating reverb and ghastly reverberations, deathly sighs and deformed screams of utter soul-devouring anguish that are created by both Nebel and Travis Ryan of Cattle Decapitation who makes a guest appearance here, an unexpected collaboration that turns in the single most evil moment on the disc. Fuckin' fantastic...
Naturally, any fans of Aghast will want to hear this return to the shadows, but Aghast Manor's strange blackened darkwave and Victorian death-visions are definitely it's own. Recommended.
Track Samples:
Sample : Walking Chtulhu
Sample : Suck My Drain
Sample : La Petite Moret
Sample : Decademons



AGHIATRIAS   Ethos   CD   (Epidemie)    14.98

Ethos IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Yet another label that we've just started to carry, Epidemie is kicking my ass with their diverse and mindblowing catalog of avant-heaviness that often defies description. While most of the bands that Epidemie releases are undeniably metal, this disc is one of the exceptions, although it's also one of the heaviest albums that we've picked up from the label.
Crushing industrial doomscapes and haunting orchestral ambience make up this album from the Czech duo Aghiatrias, which was formed by composer Vladimír Hirsch and sound-engineer Tom Saivon in 1999 as an offshoot of their symphonic industrial band Skrol. Ethos is the fourth album from Aghiatrias, and it is about as heavy as this kind of classical-music informed industrial gets, layering dark ambient electronics, samples and electronic noise over slow, grinding machine rhythms and blasts of epic orchestral instruments. Each of these tracks are massive, flowing seamlessly into each other as one epic extended soundtrack, as booming timpani drums thunder behind loops of apocalyptic symphonies of what might be French horns, strings, piano, and crushing metallic drones, blasts of harsh, abrasive noise and ghostly operatic vocals rise up from deep black ambient electronics, and when the rhythmic elements appear, Aghiatrias suddenly become monstrously heavy as drums and machine pistons lock in together into a flattening industrialized doomdirge, or a massive wall of tribal percussion. Total end-of-the-world filmscore stuff...imagine Christopher Young's score for Hellraiser II performed by members of Lustmord, Test Dept., Wolf Eyes, and Godflesh. Released in a limited edition of 500 copies in one of the thickest, heaviest digipacks I've ever seen.


AGIT8   Recycled Music Series   CASSETTE   (RRRecords)    4.98



This entry in the Recycled Music Series of tapes from RRR is from the Australian free-noise project Agit8. This is the first recording that I've picked up from this band, after seeing them described as 'ultra brutal Australianoise' that seem to frequently employ the use of hand made noise instruments. The material on this tape is certainly brutal at times, although it's far from the pure harsh noise assault that I had been expecting at first. Instead, the music is a rough montage of sounds, almost like a mixtape of weird anti-rock moves that are pasted together haphazardly. Each side of the tape is a collage of brutally distorted noise loops, distressed cassette noise, field recordings of the chatter of concert audiences, room ambience, and other, less recognizeable sounds, low-fi recordings of stumbling, disintegrating rock that almost sounds like a noisier, even more low-fi version of the Dead C, scalding blasts of feedback, and a section where it sounds like Agit8 took a dozen different bootleg tapes of old thrash metal shows and layered them on top of each other to create a dense blast of harsh noise with metallic riffs and rattling bass guitars jutting through the wall of crunch and hiss. This stuff stands out from the rest of the RRR catalog with its engrossing (if chaotic) mix of sinister ambient field recordings, violent Prurient/Masonna style feedback scultpure, low fi Babel drones of mumbling masses, and fucked up abstract free-metal, and the second side alone qualifies this as one of the heavier Recycled Music tapes next to that crusher that Josh Lay just released in the series (which is also listed in this week's update).


AGLAOMORPHA   Perception   CD   (Wroth Emitter)    11.98



The debut album from this obscure Russian experimental doom band is a strange, disconnected dreamworld, where crushing death doom dissipates suddenly into haunting, minimalist guitar instrumentals and vast expanses of black electronic ambience. Like much of the stuff that I've been picking up lately from the Wroth Emitter, Stygian Crypt and Solitude labels, the sound here is unmistakeably rooted in super slow, bleak doom metal, but it's like there's something getting lost in the translation that turns Aglaomorpha's version of doom into something weirder. The atmosphere in Perception is grim and sorrowful, pure melancholy that seeps from the odd existential lyrics into the crushing riffs and plodding tempo of these twelve jams, and it sounds like the epic funeral trudge of bands like My Dying Bride, Shape OF Despair, and prog doomsters Mar De Grises had a hand in influencing Aglaomorpha's sound. But the song structures are out of whack, massive crushing doom dirges suddenly just disappear, leaving only pitch black ambience and rumbling cavernous drones. Orchestral keyboards drift over murky recordings of urban life, and a series of beautiful piano pieces appear with tracks like "Revelation (epilogue)". Blasts of blazing black metal guitars scream out of the void only to disappear in a blink, replaced by a fragile guitar melody. Droning guitars swarm and wobble, bent into vaguely distorted tones and fucked up angular riffs that recall the mutant textures of Blut Aus Nord's recent albums. The vocals seem to be delivered by two different singers, though since the album is almost totally devoid of band information I'm only guessing; harsh hellish screams constantly trade off against deep monstrous gutteral roars. Aglaomorpha's surreal blackened doom is definitely something that fans of experimental, adventurous doom and black metal will want to check out. The mix of crushing, vaguely industrial sounding death-doom, dark chamber rock, even darker droning ambience, and fractured black metal is deeply warped, somewhere in between Shape Of Despair, Amber Asylum, Blut Aus Nord, and Aural Hypnox style driftscapes.
Track Samples:
Sample : Track 10
Sample : Track 4
Sample : Track 6



AGNUS DEI   Paternoster   CD   (Musik Atlach)    11.98



Here is a phenomenal new album of dark, gorgeous ambience and portentous heaviness from the Japanese solo project Agnus Dei, the pseudonym of one Naomi Hoca who creates all of the vocals and sounds on this album. Described by the label as “funeral dark drone”, Paternoster is the first official album from Agnus Dei, and just came out on the excellent Japanese psych label Musik Atlach (run by Sachiko from Overhang Party/Kousokuya). Hoca's music is heavy on the blackened ambience and psychedelic drone, but more than anything this is obsessed with classical sacred music, using long stretches of liturgical organ, medieval religious music and cut-up sections of baroque religious vocal hymn that are interwoven with the more crushing and formless sounds of overdriven guitar distortion and furious industrial noise to create a seriously nightmarish dronescape. While listening to this disc, I'm reminded of everything from Arvo Part to Lustmord to Corrupted at their most ambient, and even the more atmospheric and abstract moments of Bloody Panda, although you can't really call Agnus Dei "doom", even if much of this album sounds doom-ridden as hell.
The first track "Paternoster" is a seventeen minute epic of atmospheric musique concrete and liturgical doom that begins with grinding low-end noise and waves of massive Sunn-like low-end drone heaviness, but as the track slowly evolves, the sound is joined by samples of propaganda speeches, industrial noise, pilfered loops of traditional Latin Mass, the haunting sound of female choral voices, random voices speaking in various languages, Gregorian chants, looped applause, blasts of brutally loud jet-engine noise, long stretches of mournful church organs, and gongs all puzzled together into a surreal landscape that resembled something from Nurse With Wound polluted by jets of blackened industrial doom guitar and orchestral strings.
The other track, "Holocaust Missa", gets even darker and creepier with samples of WWII-era speeches enshrouded within the buzzing drone of minimalist church organs and waves of pure black drone and CRUSHING ambient doom-guitar, at times sounding a lot like Corrupted or Black Boned Angel, but eventually the grinding guitar drone fades away as ghostly female choral voices appear, dark and delicate as they drift across a blackened field of drone and buzz and distant battlefield sounds, flecked with samples of gorgeous classical piano and choral voices and the fearsome insanity of large-scale wartime rallies. Highly recommended, and packaged in a simple glossy cardstock wallet sleeve with creepy religious-themed imagery.
Track Samples:
Sample : Holocaust Missa
Sample : Paternoster



AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED   Honky Reduction/The Glue That Binds Us   LP + 7"   (R.S.R.)    22.98

Honky Reduction/The Glue That Binds Us IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

These weren't cheap, but we scored some copies of this super-limited (less than 500 pressed, apparently) German import LP release of the now classic Agoraphobic Nosebleed mini-album Honky Reduction that came out at the end of last year. Formed by guitarist/bassist/drum machine programmer Scott Hull (who you probably also know from Pig Destroyer, and maybe even his harsh noise project Japanese Torture Comedy Hour) and vokillist/noisician Jay Randall, Agoraphobic Nosebleed blasted into the grey matter of grind nuts everywhere when the nineteen-minute, twenty-six song CD was released in 1998. This stuff was over the top when it came out- an onslaught of transgressive, misanthropic hallucinations mixed together with Jay's harsh vocals, insanely fast drum machine blastbeats that would contort and warp into rhythmic patterns that no human drummer could possibly replicate, blasts of scathing electronic noise, and Scott's crushing, complex grind riffage, all wrapped up in short, compressed songs that usually barely break the minute mark. Jay's lyrics and song titles lean towards the confrontational and disturbing, with songs like "The Withering Of Skin", "LIves Ruined Through Sex", "Clawhammer And A Ether Rag", and "Her Despair Reeks Of Alchohol" skulking the darkest recesses of the human condition, but conveyed through weird lyrics that address drug conspiracies, consumerism, homophobia, and terrorism in surrealistic eruptions of profanity. On one hand, Honky Reduction is fucking hilarious, in a crackpot, drug-addled way. Just look at the album cover (a 60's era blonde serving up sides of beef in some nightmarish butcher shop) and the rest of the deranged, thoroughly un-PC imagery that is found throughout the album sleeve, or follow the lyrics, which are about as pitch-black as humor can get. The negativity and the sheer brutality of the music is so intense, though, that there's no denying that these cats are dead fucking serious about the grind. No joke band, here, no matter how freaked out their imagery gets. It's a disorientating grind album from one of my favorite grind bands ever, a bestial assault all the way up to the Bastard Noise-inspired space noise jam that closes the album.
What will no doubt seal the deal for diehard Agoraphobic Nosebleed fans is the bonus 7" that R.S.R. packaged with this LP. Titled The Glue That Binds Us, this EP comes in it's own full color jacket, and features thirteen songs of it's own, ten originals and three mind melting covers of Corrosion Of Conformity ("Hungry Child", my favorite C.O.C. song of all time !!!) and DRI ("I'd Rather Be Sleeping" and "I Don't Need Society"). Not just that, but all of the tracks on this EP sound like they had been recorded super hot and in the red, the already-caustic grindcore made all the more corrosive by piling on a thick sheen of white noise and distortion. Awesome.


AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED   PCP Torpedo/ANBRX   2 x CD   (Hydra Head)    14.99



The masters of drum-machine fueled grindmetal return to resuscitate their famed PCP Torpedo EP, originally issued on 5" wax in 1999 and which has long been out of print. No one comes close to these guys when it comes to total crackhead drummachine grind, and that original EP displayed what is still some of Agoraphobic Nosebleed's most lethal blasts ever. Hydra Head went balls-out with this redux, beginning with the material housed on 2 discs: the first disc is the PCP Torpedo EP, consisting of 10 songs in 7 minutes, but those 7 minutes are pure compressed savagery, a souped up, highly stylized cyborg version of classic Earache grindcore that outfits Scott Hull's crushing grind riffs and Jay Randall's dissociative, misanthropic rantings with a barrage of relentlessly hyperspeed gabba/speedcore style machinegun beats, the only respite occuring when ANb bottom out into the occasional dissonant Godflesh-esque industroid dirge. These jams are punishing. Then there's the second disc, ANBRX, which is a collection of rethinks/remixes of the PCP Torpedo material from an assortment of speedcore/noise/extreme IDM artists including Vidna Obmana, Dev/Null with Xanopticon, James Plotkin, DJ Speedranch, Merzbow, Jansky Noise, Auek, Justin Broadrick, Drokz & Tails, Drokz, Hellz Army, Substance Abuse, and Submachine Drum. All of these tracks kill, with some of our faves including the gargantuan Godflesh invocation of Justin Broadrick's "Flesh Of Jesu" mix, DJ Speedranch's gibbering digital knife attack, and Hellz Army's brutal gabba translation. The packaging for this double CD set is off the hook...it comes in a deluxe gatefold digipack covered in psychedelic artwork depicting warehouses on fire, the flames streaming into the sky as multicolored pills rain down onto the streets. The inside panels are a kaleidoscopic sea of pills in all the colors of the rainbow. The PCP Tprpedo disc is a 3" fan disc with a clear outer ring and covered in tiny drawings of blue flames, the ANBRX disc ccovered in red flames. Total eye candy, and one of the best packaging designs of 2006 without a freaking doubt. An absolute must-have for Agoraphobic Nosebleed fans!


AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED   The Glue That Binds Us   7" VINYL   (R.S.R.)    6.50

The Glue That Binds Us IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Previously available only as a bonus 7" that came with the German import vinyl for Agoraphobic Nosebleed's Honky Reduction, this mangy little EP is now available on it's own from R.S.R.; I think that the label must turned up a stray box of these 7"s, as we were only able to get about a dozen or so of these for C-Blast.
Formed by guitarist/bassist/drum machine programmer Scott Hull (who you probably also know from Pig Destroyer, and maybe even his harsh noise project Japanese Torture Comedy Hour) and vokillist/noisician Jay Randall, Agoraphobic Nosebleed take the feral violence of early grindcore and augment that shit with over-the-top modern blast-programming technology, infusing the whirlwind razor-riff attacks with supersonic blastbeats and synthesized jackhammer percussion that goes way beyond what any organic set of arms would be able to pull off.
Titled The Glue That Binds Us, this EP comes in it's own full color jacket, and features thirteen songs of it's own, ten originals and three mind melting covers of Corrosion Of Conformity ("Hungry Child", my favorite C.O.C. song of all time !!!) and DRI ("I'd Rather Be Sleeping" and "I Don't Need Society"). Not just that, but all of the tracks on this EP sound like they had been recorded super hot and in the red, the already-caustic grindcore made all the more corrosive by piling on a thick sheen of white noise and distortion. One of the songs features Aaron Ulcer on vocals, too; Aaron has one of the sickest screams I've ever heard, and his old band Ulcer was one of the best blastcore bands of the 90's, even though they were mostly overlooked by the hardcore scene when they were around, so I was fucking stoked to hear him spew his cheesegrater'd larynx all over the cover of DRI's "I Don't Need Society". Awesome!


AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED / ANS   Tribute To Gang Green   5" VINYL   (Tank Crimes)    5.98



This short little 5" platter is a mutual ode to the legendary Beantown hardcore band Gang Green, specifically their late 80's crossover era. The crazed grind duo Agoraphobic Nosebleed (here in duo mode with Scott Hull handling both guitar and drums, no drum machine this time) team up with West Coast rippers ANS to cover one Gang Green jam apiece, with ANS throwing out an additional original of their own. Pressed on "beer piss yellow" vinyl and housed in a great looking sleeve with killer booze-geyser skate-skull artwork from Tall Boy, this is a quick shot of nuclear energy for fans of old school crossover...
The guys in Agoraphobic Nosebleed pound out a cover of the classic Gang Green anthem "Alcohol" that's surprisingly straightforward, no blastbeats or crazed grind riffing, just a burly, faithful cover complete with wailing wah-wah rock solos, a straight thrash attack that time warps back to 1987.
On the flipside, ANS open with their own cover of another Gang Green beer-guzzlin' whiplash anthem, "Let's Drink Some Beer", which is likewise pretty faithful to the original, although ANS pump it up with an added shot of metallic muscle. It's a goddamn ripper. That's paired up with one of their own songs that's exclusive to this split, the heavy metallic punk-thrash of "Bl'azing Saddles", itself stuck in a late 80's time warp which appears to be what this Cali band specializes in; think DRI, Gang Green, No Mercy, Whermacht, that sort of blistering speed-core laced with ferocious midtempo pit-riots and plenty of high speed fury.


AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED / APARTMENT 213   Domestic Powerviolence   LP   (Relapse)    15.98

Domestic Powerviolence IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Holy shit. Could there be a more fearsome lineup? This split album came out on Relapse last year but we just recently picked up some of the limited edition vinyl, a full length split featuring all new exclusive material from the legendary drum-machine driven grinders Agoraphobic Nosebleed and neo-powerviolence thugs Apartment 213. And I guess you could call this a "concept" record, with the disturbing artwork from the acclaimed German artist Florian Betmer and the combined sociopathic rantings of both bands putting forth some really disturbing visions of familial discord. Listening to this split is like hearing an audiobook version of Goad's Answer Me!. Yikes. The Agoraphobic Nosebleed side of the split is something different: joined by Steve Makita from Apartment 213 on vocals, Scott Hull and Jay Randall scrape through three lengthy (for them) tracks that are almost devoid of the convoluted blastbeats that make up their previous releases. Instead, they channel a fucked up version of Man Is The Bastard and mutant noise rock through sludgy bass-heavy riffs that bend at unfriendly angles and slow, chaotic rythmic dirges, and with Steve Makita's terrifying roar, they manage to sound even scarier than usual. I know that there were alot of fans that were a little turned off by this slower, sludgier side of Agoraphobic, but I think this fuckin' rules. There's also a surprising turn at the end of "Ejector Seat" where the music suddenly opens up on a vast expanse of Popul Vuh like ambience - very rad.
Apartment 213 rule. They are one of only two bands to get the blessing of Eric Wood from Bastard Noise/Man As The Bastard as being legitimate "power violence" (the other being The Endless Blockade), which is a righteous endorsement, and they are the only band around that is doing the Infest sound and harnessing the same murderous power that those masters had. The Apt 213 side features seven songs, five of which originally appeared on their Vacancy 7" but were rerecorded for this split. Brutal, vicious blastcore that goes from hyperspeed grinding to slow, smoldering dirge. Intense and hateful, with songs called "Instrumental (In Child Rearing)", "Mutilation", and "Kill For Christ".
The record is pressed on thick vinyl, and the version that we have in stock is the swirled yellow/red sunburst color. Packaged in a full color jacket with a full color inner sleeve.


AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED / CROM   split   7" VINYL   (R.S.R.)    7.98

split IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Last time we listed these, they sold out immediately, but we finally were able to get some more in stock...
Los Angeles grind weirdos Crom team up with Agoraphobic Nosebleed to deliver a short but brutal 7" that features five tracks of what-the-fuck powerviolence from the former and two new tracks of blazing drum-machine powered ultragrind from the latter. It's comin' to us courtesy of German scum peddlers R.S.R., who released the 7" on black vinyl in a limited run of 500 copies, and packaged it in a full color double sided sleeve which includes all of Agoraphobic Nosebleed's lyrics (thank christ) along with bizarre liner notes from Crom.
These are the first Agoraphobic Nosebleed tracks that I've heard with new vocalist Kat (from doom/sludge creeps Salome), and both "Pantheon Crack Torche" and " Home Invasion" seriously fucking shred. The first one is a blasting holocaust of angular grind/speed violence with paintscraping screamed vocals, monstrous growling, punishing sludge riffage, and ultra heavy drum programming. The second song is the longer of the two, and it's total fucking chaos, with singers Kat, Jay and Richard splattering their shrieks/screams/roars across Scott Hull's schizoid mangle of jagged thrash metal riffs, clusterbomb blastbeats revved up to an insane 500 bpm velocity, and slurred, lurching sludge, complete with crack epidemic metaphors and lyrics about having the LAPD run roughshod over your apartment and killing your entire family.
Crom spew five new tracks of hesher weirdness on their side: the Bavarian Metal tribute, Conan samples, boogie rock collage and discordant neanderthal powerviolence of "Swords And Sandals; "Talons Of Ibis" and its phased speed metal defrag that clocks in at 30 seconds; the longest track is "The Black Ring", it's sludgy feedback infested verse, whooshing Hawkwind effects and delayed snarls trailing off into infinity; "Mystics And Heretics" breaks off a ten second blurt of Infest-esque hatred; and closer "Tree Of Woe II" drifts in on a wave of fucked up effects and pounding drums, launches into what sounds like it's going to be an absolutely crushing doom metal riff, then suddenly vomits up an 80's pop sample and stops.


AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED / TOTAL FUCKING DESTRUCTION   Frontside Nosegrind (RED VINYL)   7" VINYL   (Bones Brigade)    6.98



Back in stock, now on RED vinyl!
What a teamup! Longrunning drum-machine grinders Agoraphobic Nosebleed are back with three new jams, "Self Detonate", "Degenerate Liar", and "Alcoholocaust", performed by the core duo of guitarist/drum programmer/speaker waster Scott Hull (also of Pig Destroyer fame) and vocalist J. Randall, and with additional lead vocals from Benumb singer Pete on "Degenerate Liar". A scathing assault of sludgy noise-rock informed power dirge, crushing thrash metal riffing, and 5000 mph hypergrind annihilation. Smokin'! Total Fucking Destruction are on the b-side with the freaked out psychedelic noise/funk/drug rock jam "Last Night I Dreamt We Destroyed The World" that degenerates into Rich Hoak's manic trademark blastbeat wipeout and some damaged FX abuse, followed by a raging speedcore cover of the Exploited's "Sid Vicious Was Innocent"! Pressed on limited edition thick opaque red vinyl. And the package for this 7" is AWESOME - the outer cover features brightly colored illustrations of reptilian skateboarding demons tearing up some ramp against a psychedelic backdrop of skulls, all created by famed artist Florian Bertmer, with trippy spiral shapes printed in clear spot varnish and swirling out from the center...and the inside of the jacket features wicked photographs of a kid with his fuckin' nose ripped off, giving a big thumbs up to the camera (hence the Frontside Nosegrind title...). Badass!


AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED / TOTAL FUCKING DESTRUCTION   Frontside Nosegrind (BLUE VINYL)   7" VINYL   (Bones Brigade)    7.98

Frontside Nosegrind (BLUE VINYL) IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Back in stock!
What a teamup! Longrunning drum-machine grinders Agoraphobic Nosebleed are back with three new jams, "Self Detonate", "Degenerate Liar", and "Alcoholocaust", performed by the core duo of guitarist/drum programmer/speaker waster Scott Hull (also of Pig Destroyer fame) and vocalist J. Randall, and with additional lead vocals from Benumb singer Pete on "Degenerate Liar". A scathing assault of sludgy noise-rock informed power dirge, crushing thrash metal riffing, and 5000 mph hypergrind annihilation. Smokin'! Total Fucking Destruction are on the b-side with the freaked out psychedelic noise/funk/drug rock jam "Last Night I Dreamt We Destroyed The World" that degenerates into Rich Hoak's manic trademark blastbeat wipeout and some damaged FX abuse, followed by a raging speedcore cover of the Exploited's "Sid Vicious Was Innocent"! Pressed on limited edition thick opaque blue vinyl. And the package for this 7" is AWESOME - the outer cover features brightly colored illustrations of reptilian skateboarding demons tearing up some ramp against a psychedelic backdrop of skulls, all created by famed artist Florian Bertmer, with trippy spiral shapes printed in clear spot varnish and swirling out from the center...and the inside of the jacket features wicked photographs of a kid with his fuckin' nose ripped off, giving a big thumbs up to the camera (hence the Frontside Nosegrind title...). Badass!


AGUIRRE   Calvaire   CD   (Bones Brigade)    11.98



Bones Brigade slows down their usual mach-10 pace for the debut album from Aguirre, a French band that channels the negative gooey sludgecore vibes of Iron Monkey and Eyehategod and puts their own frantic hardcore edge on that sound. Calvaire had been released on vinyl a while back on the Blind Date label, but appears here for the first time on cd. Like both Iron Monkey and Eyehategod, there's a seething viciousness at the center of Aguirre's four lengthy bitter slow-motion diatribes that make up this album, easily traceable back to the member's collective background in the French hardcore scene; the songs on Calvaire use the slow, sludgy heaviness as a starting point for songs that often break into galloping mid-paced thrash a la High On Fire, or frenzied and chaotic passages that remind me of His Hero Is Gone and the French Canadian hardcore scene from the late 90's (Ire, Union Of Uranus, One Eyed God Prophecy, etc), which is something that I don't hear too often anymore. But mostly this is rooted in pounding, crusty, droning sludge, usually centering around a single grinding sludge riff with lots of dissonant chords, a thick dank hellish atmosphere hanging low over the songs, the introspective lyrics (sung in both French and English) leaning towards the nihilistic and delivered through a combination of deep emotive screams and higher pitched screams and anguish-wracked wailing. Heavy stuff, with half of the album going for epic song lengths of ten minutes or more, with just one song going in what could be described as a melodic direction; “[…]” is one of the slowest songs on the album, but there's a doleful melodic undercurrent that appears throughout the song that at times reminds me of Harvey Milk. That's definitely the exception though; the rest of this is malevolent and ugly, and closer to the likes of Cavity, Iron Monkey, Graves At Sea and early Overmars. A solid debut of sinister metallic sludge presented in digipack packaging and limited to 500 copies.
Track Samples:
Sample : Blisster
Sample : Vaincu Mais Non Dompte



AHKMED   Chicxulub   CD   (R.A.I.G.)    11.98

Chicxulub IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Even though their title stands for "Russian Association Of Independant Genres", R.A.I.G. has been mining some of the raddest, heaviest space rock action from outside of the former Soviet Union, starting with the debut from U.S. Christmas that had just about every cosmic hesher that heard it praising 'em as the best new psych rock outfit around, and now bringin' us to this hefty disc from an Australian power trio that I hadn't heard of before. It only took a couple minutes of their music to glide across my ear canals before I decided that we had to get this album for the C-Blast store, and stat. I dug around and it looks like Chixulub is Ahkmed's first album, even though the band has been around since 1998...leafing through the album booklet (which is goddamn killer, but I'll get to that in a sec...), however, reveals that Chicxulub is actually a collection of two previously self- released EP's, 2005's In Your Neck of the Dying Woods and 2003's Ahkmed.
At first, the songs on this disc sound like they are going to be super fuzzed out, epic instrumental rock a la Mono or Pelican or Mogwai, and I was even reminded of their fellow Aussie sludge slingers Fire Witch: lotsa big fuzzy riffage, catchy hooks riding on big instrumental clean guitars that start off mellow and wind up into explosive crescendos, trippy guitar fx swirling around brooding chords. But Ahkmed start to mix things up pretty quick, cranking up the space rock FX really hard, the fuzzbomb guitars kicking out utterly wicked Sabbathian stoner riffs, and then everything suddenly surging forward into a sick Krautrock style jam, acid guitar freaking out over propulsive amphetimine fueled drumming that cuts a swath across red desert wastelands, a burly soulful drawl comin' out of nowhere and describing mystical vistas, then stumbling back into muted druggy psychedelia, soaring cosmic drones and lengthy passages of spaced out ambience. The loud/soft, stomp-on-the-distortion dynamics are used to great effect on alot of these songs, but it's the massive crushing Krautrock rhythms and super zonked, fx-splattered guitar that wanders all over the horizon of Chicxulub that makes my eyes roll back into my head. Very crucial heavy psych - imagine Hawkwind, Finnish hypno-metallers Circle, the more recent Isis stuff, Acid Mothers Temple, Pink Floyd, Kyuss, and Monster Magnet rolled into one big fat bong blast of psychedelic stoner post-rock. Man, the final track "Samar" just kicked in and it's horizontal motorik drive and stomping acid metal grooves kill it.
And the package is freaking awesome. R.A.I.G. usually goes pretty creative with their stuff, but this is the coolest CD package that I've ever seen from the label. A full color digifolder illustrated with strange images of floating rock hovering over an abstract landscape, which opens up to reveal a twelve page booklet that is bound in to the internior of the jacket, and which features an array of surreal photographs of prehistoric looking cave warriors covered in animal skulls, tattoos, animal hides, bones, and demonic ceremonial masks.
Highly recommended to fans of heavy psychedelia. This album rules.


AHLZAGAILZEHGUH   Recycled Music Series   CASSETTE   (RRRecords)    4.98



Ahlzagailzehguh...quite the mouthful,huh? Sounds like the name of some ancient Elder God out of the Necronomicon, which is an apropos reference since Ahlzagailzehguh delivers some of the most evil, blackened noise thisn side of Richard Ramirez and The Rita. The NY harsh noise project has been dropping cluster bombs of charred wallnoise brutality for years, including a crushin' LP on Hospital Productions operated by Prurient's Dominick Fernow, which should give you an idea of the sort of attitude on display here. Ahlzagailzeguh's entry in RRRecords legendary Recycled Music Series is pure destructive noise, two untitled side-long tracks of brutal, fast-swirling black noise chopped up and slammed from speaker to speaker through the use of some really assaultive stereo panning. You need to really crank this tape, too; there's so much detail in these chaotic walls, blasts of whiplash feedback and mangled guitar noise, razor-sharp electronic glitches, monstrous roaring vocals ripping through a curtain of filth, awesome demonic noises that sound like cassette player heads having strips of human skin run through them at high speed, and it all melts together into a wall of thick, rumbling, hyperviolent blackened dronenoise straight from hell. With all of the feedback and amplifier abuse going on in these lengthy pieces, it actually gets pretty close to the murderous power-skree of Matt Bower's Total, so fans of that project might want to look into this and other Ahlzagailzeguh releases, which I'll be working on trying to track down as soon as I can. As with all of the Recycled Series tapes, these cassettes are recorded onto random prerecorded cassettes from the RRR record store, and both the tape and the jacket are covered in duct tape scrawled in black magic marker.


AHNA   Empire   LP   (Choking Hazard)    15.00



The Vancouver-based experimental sludge duo Ahna has eluded me till now, but their latest 12" Empire turned out to be a ferocious introduction to their brand of blackened caveman crust. Just from listening to this, I would never have guessed that this band features the guy behind the excellent dark drone project Worker, who released a killer tape of minimal amp-crush on Prairie Fire a while back. You'll find no trace of anything remotely "ambient" in Ahna's primitive stomping sludge, that's for sure. The five songs featured on Empire visualize an anarchic future-is-now scenario of authoritarian rule and pandemic violence in the streets, played out across the maniacal blasts of bludgeoning, bass-heavy hardcore riffs, gobs of filthy, tar-thick sludge, and tempos that shift between creeping tree-sap heaviness and weird hypnotic blastbeat workouts. The drumming is tied in to some twisted, brain-damaged arrangements for the songs that give this a very strange vibe; by the time that I got to the song "Mental Corrosion" on the second side, it struck me that a lot of this stuff comes off as a weird cross between Man Is The Bastard trying to play super-primitive black metal, and the feedback-infested tectonic crawl of Trees, the simple, punk-like riffs and stripped down arrangements definitely revealing the band's love of Hellhammer's proto-black metal just as the band will suddenly veer into some massive rumbling doomscape of abstracted riffing and droning amp-noise, delivered in this odd, off-kilter mess of barbaric droning sludge and fractured blackened grind and jagged noise. And the vocals are fucking nuts, constantly shifting between a monstrous, gaseous bellow that sounds utterly inhuman and the high-pitched electrocuted goblin shriek of drummer/singer Anju Singh (also a skilled noise musician with a number of violin-based solo works under her belt), whose paint-peeling yowl is anything but feminine; all of this adds to the bizarre rabid feel of Ahna's music. This is some wonderfully violent shit, a mutated blast of Filth-era SWANS-esque bludgeon, off-kilter grindcore, and brain-damaged amp-vomit. Love it!
Released in a limited edition of five hundred copies.


AIDS WOLF   The Lovvers LP   CD   (Lovepump United)    11.98



Here's the anticipated album from Montreal hotshits AIDS WOLF, whose vaguely narcoleptic and dissonant No Wave stew slops around a half hour of ear splitting free-noise improvisation, art-damaged costume thrash, haunted drones, brittle hooks, and Chloe Lum's possessed kiddie-howls across The Lovvers near-half hour running time. It reminds us of a post-apocalyptic XBXRX meets WOLF EYES, or early SONIC YOUTH fused with the BOREDOMS, TOTAL SHUTDOWN, and LIGHTNING BOLT. Spiky guitars and spazzy ramshackle drumbeats tumble over each other, and more often than not lock into a wild hypnotic skronk jam that will eject you from your seat, if you have an ear for this kind of head shred. The disc closes out with the 12 minute free-drone-noise haunted house jam "Some Sexual Drawings", and it's a knockout. Definitely one for fans of Load Records, Afrirampo, artsy noise punk, Melt Banana, and Skin Graft jams. For those that don't know, members of AIDS WOLF also double as the design group Seripop, whose eye popping artwork is all over this thing. We just got these in from our buddy Mookie, who besides singing and banging keys for our very own GENGHIS TRON, also operates the Lovepump United imprint that unleashed this album.


AIR CONDITIONING   Catneck / Frustrating Ice Princess   7" PICTURE DISC   (Electric Human Project)    6.98



Killer picture disc 7" of lung-burning migraine RAWK from this Pennsylvania outfit. "Catneck" is the A-side jam, and enters with a buzz of cable/amp presence before it bursts into molten rock riffage jammed into a tarpit of distortion. The B-side follows with "Frustrating Ice Princess" and napalms a noise rock jam with even more sickening feedback and ends in a caustic trainwreck of brick-on-guitar action transmitted through a malfunctioning truck engine. Crucial. Fans of Wolf Eyes, Burmese, Geisha, Rusted Shut, etc., need to get on these guys post-haste.


AIR CONDITIONING   Weakness   CD   (Level Plane)    12.98



This is one of those albums that I pull out when I feel the need for real NOISE rock, and I am absolutely not in the mood for any weak-ass shit. These Allentown brusiers debuted with this three-song disc on Level Plane that came out a few years ago, and it's a required dose for anyone looking for total immolation. The lineup is classic power trio - guitar, drums, bass, someone singing lyrics - but what these guys do with that lineup is more akin to a serious industrial accident: pounding percussive bomb blasts, shrieking overdriven feedback, quasi-riffs and melodies buried in an avalanche of skull splitting fuzz and skree, seriously fucking heavy but oddly tuneful, if your a similiar breed of mutant as I and are able to glean the hooks from Air Conditionings brutal noise pummel. Three songs: "Accusation, Denial, Denali" a mere minute of spastic inter-dimensional punk spew; the 23 minute epic "Baby With a Graphite Soft Spot/Smooth Branches" which drags you across a wasteland of pounding factory-machine grind, gooey guitar tones that sound like the most malevolent seconds of Loveless infected with an especially virulent case of rabies, multiple voices shouting snottily in a cough syrup soaked fug, and ultraheavy blown dirgecore. The last jam, "Welcome to Seaworld/Championship Rings", is another long one, 15 minutes in fact, and it sounds like a meth'd up Brainbombs set being blasted out of a cosmic megaphone. This is not for sissies, no sir. Weakness is super catchy, but it's catchiness and hooks are reserved for only those steel-gutted scum pilots that think that the idea of listening to monolithic distorto-grudge punk dirge pushed to Merzbow levels of brutal crunch is a solid way to spend a Saturday afternoon. And are down to PLAY IT LOUD. Position this motherfucker next to your Vegas Martyrs, Goslings, Burmese, New Flesh, Heavy Winged, and Brainbombs collection, and pull out for immediate catharsis whenever the urge to bury a hatchet in someone's headbone strikes ya.


AIR CONDITIONING   Dead Rails   CD   (Load)    12.98

Dead Rails IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

There's been plenty of heavy noise-punk action comin out of Allentown, Pennsylvania lately, Pissed Jeans probably being the most well known of the bands to come out of that burgs cool little underground community, but nobody from Allentown trumps the sheer heaviness of Air Conditioning. These cats dropped this block of headcrushing psychedelic noise rock back in 2006, but if yer a fan of ultra-heavy, ultra-dense distorted noise rock and haven't heard Dead Rails yet, you gotta pick this up now. Air Conditioning's second album (and first for their new label Load) is another essential one for those of us that like our rock brutal, elephantine, and distorted to the point where all of the instruments and vocals are blurred into a churning mass of blistering CRUNCH. The Weakness album that Air Conditioning released on Level Plane was an awesome fistful of blownout sludge that was just as great as likeminded albums from Vegas Martyrs, Heavy Winged, Goslings, and The New Flesh that I'm always spinning around here, and on Dead Rails, the AC guys crank the crunch and distortion and white noise even further into oblivion. These four lengthy tracks have massive skullcrushing riffs bulldozing through an ocean of extreme distortion and sublime amplifier grit, at times sounding like a noise rock version of Nadja, or Skullflower strapped down onto pummeling industrial percussion, hooky melodies popping up out of the murk and distortion but always, always washed over with brutal blown out noise. The guitars rumble and grind in a fog of strange tunings, spewing warped acid-rock solos and crawling over pounding scrapyard percussion and thunderous drums, their vocals are an indecipherable howl drowned out by gooey FX and wailing feedback, and the surging currents of distortion roiling underneath it all at all times. Definitely rocking, but with more noise and crud slathered over everything than any other noise rock band I can think of, and MUCHO HEAVIER too. Towards the end, the band hunkers down and weaves some more laid-back, droning textures and hypnotic buzz on "I Run Low", but then the final sixteen-minute-plus epic "Accept Your Paralysis" unfurls the heaviest, most blown trudge of em all, drowning their guitars in feedback and squeal while the drummer snakes through a hypnotic beat, slowly blossoming into a super-rhythmic grinding jam that takes on a sludgy forward propulsion that sounds like Hijokaidan getting down with a particularly stomping Black Sabbath loop. The heaviest jams yet from this punishing trio.
Track Samples:
Sample : Conclusions/Concussions
Sample : Where to Litter/Trash Burning



AIR CONDITIONING   Dead Rails   LP   (Load)    14.98



Also available on vinyl!
There's been plenty of heavy noise-punk action comin out of Allentown, Pennsylvania lately, Pissed Jeans probably being the most well known of the bands to come out of that burgs cool little underground community, but nobody from Allentown trumps the sheer heaviness of Air Conditioning. These cats dropped this block of headcrushing psychedelic noise rock back in 2006, but if yer a fan of ultra-heavy, ultra-dense distorted noise rock and haven't heard Dead Rails yet, you gotta pick this up now. Air Conditioning's second album (and first for their new label Load) is another essential one for those of us that like our rock brutal, elephantine, and distorted to the point where all of the instruments and vocals are blurred into a churning mass of blistering CRUNCH. The Weakness album that Air Conditioning released on Level Plane was an awesome fistful of blownout sludge that was just as great as likeminded albums from Vegas Martyrs, Heavy Winged, Goslings, and The New Flesh that I'm always spinning around here, and on Dead Rails, the AC guys crank the crunch and distortion and white noise even further into oblivion. These four lengthy tracks have massive skullcrushing riffs bulldozing through an ocean of extreme distortion and sublime amplifier grit, at times sounding like a noise rock version of Nadja, or Skullflower strapped down onto pummeling industrial percussion, hooky melodies popping up out of the murk and distortion but always, always washed over with brutal blown out noise. The guitars rumble and grind in a fog of strange tunings, spewing warped acid-rock solos and crawling over pounding scrapyard percussion and thunderous drums, their vocals are an indecipherable howl drowned out by gooey FX and wailing feedback, and the surging currents of distortion roiling underneath it all at all times. Definitely rocking, but with more noise and crud slathered over everything than any other noise rock band I can think of, and MUCHO HEAVIER too. Towards the end, the band hunkers down and weaves some more laid-back, droning textures and hypnotic buzz on "I Run Low", but then the final sixteen-minute-plus epic "Accept Your Paralysis" unfurls the heaviest, most blown trudge of em all, drowning their guitars in feedback and squeal while the drummer snakes through a hypnotic beat, slowly blossoming into a super-rhythmic grinding jam that takes on a sludgy forward propulsion that sounds like Hijokaidan getting down with a particularly stomping Black Sabbath loop. The heaviest jams yet from this punishing trio.
Track Samples:
Sample : Conclusions/Concussions
Sample : Where to Litter/Trash Burning



AJILVSGA   Destruction of the Bison   CDR   (Faunasabbatha)    9.98














AKANAME / LESBIAN'S FUNGAL ABYSS   Rain Will Be The New Gold / Humongous Fungus   7" VINYL   (Hell Comes Home)    6.98



   Beginning in 2012, Irish label Hell Comes Home began to unleash a subscription club series of 7"s that featured pairings of some of the best bands in the noise-rock/sludge/doom underground (and beyond); featuring the likes of Thou, Fistula, Burning Love, Dead Elephants, and Coffinworm, this series delivered all-new material from the artists involved, each 7" featuring one song from each band along with a digital download code for the music. In addition, each 7" is presented in a cream-colored jacket with striking original artwork from Polish designer Kuba Sokólski, who illustrated each of these singles with a different mutant insect-like monstrosity, rendered in the sort of detail that you would expect from an entomological text. The look and feel of these records got my collector's vein pulsating in a big way, and we've managed to snag a selection of these 7"s for the C-Blast shop; numbers are limited, of course, and several of the entries in the Hell Comes Home series are already out of print...
  This installment in the series pairs up proggy Aussie crushers Akaname with Seattle psych ensemble Fungal Abyss, an offshoot of heavy prog-sludge outfit Lesbian. Akaname delivers some killer sprawling sludge with their "Rain Will Be The New Gold", the drummer's intricate, off-time rhythms and complex arrangements underscoring the band's interesting mix of black metal-influenced riffing, trippy synthesizer drift and spastic metallic chug. At times resembling a more blackened version of Mastodon or Keelhaul, this is menacing and mathy stuff that slips into some seriously devastating metallic crush later in the track. I loved the prog-tinged fury of Akaname's track, one of the coolest discoveries I've made through this series of 7"s.
   The other side feature's Lesbian's psychedelic improv alter-ego Fungal Abyss emitting a cloud of dark, instrumental heaviness called "Humongous Fungus", purportedly recorded under the influence of hallucinatory mushrooms; it's a lot better than you'd expect from the goofy title, a slow building jam that forms from layers of meandering guitar over the heavy, droning groove of the rhythm section, evolving from a dreamy haze of almost shoegazy rock into something akin to Isis at their prettiest, building into an almost space rock finale that winds down into an effects-smeared haze at the end.


AKHKHARU   Celebratum   CD   (Silcharde)    9.99



A fantastic collection of ghastly ritualistic ambience, Celebratum features pretty much everything that this obscure 90s-era black ambient project released during its brief existence, compiling remixed and remastered recordings from the three ultra-limited cassette releases that Akhkharu released between 1995 and 1996 on the Dark Age Productions and Ishnigarrab Recordings imprints. The two members of Akhkharu were Fakir NXW and Blood Moon Ausar, musicians whose resumes also included stints with black metallers Crimson Moon and Absu, the Absu-related black ritual prog project Equimanthorn, and even experimental rock weirdoes Vas Deferens Organization; here, they were channeling vast apocalyptic visions and sonic blood rituals by way of a strangely militant black ambient sound that combined booming martial percussion, electronically-processed vocals that were generally delivered in an incantatory spoken style, looped orchestral sounds and blasts of stentorian brass, and gusts of hellish black drift. If you've been digging the recent Funerary Call releases that came out over the past year on Crucial Blast, Malignant and Fall Of Nature, you'll love this stuff. Aside from their super-rare tape releases, the band also appeared on the Y2K compilation CD The Fossil Dungeon alongside Equitant, Profane Grace, Absu's Proscriptor, The Soil Bleeds Black and Cernunnos Woods, which also gives you an idea of what sort of nightmarish post-industrial music these guys created.
Scattered among the shorter ambient pieces on this disc are tracks like "Nos Dominari Noctus: The Dominions Of The Night", where the band sprawls out into an eighteen minute black mass soundtrack filled with demonic chanting and looped horns, murky orchestral drones and pounding kettledrums, eerie wind chimes and burbling black cyborg electronics and washes of Lustmordian dread all fusing together into total delirium. Other tracks explore occult incantations played in reverse and enshrouded in trippy effects, monstrously deformed dronescapes, blasts of guttural war-horns and passages of murky Moevot-esque ambient creep, ominous keyboard symphonies drifting out of some dank sulfurous pit, and bizarre sound collages like "Ave Calix Sanguinis (Praise Be The Blood)", where the duo weave solemn ritual verse, female vocals and streaks of evil chamber strings around a hypnotic backdrop of pulsating black drift; the whole thing starts to sound like a satanic Dead Can Dance towards the end.
Akhkharu's black ritual drift can easily be situated next to the likes of early Funerary Call, Endura, Melek-Tha, the pure ambient projects of the LLN and even In Slaughter Natives, bridging that lightless chasm between the most desolate corner of post-industrial music and the feral witchery of black metal's most abstract fringes. Really stoked to see this come out, and Silcharde did a nice job with the presentation for this disc, packaging it with a twelve-page booklet fitted with translucent vellum covers and metallic silver print that adds to the album's "grimoire"-like look. Recommended.
Track Samples:
Sample : Nos Dominari Noctus: The Dominions Of The Night
Sample : Invocatum Modus Quintus: The Typhonian Mantra
Sample : Ave Calix Sanguinis (Praise Be The Blood)



AKHLYS   Supplication   CDR   (Starlight Temple Society)    8.98

Supplication IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Akhlys's Supplication has been out of print for awhile, but I just unearthed a couple of copies of this rare disc back in the store room. This is the one and only release from this obscure side-project from Naas Alcameth of Nightbringer and Temple of Not; with Akhlys, Naas Alcameth explored a form of abyssal black ambience that feels like an even more blackened take on the nightmarish sounds of Archon Satani and Kerovnian. This disc features a single thirty-seven minute track of blackened occult-tinged ambience, entering with the sound of tectonic blasts reverberating beneath soft whorls of looping industrial sound, the sound minimal and desolate as it continues for several minutes before the vast emptiness is intruded upon by massive distorted blasts and short bursts of blown-out melody that immediately crumble and dissolve into the bottomless depths before reappearing a few minutes later. Later, strange whispered phrases appear alongside fragments of snarled, hushed speech and demonic chanting, the voices breaking apart and scattered over the pulsating black ambience, while fluttering metallic pulses and loops emerge and recede into the gloom. Distant, murky keyboard melodies drift in and out of earshot as scraps of eerie, Vangelis-like electronic ambience materialize for several minutes, joined by strange, spectral EVP-like voice transmissions and a distant percussive rumbling that thrums just beneath the surface.
Later on, more processed drum sounds swell up, accompanied by gorgeous, almost Dead Can Dance-esque female vocals that drift up out of the blackness, while Alcameth hisses and snarls through a veil of delay and reverb, his reptilian invocations drifting like wisps of black smoke into the night sky. The track continues to evolve, growing more menacing as those percussive sounds come to the foreground, at times surging into kettledrum-like volleys of orchestral pummel while charred horns intone low, infinite drones, and broken shards of discordant piano and bells flitter at the edges. It all eventually moves into a long passages of echoing demonic voices and distant incantations, ritualistic chant set to stygian, surrealistic black drift, shuffling mechanical noises echoing out of the void before finally returning to a reprise of the jet-black void from the beginning of the disc, those booming, crumbling blasts of low-end crush once again echoing through the blackness, surrounded by the faintest whorls of electronic pulse. This is definitely one of those albums that is best experienced in a pitch-black room, the transmissions of ritualistic black ambience untouched by light.
Comes in a slim DVD-style plastic case with a full color cover, released in a limited edition of one hundred copies.
Track Samples:
Sample : Supplication
Sample : Supplication
Sample : Supplication



AKIMBO   Forging Steel And Laying Stone   CD   (Alternative Tentacles)    14.98



Akimbo's first album for Alternative Tentacles delivers 12 jams of their quirky, crushing metallic rock flavored with the heshhead sense of humor those guys have, injecting their massive metallic rawk battery with stylized artwork and song titles like "Rockness Monster" and "Spooning With Disaster". They merge the off-kilter lurch of Jesus Lizard with a kind of complex progressive metalcore that points towards fellow Seattleites Botch, with lots of angular, sorta-mathy riffs and sludgy, burly boogie-metal parts a la Eyehategod, Jon Weisnewski's intense ripped snarls, and Nat Damm's seriously heavy, pummeling drumming. Occasionally Akimbo pull back to reveal brief flashes of tense math/indie rock that remind us of Unwound or maybe Drive Like Jehu, and the indie rock vibe is heavy in their sound, which I guess kinda makes them heirs to the Karp throne of huge, crushing indie metal destruction. Band creeds like "Sharpen Swords, Polish The Armour, It's Feeding Time" and their longrunning motto to "Live To Crush", a psychedelic-poster style band logo, eerie metal imagery, heavy stoner-boogie riffage and frenetic hardcore punk, Karp meets Unwound meets Melvins for a fun, crazed riff heavy blast of twisting, skull splitting crunch. Awesome!


AKIMBO   Harshing Your Mellow   CD   (Alternative Tentacles)    14.98



Akimbo rules. I've been a devout fan of these guys ever since I first witnessed them live when they toured with Genghis Tron; a tightly wound power trio, Akimbo have this undefineable power that feels like it draws from the noise rock of Amphetimine Reptile and Touch And Go, early Neurosis, hard edged math rock riffs, and classic hardcore. Incredibly potent and ferocious sounding, easily one of the heaviest bands to have ever been on Alternative Tentacles, but really catchy too. Remember how Karp had that streak of indie rock catchiness underneath their crushing riffs? Akimbo has that too. Complex, crushing, rocking, unstoppably catchy and anthemic. A killer live band, too, and you can tell that these guys are lifers, dedicated flesh and spirit to the power of crushing riffage. Harshing Your Mellow was the band's first album, originally coming out in 2001 on Amalgamate Records, but it subsequently sold out and went out of print, and has been a tough one to find in the years since. Alternative Tentacles has re-issued the album with all ten tracks remastered, and has tacked on an additional unreleased cover of 'Vertigo' from LA punk legends The Screamers that was recorded during the original album session. These early songs aren't as balls-out crushing as the more metallic Forging Steel And Laying Stone, but this is still heavy HEAVY stuff, a blistering, thunderous onslaught of angular hardcore pummel and ominous riffs, quirky time signatures appearing out of speedy HC blasts and awesome infuriated vocals. This re-issued is served up with brand new artwork in a digipack case. Definitely recommended!


AKIMBO   Navigating The Bronze   LP   (Alternative Tentacles)    13.98



Akimbo are back with a new album, their fifth, and mere months after the reissue of their crucial Harshing Your Mellow debut. And boy is this a ripper! Ten new jams of burly, crushing rock from one of the best live bands around, encased in a slick package with lots metallic inks, an album cover depicting a tour van with a Viking sail mounted to the roof and bull horns welded to the hood, chopping through a violent sea on it's way to deliver earth crushing rock. Throw this puppy on and yer blasted with the bands heaviest shit yet, channeling grungy noise rock of the Am Rep sort, fierce hardcore moves, Neurosis style dirge riffs. And a HEAVY 70's rock influence. For real. There are riffs on Navigating The Bronze that could have come off an AC/DC album, like on the bluesy HC charge of "Wizard Van Wizard", at least right before the band lunges into a monstrous sludge groove. On "Dungeon Bastard", the band breaks through the stormclouds of brutal angular riffing with a passage of beautiful epic melody. "Roman Coins" is a nearly 3-minute drum solo that sounds like the drummer is playing 2 kits at once, and it leads straight into the lead-heavy dirge rock of "Lungless". The first time I heard the epic melody of "Megatherium" 's soaring prog sludge, it took my breath away. It's brutal, ass-shakin' rock from start to end, huge riffs and awesome Angus Young style shredding, gruff howling vocals, bits of beautiful post-rocky bliss, massive dirgey slow parts and Southern grooves, ripping blasts of speedy hardcore, loads of catchy hooks, and Nat Damm's awesome drumming. These guys lay the hammer down. Zero bullshit heaviness from one of the best bands in the scene. Highly recommended.


AKIMBO   Navigating The Bronze   CD   (Alternative Tentacles)    14.98



Akimbo are back with a new album, their fifth, and mere months after the reissue of their crucial Harshing Your Mellow debut. And boy is this a ripper! Ten new jams of burly, crushing rock from one of the best live bands around, encased in a slick package with lots metallic inks, an album cover depicting a tour van with a Viking sail mounted to the roof and bull horns welded to the hood, chopping through a violent sea on it's way to deliver earth crushing rock. Throw this puppy on and yer blasted with the bands heaviest shit yet, channeling grungy noise rock of the Am Rep sort, fierce hardcore moves, Neurosis style dirge riffs. And a HEAVY 70's rock influence. For real. There are riffs on Navigating The Bronze that could have come off an AC/DC album, like on the bluesy HC charge of "Wizard Van Wizard", at least right before the band lunges into a monstrous sludge groove. On "Dungeon Bastard", the band breaks through the stormclouds of brutal angular riffing with a passage of beautiful epic melody. "Roman Coins" is a nearly 3-minute drum solo that sounds like the drummer is playing 2 kits at once, and it leads straight into the lead-heavy dirge rock of "Lungless". The first time I heard the epic melody of "Megatherium" 's soaring prog sludge, it took my breath away. It's brutal, ass-shakin' rock from start to end, huge riffs and awesome Angus Young style shredding, gruff howling vocals, bits of beautiful post-rocky bliss, massive dirgey slow parts and Southern grooves, ripping blasts of speedy hardcore, loads of catchy hooks, and Nat Damm's awesome drumming. These guys lay the hammer down. Zero bullshit heaviness from one of the best bands in the scene. Highly recommended.


AKIMBO   Jersey Shores   CD   (Neurot)    14.98



Framed by episodic vignettes, Jersey Shores is the latest album from Akimbo, a concept album, in fact, that revolves around a series of infamous shark attacks that occured in 1916 off of the coast of New Jersey, a subject that has captured the imagination of the Northwestern sludge rockers for their sixth album (and first for Neurot). The five songs on Jersey Shores weave a chronological, if slightly surreal narrative that describes each of the key events that happened during the horrific shark attacks, which included four deaths and one serious injury. These shark attacks were the inspiration for Benchley's Jaws, and Akimbo spins the story into an equally epic sludge-metal saga with the band's heaviest music to date. Previous albums delivered their manic metallic assaults in short hardcore-style blasts, but now Akimbo lets their songs stretch out into longer, epic jams that sometimes spill out over ten minutes or more, as if the Neurosis influence that's always lurked in the shadows of their thunderous metallic rock has completely come out into the light. "Bruder Vansant" melds together burly stoner rock riffage and aggressively fast tempos with old school metal at first, but then evolves into moody, jazzy post-rock. The eleven minute "Lester Stillwell" is the album's centerpiece, its spacey Karp-like crushrock alternating with bluesy Sabbathy doom before wandering into a twilight field of twangy, Big Sky psychedelia and shuffling blues. The whole album is filled with these long, epic wanderings from punishing heaviness into dark musical calm, blending smoky blues and post-rock with Neurosis-esque dirge, super-heavy Kyuss groove and angular noise rock, and Akimbo are now moving further from the Melvins/Karp comparisons that have saddled these dudes since day one. They still sound very "Pacific Northwest", if you know what I mean, but Jersey Shores has them exploring a whole new side to their sound. Might disappoint fans of their older stuff that are looking for more of their faster, hardcore-injected sound, but Akimbo's newer, improvisational approach to brooding heaviness is pretty damn cool. Comes in slipcase packaging.
Track Samples:
Sample : Great White Bull
Sample : Matawan



AKIMBO   Jersey Shores   LP   (Alternative Tentacles)    14.98



Akimbo's peculiar concept album about the New Jersey shark attacks of 1916 finally makes its way onto vinyl thanks to the folks at Alternative Tentacles, who have put together a deluxe package for this slab of murderous noise/sludge metal that includes a gatefold jackter, thick 180 gram vinyl, and a download code for an MP3 copy of the album.
Framed by episodic vignettes, Jersey Shores is the latest album from Akimbo, a concept album, in fact, that revolves around a series of infamous shark attacks that occured in 1916 off of the coast of New Jersey, a subject that has captured the imagination of the Northwestern sludge rockers for their sixth album (and first for Neurot). The five songs on Jersey Shores weave a chronological, if slightly surreal narrative that describes each of the key events that happened during the horrific shark attacks, which included four deaths and one serious injury. These shark attacks were the inspiration for Benchley's Jaws, and Akimbo spins the story into an equally epic sludge-metal saga with the band's heaviest music to date. Previous albums delivered their manic metallic assaults in short hardcore-style blasts, but now Akimbo lets their songs stretch out into longer, epic jams that sometimes spill out over ten minutes or more, as if the Neurosis influence that's always lurked in the shadows of their thunderous metallic rock has completely come out into the light. "Bruder Vansant" melds together burly stoner rock riffage and aggressively fast tempos with old school metal at first, but then evolves into moody, jazzy post-rock. The eleven minute "Lester Stillwell" is the album's centerpiece, its spacey Karp-like crushrock alternating with bluesy Sabbathy doom before wandering into a twilight field of twangy, Big Sky psychedelia and shuffling blues. The whole album is filled with these long, epic wanderings from punishing heaviness into dark musical calm, blending smoky blues and post-rock with Neurosis-esque dirge, super-heavy Kyuss groove and angular noise rock, and Akimbo are now moving further from the Melvins/Karp comparisons that have saddled these dudes since day one. They still sound very "Pacific Northwest", if you know what I mean, but Jersey Shores has them exploring a whole new side to their sound. Might disappoint fans of their older stuff that are looking for more of their faster, hardcore-injected sound, but Akimbo's newer, improvisational approach to brooding heaviness is pretty damn cool.
Track Samples:
Sample : Great White Bull
Sample : Matawan



AKITSA / ASH POOL   Ripped From Death, Forced To Live, And Die Again   LP   (Hospital Productions)    24.00



   For as long as Canadian black metal/punk primitives Akitsa have been working with Dom Fernow's Hospital Productions, you'd have to figure it was just a matter of time before this split was going to materialize. At long last, Akitsa have teamed up for this vinyl-only album with Fernow's Ash Pool project, whose ferocious left-field black metal might come as a surprise to those who primarily know the guy for his power electronics and industrial/techno work with Prurient and Vatican Shadow and neo-synthpop outfit Cold Cave. It's a perfect combination, though, with both bands delivering some fantastic material, Akitsa unleashing a black swarm of noisy, folk-flecked malevolence, Ash Pool weaving a strange, experimental black metal assault that is shot through with a couple of moments of blinding pop majesty.
   A lot has been made of the low-fi quality of Akitsa's recordings as well as the seemingly primitive nature of their songwriting, but that stuff is secondary to the fact that the band writes some damn good songs. Akitsa's "L'Heure De Vérité" blasts open their side with their trademark feedback-soaked stomp, a primitive blackened riff circling around the pounding drums, the band locking into an almost motorik throb for awhile, albeit one that is absolutely drenched in filthy static and an atmosphere of pervasive violence, and laced with those tinny, slightly out of tune guitar solos. But then there's the instrumental "Tour De Garde", a song that shares its name with the excellent underground black metal label run by the members of Akitsa; it's a bit different in feel, still really blown out and murky, but the guitars spin a strangely folky melody beneath the buzzing distortion, and the drums seem to shuffle through an almost funereal march, sounding more like some moody blackened martial folk, like something from Menace Ruine, perhaps. That's followed by the catchy-as-fuck blackened garage punk of "Ne Perdez Jamais Espoir", which could almost pass for an early 80's California hardcore punk jam, and another haunting instrumental called "Arraché A La Mort, Forcé A Vivre Et Mourir Encore" that also has that folky quality. Their side finishes with one last blast of anthemic black metal, "Voluptés Pestilentielles", delivering another killer catchy riff that the band bangs out ad infinitum, the blackened hook burrowing deep into your brain-meat.
   It's been awhile since I've heard anything new from Ash Pool, three years since their last album For Which He Plies the Lash came out. The band gets right to it, blazing into "Death Has No Mother" as the band shifts between a super-catchy rocking mid-tempo hook into chaotic blastbeat violence, the riffs murderous and razor-sharp, veering between sinister three-chord punk forms and intense, frantic black metal blast, the vocals a harsh croak, the hiss-soaked guitars blossoming into amazingly moving melodies. "The Ash Pool" is another blast of catchy, majestic black metal, those violently shifting tempos at work here as well, and when it downshifts into a plodding mid-tempo groove, it suddenly transforms into something akin to super-distorted gloom rock. The vocals remain vicious and harsh, a static soaked shrieking, but the music is weirdly poppy, even more so as the band heads into "Gemini The Winter Night"; here, gloomy synths emerge, and the music once again swings wildly between murderous, howling black metal and that strange gothy gloom rock sound, the contrast jarring and intense, bringing us to the epic last song "De-Stoning The Ephesus House", another gothy, gorgeously gloomy hook. That weird post-punk vibe courses through the blackness, a plodding Joy Divisionish bass-line following the song into slower, more doom-laden heaviness, and suddenly the vocals abruptly change into a completely unexpected croon, deep sung vocals that rise over the chugging blackened metal, the effect intensely striking, and VERY unique, injecting a perverse poppiness into the otherwise dark and malevolent sound. From there it gets even more proggy, the guitars and bass weaving into another majestic riff, the vocals shifting back into the gruesome howl as the album screams to a close.
   Limited to five hundred copies and already sold out from the source, so move quick if you want to grab one of these.


AKITSA / PRURIENT   split   CD   (Hospital Productions)    14.98













AKSUMITE   The Gleam Of Wetted Lips   CASSETTE   (Colloquial Sound Recordings)    6.00



Only have a handful of these and it's now out of print. Aksumite is one of the killer black metal-influenced punk bands on the Colloquial Sound tape label, and this was (I believe) their first cassette for the label. It's a grimy, somewhat hysterical, and very low-fi sound that jams a primitive black metal influenced attack through a blunt hardcore assault, a style that I can't get enough of right now when it's played with this level of sonic mayhem and ugliness. The tape kicks off with an ominous doom-laden intro of creeping guitar melody and lumbering stop-start drums awash in shimmering feedback and amp buzz, then it blasts off into the raw blackened thrashpunk of "No Soil Overturned In The Master's Field", the swarming two-chord riffs drenched in reverb, the band alternating between full-tilt hardcore velocity and bashing out a noisy, anthemic breakdown, the whole recording slathered in excessive reverb that gives this a huge cavernous feel. The singer has a real wild vocal delivery, his killer possessed vocals served up in a psychotic mess of slobbering, vomiting screams and howling delay-drenched insanity. The band rip into the thrashing blackened hardcore of "Endlessly, Remorselessly", with it's bizarre vocal effects and noisy recording, and the intense catchy HC of "Laid Bare Upon The Stone", the song laced with ferocious blast beats and chugging, warped thrash parts, the guitars dissonant and filled with jangling, clanging chords. "Blood Cult" tangles up a mess of Celtic Frost worship, sloppy blackthrash, and D-beat speedfreakery, and "Particles Of Faith" drops more of their blazing black metal riffing into big whacks of sludge-riddled heaviness, leading up to the closing outro where they end the tape with a reprise of eerie clean guitars and slow, pounding drums from the first track. I really dug Aksumite's howling blackened hardcore on this tape, it's right in there with bands like Willing Feet, Ives, even the newer Darkthrone stuff, but with more of an awkward rhythmic twitchiness. If the other tapes on Colloquial Sound have moved you, this will too, and fans of Primal Vomit's black metal/punk aesthetic should check Aksumite out as well. Manufactured on blood-red cassettes and released in a hand-numbered edition of one hundred copies...
Track Samples:
Sample : Endlessly Remorselessly
Sample : Overturned In The Masters Field



AL QAEDA / DRIED UP CORPSE   1309   CASSETTE   (Rainbow Bridge)    7.50



Creepazoid noise from Al Qaeda meets a vicious harsh noise wall erected by Dried Up Corpse, a side project from one of the guys in Blue Sabbath Black Cheer. Now, Al Qaeda was a new one to me; I had seen their name around before, but for some reason thought that they were some kind of lighter psych/noise outfit. I apparently had 'em figured all wrong, at least as far as their side on this tape is concerned. The thirteen minute nightmare of "Fucked" that fills the a-side uncoils it's atmospheric evil with distorted, heavily processed vocals, subdued feedback and crackling mechanical noise, ringing metallic tones that hover over fields of ultra low dark ambient drift...this is creepy shit that I wasn't expecting at all and which duly impresses, a pitch black fogbank of horrific industrial noise and infernal fug laced with sparse percussion and swirling psychotic dissonance, sounding like the wretched contents of hell being vomited up from the bowels of the underworld. A fantastically bleak and nightmarish mix of brutal Merzbowian skree and smoldering black ritual ambience. I'm on the lookout for more of Al Qaeda's stuff now, for sure.
On the other side, Dried Up Corpse counter with their own thirteen minute "Fucked", a brutal high-end wall of dense blast and swarming mid-range frequencies that whip through a black static storm. This is vicious chaos, formed through the powerful layering of high end hiss and snarling, howling electronics that are set deeper in the mix, and underscored by a crushing bottom-end rumble and a constant screeching tumult that hurtles through the piece like chunks of jagged busted machine wreckage scraping and grinding against the swirling blizzard of distortion, or an ancient torture device at work within the center of a raging inferno. Fans of intense HNW will not be disappointed.
Only one hundred copies of this tape were issued, each in full color packaging and on chrome cassette.


AL QAEDA / DEMONOLOGISTS   split   CASSETTE   (Teen Action)    6.00



Back in stock! A new cassette injection of scathing black atrocity from Demonologists, pairing up with Al Qaeda whose work continues to become more savage every time I hear something new from 'em. This split tape matches five super short tracks from AQ and one sidelong noise attack from Demonologists, released in a limited run of seventy copies.
The Al Qaeda side is a series of demonic noisecore miniatures, starting up with the echoing thud of dubbed-out drum machines, then explode into a frenzy of ultra-distorted black noise. Over-modulated riffs and spastic, rabid vocals pound away in a wash of white noise, resembling a section of a Wold song clipped and looped over and over. That's followed by a slow lurching industrial dirge of chugging out-of-tune guitar, mangled hyper distorted drums and static, then a brief flash of an electric guitar melody repeated over smoldering low end noise. Putrid shrieking vocals introduce another industrial black metal hypno trance, this time sounding something like a super low-fi version of Nekrasov stuck in a locked groove and bathed in vinyl crackle and hiss. And last, a gleaming ambient dronescape of glistening keyboard tones that drift and waver beneath strange wet crackling sounds.
Demonologists follow with "The Bastard Curse", a blast of black hiss and fluttering electronic chaos that shifts between grinding, crackling slabs of heavy low end filth laced with high metallic tones, and even heavier stretches of ultra distorted noise wall and light-devouring black drone. Like all of Demonologist’s work, it's harsh, heavy, and ferocious, a night-black noise wall seething with animus.


ALA MUERTE   Santa Elena   CD   (Public Guilt)    13.98



Recorded at home in her apartment in Queens, Santa Elena is the debut full length from Bianca Bibiloni, who records her dark dreamy ether-pop under the name of Ala Muerte. Some of you might remember that 3" CD-R that Ala Muerte released with Max Bondi on Public Guilt a while back, a beautiful little slab of blissed-out, crumbling metallic dreampop that knocked me out of my seat when it came out. Been looking forward to hearing some more music from Ala Muerte ever since, and J.R. over at Public Guilt has followed up that 3" CD-R with her first full length, a ten song disc of hazy, surreal melodies that drift like a heavy morning fog through vocal-heavy arrangements and meditative music formed by spare bass and guitar riffs, viola, collages of field recordings, recorder, a ten-string Puerto Rican guitar called a Cuatro, hints of almost imperceptible percussion (at least until the very last track), and dark sheets of airy synthesizer, ambient drone and heavy distorted guitar. Ala Muerte's vocals are layered and ghostly, and the lyrics are often blurred and indiscernable beneath the near formless singing that gives the music an ethereal, haunting sound somewhat similiar to Cocteau Twins, a kind of dreamy slow-core infused with currents of dark folk and delicate dark ambience. Many of the songs on Santa Elena also remind me of what Swans were doing on their later albums, mixing together ominous sounding recordings of urban life and background noise with spare acoustic guitar strum and Bianca's moving vocals. Then the last song "Fireweed" appears, starting out with Bianca singing a fragile little melody over minimal guitar, her vocals and the guitars building in layers and growing in power and volume, then drums come in a few minutes in, a huge, blown-out beat bashing away in the background and joined by crushing distorted guitars, and the song turns into sweeping, crushing noise-pop that totally blows me away, like hearing some old K Records band gone heavy and majestic. Wow! The disc comes in nice full color gatefold packaging with a full color lyric booklet. Recommended.


ALA MUERTE & MAX BONDI   Saturday   3" CDR   (Public Guilt)    5.98

Saturday IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Immensely beautiful post-rock crushscapes make up this awesome 3" disc that Public Guilt just put out. For the record, this unassuming looking little disc is one of the best damn things that the Guilt has released to date, and I'll be shocked if this doesn't incur at least a minimal buzz from fans of ultra-blissful, metallic shoegazery. It's a collaboration between Destructo Swarmbots guitarist/vocalist Bianca Ala Muerte and London-based vocal conjuror Max Bondi, and they blend together ethereal vocals with delicate guitar melodies and softly shimmering drones into something that resembles the mellower moments of the Swarmbots fused with slabs of metallic dreampop. The guitar sounds are heavily processed, stretched out into drifting smears of melody and glitchy feedback that sound like it's being shaped by an e-bow. The vocals sound almost wordless, breathy male and female voices lilting over sometimes folky guitar strum, a fragile swirl of beautiful circular arpeggios and angelic throats swimming in ephemeral electronic FX, and when they build into the crashing walls of massive distorted riffage and overdriven noise on tracks like "Still" and "Hiding In A Tiny Space", it's some of the heaviest, most exquisitely beautiful music I've ever heard, like a glitchy Windy And Carl crossed with the crushing dronemetal of The Angelic Process. Highly, highly recommended, and you're going to have to move fast, as this has been released in a super limited edition of only 100 copies in a silkscreened 3-color, 3 panel trifold sleeve with rubber stamped images pressed onto the paper by Bianca herself!


ALABAMA THUNDERPUSSY / HALFWAY TO GONE   split   CD   (Underdogma)    6.98

split IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Recorded in 2000, this split contains two weighty slabs each from these low-toned aural bruisers. ALABAMA THUNDERPUSSY delivers "Heavyweight" and "Rabdos (The Strangler" from Richmond sludge rockers ALABAMA THUNDERPUSSY and "Darktown Strutter" and "Thee Song" from Jerseys Southern sludge lords HALFWAY TO GONE (ex-SOLARIZED).




ALABASTER SUNS   self-titled   CD   (Iron Pig)    15.50



Out of all of the instrumental sludge/doom/metal bands that have popped up over the past decade, the UK band Capricorns found their way into the upper echelons of the form, their heavy, dramatic math-crush more than just another plodding sludgefeast, incorporating some fantastic math rock maneuvers and sweeping, sometimes almost cinematic atmospheres into their super heavy metallic riffage and delivering an elaborate sound that succeeded at keeping interest without the presence of a singer. Their last album River, Bear Your Bones was really great, a proggy, atmospheric record that balanced epic sky-streaking majesty with violent bursts of angular aggression, and saw the band playing with a wider variety of psychedelic colors than ever before. Unfortunately, their best album was also to be their last, and the band broke up not too long after River came out.
Since then, I hadn't heard anything about what the members were up to until a few months ago, when I found out that the British label Iron Pig had just released the debut from a band called Alabaster Suns that turned out to have three quarters of the Capricorns lineup. This new band has some clear connections to the sound of Capricorns, a sludgy, bottom-end heaviness in particular, some of the same math rock influences, but Alabaster Suns goes in a much less metallic direction, evoking a heavy rocking sound that's closer to early 90's post-hardcore than the doom/sludge that was at the root of their previous outfit. And they've got a singer, too, whose hoarse, emotive bellow appears sporadically throughout the album, punctuating some of the band's more dramatic moments. There's enough here that Capricorns fans will want to get on board, the post-hardcore influences matched with proggy arrangements, chiming melodic guitars scrabbling over crushing riffs, the songs generally pretty rocking and mid-tempo, with lots of complex time signatures and skronky guitar, and even some really cool Voivod-esque riffing mixed in. It reminds me a lot of both Jawbox and Quicksand, a sound that'll be instantly recognizable to any of you guys who were around in the early 90's when this sort of stuff was everywhere, but Alabaster Suns add a drop-tuned metallic crunch and dissonance to it that makes this way heavier than anything from that era. Recommended!
Track Samples:
Sample : Cosmo-Nought
Sample : Royal 6 in Hand



ALARIC   self-titled   CD   (20 Buck Spin)    10.98



As more and more bands are revealing an affinity for the sound of dark 80's post-punk and death rock for inspiration, I'm hearing a lot of amazing new gloomy heaviness coming out that draws from what is some of my favorite music of all time, the sinister black-clad rock of Bauhaus and Sisters Of Mercy, the occult power of Fields Of The Nephilim and Killing Joke. This sound has emerged over the past decade with more accessible bands like Interpol and the like, but what I've always wanted to hear is this influence coming through in heavier, more aggressive music, and with fantastic new albums from Anatomy Of Habit, Deathcharge, Hateful Abandon and Alaric that all have their own unique take on this particular set of influences, I'm finally getting my wish.
Made up of members of several well-known bands from the Bay Area metal/punk scene (Noothgrush, Cross Stitched Eyes, Dead & Gone, among others), Alaric brings the gloomy, shadowcast atmosphere and delivery of 80's darkwave and goth to a pummeling, vaguely metallic sound that also has some subtle traces of Neurosis that I can hear in some of the band's heavier moments. It's probably more that Alaric mines some of the same influences that helped to define Neurosis's sound, the application of metallic crunch to the apocalyptic tribal power of early Killing Joke and Amebix. This is incorporated into a set of heavy, driving songs on Alaric's debut that range from the wash of chorus-heavy acoustic and electric guitars that lead to the apocalyptic dirge of "Eyes" to the churning tribal rhythms and swirling reverberant bass-driven power of "Ugly Crowds", with the grim lyrical matter delivered via singer Shane Baker's Brit-accented moan. There are several songs on here that crank up the heaviness such as the lumbering "Your God" with it's militaristic pummel and moments of almost Swans-esque crush, but the bulk of the album is spent driving the gloomy minor key melodies, anthemic choruses and propulsive, bass heavy n' doom-laden crunch forward through ever darkening clouds of urban dread.
This album is pretty killer, one of the best of the new fusions of dark heaviness and post-punk gloom to come out this year, definitely recommended.
Track Samples:
Sample : Alone
Sample : Eyes
Sample : Shadow of Life
Sample : Tribute



ALARIC   self-titled   LP   (20 Buck Spin)    16.98



As more and more bands are revealing an affinity for the sound of dark 80's post-punk and death rock for inspiration, I'm hearing a lot of amazing new gloomy heaviness coming out that draws from what is some of my favorite music of all time, the sinister black-clad rock of Bauhaus and Sisters Of Mercy, the occult power of Fields Of The Nephilim and Killing Joke. This sound has emerged over the past decade with more accessible bands like Interpol and the like, but what I've always wanted to hear is this influence coming through in heavier, more aggressive music, and with fantastic new albums from Anatomy Of Habit, Deathcharge, Hateful Abandon and Alaric that all have their own unique take on this particular set of influences, I'm finally getting my wish.
Made up of members of several well-known bands from the Bay Area metal/punk scene (Noothgrush, Cross Stitched Eyes, Dead & Gone, among others), Alaric brings the gloomy, shadowcast atmosphere and delivery of 80's darkwave and goth to a pummeling, vaguely metallic sound that also has some subtle traces of Neurosis that I can hear in some of the band's heavier moments. It's probably more that Alaric mines some of the same influences that helped to define Neurosis's sound, the application of metallic crunch to the apocalyptic tribal power of early Killing Joke and Amebix. This is incorporated into a set of heavy, driving songs on Alaric's debut that range from the wash of chorus-heavy acoustic and electric guitars that lead to the apocalyptic dirge of "Eyes" to the churning tribal rhythms and swirling reverberant bass-driven power of "Ugly Crowds", with the grim lyrical matter delivered via singer Shane Baker's Brit-accented moan. There are several songs on here that crank up the heaviness such as the lumbering "Your God" with it's militaristic pummel and moments of almost Swans-esque crush, but the bulk of the album is spent driving the gloomy minor key melodies, anthemic choruses and propulsive, bass heavy n' doom-laden crunch forward through ever darkening clouds of urban dread.
This album is pretty killer, one of the best of the new fusions of dark heaviness and post-punk gloom to come out this year, definitely recommended.
Track Samples:
Sample : Alone
Sample : Eyes
Sample : Shadow of Life
Sample : Tribute



ALARUM   Eventuality   CD   (Willowtip)    14.98



Back in the early 90's, you know, the glory days of death metal, we were soaking our ears in the sounds of Cynic, Atheist, and Pestilence, all bands that were blazing some brave new paths in death metal by connecting brutal DM with fusion jazz, forming a new branch of progressive death metal that set the standard for the genre. Since the early 90's, there aren't that many bands that have come close to matching the technicality and jazz chops of those seminal bands, but Alarum are one of the few that have totally knocked our socks off with some of the most brain-frying death/fusion we've ever heard. Yikes! Eventuality is as good as progressive jazz-infused death metal can get, and it quickly became a classic release within the realm of tech/death.
Alarum's penchant for Cynic worship is still heavily in place, with plenty of energetic riffing and tightly knit alternate picking patterns with lots of intricately woven layers of guitar parts and basslines that could've easily been at home on Focus, not to mention some of the more ethereal textures and clean passages, but their songwriting has definitely become more diverse and creative over the years. They are obviously influenced heavily by the forerunners of technical/progressive death metal like Cynic and Atheist, but I'm hearing just a heavy influence of jazz fusion musicians like Allan Holdsworth and Chick Corea...the solos on Eventuality are off the chart, super fluid,jazzy,melodic playing that blows us away every time we hear it. Essential for tech heads, especially anyone into Athiest and Cynic !!


ALASEHIR   The Stone Sentinels   CD   (Archive)    13.98

The Stone Sentinels IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

I've liked all of the records that I've heard from Bardo Pond, it's all great, smoke-wreathed psych rock jamming delivered from deep in the dopezone, but while listening to 'em, I always inevitable finding myself hoping that the Bardo guys are going to kick in with a truly crushing riff to shatter the languid torpor of their sprawling jams, and really go into the red, ya know? Thanks to this somewhat recent new disc from Slim and his consistently amazing Archive label, we've got a full length disc from the Bardo Pond side project Alasehire, and it totally meets my aforementioned needs. Alasehire features three of the members of Bardo Pond, and on Stone Sentinels, they create three sprawling tracks of riff-heavy sludgy psychedelia that sounds like Bardo Pond on 'roids, indeed; the Gibbons brothers are on dual guitars, dropping Sabbath strength slomo riffs alongside the meandering drumming from Bardo drummer Jason Kourkonis. The 1st track "Nazca" unfurls massive Western-tinged psychedelic improvisation, almost Earth-like guitar meditations and narcotic slide guitar twang laced with blasts of powerful feedback and noise, before moving into the free-floating Sabbathian psych of "Lost City". This starts off as a cloud of hazy and dreamy ambience that drifts from mellow acoustic guitars and woodsy psych-folk but evolves into a massive tangle of crushing sludge metal riffing, sweeping oscillators, and strafing wah-wah freakout, like Hawkwind, Acid Mothers, and Sunburned Hand Of The Man filtered through heavily drugged sludgecore. And "Shroud" follows a similiar route, a far-drifting dopehaze of exploratory stoner jamming, tweaked electronic noises, Kourkonis' powerful, busy drumming constantly divebombed by spacey, superphased electronic FX and swirling feedback. Towards the end of the track, guitars and drums disappear altogether as the band bottoms out into a field of sparse electronic textures and chirping Bastard Noise-esque noise. I loved this disc, it's an immenselt spaced out slab of free psychedelia with moments of chaotic heaviness that really blast off. The disc comes in a six panel glossy full color gatefold jacket much in the same style as Archive's other recent releases, with the disc attached to the jacket on a plastic hub. It's limited to 600 copies, too.


ALBATWITCH   Only Dead Birds Sing Over the Graves of Fallen Kings   CDR   (Lost Grave)    9.98



  Albatwitch's Only Dead Birds Sing Over the Graves of Fallen Kings is the first album from this new project from Stone Breath / Mourning Cloak / Time Moth Eye founder Timothy Renner, and continues to travel down the darker, noisier rural pathways that Renner has been increasingly drawn to in recent years. Taking its name from a peculiar, mythical Sasquatch-like being found in southern Pennsylvanian folklore, Albatwitch blends the sort of fractured graveyard folk and twisted Appalachian song craft that his other older bands are known for, with harsher sounds that include elements of blown-out, low-fi black metal and nasty electronic noise. Self-described as "blackened swamp crust noise drone folk", the music on Dead Birds invokes visions of a sinister shadow-world hidden beyond the rural byways and back roads of Pennsylvania, one inhabited by those titular mystical ape-men as well as undead crows and gaunt specters lurking in the shadows of Three Mile Island, the lyrics shot through with a scathing underlying environmentalist message.
   The duo (which also includes multi-instrumentalist Brian Magar) uses a variety of instruments, from acoustic and electric guitars, banjo, stick dulcimer, harmonium, Celtic harp, banjola, electronic oscillators to more obscure ethnic instruments like dumbek and bodhran to craft their blackened, mutant folk-dirges. Tracks like opener "Die Gedanken Sind Frei" (an adaptation of an early 19th century German protest song), "Liar's Noose" and "Nomads" sound positively ancient, ghostly arrangements of withered bluegrass banjo and shadow-streaked Appalachian folk that skulk and slip between shifting twilight shadows. These moments are then followed by the occasional blast of utterly brutal blackened noise, like the ultra-distorted violence of "Break Apart" that sputters out of the speakers like a din of massively distorted blastbeats and Masonna-esque screech. There are many moments of mutant metallic heaviness to be found here as well, like the loping blackened sludge metal of "Beneath the Flood", a low-fi blast of Frostian heaviness and screeching ghastly vocals shrouded in murky, noisy guitar and rumbling feedback, Renner's deep monotone chant appearing later in the song to lend it a demented ritualistic vibe. There's some wretched blackened doom alongside the scorched black instrumental psychedelia of "Floodwaters", which blends the dry, weather-beaten plunk of the banjo with droning, almost raga-like strains of distorted electric guitar, a mixture of searing buzzing psychedelia and rural creep that sounds like the sort of stuff that Revelator did on his Time Moth Eye album, before drifting languidly into more of that gorgeous wraith-folk on the title track. It's stuff like that which gives much of Dead Birds a similar vibe as some early 90s Scandinavian black metal demos.
   All throughout the album, the folkier tracks are layered with some seriously blown-out guitar noise and wrecked acid-shred buried way down in the mix, giving even these quieter, more solemn songs an utterly fried, corroded texture, hints of a possible Japanese psych influence creeping in. On "The Gods And The Apes", a female voice reads from the poetry of early American anarchist Voltairine de Cleyre's as a savagely over-modulated synth chortles deep in the mix, playing a warped baroque melody bathed in bone-rattling speakerbuzz; that later transforms into a kind of skeletal doom, simple clanking percussion banging in slow motion beneath swooping terrifying shrieks and ghostly cries, like some junkyard funeral march. Prayer-bowl drones whirl around the lumbering psychdoom of "The Hanged Man", a murky, lethargic mantra of blackened buzz and meandering bass guitar, smears of feedback and shimmering guitar dissonance washing across the hypnotic slow motion pulse. "Rise!" is one of the few tracks where all of this stuff clings together, the banjo playing right over the lurching discordant sludge riffs, the songs suddenly eruoting into a blast of bizarre folk-flecked blackened violence, Timothy's droning chant like voice suddenly being replaced by harsh, frenzied screaming. "Frack-ture" is an environmentalist screed aimed towards the practice of oil fracking in Pennsylvania, a nightmarish miasma of recorded testimony regarding the disturbing effects of the drilling process on local communities and the environment, materializing as a nightmare of hissing blackened shrieks, tribal rhythms and rumbling dark ambience that leads straight into the final track "Black Waters Rise". All of these tracks are short, sometimes more like sketches of abstract sound than a fully fleshed out song, but each flows right into the next, casting a web of wispy reverb and crackling noise all across the album, transforming this into some bizarre, otherworldly combination of Skepticism-esque funeral crawl, Appalachian necro-folk, cemetery ambience and crushing blasts of Wold-like black static metal.
   Comes in a screen-printed brown jacket with an eight page full color booklet with fantastic artwork, and a vinyl sticker.
Track Samples:
Sample : Only Dead Birds Sing Over the Graves of Fallen Kings
Sample : Black Waters Rise
Sample : Ascending Fire
Sample : A.M.P.I.C.



ALCEST   Souvenirs D'un Autre Monde   LP   (Hyperrealist Records)    15.98

Souvenirs D'un Autre Monde IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Back in stock once again!
The US vinyl version of Souvenirs seemed to go out of print almost as soon as it was announced, and I was only able to get a couple copies of it. Released by Hyperrealist in a limited edition of 1000 copies, this domestic pressing has the same artwork as the European LP release on Northern Silence (which is itself different from the CD release), and the copies we have are on black vinyl.
When Souvenirs d'un autre monde (which translates to "Memories Of Another World") came out in late 2007, it seemed really weird that the most beautiful rock album of the year (in my mind) came to us by way of the French black metal underground. Looking back, I've heard alot of other equally beautiful, very un-black metal albums come out of the black metal scene, but Alcest's latest full length is still one of the best, and one of the few albums to really take me back to the height of the whole UK dreampop/shoegaze scene that I grew up with. Souvenirs... is a perfect pop record, totally immersed in delicate jangly melodies and gorgeous blasts of shoegazey distortion and utterly removed from the blissed-out black metal shred of Ameseours, which is the other band that Neige from Alcest plays in. No, there are only the barest traces of metal found on this disc, heard in the super-distorted speedpicked guitars roaring down underneath the beautiful dreamy pop hooks and heartrending melodies, and in the occasional blasts of furious double-bass drumming that erupts here and there. For the most part, this is pure heavy shoegazer rock refashioned in a more distorted and epic form, much like how Justin Broadrick has taken early 90's shoegaze and molded that sound into the blissful grinding dreamsludge of Jesu, only here the sound is all dense layers of lush guitars and fragile fingerpicked acoustics, like My Bloody Valentine powered by a black metal drummer, or a heavier Chapterhouse or Catherine Wheel. All six songs here follow this route, awash in majestic swells of guitar and keyboards and dreamy vocal harmonies that evoke images of innocence and springtime. While Alcest's sound is drawn directly from early 90's shoegaze, those of you that are fans of the more atmospheric sounds of bands like Drudkh and Agalloch will likely love this album just as much as fans of Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine. Highly recommended! Comes in a full color digipack with booklet.


ALCEST   Souvenirs D'un Autre Monde   CD   (Profound Lore)    14.99

Souvenirs D'un Autre Monde IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

When Souvenirs d'un autre monde (which translates to "Memories Of Another World") came out in late 2007, it seemed really weird that the most beautiful rock album of the year (in my mind) came to us by way of the French black metal underground. Looking back, I've heard alot of other equally beautiful, very un-black metal albums come out of the black metal scene, but Alcest's latest full length is still one of the best, and one of the few albums to really take me back to the height of the whole UK dreampop/shoegaze scene that I grew up with. Souvenirs... is a perfect pop record, totally immersed in delicate jangly melodies and gorgeous blasts of shoegazey distortion and utterly removed from the blissed-out black metal shred of Ameseours, which is the other band that Neige from Alcest plays in. No, there are only the barest traces of metal found on this disc, heard in the super-distorted speedpicked guitars roaring down underneath the beautiful dreamy pop hooks and heartrending melodies, and in the occasional blasts of furious double-bass drumming that erupts here and there. For the most part, this is pure heavy shoegazer rock refashioned in a more distorted and epic form, much like how Justin Broadrick has taken early 90's shoegaze and molded that sound into the blissful grinding dreamsludge of Jesu, only here the sound is all dense layers of lush guitars and fragile fingerpicked acoustics, like My Bloody Valentine powered by a black metal drummer, or a heavier Chapterhouse or Catherine Wheel. All six songs here follow this route, awash in majestic swells of guitar and keyboards and dreamy vocal harmonies that evoke images of innocence and springtime. While Alcest's sound is drawn directly from early 90's shoegaze, those of you that are fans of the more atmospheric sounds of bands like Drudkh and Agalloch will likely love this album just as much as fans of Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine. Highly recommended! Comes in a full color digipack with booklet.


ALCHEMIST   Organasm   CD   (Displeased)    12.98



The Australian Neurosis! Yeah, Alchemist have been compared to Neurosis ever since Relapse first released Organasm here in the US, but these guys totally take the epic post-metal thing to a new place. The music on this CD is epic, certainly, but it's more spaced out, more psychedelic , and DEFINITELY Australian sounding, with digideroo and what can only be described as the "Australian Rock" sound...if you heard it, you'd understand what I mean. The kind of Aussie rock that you might here over a travelogue video promoting vacations down under, or something. Anyways, this album crushes, with huge riffs and metallic atmospherics that definitely remind me of later Neurosis stuff, but with Pink Floyd -style psychedelic leads, that Aussie rock sound, the digideroos, awesome occasional shrieking vocals that sound like Dani from Cradle Of Filth, total VOIVOD -isms, more uptempo parts, chant-like vocals, Ennio Morricone style film music.


ALDEBARAN   Embracing The Lightless Depths   CD   (Profound Lore)    13.99










Track Samples:
Sample : Occultation of Hali's Gates
Sample : Forever In the Dream of Death
Sample : Occultation of Ocular Tauri



ALDEBARAN   From Forgotten Tombs   LP   (Kreation)    15.98



This record has been out for awhile, but we never stocked it until now. Available on black vinyl, this is one to pick up if you dug that new album that came out on Profound Lore earlier last year...
From Forgotten Tombs is a vinyl-only collection of re-mastered odds and ends culled from the ten year presence of this Portland, OR based sludge metal band. The band includes past and present members of esteemed Pacific Northwest black metal outfits like The Howling Wind, L'Acephale and Wolves In The Throne Room, but Aldebaran are pure doom. The Lp features the tracks off the Pleasures Of War 7", their side of the split CD with Ohio's Rue, and a previously unreleased cover of Pentagram's The Ghoul", all recorded between 2004-2006, showcasing this monstrous outfit's awesome blackened boogie and glacial deathcrawl.
The two tracks off the Pleasures Of War 7" are primo Sabbathian sludge jolted with a sickening, blackened vibe, a more diseased and rotting take on the swampy evil boogie of Weedeater and Eyehategod, huge bloozy riffs splattered in feedback and sinister discordance, the drummer weaving through the tarpit crush with jagged, complex rhythms that get pretty twisted. Like a lot of Aldebaran's stuff, there's a Lovecraftian influence that runs through the songs with sampled voices and nods to gibbering cosmic horror that appear in the art and lyrics.
Same goes for the four songs from the Rue split; here's my old write-up for the disc from back in 2004: Following Rue, the lumbering black sludge behemoth Aldebaran makes it's appearance, their first track is the awesomely titled "They Bend The Trees And Crush The Cities" rises up with an H.P. Lovecraft derived sample that I can't place, and crush forth with a slow motion tar-spattered boogie that moves in thick gooey strides. The other three tracks blend together the apocalyptic imagery with songs titled "Tower Of Famine", "Aldebaran Red", and "The Obscene", and mix in some spacey chorus-soaked guitar effects into the creeping sludge, which, coupled with Mike's distinctive screeching witch-howl (how in the fuck did I never make this connection before?) makes this sound a lot like YOB stripped down to it's barbaric blackened core and playing a more primitive droning variant on their psychedelic doom sound. Definitely a band that fans of YOB and Buried At Sea and Bongzilla need to hear.
And then there's the Pentagram cover, a solid choice in tuneage to pay homage to; Aldebaran drag "The Ghoul" down into a sunless subterranean hole way beyond the sub-basement, that massive Sabbathoid riffage drenched in gluey heaviness, the song dropped down into some rib-rattling tuning and transformed into a leaden graveyard crawl that could just as easily have been one of Aldebaran's own songs.


ALEPH NAUGHT   Rituals   CASSETTE   (Infernal Kommando)    5.98



Infernal Kommando brings us another great cassette of mysterious blackened ambience, but this time it's from a project out of Honduras of all places, not a place well known for it's black ritual ambient output. Aleph Naught turns out to fit right in with the sort of abstract graveyard drift that I look for from this label, fitting in perfectly with bands like Malvoisie, Stigma Diabolicum, and the like, with a side full of evocative kosmische blackness and dark drugged dreamscapes that winds through menacing wormholes and Lovecraftian cave systems. The five tracks on Rituals had all previously appeared on a self-released disc, but this kind of ominous black cathedral ambience always seems to sound even better when heard on cassette. Described in some quarters as "Occult Ritual Dark Ambient", Aleph Naught channels some classic Popul Vuh/Tangerine Dream style synthesizer drift and space drone into darker forms, each track a dreamy, low-fi synthscape of haunting minor key creepiness and murky sonic shadow that are kept fairly short at around five minutes or so each, lacing the synth drones and rumbling on pieces like "Death Ritual', "Insects And Rats", and "The Womb Of Opposites" with what sounds like detuned piano and eerie circular keyboards that circle overhead, swells of dissonant noise and copious amounts of echo, and slabs of damaged Mellotron, dolorous choral voices and dark symphonic strings. Try imagining Zeit/Rubycon-era Tangerine Dream, but filtered through the low-fi catacomb rituals of drug-zonked occultists, and you'll have a general idea of what's up. Fans of Vinterikett's take on grim, minimal synthscapes in particular should look into this. Released in an edition of two hundred copies, the Rituals tape comes with a cover printed on metallic gold paper.


ALEPH NAUGHT   La Conjuration Sacree   CASSETTE   (Black Horizons)    7.98



    La Conjuration Sacree is the most recent offering of dark kosmische ambience from Aleph Naught, the Honduras-based outfit that brought us that excellent Rituals tape on the French black metal label Infernal Kommando a couple of years ago. This newer recording delivers a similar set of gorgeous phantasmagoric drift-music, a kind of mournful ghost music that draws equally from classic 70's space electronics and the grim pulse of early industrial.
    The tape begins with an eerie piano melody that drifts in on "Let The Corpse Of Mind Lie Unburied At The Edge Of The Great Sea", the keys rising up in clusters of dissonant sound and fragments of broken, formless beauty, then dropping away as the sound transforms into something even more minimal and creepy. High, sustained tones rise and burn away in the crepuscular glow of the music, more of that ghostly piano becoming lost in the murk of Aleph Naught's atmospheric tape hiss and deep subterranean rumblings echoing through the earth. Later, the music shifts into more of a subdued kosmische-influenced sound, layers of soft warbling keyboards drifting over a haze of low-fi murk, minimal shimmering tones tumbling through a fog of spectral drones, strains of orchestral drift and strange bouts of murky industrial chaos that pop up briefly throughout the tape.
    Side two drifts out into even darker regions with "L'acephale", as clouds of black synth-fog and eerie choral voices float through more of that low-fi fog, orchestral sounds slowly twisting and warping in space, gauzy keyboards whirring beneath Aleph Naught's spectral shadowscapes. On this track, the keyboard parts sort of remind me of Gene Moore's eerie organ music for Carnival of Souls, all off-kilter and dreamlike but surrounded by swells of metallic dissonance, but then it later transforms into a nightmarish distortion of classical 70's era space music.
    Limited to eighty-four copies, packaged in a full-color cover printed on metallic vellum stock.
Track Samples:
Sample : Let The Corpse Of Mind Lie Unburied At The Edge Of The Great Sea
Sample : L'acephale



ALETHES   Aletheia   CD   (Glass Throat)    15.98



A duo made up of J. Joshua Philips and someone named Exile, Alethes is the blackest shot of woodland ambience to come out of the Glass Throat camp so far. This six-song album is their debut, issued in a limited edition of 1,000 copies, and it's manifested as a visually stunning 6" by 6" gatefold jacket that folds out to six panels. The jacket is made from some sort of thick, leathery pitch-black card material that has an almost silky finish, on which the eerie artwork and calligrapy-style lettering of the lyrics and sleeve notes are printed in black foil-stamped relief ink. This really looks freaking amazing. On Alethia, the duo are joined by Armin Zomorodi on cello, Nora Danielson on violin, and Markus Wolff (Crash Worship, Blood Axis, Waldteufel) on percussion, and create a grim, minimalist doom-folk from the darkside, a reverse negative image of delicate sylvan psych-folk forming out of slow, atonal acoustic guitar melodies and minor key arpeggios, raw, with the gravelly, raspy voice of some unseen thing reciting ominous, spiritually-contemplative lyrics. A slow moving glide through shadowy nocturnal glades and clouds of shimmering strings, doomed and mystical. Almost like some combination of Neurosis, Comus and Swans performing acoustically as background sounds for ancient pagan rites under cover of total darkness. Another heavily evocative doom-folk document from the GT orbit, grim and doomy enough to appeal to fans of the more acoustic-tinged edges of doom and black metal. Highly recommended.


ALFARMANIA   Nojjan   CASSETTE   (Cathartic Process)    8.98



Alfarmania the self-described "post-mortem power electronic" project from workaholic Kristian Olsson, who also records with projects like Survival Unit and Blood Ov Thee Christ, and Tony Hallén; like those outfits, Alfarmania is dark, heavy industrial, but this is a much more blackened and sinister sound than anything else that I've heard from Olsson. The sound is dark, creepy industrial with a seriously blackened streak running through it; I hear hints of Abruptum, the early Broken Flag output, and SPK in the grinding slow-motion clang and murk of Nojjan, all of which signifies that this is exactly the kind of industrial sound that I'm addicted to, and this tape (the first ever American release from Alfarmania, and released by the excellent Cathartic Process label) is definitely on the heavier side of the noise/industrial spectrum. Each side of the sixty minute tape has two long tracks, lengthy sprawling fields of blown out murky drones, demonic howling, harsh distorted shrieks, electronic FX, pounding percussion buried underneath the layers of noise, streaks of high pitched feedback, indiscernible samples from old low budget horror films, scraped metal and surges of blown-out scrap metal chaos, and heavy doom-laden riffs that seem to be coming from distorted guitars (or at least seriously distorted synths, it's hard to tell exactly). The atmosphere on these tracks is positively apocalyptic and steeped in dread and despair, the sounds densely layered, shifting between corrosive noise and a blackened power electronics assault. Overdriven synths roar, blasting heavy metallic drones and deep rumbling electronics, deep distorted vocals echoing through the clang and buzz, at certain parts the sound is invaded by the whining skree of what sound like dentist drills; at other points, squealing gears and clanking metal rise to a deafening din. When it really launches into it's heaviest, the sounds on Nojjan sound almost like classic power electronics infused with doomdrone-strength heaviness. This is excellent apocalyptic abysmal industrial. The cassette is packaged inside of an oversized zip bag that also contains a full color folder with disturbing, hellish-looking collage art.


ALGEA   Stagnation   CASSETTE   (Void Seance)    6.00



One of several recent tape offerings from the Virginia based experimental black/noise metal project Algea, one of the many musical endeavors of Evan Craig (Void Seance, Savage Cross, Ritual Stance).
The first few minutes of "Stagnation II" is little more than the sound of wind blowing across some vast void, an endless expanse of emptiness that stretches out in all directions. Gradually, faint distant drones begin to materialize over the horizon, and then suddenly the sound erupts into a primitive blast of low-fi black metal, super-murky and vague, the guitar blurred into an indistinct thrum in the background, the drummer pounding out an incessant unchanging blastbeat. This suddenly shifts into a slower noisier dirge when the drummer suddenly cuts out and its just a discordant guitar riff being banged out over and over, while piercing feedback drills through the fog of black distortion. This goes on for ages, plodding doom-laden fuzz joined by simple, lurching drums buried waaaaaaay down in the mix, everything shrouded in a thick crackling patina of blown-out noise. Some crazed, brain-damaged soloing appears, and later it shifts back into that droning, monotonous black blast from the beginning, while some weird, booming horn-like sounds reverberate out of the distance, almost sounding like something off of Frost's To Mega Therion.
That Frost quality gets really strong as soon as side two kicks off; "Stagnation III" begins with a killer doom-laden riff uncoiling beneath a squall of harsh, Merzbowian squelch, then explodes into super-murky blackened doom, wound around the same repeating riff but driven by lurching double bass thunder and spazztoid blasting and, again, swallowed up in a cloud of tape-hiss and low-fi filth. But instead of building into some epic blackened crescendo, it just melts down into a tangle of squealing electronic noise before dissolving into the same sort of desolate black ambience that started the tape.
Rotten, corroded black metal slime smeared with tumorous eruptions of electronic carnage, almost comparable to a no-fi version of Aussie BM experimentalist Nekrasov. Comes in a black and white, hand-assembled cover.
Track Samples:
Sample : Stagnation II
Sample : Stagnation III



ALGEBRASSIERE / GANG WIZARD   split   LP   (Little Mafia)    9.98



This super limited 12" pairs up two gooey sides of sweet n' clunky noise/free/howl punk from Gang Wizard and Algebrassiere. Gang Wizard destroy forms with their feedback spiked mysticism and muddy improv crumble that's sort of like a yowling combination of Truman's Water and Dead C oozing across the grooves of black wax, while Baltimore's Algebrassiere creep around their side with a crude, weird formlessness that recalls early Smegma and creeps us out. Released in an edition of 264 copies, in handassembled black jackets with xerox art damage pasted on.




ALIEN DEVIANT CIRCUS   Satanic Djihad   CD   (Flamme Noire)    15.98



Nice, some new French filth from the consistently-killer black metal label Flamme Noir. The discs that I have thus far grabbed from this label have all blown me away, from the cold, satanic mecha-black metalof C.Y.T., to the furious hate-filled distortion whiteouts and murderous buzzsaw ambience of Drastus. The kind of stuff that seems to drop the temperature in the room a couple of degrees whenever you put it in the deck. Now we've got a new Flamme Noir outrage to run by you, and bud, this thing is pretty fucked. On the surface, Alien Deviant Circus appears to be black metal, of that peculiarly French variety with icy, dissonant guitars that form into strange riffs and unexpected song structures. But it's not long before this album reveals it's twisted agenda as looped film samples, volleys of pounding tribal drums, looped machine noises, skittery breakbeats, savage gabba beats lifted from a Bloody Fist 12", swells of orchestral majesty and slabs of malevolent black ambience are all layered together into evil industrial dirges, which make jarring, almost frightening transitions into feirce buzzing black metal riffs and hyperspeed blastbeat programming. Style-wise, Alien Deviant Circus are closer to the industrial/electro-black metal of bands like Manes, Dødheimsgard, Mysticum, Black Hole Generator and Aborym than the current crop of French avant-gardists, but there is still that perverse French sensibility still burning at the core of these hallucinogenic tracks. Could be because ADC actually has a member of Mutiilation in it's lineup, one of the original members of the notorious Les Légions Noires. This doesn't sound at all like Mutiilation though, with the mangled drum programming and bleeping digital effects that swarm through these tracks; at times, this sounds more like Deathspell Omega buried by explosive gabba beats and sheets of electronic fuckery, or a more hypnotic version of Dødheimsgard with heavy tribal beats. Fans of the aforementioned bands should check this out, or if yer into the weird industrial/black metal deathscapes of C.Y.T. and Spektr. Blazing, warped sci-fi industrial black metal, with an overtly Satanic credo that reads like this:
Art, philosophy and drugz are the way ov this awakening towards Satan. We shall awake in order to match our vibration to his source and to arrange the manifste according to our will…
Let’s draw our strengh from decay, let us sawmp with this source ov creativity, expression and death!!!
Order shall never rise from disorder again!!!
Dethroned mankind shall end his cycle in pain and dishonor!!!
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust…
Vae victis, and they’ll be numerous!!!
Oderint dum metuant!!!
The CD is limited to 500 copies, and has some great devilish sci-fi artwork included in the packaging, all created by the singer from what I can tell. Recommended!
Track Samples:
Sample : Eschaton
Sample : Follow The Left Hand Path
Sample : Kaly Maha Devi



ALIENATION MENTAL   Kopferkingel   CD   (Burning Dogma)    9.98

Kopferkingel IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Brutal machine grind from the Czech Republic! EXTREMELY brutal and freaked out spazztoid grindcore delivered at insanely high speeds. This Cd features the entire Kopferkingel demo, full on crusty Cryptopsy-worshipping grind with some odd quirks. The second track on this is the awesome 'TV Digger' which got an excellent gabba remix treatment on their split with Inhumate and rules even more in its original form. Blasting drumming with technical fills that recall the legendary Flo Mounier, the guitars are able to switch from slower, crushing riffs to the high end chaos and into topspeed mayhem seamlessly, and the gutteral vocals are sick vomitous shrieks.This also features the tracks from the split with Cerebral Turbulency, which also kick total ass.


ALKALYS   Choeur Delys   CD   (Basement Apes)    11.98



Choeur Delys is a new album from the French quartet Alkalys that just came out recently on Basement Apes. Don't know much about this band due to my lack of French, most of the band's website/myspace is in French and there isn't much information on them out on the web, I'm not even sure if this is their first album or not (though I'm pretty sure that it is). COming from Basement Apes, it's no surprise that their music is pretty mathy, but they combine a bunch of other interesting elements along with math rock for their sound. The seven songs on Choeur Delys mix together bits of sunny folk melody and lush guitar ambience, treated guitar strings that are scraped and bowed to create layers of textured sound, strange found-sound samples and hypnotic drones are built upon a heavy foundation of bass riffs and thunderous, complex drumming. Very proggy, very epic, I hear bits of Sonic Youth and King Crimson and Explosions In The Sky and early 90's math rock all tied up in the Alkalys sound, and those weird samples (what are those? street sounds? wildlife noises? it's impossible to tell) that float over the instrumental music throw this slightly off-kilter, giving their heavy, wall-of-guitar epics an offbeat, surreal vibe. Sometimes the guitars are woven into such thick curtains of sound that Alkalys even evoke the guitar-symphonies of Branca or Chatham. The drumming stands out, too, as it moves from busy jazz-informed flourishes and intricate patterns to bludgeoning slow-mo power. Then there's the dual bass attack - yeah, two bass guitars, but it's not as heavy as having two bassists might suggest; instead, they weave their instruments around each other in complex melodic riffs that serve as the foundation for the guitars to ascend from. Like a way proggier Explosions In The Sky with a tendency to erupt into the occasional burst of metallic heaviness, and splattered with weird random field recorded noises and samples. Comes in a four-panel digipack with cool artwork.
Track Samples:
Sample : db3.14IN
Sample : Main Courante
Sample : SInk



ALKERDEEL   Luizig   CD   (At War With False Noise)    11.98



Alkerdeel's the heaviest thing that I've ever heard come outta the Funeral Folk label and the tight-knit Belgian basement-funeral-psych/folk scene that those cats associate with. Luizig first came out as a demo tape that Funeral Folk released in a tiny run of 66 copies, which had fans of gnarly outsider Doom clambering to get their claws upon it after it sold out quickly from the label. In steps Al over at At War With False Noise to re-release this as a limited edition CD in a run of 500 copies, and it fits right in with the other low-fi outsider black/sludge metal releases that At War has been dishing out lately like Sloth, Black Sun, Seppuku, etc.
The sleeve for this looks great, a three panel foldout sleeve with silvery ink printed onto the thick black stock, screenprinted by the French printer/label Tetedemort, and fantastic Art Nouveau artwork lifted from Aubrey Beardsley. The music? A single track of feircely noisy, low-fi basement metal weirdness. A twenty one minute track that starts off ultra chaotic and noisy black metal, blown out thrashing guitars whipped up into a thick murky sonic storm, sloppy blastbeats bashed out on trashcans, tortured screams stretched out horrifically. The song then moves through sections of nothing but room ambience and male and female voices speaking in French, haunting violins, strange clattering objects and other sounds, before kicking back in to the heaviness, only now the band breaks into some crawling, neanderthal sludge, a lumbering dirgey Melvins style riff, demonic howls, pounding trashcan drums, everything wrapped up in sludgy distorted noise. The rest of the song goes back and forth between the sludgier slower stuff and the noisy black metal, smashing the two together by the end into a mindmelting mass of fucked up, speaker shredding blacknoise doom. Crazed, filthy, deranged skuzz metal damage that puts a pounding on yer skull. Fans of blownout, noisy BM like Ildjarn, Akitsa, Bone Awl, Beherit and Malveillance will worship this, as will all of you creeps that dig the ultra low-fi sludge stuff like early Sloth and Fistula. Gruesome!
Track Samples:
Sample : Luizig



ALL HAIL THE TRANSCENDING GHOST   self-titled   CD   (Cold Spring)    11.98



The output of Henrik Nordvargr Bjorkk (Toroidh, MZ412, Korperwelten, Folkstorm, etc.) has become so insanely prolific that I've given up trying to keep track of all of the different projects he's involved in. Whenever something new comes down the pike from his noize-injected black metal alter ego Vargr or the black industrial ambience that he creates under the Nordvargr name, I'm usually on top of it, but I didn't find out about this particular project until a good five months after the damn thing had been released. This guy is an unending fountain of black atmospheric music.
The music that's featured on the debut cd from All Hail The Transcending Ghost has been in the works for a while. The liners mention that this was recorded between 2004 and 2007, a collaboration between Nordvargr and guitarist Tim Bertilsson that engaged in on-again, off-again recording sessions that eventually birthed these seven tracks. Bertilsson is probably better known to some as the drummer for the Swedish instrumental metal band Switchblade, who released a couple of excellent albums on Deathwish and Cyclops Media a few years ago, though he has also appeared recently as a drummer for the guitar drone project Fear Falls Burning on their Frenzy Of The Absolute album from last year. As All Hail The Transcending Ghost, the two musicians create a series of restrained industrial dronescapes that might surprise some with how subdued and ambient this is compared to other recent Nordvargr related releases... the first few tracks especially are haunting driftscapes that never peak into full on aggression, but instead carefully layer soft post-rock guitar strum and minor key melodies across black oceans of machine whir and ambient drone, endless metallic shimmer and far-off factory rumblings, bits of backwards melody and traces of chanting vocals swirling in the murky dark dronescapes. The first three tracks all remind me of a much more muted and droneological version of the dark kosmiche/post-rock/blackdrone of Locrian, but the fourth track heralds a more caustic shift with deep electronic belches, Nordvargr's gutteral mumbling vocals, and glitchy noise that fully takes shape with the crushing industrial clamor of the following track. Here, dissonant guitar clang echoes across bursts of electronic blackfire that pan from speaker to speaker, erupting into a blown-out noisedirge rife with shrieking tortured vocals, like a Neurosis guitar riff ripped away from the rest of the band and left to drift over an abyss of corrosive blackdrone. The last two tracks return to the more droning, ambient end of the band's sound, but still feature swells of ominous ambient riffage and abrasive guitar noise that lurks just below the surface of their distorted dronescapes. It's a strange but effective mix of black ambience, cold droning industrial, and metallic guitar sludge, sort of like a blackened industrial version of Fear Falls Burning at times. Another winner from Nordvargr, for sure.
Track Samples:
Sample : Track 3
Sample : Track 6



ALL IS SUFFERING   The Past: Vindictive Sadisms Of Petty Bereaucrats   CD   (Crucial Blast)    9.98



Along with the small number of copies of the out of print early Crucial Blast titles from Rune and Katastrofialue that recently surfaced as part of a return that just arrived here from one of our old distributors, I also found a couple of copies of the Cd from blackened death/crust beasts All Is Suffering. A collection of studio and Ep material, The Past: Vindictive Sadisms Of Petty Bureaucrats has been out of print since at least 2005, and is one of the label's earliest efforts. It's also one of the only releases from a a little known but amazing band from southern Maryland who blew me away during their short span of existence with an apocalyptic mixture of old school death metal, imperial black metal, ultra-bleak ambience, majestic doom, and a definite Scandinavian crust influence. Not many people heard 'em when they were around as the band rarely played live and never toured outside of the area, and only released one other 7" Ep after this disc came out, but every single person that I've talked to about the band fucking loved them. Here's my original description of the disc from when it first came out, with all hyperbole intact:
"Fueled by war and corruption, The Past:Vindictive Sadisms Of Petty Bureauracrats collects both new studio recordings and demo and EP tracks from this visionary Maryland grind/crust band. All Is Suffering combine rabidly violent grindcore and epic black/death metal with monastic chants, blackened drones, incredibly catchy melodies, and a cosmic endtime ambiance. Some have compared them to His Hero Is Gone meets Marduk. Fourteen blasts of adventurous, grim, and vicious disgust for diseased humanity."
So there you go. Less than four in stock!
Track Samples:
Sample : Mauthausen
Sample : Through Deep Snow Darkness Stalks the Hunters



ALL PIGS MUST DIE   God Is War   2 x CD   (Southern Lord)    15.98

God Is War IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER










Track Samples:
Sample : Death Dealer
Sample : God is War
Sample : Sadistic Vindicator



ALLEGORY CHAPEL LTD.   When Angels Fall   CD   (Charnel Music)    9.98



The devilish noise project Allegory Chapel Ltd. is one of the older members of the American noise scene, with releases that date all of the way back to the mid 1980's. Elden M. is the guy behind ACL, and later in the 90's he would go on to become a central figure in the excellent black metal label and mailorder Blackmetal.com, but during the heyday of Allegory Chapel Ltd, he was producing some of the most evil sounding noisescapes that were drifting around the American post-Industrial underground. After releasing a number of limited edition cassettes and contributing tracks to compilations, ACL released it's first full length in the early 1990's with When Angels Fall, released by Mason Jones of Subarachnoid Space/Trance on his Charnel Music label. This was one creepy album, from the silver-on-black album artwork and artwork depicting a lone Seraphim tumbling into some kind of maelstrom and through to the grim fusion of orchestral Classical music, dark ambient, strange samples, and grinding, pulverizing distorted noise textures. The album moves from the somber faux-strings and creepy ambience of the opening track "Introduction (Allegory of the Frozen Heart)" to the shredding blacknoise cut-up of the monstrous "Trajectory Calculations", which is rife with sudden bursts of white noise, a constant deep rumbling presence, horrific screams run through a malfunctioning tape machine, and barely perceptible rhythms seething underneath the surface. That track is barely six minutes long, but it's one of the most crushing and unsettling on the album. The rest of the album continues to descend into dynamic white-noise mantras with terrifying vocal loops of a woman screaming in abject terror ("Predatory Instincts"), almost tactile washes of drone-noise interlaced with minimalist piano and muffled voice samples("Self Destructive Jealousy..."), swooping test-tones launching into columns of brutal, demonic distortion ("Escalate the Violence!"), evil sound collage ("P x Q"), and deformed piano dirges ("Recital 587"). The album's most powerful piece has got to be the closing track " Requiem for Thee Possessed" , a nearly ten-minute dark drone piece that layers together a chopped-up and looped female voice that sings bits and pieces of the old English folk song "I Wish, I Wish" with corrosive crunching distortion and haunting female chorales...very dark and haunting and beautiful.
Allegory Chapel Ltd.'s dark noise falls somewhere in between the death industrial of Brighter Death Now and Atrax Morgue, neo-classical sound collage and the evil dungeon ambience of MZ.412 - in other words, highly recommended if yer into the darker side of noise/industrial. This is the original Charnel Music pressing of the CD which has been a tough one to find for years, but we just scraped up some of the last copies anywhere.
Track Samples:
Sample : Predatory Instincts
Sample : Trajectory Calculations
Sample : Requiem for Thee Possessed



ALMS   Annihilation Of The Self   CASSETTE   (Prairie Fire)    5.98



Alms is a solo project from guitarist Nathan Young, who I had previously been aware of due to his work in the psych-doom-ambient duo Ajilvsga. With Alms, Young sculpts minimal, slow-moving ampdrift that moves from hushed clouds of hypnotic buzz to heavier fields of low-fi metallic drone, and it's an intoxicating performance that's featured on this half hour long cassette. Taken from a live performance that was aired on an Albuquerque radio show in early 2011 (and split across the two sides of the tape), "Annihilation Of The Self" was apparently created primarily from Young's manipulation of a bowed amplified guitar soaked in thick, oily Metalzone style distortion. It's not at all like the Earth-style sludge-trance you might expect, though. The piece is more abstract and ambient, and after the first few minutes of minimal thrum begins to morph into a single monstrous hum that hovers and drifts slowly through a blizzard of hiss, the sustained buzzing tone stretched into infinity. That droning chord drops out for periods of time, leaving behind just a roaring wall of muted, washed-out static, and will then slowly fade back in from behind, slightly shifting into a very simple chord change that is barely perceptible at first, it's so buried beneath the maelstrom-like wall of fuzz. From there, Young slowly introduces other drones and textures, lower static humming and massive ominous chordal drift, washes of metallic flanged effects and deep speaker-rattling frequencies, even a few brief moments of Sunn O)))-like crush, but the sound continuously returns to the central, originating drone throughout the entire track, even as things begin to dissolve and crumble across the last half into smoldering fields of washed-out chordal buzz, and a ponderous bass pulse emanates from the depths in random bursts. It's pretty cool stuff if you're into this sort of crushing improvisational guitar drone/noise, and is recommended to fans of Vulture Club, Fulci, RST and the like. Those looking for form within their droning heaviness will not find it here, but for fans of pitch-black amp-stasis and crushing tectonic rumble, I recommend cranking this loud. The tape includes information regarding accessing a digital download of the recording, and is limited to fifty copies.


ALO GIRL   Catharsis   3" CDR   (Small Doses)    6.50

Catharsis IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Small Doses doesn't send a lot of HNW our way, but when they do, we always find it satisfying. Alo Girl's Catharsis is a nearly fifteen minute block of swirling HNW from this Italian artist, the harsh wall pseudonym for Cristiano Renzoni who also runs the Urashima label and is one half of the harsh noise unit An Innocent Young Throat-Cutter. Over the course of this heavily textured wall, Renzoni strafes the surface of "Catharsis" with a constant monsoon blast of crackling high-end distortion and sharp-edged static swirling around in a dense, thickly layered vortex of movement and mass; underneath, deep sublimated bass fluctuations and thick low-end revolve in constant submerged activity, and thunderous deep-earth drones rumble way down in the lower depths. At times, the crackling, crumbling monolith feels as if it's fraying apart and is about to completely break apart, but as it seems to peak out into total static, the sonic inferno once again coalesces into a monstrous roar of mid-range buzz and searing black static. Either high volume or a sturdy set of headphones is recommended to really unlock the sputtering sonic crush that Alo Girl summons on this disc. Renzoni names some classic Japanese harsh noise artists like C.C.C.C. and Incapacitants as key influences on his brand of detailed distorto-chaos, and brings some of the same overwhelming claustrophobia to this work.
The disc comes in a small sleeve printed with high contrast artwork, and is limited to fifty-two copies.
Track Samples:
Sample : Catharsis



ALPINIST / MASAKARI   split   LP   (Halo Of Flies)    14.98

split IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

This Lp pairs up new material from two killer dark hardcore bands, dystopian German crust-thugs Alpinist and Cleveland's apocalyptic ragers Masakari, both of whom have released new albums on Southern Lord over the past year.
On Alpinist's side, the band delivers six songs of dark, dystopian metallic hardcore, starting with the dissonant Neurosis-esque apocalyptic power of the first song, but then the band floors the pedal and launches into a speedy metallic D-beat hardcore assault that continues throughout their side. The band whips out dark melodic leads and crushing crusty riffs, sudden downshifting into raging rocking mid-tempo fury, lurching jagged dirge, blast beat driven violence, and swirling breakdowns with powerful super-tight drumming. The vocals are a mix of pissed-off shrieks and death metallish howls. There are shades of Tragedy and that dissonant brutal Bremen/Per Koro hardcore sound along with some forays into doom. The side ends with the moody "Quelle Valeur Reste?", a slower brooding epic with sampled voices, stirring magisterial guitars and dark rumbling drift, stretching into dark doom-laden slow core that grows heavier and more intense, finally picking up speed into a driving majestic crescendo.
Masakari bring eight of their own raging end-time visions, played out through a series of ripping D-beat driven hardcore anthems and crushing metallic dirges laced with stirring dark melodic breakdowns and swathes of dark ambience. As on their previous records, I hear that malevolent Clevo hardcore sound creeping through, shades of Integrity lurking just below the surface of their ferocious crustmetal. These guys are one of the best bands doing this sort of dark apocalyptic hardcore right now.
Track Samples:
Sample : Abgerichtet
Sample : XX. Modulation
Sample : Quelle Valeur Reste
Sample : XIX. Void Manufacturing



ALRAUNE   The Process Of Self-Immolation   CD   (Profound Lore)    13.98



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



ALSHAIBI, USAMA   Solar Anus Cinema   DVD   (Holy Mountain Video)    16.50














ALTAIR TEMPLE   self-titled   CD   (Radar Swarm)    10.98

self-titled IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

When he's not laying down his majestic, sky-reaching riffage and beautiful melodic gloom in his main band Year Of No Light, guitarist Johan Sebenne keeps busy with a couple of other projects that explore more droneological territory. Johan sent us the limited-edition full length discs for Altair Temple and Nexus Sun that came out earlier this year, two duos that Johan plays in, and both bands explore similiar realms of guitar-based drone music with slightly different approaches. Altair Temple is the duo that Johan shares with a guy named Fred, who plays guitar and manipulates effects pedals while Johan works with synthesizers, laptop and other effects, crafting gorgeous industrial drones that share alot of common ground with both Troum and Tim Hecker. The disc features ten tracks that range from soft Eno-esque ambience to muted roars of buzzing amplifier drone, fields of glimmering guitar notes sparkling above sheets of grinding bottom end, malevolent dark ambience and waves of crushing metallic drone. These are shadowy, bleak drones that sometimes move into brighter, more melodic shapes, but mostly remain cloaked in darkness, their amplifiers casting eerie shadows over the miasmic waves of delay and drone. Excellent amorphous ambience that goes from cosmic to crushing; these dark guitar-driven dronescapes are positioned somewhere in between the sounds of Byla, Fear Falls Burning, Aidan Baker, Troum and Main. Only 120 copies of this disc were made, and each one comes in a thick paperboard gatefold with silkscreened artwork.
Track Samples:
Sample : Arch
Sample : Gefe Vrita
Sample : Swan



ALTAR OF FLIES   Trapped Under Water   CDR   (Digitalis)    8.50

Trapped Under Water IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Old school electronic skzzch gets blackened again by Swedish noisemaker Mattias Gustafsson and his Altar Of Flies project. This five track CDR was released by Digitalis last year in a limited edition of 100 copies, and it's packaged in a color sleeve with artwork that depicts a demons skull exploding in a psychedelic flurry of bats, skulls, ghosts, ghetto blasters, and serpents. This is only the second release from Altar Of Flies that I've picked up (the first being the super limited cassette tape that came out on Epicene Sound over a year ago), but the project is so far pretty consistent in delivering an evil, ghoulish form of industrial that sounds kind of like a satanic Wolf Eyes. Each one of the tracks on Trapped Under Water has this ominous, evil feel, but the approach is varied, too...minimal buzzing tones and nauseous drum beats meet snarling vocal mantras one moment, and then flow into curtains of black hiss and metallic drone. Bells are struck over washes of shimmering cymbal noise and grinding low-end doomdrone guitar buzz. Watery melodies can be heard, blurred and indistinct, deep beneath layers of distortion and rumbling feedback. Chirping oscillator tones get bent and mangled, then obliterated by spikes of razor sharp high-end skree. Modulated metallic powerchords are strummed and stretched apart over broken drumbeats, and there are hints of both Throbbing Gristle and old Broken Flag power electronics in Altar Of Flies blackened pulses. A solid set of creepy, damaged electronic sludge!


ALTAR OF FLIES   Kill The Lights   CASSETTE   (Epicene Sound)    6.98

Kill The Lights IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Ridiculously limited, full length cassette album of blackened industrial sludgenoise from Sweden's awesomely monikered Altar Of Flies, the alter ego of artist Mattias Gustafsson. Only 50 of these were made and chances are this is already sold out from Epicene, but it's a highly recommended dose of ultra heavy feedback sludge and subsonic buzzsaw tone, pitch black and heavy like the most diseased abstract black metal act filtered through a factory filled with infernal machines and industrial pulses. The tracks are untitled, but it all basically flows together as one 30+ minute piece, filled with chaotic ultradistorted drones that ooze out of what sounds like a wall of overloaded guitar amps, all connected to a heap of mangled and destroyed guitars covered in gore and slime, left to shriek and rumble on the concrete floor of the aforementioned death factory. Bursts of shrill feeback scream out of the blackness alongside harsh black metal-style shrieks, and throbbing low end bass frequencies shudder deep below. Heavy, grimy black noise and demonic sludgy drones, a mix of Wolf Eyes and Corrupted, Abruptum and Hive Mind, utterly doomed nightmare filth. Each one of these cassettes comes in a standard case with a full color sleeve that is handnumbered out of 50.


ALTAR OF FLIES   Sacred Trails   7 INCH + CD   (A Dear Girl Called Wendy)    14.98



Back in stock! Here are more fantastic factory nightmares and grinding industrial death visions from this Swedish artist, whose work has consistently impressed me over the past couple of years. This latest offering of murderous industrial filth comes from the A Dear Girl Called Wendy imprint, a combination 7" and CDR set that features more of Mattias Gustafsson's grimy looped drones, ghostly field recordings and harsh noise in an extremely limited edition of one hundred hand-numbered copies.
The first half of "Sacred Trails" begins with a steady mechanical throb and deep pulsating black buzz, then erupts into a crushing cacophony of feedback, junk metal avalanche, garbled electronic skuzz, and massive, earthquake like low-end rumbling. It breaks away at various points on the a-side into more restrained industrial ambience and subdued scraping rhythms and grating lock grooves; then, disturbing chuckling and looped giggling appears, sounding like the clipped and edited sounds of a madman played over a slow fade-out of black drift. The b-side picks up the second half with another set of minimal lock groove like clicks and rumbles, which are slowly overtaken by a heavy heartbeat like throb and high piercing feedback and smears of black buzzing synth, transforming the sound into a monstrous rhythmic scrapescape of abused metal and skull-drilling sinewaves, heaving squelch and strange metallic ringing, clicking spokes in a torture machine slipping into place while heavy rumbling electronic frequencies rise and fall. When the vocals show up this time, it's in the form of sickly moans and distressed cries in the background, while the rhythmic elements fall away and the side ends with the constant surging swell of rumbling feedback before the record comes to a stop.
The disc features another three longer tracks: the first, "Axis III", starts with rising bursts of heavy distorted synth which are joined by a series of crunching sounds, like those of someone treading through deep snow, or charred ash, while more layers of sinister electronic drone and distorted synth pile on, inhuman screams suddenly rip through the air, and the whole goddamn thing starts to take on the feel of one seriously horrible nightmare. Deep bass frequencies drone and flutter beneath swarming buzz and those crunchy, crackling sounds. The rusted creak of an ancient water pump introduces the second track "Helveteseld", then moves into dark, gleaming shafts of droning synthesizer and soft drifting feedback; it's actually quite pretty here at first, but then the soft ambient drone-music is suddenly sucked into a monstrous maelstrom of bass rumble and industrial noise, another violent scrap metal avalanche strafed with feedback spikes and corroded creaking metal. The final fourteen minute track "Nervklen" is more minimal at first, a series of high frequency drones laid over a percussive rumble and menacing electronic drone, then moves into a very weird stretch of looped ogres growling and barking dogs and some deformed metal pounding, getting more surreal and nightmarish as it goes on, blasts of harsh feedback and lurching metallic noise coming up against the manipulated demonic voices and loops, evolving into a mutated form of power electronics with rhythmic structure and looped voice elements, but woven into a fucked up industrial loopscape.
Another grim, heavy offering from Gustafsson. The record and the disc are packaged together in a thick 7" sleeve, and again, it's extremely limited, and doubtful that we'll be able to get more of these once we sell out.
Track Samples:
Sample : Axis III
Sample : Helveteseld



ALTAR OF FLIES   Female   LP   (Peripheral)    23.98



   Underneath the creepy high-contrast Xerox imagery that adorns the sleeve for the limited-edition LP Female (released by the upstart UK industrial label Peripheral), you'll find more of the fantastic sonic rot-scapes and skin-crawling industrial gurgle that Swedish artist Mattias Gustafsson has been perfecting over the past decade, having brought us some of the creepiest industrial music that I've been stocking here at C-Blast with his Altar Of Flies project. Primarily working from heaps of hot-wired effects processors, primitive sound generators and tape machines that are haphazardly scattered and piled across tables that Gustafsson hunches over like some mad alchemist, he summons up sinister, crackling noise-scapes that feel as if they are formed from some sort of nightmarish ectoplasm, strange shambling industrial dirges and disturbing drones that creep out of black charnel pits.
   Opener "Boiling Blood" is a mix of hissing tape noise and slow, squelchy rhythms that gradually uncoil beneath ascendant bursts of brutal feedback and noise, blanketed by massive rumbling distorted drones, crafting a intensely bleak field of grinding death industrial murk. Massive rusted metal creaks and groans on warped hinges, while irradiated black winds sweep in from below, rushing through the eerie abstract noisescape that Gustafsson occasionally blasts with blasts of immense distorted heaviness. "When We Wake Up There Will Be Nothing Left" is another one of AOF's more minimal nightmarish visions, an expanse of minimal hum and pulse that slowly begins to vomit up weird moaning voices and inhuman cries, bursts of high-end squiggle and chirping electronics, various metallic sounds and noises teeming beneath the near-constant thrum of amp-feedback. Bits of malformed rhythm take shape within the weird ghastly blackness, and the title track is even more sinister, a black minor-key synth-groan stretched out across heaving, cadaverous exhalations and squealing hornet-drone, an increasingly noisy and nightmarish mass of mechanical horror that builds into something truly apocalyptic at the end, a screaming air-raid dirge that oozes dread across the final moments of the side.
   On the other side, minimal looping drones swirl around the sounds of dragging chains and mechanical gears falling apart, the slow rhythmic burble of air bubbling to the surface of some corroded tank of viscous black liquid, a heavy morbid atmosphere hanging over the sounds. It evolves into another doom-laden soundscape of tearing, ripping, rending noises, anguished distorted voices appearing, more of those wordless cries, muffled and unintelligible, moaning desperately in the depths of the recording, gradually swallowed up by the monstrous wall of noise that comes crashing in over the end of "Nervous Loops". The final track "100511" closes the album with blasts of that swarming black electronics and crushing synth-drone amid some fairly disturbing vocal recordings that, by the end of the record, tie back in to the album's title in a strange, unsettling manner.
   At times, Gustafsson's burbling, abstract electronics begin to resemble the morbid industrial throb of Atrax Morgue, but his work here is much more complex in its construction, evocative of a microscopic world of ghoulish mechanisms crafted from decomposing bits of animal carcass and salvaged metal, or the audio track of a snuff film overlaid with murky synthesizer drones and waves of blackened static. Limited to two hundred fifty copies.


ALTAR OF PLAGUES   White Tomb   CD   (Profound Lore)    13.98

White Tomb IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER






Track Samples:
Sample : Gentian Truth
Sample : Track 1



ALTAR SHADOWS   Speckledy Falcons (Margi Sakalai)   CD   (Todestrieb)    11.98



An awesome, evocative black metal outfit from Lithuania, Altar Shadows (or Altoriu Seseliai, in their own language) debuts here with an incredible first album - this is some of catchiest, most epic sounding Eastern Euro black metal that I've heard so far. I think that this is another one-man outfit, beacuse the booklet has a photo of a single corpsepainted indiviual, but I'm not 100% sure. As you might expect, there's a heavy pagan element to Altar Shadows, but I'm not picking up on any of the questionable racial/nationalistic ideologies that tend to come part-and-parcel with black metal bands from this part of Europe. And it's more than just a black metal album. Recordings of chirping crickets and the sound of leaves rustling in the wind give way to somber, beautiful slow-core dirges that remind me of Drudkh. Harsh growling vocals pan from speaker to speaker over spiky tremelo picking and swirling shoegazy riffs. Lilting acoustic folk strum is plucked out softly over sounds of birdsong and the burbling of a creek running through an ancient Lithuanian forest. Buzzing, Burzumic midtempo black metal is accompanied by acoustic guitars, giving Altar Shadow's ominous buzz a folky feel, and often busting out with awesome psychedelic blues-based soloing over the riffs and churning double bass drumming. The sounds of flutes drift through deep shadowy woods, with thunder rumbling off in the distance, and answered by the crowing of a rooster. "The Yellow Moon III" is a midpaced rocker that combines chugging heavy metal riffing with powerful melodic leads, unleashing frenetic double bass drumming alongside a super catchy riff and killer spacey soloing. The flute shows up again on "I'm Waiting", a beautiful medievel sounding folk tune that evolves into an epic black metal waltz. A deep female voice appears on "In The Falling Snow", which is again played on acoustic guitars but this time it feels like they are playing actual black metal riffs on them. I love this album. Alot of the leads have a spacey psychedelic feel to them that reminds me of Pink Floyd quite a bit, and fans of Nachtmystium's more recent psych-black metal will probably LOVE Altar Shadows. But it's the Lithuanian folk music that really takes center stage on this album. Most of the songs blend together those acoustic folk music elements with the Burzum-esque black metal, using a combination of original lyrics and classical Lithuanian poetry, and further mix in those evocative ambient field recordings to invoke visions of untouched forests, rain-choked skies looming overhead, and remote Lithuanian farmsteads. Amazing stuff. Comes with an 8-page booklet that includes all of the lyrics, cool grainy artwork that perfectly matches the rainy, gloomy feel of Speckledy Falcons, and some personal writings from Altar Shadows.


ALTARS   Live On Pure Hate   LP   (King Of The Monsters)    14.98












Track Samples:
Sample : God Damn the Sun
Sample : The Great Ram
Sample :



ALTARS / HALLA   split   7" VINYL   (King Of The Monsters)    8.98



Worshippers of filthy, punk-infected blackness should get a load of this: a new split 7" that has malefic collaborators in Lamb-baiting no-fi perversion teaming together for a bowel-scented platter of skuzz that I've been spinning nonstop lately. Altars and Halla both specialize in cacophonic blackpunk that compliment one another nicely, despite being situated at opposite ends of the globe.
Featuring members of Hex Noir, Iron Curtain and Teeth Collection, Altars deliver ultra violent no-fi black metal on "Serment de Sang", a seven minute jam that absolutely fucking kills, and sounds like one step above a boom box recording while managing to imbue the murky, blown out production with a strange, grimy density. Rampaging drums speed through a storm of reverb-drenched screams, distorted hiss, electronic feedback, and trebly guitars, but underneath all of the filth and noise are some great melodic riffs that are catchy, anthemic even, but delivered through a twisted, hideous blackened noisepunk assault. It ends in a mangled skronky breakdown that crumbles into pure sonic chaos and grinding industrial noise at the end, dragging the thrash down into a mire of corruption.
Hailing from Iran, Halla (should take you roughly two seconds to figure that name out) delivers "666 Sanctus", an equally noisy and impressive puke-blast of blackened misanthropic punk. It's quite an introduction: the music is completely blanketed in white noise, the primitive black thrash enshrouded in this thick coating of hiss and distortion that's comparable to the trebly overload of bands like Vacuus, Malveillance, or Ancestors. A more accurate reference point might be what you'd get if someone was blasting the early Hellhammer demos out of a gargantuan transistor radio directly into your face. Primo!
Recommended to necro scum junkies, obviously; this filth is ideal for followers of early Ash Pool, Ancestors, Bone Awl, Malveillance, Ildjarn, Akitsa, and similarly damaged creeps. Released on black vinyl in a limited edition of 263 copies.


ALUK TODOLO   Descension   LP   (Riot Season)    20.98

Descension IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

This vinyl edition of Aluk Todolo's debut masterpiece of blackened hypno rock comes to us from UK label Riot Season, on black wax and in the expected limited edition.
First heard Aluk Todolo on that debut 7" that the band released on Implied Sound last year, which I thought was a real blast of fetid hypno rock inscribed with cryptic occult imagery and one hell of a pounding groove, major groove, a kind of satanic trance rock meltdown that felt like it was crawling right off of the edge of the vinyl. Great stuff that caught the attention of a lot of people that follow this sort of thing, and this past November saw the release of Aluk Todolo's first full length on Public Guilt, which has been building a heavy buzz ever since it came out. On Descension, Aluk Todolo have carved out a pitch-black krautrock masterpiece that ends up sounding akin to Circle performing the background music for a black mass while being mixed by Masami Akita armed with short-circuiting amplifiers in each hand, punctuating their nocturnal dronerock rituals with blasts of white-hot electronic skzzzz. Aluk Todolo features members of the black metal cult Diametragon, but the main thread that ties the two bands together is the musician's use of brutal white noise as a kind of lead instrument; in Diametragon, the band splatters their razorwire black metal asaults with ear shredding skree, but here the noise is draped in layers over skeletal rock instrumentation, a basic drums/guitar/bass lineup that forms minimalistic propulsive jams that swim in black feedback and atmospheric speaker buzz. Like This Heat and Einsutrzende Neubaten filtered through an endless blackdronenoise ritual, sinister melodic sigils forming out of the fuzz and forming a claustraphobic, creepy low fi psych epic, their rhythms relentless in movement. The opening "Obedience" starts off as swirling black ambience with a shuffling sheet metal rhythm banging away in the background, and then suddenly a wavering female chorale appears and the whole song suddenly explodes into a clamorous, propulsive krautrock jam, simplistic driving drumming slicing through a storm of overloaded demon howls and white noise. It's really low fi and garagey sounding, but powerful and totally in-the-red. On "Burial Ground", the band sets up a tense, claustrophobic vibe with a simple guitar arpeggio played over weird FX, rusted metal percussion, tinny evil drones and a plodding drumbeat. "Woodchurch" is another slow, plodding jam that almost seems to invert the guitar part from the previous track and crank the distortion way up while layers of machine noise and FX shift and warp above it; the last track, "Disease", has another shambling hypnotic drumbeat playing in an odd time signature accompanied by trippy distorted effects and blasts of overmodulated acid guitar clipping throughout the jam. Imagine an evil, hypnotic fusion of the super blown-out blackness of Wold and Akitsa, Harry Pussy's shambolic noise, and This Heat. Slow marches into unnerving noise frequencies and atmospheric clatter are served up as black magic meditations, and alternate with invocations of demonic krautrock. Highly recommended !
Track Samples:
Sample : aluktodolo_burialground
Sample : aluktodolo_obedience



ALUK TODOLO   Descension   CD   (Public Guilt)    9.98



First heard Aluk Todolo on that debut 7" that the band released on Implied Sound last year, which I thought was a real blast of fetid hypno rock inscribed with cryptic occult imagery and one hell of a pounding groove, major groove, a kind of satanic trance rock meltdown that felt like it was crawling right off of the edge of the vinyl. Great stuff that caught the attention of a lot of people that follow this sort of thing, and this past November saw the release of Aluk Todolo's first full length on Public Guilt, which has been building a heavy buzz ever since it came out. On Descension, Aluk Todolo have carved out a pitch-black krautrock masterpiece that ends up sounding akin to Circle performing the background music for a black mass while being mixed by Masami Akita armed with short-circuiting amplifiers in each hand, punctuating their nocturnal dronerock rituals with blasts of white-hot electronic skzzzz.
Aluk Todolo features members of the black metal cult Diametragon, but the main thread that ties the two bands together is the musician's use of brutal white noise as a kind of lead instrument; in Diametragon, the band splatters their razorwire black metal asaults with ear shredding skree, but here the noise is draped in layers over skeletal rock instrumentation, a basic drums/guitar/bass lineup that forms minimalistic propulsive jams that swim in black feedback and atmospheric speaker buzz. Like This Heat and Einsutrzende Neubaten filtered through an endless blackdronenoise ritual, sinister melodic sigils forming out of the fuzz and forming a claustraphobic, creepy low fi psych epic, their rhythms relentless in movement. The opening "Obedience" starts off as swirling black ambience with a shuffling sheet metal rhythm banging away in the background, and then suddenly a wavering female chorale appears and the whole song suddenly explodes into a clamorous, propulsive krautrock jam, simplistic driving drumming slicing through a storm of overloaded demon howls and white noise. It's really low fi and garagey sounding, but powerful and totally in-the-red. On "Burial Ground", the band sets up a tense, claustrophobic vibe with a simple guitar arpeggio played over weird FX, rusted metal percussion, tinny evil drones and a plodding drumbeat. "Woodchurch" is another slow, plodding jam that almost seems to invert the guitar part from the previous track and crank the distortion way up while layers of machine noise and FX shift and warp above it; the last track, "Disease", has another shambling hypnotic drumbeat playing in an odd time signature accompanied by trippy distorted effects and blasts of overmodulated acid guitar clipping throughout the jam.
Imagine an evil, hypnotic fusion of the super blown-out blackness of Wold and Akitsa, Harry Pussy's shambolic noise, and This Heat. Slow marches into unnerving noise frequencies and atmospheric clatter are served up as black magic meditations, and alternate with invocations of demonic krautrock. Highly recommended !
Track Samples:
Sample : aluktodolo_burialground
Sample : aluktodolo_obedience



ALUK TODOLO   Finsternis   LP   (Public Guilt)    16.98



Finsternis comes to us more than two years since the release of Aluk Todolo's debut Descension, where we were fully introduced to their harsh, blackened trance-rock. In the time since that disc came out, Aluk Todolo has garnered a bit of critical acclaim for their recordings, while the members spent time working with other related projects, like the acid-fried garage psych ensemble Gunslingers and French black metallers Diamatregon, whose latest album Crossroad came out last year and itself seemed to be infected with a bit of Aluk Todolo's scorched avant-rock DNA. I've been lusting for new Aluk Todolo, though, and they finally returned earlier this year with this, their latest slab of evil psychedelia and blackened, malevolent krautrock.
Divided into four sections with a shorter interlude track in the middle of the album, Finsternis (German fir "Darkness") feels as if it is tied together with a larger concept, though nothing is spelled out through the song titles. The album begins with the simple pounding trance of "Premier Contact", a steady, minimalist drum beat steadily banging away while the guitars squeal and howl, emitting controlled bursts of feedback and strange noises, the guitarists scraping and stabbing at their instruments. This physical guitar assault often sounds like it could've been something off of an experimental prepared guitar piece, if it weren't for the incessant deathmarch drumming and general atmosphere of dread that hangs over the music. After awhile, creepier riffs start to emerge, and Aluk Todolo reveal their blackened heritage' these spidery minor-key figures take over, circling around and around through gales of feedback and amp noise. And it leads right into "Deuxième Contact", which stumbles for a quick moment as the band erupts into a frenzied rhythmic tangle, but then settles back down into a similar metronomic pulse, the death-clock tick-tock hammering in slow motion, that sinister slithering guitar melody gradually joined by ghostly sustained notes and weird electronic sounds in the distance, leading the album into ever creepier regions. As the album deepens, the guitars transform. They slowly build, first blooming from those droning buzzing chords and strangled string noises into that creeping graveyard melody, and then from there into sudden bursts of reverb-drenched psychedelic shred, and morose, blackened riffing.
The simple, ritualistic floor-tom throb that comprises the center track "Totalité" wipes the board, returning the band to the most basic, stripped-down percussive pulse. For several minutes, there is just the one drum, pounding in the blackness, but as the piece progresses, reaching tendrils of black amp fog and seething distorted electronics seep up from below, slowly overtaking the track with swarming, bacterial noise.
Then comes "Troisième Contact", and again the sound has intensified, the black metal aspect of Aluk Todolo's sound further defined as the guitars blast out in a black jet of crushing distorted tremolo-drone, swarming blackened riffing spreading out over the now thunderous drums. The guitars are a skygush of Skullflowery feedback-drone and murderous buzzsaw shred, and you can hear other dark, complex melodies unfolding beneath the roar of exploding amplifiers and rumbling detuned guitars. By the time you've reached the closer "Quatrième Contact", the album has drifted into a nightmarish form of psychedelic rock, the guitars slipping into wailing high-end chords and eerie wavering notes. In its final half, the song breaks apart into something more spacious and minimal, that blackened hypno-riff burning off into sheets of warm, shimmering guitar glazed in echo and delay. Still pretty ominous though, the band locking into a strange, desolate atmosphere in the end as an almost Morricone-like feel taking over, transforming this into something quite different than from where we started.
Track Samples:
Sample : Premier Contact
Sample : Quatrième Contact
Sample : Totalité



ALUK TODOLO   Finsternis   CD   (Utech)    14.98



Finsternis comes to us more than two years since the release of Aluk Todolo's debut Descension, where we were fully introduced to their harsh, blackened trance-rock. In the time since that disc came out, Aluk Todolo has garnered a bit of critical acclaim for their recordings, while the members spent time working with other related projects, like the acid-fried garage psych ensemble Gunslingers and French black metallers Diamatregon, whose latest album Crossroad came out last year and itself seemed to be infected with a bit of Aluk Todolo's scorched avant-rock DNA. I've been lusting for new Aluk Todolo, though, and they finally returned earlier this year with this, their latest slab of evil psychedelia and blackened, malevolent krautrock.
Divided into four sections with a shorter interlude track in the middle of the album, Finsternis (German fir "Darkness") feels as if it is tied together with a larger concept, though nothing is spelled out through the song titles. The album begins with the simple pounding trance of "Premier Contact", a steady, minimalist drum beat steadily banging away while the guitars squeal and howl, emitting controlled bursts of feedback and strange noises, the guitarists scraping and stabbing at their instruments. This physical guitar assault often sounds like it could've been something off of an experimental prepared guitar piece, if it weren't for the incessant deathmarch drumming and general atmosphere of dread that hangs over the music. After awhile, creepier riffs start to emerge, and Aluk Todolo reveal their blackened heritage' these spidery minor-key figures take over, circling around and around through gales of feedback and amp noise. And it leads right into "Deuxième Contact", which stumbles for a quick moment as the band erupts into a frenzied rhythmic tangle, but then settles back down into a similar metronomic pulse, the death-clock tick-tock hammering in slow motion, that sinister slithering guitar melody gradually joined by ghostly sustained notes and weird electronic sounds in the distance, leading the album into ever creepier regions. As the album deepens, the guitars transform. They slowly build, first blooming from those droning buzzing chords and strangled string noises into that creeping graveyard melody, and then from there into sudden bursts of reverb-drenched psychedelic shred, and morose, blackened riffing.
The simple, ritualistic floor-tom throb that comprises the center track "Totalité" wipes the board, returning the band to the most basic, stripped-down percussive pulse. For several minutes, there is just the one drum, pounding in the blackness, but as the piece progresses, reaching tendrils of black amp fog and seething distorted electronics seep up from below, slowly overtaking the track with swarming, bacterial noise.
Then comes "Troisième Contact", and again the sound has intensified, the black metal aspect of Aluk Todolo's sound further defined as the guitars blast out in a black jet of crushing distorted tremolo-drone, swarming blackened riffing spreading out over the now thunderous drums. The guitars are a skygush of Skullflowery feedback-drone and murderous buzzsaw shred, and you can hear other dark, complex melodies unfolding beneath the roar of exploding amplifiers and rumbling detuned guitars. By the time you've reached the closer "Quatrième Contact", the album has drifted into a nightmarish form of psychedelic rock, the guitars slipping into wailing high-end chords and eerie wavering notes. In its final half, the song breaks apart into something more spacious and minimal, that blackened hypno-riff burning off into sheets of warm, shimmering guitar glazed in echo and delay. Still pretty ominous though, the band locking into a strange, desolate atmosphere in the end as an almost Morricone-like feel taking over, transforming this into something quite different than from where we started.
Track Samples:
Sample : Premier Contact
Sample : Quatrième Contact
Sample : Totalité



ALUK TODOLO   self-titled   7" VINYL   (Public Guilt)    6.98

self-titled IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Aluk Todolo's 7" is available again, repressed in a limited run of two hundred copies for their recent East Coast tour (which slayed; I caught the band in Baltimore at Golden West Cafe a few weeks ago with Darsombra and Lussuria, and they had me completely zoned by the end of their set), with hand-stamped labels and no obi-strip this time.
Featuring members of such esteemed French black metal iconoclasts as Vediog Svaor and Diamatregon, Aluk Todolo's debut EP is an amazing, occult-tinged eruption of heavy drone/Kraut/trance rock that uses the bands driving motorik formations to explore transcendental consciousness and trance-like states. Each song on this 7" is identified with only an arcane set of runes, and the compositions are based on music conjured during Aluk Todolo's live improvised sessions. The A side sports a rhythmic drone rock jam that builds into sheets of guitar sound similiar to Rhys Chatham overlaid with recordings of legendary occultist Aleister Crowley. On the B side, the band generates a powerful krautrock influenced number that pulsates like a darker Circle/AMT jam. The riff is totally trance inducing before it fades into a cavernous grey drone, then exploding suddenly back into full-on heavy hypno rock. This EP is a killer debut, and I'm dying to hear more from this band. Aluk Todolo's take on kraut/drone influenced heavy psych rock imbues the music with the sort of bleak blackness that you'd expect from their black metal projects. There's parts of their jams that make me think of the obvious modern heavy hitters in the field of heavy trance-psyche, like the aforementioned Acid Mothers Temple and Cirlce, as well as Circle side project Pharoah Overlord, as Aluk Todolo can get pretty heavy...but I also hear that Rhys Chatham/Robert Poss/Band Of Susans brand of overloaded guitar drone in parts of these songs that push the intensity level even further. Awesome stuff, highly recommended. Our buddy J.R. at Public Guilt did a killer job of presenting this EP as well, packaging the 7" in a simple but effective glossy gatefold sleeve printed in silver and grey inks, with cabalistic symbols and photography.


ALUK TODOLO   Ordre   10" VINYL   (Ajna Offensive)    14.98

Ordre IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

The latest slab of charred, blackened psych from France's mysterious Aluk Todolo comes via the fine Ajna Offensive imprint, and it's a superb new dose of their intense occult-fueled hypno rock. Well, not quite new...this long track, here split into to halves across the two sides of the record, was actually recorded several years ago, back around the same time that they were recording their excellent debut album Descension, but was never made available until now. If you're a fan of that album, this delivers the same corrosive black pulse, with deceptively simple drumming locking into a heavy trance-state as the band pushes through hideous tar-pit bass throb and caustic guitar noise that undergoes a series of transformations over the course of the record.
The record begins with the band fading in gradually, the scrape and huzz of the guitars drifting in over a rickety quasi-break beat. The guitars and feedback swirl with other, less identifiable noises, bits of industrial scrape and broken-down crackle, and there seem to be strings or keyboards or something along those lines droning and drifting over it all. The sound is abrasive and creepy but also quite hypnotic, the shambling rhythm resembling something from Scorn as it lopes through the shifting clouds of sonic detritus and metallic creak. As this goes on, the different noisy elements move around, allowing bits of head-nodding throb to peer through all of the murkiness, and there are some vocals that take form at different points, a deep growl that intones strange mangled incantations within the caustic, chaotic noise. This all burns off about halfway through the side, and changes into a slightly more controlled dirge. The drums are still shuffling and clanking along, but the noisy elements are replaced by a searing distorted noise that is looped over and over, until the band once again shifts gears at the end and lurches into an aggressive mid-tempo krautrock groove. Heavy throbbing bass and sheets of guitar skree and pounding motorik drums guide the song into it's final minutes.
The second side is much more threatening and assaultive; as soon as it begins, the band is locked into a grinding, off-time almost tribal workout, the over-modulated bass rumbling and buzzing around the feedback howl and scrape of the guitar, taking shape as an industrialized trance-rock workout. The sound here at first seems to feel much less hypnotic, and instead unleashes an ever-changing, always shifting cloud of metallic buzz and grinding noise and far-off clang over and around the hammer-clang rhythm of the band. It's as malevolent sounding as anything that these guys have put on record in the past, and as it goes on, it does begin to reveal a murderous trance-like quality, still very rooted in a classic psychedelic krautrock influence but taking that sound and blowing it out into a blackened, heavily distorted, thoroughly evil sound of it's own. At the end of the b-side, Aluk Todolo once more transforms the song, this last time into a slow, warbling dronescape filled with echoing guitar chords buzzing and drifting through billowing feedback and washes of murky guitar noise while a single bass drum pounds away slowly in the background.
Like all of their other releases, this comes bound in strange occult-influenced artwork, and is pressed on thick black vinyl.


ALUK TODOLO   Finsternis   CD   (Ajna Offensive)    12.98



Originally released on CD and LP by Utech and Public Guilt respectively, the second album from French necro / hypno-rockers Aluk Todolo is now back in print via The Ajna Offensive/Norma Evangelium Diaboli, on both formats with revised artwork. The CD version is now presented in a six-panel digipack, while the Lp comes on 180 gram vinyl. Here's the original review for the Utech version from when we had that in stock:
Finsternis comes to us more than two years since the release of Aluk Todolo's debut Descension, where we were fully introduced to their harsh, blackened trance-rock. In the time since that disc came out, Aluk Todolo has garnered a bit of critical acclaim for their recordings, while the members spent time working with other related projects, like the acid-fried garage psych ensemble Gunslingers and French black metallers Diamatregon, whose latest album Crossroad came out last year and itself seemed to be infected with a bit of Aluk Todolo's scorched avant-rock DNA. I've been lusting for new Aluk Todolo, though, and they finally returned earlier this year with this, their latest slab of evil psychedelia and blackened, malevolent krautrock.
Divided into four sections with a shorter interlude track in the middle of the album, Finsternis (German fir "Darkness") feels as if it is tied together with a larger concept, though nothing is spelled out through the song titles. The album begins with the simple pounding trance of "Premier Contact", a steady, minimalist drum beat steadily banging away while the guitars squeal and howl, emitting controlled bursts of feedback and strange noises, the guitarists scraping and stabbing at their instruments. This physical guitar assault often sounds like it could've been something off of an experimental prepared guitar piece, if it weren't for the incessant deathmarch drumming and general atmosphere of dread that hangs over the music. After awhile, creepier riffs start to emerge, and Aluk Todolo reveal their blackened heritage' these spidery minor-key figures take over, circling around and around through gales of feedback and amp noise. And it leads right into "Deuxième Contact", which stumbles for a quick moment as the band erupts into a frenzied rhythmic tangle, but then settles back down into a similar metronomic pulse, the death-clock tick-tock hammering in slow motion, that sinister slithering guitar melody gradually joined by ghostly sustained notes and weird electronic sounds in the distance, leading the album into ever creepier regions. As the album deepens, the guitars transform. They slowly build, first blooming from those droning buzzing chords and strangled string noises into that creeping graveyard melody, and then from there into sudden bursts of reverb-drenched psychedelic shred, and morose, blackened riffing.
The simple, ritualistic floor-tom throb that comprises the center track "Totalité" wipes the board, returning the band to the most basic, stripped-down percussive pulse. For several minutes, there is just the one drum, pounding in the blackness, but as the piece progresses, reaching tendrils of black amp fog and seething distorted electronics seep up from below, slowly overtaking the track with swarming, bacterial noise.
Then comes "Troisième Contact", and again the sound has intensified, the black metal aspect of Aluk Todolo's sound further defined as the guitars blast out in a black jet of crushing distorted tremolo-drone, swarming blackened riffing spreading out over the now thunderous drums. The guitars are a skygush of Skullflowery feedback-drone and murderous buzzsaw shred, and you can hear other dark, complex melodies unfolding beneath the roar of exploding amplifiers and rumbling detuned guitars. By the time you've reached the closer "Quatrième Contact", the album has drifted into a nightmarish form of psychedelic rock, the guitars slipping into wailing high-end chords and eerie wavering notes. In its final half, the song breaks apart into something more spacious and minimal, that blackened hypno-riff burning off into sheets of warm, shimmering guitar glazed in echo and delay. Still pretty ominous though, the band locking into a strange, desolate atmosphere in the end as an almost Morricone-like feel taking over, transforming this into something quite different than from where we started.
Track Samples:
Sample : ÿþTotalité
Sample : ÿþQuatrième Contact
Sample : Premier Contact



ALUK TODOLO   Finsternis   LP   (Ajna Offensive)    16.99



Originally released on CD and LP by Utech and Public Guilt respectively, the second album from French necro / hypno-rockers Aluk Todolo is now back in print via The Ajna Offensive/Norma Evangelium Diaboli, on both formats with revised artwork. The CD version is now presented in a six-panel digipack, while the Lp comes on 180 gram vinyl. Here's the original review for the Utech version from when we had that in stock:
Finsternis comes to us more than two years since the release of Aluk Todolo's debut Descension, where we were fully introduced to their harsh, blackened trance-rock. In the time since that disc came out, Aluk Todolo has garnered a bit of critical acclaim for their recordings, while the members spent time working with other related projects, like the acid-fried garage psych ensemble Gunslingers and French black metallers Diamatregon, whose latest album Crossroad came out last year and itself seemed to be infected with a bit of Aluk Todolo's scorched avant-rock DNA. I've been lusting for new Aluk Todolo, though, and they finally returned earlier this year with this, their latest slab of evil psychedelia and blackened, malevolent krautrock.
Divided into four sections with a shorter interlude track in the middle of the album, Finsternis (German fir "Darkness") feels as if it is tied together with a larger concept, though nothing is spelled out through the song titles. The album begins with the simple pounding trance of "Premier Contact", a steady, minimalist drum beat steadily banging away while the guitars squeal and howl, emitting controlled bursts of feedback and strange noises, the guitarists scraping and stabbing at their instruments. This physical guitar assault often sounds like it could've been something off of an experimental prepared guitar piece, if it weren't for the incessant deathmarch drumming and general atmosphere of dread that hangs over the music. After awhile, creepier riffs start to emerge, and Aluk Todolo reveal their blackened heritage' these spidery minor-key figures take over, circling around and around through gales of feedback and amp noise. And it leads right into "Deuxième Contact", which stumbles for a quick moment as the band erupts into a frenzied rhythmic tangle, but then settles back down into a similar metronomic pulse, the death-clock tick-tock hammering in slow motion, that sinister slithering guitar melody gradually joined by ghostly sustained notes and weird electronic sounds in the distance, leading the album into ever creepier regions. As the album deepens, the guitars transform. They slowly build, first blooming from those droning buzzing chords and strangled string noises into that creeping graveyard melody, and then from there into sudden bursts of reverb-drenched psychedelic shred, and morose, blackened riffing.
The simple, ritualistic floor-tom throb that comprises the center track "Totalité" wipes the board, returning the band to the most basic, stripped-down percussive pulse. For several minutes, there is just the one drum, pounding in the blackness, but as the piece progresses, reaching tendrils of black amp fog and seething distorted electronics seep up from below, slowly overtaking the track with swarming, bacterial noise.
Then comes "Troisième Contact", and again the sound has intensified, the black metal aspect of Aluk Todolo's sound further defined as the guitars blast out in a black jet of crushing distorted tremolo-drone, swarming blackened riffing spreading out over the now thunderous drums. The guitars are a skygush of Skullflowery feedback-drone and murderous buzzsaw shred, and you can hear other dark, complex melodies unfolding beneath the roar of exploding amplifiers and rumbling detuned guitars. By the time you've reached the closer "Quatrième Contact", the album has drifted into a nightmarish form of psychedelic rock, the guitars slipping into wailing high-end chords and eerie wavering notes. In its final half, the song breaks apart into something more spacious and minimal, that blackened hypno-riff burning off into sheets of warm, shimmering guitar glazed in echo and delay. Still pretty ominous though, the band locking into a strange, desolate atmosphere in the end as an almost Morricone-like feel taking over, transforming this into something quite different than from where we started.
Track Samples:
Sample : ÿþTotalité
Sample : ÿþQuatrième Contact
Sample : Premier Contact



ALUMINUM NOISE   Outnumbered And Fatigued: Romantic Music   CDR   (Mechanoise Labs)    11.98



ALUMINUM NOISE is Jason Crumer, also of Southern crust-grinders FACEDOWNINSHIT and cult label Sacred Noise, here embarking on an isolationist drone/noise/dark ambient wave that moves between superb, Aural Hypnox-style ritual drones, and BROOTAL tempests of distortion swarm, haunted with angelic choir voices or roof-caving power noise loops. This is apparently the last recorded work from ALUMINUM NOISE, created between 2001-2002, but is by far the best stuff we've ever heard from Crumer. Layers of menacing whirr and distant industrial clatter blend together, creating extremely evocative and unsettling (actually, downright frightening) sound fields that violently erupt into crushing rhythmic harsh noise jams. Excellent. This is a nearly 70-minute long private-press disc packaged in full color jewel case setup with artwork by James Keeler of WILT, and limited to a single edition of 100 copies, of which we only nabbed a few.


ALUNAH   White Hoarhound   CD   (Psychedoomelic)    12.98











Track Samples:
Sample : Oak Ritual II
Sample : Demeter's Grief
Sample : Belial's Fjord



ALVARS ORKESTER   Recycled Music Series   CASSETTE   (RRRecords)    4.98



The European psych-noise group Alvars Orkester delivered their installment in the Recycled Music Series from RRR in 2005, and this was one of the first new releases from the legendary outfit to show up in quite awhile. The Swedish duo started out in 1987 with members Joachim Nordwall and Jan Svensson exploring the more psychedelic, drug-damaged side of experimental, analog post-industrial music, and they created an impressive body of work that stretched from highly creepy dronescapes to worlds of sweeping deep-space electronic weirdness. The music of Alvars Orkester has always had a dark, paranoid tint to it, and the tracks on this Recycled Series tape could easily pass for a lost expiermental horror movie score. It's a murky sonic realm squirming with warbling tape sludge, droning high pitched feedback, organic sounds that resemble alien creatures swarming inside a maze of human guts, deep buzzing tones that go through subtle shifts in pitch and speed, delicate little test-tone melodies, and murky, muddy waves of evil distortion sweeping out in oscillating concentric patterns. Really creepy, though sometimes quite pretty in a weird, kosmiche sort of way, a mixture of Throbbing Gristle, dismebodied Hawkwind fx, and Japanese psych blasters CCCC. This is one of the more transportational entries in the Recycled Music Series, for sure. And as with all entries in this infamous series, the tape and jacket are recycled random pop cassettes that RRR has covered in duct tape and scrawled on in black magic marker.


AMBARCHI, OREN / STEPHEN O'MALLEY / RANDALL DUNN   Shade Themes From Kairos   2 x LP   (Drag City)    27.00














AMBARCHI,OREN   Triste   CD   (Southern Lord)    14.98



A complete live performance from Australian guitar explorer Oren Ambarchi that took place in Holland in 2001, Triste was originally released as a vinyl-only title from Touch Records in 2003 and has long been out of print. Triste, offered in two parts, is a superbly realized piece of understated guitar-based minimalism, epic in length but delicate, fragile notes plucked and suspended in midair and left to decay, overtones floating dreamlike across Ambarchi's open spaces. Sparse and slow burning melodies appear, sad and forlorn, as the minutes drift by. By thirty minutes into the piece, subsonic bass frequencies and sublime feedback shimmer emerges and contorts into glitchy out buzzings and crackling currents and the angelic hum of a shorted instrument cable, woven together into rich shimmering drones and high end skree. Absolutely gorgeous. The original LP version on TOuch came with a 7" of extended remixes of Triste by Tom Rechion of the Los Angeles Free Music Society, and these tracks are also included on this CD...these are dense interpretations of the source material, yet just as lovely as Rechion adds Hammond organ, tape loops, synthesizer and cds to the mix, taking the originals and building thick melodic dronescapes, stacked with layers of warbling electronics and woozy melodies. Southern Lord has done a killer job of repackaging the original idea-label 220gsm/stoughton heavy-stock aqueous gloss sleeve edition into a stoughton cd-gatefold (retaining the original tina frank/inwirements design). Highly recommended.


AMBER ASYLUM   Garden Of Love   CD   (Paradigms)    12.98

Garden Of Love IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Up-and-coming imprint Paradigms started off with this CD re-issue of the limited edition 10" from SF chamber-doom ensemble AMBER ASYLUM, who now boast members of trance-BM legends WEAKLING. Garden Of Love is the first new recording from Amber Asylum in years, a welcome return of their gloomy, moody string/horn/heavy arrangements moving languidly over a bed of voice, trumpet, viola, cellos, piano, percussion, etc. This disc has the original 4 tracks from the 10" vinyl, plus a previously unreleased song called "Serenade". Following their previous recordings on Relapse and Neurot, these songs are heavy, brooding works, working an almost funeral-doom weight into neo-classical forms. The heaviest points are found on the first two tracks, the first channeling those SKEPTICISM/UNTIL DEATH OVERTAKES ME vibes through somber string arrangements and ghostly operatic vocals, and the second song delving into an ominous cello/stabbed strings construct that wouldn't be out of place on an early 80's Argento soundtrack. The following tunes ("Stillpoint part 1 and 2" and "Serenade") are more delicate, beautiful, even fragile, string heavy textures with Kris Force's ethereal singing, like Godspeed You! Black Emperor mixed with Cocteau Twins floating on sheets of cello drones and clouds of reverb. Excellent Paradigms presentaion in a color wallet sleeve slid inside of a sealed brown envelope with hand-stamped artwork, in a strict edition of 750 copies.


AMBER ASYLUM   Still Point   CD   (Profound Lore)    13.98



Oh yes, we've been waiting for years for new music from Amber Asylum, whose mesmerizing, gloomy chamber music has always captivated us here at C-Blast. Still Point is the first new full-length release from the ladies of Amber Asylum since 2000, as a matter of fact. That baffles us, as Kris Force and company have always created amazingly beautiful music that combines the lush introspective gloom of later Swans material with a unique combination of neo-classical, gothic, and post-rock elements. Why there aren't legions of adoring fans clamoring for more Amber Asylum, we'll never understand. Headed by founding member and classically trained multi-instrumentalist Kris Force (who Neurosis fans will know from her contributing pretty much all of the string arrangements to Times Of Grace), Amber Asylum's Still Point offers nine moody tracks of austere, elegant chamber doom, with ghostly operatic female vocals gliding on lush droning violins and cellos, doomy folk-dirges like "Garden Of Love" and "Outer Dark" groaning icily, everything draped in somber, melancholy atmosphere. "Diminishing Returns" is a 7-minute flurry of eerie, droning strings, and "North" unveils an ominous horror movie score heavy with pulsating piano notes and minor key creep stalked by scraping electronic tones. On the album closer "12 Months", Amber Asylum unveil more of their gorgeous austere vocal harmonies that gradually become lost in the wash of cymbals crahing like tide over Jackie Perez-Gratz's cello. When the deep, resonant bass guitar and drumming eventually appears, the music takes on a heavy weight almost like hearing Neurosis' quieter moments being interpreted by a classical orchestra. It's all so heartbreakingly beautiful and downcast. Features a cover of Richard Thompson’s folk classic "The Great Valerio", with acoustic guitars by John Cobbett from Bay Area metallers Hammers Of Misfortune, and Tim Greeb from The Fucking Champs also shows up to contribute guitar to Still Point. Presented in a 4-panel gatefold case with metallic printing and nicely abstract imagery of cloudy greys and silvers.
Track Samples:
Sample : Black Pheobe RE4



AMBER ASYLUM   Bitter River   CD   (Profound Lore)    13.98



Back with their second album for current label home Profound Lore, Amber Asylum delivers more of their atmospheric dark chamber music that I've been infatuated with since first hearing The Natural Philosophy of Love. Band leader and multi-instrumentalist Kris Force has led her group through several label changes and lineup fluctuations over the past decade, but that's never diminished the beautiful power of Amber Asylum's music, which is still some of the most haunting and moving chamber-ensemble music being made right now. Combining gothic atmosphere and neo-classical arrangements, the group is able to weave sounds that are as dark and grim as anything from Neurosis (a band that AA's Kris Force has collaborated with in the past), while possessing all of the fragile introspective beauty as the later Swans material. Bitter River features another ten tracks of moody chamber-rock formed with layers of piano, guitar, violins, synthesizers, cello, viola, flute and percussion, with Kris Force lending her haunting voice to a couple of songs. Their gothic chamber sound is infused with dark melodies that feel like they were culled from ancient folk songs, and elsewhere the band weaves a hazy veil of electronics and strings that creates a heavy psychedelic effect as Amber ASylum's music seems to waver like a heat mirage in the air. The album also features some cool guest appareances: Eric Wood from Bastard Noise/Man Is The Bastard contributes bass and oscillator to several songs on Bitter River, Chiyo from Noothgrush performs percussion on "Twilight" and "Auger Of Thrall", Sigridd Sheie (Hammers Of Misfortune) plays flute, and legendary Swans chantreuse Jarboe contributes some spoken word narration on the eerie fifteen-minute epic "Nocturne". As with every new album that Amber Asylum puts out, this is absolutely gorgeous, moody and cinematic and highly recommended. The beautiful six-panel digipack features artwork from David D'andrea and includes a foldout instert.
Track Samples:
Sample : Twilight
Sample : Nocturne
Sample : Mountain Haze
Sample : Bounding Main



AMEBIX   The Power Remains   LP   (Skuld)    16.98

The Power Remains IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Hot on the tailwinds of news that the mighty Amebix are reuniting comes a bunch of reissues, including several on Alternative Tentacles that we'll have listed in the next store update. The POwer Remains, however, was released by the German peace punk label Skuld, first in 1993 and then popping back up every few years or so in a new vinyl repress.
Amebix are a band that it's hard not to gush over, if you are a fan of their massively influential apocalyptic punk-metal. The UK outfit was crucial in the formation of what we call "crustcore", and their influence is felt in everyone from Neurosis, Sepultura, Napalm Death, Tragedy, Dystopia, Gallhammer and about a million other crusty, black-denim wearing, patch-covered, anarchist punk rockers across the globe. Amebix's music is still incredibly moving and dramatic, and the visions of apocalypse and skies filled with black clouds of war still have a haunting power. The Bristol band stood in contrast to the stark primal power of Discharge, weilding a sound that was far more atmospheric and weird while simultaneously being some of the heaviest music in the world at the time by combining the influence of Venom, Hawkwind, early Killing Joke, Motorhead and Black Sabbath into something totally unique. A prescient meeting of proto-speed metal, post punk, psychedelia, synthesizers and gloomy dirge, played by a bunch of guys who truly lived the life that they were singing about in their tales of crumbling Western society and oppressive government control, eating out of dumpsters, living in squatted buildings, and likewise existing on the outer fringes of the grid.
The Power Remains isn't an actual Amebix album but rather a collection of studio and live tracks that were captured at the height of what I consider the band's creative prowess, right around the release of Arise and Monolith. The four studio tracks are fucking amazing to hear now, massive metallic gloom-punk anthems that sound like the dark gothy post-punk of Killing Joke and Joy Division fused to the thunderous metal of Celtic Frost/Hellhammer, filled with crazed guitar solos, buzzing drone synths, beautiful, chiming melodic guitar hooks that border on pop ("Last Will And Testament"), the Baron's awesome Lemmy-style croak, and some of the best lyrics ever written from the stance of young people living under the shadow of nuclear holocaust in the 1980's: "I awoke in a sweat from the American Dream, They were loading the bomb bay of the iron bird, Giving their blood to the Doomsday Machine I screamed into the wind my goodbye to the world...". Heavy stuff. The live side of this LP is just as crucial - I'm usually not a big fan of live punk albums from this era, but fuck, the Amebix set from 1987 that is documented on the b-side is incendiary, four awesome psyched-out thrashers ("Nobody's Driving", "Fallen From Grace", "Arise", and "Drink And Be Merry") with great recording quality and amazing clean passages that were way, WAY ahead of their time. A essential document of unique, doom-laden endtime punk whose power has yet to diminish.
On black vinyl in a full color jacket with a xeroxed insert.


AMEBIX   No Sanctuary   CD   (Alternative Tentacles)    14.98

No Sanctuary IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

One of the most important and influential bands to energe from the UK anarcho-punk scene in the wake of Crass, Amebix were also the heaviest, and it's no secret that Amebix were a huge influence on the burgeoning thrash/speed metal sound that developed in the 1980's. Bands like Sepultura, Nausea and Neurosis were all heavily influenced by the weird, apocalyptic punk that Amebix forged over the course of their existence. The members of Amebix were squatters, actually living the squalid, strung-out existence that they sang about in their songs, and their lifestyle and desperation gave their music a grave, apocalyptic power that hardly any other band has been able to replicate. And Amebix's sound was pretty unique, a combination of heavy metal, punk and biker rock influenced by Venom and early Killing Joke, Black Sabbath and Motorhead and the grime of late 70's punk. Their darkly anthemicsongs tended towards chugging, sludgy dirges with tribal drumming, cold droning synthesizers, and growling vocals; utterly bleak and doom-ridden punk that didn't reach the high velocity of hardcore, but was immensely heavier than any hardcore band.
No Sanctuary features early Amebix recordings that have been locked up for the past twenty five years, previously only heard as grungy, nth-generation bootlegs. Available officially for the first time, this reissue on Alternative Tentacles is an essential piece of punk/metal history, as powerful today as ever, maybe even moreso as Amebix's apocalyptic visions synch up eerily with the current state of the world. Recorded between 1982 and 1984, the No Sanctuary, Who's The Enemy and Winter EPs are all collected here, remastered and packaged in a digipack case with a 12-page booklet filled with lots of fantastic Amebix artwork, those stark, eerie black and white images almost as important to the Amebix experience as the music itself. One of my favorite Amebix songs ever is included here, "Sunshine Ward", five minutes of misery and gloom that starts off with deep, melodic singing that reminds me of Jaz from Killing Joke over a bleak guitar melody, then mutates into warped proto-thrash. Crucial.
Track Samples:
Sample : No Gods No Masters
Sample : Progress?
Sample : Sunshine Ward



AMEBIX   No Sanctuary   LP + 7"   (Alternative Tentacles)    17.98

No Sanctuary IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Also available on LP, thick black vinyl with a bonus 7" that has the tracks "Winter" and "Beginning Of The End", and comes with an insert sheet that features the liner notes and artwork from the CD booklet.
One of the most important and influential bands to energe from the UK anarcho-punk scene in the wake of Crass, Amebix were also the heaviest, and it's no secret that Amebix were a huge influence on the burgeoning thrash/speed metal sound that developed in the 1980's. Bands like Sepultura, Nausea and Neurosis were all heavily influenced by the weird, apocalyptic punk that Amebix forged over the course of their existence. The members of Amebix were squatters, actually living the squalid, strung-out existence that they sang about in their songs, and their lifestyle and desperation gave their music a grave, apocalyptic power that hardly any other band has been able to replicate. And Amebix's sound was pretty unique, a combination of heavy metal, punk and biker rock influenced by Venom and early Killing Joke, Black Sabbath and Motorhead and the grime of late 70's punk. Their darkly anthemicsongs tended towards chugging, sludgy dirges with tribal drumming, cold droning synthesizers, and growling vocals; utterly bleak and doom-ridden punk that didn't reach the high velocity of hardcore, but was immensely heavier than any hardcore band.
No Sanctuary features early Amebix recordings that have been locked up for the past twenty five years, previously only heard as grungy, nth-generation bootlegs. Available officially for the first time, this reissue on Alternative Tentacles is an essential piece of punk/metal history, as powerful today as ever, maybe even moreso as Amebix's apocalyptic visions synch up eerily with the current state of the world. Recorded between 1982 and 1984, the No Sanctuary, Who's The Enemy and Winter EPs are all collected here, remastered and packaged in a digipack case with a 12-page booklet filled with lots of fantastic Amebix artwork, those stark, eerie black and white images almost as important to the Amebix experience as the music itself. One of my favorite Amebix songs ever is included here, "Sunshine Ward", five minutes of misery and gloom that starts off with deep, melodic singing that reminds me of Jaz from Killing Joke over a bleak guitar melody, then mutates into warped proto-thrash. Crucial.
Track Samples:
Sample : No Gods No Masters
Sample : Progress?
Sample : Sunshine Ward



AMEBIX   Monolith   CD   (Heavy Metal Records)    16.99



Monolith was the final studio album from Amebix, and it has been a tough one to find in recent years. Released in 1987 on the British label Heavy Metal Records, the album has intermittently found itself out of print, but it now seems to be available once again in the wake of recent rumblings from the mighty Amebix. An immense influence on just about every single punk and metal band with apocalyptic leanings that has formed since the mid-1980's, Amebix had a huge impact on the sound of everyone from Godflesh and Winter to Neurosis and Sepultura. And out of all of their albums, Monolith is by far the heaviest and most metallic; coming towards the end of the decade like it did, the album feels like it absorbed some of the thrash and speed metal sounds of the time, the same sound that Amebix paradoxically helped influence themselves.
Truth be told, Monolith is also the one Amebix record that many fans in the punk scene derided as being Amebix's "metal" album, a blight that dogged almost every punk and hardcore band in the latter half of the '80s. But even the early Amebix records had a metallic edge to them compared to other UK punk bands at the time, and the band was influenced just as much by Venom and Motorhead as they were by the UK peace punk scene and the apocalyptic post-punk of Killing Joke, so hearing the more complicated and heavier gloom/thrash/crust of Monolith seemed like a perfectly natural evolution to me. It's urgent and ferocious, taking that combined Motorhead/Killing Joke influence that defined their signature sound, and making it heavier and thrashier, adding in lots of speedy shredding guitar solos and thunderous double-bass drumming, and the lyrics are some of the finest endtime visions that Amebix ever spewed: "I awoke in a sweat from the American Dream, They were loading the bomb bay of the iron bird, Giving their blood to the Doomsday Machine..." and "Meatwagon come, borne on the rays of the morning sun...". These are still powerful images to me. The songs themselves are more intricate as well, with huge droning riffs opening up into atmospheric instrumental passages, and the synthesizers and keyboards are more prominent than on the previous albums, and together with the spacey Hawkwindy effects that appear in songs like "I.C.B.M." and the title track, makes for strange, psychedelic post-apocalyptic punk-metal that was completely unique when this album was first released.
Plus, the album artwork on this reissue of Monolith is my favorite in the Amebix catalog, with its demonic mutant beast rising up out of the surface of a cracked and scorched wasteland, sporting numerous fanged mouths like a Giger painting on PCP. So cool! This artwork appears on the front of the o-card that the case comes in, and the disc also includes the original artwork in the booklet.
Essential fans of Amebix's doomed post-nuke visions and haunting crustmetal!
Track Samples:
Sample : AMEBIX-Monolith
Sample : AMEBIX-Monolith
Sample : AMEBIX-Monolith



AMEBIX   Redux   CD   (Profane Existence)    7.50



While we're waiting for the mucho-anticipated new album from the reformed Amebix, the highly influential UK crust-metal trio has released this Ep of older tracks that have been re-recorded by the band's new lineup that includes new drummer Roy Mayorga, who in the past has sat behind the kit for bands ranging from NYC crust punkers Nausea, nu-metallers Soulfly, the Slipknot spin-off Stone Sour, and Hare Krisha rockers Shelter. More unlikely as an Amebix reunion might have seemed when this was first announced a while back, the band sounds absolutely intense revisiting these classic jams, with a heavier and more metallic attack and a much thicker recording than they had on their original albums from the 1980's. Their original sound, which was essentially a combination of Killing Joke's apocalyptic post-punk and the gnarled thrash of Motorhead, went on to be one of the most influential sounds to come out of the UK underground, and that end-of-the-world vibe and crushing power hasn't faded a bit to my ears after hearing this.
A distant war-horn heralds the arrival of opener "Arise", one of Amebix's most classic songs, here reconfigured as a crushing, thrash metal take on the original with that massive galloping riff sounding heavier than ever, those deep scorched Lemmy-like vocals still chilling to hear, an icy synthesizer droning in the background through the entire song, a punishing end-time crustmetal anthem that ends amidst the sound of otherworldly industrial chaos. Another Amebix classic, "Winter", begins with air-raid siren keyboards before kicking into that awesome panic-filled bass line joined by rolling tribal drums and The Baron's scorched howl, and it's followed by the chugging stentorian riffage and surging waves of drum battery of "Chain Reaction" (originally off of their Monolith album, and the most obviously re-tooled track here), this new version featuring some awesome, weirdly processed (almost power electronics style) vocals and backing orchestral synths and choral voices that sound fucking massive!
Track Samples:
Sample : Chain Reaction
Sample : Winter



AMEBIX   Redux   12"   (Profane Existence)    11.98



The comeback Ep from Amebix is also available on vinyl, packaged with a big embroidered patch and a download card that accesses an MP3 copy of the recording as well as a bonus live version of the song "Progress?" that's only available here.
While we're waiting for the mucho-anticipated new album from the reformed Amebix, the highly influential UK crust-metal trio has released this Ep of older tracks that have been re-recorded by the band's new lineup that includes new drummer Roy Mayorga, who in the past has sat behind the kit for bands ranging from NYC crust punkers Nausea, nu-metallers Soulfly, the Slipknot spin-off Stone Sour, and Hare Krisha rockers Shelter. More unlikely as an Amebix reunion might have seemed when this was first announced a while back, the band sounds absolutely intense revisiting these classic jams, with a heavier and more metallic attack and a much thicker recording than they had on their original albums from the 1980's. Their original sound, which was essentially a combination of Killing Joke's apocalyptic post-punk and the gnarled thrash of Motorhead, went on to be one of the most influential sounds to come out of the UK underground, and that end-of-the-world vibe and crushing power hasn't faded a bit to my ears after hearing this.
A distant war-horn heralds the arrival of opener "Arise", one of Amebix's most classic songs, here reconfigured as a crushing, thrash metal take on the original with that massive galloping riff sounding heavier than ever, those deep scorched Lemmy-like vocals still chilling to hear, an icy synthesizer droning in the background through the entire song, a punishing end-time crustmetal anthem that ends amidst the sound of otherworldly industrial chaos. Another Amebix classic, "Winter", begins with air-raid siren keyboards before kicking into that awesome panic-filled bass line joined by rolling tribal drums and The Baron's scorched howl, and it's followed by the chugging stentorian riffage and surging waves of drum battery of "Chain Reaction" (originally off of their Monolith album, and the most obviously re-tooled track here), this new version featuring some awesome, weirdly processed (almost power electronics style) vocals and backing orchestral synths and choral voices that sound fucking massive!
Track Samples:
Sample : Chain Reaction
Sample : Winter



AMEBIX   The Power Remains   LP   (Skuld)    18.98

The Power Remains IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Back in stock!
Hot on the tailwinds of news that the mighty Amebix are reuniting comes a bunch of reissues, including several on Alternative Tentacles that we'll have listed in the next store update. The Power Remains, however, was released by the German peace punk label Skuld, first in 1993 and then popping back up every few years or so in a new vinyl repress.
Amebix are a band that it's hard not to gush over, if you are a fan of their massively influential apocalyptic punk-metal. The UK outfit was crucial in the formation of what we call "crustcore", and their influence is felt in everyone from Neurosis, Sepultura, Napalm Death, Tragedy, Dystopia, Gallhammer and about a million other crusty, black-denim wearing, patch-covered, anarchist punk rockers across the globe. Amebix's music is still incredibly moving and dramatic, and the visions of apocalypse and skies filled with black clouds of war still have a haunting power. The Bristol band stood in contrast to the stark primal power of Discharge, weilding a sound that was far more atmospheric and weird while simultaneously being some of the heaviest music in the world at the time by combining the influence of Venom, Hawkwind, early Killing Joke, Motorhead and Black Sabbath into something totally unique. A prescient meeting of proto-speed metal, post punk, psychedelia, synthesizers and gloomy dirge, played by a bunch of guys who truly lived the life that they were singing about in their tales of crumbling Western society and oppressive government control, eating out of dumpsters, living in squatted buildings, and likewise existing on the outer fringes of the grid.
The Power Remains isn't an actual Amebix album but rather a collection of studio and live tracks that were captured at the height of what I consider the band's creative prowess, right around the release of Arise and Monolith. The four studio tracks are fucking amazing to hear now, massive metallic gloom-punk anthems that sound like the dark gothy post-punk of Killing Joke and Joy Division fused to the thunderous metal of Celtic Frost/Hellhammer, filled with crazed guitar solos, buzzing drone synths, beautiful, chiming melodic guitar hooks that border on pop ("Last Will And Testament"), the Baron's awesome Lemmy-style croak, and some of the best lyrics ever written from the stance of young people living under the shadow of nuclear holocaust in the 1980's: "I awoke in a sweat from the American Dream, They were loading the bomb bay of the iron bird, Giving their blood to the Doomsday Machine I screamed into the wind my goodbye to the world...". Heavy stuff. The live side of this LP is just as crucial - I'm usually not a big fan of live punk albums from this era, but fuck, the Amebix set from 1987 that is documented on the b-side is incendiary, four awesome psyched-out thrashers ("Nobody's Driving", "Fallen From Grace", "Arise", and "Drink And Be Merry") with great recording quality and amazing clean passages that were way, WAY ahead of their time. A essential document of unique, doom-laden endtime punk whose power has yet to diminish.
On black vinyl in a full color jacket with a xeroxed insert.


AMEBIX   Monolith (Clear Vinyl)   LP   (Back On Black)    24.98



At long last, Amebix's classic second album of apocalyptic, spaced-out crust metal has been reissued on vinyl, in a gorgeous limited edition package that includes clear 180 gram vinyl, a gatefold jacket, and a limited run of 1,000 copies.
Monolith was the final studio album from Amebix, and it has been a tough one to find in recent years. Released in 1987 on the British label Heavy Metal Records, the album has intermittently found itself out of print, but it now seems to be available once again in the wake of recent rumblings from the mighty Amebix. An immense influence on just about every single punk and metal band with apocalyptic leanings that has formed since the mid-1980's, Amebix had a huge impact on the sound of everyone from Godflesh and Winter to Neurosis and Sepultura. And out of all of their albums, Monolith is by far the heaviest and most metallic; coming towards the end of the decade like it did, the album feels like it absorbed some of the thrash and speed metal sounds of the time, the same sound that Amebix paradoxically helped influence themselves.
Truth be told, Monolith is also the one Amebix record that many fans in the punk scene derided as being Amebix's "metal" album, a blight that dogged almost every punk and hardcore band in the latter half of the '80s. But even the early Amebix records had a metallic edge to them compared to other UK punk bands at the time, and the band was influenced just as much by Venom and Motorhead as they were by the UK peace punk scene and the apocalyptic post-punk of Killing Joke, so hearing the more complicated and heavier gloom/thrash/crust of Monolith seemed like a perfectly natural evolution to me. It's urgent and ferocious, taking that combined Motorhead/Killing Joke influence that defined their signature sound, and making it heavier and thrashier, adding in lots of speedy shredding guitar solos and thunderous double-bass drumming, and the lyrics are some of the finest endtime visions that Amebix ever spewed: "I awoke in a sweat from the American Dream, They were loading the bomb bay of the iron bird, Giving their blood to the Doomsday Machine..." and "Meatwagon come, borne on the rays of the morning sun...". These are still powerful images to me. The songs themselves are more intricate as well, with huge droning riffs opening up into atmospheric instrumental passages, and the synthesizers and keyboards are more prominent than on the previous albums, and together with the spacey Hawkwindy effects that appear in songs like "I.C.B.M." and the title track, makes for strange, psychedelic post-apocalyptic punk-metal that was completely unique when this album was first released.
Plus, the album artwork on this reissue of Monolith is my favorite in the Amebix catalog, with its demonic mutant beast rising up out of the surface of a cracked and scorched wasteland, sporting numerous fanged mouths like a Giger painting on PCP. So cool.
Essential fans of Amebix's doomed post-nuke visions and haunting crustmetal!
Track Samples:
Sample : AMEBIX-Monolith (Clear Vinyl)
Sample : AMEBIX-Monolith (Clear Vinyl)
Sample : AMEBIX-Monolith (Clear Vinyl)



AMEBIX   Knights Of The Black Sun   12"   (Profane Existence)    12.98



While we wait for the new album coming later this year from legendary Uk crust punks Amebix, the band has offered this tease of a 12" that came out on Profane Existence earlier this summer. More of an art object for collectors than anything, this record features just one new song, "Knights Of The Black Sun", the first new Amebix song to be released in over twenty five years. Pretty amazing that this band is once again active with a new album on the way, and naturally fans have been wondering what their new stuff would sound like. If this song is any indication of what to expect, then that upcoming Lp is going to be majestic. "Knights of The Black Sun" begins with a softly strummed guitar that picks up into a catchy, melodic riff, and then the vocals kick in, clear and bright, and actually sounding surprisingly like those of Richard Butler from the Psychedelic Furs, a deep melodic burr that adds to the strangely epic post-punk feel of the song. But then the band cranks up the power, the drums coming in with a steady beat but then rising up into a thunderous tribal rhythm, the guitars becoming more furious, and then it all comes together, the epic keyboards dropping in, the vocals shifting into that instantly recognizable charred growl. By this point, there's no mistaking the Amebix sound, although it does sound sleeker and tighter than they ever have on record, unsurprising considering the span of time since their last record and the obvious advances in recording that Amebix now have available to them. But the thunderous metallic post-punk majesty that emanates off of this song is total Amebix. The song moves through crushing doom-laden heaviness, soaring keys that have an almost Cure-like ethereal quality to them, a KILLER, moving anthemic chorus taking shape towards the end, until the song finally ends in a haze of distant feedback and sorrowful piano. Pretty fucking terrific, and makes me even more anxious to hear the comeback album that's on the way. The song takes up the a-side of this record, and on the b-side, there is a laser etching of the iconic Amebix face. This also comes with a download code that includes both a digital version of the record and a Hi Def music video for the song. Limited to two thousand copies.
Track Samples:
Sample : Knights Of The Black Sun



AMEBIX   Sonic Mass   CD   (Amebix Records)    16.98












Track Samples:
Sample : Here Come the Wolf
Sample : The Messenger
Sample : Sonic Mass, Pt. 2



AMEBIX   Sonic Mass   LP   (Amebix Records)    27.98












Track Samples:
Sample : Here Come the Wolf
Sample : The Messenger
Sample : Sonic Mass, Pt. 2



AMEBIX   Splat Head   PIN   (Profane Existence)    4.98

Splat Head IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

The Amebix fever continues here at C-Blast with the acquisition of two high-quality pins that were issued by the punks over at Profane Existence. Both of them are cool heavy-duty nickel and enamel pins, this one bearing that iconic "Splat Head" image that has adorned Amebix's records since the early 80s, one of the more recognizable images from this seminal era of apocalyptic post-punk. The pin measures roughly 3/4" across, and comes in a tiny black velvet pouch, apparently produced in a run of three hundred.





AMEBIX   Logo   PIN   (Profane Existence)    4.75

Logo IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

The Amebix fever continues here at C-Blast with the acquisition of two high-quality pins that were issued by the punks over at Profane Existence. Both of them are cool heavy-duty nickel and enamel pins, this one bearing the iconic Amebix logo that has adorned their records since the early 80; it's still one of the more recognizable band logos from this seminal era of apocalyptic post-punk. The pin measures roughly 1" across, and comes in a tiny black velvet pouch, apparently produced in a run of three hundred.





AMENRA   Mass III-II + Mass IIII   2 x CD   (Init)    14.98

Mass III-II + Mass IIII IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Finally back in print...
Like Cult Of Luna, there isn't a whole lot of mystery as to where Amenra are copping their sound from; as soon as one of their monolithic riffs kick in, there's no mistaking the Neurosis/Isis influence on their sound, and these Belgians essentially mine the heaviest elements of both - the chunky, percussive mono-chord riffing of early Isis and the slow-burning, sky-blackening riff-towers that Neurosis perfected on Through Silver In Blood. There's a reason why Amenra have gathered a fanatical cult following over in Europe, however. These guys aren't just another Neurosis ripoff band...they've taken that pounding, epic sludge and turned it into something far bleaker and more sinister than either of their influences, and I can't think of another band that has put such a crazed spin on this sound.
Back in the 1990's, several members of Amenra played in a band called Spineless that was tied in with the notorious H-8000 scene in Belgium. The H-8000 bands took the concept of combining hardcore and metal to a whole new level, and lots of the stuff that was coming out from that scene was essentially brutal thrash metal infused with a hardline straightedge and vegan philosophy. Most of the bands that were involved with that scene disappeared, but around the turn of the decade, Spineless was recreated as Amenra, taking their ferocious metalcore and jacking that into a heavy Neurosis influence. The band began to align themselves with a sort of spiritual consciousness that was later documented in a self-published, 166 page book (!), and their music evolved into a much heavier version of mid-90's Neurosis, tuning lower and adding colossal amounts of heaviness to their riffs...and their riffs were phenomenal. Definitely one of things that makes this band so great. Sure, they sound a lot like Neurosis and Isis, but they come up with riffs that are so crushing and powerful that it doesn't phase me at all. It's like hearing an evil, blackened, ultra-downtuned version of Through Silver In Blood, with freaked-out, hysterical vocals a la Jacob Bannon from Converge and an extremely economical approach to the riffs. A single song (which rarely comes in under ten minutes) usually centers around a single, punishing riff that the band coils tighter and tighter as the song progresses, and their music takes on a hypnotic intensity through their use of repetition, even when they launch into a fucking bludgeoning riff that sounds like Godflesh busting out some Kyuss at 12 rpms, blotting out the sun with the sheer mass of their sound. And they add some cool unique touches, like ethereal female vocals and deep, dramatic male singing that sounds a little like Maynard Keenan from Tool, passages of dark jangly indie rock that build into heavier sections, and on their latest album IIII, some slightly more complex and progressive song arrangements. They never sacrifice the heaviness, though. Ever.
Previous Amenra releases were released on European labels like Hypertension and have been pretty tough to get over here in the U.S., especially without having to pay an arm and a leg for them, but Init has put together an immense double disc set that collects both 2005's III and 2008's IIII as well as their two song EP from 2003 and an additional track that had previously only been available on vinyl. This set is a killer collection of Amenra's best recordings to date - both of these albums rank as some of the heaviest sludge/doom metal I've ever heard, and all of this stuff is essential listening for anyone who's already hooked on their punishing black hypno-tribal-dirge.
Killer packaging that has the two discs secured inside of a customized z-fold digipack that includes most of the artwork from both albums, and the digipack itself fits inside of a slipcase. Very cool.
Track Samples:
Sample : De Dodenakker
Sample : Razoreater
Sample : Thurifer. Et Clamor Ad Te Veniat



AMENRA   III   2 x LP   (Music Fear Satan)    19.98

III IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

A new re-issue of the first album from Belgian sludge metallers Amenra, featuring two songs off of their Mass II Ep as a bonus (all of which also appeared together on the first disc of the double CD collection that came out on Init a few years ago).
Like Cult Of Luna, there isn't a whole lot of mystery as to where Amenra are copping their sound from; as soon as one of their monolithic riffs kick in, there's no mistaking the Neurosis/Isis influence on their sound, and these Belgians essentially mine the heaviest elements of both - the chunky, percussive mono-chord riffing of early Isis and the slow-burning, sky-blackening riff-towers that Neurosis perfected on Through Silver In Blood. There's a reason why Amenra have gathered a fanatical cult following over in Europe, however. These guys aren't just another Neurosis rip-off band...they've taken that pounding, epic sludge and turned it into something far bleaker and more sinister than either of their influences, and I can't think of another band that has put such a crazed spin on this sound.
Back in the 1990's, several members of Amenra played in a band called Spineless that was tied in with the notorious H-8000 scene in Belgium. The H-8000 bands took the concept of combining hardcore and metal to a whole new level, and lots of the stuff that was coming out from that scene was essentially brutal thrash metal infused with a hardliner straightedge and vegan philosophy. Most of the bands that were involved with that scene disappeared, but around the turn of the decade, Spineless was recreated as Amenra, taking their ferocious metalcore and jacking that into a heavy Neurosis influence. The band began to align themselves with a sort of spiritual consciousness that was later documented in a self-published, 166 page book (!), and their music evolved into a much heavier version of mid-90's Neurosis, tuning lower and adding colossal amounts of heaviness to their riffs...and their riffs were phenomenal. Definitely one of things that make this band so great. Sure, they sound a lot like Neurosis and Isis, but they come up with riffs that are so crushing and powerful that it doesn't faze me at all. It's like hearing an evil, blackened, ultra-down tuned version of Through Silver In Blood, with freaked-out, hysterical vocals a la Jacob Bannon from Converge and an extremely economical approach to the riffs. A single song (which rarely comes in under ten minutes) usually centers around a single, punishing riff that the band coils tighter and tighter as the song progresses, and their music takes on a hypnotic intensity through their use of repetition, even when they launch into a fucking bludgeoning riff that sounds like Godflesh busting out some Kyuss at 12 rpms, blotting out the sun with the sheer mass of their sound. And they add some cool unique touches, like ethereal female vocals and deep, dramatic male singing that sounds a little like Maynard Keenan from Tool, passages of dark jangly indie rock that build into heavier sections, and on their latest album IIII, some slightly more complex and progressive song arrangements. They never sacrifice the heaviness, though. Ever.
These early tracks rank as some of the heaviest sludge/doom metal I've ever heard, and all of this stuff is essential listening for anyone who's already hooked on their punishing black hypno-tribal-dirge. The two Lps are housed in a nice matte-finish gatefold sleeve, and the release is limited to a pressing of 1,000 copies.


AMENRA   Mass V   CD   (Neurot)    14.99













AMENRA / HIVE DESTRUCTION   split   10" VINYL   (Init)    11.98

split IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Two of Belgium's heaviest exports come together on this killer-looking new 10" from Init Recdords, pressed up on clear vinyl and packaged inside of a screen printed translucent mylar sleeve with artwork from Kristoffer Mondy. Both of the bands play extremely heavy, slow-paced sludge metal, but each takes it in a different direction, with Amenra's apocalyptic black dirge contrasting with the instrumental atmospheric crush of Hive Destruction.
Amenra's side has two songs, "Dodenakker" and "Nemelendelle" (both of which appeared on their studio album collection Mass III-II + Mass IIII) recorded live in Belgium in 2010. The cloudy black oppressiveness of Amenra's sound is only amplified in the live setting; sustained drones drift into view and hover like distant warning sirens just as the full band crashes in with their punishing slow motion doomchug, a grinding apocalyptic dirge fronted by the singer's strained, desperate screams, fueled by a bottom-heavy rhythm section that pounds and chugs like the gears of some great earthmoving machine, erupting into volleys of dissonant droning riffage and thunderous blasts of down-tuned roar. These two tracks perfectly demonstrate the ease in which Amenra has taken the eschatological dirge-metal of Neurosis and reshaped it into their own image, one that is significantly more paranoid and hopeless and relentless. Hear this, and witness one of the heaviest bands in action right now.
I have a new Cd from the band Hive Destruction that I have not listened to yet, but it is next in line on my play list once this record leaves my turntable. This French band features a lineup comprised of one of Amenra's founding members alongside personnel from the notorious Belgian Holy Terror hardcore outfit Liar, members of the fearsome "H8000 Crew". As Hive Destruction, these low-end technicians lay down some serious damage in the form of heavy mega-chug on the song "We're all instruments of purpose - the second coming", a rumbling instrumental workout that combines anthemic rocking riffage to atmospheric guitars, some electronic grit and monstrous hooks to create something that sounds to my ears like a song from The Cult being performed by Pelican, although it ends up in a strange heap of opera samples, brutal electronics, police interrogations, eerie acoustic strum, and bestial vocal-noise loops at the very end.


AMERICAN BAND   American Bands First Album   CD   (Blossoming Noise)    13.98



More than likely, if you've heard of Jason Crumer, it's through his crusty sludgecore outfit Facedowninshit that he plays guitar and sings in. Those guys have been spreading a trail of grime for close to a decade now, and their last album came out on the underground metal powerhouse Relapse. But Crumer is also known for his extensive work with heavy, harsh electronic noise, working under his own name as well as with Amazing Grace and American Band. American Bands First Album lays it all out - Crumer is joined by Matt Franco from Air Conditioning on guitar, vocals, and electronics, and Lee Counts on "metal", for this particular group's debut. This is HEAVY STUFF. You know how alot of noise outfits will have a really long, epic piece as their last track on an album? Well, American Band start out with one, the 22 minute "Bone Skirt", a titanic noise wall of churning static, blistering distortion coming in waves, and what we think are monstrous, death metal style roars submerged deep in the metallic hurricane. Could be anything tho I guess...that track is so fucking overloaded that, like all good harsh walls of noise, it starts to mess with your ability to make out details, and the whole experience turns into a whirlpool of melted rust and exploding steel slabs. Great use of feedback on here, too, really textured and menacing sounding, especially when American Band ease up on the vicious noise and settle into one of their super eerie dronescapes, huge open spaces of minimal midnight whirr where you can just make out the terrifying whine of a distant air raid siren. They use similiar dynamics throughout the rest of the album, making this a solidly engaging work of brutal noise sculpture, comparable to what it might sound like if the blastfurnace feedback storms of outfits like Cherry Point and The Rita were offset by drifting Troum style drones. Packaged in a full-color, 4-panel digipack.
Track Samples:
Sample : firsttimeinheelsx
Sample : terrified



AMERICAN HERITAGE   Millenarian   CD   (Translation Loss)    11.98



Though they've been dogged by incessant comparisons to Mastodon (who they shared a split 7" with back in 2003), it's more a case of American Heritage having an extremely similiar set of genes as their Atlanta brethren. That set of genes, of course, being a shared love of dizzying prog/math rock complexity welded to gymnastic thrash metal and pinball shredding topped off with a big ol' heaping of Sabbathy heaviness. That said, there is no denying that Mastodon fanatics in particular are going to love American Heritage and their brand of technical, jagged progthrash. The seven songs on their fifth album Millenarian make up a freakin' feast of intricate arpeggiated riffing, wicked time signature changes, haunting melodic guitar parts that creep out from under the angular riffs, and more straightforward thrash metal shredding, formed into complex arrangements that frequently tend to lose the gruff, powerful shouting vocals and veer off into purely instrumental territory. Their early stuff like 1999's Why Everyone Gets Cancer was entirely instrumental, but I dig the occasional blast of vocals that the band use now, it adds a serious punch whenever they show up over the convoluted, chunky, twisting riffage. Sure, the Heritage know when to pull back and ride some monstrous grooving riff or slow it down to a crunchy, jackhammer breakdown at opportune moments, and there are some fucking skullflattening parts on here that remind me of Coalesce, which make this more than just some techy math-metal workout. The riffs are massive though, and they come at you relentlessly, changing shape every few seconds as the drummer lays down an amorphous rhythmic assault. Definitely one of the most underrated and overlooked bands in the metal underground, this disc needs to be heard by fans of everyone from Knut to Kylesa to Dazzling Killmen and yes, Mastodon.
Track Samples:
Sample : Brootal: Axxes of Evil
Sample : Toilet Paper and Leotards



AMESOEURS   self-titled   CD   (Profound Lore)    14.98










Track Samples:
Sample : Amesoeurs
Sample : Faux Semblants
Sample : Gas In Veins



AMK   Super Panoramic Stereo Sound 5000   CD   (Troniks)    7.98



Record/flexi-disc abuser A.M.K. returns with a new full length disc with 29 tracks designed for random play on your CD player, in the same manner as that recent Bizarre Uproar disc on Housepig that we just listed a few weeks ago. A.M.K. has always stood out in the American noise scene for his focus on using vinyl records and primarily flexi-discs to create confusing montages of sound, chopping up the records and flexis into sections and then recombining them into strange new forms and played back on regular turntables. RRR released a 10" titled Montage that is probably one of AMK's best known releases, but it's been awhile since I've heard something new from the longrunning project, who started out cutting apart flexi-discs way back in 1986.
Troniks has released AMK's latest album Super Panoramic Stereo Sound 5000 in a limited edition of 500, in a black and white sleeve that uses classic phonographic design imagery. When these 29 tracks are played back in random order, they create a tense collage of chopped up pop music, big band music, brutal low frequency feedback rumble and distorted noise, bits of vinyl hiss and crackle, looped voices, looped bits of unrecognizeable rock music that is morphed into blurts of hypnotic drone rock, vicious dronescapes built from white noise and tribal percussion loops, and more. Half of the tracks are untitled; the other half are named after famous slasher movie locations ('Haddonfield', 'Crystal Lake') or more random subjects. Obviously, this is meant to be listened to as a single piece of sound art, and it's a really cool patchwork of Dadaist-plunderphonic sonic fuckery that goes from surreal to sinister and back again.
Track Samples:
Sample : crystallake
Sample : feelyourlove
Sample : haddonfield



AMOEBA MEN   Enter The Amoeba Men   7" VINYL   (Chaotic Noise)    5.98



3 song dose of primo RVA acid punk and death disco throb from some SUPPRESSION members. Think neo No Wave, jamming energetic disco rhythms, angular staccato trebly guitar, sped-up monster movie basslines played on keyboards, yelpy vocals, a mutant dance punk riot sometimes dipping into a sort of BUTTHOLE SURFERS stupor. Rad! On black wax in a tight neon sleeve.


AMPS FOR CHRIST / WINTERS IN OSAKA + ERIC WOOD   split   LP   (Absurd Exposition)    18.98

split IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

A hefty slab of crushing improv-noise and bestial industrial horror from post-Man Is The Bastard outfit Amps For Christ and Midwestern collective Winters In Osaka; this full length split really smokes, with some of the heaviest stuff that I've heard from WIO so far.
I haven't stocked anything from Amps For Christ in the past, but their contribution to this split is pretty heavy stuff, definitely of interest to those of you with a taste for mangled, monstrous industrial music. Their side features three tracks from the Barnes/Snarb duo configuration of the band: "Spring Theory" starts things off with a murky dronescape of scraped strings and distant percussive thump, swirling ambient muck washing over the stretched out drones (created via something that the band refers to as "wheelbarrow/strings") and those cracked caveman electronics that are at the heart of AFC's sound. A nice enough blurt of damaged folk-drone that leads into the sputtering, sinister drift of "Ninetynine Time", a mass of seething low-end noise and fluttering electronics, monstrous distorted voices and ghostly metallic reverberations lurking way off on the background as abrasive oscillator tones and fractured metal slowly consume the room, transforming into a nightmarish din of lurching, broken-down percussion and squealing malfunctioning effects pedals. The last track, "Atar-core", veers off into something resembling Indian classical music being played on massively distorted guitars, the haunting melody wafting up like black smoke over the band's grimy buzz. But then it shifts into this killer sludgy riff, and all of a sudden it sounds vaguely like some 70's progressive rock guitarist wandering around in a fog of amplifier filth and broken speaker buzz. As wrecked and creepy as anything off that latest Hair Police album, for sure.
But it's the Winters In Osaka side that I picked this up for, and man does it deliver. For nearly twenty minutes, "Vorkuta" builds from a mass of whirling metallic drones and subterranean reverberations into a strange and hallucinatory industrial deathscape. One filled with creepy looped music, deep tectonic rumbling, strange psychedelic guitar melodies adrift in clouds of gaseous black fumes and the din of distant crashing metal, all underscored by the utterly monstrous cackling and bellowing of guest vocalist Eric Wood (of Man Is The Bastard / Bastard Noise infamy) and an undercurrent of shapeless rumbling heaviness that builds into a full-blown roar of oceanic power by the end of the side. There's always been a heavy Bastard Noise influence on Winters In Osaka's grim industrial dronecrush, and that really shines through here, for obvious reasons; with Wood's bestial utterances echoing across this vision of dystopian assembly-line horror and those weird spacey guitars, this has the feel of a Bastard Noise jam lost in a haze of damaged acid rock meanderings and disturbing, oppressive ambience. Very cool.
Limited to two hundred copies.


AMPUTATION THEORY   Scum   CDR   (Institute For Organic Conversations)    7.98

Scum IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Both of the new discs that just came in from The Institute Of Organic Conversations (the micro-label operated by James Keeler of Wilt/Hedorah) exist in the same sphere of punishing industrial skum-sludge; Hedorah's latest, the three-track Flower cdr that's reviewed on this week's list, is a continuation of Keeler's monolithic noise-doom, roaring glacial mecha-sludge doused in holocaustal levels of harsh noise. On the other hand, Amputation Theory's Scum is a complete clusterfuck of distorto-sludge violence and spastic noisecore that's way more antisocial and damaged, though it totally fits in with the kind of putrid heaviness that Keeler and company have been working with as of late.
Dunno where this band is from or who's behind it, all I've found online is that it's apparently one guy by the name of Jimmy Rexroad who creates all of this noise. Scum is one of the few things that the project has put out so far, apparently released in a microscopic edition of 25 copies, but anyone into seriously demented and noise-damaged heaviness will flip out over this disc. Eleven tracks, all soaked in nihilist dread and seriously negatory vibes, a mix of vicious harsh noise, retarded Brainbombs-like sludge rock, massive Swans-style industrial peercussive pound, hyperfast drum-machine noisecore...tracks like "Arsonist" and "Down With The Rich" bury massive blackened doom metal riffs underneath impossibly heavy mountains of Incapacitants-style noise, but then "Girls In Love" is a surreal sound collage of murky shortwave dance-pop, film samples, melted jazz horns, clouds of spacious room ambience, weird chuckling voices, blasts of fleshrending black noise, and other random sounds. Then there's tracks like "Crystals" and "Mandance" that remind me of the blown-out garage sludge of Drunkdriver and Brainbombs, only with RIDICULOUS amounts of harsh noise and distortion and feedblack dumped all over the songs, almost obliterating the sloppy riffs and neanderthal drumming with a hellstorm of ear-scraping skree. This shit is VERY intense.
Comes in a handmade black and white wallet sleeve.
Track Samples:
Sample : Domestic Abuse
Sample : Down With The Rich
Sample : Mandance



AN ALBATROSS   Eat Lightning Shit Thunder   CD   (Bloodlink)    10.98



Super brief but high quality "album" from Philly spazztoid blasters An Albatross is now available from Crucial Blast. Uh, better late than never, and if you're into the new wave of art-damaged grindcore that's been ripping shit as of late (Genghis Tron, Daughters, Triumph Of Gnomes, The Locust, etc), well, these guys are tops. Just over 11 minutes in length, An Albatross shred through 10 blasts of catchy as fuck, super spastic and caustic noise-punk mashed with apocalyptic hardcore/grind colliding over the band's signature carnival/Italian prog rock style keyboards. Due to the heavy presence of those freaked out keys, we remmeber AA being tagged as a Locust knock off when this originally came out, but we think they're onto their own thing. Add to that all sorts of weird melodies, dogs barking and growling, and other fucked up sound loops and tape crud and you get a fucking KILLER disc of sci-fi dance thrash that demands repeat spins. Eat Lightning Shit Thunder also has some enhanced CD-ROM live videos too, which is sweet. These guys RIP IT live, as anyone who has witnessed them will tell you. The Crucial Blast gang caught 'em on tour with Melt Banana in 2005 and we thought our heads were going to come clean off.


AN ALBATROSS   Blessphemy (Of The Peace-Beast Feastgiver...)   LP   (GSL)    14.98



Back in stock!
Tons of bands have tried to combine classic prog and the more furious thrashing aggression of hardcore and grindcore, a few faring better than the rest, and An Albatross definitely fall in the camp of the former. While their early releases were skronky, spazzy, low-fi blasts of carnival synths and tuneless hardcore, 2006's Blessphemy (Of The Peace Beast Feastgiver And The Bear Warp Kumite) had the band blasting off into a much more intense realm of prog-thrash psychosis. This album still blows me away whenever I listen to it; it's the sound of 70's prog rock after snorting meth for twelve hours straight, crazed carnivalesque organ melodies and spastic pop hooks zooming alongside hyperspeed blastbeats and explosions of psychedelic noise, bizarre angular arrangements and epic hardcore riffs, like Magma if the French progsters metamorphosised into a speed metal band and were fronted by a kid who sounds more like a pissed off Macaque than anything. In other words, this sounds completely badass. It's spastic and ridiculously hyper like alot of the stuff that's been coming out on Load and Lovepump and Skin Graft, but like Ruins and Koenjihyakkei, these guys really have their prog chops down, spitting out awesome synth freakouts and insane alien melodies and insanely complex arrangements, but unlike those bands, An Albatross deliver this spastic Zeuhl-huffing circus prog sound via brutally fast and aggressive grind and thrash. This shit is amazing, barely a half hour long, but every second is packed with crazed calliope melodies, jarring stop/start arrangements, blasts of joyous brass fanfares, bizarro disco rhythms, wonky lightspeed keyboards, pummeling but super complex drumming, ripping thrash riffs that bloom into angular skronk, sometimes catchy and strangely poppy, the next second a roaring blast of convoluted grindcore. Furious and technical and totally unique, Blessphemy still holds up as one of their best albums ever. Highly recommended!
This limited vinyl release of Blessphemy comes in a heavy full-color gatefold and on colored vinyl.
Track Samples:
Sample : Sacred Geometry
Sample : Feastgiver



AN AUTUMN FOR CRIPPLED CHILDREN   Everything   CD   (ATMF)    11.99










Track Samples:
Sample : Formlessness
Sample : Nothng/Everything
Sample : I Am The Veil
Sample : Cold Spring



AN INNOCENT YOUNG THROAT-CUTTER   Gli Occhi Dentro - Tribute To Bruno Mattei   CASSETTE   (Nil By Mouth)    6.99



Here's another punishing cassette for you insatiable HNW junkies, brought over from one of my new favorite power electronics/industrial noise labels Nil By Mouth. Fans of extreme harsh noise should be familiar with this long-running project, a duo featuring Texan noise artist Richard Ramirez (also of Werewolf Jerusalem/Black Leather Jesus) and Italian artist Cristiano Renzoni (from the HNW project Alo Girl) that has been producing hardcore noise walls on and off for almost two decades. Their love of obscure Euro-horror is the primary inspiration behind the project, and here they pay homage to the cult film Eyes Without A Face; not to be confused with George Franju's haunting 1960 French horror film of the same name, this is a 1994 giallo from legendary Italian sleazemaster Bruno Mattei that was also released as Madness. The film's stylized fedora-sporting murdered, scenes of graphic ocular disfigurement, and suspenseful stalking sequences fuel Gliocchi Dentro's sprawling, obsessive expanses of brutal static crush, filled with lots of textural detail across the tape's thirty-minute length. Each side features half of "Eyes Without A Face", the first primarily made up of a constant churning maelstrom of static, throbbing bass and metallic reverberations, with a patina of shortwave static clinging to the surface. After a while, though, the duo begins to introduce fragments of horrific distorted screaming and shrieking high-end feedback which add a fearful element to their raging noisewall. A few sparse samples from the film appear later as well, primarily as an intro to the b-side, but this track remains consistent in it's crushing, hypnotic HNW approach as well. As the second side approaches the end, the duo steadily increase the deep, low-end rumbling until it grows and builds into a vast oceanic roar, giving the final moments of the piece a dire atmosphere of inexorable doom. Fans of Ramirez's other harsh noise releases (and HNW work in particular) will love it, obviously, as will anyone into the more brutal end of the harsh wall spectrum.
Released in a limited edition of 120 copies, in a bright yellow package design that compliments the aesthetics of the giallo genre that these guys are so obsessed with.


ANAAL NATHRAKH   In The Constellation Of The Black Widow   2 x LP   (Back On Black)    25.98



2009's In The Constellation Of The Black Widow from British industrial death/black crushers Anaal Nathrakh is as extreme as anything the band has produced so far, a ten song blast of hellish, apocalyptic violence that signals a return to the feral full-on fury of their earlier albums The Codex Necro and When Fire Rains Down From The Sky, Mankind Will Reap As It Has Sown. Those early releases quickly established the band as one of the most intense underground metal groups around, certainly one of the most pissed sounding, and it's tough trying to come up with another band that evokes as much misanthropy and nihilistic 'tude as these guys do. I liked the melodic qualities that Anaal Nathrakh has been flirting with on their last few albums, but this is a real return to form, with the sickening vocal outbursts that switch on a dime between insanely harsh shrieks and gutteral death metal growls and epic clean singing, the complex arrangements, dissonant riffage, furious programmed drum machines and corrosive electronic noise that made their debut one of my favorite black/death album ever. There are still monstrously epic moments aplenty though, with VITRIOL's soaring power-metal baritone appearing at all of the right moments, and Anaal Nathrakh keep the album tightly wound at right around thirty-five minutes. The barbaric industrialized death metal riffage and hyperblast black metal is colored by additional textures like the ghostly voices and samples that lurk underneath the metallic onslaught, and there are frequent outbursts of psychotic guitar solos, vicious electronic glitchery and weird industrial noise that explode out of nowhere, constantly keeping the songs in a state of panicked tension. Few bands chronicle the sound of the endtimes as well as Anaal Nathrakh do, and Constellation is another amazingly brutal slab of their supremely epic death/black metal.
This is the deluxe limited-edition gatefold vinyl, imported from the UK from vinyl label Back In Black!
Track Samples:
Sample : In The Constellation Of The Black Widow
Sample : The Lucifer Effect



ANAAL NATHRAKH   In The Constellation Of The Black Widow   CD   (Candlelight)    13.98



Back in stock!
2009's In The Constellation Of The Black Widow from British industrial death/black crushers Anaal Nathrakh is as extreme as anything the band has produced so far, a ten song blast of hellish, apocalyptic violence that signals a return to the feral full-on fury of their earlier albums The Codex Necro and When Fire Rains Down From The Sky, Mankind Will Reap As It Has Sown. Those early releases quickly established the band as one of the most intense underground metal groups around, certainly one of the most pissed sounding, and it's tough trying to come up with another band that evokes as much misanthropy and nihilistic 'tude as these guys do. I liked the melodic qualities that Anaal Nathrakh has been flirting with on their last few albums, but this is a real return to form, with the sickening vocal outbursts that switch on a dime between insanely harsh shrieks and gutteral death metal growls and epic clean singing, the complex arrangements, dissonant riffage, furious programmed drum machines and corrosive electronic noise that made their debut one of my favorite black/death album ever. There are still monstrously epic moments aplenty though, with VITRIOL's soaring power-metal baritone appearing at all of the right moments, and Anaal Nathrakh keep the album tightly wound at right around thirty-five minutes. The barbaric industrialized death metal riffage and hyperblast black metal is colored by additional textures like the ghostly voices and samples that lurk underneath the metallic onslaught, and there are frequent outbursts of psychotic guitar solos, vicious electronic glitchery and weird industrial noise that explode out of nowhere, constantly keeping the songs in a state of panicked tension. Few bands chronicle the sound of the endtimes as well as Anaal Nathrakh do, and Constellation is another amazingly brutal slab of their supremely epic death/black metal.
Track Samples:
Sample : In The Constellation Of The Black Widow
Sample : The Lucifer Effect



ANAAL NATHRAKH   The Codex Necro / When Fire Rains Down From The Sk   2 x CD   (Earache)    14.98

The Codex Necro / When Fire Rains Down From The Sk IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Earache has given a pair of early Anaal Nathrakh releases the reissue-bundle treatment that they've bestowed upon more and more of their back catalog, giving extreme metal fans an opportunity to beef up their collection with nicely boxed dual Cd sets of material that, in most cases, had gone out of print for a while. Taking their 2001 debut album The Codex Necro and it's follow-up/companion Ep When Fire Rains Down From The Sky... from 2002, the label here presents a reissue set of this UK black metal band's earliest releases that will fully school any newcomer to the vicious, advanced 21st century industrial-necro violence of members V.I.T.R.I.O.L. and Irrumator, complete with the bonus tracks that were included with the original Earache reissues. The entire Anaal Nathrakh catalog is incredible, and even this early in their existence, the band was creating some of the most nihilistic, bestial black metal I've ever heard.
When The Codex Necro originally came out in 2001, the album received rabid accolades from the European metal press and appeared on numerous year end best-of lists. And rightfully so; here was a band that combined the blazing, frostbitten ferocity of classic second wave black metal with a futuristic industrial sheen, but instead of delving into the sort of warped dancefloor tactics that other electronically-enhanced BM outfits were experimenting with around the turn of the decade, Anaal Nathrakh forged this sound into something so hateful and apocalyptic that the album threatens to blowtorch the flesh right off of your face. Crushing black blast fused with a bizarre electronic edge, with some truly insane production techniques that were unlike anything I'd heard at the time. The seminal BM of bands like Mayhem and Darkthrone is obviously at the root of their sound, but it's mutated and spliced into something even faster and meaner. A heavy death metal influence finds it's way into Anaal Nathrakh's sound, making this so much heavier than most black metal, but the band also weaves in bizarre melodic touches, insane mechanized drum patterns, irradiated electronic ambience, perverted Gregorian chants, weird wah-stained riffs, even veering unexpectedly into some frantic drum 'n' bass breaks on "Paradigm Shift - Annihilation". Then there are the vocals, extreme and processed screams, maniacal high-pitched falsetto shrieks that sound like a cybernetic Rob Halford, and insane, bestial grunts, the vocals constantly changing shape, giving the music a constant psychotic energy, an incomprehensible gnashing of teeth. An amazing debut that left a permanent boot mark on the face of British black metal. The album originally came out in the UK on the Mordgrimm label, but in 2005 Earache released it in the US with four bonus tracks that were taken from Anaal Nathrakh's Peel Session from 2003, which included members of Napalm Death and Cradle Of Filth as auxilliary members...
Released as a follow up to Codex, the 2003 Ep When Fire Rains Down From The Sky, Mankind Will Reap As It Has Sown delivers a half hour assault of maniacal necro violence from British black metaller Anaal Nathrakh. A vicious six-song exercise in apocalyptic blast hate from the duo of Irrumator and V.I.T.R.I.O.L., with much of the bizarre production fuckery and electronic enhancement that made their debut so wickedly alien sounding now stripped away for a more straightforward, grind black/death attack. You won't find any of the sudden junglist outbreaks, electronically processed vocals, bizarre ambience or industrial clatter, but they still keep their sound in total end time overdrive, blasting out hyper fast, violent black metal scorched in nuclear fire and etched in misanthropic hatred. The sound is still pretty fractured and insane, the blastbeats hurtling into the stratosphere, the arrangements full of jagged stops and frenzied riffage, and of course, those psychotic vocals, a hellish tapestry of tortured screaming, bestial grunting, and wailing cries that feel as though they are emanating from the bowels of an asylum, with some additional throat damage contributed by Attila Csihar (Sunn O))) / Mayhem / Aborym). Like the debut, this was released in the UK on Mordgrimm, but was later reissued for the US by Earache with three bonus tracks taken from Anaal Nathrakh's 2005 BBC Rock Show appearance.
Both discs are packaged together in a full color box.
Track Samples:
Sample : Paradigm Shift - Annihilation
Sample : ANAAL NATHRAKH-The Codex Necro / When Fire Rains Down From The Sk
Sample : Cataclysmic Nihilism
Sample : ANAAL NATHRAKH-The Codex Necro / When Fire Rains Down From The Sk



ANAAL NATHRAKH   Vanitas   LP   (Back On Black)    28.00













ANAAL NATHRAKH   Vanitas   CD   (Candlelight)    13.98













ANACRUSIS   Hindsight: Suffering Hour & Reason Revisit   2 x CD   (Divebomb Records)    18.98



Back in stock.
Along with Coroner, Voivod, Watchtower and Mekong Delta, St. Louis shredders Anacrusis were one of the more imaginative bands to emerge from the thrash metal underground of the late 1980s, blending together a unique combination of classic power metal moves, gloomy post-punk melody (a pervasive influence that would later lead them to cover the likes of New Model Army on their third album Manic Impressions), moments of Sabbathian crush, eerie complex shredding and an arsenal of ultra ripping thrash riffs, all topped off with one of the quirkiest, coolest vocal performances that you'll ever hear out of a thrash metal band, courtesy of guitarist/singer Kenn Nardi; his intense, expressive voice would suddenly morph from a killer high-pitched howl into an almost ethereal croon in the blink of an eye, and no-one in metal has ever sounded anything quite like this guy. Although Anacrusis didn't achieve the level of notoriety of many of their peers, their strange, unearthly metal would become an influence on everything from the latest wave of progressive thrash metal bands to the crushing avant-garde heaviness of Starkweather.
Like a lot of the prog-thrash albums from this era that I've been obsessing over, Anacrusis's releases have been increasingly difficult to track down, especially their first two albums, Suffering Hour and Reason, both of which have been out of print for decades. After reuniting a few years ago for a show in Europe, the original Anacrusis lineup decided to re-record both of these albums in full, and they've been combined into the hefty double disc set Hindsight: Suffering Hour & Reason Revisited that was released on cult metal reissue label Divebomb. I'm generally not a big fan of band's re-recording their older albums, but this set has a couple of things going for it: the band members smartly decided not to mess with the original music, and aside from a few small changes to some of the guitar solos and other elements, these new recordings are pretty faithful to the original songs; and with twenty some years of maturity and experience under their belt, the material benefits from the band's gains in skill and musicianship. Add to that a cleaner, heavier production that's thankfully free of modern bells and whistles, and you get a killer new envisioning of some of the coolest, heaviest prog-thrash from this era, enhanced by the appearance of two demo-era songs ("Apocalypse" and "Injustice") that didn't appear on the original albums.
The first disc in the set features the re-recorded songs from Suffering Hour, the band's raucous 1988 debut. The original album was plagued by murky production and some haphazard songwriting, but Suffering Hour still had plenty of ferocious kicks to offer via the band's often reckless technical thrash, a sound that was only beginning to take form here as they started to carve out their signature brand of tricky riffage and dark atmospherics through their frantic, crossover-esque attack. You could hear some of those progressive/psychedelic rock influences creeping through on songs like "Twisted Cross" and "A World To Gain" as well as moments of crushing doom that crash through the weird arrangements, but for the most part the band was locked into an aggressive, down-tuned thrash assault with a plethora of AWESOME riffs, with the song "Twisted Cross" numbering among my own favorite thrash songs of all time.
It was with 1990's Reason that Anacrusis's experimental tendencies would really start to take flight, though. Pushing their prog tendencies further than before, the album featured eleven songs of complex, crushing avant-thrash with a stronger production than their debut while still having that raw, energetic feel, and the musicianship had grown in spades. Songs like "Terrified" combined ferocious thrash metal with creepy discordant leads, eerie doom-laden passages and odd riff arrangements, hinting at the kind of Byzantine math-thrash that bands like Watchtower and Deathrow were doing around the same time, but then the album would suddenly shift into the trippy prog of "Stop Me" or the sweeping dark post-punk-esque melodies found nestled within the violent speed and angularity of songs like "Not Forgotten", "Child Inside" and "Misshapen Intent", these awesome, unexpected Killing Joke-like moments seamlessly integrated with their ripping convoluted thrash. By this point, singer Nardi had developed a truly unique delivery, his vocals a mix of ghostly, ethereal crooning and terrifying screams, resulting in an awesome, almost darkwave-tinged tech-thrash vision.
As you would expect, the re-recorded versions of Suffering Hour and Reason are much more polished and lack all of that reverb that drenched the first album, but these new recordings still sound like they could have been recorded from the same period of time. Of course, a lot of that fraying-at-the-seams energy and looseness is what I dug so much about those original albums and was a big part of what made them sound so unique; while the songs still sound as imaginative and powerful as they did then, it's a different kind of performance, and I wish that they could have included reissues of the original albums alongside these new recordings. As it is though, Hindsight is the sound of Anacrusis performing at the top of their game, and these songs sound as amazing and as haunting now as they did back in the late 1980s.
Hindsight comes in a thick eight-panel digipack package that includes a thirty-two page full color booklet filled with liner notes (from both members of the band and former Metal Forces editor Bernard Doe), lyrics and photos.
Track Samples:
Sample : Annihilation Complete/Disemboweled
Sample : Misshapen Intent
Sample : Present Tense
Sample : Stop Me
Sample : Twisted Cross
Sample : Wrong



ANAKRID   Ceaselessly Out Of A Cloudless Sky   CASSETTE   (Black Horizons)    7.98

Ceaselessly Out Of A Cloudless Sky IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

New half-hour cassette from the mysterious psych-drone project known as Anakrid, which is actually Chris Bickel who used to play in the hardcore/punk bands In/humanity and Guyana Punch Line. Anakrid has previously shared wax with their like-minded brethren in blackened industrial droneology, Blue Sabbath Black Cheer, and the project continues on it's stygian trajectory with Ceaselessly Out Of A Cloudless Sky, serving up two contrasting sides to their sound. On the a side, they craft a bleak sprawling soundscape of echoin metallic clang, vast Lustmord-like black ambience, deep cavernous drones, flecked with vague percussive sounds and an abstract rhythmic quality that makes this extended jam sound like glacial krautrock, super slow and syrupy and stretched out over a dark propulsive backdrop of metallic throb and chug that almost sounds like the looped bellow of a train, surrounded by strange rattling sounds, ghostly chimes, and other black sonic effluvia wafting out of Anakrid's infernal incense burners. Not all that unlike the releases from Jazzfinger and Uton that I've written up this week, although Anakrid is far heavier and more rhythmically based than either, almost like a motorik Wolf Eyes doused in the black ritual ambience of the Aural Hypnox camp. On the other side, though, is totally different. This fifteen minute piece is an improvised scrapyard avalance, stringing deep veins of tectonic low end heaviness through a chaotic mass of metal clatter, crunching noise, pieces of metal and other materials being dragged across concrete, percussive and loud and frenetic, and sounding like what would go down if Moe! Staiano had a squadron of cavemen performing one of his industrial found-object symphonies. Limited to one hundred copies, and packaged in a neat looking layered cover with marbled paper and clear transparency fixed together with grommets.


ANAL CUNT   Defenders Of The Hate   CD   (Menace To Sobriety)    12.98

Defenders Of The Hate IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

It's hard to believe that these maniacs are even still alive, let alone still performing as Anal Cunt after all of these years of substance abuse, overdoses, comas, brawls, and rampant assholism. But the nefarious AxCx has been pretty busy this past year, with a full US tour and performances at some of the bigger metal festivals here in the U.S....I actually caught them at a show right outside of Hagerstown last spring when they were on tour, and the fact that Anal Cunt were performing in our little 'burg was surreal enough, but there they were, ripping through a half hour set that had them berating the crowd of rioting kids over an ear shredding assault of ultraheavy punked-out grind noise. In betwixt all of this activity, AxCx dropped this disc called Defenders Of The Hate on Menace To Sobriety Records last summer ('07), which was touted as a new release from the band. It's not though, so AxCx collectors need to take note; Defenders Of The Hate is actually a twenty-minute mini-album that collects the remastered eleven tracks from the Defenders of the Hate EP from 2001, and ten bonus tracks from their split wih Flachenbrand, the 13 Bands Who Think You're Gay compilation LP, and the Thrash Of The Titans compilation LP. And the "music" is exactly what you'd expect, short minute-long blasts of impossibly fast, downtuned grindcore pushed to the limit, usually turning into a blurr of violent Merzbowian noise, although bits of fucked-up punk, deformed rock, and grooving sludge riffs show up here and there. Super pissed off and offensive, with song titles like "Obviously Adopted", "You Quit Doing Heroin, You Pussy", and more that I can't even print here. These cretins are still completely out of control.
Track Samples:
Sample : Beating Up Hippies for Their Drugs at a Phish Concert
Sample : Obviously Adopted
Sample : ANAL CUNT-Defenders Of The Hate
Sample : ANAL CUNT-Defenders Of The Hate



ANAL CUNT   Morbid Florist   CD   (Relapse)    10.98



A classick early EP from the Boston noisecore legends, Morbid Florist came out as a 7" back in 1993 on Relapse Records, and was then reissued on disc a couple of years later with a previously unreleased untitled bonus track. Like most of AxCx's early 90's stuff, the fifteen tracks on here are mostly pure raw hyperblast blurr, each track a super short nuclear blast of improvised guitar bleeargh and whirlwind noise that borders on Merzbow-like levels of sonic overload, insanely fast cyclonic blast beats, and Seth Putnam's guttural nonsensical screaming about Morrisey, the Grateful Dead, Canadian big band conductor Guy Lombardo, among other more hate-filled subjects.
But there's also some sickeningly grinding doom metal crawl that surfaces on the tracks "Song #5" and "Slow Song From Split 7-Inch", and a couple surprise bursts of goofball thrash metal that keep you on your toes, and the song "Radio Hit" rocks some awesome mosh-meltdown death metal sewage that's still a staple of their live set. The Ep is probably best known though for AxCx's infamous brain-damaged cover of "Unbelievable" from early 90's Madchester pin-ups EMF, easily one of the most insane "cover songs" ever. Along with a bunch of lightning-fast eruptions of total grindnoise, another cover (of Eddy Grant's "I Don't Wanna Dance") and a weird medley of riffs from Boston proto-grind legends Siege called, unsurprisingly, "Siege", this is a blistering chunk of noxious, ridiculously brutal early grind/noise blasts that's pretty essential for hardcore AxCx fans, even if it doesn't have the genius song titles of their later albums. Bleeeargh!
Track Samples:
Sample : I Don't Wanna Dance
Sample : Morrissey
Sample : Siege
Sample : Song #6



ANAL CUNT   40 More Reasons To Hate Us   CD   (Earache)    12.98

40 More Reasons To Hate Us IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

For more than twenty years, Anal Cunt has prided itself on being the self-described "worst band in the world" and offending anyone and everyone that they possibly can. Like some kind of PC-baiting, ultra-confrontational musical/comedy act, these goofs have made an art form out of combining ridiculously short and noisy assaults of blurr and hardcore punk with offensive (and often hilarious) song titles, and enough transgressive subject matter to make your eyes water. It's like having the essence of all four issues of Answer Me! boiled down into twenty second blasts of tuneless improvised grindcore. You either love 'em or hate them, that's for sure, and you've got to give credit to a band that has managed to go down in history as one of the most notorious and controversial extreme music bands ever, right? Pretty crucial listening for fans of early Naked City and Boredoms, too, since AxCx was one of the few other bands of that era to blast through the conventions of extreme music to the same degree that those bands did. Anyways, we've stocked four of their Earache albums for the first time here at Crucial Blast, so now's a perfect opportunity for grind/noise/improv freaks to add these to their collection.
The 1996 album 40 More Reasons To Hate Us from Anal Cunt doesn't deviate from their patented style of tuneless, hyper-brutal grind and metal/hardcore parodies, at least compared to the more song-based direction that they started to take with Top 40 Hits, but there are a couple of things that make this album stand out from the rest of the AxCx catalog. First, 40 More Reasons... is noteworthy for being the only Anal Cunt album to feature Scott Hull of Pig Destroyer/Agoraphobic Nosebleed fame on guitar, and his chunky thrash-style riffs break through on a bunch of these songs (when the band isn't exploding into a blast of full-on Merzbow-strength noise, that is), resulting in some of Anal Cunt's heaviest jams thus far. Secondly, while I'm pretty sure that you wouldn't want to recommended this to your usual Pantera / Down / Superjoint Ritual fan, it is interesting to hear Phil Anselmo all over this album, playing guitar on "Van Full Of Retards", contributing backing vocals to almost half the songs, and playing guitar and singing on the absurd (and awesome, in a frontal-lobe damaged sort of way) cover of Manowar's "Gloves Of Metal". Aside from those two points, this collection of forty-two tracks is another hateful, ear-ripping grind/noise assault that shifts between their signature blurr-core assaults, the stoopid Sockeye-style falsetto vocals and sloppy punk, and CRUSHING grindcore, with a brain melting rendition of "Theme from Three's Company" lobbed like a frag grenade into the middle of it all. As always, half of the appeal of any Anal Cunt album is the song titles, which range from "You Looked Divorced" and "Al Stankus Is Always on the Phone With His Bookie" to "Johnny Violent Getting His Ass Kicked by Morrissey", "Van Full of Retards", and "Everyone in the Underground Music Scene Is Stupid". Pretty hilarious, as usual.
Track Samples:
Sample : Deche Charge Are a Bunch of Fucking Losers
Sample : Everyone in the Underground Music Scene Is Stupid
Sample : Gloves of Metal
Sample : I Hope You Get Deported
Sample : You Looked Divorced



ANAL CUNT   Everyone Should Be Killed   CD   (Earache)    12.98

Everyone Should Be Killed IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

For more than twenty years, Anal Cunt has prided itself on being the self-described "worst band in the world" and offending anyone and everyone that they possibly can. Like some kind of PC-baiting, ultra-confrontational musical/comedy act, these goofs have made an art form out of combining ridiculously short and noisy assaults of blurr and hardcore punk with offensive (and often hilarious) song titles, and enough transgressive subject matter to make your eyes water. It's like having the essence of all four issues of Answer Me! boiled down into twenty second blasts of tuneless improvised grindcore. You either love 'em or hate them, that's for sure, and you've got to give credit to a band that has managed to go down in history as one of the most notorious and controversial extreme music bands ever, right? Pretty crucial listening for fans of early Naked City and Boredoms, too, since AxCx was one of the few other bands of that era to blast through the conventions of extreme music to the same degree that those bands did. Anyways, we've stocked four of their Earache albums for the first time here at Crucial Blast, so now's a perfect opportunity for grind/noise/improv freaks to add these to their collection.
The first full length slab of ultra-offensive song titles, hateful lyrics and brutal blasting grindnoise from Boston's infamous scumlords, 1994's Everyone Should Be Killed introduced a whole new audience to Anal Cunt's over-the-top comedic hate-filled blurrcore by way of new label Earache Records. The album is really raw and grungy sounding compared to later releases, and their sound was still pretty much the same chaotic, formless grindnoise of their early EPs (albeit quite a bit heavier), but this cruddy recording works in their favor; the micro-bursts of frenzied screaming, random vocal noises, tuneless blasts of distortion and improvised grindcore blast out of the speakers in a nuclear wave of filth, even though all of this sounds like it could have been recorded inside of a large oil drum. There's the notorious cover of EMF's "Unbelievable", and the ridiculous "Eddy Grant" (Eddy Grant cover)", some kind of homage to Boston SXE warriors Slapshot ("Choke Edge"), and what could be Anal Cunt's slowest and longest song ever, the crawling five and a half minutes of doom metal misery of "Song #5". And, of course, there are plenty of riotous song titles: "I'm Not Allowed to Like A.C. Any More Since They Signed to Earache", "I'm Wicked Underground", "Abomination of Unnecessarily Augmented Composition Monickers", "When I Think of True Punk Rock Bands, I Think of Nirvana and the Melvins", "Song Titles Are Fucking Stupid", "Brutally Morbid Axe of Satan". A noisecore classic!
Track Samples:
Sample : Blur Including New H.C. Song
Sample : Chapel of Gristle
Sample : I'm Wicked Underground
Sample : Music Sucks
Sample : Some More Songs
Sample : Some Songs



ANAL CUNT   It Just Gets Worse   CD   (Earache)    12.98

It Just Gets Worse IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

For more than twenty years, Anal Cunt has prided itself on being the self-described "worst band in the world" and offending anyone and everyone that they possibly can. Like some kind of PC-baiting, ultra-confrontational musical/comedy act, these goofs have made an art form out of combining ridiculously short and noisy assaults of blurr and hardcore punk with offensive (and often hilarious) song titles, and enough transgressive subject matter to make your eyes water. It's like having the essence of all four issues of Answer Me! bo
Track Samples:
Sample : Chris Barnes Is a Pussy
Sample : I Gave Nambla Pictures of Your Kid
Sample : I Made Fun of You Because Your Kid Just Died
Sample : Your Kid Commited Suicide Because You Suck



ANAL CUNT   Top 40 Hits   CD   (Earache)    12.98

Top 40 Hits IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

For more than twenty years, Anal Cunt has prided itself on being the self-described "worst band in the world" and offending anyone and everyone that they possibly can. Like some kind of PC-baiting, ultra-confrontational musical/comedy act, these goofs have made an art form out of combining ridiculously short and noisy assaults of blurr and hardcore punk with offensive (and often hilarious) song titles, and enough transgressive subject matter to make your eyes water. It's like having the essence of all four issues of Answer Me! boiled down into twenty second blasts of tuneless improvised grindcore. You either love 'em or hate them, that's for sure, and you've got to give credit to a band that has managed to go down in history as one of the most notorious and controversial extreme music bands ever, right? Pretty crucial listening for fans of early Naked City and Boredoms, too, since AxCx was one of the few other bands of that era to blast through the conventions of extreme music to the same degree that those bands did. Anyways, we've stocked four of their Earache albums for the first time here at Crucial Blast, so now's a perfect opportunity for grind/noise/improv freaks to add these to their collection.
Anal Cunt's second album came out in 1995 and featured forty tracks that are divided up between blasting improvised grindnoise, brain-damaged punk, and fast, ripping hardcore, with a handful of ridiculous "covers" thrown in. When the band launches into their ultra-noisy blasts, they achieve that same Merbow / Incapacitants-level of sonic rumble as their earlier album, but at least half of Top 40 Hits is more song based, for whatever that's worth. The fucked-up punk rock stuff reminds me a lot of Ohio "tard-core" legends Sockeye, and indeed A.C. front man Seth Putnam can be seen in the booklet sporting a Sockeye shirt, so there's obviously some of that band's influence floating around here, as well as lots of brutal death metal riffing and other weirdness, but this album will probably always be best known for the completely bonkers covers that the band included. There's Rupert Holmes's "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)", Elton John's "I'm Still Standing", The Guess Who's "American Woman", the theme song from The A-Team, and the totally ridiculous "Stayin' Alive (Oi! Version)", all delivered via Anal Cunt's skull-wrecking psychosis. Other "hits": "Living Colour Is My Favorite Black Metal Band", "Benchpressing Effects on Kevin Sharp's Vocals", "Stealing Seth's Ideas: the New Book by Jon Chang", "Morbid Dead Guy", "Don't Call Japanese Hardcore Jap Core".
Track Samples:
Sample : American Woman
Sample : Flower Shop Guy
Sample : I Liked Earache Better When Dig Answered the Phone
Sample : Living Colour Is My Favorite Black Metal Band
Sample : Old Lady Across the Hall With No Life



ANAL CUNT   Wearing Out Our Welcome   LP   (Limited Appeal)    15.98

Wearing Out Our Welcome IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

I seriously doubt that Seth Putnam would have wanted to be eulogized, but I gotta say that I'm glad that the final record from Anal Cunt is as over-the-top offensive and hateful as anything the band ever did, a big stinking thumb in the eye of extreme music all the way to the end. This one-sided Lp came out earlier this year, just after front man and founding member Putnam died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of forty-three, leaving behind a legacy that included some of the most vilified music to ever come out of the grind/death underground. Released on the boutique label Limited Appeal, this hand-assembled Lp comes in a white jacket with full color artwork pasted to the front (courtesy of artist Sean Linehan, who also did the hilarious cover art for AxCx's I Like It When You Die) and the liner notes and track listing affixed to the back, with a minimal insert and hand-stamped labels. Each copy is hand-numbered in an edition of three hundred and ninety-four copies, and like the other Anal Cunt records that Limited Appeal has put out, this is going to be out of print pretty soon. If you were never a fan of Anal Cunt before, listening to Wearing Out Our Welcome sure wouldn't convert you. The needle scrapes through the eleven songs of standard AxCx blurr that blast your skull with a mix of gnarly midpaced metalpunk and filthy hardcore blasting off into whirlwind distorted noise, labeled with some of the band's most outrageously PC-baiting song titles and lyrics ever, such as "Get On Your Knees, Cunt" and "One Man Ghetto"; there's also some humorous self-awareness when you see other songs on this record like "Nothings Offensive Anymore" and "Wasting Time Writing Anal Cunt Songs". While their earlier albums would be packed to overflowing with super-short blasts of noisecore, their more recent stuff have featured longer songs, with more hardcore thrown into the mix, and less fifteen-second blurrcore eruptions. It's still hard to call these "songs", though, even with the catchy punk riffs and sing-along choruses...this is extremely noisy, chaotic shit, shapeless guitar noise and anti-riffs whipping out mangy hardcore thrash, all fronted by Seth's screeching panther vocals. The song "Caring About Anything Is Gay" that appears second to last could just be their ultimate nihilistic anthem, and is as perfect a final statement from AxCx as you could expect.
Track Samples:
Sample : Caring About Anything Is Gay
Sample : Get On Your Knees Cunt
Sample : One Man Ghetto
Sample : We Are Anal Cunt
Sample : Wearing Out Our Welcome



ANATOMIA   Shreds Of Putrefaction   10" VINYL   (Nuclear War Now! Productions)    13.98



I reviewed a compilation cd here last year called Doomed To Death Damned In Hell that featured exclusive material from three Japanese doom-death bands. That compilation (which we still have in stock) was an awesome collection of fucked-up, ultra-heavy deathsludge that not only delivered some exclusive jams from one of my favorite current death metal bands, Coffins, but also introduced me to two bands that I immediately fell in love with, the sickening graveyard sludge of Grudge, and the wasted Frost-worship of Anatomia, who featured members of the cult Japanese death metal band Transgressor.
I've been keeping my eyes peeled for more stuff from both of those bands ever since, and while I haven't been able to find much else from Grudge, I finally located this 10" vinyl release from Tokyo's Anatomia. This limited edition EP came out on Nuclear War Now! and is actually a reissue of Anatomia's 2003 demo, with four tracks of warped, spaced-out deathsludge and a bonus cover of Repulsion's "Splattered Cadavers" that was previously unreleased. Like most of the other Japanese death/doom bands that I listen to, there's something vaguely weird about Anatomia's music. It's obviously rooted in early Celtic Frost and primitive American death metal, but there's that special x-factor that makes this more than just another blurt of slow-mo death metal. The riffs are stripped down, simple and plodding and heavy as fuck, but the guitarist is prone to veer into weird angular riffs while the bassist accompanies him with these odd dissonant basslines. The drumming, on the other hand, is totally barbaric, just lumbering sludgy dirges and splattery slo-mo double-kick thunder, and the vocals spew ragged vomitous roars across Anatomia's fetid sludge. Clouds of dank reverb drift through the recording, and smears of grimy dark ambience appear in between songs. The lyrics are indecipherable gore-soaked hallucintations, songs like "Morgue Of Cannibalism", "Funeral Feast" and "Drowned In Sewage" all speak for themselves, and the record artwork is awesome, with horrific Chris Moyen-esque visions of victims being consumed by amorphous corpse-blobs. Crushing, filthy, totally awesome death-dirge insanity along the lines of Coffins, early Incantation at their slowest, Autopsy, Grudge, etc.
Track Samples:
Sample : Morgue Of Cannibalism
Sample : Funeral Feast
Sample : Drowned In Sewage



ANATOMIA   Decaying In Obscurity   2 x LP   (Nuclear War Now! Productions)    29.98



I've been a big fan of everything that I've heard from the Japanese doom-death band Anatomia, who have been offering a twisted take on their slow-motion death metal since forming in 2002, but their latest Decaying In Obscurity takes their crawling heaviness into a new level of putrescent delirium. Like the band states on the back cover of the album jacket, Anatomia specializes in "dismal slow death metal...", but their foul, discordant doomdeath has expanded into stranger regions with this new record, their music now laced with some subtle electronic and experimental touches that gives their newer material more of a unique edge. They've always had a weird feel to their crushing Autopsy/Frost influenced music, previous records often featuring some off-kilter angular riffing and spacey graveyard ambience, but they've really carved out a strange sound all their own on Decaying In Obscurity.
When the album starts, the band immediately sinks into the sort of ghoulish glacial heaviness they're known for, opening with the nightmarish melting groans and glowing keyboard slime that begins "Cadaveric Dissection", and the band quickly lurches into a super-heavy, cavernous death/doom assault that shifts easily between fast-paced thrashiness and slothful, cadaverous dirges. Barbaric death/doom with bludgeoning Frostian riffage, strange discordant guitar textures, and gaseous vomit vocals is at the core of Anatomia's sound, with a fucking monstrous low-end presence that makes you feel as if the band is moving through molten lead, but they also mix in some killer, eerie guitar melodies with the downtuned crush to create a strange otherworldly feel. It's not long before you start to hear the keyboards that Anatomia is now adding to their sound, and I love the way they're incorporating them into the mix; the keyboards are used sparingly and sparsely, laying down weird atonal melodies alongside the crushing riffs as well as some nightmarish electronic noises and putrid synth-vomit, subtle droning textures that are situated beneath the grinding glacial crush, adding an experimental, somewhat industrial feel to their Autopsy-esque heaviness that extends into monstrous industrial loops and eerie horror-movie soundtrack ambience that appear on the track 'Obscurity'. This subtle electronic shading never overshadows the death metal, though, as the band bludgeons you with the cavernous D-beat driven death metal of "Garbage", the many passages of glacial bass guitar that slowly wind into immense crawling dirges, the chunky, catchy grooves of "Sinking Into The Unknown" and the blasting frenzy of "The Unseen". The album closes this slab of utterly morbid rot-worship with another chunk of macabre weirdness with the song "Eternally Forgotten", where the heavier riffage drop out completely, and the band lurches through a ghastly funereal crawl layered with eerie keyboards, lumbering bass guitar and smears of clear, atonal guitar.
Anatomia have found a perfect mix of atmospheric weirdness and crushing death/doom on this record, and its definitely a new favorite here. The packaging is fantastic, too. Nuclear War Now always puts out quality looking stuff, but the design for this record really stands out, with a heavy gatefold package that has the interiors of the pockets lined with full-color images of glistening viscera that create a striking contrast with Eiichi Ito's dark, surreal artwork on the outside of the jacket. Available on black vinyl, and includes a foldout poster and a printed insert.
Track Samples:
Sample : The Unseen
Sample : Moans From Beyond the Grave
Sample : Dead Body Art
Sample : Cadaveric Dissection



ANATOMIA   Decaying In Obscurity (DIEHARD EDITION)   2 x LP   (Nuclear War Now! Productions)    29.99



   We now have the "Die Hard" edition of Anatomia's latest in stock, which comes on heavy colored vinyl and includes a large Anatomia backpatch and large black and white sticker.
  I've been a big fan of everything that I've heard from the Japanese doom-death band Anatomia, who have been offering a twisted take on their slow-motion death metal since forming in 2002, but their latest Decaying In Obscurity takes their crawling heaviness into a new level of putrescent delirium. Like the band states on the back cover of the album jacket, Anatomia specializes in "dismal slow death metal...", but their foul, discordant doomdeath has expanded into stranger regions with this new record, their music now laced with some subtle electronic and experimental touches that gives their newer material more of a unique edge. They've always had a weird feel to their crushing Autopsy/Frost influenced music, previous records often featuring some off-kilter angular riffing and spacey graveyard ambience, but they've really carved out a strange sound all their own on Decaying In Obscurity.
   When the album starts, the band immediately sinks into the sort of ghoulish glacial heaviness they're known for, opening with the nightmarish melting groans and glowing keyboard slime that begins "Cadaveric Dissection", and the band quickly lurches into a super-heavy, cavernous death/doom assault that shifts easily between fast-paced thrashiness and slothful, cadaverous dirges. Barbaric death/doom with bludgeoning Frostian riffage, strange discordant guitar textures, and gaseous vomit vocals is at the core of Anatomia's sound, with a fucking monstrous low-end presence that makes you feel as if the band is moving through molten lead, but they also mix in some killer, eerie guitar melodies with the downtuned crush to create a strange otherworldly feel. It's not long before you start to hear the keyboards that Anatomia is now adding to their sound, and I love the way they're incorporating them into the mix; the keyboards are used sparingly and sparsely, laying down weird atonal melodies alongside the crushing riffs as well as some nightmarish electronic noises and putrid synth-vomit, subtle droning textures that are situated beneath the grinding glacial crush, adding an experimental, somewhat industrial feel to their Autopsy-esque heaviness that extends into monstrous industrial loops and eerie horror-movie soundtrack ambience that appear on the track 'Obscurity'. This subtle electronic shading never overshadows the death metal, though, as the band bludgeons you with the cavernous D-beat driven death metal of "Garbage", the many passages of glacial bass guitar that slowly wind into immense crawling dirges, the chunky, catchy grooves of "Sinking Into The Unknown" and the blasting frenzy of "The Unseen". The album closes this slab of utterly morbid rot-worship with another chunk of macabre weirdness with the song "Eternally Forgotten", where the heavier riffage drop out completely, and the band lurches through a ghastly funereal crawl layered with eerie keyboards, lumbering bass guitar and smears of clear, atonal guitar.
   Anatomia have found a perfect mix of atmospheric weirdness and crushing death/doom on this record, and its definitely a new favorite here. The packaging is fantastic, too. Nuclear War Now always puts out quality looking stuff, but the design for this record really stands out, with a heavy gatefold package that has the interiors of the pockets lined with full-color images of glistening viscera that create a striking contrast with Eiichi Ito's dark, surreal artwork on the outside of the jacket, and includes a foldout poster and a printed insert.
Track Samples:
Sample : The Unseen
Sample : Moans From Beyond the Grave
Sample : Dead Body Art
Sample : Cadaveric Dissection



ANATOMIA   Decaying In Obscurity   CD   (Nuclear War Now! Productions)    9.98



   Now available on CD.
  I've been a big fan of everything that I've heard from the Japanese doom-death band Anatomia, who have been offering a twisted take on their slow-motion death metal since forming in 2002, but their latest Decaying In Obscurity takes their crawling heaviness into a new level of putrescent delirium. Like the band states on the back cover of the album jacket, Anatomia specializes in "dismal slow death metal...", but their foul, discordant doomdeath has expanded into stranger regions with this new record, their music now laced with some subtle electronic and experimental touches that gives their newer material more of a unique edge. They've always had a weird feel to their crushing Autopsy/Frost influenced music, previous records often featuring some off-kilter angular riffing and spacey graveyard ambience, but they've really carved out a strange sound all their own on Decaying In Obscurity.
   When the album starts, the band immediately sinks into the sort of ghoulish glacial heaviness they're known for, opening with the nightmarish melting groans and glowing keyboard slime that begins "Cadaveric Dissection", and the band quickly lurches into a super-heavy, cavernous death/doom assault that shifts easily between fast-paced thrashiness and slothful, cadaverous dirges. Barbaric death/doom with bludgeoning Frostian riffage, strange discordant guitar textures, and gaseous vomit vocals is at the core of Anatomia's sound, with a fucking monstrous low-end presence that makes you feel as if the band is moving through molten lead, but they also mix in some killer, eerie guitar melodies with the downtuned crush to create a strange otherworldly feel. It's not long before you start to hear the keyboards that Anatomia is now adding to their sound, and I love the way they're incorporating them into the mix; the keyboards are used sparingly and sparsely, laying down weird atonal melodies alongside the crushing riffs as well as some nightmarish electronic noises and putrid synth-vomit, subtle droning textures that are situated beneath the grinding glacial crush, adding an experimental, somewhat industrial feel to their Autopsy-esque heaviness that extends into monstrous industrial loops and eerie horror-movie soundtrack ambience that appear on the track 'Obscurity'. This subtle electronic shading never overshadows the death metal, though, as the band bludgeons you with the cavernous D-beat driven death metal of "Garbage", the many passages of glacial bass guitar that slowly wind into immense crawling dirges, the chunky, catchy grooves of "Sinking Into The Unknown" and the blasting frenzy of "The Unseen". The album closes this slab of utterly morbid rot-worship with another chunk of macabre weirdness with the song "Eternally Forgotten", where the heavier riffage drop out completely, and the band lurches through a ghastly funereal crawl layered with eerie keyboards, lumbering bass guitar and smears of clear, atonal guitar.
   Anatomia have found a perfect mix of atmospheric weirdness and crushing death/doom on this record, and its definitely a new favorite here. The packaging is fantastic, too, and features Eiichi Ito's dark, surreal artwork.
Track Samples:
Sample : The Unseen
Sample : Moans From Beyond the Grave
Sample : Dead Body Art
Sample : Cadaveric Dissection



ANATOMY OF HABIT   self-titled   CD   (Bloodlust!)    10.98



Although Chicago noise artist Mark Solotroff has been destroying eardrums for nearly thirty years, first with his early American power electronics outfit Intrinsic Action that combined rabid Whitehouse worship with an evil undercurrent of S&M sleaze, later with the extreme electronic abuse of Bloodyminded and the apocalyptic industrial sludge-scapes of The Fortieth Day, it hasn't been until recently that Solotroff has started to explore more rock-based delivery systems for his visions of dystopian violence and collapse. Starting with a self-titled 12" released in 2011 and followed by another, similarly untitled 12" the following year, Solotroff's new band Anatomy Of Habit (which also features Blake Edwards of Vertonen on metal percussion, drummer Dylan Posa, formerly of Flying Luttenbachers and Cheer Accident, bassist Kenny Rasmussen, and Greg Ratajczak of Plague Bringer and Winters In Osaka) has been building a sound that is equal parts crushing noise rock, 80's-style goth n' gloom, metallic sludge and hypnotic post-punk, with long songs that stretch out across an entire side of a record, marked by marked by slow buildups into pummeling sludgy heaviness and long circular grooves. Swans and Joy Division are obvious influences on the band's music, but there's also a bit of Om-like psychedelic repetition here as well, giving this a heavy, trance-inducing feel at times.
The band has assembled their first Cd release with this re-mastered collection of all of their vinyl tracks to date, compiling both of the self-titled 12"s here on this full-length disc. Packaged in a six-panel digipack, this is an excellent entry point into Anatomy Of Habit's dour, industrial-tinged gloom-rock.
The first Lp features the tracks "Overcome" and "Torch": "Overcome" sprawls out into a dark, brooding mass of slow-moving gloom rock, the minimal guitars and droning bass line giving this a real Joy Division-ish feel, the deep distant vocals cloaked in shadows, the song seeming to be building eternally as the chiming delay-streaked guitar notes and incantatory singing rises ever skyward. It gradually takes on a ritualistic vibe as the drums come in and the song locks into a kind of circular trance, the melody slowly spinning around, over and over, a gloomy shambling hypnorock loop; it builds like this for minutes at a time, the sound slowly growing in intensity, until it all suddenly lurches into the pounding, sludgy heaviness that takes over the last half of the song, a lumbering, droning low-end crush fused to a catchy melodic hook, somewhere in between Killing Joke and Neurosis's calmer moments of apocalyptic dirge. The seventeen minute "Torch" is another powerful gloom epic, coming in on waves of shimmering cymbals and distant whirring synths, then shifts into dark piano sounds and those far-off vocals before slipping into another monstrous slo-mo groove. This one has some of the band's heaviest stuff, blooming into crushing metallic war-sludge and massive chugging riffage, then later devolving into discordant, plodding heaviness at the end.
The second 12" from Anatomy Of Habit features two more long tracks of their crushing, hypnotic post-punk, "After The Water" and "The Decade Plan", and sees the band introducing piano and synthesizer into their sound. After a haunting introduction of simple laid-back percussion and jangling guitar melody, "After The Water" opens up into a kind of slow, brooding gloom-rock, somewhere in between Swans and some slow-moving math rock outfit, the heartfelt vocals droning over this slowly developing hook; somewhere around the middle of the song, it changes into an almost militaristic rhythm with clanging bass and the vocals becoming harder, more stentorian, right before surging into a blast of crushing, pummeling sludge. "The Decade Plan" follows with slowly cascading clean guitars and speak-sing vocals that make the beginning of the song sound like some early 90s slowcore, then blasts into a crushing doom-laden riff, a strange stilted heaviness with clanking metallic percussion rattling in the background, slowly but inexorably building into a majestic finale.
Track Samples:
Sample : Torch
Sample : Overcome
Sample : The Decade Plan
Sample : After The Water



ANATOMY OF HABIT   self-titled (I)   LP   (Bloodlust!)    15.99



Although Chicago noise artist Mark Solotroff has been destroying eardrums for nearly thirty years, first with his early American power electronics outfit Intrinsic Action that combined rabid Whitehouse worship with an evil undercurrent of S&M sleaze, later with the extreme electronic abuse of Bloodyminded and the apocalyptic industrial sludge-scapes of The Fortieth Day, it hasn't been until recently that Solotroff has started to explore more rock-based delivery systems for his visions of dystopian violence and collapse. Starting with a self-titled 12" released in 2011 and followed by another, similarly untitled 12" the following year, Solotroff's new band Anatomy Of Habit (which also features Blake Edwards of Vertonen on metal percussion, drummer Dylan Posa, formerly of Flying Luttenbachers and Cheer Accident, bassist Kenny Rasmussen, and Greg Ratajczak of Plague Bringer and Winters In Osaka) has been building a sound that is equal parts crushing noise rock, 80's-style goth n' gloom, metallic sludge and hypnotic post-punk, with long songs that stretch out across an entire side of a record, marked by marked by slow buildups into pummeling sludgy heaviness and long circular grooves. Swans and Joy Division are obvious influences on the band's music, but there's also a bit of Om-like psychedelic repetition here as well, giving this a heavy, trance-inducing feel at times.
The debut Lp from Anatomy Of Habit features the tracks "Overcome" and "Torch", sprawling out over two sides of black vinyl housed in a striking Lp package with a black and white die-cut sleeve designed by Jonathan Canady (Deathpile/Malsonus) that holds a printed inner sleeve. First up is "Overcome", which sprawls out into a dark, brooding mass of slow-moving gloom rock, the minimal guitars and droning bass line giving this a real Joy Division-ish feel, the deep distant vocals cloaked in shadows, the song seeming to be building eternally as the chiming delay-streaked guitar notes and incantatory singing rises ever skyward. It gradually takes on a ritualistic vibe as the drums come in and the song locks into a kind of circular trance, the melody slowly spinning around, over and over, a gloomy shambling hypnorock loop; it builds like this for minutes at a time, the sound slowly growing in intensity, until it all suddenly lurches into the pounding, sludgy heaviness that takes over the last half of the song, a lumbering, droning low-end crush fused to a catchy melodic hook, somewhere in between Killing Joke and Neurosis's calmer moments of apocalyptic dirge. The seventeen minute "Torch" is another powerful gloom epic, coming in on waves of shimmering cymbals and distant whirring synths, then shifts into dark piano sounds and those far-off vocals before slipping into another monstrous slo-mo groove. This one has some of the band's heaviest stuff, blooming into crushing metallic war-sludge and massive chugging riffage, then later devolving into discordant, plodding heaviness at the end.
Track Samples:
Sample : Torch
Sample : Overcome



ANATOMY OF HABIT   self-titled (II)   LP   (Bloodlust!)    15.99



Although Chicago noise artist Mark Solotroff has been destroying eardrums for nearly thirty years, first with his early American power electronics outfit Intrinsic Action that combined rabid Whitehouse worship with an evil undercurrent of S&M sleaze, later with the extreme electronic abuse of Bloodyminded and the apocalyptic industrial sludge-scapes of The Fortieth Day, it hasn't been until recently that Solotroff has started to explore more rock-based delivery systems for his visions of dystopian violence and collapse. Starting with a self-titled 12" released in 2011 and followed by another, similarly untitled 12" the following year, Solotroff's new band Anatomy Of Habit (which also features Blake Edwards of Vertonen on metal percussion, drummer Dylan Posa, formerly of Flying Luttenbachers and Cheer Accident, bassist Kenny Rasmussen, and Greg Ratajczak of Plague Bringer and Winters In Osaka) has been building a sound that is equal parts crushing noise rock, 80's-style goth n' gloom, metallic sludge and hypnotic post-punk, with long songs that stretch out across an entire side of a record, marked by marked by slow buildups into pummeling sludgy heaviness and long circular grooves. Swans and Joy Division are obvious influences on the band's music, but there's also a bit of Om-like psychedelic repetition here as well, giving this a heavy, trance-inducing feel at times.
Released earlier in 2012, the second 12" from Anatomy Of Habit comes in a white glossy jacket with a new variation on the band's "five nails" image that has appeared on the cover of each of their releases so far. This self-titled record features two more long tracks of their crushing, hypnotic post-punk, "After The Water" and "The Decade Plan", and sees the band introducing piano and synthesizer into their sound. After a haunting introduction of simple laid-back percussion and jangling guitar melody, "After The Water" opens up into a kind of slow, brooding gloom-rock, somewhere in between Swans and some slow-moving math rock outfit, the heartfelt vocals droning over this slowly developing hook; somewhere around the middle of the song, it changes into an almost militaristic rhythm with clanging bass and the vocals becoming harder, more stentorian, right before surging into a blast of crushing, pummeling sludge. "The Decade Plan" follows with slowly cascading clean guitars and speak-sing vocals that make the beginning of the song sound like some early 90s slowcore, then blasts into a crushing doom-laden riff, a strange stilted heaviness with clanking metallic percussion rattling in the background, slowly but inexorably building into a majestic finale.
Comes on white vinyl, and includes a digital download code for the album.
Track Samples:
Sample : The Decade Plan
Sample : After The Water



ANCESTORS   II   7" VINYL   (Youth Attack)    10.98

II IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

This Californian band has surrounded itself in mystery from the start, cloaking their records in almost unreadable text and strange photos that, while not showing anything overtly threatening, still manage to suggest bad things...it was only recently that I even found out that Mark McCoy from Charles Bronson and Das Oath plays in this band, although I shouldn't be surprised, since his label Youth Attack out both the Ancestors LP and this here 7", and when i listen to this latest slab of blownout blackened scumpunk, I can hear a definite hardcore vibe seething underneath the rheumy distortion and fried amplifiers. That first Lp that these whackos released last year was possibly the most distorted and over the top blackpunk record that I'd heard all year, even showing up similiarly fucked-up offerings from Malveillance and Bone Awl, but boy, they apparently weren't close to reaching their limit. Somehow, on II, Ancestors have become even more noisy and distorted and furious, igniting two untitled sides of blistering thrashing filth in yer face with this criminally limited 7". It's fast and short, the two sides/songs(?) jammed into a brief but effective runtime, both of 'em fierce as fuck and raging and weirdly catchy, once again mashing together old school hardcore punk and primitive black metal into a compacted blot of maxed-out ultra-distorted violence.
Fast thrashy riffs and jackhammer blastbeats and spiteful vocals are jammed through an obscene amount of distortion, pushing the music way into the red and drowing everything in fuzz and white-hot filth, the guitars sizzling and warping, the riffs disintegrating into total buzz, the drummer pounding away at the simple midpaced blastbeats while all around him the sound turns into a swirling, acidic mass of blackened noise. When the vocals kick in, the effect is jarring; a disgusting, hyperdistorted snarl run through a gazillion effects, super fucked up and demonic sounding. the songs are mostly blasting blackened thrash, but there are parts where the band suddenly veers into pure old school hardcore, like Void or something, or contort into an unexpected math rock breakdown, or spit out a catchy anthemic melody, but even these parts are slathered in grimy distortion. Awesome shit that fans of this whole current wave of fierce punky black metal bands like Akitsa, Bone Awl, Malveillance, Zarach'Baal'Tharagh, and Raw Hatred will love.
The record comes in an amazing package, the 7" pressed on thick white vinyl and packaged inside of a full color jacket with multiple insert sheers, and limited to 333 copies.


ANCESTORS   self-titled (WHITE VINYL)   LP   (Youth Attack)    17.98

self-titled (WHITE VINYL) IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

So weird seeing a black metal album on Youth Attack. This is the same label that released the awesome arty thrashcore of Das Oath and some really killer hardcore from Japan and Chicago, including the notorious fastcore band Charles Bronson, but their latest release is pure fucking blackness, a super limited vinyl release of an out of print cassette from the enigmatic Ancestors. Don't confuse this band with the Hawkwind-worshipping psych-doom band on Tee Pee - this Ancestors is an entirely different beast, an ultra blown-out blackpunk holocaust that showers you in insane levels of caustic distortion. Jesus christ, is this noisy. The mysterious album artwork shows photos of a basement staircase and a dressing room mirror obscured by fog that seems to reflect the image of someone, faceless and formless, their image completely blurred and unrecognizeable, strange images that don't give you any indication of the carnage within...but as soon as this record begins to spin, a rush of ultra distorted, crushing, venomous black metal filth spills out, intensely raw and low-fi and damaged. This band is right up there with Bone Awl, Akitsa and Ildjarn, a violently fucked up blast of blackened punk with stomping, midpaced riffs crumbling off of immensely distorted, speaker-blowing guitars, bestial blackened shrieks, drums mixed so far in the red that they become pounding grenade blasts, and everything is smeared in a thick layers of white noise and grit. More punk than metal, the songs veering through the overdriven murk on hypnotic sledgehammer beats that come close to the fucked up techno-like pummel that Ildjarn was known for, but way more noisy and drowned in malfunctioning amplifier vomit. This record is CRUCIAL if yer a fan of ultrablown, distorted punky black metal a la Bone Awl and Malveillance! Released in a limited edition of 333 copies on heavy white vinyl, this record is already sold out through the label!


ANCIENT CHINESE SECRET   Caveat Emptor   CD   (Slap A Ham)    4.98



Just unearthed some of the last copies of this zany late-era Slap A Ham release, and it's super cheap too! Check this out if you are looking to bomb your brain with some of the craziest out-thrash to emerge from the heyday of the West Coast extreme hardcore movement!
Man, that was a dark day when Slap A Ham Records shut down around the turn of the century; throughout the 90's, Slap A Ham was putting out pretty much the most seminal, mindblowing music in the underground extreme hardcore scene, with now-classic releases from bands like Man Is The Bastard, Spazz, Infest, Discordance Axis, Burning Witch, Noothgrush, Melt Banana, Gasp, and a ton of other extreme, unique, insanely heavy bands. Slap A Ham kept getting cooler and weirder as time went on, too, and it's safe for me to say that the label was a huge influence on the formation of Crucial Blast. Luckily for us, right before the label folded, they put out some of their weirdest releases ever, including this amazing one-shot album from Ancient Chinese Secret, the avant-new wave-powerviolence trio of ex-Spazz dude and Slap A Ham owner Chris Dodge himself on bass, vocals, ring modulator, and keyboards, his wife Lydia on vocals and organ, and former Capitalist Casualties drummer Matt Martin on drums, keyboards, and vocals. This is one of those albums that was criminally overlooked when it came out, and was years ahead of it's time. At least I think so. This post-Spazz project was originally monikered Doctor Bombay before the band changed it's name to Ancient Chinese Secret, and blended the high-speed, bass-heavy grindy Hardcore freakouts of Spazz with Lydia's deadpan shouts and a weird mix of cartoon sound effects, trippy tape loops, and spooky electronic noises. When the band goes full tilt, it's like a playful, minimalist speed metal assault. Imagine a psychedelic mix of Melt Banana, Man Is The Bastard, Wall Of Voodoo's percussive New Wave, and NoMeansNo's complex artpunk instrumentation. Thoroughly weird and fast and amazing, with a similiarly bent mindset as Dodge's subsequent work with Dave Witte on the East West Blast Test project. The CD version of this album is now completely out of print, but I managed to obtain a stash of this killer album on vinyl for anyone interested in blowing their minds with some of the craziest out-thrash to emerge from the heyday of the West Coast extreme hardcore movement!


ANCIENT CHINESE SECRET   Caveat Emptor   LP   (Slap A Ham)    8.98



Back in stock, and cheaper now than before too!
Man, that was a dark day when Slap A Ham Records shut down around the turn of the century; throughout the 90's, Slap A Ham was putting out pretty much the most seminal, mindblowing music in the underground extreme hardcore scene, with now-classic releases from bands like Man Is The Bastard, Spazz, Infest, Discordance Axis, Burning Witch, Noothgrush, Melt Banana, Gasp, and a ton of other extreme, unique, insanely heavy bands. Slap A Ham kept getting cooler and weirder as time went on, too, and it's safe for me to say that the label was a huge influence on the formation of Crucial Blast. Luckily for us, right before the label folded, they put out some of their weirdest releases ever, including this amazing one-shot album from Ancient Chinese Secret, the avant-new wave-powerviolence trio of ex-Spazz dude and Slap A Ham owner Chris Dodge himself on bass, vocals, ring modulator, and keyboards, his wife Lydia on vocals and organ, and former Capitalist Casualties drummer Matt Martin on drums, keyboards, and vocals. This is one of those albums that was criminally overlooked when it came out, and was years ahead of it's time. At least I think so. This post-Spazz project was originally monikered Doctor Bombay before the band changed it's name to Ancient Chinese Secret, and blended the high-speed, bass-heavy grindy Hardcore freakouts of Spazz with Lydia's deadpan shouts and a weird mix of cartoon sound effects, trippy tape loops, and spooky electronic noises. When the band goes full tilt, it's like a playful, minimalist speed metal assault. Imagine a psychedelic mix of Melt Banana, Man Is The Bastard, Wall Of Voodoo's percussive New Wave, and NoMeansNo's complex artpunk instrumentation. Thoroughly weird and fast and amazing, with a similiarly bent mindset as Dodge's subsequent work with Dave Witte on the East West Blast Test project. The CD version of this album is now completely out of print, but I managed to obtain a stash of this killer album on vinyl for anyone interested in blowing their minds with some of the craziest out-thrash to emerge from the heyday of the West Coast extreme hardcore movement!


AND SAY WE DID   Final Demonstration   CD   (Basement Apes)    11.98



A couple of years ago Cyril Blandino, former bassist of French post-metalcore destructos Superstatic Revolution, landed in Cleveland after Superstatic toured the US. Repositioning himself musically, Blandino joined a newly formed band called And Say We Did, which evolved into yet another quartet working sans vocals in a heavy, instrumental mode. The band's debut album Final Demonstration was recorded a couple of years ago and finally released in 2005 on French label Basement Apes Industries, but we're just now getting it onto the shelves at Crucial Blast. Glad we did, 'cuz And Say We Did's concise jams are loaded with killer two-guitar noiserock/mathrock riffage and melodic indie jangle that's interspersed with crushing post-hardcore eruptions and precision angles, sorta similiar to our buddies Suzukiton, but with a melodic post-rock vibe that sets in when the band drifts into dreamy guitars and pretty layered melodies. Rad stuff that fans of Don Cabellero, Pelican, Keelhaul, Dysrythmia, and Suzukiton will want to wrap their heads around.


ANDUIN   Abandoned In Sleep   CD   (SMTG Limited)    9.98



Some more fantastic dark ambience from Anduin, the solo project from Jonathan Lee who's also a member of Souvenir's Young America. This second Anduin album follows up a couple of great collaborative releases, the Bending Of Light disc with Jasper Tx and the live 7" Black River with Svarte Greiner (which is actually included here as a single unbroken track as a bonus track not on the Lp version), and travels into darker, deeper regions of eerie ambience than before.
There's an element of dark electronica that's apparent on Abandoned In Sleep that wasn't on the previous releases, at least not to this extent. The tracks are still heavy on the swirling, dreamy drift and melodious shadowdrone, but Lee introduces massive low-end bass and collages of rhythmic clicks and scraping sounds that add a rhythmic throb to much of the sound here. The sound is ever-changing, too, thanks to the presence of several guest contributors that include Xela, Stephen Vitiello, Jasper TX, and Gareth Davis who offer either source material or actual studio collabs, and Lee takes these recordings and samples and materials and crafts them into fields of dark lugubrious, gorgeous and lushly layered but wrapped in a dreamy kosmich heaviness. Earth-shaking bass throb reverberates through mysterious abstract clatter and sheets of obsidian synth, swells of distorted horns and metal scrape, the sound of harmonica, such an integral part of Souvenir's Young America's sound, appearing here on certain tracks, haunting and ghostly as it floats across rumbling depth-charge bass, eerie keening vocals, the sound so heavy and creepy, flecked with little fragments of sound like breaking glass, saxophones, electronic glitch and whir, clanging metal and pops and clicks. Found sounds and field recordings also figure heavily into Abandoned's dreamlike shadow-world, overlaying incidental sounds of creaking doors and footsteps and hard-drive hum on clouds of warm melted drone and shuffling industrial rhythms and distant grinding gears, often sounding like Scorn scoring an avant-garde Western. In fact, it feels like some dubstep influence has found it's way into Anduin's dark kosmiche music, as in the doom-laden liquid bass tremors on tracks like “Content of a Black Box”, and the sputtering low-end rhythm of “Octagonal Forms”, bringing a killer new edge to Anduin's sound.
The cd version also includes three bonus tracks: an untitled piece, the track "Filed Away" which was created for an installation piece, and the complete live collab with Svarte Greiner "Black River" - The first half of "Black River" is a churning fog of murky low-end rumble and nocturnal whirr with muted swells of murky orchestral strings and heavy feedback, deep subterranean throb, and metallic high-end feedback leaving streaks of melodic glare across a vast black cloudbank, immense and ominous. The second side picks up from there and descends deeper into the black pulsating mist, that deep, heavy electrical pulse still humming away in the background and oscillating back and forth, while strands of feedback and flecks of haunting melody waft through the darkness.

Track Samples:
Sample : Contents Of A Black Box
Sample : Labyrinthian Void
Sample : Octagonal Forms
Sample : Our Future Is A Debt



ANDUIN   Forever Waiting   CD   (SMTG Limited)    9.98



Stripping almost all of the "rock" elements (drums, heavy guitars, linear songs) and leaving just the vast, sprawling Western ambience found in the music of Souvenirs Young America, Anduin is the new solo project from SYA's Jonathan Lee that sees him engaging in an altogether darker and more textured sound than the proggy instrumental rock of his main band. I've been hooked on this album for months ever since Jonathan hooked me up with an advance copy of it, and fans of SYA are definitely going to dig these spacey soundscapes...that same dustbowl ambience is here, except Anduin creates it out of rumbling basslines and surges of growling synthesizers, swarms of noisy minutiae swirling and roiling in the depths of the drifting ambience, and fractured hypnotic rhythms formed from percussive loops and skittering electronica instead of the chugging riffage and lonely, desolate melodies of his main band. One of the things that ties together the two musical projects is the harmonica, whose Western wheeze resonates all over Forever Waiting...just like in SYA, the harmonica gives this a unique, heartsick beauty that sounds really amazing. The disc opens up with "For Francis Bacon Part 1", a tribute to the master painter by way of huge swathes of churning keyboard drone mottled with ghostly strains of feedback, sweeping cosmic fx and that lonesome harmonica played in the background...a deep, heavy spaced-out slab of dark ambience that sounds like staring at the night sky from the middle of the Mojave and drinking in an ocean of stars. On "Makepiece In Pieces", the sound becomes more abstracted and tense as an eerie looped melody plays over slices of field recordings and strange electronic burbling...later joined by huge swells of distorted synth and low-end drone. Dubby breakbeats and skittering electronica serve as the backbone for the layered dark ambience of "The Black Line (Forever Waiting), where the harmonica appears again over ringing guitar notes and somber drones, the beat transforming from tribal beats into more abstract rhythms and clomping loops that sound like the sound of horse hooves on stones being reshaped into a percussive loop. One of the albums' heaviest moments arrives with "Rain Cloud, Storm Cloud", which begins with a massive growling drone that sounds like a distorted riff rumbling in perpetual amp-roar while thunderous gongs ring out, then in the second half turns into a cosmic blast of languid tribal drums and roaring synths.
The end of the disc features appearances from Jaspar TX and Xela on reworkings of two of the previous tracks...on ""Reason In Exile Part 2" Jaspar TX takes some of the basic drones of the first part and creates a gorgeous slowcore epic that wraps a slide guitar melody in cloaks of murky sound and deep ambience, and it sounds like the glacial country music of newer Earth being played back underwater. The Xela mix takes particles of "For Francis Bacon" and crafts a heavily distorted hymn, whorls of radio static swirling through an utterly beautiful chorus of piano and angelic voices cascading in syrupy overtones over blissed out organ drones, building to a crescendo of noise that resembles Sigur Ros being flooded by Merzbowian skree.
So beautiful and ethereal, but with some moments of massive heaviness in the subsonic dark drones and grinding guitar textures, Anduin's music is not quite dark ambient or space rock, not exactly instrumental post rock or experimental electronica, but an atmospheric, cinematic combination of all of that, with some of the most gorgeous melodic drone music of recent memory to be found in it's grooves. Highly recommended, and another addition for one of my favorite albums of 2008.
Track Samples:
Sample : For Francis Bacon Part 1
Sample : Rain Cloud, Storm Cloud
Sample : For Francis Bacon Part 2 (Xela Mix)



ANDUIN   Forever Waiting   LP + CD   (SMTG Limited)    14.98



Anduin's excellent debut is now available as a combination LP and CD package in a limited edition of 300 copies, on colored vinyl, and packaged in a silkscreened sleeve with different artwork from the CD version.
Stripping almost all of the "rock" elements (drums, heavy guitars, linear songs) and leaving just the vast, sprawling Western ambience found in the music of Souvenirs Young America, Anduin is the new solo project from SYA's Jonathan Lee that sees him engaging in an altogether darker and more textured sound than the proggy instrumental rock of his main band. I've been hooked on this album for months ever since Jonathan hooked me up with an advance copy of it, and fans of SYA are definitely going to dig these spacey soundscapes...that same dustbowl ambience is here, except Anduin creates it out of rumbling basslines and surges of growling synthesizers, swarms of noisy minutiae swirling and roiling in the depths of the drifting ambience, and fractured hypnotic rhythms formed from percussive loops and skittering electronica instead of the chugging riffage and lonely, desolate melodies of his main band. One of the things that ties together the two musical projects is the harmonica, whose Western wheeze resonates all over Forever Waiting...just like in SYA, the harmonica gives this a unique, heartsick beauty that sounds really amazing. The disc opens up with "For Francis Bacon Part 1", a tribute to the master painter by way of huge swathes of churning keyboard drone mottled with ghostly strains of feedback, sweeping cosmic fx and that lonesome harmonica played in the background...a deep, heavy spaced-out slab of dark ambience that sounds like staring at the night sky from the middle of the Mojave and drinking in an ocean of stars. On "Makepiece In Pieces", the sound becomes more abstracted and tense as an eerie looped melody plays over slices of field recordings and strange electronic burbling...later joined by huge swells of distorted synth and low-end drone. Dubby breakbeats and skittering electronica serve as the backbone for the layered dark ambience of "The Black Line (Forever Waiting), where the harmonica appears again over ringing guitar notes and somber drones, the beat transforming from tribal beats into more abstract rhythms and clomping loops that sound like the sound of horse hooves on stones being reshaped into a percussive loop. One of the albums' heaviest moments arrives with "Rain Cloud, Storm Cloud", which begins with a massive growling drone that sounds like a distorted riff rumbling in perpetual amp-roar while thunderous gongs ring out, then in the second half turns into a cosmic blast of languid tribal drums and roaring synths.
The end of the disc features appearances from Jaspar TX and Xela on reworkings of two of the previous tracks...on ""Reason In Exile Part 2" Jaspar TX takes some of the basic drones of the first part and creates a gorgeous slowcore epic that wraps a slide guitar melody in cloaks of murky sound and deep ambience, and it sounds like the glacial country music of newer Earth being played back underwater. The Xela mix takes particles of "For Francis Bacon" and crafts a heavily distorted hymn, whorls of radio static swirling through an utterly beautiful chorus of piano and angelic voices cascading in syrupy overtones over blissed out organ drones, building to a crescendo of noise that resembles Sigur Ros being flooded by Merzbowian skree.
So beautiful and ethereal, but with some moments of massive heaviness in the subsonic dark drones and grinding guitar textures, Anduin's music is not quite dark ambient or space rock, not exactly instrumental post rock or experimental electronica, but an atmospheric, cinematic combination of all of that, with some of the most gorgeous melodic drone music of recent memory to be found in it's grooves. Highly recommended, and another addition for one of my favorite albums of 2008.
Track Samples:
Sample : For Francis Bacon Part 1
Sample : Rain Cloud, Storm Cloud
Sample : For Francis Bacon Part 2 (Xela Mix)



ANDUIN   Abandoned In Sleep   LP + CD   (SMTG Limited)    14.98



Also available as a limited-edition vinyl release housed in a thick matte chipboard jacket, and includes the cd version (with the additional non-lp tracks) in a simple plastic sleeve.
Some more fantastic dark ambience from Anduin, the solo project from Jonathan Lee who's also a member of Souvenir's Young America. This second Anduin album follows up a couple of great collaborative releases, the Bending Of Light disc with Jasper Tx and the live 7" Black River with Svarte Greiner (which is actually included here as a single unbroken track as a bonus track not on the Lp version), and travels into darker, deeper regions of eerie ambience than before.
There's an element of dark electronica that's apparent on Abandoned In Sleep that wasn't on the previous releases, at least not to this extent. The tracks are still heavy on the swirling, dreamy drift and melodious shadowdrone, but Lee introduces massive low-end bass and collages of rhythmic clicks and scraping sounds that add a rhythmic throb to much of the sound here. The sound is ever-changing, too, thanks to the presence of several guest contributors that include Xela, Stephen Vitiello, Jasper TX, and Gareth Davis who offer either source material or actual studio collabs, and Lee takes these recordings and samples and materials and crafts them into fields of dark lugubrious, gorgeous and lushly layered but wrapped in a dreamy kosmich heaviness. Earth-shaking bass throb reverberates through mysterious abstract clatter and sheets of obsidian synth, swells of distorted horns and metal scrape, the sound of harmonica, such an integral part of Souvenir's Young America's sound, appearing here on certain tracks, haunting and ghostly as it floats across rumbling depth-charge bass, eerie keening vocals, the sound so heavy and creepy, flecked with little fragments of sound like breaking glass, saxophones, electronic glitch and whir, clanging metal and pops and clicks. Found sounds and field recordings also figure heavily into Abandoned's dreamlike shadow-world, overlaying incidental sounds of creaking doors and footsteps and hard-drive hum on clouds of warm melted drone and shuffling industrial rhythms and distant grinding gears, often sounding like Scorn scoring an avant-garde Western. In fact, it feels like some dubstep influence has found it's way into Anduin's dark kosmiche music, as in the doom-laden liquid bass tremors on tracks like “Content of a Black Box”, and the sputtering low-end rhythm of “Octagonal Forms”, bringing a killer new edge to Anduin's sound.
The cd version also includes three bonus tracks: an untitled piece, the track "Filed Away" which was created for an installation piece, and the complete live collab with Svarte Greiner "Black River" - The first half of "Black River" is a churning fog of murky low-end rumble and nocturnal whirr with muted swells of murky orchestral strings and heavy feedback, deep subterranean throb, and metallic high-end feedback leaving streaks of melodic glare across a vast black cloudbank, immense and ominous. The second side picks up from there and descends deeper into the black pulsating mist, that deep, heavy electrical pulse still humming away in the background and oscillating back and forth, while strands of feedback and flecks of haunting melody waft through the darkness.

Track Samples:
Sample : Contents Of A Black Box
Sample : Labyrinthian Void
Sample : Octagonal Forms
Sample : Our Future Is A Debt



ANDUIN + JASPER TX   The Bending Of Light   CD   (SMTG Limited)    8.98



This collaborative album is the newest release from the always-amazing SMTG Limited label run by Jonathan from Souvenirs Young America, which has been shaping up over the past year to become one of the finest sources for dark droney ambience here in the states, with a particular taste for lovingly packaged small-run vinyl editions that have to be seen and held to be truly appreciated. Jonathan's own solo project Anduin came out with a debut album last year on SMTG that I fell in love with immediately, a collection of shadowy kosmiche drift and rumbling subterranean ambience, and here we are a year later with a new full length featuring Anduin, now teaming up with Jasper TX (aka Dag Rosenqvist), another artist whose sound is closely aligned with the murky, gauzy dronebliss aesthetic of the SMTG catalog. And, no surprise, Anduin and Jasper TX have created an amazing album, the signature sounds of each artist complimenting the other perfectly as they craft six long tracks of enveloping aural drift.
Each track is titled after a quote from Carl Sagan concerning the creation of black holes, and the music on The Bending Of Light is all blurred and hazy, drawn out slabs of heavy shimmering drone and rumbling guitar tones, slowly soaring kosmiche synths buzzing and sparkling, the roar of textured drift shot through with shards of light and exquisitely crafted melodies, or submerged Rhodes-like electric piano tones (like on the gorgeous fourth track "Where A Star Once Was"). "Producing Great jets of Radiation" begins in a flutter of chimes and soft whorls of tense Lustmordian drone, but then slowly blooms into great waves of distorted drone and swirling distressed organ melodies reminiscent of the fuzzed-out bliss of Tim Hecker. And "Like The Foot Prints.." is immersed in thick layers of metallic hum and elegant drones, while a heartbeat-like pulse emerges ticking away slowly, joined by a lovely melody appearing as a muted acoustic strum, a warm, dreamy field of deeply layered and detailed ambient electronica. The whole album is filled with equally mesmerizing sounds that wash over the listener, surrounding you with soft underwater creaks and washed out textures, fuzzy chordal drones and emotive melody, dark and mysterious and beautiful. An incredibly album that everyone and anyone that is into droney, dreamy, heavily textured driftscape needs to hear (especially on headphones) - gorgeous and essential.
The cd version of The Bending Of Light features different artwork from the vinyl.
Track Samples:
Sample : Everything Disappears In A Tunnel Of Light
Sample : Producing Great Jets Of Radiation
Sample : Where A Star Once Was



ANDUIN + JASPER TX   The Bending Of Light   LP + CD   (SMTG Limited)    14.98



Also available on vinyl accompanied by a CD version, and packaged in a thick, heavy chipboard-like jacket with black artwork, and limited to 300 copies.
This collaborative album is the newest release from the always-amazing SMTG Limited label run by Jonathan from Souvenirs Young America, which has been shaping up over the past year to become one of the finest sources for dark droney ambience here in the states, with a particular taste for lovingly packaged small-run vinyl editions that have to be seen and held to be truly appreciated. Jonathan's own solo project Anduin came out with a debut album last year on SMTG that I fell in love with immediately, a collection of shadowy kosmiche drift and rumbling subterranean ambience, and here we are a year later with a new full length featuring Anduin, now teaming up with Jasper TX (aka Dag Rosenqvist), another artist whose sound is closely aligned with the murky, gauzy dronebliss aesthetic of the SMTG catalog. And, no surprise, Anduin and Jasper TX have created an amazing album, the signature sounds of each artist complimenting the other perfectly as they craft six long tracks of enveloping aural drift.
Each track is titled after a quote from Carl Sagan concerning the creation of black holes, and the music on The Bending Of Light is all blurred and hazy, drawn out slabs of heavy shimmering drone and rumbling guitar tones, slowly soaring kosmiche synths buzzing and sparkling, the roar of textured drift shot through with shards of light and exquisitely crafted melodies, or submerged Rhodes-like electric piano tones (like on the gorgeous fourth track "Where A Star Once Was"). "Producing Great jets of Radiation" begins in a flutter of chimes and soft whorls of tense Lustmordian drone, but then slowly blooms into great waves of distorted drone and swirling distressed organ melodies reminiscent of the fuzzed-out bliss of Tim Hecker. And "Like The Foot Prints.." is immersed in thick layers of metallic hum and elegant drones, while a heartbeat-like pulse emerges ticking away slowly, joined by a lovely melody appearing as a muted acoustic strum, a warm, dreamy field of deeply layered and detailed ambient electronica. The whole album is filled with equally mesmerizing sounds that wash over the listener, surrounding you with soft underwater creaks and washed out textures, fuzzy chordal drones and emotive melody, dark and mysterious and beautiful. An incredibly album that everyone and anyone that is into droney, dreamy, heavily textured driftscape needs to hear (especially on headphones) - gorgeous and essential.
The vinyl version of The Bending Of Light is pressed on thick wax, and presented in a sturdy silkscreened jacket with excellent artwork from Dan Owen, which also contains a cd with all of the music from the album.
Track Samples:
Sample : Everything Disappears In A Tunnel Of Light
Sample : Producing Great Jets Of Radiation
Sample : Where A Star Once Was



ANEMONE TUBE   Existence   CD   (Auf Abwegen)    11.98



German ambient-industrial project Anemone Tube was formed in 1996 by Stefan Hanser, and has explored a variety of heavy noisescapes and rhythmic blocks of sound; the Tube's modus operandi has always seemed to focus on putting the listener into a state of delirium caused by constantly shifting sounds and tones sourced from assorted organic and synthetic sounds, and this approach has resulted in a stylistically diverse body of work over the years. On the debut full length Existence, a nearly hour-long disc released in a hand-numbered limited edition of 500 copies, Anemone Tube is at it's heaviest, constructing seven bulky tracks that move from gorgeous ambient dronescapes to crushing, loop-heavy walls of distortion and menacing melodic tracers undulating over grinding rhythmic throb, sort of like what I'd expect a collaboration between Wolf Eyes and Maurizio Bianchi to sound like, although you can also draw lines to Throbbing Gristle, SPK, and violent early UK power electronics when tracks like 'Choke Down' and 'The Encounter III" get into full swing and start obliterating speakers with ferocious torrents of factory distortion. I really dig the way that Existence manages to balance the haunting, atmospheric drones and buried deconstructed rhythms with the louder, brutal passages of rumbling machine filth, making this much easier to digest than many of Anemone Tube's peers. Packaged in an elegant jewel case with a large 10-panel booklet glowing in fiery, fractaled reds and oranges, imprinted with mysterious pictograms.


ANEMONE TUBE   Death Over China   CD   (Silken Tofu)    15.99











Track Samples:
Sample : Black Death Rise
Sample : The Desecration From Within
Sample : I Shall Forever Invoke



ANEMONE TUBE / DISSECTING TABLE   This Dismal World   LP   (Peripheral)    23.98



  This Dismal World crushes. A split between two of the more intense artists within the industrial sub-terrain, the long running German dark ambient/industrial noise duo Anemone Tube and Japanese noise/dirge master Dissecting Table, here teaming up for an intensely dark concept album that seems to have been at least partly inspired by Buddhist teachings.
   Continuing to explore some of the same sounds and atmospheres as their fantastic last album Death Over China, the Anemone Tube side (titled Threnody For The Dejected) features two long tracks of grim industrial rumble and drift. It begins with "In The Mausoleum", a rather ghastly sounding soundscape that utilizes field recordings taken from ancient Buddhist burial chambers at the Sun-Yat-sen-Mausoleum in Nanjing, China; the track takes shape as a violent churning storm of bellowing black winds rushing through vast underground chambers, recordings of eldritch rattling that crumble like handfuls of rot in slow-motion, a rumbling swirling cloud of black dust amplified to thunderous levels. That segues right into "From Anthropocentrism To Demonocentrism", a crushing malevolent mechanical loop that lurches beneath more of the Tube's harsh bursts of distorted noise and squealing feedback, super ominous, a lurching mechanical death-mantra looping into infinity, eventually fading out into a sea of choral drone.
   Dissecting Table's side is labeled Guanyin, and has just one monolithic twenty minute piece, "1000 Tones"; the side starts off with the sound of Japanese Buddhist chants overlaid with rhythmic clanking metal and a pounding drumbeat, the clank and screech of metal sounding off constantly in ther background behind this strangely mesmeric, sinister dirge. The first half of the side is almost all heavy, clanking dread, splattered with bits of squelchy synthesizer, the sound intensely distorted, with almost death-metal like shrieks ringing out in the background. The latter half of the side detaches from that massive clanking rhythmic crush, and drifts out into a more abstract sprawl of distorted looped chanting, mangled electronics and howling metallic feedback that seems to take on the sound of warped flutes. The drums and rattling metal and blackened screams come back in at the end though, and transform the final minutes into a bizarre bit of demonic industrial delirium. That track is fucking amazing, and for me was worth the purchase of this Lp alone; whenever Dissecting Table finds its way into that sort of crushing, monstrous almost metallic industrial heaviness, the sound really isn't that far removed from the blackened industrial chaos of bands like Gnaw Their Tongues and Aphelion.
   Released in a limited edition of two hundred copies, and includes a printed insert with a translation of the Buddhist text The Lotus Sutra Chapter Twenty Five: The Universal Gate of Bodhisattiva Kanzeon.


ANEMONE TUBE / DISSECTING TABLE   This Dismal World   CASSETTE   (Black Horizons)    8.99



  Previously released as a limited-edition LP on the UK label Peripheral, this split album from Anemone Tube and Dissecting Table is now available as an equally limited cassette tape (one hundred copies) from Black Horizons, presented in the label's signature silk-screened packaging, and featuring an extended version of one of the Anemone Tube tracks.
   This Dismal World crushes. A split between two of the more intense artists within the industrial sub-terrain, the long running German dark ambient/industrial noise duo Anemone Tube and Japanese noise/dirge master Dissecting Table, here teaming up for an intensely dark concept album that seems to have been at least partly inspired by Buddhist teachings.
   Continuing to explore some of the same sounds and atmospheres as their fantastic last album Death Over China, the Anemone Tube side (titled Threnody For The Dejected) features two long tracks of grim industrial rumble and drift. It begins with "In The Mausoleum", a rather ghastly sounding soundscape that utilizes field recordings taken from ancient Buddhist burial chambers at the Sun-Yat-sen-Mausoleum in Nanjing, China; the track takes shape as a violent churning storm of bellowing black winds rushing through vast underground chambers, recordings of eldritch rattling that crumble like handfuls of rot in slow-motion, a rumbling swirling cloud of black dust amplified to thunderous levels. That segues right into "From Anthropocentrism To Demonocentrism", a crushing malevolent mechanical loop that lurches beneath more of the Tube's harsh bursts of distorted noise and squealing feedback, super ominous, a lurching mechanical death-mantra looping into infinity, eventually fading out into a sea of choral drone.
   Dissecting Table's side is labeled Guanyin, and has just one monolithic twenty minute piece, "1000 Tones"; the side starts off with the sound of Japanese Buddhist chants overlaid with rhythmic clanking metal and a pounding drumbeat, the clank and screech of metal sounding off constantly in the background behind this strangely mesmeric, sinister dirge. The first half of the side is almost all heavy, clanking dread, splattered with bits of squelchy synthesizer, the sound intensely distorted, with almost death-metal like shrieks ringing out in the background. The latter half of the side detaches from that massive clanking rhythmic crush, and drifts out into a more abstract sprawl of distorted looped chanting, mangled electronics and howling metallic feedback that seems to take on the sound of warped flutes. The drums and rattling metal and blackened screams come back in at the end though, and transform the final minutes into a bizarre bit of demonic industrial delirium. That track is fucking amazing, and for me was worth the purchase of this Lp alone; whenever Dissecting Table finds its way into that sort of crushing, monstrous almost metallic industrial heaviness, the sound really isn't that far removed from the blackened industrial chaos of bands like Gnaw Their Tongues and Aphelion.


ANENZEPHALIA   Ephemeral Dawn   CD   (Tesco Organisation)    19.98












Track Samples:
Sample : Genealogy of Disease
Sample : Infernal Wake



ANGEL EYES   And For A Roof A Sky Full Of Stars   CD   (Underground Communique)    10.98



Here's a harsher take on that epic, metallic post-rock sound, this time from the Chicago-area band Angel Eyes. This disc delivers two long songs in just under half an hour, each one mapping out an elaborate journey through valleys of slow-burning instrumental heaviness and blasts of apocalyptic fury. It takes alot for a band that is messing with this kind of stuff to really stand out nowadays, since the metallic post-rock sound has been done to death over the past few years, but Angel Eyes step up to the challenge with a sound that seems to come from a bunch of guys that have their roots in hardcore but also are capable of delving into lush Western soundscapes and shoegazey washes of sound as powerful as what Souvenir's Young America did on their An Ocean Without Water. The first track begins softly with waves of shimmering guitars and floating feedback swirling around a central minor key melody, slowly building into a sad slowcore dirge filled with shimmering Ennio Morricone style strains and reverb-drenched guitars, layers of guitars gliding over each other, becoming louder and louder until the band erupts into crushing sludge metal with sickening slashed throat screams and a heartrending epic guitar melody soaring overhead. The second track is heavy from the word go, starting off with deep, rumbling guitars and busy drumming patterns that flow into a heavy hypnotic shoegazer sludge jam, little melodies popping up out of the heavy riffing, the whole band backing off every few minutes into a quiet stillness where the drums are heard way off in the distance and a lone guitar chimes away before everything crashes back into majestic heaviness. Those harsh vocals show up again in the middle of the song, dueling shrieks and howling screams wrapping around one another, and everything becomes even heavier, the melodic riff and burly drumming lumbering to a close while delay-soaked guitars build en masse, fading out into burnt feedback and mysterious sounding voices. Beautiful, crushing metallic rock that is top freaking notch, it's got that tumbleweed blowing, Western sky burn that I love, like Souvenir's and Across Tundras, but the heaviness is gnarlier, sludgier, with more of a crusty hardcore feel. Recommended. Comes ina silkscreened Arigato Pak style case.


ANGEL EYES   Something To Do With Death   CD   (Underground Communique)    11.98



In spite of all of the unimaginative Neurosis knockoffs that have crowding the metal underground lately, I'm still always trying to keep at least one ear to the ground for bands that are putting their own creative stamp on the epic sludge/instrumental metal sound, working to twist it into something different and interesting. It's happening less and less now that this sound has reached a kind of critical mass not seen since the death metal bubble of the early 1990's, but every once in a while I luck out and discover a band like Angel Eyes.
Angel Eyes came out with this excellent disc a while back that works within the framework of epic, melodic rock and crushing metallic slow-mo heaviness, but Something To Do With Death stands out with the eerie slide guitars and wintery haze of white noise that seem to drift down on all four songs on this disc. I'm kicking myself for not getting this disc in stock sooner, since it's been out for over a year now - this is an moody CRUSHER of an album, and we've been playing it nonstop all week here. Each of these monumental songs (around fifteen minutes long on average) builds from a brooding slow-burn of jangly minor key guitar strum and drums locked into simple marching rhythms, and slowly builds in power as sheets of distorted noise, intriguing dialogue samples, shafts of shimmering ambience and thick swirling clouds of industrial grit descend upon the majestic riffing. By the time that the second track "By The Time He Was My Age Orson Wells Had Made Citizen Kane" kicks into the crushing crescendo halfway through, it sounds yer hearing Mogwai and Neurosis fused together with a noise artist behind the mixing console, raining down corrosive distortion onto the grinding, downtuned metallic sludge, big riffs blossoming out of moody waltizing strum and vicious screams. The vocals are another thing that makes Angel Eyes stand out from the epic sludge metal/instrumental rock hordes...the singer only appears at a couple of points on the album and it's essentially all instrumental, but when he does start belting out his harsh, bestial screams, he reminds me of the singer from Envy but with the aggression levels through the roof. The rest of the music on Something To Do With Death follows the same path, moving from dreamy emotive jangle and layered ambience to monstrous metallic crush and caustic noise and passages of pounding tribal percussion saturated with dark shadows and eerie samples of a preacher rambling about the endtimes. This album kills, and those of you into the epic sludge/gazer heaviness of Mouth Of The Architect, Rosetta, Minsk, Isis, Mogwai, Tides and the emotive metallic 'core of bands like Page 99, Envy and Buried Inside gotta hear this.
Track Samples:
Sample : Political Capital AKA Eleven States Worth of Christians Fed to the Lions
Sample : Two Too Many



ANGEL OF DECAY   Bleeding On The Flowers   CD   (Bloodlust!)    12.98



The Bloodlust! label is another one that I've been slowly making my way through, having missed out on most of the label's offerings of grimy, grim industrial noise when they first came out in the latter half of the last decade. One of these is this disc from Angel Of Decay, which has become one of my new faves since getting it in stock. It's a collection of two half-hour long tracks of crumbling black factory ambience from this short lived project from Jonathan Canady. You've no doubt come across Canady's work in one form or another over the years, as this guy has been involved with the vicious power electronic and death industrial groups Deathpile and Blunt Force Trauma, industrial metallers Dead World, the newer noise group Nightmares alongside David Reed (Luasa Raelon/Envenomist) and Mark Solotroff (Bloodyminded), and was the in-house art guy for Relapse Records for several years. Originally released on cassette back in 2007, AOD's Bleeding On The Flowers explores new stygian depths and nightmare terrain from Canady through the use of various vintage analog synthesizers.
The title track is a churning mass of machine noise and the monotonous chug of massive engines, rumbling rotors and other mechanical drones all bathed in delay and reverb. Grinding black synths crawl across this blasted industrial backdrop as howling distorted vokills descend upon it, resembling the fury of demons raging over a symphony of steel presses and buzzsaws. This fusion of industrial dronescape terror and oppressive, stentorian power electronics is covered in sonic filth, but it's also juiced up with a seriously heavy recording that combine together for a powerful, hellish listening experience.
The second track "Sick, Insane And Half Dead" is more minimal, smoldering distant distortion and peals of high end feedback swelling up alongside blackened gasping vokills and murkier washes of machine noise. From there, this travels through various stretches of grinding synth damage, harrowing passages of screeching drone, waves of crackling machine noise and the earth-shaking rumble of gargantuan turbines, all of these evoking further visions of demonically possessed ironworks that are filled with howling ghostly vocalizations, relentless pounding rhythms and swooping shrieking entities. Man, this is terrifying stuff all the way to the end; fans of the harshest Cold Meat Industries output will want to hear this for sure.
Released in a limited edition of 1,000 copies.
Track Samples:
Sample : Bleeding On The Flowers
Sample : Sick, Insane and Half Dead



ANGEL'IN HEAVY SYRUP   IV   CD   (Monotremata)    14.98

IV IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Angel'in Heavy Syrup are four women from the land o' the rising sun who play like a bizarre cross between the Cocteau Twin s and the Butthole Surfers in the bathroom of a jazz lounge in Osaka. Sorta. Angel'in Heavy Syrup -- one of Japan's finest psychedelic rock bands ( and possibly one of the best bands of any kind in the world) -- return with a full-length album of all new material. The current lineup consists of vocalist/bassist Mineko Itakura and guitarist Mine Nakao, both of whom have appeared on all of the band's albums, and guitarist Fusao Toda, who joined the band in time for the second album. Naoko Otani provided drums on the album. This all-girl trio lays down some heavy duty, riffalicious, totally mesmerizing underground psychedelic rock bliss with GORGEOUS ethereal female vocals and a distinct Japanese delivery. Hands down, one of our ALL TIME favorite albums ever!!!! So, you wonder, what do they sound like? Well, that's a good question... describing them is easier said than done. Take the aforementioned psych bands of the flower-power era, mix in a large dose of folk juju, sprinkle on a smidge of free jazz, then season liberally with influences like the Butthole Surfers, John Coltrane, and various noise artists. Garnish with unexpected time changes, odd meters, impeccable technical skill (Fusao and Mine could play rings around nearly all the "hot" guitarists in American and European circles, and Mineko is not only an amazing bassist but one of finest singers in Japan) and lots of exotic-looking flowers.
Angel'in Heavy Syrup were formed in Osaka, Japan in 1990, and they are possibly the greatest band in the world. On their psychedelic side they are nfluenced by the likes of Gong, 50 Foot Hose, and Amon Duul, but they are definitely influenced by more recent, noisy contemporaries such as Hijokaidan and Masonna as well. Morita Doji, a Japanese pop-folk singer of the 70s and 80s, has also had a big impact upon them. Now defunct out-music label Monotremata Records (one of the great underrated labels of the last few years) graciously made this album domestically available in conjunction with the album's simultaneous release in Japan by legendary avant-garde label Alchemy Records. From the first blast of reverb-heavy psychedelic noise at the beginning of "First Love" to the fading burst of Echoplex that closes "Fate," the six lengthy songs on this album rank among the band's best work. All three of the musicians are in fine form here, with strong songs and stellar playing making this one of their best releases to date. To top it off, the deluxe packaging of the CD (with a sixteen-page booklet and artwork by Masahiko Ohno, guitarist of Solmania and Alchemy's lead designer) make this a highly attractive release - and for the first time, the band's lyrics are printed in English.


ANGELIC PROCESS   And Your Blood Is Full Of Honey   CDR   (Decaying Sun)    9.98

And Your Blood Is Full Of Honey IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

It's good to see this one available again for anyone that missed it the first time around. Which is probably pretty much everyone who has just gotten into The Angelic Process in the past couple of years, as the original release of And Your Blood Is Full Of Honey was issued right here on Crucial Blast back in 2001, on a tiny micro-edition cassette that was part of batch of tapes we busted out at the time (other tapes that came out alongside the Angelic Process tape included stuff from noise/ambient projects Never Presence Forever and Belltone Suicide, now long sold out.) And Your Blood Is Full Of Honey was the band's first full length, darker and moodier than their later, more melodic walls of distortion that the project would erect with Coma Waering and Weighing Souls With Sand, but the dense layers of distortion and feedback, anguished screams totally obfuscated by noise, dark apocalyptic dirge metal riffs, simple yet pounding tribal drumming, emotionally devestated melodic hooks, and an almost Merzbowian level of feedback skree pour forth from this disc, proving that it really was a forerunner to the current wave of distortion-surfing sludge/pop/dream outfits like Goslings and Nadja. Ultra blown out and massive, like Neurosis and Jesu and My Bloody Valentine's Loveless melted together and shot back out through a jet engine, a swirling roar that we called "an avalanche of black sugar" back in the day, and that still holds up now. Now remastered, this new version features two bonus tracks ("Hang Him Higher" and "Cages Of Blood And Bone"), comes in a slimline case with new artwork. Recommended.


ANGELIC PROCESS   Sigh   CDR   (Decaying Sun)    9.98

Sigh IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

There's been a flurry of activity lately around the duo The Angelic Process, with last year's acclaimed Coma Waering CD on the UK label Paradigms turning alot of people on to the dense, crushing metalbliss that Kris Angylus has been creating since the early part of the decade. Then there's the new album Weighing Souls With Sand which just came out on Profound Lore not too long ago and which earned them a spot as our featured new release when it came out...that disc has been garnering all kinds of great reviews, deserved it too, as it saw Angylus and MDragynfly delivering their most focused and powerful music yet, a massive wall of gorgeous synthesizers, howling melodic vocals, saturated distortion, and utterly heavenly feedback scorched through by pummeling tribal rhythms and brutal, percussive metallic riffing a la Godflesh and Neurosis. Absolutely amazing stuff at the crest of the current wave of evocative, melodic dream-metal, right up there with their peers in Nadja, Goslings, and Jesu. With all of the increased interest in The Angelic Process, Kris has saw fit to issue short-run, CD-R releases of assorted older TAP recordings through the band's own Decaying Sun imprint; alot of this material dates back several years, as the project has been recording and releasing material since 2001. The previously unreleased 2004 EP Sigh is one such CD-R, a 4-track, 23-minute disc in a slimline case with a full color insert sheet, featuring four exclusive tracks: "Sigh", "Trance To The Sun", "Mouvement – With Mouthfulls Of Blood", and "The Black Ark", all a continuation of the band's wall-of-fuzz dronemetal with the addition of sampled cello and drum programming further fleshing out their sound. Recommended.


ANGELIC PROCESS   We All Die Laughing   CDR   (Decaying Sun)    9.98

We All Die Laughing IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

We All Die Laughing is the third in a series of CD-Rs released through Decaying Sun, the tiny imprint operated by the members of the ambient metal duo The Angelic Process. Documenting their recorded material leading up to the Coma Waering CD on Paradigms and the new full length album Weighing Souls With Sand on Profound Lord, the Decaying Sun CD-Rs feature Angelic Process material recorded since the beginning of the decade when the band first formed. We All Die Laughing was released towards the end of 2006, and actually contains songs that would go on to be re-recorded for their Profound Lore album; the versions here are similiar but a bit more stripped down and restrained, though no less powerful. The other songs on this disc are in the same vein, and fans of Weighing Souls With Sand are sure to love this material just as much. The songs exclusive to this disc include "Bleedbeliever", "Mouvement - Soleil Et Noir", "How To Build A Time Machine", and "Mouvement - Every City Is A Prison" - all are monolithic blasts of beautiful distortion and feedback, massive tribal drumbeats and psychedelic Gothic atmosphere, and ultra crushing melodic metal riffage with those signature howling vocals buried way back in the sea of fuzz and swirling noise, like Neurosis and Godflesh mashed together into a towering wall of dreampop mightiness. There's actually a handful of parts on We All Die Laughing where TAP back off of the wall of noise and reveal some surprisingly quiet passages of minimal droning ambience which make for some of The Angelic Processes' most fragile moments, almost sounding like Troum at times. Like the other two discs in the Decaying Sun series, this comes in a slimline case with full color artwork.


ANGELIC PROCESS   Coma Waering   CD   (Paradigms)    12.98

Coma Waering IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

It had been a couple of years since we had heard anything from The Angelic Process, the ambient drone-metal project of Kris Angelyus whose ...And Your Blood Is Full Of Honey was released on cassette through Crucial Blast back in 2001. Obviously, we were big fans of Angelic's blissed out maelstrom of layered My Bloody Valentine guitars blasted at hurricane levels of volume and density...so we were HUGELY stoked when we found out that UK imprint Paradigms were going to re-release Coma Waering, the second full length album from The Angelic Process! This album was originally self-released in 2003 in an extremely small edition and didn't circulate much, which was a shame as The Angelic Process's astral 'gaze was definitely ahead of the pack. But here it is again, released in a limited edition of 750 copies, a solar blast of awe inspiring shoegazer bliss clad in massive swirling distortion as epic swells and majestic melodies soar through the squall, like a crushingly heavy version of My Bloody Valentine's Loveless meeting Akira Yamaoka's Silent Hill game scores in a glacial wash of Merbowian fuzz. Awesome! Fans of Jesu, Loveless, Sunn O))) and similiar dense heaviness will love this. Again, this is a limited edition of 750 copies, and is packaged in Paradigm's signature card sleeve that comes sealed in a hand-stamped presentation envelope and wallet. Highly recommended!


ANGELIC PROCESS   Weighing Souls With Sand   CD   (Profound Lore)    14.98

Weighing Souls With Sand IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

The long awaited new album from one of my favorite ambient bliss-metal outfits ever! Weighing Souls is the first new full-length album from The Angelic Process in something like four years; their Coma Waering CD that came out on Paradigms in 2006 was actually a re-issue of a CD-R that The Angelic Process founder K. Angylus recorded back in 2002; prior to that, the project had released the super-limited 2001 cassette ...And Your Blood Is Full Of Honey right here on Crucial Blast. Needless to say, we've all been waiting for awhile now for new music from the band, which grew into a duo a coupla years back when K. (who handles the guitars, vocals, drums, and electronic blastwalls) was joined by a lady named M. Dragynfly, who plays bass as well as contributing additional vocals and electronic textures, further filling out the band's blissed-out, widescreen dronemetal sound. Weighing Souls With Sand seems to frame a narrative about death, loss, despair, and self-realization, and I gotta say that this album sees the band perfecting everything that I've ever loved about this band. Each of the ten songs here are achingly beautiful monoliths of heartrending melody, radiating out of dense walls of fuzzed out, simple but crushing metallic riffs. Those guitars are so processed and ultra blown out and distorted that they reach the point of becoming a massive ball of white light, suffocating and celestial, through which the strained melodic singing and keening wails, all equally distorted and obfuscated by white noise, appear soaring through the wall of lush fuzz. The drums somehow sound gigantic and primordial, like tribal war beats thundering across vast canyons. They also cut through the wall-of-sound with occasional passages of restrained, almost mechanical drumming and quieter ambient drones, before exploding back into the oceans of heavenly buzz. It's like the ritualistic dirge of Neurosis filtered through My Bloody Valentines' Loveless and Merzbowian levels of white noise. Along with likeminded bliss blasters The Goslings, Nadja, and Jesu, The Angelic Process are creating some of my favorite music being made currently, carving intense beauty out of corrosive noise and distortion. Weighing comes in a gorgeous digipack case illustrated with beautiful burning imagery designed by the band. Highly highly recommended.


ANGER, KENNETH + BRIAN BUTLER   Technicolor Skull   LP   (Ajna Offensive)    21.00













ANGRENOST   Planet Muscaria   CD   (Code666)    14.98



  Seems like these Portuguese black metal borgs have been bashing out their brand of industrialized evil since the nineties, but it's taken 'em till now to finally put out an album. Released on the almost always interesting Code666, Angrenost's debut delivers a ferocious assault of modern industrial black metal, combining glistening electronic textures and terrifying orchestral rumblings with a dramatic, melodic black attack that fits right in among the progressive aesthetics of the Code666 roster. It's not just another Mysticum clone, either. Angrenost find a sweet spot between the rigid, robotic fury of industrial black metal, and a more ornate, synth-drenched sound that draws heavily from more symphonic sources.
   Planet Muscaria opens with some dread-filled black ambience and clanking industrial noise on the brief intro track "INferN(O)" before they blast off into the surreal interstellar visions of demonically-possessed wormholes, cellular chaos, heroin-fueled projections of the astral self, malevolent sub-atomic entities, and the necromantic knowledge hidden within ancient radio waves that make up the album. It's all rooted in blazing fast black metal powered by rapid-fire drum programming that frequently breaks down into crushing Mysticum-esque industrial rhythms. The vocals have some variety to 'em, shifting between a strange wailing chant like delivery, a bizarre processed cyborg howl, and the singer's scorched blackened rasp that asserts itself on the majority of the tracks. This stuff is loaded with sweeping cosmic synthesizer textures, sudden bursts of clanking violent sheet-metal percussion, detours into deformed drum n' bass chaos-ritual, layers of abrasive electronic noise and eerie choral voices wailing in the distance, even working some creepy atonal piano into the mix. Some of the highlights on Planet include the frenzied black majesty of "acIdShIVa", and the crushing junglist tendencies of "ajNagraMMaTON" and "INTraVeNUS" that get spliced into the driving mid-tempo metallic crush. Those ferocious breakbeats become glazed with slightly dissonant symphonic synthesizers, often before suddenly dropping into another one of their off-kilter mechanical rhythms, where churning double bass seizes up as fractured robotic beats suddenly take over. There's the gleaming kosmische electronics of "SaTaNlOgOS" that sweep across the song's brutal mechanized blasts and imperious riffage, leading the music into a shambling, super heavy industrial dirge; the clanking, wretched, almost Skinny Puppy-esque industrial crawl of "ScOrpIOSaUrUS"; and the clanking scrap-metal percussive rhythms that underscore "SchIzOphObOS" before that song kicks into a killer, almost new wavey hook. The vicious "abSUMardUk" is another churning mass of blazing blackened riffs and pounding blasts that eventually makes a long descent into an expanse of ghastly soundtracky ambience, which ends up turning into one of the album's most fearsome tracks. There's a lot to like here if you're into the more industrial-tinged end of black metal, and it's certainly worth checking out if you've been digging some of the other recent mechanized black metal albums that Code666 has been championing lately from Control Human Delete and Axis Of Perdition.
Track Samples:
Sample : Scorpiosaurus
Sample : Schizophobos
Sample : Acidshiva



ANIMA MORTE   The Nightmare Becomes Reality   CD   (Transubstans Records)    12.98












Track Samples:
Sample : Contamination
Sample : Delirious
Sample : The Dead Will Walk the Earth



ANIMA MORTE   Face The Sea Of Darkness   CD   (Transubstans Records)    12.98












Track Samples:
Sample : Devoid of a Soul
Sample : He Who Dwells in Darkness
Sample : The Hunt
Sample : Twilight of the Dead



ANIMAL STEEL   Sleep Forever Blue Face Babe   CASSETTE   (Destructive Industries)    6.50



Animal Steel is a side project from one of the guys from Twodeadsluts Onegoodfuck, the notorious Boston area power electronics group who have become almost legendary in the industrial/noise subterranea with their destructive, confrontational performances that often end with the members stripping naked and assaulting the audience while blasting chaotic feedback. This project is much more reserved. The Sleep Forever Blue Face Babe cassette is limited to 100 copies and comes in a full color case , and contains six tracks of icy electronic synth-death that alternates between controlled bursts of brutal Whitehouse style Power Electronics, icy kosmiche drones drifting in soft waves across an endless black void, super distorted ambient blasts that sound like a crushing, ultra-heavy Popul Vuh, and slabs of rumbling, mesmerizing black ambience. The tape isn't that long, clocking in at twenty minutes, but all of the sounds on here are top notch dark industrial. Recommended.
Track Samples:
Sample : All The Children Have Bodies
Sample : All The Children Have Bodies



ANIMUS   Poems For The Aching, Swords For The Infuriated   CD   (Ars Magna)    9.98

Poems For The Aching, Swords For The Infuriated IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

This album had already been highly recommended to me by fellow fans of the more blown-out, distorted and abstracted strains of black metal, but I was still pretty amazed when I finally sat down and listened to Poems For The Aching, Swords For The Infuriated, the stunning debut full length from the Israeli one-man black metal band Animus. This project is shrouded in mystery, no track titles, the songs instead identified by numbers, the sole member choosing anonymity, and no lyrics...the booket itself contains only some arcane writing and minimal woodcut art. This sense of mystery extends even moreso across the music - with six tracks running just a total of 50 minutes, Animus crafts a majestic brand of epic yet introspective black metal dronebliss; while the raw materials are what I was expecting from a denizen of the loner black metal realm, the dark and ominous minor key melodies, brittle guitars pushed through extreme levels of distortion, and bleak, minimalist song structures, etc., Animus nevertheless creates a unique and entrancing cloud of dreamlike black buzz that is almost painfully beautiful. Like "Part 3", which drowns a heartbreakingly gorgeous melody in a pool of trebly distortion and Animus' sandpaper death-croak, a sorrowful dreampop lullaby buried in white noise and amp hiss. Or "Part 4" and it's repetitive, soaring melodic hook gliding over a black surface of Burzumic fuzz and cavernous reverb and pulsing drum machine blasts swallowed up in the swirling fog. Animus mostly crawls along at a slow, dirgey pace though, a murky midtempo trudge, sometimes sounding like a fuzz drenched, more melodic version of Skepticism. This album has some of the catchiest, most melodic black metal dirge ever, it's as bleak and depressing and trance inducing as Xasthur, but those melodic hooks have more in common with the more recent Drudkh releases, Velvet Cacoon's dreamy hiss, and some wraithlike version of shoegaze summoned up from black corners. Highly recommended.
Track Samples:
Sample : Part : 3
Sample : Part : 5



ANIMUS   Hallucinations: Ideals Surrounding Water Sand ....   CD   (Ars Magna)    9.98



Israeli one-man bedroom black metal band Animus is back with another mouthful of an album title and another solid disc of mournful, Burzum-influenced black metal, their second for underground American BM label Ars Magna. Why isn't this band more known in the avant-black metal scene following the band's first album Poems For The Aching from two years ago? Poems was a dreamy blast of treble-overload and fuzzwreathed melodic blackness that resembled the murky post-punk influenced music of Velvet Cacoon and Lurker Of Chalice heard through a blizzard of white noise and tape hiss, and the music was painfully beautiful, achingly beautiful with it's downcast melodies obfuscated by sheets of blurred noise. So great. Things are a little different with this second album: half of the album's six songs (all of which are untitled) are in that Burzumic black metal vein, with no audible bass, the guitars so distorted and mixed so harshly in the red that they all melt into sheets of caustic fuzz, and stumbling drums that are way up front in the mix, the plodding doomic beats and marching rhythms and ramshackle blastbeats right in your face, surrounded by the blizzard winds of trebly amp hiss and anguished moans. But the other half of the album isn't really black metal at all. Instead, Animus offsets the wintry BM buzzdrone half with stuff like the darkly shadowed acoustic guitars, orchestral strings, piano and cellos of the second track that sounds like a particularly dreary (but heartbreakingly beautiful) piece from Godspeed You Black Emperor. The third track is primarily acoustic guitar joined by gutteral black metal vocals, a blackened folk song with some amazing flamenco style playing that shows up in the second half. And the fifth track is an eight minute slab of isolationist drone with just the barest smattering of distant blackened rasps floating over the grim, low-key ambient fuzz and electronic tones, which reminds me of M. Bianchi's bleak industrial drones. Obviously this is a much more varied and textured album than the debut, a mix of the noise-drenched Burzumic black metal and some excellent detours into blackened folky post-rock and dark industrial, and these experimental elements add some very cool new shadows to Animus' beautifully depressing blackness.
Track Samples:
Sample : Track 3
Sample : Track 1



ANNIHILATION TIME   II   LP   (Six Weeks)    13.98

II IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Loads of newer bands have been juicing up their hardcore thrash with some straight up rock lately, but few do it as well as the mighty Annihilation Time, whose latest album III on Tee Pee completely kicked my ass earlier this year. These Cali rippers combine old-school hardcore and classic 70's hard rock/proto-metal heroics better than anyone, and sound like some mutant cross between the burly hardcore punk of Black Flag and B'last! and the infectious bloozy riffage of Rainbow and Deep Purple; sounds like a weird combo, and it is, but do these guys tear it up! I'm still playing III on a regular basis here at C-Blast HQ, and I've been slowly tracking down their earlier releases that came out on the thrashcore labels Dead Alive and Six Weeks. Some of this stuff is out of print or otherwise hard to locate, but I did just find the vinyl version of their second album, appropriately titled II, from 2005. It's just as raging and rocking and furious as the newer stuff; the hybrid of Black Flag/Deep Purple is in full form here, short manic songs that mash together skronky Greg Ginn style riffs and fast pounding thrash with yelping, reverb-soaked vocals, fuzzed out leads and fist-pumping rawk, with titles like "Too High To Die", "Fastforward To The Gore", "Yuppie Killer", and "Imaginary Mirror", and there's a killer cover of "Teenage Rebel" from British proto-punks Pink Fairies that closes out the first side. Nice! The guitar sound and production on this record has a killer vintage sound, as if II really was recorded and released back in the 70's, a lost hardcore anachronism that was only recently unearthed and discovered by modern hardcore fans. It's not, of course, but this record fucking smokes like few other hardcore platters of this era, that's for sure. And the album art is terrific: the front cover of the LP is a garish, hand-painted psychedelic collage that has the zomboid heads of the band members rising in a geyser from a gushing toilet while demonic skater punks hold the Annihilation Time logo aloft, tossing multi-colored pills over a grotesque scene that includes an undead Lemmy Kilmister and Phil Lynott, a skeletonized creep wearing a Blue Oyster Cult t-shirt with guitar cables pounded into his ear cavities, mushrooms, beer cans, dope-smoking sewer rats, and demonically possessed water bongs. That freakish vision just kind of sums it all up.
Track Samples:
Sample : Teenage Rebel
Sample : Yuppie Killer
Sample : Too High To Die



ANNIHILATION TIME   III:Tales Of The Ancient Age   CD   (Tee Pee)    13.98



After one album on the defunct Manic Ride label and another that was self-released, Oakland rippers Annihilation Time are back with their latest blast of manic, whiskey-fueled thrash, the band's first for their new label Tee Pee, an imprint that I was kinda surprised to see a hardcore band putting out a record on at first, since so much of what I've been listening to on Tee Pee has been monster heavy psych metal (Sleep, Witch, Earthless, etc.). Back when a buddy first turned me on to Annihilation Time's first album, I thought that their rocking hardcore was pretty badass, hopped up on an obvious SST/Black FLag influence but putting their own hard rocking spin on the sound. Now with Tales Of The Ancient Age, those hard rock vibes are more prominent than ever with a twin-guitar attack that has caused some to compare A-Time to Thin Lizzy...I'm hearing that just a wee bit but only in the tasty harmonized solos that pop up a couple times in the album. I'm hearing just as much of a diet of Ted Nugent and Deep Purple circa Machine Head but jacked up on hard liquor and speedballs and raging at top-speed hardcore tempos, filtered through the bare knuckled aggro of Black Flag but way more ROCK and much less SKRONK than the Flag comparison might lead you towards...though check out the 1:29 powerbomb "Jonestown" for some gnarly fretboard beating and one of the fastest, hardest jams on the disc. Then there's "About To Snap", an awesome warning shot with infectious riffage that spins off into some amazing Iron Maidan worthy dual axe harmonizing at the end. Nice. The whole deal is raw and no-frills, just sweet ripping riffs and hooks to match, blasting at HC tempos and shredding bloozy guitar moves and sweet shredding all over your face. Hardcore thrashing rock and roll speedboogie wreckage, one of the funnest fuckin' punk albums I've picked up since I can't remember. Added points for the great album art too; the cover art is an actual illustrated painting (it's good to see this approach becoming more and more popular) of a post-society collapse street with fascist stormtrooper cops, babies packing heat, hookers, puking punks, amputee wasteoids and some poor bastard being devoured by a giant alligator that just lunged out of a manhole - really cool. The disc comes in this full color digipack, we've got it on vinyl too.
Track Samples:
Sample : About to Snap
Sample : Bald Headed Woman



ANNIHILATION TIME   III:Tales Of The Ancient Age   LP   (Tee Pee)    14.98

III:Tales Of The Ancient Age IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Also available on vinyl (black), which comes with a plastic dropcard with download information to receive a free MP3 version of Tales Of The Ancient Age. Plus, Shaun Filley's awesome cover art looks just right at this size!
After one album on the defunct Manic Ride label and another that was self-released, Oakland rippers Annihilation Time are back with their latest blast of manic, whiskey-fueled thrash, the band's first for their new label Tee Pee, an imprint that I was kinda surprised to see a hardcore band putting out a record on at first, since so much of what I've been listening to on Tee Pee has been monster heavy psych metal (Sleep, Witch, Earthless, etc.). Back when a buddy first turned me on to Annihilation Time's first album, I thought that their rocking hardcore was pretty badass, hopped up on an obvious SST/Black FLag influence but putting their own hard rocking spin on the sound. Now with Tales Of The Ancient Age, those hard rock vibes are more prominent than ever with a twin-guitar attack that has caused some to compare A-Time to Thin Lizzy...I'm hearing that just a wee bit but only in the tasty harmonized solos that pop up a couple times in the album. I'm hearing just as much of a diet of Ted Nugent and Deep Purple circa Machine Head but jacked up on hard liquor and speedballs and raging at top-speed hardcore tempos, filtered through the bare knuckled aggro of Black Flag but way more ROCK and much less SKRONK than the Flag comparison might lead you towards...though check out the 1:29 powerbomb "Jonestown" for some gnarly fretboard beating and one of the fastest, hardest jams on the disc. Then there's "About To Snap", an awesome warning shot with infectious riffage that spins off into some amazing Iron Maidan worthy dual axe harmonizing at the end. Nice. The whole deal is raw and no-frills, just sweet ripping riffs and hooks to match, blasting at HC tempos and shredding bloozy guitar moves and sweet shredding all over your face. Hardcore thrashing rock and roll speedboogie wreckage, one of the funnest fuckin' punk albums I've picked up since I can't remember. Added points for the great album art too; the cover art is an actual illustrated painting (it's good to see this approach becoming more and more popular) of a post-society collapse street with fascist stormtrooper cops, babies packing heat, hookers, puking punks, amputee wasteoids and some poor bastard being devoured by a giant alligator that just lunged out of a manhole - really cool. The disc comes in this full color digipack, we've got it on vinyl too.
Track Samples:
Sample : About to Snap
Sample : Bald Headed Woman



ANNIHILATION TIME   Cosmic Unconciousness   7" VINYL   (Tank Crimes)    6.00

Cosmic Unconciousness IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Here's the latest repress of this rippin' 2006 Ep from Cali stoner punks Annihilation Time, featuring three songs of their Flag-esque mix of 70s rock/metal riffage and ferocious hardcore punk. Released prior to their final album III - Tales Of The Ancient Age, this Ep has some of my favorite tuneage from this band, and I don't think I'm alone as this has been repressed over and over again to satiate the band's still growing legion of fans.
The a-side track "Reality?" is one Annihilation Time's most majestic thrashers, opening with some sweet metallic power that has a whiff of Judas Priest around it, then hurtling into the awesome, jagged hardcore at the meat of the song. Their adoration of B'last and Black Flag is still devout, the guitarist peeling off loads of wicked Greg Ginn-esque skronk-leads as the band twists itself around some off-kilter time changes. Then it all drops into a big Sabbath riff in the middle, which crawls over the song for awhile before finally tearing back into the speed assault. Pure power.
The b-side tracks are shorter blasts of thrash, "Feel It" raging at top speed with anthemic riffs galore and screaming lead guitar solos whipping the band into ever greater frenzies, like some 70s stadium metal band racing at top speed for their life. "Annihilate" follows, another Flag-style hammer to the face delivered with top metallic precision.
Highly recommended to fans of their albums, obviously, as well as anyone into the newer band Lecherous Gaze that some of these guys went on to form after Annihilation Time broke up, this is one of those few modern records to really capture the sort of frenzied, rockin' hardcore violence found with the likes of Eye For An Eye-era Corrosion Of Conformity, late-era Flag, and B'last!'s crushing metallic output.


ANNIHILATION TIME   II   LP + 7"   (Tank Crimes)    17.98

II IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Back in stock! This is the more recent Tank Crimes reissue of Annihilation Time's second album, this version packaged in a gatefold jacket with an additional 7" of the band's ripping Cosmic Unconciousness EP. Here's my original writeup on the Six Weeks edition:
Loads of newer bands have been juicing up their hardcore thrash with some straight up rock lately, but few do it as well as the mighty Annihilation Time, whose latest album III on Tee Pee completely kicked my ass earlier this year. These Cali rippers combine old-school hardcore and classic 70's hard rock/proto-metal heroics better than anyone, and sound like some mutant cross between the burly hardcore punk of Black Flag and B'last! and the infectious bloozy riffage of Rainbow and Deep Purple; sounds like a weird combo, and it is, but do these guys tear it up! I'm still playing III on a regular basis here at C-Blast HQ, and I've been slowly tracking down their earlier releases that came out on the thrashcore labels Dead Alive and Six Weeks. Some of this stuff is out of print or otherwise hard to locate, but I did just find the vinyl version of their second album, appropriately titled II, from 2005. It's just as raging and rocking and furious as the newer stuff; the hybrid of Black Flag/Deep Purple is in full form here, short manic songs that mash together skronky Greg Ginn style riffs and fast pounding thrash with yelping, reverb-soaked vocals, fuzzed out leads and fist-pumping rawk, with titles like "Too High To Die", "Fastforward To The Gore", "Yuppie Killer", and "Imaginary Mirror", and there's a killer cover of "Teenage Rebel" from British proto-punks Pink Fairies that closes out the first side. Nice! The guitar sound and production on this record has a killer vintage sound, as if II really was recorded and released back in the 70's, a lost hardcore anachronism that was only recently unearthed and discovered by modern hardcore fans. It's not, of course, but this record fucking smokes like few other hardcore platters of this era, that's for sure. And the album art is terrific: the front cover of the LP is a garish, hand-painted psychedelic collage that has the zomboid heads of the band members rising in a geyser from a gushing toilet while demonic skater punks hold the Annihilation Time logo aloft, tossing multi-colored pills over a grotesque scene that includes an undead Lemmy Kilmister and Phil Lynott, a skeletonized creep wearing a Blue Oyster Cult t-shirt with guitar cables pounded into his ear cavities, mushrooms, beer cans, dope-smoking sewer rats, and demonically possessed water bongs. That freakish vision just kind of sums it all up.
And here's my writeup of the Cosmic Unconciousness EP: Here's the latest repress of this rippin' 2006 Ep from Cali stoner punks Annihilation Time, featuring three songs of their Flag-esque mix of 70s rock/metal riffage and ferocious hardcore punk. Released prior to their final album III - Tales Of The Ancient Age, this Ep has some of my favorite tuneage from this band, and I don't think I'm alone as this has been repressed over and over again to satiate the band's still growing legion of fans. The a-side track "Reality?" is one Annihilation Time's most majestic thrashers, opening with some sweet metallic power that has a whiff of Judas Priest around it, then hurtling into the awesome, jagged hardcore at the meat of the song. Their adoration of B'last and Black Flag is still devout, the guitarist peeling off loads of wicked Greg Ginn-esque skronk-leads as the band twists itself around some off-kilter time changes. Then it all drops into a big Sabbath riff in the middle, which crawls over the song for awhile before finally tearing back into the speed assault. Pure power.
The b-side tracks are shorter blasts of thrash, "Feel It" raging at top speed with anthemic riffs galore and screaming lead guitar solos whipping the band into ever greater frenzies, like some 70s stadium metal band racing at top speed for their life. "Annihilate" follows, another Flag-style hammer to the face delivered with top metallic precision.
Highly recommended to fans of their albums, obviously, as well as anyone into the newer band Lecherous Gaze that some of these guys went on to form after Annihilation Time broke up, this is one of those few modern records to really capture the sort of frenzied, rockin' hardcore violence found with the likes of Eye For An Eye-era Corrosion Of Conformity, late-era Flag, and B'last!'s crushing metallic output.
Track Samples:
Sample : Teenage Rebel
Sample : Yuppie Killer
Sample : Too High To Die



ANNTHENNATH   States Of Liberating Departure   CASSETTE   (Wohrt Records)    6.00











Track Samples:
Sample : Survival Activation
Sample : Emotional Balance
Sample : Sexual Transcendence



ANODYNE   Salo   10" VINYL   (Insolito)    6.98



Just in! The original vinyl version of this metallic noise-rock/avant-dirge crusher from Brooklyn's heaviest, Anodyne. Pressed on clear vinyl, in a three color sleeve with glossy insert. This 10" version features the four songs "Black.Sun.Rise", "Consumer", "Valley Of The Worm", and "Mask Behind The Face".
One of the most lethal of the post-hardcore bands that fully embraced the caustic nihilism of 90's noise rock, Anodyne for some reason never caught on with the metal/hardcore crowd in a big way, despite releasing some of the most abrasive and ferocious NYC noise since Unsane. Actually, I don't understand how Anodyne failed to become the favorite band of every hardcore kid that ever worshipped Deadguy and Kiss It Goodbye. I only had the opportunity to see Anodyne play live once, in the basement of the cafe attached to CBGB's in the early part of this decade, and their set was chilling; pure, hateful force conveyed through brutal, jagged riffs and Mike Hill's gnarly howls. Vicious neo-noise rock rendered metallic and pulverizing through ample levels of distortion and dirge. Beyond recommended for fans of metallic Am Rep worship, dissonant and experimental metalcore, and gunmetal endtime visions. Recommended.
Track Samples:
Sample : Black. Sun. Rise
Sample : Valley of the Worm



ANODYNE   Salo   CD   (Init)    5.98



One of the most lethal of the post-hardcore bands that fully embraced the caustic nihilism of 90's noise rock, Anodyne for some reason never caught on with the metal/hardcore crowd in a big way, despite releasing some of the most abrasive and ferocious NYC noise since Unsane. Actually, I don't understand how Anodyne failed to become the favorite band of every hardcore kid that ever worshipped Deadguy and Kiss It Goodbye. I only had the opportunity to see Anodyne play live once, in the basement of the cafe attached to CBGB's in the early part of this decade, and their set was chilling; pure, hateful force conveyed through brutal, jagged riffs and Mike Hill's gnarly howls. Vicious neo-noise rock rendered metallic and pulverizing through ample levels of distortion and dirge. The Salo EP was first released as a 10" on the German label Insolito and was then released on CD by Init, and it's seven tracks are beyond recommended for fans of metallic Am