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The Flenser Vinyl, CD & tapes from this label at Norman Records

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Bell Witch
Longing

San Fran label The Flenser have a good ear for the heavy stuff. They’ve dropped many tomes of high-quality metal over the past few years, and their roster boasts releases from Have A Nice Life, ...view item »

Planning For Burial
Quietly

San Fran experts in all things gloomy The Flenser (Deafheaven, Panopticon) reissue this brooding collection from Planning For Burial. The first three tracks of Quietly appeared on a cassette in 2012, with the following four numbers added on a re-release the following ye...view item »

Kayo Dot
Hubardo

Originally released in 2013, the seventh album by Toby Driver’s crew spans three pieces of vinyl and a vast array of stylistic ground. Combining seething black metal, choral vocals, angular post rock, serpentine jazz, psychedelic chaos, brooding goth, crushing doom, and much more into a progressive and multi-faceted whole,...view item »

AILS
The Unraveling

Bay Area avant-metallists Ludicra called it quits around the start of the 2010s, but vocalist Laurie Shanaman and guitarist Christy Cather still had something left in the tank. Now they’ve got a few mates together and ground out this bracing LP as AILS. The dual-screeching on display here is blood-curdling...view item »

Drowse
Cold Air

The press release tells us that the second LP from Portland’s drowse was recorded in pretty unhappy circumstances. Kyle Bates, the band’s only full-time member, was struggling with mental health and addiction problems in the nine months in which Cold Air came to life. It’s as spaced-out and troubled a ...view item »

RLYR
Actual Existence

Chicago experimental rock trio RLYR follow up their 2016 debut LP Delayer with this four-track album. Featuring members of Russian Circles, Cleared and Pelican, RLYR create a heavy but melodious racket here. The instrumental chops are impressive, with m...view item »

Planning For Burial
Desideratum

Planning for Burial are forerunners of the gloomgaze genre. Desideratum is their second album following on from Statement of Purpose, which was released in 2010. Planning for Burial are essentially a one-man bedroom project, that man being Tom Wasluck. The music takes in every gloomy genre from...view item »

Trevor De Brauw
Uptown

Trevor De Brauw is the guitarist of Pelican, and this is his first solo release. Although don’t assume that he’s only just had the idea: Uptown has been slowly created over the course of the last ten years. Uptown pushes away from songs and riffs and into dense drone-ambient territo...view item »

Toby Driver
Madonnawhore

Toby Driver, the main man behind Kayo Dot, continues his infinite journeys into his own avant-garde creativity with a new solo album. Madonnawhore, which explores the Freudian notion of one of patriarchy's central contradictions, is very stripped-back for Driver, being focused on the so...view item »

Wreck and Reference
Indifferent Rivers Romance End

Wreck & Reference have been described as an experimental metal duo: so much so that large stretches of their music is unrecognisable as metal at all. Until the throat-shredding howling starts anyway. Indifferent Rivers Romance End is heavy with electronics and strings, sa...view item »

All Your Sisters
Uncomfortable Skin

All Your Sisters are proudly in love with a certain part of the 1980’s when industrially-vibed post-punk was all the rage. Their second album Uncomfortable Skin nails that particular sound with stern drum machines, obscured vocals and Cureish guitars. Lots of shadowy swagger, released by the delib...view item »

Kayo Dot
Plastic House On Base Of Sky

Toby Driver's avant-metal crew Kayo Dot continue to fly in the face of expectations, if any remain, with the wonderfully titled Plastic House On Base of Sky. If you recall, they've sounded comparatively whimsical in their latter years, with the humour-tinted extreme metal epic Hubardo p...view item »

Muscle and Marrow
Love

Muscle and Marrow is a pretty visceral name, and this duo often live up it, with blasts of crunching noise and heavy drums. But they also play soft and wispy, and the delicate balance between these two contrasts that they maintain is where they really succeed on Love. A darkly beautiful LP, on The Flenser....view item »

Black Wing
Is Doomed

Black Wing is another project from Dan Barrett, the latest in a stack of names he works under. The Black Wing sound is dark and hazy, driven by stern drum machines and featuring very distant post-punk vocals. ‘Depressive Chillwave’ is Barrett’s term for it, and...view item »

Have A Nice Life
The Unnatural World

Its always disconcerting to us when something starts flying off the shelves when we haven’t a) reviewed it b) listened to it c) even heard of it. We are, believe it or not, comprised of deeply flawed and sometimes useless human beings and so on occasion it is possible to completely miss stuff. As it is with this second album from t...view item »

Boduf Songs
Stench of Exist

Sparse, chilly electronica and guitar underpins this record from Mat Sweet aka Boduf Songs on The Flenser. Intimate, and definitely a headphones sort of album, it conjures up images of opium hazes and anxious, languorous evenings. Eleven tracks move into one another like a slow moving river, meeting everything from post-rock and...view item »

Mastery
Valis

Dark extremity from the blackened soul of only one man, Mastery’s Ephemeral Domignostika (definitely the name his mother uses). Valis is the most fully realised and widely available Mastery release to date, and features a frantically complicated black metal style, exploding everywhere. Out on The ...view item »

Botanist
VI: Flora

Here's another selection from my rather metal-heavy pile this week. This one's from California's Botanist and is the sixth in a lengthy series of albums which will eventually make up a grand sci-fi/fantasy narrative about "The Botanist", a twisted scientist who lives in the "Verdant Realm", isolated from humanity...view item »

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