Thursday, August 30, 2012

Bandcamp Picks: Pulverised Records

Singapore's Pulverised Records have been in the game for a long time, and are without a doubt the most recognized label in South East Asia.  They're somewhat isolated in the region, considering most of their market is in the US and Europe, and a good deal of their talent is in Sweden - so their embrace of Bandcamp for digital distribution isn't just wise, it's probably necessary.

On the recommendation of Brimstone in Fire's Ian, I decided to check out Iron Lamb, and was not disappointed. Featuring Swedish Death Metal scribe Daniel Ekeroth on bass, Iron Lamb play two-fisted garage punk, like the Hellacopters before they discovered their inner Skynyrd.

July brought another album from the always prolific Paul Speckman, in his guise as death metal OG Master. I'm really only familiar with the simplistic punk-thrash of Master's first album, so I was pleasantly surprised by The New Elite's relative sophistication (relative being the operative term). Jacket patch kids everywhere - bow to your fucking Master!

Of course, any discussion of Singapore's metal scene will lead inexorably to Impiety, and their latest album, Ravage and Conquer, was released by Pulverised back in April. Any reader of this blog knows I have issues with some of Impiety's beliefs, but the beauty of Bandcamp is that it allows you to enjoy the band's music without having to buy their politics.

Dead, Rotten and Hungry, the debut from NWOOSDM upstarts Facebreaker, was released by Pulverized 4 years ago to little notice, possibly lost in the glut of similar releases - though Facebreaker distinguish themselves by being chuggier and more hook-heavy than most, not to mention the inhuman vocals of Robban Karlsson (ex-Edge of Sanity). A suitable Bloodbath substitute now that Mikael Åkerfeldt has officially gone all classic rock on us.

Another band who slipped through the cracks for most is Tribulation. Along the lines of the Crown and Impious, The Horror is a melange of black, death, and thrash with just the right amount of melody and no shortage of viciousness.  The band has been quiet since this was released in 2009; let's hope that whatever they're doing in the meantime hasn't mellowed them out.