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Symbolic (Awaiting Repress)Originally released in March 1995, Symbolic - Death's 6th album, is widely considered one of the top 10 death metal albums of all time.1. Symbolic
2. Zero Tolerance
3. Empty Words
4. Sacred Serenity
5. 1,000 Eyes
6. Without Judgement
7. Crystal Mountain
9. Perennial Quest$22.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Lady In Gold (Bone Vinyl)Limited Edition Of 500 Copies Pressed On Bone Colored Vinyl
Very few modern bands are lucky enough to have such a unique, individual and inimitable style as well as blessed with such an incredible voice at the forefront, so it's very rare that a group representing traditional blues-rock can come along with all these characteristics and whip up such excitement in 2016.
BLUES PILLS contain all these elements to create extraordinary music that sounds original and new but respects those long-held rules of blues and rock and roll tradition. Although, it's the individual characteristics of the band that makes this music electrifying; the steady bass of Zack Anderson, thumping rhythm of AndrÉ Kvarnström, technical and yet improvisational guitar of Dorian Sorriaux and the sensational soaring vocals of frontwoman Elin Larsson that set this band apart.
The psychedelic sounds of the band may hail back to the prosperity of the 1960's and 1970's and it's true their distinctive sound may include a few ingredients of the past; a pinch of late 60's Americana, a sprinkling of blues, a heavy serving of rock 'n' roll, a big squeeze of soul but it's all shaken up into a brand-new cocktail of sound, and served into this heavenly new blend we call BLUES PILLS.
That's why it seems to be a sign of destiny that the stars aligned for this exceptional group to be born in 2011, only one year later the striking, soulful and organic sound of first single 'Black Smoke' was fascinating countless listeners - followed up by the EP "Bliss". When in 2014 the self-titled album was released, the whole genre was turned upside down and BLUES PILLS were charting across Europe and continually selling out larger venues. Now the fans are calling on BLUES PILLS to present their second album "Lady In Gold".
"'Lady Gold' is a character symbolizing death", explains singer Elin Larsson of the intriguing album title. "We wanted to get away from the typical stereotype of the Grim Reaper."
The mystical and dark references of the album title are echoed throughout a lot of the album - there's the ode to the female "Keeper Of The Soul" on spiritual sounding title track 'Lady In Gold' and talks of failed salvation from a deceitful messiah in the soul anthem 'Little Boy Preacher'. There's emotive blues ballads in 'I've Felt A Change' and 'Burned Out' and empowering post-heartbreak tales in 'Won't Go Back' and 'Rejection'.
Similarly to the self-titled debut "Lady In Gold" was produced in Sweden by producer Don Alsterberg and it captures everything that's made them one of the most talked about rock bands of the past few years.1. Lady In Gold
2. Little Boy Preacher
3. Burned Out
4. I Felt A Change
5. Gone So Long
6. Bad Talkers
7. You Gotta Try
8. Won't Go Back
10. Elements And Things$24.99Colored Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Heaven & HullImport
Available On Vinyl For The First Time
Heaven And Hull was the final solo album by David Bowie alumnus and Rock guitarist Mick Ronson, released in 1994, following Ronson's death the previous year. The album features collaborations by long time friends of Ronson including David Bowie, Joe Elliott, and Ian Hunter. Other artists on this first-ever LP include Peter Noone, Martin Chambers and Chrissie Hynde, Phil Collen and John Mellencamp.
The All The Young Dudes track on Heaven And Hull is from the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, where Ronson himself was suffering from cancer. On screen, he appears very thin, while still playing blistering guitar. It proved to be his last concert.
Sham Morris, one of the album's producers: During the making of Heaven And Hull, (working title To Hull And Back) I asked Mick to visualize a characteristic from his home town of Hull. His first thought was the Humber Bridge. The Bridge became very symbolic for those of us working on the album and it was his wish to incorporate it in the artwork. Mick has crossed the Bridge now and left us this swan song.1. Don't Look Down
2. Like A Rolling Stone
3. When The World Falls Down
4. Trouble With Me
5. Life's A River
6. You And Me
7. Colour Me
8. Take A Long Line
9. Midnight Love
10. All The Young Dudes$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Pressed On Clear Vinyl With Black Splatter
For over a quarter century the monumental vessel of KATAKLYSM has overwhelmed the world with immense, powerful, death metal. Since their formation in 1991, they have uprooted influence in everything from ancient human history to the basic instincts surrounding mortal emotion. Part of what has kept KATAKLYSM not just surviving, but thriving for such a long period of time, is their incredible ability to explore the darkest chasms and most intricate paths of fleshly nature through music. With no end in sight, KATAKLYSM has culminated their most recent inspirations into their upcoming creation, Meditations, set for release via Nuclear Blast Records.
The building of the record began surrounding the recent 25-year milestone as the band members found themselves in an era of re-creation. KATAKLYSM's sound has always been incredibly diverse and attracted a wide variety of fans. Frontman Maurizio Iacono feels that the time has come to truly immerse the band in those origins of being naturally unique: "We've never really belonged to one thing, we were never really a follower of one style of music; we were a hybrid. It confused people a little bit, I think we were an outsider band regarding that... not part of anything." This philosophy has naturally led to the beginning of an Outsider Movement, a "vast majority" of uniqueness amongst the masses of the metal world.
As the band approaches this new era, they remain true to their root sound while developing an even more melodic dynamism. The title, Meditations, mirrors the emotional elements of these robust and vigorous sounds, while the incredible artwork (designed by artist Suzy Iacono) visually reflects the emotional torment and sonic release that the songs on the album portray. With KATAKLYSM's classic symbol reflecting the clouds in the sky, a human face is seen struggling from inside the roots of a tree; screaming and struggling to escape. The washy colors set the tone for an intense and effective batch of musical measures. Strong songs like 'Guillotine' and 'Outsider' are sure to be die-hard fan pleasers with their classic KATAKLYSM sound and as they "are very intertwined with KATAKLYSM's message," says Iacono.
This album cycle also consisted of a slightly different recipe in terms of the recording process. Guitarist JF Dagenais, who has always been involved in the band's recording, set out to do the entirety of Meditations with the band's newest member, drummer Oli Beaudoin, by his side. Dagenais & Beaudoin recorded the album in the depths of the Canadian forest at the studio the band built specifically for JF's recordings. The production process was also taken in an entirely different direction this time with the hiring of fellow Canadian Jay Ruston who more commonly works with bands like STONE SOUR and ANTHRAX. "It's a risk when you're in a very tunnel vision industry," says Iacono. "We wanted something out there, with a different kind of production [and] we were very impressed with his sound."
Meditations is a refreshing representation of both the roots and foundations of KATAKLYSM. It represents the duality of various essences in the realm of truly existing as an Outsider. It is something which will electrify consistent KATAKLYSM fans, welcome new ones, and reawaken old ones. KATAKLYSM is: Maurizio Iacono (Vocals), JF Dagenais (Guitars), Stephane Barbe (Bass) and Oli Beaudoin (Drums).1. Guillotine
3. The Last Breath I'll Take Is Yours
5. Born To Kill And Destined To Die
6. In Limbic Resonance
7. ...And Then I Saw Blood
8. What Doesn't Break Doesn't Heal
9. Bend The Arc, Cut The Cord
10. Achilles' Heel$24.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Satanist (Awaiting Repress)
Exclusive Bonus Track
Double Gatefold Jacket
24-Page LP Sized Book
"The Satanist is magic. It's dangerous. It's adventurous, and it's organic," states Nergal, the driving force behind Behemoth since their inception in 1991, and brief exposure to the band's tenth album more than supports this statement. While instantly recognizable as the work of the Polish blackened death quartet it takes their sound in previously unimagined and riveting directions. A writhing, densely layered, brutally violent and sinister record, it is quite unlike anything ever unleashed within the canon of heavy music. As such it demands attention, offering ever greater sonic and emotional depths with every listen. "You may hear the title and think it's very primitive and one-dimensional, and yes it is, but when you look beyond that it's as primitive as it is complex and multidimensional, and that applies to everything about the record."
It has been a rocky road leading to the realization of the album. Having dropped 2009s Evangelion to almost universal critical acclaim they saw it top the chart in their native country and dramatically expand their following around the world, and playing some of the best shows of their lives the band seemed truly unstoppable. But, in August 2010 Nergal was diagnosed with leukemia, stopping them in their tracks. Forced to abandon their ongoing tour in support of Evangelion Nergal was hospitalized, and both he and Behemoth faced an uncertain future. With the search for a bone marrow donor ultimately successful Nergal underwent a transplant, leaving the hospital after six months and beginning down the long road to rehabilitation. "I knew I was pretty much fucked and there was a battle to be won, and I had no fucking idea if it was going to take six months or twelve months or maybe four years, because with cancer you never know. I learned from being in the hospital that there are things in life that you can control and things that you can't control. The sooner you realize which is which it's going to make your life so much easier, and since then I started to focus on the right things. I could be determined, I could have discipline, I could have faith, but everything else is not under my control, and it really was a case of just crossing fingers for the best possible outcome. I was fortunate enough that that recovery period was relatively fast, and that I was really strong and very determined to get back into shape made a real difference."
Rather than immediately getting down to working on a new album, the band - also comprised of drummer Inferno, bassist Orion, and guitarist Seth - set out to complete the abandoned touring cycle for Evangelion, hitting the road for the aptly titled Phoenix Rising Tour. Wanting to prove they were stronger than ever the first show was the only time doubts crept into Nergal's mind. "I was a fucking wreck, and I almost didn't make it to the end of the set. The venue was really smoky, and that was stuffing my nose and my lungs, and physically I felt that I couldn't pull it off. I did, but I was close to passing out on stage. I was literally shocked by this, I remember thinking while we were playing shit, what if I can't do this anymore? I'm just a human being after all. Going into the next show I had no sleep because of all the nerves and anxiety, but it was fucking amazing. With every following show I would get stronger and stronger and grow more confident, and aware of the fact that yes, we will do this."
Having returned to full force the band were ready to once more move forward, and they began work on what would become The Satanist. While many bands might be concerned with how to follow up a record as devastatingly powerful - and successful - as Evangelion Nergal faced no such doubts. "I don't race myself, and I don't need to prove anything to anyone. Evangelion was a very important record to us, and yes, it was very successful too, but in making The Satanist it wasn't a point of beating that. The point was to do what was organic, and make a natural and honest and sincere album, and that's it. Now the record is finished I like to think of it as an album that is just so different that you can't really compare it to our previous works, which is the best outcome I could hope for." One thing is inarguable, and that is the record is the most sonically rich and complex released under the Behemoth name. With layer upon layer of sound it has great sonic density, but there is intricacy to this, and nothing is forced or contrived. "I don't have a kid but I think the process of raising one is comparable: you invest a lot of your energy and effort and wisdom and money and you educate them, but there's never a one hundred percent guarantee he's going to become a lawyer and not a serial killer. It's the same story with the records - we supply the elements but we just don't know how these elements mixed together are going to come out, and I think it's fortunate that we don't have one hundred percent control over it! It makes for something special."
The title of the record itself is undeniable in its power, and Nergal sees it as capturing the primal wisdom that the band have always tried to maintain. "To me it's not pretentious at all. It's very straight up, very sincere, and a devastating, conquering statement. There's no compromise or bullshit or gimmicks. What I love about it is that it just speaks for itself. On one hand it's a very black and white title: The Satanist is like a fucking nail through the hand of Jesus Christ, period. No more, no less. But then again, as with everything else you put a hundred people together and ask them what the name The Satanist means to them and you're going to hear a hundred different opinions, which they can then discuss and fight over." Likewise, Nergal views the lyrical content of the record as similarly open to interpretation, encouraging this. "There's a lot of symbolism and reflections and impressions in there, and it's using millions of metaphors to express a certain very sinister and very captivating atmosphere, but there are no answers. People always like to have a deeper insight into what we do, but that's not what we want to give with this record. The way I see it is that between us we can make a huge fucking pyre and set the world on fire, but what we're doing is just giving you the matches, giving you the spark, what you want to do with it is up to you. Personally, if I sat down with the lyrics in front of me I too would probably come up with a lot of different interpretations and concepts, it's a never ending process, and that's exciting to me."
Twenty-three years and ten albums into their career, that Behemoth is still in the ascendant is a statement to their commitment, determination and capacity for writing such powerful music. If ever a band was to go out on a high The Satanist would make for one hell of a swan song, but don't expect them to disappear any time soon. "I remember before we we had a record deal I was having a conversation with Baal, the band's original drummer, and we said okay, if one day we manage to record an album and put it out how cool would it be to split up right after that? It would be one record and no more, and there was something about that that had an appeal, but y'know what, it doesn't work like that for individuals like myself. Hunger has always driven me through life, and I can never sit in one place and relax for too long because I have the need to explore this whole universe in every possible way. Now, over two decades later it's the same story. I can tell you I have no problems with finishing my career after this record. Just say the title itself: The Satanist. How the fuck am I gonna beat that title? It sounds like the ultimate definition of our art - but then again, I remember that conversation with Baal, and I know it doesn't work like that, so I know there will probably be other incarnations of our artistic identity, one way or another. All I know is I love being here and now, and I just want to underline that I couldn't be more proud and happy with my own music. It really drives me through the day, and now I just want to sit back and hear any and all opinions of it."1. Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel
2. Furor Divinus
3. Messe Noire
4. Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer
6. The Satanist
7. Ben Sahar
8. In the Absence ov Light
9. O Father O Satan O Sun!$44.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now