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35007 - Phase V (IMPORT) (LP) Cover Art 35007 - Phase V (IMPORT) (LP)

Deluxe gatefold sleeve.

If youíve heard Liquid and the earlier EP, Sea of Tranquility, you can form some expectations without being way off. However, rather than putting out re-hashed material, the band goes further and delivers an album that is fresh and captivating in its own self. While the overall feel of Liquid was mellow, Phase V feels simply heavier. There is also plenty of variations, psychedelia, even groove. This album is a success on many levels. Not only did 35007 maintain their position by putting out yet another excellent, flawless album, but theyíve managed to fill that void in music that needs psyche provoking sounds, beautiful yet powerful melodies, perfect arrangement and masterful execution. This is the job only 35007 can do. And thatís what makes them and their latest album so special. Theyíve delivered plenty of amazing material and although each of their previous four albums is nothing short of a masterpiece, Phase V might yet be hailed as their best.

Phase V is decidedly more mellow than Liquid and also free of long buildups. It really is a joy to listen to. It's seems to me to have a huge Pink Floyd influence with the keyboards, delicate guitar and stong basslines and of course the intricate layering and effects. If you've ever had any doubt about 35007 then Phase V will wash them away. Pelican? Karma to Burn? HA! Step forth 35007, for you are the new kings of instrumentalism!

It follows in the band's progression from their earlier work to Liquid. It is flowing, yet heavy, and very melodic. A few other things I really like about this album (and band) are their use of tempos and dynamics. The album builds to a crescendo near the end, swelling and then you are let down gracefully by the last track.

Out of Stock
Price: $27.99
A Storm of Light - As the Valley of Death Becomes Us Our Silver Memories Fade (IMPORT) (2LP) Cover Art A Storm of Light - As the Valley of Death Becomes Us Our Silver Memories Fade (IMPORT) (2LP)

Guest appearances by Kim Thayil (Soundgarden), Jarobe (Swans), Kris Force (Amber Asylum), Nerissa Campbell, and members of Book of Knots, and U.S. Christmas.

Deluxe gatefold sleeve.


By initially combining elements of sludge and doom metal, post metal, and epic ambient soundscape experimental music, with their third album, ďAs the Valley of Death Becomes Us, Our Silver Memories FadeĒ, A Storm of Light have developed even further into a much more potent and cohesive unit with what ultimately is easily their strongest release to date. By embracing musical templates more associated with traditional metal (i.e. mid-era Metallica) and traditional rock (i.e. AC/DC, QOTSA), while still maintaining the bandís forward thinking progressive vibe, ďAs the Valley of Death Becomes Us...Ē presents a more song-oriented A Storm of Light while at the same time, a band that has incorporated a heavier, harder-hitting, and ultimately darker and more crushing vibe to their music. Out of all of his musical and artistic endeavors Graham has been involved in the new A Storm of Light album will stand as one of his most prominent accomplishments.

In Stock
Price: $30.99
Altar of Plagues - Tides (IMPORT) (CD) Cover Art Altar of Plagues - Tides (IMPORT) (CD)



Irelandís Altar of Plagues produced perhaps 2009ís best black metal debut album in the shape of the excellent White Tomb. Drawing on obvious influences like Wolves in the Throne Room, it achieved distinctive results with its rich textures and expanses of desolate blackened ambience, which were allowed to mingle with elements thrown in from leftfield (Watchers Restrainedís Khanate homage springs to mind). Tides picks up where that left off fairly seamlessly (though you wonít find anything quite as unexpected as avant-drone here), and those who wallowed in its melancholy atmosphere will find this as comfortable and unchallenging as a pair of old slippers.

In Stock
Price: $11.99
Black Magician - Nature is the Devil's Church (IMPORT) (CD) Cover Art Black Magician - Nature is the Devil's Church (IMPORT) (CD)



Black Magician's first album, 'Nature is the Devil's Church', is doom as fucking fuck. This isn't your fusion doom, or your experimental doom, this is doom doom - traditional doom with heavy, slow riffs, glacial jams echoing across black tundras, emitted by bearded men, with SGs and Orange amps, playing at fucking Stonehenge. Taking cues from Black Sabbath, Cathedral, Saint Vitus and more recently Electric Wizard, Orange Goblin, and the sadly-defunct Reverend Bizarre, Black Magician are sent from Liverpool to take and sacrifice our children, and I say good luck to them. It's about fucking time. Doom is often seen as a jumping-off point into other genres - funereal doom, blackened doom, experimental doom, drone doom - which means that often, just plain old doom metal is neglected. Black Magician are here to prove that this need not be the case.

Black Magician seem to have cast a spell taking doom back to the time when it meant folk with long hair and flares listening to Cathedral. When mushroom freaks like Acrimony would be given column inches in Terrorizer. Y'know, when being into doom meant you were into 70s rock by default. The thing that really sets Black Magician apart is their use of the organ. Come on, who the hell doesn't like a good bit of fuzzy 70s organ? Brings to mind things like Jacula and other obscurities. They're not afraid to break out of the doom crawl tempo either. Basically, this is the real deal when it comes to doom. Loads of Black Sabbath and other old-fashioned doom riffage, fuzzy organs, long hair, hammer horror-esque lyrics about medieval England, flares, skulls. The song writing is spot on and so is the production. It's everything you want in a doom album.

Maybe itís the cultural remnants of the Second Pandemic, but thereís just something even more miserable about classic British doom. The five-piece Black Magician released their debut album, Nature is the Devilís Church, and throughout the recordís five tracks, the band capture the eerie stillness of a rolling English countryside, the ancient malevolence of pagan Christianity, and a healthy doses of Cathedral and Celtic Frost, comporting with long-forgotten demons and tried and true tonal weight.

Low Stock
Price: $15.99
Conan - Monnos (White/Blue) (IMPORT) (LP) Cover Art Conan - Monnos (White/Blue) (IMPORT) (LP)

Limited edition repress on white and blue marble colored vinyl. Deluxe gatefold sleeve.

Conan are as heavy as interplanetary thunder amplified through the roaring black hole anus of Azathoth. A three piece, in the grand tradition of many amazing fabulous three pieces that hold a tight line and an iron-grip command over the uber-synchronised chord changes and tempo-shifts of the holy trio of bass, drums and guitar. Two men have the task of vocalising wretched thoughts over the turgid weight of Conan. They bear it well, for the task is immense. Conan have committed their filthy, ocean-sized sound to wax (and the slightly less cvlt compact disc) twice thus far- with more fetid output always on the horizon. First came the hulking mass of debut album Horseback Battle Hammer (Throne, Aurora Borealis), followed by a split with like-minded sludge-lords, Slomatics (Head of Crom, Burning World).

Out of Stock
Price: $25.99
Conan/Slomatics - Split CD (IMPORT) (CD) Cover Art Conan/Slomatics - Split CD (IMPORT) (CD)



Slow motion syrup drip from across the sea by way of Conan and Slomatics, a crushing unity of minimalist rock throb harnessing the dwarfing power of distorted bass. Like a beamed in message from some transdimensional epoch since past, the warping haze of the sludge whipped up here casts a spell of goopy obliteration aimed directly at the quivering flesh. Skin trickles and sloughs, exhaustion creeps in, and the glaring cough of the sun drenches your eyes as you helplessly gaze across a dead, wretch desertscape. Make no mistake-the cover art here is fucking spectacular. But the music contained within more than fulfills the promise made by the accompanying inks and colors.

Conan open the set with three tracks of their meandering, quasi-hypnotic stripped down approach to the low end. Here the band dials in on a narrow wavelength and stays true to the path defined by their previous work. Slow, lurching melodic basslines, jazz-inflected drums that skip, stutter, and lope drunkenly across your ears, and a scathing vocal that owes far more to Tom Araya's aesthetic than anything even approaching melody. Imagine Kyuss sans guitar, given over completely to the sanctifying tone of pulsing bass amplification, and you're getting there. Take all the overt heaviness out of that and you're left with nothing but the idea, and that's where Conan thrive. There's an aura of restraint in Conan's work that yields something akin to mesmerization, a willingness to allow the band more space than you'd give your average doom merchants or sludge slingers. There's a touch here, something delicate amidst the crumbling, driven fury.

As good as Conan's slaying side is, Slomatics takes it further out and does it a tweak better. The band traffics in a slow motion gruel that hearkens their Irish rock roots (the melodious harmonization of Thin Lizzy) and throws them against the belligerence of abrasive contemporaries like the Electric Wizard or Bunkur. Whatever room to breathe was afforded by Conan is completely vacuumed out by Slomatics, who erect a veritable wall of bruising distortion and thudding, aching drum terror. The vocals are an echoed out wreckage of void, a faraway cry of disgust and contempt, like the reverbations of a lunatic in the hollows of space. Slomatics favor a tongue in cheek classicism that isn't afraid to indulge in the approximation of solo guitar heroism or the grandiosity of compositional excess (again ala Thin Lizzy); somehow they're able to transform those tropes into something that sounds like it belongs in the annals of doom without taking itself so horribly serious.

Low Stock
Price: $14.99
Conan/Slomatics - Split LP (White) (IMPORT) (LP) Cover Art Conan/Slomatics - Split LP (White) (IMPORT) (LP)

Limited edition on white colored vinyl.

Slow motion syrup drip from across the sea by way of Conan and Slomatics, a crushing unity of minimalist rock throb harnessing the dwarfing power of distorted bass. Like a beamed in message from some transdimensional epoch since past, the warping haze of the sludge whipped up here casts a spell of goopy obliteration aimed directly at the quivering flesh. Skin trickles and sloughs, exhaustion creeps in, and the glaring cough of the sun drenches your eyes as you helplessly gaze across a dead, wretch desertscape. Make no mistake-the cover art here is fucking spectacular. But the music contained within more than fulfills the promise made by the accompanying inks and colors.

Conan open the set with three tracks of their meandering, quasi-hypnotic stripped down approach to the low end. Here the band dials in on a narrow wavelength and stays true to the path defined by their previous work. Slow, lurching melodic basslines, jazz-inflected drums that skip, stutter, and lope drunkenly across your ears, and a scathing vocal that owes far more to Tom Araya's aesthetic than anything even approaching melody. Imagine Kyuss sans guitar, given over completely to the sanctifying tone of pulsing bass amplification, and you're getting there. Take all the overt heaviness out of that and you're left with nothing but the idea, and that's where Conan thrive. There's an aura of restraint in Conan's work that yields something akin to mesmerization, a willingness to allow the band more space than you'd give your average doom merchants or sludge slingers. There's a touch here, something delicate amidst the crumbling, driven fury.

As good as Conan's slaying side is, Slomatics takes it further out and does it a tweak better. The band traffics in a slow motion gruel that hearkens their Irish rock roots (the melodious harmonization of Thin Lizzy) and throws them against the belligerence of abrasive contemporaries like the Electric Wizard or Bunkur. Whatever room to brea he was afforded by Conan is completely vacuumed out by Slomatics, who erect a veritable wall of bruising distortion and thudding, aching drum terror. The vocals are an echoed out wreckage of void, a faraway cry of disgust and contempt, like the reverbations of a lunatic in the hollows of space. Slomatics favor a tongue in cheek classicism that isn't afraid to indulge in the approximation of solo guitar heroism or the grandiosity of compositional excess (again ala Thin Lizzy); somehow they're able to transform those tropes into something that sounds like it belongs in the annals of doom without taking itself so horribly serious.

Out of Stock
Price: $25.99
Gnaw Their Tongues - L'arrivee de la Terne Mort Triomphante (IMPORT) (LP) Cover Art Gnaw Their Tongues - L'arrivee de la Terne Mort Triomphante (IMPORT) (LP)

Deluxe gatefold sleeve.

This is a highly intricate album that features a raw black metal background while incorporating diverse musical arrangements and a profound level of experimentation. By diverse musical arrangements I mean by piercing violins, ghastly choir vocals and malevolent orchestrated passages that wouldn’t sound out of place in some legitimate horror film. Morie’s talent lies in his ability to incorporate these elements in a relatively structure free environment. A perfect example to make would be Sunn O’s Big Church. I’m not trying to compare each band’s sound but Gnaw Their Tongues has that same element of unpredictability to their music. One minute you have droning rhythms grounding and pounding your ears into submission until the song breaks into a momentary wash of ambient keyboards and piano before finally erupting back into chaos.

Low Stock
Price: $27.99
Israthoum - Monument of Brimstone (IMPORT) (LP) Cover Art Israthoum - Monument of Brimstone (IMPORT) (LP)



Israthoum’s black metal has enough reference points to make any listener instantly comfortable, but feels varied, creative and passionate. The Necromorbus sound was a perfect choice, with the guitars kept hard-edged, churning and creepy, the bass high and the vocals absolutely feral. If you were looking to take a chance on an unknown black metal band, I would wholly recommend you scout out this album – chaotic, harsh and dark, it won’t fail to please.

Low Stock
Price: $17.99
Lustmord - Zoetrope (IMPORT) (2LP) Cover Art Lustmord - Zoetrope (IMPORT) (2LP)

180gr. black vinyl. Deluxe gatefold sleeve.

Fans of Lustmord know that he is the master of darkness (Heresy, The Place Where the Black Stars Hang), but this thing is just plain evil. During one of the nerve-jangling tracks, you can hear a man choking to death. This is extremely unnerving. While I can fall asleep into the sinister darkness while listening to Black Stars, this one leaves me sweating as I anticipate my violent death.

In Stock
Price: $30.99
   
 
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