Wolves in the Throne Room – Celestite

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Wolves in the Throne Room have been pushing boundaries since their early demos in 2004 and 2005. Their particular brand of black metal was sprawling and epic. From the beginning, the goal of the band has been to convey the soul of the Pacific Northwest of the United States. With the release of Celestite, a companion album to 2011’s Celestial Lineage, they’re stepping into new territory that continues to capture the spirit of the mountainous Washington landscape. It also may alienate long-standing fans of their earlier work.

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Mournful Congregation – The Concrescence of The Sophia

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On their new effort, The Concrescence of The Sophia, Australia’s Mournful Congregation takes funereal doom to new and unsanctioned heights across the shadowy span of just two songs. Rolling in like the night tide of a dead alkaline ocean, the thirty minutes of this mini album engulf the warmth of the day and leave the listener with naught but the tenebrous ruminations given life by the resulting gloom.

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GOG – S/T

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It’s a rare and beautiful thing when sound has the ability to completely overcome a person and put the core of the self on mute. In those moments it is almost as if the brain suddenly gains the ability to regurgitate all that you are. In those brief minutes all judgments and preconceived notions about yourself are vomited out from within and purged from the system. After that level of mental cleansing, nothing is left but the flesh. The noises that are projected from the stomach of the latest GOG record do just that. Every track on the album plays mind games with the psyche. If you open yourself up and let the noise flood you, you’ll come back recharged when you get to the other side.

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BAT – Primitive Age

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When it comes to side projects, I always fear the worst. They’re usually just a carbon copy of the main band and very little effort goes into being creative. All right, that might be a gross generalization. I have my reasons and I’m sure some of you might agree. The side project and mixing of members has been happening as long as I can remember. Ponder this – what if the side project is better than the main band? Heaven forbid, am I right?

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Vanhelgd – Relics Of Sulphur Salvation

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During the reign of King Henry the VIII, a torture device called Scavenger’s daughter (also known as Skevington’s Daughter) was invented and put to use on the accused. This particular apparatus consisted of a hoop of heavy iron with a hinge in the middle. Victims of high treason would be forced to crouch on one half of the loop while the other half was pivoted and placed over the back, almost like a giant set of teeth. The torturer would then use a screw to tighten the hinge, crushing the victim further and further into the crouching position.  As the apparatus grew tighter and tighter, the ribs and breastbone of the victim would begin to crack and the spine would become dislocated. Sometimes the compression was so extensive that blood would begin gushing from the nose, ears, and even the fingertips.

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