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Arbors & Passage Of Gaia (Re-Releases)


The Church Within Records
Distribution: Alive (GER) & Code7/PHD (Europe)


The Church Within Records proudly presents two re-releases of Milwaukee, USA based progressive atmospheric Doom juggernauts ARCTIC SLEEP: "Arbors" (originally released in 2012) and "Passage Of Gaia" (originally released in 2014).

Arctic Sleep is a Milwaukee, WI, USA based band that incorporates elements of space-rock, doom, and drone into often-lengthy songs driven by a unique combination of massively atmospheric heaviness and bittersweet melody accompanied by calm & ghostly vocals delivering lyrics containing recurring themes of nature, space, sorrow, and detachment.

The band was started in 2005 by multi-instrumentalist Keith D and amplifier-obsessed guitarist Mike Gussis. They recorded their first full-length album "Mare Vaporum" as a duo in 2006, a simply-produced yet powerful set of songs recorded in a friend's basement digital studio. The opening track, "Over The Antifreeze Rainbow” a dynamic & emotional seventeen-minute epic about the narrator's final contemplative moments while exiled in an abandoned spacecraft, set the stage for what would be Arctic Sleep's sound and imagery... slow-paced, melodic, spacious soundscapes that dramatically drift between quiet, beautiful stargazing and infinite, hypnotic loudness. Ghostly, whisky-soaked vocals and dreamlike lyrics that lurk above a swamp of slow-motion drumming and down-tuned riffing, creating an almost psychedelic atmosphere designed to drift the listener far away from reality... imagery of nature and the cosmos... songs about light and shadow, life and death, beauty and sadness.

After forming a full band and doing a handful of live appearances over the next year, the group disbanded while members pursued other interests. During this time, Keith wrote and produced the second long-playing Arctic Sleep record completely solo, 2009's "Abysmal Lullabies” which was met with critical acclaim. Following the album's release, D began to search for musicians to form a live band and was soon joined by drummer Nick Smalkowski. Keith subsequently asked co-founder Gussis to return and share in the songwriting and guitar duties for new material, to which he obliged.
The third album, entitled "Earth To Earth" was released in November 2010 and earned Arctic Sleep a small but very devoted core of fans spanning the globe. It was around this time that frontman/founder Keith D moved to Milwaukee but continued to keep the band fully active. The band was able to return to the studio in the summer of 2012 to forge their heaviest, most epic, and most approachable album yet, "Arbors". Almost immediately afterward Keith released "Realms", which was an album of ambient drone soundscapes, available to fans on a free or pay-what-you-want basis.

The band's sixth album “Passage Of Gaia” was released in November 2014. It was a two-man effort between Keith and Mike, with Keith handling the rest of the instrumentation. It displays the band's most progressive & exciting songwriting to date.

After numerous frustrations, obstacles, breakups, logistical challenges and lineup changes, Arctic Sleep currently continues as a solo project by its sole constant member and jack-of-all-trades, Keith D, who is known for fostering a close relationship with fans online and in person, and has run every aspect of the band's business DIY-style, selling albums to fans in 29 countries around the world.

Now, the saga continues as new material is in the works for 2018.


In 2012, Arctic Sleep returned with their heaviest, biggest-sounding, most epic record to date. A caress of lush cello arrangements greets you briefly before this masterpiece jolts you headlong into the wormhole on a journey through the band's unique world of mystic forests, majestic oceans of sorrow, and other earthen realms. Arctic Sleep creates a soundscape that is unique among today's heavy bands in that it employs major-key riffing, intense down-tuned distortion, soothing vocals, classical instruments, themes of forestry and nature, along with modern-day production techniques with songwriting that pulls influence from a wide variety of genres including doom metal, 90's rock, space rock, classical, drone/ambient, shoegaze, post-metal, and the list goes on. Join Arctic Sleep on this exciting and blissfully heavy escape from reality. All songs by Keith D and Mike Gussis, except "Timber" and "Wolf Nature" written by Keith D. Produced by Keith D and Joel Wanasek. Engineered and mixed by Joel Wanasek.

"Arbors" – Tracklist:
1 - Avenue Of The Giants
2 - Geneva
3 - Black Moth
4 - Althena's Pond
5 - Pine Mountain
6 - Timber
7 - Valley Of Poison
8 - Sea Of Origins
9 - Wolf Nature
10 - Release The River

"Arbors" - Line-up:
Keith D - guitars, vocals, cello, djembe, fretless bass
Mike Gussis - guitar
Nick Smalkowski - drums & percussion
Dylan Klopfenstein - bass

"Passage Of Gaia":

On their sixth full-length album, 2014's "Passage Of Gaia", Arctic Sleep are returning to their roots as a two-man band with a gigantic sound, multi-instrumentalist Keith D and guitarist Mike Gussis once again steal you away from reality and plunge headlong into 54 minutes of pure sonic power, beauty and imagination. This follow-up to their critically acclaimed 2012 album "Arbors" expands on the band's unique musical recipes with their most complex & exciting material yet.
Recorded, mixed and mastered in June 2014 by Joel Wanasek. Produced by Joel Wanasek and Keith D. Cover art by Jennifer Weiler. Graphic design help by Craig Cirinelli of HOUSEWITHOUTWALLS design.

"Passage Of Gaia" - Tracklist:
1 - The Staircase
2 - Terra Vindicta
3 - Green Dragon
4 - Hyperion
5 - Antipode
6 - Passage Of Gaia
7 - Solar Lament
8 - Destroy The Urn

"Passage Of Gaia" - Line-up:
Keith D - vocals, drums, bass, cello, keyboards, guitars, djembe, e-bow
Mike Gussis - guitars
Additional backing vocals by Emily Jancetic

the hard side of life
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