October was an extraordinarily busy month, but also a difficult one. Just a few days before THEOLOGIAN performed at the INTO THE AETHER festival in Portland, Maine on October 14, I was let got from the very well-paying (and physically demanding) job I'd had since the beginning of the summer. The following weekend, we experienced tremendous success with the AUTUMN ELECTRONIX festival at the Garner Arts Center, which left me ill for the proceeding week. Shortly after, I landed a seasonal part-time job, and will receive my first paycheck tonight. In short, I'm at yet another crossroads in my life, unsure of where I'm headed. This is compounded by the already growing sense that I am grasping to a swiftly shrinking ledge when it comes to my role as an artist, performer, and label owner. I apologise for the delays in shipping orders that came in since October 20, but this will be rectified later this week.
As a result of the above realities, plans for the rather ambitious release schedule for 2017 have obviously been curtailed by circumstances beyond my control. This is a struggle I've dealt with for essentially the entire two decades that I've been doing this thing; the cycle of job/unemployment/job/unemployment/ad nauseam, putting gobs of my own money into the label when I have a steady income, and being forced to delay label plans when I do not. Someone once commented on a thread on facebook, "I know shit happens but then don't have a label," as though this could possibly cover the nuances of real life, as though a person who contributes nothing could comprehend the life of a person motivated to put art into the world, spurred on by deep despair and an inability to ever find their place. One may as well say, "I know shit happens, but then don't get out of bed in the morning, don't go to work, don't feed yourself, don't struggle and scrape to improve your lot in life." So, I'll keep doing what I can for as long as I can.
During the summer, I was at least able to produce the WORMS IN WOMEN AND CATTLE and SKINCAGE albums, thanks to the aforementioned well-paying job, but the SKINCAGE cassette and bundle will be delayed a bit later until I have the funds to produce all of these items. This at least gives folks extra time to place preorders, because once this stuff is unleashed, it will be well worth the wait. I'm not finished yet, and were I to give up now, what would have been the purpose of all of this struggle and pain?
DANVERS STATE RECORDINGS has released FORCED UTOPIA, featuring eight tracks by THEOLOGIAN, as a 60 minute cassette. The album is available digitally from our own Bandcamp, as are a limited number of copies of the cassette. Derek Rush mixed and mastered the album, and provided new photos for the artwork.
Cassette and Bundle versions of UNIMAGINED SPACE by SKINCAGE are now available for preorder. The bundle includes a cassette edition, a t-shirt featuring artwork by Josh Yelle, a one-sided picture disc 7inch single lathe, containing an all-new track recorded specifically for this release, and a copy of the digipak CD-R.
While copies of the CD-R are in stock, and begin shipping this week, the additional items are in the very early stages of production, and most likely won't be completed before the end of this month.
SKINCAGE is Jon Ray, a purveyor of a unique brand of darkly ambient experimental soundtracks, often employing amplified found objects and handmade electro-acoustic instruments to construct epic pieces of bone-chilling bleakness. Following 2000's AXON, the amazing debut album on MALIGNANT RECORDS' MALIGNANT ANTIBODY imprint, SKINCAGE sank further into obscurity until returning, seven years later, with the brilliant THINGS FALL APART, which was initially self-released and then reissued on Belgian label SPECTRE.
Now SKINCAGE returns, with a release both inspired by and dedicated to the works of H.P. Lovecraft, available in a 4-panel Digipak CD-R edition, with a 4-panel insert.
Gaze through the window into a obscured mirror world, where flying creatures screech and squawk, held at bay only by the frantic sounds emanating from a lonely room in the attic.
Mastered by James Plotkin.
Digipak artwork by André Coelho (SEKTOR 304).
Booklet art by Josh Yelle (KINTAAN)
RELEASED AUGUST 25: APEX2017-03
WORMS IN WOMEN AND CATTLE. SICK ROAD
The band previously known as MASTER OF PUSSY was fronted by Pippi Zornoza (RECTRIX, VVLTVRE, BONEDUST) between 2009 and 2011. Defunct for some time now, they nevertheless made an indelible impression on me during their time, and it has been my hope for years to present an official edition of this material. Included in this release is the original full-length album SICK ROAD, as well as live material recorded at AS220 in Providence, Rhode Island on July 16, 2011, all remastered by John Stillings/STEEL HOOK AUDIO, and new art by Josh Yelle (LONGPIG, KINTAAN, LVMMVX)
Sonically, WORMS IN WOMEN AND CATTLE exist in the uncharted void between doom, sludge, and black metal, featuring a lo-fi and gritty sound brimming with guttural bass, searing guitar, and Zornoza's terrifyingly haggard shrieks.
"The emotional turmoil of Sick Road’s second half is unparalleled – it isn’t so much bleak as it is jubilantly maniacal. Though its whirring guitars and turbid drumming may owe a debt to other US black metal acts, Sick Road hammers away with an irreverence and furor rarely seen in more popular releases. By balancing the album’s extravagant bookends with a series of more focused compositions, Worms in Women and Cattle remains potent even while touching upon the post-metal elements that can drag down similar releases. There’s something about Sick Road that screams “cult classic”... more likely, it will remain one of those fascinating enigmas forever stuck in the purgatory of underground metal."
- Muzik Discovery, 2014
Detail of Alan Brown's art for H.P. Lovecraft's The Call of Cthulhu, coming from CADABRA RECORDS later this year...
THEOLOGIAN provided the score for Digitally Ascendant, a short science fiction film by Tom Rotenberg.
This digital video art piece also features imagery by Jorden Haley/BIRD OV PREY.
The film was presented on November 2, as part of IDENTITY 0.0, and on November 8, as part of Bob Bellerue's ENDE TYMES FESTIVAL.
The score, created by THEOLOGIAN, mixed and edited by Tom Rotenberg, is available for download at our Bandcamp.
RELEASED JULY 1: APEX2017-CS01
The fantastic new self-titled cassette release by NYC-based Noise/sludge outfit CASAS was released on July 1 via ANNIHILVS.
Somewhere within the venn diagram of doom/sludge metal, harsh noise, and power electronics, lies CASAS. Uncompromisingly heavy, and shocking as the subject matter which spawned it, CASAS is the tale of white European colonialism, and what it has cost the world.
"...the formation of CASAS, wasn’t an attempt to be an advocate to social justice, or a figurehead in any kind of human rights movement. It is simple empathy in its most natural state. A person disgusted with the darkest evils of mankind that needed to scream out, to release.
I don’t have the answers, but I do know that regardless of what you believe, release is necessary. And that is why CASAS is necessary."
RELEASED JUNE 6: APEX2017-999
THE HOLY CIRCLE. S/T
ANNIHILVS is very pleased to present the debut self-titled full-length by THE HOLY CIRCLE, a relatively new project formed by professor, writer, visual artist, and synthesis wünderkind Terence Hannum (LOCRIAN), featuring vocalist Erica Burgner-Hannum (UNLUCKY ATLAS/LOCRIAN), and drummer Nathan Jurgenson (SCREEN VINYL IMAGE).
The trio have previously released the Polaris one-sided 7inch on Anathemata Editions, which was followed by a limited cassette/digital EP from Accidental Guest Recordings. The forthcoming album was recorded in the summer of 2016 by J. Robbins (JAWBOX, CLUTCH), at Magpie Cage in Baltimore, and is being produced in an initial run of 300 digipak CDs.
While the phrase, “dark pop” is easily applied here, it doesn’t begin to describe the complexities of THE HOLY CIRCLE’s sound. At times, one feels as though this music could have come straight out of 1983, and at others, the forlorn keyboard strains and heartbreaking chorals are achingly modern. Existing beyond the constraints of designations such as “goth” or “synthwave,” while the sonic palette may be—broadly speaking—downtempo and sombre, THE HOLY CIRCLE defies simplistic genre definitions, projecting a numinous aura of pure light.
CLRVYNT calls the album, "a moveable synthgaze feast," while BRAINWASHED says, "The perfect balance of the familiar and the fresh, it is an exceptionally captivating album."
86 N. FRANKLIN STREET
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"The thought had made his breath quick. He had anticipated this moment so keenly, planned with every wit he possessed this rending of the veil. In moments they would be here-the ones Kircher had called the Cenobites, theologians of the Order of the Gash. Summoned from their experiments in the higher reaches of pleasure, to bring their ageless heads into a world of rain and failure."