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Book of Black Earth - Horoskopus (2LP) Cover Art Book of Black Earth - Horoskopus (2LP)

Deluxe gatefold sleeve.

Seattle's Book of Black Earth have really delivered some crushing, molten, sludge-filled death metal here. This 5-piece is as heavy as they get, their sound filled with behemoth guitar riffs, beefy bass lines, pounding drums, and some solid Dan Swano/Edge of Sanity inspired death metal vocals.

On Horoskopus, Book of Black Earth produce an interesting sound that contains elements of Benediction-like blunt death metal, minimally produced rattling black, roaring sludge and ominous doominess. The unstoppable bluntness of the sound can be compared to Lair of the Minoraur.

Featuring members of Skarp, Iamthethorn, and Teen Cthulu, Book of Black Earth are much like label mates Withered, in that they are deeply rooted in Stockholm styled death metal, but where Withered have heavy black metal, and post rock injections, BoBE are a pure death metal act with maybe a hint of crusty sludge and pure old school heavy metal a la Lair of The Minotaur. The end result is easily one of the better examples of an American band plying old school death metal ever to grace these ears.

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Price: $21.99
Holy Grail - Crisis in Utopia (CD) Cover Art Holy Grail - Crisis in Utopia (CD)



Rarely does a band put out an album that makes me clinch my fist and pound it on my desk with approval but leave it to Holy Grail to do just that. “Crisis In Utopia” is chock full of classic metal anthems full of thundering double bass drums, harmony lead guitar and enough sweep picking that would make Yngwie Malmsteen feel threatened.

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Price: $13.99
Holy Grail - Crisis in Utopia (LP) Cover Art Holy Grail - Crisis in Utopia (LP)

Limited edition of only 800 copies on 135gr. black vinyl.

Rarely does a band put out an album that makes me clinch my fist and pound it on my desk with approval but leave it to Holy Grail to do just that. “Crisis In Utopia” is chock full of classic metal anthems full of thundering double bass drums, harmony lead guitar and enough sweep picking that would make Yngwie Malmsteen feel threatened.

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Price: $16.99
Kylesa - Static Tensions (CD) Cover Art Kylesa - Static Tensions (CD)



I remain steadfast: this is the best Kylesa record to date. Static Tensions picks up where Time Will Fuse Its Worth left off - two drummers weaving beats around each other, spurring on pummeling riffs. While the dual drumming usually results in a monolith of primal sound, it’s used on songs to create a polyrhythmic cacophony. The guitars are tuned bowel-loosening low, but the vintage amplifiers lend them a warm, soothing tone. There are a few proggier numbers vaguely reminiscent of the band’s fellow Savannah, Georgia dwellers Baroness, although a fair bit darker. Kylesa’s achievement: sludgy bottom end, psychedelic leads, heavy grooves, hardcore punk speed, and compelling vocals.

Static Tensions sees the avant sludge metallurgists concocting yet another highly individualized piece of post-metal, thicker, darker and seemingly more focused on songcraft than 2006’s Time Will Fuse Its Worth with heavy atmospherics built from aggressive riffs and savage performances. As ever, with Kylesa, it’s a tale of sonic conflict. We hear guitarist/vocalist/producer Phillip Cope versus guitarist/vocalist Laura Pleasants, Cope and Pleasants then teaming up to take on drummer Carl McGinley and drummer Eric Hernandez, McGinley, and Hernandez then turning on each other, the songs doing battle with themselves (and our eardrums) and the unavoidable maturation process and willful progression engaged mano a mano with the desire to bludgeon listeners over the head with heaviness. Whether this is the record that garners Kylesa the notoriety they seem to have been trying to beat down the wall of for so long, I don’t know, but it rocks.

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Price: $13.99
Kylesa - To Walk a Middle Course (CD) Cover Art Kylesa - To Walk a Middle Course (CD)



To Walk a Middle Course expands on the sound displayed on the No Ending.. EP, putting the band with contemporaries like Rwake, Dove, and Mastodon. They’ve got complicated, mathy moments, where they abruptly shift directions mid song, and repeat listens show that there’s significantly more going on than your standard verse - chorus - verse template. But Kylesa also know that the most effective approach is the simplest one. So while some songs may be jammed with about face moments, they never stop being direct. Besides, with three singers, there’s more than enough going on with Kylesa. You’ve got an early Mike Muir signin’ shout, a John Connelly (Nuclear Assault) screech, and a hardcore bark.

So far it blows doors on the EP- and that's saying alot.

It reminded alot of Dystopia in a way with some of the more noisier/trippy parts mixed with the sludge.

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Price: $13.99
Skeletonwitch - Beyond the Permafrost (CD) Cover Art Skeletonwitch - Beyond the Permafrost (CD)



Five Ohioans tearing up ’80s-evocative thrash with–surprise!– blackened Abbath snarl atop those absolutely classic melodic dual guitar riffs. So nice. At times, vocalist Chance Garnette’s growls guide the procession (he jumps between Popeye treble and death-low bass); here, it’s the buoyant, slippery, nimble, addictive picking (or non) of Chance’s brother Nathan, fellow six-stringer Scott Hedrick and bassist Eric Harris, each locating metal's elusive holy grail. Seriously, pause a few seconds and absorb the synchronization — ought to bring you back to Megadeth, Metallica and Exodus in the backseat of that first Chevy Impala.

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Price: $13.99
Skeletonwitch - Breathing the Fire (CD) Cover Art Skeletonwitch - Breathing the Fire (CD)

Produced by Jack Endino.

Much like Beyond the Permafrost, Breathing the Fire is a darker trip into the land of thrash. Instead of moody atmosphere, we are presented with one ass kicking riff after another. As a thrash fiend, I can’t get enough of that raw onslaught that provides energy and nothing but. Beyond the Permafrost was a damn good effort, but I must say that the maturity the band shows by reeling in the chaos in favor of more controlled bursts with melodies that sound more like 3 Inches of Blood than Skeletonwitch, is a welcomed addition. Skeletonwitch have clearly become experts at their craft by honing their strengths while adding on melodies and new riffs for added effect.

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Price: $13.99
Skeletonwitch - Forever Abomination (CD) Cover Art Skeletonwitch - Forever Abomination (CD)



Fuck. Yes. After a handful of albums developing a synthesis of old school thrash, modern black metal and dashes of rock and roll, Skeletonwitch unquestionably come into their own on Forever Abomination. The album is an electrifying consolidation of influences, gratefully nodding to the past as they keep their eyes solidly on the future. Most importantly, these songs rock!

Nate Garnette is a fucking riff monster, churning out songs as catchy as they are unwaveringly ferocious, with the rest of the band rising to the challenge. New drummer Dustin Boltjes pushes the band to a new level of metallic heaviness, the band delivering their most blisteringly focused effort to date. Forever Abomination is firmly rooted in the metal world, one of the most creatively stifling genres out there. However, Skeletonwitch manage a uniquely fresh take on the genre and for the first time get a production job to match the intensity, courtesy of Matt Hyde. There isn’t a weak moment on the album. Forever Abomination is as much a statement as it is a cohesive set of songs. This is the sound of a band hungry for the next level, significantly upping their talents and strengths to get there. A definite contender for, if not the, metal album of the year. Skeletonwitch has arrived.

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Price: $13.99
Trap Them - Blissfucker (180gr.) (LP) Cover Art Trap Them - Blissfucker (180gr.) (LP)

Limited edition on black 180gr vinyl. Downlode code included.

Upon the release of their latest full length , Blissfucker, their second release for Prosthetic Records, Trap Them has once again established themselves as not so much a band, but an entity. Recorded in the final months of 2013 at Godcity Studios with long time producer (the unspoken fifth member) Kurt Ballou, the lineup was rounded out by new additions Brad Fickeisen on drums and Galen Baudhuin on bass. The session, three years in the making, resulted in what will widely be considered their opus, forty five plus minutes of an unrestrained, unmedicated, unapologetic display of depression, desperation and blasphemy. There may be many questions about Trap Them, but there are only two answers. There is none more ugly and, most certainly, none more bitter.

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Price: $19.99
Trap Them - Blissfucker (CD) Cover Art Trap Them - Blissfucker (CD)



Upon the release of their latest full length , Blissfucker, their second release for Prosthetic Records, Trap Them has once again established themselves as not so much a band, but an entity. Recorded in the final months of 2013 at Godcity Studios with long time producer (the unspoken fifth member) Kurt Ballou, the lineup was rounded out by new additions Brad Fickeisen on drums and Galen Baudhuin on bass. The session, three years in the making, resulted in what will widely be considered their opus, forty five plus minutes of an unrestrained, unmedicated, unapologetic display of depression, desperation and blasphemy. There may be many questions about Trap Them, but there are only two answers. There is none more ugly and, most certainly, none more bitter.

Low Stock
Price: $14.99
   
 
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