LABEL FEATURE: Sentient Ruin Laboratories


Contributors: Hayduke X (Editor), VUK, Serena, The Great Mack, Michael Litteral, rotnoxnatl


Earlier this year, our label partner The Metal Wanderlust, kicked off a series of label features the we want to alternate (roughly) monthly for the foreseeable future. Their coverage of Transylvanian Recordings (to which I happily contributed) can be found here. The next task then was to choose another label. There are many that I love, and I’m sure we’ll get to them all over time, but who should be first?


For a variety of reasons, Sentient Ruin Laboratories seemed like the obvious choice. Their list of releases is vast and varied, and therefore gives ample opportunity for a variety of writers to find something they can get into, for example. They are also well respected in the underground. They don’t release sketchy bands, something I greatly appreciate. More personally than that, they are a label that I have probably taken too much for granted. Their roster spans a wide range of genres, but is also so consistent. I can count on any Sentient Ruin release to be well crafted, challenging in some way, and aesthetically interesting. I look through the long list of releases and can’t find a single one I don’t like, and find many, many that I love. I guess, then, that my choice of Sentient Ruin is partly to make up for not covering them enough over the many years I have been writing. 


In regards to why we each choose the specific release or releases which we write about in this feature, I think there are multiple reasons. In the case of a couple of the writers, they are just voracious listeners who are eager to jump in and contribute. rotnoxnatl, for example, was unfamiliar with the label, but took a couple of suggestions from VUK and ran with them. The Great Mack, a huge death metal fan, wanted to chart the evolution of Cryptae, an act we all agree is one of the more exciting recent entries into that particular genre. 


For my part, I chose three albums that I own, but for a couple of different reasons. Two of them are particular favorites of mine, and I mean across all music, not just Sentient Ruin releases. The Unyielding Love album, for example, is my favorite grind record (yes, I know it’s not just straight up grind) of last decade, and is a perfect album. Likewise, the Kuroi Jukai release is essential, my one complaint (which doesn’t detract from its perfection) is that I wish it were longer. 


Finally, I’ve often written about how I love challenging music, so I chose a third that truly challenges me. The Psuedocommando cassette was a replacement for another album I ordered, that unfortunately (due to a mass of people ordering at once) was actually sold out when I thought I was ordering the last copy. The label replaced it with this monster of harsh noise. [note: this was all above board. They let me know the deal and I agreed to the switch.] I fully admit that this release is a difficult listen. Label owner M says it best in his notes on the album below: “No one will get it, yet everyone will feel it.” I don’t dislike it, but I don’t get it…yet. Let’s see what continued effort brings.


MPN: Can you tell us a little bit about how you got started? 


M: Some friends of mine back in Italy started a very interesting darkwave/doom project called Buioingola and released a really awesome debut album called “Dopo L’apnea” around 2013. It remained a digital only Bandcamp release forever, went largely overlooked, and remains really underrated to this day. I kept asking them when a physical release would come, as I loved the release and wanted to own a copy, but they kept telling me there were no solid plans as “no one has asked”. This desire to own a physical copy that didn’t exist, prompted me to dust off a pre-existing idea I had in the back of my head for years prior, of starting a label one day, so I decided to finally pull the trigger.



MPN: What was your original vision for Sentient Ruin Laboratories?


M: Creating a modern audio-visual experience of its own from past inspirations and contemporary extemporaneous thoughts, ideas, and visions. There is a point you reach when you are an obsessive decade-long music fan and collector, where you develop a “fandom” for labels, just as you do for bands. You start to really think about the more hidden layers of an album and go beyond the music and the band: the way an album looks and feels, the way it’s presented, the packaging, the aesthetic, etc. A label can build on the music with its own contributions to enhance it and complement it to vast degrees. It’s another ulterior creative process altogether. Every label has its own style, just like a band has its own sound. The jump from simply observing and admiring someone else’s production process and choices, to imagining my own in my head, was a quick, short and inevitable one…. Labels like Aurora Borealis, Cold Spring, Osmose, Hydrahead, Cold Meat, NWN, NOEVDIA, AmRep, etc. created the compass, but stuff like architecture, modern art, industrial design, science (fiction), esotericism, and more things that inspire me in everyday life make their way into the label in one way or another and complete it. The visual aspect in SR is almost as important than the audio one…. Being an aesthetic-driven label versus a genre/style-driven label, has created the effect of always leaving people wondering what will come next, and having no idea what it may be or might sound like, or even what genre it will belong to. Yet, the aesthetic is the connecting thread that ties everything together.


MPN: How has that original vision transformed over the years, and how are things going right now? 


M: It hasn’t changed much. The idea was clear long before the label started and shaped up years before the first release. Right now, it’s not so much about transforming the vision, more about refining it and perfecting it. Over the next years, releases will have increasingly more thought, rationality, and selectiveness going into them.



MPN: I would like to get your thoughts on some of the albums you’ve released. What can you tell us about how these releases came to be, and do you have any specific memories about their releases? 


Chaos Echoes – Ecstasy With the Nonexistents



M: Possibly one of the “perfect” bands for the label. Not interested in trivial “scene” gimmicks or concerned about their looks and acceptance, but just in doing what they want. Fearlessly experimental, not adhering to any scene, yet a bastion of sonic power that everyone respects. How can you go wrong? Just how it should be.



VUK: Active between the years 2011 – 2019, Chaos Echoes was an experimental death/doom outfit that sprouted from the French underground. “Ecstasy With the Nonexistents” was intended to serve as the bands’ final artistic statement. A grand gesture, a coda to career, comprised of several re-worked songs from their first two full length studio releases (“Transient,”and “Mouvement”). The set was performed live exactly one time… recorded and presented to the world as the album we’re here to discuss. The concluding event for an audio entity, which could be considered ironic, as the music contained within indicates with gusto that it’s far from finished speaking. 


Chaos Echoes called what they did “Audio Darkness of Morbid Psychedelia,” and nowhere is that description more fitting than this recording. At times it sounds like aeroplanes. At times it sounds like bombs. There are moments of prayer and peace, mixed in with moments of profound pain. Time spent with the masters, and time spent with the slaves. And perhaps most profound of all, there are moments it sounds like it’s singing about all of these people and places at once. As if it’s telling stories about everywhere it has ever been, or will ever be again. 


Each song takes you by the hand and guides you to a different room. Inside each room are walls full of pictures, but rather than tell you where to look, the music asks you to tell it what you see instead. Beyond that is a paradox, because within each picture there are pictures of rooms,  which makes the music seem either mad… or immortal. 


Yet none of this comes off as confusing. In fact, if you can make peace with the directions you’ve been given, you’re likely to realize what matters is that you’re able to listen at all. And that wherever these songs guide you is where you will meet the person who gets to hear them next. In my case, that was me, immediately after hearing such brilliance the first time.


It is a challenge to describe a band like Chaos Echoes. Calling them avant-garde wouldn’t be as much an understatement as it would be an overreach. Possibly even an insult. Like labeling something that doesn’t want to be labeled. I can say without question that I’m reminded of bands like Imperial Triumphant and Portal. But on the other hand, I can point to both Suffering Hour and Spectral Voice. I suppose the one thing they all have in common is their collective ability to elude specific categorization, which kind of puts them all in a category of their own. 


So, I can comfortably recommend Chaos Echoes for fans of… music not effortlessly imprisoned. That’s right, you want something out of the box? Put on “Ecstasy With the Nonexistents”. You’ll be glad you did.  




Hell – Hell



M: Around 2010 or so, doom became a stagnant and boring circle jerk of copycats and bandwagons who thought that owning more amps wrote them better riffs and better songs. Hell sent all that to hell, appropriately. The genre is credible again mainly thanks to them. Possibly comparable to Corrupted in innovation, work ethic, adherence to their principles and overall vision (and their only and obvious heir apparent as things are shaping up), and also in the idea of putting the bongs and vapes and overpriced amplifier worship aside to just “make doom scary again”.



Serena: In 2017, Salem-based band HELL released a seven track album that cut the crust of the Earth open and allowed deafening sounds to emerge. Four years later, HELL’s self-titled album still stands strong.


Hell begins with “Helmzmen.” This track is shifting plates grinding beneath one’s feet; guttural yelps forcing their way through the crevices; and a bellowing gulp screeching out from the darkness of the heavily-distorted guitar strings. The drums drive deep into the crust of the Earth, and the tremolo over the repetition of the guitar line is lifted up from the blows to the drums. Coming to a slow crawl when nearing the end of the track, the riff knocks you doggedly back and forth in an intoxicated haze. 


After that, “SubOdin” comes in with a piercing sting of feedback-riddled instruments. A distorted scream escapes from the layers of grime, and the vocals sound like a pick scraping up the length of a guitar string; it truly makes the neck grow cold and the hair stand on end. A pummeling begins at the 5:00 mark and a scream wavers out. The vocals collect into an amorphous, intangible mass of intercepted radio signals. 


“Machitikos” begins with a slow build; the trudge of drums punching in through a mess of mud. A crash sizzles out and the ground trembles as a wall of fuzz stretches and covers the mass of instruments. The groove sways along like Dante’s boat crossing the river of tormented souls. Vocals rip through the chaos, through the waves, and open up a small sliver for a dirty riff to strike through. The riff that comes in at 4:00 sets icy chills along the back for such a hot and devastatingly heavy track. 


“Wandering Soul” thrusts the listener right into a swaggering, sludge-infused riff that injects itself into an already formidable atmosphere. The song lifts itself up into a deadly transformation, cutting itself off and stretching out into something much more menacing. 


“Inscriptus” extends the filth along. The additional vocals in this track are sublimely unsettling and make one feel as though they’re listening in on something less of a song and more of a summoning of some unnamed evil. The track switches its tempo up rather often, shifting like unwelcoming sands attempting to swallow the listener whole. The thwack of the drums add to the horror. “Victus” is the longest track on the album at close to thirteen seconds. It envelops the listener in a shrill wave of static that is ceaseless in its battering. With heavily, heavily downtuned guitars and vocals that shriek and strike a cold bullet of fear into the heart, this track is easily one of the most terrifying. The various sounds that crop up beneath the layers of roving heaves of distortion dig at the unsettling pit that begins to gnaw within the stomach. Nearing the 7:00 mark, the song slows itself down a few notches and allows the heavy swells to roll out into an auditory distance. The violin is wholly unpredicted and adds a delightfully all-consuming and curious emotion into the mix. The notes of the guitar step upward and ring forth with questioning, while quickly devolving back into that absurd depth of darkness that the guttural bursts of vocals bring in. The closing minute of the track is just so enjoyable, it’s truly hard to describe. 


“Seelenlos” features a spoken version of Emily Dickinson’s “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain” atop the notes clanging outward. The variation between the metallic somberness, the depth of the low-hanging notes, and the steadily spoken lines build a darkened scene within the mind. The haunting, operatic voice that hovers out from the very bottom of whatever blackened pit the chiming tones are seeping from brings forth such a great sound and indescribable feeling. This track, as well as the album as a whole, is absolute perfection. I mean, their Bandcamp even states that Hell is “over forty-five minutes of colossal and earth-shaking audial torture.” It’s not easy to disagree with this statement.


Again, while Hell is a few years old at this point, it still is as attention grabbing as it was the day of its initial release, and hopefully there are many more out there who have yet to stumble across it ready to be thoroughly pleased upon doing so.


Recommendation: This is an album that beckons you for another listen or two… if you’re not pummeled to a pulp during the first go round, that is.





黒い樹海 – Kuroi Jukai



M: One of the greatest syncretisms of punk and pure noise ever conceived. Unmatched.


Hayduke X: Kuroi Jukai has a ferocity to it that is nearly unparalleled. By the time Sentient Ruin announced this release, I was already a pretty big fan of the label. The origin point of this mysterious artist drew my attention further, as I was actually born in Edmonton, AB, (though I barely lived there) and have always had a soft spot for that city. It makes me wonder what it is about Edmonton that helped spawn this release of raw spite. Coming in at roughly eleven minutes, the brief EP has a staying power that is much greater than the runtime. Kuroi Jukai changes you with each listen. New neural pathways are opened. Perhaps it’s the reckless abandon of the rhythms, or the visceral pull of the abrasive noise mixed into this grind and powerviolence conflagration, but it will affect you. I guarantee it!





Consummation – The Fires of Calcination



M: Underrated wretched black metal masterclass, far above and beyond many of their more hyped peers. This band should be on everyone’s radar. Shame on you if it’s not.


Michael Litteral: When you see the band name Consummation, you probably wouldn’t guess that this is some of the best black/death your ears have ever heard, but here we are. We have teamed up with Sentient Ruin to bring you some reviews of our favorites on their roster. For me, I picked The Fires of Calcination. This album is actually a compilation album of their two first releases. I bring you a slab of black/death that you will hold on to for a long time coming.


The Fires of Calcination is a four track album that showcases the band’s powers as a  dissonance force that nobody wants to mess with. To think that this collection of abysmal tunes is not a full ordinance of demanded turbulence, but an orchestrated effort at diabolical madness makes this a collection of hell hymns that is intentionally powerful, and it vows to never burn out its black flame. To hear this collection in its entirety you must know to separate parts one and two from parts three and four. Once you have done the obvious, you can now recognize the release as a whole and fully enjoy it.  


My friend Dani, who isn’t too well versed in metal, has said ” Consummation goes hard in the paint. This is actual metal, not your poppy teenager stuff.” Pleasantly surprised, he has added this release to his gym playlist. Whether or not it will actually be played again is beyond me. 


Besides a small difference in production, you wouldn’t be able to tell that this album is made up of two different releases. It was a smart idea to release both as one piece, as it seamlessly mashes together so well. The atmosphere stays constant and suffocates the air that you desperately try to grasp. The bludgeoning you experience during your duration is something that will leave a mark and demands your return to its torture. The melodies, and at times the lack thereof, make each track feel distinct and memorable. I usually like to listen to albums in one go, but I find myself always wanting to repeat a song during my playthrough. The track that calls my name changes with every listen. Submerge yourself within the black sun that gives you a sense of impending doom. This collection of songs will make sure to leave a forever impression in your mind. 


The Fires of Calcination was released on July 26th, 2019 through Sentient Ruin Laboratories. You can find this album through their bandcamp and on all streaming platforms. Vinyl is still available on their website, make sure to add this to your collection.




Assumption – Absconditus



M: Greatest contemporary active death-doom band right now. The immensity of their riffs and atmosphere is overshadowed only by how underrated they are. Actively trying to fix/change that.



rotnoxnatl: The debut album Absconditus from Italy’s Assumption starts with a lengthy intro, that calls to mind the soundtrack of Twin Peaks, before breaking into a slight scream of feedback. At that moment the doom and dirge are unleashed. A little further into the opening track, Liberation, the riffs increase pace, adding more guitars, heightening the tension. Despite the song title, the music does not feel freeing. It gives a sense of stifling fear, and the lyrics echo that feeling with the final lines, “Ignorance calls the prey away from Liberation.” 


Resurgence starts with a multi-tracked flute part (yes, I said FLUTE) that I swore was a synth the first time I listened to it. The masterful recording where the two parts are going in and out of phase with each other is what threw me. A snare hit and then into a monstrous groove of a riff. This track makes me think of Black Sabbath and early Soundgarden.


The final fifteen minute plus track of Absconditus begins with a swirling, multi-layered synthscape. Now we’re in Skinny Puppy / Download territory, conjuring the ghosts of Dwayne Goettel and Phil Western. Or maybe Richard Wright from Pink Floyd, I don’t know. Naturally, this is only the intro and then the guitars and pounding drums begin. While the main riffs themselves are tasty, it’s the little discordant surprises that make this track and this band special.


And then we arrive at what I can only assume is Part II of Beholder of the Asteroid Oceans as we get into a very trippy, jazzy interlude around the nine-minute mark. It lasts just long enough to throw us headlong into the next thrashy death metal section of this epic. Once “the Promethean is pulverized into the abyss,” the song shifts again to a more psychedelic guitar piece that carries us to the end, but leaves you wanting more.


Assumption has created an album of severity. One that combines elements of doom and death metal, but also psychedelic rock and the best of Italian horror film composers. While I was a bit hesitant on the vocals on my first listen, as I played it more, I asked myself, “What other vocals could there be?” These are the vocals that fit with these songs; so be it.




Ceremonial Bloodbath – The Tides of Blood



M: Another label turning point. Possibly the perfect death metal release for the label, again, due to its underlying ambiguity. It’s not bestial war metal, it’s not death metal, but it’s everything in between, and mostly, everything beyond. Ambiguity is the law of the house here.


VUK: Cavernous and demented, “The Tides of Blood”, the debut from Vancouver’s death metal madmen Ceremonial Bloodbath, does not waste any time playing nice. “Humans butchered – Nourishment to the gods,” sings the man who calls himself The Noctural Black. “Extract the children’s hearts – A gift to the new kings.” Or is it Faceless Infinity? It’s difficult to tell. You see, Ceremonial Bloodbath has two peculiarly named vocalists. Faceless Infinity doubles as the rhythm guitarist, while The Noctural Black doubles on bass, and the two of them make so much noise it almost seems unnecessary for anyone else to join in the merrymaking. But death metal this deep and dark could never be satisfied as a two piece. I’d be surprised if this beast could be tamed with a mere two pieces of anything, to tell you the truth. Abysmal Berzerker (lead guitar), and Nuclear Hammer Throne (drums) complete the lineup. 


“Lineup,” you say? Line… up… “Line up the throats of the denizens of the goat,” begins another line, “spilling the blood of the priests. Let it run like a river for the feast.” Catchy, yeah? Oh, but these dudes are just getting started! This whole album sounds like demons feasting on sacrificed flesh. An absolutely ruthless pummeling of the senses, to be sure, and one I would advise not taking lightly. 


Ceremonial Bloodbath is a bit like the horror-themed death metal of bands like Mortician or Exhumed. However, the raw meat these Canadian’s are serving isn’t quite as easy to digest. Closer to the mark are label-mates Cryptae, or the mind-bogglingly dastardly Bloodsoaked Necrovoid.  Any way you slice it, “The Tides of Blood” aims to take the listener on a roadtrip to Hell. A return home is not guaranteed. 




Pseudocommando – A Home Beneath The Floorboards



M: No one will get it, yet everyone will feel it. You may love it or hate it, but you’ll never be indifferent to it. Aural terrorism at one of it’s most harrowing pinnacles. Music destroyed.


Hayduke X: A Home Beneath The Floorboards is a challenge. Perhaps the most inaccessible release I’ve ever heard, and certainly the least accessible in my collection, the four tracks by this audio terrorist will not be experienced easily. Perhaps that’s the point. Perhaps there is no point. Perhaps it’s only a sort of primal scream into the void. Regardless, I challenge you personally to pick up the gauntlet presented by this release. Given time and effort, A Home Beneath The Floorboards reveals things to you, things no less true simply because they are beyond definition. I’m not even really speaking in terms of the audio attack here, though there is much to be uncovered there as well, if you are strong enough to fight through the sonic attack. More importantly, there is something viscerally real here. It’s as if the artist found a tiny crack in the fabric of reality and pried it open just enough to slip into the other. From there, they are broadcasting the infinite unknowable back to us, and this is how we can perceive (though never understand) the transmission. This monster release continues to grow on me. I may never be able to honestly say I like it – that emotion seems far too flimsy for this anyway – but it certainly makes me feel in ways that nothing else does.




Verwoed – De Val



M: The contemporary Dutch black metal scene should be on everyone’s radar and they are possibly its pinnacle.



rotnoxnatl: The second album from Dutch band Verwoed, De Val (The Fall) opens with a scream of feedback before ripping into the title track full force. Layers on layers of guitars swirl through your brain until the track resolves with more of the feedback that spawned it. That resonating piercing sound takes you directly into one of the blackest metal riffs on the album and track two, De Kwelling van het Bestaan (The Torment of Existence) is underway.

Vergif (Poison) continues the multiple guitar parts, but the drums head into more tribal territory. Again, Verwoed uses feedback to bridge the gap between songs and carry us into Het bedriegende oog (The Deceiving Eye). The verses of this track are probably the most straightforward black metal to be had on the album, but the chorus mixes it up again, slowing things down and using beautiful, heavy arpeggios. It’s at the interlude of this track that I realize that there are no guitar “solos” on this album. 

The final track, Verder van het licht (Farther from the Light), starts at a doom metal pace and stays with more of an atmospheric black metal tone throughout. The second half of the song is sung clean and in Dutch with a much different vocal tone than anything that came before it, although there is no indication in the credits that anyone other than Erik B. performed them. Despite the lyrics talking about going farther from the light, this change gives the ending of the album an uplifting release. 

What struck me most about this album was the generous use of arpeggiated chords, dissonance, and feedback. It made me think of several great No Wave bands, but most specifically called to mind Sonic Youth. These elements, layered together with more traditional black metal riffs, created almost impenetrable waves of sound. If you dare, I encourage you to let those waves wash over you until you fall into frenzy.



Cryptae – Cryptae, Vestigial, Nightmare Transversal


M: Another classic SR band: weird, surreal, odd, and just strange. Outside of all gimmicks and trends. Pure, unbridled, and honest artistic freedom outside of any rule or scene. Most people won’t get it, and that’s exactly why we love them and why they are on this label.



The Great Mack: Where does one even begin with Cryptae? Well, ‘they are a duo from the Netherlands’, and ‘they make music that makes me weep tears of absolute joy’ will do to start with. What kind of music? That is entirely open to your interpretation, because they are not entirely an easy thing to describe. Yes, it is extreme, and yes comparisons may be drawn to some, but as you may have already heard, Cryptae take all musical convention out to dinner, wine and dine it, and then proceed to do nasty things to it, while it is certainly not in any way shape or form prepared for the experience!

Let’s start with the self titled “Cryptae” (2017), shall we! I have reviewed all three of their releases in the past, and I liken it to an evolution of sorts. This one begins as something almost primal. The art on the cover is basic as fuck. Back then, little was known about the band and so, taken on face value, many would have ignored it. But when you hit play, the evolution starts to take shape right before your very ears so to speak.


Sonic buggery that almost hurts the brain is what first hits you, with a chugging fuzzy nightmare of confusion and disorder, almost like a couple of apes found the key to the music room and have some stuff they need to vent, in a musical way. They bash, they strum, they create oh such excellent noise, that one has to wonder just what the fuck they have on their minds. Best not get in their way and just let them tire themselves out, and have a banana or two on hand to lure them back into their enclosure. After this, probably keep them away from all the other sentient creatures in the zoo, in case this madness spreads. Heavy would be an understatement, and much insanity can be found within, for those prepared to come visit. That you can be sure of. Only four tracks. The apes were aware we were listening (how could you not hear the racket), and have retired for the time being…

The door was left unlocked one night a few years later, and word had spread amongst the beasts that something was going down. That very night in 2019 a creature of pure hate was born unto the world. Something akin to its parents’ earlier dreams, but somehow more sinister. A darker being, singular but massive in length, and they named it “Vestigial,” and oh how the world wept at its very existence. Brutal, unforgiving, hear it belch and spew its vileness upon all as it writhes and seethes with horrid maliciousness people. Oh hear the drums as it prepares for war, the axe it carries to grind, covered in the blood of the others in the zoo, as it breaks free into glorious freedom. It twists, it turns, no particular direction is needed, and this is but a hint of what is to come, and a glorious one at that. We can, and should have paid more attention to this warning…

For those that did, even we were not prepared for what would follow. Glorious freedom indeed! The creature came out of nowhere a mere year and a bit later, and the “Nightmare Traversal” began for us all. The beast still had some ape in it’s genes, but it’s intellect had grown to understand all the concepts of time and space, and it rejoiced in sharing its destructive nature with ALL who cowered before it…those that lived anyway. Finally it had achieved it’s full form, and oh such power was on display as it shook its mighty head to and fro, whilst gazing up at the sky and roaring out such blasphemy that even the heavens shook!


Yes, I waffle. I am renowned for it. But the question is, how do you define this band? Are they just a bunch of primitive dudes that somehow evolved into something far more dangerous? Or are they taking music to a whole next level? I go with the latter. Cryptae aren’t just music to me, they are like fine art, and I salute the artists that gave birth to such excellence!






夢遊病者 (Sleepwalker) – Noč Na Krayu Sveta



M: Just consume enormous amounts of psychedelics and enjoy the ride.


VUK: 夢遊病者 (Sleepwalker) is considered experimental ritualistic black metal,” which is a fine description, although, the jazzy overtones are impossible to ignore. The band’s three main musicians (known simply as PBV, NN, and KJM) are from Russia, Japan, and The United States. They, along with a host of various guest artists, sprinkle “Noč Na Krayu Sveta” with an astonishing array of instruments. Seriously, there are synths, ouds, violins, trumpets, bouzouki (a lute-type instrument), clarinet, all sorts of organ sounds, flutes, and all sorts of other things that will probably take six or seven listens to sort through. 


That may sound like a bit of overkill, but it is done in such a way that none of these instruments get in each other’s way.  These two fourteen-minute tracks (“Boundless Love / Resilience,” and “Redemption / Retaliation”) are painstakingly and flawlessly composed pieces of avant-garde excellence. 


Similar in some ways to bands like The Tear Garden and The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble, 夢遊病者 (Sleepwalker) combines psychedelia with jazz and various strains of world music to create a stunningly impressive musical elegance. You will want to listen to this one with the lights down low, leaned back, feet up, and all alone. Let the music fill your mind, and wander whatever path it leads you down. You are sure to enjoy the journey.   




Unyielding Love – The Sweat of Augury



M: A release that made Sentient Ruin what it is. One of the perfect Sentient Ruin releases: doesn’t fit into any scene or trend, yet when you hear it, it’s unmistakably real and incomparable to anything else.


Hayduke X: It feels somewhat dishonest to say this, though it’s entirely true, but this is the most accessible album of the three I personally wrote about for this label feature. Unyielding Love play dissonant grind with some real passion. Occasionally some noise elements filter in, as well as sincere nods to the grindy side of death metal. I’ve said publicly before and likely will again, in my opinion, The Sweat of Augury is the best grind record of the 2010s. Still true grind, it nonetheless pushes barriers and boundaries aside with an abrasive and untamable attack. The album vibrates with energy, raising hackles, and setting you on edge, teeth grinding. I find it impossible to imagine sitting still through this release. It causes so much pent up energy that there must be some release, whether agitated leg syndrome or a full out living room mosh. Prepare for the unrelenting!