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

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Have A Nice Life
Deathconsciousness

Enemies List first released 'Deathconsciousness', the project of home recording duo Have a Nice Life (Dan Barrett and Tim Macuga), in 2008. You can't sum this thing up in one genre description alone: it takes on torrid post-punk, Sunn O))) stylised drone, Stars of the Lid-esque ambient, industrial, shoegaze and doom metal, uniting them all around Barrett's deep depression, which was itself disguised in the record's highly-conceptual narrative about the obscure Itlain writer Antiochus -- the record came with a seventy-page booklet about him. Since then, Have a Nice Life have released their second record, 'The Unnatural World', on the Flenser, who have kindly helped them reissue the monolithic 'Deathconsciousness' too: the huge booklet remains, and so does the ridiculously ambitious record it was made for.

Street Sects
The Kicking Mule

Debut album, End Position showed influences such as Chrome and Nine Inch Nails. Street Sects, the Austin, Texas post-punk industrial screamers change gear for album number two, The Kicking Mule. Here, they use Roxy Music, Brian Eno and Bowie’s Berlin trilogy as inspiration for it’s follow up, The Kicking Mule. there’s still plenty of rattling industrialism, screaming and Nine Inch Nails-ness, though. LP and CD on The Flenser.
  • Vinyl LP (FR91LP)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy
  • CD (FR91CD)

Bosse-de-Nage
Further Still

Bosse-de-Nage are clearly brethren to fellow Bay-area blackgazers (Kids these days, right? What else will they come up with?) Deafheaven, squeezing together shoegaze and black metal to create a punishing and cathartic wall of noise and music. Their new album Further Still is said to focus more on song structures rather than the endless hypnotic repetition of 2015's acclaimed All Fours. 
  • Vinyl LP (FR90LP)
  • CD (FR90CD)

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, Botanist and Deafheaven. However, few of their near-one-hundred records come close to matching Bell Witch’s 2012 LP Longing for sheer darkness. One of the reason the bass-and-drums duo have such a rich seam of black running their music is their ability to contrast thick-as-treacle doom with passages of eerie Pagan choral harmony.

Mamaleek
Out Of Time

San Francisco metal outfit Mamaleek are swaying further and further from their death-metal origins. Combining deathly grunting with slow beats, samples, and melodic and versatile instrumentations, the two brothers have created a haunting take on the genre. Out of Time was recorded and mixed by Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Bosse-de-Nage), and the result is as crisp as it is eclectic and weird.
  • Vinyl Double LP (FR79LP)

Echo Beds
Buried Language

Denver industrial duo, Echo Beds, found themselves locked out of their practice space by bailiffs in 2016. This was due to a seemingly unfriendly crack down on arty types and their unofficial work spaces. After turning bedrooms into recording studios, using improvised equipment to work on their ideas and being emotionally spurred on by what was happening to them and their friends, Buried Language was born. Check it out if Street Sects, Youth Code or Drab Majesty are your bag. LP on The Flenser.
  • Vinyl LP (FR89LP)

Bell Witch
Demo 2011

Demo 2011 was the first available release from doom crew Bell Witch, and it went down very well with the community. For a demo, it has a very thick and developed sound, and is feature length (37 minutes) in size too; so it is well deserving of this vinyl reissue of 600 copies, with  updated sleeve design on The Flenser label.
  • Vinyl LP (FR57LP)
  • Limited edition

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 year, though all spawn from the same 2011/2012 sessions. It’s a haunting set that takes in post-rock, doom metal, droning synthscapes and more.

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, it’s the summation of their work to this point. A staggeringly expansive hundred minutes.
  • Vinyl Triple LP (FR64LP)

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 stuff, and when coupled with the band’s mix of hardcore punk, thrash metal and prog-metal, it makes The Unraveling a thrilling listen.
  • Vinyl LP (FR85LP)
  • CD (FR85CD)

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 record as one might expect to emerge from these circumstances. Dream-pop, chamber-pop, post-rock and music concrete come together for an album that has pain at its core, yet also finds moments of great beauty and solace. For fans of Deerhunter, Cocteau Twins, maybe even a little bit of Suede...
  • Vinyl LP (FR80LP)
  • Limited edition

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 muscular drums and sturdy bass underpinning some emotional firebrand guitar work. Fans of Explosions In The Sky will find plenty to get behind here.
  • CD (FR86CD)

Low Estate
Covert Cult Of Death

Low Estate are a supergroup, if you will, of dark and death metal-like musicians from many differing groups in the dark metal scene. Covert Cult Of Death is a nine-track release available on vinyl LP and is released on The Flenser. Be sure to have your earphones on full whack for this one, and enjoy the not-so-soothing chill of groaning guitars and smashing drums hit your brain like a tonne of bricks. 

Street Sects
Rat Jacket

Prolific industrial punks Street Sects come through with four tracks of Gothic, portentous post-punk. Shades of Bauhaus, Nation of Ulysses and Metz colour Rat Jacket. The drummer manages to conjure the mental image of an approaching longboat throughout, while the vocalist quivers and rages with such intensity that you worry he might explode in the booth. Things apex with the brutalised seven-minute slog ‘In Prison, At Least I Had You’.

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 drone to goth to ensure that the gloominess is very real. Desideratum is available on vinyl LP.
  • Vinyl LP (FR44LP)

Planning For Burial
Below The House

Slowcore is a genre that divides many. Mixing shoegaze, doom and emo to an almost decadent level of gloominess, the pace is that of Bohren Und Der Club Of Gore, detuned and incredibly heavy until it becomes a wash of reverb and glittered minor harmonies. Thom Wasluck’s Planning For Funeral exemplifies this genre and returns with his third full length, vinyl and CD on Flenser.

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 territory, where it turns out Trevor is a master of the kind of careful control needed to really succeed with this stuff. CD and LP editions on The Flenser.
  • CD (FR65CD)

Braveyoung
Misery and Pride

With previous releases on The End Records and At A Loss Records, Portland based Braveyoung bring their third full length to Flenser. With a starting point of experimental post-doom/hardcore like Pelican or Isis, Misery And Pride’s long drones and string arrangements are brooding to the point of menacing and devastatingly epic.

Street Sects
End Position

Austin, Texas based duo Street Sects release their debut full length on San Fransisco Dark and extreme metal label Flenser. Noise and industrial focused, and drum machine led punk that is incredibly abrasive it almost goes as far as Ildjarn at points. Once you stop wincing it’s pounding is cathartic. For fans of The Soft Pink Truth, Nine Inch Nails, early (more industrial) Marilyn Manson.

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 songs themselves. CD and LP editions on The Flenser.
  • Vinyl LP (FR73LP)
  • CD (FR73CD)

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, sadness and anger. LP on The Flenser label.
  • Vinyl LP (FR70LP)

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 deliberately dark Flenser label.
  • Vinyl LP (FR68LP)
  • £16.99 £10.19 (saving: £6.80)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy

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 paving the way for the electronic-tinged Coffins on Io -- this record could be seen as a direct sequel to that one, using analog synths to implode weird and frictioned compositions. Imagine if Toby Driver wanted to make one of those untamed synth records from the '70s. Alright! 
  • Vinyl LP (FR69LP)
  • CD (FR69CD)

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.
  • Vinyl LP (FR67LP)
  • CD (FR67CD)

Giles Corey
Giles Corey

Giles Corey is a solo project of Dan Barrett, which I can only assume has been named after the martyred character from The Crucible. The music is certainly dark enough for that. First released in 2011, this self-titled debut is now being issued over 2 LP’s in a box-set with a full-sized, 150 page book. Limited to 2000 copies, on The Flenser.

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 I have to say that pretty much nails it. LP from The Flenser.
  • Vinyl LP (FR59LP)

Heat Dust
Heat Dust

On their newest album, Heat Dust takes their music to the nihilistic limits of post-punk, with little bright flashes of melody between the grey noise, and vocalist Clayton Hunt laying on haunting vocals. With their self-titled LP, the band has found their swing. Ashes to ashes, Heat Dust to Heat Dust. Just enjoy it without the crippling depression.
  • Label(s):
  • The Flenser

Planning For Burial
Leaving

The debut full-length from Planning For Burial was originally released in 2010 and has since become a much sought-after cult classic. Leaving is an exquisitely downbeat drone journey with a gloriously gloomy outlook. For those who find Star Of The Lid just too darn upbeat. Artwork designed by Niels Geybels. Out on 2xLP vinyl from The Flenser.

Bosse-de-Nage
All Fours

Bosse-de-Nage bring a 90’s post-rock perspective to black metal, although if post-rock often eschews vocals for stretched out instrumentals, that certainly isn’t the case here. All Fours, as the sleeve indicates, has its lyrics at its heart, painting intense, bleak narratives heavy enough to match up to the sound. On The Flenser.

Mamaleek
Via Dolorosa

12” Vinyl LP on The Flenser. Experimental, sometimes verging on the bizarre, black metal from San Francisco. made up of two anonymous brothers Mamaleek blend extremely dark and depressing black metal with piano melodies, pop sensibilities and sections of warmth. After all, you need to get close to someone before you can stab them in the back.  For fans of Leviathan, Weakling, Fleurety.

Have A Nice Life
The Unnatural World


  • CD (FR39CD)

Father Murphy
Croce

Father Murphy are always an odd prospect: and that is a good thing, obviously. Italians with a strong '70s Horror B-Movie / Catholicism vibe, their recordings and live shows always have a compelling sense of ritual about them. Croce is no different, presenting enigmatic textures and troubled vocals aplenty. On The Flenser.

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 death metal all with a sonorous yet sparse sound. CD and Vinyl.
  • Vinyl LP (FR50LP)

King Woman
Doubt

Former Whirr vocalist Kristina Esfandiari strikes out as King Woman with some light-hearted jovial happy fun times, detailing issues such as religious and family abuse in the easy-going way that you would expect. Dense, layered, dark tracks about suffering, a mad blend of Black Sabbath, Sunn 0))) and PJ Harvey. Vinyl LP on The Flenser.

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 Flenser label.
  • Vinyl LP (FR43LP)
  • Label(s):
  • The Flenser

Sannhet
Revisionist

The Flenser has housed many of metal's most alternative and experimental acts recently, and Sannhet continue that hopefully long-standing tradition by joining the crew to release Revisionist, a record of many different types of bronzed metal: there's the fastness of grind in there, thank god, but they can slow it down so it has the precision of stoner. It stands as almost a commentary on metal's ever-morphing and merging shape, now that no sub-genre need walk alone. 

Kayo Dot
Coffins On Io

Everyone's favourite avant-goth-classical-doom-rock band Kayo Dot make a speedy return after 2013's acclaimed superalbum Hubardo. As the title suggests, the dark cosmic references are still here, a distant remnant of mastermind Toby Driver's precursor band Maudlin of the Well. There are some surprises this time round, including more prominent, almost poppy (whaaat?) vocals and emphasised electronics, apparently inspired by the darkwave/post-punk movements.

Coffinworm
IV.I.VIII

All fans of blasts, dirges and growls take note - Indianapolis-based extreme metal horde Coffinworm are releasing their first album of truly original material since 2010's debut When All Became None. It can be safely said that they haven't tamed, with a strong rhythm section and a deeper, gutteral vocal style than before. A real chest-beater, this one.

Botanist
VI: Flora


  • Vinyl LP (FR46LP)

Mamaleek
He Never Spoke A Mumblin' Word

He Never Spoke a Mumblin’ Word is the fourth full-length from electronic black metal band Mamaleek. Mixed by Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Botanist, Wreck & Reference), the album follows sought-after releases on Furusiyya and Enemies List Home Recordings . The San Francisco-based duo is comprised of two anonymous brothers. “This record marks an end as much as a beginning. While much more was recorded during this time, these four spirituals seem to form a coherence lacking on previous escapades. We are grateful to have this released, casting off the burdens of the past that, try as we might to escape, haunt the soul in a strange fashion.” “San Francisco-based Mamaleek achieved a tense hybrid of black-metal frenzy, industrial syncopation, shoegazing distortion and dark ambience on Mamaleek (2008), notably the 18-minute ‘Shout On Children,’ and on the jazzier and denser Fever Dream (Furusiyya Recordings, 2008).” —Piero Scaruffi “The duo—a pair of brothers who prefer to keep their identities a secret—mix Middle Eastern song structures and samples, atonal experimental and avant-garde accents, guttural black metal howls, accessible electronic breakbeats, sludgy doom metal guitar-work, nimble piano interludes, and plenty of pop panache to create an unrelenting, moving sound.” — Forbes

Panopticon
...On The Subject Of Mortality

Panopticon's brand of post-metal cold calls all the genre's hallmarks and begs them for a donation, bringing together distorted guitar climaxes, thrashing percussion and fragmented samples of old men saying indecipherable things. Classic stuff, my dudes. On The Subject Of Mortality looks death in the eye, surveying its morose themes through striking and melodically emotive compositions. The louder it gets, the more it bleeds.

Vaura
The Missing

The Missing is the second album by Vaura. The band is made up of Brooklyn-based avant-garde and metal musicians Joshua Strawn (Vocals), Kevin Hufnagel (Drums), Charlie Schmid (Drums) and Toby Driver (Bass). The music genre-hops between black metal, prog rock and 80s goth rock. The Missing is now available on vinyl after an initial CD release and follows Vaura’s debut album Selenelion.

White Suns
Totem

White Suns' music operates a dynamic between pounding, heavy instrumental assaults and more delicate, quieter segments all played with detuned guitars, drums and improvised electronic equipment. It has been said that White Suns could soundtrack the apocalypse. Totem is their third album following on from Walking In The Reservoir and Sinews.