Friday, June 29, 2007

John Zorn - From Silence to Sorcery (2007)

* Just released this week...Enjoy!

Three distinctive instrumental works touching upon themes of magic and mysticism. Goetia are spells and incantations for summoning demonic spirits and this colorful set of variations for solo violin draws upon the ancient alliance between the violin and the devil. Gris-Gris is a virtuosic work for thirteen tuned drums inspired by the music of Korean Shamanism, Haitian Voodoo and a scene from Howard Hawks’ classic film To Have and Have Not. It receives a spectacular performance by one of the world’s leading avant-garde percussionists—William Winant . Completing the program is one of Zorn’s most personal and elusive ensemble pieces. Scored for clavichord, three muted strings and percussion, Shibboleth is a stunning tribute to the enigmatic Jewish poet Paul Celan.

Jennifer Choi: Violin
Brad Lubman: Conductor
Lois Martin: Viola
Fred Sherry: Cello
William Winant: Drums, Percussion
Steve Drury: Clavichord

Click to Download
mp3 - 256kbps
rar - 66.6mb

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sons Of Freedom- s/t (1988)

For a brief, shining moment, Vancouver's Sons of Freedom (named after the nudist sect) were absolutely the loudest thing in all of Canada and their debut album featured enough volume and metallic crunch to attract the attention of Los Angeles label Slash. It wasn't precisely heavy metal, though, as it contained a lot of fierce punk snarling, in much the same manner as labelmates Faith No More did at the time. Unlike Chuck Mosley's yelping bark, however, the Sons' Jim Newton actually sang somewhat (though his voice was still the point of much debate). The first three tracks of the album are near perfect, and most of the rest of the album comes pretty darned close. One of the high watermarks of Canadian music, the album still sounds fresh and challenging today.
Probably the best album you've never heard.

Click to Download

mp3 - 192kbps

rar - 63mb

* Sorry, only have Gump on cassette...

Sword - Metalized (1986)

Sword was formed in Canada by brothers Mick Hughes (vocals) and Dan Hughes (drums), guitarist Mike Plant, and bassist Mike Larock in early 1985. Signing with local Aquarius Records, the band cut its solid, though hardly groundbreaking, debut Metalized in 1986. The band's sound was a muscular brand of classic metal with tasteful riffs and solos by Plant and infectious shout-along choruses. The band never made much headway south of the border, however, and split up soon after recording their sophomore album Sweet Dreams the following year.
* Classic metal comparable to Overkill, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest.

Click to Download

mp3 - 160kbps

rar - 39mb

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Dark Angel

Dark Angel became known in thrash metal circles for their ability to deliver some of the genre's most challenging and articulate albums without ever losing touch with its core attributes of pure speed and primal aggression. And although, like many of their peers, the band's appeal would never really extend beyond the metal underground, their recorded legacy has stood the test of time much better than the bulk of their '80s thrash metal peers.

Formed in Los Angeles in 1983, Dark Angel went through countless incarnations
before settling on a somewhat stable lineup featuring vocalist Don Doty, guitarists Eric Meyer and Jim Durkin, bassist Rob Yahn, and drummer Jack Schwartz. After having one of their demos, "Welcome to the Slaughterhouse," chosen for inclusion on Brian Slagel's Metal Massacre IV collection in 1985, the group proceeded to assemble their remaining demo tapes into a primitive, but enthusiastic first album called We Have Arrived, released later that year. New drummer Gene Hoglan joined the band in time to be pictured on the album sleeve, but made his performance debut on 1986's much improved Darkness Descends, released by thrash metal-friendly Combat Records, and usually viewed by fans as the band's true arrival. Bassist Yahn would depart shortly after the album's release (replaced by Mike Gonzalez), soon to be followed by original vocalist Doty at tour's end.

Unsure about their next step, the Dark Angel undertook a long hiatus before resurfacing with drummer Hoglan firmly entrenched as the band's major creative force. After drafting new vocalist Ron Rinehart, the band recorded 1989's Leave Scars -- the first of two albums which earned them the unlikely label of progressive thrash, due to the longer, more complex songs the band had begun composing. Recorded in April 1989 and released later that year, Live Scars introduced new six-stringer Br
ett Eriksen, who had recently replaced Durkin, and documented the group's ferocious live energy. Another extended break ensued before the recording of what is arguably their finest effort, 1991's Time Does Not Heal. Hailed by critics for the sheer creative scope of its ambitious songwriting, the album was considered the last word on technical thrash metal, but arrived at the end of thrash metal's time in the limelight and sold poorly. The departure of Rinehart soon thereafter convinced Hoglan to breakup the band, and he eventually joined Florida's Death and contributed to some of their finest albums. Relativity Records issued a collection of Dark Angel's finest moments, Decade of Chaos in 1992.

We Have Arrived (1985)

For a band that later distinguished itself for its technical proficiency, Dark Angel's arrogantly titled debut We Have Arrived is as primitive as it gets. Barely more than a full-length demo (even less than that by contemporary standards), the album collects the fledging L.A. thrashers at their garage band rawest. Besides "Welcome to the Slaughterhouse," which had given them their first exposure via Brian Slagel's Metal Massacre VI compilation, the band also belts their way through such primitive, demonically obsessed moshers as "Falling From the Skies," "Hell's on Its Knees," and the seriously dated title track (replete with piercing falsetto screams). [Reissued on CD with different cover art in 1997 by French label Axe Killer, the album will only interest serious thrash enthusiasts.]
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mp3 - 192kbps

rar - 45mb

Darkness Descends (1986)

It took the arrival of drummer Gene Hoglan to elevate Dark Angel above the uncultivated noise fests captured on their amateurish first album, We Have Arrived; and in many ways, their follow-up 1986 release, Darkness Descends, represents the group's true debut. From the very first crushing riff of the title track, it becomes obvious that the production values and technical discipline which had eluded the band the first time around would be brought screaming into focus on this album -- still considered a minor thrash metal classic. To be fair, Dark Angel only had a few tricks at their disposal, but they execute them extremely well. The results are a number of largely one-dimensional, but surprisingly memorable headbanging classics, including "Merciless Death," "Death Is Certain, Life Is Not," and the vicious "Perish in Flames." Over eight minutes in length, "Black Prophecies" at times sounds like a forced experiment, but it's actually the group's first stab at the progressive thrash style which would characterize subsequent releases. Under Hoglan's supervision, Dark Angel would spend the next two years refining their sound to achieve just that, but for many purists, Darkness Descends remains the band's definitive thrash statement. [Reissued by Century Media in 1998 with two bonus live tracks and much improved sound quality, Darkness Descends is a worthy discovery for committed thrashers.]
Click to Download

mp3 - 320kbps
rar - 105mb

Leave Scars (1989)

After a long hiatus, L.A.'s Dark Angel resurfaced in 1989 with their most ambitious album thus far, Leave Scars -- which continued to perfect their already quite impressive musical chops, while simultaneously refining their brutal thrashing. In effect, this is the album which inaugurates their progressive thrash phase, as increasingly complex structures and frequent, unexpected time changes result in numbers of epic proportions, such as "The Promise of Agony" and the relentless title track. New vocalist Ron Rinehart quickly proves his worth, knowing exactly where to sing and where to scream, but it's monster drummer Gene Hoglan who truly has his coming-out party, as he simultaneously displays his incredible technique and reveals himself as the band's principal songwriter and lyricist and prime instigator. With the dependable six-string tag team of Eric Meyer and Jim Durkin providing a bludgeoning backdrop, the band also proves they can still keep it short and sweet on highlights "The Death of Innocence" and "Never to Rise Again." Ultimately, Leave Scars only fails to score higher marks because Dark Angel forgot to add a final, crucial ingredient to its potent recipe: melody. And sure enough, addressing this small oversight would result in their magnum opus, 1991's colossal Time Does Not Heal.
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mp3 - 320kbps

rar - 111mb

Time Does Not Heal (1991)

Though some purists claim to prefer the unbridled ferocity of 1986's Darkness Descends, most experts would agree that Dark Angel only reached their creative peak with 1991's Time Does Not Heal -- a veritable masterpiece of thinking-man's thrash metal. An oxymoron, you say? Perhaps, but with this true colossus of a record, the thrash stalwarts provided what many consider to be the definitive statement in progressive thrash metal. Just imagine what ...And Justice for All would have sounded like if Metallica had recorded it with the attitude of Kill 'Em All, and you'll get the picture. Led by drummer, lyricist, sometime guitarist, and principal songwriter Gene Hoglan, the L.A. quintet packed more riffs (246 total, according to enthusiastic press releases of the time) into this ambitious, long-running disc, than most of their Bay Area neighbors had managed in their entire careers. Excellent tracks like "Act of Contrition" and "Psychosexuality" test the listener's endurance with their sheer length and complexity, but almost every piece is essential to the puzzle, and there is very little extra fat to speak of here. Even more significant is the album's broad lyrical scope (on par with Anthrax's best efforts), exploring such sensitive, rarely visited issues as rape ("An Ancient, Inherited Shame") and child abuse ("Time Does Not Heal"). But Hoglan also delves in the more typical subjects of the genre, like religion ("The New Priesthood"), insanity ("Pain's Invention, Madness"), and social ostracism ("Trauma and Catharsis") with an eloquence and sobriety rarely seen. And yet, despite all it's highbrow aspirations, Time Does Not Heal is first and foremost an amazingly brutal thrash metal album, its sound brought into crisp focus by Pantera and Soundgarden producer Terry Date in ways never achieved on the band's ill-recorded earlier efforts. Sadly, Time Does Not Heal arrived in record stores toward the tail end of thrash metal's brief reign and never received its fair due, turning instead into a well-kept secret for knowledgeable fans of extreme music.
Click to Download
mp3 - 256kbps

rar - 114mb

* Click here for more info & full album covers.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Rondellus - Sabbatum (2003)

“Sabbatum” is a tribute album like no other – 12 Black Sabbath classic songs
played by early music band Rondellus and sung in Latin language. Can you imagine what Black Sabbath would have sounded like if Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward would have formed the band in the 14th century? Would “War Pigs” or “The Wizard” have been as powerful if played on medieval instruments like lute, fiddle and harp?
Curious? So was Rondellus, the renowned Estonian medieval music band. They took 12
Black Sabbath classics and turned them into something totally unheard. Rondellus recorded – “Sabbatum”. An amazing collection of Black Sabbath tunes played on medieval instruments and sung in Latin language. “Sabbatum” – the most unique sounding Black Sabbath tribute album.

You’ve probably heard all the Black Sabbath cover albums. Perhaps both “Nativity
in Black” compilations are in your CD box right now. Great records, aren’t they? But “Sabbatum” takes a closer look at all these classic Black Sabbath songs in a way that’s never been done before. The angle is so different that you better prepare yourself for a big surprise, a positively shocking one. “Sabbatum” takes you on a trip. It acts like a time machine. In a single moment you will find yourself attending a Black Sabbath show during the 14th century. You'll be in a medieval cathedral where time stands still. Just you and thousands of fellow kings and queens, knights and ladies. And the tunes that made heavy metal – classic songs by Black Sabbath.


mp3 - 128kbps

rar - 36mb

Monday, June 11, 2007

Arcturus - The Sham Mirrors (2002)

* Let's try something a little different today...

Over its first three albums (if you include the "remix" disc Disguised Masters), Arcturus established a pattern of radically changing its sound each time, a trend that continues with The Sham Mirrors, the band's third "official" studio album. The constant thread throughout all the group's work, and again here, comes from keyboardist/songwriter Steiner "Sverd" Johnsen, whose sinister, often carnival-esque harmonies and dramatic synth arrangements have a pretty clear stamp by now. Beyond that, though, comparisons to other Arcturus albums are difficult. For one thing, the drums and guitars are heavier and more forceful than ever before, and there is more of a traditional metal foundation on this album than on its predecessor, the bizarre, operatic La Masquerade Infernale. This much is clear from the first shuffling, triplet-based beats of the album opener, "Kinetic." But that same song also shows the band's experimental tendencies in full force, as it quickly derails into a computer-altered, blipping and bleeping interlude before settling into a soaring, smoothly sung vocal refrain reminiscent of Angel Dust-era Faith No More. The second song, "Nightmare Heaven," throws another curve, as it moves abruptly into a distorted trip-hop breakdown (with Sverd's trademark keyboard harmonies providing the dark ambience) before moving back into dramatic metal territory. The surprises continue throughout, including a guest lead vocal appearance on "Radical Cut" by Ihsahn of Emperor, whose more traditional black metal screams contrast with all the other vocals on this album. (Lead throat Garm does everything here from deep-voiced pontificating to falsettos, from spoken whispering to Mike Patton-evoking effects trickery, but he doesn't scream.) A couple of spots on this album feel overly ambitious or perhaps willfully difficult -- "Collapse Generation" feels inconclusive, especially following the disconnected, two-part "Ad Absurdum" -- but the band mostly does a fine job balancing all the unexpected twists and convoluted song structures with memorable, moving melodies (see "Kinetic" and "Star-Crossed" for prime examples). The Sham Mirrors, even more than La Masquerade Infernale, may end up going down as Arcturus' "difficult" album, but it is worth the effort, as this music is unlike anything else being made in metal (or elsewhere) at the time.

mp3 - 192kbps rar - 57mb

Thursday, June 07, 2007

John Zorn - Rituals (2005)

Released Feb 2005
cd time - 26:36

1. I

2. II

3. III

4. IV

5. V

Owls, Windmachines, Gravedigging and Ritual Magick, Zorn’s strange and mystical monodrama for mezzo soprano and ten instruments is presented here in a beautiful new studio recording. Composed for the Bayreuth Opera Festival in 1998, the Rituals premiere was a bit of a scandal, with the audience split down the middle…half outraged detractors, stomping out, whistling and jeering and half cheering supporters. Performed here by a stellar group of Zorn regulars and some very special guests, Rituals is opera at its virtuosic and intimate best. Five movements of magic and alchemy from the crucible of an uncompromising and unpredictable musical maverick.

Jennifer Choi: Violin

Stephen Drury: Piano, Harpsichord, Celeste, Organ

Brad Lubman: Conductor

Tara O'Connor: Flute, Alto Flute, Piccolo

Jim Pugliese: Percussion, Wind Machines, Water, Bull Roarers, Gravedigging, Fishing Reels, Paper, Bowls Of BBs, Bird Calls

Fred Sherry: Violincello

William Winant: Percussion, Etc.

Heather Gardner: Voice

Peter Kolkay: Bassoon, Contrabassoon

Mike Lowenstern: Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Eb Clarinet

Kurt Muroki: Bass

Jim Pugh: Trombone

mp3 - 320kbps
rar - 52mb

John Zorn : Mysterium (2005)

Released Nov 2005
cd time - 32:33

1. Orphée

2. Frammenti del Sappho

3. Walpurgisnacht

Three new miniature masterpieces from the alchemical crucible of John Zorn. Orphée is a lush romantic work in the French tradition of Debussy, Boulez and Jean Cocteau. Drawing inspiration from both the ancient Greek legend of Orpheus, who ventured to the Underworld to recover his lost love and Debussy’s Sonata for flute, viola and harp, this is one of Zorn’s most emotional and classical compositions, and features the Debussy trio instrumentation augmented by percussion, keyboards and the sparkling electronics of Ikue Mori. Frammenti del Sappho is a breathtakingly beautiful motet for five female voices, and speaks to and for the feminine through a language of Renaissance Minimalism. Ending the program is of course a piece touching on Witchcraft, and Zorn celebrates the Witches’ Sabbath through the dynamic medium of the string trio. Fifteen of the world’s best performers come together in this colorful and revelatory collection of Zorn compositions from 2004.

Lisa Bielawa: Voice

Jennifer Choi: Violin

Brad Lubman: Conductor

Lois Martin: Viola

Ikue Mori: Electronics

Tara O'Connor: Flute

Fred Sherry: Cello

Martha Cluver: Voice

Abby Fischer: Voice

Stephen Gosling: Celeste, Harpsichord

June Han: Harp

Richard O'Neill: Viola

David Shively: Percussion

Kirsten Sollek: Voice

Martha Sullivan: Voice

mp3 - 320kbps
rar - 60mb

John Zorn - Magick (2004)

* this one is pure evil! you will love it!

Released Oct 2004
cd time - 30:08

Further explorations into the worlds of Magick and Alchemy, here featuring the long awaited premiere recording of Zorn's new string quartet. Necronomicon is a transcendent five movement work of unparalleled ensemble virtuosity and formal beauty, brilliantly played by the Crowley Quartet. Also included is an astounding piece of witchcraft and sorcery for two bass clarinets, one of the most difficult yet written for the instrument, performed with passion and precision by two of the greatest players in the world.


Tim Smith: Bass Clarinet

Mike Lowenstern: Bass Clarinet

Crowley Quartet

Jennifer Choi: Violin

Fred Sherry: Cello

Jesse Mills: Violin

Richard O'Neill: Viola

mp3 - 320kbps
rar - 59mb

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Space Ghost Cartoon w/ Pavement.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Swervedriver (x2)

Swervedriver - Raise (Remastered) (2002)

A molten hybrid of Daydream Nation-era Sonic Youth, the drill-press rhythms of the Stooges, and early Dinosaur Jr., Raise sounds like a record made by young record shop rats from the Midwest. Adding to this notion is the lyrical fascination with cars. With this in mind, it's no small wonder that the Oxford, London-based Swervedriver found a home on even the most Anglophobic turntables in the States. Through loads of effects pedals and buried vocals, the band was initially lumped in with the shoegaze scene. But with a heavier aesthetic caused by their love for the above-mentioned bands, as well as the likes of the well-named Loop and Spacemen 3, they were unique -- even with their earliest material. Oddly, Raise only contains six new songs for those who bought their excellent trio of preceding singles. The new tracks rival their greatness. Jimmy Hartridge's and Adam Franklin's guitars definitely carry a soaring, seering quality, but the record is largely bass driven, thanks to Adi Vines' thick lines (see "Pile Up" and "Sunset" for the best examples). And though buried to the point of serving merely as another instrument, Franklin's vocals sound like that of a road trip lifer, made weary by constant sun exposure on the eyes. Other than what might seem as the band trying too hard to prove themselves through complexity, there aren't many faults to be found. Though it does seem to favor texture over anything else, the somewhat murky production suits the songs well. It actually sounds dark, like green-skied, pre-tornado weather. It's not too hard to pick apart each instrument on each song, but they still sound a bit mashed together. A fantastic debut that merely hinted at the band's talents.

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mp3 - 192kbps
rar - 62mb

Swervedriver - Mezcal Head (1993)

There are cruising records, and then there are speeding records; Mezcal Head is definitely one of the latter. Solid, dense as marble, and frighteningly well executed, Swervedriver's second album is a non-abrasive rock & roll record of the highest order. Polishing the sound of Raise and improving the songcraft to match the band's previous sense of texture, it contains all the ingredients of a favorite record to exceed the speed limit by. Adam Franklin's cool voice is no longer buried in the mix, a smart move since his range has expanded to allow for melodic hooks and deep emotion, unlike the detached quality he held on Raise and the singles that preceded it. Like a film with many well-developed characters that makes one lose both track of time and a sense of self, Mezcal Head delivers. And, just to hammer home that this isn't an album that loses its effect outside of the automobile -- after the tenth play you'll surely learn your lesson to quit running over to the stereo and increasing the volume with each successive song. Just leave it pegged.

Click to Download
mp3 - 192kbps
rar - 81mb

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Death Angel - Frolic Thru The Park (1988)

Death Angel's second effort, 1988's Frolic Through the Park, continued to improve on its technical thrash formula, as the band's developing musical ability began to do their ambitious songwriting some justice. "Why You Do This," "Devil's Metal," and "Confused" are prime examples of the band's intricate sound, which, unfortunately, tended to sacrifice concise hooks and melody for overblown song structures and arrangements. The only exception turns out to be the album's strongest cut, "Bored," which shows a rare sense of humor and musical restraint. Also of note is the excellent playing of guitarist Rob Cavestany, who holds everything together with his tasteful and skillful axe work.

Click to Download

mp3 - 192kbps

rar - 81mb

Friday, June 01, 2007

Sonic Youth - Goo Remastered Deluxe Edition (2005)

Sonic Youth's Goo, a landmark album in the history of alternative rock, receives the Deluxe Edition treatment with digital remastering and the addition of rarities and unreleased recordings. The two-CD Goo - Deluxe Edition, expands the original 1990 album with outtakes, b-sides, rehearsal recordings, demos and the audio from a tongue-in-cheek promotion-only interview flexi disc. Sonic Youth's eighth album, Goo was the band's first to receive major label distribution, and first to find a place on Billboard's Top 100 Albums chart. Goo reached more ears than any earlier SY album, including those of Neil Young...who invited the band on tour with Crazy Horse. The demos were widely bootlegged before the band issued them via their fan club. They are heard remixed and remastered for the first time on Goo - Deluxe Edition.

* Anyone happen to have The Remastered Edition of Dirty?

Disc 1

mp3 - 192kbps

rar - 91mb

Disc 2

mp3 - 192kbps

rar - 99mb

Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain: L.A.'s Desert Origins (2004)

Subtitled "L.A.'s Desert Origins" -- somewhat of a non sequitur since the album was recorded in New York -- this double-disc set adds 37 bonus tracks to the original 12-track album, rounding up all the stray tracks from 1994, plus a Peel Session from around the time of the album's February release and a whole bunch of previously unreleased material, including the scrapped initial sessions for the album featuring original drummer Gary Young.
For diehards, it's nice to have all this material collected on one disc, but the real appeal of the set is that second disc, which contains no less than 21 previously unreleased tunes. The first eight consist of the shelved sessions with Young, which pretty much sound like rough demos when compared to either the finished album or Slanted & Enchanted.

There may be a throwaway or two tucked away in the outtakes on the second disc, but even those have a ramshackle charm, and the entirety of Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain: L.A.'s Desert Origins is essential for any Pavement fan or any serious fan of '90s indie rock. Frankly, it just doesn't get much better than this.

Sorry too large for z-share.

Disc One
mp3 - 320kbps
rar - 114mb

Disc Two
mp3 - 320kbps

rar - 104mb

Twilight Singers - Twilight As Played By The Twilight Singers (2000)

Afghan Whigs singer Greg Dulli put together the first version of his Twilight Singers side project in New Orleans during a hiatus in his main band in 1997, then put it aside when the Whigs signed to Columbia Records and made their label debut, 1965. By the time he returned to the Twilight Singers concept, he had hooked up with the Hull, England, remix duo Fila Brazillia, and he proceeded to rethink it. The result is really two albums in one. The first four tracks and the last two adhere to Dulli's original idea, which seems to have been to trade off on vocals with Harold Chichester and Shawn Smith on folk-ambient ballads set to trip-hop beats. On these songs, the alternating singers echo some of the Band's early records, though their main inspiration seems to have been the throaty, half-spoken style of Bono on latter day U2 recordings. The middle of the album is given over to Dulli's collaborations with Fila Brazillia on more exotic dance tracks, some of which are more soundscapes than songs. (The latter recordings don't really have enough of a vocal emphasis to justify the Twilight Singers tag.) Throughout, the lyrics are dominated by images of love and death. Lead-off track "The Twilight Kid" sounds like a deathbed pronouncement to a loved one, for example, while "Love" contains the declaration, "I'd kill for you." "King Only" and "Last Temptation" extend the general subject matter to religion. But Dulli can be both vague and pretentious in his lyric writing, and when he combines it with a mannered singing style, his points seem even more belabored. Twilight As Played By the Twilight Singers works best as a mood piece and a change of pace from the more hard-rocking sound of the Afghan Whigs.

Click to Download

mp3 - 160kbps

rar - 53mb