FUCKED UP “YEAR OF THE SNAKE” LP
FUCKED UP “YEAR OF THE DRAGON” LP
ENSLAVED “VERTEBRAE” DOBLE LP
Few bands can boast the genre-bending savviness of Norway’s Enslaved. Spanning black, death and Viking metal with healthy sprinklings of prog and post-rock, the band’s style is anything but predictable. But what largely sets Enslaved apart from others who dabble in different sounds is the band’s authenticity. Few can go from Nordic sing-a-longs to black-metal shrieks and avoid sounding like jackals of all trades. And the thought of melding of dissonant riffs with swaggering beats may strike many as being all over the map. But with Vertebrae, Enslaved has managed to do just that with an album that is complex, abrasive and subtle all at once.
“Clouds” begins with a textural intro recalling vintage Rush, before moving into Viking territory with a set of melodic verses. But it’s not long before the eeriness sets in with a flurry of demonic hurls courtesy of vocalist Grutle Kjellson. “To The Coast” is crushing enough with its initial growls but quickly dissolves into a haze of multi-layered voices and enveloping guitars, all before launching into a staccato vocal affront. “Ground” has a jangly, psychedelic feel that recalls Pink Floyd, as does “Center,” once it moves past the Sabbath-esque intro. The title track is one of the more progressive numbers with an erratic structure that thrives on busy guitars, melodic choruses and some tasty keyboard work—none of which overpowers the other.
With Vertebrae, Enslaved further cements its legacy as an outfit hell-bent on musical exploration and genre manipulation. But besides the sonic barrage of power and volume, it’s largely a melodic album with a meticulous attention to detail.
CROWBAR “THE SERPENT ONLY LIES” LP+CD
Twenty-six years in, and Crowbar sounds more like being killed by a gorilla than ever. On their 11th full-length album, the NOLA sludge-metal quartet returns to form with a pessimistic beatdown that recalls the glory days of classics like 1998’s Odd Fellows Rest. Riff master Kirk Windstein shrieks and groans with snarling vigor, while his chugging guitar parts sport renewed heft due to the return of founding bassist Todd “Sexy T” Strange. Certain metal bands, like cast-iron pans, only get better with age and elbow grease.
FARSIDE “THE MONROE DOCTRINE” LP
Some things are worth the wait. Despite the fact that their last record came out in 1995, doesn’t mean the band hasn’t been busy. The Monroe Doctrine is the culmination of ten years of progression for the band and reflects their diverse mixture of punk, post-punk, indie and pop melodies (not to mention a throw back or two to some good old grind core). “It’s absolutely the best record we’ve ever done,” says the band and they’re not joking.
CATTLE DECAPITATION “THE ANTHROPOCENE EXTINCTION” LP
The The Anthropocene Extinction is Cattle Decapitation’s seventh full length album. It was released on August seventh, 2015. The album primarily focuses upon the human race annihilating itself.
BRAND NEW “THE DEVIL AND GOD ARE RAGING” DOBLE LP
The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me is the third studio album by the alternative rock band, Brand New.
The name of the album came from a conversation frontman Jesse Lacey was having with a friend about musician Daniel Johnston who suffers from schizophrenia.
The record was released in 2006.
MONO “THE LAST DAWN” LP
The Last Dawn is the first of these two companion albums, and is the “lighter” of the two, thematically and melodically. It contains undoubtedly some of MONO’s strongest songs ever, drawing on an array of influences from minimalist film score to vintage shoegaze. It is MONO at their absolute purest, executing an uncanny, unspoken dialogue with each other without the dozens of stringed instruments that have been so prominent throughout their catalog. The songs are also noticeably more efficient – there hasn’t been a MONO full-length record to fit on a single slab of vinyl since 2003’s One Step More And You Die – and the album benefits immeasurably from this streamlined approach. MONO have always been masters of telling compelling stories without words. But now they’ve proven they can do it without frills, too.
MONO “RAYS OF DARKNESS” LP
Rays of Darkness is the first MONO album in 15 years to feature no orchestral instruments whatsoever. That fact alone is remarkable given the band’s reputation for sweeping, dramatic instrumentals that recall Oscar-worthy film scores. Instead, Rays of Darkness more closely resembles a jet engine taking off inside a small, crowded auditorium. It is MONO’s blackest album ever, a collection of scorched riffs, doom rhythms, and an unexpected contribution from post-hardcore pioneer Tetsu Fukagawa of Envy. The album ends with the smoldering wreckage of distorted guitars and ominous drones playing out a eulogy to the days when MONO shot blinding rays of light through seemingly endless darkness.
FANGE “POISSE” LP
Time for something heavy and hard hitting as hell from the depths of hell. FANGE are a loud as fuck Noise/Sludge Metal band put on this planet to scare the utter hell out of you. FANGE are a noisy as hell Sludge Metal band with a delicious dark edge to their music. Their debut release – Poisse – is 30 minutes of finely tuned pile-driving sludge metal riffs that will play havoc with your nervous system.
The vocals from Jean-Baptiste feel they have came from a soundtrack to a violent horror movie from the 70s and 80s. He doesn’t mess around here folks. He is loud, mean and pissed off as hell. From the very first chainsaw based riffs of opening track – Grêle Molle – you can feel the terror and torture of FANGE coming to claim you as their next victim. That’s how powerful and scary their music actually is.
If you’re a fan of Primitive Man then you’re going to love these guys as they play the same kind of filth ridden torturous Sludge Metal riffs that band is known for. It’s hard to believe that this band features members from Huata and Brian Pyramid. Benjamin and Baptiste must have had a really bad day when they decided to form this band with Jean-Baptiste as this is dangerous as hell Sludge Metal with a capital – FUCK ME. THIS IS HEAVY.
FANGE blast their way through a stunning arsenal of tracks to leave you feeling emotionally drained. Though it’s the 8 minute epic – Suaire – that makes this album such a rewarding experience. It’s packed full of ambient based noises before the scary as hell Sludge Metal atmospheric kick into action once again.
I think I have said too much. Take my word – Listen to this album and feel the terrifying experience that is FANGE. A truly intense band have announced their arrival to the world. Pray for us all as it maybe to late to save our souls!!!
SHELTER “PERFECTION OF DESIRE” LP
Their first release. Ray Cappo (Youth Of Today) with music played by Tommy Capone (Beyond, Bold, Quicksand), and Todd, Dave and Bill from CT’s 76% Uncertain. CD includes sermon.
GHOLD “PYR” LP
Ghold return with the next chapter in their ever-expanding direction, emerging with the new album PYR, which also marks the band’s first recording as a trio with multi-instrumentalist/guitarist Oliver Martin.
PYR is towering with a sonic thickness, frantic dizzying energy and shattering immediacy, penetrated by despondent howls and an uncompromising slice of remorselessness. Yet even the seasoned Ghold fans will find something new here, as collaborative noises and instruments creep into their sound. On their third album, they have elevated their tectonic tonality to a level of innate expertise, with an evident sincerity that cannot be learned. Encased in a heavy exoskeleton, these compositions are at their heart achieving the special form of beauty that can only be conveyed by some special artists working in the medium of loud music, and their wide palette and strong instrumental bonds are the result of a fearless approach, drawing inspiration directly from themselves and their surroundings. Influencing the four track album was the band’s previous dwellings, Pyrford House, Brixton (London). At the time of recording it was undergoing vast changes, multiple evictions and imminent demolition. The site no longer exists but the music that was created there shall bellow forward and beyond.
The lyrics harken to the abstract – where the disjointed dystopic present intertwines destructive futures; the successive decline of consciousness and the forced negation between nomadity and nonentity. The artwork is a collection of overlaid images found and arranged to form prismatic and shifting landscapes; uneasy and disorientating – just like the sonic, just like the present.
Closing this raw, honest and unrelenting four-track is ‘Despert Thrang’ – a long-form progressive piece of music that fills the entirety of Side B on the LP, featuring guest vocalist Rose Dagul adding to the disorienting cavalcade that is PYR.
Heavy 12″ black vinyl housed in spined sleeve with double sided insert.
GHOLD “OF RUIN” LP
The two components of bass and drums are bound together so tight on Of Ruin that they resemble a singular gnarled entity, kneading together groove and melody like putty in the palm of their hands, with explosive results. Intrinsically heavy and elastically supercharged, Ghold create a strain of viscous rock that is as plainly devastating as it is capricious, pushing down the scales in a myriad of manners to achieve an ever heavier outcome. The wealth of ideas presented by Paul Antony and Aleks Wilson on Of Ruin surpass the imaginations of the majority, and it’s easy to see why Terrorizer tipped them as one to watch for 2015.
The alchemic duo fuse elements of power violence, doom, gloom and heavy rock with enchanting vocal incantations. Since their inception in 2012, Ghold have been steadily amassing fans of their filth jams from countless shows performing alongside the likes of Yob, Pallbearer, Stephen O’Malley and Årabrot.
Of Ruin was mastered by James Plotkin, and the CD and LP artwork features different paintings by Alex Virji.
DAN SWANO “MOONTOWER” LP
Moontower is a solo studio album by the Swedish musician Dan Swanö.
Dan Swanö described the album as sounding like “If Rush played death metal in the 1970s”.
CULT OF LUNA “MARINER” DOBLE LP
Mariner is a collaborative studio album between the Swedish band Cult of Luna and the American vocalist Julie Christmas, formerly of the bands Made Out of Babies and Battle of Mice. Serving as Cult of Luna’s seventh studio album and the first time Christmas has appeared on the entirety of a full-length album since her 2010 solo debut The Bad Wife, Mariner was released on April 8, 2016 through Indie Recordings. Contrasting the industrial city themes of Cult of Luna’s last studio efforts, Vertikal and Vertikal II from 2013, Mariner focuses its concept on space exploration.
CULT OF LUNA “LIVE AT LA GAITE LYRIQUE: PARIS” TRIPLE LP
Swedish six-piece Cult Of Luna is well known for its mesmerising live shows, so even those with the highest expectations for this release will not be disappointed. This is post-metal at its best, presented on three black or orange/yellow vinyl platters in a trifold sleeve.
ED GEIN “JUDAS GOATS AND DIESELEATERS” LP
The point where grindcore and noisy hardcore meets is where you will find ED GEIN (the band anyway). On “Judas Goats and Dieseleaters” the trio plays a brand of planned wreckage made from piles of iron riffs, clanging bass, and tolerably scathing, pissed off vocals, all of which contains elements of TURMOIL, UNSANE, and (in small doses) musical battering rams like SWARM OF THE LOTUS. A thin coat of sludge covers the album. The music sounds very familiar, but all of it is played with passion.
At an average track length of around two and a half minutes (not counting the 13 minutes or so of hidden messing about that elongates unlisted track 14), the band gets in, rants about a societal/political bug up the butt, and gets out. When the pace slows on “United Ninety Three” and a pavement-scraping riff groove begins, that UNSANE element is brought out and works well in providing an effective break between the amphetamine races on either side. Reading the lyrics, it is readily apparent that ED GEIN doesn’t look to “The O’Reilly Factor” for political direction. The samples of President Bush aren’t exactly placed there to serve as a rallying point for the disenfranchised either. “Small Towns, Small Minds” slams the peanut-brained and inbred ways of the white supremacist, “Christianity as Foreign Policy” is self explanatory, and “We’re Drowning It” runs the gamut of societal/political ills (“drunks, wife beaters, child molesters, racism, sexism, homophobia, plutocracy, bureaucracy, health insurance cancer…”). After 13 tracks, you are then treated to an unlisted cover of NIRVANA’s “Breed”, a rendition that does an already great song big time justice.
Stopping short of producing calamity and noise for the sake of calamity and noise, “Judas Goats and Dieseleaters” is a jarring listen, but it is done with a purpose. The album may not fall into the “totally awesome, dude!” category, but it is a good effort just the same.
CATHEDRAL “IN MEMORIAM” DOBLE LP
Vinyl LP pressing. As with a choice few truly great bands, the first self-financed 1990 cassette recording by Cathedral was a pioneering underground masterpiece in it’s own right – the sound of a young band exploring it’s newfound chemistry, finding confident variations on a flawless list of influences and cultivating a sound and style that would prove hugely inspirational throughout the 1990s and beyond, being a major influence on everyone from Electric Wizard through to Reverend Bizarre. Where most demos are little more than a dry run for the first album, In Memoriam still has it’s own distinct and important identity in the Cathedral canon. The debut LP that followed, Forest Of Equilibrium, has a somber, devout, melodic and mystical grandeur all of it’s own – but In Memoriam has a far murkier, earthier, more deathly intent. Creepy, cryptic and bowel-looseningly heavy, it represents the first time that the doom metal styling’s of Trouble, Saint Vitus, Pentagram, and Watchfinder General had been rendered in a new, more extreme metallic form. At the beginning of the new decade, it was really only Cathedral who were proud to assert the influence of true doom metal – a perennially unfashionable genre, but especially in a turn-of-the-decade metal scene so obsessed with speed, technicality, brutality and modernity.
OBITUARY “FROZEN IN TIME” LP
In early 2004, Obituary finally decided to start working on their sixth studio record. Often, when bands haven’t been together for years, writing sessions are initially strained or unproductive and it takes a while for the musicians to get back on their creative feet. Obituary had no such problem. One listen to the band’s new album, ‘Frozen In Time,’ and it’s clear that Obituary have returned with the same force and fortitude they had in the early ’90s. From start to finish, ‘Frozen In Time’ was created without any major trauma or turbulence. In fact, one of the biggest challenges for Obituary happened after they finished in the studio and were trying to come up with a name for the record. They considered titling it after one of the album tracks, but decided that no single cut could adequately represent the album. They thought about naming it something that would make reference to their reunification after seven long years. Finally, they decided they were best off with ‘Frozen In Time.’
CULT OF LUNA / THE OLD WIND “RAANGEST” LP
FIREBIRD “HOT WINGS” LP
The fourth album by Bill Steer’s Firebird project which he started while still a full time member of Carcass. Firebird presents a retro hard rock style and they derive most of their influences from the American hard rock bands of the 70’s.
FIREBIRD “DOUBLE DIAMOND” LP
CARNIFEX “DIE WITHOUT HOPE” LP
»Die Without Hope« marks the long awaited return of the band, with their fifth full-length album and Nuclear Blast debut. 10 tracks and over 35 minutes of crushing Metal that no fan of Heavy music can deny. Recorded at Audiohammer Studios in Sanford, FL and produced by the esteemed Mark Lewis (ARSIS, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, WHITECHAPEL, DEVILDRIVER, DEICIDE, SIX FEET UNDER), San Diego’s finest Metal export deliver an album that stands as a definitive cornerstone for modern Death Metal. Since their formation, CARNIFEX has proven time and time again that their die-hard fan base combined with their DIY work ethic is unmatched; »Die Without Hope« is no exception.
CANCER BATS “BEARS, MAYORS, SCRAPS & BONES” LP
Bears, Mayors, Scraps & Bones is the third studio album by Canadian hardcore punk band Cancer Bats. In Canada, it was released on April 13, 2010 through Distort Entertainment. The name of the album derives from each of the members’ personal nickname (Mike Peters – Bear; Scott Middleton – Mayor; Liam Cormier – Scraps; Jaye R. Schwarzer – Bones). The first single from the album was “Dead Wrong”. A music video was previously made and released for “Sabotage” when it was released on the band’s EP Sabotage. Pre-orders of the album included a limited bonus DVD consisting of 2 hours of live footage and the making of the album
FIGHT AMP “CONSTANTLY OFF” LP
Philadelphia, PA’s noise rock power trio FIGHT AMPUTATION (also known as FIGHT AMP) return with their heaviest and most mature material to date. Their first new recordings in over three years, the new album Constantly Off is a thunderously heavy blend of grunge, sludgepunk and noise rock. Recorded by Steve Poponi (Into It. Over It., Ladder Devils), FIGHT AMP have perfected their signature sound on Constantly Off, kicking up the riffs and locking in the rhythms with the addition of more focused, melodic vocals. Fans of early Melvins, Nirvana and Eyehategod take note.
LO-PAN “COLOSSUS” LP
Lo-Pan’s fourth album, Colossus, is named for the Colossus of Rhodes – a 96-foot statue constructed in 280 BC to mark a failed siege and the indomitable nature of the city of Rhodes itself. No surprise it’s the Columbus, Ohio, four-piece’s most personal album yet and a testament to their growth and survival, as a band and as human beings.
Three years on from their third record, Salvador, Lo-Pan have logged countless miles, crossing the country multiple times over on headlining tours and supporting the likes of Torche, High on Fire, KENmode, Whores, Fu Manchu and Weedeater. They’ve become one of the most ferocious live acts in American heavy rock, and Colossus stands tall to reap the rewards of their experience.
For the first time in nearly a decade together, Lo-Pan knew exactly what they wanted when they hit the studio. They’d road-tested songs like “Eastern Seas” and “Colossus” for over a year, and partnering with producer/engineer Andrew Schneider at his Translator Audio studio in Brooklyn just days after headlining Small Stone showcases in that city and Boston this March, they belted out songs that show just how much they’ve moved beyond their influences and arrived at their own sound – a style built on aggression without caricature, fuzz without cliché, melody without redundancy and their meanest groove to date.
Completed with a cover courtesy of Jason Alexander Byers (ex-Disengage, Black Black Black), Colossus will be supported by numerous tours including a full US stint this fall alongside fellow road dogs Black Cobra and much more to come. Like its namesake, Colossus was built in defiance of gods and men, and while Lo-Pan’s loudest statement has always been made on stage, the material they craft and the power with which they execute it on this album is bound to stand for years to come.
CANDIRIA “KISS THE LIE” LP
Candiria’s Seventh full length album produced by John LaMacchia and Carley Coma with Additional Guitar contributions from Eddie Ortiz of Cattle Press / The Sheltering Sky. This vinyl 2 X LP edition features artwork from Seldon Hunt and was pressed on Classic Black vinyl and Classic Black and Pure White A Side B Side vinyl as well.
GREENLEAF “TRAILS AND PASSES” LP
Almost by definition, musical side projects aren’t meant to last very long, but rather serve as brief, often one-time departures for musicians otherwise engaged with far more pressing or successful bands — and that’s why Greenleaf has proved itself to be anything but your typical “side project.”
Yes, this Scandinavian music collective has gone through quite the revolving cast since their arrival on the scene, much like an auditory Y2K virus in that fateful millennium flip; but the one constant bond that has repeatedly drawn them together, every few years, like an irresistible gravitational force, is a shared musical vision, straddling the realms of stoner and alternative rock.
Such was the case when Greenleaf first assembled behind Lowrider vocalist Peter Bergstrand for that eponymous, year 2000 debut EP; welcomed Dozer frontman Fredrik Nordin for is 2001 follow-up, Revolution Rock; added Demon Cleaner guitarist Daniel Jansson for 2003’s Secret Alphabets; integrated Truckfighters singer Oskar Cedermalm in time for 2007’s Agents of Ahriman; and powered ahead behind reliable mainstay, guitarist Tommi Holappa, for 2012’s Nest of Vipers.
Now, Greenleaf is on the move again, bidding Cedermalm “adieu” and saying a hearty “hola” to a tandem of new recruits in frontman Arvid Jonsson and drummer Sebastian Olsson, who joined Holappa and long-serving bassist Bengt Bäcke in time to record (incidentally, with no outside help, guest musicians, or other additives) what would become Greenleaf’s next and fifth long-player, Trails and Passes, which is now ready for global release in January 2014, via Small Stone Recordings.
And, as has always been the case with this ever-evolving sonic beast, the music magically draws out the best talents of whoever happens to be involved, resulting in a modern rock amalgam as impossible to simplify as it is futile to want to; after all simultaneously familiar and surprising new sounds seem to be the ultimate thread connecting Greenleaf’s long career.
A career that now sees the group categorically divesting itself of any lingering “side project” associations (ask Holappa and he’ll bluntly tell you it is Dozer that’s become his “side project” these days) and graduating to well-deserved headline status — the better to take the Greenleaf name to the next level on the abundant strengths of Trails and Passes.
Recommended if you like: Dozer, Brain Police, Sasquatch, Graveyard, Monster Magnet, Clutch, The Brought Low, Truckfighters, Lowrider, The Socks, Skanska Mord, Dwellers, Roadsaw, 7Zuma7, Kiss, Deep Purple, Grand Funk, and any thing else that rocked in 1974.
WVRM “HEARTACHE” LP
WVRM has crawled out of Greenville South Carolina and is PISSED. The band meshes perfectly together a precise grindcore sound with a darkened hardcore edge to it. Six lightning quick blasts on the first side and two angry evil longer tracks on the reverse. Sardonic, brooding, and generally misanthropic, Heartache will make your heart actually hurt a bit after listening to it for better or for worse. I highly suggest this record for when your hatred for humanity has reached a high threshold and you need something to release that feeling. Amazing full color artwork by Matt Stikker.
BUIO MONDO “ITALIA VIOLENTA” LPSu Buio Mondo:
“Buio Mondo muove i suoi passi tra il nefasto immaginario di Carpenter e l’oscura fantasia dei Goblin. Come il cinema del grande Dario Argento, ci immerge in un universo dove i sogni diventano una terribile realtà, un avvertimento da parte di quei demoni che si annidano tra le pieghe dell’esistenza.” – Cthulhu (Cosmic Tentacles Webzine)About Buio Mondo:
“Buio Mondo moves between the ominous world of John Carpenter and the dark fantasy of Goblin. Just like the cinema of the great Dario Argento, it immerses us in a universe where dreams become a terrible reality, a warning from those demons who dwell behind the scenes of existence.” – Cthulhu (Cosmic Tentacles Webzine)
creditsreleased September 12, 2014