Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Bandcamp Picks - Sunless, Cartilage, Carnal Decay, Mordbrand

A year after their demo marked them as prospects to watch, Minnesota's Sunless have delivered a debut that lives up to the hype. Urraca sees them following the convoluted path hewn by Gorguts and Ulcerate, eschewing speed for speed's sake to focus instead on atonal riffs and shifting time signatures. Great things are afoot here. [$5]

Bay Area band Cartilage make no bones as to who their influences might be. Much like Impaled (whose Doktor Ross Ewage helped with the layout), Dialect of the Dead updates the classic gory deathgrind of early Carcass with a clearer production and some impish humour. Symphonies of putrefaction, rotten to perfection. [$6.66]

My crash course in European slam continues with Zurich's Carnal Decay. You Owe You Pay keeps the circle pit going by alternating between fast sections and big catchy grooves like clockwork. The bass drops and other electronic flourishes will send anyone with a patch jacket running for the safety of their Hellhammer demos, but this should make the slam kids dance like happy prospectors. [$6.99]

Sweden's Mordbrand seems to only get better with every release. On Wilt, the prolific trio inject more hooks into the classic Stockholm death metal sound, turning in their most memorable batch of songs in the process. As the revival herd thins, those who stick around become the true kvlt. [$9]

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Monday, February 13, 2017

Bandcamp Picks - Dead Witches, Necro, Endless Floods, Body Void

After months of beating the drum for their debut, Dead Witches are upon us. With its rumbling low end and occult overtones, Ouija spells true British doom in no uncertain terms. And with Mark Greening behind the kit, Electric Wizard would be the most obvious reference point - but this is more engaging than anything the Wizard has released in over a decade. [€8]

DoC faves Necro finished up 2016 with another master class in heavy psych rock. Adiante, the Brazilian trio's third full-length, pimp walks out the gate with Lillian Lessa's confident delivery topping the band's Seventies' keyboard-inflected low-rider grooves. "Swinging" in every sense of the word. [$7]

Restraint is key to Endless Floods. On their sophomore album (cleverly titled II ) the Bordeaux trio delays gratification as long as it can, stretching out their minimalist instrumental passages like taffy. When they bring the heavy, it's with the efficacy of a forklift operator dropping slabs of concrete. Watch your heads. [€4]

Starting their EP off like repeated punches to the face is a good indication of where Body Void's heads are at. Their first release since changing their name from Devoid, Ruins is a punishing affair, alternating between feedback-laced sludge and (relatively) faster hardcore sections - like Eyehategod through a burned out sub-woofer. [$5]