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A Storm of Light - As the Valley of Death Becomes Us Our Silver Memories Fade (IMPORT) (CD) Cover Art A Storm of Light - As the Valley of Death Becomes Us Our Silver Memories Fade (IMPORT) (CD)

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

By initially combining elements of sludge and doom metal, post metal, and epic ambient soundscape experimental music, with their third album, “As the Valley of Death Becomes Us, Our Silver Memories Fade”, 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 band’s forward thinking progressive vibe, “As the Valley of Death Becomes Us...” 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.

Unavailable (Archived)
Price: $12.99
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.

In Stock
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
Asunder - Works Will Come Undone (IMPORT) (CD) Cover Art Asunder - Works Will Come Undone (IMPORT) (CD)

Just an endless sea of riffs, almost symphonic, that keeps opening up each time I listen. Asunder is now in my Holy Trinity with Unsane and High on Fire. They simply can do no wrong. Works Will Come Undone blew everything that I heard in '06 out of the fucking water.

In the seventy-two minutes of music, there are quieter welcoming vocals. There are low guttural screams that sound like misery being ripped out of someone's neck. There are Gregorian-like chanting notes shouted. The vocals are sparingly sprinkled throughout the music making the morose isolation feel that much sharper. Asunder wanders through doom metal with the type of tempo that is so slow it's at first uncomfortable.

As the brooding guitars, bass, and drums bang on, it's Jackie Perez-Gratz's cello work that really yanks on the heartstrings. And while her string sailing isn't always present, the moments when it is become that much more profound. Otherwise, expect non-stop bleakness with the occasional stoner groove. Instead of reaching for an epic crescendo, Asunder continuously drives on and emulates feelings of non-stop hopelessness. The recording/production captures the tightness of Asunder without making anything sound too "digital" and instead really heavy. It should be noted that listening to Asunder will make the creamiest/sugar cube filled coffee black. It should also be noted that with all of the great metal releases of 2006 there's a reason why Works Will Come Undone is rising to the top of many lists. That reason may have something to do with Asunder's exceptional rendition of funeral doom.

Unavailable (Archived)
Price: $12.99
Atavist - II - Ruined (IMPORT) (CD) Cover Art Atavist - II - Ruined (IMPORT) (CD)

Special appearance by Justin Greaves (Crippled Black Phoenix, Electric Wizard, Iron Monkey). Includes an exclusive bonus track - a cover of Grief's "I Hate the Human Race".

II: Ruined, the epically depraved sludge doom masterwork from Manchester's Atavist. Divided into chapters, but works best as one long song (kinda akin to Corrupted's El Mundo Frio), II: Ruined is a massive plunge through crawling and pounding vibes of distorted madness, bass-heavy frequencies, methodically played drums, and utterly painful virulent vocals, all filtered through pure unbridled atmosphere and ambience. A sonic scenario where every negative emotion conceived manifests into beyond epic proportions. It is a monolithically searing opus drenched in audial torment where every negative and purely real emotion is excruciatingly delivered with utmost conviction and sincerity. Fans of Khanate, Corrupted, Grief, Iron Monkey and Eletric Wizard will worship this thing. When wrapping your ears around II: Ruined you will realize that there will be no life worth living.

Unavailable (Archived)
Price: $11.99
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
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
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