For one of the most prolific heavy bands around, THOU have really outdone themselves lately. Along with their stunning new longplayer Heathen, the Louisiana group also serve up The Sacrifice, a 5 track EP recorded at the same time but of a distinctly different vibe. The overall tempo is increased compared to Heathen, focusing more on sludgey dirges than expansive gloom. However THOU's trademark doom and roar is still very present, on masterful display in condensed form. With a companion drone piece and classic NIRVANA cover ("I Hate Myself and I Want to Die"), this 25-minute EP is now available on Robotic Empire on vinyl and cassette. The 12" vinyl comes on clear 180 gram heavyweight vinyl, in a "tip-on" style casewrapped jacket with flood black interior. The cassette edition is limited to 200 copies and comes in a two-color silkscreened J-card. Both editions include a high-quality digital download. * You can stream the full EP now via local Louisiana outfit 225 Magazine, and/or Soundcloud * The Sacrifice pre-orders are up now in the Robotic Empire ñ Online Store (The Sacrifice officially comes out April 29th, pre-orders are expected to ship roughly a week or so beforehand) Appropriately, a cassette edition of Heathen is also available, yielding THOU's most lurching, expansive material. A brilliant union of melody and dismay - with the biting social commentary the group has become renowned for. With ten tracks at over an hour's length, instrumental interludes break up the otherwise massive tracks. THOU have crafted their finest long-player yet, and Robotic Empire is thrilled to present the cassette edition. Limited to 200 copies and housed in a letterpress J-card, THOU once again brings the thunder with quality and class. * You can download Heathen now via Bandcamp, and/or iTunes or stream it on Spotify * Heathen cassettes are available now in the Robotic Empire ñ Online Store In conjunction with the new THOU releases and their US tour kicking off this month (see dates below), we have also properly revamped the landmark Baton Rouge, You Have Much To Answer For 12" EP. This pivotal release (for the band and for the label) initiated what has evolved into a series of lengthy "EP" releases with a crushing NIRVANA cover included. The absolutely bludgeoning Bleach-era tune "Sifting" is joined by two mammoth THOU originals and a monster drone tune. This release set the standard for our maze of collaborations with these guys, and accordingly we've re-issued it with 180 gram heavyweight vinyl, a ticker tip-on style gatefold jacket and all around beefed this thing up to the max. Since this comes out alongside the new "EP" The Sacrifice we figured we'd drop a sneaky coupon code folks can use to pick up both at a discount. If you order both on vinyl, fang in the "THOU25" coupon code at checkout, you can pick up both for $25. If there somehow wasn't enough new THOU activity right now, the dudes are hitting the road[/i] THIS week and we've printed up some phatty t-shirts for them to take along the journey. You can check out the full list to see a full list of their upcoming shows over the next month, plus their activity extending beyond the West Coast come June/July. If you won't be making it out to one of the aforementioned live rock concert gigs, we've got two THOU double-sided t-shirt designs up now in the Robotic Empire - Online Store To flip the script on how we pre-order a release, TILTS and Robotic Empire have joined forces once again for a Kickstarter campaign to release their sophomore album, Cuatro Hombres. Amazingly, and humblingly, we reached our initial goal in under 24 hours. We are utilizing the positive aspects of Kickstarter to create a more engaging pre-order, where folks can "pledge" for a variety of "rewards" ranging from the simple (digital download, vinyl LP, t-shirt) to the more involved (custom test presses, TILTS playing to you and your friends + cooking you a meal!) - Basically we're hoping to make it interesting and drum up some funds to not only press the new album, but also repress the debut LP as well. Although we quickly hit our initial goal, the amount we set realistically only covers part of the overall cost to make all this cool stuff - so we're hoping more cats will get in the mix on this pre-order and if/when we hit the 4k mark, we'll add the debut LP back into the mix for a special Kickstarter-only rate as well. Please check out the TILTS Kickstarter campaign for all kinds of cool jibba jabb, and/or preview a (rough mix & unmastered) new track now: Tilts - Titanium Falcon Beyond all this amazing Robo activity but still semi-related to our camp is the long-awaited, much-belabored HOUSE OF LIGHTNING album. Our friends in Texas, Fair Warning Records, have finally unleashed this beast of a debut, taking what was started with DOVE, upping the riff-tornado and generally screwin with your dome. Rising from the ashes like a mighty phoenix, HOUSE OF LIGHTNING features past and present members of DOVE, FLOOR, and CAVITY. Lightworker is a 10-song, 40-minute riff-rollercoaster that was recorded by Mark Nikolich at Atomic Audio (FLOOR, KYLESA) with brilliant jacket artwork by Francesco LoCastro. We are extremely stoked this beast is finally available, after many years in the making. Henry is an absolute madman shredder freak and this album requires repeated deep listens truly "get it". We scored some of the limited color vinyl copies (both green and orange) and you can pick this up now in the Robotic Empire - Online Store. * Preview HOUSE OF LIGHTNING at the Fair Warning Records bandcamp AND it wouldn't be a proper Robotic Empire update without some other bangin new items and restocks for the distro aspect of our Online Store. There's been a bunch of great new stuff over the past month or so (some of which got buried in the previous update) that we're highlighting it all below: NEW ITEMS: * Adult Crash - Unfinished Business 12" (Standards) $7.99 * Alpha Owl - 3-Song EP Cassette (Tor Johnson) $4.99 * Carne - Ville Morgue 12" (Solar Flare) $14.99 * Cave In - Until Your Heart Stops 12" (Hydra Head) $12.99 * Cavity - On The Lam 12" - PICTURE DISC VINYL (Hydra Head) $9.99 * Celeste - Animales(s) - 180 Gram BLACK VINYL 2◊12" (Denovali) $31.99 * Daitro - Y 12" - YELLOW COLORED VINYL (Echo Canyon) $16.99 * Daughters - Daughters 12" - CLEAR COLORED VINYL (Hydra Head) $12.99 * Floex - Gone 10" (Denovali) $21.99 * Heathen Reign - Self-Titled - PURPLE COLORED VINYL 12" (Heathen Reign) $14.99 * Helms Alee - Weatherhead Cassette (Hydra Head) $4.99 * Hollow Sunshine - Scale - Size: EXTRA LARGE T-Shirt (Robotic Empire) $14.99 * Hollow Sunshine - Scale - Size: LARGE T-Shirt (Robotic Empire) $14.99 * Hollow Sunshine - Scale - Size: MEDIUM T-Shirt (Robotic Empire) $14.99 * Hollow Sunshine - Scale - Size: SMALL T-Shirt (Robotic Empire) $14.99 * House of Lightning - Lightworker 12" - GREEN COLORED VINYL (Fair Warning) $14.99 * Landing - Gravitational IV 12" (Equation) $12.99 * Nihill - Verdonkermaan 12" (Hydra Head) $9.99 * Prurient - Times Arrow Cassette (Hydra Head) $4.99 * Pyramids / Horseback - A Throne Without A King Cassette (Hydra Head) $4.99 * Red Fang - Whales and Leeches 12" (Relapse) $9.99 * Robotic Empire - Snake - Size: EXTRA LARGE T-Shirt (Robotic Empire) $14.99 * Robotic Empire - Snake - Size: LARGE T-Shirt (Robotic Empire) $14.99 * Robotic Empire - Snake - Size: MEDIUM T-Shirt (Robotic Empire) $14.99 * Robotic Empire - Snake - Size: SMALL T-Shirt (Robotic Empire) $14.99 * Stuntman - Incorporate The ..Excess - CONFETTI COLORED VINYL 12" (Solar Flare) $14.99 * Tellusian - Collision 12" (Pillow Scars) $11.99 * Thou - Heathen Cassette (Robotic Empire) $5.99 * Thou - The Sacrifice Cassette (Robotic Empire) $5.99 * Thou - The Sacrifice 12" - CLEAR COLORED VINYL (Robotic Empire) $14.99 * Thou - DIY T-Shirt - Size: EXTRA LARGE (Robotic Empire) $14.99 * Thou - DIY T-Shirt - Size: LARGE (Robotic Empire) $14.99 * Thou - DIY T-Shirt - Size: MEDIUM (Robotic Empire) $14.99 * Thou - DIY T-Shirt - Size: SMALL (Robotic Empire) $14.99 * Waco F''k - Eliminate Culture 12" (Standards) $7.99 * Windhand - Soma - 180 GRAM WHITE PURPLE SWIRL COLORED VINYL 2◊12" (Relapse) $19.99 RESTOCKS: * Baroness - Blue 12" (Relapse) $19.99 * Baroness - Red Album 12" (Relapse) $19.99 * Cave In - Tides of Tomorrow 12" (Hydra Head) $9.99 * Cough - Ritual Abuse 12" - BLUE COLORED VINYL (Relapse) $19.99 * Cough / Windhand - Reflection of the Negative 12" - BLACK GREY SWIRL COLORED VINYL (Relapse) $12.99 * Forest Swords - Dagger Paths 12" (Olde English Spelling Bee) $15.99 * Huata - Atavist Of Mann 12" - RED COLORED VINYL (Music Fear Satan) $19.99 * Inter Arma - Sky Burial 12" (Relapse) $19.99 * Jesu - Heart Ache & Dethroned 2x12" (Hydra Head) $24.99 * Kayo Dot - Blue Lambency Downward 12" (Hydra Head)$ 12.99 * Kongh - Counting Heartbeats 12" - CLEAR COLORD VINYL (Music Fear Satan) $19.99 * Kongh - Counting Heartbeats 12" - PINK COLORED VINYL (Music Fear Satan) $19.99 * Old Man Gloom - No 2x12" (Sige) $19.99 * Pygmy Lush - Cold World / Guilt 7" - CLEAR COLORED VINYL (Lovitt) $4.99 * Pygmy Lush - Old Friends 12" (Lovitt) $12.99 * Thou - Baton Rouge, You Have Much To Answer For 12" - 180 Gram Black Vinyl $14.99 * Thou - Harp Lady T-Shirt Size: EXTRA LARGE (Mammoth) $14.99 * Thou - Harp Lady T-Shirt Size: LARGE (Mammoth) $14.99 * Thou - Harp Lady T-Shirt Size: MEDIUM (Mammoth) $14.99 * Thou - Harp Lady T-Shirt Size: SMALL (Mammoth) $14.99 * Torche - Songs For Singles 12" (Hydra Head) $12.99 * Year Of No Light - Ausserwelt 12" (Music Fear Satan) $19.99 * Year Of No Light - Nord 12" - WHITE COLORED VINYL (Music Fear Satan) $19.99 * Year Of No Light - Vampry 12" (Music Fear Satan) $19.99 YES! Lots of mean titles there, hit up the Robotic Empire - Online Store for all that and obviously heaps more. Last but definitely not least, Robotic Empire is participating in Record Store Day for the first time in 2014, with the release of our longest running project ever, the NIRVANA tribute album called In Utero: In Tribute: In Entirety. It's been roughly half the label's existence in the making, rounded the corner as our 100th (!) release, and officially comes out April 19th, 15 years almost exactly to the date of our very first ever release. To say this is a long time coming is a major understatement, and we're beyond thrilled that it's finally coming out. The initial vinyl release will be the Record Store Day version, which comes on maroon color vinyl and includes a RSD-exclusive poster. After RSD concludes, we will have a standard version available for mailorder folks who can't nab it via the record stores, but definitely head out to your local shop on April 19th as it's tough for independent businesses out there (as we know well) and it's very cool there is a specific event that keeps people aware of the brick & mortar operations braving the realities of retail today. OK that's it, holy smokes sooo much cool stuff - please pick something up if you can. JAH BLESS!