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THE GOSPELS OF THE GASH - THE ANNIHILVS NEWSLETTER
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"Withdrawing in disgust is not the same as apathy." - SLACKER


Recently, I was sent a questionnaire by a music website asking about how I will remember 2017 from the a musical perspective, what my top five albums of the year are, and the usual kind of year-end questions ranging from my own creative achievements to what newly-discovered artists I consider worth mentioning. I found it difficult to focus on anything positive, as I have drifted farther and deeper away from this world, which once gave me such comfort and meaning. I was hard-pressed to think of a single album, that I did not personally release, which had a profound impact on me this year. I could certainly name at least one newly-discovered artist, but my personal experiences with that person have given me little to no motivation to help promote their work any more than I have already tried to. 

It's not unusual for me to have to dig deep to focus on the positive aspects of my life, I've always been one of those "curse the darkness rather than light a candle" types, to be sure. But, for some reason at this moment in time, I'm having an extraordinarily hard time looking back on anything from the past year as an accomplishment. I feel lost, I feel as though there is an active force working to push me down, I feel betrayed, and I feel hurt. In 2017, I shed the dead weight of fake friends who shared neither my values or my creative vision. In 2017, I tried to gain wider press exposure for the releases on my label, and concurrently for myself, independently and without the expense of a pr agent, and I failed. In 2017, I tried to get wider distribution for the releases on my label, and concurrently for myself, and I failed.

I have always done the best I could do, and I know I've fallen short in many ways, but this is different. Looking back at the beginning of 2017, while I was certainly overcome with a sense of dread and fearful of what the future held, I also felt renewed purpose and was determined to push onward. This has been bled out of me in the ensuing months, to the point where the very idea of performing—or even going to a show—gives me no pleasure, or much of any real emotional response whatsoever. I no longer consume music voraciously and with abandon, I am no longer particularly excited by a new release, nothing seems to be engaging. The very very rare times when I have felt this way in the past were more than a decade ago, and at the time, my therapist was worried. But now, this is a far more tangible issue for me than it has been in the past.

I worked through this disillusionment to produce the AUTUMN ELECTRONIX FESTIVAL, which was no doubt a successful endeavour by all accounts, but the truth was, when it was all over I was utterly ecstatic about the total absence of any other plans for future live events. I'd been sort of half-heartedly working on a tour in March, but as the months have gone by I've lost any motivation to follow through. I do consider myself retired from performing live, though I was recently asked to play at the end of this month as part of a benefit show for the memory of William Berger, which I felt was something I should do.

As the health or illness of my financial situation has always dictated the health or illness of this label; the pathetic income I am currently eking out barely even covers my own bills, and the transition I've made from making really good money between June and early October, to now making a pittance, has had a profoundly detrimental impact on my mental state. Again, this is not unusual, but the older I get, and the more I become entrenched in the same pattern I've been in for most of my adult life, the worse it feels, and the harder it is to keep things in perspective.

So, another year draws to a close, with all the insignificance that such an ordinary event carries, and I find myself neither proud of what I've done before, or particularly optimistic about what I am going to do. In these twenty years, I feel I have accomplished nothing.
I recognise this as a shame, because there is still much to be done. I must endure, and so I shall try to do so. While working on this newsletter, I spent part of the last two days communicating with Derek Rush, Pippi Zornoza, and Andy Grant about our plans for the new releases mentioned below, and I felt some semblance of the pleasure I once derived from this sort of thing. Perhaps this is a positive sign.

Before I wrap up this sob story, I do want to take time to thank all the people who were a part of the past year who, unlike others, exhibited true friendship. The list is long, and I have no wish to leave anyone out, so I'll just say if you're one of the people who helped support or push me along in any way this year, you know who you are, and it did not go unnoticed or unappreciated.

I am very glad this year is ending. I hope to see you in the future, even as we fumble through the darkness.

The ANNIHILVS slogan for 2017 was INDUSTRIAL MUSIC IS PROTEST MUSIC. In 2018, our slogan is THE INTERNET RUINED MUSIC, the next Big Truth of Our Times.
Stickers and shirts to come in the new year.

 

William "Wm." Berger, host of "My Castle of Quiet" show on  legendary New Jersey independent radio station WFMU, and owner of the PRISON TATT label, passed through to the other side earlier this month. A live event has been organised in tribute to this fallen pillar of our community, and THEOLOGIAN has been added to the lineup. Please join us at CLASH BAR in Clifton on Friday December 29 to pay your respects.
 

The first release of 2018 from ANNIHILVS is FORCED UTOPIA: A HOUSE DIVIDED by THEOLOGIAN, a hand-assembled CD-R/digital reissue of the recent cassette from DANVERS STATE (the label run by Andy Grant of THE VOMIT ARSONIST). This edition features the tape's eight tracks as separate tracks (rather than presented as single pieces per cassette side), and includes new remixes by SNOWBEASTS and COMPACTOR.
Presales will start closer to Xmas, and the album will become available in mid-January.
 

Speaking of THE VOMIT ARSONIST, Andy and I have been working on a collaborative release called THE ICY BLEAKNESS OF THINGS, which is turning out to be something very unique from each of us. Two 30 minute pieces originally created as a score for an abandoned spoken arts project, comprised of multiple layers of synth, tape noise, voice, and guitar... listeners will find themselves standing entranced within a silent and secluded world, among the most vile and pathetic surroundings.
More information to come.
 

ANNIHILVS is beyond honoured and privileged to present the FRUIT OF THE ASH Digipak CD-R by BONEDUST in 2018.
BONEDUST was formed as a performance art project in 2004 by vocalist/composer Chrissy Wolpert (director of THE ASSEMBLY OF LIGHT CHOIR, frequent contributor to THE BODY) and interdisciplinary artist Pippi Zornoza (RECTRIXVVLTVREWORMS IN WOMEN AND CATTLE). They are joined on this incredible recording by vocalists Rebecca Mitchell (WHORE PAINTHOUSE RED), Maralie Armstrong (HUMANBEAST, VALISE), Natalja Kent (QUERENT) and vocalist/performer Neve Cross.
FRUIT OF THE ASH is based on their 2011 theatrical performance of the same name, and was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Kris Lapke (ALBERICH) at Machines With Magnets in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, the Dirt Palace in Providence, and Dungeon Beach in Brooklyn.

This release will also be available as a Bundle, including a cassette edition, a t-shirt, a one-sided picture disc 7inch single lathe, and a copy of the digipak CD-R. Preorders coming soon.
 

Thank you to SCENE POINT BLANK for their very kind review of the self-titled debut album by THE HOLY CIRCLE!
 

Cassette and Bundle versions of UNIMAGINED SPACE by SKINCAGE are still 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 will be realised in the first quarter of 2018.
 

RELEASED OCTOBER 10:
APEX2017-000
SKINCAGE. UNIMAGINED SPACE
DIGIPAK CD-R w/ 4-PANEL BOOKLET
100 copies

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

DIGIPAK CD-R
100 copies

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
 

RELEASED JULY 1:
APEX2017-CS01
CASAS. S/T

CASSETTE
50 copies

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 cassette has been featured by S3R, alongside the new HEAVY YOKE THEY WORE lathe-cut 7inch record by CASAS, released on DEATH BY SHEEP.

S3R recently posted an in-depth interview with Jackson Kovalchik of CASAS:

"...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

DIGIPAK CD
300copies

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."

 

RELEASED APRIL 16:
APEX2017-004
SIRE. EVOCATION OF THE SERPENT

DIGIPAK CD-R
100 copies

In 2015, ANNIHILVS hosted SIRE at two events in NYC. As always, their frenetic, deviant ritual was punctuated by diminutive frontwoman GYNA BOOTLEG, whose performances have by now become legend. Brandishing religious icons and body fluids with equal menace, this paragon of perversion emits possessed growls and enraptured screeches, as the band maniacally delivers razor-sharp hymns of desecration.

We are exceptionally proud to present the debut full length by SIRE, an unholy admonition of eleven raw and abrasive litanies, writhing in viscera, chewing glass and asking for more with a spiteful grin.

The album is mastered by Ken "HiWatt" Marshall (SKINNY PUPPY), with artwork by Josh Yelle.

 

RELEASED JANUARY 20:
APEX2016-006

HUSERE GRAV. ENTROPY AND ILLUSION
DIGIPAK CD-R
100 copies
+bonus disc: DESTINY & DELUSION

ANNIHILVS presents the newest album from HUSERE GRAV, a barren, frigid array of meditative, atmospheric drones. Reminiscent of early releases by JARLENTROPY AND ILLUSION transports the listener to an ever-expanding internal void, beyond the wall of sleep.

Includes a bonus CD-R featuring collaborative material with THEOLOGIAN.

 

RELEASED JANUARY 20:
APEX2017-001

LONGPIG. SHRINE OF THE LONGPIG
DIGIPAK CD-R
100 copies
+ bonus disc: SHRINE OF THE SNOWBEASTS

ANNIHILVS proudly presents the debut full-length by LONGPIG, a brutal collaborative effort featuring CYSTLVMMVX, and THE VOMIT ARSONIST. Suppressive, pulverising, and terrifying, SHRINE OF THE LONGPIG heralds impending armageddon in a clamourous series of joylessly discordant anthems. Accompanied by a bonus disc featuring remixes of the entire album by Providence electronica act SNOWBEASTS.

 
- Lee M. Bartow, AKA Theologian Prime, AKA Leech
WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN HERE

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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."

- Clive Barker, The Hellbound Heart







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ANNIHILVS POWER ELECTRONIX · 86 N Franklin St, Nyack, NY · Nyack, NY 10960 · USA

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