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Forces of the Northern Night (Olive Green Vinyl)Pressed On Olive Green Vinyl
To imagine a metal world without Norway´s legendary DIMMU BORGIR, seems quite unfathomable. Founded in 1993 by Shagrath, Silenoz and Tjodalv, the Oslo trio infernale quickly gained momentum in the underground scene with their debut EP »Inn I Evighetens Mørke«. The band released two albums, »For All Tid« (1994) and »Stormblåst« (1996) before they signed to Nuclear Blast and released »Enthrone Darkness Triumphant« (1997). This was a major step forwards for the band, and an album that helped change the way the world acknowledged extreme metal in a massive way.
DIMMU BORGIR might have started as a pitch-black pioneer of the Norwegian black metal scene, but quickly evolved into a hybrid of a beast, incorporating symphonic elements and other musical influences where few other bands dared to wander.
The band evolved, both musically and lineup-wise, over the years, and DIMMU BORGIR increased their status as a massive audience-draw with classic albums like »Spiritual Black Dimensions« (1999), »Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia« (2001) and »Death Cult Armageddon« (2003). The band has headlined tours and performed on big festivals worldwide, and toured together with non-typical peers as KORN, DEVILDRIVER and JUDAS PRIEST, to mention a few.
After a re-recording of the classic »Stormblåst« album in 2005, entitled »Stormblåst MMV«, and the critically acclaimed »In Sorte Diaboli« (2007) and »Abrahadabra« (2010), both albums that were musically challenging both the band and their audience, DIMMU BORGIR topped it all with a sold-out performance in their hometown of Oslo, performing with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and a full-scale choir.
The band has been on a hiatus for some years, but last year, they announced that the cooperation with Nuclear Blast Records was extended, and the first release in 2017 will be the highly anticipated 2xLP of this magnificent show, »Forces Of The Northern Night«.
The band is also working on a brand new studio effort, and one can only wonder what kind of dark sorcery the band has in store for us this time around. One thing is certain: it won´t be for the faint-hearted.LP 1
1. Xibir (Orchestra)
2. Born Treacherous
4. Dimmu Borgir (Orchestra)
5. Dimmu Borgir
6. Chess With The Abyss
8. A Jewel Traced Through Coal
9. Eradication Instincts Defined (Orchestra)
2. Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse
3. The Serpentine Offering
4. Fear And Wonder (Orchestra)
5. Kings Of The Carnival Creation
7. Mourning Palace
8. Perfection Or Vanity (Orchestra)$29.99Colored Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
At War With Reality (Awaiting Repress)Gothenburg style melodic death metal pioneers AT THE GATES release their first new music in 19 years. At War With Reality. In the classic line-up of their latest masterpiece, Slaughter Of The Soul (1995), AT THE GATES recorded At War With Reality with Fredrik Nordström at Studio Fredman (In Flames, Arch Enemy, Dimmu Borgir) and mixed with Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios (Opeth, Amon Amarth, Kreator).1. El Altar Del Dios Desconocido
2. Death And The Labyrinth
3. At War With Reality
4. The Circular Ruins
5. Heroes And Tombs
6. The Conspiracy Of The Blind
7. Order From Chaos
8. The Book Of Sand (The Abomination)
9. The Head Of The Hydra
10. City Of Mirrors
11. Eater Of Gods
12. Upon Pillars Of Dust
13. The Night Eternal$22.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Codex Omega (Pre-Order)Primordial, menacing and majestic; SEPTICFLESH - the gods of orchestral extreme metal - return with their new album, Codex Omega, set for release via Prosthetic Records.
Codex Omega was produced by Jens Bogren (Opeth, Dimmu Borgir) and features 10 tracks of their trademark blend of mystical atmosphere, relentless death guitar riffing and pale melodies. Lyrically and musically, Codex Omega is by far the most infernal release from SEPTICFLESH to date.1. Dante's Inferno
2. 3rd Testament (Codex Omega)
3. Portrait of a Headless Man
5. Enemy of Truth
6. Dark Art
7. Our Church, Below the Sea
8. Faceless Queen
9. The Gospels of Fear
10. Trinity$22.99Vinyl LP - Sealed PRE-ORDER Buy Now
Hegemony (Pre-Order)SAMAEL have returned, with heavy ammunition wallowing to the darkest fronts. Industrial Black Metal armed with wind sections passes through shivering synthesizers. The stomping bass loses its sense of decency and no grain of dust remains still. On point and frighteningly brutal, fiery whirlwinds of hypnotic hammering riff forces overlay gruesomely gurgling vocals driving you over the edge. Thirty years of the band's history flows into their brilliant eleventh record Hegemony, combining everything that SAMAEL have learned the hard way spanning the decades of their decadence. A colourless bouquet from the withered flowers of BEHEMOTH and DIMMU BORGIR, not for the faint-hearted!LP 1
3. Angel of Wrath
4. Rite of Renewal
5. Red Planet
6. Black Supremacy
7. Murder or Suicide
1. This World
2. Against All Enemies
3. Land of the Living
4. Dictate of Transparency
5. Helter Skelter
6. Storm of Fire (Bonus Track)$23.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed PRE-ORDER Buy Now
With their debut, self-titled album, the band began as a melodic Viking/Black metal outfit, but with The Olden Domain and all subsequent albums the band evolved into a more progressive Viking-themed metal act.
Recorded at The Abyss Studios in January 2000, and mixed by Peter TÄgtgren. According to interviews, this album was meant to be a strictly straight-forward black metal album, as shown on the production quality and the fact that ICS Vortex's vocals are more of the traditional black metal screams and growls, with less clean singing. This album marks bassist Kai K Lie's departure from the band, with vocalist ICS Vortex taking over bass duties. It also marks the departure of keyboardist Ivar Bjørnson (being replaced with Lars A. Nedland) and drummer Grim (being replaced with Asgeir Mickelson), who incidentally committed suicide a few months before the album's release. This would also be Vortex's last album as vocalist of Borknagar before quitting the band to join Dimmu Borgir (reportedly due to an ultimatum on Øystein Brun's part).Side A:
1. Rivalry Of Phantoms
2. The Presence Is Ominous
3. The Ruins Of Future
5. Inner Landscape
7. Icon Dreams
8. Genesis Torn
10. Revolt$29.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Aspera Hiems Symfonia
• 180 Gram Blue Vinyl
• 1000 Only Limited Edition
Aspera Hiems Symfonia is the debut studio album by Norwegian avant-garde metal band Arcturus
Arcturus was one of the first Norwegian black metal bands to incorporate a large dose of symphonic keyboards to their music, leaving behind the rawness and brutality of their contemporaries at an early stage of their career (there are four re-recorded songs from 1994's Constellation EP in here). In fact, their approach to the newly-born (by that date) symphonic black metal sound is less aggressive and more melodic than the one of Emperor, Dimmu Borgir, Limbonic Art and similar bands, having some similarities with atmospheric black metal instead.
The music is mostly mid-paced, with blast-beats only being present briefly on the first track. The keyboards are at the forefront of the music, using symphonic arrangements and/or atmospheric effects. The guitar work is varied enough, playing melodic lines along with the keyboard ones, sometimes being more of a rhythmic instrument, playing either mid-tempo riffs or tremolo-picked ones, and with many songs featuring neoclassical-influenced guitar leads and blistering solos (like the ones on 'To Thou Who Dwellest in the Night' or 'Fall of Man'), where the guitars have their moments to shine.
The drumming is technical and precise, and even though the rhythms are quite basic, Hellhammer spices them up with his characteristic use of cymbals and double bass (to prevent the songs from sounding plodding and slow). Garm hadn't quite developed his charismatic baritone vocal style, and for most of the time in here, he goes for full-on harsh vocals. Actually, his best harsh vocal performance ever is on this record, surpassing (by little) even the one on Ulver's Nattens Madrigal. His screams sound passionate yet spiteful and angry, like the one on 'Raudt og svart', or the THROUGH THE WOOOOOAAAAADDDSSSSS!!!!!!!!!! section of 'Wintry Grey', to name a few. Nevertheless, his clean vocals are still present, but on choral, spoken or whispered sections, and doesn't sound as strong as the ones of posterior works.
Other feature of the record that makes it different from its contemporaries is the progressive approach to songwriting, something that can be evidenced in the frequent time signature shifts and the frequent changes in the structure of the songs, as well as some unusual sounds (like the reversed vocals of 'Whence & Whither Goest the Wind') and odd, quirky (yet not blatantly carnivalesque like the ones on 'La masquerade infernale') melodies, which give it an experimental edge that would be explored with more depth in the subsequent releases of the band.
The thin production (with the airy keyboards, the razor-blade guitars, the metallic, thumping drums, and the echoey vocals) gives the record a cold feeling, and it has this sort of winternight-esque atmosphere, like being in a forest while snowing, contemplating the northern lights (yes, like the ones on the cover) and the stars. This cosmic winter atmosphere gives the music a contemplative, calm and mellow feeling.
The glorious symphonic arrangements, the soaring guitar lines, the emotional but not straightforward or standard songwriting, and the atmosphere are the things that make Aspera Hiems Symfonia so special and one of the most remarkable achievements in the realm of symphonic black metal, an album that manages to be accessible enough to draw new listeners to the genre, but at the same time is one of their most forward-thinking and intriguing works.
- greywanderer7 (The Metal Archives)LP 1
1. To Thou Who Dwellest In The Night
2. Wintry Grey
3. Whence And Whither Goest The Wind
5. The Bodkin & The Quietus
6. Du Nordavnid
7. Fall Of Man
8. NaarKulda Tar (FrostnettenesProlog)
1. The Deep Is The Skies (bonus track)
2. Cosmojam (bonus track)
3. RaudtOgSvart (taken from Constellation promo CD)
4. Icebound Streams And Vapours Grey (taken from Constellation promo CD)
5. NaarKulda Tar (taken from Constellation promo CD)
6. Du Nordavind (taken from Constellation promo CD)
7. My Angel (taken from My Angel 7 EP)
8. Morax (taken from My Angel 7 EP)$32.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
The Last StandIf you have any doubts, please update your books now: our favourite Swedish war machine SABATON are on their way to the absolute top of the heavy metal world.
Need some evidence? As we speak, these platinum selling, Falun-based heavy metal heroes are headlining some of the biggest European festivals through fires and flames and playing massive stadium concerts in front of tens of thousands of enthusiastic fans with legendary comrades, such as IRON MAIDEN and SCORPIONS. In August SABATON will once again command the troops on the holy grounds of Rockstad Falun Festival - aka Sabaton Open Air - when the band hosts their own three day festival - closing the last day with an explosive performance. Then, later this year, SABATON's sight will be directed at the USA, where the band is a doing huge tour and also performing at Ozzfest Meets Knotfest Festival in California, alongside BLACK SABBATH, SLIPKNOT and others.
However, this is just the beginning: when the winter arrives, SABATON will unleash their prestigious live power upon the whole of Europe. No mercy will be given and all guns will be blazing, when this tireless killing machine will blow out sold-out arenas to another dimension. During this tour, named "The Last Tour", SABATON's support comes from German metal legend ACCEPT.
What? The last tour of SABATON? No, not really, as the band's worldwide war plans are already marching years ahead.
The title of this massive, to say the least, world tour comes from SABATON's latest masterpiece "The Last Stand". The new record, which will be unleashed to the masses in August by the world's most powerful heavy metal label Nuclear Blast Records, is simply a perfect addition to SABATON's discography, which already contains some of the most heroic heavy metal known to man.
"We have done a majestic record and we couldn't be happier with it. Is 'The Last Stand' SABATON's strongest album to date? Well, time will tell us that, but one thing is 100 % guaranteed: on the record, there are lots of songs that will go down in SABATON's own hall of fame, says the band founder and bassist PÄr Sundström.
"'The Last Stand' contains all the elements that our fans could ask for, adds the band's main composer and singer Joakim BrodÉn. "The new record tells a victorious tale of SABATON in 2016, and even further. Lots of fresh ideas and unprecedented magic can be heard on these new tunes - for example, check out bagpipe and Hammond driven major key song 'Blood Of Bannockburn'. We have never done anything like that before.
"At the same time, our legions of diehard fans will be pleased to observe some echoes from our older works: such as relentless heavy metal of 'Primo Victoria' (2005), catchy flavours of 'The Art Of War' (2008) and deep epicness of 'Carolux Rex' (2012). 'The Last Stand' contains all of these elements - and lots more!
If the previous record, straightforward heavy metal assault "Heroes", showed the unstoppable power of SABATON's eloquent line-up, huge-sounding "The Last Stand" conquers whole new kingdoms. The band's apparent sixth member, HYPOCRISY / PAIN mastermind and renowned producer Peter TÄgtgren (LINDEMANN, DIMMU BORGIR, CHILDREN OF BODOM among others), grasped everything out of BrodÉn, Sundström, drummer Hannes Van Dahl and guitarists Thobbe Englund and Chris Rörland. The result? Innovative guitar solos and razorsharp riffs, pounding drum patters, catchier than catchy choruses and haunting melodies - and the list goes on Well, let's put it this way: if SABATON used to sound intense, bombastic and invincible, this time they sound absurdly intense, bombastic and invincible.
The lyrics have always been a very important part of SABATON's art. Thanks to their classic metal anthems, such as 'Ghost Division', 'Uprising', 'Soldier Of 3 Armies', 'No Bullets Fly' and '40:1, SABATON has achieved superstar status in countries like Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic and Germany. Poland, however, signifies "something else for these guys: SABATON's members have been adopted as Poland's honorary citizens and the band's biggest show ever happened in Przystanek Woodstock Festival in front of half a million fans.
"Regarding new lyrical themes, there were several possibilities this time, but when we came up with the idea about the famous last stands on battlefields and other historical places, that was it - we didn't have to look any further, tells BrodÉn.
"The previous album's heroic stories about fighting and surviving were a perfect match for SABATON, but these new tales may be even more interesting to our devoted fans. The lyrics are based on very interesting historical episodes and they will open a whole new world for the friends of our band, insists Sundström.
SABATON have reached their unshaken position as heavy metal's AAA-torchbearer after releasing ingenious studio recordings and playing endless amount of unforgettable live shows. "The Last Stand" is another unquestionable and bulletproof evidence of SABATON's top class abilities and it will be followed by the band's most gigantic world tour to date.1. Sparta
2. Last Dying Breath
3. Blood Of Bannockburn
4. Diary Of An Unknown Soldier
5. The Lost Battalion
6. Rorke's Drift
7. The Last Stand
8. Hill 3234
10. Winged Hussars
11. The Last Battle
13. All Guns Blazing$28.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now