Best Local Reissue Label

Crucial Blast

Crucial Blast has always had a keen eye for anticipating trends—the Hagerstown label/distributor helped current buzz bands Genghis Tron and Weedeater make names for themselves with early releases. But in 2007, Crucial Blast repositioned itself as a cultural ambassador by calling attention to the best metal acts from the rest of the world (Australian noise-rock trio Grey Daturas, French doom act Monarch!) with a series of handsomely packaged reissues. New material from Richmond, Va.–based Souvenir’s Young America came through the pipes last year, too, but Crucial Blast pulled off its biggest coup by delivering a reissue of IIIrd, the long-out-of-print 1992 LP by Godflesh progenitors Skullflower. It’s an ear-splitting and strangely soulful mix of drone and sludge—a sacrificial offering to the gods that’s been on every metal fan’s wish list for years.

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