Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bandcamp Picks: Gigan, Plague Widow/Oblivionized, Anakronis, Cyclamen

Gigan has been on my radar for years, but I never got around to checking them out until now. If their previous albums are anything like the mind-melting Multi-Dimensional Fractal-Sorcery And Super Science, then I've been missing out. Impressive but never overbearing, this is tech death for people who don't like tech death. Recommended for anyone who loves blastbeats and convoluted riffs. And whale sounds. The album is available as a digital download for $7.99.

Plague Widow are a band that I've had my eye on for a while, their first self-titled EP being one of the best death metal debuts I've heard in recent years. This Black Earth, their split with Brits Oblivionized, carries on in that vein, with an unrelenting blasting fury that only makes me more impatient for a full-length. On their side, Oblivionized show that they're not ones to be overshadowed, with a slightly schizo approach to modern death metal that's highly reminiscent of The Red Chord. The four song EP is available as a digital download from the Buried In Hell Records Bandcamp page for $1.99, and worth every penny.

It's looking like Canada is the place to be for technical death metal, and adding to that reputation is Anakronis with their Regression EP. I like my tech-death light on the arpeggios and heavy on the blasting, and this definitely suits me. The hyper-compressed production doesn't quite do their musicianship justice, but that's not enough to obfuscate the band's potential. Ones to watch, for sure. The 5 track EP is available as a "name your price" download.

I'll give this to Tokyo's Cyclamen: they're nothing if not modern. At its best, Ashura recalls the likes of Ihsahn and the Ocean in representing prog-metal at its heaviest, though at times the djenty rhythms and clean vocals skew too close to the more unfortunate trends of metal's recent past. But the sheer talent on display is impressive, as is the impeccable production. Two different masterings of the album are available on Bandcamp, both as "name your price" downloads.