VARIOUS ARTISTS  Infernal Proteus A Musical Herbal  4 x CD + BOOK   (Ajna Offensive)   44.98

This handsomely illustrated, hardbound book came out a few years ago from the publishing arm of the esteemed black metal/black ambient label Ajna Offesnive and for the longest time was thought by myself to be out of print. It turns out that we were able to get ahold of a few copies of this book, which is not only a book, but also a massive 4-disc compilation set, a "musical herbal" as Ajna boss Tyler Davis calls it, and it's a massive head-filler for anyone that is into the darker corners of ambient music, heavy drones, and experrimental post-rock. The book is a professionally printed and bound full-color tome, 96 pages thick and filled with full color artwork, with each of the featured musical artists picking a plant, herb, or tree that they identify with in some manner and contributing a new, unique song in honor of the plant. The presentation of the images is gorgeous, ranging from full color photographs to antiquated engravings and more astract artwork, and each artist is given a full 2-page spread with a full page for the artwork and the facing page featuring assorted text, poetry, notes, etc. The lineup of artists in the compendium is staggering: Ah Cama-Sotz, Alio Die, Allerseelen, Alraune, Amber Asylum, Apoptose, Aube, Baradelan, Chaos As Shelter, Circe, Coleclough & Hill, Jason Craban, Yannick Dauby, black ambient overlord Endvra, Hekate, Hu, Igor18, In Gowan Ring, Inade, Israfel In Necropolis, Dave Knott, Lotus Eaters (featuring Aaron Turner of Isis and Stephen O'Malley of Sunn O)))/KTL/Khanate/Burning Witch), Kawabata Makoto of Acid Mothers Temple, Mania, Mnortham, Seth Nehil, Nerthiagh, Numinosum, O Paradis, Rain, The Red King, Steve Roden, Troum, Ultra, Unto AShes, Venereum Arvum, Waldteufel, Wolfskin, and David Woodward...whew! Like I said, massive. A conceptual grimoire of dark green magic, summoned in the guise of esoteric ambient, dark folk, avant-metal, lovely chamber doom, occultic field recording manipulations, and sounds from even further beyond. Might just be the most ambitious, stunning looking compilation I've ever picked up.Limited to only 2,000 copies!