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CVLT Nation’s Top Six BAY AREA Releases of 2015

SIX – RAGANA Wash Away
Welcome to where the stars fall out of the night sky, and to where cold winds forever blow. Welcome to a place of solitude and retreat, where the silence and vastness of the world immerses you into a strange state of peace, loss and fear all at the same time. Ragana are a duo from Olympia, WA, now residing in Oakland, CA, comprised of Maria and Nikole. They play music that is transcendental, mesmerizing and beautiful, while retaining a simplicity, innocence and grace that is at times hard to grasp and even believe, and which is profoundly moving and seductive. The duo is comprised of guitar and drums, with both handling vocals, and they are both known to switch instruments – something that you will notice gives the songs a different feel from one to another. Wash Away is their third release and is a huge step forward from their previous works…

Read the full review HERE



FIVE – PALE CHALICE Negate the Infinite and Miraculous
It would appear that Wisconsin-based record label Gilead Media has invested in some sort of Black Metal band-producing factory that has some pretty high quality standards. Their newest release by the demonic entity known as Pale Chalice is yet another home run for not just the label, but the band itself. Entitled Negate the Infinite and Miraculous, Pale Chalice have offered up a nasty, hate-filled album containing seven sermons of of blasphemy and rage. With the express purpose of blotting out the sun and spreading their virus across the land, Pale Chalice have exposed an ugly, festering wound in this release that is sure to please the most cannibalistic urge in all of us…

Read the full review HERE

pale chalice lp


FOUR – GLOAM Hex of Nine Heads
We have already discussed the immensity and vastness of Gloam‘s hopeless craft. Through two previous releases – a demo and an EP – the Santa Cruz-based gloom-sorcerers had already showed us what depths of misery and despair black metal and doom can reach when the two genres are interwoven with such refined mastery as Gloam does. With an intro and outro courtesy of Lord Vast of Lluvia fame, and and six tracks of fathomless aural hell sandwiched in between, I’m sure you can tell solely by the premises that their debut full-length album, Hex of Nine Heads, is a huge fucking abyss of sadness and despair…

Read the full review HERE

gloam hex of nine heads


THREE – HOWLS OF EBB The Marrow Veil
Howls of Ebb is a relatively new band in the black/death extreme subgenre. The band released their debut album, Vigils of the 3rd Eye, back in 2014 through I, Voidhanger, which is also releasing the follow-up EP, The Marrow Veil. Where the debut album of the band was a relentless assault towards any possible direction or dimension, The Marrow Veil encompasses a more structured and strategical approach from HoE. That does not mean that the band leaves behind their chaotic nature, do not worry that is still here. It just seems like everything was more thoroughly worked out, resulting in a more mature offering. A more methodical and precise coordinated assault, if you will…

Read the full review HERE



TWO – DISPIRIT Separation
Hello. No. Not a good day. Not a good day at all. New Dispirit tape available means must listen. Listen means must have not listened. Day turns to night. Light into devouring darkness. Life rots away, soul disintegrates… Nightmares come to life. Listening to Dispirit’s music is like dying, like being drained of all life. Like succumbing to to most immeasurable misery ever to endure. The Bay Area masters of dismal darkness have brought us another manifestation of their monumentally unsettling craft in the form of Separation, a new, third, self-released demo tape of lo-fi, mummified, slithering, plague-ridden and absolutely immense black doom…

Read the full Review HERE

dispirit - separation


ONE – VASTUM Hole Below
Perhaps the Bay Area’s best kept secret, San Francisco’s Vastum have been quietly destroying dreams and evoking the stuff of wide awake nightmares since their 2011 crushing debut Carnal Law. With a unique sound to match, Vastum take a bit of a different approach to their Death Metal. Setting out not to just mindlessly terrorize, blaspheme, or merely be “brutal,” the source of Vastum’s motivations appears to be much more demented in scope. Delving deep into the psychosis of the individual and the multitude of cognitive dissonance-fueled anxieties that possess us, Vastum paint visions of the worst abuses, typically sexual in nature, and familial as well, if not in a largely religious way, bringing to the mind the idea that we’re all supposedly “Children of God.”

Read the full review HERE

vastum - hole below



  1. Michael Maciel

    December 18, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    VASTUM never dissapoints!

  2. Jim Peckham

    December 18, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    You missed Secrets of the Sky “Pathways”

  3. Nicholas Anselmo

    December 18, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    Julia Sinead & Zelda Zigman

    • Julia Sinead

      December 18, 2015 at 12:04 pm

      have seen all of these bands live, except Ragana </3

    • Julia Sinead

      December 18, 2015 at 12:05 pm

      also this is rad! I’m glad someone did this writeup

    • Zelda Zigman

      December 18, 2015 at 1:59 pm

      gloam/pale chalice/ ragana <3333

  4. David Zoller

    December 18, 2015 at 11:14 am

    Lol boy u guys got everything covered

  5. Eli Kleman

    December 18, 2015 at 11:03 am

    These ultra specific lists are out of control

    • Patrick Rogers

      December 18, 2015 at 11:22 am


    • Eli Kleman

      December 18, 2015 at 11:31 am


    • Eli Kleman

      December 18, 2015 at 11:32 am

      To be fair they picked some great releases though

    • Mike Dee

      December 18, 2015 at 1:52 pm


    • Patrick Rogers

      December 18, 2015 at 1:53 pm

      Eli Kleman how could they not by the time they’re don’t they will have reviewed every band. Ever.

    • Jørn E. Svanem

      December 18, 2015 at 2:47 pm


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