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IMPORTANT (Please read to avoid confusion):
Some items below may be tagged with a bold, red, all-caps "out of print/unavailable" notice. This does NOT mean that all other items not so tagged are, in fact, in stock -- or for that matter, in print and available, though there's a good chance they are. Some folks get confused on this point, and we can see why, so please read this for further clarification and other important before-you-order information. Unlike some mailorder websites, we don't have an electronic inventory system linked to our site, so you can't be sure of what we actually have or don't have in stock at any given moment without asking us -- please email our mailorder department for availability status -- or better yet, just go ahead and place your order using our shopping cart function and we'll get back to you with the status of each item. If you have general non-mailorder questions, email the store.


MCMAHON, F.J. Spirit Of The Golden Juice (Light In The Attic) lp 19.98

album cover MCMILLEN, SHAWN DAVID Catfish (Tompkins Square) cd 13.98
Some super nice, unexpected sounds from Austin based soundsculpter Shawn David McMillen. While Tompkins Square is now releasing this on cd (the vinyl has been out a little longer courtesy of Emperor Jones) we mistakenly jumped to some conclusions before we even threw this one in, assuming McMillen to be another in a long line of finger picking Appalachian style Fahey disciples, and we have to admit we were a bit relieved to discover this was not actually the case. We can't deny that there have been some great releases in that style over the last few years but we've reached critical mass, especially when folks like James Blackshaw and Jack Rose have already raised the bar so high that most others can't really compete. McMillen on the other hand explores a more experimental approach to his playing which comes off sounding like a more subdued No Neck Blues Band at times which to our ears sounded damn fine. We were also reminded of the wandering explorations of Loren Chasse and the more delicate side of the Jeweled Antler family. What a nice surprise, excellent!
MPEG Stream: "Eat Mountain"
MPEG Stream: "Quintanna's Head Dress"

album cover MCMILLEN, SHAWN DAVID Catfish (Emperor Jones) lp 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.Some surprising new sounds from this Austin based soundsculpter. While Tompkins Square is finally releasing this on cd (the nice vinyl has been out a little longer courtesy of Emperor Jones) we had already jumped to a few conclusions before we even heard a note. And boy were we way off the mark. We had assumed McMillen to be another in a long line of finger picking appalachin style Fahey disiples, what with being on Tompkins Square and all, and while we can't deny there have been some great records in that style over the last few years we have to say we were strating to reach our saturation point. Folks like James Blackshaw have raised the bar so high that it's not enough to just sit there and strum a guitar and try to sound like Fahey or Basho. McMillen though, explores a more experimental approach to his playing which comes off sounding like a more subdued No Neck Blues Band at times, which was not only surprising but also incredible satisfying. We were also reminded of the wandering explorations of Loren Chasse and the more delicate side of the Jeweled Antler family.
Definitely worth checking out.
MPEG Stream: "Eat Mountain"
MPEG Stream: "Quintanna's Head Dress"

album cover MCMS 1997-2000 (Last Visible Dog) 3cd 13.98
Ever since we first heard the mysterious MCMS, sharing space with the equally mysterious Yermo on a cd-r released on Campbell Kneale's Celebrate Psi Phenomena cd-r label, we were hooked. Big time. Two absolutely stunning cd-r's followed. But as with most cd-r's they quickly went out of print and were seemingly lost forever. Well lucky for us, AQ pal Chris Moon who runs the Last Visible Dog label (and who just happens to be in MCMS) has stepped up and re-released on real cds both of those out of print discs, adding their half of the aforementioned split with Yermo as well as the tracks from their lathe cut lp on Eclipse (which was limited to 50 copies). Everything all in one convenient triple cd package. So what the hell does it sound like you ask? Imagine a weird, British style folk, loosely strummed acoustic guitars, warbly flute and urgently whispered vocals. Churning hyperdistorted guitars, random, 'free' percussion, sometimes just a simple plodding thud, all deteriorating into soft mumbly melodies and found sounds, mysterious and ambient. Dirty, gritty garage-y dirge/drone rock, Krautrock-ish rhythms filtered through a Dead C noiserock aesthetic that veers into noisy freakout territory, careening wildly from tuneless, Comus style pagan folk to chaotic free rock, to blissful dronescapes. A meandering soundscape of clatter and buzz, drone and thump, skree and whir, all very atmospheric. Moments of Sunroof! like lo-fi bliss disrupted by bursts of spastic percussive splatter and amp/instrument malfunction. Anyone into NZ noise rock (Dead C, Gate, etc), the current crop of free folk (Jewelled Antler, NNCK, Sunburned Hand, etc.) or just weird and wonderful, fucked up and noisy experimental free-folk-rock-noise-whatever definitely needs this. (Though, we wish Chris had come up with a different sort of package for these cds, he kept the cost down by eschewing a jewel box in favor of a three-pocket plastic sleeve, that's nice and slim but more or less ensures that all the discs will wind up with some minor cosmetic scratches on their playing surfaces. Nothing serious but still too bad.)
MPEG Stream: "Lemmy Kiliminster Getting Kicked Out Of Hawkind"
MPEG Stream: "MCMS Vs. Brain Damage"
MPEG Stream: "Prelude To The MCMS Album Of Love"
MPEG Stream: "Bruce Has Gone To The Great Bong In The Sky"

album cover MCMS 3 (Last Visible Dog) cd-r 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
This is dirge-y, dirty, grungy tribal FREEROCK. '3' starts off with churning hyperdistorted guitars, random, 'free' percussion, sometimes just a simple plodding thud, which all deteriorate into softly strummed guitars and found sounds, mysterious and ambient. The rest of the record is a meandering soundscape of clatter and buzz, drone and thump, skree and whir, all very atmospheric. Moments of Sunroof! like lo-fi bliss disrupted by bursts of spastic percussive splatter and amp/instrument malfunction.
RealAudio clip: "Lemmy Kiliminster Getting Kicked Out Of Hawkind"
RealAudio clip: "MCMS Vs. Brain Damage"

album cover MCMS s/t (Last Visible Dog) cd-r 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
We totally loved the MCMS cd-r on Celebrate Psi Phenomena (a split with Yermo, now out of print), so we were pretty psyched for TWO new titles courtesy of our pals at Last Visible Dog. Starts off as weird, British style folk, loosely strummed acoustic guitars, warbly flute and urgently whispered vocals. This soon becomes a dirty, gritty garage-y dirge/drone rock workout. Krautrock-ish rhythms filtered through a Dead C noiserock aesthetic that veers into noisy freakout territory. The record continues on, careening wildly from tuneless, Comus style pagan folk to chaotic free rock, to blissful dronescapes. Good stuff.
RealAudio clip: "Prelude To The MCMS Album Of Love"
RealAudio clip: "Bruce Has Gone To The Gret Bong In The Sky"

album cover MCNAIR, JAMIE Ocean Dictionaries (Celebrate Psi Phenomenon) cd-r 10.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Another new name from Campbell Kneale's mighty Celebrate Psi Phenomenon label, and it's yet another winner. A hyperminimal dronescape of warm underwater tones, thick and slow moving, dreamy and surreal, muted melodies stretched into thick blankets of fuzzy warmth. The second half of the record sounds like a straight field recording, wind and footsteps and dogs barking and the faraway whir and hum of everyday life, lovely and serene.
RealAudio clip: "One"

album cover MCNEAL & NILES Thrust (Chocolate Industries) cd 14.98
With all the DJs out there diggin' deep, trying to one-up one another with some unknown killer dancefloor fodder, some intriguing discoveries have been made, and as a result we've seen more and more rare funk LPs get reissued for all to enjoy. Such is the case with this record by Ohio-based funksters Machelle McNeal and Wilbur Niles, originally released to general obscurity in 1979. I'm sure it will sell many more copies now than then, with the Chocolate Industries stamp of approval. And such tracks as "Punk Funk" and "Hypertension" sure have a tight, crisp energy that still sounds fresh -- these guys could even teach the likes of The Rapture or Tussle a groove or two. Right out of the gate, we're reminded of something off of that that Shuggie Otis album... It's synthy, Mooged funk with a jazz-fusiony, disco-era gloss. If you like your funk raw, look elsewhere -- this is smoove but so so tight. It's definitely got that cheesy-but-hip TV show soundtrack vibe, you can imagine these tracks accompanying the action on some rad '70s police drama. Done up in nice new packaging (apparently the original private-press LP didn't have much in the way of graphics).
MPEG Stream: "Hypertension"
MPEG Stream: "Untitled"

album cover MCNEAL & NILES Thrust (Chocolate Industries) lp 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Now back again on Vinyl!
With all the DJs out there diggin' deep, trying to one-up one another with some unknown killer dancefloor fodder, some intriguing discoveries have been made, and as a result we've seen more and more rare funk LPs get reissued for all to enjoy. Such is the case with this record by Ohio-based funksters Machelle McNeal and Wilbur Niles, originally released to general obscurity in 1979. I'm sure it will sell many more copies now than then, with the Chocolate Industries stamp of approval. And such tracks as "Punk Funk" and "Hypertension" sure have a tight, crisp energy that still sounds fresh -- these guys could even teach the likes of The Rapture or Tussle a groove or two. Right out of the gate, we're reminded of something off of that that Shuggie Otis album... It's synthy, Mooged funk with a jazz-fusiony, disco-era gloss. If you like your funk raw, look elsewhere -- this is smoove but so so tight. It's definitely got that cheesy-but-hip TV show soundtrack vibe, you can imagine these tracks accompanying the action on some rad '70s police drama. Done up in nice new packaging (apparently the original private-press LP didn't have much in the way of graphics).
MPEG Stream: "Hypertension"
MPEG Stream: "Untitled"

album cover MCNEILL, LLOYD QUARTET, THE Asha (Universal Sound) cd 19.98
We've heard tracks here and there from Lloyd McNeill, on that New Thing! Soul Jazz compilation, on the Freedom Rhythm & Sound revolutionary jazz comp, but this is the first full length we've heard, and it's magical.
Besides being an incredible flutist and composer, McNeill was also a painter, palling around with Picasso in Paris, he ran his own record label, has recorded with Nina Simone, Ron Carter, and lots of others. He's also a music anthropologist, a teacher and a poet. He was involved in the civil rights movement, recorded music for art installations and ballets. But his music, wow, totally breathtaking, Latin and Brazilian flecked spiritual jazz. Nothing skronky or far out, now wild and wooly, or in any way difficult, just incredibly passionate, and personal, lush and melodic, gorgeous and understated real jazz.
Originally released on his own label, the Asha Recording Company, a label he ran from the late sixties until the early seventies, Asha is a truly fantastic bit of classic jazz, the songs soar and swell and brood, exploding into flights of fancy, but just as quickly slipping back into deep introspection, the band is tight as hell, shuffling drums, moody understated piano, some Latin percussion here and there, but it's McNeill's flute and piccolo playing that really makes Asha so special, fluttery and breathy one moment, wildly melodic the next, weaving gorgeous melodies over dreamy jazzscapes. The title track might be one of the most perfect jams ever, slightly melancholy, super dynamic, minor key melodies, plenty of tension, so melodic and moody, and downright lovely. The 10+ minute "Warmth Of A Sunny Day" is sun dappled and dreamy, the piano and flute perfectly in sync, playfully sparring over a sunshiny bed of soft focus piano and warm liquid bass. So fantastic. Yet another jazz reissue that is becoming a fast fave.
MPEG Stream: "Asha"
MPEG Stream: "As A Matter Of Fact"
MPEG Stream: "Two-Third's Pleasure"

album cover MCNEILL, LLOYD QUARTET, THE Asha (Universal Sound) lp 23.00
We've heard tracks here and there from Lloyd McNeill, on that New Thing! Soul Jazz compilation, on the Freedom Rhythm & Sound revolutionary jazz comp, but this is the first full length we've heard, and it's magical.
Besides being an incredible flutist and composer, McNeill was also a painter, palling around with Picasso in Paris, he ran his own record label, has recorded with Nina Simone, Ron Carter, and lots of others. He's also a music anthropologist, a teacher and a poet. He was involved in the civil rights movement, recorded music for art installations and ballets. But his music, wow, totally breathtaking, Latin and Brazilian flecked spiritual jazz. Nothing skronky or far out, now wild and wooly, or in any way difficult, just incredibly passionate, and personal, lush and melodic, gorgeous and understated real jazz.
Originally released on his own label, the Asha Recording Company, a label he ran from the late sixties until the early seventies, Asha is a truly fantastic bit of classic jazz, the songs soar and swell and brood, exploding into flights of fancy, but just as quickly slipping back into deep introspection, the band is tight as hell, shuffling drums, moody understated piano, some Latin percussion here and there, but it's McNeill's flute and piccolo playing that really makes Asha so special, fluttery and breathy one moment, wildly melodic the next, weaving gorgeous melodies over dreamy jazzscapes. The title track might be one of the most perfect jams ever, slightly melancholy, super dynamic, minor key melodies, plenty of tension, so melodic and moody, and downright lovely. The 10+ minute "Warmth Of A Sunny Day" is sun dappled and dreamy, the piano and flute perfectly in sync, playfully sparring over a sunshiny bed of soft focus piano and warm liquid bass. So fantastic. Yet another jazz reissue that is becoming a fast fave.
MPEG Stream: "Asha"
MPEG Stream: "As A Matter Of Fact"
MPEG Stream: "Two-Third's Pleasure"

MCPHEE, JOE Nation Time (Atavistic / Unheard Music) cd 14.98
1971 set from sax & trumpet player Joe McPhee & his group. Bad ass to say the least.

MCPHEE, JOE Trinity (Atavistic / Unheard Music) cd 14.98
1973 "blues inflected out-soul" date from saxophonist Joe McPhee and his trio (piano, drums), reissued for the first time, and with much improved sound from the original LP, we're told. Albert Ayler-dedicated jazz wildness.

album cover MCPHEE, JOE Underground Railroad / Live At Holy Cross Monastery (Atavistic / Unheard Music Series) 2cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Another fine Atavistic "Unheard Music Series" re-issue, this of the super-rare 1969 debut LP from freedom jazz trumpeter/saxophonist Joe McPhee who was last mentioned here thanks to his recent collaboration with Canadian dada noiseniks the Nihilist Spasm Band. It's coupled with a second disc filled with a hitherto unreleased live concert recording from '68. Both were recorded at the same New York monastery -- and while the sounds are doubtless quite spiritual in intent, the energy is sometimes far from quiet and contemplative! The '68 show features readings of tunes by Monk, McPhee, and members of McPhee's Contemporary Improvisational Ensemble, whereas the "Underground Railroad" LP, recorded with a smaller group, features only McPhee's compositions. Both are powerful, beautiful, and political with that '60s black power vibe. As always, some sort of award is due UMS curator John Corbett for bringing these sorts of classic free jazz artifacts to light.

MCPHEE, JOE & JOHN SNYDER Pieces of Light (Atavistic) cd 14.98

MCPHERSON, DONALD & TETZUI AKIYAMA Vinegar & Rum (Bo' Weavil) cd 17.98

MCPULLISH Black Metal White Reggae (Charlie's Records) lp 17.98

MCSWEENEY'S #7 literary journal 23.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
The format of a McSweeney's issue is always just as noteworthy as its contents. This time round Dave Eggers and co. have created an oldfashioned letterpressed hard cover which encloses eight separate little books by such hip writers as J.T. Leroy, Ann Cummins, Heidi Julavits, A.M. Homes, Courtney Eldridge, Allan Seager, Michael Chabon (an epilogue of sorts to Kavalier and Clay, with cover art by Chris Ware!), Kevin Brockmeier, and William T. Vollman (excerpt from an as-yet-unpublished study on violence, this case study takes place in Thailand). And it's all bound together by a jumbo rubber band. So nice.

album cover MCSWEENEY'S 24 (McSweeney's) book 24.00

album cover MCSWEENEY'S QUARTERLY CONCERN Issue 20 book 22.00
Every issue of McSweeney's Quarterly is a treat, not just the amazing writing, but the design as well, which is pretty much mindblowing every time. And this newest issue just might take the cake. Which is saying a lot since past issues have been packaged in cigar boxes, as multiple little booklets, with strange and elaborate covers, bizarre type setting, they'll try anything. The newest looks like a regular bound hardcover book, except for the psychedelic landscape on the cover that is both intricately colored and raised up and textured, like someone dropped some bizarre multi colored, tendrilled, angular -thing- on your book, where it quickly hardened into some sort of tripped out topographical map. Cool. And the text inside is just as gorgeous and fascinating. New fiction from Susan Steinberg, Kevin Moffit, Ben Jahn, Tony D'Souza, J. Erin Sweeney, Sarah Raymont, Jack Pendarvis, Roy Kesey, Anthony Schneider, Roderick White, Aaron Gwyn, Sam Miller and Corrina Vallianatos. Also lots of amazing original artwork. And inside the back cover is affixed a little printed booklet, the first chapter of a forthcoming McSweeney's novel. As always, not much else to say but WOW!

album cover MCSWEENEY'S QUARTERLY CONCERN Number 13 (McSweeney's) book 24.00
For those of you who always have trouble with the big words and long stories, this is the McSweeney's for you. The thirteenth installment of McSweeney's always brilliant literary journal is ALL comics this time around. Well, not all, but mostly. Contributors include Lynda Barry, Mark Beyer, Chester Brown, Ivan Brunetti, Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, Robert Crumb, Kim Dietch, Julie Doucet, Gilbert Hernandez, Jamie Hernandez, Ira Glass, Ben Katchor, Kaz, Chip Kidd, Archer Prewitt, Gary Panter, Charles Schultz, Seth, Art Spiegelman, Jim Woodring, Adrian Tomine, Richard Sala, Joe Matt, John Updike, John Porcellino, and more! Beautifully layed out as always and jam packed with comics and comic related pieces. A gorgeous cover as well, an old fashioned book cover like we used to have to wrap all our schoolbooks in, made from a Chris Ware designed Sunday comics page, with gold leaf style embellishments, and two mini comics tucked inside the front and back flyleafs. So cool!

album cover MCTELL, BLIND WILLIE Scarey Day Blues (Monk) 2lp 30.00
We got another amazing batch of vintage blues reissues from the wonderful Monk label. Look elsewhere on the list for reviews of two more volumes of Charley Patton recordings and an lp by Blind Willie Johnson (not to be confused with this Blind Willie)!
Born blind at the turn of the century, Blind Willie McTell was not only an astute guitar player, but even a more avid businessman, often using a myriad of pseudonyms (Hot Shot Willie, Georgia Bill) to juggle multiple record deals. Having developed a unique subgenre of the blues called Piedmont Blues, combining a hard roots Delta style with the more sophisticated East-Coast style, his guitar playing often sounded like there were multiple instruments playing. McTell was less gospel-influenced than Blind Willie Johnson, favoring songs about hard-living and hard-loving. He had a long recording career with a few labels, but with not as much success as he hoped for due to the Great Depression. This compilation spans 26 recordings between 1927 and 1931 recorded in his home town of Atlanta for the Victor Records label.

album cover MCTELL, BLIND WILLIE Searching The Desert For The Blues (Monk) 2lp 30.00
Monk Records returns with collection #2 from legendary Piedmont blues singer and 12 string guitar master Blind Willie McTell. These songs, released on the Victor, Okeh, and Vocalion labels, were recorded in between 1931-1933, picking up where the material from Monk's previous McTell collection, Scary Day Blues ended, with a few sessions taking place in McTell's homebase of Atlanta while the majority were captured in New York City. Most of the songs feature accompaniment from fellow Georgia guitarist Curley Weaver, while others find McTell backing up singers Ruth Willis and Ruby Glaze in an ensemble setting. For those unfamiliar with McTell, his style is generally a bit more refined and his voice is sweeter than many of his counterparts from the Delta or Texas. Much of the lyrics on this collection are of a spiritual nature, but then you got tracks like "Love Makin' Ma and "Death Cell Blues", which should indicate the wide range of topics on display here. Throughout, McTell's masterful guitar playing astounds and inspires. Truly amazing stuff here.

album cover MCTELL, BLIND WILLIE Trying To Get Home (Sutro Park) lp 14.98

album cover MCTELLS Expecting Joe (Captured Tracks) cassette 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

album cover MCTELLS s/t (Captured Tracks) cassette 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

MD4 Mark My Wordz (Royal Throne) cd 8.98

MD4 Mark My Wordz (Royal Throne) cd 8.98

MDK A Friend Is A Stranger You Haven't Met (Spymania) cd 16.98
British electronica maverick MDK starts "A Friend Is A Stranger You Haven't Met" on the evil side of things, with a digitally hacked collage of industrial strength thrash metal. Before you begin to think about Francisco Lopez or Alec Empire and their digital synthesis of metal, MDK makes a quick left turn into beautifully Oval-esque passages for laptop processed string samples. This trend of quick genre edits continues through hip hop, Mego noise, house grooves, etc... Fortunately, MDK has enough sense to retain a common thread to his work -- an undefined sentiment of sadness. This is an album that is strangely seductive, and superior to his previous full-length.

album cover MEADOWLANDS Music From Mainzer Strasse (Moon Glyph) cassette 4.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
One of three new tapes from (now) local label Moon Glyph, this one from Brooklyn based ambient soundscaper Meadowlands, who created these tracks while abroad in Berlin, and endeavored to capture a sort of weightless drift, a timeless sonic space representing his time spent wandering in a strange city, and these three extended tracks to conjure up that sort of mysterious tranquility. It's not hard to imagine wandering through Eastern Europe, with this drifting through your headphones, long layered tones, softly pulsing, subtle overtones drifting and blending into all new shapes and sounds, no jagged edges, everything smooth and rounded, washed out and softly psychedelic, a warm almost liquid thrum that seems to enter your ears and spread throughout your body, emanating like some inner glow. The tape begins to grow more ominous, with a subtle tension, a keening high end underpinning a slow shifting shimmer, a barely perceptible ebb and flow, soft swells of dark chordal whir, which eventually resolves in the final track, a long stretch of soft focus dream-noise, a sound that's smeared into long blurs of murky melody and wreathed in a Tim Hecker like haze, but this track too, infused with a dramatic energy that lurks just below the surface, adds a strange pathos to the proceedings, which keeps the sound from being nothing too soft, to wispy, and instead imbues Meadowlands' sonic travelogue with some indefinable emotional heft.
MPEG Stream: "U8 "
MPEG Stream: "Alone In Neukolln"

album cover MEADS OF ASPHODEL Sonderkommando (Candlelight) cd 14.98
The Meads Of Asphodel are a strange bunch, everything about them has always been just a bit off, but brilliantly so, their sound sonically schizophrenic, their black metal flecked with whatever weirdness mainman Metatron feels like throwing into the mix. In their band photos, they're always wearing medieval Crusader armor, wielding shields, maces and swords, their song titles are bizarre, their records filled with unlikely guests, and seemingly designed to baffle or piss of in equal measure, and while much of what they do seems like it must be a joke, like they're constantly taking the piss, arriving now at full length number six (and that's not counting splits and eps), it's more obvious now than ever, that these guys are deadly serious, it's just that they're also kinda nuts. And it's that seriousness, that dedication to their high concept warped songcraft, that makes this new record make a bit more sense. Just a bit.
While there's no shortage (unfortunately) of Nazi black metal, there has not yet been, as far as we know, a black metal concept record about the holocaust, not celebrating it in any way, just exploring the horror, from both the perspective of the perpetrators AND the victims. Well, at least until now. That's right, like the last Meads concept record, also a pretty intense one, about the life and death of Jesus, titled The Murder Of Jesus The Jew, Sonderkommando is another concept record, one that is indeed about the Holocaust. The music is the usual twisted batch of Meads weirdness, with another collection of ridiculous guests, who only add to the confusional sonic chaos, but the lyrical content this time around is appropriately harsh, as is the gruesome cover art, and while folks will no doubt cry foul, this is serious stuff, even if sonically, it doesn't always seem like it. Mainman Metatron spent YEARS researching and conceptualizing, and the bafflingly brilliant results bear that out, an epic sonic sprawl equal parts grim black buzz, murky blackened prog, and over the top, super dramatic, melodic Broadway musical style glamminess. Yup. But what did you expect, it's the Meads after all. And just to drive that point home, in the band pictures they're still dressed like medieval warriors!
The core Meads lineup this time around is augmented by a whole mess of guests, including members of Hawkwind, God's Tower, Amebix, Sigh, even Gnaw Their Tongues, and hell, Metatron's son even makes an appearance as well.
It all begins with the 12 minute title track, which begins like you might expect, with samples of archival voices, all scratchy historical recordings, which is soon joined by a strange bit of wheezing almost gypsy folk, piano, female vox, but then what you might not expect, is the song exploding into some Bowie-esque glam, or what sounds like some strange stage musical, with wailed dramatic vocals, singing "You don't have to die to walk in hell, for here is hell", sounding a bit like a number from the Rocky Horror Picture Show, all over a backdrop of weirdly swirling, murky slithery jazziness. It's not until about 6 minutes in, that the sound explodes into some furious black buzz, but it's the Meads, so no straight ahead black metal here, instead it's super tangled, near proggy weirdness, laced with twisted melodies, multiple dueling vokills, cool expanses of churning chug, some stop/start dynamics, a dizzying black tangle, before returning to the glammy over the top melodic musical style bombast of the beginning, this time paired with a little black buzz.
From there on out, all bets are off, the sing-songy almost folky "Wishing Well Of Bones", the synth swaddled black buzz of "Aktion T4", then there are tracks like "Silent Ghosts Of Babi Yar", which like the title track, are exactly what makes the Meads so good, and so fucking nuts, blasting out some seriously buzzing blackness, all churning riffage and pounding drums, harsh hateful vox and dizzying blasts, before blossoming into another stretch of fill on epic glam pop, soaring clean vocals, over swirling synths, all wedded to some black metal buzz, a twisted, but weirdly appealing combo, and then paired with the lyrics, and the concept, totally over the top WTF genius for sure. Dig deeper and there's still more weirdness, the creepy dramatic reading of "Lamenting Weaver Of Horror", a dialogue between a child (Metatron's kid) and death, all over some murky black ambient rumbles, and some creepy atmospherics, dripping water, distant creaks and groans, which splinters into some twisted blackened power metal, before transforming into some loping spaced out psychedelia, then there's the insanely titled "The Mussulmans Wander Through The Infernal Whirling Fires Amongst Silent Shadows To Be Fed Into The Thirsting Jaws Of A Godless Death Machine To Cough Up Their Souls To The Nazi Moloch Who Sits Within A Ring Of Smoking Infant Skulls", which begins with a weird looped vocal round, and soon explodes into some almost Viking sounding black metal, laced with soaring female vocals, wildly proggy and super melodic, psychedelic too, with dueling vokills/vocals, the whole thing suddenly devolving into a woozy, slithery blackened blooz jam, replete with harmonica! There's plenty more strangeness throughout, the clean vocals pop up everywhere, giving the record a super dramatic over the top vibe, but for every bit of melodic bombast, there's some twisted blackness, all tangled up into one epic sonic headtrip, that might be the Meads finest moment yet. Certainly their most brilliantly baffling!
MPEG Stream: "Sonderkommando"
MPEG Stream: "Silent Ghosts Of Babi Yar"
MPEG Stream: "The Mussulmans Wander Through The Infernal Whirling Fires Amongst Silent Shadows..."

album cover MEADS OF ASPHODEL, THE Damascus Steel (Supernal Music) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
By this point, if you're at all familiar with Britain's weirdest black metal bunch The Meads Of Asphodel you know to expect the unexpected. You'll be unphased by breakbeat breakdowns, trumpet solos, and syrupy strings amidst Venom-inspired vocals and Cradle of Filth-worthy black metal bombast. And you already know there's gonna be spacerockin' Hawkwind guitar on here from an authentic old Hawkwind guitarist. Yet somehow we still suspect that at some point whilst listening to their new, third album Damascus Steel, even the most dedicated Meads fan will have a "what the fuck is this, what the fuck are they doing??" moment. And that's one big reason why you're a Meads fan after all! Maybe that point will be when they burst into a sarcastic version of Louis Armstrong's "What A Wonderful Life" with the lyrics altered so that vocalist Metatron is delivering lines like: "I see newborn graves / dirt dimmed with steam / open womb flesh / death and disease / and I think to myself, what a wonderful world," over that familiar melody, his gravelly voice really rather reminiscent of Satchmo's! Or maybe it will be at the very start of the album, when you're confronted with a sampled speech by George W. Bush. They don't manipulate his words with cut and paste tricks, either, he just says what he said. It's as if in the black metal competition to be the most EVIL they couldn't think of anything more effective than to incorporate our President into their band! Though, we suspect Bush is sampled for reasons of geopolitical commentary, as he's speaking about his views on the Middle East, a region that has long figured centrally into The Meads' peculiar musical and lyrical vision (this album's entitled Damascus Steel, remember).
There's a been a few metal bands with Middle Eastern obsessions -- Melechesh, Absu, Morbid Angel -- and maybe that's because of the ancient mysteries and mythology of man spawned from that land. Just the Biblical associations alone give it resonance for both the Christian and (in this case) the anti-Christian. Not to mention that it's the location today of so much suffering and strife. Warfare has always been a metal topic, terror too. So it's no wonder that metal bands would look to the Middle East for subject matter. But in the case of The Meads, we'd always assumed that it also had to do with the fact that, well, they like to wear medieval armor a la the Crusaders. Maybe that's how their interest first was stoked. But it's clear that they have something subversive to say about religion and politics and that flashpoint region of our world. Of course, Metatron's words (and song titles like the Bal-Sagoth worthy "Behold The Kindred Battle Carcasses Strewn Across The Bloodred Dunes Of Gilgamesh Mute In The Frenzied Clamour Of Death's Rolling Tongue And Ravenous Bursting Steel") take some deciphering, and it doesn't help that his band has set your head spinning with their bent blend of metal and psych and techno and ethnic music... In one song, for instance, blasting blasphemies segue into a groovy keyboard guest solo from Mirai of Japan's Sigh (one of the few bands in the world also so eccentric that they're naturally soulmates with the Meads blokes). And you'll think to yourself, what a wonderful Meads album!
MPEG Stream: "Satanic Black Nubian Pharaohs"
MPEG Stream: "The Gods Who Mock Us"
MPEG Stream: "Behold The Kindred Battle Carcasses Strewn Across The Bloodred Dunes Of Gilgamesh Mute In The Frenzied Clamour Of Death's Rolling Tongue And Ravenous Bursting Steel"

album cover MEADS OF ASPHODEL, THE Exhuming The Grave Of Yeshua (Supernal) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
We made this Record of the Week a couple months ago, then promptly ran out of 'em -- as did their label in England, who have now pressed more copies. So here it is again, in case you missed it before. The UK's amazing, eccentric Meads Of Asphodel are back with their second, long-awaited full-length. From the get-go, this had an inside line on becoming an AQ Record of the Week -- indeed, we were so excited about its impending release that even before any of our wholesale suppliers had imports of this in stock, Andee went ahead and mail-ordered two copies from England, one for himself and one as a Christmas gift for Allan! Now, we've managed to get copies for the store to share with all of you. What's so special about the Meads Of Asphodel, besides their unusual name? Well, if you've been a long-time AQ list reader/customer maybe you'll remember how much we liked their debut, The Excommunication of Christ. Well as good as that crackpot example of medieval metal was, this new one is even more esoteric and ridiculous and incredible. As AQ's coverage of the genre has demonstrated, black metal can be a lot of different things. In the Meads of Asphodel's case, it IS many different things, all at the same time! First off, apparently nobody told them that an ostensibly black metal band shouldn't write pop songs. Sure, they are really really heavy and decidedly grim, but Meads have a pop sensibility that can't be denied. The album's second track, "God Is Rome", will have you staring at your stereo as its gruff-voiced chugging brutality gives way to an acoustic guitar lick and subsequent pop hook that is more Nirvana than necro. Not to suggest that this isn't a massively metal album. It is. Their brand of metal is like Venom mixed with Bal-Sagoth: sparkling keyboards strewn over rough-hewn riffage and pounding drums. They're also quite psychedelic (drugs involved for sure), with weird changes and spacey synths. Landing rocketships in the Middle Ages, Meads make for a creditable space rock band. Indeed, these Hawkwind obsessives do a killer Hawkwind cover ("Utopia") with two actual Hawkwind members sitting in! Other guests on this album include Mirai from another AQ fave, Japan's Sigh, one of the only other "black metal" bands on the planet as far-out as the Meads, and Vincent Crowley, somewhat infamous as an underground death metal Satanist. His presence, however cartoonish, illustrates another important point about this record. As random and spicy a goulash their music is, Meads remain a steadfastly black metal band where it most counts: in their opposition to God and religion. Indeed, unlike the majority of black metal acts whose anti-Christian, anti-clerical, pro-Satan stance is indeed just that, a stance or pose, just to conform to the standard black metal aesthetic of being "evil", Meads of Asphodel seem to take this issue more seriously. What we mean is that their lyrics are more about WHY they don't believe in God, than about how cool that makes them. So it turns out that as tongue-in-cheek as so much about them seems (from the cover pics of the band in the guise of armored knights looking rather more hapless than intimidating, to such song titles as "On Graven Images I Glide Beyond The Monstrous Gates Of Pandemonium To Face The Baptised Warriors Of Yahweh In The Skull-littered Plain Of Esdraelon") they actually have a message, if you will. Delivered quite bizarrely and confusingly of course. And that's what we like best, the confounding mixture of the serious and the silly where irony is left in the dust, replaced by question marks and half-smiles, and gleeful enjoyment of some remarkable music. This album is definitely the sort of thing that we at AQ think will both satisfy open-minded metal fans and provide a varied enough dish for folks seeking something weird on the pop/spacerock/electronic side of things. Indeed, did we mention that the aforementioned lengthy song title belongs to a ten minute epick of When-like eclecticism, that brings in techno electronica, Middle Eastern music, and even some acid-jazz organ jamming -- utterly instrumental except for samples of an utterly blasphemous nature? This is indicative in many ways of their bizarro modus operandi. Appealing in so many ways to the extremes of what we might call the AQ-aesthetic, it would have been hard *not* to make this a Record Of The Week.
MPEG Stream: "God Is Rome"
MPEG Stream: "Guts For Sale"
MPEG Stream: "Sons Of Anak Rise"

album cover MEADS OF ASPHODEL, THE In The Name Of God, Welcome To Planet Genocide (Firestorm) cd 11.98
We all knew the Meads Of Asphodel were a weird bunch. Every record was a baffling slab of confusional black metal, often laced with all manner of VERY non-black metal sounds and ideas. Well, no matter how weird we though they were in the past, they've totally outdone themselves this time. So much so that we would hesitate to even classify this as black metal.
There's a lot to be confused by here, from a bizarre collage of military speeches and snippets of random dialogue, to huge swelling synths, super dramatic and over the top, to strange synthesized spaghetti western jams, to not-all-that-metal blasts of propulsive spaced out rock and roll, with groovy Stooges-y riffing, simple pounding drumming, some serious guitar leads, and over the top some Motorhead gone black metal vocals... but that's not all. There are lots of lots of pianos, and soaring female vocals, blissed out stretches of space rock whoosh, some full on old school punk rock. And then there's the completely fucked final track, called "Aborted Stygian Foetus", a sort of industrial electronic metal jam, drum machines, heavy riffing, weird vocals, like some weird mix of Ministry and My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult. But it's not over. After about 20 minutes of silence you'll find the secret track, an intense and seriously silly and fucked up stretch of testifying, over a swirl of church organs, a heavily (British) accented 'preacher' gives a fiery sermon on how we are all wankers and how we are all full of shit. Woah.
The new sound could have something to do with the addition of a whole mess of new Meads: Alan Davey of Hawkwind, Mirai from Japanes metal weirdos Sigh, Lesion from Worms Of Sabnock, as well as some synth, trumpet, and not one but TWO female vocalists.
The more likely reason for this new direction should be obvious from the cover, all sepia toned, with a crucifix, and piles of dead bodies and that instantly recognizable Crass style text. Like maybe they were going for some sort of Flux Of Pink Indians / Crass / Rudimentary Peni sort of crust vibe!! Although on the inside they're still clad in their armor and chainmail and helmets...
So fucking weird.
MPEG Stream: "Psalm 364"
MPEG Stream: "My Beautiful Genocide"
MPEG Stream: "A Baptism In The Warm Piss Of Slaughtered Children"

album cover MEADS OF ASPHODEL, THE Life Is Shit e.p. (Firestorm) 7" 9.98
More distinctly not very black metal weirdness from some of our favorite black metal weirdos. If you might remember back to the most recent Meads release, In The Name Of God, Welcome To Planet Genocide, we were all sort of knocked for a loop by the band's new direction. Or directions. From the very Crass like cut and paste political cover art, to the punky crust and other weirdness inside, these freaks had gone and outweirded even their own weird selves. So now we have the latest single, and it seems, at least for these three songs, the band have abandoned the black metal entirely. All covers. All classics. Stiff Little Fingers, The Ruts and The Stranglers. All done pretty straight, not black metallized or anything, just raw crusty pounding melodic old school punk rock. The Stiff Little Fingers cover is a jam, an awesome song so done straight it's still an awesome song, the vocals appropriately raspy, the guitars buzzing and the drums pounding. The Ruts cover features original Ruts guitarist Paul Fox and sounds as kick ass as the original. The only place things get extra weird is on the final track, the Stranglers cover, where the vocals are strangely processed and sound about as close to black metal as anything here, but then we've got Mirai from the band Sigh with insane blasts of crazy prog synths, and some new wave female background vocals. Sounds like a bit of a mess, and it sort of is, but it's also awesome and totally rocks in this amazingly unhinged way.
Meads fans who were thrown off by the lack of buzzing blackness will be even more confused by this triple shot. But if you're into metal and punk rock, you could do way worse than hearing these killer tunes revamped and twisted up a bit by the always brilliantly baffling Meads.
Cool old school black and white skull cover. All the records are hand numbered and signed on the label by all the band members. Probably limited too...

album cover MEADS OF ASPHODEL, THE The Early Years (Godreah) cd 11.98
The Meads of Asphodel have been a longtime favorite around these parts, not surprisingly, since they've been pushing the boundaries of how black metal is defined with their bizarre, often hilarious brand of nutso, super anti-Christian metal with notable medieval and Middle Eastern influences. Though you will find it impossible to stifle (nervous?) laughter at various moments, the Meads, however, are no joke. In fact, one could argue that their highly unorthodox stance is actually WAY more real and bad ass than the plethora of groups all adopting the same boring, pseudo-Satanic bullshit pose. Maybe some find it difficult to take seriously a band with a penchant for dressing up in medieval armor, but why not? It's certainly no less ridiculous than corpsepaint. The notes in this collection of demos from the band's first phase (1998-2002), penned by group leader Metatron, make it clear that sucking up to record labels and metal fans in general was never part of the agenda. Instead, the Meads have been, and continue to be, true to only themselves. Fuck yeah.
With this anything goes mentality, the Meads have delivered some of the weirdest, most incomprehensible metal maybe ever. The influence of NWOBHM greats, notably Venom, shines bright, but how many other black metal groups would you expect to punctuate their evil riffage with parts that sound like drunken medieval wedding parties, disco breakdowns, and country western hoedowns? Not too many. The strangest part about all of these is how randomly they will pop up, when you're never expecting it.
Symphonic keyboards are also pretty central to the Meads' sound, with heavy as fuck church organs and harpsichord-styled synths adding a decidedly atmospheric element to it all. There are even some moments of strummed 4AD style jangle, but take note of the covers by GBH and Italian thrashers Bulldozer to get an idea of the band's more aggressive influences. Heavy D-Beats, punkish power chords, and harsh bellowing (in addition to some nice black metal croaking, of course) exist in the mix in pretty much equal measure to everything else.
We would be lying if we said this band was for everyone. But for those who like their metal adventurous, totally fucked, and pretty much without precedent, we couldn't recommend this highly enough!
MPEG Stream: "Just Another Time To Kill"
MPEG Stream: "Rise In Godless Hell"
MPEG Stream: "Another God In Another Place"

album cover MEADS OF ASPHODEL, THE The Excommunication of Christ (Supernal) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
A UK black metal troupe unlikely to become the next Cradle of Filth, if only because people are always scratching their heads and asking "What the heck are meads?"
Regardless of their prospects for wide success, *we've* been eagerly anticipating this release, ever since reading about The Meads in a Terrorizer article on unsigned British metal bands. A mysterious band with esoteric interests, inspired by the shamanic use of psychedelic drugs, and always clad in medieval armor, The Meads of Asphodel immediately intrigued us... and others too, as they've caused quite a buzz with their several demo releases. Now here's their compact disc debut, brought to us by the same label responsible for the ungodly Benighted Leams (THEE most ridiculous and fucked one-man black metal band EVER, remember?) as well as the most recent and also quite fucked Fleurety disc. That ratcheted up our anticipation another few notches. And we have to say that while as it turns out The Meads *aren't* quite as utterly strange as we were expecting, not as insane as Sigh or as ridiculous as fellow Brits Bal-Sagoth, they're still pretty strange, lacing their super-heavy doom-riffed black metal with "medieval" keyboard melodies that seem inspired by King Arthur by way of Return To Forever's "Romantic Warrior"... Silly and tongue-in-cheek they may be (one of the booklet photos depicts the band in full armor, lined up along a wall, apparently urinating), but they seem oddly serious too in the occult details of their lyrics and their elaborate presentation, thereby keeping us guessing. The list of guests who contributed to this disc also is indicative of their unusual approach to black metal: they get help from A.C. Wild of '80s Italian Venom-clones Bulldozer, ex-Hawkwind guitarist Huw Lloyd Langton, vocalist Kobold of fellow UK black metallers Old Forest, and an electro-goth act called History of Guns...weird! The Meads of Asphodel come across as certainly smarter and more eccentric than your average black metal band. Heavy, catchy, and possibly crazed -- recommended!
RealAudio clip: "The Watchers Of Catal Huyuk"
RealAudio clip: "Falling With Lightning Rays Beamed..."

album cover MEADS OF ASPHODEL, THE The Mill Hill Sessions (Godreah) cd 14.98
What happens when a band that's pretty darn strange as it is on their "proper" albums, goes and lets their hair down (and takes their helmets off) and does a limited-edition release documenting live-in-the-studio alternate versions of some of their songs alongside a previously unheard extended epic entitled "My Beautiful Genocide"? Well if you spin The Mill Hill Sessions by English black metal weirdos the Meads Of Asphodel you'll find out...suffice to say, anyone who was amused and/or amazed by their previous efforts will find this equally far out, or further even. Their spaced-out black metal blend of Venom and Hawkwind is as extreme and eccentric as ever here. Actual Hawkwind alumni Alan Davey and Huw Lloyd Langton are heard jamming alongside Meads band members Metatron, Urkkarmeel et. al. for these sessions, by the way! Intended for loyal fans, this cd isn't seeing wide distribution and we probably won't have it for very long...
First, you get six tracks originally recorded for a British metal radio show, including versions of tracks from their The Excommunication of Christ and Exhuming The Grave Of Yeshua albums, and their split ep with Mayhem. And they also do an unexpected cover of Sepultura's punkish "Refuse/Resist" as well! Then you get a second session, one long 20+ minute track that's described as a "work in progress", and it is quite a schizophrenic piece of work indeed, as absurd and insane as you'd expect. Stopping and starting with sloppy abandon, there's metal leads, many jangly acoustic parts, black metal blur, punk breaks (sounding like Stiff Little Fingers says Byram), jazzy interludes, all sorts of stuff thrown in, including vocalist Metatron's endless, half-whispered, half-growled poetic sermon/rant on the subject of...well you can try and figure it out.
Compared to your (ahem) "normal" Meads albums, these Mill Hill Sessions employ no studio trickery or extra keyboard overdubs...these tracks are more stripped-down and guitar-oriented. And since apparently they've never played a live show, this is the next best thing, although in the rehearsal space/studio (as pictured in the booklet) the band don't wear the medieval armor with which they are normally fitted out on their album covers and other photo shoots. Shocking! They do promise that their next release will see them back in their "helms and mail" however.
MPEG Stream: "A Healer Made God"
MPEG Stream: "My Beautiful Genocide"

album cover MEADS OF ASPHODEL, THE The Murder Of Jesus The Jew (Candlelight) cd 14.98
"On a cold Spring morning, around AD 30, a man was hung on a tree, upon a mound of dirt, this is his story, of a man named God."
And so it begins, the latest batch of Christian baiting musical propaganda from weirdo UK black metal outfit Meads Of Asphodel, and what might be their most fully realized record, both conceptually and musically, is also not surprisingly their most bizarre, and least black metal. But to be fair, Meads were never your typical black metal band, whether it be jamming out on punk covers, getting a member of Hawkwind to join their grim horde, or infusing their blasting blackness with loads of space rock Frippery and distinctly un-black metal swoops and swirls and fucked up sonic weirdness. It's of course what makes us love these guys so much. Not to mention their hilarious / irreverent approach to playing an inately grim and true and kvlt style of music.
The Murder Of Jesus The Jew plays like an Off-Broadway musical, if someone decided to combine a wildly sacrilegious rant and twisted black metal into an Andrew Lloyd Weber style spectacle, and while we wish some day someone would, this is most likely about as close as we're gonna get. And right from the start, this is like no black metal record you've heard, after that haunting narration, the record blossoms into a strange cabaret, like old timey European street music, all horns, and strings, and orchestral bombast, it's not hard to imagine a cobblestone street, and a candlelit tavern, the motley collection of patrons being entertained by this strange musical combo, decked out in full armor, until suddenly, they launch into a blast of buzzing howling black metal, which lasts less than a minute until the horns come in, and the song shifts to a much more major key sounding melody, and then you realize, if you stripped away the blasting drums and the buzzing guitars, you'd still be back in some cabaret stage production, an evil / anti-Christian version of Godspell or Jesus Christ Superstar. Sounds bizarre, and it is, so bizarre, we imagine lots of black metallers will be put off big time, but for the rest of us, this is some twisted, genius shit. And twisted it is, there's not a stretch of buzzing blackness that makes it more than a minute without any weird sonic impudence, usually in the form of a swoonsome melodic bit of overly dramatic balladry, or some sweetly soaring female vocals, those parts so dramatic, and SO good, they really COULD be from some musical...
"My Psychotic Sand Deity" flits back and forth between horn laced black metal, to that sort of end-of-the-show schmaltzy big finish, where everyone holds hands and sways back and forth, but it's Meads, so that sweet sunshiney tranquility is shattered in the last few seconds by a burst of black metal that is about as black and frenzied as it gets.
And so it goes, a gloriously schizophrenic sonic treatise on the myth of God, and the foolishness of his followers, told in the form of the REAL life story of God, complete with more ominous narration, buzzing black electronics, soaring strings, swirling new agey keyboards, creepy monk like chants, twisted apocalyptic folk ("Stiller Of Tempests" almost sounds like Woven Hand via Godspell, but a bit more evil), "Dark Gethsemane" is a swoonsome shuffling dark pop ballad, but it's quickly followed by "Jew Killer", which is a creepy crawly chunk of lurching, lumbering, atmospheric doom, and it continues to veer wildly from atmospheric power metal classic rock epicness, to bouncy Pogues style drunken metal folk, back to some buzz and blast, and then again to something more black metal Broadway sounding. And finally, the band close the show, with the ridiculously titled "A Canticle for the Lost Amputees of Aelia Capitolina Who Have Been Trampled Under the Iron Shod Hooves of Salivating Hell Rams and Impaled on the Shimmering Tusks of Salvation Within The Abandoned Tabernacle Of A Bronze Age Myth", which according to the liner notes, is sung in ancient Aramaic, and is of course a lengthy twisted bit of warped cabaret laced, piano and electronics flecked, super dramatic, epic and melodic over the top (only sort of black metal) weirdness, and the perfect finish, to a dazzling, bafflingly brilliant record. As absurd as it seems, we would kill for someone to make this into a proper musical, stranger things have happened. Well, okay, not THAT much stranger.
As always the core group of Metatron (posing in the booklet, in full armor, with his dog!), J.D. Tait and Vrakbarameel, augment their merry band of armored metal soldiers with a sprawling selection of guests, no less than 14 this time around, including Hoest from black metal horde Taake, Mirai and Dr. Mikannibal from weirdo Japanese metallers Sigh, and Alan Davey from Hawkwind (of course) among many many others. Includes a massive booklet, with tons of photos, and a 'program' with lyrics so you can follow along!
MPEG Stream: "My Psychotic Sand Deity"
MPEG Stream: "Apocalypse of Lazarus"
MPEG Stream: "A Canticle for the Lost Amputees of Aelia Capitolina Who Have Been Trampled Under the Iron Shod Hooves of Salivating Hell Rams and Impaled on the Shimmering Tusks of Salvation Within The Abandoned Tabernacle Of A Bronze Age Myth"

album cover MEADS OF ASPHODEL, THE / OLD CORPSE ROAD English Black Punk Metal / The Bones Of This Land Are Not Speechless (Godreah) cd 14.98
The return of our favorite crust punk obsessed black metal horde, Meads Of Asphodel. Not sure if they've always been so into eighties punk, but over the last few records, the band have seen fit to mix it up, sprinkling classic covers amidst their epic pagan black metal jams, seems like a weird mix, but somehow, in the twisted sonic world these guys inhabit, it sort of works.
Two new tracks, a creepy, medieval intro, buzzy synths, rumbling drones, a growled distorted proclamation, some weirdly cheesy piano, tinkling chimes, sirens, a serious dose of whatthefuck, which gives way to 7 minutes of totally majestic, and classic sounding pagan blackness. NWOBHM inspired guitar harmonies, wrapped around pounding drums, chugging black riffs, the arrangements convoluted and complex, peppered with soaring synths, creepy processed vokills, some haunting interludes, with more of that creepy spoken word, and then right back into the tangled epic thrashing. And then it's on to the covers, some of which make perfect sense, some of which don't at all, which only makes them that much cooler. Doom, Hellbastard and Conflict, the Meads versions of which are appropriately raw and pounding and thrashing, the Hellbastard track has some strange piano melodies draped over chugging guitars and monklike chants, the Conflict cover is weirdly produced, turning the metallic crust punk into something almost cabaret sounding. We had never heard Skeptix before, but the Meads version is awesome, fierce and fast and melodic and heavy as fuck, definitely gonna have to track down the original. Then there's the last cover, going waaaaay back to the roots of heavy metal, The Kinks' "You Really Got me", which the Meads tweak, making the main riff minor key, so it definitely sounds black metal, the vocals over the top and WAY goofy, at first it seems so silly, but as the track plays on it makes some sort of twisted sense, and definitely suits the Meads' fucked up sound.
The Meads share this disc with countrymen Old Corpse Road, a sort of naturalistic folk flecked black metal band, but barring the intro of the first song, there's nary any folk to be found, the band spitting out epic, almost orchestral sounding blackness, not that far removed from Cradle Of Filth, with keyboards WAY up in the mix, wild shrieking vox, even some creepy plonking piano melodies, and that's when the folk comes in, the band breaks down into a sort of jig, launching into a jam that wouldn't be out of place on a Finntroll record, complete with group sing along, incredibly catchy, and the more we listen to this, the more we find ourselves digging these guys. Three looooong tracks, super dramatic, over the top, keyboards all over the place, wild vocals that slip from deep croon to hysterical shriek, a tangled almost circusy bit of blackened chaos that is totally kicking our asses. Which means WAY recommended, for both Meads AND Old Corpse Road, and we definitely need to hear more OCR...
MPEG Stream: THE MEADS OF ASPHODEL "On The Surface"
MPEG Stream: THE MEADS OF ASPHODEL "Same Mind (Doom Cover)"
MPEG Stream: OLD CORPSE ROAD "Hob Headless Rises"

album cover MEANING OF LIFE, THE s/t (Narbin Deeber) cd-r 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
"The first thing is that time travel has been going on forever." The second thing is that, at Aquarius, this cd-r has been causing a bit of consternation as no one seems to know why they should be the one assigned to write about "the meaning of life". Yeah, real funny. What we DO know, according to what is written on the back cover, is that the recording captured here comes from a cassette mysteriously labeled "The Meaning of Life" which was found lying on a roadside and eventually passed along to the producer of this disc. The recording is of a very agitated man apparently talking on the phone. Whether he's actually talking on the phone is anyone's guess. He repeatedly gets so angry with whoever is on the other end that he works himself into a frenzy screaming "Shut UP!!!" repeatedly, his voice breaking up from his strained frustration. What is clear about this man is that he's not playing with a full deck of cards. None the less, the monologue is at once disturbing and entertaining. To top it off the recording is made not using an answering machine or anything else which might actually pick up whoever would be on the other end of the conversation, but with a microphone placed in the room with the caller. The added benefit from this method is that we're treated to the rumbling ambiance of a thunder storm. The equipment used is not the best, so at times it's hard to tell whether that is indeed a thunderstorm in the background or someone banging on a giant dumpster. Whatever the sound is, it gets so loud at times that it drowns out the man's ranting. So what is he talking about? Well, that's a fair question. However, it's hard enough to follow a spoken word disc in the store as it is, dealing with all of our daily tasks, but when the monologue is that of a raving lunatic, it's even more challenging. There are time traveling Android/Angels, including a Christ Android that will descend to the earth from the 12th planet. Plus there's also a great deal here about mind control, Stalin, and Donna Summer (ie: the devil). Our narrator, who has a superior knowledge of physics, puts it best perhaps when he tells his silent friend that he knows so much shit that if he "were to say it all at once to anybody they'd go fucking stark raving crazy at light speed." One theory is that the person on the other end of the line is actually the narrator himself in the past. The disc ends, oddly enough, with some random music snatches attributed to Donna Summer and then some short audio samples from the rant tagged on at the very end so that -- I suppose -- you can pull off your own Kathy McGinty or Arnold Schwarzenegger style prank calls.
"If I say the wrong thing over the phone I get a horrible Huey attack"
MPEG Stream: "CPU's of the 25th Century"
MPEG Stream: "12th Planet"

MEAT PUPPETS Golden Lies (Breaking/Atlantic) cd 16.98
Lamentations! This is terrible! Gone is the delightful twin guitar attack, the chiming harmonies and the sunbaked electric fingerpicking that made Meat Puppets so wonderful. Perhaps this is due to the fact that gone from the band's line-up is the distressingly tormented Cris Kirkwood. Brother Curt has assembled a new band and continued on. Unfortunately this new record has moments that made us cringe and wonder if they, like, had kids and were writing songs for them or something -- specifically the one with all the scary monster sounds and the unfunny, unentertaining, simply bad Beck-like "rapping". A great disappointment. Avoid.

album cover MEAT PUPPETS Rise To Your Knees (Anodyne) cd 14.98

MPEG Stream: "New Leaf"
MPEG Stream: "Fly Like The Wind"

MEAT PUPPETS Up On The Sun (MVD) lp 17.98

album cover MEATBODIES s/t (In The Red) cd 13.98
We first heard the oddly named Meatbodies when they were still called Chad & The Meatbodies, on a split 7" with Ty Segall, C&TM being Segall's choice for next big thing. Well, now Chad, mainman for the Meatbodies, which is essentially Chad, who wrote all the songs and performs most of them on his own, with the occasional guest, including Segall, delivers his first full length, and it definitely delivers on that single, the sound not that far removed from the Castle Face axis of Segall / Cronin / Dwyer, rambunctious popper pop fused guitar rock crunch, with loads of melody and harmony, the sound ricocheting wildly from the woozy swirling psychedelic intro of "The Archer", to the swagger garage pop pound of "Disorder", to dirge, groovy, noise-pop metallic math-fuzz of "Mountain" (from the aforementioned single), right down to the harmonized lead guitars.
And yet as good as this is, and as much as we dig it, which is a whole hell of a lot, it's not like the Meatbodies are reinventing the garage rock wheel, but then that wheel doesn't yet need reinventing, or if it does, that's still gonna be left to someone else. Instead, the Meatbodies are trafficking in a formula similar to most of their sonic brethren, at times sounding dangerously close to Ty Segall or Thee Oh Sees, even some of Chad's affectations, the reversed yelps, and some of the glammy stomps, sound like straight up steals, but fuck it, it doesn't matter all that much considering how goddamn great these songs are, and how catchy and well crafted this whole record is, and honestly, repeated listens definitely position Meatbodies as its own thing, even if it's a bit beholden to what came before, but then what isn't? And really, the more we listen to this, the more these guys move to the front of the pack for us. Fans of all the Castle Face bands, as well as the most recent batch of In The Red releases and all things heavy, noisy, loud, rocking, poppy, punky, garage-y and fuzzed out will obviously dig big time.
MPEG Stream: "The Archer"
MPEG Stream: "Disorder"
MPEG Stream: "Mountain"

album cover MEATBODIES s/t (In The Red) lp 15.98
We first heard the oddly named Meatbodies when they were still called Chad & The Meatbodies, on a split 7" with Ty Segall, C&TM being Segall's choice for next big thing. Well, now Chad, mainman for the Meatbodies, which is essentially Chad, who wrote all the songs and performs most of them on his own, with the occasional guest, including Segall, delivers his first full length, and it definitely delivers on that single, the sound not that far removed from the Castle Face axis of Segall / Cronin / Dwyer, rambunctious popper pop fused guitar rock crunch, with loads of melody and harmony, the sound ricocheting wildly from the woozy swirling psychedelic intro of "The Archer", to the swagger garage pop pound of "Disorder", to dirge, groovy, noise-pop metallic math-fuzz of "Mountain" (from the aforementioned single), right down to the harmonized lead guitars.
And yet as good as this is, and as much as we dig it, which is a whole hell of a lot, it's not like the Meatbodies are reinventing the garage rock wheel, but then that wheel doesn't yet need reinventing, or if it does, that's still gonna be left to someone else. Instead, the Meatbodies are trafficking in a formula similar to most of their sonic brethren, at times sounding dangerously close to Ty Segall or Thee Oh Sees, even some of Chad's affectations, the reversed yelps, and some of the glammy stomps, sound like straight up steals, but fuck it, it doesn't matter all that much considering how goddamn great these songs are, and how catchy and well crafted this whole record is, and honestly, repeated listens definitely position Meatbodies as its own thing, even if it's a bit beholden to what came before, but then what isn't? And really, the more we listen to this, the more these guys move to the front of the pack for us. Fans of all the Castle Face bands, as well as the most recent batch of In The Red releases and all things heavy, noisy, loud, rocking, poppy, punky, garage-y and fuzzed out will obviously dig big time.
MPEG Stream: "The Archer"
MPEG Stream: "Disorder"
MPEG Stream: "Mountain"

MEBUSAS Blood Brothers (Academy) cd 13.98

MEBUSAS Blood Brothers (Academy) lp 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

album cover MECHA FIXES CLOCKS Orbiting With Screwdrivers (Alien8 Recordings) cd 7.00
**SALE ***SALE***SALE***SALE
Orbiting With Screwdrivers is comprised of seven austere soundscapes from this veteran aural experimentalist from Montreal, Quebec. Continuing on in the collaborative community spirit that has made that city's cativatingly diverse art and music so captivating, Mecha Fixes Clocks aka Michel F. Cote (we resisted the urge to concoct some clever punny statement about his moniker and time spent listing to this cd) crafted this 49 minute long album from hours upon hours of recorded material he received from over a dozen of his fellow French Canadian contributors some of which are already quite familiar to AQ such as Christof Migone and Martin Tetrault. Some tracks are so minimal, they're barely there save for a single strikes of a piano key or ghostly plucks of a stringed instrument left to linger in the air. Others offer more atmospheric 'presence' in the form of vaporous drones or high pitched prickly squeals. All of them evoke open, abandoned, unlit spaces. When played in the store, this received numerous enthusiastically curious queries. Check it out.
MPEG Stream: "Give My Regards To Time"
MPEG Stream: "Mecha's Dance"

album cover MECHANICAL CHILDREN I Rise (Blackest Rainbow) lp 17.98

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