LABEL ABLE: Sentient Ruin Laboratories
I set out to discover more about the Bay Area's "darkness-worshiping DYI label" Sentient Ruin with its owner, the shadowy M. Then, I recommend you my ten favourite releases of theirs.
Whether it’s bringing us some of the biggest 80s metal classics like Metal Blade did, or ushering in modernity like Roadrunner in the 90s, or focusing on some of heavy music’s darkest niches and achieving near cult status like Misanthropy or Necropolis in the past or Profound Lore or The Flenser in the present, or just establishing a steady stream of brilliance that makes its stamp worth something even if you don’t know the band, like Relapse, HydraHead or Southern Lord, record labels (the great ones, at least) have always been an essential part of unconventional music. With this feature, I’m going to be taking a long, hard look at some of the most interesting ones operating today, trying to understand what makes them tick, what are they looking for, what’s their purpose and motivation, and recommending you a few of my favourite releases from each of them along the way too.
Our first victim, based in Oakland, California, self-describes as a “darkness-worshiping DYI label". Celebrating ten years of releases in 2022, they’ve spent that full decade giving us almost two hundred pieces of black, death and doom metal, dark ambient, industrial, noise, punk and grind, constantly pushing the envelope, permanently trying to walk one more extra mile down that scary, pitch black tunnel of ugly and noisy music. Here’s the chat I had with label owner, M.