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2023 release. Blossom is a hard science fiction/cosmic horror concept album with central themes of abject despair, reincarnation and a fascination of hell. An intense month in the studio with producer Lewis Johns has led to a cohesive and confident sounding album that embraces ethereal singing, electronic breakdowns, and bold experimentation - without ever losing sight of their core tenets. Drawing from influences as diverse as Nine Inch Nails, Deafheaven, Radiohead, and Deftones, Pupil Slicer have moulded an album that is effervescent with passion but doesn't shy away from a good hook and a catchy chorus. Through darkness and despair, there is always - at the very least - a glimmer of light in all that they do. Blossom is an album that benefits from being digested as a whole, but within this body of work there are gems that stand out, demonstrating that the future is extremely bright for Pupil Slicer. They're only just getting started.
Pupil Slicer - Blossom
$13.99
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The band's follow-up to 2019's critically adored Death Atlas full-length was again produced by Dave Otero (Allegaeon, Khemmis, Archspire) with startling new artwork by longtime collaborator Wes Benscoter (Vader, Kreator, Bloodbath, Hypocrisy). Comments vocalist Travis Ryan, "We've all heard the old saying about how the cockroach is so pervasive… so invasive… so insidious… that they could survive a nuclear war… Our previous album, Death Atlas, left the world blackened and lifeless.. or so we thought. It turns out that the carbon-encrusted bodies that adorned the album's layout and music video (and that resemble the victims of Pompeii that were frozen in time by the Mt. Vesuvius disaster of 79 A.D.) were actually more of a cocoon stage for something much more vicious to come: Humanity 2.0. "On the cover we see the terrasite, aka 'earth-eater,' molting from its ootheca. Having lived the tortuous existence of being a human, they have now re-emerged into a new world… saddened… confused… PISSED; rebirthed as a new variant of human disease, now adapted to continue and finish the utter ravaging of its home planet, Earth."

Cattle Decapitation - Terrasite
$12.99
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DEVILDRIVER didn’t pause, releasing the highly-acclaimed first installment of their two-part Dealing With Demons saga, Dealing With Demons I. International media mainstays like Revolver, Metal Hammer, Kerrang and Consequence lauded the album, with Blabbermouth adding, “If the second half of this mammoth endeavor matches the first, this will be remembered as a pivotal moment in the DEVILDRIVER story.” And now, as society emerges more hardened and determined than before, so does DEVILDRIVER’s 10th full-length, Dealing With Demons Vol. II. Once again produced and engineered by Steve Evetts with additional engineering from guitarist Mike Spreitzer, Dealing With Demons Vol. II is inarguably heavier and relentlessly harsher than its predecessor. Dealing With Demons Vol. II represents not only the most vicious of the two records, but also the darkest recesses of iconic frontman Dez Fafara’s psyche and the final purging of his demons that have long haunted the band’s music. Track one, “I Have No Pity”, instantly keeps fans guessing with its contrasting, marching rhythmic groove and Dez Fafara’s icy, earworm warnings. The album’s standout production immediately shines, with the track’s thick riffs, haunting leads, room-filling drums and Fafara’s vocal prowess leading the way. Eerie, insistent “Mantra” drops a wave of melodic aggression on the listener, instantly inducing headbanging with its breakneck pace and occult lyricism. Dynamic tracks like “Nothing Lasts Forever” and “Summoning” cascade with alternating passages of sinister riffage and memorable chants, while extraordinary highlights like devastatingly grim “Through The Depths” – with its black metal-esque passages, deft guitar play and menacing lyricism – showcase the evolution of DEVILDRIVER in the new decade. “Bloodbath” is as brutal as its name suggests, ominously bending and pummeling with immediate aggression, as “It’s a Hard Truth” continues the onslaught, cautioning against delusion amid balanced melodic leads. Closer anthems “If Blood Is Life” and “This Relationship Broken” are the blood-soaked cherries atop Dealing With Demons Vol. II, bringing together all of the elements that make DEVILDRIVER the best at their craft. If there is any question as to whether DEVILDRIVER is slowing down any time soon, Dealing With Demons Vol. II proves that 20 years into their career, even with their demons in tow – they move forward at the forefront of metal.

DevilDriver - Dealing With Demons Vol. II
$12.99
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2023 release. With a musicality as heavy and hard-hitting as singer Joel Birch's intensely emotional lyrics-about suicide, gun violence, religion and mental illness-Not Without My Ghosts finds The Amity Affliction at their brutal best. With four vocal features, including rising Los Angeles talent Phem, the band's first female feature, on the title track, the Australian quartet's eighth LP pushes the boundaries and genres of heavy music. The album's 10 songs were self-produced at Grove Studios in New South Wales. Not Without My Ghosts follows 2020's Everyone Loves You... Once You Leave Them and several non-album singles in 2021-22. For Not Without My Ghosts, "We wanted to go as heavy as possible," says bassist/clean singer Ahren Stringer. "On "I See Dead People" (which features Louie Knuxx, the New Zealand rapper who died unexpectedly in 2021), we just went balls-to-the-wall to show off that side of us, letting people know we're not a one-trick pony." Proof positive of TAA's versatility is the song "Not Without My Ghosts" ft. Phem, which closes the album with a decidedly spooky and softer energy. From start to finish, TAA's whisper-to-a-scream energy, clean and unclean vocals and Dan Brown's masterfully dynamic guitar work underscores each track's dramatic ups and downs.
The Amity Affliction - Not Without My Ghosts
$10.99

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