new noise from crucial blast...


    Greetings, nightrunners...

    Welcome to the latest list of fringe metal abominations, anti-human art and outr listening experiences that comprise the Crucial Blast new arrivals for this week. And there is a lot for you to check out - over 130 new releases, restocks and hard-to-find out of print titles that I've assembled from across the globe. A bunch of noteworthy new albums from heavyweights like Leviathan, Old Man Gloom and even our own Gnaw Their Tongues are in here, lots of recent horror soundtrack reissues including a few that I've personally been looking forward to for quite some time, and some great stuff from favorite labels like Malignant, Annihilvs, and Cold Spring.

    The featured release is the latest from Boston-area outfit Sewer Goddess, whose latest Painlust has been repeatedly finding its way to the C-Blast office soundsystem over the past week. There were a bunch of amazing new metal albums that came out this week (Leviathan, Sumac, Sannhet) that all floored me in one form or another, but there's something about Painlust that made it the perfect soundtrack to the past few weeks for me here. It features a similar sound as the band's previous releases, but here it's pared down by band leader Kristin Rose to a leaner, more focused sonic attack, maintaining that filthy blackened industrial vibe but adding a heavier amount of Godfleshian heaviness than ever before. While there's definitely a major Godflesh (and Swans) influence, Rose and crew merge that pummeling industrial metal with a thick, cloying atmosphere of rust and rot that transforms this into their own distinct brand of hellish machinefucked heaviosity. For anyone who shares my taste in malevolent industrial metal, this one is highly recommended...

    Also on this week's update is the new Collected Atrocities 2005-2008 2xCD from Gnaw Their Tongues that came out recently from Crucial Blast. It's a collection of rare, out-of-print and unreleased material that was produced by this notorious Dutch black industrial band within the first few years of it's existence. Predating the Epiphanic album, these early works are just as depraved and disgustingly caustic as that album, delivering that unique monstrous hybrid of black metal, death industrial, doom, and noise that Gnaw Their Tongues has become renowned for over the past decade. Pick this up and see where the filth first started to flow; a perfect primer to lead up to their upcoming performances in the USA later this year. Along with the 2xCD and digital album, we also released a new shirt design that's available individually or bundled with the album.

    Lots of black metal of the left-field/progressive persuasion this week, including new releases and new vinyl editions of albums from Alraune, Mysticum, Xothist, Vorde, and Imperial Triumphant; Bethlehem's latest mutant gloomfest Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia, the crazily-packaged In Death 7" from noisy black metallers Ancestors, and the long-awaited new mini-album from the singular post-punk influenced black metal band Ghost Kommando, Abraxas Rising; brutal blackened punk barbarism from Damonenblut and a vinyl version of Hail Spirit Noir's blackprog debut Pneuma, recent split 7"s from Krieg / Ramlord and Vermapyre / Vehrmoedr, the trippy post-punk/black metal/hardcore lunacy of Leather Chalice's Luna, and the deformed sewer deliriums of De Silence Et D'Ombre's Vol. IV - Worship The Hideous.

   Fans of industrial heaviness will want to check out the new 2xLP reissue of the debut release from Author & Punisher, crushing new discs from Auditor and Khost, a massive triple-disc retrospective of Norwegian industrial metallers Red Harvest, restocks of the latest from pioneers Godflesh AND a killer new compilation called Fathers Of Our Flesh that features the likes of Gnaw, Nadja, Author & Punisher, Eagle Twin, Wormed and many more each doing their own unique interpretations of classic Godflesh tracks; and a new cassette version of Pig Heart Transplant's latest album For Mass Consumption...

    On the horror soundtrack front, C-Blast continues to expand it's selection with new and recent releases of the reissue of the score for Argento's Phenomena from Italian spook-prog masters Goblin, Simon Boswell's ornate score to the brutal Soavi slasher Stage Fright, the new One Way Static release of Phillip Glass's haunting Candyman score (on vinyl AND cassette), and reissues of John Cameron's wild and witchy Psychomania score and the Dawn Of The Dead Unreleased Music compilation, both from Trunk; as well as recent reissues of the John Carpenter scores for Prince Of Darkness and Halloween III: season Of The Witch, and most importantly, the new solo album from John Carpenter Lost Themes, a killer full-length of proggy, sinister synthesizer music from the master of cinematic tension and dread. There's also a new repress of Richard Band's Re-Animator OST, and a CD that features the entire soundtrack to the 1968 release of Haxan: Witchcraft Through The Ages, combining William S. Burrough's narrative with a cool experimental jazz score.

    A bunch of extreme electronics and noise releases from Bastard Noise (including their long-delayed collaboration with Kalmex And The Riffmerchants that is probably the weirdest fucking release on this list), Maurizio Bianchi's Amentest 7", the out-of-print Aube CD Howling Obsession [Revised], the punishing HNW of Edwige's Virgin Capricorn LP, a couple of twisted power electronics/industrial tapes on Tested Souls from X Narrative and Exploring Therapeutic Encounter, and a pair of brutal noise/cut-up 7"s from John Wiese, one of 'em a collab with former Fear Of God member Dave Phillips; nerve-shredding power electronics from Streetmeat, Baculum and False Flag, and a flesh-rending 7" of extreme synthesizer violence from Japan's Zaiden.

    Things get extremely ugly with recent vinyl editions of Coffinworm's latest and a new Lp from UK sludge/noise rock heathens Art Of Burning Water; a restock of Fistula's recent filth-feast Vermin Prolificus, and the debut album from pessimistic tarpit thugs Fortress, Unto The Nothing; we've got all of the recent releases from back-in-action noise rock legends Hammerhead, and those currently out-of-print 2xLP reissues of the classic early Melvins albums Eggnog / Lice All and Ozma / Bullhead - quantities are very limited. Restocks of Mournful Congregation's Concrescence Of The Sophia and the slo-mo sludge rock bliss of the Godstopper/Tendril split; newly remastered 2xLP reissues of Isis's Oceanic and Panopticon; more grueling noise rock via Rectal Hygienics' Ultimate Purity, and Moutheater's Passing Key. And more soul-flattening doom from Sea Witch, Pallbearer, Sea Of Bones, and Witch Mountain.

    And so much more, from the vinyl release of the blistering Wolves Of Heaven / Nyodene-D split, the latest double album of jazz-damaged Godfleshian heaviness from Combat Astronomy, and a new album from New York metallic hardcore band Darkside NYC that showcases their vicious mashup of streetwise punk, Celtic Frost-style riffage and extreme noise; to the industrial-tinged doom-jazz of Laube, and the hallucinatory French weirdness of Echancrure's Paysage, Octobre and reissues of French black metal narco-maniacs Diapsiquir; gobs of insane noisecore from Sissy Spacek and Surplus Killing; crazed death metal weirdness from Order From Chaos, Lithotome, and Dimentianon; violent hardcore and power-violence from Chest Pain, Column Of Heaven, Iron Lung, Man Is The Bastard, No Faith, Suppression, Nuklear Blast Suntan, and Una Bestia Incontrolable; mutant grindcore from the likes of Sete Star Sept, Plutocracy, Pryapisme, and the new Psudoku album Planetarisk Sudoku. Hard-to-find releases from death industrial and infernal ambient outfits Elhaz, Hadit and Valefor released on the defunct German label Memento Mori, and lots of great dark ambience and ritualistic resonances from Draugurinn, Solo Andata, Caulbearer and Sky Burial, Sigma Octantis, Emme Ya and Nuit, and Slavic synth primitavists Sorfeum. And plenty of pitch-black electronic / industrial sounds to sink into from Pharmakon, Theologian, Martin Bladh and Sektor 304, Murderous Vision, Sutekh Hexen, Trepaneringsritualen and others, as well as a new fanzine called Forever Doomed from Tenebrous Kate that further explores her interests in occult metal and vintage black magic cinema.

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

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


LEGION OF ANDROMEDA   Iron Scorn   LP   (Unholy Anarchy)    19.99

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


A FOREST OF STARS   A Shadowplay For Yesterdays (JEWEL CASE)   CD   (Lupus Lounge)    13.98

Track Samples:
Sample : The Blight of God's Acre
Sample : Prey Tell of the Church Fate
Sample : Left Behind As Static

ABHOR   Ritualia Stramonium   CD   (Moribund)    15.99

Track Samples:
Sample : Wine of Sabbath
Sample : I... the Witch
Sample : De Exorcismis Et Supplicationibus Quibusdam

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

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

ACID WITCH   Witchtanic Hellucinations   CASSETTE   (Hells Headbangers)    8.99

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

AFTERBIRTH   Foeticidal Embryo Harvestation   CD   (Pathos Productions)    9.98

Track Samples:
Sample : Obstetric Bastardization
Sample : Obliteration of Human Tissue
Sample : Impure Conception

ALDEBARAN   Buried Beneath Aeons   12"   (Parasitic)    14.99

Track Samples:
Sample : Buried Beneath Aeons
Sample : Buried Beneath Aeons
Sample : Buried Beneath Aeons

ALIEN DEVIANT CIRCUS   Ananta - Abhva   CD   (Necrocosm)    11.99

Track Samples:
Sample : Maha Pralaya (Pradhvamsa-Abhva)
Sample : Ap (Nda)
Sample : Aham Tattva (Kriy)

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

AVERSION TO MANKIND   Between Scylla and Charybdis   CD   (Maa Productions)    11.99

Track Samples:
Sample : In a Fleshy Tomb, I'm Buried Above Ground
Sample : Between Scylla and Charybdis (Part II)

AVICHI   Catharsis Absolute   LP   (New Density)    19.99

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

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

BEASTMILK   Climax   CASSETTE   (Svart Records)    11.99

    Picked up some of the limited-edition tapes that Svart did of this fantastic post-punk album.
    One of the best new bands to emerge in the past few years out of this current 80's-era post punk revival is Beastmilk, a Finnish band who appeared in 2010 with their White Stains On Black Tape demo that was later championed by Darkthrone's Fenriz on his Band of the Week blog. It was easy to hear why - these seasoned musicians (which include front-man Kvohst of Code / Hexvessel / Ddheimsgard, and Juho Goatspeed from the amazing avant-garde black metal band Spiderpact) appeared fully formed, performing a sort of driving, anthemic gloom-rock with a subtle metallic undercurrent and gobs of apocalyptic atmosphere, but with monumental hooks that seemed primed and ready for something arena-sized. Their first full length Climax (now back in stock here at C-Blast) polished that sound even more, delivering ten tracks of infectious, disaffected post-punk that is ridiculously catchy stuff, and which should be heard STAT by anyone into the similarly gloomy, infectious sounds of like-minded bands Vaura, Soror Dolorosa and Hateful Abandon, who all share some sort of distant black metal background. Compared to some of those bands, though, Beastmilk's roots in the Nordic metal underground are barely noticeable here, if at all.
    As the propulsive drive of "Death Reflects Us" kicks off Climax with a perfectly crafted blast of soaring gloom-rock, the bass guitar and chiming riffs soar over pounding motorik drumming, the vocals clear and soaring as they ascend to the anthemic hook of the chorus. That anthemic quality is all over this album, the bass guitar WAY out front as it lays down the driving Joy Division-esque lines, fusing their huge hooks to grim visions of a world in rapid collapse and other, more personal ruminations, and Kvohst's Danzig-esque croon is at once both icy and tremulous, layered into striking harmonies at all the right moments. "The Wind Blows Through Their Skulls" paints a bleak portrait of a radioactive nightmare future, as do the likes of "Genocidal Crush" and "Nuclear Winter", nightmarish imagery set to swirling clean guitars and crunchy metallic riffs, handclaps and huge guitar hooks shifting things into a dark majestic pop that often creates an effective contrast with the eruptions of distorted guitar squall and the relentlessly rocking tempo of most of the songs. There are echoes of The Cult and Samhain and Sisters Of Mercy all through this, and there's a bunch of moments on Climax when the band seems to suddenly transform into a vaguely blackened version of Echo And The Bunneymen - with those types of names being dropped, you should have a pretty good idea iof what sort of stuff these guys are doing, though this never sounds like pastiche to me. Songs like "You Are Now Under Our Control", "Surf The Apocalypse" and "Fear Your Mind" will rattle around in your head for days after hearing it, alternating with the slower, brooding atmosphere of songs like "Ghosts Out Of Focus" and "Strange Attractors", the latter featuring guest vocals from Viveca Butler of New York gloom rockers Occultation that closes the album with it's most haunting melody. Beastmilk are unabashed in their fierce devotion to the darkest regions of classic post punk, but they re-envisioned that sound as something much more muscular and malevolent and modern. Despite the deafening amount of hype that has been hovering around this band, it really is pretty fucking great.
Track Samples:
Sample : You Are Now Under Our Control
Sample : Nuclear Winter
Sample : Genocidal Crush

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

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

BEYOND LIGHT   Paintings In The Hall   CD   (Maa Productions)    11.99

Track Samples:
Sample : Tempest Of Light
Sample : Painted Memories
Sample : Her Cold Hands

BLACK GRAIL   Misticismo Regresivo   CD   (Uncreation)    12.99

Track Samples:
Sample : Plegaria Catrtica
Sample : La Ciudadela de Shiva
Sample : Fotofobia Pstuma

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

Track Samples:
Sample : The Wheel Weaves as the Wheel Wills
Sample : Lurking Fear
Sample : In Meetings Hearts Beat Closer
Sample : Her Strongholds Unvanquishable

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

Track Samples:
Sample : The Wheel Weaves as the Wheel Wills
Sample : Lurking Fear
Sample : In Meetings Hearts Beat Closer
Sample : Her Strongholds Unvanquishable

BORIS   Absolutego   2 x LP   (Southern Lord)    24.99

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

CARA NEIR   Stagnant Perceptions   CASSETTE   (Broken Limbs)    5.98

Track Samples:
Sample : The Apothecary
Sample : Amaranthine Figures
Sample : Imperialist Design

CATHEDRAL   Forest Of Equilibrium   2 x LP   (Earache)    25.98

    Here's the latest vinyl reissue of Cathedral's classic debut Forest Of Equilibrium, paired up with their Soul Sacrifice EP, issued by Earache/Century Media.
    Long before doom metal burst into popularity with both metalheads and non-metalheads alike at the end of the 90's, there was Cathedral, the British band that helped to reshape the sound of doom and push it into new areas of sonic extremism, and who became the flagship band for Rise Above Records, the label that would bring such titans of slow n' low heaviness as Church Of Misery, Moss, Electric Wizard, Unearthly Trance, Witchcraft, Orange Goblin, Sunn O))), Sleep and Goatsnake to your stereo. During the 80's, there were a handful of bands that continued to fly the flag of trad doom that Sabbath kickstarted, Saint Vitus, Candlemass, Trouble, and the whole Maryland doom crowd, for instance, but there wasnt anybody as slow or as heavy as Cathedral, who took the notion of the crawling Sabbathian riff to whole new levels of torpor. Formed after singer Lee Dorrian bailed from grindcore pioneers Napalm Death in 1989, Cathedral combined the heaviest modes of classic doom with Dorrian's unique vocal style, a love of 70's prog rock, and a guitar sound that seems as if it had been carved out of slabs of pure granite. They signed to Earache and released their debut album Forest Of Equilibrium, which has become one of the all time classics in the doom metal pantheon; later albums would pursue a groovier, more rocking sound that the band pretty much perfected on 1993's The Ethereal Mirror. Both of these crucial early albums have just been reissued by Earache in expanded packages that have the original albums bundled with previously out-of-print bonus material, and each comes with a DVD that features a documentary on the making of the album; both are fucking ESSENTIAL for doom metal fans.
    When Cathedral's Forest Of Equilibrium came out in 1990, there really wasn't anything else like it; the British doomsters had produced one of the most crushing, sorrowful doom albums up to that point, heavy on the Sabbath influence of course, but IMMENSELY slower and heavier and more extreme, with Lee Dorrian's deep distinctive growl still holding over some of the grit and hellfire from his brief stint as the frontman for UK grinders Napalm Death. Not only that, but there was a heavy 70's prog rock influence going on with the trippy flutes and psychedelic flourishes that appeared sporadically throughout the album, a unique touch that would later influence legions of newer doom crews. The duo of guitarists Garry Jennings and Adam Lehan crafted monolithic, suffocating heavy slow-motion riffs that crept over the pounding glacial drumming, creating some of the heaviest metal ever heard up to that point. But the album starts off with a sense of disorientation as the flue and acoustic guitar of the intro piece "Picture Of Beauty And Innocence" suggest something much more airy and light, only to pave the way for the sickly harmonies and slurred doom of "Commiserating The Celebration". One of the only eruptions of speed on the album is the short song "Soul Sacrifice", which starts off as a pounding grooving sludge jam, but then evolves into a ripping Judas Priest-like riff. Aside from that song, though, the band moves through these epic, ultra-long songs (several come close to the ten minute mark) like a wave of molasses, coloring their ponderous Sabbath influenced doom with morose, despair-filled minor-key melodies and those meandering Comus-like flutes.
    The end of the cd features the legendary Soul Sacrifice EP, which some consider to be one of Cathedral's finest releases; there's an extended version of the title track, which also appears on Forest Of Equilibrium, as well as three exclusive tracks, "Autumn Twilight", "Frozen Rapture", and ""Golden Blood (Flooding)", all of which continue in the same oppressive style of doom as Funeral.
    And on top of all of that, both reissues are packaged with newly re-designed booklets and inserts that present Patchett's artwork in extended form. Both reissues come highly recommended, and are totally essential for any doom fans that don't already have these classic albums in their collection.
Track Samples:
Sample : Autumn Twilight
Sample : Reaching Happiness, Touching Pain
Sample : Serpent Eve
Sample : Soul Sacrifice

CHAOS ECHOES   Transient   CD   (Nuclear War Now! Productions)    10.98

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

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

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

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

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

CLAUDIO SIMONETTI'S GOBLIN   The Murder Collection   LP PICTURE DISC   (Rustblade)    31.00

COLD IN BERLIN   The Comfort Of Loss & Dust   CD   (Candlelight)    15.99

Track Samples:
Sample : She Walks
Sample : Pray For Us
Sample : Mysterious Spells

CONFESSOR   Condemned   CD   (Earache)    15.99

Track Samples:
Sample : Suffer
Sample : Condemned
Sample : Alone

CONFESSOR   Condemned   LP   (Earache)    23.00

Track Samples:
Sample : Suffer
Sample : Condemned
Sample : Alone

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

CORRUPTED   Nadie   12"   (Throne)    19.99

CROOKED NECKS   Faded Fluorescence   CASSETTE   (Black Horizons)    7.99

Track Samples:
Sample : Tornado Formations
Sample : And Now I'm Dying
Sample : Broken Into Shapes

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

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

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

Track Samples:
Sample : DEAD IN THE MANGER-Cessation
Sample : DEAD IN THE MANGER-Cessation
Sample : DEAD IN THE MANGER-Cessation

DEAD REPTILE SHRINE   N.t.K   CASSETTE   (Antihumanism)    5.98

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

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

DEATHSTENCH   Nekro Blood Ritual   CASSETTE   (Fall Of Nature)    6.50

Track Samples:
Sample : Blood On Black Books
Sample : Nekrobloodritual
Sample : Burning Ov Entrails

DECONDITION   Sukellan Tuntemattomiin Syvyyksiin   CD   (Force Majeure)    11.99

Track Samples:
Sample : Eptoivon Riivaamat Ajatukset
Sample : Diseased Within
Sample : Aistiharhojen Luoma Todellisuus (Sukellan Tuntemattomiin Syvyyksiin)

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

Track Samples:
Sample : Ascension Of A Star Long Since Fallen
Sample : Winter Bliss
Sample : In Winter's Ancient Slumber
Sample : Denial Of The Holy Paradise
Sample : Fullmoon Twilight
Sample : Commence ment of the Dark Crusades

DIAGNOSE: LEBENSGEFAHR   Transformalin   CD   (Hidden Marly)    11.99

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

DODHEIMSGARD   A Umbra Omega   CD   (Peaceville)    16.98

Track Samples:
Sample : God Protocol Axiom
Sample : Architect Of Darkness
Sample : Aphelion Void

DODHEIMSGARD   A Umbra Omega   2 x LP   (Peaceville)    39.99

Track Samples:
Sample : God Protocol Axiom
Sample : Architect Of Darkness
Sample : Aphelion Void

DODHEIMSGARD   Supervillain Outcast   2 x LP   (Peaceville)    39.98

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

DODHEIMSGARD   666 International   2 x LP   (Peaceville)    37.99

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

DOOMED   Doomed To Death Damned In Hell   CD   (Aphelion Productions)    11.98

Track Samples:
Sample : Witches
Sample : Straight Up
Sample : Haematomania

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

DREADLORDS   Death Angel   LP   (Not Just Religious Music)    14.99

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

ELECTRIC WIZARD   self-titled   LP   (Rise Above)    31.00

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

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

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

EPHEMEROS   All Hail Corrosion   LP   (Parasitic)    15.98

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

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

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

FAITH NO MORE   Superhero   7" VINYL   (Ipecac)    7.50

FISTULA   Vermin Prolificus / Ignorant Weapon   CASSETTE   (The Omega)    6.50

    Now available as a limited-edition tape from new label The Omega (an offshoot of The End Records), this pairs up Fistula's latest full-length Vermin Prolificus with the four tracks from the band's Ignorant Weapon 7" along with some additional bonus tracks, including vicious cover versions of Fang's "Destroy The Handicapped", GG Allin & Anti-Seen's "I Love Nothing", Overkill L.A.'s "Ladies In Leather", and Cro-Mags' "Life Of My Own". Limited to three hundred copies.
    The latest feast of filth from these Clevo scum-beasts, Vermin Prolificus delivers seven new tracks of fucked-up, violent sludgecore that's some of the grooviest stuff I've heard from 'em since Goat. Never ones to tinker with what makes them such a vicious listening experience, the band brings us the same sort of feedback-smeared, sample-laden misanthropy that we know and love, songs like "Smoke Cat Hair & Toe Nails" hurtling through an utterly hideous mix of shambling slow-mo sludge metal and ferocious crossover-tinged thrash. As on previous albums, Fistula use sinister samples lifted from various television programs and other pop-culture dead-ends, re-employing them here to extol the virtues of hard drug abuse, mutilation, and other depravities. The way that they mix those samples into their abject, abrasive sludge as always recalls the likes of Dystopia and Buzzoven, but Fistula jack up their sound with so much feral thrash and D-beat driven mayhem that they've turned into something uniquely diseased and demented, with a taste for high-speed carnage that gives us the occasional churning blasts of noisy, mangled grindcore that erupt out of their agonized slow-mo slogs through suffering and dementia.
    Yep, Vermin's got all of this, from short blasts of thrashing savagery like "Harmful Situation" and "Goat Brothel" to the rabid buzzsaw punk of "Upside Down" and back into those terrible, torturous crawls through gaping sewers on tracks like "Pig Funeral". It gets really abusive with the monstrous thirteen minute title track, where they drag their down-tuned, ultra-heavy riffage through a septic daze of grinding black crush and urban violence, the whole track almost totally instrumental save for the disturbing collage of sampled voices that the band stitches together across the sprawling , hypnotic puke-groove. The whole Lp is also loaded with those killer tempo shifts that Fistula pulls off so well, dropping from speedy, scum-encrusted thrash in the most devastating manner possible, the amped-up tempos downshifting with bone-breaking abruptness into disgustingly heavy riffs that instantaneously boil your blood. Ridiculously heavy stuff, and with killer album art from both Luciana Nedelea and Frank Oblak, illustrating Fistula's foul scumscape where the only catharsis is found through acts of brutal violence and ritualized narcotic use. Still yet to be disappointed by anything that Fistula has put out, fans of their misanthropic filth will get all the pain they seek and more - can't recommend this enough if you're addicted to the hateful negativity and tar-pit nihilism of bands like Grief, Eyehategod and Buzzoven.
Track Samples:
Sample : Goat Brothel
Sample : Pig Funeral
Sample : Smoke Cat Hair and Toenails

FOLDED SHIRT   self-titled   LP   (Fashionable Idiots)    11.98

FRN   The Departure Of Consciousness   LP   (Vendetta)    19.99

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

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

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

FUNERAL   self-titled   CD   (Aphelion Productions)    11.98

Track Samples:
Sample : Funeral
Sample : I Hate I Kill
Sample : Mortem
Sample : Mourning

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

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

GAS CHAMBER   Stained Hand   7" VINYL   (SPHC)    5.98

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

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

GOATSNAKE   Black Age Blues   CD   (Southern Lord)    12.98

Track Samples:
Sample : Jimi's Gone
Sample : Black Age Blues
Sample : Another River to Cross

GOATSNAKE   Black Age Blues   2 x LP   (Southern Lord)    22.99

Track Samples:
Sample : Jimi's Gone
Sample : Black Age Blues
Sample : Another River to Cross

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

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

GODFLESH   Decline & Fall   CASSETTE   (Hydra Head)    7.99

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

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

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

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

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

HADEWYCH   Nu   CASSETTE   (Black Horizons)    7.99

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

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

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

HANNUM, TERENCE   Spectral Life   LP   (Shelter Press)    23.00

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

HIMIKO   Victims Of Greed   CDR   (D-Trash)    11.98

Track Samples:
Sample : Superbug
Sample : Itai Itai Byoh
Sample : B-29 Raids

HURUSOMA   Sombre Iconoclasm   CD   (Zero Dimensional)    11.99

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

ICECROSS   self-titled   LP   (Vintage / Rockadrome)    26.00

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

ICECROSS   self-titled   CD   (Vintage / Rockadrome)    15.99

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

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

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

IGORRR + RUBY MY DEAR   Maigre   CD   (Ad Noiseam)    14.98

Track Samples:
Sample : Cuisse
Sample : Biquette
Sample : Barbecue

IGORRR + RUBY MY DEAR   Maigre   LP   (Ad Noiseam)    15.99

Track Samples:
Sample : Cuisse
Sample : Biquette
Sample : Barbecue

ILL OMEN   Divinity Through Un-creation   LP   (Analog Worship)    15.98

IMPERIAL TRIUMPHANT   Abyssal Gods   CD   (Code666)    15.98

Track Samples:
Sample : Opposing Holiness
Sample : Metropolis
Sample : Abyssal Gods

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

One of 2014's best and most sonically oppressive death metal albums is finally out on vinyl, in gatefold packaging from Profound Lore. Let the murk commence!
Another killer album of outr death metal from Down Under. Sharing some of the same personnel as Portal and Grave Upheaval, Impetuous Ritual ply an intensely oppressive brand of death metal that was first introduced on their 2009 album Relentless Execution Of Ceremonial Excrescence. Like the other bands in the Brisbane underground, the approach is primal, deformed, and pitch-black, the music formed from waves of putrescent, near indecipherable riffs, unconventional song structures and a churning, subterranean low-end heaviness. Their brand of barbaric death metal might not be quite as abstract as Portal or as noisy and oppressive as Grave Upheaval, but these guys definitely seethe with a similar sonic sickness and hallucinatory vibe that sounds more twisted than ever on their latest album Unholy Congregation of Hypocritical Ambivalence.
As soon as that first song "Verboten Genesis" pours forth in a volcanic blast of blacknoise guitar chaos, and the monstrous exhalations and pounding war-drums begin to race with ever ascending levels of frantic energy through the band's almost totally inchoate deathstorm, you're left crippled by the sheer barbarism of Impetuous Ritual's sonic attack. Comparisons to the chaotic, angular death metal of Portal are to be expected, but Unholy Congregation offers a swarming horror that is distinctly its own, the sound soaked in a fetid fog of low-end noise that casts an unholy hallucinatory glow across these nine tracks, but also possessed by some intensely eerie melodies that the guitarists strategically place amid their more unformed blasting violence. The guitar solos are insane squalls of tortured squealing shred; the listener will suddenly be able to clutch at a monstrous riff, a massive sludge-splattered hook that will suddenly loom out of the maelstrom, but these moments are surrounded by expanses of sheer chromatic chaos. On tracks like "Despair", the band abruptly shifts out of that blasting black chaos-storm into an expanse of dank, doom-laden atmosphere as everything slips into a slow seething churn, earthquake double bass rumbling beneath the black static swarm of the guitars, the crushing riffage smeared into a droning, dreadful ambience, then shifting into a truly haunting tremolo-picked riff that rises above the amorphous, tectonic roar. The vocals are largely a guttural hiss, suffused into the chaos, but there are some moments of hysteric savagery that sear the deathscape, like the crazed falsetto scream that rips through "Inservitude of Asynchronous Duality". Strange auditory hallucinations form at the edges, like the ritual tolling of bells on "Metastasis" that synchronize with the blast of stentorian riffage, and the surges of sepulchral reverb and streaks of alien ambience that appear in the chasms left as one track collapses into the next, until we're left with the sprawling fifteen minute closer "Blight", a near instrumental epic save for some wordless, chant-like moans and bizarre wailing that drifts lugubriously through the abyss, the music shifting down into a swarming slow-motion crawl that gradually dissolves into a final blast of formless blackened noise at the end. For death metal fans who dug the oppressive nature of Grave Upheaval's suffocating sound but who wished that there was more in the way of tangible riffs, this album's going to be exactly what you're looking for.
Track Samples:
Sample : Verboten Genesis
Sample : Inservitude of Asynchronous Duality
Sample : Blight

JESU   Conqueror   2 x LP   (Hydra Head)    29.99

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

KOOZAR   Koozar / Bangi Vanz Abdul   CD   (Zero Dimensional)    11.98

Track Samples:
Sample : Zznz Kz Chaos III
Sample : Zznz Kz Chaos II
Sample : Kaotaoatoak IV
Sample : Kaotaoatoak I

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

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

LEGION OF ANDROMEDA   Iron Scorn   LP   (Unholy Anarchy)    19.99

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

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

LITHOTOME   self-titled   CD   (Fall Of Nature)    11.99

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

LOST TRIBE   Solace   LP   (Mass Media)    21.00

MASSHIV SEX TRAUMA / ASS DEEP TONGUED   24 Ways To Seduce A Woman   CDR   (La Distrophie)    11.98

Track Samples:
Sample : MASSHIV SEX TRAUMA - Pr-jaculation Infantile
Sample : ASS DEEP TONGUED - Tiens Volia Des Spermatozodes
Sample : ASS DEEP TONGUED - 8-Bites Mental
Sample : MASSHIV SEX TRAUMA - Ma Sale Grosse Pute d'Ex (Au Fait t'As Surprise Dans Ton Vagin)

MELT BANANA   Return of 13 Hedgehogs (MxBx Singles 2000-2009)   CD   (A-Zap)    13.98

Track Samples:
Sample : Steel Me Lust
Sample : Love Song
Sample : Jack and a Red Dog
Sample : Grave in the Hole (Pitfall Fits a Bit)

MINAMATA   Niigata   CD   (Zone De Confusion)    11.99

Track Samples:
Sample : Niigata 1965
Sample : Niigata 2002
Sample : Niigata Fetal Case

MULK   Testo(y)sterie   CD   (La Distrophie)    12.98

Track Samples:
Sample : Vis De Merde
Sample : Molusk
Sample : Manifest Biomecanique
Sample : Candydady

MYSTICUM   In The Streams Of Inferno   LP   (Peaceville)    29.99

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

NEGURA BUNGET   Tau   CD   (Prophecy Productions)    19.98

Track Samples:
Sample : Picur Viu Foc
Sample : La Hotaru Cu Cinci Culmi
Sample : Curgerea Muntelui

NEGURA BUNGET   Tau   LP   (Prophecy Productions)    29.99

Track Samples:
Sample : Picur Viu Foc
Sample : La Hotaru Cu Cinci Culmi
Sample : Curgerea Muntelui

NEPTUNE TOWERS   Caravans To Empire Algol   LP   (Peaceville)    29.98

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

NOCTURNUS   self-titled   CD   (Moribund)    9.98

Track Samples:
Sample : Possess the Priest
Sample : Mummified

OBJEKT/URIAN   Tonfragmente II   CD   (Zone De Confusion)    11.98

Track Samples:
Sample : Perversion
Sample : Logic control
Sample : An appeal

OBSCENE NOISE KORPORATION   Primitive Terror Action / The Rape Of The Blue Planet   2 x CD   (Malignant)    12.98

Track Samples:
Sample : Noise Terror
Sample : Demo I
Sample : Bricks Covered With Blood
Sample : Hjrntvtteriet

OBSEQUIAE   Aria Of Vernal Tombs   CD   (20 Buck Spin)    13.99

Track Samples:
Sample : Orphic Rites of the Mystic
Sample : LAmour Dont Sui Espris
Sample : Anlace and Heart

ODOUR SONOUR   Earth Burial   CD   (Exabyss)    8.98

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

OLD MAN GLOOM   Meditations In B   LP   (Hydra Head)    22.00

ORTOLANI, RIZ   Cannibal Holocaust   LP   (Mondo)    29.99

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

OWL GLITTERS   Alchemical Tones   CD   (Heart & Crossbone)    11.98

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

OYAARSS   Zemdega   CD   (Ad Noiseam)    17.98

Track Samples:
Sample : triality
Sample : platelet in vivo
Sample : brustwart

OYAARSS   Zemdega   LP   (Ad Noiseam)    19.99

Track Samples:
Sample : triality
Sample : platelet in vivo
Sample : brustwart

PECCATUM   Strangling From Within   CD   (Candlelight)    7.99

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

PECCATUM   The Moribund People   CD   (The End)    6.50

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

PECCATUM   Lost In Reverie   CD   (The End)    7.98

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

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

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

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

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

PERSONAL BEST   Issue 5   MAGAZINE   (Personal Best)    14.99

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

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

PESTE NOIRE   La Sanie Des Sicles - Pangyrique De La Dgnrescence   CD   (Transcendental Creations)    12.98

Track Samples:
Sample : Spleen
Sample : Le mort joyeux
Sample : Des mdecins malades et des saints squestrs

PESTE NOIRE   Folkfuck Folie   CD   (Transcendental Creations)    12.98

Track Samples:
Sample : Paysage Mauvais
Sample : La Fin Del Secle
Sample : Condamn Lq Pondaison (Lgende Funbre)

PESTE NOIRE   L'Ordure L'tat Pur   CD   (La Mesnie Herlequin)    12.98

PHLEBOTOMIZED   Immense Intense Suspense / Skycontact   2 x CD   (Hammerheart)    17.99

Track Samples:
Sample : Stoleshowsoul
Sample : I Hope You Know: a Cry In July/Never Lose Hope/Imagine This/Out To You
Sample : Dizz-Tance (Bonustrack)
Sample : In Search of Tranquillity Subtle Disbalanced Liquidity
Sample : Immense Intense Suspense Barricade
Sample : Dubbed Forswearer

PHLEBOTOMIZED   Preach Eternal Gospels   12"   (Hammerheart)    17.98

Track Samples:
Sample : Tragic Entanglement
Sample : Preach Eternal Gospels
Sample : Mustardgas

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

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

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

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

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

    A new 2015 vinyl reissue of Portal's second album -here's our old review of this record from the last time we had it in stock:
   Currently the only available version of the debut album from Australia's bizarro black/death metal technicians Portal, this limited edition LP of Seepia comes in a thick full color gatefold jacket with slightly different artwork from the CD release.
   This album blew a lot of minds when it was reissued through Profound Lore last year. If you've been paying attention to their output lately, Profound Lore has been consistently releasing some of the most exciting, surrealistic death and black metal in existence, and they've been flooring us with every single release we've gotten in from them. This beautiful reissue of Portal's Seepia is one of the first releases we heard from Profound Lore, and it's taken us awhile to finally list this in the Crucial Blast store, but if you're a fan of truly demented, mind-bending death metal and you haven't pick up this disc yet, you seriously need to check this out immediately! Seepia had been out of print for awhile, but now it's presented in a beautiful, eerie looking 4-panel gatefold jacket with spot-varnish printing on the cover, and comes with a full color insert booklet. The closest reference point for Portal would probably be the avant-angularity of Gorgut's legendary Obscura album, but this is even more fucked up, if you can believe it. Taking their brutal death metal riffs and blastbeat-heavy drums and bestial vocals and contorts the assault into a hyper chaotic blizzard of twisted, tangled arrangements and trance inducing riffs and stuttering rhythms, infested with amazingly fucked up sounding lead guitars that squiggle and shred all over the place. The music is ferociously frenetic and dense, every possible area of sound filled with warped guitars and impossibly complex drumming figures and horrific howling feedback.
   Psychotic, psychedelic death metal, performed by faceless entities in nightmarishly exaggerated black cloaks, and creating a effectively disorientating effect comparable to sitting in between multiple stereos playing an assortment of skipping Beherit, Mayhem, Incantation, and Arkon Infaustus CDs all at the same time. Despite the complete lack of structure, Portal summon up a dense, hypnotic storm of terrifying death metal abstraction that sounds like a Lovecraftian drug nightmare coalescing into flesh. Highly recommended!
Track Samples:
Sample : Track 2

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

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

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

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

PRYAPISME   Futurologie   CD   (Apathia)    15.98

Track Samples:
Sample : XII
Sample : VI
Sample : IX
Sample : III

PYRAMIDS   A Northern Meadow   CD   (Profound Lore)    13.98

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

PYRAMIDS   A Northern Meadow   LP   (Profound Lore)    34.98

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

RESGESTAE   tat D'Urgence   CD   (Force Majeure)    11.99

RISE OF AVERNUS   Dramatis Personae   CD   (Code666)    13.98

Track Samples:
Sample : In the Absence of Will
Sample : In Hope We Drown
Sample : Acta Est Fabula

SAME-SEX DICTATOR   Open The Coffin   CASSETTE   (Hanged Man)    5.98

SANGUS   Saevitia   7" VINYL   (Eternal Death)    6.50

SATANATH   Deep Universe Vacuum   CD   (Symbol Of Domination)    9.99

Track Samples:
Sample : Ukeliu
Sample : Hard Corps Blues
Sample : Dahtre

SATURNALIA TEMPLE   To The Other   CD   (Ajna Offensive)    9.99

SATURNALIA TEMPLE   To The Other   LP   (Ajna Offensive)    19.98

SCORN   Ellipsis   CASSETTE   (Scorn Recordings)    6.50

    Just unearthed some copies of the long out-of-print cassette version of Scorn's remix collection Ellipsis, released in 1995 on Earache sub-label Scorn Recordings. I've been a fan of Mick Harris's apocalyptic industrial dub/breakbeat project Scorn for years, but have always had a hell of a time getting my hands on copies of the remix album Ellipsis. When these Scorn albums originally came out, Earache was still primarily known for releasing grindcore and death metal, and Scorn's dark electronica/dub was radically different from what people were used to hearing from the label, let alone the former drummer for grindcore pioneers Napalm Death and jazz/grind/dub geniuses Painkiller. One of the best releases in the Scorn catalog, essential for fans of Harris's brand of crushing beatscapes and dystopian ambience.
    1995's Ellipsis is a very different sort of album. This disc, which has been out of print for years, is a compilation of remixed Scorn material taken from Evanescence and reworked by an impressive lineup of guest collaborators that include Coil, Autechre, Meat Beat Manifesto, and PCM. It opens with Meat Beat Manifesto funking up "Silver Rain Fell" in their distinct style, stretching it out for almost nine minutes but sticking pretty close to the sound of the original. Harris does his own remix of "Exodus", which also makes some subtle changes to the track, but Coil take the source material in a much darker and more infernal direction for their rework of "Dreamspace". The UK industrial legends stretch the track out to almost twelve minutes, creating a wheezing, creaking trip-hop nightmare coated in grimy distortion, sinister bass, demonic voices, but then turn the second half into an epic orchestral ambient peice, letting looped strings drift over muted drums and skittering electronics, and it's without a doubt one of the highlights of Ellipsis. Next, Bill Laswell (who had performed with Harris in Painkiller) turns "Night Ash Black (Slow Black Underground River Mix)" into an even longer dose of epic dubdirge that's almost a whopping sixteen minutes long. Laswell stretches out the didgeridoo drones of the original version across a stygian chasm, drifting black ambience and rumbling drones inhabiting the first few minutes before a CRUSHING bassline drops in alongside a steady hi-hat keeping time, the track turned into a monstrous doomed-out darkhop dirge, super heavy and sinister, with samples of Harvey Keitel from Bad Lietunient looping in the background. If you thought that the original version of this track was pretty heavy, wait till you hear this....
    Scanner follows and deconstructs Scorn's throbbing low end beats for "Night Tide (Flaneur Electronique Mix)", stripping it down to the rudimentary rhythm and fusing the beats to creepy samples. Autechre's re-imagining of "Falling (FR 13 Mix)" isn't as wacked out as I thought it might be when I first spun this disc, but it's still a twisted and fractured take on the original, the beats chopped and clipped, distorted and skipping across a minimal dark soundscape populated with all sorts of clicks and glitches and rhythmic pops and dub effects. Probably the most radical reshaping of Scorn's music comes from P.C.M., an obscure drum n' bass project that would later take part in continued collaborations with Mick Harris; these pioneers of dark, heavy jungle take the eerie melody from "The End" and strap it to a combination of spastic, pounding junglist rhythms and digital dub grooves. Germ's remix of "Automata" is also another dark drum n bass workout, but here the remix is slower and heavier and closer to the pounding industrial throb of the original. The disc ends with Harris once again remixing his own material, giving "Light Trap" a stripped down, blissed out redux, the end result both jazzy and dark, but quite mesmeric and pretty. Essential for Scorn fans and those into Dalek, Tackhead and Justin Broadrick's heavy dub/beat experiments in Godflesh, Ice and Techno Animal.
Track Samples:
Sample : SCORN-Ellipsis
Sample : SCORN-Ellipsis
Sample : SCORN-Ellipsis
Sample : SCORN-Ellipsis

SCORN   Gyral   CASSETTE   (Scorn Recordings)    6.50

    Just unearthed some copies of the long out-of-print cassette version of Scorn's Gyral, released by the Earache sub-label Scorn Recordings back in 1996. It's a classic slab of dark, doom-laden industrial dub/trip-hop from the former drummer and founding member of grindcore gods Napalm Death, Mick Harris; along with Painkiller/Bill Laswell, Techno Animal and Ice, Scorn was one of the most fearsome practitioners of post-industrial dub in the 90's, fusing grim electronic ambience with dub-heavy break beats and spacey effects.
    1995's Gyral was the first with Mick Harris as the sole member following the departure of Nic Bullen, and the sound is appropriately sparse and skeletal, a reductionist version of the band's previous industrial dub sound. The pounding languid break beats are wound into looping circular mantras that anchor the dark, ominous ambient drift and electronic ether that float by, sonar pings and fragments of piano echoing through the shadows, percussive samples locked into air-tight tick-tock grooves, snares popping and leaving incandescent tracers dissolving against the blackness, the speaker-rattling bass coiling almost subliminally in the background. The whole atmosphere of Gyral is dreamlike and ambient, not quite as apocalyptic as releases like Deliverance, but definitely still quite sinister and bleak, with none of the vocals that were so prominent on prior albums. Eight tracks: "Six Hours One Week", "Time Went Slow", "Far In Out", "Stairway", "Forever Turning", "Black Box", "Hush", "Trondheim - Gvle". Gyral is an engrossing slab of industrial trip-hop/dark ambient dub, one of Harris's most hypnotic and heavy-lidded albums, and another personal favorite of mine from Scorn. Extremely limited!
Track Samples:
Sample : Black Box
Sample : Six Hours On

SECT PIG   Self Reversed   CD   (Nuclear War Now! Productions)    10.98

Track Samples:
Sample : Self Reversed
Sample : Self Reversed
Sample : Self Reversed

SERRATO, MARCO   Seis Canciones Para Cuervo   CD   (Alone -Spain-)    12.98

Track Samples:
Sample : Las dos cadas de Cuervo
Sample : De cuervo y las estrellas...
Sample : Cuervo suea que es mujer

SHINKIRO   Cycle Of Rebirth   CD   (SSSM)    12.98

Track Samples:
Sample : 5th Cycle
Sample : 4th Cycle
Sample : 2nd Cycle

SICKENING HORROR   Overflow   CD   (Deepsend)    10.98

Track Samples:
Sample : May the Ground Not Receive Thee
Sample : I, Explorer in Akashic Fields
Sample : Fractal Maze

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

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

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

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

SIGH   Graveward   CD   (Candlelight)    12.98

Track Samples:
Sample : The Molesters of My Soul
Sample : Kaedit Nos Pestis
Sample : Dwellers In Dream

SIMONETTI, CLAUDIO   Demons   CD   (Rustblade)    18.98

Track Samples:
Sample : Out Of Time
Sample : Killing
Sample : Demon
Sample : Demon (Simonetti Horror Project Version)

SIMONETTI, CLAUDIO   Demons   LP   (Rustblade)    24.98

Track Samples:
Sample : Out Of Time
Sample : Killing
Sample : Demon
Sample : Demon (Simonetti Horror Project Version)

SIMONETTI, CLAUDIO   Demons (Limited Edition Boxset)   2 x CD   (Rustblade)    46.98

Track Samples:
Sample : Out Of Time
Sample : Killing
Sample : Demon
Sample : Demon (Simonetti Horror Project Version)

SLAVES   Issue 2   MAGAZINE A5   (Slaves Fanzine)    7.50

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

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

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

SPECIAL PEOPLE   David Carradine Style   CASSETTE   (Special People Music)    5.00

SPECIAL PEOPLE   Spring Tour 2015   CASSETTE   (Special People Music)    5.00

STONE WIRED   Umbral Depth Of Shade   CD   (Exabyss)    7.99

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

SWANS   Filth (Deluxe Reissue)   3 x CD   (Young God)    22.98

    Swans' devastating debut Filth recently got the vinyl reissue treatment via Young God (the label run by Swans founder Michael Gira) at the end of last year, but we've been waiting on a new, definitive CD version for this essential, seminal album of ultra-heavy industrial scum rock, a masterpiece of abject dread and late 20th century urban horror. At long last, though, Young God has brought us the deluxe triple-disc reissue of Filth that they've been threatening us with, and it's the final word on this era of the NYC band's existence. Packaged in a monstrous-looking digipack with raised print embossing, this new, re-mastered 2015 edition of Filth features the two discs that made up the previous Filth / Body To Body Job To Job CD, but also adds a third disc that contains the band's self-titled 12" from 1982, and live recordings of Swans at CBGBS in 1982 and '83, and in London in 1984, along with a revised package design and a sixteen-page booklet. Here's my previous write-up for the Filth / Body... set:
    Thirty years on, and still nothing matches the sheer teeth-loosening power of Swans' Filth. An all-time favorite, this one, a crucial slab of crushing urban decay and psychological putrescence from this legendary, pioneering post-punk outfit. The band's 1983 debut (originally released on Neutral Records) from the classic pre-Jarboe lineup is Swans at their all-time ugliest, lumbering through a set of some of the nastiest No Wave-damaged sludge ever, their sound and their attack informed by the early industrial skree of Throbbing Gristle, the discordant energy surrounding the nascent NYC art-punk underground, and the caveman punk stomp of classic Stooges. At the time, Gira stated that he wanted Swans to be heavier than anything else, and he succeeded - make no mistake, Filth sounded like nothing else in the early 80s, an abject trudge through pounding brutalist rhythms produced by the formidable drumming team of Jonathan Kane and Roli Mosimann, who bashed out their simple but powerful rhythms on dual drum kits and assorted metal detritus, infesting the booming slow dirge-like tempos with an array of clanking junk, while guitarist Norman Westberg smears his atonal chords and howling jagged anti-melodies over the spiked off-kilter grooves, and Harry Crosby's bass lurches against the beat. Behind the band's abrasive assault, various crudely constructed tape loops and mutated electronics squeal and splutter, a backdrop of warped noises that potentiate the disturbing feel of this music. The atonal skronk of songs like "Big Strong Boss" obviously draw from the No Wave stuff that had emerged several years earlier, but here Gira and team hammered that sound into something so much more heavy and grotesque, a perfect backing on which Gira was able to hang his yowling vocals, his lyrics drenched in themes of power, sex, greed and debasement that Gira would continue to explore throughout Swans' career, but here blunted and stripped down to a kind of broken sewer poetry, barked out in a minimal, declamatory delivery over the band's brutal noise-addled punk. Seminal stuff; just take a listen to the discordant quasi-hardcore of "Freak", there's no mistaking the album's influence on pretty much all extreme metal, punk and industrial that followed. A truly essential album within the realm of extreme music.
    The Filth disc is rounded out with a pummeling twenty-four minute live set comprised of recordings made between 1982 and 1983 at legendary NYC experimental art venue The Kitchen, featuring six tracks taken from various early Swans releases ("Strip/Burn", "Heatsheet", "Blackout", "Clay Man", "Stay Here" and "Weakling"); this live material captures the band at full ferocity, battering their way through sprawling, monotonous percussive assaults, the band hammering the audience with their din of howling noise and clanking scrap-metal rhythms and lurching, elliptic heaviness. Fucking awesome.
    Disc two is an expanded version of Swans' 1991 compilation Body To Body, Job To Job, a collection of material recorded between 1982 and 1985 comprised of assorted studio recordings (mostly alternate versions of material from the band's Cop album) and some of the squealing noise loops that the band created to be played during their live sets. It's all odds'n'ends, but really fascinating for fans of this era of the band, back when Swans were creating some of the heaviest music to come out of the American post-punk underground. At their heaviest, you get the tortured dirge of "I'll Cry For You" and the howling pummel of "Red Sheet", churning rhythmic thud driven by the crushing dual-drummer assault, while the lurching discordant sludge of "Your Game" and "Half Life" clearly shows where Justin Broadrick got his inspiration for Godflesh's industrial grindcore. That and the other studio recordings featured here rank as some of the bands heaviest ever, monstrous slabs of deformed industrial funk and squalling No Wave horror, insidiously hypnotic but lashed with astringent guitars, offset by murky live tracks that ooze out of your speakers like so much black blood and engine grease. An act of endless self-immolation in motion, the disc finally collapses beneath the weight of a monstrous live rendition of the band's classic "Raping A Slave", recorded in Berlin in 1984, a final testament to the ruination of wretched flesh. Essential.
    The collection is rounded out with that third disc that has the self-titled four-song EP from 1982, unavailable on CD since the early 90s and possible the main reason why longtime Swans fans may want to upgrade to this version. While that 12" wasn't as brutally heavy as the Filth album, these earliest recordings from Swans still show a decidedly more vicious and brutalist take on the No Wave aesthetic and post-punk influences that helped shape the band's sound early on. Discordant guitar chords ring out over lurching, cyclical bass lines, and the eerie bleat of Daniel Galli-Duani's saxophone echoes across the background on opener "Laugh", a mesmeric slab of art-punk ugliness that reveals an almost krautrock-style propulsion as it unfolds. "Speak" is a little closer to the abject power-sludge that would follow, sending shards of splintered guitar noise flying over the damaged anti-funk the rhythm section lays down, while "Take Advantage" almost feels like a vastly more anxiety-riddled take on Joy Division, stumbling over itself in its headlong rush into oblivion. And "Sensitive Skin" twitches in slow motion, a writhing angular dirge that may be the most menacing song on the record. All in all, a pretty interesting look at the early post-punk stage of the band, before they would mutate into the lumbering, glacial horror of Filth. The rest of the disc is rounded out with those live tracks from CBGBs and London club Heaven, mostly made up of tracks from the album bashed out violently in front of tiny dumbfounded audiences, miniature symphonies of clashing metal and brutal concussive rhythms, squalls of horrific guitar noise and tortured prose, a fascinating glimpse of the band raw and in the flesh at the dawn of their career.
Track Samples:
Sample : Freak
Sample : Power for Power
Sample : Stay Here
Sample : Weakling

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

THOABATH   Through Smoke and Feathers   CASSETTE   (Black Horizons)    7.99

THORNS   self-titled   2 x LP   (Peaceville)    37.99

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

TRAUMA   After Visiting Hours   CASSETTE   (Fall Of Nature)    6.50

TREPONEM PAL   Aggravation   CD   (Metal Mind)    15.99

Track Samples:
Sample : Rest Is a War
Sample : Radioactivity
Sample : Love

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

UFOMAMMUT   Ecate   CD   (Neurot)    14.99

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

UFOMAMMUT   Ecate   LP   (Neurot)    16.98

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

UN FESTIN SAGITAL   Deimos   CASSETTE   (Black Horizons)    9.50

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

UN FESTIN SAGITAL   Etna   CASSETTE   (Black Horizons)    7.99

Track Samples:
Sample : rboles Negros
Sample : Anuibis (Sueo Y Muerte)
Sample : Etna

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

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

UNHOLY   Gracefallen   CD   (Peaceville)    12.98

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

UNHOLY   From The Shadows   CD   (Peaceville)    12.98

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

UNHOLY   Rapture   CD   (Peaceville)    12.98

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

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

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

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

VARIOUS ARTISTS   P.H.N.W. (Pure Harsh Noise Worship)   2 x 7"   (Antropofago Ateo)    14.98

VARIOUS ARTISTS   No Speed Limit: Essential Qubec Metal Demo Tapes   8 x CASSETTE   (Nuclear War Now! Productions)    46.98

Track Samples:
Sample : VOIVOD - Tornado
Sample : VOOR - Evil Metal
Sample : AGGRESSION - Evil Pox
Sample : OUTRAGE - Until You Bleed In
Sample : SOOTHSAYER - Build The Terrorism
Sample : TREBLINKA - Wings Of Omen
Sample : VENSOR - Alazif / Reign Of The Antechrist
Sample : OBLIVIEON - Whimsical Uproar

VARIOUS ARTISTS   The Exorcist (Musical Excerpts From)   CD   (Perseverance)    12.98

Track Samples:
Sample : Polymorphia
Sample : Night of the Electric Insects
Sample : Canon for orchestra and tape

VOIDMORF   Beyond All The Light   CD   (Exabyss)    8.98

Track Samples:
Sample : The Phenomena Of Parallax And Aberration
Sample : Searching For God's Existence In Quarks
Sample : Kepler 47

WARHORSE   As Heaven Turns To Ash...   2 x LP   (Southern Lord)    22.98


Track Samples:

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

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

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

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

WILT   A Daemonic Alteration   CASSETTE   (Fall Of Nature)    6.50

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

WODDREA MYLENSTEDE   Demo II   CASSETTE   (Legion Blotan)    6.50

YDI   A Place In The Sun / Black Dust   2 x LP   (Southern Lord)    21.00

YEN POX   Between The Horizon And The Abyss   CD   (Malignant)    10.98

Track Samples:
Sample : The Procession
Sample : Cold Summer Sun
Sample : Ashen Shroud

ZORN, JOHN   Simulacrum   CD   (Tzadik)    17.98

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

ZU   Cortar Todo   CD   (Ipecac)    16.99

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

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


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