GOLD “OPTIMIST” LP GATEFOLD
CASTLE “SECOND COMING / LABYRINTH OF DEATH” EP
REST “REST” CD
REST’s self-titled debut EP is a punch in the stomach for all All Pigs Must Die and The Secret’s lovers! No compromise crust blackened hardcore for this band hailing from Udine, Italy!
A sick journey in conspiracy and suffering,
POSTVORTA “CARMENTIS” CD
The band: “The “Carmentis” album is the second chapter of the trilogy started by the band with the previous “Aegeria”.
Discomfort, dark soundscapes, all aspects focusing onto loss, mindbreaking suffering and difficult times in life, will go hand in hand with the listener through the whole journey, without mercy.
The album will include important collaborations, featuring Tero Holopainen from the Finnish cult band Callisto who has channelled his visions by writing for the band the song titled “13”, and featuring also Mers Sumida, singer of the New York based band Black Table for the song “Patau”.
LODO “LODO” CD
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”.
AMEBIX “MONOLITH” LP
Amebix is arguably one of the most underrated bands of the 80’s. As the basis for the crust punk sound, Amebix was the blueprint for what the genre would become. Their sound wavered between fast hardcore punk anthems and slow metallic dirges, but it never lost its post apocalyptic edge.
The bands discography can be described as scattered at best, but the two LP’s they did manage to release are the definitive highlights. Arise! was stronger than anything else around it, boasting the trademark apocalyptic mood and the musical edge. It was a dirty album, covered in the dust of ruined buildings and the sunscorched landscape that followed the bombs.
Monolith followed suit, but did so in a much more polished and structured way. The band sounds more like a unit on this outing, focused and driving. The guitars tear through every note, the bass rattles audibly behind, and the drums pound and hammer away like pistons in an engine. The vocals are downright rabid at times, especially in the faster songs. “Time Bomb” sounds like the Baron is barely being held back. You can almost see the venom dripping from his mouth. The lyrics are far from the drivel of the hardcore bands of the day. They are well thought out and lines like “To my wretched son, I leave this gun, to slaughter all of your race” from “Last Will and Testament” and “I just buried a friendHe had come to the end, But I can’t help feeling that it needn’t have been, Caught in the flak, There was no turning back, So he gave up his life for some psychopath’s dream” from “Coming Home” are both punchy and poignant.
The album does have some slight drawbacks that don’t necessarily take away from the album as a whole, but the do interrupt the flow. The band seems to get lost during part of “Nobody’s Driving,” and the fadeout in “Last Will and Testament” happens way too quickly. These are minor flaws in an otherwise excellent album. The band is firing on all cylinders, and past all the grime and violence are some genuinely beautiful moments that sound almost hopeful, especially when the vocals let up and the instruments jam out, which happens often.
Monolith is a gem of an album. It’s mood is dense, and the instruments go from melodic runs to atonal blasts. It’s good even if you have no interest in crust punk. From start to finish, Monolith is a meaningful and worthwhile ride thats worth the price over and over again.
WO FAT “THE BLACK CODE” LP
Speechless. I don’t use that word to often and when I do, it’s usually for something good. If I had to describe The Black Code by Wo Fat with one word, the album would get “speechless”. As soon as The Black Code opens, you’re greeted by heavy as fuck monstrous riffs. The album just flows from start to finish, song to song in an almost seamless fashion. Riff after riff you’re taken back for a nice ride.
I tell you, I’ve heard good albums, bad albums, and a lot in between. So far not much has stacked up to the level in which Wo Fat records. They get all heavy and doomy in a nice updated fashion. They’re not trying to sound retro like a lot of bands do. Instead, Wo Fat keeps it updated and fresh. The bluesy addition to both the lead and rhythm guitars helps give it that great sound. The slight addition of some heavy psych mixed in here and there as well as the classic and southern rock help add to the greatness of this album. If you have a real good sound system or headphones, you’ll really be able to hear the full effect of the album. Make sure you crank up the volume too, this album demands to be played loud.
I make no secret of my love for Dallas’ Wo-Fat. Guitarist Kent Stump lays some riffs so sweet that I fall to my knees and weep and I have no hesitation in proclaiming that bassist Tim Wilson and drummer Michael Walter form one of Texas’ best and heaviest rhythm sections. Not surprisingly, their newest album, The Black Code, is one that delivers the heavy in spades. The band alternately slinks up and then assaults listeners with its Texified, Sabbath infused, stoner rock like a large, deadly cat on the prowl.
WO FAT “THE CONJURING” LP
Being very strongly influenced by 70’s hard rock and stoner metal, Wo Fat’s fifth full-length is about as promising as it gets. The whole album is handled within a short number of five songs and over 47 minutes long throughout those tracks. Of course, while many would say it’s best to listen to an album like this while stoned, hence the name of the genre, I would argue that this album is just as amazing an experience when sober.
The style the band plays of doom is basically them experimenting around a central riff for as long as possible before it starts to get too unexciting or boring. The album on the whole is generally a little fuzzy, but not too much. It features grooves that are especially catchy in the opening title track, though it may be a little too long for it’s own good. This is mostly due to the fact that the guitar solo is put into the outro section of the song, put behind the two verses and choruses which can make it feel long. This is also the case with Dreamwalker, the closer, the is over 17 minutes of the same few riffs. The rest of the tracks rest between the threshold of 6 and 7 and a half minutes which in the context of the record, leaves them not overstaying their welcome.
The majority of the album is excellent, while using a small amount of riffs when compared to the length of the project, it doesn’t take away from the album. If you are into the genre of stoner doom, heavy metal — particularly Sabbath — or doom as a whole, this album is definitely something you should be checking out.
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.
KADAVAR “KADAVAR” LP
Kadavar is the debut studio album by German rock band Kadavar, released on July 10, 2012 by This Charming Man Records/Tee Pee Records. The album consists of six songs, all composed by the band, including the lengthy “Purple Sage”, plus bonus track “Living in Your Head”.
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.
DOWN “IV – PART I THE PURPLE EP” LP
Down IV – Part I (informally known as the The Purple EP) is the first EP by sludge/southern metal band Down. It was released on September 18, 2012. It is the first album featuring bassist Pat Bruders due to the departure of former bassist Rex Brown in 2011, and the last to feature guitarist Kirk Windstein, who left in 2013.