Reptilicus – “Crusher of Bones” (1990)

Every now and again I manage to snag a vintage Icelandic album on eBay for a decent price (♠). Most recently this happened a few weeks back when I was able to pick up a copy of Reptilicus’ second full-length album, 1990s Crusher of Bones. I have a 7″ of theirs that I wrote about previously and I’ve kept my eyes open for their stuff ever since.

On a quasi-related note, I’m always on the lookout for OG Icelandic releases when I’m out and about digging here in the States, though generally with no luck. A few years back I found a copy of Þeyr’s Mjötviður Mær in Salt Lake City and just about passed out from the shock. Ironically I purchased it and re-patriated it back to a friend in Iceland who had been looking for it for a while. But until this weekend, that was it. And then we went down to Portland, Oregon, and there I found copies of Ornamental’s 12″ as well as this Reptilicus release, which was a mild bummer since I’d just picked it up online. Go figure.

As for Crusher of Bones, this is some decent industrial. I’m sure it would have sounded harder had I heard it when it first came out 28 years ago, but that being said it’s held up well. “Pirates of Paradise” is killer, opening like a sort of classical gothic intro to a Conan movie before the vocals take it in a more disturbing direction. Top to bottom this thing is rock solid, well worth the effort if you’re a fan of Skinny Puppy, Nitzer Ebb, or the like.

(♠) Though more frequently I’m either outbid or the record is one I already have… and paid a lot more for when I bought it!

Reptilicus – “Initial Conditions” 7″ (2011)

When I picked this up over at Reykjavik’s Lucky Records a few weeks back, for some reason I thought it was by the Icelandic band Reptile. Well, I got the Icelandic part right, because the duo who comprise Reptilicus are indeed from there, but I was way off base with the whole Reptile thing. Not that it’s a big deal, because it turns out this 7″ from 2011 is pretty damn hot.


The clear blue record contains two versions of the same song, “Initial Conditions,” with the B side given over to a somewhat longer remix by Senking. Stylistically Reptilicus are putting the dark into darkwave. The music is slow and heavy, like something you’d expect to be playing while you walked through a ruined church on Halloween during a new moon – echo, percussion that is sometimes slow and sometimes sounds like a heartbeat, and the occasional vocalizations that will make you sure that the inside of your skull is haunted. The kind of thing that if you listened to it on headphones while stoned in the dark, it might actually give you a heart attack. The remix is a bit less eerily oppressive, but not by much.

“Initial Conditions” was a great accidental acquisition, and I can promise you I’ll be keeping my eyes open for some of the prior works by this duo. Most of it is on CD only, but that won’t deter me when the music is this good. This particular 7″ is limited to only 301 hand-numbered copies, and I didn’t see any listed for sale on Discogs or eBay, so you might want to pull the trigger if you should see a copy of it available. Happy hunting!