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Darkest Hour

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  • Hidden Hands Of A Sadist Nation (Awaiting Repress) Hidden Hands Of A Sadist Nation (Awaiting Repress) Quick View

    $22.99
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    Hidden Hands Of A Sadist Nation (Awaiting Repress)

    Colored Vinyl


    A bastard child born of the mid 90s punk/metal/hardcore movement, Darkest Hour combines the passion, energy, and soul of punk/hardcore with the style, speed, vengeance and fury of melodic speed/thrash/death metal. In a decade-without-a-name, Darkest Hour defined the entire new wave of American metal sound and gave the metal and hardcore/punk world a revitalization it surely needed. This new style blended the raw, hardcore punk of the 80s with the Scandinavian death metal of the 90s and forged a sound that would later become the template for modern metal.


    2003's Hidden Hands Of A Sadist Nation, their third full-length overall, saw Darkest Hour working in Sweden with producer extraordinaire Fredrick Nordstrom. The politically charged 10-song set would make the band a household name as one of the hottest metal/punk bands in the underground. As a result, the band was asked to participate in 2004's Ozzfest alongside legendary bands like Slayer, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Slipknot and many other metal heavy weights. Colored 2LP pressing from Victory Records with MP3 digital download.

    LP1
    1. The Sadist Nation
    2. Pay Phones And Pills
    3. Oklahoma Video
    4. Marching To The Killing Rhythm
    5. The Misinformation Age
    6. Seven Day Lie


    LP2
    1. Accessible Losses
    2. The Patriot Virus
    3. Veritas, Aequitas
    4. For The Soul Of The Savior

    Darkest Hour
    $22.99
    Colored Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
  • The Eternal Return The Eternal Return Quick View

    $15.99
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    The Eternal Return

    Colored Vinyl


    A bastard child born of the mid 90s punk/metal/hardcore movement, Darkest Hour combines the passion, energy, and soul of punk/hardcore with the style, speed, vengeance and fury of melodic speed/thrash/death metal. In a decade-without-a-name, Darkest Hour defined the entire new wave of American metal sound and gave the metal and hardcore/punk world a revitalization it surely needed. This new style blended the raw, hardcore punk of the 80s with the Scandinavian death metal of the 90s and forged a sound that would later become the template for modern metal.


    With all the speed and fury of Hidden Hands of a Sadist Nation, all the melody and songwriting of Undoing Ruin and all the technicality and musicianship of Deliver Us, 2009's The Eternal Return, their sixth full-length overall, is an epic and furious record that captures every aspect of the Darkest Hour's sound and takes everything that the band has perfected in the past and pushes it over the edge.


    Appropriately enough, the record focuses on the duality of death and birth. From beginning to end, The Eternal Return completely engages the audience with its energy, fury, and passion. Each song on this record is a perfect example of the raw power and superb musicianship that Darkest Hour is known for. The album reaffirms that the band is still doing the unexpected, still pushing a genre to its extreme, and still a heavy metal powerhouse to be reckoned with. Colored vinyl pressing from Victory Records with MP3 digital download.

    1. Devolution Of The Flesh
    2. Death Worship
    3. The Tides
    4. No God
    5. Bitter
    6. Blessed Infection
    7. Transcendence
    8. A Distorted Utopia
    9. Black Sun
    10. Into The Grey
    Darkest Hour
    $15.99
    Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Godless Prophets and The Migrant Flora Godless Prophets and The Migrant Flora Quick View

    $14.99
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    Godless Prophets and The Migrant Flora

    Drawing from the bands 21 years' experience, this album is set to solidify Darkest Hour's legacy as a metal powerhouse. Raw as all hell, musically complex, melodic, yet cutting with razor blade precision, Darkest Hour's 9th full-length record, Godless Prophets and the Migrant Flora is fierce and hungry for blood.
    1. Knife in the Safe Room
    2. This Is the Truth
    3. Timeless Numbers
    4. None of This Is the Truth
    5. The Flesh & the Flowers of Death
    6. Those Who Survived
    7. Another Headless Ruler of the Used
    8. Widowed
    9. Enter Oblivion
    10. The Last of the Monuments
    11. In the Name of Us All
    12. Beneath it Sleeps
    Darkest Hour
    $14.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Deliver Us (Awaiting Repress) Deliver Us (Awaiting Repress) Quick View

    $15.99
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    Deliver Us (Awaiting Repress)

    Darkest Hour released Deliver Us in 2007. In many ways, this is the band at their peak: the melodies - both on the guitar and those found in the vocals - are the band's strongest yet; guitarists Kris Norris and Mike Schleibaum have stepped it up with this outing as well as many solos and impressive leads fill the majority of the tracks; finally, vocalist John Henry sounds passionate and relentless; his snarl wields urgency and agression as its weapon - a tool to carry the truth to the rest of a world buried in and overcome by the oppression of our inner demons. Deliver Us carries a hefty burden on its shoulders; if you can imagine the weight of your own problems, imagine that added to the masses of the rest of the world. Is this the album that could be up to the task of addressing our issues, but more importantly, picking us up and sending us out to wage war against the hands of opposition so set on our demise?

    1. Doomsayer (The Beginning of the End)

    2. Sanctuary

    3. Demon(s)

    4. An Ethereal Drain

    5. A Paradox with Flies

    6. The Light at the Edge of the World

    7. Stand and Receive Your Judgement

    8. Tunguska

    9. Fire in the Skies

    10. Full Imperial Collapse

    11. Deliver Us

    Darkest Hour
    $15.99
    Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
  • Undoing Ruin (Awaiting Repress) Undoing Ruin (Awaiting Repress) Quick View

    $15.99
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    Undoing Ruin (Awaiting Repress)

    Colored Vinyl


    A bastard child born of the mid 90s punk/metal/hardcore movement, Darkest Hour combines the passion, energy, and soul of punk/hardcore with the style, speed, vengeance and fury of melodic speed/thrash/death metal.


    In a decade-without-a-name, Darkest Hour defined the entire new wave of American metal sound and gave the metal and hardcore/punk world a revitalization it surely needed. This new style blended the raw, hardcore punk of the 80s with the Scandinavian death metal of the 90s and forged a sound that would later become the template for modern metal.


    Their third and most innovative album, Undoing Ruin, brilliantly mixes death metal rolls with straight-up thrash-metal shredding. They even throw some piano in here and there, but they do so without compromising their trademark sound. However, the sound here is more developed, the production outstanding, and the overall composition of the record secured its position among the elite metal albums of 2005. Colored vinyl pressing from Victory Records!


     

    1. With a Thousand Words to Say But One

    2. Convalescence Video

    3. This Will Outlive Us

    4. Sound the Surrender

    5. Pathos

    6. Low

    7. Ethos

    8. District Divided

    9. These Fevered Times

    10. Paradise

    11. Tranquil
    Darkest Hour
    $15.99
    Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
  • The Darkest Hour The Darkest Hour Quick View

    $18.99
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    The Darkest Hour

    Pressed On Transparent Green Colored Vinyl

    New album from Madchild, the Canadian rapper best known for his work in Swollen Members, produced byEvidence. The Darkest Hour follows up 2015's Silver Tongue Devil.

    1. Write It Down
    2. Imaginary Tears
    3. Body Bag (feat. Domo Genesis & Oh No)
    4. Broken Record
    5. Green Light (feat. Evidence)
    6. Double Tap (feat. A$ton Matthews & Fashawn)
    7. Badchild
    8. Corleone (feat. Evidence)
    9. Cold Crush
    10. Club 33 (feat. The Alchemist & Evidence)
    11. Land (feat. illmaculate)
    12. Black and White
    13. Drama
    14. I Know
    Madchild
    $18.99
    Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • So Far So Good So What! So Far So Good So What! Quick View

    $24.99
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    So Far So Good So What!

    Following the release of 1986's heavy metal classic Peace Sells But Who's Buying?, half of Megadeth's original line-up abruptly split. Guitarist Chris Poland and drummer Gar Samuelson parted, leaving the band in the hands of guitarist/singer Dave Mustaine and bassist Dave Ellefson. They were up to the challenge as their subsequent release of So Far, So Good...So What? helped solidify the band as one of speed metal's leading acts. Highlights include the band's reworking of the Sex Pistols' Anarchy in the U.K. and a tribute to Metallica's late bassist Cliff Burton on In My Darkest Hour among others. Here on Limited Edition 180g Vinyl.
    1. Into the Lungs of Hell
    2. Set the World Afire
    3. Anarchy in the U.K.
    4. Mary Jane
    5. 502
    6. In My Darkest Hour
    7. Liar
    8. Hook in Mouth
    Megadeth
    $24.99
    180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Mu.zz.le (On Sale) Mu.zz.le (On Sale) On Sale Quick View

    $19.99 $15.79 Save $4.20 (21%)

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    Mu.zz.le (On Sale)

    Mu.zz.le is huge on messages be they political, social and/or spiritual. The mini-album's down tempo strings, heartbreaking soul, reanimated hip-hop and crackling haunting vocal stylings are stitched as a running thread throughout each song like a patchwork quilt. Its a lonely journey that will take you through the innermost thoughts of Gonjasufis darkest hours. He recorded and mixed it on his own in his home studio. The end product is his outlet and realization for who he truly is, a way for him to feel comfortable in his own skin again.
    1. White Picket Fence
    2. Feedin Birds
    3. Nikels and Dimes
    4. Rubberband
    5. Venom
    6. Timeout
    7. Skin
    8. The Blame
    9. Blaksuit
    10. Sniffin
    Gonjasufi
    $19.99 $15.79 Save $4.20 (21%)
    10 Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
  • The Tyranny Of Will (Awaiting Repress) The Tyranny Of Will (Awaiting Repress) Quick View

    $17.99
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    The Tyranny Of Will (Awaiting Repress)

    IRON REAGAN'S Relapse debut 'The Tyranny Of Will' is a 24 song wrecking ball of hardcore- punk/thrash fury. Fronted by the venomously lyical Tony Foresta (Municipal Waste), on paper IRON REAGAN is a Richmond, VA supergroup (the band also features Phil Hall of Municipal Waste, Cannabis Corpse, etc as well as Ryan Parrish of Darkest Hour together with members of Mammoth Grinder). In practice IRON REAGAN are WAY more than just a supergroup project---they have toured the world several times over levelling audiences with their furious live show. This is a fully formed raging band that have delivered one of the heaviest hardcore records of the year that is guaranteed to be on the top of both metalheads' and punk rockers' year end lists.
    1. Tyranny of Will
    2. I Won't Go
    3. Eyeball Gore
    4. Close to Toast
    5. Bet on Black
    6. Miserable Failure
    7. The Living Skull
    8. In Greed We Trust
    9. Glocking Out
    10. Rat Shit
    11. U Lock the Bike Cop
    12. Broken Bottles
    13. Bleeding Frenzy
    14. Bored to Death
    15. Class Holes
    16. Obsolete Man
    17. Nameless
    18. Exit the Game
    19. Your Kids an Asshole
    20. Patriotic Shock
    21. Bill of Fights
    22. Consensual Harassment
    23. Just Say Go
    24. Four More Years
    Iron Reagan
    $17.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
  • So Far, So Good, So What (On Sale) So Far, So Good, So What (On Sale) On Sale Quick View

    $35.99 $28.43 Save $7.56 (21%)

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    So Far, So Good, So What (On Sale)

    Picture Disc


    Megadeth's So Far, So Good, So What is now available as a limited edition picture disc vinyl for the first time in the U.S. The album is pressed on heavyweight vinyl and features the 2004 remastered mixes by Dave Mustaine with the original tracklisting. The album is packaged in a clear plastic sleeve.


    1988's So Far, So Good So What! reached No. 28 on The Billboard Top 200 and features "In My Darkest Hour," Dave Mustaine's dark and heavy ode to the late Cliff Burton, the fast-paced "Hook In The Mouth" and a cover of "Anarchy In The U.K.," further bridging the gap between punk and metal and featuring original Sex Pistols' guitarist Steve Jones.

    1. Into The Lungs Of Hell
    2. Set The World Afire
    3. Anarchy In The U.K.
    4. Mary Jane
    5. 502
    6. In My Darkest Hour
    7. Liar
    8. Hook In Mouth
    Megadeth
    $35.99 $28.43 Save $7.56 (21%)
    Vinyl LP Picture Disc - Sealed Buy Now
  • Cast The First Stone Cast The First Stone Quick View

    $21.99
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    Cast The First Stone

    Pressed On Camo Green Vinyl


    Death metal is more than just music. It transcends such a limited mortal state of mind. Death metal is the aural expression of humanity's darkest side, of devastation, sorrow and the harbingers of mankind's own inhumanity and ultimate destruction. Death metal is not a trend, a fashion parade or a means to an end. It is much more than that. It is a way of life. A life in death.


    This is the doctrine Italy's HOUR OF PENANCE, spewn forth with unrelenting musical ferocity through their sickening, mind-obliterating auditory assault on the senses.


    Forged in the dark shadows of "The Holy Capital," this most unholy of quartets have steadily been making a name for themselves as one of the most intense, talented and impressive modern death metal bands both in-studio and onstage.


    Like clockworks Hour of Penance is ready to release "Cast the First Stone" as the follow-up of his last successful album Regicide. Releasing an album every 2 years, the band has been described by the fans and worldwide press as one of the most "productive" band in the genre, "Cast the First Stone" will mark album number 7 in the band's career .


    Singer Paolo Pieri describes the concept of the new album : "Cast the First stone" revolves around the idea that the injustices suffered during the Crusades and Colonialism cannot justify indefinitely a chain of hate that propagandize the destruction of the West. I believe that the political situation in recent years has brought to light again a millennial conflict between West and East, and events like the terrorist attack at the Bataclan, where we only played a few months before the massacre, have influenced the lyrics on this record very much.


    It does not matter who has thrown the first stone, but who first evolved his ideology to seek peace and coexistence instead of war to the bitter end. In Europe, people have massacred each other for millennia but in the last 60 years, we were able to overcome differences and secular hatred that divided us, while the blind hatred of Islamic extremism is bringing entire geographic areas back to the darkest middle ages.


    We find ourselves once again in front of a war between reason and religion, and unless we take a strong stand in defense of our Western values, we risk falling into chaos because of a weak and coward enemy stubbornly convinced of his senseless laws."


    Lead guitarist and songwriter, Giulio Moschini, adds : "Sonically speaking , this is the best sounding album we've ever recorded , we really worked hard on this, listening to the album countless times before finally delivering the masters to Prosthetic Records.. it was definitely worth the wait and we're 100% satisfied by the great work our bass player Marco Mastrobuono has done behind the mixing desk. We've literally spent weeks trying different micing techniques, hardware, preamps- trying to avoid plugins technologies as much as we could. We wanted our album to sound more dynamic and I think that we've achieved that 100%. "


    Since releasing 2012's acclaimed "Sedition", which Decibel lauded as a "hyper-blasting, inhuman, machine-like attack," HOUR OF PENANCE has annihilated fans worldwide with its fiery exuberance, playing well over 200 gigs alongside such acts as BEHEMOTH, SKELETONWITCH, CANNIBAL CORPSE, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, DEVILDRIVER, PSYCROPTIC, MISERY INDEX, DEICIDE, BELPHEGOR, NILE and KRISIUN.

    1. XXI Century Imperial Crusade
    2. Cast the First Stone
    3. Burning Bright
    4. Iron Fist
    5. The Chains of Misdeed
    6. Horn of Flies
    7. Shroud of Ashes
    8. Wall of Cohorts
    9. Damnatio Memoriae
    Hour Of Penance
    $21.99
    Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Conversations Conversations Quick View

    $18.99
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    Conversations

    Woman's Hour are not your average band. The first clue comes in the name of the London-based swoon-pop four-piece, taken from a beloved female-focussed news and culture show on BBC Radio 4. The second is in their graphic, striking monochrome visuals, meticulously curated in collaboration with TATE and MOMA certified fine artists Oliver Chanarin and Adam Broomberg. These play with shape and texture, much like their powerful, iridescent music. On their excellent debut album 'Conversations', this has the intricate construction and intimacy of The xx and the iridescent shimmer of summer-defining indie pop. Pay attention now, or regret it later.


    In a sense, we feel like the odd ones out, explains frontwoman Fiona Burgess of their nose-to-tail approach to their visuals, performance and songcraft. It's quite empowering that we're doing it as four people but we're not part of a bigger collective. Indeed, their 360º approach is closer to the art/music crossover of acts such as Throbbing Gristle, Yoko Ono or Factory Floor than most of this year's indie hopes. Their music - as poignantly personal as pop gets - has a rare singularity and purpose.


    Take single Her Ghost, which layers a breezy guitar hook with Fiona's beautiful, sighing lyric of inner turmoil. I'm interested in the idea of memory and how powerful memories can be, and how powerful some things can be to let go of, she says. A lot of my writing is me trying to understand an emotion or situation. The track's melody and a message lingers in the recesses of the mind like a box of treasured letters.


    Woman's Hour started to come together one summer, when Fiona started collaborating with her brother, guitarist William Burgess. I had been to a couple of rehearsals with other bands and it wasn't very much fun, says William. I mentioned to Fiona that I'd like her to sing and we decided to have a go. I went round to her place one day and it turned our that she had a pretty nice voice! The two recruited bassist Nicolas Graves, who was William's friend from back home (the pair had played in a couple of local guitar bands back in Kendal) and the three began creating their music. Nicolas explains: We just messed around in each other's houses for a bit and tried to get a few songs together.


    We played our first gig in 2011, Nicolas continues. It was at Fiona's house in Camden. It was a hat-themed party. I remember wearing a beret. Fiona was wearing a trilby, and Will had a sombrero on. It was incredibly nerve-racking for the trio despite the jolly occasion (I almost froze with fear at one point laughs Nicolas), but the gig was a runaway success, and it was there that they all met keyboardist Josh Hunnisett, who was already a friend of Fiona's and happened to be doing the sound at the event. Even in the shambolic situation, the band were meticulous perfectionists.


    The quartet had their first rehearsal in an old vicarage in Dalston. It just felt really honest, says Josh. There was no 'you can't do this, you can't do that, don't try that - the style of music felt pure and everyone was expressing themselves in the way they wanted. We've tried to think about this as a collaboration between four different creative people. Each band member brings a wholly distinct set of influences to the band - from German cold wave to pop rarities and uncompromising singer/songwriters. Their website even has a section dedicated to recommended reading.


    But it was their favourite radio show that was to be have most prominent effect on the band. When we were first doing demos we named them all after BBC Radio 4 programmes, explains Nick. The World at One, Afternoon Play, that kind of thing. I think Woman's Hour might have been one of them, and when it came to play our first gig (at The Queen's Head in London) one of our friends suggested using it and it stuck. Indeed, their jangle-pop first single Jenni, which is quite different to their current material, was named after Radio 4 stalwart Jenni Murray. The band's first 7, Jenni/ Human, was released through London label Dirty Bingo after the label head tracked them down on online and interviewed them for beloved London zine Loud And Quiet.


    Although the single made a splash, things were moving too fast for the band. Suddenly we thought, 'should we have had something to back this up?, says William. 'We didn't have any more songs, so we took a year and a half off to write and develop the sound. That's also when we met Tom Morris, our producer. The band hibernated, starting from the bottom up. Let's get everything fucking slick, how we want it, let's do everything exactly how we want it ourselves - don't compromise.


    It was worth the wait. When the band put their gorgeously lilting comeback single Our Love Has No Rhythm online in 2013, the blogs exploded, in part due to the glossy monochrome video depicting Fiona's face in close-up, and also the stunning single artwork - an uneasy found image of a suited gentleman falling over. We've been using images that are taken from manuals, explains Fiona. Lots of different 'How To' manuals from How to Train a Chihuahua to How to Fall Over Without Hurting Yourself. We like the idea of how to look after yourself physically paired with the music, which is a lot less direct.


    Perhaps Woman's Hour's music does not hammer its message home, but there's a nuance and craft that's scarcely found in today's industry. They followed Our Love Has No Rhythm, with the cooing, Beach House-esque Darkest Place in which Fiona implores I don't understand why you're not around over swooning keyboards, with a cooing ooooh-ooooh hook. For the track's striking video, she'd is depicted in close crop with her eyes closed as an unknown figure attempts to prise them open. I was finishing a degree in performance studies at the time, and I came across this particular piece by Vito Acconci, she says of the inspiration for the video. The original piece is about 20 minutes long, and it's absolutely gruelling, there's no soundtrack to it and it's a piece where you can hear the sound in the room of two people in a physical struggle. You can hear the heavy breathing, the feet, the occasional sounds of resistance. She endured a restaging of the piece, which she found very intense and intimate.


    Woman's Hour have an uncompromising commitment to the unconventional. For them, music does not exist as merely a hummable soundtrack but as a wider and more artistic proposition. As Fiona continues: A lot of music videos are not very challenging, and I like the idea of them being quite confronting. Our album artwork is inspired by a picture of a woman surrounded by pyramids that was part of a magazine article called The Start of an Era. It was a 1970s performance piece that was performed at the Whitney Museum in New York, and we've also designed nine of these pyramids with Oliver Chanarin that we'll incorporate into our live show when possible. The Start of an Era? We couldn't have said it better ourselves.

    1. Unbroken Sequence
    2. Conversations
    3. To The End
    4. Darkest Place
    5. In Stillness We Remain
    6. Our Love Has No Rhythm
    7. Her Ghost
    8. Two Sides of You
    9. Devotion
    10. Reflections
    11. The Day That Needs Defending
    Woman's Hour
    $18.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • The Speakeasy The Speakeasy Quick View

    $14.99
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    The Speakeasy

    The Speakeasy is undoubtedly Smoke Or Fire's pièce de rÉsistance. Every element of The Speakeasy suggests that the band has finally realized their potential and it's a complete album in the truest sense, lacking nothing, while offering varied, yet equally enthralling melodies and music on each of its 13 tracks. Constructed around the cornerstone of the guitar driven, heavy punk rock sound they are known for, this album evolves much farther. Innovative melodies are ushered along by clever guitar work as gruff vocals give way at times to a more polished pitch.


    From the jumpy cadence of 1968, to the anthemic sound of Integrity, to the folk based Honey I Was Right About the War, The Speakeasy maintains high energy throughout, while displaying a range of songwriting mastery. Add to this the fact that Smoke or Fire brought in a new rhythm section featuring Ryan Parrish (Darkest Hour) on drums and Gwomper (Avail) on bass, along with enlisting the production talents of Matt Allison (Alkaline Trio, Lawrence Arms).

    1. Integrity

    2. Monsters Among Us

    3. 1968

    4. Sleepwalking

    5. Neon Light

    6. Hope & Anchor

    7. Honey I Was Right About the War

    8. Porch Wine

    9. Everything Falls Apart

    10. Expatriate

    11. The Speakeasy

    12. Shotgun
    13. Utah
    Smoke Or Fire
    $14.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
  • Angel Guts: Red Classroom Angel Guts: Red Classroom Quick View

    $19.99
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    Angel Guts: Red Classroom

    Angel Guts: Red Classroom is the beginning of Xiu Xiu's descent from grayness into the deepest blackness endurable. It is the sound of Xiu Xiu's death.


    This is a bold proposition, even for a band that has never so much pushed the envelope as pulled it (forcefully) away from the line other musicians are willing to toe. And now, in what is unquestionably their darkest hour, Xiu Xiu have lit the envelope on fire and are using it as a torch to light the path ahead.


    Having spent the previous four years living in North Carolina, primary songwriter Jamie Stewart relocated to Los Angeles, moving blindly into a neighborhood whose notoriously dangerous reputation was unknown to him.


    A park divided among four gangs, a lake routinely dragged for bodies, a building wherein two infant skeletons were recently uncovered -- the aura of his new home bleeds into every pore of the album, each lyric and note bearing traces of its essence: the terrible beauty, the despair, the violence, the ultra humanity, the uncertainty.


    I know to a degree I must have romanticized it, Stewart admits, But when it's not safe to go out at night, what else can one?


    Romanticized is hardly the word anyone other than Stewart would use. Like its namesake, a Japanese erotic noir film, Angel Guts: Red Classroom is as radical as it is inventive. The subject matter -- racialized sex, double suicide, double penetration, criminality, fear of physical harm -- is unsuitable for the faint of heart. But when the heart has stopped beating, only the soul remains to carry on. And here, Stewart transcribes his without boundaries.


    Your face is down alone / On your desk / At the end of the city / You were squashed into / There is no one you love. So begins the album's first verse.


    In the wrong hands, such topics could be rendered as far-fetched fantasies. But Stewart's evocative vocals lend his provocative lyrics the balance they need, grounding them in a stark realism that forces us to acknowledge their existence, even confront them (as discomforting as that is).


    Unsettling, too, is the music. Working with only analog synths, drum set, and 1970's analog drum machines, Xiu Xiu has never before sounded so focused, so captivating, so intent on delivering a kick to the throat.


    Though influences can be cited (Suicide, Kraftwerk, Nico, EinstÜrzende Neubauten), they are ultimately far less relevant than the mark this album will leave on other musicians and music fans from this point forward.


    Take Stupid in the Dark -- its tone ominous and pulsing, its harmonies simple and direct, its grip unrelenting. Or Botanica de Los Angeles, a sparse, yet undeniably anthemic merging of bruising drums and bone-rattling bass synths.


    Unbearably dark, yet incredibly illuminating, on the John Congleton-produced Angel Guts: Red Classroom Xiu Xiu continues to forge (and at times risk) its reputation as avant-garde pioneers. It is the work of a band unraveling to its core and exposing the boldness within.


    Xiu Xiu may be dead, but its will is more alive than ever.

    1. Angel Guts
    2. Archie's Fades
    3. Stupid in the Dark
    4. Lawrence Liquors
    5. Black Dick
    6. New Life Immigration
    7. EL Naco
    8. Adult Friends
    9. The Silver Platter
    10. Bitter Melon
    11. A Knife in the Sun
    12. Cinthya's Unisex
    13. Botanica de Los Angeles
    14. Red Classroom
    Xiu Xiu
    $19.99
    Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
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