Friday, August 31, 2012


Lindskold returns with another approximation of traditional black metal aestheticism if not methodology.  Created almost entirely from processed vocals, "The Majesty of the Lidless Eye" is at once another slab of gurgling, tortured sludge vomiting its way through the speakers, but also a hypnotic and slightly empirical tribute to J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.  Tolkien's mythology has been the fodder for a prodigious amount of black metal output since the movement's inception, and here Lindskold honors that tradition (especially in the evocation of magnificent bands like Summoning and Kinstrife & Blood) while simultaneously pushing it towards a more extreme and noise-focused universality.
Altar Of Waste is pleased to present this re-recidivist black metal tapestry in a DVD case with artwork assembled and constructed by Cory Strand, in a limited edition of 10 hand-numbered copies.  $10 ppd. in the United States, $18 rest of world.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Like Love Katy, Small Hours occupies an extremely unique position in the HNW microcosm.  My first exposure to Small Hours' aesthetic was a lone track called "My Walls Would Suck Without You," a brutal reworking of the Kelly Clarkson pop dream nugget that somehow managed to fuse the almost desperate yearning of the source to an equally apocalyptic squall of wall.  Popular music has the capacity to infect and remain and become something of a mass sedative; in a similar sense, the stagnancy inherent in so much HNW can become lulling and achieve a state close to transcendental stasis.
Enter then Small Hours' brilliant deconstruction of perhaps the most "popular" of all popular music, easy listening.  Burt Bacharach and Hal David are universal, and "Performs the Songs of Bacharach and David" is a radical effort to transform that universality into something beyond its original ambition, a reimagining of a standard defined by decades of cultural nostalgiah.  Your grandparents knew these songs, your parents knew them, and they're floating somewhere in your subconscious as well.  Across these six tracks, Small Hours indulges in a variety of massive textures and tonalities, from crumbling, ghostly static to all-out torrential downpours of scathing extremity.  Fusing it all so seamlessly to source material thought of as anathema to the conception of HNW marks the record as an intensely visionary work.  No one else is doing this.
Altar Of Waste is proud to release this gauntlet to the world.  Packaged in a DVD case with artwork assembled and constructed by Cory Strand, in a limited edition of 20 hand-numbered copies.  $10 ppd. in the United States, $18 rest of world.


Sunday, August 26, 2012


This Tuesday I'm heading back to school for what will most likely be an incredibly work-intensive semester (I'll receive my degree in cinematography at the end of the year.)  This unfortunately means that it's going to be harder for me to crank out releases the way I have been, but I have so much awesome stuff coming out soon I'm going to do my absolute best to keep on top of everything and stay on schedule.  It might mean a lot of coffee fueled sleepless nights, but I love doing this label so much I know it will be worth it.  I have releases coming up from the following:

VOMIR "TBA" (I should be receiving the master tomorrow, artwork in progress)
LETHE "HAUNTING AND WOE" (4CDr set of dark ambient)
CROWN OF BONE "THRONE OF CACOPHONY" (debut full length, set for a Halloween release)
LINDSKOLD "THE MAJESTY OF THE LIDLESS EYE" (more black metal recidivism)
SAVAGE CROSS "THE ABYSS OF THE FLESH OUROBOROS" (very soon, artwork being finalized)
SMALL HOURS "PERFORMS THE SONGS OF BACHARACH AND DAVID" (very soon, artwork will be printed this week)
CULVER "TBA" (probably a 2 or 3 disc set)
CHURNER "TBA" (power electronics)

I had no idea the label would have this much momentum, and it is an honor to work with all of the artists.  Your generosity astounds me.  Really and truly!


Friday, August 24, 2012


The final volume of Necronom IV's Alien suite, two massive hymnals to universal obliteration and the utter failure of mankind to survive in a cosmos indifferent to its existence.  There is only this emptiness, this void, this great and eternal gnawing, screaming from every corner and every fold in the fabric of the physical.  Mankind is a vessel, a vehicle for a higher evolutionary form, one which is simplistic and unerring in its blind ferocity.  Survival becomes the only mark of the true intelligence.
The two pieces here end Necronom IV's exploration of Ridley Scott's mythology in fine and majestic form, with the frigid despair of "Becoming" segueing into the haunting and vaguely soothing "Worming Parasite."  You are truly alone, and in space, there really is no one to hear you scream.
Altar Of Waste is beyond pleased to present these transformative recordings in a DVD package with artwork assembled and constructed by Cory Strand, in a limited edition of 10 hand-numbered copies.  The blinding light is the end, the eclipse of reason by fear in all its totality.  $15 ppd. in the United States, $23 rest of world.



As a cinematography/film studies student, I am obviously enamoured with the work of Stanley Kubrick, and his  version of Stephen King's The Shining remains one of my favorite films of all time.  Equally impressive with regard to Kubrick's canon is the soundtrack work he elicited from Wendy Carlos.  It's difficult to imagine Kubrick's films without her themes, and in the case of The Shining especially, her compositions set and maintain the tone throughout the whole film.  It's easily one of the darkest pieces of music ever made for a film, unsettling and crushing in equal parts, and it remains burned into the brain nearly as much as Kubrick's imagery.
I decided to offer my take on this masterful score, and while I certainly do not believe my work comes close to being the equal of Wendy Carlos's, I am very happy with how this record came out.  In the first section I've played up the suffocating, thick darkness present in the piece and taken it further out, creating a lengthy journey through Carlos's rich synthesizer composition and sound assembly.  The second section offers up my more "rock" take on the theme, pushing it close to a caustic riff on suicidal doom noise catharsis before it collapses into a throbbing, bass-drenched wall.
Released through Altar Of Waste and packaged in a DVD case with minimal artwork assembled by me, in a limited edition of 10 hand-numbered copies.  $10 ppd. in the United States, $18 rest of world.

-Cory Strand



Necronom IV deviates from the claustrophobic terror of its Alien series in order to explore the haunting death vibe of Mary Lambert's version of the Stephen King triumph Pet Sematary.  Lambert's film plays down the Satanic horror of King's novel in favor of a more atmospheric approach, and for a good chunk of the film she manages to create a stifling aura of tragedy and supernatural longing.  Some of her set pieces are particularly evocative, showcasing a feeling of distance and enchantment that plays well to King's colorful grasp of character.
Necronom IV's work here is equally enchanting and distant, a far cry from the compositions offered in the Alien works.  A vague melodicism worms its way into the cold ambiance, conjuring up the spectre of tainted soil and blistering earth, as well as a yearning born from a deep sense of failure.  This is an immersive and strangely calming piece, an elegiac drift through the nether realms. 
Altar Of Waste is pleased to release this atypical album in a DVD package with artwork assembled and constructed by Cory Strand, in a limited edition of 10 hand-numbered copies.  $10 ppd. in the United States, $18 rest of world.



My favorite comic book series is undoubtedly "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles."  At their best, Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird charted an extremely dark and punishing journey through the psyche of four personalities trying to cope with ideas of tradition, honor, and their own emotional turmoils.  Nowhere were these themes better exemplified than in the masterful "Return To New York" storyline, in which the four brothers go back to finish Oroku Saki, aka The Shredder, once and for all.  Fans know everything was brought full circle from the first TMNT issue, including the epic final confrontation between Saki and Leonardo, where blood and honor converge in a brutal and eviscerating showdown.
I have attempted to do justice to this beloved series with "For Blood, For Honor."  All of the sounds on these two albums were created using elements from the theme song to the TMNT cartoon (not as good as the comics, but it had its moments) and I think they represent some of my finest work in the HNW genre.  "For Blood" is certainly my favorite wall piece, an unrelenting torrent of distorted sludge that I think captures the agony and exhaustion of the battle between Leo and Saki, and "For Honor" allows for a meditative state of eerie contemplation.
This is my love letter to the TMNT.  Released by Altar Of Waste with collage artwork assembled by me, packaged in a DVD case in a limited edition of 10 hand-numbered copies.  $15 ppd. in the United States, $23 rest of world.

-Cory Strand



The third installment in Necronom IV's Alien inspired recordings is a masterful exercise in deep drone tonality, pure stagnancy for the purgatorical.  An expanse of drooling bass throb washes out under a waft of frigid  and scraping winds, evoking the numbing depths of space and the endless horrors lurking in the universe's forgotten pockets.
There is a distinct undercurrent of violence found in this piece, an expectation of immolation that creates a highly electric and nauseating tension.  Release will never come.  There will only be terror, and it is mindless and all-consuming.
Altar Of Waste is proud to present this third piece of dark ambient death drift in a DVD package designed and constructed by Cory Strand, in a limited edition of 10 hand-numbered copies.  $10 ppd. in the United States, $18 rest of world.


Friday, August 17, 2012


The second volume in Necronom IV's series of recordings influenced by Ridley Scott's Alien mythology, "Fire From the Mountain" is a claustrophobic exercise in enormity and dead black space.  A veritable cosmic ocean stretching out forever, unchanging and ancient in its obstinacy.  There is no hope here, only the eternal night and the promise of oblivion as the universe scatters you callously, slowly ripping you apart with a glacial force and a jaded dispassion.
If "Suffocation" was an encapsulation of fear and paranoia then "Fire From the Mountain" is the resignation to defeat, an ushering in of a new dominance that will exist for time immemorial.  Resistance is a dark and fetid dream.  Acquiescence is the only possibility that will not end in immolation.
Altar Of Waste is extremely proud to present this staggeringly monolithic work of dark ambient horror in a DVD package designed and constructed by Cory Strand, in a limited edition of 10 hand-numbered copies.  $10 ppd in the United States, $18 rest of world.


Thursday, August 16, 2012


Another new home-recorded Dreamless piece, this time in the form of a 53 minute guitar blowout that beguilingly bridges the gap between my work in Dreamless and my work as Lethe.  Not exactly HNW, but veering close in terms of sound saturation and intensity.  I've tried very much to make something both melodic and abrasive, a paean to much of the drone music I adore as well as to the "shoegaze" artists whose work Dreamless is so often compared to.  Guitars are stacked on top of each other and given the freedom to vomit feedback without restraint, creating a dense environment of distortion and scathing amplifier worship.  Computer processing and editing was used to achieve the necessary immensity.
I've always envisioned Dreamless as a musical vehicle I could use to explore my varied aesthetic interests.  "Insignificance" is the first part in an ongoing process.  Packaged in a DVD case in a limited edition of 10 hand-numbered copies.  $10 ppd. in the United States, $18 rest of world.

-Cory Strand


Sunday, August 12, 2012


Another collection from my band proper Dreamless, mostly all covers I did at home by myself in the summer of 2012.  I took a really straightforward approach to these songs, but they all have the distinctly raw and abrasively dense sound that's come to define the Dreamless aesthetic.  These are songs by artists that I listened to relentlessly in high school and college, material that's come to have a huge influence on both my guitar playing and songwriting.  Pavement, Silkworm, Neil Young-these artists meant the world to me then.  They still do!  A lot of this stuff is really simple and shot through with a certain sadness, and it was a joy to record it.
I added one new Dreamless track to the record as well, a rough recording of "I'm Fucking Everything Up."  This will more than likely appear on the second full length that we'll do for Handmade Birds at an unknown time in the future.  I think it charts the direction the sound is heading in pretty well.
I'm putting this out on Altar Of Waste with two different covers, with artwork and packages assembled and constructed by me, in a limited edition of 10 hand-numbered copies.  Tracklist is the same for both packages.  $10 ppd. in the United States, $18 rest of world.  There is a downloadable version on my Bandcamp page, with two alternate mixes of "I'm Fucking Everything Up" as bonus tracks.

-Cory Strand



Lethe's first HNW recordings since the "Theodore Robert Bundy" set eschew all out violence in favor of a more stagnant and contemplative approach, dialing the volume down ever so slightly to achieve a more mesmerizing and overall "ambient" effect.  Like one million washing machines running at the bottom of the ocean, the two gargantuan pieces comprising "Abandonment To Failure" churn and circle endlessly, becoming monolithic in their suicidal obstinancy.
Life is a parade of disillusionments and disappointments, a catalogue of mediocrity that we try to dress up as meaningful.  Alone, at night, we're forced to assess the actualities and recognize that the efforts aren't being rewarded, that our wants are not being satisified, that existence trudges on and crumples us in its desecrating march towards death.  "Dreams Become As Shit" and "Make Another Excuse" form a dual commentary on this sense of inner sorrow, a knell for the ascendancy of hopelessness.
Altar Of Waste is pleased to present "Abandonment To Failure" in a DVD case with minimalist artwork assembled by Cory Strand, in a limited edition of 10 hand-numbered copies.  $15 ppd. in the United States, $23 rest of world.


Sunday, August 5, 2012


Sleeplessness and paranoia becoming one.  The night, cruel and endless, filled with voices and shadows, screaming, voiding, whispering with callousness and declaration.  Reality fading, collapsing, constructing, reinvoking.  The architectures changing within themselves, rearranging, becoming oblique and unknowable.  Lights blurring, colors dissolving, bleeding into one long and desperate parade of monotony.
Episiotomist and Lindskold reconstruct the idea of insomnia on this shared double album.
Episiotomist's composition "Insomnihil" illustrates the influence of modernity on the suffering psyche, a crushing wash of disembodied voices and feedback stretched into one of the more haunting and extreme "ambient" compositions ever put to tape.  Lindskold's piece "Fractured Isolationism" embraces the hallucinogenic aspect of the ailment, turning in a composition more grounded in standard Merzbowian rock aestheticism that gradually becomes a paean to waking exhaustion and burnout.  Together the two records form a harrowing exploration of the restless mind.
Altar Of Waste is extremely pleased to release this collaboration.  Conceptualized by both artists, each record draws from personal bouts with insomnia and helps explain the prolific need to create demonstrated by so many within the genre.  On a personal note, the Episiotomist record is one of the most beautiful demonstrations of power ambience I've heard, and it is an honor to put it out.  Packaged in a DVD case with super minimalist artwork assembled by Cory Strand and released in a limited edition of 15 hand-numbered copies.  $15 ppd. in the United States, $23 rest of world.