PICK OF THE WEEK: Legendary tech death warriors Gorguts back with killer ‘Colored Sands’

GorgutsIt’s always nice to see people and things you haven’t in a long time. We’ve had a nice bit of that in metal this year, haven’t we? Bands we haven’t seen in a while, new records that made our collections that much more exciting, and tours worth getting off our lazy asses to go see.

Personally, I’ve had a few nice surprises this year. Those lads and lady in Bolt Thrower returned to our shores to devastate us on a few tour dates and an awesome, albeit mildly interrupted, appearance at Maryland Deathfest. It was my first chance to see the band, and getting to experience the UK legends in the flesh was unforgettable. Carcass also appeared on that fest, and they even are headed back with a new album we’ll talk more about in a few weeks. That might be the biggest surprise of the whole year, especially with how it sounds.

Gorguts coverAnother strong comeback comes via Gorguts, the Canadian masters of technical death metal that’s been away 12 long years and missed out on a huge wave of new bands following in their footsteps, turning the sub-genre into something of a messy phenomenon. The world could have used this Luc Lemay-led band in order to have some proper direction of how this stuff is supposed to be done and how to prevent the style from having a soul. Yeah, these guys always have been a band to wow you with their prowess, but their music always had a heart and personality that helped it rise above just being a mind-blowing display of musicianship. Needless to say, this band was missed, and the announcement Gorguts would be revived with an interesting new lineup was music to our sick hearts, culminating in “Colored Sands,” the follow-up to “From Wisdom to Hate.”

Yes, Lemay remains your unquestioned leader, handling guitars and vocals and exposing his disgusting thoughts to the world. Joining him is a virtual all-star cast of insanely accomplished underground metal musicians including guitarist Kevin Hufnagel (Dysrhythmia, Vaura), bassist Colin Marston (Krallice, Behold … the Arctopus, Indricothere), and drummer John Longstreth (Origin, Dim Mak) who practically turn Gorguts into a supergroup. They definitely hold their own to maintain this band’s legend and capably push the group into the future.

“Le Toit du Monde” kicks of this nine-track, 62-minute ripper, and you know within the first few seconds how much this song is going to rule. And that’s exactly what it does over its running time, blasting you with devious growls, slick and tricky guitar work that both shreds and astonishes, and portions that dive right into the pools of prog death. “A Ocean of Wisdom” follows, starting as a harsh, ugly demonstration of power but eventually finding time for atmosphere and melody. It’s mystical and airy at times, but it’s only temporary as scorching soloing follows, and the dry thrashing makes you feel like you’re crawling through an unforgiving desert. “Forgotten Arrows” is interesting because it keeps building up and subsiding, letting the guys work through the madness, visiting prog, thrash, and death equally. There is a lot of weirdness and dizzying playing, but it’s always fun and invigorating. The title track has a long, introspective opening, and after it establishes itself, it drops 50 tons of cement on you, keeping it thick, suffocating, and bruising. The dynamics of this thing are just breath-taking.

“The Battle of Chamdo” is the oddball, and instrumental built on synth-based strings and sweeping over like a piece soundtracking the opening credits to a gory action film where ancient forces are looking to shed blood. “Enemies of Compassion” is rightfully titled because it takes no prisoners and looks to exact as much damage as humanly possible. “Ember’s Voice” has a weird, slurry opening that sounds like the song was treated with a nice, thick cough syrup, and though it can be sci-fi-laced and loopy, it’s also pulverizing and mean. “Absconders” runs 9:09 and begins crushing with reckless abandon, paving the way for crushing, off-kilter mashing, a lumbering trip out of control down hill, and a savagery that sounds like it’s being carried out by a deadly machine with zero compassion. Closer “Reduced to Silence” ramps up quite strangely, which certainly isn’t a bad thing, and while your mind is trying to catch up with the band, they sneak up and wallop you with an insane intensity. The growls come from Lemay’s mouth like a rabid foam, and when the song finally dies down to a simmer, you know it’s just getting ready to boil over again and scorch which, as I’m sure you guessed, it totally does. It’s an awesome, relentless finish to a brilliant record.

So, welcome back, Gorguts. What an intense way to remind us you are the masters of this style of death metal and that we all missed you so. “Colored Sands” is an incredible return for the band and one that injects newfound bloodthirst into the death metal genre. This is one of the most formidable, impressive lineups anywhere in metal, and I hope they have more than just this one record in their canon.

For more on the band, go here: http://www.gorguts.com/

To buy the album, go here: http://e-shop.season-of-mist.com/

For more on the label, go here: http://www.season-of-mist.com/

Swedish death vets Evocation recharge batteries with covers EP ‘Excised and Anatomized’

635114128694685786Sitting at the beach is an annual rite of summer for me and my wife, and while that certainly doesn’t make us unique, it still feels like a calling back to a place we should be. Our annual sojourns also give me a chance to indulge in some of my metal favorites while on the beach, skin burning, book in hand.

It’s a great time to get to know some new records that I haven’t had a chance to fully digest yet, and with work being priority No. 1 and later in the evening exhaustion taking hold, it isn’t always easy to give new music your best as soon as you get the records. Beach time helps with that effort, and I’ve gotten a lot done simply sitting on a beach chair, reading about a strange society full of back stabbing and revenge, as fresh music from plenty of bands help make up the soundtrack.

635114129995416070Yet, it’s also a great chance to reach back to albums and bands I’ve loved for a long time and that I just haven’t visited with in a while for all of the reasons listed above. It warms the heart just as much as the sun burns the skin, and it injects a strong, welcome sense of nostalgia. I’m not saying the period in between records is the same as enjoying relaxation on the beach, but I imagine it also could be a time for a band to get back to why they love metal in the first place and recharge. Perhaps that’s what longtime Swedish melodic death metal band Evocation had in mind when they put together their new EP “Excised and Anatomized.”

Just last year, Evocation released “Illusions of Grandeur,” a decent record and follow-up to 2010’s very strong “Apocalyptic” that didn’t seem to have a whale of an impact domestically, or at least as much of one as the Century Media-released album should have had. It wasn’t a bad record, just not their best work to date. So already we have this stop-gap EP that hopefully will re-ignite their fire as it contains covers of five classic metal tracks that put the band on the path they’re on. And refreshingly, the selections are not run-of-the-mill expected choices, which is a nice touch, and the passion they have for these songs is obvious when hearing them. That doesn’t suggest the collection is perfect, but in the case of a release like this, it doesn’t have to be. It’s a fun little serving for the band’s fans, and it give Evocation a chance to get loose and do something they’l enjoy without the pressure of putting together a whole new platter.

This five-track, 20-minute effort kicks off with a spirited, honest take on the Bolt Thrower classic “…For Victory,” one of their signatures songs and one Evocation does a pretty good job kicking out. There really are not any new flourishes or reimaginations of the song at all, which is fine, and the band is pretty much offering up their take. They don’t outdo Bolt Thrower by any means, and really, who could? But their interpretation’s just fine. The beginning of their version of Carcass’ “Corporal Jigsore Quandary” is pretty honest and to the point, with their recreation of the destructive, shifty drum intro hitting pretty spot on, and the rest of the song doing the original a good bit of justice.

Same can be said for their reading of Edge of Sanity’s “Enigma,” the one song they really breathe new life into and perhaps elevate that band as one their listeners should pursue further. Again, they really take no creative liberties and instead just deliver an honest, respectful version that does the song’s creators quite well. They also do fine with their version of At the Gates’ “Terminal Spirit Disease,” a song I can imagine had a lot of influence on this band. The only rough spot, and this may sound stupid, is their stab at Napalm Death classic “You Suffer.” Yeah, how can you fuck up a four-second song? I’d argue it takes something special to make a song so short one of metal’s calling cards, and really, Evocation come nowhere near nailing this one. I don’t think it’s a dumb argument. I respect their trying it, but again, they just don’t deliver this song the way they should.

This is a pretty fun EP, and hearing Evocation pay tribute to their heroes is a really neat look into what inspired this band to create music in the first place. Maybe they can cull some magic from these bands and pour that into their next full-length record, which would be a nice result of this effort. Or maybe thinking ahead is too much right now and it should be enough to have fun with the EP before any new music drops.

For more on the band, go here: http://evocation.se/

To buy the album, go here: http://www.cmdistro.com/index.aspx

For more on the label go here: http://centurymedia.com/

SubRosa’s Vernon talks inspiration, artwork behind ‘More Constant Than the Gods’

have been making some of the most intriguing, unique music for years now. Yes, they are identified as metal and certainly have made the doom sub-genre even more compelling, but their immersive, intoxicating brand of music, led by heavy, dramatic strings and Rebecca Vernon’s expressive storytelling, has risen above everything else and established this band as one of metal’s most special acts. Their last album “No Help for the Mighty Ones” was a landmark release for the band, one of the most unforgettable records of 2011, yet they’ve pushed things even further with their new opus “More Constant Than the Gods.” Vernon took time to answer some of our questions about the band, their new record, and some of the meaning about it, and as she is wont to do, she gave us way more than we hoped for and gave us plenty of perspective for her and the band’s–violinists/vocalists Kim Pack and Sarah Pendleton, bassist Christian Creek, and drummer Andy Patterson–creative process. Great record, incredible band, and one hell of a thought-provoking interview, which you’ll read now.

Meat Mead Metal: Congratulations on your new record “More Constant Than the Gods.” It’s a really powerful, heavy statement. Are you happy with how it came out?

Rebecca Vernon: Thank you. Yes, overall, we are happy with how it came out. At the same time, I think all of us became a lot pickier on this album, and I think I’m still overanalyzing some parts. I was completely buried in the writing, recording, and mixing/mastering process of this album for 10 months, fully focused and pretty isolated, not going out much, not taking many breaks, every spare moment devoted to it. Kim, Sarah, and I went over and over parts and analyzed them from every angle. I rewrote numerous parts and sometimes entire songs, and we re-recorded many parts as well. To emerge from that period and finally hand the album over to Chris Bruni felt very strange, like, “Can we possibly be done?” I used to not understand other musicians when they’d say, “Sometimes you’ve just got to find a stopping point, declare an album done, and stop obsessing over it; it will never be perfect.” Now I understand what they mean

MMM: Glyn Smith did the artwork, as he did for “No Help for the Mighty Ones.” Why did you feel comfortable going with Glyn again, and what is the concept behind the album art?

RV: Glyn is amazing to work with because I feel like he’s a genuinely inspired artist, and he cares very deeply about every piece of work he does. He also was very picky about the cover art for “More Constant than the Gods,” like we were with the sonics. In fact, he ended up redoing the cover completely–he had another piece almost finished that he’d been working on for months, and then discarded it and started over (on the current cover) about three weeks before Chris needed final artwork.

I give Glyn initial very broad concepts, and he has intuitions about how best to approach the ideas and interpret them. He does a lot of background research on the symbols he uses to convey the original concepts in a layered, powerful way. It reminds me of being told, in fiction classes I’ve taken, to write pages and pages of background material on a character who might only appear for a few lines in a short story. But in those few lines, you get a sense that there’s a lot more to that character than meets the eye.

For this album, the artwork is based on the idea of death as a welcome end to a life that has become unbearable. The concept was mostly inspired by the death of my mom in 2007 (from ovarian cancer). I wanted there to be a personification of Death on the cover, but it was Glyn’s idea to make Death female, and all the symbology on the cover as well is from him and ties into the overarching concepts. For example, the moth at the top represents the “transformation of the soul through death.” (Glyn’s words)
subrosa album

MMM: Thematically, what did you draw upon for this record? The songs sound even darker than previous work, and it feels like there’s a sense of searching for something (I base this on the few listens I’ve had since getting the promo, so maybe I haven’t just fully absorbed yet). Is it darker to you?

RV: A couple other interviewers have also asked me why this album is more personal and darker than other albums. After thinking about it a little more, it might be because after “No Help for the Mighty Ones” came out, I went through a low time where I felt lost, I doubted myself, and I didn’t know if I wanted to create music any longer. I actually didn’t even want to listen to music at all, I would try to listen to something and just have to turn it off. So, maybe going through that period, I subconsciously brushed against something darker, deeper and more personal within myself that came out through the music on this album. Other members of the band also went through some really hard times between “No Help” and “More Constant.”

MMM: “Cosey Mo” is the first song that the general public got the hear, and it’s an incredibly emotional listen. What can you say about the song, what’s behind it, and where this story is from ?

RV: Cosey Mo is a character from Nick Cave’s book “And the Ass Saw the Angel.” She’s a prostitute killed by the local townspeople in a fit of religious zealotry. Some of them were her customers. The song is about her, but on a larger scale, it’s about violence against women. The actual violence and the seeds of violence; the mindsets that foster it. This is something that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.

MMM: “Ghosts of a Dead Empire” is another interesting one, and perhaps this is off-the-surface assuming, but it feels like sort of an epitaph for modern society, as so many walls seem to be crumbling down upon people? Is that part of the inspiration, or is it something else?

RV: Well, I intend certain things when I write the lyrics, but maybe you’re picking up on an extra layer of meaning that is buried there, waiting to be discovered. I wrote “Ghosts of a Dead Empire” about a face cream, actually. A face cream that Indian girls use to make their complexions fairer. In India, fairness is equated with beauty, and whether an Indian girl is fair or not significantly affects their ability to get married and advance within Indian society. I watched a documentary that conjectured that this equating of fairness with beauty and power might have started with the British Empire colonizing India in the 1800s, because whites were in power. Wherever it came from, I think the concept that fair is beautiful is racist and self-defeating, and I think many beauty standards all over the world are ridiculous and damaging.

MMM: The male/female dynamic always has been a big part of SubRosa. There is symbolism that speaks to both genders, and on the song “The Usher” we have a mix of female/male vocals. What about this dynamic is so important to the band?

RV: That’s a good question. I guess I never wanted SubRosa to be a girl’s club, not only because I didn’t want Subrosa to come off as a gimmick, but because I appreciate the male energy in the band. If I were to stereotype, I guess there is a mixture of “aggressive” energy and “delicate” energy in the band, coming from both genders.

The person singing the male vocals, by the way, is my friend Jason McFarland, who is in the Salt Lake City band QstandsforQ.

MMM: The band always has had classic folk and chamber music elements, but that really comes to life in “No Safe Harbor.” What can you say about that song, both thematically and how it came together musically?

RV: Well, I can say that that song almost gave me a hernia several times while we were trying to finish it. It was definitely the most loosely arranged and least prepared of all the songs on the album when we went into the studio. Over the course of several weeks, we’d work on additional parts a couple days before a studio date, and then lay down those new parts when we were in there. I more than once thought we might have to cut “No Safe Harbor” from the album, because it just wasn’t coming together. But once the flute was laid down and Kim laid down her cello parts and Sarah laid down her violin parts, the layers upon layers finally started to flesh out the song and make it sound more complete.

The lyrics are about love lost; and how the pain of losing someone you felt a strong connection with can change your inner world and the course of your life.

MMM: “More Constant Than the Gods” has the fewest songs of any of your albums to date– just six. But they’re all epic length. How did these songs come about compositionally, and what has led the band down this path to longer, more involved songs?

RV: My favorite song off “No Help” is “Stonecarver,” and even right after we were finishing up that album, I was interested in creating more songs that were almost suite-like in nature. I liked the idea of making the songs more like a journey with shifts and turns down unexpected hallways, with a loosely connected feeling or theme, just like a classical music piece.

Compositionally, Andy, Christian, Kim, and Sarah all help with the huge struggle of finalizing the structure of the songs, editing parts, and creating transitions. I think Kim and Sarah’s violin-playing also contributes to the more involved feeling of the songs on “More Constant.” They experimented a lot more with new pedals, tones and techniques to achieve the violin sounds on this album.

MMM: What are your touring plans for the record? As an East Coaster, here’s hoping the plans are extensive.

RV: Thanks, we do want to make it to the East Coast sometime during the touring for this album! We are playing Southwest Terror Fest in Tucson, Arizona, on Oct. 12, and doing a West Coast tour in November. We’ve put our name in for Roadburn next year, and if we make it in, we’ll do a European tour.

MMM: Is there anything else you want to say about the record, the band, or whatever that we didn’t cover?

RV: Chris has announced that he’s going to start putting together a vinyl version of “More Constant than the Gods”Mo in September, so, stay tuned.

For more on the band, go here: http://subrosa.cc/

To buy the album (on sale soon), go here: http://www.profoundlorerecords.com/products-page/

For more on the label, go here: http://www.profoundlorerecords.com/

PICK OF THE WEEK: Vattnet Viskar’s stunning debut ‘Sky Swallower’ exceeds hopes

635078578454456189As a lifelong, perpetually suffering fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates, the idea of prospects or young players who are supposed to be world beaters and save us all is a little bit of a tired theory. Heard it all before. Almost always disappointed. Yes, things are going along pretty damn well now, but that doesn’t erase the years of hearing about how so-and-so would be the next great star. You lose faith quickly.

Applying that to the metal world, there are situations when I think sometimes bands get into situations they are not ready to tackle or are not suited for. I heavily questioned Mastodon’s move to Warner Bros. because I assumed the label would have no clue how to handle the band or get them over to a larger audience. Who knew the band would morph into something more palatable and do just fine. I also wondered about Watain jumping to Century Media, not because they couldn’t do just fine there but because of the reaction their underground heathens would have to them jumping to a large major. So far, that has come to pass, even though it’s ridiculous.

vattnet coverI had the same reservations when I learned Vattnet Viskar, the relatively new New Hampshire-based band that really had a very small, albeit wildly impressive resume, signed with Century Media. Their incredible self-titled debut EP was brought into the world by Broken Limbs Recordings, which seemed like the perfect place for the band to cultivate their sound and approach for a smaller label that would let them have the time they need to expand without unneeded pressure. They would get love and nurturing there. It seemed really early in their career for such a huge jump, especially since it was like a jump from Class AA (and I mean that as lovingly as possible) to the big leagues, and I wondered if the band would be able to respond to such a huge platform or if they’d try to cater their sound too much to appeal to a larger audience. Now that their debut record “Sky Swallower” is in hand, let me offer up a huge … “Um. Never mind.” This record is a fucking steamroller, and you know it from the opening strains of the album, from that mammoth growl to the walls crashing down musically, and this example probably proves why I’d need a lot more brushing up before pursuing a career in A&R. These guys were ready for the platform Century Media provided, and this record delivers in every way possible. It’s a total triumph, one that every person who helped this band get to this point should gush with pride to hear and one that should establish this band for a long, productive run.

The band is made up of vocalist/guitarist Nicholas Thornbury, guitarist Chris Alfieri, bassist Joey Perron, and drummer Seamus Menihane, and they sound like they’ve been playing together far longer than the three years they’ve been a unit. Yeah, the band might still be in its formative stages, which is scary considering how good they already are, and might have been a reach of a signing for Century Media because of their lack of experience. Instead the label was ahead of the game and signed up a budding force that could be one of the stronger bands in metal going forward, totally able to live up to every ounce of the hype behind them. Good for them.

“New Alchemy” bursts moments after you hit play, with the band already in a chaotic lather and Thornbury’s vocals opening like a storm cloud looking to drench you and pulverize you with its thunder. Eventually it slips into an ISIS-like dreamy sequence and nicely transitions back into bumpier terrain. This track instantly pays off all the high hopes I had for this album right off the bat. “Fog of Apathy” is properly named and takes a little while to get off the ground while it sets a mood. “Sew your eyes shut!” Thornbury howls as the song hits its violent high gear, and gazey soloing and blistering blasts place the track between atmospheric post-metal and black metal. “Monarch” is the first of a series of reflective interludes that not only give you a breather but start to dig a path toward what’s next, which is “Breath of the Almighty” in this case. The song opens with brighter, more colorful melodies, but that doesn’t last long when the track takes a turn for the dark and pulverizing. The growls are vicious, the playing is channeled and passionate, and the madness is only tempered once acoustic guitars come in and wash away the ashes.

“Ascend” is another interlude piece, and it leads into “Mythos,” that completely ignites from the start and threatens to become the record’s most explosive track. While the music is ferocious, it’s also poetic, as the guys blend beauty and texture into their punishment, and the monstrous vocals that bleed forth mix nicely with the fluidly played composition. “As I Stared Into the Sky” is your final, quiet mini section, and it’s the lead in to the titanic closer “Apex” that spits and pours sparks down on you while you listen. The song is chaotic, yet emotive, and it’s a final chance for the band to blow your walls down with their sheer power, before giving way to a long, contemplative acoustic section that drones and flows, lets a drum beat drop here and there, and alows the record dissolve into a mysterious mist.

I never doubted Vattnet Viskar for a second, but perhaps I underestimated just how fast they would grow as a band and be prepared for a stage such as this. “Sky Swallower” is a phenomenal, breath-taking record that should tear your eyelids open due to the sheer intensity and quaking devastation, and while the band explores sonic areas traveled many times over by other musicians, they ravage it, reseed the land, and grow something entirely new and re-invigorating. Vattnet Viskar is a band you need to know right now, and “Sky Swallower” is their powerful opening statement.

For more on the band, go here: http://vattnetviskar.com/

To buy the album, go here: http://www.cmdistro.com/index.aspx

For more on the label, go here: http://centurymedia.com

A.M.S.G. declare war on behalf of Satan on warped, unholy debut ‘Anti-Cosmic Tyranny’

AMSG band
I’m sure for a lot of untested people metal can sound scary and uninviting. The devil’s work, right? And for the most part, those people are wrong and just don’t understand a genre on which they pass blind judgment. Yet, depending on what they’re hearing emanating from wherever, they’re not always wrong on both it being scary and the work of Satan.

Yesterday I mentioned that we were going to take a two-day look at modern black metal and two bands in particular with wildly different approaches to the craft. Today brings us A.M.S.G., which stands for Ad Majorem Satanae Gloriam, or translated, “for the greater glory of Satan.” So, you know where this bands stands from the start, right? No questions from anyone? Good. Let’s move on. Now, unlike yesterday’s Loss of Self story, we’re going back to the basements and dungeons, to a sound that’s primitive, primordial, and yes, pretty fucking evil. No doubt if the progenitors of the second wave of black metal heard “Anti-Cosmic Tyranny,” the debut from this furious act, they would feel they’re in the presence of brothers. This music is out and out devoted to Satan and spits black vomit at anything remotely Christian or representative of that religion’s (or any other’s, for that matter) God. This is blackness through and through, sounding like it was hand delivered from hell.

amsg coverYet, as menacing as this sounds–and this is the type of stuff that, if you heard someone listening to this somewhere, you would try to avoid eye contact with the person out of fear of what’s assaulting your ears and that person’s devotion to the cause–there are hidden layers of creativity that branch just as bit beyond black metal’s rigid borders. You have some WOLD-like static nightmare soundscapes and saxophone passages that might make you think of Ihsahn’s progged-out solo work, so while this is intentionally raw and abrasive, it also has a mind that is free to wander elsewhere if need be. Those elements are what help “Anti-Cosmic Tyranny” rise from black muck into something that’s far more fascinating and baffling, in the best possible way. But even with all that, you just can’t avoid how evil, ill-intentioned, and scorching all of this madness truly is.

A.M.S.G., in case you are not aware, is the brainchild of Angelfukk Witchhammer, who played in other bands in the past such as Ouroboros and Rites of Thy Degringolade, and has gone to prison for several years on a number of charges including weapon possession and drug trafficking, all the further his cause as a Satanic warrior and black metal soldier. In fact, this album was written behind prison walls. It’s not exactly stabbing a guy in the head and leaving him for dead, but crime is crime, he went away, did his time, and now is back to terrorize us anew. His sensibilities and chops are definitely from the old school of black metal, and his creaky vocals can have a Gollum-like effect, but he has something the kids just do not, that being a true calling to his fire, an innate understanding of the music he is making, and a hunger for horrors that isn’t designed to sell colorful shirts but scare the living holy fuck out of you because he means the shit. Remember that when you’re perusing this thing.

These six tracks get off to a sick, deranged start with “Rites of the Black Shadow,” a track that opens with a storm of noise and chaos, vocals that sound like a lost, dead soul screaming to get out, and raw, mangled melodies that crawl beneath the surface. We get some of the aforementioned saxophone, which provides a real head-tilting moment, but one that makes it feel like a message floating through space. “Reincarnation of the Sun” sounds ceremonial at times, as if it’s setting the stage for a grandiose ritual, but the punk-fueled guitar work blasts out, the vocals continue to blister, and an eerie clean section that seems to hint at calm instead leads to an agitated hiss that brings to song to a violent end. “Sacrificial Chants of Cosmic Separation” has weird, bubbling science lab noises lurking, monstrous shrieks, more clean guitar intended to lead you down the wrong path (and possibly leave you disoriented), alien effects, and monstrous howls declaring God an abomination and nothingness.

“Gnosis Granted From the Bloodline of Fire” opens with pastoral-style chants and death bells, something that’s been done before but not this startlingly, and that leads into more punk chaos and strange transmissions that could make your organs turn cold. The sax returns, again letting these thoughts simmer, and the song closes out in a manner that’s damn near jazzy. Imagine that. “Heretics and Ashes” has distorted samples layered into the cacophony, but it’s not long before it blows up in your face, with goblin-like vocals, a fast, clubbing pace, and frightening declarations such as, “Into the fire I must go.” Closer “Blood, Bone and Blackthorn” has a slow, droning opening, making you feel every ounce of its disgust and fury, and its tempo stays at a deliberate, muddy pace through most of the song. But then another bomb blasts rips the side of your face off, the thrashing begins anew, and song crumbles along with you into a pit of tentacled madness, never intending to let you free of its grasp.

A.M.S.G.’s debut was supposed to make you feel the hideous intent of its music, the burning path of its mission, and the pure violence it intends to use to make it so. It’s not good time music. It might not even be bad time music. It’s a declaration of war, if anything, one of the most warped, perverse statements black metal has made in a long time, and no matter how you feel about Angelfukk Witchhammer, his past, and his philosophies, there’s no doubting his will and his razor-sharp intensity, designed to slash his enemies’ throats clean through.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/AMSG-Ad-Majorem-Satanae-Gloriam/110719362296013

To buy the album, go here: http://www.profoundlorerecords.com/products-page/

For more on the label, go here: http://www.profoundlorerecords.com/

Australia’s Loss of Self pour emotion, darkness into wildly expressive ‘Twelve Minutes’

Loss of Self band
If I may go against purist grains here today, there are many, many ways to play black metal, and it’s one of the things that fascinates me so much about the style of music. Yes, I know that there are many camps that disagree with this, and that black metal is to be played one way, with certain philosophies in mind, or it isn’t true. I can appreciate that way of thinking even if I disagree.

Today and tomorrow, we’re going to look at a pair of bands that have diametrically different ways of interpreting and presenting black metal, with two of the genre’s more interesting and provoking new releases this month. One has a more wide open, new age style, while the other takes things back to the basements and dungeons. However, each band also has elements that set them apart from like-minded artists in black metal, making each band pretty unconventional. Today we’ll look at Australian quartet Loss of Self, a band that made a huge impression with their first demo and now are getting their music released on a wider basis, something they deserve very much.

Loss of Self coverI remember first reading about Loss of Self on a blog somewhere last year and being intrigued by what I read about their sound. I tracked down their demo and instantly was captivated by what I heard, with their full range of melodies, sounds that defy and leap-frog standard black metal, and passion that, sadly, you don’t hear enough from artists today. In any genre. Those three songs really stuck with me, and when I learned Flenser Records was working with the band, I instantly was excited to hear the next evolution of their sound. Sure enough, with their new effort “Twelve Minutes,” we hear just that, a band entrenched in a sound and confident in their approach, but not afraid to change things up and add different colors. This release is as exciting as I hoped it would be (it’s also much longer than 12 minutes), and they instantly turned into one of those bands you need to hear right now.

Yes, black metal is at the base of Loss of Self’s sound, and their harsh vocals, blasts, and outward aggression they exhibit speak very clearly to that. But they also have a post-punk and even indie rock side, making me think a lot of Bosse-de-Nage, Alcest, and Deafheaven musically, with enveloping melodies, deep pockets of beauty and color, and something that grasps things other than fury and anger in your soul. Their music can be cleansing and relaxing, even when they’re drubbing you, but your mind always is swept away and your inner emotions allowed to bleed forth, which can be a pretty healthy way to experience music. I get that every chance I get to spend time with “Twelve Minutes,” and I haven’t had a similar journey with it twice. That’s another way you know the music you’re hearing is growing and mutating in front of you, which can be a real rush.

The first portion of the record is made up of six brand-new tracks, the first out of the gate being “Isolt,” a song with an indie-style kick, rich, colorful melodies, and eventually some abrasive vocals and a solemn but bruising finish. “Paradise Overgrown” lets Loss of Self show their uglier, more violent side, with warbled vocals, guitar violence, and drums that are beaten to a pulp. It’s one hell of a change of pace. The title track is a bit more melancholy, with shoegaze fire and vocals that go from sing-singy growls to demonic shrieks. “There Must Be a Great Wisdom With Great Death” sounds like it would be a trip through relentless mashing from its title, but it’s more reflective and atmospheric, with creaky vocals and a dreary disposition. “()” is an ambient, eerie piece that’s a stage-setter for “The Free Intelligence,” that’s somber, cloudy, and watery, with the band releasing their darkest, most damaged emotions into the air when the song finally bursts and the vocals pierce like glass. These six songs are fantastic pieces of work, and this only sets my anticipation ablaze for what’s ahead for them.

If you haven’t gotten your hands on the band’s demo yet, you can relax. The three songs appear here at the end of the release in their remastered form. Obviously they sound better and a little fuller, though they were pretty great tracks to begin with. “The Inheritance” is soulful and bursting with energy, even taking a few turns toward what sounds like a Midwestern U.S. approach to indie rock, though that could be by accident. “The Mind; Its Form and Function” feels more punk rock, though it shimmers and shines in places, something Loss of Self do quite well. “Seidlitz” has a college rock feel, to use an archaic, albeit fitting, term, and and as the track gets moving, it gets rowdier, with the shrieks growing more manic.

I had high hopes for this Loss of Self album, and they’ve definitely been surpassed. This is a band that’s overflowing with emotion and talent, and they don’t mind pushing past black metal’s walls to the overgrown fields beyond. This is one of those bands that just grabs you and changes your mood, no matter how hard you fight, and you mind find their work soothes what ails you on your darker days when you just want someone to understand.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/LossOfSelf

To buy the album, go here: http://theflenser.com/

For more on the label, go here: http://theflenser.com/

PICK OF THE WEEK: Oathbreaker reveal light, dark sides on amazing new ‘Eros/Anteros’

Oathbreaker bandThere are few things as satisfying as hearing a band grow up. That’s an odd sentence, I know, but you know what I mean. Hearing a band progress through their time together can be similar to watching someone grow up and become a more mature, aware adult, and as talents the person has you don’t even know about begin to sprout. It can be mind-blowing.

I felt that same wonder and excitement the very first time I listened to “Eros/Anteros,” the latest album from Oathbreaker and the follow-up to 2011’s incredible “Maelstrom,” so much so that as soon as I was finished listening the very first time, I had to go back again. Immediately. And even with all of the other records I have on my plate for review both for this site and elsewhere, I have found time to come back to “Eros/Anteros” with alarming consistency. And every time I hear it again, I can’t believe the leaps and bounds the band has taken, and that’s with Oathbreaker already being an impressive band to begin with. They’ve lived up to that cliche of “taking it to the next level,” as this record destroys walls and boundaries and declares they have arrived.

oathbreaker coverThis Belgium unit is hard to really pinpoint as far as sound is concerned. Certainly there is plenty of volcanic, emotional hardcore. There are post-rock and post-hardcore influences. There certainly is a lot of metal and punk rock to be heard as well. But, and brace yourself for this if your mind is closed, there even is a sprinkle here and there of indie rock and even pop tendencies (that’s mostly in the vocals), making Oathbreaker a more well-rounded and deadly machine, one that refuses to adhere to boundaries. They slip so seamlessly into all of these areas as well, making the entire record feel like an organic trip through these emotions on display. The record examine the themes of love, loss, and death in a way you can feel both in the vocals and the music, and by the time the album is over, you can’t feel anything but spiritually spent, yet there you go for the repeat button. That’s the sign of a great band, which Oathbreaker surely is becoming, and a devastating record, which “Eros/Anteros” definitely is.

Caro Tanghe is in front of the band, and while her vocals already were pulverizing, she takes things even further on this album, growling and screaming like her life hangs in the balance, and even singing more extensively, showing a whole new dimension to what she does. Rounding out the band are guitarist Lennart Bossu, bassist Gilles Demolder, and drummer Ivo Debrabanderen and like their vocalist, they find new ways to express themselves, doing so both savagely and delicately. They hit all the right moods, set off explosions when the need arises, and perform like a band not just on the rise but fully realized. This is one awesome record.

The record opens fairly quietly on “(Beeltenis),” which is Dutch for “portrait.” The song contains lines of poetry by Maurice Maeterlinck and trickles slowly into a detonation at the hands of “No Rest for the Weary,” a song with relentless energy and punishing shrieks but also a lot of atmosphere and melody. “Upheaval” slams directly into hardcore energy, with harsh vocals, propulsive playing, and an intent to draw blood. That takes us into a duo of companion pieces, starting with “As I Look Into the Abyss,” a song with a construction that reminds me of Converge and At the Drive In doing battle in a warehouse, and it’s kinetic pace spills right into “The Abyss Looks Into Me,” the record’s first epic track where Tanghe lets loose with clean singing and reminds a bit of Kim Deal in the process. It’s a different side of the band, one that shows they could deliver just a good a rock album as they could one teeming with metal and hardcore, and it’s one of the most impressive songs in their catalog so far.

“Condor Tongue” lets the record rip open again, with a post-hardcore-style act of aggression and speedy savagery that lets the fire burn high. “Offer Aan de Leegte” is slow driving and ominous in tone, and also shadowy and cold as song trickles and chugs into “Agartha,” a gritty and massive song where Tanghe pushes her singing voice again and the light and dark elements are balanced just right. “Nomads” is total demolition from start to finish, a song looking to do as much harm in as little time as possible, with ferocious thrashing that’s as fiery as anything on the record, and throaty growls that sound directed right at you. The band closes with the impressive, 11-minute-plus “Clair Obscur,” which means the contrast of light and dark, something that is a major theme of the record. The song feels rainy and reflective, with Tanghe’s voice buried a bit behind the fog (on purpose to trigger the mood), and as she fades further and further into the distance, the band rises up with a simmering, boiling finish that eventually gives way to eerie noise and a ghostly exit.

Oathbreaker still are at the beginning of their run, yet they’ve already delivered a classic with “Eros/Anteros.” This record is a true epic, one that takes you on an emotional journey and forces you not only to witness their tumult but to examine all the storm clouds in your own life. The fact that this band already is this damn good is frightening, and the fact they easily could surpass what they accomplish here on their next record is enthralling. This is one of the most exciting bands in hardcore, one you can watch develop before your eyes, and years later you might tell the next generation of fans where you were the first time you heard “Eros/Anteros.”

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/theoathbreakerreigns?ref=ts

To buy the album, go here: http://deathwishinc.com/estore/category/OATHBREAKER.html

For more on the label, go here: http://www.deathwishinc.com/

Pesanta Urfolk extends its reach with new records from Merkstave, Leila Abdul-Rauf

People tend to envy music writers because we get to hear records earlier than the general public and basically are swimming in new music that would enthrall and excite! I’d say it’s more like we’re drowning in promos. It’s to the point there I have certain key words that, when I seem them in a bio, I immediately hit delete without ever thinking of it again.

I’m only partially complaining because, yes, it’s great to hear new music before having to wait until it arrives in a store, and having tons of new music at my disposal is the cliched “good problem to have.” But it limits what we can do here, which is why we pick and choose stuff we really like to expose to you, so not everything we get is going to get attention. That posed a problem when a huge digital offering from Pesanta Urfolk, a label I really like and am intrigued by, arrived with six goddamned promos in it. Even that is a tall order, but I have been wanting to do more on the label for a long time now, so now seemed as good a time as any to get some words on here about their releases, which are anything but ordinary and predictable.

Peasant Urfolk certainly put out a lot of cult, underground metal, and recently they issued vinyl helpings from Ash Borer, Hell, and Lux Interna that are all worthy of going out of your way to hear. In fact, you can find reviews of two of those records in the archives of this site. That’s just scratching the surface, by the way. They also have put out records for bands such as Velnias, Fauna, and Skagos. Yet, they don’t limit themselves to just purely metal releases, as you’ll learn a little later on in this piece, and what they put out always is worth getting immersed inside of for long periods of time, for you’ll need that for full absorption.

We’re going to get a little more in depth with two of the releases Pesanta Urfolk sent over, and the rest we’ll give you a roundup so you have an idea of what else they’re putting out there. One of today’s albums is by a funeral doom band Merkstave that passed well before its time and absolutely burned with morbid, solemn potential before they faded into the night. The other is a solo record by the wondrous Leila Abdul-Rauf, who has dominated your life in bands such as Vastum, Hammers of Misfortune, Saros, and others, but has something that reaches further back to her Amber Asylum days on her mesmerizing debut record. These albums could not be bigger polar opposites sonically, and I’ve spent a lot of time letting each soak and sprout, which has been a rewarding experience.

12 Jacket (3mm Spine) [GDOB-30H3-007}

We’ll start with Merkstave’s three-track swan song, a gorgeous and destructive collection that fills me with sadness that this strange, shadowy unit no longer makes music together. Made up of four individuals who also play in bands such as aforementioned Hell, Abysmal Dimensions, Elu of the Nine, and Total Darkness, among others, they put together a pair of demos before this full-length collection came together. If you have an affinity for sorrowful, emotional, slow-moving doom, you are likely to mourn this band’s demise as hard as I am, but at least we have this record to remind us of what was.

The first two cuts are the dual-part “Lament for Lost Gods,” a pair of powerful, calculating, downtrodden tracks that might make you think of Pallbearer or Lycus from time to time, and that also can be violent and punishing. Growls spew forth but sometimes are balanced by clean vocals that sound hauntingly detached, which actually makes the presentation more chilling, and the band speeds up their approach in pockets, allowing them time to crush bones into dust. Actually, when they do speed up it takes you by surprise and jerks your head around, proving a stunning change of pace. The second part is more melodic and enchanting, even turning into an infectious piece in parts, with chunks that’ll stick in your head and play back in your mind. Closer “Spawn of a Lower Star” has a purposely weary start that trickles a while before it really comes to life, rolling along with slurred melodies, full-bodied expression, and the torrid crunch eventually melting into its final minutes of melancholy.

Every moment of this album is captivating, and it’s already slipped into my personal heavy rotation. With the colder months not that far away, I imagine that will only continue as we seek shelter from the winds and chill, something this band’s music practically personifies. Too bad we won’t get any more from Merkstave, a bright funeral doom star that burned out too soon.

For more on the band, go here: www.metal-archives.com/bands/Merkstave/3540325807

12 Jacket (3mm Spine) [GDOB-30H3-007}

Abdul-Rauf certainly keeps herself busy when it comes to her music, and her addition to Hammers of Misfortune’s lineup was a brilliant move, one that added even more depth and soul to their classic-style metal. She’s proved an awesome guitarist and vocalist, and everything she’s involved in is worth your time not only because she’s such a good artist but because she only aligns herself with quality bands.

“Cold and Cloud” is Abdul-Rauf’s debut solo outing (the first for Urfolk imprint Saadi Saati), and you might and might not be surprised by what you hear on this record. The compositions are more like what she did with Amber Asylum, as I mentioned, and they’re gentle and atmospheric, with her voice coloring in these pieces with reflective, emotional flourishes. The songs are steeped in a lot of ambiance and can make for a calming, thoughtful listen, and while we miss out on any guitar thunder here, there’s enough of that in her other projects to tide you over, I’m sure. Oddly, a lot of my visits with this record have come during the recent rain and fog spell in these parts, and this album has proved a perfect partner for those times, especially songs such as the drone- and horn-dressed opener “In This Dream,” that mixes New Age mysticism with desert loneliness; “Will I Be Sane?” a song that lets noise bubble a bit and Abdul-Rauf sing like a ghost in the attic; “Tears in White Fluid,” that is pumped with air and a dreamy aesthetic; and the deep sense of finality on closer “Separation,” that has drilled itself deep into my head and heart.

Abdul-Rauf’s album is only available in limited vinyl quantity (we’re talking 100), so if you’re interested in this, you better jump. I’m always pleasantly surprised by everything this great musician does, though not really shocked because I know how capable she is of just about anything musically. Here is more proof, and is it ever beautiful and numbing.

For more on Abdul-Rauf, go here: http://leilaabdulrauf.bandcamp.com/

Pesanta Urfolk have a few more releases ready for you that aren’t necessarily down the metal path but should pique the interest of our more ambitious readers out there. The Sterling Sisters make dusty, compelling country rock that would sound perfect during a Western murder film, and that band’s singer Scout Pare-Phillips also has a 7-inch out. There also is the dark Americana of Munly & the Lee Lewis, as well as the spiritually-devastating neo-folk of Sangre de Muerdago, who made people take notice at last year’s Stella Natura festival. All of these records might take a special listener to fully understand and embrace them, and if that’s you, prepare to be surrounded by musical riches.

To buy any of these albums, go here: http://pesanta.bigcartel.com/

For more on the label, go here: http://f-consortium.com/pesanta/

Pittsburgh’s Carousel mix NWOBHM, classic guitar riffs on debut ‘Jeweler’s Daughter’

Photo by Heather Mull

Photo by Heather Mull

OK, so it’s mid-week. Who’s ready for a beer? Everyone? For a site with the word “mead” in its title, we don’t do nearly enough stuff on choice brews, but we do supply you with musical accompaniment options for your own drinking adventures in case you need a companion. It’s never fun to drink alone, so if you have someone or something making racket in the same room with you, it’s more fun.

Pittsburgh’s Carousel, while not a band making songs about drinking per se, is perfect fodder for what ails you. Their steady grasp of late ’70s/early ’80s heavy metal is as tight as anyone else trying this same thing, and maybe it’s just me who feels this way, but it’s the perfect match for when I want to pop open some cold bottles with very high ABVs and see where the night takes me. It certainly doesn’t hurt if you like the classic NWOBHM bands such as Diamond Head, Iron Maiden, and Judas Priest, as well as the Scorpions and Thin Lizzy, because these guys take those influences, roll them into one propulsive cauldron and rock out all over the place. It’s a good time.

11183_JKTPittsburgh is a town that bleeds classic rock, but not necessarily in a good way. The local stations play the same goddamned songs over and over again a million times until you want to punch someone next time to year “Gimme Back My Bullets” or some Steve Miller shit, and the local bands they serve up pretty much are intolerable. Yet, for the more adventurous types in town, and all over the world for that matter, Carousel would make perfect sense on those airwaves and would be something fresh and compelling to get people off their asses. They have incredibly fun lead guitar work, that blends into twin leads and pure classic metal glory, the vocals are a little gruff but melodic enough for you to sing along to, and the drums bash the sides of your head in. But you will have had 30 beers, so you won’t care you’re being beaten up. It’ll just make the whole experience that much more rewarding.

Carousel take their name from the death contraption from “Logan’s Run” (as if you needed another compelling reason to check out this band), and their ranks are made up of dudes who have been plying their trade locally and nationally who have combined to form this great monster. Vocalist/guitarist Dave Wheelers and drummer Jake Leger (who plays for the equally tremendous Karl Hendricks Trio) started the band three years ago, and they’ve since been joined by guitarist Chris Tritschler (of Pittsburgh metal titans Lady Beast) and Jim Wheeler on bass to complete this band of crazies who are taking guitar rock to ridiculous new levels and are infectious and bombastic playing together.

We get right into our title track from the word go, with chugging guitar thunder, NWOBHM thunder, and catchy chorus with Wheelers bellowing, “I can’t deny the spell you’ve got me under.” Trust me, that line will stick in your head for a while. “Long Time” is just as catchy, and it has vintage-sounding opening that could have you pining for early ’80s radio rock, if you go back that far, and the dual guitar lines should be enough to whip you into a frenzy. The song is just a blast, especially since it also has a rock solid chorus. “Crippler” keeps the momentum going with more charged up riffs, leaning heavily toward the Thin Lizzy side of things, and they hit a shuffle that might make you want to throw the couch into the yard. “On My Way” sounds like what it might if you put Motorhead and Diamond Head in a blender, as it’s fast, rowdy, and headed right toward your face.

“Waste of Time” teases you at the start with a start-stop riff, but then it melts with wah-infused guitar lines, drubbing drums, and some psychedelic backwash. “Light of Day” unloads the cowbell, the cymbals get a good workout, and the fellows hit a shuffle-heavy riff that could make air guitar acceptable just this once. This song would sound great coming from an old beat-up car that hasn’t had air conditioning in 25 years. Just sweat that shit out. It’s totally worth it. “Nightfall” pulls the reins back just a bit, as they embrace a mid-tempo pace, but they keep the thunder coming with strong guitar work that gets a little mesmerizing at times, even-keeled vocals, and presentation that could bring a tear to the late Ronnie James Dio’s eyes. “Contrition” is an acoustic interlude that sets the stage for album closer “Penance,” a hard rocker that doesn’t seem like it’s all that concerned with making good for some wrong, and it’s an ideal album topper for this killer collection.

Carousel might not fit rigid metal standards for some people, but that’s their problem. If you love classic metal, want to have a good time, and care to have beer outside by a backyard fire, you pretty much need “Jeweler’s Daughter” by your side to make everything just right. That doesn’t mean you need to be trashed to hear them, because they sound just as mauling if you’re in your right mind (many of my listens, I have been clean as a whistle). Whatever your state of mind, Carousel are more than ready to knock you down, laugh at you, help you up, and do it all over again. Ah, you can’t stay mad at them.

For more on the band, go here: www.facebook.com/pages/Carousel/220084014687656

To buy the album, go here: teepee.hasawebstore.com/

For more on the label, go here: www.teepeerecords.com/

Primitive Man’s debut ‘Scorn’ should fill your soul with disgust and hopelessness

Primitive Man
We’re all guilty of being miserable people to deal with now and again. Or maybe all the time. I don’t get those people who go smiling through life, and I think they’re living a lie. It’s OK to feel like things are shit, and if you can’t admit that now and again, then you’re lying to yourself.

Those happy-all-the-time liars probably hear bands like Primitive Man, the new hulking bastard heathens out of Denver and probably wonder what their collective problem is. Can’t they just see the bright side? Can’t they smile? Can’t they just hug a puppy or something and get over it? The puppy thing being great advice aside, the answer is no. Some people have times when they’re overwhelmed and can’t take anymore and just want to know someone feels as miserable as they do. And once again, we round back to Primitive Man, a band of miserable fucks. Or so it seems from their tumultuous debut record “Scorn.” I mean, come on. It’s called “Scorn”!

The band is muddy, mucky, and devastating, and the seven songs on this debut album won’t make you feel good if you’re looking for something to make you all bright and cheery inside. It’s mean and ugly, it’s warped and damaged, and it’s another pummeling signing for Relapse, a label that’s on an absolute tear this year.

Primitive FrontBut while the band may be new as a unit, its members are not. Vocalist/guitarist Ethan Lee McCarthy plies his horrible trade in the criminally under-appreciated Clinging to the Trees of a Forest Fire and now is wailing away for Withered, while bassist Jonathan Campos (Reproacher) and drummer Isidro Soto (Kitezh) back him up with hellacious noise that backs up the madness lurching out of their singer’s mouth. It can be scary shit at times, and it’s also one hell of a fascinating, cataclysmic record that spills blood in a way that offers no mercy.

The album kicks off with the 11:44-long title cut, one that’s cold, calculating, and chillingly slow for its first half, as the band mauls you with mean, menacing drubbing, and McCarthy sounds like a deranged man who, while completely off his rocker, still has his wits about him. The final few minutes are crushing and fast, as the band hits high gear out of nowhere and shows they can be a total war machine. “Rags” begins its assault right off the bat, punching and bloodying your face, and gurgling vocals rising to the surface and releasing poisonous emissions into the air. That leads to the unsettling and strange “I Can’t Forget,” a song packed with weird, eerie noise, bizarre chants, buried shrieks, and demented lurching. The track is a total nightmare to behold and could haunt you to your core.

Nine-minute “Antietam” is grinding and simmering at the same time, with the band stepping up and mauling you like a hungry bear out of the woods. The sludgy areas even out, letting the band pick up some speed and throw blind elbows at your temples, and it’s a sizzling, violent, extended piece of carnage that drowns out in a storm of noise. “Black Smoke” is similar to “I Can’t Forget” in that it’s an ambient slab of horror, with odd noises, a loop of crazed heavy breathing, and the sense that things are about to go really wrong. “Stretched Thin” is another mauler that’s faster and shorter than most of what’s on the record, but it’s no less effective. Closer “Astral Sleep” picks up the pieces, starting with clobbering doom and relentless feedback before the song hits a crunchy, slow-driven pace. Then, before you have time to think, it gets turned on its head and the crunch and thrash overwhelms. Noise spits out, and the final salvo of aggression proves to be what buries you, driving you as far underground as humanly possible. Just brutal.

Primitive Man’s debut is ugly and terrifying in the best possible way, and they add a much-needed sense of danger back to the metal world. If you suspend your sense of disbelief, you might find yourself convinced these guys are killers, waiting around the bend for you just to exact some revenge on the rest of rotting society gone awry. You shouldn’t feel safe, you shouldn’t feel good, and if you don’t, Primitive Man have done their jobs.

For more on the band, go here: http://primitivemandoom.com/

To buy the album, go here: http://www.relapse.com/store.html

For more on the label, go here: http://www.relapse.com/