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The Black Crown (Awaiting Repress)With the 2009 summer release of the monstrous No Time To Bleed, Suicide Silence took things to the next level in every aspect, from production and songwriting, through to packaging and presentation as a whole. Now they are prepared to unleash the destructive force that is The Black Crown. The Black Crown was produced by Steve Evetts (The Dillinger Escape Plan) and mixed by Zeuss (Hatebreed). Also features guest appearance from Jonathan Davis (Korn) and Frank Mullen (Suffocation).1. Slaves to Substance
3. Human Violence
4. You Only Live Once
5. Fuck Everything
6. March to the Black Crown
7. Witness the Addiction
8. Cross-eyed Catastrophe
10. The Only Thing That Sets Us Apart
11. Cancerous Skies$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
You Can't Stop MeMany of the greatest works of art throughout history were
fashioned from grief, anger and overwhelming despair descending on its creators in the aftermath of tragedy and SUICIDE SILENCE's appropriately titled You Can't Stop Me is no exception. Plenty of bands trumpet the idea of strength through adversity, but few have lived it like this one.
Like the once unthinkable creative and commercial reemergence of ALICE IN CHAINS or the classic, legendary and timeless touchstone that is AC/DC's Back in Black, Suicide Silence's fourth album features a new frontman on the heels of earthshaking tragedy. You Can't Stop Me serves as a simultaneous introduction to vocalist Hernan "Eddie" Hermida, as well as a celebration of the brotherhood the band shared with Hermida's fallen predecessor. The group chose the album's title from a collection of lyrics left behind by the late Mitch Lucker, while their formidable revamped sound makes it clear that Suicide Silence's resurrection is complete. Ever since Suicide Silence went public with their plans to continue as a band, they've put all of the emotions from the last two years into these songs. "Inherit the Crown" name checks The Black Crown, as Hermida demands the chance to honor his friend's legacy and carve out a place of his own.
Mark Heylmun and Chris Garza (guitars), Dan Kenny (bass) and Alex Lopez (drums) sound more driven than ever, force-feeding their mashup of death metal, black metal, grind and time-signature bending dissonance into structured, focused and often groove-oriented missives of anger and perseverance. Just as the surviving members of JOY DIVISION were able to remake themselves as NEW ORDER, and as a post-plane crash LYNYRD SKYNYRD was reborn with Johnny Van Zant stepping in for his late brother, You Can't Stop Me is equal parts mournful tribute and statement of renewed purpose.
Death metal legend George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher (CANNIBAL CORPSE) and Greg Puciato (THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, KILLER BE KILLED) make guest appearances, but make no mistake: Suicide Silence is as bonded, as cohesive, as ever. You Can't Stop Me was produced and mixed by Steve Evetts (THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, GLASSJAW, SEPULTURA), the band's longtime friend and collaborator. Evetts was set to begin working with Lucker on new material just days after the singer's passing.
Most bands will declare their most recent album the "best" they've ever done. Suicide Silence have declared You Can't Stop Me as their most impassioned, most committed, and most important release thus far. It's a record they fought, bled, sweated and even cried to make happen.
If a rising heavy metal band can overcome a tragedy this triumphantly, this definitively, this absolutely, then surely there's hope for us all.1. M.A.L.
2. Inherit The Crown
3. Cease To Exist
4. Sacred Words
5. Control (feat. George Corpsegrinder Fisher)
7. You Can't Stop Me
8. Monster Within (feat. Greg Puciato)
9. We Have All Had Enough
10. Ending Is The Beginning
11. Don't Die
12. Ouroboros$20.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Suicide SilenceAs evidenced most defiantly and definitively with the self-titled fifth album by SUICIDE SILENCE, the best in music, literature, and all creative arts is born from pain, birthed in truth, drawn from harrowing life experience. It mines the inner depths of the soul to snatch authentic beauty from the jaws of an otherwise certain death. Plenty of heavy bands pay lip service to the idea of overcoming the odds, persevering through adversity, and finding strength from within, but few live it as triumphantly as SUICIDE SILENCE.LP 1
4. Dying In A Red Room
1. Hold Me Up, Hold Me Down
3. The Zero
5. Don't Be Careful You Might Get Hurt$30.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Self InflictedPressed On Colored Vinyl
Chelsea Grin have become a staple in the deathcore community. They've sold over
160,000 albums to date in the US alone, and have traveled the world over with the likes of
Motionless In White, The Amity A iction, Suicide Silence and more. With three fulllength
albums and 2 EPs under their belts, the band have signed to Rise Records and are
ready to jump to the next level with their new, highly anticipated album, "Self Inflicted".
This album is some of Chelsea Grin's strongest work to date. Known for their technicality
and brutal lyrics, "Self Inflicted" packs a punch and is sure to be exactly what fans have
been waiting for and more. Chelsea Grin will support this release by appearing on the
entire 2016 Vans Warped Tour.1. Welcome Back
2. Four Horsemen
3. Love Song
5. Skin Deep
6. Scratching And Screaming
7. Strung Out
8. Broken Bonds
9. Life Sentence
10. Never, Forever
11. Say Goodbye$18.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
ADAD-SUM-7282xSlaughter To Prevail
Misery SermonPressed On Transparent Red Colored Vinyl
Russian extreme-metal band, SLAUGHTER TO PREVAIL, are set to release their debut full-length album, MISERY SERMON! Combining demonic, guttural vocals, guitar riffs that will leave your neck sore and drums that you won't believe are humanly possible. Extreme metal fans will be blown away by the brutal but unique sound found with Misery Sermon.
For fans of Suicide Silence, Meshuggah, Behemoth, etc.1. Misery Sermon
2. Russian Hate
3. Chronic Slaughter
5. Failed Hope
6. Born to Die
8. The Hell in Man
9. Malice of Rites
11. Cultural Ills$24.99Colored Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
REDD-UNI-6310xRings Of Saturn
Lugal Ki En (Awaiting Repress)Rings of Saturn return with their latest slab of musical mayhem. The newest effort from the quartet entitled Lugal Ki En once again pushes the envelope on all fronts of musicianship from start to finish. The drum work which was performed by Aaron Kitcher(Black Tongue, Infant Annihilator) is mind blowing in creativity and sets the backbone for this monster of a release. Guitar work by Lucas Mann and Joel Omans is absolutely flawless in execution and has that classic distinct Rings of Saturn sound that only they can achieve and are known for and also includes a guest appearance from Rusty Cooley(Day of Reckoning). Ian Bearer's vocal delivery is extremely powerful and compliments the music perfectly with many different pitches and ranges never becoming monotonous. Lugal Ki En also features a cover of Suicide Silence No Pity for a Coward. Finish all this off with a top notch sounding production captured by Brette Ciamarra of Studio 344 and numerous conceptual art pieces created by famed artist Mark Cooper and you have what is easily one of the most anticipated albums of 2014.1. Senseless Massacre
2. Desolate Paradise
3. Lalassu Xul
4. Infused (feat. Rusty Cooley)
5. Fractal Intake
6. Natural Selection
8. Godless Times
9. Unsympathetic Intellect
11. The Heavens Have Fallen
12. No Pity For A Coward (Suicide Silence Cover)$24.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now
Holy WarRare is it for a band to live up to their name so profusely. Since their formation in 2006, New South Wales' Thy Art Is Murder has made killing their business... and as ol' Dave would say, business is good. Their nightmarish void is one where resistance is futile - you can but sit helplessly as the relentless blast beats and gut-ripping guitars pummel you sideways in the best possible way, of course.
With 2013's riff-shitting monolith, "Hate", the Aussie death crew made history: being the first ever extreme metal band to crack the top 40 on home soil, and in the process sit proudly at the top of the Australian Independent Record chart. It was a cycle that would see them play a colossal 342 dates around the world, butchering crowds in each corner of the globe and touring the US more times than every other Australian band out there. Their appearances on touring megafest Summer Slaughter - as well as dates with Suicide Silence, Born Of Osiris and Emmure - soon became the stuff of legend.1. Absolute Genocide
2. Light Bearer
3. Holy War
4. Coffin Dragger
5. Fur And Claw
6. Deliver Us To Evil
8. Violent Reckoning
9. Child Of Sorrow
10. Naked And Cold$22.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
FortitudeHailing from Melbourne, Australia, one of Victory Records' latest signings, FEED HER TO THE SHARKS, are out for blood. Assembled in 2010, the five-piece modern, melodic, metalcore act have established themselves by aggressively touring Australia with ASKING ALEXANDRIA, SUICIDE SILENCE, AUGUST BURNS RED and others in addition to a spot on the 2013 Warped Tour Australia.
Of the signing, FEED HER TO THE SHARKS comment, We are very pleased to announce we have joined the Victory Records family! Victory is already home to many of our idols, and to say we are part of this is truly an honor. We are extremely excited to show our music to the world, and bring our unique sound to the masses!
After a tour with BURIED IN VERONA and FIT FOR A KING, the band dusted off their pens and began the writing process for their Victory debut, FORTITUDE. Committed to creating the most dynamic album of the band's career, FEED HER TO THE SHARKS will shock and awe with their impeccable ability to incorporate clean vocals into their heavy, riff-driven metalcore sound.1. The World Is Yours
2. Chasing Glory
3. Burn The Traitor
4. Shadow Of Myself
6. Heart Of Stone
7. Walking On Glass
8. Fear Of Failure
11. Let Go$15.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The Unconquerable Dark'The Unconquerable Dark' is a devastatingly bleak record that showcases the Hull Hate Crew's trademark downtempo sound to absolute full effect. From the opening doom drenched riffs of 'Plague Worship' to the black metal tinged 'L'appel du Vide', to the unfathomably heavy 'Prince Of Ash' and 'Vermintide' (featuring guest vocals from SUICIDE SILENCE's EDDIE HERMIDA), the hatred spews out of the speakers.
The band comments: Our original mindset for 'Falisfier' and 'Born Hanged' was to create the most ridiculously crushing music around. We created the heaviest music because there just wasn't anything around at the time that was as heavy as we wanted to hear. We feel like we did a pretty good job. Now there's a plethora of bands that are taking the reigns of the heavy and we love it, but a new direction is in order. With The Unconquerable Dark we wanted to keep the slow, low and crushing vibe but add some maturity to it. More riffs, more memorable choruses and some juicy lead thrown in. Don't get us wrong, this is the heaviest thing we've ever released (and probably that you've ever heard), but we took the time to give it atmosphere and structure instead of being heavy for heavy's sake.
We spent a lot of time on this album mixing and mastering it ourselves so that we could get the closest representation of the heaviness that is in our minds. We didn't want to let someone else's polished and clean mix detract from the dimension-shattering sound that we strive to achieve. This is album is in our opinion the best thing we have released so far.1. Plague Worship
2. In the Wake ov the Wolf
3. Young Gloom
4. L'appel du Vide
5. Vermintide (ft Eddie Hermida)
6. Prince of Ash
7. The Masquerade
8. A Pale Procession ii: Death March
9. I'm so Tired of Sighing. Please Lord, Let It Be Night$23.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
BeastImagine a creature laying dormant beneath the earth, in an inhuman slumber since a time long forgotten. This creature reawakens, cracks up through the ground and finds a world it barely recognizes. Chaos, disorder, brutality, bloodthirst and terror are all around. Seeking to restore some sense of order to its surroundings, the creature adopts the destructive nature it witnesses in man and begins a vengeful quest for power.
Mythology, fable and metaphor collide with "Beast", a blistering new album marking the return of DESPISED ICON. The genre-defining band is fully reawakened, poised to recapture the crown with the monstrous and merciless might of their potent expression. Featuring the men responsible for most of the band's now classic death metal catalog, "Beast" is a vicious commentary on the state of the world and the state of music itself.
This is old school DESPISED ICON reminiscent of "The Healing Process" (2005) and "The Ills Of Modern Man" (2007), but cast through an ultra-modern lens, carrying with it the experience and driven purpose of a band secure in their identity and their legacy. Without sacrificing the creative leaps of what many feared would be their final album, "Day Of Mourning" (2009), DESPISED ICON renew their focus on the collision of dual vocals, technical wizardry, precision dexterity and massive bottom end they helped to pioneer.
'The Aftermath' kicks off the album with brutal immediacy, encompassing the full scope of what's ahead with unrelenting attack and classic death metal flair. 'Inner Demons' will have guitar teachers and drum instructors pulling their hair out in frustrated angst, while songs like 'Bad Vibes' put the impossible sounding shred workouts on the backburner in favor of brute force. Throughout the album, deep grooves reminiscent of the best of OBITUARY, DYING FETUS, INTERNAL BLEEDING, or even BIOHAZARD pulse within the fierce aggression. There's melody to be found in songs like the French-language 'Drapeau Noir.' The dual vocal style DESPISED ICON fans love is as unrestrained as ever.
For many extreme music fans, it may be hard to remember a time before DESPISED ICON, given the massive influence they've subsequently had on the genre. But when the group formed back in 2002 and released "Consumed By Your Poison" the same year, there was little intersection between the sounds of classic death metal and the brute force of hardcore. The "metalcore" genre had been in full swing for some time and plenty of those bands had experimented with elements of death metal. But DESPISED ICON were among the first to fully embrace the signatures of the traditional death metal formula combined with a relentless embrace of breakdowns, part of an emerging new sound.
DESPISED ICON steadily built a following through hard touring with CRYPTOPSY, SUFFOCATION, IMMOLATION, DEICIDE, MORBID ANGEL, BEHEMOTH, HATEBREED and NAPALM DEATH. The diversity of sounds demonstrated by that list of bands is evidence of DESPISED ICON's broad appeal. Before too long, a new subgenre bubbled up from the underground, built around bands like DESPISED ICON, SUICIDE SILENCE, ALL SHALL PERISH, CARNIFEX and JOB FOR A COWBOY. Like many genre tags, "deathcore" became something of a controversial and uncomfortable albatross for many of the associated bands at various times. But the impact of what is unquestionably an exciting variation of extreme music is undeniable.
DESPISED ICON now boldly reclaims their legacy without reservation or apology. Since the time of the band's dissolution - the result of professional burnout, the shifting priorities and responsibilities that come with adulthood and the need for a creative recharge - the group's members were able to explore different textures with groups like OBEY THE BRAVE and HEAVEN'S CRY. The time apart has only strengthened their resolve when it comes to the purity of what DESPISED ICON means to them as well as to their worldwide fans.
From the savagely unhinged vocals to the inexhaustible pound of the blast beats, DESPISED ICON's new album is a swift reminder that this band is one of the originators of a powerful movement in extreme metal. The "Beast" is reawakened and ready to rumble. DESPISED ICON is back, ladies and gents, with no frills, no bullshit, and just total power.1. The Aftermath
2. Inner Demons
3. Drapeau Noir
4. Bad Vibes
5. Dedicated to Extinction
6. Grind Forever
7. Time Bomb
8. One Last Martini
10. Beast$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
SavagesMax Cavalera is the walking embodiment of creative energy, of all of the diverse layers of urgency that are possible from that select few whose artistic output defines genres. Mystic shaman, protest singer, revolutionary hero, everyday metalhead, furious consumer of heavy music of all shades, husband, father, leader, songwriter Cavalera reigns as the adoptive tribal chief of a generation of fans, stretching from the roughest slums of South America to the coldest confines of Russia. Anywhere that people are disenfranchised, the songs of SOULFLY serve as their anthems.
Armed with Cavalera's four-stringed guitars, unmistakable growl and instantly recognizable riffage, the muddy tones and constant rhythmic bounce of SOULFLY has retained its gritty edge while pushing the boundaries of what's possible in metal. »Savages« represents a career-defining moment, solidifying the lineup with longtime lead guitarist Marc Rizzo (who has been in SOULFLY almost as long as Max was in SEPULTURA), bassist Tony Campos (Static X, Ministry, Prong) and Max's 21 year-old Zyon, who splits his time between drumming in LODY KONG and now SOULFLY.
"All of the things that make SOULFLY killer are combined in Savages," Max declares.
»Savages« melds the most brutal, the heaviest and overall the most vibrant components that made up each record in SOULFLY's diverse catalog. By Max's own account, »Savages« is possessed of the tribal groove of the first two SOULFLY albums, particularly in songs like 'Bloodshed', 'Ayatollah of Rock 'N' Rolla' and 'Master of Savagery'. But there's also the thrash metal that was found on DARK AGES and OMEN; whereas the CAVALERA CONSPIRACY records contain short, punky bursts, the new SOULFLY record gets into the epic length territory of early METALLICA. The death metal vibe of SOULFLY's »Enslaved« emerges in songs like 'Fallen' and 'Cannibal Holocaust'.
"I really like the name »Savages«. I like single words that sound powerful, like 'Primitive', 'Roots', 'Arise'," Max explains. "It's about the human condition right now. We have the Internet and we're working on missions to Mars, but we are still decapitating each other and blowing up marathons. We're still savages. Even with technology and how far we've come in the world, our spirit is still that of a savage."
A trailblazing pioneer and musician with millions of albums sold who nevertheless retains boundless street cred due to his grimy, raw and undeniable authenticity; Max Cavalera is one of the most prolific artists the realm of heavy music has ever known. There's CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, which reunited Max with his brother and former bandmate, Igor Cavalera. There was the brutal attack of NAILBOMB, Max's collaboration with Alex Newport from FUDGE TUNNEL, which included members of DEAD KENNEDYS, FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY, BIOHAZARD and NEUROSIS on-stage. There's his forthcoming band with members of THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, MASTODON and THE MARS VOLTA. Of course, there's Max's unassailable work as SEPULTURA's founder, leading the Brazilian band from their badass lo-fi beginnings, through their era of sophisticated thrash classics, up through the cultural landmark that is 'Roots'.
SOULFLY began almost instantaneously after his departure from the band he founded. The eponymously titled debut »Soulfly« sold over 500,000 copies in the United States alone, further expanding upon the tribal foundation of 'Roots' with percussive instrumentation, forays into esoteric sounds and multiple guest performers. Across the seven albums and never-ending tours that followed, Max worked with a who's-who of the heavy music scene as band mates, guest musicians and touring members, including guys from SLIPKNOT, SLAYER, MEGADETH, DEFTONES, RADIOHEAD, STONE SOUR, CYPRESS HILL, MACHINE HEAD, DEVILDRIVER, FEAR FACTORY, MORBID ANGEL, THROWDOWN, S.O.D., SKINDRED, BORKNAGAR, WILL HAVEN and CATTLE DECAPITATION, among others.
In addition to Max's own self-production, a number of important producers have lent their skills to SOULFLY, including »Roots« producer Ross Robinson (KORN, AT THE DRIVE-IN), Toby Wright (Ozzy Osbourne, SLAYER), Andy Sneap (MEGADETH, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE), ex-SOULFLY guitarist Logan Mader (FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, GORJIA) and Zeuss (HATEBREED, SUICIDE SILENCE) and Terry Date (PANTERA, DEFTONES).
Cavalera asked Date, who had mixed for SOULFLY in the past, to produce the new album. Once studio time with the legendary producer was on the calendar, Max kicked into high gear with the material. Max and Zyon worked on the songs that would comprise »Savages« at home. "Zyon came up to me and said, 'Give me a shot. I'll play on the record for you. I won't let you down," explains the elder Cavalera. "I went into a room with him to jam and it felt great. So I said, 'Fuck yeah, let's do it!"
Generally on a SOULFLY album, the drummers would learn the songs in the studio, based on demo recordings from Max. This time, Max had the luxury of working out the songs at home with Zyon. "We jammed every single day for a month. He knew 90% of the material already when we got into the studio. It reminded me of recording the old Sepultura stuff, like Arise and Chaos A.D., Igor knew exactly what he was going to do before we went into the studio. This was very similar."
Cavalera says he must've written at least 1,000 riffs specifically for »Savages«. "The killer riff is what hooks the whole song together," he says. "For me the writing process is about finding the most killer riffs possible. It's a battle; sometimes I struggle with the guitar for hours. You have to throw it down on the floor and take a break. Come back a few hours later. 'Let's try this again, motherfucker!' Grab it again and go to battle, go to war with the guitar until you get the right riffs."
Max points to BLACK SABBATH's 'Symptom of the Universe' as one of the penultimate riffs of all time, citing SABBATH's Tony Iommi and METALLICA frontman James Hetfield as among the riff-masters he most admires. "I think of riff making as an art-form. I take it really seriously. I think it deserves more attention. It has such value."
Speaking of riffs, Rizzo came into the band a decade ago and his love of thrash metal, death metal and collaborative spirit has energized Max ever since. "When Marc entered Soulfly, it was a drastic change. He's the guitar player I've been looking for my whole life. Andreas [Kisser] and I really clicked when we worked together. I never had that again after that. We had other guys that were cool, but it was never 100% there. When Marc came in, I found it! We've developed a great bond since." Rizzo particularly shines on the opening track on Savages, 'Bloodshed.' "There's stuff all over the song - clean guitars, feedback - he just makes the song better."
Campos has a lengthy resume in the world of metal and Max says they bonded over their shared Latino heritage, among other things. "I had this idea about this guy Vargas, a Venezuelan cannibal, they call him 'El Comegente.' He's the Hannibal Lecter of the Andes. We both read about it. Tony sings some of it in Spanish and I sing in Portuguese. He's a great bass player too, fucking amazing. Killer bass tones, distortion, all balls-out metal. He keeps this shit real heavy, great tone. It's great recording with guys who know what they're doing. I don't have to ask if they know."
Max acknowledges the inherent risk in putting a 21 year-old behind the kit for such an important record, but it was a risk he absolutely wanted to take. "To have my son drumming on the album, that's killer. I like risks. I like to start shit up and see what happens. Even if I fail, at least I knew I tried. Rather than knowing I didn't try at all. To me, that's the bigger failure. It took a little bit of courage to put my son on it. I came to the studio and told Terry there was a young drummer who doesn't play to a click. Terry knew what to do and Zyon did great. The drums sound amazing."
Like all things Max Cavalera, does SOULFLY's »Savages is a family affair. Not only does it mark Zyon's recorded debut with the band, but one of Max's other kids throws down some vocals in the opening track, 'Bloodshed'. "My son Igor has a killer punk rock voice that reminds me of the old CORROSION OF CONFORMITY days," Max says. "The chorus has this old punk style riff, almost like a MISFITS type riff. His voice is killer."
Like every SOULFLY album, »Savages« contains an impressive guest list comprised of veterans and up-and-comers. CLUTCH's Neil Fallon turns up on 'Ayatollah of Rock 'N' Rolla', the title of which was inspired by Mel Gibson's classic Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior movie. Jamie Hanks from I DECLARE WAR brought his high and low deathcore vocals to 'Fallen', a death metal oriented song Max says is in the vein of CANNIBAL CORPSE.
Mitch Harris from NAPALM DEATH contributed vocals to 'K.C.S.' Harris has been around the Cavaleras long enough that there are videos of him changing Zyon's diapers when SOULFLY's new drummer was just one month old. "Mitch came to the studio just to hang out during a day off from tour," Max explains. "I'm like, 'You ready to sing some shit on this record?' I put him on the spot. He's like, 'Right now?' I said, 'Fuck yeah, let's do it!' There was one point where we were recording together where he did a scream and I saw his eyeball popping out of his face like a cartoon. I was like, 'Dude that was the most metal thing I've seen in a long time.'"
Even as Max continues to consume new music from band like NINE INCH NAILS, MAN MUST DIE, TRIGGER THE BLOODSHED and I DECLARE WAR, even as he revisits seminal material from METALLICA, SLAYER, C.O.C. and the like, and indulges his penchant for world music, and gets his hands in his other projects and collaborations, it all adds up to a singular, distinct, straightforward and riff-heavy machine known as SOULFLY.LP 1
2. Cannibal Holocaust
4. Ayatollah Of Rock 'N' Rolla
5. Master Of Savagery
1. This Is Violence
3. El Comegente
5. Fuck Reality (Bonus Track)
6. Soulfly IX (Bonus Track)$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
NegotiationsNegotiations, the fifth full-length album written, recorded, and produced by The Helio Sequence, would sound different had it not been for a flood. In 2009, while touring in support of Keep Your Eyes Ahead, singer-guitarist Brandon Summers got an unexpected phone call in the middle of the night. Back home in Portland, OR, the band's studio/practice space was under nearly a foot of water. Heavy rains had caused the building's plumbing to overflow like a geyser. But Summers and drummer-keyboardist, Benjamin Weikel, were lucky: All of their best equipment was either on tour with them, or racked high enough off the studio floor to be spared.
Still, the band needed a new home. After three months of searching, Summers and Weikel settled into a 1500-square-foot, former breakroom-cafeteria in an old warehouse. They no longer had to work their recording schedule around loud rehearsals by neighboring bands, but were free to create late into the night in uninterrupted seclusion. With twice the square footage, the space also had room for more gear, a lot more gear. They decided to use this opportunity to try something different.
Summers and Weikel, who started playing together in 1996 and self-produced their first EP in 1999, have always been gearheads. But it wasn't until the success of Keep Your Eyes Ahead that they could afford to step things up: The duo spent months (and many hard-earned dollars) retooling their studio. They left behind much of the cleaner-sounding modern digital studio equipment and instruments they'd always relied on, and embraced vintage gear that would color their recordings with a warmer, deeper sound: Tape and analog delays, spring and plate reverbs, tube preamps, ribbon microphones, and analog synths.
As the new studio came together, so did the songwriting. It proved to be the most spontaneous, open, and varied writing process they had ever experienced. Weikel, who was listening to minimalist/ambient composers like Roedelius and Manuel Goettsching, had created dozens of abstract synth loops of chord progressions and arpeggios. The two would put a loop on and improvise together with Summers on guitar and Weikel on drums, recording one take of each jam. Other songs like "One More Time", "October" and "The Measure" quickly formed from rough one-minute sketches by Summers, while the down tempo "Harvester of Souls" was completely improvised musically and lyrically in a single take.
Tempering the free form approach to writing was Summers and Weikel's meticulous attention to production and arrangement. Taking cues from the spaciousness, subtlety, and detail of Brian Eno and late-era Talk Talk records, they moved forward. Listening to the recorded live jam sessions, they set to work transforming the ditties into actual songs. "Open Letter," "Silence on Silence", "Downward Spiral" and the title track - some of the spacier, mesmerizing songs on Negotiations - came together in this way. Summers' one-minute demos were brought to life in collaboration by Weikel spending weeks working on sound treatments and synth landscapes to enhance the songs.
Lyrically, Summers affirmed the improvised ethos, working deep into the night ad-libbing alone in front of the mic, abandoning pre-written lyrics and instead preferring to create in the moment. His delivery was largely inspired by the starkness and understated romanticism of Sinatra's Capitol era "Suicide Albums", imparting a more introspective and personal tone. "I used to view a lyric as a statement," he says, "Now, I see it more as a letter you're writing to yourself or a conversation with your subconscious."
This collection of shimmering, reverb-heavy songs is a meditation on those inner dialogues (hence, Negotiations) with solitude, memory, misgivings, loss, atonement, acceptance and hope. Most of all, it's a record that serves as a testament to the beauty, blessing, and excitement of a fresh start.1. One More Time
3. Downward Spiral
4. The Measure
5. Hall of Mirrors
6. Harvester of Souls
7. Open Letter
8. When the Shadow Falls
9. Silence on Silence
11. Negotiations$19.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
$34.99 $31.49 Save $3.50 (10%)
No One Cares (On Sale)Mastered from the Original Master Tapes
Sometimes it's okay to judge a book by its cover. Depicting a down-and-out Frank Sinatra entrenched in his own private world while glamorous couples dance and swirl around him, oblivious to his presence and condition, the artwork to the aptly titled No One Cares testifies on behalf of the music and moods within the record's grooves. One of the crooner's top-flight ballads efforts, the 1959 Capitol effort again finds him pairing with sympathetic arranger Gordon Jenkins and inhabiting each note of every song.
Hear the fruits of this timeless collaboration in fresh light on Mobile Fidelity's numbered, limited edition 180 gram LP. Mastered from the original master tapes, this newly minted version of No One Cares caresses the senses via its profound instrumental depth, widescreen soundstage, front-to-back perspective, transparent high-frequency responses, and dynamic midrange. Neither too close-up nor too distant, Sinatra's voice is rendered with realistic scale and gorgeous balance to the extent that nothing is artificially sweetened or heightened. Akin to Mobile Fidelity's previous Sinatra reissues, this LP is meticulously rendered to the highest-possible standards, ensuring that the fidelity is in line with the timeless performances and the iconic singer's exacting standards.
Often viewed as the sister album to 1957's Where Are You?, this third pairing of Sinatra and Jenkins yields slower tempos, more deliberate textures, and lonelier emotions. A profound sense of tragedy burrows into both the luscious strings and Sinatra's timbre, laced with ache, wanderlust, and dismay. Jokingly referred to by Ol' Blue Eyes as one of his "suicide albums," it instead harnesses the wrenching agony, painful solitude, and desolate helplessness that accompany romantic loss and failure of fulfillment. They're universal sentiments, and sensations Sinatra convincingly conveys, envisioning himself as the protagonist in each of the songs.
Rich and fully developed, the arrangements consistently trace Sinatra's footsteps rather than ever overwhelming or competing with him. Instrumental flourishes accent the Voice's own swells and silences, while a classically stated elegance and plaintive devices contribute to an underlying subtlety. Rare has a singer achieved frank introspection and reflective intimacy in such hurtful, believable fashion. Sinatra's voice comes on without a hiccup, his phenomenal baritone and breath control epitomizing ageless singing. You don't want to be without this one.
This title is not eligible for further discount.1. When No One Cares
2. A Cottage for Sale
3. Stormy Weather
4. Where Do You Go?
5. I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance With You
6. Here's That Rainy Day
7. I Can't Get Started
8. Why Try to Change Me Now?
9. Just Friends
10. I'll Never Smile Again
11. None But the Lonely Heart$34.99 $31.49 Save $3.50 (10%)180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP Mono - Sealed Buy Now