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DIGIPACK 2xCD $12.98



It's been nearly twenty years since we last had a full-length album from Ramleh operating in "rock" mode, but the sprawling new double album Circular Time sees these British noise rock legends returning with their most intense work since re-emerging in recent years. One of the key bands to emerge from the British post-industrial underground of the early 1980s alongside their Broken Flag label-mates Skullflower, Ramleh continually shifted between the extreme, confrontational power electronics of their early material and their later forays into searing, lysergic noise rock, right up until the band went on an extended hiatus in the late 1990s. The group would return later the following decade with a number of reissues and new releases, but up until now, almost all of the new material from the re-activated Ramleh leaned more towards their power electronics and harsh noise tendencies. But with this massive new album, these distortion masters (now comprised of founding member Gary Mundy, longtime member Anthony Di Franco, and new drummer Martyn Watts) have returned with nearly two hours of speaker-shredding, void-gazing psychedelia, pushing the pummeling, Hawkwindian meltdowns heard on classic 90's-era albums like Be Careful What You Wish For and Shooters Hill into realms of total obliteration.

Still forged from a simple but savage combination of pummeling mogodon drumming, monstrously overloaded synthesizers and elliptical, sludge-encrusted bass riffs that anchor the squalls of brutal, electrified guitar noise that crash across these thirteen tracks, Ramleh's sound remains hypnotically crushing. From the almost pastoral strum of opener "Re-entry" that ends up exploding into a frenzy of howling feedback and motorik propulsion, the galloping power and delay-drenched delirium of "Incubator", to the lurching post-punk of "The Tower", the ferocious, volcanic ragas of "Renaissance Warfare", and the lumbering, almost Sabbathian bass-thud and longform guitar exploration that winds through songs like "The March" and "American Womanhood", Ramleh excavate some of their most monstrous riffs and amplifier meltdowns to date. Heavy, zoned-out drone-rock grooves are unleashed amid gales of sky-scorching guitar noise, with epic psych-shred workouts stretched out across storms of nebular effects. Eerie choral ambience rises above over-modulated bass-lines and tumultuous drumming. Distant vocals howl beneath sheets of shimmering guitar, and streaks of twisted, mutant dub materialize within some of the album's catchier moments. Cacophonies of blissed-out guitar squall and violent drumming come tumbling out of the speakers in a rush of freeform psychnoise, and vast, rumbling dronescapes unfurl in the abyss, enfolding majestic but brutally distorted melodies in waves of shadowy low-frequency synth. It's dark, often brutal music, but also shot through with moments of sweeping, apocalyptic beauty, building to the powerful back-to-back finale of "Weird Tyranny" and "Never Returner" that are as utterly blasted and majestic as anything we've heard from Ramleh in the band's thirty-some year existence.

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     One of many offshoots / alter-egos of the notorious Dutch industrial black metal outfit Gnaw Their Tongues, Cloak Of Altering returns to deliver the follow-up to the maniacal 2014 album Plague Beasts, unleashing yet another brain-scrambling blast of mutated symphonic black metal, nightmarish breakcore madness, and hellish electronics fused together into a sweat-soaked, chrome-plated nightmare. Compared to previous works, the seven-song Manifestation is a slightly less chaotic monstrosity, giving these blackened maelstroms added room to breathe, but the cumulative assault of Cloak Of Altering's sound on the band's fourth album continues to thoroughly scorch the listener.

     The sound is still rooted in a bizarre confluence of majestic synth-drenched black metal, skewed industrial heaviness, and fractured Planet Mu-esque electronic music, seemingly as informed by the hallucinatory throes of early Coil and the violent breakcore of Bong-Ra and Venetian Snares as it is by classic Nordic black metal. Strange contrapuntal riffs weave drunkenly amid crackling electronic glitch and eerie drones. Mournful synthscapes unfold across glacial rhythms and distorted doom-laden dirges. Blasts of foul, industrialized death metal pummel erupt alongside ominous piano figures and swells of sickening orchestral dissonance. Swarms of blackened tremolo riffage sweep across sputtering malfunctioning rhythms and strange electronic accoutrements. One notable difference from the previous album: the vocals, which here often take form here as a vile, guttural robotic croak, a sickeningly putrid android presence that is layered among the rest of the distant shrieks, anguished screams and chilling, garbled cries that all feel as if they are trying to escape the bowels of some nightmarish AI system.

     And as always, Cloak Of Altering balances all of this confusional, electronically-deformed madness with some strikingly beautiful and majestically bleak melodic passages, with blasts of bombastic, heavily atmospheric synthesizer roaring across songs like "Parasitic Altering Sickness" and "Hidden Celestial Deity". An arresting, alien album that violently mutates these strands of symphonic black metal DNA into a stranger and more complex strain of digital delirium.

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Appearing at the end of 2014 as a digital-only, self-released title, Dimeslandís Psychogenic Atrophy was met with little fanfare, yet made an immediate and powerful impression upon those who heard it. Described by Invisible Oranges as a "sonic nightmare of thrash...that blends instrumental ability with the progressive stabs of Dimension Hatross-era Voivod..." and landing on numerous end-of-year best-of lists, Psychogenic Atrophy flattened just about everyone who encountered it.

With members of art rock legends The Residents' touring band and blackened prog-doom ensemble Wild Hunt amongst their ranks, Dimesland released the promising Creepmoon EP a couple of years prior on Vendlus, but even that only hinted at just how maniacal the band's sound was to become. The eight songs featured here combine dizzying musical complexity and fearsome dissonance with a sort of off-kilter thrash. The confounding and complicated arrangements and demented riffing recall the likes of Watchtower, Coroner and Atheist, but this is darker, weightier, more sinister stuff, the band hurtling through the jagged arrangements of songs like "Institutional Gears" and "Xenolith" with an almost No Wave-informed abrasiveness, but also frequently sprawling out into well-crafted sequences of abstract, unearthly ambience and forbidding, hallucinatory industrial noisescapes. Frantically barked vocals are employed judiciously, allowing the band to weave long stretches of instrumental mayhem. Violent, discordant riffs are folded around psychotic time signature changes, then suddenly expand into passages of moody, doom-laden darkness. Cyclical rhythms churn beneath waves of dense, alien sound, and spastic skronk-assaults suddenly swerve into vicious angular thrash. And these guys have some serious chops. Psychogenic Atrophy's brutality is sharpened by their technical precision and prowess and driven by utterly frenetic drumming. But it's also a heavily layered album, each listen revealing added details and degrees of delirium. Intense stuff for sure, with an unsettling, nightmarish atmosphere that makes this album stand out further amongst the progressive metal horde.There is a surreal, ever-present malevolence lurking under the surface of these songs.

An in-house favorite release of 2014, Crucial Blast was so blown away by this album that the label wanted to make it available as a physical release, reissuing Psychogenic Atrophy on CD in digipack packaging that features subtly unnerving cover art from Swiss photographer and performance artist Chantal Michel. It cannot be recommended enough if you're a fan of avant-garde death metal and progressive thrash, as Dimesland have produced a work of challenging, terrifying extreme metal that stands amongst the more unconventional likes of Gorguts, Cynic, Confessor, and Voivod.

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Though Gnaw Their Tongues has hardly been quiet in the interim, what with recent collaborations with Alkerdeel, the release of the Collected Atrocities collection and recent high-profile performances in the US at Maryland Deathfest XIII and Apex VI, it's been a good three years since the last full-length album from this Dutch nightmare machine. But with new album Abyss Of Longing Throats, Gnaw Their Tongues has returned in full ravenous glory, offering another hellish cacophony of mangled industrial black metal, lurching deformed heaviness, twisted electronic carnage and bombastic orchestral power that sounds like no one else.

From the frenzied black swarms that sweep across the doom-laden death industrial of opener "Lick The Poison From The Cave Walls" that eventually resolves into a glacial haze of bleary, blasted bliss, to the hallucinatory black metal of "Through Flesh" that fuses staccato violins, terrifying choral singing and grueling mechanical doom to one of the most emotionally stirring sequences yet heard in the band's catalog, Abyss continues to chart the evolution of Gnaw Their Tongues' sound. There's plenty of the grueling industrialized heaviness and violent orchestral sounds the band is known for, but this new material also expands upon the filthy blackened doom at the heart of Gnaw Their Tongues' music with those moments of striking melodic power, moments where all the horror surging through these songs suddenly transforms into something hauntingly elegiac. Brief passages of tragic beauty, scattered throughout an abyss roiling with relentless programmed blastbeats, somber chamber strings hovering mournfully amid tortured shrieks, harsh clanking percussion and blasts of raging orchestral chaos, all writhing together into another exhilarating descent into total demonic delirium from this monstrous outfit.

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    When it comes to slavering, skull-crushing heaviness and flesh-destroying death metal barbarism, nothing I've heard this year has fucked me up as much as the debut album from Legion Of Andromeda. Diabolical in its minimalist approach, the new album from Tokyo-based duo Legion Of Andromeda wormed its way deep into my brain upon first hearing it (thanks to a recommendation from fellow Maryland label Unholy Anarchy), unleashing a grinding nightmare of violent, industrial doomdeath rooted in a barbaric simplicity, moving in endlessly cyclical percussive patterns. It makes perfect sense that the band enlisted none other than Steve Albini to record this album, as the monolithic percussive pummel of Big Black is an admitted influence on Legion's sound. Iron Scorn was first released on vinyl by the aforementioned Unholy Anarchy, with At War With False Noise handling the European release, and is now being followed up with a CD release by Crucial Blast to further the blast radius of this immense debut.

    Iron Scorn has a strange effect upon certain listeners, myself included. As opener "Transuranic Ejaculation" bellows across the first moments of Scorn, the band's combination of primitive bone-crushing riffage and minimal, mechanical tempo seems overly simplistic, even monotonous. Each song centers around little more than a pair of interchanging riffs that circle endlessly over an unfluctuating mid-paced drumbeat that rarely deviates from a simple combination of metronomic crash cymbal and rumbling double bass. Keep listening, though, and Legion Of Andromeda's seemingly atavistic heaviness begins to reveal a perversely hypnotic quality, the brutal repetition and savage cyclical flow of these seven tracks turning into surprisngly infectious blasts of ravenous, concussive doomdeath. The riffs shift between droning heavioisty and abrasive dissonance, without ever diminishing the sheer skull-flattening density; sure, the pummeling violence of tracks like "Transuranic Ejaculation" and "Fist Of Hammurabi" is undeniably monotonous, but that monotony is both deliberate and crucial to the band's sadistic, sickening assault, each song scultped into an interlocking flesh-rendning horror oif gnashing steel teeth and machine-driven hypnosis and rabid violence, an endless mecha-death trance that burrows like some slavering cyborg worm through your rippling flesh. And it's topped off with repulsively bestial vocals that frequently devolve into psychotic gibberish or rabid snarling vocalizations, as if you're hearing the singer devolve, Altered States-style, right before your eyes. Those fucked-up vocals bring an added unhinged vibe to this rigid, skull-flattened dronedeath assault. Legion Of Andromeda have hacked out a uniquely vicious sound, and shares as much disgusting DNA with the clanking ugliness of early Swans and the grinding industrial metal of bands like Dead World, Skin Chamber and Streetcleaner-era Godflesh as it does with the putrescent doom/death of Autopsy, Cianide and Asphyx, brilliantly fusing the devastating down-tuned chug of the latter to the repetitive, belt-driven clangor of the former. Each monstrous track churns through the black cosmos like a mechanical warbeast comprised of gnashing teeth and interlocking gears, terrifying and trance-inducing, with equal nods to the most depraved strains of industrial metal and the most primitive depths of black/death violence.

    Comes in gatefold packaging with a printed innersleeve.


    So much strange stuff to share with you this week. First and foremost is the latest from Filipino chaos metallers Deiphago, whose latest album Into The Eye of Satan felt like an IED detonating the first time I blasted it here at C-Blast headquarters. Hell, it still does. Produced by Colin Marston of Gorguts/Krallice/Behold The Arctopus fame, Eye is an interesting new chapter in this bestial, blackened death metal outfit's twenty-five year career. Long heralded as one of the most lethal bands to follow in the wake of legendary Ross Bay maniacs Conqueror, Deiphago's music has been some of the most intense and chaotic to come out of this bile-splattered corner of the black/death underground, with bizarre song structures, extreme discordant riffing and traces of filthy black ambience and industrial screech that come together to create an unhinged, ultra-violent assault upon the listener's senses. These guys have been producing some of the craziest stuff that I've heard from the black/death field, up there with the likes of Revenge and Hellvetron in terms of sheer inchoate violence. But with their new album, Deiphago warp their sound into something even more abrasive, with a bizarre, counter-intuitive approach to guitar solos, riffing and song structures that makes this one of the more unusual black/death albums to appear this year. If you thought previous albums like Filipino Antichrist and Satan Alpha Omega were chaotic, wait till you hear this. There's stuff on this album that sounds like Last Exit-era Sonny Sharrock on bath salts, crazed and transcendent blasts of total Satanic chaos that have made this one of my favorite extreme metal albums of 2015, and absolutely worth checking out if you're a fan of the more ferociously fucked-up fringes of sulfuric black/death metal.

    Some of the other new, recently released and newly added titles that are featured on this list include:

     ...the brand new Gnaw Their Tongues album Abyss Of Longing Throats out on Crucial Blast, the first album in three years from this Dutch black industrial metal monstrosity
     ...the vinyl edition of Aria Of Vernal Tombs from medieval-influenced porgressive black metallers Obsequiae
     ...a windswept album of dark and dolorous Western prog-sludge and twangy post-rock beauty from Idre
     ...a reissue of the classic improv jazz/rock masterwork Iron Path from the mighty Last Exit
     ...a new LP of punishing droning mega-sludge from British bass/drums duo Ghold, Of Ruin
     ...the new album Moros from operatic prog-crust band Eye Of Nix
     ...ferocious new industrial black metal from Diabolicum, featuring new singer Kvarforth from Shining
     ...a new CD reissue of weirdo Japanese doomdeath obscurity Ether For Scapegoat from Transgressor
     ...the new vinyl reissue of Bell Witch's crushing Demo 2011, the first release from these titanic bass/drums-driven funeral doom masters
     ...gorgeous new vinyl reissues of the back catalog for Swedish progressive death metal legends Edge Of Sanity
     ...the latest blast of mutant death metal/slam gore/breakcore mayhem from Himiko
     ...the debut album of pummeling, concussive Fudge Tunnel-esque industrial-tinged sludge rock from Meatwound
     ...the latest album of sludgy, heavy-duty dub/prog/post-rock crush from Metallic Taste of Blood amazing new album of avant-garde gothic doom from ÷XX÷ X÷÷X , featuring members of Whourkr
      ...the latest slab of fucked-up quasi-black metal psychosis from Boston-based necro-mutant Cryostasium, akin to the surreal dissonance of Striborg/Xasthur but immensely more fucked-up
      ...bitchin' new CD reissues of early albums of neon-drenched synthwave dread from Perturbator
      ...lots of cool, off-kilter occult black metal from the likes of Abhor, Chilean bands Black Grail and Athanatos, Esoterica, and Demoncy
      ...a stack of new vinyl and CD reissues from The Crypt, including avant-garde deathdoom weirdos Pan.Thy.Monium and some killer early Absu recordings
      ...the amazing new album from UK death metallers Abyssal, which perfectly combines their churning blackened heaviness with streaks of melodic grandeur, a unique new direction for their sound
      ...some killer new industrial black metal from the likes of Alien Deviant Circus and Dodheimsgard
      ...lots of cool new progressive black metal and blackened rock from bands like Negura Bunget, Aversion To Mankind, Sigh, Beyond Light, Imperial Triumphant, Kommandant, and Plamen
      ...the stunning new album from funeral doom duo Bell Witch, one of the most listenable albums of it's kind to come through here in ages
      ...great new horror scores including Joe Bishara/Dave Lombardo's Insidious III, Goblin's Claudio Simonetti and his Demons soundtrack, plus stuff from Fabio Frizzi, and Elliot Goldenthal's Pet Sematary
      ...heavy duty new Earache reissues of early cult titles from Confessor and Cathedral, and the recent Century Media vinyl reissue of Gorguts From Wisdom To Hate
      ...lots of bizarre, brain-melting necro-psychedelia, black noise and other macabre weirdness from Dead Reptile Shrine, Funerary Call and Crown Ov Bone, Koozar, and Sect Pig blasts of skull-caving sludge and doom metal from Warhorse, Forn, Corrupted, Goatsnake, Cold In Berlin, The Body, Rise of Avernus, Blood Farmers, and Saturnalia Temple
      ...a ton of killer avant-garde death metal and grind releases from the likes of Knelt Rote, Legion Of Andromeda, Phlebotomized, Septic Flesh, Sickening Horror, Irreversible Mechanism, Unholy, Mulk, and Nocturnus
      ...eerie dungeon synth, death industrial and dark ambience from Trepaneringsritualen, Yen Pox, Profane Grace, Resgestae, Satanath, Stonewired, Shinkiro, Trauma, and Obscene Noise Korporation
      ...punishing noise rock from Swans (a deluxe reissue of their classic Filth album), Couch Slut, and Special People
      ...weirdo hardcore and punk from Perspex Flesh, Folded Shirt, YDI, and Same-Sex Dictator

As always, that's just the beginning. There's much more mutant heavy music and misanthropic art to be found on our shelves and in our bins...keep reading below to check out all of the strange and extreme new music, film, and art that's included in this week's new arrivals list.

Go to the Crucial Blast Webstore to check out our list of new arrivals...