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I've yet to hear a release from Malignant that I didn't like. If you are a fan of black industrial, dark ambience, the most demonic extreme of power electronics, there is at least a handful of albums that this label has released that you will fall in love with. Label boss Jason Mantis has an impeccable ear for high-quality, evocative electronic and industrial music (as well as an eye that seems to be perpetually peering into the abyss), not to mention one of the best visual aesthetics of any industrial/noise label currently going. Every one of Malignant's releases look amazing, most packaged in sumptuously designed digipacks, offering an elegance even to such slabs of abject filth as the grinding black industrial sludge of Sewer Goddess, or the dystopian junkyard dirge-crush of Sektor 304, or the midnight graveyard visions of Funerary Call. Can you tell that I'm a fan? Check out the Malignant releases below for my feature on the label for more word-spew on this fantastic label.



FEATURED LABEL



COLLAPSAR   Beyond The Event Horizon   CD   (Malignant)    9.98



To begin with, this isn't the same Collapsar that has brought us two albums of stunning space-prog-metal, no, this Collapsar is an entirely different beast, a fearsome sculptor of black hole drones appearing here for the first time. Not since the black space-devouring majesty of Yen Pox have I heard an ambient album this bleak and epic and CRUSHING. This French dark ambient project debuts with Beyond The Event Horizon, a sonic narrative totally obsessed with black holes and collapsing stars, and which explores this obsession through six epic tracks of ultra-deep black driftscape that gets pretty terrifying at various points. The artwork (lush galaxy clusters rendered in deep shades of aqua and black, and the alien black hole maw featured on the cover) and track titles (such as "Into The Wormhole" and "Passing The Gate") all work to transport the listener through vast cosmic starfields and straight into the wormhole abyss, but this ain't no Hearts Of Space bliss-out... Collapsar's sound is wholly menacing and ominous, a combination of stygian black drones and majestic kosmiche roar; like most of my favorite dark ambient albums on Malignant, there's a noticeable Teutonic influence at work here, and the soaring jets of black synthesizer and clouds of buzzing whirring minor key buzz often make this sound like the thickest, heaviest, most oppressive and apocalyptic Klaus Schulze recording imagineable. But these passages of pitch-black kosmiche drift intermingle with even blacker depths of monstrous drone, vast regions of cavernous drift and bestial time-stretched roars drifting out of the ink-black of space, the ambient soundtrack to Lovecraftian horrors drifting along the edges of space, joined by distant blasts of grinding mechanical engines, incomprehensible chants echoing in the darkness, chunks of crushing distorted, almost Sunn-like powerdrone, strains of far-off orchestral strings, and massive blots of dubby reverb. The album gets more terrifying with each track, eventually arriving at the immense blackened dronescape "The Way To Infinity" that melds swirling trippy space effects with evil Lustmordian darkness. Looking to fill your sleep with endless nightmares filled with all manner of cosmic horror? Just fall asleep with this on your headphones. A must for dark ambient fans, lovers of Inade, Lustmord, the ritualistic blackness of Zoat-Aon and the rest of the Aural Hypnox collective, and the imaginary horror film scores that Klaus Schulze never recorded...

Packaged in a beautiful six-panel digipack.


Track Samples:
Sample : COLLAPSAR-Beyond The Event Horizon
Sample : COLLAPSAR-Beyond The Event Horizon



PHRAGMENTS   Earth Shall Not Cover Their Blood   CD   (Malignant)    10.98



A stunning new album of orchestral doom from this Slovakian duo. Although, when I say "doom", I'm not talking about doom metal...rather, Phragments bring together slow, ponderous tribal drums, dark orchestral strings, and malevolent dark ambience to create a sort of ominous industrial chamber-doom for Earth Shall Not Cover Their Blood, and boy is this album a downer. If the music wasn't grim enough, the vocals (when they appear) are dark and dramatic and totally forlorn, and the lyrics deal in hopeless endtime visions of a ruined earth burnt black by humanity. Grim and despondant but also imbued with an ashen grandeur and an epic heaviness that makes this something that fans of more adventurous downer-crush should investigate. The opening title track blends the drifting Lustmord-like drones with distant war-drums and deep resonant cellos and gongs for an eight minute instrumental, and when the drums start to rise up towards the end, it's as if you're hearing some dark orchestra piece performing with the guys in Neurosis hammering out a wall of booming tribal percussion. It's not until the second track "Over Deadlands" that the vocals appear, a deep male voice crooning over a sinister loop of violins and crushing tribal drums and deep bass, like Swans performing a black magic ritual. The music drops out in the middle and leaves behind just a dark droning synth line, but then kicks back in, heavier and distorted, the vocals now alternating a blackened distorted rasp with the clear deep singing...creepy, heavy stuff. The rest of the album follows suit, moving from almost purely ambient passages of dark symphonic drone and grim soundtrack-like strings ("As Hope Turns To Ashes"), sorrowful industrial dirge ("The Fogs Have Risen", "Chant Of The Forsaken", The Return"), and hellish, doom-laden dread punctuated with monstrous, almost black metallish vocals (""The Kin Of Cain"), the sound always dark, always somber, always centered around minimal industrial throb, surges of powerful tribal drumming and thunderous tympani, and the murky atmospheric wash of those orchestral strings, deep groaning brass, and somber drones. Imagine Lustmord combined with Amber Asylum and Test Dept, Swans crossed with In Slaughter Natives, a doom-filled apocalyptic chamber music, dark and beautiful and chilling... fans of that recent Aghast reissue will probably dig this, as well as those into the dark martial industrial of Nordvargr's Toroidh project. Comes in a six panel digipack.


Track Samples:
Sample : PHRAGMENTS-Earth Shall Not Cover Their Blood
Sample : PHRAGMENTS-Earth Shall Not Cover Their Blood
Sample : PHRAGMENTS-Earth Shall Not Cover Their Blood



MEGAPTERA   Staring Back At You   CD   (Malignant)    11.98

Staring Back At You IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Megaptera are probably the one band that the "Death Industrial" tag fits best. Heavier than Brighter Death Now, Atrax Morgue or any of the other bands that fell under the banner of Death Industrial, this seminal Swedish project created some of the most crushing electronic music ever during it's heyday, and this 2007 collection released by the excellent Baltimore-based label and distributor Malignant showcases some of the most flattening tracks that Megaptera ever recorded. This disc is the last official release from the band since it decided to cease operations in 2006, and it's a collection of rare material culled from demo versions, studio outtakes, and tracks from the Zyklon B, Beating the Meat, Slaughter Age �95, The Book ov Shadowz, and Death Odors II compilations. The music represented here is unifyingly nightmarish and creepy, ranging from menacing dronescapes to pulverizing machine dirges. The more rhythmic pieces make for some of the heaviest industrial music you'll ever hear..."Disoriented" rides a monstrous percussive loop over slabs of subterranean black ambience and grim horror synths, and "The Passage" sounds like a a doomdirge version of the Terminator original sound track. The track "Lurking Fear" is the prime skullcrusher on this disc, however; starting out as a series of looped layers of chittering, grating machine noise and pulsating foghorn tones, the piece slowly builds in density as additional machine rhythms and noise loops and bleak drones stack up, until finally a crushing drum machine beat shows up halfway through, massive and martial, a brutal doom march stomping through a nightmare world of living machinery. Imagine Godflesh's Streetcleaner combined with some noisy, loop-based ambient noise...freaking pulverizing. This is ultra-dark, nihilistic music, the repetitious sound of late-20th century factory machinery forged into apocalyptic dirge. Staring Back At You is limited to 800 copies and comes in a full-color, six panel digipack, remastered by Magnus Sundstrom and with additional sound "boosting" by Thomas Garrison from the power electronics project Control.


Track Samples:
Sample : MEGAPTERA-Staring Back At You
Sample : MEGAPTERA-Staring Back At You



NAVICON TORTURE TECHNOLOGIES   The Church Of Dead Girls   2 x CD   (Malignant)    13.98

The Church Of Dead Girls IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

You know the scenes in John Carpenter's Prince Of Darkness when the university students, trapped in the church while studying the vial of Satanic fluid in the basment, suddenly begin to experience dreams that turn out to be robotic transmissions from a post-Satan future? Well, The Church Of Dead Girls sounds like what those transmissions would have resembled if they had actually been shortwave love letters from some psychotic demonic presence. Impenetrably dark and grim, this double album from 2002 showcases two full discs of what NTT mastermind Leech has coined "Power Romance", a blending of harsh, blackened drone noise and claustrophobic ambience. The track titles all point to a seriously disturbed sociopathic sexuality ("The Gates Of Hell Open To Reveal Shiny White Skin...", "Your Womb Became The Receptacle Of All My Self Loathing", and "I Feel Ready to Perpetrate Wanton, Heinous Acts of Rape and Murder Upon Happy Lovers and the Population at Large..."...Jesus!), and the often crushing, always grisly black-ambient dronescapes create a suffocating delirium somewhere in between Prurient's recent deathwaves, electronic horror movie scores from the 80's, and the stygian loops of Melek-Tha. Much of the source material for these twenty tracks were provided by some heavy names in the black/industrial scene (Abfall, Bullethead, Egosplint, Fragment King, Loveissacrifice, Never Presence Forever, Nothing, and Steel Hook Prostheses), but you'd never know it without reading the liner notes. Leech has manipulated every bit of corroded, diseased noise into new, dreadful shapes. Tracks move from scorching, crunchy distortion that could pass for massively distorted guitars trapped in an endless delay system, to some really fucking creepy ambience with buried slasher movie samples and angelic female vocals swirling deep down in the mix. So bleak and heavy and atmospheric, this is might be the grimmest release on a label that already focuses on the grimmest, darkest ambient/industrial out there. Listen to this in the dark at your own risk.

The packaging for The Church Of Dead Girls is awesome: an oversized audiobook-style case that measures about 5.5" by 10.5", one of the biggest CD packages ever, featuring bizarre cover artwork that consists of nude female figures, gigantic female genitalia, grainy textures, all printed in black, grey, and metallic silver ink.


Track Samples:
Sample : NAVICON TORTURE TECHNOLOGIES-The Church Of Dead Girls
Sample : NAVICON TORTURE TECHNOLOGIES-The Church Of Dead Girls



PHAENON   Submerged   CD   (Malignant)    12.98



This is the first new disc from Malignant that I've heard in a while, but hopefully this will be the start of finally catching up on the

label's prodigious catalog of ultraheavy ambient crush. Packaged in a sleek 6-panel digipack illustrated with images of what look like deep

space storm activity, Phaenon debuts here with a single hour-plus track of massive ambient darkness that fans of Lull, Maeror Tri, Lustmord,

Yen Pox, Caul, and Inade will fall in love with immediately. Phaenon is the solo project of Szymon Tankiewicz, who lives right here in Maryland

- making this the first heavy drone/ambient album I've heard from someone here in my home state? Surprisingly, I think that's the case. This is

a killer debut, a massive floating field of doomy synthesizer drones drifting through deep space and clusters of notes emerging from the void.

The track is constantly shifting over it's 66 minutes, moving from crushingly heavy slabs of cosmic bass to subdued, serene drones flitting

through interstellar space and endless sheets of icy metallic hum. Deep, ominous space drone with intense stereo panning that becomes

incredibly memserizing - you really need to sit down and soak this album up, preferably with some decent headphones, to fully plunge into the

heavy celestial drift. Recommended.




WOLFSKIN   O Ajuntar Das Sombras   CD   (Malignant)    9.98

O Ajuntar Das Sombras IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Been hearing about this Portugese dark ambient band for awhile, the full length that they released on the excellent Brazilian label Essence Music is supposed to be fantastic, though I haven't had a chance to pick it up yet. Roughly translated as "The Gathering Of The Shadows", O Ajuntar Das Sombras is apparently the final release from this group, which stands out in a field of mostly one-or-two person projects by being an actual band, consisting of five members who contribute a variety of sounds from tape loops, samplers, synths, viola, percussion, flutes, bagpipes, and vocals. Originally, the band had merely intended to reissue their out-of-print 2001 cd-r The Gather Of Shadows By The Setting-Sun which came out on the black metal/black ambient label Ajna Offensive, but this project ended up transforming into an actual reworking of a couple of tracks from that release, accompanied by an additional seven new pieces of music to create an entirely new album.

Like everything else on Malignant, this is a unique take on intense, dark atmospheric ambience that goes far beyond aping the pioneers of the genre. Wolfskin build dense, swirling rituals of sound using an array of instruments, and the ten tracks are pretty varied. The band journey's through huge clouds of orchestral drone streaked with the metallic hum of time-stretched prayer bowl tones and deep male vocals whispering strange mystic musings, massive slabs of Lustmordian black drift and subterranean rumblings, pitch-black kosmiche synthesizers carried through through space on washes of lush metallic shimmer, and creepy organ loops played hypnotically over churning scrapmetal scrape woven into thick murky machine ambience. the vocals are really prominent on this album, something that sets it apart from a lot of the other dark/black ritual ambient stuff that I listen to, but Wolfskin keep things from getting cheesy, and instead whenever those deep dramatic male vocals appear, they sound more like some naroctized shaman muttering in low tones while lost deep in some strange black magic ritual. One of the best examples of this is "Iron Unfolded", where the vocals meet a backdrop of sinister synth and bagpipe drones while the drums beat out a simple, persistant trance rhythm, turning the song into an eerie tribal-krautrock jam. Those bagpipes are one of the other key elements of Wolfskin's sound on O Ajuntar Das Sombras that makes this sound pretty unique; the deep wheezing drones of the instrument create a woozy, delirious atmosphere on the title track and "The Yew Colum" that gets pretty hallucinatory. Elsewhere, the band evokes massive waves of blackened industrial doom on "Rex Sacrorum", which sounds similiar to some of Nordvargr's heavier ambient doom pieces, and combines Tangerine Dream-esque space drift with those heavy tribal/industrial drums and thick raga-like drones on "The Wild Hunt" and "Cart Of Light". Dark and heavy and oppressive, but like that Necropolis album on Cold Spring that's listed in this week's new arrivals update, there's a definite krautrock/kosmiche influence in here too that reveals itself in subtle sheets of gorgeous dreamy synth-blur beneath the pounding occult-industrial rhythms and dense, enveloping dark drones. Comes in a four-panel digipack.


Track Samples:
Sample : WOLFSKIN-O Ajuntar Das Sombras
Sample : WOLFSKIN-O Ajuntar Das Sombras
Sample : WOLFSKIN-O Ajuntar Das Sombras



KORPERWELTEN   Avatars of Rape and Rage   CD   (Malignant)    11.98



Avatars marks the collaboration between Swedish black ambient master Nordvargr and Leech from Navicon Tortue Technologies, working together under the name Koerperwelten. The various works of Nordvargr have been lauded around C-Blast for some time now (MZ.412, Folkstorm, Goatvargr, Vargr, Toroidh, etc.), and I've become a big fan of the blackened, misanthropic industrial/electronics of Navicon Torture Technologies lately, so this project was highly anticipated over here. Koerperwelten actually appeared once before on the Enter Nordvargr compilation on Old Europa Cafe, but I haven't had a chance to pick that double disc set up yet. This full length lives up to my expectations though, and it delivers an evil sado-drone atack that is as perfect a blend of the two artists styles as I could've hoped for, with some additional surprises. On Avatars, we get six lengthy tracks of highly repetitive electronic dronescapes that blend together elements of rhythmic power noise and black ambience into sprawling, heavily rhythmic noisescapes, with swirling black waves of crunchy corrosive distortion and crackling electricty sparking and smoking over buzzing metallic drones and seething, massive bottom-heavy percussive loops. The dronier sections on tracks like "The Sun Destroyers" sound alot like NTT's black ambient material, but then you get "The Forces Of Chastity Are Massing Once Again", which drapes acidic sheets of noise and distortion over a brutally heavy rhythm and turns into something that sounds like a hyper-distorted Techno Animal track. On "Oestrus", shuddering subsonic pulses ripple out beneath modulated distorted sinewaves, and "My Heart Pumps Piss For You" combines thunderous peals of tympani drums and eerie electronic chirping and insectile sounds, before revealing haunting chorale voices and submerged grinding machinery and finally transforming into a majestic metallic dronescape filled with a symphony of distorted synths all roaring on the same wavering note. The rest of the album explores similiar territory, vast fields of droning buzzsaw ambience, sheets of blown out, blasted 8-bit drone, soundtrack synths and blackened krautrock throb, filtered through a highly malevolent, murderous hatefulness. The packaging for this is, um, pretty noteable too, and one printer apparently refused to print the 6-panel digipacks that this comes in due to the crude, explicit drawings by Jonathan Canady (Angel Of Decay, Deathpile) that depict group sex, decapitation and evisceration. This looks like an old death metal demo scrawled with adolescent images of sexualized ultraviolence, and it fits the debauched industrial filth that these guys have smeared all over this album.


Track Samples:
Sample : KORPERWELTEN-Avatars of Rape and Rage
Sample : KORPERWELTEN-Avatars of Rape and Rage



NAVICON TORTURE TECHNOLOGIES   Scenes From The Next Millennium   CD   (Malignant)    12.98

Scenes From The Next Millennium IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Even though Navicon Turture Technologies has effectively ceased operations with the latest album Vtervs, I'm still working on getting the older NTT stuff in stock here at C-Blast for anyone that is interested in these albums from the notorious New York power electronics/deathdrone technician. What makes Navicon Torture Technoligies' music so great is that it combines several different strains of dark industrial, fusing classic power electronics with crushing distorted powerdrones, unsettling dark ambience and lumbering mechanical rhythms that make this stuff much heavier than yer typical PE/Industrial squad. NTT figurehead Leech released his first full length Scenes From The Next Millennium on Malignant in 2001, and it's a complete bummer of an album, sixteen tracks of emotionally-asphyxiated, devestatingly bleak electronic tirades that range from the ultra-heavy blackened electronic doom of "Freedom Of Choice Is The Right To Hate" with it's buzzing, chirping dronescape that gives way to a slow moving whirlpool of distorted guitar rumble and grinding rhythmic loops, to the old vinyl recordings of solemn female choirs that are nearly obliterated by looped demonic roars and distorted yelling that is soaked in reverb and delay, like a fucked-up dub version of Whitehouse. One of the standout tracks is "Heresiarch", a pounding, noise drenched machine dirge that fuses grinding distortion, a factory-clang rhythm track and furious roared vocals that make this sound like a Godflesh song being run through a bank of Boss heavy metal distortion pedals. Leech also makes extensive use of old, dusty film soundtracks and atmospheric samples, and those elements give the heavier dirgey tracks a strange eldritch radiance that makes so much of NTT's music pretty goddamn frightening. Scenes also features a long list of noted guests from the extreme noise/industrial underground who contribute sounds to the album, including Tim Spannfrom Abfall, Chuck Scandura and Keith Ranalli from NYC grindcore outfit Negativehate, Matt Slagle and Alex Violi from Side3, and James Plotkin contributing some editing moves on one of the tracks. Fans of grim, heavy industrial apocalypse will love this (along with the rest of Navicon's releases), it's an evil, misanthropic dismissal of humanity that sonically exists in between the hateful power electronic blasts of Whitehouse, the negation of early Swans, the pitch-black ambience of Lustmord and the heavy industrial guitar/loop pummel of Skinny Puppy and Godflesh, given visual life through the nightmarish blurred cityscape album artwork.


Track Samples:
Sample : NAVICON TORTURE TECHNOLOGIES-Scenes From The Next Millennium
Sample : NAVICON TORTURE TECHNOLOGIES-Scenes From The Next Millennium
Sample : NAVICON TORTURE TECHNOLOGIES-Scenes From The Next Millennium



DES ESSEINTES   Mondo Macabro   CD   (Malignant)    9.98

Mondo Macabro IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

This is an older release that came out on Malignant several years ago, but I just discovered Des Esseintes a few weeks ago when I was looking through the Malignant Records website. The labels description for this Swedish industrial project got me interested in checking them out further, and I can report back that this is some excellent apocalyptic industrial that is actually quite different from the dark ambient and death industrial that I'm used to hearing from Malignant. Des Esseintes is the solo industrial project of Magnus Sundstrom, a member of the Cold Meat neo-classical group Protagonist who here mixes together apocalyptic slabs of distortion, heavy machine percussion and furious tribal drumming, heavy use of samples that are looped into sinister diatribes, brutal power electronics, swells of Wagnerian orchestral strings, and relentless rhythmic noise. The atmosphere on all of these tracks is dark and oppressive, and Sundstrom is really adept at melding his corrosive noise textures with nightmarish dark ambience and crushing industrial rhythms. Mondo Macabro compiles all of the vinyl releases that Des Esseintes released from 2000 through 2002, including the Muse and On/Off 7"s, the split LP with Magmax and the split 10" with Negru Voda. There are also three unreleased tracks included, and everything has been remastered for this release for maximum loudness and heaviness. Des Esseintes has been compared to a cross between Swedish rhythmic noise beatmasters Tarmvred, Merzbow and the horrific orchestral-noise arrangements of Shinjuku Thief, which sounds pretty accurate.


Track Samples:
Sample : DES ESSEINTES-Mondo Macabro
Sample : DES ESSEINTES-Mondo Macabro
Sample : DES ESSEINTES-Mondo Macabro



YEN POX / TROUM   Mnemonic Induction   CD   (Malignant)    8.98

Mnemonic Induction IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

This collaborative effort between amp-bliss-invoking drone duo Troum (members of Maeror Tri) and subterranean ambient pioneer Yen Pox remains one of our all time favorite heavy drone|drift albums, ever. The 4 tracks that make up Mnemonic Induction perfectly combine Troum's hazy shoegazer drones and Yen Pox's nightmarish dark drift, and this excellent balance creates vast nebulous drones with gorgeous,fragile melodies rising to the surface and thick, billowing climaxes. Layers of sound shift and build. Yawning canyons of low end rumble emit flickering gossamer notes that spiral into the stratosphere. Utterly dreamlike and beautiful. Excellent, and highly recommended. The beautiful,hefty digipack packaging was designed by doomlord Stephen O'Malley (SUNN O)))/KHANATE).




NAVICON TORTURE TECHNOLOGIES   The Gospels Of The Gash   2 x CD   (Malignant)    14.98



Besides Prurient, I can't think of another band that has taken the classic power electronics aesthetic and mutated it into a whole new realm of evil, psychologically devestating sound the way that Navicon Torture Technologies has. Since 1997, NTT mainman Leech has been actively pursuing total catharsis through abyssal slabs of blackened industrial ambience and disturbing, misanthropic imagery, with many of his recordings ranking as some of the heaviest death industrial/power electronic material I've ever heard. Gospels is the final release from Navicon Torture Technologies, a colossal collection of unreleased material and super-rare recordings; while I'm going to miss not being able to look forward to hearing new music from this project, for a farewell letter, Gospels is a motherfucker.

Two discs, twenty tracks, pure darkness. The first disc The Bridge Of Ordeals focuses on a mix of the brutal power electronics and the black ambient side of Navicon Torture Technology, albeit a terrifying infernal ambience that's formed from ghastly blackened drones and sheets of ultra-distorted synth and grinding low-end blacknoize, which form into lengthy tracks like "The Noose And The Clawhammer" where dreamy swirls of orchestral strings and almost teutonic-sounding cosmic drift is invaded by Leech's furious distorted screams and haunting found-sounds and recorded snippets of conversation and random voices. On the other hand, the harrowing "Mind Is A Prison" combines ultra creepy looped keyboards with a massive grinding wave of blackened distortion, channeling the horrific death industrial of Cold Meat Industries through demonic digital chaos. Other tracks explore vast expanses of deep rumbling ambience, looped distorted riffs, crushing slow-motion industrial rhythms, fearsome martial industrial dirges, blasts of putrid feedback, and flashes of doomy heaviness, all wrapped up in these grueling blasts of blackened power electronics, but also mixed with dark murky orchestral sounds that appear across most of the tracks, layers of magnificent dark beauty drifting far beneath the smoldering black-industrial surface.

The second disc is called The Space Between Death And Resurrection and leans more towards hellish droning ambience. Again, the root elements of power electronics are used to create diverse black soundscapes inhabited by Leech's twisted sexual nightmares, set to blasts of gruesome orchestral chaos, blistered blacknoise crawling over brual distorted electronic rhythms, huge sprawls of ashen Lustmord-style ambience, and NTT's trademark distorted synthesizer riffs that often sound like ultra blown-out and processed metallic riffs, which make this sound incredibly heavy. Like much of the recent Prurient output, Navicon Torture Technologies takes influence from the textural qualities (but none of the style) of black metal and extreme metal, producing a devestatingly heavy brand of black industrial that updates the sound of Brighter Death Now/Atrax Morgue into a vicious new form. And fans of extreme industrial music and the Annihilvs label will find an impressive roster of collaborators who join Leech on these recordings, including Steel Hook Prostheses, Autoclav 1.1, Cenotype, Isomer, M Slagle, and Fragment King.

No expense was spared for the packaging for Gospels, which consists of a DVD-size digicase that folds out into eight panels, the two discs held in clear trays on the interior of the package, which features liner notes and intensely disturbing psychedelic artwork and mystical symbols.


Track Samples:
Sample : NAVICON TORTURE TECHNOLOGIES-The Gospels Of The Gash
Sample : NAVICON TORTURE TECHNOLOGIES-The Gospels Of The Gash
Sample : NAVICON TORTURE TECHNOLOGIES-The Gospels Of The Gash



HYIOS   Consuetudines   CD   (Malignant)    9.98



I'm still sticking by what I've been saying over the past few weeks: Malignant is the coolest dark ambient label around right now. Yeah, yeah, I know that Malignant puts out other stuff aside from what we loosely describe as "dark ambient", but the majority of the label's back catalog and newer releases that I've been stocking up on lately have definitely been from the more ambient end of their catalog, and all of this stuff is absolutely top-notch. Consuetudines is one of Malignant's more recent releases from this year, the debut from German black ambient sculptors Hyios, a mysterious outfit who bring us a monstrous mix of pitch-black cosmic drift and crushing industrial-tinged heaviness. The album is drenched in darkness and mystery, starting with the dark blue and black artwork of the cd package and the strange language of the track titles, and continuing with the first track "Tephra", a lengthy bleakscape filled with ominous ambient drift, strange dubbed-out noises, eerie strings, and subterranean rumblings, a ghostly industrial abyss veiled in Lustmord-esque dread. The second track continues in a similiar vein, distant metallic rumbles, long stretches of threatening near-silence, deep machine-like grinding and subterranean rivers of black drift, weird insectile chittering, far-off metal clang and clouds of ominous reverb, all woven into an icy lightless world of isolationist horror. From these first two tracks, you might think that we're going to keep heading deeper into dark ambient territory a la Inade and Lustmord, and that sound does continue to creep through the remainder of the album, but Hyios also bring in some unexpected elements to their sound, revealing glimpses of murky ritualistic tribal drums, fearsome SPK-style industrial clang, venomous arcing black synthesizer drones that slowly shift and melt into blurred washes of near-kosmiche brilliance, blasts of crushing, metallic, almost Black Boned Angel-style heaviness (as on the tracks "Crater" and "Nasjoir"), soft blurs of chant-like choral hum, the thunderous pound of tympani stretched into tectonic reverberations, these different elements rising out of the vast bass-heavy cosmic abyss of Hyios, a sort of stygian black-hole doomic ambience, somewhere in between Inade and Hlidolf, Lustmord and Black Boned Angel, vast and lightless and utterly menacing. Yet another winner from Malignant, packaged in a six-panel digipack, highly recommended to anyone into the absolute darkest edges of dark ambience.


Track Samples:
Sample : HYIOS-Consuetudines
Sample : HYIOS-Consuetudines
Sample : HYIOS-Consuetudines



R|A|A|N   The Nacrasti   CD   (Malignant)    8.98

The Nacrasti IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Another older Malignant title that I'm finally getting in stock here, The Nacrasti is the excellent 2001 album from R|A|A|N, the solo death ambient project from Cali artist Stig Berg. I don't know if R|A|A|N ever followed up this amazing album as further information on the project has been difficult to come by online, but The Nacrasti remains one of my favorite dark industrial ambient albums (and Malignant releases) eight years on. The gorgeous album packaging suggests secrets buried beneath desert surfaces, ancient maps and symbols printed in spot varnish, the R|A|A|N legend embossed in gold foil, this cryptic lunar aesthetic hinting at the bleak, crushing dronescapes contained within. The album is made up of nine interlocking pieces, and this is no mere by-the-numbers Lustmord rip-off; R|A|A|N travels through deep valleys of minimal metallic whir and echo-drenched prayer bowl tonalities, distant foggy washes of metallic percussion and ritual horns blasting across windswept wastelands, absolutely crushing waves of distorted low-end heaviness, flickers of strange electronic garble, swarms of malevolent insect buzz, smears of time-stretched piano, chimes, the muted thunder of tympani being pounded in slow motion miles away, deep reverb-drenched ambience, monstrous chants emanating from somewhere deep below the earth, pounding machine rhythms, the first two tracks almost suffocating in their feeling of abject hopelessness. But then we move into the washed out orchestral ambience of "Sandrin", walls of melted, muted strings smeared across grim and beautiful kosimiche synths, like Tangerine Dream drowned in tape murk and joined by booming industrial pound and swells of subterranean ultra-heaviness. The rest of the album features heavy hypnotic tribal rhythms, ghostly vocalizations, dessicated field recordings bleached by a hellish sun, massive subsonic drones, clanking metal textures and psychedelic Middle Eastern horns stretched into fearsome infernal ambience, giving this a weirdly jazzy feel on "Mirivm" and "Festival Of Surmelk", like some futuristic noir jazz soundtrack for the end of the world. Then there's "Lilin", with its crushing low-end doomdrone that explodes into cascades of chimes and Sunroof-esque raga in the later half. Yeah, this is so much heavier than just another Lustmord clone. While Lustmord's isolationist terror does figure into the raw DNA of R|A|A|N's sound, this is much heavier, more exotic and alien sounding, like a cross between Inade and Heresy-era Lustmord and flourishes of pounding ritual industrial and grim darkjazz (on the later tracks). Highly recommended.


Track Samples:
Sample : R|A|A|N-The Nacrasti
Sample : R|A|A|N-The Nacrasti
Sample : R|A|A|N-The Nacrasti



CAUL + KIRCHENKAMPF   Sleep Night Death   CD   (Malignant)    8.98

Sleep Night Death IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Another stunning piece of dark ambience from Malignant Records. What else is new? I had actually put off sitting down and writing about this 2008 album because up until now, I knew almost nothing about either of the artists that make up this collaboration. It turns out that Caul is one Brett Smith, who has previously appeared as a member of the ambient/industrial groups Blackmouth and Tertium Non Data (the former of which some of you may remember as a one-off project that included Swans chanteuse Jarboe). He records his solo dark ambient work under the name Caul, with a number of releases that came out on Eibon and Malignant back in the 90's. This is the first time that I've heard his work under the Caul banner, and here Smith teams up with the long-running dark ambient artist John Gore, who records under the name Kirchenkampf and also runs the noise/experimental label Cohort Records.

The two artists combine for an harrowing descent into dark symphonic ambience with Sleep Night Death. The seven tracks all lean towards bleak electronic dronemusic, but the sounds are interesting: Caul and Kirchenkampf create sprawling black driftscapes formed from strange Nullsonic-like electronic detritus, cthulhian whispers, huge shimmering slabs of industrial drone, heavily processed synth-based orchestral strings, the combined influence of cinematic soundtrack music and cosmic krautrock (with more than a few passages that remind me of classic Tangerine Dream, only much darker) and terrifying realms of cavernous subterranean ambience all come together on this album. Several tracks suggest Lustmord combined with dissonant Ligeti-like strings. Others remind me of Sleep Research Facility flecked with Tangerine Dream-style dreaminess, or Goldsmith's original score for Alien stretched into infinity. It's pretty great. Not as heavy and malevolent as some of the other Malignant titles that I've been getting in stock lately, but dark ambient/drone fans will be pleased. Packaged in a slimline gatefold jacket with black-on-black spot-varnish printing, and limited to 888 copies.


Track Samples:
Sample : CAUL + KIRCHENKAMPF-Sleep Night Death
Sample : CAUL + KIRCHENKAMPF-Sleep Night Death



STROM.EC   Divine Legions Beyond Psyche   CD   (Malignant)    11.98



Most of the music that I've been picking up from the Malignant Records back catalog this month has leaned more towards the deep, droning dark ambient end of their output, and it's easy to forget sometimes when yer neck deep in so much amazing post-Lustmord blackness that the Baltimore-based label has also released some equally dark but substantially noisier albums. This album from last year (2008) surely falls in that camp, the fifth full length from the Finnish power electronics/industrial outfit Strom.ec, which follows some well-received releases on established PE organizations like Freak Animal. The foundation of Strom.ec's sound is obivously brutal power electronics, with lengthy tracks of sickening low-end distorted noise and grueling feedback backed by juddering mechanical throb and a hellish, heavily processed vocal attack. It's along the lines of fellow European neo-PE artists like Ex.Order, Grunt and Genocide Organ, but Strom.ec also pushes past the bounderies of the PE aesthetic with psychedelic effects applied to the outbursts of mangled noise, vast stretches of pitch-black ambience, sinister pulsating rhythms buried beneath the chaotic electronics, and those vocals are some of the wildest I've heard on a power electronics album lately...at times watery and robotic, at others intensely distorted and hallucinatory, the vocals on this disc sound completely demonic and nightmarish, seemingly filtered through the bizarre modulation heard on Dane Davis/John Fasal's vocal effects on Prince Of Darkness (1987). This mutant power electronics assault is combined with strange sci fi/mystic/psychological themes and imagery to make up this extreme industrial nightmare, one that fans of Navicon Torture Technologies will certainly dig. The packaging for Divine Legions is amazing as well, the disc packaged in an eight panel DVD sized digicase with bizarre full color artwork from Jerome Nougaillon (aka the power electronics project Propergol.


Track Samples:
Sample : STROM.EC-Divine Legions Beyond Psyche
Sample : STROM.EC-Divine Legions Beyond Psyche
Sample : STROM.EC-Divine Legions Beyond Psyche



EIDULON   Idolatriae   CD   (Malignant)    8.98



The excellent first album from this Italian dark ambient artist comes to us from Malignant after my continued plundering of their back catalog; Idolatriae came out in 2007 in a limited edition six-panel digipack, and features minimal but striking black and white artwork that has the stark look of an instruction manual while at the same time blending together images of human skulls, abstract symbols and illusory walls. This being a Malignant release and all, Eidulon deals in dark industrial ambience like you'd expect, with seven tracks of extremely sinister sounding dronescapes comprised of low, subterranean drones and cavernous catacomb ambience a la Lustmord that's further embellished with streaks of high end synth and bursts of tactile glitch and noise. It's one bleak trip for sure, an exploration of the old-school isolationist soundscapery pioneered by Lustmord and Maurizio Bianchi, but Eidulon does mix things up by coloring these ultra-bleak slabs of despair with grinding rhythmic machine loop, churning whirlpools of blacknoise magma, ghostly voices, brief passages of ominous orchestral ambience, and minimal organ tones, each track becoming a sinister, brooding expanse of abstract industrial darkness that feels like this had been recorded somewhere deep underground, broken synths and dirt-covered pipe organs leaning against crypt walls, damaged mixers and trone generators buzzing in the darkness, slowly spreading drones creeping out through sewer pipes and gutters.


Track Samples:
Sample : EIDULON-Idolatriae
Sample : EIDULON-Idolatriae



TERRA SANCTA   Disintegration   CD   (Malignant)    9.98

Disintegration IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Terra Sancta's third album is another of one of my favorite releases on the genre-defining Malignant label, that genre (of course) being dark industrial ambience, and 2008's Disintegration is a perfect example of how golden the ears of Malignant truly are. I've actually had a copy of this disc in my collection since it's release, but just never got around to carrying it in the C-Blast shop until now; any of you folks that are heavy into the sounds of abstract, weighty, and most of all seriously dark industrial driftscape should really check this album out (as well as everything else that Terra Sancta has released), as this Aussie project creates some of the best black-cosmic-dronescape work this side of Inade. Instead of sounding like this music is being recorded at the lip of some light-devouring quasar, however, the four epic droneworks that Terra Sanctum deliver on Disintegration are more earthen in tone, each of these monstrous pieces forming out of enormous waves of billowing distorted drone and deep tectonic rumble, clouds of pulsating mechanical sounds drifting up from the earth's core, and lush orchestral strings that are extended and blurred into a sinister infinite hum. The tracks slowly evolve through several different stages, going from minimal deep-earth Lustmord-style ambience to washes of murky symphonic drone and building into eruptive walls of distorted heaviness that often peak out at Merzbow-like levels of crumbling, corrosive chaos. On the flipside, you have the climax of "ashes From Dust", where Terra Sancta starts out with a series of cosmic drones, muuffled voice recordings, swirling oceanic white noise and deep electronic pulses but ends up in a blissed-out sunburst of Vangelis like beauty. The following track "The Shifting Sands" is equally massive but much darker, sweeping across endless fields of crushing ambient synth drones and drifting sheets of metallic sound and gradually forming into the climactic final minutes where it begins to sound like liturgical hymns being stretched into abstract smears of sound across pitch-black abyssal drift - almost sounds like a blown-out, digitally scarrified take on Lustmord's The Place Where The Black Stars Hang. Yeah, you can't deny that Terra Sancta owes much of their sound to the pioneering work of Brian Lustmord's seminal late 80's releases, but they manage to tweak that classic isolationist dark ambient sound into something that's a bit heavier and noisier in texture, a crumbling mass of distorted rumblings from the sub-planet backed by vast smears of blackened orchestral roar timestretched into oblivion.

The disc comes beautifully packaged (as do all Malignant releases), in a jewel cases with full color matte printing and terrific abstract artwork from Vestigial.


Track Samples:
Sample : TERRA SANCTA-Disintegration
Sample : TERRA SANCTA-Disintegration



KRISTOFFER NYSTROMS ORKESTER   brakeHEAD   CD   (Malignant)    8.98



Though it may be one of the more obscure titles on the ever-crushing Malignant label, the oddly titled brakeHEAD is also one of the imprint's heaviest releases, a brutal fusion of Scandinavian industrial and skull-crushing doom-noise that blew me away when I picked up a copy of this disc last year. It's not new, a 2007 release as a matter of fact, but when I started digging around the Malignant catalog recently to see what older titles that I've overlooked here at C-Blast, this one popped up immediately as a must-get.

Just the lineup should have a good many of you mechafreaks drooling...Kristoffer Nystroms Orkester is the duo of legendary death-industrialist Peter Nyström (of Megaptera fame) and Kristoffer Oustad of the experimental post-black metal band V:28, which should give you a vague idea of what direction this collaboration heads in. The Orkester delivers four tracks of lumbering, ultra-heavy black industrial with the nearly twenty minute long "ExtenDEAD Konnektion " as the centerpiece of the album. The rest of the tracks are shorter, five to eight minutes, with the opener "Biter" draping huge black curtains of ultra-distorted black drone and dark orchestral ambience over a foundation of throbbing industrial rhythms and pounding tribal oil-drum percussion, and " High_Level_Input - Slow_Speed_Output (Well Done)" blasting skull fragments apart with it's thunderous roar of white noise, screaming, heavy machine throb and massive tribal drumming exploding in a Merzbowian rush of distorted heaviness that gradually burns off into a trail of slimy, dank factory ambience. But it's with "ExtenDEAD" that the Orkester guys really drag the listener down into hell, starting the track off with muffled voices and smears of lush dark ambience and subterranean rumble, then slowly introducing the clatter and clang of various metal objects being smashed together and forming crude scrapyard rhythms as a syrupy wave of ultra-heavy metallic doomdrone slowly pours in from a rift torn across a midnight sky, unleashing massive black drones and crushing Sunn-esque amp-roar across a cacophony of broken machinery and swooping space FX. The first six minutes or so showcases some seriously heavy ambient doom, and then starts to being in pounding percussion and added layers of oscillating electronic noise and dubbed-out rhythmic elements before fading into a stretch of granular noise and strange voice samples. Eventually, the grinding ultra-heavy guitars and looping distorted noise seeps back in for a few more minutes, but then the final third of the track wanders into more abstract areas, the heavier metallic sounds dropping away and leaving just a bleak, barren wasteland of fragmented radio newscast recordings and ominous melodies buried beneath a blanket of ashen noise and eerie ambience. Then the album closes with "Asphalt Flowers", another relatively shorter piece that's completely crushing, opening with chiming metallic percussion and dread-inducing news reports as huge distorted drones slowly gather overhead, and then suddenly it all caves into a fucking MAJESTIC riff, the greatest epic doom metal riff you've never heard roaring over clanging pipes and swirling rusted-out space synths and more of those panic-stricken media broadcasts. An awesome final statement of total despair on this crushing album...it goes without saying that fans of Swedish death industrial will be all over this, but the Orkester are more than just another CMI style outfit. This is like a kind of blackened post-industrial doomdirge, part Archon Satani, part Megaptera, part Black Boned Angel, totally crushing and brimming with a bleak satanic menace. This is fucking great! Limited edition, digipack packaging.


Track Samples:
Sample : KRISTOFFER NYSTROMS ORKESTER-brakeHEAD
Sample : KRISTOFFER NYSTROMS ORKESTER-brakeHEAD
Sample : KRISTOFFER NYSTROMS ORKESTER-brakeHEAD



STEEL HOOK PROSTHESES   Atrocitizer   CD   (Malignant)    10.98



Although I've been aware of the presence of Steel Hook Prostheses in the industrial/power electronics underground for years and have heard their collaborative work with Navicon Torture Technologies, I've never really checked out any of the group's full-length recordings until now. This Houston duo has released a bunch of short-run cdrs since the beginning of the decade, but The Atrocitizer is only their second widely distributed cd, which partially explains why it's taken me so long to finally hear these guys on their own. Some brutal stuff, here...packaged in a thick, glossy six-panel digipack from Malignant with disturbing images of wartime atrocities, prosthetic limbs, and human suffering, the guys in Steel Hook Prostheses don't have much of anything positive to say about man's propensity to subject his fellow man to horrific ends, and they evokes these grim and misanthropic vibes through a brutal hybrid of classic Cold Meat Industries style death industrial and a more blackened, hellish brand of industrial heaviness. Crushing distorted synths are woven into infernal riffs, and the monstrous vocals become a black toxic cloud of demonic hatred as they are filtered through caustic levels of distortion. Massive buzzing drones and sinister cavernous ambience swirl together, and subversive melodic figures float across the charred and scabrous surface of SHP's black industrial soundscape. Tracks like "Murderous Science" and "Tepid Discharge" are more "ambient", with ringing metallic pulses and throbbing mechanical whir drifting across a pitch-black abyss of Lustmordian drone while watery, insectile vocals ooze from cracked mandibles and wheezing demonic screams are vomited up in torrents of distortion and delay, while "In Dreams We Are Malevolent" and the awesomely heavy "Scarifier" infuse slow plodding death industrial rhythms and filth-encrusted drones a la Brighter Death Now with the swarming distortion-buzz and scathing, spite-filled raspy vocals of black metal. It's this definite black metal influence on Atrocitizer that makes this one of the coolest death industrial releases I've heard this year, and it hits a peak of supreme evil majesty on the final track "The Excruciation Sequence", where a single four-note minor key synth melody is repeated over a claustrophobic swarm of black buzz, distant percussion, wailing fx-soaked feedback freakout, crushing distorted synths, like a Cold Meat band covering a song from an early Norwegian black metal band. These guys manage to sound even heavier and more blackened than Navicon Torture Technoligies, which is saying somethin'. If you're into the really evil-sounding ends of the whole CMI/death industrial sound (Mz.412, Archon Satani, Megaptera, Brighter Death Now, etc) this is essential listening, but fans of the newer wave of black industrial, newer Prurient, Nordvargr's various guises, and the deranged industrial demonic sewerdrones of Deadwood would also all do well to wrap their ears around the pitch black heaviness of Atrocitizer. Recommended.


Track Samples:
Sample : STEEL HOOK PROSTHESES-Atrocitizer
Sample : STEEL HOOK PROSTHESES-Atrocitizer
Sample : STEEL HOOK PROSTHESES-Atrocitizer
Sample : STEEL HOOK PROSTHESES-Atrocitizer



SEKTOR 304   Soul Cleansing   CD   (Malignant)    11.98



The latest offering from Malignant Records is one of the heavier releases (if not the heaviest) that the label has put out, and it's a definite diversion from the more isolationist/dark ambient albums that I've been picking up from them...alot of the recent albums on Malignant have generally focused on heavily textured dark ambience that usually have some elements of percussive heaviness going on occasionally, but this Portugese band have delivered a crushing disc that veers awfully close to Godflesh-levels of heaviness at times. Sektor 304 have dropped a monster slab of apocalyptic industrial crush with Soul Cleansing, delivering a sound that combines super-heavy mechanical rhythms and junk-metal percussion with a frequent overload of dub effects, monstrous vocal incantations, surreal samples, and blasts of oppressive electronic noise; the band cites bands like Swans, Test Dept and Einsturzende Neubauten as influences on what they do, but they take those classic industrial sounds and wrap them around a framework of crushing tribal drums, Godflesh-style beats and grinding distorted basslines.

The album is introduced with a few minutes of delicate sonar-like emissions and swells of metallic ambience, but pretty quickly it kicks into the vicious factory groove of "Body Hammer", a pummeling hammer-on-anvil dirge that sounds like early Swans or Godflesh with the guitars eviscerated and replaced by the rhythmic whine of a high-powered drill, howling wind-tunnel effects, and gnarled, sputtering electronics, while the vocalist bellows over top in short, succinct bursts of rage. Slow and pounding, trance-inducing, it's heavily steeped in a classic industrial sound but WAY more menacing and heavy except for the part towards the end when the band seems to unravel into a chaotic, almost free-jazz burst of noise and percussion. The super-heavy percussion and slow-mo industrial rhythms return on the second track "Gravity Factor", but here they are infused with abrasive waves of flanger effects and high pitched drones, a pummeling industrial dub blast that slips into a rigid martial rhythm halfway through, a la a much heavier Test Dept.

The heaviest track on the disc might be "Voodoo Machine", which sounds the most like classic Godflesh; the singer bellows out harsh, spiteful mantras over simple distorted bass riffs and pounding tribal drums, as bits of electronic noise and crushing distorted synths are piled on, creating a seriously evil, malevolent atmosphere, like we're hearing Godflesh score a soundtrack for warring street gangs on the streets of Johannesburg. Then "The Beast" drags out a super-heavy dose of industrialized dub, with booming bass drums and piston-like blasts of percussive power bathed in delay and echo, like something from Godflesh's Love And Hate in Dub minus the guitars and riffs, the dystopian dub-dirge defleshed and stripped down to a spare, shambling groove, surrounded by the sound of distant swells of distortion, high flute-like notes, all kinds of effects and percussive splatter drenched in delay, processed vocals and samples, drifting along in a black cloud of shambling, skittering tribal deathdub. "Power Exchange" cranks up the distortion to the max and unleashes huge gouts of crumbling, ultra-blown-out noise over crushing metallic bass riffs and pounding Swans-style drumming, and "Death Mantra" serves up wicked spacey effects and psychedelic electronics across a punishing pneumatic pulse.

Toward the end of the album, things get a little more ambient and laid back, with the heavier elements of Sektor 304's sound alternating with the more droning sounds of "Pulse Generator", which descends into a sweltering urban hell painted with thick droning synths, swaths of ominous pitch-black ambience, distant percussive throb, scraping metal and clattering debris, like a John Carpenter soundtrack tained by the clang and buzz of Einsturzende Neubauten, streaked with short passages of spoken word recordings that have been treated with various effects, and keening high-pitched sinewaves...or the epic twelve minute "Final Transmission" that builds into a towering wall of distorted drone, orchestral noise, tribal drums, and massive waves of brain-melting cosmic effects that evolves into a stunning outro with arpeggiated melodies and phased synths that turns the last few minutes of the album into a soaring, Tangerine Dream-esque rush of kosmiche sound.

Nicely packaged in a six-panel digipack, with artwork by Sektor 304's Andre Coelho.


Track Samples:
Sample : SEKTOR 304-Soul Cleansing
Sample : SEKTOR 304-Soul Cleansing
Sample : SEKTOR 304-Soul Cleansing
Sample : SEKTOR 304-Soul Cleansing



PHELIOS   Astral Unity   CD   (Malignant)    11.98



The stunningly atramentous and Lovecraftian doom-ambient from German solo artist Martin Stürtzer, AKA Phelios, is some of the heaviest black industrial drift I've heard, rivaling that of Lustmord, Yen Pox and Inade; no surprise that this was released by the guys at Malignant Records, who have cornered the market on this sort of black-hole post-industrial heaviness. Astral Unity cracks open the gateways into massive stygian worlds of black orchestral drift, revealing vast angelic choruses and hypnotic deep-space chants drifting across an infinite yawning void, thunderous tympani and kettledrums pounding out slow tribal rhythms beneath the ever-expanding black sky, the percussion sometimes forming into a MASSIVE driving rhythm that will suddenly turn this into a crushing black ambient dirge, like Lustmord backed by a couple of doom metal drummers working in tandem. Majestic swells of strings and brass rise up out of the crushing drones created by distorted synthesizers, cloaked in metallic reverberations and deep susurrant hiss; cold industrial textures and echoes of grinding machinery ring throughout the blackness. Much of this is serene an sweeping, cinematic drones sprawling out into infinity, but it's the calm before a cosmic war, eventually strafed by distant screams, mysterious metal abrasions, and those intensely ominous strings that are sometimes so distorted that they become a massive doom-laden drone; and there's a couple of moments when Phelios turns into a kind of crushing, apocalyptic darkwave, sounding like a malevolent Xymox for a brief moment before being swept up again in the swirling, Wagnerian black drift. The drums obviously add a lot of heft to this sort of dark ambient; Astral Unity is substantially heavier than most dark ambient albums, but when the percussive elements disappear, Phelios echoes the most expansive and cosmos-devouring aspects of Indane and Lustmord. Fans of both of those artists are advised to pick up this new Phelios album for sure. Comes in a beautifully designed 6-panel deluxe digipack with gold foil stamping.


Track Samples:
Sample : PHELIOS-Astral Unity
Sample : PHELIOS-Astral Unity
Sample : PHELIOS-Astral Unity



OBLIVION ENSEMBLE   Seraphim Hallucino   CD   (Malignant)    9.98



Was surprised to find out that one of the members of Oblivion Ensemble is Brannon Hungness, who used to play guitar in Fargo noise rock heavies Hammerhead back in the day. As Oblivion Ensemble, Hungness works with partner John Bergstrom to create an entirely different sort of sound, a fusion of free-improv and industrial sound collage that they've been performing since 1989. Their last album Seraphim Hallucino came out on Malignant in 2006 and was a recent discovery on my part, but it didn't take long for this disc to suck me in to their strange, psychedelic sound world. The duo take recordings of improvised music created with trumpets, percussion, synthesizers, guitar and voice and then run these sounds through an array of post-production cut-up and collage, reshaping and disassembling the sonic materials and then putting it all back together into a kind of industrial surrealism. The sound of Seraphim Hallucino shifts between psychedelic horror score and shuffling, clanking trip-hop rhythms and grinding industrial loops, blasts of dense shortwave radio static and swells of extreme electronic glitch that pan chaotically from speaker to speaker, dreamy glistening ambience, weird processed vocals, free-jazz percussion, strings, droning harmonium-like keys and warped water sounds, bizarre noise loops made up of thick squelch and alien chirping, swirling electronic drones and deep metallic whir and massive slabs of Penderecki-esque strings, strange ripping and tearing sounds, hissing, whirring machinery, distorted mewling horns and pitchshifted demonic cackles. Each track steadily builds layer upon layer of hallucinatory sounds, everything drifting through immense clouds of echo and delay, arranged in nightmare schematics of electronic delirium, like Nurse With Wound fused with spaced out free jazz and moments of hellish industrial dirge. Packaged in a six panel full color digipack with highly creepy abstract artwork.


Track Samples:
Sample : OBLIVION ENSEMBLE-Seraphim Hallucino
Sample : OBLIVION ENSEMBLE-Seraphim Hallucino
Sample : OBLIVION ENSEMBLE-Seraphim Hallucino



COMBATIVE ALIGNMENT   And Outside Glows The Red Dawn   CD   (Malignant)    9.98



An intense fusion of occult industrial rituals and supreme dark ambience from this German project. Combative Alignment have been at this stuff for years, starting with their Everlasting Sun Ep back in 2003, and by the time that they released their second album And Outside Glows The Red Dawn on Malignant in 2005, the duo had mastered their ritualistic dronescapes and delivered a six track set of immense ominous drift that sounded like a heavier, more aggressive variation on the Aural Hypnox sound. Here, washes of bleak black ambience and solemn choral voices crash against pulsating percussion and hypnotic tambourine-like rattling, pounding repetitious tribal drumming thundering deep beneath Combative Alignment's ceremonial descent into the void. Some of this also sounds like Troum, but it's much darker and creepier and more active, with endlessly swirling chimes and massive didgeridoo-like drones that rise from the depths; these huge buzzing drones take over on the third track, becoming a lead instrument and leaving massive black trails of seismic low-end snaking through the swirling industrial fog. Distant horn-like tones and clanking metal combine with mysterious percussive sounds and mechanical sputter, strange swarms of electronic warble and whir infesting the background, a living soundscape beneath the thick layers of low-end drone and hum. Those rare moments of prettiness that break through the darkness come in the form of fragments of backwards sound and smears of dreamy melodic noise, but the majority of And Outside Glows The Red Dawn is pretty creepy, swells of immense low-end heaviness, grinding machinery, malevolent whispers cloaked in reverb, thick clouds of black drift, the sound constantly evolving and transforming, but always eerie, always ominous, inhabiting the dark occultic ambient realms of Funerary Call, Onirot, Wolfskin, Tho-So-Aa, and Nordvargr. Presented in digipack packaging, limited to 1000 copies.


Track Samples:
Sample : COMBATIVE ALIGNMENT-And Outside Glows The Red Dawn
Sample : COMBATIVE ALIGNMENT-And Outside Glows The Red Dawn



WOLFSKIN + LAST INDUSTRIAL ESTATE   Stonegates Of Silence   CD   (Malignant)    11.98











Track Samples:
Sample : WOLFSKIN + LAST INDUSTRIAL ESTATE-Stonegates Of Silence
Sample : WOLFSKIN + LAST INDUSTRIAL ESTATE-Stonegates Of Silence



YEN POX   Blood Music (Re-issue)   2 x CD   (Malignant)    14.98



  Back in stock. The Blood Music collection is another one of these albums (or in this case, double album) that I could just gush about endlessly, a stone-cold classic in the dark ambient genre, a collection of music comprised of some of the most terrifying soundscapes that I've ever come across. Starting out in the early 90s as a sort of post-punk tinged, post-industrial outfit somewhat in the same vein as Germany's Maeror Tri, Yen Pox created ominous, densely layered dronescapes out of processed guitar, orchestral samples and blasts of abstract rumbling synth that were pretty great on their own. But later on, the duo began to evolve into something much more minimal, and much more malevolent, venturing ever deeper into fields of massive ambient blackness, crafting richly detailed subterranean soundworlds through brilliant use of sound manipulation and skillful stereo panning techniques, and a use of space and sound placement that is almost unrivaled within the realm of dark ambient music. Their first full length album Blood Music from 1995 perfected this aesthetic, a masterwork of abyssal sound design on par with Lustmord's Heresy. It is hands down one of the creepiest albums you could subject yourself to, true nightmare music, but also totally mesmerizing in its awful black horror. That original album ended up going out of print years ago, but Malignant resurrected it in 2010 as a deluxe double disc set in gorgeous DVD-style digipack packaging, with all-new evil vascular artwork from A. Coelho, remixed and re-mastered, and rounded out with a second disc of bonus material that pretty much collects everything the group did up to Blood Music.

   The first disc features all six of the tracks off of the original Blood Music album. The sprawling thirteen minute opener "Infinite Domain" is a perfect example of Yen Pox at their most chilling, a swirling crepuscular aurora of nightmarish sounds, with moans of agony becoming stretched into distant smears of indistinct, blurred sound, and massive low-end reverberations swelling and shifting like oceanic currents. Off in the background, flurries of strange percussive noise scurry like vermin from the light, their movements enshrouded in echo, and there are other fluttering sounds that emerge out of the gloom, like leathery wings beating in the blackness. Deeper in the track, Yen Pox begin to drape sheets of discordant violin-like strings, bits of creepy backwards glitch and deep, almost ritualistic chant-like vocals that resonate throughout the recording. As the album progresses, the music shifts into slightly more symphonic directions, their foul subterranean winds combining with musical elements on the second track "Twilight Eternal" to resemble the murmurings of some hapless orchestra lost in the lower regions of Hell. Somber synths and deep, horn-like drones drift through their spacious sound-space, vocals again appearing far off in the distance, vague operatic-like shapes obscured by the glacial black drones. More of those awful ghostly moans becomes swept away on the black currents of "Purgatoria" as well as the utter desolation and resignation of "Descent", and a strange, almost liturgical feel seeps through "Illuminate", giving you the sense that that you are hearing some perversion of the Latin Mass echoing up from deep chasms in the earth. Each track demonstrates a distinct shift in sound, even if the overall atmosphere of total, suffocating dread refuses to relent through the course of the album. And when the final track "Absolute Zero" appears, it's a blur of deep black kosmische roar and softly shimmering metallic whirr that seems to finally mark touchdown at the bottom of Yen Pox's sonic abyss. The end of disc also features the previously unreleased track "Beneath The Sun", which is right at home with the album tracks, another dread-filled driftscape of orchestral dissonance and malevolent electronics that resemble some soured, sinister version of early Tangerine Dream.

   Disc two is impressive as well, as it collects all of the pre-Blood Music releases in one place for the first time. The first five tracks feature the entire self-titled cassette that came out on Circle 9 in 1993; the earliest material collected here, this nearly hour-long tape featured a much more industrial sound, with lots of distant massive percussive blasts and sheets of metallic rattling reverberating through an ocean of reverb, surrounded by fragments of orchestral sound, oboes and violins, clusters of discordant piano and blasts of ominous brass, bits of electric guitar that have been looped and slowed and processed into mysterious underwater drones, gusts of ghastly hissing vocals, all of this melted and stretched part into vast looping whorls of sound. Deep and dark and thunderous, that cassette would work perfectly as an experimental film score to some surrealistic horror film. The last two tracks (from Yen Pox's Hollow Earth 7" and the Release Your Mind II compilation, respectively) move further into the sort of abstract, terrifying ambience the band developed into with Blood Music, those abrasive looped sounds being replaced with slowly shifting sheets of black droning synthesizer and mysterious clanking noises echoing off in the distance, the sound sinister and supremely hypnotic.

   Absolutely essential for anyone with a serious interest in the darkest realms of dark ambience.


Track Samples:
Sample : YEN POX-Blood Music (Re-issue)
Sample : YEN POX-Blood Music (Re-issue)



RASALHAGUE   Rage Inside The Window   CD   (Malignant)    13.98



More blood-freezing nightmare ambience from Malignant Records, who is hands down the premier label for this sort of stuff. Rasalhague is a brand new acquisition for the label, a one-man industrial ambient outfit from Indiana who specializes in chilling dark drift that carries a similar icy feel as Michael Hoenig's (Agitation Free/Tangerine Dream) score for the 1988 remake of The Blob. Rage is an soundtrack to death-scenes and the spectral shadows of violent crimes; it's sort of a concept album influenced by an actual case of severe child torture and neglect, and these themes carry over into the skin-crawl blackness that seeps from each of these tracks. Distorted drones and pounding percussive throb seethe below sweeping synthetic strings and pulses of black synth that ascend into the stratosphere, and there's the usual Lustmord influence heard here in the strange demonic murmurs, croaks, and other malevolent sonic events that flit and flutter around the edges and in the cracks between the sprawling black synth drones and fields of extended orchestral thrum. What sets this apart for me is Rasalhague's use of black-hole James Horner-esque synthesizers that blast through the darkness, and which give the album a truly monstrous feel. The drones are punctured with swells of horrific metallic noise and creaking, rusted iron that inject a heavy dose of fear and paranoia into Rasalhague's music, amid stretches of massive tectonic grinding and clouds of dense metallic whirr. Descending through the album, we're treated to heavily processed voices, swirling subterranean winds, monstrous growls and swells of synthetic brass, and throughout one hears

the pained cries of a child echoing endlessly through infinite black corridors. There are surging low end minor key melodies that sound like they are being played on a pitch-shifted oboe and distant metallic clanks and echoes, building towards the grinding factory dread and rhythmic throb of "Danielle's Dilemma" before venturing out into more kosimiche territory towards the end. Stunningly depraved stuff that, to my ears, is closer to dungeon-horror sound design than your usual isolationist platter. It's highly recommended to fans of the blackest ambient on the Cold Meat label, Yen Pox, Hyios, Raison D'etre, Atrium Carceri, and the like. The disc comes in a gorgeous full-color six-panel Dvd size digipack, similar to those used for Navicon Torture Technology and Theologian releases.


Track Samples:
Sample : RASALHAGUE-Rage Inside The Window
Sample : RASALHAGUE-Rage Inside The Window



FALSE MIRROR   Derelict World   CD   (Malignant)    11.98



Derelict World is Tobias Hornberger's latest album with the dark ambient project False Mirror, a richly textured abstract narrative that dreams of a ruined earth where all life has been washed away in an apocalyptic deluge, a concept which is elucidated in the short story included in the Cd booklet. The album succeeds in evoking a post-apocalyptic wasteland where there is only total and absolute desolation, a world where all humanity has been swept away in a single catastrophic event of global proportions. These tracks feature long stretches of orchestral drone and washed-out synth with distant high end melodic shadows drifting high overhead, moving through varying shades of light and darkness as the drones shift and swell, and deep, throaty chant-like drones reach through the desolate emptiness. These bleak dronescapes are created using an array of instruments and source material that include ghostly synths, subsonic bass pulsations and hallucinatory processed sounds that are culled from field recordings, a custom-built didgeridoo, gongs, bells, flute, and custom software that was designed specifically to create sound material for this project. And those field recordings include audio documents of the natural sounds of large, desolate bodies of water such as the Danube River, areas of the North Atlantic, and the Arabian Sea, giving this a very different feel than the purely Lustmord-style darkness that one might expect from this album. These sounds of water extend throughout the entire disc, appearing as the drip of dank floodwater against a ruined structure, or the rush of rapids flooding through ruined cities, the creaks and groans of derelict ships adrift on dead black seas, and waves crashing on barren shores, altogether evoking scenes of the drowning of the world, and blending these with the distant sounds of unmanned machinery and whispered voices recorded at the Neresheim Abbey in southern Germany. Derelict World becomes darker and more filled with dread as it goes in, and later tracks ("Aftermath", "Uncertain Shelter") do take on a similar cinematic quality as some of Lustmord's more recent work, but when it reaches the final chapter "The Sea Of Oblivion", the album moves from rich, black drift into a long stretch of water lapping at a shore that goes on for more than ten minutes, then flows into a gorgeous outro of eulogic kosimiche ambience that closes the album.


Track Samples:
Sample : FALSE MIRROR-Derelict World
Sample : FALSE MIRROR-Derelict World
Sample : FALSE MIRROR-Derelict World



KRISTOFFER NYSTROMS ORKESTER   Overlook Hotel   LP   (Malignant)    15.98



Last time we heard from the duo of legendary Swedish industrial artist Peter Nystrom (Megaptera, Negru Voda) and Kristoffer Oustad from the industrial avant-black metal band V:28 was on the brakeHEAD album back in 2006. For their latest, the Kristoffer Nystroms Orkester returns with a darker, creepier sound and an obsession with the floor plan of the fictional hotel from Stephen King's The Shining. Compared to the grinding industrial of the previous disc, Overlook Hotel works on more of a psychological level, evoking dread and emptiness over and over again as the listener passes through each track.

Beginning with an eerie looped female vocal, the record takes shape slowly as deep pulsating electronics and abstract rhythmic sounds fade in and form into a hypnotic electrical field of black energy, the sound evolving into a swarming static-flecked drone before suddenly breaking into a heavy mechanical rhythm on "The Colorado Lounge", an almost breakbeat-like rhythm pounding beneath the trails of ominous minor key creep and abrasive noisy textures. From the start, this is the most cinematic sounding music that I've heard from KNO, the blend of hazy dark ambience and machine-like rhythm sounding like it could work exceedingly well as a film score. When conjuring images of this notorious site (best known of course as the evil sentient ski resort from Stephen King's The Shining, though you won't find any direct references to that book here), though, this inhabits a strange surreal dreamworld, consistently threatening and filled with a sense of lurking dread, but the washes of cloudy metallic drone and richly layered synthesizer drift and metallic percussion often take the album into a kind of surreal nocturnal terrain that's closer to Hoor-Paar-Kraat than the relentlessly horrific death industrial of Nystrom's work with Megaptera. Some of the tracks on the album move into a kind of minimal haunted techno pulse that reminds me of the black electronic Kompakt-like moves of some of Nordvargr's material, but then break down into the sound of distant chains being dragged and rustled amid deep ambient drones. Other songs deliver jackhammer blasts of industrial drumming that wouldn't sound out of place on a Ministry album, volleys of crushing wall-shaking percussion pounding away incessantly beneath fields of evil voice samples and electronics. There's moments of pure horror to be found here as well though, in the blasts of smoldering MZ.412-esque industrial and creaking factory death-marches that come into view in the last third of the record, and the closing symphonic swells of unearthly horns and wavering drones on "The Dormer". If you're a fan of Nystrom's other projects, this is very highly recommended. Released as both a digipack Cd and a limited-edition Lp in an edition of 217 copies.


Track Samples:
Sample : KRISTOFFER NYSTROMS ORKESTER-Overlook Hotel
Sample : KRISTOFFER NYSTROMS ORKESTER-Overlook Hotel
Sample : KRISTOFFER NYSTROMS ORKESTER-Overlook Hotel



CONTROL   Deadly Sins   CD   (Malignant)    9.98












Track Samples:
Sample : CONTROL-Deadly Sins
Sample : CONTROL-Deadly Sins
Sample : CONTROL-Deadly Sins



SEKTOR 304   Subliminal Actions   CD   (Malignant)    9.99












Track Samples:
Sample : SEKTOR 304-Subliminal Actions
Sample : SEKTOR 304-Subliminal Actions
Sample : SEKTOR 304-Subliminal Actions
Sample : SEKTOR 304-Subliminal Actions



TERRA SANCTA   Sunken | Buried | Forgotten   CD   (Malignant)    8.98



Not a full-fledged album, Sunken | Buried | Forgotten is a new three-song Ep from Terra Sancta, the dark ambient project from Australian Greg Good. Good has always surrounded his electronic dronescapes with images of boundless desert wastelands and ancient civilizations that tap into an almost Lovecraftian feeling of awe and vastness, but here that feeling turns to far-flung emptiness and lightlessness.. The material that's presented on this disc was initially recorded for an upcoming album, but since these three tracks ended up going in a bleaker, blacker direction, Good opted to released them together as a separate document. The vast deep-earth drones and malevolent black ambience found on this disc is supremely oppressive, each track an utterly bleak slab of formless black industrial drift. The first track spreads out with the sound of keening high pitched feedback drones and metallic whirr expanding into thick gusts of shimmering black fog, distant scrapes and rumblings cloaked in reverb and delay, this cavernous ambience alive with mysterious far-off sounds and densely layered drones that evoke immense underground spaces, and vast ancient machinery rumbling at the earth's core. The second track "Buried" is more complex, with the sound of somber orchestral strings floating down through ever deeper layers of subterranean blackness, gorgeous black synthesizers humming and hovering in the lightless void, here conjuring strains of some sort of modern classical piece being performed above a boundless stygian ocean. And the last track is pure black drift, sweeping monolithic drones and spacious reverb billowing out across an abyss as vague traces of those sustained Ligeti-esque strings flicker in the gloom, the sound growing louder and more overpowering as it goes on, becoming a roaring maelstrom of chthonic ambience. These crushing, starless drones are truly monolithic, you'll want to explore this disc obviously if you're already familiar with Terra Sancta's dark ambience, but fans of Yen Pox, TenHornedBeast, Caul, Phaenon and Collapsar should hear this as well.

Released in a limited edition of five hundred copies, presented in a four-panel digipack.


Track Samples:
Sample : TERRA SANCTA-Sunken | Buried | Forgotten
Sample : TERRA SANCTA-Sunken | Buried | Forgotten



NEGRU VODA   Vald De.Luxe   3 x CD   (Malignant)    16.98



The classic Swedish death industrial band Megaptera will forever and always be my favorite of Peter Nystrom's industrial projects, but I was really impressed when I finally heard his post-Megaptera outfit Negru Voda for the first time in this extensive discography set. Active from the mid 90s through the early part of the last decade, Negru Voda was a more stripped down, old-school approach to industrial music compared to the often pitch-black horror and oppressive heaviness that marked his work with Megaptera. While the music featured on this comprehensive three-disc set certainly isn't as evil-sounding as Megaptera, it's plenty crushing in it's own right, offering up a thick metallic din influenced by the music of Test Dept, Neubauten, Severed Heads, and even the darkest spacescapes of early Tangerine Dream. This set collects all of Negru Voda's recordings in a large eight-panel digipack package, and includes rare photos and liner notes from Nystrom on the background of the project.

The Våld De Luxe begins with one of the longest tracks in the entire set, but this twenty six minute industrial epic transects every aspect of Peter Nystrom's palette, blasting the listener with massive growling synth-drones and pounding metallic percussion at first, and then proceeding into ever bleaker regions of howling post-apocalyptic ambience, radiation-streaked noise, and echoing snare drums that give parts of this an almost "martial" feel. When the analogue synthesizers really kick in, Nystrom carves them into these menacing phased riffs that never hang around for too long, but which sound murderous whenever they appear. Rattling percussive loops rumble and pound in the background, slightly buried underneath louder drum sounds and those droning black synths, and later in the track the music starts to erupt into a cacophonic wall of warning sirens and multiple tracks of pounding drumming, distorted malevolent drones and sampled voices, crushing clanking metal rhythms and disturbing radio transmissions, all layered together and piled on top of each other creating a hallucinatory wall of sound. But then the second track comes in ("The Fourth Coffin") and it's a punishing, super-heavy drum/bass rhythm hammering away behind a garbled mass of screams, demonic muttering, distorted voices and blackened synth throb, sounding like some early Wax Trax-like machine-dirge. The remaining four tracks on this disc are also remixes of one sort or another, with a number of guest artists warping Negru Voda's recordings into either vaguely danceable industrial workouts or more abstract soundtrack-esque soundscapes. The results can be amazingly catchy - "The Sound Of Islay (Laggan Mhoullin Version)", for example, is a pummeling, dub-infected industrial assault with a killer bass hook slithering through it, and "Infected By Remix" is actually a reworking of a track from Swedish black industrial/metal outfit V:28, and it's one of the heaviest tracks on here, a crushing ultra-distorted assault of blackened industrial doom almost on par with the likes of Wicked King Wicker or Sewer Goddess.

Beginning with a looped sample of vinyl-crackle, the Dark Territory disc goes on to explore a combination of shorter, more minimal noise pieces, creepy voice/drone collages, blasts of brutal electronics and grinding malevolent machine-drift. Slowly pounding tribal drums thunder at the bottom of vast subterranean chasms, and smoldering black electronics erupt like volatile gases from cracks in the earth. The tracks featured on this disc don't reach the same levels of bone-crushing heaviness as what was found on the first, but this is still heavy and hypnotic and abrasive listening, with a lot of distorted sampled voices that give the material a creepy, transmissions-from-the-beyond feel.

Some of the projects best work is found on the last disc Whispers From The Silent Shaft. With an apparent underlying theme concerning life in an isolated Swedish industrial town, tracks like "The Mine Shaft" and "The Drill" bring together more of Negru Voda's eerie sampled voices and slow, heavy percussive pounding with looped string sections and menacing chants, producing the project's most composed and atmospheric material. Much of the music found on this disc has a lot in common with Nystrom's more demonic industrial leanings in Megaptera, with those sampled strings winding around black electronic pulsations and slow grinding death-machine rhythms, and frenetic clanking beats pounding urgently against swells of vast cinematic ambience. But when the music gets really percussive and starts piling on the weird vocals and wall of thundering metal-on-metal beats, it starts to resemble a slightly darker take on the early works of Test Dept. and Front 242, both of whom are cited by Nystrom as influences on his music.

Fans of Tribes Of Neurot should check this out, as this project offers a similar type of heavy, percussion-driven industrial overlaid with bleak, apocalyptic overtones, and it's also recommended to the heaver, darker sounds of classic outfits like Controlled Bleeding...


Track Samples:
Sample : NEGRU VODA-Vald De.Luxe
Sample : NEGRU VODA-Vald De.Luxe
Sample : NEGRU VODA-Vald De.Luxe
Sample : NEGRU VODA-Vald De.Luxe
Sample : NEGRU VODA-Vald De.Luxe
Sample : NEGRU VODA-Vald De.Luxe



KRISTOFFER NYSTROMS ORKESTER   Overlook Hotel   CD   (Malignant)    9.98



Last time we heard from the duo of legendary Swedish industrial artist Peter Nystrom (Megaptera, Negru Voda) and Kristoffer Oustad from the industrial avant-black metal band V:28 was on the brakeHEAD album back in 2006. For their latest, the Kristoffer Nystroms Orkester returns with a darker, creepier sound and an obsession with the floor plan of the fictional hotel from Stephen King's The Shining. Compared to the grinding industrial of the previous disc, Overlook Hotel works on more of a psychological level, evoking dread and emptiness over and over again as the listener passes through each track.

Beginning with an eerie looped female vocal, the record takes shape slowly as deep pulsating electronics and abstract rhythmic sounds fade in and form into a hypnotic electrical field of black energy, the sound evolving into a swarming static-flecked drone before suddenly breaking into a heavy mechanical rhythm on "The Colorado Lounge", an almost breakbeat-like rhythm pounding beneath the trails of ominous minor key creep and abrasive noisy textures. From the start, this is the most cinematic sounding music that I've heard from KNO, the blend of hazy dark ambience and machine-like rhythm sounding like it could work exceedingly well as a film score. When conjuring images of this notorious site (best known of course as the evil sentient ski resort from Stephen King's The Shining, though you won't find any direct references to that book here), though, this inhabits a strange surreal dreamworld, consistently threatening and filled with a sense of lurking dread, but the washes of cloudy metallic drone and richly layered synthesizer drift and metallic percussion often take the album into a kind of surreal nocturnal terrain that's closer to Hoor-Paar-Kraat than the relentlessly horrific death industrial of Nystrom's work with Megaptera. Some of the tracks on the album move into a kind of minimal haunted techno pulse that reminds me of the black electronic Kompakt-like moves of some of Nordvargr's material, but then break down into the sound of distant chains being dragged and rustled amid deep ambient drones. Other songs deliver jackhammer blasts of industrial drumming that wouldn't sound out of place on a Ministry album, volleys of crushing wall-shaking percussion pounding away incessantly beneath fields of evil voice samples and electronics. There's moments of pure horror to be found here as well though, in the blasts of smoldering MZ.412-esque industrial and creaking factory death-marches that come into view in the last third of the record, and the closing symphonic swells of unearthly horns and wavering drones on "The Dormer". If you're a fan of Nystrom's other projects, this is very highly recommended. Released as both a digipack Cd and a limited-edition Lp in an edition of 217 copies.


Track Samples:
Sample : KRISTOFFER NYSTROMS ORKESTER-Overlook Hotel
Sample : KRISTOFFER NYSTROMS ORKESTER-Overlook Hotel
Sample : KRISTOFFER NYSTROMS ORKESTER-Overlook Hotel



FUNERARY CALL   Nightside Emanations   CD   (Malignant)    10.98



Released almost simultaneously with our own new Funerary Call offering, Nightside Emanations is filled with the same lush netherworld ambience as Fragments From The Aethyr while using a distinctly different approach. The whole feel is different, from the fantastic surrealistic album art courtesy of Russian occult/symbolist painter Denis Kostromitin (whose work has also graced the covers of recent albums from Horseback, Ride For Revenge and Dead Reptile Shrine) to the sparse soundscapes littered with random noises and bits of mysterious-sounding field recordings, this has a much more 'mystical' feel to it than the classically-tinged graveyard visions of Fragments.... The instrumentation used on this recording feels more organic and atavistic, the sounds created using wood and bones and antlers, excavated stone and pieces of scrap-metal wielded by hand to craft these richly detailed fields of ritualistic movement and sepulchral ambience.

The disc moves through ever more shadowy chambers, beginning with the fearsome guttural invocations and black drift of "Wands Of Fire", where the sound of crackling flame becomes a locus of death-meditation around which swirl strains of ominous minor key melody, ringing gongs and vast desolate drones. Its followed by the chaotic clatter that opens the title track, which becomes a haze of dire droning textures and harrowing musical fragments that inject an intense dosage of dread into the almost ceremonial feel of lone drum and prayer bowls resonating through this great lightless space, the tension occasionally fractured by eruptions of bestial noise or massive industrial rumblings. This moves in a more cinematic direction on "Thee I Invoke" as dark magisterial synths rise and fall in waves of twilight drone over slow pounding tympani, the panic-stricken wail of synthetic strings and the hypnotic chanting of eyeless priests, these sounds transforming into a nightmare delirium of backward orchestras and howling choirs and inhuman tongues. An awakening presence is evoked on the hallucinatory ritual "Seven Candles Burning", wailing electronic voices sounding out their frustrations while the clanking of metal and chimes count out the seconds until oblivion. "The Calling" has what sound like ancient horns blasting in slow motion across a rain- drenched waste, and the disc ends with the dramatic climax of "Upon The Heath", where the orchestral voices and sounds rise again and are joined by a wall of drummers swaying in trance, ghastly vocalizations and distant mystic choirs trailing through the darkness like tendrils of smoke.

One of Funerary Call's more dark ambient -leaning albums, this is one that fans of Ruhr Hunter, Archon Satani, Zero Kama, Herbst9, Tenhornedbeast and the shamanic black drone-rituals of the Aural Hypnox label are also highly advised to check out. Comes in a gorgeous, super-striking dvd-sized digipack.


Track Samples:
Sample : FUNERARY CALL-Nightside Emanations
Sample : FUNERARY CALL-Nightside Emanations
Sample : FUNERARY CALL-Nightside Emanations



PHAENON   His Master's Voice   CD   (Malignant)    9.98



Phaenon's first album Submerged was a solid debut from the Maryland-based dark ambient artist, combining the obvious Lustmordian influences with the vast minimal roar of interstellar static, hinting at a kind of cosmic black ambience largely devoid of dramatic synth moves. But on his follow-up album His Master's Voice, Szymon Tankiewicz's Phaenon evolves into even more desolate soundscapery, blending some very subtle cinematic electronics with expansive fields of emptiness and stray radio signals drifting infinitely through the great black void. The album combines the direct influence of Stanislaw Lem's philosophical science fiction novel His Master's Voice (direct quotes from the book appear throughout the packaging) and its story of human scientists attempting to decipher transmissions from an alien intelligence from across the vastness of space (and the myriad of ethical debates that follow) are tied in to the amazing and haunting artwork from Eric Lacombe and the massive black-hole soundscapes that drift out of Phaenon's abyss. These elements come together perfectly for what is one of the eeriest albums of abyssal electronics that I've heard since the last Inade full-length. I'm pretty sure that fans of that German black ambient artist are going to resonate with Phaeonon's music on a similar level, as these slowly swirling soundscapes have a similar sonic DNA: slow, wafting clouds of metallic whirr and shapeless clusters of synth-drone, distant surges of ominous low-end reverberations, stretches of doom-laden black drift, streaks of kosmische synth that burns white-hot scars across an ancient starless void, ghostly electronic howls that materialize way out on the periphery of perception, synthetic horn-like blasts drifting through space, metallic drones glinting in the blackness, all part of these densely layered soundscapes that billow out in an orchestral mass of blackened sound. It is often harrowing listening, the sounds coming together into moments of perfect aural dread that eventually climaxes with a stunning final act of deep-space synthdrift and isolationist thrum.

Comes in a striking digipack presentation.




SPHARE SECHS   Tiefschlaf   CD   (Malignant)    9.99

Tiefschlaf IS CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE FOR ORDER

Absolutely gorgeous dark ambience makes up this new collaborative project from Martin Stürtzer of Phelios and synth/electronic musician Christian Stritzel, a follow-up to their previous collab album Klang Ist Ewig from 2007. Might not be obvious from the album art (a series of macro-photographic pieces from Follower Of Clay depicting abstract frozen surfaces), but this is every bit as dark and ominous and immersive as the other recent slabs of abyssal drone that Malignant has put out this year. Recorded live during a "sleep concert" (a la Robert Rich) at the Sophienkirche (Phobos Festival) in Wuppertal, Germany in September 2011, Tiefschlaf consists of six "phases", each one moving though varying soundscapes formed from desolate arctic synthesizer rumbles, distant metallic reverberations and icy field recordings (which often include the sound of waves crashing against a shore), then shifting into these breathtaking kosmische vistas that are deeply influenced by the darkest shades of Teutonic space music. The album seems to alternate between these two modes, going from frozen abstract drift and mysterious field recordings to sprawling nocturnal ambience that ripples with echoes of early Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze. The fifth track on Tiefschlaf in particular opens up a massive black hole of electronic desolation and grinding drone, a slowly drifting cosmic cloud of ominous choral voicings obscured by massive bass-heavy rumblings and sinister minor-chord drift. Obviously, anyone who is a fan of Phelios's dark, Lovecraftian take on cosmic electronic ambience is probably going to love this, but the way that the two musicians incorporate the use of field recordings does make for a uniquely different take on this sort of immersive interstellar drift.

Comes in a six-panel fold-out gatefold jacket. As with all Malignant releases, this is highly recommended to fans of dark, heavy, evocative electronic ambience. Limited to five hundred copies.


Track Samples:
Sample : SPHARE SECHS-Tiefschlaf
Sample : SPHARE SECHS-Tiefschlaf
Sample : SPHARE SECHS-Tiefschlaf



MACULATUM   The Nameless City   CD   (Malignant)    9.99



The latest from the finest US dark ambient label is Maculatum's The Nameless City, the first release from the collaborative duo of Malignant artists Rasalhague and Collapsar. Working together, the artists have crafted a superb slab of black ambience for this disc that is directly influenced by the seminal horror fiction of HP Lovecraft; the title of this album is itself taken directly from one of the earliest stories in his Cthulhu Mythos. The music on The Nameless City is richly textured but thoroughly black experimental soundscapery that moves between lightless electronic drone and more rhythmic industrial sounds.

The disc's opening track immediately sets the tone for the album with its billowing gusts of black subterranean air and vast growling synth-drones, an abyssal backdrop for the strange electronic flourishes and effects that the duo smears across the blackness. All throughout these slowly drifting ink-clouds, they apply a constantly shifting tableaux of backwards voices, endless clanking chains, sharp metallic tones and unsettling noises, distant cries echoing across the horizon, ghastly feminine sighs creeping through the murk, guttural throats chanting in some presumably pre-human tongue; but then with the second track, they begin to introduce the sound of looped drums, simple tribal-like rhythms that begin rattling in the blackness, quickly joined by bursts of violent metallic percussion that send the music into a paroxysm of ritualistic movement. Even when the music is at it's most minimal, with little more than the sound of massive geological formations grinding together, Maculatum imbue the sounds with a deep sense of dread and desolation, perfectly keeping with the images of hidden underground necropolises and ancient eldritch sciences that are invoked here.

Obviously, Lustmord's cavernous catacomb drones are a major influence on The Nameless City's sound, but these guys take it in a glitchier, more electronically mutated direction, with loops of rhythmic noise that comes to the forefront with the fifth track, mixing what sounds like tabla hand drums with blasts of stentorian percussion, ghostly wailing voices and an ominous horn section that sounds like they were channeling one of Brad Fiedel's ominous film scores. It's this somewhat unique combination of sounds that finds a meeting place between the themes of blasphemous Lovecraftian horror and the presence of malign technology - man, this is exactly what the soundtrack to Stuart Gordon's Dagon should have sounded like.

Released in a limited edition of five hundred copies in gatefold packaging.


Track Samples:
Sample : MACULATUM-The Nameless City
Sample : MACULATUM-The Nameless City
Sample : MACULATUM-The Nameless City



NYODENE D   Edenfall (Limited Edition Boxset)   2 x CD   (Malignant)    23.99



Malignant Records recently released the new Nyodene D album Edenfall, one of the best power electronics/death industrial albums to come out in the second half of 2012; since coming into being in 2008, this young death industrial outfit has continued to evolve and deepen its sound with each new release, and Edenfall came out as a remarkably textured work. Along with the standard digipack edition of this album, Malignant has also released a cool looking box-set for this album in a limited edition of two hundred copies, bundling the Edenfall Cd with a second full-length Cd featuring a collaboratuion between Nyodene D and Sektor304 along with a couple of vinyl stickers, all packaged inside of a customized green matte-finish box that has the artwork foil-stamped in gold on the front of the box.

Nyodene D's latest Edenfall is a new high point in his catalog, a thoroughly misanthropic and nihilistic vision of societal collapse set to a backdrop of super-heavy industrial crush and blackened electronic chaos. The opening title track kicks the album off with a monstrous, shambling mechanical loop overlaid with massive rumbling distorted drones and throbbing synth crush, with those signature draconian vocals glazed in metallic reverb; it slowly builds into a hulking industrial dirge, ultra distorted and heavy as hell, the synths forged into a smoldering wall of low-end crunch as heavy as any doom metal guitar assault, while the looping mechanical noises and twisted shrapnel rhythms begin to evolve into an almost militant death-march through a foul, apocalyptic fog.

There's a lot of heavily atmospheric noisescapery on Edenfall as well. On "Damnatio Memoriae", the sound breaks down into a wash of charred electronics and air-raid klaxon blasts that are slowly and inexorably swallowed up in billowing clouds of volcanic ash. The vocals on this track are WAY more inhuman, too; totally unintelligible shrieks and howls obscured by the waves of black static and low-end distortion, these animalistic sounds provided by UK death industrialist Shift. "Anasazi" makes interesting use of looped Native American songs woven into a delirious chantscape, later combined with monotone vocals and grinding metallic noise into an eruption of clanking metallic chaos. "Scars Of Anthropology" unfolds into another crushing metallic power-dirge of grinding synths and sampled voices, an excoriation of the legacy of genocide across the 20th century that appear like horrific AM radio transmissions rippling over a pitch-black static-drenched dronescape.

There's a classic PE influence behind Nyodene D's music, obviously drawing from heavy exposure to the likes of Genocide Organ, Ex.Order and the Swedish death industrialists, but there's a sonic heaviness and aggression in this material that is just as influenced by his appreciation for the more extreme realms of underground metal. That connection to extreme metal also appears on the awesome endtime-hymn "Nihilation", where guest vocalist Rope (of Ohio blackened death metal warbeasts Prosanctus Inferi and death metallers Father Befouled) delivers a litany of horror in his bestial croak over the almost Sunn O)))-like detuned throb of wavering bass drones and doom-laden synth creep.

The closer "Borne On Vulture's Beak, I Am Carried Into The Heavens" is the album's most atmospheric piece, a glacial sprawl of slow-mo orchestral drift and blackened ambience sourced from recordings provided by Mike Page's Sky Burial project. As this track progresses, the looped strings and gaseous subterranean drift begins to form into a nightmarish expanse of ghastly liturgical chant and rumbling drones, distant wailing sounds lost beneath a crackling, malformed synthesizer loop that takes over as the cancerous black heart beating at the center of the track, surrounded by black-fly swarms of buzzing electronics, and those hellish vocals evoking visions of perpetual rot and decay. Fantastic apocalyptic heaviness and dread from this increasingly impressive young project, and one of the standout releases from Malignant in 2012; as usual from the Malignant camp, Edenfall bears a striking packaging design, presented in a full-color digipack with eight page booklet with photography from Murderous Vision's Stephen Petrus and designed by Andre Coelho of Sektor 304.

Only available as part of the deluxe limited-edition Edenfall boxset from American death industrialist Nyodene D, the bonus Nyodene D/Sektor 304 Cd is a collaborative album features five tracks, with over half an hour of crushing black electronics and death industrial. Each of these recordings was created during a process that saw either Nyodene D or ultra-heavy Portuguese industrial outfit Sektor 304 creating a new shambling monstrosity from the other's source material (most of which was sourced from the Edenfall album), but this stuff sounds a lot more cohesive than you might expect. Though each of these tracks, Sektor 304's crushing, Swans-esque percussive power fuses seamlessly with Nyodene D's monstrous power electronics, and as killer as this stuff is you've gotta hope that this won't be the last time we see these two artists work together. Opener "The Human Fractal" is unveiled as a supremely dread-filled piece of dark orchestral ambience that is slowly buried beneath layers of clanking, rattling, screeching metallic textures, the nebulous blur of distant horn-like tones continuously circling around an ominous melody as buildings and factories and skyscrapers slowly crumble to the ground. Mutant synth-waves slither over slavering, bestial vocals and trance-inducing tribal drum rhythms on "All Over All", which transforms into a nightmarish grinding dirge, a howling apocalyptic din of distant sirens and whirring electronics, glacial mechanical movement and ultra-distorted, intensely furious screams. On "The Shaft", distant jackhammer sounds and pneumatic presses drift beneath a minimal field of black, pulsating synthdrift, a vast expanse of subdued mechanical thrumming overlaid with howling distorted winds and the murderous whispers from an unseen tongue that lurks just out of sight. "Vulture" makes a strange tribute to jazz/spoken word legend Gil Scott-Heron through its pummeling distorted rhythms and rumbling power electronic assault, and "Furnace" closes the album with a suspenseful industrial that comes closest to Sektor 304's fusion of heavy, driving drums, droning distorted synths, electronic noise and industrial rhythms, evoking the sound of early Swans and Godflesh being filtered through the blood-stained lens of modern PE/death industrial. It's an excellent collaboration that would have stood just as well on its own, but anyone who digs Nyodene D's Edenfall will definitely want to have this companion album as well. Comes in a four-panel full color digi-sleeve.


Track Samples:
Sample : NYODENE D-Edenfall (Limited Edition Boxset)
Sample : NYODENE D-Edenfall (Limited Edition Boxset)
Sample : NYODENE D-Edenfall (Limited Edition Boxset)



PHRAGMENTS   New Kings And New Queens   CD   (Malignant)    11.99



I was a big fan of the last album from Slovakian dark industrial/chamber-doom outfit Phragments, Earth Shall Not Cover Their Blood. That disc and its monstrous blend of rumbling orchestral strings, malevolent vocals, pummeling tribal rhythms and Lustmordian blackness is still one of my favorite releases on Malignant. New Kings is the long awaited follow-up to that 2008 album, but this time around the duo have stripped their sound down to something much more minimal and spacious, with all of the activity and energy of their previous work replaced by vast expanses of sonic emptiness, endless vistas of slate-grey sky and smog-draped, black-limned skylines. This new stuff obviously takes a page out of the Lustmord book, but Phragments craft such immense, dramatic driftscapes that it hardly matters. Compared to most other dark ambient albums, this one virtually zips by; almost all of the tracks clock in at five minutes or less, which permits the album to constantly shift it's sound, moving slowly from one black thunderhead of low-end rumble and metallic reverberations to the next, with long stretches of distant orchestral thrum shuddering beneath the sudden appearance of loud, metallic blasts or sudden surges upward into gorgeous, angelic drone. Never gets too pretty though, and never for too long. The omnipresent layer of soot and frost that coats this album soon settles back down, a patina of dead grey ash, and those speaker-rattling subterranean reverberations are always just over the horizon, spelling doom, doom, doom. All of that gorgeous, grim orchestral drift from Earth is still there, whole whirling clouds of it, but torn from the band's percussive elements, it blossoms into something so much more vast and awesome. This album of entropic low-frequency hymns has shot right to the top of my list of favorite dark ambient albums for this year. This is an album that was just made for listening while staring up into the stars late at night. Highly recommended.

Beautifully packaged, too, the disc housed inside of an oversized fold-out eight-panel cardstock jacket, and issued in a limited edition of five hundred copies.


Track Samples:
Sample : PHRAGMENTS-New Kings And New Queens
Sample : PHRAGMENTS-New Kings And New Queens
Sample : PHRAGMENTS-New Kings And New Queens



NAVICON TORTURE TECHNOLOGIES   Your Suffering Will Be Legendary   2 x CD   (Malignant)    14.99



An essential acquisition for anyone currently in thrall to the jet-black industrial transmissions that have been emanating from Theologian over the past few years, the double-disc reissue of Your Suffering Will Be Legendary collects the previously rare and out-of-print bonus discs that were released by Leech's the pre-Theologian project Navicon Torture Technologies as an accompaniment to the sprawling Gospels Of The Gash boxset that Malignant put out back in 2009. The material on these discs captures NTT at its most oppressive, unleashing vast waves of rumbling black synthesizer roar across the abyss, layering his chthonic dronescapes and abyssal orchestrations with additional vocals, electronic elements and other sounds that have been contributed from a killer lineup of collaborators. With a heavy influence from classic kosmische synthesizer music and the sinister electronic soundtracks of John Carpenter felt through Navicon Torture Tech's crushing death industrial, this project produced some of the darkest, heaviest sounds of its kind over the course of the last decade. Each of the tracks featured on Your Suffering... has Leech working with a different collaborator, and the lineup of guests is pretty impressive: Deutsch Nepal, Black Sun, Kristoffer Nyströms Orkester, Aun, The [Law-Rah] Collective, Troum, Inswarm, Hecate, Herbst9, Zombi's Steve Moore, and former Swans chanteuse Jarboe all appear throughout this collection.

The first disc features such standout tracks as the clanking industrial dirge "Soul Eater", which features Scottish sludge metallers Black Sun providing us with one of the heaviest tracks in the collection, an almost Godfleshian mechanical power-dirge bathed in black static, and the orchestral dread that creeps across NTT and Cenotype's "The Last European" (a reference to Clive Barker's The Damnation Game) is pure black cinematic beauty, a gorgeous kosmische synthscape, all billowing black clouds of starry void. The Inswarm collab produces a suffocating black blizzard of black ash and crushing slow-motion klaxon blasts, and Covet appears on "I Won't Survive In A World Without You", a strange haunting soundscape centered around fragile piano and eerie minor-key violins that circle around the sounds of disturbed voices and distant weeping. The tracks that feature Law-Rah Collective and Herbst9 all produce fantastic pieces of ritualistic dark ambience filled with hypnotic percussion, ominous bells, washes of black-hole synthdrift, while the Autoclav1.1 track blends ethereal cosmic ambience with harsh percussive loops like a cold industrial version of Zeit-era Tangerine Dream. Towards the end of the disc, the Hecate track offers up an invocation to the Elder Gods written in pounding tribal rhythms, looped fragments of ancient horror movie soundtrack music, and creepy spoken word samples. Killer!

Leech opens the second disc with Jarboe's blurred, washed-out vocal textures swirling through the organ-like power-drone of "You Are Worth Fighting For", a mesmeric wash of rumbling electronics and cosmic drift. Deutsch Nepal's work on "Victvm Vermis" produces one of the album's finest moments of lush dark ambience, a nearly ten minute cave-ritual possessed with distant echoing cries, trance inducing drum loops, and gusts of immersive twilight drift. The Fragment King collab is one of the real surprises, as "Gumrot (Decaying Face Edit)" drags Leech's layered black synthdrones and rumbling abyssal frequencies into the realm of frenetic experimental drum n' bass, one of the few heavily rhythmic tracks in here. "In The Folds Of The Flesh" sees Leech combining his crushing synth sound with the grim death industrial of Megaptera offshoot Kristoffer Nyströms Orkester, and the result is intensely dark and evocative, almost like an industriaized Goblin score running in slow motion. Leech and Zombi's Moore craft a blackly giorgeous blast of expansive deep-space drone on "Love Theme", while Prometheus Burning brings a murderous, Wax Trax-esque throb to the blackened industrial of "She Throws Me To The Dogs". The Eidulon collab "Pillars Of Flesh" ventures deep into Lustmordian dungeons and bottomless black pits with its rumbling catacomb ambience, later transforming into a nightmarish black industrial dirge with heavy doom-laden drums and Leech's hellish wailing vocals, and Troum bring their crushing guitar drones to "Sonnenaufgang", an oceanic blast of blissed-out dark rumblings and amplifier reverberations layered with Leech's grinding synth textures.

Out of all of this stuff, though, one my favorite tracks turned out to be the closer "The Moral Of The Story Is Dreams..." from NTT's collab with The Bird Cage Theatre, a project that I hadn't heard of before but who delivers one of the album's most stirring tracks, a fog of malevolent synthesizer melodies and distant singing, sinister pipe-organ like tones creeping through the murk, the sound epic and eerily beautiful, standing in somewhat stark contrast from the immense electronic blackness that stretches to almost every other corner of this collection.

Absolutely essential to fans of NTT's Gospels Of The Gash, anyone into Theologian's stuff will obviously want to hear this as well. This amazing double disc set of blackened ambience and abyssal power electronics comes in a gorgeous black DVD-sized digipack printed in metallic silver ink.


Track Samples:
Sample : NAVICON TORTURE TECHNOLOGIES-Your Suffering Will Be Legendary
Sample : NAVICON TORTURE TECHNOLOGIES-Your Suffering Will Be Legendary
Sample : NAVICON TORTURE TECHNOLOGIES-Your Suffering Will Be Legendary
Sample : NAVICON TORTURE TECHNOLOGIES-Your Suffering Will Be Legendary
Sample : NAVICON TORTURE TECHNOLOGIES-Your Suffering Will Be Legendary
Sample : NAVICON TORTURE TECHNOLOGIES-Your Suffering Will Be Legendary



STEEL HOOK PROSTHESES   The Empirics Guild   CD   (Malignant)    10.98



The first new album from Steel Hook Prostheses since 2008's Atrocitizer, The Empirics Guild sees this murderous Texas-based death industrial band returning at maximum power, delivering another twelve-song set of their unique brand of monstrous, nightmarish power electronics fused to an intensely blackened current of morbid energy. The murderous ambient drift and pulsating evil of Steel Hook's music has always shared a similar vibe with the legendary death industrial of Atrax Morgue, but here that sound is on steroids, combined with a crushing sonic force that betrays the members involvement with certain strains of extreme metal in the past.

From the start, the duo unleash a horrific blast of electronic noise and demonic hatred via opener "Rendering Human Tallow", crushing noise pouring out of the speakers like a flood of black bile, waves of hellish distortion and whooshing wind-like noise almost totally consuming the broken music-box melody that appears for a moment. The harsh, scathing vocals have a distinct black metal-like feel, a deep hateful rasp clouded by filthy shortwave static and aural slime, while a pounding distorted rhythm and the sound of metallic clanking surges up out of the rumbling black din. Other tracks delve into even more suffocating depths, like the vast grinding deathdrones and blackened metallic roar that get stretched out across tracks like "Debrided Necrotic Tissue" and "Leprosaria Dross", the background sounds so heavy and distorted that they resemble metal riffs being pulled apart into massive blots of deformed blackened heaviness. And on "Sadomedica", the band wanders through more minimal (but no less oppressive) ambient drift filled with strange percussive noises, gasps and moans, the sounds of weeping and other hallucinatory voices echoing through a fog of formless blackness.

The tracks often feature muffled pounding rhythms and hypnotic tribal drums buried under waves of black static, with the songs "Disfiguring Aesthetics" and "Gula" in particular veering into a kind of mesmeric percussive power, with massive rhythmic sledgehammer-like pounding against the walls of a rusted oil tanker rumbling beneath scowling blackened shrieks and bursts of searing synth. And one of the album's more seething moments can be found on "Emaciated Angel", with its more restrained (but still very abrasive and unsettling) approach to power electronics.

Everything on this album reeks with a palpable malevolence, from the evil gargling vocalizations to the sprawling fields of distorted black ambience that take over huge swaths of Guild, with the massive buzzing synth-drones and crushing distorted heaviness sometimes incorporating hints of Lustmordian drift into their electric throbbing deathscapes, moments that are easily as heavy as any doomdrone band you can think of.

Comes in a six panel digipack illustrated with bizarre, grisly artwork.


Track Samples:
Sample : STEEL HOOK PROSTHESES-The Empirics Guild
Sample : STEEL HOOK PROSTHESES-The Empirics Guild
Sample : STEEL HOOK PROSTHESES-The Empirics Guild



PHELIOS   Gates Of Atlantis   CD   (Malignant)    10.98



  Drums in the deep! Like some perfect fusion of a James Horner score and Cold Meat-style death industrial, Phelios's latest Gates Of Atlantis is something of a departure from the black kosmische ambient of this German artist's last album Astral Unity. Here, the atmosphere seems to have shifted from the vast black emptiness of the cosmos to the cavernous depths beneath the planet's surface, here adding a heavier, even more ritualistic percussive element (or so it seems to my ears) to this recording. The use of percussion has always been a factor in Phelios's sprawling black ambient driftscapes, but it's much more prominent here. And the "dark ambient" descriptor just doesn't cut it when trying to fully describe Phelios's sprawling, epic soundscapes and richly textured black-hole orchestrations.

   Take the opening title track; the track opens with waves of shadowy synthesizer drift and delicate stringed melodies that spread out through the vast subterranean space of Phelios's sound, but it's soon joined by the powerful tribal drumming, booming hypnotic rhythms that circle beneath strains of fragile acoustic guitar and additional cinematic synths, transforming this into something that almost resembles Dead Can Dance at their most apocalyptic. That's followed by some supremely sinister orchestral ambience and vast kosmische blackness that drifts up out of the depths of "Temple Of Yith", all shifting black clouds of deep-earth rumble and eerie distant symphonic murmurs that climb above swells of ominous deep brass and vaporous choral voices. On "Spiritual Possession", those booming, almost martial kettledrum-like rhythms return, now backed by harsh metallic noise and blasts of bone-rattling, almost dubstep-like distorted bass, the pounding heavy rhythms thundering beneath intensely ominous black synths and swirling clouds of doom-laden ambience, almost like some crushing death industrial mutation fused from pieces of Scorn and dark neo-classical ensemble Elend at times, then drifting out into softer fields of twilit ethereal synth and minimal percussive pulse. Later tracks vacillate between the more subdued driftscapes and heavier percussive blasts, the album shifting from passages of rumbling, ritualistic ambience into more of those dread-filled strings and murky buzzing drones, descending into an abyss of crushing orchestral power and blackened symphonies, and back into fields of minimal cymbal shimmer, smears of Lustmordian shadow, and distant metallic sonorities that slowly transform into volleys of furious Neubauten-esque clank. After crawling through the depths for a large portion of the album, Phelios finally returns to the light on the last track "Ascension", an appropriately titled piece of gorgeous kosmische electronics, slow moving sheets of gleaming celestial drone and stretched out chorales that are still vaguely ominous, but hint at a possible release from the abyss.

   As always, there's a really heavy Lovecraftian influence to Phelios's music, seen both in track titles like the aforementioned "Yith" and "The Shadow Out Of Time" and in the overall atmosphere of vast, unknowable blackness. Highly recommended if you're into the nebulous black sounds of Inade and Lustmord. Comes in a six-panel digisleeve.


Track Samples:
Sample : PHELIOS-Gates Of Atlantis
Sample : PHELIOS-Gates Of Atlantis
Sample : PHELIOS-Gates Of Atlantis



SHOCK FRONTIER   Mancuerda Confessions   CD   (Malignant)    10.98



  Mancuerda Confessions is the impressive debut from the new death industrial duo Shock Frontier, released by the consistently terrific Malignant label. Opening with the controlled corrosive static and rhythmic throb of "Paroxysm", the album wastes no time in unleashing its blackened aural malevolence, sprawling out into sinister soundscapes filled with sampled voices, whirring metallic drones and deep bass reverberations, the music shifting from passages of pounding electro-throb into more minimal sprawls of bleak black ambience where ghostly murmurs and echoing metal clank drift through the endless darkness. On "Angels Upon Iron Horses", the duo employ an interesting mixture of fractured electronics and more abrasive clanking metal sounds, while spectral voices moan and howl in the distance behind a veil of grim soundtracky string-like textures. The track slowly builds into something intensely heavy and malevolent, forming into a rhythmic death-pulse, a din of shambling hulking metal shifting beneath grim Tangerine Dream-esque synth sounds and slurred voices caught in some kind of ghastly loop. Confessions continues to dip into pools of unsettling, hallucinatory ambience on tracks like "The Confessional" and "Controlled Atmosphere Killing", and the latter features a collaboration with death industrialist Staalkracht, combining sinister industrial rumblings and plumes of suffocating blackened noise and thrumming electricity.

   From there, the violent black radiation hellstorm of "Decrepitude Approaching" rides on massive, thunderous war-drums, and both "Mancuerda" and "Understand The Extent Of Our Disintegration" create dense soundscapes of urban chaos, evoking the sounds of crumbling structures and terminal entropy as this turns into a kind of hellish soundtrack to a slow-motion collapse of civilization. The centerpiece of Confessions is the nearly twenty minute "Blood Eagle Zealot", a rumbling black expanse of half-whispered female voices and vast distorted synths that gradually begins to bloom with sinister horn-like sounds, resounding above spumes of crackling blackened static and harsh pneumatic rhythms, everything swirling and scurrying beneath the slow swell of mournful orchestral melody that begins to seep across the track, a fog of soulcrushing kosmische sorrow that slowly unfolds over those caustic frequencies and half-glimpsed voices, swirling around the steady kick-drum pulse that fades in and out of the track. Terrifying stuff, with moments of seriously crushing heaviness via some skillfully constructed blasts of mechanical rhythm and bone-rattling distorted bass that sharply punctuate the project's utterly bleak, dystopian ambience. Comes in a six panel digisleeve.


Track Samples:
Sample : SHOCK FRONTIER-Mancuerda Confessions
Sample : SHOCK FRONTIER-Mancuerda Confessions
Sample : SHOCK FRONTIER-Mancuerda Confessions



T.O.M.B.   Third Wave Holocaust   CD   (Malignant)    10.98



  More than most bands within the realm of death industrial and harsh blackened noise, the Philly-based outfit T.O.M.B. are best experienced in a live setting, where they are capable of terrifying an audience with their massive rumbling mausoleum drones and scathing, hellish screams, members of the band cutting their flesh with daggers as pyramids of animal bone teeter on the edge of the stage, the whole performance filling the room with an intensely oppressive, sepulchral atmosphere. But even on their albums, the group seethes with a black energy, fusing the ghastly grave-stench of early Norwegian black metal with the sheet-metal pounding, ritual delirium and crushing low-end electronics of the heaviest death industrial, and their own unique assemblage of field recordings that have been captured from within the bowels of abandoned sanitariums, from between the crumbling monuments of weather-beaten cemeteries, and outside the gates of a roaring crematorium.

  Such are the sources of much of the sounds captured on T.O.M.B.'s latest album Third Wave Holocaust, another killer disc of filthy, rot-encrusted necro-industrial. For more than a decade, this crew of industrial ghouls have been perfecting their particularly putrid fusion of mausoleum ambience and Neubeauten-esque clank, and the ten tracks on the band's latest continues in the suffocating black-mass vibe of their previous works (including their reissue of UAG that came out on Crucial Blast a few years ago). Tracks like "Electric Exorcism" unleash roaring subterranean winds and crushing rumbling noise, the sound drenched in reverb, black waves of rumbling mechanical chaos churning in the depths, sweeping like black fire across the duration of the track. There are more subdued death-rites that emerge on "The Great Venerat Insult", where the band drapes filthy electronics and bone-rattling bass across sparse, booming percussion and gusts of ghostly groaning, while the unintelligible chanting of "Na La Gore Na" becomes consumed in a maelstrom of ashen distortion and choking black static. The pulsating black power electronics of "Vulgarity" suggests an alternate world where Genocide Organ fell under the thrall of Satanic delirium, the track formed from huge waves of monstrous grinding bass and screeching metallic noise that churns in the bowels of the earth. "Disrupting Admin" crawls on malformed limbs, crushing ultra-distorted sludge riffs oozing through gusts of hellish noise and echoing moans, a kind of super-heavy abstract blackened sludge that shifts like black tar and fades into the black earth. Pounding tribal rhythms take shape on "Vom Voodoo", deep pounding skins reverberating through vast underground corridors and steaming black chasms in the earth, that deep rhythmic pounding echoing across a din of hellish screaming, the sounds of suffering on a grand scale buried beneath a mountain of murk and mesmeric percussive pummel. The grinding machine-drones and fearsome Kali Yuga chant of the title track slowly evolves into a punishing glacial doomdirge for one of the album's heaviest moments, and "Clairvoyant Frequencies" is pure harsh noise wall, a raging maelstrom of low-end rumble and distortion that utterly blots out the sun. When this savagery finally comes to a close, it's with the macabre black ambience of "Tribute To Hanhua", another pitch-black hymn formed from androgynous liturgical chorales, vast rhythmic rumbles of orchestral power and sheet-metal abrasion, the sound flecked with bits of glitch and whir.

   Comes in digipack packaging.


Track Samples:
Sample : T.O.M.B.-Third Wave Holocaust
Sample : T.O.M.B.-Third Wave Holocaust
Sample : T.O.M.B.-Third Wave Holocaust



VOMIT ARSONIST, THE   An Occasion For Death   CD   (Malignant)    10.98



  Jason over at Malignant has cultivated an exceptional ear for the finest in heavy power electronics and death industrial, and 2013 saw a number of new albums from some of the best names in the field, one of the latest being the new full-lengther from Andrew Grant's solo project The Vomit Arsonist. Also a member of the severely spiteful power electronics duo Bereft, Grant has increasingly turned this project into an outlet for more atmospheric, though no less unsettling noisescapes that skillfully combine bleak blackened droning electronics and moody synth melodies with blasts of intense distorted heaviness. The latest entry in the Arsonist's arsenal of soul-crushing sonic nihilism is An Occasion For Death, the project's first release for Malignant, which finds the death industrial outfit now sitting alongside the esteemed likes of Steel Hook Prostheses, Nyodene D, Xiphoid Dementia, Control and Sektor 304. The seven tracks that make up this album are in the same dread-filled vein as the Arsonist's previous releases, combining crushing low-end drones and swirling black synthesizers with echoing, time-stretched voice samples, but this time the production feels a lot heavier, as if there are new depths to these dark rumbling drones, more monstrous exhalations of industrial dread.

   The nauseating waves of black drone that surge over the opener "Think God Out Of Existence" are slowly joined by sheets of fearsome orchestral drift and intense choral textures; when the next track "At The Edge Of Life, Everything Is An Occasion For Death " kicks in, the effect is crushing, as ponderous, ominous oil-tanker percussion rumbles and reverberates beneath whirring celestial synths and Grant's ferocious distorted screaming. This has gotta been one of the heaviest things that I've ever heard from this project, with an almost Swans-like slow-motion pummel taking form, the sound stretched out even further into thunderous waves of soul-crushing industrial power. From there, the album continues to bloom into vast rumbling dirge, a sound that at times almost suggests that Grant is drawing just as much energy from the apocalyptic industrial metal of early Godflesh and the most glacial, blood-freezing extremes of doom metal as his is from the darkest realms of power electronics. The result is, of course, something that sounds pretty unique, certainly different from most of the other PE/death industrial outfits I've been listening to lately. That grinding, super-heavy deathdirge returns on "Black Bile", where eruptions of filthy bass are crushed beneath the slow, saurian blast of the drums. Other tracks like "At The Edge Of Life, Everything Is An Occasion For Death" and "The Absurd " are more minimal, still surrounded by a constant seething subterranean rumble, but with the rhythmic elements stripped out in favor of a basic black pulse that rises and falls, a pitch-black beacon blasting it's plutonium glow through the otherwise impermeable night of the Arsonist's apocalyptic vision. The whole album shifts slightly between these crushing pneumatic dirges and the more droneological depths of the Arsonist's sound, but even during the album's less aggressive moments, this is still extremely heavy shit. The last track "Means To An End" features guest synthesizer from Murderous Vision's Stephen Petrus, and washes over the album's last ten minutes with a mixture of malignant field recordings, distant grinding distortion and earth-shaking bass frequencies that resemble the roar of blood within one's own skull while bound and blindfolded in the soundproofed basement of some suburban sadist.

   Oh yeah. One of C-Blast's favorite death industrial releases of 2013. Comes in a six-panel digipack.


Track Samples:
Sample : VOMIT ARSONIST, THE-An Occasion For Death
Sample : VOMIT ARSONIST, THE-An Occasion For Death
Sample : VOMIT ARSONIST, THE-An Occasion For Death



XIPHOID DEMENTIA   Secular Hymns   CD   (Malignant)    10.98



  Back in stock. I've become a huge fan of Xiphoid Dementia's unique blend of death industrial bombast and thoroughly modern sound design techniques after bearing witness to his live performance in Baltimore back in the Fall of 2012, when the project was on tour with Funerary Call. Xiphoid Dementia mastermind Egan Budd put on a powerful set at that Sidebar show, featuring material from his then just-released album Secular Hymns, filling the small club with a wall of sound that was complex and immersive and terrifying. I loved Budd's earlier Xiphoid Dementia releases, but Secular Hymns, his first for Malignant, is on a whole 'nother level, blending his crushing death industrial and power electronics qualities with an even more focused and skillfully crafted sense of sound design that makes this highly visual, blending in long stretches of stunning widescreen ambience and orchestral soundtrack-like arrangements among the harsher, noisier parts of the album.

   The opener "Abortion Rites" is a nearly fifteen-minute symphony of meticulously layered noise and musical darkness, controlled blasts of coruscating static and deep, teeth-rattling bass frequencies erupting across fields of eerie choral voices and ominous soundtracky ambience. The first couple of minutes are heavily atmospheric, setting an almost apocalyptic vibe that is later shredded apart by brutal electronic noise and effects overload. Further in, monstrous, heavily distorted vocals howl across a blackened synthscape of whooshing analogue drone and buzz, littered with massive subsonic bass drops and juddering violent glitchery, the sound suddenly shifting into a malevolent electronic dronescape like something off of an early 70's space music album coming under assault from some particularly murderous power electronics outfit.

   The ticktock mechanical pulse of a clock shop introduces "My Time Will Never Come", which then transforms into a massive, heaving industrial clockwork dirge, super heavy and grotesque, like some orchestral arrangement for a creaking, lurching golem, the blasts of crushing distorted synth and rusted-out machine rhythms surging through waves of creepy dissonant melody and layers of hissing, staticky ambience. From there, though, it drops off into a sparse sheet-metal symphony of clanking metallic reverberations and sonorous oil-tanker textures, joined by loud, tolling bells and a sorrowful synth melody, all maudlin and rumbling, gradually layered with higher pitched chiming melodies, almost taking on a Goblin-like feel towards the end. These moments on Hymns are surprisingly evocative and eerie, like some distressed, corroded version of an early 80s horror film score.

   The locomotive rumbling that starts off "What You Believe" continues with that heavy, mechanically rhythmic undercurrent, but this track itself soon disappears into its own horrific din of metallic pandemonium, crumbling scrapmetal monoliths crashing to the ground, huge mountains of broken glass and concrete shifting across the depths of the mix, while streaks of acrid harsh noise, pulsing primitive synth throb and electronic glitchery whip violently across the track, turning this into a terrifying symphony for junk-metal destruction and collapse, only occasionally receding to allow some paranoid voices an opportunity to peer through the nightmarish, robotic chaos.

   Closer "Breathe" blends together dreadful gasps and crazed vocalizations, as black Leviathan blasts of demonic synthpulse wash across the recording, the track slowly evolving into yet another nightmare confluence of sleek black drones and kosmische ambience and hellish, reptilian vocals, the sound expanding outward into a vast black ambience strafed with abrasive metallic tones. And then, as the second half of the track begins to unfold, it shifts shape once again, into a monstrous slow-motion industrial dirge, depth-charge bass-drum blasts sending ripples of tectonic rumble outward, those ghastly vocals descending again upon the sinister electronic ambience, the sound beginning to warp and crumble and fold in upon itself, breaking down into a deformed blackened heaviness at the end, like some gasping, glitch-infested cybernetic abomination.

   Comes in a six-panel digipack that features beautifully creepy full-color collage art.


Track Samples:
Sample : XIPHOID DEMENTIA-Secular Hymns
Sample : XIPHOID DEMENTIA-Secular Hymns
Sample : XIPHOID DEMENTIA-Secular Hymns



TERRA SANCTA   Exile   CD   (Malignant)    9.99



   After six years since the release of their acclaimed Disintegration album, Australia's master of dark ambient have returned with this stunning new collection of post-nuclear New Age driftscapes and vast solar-blasted ambience. Since the turn of the century, Terra Sancta's Greg Good has been crafting some of the most immersive dark ambient music around, drawing heavily from classic Teutonic space music forms (with definite influences from early Tangerine Dream and Brüder des Schattens – Söhne des Lichts-era Popol Vuh emerging throughout his sprawling compositions), but ultimately creating something much more vast and desolate and terrible, majestic driftscapes formed from billowing clouds of grainy sound, grim orchestral synth-strings sweeping across wind-blasted wastelands, solar winds ripping across ruined cities, the deep woodwind-like thrum of his drones stretched and diffused into titanic rumblings and tectonic groans. It's some of the most evocative and fearsome dark ambience I've been following.

    As with his previous albums, Exile evokes an endless desolation, sun-blasted deserts and vast tundras, the warm red glow of an irradiated sky hanging over a dead black earth, the atmosphere at once filled with dread and moments of striking beauty. And on the track "Celestial Extinction", we get one of Terra Sancta's most terrifying works, a collaboration with fellow Malignancy Rasalhague that descends into vast Lustmordian blackness and bottomless wells of orchestral doom, the nearly eight minute track filled with subterranean murmurings that echo thunderously throughout the depths, the sound grim and cinematic, a powerful abyssal ambience streaked with sinister horn-like textures, cello-like drones that are seemingly suspended into infinity, growling apocalyptic tones draped over endless waves of threatening minor-key drift. At those moments and those that follow across the latter half of Exile, Terra Sancta can be just as malevolent as anything from Yen Pox or Lustmord, uncovering monstrous subterranean symphonics, washes of fearsome choral power and vast rhythmic industrial churn that all becomes blurred into an ocean of stygian black drift, but Good imbues his bleak textured ambience with a weight unique to this project, and which makes parts of this album seems as sonically heavy as any doom-drone outfit. Highly recommended.

    Comes in a six-panel digipack with striking artwork designed by Kerry Braud of Rasalhague and Maculatum.


Track Samples:
Sample : TERRA SANCTA-Exile
Sample : TERRA SANCTA-Exile
Sample : TERRA SANCTA-Exile



SKORNEG   Foehn   CD   (Malignant)    10.98



   A superior album of terrifying black soundscapes, Foehn is the first release from the duo of Frédéric Arbour (the man behind esteemed dark ambient label Cyclic Law and a member of the ritual ambient group Havan alongside Harlow from Funerary Call) and Montreal drone artist Christian Corvellec (AKA Skinwell). Inspired by the desolation and harshness of arctic environments, Skorneg's debut ventures into some supremely bleak and nightmarish territory. The opening title track kicks this off with a swirling black fog of murky orchestral rumblings and distant howling, everything immersed in a thick haze of reverb and delay, with blasts of rhythmic metallic sound echoing in the depths. It's a pitch-black dronescape, those distant howling voices shifting into fearsome choral sounds that have been stretched and muffled into vast smears of seraphic horror. The slow, spaced-pout blasts of metallic percussive noise bring an additional weightiness to Skorneg's abyssal symphony, as this gradually evolves from those spacious eruptions of reverberant clank into a steady, almost militaristic throb that slowly comes into focus behind the opaque blackness. Fragments of eerie melody flit in and out of view, creepy half-formed figures that float languidly through the vast cavernous expanse of Skorneg's lightless depths. With this opening track alone, the duo delivers some of the most unsettling black ambience in recent memory.

    The other three tracks on Foehn delve into similarly blighted soundscapes, revealing strange mechanical rhythms and clockwork pulsations amid squeals of backwards guitar-like sound and slowly undulating waves of black symphonic drone, slipping into some surprisingly propulsive passages of industrialized sound at times. Gusts of ghastly swarming noise spreads out beneath buzzing high-voltage drones and deep, fluttering bass frequencies, and on the closing track "Sherpas", the duo drift out into a softly smoldering expanse of ritualistic whispers and rhythmic crackle, the dimly luminescent glow of the clustered synth-drones and stretched-out choral drift swirling in slow looping movements around strange clanking noises, almost like some murky, Philip Jeck-ian turntablist exercise beamed back from the shores of the river Styx. In fact, I picked up on a little of that Jeck-like vibe all throughout Foehn, and anyone who dug his darker works like An Ark for the Listener should definitely check out Skorneg's ominous subterranean loops and stygian drift. Of course, anyone into the jet-black ambient recordings of Yen Pox and early 90's Lustmord, or the more abstract fringes of horror-movie soundtrack orchestrations will want to hear this exquisitely-composed obsidian epic, as well. Comes in a four-panel digipack, limited to five hundred copies.


Track Samples:
Sample : SKORNEG-Foehn
Sample : SKORNEG-Foehn
Sample : SKORNEG-Foehn



IRM   Closure...   CD   (Malignant)    11.98



   Although IRM had a nearly decade long run of albums on the iconic Swedish label Cold Meat, it has become more difficult to merely describe this Swedish trio's music as merely "death industrial". While the core duo of Erik Jarl and Martin Bladh have certainly based their cold, threatening soundscapes in an aesthetic that will be familiar to fans of the likes of Brighter Death Now, IRM's albums have continued to head in more experimental and often more musical directions. Since the core duo of Bladh and Jarl was joined by bassist Mikael Oretoft in 2007, their music has come to embrace melody and song structure in a manner not usually seen in power electronics/death industrial groups; you might recognize Oretoft as the bassist for gloom-metal legends Katatonia on their classic album Discouraged Ones, and his presence has brought a tangible heaviness to IRM's sound that is a larg part of what has made their recent works so unique. Part of an apparent trilogy of releases that included the 2008 EP Indications of Nigredo and the 2010 album Order4, Closure... expands beyond those stylistic parameters of the classic Swedish death industrial sound, turning into something heavier and stranger with these nine tracks.

   As the disc opens, "Closure I" emits a heaving sonic nightmare of paranoid howling vocals and distant kettledrums that reverberate across a swarming hive of squealing mechanical noise; as the sounds of distorted breathing intermingle with sickly, keening drones, this first track introduces the album with the feverish intensity of a waking nightmare, and it's possessed with a lumbering power that could almost pass for a doom metal track, if someone were only to drop in a few extra distorted guitars into the mix. The vocals are disturbing, a mix of processed moans and those weird, demonically distorted cries, which lurk amid the washes of muted orchestral majesty that rise out of the murk, colliding with buzzing flystruck drones and grimy electronics throughout the album. Bits of haunting spoken word monologue are recited over hushed, funerary melodies, cold surrealistic prose-poems drawn from the same spare imagery as the lyrics (which are somewhat reminiscent of Dennis Cooper's austere, chilling psychosexual imagery), images of sudden violence and mutilation and voyeurism met with distant sobs of anguish and swells of oceanic noise and the tinny innocence a child's music box. It then slips into sparse death-dirges constructed from booming percussion and doom-laden horns, syncopated nightmare marches dragging lengths of rusted chain and surrounded by the icy whirr of prayer bowls, accompanied by the monstrous groan of a distorted cello and the diseased wheezing of harmonium, then slip into flat line sine waves and distant pneumatic rhythms and jittery, crushing synthesizers. All of this slowly builds to the unnervingly cinematic power of the last few tracks, which begin to pulse with a minimal, dread-filled energy akin to a John Carpenter score, riddled with blasts of excoriating, noisy chaos before it finally culminates with the withered, glitch-sore dirge of "Closure IX". There are some powerfully unsettling, even nightmarish moments that recur throughout the album, some of which come from the tortured shriek of the cello provided by guest musician Joanna Quail, who leaves bloody, jagged tears across a handful of songs. Hellishly abrasive at times, but Closure... also has a twisted, wretched beauty in parts that make this one of IRM's strongest albums to date. Fantastic album design, too, the digipack and sixteen-page booklet illustrated with scenes from some grim shadowplay that make a perfect pairing with IRM's starkly nihilistic dirges.


Track Samples:
Sample : IRM-Closure...
Sample : IRM-Closure...
Sample : IRM-Closure...



GNAWED   Feign And Cloak   CD   (Malignant)    11.98



   Album number two from the ultra heavy death industrial outfit Gnawed, Feign And Cloak is the much-anticipated followup to the fantastic 2012 full-length Terminal Epoch, a featured release here at C-Blast when it originally came out, and one of the heaviest industrial albums that came out that year. Even before Epoch, Minneapolis artist Grant Richardson had been constructing some of the most fearsome industrial music we'd been hearing, but with this newest album the project's fusion of crushing scrapyard rhythms and brutal noise is heavier than ever.

   Featuring an array of guest artists from such groups as Cock ESP, Ice Volt, Violator X, Scaphe, and Agitate, Feign employs a variety of sounds to forge it's doom-laden noise dirges; using scrap metal, bowed cymbals, and singing bowls, the album delves into the various aspects of Gnawed's sounds, with some truly skull-crushing moments arriving pretty early on. As the album opens with the staticky, monochromatic ambiance of "Time Undone", Richardson drifts in with a fog of grainy distorted drone and rumbling, doom-laden heaviness, sprawling out beneath delay-drenched voices flitting through the blackness like ghostly forms on the periphery of your hearing, while huge constructs of rusted metal shift and settle in the depths, a clanking arrhythmic din cloaked in grim, hazy ambiance.

   But when "Burning The Hive" follows, you're hit with a sickeningly blown-out mechanical dirge that seems to drag the album into a kind of twisted, mutated industrial metal territory. Putrescent, massively distorted screams undulate over the crumbling, earth-grinding machinery that seethes and smokes beneath the layers of tremulous electronic hum, the sound blasted with noxious frequencies and bone-rattling bass, almost like some warped version of UK industrial sludge outfit Pitch Shifter slowed down to an abject crawl and left to rot in a pit of bile-drenched biomech refuse. The album moves deeper into this nightmarish corrupted mech-hell, tracks like "The Scales" and the title track unfolding into smoldering fields of electrical hum and juddering death-engine reverberations, laced with surges of Carpenterian synth-dread and those horrific processed shrieks; others spread out into vast cinematic black ambiance, immersed in crushing malevolent synthesizers and ghastly pneumatic loops. And closer "Torch To Cedar" may be the most harrowing piece on the album, a swarming mass of blackened death-drone festooned with cacophonous metallic noise and prayer-bowl resonances that were recorded in the sewers beneath Minneapolis, the sounds slowly coalescing into a monstrous industrial dirge.

    Building upon that classic Cold Meat death industrial sound, Richardson adds even blacker textures and an almost metallic immensity to these tracks, making this another soul-consuming assault that further establishes Gnawed as one of the US's finest death industrial outfits alongside the likes of Steel Hook Prostheses, Theologian, Vomit Arsonist and Nyodene D. Comes in a six panel digipack with album art from Dutch artist Brian Vander Pol.


Track Samples:
Sample : GNAWED-Feign And Cloak
Sample : GNAWED-Feign And Cloak
Sample : GNAWED-Feign And Cloak



DISSECTING TABLE / SEKTOR 304   Utopia / Decay   LP   (Malignant)    17.98



   Following up their split CDR that came out on Ichiro Tsuji's UPD Organization imprint in 2012, Utopia/Decay once again teams up apocalyptic Portuguese industrial sludge outfit Sektor 304 with Tsuji's legendary Dissecting Table project, and the results are as crushing as you would expect, with three tracks from each band. The two bands are a perfect fit together on a split like this, as Sektor 304's pummeling, super-heavy sound owes a huge debt to the punishing metallic heaviness of Dissecting Table albums like Memories and Human Breeding.

   Dissecting Table's side reminds us again why this iconic Japanese industrial project is one of the absolute heaviest in the field, starting off with the frantic polyrhythmic junkyard percussion and tribal drumming of "Ideal Market"; here, Ichiro Tsuji whips up one of his trademark skull-melting assaults of whirling percussive chaos and distorted bass sludge, forming huge loops of hypnotic industrialized pummel that's one of the most psychedelic things I've heard from him. The track drops into thunderous scrap-metal pounding and squirming masses of vermiform electronics, later veering into the ultra-abrasive junkgasm of "Cold Pressure Rank", as crushing pneumatic rhythms surface out of the gleaming sea of drone, and an almost Godfleshian heaviness takes shape at the center of the chaotic scrapescape. Ultra-distorted screams rip through the din alongside mutant screams plated in bio-mechanical chrome, and bits of ritual clank and prayer-bowl whirr stumble out of the chaos, briefly materializing over monstrously danceable drum machines, skittering and slamming into the crushing industro-violence of closer "Blind Despair And Hope". Heavy as hell.

    Sektor 304 counter with their own apocalyptic vision, moving fluidly from slow, doom-laden industrial dirges where massive sheet-metal rhythms lumber beneath bursts of symphonic horror, an utterly dread-filled atmosphere quickly sweeping across the side as a monstrous clanking death-dirge slowly evolves into the powerful, churning tribal drumming and death industrial heaviness that takes over the nightmarish "Vertical Structure Control". When the band fully unleashes their destructive power, they're one of the only outfits that can match Dissecting Table's grinding, glitched-out sonic violence. Later, the side shifts into subdued ambience, flecked with murmuring bass tones that pulse in the blackness, and it's here that the sinister vocals of Swedish industrialist Martin Bladh of Skin Area/IRM begin to drift ominously through the nuked deadzone drift. The boom of hammered oil-drums slowly rumble, spreading out in martial formation, slowly coalescing into a monstrous, militant heaviness across the final stretch of the side, like some titanic Swans-style power-crush stripped down to its most basic, bone-crushing core, Bladh's menacing whispers eventually replaced by swells of ghastly feedback and factory-drone.

    Limited to two hundred copies.




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



   The long-awaited follow-up to the excellent Kosmiche Death Worship cassette that these guys put out a few years ago, Starving The Fires is the first in a series of full-length albums further exploring this Portland, Oregon trio's pitch-black blend of abyssal ambience, haunted soundscapery, and rumbling industrial murk. Teeth Engraved With The Names of The Dead weave a dense web of morbid drone, crackling electronic skuzz, and eerie, ominous voices adrift in blackness, constructed from heavily distorted guitar, synthesizer and electronics, which on the surface suggest another version of the black industrial sound that I've been surrounding myself with lately, but in actually ends up becoming something much closer to a kind of ambient necrotic noise. The six tracks on Starving demonstrate a certain amount of restraint, drifting languorously on clouds of softly billowing black fog and washes of white noise that sweep across tracks like "Vital Reaction", swells of static-saturated kosmische sound that slowly swallow the ghostly sampled voices and distant percussive noises that move through the mix, like some tortured take on classic Teutonic space music filtered through the gravedirt production of Tesco-style industrial. There are moments where vicious ultra-distorted screams swoop in across acid-choked blastscapes, joined by the nightmarish sound of a bullroarer-like siren hovering somewhere over the horizon, and it starts to coalesce into a kind of toxic, carcinogenic power electronics, glowing with evil black energy; elsewhere on "Lacerate", they shift into a harsher, less coherent haze of scraping noise that's actually kind of reminiscent of Japanese noise groups like K2 or Pain Jerk, but here that noise is immersed in cavernous reverb, as if this planet-chewing noise is emanating from some deep black hole in the earth. That cavernous, rumbling noise slowly begins to warp itself as the track progresses, and when the far-off rumble of metallic guitar chords starts to appear, the album heads into an even heavier direction. Mournful minor key riffs and eerie, keening notes slowly begin to creep through the mix, like some doomdrone version of a Tangerine Dream soundtrack slowly spinning downward into the inferno. That stuff is pretty fantastic, and the rest of the album goes from that sort of nightmarish droneological misery to some seriously putrid blasts of black noise that fans of stuff like Demonologists and Crown Ov Bone would love, finally closing with the nearly half hour long "When Storms Come", which gloms these waves of majestic orchestral drone and swarming static and deep, vast rumbling layers into an epic howling soundscape. The guys in Teeth Engraved are starting to carve out a really cool, immersive sound that I can't wait to hear more of, and Starving is definitely recommended if you're tastes run towards the more blackened end of the industrial/noise spectrum. Comes in DVD style packaging.


Track Samples:
Sample : TEETH ENGRAVED WITH THE NAMES OF THE DEAD-Starving The Fires Part I
Sample : TEETH ENGRAVED WITH THE NAMES OF THE DEAD-Starving The Fires Part I
Sample : TEETH ENGRAVED WITH THE NAMES OF THE DEAD-Starving The Fires Part I



THEOLOGIAN + STROM.EC   Hubrizine   CD   (Malignant)    10.98



   Most fans of Theologian and Strom.ec probably never had a chance to pick up the original cassette release of their collaborative album Hubrizine, since it was released in a miniscule edition of only twelve copies back when it came out in 2012; this new CD reissue from Malignant is a welcome one, finally making this stark album of rumbling industrial ambience available to a wider audience. An homage to the work of dystopian science fiction author Philip K. Dick, Hubrizine is made up of material that was originally produced by Finnish power electronics duo Strom.ec, then reworked and reassembled by Theologian to create an all-new monstrosity, the album moving through varied realms of sonic abrasion and mesmeric black drift. Bits of delicate piano are sent tumbling into an abyss of reverb-drenched emptiness and echoing, shadowy dronedrift, and swells of menacing, heavily distorted synth-drone surface somewhere deep below, surges of grinding malevolence met with hypnotic glitchery and tiny fragments of over-modulated electronics. These sounds slowly come together across the ten-minute opening track "Involuntary Dilation", coalescing from the early stages of abstract, abyssal skitter and rumble into something even more haunting and pensive, those processed piano sounds bringing some human emotional weight to the otherwise cold and inhuman void that Theologian explores, these fragile fragments of mournful melody always on the verge of being swallowed by the blackness. This swirling, dreamlike feel carries over into tracks like "EM-19", murky melodious synths drifting like something from an Eluvium album, even as abrasive industrial rhythms and distorted, furious vocals suddenly tear through the darkness. Later forays into the strange celestial ambience of "Exegesis" and the lush orchestral crepuscular kosmische vastness of "World War Terminus" offer some gorgeously desolate atmospherics, while the hallucinatory choral creepiness and malformed industrial thud of closer "Flow My Tears" ends the disc with something much more nightmarish. The album moves through these passages of death industrial terror like wind through subterranean chambers, abrasive metallic rhythms emerging out of the murky ethereal drift, dissipating into vast oceanic dronescapes illuminated by distant moons, or the monstrous distorted dirge that slowly crawls from the celestial drift of the sprawling eighteen minute title track, where glimpses of half-formed monstrous mechanical rhythms lurching out of the blackness, brief surges of crunching industrial heaviness lost in the emptiness of space. It's some of the most moving work I've heard from either outfit, and highly recommended. Comes in a thin DVD-sized gatefold jacket with cool biomechanical artwork from Andre Coelho from Sektor 304.


Track Samples:
Sample : THEOLOGIAN + STROM.EC-Hubrizine
Sample : THEOLOGIAN + STROM.EC-Hubrizine
Sample : THEOLOGIAN + STROM.EC-Hubrizine



SEWER GODDESS   Painlust   CD   (Malignant)    11.98



    Didn't really realize it until I sat down to note my impressions of the new Sewer Goddess album Painlust, but it's actually been a full five years since the Boston-area project gave us their last album, 2010's With Dirt You Are One . There's been a couple of smaller releases, EPs and tapes and the like that have surfaced in the interim, along with that killer Live Waste disc that Malignant put out a while back, but this new disc is the first full album of new material from the band in all this time. I loved the debut, and made it a featured new release here at C-Blast back when it came out; the way it fused its blackened power electronics to doom-metal guitars and squealing, skin-eating electronic noise managed to avoid sounding like just another Abruptum / Gnaw Their Tongues clone, and it was easily the heaviest thing that I'd ever heard come from the Malignant label up to that point. For the band's latest, though, mastermind Kristen Rose has re-shaped her band's sound into a more concentrated form: those grueling death industrial elements are still front and center, but Sewer Goddess's sophomore album strips away all of the extraneous flesh from their sound, mounting it on a ravenous industrial metal chassis that serves as a perfect delivery system for Rose's noxious, masochistic visions.

    And where earlier efforts were primarily the work of Rose alone, Sewer Goddess has also now evolved into an actual band, which includes Carl Haas from power electronics project Sharpwaist on bass; there's also a guest appearance from guitarist John Gelso of black metal legends Profanatica and The Royal Arch Blaspheme on the song "Get The Rope". With this expanded lineup, Painlust naturally offers a heavier, fuller sound than before, and that's never more apparent than the tracks in which they lurch into their crushing, pestilent version of industrial metal. The album slow cranks its flesh-chewing gears, spreading apart the sound to get at the black rot inside of each track; when it starts off with the droning industrial clamor of "Plague Axis", it's a drawn-out introduction to Painlust's horrors, initiating contact through a long sprawl of dirgelike synthesizer chords, clanking metallic percussion and distorted screams that all seem to be taking place somewhere in the distance. But when the next song "My Grave" kicks in, it's a punch to the ribs, the band suddenly shifting into a supremely sinister-sounding industrial metal dirge with Rose now adopting an almost gothy disaffected moan, the music turning into a a strange shambling mix of putrescent electronics and slow-motion heaviness, with glimmers of something sad and beautiful beneath the grinding, squelchy sludge; it's like some blacker, more metallic take on early Swans, filtered through a heavy haze of black metal-esque atmopsherics and draped in gloomier guitars. Fucking fantastic.

    It isn't complex music, usually centering around a single dramatic riff that churns relentless through the band's blackened din. But it's nevertheless powerful stuff, hypnotic in its grinding monotony, but also surprisingly catchy. The tracks proceed through an array of deformed soundscapes and torturous industrial heaviness, oozing through warped blackened ambience and punishing Streetcleaner-esque hypno-sludge, vocals drifting across the album in a reptilian hiss or mutating into unsettling, heavily processed demonic moans. Painlust has plenty of moments where it's as heavy as any doom metal, but the surrounding layers of vile distorted electronics and filthy synthesizer keep it rooted in a more industrial sound. The best stuff on here are tracks like "Black Meat And Bones" and closer "Melena's Mask", both evoking the squealing discordance and grinding post-punk guitars of early Godflesh and Head Of David, with some earworm riffage fused to that assault of thunderous oil-drum percussion, clanging noise loops and Rose's creepy vocals, carving out a killer blast of howling, blackened machine-rock. More than ever before, this manages to evoke qualities of both Gnaw Their Tongues/MZ.412 style black industrial, and the apocalyptic pummel of Godflesh; in some ways, this stuff is also reminiscent of labelmates Sektor 304 with the blend of grinding electronic filth and bleak metallic heaviness, and certainly elicits a similarly blackened atmosphere. Totally fitting that the grotesque album art was designed by Sektor 304's Andre Coelho.


Track Samples:
Sample : SEWER GODDESS-Painlust
Sample : SEWER GODDESS-Painlust
Sample : SEWER GODDESS-Painlust



K.S.K.N.P. (KERRSTILLINGSKOZLETSKYNYSTROMPETRUS)   Death Instruktions   LP   (Malignant)    18.98



    Delivering exactly the sort of high-grade industrial deathdrive you'd expect from a group made up of some of the most formidable names in contemporary death industrial (Steel Hook Prostheses' John Stillings and Larry Kerr, Peter Nystrom of Megaptera/Negru Voda, Robert C. Kozletsky of Shock Frontier, and Stephen Petrus of Murderous Vision), K.S.K.N.P. debuts with the seven-song monstrosity Death Instruktions, a collective descent into the more nightmarish depths of mechanized soundscapery that's at least as grim and grisly as any of their respective projects.

    Starting with the rumbling dissonance and crushing metallic reverberations of "Scorched Skeletal Remains", the group proceed to forge an exceedingly bleak vision of hideously charred topography and concrete-covered killing fields, unleashing clusters of discordant notes hovering in nebulous forms over an excruciating onslaught of fractured glacial rhythms and eerie vocalizations. Fans of any one of these groups will be able to pick out signature traits of each, but this really works as a cohesive performance with the various elements blending together, slowly unfolding into a blackened rotting environment that sprawls across fields of mesmeric tribal rhythms and vile, processed vocals, insectoid electronics swarming in black masses over cold, desolate drones, utterly malevolent synthesizers sweeping like polluted, toxic clouds over each of these morbid driftscapes. Sinister chanting floats over sheets of seething bacterial activity, while coldly chiming tones linger at the edges of the recording. Distorted, demonic howls puncture the crackling factory-floor atmosphere, and those tribal drums slip in and out of earshot, disappearing for long stretches as desolate ambient drift takes over, before thundering back in on tracks like "The Executioner" in a wall of rumbling, wall-rattling power, surrounded by those sickening, distortion-saturated screams and ghostly wisps of minimal melodic synth. Distant, ritualistic gongs and ominous ghost-knocks echo over washes of vast choral sound and orchestral murmurs, giving way to murderous samples awash in buzzing, crystalline electronics. This is really primo stuff, jet-black, one of the finest evocations of an apocalyptic hell that Malignant has birthed in the past year. Oppressively bleak listening, but with traces of haunting musicality fleeting amid the corroded, corrupted ambience. A great debut from the project, issued in a limited run of two hundred fifty hand-numbered copies.




ABJECTION RITUAL   Futility Rites   CD   (Malignant)    10.98














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



     Pay no mind to the cheeky text along the spine of Primitive Terror Action / The Rape Of The Blue Planet that states this is "True Swedish Danceable Black Metal". This is filthy, thoroughly corroded industrial punishment from Swedish death industrial pioneer Peter Nystrom of Megaptera / Negru Voda fame, with not a glint of metal to be found. This double disc set is a fuckin' massive reissue of the complete recorded works of this late 90's project, and includes the Primitive Terror Action Lp that originally came out in 1997 on Slaughter Productions, contributions to the 1999 Cold Meat compilation Esthetiks of Cruelty, demo tracks and a brand new album recorded in 2014, totaling two hours of rumbling, blackened noisescapes that billow out of your speakers like clouds of choking ash and acrid smoke.

     The wall of crackling, oppressive noise that Peter Nystrom creates on Primitive Terror Action foreshadows the "HNW" aesthetic, and is as dense and mesmeric as anything you've heard from the likes of Vomir or The Rita, but the album will also delve into more rhythmic industrial pieces like "Breakfast At West's", where distorted loops form into trance-inducing rhythmic churn overlaid with sheets of heavily textured noise and blasts of gritty hiss. Much of Primitive is built around these looping power-tool drones, a distorted rattling that seethes beneath his bursts of sheet-metal abuse and tortured electronics, at some points transforming the scream of warped metal into sinister half-formed melodies, while consistently maintaining an oppressively dark atmosphere that hangs over the entire album. Pretty powerful stuff, dirty charred deathdrones suspended in a storm of distortion, stretched out and battered by blasts of blackened static and rampant machine noise, lone doleful synthesizer notes shot out into raging storms of speaker-shredding violence, and ghostly vocals obscured by waves of smoldering sonic magma that eventually drifts into strange noisescapes, filled with abstract bleeps and bloops amid gales of junk-metal abuse and amplified scrap-scrape. Old-school industrial noise really doesn't get better than this.

     The demo tracks that round out the rest of the first disc are an interesting deviation from the dark industrial noise of the album, on some tracks utilizing hammering drum machine rhythms and ominous, almost gothy synthesizers that hang in the background, buried in filthy sonic murk and distortion. Some of this stuff almost sounds to me like a dirtier, more aggressive version of some of the earlier Sisters of Mercy stuff, weirdly enough - but of course enshrouded in coarse distorted static; there's definitely a dancefloor vibe to a couple of those tracks. Otherwise, you get more of that vast murky deathdrone, as ghastly voices echo from the depths of some black pit, or threatening high-voltage electrical pulsations get strung out into tense drones, or hellish hornet-swarms swirling around monstrous processed vocals, or glacial mechanical rhythms throb and clank beneath arcs of searing kosmische blackness. It's relentless.

     Though the material was apparently recorded more than a decade later, the new album Rape Of The Blue Planet picks up right where those 90s sessions left off, unleashing eight more violent blasts of pummeling machine noise and corroded loops, desolate factoryscape ambience and murky rhythmic churn, and oceanic masses of suffocating junkmetal avalanche that obliterates everything. The oppressive feel of the older material is still there, sometimes approaching a death industrial-level of menace on tracks like "Hjärntvätteriet", thanks to the appearance of John Stillings (Steel Hook Prostheses), who lends his vicious, ultra-distorted shriek. There's a couple of new wrinkles in the sound as well, like the blasts of processed orchestral sound that occasionally blare across the rumbling, churning noise, and an added psychedelic quality when the atonal synth melodies emerge over locomotive rumblings and crushing, broken percussive rhythms begin to stagger out of the toxic haze.

     Obviously Megaperta fans are going to want to add this to their collection, as this project sees Nystrom exploring a similar blasted wasteland of blackened industrial textures, but anyone into abrasive, terrifying industrial noise from this era needs to hear it. It's absolutely crushing. Comes in digipack packaging.


Track Samples:
Sample : OBSCENE NOISE KORPORATION-Primitive Terror Action / The Rape Of The Blue Planet
Sample : OBSCENE NOISE KORPORATION-Primitive Terror Action / The Rape Of The Blue Planet
Sample : OBSCENE NOISE KORPORATION-Primitive Terror Action / The Rape Of The Blue Planet
Sample : OBSCENE NOISE KORPORATION-Primitive Terror Action / The Rape Of The Blue Planet



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



     Since their formation in the early 90's, the American duo Yen Pox has produced a modest number of releases that have gone on to become highly regarded within the dark ambient scene. In fact, the band's 1995 debut album Blood Music is considered by many (myself included) to be one of the preeminent dark ambient albums of all time, right up there with Lustmord's Heresy, Inade's Aldebaran and Lull's Dreamt About Dreaming, a masterpiece of lightless isolationist sound. Though we've been treated to a new Yen Pox release every several years or so - the most recent was the Universal Emptiness 10" EP that surfaced on Drone Records a couple of years ago - it's always an event whenever these guys re-emerge with more of their awesome black driftscapes.

     And I'd be lying if I said that there was any dark ambient album coming out this year that had me as excited as Between The Horizon And The Abyss. Only the third full-length album to come from Yen Pox (not including their excellent 2002 collaboration with Troum Mnemonic Induction) and the first from the band in more than fifteen years, Abyss is exactly the sort of vast, monolithic soundscapery that I hoped for, the album unfolding into eight massive tracks of pitch-black orchestral drone and immense gas-clouds of nebular synthdrift. We're talking classic Yen Pox, a direct continuation of the flawless sound of the iconic 90's works, each track a self-contained symphony of ever-shifting sound resonating with vast power, each an exquisitely crafted arrangement of swelling murky drones and distant, crushing mechanical rumblings. Terrifying and awesome, and often monstrously heavy, with tracks like "The Awakening" slipping into grinding industrialized loopscapes that reverberate with nightmarish, doom-laden intensity, and "Cold Summer Sun" seethes with cacophonic percussive sounds and scuttling, insectile horrors all bathed in an ocean of reverb. Choral voices are stretched across time and space, laid over massive planes of deep, bass-heavy ambient drone and ghastly time-stretched cries; several tracks feature the wordless ululations of Ruby Smith from Dark Muse, which turns tracks like "Ashen Shroud" into something akin to hearing Dead Can Dance's Lisa Gerrard tumbling into a starless void, while the almost operatic shrieks that streak and swarm across the churning black chaos-drone of closer "The Procession" are like something distilled directly from the most horrifying of night terrors. While at times also cut with shafts of stunning, celestial beauty, this is primarily music of the abyss, easily one of the finest dark ambient albums to have emerged thus far in the decade. As immersive and awe-inspiring a slab of fearsome kosmische sound as you would hope for from these legends in the field. Highly recommended.


Track Samples:
Sample : YEN POX-Between The Horizon And The Abyss
Sample : YEN POX-Between The Horizon And The Abyss
Sample : YEN POX-Between The Horizon And The Abyss



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