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Genre > Rock > Heavy Metal
Meditations In BMeditations in B. A simpler time. Like Pepperidge Farms, and Little House on the Prairie. Two beautiful young men (Aaron Turner and Santos Montano) set off on their own, in the peak of their sexual virility, to forge a new path in brutally sludgy, crushing, apocalyptic, post-metal, post-hardcore, pre-Y2K, post-math, pre-friendster, post-rock riffs. It was a magical time, before they added a few "session players." Still regarded by some (mostly the guys who played on it) as Old Man Gloom's finest hour. Fun fact: Meditations in B was written in one afternoon, then recorded AND mixed in 12 hours! While many things in this text are only kinda true, that is absolutely true. They also had the privilege of recording it in their home town of Santa Fe, New Mexico at Stepbridge Studios. Within months of this, they used this monumental piece of music to convince Nate Newton (Converge) to join, and once they had him, it was a little easier to convince Caleb Scofield (Cave In) to join. It's kinda like the beginning of Bill and Ted, where the talk about getting Eddie Van Halen to join, but won't be good until he joins, but can't get good ‘til he joins, to convince him to join. Get it? Fantastic.1. Afraid Of
2. Flood I
3. Simian Alien Technology: Message Recieved
4. Sonic Wave of Bees
5. Sonar Enlightenment Program
6. Rotten Primate
7. The Exploder Whale
9. An Evening at the Gentlemen's Club for Apes
11. Test Results: Alien Ape Distress Signal
12. Flood II
13. Resolving the de-Evolution Conflict
$19.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
An Anthology Of Dead EndsBACK IN PRINT! A good day for Botch consisted of utterly laying to waste everything in their path and having a grand ol’ time while doing so. The same is true of their recordings, huge monstrous concoctions of metal, noise, indie rock guitar trickery, full of depth and minute secrets which slowly secreted themselves with successive listens. There is no question that part of what made Botch so great is their ability as players, but more important, and even more impressive perhaps, was the way they fit the pieces together - odd time signatures, seemingly impossible riffs made to sound easy, the occasional melodic passages, and devastating anthemic movements that managed to inspire hordes while simultaneously escaping the redundant simplicity of the conventional hardcore sing along.
Botch has continued to tour both the US as well as the European continent and have seen many new bands emerge, building upon the tracks they themselves helped to create. Bands like Dillinger Escape Plan, Converge, and many others have continued to push the envelope of technical ferocity and awe inspiring performances in the live setting, but still Botch stand alone - proving themselves to be ultimately one of the most entertaining, challenging, and unique entities to have ever existed with in the hardcore realm and beyond it.
This tremendous 6 track EP is a fitting testament to their will and intent, cementing their legacy as one of the untouchable greats, destined to influence the coming generations. We are more than sad to see them go, but as shown from the opening notes of “Spaim”, they absolutely refuse to go down quietly and we can all rest assured that the echoes of this explosion will shake us for years to come.1. Spaim
$21.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
GrondLimited To 600
GRØND, chapter two in a trilogy, is an album wholly developed through a process of withering abstraction. The instrumentation renders a forceful merging of massive celestial bodies, each a whirling cacophony of inter-dimensional conjuring. After digesting the lyrics in accordance, what used to sound like the swinging of a pendulum, rather depicts a birth of an unknowable origin... a spectral and magnetic void. Nihill, an outfit firmly entrenched in the European underground, travels freely from one metal sub-genre to the next, effectively dispensing with the notion of a genre specific work all together. The reflexive nature with which Nihill makes these connections puts them beyond the boundaries of simple categorization. GRØND is at once: black metal, drone, doom, noise, and even hints at martial industrialism; arriving at something resembling mechanistic dark ambient as much as traditional black metal. If this unique work need suffer comparison for the sake of cognition, Nihill's nearest contemporaries are the likes of Blut Aus Nord, Deathspell Omega and the more obtuse of America's own Leviathan. Moreover, rather than confining the moods and ideas therein to the nullifying constructs of a conventional metal record, GRØND offers the listener the opportunity to perceive things beyond physicality, an experience closer to metaphysical awakening than base entertainment. Into the void indeed....1. Aard
$27.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs SealedBuy Now
Time's ArrowFor many artists who have careers that span more than an album or two, there are often various lines visible in their work - a line from origin to current form, lines between different paradigms of sound, lines across which fans of different manifestations of the artist will not cross. Prurient in 2011 is drawing just such lines, and Time's Arrow proves this point explicitly. Here we bear witness to Dominick Fernow's long running project once again evolving, unfolding, and changing. Taking a bold step away from the sounds which drew attention his way in the formative years, he is clearly moving towards something new, something still taking form in the present moment. It's unsettling, perhaps for followers of Prurient's former incarnations, but extremely important for the longevity and vitality of a determinedly restless and inventive musician as Fernow has consistently proved to be.
If noise music, the genre to which Prurient has most often been assigned, is about confrontation, exploration, and defying expectations, this release measures up on all counts. Yet, much of what made past work identifiable as noise music harsh textures, screams washed in seas of static, clanging unidentified percussion is now gone. Those elements which formerly provided a valuable counterpoint to the harsh din of Prurient's core sound buried melodies, passages of relative serenity, and occasional spoken word bits have come to the fore. A sense of naked clarity and uncomfortable intimacy now brings the listener closer to the world as described the music, rather than pushing away the would-be voyeuristic observer. This is best illustrated on the title track of the EP, "Times Arrow," where a glistening synth melody lays atop an undeniably dancey beat, over which a fragmented, but clearly discernable narrative is intoned - sinister in character to be sure, but also clearly without any element that could be described as overtly aggressive.1. Time's Arrow
2. Time's Arrow (Unsolved)
3. Let's Make a Slave (De-Shelled)
4. Maskless Face
5. Slavery In the Bahamas [Instrumental]
$20.99Vinyl LP - SealedBuy Now
Revelation: Sick Again (Out Of Stock)It's been said many times over that suffering can render magnificent, if sometimes horrifying, results when skillfully transmuted into image, word or song. This maxim might be a good summation of the existence of Buzzoven who have notoriously lived the most extreme facets of the rock n' roll lifestyle: drug addiction, rehab, relapse, jail, break ups, reunions.
Through all this they managed to produce some of the most beautifully damaged music since Black Flag's descent into the nihilistic abyss of My War. Straddling the lines of metal, doom and filthy hardcore, Buzzoven still stand as a significant pillar of the '90's underground alongside other such disfigured anomalies (and occasional touring partners) Eyehategod and Neurosis. Their gait may have occasionally faltered due to some of the aforementioned obstacles, but in the first decade of their existence Buzzoven revealed remarkable consistency, creating an ever growing procession of nightmarish, skull-scraping albums and EPs.Though not surprising given their dysfunctional history, the premature burial of their last studio album due to legal entanglements was yet another frustrating occurrence in a long line of minor and major catastrophes for the band.
Written and recorded under a self-described period of "exhaustion, drug-induced confusion and frustration" their music once again managed to flourish despite (or perhaps because of ) the adverse circumstances under which it was created. Revelation: Sick Again is classic Buzzoven, replete with blistering Sabbath-ian riffing, throat torn eulogies to the narcotically oppressed, and monumental gutter dwelling dirges. Over the course of the albums' eight tracks the untidy trio unfurl their tentacles reaching into the dim recesses of human existence to pull forth yet another grizzled portrait of life gone horribly wrong. Previously available only to bootleg diehards and internet trolls in inferior incarnations, this long lingering blackened gem has finally been disinterred for the world at large and properly presented in all its ragged filthy glory.1. Never Again Again
3. Ka Killa
$20.99Vinyl LP - SealedTemporarily out of stock
We Are The Romans (Out Of Stock)The year was 1999. Prince told us to party like it is 1999. The world had us thinking there would be computer mayhem after the year 1999. The same year that George W. Bush told us that he would be a republican candidate for the upcoming election. It was the same year that the Euro was introduced as a major form of currency. Yet after all of events, three blunders and one economic uprising (give you a hint, the economic uprising did not have anything to do with George W. Bush), there was one record in 1999 that changed a genre of music as we know it or perhaps even created one. In 1999 in Tacoma, Washington the four members of Botch created an album that is considered one of the best within its genre entitled, We Are The Romans. A title that is a statement about the United States thought of immortality, but a realization that we are not. The album cover shows what appears to be New York City with a huge blot of black ink covering the city. Within the blot is a red target, signifying that the United States is indeed a target. The even more disturbing aspect of the art is the fact that when you first open the contents, there is a picture of destroyed buildings. That picture, perhaps, tells the story of what will happen in the near future to the United States or maybe Botch themselves. Now then, let us get to the album that Norma Jean tried to base an entire album off.
Botch had only produced two full-length albums during their brief career as a band. We Are The Romans was the second of the two and a major advancement from their earlier release, American Nervoso. While American Nervoso was an amazing record in its own regard, it was not produced well and not as groundbreaking, musically, as We Are The Romans. During this release they came up with catchy and yet menacing guitar riffs, thick distorted sludgy bass riffs, extremely technical drumming.
As an opener, “To Our Friends in the Great White North,” kicks you directly, square in the nuts. With an initial shout, the guitar, bass, drums immediately follow. A consistent downward scale is played on the guitar that soon slyly transitions in a chug-to-high chord section. It then begins to break down as the pace begins to slow down. On and off head banger riffs follow at a slow dissipated pace that leads into a clean vocal section chanting
it’s your fault (it’s your fault)
***ing up the kids (***ing up the kids)
The chant is repeated for a few solitary moments and then it becomes tacit with just a high-hat keeping tempo that quickly turns until another heavy part with intense guitar work. The initial reactions after this song that it was simply mind blowing. The album maintains its ride of almighty power into the next song “Mondrian Was A Liar” with math metal elements incorporated. “Transitions from Persona to Object” continues the theme of memorable guitar riffs with a hook that is repeated and altered throughout the duration of the entire song. While the noises protruding may not be the most pleasant to the ear, they certainly add to the effect of destruction. While some may say that the repetitive nature of the song continues for far too long (clocking in at just over six minutes), the overall feeling was that it could not be abruptly stopped after any given point. It eventually comes to a halt when the drums are the only remaining instrument left. “C. Thomas Howell as the "Soul Man”” provides a sloppy and gritty performance with classic tapping guitar riffs. Also contained is a three note distorted bass riff that evolves into a clean break within the song that builds up into chaos that then tapers off.
More than half way through the album, We Are The Romans needed a shot of pure adrenaline. In what is the climax of the album, “Saint Matthew Returns to the Womb” has an unspeakable feeling about it. The song practically defines metalcore (in an album that is the start of metalcore, as we know it, perhaps). A song that combines classic elements of brutal metal and what can be considered “fun” hardcore. It is a true staple strong in the short lifespan of Botch. Finally, in what maybe be considered the song that may have predicted Botch’s downfall, “Man The Ramparts.” Surely, one can look at the album in the eyes of America’s downfall, but ironically, Botch may have fell first. Think about it this way, it was their last full length without conflicts of the direction the band was going. It is a song about preparing for what is ahead, because it will soon be a collapse, but not without a last stand.
We’ll man the ramparts
With arrows ready
With our flags up
We are the Romans
The song can almost be related to a battle. It starts as it were trudging along to the beat of a war drum with off time guitar and bass. It then starts the battle with a brutal scream and fiery fierceness to it. As it continues, it slowly disassembles and then regains composure into the previous intensity. The song dies down, with every beat and it begins to fade into a choir hymn saying We are the Romans as almost collecting forces to join for one last hurrah. Eight minutes and thirty now elapse, the quintessential loudest section of the entire song ERUPTS. Precise drumming and abrasive chords carry on until the final hits of the instruments and the last screech and it everything stops.
It is over. The piercing screaming, the rhythmically brilliant drumming, the coarse sound of the bass, and the memorable guitar riffs are no longer. While “I Wanna Be A Sex Symbol On My Own Terms” is the only track that I feel was a grave disappointment, they produced an unbelievably solid record. We are the Romans was a completely original album in its own regard and left a legacy behind. They made the music that was out there more interesting and complex. Botch created a fusion that was perfected with this release. I am glad one thing will never change, no matter what year it is next; I can still listen to this album.
- Ryan Flatley (Sputnik Music)1. To Our Friends In the Great White North
2. Mondrian Was A Liar
3. Transitions From Persona To Object
4. Swimming The Channel Vs. Driving The Channel
5. C. Thomas Howell As The "Soul Man"
6. Saint Matthew Returns To The Womb
7. Frequency Ass Bandit
8. I Wanna Be A Sex Symbol On My Own Terms
9. Man The Ramparts
$25.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs SealedTemporarily out of stock
Blue Lambency Downward (Out Of Stock)1. Blue Lambency Downward
2. Clelia Walking
3. Right Hand is the One I Want
4. The Sow Submits
5. The Awkward Windwheel
6. The Useless Ladder
7. Symmetrical Arizona$18.99Colored Vinyl LP - SealedTemporarily out of stock