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Aldebaran - Embracing the Lightless Depths (IMPORT) (CD) Cover Art Aldebaran - Embracing the Lightless Depths (IMPORT) (CD)

Produced by Billy Anderson.

“Embracing The Lightless Depths” is the height of ALDEBARAN’s musical oeuvre, easily the heaviest and most searing work they’ve delivered. It is the most powerful monument in their repertoire that will seal ALDEBARAN’s fate as one of the mightiest and most important death/doom metal bands today. Emerging from their beginnings which leaned more towards a sludgier and more vitriolic breed of volatile doom, “Embracing The Lightless Depths” is the result of a threatening culmination that the Portland, Oregon cult have been building towards. One that has revealed itself as a monstrosity of apocalyptic proportions.

In Stock
Price: $13.99
Altar of Plagues - Mammal (IMPORT) (CD) Cover Art Altar of Plagues - Mammal (IMPORT) (CD)



In what will be seen as the band’s darkest, bleakest, and most gut-wrenching release out of their illustrious repertoire, “Mammal” is a surging and absorbing musical journey that focuses on our quest to explore further our state of mortality and what lies beyond the mortal coil.

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Price: $12.99
Apostle of Solitude - Last Sunrise (IMPORT) (CD) Cover Art Apostle of Solitude - Last Sunrise (IMPORT) (CD)

Features the covers of The Obsessed's "Streetside", The Misfits' "Astro Zombies" and Born Against's "Mary and Child".

It's hard to say if they topped Sincerest Misery, because they didn't try to out-do that album, they came in with a fresh approach and vision, added some new elements, and made an album that stands on its own as undoubtedly one of the finest that will be released in 2010.

In Stock
Price: $6.66
Atriarch - Ritual of Passing (IMPORT) (CD) Cover Art Atriarch - Ritual of Passing (IMPORT) (CD)



Atriarch’s Ritual of Passing is a bleak and foreboding journey into the very core of what defines authenticity by way of aesthetic. This is a metal record only by terminology or categorization. Sure, there’s the low growls mixed with the punk-tinged, somewhat spoken word vocalizations of Lenny Smith. There’s the obvious metal sound, but Ritual of Passing is no mere exercise in the exploring the oft-traversed pathways of doom or black metal. Rarely have albums with the imagery of Luciferianism and enlightenment combined with spiritual consciousness awareness been able to exude the authenticity that Atriarch does here. There is a desperation present not on an introspective level here, but on a level that is purely peripheral.

Ritual of Passing never unleashes. Rather, it simmers below the surface of the listener’s awareness. The word “ritual” will be thrown around to the point of exhaustion in the black or doom metal genre. It’s used as a method for schtick and a selling point for mindless drones who see the word and subconsciously associate it with the Satanism of their parents - an idealism rather than a conceptualization of what enlightenment truly is and, more importantly, what it is not. Ritual of Passing, however, is an absolute exercise in conjuring an equilibrium of light and dark - a sort of balance achieved even in the aesthetic of their sound.

The album is a task for the listener. It is as ominous as it is accessible on the lyrical and compositional levels. Ritual of Passing is a brilliant foray into the sinister pathways that come with self actualization. The difference here is that instead of letting themselves guide the lyrics and composition, it would appear that their subject matter guided them and this album as well. There’s an eerie quality to Atriarch’s Ritual of Passing - a quality that is as unsettling as it is an exercise in intellectual irritancy. Ritual of Passing is a stunning success not because it sounds utterly unlike any other metal album you’re likely to hear this year or perhaps have ever heard but because it’s a ritual of authenticity - passing the listener’s expectations through the veil of musical catharsis and into something much darker and, at the same time, wholly enlightening.

In Stock
Price: $13.99
Bell Witch - Four Phantoms (IMPORT) (2LP) Cover Art Bell Witch - Four Phantoms (IMPORT) (2LP)

Limited edition on black vinyl. Deluxe gatefold sleeve and download code included.

The much-anticipated 'Four Phantoms', recorded and engineered by the legendary and respected BILLY ANDERSON (Agalloch, Pallbearer, Leviathan, Neurosis, Melvins, a.o.), is Bell Witch's most crushing work yet. The band takes its sound further into the realms of soul-destroying heaviness, with intricate song structures that display finely honed compositional skills. This doom metal triumph for the ages dates from 2012 and at last sees its first ever vinyl issue

Low Stock
Price: $27.99
Bell Witch - Longing (IMPORT) (CD) Cover Art Bell Witch - Longing (IMPORT) (CD)



Bell Witch hail from Seattle and are a two-man operation, with Dylan Desmond (Samothrace, Lethe) handling bass and vocals, and Adrian Guerra (Lethe, Sod Hauler) on drums. They do play a muddy, sludgy style of doom for the most part, but there are so many other elements involved that make them stand out. First, their atmospherics scream with life, taking what would sound fine in a small room into something that would be equally as powerful in a cavernous hall. Second, they also have a bit of a freak folk element to what they do, and that’s mostly because of the vocals, both from Desmond and guest Erik Moggridge (Aerial Ruin). Yes, the bellows and shrieks are there, but the variation in the singing make Bell Witch sound downright bloodthirsty one moment, bookishly observant the next.

What Bell Witch create on “Longing” is episodic. Everything builds slowly on this record, from open to close, and it works best when you tackle the whole 67-minute document at once. It’s jam packed with peaks and valleys, and it never stays in one place for very long. The demo was an eye-opener, no doubt, but this record takes what they accomplished on that mini release and blows it open completely.

Bell Witch seemed to exude potential on their demo, and they cash in huge on “Longing.” This isn’t your run-of-the-mill doom album, and it’s chock-full of both heart and horror. Each moment drips with purpose and keeps you going through every slithering twist and turn. Bell Witch are a band you need to know right now, because they certainly seem like they’re going to be a major story going forward.

Out of Stock
Price: $11.99
Bell Witch - Mirror Reaper (IMPORT) (2LP) Cover Art Bell Witch - Mirror Reaper (IMPORT) (2LP)

Limited edition 2LP on black vinyl in a deluxe gatefold sleeve.

With its third full-length 'Mirror Reaper', Seattle's doom metal duo BELL WITCH has created its most enormous and encompassing work to date. By taking the blueprint for minimalistic (just bass guitar, drums and vocals), mournful, yet massive sounding doom to a new level, Bell Witch has attempted the unthinkable in the genre; delivering a continuous 83-minute piece which unfolds as a single long-stretched track, only interrupted by the switch from disc 1 to disc 2.

Pre-order
Price: $50.99
Bell Witch - Mirror Reaper (IMPORT) (CD) Cover Art Bell Witch - Mirror Reaper (IMPORT) (CD)



With its third full-length 'Mirror Reaper', Seattle's doom metal duo BELL WITCH has created its most enormous and encompassing work to date. By taking the blueprint for minimalistic (just bass guitar, drums and vocals), mournful, yet massive sounding doom to a new level, Bell Witch has attempted the unthinkable in the genre; delivering a continuous 83-minute piece which unfolds as a single long-stretched track.

Pre-order
Price: $22.99
Bloody Panda - Summon (with Bonus DVD) (IMPORT) (2CD) Cover Art Bloody Panda - Summon (with Bonus DVD) (IMPORT) (2CD)

Includes the bonus "Misere" DVD.

Fronted by Japanese siren and accomplished visual artist Yoshiko Ohara, whose death defying wails have at once drawn comparison to Diamanda Galas, Björk and Jarboe, Bloody Panda creates unique, affecting heavy music that combines visceral power, pained beauty and devastating emotion. Bloody Panda has skillfully combined the brutal with the entrancing. Summon is a nightmarish, cryptic trip that boosts Bloody Panda's disturbing cinematic vision of terror and frightening ferocity to altogether new spheres.

In Stock
Price: $13.99
Coffinworm - When All Became None (IMPORT) (CD) Cover Art Coffinworm - When All Became None (IMPORT) (CD)



These guys reside solidly within the Unearthly Trance school of sludge. They mix thick doomy riffs with more higher register chunks of six string noise, and a harsh, aggressive vocal style. The black metal and punk influences are clearly also there, but not as much D-beat, and they lean much more heavily on the death metal side of things, which is always welcome in my book. The tempos range from a snail's crawl to a mid-paced groove, with a few faster sections as well for good measure. There are a lot of different elements and influences going on, but what it all really boils down to is this: if it's ugly but awesome, it's in there.

Out of Stock
Price: $6.66
   
 
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