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Myrkur “Folkesange” (Relapse)

2020-03-20T19:54:34+00:00March 19th, 2020|

Amalie Bruun has always paved her own path, challenging underground preconceptions of heavy metal ever since the release of her debut Myrkur EP in 2014. Her first two full-length studio albums, 2015’s M and 2017’s Mareridt, recast black metal in the most personal yet expansive of terms, their blending of Amalie’s Danish folk roots with tempestuous internal struggles breathing new life into a subgenre whose followers can be rigidly possessive.

With the release of her new album, Folkesange, Amalie Bruun has set out to journey into the very heart of the Scandinavian culture that marked her childhood. Folkesange relinquishes black metal for a refined yet far-reaching evocation of traditional folk, combining songs ancient and new to sublimely resonant effect.

After the nightmare-induced visions that wrought themselves throughout Mareridt, Folkesange offers an emotional sanctuary, a means to reconnect to something permanent and nature-aligned. It’s an awareness that’s become deeply bound to the album’s organic, regenerative spirit, from the opening track Ella’s heartbeat, frame-drum percussion and crystalline vocals that become the grounding for a rapt, richly textured awakening, to the gentle carousel of the closing Vinter, with its nostalgia-steeped connotations of seasonal, snowfall-bewitched awe.

Storytelling, rites of passage, and the invocation of a continuity that passes through time and generation are all part of folk music’s tapestry, and Folkesange taps into all these currents in their most essential form. In part a purist’s approach to the genre, free from over-interpretation and fusion, the use of traditional instruments throughout, such as nyckelharpa, lyre, and mandola offer a deeper, more tactile connection to their source, an unbroken line of communication back to the past.

But the album is no museum piece; it resonates in the here and now, aided by the spacious production of Heilung member and musical collaborator Christopher Juul. Cinematic yet intimate, Folkesange exists in a state of boundless reverie, bourne by string-led drones, cyclical, elegiac rhythms and Amalie’s frictionless voice, all carrier signals for deep-rooted, ancestral memories, and associations felt on an elemental level.

An immersive experience in its own right, but also belonging to a wider, pagan folk-based renaissance that has attracted a devoted following worldwide, Folkesange answers a need that has become ever more pressing in turbulent times. A zeroing in on a resonance that is both intrinsic and enduring, it’s a rediscovery of personal grounding, and an experience that reaches beyond culture to remind us of a shared, deeply rooted inheritance. A tuning fork that binds the personal and the universal, Folkesange is a reminder that the most transcendent experiences are those closest to home.

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Raspberry Bulbs “Before the Age Of Mirrors” (Relapse)

2020-03-13T20:34:38+00:00February 20th, 2020|

New York’s RASPBERRY BULBS (featuring members of BONE AWL and RORSCHACH,) make their Relapse Records debut with their highly anticipated new album, Before the Age of Mirrors. Forever defying the conventions of underground music, RASPBERRY BULBS continue to push the envelope via their subversive take on occult Punk and Black Metal. Through maniacal lyricism, raw guitar snarls channeled through gritty, 4 track recordings, and a wall of distortion, RASPBERRY BULBS suffocate the listener every step of the way.

RASPBERRY BULBS emphasize the volatile, confrontational attitudes of Punk with the discordant sounds of Lo-Fi Black Metal and inspirational fever dreams found only in weird fiction. In the band’s own words, “parts paranoia, anger, and insane humor to satisfy the most cynical minds, Before the Age of Mirrors was crafted for the times where we desperately look for a way forward and we seem, at this dazzling stage, almost prepared to step through the mirror.”

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Death “Live In LA” (Relapse)

2019-12-13T05:59:17+00:00December 13th, 2019|

DEATH’s limited edition Live in L.A. (Death & Raw) double LP is a testament to the band’s legacy and sees the legendary Chuck Schuldiner and co. at the height of their collective powers. With the band shredding through choice tracks such as “Spirit Crusher”, “Crystal Mountain”, And “Symbolic”, Live in L.A. (Death & Raw) remains one of death metal’s most celebrated live releases! Available on vinyl for the first time in 10 years.

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Merzbow “Pulse Demon” (Relapse)

2019-12-13T05:59:16+00:00December 13th, 2019|

Relapse with a remastered reissue from the undisputed king of Japanese noise. “Pulse Demon” is one of the most celebrated releases of Masami Akita’s storied 4 decade long career. Composed entirely by live noise concrete and the use of a fuzz box, “Pulse Demon” eschews all overdubs and studio trickery, laying Merzbow bare. What follows in these recordings is the pure essence of unfettered noise. The rawness in “Pulse Demon” is palpable; praised as “genuinely extreme, downright torturous sounds that are strangely compelling in their shredding intensity.” (A.V. Club) upon its original release in 1996.

Remastered by James Plotkin (ISIS, Electric Wizard, and more,) the “Pulse Demon” reissues features “Extract 1”, a never-before released track that was recorded as part of the original “Pulse Demon” sessions.

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Zonal “Wrecked” (Relapse)

2019-10-31T23:38:36+00:00October 31st, 2019|

ZONAL, the brainchild of Justin Broadrick (Godflesh/Jesu/JK Flesh) and Kevin Martin (The Bug/Ming Midas Sound) present their monumental Relapse Records debut, “Wrecked”. ZONAL continues where their previous collaboration Techno Animal left off, and combines a brutal ongoing obsession with beats, bass, dub, drone, noise and riff.
Under their new guise, the enigmatic duo push the parameters and atmospheres that have earned them critical acclaim further and deeper; ZONAL’s sound has become ever more corrupted, corroded, slower and lower; with the theme of exploring inner/outer space acts as the gelling agent for this shockingly monolithic sound. Anyone who witnessed their sonic destruction and lyrical detonation c/o MOOR MOTHER at both ROADBURN and UNSOUND festivals will not be disappointed by the slo-mo meltdown.

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Gatecreeper “Deserted” (Relapse)

2019-10-11T03:15:05+00:00October 11th, 2019|

GATECREEPER return with their highly anticipated new album Deserted. The new album, a furious mix of snarling guitars and driving, rhythmic pummeling takes death metal from its 80’s Floridian roots and 90’s Swedish expansion straight into the here and now. In fact, the vanguard of death metal in 2019 can be found under Arizona’s searing sun. That’s where GATECREEPER members—Chase Mason, guitarist Eric Wagner, bassist Sean Mears, drummer Matt Arrebollo and guitarist Nate Garrett—make their homes.

Of course, the band nodded to their scorching home state with the title of their 2016 full-length debut, Sonoran Depravation. The theme continues on Deserted, which boasts songs like “Sweltering Madness,” “Boiled Over” and the double-meaning title track.

You can hear the results on “From The Ashes,” a crushing cut primed for the European festival circuit. Over on side two, “Boiled Over” fuses classic BOLT THROWER with the pulverizing power grooves of sludge titans CROWBAR. Album closer “Absence Of Light” upholds GATECREEPER’s tradition of finishing their records with a deathly doom dirge.

Deserted was recorded at Homewrecker Studios in Tucson, where GATECREEPER co-produced the album with engineer Ryan Bram. CONVERGE guitarist Kurt Ballou handled the mix at Godcity in Salem, MA, and Brad Boatright mastered the album at Audiosiege in Portland, OR. Deserted’s hallucinatory cover art was created by Brad Moore (TOMB MOLD, MORPHEUS DESCENDS, and more.)

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Exhumed “Horror” (Relapse)

2019-10-04T03:40:26+00:00October 4th, 2019|

21 years since their murderous debut, EXHUMED rise once again with gore-obsessed death metal on their new brand new album – Horror. Aptly titled, Horror is an exploration of all things macabre, as the undisputed pioneers of neck-breaking riffs plow through 15 of the band’s most intense tracks to date. Nightmares meet shred, as the speed-inducing track “Ravenous Cadavers” highlight EXHUMED’s penchant for blazing, face melting guitar work, while “Naked, Screaming and Covered in Blood” & “Playing With Fear” elevate EXHUMED to levels of grind unheard of since Gore Metal!

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Coffins “Beyond The Circular Demise” (Relapse)

2019-09-27T03:46:57+00:00September 27th, 2019|

Japan’s COFFINS return with their 5th full-length album Beyond The Circular Demise. Recorded and mastered at Noise Room Studio, Beyond The Circular Demise encompasses all of the death and doom that has defined COFFINS and their career as the underground’s torchbearers for over 20 years.

No frills, no trends, no fashion. This is COFFINS at their most unforgiving and uncompromising. Bone crushing riffs are set against pounding war drums, while hallowed screams preach fire and brimstone. Tracks such as “Forgotten Cemetery”, “Impuritious Minds” and more, highlight Beyond the Circular Demise as one of the band’s cornerstone releases. Featuring album art by the legendary Chris Moyen (Incantation, Blasphemy). Prepare for total death!

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Bongzilla “Gateway” (Relapse)

2019-08-16T03:43:51+00:00August 16th, 2019|

With a Sabbath-on-downer-encrusted sound that blends billowing rock, clenched-teeth blues and an underground punk attitude, psychedelic sludgecore masters BONGZILLA fire up thunderous mega-rock with a pronounced emphasis on the big riff. Gateway showcases a BONGZILLA sound fertilized tenfold – simultaneously aggressive and mellow – with thunderous percussion, smoke-seared vocals and infectious, fuzzed-out riffs baked to perfection.

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Torche “Admission” (Relapse)

2019-07-18T23:15:10+00:00July 18th, 2019|

15 years into their career, TORCHE have established themselves as a cornerstone of American heavy rock. Their highly anticipated new album, Admission, sees the band expanding on the themes and songwriting prowess that have always reverberated with music fans throughout their critically acclaimed discography. Everything about Admission feels like an elevation. TORCHE’s guitar work is loaded with powerful, refreshing riffing and an array of profound textures, proving to be more versatile and crushing than ever before. The band’s unforgettable vocal harmonies are met with hook-driven, pop sensibilities that propel the music to new heights. Track such as “Slide”, “Times Missing”, and the monumental title track see TORCHE hone in on these very elements to create one of 2019’s most captivating albums. Admission is a triumph, as it launches TORCHE forward into the next chapter of their already inimitable career.

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Inter Arma “Sulphur English” (Relapse)

2019-07-05T03:20:42+00:00July 5th, 2019|

Richmond’s INTER ARMA, reigning masters of the slow build, continue to trace a distinctly ambitious trajectory through modern metal. Their impulses tend toward the epic, but never bloat; they meld several styles — doom, sludge, and hard psych — without coming off like dilettantes. This newest full-length, Sulphur English, finds them mining deeper in the proggy organic doom fields that made both Paradise Gallows and Sky Burial so thrilling while expanding further the on the psych-folk strain that made those albums’ peaks seem so lofty.

Few metal bands have ever made such effective use of acoustic instruments in truly heavy environments as INTER ARMA do; the acoustic guitar that stitches “Stillness” together is as effective as any overdriven bass; a two-minute gloomy piano-and-feedback piece titled “Observances of the Path” rolls out the carpet for “The Atavist’s Meridian,” an album highlight that rides a gigantic, roomy drum sound into realms akin to a murkier Paradise Lost, a more aggressive Om, and a dreamier, more stoned Kylesa all playing together at once. Few bands make music as engrossing as INTER ARMA; their lengthy, almost meditative songs rumble patiently forward until you’re ready to get thrown off a bridge — and then they throw you, with great force.

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Victims “Horse Theory” (Relapse)

2019-07-05T03:20:42+00:00July 5th, 2019|

Stockholm’s hardcore crust-punk veterans VICTIMS make their Relapse Records debut with their highly anticipated new album, The Horse and Sparrow Theory. Recorded by producer Karl Daniel Lidén (Bloodbath, Katatonia, Craft and more), The Horse and Sparrow Theory clocks in at 28 minutes of relentless insurrection. VICTIMS’ uncompromising take on d-beat and hardcore is a definitive statement of intent, as the band is set to deconstruct the current socio-political climate, bleak outlook of mass class division, industrialization, and the self-absorbed pursuit of greed and corruption.

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Full Of Hell “Weeping Choir” (Relapse)

2019-05-24T20:05:32+00:00May 24th, 2019|

FULL OF HELL make their Relapse debut with their most explosive album to date, Weeping Choir. Dynamic, pissed, and wholly urgent, the highly anticipated Weeping Choir is a definitive statement of intent by one of the underground’s most dynamic and virulent entities. FULL OF HELL have once again culled the extreme elements from hardcore, metal, and power electronics to redefine darkness and sheer brutality. Distorted guitars, and ominous, disparate electronics grind and gnash against rapid-fire drumming, as FULL OF HELL take themes of religion, loss, hatred, and set them ablaze. Recorded by the critically acclaimed Kurt Ballou at GodCity Studio, Weeping Choir sees FULL OF HELL fully unleashed. Abrasive, confrontational, none equal!

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Incantation “Upon The Throne Of Apocalypse” (Relapse)

2019-05-02T22:27:41+00:00May 2nd, 2019|

Inaugural vinyl pressing & remastered audio of Death Metal legends INCANTATION’s Upon the Throne of Apocalypse, the original rough mix of the recording that became the infamous full-length album Mortal Throne of Nazarene. Dynamic-yet-raw, brutal-yet-atmospheric, and death-yet-doomy, Upon the Throne of Apocalypse remaster features the original artwork by Wes Benscoter (Slayer, Nile, Cattle Decapitation).

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Merzbow “Venereology” (Relapse)

2019-03-15T03:58:36+00:00March 15th, 2019|

The undisputed king of Japanese noise MERZBOW returns, as the landmark album Venereology celebrates 25 tinnitus-inducing years with its inaugural vinyl pressing! Remastered by James Plotkin (ISIS, ELECTRIC WIZARD, FULL OF HELL, and more) and featuring reworked art, this is the most extreme recording of harsh electronic sickness you will ever own! Venereology features a second LP with more than 20 minutes of unreleased bonus material.

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Devil Master “Satan Spits On Children Of Light” (Relapse)

2019-03-07T22:56:49+00:00March 7th, 2019|

Philadelphia’s DEVIL MASTER stake their claim as one of the most venomous, twisted entities in the underground with their hellish debut, Satan Spits on Children of Light. The album, recorded, mixed, and mastered by Arthur Rizk (POWER TRIP, MAMMOTH GRINDER, OUTER HEAVEN, and more,) rattles the very gates of hell with a vile dose of black metal-infused punk mayhem. Commanding the steel of VENOM, the fury of BATHORY’s earliest years, and the raw, uncompromising nature of the notorious GISM, Satan Spits on Children of Light sees DEVIL MASTER emerge from the grave and reach new blasphemous heights. Give in to the Satanic panic and obey your DEVIL MASTER!

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Obscura “Omnivium” (Relapse)

2019-02-08T19:24:47+00:00February 8th, 2019|

2LP repress of Obscura’s long out-of-print third LP. A progressive Death Metal masterpiece of the highest order!

Omnivium finds OBSCURA pushing the progressive edges of the genre’s sounds to new heights while delivering the technical metal that has become their calling card. OBSCURA gracefully blends brutality and beauty with complex, commanding songs played at stunningly virtuosic levels.

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Obscura “Retribution” (Relapse)

2019-02-08T19:24:47+00:00February 8th, 2019|

The debut album from Germany’s progressive metal masters, available on vinyl for the first time ever!

OBSCURA’s Retribution is a beastly album blending the savagery of New York death metal with the fleet-fingered fretting of forerunners Death and Gorguts.

 

 

 

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Suffocation “Despise The Sun” (Relapse)

2019-02-08T19:24:47+00:00February 8th, 2019|

One of the most crushing releases in the brutal Death Metal legends’ catalog back on vinyl for the first time in over a decade! Cut at 45 RPM, with revised and reinterpreted artwork by original artist Travis Smith.  New York death metal legends SUFFOCATION are one of the most influential bands in the history of extreme music.  Despise The Sun has been called metal’s most extreme moment!

 

 

 

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Windhand “Eternal Return” (RELAPSE)

2018-10-05T01:23:38+00:00October 5th, 2018|

Eternal Return, the fourth full length from Richmond, Virginia’s heavy psychedelic quartet Windhand represents a new era for the group, a chrysalis moment that takes them to new and unforeseen heights. Across nine songs and 63 minutes, Eternal Return is an infectious display of songcraft cloaked in alluring atmosphere, molten fuzz, eerie psychedelia and ethereal vocals. The album was once again produced by Jack Endino (Nirvana, Soundgarden) with vivid artwork by Arik Roper (Sleep, High on Fire). Equally informed by heavy, fuzzed-out psych along with the iconic grunge / alternative groups of the 90s, Windhand have crafted a record brilliant in scope, powerful in execution, and perfect for an era of increasingly blurry yet still heavy borders.

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Pig Destroyer “Head Cage” (RELAPSE)

2018-09-07T02:14:25+00:00September 7th, 2018|

After six long, harsh years of absence, the mighty Pig Destroyer have reassembled to eradicate eardrums and split skulls with their highly anticipated sixth full-length opus, entitled Head Cage (named after a grisly medieval torture device). A visceral vortex of animalistic rage and extreme sonic brilliance, Head Cage is a true work of extreme metal art, that with the addition of a bass player, is hands down their most dynamic and heaviest recording to date. Across twelve tracks, Pig Destroyer weave together harrowing tales of philosophical dualities, touching on mortality and depression, fear and violence, and the darkest complexities of the human condition, all told through the distorted lens of delightfully transgressive vocalist / lyricist JR Hayes. Musically, the band continues to push the boundaries of metal, grindcore, noise and punk, ramping up the intensity and leaving you bludgeoned in a state of utter shock, all in less than 33 minutes. Head Cage was recorded by guitarist Scott Hull at Visceral Sound Studios, mixed and mastered by Will Putney (Exhumed, Every Time I Die, Body Count) and features striking artwork by Mark McCoy (Full of Hell, Nothing) along with guest vocal appearances by Agoraphobic Nosebleed’s Richard Johnson and Kat Katz plus Full Of Hell’s Dylan Walker.

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